Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jennifer Zeuner Swirly Monogram

If you follow my twitter you'll remember I moaned about breaking the chain on my Jennifer Zeuner horizontal cross necklace. Well I was annoyed because I was in a rush cleaning the chain and pulled a little too vigorously and some of the chains snapped. Damn!

Anyway, I was going to hop to her online store and order a replacement but ended up fixing the chain to a certain degree. So then I was tempted by all the other goodies and did some sneaky self gifting :)

I've always loved this swirly monogram necklace on LC and a whole host of other celebs thought I would take the plunge and get the medium silver (the large, while beautiful, was more than I wanted to spend even with discount codes).

There was also so much indecision because I wasn't sure if I should get the swirly monogram necklace with three initials or just the one, but ended up choosing the latter.

The website claims the orders may take up to 3 weeks to ship, but I literally had the necklace in my hands within a week of ordering, and all with free shipping internationally! Bargain! The packaging was beautiful too...

And a close up...

I also love this one on Whitney Port (its a round disc with 1 or 3 monogrammed letters). I would choose 3 letters for something different I think...but for now this one is staying on my wishlist!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Rabbit Hole

I checked out The Rabbit Hole the other day - its a new restaurant and bar concept that has been open for about 6 months (I think) and claims to have a L'Astrance trained chef at the helm! I went to L'Astrance last year and so I had high hopes for this place, considering the prices were decent.

Anyway, they don't do bookings on Friday night so we rocked up to find an apparently very long list of people who were waiting. Turns out they had a Groupon type deal expiring that weekend so of course it was just our luck that we were fighting for a table with all those people.

Because we weren't dining on the discounted deal, they very graciously seated us earlier and after chatting to the owner for some time she told us the table was actually meant for her father but he had decided to give up the table. +1 on the service thus far! +1 also on the friendliness of the staff thus far!

Anyway, they have a bar menu which looked cheap and cheerful but we went for the full menu. I didn't have either of my two better cameras with me that night so iphone photos will have to suffice....

Entrees I don't have good photos of - at around $16 each they were beautifully presented, tasty and a decent size. We ordered the scallops and the tartare and the flavours were all great and I could very much see the French training in the mastery.

This was my main that I ended up choosing because they claimed the gnocchi which I had originally wanted was sold out. We did see it go out to tables later (the ones with the deal) so we were a bit annoyed because we really wanted that gnocchi and it clearly wasn't sold out! Also with the gnocchi off the menu, it really didn't leave any vegetarian choices... Anyway this was the blue eye cod that the waitress suggested because its spectacularly presented. To be honest, I expected more after that description but the serving size was generous and the fish perfectly cooked so not too bad for $30 by Sydney standards.

Now desserts were interesting...we ordered this deconstructed smoked pineapple brulee ($19) which was disappointing because the flavour balance was just a little off. At first we were wondering why the dish had a distinct after taste of meat (like bacon!) which wasn't very pleasant. By then a different (not so helpful) waitress was serving us and tried to snobbishly explain to us that it was smoked and that's just how it tastes, judgementally saying "you just don't like it?". Well, no, its not about liking, its about the fact it tastes like it was made incorrectly. As we tasted it some more we could understand the smoking technique explaining the after taste but even so the chef needs to work on this a little we think!
We also ordered the chocolate fondant which was to the standard expected, thankfully!

Its interesting because despite the slow service towards the end and the dessert issue, some of the friends I dined with said we would perhaps go back. The pricing for the serving size is very good for Sydney and its filling a niche that Sydney is missing in terms of fine dining without the pomp and circumstance. The bar looked great as well for a casual catch up with friends over nibblies! Will I be back...not in a hurry but perhaps as they work through their teething problems it may improve.

Friday, February 22, 2013

#19: YSL Haul

After 2 years, I finally used the last of my net-a-porter Shoe Subscription credit by snapping up some YSL before a) the sales ended and b) it all gets rebranded!

Thanks to a whole lot of internet discussion about it I heard about the Arty rings being 50% off so got myself two:

I ended up sending back the gold one because being one block colour, it didn't have that Arty glass appeal.

