Dear Diary

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I don’t want to give too much away because my official #heaveninhighpark home tour goes live somewhere super special THIS WEEK (keep your eyes out!) but I couldn’t help but share a sneak peek.

The last few apartments I’ve lived in I never bothered to throw a housewarming party. It’s not that I wasn’t proud of each space, because in every place I’ve lived I’ve added my own special touches, but I never truly felt like I had a home worth celebrating (never mind one that would fit everyone I care about!)

When I moved into #HeaveninHighPark everything felt totally different – I knew I was finally home. After a month of intensive decorating, painting, furniture shopping and art hanging I was finally ready to show off the space, and went to town planning a big housewarming party to celebrate this next step in my life with all of my nearest and dearest.

Just like the apartment itself, this pastel party came together so perfectly and I don’t think I’ve ever agreed so clearly that home is where the heart is. I seriously can’t wait to show you guys the rest SO SOON!

Special thanks to our event sponsors:
Ace Hill for Beer
Hey Y’all Spiked Iced tea
Fresh Wines
Subway for catering
Balloon Bar for Installations
Wildhood for florals

S/O to Delta for making our sink of drinks look extra pretty with that dreamy gold faucet!

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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

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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Party Time

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Every year the holidays roll around, and every single year I have a whole list of big plans that I never get to execute. As happy and bubbly as I am year-round, Christmas time really brings out the best in me, but sadly I always end up too busy with work to really enjoy the magic of the season. From ice skating to sugar cookie baking, the little pleasures I associate with this time of year always seem to escape me, but this year I’m putting my foot down- this year, I’m going full elf.

I’ll be sharing a list of all my favourite holiday “to-do’s” here very soon so you can follow along, but in the meantime I’m hard at work planning something that has managed to escape me for years: a sparkly pastel holiday photo shoot! I’ve teamed up with Kitten and the Bear, and together we’ve dreamt up the concept of a pastel christmas tea party (henceforth to be known as #pastelxmaspartea!) Think Blush and Bloom florals, Sweet Bakeshop sugar cookies, and sequins, tinsel and fairy lights in every corner- all captured by the very talented Gillian of Sounds like Yellow!

Over the next few weeks as we get everything together we’ll be sharing sneak peeks, plus exclusive holiday DIY’s and tutorials, so be sure to keep an eye on our hashtag for updates (or take a gander at our inspiration Pin Board!)

We hope we’ve got you dreaming of a Pastel Christmas like we are!

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All images via my Pinterest

Dear Diary

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After all the glitter, sweat, (happy) tears, and excitement, it’s finally here: the last Pastel Pool Party photo post. Paige and I had such an incredible time planning this shoot and sharing it with our friends/models and all of you. Everything from throwing the custom confetti to cutting into the magical pink ombre cake was perfect, and we couldn’t have asked for a better evening with so many wonderful ladies.

Make no mistake, this won’t be the last beautiful event you see from RAOPxStudioB!

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Creative Direction & Styling: Random Acts of Pastel & Bicyclette Boutique
Photographer: Scarlet O’Neill
Flowers: Blush & Bloom
Cake, Donuts, Cookies & Cupcakes: The Wedding Cake Shoppe
Candy: The Candy Bar
Custom Confetti: The Confetti Bar
Invite & Printable: Alex Perlin
Spirits: Dillon’s Distillery
Syrups & Mixes: BYOB
Clothing & Accessories: Bicyclette Boutique
Pink Hair: Amanda Quarshie at Blyss Salon
Balloons: Northstar Balloons
Tassel Garland: Studio Mucci