Children Melbourne

The Red Balloon Candy Artisans

April 8, 2014
Candy assortment by The Red Balloon Candy Artisans

I recently came across this awesome little store The Red Balloon Candy Artisans in Prahran.  I was on Instagram searching for inspiration for a wedding I was working on and I came across their profile.  I was so excited to find this store in Australia…let alone in my own city.  I immediately popped into the Prahran store for a look at their amazing creations.  The Red Balloon Candy Artisan shop is cosy and full of all types of candy.  They make the candy right in front of you too.  It smells amazing.  Some of their creations included; vegan friendly jelly cubes, moustache and red lip lollipops, candy rock skulls and these fantastic Printa Pops (below).

So I originally popped in to talk to them about Printa Pops filled with edible flowers.  I ended up buying a heap of Red Lip lollypops for my sister-in-laws bachelorette party that I was attending in California. They were perfect for my bunch of cheeky ladies.  You can check out my bachelorette bags here.  I also bought a few other lollipops to show, Pixie my colleague at work. We were working on a poppy-themed dinner party and I wanted to order poppy Printa Pops so I could place them at each place setting.  The dinner party was for Girl Geeks Dinners and they were well received by the girls.  I have a photo of the printa pop here on Instagram.

There are so many fun ideas for unique creations by The Red Balloon Candy Artisans.  If you want help coming up with custom printa pops, let me know.

Mexi Skull lollipop by The Red Balloon Candy Artisans

Image above: The Mexi  Skull Printa Pop. Please excuse the blurry iphone photo (she cringes).

Red Lips by The Red Balloon Candy Artisans

Image above: Red Lips by The Red Balloon Candy Artisans

If you’re after traditional rock candy, the Candy Artisans also offer customised designs.  You can either pop into the store for a chat or if you’re not in Melbourne,  jump online and visit their Artisan Etsy store.

Cocktails Other stuff

DIY Balloon Cocktail Stirrer

April 4, 2014
DIY Balloon Cocktail Stirrer | Madame Bonbon

Aaah it’s Friday! The end of a very busy week and I  feel like celebrating with a refreshing libation.  It’s still early, so I’m going to have a delicious chillled pomegranate juice. Now my drink doesn’t look particularly celebratory, so I think I will add a cocktail stirrer and a fun straw.  It’s straight to the party box to see what goodies I can find for my stirrer.  I ended up finding a pack of tiny coloured water ballons.  Ah ha! An idea is forming in my mind.  Why don’t I add one of these balloons to my stirrer! Et Voila! I give you my DIY balloon cocktail stirrer.  It’s so simple, it’s silly.  You will need a good pair of lungs if you are using water balloons.  I would recommend buying these cute tiny balloons that I found on – Sweet Lulu. a sweet little online party store.

How to make this:

  • Wooden cocktail stirrer or skewer
  • Tiny coloured balloon
  • Festive paper straw

To make the DIY balloon cocktail stirrer, you will need a wooden stirrer or skewer that fits about the same height as a straw.  You can trim the skewer with a pair of scissors if it’s too tall.  Now blow up your coloured balloon and attach it to your stirrer.  Add the stirrer and a pretty paper straw to your drink and you’re ready to swizzle. These balloon cocktail stirrers would be perfect for fun birthday or cocktails parties.  It’s a nice way to dress up a mocktail too.  Makes the non-drinkers feel like they are partying with the rest of us.  I hope you enjoyed this little DIY craft.

So it’s cheers to you, my friend.  I wish you a wonderful weekend.

Cocktails Weddings

DIY Cocktail Recipe Cards

April 1, 2014
DIY cocktail cards by Madame Bonbon

I thought I would share these sweet little DIY cocktail recipe cards that I whipped up for my sister-in-laws bachelorette party this weekend. We were all asked to bring along a bottle of our favourite libation to add to the bachelorette cocktail bar. I spent quite a few years making cocktails in bars and restaurants and I’m quite officious about drinking cocktails. So I decided to create a few cocktail recipe cards that we could use over the weekend, to avoid any mishaps – wink wink.

