June 27, 2018

How to Work on Your Pre-Wedding Beauty Routine


As of right now, there are 412 days until our wedding, but who's counting, right?! I have to say; the planning is making me so giddy with excitement. At first, I was so nonchalant about it all. Now, I'm so eager to plan every little detail out! Still trying to remain calm, though. The first step was doing our engagement photos, which you can read more about that here and here, and now it's planning the engagement party. I really was not interested in having one, but the parents were pretty set on celebrating. I get it, it's a huge milestone so now I am going with it. And having fun in the process! Maybe a little too much fun!

Pre Wedding Beauty Routine, Crest White Whitestrips with Light, How to work on your wedding beauty routine, Pastels & pastries wedding, engagement, blogger wedding routine
Pre Wedding Beauty Routine, Crest White Whitestrips with Light, How to work on your wedding beauty routine, Pastels & pastries wedding, engagement, blogger wedding routine
One thing I am SO happy I started doing before our engagement photos was working on my beauty routine. Because of all these wedding-related activities coming up, I want to be prepared and feeling my best! I amped up everything I could think of because some things do take time to work on! I started incorporating 10x more face oil to my face (didn't think that was possible-haha), started using an all-natural eyebrow serum to get thicker, fuller brows, focused on drinking so much more lemon water to really detox the skin and look hydrated and started using Crest 3D White Whitestrips with Light. As an avid coffee and tea drinker, I needed some help in the teeth whitening department. But really I didn't have the time or cash to dish out at the dentist. 

So what's so great about Crest 3D White Whitestrips with Light?

Pre Wedding Beauty Routine, Crest White Whitestrips with Light, How to work on your wedding beauty routine, Pastels & pastries wedding, engagement, blogger wedding routine
*Convenient-- all I do is apply the strips an hour before bed and let them work their magic. Then I use the light for a few minutes and voila. Done! I am a huge multitasker with the strips. I do them when I'm working, cooking, cleaning, anytime I'm home. I love how convenient the application is. 

*Lasting-- the results last up to 36 months! Start now, do the 10 treatments, and then focus on all the other little details, like my non-existent wedding dress. I should really get on that... 

Pre Wedding Beauty Routine, Crest White Whitestrips with Light, How to work on your wedding beauty routine, Pastels & pastries wedding, engagement, blogger wedding routine
*Harmless-- one thing I was SO skeptical about, was having overly sensitive teeth. I was so excited that these did not irritate my teeth or gums at all! And there was no bad taste to the strips. This is key! 

*Results-- people actually notice. Later stains and yellow teeth! I've gotten so many compliments on my pearlies, and I can totally see the difference in pictures. Even Brandon is so excited to use them after he gets his braces off! 
So even if you're not planning your wedding, summer is a great time to amp up your beauty routine. Make some changes to feel your best now. Do you have any other tips for me to start doing now? Let me know! In the meantime, get yourself the whitest and brightest smile of your life! 

*This post was sponsored by Crest, however, I would in no way share my experience with you if it was not positive! 

Pre Wedding Beauty Routine, Crest White Whitestrips with Light, How to work on your wedding beauty routine, Pastels & pastries wedding, engagement, blogger wedding routine


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June 25, 2018

Beach Travel Essentials-- Snacks and Skincare

pastels & pastries, what to pack for a beach vacation, beauty, skincare, coconut, travel, packing, make up, best snacks to pack on the plane, travel skincare hacks, rawcology, st.tropez, best self tanner, it cosmetics CC Cream

I can't remember the last time I took a beach vacation. Okay... yes I can. It was to Mexico with my best friend and it was fabulous. But it was like 3 years ago and I am long overdue! I am headed to The Bahamas with a group of 10 ladies for one of my bestie's bachelorette. Things are about to get real. I'm kinda scared. LOL, kidding. We are staying at an all-inclusive resort but there are a few things I will not be forgetting to pack. Snacks and skincare are two essentials I pretty much do not leave the house without, let alone the country! But my faves as of late? Let's dive into it...

pastels & pastries, what to pack for a beach vacation, beauty, skincare, coconut, travel, packing, make up, best snacks to pack on the plane, travel skincare hacks, rawcology, st.tropez, best self tanner, it cosmetics CC Cream

SNACKS

Rawcology Coconut Chips and Superfood Granola
I hate being let down with poor food choices. Even though there are sure to be loads of great options on the resort I can't risk being without some superfoods. Rawcology is a company I truly love! The founder, Tara, created the line of plant-based, nutrient and vitamin dense snacks to promote a healthy lifestyle and re-invent the standard of packaged foods. I add the sweet and savory coconut chips to everything-- eggs, avocado, salads, desserts, yogurt, and the granola... well let's just say I can barely keep it in the house. Perfect plane snack or beach snacking! Healthy fats will keep you full and satiated! (P.S. the Matcha Latte Coconut Chips are SO amazing, and unlike anything I've ever tasted!! You need them, now) 


Almond Butter Packs
I don't go a day without almond butter. It's kind of an addiction, kind of the best thing ever. I always travel with mini Justin's almond or Artisana pecan butter packs. They store so well, too. I keep them in my room and in my beach bag for a quick snack on the go. Eat them with apples, bananas, crackers, yogurt... or a spoon!


