Wellington Style Icon: Fandangle Fabulus

FandangleTo start April out right, I've returned to my "Making It Happen" series - and I've scored an interview with another of Wellington's style icons. Someone global, yet local, who shows us all the power of creativity, self-determination, and being body positive! I first met this charmer on Cuba Street, of course, at Fidel's Cafe. A fedora at a rakish angle over crimson hair caught my eye, along with the glimmer of sequins. This was someone I had to meet. Turns out this unique individual, who I was repeatedly assured was from Paris, was from a tribe associated with New Zealand's festival of festivals, our Kiwiburn. Not only is Fandangle's style advice popular online, but Fandangle was a noted presence at the Kiwiburn free clothesline this year, even appearing in the Wanganui Chronicle. With festival style hotter than ever, I knew I had to bring you some style advice from the source. Fandangle came to my house for an intimate tête-à-tête, interview and styling session. Without further ado...Fandangle Fabulus. Hi Fandangle! HULLO SADEE! I MUS SAY YOO LOOK LUVLY. BUT YOO CAN LOOK BETTER AND I SHOW YOO HOW IN MAKOVER TOODAY. OF CORSE YOO CAN NEVVER LOOK AS GOOD AS MONSTER BUT WEE SEE WAT WEE CAN DOO. Oh wow, thank you so much! I do feel very unglamorous compared to you. But to start does a young monster become a style icon? WELL YOO NO IT NOT EESY. PEEPL SAY “WOW FANDANGLE YOO SUCH A NATRAL AT FASHUN” BUT DEY NOT NO HOW MUCH WORK IT IS TO BEE DIS GOOD. I PUT CLOTHS ON AND OFF A LOT. LIKE EVRY DAY I SPEND 8 OR 9 HOURS PUTTING CLOTHS ON AND OFF. JUS SO I CAN STAY FITT FOR FASHUN. MOST PEEPL NOT REELISE DAT WAT IT TAKE OR MAYBEE DEY JUS LAZY. DEY WONDER WY DEY NOT SO FASHNABUL BUT IT COS DEY NOT PREEPARED TO WORK HARD.  Tell us about you and Paris. OMG I LUV PAREE AND PAREE LUV MEE! WOW I SUCH A POET!!!! I ONLEE RECENTLEE MOV TO LITTUL NEW ZEELAND FROM PAREE AND IT A BIT WEERD FINGS SO DIFFERENT HEER. LIKE IN PAREE PEEPL STAY STILL A LOT AND NOT WEER CLOTHS EXCEPT IN FASHUN WEEK. HEER AR PIKSHURS OF SOM PEEPL IN PAREE JUST BEEING STILL AND NOT WEERING CLOTHS: NakedinparisPEEPL IN LITTUL NEW ZEELAND TRY TO DO DAT TOO BUT I FINK DEY NOT QWITE UNNERSTAND: 5 NZI MISS SO MANNY GRATE FINGS FROM PAREE. LIKE BEEING GEST OF ONUR AT PARIS FASHUN WEEK. DIS MEE SOOPERVISING IN 2013: -AND I USED TO CLIME I-FELL TOWER EVRY DAY (IT CALLED DAT COS LOTS PEEPL FALL OFF AND IT FUN TO WATCH) AND I MISS TAJ MAHAL AND STONHENGE TOO.  Have you got a favorite item of clothing? OMG WAT?????? I LUV ALL CLOTHS!!!!!!!! WELL OK MAYBEE MY FAVRIT CLOTHS AT MOMENT IS DIS WUN: 7 HATT SCRAFIT SOO VERSATIL. IT LIK HATT AND SCRAF ALL IN ONE. AND YOO CAN USE IT FOR TALE WARMER IN WINTER TOO!!! 8 TAIL WARMERI QWITE LIK YOR CLOTHS SADEE. I CAN HELP YOO WIV MAKOVER BETTER IF I TRI DEM ON …

We paused to view the many styles of Fandangle. 50 shades of Fandangle...steampunk Fandangle...burlesque Fandangle. Fandangle's versatility was amazing!


Of course - the French classics of black and white, classically deployed. Tres chic!

