Summer Desktop Backgrounds

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Brianne Burnell is one of my oldest, closest friends, and when she quit her job to peruse her passion for illustration exactly 1 year ago, I was so excited for her. In the time between then and now she’s created countless beautiful amazing pieces of art, taken over Toronto shops with her handmade greeting cards, submitted work to big name magazines, and even illustrated an adorable children’s book. To say she’s talented and driven is a massive understatement, and I fall more in love with her work with every new wip screenshot she sends me.

Awhile back Brianne and I decided to collaborate on a few prints for my Society 6 store, and she does the “album art” for my seasonal 8 tracks playlists (Autumn coming soon!) but I really wanted to take on another joint project, so I asked her if we could start a series of desktop backgrounds. The first round is dedicated to the end of my favourite season, Summer.

To download the high-res versions of these images and dress up your phone/computer/etc. simply click the image and then save the image or drag and drop to your device! 

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All artwork by Brianne Burnell

Pretty Pinspiration: Lavender Dreams

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This week’s edition of Pretty Pinspiration is inspired by one of my absolute favourite colours of the moment: lavender!

I grew up spending a lot of time with my great Grandmother (or Nanny as I fondly called her), and she loved all things lavender. Her bedroom was a perfect dusty purple, her bed sheets a lovely purple floral, and everything in her room from the closet and drawers to her hand cream was lavender scented.

I guess you could say her colour love was passed on to me (along with an affinity for making tea and collecting china teacups), and right now I’m loving lavender more than ever!

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All images via Pinterest 

A Birthday To Remember

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In case you weren’t already aware, I had one of my best birthdays ever last week.

My amazing partner put so much work into making my day special, and he planned out everything from delicious breakfast in bed supplied by Kitten and the Bear, to my perfect For Love and Lemons birthday dress, and at the end of it all, an amazing “tropical paradise” surprise party in the yard with all of my closest friends. In the afternoon I went on rides and won a unicorn plushie at the CNE (all in a tulle skirt of course) and for dinner I probably drank my weight in champagne. My best friend Sarah even bought me a package to go horse riding with a friend at sunset on the beach, which you’ll surely see tons of photos of when I go with Paige from Bicyclette tomorrow evening!

The result was truly a magical day to remember, and I wanted to share some of my favourite moments with all of you here!

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Morning photos by me, evening photos by Brianne Burnell

Pastel Pool Party // Pt 2

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After all the glitter, sweat, (happy) tears, and excitement, it’s finally here: the last Pastel Pool Party photo post. Paige and I had such an incredible time planning this shoot and sharing it with our friends/models and all of you. Everything from throwing the custom confetti to cutting into the magical pink ombre cake was perfect, and we couldn’t have asked for a better evening with so many wonderful ladies.

Make no mistake, this won’t be the last beautiful event you see from RAOPxStudioB!

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Creative Direction & Styling: Random Acts of Pastel & Bicyclette Boutique
Photographer: Scarlet O’Neill
Flowers: Blush & Bloom
Cake, Donuts, Cookies & Cupcakes: The Wedding Cake Shoppe
Candy: The Candy Bar
Custom Confetti: The Confetti Bar
Invite & Printable: Alex Perlin
Spirits: Dillon’s Distillery
Syrups & Mixes: BYOB
Clothing & Accessories: Bicyclette Boutique
Pink Hair: Amanda Quarshie at Blyss Salon
Balloons: Northstar Balloons
Tassel Garland: Studio Mucci

10k Giveaway! – Closed

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Happy Monday lovelies! Do I ever have a treat for you!

This past week something super exciting happened: I hit 10k followers on Instagram! For someone who had only just hit 1000 in January I think this is a pretty big deal, and what better way to thank all of your for following along on my sparkly adventures than to host a big 10k giveaway!

I’ve teamed up with a handful of my favourite makers to create a glittery magical giveaway, and there are a whole bunch of ways to win both on Instagram and elsewhere. Excited yet? Scroll down for details!