Magnesium
This is not a snack, you're right. But it goes in with the food category... kinda! I don't know what it is but I can barely sleep in hotel rooms. It is a HUGE issue for me. The first night I will wake up after two hours of sleep and be up for the whole night. It doesn't matter how comfortable the bed is, or where I am. It never fails. Magnesium is amazing to relax and calm the body and also helps to combat stress and body pain. A lot of people (over 50%) have a magnesium deficiency so I take Calm Magnesium nightly before bed to help me sleep. All I do is mix just over a tablespoon in with some warm water and drink. No way am I leaving home without it!

pastels & pastries, what to pack for a beach vacation, beauty, skincare, coconut, travel, packing, make up, best snacks to pack on the plane, travel skincare hacks, rawcology, st.tropez, best self tanner, it cosmetics CC Cream

SKINCARE

SPF
You already saw my detailed list of SPF (read it here to see which ones specifically I will be taking with me). What was missing from that list? A great lip balm and scrub. Mary Kay makes a great duo that I have been loving lately. It's sure to keep my lips nice and hydrated at the beach, and scrub away the dead skin cells!

CC Cream
Sometimes I like to look polished and done up on the beach! It's not a crime! My go-to CC Cream for years has been by the "Your Skin But Better CC Cream" by it Cosmetics. It looks so flawless on since it's full coverage, it's long lasting and it has an SPF of 50! It's also packed with vitamins A, B, C, E so you are basically diffusing wrinkles and lines all while being protected from the sun's rays. I always take this CC on vacation with me, because it's a one-stop shop, and it lasts from day to night! 

WHAT ELSE?

A good read is essential for travel. I've been alternating between a few, but it will be nice to have a day to indulge in a good one! Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is a psychological thriller that I just dove into! So far I'm hooked. Must finish before it hit the TV screen in July!

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Nails that last are key too. Especially when you are in and out of the sand, beach and flipflops. The essie Gel Couture line is the one line I always count on since I don't do shellac! No chipping!

Don't even get me started on this Bronzing Facial Mist by St. Tropez. I am obsessed! It's the perfect instant tan. I love that you can spray it on top of your makeup, and it smells so fresh. It's a refresher and bronzer all in one. And NO marks on your clothes. You bet I'll be faking the tan all summer long!

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And you can't forget a mini bag to store all the essentials in. I love having a smaller bag in my beach bag to keep sand out and house all my little items like chapstick, headphones, etc. This pink crossbody by Poppy & Peonies is definitely coming with me! It will be great to take out and use a clutch for the evening. Double duty, people!

What are some of your travel essentials? Am I the only crazy that brings food with them away on vacation? 

*bag & towel by Poppy & Peonies

S H O P T H E P O S T

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June 18, 2018

Face & Body Sunscreens for the Season

Hotel X Toronto, Rooftop Pool. Sunscreens

Oh baby is it ever getting hot out! I love the heat, I love the sun, I am a summer child, through and through! But have you seen me?! I am not a fan of UV rays and sunburns, people. Don't get me wrong, I can get colour in the summer, but having fair skin means I am totally susceptible to burns, skin care issues, and all the woes. I am all about protecting my skin. We can't just make more of it, and damage is usually irreversible. To combat the rays and to protect against UV damage there are a few products I rely on in these months. Let's break it down:
Face and Body sunscreens for summer, st.tropez, pixi sun mist, vichy, laspa natural sunscreen

Facial Care

NATURAL
When it comes to my face, I like to go natural. Laspa Naturals makes a great mineral moisturizer for sensitive skin with SPF 30. A little goes a seriously long way, so apply sparingly! I love it because it's 100% natural-- made only from plant-based ingredients, minerals, and essential oils. No chemicals at all! And it's hypoallergenic, and water/sweat resistant. I've done the run test in this one, and it withstands!

P.S. you can get LaSpa products at beautysense.ca and save 10% using code: GABPAC

ANTI-SHINE
Another game changer. The Vichy Ideal Soleil Dry Touch is extremely light which makes it perfect for the face. It even mattifies! So you do not look oily whatsoever. When an Olympian champion swimmer uses it on the reg, you know something is working. I love that it is SPF 60 and can be suitable for all skin types.

DOUBLE DUTY
Looking to up your daily moisturizer. Olay Luminous Whips is the perfect light and airy moisturizer that has SPF 25 to make sure you're covered.
Pro tip-- add a drop of Dermablend Flawless Creator Multi-Use Liquid Pigments to create a tinted cream! I love doing this when I'm short on time or don't want to wear heavy foundation.

