Dear Diary

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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!

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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!

Get CreativeParty Time

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It’s been a long time since Paige and I have gathered the time and energy to put on another #getsocialworkshop, and in all honesty we were a bit nervous this time around. We were working with a new space, a lot of new sponsors, and both of us have shifted our focus so vastly over the past couple of years we didn’t really know what to expect.

But for the third time, we were so pleasantly surprised with how it all came together.

The workshop this time around was packed, despite having expanded to a larger space, and everyone came from totally different backgrounds, which made the range of information we had to discuss so much more dynamic. Over incredible pink waffle breakfast sandwiches from Burger Pawty, fresh blooms by Wild North Flowers, and hot tea from Teapigs, attendees spread out around the space, snapping photos on coloured backdrops with glittery fun props. I think it’s safe to say that even when time was up, no one was really ready to go back to reality and head home!

Paige and I feel so incredibly lucky to have the chance to take part in such an inspiring and creative community, and it’s days like this past Sunday that really remind us why we do what we do. Thanks so much to everyone who joined us!

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Special thanks to our incredible sponsors //

Burger Pawty
Teapigs
CONVEY
Wild North Flowers
Cake Beauty
Flow Water
I Love Puffy Love Marshmallows
Fancy Pufs
Richer Poorer
Bite Beauty
Ban.do
Nude Bee Honey
Rosehound Apparel

Dear Diary

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August has always been a bittersweet time for me. On one hand, it’s the end of summer, which always hurts my heart a bit as a sunshine girl, and growing up I knew it was only a matter of time till I would have to head back to school. On the other hand it’s the gateway to Fall fashion, it’s a great month for local produce, and it just so happens to be my BIRTHDAY MONTH!

I’m not going to lie: August’s list of favourites is a bit of a mashup due to my mixed feelings about this time of year. It’s a little bit back to school and a little bit sugary, but mostly it’s a farewell to Summer as told through some of my best finds from Summer 2016:

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Sorelle & Co. Bakery //

I cannot repeat enough how much I adore this bakery. Brand new on the scene here in Toronto, Sorelle & Co. is completely vegan, gluten free, soy free AND nut free! I had the pleasure of attending their opening event and in all realness everything from the blended iced tea slushes to the grilled cheese sandwiches was crazy delicious. I couldn’t have been more excited when they sent not one but TWO birthday cakes for my party this past month, and they absolutely did not disappoint. Whether you have dietary restrictions or not, I highly recommend you try everything you can from this beautiful spot.

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Ban.do Stationary //

I always had a soft spot for Back to School – there was something so wonderfully exciting about picking out my new stationary and lunch box, curating each year into specific themes and colour schemes. When Ban.do sent me some pieces from their amazing new collection, I felt like an excited schoolgirl stocking up on pens and notebooks all over again.

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Sunnylife Decor //

Sunnylife has been on my favourite brands list since last summer when the flamingo pool float first stole my heart, but it wasn’t until this past month that I finally came into ownership of a few of their cute items! My current top picks? Their adorable ice cream ice cube trays and matching ice cream candles!

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David’s Tea Summer 2016 Collection //

You know what’s great about tea? You can make it iced or hot depending on the season, which means it’s something you can look forward to all year round. It was love at first sip when I tried the David’s Tea summer collection earlier this season, and I can’t wait to rediscover these flavourful blends as hot teas in the Fall.

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Good Day Hair Products //

Locally handcrafted and sold in Kensington Market, Good Day’s line of hair products is totally cruelty free, perfectly packaged, and oh my word do they ever smell crazy good! I mean really, does it get better than a bottle of shampoo with a unicorn on the label that smells like orange creamsicle? No, no it doesn’t. Side note: this is also where I get my hair cut and coloured by Jaymi and I can’t recommend it enough if you’re in the market for pastel locks!

What where your favourite Summer finds this year?

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Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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Happy National Iced Tea Day!

There’s nothing Jo and I love more than creating fun tea-infused recipes (after all, we met working at a tea shop), so it was evident we needed to come up with something special for this very important holiday.

After much deliberation, we decided to celebrate with a Mint Matcha Iced lattes, one of our favourite ways to say good morning back in our tea shop days. With steeped Teapigs Marrakesh Mint Green Tea, Organic Matcha, A splash of vanilla almond milk, and a teaspoon of agave, this simple bevvie is refreshing, healthy, and just the right amount of sweet. Try it in the morning as the perfect pick-me-up, or paired with your favourite sweet treat after dinner.

Cheers to one of our favourite “holidays” of the whole year!

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Ingredients //

4 Teapigs Marrakesh Mint teabags
1/2 tsp Teapigs organic matcha powder
Ice
6oz Vanilla almond milk
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

Recipe //

1. Steep 2 teabags per glass (make sure your glasses are heat-safe) in 4oz boiling water, steep for 2-3 mins and remove the teabags. Alternatively you can cold steep the teabags overnight in the fridge.

2. Measure 1/2 tsp of matcha into a small bowl and slowly add the boiling water (for the best taste let the water cool down a bit). Stir using a matcha whisk until its frothy on top and add it to your green tea concentrates.

3. Fill the cups up with ice and top them off with milk and a sprig of mint. Serve immediately for ultimate refreshment!

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