Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Make Me Chic in the news... Redbook September '11 issue

Shop the looks featured in REDBOOK's September '11 issue from Make Me Chic for under $30.

5 readers will win the new fall fashion pieces pictured in Redbooks "30 Days of New Outfits" feature: a UK Style by French Connection jacket, Kmart Basic Editions Skinny Cargo Pants, a Mark Very Vintage Dress, “Twisty” bootines from Payless, a Missoni for Target print blouse, and Make Me Chic oxford shoes. Value of set, $257.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

beau knows...

"Inasmuch as reputation affects marketing, public relations has a key part to play in the marketing mix. It also can have a crucial role in communicating an organisation's corporate objectives to key audiences and may form an integral part of the management function, enhancing internal [employee] and external relationships. Good PR thus can have a significant contribution to a company's competitiveness and overall market position." Department for Trade and Industry

beau does PR...

Friday, August 19, 2011

LULU DESIGNS ramps up for expansion into custom furnishings

LULU DESIGNS, an Orange County-based interior design firm announced today their expansion into custom-designed, a la carte, couture furniture. While this is a service that has always been available upon request, it is now an option LULU DESIGNS is offering in an expanded capacity to the public, whether a client contracts consultation for an entire design project or one piece of customized furniture.

No stranger to one-of-a-kind pieces, LULU DESIGNS features entire collections unique to this design firm, many of which can be viewed at or by appointment. Founder and lead designer, Lindsay Espinoza, begins with a template drawn on the needs and desires of the client. She then works with individual vendors to select high quality materials, carefully supervising the construction process. Requested revisions are made along the way to craft the perfect solution to any furnishing challenge. The result is an artisan-quality, stand-alone piece of furniture which might include such eclectic touches as crystal nailheads or high-gloss paint. In addition to excelling in custom projects, LULU DESIGNS also can create impressive replications of any piece.

To make the mix irresistible, Espinoza’s designs are tailored to the individual budget. “I understand that with every project comes a push and pull between function and aesthetics, practicality and beauty and, most importantly, carte blanche and budget,” she emphasizes. In fact, LULU DESIGNS is extremely competitive with major retailers. For instance, an overstuffed, wingback chair starts at $375, while a sofa with top-grade materials might be as little as $1200. Similar styles offered by retailers such as Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel go for easily twice that amount.

Here are a few of our fav's...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

B. toffee in the news... Daily Pilot

A business that shows its sweet side (Daily Pilot) .... B. toffee is simply the best! Hand made in Newport Beach... Indulge

August 16, 2011 | 10:23 p.m.
NEWPORT BEACH — Betsy Thagard held the golden ticket at the 2011 Orange County Fair Culinary Arts Competition with her toffee recipe comprised of four ingredients: butter, sugar, chocolate and nuts.

The sweet and crunchy golden squares, the staple of Thagard's growing B. Toffee company, took home first prize in the category for toffees and brittles.

Since the launch of the B. Toffee in 2009, the confection has been flying off store shelves at local businesses, such as Promelis Westcliff Market, A Market and Kéan Coffee.

"I love to cook and I wanted to do something that was different," said Thagard.

So the Newport Beach resident took her toffee, which for years was only shared as gifts to family and friends, out of the kitchen and into the marketplace.

"It's really thrilling," said Bob Thagard, Thagard's husband of 25 years. "She's given it away as gifts for years and years before B. Toffee. People always said she should sell it."

But "toffee can be difficult to make," Thagard said. "You have to use only the finest ingredients. I don't believe in cheapening the recipe by using, for example, low-quality butter."

Thagard only cooks with Guittard and Callebaut gourmet chocolates for her toffee, which she says has a "decadent flavor" and "does not stick to your teeth like some other toffees."

A helping of B. Toffee in its Signature Canister runs for $4.99 for 3 ounces and $14.99 for 9 ounces, and other 4-ounce personalized packaging options in a variety of themes are $7.99.

In January, B. Toffee will be featured among the 1,300 exhibitors in San Francisco for the Winter Fancy Food Show, a program organized by the National Assn. for the Specialty Food Trade.

For now, the dark and milk chocolate toffee is sold at and though more than 30 vendors. However, Thagard said she is cooking up more ideas for growing her company, including a new website design that launches next month.

"I do firmly believe in my product," Thagard said. "I'm so excited to take the next step and continue to get it out there."

B. Toffee

What: gourmet toffee; personal and corporate gifts

Shop: Online at or call (949) 722-9001

Tuesday, August 16, 2011