Don’t Forget! Take the 2016 Reader Survey + Win

DIY Floral Arrangement | DIY Centerpiece from @cydconverse

Good morning, friends! Just a quick reminder that there is just 24 hours left to take the 2016 reader survey! Am I pushing it hard this year? Why, yes. Yes, I am and I’ll tell you why. I’m not sure if it’s spring or finally feeling like the baby and I are in a really good groove or if it’s just feeling humbled by the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to be doing this for eight years now, but I have never been more fired up to produce my best work yet. Part of that might mean some changes, though, so I want to know your thoughts before I go assuming I know what you’d like to see here. So, take the survey. (Pretty please!) Get yourself entered to win a $100 gift card. (The winner will be announced tomorrow on Instagram and Snapchat!) And in the meantime, I’ll be over here continuing to drive myself crazy over the new site design that I am trying like crazy to get wrapped up so that coding can begin. xoxo

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[Above: DIY Grocery Store Flower Arrangement | Photo by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

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My Top 5 Favorite Vacation Spots

Best Vacation Spots from @cydconverse | Travel guides, vacation destinations and travel tips!

I was super excited to see when reading through the reader survey responses so far that so many of you are interested in more travel posts! I absolutely love traveling (scope out #tsotravels) and have a few trips in the works this year after traveling less last year while I was pregnant. As luck would have it, I was already planning on writing today’s post, sharing my top 5 favorite vacation spots so I decided to bump it up in the schedule. Vacation destinations! Specifically, my favorite places in the U.S. to visit. But I’m not talking about the big major cities or the super hyped up places. So, no, I’m not going to talk about New York or LA or Chicago, even though I love all of those cities. Instead, we’re talking about the places that shocked me with their beauty and have prompted repeat visits and promises to go as many times as I can in my lifetime. For me, that’s what traveling is about! Discovering the hidden gems, falling in love with some far off place and not quite being able to shake it once you get back home. These places are just that for me! Click through for my favorites and chime in with yours so I can plan a trip!

Keep reading…

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The Weekend To Do List

Thank you so so much to everyone who has taken the reader survey so far! If you haven’t yet, would you consider taking a few minutes to do so? I’d really love to hear from you, plus you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card sooo there’s that. (Who can complain about a hundred bucks?!) I know things were a little quiet around here this week, but I have been working to get some things organized and projects lined up so I can start working toward a more normal work load. I’m still figuring out exactly what that will look like since the baby won’t be going to daycare on a full-time basis anytime soon, but I am working to sort things out. (Which is kind of where the survey comes into play. Shameless plug. Again.) In the meantime, I’ve got this weekend’s to do list on deck for you! (Don’t forget you can share your weekend adventures with me on Instagram with #theweekendtodolist.) Happy Friday, friends! xoxo

Craft ideas, recipes, DIY and cocktails to inspire your weekend from @cydconverse

1 | Wear This
I’ve been in a total rut with my hair lately, anyone else? Check out this hair tutorial if you’re feeling like a fresh, pretty look this weekend! [Photo by Heather Hawkins]

2 | Eat This
I’ve been craving pancakes lately (nothing new there), and I’m seriously considering giving this vegan pancake recipe a try! Nothing says “weekend” like pancakes, am I right? [Photo by Cookie + Kate]

3 | Drink This
This white Russian affogato takes the classic drink to a whole new level. Skip dinner and go right to dessert with the ultimate happy hour! [Photo by Hungry Girl por Vida]

4 | DIY This
On the hunt for a quick and easy DIY project idea for the weekend that is super simple but pays off with a gorgeous end product? Get your marble on with these dipped marble vases! [Photo by Sugar & Cloth]

5 | Make This
Because every weekend should call for a little homemade pistachio ice cream with Nutella fudge, don’t you think? I am seriously drooling right now. [Photo by How Sweet It Is]

6 | Buy This
Does your bedroom need a bright and cheery little facelift for spring? Enter this black polka dot bedding for the win. It’s so fun! [Photo from Garnet Hill]

salute

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2016 Reader Survey + Win a $100 Gift Card

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends! Did you remember to wear green today? Baby E has the cutest little shamrock headband she is going to be wearing! If I can get her to cooperate long enough I’ll share a photo with you over on Instagram a little later! I’m actually still somewhat covered in green paint from a project I was working on yesterday (stay tuned for that) so I’m pretty sure that counts, right? In the meantime, it’s time for the 2016 reader survey! Every spring I like to poll you guys to see what you’re loving and what you could live without and I take that feedback into consideration when plotting out content for the year. This year, perhaps more than any other year before, I would really really love your participation! I am about a month or two out right now from launching all new branding plus the biggest site redesign in The Sweetest Occasion’s eight year tenure on the world wide web. With that in mind, and having taken a lot of time while I’ve been hanging out with the baby and working a little less, I’m considering making some fairly big changes to how we do things around here.

