Summer is already halfway gone, can you believe it? I’m a little terrified by how fast this season has flown by, and I’m doing my best to get the most out of what I’ve got left. That being said, I’m the kind of girl who can’t help but look to the future, and I’m already planning my outfits and beauty looks for Autumn. I mean I’m not quite ready to dive into knitting scarves and big cream sweaters yet, but I’m totally on the lookout for great transitional pieces and Fall colour inspiration. This week, that means I’m obsessing over blush, my favourite multi-season pastel. I just can’t get enough of this muted, powdery shade of pink!
There’s nothing like starting off your week with a whole bunch of excitement right? Since I’ve got my Monday covered this week (Katy Perry tonight!!!) I figured I’d help you all out with a super cute new giveaway!
I’ve teamed up with Leila, a San Diego based jewellery line, to give one very lucky winner one of these adorable mini clover cutout necklaces! I’m a big believer in luck, and ever since my necklace arrived in the mail (modelled in these photos by my perfect-necked bff Sarah) I’ve worn it constantly. I mean really, all horse shoes, ladybugs, and wishbones aside, we could all use a bit of extra luck, especially if it means something as simple as wearing a cute new gold necklace every day!
Want to make your Monday extra magical? All you have to do to win is follow these simple entry steps in my handy Rafflecopter template below. The winner will be announced here next Monday the 28th. Best of luck lovelies!
We firmly believe that cocktails are a must for any soiree, but something simple like gin and tonics or vodka waters just won’t do! Making themed, fancy drinks and dressing up a bar cart is one of our favourite parts about throwing parties, so figuring out cocktail recipes was the first order of business on our list when it came to planning our Pastel Pool Party!
Poolside lounging is pretty synonymous with cute tropical drinks, and we really wanted to bring some fun elements into these cocktails to channel that pairing. We teamed up with BYOB, an amazing cocktail accessory shop down the street from Bicyclette, and they provided some amazing syrups and mixes for us to experiment with. We also picked up a few bottles of gin from Dillon’s, a local distillery that makes wonderful spirits, plus some fruit, sparkling water, and of course pink champagne. Here’s what we came up with when we put everything together for our tiki cocktails!
Gin Tiki Twist //
You may have noticed there’s been a whole lot of talk about something called a “Pastel Pool Party” on my social media over the past few weeks, and as Bicyclette and I release more and more details, I find myself getting more and more excited! Of course that excitement has started to translate into shopping (as it almost always does), and I find myself with a growing wish list of magical pool party items. Here are some of the things I’m swooning over this week:
1. I have this image in my head of turning up at a beach or public pool with this giant swan floatie in my arms, and it’s sort of my favourite daydream at the moment. I mean, we are heading up to my friend’s cottage at the end of the month… it’s an essential, right?
2. I am all about the Beverly Hills Hotel banana leaf print trend right now, and this adorable onesie from Topshop might be my favourite interpretation yet! It’s the perfect piece for days spend sipping strawberry daiquiris at the poolside.
3. No one wants to spill their margarita in the hot tub! This little pineapple party cup is the perfect way to keep your drink safe while looking tropical and adorable.
4. It wouldn’t be a pool party without a party skirt, and I’m loving this hot pink “wild strawberry” shade from their summer line (pssst, it’s on sale right now too!)
5. Flamingos are basically a staple this summer, and Klear Klutch’s flamingo purse is the perfect way to channel your favourite pink bird. Fill it with sunscreen, lip gloss, and a spare pair of undies in case you unexpectedly get thrown in the pool!
6. The perfect California Girl scent, Juicy Couture’s La La Malibu is a refreshing, sweet blend of sparkling mandarin and pink sugar, and I pretty much want to swim in a pool of it these days!
7. There are few things I love more than gold-dipped fruit, and I think this pineapple necklace by Louise Wade definitely fits the bill.
8. No party is complete without a Studio Mucci tassel garland, at least not in my books! This “Island Love” design is the perfect combination of glittering metallics and peachy pinks, and I think it’s just made to reside alongside a tiki bar.
After months of working, planning, and dreaming, we’re finally ready to let you in on our big secret. In case you haven’t worked it out already, we’re throwing a Pastel Pool Party!
Okay, so no, unfortunately we don’t have the resources to have you all actually attend (we’d need a really big pool!) but we will be keeping you updated on all of our plans and adventures, and Scarlet O’Neill will be capturing the actual event at the end of this month so we can share it with you online. Best of all, we’re going to be providing recipes, DIYs, decor ideas, beauty inspiration, and printables so that you can throw a pastel pool party of your own! You can even use this adorable invite by Alex Perlin, which will be available to download with the rest of our printables soon, and mail it out to your guests (like we did this morning!)
We don’t want to give too much away right now, but we’ve got some pretty amazing sponsors and collaborations set up, and we’re so excited to celebrate with them, our friends, and every one of you lovelies! Here are some of the amazingly talented people helping us make our pool party dreams a reality:
Photos by Scarlet O’Neill Design and Printables by Alex Perlin Flowers by Blush & Bloom Treats by The Wedding Cake Shop Custom Confetti by The Confetti Bar Spirits from Dillon’s Distillery Syrups and Mixes from BYOB
… and a few more super magical contributions that we’re not quite ready to give away yet!
Every summer I have a bit of a love affair with farmer’s markets. Toronto is lucky to be surrounded by so much fertile farmland, and though the city itself can be hard to grow a large amount of produce in, so much can be brought in from so close by. It’s pretty magical to see all of the beautiful veggies, flowers, and dairy products on display at the farmer’s markets here, and it’s undisputedly my favourite way to grocery shop.
