Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

It is an understatement to say I have neglected this blog greatly this year.

It has been a crazy year, that's for sure. If I had to describe it I would use the words - amazing, unexpected, fulfilling and eventful. As a result, I really haven't had the time to devote to this blog and while I can't say I'll be back to blogging regularly anytime soon, I still like reading everyone's blogs and catching up on the world of the internet.

People really have given me a lot to think about in recent weeks especially, and so as we round out the year (how fast has 2014 flown by?) and 2015 is fast approaching on the horizon, I thought I'd hop online to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and leave you with one of my favourite not-so-Christmasy tunes.

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

- John Lennon

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fashion Reality

Over the past year or so I've been standing on the constant blogging crutch of "life has been taking some crazy turns" to excuse my tardiness in posting. Unfortunately I'm returning to that, but I'm hoping to improve that situation before the end of the year. 

In the meantime, quotes such as these are awesome. This week has been a bit of a retail therapy week so hopefully I'll share some haul photos soon. But I'm holding onto fashion to get me through this week! :) 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Homewares Hauls!

I've been winter hibernating lately, but that hasn't stopped me from shopping up some homewares. You know you're getting old when you've stopped attending fashion sales but instead get excited about buying homewares.

I hit up the Le Creuset sale and bought a whole heap of cute cast iron stoneware which I've always wanted to buy. Clearly, it was all about picking the right colours so these are just some of the items I hauled.

I'm loving the mini cocottes in the background - the set of 3 is in french red-white-blue colours. They're quite small, but perfect for individual entree sized portions. Or baked eggs for breakfast. The red pot looks small but is reasonably sized at 14cm so I'm loving it sick. And though I have a tonne of teapots, I couldn't help but buy the turquoise-y one to leave at my desk at work as the mug-pot combo.

Seeing the words 'Special Edition' was enough to convince me, but then I opened the box to find these pearlescent finish mini cocottes and I was sold.

The same day I was naughty and decided to hit up Peters of Kensington, one of my all time favourite places. I had a voucher leftover from Christmas so I finally bit the bullet and bought me the Limoges I've been dying for. If I could pick any colour, I probably would have picked the pastel purple or pink but this was too much of a bargain to pass up - the larger breakfast cup and saucer set for just $85 with a further 15% off. Incredible!

A few weeks earlier I hit up a special staff sale on Dyson vacuum cleaners. So we went from having 1 Dyson to 3. Overnight. Ridiculous, but amazing!

And threw this picture in for good measure - the usual Catch Of the Day trap hit me when I only wanted the Logitech ipad mini cover keyboard, but to make shipping more worthwhile I chucked in some hosiery. I need new sheer black hosiery anyway so it was still worth it. If anyone is looking for a good iPad case, I cannot recommend this one enough!

And that my friends, is just some of the shopping that has been keeping me busy lately. I've actually been pretty good only spending small amounts here and there, but clearly I can't resist me a good sale!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Jimmy Liks, Potts Point

After having heard people talk about Jimmy Liks in Potts Point, I recently dined there with a 50% off internet deal. Asian shared style eating is always great for group dining so I went with a table of 4 so we could try a lot of dishes.
My first impressions were that I really liked the decor - with its long tables and mood lighting I could see it being an awesome group event place, especially because set menus always work well with asian food. I'm sad to say the positive comments mostly stop there. I certainly didn't hate it, but I didn't think it was great and if it weren't for the 50% off I would probably have felt more negatively towards it.

The cuisine isn't strictly from any particular region, instead the menu reads like a 'Best of' South East Asia and Chinese influenced dishes.
Son-in-law free range duck egg $8.50
I love soft shell crab ($23) so we had to order this - it was crispy and tasty, though every asian restaurant nowadays does a decent rendition so it wasn't ground breaking.

This was my favourite dish of the day - crispy skin salmon with watermelon salad ($28). It was fresh, the salmon perfectly cooked just a bit under, with a nice mix of zesty dressing and watermelon. 

Twice cooked sticky pork hock (large size for $29) - this dish was so rich and hard to eat by the end, and it wasn't because it was bad necessarily, it just felt like every other dish in terms of flavour but with a heavy fatty pork hock. 

