food

Seas the Day with P&O

po40Aslings Beach, Eden 

Ahoy! I have returned back on shore with sea legs and a full belly after seeing some of the ‘Secrets of the South‘. Last week, I spent 8 nights onboard the newly launched Pacific Eden which sailed from Sydney to Kangaroo Island and back. To give you a little idea of what a day in the life of a cruise-ling is like, I present to you a 48 hour recap that consists of one port day and one sea day.

po59po61po58Daily Essentials: Hat / Sunnies /Reversible Swimsuit (c/o)

Port Day

0700 – Breakfast at The Pantry: The Pantry is the closest thing to a buffet that you will get on the Pacific Eden. Gone are the days of sticky salad tongs and soda dispensers. Instead, the citrus coloured interiors are divided into cuisines and everything is served by cruise staff. If you want quick food without the hassle of waiting for a 3 course meal, The Pantry is the place to go. My favourite sections were the salad bar and the dessert bar 🙂

po26po43po25

0800 – Shore Tour: A port day means that the liner docks for a whole day  (usually around 7am -5pm) and you’re free to roam the place as long as you get the last tender back to the boat. This particular boat docked at Eden, Mornington Peninsula, Portland and Kangaroo Island. I squeezed in a couple of shoots at these places so I can’t wait to show you more beautiful photos in the coming weeks.

po35Seal Bay, Kangaroo Islandpo34Cape du Couedic Lightstation, Kangaroo Islandpo28Admirals Arch, Kangaroo Islandpo31Clock By The Bay, Portlandpo30Mac’s Hotel, Portland

1900 – Dinner at Waterfront: As the name suggests, this is the restaurant with views of the ocean. Serving up ‘Modern Australian’, Waterfront was my favourite dining option that didn’t come with a cover charge because the menu changed every night, the staff were wonderfully enthusiastic and the decor was stunning. There’s three courses for lunch and dinner plus an extra sharing platter for the evening that is another meal in itself!

2000 – Pre Show Drinks: The drinks on the Pacific Eden were flowing every hour of the day and there are plenty of bars all around. Keep your wallet at home – all you need is your cruise card and everything purchased is put on your tab.

po4The Ocean Barpo55The Domepo50Angelo’s Bar

2045 – Velvet Rope at the Marquee: There was live entertainment on most nights but the Velvet Rope was my favourite because it coincided with The Great Gatsby party. Expect lots of singing, dancing and beautiful costumes – all delightfully tied up in a neat 45 minutehigh action show.

2230 – Late Night Movie: If you’re still not ready for bed you can always head over to the Torquay to catch the last movie of the day. Some of our options included Jurassic World, Kingsman, Gone Girl, Age of Adeline and Fantastic Four.

Sea Day

0800 – Morning Dip: Sea days are the perfect opportunity to test out all the amenities starting with a swim in the many pools available.

0900 – Breakfast at Waterfront: Then its time to have a long breakfast complete with all the juices, pastries and sweet and savoury breakfast options in the world.

1000 – Zumba in the Dome: With all the 3 course meals you’re consuming, this is a great morning workout to do. Can you still pull a one leg stretch with sea legs?

1130 – Hair Appointment at Elemis Spa: The Elemis Spa has a a huge variety of services available including massages, fire and ice manicures or even a chop and colour which is what I had done!

1300 – Lunch at Angelos: Aside from the Waterfront, there are two other restaurants that are included in your ticket. Angelo’s does Italian and Dragon Lady does Pan-Asian.

po49Angelo’s

po44Dragon Lady

1400 – Silver Screen: Breakfast at Tiffany’s: There’s always a classic flick on in the afternoon. I’ve been meaning to watch this Audrey Hepburn film for the longest time so this long sea day was perfect for that!

1530 – Gym: Get your body ready for dinner ha!

1730 – Spa: There’s an outdoor jacuzzi for those who don’t mind the natural elements but if you want to spoil yourself, try the Elemis spa rooms. There’s a wet and dry steam room, a jacuzzi and my personal favourite, the heated ceramic beds which dry your wet swimmers.

1900 – Dinner at Luke Magnan Salt Grill: Salt Grill comes with a $49 cover charge but its still a price that can’t be beaten if you were to experience his food in one of his physical land stores. The French and Chinese fusion inspired menu is presented in a simplistic way that still packs an incredible punch of flavour.

