Jolie Coquette

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Today’s outfit post is a little bit extra special, because I’m wearing pieces from an incredible new line called “Jolie Coquette” that I’ve been waiting to sport all summer. Created by Kimber-Lee Alston, a Brooklyn-raised fashion grad, Jolie Coquette is handmade, perfectly crafted with lace and feminine details, and flower-dyed.

That’s right, the entire line is coloured with flowers, herbs and spices!

Kimber-Lee was kind enough to send me a little package with some of her wares a few months ago, and I’ve been saving them for an outfit post ever since. I can’t get enough of her adorable lace crop tops, and the silk “spilled milk” cami that Kimber-Lee describes as “Great for midday naps, cuddling, and running errands in the city.”

Can’t wait to layer up in these pretty flowery pieces for Fall!

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Skirt by Betina Lou, top and underskirt by Jolie Coquette, Sunglasses from Bicyclette, Shoes by Topshop, Purse by Marc by Marc Jacobs

Toronto Social Media Workshop

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Random Acts of Pastel and Bicyclette Boutique are always dreaming up new adventures, and social media is a massive part of what we do on a daily basis. We love snapping Instagram photos and updating our Pinterest feeds, and over the past few months we’ve worked together to grow our brands, both on the personal blogging front, and the business promotion front. After a lot of giddy discussion, we decided we wanted to share our knowledge about this fun way to promote yourself with, well, all of you. In case you haven’t guessed already, we’re doing our first Social Media Workshop right here in Toronto!

As small business owners, freelancers, creatives, and makers, we use social media tools on a daily basis to share what we’re up to and communicate with our followers. It’s a way for us to connect, to offer a peek behind the scenes, and share our personal style and aesthetic, which in turn helps build a brand- all the while inspiring ourselves and others through the process of doing so.

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Each different platform holds value in its own way, and when you bring all of them together to build a cohesive online presence, you’ll really start to see them working for you. Because social media varies so much from person to person, It’s really about finding the balance that works best for you and allows you to be authentic and genuine, while still getting your brand out there.

We’ll be offering a 2 hour seminar led by Alyssa (Random Acts of Pastel) and Paige (Bicyclette Boutique) early next month that goes over each of these platforms and provides tips and tools to manage each one effectively to make them work for you and/or your business, all while establishing your brand in the online world.

We will be covering pre-planned key topics and points, but we also want the workshop to feel collaborative and open, so we invite you to bring any specific questions you may have with you, and we’ll be sure to cover them through discussion. We’ll also be offering scones and jam from Kitten and the Bear and Sloane Tea, a photo booth where you can get your ‘gram on, and special swag bags with all sorts of amazing surprise goodies!

When //
Saturday, October 4th from 10 am – 12 pm

Where //
Studio B, 882A Queen St. West

Cost //
$15o

Interested? Sign up here!

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I’m Loving: Hooray Magazine’s Ophelia Bridal Shoot

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As some of you may already know from my Pinterest, I’m totally completely wedding obsessed. I have so many ideas, thoughts, hopes and dreams surrounding my own fictional wedding, and I love flipping through engagement shoots and bridal magazines in my spare time.

Recently I came across a matrimonial editorial so beautiful it seems almost other worldly, and I immediately wanted to share it with all of you. Recently published within the delightful pages of Hooray Magazine, this shoot was the love child of photographer Lara Hotz , stylist Stefanie Ingram, and flowers by Jardine Hansen, and it’s all kinds of perfect!

Entitled “Ophelia”, I can guarantee even the most hateful of wedding haters will be swooning over this hauntingly gorgeous collection of photos.

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Fresh Peach and Rose Syrup

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August is one of my favourite months of the year, not only because it’s my birthday month and generally the hottest month of the summer, but also because peach season!

I’m a big fan of fresh fruit in general (I mean, who isn’t?) but peaches are very high on my list of favourite things to eat. Peach jam, peach cocktails, peaches and cream ice cream: you name it, I love it. This year I didn’t have time to do a lot of canning like I usually do, but I wanted to find a way to preserve that Niagara peach taste for a little while longer, so I started experimenting with making peach simple syrup.

I love making sodas with fresh fruit and interesting flavours, and in the past I’ve made everything from pineapple syrup to lemon mint, so peach seemed like an easy next step. I’m a big fan of all things floral, so I decided to add a bit of rose water to one jar to give my creation a flowery twist. The result was a tasty, summery concoction perfect for cocktails, sodas, pancakes, ice cream, and whatever else you desire.

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Ingredients:

6 fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
a few drops of rose water

Method:

1. Bring chopped peaches, sugar and water to a boil in a medium pot. Once boiled, drop temperature to a simmer until the sugar has totally dissolved.

2. Pour the hot mixture into jars, leaving some chunks to steep in the syrup. Close the lids and wait 30 minutes.

3. Once the syrup has cooled slightly add a few drops of rose syrup to taste.

Store in the fridge for up to three weeks!

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The CNE

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A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit The CNE, Toronto’s massive yearly carnival not once, but twice! I rode the rides, played the games (and actually managed to win one!), ate all the deep fried food I could get my paws on, and of course took a whole load of photos. A whole bunch of my favourite images ran on the Bicyclette blog today as part of my bi-weekly Take Me Out post, but since I ended up with so many pictures, I wanted to share some here as well!

Though the CNE is over for this year, I also wanted to create a little “best of” guide for vegans and vegetarians venturing into the meat-heavy but oh so fun food hall. Believe it or not, there’s lots for us in there too! Scroll to the bottom for my handy little list of favourites, or simply enjoy these colourful fun photos and dream about the gates opening up again next year.

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My Vegan/Vegetarian CNE Food Hall Faves:

Miami Ice – Ice pops
Wild Child’s Kitchen – Raw + Vegan snacks and juices
Tiny Tom’s – The best mini donuts
Baked and Loaded – Baked potatoes, vegan options available!
Quench – Fresh squeezed lemonade
Eative – Delicious liquid nitrogen sorbet
Swiss Waffles and Crepes – enough said!

Photos by Brianne Burnell

Tiny Hearts and Hot Pink

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The time for summer dresses is almost over, so I’m doing my very best to sport my favourite frocks tights-free while I’m able to!

I picked up this sweet little heart print number at H+M a few weeks ago, and though I think it will look pretty adorable with knee socks and a cardigan this fall, I’ve been wearing it pretty much nonstop these hot August days! When paired with some neon pink Ban.do accessories and my cotton candy hair it’s pretty adorable, don’t you think?

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Headband and Purse by Ban.do, Sandals by Golden Ponies, Sunnies by Karen Walker, Dress from H+M

Photos by Paige Boersma

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