29 November 2013

Must Have. Lanvin Illustrated Playing Cards

Ok maybe it's a little over the top, but I ask you, who wouldn't want a set of Lanvin playing cards? So much cooler than your regular deck.

The deck comes in a fashionable little design box and the cards are printed with lavish fashion illustrations by Alber Elbas. I would be utterly satisfied to sit at home and play patience with these little beauties [while reading my vogue and sipping my martini].

Lanvin, $72 Shop here

Photos courtesy of Lanvin

27 November 2013

Eat Me. Spring, Brisbane

It's been a while since my last food review, I think I've been that flat strap with work, exercising [read here] and life in general that I've just not been eating out. But after my Brisbane weekend at the polo I had the perfect excuse to head out to breakfast. We ended up at Spring in the city a restaurant, cafe and bar serving brunch, lunch and dinner. They even do cooking classes!

Tucked away at the edge of the city at the corner of Felix and Mary, Spring has a chic farmhouse vibe with a bit of French provincial mixed in. The decor and layout is really lovely with a beautiful big kitchen and bar reminiscent of a country home, lovely big tables with comfy chairs and wooden accents. It's really very nice.

I nearly ordered 'The Rancher' from their breakfast menu (essentially bacon and eggs) before I found out it didn't come with toast. Hence I switched to just regular bacon and eggs (it's not on the menu but just ask) with a side of hash brown, and not just any hash brown mind you this is like a pattie with bits of bacon in it. It was pretty delicious. [Sorry about the picture again, I was so hungry I dove in before remembering to take a picture... I know, I know, I do it a lot!]

After glancing over their dinner menu I'd really like to go back there, the food looks lovely. Their pork rack with coconut caramel and sweet potato particularly caught my eye. Doesn't that sound delicious? The roast barramundi with scallops also sounds great as do a number of their other seafood dishes. Guess I might need to book another weekend up there. Why not? 4/5

Where: Corner of Felix and Mary Streets, Brisbane QLD 4000
Bookings: essential for dinner
Phone: (07) 3229 0460

Photos by Krissie and Spring.

Spring on Urbanspoon

25 November 2013

One Day. Paspaley Polo in the City

Green fields, white tents, champagne flutes, pimms cocktails, handsome fellows and of course horses. This is what I had in mind for my first trip to the polo.... and I certainly wasn't disappointed.

I attended Paspaley's Polo in the City in Brisbane over the weekend and had such a great time.  Off to Doomben Racecourse I went with my friends, in our feminine style dresses, optional hats and wedges [these are a must have, you don't want to stomp divets in heels]. We arrived to find the game in full swing with horses galloping up and down the field and the riders adeptly swinging what look like large hockey sticks to hit a ball into a goal. Essentially it's a bit like hockey on horses. I was amazed at their skill; to control the horse and have accurate aim whilst attacking and defending. Having never watched polo before I really loved it and it's now definitely my preference to horse racing.

We spent the day sipping pimms, popping bottles of champagne, posing for photos by the white picket fence and running out onto the field to stomp the divets (this is a tradition to repair the dug up bits of grass at half time). By the end of the day I was feeling very British and I'm so glad this English activity is becoming more prominent here in Australia.

That's me 2nd from the left. Dress by Lipsy, Glasses by Dolce & Gabbana

Thanks for putting on a great day Paspaley. I'm looking forward to next year's event already.

Photos by Krissie.

If you haven't already, don't forget to enter my summer giveaway, there is a great prize pack up for grabs. Click here to enter.

22 November 2013

One Day. The Perfect Exercise Regime

My exercise habits are as flippant as my fashion choices i.e., very whimsical. I'll go 3 months without lifting a finger runner-shoe and then something will kick-in and I'll be all gung-ho Michelle Bridges for 3 months. Then the cycle starts again. Needless to say for 6 months of the year I'm either very busy and feeling toned or full of spare time and a little spare flesh.

I'm currently in the midst of my Michelle Bridges phase, nearing the 3-month mark and I'm feeling good [maybe I'll last a little longer this time!]. I need a range of things to keep me entertained so my weekly exercise regime currently consists of a mixture of running, swimming laps, playing tennis, roller-blading [this is my lazy day option], yoga, pilates and even some Zumba on the wii [I don't usually admit to this one, I'm sure my neighbour thinks I look like a maniac in my lounge room thrusting my hips and pumping my legs].