How do you stay so fit and oval? I believe you come from a very athletic family. LIKE I SAY BEFOR I WORK VERRY HARD PUTTING CLOTHS ON AND OFF FOR HOURS EVRY DAY. DAT HELP MEE KEP MY FIGERR. AS WELL AS DAT I CARFUL TO EET ENUF. SOMTIMES MONSTER CAN DIET TO MUCH: 12 TOO MUCH DIETSo true! It's all about a healthy balance. You're very well known as an avatar of "festival style." What are some great outfits you've seen at New Zealand festivals? OMG! WELL DIS GRATE HATT I FIND AT KIWEEBURN DIS YEER: 13 stockings hattWAT I FINK WEERD THO IS HOW HOOMINS WEER HATTS AS NAPPYS. IT LOOK SO STOOPID! DIS MEE PRETENDING TO BEE HOOMIN WEERING HATT AS NAPPY. HAHAHAHA!!!!! 14 stockingsDo you have any style advice to inspire our readers? 15 BillyI ALWAYS SAY YOO HAV TO KEEP IT REEL. LIKE DIS MY FREND BILLY. HEE WEERING SHIRT WIV COOL LEPPARDS ON IT BUT IT BE MUCH BETTER IF DEY WERE REEL LEPPARDS. SO YEA. YOO SHOOD ALL REMEMBER: MOOR REEL = MOOR FASHNABUL! DON’T WEER HATTS AS NAPPYS! VoilaThank you so much, Fandangle! We'll always have Paris! After we wrapped up our interview Fandangle took the time to style me. Fandangle recommends a palette of black, white, silver, stripes, and crimson, and a bold hand with lipstick. I even had my hair done, and the whole ensemble was capped off by Fandangle giving me my very own monster-made hat. "HATTS ESSENSHUL!" I couldn't agree more, especially as we enter the cooler weather. Here I am after my "fabulus" makeover. I think we all agree: it's a definite improvement. For your own style tips, you can keep up with Fandangle Fabulus on Facebook. You can also see the rest of Fandangle's family, Kiwi monsters at large Tangle, Dangle, and little cutie Mangle on YouTube and on Tumblr.

A Week in Whanganui: Moa Bones, Museums, and Art

Last week, I did something unusual - I spent six days in Whanganui, New Zealand. Whanganui is a pretty place, a large town/very small city traced along a shimmering river, a bit off the beaten tourist track on the west coast of New Zealand. WanganuiRiverAnd I was there to spend time volunteering at the Whanganui Regional Museum... their moa bone exhibit. This is not just the largest dedicated moa exhibit in the world, it is also "living storage" for the museum's  significant moa bone collection. I was there to help process moa bones for physical and online curation, and to document the process for other volunteers. You can read more about the technical and communication aspects of this at my professional blog here.WhMu-MoaRoom   I was able to get up close and personal with the moa collection - a fascinating experience.Moalab-skull ECwithDNAspecimenDo I look stylish? Enh, probably not. I went up to "Wangers" with a thoughtful fall capsule wardrobe in my luggage, and then the weather there decided it was going to be summer again. So I could only wear about half the clothing I had with me without broiling, and I was too wrapped up in the museum to care much. I wonder if other capsule wardrobe travelers get caught out like this. The museum also hosts rotating art exhibits from their deep collection. This month they were opening an exhibit about retro New Zealand woodcraft by a company named Sovereign. Here are some sleek 50s and 60s pieces from the exhibit. WhMu-retrowoodart2 WhMu-retrowoodartI timed my volunteering week to be in Whanganui for the Open Studio art festival. That meant I was in Whanganui for their first Pecha Kucha on Friday night. On Saturday, a friend and I zipped around to multiple glassblowing studios and artist exhibits. There's lots of wonderful artwork and I will be back for the next Open Studio next year. Here's a hasty shot of the treasures in progress at Chronicle Glass Studio: ChronicleStudiosTo complete my "geekcation" I even found a great new pair of eyeglasses at Eyes on Victoria - turns out they have exotic French and Italian frames, along with Karen Walker's world-famous-in-the-world NZ designed eyeglasses and sunglasses. I am really lucky to be able to take a week off of work to volunteer in a natural history collection at a museum. It was a fantastic six days, thanks to everyone who hosted me and who I visited along the way!

After a week of volunteering (and handling other bones with care) I was allowed to hold a giant moa leg bone. SCIENCE!!!


