Party Time

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As the years go by there’s something truly magical about watching the people I love change and grow, building families, businesses, homes and beyond. I feel so lucky to be a part of all the things they create, to share in their joy and celebrate their victories (preferably with cake). Getting older and watching things change can be difficult; so often the relationships you build in your early twenties degrade and disappear over time, but I’ve started to accept that this shedding is less about loss and more about really growing with the people who matter most. In my case, that means Sophie, Bobby and their little one on the way.

I first met this wonderful pair at their west-end jam shop, Kitten and the Bear, and from the moment I walked in I knew we needed to be friends. From that day on we’ve been staging jam photo shoots, tracking down secret foodie delights, and taking the occasional road trip. When Soph told me she was pregnant last Fall I knew I wanted to do something super special to celebrate, and so the quest to throw the perfect baby shower began.

My team joined forces with one of Sophie’s close friends to get the ball rolling and searching for a dreamy venue was first up on the list. We immediately turned to the awesome team at The Drake, and they agreed to host us at their gorgeous new space, The Drake Commissary. With a massive kitchen that includes a GELATO MACHINE, a small marketplace section, and the coolest decor around, we knew our party had found the perfect home. We started working with Chef Jonas and the Drake team to dream up the menu, complete with colour changing cocktails and a naked style cake topped with peonies. We got the oh-so-talented Scarlet O’Neill on board to shoot the surprise, and enlisted the help of Amira from Coriander Girl for fresh flowers and greenery. Topped off with party favours from Sloane Fine Tea Merchants and Kitten and the Bear themselves, the stage was officially set to shower this growing family with love, gifts, and croissants!

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It was really hard to resist buying EVERYTHING for these two and their baby on the way, believe me, but I did my best to stick to the essentials: tiny shoes that make me and Johanna squeal aloud, a bear hat and mitten set to combat the Toronto cold, and a pacifier for teething that Sophie and Bobby can fill with fruit for the new addition to their “Jamily”! Links to shop below…

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Here are some of our favourite picks from Amazon:

Fruit-filled pacifier for teething
Baby bear paw mittens
Baby bear fleece hat
White baby converse
Fruity Party Picks
Baby bear onesie

An extra special thanks to:
Florals – Coriander Girl
Photography – Scarlet O’Neill
Favours – Sloane Tea and Kitten and the Bear
Food, Drinks and Venue – The Drake Commissary

Team RAOP’s dresses by Samantha Pleet (Alyssa) and Guess (blue on Johanna, yellow on Seonaid)

Dress UpParty Time

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I am the most wedding-crazy of all wedding-crazy humans, and I’ve been patiently waiting for my friends to start tying the knot so I can get immersed in all the fun! When my good friend Paige announced her engagement awhile back I knew my time had finally come. I immediately started dreaming up fun ways to celebrate, and a couple months ago I landed on the idea of throwing her a mini styled party/photoshoot with my favourite beauty bar, Her Majesty’s Pleasure.

I’d seen beautiful private events being hosted at HMP time and time again, and it always looks like such a fun and elegant way to get together, get pampered and celebrate. Complete with delicious catering from Colette Grand Café, buckets of bubbly, and the best nail art in the city, it was only a matter of time before I slotted myself in for one of their events packages.

Shot by the oh-so-talented Scarlet O’Neill (also a bride to be!), this project was such a fun way to stretch my bridal styling muscles, and to treat Paige to a bit of pampering to celebrate her upcoming special day. In my mind those moments spent giggling with your girls are a crucial part of the wedding buildup, and why not have that over manicures and flower-topped cocktails right?

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Photos by Scarlet O’Neill
Styling, florals, and direction by Alyssa Garrison
Treats provided by Colette Grand Café
Jam Favours by Kitten and the Bear
Location provided by Her Majesty’s Pleasure
A special thanks to our models, and the bride-to-be of course!
Paige Boersma, Alex Perlin, Amanda Lynn Hatch, and Emily Coutts.

Dear DiaryDress UpI'll Follow You Anywhere

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A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of playing dress up with the Bicyclette team for their final look book shoot. We got all dolled up in lace and sequins, and played around with tinsel, balloons and champagne while rocking out to Taylor Swift. It was an inspiring and magical day, and I can’t wait to be a part of whatever Paige dreams up next!

Reposted from my dear friends at Bicyclette:

“She’s an explorer, a daydreamer, and never turns down an excuse to wear flowers in her hair. She believes in magic, likes the challenge in finding the perfect dress, and always mixes her favourite vintage tee with a dash of delicate sequins. There’s no problem a swipe of lipstick can’t fix, and she’s always up for a midnight adventure.”

Our final holiday lookbook, XO, Bicyclette’, is dedicated to all of our Bicyclette Girls who have made this adventure such a magical one. We wanted to capture the essence of our quintessential Bicyclette Girl, the dreamers with stars in their eyes and love in their hearts, and celebrate the end of this particular fairy tale. So with an abundance of star confetti, glittery balloons and party-perfect outfits that are begging to be taken for a spin on the dance floor, this one’s for everyone who has been along for the ride, thank you for inspiring us and making our dream a reality.

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Photographer: Scarlet O’Neill
Hair/Makeup: Ashley Readings
Models: Emily, Ana and Alyssa
Assistant Stylists: Marjory McClean and Katelyn Comeau
Shoes: Heel Boy

Looking for more? XO, Bicyclette // Behind the Scenes