March 18, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
This post was sponsored by Valspar. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that so
generously help The Sweetest Occasion keep on keepin’ on!
My eleventh grade AP American history teacher was hands down one of the coolest teachers I ever had. He was a wildly smart guy, eccentric in the best possible way. He used to tell us stories about his time serving in the Vietnam war and how much of his time there was spent teaching Vietnamese children. He was the type of teacher who inspired you to soak up knowledge and made learning fun simply by witnessing his passion for education. His lectures were always a bit wacky and he was often marching around the classroom as he lectured, typically wearing one of a relatively limited number of outfits that were seemingly worn in some sort of regimented rotation. At some point during the year in his class, it came to light the reason why his outfits always paired the same pants with the same button-front shirt. There was never any mixing or matching between outfits. The khaki pants were always paired with the same shirt while the green corduroy pants were always worn with their respective mate. As it turns out, he was colorblind. The strictly regimented outfits were his way of leaving the house knowing that he looked presentable, and that his red plaid wasn’t inadvertently matched up with green stripes.
To date, Mr. Keel is the only person I’ve personally known who is colorblind. Interestingly, it’s something I’ve always looked back on and considered a huge part of his awesomely cool eccentricity. He seemed to march to the beat of his own drum in, quite literally, every way possible. Now as an adult, I sometimes marvel over how he had adapted his life to compensate for that inability to distinguish colors from one another. As a color lover through and through, I’m personally fascinated by color. In design school, color theory captivated me and to this day I’m someone who is very affected by color. On some level, I believe I really do think, see and dream in color. Which brings us to my ongoing collaboration with Valspar paint and their newly launched #ColorForAll initiative. It’s an amazingly powerful campaign designed to literally bring color to all by giving those who are colorblind the opportunity to discover, see and fall in love with color for the very first time.
Did you know nearly 300 million people around the world are colorblind? Can you imagine what it would be like to see color for the very first time in your life? It’s honestly mind boggling to me. In celebration of all things colors and as part of their quest to bring color to everyone, Valspar has created a short film, which they’re sharing here with you today. It shares the stories of four individuals who are colorblind and their reactions to seeing colors for the first time through the use of the EnChroma glasses, a technology developed to correct how the eye sees color in colorblind individuals. I was so moved watching this video and I am honored to be a part of sharing Valspar’s Color for All initiative with you.
I know I personally can’t even begin to imagine a world without color, so I encourage you or those you know and love who might be colorblind to share your story, using #ColorForAll or at ValsparColorForAll.com, where responses will be featured along with additional footage from the film. Some of those submitting stories will receive EnChroma glasses, courtesy of Valspar! You or your colorblind friends or family may just be able to experience color for the very first time and what an incredible thing that would be.
[Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]
This post was sponsored by Valspar. Read more about our editorial policies.
March 17, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Guys, I’m taking it old school today and sharing a big fat exciting sales alert with you, PSA-style. I am such a huge fan of Kate Spade Saturday, which is why I was totally bummed to hear that the colorful, peppy line would be closing this spring. Currently everything on the site is 50% off and there are still a ton of great pieces. Seriously, you can’t not love 50% off storewide. Today I’m sharing just a few of my favorite pieces that are still available, all of which are on the list of things I’m considering picking up myself. Seriously, how amazing is that satchel? I’m struggling not to buy it, for real. Consider this a heads up to pop over and check it out while the gettin’ is good!
[1: Satchel | 2: Bauble necklace | 3: Yellow iPhone case | 4: Black and white iPhone case | 5: Tote | 6: Striped heels.]
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March 16, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
I’m going to be that annoying person who waxes poetic along the lines of, “I can’t believe March is already half over!” this morning, because seriously. I can’t believe March is already half over. How on earth is it St. Patrick’s Day already tomorrow? While I know most of the big celebrations and parties happened over this past weekend, I’m personally always the type who likes to celebrate in a slightly scaled back, simpler way on the actual day itself. Whether it’s popping into my favorite pub for a stout or an Irish coffee, or just wearing something festive and green, I always get into the spirit. Today I’m sharing six of my favorite, last minute St. Patrick’s Day ideas to get you ready to celebrate in fine style tomorrow. What about you? How do you like to celebrate?
