April 28, 2015

Coffee Shop Talk


Hiding out in quaint caf├ęs and coffee shops is something that has definitely stuck with me well beyond my university school days. Back then they made the task of writing ridiculously long essays more enjoyable, and today they act as a haven to blog, a reason to explore new parts of town, and most importantly to fuel with coffee and treats. When I do get out to coffee shops solo, whether it's to work, to bask in their wifi when the power is out, or for any other reason, there are a few mandatory items I always bring with me.

1. Blanket scarf- You never know when the temperature will change drastically, if you will be sitting next to the door or window, or if you need a little cushion for the less desirable seating (hem- those wooden chairs).

2. Water- I hate buying water, and sometimes getting up to ask for a cup will risk someone stealing your spot. I always like to have my refillable water bottle with me because I tend to always need something to sip on.

3. Chap stick & hand cream- Whether it's just by habit, or the fact that some places can get dry and with the door opening and closing, I tend to re-apply chap stick and hand cream multiple times throughout my coffee shop sessions. I would hate to have to leave because my lips are cracked and in pain.

4. Headphones- Sometimes you need a relaxing playlist for a little white noise, or need to drown out an overly loud table. Headphones won't disappoint.

5. Electronics- Other important items are laptop charger and phone charger. It may seem obvious but they can easily be left behind, and with my ever dwindling battery life, these cords are necessities.

Are there any key items I'm missing from your list? I'd also love to know what are your favourite coffee shops and your go-to order?



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April 23, 2015

Lady in Leopard


How bad am I'm missing the lovely sunny skies and warm temperatures we were graced with just a few short days ago?! This week's atmospheric reality has been wind, rain, hail, and dare I say that snow is on the forecast for today! Until the sunshine returns, I'm thinking back on a delightful weekend afternoon spent outdoors in an all neutral ensemble, with the lightest of jackets over my shoulders and my most favourite pair of sunglasses on my head. I'm hopeful that this weekend will bring with it some more bright skies, but to help get me through the rest of this week I'd love to know- when the grey skies are constant, and the rain is relentless- what are your tips to deal with Spring's unpredictable attitude? 

{Miu Miu sunglasses, Sheinside coat (similar), Forever 21 blouse, RED Valentino loafers, vintage clutch, Michael Kors watch, H&M necklace, rings- H&M, Fresh Tangerine}


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April 15, 2015

Operation Fancy


Oh what I wouldn't do to be prancing around in a blush tulle skirt, spinning gourmet cotton candy, and  eating cotton candy from a waffle cone again… Michelle from Fancy Pufs and I had such a blast shooting our #FancyPufsXPastelsAndPastries party, but really how could you not with a such a girly celebration. Today we're going behind the scenes into our pink party of sweetness. Don't you wish your buffet table looked like the one below everyday?!?

cotton candy- Fancy Pufs

Check out the full shoot here










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April 13, 2015

Pink Trench

I have officially put away my winter coat and most traces of my cold weather necessities, except for a few lighter scarves and a pair of gloves for my early morning commute. The weather is finally starting to warm up, and this blush trench is becoming my go-to Spring coat. It's light, airy, the perfect shade of pink, and is great for fighting off April showers. Also- have you seen the accessories at H&M lately?? I am obsessed with this three stone ring that I scored there a few weeks ago. I get compliments on it every single time I wear it! And, everyone is absolutely shocked when I reveal the source. My earrings are from Aldo Accessories which also get quite a bit of attention. Do you have any secret sources when it comes to scoring accessories on a budget? 

{RW&CO trench, H&M blouse, Zara jeans, H&M ring, Fresh Tangerine ring, Aldo Accessories earrings, Daniel Wellington watch, Sam Edelman boots, Kate Spade bag}


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April 11, 2015

As Of Late

Today's As Of Late presents a sneak peak into the social media workshop I attended held by Random Acts of Pastel, and Bicyclette Boutique, how I spent my time recovering from the craziness of Fashion Week, and a few other pretty things I've been loving lately. Happy Saturday! 


Sipping on Sloane Tea, and snacking on delicious treats from The Bake Shoppe during The Get Social Workshop (!!!mini homemade pop tarts!!)


Post Fashion Week recovery essentials: tea, a deliciously scented peach candle, and my favourite new hand lotion, Vanilla Bean by Lovefresh.


The perfectly pastel sweet table from The Get Social Workshop. 


Excited to be finally able to sport bare legs! Hello Spring!


Late night Mexican after a day of fashion week shows. The most delicious guac & chips from Wilbur Mexicana.


Always on the look out for pretty blooms!


