Friday, 30 January 2015

There and Back Again: Coogee To Bondi Beach Walk

Spontaneous trip of the day: walk the 6 km coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi beach in Sydney! Annnnnd back again - 12 kms!

This was our thinking – what better way to get some cardio under our sleeve than to get the blood pumping in a brisk walk along beach and up and down stairs with great company and views of where the sea meets the sky. There was absolutely no excuse to skip exercise for the day is the deal was this sweet!
Weather was pretty nice since the past days have been bucketing rain so it's almost as though destiny had spoken!


First stop was Coogee shops for a milkshake power up at 9am and then the journey “There and back again” not featuring any Hobbits began! Of course you could start at the very top at Maroubra beach but our bus went right to Coogee so we stuck with that!


It was such a lovely walk filled with great ocean views, a lot of hat holding (thank you wind) and of course fit looking joggers to remind you of your 2015 fitness goals. For all you Tumblr morguls out there who blog Tumblr models/girls we even walked past Australian model Bambi Northwood Blyth near Clovelly (@bambilegit for those who don’t know her). She was walking too fast to stop her for a photo (still looked fresh faced despite the exercise – jealous!) but she did give me motivation to conquer the next leg of the trip!


The beaches were all quite empty with pretty rough waves so leg dipping was the only option. Just as well because the wind was still pretty nippy but maybe next time for sure!

Two hours later after conquering Coogee, Clovelly, Bronte, and Tamarama we finally reached Bondi and decided to lie on the grass and have a snooze before lunchtime arrived! You can totally demolish this walk in less time since we made multiple stops to take photos and we were only power walking anyway.

Finally at a very sleepy Bondi

Before no time in the sun it was time for a refuel lunch at before the much more windier and uphill staircase trip back to Coogee. We were feeling really adventurous but you could easily catch a bus from Bondi back home or something.
You feel so accomplished (why shouldn’t you) and start to envy the locals who probably do the walk everyday and have their banging bodies for evidence.


So sore legs all round on the bus home! If beach views and beaching dipping isn’t enough motivation to get you out of bed and exercising today I don’t really what will! Grab a friend , swimmers and your sun protection arsenal cause this is definitely a trip I’d do again (maybe half jog next time? Who am I kidding :P)


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Monday, 26 January 2015

A Noob's Guide to Green Juices

I must confess, I'm that kid that likes green juices whilst their compatriots alternatively choose the classic choices ie. apple, orange, pineapple etc.

But hey, its so good for you! Its like an effective toilet cleaner in a cup, helping you flush out your system and replenish essential vitamins and nutrients and supports you immune system. Once you get over the taste of "pure healthiness," all this becomes a habit that will benefit you in the long term and not to mention, your skin, eyes, nails, hair and everything else will thank you for it.

I decided to make a noob's guide to green juices so you don't have to go straight in and dump a whole ginger farm into your blender. The essentials include; ice (to keep your drink nice and chilled), blender, coconut water and spinach. As a general rule, I consider one handful of spinach a good serving for one person. 

Juice #1

So my first recipe is "The Gateway Juice"- its delish and you'll be encouraged to be more adventurous! You can't taste anything bitter or "off" because its jam-packed with fruit. 

- 1/2 a banana
- handful of spinach
- 1/2 a cup of frozen raspberries
- 1/2 an apple
- 1/2 a cup of ice
- 3/4 of a cup of coconut water

Juice #2

"The Classic Greenie"- this is what you would find at a typical cafe or breakfast house. 

- stalk of celery
- 3/4 of a cup of pineapple
- as much ginger as you can handle
- handful of spinach 
- 1/2 a cup of ice
-3/4 of a cup of coconut water

Of course finish off with a colourful straw or paper umbrella and a piece of fruit hanging precariously on the edge. 

I'll definitely be updating this post frequently when I find more recipes


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Magnums at Westfield

We already have the problem of choosing which magnum to get from the ice cream vault at the beach or supermarket but making your own magnum is a new level CRISIS.

If you feel like ice cream on the paddle pop unlike your Gelatissimo, Copenhagen or Baskin and Robbins or if you're just a chocoholic like everyone else, than a visit to the Pop Up Magnum is just what you need. CRISIS almost averted.

Don't worry - Not all for me
Maybe your magnum reflects your personality?
Tray included because a mess is inevitable!

My friends said mine was more photogenic but hey lets not discriminate Magnums!
I had a dark choc shell topped with some rose petals, pistachios, hazelnuts and dried
strawberries! ($8)

We went to the one in Sydney Westfield which is sadly gone now (as of October last year) but its still worth a mention to get you excited next time its in town!

You choose the "base", chocolate shell and toppings and watch it all come together before you - it looks like an art form! It was so hard to choose which 3-4 toppings to bedazzle your magnum, this was the real CRISIS.

How do you say no? Or more like "How do I take the first bite?" But needless to say,  I was feeling pretty sick and very full one magnum later  and probably couldn't even look at one for another 6 months. That's probably just me but I still thoroughly enjoyed the first few bites!

Definitely keep an eye and ear out for whispers on the winds of the next pop up store!

