An immaculate vision of intense whiteness. The new film inspired by the iconic J12 White, coming soon.

Image via Chanel

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Food, MAEVE |Caramelicous…Indeed!!

Caramelicious is all natural, handmade in small batches and slow simmered to create soft and buttery rich gourmet caramels that true caramel connoisseur love and appreciate.

​They use only natural flavours, no artificial colours and no preservatives and the finest ingredients to hand craft our exotic and unique caramels.

Rémi; French born, first sparkles of inspiration came to him as a child, as he spent endless hours with his dad in the household kitchen; youthfully thrilled by the rich and abundance of tastes and smells. ​With a traditional caramel recipe handed down through generation and having great passion for fine confections and having received rave reviews for his homemade caramels, he has turned his passion into a caramelicious business.

His goal is to turn all of the non-caramel lovers into caramel connoisseurs with his secret  recipe and love of caramel.

MAEVE was lucky enough to receive some samples to try and sooooo glad we did!  In fact, it was so good that we had to hide it from our children to stop them from polishing off the whole bottle in one scoop! Seriously!! The texture is amazing, so smooth and the perfect thickness that coats your tongue slightly and keeps giving the gift of golden love for that added few seconds – and you are so grateful for it.  There are four infused flavours – vanilla, SALTED BUTTER (which is to die for), cocoa and cocoa hazelnut. A sensation for all different taste buds.  So PLEASE, choose your pleasure and enjoy!

Indulge just a little, c’est si bon!

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MAEVE, MUSIC |Listening to Clare Bowditch

We were grooving to this in our kitchen this morning.

I grew up listening to the twang of Hank WIlliams and Johnny Cash amongst so much other music.

I am still a sucker for some good knee slapping country tunes. This track by the gorgeous Clare Bowditch featuring the magnificent Lanie Lane is one of those tracks that is made to dance in the kitchen to. I dare you not to get up and swing!

This post is by Ruth Bruten. Ruth is a lover of life, mumma of five, wifey to one, drinker of coffee, cooker of goodness, wearer of clogs, taker of photographs, lover of music, writer of words.

You can follow Ruth on Twitter or on her blog Gourmet Girlfriend. Her food looks amazing!

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Food, MAEVE |A handwritten recipe

I am an avid collector of notes and cards that have been handwritten, I just can’t seem to throw them away the way I can delete emails. I don’t think anything is really quite as nice as a handwritten note, whether it is to say thank you, or to remind someone to pick up milk on the way home.

I love going through old family cookbooks and finding someone’s recipe scribbled down and tucked inside the pages. My favourite copy of Artusi, my bible of Italian cooking, is filled with little notes written in my husband’s grandmother’s handwriting. Just like her laugh, it’s immediately identifiable as hers, a bit like looking over her shoulder as she’s cooking.

I was thinking about all this recently when I read about someone who used to give her friends handwritten recipes of her fabulous afternoon tea treats as mementoes. This was a good half a century before the time an emailed recipe or blog post could be passed around in just a click, but still, I thought, what a beautiful idea.

So I began writing down some of my favourite recipes, the ones that I go back to time and time again, found on those stained and dog-eared old pages. Some of them are from my favourite classic cookbook writers – Elizabeth David, Alice B. Toklas, and Pellegrino Artusi. All, I’m sure, handwrote their own recipes and would thoroughly approve.

I bought some watercolour paper and a pen and ink – you cannot be in a rush writing this way. It’s all about carefully and slowly dipping the nib in the inkpot and thoughtfully scratching letters one by one onto the paper. Some watercolour illustrations add a bit of whimsy and colour and make them special enough to even hang up in the kitchen. This has a double purpose – something nice to decorate the walls and no more sticky fingers on already well-thumbed pages.

It becomes a gift with that little touch that only handmade gifts have – personal, special, with a little element of surprise. Imagine a batch of homemade cookies together with the handwritten recipe for them. I’d be as pleased as punch. Now when a friend asks me about that recipe that they love, I will make sure I write it down for them. Properly, scratched onto paper with ink.

Words and drawings by Emiko Davies. Emiko is a writer and photographer based between Florence and Melbourne. Food, travel and art are particularly close to her heart. Emiko’s Etsy shop can be found here.

