A Whimsical Woodland Baby Shower

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

I can’t tell you how honored I am to get to share another gorgeous baby shower with you today! Showcasing real parties and celebrations has always been at the heart of The Sweetest Occasion and to have so many new moms and soon to-be moms sharing these treasured moments with me is a truly incredible feeling. Today we’re talking about Heather Johnston (the event planner and designer behind HRJ Events in Leavenworth, Washington) and a truly beautiful whimsical woodland baby shower fit for a little babe being born in the Pacific Northwest. From the most incredible naked cake to a build your own waffle bar that instantly made me hungry, this celebration has it all. (Complete with a cute animal themed DIY onesie station!)

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

Heather and her husband both love tackling a good DIY project so daddy got involved, cutting all of the wood rounds for the calligraphy place cards and chargers, as well as the wood candle holders. The Belgian waffle breakfast? Yup, he cooked that, too! (How stinkin’ adorable is that? Love!) Heather created the sweet little straw flags, sewed bunting and made all of the stencils for the onesie station, making it a truly personal and heartfelt celebration.

A Build Your Own Waffle Bar from @cydconverse

A Build Your Own Waffle Bar from @cydconverse

A Build Your Own Waffle Bar from @cydconverse A Build Your Own Waffle Bar from @cydconverse

A Build Your Own Waffle Bar from @cydconverse

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

A Whimsical Woodland Theme Baby Shower from @cydconverse

Isn’t this shower just great? I can’t get enough of that cake and the little moose and the deer on top! Many many thanks and big hugs to Heather for sharing!

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Vendors + Sources –
Photography by Nicole Conner Photography | Event design + styling: HRJ Events | Chalkboard art + calligraphy: Chalk Chic Mama | Naked cake + deer cookies: Cupcake Blues | Floral design: Full Bloom Flowers & Plants | Invitations: Tiny Prints | Watercolor prints: Susan Windsor

[Photos by Nicole Conner Photography.]

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10 DIY Cardboard Toys to Inspire Playtime

DIY Cardboard Fairy Wings

Baby E is three months old today, which honestly hardly seems possible. She’s hitting such a fun stage right now, learning to play and growing increasingly verbal. (She can’t stop won’t stop with the ridiculously cute cooing at the moment. So sweet!) At the moment she is currently sitting right next to me, hanging out in her bouncer while batting at her toys and babbling away. I wish I knew what was going on in that little head of hers because she just seems so happy and content with nothing more than a couple of little toys and her own imagination. Which brings me to today’s round up of the coolest things ever made from cardboard. I couldn’t resist pinning these DIY cardboard wings when I saw them and that somehow led me down a bunny trail of homemade cardboard toys. Guys, cardboard! A bit of paint. A few big pieces of tape. A smear of glue. Approximately $0 if you use stuff you have lying around the house. Playtime just officially went analog [and awesome] again.

DIY Cardboard Television

DIY Cardboard Castle

DIY Cardboard Crown

DIY Cardboard Dollhouses

DIY Cardboard Kitchen

DIY Cardboard Houses

DIY Cardboard Dollhouse

DIY Cardboard Food Truck

DIY Cardboard Camper

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Photos [from top]: DIY Cardboard Wings | DIY Cardboard Television | DIY Cardboard Castle | DIY Cardboard Crown | DIY Cardboard Brownstone Dollhouses |  DIY Cardboard Kitchen | DIY Cardboard Houses | DIY Cardboard Dollhouse | DIY Cardboard Food Truck | DIY Cardboard Camper

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The Weekend To Do List

Happy Friday, friends! I’m switching things up a little bit today after an unexpectedly long hiatus from my traditional Friday Link Love post. It always surprises me that my weekly link round-ups are so popular, but I’ve been playing with the idea of switching things up a little bit. I’ve written hundreds of link love posts and it felt like time to try something new. Still a collection of links I’m loving, still inspiration for your weekend, but packaged up slightly differently. We’re calling it the weekend to do list. Let me know what you think! In the meantime I’ll be over here putting our house back in order after yesterday’s full day shoot. There may or may not be gold flatware and assorted cocktail glasses scattered everywhere at the moment. (Stay tuned! Good things are coming your way.) Have a fabulous weekend and I’ll see you next week! xoxo

The Weekend To Do List from @cydconverse

1 | Try This
Have a bathroom that could use a quick update? Add a touch of glam by taking the DIY approach to gold sink legs and plumbing. So smart and so affordable! [Photo by Lovely Indeed]

2 | Sip This
Need to up your smoothie game? This dark chocolate cherry chai smoothie looks nothing short of seriously delicious. [Photo by How Sweet It Is]

3 | Make This
Glam things up for your next shindig (Oscar party anyone?) with gorgeous DIY metallic gold glassware. You’ll be amazed how quick and easy it is! [Photo by Sugar & Cloth]

