February 5, 2014 | by cyd
I make no secret of the fact that I love putting a non-romantic spin on Valentine’s Day. Remember how in elementary school Valentine’s Day was all about passing out little notes and candy to your friends? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. After sharing my take on a girlfriend-friendly Valentine’s Day with pretty DIY mini bouquets last week, today I’m construction paper heart happy to share this Valentine’s Day girl’s night from our awesome friends Andrea, Samantha and Jade and Matthew. (With the amazing talents of Dollface by Jules and Lavender & Honey Designs thrown in the mix, too!) We’re talking cocktails, nail art, and an amazing menu of sweet treats that will have you scampering off to the kitchen to grab your whisk in a heartbeat.
Hello. Isn’t this the kind of party that’s just way too fun for words? I know in my world this ranks right up there with the awesome. Stay tuned later today for all the yummy recipes (including that amazing blood orange cocktail) so you can invite your own gals over for the ultimate girl’s night Valentine’s Day party!
Photos by Jade + Matthew Take Pictures
Styling: Andrea Harper of Gray Harper Event Maker
Recipes: Samantha Sanford
Hair + makeup: Emily Warren of Dollface by Jules
Stationery: Lavender & Honey Designs
February 4, 2014 | by cyd
With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, let’s chat about a sweet little homemade Valentine idea, shall we? Inspired by mine and B’s shared love for vintage photo booths that spit out those perfect black and white photo strips, this charming Valentine’s Day gift combines a handful of your favorite recents snapshots with a box of chocolates in the sweetest little package. While these would be perfect for anyone you want to show a little love, I personally think they’re particularly great for dudes. Because dudes are far more sentimental than they’ll ever admit, but we ladies can’t default to having a dozen roses delivered and calling it good. Am I right?
- Mini kraft gift boxes
- Bone folder
- Black card stock
- Printed photos
- Double-sided adhesive
- Chocolates or sweets
- Heart shaped paper punch
- Scissors (or kraft knife and metal straight edge)
Begin by measuring the width of your box and determining how wide you’d like your photo strip to end up when finished. My box was right around 3.5″ wide so I opted for a photo strip that was 3″ across. I used 12×12 black card stock, but you can use whatever size you’d like, keeping in mind that the length of your card stock will determine the length of your photo strip and therefore how many photos you can fit.
Next up, you’re going to create score marks along the strip of card stock to correspond to each photo. To do this I simply measured and made tick marks, dividing the strip into four equal sections and then created a score mark using a bone folder and a straight edge. Technically you can do this without a bone folder, but I suggest using one because they’re inexpensive and they help you make nice clean folds in the paper. Once scored, simply use the back flat edge of the bone folder to create the accordion folds in your strip of card stock, alternating the direction of the fold as you.
Once your card stock is cut, scored and folded, it’s time to attach the photos! I printed mine at home on photo paper, but you could also have them printed locally or at a print shop if you prefer. I trimmed them down to be slightly smaller than the card stock to allow for a black border around each. Figure out what order you’d like the photos to appear in and then attach them to the card stock using an acid-free double-side adhesive. I prefer my trusty little Xyron for this, but you could also use double-stick tape.
Now that your photo strip is complete, use a paper punch to punch a heart out of the same black card stock and adhere it to the top of the box with double-sided adhesive. You could switch this up with a different color of card stock or paper if you prefer, but I’m a sucker for the combination of black and kraft and I love how it kept it from looking too girly.
All that is left is to fill your box with chocolates or candies! I went with heart-shaped chocolates because I like how they tied in with the heart on the top of the box, but you should go with whatever treat your honey loves best. Fold the photo strip into the box, place the lid on top and voila! You’re all done. That was easy, wasn’t it? Definitely a perfect little gift to give on Valentine’s Day and one that’s easy and inexpensive to craft up to boot. Love that!
[Design + styling by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion. | Photos by Alice G. Patterson.]
