31 May 2013

Must Have. Monica Vinader Siren Ring Stack

This little trio is effortlessly chic and elegant all in one go. The asymmetrical design of varying shapes adds an element of interest, whilst the soft gold and neutral palette remains classic. The rings feature either a white topaz or citrine stone. $275 Shop here.

Photo by Monica Vinader.

29 May 2013

Plate Up. Carrot Cake

If a ‘Sara Lee anonymous group’ existed I would have to be the founding member. For as long as I can remember I’ve had a deep-seated love of Sara Lee cake; particularly chocolate and carrot. The chocolate was and continues to be a serious love affair, whilst the carrot is a bit of an on-again off-again fling. Over the years I’ve tried to replicate Sara’s chocolate cake but so far no success. Nothing seems to beat it; so sadly no dice there. I’m beginning to think it contains some illegal substance that makes it so additive. But last week I decided it was time to try my hand at a carrot cake and see how close I could get to Sara’s version of this flavour. And I think I’m pretty close; whilst this cake doesn’t have quite the same texture, I think the flavours are fairly spot on. Give it a try and see what you think.

What you’ll need
3 carrots
1 cup self-raising flour
½ cup plain flour
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup melted butter
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup golden syrup
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

250g spreadable cream cheese
½ cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

What to do
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease a 20cm round spring-form tin lightly with oil and line base with grease-proof paper.

Peel and grate your carrots (it’s quite the work out, read here) and set aside. Sift the flours, bi-carb soda and cinnamon into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, oil, golden syrup, eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to stir gently until just combined. Stir in the grated carrot.

Pour the mixture into your cake tin and bake for an hour, but make sure you’re keeping a close eye on it from about 50 minutes. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes before placing on a cooling rack.

Make icing by combining ingredients and mixing until well combined.

Ice cake when cool and enjoy with a cup of tea!

Photos by Krissie.

27 May 2013

Style It. Denim Lovin'

Jumper by Bebe, Jeans by Sportsgirl, Shoes by Sportsgirl, Watch by Michael Kors

I find myself in the midst of a jeans faze at the moment. I can't get enough of them, especially as the weather cools down and I'm such a cold-bod (even in 22 degree weather). Taking stock of my jeans shelf I count 10 pairs which actually must be some kind of record for me. I've got dark blue, pale blue, various blacks, white, ripped, coloured, printed... I'm of the opinion that you really can't have too many pairs because everyone looks great in the right pair of jeans and they're so easy to alternate with different tops and accessories for multiple looks.

These are my latest pair that I'm totally crushing on: chartreuse high-waisted skinnys. An absolute steal from the Sportsgirl sale rack (who have some of the best jeans if I do say so myself!). What's your favourite pair from your wardrobe?

Photos by Krissie

24 May 2013

Must Have. Sheike Slider Skirt

I’m so in love with Sheike at the moment. I really like their sleek style that has something a little different and exciting thrown into every piece. This all over printed midi skirt has a wrap detail and scooped hemline. I think it would look great with a blouse or loose white tee. Definitely one on my wish list for my next trip to their Brissie store. $79.95

Photo by Sheike.

22 May 2013

Plate Up. Crepe Suzette (plus some woodfired pizza)

For as long as I can remember I’ve heard my mum talk about Crepe Suzette and how it is her favourite dessert. Originally a French dessert, crepe suzette is a dish of paper thin crepes with an orange liquor sauce. Warning: it really is as delicious as it sounds and I take no responsibility for addiction.

Mum and I were lucky enough to have dinner at my Uncle’s house the other evening and this divine dessert was on the menu. (Plus some amazing wood-fired pizza, see pictures, my uncle has a proper outdoor oven and boy did it make some delicious pizza, will try and get the recipe for you soon!).

 Hawaiian Pizza

Prawn Pizza

The crepes were so lovely and certainly lived up to my expectations and more. I’ve since cooked it myself and the result is well worth the effort. Give it a try next time you’re craving something sweet.

What you’ll need
100g plain flour
Pinch salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk (extra)
300ml milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted, plus extra to fry

100g caster sugar
35g butter
150ml orange juice
3 tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons brandy

What to do
Place the crepe ingredients in a food processor and whiz until combined and mixture forms a smooth batter. Pour into a jug and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Brush with melted butter. Tilting the pan slightly, pour about 2-3 tablespoons of batter in and swirl to just cover the base. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining crepes. Place some paper-towel in between each crepe so they don’t stick together.

(Note: crepes can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge.)

To make the sauce, heat the sugar and 1 tablespoon of water in a frying pan on low heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add butter and increase heat, cooking for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Add orange juice and simmer for a few minutes. Pour in the liquor and brandy and stir to combine. (You can flambé it here if you’re feeling daring!) Dip a crepe into the sauce, fold it into quarters and push to the side of the pan. Repeat with other crepes and then serve together, drizzled with sauce. 2-3 crepes per person is perfect. I love them simply like this, but you can serve with ice-cream if you like.