Making It Happen: Cara Hill, Style Blogger & Best Dressed in Wellington

Cara Hill, herself.“Best dressed” lists can seem remote and unreal. But Wellingtonian Cara Hill, recipient of two best dressed accolades in 2012 and 2013, makes being beautifully dressed sound fun and accessible. Her striking style is just one facet of her expressing herself to the fullest. I talked with Cara about her style journey, being body positive, the practical side of being well dressed, and hating alterations but loving fashion risks. We've all seen you darting around town, the strikingly lovely brunette with the ravishing tattoos and fabulous outfits. But, tell us...who is Cara Hill? Hmmmm, isn't that always the toughest question? Let's see ... Cara Hill is a Canadian expat who has lived in NZ for almost 4 years now. I love the theatre and therefore have spent a big chunk of my career working in one. I'm married to the love of my life with whom I have more fun than I ever thought possible. I love tattoos, books, movies, body positivity and feminism. And I love, LOVE pretty clothes!  And you're also a published author, of the book Supernatural Winnipeg, which was quite successful in Canada.  I mention it because I think there are lots of misconceptions about women who, as you say, love pretty clothes - that we're insubstantial or unintelligent -- True, good point. Although, it is a travel guide to haunted places, so that might discredit me!  I kid.  (five minutes of digression talking about Bigfoot and taniwhas) We should probably talk about paranormal stuff sometime, but we're here today to talk about your magnificent sense of style. You run a highly popular style tumblr, and you were also voted as Best Dressed in Wellington 2012 last September by the readers of Wellington’s Capital Times. AND you just got cited in Fishhead Magazine this month as one of Wellington’s best dressed. It's a bit overwhelming actually, the best dressed things.[Read more]

Making It Happen: Behome by Emily Davidow

The "Making It Happen" series is back online, conversing with Emily Davidow about moving to New Zealand and starting up a home design emporium. Wherever I’ve lived, I’ve always been a “house” person, enjoying my (sometimes ill advised) attempts to decorate my abode. I’ve always enjoyed home stores, and they are dream businesses for many of us. “One with special things – the kind of things my friends really want,” we say, gazing off into the distant mists, visualizing a design boutique with all of our favorites, or an all-steampunk kitchen store.  So it was a great pleasure to get behind the scenes of a delicious home design emporium with Emily Davidow. "Emporium" is the right word for the variety at her retail space in Miramar, Behome. Two floors overflow with rugs, textiles, unique furniture, and even some well-chosen garments.

Emily Davidow, center, talks to customers at Behome's grand opening in June 2013.

Growing up in the U.S.A., her family's business was home furnishings. After successfully expanding the family business online in the 1990s, and other creative ventures, Emily decided that it was time for a major life change – moving from the U.S.A. to New Zealand. And that led to her opening up Behome in Wellington. Read on to learn about her story, the vitality of beauty in the home, design Down Under, why things cost more in New Zealand, and good advice for your own business. [Read more]

Get The Most from a Photo Shoot


Was I happy, or unhappy, with how I looked on this day? It doesn't matter - I had a great time at this shoot, and it showed. The results: a pretty photo of Sadie von Scrumptious, burlesque emcee. Courtesy of Ataahua Pinups.

Do you want to have good pictures taken, beautiful pictures,'re waiting? Waiting for your hair to grow out, for that 5-or-10 kilo weight loss, or to mysteriously turn into Dita von Teese overnight? Why not just do it? Make 2013 the year you get in front of the camera! Let's revisit the weight loss one because I can't tell you how many times that has been cited as a barrier. Stop postponing your life until you lose weight, says fitness blogger and yoga teacher Amber, and how right she is. She conveninently linked to this post on How To Not Hate Being Photographed, too. There are four factors that make it possible to capture the best possible images of you. You outsource one of them when you sign up for a photo session and you can achieve the remaining three.
  • Professional photography lighting. Photographers use light photons to blast your features into luminescent perfection.
  • Being healthy. Well rested, hydrated, glowing from fruit and vegetables and activity. You know the drill.
  • Being well groomed. Your efforts to be polished will pay off.
  • Being happy. Your emotional state, more than anything, shines through in photographs.
"We make your cellphone work!"

A professional headshot, courtesy of Matt Walsh.

