28 June 2013

Must Have. Agent Provocateur Mazzy Swimsuit

I'm not usually one for bright clashing colours or cut-out swimsuits but there's something about this Agent Provocateur piece that I really love! It think it's because it reminds me of summer days, sunshine and lollipops. A great statement swimsuit, but not so sure about functionality; can you image the tan lines? At least it will keep me dreaming of summer throughout the next few months. $420. Shop here.

Photo by Agent Provocateur

Don't forget Pearls 1st Birthday competition is currently running! Click here to enter.

26 June 2013

Eat Me. Pigs and Pints, Chevron Island

I found myself at Pigs and Pints on the weekend by default, but boy am I glad that I did. It all started when a girlfriend who was up from Melbourne suggested dinner plans. Perfect, I thought we’d head to Samphire Bites which I’ve been meaning to try; it’s a tapas place on Chevron that is generating a lot of hype. But when I called to book I was informed that I’d just missed them; their last night was Friday because they’re moving to a larger space in Broadbeach (will definitely be visiting them there!). Anyway the cheerful fellow on the phone told me I’d got through to Pigs and Pints which was previously next door to Samphire and was now taking over their space as well. “Very good,” I said, “book us a table.”

I arrived not really knowing what to expect but I’d had a quick look at their menu on their website and it looked pretty good. Burgers and beer you can’t go wrong. (Anyone who knows me will know I’m guilty of doing this with every restaurant I visit, to the extent that I’ll actually pick my meal before I get there!).

Before I launch into how amazing it was, let me tell you just how excited I am to have found this little gem on the Gold Coast. I had such a great night! Firstly, we ordered cocktails which were pretty darn amazing. I had the ‘where’s my pancakes’ which has scotch, maple syrup, lemon and ginger ale; it was so delicious and not like anything I’d tasted before so full marks for originality. Our waiters were also really lovely and gave us great, friendly service.

The setup here is super cute; everyone gets a little chalkboard menu, your drinks come in jars, your water glasses are beer steins and your plate is a rustic-looking tile. Really cool and the food is amazing! We ordered a selection of little burgers which come out served in a wooden box, it’s beyond divine, you have to see it! Each burger is only about 3 mouthfuls but they sure are delectable ones! I had the crispy beef and the thai salmon which were both so yummy and full of flavour. I also had a little side of coleslaw. This, plus my cocktail, was enough to fill me up but I can’t wait to try the rest of the menu. Plus, not only is it delicious, it’s cheap! Each burger is $5 and the sides are $2.5; these include various salads, chips, potato gems, etc. Admittedly, I’m not a huge, hungry, burly man, however even if you devoured 4 burgers and 2 sides I’d say a delicious feed for $25 is really great.

I cannot express to you enough how much you should visit this little place. It opened this year in January and I’m so glad I discovered it because really, up until now, I wouldn’t have ever known it was there.

So go forth, enjoy! But I hope you all don’t make it too busy that I can’t get a seat because I’ll be back this week for sure. Happy to announce this is my first ever 5/5. Cheers to Pigs and Pints.

Where: 54 Thomas Drive, Chevron Island QLD 4217
Bookings: recommended
Phone: (07) 5504 6404

Photos by Krissie

Pigs and Pints on Urbanspoon

24 June 2013

One Day. Happy 1st Birthday to Pearls

 One year on and I can’t believe I’ve been sharing my inner-most thoughts, favourite recipes, travel tips, restaurant reviews, must have items and, most recently, my style with you beautiful readers for nearly 1 year. Pearls will be celebrating it’s first birthday on 23rd July. It’s been a real pleasure thus far and I’m learning so much about blogging, and even myself, everyday. Plus it’s fantastic to see Pearls’ audience continuing to build and I hope it continues to do so each and every day.

Now, for those of you who know me, you’ll know that I’m not one to let a birthday slip by without a celebration! After all, we only get one each year so we owe it to ourselves to make the most of it! So hip hip hooray, happy birthday Pearls! And to celebrate here’s a little gift for you, my beautiful readers...
A giveaway!

Simply enter here and one special reader will win a beautiful jewellery package worth $238.95. The pack includes Nat Kent Jewellery's beautiful Triple Trillion necklace (I think it's such an amazing statement necklace), a Mala Set from Story of Seven (these have such a great ethnic vibe) and a dainty little moonstone bracelet from Violet Gray design that's said to boost serenity and calmness. These are all stunning designs from Gold Coast businesses and I hope you love them as much as I do! A big big thank you to the sponsors for providing these delightful goodies: Nat Kent Jewellery, Story of Seven and Violet Gray Design. The competition is now open and will close on 21st July so be sure to get your entries in.

Photos by Krissie.

21 June 2013

Style It. If surprised go for smart casual

Jeans by Bebe, Knit by Supre, Necklace by Bojangles, Shoes by Sportsgirl

My lovely boyfriend took me out to dinner this week. It was a surprise and I didn't know where we were going which has two contrasting effects: one, love surprises, so exciting; two, not knowing what to expect means trouble planning an outfit!

