30 December 2013

One Day. 2013 In Review

Is it really that time again? Every year I can't believe how fast the time goes. I barely get into the swing of thinking it's 2013 [I'm usually still writing the wrong year date right through til September] before it's over again and onto the next. Here's a look back at a few of the top news stories from 2013...

The Boston Marathon bombing. We got ourselves a new pope. Apple released its newest iPhone models. The death of Nelson Mandela. Typhoon Haiyan hits the Philippines. Miley's Twerking [it had to be mentioned]. Kate and Will's royal baby. The death of Paul Walker. America's government shutdown.

Here are my top picks from Pearls for 2013. Click on the links below.

One Day. Damn Oswald. This cyclone was certainly one to remember.
Must Have. Top Ten Coffee Table Books. For a super stylish home.
Style It. Sequin Shorts + Michael Kors Hamilton. My love affair with this bag.
Suitcase. How to tackle carry-on luggage. If you can master this it will change your life, I promise.
Eat Me. Miss Jackson, Melbourne. It may have just been a simple little breakfast, but I really loved this place.
Plate Up. Date Loaf. This one's definitely a keeper.

Wishing you all a very happy new year, may 2014 bring much happiness, success and good health to us all.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

27 December 2013

Must Have. Activewear

Seems everyone is jumping on the activewear band wagon this year. It's hard to find a brand that hasn't embraced the fitness trend and created their own range. I'm sure it's making Lorna Jane a little nervous that her market-share will shrink but I'm all for the diversity, I think it's great to see how different brands interpret activewear. Here are a few of the ranges I'm keeping my eye on.

Think easy-wear basics in plain block colours. I love how their range includes some accessories too like drink bottles and yoga mats.

I'm loving this range from Billabong in its simple palette of black, white and nectarine. There is a great range of items to take you from gym to beach run to post-workout smoothie date. Block colours are mixed with tropical patterns.

Another surf brand to have embraced the activewear trend, Roxy has designed this little collection of exercise essentials.

Good old Bonds, you can't go past them for comfort and I'm sure their activewear range is no different. A variety of block colours with their iconic logo bands.

Photos courtesy of Sportsgirl, Billabong, Roxy and Bonds.

25 December 2013

One Day. Merry Christmas

I hope you're having a wonderful day with your nearest and dearest sipping plenty of champagne and, in my case, gorging on seafood, after all it really is too hot here to enjoy a roast!

Christmas really is my favourite time of year it's so lovely to see everyone so jolly, sharing gifts, spending quality time and being kind to one another (love ya Ellen).

Merry Christmas to all x

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening, in the lane snow is glistening....

23 December 2013

Style It. How to make a flower crown

It must have been 12 months ago now that images started to emerge of girls with huge floral garlands in there hair [oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair]. These fashion forward chicks were seen at festivals, weddings and photoshoots. By now the trend is well and truly mainstream so I thought I'd give you a little tutorial on how to make your own. When I went to embrace the "flowers-in-my-hair" trend a few months back I couldn't really find what I was after. That's when I decided to make my own and trust me it's really really simple and cheaper too.

You'll need a packet of florist metal twine (I got mine from Spotlight for a couple of dollars), a selection of your favourite artificial flowers (make sure they have wire stems as you're going to wrap them and they'll need to hold their place) and a pair of sharp pliers.

Take four pieces of the twine from your packet and twist them round each other in pairs so you're left with two entwined lengths. Then shaping these to fit your head, overlap the ends and wrap them together so it all joins together in a circle. Don't worry if it's not perfect by the time it's covered with your flowers you won't see any imperfections just make sure it fits well on your head.

Now for the fun part... placing your flowers. If you want a big crown like this one, my suggestion would be to go for a mixture of large and small flowers; that way they fit together nicely and you won't end up with any spaces. Pick a feature bloom like my red one to place off centre; you don't want it to look too placed. Then alternate colours and sizes. Attach the flowers by holding the head of the flower in place and gently wrapping the stalk around your crown base. You'll need to make sure you get your first couple of wraps nice and tight then trim off the excess stem with your pliers. You could also go for a row of small simple flowers or even a cluster just on one side. The options are endless.

