Get Creative

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With the Spring Equinox almost upon us and the weather still cold as ever, Jo and I have been feeling a little drained. The days always feel too short, I was sick for quite some time with a kidney infection (OW) and we’re both in the process of moving, which is exhausting all on its own.

We couldn’t have asked for a better time to attend Hunt and Gather’s workshop with Witch in the Wild.

Let’s face it, a bad day (or month in this case) is no match for fresh blooms, self care products, and a touch of crystal magic. This two-part girl gang workshop started with an awesome lesson on blending your own organic, vegan, crystal-infused floral toner. The medicinal meets mystical with this simple DIY, and I loved how fun it was to make, even for a terrible crafter like me.

Part two was taken over by Tellie, one of my favourite florists, and owner of the brand new Hunt and Gather (go there and buy ALL the plants – you won’t regret it). Faced with amber jars and buckets of fresh flowers, we got to arranging our own divine bouquets to take home and treasure.

Topped with tea, treats, and a healthy dose of girl power, this evening event was exactly what Jo and I needed to recharge and power up. See you at the next workshop?

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Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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Though it’s been awhile (thanks to my ultra-busy schedule), I love to bake. There’s nothing more satisfying than taking a fresh tray of perfectly crafted cookies out of the oven, or slicing into that first piece of confetti cake with bright pink frosting. Of all the things I’ve made over the years, I was able to master vegan baking, gluten free cookie sandwiches, infusing recipes with tea, and more. But never did I ever dare try making my own macarons.

There’s a reason those delightfully colourful little french pastries cost so much: they’re expensive to make, time consuming, and so very difficult to execute properly. Everything from humidity to quality of egg whites has to be taken into consideration, and the chances you’ll have to dump everything you’ve done halfway through the recipe and start again are extremely high. My fear of wasting $50 worth of almond flour and collapsing in a pile of tears and sugar always kept me away from trying my hand at making macarons, but when Le Dolci invited me to try out their workshop, I figured it was time to rise to the occasion.

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I’m going to lay it down straight for you guys: making these little mouthfuls of fluffy happiness is even harder than I had originally anticipated. Even with a super talented chef and an entire team of classmates behind me, I spent the whole class nervously taking photos and panicking that I would be the person to destroy our baby pink batch. The dye changes colour in the oven, you have to be able to blow bubbles with the syrup to know it’s ready, and there’s even a special stirring technique called “macaron-ing” that helps to deflate the extra air in the meringue (but you can’t deflate too much!)

Though the humidity was working against us, we ended up with a few trays of totally edible, really really delicious macarons, and though they were a bit lopsided and completely inconsistent size-wise, I think we were all pretty proud when we filled our little boxes with treats to take home. It was an unforgettable experience, and though I’m still a little nervous to try all of the techniques I learned on my own in the RAOP kitchen, I think that sweet afternoon was just the kick I needed to get back to my love of baking!

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Interested in taking a class yourself? You can sign up here!

Get Creative

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There’s nothing quite like the energy that builds when you get a group of excited, creative folks together in one room, and our Get Social Workshops really seem to bring out the best this city has to offer in that department.

Last Saturday morning we opened up Studio B for the second time to almost 20 amazing artists, makers, and entrepreneurs, and spent the morning chatting about photo editing apps, partnerships, and hashtags. There were incredible Kitten and The Bear scones with clotted cream and banana jam (trust me, you NEED to try it), piping hot cups of Sloane Tea in flavours like “Jasmine Pink Lemonade”=, and sweet treats from our friends at the Bake Shoppe, which ensured everyone had a good buzz going by the time we got started on our presentation.

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Perhaps best thing about these events is their collaborative nature. Though Paige and I organized the workshop and led the conversation with a pre-set slideshow and talking points, there were so many other voices contributing to each topic- offering advice and sharing personal experiences. The effect was a more casual, well-rounded learning experience, and even Paige and I discovered some new tips and tricks!

Overall, this workshop was just as successful as the first one. By the time everyone left with their loaded gift bags, Paige and I had a new list of great new connections, and well, new friends! Everyone we talked to seemed inspired and excited, and the effect was really seriously contagious. In the spirit of keeping that momentum going, we’ll be starting up an online community for all of our past and future attendees in the spirit of supporting one another and sharing news, and we’ll also be announcing more workshop dates soon too!