I didn't want to spoil the surprise by asking where we were going so I figured I'd go smart casual with this outfit. After all, who can go wrong with smart casual? These are my favourite black jeans from Bebe that I bought whilst in New York last year; they are just the right amount of skinny and with perfect stretch. The top is from Supre [would you believe] I grabbed it on my lunchbreak this week, anyone who knows me knows I can't resist a comfy knit and this was a great price to boot. I especially love the olive/army green colour which looks so great with black. And the necklace is from Bojangles, a boutique Gold Coast company who has some great jewels.

Photos by Krissie

19 June 2013

Plate Up. Apple & Rhubarb Pie

This little pie is another recipe I made whilst spending my weekend at my Dad’s country Victorian farm. From his bountiful veggie garden I was able to pick a lovely bunch of rhubarb and what better way to use it than in an apple and rhubarb pie. I made miniature pies in a small pie maker for convenience, however it would be beautiful as one large oven baked pie. This recipe makes 4 small pies or 1 large one.

What you’ll need
1 bunch rhubarb
2 apples
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup orange juice
½ teaspoon mixed spice
2 sheets shortcrust pastry

What to do
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare the rhubarb by washing it well and peeling off the outside stringy layers, then cut into 2cm pieces. Chop your apples into small segments. Place the rhubarb, apples, sugar, vanilla, juice and mixed spice into a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes until the fruit is tender and combined.

If you’re making a large pie then whilst you’re cooking your fruit, line a pie tin with shortcrust pastry and blind bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and then fill the pie tin with your fruit mixture and place the other sheet of pastry over the top. Brush with egg wash and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden. (Otherwise, use your mini pie maker and line with pastry and cook for 4 minutes or until golden.)

Serve as desired with custard, cream or ice-cream. Delicious.

Photos by Krissie.

If you like this recipe you might also like my spinach and ricotta ravioli or my mini quiches.

17 June 2013

Must Have. Marc by Marc Jacobs 3D iPhone 5 case

Now that I've finally joined the iPhone brigade I feel like I'm permanently on the hunt for the perfect case. I like the metallic tone of this one with it's mottled 3D foil appearance. Just the right amount of bling. $45. Shop here.

Photo by Marc Jacobs

14 June 2013

One Day. Gold Coast Bloggers Picnic

My Date Loaf

Julie's Chocolate Crunch

Blogging can be quite a solitary activity so it's nice when you come across some other fellow writers from your neck of the woods, i.e., the Gold Coast. Bloggers in the area seem to be few and far between, which was why it was fantastic to meet some fellow blogging companions last weekend at the Gold Coast Bloggers Picnic.

Despite the rain we weren't deterred from our get together in Burleigh, where I met 3 great food writers from southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales: Julie from Gourmet Getaways, Maureen from Orgasmic Chef and Marj from Good Food Gold Coast. Julie combines her travels and love of food into inspiring posts, Maureen is on a never ending quest to find food that is better than sex and Marj reviews local Gold Coast restaurants (so we had plenty of places to talk about!).

Now I know as the younger generation I'm supposed to know all there is to know about technology, but I have to tell you, boy did these ladies have a thing or two to teach me! There is so much to know about growing and developing a blog, maintaining your brand and enticing your audience. Not to mention all the technical aspects that go along with having a website and I was astonished at how much they knew and had to share with me.

We had a delightful morning talking blogs, food and the life of a writer over champagne and orange juice. I brought my favourite date loaf and Julie made a delightful chocolate crunch. The ladies were so helpful and I'm proud to say I walked away from the meeting with some wonderful new acquaintances, a head full of knowledge and an inspired heart, so I thank you ladies!

I'm looking forward to the next get together.

Photos courtesy of Julie Gourmet Getaways

12 June 2013

Eat Me. Black Coffee Lyrics, Surfers Paradise

 Tempura Zucchini Flowers

Crumbed prawns with coconut jelly

Cheese plate

For a long time, Surfers Paradise has had a stigma attached to it; party central, where you’ll find the drunks, lacking culture… But as a local Gold Coaster I’m proud to say that Surfers might just be turning itself around for everytime I visit (which is becoming more often) there is a new place to eat, drink [or be merry] that is actually pretty great. One of those places is Black Coffee Lyrics, no negative stigma to be found here. It’s one of those places where you’ll walk in and feel so chuffed for finding a little gem in your neighbourhood!

This quaint little café is tucked away upstairs in an old mall above Orchid Avenue and has the feel of a country cottage/local bar/abandoned library. The venue is only small but it boasts live music on weekends, a bar that makes delicious cocktails, yummy yummy food and a great atmosphere. For those of you who adore Melbourne like me, you may even think you’re in Victoria’s great city, because this little bar/café is full of the swag and culture you’ll find in Richmond and St Kilda.

I’ve visited a couple of times now and have always had a great night here, whether it be the ‘beginning place’ for the night to have a drink before heading out, or the main venue itself for dinner and cocktails. The last time I visited was with a friend on a Friday night where we indulged in a few pinots and shared some delectable plates of food.

There’s plenty of variety on the Black Coffee Lyrics menu, you’ll find lots of Gen Y staples such as burgers and pizzas but there’s also a great selection of wholesome food with a modern twist. The menu is broken up into 3 sections: small bites, medium bites and large bites so all you really have to do is define how hungry you are; simple!