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It's a markets-kind-of-weekend

Ideally, Michelle and I would spend every Saturday at the markets, satisfying our never-ending desire for clothing, shoes, knick-knacks, bargains, cakes, sweets and ... samosas (they have very good samosas at Glebe).
I really can't imagine my life without having discovered the Glebe and Rozelle Markets (Sunday Market) some years ago. Usually the "I need new clothes" meltdown at home mid week evolves subsequently into a "LET'S GO TO THE MARKETS!!!" weekend trip! Otherwise it's a spontaneous decision on any given Saturday.

Speaking of attire, wear something comfy (preferably vintage to blend in with the locals)- especially shoes because you'll do a lot of walking.

A flowy Ladaka dress with Bonds Bralette and comfy vintage boots did the job last Sat- Michelle

Rule #1
See something you like? Grab and hold it straight away and then proceed thought process of whether to buy. Thus you can avoid wistfully watching someone else snag your bargain!

Over the years, you see and hear more tourists fitting these markets into their sight seeing agenda. My only problem is that there'll be more people to fight for clothing over :P

There's always live music to enjoy while you walk around, rummaging through clothing racks and while you lounge on the grass and eat your goodies from the food stalls. There are some great local acts and one damn amazing girl one time -  just as a reminder that many children are more talented than you...

There are plenty of cake, bread and sweet stalls where you can sample a little of what they offer. I always find myself looking at these Portuguese tarts every time I pass the junction of the stalls! My favourite is the Paleo food stall where they sell so many varieties of granola its like I died and went to heaven!

You'll encounter some eccentric characters along your trip like the resident gypsie and many special things that make you smile all dependent on the Saturday that you happen to rock up.

Nevertheless there is usually something like a artisan nitrogen ice-cream pop-up store.

Rule #2
Bring home the HAUL and lay them all out so you can admire from a 1m distance.

I cannot recommend a better way to pass the time this weekend! Summer is in full swing and it's always a scorcher so pack your sunnies and a trusty hat and be prepared to come home with lots and lots of bags!

You'll find it at Glebe Public School on Glebe Point Road, a short walk from Parramatta Road :)


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Captain Cook Cruise Brekkie

What a way to break the fast! Apart from the inexcusable wake up hour and typical Sydney traffic into the city the uber fancy cruise we embarked on was a sight for sore (more like sleep deprived) eyes.

I was treated by the family to a champagne breakfast from the iconic Darling Harbour to Circular Quay and all that calm, rock-you-to-sleep water in between.


Chillin' at Dock 1 at Darling Harbour was the majestic cruise boat a mist the sleepy air of the Party district (Respect to the straggling all-nighter folk that were spotted). The staff were very hospitable and their unflinching tolerance towards the tourist tradition of taking photos was truly inspiring.


The breakfast consisted of a continental breakfast with constantly filled coffee mugs and complimentary champagne with a dainty strawberry slice.  



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Saturday, 24 January 2015

A crack at the Macaron

Macarons – The French Way (or that’s what the recipe claims!)

So where did these delectable treats come from if not fallen from the heavens? Some sources cite two Carmelite nuns running from the French Revolution or maybe even Pierre Desfontaines of patisserie Ladurée in the early 20th century – who really knows!
To me, attempting (or even considering) to make macarons have always entailed visions of irregular piped shapes, smoking ovens, hideous tar-looking deposits smeared across the tray and dense, gooey insides . And then they’ll be me too disappointed and disgusted to even look my Frankenstein creations!

Turns out what I really needed was a mentor – a gal pal who bakes them regularly enough to know a full proof recipe and who also watches The Great British Bake Off!

So I hope you too will find this recipe French enough and Bullet Proof enough! Take a deep breath and channel the little French nun in yourself (haha)!


Chocolate Macaron Recipe:

125 g almond meal
125 g icing sugar
30 g cocoa powder (“i’m in love with the coco”)
100 g caster sugar
100 g egg whites
Pinch of egg white powder (to stabilise the meringue)


1. In the food processor, grind the almond meal, cocoa and icing sugar until very ground!

2. In an electric mixer, whip them egg whites and egg white powder until soft peaks.
Start off slowly then crank up the speed!
3. Slowly add the caster sugar to the electric mixer (while it’s still whipping) in a steady stream.
4. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks that don’t ‘plop’ off the spoon when you take a scoop!

5. Fold the ground mixture into the egg white mix in three additions until fully combined.
 The folding action you want is around and through! You’ll get a nice uneven light brown colour. 

6. Pipe onto lined baking trays from the centre, aiming for 50 cent piece (go Aus!)
7. Rest the macarons in a safe place for about 30 mins so shells can dry! Test by lightly pressing the top. If it doesn’t stick to your finger you good to go!
8. Bake in a pre heated fan-forced oven at 150°C for 15 mins!
9. They’re ready when you see little ‘feet’ at the bases and give them a light pat with a finger to check they are crisp 
J10. With a spatula, transfer the little disks onto a cooling rack, then begin ordering them from largest to smallest size.

Chocolate Ganache time!

