Thursday, August 30, 2012

Giuliana Rancic Breast Cancer Charity H&M Dress

Hey guys have been waiting for the right moment to blog about this and with baby Rancic on its way - I decided today is the day!

As some of you may or may not be aware I visited the US earlier this year for a well-earned vacay. While I was there I indulged in my favourite past-times - eating and shopping and a little research. I also had a couple of meetings with some pretty special people who will be helping my sister-in-law and I for our annual Breast Cancer Care WA event (more deets on that to come).

Anyways while I was there I got to attend a very special sale for the National Breast Cancer Association of America held by a very special person - Giuliana Rancic. I also got filmed (not on purpose - while shopping) for the couple's television series Giuliana and Bill (only in the US do these out of the blue things happen - love it!)

Here's a snap-shot of what happened below and before you ask no I didn't get to meet her (unfortunately she was unwell and did not come), however I got to meet her assistant Sarah, her friend Robbie and a bunch of others who regularly appear on the show. I also got to purchase two of her items, worn by her  and featured on the show's most recent episode - a special edition Lime H&M dress.

As I type this up Giuliana and Bill are preparing to welcome their little boy into the world. I love everything about this couple and wish them all the best for their new chapter as parents - they deserve it!

Camera crew filming at It's a Wrap Burbank

It's a Wrap sell pre-loved clothing & accessories worn by celebs
The notice telling everyone they were filming Giuliana & Bill
Giuliana was supposed to come
Giuliana in the last episode of the series & me in "the dress"




Cooking in Choos images by Nicole Duncan Photography

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Indulging in Shoos!

Hey guys me again and guess what - yep I made it to round five of the Indulge Clothing Fashion Bloggers competition - *cue applause* wooooo!!! Anyhoo again just wanted to say a big thanks to all of you who have taken the time to LIKE my images taken by the fabulous Nicole Duncan Photography without them (your LIKES & Nikki's photos) I would not have gotten this far into the comp - so again thank you! 

Secondly I'd like to apologise for clogging up your news feeds on Facebook - I know there is nothing worse than seeing annoying LIKE posts coming up on your news feeds time and time again so again I apologise for this and again thank you for your patience.

From here on in there are eight bloggers left who will compete over the next three rounds. Each Monday night the three with least amount of LIKES will be booted out of the competition until there is only one blogger standing (hopefully me - pretty please) - now on to this week's challenge.

This week, to be on the same playing field each blogger received a new pair of shoos - mine a pair of Isabella Brown wedges. These nude, strappy wedges are super cute and perfect the upcoming Spring/Summer season, which coincidently is just days away......thank goodness.

With the sun beaming brightly on this gorgeous winter's day I decided in to get bask in its glory and teamed up the pretty duo with two spring inspired outfits.

The first a bright pair of Zara shorts (from NYC), dusky pink Valley Girl blazer, Three Anjewels Bespoke Design chunky necklace, Armani sunnies, Marc Jacobs watch and green shoulder bag from Forever New. I think this outfit is super-fun and perfect for coffee catch-ups, shopping with the girls or even work on casual Friday - I love it!











The second my beautiful Giuliana Rancic lime H&M dress which I picked up earlier this year when the E News presenter held a charity sale at It's A Wrap in LA. I love this dress not only because it is so pretty but because the money I paid for it went to the US Breast Cancer Foundation and that it belonged to her. I love Giuliana (and Bill) she is one of my absolute faves and think she is a true inspiration having gone through everything she has over the past year. This dress reminds me of spring, her journey and all the hopes and dreams that come with it....... This dress doesn't need much so I teamed it up with gold bangles and rings from Samantha Wills, ring from Forever 21, DIVA earrings and my Armani sunnies. Again this outfit screams fun and I intend of having a lot of that whenever I wear it! 