The Sweetest Occasion - 2016 Reader Survey from @cydconverse

The heart of what I babble about will always be the same (entertaining, home, food, DIY, etc. etc.), but I am contemplating packaging it all up a little differently. I want to make the work I do more useful for you but also more inspiring. I want you to come here and really feel empowered to host a fun dinner party or overhaul that room in your house that has been driving you nuts. I think the journey is too short not to make the most of every day and every stage of life. In my own life I am committed to living in a way that celebrates every day and I consider it my mission to help spread a little joy in the form of a well mixed cocktail and glittery craft projects. So, I want to know what you love. What you need more of. What you’re totally over. What am I not writing about that you’d like me to write about? What posts do you skip right over? Dish it all out by taking the survey. If you complete the survey (and be sure to provide your email address) you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card to your choice of J.Crew or Anthropologie! (Or get crazy and take $50 to each – your pick!) If I could, I would give you all $100 to take the survey, because I am sincerely that interested in your thoughts. Alas, I cannot so one winner it shall be, but please know I am so grateful to you for taking the time to be here, supporting The Sweetest Occasion and generally just being awesome. I can’t wait to read all of your responses! (Take the survey right here!)

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The fine print: The survey will be open through Wednesday, March 23rd at 8:00am ET. One winner will be selected at random and announced on Instagram and Snapchat later that day. In order to be eligible for the giveaway, entrants must complete the survey and be sure to include their email address for the purposes of contacting them about their prize. (Your email address will never be shared!) Any questions? More feedback to share? Email Cyd at cyd@thesweetestoccasion.com

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15 Exceptionally Gorgeous Easter Cakes

Vanilla Ombre Macaron Cake | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

With Easter early on the calendar this year, it’s officially coming up quick! Which is why, even though it’s not yet St. Patrick’s Day, we must discuss cake. There is something about Easter that I have always loved. Perhaps it’s the association with spring or that being an early April baby (April 1 to be exact), typically Easter falls somewhere around my birthday so it all just feels celebratory. Either way you slice it, I think that cake is perfectly befitting of the occasion. (Pun absolutely intended.) With that in mind, today I’ve rounded up 15 truly gorgeous Easter cakes to help inspire your confectionary aspirations! I’ve skipped the ubiquitous bunny cakes this time around in lieu of macarons, flowers and fruit, but if a bunny cake is more what you’re after, check out this one!

1. Vanilla Ombre Cake with Macarons [above]

Orange Sherbet Cake | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

2. Orange Sherbet Cake

DIY Sugar Flower Cake | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

3. DIY Sugar Flower Cake

Strawberry Banana Milkshake Cake | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

4. Strawberry Banana Milkshake Cake

Toffee Bundt Cake with Mandarin Oranges | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

5. Toffee Bundt Cake with Mandarin Oranges

Cadbury Mini Egg Cake | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

6. Cadbury Mini Egg Cake

Naked Cake with Fresh Flowers | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

7. Naked Cake with Flowers

Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

8. Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake

Watercolor Buttercream Cake | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

9. Watercolor Buttercream Cake

Sky High Raffaello Cake | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

10. Sky High Raffaello Cake

Pink Velvet Cake with Edible Flowers | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

11. Pink Velvet Cake with Edible Flowers

Pear and Poppy Seed Cake | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

12. Pear and Poppy Seed Cake

Naked Strawberry Raspberry Shortcake | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

13. Naked Strawberry Raspberry Shortcake

Dulce de Leche Cake | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

14. Dulce de Leche Cake

Speckled Egg Cake | 15 Gorgeous Easter Cakes from @cydconverse

15. Speckled Egg Cake

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