Like the typical Gemini I am I can't do one thing for too long and need an eclectic mixture of things to keep me entertained. This is probably why I never exactly mastered one particular sport, I'm just average [or quite terrible] at a range of things. But I am pleasantly surprised at how quickly my fitness has come back and I do still feel like I improve each week. So if you're just getting back into exercise don't fret when your first run has you sweating like a pig and panting like a sexed-up panther; it gets easier I promise! Each week I see the same people out and about and in the beginning I took comfort in knowing they too were slogging it out sharing my pain "oh god my feet hurt, I think my calf is cramping, I can't breath" and I'm fairly certain the people in the pool lanes next to me could hear me moaning under water with each breath. But now I'm more content to know that they too share my desire to be fit and healthy; it's much easier to think this way once exercising isn't so difficult. I have to say a big thank you to my friends at work for being my fitness inspiration, these two girls are fitness nuts [in the best way possible] and are always so healthy and active. I think they've rubbed off on me a little, for which I'm very grateful.

If you haven't already, don't forget to enter my summer giveaway, there is a great prize pack up for grabs. Click here to enter.

Photo courtesy of Dianatrn

20 November 2013

Style It. Black, White & Neon

 Dress by Kookai, Clutch by Zara, Necklace by Equip

Last weekend marked the start of Christmas celebrations in my world... it was my work Christmas party; which in laymen's terms actually means lots of champagne, dance floor moves, no carols and the occasional bon bon.

We had a great evening at the casino in a rather swish function room. The theme was black, white and neon. So amongst all the fashion savvy people I work with I thought it was time to whip out my favourite dress. This little number is body-bon style with a scooped back and a sheer silk train that drapes from the waist. I finished off my outfit with this gold chain necklace my [very] neon bag (love this one from Zara) and if you look closely you can see my bright green nails.

If you haven't already, don't forget to enter my summer giveaway, there is a great prize pack up for grabs. Click here to enter.

Photos by Krissie.

18 November 2013

One Day. Summer Giveaway

 photo summergiveaway_zps681a595b.jpg

It's that time again.... when I get together a pretty awesome prize pack and share it with you lovely people so you have the chance to win. In other words... a giveaway!

This time it's to celebrate the approaching summer season; my personal favourite time of year; sunshiny days, warm water, sunbleached hair, cold drinks, tanned skin and great music. What's not to love?

Enter here for your chance to win this little prize pack I've put together. Valued at over $360, it includes a White Bohemian beach dress, jewellery from LJC designs and a summer make-over with Erin Gallienne to get you ready for beach bonfires and midnight parties, swimming at dawn and partying til the sun comes up.

15 November 2013

Must Have. Preya Pumps, Siren Shoes

Preya Pumps, Siren Shoes $129.95

I do love a good pump [before your mind runs away with you I am referring to the shoe]. This pair from Siren Shoes are classic in shape but just outlandish enough in design that they caught my eye! I love the contrast of the dark with metallic and then the pop of lemon. A great shoe for tackling the day in style with an "I-mean-serious-fashion-business" attitude. I'm feeling pencil skirts, sleek dresses and slim-leg cropped capris with these little babys.

Photo courtesy of Siren Shoes

13 November 2013

Plate Up. Homemade Graham Crackers

Whilst in America last year I discovered so many different foods I really loved. To me, their supermarkets were fascinating and full of so many things we don't have here; pop tarts, eggs [I know we have those but theirs are kept in the fridge!], so many cereals, individually wrapped sticks of butter... and.... graham crackers. My new favourite biscuit. If you haven't had the pleasure of trying them before they are a wholemeal honey flavoured biscuit not overly sweet but not savoury either. They are often used as the bases for cheesecakes or to make smores. Delicious. I got a New York Cookbook over the weekend and to my delight there was a recipe for making them at home [plus lots of other delicious ideas like a peanut butter smoothie, I can guarantee I'll be putting plenty of recipes up in the coming months!].

