30 August 2013

Must Have. Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray

Summer is certainly on it's way in my part of the world and there has been some beautiful weather around for beach days. There's nothing better than soaking up the sunshine (and tanning oil!), feeling the sand between your toes and immersing yourself in the cool refreshing waters of the ocean. I love the beach. I also love how  a day on the sand makes my body feel; I always leave feeling refreshed from the water, soft from the exfoliant sand and with a nice brown tan, not to mention some gorgeous beachy hair waves. I love this style of hair but I certainly don't have time to head to the beach everday morning so here's a little product that will leave your hair fresh from the ocean at a moment's notice. Simply spray to add texture and shine for tousled beach waves. $35. Shop here.

Photo by Oribe.

28 August 2013

Plate Up. Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (extra fudgy)

To me, baking is synonymous with cookies and who doesn't love the extra fudgey variety. I've been known in the past to whip up a batch just so the house is smelling nice, and whenever I do I always pull them out early so they're still soft and gooey. I think it's the best way! Try these; the condensed milk and brown sugar makes them nice and fudgey and the coconut combined with the chocolate is a definite hit!

What you'll need
125g butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3/4 plain flour
3/4 dessicated coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup chocolate chips

What to do
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Cream the wet ingredients until they are light and fluffy. Add dry ingredients and mix together. Line a greased baking try and roll the mixture into heaped teaspoon sized balls and flatten down with your fingers. Bake for 20 minutes or until just golden.

Photos by Krissie

26 August 2013

One Day. Avoiding weekend mistakes

Now that I'm a working girl I've been doing my best to get myself into a routine. After two years of hospitality shift work and a further three years of study with constantly changing timetables, I thought it was about time I lay down the ground rules for a weekly routine that I could manage and enjoy. I think I've got my weekdays down pat; wake up time, off to work, come home to blog, cook and relax. But when it comes to weekends I didn't realise what a difference a routine in these two days can make as well. Obviously we all do different things every time we have our days off but it's setting these days up in a clever way that will help you maintain your weekday routine.

Here are some of the most common weekend mistakes and how to avoid them so you can enjoy your weekends AND say goodbye to Mondayitis. Bonus!

Mistake one: sleeping in
Not one likes a sleep-in more than me, but I'm starting to find if I do enjoy some extra forty-winks on Saturday and Sunday it makes it that much harder to get back into the swing of things come Monday. So even if you've been out for a drink and a dance Friday night try not to snooze your day away because you'll only throw your body clock out. One thing I always find that helps me get out of bed is sunshine, so try sleeping with the curtains open.

Mistake two: working
I'm as conscientious of a worker as they come but weekends really are time to switch off. If you're constantly making calls or checking your emails it means you're never getting a break from work. You need to be refreshed come Monday morning and if you haven't allowed yourself a break you won't be as efficient of a worker for the week. If you really can't resist whipping out that Blackberry, then at least set yourself limits; email checks at 9am and 4pm only.

Mistake three: overindulging in food
Midweek meals are often simple and healthy because who has a lot of time to whip up something indulgent? But don't go crazy come Friday night just because it's the weekend as you'll only feel sluggish come Monday. Allow yourself those couple of glasses of wine and some dessert but don't go overboard. You don't want to undo all your good work do you?

Mistake four: doing all your life admin
We're all busy during the week and it's so easy to let all our housework and life duties pile up around you... "There's plenty of time to do it on the weekend, right?" Not always. Don't put that pressure on yourself to get all those tasks done in your days off. Try and chip away at it constantly during the week so you don't end up with a mountain of washing or errands to do come Saturday and Sunday. Weekends are for some "you time" too.

Mistake five: stressing about work on Sunday
There's always such a good feeling on Friday afternoon - "yay, two days off." Saturday morning you still feel great but it's Saturday night when the thoughts can start creeping in; "only one day left," and sometimes on Sunday morning it's full blown panic stations about the busy upcoming week. Don't let this happen to you. Sunday is still a free day. Enjoy it and don't dwell on the week to come. If you're still stressing come Sunday night, try and make a positive plan for the week so you have a good mindset for Monday morning.

Happy weekends and happy Friday Monday!

Photo by Krissie.

