Wildflower Jumpsuit

May 24, 2016

Pastels & Pastries blog; wildflower jumpsuit, miu miu sunglasses, kate spade blush cedar street maise

Sunshine, long walks and copious amounts of ice cream sum up the components of my lovely long weekend. The most beautiful weather graced us this weekend and it left me in a state of pure bliss. In trying to escape a downpour a few weeks back I ran into The Store on Queen for cover.  I laid my eyes upon this jumpsuit and knew at that instant it was coming home with me. Jumpsuits really are the epitome of effortless dressing, and the colours, the print, the open back; could it be any more me?! I am obsessed. I love the way it flows and how the back straps come together to create relaxed, sultry vibe.

Neutrals will always be nice, and black can be brilliant, but there is something about florals that makes my heart most happy! I guess being an August baby has something to do with it. I love how this jumpsuit is accented with blue, green and white. My pink Kate Spade bag made for the perfect complement and I couldn't resist adding in some dainty layering necklaces; a bit of vintage mixed with some new pieces from the Shop for Jayu SS 16 line.

Are you summer wardrobe ready? Are there pieces you are just itching to wear?

What I'm Wearing

TSOQ jumpsuit
Kate Spade Cedar Street Maise
Miu Miu sunglasses
Shop for Jayu necklace
Target sandals

Pastels & Pastries blog; wildflower jumpsuit, miu miu sunglasses, kate spade blush cedar street maise

Pastels & Pastries blog; wildflower jumpsuit, miu miu sunglasses, kate spade blush cedar street maise

Pastels & Pastries blog; wildflower jumpsuit, miu miu sunglasses, kate spade blush cedar street maise

Pastels & Pastries blog; wildflower jumpsuit, miu miu sunglasses, kate spade blush cedar street maise

Pastels & Pastries blog; wildflower jumpsuit, miu miu sunglasses, kate spade blush cedar street maise

Pastels & Pastries blog; wildflower jumpsuit, miu miu sunglasses, kate spade blush cedar street maise


My Battle with Rosacea

May 20, 2016

Natural Skincare Products to fight rosacea ; FITGLOW, Mario Badescu, Odacite

About six months ago I started noticing major changes to my complexion; nasty breakouts, redness, swelling and a combination of broken blood vessels and scarring in my checks. Thinking it was stress, or that time of the month, or the weather change, I ignored it for months. Until I was beyond frustrated.  How was my skin changing so fast? And why was nothing I was doing helping the situation? I thought I eat enough good-for-you fats, vegetables and anti-inflammatory foods!

Finally I decided to see a dermatologist and they confirmed I have rosacea, and that there wasn't really much to do about it except treat it with topical creams. Oh, and avoid coffee, spicy foods, wine, and exercise. Um... you mean the very things I live for?! Are you effing kidding me?! No thank you.

I requested the "most natural" topical cream from the dermatologist and begrudgingly I decided to fill the prescription. He mentioned not treating the issue would likely worsen the flare ups over time and that was not something I was ready to give in to. Since there are many different types of rosacea, and not everyone develops symptoms in the same way, there isn't a one-stop-shop sort of solution. I don't want my skin to rely on creams filled with toxic ingredients or become so dependant on prescriptions. At the same time I began the hunt for natural products that would help reverse the inflammation and started researching a great deal on the natural ingredients that are great for flare ups, i.e.: chamomile, aloe, cucumber, jojoba, and green tea extract.

Natural Skincare Products to fight rosacea ; FITGLOW, Mario Badescu, Odacite

After months of denial and ignoring the issue I finally developed a skin care regime that I am very happy with. I've been following it for about a month and have seen so many improvements, and even others are stating to notice! Putting a little time and money into my skincare was the best thing I could have done. I feel so silly for waiting this long to get to the root of the problem. But hey… better late than never! So let's break it down, shall we? Here is my rosacea fighting regime.

