Random

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Moving into an older home always poses a couple challenges, and when I found #HeaveninHighPark I had a feeling a lot of work was needed in key areas like the kitchen and bathrooms. Initially I wanted to rip everything out in all 3 rooms but that quickly became a project that went way beyond what I could handle budget-wise and time-wise. Renovations are a huge undertaking, and in my limited experience they always end up way more complicated than you plan for. The last thing I wanted to do was get in too deep right off the bat, so I compromised – rip out the kitchen to start from scratch, and do what I could with the two bathrooms without any demolition.

Turns out there is a lot you can do to update an older space without ripping things apart. I was worried the wood-handled melamine cabinets were a lost cause, and though I lucked out on mostly white tiling in all three rooms, the sink situation definitely left something to be desired.

KITCHEN //

When it came to the kitchen, I really went for it. With the help of my landlord and a trusty handyman, I swapped the backsplash for white subway tiles, the countertop for a faux marble slab (quartz based) and the old melamine cabinets for clean white wood with gold hardware. The real show stopper? This epic Delta Smart Kitchen Faucet! Everything really came together the moment this champagne beauty was installed, and showing guests my “faucet magic tricks” when they come over never gets old. You can turn the sink on and off by touching anywhere on the faucet’s body!

Check out the before and after here! Who doesn’t love a good makeover story?

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BATHROOMS //

In both bathrooms I chose to work with the existing cabinets and sinks. We painted the cabinetry pink (see full details below if you’re wondering how!) and drilled holes to add fun knobs to the doors. Details like bright towels and a patterned shower curtain added some life to each space, but the biggest transformation really came down to the hardware. I replaced the faucets with champagne bronze single handle bathroom models to match the kitchen, and then swapped out the towel racks and towel hooks to match.

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IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS //

If you want to spruce up your old melamine cabinets it’s not as difficult as you think. First, give them a rough sand to create a bit of traction. Next, do a base coat of Zinsser Bulls eye 1-2-3 primer, and when you’re selecting paint make sure it’s alkyd enamel based (they can mix it any colour!) I was super happy with how ours turned out, especially with the addition of some fancy knobs at the end.

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Dress UpRandom

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Though the humidity in Toronto makes dressing up a bit more difficult, I refuse to give it up entirely. I love putting together dreamy outfits laden with sparkles and golden touches, and no one does those things better than Ted Baker.

I’m on a bit of a navy blue kick right now, and this structured cocktail dress with delicate 3d floral details is perfect for everything from Friday night patio drinks to Sunday brunches. Romantic and whimsical, this look sends my imagination to croissants at Parisian bistros, cobblestone streets and old world romance. Paired with pearl earrings, glittery metallic accessories and the perfect Ted Baker “dress up” jacket, this look begs for a night at the ballet! Who wants to take me?

Scroll down to shop the post

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Get CreativeRandom

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It’s a well known fact that us RAOP girls are obsessed with all things floral – from treats and tea to candles and perfume, we seriously cant get enough.

DIY queen Johanna wanted to carry the the obsession over into skincare, and of course she added a bit of crystal magic to the mix in modern witch style. Here’s how she did it:

Harnessing the powers of roses and rose quartz I decided to try my hand at creating one of my favourite beauty go-to’s: Rosewater skin tonic! Since it’s Valentines month, a time of year when we could all use a little more self-love, I decided to infuse my potion with the love-drawing power of rose quartz.

What you’ll need //

1 cup Distilled water
Rose essential oil
Witch Hazel
1/4 c dried food-grade rose buds or petals
Small piece of raw rose quartz
Empty glass spray bottles

Start by boiling the rose buds or petals in distilled water in a saucepan on the stove for about 20 minutes, remove from heat and strain. Set this aside to cool completely.

*The darker the dried rose and the boiling time will effect the colouring of your final spray

Now, break up your rose quartz specimen into small pieces, place it in a plastic bag, on a hard surface use a hammer to break it up.

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Place 3 or 4 pieces at the bottom of each spray bottle.

