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Monday, 28 May 2012

Red Wine Time

No, I'm not on the drink =P. But my nails are (so to speak)! Oh God I'm lame.

I picked up this really nice deep dark burgundy polish the other day and I wore it straight for 2 WEEKS! I think that's the most I've EVER worn a polish for! I think I'm just really into this colour at the moment and so I didn't wanna change them. And plus it's a bit more demure and simple than my normal nails, which do need a break now and again. This is Ulta3 Mulberry.

=D xx

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Xanthi, Westfield Sydney CDB

My mum recently got a new computer and she been playing around with screensavers and backgrounds, so much so that everytime I see it there's a new picture there. The most recent set of photos going through her screensaver are the ones from my graduation. I was watching it for a bit and the photos from my celebratory dinner with my family came up and I realised I hadn't written about it on my blog!

Xanthi is a Greek bar and restaurant located in the Dining Precinct of the Westfield in Sydney CBD. The dining precinct itself looks really nice, with heaps of restaurants that I'd love to dine at in the future. Xanthi has a little section outside it's main restaurant as well, which is also where the bar is located. Personally, I don't like that kind of set up, seems more cafe style then restaurant style, especially for a restaurant this nice. The main restaurant looked really nice, they way they had decorated the place was just gorgeous. We were seated in one of the booths which I think were a bit more decorated than the rest of the restaurant.

I know I've put this photo up before but I absolutely loved
the gorgeous lights hanging from the ceiling

The menu looked really good, there was so much I wanted to try (as usual). And I just HAD to get the Pork Belly Baklava, as this is what Xanthi is famous for =).

A celebratory drink! Xanthi's Cherry Cocktail - Metaxa brandy, cherry brandy,
orange juice and champagne.....Very strong!!

Dip Selection - Tarama, Split Pea and Tzatziki served with toasted pita bread

Pork Belly Baklava (Most anticipated dish on my part!) - Twice cooked pork belly with a date and pistachio filling, served with a date mastic sauce and pork crackling.

I was definitely not disappointed with the pork belly baklava (other than it took ages to get to the table!). The date mastic sauce that came with it was sooo good, as was the crackling.

As for the mains, my mum, brother and myself opted for the quail since we all agreed it sounded delish and I've never seen quail on a Greek menu so I was intrigued. Dad went for the more traditional Lamb Spit Roast.

Lamb from the Spit - Served with toasted pita bread, sumac spice sliced tomato, onion and tzatziki

Microasiatiko Quail - An old byzantine classic where quail is first deep fried, then dry fried in cumin, paprika, honey and balsamic vinegar and tossed with assorted mushrooms and dried chick peas

The quail tasted oh so gorgeous! There was so much on the plate I couldn't finish it, though I wish I could have taken it home with me! The only thing that was a bit off was the chickpeas - they were too hard and I swear my teeth would have cracked if had kept trying to eat them.

By the time we had finished mains we were waaaay too full for dessert. But then our waiter recommended the Caramel Baklava Ice Cream and me being a dessert aficionado and even more of a caramel lover, I just had to try it. And judging by the way my family pounced on it even after claiming they couldn't eat another bite, there is definitely a reason why this is their most popular dessert.

Caramel Baklava Ice Cream - Sliced layers of vanilla bean ice cream, caramel fudge and baklava nuts

Overall, an excellent way to end a day of celebrations =).
I definitely wanna go back and try some more dishes - the whole sharing plate section looks so yummy!

Watching what you eat! Haha

Xanthi Bar and Restaurant
Level 6 Dining Precinct
Westfield Sydney CBD
Corner Pitt Street Mall & Market Street, City
Ph: (02) 9232 8535

Xanthi Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

=D xx

Friday, 25 May 2012

Sydney Fashion Weekend 2012

Hello beautiful people! Sorry for the week-long absence, I've been studying , or rather, getting anxious, for my upcoming finals. This coupled with the fact that I had a rather painful extraction of my wisdom teeth a few days ago has made it pretty hard to do anything. Worst thing is I couldn't talk for a couple days, and it's still a bit painful to open my mouth. And it's so swollen I look like Eliza Thornberry. Wah =(. 