Face and Body sunscreens for summer, st.tropez, pixi sun mist, vichy, laspa natural sunscreen


Body

NATURAL
Laspa also makes another natural body sunscreen I have been loving. It's SPF 20 and moisturizes the body as well. It's mineral based so the zinc oxide works immediately to absorb into the skin (no waiting 20 minutes before sun exposure), and no chemicals!

ALL OVER
My on-the-go go-to? Pixi Sun Mist. I literally leave this in my purse. It's so compact and I mist myself all day with it. Especially when I'm driving with the windows down! Or before a walk on my lunch break. All you do is shake and spray. It's great for when you don't want to get your hands all covered in product. I spray on my face as well. The bamboo and chamomile extracts are so soothing and not irritating.


FAKE IT
I may be an advocate for UV protection but that doesn't mean I can't still indulge in a little bronzing! I have been relying on St. Tropez self-tanning Face Mist and Bronzing Water Moose to get the job done, and loving it! I can't be the only one who just feels fabulous when that have a little bronzer glow going on! I love how St.Tropez has the mist that makes it so easy to apply! Yes, I am still sure I go light on the elbows, knees, and ankles, just in case!

Am I missing any of your faves?! Let me know!

Face and Body sunscreens for summer, st.tropez, pixi sun mist, vichy, laspa natural sunscreen

Face and Body sunscreens for summer, st.tropez, pixi sun mist, vichy, laspa natural sunscreenS H O P  T H E  P O S T :



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June 11, 2018

Our Engagement Shoot Part 2- How To Make The Most of Your Engagement

How to make the most out of your engagement; engagement shoot tips, engagement planning

We finally did it! We had our engagement shoot.

Did you see them??

Did you love them??

Oh, we have more!!

This is part two of our shoot. Our look before THE LOOK. We decided to do two looks so we could get comfortable with Alix first and just have some fun walking around town! I love some of these shots and how playful they are! So casual... sipping an espresso, jumping on B. It's pretty much the daily routine! Haha..

But now... for some serious insight on being engaged for the past 7 months.  Let's get into my top tips for being engaged!

Pastels & Pastries engagement shoot, how to make the most out of your engagement
"Oh my gosh! Congratulations! I'm so happy for you... now when's the big day?!"

Um. Sorry? What... I literally got engaged five seconds ago.
How to make the most out of your engagement; engagement shoot tips, engagement planning, nadege toronto engagement

That is pretty much how every conversation went down the months after we got engaged. Brandon proposed to me on vacation and from the moment we got home that's all we heard! Are you people serious?! All we wanted to do was enjoy being engaged and not rush into picking a date. It's such a special feeling. Even if you have been together for so long. It just feels different when you're engaged! You want to enjoy all the little moments that come along with this time. And most importantly remember it all! So to help you out, I'm sharing a few ways we have been making the most out of this special time!

How to make the most out of your engagement; engagement shoot tips, engagement planning

1) Take in every moment.
Being engaged is not a countdown or timeline. It is a period of time. Why rush this? Just take the time to bask in each other's love and embrace. Get giddy and enjoy calling each other fiance for a while! It has such a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Take pictures, all the cheesy ones! Yes, with your hands in the air. And you best wave them around like you just don't care! We did it all! Hand up, holding the champagne glass, hand holding our lock on the love lock bridge in Paris. You will want to remember these little moments! When the wedding ball gets rolling, it will get rolling, and fast! Remember to slow down and make time stand still, even if just for a little bit.

Pastels & Pastries engagement shoot, how to plan engagement, toronto blogger engagement tips

2) Ignore the pressure.
Family, friends, colleagues, they all want to know-- when's the big day? You do not need to get caught up in all the wedding talk. You will set a date that works for you both and it will be magical. We got engaged in October and in January we finally picked a date and a venue! At times it was hard to admit that we didn't know when it would happen or hadn't started planning. But that's okay! We were just loving being engaged. Believe me, once you start planning it will feel like you've jumped on a high-speed train to the chapel so there is no need to get bogged down that nothing is in place yet. You will get there and you will get there fast once it starts.

Love engagement shoot, neutral engagement shoot, white engagement shoot, toronto, pastels & Pastries

3) Decide on a timeframe.
Okay, so I know I said to enjoy just being engaged and forget about the timeline, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Deciding on just a year, or month will make it all less stressful!  Most importantly, make the date realistic. What year are you thinking? What month? This will have a big impact on when you need to start venue searching.  We got engaged in October and knew we wanted to set a date for summer 2019, that way we would have ample time to plan. This timing also gave us a grace period where I didn't feel crazy anxious about not planning. I knew that once January came along the hunt would begin, which would give us around a year and a half to plan. Plenty of time in my eyes! Even as we were venue searching now, many places were still taking bookings for summer 2018. So I knew we were in the clear. Remember you can't pick a date without having a venue so don't get your heart set on a date as it may not be available for your ideal venue. The two go hand in hand (just like yours and your lovers... cheesy? I know!).