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April 09, 2015

White Chocolate Cookie Butter Confetti Popcorn


Making stove-top popcorn has always been a favourite snack of mine; it's quick, healthy, and easy and is customizable. When I saw Glitter Guide's White Chocolate Confetti Popcorn a while back ago, I bookmarked the recipe in my head and was waiting for the perfect occasion to whip up a batch of this heavenly creation... only I had a few adaptions of my own. I added in marshmallows, and mixed the melted chocolate with (my latest obsession) Trader Joe's Cookie Butter. Seriously genius, and seriously a sweet element to our Fancy Pufs x Pastels & Pastries shoot. Perfect for a party or a girly-girl movie night if you ask me!

Ingredients:
canola oil (enough to lightly cover the bottom of your pot)
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1 cup white chocolate baking melts
2 tablespoons cookie butter 
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup confetti sprinkles

Directions:
  1. Pour enough oil to lightly cover the bottom of a large pot and heat on medium-high heat.
  2. After a few minutes test oil temperature by dropping 1 kernel into pot and see if poping beings (if not wait another minute).
  3. Add kernels and cover pot with lid. When the popping begins, hold down lid while lifting and shaking the pot from side to side to ensure kernels don't burn. Shake every 10 seconds or so.
  4. When popping stops, remove from heat and pour kernels out on waxed paper lined baking sheet.
  5. Add white chocolate and cookie butter to a small bowl and melt in microwave (stop micro every 15 seconds to stir and make sure doesn't burn).
  6. Spread chocolate/butter mixture evenly over popcorn and top with marshmallows and sprinkles.
  7. Let popcorn sit out and chocolate mixture dry for at least an hour before bagging or putting out.

Recipe adapted form Glitter Guide's White Chocolate Confetti Popcorn 






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April 07, 2015

Birdcage Biker

Photo by Brendan Mariani
I had been eyeing this skirt for such a long time, and when I saw it come out in baby pink, I knew it had to be mine! The colour, the silhouette, the silky materal- it's gorgeous, and the perfect transition piece for Spring. I mixed it up with black accessories for a feminine edgy look to close out WMCFW, but I also can't wait to pair it with more pastels for Spring gatherings. Although it was literally freezing cold on Day 5, I was not going to let that stop me from having fun! I grabbed a cappuccino before heading inside the tents and my La Boulange cup just happens to match perfectly with the skirt, no? Fashion Week was a blast. Can't wait to do it again!

{424 Fifth skirt, Zara jacket (similar), Kate Spade bag, Tommy Hilfiger belt (similar & on sale), Zara pumps (similar), Daniel Wellington watch, H&M rings & necklace}

Photo by Henry Lee Photography
{Photobooth fun with Pandora}

More from #WMCFW

{3.Paradis show / champagne breaks / stunning collection at Mikeal D}

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April 05, 2015

Happy Easter!


In between frosting the carrot cakes, and breaking up the Bunny Bark, I managed to snap a few pictures of the dessert buffet prep (it's been an early morning… ). Does it even surprise you to know that Easter is my favourite Holiday?! The family time, the pretty colours, the treats, the new life outside… nothing makes me happier! I hope you enjoy this lovely day and spend it with those who make you most happiest.

xo

{mini egg cookies from Desmond and Beatrice via Giftagram - use code PastelsPastries20 for 20$ off your first Giftagram!}
{homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting}



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April 03, 2015

My Favourite Blogging Resources


While I am by no means an expert in the field of blogging, after two plus years of writing and designing P&P I like to think that I have developed a certain aesthetic, have learned some tricks and found some great resources along the way. Blogging isn't as easy as one may think, and it can often be frustrating when images aren't resizing properly, or you can't get the certain colours in the pictures to pop like they should be. I'm all about sharing what works for me in the hopes that it may work for you,  so today I am listing off some of the techniques and resources I use to edit pictures, create collages and more! I would also love to know if there is some amazing tool that you use that I am totally missing out on. Fill me in!

PHOTO EDITING/COLLEGES

Typically I use two online, free photo editing websites. I've always been intimidated to use Photoshop so I have stayed away all this time! My go-to online photo editor is PicMonkey. I love PicMonkey for it's simple layout and how user-friendly it is. I use it to create colleges,  for Instagram round-ups and basic photo editing (brightening and sharpening). The other photo editor I use is Pixlr. I either use the Pixlr Express editor for quick touch-ups, or I'll use the Pixlr Editor for more in-dept editing and re-sizing. I wish I was more savvy when it comes to all the editing tools and it's definitely something I am trying to work on, but for now these programs do the trick. 

