My Ferrero Moment

November 30, 2015

#FerreroMoment ; gold, sparkly Holiday entertaining

I don't think there is any better way to bring your loved ones together this Holiday season than over chocolate. And not just any chocolate…. we're talking about the crunchy, the smooth, the hazelnut-y, the fine, Ferrero Rocher. Last weekend I curated a whole spread revolving around the golden Ferrero Rocher. It was complete with the chocolates, some of my favourite Christmas cookies (taken to a whole new level) and some DIY Holiday decorations. It was the perfect way to kick off the Holiday season and spend time creating magical memories. Here's how I created my #FerreroMoment.

#FerreroMoment ; gold, sparkly Holiday entertaining

DECOR

Receiving a box of  Ferrero Rocher can really make anyone feel special. I wanted the table to evoke those same warm feelings so I stuck with the golden colour theme. Personalized name cards were set for each individual and to add in that special touch of Ferrero gold, I glued some glitter sticks to each of them. The names were written in my golden attempt at faux calligraphy.

What I also love about the collection of Ferrero chocolates, is that they are packaged so pretty! The gold wrapping, the pretty bows; I basically didn't even need any added decor elements since they act as decor elements on their own! I must admit, I am obsessed with the Grand Ferrero Rocher. It's actually a huge milk chocolate shell, with the infamous hazelnuts pieces, and two Ferreros are found in the middle! Amazing, right?! Add some of the packaged Ferrero Holiday products to the tablescape for a touch of mystery and sparkle.

I love adding outdoor elements like pinecones (dressed in glitter), and pine tree sprigs to create a more cozy and homey feel. I also made up a DIY snow globe in a matter of 2 minutes. I stuck some of the pine sprigs into a wine cork and then taped the bottom of the sprigs together using washi tape. I added more of those golden and glittery sticks to the cork and glue gunned the cork to the inside of a mason jar lid. I threw in some fake snow and glitter and sealed the jar up. Ta-da! So easy-peasy.

Golden accessories such as champagne flutes, vases and candles all make sweet additions to the tablescape. Can't forget the Christmas crackers and party straws for fun!

#FerreroMoment ; gold, sparkly Holiday entertaining

BAKE

I love that the Ferrero Golden Gallery has a chocolate for everyone. The classic Ferrero, the Tenderely White (white chocolate), the Rondnoir (dark chocolate), and the Manderly (crispy wafer with a whole almond). But since baking is pretty mandatory for me during the Holidays, I wanted to take the Ferrero and combine it with a classic Christmas cookie; the shortbread. And to really elevate the scene I did them two ways. Don't worry, it's the same dough, so totally a time saver! The first way is to bake the cookie and place the Ferrero on top as soon as you take it out of the oven. The second way is to wrap a Ferrero into the shortbread. You're guests will think it is just a shortbread and will be blown away when they taste that oh so familiar Ferrero chocolatey centre. And I know what you're thinking… "doesn't it melt?!".  Check out the pictures and you will see just how beautiful these little creations are!

Here is the cookie recipe I used for both variations:

INGREDIENTS

1 cup butter softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (hazelnuts add a nice touch)
powdered sugar for rolling, crystallized sugar for springing
1 box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Add flour and nuts, beat on low speed until blended.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Here is where the instructions change depending on the cookie variation.

For the Ferrero topped cookies
Place 1 tbsp of flattened dough on cookie sheet. 
Bake 10 minutes until only lightly brown on bottom.
Immediately add 1 Ferrero Rocher to cookie, and sprinkle with crystallized sugar.

For the secret Ferrero cookies:
Shape 1 tbsp of dough around each Ferrero.
Bake 10-12 minutes until set, again only lightly golden on bottom.
Roll cookie in powered sugar while warm, but not hot.

The Holidays are the perfect time to celebrate the special, little moments. Why not get together "just because" this season? What do you think of my Ferrero Moment? Let me know if you have any questions on how to bake the cookies.  And make sure to tag pictures of your #FerreroMoment, too!

#FerreroMoment ; gold, sparkly Holiday entertaining
#FerreroMoment ; gold, sparkly Holiday entertaining

#FerreroMoment ; gold, sparkly Holiday entertaining

#FerreroMoment ; gold, sparkly Holiday entertaining

#FerreroMoment ; gold, sparkly Holiday entertaining

#FerreroMoment ; gold, sparkly Holiday entertaining

#FerreroMoment ; gold, sparkly Holiday entertaining

This post was created in collaboration with Ferrero Rocher Canada. 

I am Mrs. Claus

November 26, 2015


The Holidays are a crazy time for us all; there's the hustle, the bustle and we are always on the go. Between all the decorating, the parties, the shopping, the cooking and baking, the time just flies by! It's time to recognize all the hardworking women who really make this time of year go off without a hitch!