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Up for grabs: 

1. A Jordan De Ruiter Tulle Skirt in the colour of your choosing!

2. A magenta tote bag by Fieldguided

3. A Sherbet Love tassel garland by Studio Mucci

4. A hand made donut tee by Charziie

5. A mint and gold sequin camera strap by Sam and Kate Design

6. A $100 gift card for Bicyclette Boutique

7. Two tins of Sloane Tea sachets (Earl Grey Classic and Citron Chamomile)

8. A jar of Niagara Golden Plum & Lavender jam from Kitten and The Bear

The rules:

*Each prize will go to a separate winner, so there will be 8 winners total

*Contest open to Canadian and American addresses only

*Winners will be announced the morning of Monday the 1st of September both here and on Instagram

How to Enter: 

You must-

*Follow me and all of the makers who provided prizes on Instagram (links to their pages on my Instagram giveaway post from this morning)

*Comment on my Instagram giveaway post and/or here which prize (or prizes) you want to win

For extra points-

*Follow me on Twitter

*Follow me on Pinterest

*Tweet about this giveaway (with #RAOP10kgiveaway hashtag)

*Regram my Instagram giveaway post (with #RAOP10kgiveaway hashtag)

Best of luck!!!

And the winners are:

1. skirt- @tweevalleyhigh
2. tote- @paperpastries
3. garland- @elliesf
4. donut t- @madefromlovebylisa
5. camera strap- @alongcameadleigh
6. Bicyclette Gift Card- @vanessaortynsky
7. tea- @allisonfls
8. jam- @ashlions

Flashes of Delight

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It’s been confusingly chilly for the past couple of weeks, and I think I speak for almost everyone in Toronto when I say we’re not really sure how to dress anymore. Usually I’d be spending my August days cycling around in cute strapless dresses and gingham shorts, but all of those summer outfits have already been closeted in favour of warmer pieces.

To say I’m a little down about this strange weather is an understatement, but there has been one upside to this whole thing that really lifts my spirits: I can wear some of my new Fall clothing early!

A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of designing some custom items through Bow and Drape, a U.S.-based company where everything is handmade locally, and each piece is totally customizable! One of my favourite designs was the Geo Sweatshirt, a super soft textured cream sweater with gold zippers down the side. I dressed it up with some crystals and a little unicorn applique, and now thanks to the shift in temperature, I can start wearing it!

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Shoes by Golden Ponies, Horse clutch by The Whitepepper, Sweater from Bow and Drape, Jeans from Garmentory, Sunglasses from Bicyclette

Simple DIY Pink Hair

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We’ve been swooning over pink hair for quite some time now, so when the Ban.do agenda instructed us to “dye your hair… pink!”at the beginning of August, we knew we had to jump at the chance.

About a month ago, just before our Pastel Pool Party, we visited Amanda Quarshie, a super talented colourist at Blyss salon, to have some magical pink accents added to our locks. We both loved our new looks, but as pastels often do, Paige’s subtle colour faded quickly, and this week she was ready for a refresh.

I’ve been dying my hair pastel colours for over three years now, and I’ve tried all sorts of hair colouring techniques and products, but the colour we ended up using was actually Amanda’s recommendation, and I can safely say it’s the best pink I’ve ever used. It’s called Davines Alchemic Conditioner in “red”, and it’s non-damaging, easy to use, and super pigmented. You can buy it at any local Davines salon, or online, and one little tub goes a long way! Here’s how we used it:

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1. // Mix your alchemic with a white conditioner to make the shade of pink more pastel. Davines Alchemic will work differently on different hair colours, so if your hair is red or non-bleached blonde, you might want to just apply the colour directly without lightening it, as super light pastels really only work on very light blonde. If you have super dark hair, unfortunately you’ll have to have your hair bleached before adding any pastels, or try hair chalking instead.

2. // Once the colour in the bowl matches what you had in mind for your hair, start applying, Because Davines Alchemic is actually full of nutrients and has no dangerous chemical properties, you can apply as slowly or as quickly as you like, and literally paint your hair wherever you’d like it to be pink! You can also apply it with your hands in the shower onto damp hair for a subtle, all-over pink wash.

3. // When the colour has been applied everywhere you’d like it to be, whether that means ombre, small pieces, or all over, wait for about 15-20 minutes before rinsing. Remember, this stuff is great for your hair, so the longer you wait the better! After you rinse, dry your hair and make sure you like the colour. Davines Alchemic is temporary, so if the colour is too dark just give it a good shampoo and it should lighten very easily.

