Monday, May 31, 2010

Fashion at Powerhouse Museum

We visited the Powerhouse Museum yesterday. With the bad weather we need to take TLG somewhere fun indoors for him to roam around.

There happens to be an exhibition on the history of the Australian Fashion Week - "Frock Stars".  I was looking forward to an examination of the trends throughout the years, but it was just a high-level look of the components of running a fashion show.  Still there are some interesting displays.

Out of all the outfits on display this was my favourite by Tina Kalivas.

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There is also an 80s retrospective. It was strange to see fashion and trends prominent in my childhood on display in a museum. Am I that old?

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I love this display. The Rubik's cube is definitely an icon of the 80s.

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I think it is unlikely for a cerebral toy like this to take the world by storm in the future. Fads happen on the interwebs now :-)

HK diary 6 - My shopping haul part 1 (and giveaway)

It's been 2 months since my visit to Hong Kong – and finally I get around to share some of my purchases.

The first is a present from my sister. I was looking for a crossbody bag to us on my days off. It is much easier to have both arms free when I’m taking TLG around town. I have been using a 10-year-old Converse canvas crossbody bag that had seen better days.

I thought I’d find something at Coach but none of the bags I tried on felt right. I was a bit worried that because I have no idea where I should look next.

The next day I went into Marc Jacobs for a browse and came across this.

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The Total Turnlock bag from the Marc by Marc Jacobs line ($HK2490, ~$A355) is just what I’m looking for. I like the clean lines, it holds its shape when even when full, and the colour goes well with anything. It is definitely my go-to bag on my non-working days.

The next purchase was an impulse buy. Mr Curious was looking for some casual shoes and I tried on a few pairs whilst waiting for him.


The Merrills Arabesque are so comfortable - I'm very happy with it.

I didn’t buy too much clothes on this trip, however I picked up a few sports tops, the prices are so much better than in Australia. This is a cheeky Nike t-shirt and I agree with the sentiments completely!

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I was so close to buying this trench from Zara but the store I visited didn’t have my size. Thankfully I found another trench last week at Ben Sherman.

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Earrings are my weakness when it comes to jewellery. I bought these from one of the counters at Sogo Causeway Bay.

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I received a few compliments when I wore them so they’re definitely a good buy!

I'm happy to announce the first CCM giveaway.  The prize is a Marc by Marc Jacobs S/S 2010 notebook.  Here's a sneak peek.

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To enter, become a follower of this blog, or leave a comment.  Entries closes this Friday 4 June and I'll select the winner in the weekend. 

Thanks for reading and good luck!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Question time: Should I get this Witchery cardi?

I saw this yesterday:

I didn't buy it, but I'm thinking about it.

Pros:
100% wool
Miltrary is key trend of this season
Fit well and looks good

Cons:
Strange to have a cardigan that I can't button up
Not sure how often I'll wear it.  I think it'll only work with skinny jeans and knee high boots
Is it a classic piece?

The 30% off discount for Witchery Cardholders expires tomorrow.  With the discount the cardigan costs $105.

So, dear readers, what's your verdict?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My first Leona dresses

I know a few of you ladies are Leona Edmiston fans (e.g. Miss Kitty-Cat and Elise).

I went to her boutique earlier in the season but none of the dresses I picked out worked for me.

After my haircut today (very layered, with a long fringe, waiting for it to drive me nuts), I went to Myer Chatswood and checked out the clearance racks. Lo and behold I came across a few Leona by Leona Edmiston (the diffusion line) dresses at the bargain price of $60 (from $129).  I tried them on and they looked pretty good.

leona edmiston

The Callista is a LBD with a sheer cape.  I think it's a great office-to-night-out dress.  Not that I go out after work anymore ...

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And the Aja is a big step for me - it is the first leopard print item I ever own!  I was not 100% sure about it but the cut is flattering and it is easy to care for, so I took the plunge.  I think Mr Curious is still in shock.

As for her main line, I like the look of the Katherine but I don't know if it's too bright.


And the Kirrily is cute, but I don't think it'll work with my figure.


I may need to go into the store to check them out to be sure ;-)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Boots mission accomplished

I have been wanting to purchase a pair of low heel short boots for a while - something that works with tweed skirts that I wear to work, and comforable because I take TLG to daycare in the morning on foot.

I went to Myer earlier today to buy some winter clothes for TLG and dropped by the shoes section since they have 30% off all boots.  I found a pair from EasySteps that fits the bill.



It was very strange that I could fit into a pair of size 8 when I am usually a 9.  Are there vanity sizings for shoes now?

Short Break: How popular is your name?

I was trying to find out how popular TLG's name was and I came across this fun site from the NSW government (now "fun" and "NSW government" do not usually belong in the same sentence but this is the exception that proves the rule).

