Flavours and Flair

Places

Tuesday

28

July 2015

0

COMMENTS

CREATING A MINI INDOOR HERB GARDEN

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Trying to keep toddlers entertained in the cooler months can be quite a challenge and I’m always trying to come up with new, fun, creative and unique ideas to keep Nikoleta entertained and enlightened at the same time.

This week we took a trip to our local Bunnings store and picked up a few of our favourite seasonings- so mummy and her little helper can create a mini indoor herb garden that Nikoleta can watch grow everyday. It will include parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary and mint.

It’s also such a great idea to introduce herbs and a variety of tastes at a very young age- as studies have proven the earlier you do so- the less likely you will have a fussy eater on your hands.

Tuesday

23

June 2015

1

COMMENTS

DUBAI’S BEST- BY “MUMS THE WORLD”

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Boasting stunning markets, fascinating galleries, superb international restaurants, luxurious desert safaris, first class hotels and the world’s biggest shopping mall- it’s no wonder Dubai has become such a popular holiday destination.

This diverse and unique Middle Eastern city has so much to offer and today we are excited to chat with the gorgeous Laura (one half) from the amazing blog Mums the World- who has been calling Dubai home for the last nine years.

Laura and Jenny are the two lovely ladies behind Mums the World and are on a mission to bring their loyal readers and followers all the latest features, tips and inspiration for travelling the globe in style- with (and without) children.

Having worked as Cabin Crew for years, both girls are expert jetsetters and are now very passionate about sharing their experiences and journeys with other mums.

Laura is kind enough to not only reveal her favourite spots and places around her current hometown, which will definitely make your stay in Dubai a spectacular one- she also gives us some great tips on travelling with children and her current favourite family destinations.

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ML&S: How long have you been living in Dubai?

Laura:  I have been living in Dubai for almost nine years. My husband was offered a job here in 2006 and we landed with two suitcases to our name! Over the course of the nine years, we have lived in different neighbourhoods including the Palm Jumeirah and Downtown. We are now happily settled in a villa with our two boys Finlay- 6 and Elliott- 3, who were both born here.

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ML&S: How would you describe your life in Dubai? 

Laura: It’s a busy old life but I wouldn’t want it any other way. Weekdays are Sunday to Thursday and after dropping Finlay to school and Elliott to nursery I try and squeeze an hour at the gym, which doesn’t happen as regular as I’d like. After which I work part time as a booking manager for an artist agency as well as running Mums the World- alongside my partner in crime Jenny.

I work from home and my job is very flexible, which allows me to pick up the boys and take them to after school activities and playdates. We are fortunate to have help at home, which allows me to focus on family and work and it’s certainly not something I take for granted. My husband works long hours as a Director of an Architects practice so weekends are all about spending quality time together as a family.

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ML&S: Can you tell us about your lovely blog Mums the World?

Laura: Mums the World was launched in May 2014 when Jenny and I visited Nepal on a trekking adventure. Whilst sitting in a tea house up in the Himalayas discussing the meaning of life, we decided to create a blog about one of our true loves – travel. We are a modern travel movement designed to inspire stylish, adventure-led families to journey well with and without their children.

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ML&S: What do you love most about your current work?

Laura: Jenny and I both love writing and travelling, so it made perfect sense for us to write about our experiences. The blog enables us to have a creative platform to share travel stories with other like minded parents and our social media is a great outlet for us to connect with our readers and source our inspirational guest writers, as well as focus on photography, which is something we both love. Seeing Mums the World grow and evolve since we launched has been a wonderful journey and long may it continue!

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ML&S: What are your top kids stores in Dubai?

Laura: Cos, Zara Kids, Gap, M&S, H&M and Ralph Lauren. I also shop online at Next and Alex&Alexa, who deliver the next day.

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ML&S: Where do you like to shop for yourself?

Laura: I’m currently obsessed with Cos for the whole family, I can’t go in without spotting at least three things I ‘need’. I love Zara and Topshop too for everyday wear. For more special pieces I love Sandro and Boutique One has a great selection of designers.  We also have some great independent stores that stock local designers such as Sauce and O’de Rose.  If all else fails you’d be hard pushed to not find something in Bloomingdales, Galleries Lafayette and Harvey Nichols. Level Shoe District has every shoe under the sun too- Dubai is a shoppers paradise.

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ML&S: Best place to grab a coffee?

Laura: Spill the Bean is a cool little spot for breakfast in Sunset Mall and Tom & Serge never fails on the good coffee front. BoxPark is a cool new area with plenty of cafes. We like Marimekko there and finally The Farm deserves a mention for it’s stunning setting.