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MAEVE |Our Christmas issue is OUT NOW!


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MAEVE, Out and About |All Well & Good at the Eumundi Markets



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Fashion, MAEVE |Do you shop online or are you a retail lover?

The start of  Stonnington Spring Fashion Week opened with a Fashion Industry Forum to discuss current challenges for the retail industry and tips for business success.

The panel led by Jan Jacklin included Kristen Boschma Head of Digital and Social Media at Haystac, Colin McLeod Associate Professor, Monash University and Executive Director for Australian Centre of Retail Studies at Monash University, Designer Arthur Galan and Planning Manager of The Just Group, Nicholas Hobley.

Despite the 5.30am wake up needed to prettify myself and get to the lovely City of Stonnington, as a shopper and a retail employee I’m glad I went. Here’s why:

  1. The panelists on the forum recognised that shoppers are shying away from the big impulse buys. You know the ones that send them running to put their Visa in the freezer when they get their statement at the end of the month.
  2. The panelists pointed out ways to help stores market themselves and use social media to their advantage.  Kristen Boscham really drove home the idea of brand advocates and why they are so important to the success of a brand’s social media.
  3. It was fantastic to hear a group of industry experts optimistically approaching the idea of the online shopping culture and considering it a useful tool to retailers.

The best part of the panel for me was that these professionals ALL touched on the importance of retail staff training. Retail staff were described by one panelist as ‘the untapped market’ of the industry and I couldn’t agree more.

How many times have you entered a store to find a group of girls chatting at the counter only to begrudgingly greet you when they realise you have been roaming around the store for 5 minutes? It sadly happens more often than you think. If we want to keep people in stores we have to entice them to stay with great service not just a clever layout and continuous sales.

Shoppers are increasingly making the emotional purchase. They want the amazing shopping experience where they can be looked after, listened to and styled. Working in retail for several years has made me realise very quickly what works and what doesn’t in terms of customer service.

I don’t think chasing the customers around the store asking if they need help every 2 minutes is effective or necessary. But greeting them with a smile and letting them know that you are here to help means a lot.

And what they love most of all? Someone who seems like they are going above and beyond to give them what they need. Haven’t got the dress/top/pants in stock? An offer to call around to find them one. If there are promotions in store tell them about them, don’t assume they already know. Is the customer not sure what to wear on a Saturday night? Offer to bring them a range of different outfits to suit their needs.

Retail can be such a positive and fun experience. I was roaming around Quick Brown Fox on Brunswick Street the other day, the girl that helped me out in there was outstanding. She was happy to be there, excited about the clothes and complimentary of my own outfit. I walked out with a dress for the weekend and certain that I would be back next week to check out their new stock.

What is your best and worst shopping experience? Do you shop online or are you a retail lover?

Words by Penny Evangelou. Penny is currently completing an internship at MAEVE. Penny is a final-year Bachelor of Journalism student who is passionate about food, fashion and beauty writing.  You can follow her on Twitter: @pennylane008

Image courtesy of Fashion Stylist and Photographer Meagan Harding. You can follow Meagan’s blog : Style Farm : Fashion and Style






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Book Review, MAEVE |Little Kitchen Around The World by Sabrina Parrini

My little one (almost 3) loves to “cook” in her pretend kitchen and make “soup” “pasta” and “chocolate cake” for her toys and dollies. She also likes to bake in the real kitchen with Mamma, wearing her cute little strawberry printed apron, flour everywhere, banging her wooden spoon and standing on her little pink step-stool. Usually we make things like pikelets, scones or muffins for morning tea, waffles for weekend breakfast, or cupcakes or dotty cookies to take to a friend’s house.

She has already travelled to more countries than her age, eaten everywhere from a warung on the beach in Bali, to the famous Buddha Bar in Paris, enjoys regular cafe visits all over Melbourne (all in the name of research of course), loves having “noo-noo’s” (noodles) for dinner at one of our local Vietnamese haunts, her favourite din-din’s at home include Moroccan vegetable Tagine with pearl cous-cous and yoghurt, and bean burritos with all the trimmings, and with a Greek father born in Australia, a New Zealand mother born in America, and a name like India… this new book with an International theme was for definitely right up the alley of this little mini Foodie.

