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Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

Hi guys!! I know I already did a Halloween themed manicure, but I just had to do another in the traditional orange and black =D.

Started off with OPI Y'all Come Back Ya Hear?, and a plain black polish on my ring finger....


I sorta didn't realise that I probs should have put the pumpkin on the other way round for photos sake, but it was too late when I realised as I had already sealed it with top coat...so picture rotation was in order =P. Unfortunately the pumpkin didn't turn out as clear or opaque as I'd hoped...


Looks a bit tripy upside down!!
And, as I tend to do so more often these days, I got a bit bored with it and in order to cover tip-wear due to work, I free-handed some black tips on...



Hope you guys have a fantastic Halloween pigging out on candy and wreaking havoc in your neighbourhoods!! xx

Sugar Fix

I just love those awesome deals that have become all the rage recently. You know, those daily deals you get in your email that have crazily discounted offers that you only have the chance to purchase within the next few days (Maybe only the kids in Oz will know what I'm talking about). There are allll sorts of things you can find on these discount sites - restaurant vouchers, holiday offers, awesome experiences likes go-karting or acrobatic lessons.....it's so cool! I've only purchased a few of these offers, and they've been restaurant vouchers because being a foodie is not cheap =P. But the deals are so good! I recently purchased 2 vouchers that were $5 each and entitled you to purchase $10 worth of merchandise at any Sugar Fix store. So basically it was like getting $20 worth of stuff for $10 - half price baby!! Also, lucky for me, their factory outlet is actually on the way to and from my current placement site, so I got more bang for my buck!

So I thought I might as well spend this credit on stuff I normally wouldn't get from there, or is too expensive (in my opinion) to buy out of pocket.


The Peanut Butter Mn'M's are always a hit with me, and I haven't had Pop Tarts in AGES and these Brown Sugar Cinnamon ones were so nice!! I've never ever had a Twinkie before, didn't even know what they were until I saw them. I just don't like the name....throws me off eating it (ewww gross). It's actually just a really soft cream filled cake....The Dark Chocolate Mn'M's aren't as nice as I thought they would be, but I ate them anyways =P. And believe it or not I've never ever had Dr Pepper before....and I don't think I'll ever have it again =P. I, again, being as ignorant as I am, didn't know it was like a cherry flavoured drink (technically it's marketed as a "unique" flavour, but I think it's cherry =P)....and I don't do cherry flavoured anything (unless it's actual real cherries or glace cherries) because I truly believe cherry flavouring tastes like medicine. The Hershey's Caramel Syrup is something I've been wanting to try for ages. On it's own it's so so sweet and not that special. But when teamed with ice cream it's actually quite nice, a unique caramel flavour. But yea, realllly sweet! Gosh the Americans love their sugar don't they! It also worked really well in a milkshake.

The Apple Jacks are an apple and cinnamon flavoured cereal very similar to fruit loops - they were nearing expiry so it was half price. So upon first bite you can taste the cinnamon flavour, but after that it all just tastes like sugar (i.e. like fruit loops =P).


And finally the Reese's Whoppers. OMG I absolutely loved these!! They are literally like Maltesers but instead of being covered in chocolate they are covered in peanut butter!! And they are so nice!!! And so addictive!! I must confess I finished the whole box in the one day...such a fatty. But OMG. I sorta regret discovering these now because I KNOW I'm gonna crave them....


=D xx

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Phoenix Restaurant, Rhodes

My best friend Kalli and I absolutely love yum cha. We made it a tradition back in high school to go every year after our Speech Night rehearsal. It was like a way of celebrating another year of high school done and dusted with. Each year we would have different friends join us, or we'd go by ourselves and get so stuffed we contemplated rolling home. Since finishing high school we've long since forgone the tradition of our yearly visit, as we don't have the time or money constraints of teenagers, and go pretty much whenever we feel like it =P. On this occasion it was Kalli's birthday so I asked her where she wanted to go and she had a craving for yum cha =D.

Our fav yum cha restaurant used to be East Ocean in China Town, however since they got rid of their lunch time roller carts we've had to find other places to satisfy our yum cha cravings. One such place is Phoenix in Rhodes Shopping Centre. I really like this place mainly because it's a HUGE room and there's plenty of room for the carts to pass by without jostling customers. And they also have some of the best mango pancakes I've had (I have a feeling I need to expand my yum cha/Asian eatery experiences to those located in more authentic culturally associated suburbs =P....did that even make sense?) However it feels slightly less authentic with the massive wide screen TV on the wall, I think to accommodate for the large office lunch crowd who fill up the place. Whenever I've been here there's always been a large queue, however this time it was actually not that busy, which is good and bad (good because there's less crowd --> less noise, bad because it means less range of dishes to chose from).