What you'll need:
60g butter, softened
115g brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 2/3 cups wholemeal flour

What to do:
Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and creamy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, honey and milk. In a third bowl, combine the baking powder, salt and flour. Now add the egg mixture to the butter mixture alternatively with the dry ingredients until you have a smooth dough. Form the dough into a bowl and cover loosely with glad wrap. Refrigerate for an hour and a half.

Preheat your oven to 180C and divide the dough into two balls. On a lined baking tray, roll out one ball so it's nice and thin, about 2mm thick. Using a pastry knife, score the rolled out dough into 16 rectangles of the same size. And then using the tip of the knife make the lines of little holes on the biscuits (this is what makes graham crackers recognisable).

Bake for about 15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden and crispy. As soon as they're out of the oven separate them with your knife following the marks you made before cooking. Allow to cool on a rack. Repeat with your second ball of dough.

11 November 2013

Style It. Retro head scarf

Scarf by Sportsgirl, Top by CLEO + Billabong, shorts by Zara

I was rummaging through my closet over the weekend, on the premise that I was giving it a good clean-out... what I was actually doing was finding things and thinking "oh I forgot I had that, I can wear it with [fill in the blanks], I can't possibly throw it away!".

This scarf was one of those items, I completely forgot I had it from a forgotten purchase sometime in high school. Cue finding a new way to style it and feeling great for coming up with a new idea. I swear creating something new from something existing in my wardrobe gives me an unnatural high, then I'll wear whatever it is to death for a few weeks before moving onto something else. Probably the Gemini in me coming out; intense fascination > over it.

What do you think of this style? I like to think I'm bringing retro back.

Photos by Krissie.

8 November 2013

One Day. Closet full of clothes... nothing to wear

I get up everyday and spend a good 5 minutes staring mindlessly into my wardrobe; "So many clothes but nothing to wear. Why did I buy all of this? I need something new." I'm sure you can relate.

I read once that when a woman says "I've got nothing to wear" what she really means is "there's nothing here for the person I am supposed to be today".

I couldn't agree more.

My love of fashion started at a very early age; I can remember running my hands over clothing racks in department stores, trying on pretty frilly dresses [that I could never wear unless I was a flower girl at a wedding] and flicking through endless magazines to see who's style I could emulate. Throughout primary school it was probably whoever wore the most pink, moving into middle school I had a fascination with Mischa Barton from The OC and Cher from Clueless, then there was Kate Moss, Nicole Richie, Olivia Palermo,  Blake Lively and, more recently, Millie Macintosh and Miranda Kerr.

Photo via Flickr

I did the corporate life fresh out of school and that wasn't all that exciting with my white shirts and black skirts, then there was a couple of years in hospo which caused me to swear off black pants for life. Now that I work in fashion I can really wear whatever I like yet I still wake up each day wondering what on earth to pull out of my wardrobe. Each day I get up with a new vision in mind of how I should look to represent a certain idea. Prime example; the Matt Corby concert I went to a few weeks ago. In my mind I'm thinking I want to dress like an edgy/hippy groupie; think baggy, boots, bohemian. Trouble is that it's not really my everyday style so I didn't have many outfit options to cater to that 'look'. Trigger the "I have nothing to wear" bemoaning.

Over the years I've gone through preppy, classic, urban, edgy and casual chic. My style is constantly changing and evolving, but that's ok, because what is fashion for, if not for expressing your ever-changing self!

6 November 2013

Must Have. Fashion Insiders Guide Book Set

These gorgeous books are on my Christmas wishlist [really and truly, I've actually already requested them for secret santa]. Written by French Vogue's Carole Sabas, this book set explores the best restaurants, bars, shops, hotels and even places to exercise in New York and Paris. This hard-backed duo truly is a must have for lovers of the big apple and the city of love because as we all know, a local always has the best advice.

Featuring gorgeous illustrations and bound in matte satin, these books have covers with original artwork by designer Calla Haynes (I think NY's is very fitting the yellow reminds me of the cabs bustling down 5th ave). A great Christmas pressie idea for lovers of fashion, travel and big city lights.