How to make my cocktail recipe cards:

  • 20 different cocktail recipes
  • Heavy cardstock 200gsm
  • Cocktail card template (download below)
  • Small gift box and tissue paper (if you intend to gift the cards)
  • String and washi tape (to hang on the bar wall)

You need to download this gorgeous cocktail card template (designed by First Snow).  It’s perfect for these DIY cocktail recipe cards.  Add the template to your design (Illustrator, Canva, Powerpoint etc). There are three categories you need to have on the cocktail recipe card 1) the name of the cocktail, 2). what you will need and 3) how to mix this. Once you’ve created your cards, print them two-to-a-page and cut in half.  They’re ready to use at your cocktail party or to wrap as a gift.

I’m going to stick the cocktail recipe cards to the wall of our bar, so we can see the cocktail recipe easily.  By hanging them on the wall, they’re less likely to get damaged. Once we have finished with the cocktail recipe cards, I’m going to box them up and give them to the bride-to-be as a little memento of her bachelorette weekend.  I’ll also throw in a few coasters, matches, drink stirrers etc., from the spas, bars and restaurants we visit.  She’ll walk away with a box of fun cheeky memories…I hope 😉

Gift box of DIY Cocktai Cards by Madame Bonbon

Thanks to The Wedding Chicks for generously sharing the cocktail card design too. Check out their blog for more inspiring DIY projects.


Cocktail Hour: Negroni

March 28, 2014
Negroni Cocktail recipe and photo

I’m whipping up a classic Negroni cocktail tonight. It’s one of my favourite cocktails and hails from Italy, where it’s drunk as an aperitif (before a meal).  The main ingredients are Campari and gin, so it tastes a little on the sour side.  It is rounded off with sweet vermouth though which makes the Negroni quite an enjoyable drink before dinner. If you find it too bitter, you could tamper with the mixture and add a dash more sweet vermouth (you didn’t hear that from though okay?) he he he

The Negroni

What you will need

30ml Campari
30ml Gin (good quality gin)
30ml Sweet vermouth

How to mix this drink

Place your frozen ice ball (or ice cubes) into a small glass and build the ingredients over the ice.  Stir and then garnish with an orange peel. That’s it!  So easy. 

Ice Ball Moulds

I recently purchased a set of ice ball moulds to add to my cocktail collection and thought they would be perfect in a Negroni.  The ice ball moulds are so easy to use and they really jazz up your whisky on the rocks or G+T.  You could also fill the moulds with fruit, herbs, coconut water or even a cocktail mix itself (like a Negroni) and freeze them to use in drinks.

Where to buy them?  I bought a set of Prepara Ice Balls.  If you’re in Melbourne, you can find this brand at your local Matchbox.  If you’re overseas, you can order them direct from  There are other brands of ice moulds available of course.  These are the only ones I’ve bought and tried.

Ice ball moulds | Cocktails by Madame Bonbon

Image above: My lime-filled ice balls to use in my G+T.

Ice ball moulds | Cocktails by Madame Bonbon

Image above: My strawberry-filled ice balls to use in Mademoiselle’s glass of water.


DIY Bachelorette Party Details

March 25, 2014
Bachelorette Party details by Madame Bonbon

I’m co-hosting a bachelorette party!  It’s my sister-in-laws so it’s quite special.  Over the past few weeks you may have read some of my posts on the bachelorette party details. I’ve been quite busy printing bachelorette party bags, ordering personalised beer glasses (she’s a beautiful, skiing Californian who loves beer), printing personalised labels and making tea boxes.  It’s so much fun!  Today I’m sharing a few more DIY Bachelorette party details.

Dinner Table Styling

The feature shot above shows my table mock-up for our bachelorette dinner party.  The table setting is inspired by the fabulous designer, Kate Spade – black and white cloth, bright sparkling centrepieces and a splash of bright pink.  I made the fun little place cards and we’re going to attach them to the wine glasses at each setting.

Bachelorette Party Bag Details

I’ve started creating gifts for our little bachelorette party bags.  Each guest will get one on arrival.  This week I am working on labelling.  I’ve created a few tags for our bachelorette recovery kit which includes headache pills, mints, bubble bath and bandaids.  I’m making little tea boxes too. The last image on the post is my prototype for my tea boxes.  Inside each tea box will be two T2 Melbourne Breakfast teabags and four sugar cubes.  I’ve also included a cute recipe card for how to make sweet tea.  They might come in handy for a 3pm pick-me-up.