How to make the most out of your engagement; engagement shoot tips, engagement planning

4) Brainstorm.
Here is where my eyes get real big, and a sly smile appears on my face. Ah, the Pinterest boards, the magazines, the wedding shows-- they can be so exciting! I would be lying if I said I didn't already have a wedding board on Pinterest before we got engaged, but this is the time when I started sectioning them out into venue looks, design elements, and decor. Just start collecting images that inspire you! Start compiling inspiring images and you will see a common theme starting to develop. I show them to B and it makes it so easy to see what he likes and doesn't. When I can't explain a design properly I can show him, and his reaction is a dead giveaway to see if he likes the idea or not. This part is fun and allows you to dream. What does your dream day look like? It can be out of reach-- even if just for a little while!

How to make the most out of your engagement; engagement shoot tips, engagement planning

5) Stay true to yourself.
Guys, sometimes the FOMO is real. We all get it. The magazines, the Instagram accounts... they can be a little bit overwhelming and unrealistic. Most of the weddings chosen on these accounts and in the magazines showcase extremely elaborate florals, cakes, and decor. Remember that what is do-able for someone may not be do-able for you. Even if it is unrealistic it can still fun to look at and gain inspiration from. Just remember why you are in this and that is to be married! To commit yourselves to one another. The day will come and go and no one will be as focused as you are on the design elements. Stay true to the big picture and focus on the things you really want.

How to make the most out of your engagement; engagement shoot tips, engagement planning

Does this help?! Let me know if you have any other suggestions. Do you have any wedding planning advice for me?! I'd LOVE to hear it!

All photos were taken by Alix Gould Photography.

How to make the most out of your engagement; engagement shoot tips, engagement planning
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June 04, 2018

What To Do in Boston-- Travel Guide | TRAVEL VIDEO

Boston Travel Vlog, what to do in Boston, Primark Shopping Haul
{Primark Boston}

Boston... where to begin. I really had no idea what to expect. My mom and I chose the destination sort of on a whim. We (well, she) had short haul travel reward points that needed to be used up and we randomly chose Boston as our city of choice. When I thought of Boston all I thought was Harvard, Fenway Park, and the marathon. Little did I know that this booming city is full of architectural wonders, gorgeously manicured parks, incredible shopping and some of the friendliest people I've ever met. Today I'm going to get into some of the highlights from our trip, and what to do, see and eat while you're there.

Boston Travel Vlog, what to do in Boston, Hotel no. 284 Boston
{No. 284}
Boston Travel Vlog, what to do in Boston, Hotel no. 284 Boston
{Library at No.284)

STAY

We prefer boutique style guesthouses opposed to large chain hotels no matter where we go. There is something so personal about the experience. We came across No. 284 and immediately were sold. Nestled in a historic building (built in 1880) in the Back Bay area of Boston (my favourite area!), the guesthouse has 23 luxury rooms and common spaces that are so perfect you may never want to leave. The main floor library is stacked with gorgeous books, travel guides, beautiful coffee table books, there is a little, hidden courtyard that my mom and I had all to ourselves one night (we may have brought out our bottle of wine and enjoyed this under the gorgeous Boston sky), they serve Nespresso coffee and hook you up with Elemis toiletries! The front desk team was incredibly sweet, catering to any need we had, even when it meant ensuring we'd get to the airport at 4 AM. Our room was massive, the bed was SO comfortable and we just felt like locals at this guesthouse. I can't recommend it enough!

Boston Travel Vlog, what to do in Boston, Hotel no. 284 Boston
{Couryard at No. 284}
Boston Travel Vlog, what to do in Boston, Boston Travel Guide, Commonwealth Ave
{Commonwealth Avenue}

EAT

I pretty much stalked some fabulous Boston bloggers to find some tasty eats in the city (@maevestier@emilyshell). They did not dissapoint. The highlight of my dining experience was at Citrus & Salt. A Cali/Mexican inspired restaurant that is an Instagrammer's dream. I just wish I could have gone back to take pictures of all the pink accents, crazy cool murals delicious food. I don't take guacamole making lightly and they NAILED it! My faves were the jalapeno margs, ceviche and of course the guacamole. We also loved casual bites at Dig Inn (which was fresh, delicious and healthy), and of course, we made a stop for lunch at by Chloe. I can never stay away from the guac burger, air popped sweet potato fries, and chocolate chip cookie. Vegan, gluten-free, but you would never know it! Mmmmm, we need one in Toronto!

Boston Travel Vlog, what to do in Boston, Boston Travel Guide, vegan eats Boston, By Chloe Boston
{lunch at by Chloe}

I was also insanely excited when I realized there was a Pressed Juicery on Newbury Street (which was a two-minute walk away from No.284) because I finally got to try their famous Pressed Freeze. It's essentially non-dairy ice cream made with minimal ingredients-- dates, almond, cacao, and water. I obviously got chocolate, and obviously added extra almond butter, and I am obviously still dreaming of it.

