Back to School

August 31, 2015



So I may not be heading back to school next week, but that doesn't mean I don't love this time of year! Back to school shopping always made me happy; I love how it prompts new beginnings and offers time to refocus. I would make lists and organize my pencil case and backpack well before the first day of school. This wish list, while influenced by the back to school theme, is totally appropriate for the working girl.



What's on your list?


Coffee, Mascara, Hustle Tote Giveaway

August 26, 2015

Fuchsia midi, Dayna Lee Collection Tote at the Toronto Club Monaco Market

"Coffee, mascara, hustle" is basically my morning mantra, so when Dayna of Dayna Lee Collection approached me to help launch her new series of totes bags, I jumped at the occasion! These totes are perfect for multiple outings (Book bag? Yes! Market bag? Check! Running endless errands around town? You bet'cha!) -- they hold a ridiculous amount and the classic style and colour scheme pairs well with any outfit. Did I mention that Dayna is Canadian and all pieces are handmade within this fabulous country? That's right-- shop and support locally, peeps!

After a busy Saturday morning doing just that (running countless errands), I stopped by the market set up just outside Club Monaco on Bloor Street to enjoy a quiet moment with a perfectly crafted cortado from Box Car Social. The bag proved to be the perfect companion, carrying everything from my newspaper and note pads, recent purchases, and oversized camera along for the stroll!

Dayna Lee designs prints, stationary, and accessories with one goal in mind -- to empower and inspire women. Her quotes are sassy and inspirational and her designs are complete with pretty handwritten type and fun illustrations. Take a look at her designs and you'll see what I'm talking about. She has such a "get it girl" attitude and I totally admire her for that! I love how Dayna's handwritten quotes are not only witty and honest, but they are there to push you on through your day all while putting a smile on your glowing face. Talk about powerful, yet in the most playful way!

Prints and notepads just scratch the surface of Dayna's collection, and I'm already lusting after a few of her other goodies, like the "Everything's Coming Up Roses" pillow, and I think the "Her Favourite Things" scarf would look amazing framed over my desk! I mean…coffee, wine, Paris, peonies… does this girl just get me or what!?

Thank you Danya Lee, for bringing the playful and powerful back into my everyday with this tote!

Also, we have a giveaway! A huge thank you to Dayna for offering to gift one lucky P&P reader a Coffee/Mascara/Hustle tote. All you need to do is keep scrolling on down and enter the giveaway! Best of luck!

Pastels and Pastries- Fuchsia midi, Dayna Lee Collection Tote at the Toronto Club Monaco Market
{RW&CO cami, The Store on Queen skirt (similar),  Joe Fresh flats (similar), MK watch, Celine sunglasses, Dayne Lee Collection tote}
Fuchsia midi, Dayna Lee Collection Tote at the Toronto Club Monaco Market

Summer City Street Style- Fuchsia Midi Skirt, running errands

Summer City Street Style- Fuchsia Midi Skirt, running errands
Summer City Street Style- Fuchsia Midi Skirt, running errands

Pastels & Pastries- Summer City Street Style- Fuchsia Midi Skirt, running errands

P.S. How paparazzi-esque are these shots?! These pictures are truly a reflection of my morning hustle -- chugging back a coffee, twisting and maybe-kinda pulling my neck as far as possible to get a good look at gorgeous window displays, all while stopping for a few seconds to smell the roses and flash a smile.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to Canadian and US residents only. Contest closes on September 1st at 12:00 AM.

Burgundy T-Shirt Dress

August 24, 2015


I know what you're thinking… I went straight past the transitional wardrobe phase and landed right on falling for fall. I really couldn't help it-- it's this dress! I snagged it at Forever 21 last week and have been just itching to wear it. The colour is a deep burgundy, the material is soft jersey and overall the dress is quite thick, which is not only perfect for chilly fall evenings, but it also hugs in all the right places (and smooths over any fine lines). Tying a chambray top around the waist always makes me more comfortable when I wear body hugging pieces; it acts as a buffer piece and keeps the outfit from feeling too fancy. This dress does feel like something you would find at Aritzia, and for a half the price I'm actually considering scooping it up in a different colour. Although it may still be hot in the city I figured if I was going to sport my first "fall" outfit then I was going to go all out, so the hat, booties and chambray top came along for the ride. I am by no means giving up on these last few weeks of summer, but adding a touch of moody romance to my wardrobe was a nice chance, and it's certainly helping me welcome the impending seasonal shift.

