September 19, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
Ohhh, fall. You do such crazy things to us. You make cool color loving girls like me want to buy everything orange and gold in sight. In particular right now, this rich and bold shade of autumn orange is just doing me in. Anyone else? My favorite way to rock orange is definitely with a pop of color in my accessories. Usually a great oversized scarf or a cute pair of flats or a little clutch. But I’m also loving these candle holders for sprinkling a little autumnal color throughout your home. Or this gorgeous pillow for dressing up an arm chair or adding bit of texture to the bedroom. Is anyone else loving orange right now? Would you rock one of these pieces this season?
[Shop | 1: Throw pillow | 2: Purse | 3: Candle holders | 4: Ballet flats | 5: Laptop sleeve | 6: Eyeglasses | 7: Glass water bottle | 8: Skirt.]
This post contains affiliate links. Read more about our editorial policies.
September 18, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
You already heard me wax poetic about all things coffee last week, so at the risk of being redundant I just have to say that this week I’m living for my morning cup of coffee. Fall is definitely settling in all around us at the moment. The mornings are increasingly crisp and dark, the sun noticeably sinking faster into the horizon each evening. This week’s color palette, predictably, is still drawing inspiration from these early weeks of fall. Rich morning coffee. Jars of colorful and delicious apricot jam. The blues and pinks and purples of the fall sunrises I’ve been watching each morning. Also right now I’m wearing a giant hoodie over top of a giant sweater. Also right now I’m refusing to turn on the heat until there’s absolutely no choice. Such is fall in Upstate NY!
[Photos, from top: Vintage Mixer | 365 Days of Coffee | Allure magazine.]
September 17, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
I know, I know. I’m a horrible friend. It has been forever since we last talked about the studio. The truth is, summer showed up and our lives got really busy and kind of flipped inside out. It put the studio on the back burner in terms of decorating it and really getting settled in, but that’s [finally] all about to change! My mom has helped me out a bit this week, going and picking up some much-needed shelving, and it has gotten me really fired up to get organized and cozy in there. Cozy. That’s the operative word. In a way the prolonged delay has been a blessing. I’ve realized that I want to make a bit of shift in designing the space. I’m still totally in love with the bright white walls and painted floors, but when it comes to everything else, I definitely want a cozy vibe. This little home office I spied over on West Elm’s blog is pretty close to striking the chord I want to hit when finishing up the space.
I love super clean, bright white, girly spaces, but in truth I’m a lady who is all about the cozy. I love rich jewel tones, a bit of gold, warm wood tones, and a comfy place to sit. My desk chair is high backed and upholstered. I typically sit cross-legged behind my desk, barefoot with my hair piled on top of my head in a messy top knot. I like making a steaming cup of coffee and feeling enveloped in warmth. Those are the spaces where I feel most comfortable, most inspired and most invigorated. So, like I said. I’m so glad I took a bit of time to really mull this over and make moves in that direction. Here’s hoping that in a few weeks or so I’ll have a finished space to show off! In the meantime, I thought I’d share a little update about my thought process and when it’s all said and done I’ll break it down for you all helpful-like. Stay tuned!
p.s. To see more of this pretty office space, be sure to visit the West Elm blog where Juley Le of Upperlyne & Co. talks about her gorgeous space and shares her tips for working from home!
[Photos by Upperlyne & Co. from West Elm.]
September 16, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
One year ago today I waxed poetic about my amazing grandmother and how The Sweetest Occasion came to life. On that day, now over six years ago, I was about a year out of grad school with a fancy MBA, witnessing an economy that was literally crumbling before our eyes. In between printing, folding and mailing my resume countless times a week, I started a little blog. After a handful of posts I told my family and friends about my new pastime, which was sincerely designed just to keep me from going utterly stir crazy in a time when the world seemed bleak, layoffs were plentiful and jobs were scarce. I wrote every day. I spent time fiddling with Photoshop to improve what were my very rudimentary skills at the time. I went from reading a small handful of blogs to reading dozens. I poured over my favorite shelter magazines. I clipped, I shared, I wrote and in doing so I discovered a passion I had no idea could exist in my life. And somehow, now six years and far more than 3000 posts later, here we are.
[Just a tiny handful of highlights from the last six years. See links below!]