We are big fans of Sabrina’s previous book, Little Kitchen, so were very excited to see her latest book Little Kitchen Around The World. It’s a brilliant concept as it not only helps to teach little ones the joys of cooking, but also helps them to learn about other countries, cultures and cuisines.

It is probably geared towards slightly older children, I would say primary school aged, however we still enjoyed flicking through it, looking at all the pretty pictures, talking about food and the different countries and deciding what we were going to make.

I asked India what she wanted to make and let her flick through the book on her own and choose… this sweet tooth here was hoping it was going to be something sweet like Sabrina’s Mum’s Lemon Biscotti (Italy), The Devil’s Food Cake (USA) or the Chai Tea Cupcakes (India)…mmmm, how good do they sound? Or maybe even something we could have for tea, like the Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni (Italy) or the Pad Thai (Thailand). Nope. She chose to make the Fresh Guacamole (Mexico). Random! So, true to my word to her, that is what we made!

I think one of her reason’s for choosing this, was because one of her favourite bedtime reads at the moment is “Avocado Baby” by John Birmingham, which was first published in 1982 and used to be one of my childhood faves too. It’s a quirky little story about a new baby who doesn’t eat and starts to grow weak. But then they start to feed him avocado and the strangest things start to happen… you’ll have to read it to find out.

So we went to the local shops, bought a couple of avocados, called out over the fence to our elderly Italian neighbour with the killer veggie garden to see if we could pinch a couple of lemons from his tree, and then we made the Guacamole as per Sabrina’s recipe however we chose to omit the onion. The recipe was super easy to follow and as all the other recipes is laid out very well, with a little intro about the dish, a written description of what to do, the ingredients you’ll need and also the equipment you’ll need.

Super-proud of her new dish, we then made sandwiches together for lunch on fresh bread, with a big spread of the freshly made Guacamole, a little squirt of Kewpie Jap mayo, a slice of Nimbin cheese and some fresh shaved ham from the deli.

They loved it. And gobbled it all up. Just like the Avocado Baby.

Sabrina’s new book truly is a gem. It is beautiful to look at with lots of bright colours and cute styling, and there is such a great mix of recipes from easier ones like the Guacamole to more complex dishes for family dinners through to all kinds of yummy sweet treats perfect for an after school activity that they can make and then enjoy.

Little Kitchen Around The World published by Hardie Grant Books.

Review completed by Jemma Reynolds. Jemma is the creator of


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Born to Knit, MAEVE |Distraction

I have been terribly distracted lately. Obviously, being in another country for 4 weeks can do that to you. But in fact, I have become distracted by knitting, from my purpose, Knitting a Blanket. I am just so excited and inspired to knit so many different things, I am loosing focus on the blanket.

I was doing so well up until the point where I found my knitting mecca in France La Droguerie.

Unfortunately their website does not have photos of their store nor their products, but it was heaven. We accidentally discovered this place, by taking a wrong turn down a side street, trying to find Galleries Lafayette (my shoe mecca). I stopped and gasped out the front of the store and as I ventured in, I was embraced by an eclectic mix of buttons, fabrics and wool. Yarn was tied to wooden stands and displayed in colour order, to touch and feel. The colours were so intense and vibrant. I got carried away with the 100% cashmere at 7 Euros for 10 grams! Eventually I calmed down and started to see some sense (although not much) and bought the most fabulous wool, 50% alpaca  50% silk. I wish I had taken a photo of the store!

So I decided not to start with this new bright and soft wool until I had finished the wool I had brought from Australia. I have never knitted so fast in my life! And like that, I had completed my 3rd square of the blanket. I could now start on my fantastic new and exciting project, a ribbed scarf.

It has not been easy, as I have now learnt how to purl. I am knitting two, purling two. Gosh it has taken so much concentration. It has been exciting. The yarn is amazing to knit with.