What To Wear
  • Your outfit should fit, or be a little roomy. Leave the garments-you-hope-to-fit-into-soon at home.
  • For a portrait/head shot, wear a plain top or a collared shirt in a jewel tone or strong neutral. Matching your eye color is always safe. A feature necklace or earrings are also good. Avoid wearing black, white, small patterns, or shiny fabric.
  • For a pinup/burlesque/boudoir shoot, expect that your whole body will be photographed and that you must provide your entire outfit, down to long gloves and hair clips. Some studios provide props and costuming - find this out before the shoot.
  • If a studio is providing extensive costuming for a pin-up shoot, I still like to bring the following: "dark" lingerie set with stockings and shoes and gloves; "light" lingerie set with stockings and shoes and gloves; a robe; at least one complete outfit I want photographed. The two lingerie sets are a useful foundation for other corsets, robes, or dresses.
  • If you are bringing full outfits, set up the outfits before hand. Try them on, test them in a mirror, and if required iron/press them.  More than 4 outfits in a session devoted to you will make the photographer's head hurt. So, keep it to 4 outfits or fewer.
  • If you are dubious about your arms at all, feel free to cover them up. Sleeves, wraps, jackets, feather boas, lace shawls, long gloves. Unhappy with your abdomen? Wear corsets, girdles, or "shapewear" - undergarments like the Spanx sausage cases (I prefer the firmer Nancy Ganz line myself).
It's a darn shame my adorable black tilt hat doesn't show against the black background.

Professional eye makeup makes my eyes huge, and the ringlet hairpiece looks all right. But where's the top of my head? It's my own fault for choosing a black tilt hat doesn't show against the black background. Practice session with Toya Heatley.

Physical Preparation/Grooming
  • Do your nails! Male, female "not proud" of your hands and feet, the camera accepts no excuses. Maximize your nail attractiveness, from a simple trim/buff/hand creaming to a manicure and pedicure supreme.
  • Do you dye your hair? Retint during the week before the shoot. Hair roots show and are challenging to Photoshop.
  • Get a good night's sleep. Not just for the sake of beauty sleep - posing is exhausting.
  • Drink lots of water the night before the shoot, moisturize lavishly, and avoid alcohol.
  • Shave. Especially your armpits. Body hair is, again, difficult to Photoshop.
  • If you are going to be nude at the shoot, when you get up that day, bathe/shower, shave everything that's getting shaved, then put on loose outer garments, going commando underneath. This prevents your underwear, especially your bra, "marking" your body with pressure lines.
  • Clean & combed hair, please. "But my hair needs to be dirty for retro styling!" Then, before styling, hit your hair up with dry shampoo, which removes greasiness while making your hair behave for backcombing, rolling, and the like.
  • If you want your hair to be longer, shorter, or otherwise different, wigs or hairpieces can help.
  • Should you get your makeup done professionally? More expensive shoots may include this as part of the service. If you are not used to doing your own makeup, or you want a very dramatic look, I recommend this. Schedule makeup in the AM, the shoot in the PM, and do something fun that evening so your made-up face gets an outing.
  • Personally, I eat low-carb, lower-fat food the day before a shoot. I eat a light breakfast. And then after the shoot I fall face down into a platter of Thai food or the like. Amusingly, food and drink during shoots seems to be in the same amnesty zone as diet drinks.
Photo Shoot Etiquette
  • Ask for what you want well in advance, and be clear about costs. Not only does this help reduce post-production angst, but it ensures that you get the shoot you want. For burlesque or other performance promotion photos, a white background is helpful so that designers can edit out the background and add you to posters. Black backgrounds can create striking portraits, but any black accessories, or even brunette hair, gets lost.
  • Show up on time, with your outfits organized, your hair done or ready to do, and your face either made up or ready to be made up.
  • If a photographer prefers to be professional and distant, let them. They don't have to be your best friend to be talented and take good pictures of you.
  • Expect your photos within 1 - 2 weeks.
  • If the photographer is a hobbyist friend who isn't charging you - offer to buy lunch, contribute to transport or processing costs, or give a koha towards equipment. I remember buying film for somebody back in the day. Remember film?
This photo illustrates several posing and outfit tactics.

This photo illustrates several posing/dressing tactics. My3/4 body turn is slimming. My outstretched arm is slimmer-looking than my un-photoshopped bent arm, and my manicured nails show up in the picture. The dark background is an excellent contrast for a white dress - one reason that brides wear white still. On this sunny day, the photographer has posed me in the shade. Shady light flatters the skin, and I'm not squinting against the light. Photo courtesy of Digitalpix and their "Trash the Dress" photography workshop.

