Dear Diary

Product design has intrigued me for quite some time, but it always seemed like too massive a project to take on by myself. I was over the moon when Teapigs, one of my favourite tea brands approached our team to design a limited edition mug for their holiday collection!

The only issue is… I’m not really a designer. Luckily I have Johanna as our in-house artist, and our intern Olivia who’s a total design BOSS. Together they worked with hand-painted watercolour textures and fun fonts. We probably did about 50 mock ups combined with the Teapigs design team before we finally settled on the final version that you see now. Crazy right?! It’s amazing how much time and energy goes into just one of the products you find on a store shelf. Definitely feeling a newfound appreciation for beautiful design details!

So here it is, after months of reworking and reimagining, just in time for Christmas! Rise and Sparkle comes from the idea that every day should be extraordinary… don’t just rise and shine, rise and SPARKLE! Tis’ the season to sparkle more than ever, right?

When I say sparkle however, I don’t just mean pile on the illuminator and dress only in sequins. Being sparkly is so much more about spreading joy wherever you go, like a beam of sunshine in the middle of a snowstorm (and there WILL be snowstorms ahead Toronto friends!) With this philosophy in mind I decided to donate $1 of each mug to a local charity that always makes me smile: Save our Scruff. Rescuing adorable dogs day and night from all over the world, SOS brings joy to so many pups and humans alike, and I can only hope our donations from this project can help find as many furry friends a home for the holidays as possible!

Scroll down for a holiday gift from us… aka a CONTEST!

dsc_5469

dsc_5468

dsc_5475

Want to win a Rise and Sparkle mug + a pack of Teapigs tea? Think of it as a gift from us to you!

To enter simply:

1 // Follow RAOP and Teapigs on Instagram

2 // Tag a friend who loves tea on today’s Instagram post

3 // For bonus points, comment here with your Instagram handle, or tweet the link to this post (just make sure you tag me so I can find you)

Winner will be announced Friday here and on Instagram. Good luck!

Ready to get cozy AND support a great cause? Shop the mug here now!

Party TimeSips, Sweets & Snacks

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:

dsc_1897

dsc_1853

dsc_1904

dsc_1867

unnamed-2

unnamed-1

unnamed

dsc_1882

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 emailΒ jess@shineinfluencers.com

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

This post was a fun impromptu idea we had that somehow ended up sliding into totally perfect timing. For one, it’s Margarita Monday, which is always worth celebrating in our books. Second, Casamigos sent us some of their amazing tequila to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but we hadn’t had a chance to crack open a bottle for something fun yet. Finally, it’s really actually Spring outside this long weekend! With no sign of disappearing again! And if that isn’t a reason to dream up some crazy hot pink slushies then I don’t know what is.

After we’d already shot the images and worked out the recipe for this post, our friends at Vitamix decided to up the ante. That’s right, we’re giving away the best blender in the whole wide world (a Black 5200 model to be exact)!!! We’ve had ours since we moved into #ThePastelPalace and it has seriously changed our entire kitchen game, so we’re crazy excited to share a machine with one of you!

How’s that for a post-long weekend blues deterrent?

Basically you have one week (till next Monday morning to be precise) to enter as many times/ways as humanly possible… here’s what you have to do (it’s a fun one!)

MANDATORY //

1. Like the Vitamix Facebook page (here) and the RAOP Facebook page (here)

2. Follow both Vitamix and RAOP on Instagram.

BONUS POINTS //

-Follow RAO_P on Snapchat (note- there will be extra chances to get bonus points on Snapchat throughout the week!)
-tag a friend in my Instagram post who you think might need a new blender!
-Follow us both on Twitter (here and here)
-Follow us both on Pinterest (here and here)
-Comment on this post with a list of everything you did at the END of the week.

The more points you compile, the higher chances you have of winning the grand prize! So what are you waiting for?

Still thirsty? Scroll down for the recipe!

