Dress Up

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First off- Merry Christmas to one and all! We’ve had such a busy (not to mention sparkly) holiday season here at RAOP, and though we’re looking forward to a bit of rest we’re definitely going to miss all of the glittery fun we’ve been having!

My final pastel Christmas post comes in the form of one last holiday outfit featuring a very special dress. Last September I teamed up with a local company called Pastel Dress Party, and together we designed and created a custom dress! Originally launched and marketed as an affordable alternative for bridesmaids, PDP has a massive number of styles to choose from, and if you have any specific requests they’re happy to customize details. I even received fabric swatches in the mail so I could accurately choose my colour and feel the texture before committing.

I wore the final product (based on the “Jamie” with a few minor alterations) to my cousin’s wedding in the summer, but it turned out to be perfect for the holiday season as well- with some extra sparkle added of course!

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Get Creative

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Those of you who follow me know how much I love florals and flower arranging, and who better to give a lesson on the RAOP blog than local magic-maker Becky of Blush and Bloom? I’ve been a huge fan of her work for ages now, and it was so amazing to finally get the chance to work together on the #PastelXmasPartea shoot last month. I was so impressed by the whimsical floral designs she created for the set that I begged her to share some of her pastel magic wisdom, and that’s how this centrepiece arrangement tutorial came to be!

Scroll down for full instructions

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Supplies //

-A vessel (preferably silver or gold)
-Pastel blooms and festive greenery
-Clear or green florist tape
-Florist pruners or secateurs

Instructions //

1. Choose your vase or ceramic container

2. pick your flowers. Try to have assorted types of foliages, at least a few stems of a big, fluffy bloom, a few filler varieties all in whatever palette you prefer. Obviously we would have PASTEL BLOOMS!

3. Create a grid with clear or green florist tape across the top of the vase, allowing the tape to come down over the sides to keep it secure. We did 3x rows each way. Fill with water, nice and full!

4. Start by adding foliages ( we chose dusty miller) and other greenery to fill some of the holes in the grid, forming a base to hold up your flowers.

5. Begin with the biggest bloom that will be in the middle, or focal point of your creation. Make sure to keep this variety in prime real estate!

6. Slowly begin filling up the space surrounding the large, fluffy blooms with your filler flowers. We chose spray roses and garden roses, and a few ranunculus. Your arrangement should be getting full and the stems should not be wobbly! If they are, create more stability with foliage or more flowers.

7. Remember when building to cut stems on an angle with florist pruners or secateurs, and make sure you get them into water within 5x seconds, so think fast!

8. Lastly, look over your arrangement from above, below and all angles to make sure there are no holes or negative gaps/spaces that should have product, or conceal any tape that might be exposed. Remove any damaged petals or leaves, and take that arrangement to the table!

9. Be sure to fill with water daily over the sink to ensure all flowers are getting enough water.

10. ENJOY your new creation!

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Party Time

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We’ve all heard the phrase “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”, but for years I’ve been trying to figure out how to make my holiday season as pastel all possible. Typically defined by red and green, Christmas isn’t all that pastel friendly, but every December I find more ways to celebrate RAOP style. Last year I started a collection of treat-themed decorations, and a few years before I bought myself a tiny pink sparkly tree, but there’s always been something missing: a pastel Christmas party!

After almost a month of waiting I’m so thrilled to finally be sharing the Pastel Christmas Par-Tea photoshoot. I dreamt up this styled tea party with Sophie from Kitten and the Bear, and together we reached out to some of our favourite local talent. One by one the dream team came aboard, each offering something unique and sparkly to the tea that was too sweet to resist.

On the day of the shoot we all met at Blush and Bloom’s floral studio, a space that smelled like roses and Christmas cheer all at once that morning. We unpacked boxes of sparkling flamingo sugar cookies and christmas tree cucumber sandwiches topped with gold leaf stars. Next we hung the stocking with care, sprinkled glitter in each of the model’s hair, and added a few pink birds to Blush and Bloom’s wreath creation.

In the end everything came together so flawlessly that it truly felt like Christmas magic- from the glittering wardrobe to the sugary sweets table, it truly was a perfect Pastel Christmas Par-Tea.

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Tea has a way of bringing people together, and we highly recommend you find the time this holiday season to get all dolled up with your besties and enjoy a hot cup, some sweets, and maybe even a cocktail (or two!)