#IamMrsClaus is a campaign spearheaded by Upper Canada Mall to give credit to the all the female powerhouses, who do whatever they need to do, with optimism and magic, to make this time of year special for their loved ones. Mrs. Claus brings the charm and traditions of the season to any occasion, and we can't forgot the glam! She'll rock a fur vest to keep warm while running to pick up gifts, a red parka to take the kids skating, and she'll shine bright in a sparkly mini dress and perfect red lips at the holiday party. She does it all and more.  What I love about this campaign is that UCM is recognizing how amazing the modern day Mrs. Claus is. And she's you. And she's me. She's your mom, best friend, aunt, and sister. She's in all of us, in whatever way we see fit!


I had such a blast chatting with Upper Canada Mall's very own Mrs. Claus at the media preview of the #IamMrsClaus campaign. They couldn't have picked a more relatable and stylish girl boss (@laceandbraids) to play the role of modern day Mrs. Claus. In a snowy and glittery Q&A period she shared some fabulous tips for the holiday season which any woman, with a full time job or not, could use.

It's full sleigh's ahead for Mrs. Claus! Here's her tips on how to take on this fabulous Holiday season:

1. Pin a list and check it twice. Pinterest is a fabulous source of inspiration and a great place to get visual. Check out Upper Canada's Mall gift guide on Pinterest here.

2. Avoid the crowds. Extended holiday hours, people! Great way to beat the peak shopping times.

3. Wrapping reinforcements. The Beta Sigma Phi gift wrapping booth at UCM will not only stylishly wrap your gifts, giving you more time to check your list twice, but the volunteers wrap gifts in exchange for a charitable donation.

4. Keep up your energy. Mrs. Claus recommends vanilla cashew milk and some french macarons! I couldn't agree more!

5. Glamour Squad. You may want a blow out or a mani for your next Holiday party, and yes, you can do it all, but there are also professionals, and these professionals have a job, and it's to pamper you!

6. Skip the Lines for Santa. Register for a fast past to meet Santa. He'll be the one sitting in the big chair while the Mrs. Claus in you is running around perfecting every last detail!

7. Gift card. When all else fails, go for the gift card and let personal choice steal the show this season.

Ready for a P&P exclusive! I sat down with the Mrs. and asked her two very important questions.

1. What is your ideal Christmas morning breakfast? Anything made by the mister, but preferably a quiche!

2. What will Mrs. Claus be sporting to bed on Christmas Eve? Something red and lacy. I like this lady's style! And there are definitely a few places in UCM that can make that happen!


It's no secret that Mrs. Claus has some fabulous style. I rounded up my favourite picks so that you can get her look this season. All stores can be found at Upper Canada Mall.


Satin & Lace Bra / 2 Topshop Sequin Dress / 3 Knit Beanie / 4 D'Orsay Heel / 5 Ciate Nail Polish  / 6 Satin Midi Skirt / 7 Nars Lipstick / 8 Red Coat / 9 Faux Fur Vest  / 10 Rib Knit Scarf / 11 Skinny Jeans  / 12 Necklace

Thank you to Upper Canada Mall and the ladies at Jive for inviting me to the big reveal of the modern day Mrs. Claus! I had such a blast with the other blogger babes chatting, snapping pics and throwing snow around! Be sure to check out the campaign here and Mrs. Claus' Holiday Gift Guide here with gifts curated for everyone on your list, including the hostess, teacher and man friend! You also won't want to miss the Holiday Handbag Contest she will be hosting!

Damask Dress

November 23, 2015


Sometimes you're in the mood for wearing all blush and sparkly earrings, and sometimes (it may even be the next day) you just have the urge to pull out a black and white mini dress and your brightest shade of red lipstick. Personal style is a wonderful thing; it allows you to express your feelings, emotions and energy at any given time and also allows you to change them from one day to the next. It's okay not to fit into one bracket of "style" and be confined by imaginary walls that are built up by who knows who. I know this blog may be called "Pastels & Pastries", but that doesn't mean that I don't have a closet ridiculously full of neutrals. I love being in control of what I wear, eat and feel and so should you. Far too often we (and I say we because I have fallen victim to this as well) are strained with trying to fit into the particular guidelines we have set for ourselves, but the beauty of personal style is that it really doesn't care what season it is, or if your Instagram aesthetic is primarily black and white, it just wants you to be you.

{Topshop hat (similar), Trouve coat (similar) , Dynamite dress, Kate Spade bag (similar), Michael Kors boots (similar)}
Ranting on a Monday… I know, I know! Just a little late night musing that I wanted to share. Back to the fashion shall we!? This dress is a Holiday piece from a few seasons ago, and funny enough I saw it pop up again this season, albeit with a slightly different neckline and pattern, but more or less identical. I was so excited because it's one of those pieces I overlooked in my closet quite often. I'm not sure why since its thick knit texture, high neckline and long sleeves make it the perfect piece for fall. Worn over sheer tights, and paired with a black wide brim hat and a few red accents and, feeling pretty fierce at that, I was ready for a night out! 

