I'll Follow You Anywhere

I have deemed 2016 my big year of travel, so when my boyfriend Josh went away for 10 days and left the car in my custody I knew I had to take advantage. Jo and I debated where to trek to- Bruce Peninsula? Hamilton? Prince Edward County? We were torn, but then we got to talking with Anabela at her baby shower a few weeks ago, and the answer became clear: Buffalo!

I’ve swooned over Anabela’s pastel views from Buffalo road trips time and time again, and both Jo and I have always been curious to make our way down there, but never really found the time. Armed with a massive list from Anabela (thanks again lovely!) we made a totally spontaneous decision and jumped in the car.

When we told the border guards we were crossing just to explore Buffalo for the day they seemed to suspect we were joking, but I honestly have NO idea why. Buffalo is full of green space, old charm, and treasure just waiting to be found. Bonus- it obviously also has American favourites like Target and Trader Joe’s, so you can get your fill of adorable housewares and coconut cashews too! Am I the only one who finds “American Shopping” way too fun?! (Sorry American readers, I’m a lame Canadian, I know.)

Scroll down for our list of favourite pastel spots!

DSC_1256

DSC_1235

DSC_1194

DSC_1201

DSC_1213

RAOP Places in Buffalo //

Fowler’s Chocolates // By far our favourite find in Buffalo, Fowler’s is home to CHOCOLATE ORANGE COVERED SPONGE TOFFEE, the best thin mints I’ve ever tasted, and a signature chocolate bar called the “Truffalo Bar” which is as pretty as it is delicious. This company is *very* pink, and there are locations all over the city so it’s hard to miss!

Parkside Candy // A beautiful old-timey candy shop, the Main Street Parkside Candy is the perfect place to pick up classic sweets, or cozy up for an ice cream sundae.

Cherry Blossoms // We had a horrible blossom season in Toronto this year, but luckily we were able to catch the last few in bloom trees near the Buffalo History Museum. Located in a gorgeous spanning park, this is an enchanting spot to visit even if it isn’t Cherry Blossom season.

Target // Our hearts broke when Target closed in Canada, but thankfully there are a handful just over the border in Buffalo. We came home with flamingo print bedsheets, glittery pink iridescent party plates, and all sorts of other treasures! There’s also a Trader Joe’s nearby if you need your cookie butter fix…

DSC_1242

DSC_1245

DSC_1341

DSC_1192

DSC_1216

Premier wine and spirits Close to Target and Trader Joe’s, this is a great spot to pick up local foodie finds, rare liqueurs, and all sorts of fancy kitchen supplies too. Warning- my Canadian Visa wouldn’t work here, so come prepared with cash in case! Also beware of alcohol duty at the border.

Lake Effect Diner // One million heart eyes for this place! The vintage baby pink and grey decor is in perfect condition, and the menu is filled with so many veg options (not to mention everything was crazy delicious.) We recommend creamsicle milkshakes and anything with the house smoked veggie bacon on top!

Other recommended spots that we didn’t have time to visit:
Botanical Gardens
Deep South Taco
The Lafayette Hotel
Public Espresso + Coffee

Did I miss anything?

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

This post was a fun impromptu idea we had that somehow ended up sliding into totally perfect timing. For one, it’s Margarita Monday, which is always worth celebrating in our books. Second, Casamigos sent us some of their amazing tequila to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but we hadn’t had a chance to crack open a bottle for something fun yet. Finally, it’s really actually Spring outside this long weekend! With no sign of disappearing again! And if that isn’t a reason to dream up some crazy hot pink slushies then I don’t know what is.

After we’d already shot the images and worked out the recipe for this post, our friends at Vitamix decided to up the ante. That’s right, we’re giving away the best blender in the whole wide world (a Black 5200 model to be exact)!!! We’ve had ours since we moved into #ThePastelPalace and it has seriously changed our entire kitchen game, so we’re crazy excited to share a machine with one of you!

How’s that for a post-long weekend blues deterrent?

Basically you have one week (till next Monday morning to be precise) to enter as many times/ways as humanly possible… here’s what you have to do (it’s a fun one!)

MANDATORY //

1. Like the Vitamix Facebook page (here) and the RAOP Facebook page (here)

2. Follow both Vitamix and RAOP on Instagram.

BONUS POINTS //

-Follow RAO_P on Snapchat (note- there will be extra chances to get bonus points on Snapchat throughout the week!)
-tag a friend in my Instagram post who you think might need a new blender!
-Follow us both on Twitter (here and here)
-Follow us both on Pinterest (here and here)
-Comment on this post with a list of everything you did at the END of the week.

The more points you compile, the higher chances you have of winning the grand prize! So what are you waiting for?

Still thirsty? Scroll down for the recipe!

DSC_1540

DSC_1546

DSC_1548

DSC_1579

DSC_1582

DSC_1586

Ingredients //

Yields 2 large glasses

1 dragonfruit
1 handful of frozen strawberries
1 can of frozen limeade concentrate
1/2 cup ice
3 oz Casamigos tequila
Strawberry sugar (recipe here) for rimming

Recipe //

1. Rim your glasses with sugar (we used strawberry sugar that I picked up in France, but you can make your own like this)

2. Cut your dragonfruit into two halves. One half can be roughly chopped and thrown in the blender with the rind still attached, the other should be cut into slices for garnishes.

