May 31, 2013

Wrapping up the Winter Blues with a Bow

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I love seeing winter photos where people are all rugged up in their woollies and knits, styley coats and delicious rosy cheeks. I know we're fortunate that Oz doesn't get the extreme subzero temperatures, but I think we sadly miss out on all the cuddly winter fashion that's out there as a result. I'm new to the turban and knitted headband game. A bit of a different look for me, but I figured I'd give it a try since I'm not much of a beanie or beret wearer during winter. This knitted headband still warmed the head without too much of the 'hat hair' scenario afterwards :)

Bow Headband {Forever New} / Knit Top {H&M, similar here} / Pants {H&M} / Shoes {Windsor Smith} / Clutch {Country Road, similar here}

This weekend will be spent catching up with friends, discovering new eats and a bit of reorganization of the pantry! Hope you all have a great weekend!

May 30, 2013

Freebie Printables

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Like anyone, I love a good freebie.When it comes to crafty freebies, even better. Giftwrap, cards and paper decorations can get quite pricey in the stores these days, so when I see unique downloadable crafties from creative bloggers around the interwebs, I get excited and love to share the goodness.
Here's some cool freebie printables in three small categories; Gift tags & Labels / Gift Wrap / Decorative pretty for special occasions. All you need to do is turn on your computer & printer and away you go :)

1. Floral & Pastel Gift Tags by Fellow Fellow / 2. Flavour Extract Jar Labels by SpoonForkBacon (bonus recipes too!) / 3. Art Deco Chalkboard style labels for Pantry Jars by introduced by Lia Griffith

1. Nautical gift wrap by Hey Look (also includes some fun nautical themed gift tags!) / 2. Cassette, Polka Dot & Skulls gift wrap by Maiko / 3. Halloween gift wrap by MinieCo

1. Customizeable chalkboard style matchbox monograms from Lia Griffith / 2. Printable tea/coffee set by Toffee Indie Art & Craft mag  / 3. Wedding signage by My Own Label / 4. Baked Good topper by Hank & Hunt / 5. Customiseable bunting by Elli

Isn't there so much talent around the world? There's plenty more where that came from! I'll keep hunting, stay tuned! :)

May 28, 2013

Pumped Up Kicks

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Ever since my Converse reversible high tops started rubbing against my heel causing bloody scratches on my heels (gross I know), I have always worn flat boots, flat sandals, ballet flats or jandals as my go-to for casual foot attire. And though I know there are some really cute non-high top options, nothing has really inspired me to swipe the credit card in that realm. Until this studded pair came along.
Do you remember this post? Yeh, these were the sneakers from that post :) I wasn't brave enough to buy them in gold, but the thought did cross my mind! These are nice as something not too sporty looking, not too "on trend", but above all, comfortable. No scratched up sore heels here! Just happy feet :)

Pink Sweater (H&M, similar here) / Studded Bangle (Lovisa, similar here) / Jeans (H&M, veeeery old!)

Hope you all are having a happy week so far! After a great weekend of glorious blue skies and beautiful sun sets, Sydney skies opened up the heavens to torrential rain on Monday ...and then extreme fog here today. I can't keep up!

May 26, 2013

No Churn One Step Icecream

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It pains me to say that there are two ingredients in this recipe that may deter you from trying out this recipe as most would consider them to be very very bad for you. But the recipe came from Nigella, so since taste is more important, I will just play ignorance hehe. There are too many good things going for it! I.e:
  1. There are only 4 ingredients
  2. There is no need to make a Creme Anglaise
  3. There is no need for an icecream maker or an icecream bowl attachment to churn the cream
  4. There is less than 10 minutes needed to make it... .HELLO?!
If you get the guilts with the fact there is double cream and condensed milk, you could get someone else to whip it up for you? Or simply make it with your eyes closed (cos you SO COULD), forgetting what went into the bowl.

Coffee-flavoured No Churn One Step Ice Cream

Here is Nigella's recipe for a no-churn-one-step Coffee Flavoured ice cream.
The alcohol is required in the recipe as this prevents the cream from firming up rock solid. But if you are going to make it for the kiddies, then this can be easily substituted with Raspberry Cordial and then just take the ice cream out of the freezer,10 minutes earlier than you are about to serve

Raspberry & White Chocolate Flavour recipe

Adapted from Nigella Lawson

  1. 300ml Double Cream
  2. 175ml Sweetened Condensed Milk
  3. 2 TBSP Raspberry powder (I used "Fresh As" brand)
  4. 2 TBSP Raspberry Liquer (I used Chambord - this is a Black Raspberry liqueur)
  5. Half a block of good White Chocolate (I used Lindt)
  6. 2 handfuls of frozen raspberries
  • Whip first four ingredients up into a soft peak cream texture (using whisk attachment on your standing mixer device, whip and make sure to check the mixture every 3 minutes... don't overwhip otherwise you will get butter!). 
  • Break up the white chocolate and carefully fold this and the frozen raspberries into your cream mixture.
  • Scrape mixture into a 2x 500ml plastic containers or paper ice cream tubs. Allow 6 hours to freeze up.
  • Before serving, take out of freezer for 5-10 minutes before scooping. This icecream can be stored in the freezer for up to one month.