BLOG POSTERS

I recently started adding text to graphics usually on the first images in a post, and on some social media platforms. It's a great way to grab a reader's attention as they can immediately understand the purpose of the post, and it is also so great for posting to Pinterest. I use an easy-to-follow, online design portal called Canva.  There are so many designs and templates to choose from, and you can get very personalized, or have all the hard work done for you. Choose to create a Facebook cover photo, social media post, blog graphic, invitation and more! All you have to do is import your photo and choose or design your own layout and add text. All the sizing/ photo dimensions are already embedded into the template you chose, so you know if you're choosing "Facebook design" it's not going to be stretched, or elongated in any odd way. Some layouts cost $1.00, but I have never needed to pay for a layout. You can get pretty creative!


SCREEN CAPTURE

Okay so this is my all-time favourite tool! Snagit is a picture/video capturing tool. Once you download the software the icon sits on the side of your screen and any time you hover your mouse over the icon it pops up as an overlay on your screen for you to capture any thing that is on your screen. It's how I create all my product round-ups and how I captured the screen shots in this very post. You may be thinking "okay, so screen shot?". But no. You can then edit and create more colleges in Snagit. You can download the free trial, but you will definitely be purchasing this software after the trial is over! It's around CAD $60.00, but so worth it! It's my most used blogging tool! You can literally snag any image, edit it to erase background colours, drag and drop the photos to a new canvas, add text and numbers, and then save it to your personal collection. 


FONT

I use so many pretty fonts in my product round-ups all thanks to myfonts.com. I usually use My Fonts in conjunction with Snagit. I know this site has all the fonts available to purchase, but they allow you to test out the thousands of fonts with your own sample text, and even allow you to pick a colour. If I didn't use Snagit it definitely wouldn't be so easy to cut the font and add them to my collages. You can see in the previous photo how I go about adding them to my collages with Snagit.


GIVEAWAYS

When I was planning my first give-away earlier this year I was completely new to the idea and scoured the web for possible hosting platforms. I tried out a few and ended up choosing Rafflecopter to host my giveaway. I liked that I could select the entry methods, choose a timeframe and have a winner drawn at random for me. It made the whole give-away simple and fun. A few of the entry methods require you to upgrade the service (which I didn't do), so I had to get creative with inventing my own. For example: Rafflecopter does not sync with Instagram so by asking the reader to write the their own Instagram handle you can search your followers to confirm that they have followed through with the entry. You can also download reports of you entries to stay up to date with the raffle. 



There you have it! My top five blogging resources. Do you use any of these resources? Are there some out there that I am completely oblivious to? Please let me know. Us bloggies need to stick together! 

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April 01, 2015

Funfetti Cake


This cake just screams #thepastellife, and it makes me happy just thinking about it! So summery, so sprinkley, so lemoney and  SO marshmallowey (YUM!/Are any of those words?). I've never made a funfetti cake primary for the reason that I would always opt for chocolate over vanilla, but for our Fancy Pufs photo shoot I challenged myself to make a funfetti cake with marshmallow buttercream frosting. It was amazing, and brought me right back to the good old summer days as a kid hopping from one birthday party to the next! The cake itself is so moist and light, and the icing is insanely good. I was contemplating using vanilla extract over lemon like the recipe called for, but I am so happy I didn't make the change! The lemon extract is so refreshing to taste in the cake and in the icing really revives the pallet and makes your taste-buds burst with flavour. I know you can buy a boxed Funfetti Cake Mix, but the little extra effort will blow your mind. For the Fancy Pufs shoot we topped the cake with a gigantic pink cotton candy puf, and it was seriously adorable. Although it matched the pretty-in-pink theme, this cake is perfect for any spring/summer gathering. I followed this recipe for the cake, and this recipe for the frosting, but also have a few tips of my own.

Tips & Tricks
  • I recommend buying the bake even strips as they really do work! I have been trying to get my cakes flatter without having to buy the strips, but when I found a Michael's coupon I decided it would be worth it. I couldn't believe how flat and even my cakes came out! They really do not cost that much, and make a big impact.
  • If you are layering the cakes I recommend doubling the icing recipe. I barely had enough to cover the sides! Since marshmallow fluff is not something I keep in my pantry I couldn't just whip up another batch before the shoot! 
  • Do not use nonpareils (the type of round sprinkles) in the batter.  They will bleed into the cake. Ty-dye cake is also great so I'm not complaining, but if you're looking for a more neater look, go with regular sprinkles or jimmies. The round pastel sprinkles were also great for the top (they didn't bleed one bit!).






 Did you catch P&P's collaboration with Fancy Pufs? This cake was the show stopper! #FancyPufsXPastels&Pastries 




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