2145 – Comedy: A bit of cheeky fun for all the adults on board.

223o – Bianco White Party at the Dome: There are a ton of parties on board and there’s a great atmosphere created when everyone gets involved in the theme. Our cruise had a sail alway, a back to school party, a gatsby night, a bianco white party and a las vegas pool party.

2359 – Midnight Snack and Zzzzz: Your stewardess makes your bed twice a day which is service that I have never experienced. They will first make your bed in the morning and then whilst you’re having dinner, they get it ready for the evening by dimming the lights, placing a tray of midnight snacks on the bed and twisting your towels into animals. You will feel incredibly spoiled and taken care of for sure!

po41 2cheeky cheeky po27po57The Opera House as we sailed awayIMG_1115

Post created in collaboration with P&O Cruises

signoff2

August 2015

august9

What a jam packed month! It was so busy and according to my planner, September will even be more intense. Below are some of my food adventures and above is a flat lay I am particularly proud of. I have a couple of exciting features lined up just in time for the new season and I’m hoping to start introducing to you guys some new and quite different personal style looks. // Pictured here (anticlockwise): September Harper’s Bazaar, Sausage Dog from Kmart, Pandora, Essie ‘Urban Jungle, The Body Shop blush, Forever New Booties, Kikki K 365 day journal, Essano Rosehip New Zealand, Formula 10.0.6 Be Pure Mud Mask, Naked 2 via Mecca Maxima, Revlon Balm Stains, Sali Hughes’ Pretty Honest, Charlotte Smith’s Dreaming of Dior and Minchinbury Wines.

august4

Aqua S Hazelnut & Seasalt with Sweet Popcorn via Macquarie Shopping Centre / Blue/black/rasp/straw/berry and banana smoothie at home

august2

Lemon Tart via Brendan Dewar Patisserie / Berry White Chocolate Mousse via Passion Tree Velvet

august6

Spit Pork soft shell taco via El Loco in Surry Hills. This was such a fiesta for all the senses!

august5

Clipper Cafe in Glebe / Protip: Bring your Access card to get major $$ off 🙂

august7

Venus Wholefoods in Surry Hills / Smashing Pumpkin via Shores Restaurant in Hornsby

august8

Local brunching and coffee art-ing :0

sign off

Four Seasons

fourseasons1
fourseasons9

fourseasons13

fourseasons3

fourseasons10

fourseasons6

fourseasons7

fourseasons11

fourseasons4

The palm leaves on my skort are for summer, the pastel collared top is for spring, the rainboots are for autumn and the plaid is for winter. The Sydney weather has been wild these past weeks. In the Blue Mountains it was snowing one week and then the next there was a bushfire?!?! Regardless, I prepare myself for these wild days ahead by layering and repeating. I also cope by eating beautiful pastries like those croissants … mmm layers and layers of viennoiserie. How is everyone else doing weather wise?

Outfit Photography: Adela + Styliminal / Other Photography: Me

sign off

May(be) Baby

maybe3

I was always aware that Kmart had stepped up its game for about a year now but this month I discovered the cult following behind Kmart Forecast and I was hooked. They’re doing trendy decor on a budget and everything flies off the shelf. Its unlikely you’ll find any of these pieces left this late into the month but for future reference, keep your eyes peeled and hope they bring out some more bargains like this copper lamp for $20 and the breakfast in bed tray for $10.

maybe4

maybe5

Oh Vogue Cafe! Situated in Macquarie shopping centre, this is my new mecca. I recommend the nutella milkshake because you need to try it once but then from there on stick to the juices and baked goods like the cronuts and cookies and cream scrolls. Skip the breakfast though because its really mediocre.

maybe2

I haven’t read in a while but this month I went through a lot of books. Grace Coddington’s memoir was a delight to read in my Uniqlo sweats. On the right was my favourite outfit and something that I am yet to shoot for. I feel very English in this with the Chelsea rainboots and scalloped shift dress.

maybe1

May was quite the month of sequels and nothing was really up to scratch except for Jenny Han’s P.S. I Still Love You. Pitch Perfect 2 was “aka-alright” according to my friend, Emi and you can read her fab review on the drab film here. Same goes for The Heir by Kiera Cass which was an unnecessary addition to the excellent Selection series.

maybe6

maybe7

maybe8

Rounding off the month recap we have my spastic self at TGIFridays, one of the few decent cafes in Chatswood called The Espresson Room and The Choc Pot which is located in the fairly new Chatswood Interchange and where I was lucky enough to win a free chocolate risotto!