Anyways, a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend this years Sydney Fashion Weekend. I've never actually been before so it was a new experience. It's a chance for the public to get a glimpse of Australia's ever-evolving fashion industry, featuring fashion shows from some new and favourite home-grown designers, and best of all, gorgeous designer clothes at some of the lowest prices you will ever see! It's a really good chance to get your hands on some beautiful clothes at a fraction of the price (albeit you may need to scour the racks to find some of the smaller sizes, and it's best to get in quick). In fact, I didn't intend on spending the amount of money that I did =P, I actually didn't expect to find so much nice stuff! I of course wished I had more money to spend =P. Definitely going back next year to grab me some bargains.

Sitting in a funky orange bucket chair in the VIP room =D

Wine Time!

Road Testing my Miss Selfridge Boots

I must apologise for the pictures, I have an unhealthy obsession with Instagram atm, so pretty much all my photos have been Instagramed (Great excuse to not lug my huge ass canon around haha). OOOoo BTW you can check out my pics/follow me - eesh_89!!

I went with a couple of friends and we had access to a VIP room upstairs overlooking the masses of boutique stalls set up within Hordern Pavilion. We were treated to champagne and a little goodie bag while we marvelled at our purchases.

The fashion show was set up on one side of the hall, and it featured designers such as Ginger & Smart, Jets, Hussy, White Suede, Nicola Finetti, Bec & Bridge and Miss Unkon (personal fav!). These designers also had stalls set up from which we could purchase many of the items the models had worn.

Just some of the designers =). They are a bit blurry because I'm not good at
taking pictures of moving things haha

It was an amazing day of shopping and a great insight into where Australian fashion is at and where it's going. It so great to see so many Australian designers producing amazing clothes and it was a great opportunity to grab some statement designer pieces for the wardrobe (not that I can fit anything else into it atm =P).

Woohoo I think i did pretty good if I may say so myself!!

=D xx

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Tiffany Blue (Sorta...I'm Not Sure...)

Hi Guys! I've been trying to reduce the amount of times I strip and paint my nails. Partially because I can feel them getting a bit weaker from all the fiddling around I do with acetone and layers of polish. Also, because I actually want to change them when they actually show signs of wear and tear =P. Otherwise what a waste of polish and a perfectly nice design!! For instance, this next design I did, I really liked it, and I was actually a bit sad to see it start to chip.

I started off with L.A. Girls Disco Brites Turntable. I really really liked this colour. And it looks different under different light (this can be taken 2 different ways...I'll explain later)! At first I thought it looked like turquoise/aqua, then when I took photos of it I was under the impression it was a Tiffany Blue....

This was with flash - very turquoise-like isn't it

And then without flash, magically it's like Tiffany Blue!

Back to my double meaning statement about this polish being seen under different lights. This polish is actually a black-light polish. This means that it will 'glow' under a black-light, which are commonly found in nightclubs. I unfortunately don't have one so I can't show you what it looks like, but here's a link to a similar polish shown under black light.

So after that put a golden swirl design on each nail =) and sealed with topcoat.

How awesome would this look under a black-light!! =D xx

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Eesh Trending

It has come to my attention that there are particular things/objects that are currently 'trending' in my life at the moment. I'm sure you all go through the same - you like particular clothes, books, movie genres, music or foods for a while. And throughout short time periods, you may be obsessed with these things or use them more often than other things. I like to call them trends rather than fads....sounds...more, for want of a better word, legitimate haha. I should point out that the trend may last only a few days or many months - depends on the person I guess. Sometimes you may not realise you're trending something, until you think back and realise that maybe you did read Jodi Picoult's whole collection in a matter of months, then slowly you may have switched to Nicholas Sparks (That'll be the day =P). See what I mean? To give you one more example, I'm trending the phrase I just mentioned above. Now that I think about it, I've probably said that at least once every day for the past week

I'm not actually sure why I needed to explain what trending was. Seems a bit obvious when I think about it now....oh well =P.

I thought I might share with you some of my current trends, just because there seem to be quite a few at the moment....

Gippsland Blood Orange and Mango Twist Yogurt. This has to be the creamiest, sweetest, most gorgeous tasting yogurt I have EVER had. I bought it on a whim because I was intrigued by the blood orange and mango combo. It only comes in the family size tubs and I was a bit sceptical to buy such a large amount. Now I tell my mum to get one every week because I go through a tub that fast by myself =P.