Are you holding on to summer or have you started to embrace autumn?

{Forever 21 dress, Tommy Hilfiger chambray top (similar), Sam Edelman booties, Joe Fresh hat, Kate Spade bag}


Eyelet on the Island

August 17, 2015


For a pre-birthday celebration Brandon took me to the Toronto islands for an afternoon of fun in the sun. He packed a basket of all my favourite foods (a bottle of rosé included), and we picnicked by the water with the Toronto skyline in our forefront. We rented bicycles and zipped from island to island, gazing at the picturesque houses on Ward's Island, passing the lighthouse at Hanlen's Point and finally stopping for refreshments at Mermaid Café (which is nothing to write home about). 

When B first saw my outfit he let out a little giggle as he knew bicycling was part of the agenda. But you know me… I had just scored this skirt on major sale (it still is on sale!) and had reconstructed an old dress into a crop top, so needless to say, I refused to change. The skirt proved to be long enough for bike riding, and I don't even think I flashed more than two people while getting on, which I thought was an accomplishment! This crop was once a dress that shrunk two sizes too small. I snipped it at the waistband and now it's my new favourite crop top to pair with high waist skirts. What do you think? Inventive or ill-advised?  


Summer day dates are quite possibly one of my favourite things, and this day is going to be seriously difficult to top.  But, The CNE is opening this weekend so we may have a bit of competition! 


Tips for your trip to the Toronto Islands:
Buy the ferry tickets in advance. 11-2 pm is peak travel time, lines can be annoyingly long!
Pack your picnic! Don't be shy-- I've seen people bring it all! Mini BBQ, coolers on wheels, and food to feed an army. Don't forget water, sunscreen and towels for the beach. 
Bicycle. Either bring your own or rent them on the island. It makes zipping around from one side to the other a lot more enjoyable.
Treat yourself to dinner at the Rectory Café. Sit in the backyard garden patio-- it's picture perfect. 

{RW & CO skirt (major sale!), DIY crop top, Tory Burch clutch, Steve Madden sandals(similar, on sale), Miu Miu sunglasses}





Rosette Icing

August 12, 2015

Rosette Icing How To
I'd be lying if I didn't say the thought of icing a cake in rosette style icing made me a little apprehensive! After watching numerous YouTube videos, I came across this one and just decided to go to town. I made the cake as a "smash cake". I know --it's hard to believe, making a cake this pretty to only be devoured by a one year old! But it was definitely worth it to see all the babes face dive into the icing! 

The video will help you master the technique, and learn how to hold the piping bag, (I still have a lot to improve on) but here are a few tips of my own to help you complete your first attempt of rosette style icing. I promise it's not as hard as it looks! Once you get the hang of positioning your hand a certain way, it just kind of flows! Try it out and see for yourself -- but if there's one thing you take away from this post, it's avoid icing the cake on the hottest day of the year! 

I started off with 3 baked 4" cakes which I made a day prior to icing so that the cake would have proper cooling time. You can use your favourite cake recipe, or to save time, use a boxed cake mix.
  • Make a lot of icing. I iced in between the cake layers, as well as all around the cake. So at the least double your recipe to ensure you will have enough. I did not do a crumb layer. If you do decide to coat the crumbs you will need more icing.
  • I used the 1M Wilton piping tip to get the proper rosette swirl. 
  • Chill the icing before you start on the cake. Unfortunately I iced my cake on probably one of the hottest days of the summer and found the icing sliding down the sides. Next time I would stiffen the icing more by adding more icing sugar. I also put the cake in the freezer in between the rose layers. This helped to keep the icing cool.
  • Put the iced cake in the fridge or freezer right away to set. 
  • Don't stress out if your rosettes are not perfect! I totally was freaking out at some points, but somehow it looked presentable in the end. If you really dislike one of the rosettes, just wipe it off and start again!
This would be the perfect focal point for a sweet table, don't you think?

Rosette Icing How To
Rosette Icing How To





Rosette Icing How To


Black, White & Gold

August 10, 2015

Black, white and gold outfit

Black, white and gold is one of those pairings that I fall back on time and time again. When nothing seems to be fitting right, or my closet appears to be full of nothing, I can always count on a black and white ensemble to make me feel classy and put together. Perfect for just about any occasion, you can dress it up by playing with some chunky accessories, or dress it down with sandals and a pony tail. Or somehow find a middle ground for those in-between outings. So simple, yet so timeless. 