So that's it from me guys again it's now up to you. If you LIKE what you see and want to see more please LIKE this LINK on Facebook. Thanks again & I'll apologise to you all before I start clogging up that news feed!!! Enjoy the rest of your weekend. x



Friday, August 24, 2012

Fashion for a Cause - Keiko Uno - Breast Cancer Cuff links

Earlier this year my sister-in-law and I held an April in Paris fundraising night for Breast Cancer Care WA. It was a delightful evening raising more than $11,000 for the charity.

When organising the event I approached several fashion designers for support and was inundated with raffle and auction items by so many fantastic West Australian designers including Three Anjewels Bespoke Designs, Belle Bijoux, Steph Audino, Debbie Kelly Millinery, Bikini Atoll, Kooey, Zsadar and the amazing Keiko Uno.

As part of our event Keiko put together a special limited edition pair of cufflinks along with matching bracelet for the ladies. Now she is hoping the cufflinks will again help raise much needed funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Keiko too, like so many has witnessed those close to her battling breast cancer and this is her way of giving back and helping to make a difference.



The 'National Breast Cancer Foundation Pink Series Cufflinks’ are inlayed with three symbolic colours of natural Mother of Pearl shell: White depicting hopepeace of mind, and a clean bill of health, pink the colour of the pink ribbon that is the international symbol of breast cancer awareness, the colour of good health, and represents love and compassion and dark charcoal grey layer adding mystery and masculine sophistication
There are only 25 pairs available and with Father's day around the corner why not give a gift that also gives back. 

Keiko was good enough to support us in our endeavour and I only hope you too can support her as we all strive for the same goal in the hope that one day we will live in a world that is cancer free.

For more information visit Keiko Uno Jewellery's Everyday Hero Page

Monday, August 20, 2012

Classic & Triple Choc Brownies

Some of you who follow my blog regularly would know I recently returned from a whirlwind trip to the US and Canada. While away I became acquainted with the delicious brownie and while I wouldn't call myself a chocoholic, I do enjoy the odd chocolate treat - I mean who doesn't? So when my cousin in Canada whipped up a batch or two (actually it was three) I indulged with gusto!

A couple of week's while reminiscing and looking through my overseas pics I decided I would try and get my brownie on and came up with these versions: 

Dark chocolate or Triple Choc Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 400g dark chocolate, chopped (note for triple choc I used 130g of dark, white & milk)
  • 280g butter, chopped
  • 2 cups (350g) brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cups (150g) sifted plain flour

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place 200grams of chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
Place the sugar, eggs and flour in a bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until combined. Add the remaining chopped 200grams of chocolate and fold through mixture then pour into a rectangular shape tin (see below) lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 45minutes or until an inserted skewer withdraws clean. Allow to cool in the tin then slice. 

Serving suggestion: You can enjoy these hot or cold but I prefer them served warm with a dollop of cream.

Chopped white and milk chocolate folded through at the end

Out of the oven and waiting to cool

Ready to eat!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Truffle Risotto and Arancini

The month of August is Truffle season in WA and damn we do truffles good! No longer do we have to go overseas chasing this black gold we can find it right here in our own backyard - and it's good, really good! 

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to get my hands on 50grams of the delicious fungi at the Mundaring Truffle Festival and last week I put it to use cooking a beautiful Truffle Risotto! After posting images of said risotto on Facebook I was greeted with requests on how to do it - so today I bring to you my Truffle Risotto and Arancini recipe - enjoy! 

NOTE: You can make these without Truffle, they are still delicious. You can also add different ingredients to the risotto depending on what you like ie porcini mushroom, pancetta, peas and asparagus (my favourite pea and pancetta).

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 litre of chicken stock (I make mine in bulk from scratch in advance using a roast chicken carcass, you can use bought stock if you feel more comfortable)
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 400g Aborio rice
  • 2 glasses of dry white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 75g butter
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (to your taste)
  • Add 50 Grams fresh truffle (for truffle risotto)

Method

Heat the stock. In a separate pan, heat the olive oil and butter then add the onions and garlic and fry on low heat for about 15 minutes. When the garlic and onion have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat cooking until it's translucent.