23 August 2013

Style It. Dressing for your shape

It can certainly be tricky trying to find the right clothes for your body, so when it comes to dressing for individual body shapes it is all about balance. Clothes can greatly influence our appearance by enhancing our favourite features or drawing attention away from certain areas. There are many different body types but I've have narrowed it down to the four basic shapes – the pear, the apple, the hourglass and the yardstick.

Take a leaf out of Lady Gaga's book and read my guide for 'making the most outta what chu got' because baby, you were born this way.

Pear shaped bodies are fuller around the hips and thighs, but smaller around the chest and shoulders. If a pear gains weight, most of it will go to their lower half. The pear shape has many redeeming qualities in the upper body including slender arms, and average size breasts, making you perfect for fashion tops.

As a pear shape you will want to show off your upper half! Try drawing focus with patterned or brightly coloured tops, opulent necklaces (this one from J.Crew is perfect!) or large collars. Medium length jackets are great for you as well. On your bottom half, go for straight cut pants or skirts in solid colours – you can’t go wrong with black!

Avoid wide, pleated and patterned skirts as they will draw attention to your lower half. Also, steer clear of high-waisted pants as they only tend to make your bottom look bigger than it is, and we certainly don't want that!

Apples are at their fullest around the middle with a bigger tummy, shapely breasts and broad shoulders. If an apple gains weight, most of it will go to their waistline but apples can be redesigned with the right clothes!

If you are an apple go for simple cuts. Straight cut blouses are great, as are flowing fabrics and longer-length jackets and cardigans that come to the top of your thighs. Long necklaces and flowing scarves will work wonders for this shape.

Stay away from ‘tent’ like tops, you want a straight cut. Straight-leg pants are great, but tight pants and skirts should be avoided. Steer clear of horizontal block stripes, try vertical lines instead as they draw the eye up and down the body rather than across it.

According to research, the hourglass is the most desirable body shape among women, however it can be challenging to dress a body that is curvy at the bust as well as the hips. If an hourglass was to gain weight it would distribute evenly across your curves. Marilyn Monroe was an hourglass and was the sexiest woman in Hollywood, so don't cover yourself up if you're this body shape!

Balance is key with the hourglass. Clothing that brings out your waistline is great such as tops that are drawn in or waisted belts. Sleek shapes and soft materials work well, as do wrap styles including dresses, blouses or skirts (here's a great style). When it comes to jackets, choose one that has a sleek waistline like this one.

Stay away from clothes that are too wide, you may be trying to camouflage some areas but you will end up looking larger than you are. But, in saying that, also stay away from clothes that are too tight. Avoid stiff materials and high round necklines.

The lucky yardsticks among us can wear just about anything. Yardsticks have a slender, straight frame from top to toe. This body shape is generally lean and athletic. If a yardstick gained weight it would distribute evenly around their frame. When it comes to yardsticks the aim is to add dimension to the body.

Blouses and flowing tops look great on yardsticks, especially if striped or patterned; especially when combined with skinny high-waisted jeans and pants. Also try pleated box skirts, short blazers (here's a neon one) and A-line dresses!

Nothing looks terrible on a yardstick but to help create a shapely and fashion-savvy silhouette, avoid tops and dresses that are plain and skin tight, instead try something like this.

21 August 2013

Spring Must Haves.

Can you feel that warmth in the air and see those buds on the trees? That's Spring coming and it's not too far away! To celebrate the end of another winter I thought it fitting that I share with you my must have items for this delightful season that is upon us.

September through November is a wonderful time of year; seeing a warmth arrive in the air, flowers blooming and the promise of the summer that is to come. It's also a very social time for me; I always have plenty of occasions in the Spring months - birthdays, garden parties and of course the horse racing season!

Here are my must haves that are sure to put a 'Spring' in your step!

1. Shana Lace Dress by Forever New ($90), 2. Van Cleef & Arpels Feerie Spring Blossum Perfume ($90), 3. Peonies, 4. Daylesford Mineral Water, 5. NARS Body Illuminator ($45), 6. Beatrix Sandals by ShoeDazzle ($45)

Firstly, you'll need a dress. I selected this dainty white number with it's A-line skirt and lace panel because I think it's perfect for the aforementioned garden parties and race days. Flirty, fun and classic all-in-one and great for day or night.

