Summer Picnic Essentials

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Summer Picnic Essentials from @cydconverse

It’s no big secret that I am a big fan of a summer picnic. I’ve made that pretty clear over the years. Sometimes though, picnics can feel like a lot of work! Preparing food, packing everything up, lugging it to the park or the beach. There are definitely times when they almost feel like more effort than it’s worth. (The operative word there being almost.) Today I’m sharing my summer picnic essentials! These are the things I like to keep handy all season long to make sure that I’m always ready for an impromptu picnic. When you’re prepared with a few essentials, all you have to do is make up some sandwiches, whip up a fresh salad and go. Read on for my tips!

Keep reading…

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Shop By Color: White Hot

Good morning and happy Monday, everyone! I hope everyone had a really great weekend and that those of you here in the States celebrated the 4th of July in fine fashion. (Popsicles, fireworks, ice cream. Yes? Good.) It dawned on me over the weekend that somewhere along the weekend that I had unknowingly abandoned this little column so today, Shop by Color is back! It has always been one of my favorites and it felt like time to bring it back. Today it’s all about white hot pieces perfect for updating your summer wardrobe! We’re talking white accessories, jewelry, baubles and more. What’s your favorite piece? I’m personally crazy about that necklace!

Shop By Color: White Hot

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[Shop | 1: White geode necklace | 2: Panama hat | 3: Espadrille slides | 4: Raw quartz earrings | 5: Essie Marshmallow | 6: S’well water bottle | 7: Shoulder bag | 8: Cotton eyelet shorts | 9: Michael Kors aviator sunglasses.]

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Happy 4th of July Weekend

Well, friends, it’s about that time! Time for me to check out for a few days and get to celebrating one of my favorite weekends of the year. For all of you here in the States, here’s wishing you a very happy 4th of July weekend! I hope there are many icy cold drinks and fireworks in your future over the next few days. Next week we will be picking up where we left off, talking about all kinds of pretty and delicious things. Fair? Fair. Until then, be sure to scroll down for your dose of summer-inspired link love. See you on Monday! xoxo

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[Photo by Ivy & Stone Photography from Style Me Pretty.]

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12 Delicious Things to Eat + Drink on July 4th

12 Delicious Things to Eat + Drink on July 4thAfter Christmas (and Christmas Eve of course), July 4th is hands down my favorite day of the year. There is absolutely no contest. I may just be a sucker for a good, loud celebration, but something about all the stars, stripes and fireworks makes me downright giddy. This weekend we’ll be joining some of our closest friends for a big bash and enjoying all the requisite 4th of July things. Swimming, cooking out, a campfire, smores, fireworks. I can’t wait! In the meantime, I’ve rounded up some of the yummiest July 4th recipes for you. Because I’m nice and I love you.

Click through and check out 12 delicious things to eat and drink this holiday weekend! (And for those of you not in the States, I promise you’ll love them, too!)

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Blackberry Raspberry Sangria Popsicles

This post was sponsored by Skinnygirl® Cocktails. Thank you for
supporting the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!

Blackberry Raspberry Sangria Popsicles by @cydconverse

Every once in a while, I seriously blow my own mind. I know, I know. That’s probably completely uncouth of me to say, but it’s true. These blackberry raspberry sangria popsicles? Mind. Blown. Back when I was in New York with Skinnygirl® Cocktails in March, I had the opportunity to taste all of their wines. I was skeptical. Low calorie wine? How can this even be ok? Turns out, it’s not ok. It’s seriously really really good! Not surprisingly, the pinot grigio was one of my favorites, and a few weeks ago I decided I should use it as the base for sangria. (We all know I love a good sangria!) And then I decided to take it one step further and make that sangria into super refreshing and utterly delicious popsicles. Now, you get to the do the same! You can thank me later.

Blackberry Raspberry Sangria Popsicles by @cydconverse

Lest you should be intimidated about making popsicles, let me assure you. There is nothing complicated about this process. We’re talking about all of four ingredients including the wine, a popsicle mold (I have this one), a saucepan or two, your stove and your freezer. A couple of quick berry compotes, a bit of that awesome Skinnygirl® Pinto Grigio and some freezing time. Done and done! These are easy enough to make on a weekday or over the weekend so you have a stash on hand for a little weeknight treat. They’re also special enough to make for a party!

Blackberry Raspberry Sangria Popsicles by @cydconverse

Blackberry Raspberry Sangria Popsicles by @cydconverse

Blackberry Raspberry Sangria Popsicles by @cydconverse

Blackberry Raspberry Sangria Popsicles

Makes 10 frozen pops

Place the raspberries in a small saucepan and mash with the back of a wooden spoon. Add half of the sugar and heat slowly over medium heat just until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Repeat the process with the blackberries. Once the berry mixtures have cooled, gradually add 1/2 of the wine to each of the berries. Scoop into a popsicle mold, alternating berry flavors, until the mold is 3/4 full. Insert popsicle sticks per manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze at least 4 – 5 hours or ideally overnight. To release the pops from the mold, run warm (not hot) water over the backside of the mold for 15 – 20 seconds. Then gently pull on the popsicle stick until the pop slides out.

Blackberry Raspberry Sangria Popsicles by @cydconverse

Of course, you can play with the flavor profiles here however you like! Choose a different wine varietal, add in strawberries or fresh peaches. The possibilities are fairly endless! I am officially addicted to making (and, uh, eating) homemade popsicles now and have a feeling I’ll be playing with different recipes pretty much all summer long.

Blackberry Raspberry Sangria Popsicles by @cydconverse

You definitely need to put these bad boys on your must-make list this summer! While you’re at it, don’t forget to make sure you’re all signed up for the Skinnygirl® Cocktails Tastemakers program, too. When you get on the list, you gain exclusive access to special perks, discounts, rewards and exclusive behind-the-scenes info. You’ll receive monthly emails throughout the year giving you the opportunity to get yourself entered to join in on awesome promotions and win some amazing prizes! And we all love prizes, am I right?

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[Photos + recipe by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]

Skinnygirl® Cocktails is a registered trademark of Jim Beam Brands Co. (“Beam”) and is used with permission. The information, comments and ideas expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Beam, its affiliated companies or any of their directors or employees. Beam does not sponsor, authorize, or otherwise endorse this website. Read more about our editorial policies.

Skinnygirl® Wine Collection ©2015 Skinnygirl Cocktails, Deerfield, IL (Per 5 oz – Average Analysis: Calories 100, Carbohydrates 5g, Protein 0g, Fat 0g). Drink Smart®

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