Cleanser: FITGLOW Calm Cleaning Milk
This cleanser is so gentle! At the same time it removes make up and impurities and leaves your face feeling so fresh, in the most soothing, calming way. It includes ingredients such as aloe, cucumber and camomile, which are great for rosacea flare ups and to really make you feel clean and bright. I was skeptical as generally "milks" never make me feel cleansed, however this one does the trick in a refreshing way that soothes irritated skin.

Cream: FITGLOW Redness Rescue Cream
Another amazing product from the FITGLOW Calm line, and the standout product of my regime for sure! Immediately upon entering Anise Apothecary in Burlington, the shopowneer showed me this cream. She demonstrated it on my hands and I was blown away. Redness be gone! It repairs skin (and those nasty broken blood vessels), fights inflammation by stimulating cell growth and hydrates without leaving you feel greasy in the slightest. It also is tinted with green minerals to combat redness. This is by far my favourite new product, and if you are looking for just one to invest in to combat redness or rosacea, this is it!

Face Serum: Odacite Apricot Palmarosa Serum Concentrate
When I purchased the other products I was given a sample of this soothing serum which is made to heal broken capillaries and irritated skin. I mix one very small drop into my FITGLOW Redness Rescue Cream and apply over the face. Not only does it make the cream easier to apply as it becomes more spreadable, but it really locks hydration in and leaves you feeling so soft, healthy and glowing.

Spot Treatment: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion 
I obviously still get breakouts and regular pimples that are separate from the rosacea flare ups. I had heard amazing things from this spot treatment and really wanted to try it out. Side note-- do you follow Desi Perkins on Snapchat? She's alllllways putting this on! A few weeks ago I picked it up at ULTA while over the border in Buffalo, NY. It really does dry out pimples over night! I know, I know… it contains alcohol. But for those nasty, little buggers it's become an essential! All you do is stick a Q-Tip straight down into the bottle (do not shake bottle as ingredients must be kept separate) and apply a little dab on the breakout. Serious game changer!

Make up Remover: Coconut Oil
Nothing new here. I've been using coconut oil to rid my eyes of hard to remove mascara and eyeliner. Works like a charm and 100% natural!

There you have it! My current rosacea fighting regime. I still do use the topical cream prescribed by the doc when the situation seems necessary, just not the twice per day as prescribed. I am also still on the hunt for a daily SPF cream that doesn't feel heavy, clogging or greasy, so let me know if you have any recommendations! If you have any questions about rosacea or tips on what you use I'd love to hear!

My natural battle to fight against rosacea ; FITGLOW, Mario Badescu, Odacite

#StandTogether

May 16, 2016

The Canadian Safe Schools Network Stand Together Anti-Bullying Campaign with YoSox

We're all different, and that's what makes us great, right?

I know we'd all like to think this statement is true, but the fact is 70% of children are bullied because of these differences. Whether it be due to race, height, weight, the clothing they wear, or religious views, bullying is real and the sad truth is that it is increasing every year.

The facts are astounding, and you probably don't need me to list them off. We see it everyday-- at work (hello, corporate bullying), on the streets, and now there is also the bullying we may not necessarily see; cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is just as prominent, especially with the rise of social media channels and outlets. It's hard to escape the negative comments especially when coming from behind a computer screen. And for young, innocent kids the comments are not only painful to hear, but have devestating consequences like depression, self-harm, and even suicide. This is not okay, and I'm happy to be a part of a new campaign to put an end to this.


The Canadian Safe Schools Network is a not-for-profit organization aiming to bring an end to youth violence and help every child flourish and grow into the beautiful, unique individuals that they are. Their new "Stand Together" campaign launched on May 11th (you may have seen my snap chats from the event) as a way to make schools safer, generate awareness of the harsh realities, and ultimately put an end to bullying and cyberbullying.