Long Black Blazer.
I bought this online from an Asian store about a year ago, hence the unknown brand on the tag (It's in Chinese, or Korean...I'm not entirely sure...). Anyways, I shamefully didn't start wearing it until this year...and I regret not wearing it before. I love paring it with skinnies (preferably burgundy), scarf, flats some flash gold jewellery and sunnies. Speaking of sunnies....

MinkPink Sunglasses. See what I did there? Huh? Hahhaa. I bought these on the Gold Coast when I went last year. Again, I didn't start wearing them till this year. I love the shape of them, a bit more sophisticated, a bit cat like. I think it suits my new hairstyle, hence the current over-use.

Cadbury Creations Peanut Toffee Cookie.
I'm sure many of you have seen the ads on TV for the new range of Cadbury Chocolates. On the whole, I'm not that impressed by them. There's nothing new about bits of Crunchie and jellies in chocolate (Black Forest is way better)...popping candy is appealing, but I HATE it when they put Smarties (or 'Beanies' as they call them) into a chocolate slab. Although there is a reason why the peanut toffee cookie slab and bars are pretty much sold out in every supermarket I step into. It tastes so good! Reminds me of the Easter Show or some carnival of similar sorts. The name is self-explanatory - peanuts, toffee and cookie bits dispersed in smooth classic Cadbury milk chocolate. If the abundance of slabs at my local Woolies is any indication, it seems they've caught on and started re-stocking hahaha....

. I've been watching my collection (my brother bought me the full series a few years back) for the past few weeks. My fav sitcom of all time. This trend is probably a life-long one ahaha.

Heartbeat - The Fray. Very into the mainstream tunes at the moment. I don't believe they've officially released the song here in Oz, but I believe it won't be long till we're hearing it on the radiowaves.

The Voice Australia. I only started watching this because I was too lazy to go upstairs after dinner one night, and decided to veg out on the couch and watch TV, and this just happened to be on.  Now I'm addicted. It's such an interesting concept! And everyone I come across is watching it, which makes for interesting and lively conversations. Go Lakyn Heperi!!

So that's just a few of the things on the Eesh Trend Radar =D. Hmmm, might make this a regular fixture...if I have enough trends that is lol. Knowing me the same things will be trending next week ahhaha =P xx

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Banana Bread

Bananas are not my favourite fruit. Partially because they are more sugary than most, and they leave me feeling a tad bit bloated after eating one. And, when they are overripe, they stink up the fruit bowl and leave the kitchen with a faint smell like those banana lollies. Odd thing is, I love the taste of banana lollies. Weird, I know. Another weird fact - I love banana bread. I dunno, maybe I like the essence of banana, but can't stand the real thing. Or maybe it's a bit like my dislike of cheese - I won't eat it by itself but I'll have it on pizza or in a pasta sauce....Well, enough of my quirks for one post =P.

The dilemma one is often faced with....
Q: What do you do with over-ripe bananas?
A: Make Banana Bread!

I don't eat it or make it often because I'll end up getting sick of eating it once I get half-way through the loaf....which unfortunately happened this time I made it. Geez, you'd think a family of four hungry adults would be glad to finish it off to the last crumb. Despite this, the loaf came out really well and tasted amazing. I especially like a slice slightly toasted in the sandwich press then spread with a bit of margarine....yummo great breakfast treat =D. With the mashed bananas, I don't mash mine up too much cos I like to have chunks of banana throughout the loaf =).

Banana Bread
Adapted from Taste

265g (1 3/4 cups) self-raising flour
40g (1/4 cup) plain flour
1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
150g (2/3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) milk
2 eggs, lightly whisked
50g butter, melted, cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 overripe medium bananas, mashed

1. Preheat oven to 180C (360F). Brush a loaf pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and 2 opposite sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing it to overhang.

2. Sift the combined flours and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Place the milk, eggs, melted butter, vanilla extract and banana in a medium bowl, and stir until well combined. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into slices to serve.

Makes me wish I had more overripe bananas =P. xx

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Half Moon Manicure

This has to be one of my fav manicures. I've seen it done so many times and i've been wanting to do it for a while. There are a few ways you can do this manicure, but while I was surfing Pinterest (you can follow me HERE!) one night I came across this picture which had a link to a tutorial which made it look quite easy...

I started off with OPI Glitzerland....

