Party TimeSips, Sweets & Snacks

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There are many people who only eat cake once or twice a year, even skipping the tradition on their birthday because a whole cake is simply too decadent an indulgence.

Here at RAOP headquarters, we are not those people.

Around these parts, we believe cake should be a weekly, if not daily, occurence. We get cakes for blog birthdays, friend’s birthdays, Easter, Halloween, and sometimes just because we feel like it! No matter how many layers, how much icing, and how many flaming candles, we say bring it on! And that’s exactly what we said when La Rocca loaded us up with not one, but 4 CAKES to help them celebrate their 30th anniversary.

Yes, yes we did eat cake for every meal for an entire week. My favourite had to be the Strawberry Shortcake, but for Jo and the rest of the team Black Forest “took the cake”. Of course we can’t forget the Greatest Hits cake, La Rocca’s limited edition 30th anniversary creation comprised of all their favourite cakes- think layers of red velvet, chocolate sponge cake, almond meringue, white chocolate truffle, and MORE.

Getting hungry? Good, because we have a super special giveaway for you, and it involves eating your very own delicious La Rocca Greatest Hits cake! Scroll down for full contest details:

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The Prize //

1 Greatest Hits Cake (trust us, it’s amazing!)
Plates
Napkins
Forks
Confetti
Candles

How to Enter //

1. Follow both @randomactsofpastel and @LaRoccaCakes on Instagram

2. Comment on today’s Instagram post who you’d like to share your cake with (tag at least one friend)

3. Bonus points if you comment below as well! Bonus bonus points if you share this link on Twitter or Facebook (just make sure you tag me so I can find you!)

Rules and Regulations: due to cake shipping limitations, this contest is only open to those residing in Southern Ontario (I’m sorry!). Winner will be asked to email me their shipping details, and should allow 1-2 weeks for fulfillment. Winner will be announced Monday evening! Good luck!

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

Party Time

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I never really felt attached to Thanksgiving and its traditions until I moved to Toronto and started making my own. A lifelong vegetarian, I hated the idea of a turkey on everyone’s table, but my newfound big city friends showed me how to craft the perfect tofurky, complete with stuffing and vegan mashed potatoes.

Turns out, Thanksgiving is fun, but in my books, Friendsgiving is even better.

This year I found myself with the closest, loveliest group of friends I’ve ever had, and I knew it was time to do something extra special to celebrate how thankful I feel for each and every one of them. The answer? A gleaming golden dinner party with my nearest and dearest! Complete with a perfectly prepared Tofurky, a beautiful vegan apple pie from Plum Lucky, rainbow veggies and festive Palm Bay punch, we really set the stage for a cozy evening.

I know what you’re thinking- Palm Bay Punch? Isn’t that more of a tropical summer thing? Turns out Palm Bay actually has great Fall flavours, like Pomegranate Hibiscus and Ruby Grapefruit Sunrise! Paired with local apple cider, cinnamon sticks, fresh cut festive fruit, and a splash of sparkling, it’s the perfect addition to your holiday feast!

Scroll down for more photos and the full punch recipe

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Ingredients //

6 cans of Palm Bay (we used Pomegranate Hibiscus)
2 Pink Lady Apples, sliced
2 Clementines
handful of cranberries
handful of concord grapes
1 jug Local sweet Apple Cider
Half a litre of Club Soda
cinnamon sticks (2 for punch, the rest to garnish)

*bonus points if you can procure a fancy punch bowl! We got ours at BYOB Cocktail Emporium

Recipe //

1. Soak your fresh cut fruit in the Palm Bay for a few hours before your party to create a stronger infusion.

2. When the festivities are about to get started, add the club soda and apple cider.

3. Ladle into glasses prepped with ice, garnish with cinnamon sticks and serve!

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Special thanks to Palm bay for the beverages, Plum Lucky for the amazing Vegan apple pie, Wild North for the floral arrangements, Harlow and Grey for the tableware, BYOB Cocktail Emporium for the Copper Punch Bowl, Zipcar for giving us a fun way to gather all of our supplies, and to Johanna for doubling as gourmet vegan chef AND photographer!

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

Party Time

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And so it begins… the #TeamRAOP girls are taking over! Johanna enlisted the help of Mari to put together the ultimate PJ Pizza party, and they totally aced it. I’ve been trying to eat as plant-based as possible, so I handed off this particular pizza challenge to our resident junk food queens, and they didn’t disappoint! Here’s what Mari had to say about the mini party:

There are few things better than thin-crust pizza straight out of the oven. That’s why when Dr. Oetker Ristorante offered to send us five pizzas, we jumped at the chance to host a Pastel Pizza PJ Party, complete with our very own pastel pizza party banner.

Admittedly, I had my doubts about store-bought pizza (OK, I’m a pizza snob), but one bite of Spinach & Provolone changed my mind.

This stuff is seriously delicious and it was surprisingly easy to get through all of the pizzas in one sitting (oops). Could it be the thin crust? The legit gourmet toppings? The fact that macarons, chocolate covered pretzels and gummy bears were waiting patiently to be eaten for dessert? Probably a combo of all those things.

To wash it all down, the most perfect pizza pairing cocktails- white wine spritzers with frozen strawberries!

Want to have a #DrOPizzaParty of your very own? Scroll to the bottom of the post to create your own Pastel Pizza Party banner!

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Fold a piece of large-medium size paper in half vertically so it’s long and skinny. I used a piece that was 18″ x 20″.

Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a line that connects the bottom corner of the paper to the fold. Measure along open bottom how big you’d like your banner flags to be. I used 5 inches. Mark your spot and draw another line connecting back to the fold so you make an equilateral triangle. Repeat this step over and over until you have enough flags.