The site allows you to type in a name and it will show the number of babies born with that name in the last 100 years (up to 2007) in an interactive chart.  You can track the name's popularity through the last century.

TLG's name was in the top 20 in the 1980s, and made the top 50 in 2007.

My name's popularity peaked in a hundred years ago (100 girls per year) and was barely in the top 300 by 2007.

Mr Curious' name was most popular in the 1950s; only 15 babies shared his name in 2007.

It is interesting to see the trends.

These are once-popular girls' names that are now rarely chosen for newborns - Gladys (top 10 in 1900s), Patricia (#2 in 1930s, less than 10 in 2007), Judith (#3 in 1940s, none since 2000), Susan (top name in 1950s, 11 in 2007).  I did not know that Jessica was the most popular name in the 1990s!

Over 3,000 boys were named John each year in the 1940s.  In 2007 there were only 60 Johns - beaten by Kai, Cody, Maxwell, and Brayden!

You don't have to type in a full name - this is what you get when you type in the letter J.

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If you see a name that interests you, click on it and it will go to the chart for that name.

Go check it out.  Be warned though, it can be addictive!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Asian cooking

I think I'm slowly getting my cooking grooves back.

I made the Thai beef salad again for my girlfriends' lunch visit.

The recipe is very easy to follow (the hardest part was picking the leaves off the coriander!) and the payoff is great.

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I also cooked some sausages to make hot dogs.

And for dinner I made fried rice.  I loosely followed a Kylie Kwong recipe and a nasi goreng recipe I received when I bought the Asian dressing from Bitton.

1. Heat oil in wok in high heat, fry 3 beaten eggs for 1 minute - result is thin sheet of egg, shred eggs
2. Wipe wok with paper towel, heat more oil, then stir fry 1.5 cloves finely chopped garlic and 2 tsp ginger for 1 minute
3. Add 1/2 chopped onions and cook for 2 minutes
4. Add 2 chopped bacon strips and cook for 1 minute
5. Add 1.5 cups cooked rice and cook for 2 - 3 minutes
6. Add shredded egg and chopped shallots and stir to mix
7. Add 3 tbsp Bitton Asian dressing and cook for 2 minutes


Et voilĂ !

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It was yummy, the dressing was a bit on the sweet side - a bit of chilli would have balanced it out nicely.

Mr Curious and TLG both went for second serves :-)

Impulse buys

TLG and I were at Chatswood Chase this afternoon, mainly to buy a handheld vaccum cleaner (exciting I know) but there was a one-day sale across the centre.

The sign at the Ben Sherman store caught my attention (50% - 70% off all stock). Since it is Mr Curious' birthday next week I went in hoping to find him a few things.

I bought him this t-shirt on TLG's behalf - TLG is happy as long as there is a car!


I also bought these cufflinks for Mr Curious - I think they are quite stylish.


I bought this for my little brother to say thank you for looking after TLG when Mr Curious and I were struck down by gastro last week.


But of course I also managed to find something for myself ...


Original price $249, now $99.  Bargain, right?

By the way, this is not a one-day sale.  So if you like their stuff, check it out at your local Ben Sherman store.

This is why the credit card bill is always a nasty surprise :-/

$7.50 raisin toast

TLG and I went out for breakfast this morning.  The place I was planning to visit changed its opening hours and was closed when we arrived, so we went to Simmone Logue instead.

I ordered a coffee and one serve of raisin toast, and was a bit shocked when the cashier said the total bill was $11.  For a moment that I thought she might have taken the wrong order but it didn't appear to be the case.

This was what we got.

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It was not the average raisin toast from the supermarket.  It was actually fruit and nut toast with raisins, figs and hazelnut.  Honey and butter are served on the side.  It was not was as sweet as normal raisin toast, I assume that was why they gave us honey.  I didn't use any.

Yes it tasted good and fancier than normal raisin toast, but was it worth $7.50?  Not in my opinion.  We'll check out another cafe next time.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Short Break: All purpose card for men

I saw this at a shop on Friday after a dinner date with Mr Curious (another Japanese restaurant, review to come).

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You can get a closer look here:


Perfect for brothers, uncles, and guy friends.

You can get it here.

Which reminds me, it is Mr Curious' birthday next week. He wants to go somewhere with awesome desserts (preferably involving chocolate). Any suggestions?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vaseline vs Aveeno - first use

Vaseline
Colour: light brown
Consistency: (if liquid is 1, solid is 10 and sorbolene is 5, Vaseline is 3.5)
Scent: Fairly strong cocoa butter
Spreads easily
Slightly sticky

Aveeno
Colour: White
Consistency: 7
Scent: None
Also spreads easily, however I had to use more to feel equally covered
No stickiness

Both lotions felt heavier than sorbolene on application, however both are absorbed fairly quickly whereas the sorbolene stayed on the surface for longer.