Having ice cream in the colder months is so wrong, yet so right. I like my ice cream firm. MMmmm. And anyway, Sydney surprised us with the weather again...terrential rain paved way for clear blue warmer skies over the weekend!

The coffee one is quite creamy and the raspberry and white choc version I made has a lil tartness which I love. I don't know how I missed the boat and not discover this recipe sooner. I've had Nigella's "Nigellissima" book for ages, and I know of other no-churn recipes she has published too...including a Margarita flavoured one!! Next up for me is to keep experimenting, buy some ice cream tubs and gift some to my friends :) Perhaps a Varlhona Dark Chocolate and Baileys icecream?

May 22, 2013

Black on Black

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WOW I knew I spoke too soon when I mentioned that Sydney is still retaining the sunny weather, because rained today and was miles colder too, boo :(!  So I guess the theme of today's post is a reflection of my dreary mood extended from the weather. Ironically though, we took quick pics of my black-on-black ensemble over the weekend when it was a gloriously sunny day!

This maxi dress has to be the most comfy thing I own right now. It hugs my whole body and I can wear it short or long. Not to mention it is super stretchy so has a lot of leeway. Finding versatile pieces like this maxi dress is a staple thing for me, as when I shop, I always think what the piece could be mixed and matched with from my current wardrobe and what can be carried through more than one season!
The Gilet I'm wearing on the other hand is a size too big due to the fact that I missed out on my size when it came back in stock, but I couldn't wait again. Crazy right? But I love it, cos it's like wearing a big faux furry hug!

GLASSONS MAXI DRESS (old, similar here but not quite black) / TOPSHOP GILET (old, similar but less furry here or longer furry here) / WITCHERY FLATS (old) / ZARA TOTE (old, similar here)

Argh, bring back the sun puuuhlease!

May 21, 2013

Leather & Gold wish list for the Colder months

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The cold snap mornings have arrived in Sydney and all you want to do is hide indoors and never leave the house. Well I want to anyways :) mmm ugg boots, woolly jumpers, heat packs and movies on repeat. Bliss no? For some reason, colder weather and longer nights translates to wearing darker clothing in the winter months. But an injection of texture and sheen is a good way to jazz things up.
Here is my mini round up of things that I'm loving around the interwebs to assist with your colder month's attire, in the theme leather and gold. I've purchase a couple of these things but have also placed all the rest of them on my wish list (some of them probably a permanent wish list!). Layering is definitely key here in Sydney,as you never know when the wind chill will stop and the sun just gloriously beams!

I have hardly pulled out a winter coat during our time here in Sydney, but I think this winter might be the first year to wear one consistently. Yes yes I know... how is 10-12degrees considered cold? Talk about being a wuss now ey?
p.s. Sunnies are on the list because Sydney is still turning on the rays :)

May 19, 2013

Style Me Pretty Feature

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Ask me which blog I think is the ultimate resource for all things Wedding Pretty, breaming with real life weddings and I'll answer Style Me Pretty.

Ask me whether in a million years I would think our wedding would be featured on said blog, and I'll answer probably not a chance.

Crazy to say now, but we were honoured to find that our filmographer's submission to Style Me Pretty went through successfully and we were recently featured on the Style Me Pretty Little Black Book blog.

Cue my *squeal* of excitement!

Not only did I trawl Style Me Pretty A LOT during my wedding research (Jase also used their site too!), but I was also delighted to know, and have since bought, Abby Larson's book here. It's a great book for inspiration on not only all things pretty for weddings, but also a beautifully laid out book full of ideas for any special occasion and entertaining at home.

See our feature (wedding photos and wedding short film) here!