I am totally digging the damask pattern of this dress, but I'd love to hear what you think-- rocker-chic, or carpet-chic? 




Face Care with NeoStrata

November 20, 2015


If you follow me on Twitter, Snapchat or Periscope (all @gabpacifico), you'll know that last week was a seriously hectic one at that. I plan conferences for my day job, and last week we had a huge national conference take place in the city. It was basically seven days of no sleep, binge eating, and just running myself ragged. My skin was definitely feeling the effects of the stale hotel room air, and the extreme dryness in the convention centre.

Just before I headed off to the conference I received a lovely package from NeoStrata. I met up with them during Toronto Fashion Week and they gave me a bit of a low down about their most loved products. Since winter does a number on my skin, I was very excited to try something new and was so happy when these arrived just before I left. 

NeoStrata is a leading cosmeceutial brand in Canada; they offer a variety of products for all different skin types. I was most excited to try out the Skin Resurfacing Duo (winner of Elle's Beauty Prize in 2014). It's a two step exfoliator that revitalizes the skin and leaves you feeling so fresh and radiant. The crystals, which give off a sweet lemony scent, are massaged into the skin, then without rinsing you coat the crystals with the activator. The activator is more liquid based, and doesn't smell as delicious but it definitely firms up the skin. You then wash both off and are left with deeply cleansed, radiant skin. Skin was a-glowin'! This duo has quickly become a part of my morning routine. It wakes me up, washes deep down and leaves my skin oh so soft and did I mention radiating??

The other product that I have officially added to my morning routine is the Moisture Infusion 24 Hour Hydrating Serum. My face has a serious tendency to dry out throughout the day, and the thought of spending a week inside a convention centre had me so worried about what the state of my skin would be by the end of the week. I was shocked at how well this cream locked in moisture. It leaves you feeling so hydrated and velvety. 

The other products I am just starting to add into my beauty routine, like the Micellar Cleanser, which is a great alternate to make-up remover for those nights when you can't be bothered to wash your face (you don't need to rinse it off!). Or the Anti-Wrinkle Lip Enhancer, which leaves your lips feeling velvety soft and adds a natural plumpness. I'll definitely be trying out the Natural Tan Enhancer in the upcoming weeks as I prepare for an upcoming trip to Palm Springs (officially taking recommendations as of now, since I can finally think about things other than work!!). 

Thank you to NeoStrata for elevating my skin care routine! I am so glad I have found a few new amazing products to get me through the winter! Try them out for yourself.

Do you have any skin-care products you love for the winter? I'd love to hear your tips!


NeoStrata provided me with their products with no expectations or request for review; these opinions are my own.

Pinking Around

November 18, 2015

Pink & Grey Fall Style- Pastels & Pastries

Pink and grey is one of those sweet colour combinations that I've always been drawn too. When you add in some sparkly jewels, it makes for a perfect pre-Holiday season look. 

After seriously living in black-on-black for the duration of my week long work conference I was in desperate need of a colour revival. Since blush pink has the ability to lift me out of any funk possible, I thought it was appropriate to throw on a variety of different shades of the colour and some jewelled beauties (these glam Olive & Piper earrings). Since I didn't want to look like I was headlining Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" video, I paired the colour with some classic fall colours and pieces; the warmest blanket scarf I own in grey tones, a rugged beanie and fringe booties. The grey tones keep the outfit from feeling too feminine and I love how the beanie and booties add a little bit of roughness to the outfit. 

What do you think of pairing grey and pink? Fit for fall?

Pink & Grey Fall Style- Pastels & Pastries
{Joe Fresh hat, Zara scarf (similar) & coat (similar), Forever 21 sweater, Topshop jeans (similar), Olive & Piper earrings, Kate Spade bag, H&M bracelet, Sam Edelman boots}

Pink & Grey Fall Style

Pink & Grey Fall Style- Pastels & Pastries

Pink & Grey Fall Style- Pastels & Pastries


Benefits of Blogger Business Cards

November 16, 2015


For the longest time I was on the fence about whether I should have business cards made for Pastels & Pastries. While out at an event a few weeks ago I was asked for my card and I completely froze; I felt so unversed and basically just un-prepared. After that night, and with the Spark Sessions conference on the way, I decided I needed them.

It's a little intimidating to think that your blog needs business cards, but in all honestly they are such an invaluable tool to enhance connections and really get yourself noticed.

So why do we need business cards, my fellow blogger babes?? Well I'll tell ya. And If you're thinking that I am totally late on this train, you are probably right.