DSC_1540

DSC_1546

DSC_1548

DSC_1579

DSC_1582

DSC_1586

Ingredients //

Yields 2 large glasses

1 dragonfruit
1 handful of frozen strawberries
1 can of frozen limeade concentrate
1/2 cup ice
3 oz Casamigos tequila
Strawberry sugar (recipe here) for rimming

Recipe //

1. Rim your glasses with sugar (we used strawberry sugar that I picked up in France, but you can make your own like this)

2. Cut your dragonfruit into two halves. One half can be roughly chopped and thrown in the blender with the rind still attached, the other should be cut into slices for garnishes.

3. Blend all remaining ingredients on high in your Vitamix until smooth.

4. Pour, top with as many pink decorations as you can find, and serve with a side of Spring sunshine!

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

When we were visiting LA a few months back, one of our favourite meals was an all vegan Mexican feast at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood. The atmosphere was perfection and the food was incredible, but it was the snow cone/popsicle cocktails that really took the cake. When our friends at teapigs asked us to dream up a tea-infused cocktail creation, we decided popsicles were a non negotiable. After all, sunny Spring afternoons are just around the corner… right?

The key to this Mojito-inspired recipe is the peppermint tea simple syrup we made, and I promise, it really is oh so simple. We opted to use store bought popsicles this time around, but we welcome you to make your own with fresh fruit, juice, tea, or even a hint of your favourite liqueur to add an extra kick to the cocktail!

Scroll down for the full recipe + details on how to enter the BEST giveaway EVER!

IMG_2080

IMG_2145

IMG_2050

IMG_2066

IMG_2150

IMG_2058

IMG_2093

Ingredients:

teapigs Peppermint Herbal Tea
Sugar
White Rum
Lime sparkling water
Popsicle of your choice, homemade or store bought (we used both Lime Fruttare bars and locally made Augies Ice Pops)
Fresh mint

1. Make a tea-infused simple syrup by placing two teapigs Peppermint teabags in a jar. Steep in 1/2 cup of boiling water for 10 mins with lid on, stir in 1/2 of sugar until dissolved. Cool- You can leave the teabags in the syrup overnight for extra minty flavour!

2. Add 1oz cooled simple syrup and 1oz of rum to your glass.

3. Tear up some mint leaves and add a bundle to each glass.

IMG_2086

IMG_2104

IMG_2109

IMG_2140

IMG_2119

4. Add sparkling water until the cup is about half full. We used lime Pellegrino to give our cocktails a bit more flavour!

5. Here’s the fun part- add the popsicles! I used each popsicle to “muddle” the mint a bit, and topped up each drink with more sparkling water if the glasses weren’t quite full with the extra volume added.

5. Garnish with lime slices, stir and serve! Simple, colourful, and oh so delicious, these “Poptails” are sure to be a hit at every Spring party!

*Tea tip- you can also add the syrup to your favourite iced tea or iced latte for an extra minty kick!

Want to win some teapigs for yourself? You can score this amazing prize pack this week on Twitter (scroll down for details!)

IMG_2041

IMG_2046

The Prize Pack //

4 x marble coasters
2 x confetti glasses
1 x marble wine cooler
1 x gold cocktail shaker
4 x packs of teapigs tea!

The Rules //

1. Follow me on twitter
2. Retweet or tweet one of my pictures from this post with the tag #teapigspartea
3. Follow teapigs on Twitter!

For bonus points you can also like both our pages on Facebook (RAOP + teapigs)

Contest will run till the evening of Friday April 8th!

Good Luck!

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

Dear Diary

We received all sorts of magical surprise packages over the holidays here at The Pastel Palace, and one of our favourite deliveries was a box brimming with magical objects from Imm Living. From dancing swan cookie jars to tiny poodle stamps, this array of glittering goodies pretty much swept us off our feet, and we immediately started staging some fun pictures of each enchanting product.

We didn’t originally plan on posting this shoot as a set, but in the end we were so happy with how it turned out that we just couldn’t help it!

Want some Imm Living magic in your life? We’re hosting a giveaway on Instagram this week!

IMMLiving7

IMMLiving10

IMMLiving6Instagram

IMMLiving5

IMMLiving3

IMMLiving12

IMMLiving2