Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Monthly Round-Up | April

Eat and Drink
Sangria Bar, South Bank

Brisbane welcomes this addition to the flourishing strip of dining options along Little Grey Street, South Bank. As a dedicated Sangria bar to Ole Restaurant next door, there are a multitude of sangrias available as well as variety of other beverages and minimal but scrumptious tapas food (also available at Ole).

I have frequented this bar many times with some of my favourite people and have always experienced the highest levels of service and quality of food and drink. My favourite item on the menu is their olive plate as well as their classic patatas bravas. I've tried almost all of their sangria selections and am yet to find one I don't like. 

It is always pumping and a fun place to visit whilst still being reasonably priced with food under $15 and a jug of sangria for $32. Totally recommend this venue for a fun night out - I might even see you there. 

Roasted & Salted Soy Beans

We all know I adore edamame so when I saw these in the asian isle at my Coles I could not resist. I lack so much will power that these were opened before I left the shopping centre. They share many similarities to salted nuts being that they are addictive and not that healthy in large quantities. When roasted, the outside of the bean is similar to that of a peanut skin but is totally edible. These are a ridiculously cheap snack to have around the house when craving something quick, salty and better than potato chips. My one wish is that bars would have these instead of nuts.


I don't have too many words for once. SZA mellows even the most harsh of my moods. I can't get enough of her smooth tone that bursts with emotion. Thanks to my fabulous friend Rhianna, I have dived back into the overflowing pool of up and coming soul artists who are combining their art with hip-hop. 

I have no more words on SZA. Let Warm Winds featuring Isaiah Rashad turn you over to the dark side... we're pretty relaxed here.

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

We've all heard of (and probably seen) the hit movie The Wolf of Wall Street staring our love, Leonardo DiCaprio. Well, I decided to read the book before watching the film and it took me ages. It didn't take me ages because I'm a slow reader or because it was incredibly long. I took me two months to read because I struggled to cope reading about the most self-centred narcissist to walk the planet and his band of merry followers; alike in lack of dignity. I am always sickened when confronted with the though that humans like that exist. 

Don't get me wrong, the book is incredibly well written and I definitely wanted to read more but after a chapter or two, at the most, I could not cope with Jordan Belfort's insane life. When I did finally complete the book, I attempted the film. It was worse. Ads had led me to believe it was a fun party movie potentially avoiding the harsher more confronting parts of the book. I had no such luck. The actors did such incredibly jobs of portraying the horrible people surrounding Belfort's life, including himself, that any parts of their personalities that I had been diminishing in my imagination were highlighted. 

If you enjoyed the film, then definitely read the book. It is intricately worded and Belfort's internal monologue can be entertaining at times; occasionally enough to empathise. However, if you did not like the film I recommend staying far away. No one really needs to be reminded of how rich and dysfunctional 'the kid' really was. 


I love bright matte lipsticks. I also have a tendency to get fairly chapped lips. These two are definitely a bad combination. I've always been a bit of a skeptic when it comes to lip scrubs but have definitely been converted. This chocolate mint delight is pretty effective and makes for delicious (tested and approved) lips that are ripe and ready for those bold matte lipsticks that I am obsessed with. If you're not a chocolate mint fan, there are other flavours too. Thanks Lush!

I hope you've all had a super great April full of chocolate. Jess and I are super excited for this cold snuggle weather to really kick in. We're both big lovers of layers so our wardrobes are bursting with excitement.

Happy Wednesday! See you in May!
Erin xx

Monday, 28 April 2014

OOTD | Climbing Cathedrals

 Jacket Monki / Necklace eBay / Crop Top Nasty Gal / Jeans Gorman / Socks Target / Shoes Nike Air

Hi lovelies! I am just back from my trip to England. I am absolutely knackered after who knows how many hours in transit but pleased to be back typing this from my own bed. As you might have guessed I got a little shutter happy whilst away. Once I sort through it all I'll be sure to post some up on the blog.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Skin | Benzac by Galderma

My apologies if this post alienates you but I now speaking to those suffering from and living with acne and those doing their best to prevent breakouts. We're not a small group of people but we are bonded through this naturally occurring imperfection. I have covered my skin issues on here before but I will recap what is relevant to this post. I spent my pre-teen and teenage years with moderate acne; not the most aggressive and scarring kind but self-esteem damaging nonetheless. I had been to the dermatologist and endocrinologist and been told my body had a hormonal imbalance creating acne on my skin (face and body) at such a young age. 