Get yourself noticed. During large-scale events, potential contacts and brands may just not remember you after all the faces they meet. It's great to give them something to take away that includes your information since they are most likely to resort sorting through the physical cards then trying to rack their brain finding you online.

Networking. Exchange them with other bloggers. Sometimes you just can't remember all the Instagrammers you come across in one night. It's great to have something to fall back on.

Empower yourself. Is it just me, or do you feel fancier with business cards? No really, I love how they have elevated my self-worth and made me feel more professional. Business cards mean business and they certainly give off a sense of seriousness, maturity and all around commitment.

So now that you have agreed you need business cards, where do you start?

On my commute to work on day, I heard a promo code on a commercial for Vistaprint and and literally dove into the design process right away. It was ridiculously simple and in no time at all my cards were designed. I did check out a few other sites but really wanted to maintain the minimalistic aesthetic of P&P, and not use someone else's template. And no-- not a sponsored post, I just had a great experience with the whole process!

I chose to include my name, blog site (don't include http://www.; it's a waste of space and is obvious), email address, and Twitter/Instagram handle, and most importantly my blog logo. Consistency and  flow of style is key so I kept within the same style guide and colour scheme as on my page. Sure you could include your phone number, address and photo, but for my first indulgence in the card world I kept it simple.

Verdict? I love my cards. They make me feel as though my game has been elevated ten fold. And for around $30.00 I designed my cards, had them printed and delivered in three days. I think working with a designer is something to definitely consider next time around to enhance certain elements of the card, but for now you'll find me happily handing out these cards.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who was intimidated by business cards? Do you have them? Do you love them?!


A OOAK Holiday Gift Guide

November 10, 2015

I'm sure you are aware of the One of a Kind Show that takes place in the Spring and just before the Holidays every year, but did you know that OOAK has an online shop where you can buy handmade all year round? The One of Kind Online Shop curates such a unique and diverse selection of Canadian, handmade goods, and I am so excited to be collaborating with OOAK Online to showcase a selection of gifts that I simply adore. The Shop is filled with completely unique, made-with-love goodies, such as ceramics, jewellery, housewares, sweets, clothes, and more! I could go on and on! 

Supporting Canadian artisans is important for a variety of obvious reasons, but why not surprise your friends and family with truly one of a kind gifts that you can't find anywhere else this Holiday season? I have rounded up my top picks from the OOAK Online Shop to help make gift giving easier this season. And (drumroll please) the One of a Kind Online Shop is kindly giving one Pastels & Pastries reader a $100 gift card to their shop! Amazing- I know! Be sure to enter below and let me know what you would buy for someone special with the gift card if you were to win!

Be sure to check out my full gift guide on the OOAK Online Shop's website!




1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17

There are even more inspiring Canadian artisans to meet and treasures to be found at the OOAK Show & Sale, which takes place from November 26th to December 6th this year. Let me know if you plan to attend! 

This post was brought to you by the One of a Kind Online Shop, however all opinions are truly my own. I think supporting local artisans is so important and ultimately want to give them the credit the deserve. Once you see how talented the designers are, and the creativity and beauty behind the the different lines of intricate goods you will understand why I am so excited for this chance to share some Canadian talent!

Enter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to Canadian and US residents. Contest closes November 17th, 2015 at midnight.  

Holiday Planning

November 09, 2015


Bring out the carols, tinsel, ribbon and peppermint patties, the Holidays are fast approaching! The malls are putting up their Santa sets, the Coke commercials are out (is it just me, or do they make you cry too?), and the Holiday gift guides are about to begin. I just love this time of year! To get you in the spirit for all things naughty and nice I have rounded up some of my most loved Holiday themed content on Pastels & Pastries.

To start I wanted to flash back to my pink and gold Glitzmas Girls Christmas Party I threw last year. My best gift friends came over, we ate, drink and indulged in the sweetest treats from probably my most favourite dessert buffet I've ever put together. It was complete with my go-to Holiday sweets, such as peanut butter balls (do you guys want the recipe for these?!), ginger molasses cookies and homemade turtles. See the full post here.


At the Glitzmas Party I also set up a sugar cookie decorating station. It was a huge hit. I made the cookies and icing in advance, whipped up some snacks and we went to town. The girls took home their  cookies at the end of the night as a party favour. Check it out here


This tree is still the epitome of Christmas sparkle. Can't wait to get all cozy and sit under it once again.

No Christmas Party is complete without a spiked hot chocolate bar with vodka infused whipped cream, right? See how I set up this station at the Glitzmas Party. 

Wrapping presents is something I take pride in. Last year I wanted to go the less traditional route, with funky colours and DIY present toppers. I can't wait to continue this tradition. Check out my tips for a gift wrapping party here.

Is there anything you want to see on the blog this Holiday season? Let me know!


More:

Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing
Packaging Baked Goods
Candied Pecans