The duck was meh. And I love duck! But this was just average. Mainly because the flavour base was a sticky sweet sauce which you can see at the base of the dish. Just not how we expected crispy skin duck to be served!
Crispy skin half duck ($35)
Char grilled roti bread ($5 a piece)
So overall the problem really lies with the fact Jimmy Liks isn't the cheapest, and then everything kind of tasted the same. Every dish seemed to have the same flavour base and while at least everything wasn't overpoweringly spicy (which I hate, because it just kills any sense of taste you might have), all the sauces lacked punch. So then you just added more sauce and got overdosed on sweet MSG. When you can get such amazingly authentic, cheap asian food in Sydney, it's a pity that Jimmy Liks didn't live up to the hype for me. That said, we didn't drink cocktails with our meal but we saw others drinking what looked to be amazing concoctions, so maybe that's the trick, to get happy on alcohol?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Are you at a hipster wedding?

You know I love my infographics, and with weddings being all anyone is talking about recently amongst my friends, this was to cute not to share.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Post Holiday Blues

I've been neglecting this blog which is 1 part I-have-been-on-holidays and 2 parts life-has-changed-faster-than-I-have-been-able-to-keep-up. So now I'm using this winter hiberanation period to really focus on me and for once being in some semblance of stable life.

Anyway. That is all not very exciting. What is exciting is that I recently returned from holiday! My second trip to the US this year, my 4th in 4 years, but sadly likely to be my last for some time now. I think I need to give the North American continent a break from me for a while!

I'll try and post about my holiday highlights if I get around to it, but for now, here are some of my photo faves :)
 Perfect white sand and pristine blue seas in Barbados. I probably should have noted above that I actually spent half my time in the Caribbean, not just the US. And it was, like my last Caribbean trip, breathtaking. And blissful. And just what I needed!

Trunk Bay in St Johns, USVI. Consistently rated amongst the top 25 beaches in the world, and I wouldn't disagree!

A rare shot you'll see with me in it. I don't generally like posting photos of myself on this blog, but this is me hanging on a boat in St Lucia.

 The famous Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas. American History worthy.

Texas State Capital in Austin, Texas. I loved the architecture. I loved the patriotic scattering of the state Star on everything and anything. And I love this shot.

Laguna Beach, Orange County, CA. Teenage dream come true. I used to be obsessed with MTV's Laguna Beach, and am still a huge fan of LC. Long live MTV.

I realise all my photos look like postcard pictures I've stolen from the internet. I can assure you, everywhere was just that photographically amazing that it didn't take much to snap a postcard worthy shot, though I do like to claim some photographic skill ;) These were all shot on my beloved travel camera the NEX6 with kit zoom lens (I didn't even touch the second Sigma lens I took with me!).

And before you ask, I bought one item of clothing my whole trip! Yes, one! After enough visits to the US in as many years, I can definitely say I am probably one of the rare visitors who can abstain from shopping :)  

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ebay Find - Ring Snuggies

Has it really been a month since I last posted? Apparently, it has! And I'm about to head overseas for a short break so more radio silence from me unfortunately.

Anyway, onto something random I stumbled across recently which I thought I'd post about: ring snuggies. Yes, you read right, snuggies.

So I'm sure most of you would know about ring re-sizers in the form of metal bars inserted into rings to allow you to make the ring fit more snugly. The other option is petite rubber tubing that can be attached to the ring that also helps.

Well, here is the improved version of the snuggie which is actually spiral in nature so it won't fall off the ring and fits much better.

I bought these on ebay and the seller had a myriad of options from different thicknesses of the tubing (to resize by 1, 2 or more sizes) as well as different tubing widths to cater for ring bands of different thicknesses. Complicated at first, but I bought a package deal of multiple thicknesses and widths to try out and it set me back a grand total of $10 including shipping from the UK!

I'm pretty happy with it, but I've only tried it on my Georg Jensen daisy ring. I was going to try it on my newest purchase, a much more decadent diamond purchase but I thought that probably deserved a proper resize!