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ML&S: What do you enjoy doing most with your family on weekends?

Laura: A typical weekend for us would start with a long, lazy breakfast at Al Badia Golf Club whilst my eldest has his golf lesson (they do an awesome full English). The rest of the weekend, if we don’t have birthday parties to attend, would be spent at the beach or pool.  There are some great family friendly beach clubs to choose from including Zero Gravity or ’The Beach’ at JBR and Kite Beach are two great public beaches. We also like to visit the Ripe Market, a lovely farmers market held in different locations around the city.

If we’re escaping the sun we’ll usually head to Dubai Mall where the boys can ice skate, visit the aquarium, cinema, Kidzania (their favourite) and Sega world. There is also Midriff City Centre mall, which has bowling, i-fly, Little Explorers and AquaPlay, or Adventure HQ in The Galleria Mall for their cool climbing walls – we are never stuck for things to do.

I should also probably mention the famous Friday Brunch, which is something of an institution amongst expat residents. Between 12:30pm and 4:00pm you can eat, drink and be merry in practically all of Dubai’s luxury hotels. Beachcombers at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Nine7One at The Oberoi and Al Bahou in Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate are especially good for families.

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ML&S: What are some of your fave eateries?

Laura: There are so many new restaurants popping up over the city all the time that we are very spoilt for choice- it gets overwhelming at times trying to choose somewhere. For a date night we love La Serre or Pierchic. An old favourite for a great curry would be Asha’s and there are also an array of celeb chef restaurants to choose from for super special occasions.

We eat out regularly with the boys and they love it almost as much as we do. Their favourite is Asian so we tend to visit The Noodle House, P.F Changs and Wagamama for casual dining with them.

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ML&S: You ladies have travelled so much, what are some of your favourite family destinations?

Singapore was an amazing family trip for us recently. We had a great balance of city sightseeing followed by a few days R&R on adjoining Sentosa Island and a trip to Universal Studios. It’s such a clean city, very green with friendly people and plenty to do to keep you occupied for a weeks holiday.

South Africa, Paris, London and Greece are also up there on our list of current faves.

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ML&S: Your top tip for travelling with baby/kids?

Laura: Stay calm, breathe and organise your carry-on bag in advance. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail! Now the boys are that little bit older, I’m finding travelling with them is becoming a lot easier, dare I say even fun! With babies it can be a little different and my advice would be to take help when it is offered and also don’t be afraid to ask if you need some assistance. If all else fails, there’s always wine!

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ML&S: You should never leave Dubai until you have?

Laura: Been on a desert safari, had Afternoon Tea inside the Burj Al Arab, gone to the top of the Burj Khalifa, watched the dancing fountains, taken an abra ride from one side of the creek to the other, had a mani/pedi and massage at one of the many nail bars, swam with dolphins at Atlantis, visited the Zabeel Saray Talise Spa – and so much more!

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ML&S: What is your favourite season there?

Laura: We are blessed with all year round sunshine and to be honest it would be easier to answer which season we like least! The answer being the summer months where temperatures soar to 40+. There is usually a mass exodus come the end of the school term in June with families visiting their home countries for a few months to escape the heat. That said, we have stayed in Dubai over the summer months and lots of indoor activities are definitely the key to staying sane!

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ML&S: Favourite hotel?

Laura: Our new favourite is The Oberoi with their exceptional service in a downtown location. For a luxury beachfront hotel it’s hard to beat The Four Seasons and for something a little more friendly on the purse strings, The Hilton Jumeirah is an oldie but goodie.

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ML&S: What do you love most about living in Dubai?

Laura: It’s such a safe and child friendly place to live. The little ones are welcomed almost everywhere and there are always lots of things happening around the city to keep them (and us) entertained! It’s vibrant, busy and like most cities, never sleeps. There are lots of opportunities and we are surrounded by positive, ambitious people, which is inspiring. Obviously the great weather helps too and having a great support network of friends is incredibly important when you live abroad. Our friends have become more like family.

Dubai is truly multi cultural and I love that the boys are growing up with children of different nationalities and learning about their culture as well as their own.

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Make sure you check out the fab Mums the World blog & follow Laura & Jenny on IG @mumstheworld_  FB @Mums the World

 

Tuesday

2

June 2015

0

COMMENTS

JILL AND JACK- BEAUTIFUL NEW CHILDREN’S BOUTIQUE

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Last week Nikoleta and I had the pleasure of visiting Jill and Jack, an ever- so- gorgeous and new children’s boutique located in the heart of Sydney’s stunning Woolahra.