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{Yvonne's Boston}

For dinner one night we hit up Yvonne's as I received a few recommendations for this middle Eastern, tapas style restaurant. It was very posh and all the dishes were tasty. It was in the downtown area of Boston which is quite touristy (right near Primark) but it was fine for a quick pop-in. The washroom was also very insta-worthy!

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{Tatte Bakery}
There are just soooo many great spots to check out, I wish we could have visited them all! For us Canadians, a trip to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's was also essential. I may have brought back an obscene amount of GG crackers and Perfect Bars.

Thinking sweets? Do not miss a visit to Tatte Bakery. They have a few locations and serve up the best coffee and treats. Their cafes are just plain beautiful, too! White marble aesthetics, iced matcha lattes, and pretty pastries await!

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{Tatte Bakery}

EXPLORE

Boston is beautiful. The parks and the historic buildings are everywhere! All you need to do is open your eyes to be amazed. Do not miss a chance to get into some history. Take advantage of the Freedom Walk, where you literally follow footprints around the city and visit each historic monument. Then there is the library, Fenway Park... Do some research and find out what is calling to you. As soon as I discovered The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, I knew we had to go! Isabella curated such an amazing collection of art. Some of it so absurd and random, I loved it! Think a lock of hair, a tassel from Queen Mary's bed, and thousands of paintings, sculptures, furniture and archival objects from the ancient world, the medieval world and beyond! The house is absolutely stunning and will make you feel as though you transported to Spain or Morocco. Just look at that courtyard!

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{Yvonne's Boston}

The Back Bay area was my favourite. The houses are so Victorian, so regal. I could spend hours walking up and down Commonwealth Avenue. There is also great shopping on Newbury Street. Just one street over is Boylston Street which is home to the massive Prudential Center (mall), which also houses Eatly Boston!

Boston Travel Vlog, what to do in Boston, Boston Travel Guide, boston beautiful homes, instagrammable spots, commonwealth ave, boston bloggerThe transit system is super easy to follow so you can make your way around the city no problem. Take a bus to Harvard Square and explore more! Walk through the Boston Gardens, or spend some time at the Seaport.

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{Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum}

DAY TRIPS

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There are so many little towns to visit in New England. There is Salem, Cape Cod, Newport, and the list goes on! We decided to visit Martha's Vineyard, mostly for the cuteness factor. There are a few towns on the island and you don't need a car to explore. Rent some bikes, and visit the beach or neighboring towns. There are some really cute shops, galleries and of course the Gingerbread Cottages, which is where I made myself at home. Three hundred and eighteen tiny cottages sit on a campsite in Oak Bluffs (one of the towns in MV). They come in all shapes, sizes, and colours with the most darling details. So cute you could eat them up!

Boston Travel Vlog, isabella stewart gardner museum, what to do in Boston, Boston Travel Guide, boston beautiful homes, instagrammable spots,martha's vineyard, oak bluffs, what to do in martha's vineyard, boston blogger
{ferry ride to Martha's Vineyard}

Taking a day trip is a nice way to see more of New England, but totally not necessary. There is plenty to do in Boston alone! You know you can't do it all in one trip so once you make your list of priority sights, it's all quite easy to plan. Any questions, you can ask me, or the people in Boston. Seriously, SO friendly! One bus driver gave a ride for free, one person helped us flag a cab for five minutes, then proceeded to give us directions for another five, and we also met another Toronto native who picked up his life and moved to Boston. He gave us loads of recommendations, including his favourite restaurants and bakeries (Mike's Pastry) in Little Italy.

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{The Pink House in Martha's Vineyard}

Boston Travel Vlog, isabella stewart gardner museum, what to do in Boston, Boston Travel Guide, boston beautiful homes, instagrammable spots, boston public library, boston blogger
{Boston Public Library}


Really I can't say enough amazing things about our time in Boston. It was a lovely change from our usual New York trip! I hope you love the Boston Vlog I put together. My momma makes an appearance and was once again the best travel partner ever. Always stopping for my ridic photo ops, putting up with walking over 20,000 steps/day and hunting for the most random restaurants in the city that I just "HAVE TO GO TO".

Boston Travel Vlog, isabella stewart gardner museum, what to do in Boston, Boston Travel Guide, boston beautiful homes, instagrammable spots, boston public library, boston blogger, boston memorial day, boston public garden
{Memorial Day weekend // Boston Public Garden}

Any questions? Feel free to ask!

W A T C H  T H E  V I D E O:


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May 23, 2018

VIDEO | House Hacks Part 2- How To Decorate with Candles, Flowers and Frames


You guys loved House Hacks Part 1, so I am back with Part 2! Today's How To video is all about finding little ways to elevate your home on a budget. Watch as I re-purpose old candle jars, change up your basic frame and make the most out of grocery store bouquets. What are your house hacks? I'm sure you have some! Share them with me.