Photos by Krissie.

20 May 2013

One Day. Life Update

For all my lovely readers I thought it was about time I update you on what’s going on in my life.

I got my first graduate job in March working in fashion marketing here on the Gold Coast. I’m working at the head office for several iconic fashion brands and I’m absolutely loving using my knowledge and passion everyday in my work. (As you may remember I tripped over to New York late last year to apply for jobs, unfortunately this plan didn’t come to fruition as the American government decided to change their visa restrictions just after I got back from my reconnaissance trip. So the move to the US of A is on the back burner for a while. I can go with a different visa when I’m eligible in a few years time. Until then I’m just happy to be working in an industry I love and to be learning new things each day.)

I’m very excited to announce that in the next few weeks I’ll be starting a new post category on Pearls called ‘Style It’. It will include outfit posts, style advice and fashion spotting. I’d love to hear your feedback when it starts.

And hip hip hooray, it’s my birthday soon, the 25th of May to be exact. I’ll be turning 23 21 again.  (Yes, I’m already in denial about my age, can’t imagine how I’ll be feeling when I’m 50!) I’m having a joint birthday party with one of my best friends. I can’t wait to celebrate with her and my family and friends over several espresso martinis. I’ll be sure to post some pictures of my outfit (still have to work out what it is yet!).

Much love, Krissie.

Photo by Krissie.

17 May 2013

Must Have. J.Crew Station Agent Necklace

Add some statement sparkle to your look with this necklace. Whether you’re dressing up a basic outfit or styling to match an evening gown, this necklace is a great addition to any outfit with it’s slightly burnished look for a vintage feel. I think it would look fantastic with a basic white tee and pair of jeans as a statement piece. $260.

Photo by J.Crew.

15 May 2013

Plate Up. Cinnamon Pullapart bread

I grew up on finger buns. If Mum and I were out and wanting a snack we’d head to Baker’s Delight and get one to share. This love of sweet bread has stuck with me and I often find myself ducking into a bakery for a custard scroll or cinnamon twist, which is why when I came across this recipe I had to give it a go. It’s a little bit fiddly (note: remove rings from fingers before starting otherwise you’ll be pulling dough out of them for days to come) and time consuming but it’s worth the effort.

What you’ll need
2¾ cups plain flour plus 2 tablespoons extra
¼ cup caster sugar
2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup water
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter, melted

What to do
In a mixing bowl add 2 cups of the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan melt the butter and milk. Once the butter has completely melted take the pan off the heat and add the water and vanilla. Let this mixture cool for 5 minutes.

Pour this milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. Whisk together the eggs and add to the batter. Keep mixing and add the remaining ¾ cup flour (you’re still holding onto the extra 2 tablespoons) and mix well. The mixture will be very sticky which means you’re on the right track. Place the dough in a medium greased bowl, cover with glad wrap and leave to rise for 45 minutes.

Once the dough has doubled in size, knead the 2 tablespoons of flour in (you can do this in the bowl) and cover the dough again for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and start on your filling; in a medium bowl mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

Once the dough is ready, roll it out on a floured surface to about 5mm thick. Brush with melted butter and add the sugar mixture making sure the coat the whole surface of the dough.

Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into equal sized strips, about 2 inches wide, then cut these strips into equal sized squares. Stack the squares on top of each other to make 3 or 4 piles. Don’t be too neat because you’re bread will look prettier if they aren’t aligned.

Place dough into a greased bread pan and sprinkle any sugar that fell off over the top and around the sides. Cover dough for another 10 minutes to rise. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35minutes or until the outside of the bread if golden brown.

Photos by Krissie.

13 May 2013

One Day. “Go to pilates,” they said. “It will be easy,” they said.

Downward dog.

Ok, maybe no one spoke those exact words to me but my subconscious has been telling me something along those lines for the last few months. I think I had this delirious idea that pilates was an easy way to tone your muscles but honestly I think slogging it out on an hour run would be an easier option.

I sit here writing this post to you from limp-limb central. Don’t get me wrong, the class was great and I’ll definitely be going back next week but boy was I surprised at how difficult it was. It probably didn’t help that I took the advanced class with a very zealous instructor who was super keen to whip us into shape before she heads off to teach hardcore contortion pilates in Bali next week.

I walked into class taking in the peaceful surroundings, dim lighting, candles and music and interpreting them to mean a calm and serene class that would make my body feel strong and supple without any pain. Not quite so. I have huge admiration for the instructor. The hour class was so full-on and she did every step whilst encouraging us for the whole hour without loosing her breath or even breaking a sweat. I was flat out attempting every second movement.

As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’m sure everyone in the class knew I was a beginner. Let’s see what gave it away first: 1. not knowing the correct procedure with the mat/towel, 2. swinging the wrong leg at the wrong time; she says right, I go left, she says left I go right, or perhaps it was 3. the fact I was quaking like a leaf one minute into the first plank.