Messy but chic hair updos on lazy and free weekends

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After a long work week, it's sometimes a bit of stretch to put effort into creating nice hair-dos, when all you want to do is be lazy, sleep in, go for walks or brunch, the movies ... or basically not do too much.
I'm normally a quick messy top knot type of girl when it comes to tying up my hair. But here's a messy hair up-do look that just makes you look styled without trying too hard. It only took me 10 minutes with the help of:
  • A few hairpins and bobby pins
  • A comb
  • A couple of hair-ties
  • Spray wax to help comb back any flyaways and smooth back the front part of your hair.
  • (Curling tongs if you have Asian hair / hair that has a lot of flyaways)
You may have seen me attempting to French braid the back of my head, backwards, on instagram here. But this is a Dutch braid version, where the plait sticks out of the head in a 3D sorta way.  Creating a point of interest at the back of your head is fun don't you think?
  1. Section just over 1/3 of your hair (from the top of your ear lobes up) off to a quick top knot in the front and if you have Asian hair like me, curl the bottom half of your un-tied hair into loose curls (this helps prevent any flyaway hair popping out of your braid).
  2. Flip your head forward and start braiding from the nape of your neck until all hair is gathered up into a braid. Keep plaiting till the end of the braid and secure the end of the braid with a hair-tie
  3. Release the top knot and smooth back (with the aid of your comb and a bit of spray wax) into a tighter ponytail. Use your comb and tease the ponytail in various 1" sections
  4. Now gather all your teased sections and shape into a rough ballerina bun (doesn't have to be a perfect dome!)
  5. Release the hair-tie from your braid, tease the whole end of it and secure it into your ballerina bun however way you like.

{Do ya like how my laundry basket made an appearance? lol}

Sorry I couldn't take any pics of me braiding, it's already hard as it is with having dark hair! If you're not used to braiding, practice really does make perfect. I couldn't French or Dutch braid for the life of me until I learned to be a bit patient with it. Here is a nice and easy-to-follow Youtube tutorial to help you learn how to Dutch braid ... then after practice you can be braiding backwards like nobody's business. Braiding "blind" is challenging, but trust your fingers and intuition.

All you ladies with beautiful highlighted hair will showcase more of a braid. If your arms don't get too sore, you can try braiding smaller sections of hair to showcase an even more intricate looking braid.

Stay effortless chic ladies :)

May 16, 2013

Wannabe Michellin star cooking at home

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There are a myriad of fine dining options in Sydney that are on my big wish list. You see, even though I love food; I am a big fan of all the cooking and foodie reality shows, I love pottering around the kitchen trialling out new recipes and what not, I haven't actually fine dined in many of the "hatted" or "Michellin"-starred places in Sydney at all. Places like Quay (did you see them hit on the world's top 50 best restaurant list?), Est. and Testsuya.
I think in the back of my mind, I'm reserving these places for special occasions like Anniversaries or dining with other friends who really really reeeeaallly wanna go too, as (1) I'm a big fan of cheap and cheerful places, and also lean towards restaurants that have great word-of-mouth reviews, (2) I don't want these types of restaurants to become less of a special occasion by frequenting them too often, and (3) I don't want to break the bank either!

So in the meantime, I'll continue learning tips and tricks from my favourite chefs and cooks on the food channel. And continue being a wannabe Michellin star chef at home :)

Here's one recipe I tried over the weekend from Testuya Wakuda's recipe here.

Ginger & Lime Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is one of my top fave desserts. This recipe made for a seemingly "lighter" feeling Creme, by mixing the creamy eggy mixture with soothing and refreshing ingredients with the fresh ginger and lime.
I did find that with this recipe, 45 mins in the oven mostly set the Creme, but maybe I should've left it in there for another 5 mins as there was still some wobble to the custard. Either way, adjust the time to bake, depending on the temperament of your oven!

Also, the recipe asked for ginger powder but I didn't have any on hand, so used ground ginger and that seemed fine.

OH and , and , and... we kind of experimented with some friends on burning three different sugars; light brown, demerera and white sugar. White sugar seemed to work the best!
Thanks for reading and following along peeps. I really appreciate the support and I'm enjoying my blogging adventures!


May 13, 2013

Sparkled shoulder details

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On this side of the globe, although our days are mostly sun-filled in Sydney, the temperatures are getting cooler (quite late in the piece though might I's mid May!), and the darkness of the night is arriving faster. Still, there are moments on the weekend that you can still relish, like a good ol' sunset stroll in the park, piling up with cozy layers and yummy scrummy wintery meals to take the edge off the chill. Now that Autumn is soon to turn into Winter, the jumpers/jerseys/sweatshirts/knitwear are all ready to come out to play.

When it comes to clothes and anything fashion-y, sparkle, lace or animal print always grabs my attention. So when I saw this sparkle shouldered number from Forever New, it was "ding-ding-ding", into my shopping cart she goes.
Sparkle paired with comfort gets a BIG thumbs up from me!... and so do beautiful sunny rays on an Autumny day!
{Sweater: Forever New / Pants: French Connection (similar here) / Clutch: ASOS (similar here) / Flats: Witchery (similar here) / Heels: Tony Bianco (similar here) / Lip colour: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in "Darling"}
Hope you all have a good week this week. A couple of work girlies and I will be busy bees leading up to a big morning tea that we will be hosting at work, in the hopes to raise a sizeable fund for the Australian Cancer Council :)
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