In the bowl of cooled rose water add about 4 teaspoons of witch hazel and 3-4 drops of rose essential oil and whisk. Carefully pour into the spray bottles and shake, you’ve made yourself a rosey skin soothing magic potion! Spray all over your face and neck after cleansing and before moisturizing.

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Here’s some of our other favourite self-care potions:

Province Apothecary’s Lovers Oil
Witch in the Wild’s Amethyst Face Serum
Herbivore’s Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist
Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence

Random

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Crossing the Charming Princes off of our shopping lists is always the biggest Holiday challenge, but also the most fun to take on. Whether it’s a special someone, a dad or a brother, finding the perfect gift for those on your list with a more masculine aesthetic usually takes an extra bit of elf power.

This year we teamed up to pick up some really great stocking stuffers, gift sets and bigger presents too – in all honesty we ended up wanting to keep most of the gifts for ourselves!

Check out our Charming Prince picks and shopping guide below!

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GIN KIT

Perfect for the budding alchemist, with this kit you can transform a simple bottle of vodka into an outstanding bottle of delicious homemade gin in just 36 hours.

TOOTHPICKS

In all-natural flavours like Bourbon and Ginger Honey, these toothpicks are the perfect stocking stuffer. Daneson also plants 100 trees for each one they cut, so they’re really the gift that keeps giving!

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VANS

There’s nothing wrong with sticking to the classics. Vans Sk8 Hi’s are a good go-to for anyone on your list!

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RICHER POORER

Who doesn’t need new socks and undies? Get ultra-comfy ultra-cool basics from Richer Poorer, and maybe even grab something for yourself while you’re at it!

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SAJE

Diffusers are perfect for purifying the air and look good in any space. Oh and did we mention there’s now a diffuser you can take on the road? Bye-bye pine air fresheners!

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DAVINES

All of the ingredients to give your guy soft, silky, frizz-free locks! Who says he can’t have nicer hair than you?

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SPICEBOMB

Still going strong as our absolute favourite scent for gents, Spice Bomb is a go-to gift!

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HERBIVORE BEARD STUFF

Truly natural and cruelty free, these special tonics and elixirs smell just like a forest and will keep your guy’s face super soft.

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UNIQLO / STAR REGISTRY

Christmas is so much easier now that Uniqlo is open just around the corner! Much, much further away is our very own star that we got to name after our Pastel Prince.

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YOUR PAL AL CACTI & SUCCULENTS

Concrete, succulents and just the right amount of gold from one of our very favourite Toronto artists, Your Pal Al.

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Random

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Team RAOP has really grown into quite the little family over these past few months, and the absolute best part of the holiday season is family! Our dynamic in the office is so special because we’re all so different, but fit together perfectly. As we were dreaming up our Holiday plans this fall, we decided to have each member of the team create a gift guide filled with their favourite must-haves. The guides ended up being the perfect representation of each member- totally unique and yet somehow all very RAOP. Check out our gift guides below, and shop our picks by clicking each item directly in the photo!

P.S. friends and boyfriends take note!

Alyssa //

For me this time of year is all about keeping cozy and enjoying life’s little luxuries. A massive knit blanket, an ultra-fancy candle, or tiny sparkling jewels can make all the difference to my mood! Add a dash of swan lake and my Christmas is complete!

Johanna //

I normally prefer handmade gifts but this year I’ve found a few special treasures that bring everyday magic. Simple sparkly things that remind me of someone each day of the year, small opals, a cozy sweater, my morning coffee and my favourite smell – anything to infuse my daily routine with a little bit of extra magic!

Kelsie //

The Holidays are the perfect time to round up my favourite velvets, blush-tones and sparkly things. I’m always thinking about the next excuse to wear something extra fancy before I go into candle-filled hibernation mode come January!

Olivia //

For me, the holidays are the perfect time to shop local, particularly when it comes to finding gifts for others. There’s just something so special about finding something so personal, and niche to that persons’ interests, which is why I always try to opt for independent retailers. For myself however, it’s all about fashion first aka stocking up on items I’m otherwise too poor to buy myself (hi mom).