Mini gift boxes from Target
Card stock, bone folder + paper punch from Michaels
Nail polish is Ocean by Revlon
The fine print: Please link with love! As with all of our posts, DIY projects featured on The Sweetest Occasion may not be copied, distributed or reproduced without permission. Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share this post, please link to this post directly for the DIY tutorial and do not include the instructions in your own post. Thanks so much! xoxo
February 3, 2014 | by cyd
Another Monday, another pretty color palette from my heart to yours! I have to tell you. Sometimes these color palettes take me eons. As in, literally hours. Sometimes they get shelved entirely or stuck on a back burner for another day. Then other times, it’s like the color stars and heavens all align and something comes together so perfectly I literally find myself clapping. (Oh gosh. I’m going way too far with sharing my oddities today, aren’t I?) Welp. This color palette was one of the latter. I’m so crazy in love with these colors that this may be my new official color palette for winter. It’s particularly appropriate for late winter, because it almost starts to feel a touch like spring, but all the bourbon and fig goodness keeps it grounded and cold weather perfect. Also, any cocktail involving maple and bourbon is a sure win. Seriously. Trust me.
[Photos, from top: This Modern Romance from Elizabeth Anne Designs | Michael Graydon | Cheese and Chocolate via The Boys Club.]
February 3, 2014 | by cyd
Well, friends, we’re doing something a wee bit different today! In part, because it’s 2014 and we’re working on shaking things up a touch around these parts this year. And also because sometimes I feel like the usual Friday Link Love posts leave me wanting to share even more of what I’m seeing and loving. That said, today is the first installment of a new series I’m calling Monthly Favorites. In short, the first Monday of every month I’m going to share a big huge helping of my favorite things from the month before. We’re talking products, posts, articles, DIY projects, recipes and more. The topics each month will be somewhat random, all rolled up into one over-the-top mish mash of link love awesomeness. Are you digging it? I sure hope so! Because assuming you do, to plan is to keep this party rockin’ all year long. So let’s jump into it, shall we? Here are my monthly favorites from January!
Let’s kick things off by talking about donuts, shall we? Because you know I think donuts are kind of awesome, particularly the homemade kind. But this month I also learned that donuts can be made into amazing little sweets perfect for Valentine’s Day. Clearly we all should have thought of that one long before now, don’t you agree? Better late than never I say! Sure, donuts don’t do any favors for our New Year’s resolutions, but for Valentine’s Day they’re clearly a must.
Favorite Donuts | 1: Donuts Over You Printables | 2: Blood orange dark chocolate cake donuts | 3: Conversation heart donuts | 4: Pretty sprinkled donuts
So, um, let’s not talk about the awkward transitions from donuts to bathrooms, ok? Ok, good. I’m glad we got that out of the way. See, lately I’ve been finding myself really drawn to beautiful bathrooms. Generally with loads of natural light and often with gorgeous tile. What does this say about me? Perhaps that I need to take more bubble baths. Or just that I have a thing for lovely tubs, sinks and commodes. I’m honestly not sure. But I know that in the past month or so, these are just a few of the dreamy bathrooms that have caught my eye.
Favorite Bathrooms | 1: Light Locations | 2: Color Me Carla | 3: Lonny Magazine | 4: Lonny Magazine
If you follow me on Pinterest, chances are you know I’m some kind of a freak for pretty type, hand lettering and motivational phrases and quotes. We’re talking nearly 800 pins and counting kind of freak. January being the month of resolutions that it is, this past month I definitely found myself drawn to those words that pumped me up and got me excited to tackle plans and to-do lists. Some of these are available as art prints and some are free desktop wallpapers, so be sure to check them out to get inspired yourself. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing. Which clearly I really really am.
Favorite Words | 1: Today I Choose Joy | 2: Things Are About to Get Really Good | 3: Make Your Own Momentum | 4: Make It Count
This is the part of this post where I admit to being some sort of weird giant fangirl of Kendi. If you aren’t reading her blog yet, today is the day you should start, ok? Pretty much I want to live inside of her closet or take up permanent residence in her shop. Plus I’m pretty sure in real life she’s one cool chick and we’d have a whole lot of fun over a cup of coffee. Or possibly margaritas. Also, I just gushed about her on the internet and she has no idea who I am. Uuuuugh. Yeah. So so awkward. Anyway, Kendi’s style is pitch perfect, completely in line with things I would choose for my own wardrobe, only she’s way cooler than me. These are four of my favorite looks from January!