Next, to keep you smelling as sweet as the florals around, you need a beautiful scent. I'm in raptures over this one from Van Cleef and Arpels; it has notes of cherry, magnolia and musk, making it femininely floral yet "poetic and charming". Plus the little fairy on the lid is devine, it would look beautiful on my dresser. It makes me think of the "veil of the fairies" from Thumbellina.

As any girl worth her salt knows Springtime is all about flowers; whether you keep them fresh in your home or wear them in your hair you can't go past them this season. Peonies are my most enduring floral love affair to date, so I can't go past these in pale pink. I'm thinking a low side bun with one tucked in.

To keep you hydrated in this new-found Springtime sunshine you can't go past some Australia mineral water, from Daylesford to be exact. There are five flavours to choose from but my favourites are 'Orange & Passionfruit' and 'Pink Grapefruit', plus the pastel colours will go brilliantly with any outfit your wearing whilst your sipping away at a party!

Now I understand that the weather might not truly be warm yet so you mightn't have had the chance to work on your tan, so here's where you cheat with a little body illuminator; so much better than fake tan because it will work with your natural colour to give you a glowing sheen. Much better than orange.

And finally you're going to need a pair of party shoes to take you from garden to race to dinner. I love these silver metallic ones; I think they're great for day or night plus they'll go perfectly with your white dress.

What are your must haves for this Spring?

Photo by Krissie.

19 August 2013

Plate Up. Peri Peri Chicken

Thanks to a Subway (eat fresh!) advertisement that was on tv last year, I can’t cook this meal without bustling round the kitchen chanting “peri peri chicken, peri peri chicken, peri peri chicken chicken sub!” It does get pretty annoying but thankfully this is a quick dish so I’m not singing for too long. I guess I will have passed this delightful association onto you now, sorry, but definitely give this dish a go, it’s a flavour sensation.

What you’ll need
4 large chicken thighs
2 red capsicums, cut into cheeks and then halved
2 zucchini, sliced
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
½ bunch spring onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic
3cm piece ginger
2 red chillies
2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
2 lemons
4 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups cous cous

What to do
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Fry thighs in a pan with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden underneath and then turn.

Meanwhile make the peri peri sauce by combining the spring onions, garlic, ginger, chillies, paprika, juice of 1½ lemons, vinegar and Worcestershire. Blend until smooth, add a dash of water if it’s looking a little thick. It should be the consistency of a runny smoothie.

“Peri peri chicken, peri peri chicken…”

By now you will have turned your chicken and, when you do, throw in the capsicum and zucchini and toss in the pan. Once the chicken is browned on the other side, transfer the chicken and vegetables into a shallow oven dish, add the tomatoes and pour over the sauce.  Place in the oven.

Boil a little more than 2 cups of water in a saucepan and turn the heat off. Add the cous cous and shake to distribute. Cover with a lid and leave for 5 minutes.

“Peri peri chicken, chicken sub.”

After 10 minutes pull your chicken out to toss and coat in sauce, place back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

Season your cous cous with salt and a drizzle of oil. Serve with chicken and remaining lemon wedges.

Photos by Krissie.

16 August 2013

Suitcase. My Top Ten Travel Tips

New York City

I like to think that my travelling days are just beginning. Yes, I've already been round the world once and on a few extra trips here and there, but there is still so so much more to explore and do! My current travel wish list is three A4 pages long and grows every day. I love daydreaming about all the places I want to see and visit.


I'm sure I've got lots to learn about travelling [perhaps the hard way] on my future trips, but here are some of my current tips that I've picked up along the way on how to travel smart.

Queenstown, New Zealand

  1. Don't be afraid to ask for directions [subtly so you don't look like a total loser tourist]; you'll save so much time that would have been lost wandering around.
  2. Don't select a window seat on a long haul flight unless you have an impossibly large bladder, you'll feel so bad disturbing those sleeping next to you everytime you get up to use the loo.
  3. Never eat in the first restaurant you come across, it's a bad omen. No matter how good you think the menu looks, keep looking.


  4. Never take a brand new book on a flight; you're going to want something that you're already well engrossed in to pass the time.
  5. Don't try and joke with customs officials. These people are serious. All. The. Time.
  6. It is inevitable that you will forget something along the way; whether it's a packed item or something you wanted to see or do. Don't stress about it and go about your travels, just pray it's not your passport or wallet and you'll be fine.
  7. Take notes while you're away so that when you return home [and you're in complete post-travel depression] you can remember the good times you had.
  8. Talk to locals, they always know the best things to see and do and, unless their a total snob, they seem to love sharing these details with you!