Posing Posing is vital! Working with the photographer on posing makes the most of how you look.
  • Inside Out Style Blog has great posing tips, as does Betty Bombshell's Plain Jane to Pinup Queen book, as does Photography Awesomesauce.
  • A 3/4 headshot helps obscure any facial assymetry, and a 3/4 body turn is slimming.
  • Being slightly below the photographer/having the photographer shoot from above is also slimming.
  • Practicing your poses in a full-length mirror (or a hand mirror for face shots) is dorky, but it works.
  • Try to be phyiscally relaxed and express happiness. Play with the posing - ham it up - have some fun. When I've been stiff in front of a camera, a good tactic has been to have a friend stand beside the photographer and banter with me.
If You Have Been Requested/Hired As A Model
    • Ask, tactfully, why  you? Why were you requested? Experience? A particular "look"? Your sizeable wardrobe? Your body modifications, or lack thereof? It's always good to know.
    • Make yourself a good model by working with the photographer's reasonable requests. Myself, I have avoided sunlight, grown and manicured my nails, made myself up with a specific "look", and brought along clothes for said specific look.
    • Be firm about your boundaries. If you're not comfortable with the picture, or the vibe of the shoot, say no and be prepared to walk. I once arrived at a shoot, took a look around, felt my hackles rise, and walked without even putting my bag down. It was a perfectly clean city apartment, with a colorless mild-mannered male photographer, and yet something just wasn't right. I'm glad I didn't find out what.
    • If you were polite and timely and  prepared - and don't get asked for again - you didn't do anything wrong. Some photographers like to work with lots of different models, capturing many fresh looks. Others may feel they didn't have chemistry with you. Let it go and move on.
Is it I? Come reply! Mirror, mirror, tell me truly!

A glimpse of a flattering pinup shot by Ataahua Pinups.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  • You need to cancel - For me, cancellation reasons have included being sick and being grief-stricken. (I find that my emotional state is reflected in photographs - whether I want it to be or not.) Let the photographer know ASAP.
  • You think you look awful in test shots - Don't freak out, and don't get mad at the photographer. Try one of your other outfits, more makeup, a new angle, even a different backdrop. Shots often improve as a shoot progresses.
  • You and the photographer don't click - It's happened to me. I show up, they show up, even after giving it some time, the magic didn't happen. If everyone is present, correct, and professional, at least you can speak up and ask for what you want.
  • An idea or outfit doesn't work - At one of my shoots, an emcee costume that had received lots of compliments in real life turned out to be a difficult dud on camera. The correct attitude is to shrug and say "Moving on!" I'd like to praise the photographer in this instance for speaking up and saying "That's not working" - when the photographer and you aren't clicking, they may not say anything.
  • Post-production drama - Both I and others have been unhappy with shoot results. I myself once went for professional headshots with a well-known local photographer, found him dull and absent during the session, and sure enough, the resulting shots looked like he'd phoned it in. Irritating! Another time, a friend of mine wasn't happy with the severely Photoshopped results of her shoot. She would have preferred more images from the shoot that represented what she saw as her real self.
The more you work with a photographer, the more the photographer works with you. Wellington Area Photographers For those of us in the Wellington area, this list has grown over the past year! Another reason why there's never been a better time to get some pictures taken.
  • D-Pix/Ataahua Pinups - Teriffic and fun portraits, wedding photography, and pin-up shots. And Ever So Scrumptious blog readers can have a PINUP SHOOT SPECIAL! Use the code SCRUMPTIOUS when you book a pinup shoot and get it at half price - $120 instead of $250. It doesn't get any better than this!!!
  • Foto Graffito - More sophisticated black and white work. Great at capturing expression, I especially recommend him for photographing men.
  • Jules Townsend - Portraits to pin-ups to wedding photography. Fresh liveliness and great sense of color.
  • A La Mode  -High-end Wellington photography with studio. Want to look like you should be in Italian Vogue? You can, starting at about $500 (note the print costs here).
  • Kardan Photography - More edgy, sophisticated black and white work. Again, higher prices. In Wellington, also visits Auckland.
  • Miss T Pin-Ups, Auckland - Provides "full service" with makeup, hair styling, costuming, and extensive Photoshopping. Shoots are often staged at especially lovely locations, too. A premium shoot, priced appropriately. Auckland based but visits Hamilton and Wellington.
Serious about pin-up modeling? That's a whole other story! As a starting point, if you want pin-up or figure modeling opportunities, contact a local camera club.  Hutt Camera Club uses models. For long-term or seriously-earning-money modeling, post on Model Mayhem.
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Style at NetHui

Two weeks ago, I came back from a stellar event, the NetHui conference. It was a three-day dialogue about the Internet in NZ involving secondary school students, MPs, judges, and hackers. Amongst the ceaseless conversations with many of NZ's best and brightest, I noted that many of my fellow females at NetHui were very stylish indeed. Here's a gallery of some of the great looks. One of the most moving moments at NetHui was brought to us by Computers in Homes. A young woman who'd had a difficult life explained how being trusted with a computer in her abode, and increasing her confidence and employability by learning how to use it, had changed her life. So if you are looking for a cause to support, one that makes a difference to women and children by empowering them, Computers in Homes is a great choice.