Favorite Kendi | 1: The Blues | 2: Number 5 | 3: Frenchie | 4: Stuck On You
I’m a book junkie from way back, but sadly I can’t remember the last time (if ever) that I shared any favorite books with you. How sad is that? I feel like I’ve seriously failed you and our friendship. Lame. So today I wanted to share a few of my favorite recent reads. My pick in books varies wildly, but generally trends toward what I call modern literature. I’m not so much into chick lit (but I can get down with it for sure from time to time) and I really gravitate toward books with richly developed characters. The Fault In Our Stars is actually what I’m currently reading, so I can’t speak too much about it yet other than to say that a few chapters in I’m absolutely hooked. I’ll plow through it by mid-week for sure. The Engagements may seem chick litty on the surface, but don’t be fooled. At it’s heart it’s a story of love in all it’s different forms and the ways we’ve grown to express that love as a society. Such an interesting read and I was sorry when it was over. I picked up The Girl Who Stopped Swimming at a thrift shop for $1 and then promptly left it in the seatback pocket on a plane when I was only half finished. I immediately bought it on Kindle the next day so I could finish it up. It’s kind of haunting, but it was also really beautiful. Does that make sense? You know it does. Finally, do you know Jodi Picoult’s books? They’re everywhere, admittedly, and I think there’s a reason for that, of which The Storyteller is a perfect example. Her stories always revolve around some tragedy, but it’s the rawness of human spirit and the way she develops characters that makes her books so good.
Favorite Reads | 1: The Fault In Our Stars | 2: The Engagements | 3: The Girl Who Stopped Swimming | 4: The Storyteller
Seriously. Can we just be real for a moment? I’m constantly blown away by all the truly awe-inspiring DIY ideas that my fellow bloggers are dreaming up. It’s ridiculous. Ladies, you got some serious talent going on. In January I was definitely most inspired by home-centric DIYs and easy little upgrades and projects that were just about handcrafting a little pretty without a whole lot of fuss. Think freshening up your bed with a pair of sweet pillows or adding a bit of light to an otherwise dark corner with a crafty wall sconce. And can we talk about concrete counters for a moment? Because I’m obsessed with concrete countertops (have been for years) and this DIY project makes me really wish I had some old ugly counters to makeover. True story.
Favorite DIY | 1: DIY XO Pillows | 2: DIY Concrete Countertops | 3: DIY Copper Wall Sconce | 4: DIY Leather iPad Case
No linkapalooza would be complete without a look back at a few of my favorite posts of the month! In January I shared my tips for how to get a cake out of a pan and Melina was back to share her amazing banana cake recipe with us. (Yeah, for the record. I love cake in kind of a big way.) We also got a glimpse at this stunning rustic dinner party that still has me wanting to host a dinner party sooner rather than later. Not to be forgotten, I shared an easy DIY tutorial for making mini Valentine’s Day bouquets that would make sweet little gifts all year long.
Favorite Posts | 1: How to get a cake out of a pan | 2: DIY mini Valentine’s Day bouquets | 3: A rustic farm dinner | 4: Banana cake with honey cream frosting
Sooo, does anyone love this new column as much as I do? (Please, at least three of you raise your hand or it’s going to feel real awkward real quick.) If so, I’m going to be cataloging all of these favorites each month over on my Monthly Favorites Pinterest board so check it out, ok? Cool. xoxo
February 1, 2014 | by cyd
Popping in on a Saturday with a little extra dose of drool-worthy inspiration for you today! Specifically, perfect game day foods that you’ll want to whip up in time for your Super Bowl festivities tomorrow. (And, yes, just watching the commercials absolutely counts as Super Bowl festivities worthy of some tasty snacks!) We’re going to be rooting for the Broncos in our household tomorrow, although we’re both big Giants fans. (Siiigh. Clearly this was not our team’s year.) Our plans are to spend the morning making homemade pizza and a big pot of chili for what will most likely be a Super Bowl party of two. Whether your bash will be for two or twenty, here are a handful of last minute Super Bowl recipes that are sure to please a crowd large or small.
[Black bean sliders | Cheddar tailgate bread | Baked sriracha wings | BBQ sweet potato chips | Roasted tomato pizza | Serrano corn salsa | Ginger beer cocktail | Fudge brownies.]