Recent Purchases #1

Thought I’d make a quick post on things that I have purchased within the last week.

Yesterday I received Alex Chung’s ‘It’ book in the mail. I still haven’t had the chance to read it yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m a huge fan of Alexa’s style and would love to read about what has shaped her style over the years.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eye Liner – $32 from Mecca Cosmetica. I wanted to try this because I had run out of my Lancome Artliner, an eyeliner that I have loved for many, many years. It is however quite dear so I was looking for something that was cheaper. I have only tried it on two occasions and so far it does the exact same job.  So far what I like about the Stila eyeliner is that the nib is very fine and precise, excellent for feline flicks.

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Origins Ginzing Moisturiser – $44 from Kit Cosmetics. Since this is a repurchase, it simply reinforces what I was saying in a previous post. The texture feels so light, a gel/cream hybrid.

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Travalo from Priceline. It’s a pocket sized perfume atomizer. During uni, there have been multiple occasions where I was in such a rush that I had forgotten to spritz myself with my perfume. Now I don’t have to worry about that. I can carry my perfume with me at all times. Perfect for when you’re on the go. I filled mine with Dot by Marc Jacobs.

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Crabtree & Evelyn Gardeners Hand Therapy from DFO or Myer. I am no gardener, but this is by far the best hand cream that I have ever used. I bought the small tube because I love carrying it with me in my bag. It smells herbal, not to everyone’s taste but I still love it nevertheless.

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Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Today was quite a gloomy day so I decided to bake some cupcakes for my uncle’s birthday. His favourite treat is carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, so that’s exactly what he’s getting but in the form of cupcakes!

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The cupcake itself has pistachios, walnuts, pecans and sultanas. Very nutty, so delish! IMG_9302

Cream cheese frosting with a dash of lime juice and zest.

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At first I started sprinkling pistachios around the edges of the icing, which I think looked pretty nice but I decided to go for something cuter by adding the little carrot on the top. I just mixed red and yellow food colouring to a small batch of the cream cheese frosting in order to make the orange.

IMG_9362 IMG_9384 IMG_9401What I love the most about these is that they are bite sized and everything seems so much darn cuter when they are made tiny.

 

Double Chocolate Cookies

I was really itching to bake last night and since I had nothing better to do, I decided to whip up these bad boys. Yes, these are very indulgent and bad indeed but so yummy! I’ll definitely be bringing these to my slumber party with my girlfriends on Monday night.

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Adapted from Everyday Food, September 2003 and Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 220g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 340g milk chocolate chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C.
  2. Heat chopped dark chocolate and butter at 20 second intervals in the microwave, stirring after each time, until chocolate is almost completely melted (Do not overheat)
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs with vanilla extract and brown sugar until it has thickened but still light and fluffy
  5. Add melted chocolate and mix at a low speed
  6. Add the flour mixture and chocolate chunks and stir until combined
  7. Spoon heaped tablespoons of cookie mixture onto baking sheets (keeping each cookie 2-3 inches apart)
  8. Bake until cookies have a crackly appearance but remain soft at the center (approximately 12-15minutes)
  9. Leave on the baking tray for 10 minutes to cool
  10. Move to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely

NOTE: Cookie batter should have the consistency of a brownie, quite thin. Cookies should not be baked until crispy, as they are supposed to be soft and chewy.

– Store cookies in an airtight container

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As you can see, I have made some changes from the original recipes. I decided to switch the bittersweet chocolate chunks to milk chocolate as I have friends who aren’t too fond of dark chocolate. However, I kept the base of the cookie very dark with 70% cocoa as this was already quite a sweet cookie, and needed that bitterness to balance it out. I also love the intense colour it gives the whole cookie. Since I switched the chunks to a sweeter chocolate, I also reduced the sugar by 1/4 of a cup.

Hope you guys enjoy this just as much as I did!

Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you guys think.

What’s in my Cup? | Chai Latte

I woke up pretty late today so I thought I’d wake myself up with a nice, spicy chai latte. If you enjoy the aroma of spices, you should definitely try this. I prefer T2 Chai tea leaves rather than any chai tea bags from the supermarket.

The T2 blend of chai is inspired by traditional masala chai from India. It contains black tea, cloves, ginger, star anise, cardamon and cinnamon. Mmm…I love the smell of it, smells so darn good!

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I usually make a Chai concentrate by adding about 7 tablespoons of the chai mix into my medium sized pot, add 500mL of boiling hot water and brew for 4-5 minutes. I then fill my mug 1/3 of chai concentrate and 2/3 warm frothed milk. I usually warm and froth my milk with my nespresso aeroccino. I like to finish it off by sprinkling a little cinnamon on the top and with a tablespoon of honey.

Note: this is a quick way to achieve a chai latte, however not the traditional method. If you’d like to try a more traditional version, watch Byron Talbott’s take on the chai latte. He also shows you how to make the rim of your mug pretty and tasty!

IMG_8488 - Version 2I’m thinking of uploading a recipe for a coconut, lychee and cucumber slush sometime soon. It’s so refreshing and all my girlfriends love it. What do you think?

