November 26, 2013

Laser Cut Scallop Dress

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Dress / Forever 21 (similar here and here, skirt here, short sleeved skater version here)
Leopard Heels / Windsor Smith
Belt / Sheike
Leopard Clutch / Nine West (also seen here and here)

I wore this little number out to dinner for our 1st year anniversary and it is oh so comfy :)
Apart from the fact that I need to be careful I don't get hooked onto anything, this has the comfiest faux leather with the perfect mix of scallop and laser cut detail that is both feminine and a bit edgy.

November 21, 2013

Roast Potato Chips

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I love potato in all shapes and forms and this recipe is a quick and easy one for those that love that kettle friend chip taste and texture, but perhaps a healthier option. Also, its such a quick way to add a roast potato-like side dish to any meal, in under 20 minutes.

Roasted Potato Chips recipe

Prep time: 3 minutes
Cooking time: 20 mins (or less)

  • 1 or 2 large washed Golden Delight Potatoes (or any potatoes labelled best for Roasting)
  • Good quality Olive oil
  • Flakey sea salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • 5-6 sprigs of Thyme
Equipment: Baking dish or Lined baking tray & Mandolin slicer

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius.
  2. Slice up the potatoes on a mandolin slicer on setting #2
  3. Place sliced up potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle a thin stream of olive oil all over.
  4. Sprinkle over a good pinch of flakey sea salt, good pinch of cayenne pepper, season with cracked pepper to taste and then sprinkle over all the thyme leaves. Toss altogether.
  5. Lay all potato slices flat on a baking dish or baking tray. Place in the oven on the second to top rack, for 15-20 mins or until golden and crispy.
  6. Let cool slightly and serve!

This is a perfect accompaniment to a good ol' roast chicken (store bought or home cooked), even place a few chips in a good sandwich, or even just on its own with a side of hot salsa.

Pencil Skirts for every occasion

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Clockwise from bottom left:

I've been eyeing up a lot of pencil skirts lately in a slow effort to update my day job wardrobe, but have recently come to love the wide range of pencil skirts that is a departure from the normal tubular shape and can be casually dressed down for brunch dates, accessorized up for parties or just generally for any occasion. From fit and flare, to gilded with gold or bronze, or stretchy jersey, it seems there are multiple designs for everyone!

Generally, pencil skirts are great for any body shape, but don't be afraid to size up or down, as I generally find pencil skirt sizing doesn't match top sizing!
I absolutely love all these pencil skirts and have bought a few of these items for myself, while maintaining a watchful sale eye for the others.  There's something so cool about being able to tuck in a t-shirt or a cami into a pencil skirt and throwing on a blazer. This is my slightly downgraded work attire as of late!

I can't believe M.L.P has reached over 400 likes, I am over the moon and delighted at all your support. Thanks for your continued reading and I hope I can keep creating blog posts more and more in the future!

Happy hump day everyone! Is it the end of the week yet? :)

November 17, 2013

Sequin Polka Dots

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After months of no rain, Sydney has been hit hard with thunderstorms and enough rain to not see the roads clearly and give us unwanted baths for days. While there was a small dry window though we were able to snap some shots!
I'm not impartial to a bit of sequin action, and when this is combined with polka dots, that is it, I must have it.
Pattern mixing has been a huge trend as well, and although I wouldn't normally pair polka dot patterns with a contrasting pattern such as leopard, it can work quite well, as long as you have common colours tying it all through. In this case it was black and orange!

^Sequin Polka Dot Top - J Crew
^Black Pants - Zara (similar here)
^Bright Orange Clutch - ASOS, on sale! (also see Fuschia version here, that you can buy here!)
^Leopard heels - Windsor Smith (Unfortunately not online anymore but some are on ebay!)
We had Bailey watch us as we shot these photos (he was tied up to a nearby street sign pole), and while he barked a lil, I'm pretty sure if we could translate it, he was yelling out that we were bonkers and that this was so boring haha. Ah well, he will just have to get used to being a style shoot groupie :)
We have some friends over from NZ this weekend and since they are eager beaver foodies, we have and will be spending the rest of the weekend just eating every place down. As gluttonous as that sounds, I have no other words to describe what we're doing! So now there really is no excuse to be slack with a workout regime!
Hope you all are having a great weekend so far...dammit the days go by too quick!

November 09, 2013

Rhubarb Bellini

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This weekend's a cause for celebration as it marks exactly one year since I married my hubaloo Jase :)
So here's a great recipe for all kinds of celebration, a small departure from a traditional Peach Bellini, but a great use of an ingredient that is usually reserved for winter-y type desserts.

Rhubarb Bellini recipe

adapted from Jamie Oliver

  • Rhubarb Puree
- 300gm Rhubarb stalks chopped into small oblong pieces
- 1.5 inches fresh ginger, skin removed and sliced into chunks
- 80gm sugar /
- 2 TBSP water
  • A bottle of Prosecco or any dry Sparkling wine
  • Thyme for garnish
  1. Place the rhubarb, ginger, water and sugar in a medium saucepan and simmer on a low heat until the rhubarb has softened and is easily squashed when pressed with a fork
  2. Remove the chunks of ginger and pour the pulpy rhubarb mixture into a blender or using a stick blender, blend the mixture until a fine puree, and leave to cool completely
  3. Place a dollop of rhubarb puree into chilled champagne flutes and top up with chilled Prosecco. 
Serve immediately.