That’s it! Easy huh? If you try it at yourself expect to do touch ups every 1.5-2 weeks to keep the pink vibrant and fresh, and don’t be afraid to experiment and get a little crazy- it will all come out in 2-3 washes!

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Photos by Paige Boersma

Pastel Pool Party // Part 1

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It’s finally here!

It seems like it was ages ago when Paige and I first started planning our Pastel Pool Party, and now finally after a sparkling debut on The Glitter Guide, we can share all of our favourite magical moments with all of you!

The only problem is… we have an awful lot of favourites! Over 100 to be exact (Our photographer Scarlet is sort of a genius- lets leave it at that), so we’ll be posting photos in waves over the next few weeks. I hope you fall in love with all the pink, pastel, cake and confetti, and feel inspired to throw a Pastel Pool Party of your own one day!

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Creative Direction & Styling: Random Acts of Pastel & Bicyclette Boutique
Photographer: Scarlet O’Neill
Flowers: Blush & Bloom
Cake, Donuts, Cookies & Cupcakes: The Wedding Cake Shoppe
Candy: The Candy Bar
Custom Confetti: The Confetti Bar
Invite & Printable: Alex Perlin
Spirits: Dillon’s Distillery
Syrups & Mixes: BYOB
Clothing & Accessories: Bicyclette Boutique
Pink Hair: Amanda Quarshie at Blyss Salon
Balloons: Northstar Balloons
Tassel Garland: Studio Mucci

Make a Wish

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I’m not going to sugar coat the truth for you guys on this one: I’m a total birthday princess.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been totally insane about my birthday. As a kid, I’d make plans and send out invitations months in advance, and I even started making birthday wish lists with links, images, and level of priority (what a brat huh?)

My traditions have grown and developed as the years have gone by, and I don’t plan and obsess quite as much as I used to (or make lists at all for that matter), but my level of excitement hasn’t dulled much, and there are a few birthday traditions that I still hold near and dear. I love getting together with my friends and picking out a special dress just for the big day (usually the more glitter the better!) I always open my presents first thing in the morning in bed just like I always did with my parents back home, and I eat exactly what I want, all day, no matter how inappropriate my cravings (and yes, this usually means cake and ice cream for breakfast!)

But today, I’m 24, and for the first time, the joy I usually feel about my birthday is altered ever so slightly by the creeping in of anxiety and pressure. I’ve had a life changing year since last August: I jumped into my career with both feet, and I feel so lucky that I’ve been happy and successful in it so far. I’ve worked on so many incredible projects, had all sorts of magical adventures, and made so many wonderful new friends. I fostered dogs and helped them find homes, moved into a new apartment, learned a lot of information about beauty products and lipstick application, went vegan and then went back again (still struggling with that one), and dyed my hair about 15 different colours, all in the span of 365 days.

So why all the negativity?

The problem is, though I’m still really young, I get anxious that I’m running out of time. There are so many things I want to do, feel, see and hear during this short blur that is my one shot at life, and lately I’ve been feeling worried I’ll never be able to get it all done. I want to get married and start a family by 27 (I know, I’m crazy), but I also want to visit South East Asia in the next couple of years, and build my career and maybe even buy a house: is it even possible to do all of that in such a short period of time?

The answer is no, It probably isn’t possible, but looking back, that’s sort of the beauty of life isn’t it? I have done so many things I’ve expected and planned to do, but so many of my best memories have been built from spontaneity, from magical surprises and shocking heartbreaks. Whether I check off my little mental 20-something checklist, I think I need to remind myself that every year, in fact every minute of every day, is a gift, and all I can do is make the most of every second, and appreciate every passing moment.

At the end of the day, I really have no idea what 24 has in store for me, but if it’s even half as glittery and fun as 23 was, I can’t wait to find out.

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Pretty Pinspiration: All That Glitters

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When it comes to glitter, there’s no such thing as too much. I love glitter everywhere: on my body, on my floors, on my nails, in my hair. Basically I would be totally content to have my entire life look like one big gleaming magical disco ball. Of course it was only a matter of time until my Pretty Pinspiration roundups were taken over by all that sparkles and gleams!

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