As always, thank you for watching! Don't forget to subscribe and let me know you're loving what you're seeing!



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May 15, 2018

Our Engagement Shoot Part 1- Top Tips to Plan Your Engagement Shoot


The date for our engagement shoot was booked months in advance. Back in February, May seemed so far away! It was... except that it totally crept up on us. I couldn't believe when I looked at my calendar and saw that it was a week away, and I had nothing planned! No outfits, no location, no ideas. Just a dream photographer and an evening session scheduled.

How to Plan an Engagement Shoot- Toronto Engagement Shoot, Trinty Bellwoods Engagement, Cherry Blossom Engagement Shoot, how to plan an engagement shoot, Alix Gould Photography, lace boho wedding dress, wild north florals crown, Honey lace dress

I hummed and hawed over the location for a good week. Should we do the Scarborough bluffs? What about Cherry Beach? Alix, our photographer, reminded me that the cherry blossoms were in peak season and suggested Trinity Bellwoods Park. I was so unsure-- the park is always flooded with people trying to capture the blossoms, and on a mild spring evening in the city, it was sure to be no different. Alix reassured me we would make it work and I'm so happy she did suggest Trinity Bellwoods because it ended up being perfect. We got two different looks in and had a fun evening galavanting around Queen West. After going through this whole process I took a few things away from it that I wanted to share our tips, along with our photos. I can't believe how they turned out. To say I am in awe is an understatement. If you're planning an engagement shoot and wondering how it make it go off without a hitch, here are my suggestions (for starters, get in touch with Alix to capture the most dreamy shots ever!!):

Brandon and Gabriella, Pastels & Pastries Engagement Shoot,  Trinty Bellwoods Engagement, Cherry Blossom Engagement Shoot, how to plan an engagement shoot, Alix Gould Photography, lace boho wedding dress, wild north florals crown, Honey lace dress

1. Decide on an area, not a specific location.  There are many different factors that can come into play when choosing a location and it can be so difficult to predict how anything will look on a specific day, let alone the moment you're there. People could be sitting on your favourite bench, the sun could be glaring in your eyes maybe there is even a dump truck that just won't move. For us, the day of was non-stop rain; I thought we were going to have to choose a different location as the blossoms were falling off the trees like hot cakes. Also, I did not want just a nature setting. So when we landed on Queen West/Trinity Bellwoods area I knew we would have a few different options.

Gabriella and Brandon, Pastels & Pastries engagement, Toronto Engagement Shoot, Trinty Bellwoods Engagement, Cherry Blossom Engagement Shoot, how to plan an engagement shoot, Alix Gould Photography, lace boho wedding dress, wild north florals crown, Honey lace dress

2. Pick two different outfits and start with the one you like least. Having two different looks is a great way to get more bang for your buck. Alix also suggested we start with the outfit we liked least. This allows you some time to get past the awkward shots and get more comfortable with your photographer. We started with our casual outfit first and it gave us the time to get into our groove and really feel it. For me, it was also beneficial to start with the casual outfit first, as you can make your hair/makeup more dramatic after this shot is done. In terms of outfits, go with what you feel comfortable in. Choose less trendy pieces and focus on timeless. We went with white shirts for the casual. For our dressy look, there is no way I could not NOT wear this dress from Honey from the moment I laid eyes on it. It could be a wedding dress. It's stunning-- lace, backless, mermaid... it was me! Since everyone who knows me, knows I am obsessed with fresh flowers it was essential that I incorporate them into the shoot.  Wild North Flowers  created the most gorgeous reverse floral crown.  It was whimsical, soft, delicate and I love how you it could be captured from the back.  
Gabriella and Brandon, Pastels & Pastries engagement, Toronto Engagement Shoot, Trinty Bellwoods Engagement, Cherry Blossom Engagement Shoot, how to plan an engagement shoot, Alix Gould Photography, lace boho wedding dress, wild north florals crown, Honey lace dress

3. Scope out a place to change. Trinity Bellwoods has public washrooms, but we opted to take advantage of the cute cafes in the area. We headed into Nadege (camera away!), for a coffee. Alix ended up sneakily snapping some pictures while we sipped our beverages and then we each took a few minutes to change in their washrooms. You want to maximize the amount of time you have with the photographer, so it helps when you have it mapped out so you are not spending ten minutes looking for a washroom. 
Gabriella and Brandon, Pastels & Pastries engagement, Toronto Engagement Shoot, Trinty Bellwoods Engagement, Cherry Blossom Engagement Shoot, how to plan an engagement shoot, Alix Gould Photography, lace boho wedding dress, wild north florals crown, Honey lace dress