I also want to give a shoutout to this beautiful blog! I don’t usually do this but I love nordic simplistic lifestyle and her photography is gorgeous!

Photo Credits: bottom right picture 4×4 by Emi // bottom left choc pot logo by LetsNomNom

sign off

Royal Easter Show

royaleaster1

royaleaster2

royaleaster7

royaleaster3

royaleaster4

royaleaster5

royaleaster6

royaleaster8

royaleaster9

royaleaster10

royaleaster11

royaleaster13 copy

royaleaster12

The Sydney Royal Easter Show was a fun but exhausting trip and has me at a loss of words. Instead I will reel off a random selection of words. Sunny in the morning. Full of people. Waffle dogs. A brown cow called twilight nutella. Chips on a stick. ALPACAS. Chickens that looked like dalmatian dogs. Rainbow snowcones. Wet in the afternoon. I hope y’all had a lovely long weekend!

sign off

March On

marchingon1

I can’t believe we’re a quarter of the way into 2015 already! This month’s blogging schedule went to the grave as soon other responsibilities took priority and although its taken me a month, I think I’ve reached a level of discipline that by April, I should be able to scrape off a section of my plate for creating content. In the meantime, I’ve had a lot of time to think about whether or not to keep up with SS and I think blogging will intrinsically be a part of me so there’s really no point in deleting this when I’ll end up opening another. When I was younger, I used to create my own little magazines by cutting out pictures from other magazines and writing my own articles. I guess this blog is just an extension of that little girl ambition and if this creative endeavour ever takes me further than a hobby, print is where I want to be.

marchingon4

Entertainment front, I watched Insurgent – it was good at best but that’s how sequels are. My friend and I have this really weird guilty pleasure; we still keep up to date with Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. We’ve been watching this cute new show called Bella and the Bulldogs – its about a cheerleader turned quarterback on the football team. My brother and I also watch the Sacconejolys on YouTube – their videos will brighten your day instantly I promise. Just silly things that make me nostalgic. My favourite read was probably Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, I liked all the characters and I liked how it was set just as Y2K was about to happen.

marchingon2

marchingon5

Being on the move more often has meant consuming more beverages (at least for me!) The pink drink is a fruit whip – its like a fruit based slushy so you know less refined sugars … Some of my favourite snacks this month have also been peanut butter ice-cream from Coles, mini Tim Tams and coconut almond milk!

marchingon3

Just some shoe love for this month. Flats here and joggers here. I have my eye on a pair of over the knee suede boots and cut out ankle booties for fall. So ready for autumn weather to hug me like my sweaters. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, I hope April showers bring you flowers and if you’re in the south … I hope you can stop feeling sweaty all the time haha.

sign off

Speckled Easter Cake

speckledegg2

Here’s an indulgent (both in terms of time and calories) type of cake that you can spend your easter long weekend making and eating. Its a four layered densely packed whopper that should be able to hold you over for at least four days!

speckledegg4

Banana Cake

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Prepare two round pans and set aside. Mash ripe bananas in a mixing bowl with a potato masher or fork and set aside. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter with a paddle attachment until smooth. Add in the sugar, and mix until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla and eggs – one at a time. Stop the mixer.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add in half of the dry ingredients. Mix in the yogurt or sour cream. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the mashed bananas until combined. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until golden – about 22-25 minutes for the recommended size. Cool on a wire rack. Invert the cakes out of the pans once they are cool enough to handle. Cool completely before slicing each cake in half horizontally to create four layers of cake.

Dark Chocolate Buttercream

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 block of dark chocolate

Place egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Whisk until combined. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place over medium heat. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to cream a double-boiler. Heat, whisking occasionally, until the egg mixture is hot to the touch. Once hot, remove from heat and place bowl on mixer. Whisk on high until the bowl of the mixer becomes room temperature. With the mixer on medium-low, add in the vanilla, butter, and melted dark chocolate. Once added, mix on medium-high until smooth. Place buttercream between each layer of cake before frosting.