[DIY Shamrock Straw Toppers]
[Irish Stout Float + Minty Marshmallows]
[So Lucky to Have You Art Print]
[Irish Coffee with a Twist]
[DIY Sequin Shamrock Shirt]
[Chocolate Mint Cookie Sandwiches]
March 13, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Good morning, friends, and happy Friday! Today I am coming at you live from The James hotel in New York where I’ve taken up residence for the next couple of days. I’m here along with a bunch of awesome blogger ladies for a brand summit with Skinnygirl Cocktails, whom I’ll be partnering with throughout the year to bring you all kinds of awesome cocktail and entertaining ideas. I’ll share lots more about that later, but in the meantime you can follow along on Instagram using the hashtag #TSOTravels if you’d like to see what I’m up to while I’m here. I hear there is a cooking class in our future today at My Cooking Party, which I’m definitely excited about. I hope you all have a fabulous Friday and an even better weekend. I’ll see you here on Monday! xoxo
[A little sneak peek of my morning. See more here!]
March 12, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
An alternate title for this post could be, “Isn’t My Best Friend Super Pretty?” or “That Time I Finally Made a Sequin Shamrock Shirt.” In all seriousness, this is a project I had on my list of things to do last year before St. Patrick’s Day, but then we moved at the beginning of March and life got crazy for a while and it just didn’t happen in time to make the cut. (As it goes when you move, right?) So, as I do, I kept it on the spreadsheet I keep handy with lists of ideas for posts, recipes and DIY projects, and this year there was no stopping me. I was making a DIY sequin shamrock shirt. So here we are with what may just be the single cutest way to show a little Irish pride (or wanna-be Irish pride) this St. Patrick’s Day. But really though, my best friend is super pretty, don’t you think?
Here’s the deal with this shirt. It’s going to take you a little time to make this happen, but the technique is super simple. Even the most novice of crafters can pull this one off. Plus, you can switch it up by using this idea to jazz up a plain white tee, an oversized slouchy sweatshirt, or baby tee that’s a bit more fitted. Pair it with jeans, maybe throw a cute blazer or cardigan over top and add a bit of gold jewelry. Because, you know, leprechauns and gold and St. Patrick’s Day and all of those things go hand in hand. Don’t hold back! Just go all in with this one.
- Shirt or sweatshirt (I used this one)
- Green sequin trim (5 – 6 yards, I used this trim)
- Shamrock template (download here)
- Card stock
- Fine point marker
- E-6000 adhesive (or similar)
Begin by downloading the shamrock template and printing it onto card stock. Carefully cut out the shamrock shape and trace it onto your fabric using a fine point marker. I like to keep another piece of card stock or cardboard inside the shirt to keep the marker from bleeding through at this stage or the glue later on. Don’t worry if your lines aren’t 100% perfect as they’ll soon by covered up. Also, your card stock and marker do not need to be green, I was just keeping on theme while I was crafting away.
Next up, run a small bead of the E-6000 along a short section of your shamrock outline. Follow behind by gently placing and pressing your sequin trim onto the bead of adhesive. Be warned that E-6000 is a super strong adhesive and with it comes a very noxious odor so work in a well-ventilated area. If you’re pregnant or bothered by strong adhesive smells, opt for a different glue, just make sure it’s permanent and appropriate for fabric. Continue working in this fashion until you’ve completed the outline. Then snip off the trim before beginning the second row of sequins. I overlapped each consecutive row of sequins over the last one slightly to help prevent any fabric from showing through between the sequins. This is the part that takes a little time, but it’s a very simple process. I worked in small sections and just stayed patient so everything would up nice and neat and professional looking.
When you’re all done, you’ll have a rockin’ bedazzled shamrock shirt that is super snazzy. Let it dry a few hours or overnight ideally before wearing. I haven’t yet had a chance to test my shirt by washing it, but technically the E-6000 should allow you to wash this with no problem. To be safe, I would suggest spot treating and hand washing and laying it flat to dry. Other than that, you’re ready for an evening of drinking green beer or simply just equipped to avoid any pinching come St. Patrick’s Day! Don’t forget, if you make this or any other projects or recipes from The Sweetest Occasion, be sure to use the hashtag #thesweetestoccasion on Instagram and let me see!
[Photos by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]