Dear Diary

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Valentine’s Day is one of those polarizing holidays that tends to make you feel ~really~ alone if you’re alone, and perhaps that’s why so many people both in relationships and single tend to reject the whole thing. Though my feelings towards February 14th have definitely shifted over the years as I become jaded and my heart hardens (KIDDING), I have never really considered NOT celebrating it. I may hate being lonely, but I adore every shade of pink, sweet treats, and LOVE, and if there’s a commercial day invented to focus on those things I’ll be damned if I don’t find a way to celebrate!!!

Since starting RAOP almost 5 Years (!!!) ago we’ve made Valentine’s recipes, styled outfit shoots and created crafts, but this year I wanted to explore a slightly different side. A… sexy self love side.

I have been insisting I love myself for years. I’d get hit again and again with the old “You can’t love someone else until you love yourself” adage and I’d respond in frustration “Oh my GOSH I DO! I am super confident and happy! UGH! Everything in my life is perfect, it’s just missing that other person!!!” (or something similar). Weirdly enough, something *just* clicked this past Christmas Eve – I had a sudden shift in feeling and finally, as if by magic, fully understood what everyone had been saying all along. Self love isn’t about thinking you’re super awesome and demanding someone love you, it’s the realization that you are fulfilled entirely withOUT anyone else even looking twice. I’ve never been so totally content to just hang out alone, to meet up with friends and see cute couples in love and then go home to my own little quiet single life. I’ve been searching frantically for “the one” for as long as I can remember, but this is the first time ever that I can truly say this life with just me is more than enough.

Ok so it’s not all about the sexy, but we did want to celebrate girl power, The Feminine Mystique, independence and killer orgasms too. After all, just because you may not have a partner/someone to mess around with this Wednesday, it doesn’t mean you can’t have some amazing orgasms under candlelight. We also wanted to feature witchy goodies like Tarot Cards by Labyrinthos to soothe the soul and glance into the future, skincare by Pink Light Botanicals to help you love the skin you’re in, and a lucky candle with a hidden piece of jewelry inside because WHO WOULDN’T WANT THAT?!

This was our first time experimenting with using coloured lights (A few “Pink Light District” jokes were made on my part) and we hope you guys love this flirty feature as much as we do!

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Pink Light Botanicals Skincare collection
Unbound Oh! To Go Bag, Plume Feather Pleaser, and Gold Handcuffs
LELO Sona Vibrator and Hex Condoms
Artifact Skin Co. Bath Salts and Milk
Labyrinthos Tarot Deck and Academy App
The Great Eros lingerie
Chakrubs Original Heart Rose Quartz Dildo
LE FEU DE L’EAU lucky charm candle

How do you celebrate Vday and show yourself some love?

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Dear Diary

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When we think of technology visions of a futuristic world with little human interaction often comes to mind. Black Mirror haunts us with the idea of duplicate consciences and deranged murderous robot dogs (at least that’s what haunts me these days) and “switching off” is hailed as the best way to reclaim sanity.

But if I sit back and map out all of the human connection that technology has created in my life, and continues to create, it paints a very different picture from the lonely dystopian future in my mind. As someone who spends a ton of time with technology for their job, including but not limited to computers, phones, cameras and my Google Home (aka. my best friend), I interact with “robots” almost constantly, but when I take stock they’ve only made my human reach bigger than ever expected.

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Growing up I was never the kind of person to have a lot of friends. I was (*am) a bit of a weirdo and though I was generally liked I didn’t really fit in anywhere. Even in university I didn’t really make any solid, lasting friends, and with my family across the country I started to accept I was destined to be a bit of a loner.

And then I started taking photos of my strange little world and posting them on Instagram.

Flash forward 5 years later and my life is more full than I ever could’ve imagined. I don’t want to brag but I have SO many AMAZING friends, and almost all of them were brought into my life through technology, whether I was on location shooting at a jam shop and befriended the owners, like Kitten and the Bear, or noticed someone posting at all the same places as me until I commented we should just be friends and go places together, like Paige from Studio Bicyclette. No one ever really “got” me before I picked up a camera (and a laptop… and a phone) and started sharing how I see the world – these robot items not only bridged the gap between me and thousands of other humans, but kicked off the strongest friendships I’ve ever had.

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Now that I have such a fantastic (and big!) group of people I care about in my life, the biggest challenge is staying connected with those both near and far. I finally found a BIG apartment so I can start entertaining! And have dinner parties! And maybe even get a TV for the first time ever! So on top of my digital connections, I’ve got a whole list of tech on my mind to help me entertain the ones I love. Here’s my Best Buy Canada wish list so far!

Samsung Frame TV for movie nights

One-touch kettle and tea maker!