I also got these sunglasses because quite frankly, after 10 years of wearing the same pair of Ferragamo sunglasses I need a change. Yes, you heard right, 10 years! I've been wearing my favourite trusty sunglasses forever because they're perfect and despite having a Chanel pair I bought a few years back, I still always go back to the Ferragamos. Not anymore, my friends. These YSLs are the perfect mix of classic and simple with a bit of an edgy street style to them. I quite like them! I think they will go to Europe with me in a few months time :)

Aaand just for fun I added in this Karl jacket because it was really cheap (70% off!). I have one of his other blazers and the cut is amazing for the price, so I thought I'd take the gamble on this. Its not the best black blazer I have in my wardrobe, but a girl can never have too many :)

You'll see in the pic of the aqua ring there's a YSL shoe box snuck in - my sister happened to also have her new pair of YSL shoes arrive on the same day I got my NAP delivery!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Amazing story + video

I came across this amazing video telling the story of a lady's battle with cancer. She was taken to Paris by the photographer Sue Bryce to take absolutely breathtaking photos (and this video) as well as tell her story. Seriously, you should watch this video! Paris is undoubtedly one of my favourite cities in the world and I love that the video takes us through some of my favourite places there - Trocadero overlooking the Eiffel Tower and Tuileries and looking over cute Parisien balconies.

One day, I hope I can wear a beautiful floaty dress like her and spin like a little girl around the streets of Paris!

Here are some stills too which are also beautiful:

Source: Sue Bryce photography and

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Taronga Zoo

When I was on holidays I went to Taronga Zoo - my first trip in decades I'd say. It was a beautiful day weather wise but of course that also meant half of the school holiday crowd was out in force.

Never mind, we had a great day prancing around like kids getting excited about cute animals doing their thing. A wonderful friend of mine works at the Zoo so we got discount tix and she explained the best route around the place. It was truly a great day out. Here are some pics :)

The ferry ride was awesome too - the beauty of Sydney harbour never ceases to amaze me!

First stop - the baby elephants

We also took some time to see the seal show which is apparently a must-do and ridiculously popular. The queue was INSANE 45 mins prior so we joined it, and managed to get a good seat about halfway up. Look how cute the seal is :)

Then the giraffes - I love the giraffes, they look so awkward but simultaneously cute and elegant at the same time.

We also went to the bird show which has to have the most spectacular backdrop. The sun was beating down on us but then once in a while you would respite from the breeze. I have to say I thought the seal show was better, but only because birds aren't 'cute' like seals are.

What's a trip to the zoo without a look at the koalas, right? They were being a little boring and not getting out on the branches where we could see them as well but they were still quite adorable.

Annnnd I love this photo on the ferry ride on the way home of Sydney's other most famous icon:

When was the last time you went to the zoo? I really want to go again!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sydney Food Pics

Why is it that everything in life seems to happen all at once? That's my life at the moment so I haven't had time to catch up with posting some of the things that have been happening.

In fact, today's post is courtesy of all the food I ate during the Christmas/New Years holiday! I had all these pics of great food but not enough for each to be an individual post so here you go, take a trip with me on some of my food adventures :)

The Mexican
I was sad to hear that District Dining was closing, but in its place has popped up a new Mexican restaurant. Mexican is so the new 'it' food of the last few years. What Thai and Japanese was a few years back. Anyway, I have to say it was great food, great vibe with punchy flavours and not too expensive. Definitely a cool place to hang out and socialise in a casual setting with great food, which is so reminiscent of District Dining too.
This is the fish taco from memory which they claimed was very very spicy, but it really wasn't. Perfect amount of spice actually!

Brasserie Bread
This was a pretty good prosciutto toastie - goes to show what you can do with a few simple fresh ingredients.

Danny's Seafood Restaurant
I wouldn't normally dine there but because of a voucher we had we were able to get this whole seafood platter for half price! I have to say it was pretty well done and for the price it was a sizeable serving.

Cafe Ish Milk Bar
Cafe ish closed their old cafe in Surry Hills to re-open as a Milk Bar in another part of the city. They still had their signature soft shell crab omelette however their new famed dishes are their shakes and burgers. They let you pick and choose what you want in terms of topping and there's cool asian inspired toppings too.
This was the 'must try' (apparently) PB&J shake. I wasn't a huge fan (too sweet because of the peanut butter) but I can see why people who love the flavour combination would love this.

High Tea at Victoria Room Tea Salon
I'd been meaning to go to the Tea Salon by Victoria Room at Westfield Sydney since forever. Finally made it there and sat there literally until they kicked us out! I have to say it wasn't as impressive (food wise) as I had hoped - the scones were a bit dry but it may have been because it was the public holiday time and food may have been a little old.

