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A Trio of Fondue Recipes for Your Next Cocktail Party

Back in October (actually just a few days after our wedding), I joined a group of my fellow bloggers at the Food52 test kitchen in New York as guests of Delta® Faucet. It was an amazing day of food, design and camaraderie where we got to try our hand making a few fun appetizers and check out some gorgeous faucets from Delta Faucet featuring their new ShieldSpray™ Technology. You may even remember seeing a sneak peek on Instagram while I was there! Today I am sharing a trio of easy fondue recipes that I created in partnership with Delta Faucet to (a) help inspire a little food fun at your next cocktail party and (b) to give you a look at the beautiful new faucet that now lives in my kitchen and how it has seriously elevated the game of my nearly 60 year old sink. Be sure to watch to video too, where you can see these fondues in action! (This is one of my favorite party appetizers to date, and that’s saying a lot.)

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Hosting a Game Day Chili Cook-Off

In our neighborhood we love getting together on game day for a good football party with food, a few drinks and a healthy dose of friendly rivalry, so last year for the big game we hosted a game day chili cook-off! We asked friends to show up with a crock of their best chili and passed out ballots so everyone could taste and vote on their favorites. This year I’ve teamed up with Uber to share some fun tips for hosting your own chili cook-off complete with really fun printable ballots designed by Erika Firm! Uber shares my passionate belief that it’s always better to be a #DesignatedRider over driving when you’re celebrating with friends, and I am an avid Uber user for that exact reason.

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Planning Our Bucket List Trip to Banff

For nearly 10 years now I’ve been obsessed with going to Banff National Park. It’s a dream that both Bob and I share. In fact, we have the ultimate bucket list goal of visiting all of the U.S. National Parks in our lifetime. We’ve visited some individually, but we need to revisit those so that we can hit them all together. (So, why not start by visiting a Canadian National Park, right?!) We skipped a honeymoon when we were married back in October, with the full intentions of doing a belated honeymoon/first anniversary/Bob’s 40th birthday trip this year. Banff it is. (I previously mentioned this trip when sharing my goals for 2018!) This is our total, ultimate bucket list trip. Of all the places we want to experience across the world, Banff has been calling to us for so long. Game on. It’s time. We’re leaving the kids behind and we’re heading off to Banff! We’re still in the planning stages of our trip, which is why I thought it would be fun to share how we’re planning our trip and what we’re taking into consideration as we get ready to book flights and accommodations. Banff is one of those places that people go crazy talking about when it comes up in conversations. If you’ve seen photos of Banff or any of the surrounding lakes, chances are it’s on your bucket list too, so I am going to share our planning process and, of course, loads of photos while we’re there and recapping our trip once we’re home. So, let’s go to Banff!

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On Being Creatively Stuck in the New Year + My Goals for 2018

Friends, I don’t know what it is, but January is kicking my ass. Again. This has happened the last couple of years, too, and it is endlessly frustrating. I love the holiday season, both personally and professionally. It’s my favorite content to brainstorm, concept, shoot and share and by the time the new year hits it’s almost like I’ve used up all my creativity stores and it takes a few weeks for that part of my brain to kick back into gear. Add in a horrible cold/stomach bug/persistent fever situation for Emerson last week (the cold part of which is still lingering) and I have just not had a whole lot of luck getting back into a rhythm. It’s an annoying way to start the year, if I’m honest, because everyone else seems to be fired up and ready to take names in 2018 and I’m over here snuggling a sick toddler and spinning my wheels.

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My Favorite Homemade Veggie Soup with Vegan Dumplings

I had a very sick two year old on my hands all of last week. High fevers, a cold, a touch of a stomach bug. It was also sub zero temperatures most of the week, with wind chills hitting -30 far more than once. It was a long week, for sure. The kind of long week that always seem to fall during the darkness of winter when you’re resisting the need to take down your holiday decor and already longing for spring. One of those. Basically, it was a “warm bowl of soup and all the wool blankets” kind of week, a week that practically begs for my favorite homemade veggie soup with vegan dumplings. This is the very best “chicken soup” recipe for those of us who don’t eat chicken, but still need that warm, yummy hug of a dish to make you feel better on crappy winter days when your kid’s fever won’t break and the air outside hurts to breathe.

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Our Record Player Setup + Review

A few months ago I found myself really really wanting a record player for our dining room. As a kid my grandmother always had a record player and stacks of vinyls that she’d play all the time (alongside her impressive 8 track collection), and lately it’s just been something I’ve felt would make an amazing addition to our home. By now those of you following along on Instagram know that we made it happen and have been sending me tons of questions about which turn table we chose, how it sounds, which speakers we have to go with it, and a myriad of other questions. Apparently we aren’t the only ones wanting a little vinyl in their life! Today I am sharing all the details on our particular setup, a review on how we’re enjoying our particular components after a couple months of use, and thoughts on other options you can check out depending on your budget and interest level. Spoiler alert! We love the addition of a record player to our home and definitely don’t think we’d ever go back to not having one.

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17 of Your Favorite Posts from 2017

Happy 2018, friends! As I’ve done for several years in a row now, I’m easing into January today with a little look back at some of your favorite posts from the year before we jump into the New Year. I usually like to start January a bit slower, spending more time with Baby E, reading a good book or two, and taking time to reflect, make plans and dream up ideas for the year ahead. In so many ways 2017 was truly a banner year, which I’ll ruminate on more later, so I loved taking a look back and digging very unscientifically into the archives to come up with the best of 2017. It’s hard to believe but The Sweetest Occasion turns TEN YEARS OLD in 2018 so I have every intention of making this year the very best one yet in terms of the content we’re producing, the ways I’m connecting with you and in general just trying to take things to the next level this year. I have no clue what that means just yet, but I’ll be working on it! In the meantime, here are 17 of your favorite posts from the last year. Enjoy!

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