Add the wine and stir. Once the wine has evaporated into the rice, add another ladle of stock and turn the heat down so the rice doesn’t cook quickly and close the lid. Keep adding the ladles of stock (and put lid on only checking to see when stock has been absorbed by rice - normally around 3 - 5 mins), stirring occasionally.The cooking process will take around 25 minutes. Add stock until the rice is soft but cooked al dente (a little bite) and if you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add boiling water.
Remove from the heat and add butter and Parmesan. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for two minutes. 


Serve and eat immediately. Leftovers can be used for Arancini see recipe below.


Truffle Risotto
To make simple Arancini from your leftover risotto you will need:

Ingredients:
  • 3 to 4 eggs (beat into egg-wash) depending on how much you have leftover
  • Breadcrumbs (fresh is best but packet will do)
  • 100 grams Mozzarella, Fontina or Gouda (chopped into 1cm cubes)
  • Canola Oil to deep fry
Method:
  • Roll and mould the rice into a ball (I made mine about 5cms but they can be made smaller or bigger depending on what you are after)
  • Gently insert cheese into mould making sure it's not poking out of the rice ball
  • Pop rice ball into egg-wash coating the whole rice ball
  • Dip the rice ball into the breadcrumbs making sure it is coated the whole way around. 
  • Continue this until all rice balls are coated
  • Heat oil into a deep fryer or deep fry pan (deep enough to cover the rice ball) and pop them in a few at a time - frying until golden brown.
  • Serve warm on its own or with a dipping sauce - aioli is lovely!
Bon appetit x


Arancini made from using leftover risotto

Spinach, Ricotta & Feta Tart - My Style Spanakopita

  • Hey guys hope you're all doing well wherever you are (FYI I'm freezing and trying to stop my hands from shaking as I bang on the keyboard)......anyhoo moving right along. So I've gone through a recent period of creativity in the kitchen (trust me it's been a while) and after being inundated by recipe requests on Facebook I've decided to post some of the recipes I've been trialling, discovering and rediscovering. 
    I started my recipe section on the blog a while ago (after all Cooking in Choos is all about food and if I'm not posting the odd recipe up here then how is it relevant) and wasn't sure if it was being read or if anyone even cared so I stopped. I then reverted back to mainly reviews when I was out an about but turns out you do like them after all and so I'm bringing them back. 

    First up my spinach, ricotta & fetta pie also known as My Style Spanakopita. Anyone who knows me, knows I own a gazillion (well maybe not a gazillion but a few) cookbooks and refer to them quite often. I tend to look up recipes and change them around a bit to suit my style of cooking, taste-buds and lifestyle.
    So here it is My Style Spanakopita, a dish so quick, easy and delicious it's perfect for a weeknight dinner - bon appetit x
    Ingredients (serves 6)




  1. 1/4 olive oil
  2. 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  3. 250g feta cheese, crumbled
  4. 250g full-fat ricotta cheese
  5. 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. 1 sheet puff pastry (NOTE: you can use 12 sheets of filo if you like - this is traditional to Spanakopita, I use puff and make it more like a tart)
  8. 60g butter, melted

          • Method




          1. Heat oil in a frypan and add onion. Cook for 1 minute until softened, then add spinach  cook, stirring, on low heat until spinach has wilted. Drain in a colander, cool and then chop. Combine spinach and onion with cheeses, egg, salt and pepper.
          2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush baking dish (see below for style of dish) with butter. Lay sheet of puff pastry on base and sides and brush with butter. Spread cheese mixture over top. Trim excess pastry.
          3. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden. Rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.

          Tah-dah -My style Spanakopita


          New Anjewel in Town - Three Anjewels Bespoke Designs

          Perth jewelery label All Glitz and Glam has undergone a huge transformation. The once-known pink and black label is bold, sophisticated and stunning tying in nicely with its new-look name and jewels. With its stars shining brightly Three Anjewels (Bespoke Designs) is ready to become a player in Perth's booming fashion world. 

