Dear Diary

Happy Birthday RAOP


It’s RAOP’s 1 year birthday today!

I honestly can’t believe time has gone by so fast and so much has happened. I figure now is as good a time as any to share the story of Random Acts of Pastel with all of you right?

Last April I was miserably working at a part time job that took way too much out of me without giving anything back. I was sad and tired all the time, but I wasn’t really sure what else to do with myself. A few months away from graduating journalism school, I already knew I didn’t want a career in news reporting or mainstream media, but I was scared and unsure to try for anything else. Basically I was stuck, scared, and unhappy.

One day I got called into a meeting at work and was treated so cruelly by one of my bosses that there was really only one thing I could do: I quit. As soon as I had left and was out of her sight, I burst into tears. I had thought about taking that leap for so long, but I never thought I’d do it without somewhere soft and safe to land.


A few months went by where I burned through my savings and spent my days lazily sulking around wondering what to do with myself. I had left my toxic workplace, but I was still stuck in a rut of self-pity and depression. I knew I wanted to find a way to get my ideas out there and get my light back, but every option seemed daunting and overwhelming, so I just continued to waste time.

One night, my incredibly inspiring and supportive partner and I were plotting to spend a night doing street art around the city (I know, such rebels huh?) and I suggested we paint things pastel to put a little more cheer and colour into the world. We could call our little movement “Random Acts of Pastel” I thought, and then suddenly everything clicked.

Though the street art portion of my plan never really happened (yet), I still like to think RAOP follows the original mandate I came up with: to add a little more colour and cheer into the world! These days, I wake up every morning with a bounce in my step, excited to dream and create and share with all of you, and I truly feel like I’m living a charmed life. Over the span of a year, I’ve gone from sitting in a rut wishing my time away to cherishing every moment up on cloud nine, and I couldn’t have done it without all of you!

Since I already have my gift, I figure you deserve something special too, so to celebrate this wonderful occasion, I’m running a big birthday giveaway! Here’s what’s up for grabs:


1. Three handmade greeting cards // Brianne Burnell
2. A confetti OR sprinkle mug // RAOP Society 6
3. A custom pet portrait // Justine Wong
4. A magical crystal necklace // Oasis Bloom
5. A Sailor Moon Tote bag // Rosehound Apparel


*Must follow all of the listed makers on Instagram (see my account for @ links)

*Must re-gram this photo on Instagram using the #RAOPBDAYGIVEAWAY hashtag. You can do this one time each day for the duration of the contest to enter more times! (again, see my account to re-gram the correct image)

*Must comment on this post about which prize you’re most excited about!

*Tweet or pin this post and image for additional entries, and make sure to use the #RAOPBDAYGIVEAWAY hashtag so I can find your entries (and/or link to your posts in the comment section here)

This contest will run for one week, until next Friday July 11th at 6pm. One lucky winner will score all of the above prizes (aka birthday presents), and I’ll announce them in the comment section here Friday night.

U.S.A. and Canadian entries only please!

CONGRATULATIONS @Carleygeorged!!! You’re the winner!

Flower crown in the first photo by Wit and Bloom, and mini vegan strawberry lemonade cake recipe coming soon!


  • Ooooh! I love the sailor moon tote! So cute ❤️

  • Although all of these prizes are so incredible, I am MOST excited for the custom pet portrait! I would get it done of my dog Zak, who is my most bestfriend 🙂

  • You’re so inspiring! You should be so proud of yourself for everything you’ve accomplished. Happiest of Birthdays, RAOP! This giveaway is so sweet and perfect-it’s too hard to decide what I’d love most! I’ll have to go with the dog portrait-my rescue dog, Rosie, is the love of my life! I hope that I’ve given her a new lease on life-I know she gave one to me.

  • The necklace is absolute bliss! Must have!

  • I’m most excited about the pet portrait because I’ve always wanted to get one done of my pug Bert! He has his own Instagram account @bertthebravepug 🙂

  • Thank you so much for your work. I love visiting your blog and being inspired to make my day a little prettier.
    I’m most excited for the pet portrait. My cat Ziggy has a crazy eye and would make a cool subject.

  • Ohhh, I dunno!!!! I’d love the Sailor Moon bag because I totally pretend to be a Sailor Scout whenever I go to the pool (try reenacting the transformation sequences underwater), but I’d love to give the necklace to a friend of mine who is leaving for Spain soon. (:#raopbdaygiveaway #queenhattiejean #sparkles #yay!

    Just neeeeed a pet portrait of my puppy zak <3

  • forever in love with the pet portrait<3

  • Goodness. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s moving.

    Two years later, I’m finally at peace with my post-graduation quarter-life crisis, and making my way towards a full time life of curating and creating. Finally having a partner who knows how to tug on my socks and breathe air into my thoughts has made a world of difference in my on-going anxiety of leaving my safe zone. I’m finally in a simple place in my life, doing what makes me feel whole- surrounding myself with sources of love, celebrating the minimal, working in my beloved garden, spontaneously meditating, creating daily, and having my tiny cottage as an anchor.

    These prizes light my fire. I, too, love the thought of having a portrait done of my favorite person- my plump and grey rescue cat, Oslo. He has a human trapped inside of him that I am most certain that Justine’s illustration could capture.

    Happy birthday, RAOP!

  • Ahh! I absolutely love everything in the post! Since you are making us decide what things we like the most:


    Happy birthday Alyssa- you are definitely my beauty icon at the moment! I even have a little mermaid manicure right now 😉

  • […] case you didn’t already know, last Friday RAOP turned 1! To celebrate I launched a super special giveaway (enter before Friday!) but it wouldn’t really be a birthday without some cake too […]

  • I love love love everything but I’m especially excited about a portrait by Justine of my favourite cat, Pandy!!!

  • Most excited about the pet portrait! Can you imagine my grumpy little kitty portrayed in such a beautiful artistic way?! Good luck everyone xxx

  • Happy blog birthday!!!!

    I would really, really love a custom pet portrait! Not to be a super downer, but my sweet dachshund passed away last summer, and getting a portrait to keep of her would be priceless.

    Thanks for putting this together! I’m @anydelirium on Instagram, and I tweeted (to my totally impressive number of followers [/sarcasm], but I RTd myself on my locked account with a few dozen more) a link: I also pinned it:

  • Love the greeting cards!

  • You’ve got my social media aflutter!


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