4. Save some photos of shots you like. I had saved tons of pictures on my Instagram account and sent Alix screenshots in advance. I even prepped Brandon with them in advance! Haha! In the moment you can kind of freeze and forget what you wanted to do, so it helps to have something to pull up if you need some inspiration. Other than that, don't focus on being so posed. Just have fun, and the beauty of your love will be captured!
Gabriella and Brandon, Pastels & Pastries engagement, Toronto Engagement Shoot, Trinty Bellwoods Engagement, Cherry Blossom Engagement Shoot, how to plan an engagement shoot, Alix Gould Photography, lace boho wedding dress, wild north florals crown, Honey lace dress

5. Prep the night before. Pull out your outfits, make sure they are washed and ironed. Get all your shoes together and pack a little bag for make up touch-ups. Pack it all up and have it ready to go. This way you will forget nothing when it's time to go!

Gabriella and Brandon, Pastels & Pastries engagement, Toronto Engagement Shoot, Trinty Bellwoods Engagement, Cherry Blossom Engagement Shoot, how to plan an engagement shoot, Alix Gould Photography, lace boho wedding dress, wild north florals crown, Honey lace dress
Gabriella and Brandon, Pastels & Pastries engagement, Toronto Engagement Shoot, Trinty Bellwoods Engagement, Cherry Blossom Engagement Shoot, how to plan an engagement shoot, Alix Gould Photography, lace boho wedding dress, wild north florals crown, Honey lace dress
Gabriella and Brandon, Pastels & Pastries engagement, Toronto Engagement Shoot, Trinty Bellwoods Engagement, Cherry Blossom Engagement Shoot, how to plan an engagement shoot, Alix Gould Photography, lace boho wedding dress, wild north florals crown, Honey lace dress
Gabriella and Brandon, Pastels & Pastries engagement, Toronto Engagement Shoot, Trinty Bellwoods Engagement, Cherry Blossom Engagement Shoot, how to plan an engagement shoot, Alix Gould Photography, lace boho wedding dress, wild north florals crown, Honey lace dress


Gabriella and Brandon, Pastels & Pastries engagement, Toronto Engagement Shoot, Trinty Bellwoods Engagement, Cherry Blossom Engagement Shoot, how to plan an engagement shoot, Alix Gould Photography, lace boho wedding dress, wild north florals crown, Honey lace dress
Gabriella and Brandon, Pastels & Pastries engagement, Toronto Engagement Shoot, Trinty Bellwoods Engagement, Cherry Blossom Engagement Shoot, how to plan an engagement shoot, Alix Gould Photography, lace boho wedding dress, wild north florals crown, Honey lace dress

Gabriella and Brandon, Pastels & Pastries engagement, Toronto Engagement Shoot, Trinty Bellwoods Engagement, Cherry Blossom Engagement Shoot, how to plan an engagement shoot, Alix Gould Photography, lace boho wedding dress, wild north florals crown, Honey lace dress

My heart floods every time I look at these images. Engagement shoots are seriously a fun, beautiful way to capture such a special time. Don't overlook it. And guys... there is  Part 2 to come! Our casual look and how to make the most out of your whole engagement is up next... 

Thank you to these amazingly talented people:

All photos taken by Alix Gould Photography
Floral crown by Wild North Florals
Dress by Honey
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May 07, 2018

How To Let it Out

Journalling, self help. how to let it out, sooth unwanted feelings, pastels & pastries

We've all been there. Sitting with a nervous, anxious feeling in your gut. Uncertain, worried, or even scared. So what do we do with these feelings? Bottling them up most definitely isn't productive because they always seem to come back with a vengeance. They seep into other aspects of your life and before you know it you have no control over where the anger, resentment or confusion is coming from and you lash out. Am I totally alone in this? I can't be... Getting dark? I promise there's a silver lining!

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Sometimes these feelings get really strong and we need an outlet. A way to relieve the feelings in a safe way that is sure to not blow up in our faces. But how? I'm sure we all have our vices or ways to relieve the stress, but there are a few that I find particularly helpful. These are 4 to be exact. If one doesn't work out I just move on to the next and hope for the best. I wanted to share them in the case that you may need to call on them someday. Most importantly we need to remember that it's okay to have these moments. They are not moments of weakness. They are making us stronger with each passing moment. We can get through them and we will. What works for you? Are you hoarding any tiny miracle workers? I want to know!


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1. Talk it out. You may find ease in speaking to others about what's going on, especially if it's concerning or involving them in any way. Even if it doesn't concern them at all just chatting it out with someone can help loads. It can help you feel at ease and find an alternate perspective. It can also get you away from your ruminating thoughts. You know the ones... They spiral and lead you down a miserable hole of darkness! Gotta get out of it! Surround yourself with positive people and the positivity will spread! Sometimes I find opening up to people I normally wouldn't to be extremely helpful. People are a lot kinder than you may think, sometimes we need to have more faith in trusting others.