I actually don't know the names of anything that we order (apart from pork buns and dim sim =P) - we normally just ask the ladies ferrying the carts to lift up all the lids and we pretty much pick by looks =P.The down-side with going just the two of us is that we don't get to order that much and have a bit of everything. But it's all tasty nonetheless. This time we ordered all our familiar favs...

Fried scallops in wonton wrappers
Some sort of noodles with prawns =P. Omg I'm hopeless.....
We call these footballs since we don't know what they're actually called =P
These have to be our favourite!!
Balls of deep-fried sweet chewy dough with
a pork filling
Shredded Beef - one of my fav Chinese dishes,
but this was one was really really sweet...
Dim Sim!!
Fried Rice Noodles with Peanut and Soy Sauce.....mmmmm

Unfortunately we were too full to even touch any pork buns or mango pancakes :'(. But definitely next time!! And we had our intensely sweet death-brownies waiting for us at home so we had to leave some room for those =P.


Rhodes Phoenix Restaurant
Level 5, Rhodes Shopping Center
1 Rider Blvde
Rhodes NSW 2138
Ph: (02) 9739 6628
http://www.phoenixrestaurants.com.au/rhodes-phoenix/about

Rhodes Phoenix on Urbanspoon

=D xx

Halloween Slime Nails

I think it's a shame that Halloween isn't widely embraced here in Oz. I've had the opportunity to live in places where they do celebrate Halloween and I remember it being so much fun! The decorations, the parties, the sweets.....it was all done so elaborately, everyone goes all out and really gets into it. I absolutely loved it!

But over here its so dull =(. I hope that over the coming years maybe it will be more widely recognised as a reason to partay up! And eat an endless supply of sweets without being told to stop, and also an excuse to egg peoples' houses and play pranks without getting reprimanded =P. So much fun.

In the spirit of Halloween, I decided to paint my nails in a sort of Halloween theme. Recently I purchased some more polishes and one that caught my eye was a lime green polish I picked up at the chemist. So I thought I might do a slime design! So this is Satin Lime Green (doesn't have a name for the colour =P)



Originally I wanted to put a green slime pattern over black, but this lime green polish is SO SHEER!! It took about 4 coats to get it this opaque!! So I free-handed a black slime pattern using a dotting tool =).




I really liked how this turned out! And it stood out so much. I caught people staring at them on my way to work on the train, I got quite self-conscious =P. Needless to say, the lime green practically clashed with every outfit I wore haha. The day after I did it, I could see some tip wear, so I thought I might matte-ify the tips and see how it turned out, before I thought of re-doing my nails....


Didn't turn out exactly how I pictured it, but it was OK. Because the layers of this manicure were so thick, it started chipping really soon =(. Oh well, it was good while it lasted =D.

Happy Halloween peeps!! xx

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Pizza Scrolls

Hi guys! Today I was going through some of my photos trying to delete as much as I can before my computer dies from memory overload, and I came across these ones that I realised I hadn't done a post on yet. They were from about a month back when I had to mass produce about 300 pizza scrolls for our youth group trivia night. I know. 300. It was effing insane. It took me forever. But I did it! And they turned out realllly well! My pizza scrolls are always a hit, and they are so simple. I saved some for my brothers party that night as well and everyone kept coming up to me and asking me how  made them. And so know they will know =). But yea, its no big secret, just 4 simple ingredients! And no measurements required - this "recipe" is really flexible and allows for lots of variation and experimentation. Mine are just basic, but you can add heaps of different fillings to jazz them up according to your tastes.


Start of with plain sheets of puff pastry.....


Spread a generous amount of tomato paste over them (you might feel like adding chilli, BBQ sauce, herbs......)


Sprinkle a generous amount of cheese over the sheets (I used mozzarella but it's up to you =) )


And then top with heaps of oregano! Again you can be your own judge and add whatevs you like - different herbs, salami, other meats - whatever you feel like!


And then, you take each pastry sheet and carefully roll it up like above. You can seal the edges with some whisked eggs (egg wash), I just squashed the edge into the side of the rolls just because I'm lazy like that =P.


 And then cut the roll in to 6 even pieces (you can make them larger i.e. cut them into 4 pieces...i think 6 is the perfect size to class this as "party" finger food)

I'd actually suggest lying them pastry side down, otherwise they get reaaally hard to remove from the paper and cheese melts everywhere...can get quite messy....