Choose 3 or more colours of paint and a small flat bristle paint brush. First make a broad sweeping motion across the wide part of your triangle for the ‘crust’ then hold your paint brush straight up and down with a fair amount of paint on it. Keeping it in one position rotate it around in a circle – practice makes perfect!

When your pizza flags are dry use a tacky liquid glue to adhere them equal distances apart on a ribbon. Wait for everything to dry and hang it up for your next Pastel Pizza PJ Party!

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

Party Time

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There’s something so enchanted about a good garden party. For one, they can really only be successful on those perfect days of the year that are neither too hot nor too cold. They also require a beautiful outdoor space, which can be quite hard to come by in the city, and there’s the bug issue to contend with…

But then sometimes, as if by magic, it just all comes together.

Sophie, my dear friend from Kitten and the Bear, and I have been talking about styling a pastel garden party shoot in her secret Parkdale garden for what seems like years. The ideas constantly morphed, but the general feel always stayed the same: there would be treats, there would be tea, and there would be flowers in every corner.

When we finally settled upon a date, all the details just fell into place from there. After much discussion we decided on brunch as our meal time of choice, and quickly joined forces with Chambord to craft some jam-infused breakfast cocktails (recipe here). Sophie got to work dreaming up simple yet decadent tea sandwiches (recipe here), and Delysees offered to provide the dreamiest sweet treats in the land for our spread. Last but not least, Amira (aka one of our favourite local flower queens) from Coriander Girl offered her green thumb, filling the space with blooms and plants on every possible surface.

The final result was full tilt Marie-Antoinette garden party perfection. There were sparkling golden eclairs, there were tiny “jam window” and lavender cucumber sandwiches, and there were endless sparkling Chambord cocktails. We hung had dyed baby blue muslin over the table to help with sunburns and melting desserts, and draped the same fabric over our dessert table to pull the scene together. By the time the models finally poured in, dressed to the nines in lace and flower crowns, the whole space had filled with a glittering energy – warm, bright, and so quintessentially summer.

What are you waiting for? Come celebrate with us!

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Brown-Forman Corporation, Louisville, KY, Black Raspberry 16.5%, 21+

Styling and concept by Alyssa Garrison of RAOP
Photos by Bobbyand Johanna
Savoury creations by Sophie of Kitten and the Bear
Sweet treats by Delysees
Florals and greenery by Amira of Coriander Girl
A special thanks to our models Meghan, Sasha, Amanda, Aneta, & Mari

Originally posted by Hooray Magazine

Dear DiaryParty Time

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It’s scary how fast time is flying lately, don’t you think? Can whoever is holding down the fast forward button ~please~ let go and give us all a break already?!

This past week was the week of my 26th Birthday, and oh boy did it sneak up on me in pretty much every way. I’m the kind of person that plans my birthday months in advance, obsessing over every detail and worrying about every tiny thing that could potentially go wrong. I know it sounds silly, but I literally have nightmares about forgetting my birthday is coming up! I don’t have anything to say for myself, I’ve just always been a very extreme birthday princess.

2016 has been a crazy complicated year for me with a lot of hard work, a lot of emotional ups and downs, and a few challenges I wasn’t sure I could get past. In short, it was weird… so weird! Is this what being an adult feels like – everything just getting so intense and confusing and heavy? I’ve always prided myself on following my heart and living spontaneously, but recently I feel like every decision I make has such a serious impact on the rest of my life. In all honesty, it’s all very terrifying, and if you’d asked me a couple months ago I probably would’ve said I didn’t even plan on celebrating my birthday this year.

Luckily, I have some truly amazing people around me, and in the end I had one of the best birthdays ever (despite my crippling fear of getting older). The amazing team at Nordstrom invited Josh and I to be their guests at Dinner en Blanc, which just happened to be on the evening of my actual birthday. Perfect, right? But wait, there’s more! Revolve sent me the most perfect long white silk dress for the event, and I even found the perfect white fluffy shoes on sale! Very Carrie Bradshaw.

My birthday day itself ended up being a lot more relaxed than usual – Josh took the day off and we just hung around eating brunch and shopping for fresh blooms at the Avenue Rd. flower shops. It may not have been the over the top birthday of my dreams, but it was honestly so nice to have a day to slow down for once! Plus it was topped off with a ride in a vintage rolls royce and the most amazing outdoor dinner thanks to Nordstrom, so I really can’t complain.

But the second day of celebration (yes, there are always at least two) was truly the magical, glittering cherry on top. Miss Thing’s (aka my favourite restaurant in Toronto, hands down) hosted me and a small group of my nearest and dearest for a dinner I can only describe as epic. There was a bottle of pink bubbly, there was a freshly shucked oysters and there was a family-style spread of the best tropical flavours you can dream of. Oh, let’s not forget the crazy pretty cocktail served in a hollowed out watermelon! With each new round of service we were even more in awe, and though we were thoroughly stuffed we ate almost every bite of every plate (including the unreal dessert- you simply have to try the chocolate banana mousse!)

Though we were barely able to get home after all the food, dinner was followed by a party in the park that included a shocking number of wonderful unicorn people, and not one but two vegan cakes from Sorelle & co.

Though getting older came with a lot of pressure and intense feels this year, it also came with a lot of magical moments and the most amazing supportive family of friends that a girl could ask for. Even if I’m anxious about age, I don’t think I’ll be giving up on enchanted birthday celebrations anytime soon!

A special thanks to Miss Thing’s, Nordstrom and Sorelle & co. for making my birthday so sparkly!

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