Happy New Year, friends! After my requisite slow start to January, I’m working on jumping back into the groove, still trying to sort out where 2018 ran off to so quickly. This year will mark eleven years since I started blogging, founding one of the world’s very first entertaining blogs. Now solidly more than a decade of my life has been spent in front of a computer screen and behind a camera, elbow deep in paint, cheese, booze and flowers crafting content for The Sweetest Occasion. In the last 10+ years I got married, bought a house, got divorced, had a baby, bought a house and got married. Again. Some days those 10 years feel like they’ve passed by in an instant. Other days I struggle to remember who that girl was who started this blog all those years ago.
In my ten years of blogging (yes, ten) so much has changed. To be more precise, everything has changed. (I wrote about it last year at greater length if you missed it!) The thing that has stayed consistent though, despite evolving over the years, is the unbelievable sense of community. It’s that community that made me fall in love with reading blogs to begin with and ultimately inspired me to write my first of many thousands of blog posts now a full decade ago. (A decade. Let me catch my breath on that one!) Throughout the years I’ve had the humbling opportunity to be surrounded by some of the most talented people in the world. People I call colleagues, people I, most gratefully, call friends. Last year we made good on our dream of whisking away for a weekend to compare notes, drink wine, cry, complain, joke, eat to excess, take copious Instagram photos and just generally get some face time with one another. Now that we are officially planning our second annual retreat weekend, it dawned on me that maybe it was high past time that I share some of the gorgeous photos of our getaway in Round Top, Texas last summer. It was my first trip to Texas! It was really really hot! Most notably, it was absolutely gorgeous and the little town of Round Top is like no other place I’ve ever visited. Thanks to Jared of Sugar & Cloth for the amazing photos – click through for loads more!
Back in late July you may recall that I hosted a party in our backyard with Sutter Home. At the time I shared a couple of the DIY projects, a sneak peek at the decor and the prettiest dinner party printables designed by my lovely friend Maddy of The Proper Type. Late last week the first of several videos was launched on Sutter Home’s Facebook page and I have to say, seeing that video really brought it home just how amazing an experience throwing this party was for me both personally and professionally. In a nutshell, we filled our backyard with a ton of family and friends, incredible food, an abundance of great wine and live music by John Driskell Hopkins, who is also a member of the Zac Brown Band. Then, an incredible production crew complete with director, videographers, photographers, art directors, sound guys and stylists took over our house for the day and after an early morning hair and makeup session the day kicked off and didn’t stop until the wee hours of the morning. I’ll be sharing all the other videos, recipes and photos with you as they roll out, but it would mean the world to me to have you take a few minutes to go watch the first video, or the appetizer video as Sutter Home has so cheekily dubbed it, and appropriately so. Getting to share my life’s passion in this way and on this kind of platform means so much to me it almost brings me to tears seeing it all come to life. Click through for loads of behind the scenes photos that Alice captured on what our friends, family and neighbors have affectionately come to refer to as Sutter Home Day!
Nine years ago, I sat down one late summer day in 2008 and signed up for a Blogger account. I’d been “blogging” since before it was referred to as such on Live Journal long before then, but this was different. I’m not sure I knew quite how different it would turn out to be, but on that day I sat and wrote the very first blog post on a little blog I decided to name The Sweetest Occasion, a play on my mother’s maiden name, Sweet. (You can read more about that here.) Fast forward nine years later and I’ve been blogging full-time since May of 2011, less than three years after I’d started my blogging journey. When I started blogging, Twitter wasn’t even a thing. Facebook didn’t have fan pages. Instagram wasn’t even a twinkling in anyone’s eye because phone cameras were still years away from producing decent photos. The concept of Snapchat would have made us all laugh until our sides hurt. Blogging was a way of bringing people together, connecting with readers, forging friendships with people across the country or across the globe. And it was exciting. Today some of my very best friends in the entire world are friends I made through blogging back in those early days. Reading each other’s posts, leaving comments, maybe even exchanging emails and genuinely investing in these relationships was what made blogging special. No one thought we’d be doing this for a career, no one was worried about how many Pinterest shares any particular post would receive (because, you guessed it, Pinterest didn’t exist either), and it was all done for the love of the thing, not for the promise of any reward other than something deep, personal and intangible.
It’s hard for me to believe that The Sweetest Occasion marked five years old at the beginning of September. Five years! If we want to get a little statistical for a moment, that’s 1/6 of my lifetime. It feels so short and yet so long all at the same time. I never imagined five years …