What random useful ebay items have you stumbled across?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sydney Mapped

I came across this recently and loved it so thought I would share for any of my Sydney readers to laugh at, just like I did.

I can't believe how true it all is!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Weddings + Bridesmaids

No, don't get too excited yet, I'm not getting married. My friends, however, are all getting hitched and next year is turning out to be a mammoth wedding year! I'm going to be bridesmaid for at least one of those weddings and so I've been tasked with helping in a tonne of ways.

Being the bargain hunter that I am, I've been finding some great things online with the sales lately.

This Zimmermann dress is a cute colour in real life and great fabric, and a bargain on sale at the moment for just $196. I'm not usually one to go for Zimmermann but they are popular amongst bridesmaids, and at those kinds of prices they're definitely a good option for any fashionable bride and bridesmaid.

Now I love J Crew and they have a tonne of options. I love this grey one above, and it comes in a million different hues. At approximately A$275 it's not quite as cheap, but a lovely option though admittedly it can probably be recreated elsewhere for cheaper.

Though a lot of sizes have since sold out, this beautiful punchy pink one is just A$100 and a great vibrant pink that I'm sure is popular amongst brides.

And what about this one for the floor length styles (which I will probably be looking at more, for the particular wedding I'm attending). At A$360 on sale it is a little more pricy but considering you can literally pick any colour of the rainbow, it is around the same price as Australian stores but without the full colour range. I just love this 'wild beet' colour.

For something a bit different, this Jayson Brunsdon diffusion line dress at Myer retails for just $179 and is cute for a floral, more casual wedding. And for wearability, this could definitely be worn again after a wedding!

Have you come across any great bridesmaid appropriate dresses lately?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easter in Sydney

How was everyone's Easter? I just can't believe this crazy stretch of long weekends in a row is almost already over. No more public holidays until June and then October here in Sydney!

Anyway, Easter last week was beautiful weather and I made the most of it. Started with some lovely Thursday night drinks at Parke Davis which is below the well-known Cuban Place. I always loved hanging out at the Cuban Place because it was easy to get seats but Parke Davis has a cute cocktail menu and the novelty lights at the doorway are just my kind of thing! Please excuse all the terribly shot iphone photos ahead, I've become even lazier with photos lately.

Overall I was impressed - it wasn't overcrowded, the ambience was casual but fun and service snappy considering people were mostly ordering cocktails which are obviously labour intensive.

Over the long weekend I took the chance to go to the Easter Show which as usual was full of visiting cute as can be animals and stopping by the Country Women's Association Tea Room for some scones. Yum yum! Can you tell I love scones?

I always make a habit of seeing the cakes and crafts - some of the creativity is amazing and it's crazy to think how much time goes into all the various creations. 

I took a photo of this ginormous pumpkin because well, it's just massive at (apaprently) 366kg. Plus, the day before my visit the Royals took the time to specifically look at these giant pumpkins when they did their whirlwind 1 hour visit of the Show. How do you even grow something this big?

And my favourite part? I was a total kid and went and visited the 'pat a chick' stand where I got to play with a day old chick. So cute. So fluffy. I wanted to take one home!

I think I'll give the Easter Show a rest for a few years as it starts to get a little repetitive going year after year, but I was glad to enjoy a lovely day out to hold onto the last of the warmer weather!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Life in Photos: March 2014

It's already April with Easter around the corner, and Summer officially over and I'm sitting at home on a dreary Sunday seeing the rain just literally fall all day long. But I love the guilt-free feeling of staying indoors when the weather is crapola and what better time to catch up with some reading and blogging!

So March was actually quiet for me, but I still managed to do some fun things to enjoy the last of the beautiful Sydney Summer.

I had one last beach trip - and the ice cream boat stopped by!

Have any other Sydneysiders noticed the beautiful colurful sunsets we've been getting lately? I took a walk after work a few weeks back and this was my view - I'm sad that daylight savings is over now because the days will start getting shorter and shorter!

Case in point - beautiful colourful sunset! Again, excuse my dodgy iPhone photos. I've been lazy to upload my actual photos recently!