The CSSN has teamed up with YoSox, the Toronto based colourful and fun sock designer, to celebrate uniqueness, raise awareness of this campaign and make a difference. The 4 pairs of colourful socks are being sold with a portion of the proceeds going to The Canadian Safe Schools Network anit-bullying programs. Bonus-- the socks are so fun and ridiculously soft and comfortable. Get out those oxfords, roll up your pant legs, and show off these babies with pride! The socks are also being sold at Hudson's Bay! Stand together with us, would you? Supporting local initiatives, local companies, and putting and end to the horror of bullying awaits you.

Buy your socks and learn more about the Stand Together campaign.

Shop for Jayu SS16 Giveaway

May 11, 2016

Shop for Jayu x Pastels & Pastries SS16 jewelry

Discovering some of the amazing local talent that this city has to offer is a huge passion of mine, and one that I've always been eager to share in my findings! I first reached out to Sally, founder of Shop for Jayu, while searching for unique, independent artisans for the conference I was planning at my day job. I was on the hunt for an inspiring Toronto based designer to include in the marketplace portion of our exhibit hall and immediately fell in love with Shop for Jayu's unique, handcrafted pieces.  After all was said and done with the conference we made sure to stay in touch and just a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of shooting Shop for Jayu's SS16 campaign with my favourite bloggers, Eleni and Joelle

The collection is filled with incredible pieces; dainty, delicate necklaces and rings, marble accented pieces, statement necklaces and beaded bracelets. I love how organic and natural the vibes of the shoot were! The whole team was amazing to work with and let's be real-- how fun is this pink eyeliner?! 

In celebration of the SS 16 campaign we are giving away a $60 gift card to Shop for Jayu! All you have to do is enter below.

Be sure to check out the amazing video they put together and shop the whole collection online here

#JayuBlogged16 - Shop for Jayu (SS16) from Shop for Jayu on Vimeo.

Shop for Jayu x Pastels & Pastries SS16 jewelry ; dainty rings

Hair: Allison Kam 
Make up: Jennifer Oh of Hey Jolie 
Wardrobe: Fitzroy Boutique
Pillows: Lint & Honey 

Shop for Jayu x Pastels & Pastries SS16 jewelry
Shop for Jayu x Pastels & Pastries SS16 jewelry
Shop for Jayu x Pastels & Pastries SS16 jewelry Shop for Jayu x Pastels & Pastries SS16 jewelry




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Neutrals and Roses

May 09, 2016

Club Monaco trench for spring, neutrals, Toronto hot spots

My weekend style has been relaxed, neutral and free flowing as of late. Blush, cream, beige, powder blue seem to be all the colours calling my name! Last weekend I got together with a few of the blogger girls for our #TOBloggerCrawl. We started off at Yang's (our favourite flower shop on the Avenue/Davenport strip), and picked out gorgeous bouquets. I went for a simple mix of multi-coloured roses and carnations, which lasted me the week (my $3 carnations are still in mint condition). After we hit up Saturday Dinette for a kitschy brunch, and had a necessary cup of coffee in gorgeous china. The green pea puree was divine, while there are no words to describe the buckwheat pancakes and maple butter. 

When I saw this trench during Club Monaco's boxing week sale I was totally skeptical and actually considered returning it. Winter was just approaching and I was torn… would I get enough use out of it? Was I insane? This piece is the ultimate transition piece, and has taken me from season to season. Great with boots and black in colder weather, and equally as good paired with neutrals as the warmer weather makes it's mark. So, so happy I kept it. Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet, make the tiny investment, and wait it out.

Does that ever happen to you? You buy something and contemplate returning it… but ultimately keep it, and discover it's become a closet staple?