Very slight edge to the Aveeno in round 1.

I'll take some photos tomorrow.

Music On My Mind - Fire by Will and April @ Glee

I watched the first full Glee episode yesterday, it is a fun show.

This song is now stuck in my mind - love the bass.

I don't know why the image has been flipped left to right on this video, possibly to avoid image detection?  Anyhoo enjoy!



And is it wrong that I have a tiny crush on Finn?

Moisturiser reviews: Aveeno vs Vaseline cocoa butter

I received two body moisturiser samples from my Marie Claire subscription this month. With the colder weather my skin is getting dry so I'm keen to try them out. I thought it'll be fun to compare them and share the result with CCM readers.

In the red corner is Vaseline cocoa butter deep conditioning body lotion.


Product claim: The lotion penetrates skin to where dryness starts, to smooth away roughness and ignite skin's natural glow at the source.

And in the blue corner is Aveeno daily moisturising lotion.


Product claim: Unlike ordinary lotions, contains natural oatmeal blended with rich emmoillents to moisturise your skin for a full 24 hours. The unique oatmeal formula ... [provides] temporary relief of the scaling and chapping associated with dry skin.

I will apply the lotions after my shower every day, Vaseline to my left calf and Aveeno to my right. I will use them until the sample packs run out (they are both 10ml so they should finish at the same time).  I will also apply good old soebolene cream to my thighs as a control.

First review will be tonight when I use them for the first time.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sunday cooking

We had a belated Mother's Day celebration with my MIL (as TLG was sick last weekend).  We had a picnic and I made some grilled chicken drumsticks with Mediterranean spice mix that I bought from the Northside Produce Market on Saturday.  TLG enjoyed it!

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I also made a thai beef salad but I didn't take a photo.

After we went home I was kitchen-bound for a few hours - on the menu were vegetable stock and roast pork with apple.

In the stock pot were carrot, celery, leek, onion, swede, herbs (I don't like parsley so there were basil and corinader instead), peppercorn and bay leaves.

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Half way through the cooking process.

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The finished product.

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I was expecting a strong flavour but it was pretty mild.

And there are some progress shots of the roast.

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 The recipe had potatoes and apples, I added brussel sprouts and carrots to the roast.

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Shiny pork after almost 3 hours of roasting.

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Mr Curious making the gravy from stratch.  The recipe asked for flour to thicken up the gravy but that didn't work very well so we used corn flour instead.

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Plating is not my strong point ;-P

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It would be nice to say that the pork tasted amazing ... but it was only OK. The vegetables were too soggy by the end, and the gravy (made with the vegetable stock) was quite bland.  So I was a bit disappointed, but I will treat this as a learning experience.

Friday, May 14, 2010

HK diary 5 - Ocean Park

Hong Kong Disneyland may be more famous but I have a soft spot for Ocean Park.  I have been there as a kid and I always enjoyed my visits.  So during our HK visit we went to the park with my sister, BIL, nieces and my sister's in-laws.

With TLG in tow we didn't get on any rides, but there were so many animal displays to keep us entertained.

There was a "dragon" exhibition on the day we visited - which was in fact a collection of lizards.  It was billed being "rare and exotic", so Mr Curious had a good laugh when a common iguana was on display.  Nonetheless TLG enjoyed it immensely.

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You can see TLG checking out the water monitor.

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TLG was asleep when we saw the jellyfish display which was fantastic.  Here are the poor quality photos I took.

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And here are photos I found on flickr which did it justice.

Photo: on Flickr by night86mare

Photo: on Flickr by luke chan chan

TLG was mesmerised by the sea creatures on display at the Atoll Reef, a multi-level aquarium.  I think he will enjoy it even more now because he can say "fish".

Photo: on Flickr by AltEisenRiese

 We rode the cable car with great view of Deep Water Bay.

Photo: on Flickr by stephenk1977

We also rode the extensive outdoor escalators.
Photo: on Flickr by darakusan

At the goldfish exhibit there were a lot of strange looking fishes.  Some varieties have bulging puffs near their eyes or no dorsal fin - they were bred that way for their "beauty".  I found them a bit creepy.

Photo: on Flickr by darakusan

My highlight of the day, by a big margin, was the panda exhibit. 

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TLG and I were looking for ages as the panda strolled down from the cave and started eating.  Very cute!

At $HK250 (around $A35) per adult, Ocean Park is great value, and we will probably visit again on our next HK trip.

Two pieces of advice if you're planning to go:

(1) If you're bringing a pram/stroller, be prepared to carry it for a bit. The park was built in the 70s and wheelchair/pram friendly access was not in vogue back then.

(2) Bring your own lunch. The food on offer were expensive (by HK standard), unhealthy and barely palatable.

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