Summer essentials 2015 on budget

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hi guys,

Summer is coming real fast! So it is time for us to get ready for warmer weather. Being fashionable doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend big on fashion. You can still look trendy, classy and fashionable even when you are on tight budget.

My favorite online shopping to shop trendy pieces while still keeping the budget in check is Dresslink. I did write a review about them on my previous post, you can check it out here. I have made several purchases and I am always happy with the quality of the items that I received from them, the customer service is great and the shipping usually only takes around 1-2 weeks max. 

In today's post I will pick a few MUST-HAVE essentials for this summer along with some pieces that you can get from Dresslink at such a low price!!

1. Cute shorts

You can never go wrong with shorts for summer and there are many styles you can choose; ripped jeans, crochet or pom-pom shorts. My favorite is a high-waisted shorts as it can accentuate your waist and perfect to be paired with bralette or crop tops.

I love this sunflower short for $8.07 from Dresslink. This short actually looks and feels exactly like the American Apparel one but at a fraction of the price.

2. Crop tops and bralette

These are my go-to summer pieces, I usually pair them with high-waisted short and cute strappy sandals to complete the whole look.

I found this cute backless crop top for $5.53 from Dresslink.

3. Kimono

I have been obsessed with kimono for summer. It can spice up the whole look while also acting as a cover-up when it gets chilly during summer night.

My favourite is this green floral kimono for $6.30. It has a beautiful floral pattern all over with fringes at the bottom. I get many compliments whenever I wear this!


4. Romper

It is in fashion this summer, everyone seems to get into 'romper fever' including me!
I bought one cute Black Strap Romper for $8.77 a few weeks ago (here) and I got a lot of compliments! This romper is so versatile as you can wrap the straps however you like it.

5. Bikini

Last but not least, who can pass a cute bikini for summer?! I picked this bikini set for $6.45 because it has a cute floral pattern that I absolutely love!! 

I hope this post can help you to get ready for the glorious summer this year! :)

The Meat and Wine Co. Restaurant Review

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"Hi guys, today's post is written in collaboration with my boyfriend, Stefane. He may not be the attractive, half-French, half-Dutch, Arian man-god he thinks he is, but he damn-well knows what he wants!"

We went to the Meat and Wine Co. last week for celebrating my 25th birthday. We made a reservation at 8 pm and we got there on time. We got seated upstairs near the kitchen and we could actually see what happened behind the scenes.

I picked the New Yorker Steak ($34) from their Monte Grain selection (grain fed 120 days) with mushroom sauce ($4) while Stef got the Fillet Steak ($35)  from the same selection with African Hot Chili sauce ($4). 

As for the beverages, I ordered an 'Apple of my eye' mocktail (freshly brewed apple tea mixed with ground cinammon and fresh apple) for $10. It was truly refreshing and I could taste strong cinnamon flavour in it with a little bit of tanginess that comes from the apple tea.

My steak was perfectly cooked, medium-rare, just how I ordered it. The mushroom sauce was sweet, light and very tasty! Yum! The chips were crispy and just how chips should be!

Moving on to Stef,

Firstly, as per my culinary behaviour, I will start with, let-alone focus the entire post on, a beer. I stuck to one beer this particular night as it turned out to be a significant culmination, fields above all the other options, of three distinct qualities, it was 'Castle Lager', of South Africa and following are my 'favourite factors':

Strength - 5%, standard for any brew, that's my opinion. Beer isn't about flavour, it's about brewing several various products to contain as much alcohol as possible without ruining said 'irrelevant-flavour'. Had three, was happy with the buzz, 'nough said.

Taste - Hosting a gentle effervescence, a piney, Asian tang with what seemed to be a slight lean on the flavour table toward an Aussie influence, being not widely dissimilar to 'Crown Lager'. I liked it, I liked it a lot.

Cost - Cost price means nothing, a 'VB' in Darling Harbour will set you back 3-4 dollars more than the same dingo-piss at 'The Dog House' (RIP), Glebe. I paid $8.50 and am not shocked to have done so. If you could possibly envisage a 'Meat & Co. vs. Dog House' 'venue face-off' you'd also be able to see that paying $4 extra for a; not having to witness 'schooners hurled' (in more ways than one!), b; being spoken to, and treated like, Richard Branson in a Bangkok massage parlour, I mean, sure, I was wearing, like, $2k but I had to plan that shit! I acted like an ass while Jenny was wearing a million bucks, all in the eyes ;). Finally, c; as in 'see' it for yourself because I can't explain away the lingering tingles I experience bruxismly, chewing on meat that 'aint there. I shall return.

