Sunday, 31 March 2013

Good Food, Good Company

It's Sunday and I would normally be bringing you a new recipe but today I felt like sharing with you my review on two of Brisbane's finest (and very different) establishments. My mum came up to Brisbane on Thursday for a bit of an Easter getaway/return-to-home-town holiday. We've spent the last few days together and have done some fine eating in that time. Thursday afternoon we were in the Fortitude Valley and I decided it was high time I tried the hippest new (new is debatable) establishment in the area, Alfred and Constance.

As expected, this new cafe/restaurant/bar combination is a much needed chilled addition to 'the valley' scene. Housed in a classic Queenslander (the typical home built circa 1900 is this tropical state) the vintage-probably-more-retro decor is comfortable and not overdone. For lunch, the food and service is friendly, casual and simply delicious. It's not overly fancy and fiddly, the food is wholesome, tasty and anything but bland - like a meal from your mother (well, I don't know about you but at least from my mother). 

Friday, 29 March 2013

The End of an Era

Jeffrey Campbell Tardys in Black Leather, Blue Leather and Black and Yellow Pony Fur 

It's no secret that I love Jeffrey Campbell shoes. However even I didn't realise quite how many pairs I have managed to collect over the last 2 years. I have sixteen pairs of his shoes to my name and I think the time has come for me to let some of them go. 

My tastes have changed a lot since I first started wearing heels. I was a wedge lover and loved clomping about in my JC Tardys. Now I have definitely been converted to Team Lita and there I shall stay. 

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Makeup #1: Staples

I've been going to a lot of job interviews lately and they require a certain style of makeup: clean, conservative and 'barely there'. It's also very handy that that is the easiest and my most preferred method of doing my face. In this post you will find the products that are my 'makeup staples', a bit of a review and a bit of a comparison with products I wish I had. 

This may not come as a surprise but in case you hadn't noticed already, I am a big, big fan of Clinique makeup and skin products. There is something about the brand that, initially, made me place my trust in their fine products. I've had problem skin since a young age and have always felt wary about straying away from what I know works and doesn't cause any unnecessary issues for me.  I think it was about two years ago that I converted to Clinique and it will take a heck of a lot of persuading for me to try anything different.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Travel Essentials

As you may have read in previous posts, I am back in Brisbane. Even though Brisbane is my home town I am staying with relatives and have only a limited amount of belongings with me. Everything else is either in Melbourne or storage. I thought that I would share some of the items I have found essential during my two weeks (going to be four or more weeks) in minimalism-traveler mode. 

Friday, 22 March 2013

Mid-Monthly Loves

I have been intending to do a monthly favourites post for what feels like a year and a day now. However every time the start of the month rolls around I seem to get distracted and I don't remember until the middle of the month. Today I just decided that the fact that it was the middle of March didn't matter I was doing a favourites post. 

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Home-grown Basil Pesto

Before I left Melbourne I stocked up on recipes to share with you so that I wouldn't feel guilty about not cooking while I was job hunting. This is one of my favourite things to make and it only happens every so often. Occasionally, the basil my mum loves to grow becomes fairly overgrown and starts to flower. It's normally at this stage that she recommends a pesto making session. I've used a few different recipes over the years and some are better for cooking with while others are better for dipping. This one is half-way between but if you're not a huge pesto fan, I'd recommend putting this version in other dishes rather than using it as a dip. And just as a heads up, you'll also need a food processor for this recipe.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Passion for Fashion Competition

I think it comes with the territory of being a fashion blogger that you're addicted to shopping. Sadly for me basic necessities like food and phone bills often get in the way of my addiction. When I heard about Money Supermarket's competition on the lovely Olivia's blog I knew it was the perfect way to satisfy my shopping itch and not spend a dime. Here are the three outfits I've designed below, if anyone fancies entering it is open internationally (link here) and I would love to see your fantasy outfits in the comments.