Recently I went to Larder at Woolloomooloo - it's a pop-up as part of Otto restaurant and we got a 50% off deal which was amazing value. Not only that, the prices at Larder are actually really reasonable to begin with, especially given you get an amazing view over the water while you enjoy your meal. This was the prosciutto starter to share and it was fabulous!

Last weekend was beautiful. I went to see Alain de Botton speak at the Opera House which was really entertaining.

Our seats were side view but right by the stage so we were amazingly close, even though we coudln't see Alain front on. He's a really engaging speaker which made the time fly by!

And since the weather was so beautiful I couldn't help but head down to the Rocks to my favourite tea and scones place - The Tea Cosy. I love it there. Their scones are amazingly fluffy and their tea is also fabulous. The only downer was that one of my scones had hair in it - as in it was baked into the scone and I try as I might I just couldn't get the hair out. They apologetically rectified the situation and gave me a replacement plus one extra though others were expecting I should get my money back and a fresh scone. But I still love it there!

And this week I tried out the hard-to-get-a-reservation at Riley St Garage. The food was fab, the decor is amazing, and the menu is just so easy to order from. They have a set menu for $68 which had a huge selection of food and I definitely am keeping that on my agenda for any group/special occasion meals in the future. This is a blurry/badly shot photo of their miso salmon and truffle mash which were both hearty and flavourful.

What should I do now that it is Autumn and the days are getting shorter?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pop Up Hotel - Memories from Glastonbury 2013!

This time last year, I was getting excited for Glastonbury 2013, and now I see twitter and social media is full of similarly excited people for this year's festival in 3 months time!

I've been terrible over the past 6 months with trying to post about all the fun things I've been doing and amazing places I've been travelling to, but now seemed time to post about my memories from staying at The Pop-Up Hotel during the festival. I'll post about Glastonbury another time!

Seeing as I was travelling from Sydney, I didn't want the hassle of bringing all my camping gear and supplies for the 5 day festival. If it had been Sydney, I totally would have had everything I needed but hardly wanted to buy it all again! Plus, Glastonbury is renowned for getting washed out with rain so glamping totally seemed worth the money. The Pop-Up Hotel brings uber fabulous accommodation to festivals and events around the UK and they often get profiled in magazines for their beautiful offering. Here's my experience from staying with them!

This was the view on the bus to the festival - beautiful Summer skies.

We got in late on the Thursday evening and got picked up from the bus drop off point. It was nice and easy and we got shown to our tent for the weekend which had gorgeous plush quilting and covers set upon air mattresses that were so comfy - I had a perfect night's sleep every night! 

Because we arrived at night, seeing the view of our little tent village with blue skies on the first 'official' day of the festival was so awesome!

Now one of the big reasons I booked with Pop-Up was because for the same price as some of the other off site accommodations, we were assured amazing bathrooms and facilities. How else is a girl meant to look stylishly Kate Moss like at the world's most famous music festival?

Now I was too busy having a good time to really take the time to take proper photos so these will have to suffice, but seriously, upon seeing the facilities we knew it was money worth spent. Yes, we weren't on festival campsites but the 1km or so walk back to our little highly secured village for a hot shower, flushing toilets and mirrored basins was awesome. 

Even the showers had beautiful decor - and not only that, we had powerpoints for hairdryers and hair straighteners!

And how can you forget beautiful soaps and handcreams by the basins?

These were the more premium tents, which we got a look into occasionally because everyone tended to leave their tents open to let the breezy air through. People were friendly and everyone was there to have a good time, so we never felt unsafe leaving around iPhones to charge or  expensive designer wellies (think Burberry and Hunter everywhere!).

On many a night we would come out and see people hanging out near this bonfire/firepit.

Anyone care for a beauty makeover? Well there were facilities for that too!

Every tent came with a gorgeous deck chair!

And now if I was less lazy and had a tripod, I would've been able to capture this much better but my favourite thing (besides the Pop-Up hotel cupcakes we got!) was seeing the tents all lit up every night. It was breathtaking!

Excuse the noise and slight blur to this, but seriously, how amazing is this? I was in love every night!

So now my problem is, I can't see myself ever attending a music festival and not glamping! How can I go back?