A few months back I wrote about my long winding journey to becoming a full-time blogger. In the last six years, the one thing that has remained constant is the joy that The Sweetest Occasion has brought into my life. I spent nearly three years at a job that taught me so much but left me feeling emotionally scarred. I was married and then divorced. I bought a house with a big inground pool and sold that house only two years later. I said goodbye to city living and relocated back home to the Thousand Islands region where life is more family-centric and more joyful than I ever knew possible. I doubted myself. I wondered if all my missteps and failures defined who I was. I questioned how a lifetime of being a workaholic, first as a student and then as an employee, could have landed me anywhere but someplace utterly amazing. I had done everything I was supposed to do. I had all the accolades, all the degrees, all the awards. I had checked all the boxes. And so many more times than I can tell you over the last several years I’ve felt like it has all been for naught.
Then, over the last couple of years, I realized. It did. All of that work, all of that passion, it landed me precisely where I was supposed to be. The twists and the turns made the tunnel seem endlessly dark at times, but ultiamtely life brought me to the place, to the work, to the people with whom I was meant to share my heart. In the end, I landed someplace more beautiful and more amazing than I could have ever dreamed of while I was living through the darker times. Now I’m living that dream. And it’s nothing like the dreams I had setting out, but it was worth every setback and every lesson I learned to wind up where I am today. Sometimes, if we let it, if we give ourselves up to the universe, if we clear our hearts, listen to our guts and have a little faith in ourselves, our dreams realized can be even more amazing than our dreams wished.
So today, as I reflect back on the first six years of The Sweetest Occasion and what it means to me, what I really want to do is to encourage you. Wherever you are in your life, whatever you’re feeling in your soul, trust in the journey. If you’re not where you want to be yet, keep working. If you’re feeling like hope is lost and you’ve messed it all up, remember that each new day is a chance to make life beautiful. I still have plenty of days where I doubt myself and moments when I’m convinced I’m doing it all wrong. In those moments, I pause long enough to look back and reflect on where I’ve come from and then I forge ahead. The last six years have been good. But, honestly, I can’t wait to see how amazing the next six years will be! Thank you for sharing the journey with me and remember, life is what happens when we’re busy making plans. As it turns out, maybe it’s better that way. xoxo
[Row 1: DIY Mini Bouquets | DIY Ribbon Flower Necklace | DIY Hanging Flower Chandelier | Row 2: Strawberry Cheesecake Pudding Shots | Homemade Infused Vodka | Grapefruit Fizz | Row 3: Sky High Raffaello Cake | Strawberry Milkshake Cake | Banana Cake with Honey Frosting | Row 4: DIY Party Animal Candles | DIY Glitter Vases | DIY Floral Centerpieces | Row 5: Stacey’s Golden Birthday | Brunch with Minted | A Summer Picnic.]
September 15, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
At this point I think it’s pretty undeniable that fall has arrived. I can give up the game of saying it’s “late summer,” because although technically true it feels nothing like summer here this week. The leaves are starting ever so subtly to stain red and orange. The wind has a crisp edge even on warm days. This morning it was outright chilly when we woke up! So naturally today, after a busy weekend of travel and hanging out with friends, all I really want to do is light a bunch of fall-scented candles and make a big pot of soup for dinner. Is anyone else ready to cozy up for fall? Here are six simple little ways to get your home ready and feeling festive for fall!
ONE I tend to drink way more coffee and tea in the colder months and a nice big ceramic mug is just the ticket for making that morning ritual feel a bit cozier. Don’t forget the warm apple cider, too!
TWO If ever a season were made for soup, it’s definitely fall. Now is the time to stock your pantry full of soup spices! With the right seasonings and spices always at the ready, you can whip up a delicious soup or stew any night of the week. Yum!
THREE Candles, candles, everywhere! Granted, that’s my motto all year long, but right now is when I’m swapping out my fruity, beachy scents in exchange for warmer fragrances. Linnea’s Lights is my go-to candle company and their signature Cashmere candle is perfect for fall!
FOUR I love cozy blankets and throws so this time of year I like to layer them up on every chair and sofa in my path. This cozy teal throw is a great price and I love the texture so I may have to add it to my collection of coziness.
FIVE If I could encourage you to make one investment for your kitchen this season it would be a good French oven. We have a few in different sizes and we use them all the time throughout the fall and winter for soups, casseroles and pot pies.
SIX While on Long Island this past weekend, we had the chance to do a tasting with Sag Harbor Rum at a cute little shop in Port Jefferson. I picked up a bottle to bring home and think it’s going to be the perfect rum for fall cocktails and spiked cider.