Green Frosting

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups of icing sugar
  • A dash of salt
  • Green food colouring

To make frosting, in large bowl, beat softened butter and powdered sugar with electric mixer on low speed until incorporated; beat on high speed 3 minutes. Add vanilla and salt; beat 1 minute longer. Add green food color 1 drop at a time, beating until a light green colour is achieved.

speckledegg3

Speckles

  • 1 tablespoon of baking cocoa
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

To make speckles, stir the 2 ingredients together to create a paste, load it onto a dense paintbrush and flick at your cake.

Decorations

  • Instant Noodles
  • Mini Eggs

Break instant noodles into large chunks and assemble like a nest. Fill circle with mini eggs!

speckledegg copy
sign off

Galentine’s Day

gday3Happy Friday The Thirteenth! Ominous much? Also infamously known as Galentine’s Day – the neatest holiday invented by my favourite public sector gal Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation. According to Leslie: “Oh it’s the best day of the year. Every February the 13th my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home and we come and kick it, breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” 

Due to some bad post scheduling on my part, it is yet again another illustration filled post so please excuse me! I am however super ecstatic to be featuring Yasmin from yours truly, Yasmin in today’s post. She is super talented and does amazing little drawings and typography so make sure you give her some love because it is Galentine’s Day after all! Personally, I think three things make a party: food, friends and some groovy tunes. Unfortunately, I can’t help you with the friends part but food and music? Yesiree!

gday2

Heart Beats Martini: /Alcoholic// Fill shaker with ice. Mix 1 part Vanilla Vodka and 3 parts Godiva White Chocolate liqueur. Add a couple drops of food coloring and shake. Assess coloring and add more food coloring if needed. Pour into martini glass decorated with a pink sugar rim. //Non-Alcoholic// Place sanding sugar in a shallow dish or plate. Slice six thin rounds from the middle of lime; set aside. Rub lime wedge around rims of six glasses; dip each rim in sugar to coat. Pour 1 teaspoon pomegranate syrup into bottom of each glass. Place grapefruit juice and 2 cups ice cubes in a blender. Process on high speed until ice is crushed. Pour frozen mixture into glasses, and stir to combine with syrup. Garnish with reserved lime rounds, and serve immediately.

gday4Heart Pie Pops: Using a heart shape cookie cutter, cut out as many pastry pieces as your heart (haha) desires. Then add the apple pie filling into the centre which consists of: 1 medium tart green apple, peeled and grated, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cold butter, grated. Pop in some lolly sticks and bake until golden.

gday5

Pink Pasta & Red Pepperoni Hearts: This one is really very easy but fun to cook! To make your pasta pink, cook it like you usually do and then ‘dye’ it using either red food colouring or you can try boiled cranberry juice, red beet juice or pomegranate juice. To make the hearts just cut our your pepperoni pieces to heart shapes.

gday6

A Galentine’s Day Playlist: Run The World (Girls) – Beyonce // 22 – Taylor Swift // Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper // Dancing Queen – ABBA // New Romantics – Taylor Swift // Wannabe – Spice Girls // BOSS – Fifth Harmony // Girls Chase Boys – Ingrid Michelson // Team – Lorde // Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar // Primadonna – Marina and the Diamonds // Milkshake – Kelis //  Do It Like a Dude – Jessie J //  Work – Iggy Azalea // Man! I Feel Like a Woman – Shania Twain //  Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani // Wings – Little Mix // How to Be A Heartbreaker – Marina and the Diamonds // Flawless – Beyoncé

gday1 copy

With those final few words from Ms Knope, I bid you adieu!

sign offPS: Happy Valentine’s Day for tomorrow as well!

My Day on a Plate // January

dayonaplate

Smorgasbord can mean a wide range of something but it is more popularly known as a range of open sandwiches and delicacies served as hors d’oeuvres. In simplest terms; I like food. My blog is a representation of me. Food will now be a feature of StyleSmorgasbord. Capeesh? I’m going to try my best to do these every month and make them a reflection of the season I am in. So today’s four recipes are perfect for a hot summer day. These recipes will have a common denominator: they will be fresh, easy, healthy, tasty and very Instagrammable.

