Party Time

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Is anyone else shocked by how fast this month has flown by? It feels like I’ve been all over the place, from PEC to Muskoka and Bancroft and back again, and there’s SO much to share with you guys I don’t even know where to start! There’s a lot of really great content coming up between now and July 1st, in fact, there will be a new post up almost every single day between now and then, so get ready for a lot of FUN!

Now that I’m back in Toronto for a hot second I’m finally able to start sharing some of the awesome things we’ve been working on around here. First up, I FINALLY decided on furniture for my apartment (months after moving in) and I’m THRILLED with how our new headquarters looks now that it’s come together. We’ll be sharing a full tour with our friends at CB2 later this Summer, but you’ll get a sneak peek in this post.

So what exactly IS this post? We’ve got two main things to share with you here, one being an introduction to Eivey. I’ve always been obsessed with organizing and cleaning out my closet (my best friend and I had little “closet cleanout” parties throughout our very type-A childhood), and thought I donate most of my extras there are a few special pieces that I have a hard time piling into a bag and waving goodbye to. That’s where Eivey comes in – a new Canadian website that makes listing and selling your high-end items super simple and, dare I say, fun? You can list items to your “closet” (here is mine if you feel like shopping!) and other users can follow you to get notified when you add something new. Best of all, Eivey sends you a mailing package directly so all you have to do is pop your pre-loved item into the mail.

The amazing ladies behind Eivey approached us to host a little wine and cheese closet cleaning party with some of our friends, and my childhood nostalgia alone prompted an automatic yes! Everyone brought a couple items and we all shot photos and posted together over epic cheese plates and rosé punch. Rosé punch you say? Which brings me to the recipe portion of this post!

We pretty much live off of Zevia sparkling water here at HQ, and we figured this mini party was the perfect time to dream up a new Summery recipe! We used their deliciously refreshing Mandarin Orange flavour with a trio of our favourite melon, fresh mandarin orange slices and a splash of our all time favourite rosé, SUMMER WATER (get it here at a special price!)

Scroll down for the full recipe and more party pics!

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What you’ll need //

Zevia’s Sparkling Mandarin Water
Honeydew Melon
Watermelon
Cantelope
Mandarin oranges (clementines work too)
Summer Water Rosé

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Instructions //

Use a melon baller on all three melons to create a bowl’s worth of mixed colours. Peel your oranges and add the slices to your bowl. Put the bowl of fruit in the freezer for 10-15 mins. Stir melon and orange slices in a Yari mixing glass with ice, muddling a bit while you stir.

Add Zevia’s Sparkling Mandarin Water and let sit in the Yari in a cool place for half an hour, letting the fruit “steep” for more melon flavour.

Fill a glass with ice (we used this copper pineapple sharing cocktail glass) and pour the Zevia and fruit combination over into the glass (or glasses)

Top it off with a splash (or two) of rosé and garnish with slices of melon!

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This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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Let’s face it – everything is better in shades of pink! Around here, pink is a neutral, and we’re always looking for ways to include more of it in our daily lives. Que this super simple, super pink recipe!

Pink pickled onions are a great way to add flavour and a pop of pink colour to almost any food you can think of. We’ve served them here atop avocado toast (a breakfast staple at HQ) but they work with everything from salad and rice bowls to tacos and sandwiches. Baking potatoes? Put some pink on them. Serving hors d’oeuvres at your next soirée? Put some pink on them!

The secret to this rosy-hued recipes lies within the beet juice, our favourite pinkifying ingredient. Feel free to play around with adding less or more beet to alter the shade of your onions, and though they only need overnight to taste delicious, they’ll turn more pink the longer you let them sit.

Scroll down for the recipe!

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What you’ll need //

1 medium size red onion

1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon cane sugar

1 teaspoon pink salt

2 teaspoons beet juice

Recipe //

Chop 1 red onion into small strips, separating from each other as you go. Fill a glass jar with tight-fitting lid 3/4 full.

In a separate jar stir the vinegar, sugar, salt and water together. Add about two teaspoons of beet juice until the liquid turns bright pink. Now stir well and pour the liquid over the chopped onions in the other jar. Seal the lid tightly and shake it up until all the onions are covered. Leave it in your fridge for about a week and you’re ready to enjoy on all your favourite snacks! We used them on a simple avocado toast, along with candy cane beet and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.

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Dress Up

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The time has finally come – day or night, it’s safe to sport bare skin once again. I have a personal vendetta against tights, and all year round I wait for the magical time when I can slip into a dress and leave the house without packing four different layers in my purse.

Canadians are built to be ready for any weather, anytime, which means we’re experts in the field of layering, but there are some things that just can’t be layered, those that can only truly be enjoyed when the weather gets warm enough. I love the SS17 statement sleeve trend, but anyone who has tried to wear a big bell sleeve under a jacket or sweater will agree that all that statement sleeves need to be a stand alone in an outfit.

