Sunday, February 27, 2011

#2: Simple 70 + Decollete 100

I went a bit crazy and ordered my second order in two weeks. I know I haven't even reached the second month of my year-long Ultimate Shoe Subscription and I've already bought so much but everything I've bought so far have been classics I won't regret and have always wanted. Yes, they're all Louboutin, but they're all different and suit different occasions and outfits so it seemed like a worthwhile investment. Plus the lovely guys at NAP have been keeping me updated with new arrivals and they told me they aren't expecting anymore new Simples so I knew I had to get in quick before they sold out (being the most common shoe-size has it's drawbacks!).

Anyway, the double order this time made it uber exciting opening my huge box. Plus, this time it was even in the signature black packaging that is so luxe and practical.

So some might say I've made very boring shoe choices so far. Perhaps that may be the case, but I've always been a very classic non-trend based dresser. I'd always wanted Simples in patent nude, preferably 85 or 100s as they combine the perfect colour with the perfect round toed pump style. Unfortunately they only had 70s so I settled for them and they now sit in my wardrobe as the token 'nude' shoe that is a must have for everyone. My wishful thinking is hoping I'll still someday be able to get the perfect nude 10cm round toed Marc Jacobs pumps I missed out on several years ago at The Corner Shop. But in the meantime, I have these babies:

I also decided to get the Decollete 100s instead of another pair of Simples which I would have got in patent black. The 100s were the height I was after, and the Decolletes are the quintessential Louboutin black pump which are practical enough for everyday but still have that sex-on-legs appeal. Of course they're comfortable enough to do anything in, leaving the Pigalles for car-to-carpet occasions only.

Absolute perfection <3

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


In celebration of my birthday, my family and I went for a dinner at Est, one of the few three-hatted restaurants in Sydney. I suppose Est is one of those places you just need to try for yourself, and with March into Merivale starting this week it seemed like a good time to do that! I like that, unlike Good Food Month, MIM allows you to also go for dinner and the deals are all great value too. I don't work in the kind of job that allows me to take an extended lunch break so this definitely works well.

Anyway, onto the food. We chose to have the three-course for $65 option which is extremely good value given it's three-hat status and that dessert alone is $27 usually. Of course you're restricted on choice, but I was happy with the options available (two choices for each course, three for mains) and amongst the family we made sure we tried one of everything. Plus there was complimentary bread and the meal includes a glass of Chandon wine or sparkling (which was great for me - I only drink sparkling and most places don't include it in these kinds of deals).

Anyway, here are some pics (apologies for the low quality, it was really dark in there and I hate using flash at restaurants!)
Entree: Angel hair pasta with Pancetta - lovely and delicate
Entree: Salt Cod beignets
Mains: Soy glazed  beef
Mains: Quail Breast

Dessert: Chocolate mousse with fig
Dessert: Strawberry bavarois
Messy shot half-eaten to see the raspberry crumble 

My verdict - it was a really enjoyable night, service was of course top notch and the food was delicious, though not extraordinarily unique. But given it's a set menu, it's hard to expect so much variety and creativity so I was definitely not disappointed. Dessert was a stand-out, which always helps in making it a good meal. Desserts always make or break a meal - it always disappoints me when top restaurants treat dessert as an after thought. For one, it's the last thing you remember, and two, it seems that a lot of restaurants get simple desserts wrong or try to overcomplicate things!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Marc Jacobs A/W 2011/12

With New York Fashion Week now come and gone, I thought I'd spend some time doing a quick flick through some of the showcoverage photos. I'm the first to admit that I'm ridiculously time poor and so I don't keep up with the international showcoverage as much as I wish I could. Half the time RAFW rolls past and I barely get the chance to look at our Australian Designer's new collections (yes, I hang my head in shame). But after hearing rave reviews about MJ yet again, I had to take a look for myself. Year after year, collection after collection he delivers, whether that be for his own brand or Louis Vuitton. I may be somewhat biased, I mean in my eyes the man can do no wrong, but I especially liked the following looks.

Love the billowing chiffon sleeves with the delicate cream satin trim

I love what he does with accessories - the hats in this collection were a stand-out for me. They were 'just right' for each look and made for a polished lady-like feel but still maintaining an edge of cool. Seems like lady-like is here to stay (which is fine by me!)

And because I love MJ so much, here are some pics of the cute Marc by Marc Jacobs necklace my friend gave to me as a present. She bought it from HK and it's just so kitschy and adorable (and who doesn't love that retro packaging it comes in?).