So now I am home in Australia, I am once again distracted. When I came home, full of exciting and some rare spare time, I pulled out the scarf that has haunted me from almost 10 years ago. My Nanna’s wool. It is the most lovely blue colour. It is the exact same colour as the sky in Melbourne on a sunny Winter’s day. I pulled it out of my knitting box (which includes wool I bought in Norway 5 years ago on a holiday, I do not know what possessed me), blew the dust off my failed scarf project and looked at it. It is almost finished. It does not look as bad as I remembered. A pang of nostalgia hit me as I pulled it out and wrapped it around my neck. I have to finish it. DISTRACTION.

Currently 3 projects running simultaneously is not a good idea. Original scarf is almost finished and then I am back on the blanket bandwagon.

Lierre Bayley is a Melbourne based MAEVE reader who has embraced the Born to Knit campaign. Supporting Save the Children as they attempt to knit 15,000 blankets for children in third world countries. Here we’ll update you on Lierre’s progress as she knits her blanket.

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MAEVE, Unplugged |Ugly

I saw your votes on the poll last week. I was supposed to give five strangers compliments on the street. “What an easy assignment,” I said to myself. Then I didn’t do it on Monday night.

“I’ll definitely do it tonight!” I thought as I wiped down the counters on Tuesday after dinner.

“Tonight, when I go to the grocery store. Tonight is the night!” I told myself on Wednesday.

Reader, I didn’t do it. I totally and completely failed. Not only did I fail, but instead of going unplugged, I watched some television (this show, which I’m now completely in love with) for the second Unplugged night in a row! Ack! Serious backslide! Despite what I told myself, I didn’t think it was an easy assignment, but I couldn’t figure out what was stopping me, and what was making me backslide. I’ve enjoyed all my unplugged evenings, and here I am, avoiding them, avoiding people, avoiding the whole project, and I didn’t know why.

And then it hit me: ugly. Ugly. That one word, that was it. I felt ugly. I felt ugly, so I huddled in my bedroom watching television instead of talking to people. I felt ugly, so I politely smiled and walked away when a stranger made some conversation with me.  I felt ugly, so I ate some chocolate peanut butter ice cream and sat at home instead of doing something I’d actually enjoy.

I don’t know if anyone else ever feels this way—you all seem like such beautiful people in the photos in MAEVE that I find it difficult to think any of you ever feel less than perfect and gorgeous. But that is how I felt. I got a bad haircut that I’m still growing out (I need a tattoo on my forearm warning me, Memento-style, to not get bangs and they are a BAD IDEA), so my hair was pulled back in an unattractive ponytail. I had on slobby clothes lately because I feel like none of my clothes fit quite right since I lost some weight. I’ve had an outbreak on my face (at 32 I get the pleasure of spots AND grey hair!) and I wanted to hide underneath a scarf whenever someone looked at me. I felt like myself at 15. Awkward, unkempt, shy. I didn’t want to talk to strangers. They would laugh at me! How could I possibly do this assignment?

I’m not ugly, of course. No one is, really. It’s kind of impossible for anyone with any goodness to be ugly. Everyone has a positive quality—good hair, great figure, excellent taste in clothes, perfect skin, long legs, classic style. Everyone has something. I’ve never met a truly ugly person. So why was I subjecting myself to this awful word? I don’t know, but I needed to stop. I’m not the ugly, awkward girl I was at 15. Hell, I wasn’t that girl at 15 either, but I was too afraid to be myself.

So I didn’t follow through with my Unplugged assignment, but I have a plan to do it tomorrow. It won’t be part of my Unplugged evening, but I’m going to try anyway. And in preparation, I went to the local thrift store and bought the prettiest skirt I could find, a tiered Lilly Pullitzer floral, girly, flouncy thing. It’s totally not my Mom Uniform of jeans and a t-shirt, and I totally love it. I’m going to wear it tomorrow, and I’m going to wear as much makeup as I can get away with at 9 in the morning, and I’m going to TALK to some strangers. And tell them how pretty they look today. And I’m going to think the same thing about myself. Because, after all, what is the point of being kind to strangers if I can’t be kind to myself?


The Unplugged blog post series are written by Shalini Miskelly. Shalini is a librarian and writer in Seattle. You can find her at and on twitter @booksnchickens

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