Bachelorette Party Details | Madame Bonbon

Image above: Labels for our bachelorette party bags

Bachelorette Party Details | Madame Bonbon

Image above: The prototype for my tea boxes

Looking for more inspiration and tips? Here’s the <link> to my previous post on this bachelorette party. It features my DIY party bags and also the design for some mason jar glasses that I had printed in the States.  I’ve also written ten tips for hosting a hens party or bachelorette party.  You can read the article <here>.


Black Balloons for Your Party

March 20, 2014
Black balloons for your party | Madame Bonbon

I’ve been watching the trend with the giant black balloons over the past few months.  I love them. The black balloons are so striking and can really add a touch of glam to your party. If you’re a follower of my Pinterest and Instragram profiles, you will know that I love to add all types of balloons to my parties and events. I thought I would share a few ideas on how to add black balloons to your party for a unique and stylish look.

What to do with black balloons at your party:

  • Giant 90cm black balloons look so striking placed around a large party room. Weight them down to the floor and place them ad hoc around the room. They really look special.
  • Use normal 30cm black balloons as place cards – attach a black balloon to the back of  a chair and write the guests names on each black balloon.  Add a bit of fun by mixing up the balloons during dinner and have guests switch seats.
  • If you’re celebrating a special occasion like a birthday at a restaurant, you could write the birthday guests’ name on a 40cm black balloon and attach it to their chair.

I had an opportunity to style an event with some black balloons recently.  Unfortunately I don’t have any great photographs from that event – too busy drinking champagne, oops.  I did take a quick snapshot above.  Below is one of the black balloons I took home to play with balloon writing.  I’m sorry about the quality of the images, but hopefully it gives you some idea.

Image above: Add guest names or a catch word to your black balloons with a quality chalk paint pen.

Image above: My inspiration from Jeroen van der Spek.

Flowers Melbourne

Floral Headpieces by K is for Kani

March 18, 2014
K is for Kani floral headpieces

Connie Cao is a Melbourne designer who creates one-of-a-kind floral headpieces under her brand,  K is for Kani.  Connie has a range of unique styles and designs of floral headpieces from hair bands to flower clips.  I’ve purchased a few of her floral headpieces and I absolutely love them.  Connie’s designs are inspired by nature. She not only mixes colourful flowers but she adds other tiny features such as these birds pictured below.  These little features blend so well within the floral design, you hardly notice they are there, unless you look closely.

Floral headpieces have been around for the past couple of years and are certainly very popular.  You can find high quality headpieces worn by brides at weddings to girls donning simple pieces to their favourite outdoor festival.  Some of floral headpieces by K is for Kani are quite bold and really make a statement. I love that about them. They can set off your outfit and turn a few heads. I’m always getting complements on Connie’s floral headpieces.

Connie has a blog where she stylishly showcases fashion and lifestyle posts.  The imagery is stunning. The blog is also titled K is for Kani .  When Connie is not blogging lifestyle/fashion, making headpieces and enjoying photography, she’s studying law at university – amazing women!

P.S. For my overseas friends, K is for Kani also ships globabally.  Check out the Etsy store for details.

Image above: A rare moment in front of the camera in my new headpiece.


Cocktail Hour: Aperol Ruby Wednesday

March 14, 2014
Apero Ruby Wednesday Cocktail Recipe by Madame Bonbon

M. Bonbon and I were playing around in our cocktail lab (aka the kitchen) last week and we created this refreshing libation – an Aperol Ruby Wednesday.  It’s a lovely long and refreshing drink made with Aperol and ruby grapefruit.  I garnished the cocktail with fruit and edible fresh flowers.  Check out my recipe below.  It’s super easy.

Aperol Ruby Wednesday cocktail recipe by Madame Bonbon

Aperol Ruby Wednesday Cocktail

What you will need

60mls Aperol *
90mls Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
30mls Soda water

How to mix this drink

Fill your cocktail or wine glass with ice.  Add your Aperol, juice and top it with soda water.  Garnish with a thin slice of orange.  I’ve added some fresh edible flowers I had at home at the time too.

Note: You could also add a touch of sparkling wine to this drink for extra fruity fizz.

Aperol* has been the summer drink for us in Melbourne this year.  I’ve seen it served at weddings, cocktail bars and events around town. It’s an Italian aperitif and quite low in alcohol, so perfect for enjoying as a long summer drink.  Aperol is quite similar to Campari (and is in fact now produced by the Campari Group) but it has it’s own unique mix of herbs and roots.