Photos all thanks to showcoverage

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#1: Pigalle 120

They arrived! My first Shoe Subscription NAP order arrived!

Being a Louboutin lover, it seemed fitting that the first thing I ordered would be a) a pair of shoes and b) a pair of classic Louboutins. Having first bought a pair of the red-soled beauties way back in 2004 (I'm starting to feel old!), it felt like any Louboutin collection would not be complete without some black patent Pigalles (and of course 120s at that!)

I'm being careful to not jump into spending my money too quickly, after all there's still so many wonderful items I could purchase in the year ahead. But Pigalles are such a classic item that they were a must-have.

They are of course ridiculously vertiginous but that's what makes them so spectacular. They're not at all uncomfortable (in terms of that piercing heel pain) but when wearing them they do feel like you're walking practically perpendicular to the ground. Methinks these are definitely cab to carpet shoes!

Here are some pics of my first delivery:

With signature NAP ribbon

Thanks to my sister for modelling!

Now I'll have to find a reason to wear these babies out.

P.S I'm hoping this blog will serve as a pictorial documentary of all my orders throughout the year :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Snail Mail

After hearing about my competition win via email, I contacted the lovely folks at NAP all the way in the UK who were genuinely so nice and friendly. I called them and the first thing they said was "omigosh what time is it over in Australia? It must be so late!", all in a posh-sounding British accent of course (which I love!). Anyway, they took my details and they let me know I should expect something in the mail soon.

Mail? Yes, I had heard right. They meant snail mail (not e-mail) and a few days later I excitedly got my paws on the following parcel.

Little Black Box....what's inside?

Excuse the blacked out bit - I removed the details for privacy

It was a beautiful placquard gift card detailing my fantastic Shoe Subscription! Within a few days I'd also been given details of how I could start spending and today I could start shopping!

Too bad the sale items have already been removed from the site, but I'm being careful to really think hard about what I need/want and not just choose everything at once. As a result, I've started spending a lot of time stalking NAP, which my sister and I now term as 'NAP-ing' i.e. browsing NAP.

Stay tuned for my first 'purchase' which should be coming in the mail soon!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

District Dining

With the cooking show invasion of the past few years, it seems like reading food blogs is the new 'cool' thing.
I know it might sound like I'm jumping on the bandwagon here, but I've always followed food blogs (NQN especially) mainly because I love seeing the 'photo-reviews' of restaurants so I know which places are worth spending time and money to go to and then of course which dishes to try when there.

A few weeks ago I went to District Dining armed with a list of dishes I wanted to try after seeing amazing pictures of them, and I wasn't disappointed! It was a great meal, and though I was designated driver so didn't really drink, my friends tried a jug of the bubbly champagne and strawberry cocktail and it tasted and looked fabulous. Too bad I didn't get any piccies of it.

I'm still getting used to my new-ish Canon Powershot S95 camera (had it for around 3 months but haven't had the time to do more than use the Auto and AV functions) so excuse some of the overexposed photos.

Marinated tuna - even though the balance on this photo isn't quite right, I actually like it!

Ooh I did get a shot of the cocktail jug in the background! Pretty!

Mmm 'Eton Mess' inspired dessert
Yes, I realise the photo of the dessert is much bigger. It's because
a) I love dessert - anyone who doesn't know this about me obviously doesn't know me well.
b) I love how this photo turned out - makes me want to eat it off the page right now.
c) I love the Eton Mess, but really I love any meringue desserts. If I had to name the one baking/cooking dish I make the most it is (french) meringues. I'm even now the nominated meringue maker in the family because I know exactly when/what/how to get them right.

So here's where I jump on my soapbox and have a little rant: while I loved the flavours in the dessert (the sorbet was fantastic!), I have huge issues with grainy apparently-store-bought meringues being used by top restaurants in Sydney. I'm yet to work out whether District Dining did use store-bought meringues, but the consistency was not at all like fresh meringues made at home. They were grainy, chalky and dense, so didn't have that airy meringue lightness that I love. Disappointing, to be honest. I also noticed Restaurant Balzac used a similar consistency of meringue. I had the thought that perhaps they were not store-bought, but made using powdered egg whites, but I'm yet to make any conclusions. Methinks I'll need to continue my meringue eating adventures (not that I'm complaining!)

But anyway, if that last photo doesn't make you hungry, I don't know what will.