Perfume Interview with Judith of Unseen Censer, Part I

August's interview is with the perfumista Judith of the fragrance blog Unseen Censer.  Not only is Judith discriminating and witty, she is generous - when I asked her for some perfume recommendations, she sent me some samples that blew me away and opened my "nose" to what perfume could be. I've known for years how wonderful she is. You're just meeting her, so here are three of her blog posts to get you better acquainted: I asked her, “What do you want to tell the world?” as her last question. But her response was so vivid and important that I am moving it up. Because if you only read one thing she has to say, it is this.

I'm reading The Emperor of Scent (fascinating book about Luca Turin, who wrote Perfumes: The Guide, and also by Chandler Burr, the New York Times perfume critic), and one of Turin's observations really struck me.

Whenever he starts talking about perfume, people start laughing or tittering or smiling or squirming - they're *embarrassed*. There's something about scent that is bodied. People today, at least in America, are embarrassed that things ever do smell, much less that their bodies would smell, even if they smell good.

This is an appalling state of affairs. Embrace scent and you embrace the physical. That is a powerful feminist message. Be polite in your enjoyment of scent but never be ashamed. With or without perfume, you smell good; and much of the world smells good, and you should enjoy your sense of smell.

Vintage Diorisimo

Judith put together this montage of a favorite vintage bottle and, "The photos are of my great-great aunt Tessa and my great-grandmother Retta. Aren't they beautiful?"

This interview is split into two parts. Today is Part I. Behind the cut, her perfume story, attending grand-scale perfume events in NYC, the ethics of buying online vs. buying at the store counter,  thoughts on perfume and New Zealand, men and perfume, and, oh, tons more. [Read more]
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Making It Happen: Jo Coffey, Chocolatier of L’Affaire au Chocolat

The chocolate of my dreams...Jo Coffey already made itDo you have imaginary businesses? I know I do. One of them would be a chocolate boutique. Making exquisite yet amusing bon-bons. With beautifully designed boxes for the confections, and using El Rey chocolate, and ...then I wake up. Oh, I've made chocolates at home. The simple yet messy processes of dipping strawberries and rolling truffles taught me to respect actual chocolatiers. There are two or three excellent ones in Wellington, and I'm so pleased to be able to interview one of my favorites, Jo Coffey of L'Affaire au Chocolat. I first encountered L'Affaire au Chocolat at the City Market; the fine truffles and varietal chocolate bars made an impression of me. Finally, I made it to the store, where I was charmed, not only by the cozy refinement of the little shop, but by the master chocolatier behind it, Jo Coffey herself. There is both warmth and stainless steel behind the chocolate to make this dream of a business succeed. My purchase of a few saffron truffles one day turned into a conversation – Coffey and I are both aficionados of South American chocolate varietals -  and this interview is the follow up. The day I went to meet with Coffey in her store, there was a constant stream of customers, saying, "I hear you've got the best hot chocolate in town..." And it's true: she does. Made with simply frothed milk and a ladleful of melted fine dark chocolate, served with a dark chocolate morsel on the side,  it's hot chocolate perfection. The serried ranks of glossy chocolates in the case became depleted as the morning went on, too.  Coffey gave me a peek behind the scenes at her chocolate vats (vats! of chocolate!) and took the time to answer these questions. Jo Coffey, chocolatier and business owner. Behind the cut, Coffey remembers sweets for tuppence, describes the men who buy chocolate, and shares with us why French food is suddenly everywhere, again, and how to be a more intelligent chocolate consumer. [Read more]
Glamour shot by Toya Heatley of burlesque dancer Phoenix Flame.
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Making It Happen: Interview With Toya Heatley, Photographer

Glamour shot by Toya Heatley of burlesque dancer Phoenix Flame.I love it when a woman achieves her dreams - expresses herself, starts up a business, gets creative. And this blog is going to have occasional interviews with talented women like this who I am fortunate enough to know. Our series debut is an interview with Toya Heatley of Digitalpix Photography. She is a prizewinning photographer in the Wellington area. Her photography website is, and her wedding photography site is Is she available to take pictures for you? Yes, she is, especially over the winter season. This delightful interview  includes photographs, what it feels like to win competitions, and a behind the scenes look at wedding and glamour photography, so click below to Read More![Read more]