From the minute I stepped through the doors, I immediately felt like I walked into a sweet Parisian boutique- with a stunning set out, abundance of amazing items, personalised service, pretty gift wrapping and Parisian music in the background- all in which made our experience in this beautiful concept store even more pleasing.

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“Jill and Jack is the realisation of our vision for a multi-brand lifestyle boutique- showcasing the best in children’s fashion, toys and accessories,” says owner Christine.

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Stocking unique gifts, adorable clothes and accessories for newborns through to 12 year olds- you are sure to find something you will fall in love with in both everyday wear and special occasions for boys and girls. What makes this boutique even more special is the exclusive labels available from all over the world, that can not be purchased in any other store throughout Australia.

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“Our focus is on classic styles and all of our products come beautifully wrapped- with unique collections that are carefully selected and sourced from Belgium, Paris, London and a selection of Australian designers,” Christine says.

Some of the amazing brands include IKKS, Velveteen, Miss Chips, Marie Chantal Children, Eliane Et Lina, Meilie Aime, Milk and Soda, Daisy and Moose, Pixie Bows, Ladedah, Billie Blush, Sonatina shoes, Coco Ribbon London, Dimity Bourke - plus more.

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“We only source the finest of products, with an eye on timeless pieces and impeccable quality. Jill and Jack is the place you come to when you are looking for that special outfit, a thoughtful gift or when attending a baby shower, birthday or christening.”

“We love what we do and our aim is to make sure we offer you a personalised service- where you walk away with something you absolutely love,” adds Christine.

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With new stock slowly arriving each week and an online store that is soon to be launched, now is the perfect time to pop in and check out this gorgeous boutique that has become one of our fave’s by far.

 W: www.jillandjack.com.au    IG: @jillandjackofficial    FB: @JILL AND JACK    PH: 02 9363 2307

A: Shop 1/83 Moncur Street, Woolahra

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Monday

25

May 2015

0

COMMENTS

MELBOURNE- BY TWO OF ITS MOST STYLISH MUMS

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Melbourne has been named the world’s most liveable city by millions of people around the globe on numerous occasions – and it’s no wonder- given it’s rich culture, relaxed vibe, delicious food, brilliant architecture, great sporting events and let’s not forget to mention the fabulous boutique shopping!

Now whether you are planning on spending a weekend in this stunning city or thinking of a new location to raise your family- Melbourne has so much to offer mums, dads and kids.

Today, we are excited to chat with two of Melbourne’s most stylish mums- Sandi, from Kids Fashion Blogger (KFB) and Carla, from Styling the Tribe (STT).

These two very chic mummy bloggers are leading the way in Australia’s kids fashion industry- as they share daily inspiration via their popular Instagram pages- highlighting the coolest and latest designs available to little people.

Sandi is a gorgeous mother of two beautiful girls- Bella and Giselle and thanks to her love of kids fashion and fine detail, their IG page now has over 70 thousand dedicated followers. Here you will find her adorable girls modelling the prettiest and most precious items- in a very sweetly styled manner.

Carla is stunning mum to three spunky sons- Tevita, Maikeli and Tomasi- who you will always find sporting the trendiest items on the market. Carla’s passion,  dedication and good eye for boys fashion has led this cool tribe to become leaders of the pack- focusing on all the funkiest threads out there for dapper little dudes.

Today these lovely ladies not only give us an insight into their busy lives as dedicated mums, wives and mummy bloggers- they also reveal their fave spots around their wonderful city.

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ML&S: How long have you been living in Melbourne?

KFB:  10 years.

STT: Born and raised in Melbourne, however had a short stint in Adelaide between 2008-2013.

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ML&S: Can you describe your life in Melbourne?

KFB: BUSY! I still work casually on top of KFB and between Bella’s school, Giselle’s daycare and early learning, plus the girls activities- Bella does ballet, tap/jazz, swimming and Giselle does music- so our days are not stop. I’m pretty good with time management, which follows on from my earlier career and I think with kids and everything else, I need to keep organised and balanced or I would be a crazy mess!

STT: Organised chaos and ‘always on the go’ would be the best description. I’m active by nature and my boys aged 2, 4 and 6 are balls of energy and don’t allow much downtime. Monday to Friday I’m a SAHM, juggling school runs, 3 days of kinder drop offs, swim lessons, tennis lessons, household duties and the blog! We don’t have any ‘help’ so to speak of, but the last fortnight my mother- in- law has spent the mornings with my youngest, so I can solely focus on building my website. Weekends are just as busy, as Saturdays are dedicated to sports, Auskick 9-11 am followed by my husbands football from 2-5 pm. Sundays we try to slow down, head out to breakfast, church and then on to somewhere kid friendly.