150 g dark chocolate, even chopped (chocolate melts work best i think)
150 g cream


1. Bring cream and chocolate to boil in a clear mixing bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.

2. When all chocolate has melted and cream is mixed in to become a uniform colour, refrigerate until it thickens!

3. With two teaspoons, you want to deposit a ‘thumb pad’ sized dollop of ganache into the centre of the disk (using the second spoon to ease it off).
4. Press the other disk on top to evenly spread out the ganache so it oozes over the edges a little. Viola!

To seal the sense of accomplishment (this step is optional) its photoshoot time and then of course, tasting time!

Since I've survived to write this post, I would say these macarons have been successful (phew!)
Until our next baking meeting!

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Yum Cha 101

Another stray away from the usual cafe lunch scene is a trip to Chinatown for some authentic yum cha with a group of friends.
Yum cha is just one of those things you just need to try (a food adventure and catch up all in one!) so hopefully I can tempt you to book a date soon!

I recently went to The Marigold in Haymarket Chinatown to rekindle my love for yum cha with some snaps to share of my fav dishes (and also the newbies I've discovered!).
Lightly fried steamed rice rolls with satay sauce
This was new to me, not my cup of tea as much as I tried.
Siew Mai (p. seeeew my)
The pork mince is stuffed in wonton sheet is my #2

When we could, yum cha was our every-now-and-then Sunday brunch treat (we began on the baby high chair) to wind down with the family, sipping on our bubble milk teas that we bought on the same street! But with a group of friends you feel more adventurous and dare to try more strange dishes.

Seafood Spring rolls
They come with any filling, you just have to
Not my go-to dish since mum makes
 the best ones at home :)
Banh Cuon (viet title)
We always request these steamed rice  rolls/cake
with prawn. These can also come with
BBQ pork :O Served with Vietnamese
fish sauce is delish!

I always appreciate a friend who knows how to order their yum cha! It's been great for broadening my yum cha experience!

Your classic steamed pork bun - enough said
These egg tarts are always too much on the eggy side
for my liking but they're so popular

Some other dishes that went too fast I couldn't take a picture of were the Prawn Dumpling and Deep Fried Taro Puffs!
Deep fried taro puffs with duck filling
A bit strange when you bite and see purple (taro)
but nice anyways!

Ha Cao (prawn dumplings)
My #1 go-to yum cha dish

Equally as important as the dishes are the condiment sauces! Its best to eat with the sauce served specially with the dish but don't be afraid to add a little dollop of chilli sauce to be really authentic!

Mango pancakes are the best way to finish yum cha!
The pancake is filled with light Creme and chopped mango!
The mangoes are always the just right - sweet, never sour like the supermarkets!

I definitely left the restaurant in a good mood!
If you're feeling a little empty right now, chances are you're missing a little yum cha in your life!


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Sunday, 18 January 2015

'The Vogue Factor' - Kristie Clements

My latest read was 'The Vogue Factor' by ex-editor of Vogue Australia Kristie Clements. I actually devoured the book in a few days only because I was going out a lot and had to savor every free moment! I'm actually infatuated by the lavish high fashion world (puh-lease, who isn't) and astounded by the sheer luck some people are blessed with to be able to penetrate the sphere of this totally different world! More so, Kristie herself who started at Vogue as a receptionist swapping calls. 

I have no idea how she can play down these 'pinch-me' moments when she's dinning with the Estée Lauder, rubbing shoulders with Beyoncé and chatting with Cate Blanchett!

So I really enjoyed reading about the travels to amazing Armani parties with 'unbelievable food', waiting in backstage Louis Vuitton while pups swarmed at your feet, Karl Lagerfield's small and intimate hosted lunches at his home Rue de l'Universite and the ornaments and architecture in the palace where Princess Mary of Denmark now resides!

Besides capturing the lux and glamour you really get to see the headaches and mini tantrums of running a magazine. The real world stuff after descending from the dream of front row fashion week and ready to wear (RTW) shows in the fashion capitals. 

How they manage to deliver each month is a wonder to me. The whole book is as upbeat as the job itself - never a dull moment! You almost get a taste of the frustration as plans fall apart and photographers and Hollywood agents play hard to get! Here the media and newspapers are the baddie and the insight into girls aspiring to make Vogue can also be shocking!

It's a truly crazy world but boy is it an addictive one! 

Kristie inspires you to take and never doubt your chances, to ignore the pretentious players social climbers of the industry (Cause they don't last), to travel and live abroad and to be determined in your goals in the same way she envisioned to rebuild her Vogue! Also - knowing French may come in handy so you get placed next to Mr Armani as the only journo/editor to speak his language! Plus now she has two very good looking twin sons  (single perhaps?) and very privileged, envious experiences to look back on!

For the rest of us, we can just follow the new league of fashion bloggers on Instagram like Natasha Goldenberg (@ngoldenberg), Anna Dello Russo (@anna_dello_russo) etc etc to get a taste of what she writes about (apparently the Vuitton events trump all).

The book is a definite must read! This would be one of my first biography kinds of books about the fashion industry and it certainly won't be my last! If you want to start out in fashion, or are content with dreaming about fashion (like me) or just curious then this is the one to get into! Needless to say I'll be looking out for other books exposing the fashion industry - the good, bad and downright ugly.



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