Dear DiaryDress UpOh so Pretty

The new year is all about new traditions, so we thought it was about time to introduce some fun new ideas here at RAOP. We fall for countless products and pieces over the course of a year, but some really stand out above and beyond others. Whether it be a beautifully handcrafted, locally-made backpack, or crazy glittery rings that match every manicure, we can’t help but pick favourites, and to bring 2015 to an end we decided it would be fun to get all of them together in one “best of 2015” styled lookbook.

Ladies, gentleman, kittens, and everyone in between- we give you our 2015 RAOP picks!









Opelle Backpack
Glossier skincare
Paper Crown wool skirt
Black crop top from Honey Stores
Seychelles black loafers
BC Footwear black ankle booties
CONVEY rainbow patent peach loafers
Illesteva sunglasses from ZANE
Jewels by Bing Bang NYC
Daniel Wellington rose gold watch

Patterns by Johanna Martin

Photo Edits by Josh Mitchinson

Dear Diary

It’s a little late in the game for a resolutions post, but I’m working hard to better my life in whatever little ways I possibly can, and I thought some of those improvements and goals might be worth sharing before the month is through!

Cook at least one new recipe per week


I love to cook, but I always seem to fall into the habit of making the same dishes over and over again out of convenience. With a pin board full of recipe ideas and inspiration, and a fully stocked kitchen, I really have no excuse not to get a little more experimental with my culinary skills. First up: this yummy fall kale salad with butternut squash!

Go Exploring


It’s been a long time since I took a trip somewhere new, and I’m feeling a fair bit of wanderlust to say the least. I’d love to go somewhere on my own, and for the first time ever I actually get vacation time at my job, so I’ve been going a bit insane imagining all the places I could go. Right now my top contenders are Australia, Thailand, and Hawaii!

Revamp your living space


I’ve been feeling the need to change up my space (aka the Pastel Palace) for months now, and I’m finally starting to put aside time and money to do something about it. Over the next year I plan to paint, add art and furniture, and I’ve even started to turn my old home office into a walk-in closet! I think the end result is going to be pretty dreamy, and I hope you follow along using the hashtag #pastelpalaceproject

Keep it Peachy


t’s easy to get sucked into a hole of negativity, especially during Toronto winters. Everywhere you turn people are complaining, gossiping, and scowling, and that sort of thing can become awfully contagious. This year I want to do my absolute best to skip out on all of that toxic downer behaviour, instead focusing on celebrating each day and respecting those around me. A little bit of kindness goes a long way, and I’m hoping my positive outlook will prove just as contagious as that of the downers.

Read more, watch less


I’ve always been a huge reader, but lately I find myself turning toward the glowing light of my computer screen for old episodes of Sex and The City much more than I care to admit. In an effort to curb this bad habit, I’ve just joined a feminist book club, and who knows, I might even go pay my library fees and start taking out stacks of books again!

Mix it up


Though it may seem like I’m always out and about exploring the city’s cutest restaurants, cafes and shops, I’m actually a total homebody at heart, and getting outside can be a serious struggle for me. This year, I want to mix it up: master new hobbies! Explore a new corner of the city! Try a new sport! So far rock climbing and knitting are major priorities, but I’m definitely open to suggestions…

All photos via. Pinterest

Dear Diary

So I know it’s the New Year and everyone is supposed to be hopeful and excited, but I’m going through a really strange, confusing, uncertain time, and though I don’t really treat my blog as a personal diary, there’s something about putting my most important thoughts down here that makes me feel less overwhelmed and alone, so here they are:

2014 was a huge year for me, with lots of success and growth, and equally as much loss and heartbreak. Simply put, It was one of the most defining and important years of my life so far.

I learned so much working for myself and watching my dreams grow, and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. RAOP started as a crazy idea, a desire to add more colour and magic to the world around me, and it somehow grew into something I never could’ve imagined it would. Its taken me to California, to the front of a workshop full of incredibly talented women, to the offices of some of the most inspiring people I can imagine, and beyond. I’ve had the chance to learn, to collaborate and watch dreams I didn’t even know I was capable of dreaming come to life. It has truly been an enchanted experience.

That being said, I also have a lot of regrets surrounding 2014. Though things may have seemed sparkly, colourful, and exciting almost constantly on Instagram, I had quite a few dark days (more than I care to admit), and to be frank, I sort of lost myself.