I’m off to try Yoga tomorrow. At least I can say I’ve done this one many times before. I’ll definitely be back for another pilates class next week; my aim? To swing the correct leg at the correct time. Baby steps…

Photo by Darwin Reinoso.

10 May 2013

Must Have. Eberjay Crochet Dreams Jersey Robe

This robe is the perfect accompaniment to Eberjay’s Jersey PJ set. Cut from the softest jersey, this robe strikes the perfect balance between comfort and femininity. Featuring a waist-tie for a flattering silhouette it’s certain to give you a stylish slumber. $135.

Photo by Eberjay.

8 May 2013

Plate Up. Hawaiian Rice

This rice dish is a delicious alternative to a regular salad and also makes a great accompaniment to a range of meals if you take out the chicken. As a side dish I think it goes great with fish. Simply dish up, dine on your balcony with a flower in your hair and you’ll feel as though you’re straight off the plane from Hawaii. Aloha.

What you’ll need
1½ cups jasmine or basmati rice
400g chicken
500ml chicken stock
1/3 cup slivered almonds
210g tin pineapple in juice
¼ cup shredded coconut
1 tablespoon of curry powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 carrot, grated coarsely
2 green onions, sliced finely

What to do
Cook rice. Toast nuts in a small frying pan until golden. Cool. Cut chicken into even sized pieces (approx. 5cm x 2cm) and poach in chicken stock until just cooked, about 5minutes.

Combine the pineapple and juice, coconut, curry powder, sugar, ginger, oil and vinegar in a large bowl Stir and season to taste.

Toss the carrot and onion through the cooked rice, add thinly sliced chicken and then pour the pineapple mixture over and stir well.

Photos by Krissie.

6 May 2013

One Day. Why have a gym membership when you can… [Part 1]

It has come to my attention that in life there are many exercise alternatives which are preferable to slogging it out on a sweat-drenched machine at the gym; many of which we do everyday anyway. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve be doing something round the house and thinking ‘why would anyone head for the gym when they could be doing this’. Of course for you hard-core exercise fanatics I know you won’t necessarily agree, but everyone one else keep reading.

Of course it’s fitting that this list would come from me; the girl who avoids gyms at all costs and who justifies running up the stairs at work as a totally acceptable daily exercise regime (although I will give myself credit for an occasional run, read here). Below is my little golden list of easy ‘exercise’ alternatives. They may seem amusing, but I’m deadly serious. Really.

Why have a gym membership when you can:

  1. Attack your garden hedge; great for toning arms. Honestly after a morning of trimming, my arms are sorer than any gym machine has ever made them.
  2. Vacuum the house, or for the more advanced, vacumn the house in heels. It’s a great all-over workout for arms, core and legs.
  3. Grate multiple carrots (for a carrot cake, recipe here) this is a great tricep and bicep work out as you hold the grater steady whilst also engaging your core. You may laugh at this one, but give it a go and you'll see what I mean.
  4. Put on some music while you’re cooking/cleaning/working. If you’re anything like me then you won’t be able to help but break-out into a little dance.
  5. Wash the car; a great activity for a summer’s day. The scrubbing really works the arms and you can work some squats in there when you do the tyres. Plus you can work on your tan – what gym lets you do that? Hey, hey?

And if all else fails, make like Elle Woods and do the ‘bend and snap’ every time you pick something up.

To be continued...

Photo by Krissie.

3 May 2013

Must Have. Alexander McQueen Cutout Pumps

Pop! You can almost feel the colour of these amazing shoes knock you over. In true McQueen style, these pumps are certain to electrify any outfit. The sleek pointed toe and razor cut-outs are a chic nod to this season’s modern vibe. I’d love to pair these with a monochrome outfit for a real statement. $475

Photo by Alexander McQueen.

1 May 2013

Eat Me. Aura, Broadbeach


I was well overdue for a catchup with my girlfriends the other week so we decided to try out one of the Gold Coast’s latest restaurants; Aura. Located in the main Broadbeach strip, Aura took over from the ill-fated Satin property. I actually think this location has a curse, as it seems whatever restaurant or café goes in there, it never lasts very long, but after my experience at Aura I’m certainly hoping they can break the cycle. It was a great night!

This restaurant/bar/nightime-hotspot has funky brick and graffiti décor that reminded me of the Melbourne food scene. We went on a Friday night and there was live music playing that added to the atmosphere. Our waitress was very friendly and knowledgable. So far, tick, tick, tick.

The three of us ordered a few dishes to nibble on over a glass bottle of wine. We had the calamari (which was so delicious and tender, a definite must to order), the spring rolls (these little beauties were great; shorter and plumper than your usual spring rolls and full of flavour!) and the san choy bow (this would be my only mixed review, it was ok but probably wouldn’t order it again).

All in all it was a nice atmospheric evening with good food and wine and some great music to boot. This is the perfect place for dinner with friends or a starting place before a night out. 4/5

Where: Shop 1 Sonata Building Surf Parade, Broadbeach QLD 4218
Bookings: recommended

Phone: (07) 5526 9506

Photos by Aura and Krissie

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