Credits // 

Stylist and Director: Random Acts of Pastel

 Co-Director + Buttermilk Scones and Artisan Jam: Kitten and The Bear

 Photography: Sounds Like Yellow

 Florist: Blush and Bloom

 Sweets: Sweet Bake Shop

Tea Sponsor: Sloane Tea

 Watercolour Details: Johanna Martin

 Calligraphy : Alena Ravestein

Party Supplies via Meri Meri

Originally published on the Hooray Magazine Blog

Dear Diary

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As easy as it is to get lost in sugar cookie-baking and gift shopping, it’s really important to remember what this time of year is really supposed to be about: giving.

A few years ago in early Spring someone forwarded me a link to a reddit article about two beagles that were set to be put down if a foster parent in Toronto didn’t come forward. Without even thinking I sent a panicked email riddled with all caps to the rescue contact explaining I had a lot of experience with dogs and was eager to help. I heard back a few days later that the beagles in question had successfully found homes, but that there were a massive number of other dogs who still needed a place to go on-route to their forever families. I explained I was still eager to help, and about a week later Honey arrived in a crate at my apartment.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting my pup, here’s a bit about her. Honey is the perfect size, has a lovely soft cinnamon coat and big pleading eyes. She never makes a sound, loves to cuddle, and when she isn’t sleeping (her usual state) her tail is constantly wagging. She loves kids, cats, other dogs, and every human she’s ever come across, and most importantly, she’s my best friend. When the weather turns cold she’s my little spoon, and when the summer rolls around we can be found running all over the city together sharing ice cream cones and basking in the sun at the park. Though I wasn’t particularly ready for a dog, and didn’t originally expect to keep her for more than a few weeks as a foster parent, I can’t imagine where I’d be without her.

The crazy thing is, without the rescue and a foster mom Honey wouldn’t be here at all. She’d be one of millions of amazing dogs who are put down in high-kill shelters every year. To be blunt, she’d be dead.

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Pet overpopulation and abandonment is a massive issue worldwide- did you know that a shelter dog is put down every 11 seconds in the USA alone? I’ve written about my feelings on buying pets over adopting before, but this time I have a favor to ask you: in the name of the Christmas spirit, do what you can to help this holiday season. That’s where Save our Scruff (aka SOS) comes in!

A Toronto based-rescue organization, SOS doesn’t discriminate between breeds or age. To them, “a dog in need is a dog in need”, even if that means transporting dogs from Egypt or taking on massive vet bills. Without organizations like them, so many wonderful pups just like Honey wouldn’t have a home this Christmas. At best they’d be wandering the streets or living in a cement cell, at worst they’d fall victim to euthanization or mass exterminations.

Adopting instead of shopping is a fantastic way to help save pup lives and reduce the overpopulation issue humans have created when it comes to animal breeding, but it’s not the only way if you can’t fully commit to a new family member this year. Save Our Scruff is in constant need of transport volunteers, foster parents, and donations to fund all of the amazing work they’re doing to help give these dogs a chance at a happy life.

For my birthday this past year a very dear friend gave me a donation to Save our Scruff instead of a gift, and it really meant so much more to me than any of the material objects I had received. That gift has inspired me to partner up with Save Our Scruff this Christmas, and I’ve decided to donate $2 for every donation you guys are able to make until December 26th. That’s right- just comment on a post, shoot me a DM, tweet me, comment here or simply send me an email at alyssa@randomactsofpastel.com letting me know that you’ve made a donation, and we’ll automatically up our company donation by $2. I know it’s cliche, but no amount is too small, every bit helps, and at the end of the day every single stray or abandoned dog out there deserves a home for the holidays. So what are you waiting for? Let’s make it happen!!!

To make a donation, click here (and don’t forget to let me know!)
To learn more about fostering and volunteering click here.

In the market for a new fur baby? Take a look at some of SOS’s adoptable pups (a few of whom we were able to capture in our pastel wonderland with photographer Jill Botting!)

Keep scrolling for more puppy cuteness…

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Photos by Jill Botting

Dress Up

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Playing dress up is easier than ever when the holidays roll around, and I’ve been incorporating glitter and sequins into almost everything I sport over the past few weeks.

Of course jewelry is not to be overlooked, and though I’m a team-gold girl all the way, I’ve been having a lot of fun adding this delightful pearl ring from Trollbeads to the mix. Perfect for the mermaid at heart, this delicate statement piece balances atop my fingers, and I think it looks especially eye catching when paired with a shiny new manicure and a party dress!

All that’s missing for a sparkly night out is a bottle of pink champagne!

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Jacket from ASOS, Dress via. Paper Crown, Ring by Trollbeads, Socks from American Apparel, Shoes via CONVEY