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ML&S: Tell us more about your amazing and popular kids fashion blogs?

KFB: KFB started out of my love for kids fashion- I loved styling Bella in cool kids clothes- she was like my mini me from day one! I had no idea how big the kids fashion industry was and how it is in its baby stages- and with so much growth to go- it’s all very exciting!

STT: STT is a blog dedicated to boys fashion- often under represented in the media, I felt it was time to shine the spotlight on the amazing selection of boys fashion available online (worldwide) and locally. Having three 3 sons myself, I have an invested interest in the boys fashion space and find it rewarding seeing my little dudes dressed in the latest trends. The IG blog has evolved since its humble beginnings in August 2013 and will soon go live at www.stylingthetribe.com

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ML&S: What do you love most about being mummy fashion bloggers?

KFB: Sharing ideas and stories with other mums, knowing I can relate to them. I LOVE kids and I LOVE being on this journey with my girls. We are doing this together.

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STT: I blog to stay connected. Being a SAHM, I needed to find an outlet and a place whereby I could forge friendships with like minded individuals- without leaving the house! It’s sharing ideas, bouncing off one another, finding inspiration, knowing you’re not alone and above all- staying social and sane! The blog itself is built around my boys, so they are a vital piece to the puzzle. Its a great way to combine all my loves, interests and needs in the one place.

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ML&S: What is your favourite family park in Melbourne ?

KFB:  One which isn’t really a park but play area is on Beaconsfield Parade, in Port Melbourne. They have this awesome play/swing area right on the beach, covered with sun sails- so the kids can use it any time. I’m a big beach girl! Second Yarraville Gardens- it’s such a beautiful big leafy park.

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STT : Hmmm…if you asked my boys, they’d probably say the new Pirate Ship park down by the Maribrynong River, 118 The Boulevard Aberfeldie. Victory Park (corner of Epson Rd and Langs Road Ascot Vale) resembles a wooden fortress and is also popular with my boys – though mum finds it stressful keeping an eye on all three when there! My favourite park would have to be the one adjoined to Cubbyhouse Canteen, located at 43A Union Street Armadale. There are two play areas in fact- one specifically designed for toddlers (completely fenced in) and one for the more spirited (3 years +) also fenced in. The toddler park is right next to the most amazing child friendly cafe- run by the loveliest of sisters and serving delicious coffee and lunch.

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ML&S: What are your top children’s stores in your city?

KFB & STT: Zara, Country Road, Mr Wolf kids, Bardot Jnr, David Jones, Moppit & More, Rasberry Soda, Indie Kids, Cotton On kids, Seed are favourites.

Our online Melbourne designers and store picks  include Sudo, Milk & Soda, Hipkin, Acorn Kids, A little pocket, Tevita Kids, Wilson & Frenchy and Purebaby.

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ML&S: Where do you like to shop for yourselves?

KFB & STT: Zara, Country Road, Seed, Topshop, Decjuba, Style Runner (online), Witchery, Style Milk (online), All About Eve, Sportsgirl, Piink, One Teaspoon, Cue, Cooper Street, Alannah Hill, General Pants Co, Mimco, Myer.

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ML&S: Melbourne is known as the coffee capital of Australia, where are some of your fave places to grab one?

KFB & STT: Brunetti’s (Lygon St, Carlton), Little Sister (East Keilor), Le Petite Cafe (Esesndon) Degraves Espresso Bar (Degraves Lane) Barry (Northcote) Dukes Coffee Roasters (Prahan).

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ML&S: What do you enjoy doing most with your families on weekends?

KFB: In the summer it’s swimming at the beach or any pool- we are a sun water family. We love going to different markets on the weekends, driving to coastal towns, really anything- so long as on a Sunday we do something as a family.

STT: Sport plays a big part in our lives and our Saturdays are devoted to Auskick in the morning and Dad’s footy of an afternoon. On Sundays, when not attending birthday parties or visiting family, we like to explore our amazing city and seek out child- friendly activities. Favourites include watching a touring show, visiting new adventure playgrounds, riding miniature railways, visiting the zoo, Collingwood childrens farm, Melbourne aquarium, Melbourne Museum and horse rides along the St. Kilda foreshore.

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ML&S: What are your favourite restaurants to eat at with your kiddies and with your other half?

KFB:  Anywhere along South Wharf or Lygon St.

STT: Brunetti’s Carlton (quick pizza, lasagna, pannini and ready to eat deserts), Philhellene Provincial Greek Cuisine and Doc Pizza.