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Thanks so much to all of our amazing sponsors:

Fresh Tangerine
Benefit
This is Ground
Good Day Hair Shop
Ban.do
Thimblepress
Lady Hayes
LoveFresh
Alex Perlin
Bake Shoppe
Sloane Tea
Kitten and The Bear
Village Juicery

Dear Diary

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There’s only a week and a bit left until our first ever Social Media Workshop, and all of the pretty little details are starting to come together. We’re keeping a lot of secrets up our sleeves for the actual event, but we wanted to give all of you a better idea of what we’re planning (before the tickets completely sell out!).

First off, we’re going to have the best snacks. If you love going for afternoon tea? You’ll love this workshop! We’ve teamed up with some super talented local favourites like Sloane TeaKitten and the Bear, and Desmond & Beatrice to bring you a spread fit for a queen, so bring a pen, your phone, and a big sweet tooth!

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Secondly, on top of going home with adorable photos from our photo booth and tons of notes and resources, you’ll also be walking away with some pretty incredible gift bags. A massive list of our favourite makers have pitched into help with the workshop, providing everything from notebooks to hair clips and temporary tattoos. Everything will be packed up in our favourite locally made Fieldguided totes, and you can also expect to find some mystery gifts from Bon PufThimblepress and Desmond & Beatrice on the day of!

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Thirdly, the space is going to be pretty magical. We’re transforming Studio B into a wonderland of flowers and balloons with the help of Blush & Bloom and Northstar Balloons. Get ready for unicorns, pink blooms and pretty surprises around every corner. Basically, it’ll be Instagram heaven.

Last but most certainly not least, the content itself! You might be wondering what exactly we’re going to talk about, so we wanted to provide a bit of an outline to fill in the blanks. Paige and I will be using our unique combination of business and personal account experience to help you optimize your social media presence. That means talking about everything from photo editing, set dressing and lighting to using storytelling and building a cohesive brand with a strong, active following. Using Facebook, Twitter, Intagram and Pinterest as effectively as possible is a major point of interest of course, but you’ll also learn about connecting with other people, brands and events. Most importantly, we’re going to talk about time management, motivation, and inspiration, the key ingredients for social media success.

Don’t forget to grab your ticket, and please free to ask us any questions on InstagramFacebookTwitter, or below in the comments. Can’t wait to see you next Saturday at Studio B!

Party Time

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Random Acts of Pastel and Bicyclette Boutique are always dreaming up new adventures, and social media is a massive part of what we do on a daily basis. We love snapping Instagram photos and updating our Pinterest feeds, and over the past few months we’ve worked together to grow our brands, both on the personal blogging front, and the business promotion front. After a lot of giddy discussion, we decided we wanted to share our knowledge about this fun way to promote yourself with, well, all of you. In case you haven’t guessed already, we’re doing our first Social Media Workshop right here in Toronto!

As small business owners, freelancers, creatives, and makers, we use social media tools on a daily basis to share what we’re up to and communicate with our followers. It’s a way for us to connect, to offer a peek behind the scenes, and share our personal style and aesthetic, which in turn helps build a brand- all the while inspiring ourselves and others through the process of doing so.

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Each different platform holds value in its own way, and when you bring all of them together to build a cohesive online presence, you’ll really start to see them working for you. Because social media varies so much from person to person, It’s really about finding the balance that works best for you and allows you to be authentic and genuine, while still getting your brand out there.

We’ll be offering a 2 hour seminar led by Alyssa (Random Acts of Pastel) and Paige (Bicyclette Boutique) early next month that goes over each of these platforms and provides tips and tools to manage each one effectively to make them work for you and/or your business, all while establishing your brand in the online world.

We will be covering pre-planned key topics and points, but we also want the workshop to feel collaborative and open, so we invite you to bring any specific questions you may have with you, and we’ll be sure to cover them through discussion. We’ll also be offering scones and jam from Kitten and the Bear and Sloane Tea, a photo booth where you can get your ‘gram on, and special swag bags with all sorts of amazing surprise goodies! Please note, tickets are non-refundable.

When //
Saturday, October 4th from 10 am – 12 pm

Where //
Studio B, 882A Queen St. West

Cost //
$15o

Interested? Sign up here!

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