Crop River Island £35 / Denim Crop River Island £30 / Maxi Skirt Topshop £20 / Socks Topshop £4 / Boots Topshop £70 / Casio Urban Outfitters £28

Total Spent = £187

Down under it is just cooling off after a long, steamy summer so this outfit is perfect for autumn (or an English spring ;)). I am currently lusting over the entirety of the Rihanna for River Island collection. I've never been a big fan of Rihanna's music but after this collaboration I definitely have a bit of a style crush going on. The turtleneck has a split down the back which I think is a really nice detail and the denim crop is the perfect way to wear denim in the warmer weather. Maxis make an awesome staple year round and the side splits allow everyone to see the most important part of your outfit, the shoes (duh). I have been loving patterned and colourful socks of late and have been snapping them up off eBay left, right and centre. They add a delightful pop of colour to my rather neutral wardrobe. Finally the Casio, once you start wearing a watch regularly you can never go back. I feel slightly naked if I ever forget mine and a Casio is a affordable alternative as Michael Kors wasn't quite within the £200 budget. 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

OOTD Life's More Fun in a Maxi

Pink Floral Maxi Dress - Thrifted, Green Socks - ASOS, Boots, R. M. Williams, Sunglasses - Sportsgirl, Lips - Over by Illamasqua and Raspberry (02) Superbalm Moisturising Gloss by Clinique

Wow! Two OOTD posts in a row! It probably (definitely) has something to do with being back in Brisbane near my photography-loving-friend Tara (she took all these photos by the way). Today we took up a trip up to Mount Cootha, near her home, for some lovely scenic shots at the look-out and in the Botanic Gardens. 

Monday, 11 March 2013

Jeffrey Campbell 99 Ties

 Hi Lovelies! Today I'm doing a review of the shoes that started it all. The Jeffrey Campbell 99 Ties in Red Glitter. These were my very very first ever pair of Jeffreys and what a pair I chose (if I do say so myself). Almost two years later these are still my favourite pair of JCs and I often will take them out of their box just to stare at them. 

Before I discovered Litas I was browsing on Solestruck and saw these shoes. They were red, they were shiny and they were on sale. They immediately went into my shopping cart and I've never looked back. 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

OOTD Double the Denim, Double the Denim


High Waisted Jeans - Thrifted, Chambray Shirt - Thrifted, Ribbon Rose Headband - Tara's Creations, FoReal Holographic Flatforms - Wittner, Red Nail Polish 'Tomato' - Sportsgirl Nail It!

I'm back in Brisbane! Well actually I returned on Wednesday but I had no exciting Brisbane news to accompany my hair obsessions post. I do now though. The lovely Jess snagged me a sneaky op shop present while I was away in Melbourne. Just like a good addicted op shopper she couldn't leave these amazing jeans even if they were too big for her. I have another pair similar but in a different wash and slightly baggier fit and so this is a very welcome addition to my slowly expanding denim collection. When I tried them on I instantly knew that it was time for me to attempt a double denim outfit and share it with you all. 

Friday, 8 March 2013

OOTD - Back to Black

 Top American Apparel / Jeans BDG via Urban Outfitters / Shoes Jeffrey Campbell Coltranes / Lips So Chaud by Mac

After a brief flirtation with colour in my last outfit post (link here) I am firmly back in the realms of monochrome. The only colour is the burgundy of my belt, well and the lipstick, and I couldn't be happier. I did feel an urge to match my lips to my belt but felt that may be taking colour coordination to the extreme. 

This was my uni outfit for the day. I like this outfit because it's so simple. It's easy to get caught up in having to make an outfit complicated or unique or a statement and lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day they are just clothes. Part of that is just wanting to settle in our style and I will always be an avid advocate for a statement shoe, but it is nice to go back to basics.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Hair Obsessions

Miracle Hair Treatment, ELEVEN Australia - Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair, Cedel - Purse Size Radial Brush and Super Hold Elastic Headband in Brown, Lady Jayne

About a year ago I had my long curly locks cut off and replaced with a cute bob and block fringe (or bangs). I've not had a fringe in my life since I was about 5 years old (forgetting that very very brief period in year 10) and I wanted a drastic change. I've never been one for obsessive styling of my hair either and so going from the easiness of long hair to short hair and a fringe required a change in hair products and styling techniques. Thankfully, as the owner of naturally curly hair, I am no stranger to the straightening iron or blow drier but I have come to appreciate the use of better hair care products. Here are a few of the products I have come to rely on to make me feel less like a shaggy dog and more like a shiny princess. 