What I'm Wearing

Club Monaco trench (similar)
Forever 21 blouse
Zara pants (similar)
Nine West flats (similar)
Francesa's clutch (similar)

Club Monaco trench for spring, neutrals, Toronto hot spots
Club Monaco trench for spring, neutrals, Toronto hot spots


Club Monaco trench for spring, neutrals, Toronto hot spots

Club Monaco trench for spring, neutrals, Toronto hot spots

Club Monaco trench for spring, neutrals, Toronto hot spots


Breathing with GEOX Sneakers

May 06, 2016

Geox Nebula sneaker, sporty date night look

Walking on clouds? Did you even think this was possible anymore? With the influx of shoes that focus offering the look rather than the feel it's become so hard to find a pair that hits the mark on both of those elements. I can now assure you that floaty, bouncy feeling is possible and I have discovered a lightweight, flexible, cushioned pair of sneakers that literally have me walking for hours on end. Want to hear the best part? I didn't even need to break them in! And, talk about chic... they have metallic gold detailing! 

The Geox Nebula are made for those of us on the go. Perfect for travelling, endlessly walking all over town or just getting stuff done! They fit like a glove, have a unique sole that's cushioned and allows for stability and a strong grip, and the inner lining has breathable gaps which allow for excess heat to escape (yet they are weather protective). I recently got the chance to pick up a pair and haven't stopped wearing them since. I was sold on the taupe because the gold detailing was too good to pass up, but they come in a variety of colours (so close to getting the floral pair!) and materials. Hi, black leather!!

The other night we hit up Pizzeria Defina in Roncesvalles (amazing meal, btw) for date night and I couldn't resist pairing them with this outfit. I love that they look great with anything-- leather leggings allude to a casual, street style vibe, skater skirt for a sporty/playful date night, and boyfriend jeans for weekend errand running. You need to get in a pair and feel the technology of these shoes. #StartBreathing with Geox Nebula and you won't be able to stop! 

What do you think of this sporty date night look that pairs a mini skirt with sneakers? Totally retro, right? It's going to be on heavy rotation this summer! You'll notice my favourite Coach mini cross body had to make an appearance for a pop of colour, too. 

What I'm Wearing

Necessary Clothing tank (similar)
twik skirt via Simons
Coach purse (similar, similar)
℅ Geox Nebula sneakers

Geox Nebula sneaker, sporty date night look

Geox Nebula sneaker, sporty date night look

Coach mint cross body, Geox Nebula sneaker, sporty date night look

Geox Nebula sneaker, sporty date night look, Coach mint mini cross body

Geox Nebula sneaker, sporty date night look, Coach mint mini cross body

Geox Nebula sneaker, sporty date night look, Coach mint mini cross body

Geox Nebula sneaker, sporty date night look, Coach mint mini cross body

Geox Nebula sneaker, sporty date night look, Coach mint mini cross body


This post was sponsored however all opinions of the Geox Nebula are my own. Seriously-- love em!! 

How To: Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

May 04, 2016

How to: Cinco de Mayo party; pineapple salsa, Mexican bean dip, cayenne brownies, infused tequila and decor

If you ask me what I want for dinner I'll almost always say Mexican. I love the freshness of the dishes and all the flavours, especially the spice. And, let's get real… avocados are life.  This past weekend I hosted a little pre-Cinco de Mayo get together with my girlfriends. I knew I'd have more time to prep on a Sunday afternoon then on a Thursday after work, and bonus, I get to inspire all your Cinco festivities taking place this week! We got together in our Mexican inspired outfits -aka everything off the shoulder- ate an insane amount of guacamole, and indulged in spicy grapefruit margaritas.  It was a casual affair but we had such a blast, and the prep work was super minimal!  All it takes is a few little details in terms of food choice and decorations and you are set to celebrate the Cinco in true Mexican fashion! Here's how by adding a little extra effort in your hosting you can throw the ultimate Cinco de Mayo fiesta.


Cinco de Mayo party planning tips and tricks

FOOD

Food is the key component of you Cinco de Mayo party, and you don't need to go crazy! A few key dishes is all you need. My menu included shredded chicken tacos, a Mexican caviar (basically a melody of beans, corn,  and veggies ), guacamole, pineapple salsa, and jalapeno poppers.  For dessert I served cayenne black bean brownies.