Since the beginning of my acne treatment (complete with every wash, ointment and drug under the sun) there has been one brand and product that was always present. I left my first dermatology appointment (at age 7) with a list of face washes and creams that would help my predicament. Galderma's Benzac AC Wash with 5% benzoyl peroxide has been in my shower ever since. It is an intense face wash that, because of its high quantity of its active ingredient, can be very drying on the skin. The first few weeks of use can even result in slight peeling. Persistence is necessary with this product and a good oil free moisturiser. I use Neutrogena's Oil Free Moisture with SPF 15. I recommend using this product at night time because exposure to extreme sunlight can be more drying and damaging for your skin. 

Later, after an introduction by a cousin, Benzac AC Acne Gel (available with both 2.5% and 5% benzoyl peroxide) entered my life. I was using another Galderma acne cream, Differin, previously but it is prescription only and about twice the price. For me, this alternative works equally as well and is less damaging to the skin. I use this like any other acne cream applying sparingly to any spots after cleansing and moisturising. I am also more liberal with this product at night time because, like the face wash, benzoyl peroxide combined with sunlight is not your best friend. 

The most recent addition to my skin routine is the Benzac Daily Facial Foaming Cleanser, a new addition to the product range. I found it while repurchasing the Benzac AC Wash and was compelled to purchase it. It does not contain benzoyl peroxide like the rest of the range which I guess is Galderma's attempt to expand their line to less intense products. I know some people's skin simply cannot deal with the intensity of benzoyl peroxide in the other products and so this one may be more suited to them. I've been using this for all of two weeks now and am quite impressed. 

I can't say I'm going to completely convert my whole skin routine to the rest of the expanded range but I will recommend them. I like to think my skin is on the way out of this acne traumatised period of my life but until I am more certain of that, these products will stay in my beauty regime. 

Happy Sunday!
Erin xx

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Recipe | Machi Kabi or Indian Fish Curry

Growing up, my mum introduced spice and curries into our diet gradually. She would make mild curries and increase the heat every now and then. My brother was (and still is) a huge lover of hot curries whereas I took a little longer to warm to extreme warmth. This is a dish that started our love of curries and is still a family favourite. Fairly mild to begin with this dish can be made as hot or mild as you like. I love the freshness of this dish and will be cooking it for many years to come. 

Serves 4
500g firm white fish fillets
2 tbsp rice bran oil or ghee
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp curry powder
3 large tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp coriander or mint
juice of one large lemon
1 tsp salt

chopped chilli to garnish (optional)

In a large fry pan heat oil or ghee. Place garlic and onion is pan and cooking for two minutes or until fragrant. Add chilli powder and curry powder and cook for another minute. Add mint, tomato and fish and cook for another five minutes before adding the lemon juice and salt. 

Bring to the boil and let simmer for fifteen minutes.

Serve with rice, chipati or papadams. Garnish with chilli and any left over herbs. Can also be served with a yoghurt raita. 

I hope you enjoy this classic fish family favourite. It has been a staple curry in my family for as long as I can remember. This is quite a mild dish but feel free to increase the heat as you see fit. 

Happy eating!
Erin xx

Monday, 21 April 2014

Review | Revlon Colour Burst Matte Balms

 From left to right: Revlon Colour Burst Matte Balms in Standout, Shameless and Complex

Hi lovelies! I have been waiting very impatiently for Revlon to bring these lip products over to Australian shores. As a lover of matte lipsticks I couldn't wait to get my hands on this formula that everyone was loving. My lipstick drawers somehow managed to make room for these three shades. 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

OOTD | Made For Walking

Vintage Floral Sundress - Can You Keep a Secret? / Embroidered Denim Button Up - Thrifted / Knee High Cowboy Boots - The Amazing Mill Markets, Daylesford / Sunglasses - Sportsgirl

For as long as I can remember pining for a pair of shoes, I have pined for cowboy boots. I have been waiting, with my eyes wides open, for the perfect pair to come along but because of my large feet it has been a long wait. Finally, while trying not to buy anything too outrageous at the Mill Markets in Daylesford over my summer break I stumbled across these beauties. They were part of a larger collection and, astonishingly, in my size. I know my men's shoe size almost better than I know my women's so I saw an 8 1/2 and crossed all my fingers as I slipped them on. At $60 for shoes in such good nick I couldn't possibly say no. These babies are steel capped and super sturdy and I cannot wait to kick around in them all winter long. 