So, apparently there's this law that you have to order some kind of "meal" if you want to "drink alcohol" at the venue and here's me with a murdered appetite (incidentally), having been administered (legitimately) a pretty intense appetite-suppressing medication, so here we go, the seemingly eternal struggle between hunger & confusion.

After what seemed like hours of curious, twitchy perusal of the distinctly not-sticky menu, I decided upon the moo cow fillet accompanied by 'African Hot Chilli' and having the choice between chips and salad as a side, I decided to not be a pussy. Oh and, uh, medium rare! "Are you hungry?", JG asks me, and I still don't know if I lied when I said... "Yeah, sure"...

With one swift sniff, my appetite axed down my olfactory's front door, kicked me in the balls and walked away setting my pot-plants on fire. Back with a VENGEANCE. I was exhilarated before I'd even begun hacking at the still steaming perfectly-gleaming flesh...

Well damn, I've spent BIG $ on chow in the past, with little expectation and large dreams, like, "sir, what if I paid you thrice your charge for an exceptional product and then have you present it to me as though you were handing me your very daughter in marriage?" and the guy just says... "Yeah man, BOOM!"

There it was, 200g of perfectly-filleted, bovine ape-feed. I salivated, I came, I said "shit" really  loudly a few times as I was chewing up obnoxious portion of delicious, cute, dead animal flesh (in that order...) The AfroChilli (?) hits hard but relents quickly and is DELICIOUS, it's what spicy sauces should be, challenging yet tolerable, perfect level of spice no matter the morsel size I applied to the steak. As for the steak itself, in one word - 'PERFECT', and also worked uncannily well around the 'Sewth Efrikan' brew. Just simply the best meat I've had in my life.

Taste, Atmosphere/Interior + Service (the holy trinity of culinary value) I gave a strict 8.9 on the night. I have high-standards with food so chuck a point on for padding if you like, seriously, for $124 inc. 10% tip and a something better than special, it's worth it.

- Peace

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It's not too bad being 25 years old ;p

Saturday, July 4, 2015

I remember when I was younger, I always got very excited for my birthday. It was something that I always waited for the whole year, thinking of what gifts I would get. I didn't have much worry back then.

As for now, being in my twenties, birthdays are something that I want to avoid, haha....

Yesterday happened to be my 25th birthday and Stef was going to take me out. As it was a special occasion, I wanted to look extra by having my teeth whitened. While I was researching, I stumbled across these whitening strips called 'Pearly Whites.'

They are voted as Australia’s most popular at home teeth whitening brand, using natural ingredients such as charcoal and coconut oil with a gentle whitening agent. Honestly, these whitening strips are perfect for my sensitive teeth!! 

They are easy to use and no mess, I can literally stick them on whilst getting ready for my birthday and they don't cause teeth sensitivity.

Back to my 25th birthday, it turned out to be the best birthday I've ever had! Special thanks to my wonderful man, Stefane, he's been treating me like a little spoiled princess.. haha.... Also, to all my amazing friends, family and everyone who's been making my birthday special! I am definitely feeling the love and I am so grateful for all of you! :D

Duda, my friend from Brazil, made a drawing for me! Thank you Duda, you are amazing and very talented!

One of my friends, Olivia, brought me lunch. Not only did she cook a chicken congee with fish crackers, she also got me a bowl of diced rockmelon. How thoughtful is she? Terima kasih Olivia :)

People from my work also been really nice to me today. They prepared a blueberry cheesecake for my birthday. One of my customer, Mary, got me a bouquet of flower. My best friend, Kadri, got me a box filled with goodies from LUSH! You guys know how much I LOVE LUSH ;P

I actually tried the scrub and the body butter and am liking it!! Thanks Kadri, you know me so well. Happy skin, happy me :)

I also got a new dress from Kookai that I picked up today after work. Lucky me, they were having a 70% off sale and I bought a grey dress that was originally priced at $120 for only $36. For those who are not familiar with Kookai, it is one of the nicer clothing boutiques in Sydney, they sell mostly basic pieces without much of patterns but at hefty price. There are a couple of things that annoy me about Kookai though; they only have 2 sizes at most for their tops and dresses. They usually come in either one size or size '1' and '2'. If you are xs-s you can go with size 1 and for m-l can go with size 2. But seriously? How can you classify millions of body types into 2 sizes!? It is discrimination, guys!