Do you have a go-to outfit, or item that you can always count on, when you're just having one of those "nothing to wear" days?

Black, white and gold outfit
{Wilfred tank(onsale!), Forever 21 shorts (similar), vintage necklace, MK watch, Kate Spade bag, Zara sandals}
Black, white and gold outfit
Black, white and gold outfit


How to Throw a Tropical Pool Party

August 06, 2015


Throw a tropical pool party









































                  


I love entertaining in the summer; it's relaxed, fun and doesn't need to be so planned out! All you need is great friends and a hot day, and have the focus on food and fun. Last weekend I rallied some of my best friends together for a lovely day in the sun. Food, drink, and dessert were the main priorities but I couldn't say no to a few tropical party decorations! Here's how I pulled the afternoon together: 

FOOD

I opted for a few side dishes and BBQ. I mixed up the salads, while B fired the hamburgers and sausages on the grill. Lighter sides were essential because of the high temperatures and all the swimming taking place, so I served veggies and hummus, corn nachos and bean dip, and fruit skewers. There is so much tropical fruit available in the summer, so I was sure to include mango, kiwi and pineapple. I kept the top of the pineapple to act as a garnish on the serving tray. All refreshing and delicious!

I also whipped up a watermelon, cucumber and feta salad --which was amazing! It's light and filling and is now my new favourite. The sweetness of the watermelon, combined with mint and basil made my tastebuds swirl! The dressing I chose was just fresh lime juice, a touch of oil and salt and pepper to taste. You can find a variety of recipes on Pinterest. So simple!

As you saw here, we kept it cool and light for dessert serving up smoothie pops and banana bites on ice. There was also an ample amount of fun candy on skewers to garnish drinks or eat straight up!

DRINKS

Staying hydrated is key while you're outdoors. We filled a water dispenser with strawberry, mint, and lemon infused water. We also had a cooler on wheels filled with the more exciting drinks just next to the bar cart. This saved everyone from having to run indoors to the fridge to make themselves another drink. The bar cart was filled with fun glasses and straws so guests could help themselves.

DECOR

The natural surroundings acted as a beautiful setting so the decor was at a minimum. To keep with the tropical and bright vibes, I sliced up bright pool floats and strung them together to act as a banner on the fence. Bright pool floats, blow-up flamingos and beach balls were dual purpose; decor and for fun! Pink striped beach cushions were placed on the grass to act as a chill-out station. We also had water balloons out and ready to be filled for some sneak attack games.

The bar cart was really the only other element of decor. All the pieces on the cart had a central theme-- bright and tropical, but overall did not seem too coordinated! I used a variety of decorations I had made for previous occasions, like this tassel banner, and these gold sparkly mason jar vases. The straws and drink toppers are all accessories I had lying around the house, and the pineapple cups I found at my local party store. 

Throw a tropical pool party

Tropical Pool Party
Pineapple Pool PartyBright Pool Party

Pool Party Snacks
Pool Party Snacks

Getting your friends together for some summer fun does not have to be intimidating. It can be as relaxed and casual as you wish. Having bright accents in terms of pool accessories, food, cups and straws all create a cohesive tropical vibe to your event without seeming so done-up and coordinated. Have fun with it, and enjoy the summer while it's here! 

Shift Dress

August 04, 2015

Pink Shift Dress

I had ordered this shift dress for a particular occasion a while back, and when it came I knew right away it would be too short to pair with heels. I sat on it for a while and ultimately it got lost to the wrath of my closet. I recently re-discovered it, and it has since turned into one of those easy-to-throw-on, simple pieces, that was perfect for a Saturday spent wandering around Kensington Market. What sold me was the structured shape, and that the sleeves are a bit longer. This marble and blush pink bracelet I found at The Bay turned out to be the perfect piece to tie the dress and my marble bag together. Makes for an unexpected combination.  What do you think? 

Headed to Kensington Market? Pop on over to FIKA Cafe for their signature iced coffee made with cardamon bitters and mint, and sprawl out on the hammock in the garden patio. Such a creative and relaxed space. I'm still dreaming of their book wall!

Pink Shift Dress
{Forever 21 dress (identical), Rebecca Minkoff bag, Bracelets: Aldo, The Bay, DIY, Joe Fresh flats (identical)}
Pink Shift Dress

Pink Shift Dress

Pink Shift Dress