The rest of my outfit is nearing my last adieu to summer weather. I picked up this handmade retro bargain of a dress for $10 in my last Can You Keep a Secret haul and couldn't be happier seeing the season out in it. The super cute and comfy outfit needed some sun cover and a bit of extra warmth at night so I added a denim shirt of mine that doesn't get out much. I love the embroidery and the scalloping on the sleeves but it can sit awkwardly on some outfits. Fortunately, it suited this 1970s bohemian country attire well. 

Hope you've all been having a grand long weekend.
Happy Easter!
Erin xx

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Review | Aēsop Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant

It has been a life long mantra of mine that we keep our skin for life and should therefore treat it with the utmost respect. During my childhood and teenage years my parents and I put a lot of effort into minimising the effects my moderate but persistent acne would have on my skin. I still to this day have no problem in investing in more expensive skin products if I believe they will benefit my skin. Aēsop isn't the cheapest of skincare brands but I have a lot of respect for the amazing products they produce all with a heavy emphasis on natural ingredients. Occasionally, I will splurge and purchase from their line; normally when I'm feeling like a good old fashioned bit of retail therapy. 

I had recently tried their Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste in a sample (oh, how I adore their sample generosity) and was considering purchasing that. The ever-helpful staff member did a comparison on my hands of both of these products and I ended up preferring the Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant.  

The consistency is a fine light grey powder that smells just as a powder made mainly from tea tree should; like tea tree. It was suggested that I use an Aēsop gel cleanser but, as she could tell I was on a budget, said that it was only essential that the cleanser was a gel formula and the brand was irrelevant. I have been tapping a small amount (about the size of a five cent piece) into my hand, pumping my usual quantity of Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser on top and adding a few drops of water. When you combine these products in your hands they form an extremely clarifying exfoliating paste (there is a full demonstration on if you click the link to the product).

I think the value of this product far exceeds that of the Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste simply because you need a lot less of the powder to combine with a cleanser. I have also found that the intensity of the exfoliation is more suited to my skin type. 

If you don't mind the $40 price tag then I would highly recommend trying this product as a weekly exfoliator. I wear full coverage makeup everyday and am surrounded by coffee grounds and cocoa in the air - a natural but clarifying exfoliant is exactly what my skin needs. If you're not sure but have an interest in any Aēsop product, the staff are super helpful, knowledgable and incredibly generous with samples and demonstrations - never be afraid to ask when you're unsure.

Happy Wednesday!
Erin xx

Monday, 14 April 2014

Love | Coconut Oil

Hi lovelies! As I have previously mention I have super, super sensitive skin. I have replaced a large majority of my skincare with natural products. Coconut oil has a multitude of uses and I find myself substituting much of my beauty routine with it. If you're new to coconut oil or you're wary of using oil on your face here's some ideas to get you started. 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Recipe | Freekeh Greek Salad

Recently, I had freekeh pointed out to me in the health food isle (thank you, Adrienne) and couldn't stop pondering what it was like. To be honest it wasn't the most excited food I've ever tried but grain alternatives are always nice to discover. It has a texture very similar that of a brown rice-quinoa hybrid. As usual, my salad recipes are super easy to interchange with your favourite ingredients. I was aiming for a slightly Greek inspired dish but feel free to make this dish vegetarian or vegan if you like by omitting the fish and cheese. 

1 cup freekeh
4 small tomatoes, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
400g rocket
1 capsicum, diced
2tbsp olives, halves
400g tin tuna in spring water, broken up into chunks
200g feta cheese, broken up into chunks
1 lime, juiced
sea salt and cracked pepper

Cook the freekeh according the instructions on the packet. Mine involved cooking 1 cup of freekeh in 2 cups of water covered for about 25 minutes, until all of the water had been absorbed. 

Meanwhile, place tomatoes, cucumber, rocket and  capsicum in a large bowl and toss together. Follow with olives, tuna and feta cheese. Toss salad again.

Add cooked freekeh, lime and seasoning. Combine ingredients and serve. 

I actually didn't eat any of this at the time of making it and put it into containers for my weeks lunches. It keeps really well in the fridge for 4-5 days after making. 