    New York City

  9. Always arrive early to airports, stations and even hotels. When it comes to transport you just can't risk being late, and in terms of hotels you never know when you'll snag an early check-in. Winner.
  10. If you don't speak the local language of the place you're visiting invest in a foreign dictionary. Charades will only get you so far. "There's a leaky tap in my room and the noise is keeping me awake." would be pretty tricky; I'm seeing drip drip motions and wide eyes which could come across as numerous other things.

Plus, here's a tip I'm still hoping to learn: how to sleep on planes, trains and buses? If anyone has some insight this would greatly benefit my future travels! Non-drug related suggestions appreciated.

Photos by Krissie

14 August 2013

Must Have. Rosantica Freshwater Pearl Necklace

I've always been a pearls girl when it comes to necklaces, earrings and bracelets (don't get me wrong, I won't be wanting a pearl engagement ring; that is definitely where a diamond must come in!). I think they are such a classic stone that look so beautiful with anything. Besides, you obviously can't go wrong if Audrey Hepburn loved them; class and style.

This stunning necklace by Rosantica features several cascading strands of freshwater pearls. It's longer length gives it a little something extra compared to your basic strand of pearls and I think it would look perfect with a scooped neckline, high neckline or strapless top alike. I'd love these around my neck. $890. Shop here.

Photos by Rosantica.

12 August 2013

Style It. Double Denim

Denim shirt by Cotton On, studded denim shorts by Billabong, singlet by Kookai, shoes by Steve Madden, watch by Michael Kors, necklace by Forever New and bag by Aldo.

 The 90s are back in a big way this season with denim, denim, denim. Whether you mix, match or clash it you're sure to be on-trend. Here's my double denim outfit I wore to lunch the other week.

I'm wearing my  fav denim shirt, it's lightweight and great to wear done up, undone or tied. I've paired it with my studded denim shorts, these are high-waisted and are also great for wearing with tucked tops or crop tops. Topped off with a few accents of gold in my shoes, watch, wishbone necklace and bag.

How are you wearing your denim this season?

Photos by Krissie

9 August 2013

Plate Up. Homemade Museli

I've never been much of a breakfast eater; my dislike of milk and take-it-or-leave-it attitude towards toast sort of limited things for me... Until now.

Here is an amazing homemade museli recipe that I found on my friends blog She Eats Health. I've tweaked it a little to suit my taste and pantry staples and I'm so happy with the result. I enjoy it each morning with yoghurt and fruit. It will stay fresh for a month in an airtight container but I can assure you it won't last that long. It's too delicious. Give it a try yourself. I guarantee you'll be making a second batch of it within a week!

What you'll need
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup flaked almonds
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds (if you don't have these sesame seeds work nicely too)
3/4 cup shredded coconut
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons coconut oil (if you don't have this you can use some melted butter)
80ml honey
optional - handful of sultanas

What to do
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix all dry ingredients together. Add oil and honey and mix with two spoons until it comes together. Line a deep tray with baking paper and spread mixture 1'' thick. Bake for 20mins, turning after 10mins for even toasting. Allow to cool. Serve with your favourite yoghurt and fresh fruit.

Photo by Krissie.

7 August 2013

One Day. Daily Makeup Routine

Shhh. Revealing my daily make-up routine is like telling one of my inner-most secrets. Ok maybe not quite so serious but it sounded dramatic!

I often get a lot of comments on my make-up and thought it was about time I share with you my daily routine. I'm lucky enough to have been blessed with 'English Rose' skin from my mother's and grandmother's side of the family so I'm very grateful to have a good canvas to work on! It's taken me a long time (and a lot of testing) to find products I love but here are the ones currently running the gauntlet in my bathroom.

At the moment I'm loving organic cosmetics company 'Grown's' Camellia and Geranium Blossom moisturiser (1.). I always apply this before my makeup as it leaves my skin feeling hydrated and refreshed. Using a moisturiser before applying your foundation has the same effect as using a primer.