          I spoke to Dianna Monastra - founder and creator of the label, here's what she had to say:

          What motivated the change from AGG to Three Anjewels? – 
          3Anjewels: I started AGG when I was 22 and I’m now in my 30s. I have evolved, changed and grown as has my label hence the change. 

          Tell us who or what inspired the name - where did it come from? 
          3Anjewels: My three beautiful nieces who I adore and rock my world - they are my angels. When I was thinking about the precious things in my life I could not go past them. They are precious just as everything I do with my jewelery label is and that's how it all came about.

          How is Three Anjewels different to AGG - will you be doing similar things?  
          3Anjewels: Yes I will continue to still do my classic pieces as they are always a hit  however Three Anjewels will also be getting into lots of artistic and one-off pieces.

          Tell us about what you have coming up in the pipeline for the new label?
          3Anjewels:  ......................It’s a SECRET!!

          Where do you draw inspiration from when your creating your beautiful jewels? 
          3Anjewels: I get ideas and draw inspiration from many things - it can happen anywhere any time. It can be as simple as walking down the street and seeing something inspiring to me.

          What are some of your all-time favourite items? 
          3Anjewels: My gorgeous woven earrings - with beautiful colours they put the final touch to any outfit.

          Which celebrity would you like to see rocking Three Anjewels? 
          3Anjewels: Kylie Minogue has always been an idol of mine. I've loved her since I was 8 years old. To see her rock a Three Anjewels piece would be out of this world.

          What item of jewellery do you think every ANGEL can rock? 
          3Anjewels: The Scarlett bracelet – a silver ball classic!

          Angels are heavenly - where is your most heavenly destination and who would you be there with? 
          3Anjewels: Anywhere tropical – by a pool, with a great book, cocktail and my darling husband.

          What is your favourite Perth Restaurant? 
          3Anjewels: Modo Mio - truly beautiful Italian flavours - amazing!


          Three Anjewels specialises in creating handmade, original one-off pieces using 
          only the finest quality semi-precious stones, stunning crystals and silver plated accessories.
          Designs can be tailored to individual needs or can be selected from an array of classics, one-of-kind pieces or unique artistic creations - Three
          Anjewels has that special piece for the angel in you!

          To keep up to date with the latest news or to find out more about the label "LIKE"
          Three Anjewels on Facebook.

          To view the
          latest collection, arrange a private preview with friends or set up an interview email Dianna . 



          Founder/Creator Dianna Monastra wearing Three Anjewels
          Beaded rings and cuffs by Three Anjewels
          Three Anjewels now shining brightly

          Friday, August 17, 2012

          INDULGENT

          Hey guys - guess what? I've made it to round 4 of the Indulge Clothing Fashion Bloggers competition and I'm super-duper excited! Firstly a HUMUNGOUS thank you to all of you who have been LIKING the link -  without your LIKES I would not have made it this far (cue sappy love song) and secondly please help me bring this baby home!!!!  I'm up against some fierce competition and if last week's round was anything to go by I need every LIKE I can get. 

          Anyhoo moving right along and onto this week's item - a Purple Ginger Girl on Fire laddered knit. Currently in store at Indulge Clothing it retails at the bargain price of $59 and is the perfect item for when it's chilly enough to wear a knit but warm enough not to have to wear your thermals (huh I hear Gen Y yelling at me - who the heck wears thermals)!!!!! 

          As soon as I unpacked the knit I knew exactly how I'd be wearing this baby and here is what I came up with: 


           


          This outfit is perfect for date night, coffee with girls or long, lazy Sunday lunches. I love shorts and think why only wear them in summer. I think they look fab teamed with a pair of opaques, slouchy knit and tank underneath. Pair it with statement accessories and a pair of pumps and you are good to go - don't you think? 