It was only a few weeks ago now that I started to really realize how far from myself I had drifted- how detached and unsure I’d let myself become. I’m someone who without any hesitation will insist she knows exactly who she is and what she wants, yet here I was facing myself in the mirror unsure of how I’d arrived in that moment feeling nothing like the girl I actually am. I’m ashamed to admit I neglected and mistreated people I love dearly, and it hurts to say out loud that some of them are still lost to me to this day. My politics, moral code, self awareness… all of it had somehow slipped through my fingers, and I found myself wondering how I’d let so much of who I am dissolve, lost in a cloud of self-doubt and confusion.

With the big 2014 fading into the distance behind me, I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. Instead of biting my tongue to avoid conflict, I’m working up the confidence to get back to defending what I believe in at all costs. Tomorrow, I’m buying a new desk and spending my day putting together a fresh new work space that I hope will help me get back to the that warm glow of inspiration that used to follow me around like my own personal ball of sunshine. I’m also working on re-building the friendships that suffered during my absence, and fighting to re-establish my identity, to reconcile what it means to continue identifying as queer, but also explore dating straight cisgender men for the first time in over six years.

On top of all of these shifts (I call it my “life improvement list), I’m very sad to admit that I’ve decided to leave my job at Sloane Tea. Though I loved working somewhere so steeped in passion and beauty, I was offered the opportunity to join the social team at Deck, a local marketing agency that works with some of my favourite spots in the city, and I just couldn’t pass up the chance to see where that opportunity could lead. Don’t worry though, you’ll still be seeing lots of Sloane around here! I’ll never stop loving (and sipping) Hoda’s fantastic blends and supporting the incredible brand she’s built, and I feel very lucky that I was able to play a part in Sloane’s growth, even if it was only for a short time.

To sum it up, I’m dealing with a whole lot of change, and none of it is particularly easy. That said, nothing worth fighting for is ever easy, is it? I don’t know what 2015 holds, but I do know one thing: I think I’m finally on my way back .

photo by me via the Sloane Blog

Party Time

A collaboration post with Sloane Fine Tea Merchants and Bicyclette

As fun as it can be to get all dressed up and head out for a night on the town New Year’s Eve, we often forget the importance of celebrating the new year on New Year’s Day itself. One of the few moments in an entire year where everything is closed and one can truly relax, New Year’s Day is the perfect opportunity to gather friends and loved ones together to celebrate and make resolutions in style.

In fact, we think the best solution might just be a sparkly New Year’s brunch!

Whether you’re strapping on some glittery heels for a night of dancing and champagne NYE, or staying in with family and Chinese food to watch the ball drop, a New Year’s Brunch the next morning is exactly what you’ll be craving by the time midnight rolls around. Keep it intimate with a few of your bff’s, or welcome 2015 with the whole neighbourhood and a potluck-style feast. As long as there is pancakes, hot tea, and sparkle involved, we can almost guarantee your guests will be pleased.

It didn’t take much to get our brunch setup ready, especially with the help of homemade party supplies from Lampshade Bash. We strung up some simple banners, added glittery drink tags to our champagne glasses, and threw down a sequin tablecloth littered with confetti for good measure.








When it came to food and drink, we wanted to offer more than just champagne, so we turned to our favourite local tea company and created a chic and simple loose leaf tea bar with some of their tastiest blends! All you need to replicate this set up is a few tins of tea, cute spoons, teacups, and sachets or strainers for steeping.

Keeping with the tea theme, we also infused our cake-like pancake tower with Sloane’s Rouge Provence herbal tea, a recipe they’ll be sharing very soon on their blog! Depending on the size of your party, you could also include a donut mountain, breakfast cookie platter, fruit skewers, or any other shareable brunch snacks you can dream up.

Of course we also included a bottle of champagne on the table for good measure, though it could easily be swapped out for sparkling pink lemonade if you’d rather keep your spread alcohol free but still include a toast or two!

Because beauty is in the details, we added a few special touches to our setup to complete the look. Celebratory bouquets bursting with blooms were a must, and on each place setting we included sparklers and notecards for guests to write down their resolutions and make a special wish.












No matter how you choose to ring in the New Year, we wish you all a sparkly night and a cozy inspiring morning filled with confetti, party hats, and midnight kisses!

Photos by Jason Matos

Decor supplied by Lampshade Bash