I believe you can't go past quality when it comes to certain things, especially foundation and concealer; you've got to have a good base. I've been a Clinque foundation lover ever since school; it was my first make-up product. I use super-balanced (2.) which is a heavier coverage make-up but I find I need it because my skin loves to 'eat' my make-up and by the end of the day it ends up looking rather light. Then I use MAC select cover-up (3.) under my eyes. I apply both with a Model Co. foundation brush; it makes your make-up much more even and it's so much better than getting your fingers dirty!

Next is Korres brightening powder to set my base (4.). I use a bronze shade so it has a dual purpose of setting my make-up and also gives me a summer glow. It's smells delicious too! Then a sweep of MAC blush (5.). You should apply your blush two finger-widths away from you nose and then from there along and up the cheek bone. This will give you a more defined shape. Then I add a dab of Rimmel 'wake me up' illuminator (6.) in the same area for a dewy finish. This illuminator comes up really great in pictures too - bonus!

On to the eyes...  I have extremely fair eyebrows (they're virtually non-existent!) so I give them a light colouring-in with Rimmel's professional eye brow pencil (7.) for some definition. Then I select an eyeliner depending on my mood. I currently have black, bright blue and silver (8.) on rotation. Just a very thin line across the lash line. I finish with a coat of Maybelline mascara (9.) and some lip-tint. I'm currently loving the Revlon lip butters (10.) in 'cherry tart' for night time or 'creamsicle' for everyday wear.

What's your routine like? What are your favourite products?

Photo by Krissie.

5 August 2013

Must Have. House of Harlow Daisy Sunglasses

Yes I'll admit these aren't very practical and yes I'll also admit I may look totally ridiculous in them..... BUT I really love these! From House of Harlow's latest collection these Daisy sunglasses [they even have a gorgeous name!] are so on trend with their violet palette and cats eye shape. Perfect for spring and all of summer's festivals. Love. $169 Shop here

Photo by House of Harlow.

2 August 2013

Style It. New ways to wear the classics

Chances are if you're a woman and you enjoy shopping, you have an ubiquitous black dress in your closet right now. And chances are you only wear it once or twice a year…

Everyone has, or should have, the wardrobe basics, those staple items you just can’t live without – they might be that LBD, some skinny jeans, a basic white shirt and of course your favourite cardigan. But how many of you are guilty of wearing these pieces the same way, day after day?                                           I thought so….

As women (and for those of you fashionable men as well) it is in our DNA to be passionate about clothes. For many of us, fashion is our first and most enduring love affair to date. Who doesn’t adore the playfulness of fashion and its endless ability to transform us? Dressing is a most sacred ritual, one that can transform us; I love assuming different identities in different outfits and exploring the many facets of my personality through what I choose to wear each day.

As well as this pleasure that comes with dressing each day, what you might not have experienced is the moment of pure joy you receive by turning something totally expected on its head and discovering something new.

So, for the sake of your loving relationship with clothes, it’s time to get your creativity flowing and think of some new ways to wear ‘the classics’. After all these basics really are chameleon pieces just waiting to be given the opportunity to show their other side!

Here are some tips to get you started on this challenge…

1. First, pull some items from your closet that are feeling a little left out, maybe they haven’t been worn in a while or maybe they are just tired of being reused and worn the same way, to the point where everyone recognises them.

2. Next, try on each item or a combination of items. Even if you have the feeling the combination might look atrocious, try it anyway – you never know what will inspire you!

3. Play around in front of a mirror, adjust the shirt, tie the cardie a different way, roll the jeans up, tuck, untuck, hell why not try wearing it backwards (I recently discovered a winter knit of my own that looks completely different and so much better when I wear it back to front!). If you still aren’t seeing any improvements maybe its time to reach for the scissors. It may seem drastic but what garment doesn’t love a little makeover as much as we do!

4. Now that you’ve got something new, whip out your favourite accessories and experiment! Try a belt, cinching extra fabric with a brooch or clip, or pinning it to drape a certain way, tying a light scarf into a sash, or stacking on an unexpected combination of jewellery.

5. Take note of the combinations that worked best. Modify these looks slightly to adapt them to other items in your closet. If it helps, write down or take pictures of your new creations so you don’t forget! Before you know it you will have your own lookbook of fantastic new combinations and styles you thought you never had.

Not only are you  breathing new life into old garments, you are saving your hip pocket by creating new fashions without having to head to the store!

Additional money for some online shoe shopping!? Perfect.

Photo by loveyourchaos.