Now I'm hungry again....

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Year of the Snake!

Just a quick post to say - Happy Chinese New Year! Hope everyone of my readers has a prosperous year of the snake :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Wedding Photography

One of my favourite flipboard sections is the one on Photography - I would say I look at it at least once every 2 days which is a lot considering it doesn't get new posts as often as say, News or celebrity would.

Anyway, I stumbled across this beautiful wedding photo:

Isn't it extraordinary? And there was even a video accompanying it showing the painstaking effort that went into composing this beautiful shot - it literally took several minutes of adjusting the dress and the bride to get it just right!

Photo courtesy of Jerry Ghionis and Picture Correct

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Peters of Kensington Sale

The physical Peters of Kensington store is amazing, but what's just as good is their online store, especially during sale time! I wasn't able to head in during the first few days of sale so I shopped online and paid the postage even though I don't live very far away from the store itself.

I'm a bit bummed I forgot to check earlier so a lot of things I wanted were already sold out, but this was my Moleskine haul.
I hadn't yet purchased a paper diary for 2013 - mostly because I didn't get round to it, but I was starting to think if I even needed one. I'm such a paper based person, I love scribbling things down, but my life is becoming even more hectic so I just don't have time to jot things down twice (electronic calendar and paper diary). Anyway, seeing the ridiculous 60-70% off prices of the Moleskine planners on Peters was enough to convince me to get one! They also had some amazing mini diaries too but I opted for this larger A5 one because that's the most practical size for me and I love a soft cover Moleskine.

It comes with cute stickers too! And its calendar on the left, full page of lined note paper on the right which is absolutely perfect for me.

You might have seen me tweet about it too - I was so impressed with the postage. Maximum Sydney postage price was $7 from memory, and I ordered Monday night (after business hours) and it was delivered by Wednesday morning. That's a pretty quick turnaround for sale periods don't you think!

Now I didn't really need anymore Moleskines as I have accumulated a nice (colourful!) collection from my travels - whenever I see unique colours or bargain prices I'll buy them. The pic below is my current haul...I think I really don't need anymore for a long time now!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Gelato Messina - Pavlova

I've been visiting Messina for years now (I like to say, long before Sydney jumped onto the bandwagon) and have my regular favourite flavours. In fact, my house is rarely without a tub of their gelato! Anyway, sometime in October I happened to wander past and thought "No, I don't need dessert" but when I saw Pavlova on the specials I just had to try it. It was fate because not only did I have the final scoop of the day, but this week I found out it was in fact the only day they ever served it.

Fast forward the next few months and I'd been trying to see if it would return to the specials. A friend of mine even visited their factory and it was told that it would indeed return! I had been told the same from the sales staff at the various outlets but when it hadn't returned for months I wasn't too thrilled.

Of course my clever friend hypothesised that it would return for Australia Day, so as soon as they opened I called them and indeed they had pavlova on the specials!!! I follow them on Twitter too and of course a few hours later they announced it which elicited many a comment! As soon as I hung up on the phone I drove straight away to Darlinghurst to get myself the biggest tub available - 1.5L - which I still try and explain to people is GREAT value because of how many serves you get out of it.

They told me that it would only be available for a on the last day I couldn't help myself and got another tub. So now my house has 3L, less what we've eaten (maybe around 750ml?).

I got there on the first day just half an hour after opening and they were already replacing the first tub of it - see, its empty!

Now I know I am probably the only one who loves this flavour so much - in reality it probably isn't the most unique or most awesome Messina flavour ever but its definitely one of my favourites because I love Pavlova and this saves me from having to make a whole pav just to get my fix. The vanilla bean ice cream is fab, and with the drizzle of passionfruit and baked meringue chunks its to die for. Perhaps a part of me had hyped it up because I had waited for it so long, but never mind, its still a great gelato!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Giant Duck!

I finally got to see the giant duck in the harbour as part of Sydney Festival! 

To be 100% honest I was a little underwhelmed - OK so it's completely and utterly adorable and I'm a sucker for cute things but with all the hype and all the things I heard friends say I had just expected it to be...bigger! Everyone tells me I'm silly to say that because yes, it's pretty massive, but I thought it would be sooo tall!

Anyway..first for the bad pic to give a sense of how big it is:

I went on a grey cloudy day which actually made for great photo taking!

Oh look its a ducky reflection...

Quack quack, anyone?