           










          Outfit: 
          • Knit Purple Ginger at Indulge Clothing
          • Tank by Body & Soul Clothing
          • Shorts Dotti
          • Tights Target
          • Pumps Betts
          • Watch Marc Jacobs
          • Cuff Hermes
          • Rings YSL & Forever 21 Los Angeles
          • Clutch Charles & Keith Singapore

          Now again it's up to you guys to help me get through to the top four of the competition. From here on in only the top four will go through and let me repeat it's CLOSE! Pretty please click on the Indulge Clothing link and LIKE my image and feel free to share with your friends. Every LIKE counts as a vote. 
          Have an Indulging (ha see what I did right there) Friday and a fabulous weekend. XOXO

          Friday, August 10, 2012

          Indulging Hoodies

          Hey guys, good news I made it through to round three of the Indulge Fashion Bloggers competition - woo (and big pat on the back for you guys for getting me through)! OK So this week's number has arrived and it's a doozie - a FATE camel coloured hooded jacket. I don't normally wear camel (just doesn't suit my skin tone) or hoodies unless I'm off to the footy in the rain so this was a challenge for me - let me assure you.

          I went through my wardrobe and tried on heaps of outfits and the only one that seemed to semi-work was the jeans, boots, hoodie combo - but I wanted different! You can't win a competition with the same old same old so this is what I came up with - what do you think?






          I think the camel, black and gold tones work really well together. It creates a warm look about it and the tones are bang on for winter. I also love the textures of the different fabrics in this combo - AMAZE! 





          OK again it's up to you - if you like what you see and want to see more you have to LIKE my outfit on the Indulge Facebook page and share it with all your friends. I'm loving this and want to stay in the comp so all your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks again for your support so far and please keep me in the competition xo

          Photography by Nicole Duncan Photography.

          Outfit:
          FATE hooded jacket @ Indulge Clothing: $119.95
          Black cotton long sleeve top bought from Melbourne: $19.95
          Leather a-line skirt bought in Canada: $149.95
          Necklace from Forever 21: $14.95
          Rings: YSL $275 and House of Harlow $89.95
          Clutch: Vintage Chanel
          Opaque tights: $14.95
          Ankle boots: Ruby Shoes $59.95.

          Thursday, August 2, 2012

          Indulging in Floral

          So while I was off jet-setting in the US I stumbled across the Indulge Blogging Competition. My love affair with Indulge Clothing started a couple of years ago when I stumbled across them in Sheila Magazine. Their clothing, accessories and shoes are affordable, stylish and suit every age - it's really a one-stop shop! So imagine my delight when I received a parcel from Tracy with a note saying I could take part in their blogging competition. 

          The competition, a styling one, which involves receiving an item of clothing from them and styling it up with items in your wardrobe. My item - a pair of Blossom Floral Jeans - *squeal*. I've been OBSESSED with floral for as long as I can remember so to receive these as my first challenge was AMAZEBALLS!!! 

          I looked long and hard through my wardrobe and with the weather being as dreary as it has been I thought I'd brighten things up with a bit colour -  here's what I came up with: 







           

          And I know I was only asked to submit one piece but I couldn't help but get cosy in my over-sized cable knit - I think it also works well for the winter. What do you think?





          Your job now is to get voting. This will be placed on the Indulge Clothing Website and their Facebook page so I need you to LIKE this look as much as possible and share it with your friends. I want to stay in the competition for as long as I can and I can't do it without you. Looking forward to sharing more of my looks with you xoxo



          Outfit 1: 
          • Blossom Floral Jeans - Indulge Clothing
          • Ally Coral Tuxedo Jacket
          • Zara cut off collared shirt
          • Neon suede wedges - bought in Santa Monica
          • Necklace - Diva
          • Bracelets - Diva
          • Rings - Samantha Wills & YSL 

          Outfit 2: 
          • Blossom Floral Jeans - Indulge Clothing
          • Forever New Over-sized cable-knit jumper
          • Neon suede wedges - bought in Santa Monica
          • Bracelets - Diva
          • Rings - Samantha Wills & YSL
          • Clutch - Belle Bijoux



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