How To Let it Out, Pastels & Pastries, Gabriella Pacifico, Soothing techniques, self help, wellness, positivity, fashion, ootd, red, jumpsuit, spring, yellow clutch, journalling,

2. Talk to yourself. Did talking it out with someone work for you? If you couldn't do it or found it too difficult you can always talk to yourself. You guys know how therapeutic I find journalling. You can rant and rant and no one needs to hear your thoughts. It is just for you. Be as vulnerable, raw and real as you can. Let your inner feelings out and give them a space to stay, that is separate from you. It may feel weird at first but it gets so much easier. I recently started journaling every morning and found it to be healing and self-soothing. You don't need to do it every day, just keep this tool in your box for whenever you need to get something out.

3. Take a moment.  Think about why you are feeling this way and what may have caused these feelings. There is usually an underlying issue you may be avoiding dealing with. But really take a moment and find out where you feel it in your body. Is it in your throat? Does it feel like it's closing? Is it in your heart? Does it feel like it's sinking? Try and breath through the feeling and talk to it. Recognize that it's there and sooth it.  Talk it out and tell the feeling you are safe, you are okay, and you will get through it. Talking to the feelings can be calming, soothing and can actually help in the moment!

4. Tap into your creativity. What do you love to do? Is it blogging, painting, drawing, colouring, ax throwing? Find it and do it, even if it is ridiculous. Even if you don't know what it could be, try out as many things as you can until one works. Try tapping into your emotions while doing these things. Colouring and painting are all calming and therapeutic! Sometimes I find I can get lost in different crafts and activities and the anxious feelings calm down and lessen in strength.

Learning to identify and express emotions can be so hard. But you will definitely feel a stronger sense of self if you can manage to get a little bit of it out and understand what's causing the reaction. You do not want to hide or cover up the emotions, even if they are negative. They always seem to show themselves at some point in a way we don't necessarily want.

Now it's your turn to share... give me the goods!

S H O P  T H E  P O S T :




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April 27, 2018

Triple Berry Loaf with Berry Glaze

Triple Berry Loaf with flowers, Pastels & Pastries


Taking something so simple and making it an elegant piece of art does not need to be reserved for special occasions, or take a lot of effort! Elevating the every day is the exact mantra I try to promote because why not! All you need is little creativity and a few simple garnishes to turn a basic berry loaf into a work of art.


Triple Berry Loaf Gluten FreeThis past weekend we hosted Brandon's family over for a casual dinner. I wanted to make a dessert that was classic yet simple, and berry beautiful to look at (wink, wink)! A few weeks back (you may have seen my Instagram stories), I made a lemon-blueberry loaf and although it was delicious, I knew I could take it up a notch! I wanted it to be fruit-filled and fabulous, so on my second time around I changed up the recipe and opted for a triple berry version of the loaf. 

E.D. Smith Triple Berry Jam to make Spring dessert- Gluten Free Berry Loaf with Berry Glaze







The loaf batter could not have been easier to put together, just a few simple ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour (yes, it's gluten-free!), and eggs, but the real star of the show was the fruit-filled center that was just oozing with E.D. SMITH jam! Not only did I add fresh berries to the batter, but I layered the jam for a berry delightful treat! The whole loaf took about 10 minutes to throw together. No time at all! One thing I can tell you is DO NOT forgo the glaze. It is insanely delicious! I could have easily eaten it with a spoon (confession—I may have)! Don't have coconut yogurt or almost milk on hand? Use whatever milk/yogurt you have!

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Triple Berry Loaf Ingredients
1 1/3 cups almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup fresh berries (I used blackberries and blueberries)
1/2 cup E.D. SMITH Triple Fruits Raspberry Strawberry Blackberry Jam

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line loaf pan with parchment paper and spray paper with non-stick spray or spray coconut oil.
2. Whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs and maple syrup.
4. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until combined.
5. Fold in berries.
6. Pour half of the batter into parchment lined pan, add large spoonfuls of E.D. SMITH Triple Fruits jam, then layer rest of batter on top of jam.
7. Sprinkle top of bread with a few berries.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Glaze Ingredients
2 tablespoons almond milk
1 tablespoon Yoso Unsweetened Coconut Yogurt 
2 tablespoons E.D. SMITH Triple Fruits Raspberry Strawberry Blackberry Jam

Directions
1. Whisk together almond milk, coconut yogurt, and jam. If the glaze is too runny, add a touch of flour to thicken.
2. Pour on top of loaf once the loaf has cooled.
3. Place glazed loaf in the fridge to set.

4. Top with leftover berries, or other garnishes such as flowers, sliced almonds.

Do you love it?! How simple was that? If you make it I want to hear all about it! 

Pastels & Pastries, Triple Berry Loaf with Berry Glaze
Decorate naked loaf cake with flowers, gluten free berry loaf with berry glaze, E.D. Smith triple berry jam
*This post was sponsored by E.D. SMITH

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