Monday, 25 July 2016

Brunching Joyously (Haven Cafe review)

I've never been to a cafe more than once than at Haven Joyously Tailoring Coffee in Surry Hills. Not only do I love spending a bright, sunny morning in Surry Hills with great company - the food is amazing and the staff are such sweethearts (I sound like someone's middle aged aunt right now). 

Black Sesame Egg Waffles

I keep coming back for their fresh menu and this time we ordered the Matcha egg waffles, Morrocan Salmon with cous cous and Felafel Potato. I have absolutely zero guilt if it's MATCHA ice cream for breakfast! It's not common in Sydney to get egg waffles like these, especially when they feature in Taiwan and HK where my go to instafoodies travel! Ultimate disappointment at the overseas geotag until Haven saves the day!! Also shoutout to the salmon dish which was bursting with flavour and perfectly cooked (soft pink on the inside). Food never disappoints in flavour, innovation and aesthetics.

Source: Broadsheet

Source: Weekend Notes

What's a brunch at Haven without its unique brews! Would totally recommend the Dragon Oolong ice tea (great for the summer) or the nutty coffee brew. It features nutty and wine notes, minus the heavy alcoholic tang! 

Let's not forget the staff who know the coffee blends back to front and are always asking how your meal is going! They really go the extra mile and it's partly why I recommend this place all the time with friends! 

If you're planning the next catch up, give Haven a go! 

Ambience 5/5
Fare $$
Service 5/5
Foodwise 5/5
Now back to the rinse repeat cycle of uni!
Don't forget to treat yourself..

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Friday, 19 February 2016

Dance Classes @ DUTI Studios for a self professed "White Girl" dancer

You'd think a hike earlier in the day would convince me I'd done enough exercise for the whole week (that uphill hike back from Jingga pools though) but what trumped that day was my 2016 promise to finally try a dance class.

Yes, I thought about my future that could have been - as a finalist on America's SYTYCD.

Maybe it was the excitement of spontaneity, or that my hiking girls were also keen or maybe (slightly more accurate) it was my lifelong endeavor to move like a graceful human being.

Source: DUTI Studios
Pu-lease...What's the point of a body roll in isolation if you don't have a routine to go with it?

Anyways, we went to a JFH (Jazz/Funk/Hip Hop) class in a Newtown studio called DUTI Studios. It's only been running for 4 months and I could honestly say, walking through the door I almost squealed. 


You want to live the dancing dream? This tumblr-worthy studio definitely plays the part. New York-esque, all white, minimalistic with bright spotlights just like the backstage of a designer runway minus Donatella Versace.

Mathew the owner of the studio teaches the JFH and Jazz classes and he's amazeballs. Talking to him I could see how the interior design reflected his vision, the vibes he wanted to capture.

Uni students regularly frequent the studio with other classes including African, Contemporary Dance, Heels and Yoga.


The JFH class itself (for beginners) was really enjoyable! Time flew and my only regret is that my limbs decided to forget all learned coordination. It was challenging but left me so determined to move more fluid and freely!

Beginners like me rest easy:

- the routine is taught and practiced in nicely timed chunks
- the counting really helps you keep up to tempo
- any questions are totally welcome during the class
- you get group and individual feedback (the latter you can ask for)


Splitting into smaller groups to perform the routine in sync is that added push to move with flair. You're stuck in your own world and everything is a whirl!

The routine changes after two weeks! As for now I can't sleep easy tonight until I nail it!

Take a peek through the big black door and do something for yourself this year!

Follow them on Insta, Facey, YouTube and on their website!



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Saturday, 13 February 2016

5 dessert spots for a late night (spontaneous?) cruise in Sydney

The mates you really need are the ones that will message you after 8 pm to pick you up for a cruise, dessert and chills. I mean, how else will you fuel your deep conversations till the early am? Real talk: they’ll also let you man the AUX cable!!

Source: Justdessertsau

Desserts are meant to be enjoyed in the ungodly hours encroaching midnight in my opinion. When having “sweet things at night [are supposed to] give you nightmares” said mum and dad in the youngin’ days when you totally allowed them to dress you in white Velcro runners.

Source: DreamsandSparkles

These places will not (I hope) let you down and if you’re anything like me I don’t usually settle for the ordinary. They’re also totally ‘parkable’ places so you don’t need to be a stunt driver squeezing into nooks and crannies.
 If you’re only here to get chocolate ice cream, by all means do but you’ll be dead to me (well that escalated fast).

1. Pagoto Gelato & Waffle House.
Note to self: always trust a place that actually calls itself a Waffle House. Pagoto has endless Greek inspired flavours complete with weird and wonderful names. You have your pastry and sweets infused in the ice cream and it’s amazing! Cue in friend so you can share flavours and get a wider taste! Don’t ask me what’s in it but I totally recommend: Mastiha and Cinnamon, Visino and Karidopita.