I made and tested this cocktail a month ago so rhubarb was still on the supermarket shelves. If you don't use up the rhubarb puree, it's ok... you can use it for mini rhubarb crumbles or plonk a tablespoon on top of your morning porridge/yoghurt/shake. If rhubarb isn't available, how about skip the boiling up process and try a summer fruit blend like nectarine and raspberries?
As I write this, 'Winter Wonderland' is playing in the background on a tv commercial and it has immediately got me in a cheery mood. I'm imagining myself prancing around with nibbly things in one hand, with a champagne flute filled with a refreshing bellini concoction in the other, laughing and chit chatting with friends over the upcoming holiday period. I told Jase the other day that whenever Bing Crosby's 'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas' plays, I am immediately in a happy mood. He just rolled his eyes at me. He probably thinks I'm bonkers, because the song could be playing in July and I would still feel the same reaction hehe.

My voice has shot to pieces after being a bit unwell this week, but nothing will get me down in the way of a celebratory tipple! To celebrate our first year anniversary, we're going out to a Japanese restaurant that I've been wanting to go for awhile (unfortunately not Tetsuya... that will have to be saved for another time) and I can't wait to try out what sake or sake based cocktails they have on the menu :)

Cin cin!


November 07, 2013

Splurge or curb - Crystal Ear Cuffs

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Although I love me some bling, I'm a bit late to the Ear Cuffs party. Mainly because I have ears the size of mice ears and didn't think my small ear lobes could cope with such hefty weight. And then also, could I pull off something so typically grungy and edgy? These crystal ear cuffs from Shay Accessories (on Shopbop) though are simply elegant and beautiful with the marquise shaped crystals being offset by a soft gold framing. But over the weekend I was able to spot a good similar pair from Sheike for more than half the price. The first occasion I decided to wear these for, was for a family friend's wedding. I wore my hair in brushed-out curls and clipped one ear cuff on as a unique accessory to accompany my cobalt classic dress (I left the other ear bare as it was hidden behind curls anyways).

If you're a bride looking for an edgy accessory to accompany a classic wedding dress, I reckon this would be the perfect accompaniment. If you have short hair... that would be an even better canvas to show off some great accessories!

Here's a great DIY tutorial I'm hoping to attempt for a slightly floral crystal ear piece (but with a clip on attachment instead) for an even more affordable price!

p.s. Other DIY Crystal accessories here and here

November 06, 2013

Almond Roca Bark

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While I was growing up, I wasn't allowed sweets. They were always reserved for special occasions or whenever friends came to visit.
I would always run to nag Dad to buy me sweets if Mum didn't let me have any. I distinctly remember a time when I was around 5, he went out to get the paper from a local Dairy store and I ran out to jump in the car. He treated me to a Cadbury Flake, but because it was such a large bar of chocolate, I couldn't eat it in time before we got home. So we hid behind the garage, and Dad stood next to me while I tried to eat it as fast as I could (I was and still am, the slowest eater you will know). In the end I couldn't finish it in time before Mum would question where we went, so half a Cadbury flake ended up in a bucket next to the garage.

For the lollies and sweets that I were allowed under 'Mum's rule', Almond Roca was always one of my favourites. It conjours up Christmas memories, that beautiful pink and crimson tin, the little oblong shaped matte gold wonders were my absolute FAVE. No wonder I have an obsession with anything caramel and butterscotch.

After attempting several recipes that I found online, and failing at getting the right butterscotch, nutty crunch, I finally meshed up some good measurements for a version of my own that is easy to remember and quick to make.

Almond Roca Bark Recipe

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Cooling time: 1 hr in the fridge, or just leave overnight

  • 250gm Salted Butter [or 1 Cup]
  • 250gm Caster (Superfine) Sugar [or 1 Cup]
  • 150gm Dry Roasted Almonds, chopped
  • 50ml water
  • 30ml light corn syrup (or you can substitute with glucose syrup, but add a tablespoon extra water)
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 100gm Dark Chocolate (preferrably 66% cocoa), chopped into small pieces
  • Toasted Shredded Coconut for sprinkling (optional) - shredded coconut can simply be done by placing a handful in a frying pan over a low heat for around 3-5 minutes until toasty brown.
  • Medium saucepan
  • Candy thermometer
  • Lined Baking tray / Lined Baking dish (I used a 12"x8" baking tin, but you can use whatever flat metal surface you like, up to you how thin or thick you would like it! Obviously a smaller tin would make a thicker chunk and would take a longer cooling period)
  • Small Spatula

  1. Place the butter in a medium saucepan over a low heat until fully melted. Once melted, mix through the sugar, water and corn syrup
  2. Clip on your candy thermometer and turn the heat up high, until the mixture starts boiling (whisk the mixture if need be, but you should be able to leave it) and have half of the chopped almonds and measured Baking soda on standby.
  3. Turn the heat down a little (to prevent the mixture boiling over), and let the mixture boil away until your candy thermometer reaches 300 deg. Fahrenheit (or 150 deg. Celsius, or the 'hard crack' stage as indicated by the Candy Thermometer). This is roughly around 10 minutes on the clock, so set your timer if you need to. 
  4. Place the other half of the chopped almonds at the bottom of the lined tray.
  5. Once the mixture bubbles to the final 300 deg. Fahrenheit point on the thermometer, it should be a beautiful amber colour. Take the saucepan off the heat once you've reached the right temperature or 10 minutes is up, and whisk through the chopped almonds and baking soda.
  6. Swiftly lay out the almond butterscotch liquid mixture onto the almond lined baking tray and spread out evenly with a small spatula.
  7. Sprinkle over the chopped chocolate, wait a few minutes for these to melt then spread out evenly with your spatula
  8. Sprinkle over the toasted coconut and place in fridge for an hour or until hardened. Break up with a large knife and munch!

I never really thought of the crumbs being just as brilliant as munching on a whole chunk, but when a workmate of mine said I should sell the crumbs (they naturally happen when you chop the whole block up), I thought they would make the perfect sprinkling to other dessert treats like crepes or ice cream.
Just a word of warning though, you may want to munch on the whole block!

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