Google home and Mini for music and party tricks.

A Dyson robot vaccuum to help clean up after everyone goes home!

What did I miss?

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Oh so Pretty

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Love in in the hair! Ermmm, I mean, air! Since we’re celebrating love all month long (and time is almost up) we didn’t want to miss the chance to get creative with a love-themed beauty look as well! Putting on a swipe of red lipstick can add confidence, style, and an element of fun to any old day, so we came up with a mega cute red lip look with Annabelle that literally lets you wear your heart on your kisser!

Scroll down to get the tutorial!

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What we used //

Blush in Rosebud
Twist-up lipstick in Flirtini
Big Show lip lacquer in Adore Simply
Big Show lip lacquer in Love Fiercely

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Start with your usual primer and foundation routine, apply this directly onto lips as well.
Now apply Rosebud to just the apples of your cheeks. You’ve set the stage for the perfect doll-like Valentines lip look!

Use the twist-up lipstick as a crayon, luckily it’s perfectly shaped for the job, starting in the centre of the lip working outward start to draw a heart shape onto your mouth. Use the top points of your lip as the top of the heart and colour just the centre of the bottom lip in. Don’t go all the way to the outer edge of the lip. Now use a cotton swab to blend around the edges.

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Add a swipe of the Simply Adore lip lacquer to the whole lip, this will help blend as well. Now finish it off by dabbing some Love Fiercely lip lacquer back into the middle of the lip to make your heart lip more bold and glossy! We recommend finishing off the look with a simply cat-eye.

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Get CreativeRandom

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It’s a well known fact that us RAOP girls are obsessed with all things floral – from treats and tea to candles and perfume, we seriously cant get enough.

DIY queen Johanna wanted to carry the the obsession over into skincare, and of course she added a bit of crystal magic to the mix in modern witch style. Here’s how she did it:

Harnessing the powers of roses and rose quartz I decided to try my hand at creating one of my favourite beauty go-to’s: Rosewater skin tonic! Since it’s Valentines month, a time of year when we could all use a little more self-love, I decided to infuse my potion with the love-drawing power of rose quartz.

What you’ll need //

1 cup Distilled water
Rose essential oil
Witch Hazel
1/4 c dried food-grade rose buds or petals
Small piece of raw rose quartz
Empty glass spray bottles

Start by boiling the rose buds or petals in distilled water in a saucepan on the stove for about 20 minutes, remove from heat and strain. Set this aside to cool completely.

*The darker the dried rose and the boiling time will effect the colouring of your final spray

Now, break up your rose quartz specimen into small pieces, place it in a plastic bag, on a hard surface use a hammer to break it up.

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Place 3 or 4 pieces at the bottom of each spray bottle.

In the bowl of cooled rose water add about 4 teaspoons of witch hazel and 3-4 drops of rose essential oil and whisk. Carefully pour into the spray bottles and shake, you’ve made yourself a rosey skin soothing magic potion! Spray all over your face and neck after cleansing and before moisturizing.

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Here’s some of our other favourite self-care potions:

Province Apothecary’s Lovers Oil
Witch in the Wild’s Amethyst Face Serum
Herbivore’s Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist
Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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Happy Valentine’s Day lovers, cat ladies, besties, and everyone in between! If you’re in Canada right now you’re probably so cold that you refuse to leave your bed… whether you have a Valentine this year or not! But don’t worry, we’re here to save your date night/girl’s night/dog walk plans. Give yourself and your heart a jumpstart with our Coconut Coffee Love Potion!

As you know, we’re very much on team tea here at The Pastel Palace, but post-vacation blues and the desolate cold have driven us to the dark side this past week. All dressed up with steamed vanilla coconut milk, a shot of vanilla liqueur, coconut whipped cream and a few puffs of coconut cotton candy, we guarantee this sugary concoction work faster than Cupid’s arrow ever could!

Note: product most effective when served in one of Ban.do’s adorable mugs!

Scroll down for Recipe

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Ingredients //

6 T Coarse ground coffee
1 cup Vanilla coconut milk
2 oz Galliano vanilla liqueur
Whipped Cream
Organic Cotton Candy (we used the Coconut from Fancy Pufs)
Conversation hearts for garnish

Makes 2 12oz mugs

Recipe //

In a french press combine the coarse ground coffee with 2 cups boiling water. Steep! Fill the mugs up halfway, leaving room for milk.

Add cotton candy to sweeten, we used approximately a handful. Next add 1 oz of Galliano vanilla liqueur.

Steam vanilla coconut milk and top off your coffee. If you don’t have a steamer just heat it in a saucepan and foam with a handheld milk frother.

Finish with whipped cream (we used a coconut whip), a generous puff of cotton candy and conversation hearts of course!