301 Victoria Rd, Marrickville

Source: Kindlyyours
Source: Local News P

2. Pie Tin (Thurs, Fri, Sat – close 10pm)
If you’re feeling really adventurous(and haven’t had dinner) have savoury pie  and a dessert pie to finish. Not many places can satisfy the “sweet pie craving” which is a nice change from the usual ice cream.  There are pies to satisfy you caramel, chocolate, nutty, lemony cravings (not necessarily all in the one pie of course!). Recommendation:  “Noelines” Triple Choc

1a Brown St, Newtown

Source: Goodfood


3. Cheeky Chocolate.
This definitely won’t let you down in the decadent dessert cakes department! You can totally order from the menu or come and pick your poison at the cakes counter! They also have this dimly lit, older century, clandestine interior going on so you can sit on velvet chairs! Recommendation: Newbie (you get the best of three worlds – salted caramel, dark & white choc mousse) and The Raspberry Choc Meringue Tart!

11 George Street, North Strathfield

Source: the girls who ate the world

Source: Not quite Nigella

4. Oliver Brown Belgian Chocolate Cafe.
Just get any menu item with their “crunchy balls”- I assure you that’s all you need!! Their waffles are also the bomb digitty. Crispy on the outside as it should be!
Recommendation: Crunchy Balls Hot Choc, Banana Split with crunchy balls (see a trend here :P)

Source: The Food Diary Syd

Source: Foodporn

5. Bay Vista Desserts
This one you definitely need a mate to help out because portions are very filling! You don’t want to cripple yourself with a dessert coma! Pop this one on the list if you’re down for an ocean drive and/or can’t decide what kind of dessert. Cakes, pancakes/waffles, scrolls, ice cream bowls and drinks dilemma sorted! Recommendation: “The Original” Mortal Sin (this title has never felt so real!)

183 The Grand Parade, Brighton-Le-Sands

Source: Bay Vista

Source: Bay Vista

Go for your life
MVPD xox

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Sunday, 24 January 2016

Casey Neistat Surfs NYC // Daily Inspiration

New York dwelling Youtuber, Casey Neistat, 34, has released a daily vlog of himself snowboarding down the iconic streets of his hometown, making use of the freak snow storm. Not letting the weather be a deterrent to his usual antics, Neistat holds onto a line attached to a SUV while a drone circles above capturing angles from up high. 

This gets me into the mood of making video from snippets of footage I've been sporadically taking this summer. Look out for a video sometime soon! 

Neistat is one of a wave of new generation content producers, wielding the easy upload system of YouTube and the exposure of social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter to make a name of themselves in the competitive creative market. 

Watch this video go viral in the next week. 


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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

New Hair // Diary

I've been meaning to post this last year around July when this was actually written but I was feeling too self conscious about it all. Now that the effects (refer to below) have really mulled down somewhat or perhaps naturalised, I found the unposted draft.

I’ve had my hair cut. It’s the shortest it’s ever been – not unless you include the time I took a pair of

kitchen scissors to it behind the lounge age five. Besides my mother’s initial mortification and dread

of the next three months having to confirm her daughter’s gender, there was no harm done. I’m a

lot older now and I’ve been meaning to have it this short for a long time, and mum’s grateful I’ve

given her more notice. However my age seems to connote a problem, along with the fact that I’m

also Asian.

Having Asian hair is both a blessing and a curse. I’ve been stuck with these “luscious,” “silky,”

“knotless,” “envious” locks for my whole life. It was something that began to define me in highschool

and it wasn’t something I hated or loved. I think my hair meant more to people than it did for me. At

age sixteen I had chopped my spine length hair to my shoulders, intending to have a wig made of it

for my grandmother undergoing cemo. When I walked into her bedroom with the wardrobe mirror

covered in floral wrapping paper, found her under the sheets, I gently brushed her nose with my

new short hair. She woke up and cried. Mourning my tresses. That was the day I realised Asian

presupposes that you keep your hair long, inconvenient and in your way to maintain a sort of

femininity. And I swear I’ve been cursed with seriously fast growing hair ever since.

Customary to having any hair cut (not trim) people will ask you why you did it. Your garden variety

answer would be “You know, just wanted a change...” Sometimes I say that it was a lesson I wanted

to teach my cousin that was adamant that to distinguish a boy from a girl is to simply look at their

hair. Both of these and whatever else I’ve told anyone is correct. But after recycling the same

answers I felt like it was no longer enough, as people would pressed on and ask if I had any regrets.

To which I said no. It use to take me ten minutes to shower and now I get bored by the third, having

finished in two minutes. Damn straight no ragrets. On a serious note, regret for me seems to refer to

recklessness or brashness, both of which was not felt. I began to think people thought I had an

ulterior motive something on the lines of my psyche and reminiscent of Britney.

