Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New look logo

Hey guys I have been dying to show you this and it has finally come through. A lot of people have asked me why the change - well that's simple. I wanted the logo to reflect the blog more than it was. After much debate I've decided the name will remain Cooking In Choos and I'll continue to blog about food and also include reviews and interviews . In addition to this a large component of the blog will also focus on fashion and travel too. What do you think of the new look? I'd love to hear from you xox 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Inspiration to get you through the day

How cute is this little munchkin?

Pretty Peonies

You betcha!

Monday eye-candy: Daniel D-Mac McPherson: Delish!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Belle-Donna - Catching up with Belle Bijoux

Last year I got to meet Fremantle-based accessory designer and mother-of-two Belle Bijoux of Belle Bijoux Australia . Since our first meeting you could say that I've become a little OBSESSED with her ah-mazing bags, shoes and leather goods. Having started from her home studio more than 10 years ago her business has gone from strength to strength. Worn by celebs including Mia Freedman, Katy Steele, Jessica Simpson, Cate Blanchatt, Jennifer Hawkins, Megan Gale, Kate Cebrano and Sophie and Gemma Ward,  I caught up with her yesterday to find out how 2012 was treating her so far and what direction she was looking to take her business this year.
Here's what she had to say:

It's been a few months since we last spoke how have things been going since we last chatted? 
Busy is a word for it.. I've been hugely inspired of late.
I'm constantly dreaming up new collections.. more shoes.. jewellery.. new year, new creative energy!
Last year you won Cosmo's FFF Award in the entrepreneur category - what was that experience like and has it helped with the exposure of your brand? 
I was extremely honoured to be one of the finalists but to take out the title blew my socks off!
I just never thought it would happen.
It has given the brand a lot of exposure Australia wide and I've gained a heap of confidence in myself and in my brand.
What's the latest with Belle Bijoux? I believe you are planning to start your new shoe line - how has this been going for you? 
I've always done a shoe here and there but this summer the Millie wedges I did went, well, lets just say 'ballistic' so I'm bringing out a few extra styles for Winter and then again for Summer 2012/13. I'm very excited about expanding this part of my business as are all the shoe loving woman out there.
What's on the agenda for this year have you got any exciting coming up? 
I'm in discussions with a distributor in Singapore which is wonderful so if all goes well I plan to head up there to  check it out.
Launching the shoe and new jewellery collection is what I'm most excited about.
What is your favourite Belle Bijoux bag? 
Of course it's the Evangeline - the colour for winter is cobalt blue (bluebird blue) it's to die for!
You've come up with some fabulous collections - where do you draw inspiration from? 
I can't really pin point it but I'd say vintage fashion has a huge influence, travel, old films and just from people watching - Fremantle is great for that!
Tell us about Mister Sun and what we can expect from your next collection? 
Mister Sun was all about the ocean, sunkissed bombshells and the beach!
The next collection will be a little more mod 1960's!
What are some of your goals for this year, where would you like to see Belle Bijoux take you in 2012? 
My goal this year is to really relax into my business and to go with the flow.
I would like to take opportunities as they come my way not necessarily go chasing them.
The most important thing for me is that I enjoy what I'm doing and that means I have to go at my own pace.
You're a mother of two  how do you juggle motherhood and running such a successful business? 
It can get tricky but having a very supportive partner helps a lot.
My children are also very supportive too, they love what I do and they get as excited about it as I do, especially my nearly teenage daughter Elianah - she's already desiging for me.
"I have the direction for AW.. a back pack mum a pack pack.. with really long straps.. and you know what I think I'll just do it and name it Elianah!"
What advice would give women looking at starting a home business in order to make it successful? 
To have a very clear understanding of what they want to create and achieve.
It took me a few years to really have a clear understanding of my brand and where I wanted to take it.
If you can have that before you start you are going great guns. 

Belle Bijoux is celebrating her birthday this week and is offering shoppers 50% off her Mister Sun collection - visit Belle Bijoux to find out more.
Hurry offer ends January 23.

Belle's favourite bag the Evangaline in Coral

Bonnie Bag in mint
Mirella Wallet

Oh Millie you're so fine, you're so fine, you blow my mind - Oh Millie!! Millie Wedges black
Millie Wedges Coral

Millie Wedges mint
The beautiful Belle with Evangaline - love this shot!

Evangaline & Belle's partner Greg

Future BB designer Elianah with little sister Evangaline

How cute is this pic Evangaline being piggy-backed by Greg on the beaches of Freo

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sh*t it's Monday!

Morning everyone! Thought this was a good pic to start the week considering I'm sure like me, this is how most of you feeling right now!  P.S For those of you wondering the girl in the pic is not me - just loved the t-shirt!

Happy Monday everybody!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Night with the Girls

HAPPY Friday everyone!! 

What are your plans for tonight? I'm thinking it might be a good night to settle in with the girls - Sex and the City style! 

Have a fabulous weekend whatever you choose to do. xox

Shopping SATC style

Laugh it off!

Enjoy a drink on the rooftop!


And laugh some more!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Catching up with Emily Galante of Candy Couture

Last year I got to meet Perth business woman and gorgeous mother-of-two Emily Galante of Candy Couture. She had been running her buffet/event styling business only six short months at the time and only started the business after creating a themed birthday party for her daughter Amani's birthday. It was a resounding success and she has been bombarded with client orders ever since. I caught up with her yesterday to find out how things were going and what direction she was looking to take her business in 2012. Here's what she had to say:

It's been a few months since we last spoke and almost a year since you started Candy Couture - how have things been going since we last chatted?