Since the theme is all things Mexican you need to serve the obligatory guacamole and salsa, and the salsa doesn't have to be boring and especially not from a jar! I served up my famous Mexican caviar dish. It's only famous because my girlfriends are obsessed with it and request it for every summer gathering! It's definitely the perfect side for a Cinco party-- serve on tacos,  as a dip with chips, or as a salad, everyone will swoon! Here is a similar recipe

Next up was a new recipe for me; this pineapple salsa. Wow! I am now addicted. This could not be easier to make and it was amazing! So fresh and the heat was killer! A new favourite for sure.

You can't taco 'bout a Cinco without tacos! I woke up the morning of and added some chicken in the slow cooker with orange juice, lime juice and spices. After letting it cook for 5 hours I pulled it apart using two forks. Topped on a corn tortilla with the above sides and you have such an easy take on tacos. Check out this easy, hassle free recipe

For dessert I adapted Deliciously Ella's black bean brownie recipe from her latest book.  I subbed the raisins for 1/4 tsp of cayenne and 1 tsp of cinnamon to add a Mexican flare to the brownies. I also cut up pineapple to serve with chili powder and lime, and some round watermelon bites for a sweet snack. 


How to: Cinco de Mayo party; pineapple salsa, Mexican bean dip, cayenne brownies, infused tequila and decor


DRINK

Tequila, tequila, tequila. Since coming back from Mexico my bestie and I had a few tricks tucked in our sombreros.  We infused a bottle of José Cuervo with fresh pineapple. And also served tequila shots inside hollowed out cucumber ends. The rim was dipped in chili powder; talk about a flavour burst! Just be sure not to core out all the flesh of the cucumber. Bonus- you get to eat the cucumber afterwards!

For our spicy grapefruit margaritas I squeezed fresh grapefruit and added cayenne to the juice. This was mixed with tequila, lime and a dash of sparkling water and made for the most refreshing afternoon cocktail. 

How to: Cinco de Mayo party; pineapple salsa, Mexican bean dip, cayenne brownies, infused tequila and decor

How to: Cinco de Mayo party; pineapple salsa, Mexican bean dip, cayenne brownies, infused tequila and decor


DECOR

Anytime I'm hosting I love adding decorations that encompass the theme of the party to really set the vibe of the day, or night. For this Mexican inspired affair I used the blankets I bought in Mexico as table runners. Not only were they perfect for the occasion but they also brought back some sweet memories! I love the designs and colours in the blankets, so I really drew on the bright pinks, corals and blues. I put one on the drink/dessert buffet and the other sat on the island where the food was. I love how the impact they made!

I added other elements like bright florals, chill peppers, and cacti to decorate. Above the dessert buffet I strung together a colourful "papel picardo" inspired banner (literally means perforated paper), which is a common Mexican folk art tradition. You can use tissue paper and let your inner crafty child come out as you fold and cut the paper. I used multicoloured construction paper. Here's an easy tutorial. I also put single stem flowers around the room in little jars. I brought out all my colourful dishes to go along with the bright colour scheme.

How to: Cinco de Mayo party; pineapple salsa, Mexican bean dip, cayenne brownies, infused tequila and decor

Throwing a Cinco de Mayo party does not need to be intimidating or pricey! All you need is a few key dishes to set the Mexican mood. A couple fun decorations also make the theme come alive! 

What do you think of my Cinco de Mayo fiesta? I'd love to hear your plans. Why not try a few of these ideas/recipes and have yourself a Mexican inspired evening? 


Looking for outfit inspiration? Check out this post, or this post.

Mexican black bean brownies with cayenne and cinnamon
How to: Cinco de Mayo party; pineapple salsa, Mexican bean dip, cayenne brownies, infused tequila and decor
How to: Cinco de Mayo party; pineapple salsa, Mexican bean dip, cayenne brownies, infused tequila and decor

How to: Cinco de Mayo party; pineapple salsa, Mexican bean dip, cayenne brownies, infused tequila and decor

How to: Cinco de Mayo party; pineapple salsa, Mexican bean dip, cayenne brownies, infused tequila and decor