Seeing my uncle who is a health practioner at a family gathering over the weekend, I was confronted

with a proposition I had not entertained. He mentioned that “Usually women will go for an extreme

hair cut as a result of trauma like a bad break up or death of a loved one as a means of coping.” I

laughed and said without thought “Then maybe I’m repressing!” The rest of the day I felt his gaze on

me as I reached for the cheese knife. Lightly put, society has been relatively civil to me and so I don’t

think of myself as a hard-core feminist or going through any phase that stereotypically engenders

short hair cuts, even my motives behind my hair is not even clear for me - some may read that in

itself as the motive. Moreover, what I know to be true is that this encounter had made me self-
conscious and probed me to seek out my reasoning. I’ve observed that I have tended towards skirts

more often than jeans or trousers, a little more lip stick and mascara.

I also want to emphasise that I didn’t have a Britney moment, everything was planned and even

researched. Back a few months a found an article on the lines of “Something to consider before

going all pixie.” It included a list of instructions to measure your jaw from (1) the edge to the point of

your chin and (2) your ear to the edge again. Those two measurements are to be subtracted and if

they fell between 0-2 cm, you share the same dimensions as Audrey Hepburn so pass go and chop. It

failed to mention what to do next if you didn’t. With that anxiety, I didn’t measure myself and

moved on. A few weeks ago I hitched a ride with my mum’s weekly grocery shop and left my mum in

the front of Woolworths with a cryptic “love you,” and found a barber. No questions, he doesn’t let

me go back on my request so after swapping from shears to shaver and taking a moment half way to

alleviate a cramp in his wrist, he hands me my pony tail. I hold it in front of me palms up as he

continues to fuss about my remaining hair, it felt like a dead animal, a sort of painless amputation,

an expendable limb with blonde highlights from three years ago. I knew I should have felt immense

liberation or utter dismay but all I felt was a physical weight off my head. I looked into the mirror

and of course I’m no Audrey Hepburn, but I was content.

Give it a month and I’ll be more like a bob and the question will be whether I should cut it again. I

still can’t seem to pinpoint my moment of trauma or whatever catalyst caused my slow spiral into

cultural rebellion this late in my teenhood. Then again I might just be repressing.
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Afternoon stroll 

Lola's speciality lung-crushing-alarm-clock

Carols at the Domain 
When the parentals are not allowed to watch their '20 y/o daughter's netball grand final 

2 days till Christmas shopping self-infliction 

Boxing day with @chezzyrose

Playful reflections

Cremone Point tumblr shot

Sis contemplating her sexuality 

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Illuminae // Book Review

So this was the first book I read in 2016 and I had some pretty mixed emotions about it. I went from the verge of boredom, through to "WTFFFFFFF", then about 30 pages to the end I was begging it not to end. And so the story goes (....along with a cheeky bit of sketching I've been up to); 

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again."

So here's the deal, chick finds love, loses said love, loses parents (why not), gets caught up in an interstellar war, interacts with artificial intelligence, and also gets caught in the fray of infected individuals which makes for great character building. 

The main thing I want to point out is the unique plot progression of the story. It's honestly nothing I've seen before. Basically the book is a series of documents, audio transcripts, military files, psychological musings of aforementioned AI and strategically censored blackouts. It read quite seamlessly even in the transitioning of documents, the perks of this kind of writing allows maps, behind-the-scenes-planning-that-will-soon-bite-the-arse-of-the-protagonist-to-be-fleshed-out, and creative digression in the layout. 

Yep, have a page dedicated to the word "silence" (*grammar Nazis feel an excruciating pain in their proverbial heart*) and have it positioned to the right about three-quarters down the page for dramatic emphasis [p49]. Totalling 600 pages, don't mistaken this to be a LoTR novel because in actuality, a considerable amount of pages (if not all the pages) are not full... if that makes any sense. To give you some confidence there are 6 consecutive pages in one section that has a total of seventeen words. [pp578-583] 


You know Adian, right? OK I have to admit, I had a love-hate relationship with him. Oh man, I hated him so much when he said he was pretending to be Ezra. That broke me. Also the fact that you were engrossed in the mind/thinking process of an AI just made the scene all the better. The sardonic big brother was humorous as much as he was cold hearted heartless. 

When I was OK with the fact that Kady was going to die, she backflips and makes it home after exploring two juggernaut space ships. Which makes sense because this will be a trilogy.  

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Local MBASSY @ Ultimo // Review

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a drill.

If you have never been here and had the iconic red velvet hot cakes/pancakes , you cannot die happy or satisfied and enter into whatever after world you believe in.

You know how on cooking shows often feature food critics that offer nothing but hostile and blank faces as they chew and before they can even indicate whether or not it's divine or deathly, the video producer barks from his tall canvas chair, "QUE THE AD BREAK!" Well, after the ad break, they use frivolous and fancy words, strange analogies and spin antidotes like, "oh it just melts in your mouth!" Well, in actuality the pancakes did.


My vegetarian companion (bless her humanitarian intentions) ordered the pumpkin salad with beetroot, fetta, tomato and pine nuts. Which, not be overshadowed by the pancakes, was refreshing and very filling!

310 Wattle St, Ultimo NSW 2007

AMBIANCE: 4/5 (exposed brick and piping)
COFFEE: 4/5 (great value)

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