Emily: So much has happened! Candy Couture has become more popular than I ever expected it to be at this early stage,  especially with it being such a new business and considering the competition in the industry. People have really embraced me and my business and I have had so much wonderful support not only from friends and family, but my facebook fans which I now have more than 2600 of them. The lovely comments people leave on my page and under my pictures and seeing lovely compliments and having other businesses acknowledge and share it - it blows me away. I’ve also met so many lovely Perth ladies in the industry…cakes, invites, wedding co-ordinators, journalists all of which have contributed to making my work enjoyable.

What's the latest with Candy Couture I believe you have gone into selling table wear - how has this been going for you?

Emily: The latest for Candy Couture is that as well as specialising in styling candy buffet’s , dessert tables and cupcakes towers it will soon become an on-line store for boutique partyware. I’ve had so much interest in the products and accessories I use in my own buffet’s that it has inspired me to open the store. The majority of the products,  cake stands etc I use are only available over East so it is exciting to be able to provide Perth people with those same products as well as new exclusive products without having to worry about shipping. 

What's on the agenda for this year have you got any exciting event styling/themed buffet table themes coming up? 

Emily: There are many exciting things on the agenda this year for Candy Couture. Getting the store up and running as I just mentioned will be an important one, but there are also many beautiful events coming up that I am really looking forward to styling the sweet side of things for..
This year Candy Couture is an exhibitor at this years  Ebridal Expo on the 21st and 22nd of January at Burswood. There will be a beautiful display and opportunity for brides to be to ask questions and be inspired.
I have my own baby girls 2nd birthday in March which every year obviously for me, my own children’s birthdays are the closest to my heart and the most special for me, so this year I'm tossing up between a ‘lady bird’ theme or a ‘garden tea party’..

Something I am really looking forward to in April this year is a charity event for a cause very close to my heart -  Breast Cancer Care WA. Doing something like this is always the most rewarding and I know is going to be a highlight for Candy Couture. I’ve also got several weddings booked throughout the year with some stunning themes such as ‘vintage glamour’ which is right up my alley as I love using lace, flowers, crystals and all things pretty.

What has been the most fun table to set up so far?

Emily: The most fun table I’ve setup so far would have to be the ‘Casino’ themed 21st. I was very creative with this one and sourced some awesome props including a real roulette wheel, martini and shot glasses filled with candy. The table itself was set-up on top of a real casino poker table which I sourced through ebay. It had a large dice filled with chocolates and cupcakes topped with playing cards and dice
- it was all very cool and an amazing theme for a 21stBirthday.

What has been your favourite theme buffet table you have set up?

Emily: My Personal Favourite table of the year was my ‘Burlesque’ themed table.  This one was very girly and glamourous and very ‘Sex and the City’ and what girl wouldn’t love that? It had a pink and black colour scheme with features which included crystal candle sticks, pink ostrich feathers, large martini glasses filled with candy, pink macarons and a life sized mannequin with a gorgeous black and pink laced stain corset with black tassel curtains as a backdrop.
As a favourite party I also have to mention my sons 4th birthday which was a ‘Down on the Farm’ themed party and was just the cutest theme for a little boy. We had tractor rides, bales of hay, strawberries and creams, cupcakes topped with farm animals, we even had the baby animal farm come to make it authentic.

You keep outdoing yourself with each theme where do you draw inspiration from? 

Emily: For inspiration I rely on my own creativity as well as researching and sourcing new and unique products and props. I like to keep up with a variety of styling, hostess and wedding blogs for all the latest in styling and desserts. There are a lot of talented people out there doing amazing work.

What are some of  your goals for this year, where would you like to see Candy Couture take you in 2012?

Emily: My goal for Candy Couture for 2012 is to continue growing as a business and to continue to expand my creativity and refine my style in my work. I will be specialising and concentrating more on weddings and corporate events. I would also love to see my on-line store up and running and doing well.
My goal is to eventually have a shop front which I can use as a showroom as well as a store to buy and hire party goods and supplies. It would also be a place I can meet my clients and work on designing and styling but for now though I am happy to work online and liaise with my clients over coffee and macarons in a café somewhere ;)

You've had a crazy-busy year and I can only see it getting busier - how do you juggle motherhood, being a wife and running your own business?

Emily: How do I juggle being a wife and mother of two children who aren’t even yet in school and run my own business - sometimes I don’t know myself! There are some very late nights and some very early mornings, but my most important job is and always will be is being a mother to my two beautiful children, Xavier (4yrs) and Amani (1.5yrs). But it is nice to have an outlet I can put my creativity into and something that I can work towards and achieve and be proud of myself for doing so, which makes all the juggling worth it. I know there are many stay at home mums who would agree that you need something for yourself whether it be a sport, hobby or in my case my work.

What advice would give women looking at starting a home business in order to make it succesful?

Emily: If I had to offer some advice for other women who are looking to start a business from home I would say if it is something you know you are good at and something you are passionate about - GO FOR IT. Working from home you can decide your own hours and work around what fits in with your family. I would say to do your homework and find out what you will first need to be successful and then give it a go.. a quote I have always loved which seems fitting is “Don’t follow your dreams…CHASE them.”

Candy Couture's Vintage Lace theme

Vintage Lace

Personalised takeaway chocolate bars

Beautiful cupcake toppers

Emily with children Xavier and Amani
To see some of Emily's work visit her website Candy Couture or find her on Facebook HERE

Vintage Lace photography by Nicole Duncan Photography

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Today's Guilty Pleasure

Obsessed with the Samantha Wills Concordia Ring - LOVE

Loving the snake detail

And the gorgeous keepsake box

Ready to settle in for the night with Roxy Jacenko's Strictly Confidential - am HOOKED!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thursday Inspiration

Feeling a little flat today & a little under the weather but these made me smile so thought I'd share - Enjoy!

Hope they brighten up your day too xox


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