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ML&S: Where is a cool place to have brunch in your city?

KFB: Leroy’s in Newport.

STT: Little Sisters (East Keilor), Pillar of Salt (Richmond) and Fifty Acres (Richmond).

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ML&S: Please finish this sentence, “You should never leave Melbourne with your family until you have?”

KFB: Gone to Melbourne Zoo.

STT: Watched an AFL Game at the MCG!

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ML&S: What do you love most about raising your kids in Melbourne?

KFB: It’s not too big of a city. It’s so multi-cultural and with such a huge European influence- the people are friendly, the food is amazing and the fashion is fabulous. There are so many opportunities here.

STT : There is so much to do and see in Melbourne. We’re so spoilt for choice when it comes to food, coffee, fashion and local attractions. Everything we could possibly need is at our fingertips and almost aways accessible- 24/7. We also live in a very culturally diverse city, which I believe makes our city so rich and desirable. I love that my children will grow up alongside children of various ethnicities and can learn about their culture alongside their own. It wasn’t until I lived interstate for 6 years that I appreciated how amazing the city of Melbourne is and how fortunate I am to call it home.

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ML&S: Where do you like to go for a close family weekend getaway?

KFB & STT: Along the Great Ocean Road or Daylesford.

ML&S: Best place for mums to grab a glass of wine in Melbourne?

KFB & STT: Movida, Supper Club, Morris Jones, Captain Baxter, Siglo, Eau De Vie, Chin Chin (downstairs bar).

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Make sure you follow KFB & STT’s fab blogs on IG @kidsfashionblogger IG @stylingthetribe

FB @Kids Fashion- Blogger FB @Styling the Tribe

W kidsfashionblogger.com.au W stylingthetribe.com

 

 

Thursday

7

May 2015

0

COMMENTS

KIDS FASHION HIGH TEA

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Last Saturday afternoon Nikoleta and I had the pleasure of attending a beautiful children’s fashion High Tea event, hosted by the stunning online kids boutique Petit Parisians and the lovely Chloe Chrisanthi label.

As soon as we arrived, I was in awe of all the charming clothes on display, including some of the most exquisite items from Tutu du Monde and Marie-Chantal, which filled the room superbly amongst all the gorgeous children’s furnishings, decor, textiles and toys- all available from Pottery Barn Kids in Bondi Junction- where the wonderful event took place.

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Irene, the mastermind behind Petit Parisians and the lovely event was on hand to chat about the current range she has available and to let us know about all the great new products that will soon be arriving in her store.

Young and talented Chloe Chrisanthi was also there with her mum Angelique, to meet and greet all their guests and to chat about her new range of beautiful handmade girls clothes, which she recently launched in Sydney.

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Everything looked tres chic- however what definitely stood out for me, was the gorgeous sweet table that was filled with some of the most delightful and precious cakes, meringues, cookies, cake pops, tarts, handmade chocolates, macarons and shortbread- all tied beautifully within a Parisian theme.

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After a couple of hours of meeting and mingling with some wonderful ladies, we were all given an amazing gift bag- filled with lots of little goodies to take home.

Here is a list of all the talented suppliers who made the event so beautiful and successful- if you are in the process of planning an event in Sydney, you should definitely check them out.

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A Touch of Sweetness Events- for beautiful event design, coordination, creations and styling- IG @atouchofsweentessevents PH 0416 202 115

Caking It Up- for beautiful cakes and cupcakes that taste as good as they look- IG @caking_it_up PH 0403 112 073

Quincy Lane- for amazing meringues, shortbread, cake pops, mini cakes & sweet goodness- IG @quincy.lane

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Strawberries & Co- for the most divine strawberry towers and more- IG @strawberriesandco_ FB @Strawberries & Co.

One Bite Macarons- specialising in delicious macarons for all events- IG @onebitemacarons  FB @onebitemacarons

Alaroch- for all your cake topping needs- IG @alaroch PH 0402 326 141

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Sweet No 5- for the most precious personalised cookies- IG @sweetno5

Sugar Pop Bakery- for the prettiest couture cake pops in Sydney- IG @sugarpopbakery W sugarpopbakery.com.au

Sweets with Love- for stunning desserts including tarts and pastries- IG @sweets_withlove

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Elle Tee Designs- for stunning handmade Belgian couverture chocolate- IG @elleteedesign W elleteedesign.com

Cake Me Pretty- for pretty cakes made for all events- IG @cake_me_pretty PH 0405 121 249

Emjay Inspired- for all your must have prop hiring needs- IG @emjay_inspired PH 0414 092 996

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