ELEVEN Australia's Miracle Hair Treatment - $24.95: this product promised to deliver 'eleven benefits your hair will love'. When I saw it sitting there on my hair dresser's shelf and read the description I couldn't help myself. I can rarely be bothered applying any product and so one that offered the benefits of so many appealed to me like the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Its benefits include (yes, I'm quoting the website, so sue me): adding shine, smoothness and softness, controlling frizz and fly aways, moisturising, strengthening fragile hair, preventing split ends, detangling and creating manageability, protecting from heat styling, enhancing natural body, protecting hair colours from UV lights, and protecting chlorine and sun damage. 

I will admit I don't really need all of those benefits but protection from heat stylers (which I use almost everyday), preventing split ends, added softness, and controlling frizz are important to me. I've been using this product for about two months now, after a vital reshape of my style cut, and will definitely be repurchasing this product. It's super easy to apply. Just a few pumps worked through my washed hair before I blow dry and straighten. 

CEDEL's Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair - $6.69: having never tried a dry shampoo before, I thought I should go for a smaller and cheaper option. So far, I must say I'm quite a fan. I had heard that dark brunettes should definitely go for the dark hair alternatives and I'm glad I did. This isn't a product I use everyday but with oily skin and short hair the amount of wear I can get from one wash is definitely cut in half compared to my old long locks. Having a fringe also makes managing my hair's body and style between washes difficult. I find this product useful on the second or third day of my wash cycle when my fringe has found its own path (very different from mine). 

I only use this when I know I won't be fussy about my hair's appearance for long or at all because if I play with it too much after use, the oil returns pretty quickly. It is definitely handy at the end of the day when I'm changing clothes or makeup and need a little more bounce in my fringe. 

I haven't had a good look around the market for other dark hair dry shampoos but when this runs out I may or may not return to this product. It works well enough but I might look harder next time I'm in need. 

The last products I'm going to feature in today's post are more 'tools' than 'products' but they're helpful for my 'new-ish' hair style nonetheless. 

Lady Jayne Purse size Radial Brush and Super Hold Elastic Headband in brown - $3.99 and $6.79 respectively. For the first few months of my adventure into the world of fringes (bangs) I was using my ordinary hair brush to blow dry them after a wash. This was working only averagely and thought that a smaller round brush would be more beneficial. This brush might look like cheap plastic crap but it has a very small job to do and works perfectly well. Only if I lose it or if it breaks will I be purchasing anything more substantial to roll my fringe. 

The second item I've chosen is a girl-with-a-fringe's best friend. There are times when having your fringe off your face and out of your mind is very important - exercise and cleaning anyone? My head is fairly pressure sensitive and so I went about choosing a headband for this role very carefully. I've found these headbands to be big enough for my enormous head but not
so big that they slide off. They also have this handy strip of plastic around the inside that holds it in place.  I do require the use of bobby pins in conjunction with this item but thats a given with short hair, right? 

So those are my current can't-live-without hair products. I'm quite happy with how my haircut frames my face and adds a small amount my maturity to my style and persona. If you know of any products that do the same but BETTER than any of these, let me know. That is, for anything but the Miracle Hair Treatment because I'm too in love with it (oh, and it smells amazingly coconutty) to change for quite awhile. Even if my hair was longer and didn't require styling. 

Thats it for now, Erin xx

Monday, 4 March 2013

OOTD - Lace and Corduroy

 Top Thifted / Skirt American Apparel / Jacket Levi / Belt Thrifted / Socks Asos / Shoes UNIF Grim Creepers

In order to celebrate the official change from Summer into Autumn I decided to wear not one, but two colours. Shock horror. I am guilty of wearing a lot of black. It matches with everything and looks polished. Sometimes though I get an itch to wear colour and using dark and muted colours is what works best for me.


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