Now off you go to skip through the grass fields in your white dress whilst strumming your guitar!

Photos by Krissie

20 December 2013

Summer Must Haves.

Beach days, 30 + temperatures, iced drinks and healthy tans. Summer is well and truly here. To celebrate my favourite season of the year I thought I ought to share with you my must have items for summer.

First, every girl needs a summer maxi dress. I selected this flowing tropical number from Witchery, it makes me think of summer sun and palm trees and can easily be worn dressed up with wedges and jewels or dressed down with sandals.

Next, to keep your hair looking beachy fresh you'll need some sea salt texturising spray. Perfect for keeping your locks looking tousled and beach-ready. Scrunch in for a messy updo or leave your tresses down and untamed.

Next, for the shoe of summer? Wedges of course. These are probably my favourite shoe style, so versatile and, bonus, you get a heel without the discomfort! This pair could easily be worn at night or dressed down during the day with a pair of denim shorts. Summer chic.

No summer holiday is complete without some good reading material. There's nothing I enjoy more than lying at the beach or by the pool and whiling the hours away with a good book. Currently at the top of my reading list is this biography on the ice-queen of the fashion world, American Vogue editor Anna Wintour. I think I'm in for an interesting read.

Number five? A bikini of course, you can't enjoy the sunshine, beach days and swims without the perfect kini. This one is definitely on my wishlist. You've got to love Missoni's iconic prints. [Psst if it's too pricey I hear Seafolly has a similar design.]

And finally you're going to need some tanning oil to ensure you finish off the season with perfectly bronzed skin. Reef Oil now does a product with 30+SPF so you can tan without the worry. Invest immediately!

What are your must haves for this Summer?

Photo by Krissie.

18 December 2013

Plate Up. Homemade Iced Coffee

Now that the weather's warming up I can't bring myself to enjoy my usual hot beverages without breaking into a sweat (unless I'm in my office sipping tea thanks to the arctic air-conditioning in my building!). Funnily enough I don't really drink coffee all that often yet I do enjoy it iced. Here's my perfect recipe for a refreshing caffeine hit this summer.

What you'll need
1-2 teaspoons instant coffee (depending on how strong you like it)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Cadbury's drinking chocolate powder
200ml milk
handful ice cubes

What to do
Brew your coffee in boiling water (if you have an espresso machine then by all means use it to make your shot) then add the sugar and chocolate powder and stir. Top up with milk and plop in your ice cubes. So simple and so delicious.

Photo by Krissie

16 December 2013

Plate Up. Gingerbread Men

Have a holly jolly Christmas, it's the best time of the year!

Here's the perfect recipe to spread some Christmas cheer this season. I made up this batch to take into work and my little gingerbread men were met with plenty of smiles and ooh's and aah's. These little guys are such a great holiday tradition and I love that fact that you can cut and decorate them however you like. I made a mixture of men and Christmas trees and decorated them with piped icing and smarties.

What you'll need
125g butter, room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 golden syrup1 egg, separated
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
150g icing sugar
Smarties to decorate

What to do
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line and grease two baking trays. Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined. Stir in the sifted flour, ginger, mixed spice and bi-carb. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Press dough into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest.

Meanwhile place the egg white in a clean, dry bowl. Use an electric beat to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat again until stiff peaks form. Make sure you take your time here otherwise your icing will be too runny. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until nice and thin (about 4mm). Use a 9cm gingerbread cutter and any other shapes you like to cut out the dough. Place on the trays and repeat with any excess dough. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Place your icing into a piping bag and draw on your faces. You can even do some clothes if you're feeling especially daring. Use dollops of icing to stick on the smartie buttons. Don't worry if the icing appears runny at first, it will set so just leave it to 'dry'.

Photos by Krissie.