4 | Eat This
Homemade three ingredient vegan ice cream has none of the dairy and all of the fun if you’re feeling like a hot fudge sundae this weekend. (Who isn’t feeling like a hot fudge sundae this weekend? Come on now.) [Photo by A Beautiful Mess]

5 | Download This
Oscar party confetti – have you ever heard of such a ridiculously fun thing? Download the printable sheet and then punch it out! So cute. [Photo by Madcitizen]

6 | Wear This
How long has it been since you found a fun new shade of lipstick? It has been eons for me. I’ve been glossing it sans color for too long now. I’m loving these shades for winter and early spring! [Photo by What Olivia Did]

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Loving Patterned Cement Tile

Trend Watch: Loving Patterned Cement Tile from @cydconverse

This year is the year that after many years of renting, Bob and I are hoping to finally to own our own home. The jury is still out on whether we will design and build that home from the ground up or buy a house, but either way, I have basically been thinking about it constantly for the last several weeks. Maybe it’s the whole having a newborn baby thing and wanting to give her and the big kids (as we call her older siblings) a big backyard of their own to romp around in, but it’s really feeling like this is the right time for us to make the move. While we’re sorting all of that out (we met with a mortgage broker earlier this week!), I’m obviously on Pinterest day dreaming about bathrooms and kitchens and little home offices and big backyard barbecues like it’s my job at the moment.

Trend Watch: Loving Patterned Cement Tile from @cydconverse

Trend Watch: Loving Patterned Cement Tile from @cydconverse

Trend Watch: Loving Patterned Cement Tile from @cydconverse

Trend Watch: Loving Patterned Cement Tile from @cydconverse

One trend I’ve been seriously loving lately? Patterned cement tile. I think it looks particularly amazing on a bathroom floor, but it’s also pretty incredible in a kitchen as either a floor show stopper or a gorgeous backsplash. What do you guys think? Are you loving this look, too? I worry that 10 years from now it’s one of those things that will feel really dated and we all know tile can be both expensive and time consuming to update. On the other hand, I think the years of being pattern-shy, living in houses with no wallpaper and very simple, neutral tile might be coming to an end. (I mean, do we really have to worry about resale all the time? Can’t we just design houses we love?) I think the key to making this look work for longer is to keep the color palette neutral (like most of the examples here) and I also suspect it will feel more timeless on a floor than on walls. Weigh in! I’d love to know what you think about this one. In the meantime, I’ll be over here dreaming about our dream house.

Trend Watch: Loving Patterned Cement Tile from @cydconverse

Trend Watch: Loving Patterned Cement Tile from @cydconverse

Trend Watch: Loving Patterned Cement Tile from @cydconverse

Trend Watch: Loving Patterned Cement Tile from @cydconverse

Trend Watch: Loving Patterned Cement Tile from @cydconverse

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Photos [from top]: Tabarka Studio | Tessa Neustadt via Style By Emily HendersonAmber InteriorsMagnolia Market | Capree Kimball via Curbly | Kelly Brown via Design*SpongeJoe Schmelzer by Kishani Perera via My DomaineDeirdre Doherty Interiors via Desire to InspireJoe Schmelzer via My Domaine | Amy Bartlam via Houzz | Marcia Prentice via Apartment Therapy

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My Winter Skincare Routine

Winter Skincare Routine from @cydconverse

After an insanely warm start to winter, the more typical frigid temperatures have officially found us. We’re talking wind chills of -45° over the weekend, making our icy little city the coldest place in the continental United States for Valentine’s Day on Sunday. With the onslaught of arctic air usually comes dry, chapped, raw skin practically flaking off of my cheek bones, but this year I’ve got it in check thanks to all of you! Last winter I shared that I was struggling with my skin and you chimed in with your winter skincare tips, tricks and product suggestions. I’ve tried loads of the products you recommended plus a bunch of others and I’ve finally landed on a winter skincare routine that totally works for me. I thought I’d report back on the products I’m currently using and loving! As a bit of background, I have true combination skin that changes throughout the year. In the summer I tend to be a touch oily through my T-zone and in the winter, my cheeks tend to get really painfully dry.

Winter Skincare Routine from @cydconverse

Step 1 – Micellar Water
If it’s a day where I haven’t been wearing a lot of heavy make up, I always use Bioderma as my makeup remover before cleansing, applying it with an exfoliating cotton pad. It’s gentle and doesn’t mess with my skin. In the morning it’s sometimes all I use, depending on how my skin feels. It’s also great for a mid-day pick me up, too! Micellar water is becoming more common and there are cheaper alternatives on the market now (Simple makes one that people rave about), but I haven’t yet had a chance to try them out just yet.

Winter Skincare Routine from @cydconverse

Step 2 – Cleansing Oil
Next up if I’ve been wearing heavier makeup is a cleansing oil. Currently I am using The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil which I rather love. Don’t be thrown off by the term “cleansing oil” if you have oily skin. The oil does an amazing job of breaking down makeup and leaving your skin feeling nourished instead of stripped and raw. I pump a bit into my hand and work it into my skin really well my finger tips. Then I add a bit of water which causes the oil to lather up a bit before rinsing and following up with a cleanser.