Then after they had dried completely I stuck those punch-hole reinforcers just at the base of each nail, making sure they stuck down completely so that no polish would leak underneath. Then I painted over each nail with Essie Going Incognito. Immediatley after applying polish to one nail I would take off the reinforcer so that it didnt dry into the polish. Once all the nails were done, I waited a bit to dry them, then applied a top coat =).

Easy as pie =) xx

Baan Thai Cookery School, Chiang Mai

I've been having travel withdrawals recently. Oh hell, I've been having them since I came back =P. I was chatting to my best friend a few days ago and she was saying how she was wondering why I haven't put any of my travel photos on my blog....and I was starting to wonder the same thing =P. I've been meaning to because I couldn't wait to show you all some of the awesomely fun stuff I got up to, but I swear it becomes harder to choose what to put on here when I'm stretched for blogging time.

Anyways, thought I'd share a bit on an experience in Chiang Mai in Thailand's north. After getting off our over-night train from Bangkok, we arrived in Chiang Mai in the morning. Feeling a bit peckish, some of my travel companions and myself decided to attend a cookery class! It was SO MUCH FUN!!! Omg I absolutely loved it. I learnt how to cook SO MUCH! And it all tasted AMAZING!! The Cookery School we went to was the Baan Thai Cookery School and it's been recommended in the Lonely Planet Guide for Thailand as well (God Bless Lonely Planet!).

The school was situated within a maze of side roads, as everything seems to be in Thailand =P. We were seated in a room with both ends open to let the beautiful breeze flow through while our teachers for the day served us a platter of fruits and snacks. As we munched away the structure of the program was explained to us - as it was a half-day class we got to chose to make 4 dishes (1 extra if you go for the full day). There were a range of dishes to choose from different within our little group we tried to split it up so we all made different things. I ended up choosing Stir-Fried Prawns, Tom Yum Soup, Green Papaya Salad and Penang Curry.

Before we got cooking though, we were taken on a little expedition to the local fresh produce market.....I love these types of places, and it was SO refreshing to go to a place which wasn't crawling with tourists.

This had to be one of the highlights of the cooking class actually, I thoroughly enjoyed strolling through the aisles and picking out a few things to try. We had the traditional Thai ingredients explained to us by our teachers, and we were all given a few things to take back to the school to cook with. I took note of the location of the market because I was certain I was going to return before leaving Chiang Mai!!

Once we got back the real fun started.....each dish was given a different cooking station and we all watched the teachers cook the dish step by step and all the students just followed on. I must say, it makes it much easier when the ingredients are prepared for you and the cooking equipment is all set up. OH, and no washing up! BRILLIANT! If only it was like that at home...

After we had finished preparing one dish, we would sit back down in our little groups and enjoy the fruits of our labour....absolutely deeeelish! It was SO satisfying to make such authentic good tasting Thai food. Never in my DREAMS did I think I would be able to re-create some of these classic Thai dishes. Of course, there are alot of factors that would make it a bit more difficult back home, such as the cooking equipment used. I'd have to do a bit of searching to find a wok as good as the ones we used, which was also seasoned. Also, one of the key things about Thai cooking appears to be the amount of heat generated by the stove top - the ones we used were SOOOO HOT that it was so hard to even let your hand linger over the pan to stir the contents....Also, I'd have to search through my local fresh produce market to source some of the authentic ingredients such as the small Thai eggplants.

Stir Fried Prawns
Green Papaya Salad - Made mine extra hot haha =)
Spring Rolls - These were made by my friend crunchy!
Tom Yum Soup
Penang Curry - Definitely my favourite!!

After chowing down on our first dish, we moved on the next, and so it went on until we finished our last dish, by which time we were absolutely stuffed. We had made so much food, I sorta wished we could have doggy-bagged it ahahha. The class ended up going over the allocated half day, but we weren't complaining!! The great thing was that we got a cookbook with all the recipes of ALL the dishes we could have possibly cooked that day, as well as a guide to all the common ingredients used in Thai cooking. I even bought some Thai curry pastes to take home to try re-create our magnificent dishes. I'm so keen to get in the kitchen and make some of these dishes! Especially the Penang curry, that had to be my fav....mmmmmm so good.

Baan Thai Cookery School
11 Rajadamnern Rd. Soi 5  T.Sriphoom, A.Muang
Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Ph: 053-357-339

=D xx

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