13 December 2013

Must Have. Daisy Knights Jewellery

This talented jewellery designer is a friend of a friend. I came across her website last week and got lost in time browsing through her gorgeous designs. I had to refrain from spending far too many dollars. The young designer has had great success since launching her collection with the likes of Cara Delevingne and Alexa Chung wearing her jewels [hello major fashion royalty!]. Vogue calls her designs "masculine and modern, but with a classic sensibility," I think that just about sums them up perfectly. Check out a few of my favourites below. These are definitely on my Christmas wishlist.

Daisy Knights jewellery is available at ASOS, Net-A-Porter, Urban Outfitter and Harvey Nichols.

Photos courtesy of Daisy Knights.

11 December 2013

Eat Me. Bistro C, Noosa

When you're talking top restaurants on the sunshine coast, Bistro C on Noosa's Hastings Street is always one of the names that comes to mind. Sometimes I have an aversion to dining at these so-called 'ritzy' joints and often opt for a more homely/family feel place but on my trip to Noosa over the weekend, after peeking at Bistro C's delicious menu, I thought I should give the restaurant a try... and boy am I glad I did.

Idyllically placed on the beachfront of what I think is Australia's most beautiful beach, Bistro C is a relaxed and stylish place to eat. The staff are extremely friendly and capable and the bartenders sure know how to mix a cocktail; my martini was to die for. There is also an extensive wine list which even the most discerning connoisseur would find pleasing. [Apparently they do happy hour everyday from 3-5pm with $5 dollar cocktails, definitely a reason to return!]

There is the option to sit in the open plan dining room or out on the terrace and don't worry, no squashy tables here; there's plenty of room. Being the seafood lovers that we are, mum and I ordered the seafood spaghetti pan for two. Absolutely amazing. We both went so far as to say it was the best seafood pasta we'd ever had and the best dish we'd eaten in a very long time. It was chockers with delicious seafood that was cooked to perfection including bugs, prawns, scallops, fish and calamari. I've been dreaming of it ever since. And better yet it wasn't a stingey portion, (as it so often is at nice restaurants) there was more than enough for us, we couldn't finish it. The menu is definitely in the higher price range but around Noosa virtually everything is and this is the one place I feel content spending my money; it's so worth it. Unfortunately I was too full to sample any desserts but they looked delicious so I'll make sure I leave room next time.

I can't recommend Bistro C enough. There's an array of dishes to suit all tastes. I had a fantastic evening with great drinks, food and service. A resounding 5/5.

Where: 49 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads QLD 4567
Bookings: essential
Phone: (07) 5447 2855

Photos by Krissie

Bistro C Beachside Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

9 December 2013

Suitcase. Noosa Long Weekend

Hello lovely readers, I'm back on deck after spending a lovely long weekend at the sub-tropical shores of Noosa. I had such a beautiful weekend and I really do fall in love with that place even more each time I visit. I love the beach (the water's nice and flat, perfect for floating!), the cafes, little stores and generally relaxed feel. I dined in a few restaurants; some fantastic and some not quite so, so expect some reviews soon. Here's a few little snaps from my trip, as you can see there was plenty of sun, sand and inviting water.

Photos by Krissie

4 December 2013

Must Have. The Really Hungry Student Cookbook

I wish I'd had this while I was still studying... This little book contains a vast array of recipes for the cash poor [and time poor] student. And isn't it so aptly named because weren't we all "really hungry students"? [I know I was!]. Sections include badass breakfasts for hangovers, winning lunches, Italian stallion and posh nosh.

$15 from Book Depository, shop here.

Photos courtesy of Book Depository

2 December 2013

One Day. Baby in the summertime...

Hooray it's summertime! [And for those of you in the northern hemisphere I hope you're enjoying your snow! I plan to have my first white christmas next year].

As December rolls around there are so many wonderful summer things that come to mind that I can't wait to enjoy over the next few months...

sandy toes | family getogethers | salty hair | entire days spent at the beach | seafood feasts | new bikinis | christmas carols | late night parties| fresh fruit | ice blocks | giving and receiving presents | bright colours | afternoon thunderstorms | iced drinks | fireworks | refreshing water | summer fashions | balmy nights | freedom...


Photos courtesy of various summery sources.