These photos are from a recent trip to the Evergreen Brickworks Market, a massive gathering of local food producers that takes place just east of the city in a beautiful abandoned brick factory. Each week there’s a food court with delicious local offerings, a bike station to tune up your ride, and all sorts of amazing wares for sale. It’s by far one of the best ways to spend a Saturday!
This week’s local love is a new Toronto spot that I might even call my favourite cafe in the city. Specializing in tea, coffee, house-made confiture, and the fluffiest, butteriest scones you’ve ever tasted, Kitten and the Bear is the perfect place for an indulgent afternoon tea alone, a romantic outing, or just catching up with friends. Due to extremely limited space, expect to take your goodies to go, and be pleasantly surprised if a table is available (don’t worry, a picnic in High Park is just a few blocks away!)
Owned and run by Sophie and Bobby, two of the cutest folks you’ve ever met, the shop offers scones and mini servings of jam to-go if you’re in a hurry. They also sell tins of Sloane Tea, hand-picked vintage tea ware, and their fresh, handmade, local-fruit-filled jams in adorable jars to go (in case you’re ever planning on getting me a gift, look no further.) They’re always dreaming up something new too- in fact last time I visited there was talk of jam parfaits with local yogurt, and I got to sample some not-yet-released jam sweetened ice tea (which, in case your wondering, is the best thing ever!)
I could go on and on about banana jam that tastes like heaven, and pots of Perfectly Pear tea, but just take my word for it: stop by Kitten and the Bear next time you’re craving something sweet. I promise you’ll leave will a full belly, a smile on your face, and most likely a shopping bag full of jam, tea, and tea ware to take home!
Though New York is known as “the city that never sleeps”, and draws millions of people in each year to see shows on Broadway, the big lights of Times Square, and all the yellow taxis racing around, I’m much more interested in the quiet bits when I visit. I love Williamsburg, the side streets of Soho, and the High Line mid day when everyone else is at work, but for my most recent trip I wanted to experience something totally new. After a little bit of digging, Em and I found the Playland Motel in Rockaway Beach, and decided to book a night.
The Playland Motel is a beachy paradise located just an hour away from downtown NYC, and it’s totally worth the trip. A restored building, this tiny boutique hotel has only 11 rooms, each uniquely designed and decorated by a different artist. Downstairs there’s a pizza shop, a bar with amazing tiki drinks, and a massive sandy “patio” yard complete with kiddie pools and rainbow lawn chairs (sadly it wasn’t open yet when we arrived).
Though Rockaway Beach is teeny tiny, the combination of ocean breeze, the amazing taco shack, and Playland Motel’s sandy “patio” make this place feel like a slice of heaven (aka L.A.) We spent our days devouring “cukes” on the beach (a delicious snack which I’ll be DIY’ing and posting about here soon), and our nights jumping on the bed in our hotel room and drinking local beers. It was a totally perfect ending to our busy NYC trip, and I can’t wait to head back (maybe sooner than you think…)
This past weekend Emmett and I were determined to get away, so we ordered our very favourite cherry pie from a little bakery in Dundas, a small town about an hour away, and planned a mini staycation around the trip. We packed some snacks and our pup honey into the car, and drove until all of the tall buildings disappeared behind us.
Here’s what I wore for our country day!
In case you didn’t already know, last Friday RAOP turned 1! To celebrate I launched a super special giveaway (enter before Friday!) but it wouldn’t really be a birthday without some cake too right?
I really wanted to make a teeny tiny cake this time around, but I wasn’t really sure how, so there was a lot of trial and error involved, and a lot of icing ended up on my hands, clothing, and floor by the time I had figured it out! All complications aside though, I think they turned out pretty darn adorable.
To get started, I turned to one of my all-time favourite cookbooks, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. Ive been using this genius little guide so intensely for so many years that almost every single page is all marked up and stained! for this creation, I used the basic golden vanilla cupcakes recipe, but took out the cornstarch and added three kinds of lemon flavour. For the icing, I used the vegan fluffy buttercream icing recipe from the same book, but I made a special strawberry milk to make it pink and give it a sweet strawberry flavour.
For the Cake
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 Earth Balance Margarine
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tsp lemon extract (optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
For the Icing
1/2 cup Earth Balance shortening
1/2 cup Earth Balance whipped buttery spread
4 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup strawberries, chopped
For the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a muffin pan. Combine almond milk with apple cider vinegar in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes or more to curdle. Mix all of the dry cake ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl with a mixer (standing or hand), cream margarine and sugar until fluffy, then beat in vanilla, almond extract, all lemon ingredients, soy milk mixture, and dry ingredients.
Once all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, separate the batter into three bowls, and use natural red food colouring to make a pink gradient (I left one bowl white, one light pink, and one darker pink). Once satisfied with the colour, pour the batter into the muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes, rotating once. When the cupcakes are fully baked, remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool.
For the Icing
Cream the shortening and butter together with a mixer, than gradually add in 3 of the 4 cups of icing sugar. Using a blender, puree the chopped strawberries with the almond milk, then gradually add that mixture to your icing. If the icing is too runny after adding the strawberry milk, add more icing sugar until thick and creamy!
Remove the cupcakes from the muffin tin and cut the tops off (you can save them and eat them later dipped in the extra icing!) Carefully cut each cake into two parts, then stack them up in the order you desire. Using icing, stick them together like you would a regular layer cake, and ice the top when you’re done. You can leave them just like that, or decorate with sprinkles, candles, flags, rainbow coconut shreds, or whatever suits your fancy!