Photos courtesy of Net-A-Porter

4 November 2013

Plate Up. Lemon Meringue Pie

Over the years I've grown up hearing about how amazing my grandma's lemon meringue pie was; my uncle had a particular hankering for it I'm told. Unfortunately I never got to try it myself [I'm sure it was delicious, she was a wonderful cook] but I thought it was about time I gave my own recipe a go and see how well I could make the dish that perfectly walks the line between sweet and tart. Result? Delicious and a very attractive dish if you ask me.

Note: This one needs to be made ahead of time as you need to factor in 3 hours for it to set in the fridge, so don't plan to whip it up for your dinner guests as they walk in the door.

What you'll need
1 sheet shortcrust pastry
lemon curd
1 cup milk
1 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup cornflour
1/2 milk, extra
80g butter, chopped
2/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon ring
6 egg yolks
the 6 remaining egg whites
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar

What to do
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease a pie tin and line with the pastry ensuring you cover right up the edges as shortcrust tends to shrink back. Prick the base with a fork and line with baking paper and baking weights. Blind bake for 15 minutes then remove the weights and paper and cook for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, make your curd by dissolving your sugar and milk in a saucepan over medium heat, make sure you stir it continuously. Place the cornflour and milk in a bowl and stir to combine then add this mixture into the saucepan. Bring this to the boil and then reduce the heat to low. Add the butter and whisk until melted and combined. Add the lemon juice, rind and egg yolks and whisk for 5 minutes or until thickened. Make sure you don't leave this alone as your mixture can curdle. Spoon the lemon mixture into your pastry case and refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.

When your curd is set, make your meringue. Place the egg whites into a bowl with the vinegar and start beating. Gradually add in the sugar. Continue beating until all the sugar is added and the mixture is stiff and glossy. (The remaining 6 egg whites will likely make too much meringue but I chose to use them rather than waste them, if you have left over meringue make up some mini pavs and bake them on a lined tray in a 150 degree oven for 45 minutes. Bonus!) Spoon the meringue on top of the curd [artfully, with plenty of whisps] and place under a hot grill for 1-2 minutes or until browned.

Photos by Krissie

1 November 2013

Must Have. 2014 Diaries

Well it's that time of year again! The hunt for the perfect 2014 diary begins. I've always been a lover of stationary and given the right opportunity [and wallet] I could spend countless hours and dollars on books, pens, pencils, organisers and calendars. Because honestly, who doesn't love a pretty desk? It makes the working day so much more enjoyable.

For those stationary lovers like me, I've made the hunt a little easier for you by compiling my shortlist for the best diaries for 2014.

Now this is my ultimate diary. It's New York themed and features gorgeous sketchy designs. It's a week-to-view (the best in my opinion!) and has monthly calendars. It also has a section on travel information (essential for the fashionable jetsetter) complete with world map and train maps for all the major cities in the world. And if that hasn't convinced you, it's from the gorgeous Henri Bendel. Need I say more?

For those who love to be organised AND stylish this is the diary for you. This all-in-one planner includes a diary, monthly calendars, card sleeves, expenses section, pen and removable ruler all encased in a gorgeous mint leather bind with gold foil details. Tackle your day in style.

I'm really loving this sporty dairy, the idea that 2014 is "my year to move, nourish, believe" is rather inspiring. I feel like I'd get a buzz everytime I looked at my schedule, good move Lorna. This diary includes colourful inspiring graphics, monthly planners that include a workout schedule (e.g. March is abs, follow the guide for a six pack), there are recipes for when you're searching for a healthy meal idea plus there's plenty of space to write and even allotted spaces for goals. It really has everything.

A simple design but for those of us who like to keep life streamlined and no-fuss you can't go past this lemon leather diary. Complete with monthly calendars [to plan holidays] and expense pages [to buy shoes]. Available in a range of colours.

Mi Goals is calling it a daily organiser, goal keeper and motivational speaker... sounds pretty good to me. Week-to-view, goal setting pages, weekly goals/good habits section to keep you on track and there's also a monthly budget page; this diary also features inspiring quotes throughout; "dream big".

Photos courtesy of Henri Bendel, Kikki K, Lorna Jane and Mi Goals.