You should also try an Aperol Spritz.  It’s their signature drink and quite simple to make.  Fill a wine glass full of crushed ice and add Aperol and sparkling wine. Top off the glass with soda water. Et voila!


Last Minute Birthday Dinner Party Details

March 7, 2014
Birthday Dinner Party details

There’s nothing like the rush of adreline when you realise you have guests coming for dinner and at the last minute.  I recently had a friend make a surprise visit from Cambodia. Not only was she coming for dinner, but it was her birthday the day prior.  I wanted to celebrate it, so I pulled together some last minute birthday dinner party details.  I raided my kitchen cupboards and party boxes for bits and bobs and came up with these simple DIY ideas. It was a challenge, but I was up for it!

The Last Minute Birthday Dinner Party Details

Up-cycled brown bottles for vases

I found some leftover mini brown bottles sitting in my party cupboard and decided to use them as floral vases on the table. Instead of using just one or two, I decided to use five of them (odd numbers looks best when grouped together). I filled each bottle with pretty pink roses that I borrowed from Mademoiselle Belle’s room and placed them down the centre of the table.  One detail down…a few more to go.


Next up, I pulled out some old-school ribbon streamers from my party box .  I chose complementary pastel colours and unrolled them to lay in curls down the centre of the table.  We then made a simple wall decoration by sticking curled streamers in a cascade down the wall.  It looked really festive now – perfect for a last minute birthday dinner party.

Paper placemats

To keep the table fun and informal, I used paper placemats by Kitchen Papers (from The Super Cool) at each setting. These placemats have fun designs and you can use them as place cards by writing guests’ names in the centre of them.   I used a chalk pen to write the names.

To eat, I made this delicious chicken tagine with cous cous and served an amazing birthday cake from Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio.  It was an intimate and fun birthday dinner party. Thankfully this doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, I now have this little last minute dinner party to inspire me.  I hope it inspires you too.

Image above: A festive dinner table

Image above: My go-to table placemats by Kitchen Papers. 

Image above: Old school ribbon streamers.

Image above: Roses and candelight on my festive dinner table.


Ten Tips for Planning a Hens Party

March 5, 2014
Tips for planning a hens party

Planning a hens or bachelorette party (for my US friends) can be lots of fun.  It’s like any party that you plan and host.  You should have an idea of the theme, budget, venue, date and guests to invite.  You can then slowly build up from here with invitations, party decorations, party favours and entertainment etc. I’ve put together ten tips for planning a hens party for your bride-to-be. Check them out.

10 Tips for Planning a Fun Hens Party

  1. Talk to the bride-to-be about what sort of occasion she’d prefer and the list of friends and family she would like to invite.
  2. Get your initial ideas from the bride-to-be and then go off and plan the day/weekend without her.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed then ask one or two friends to help you out.
  3. Talk to all of the ladies on the guest list.  Find out if they have any fun ideas to contribute or perhaps they may have a funny story or experience that could be shared.
  4. Talk to the groom about the party. He may recommend a few fun ideas for the night.
  5. Be conscious of the expense of your celebration.  Weddings can be expensive affairs and the hens party is usually one of the many wedding activities planned.
  6. Now that you have the party planning basics covered (theme, venue, date, etc.)  you should start organising – pronto!  The earlier you start planning, the more prepared you’ll be for the party.
  7. Send out invitations ASAP, so people can work around their social calendars and wedding travel plans.  Email invitations (eInvites) are quite popular and convenient. Why not create an eInvite via Paperless Post or the Red Stamp app?  Paperless Post has many beautiful invitations. You can also manage your RSVPs online – which is convenient.  The Red Stamp app lets you send invites via your smart phone.
  8. As the party host, you should ensure that all of your guests feel comfortable and included.  Perhaps save your rowdy hens games until after Aunt Mildred has left.  No offence to Aunt Mildred, she may be up for a bit of cheeky fun, but best find this out beforehand.
  9. Get creative with your party favours. DIY favours can be inexpensive and fun e.g., fill personalised bottles with your favourite cocktail or bubble bath, print your own hens party bags or hand out recovery kits filled with water, aspirin, mints etc.
  10. Thank everyone for coming and joining in the celebration whether it’s with a party favour, thank you card or note.  Again, you might find thank you cards sent via email to be most convenient.

I hope that’s helped you plan your hens party and that you have an awesome celebration with your bride-to-be.