Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 the year that was

Hey guys

I can't even believe we are here again, how fast has this year has gone? 2012  has been CRAY!!! I've experienced so many highs, a few lows but mostly it's been a year of progression both in my career and personal life. As a journalist I've again met the most amazing people, travelled to places I never been before and more than anything have had a blast doing it all. In no particular order here's a list of who and what left a lasting impression on me in 2012 and what I've got planned for 2013:

  • HOME - Perth: Last year I was given the role of food writer for ishoperth magazine covering everything food in our CBD. It was my dream role and one in which I thrived in, however earlier this year our close-knit team were told our beloved magazine would be no longer and that was the end of that. Since the magazine folded my love and passion for food has continued to be documented on this blog and on the Cooking in Choos Facebook page. Food to me is life. It's family - it's what living is all about and what better place to do it in then our hometown. Perth is growing up, people, right before our very eyes our city(ranked in the top 10 liveable cities in the world) is making people stand up and take notice. Last year I reconnected with our city and was pleasantly surprised. This year I've again fallen in love. The nightlife is getting better, the shopping is fab - no longer do we need to save our pennies for a weekend trip to Melbourne (nothing against Melbourne - I LOVE YOU) we can do it all here and the restaurant scene is holding its own and this is just the beginning. We have Chanel, we have The Crown and in March we get Jamie's Italian - see they know where it's at. Get on the P-Train before it's too late!!
  • Homegrown talent: I love, love, love talented Perth peeps. Designers, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, writers you name it - there are so many talented people out there and this year I came across a few. Last year I spoke about the fabulous Belle BijouxAurelio CostarellaSteph AudinoDebbie Kelly , Dianna Monastra and Keiko Uno - these talented designers seriously blow my mind time and time again - I love their work. This year however I came across another designer whose attention to detail, eclectic designs and friendly and down-to-earth nature really caught my eye. The man in question - Shane Newton of ZSADAR. There are a few Mr Nice Guys in the fashion industry and I have to say Shane is definitely one of them but not only is he nice he is super talented too. Shane has recently been nominated in the Perth Fashion Festival's WA Fashion Awards Designer for Tomorrow category along with Steph Audino and I wish them both all the luck in the world. Also on my radar this year was philanthropist Ros Worthington . I have followed this amazing lady's journey from afar for a few years now and earlier this year I was lucky enough to be introduced to her at a cricket dinner of all places. Since that meeting in January we have become close friends and there are few women I admire more than her. She is one of the reasons my sister-in-law hold events for charities (more on that later) and I hope to one-day be even just a quarter of the wonderful woman she is. I can't thank this lady enough for the amazing work she does and I'm so proud to have her in my circle of friends. Another person who left an impression on me was fellow journalist and fashion columnist Haili Zwiercan Pue of All Ze Details. I met this Texan pocket-rocket at the Perth Fashion Festival along with fellow blogger Donna Dee of Style Hunter fame and we all instantly connected. Both these ladies are seriously talented and know fashion. We've struck up a friendship, that I'm hoping will last a lifetime and both have taught me things that I never knew. Seriously this little Texan has been getting around Perth and trying things I'd never even heard of. Thanks for sharing Haili!!! On the subject of fashion bloggers another lady who knows her way around Perth's most stylish is Bonnie Doran of Bonnie Friday fame. Bonnie's blog has recently undergone a transformation just in time for the Perth Fashion Festival's WA Fashion Awards in which she has been nominated in the Blogger of the Year category. She is definitely one Perth creative with her finger on the pulse! Last but not least is a lady I interviewed last month. This woman has seen so much tragedy and through it all she has been a tower of strength for her family. I speak of Dee Loiacono of Dee's Sweet Boutique  - read her touching story HERE . All of these people even though so different, share the same qualities - professionalism, passion, overall niceness and are oh so easy to work with. I urge you all to check out their websites, Facebook pages and support them all - they seriously are talented individuals. 
  • Food for thought: For me - The Crown Perth came out trumps in the food department. I mean give me Bistro Guillaume, Modo Mio, Nobu and The Merrywell and really there is nothing left to say. You've got three cuisines covered and some dude-food that hits the spot - EVERY SINGLE TIME. Don't even get me started on their sliders - OMG!!! Another Italian restaurant that nails it every time is Galileo in Shenton Park (no website), real Italian food, presented beautifully and so reasonably priced. If you haven't been there yet - run don't walk!  As for my choice of drinking holes  - FIVE Bar in Mt Lawley again was my favourite place to hang while new kid on the bar block - Print Hall had me at hello. 
  • Travel: This year I again travelled to the US and Canada visiting New York, Las Vegas, LA and Montreal. I love the States and I know everyone says it but I really do love New York. The vibe, the people, the Chrysler Building, fashion, food and bars - it really is my dream destination and I miss it every day. Another destination that took my breath away was Montreal. This beautiful city with a mix of old and new is seriously breath-taking and a place I hope to visit again soon. As for nationally Melbourne again was on the hit-list and during Grand-Prix, Food and Wine Fest and Melbourne Fashion Festival there was no better time to explore this city. I can't wait to go back there.
  • Charity: When it came to charities I supported Down Syndrome WA, Telethon and along with my sister-in-law held special events for Breast Cancer Care WA and the Better Life Foundation WA . Both of the events were held at the  Rydges Perth and thanks to their support were a huge success. Both Daniela (my sister-in-law) and I have been holding these events for a little while now and with each one the urge to help other charities becomes greater and so as of next year we will be launching our  business MACI Boutique Events in the hope that we can make a difference to charities close to our heart one celebration at a time. I hope readers of this blog will support Daniela and I on our journey and I will be sure to keep you all up to date with what we do next. 
  • 2013: Next year I'm hoping my work and scheduled travels over east and perhaps abroad will bring with them even more adventures, opportunities and the beginning of new friendships. I'm also looking forward to rediscovering my family history as I document the recipes and stories of the wonderful women in my family as I put together my first cookbook in honour of my Portuguese heritage. I was lucky enough to be part of the Beaufort Street Festival Cookbook and Charlie's Kitchen Cookbook so am looking forward to putting all my stories, recipes and pictures together - exciting times! Last but not least I'm looking forward to seeing MACI Boutique Events raise thousands of dollars for charity, so far we have raised around $40,000  for different charities across Australia and we cannot wait to raise more. Until then I bid 2012 goodbye and welcome 2013 in the hope it will bring myself and all my followers good things.  Happy New Year everyone!!!
So what about you guys, how was 2012 for you? Do you have some beautiful memories or do you have any New Year Resolutions you'd like to share ? I'd love to hear from you xxx

P.S On a side note if you are still looking for somewhere special to go - my pick would be the gorgeous new The Terrace Hotel in the city. Enjoy canapes, Moss Wood wines, Monteith's Brewing Co and bubbles by Champagne Delamotte at the reasonable price of $125. Tickets are running out so I would hurry if I were you! 

2012 you've been amaze now bring on 2013!!!
Donna Dee, myself, designer Steph Audino & fashion columnist Haili Z
MACI Boutique Events - April in Paris for Breast Cancer Care WA. L-R Me, MC Ebbeny Faranda, designer Stephanie Audino with mum Connie and Daniela.

Ros, me, my sister Sandra & my mum at the April in Paris event earlier this year.

The designers and I at our MACI Boutique Events Christmas Designer Preview

Charlie's and Beaufort St Festival books were so fun to be involved in, now to trace back my Portuguese ancestors and go on a culinary journey through the mother country.

Lots planned for 2013 make sure you visit our FACEBOOK page to keep up to date!

Cheers to 2013!!

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