I also wanted to mention one of my favourite cookbooks that I’ve been pouring over lately. Clean Living by Luke & Scott is a paleo cookbook that has the most amazing dishes. I think the idea of paleo is so very interesting and although I don’t think I will ever go pure paleo I really like the message the boys talk about concerning how clean eating is sometimes seen as restrictive:

dayonaplate5

dayonaplate3

A Breakfast Beverage of Cucumber & Pear Green Juice // Serves ONE // This is a great post workout juice for those who need a quick hit before a hot long day ahead. I usually like to make my juices before I work out, pop them into the freezer for an hour and cool off after my workout with the chilled juice // Remove the skin of a pear, chop it into chunks and then throw it into a blender along with a handful of green leaves (any will do), a few slices of cucumber, several ice cubes and a tiny bit of water so your blender doesn’t break! //

dayonaplate2

A Light Lunch with Sweet Potato Fritters, Salmon & Avocado // Serves TWO to THREE // I originally saw this in a Paleo Diet Cookbook but it had way too many ingredients so this is my four ingredient adaptation that is a breeze to make with an arm workout thrown in for fun (from intense grating haha!) // Combine a 600g grated sweet potato with one egg yolk together and then shape the sweet potato mixture into a loose round and press into a large frying pan with oil. Cook for three minutes on each side until crispy. Serve fritters with smoked salmon and generous amounts of avocado! //

dayonaplate1

Beachside Dinner with a taste of Nha Trang // Rolled up food is right up my alleyway. I love sushi and tortillas and sausage rolls but most of all I love rice paper rolls. Served cold, they are the perfect kind of dinner to take on a picnic. // There are so many variations that instead of giving you a recipe, I’m just going to link you to some of my favourites (most of which are East meets West): Garlic Chicken / Chicken & Mango / Summer Fruit / Grilled Asparagus & Chilli Orange Quinoa / Shrimp & Avocado //

IMG_0154

Decadent Dessert of Strawberry Greek Pie that isn’t that indulgent // I love baking but at the same time I hate it too so frozen treats like this are the perfect remedy! Although they’ll take a bit more work than a cold scoop of ice cream, your body will thank you later. // Crush a sleeve of digestive biscuits and add a little bit of milk to ‘wet’ the crumble. Then press the crust into a pan. Puree a punnet of strawberries and stir it into 600g of greek yoghurt and then pour it on top of your crust. Add some sliced strawberries on top and freeze for at least 5 hours. Take it out to sit for 20 minutes before serving //

That’s all for my day on a plate! Let me know if you try any recipes and if this is a series that can be picked up in the future!

sign off

A Gal at Bal

bal8

According to the Urban Dictionary, definition number seven, chinos are: A type of trouser made from chino cloth. Although they are very comfortable and soft, they come in the most grotesque colours possible which really makes them stand out. The fact that they are sold in excess in stores such as Abercrombie and Jack Wills doesn’t help their reputation much either. Chinos, the everyday hipster’s choice of trouser wear. So what then are chino shorts? To me they are the conservative short, which means they are the perfect piece to go with the bustier – a garment Victorian women wore to get their va va voom on. Since I have no desire to show off too much skin, I decided to pop on this light see through chiffon shirt and one button it up all easy breezy.

There you have it, all ready to set sail! Or at least walk along the boardwalk. How lovely does Balmoral look on this cloudy Saturday? I think the cool tones are the perfect complement to my sailing appropriate look and I love how bright the pictures turned out. Sometimes, a picture sans blue sky is really okay after all! And where do sailors brunch? The Balmoral Boathouse of course! Get the quinoa bircher it could seriously feed three!

Today was actually meant to be a DIY post and the last post in my New Year series but Optus decided to cut my internet for two days because the roof of a tower fell off or something so I have been in agony for the past 60 hours. It got to the point where I turned up two hours early to a party so I could use the host’s internet (thank you beb) and stood in front of the Apple store for an hour to leech off their fast wifi. Sue me, I’m so twenty first century.

bal9bal12bal10bal6bal11balbal7bal1bal5bal13The footless seagul { :(((( } and food shot by me, outfit shot by Adela 

sign off