Be sure to leave me a comment to let me know if you’ve tried this or any suggestions of drinks that you’d like to see next.

Chocolate avocado mousse

I’ve been watching a lot of raw and vegan videos very recently on Youtube. I’m not vegan by any means but I’m so hooked on the Raw. Vegan. Not gross segment on the Tastemade channel. One particular recipe that really caught my attention was the chocolate avocado pudding. Since I didn’t have any coconut oil at home, I decided to search for other chocolate avocado pudding recipes and whipped up my own.

The recipes I looked into were called ‘puddings’ but I felt like its consistency was more closer to a mousse.

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Recipe adapted from Tastemade and Forgiving martha

Serves: 2 or 1 really hefty portion

Ingredients:

  • 1 large avocado
  • 2 tbs honey or agave or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic (sounds weird, but IT WORKS – Cancels out the avocado flavour)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Toppings (optional):

  • 1/4 cup fresh fruits (I used blueberries, raspberries or strawberries would be just as awesome!)
  • chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts)

Directions:

  1. Peel and cut the avocado
  2. Add avocado to the food processor
  3. Put all the other ingredients into a food processor
  4. Serve with fresh fruit and nuts or enjoy as it is.

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Top 10 beauty products of 2013

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Tarte Amazonian 12-Hour Blush in ‘Exposed’

I have loved it ever since I got it as a Christmas present in 2012 from a relative who had travelled to USA. It gives a natural colour to the cheeks, a dusty rose tint and lasts throughout the whole day. Unfortunately, i’m not sure where you can get it in Australia. So if you are able to get your hands on it, please do!

Origins Plantscription Anti-ageing concealer ’02’ (Light Medium) – $26.00 from Kit Cosmetics 

I always have issues with the consistency of concealers, it’s either too dry or too liquid. This one is just nice for me, quite creamy and covers most imperfections. However, it feels a little too heavy for covering my under eyes.

Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins cream – $59.00 from Kit Cosmetics

This cream has been part of my nightly routine for the last 3 years. I love how moisturised and supple my skin feels in the morning. It has a pleasant, zesty orange scent. It’s consistency is quite thick but isn’t too greasy, lovely for my generally normal but sometimes flaky skin.

Origins GinZing moisturiser -$44.00 from Kit Cosmetics 

Feels great on the skin alone or even under makeup, also has the same orange scent as the Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins cream. It’s my perfect daily moisturiser.

Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron – $34.99 from Priceline

This serum is absolutely amazing, especially during winter! It contains hyaluronic acid which helps to revive dehydrated skin. I apply a small amount all over my face, just before my day and night moisturiser. It has definitely helped to reduce my flaky skin with continued use.

Clinique Lash Power mascara long wearing formula ’01’ (Black onyx) – $38.00 available at the Clinique counter in Myer, also available from their site 

I have really excessively oily eyelids, normal mascara and even waterproof mascara smudges on me. This is the ONLY mascara that has not failed me due to its tubing formulation. It’s also really easy to remove, warm water and a little bit of my cleanser is all it needs. Although it’s easy to remove, it is able to last throughout the whole day. I’ve even worn it to the Big Day Out music festival in 40 degree weather!! Not a single budge or smudge. It’s lengthening and I can wear it all day without having to worry about looking like a raccoon.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – $26.95 from Kit Cosmetics

I’ve tried the Origins Super Spot Remover gel several times and despite the opinions of many other beauty bloggers, it doesn’t quite do the job for my pimples. However, the Drying Lotion certainly does the trick for me! Simply dip a cotton bud into the pink sediment and dab onto pimples. It does leave a pinkish white mark on your pimples, which is why I apply it just before I go to sleep and wash it off the next morning.

Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash – $36 from Mecca Cosmetica 

This facial cleansing wash is gentle, smells of lavender and is able to remove pretty much all of my makeup without needing me to scrub or tug on my face and eyes. If I ever have stubborn eye makeup, i’ll usually use Bioderma after cleansing.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (5.5) – $90 from Myer

I know the price is ridiculous but this foundation is seriously worth it. It gives a nice, natural glow but doesn’t make you look oily. The coverage is very buildable and ideal for flash photography at night since there is no SPF in its formulation. I like to apply this with my Real Techniques Expert Face brush.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Lipstick ‘Raven’ -$42 from Mecca Cosmetica

It’s a liquid lipstick that certainly lives up to its name of being opaque. It dries matte and delivers long lasting wear, which is what i LOVE! I don’t need to worry about it smudging all over my face or reapplying it throughout the day.

Chocolate pinwheel cookies

Hi all,

I have been wanting to start up my own lifestyle blog for quite a while now but never really got around to it. Since I baked some cookies today, I thought i’d take this opportunity to share it.

I followed the chocolate pinwheel cookie recipe from sugarywinzy.com

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The recipe gives direction to wrap the log and store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Instead, I placed it straight into the freezer for an hour and the cookies turned out fine.

They were quite nice and my family really enjoyed them!

Food. Beauty. Random stuff.

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