Winter Skincare Routine from @cydconverse

Step 3 – Cleanser
If you’re following along, we are now three steps in and still cleaning our face, which in the past I would have found completely excessive. That said, I think finding the right combination of products to truly cleanse your skin is such an important step to avoiding crap winter skin. These days I am primarily using the Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash, which lives up to it’s name. It’s simple, it’s not overly drying and it’s super affordable.

Winter Skincare Routine from @cydconverse Winter Skincare Routine from @cydconverse

Being completely real now, I have a newborn baby. There are times I’m lucky to even get to wash my face so in those instances I’ve been leaning on the Alba Botanica Hawaiian 3-in-1 Clean Towelettes. As a rule I know that it’s better to clean thoroughly, but sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do and I like these wipes a lot. I also appreciate that they’re cruelty free! Alternately, I sometimes use The Body Shop Nutriganics Foaming Facial Wash in the morning instead of the Simple cleanser, if my skin just feels like it wants something a little lighter that day. (Such as back in December when it was freakishly warm still!)

Winter Skincare Routine from @cydconverse

Step 4- Moisturizer
After loads of hits and misses, I have finally found a moisturizing routine that works for me! Yes, this requires an exclamation point, because moisturizers are where it always breaks down for me. My skin is so super dry and sensitive in the winter that a lot of moisturizers with alcohol or fragrances will actually make my skin burn as if it is on fire. Then I end up in a situation where I won’t put anything on my face because my skin is in agony and as a result I get even drier and more sensitive. (No doubt that this vicious cycle has gotten progressively worse since I entered my 30s!) Right now I am loving the Boscia Restorative Day Moisture Cream. Admittedly it’s a bit pricey, but it is so thick that a tiny dollop will easily cover your whole face so it lasts forever. My skin loves this stuff and it keeps me feeling super hydrated during the day.

Winter Skincare Routine from @cydconverse

If my skin is feeling a touch oilier that day, I’ll skip the Boscia and use Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer. Honestly, I’m not sure there is anything too remarkable about this stuff, but it’s a nice mid-weight moisturizer and it doesn’t burn my skin, which earns a thumbs up from me. I do like that it has SPF 30 so sometimes I’ll even layer this over the Boscia if it’s a day where I know I’ll be outside. (Although admittedly that’s not happening a lot this winter with the baby and all.)

Winter Skincare Routine from @cydconverse

In the evenings it’s all about Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask. Guys, I’m obsessed with this stuff. As in, I will never ever live without it again a day in my life. If you suffer from dry skin and you can only splurge on one product, make it this one. It smells amazing, it feels so good and within a week last winter it had my skin completely rehydrated after months of suffering from incredibly painful, excessively dry skin. I use it on my face, all over my neck and in the evenings I even use this under my eyes in lieu of an eye cream because it helps keep that thinner skin really moisturized.

Winter Skincare Routine from @cydconverse

Step 5 – Eye Cream
Speaking of eye cream, I’ve been on a big kick with Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream lately. (Honestly, I think I’m realizing that I love a lot of Origins products, because I also love their Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash, which I have a sample of at the moment.) Another favorite is Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, which also does a bang up job of keeping the corners of my eyes from getting dry, which seems to be a recurring issue for me now that my skin is aging a bit. (Side note: I’m only 32. I am so not ready to age yet!)

Winter Skincare Routine from @cydconverse

Winter Skincare Routine from @cydconverse Winter Skincare Routine from @cydconverse

Occasional Products –
Because I’m now on a massive skincare kick and can’t stop trying out new things, I have a handful of other things I work into the mix occasionally, too. The Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer is something I’ll use a couple of times a week before bed underneath my moisturizer, but only on my forehead. Anywhere else and anymore often and I find it too drying. If I feel like doing a mask, I’ve really been liking The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask as well as their Vitamin C Microdermabrasion scrub for a good weekly exfoliator. I also reach for the St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub on occasion, too. (Skip the famous apricot scrub! It’s really harsh on your skin. This stuff is much better and just as inexpensive at about $4 a bottle.)

Winter Skincare Routine from @cydconverse

 

And there you have it, folks! My excessively long list of skincare products I’ve hoarded to make it through the winter. As crazy as it sounds though, since I started really paying attention to what kind of cleansers I use and when, and since discovering a couple of incredible moisturizers that really work for me, my skin is amazing. Not that I ever had awful skin to begin with (other than the crazy dry skin in winter), but I absolutely have the best skin of my life these days. That said, I’m not done playing with new things yet so tell me what new things you’ve tried and have been loving! Any go-to favorites? Spill the beans in the comments so I can feed my addiction.

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[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

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