My friend and I ordered the tempura zuchinni flowers, crumbed prawns served on coconut jelly and the cheese plate; a perfect selection for grazing whilst gossiping. The tempura zuchinni flowers were really delightful with a crunchy outside and delicious filling. Onto the prawns and these were great too, the coconut jelly really is quite the flavour sensation when combined with the chilli jam. Finally the cheese platter, which was nice although I probably wouldn’t order it again as it lacked a few good old water crackers which are so necessary when munching on cheese.

All in all, Black Coffee Lyrics is a great place that the Gold Coast can be proud to boast as its own. This swanky bar truly does have a city feel making it a great place to visit when you want to escape the GC. I’ll definitely be back again. 4/5.

Where: opposite Waxy's Irish Pub, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217
Bookings: recommended
Phone: 0402 189 437

Photos by Krissie

Black Coffee Lyrics on Urbanspoon

10 June 2013

Plate Up. Tomato Soup

Back in April, on ANZAC Day weekend I found myself in country Victoria at my Dad’s farm. It’s such a beautiful time of year in that area when the sun shines and the days still hold a hint of warmth despite the cold snap that approaches. At the farm there is a bountiful veggie garden and it just so happened that that weekend there were about two dozen tomatoes ripe for the picking that needed to be used. So what better way to enjoy them than to make a rustic country tomato soup? Perfect to warm the soul during the cold days this winter.

What you’ll need
Olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
300g potatoes, chopped into 2cm pieces
600g tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoon tomato paste
3 cups chicken stock
Sour cream
Fresh basil

What to do
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and add onion and garlic over a medium heat. Cook until soft and add the tomatoes, potatoes and paste. Cook for 1 minute. Then add the stock and season well. Cover and bring to the boil before simmering for 15 – 20 minutes or until the potato is tender.

Cool, and blend the soup in batches until smooth. Return to the saucepan to heat through and then serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with basil leaves.

If you like this recipe you might also like my Potato and Leek Soup, it's my personal favourite!

Photos by Krissie

7 June 2013

Must Have. Isabel Marant Galix Embroidered Jeans

This style of patterned white jean is sure to become a coveted style. They feature snaking cream embroidery and studded pockets for a little extra detail. I’d wear them with a cropped jacket and jewelled sandals or strapy heels. A chic upgrade from your basic pair of white jeans. A little extravagance for $555. Shop Here.

Photo by Isabel Marant

5 June 2013

Style It. French at sea style


Jeans by Refuge Denim, Top by Living Doll, Shoes by Steve Madden

I like to dedicate that time before you fall asleep each night to planning tomorrow’s outfit. Which means every night I must hop into bed with a mental wardrobe inventory, a weather forecast and tomorrow’s day planner because who can plan the perfect outfit without these crucial bits of information?

The evening prior to wearing this outfit I went to bed knowing I didn’t have anything new to wear but everything was washed and ironed, the weather was going to a little on the nippy side but not cold enough for winter gear, and I’d be spending my day half at my desk and half sorting through new season clothes at work. What does that equal = this French/just-stepped-off-a-boat inspired outfit.

Nothing new here; I’ve had the white jeans for a couple of seasons (I’ve just cuffed them for a different look) and this top is actually from a few years ago. I love the top for its nautical/French fusion and I’m coveting wearing white jeans while the weather is still warm. Pair with ballet flats for simple and chic.

Photos by Krissie.

3 June 2013

One Day. ELLE Magazine Australia Launch

My goodies bag. The cupcake was delicious! 

It was back in February now that I posted about the impending (re)launch of an Australian ELLE magazine; a few months on and excitingly enough, through my new job, I was invited to attend the Queensland launch of the title.

So off to Brisbane I went for my first visit to the suave Eagle Street Pier dining precinct. After much confusion thanks to the one-way streets, an over-full carpark and a broken ticket machine, I finally made my way to Pony, the venue for the launch. This restaurant has a spectacular view from the upper level over looking the river and the story bridge so it was befitting of the launch of Australia’s ‘sexy and smart’ new title.

I was in great company at the launch and spoke to the likes of Bauer Media staff, various faces of Brisbane fashion and I even got a quick word in with Justine Cullen, ELLE’s editor.

A bit of a history on ELLE. Australia did have it’s own title a few decades ago before it was taken out of circulation. Originally, the magazine was created by Russian-born, Paris raised Hélène Lazareff in 1945; her approach was to create a magazine for strong, independent women. Nearly 70 years on, the title now boasts 43 editions in 28 languages and is the world’s number one selling fashion title.

Justine says our Aussie ELLE will be authoritative but friendly with chic ideas and moving writing. She says being stylish is more than just what you wear so she’s creating a title that will be sexy and smart. What a perfect combination!

I think there’s such a gap in the Australian magazine market with nothing lying between the sex-prone Cosmo and the extreme fashion of Vogue. So with the perfect blend of fashion and fun that ELLE promises, I can’t wait to get my hands on the September issue!

Hello ELLE, we’ve been waiting for you.

Photos by Krissie and Pony dining.