Happy eating!
Erin xx

Friday, 11 April 2014

Review | Face of Australia Contour Kit

Hi lovelies! Continuing on with my reviews of the new Face of Australia products here is the Glamazon Contour and Highlight Kit in Leopardess. I love contouring and it's now a part of my daily makeup routine. I think like filling in your eyebrows you don't realise what a difference it makes until you start doing it. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Shopping | Vintage and Thrift Haul

I have managed to collect quite a number of new clothes in the last two weeks; more than usual for me anyway. Because I have a large haul of new (to me) clothes I thought I would share them with you. It started with a trip to my favourite, and semi-secret, op shopping location with of my favourite girls, Rhianna, where I picked up some incredibly 90s pieces. I think it was probably the influence of watching Clueless and Bring It On the week prior that brought out my inner Cher. 

Firstly, I think I have developed a new love affair with wrap skirts. I picked up two of them in my op shopping trip and would never say no to a few more. One is super simple in plain black and reminds me of skirts worn by ballet dancers (which I always wanted to be growing up). The other is in a classic green-red tartan sporting a buckle at the side of the waist. I did have to adjust the button to make it fit my waist better but thats the joy of buying second hand. Of the three blouses I found on my journey I am only certain I will be able to wear one. The oversized lace button up is right up my regular alley whilst the bright blue knitted vest-top and pink-burgundy velour crop top/boob tube may only be worn once or twice. 

The second half of my haul comes from Can You Keep a Secret? and once again they did not fail me. They were, and are still, having a half off all clothing sale until the Easter weekend. I took this opportunity to snap up a few groovy bargains with my fellow vintage clothing lover, Honor. I picked up the first two dresses for $10 each. Even though they are quite similar in their pastel floral patterns their cuts are strikingly different and appropriate for different occasions. I know the weather is starting to cool down and white cotton dresses can be hard to pair with tights but I couldn't resist. The bright collared top was down to $15 and an impulse purchase. It is a classic 80s square-cut button up and sits perfectly when tied at the waist. The print is fairly obscure but screamed "tropicana" at me so loud I had to have it. Again, it is fairly Summer-y but I can't be bothered with seasonal dressing in Brisbane; except of course to keep warm. 

And thats my most recent thrift and vintage haul! I think all together I would have paid less that $70 for all of these clothes which is a great bargain (especially for some great condition vintage/retro classics). I like to keep my thrift haunt close to my heart but definitely recommend Can You Keep a Secret? to everyone looking for a vintage bargain: consistently great quality at a reasonable price. 

Happy Wednesday!
Erin xx

Monday, 7 April 2014

Recipe | Bacon, Leek & Feta Frittata

Hi lovelies! I have been all about quick and easy meals of late. I had some eggs that needed using up and so I knocked up a quick frittata which has been making for a super quick lunch or breakfast. 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Review | Face of Australia 'Screen Siren' Collection

 Screen Siren Nail Varnishes in Travilla (top right) and Platinum

Hi lovelies! So I have no reason to be buying new nail polishes, however these ones caught my eye on a recent trip to Priceline. Ranging from beautiful nudes to a few pops of colour the new 'Screen Siren' collection from Face of Australia is really well thought out. 

Friday, 4 April 2014

OOTD | Late To The Disco

Disco Pants in Forest Green - American Apparel / Grey V-Neck - Bonds / Fish Bowl Print Over-Shirt - thanks to Mum's great taste / Dr. Martens - Thrifted / Nails - Blueberry by Barry M

After many months of agonising over whether or not to make the investment I finally took the plunge and purchased a pair of American Apparel's infamous Disco Pants. Always apprehensive about buying expensive items online I tried these on in their Melbourne store, to find out what size to buy, first. I ended up being content with an M as they run ever-so-slightly large. You've probably read/heard it all before but these pants are unbelievably comfortable and hold you in better than any legging you'll ever own. I'm also almost convinced I'm going to invest in a pair of AA's Riding Pants as their matte finish looks more wearable but equally as comfortable. 

The rest of my outfit was trying to tone the shiny pants down for the working day. My grey Bonds v-neck is a staple in my wardrobe. If I could afford to fork out $40 for a v-neck all the time I definitely would. The fish-bowl-covered beauty you see covering the outfit is a gem from my mother's past. In love with the concept of fish on a shirt as a small child I managed to snag this from her wardrobe two or three years ago and I think she is happy with its new life (she had little choice anyway). 

Thats all for today lovelies. Just a quick outfit post this Friday so I can get out and enjoy the night. Hope you've all had a spiffing week and an ever better weekend!

Erin xx


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