I’ve been waiting for the chance to take this dusty rose no-shoulder dress from Ever New for a spin (pssst, it’s on SALE right now!) and now that I don’t have to worry about stuffing all that fabric into a trench or jean jacket I’ve been pulling it out of my closet more than anything else. Paired with heavily embellished blush mules and matching tassel earrings, this ensemble has me set to show up at Summer parties with bells on.

Scroll down to shop the post

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Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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As much as I like to think of myself as a good cook, the honest truth is I don’t make food nearly as much as I’d like to. I hate being one of those busy people, but most days I just can’t figure out how to make time to plan, prep, cook, and clean up after a meal without getting overwhelmed.

I always admire my friends who seem to have it all figured out, especially Amanda of It’s Blueberry Moon. If you remember drooling over the pink sushi recipe I published awhile back, Amanda was a big part of that, and though her blog name has changed her crazy talent for making beautiful, colourful, HEALTHY food has not.

Constantly inspired by Amanda’s incredible Instagram posts documenting her meals (aka works of art) I approached her to collaborate on a brand new RAOP series that celebrates healthy living and a plant-based diet: Introducing #EatYourPastels! We’ll be sharing mega nutritious rainbow recipes a couple times every month, starting with this pink rice bowl! Without further ado, here’s Amanda and her first recipe on the RAOP site:

I’m already obsessed with eating and creating colourful foods, so when Alyssa approached me about a pastel collab I didn’t think twice! Taking everything to the next level (like pink tahini sauce!) could not excite me more. I wanted to make our recipes simple so that they’re easy to recreate at home. Hope you all have as much fun eating pink food as we did!

Scroll down for the recipe!

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What you’ll need //

Bowl Ingredients

1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 tbsp beet juice
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup chickpeas
1 mini cucumber
2 radish’s
1 small watermelon radish
1 stalk green onion
1 carrot
greens of choice

Dressing Ingredients

1/4 cup tahini
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp beet juice

Directions //

Start by bringing your water to a boil. Rinse your rice well and add it to the water while reducing heat. Cover and simmer until cooked. While your rice is cooking you can start to chop up your veggies and make your dressing. Slice everything as desired, leaving your avo until last so it doesn’t brown.

To make dressing, combine all ingredients in your food processor or blender. If you don’t have either, no problem! Swap out the clove of garlic for a 1/2 tsp garlic powder and mix your sauce with a fork or mini whisk. You may need more lemon juice depending on the size of you lemon. Add to taste.

Once your rice has finished cooking, add your beet juice and fold it in gently to colour.

To assemble your bowl, start with a generous handful of greens for your base. We used mixed greens and some purple kale. If you like your food to look aesthetically pleasing before consumption, then use a tiny bowl to pack your rice in to form a little rice dome. Build your chickpeas and veggies around the rice in little pockets. Finish with a generous drizzle of dressing and garnish with some fresh sprouts.

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Dear DiaryI'll Follow You Anywhere

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How many of you have been watching the new Netflix series GIRLBOSS?

I hinted a bit way back, but long before the show aired this Spring I actually got to step into “Sophia’s World” with Netflix. Remember when I went to LA last August with all sorts of other girl bosses from around the globe? We were secretly exploring the sets, ogling the wardrobe department, and chatting up Sophia Amoruso herself – I just had to keep everything under wraps until the show was out!

So, after almost a year of zipped lips, I’m publishing this post – complete with a list of the best vintage spots in LA from the Girlboss styling team, and a video clip from a one-on-one I did with Sophia at the backlot! This trip was so many special things to me: my first ever “blogger trip”, the first time I got to explore Hollywood behind the scenes, my first time interviewing someone I admire on camera (eek)… the list goes on and on. So much more goes into bringing a story to life than I had ever imagined – the team was essentially creating an entire world, and it’s been a trip to say the least to see the spaces we explored back then and the props we held on the big (or small depending on your Netflix setup) screen. We hung out in Sophia’s TV show apartment and saw how each look she wears on the show came together, from idea to sketch to shopping and final fitting/styling. We talked at great lengths about how the head of the wardrobe department came to find Sophia’s signature metallic leather jacket.

keep scrolling for the vintage guide, video, and more…

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At the time I was facing a lot of big, tough questions about my life, my business and where I wanted it to go, and the time spent amongst so many strong, independent women was so crucial to the moves I’d make in the months to come. It’s what prompted me to run away to LA for the winter, to grow my business and take on new challenges… plus the conversation that I had with Sophia (conveniently recorded below) pushed me to re-examine and eventually flush out some of the relationships in my life that were taking more than they were giving. I don’t want to be dramatic, but looking back that week was nothing short of life-changing.


The Best Vintage Spots in LA, as dictated by the GIRLBOSS team and Sophia //

A current affair
Scout
Rose bowl
Wasteland
Slow
Jet rag
Squaresville
Urchin
The bearded Beacle
Dorothy’s closet

Scroll one more time for my interview with Sophia!

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