3. Blend all remaining ingredients on high in your Vitamix until smooth.

4. Pour, top with as many pink decorations as you can find, and serve with a side of Spring sunshine!

Dress Up

When I was growing up, Guess was the coolest shop at the mall. I’ve been wearing their clothing since I was 16, and they’ve never failed me in the realm of sparkly platforms, short shorts and denim jumpsuits. A few weeks ago Guess invited me to host a festival fashion event at their Eaton Centre location and I just couldn’t say no- host a party at a shop I’ve adored for most of my adult life? Yes please!

Of course a new outfit was pretty much mandatory for my big night at the mall (who hasn’t had a fantasy about partying in a mall right?) so I headed over to The Eaton Centre for a little throwback shopping spree. I walked out with an almost entirely peach and pink outfit, and honestly it’s a *total dream*. The suede style skinnies are so unbelievably soft I have had a hard time not sleeping in them, and don’t even get me started on the oversized ballet pink crepe blazer. It wasn’t the look I was expecting to end up with- it’s even better than I could’ve imagined!

That said, let’s get dressed up and hang out! Join me this Friday at Guess Toronto Eaton Centre from 5-9 for a fun style event! There will be snacks, hair braiding, Crystal Head vodka cocktails, and rumour has it there are special discounts too! See you there? You can RSVP here!

IMG_2261

IMG_2295

IMG_2207

IMG_2282

IMG_2243

IMG_2298

IMG_2276

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

Dress UpI'll Follow You Anywhere

I’ve been to The Madonna Inn for a super quick visit before, and a few short hours made a big impression- so big in fact that this time around team RAOP booked a sleepover.

We were really lucky to be able to plan the California trip of our dreams thanks to Expedia.ca, and they helped us with everything from the perfect convertible car rental to cruise around in, to hotel rooms at our top picks. The Madonna Inn was a necessary stop on our route, so we planned a mini road trip up the coast for 48 hours to explore, and quickly secured the “merry” room for our stay (because glitter wallpaper!)

Having a sleepover at The Madonna Inn was everything we had dreamed of and more. On the drive up we had the most amazing brunch at Malibu Farm and splashed around in the sea, and upon arrival we were given a bag of cookies with our room key. The room itself had original pink shag carpet and baby pink terry cloth bath robes hanging in the closet, the pool sat atop a hill above the resort bathing in hot pink spotlights, and when the sun went down Saturday night the steakhouse came alive with the most wonderful characters.

scroll down to read more!

DSC_0088

DSC_0141

DSC_0070

DSC_0135

DSC_0106

DSC_0043

DSC_0013

After a quick moonlight dip in the hot tub Johanna and I got all dolled up and headed down to the main hotel building. We sipped on pink Long Island Iced Teas (even more dangerous than a regular Long Island- recipe coming soon!) as the live band played tune after tune, and to our surprise the hot pink dance floor quickly filled up with couples young and old. Some were clearly just having fun, but many of the couples knew every step, and by the end of the night we’d both had a lesson from a charming elderly gentleman- apparently we were “too pretty not to know how to properly dance.”

A little wobbly from one too many pink drinks and a whole bunch of dancing, we skipped back to our room and collapsed into the massive bed under a sparkling roof and gilded chandelier. In the morning we sipped fresh-pressed juice from The Madonna Inn’s signature iridescent goblets, and shared a massive piece of their bakery’s famous pink champagne cake. Then we packed up the car and waved goodbye, headed to Palm Springs but secretly wishing we could stay put in the magical pink world of The Madonna Inn forever.

I mean really, can you blame us?

DSC_0004

DSC_0077

DSC_0133

DSC_0093

DSC_0144

DSC_0068

DSC_0041

DSC_0045

DSC_0036

DSC_0156

DSC_0026

DSC_0028


Book a room at The Madonna Inn through Expedia.ca here!

I'll Follow You Anywhere

Inspired by the always glamorous Jenny of Margot and Me, Jo and I decided to get dolled up and treat ourselves to poolside breakfast at the very famous (and very pink) Beverly Hills Hotel.

A short drive from where we were staying, The Beverly Hills Hotel felt like taking a trip back in time. Filled with elegant flashes of gold, lush banana plants, and the prettiest pool cabanas you ever did see, we instantly felt like 1950s’ movie stars, and attempted to act as such (in our own hilariously awkward way).

If you get a chance to visit this legendary gem, make sure you check out the adorable coffee bar (it’s actually like a time capsule), explore the pool deck, and snap up a sugar pack or two (they’re pink and perfect.)

DSC_0294

DSC_0325

DSC_0289

DSC_0308

DSC_0231_edit_2

DSC_0241

DSC_0300

DSC_0261

DSC_0195

DSC_0250

DSC_0334

DSC_0293

Want to live like a movie star in LA? Book a room at The Beverly Hills Hotel through Expedia.ca!