Another thing is its price-tag, sometimes I just can't justify paying $50-100 for basic pieces. Okay, you can say that the quality is amazing and blah blah, but as for me I will never buy their stuff at full price! Call me cheap or whatever but I prefer to call myself a smart shopper haha... I am planning to wear this new dress tonight for my romantic dinner with Stef.

Another good thing is that I finally have enough points to apply for my Permanent Residence visa. This is because the Australian government gave more points to those who are 25-30 years old.

I also will get my new phone soon, within 3 business days! :) My boyfriend, Stefane, has successfully convinced me to stop being an Apple follower and try Samsung Galaxy S6. I will let you know how I like or hate it! I ordered the blue one and I cannot wait to play with it and take amazing photos during my coming trip :) Stay tuned for this!

At night, Stefane took me out to have dinner in Darling Harbour. We had our pre-drinks at 'Taste Baguette and Grill' in Darling Quarters.

We then went to 'Meat and Wine Co.' in Darling Harbour. I have been DYING to try their steak for ages but never got the chance and last night we finally did it! The food was unbelievably amazing! The service was impeccable and we couldn't be happier. (I will do a more in-depth review on a separate post soon) :)

We ended the night by strolling around Darling Harbour watching people ice-skating. It was such a beautiful day and night. Once again thank you for everyone who wished me happy birthday, it means a lot to me that you guys remember my birthday! It made me feel so special.

Quarter-life is there such thing?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

YAAAAY! My final exam was last Wednesday and I can finally say that I will be a student no more.  I have a mixed feelings about this, on one hand I am happy because it means I don't have to study anymore! I don't have to worry about assignments deadlines, don't have to stay up late to try to finish assignments on time or trying to remember stuff for the exam that I won't even need in my future career, EVER. But on the other hand I am also sad that finally my student years have gone past. I will be turning 25 in a few days and I feel like I AM NOT READY to be an adult.

I feel like once you finish your study, we are expected to find a good decent job that pays well and be independent and get our s**t together. I have to be ready to embark on a new journey in my life, being an independent young woman. BUT seriously, NO! What if I don't want to be old? What if I want to be forever 21 like that big fashion giant? LOL.

I still want to take a gap year and travel wherever I want and worry about my future later on. I am not ready to take my life seriously even though I know I should and my parents would be very sad if I don't.

Whenever I go to my Facebook feed, all I can see is A is having a baby, B is getting married, C is engaged now... These things enter my mind and make me worried sometimes. Why am I different? Why I am not ready to settle down and have a baby? Am I being immature or am I just a late bloomer?

Yesterday when I told my colleague that I will be turning 25 this Friday, they said 'Oh Lucky you! you are still young!' I guess it depends on how you look at things. For my colleagues who are on their 30s, they think that I am still young, but for me looking at younger teenagers, I feel like I am a zombie coming from the 90s. haha...

Oh well, SUCH IS LIFE. This is what we call Life. Realisation that everything will have to end eventually, no matter how good or bad it is. Your baby face will turn into a more mature face with a slight wrinkle at the tip of your eyes. Your stamina will decrease as you get older. You can't drink 10 shots without getting tipsy like in your early 20s. People will look at you funny if you still wear tiny mini short revealing your butt-cheek when you are in your 30s.

Realising that life is short and every second that we have is valuable as we won't be able to go back in time, we need to enjoy life to the fullest. What's important is to trust your gut and be happy.
You can NEVER please everyone in life no matter what you do. So why don't you choose to live the life the way you like it? Don't listen to what everybody says, we all are different and things will always fall into place when the time is right.

Time goes really quickly, before I know it, I will be on my 30s. So I am not gonna try to stress out so much about things that I can't control (like my age or how quickly I get wrinkles, kidding!) and to enjoy every moment of it. I am still young (according to some people) and I will not take everyday for granted. I am still learning from my mistakes too.

For those who just graduated from high school, let me give you tips. Don't take life seriously, you are only young ONCE! Go travel, try and explore new things, meet lots of new friends along the way but be responsible at the same time. There will be times when you make wrong decisions, But fret not! We all make mistakes and the best thing in life is that we can learn from those mistakes to make us stronger and tougher. Enjoy every moment you have with your friends and loved ones because as you grow older, it can be harder to make times for them.

Alrighty... I will see you all on my next post, trust me it won't be as depressing as this one... lol