And then bake them in a pre-heated oven at 230C (450F). I don't have a specified time as to how long they should cook for, but about 20 minutes is a rough guide. Or, cook them till they look like this....


Taa daaa!!! Yummmooo!!
Seriously these are the easiest, and one of the yummiest things to makes, especially if you're on a budget + time limit. I make these for all my parties and they are a hit =). Give em a go!!

Enjoy =) xx

Friday, 28 October 2011

Opium Den, Potts Point

When I told people I was going to a place called Opium Den for a friend's birthday, they either looked at me with a funny look on their face, or stared at me with wide open eyes as if i had sprouted a third ear or something. And then I would go on to explain I was going there for dinner, which left them further confused. And then I explained that it was a Thai restaurant. And they continued to look at me funny.


Yes, Opium Den in Potts Point is in fact a Thai restaurant, not a drug lord's residence (despite being on the door step of The Cross =P). It is actually a really cosy place, and the decor inside is quite modern, not what you would call traditional Thai. The same could be said about the music (I swear it was like they were channeling Richard Mercer or the station he is affiliated with =P).


Kalli had recommended this place for the venue of our friend's surprise birthday, because the food was apparently yummy and cheap. And it most certainly was =). However, it can be argued that most Thai eateries in Sydney are both yummy and cheap, but watevs =P.



I actually really liked the menu here, because you can have your pick from all your typical Thai dishes, but there were also some ones that you wouldn't find on all Thai restaurant menus which was refreshing. The flavours of these dishes were typically Thai but it was nice to mix it up and have a few different things. I didn't get a chance to take photos of every single dish, but here's some of what was on offer....

Ga Pi Fried Rice - Rice stir fried with shrimp paste, topped with shredded egg omlette, red onions, dried shrimp, chilli and caramelised pork
Sweet Chilli Jam Combo - Combination of chicken and beef stir-fried with sweet chilli jam, onion, cashew nuts, shallots and roasted sundried chilli
Massaman Beef (a classic =P)
Pad Thai (another classic haha)

And a snapshot of our plates wiped clean =). Mmmm satisfying dinner it was indeed!


But no dinner is complete without a sweet treat afterwards (in my opinion!) And so we brought out the special surprise birthday cake - the Sicilian Tiramisu from Patisserie New York (Thanks Kalli!). So light and fluffy...


And because I'm a giant fatty, I felt like having the Roti-Banana (I remember seeing it on the menu the first time round and I had pretty much made up my mind that I was going to have it =P). And it was so worth it!

Roti-Banana - Roti pan fried served with caramelised banana and coconut ice cream (pretty sure this was green tea ice cream but =P)


Overall it was a great night out, much to do with the atmosphere and the change in weather we've had here in Sydney recently. And of course because it was for a special occasion hehe. Definitely give this place a go, it's a nice change from your typical Thai =).

Opium Den
89 Macleay St
Potts Point 2011
Ph: 9331 2255
http://www.eatability.com.au/au/sydney/opium-den/

Opium Den on Urbanspoon

=D xx

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Attempt at Galaxy Nails

Finally last night I had some time to do my nails again! They've been looking pretty eww in the past week, especially after I attempted to free-hand french tips....let's just say they looked good from afar but far from good =P.


Anyways, so I've been surfing alot of nail blogs recently in my (frequent) breaks at work, and I came across this trend of galaxy nails. There are many different versions of this design, and I saw a few different ones I thought I'd like to recreate. I picked one from one of my fav nail bloggers Deniz at Emerald Sparkled, as I had some of the same/similar polishes she used for hers. Basically, the way to create a galaxy effect is to start with a dark base (preferably black, but a deep dark blue will also work).....

Mine was a black with a bit of shimmer to it (can't really see the shimmer)
.......and then either sponge or dab random glittery/chrome polishes over your nails, making sure not to completely cover the dark base underneath and not to concentrate the colours too much.


I know there are more methodical ways of doing it, and some very detailed tutorials, but I figured this would be the easiest, less time consuming way to do it.



Hmmm, I'm not really sure of the result. I thought it was OK at first, but the more I look at it, the more I start to not like it so much =P. I think I dabbed a bit too much over the base, and I think I put too many of the big hexagonal glitter pieces on (supposed to resemble stars).




Actually, could probably do without the glitter. I'm definitely gonna give this another go, because I really really like the effect some people have achieved. Hahah I think I spoke too soon =P, maybe I should try following one of those detailed tutorials after all....

=) xx
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