Inspiration CHANGE ME UP

Published June 26, 2014 by itsachunglife

Recapping on the last few months let’s start with the serious topic that is lightening Asian hair.

I had always wanted to change up the hair colour and one weekend while chilling on the couch with the girlfriend, and vino in hand I searched the Play store for a hair colour app, and this is the first one that came up….actually called Hair Color.

This app is easy to use, just select an image which shows the accurate colour of your complexion and one where your hair is sitting right, then proceed with tracing the outline of your hair.  Zoom in for some fine tuning around the hairline and then have fun experimenting with the colours and shades.  Obviously it’s not Photoshop quality but you get the jist of it, AND did I mention it provides hours of entertainment!

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Initially I wanted a shade close to platinum blonde but after the reality check of ‘will this gel with my complexion’, followed by ‘work appropriateness’ and ‘up keep/maintenance and achievability’,  I left it in the capable hands of Jacinta at Hairzoom.  It was my first time at Hairzoom and the team were friendly and accommodating,  AND  the best part – my girlfriend (also requiring blonding) and I were setup in the private part of the salon, it felt so VIP  like we had the place to ourselves! My hairdresser Jacinta had great hair and style, but I was most impressed with her understanding of my needs and it was her confidence and drive of  getting the balance right between what I wanted and what I could pull off that put me at ease.   So after 3 hours the end result is this gorgeous blended look that is  Balayage.

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I’m pretty happy with it and i’m impressed that there is  enough blonde,  but not so much that it looks out of place.

Oh and please excuse the outfit, I was all ready to go to Salsa night after getting the hair did, but hunger got the best of us so it was one of those outfit wasted kinda days. Salsa post to follow 🙂

I must admit it did take a few days to get use to,and since it’s lightest on the outer part I curled my hair for the first 2 weeks to semi-hide the mass of blonde until I had adjusted.  To maintain the colour I use  purple shampoo from KMS to stop the blonde from turning brassy and I also use the KMS conditioner.  It’s been about a month since I got my hair coloured now, and I am pretty happy with the health of my strands especially since I deal to it with the GHD or curling wand every few days.  For a heat protectant I use Organix Brazilian Keratin Flat Iron Spray, and to tame frizz I use Fudge Urban 3 in 1 Miracle Moisture Stuff Hair Serum with Argan Oil.  These products are ok, they smell good and do the job although I haven’t had a chance to try other products to compare.  The only styling product I use is the  Toni and Guy Salt Spray .  It is the  must have  for all those blessed with silky, straight asian hair.  It smells amazing and a light spritz gives your hair the piecey, tousled effect,  and with such little effort it just adds that extra dimension to your do.

Overall I”m pretty happy with the outcome, but also can’t wait for it to lighten naturally over time.

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Thanks again Hairzoom http://www.hairzoom.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/hairzoom

March and Die

Published April 9, 2014 by itsachunglife

So March turned out to be the shittiest month ever!

But instead of airing this horrid piece of laundry, I will share with you one quote per day that got me though this month.  These are the little bits of treasure which gave me hope, strength and the determination to stop crying and feeling sorry for myself and to realise that with every bad situation; if you search hard enough you will find the good that comes with it.

Screenshot_2014-03-24-17-51-10-1 Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-30-47-1 Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-31-00-1 Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-31-12-1 Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-32-48-1Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-31-23-1 Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-31-32-1 Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-32-35-1  Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-33-43-1Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-33-13-1  Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-34-03-1 Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-34-14-1 Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-34-26-1 Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-34-41-1 Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-34-48-1 Screenshot_2014-03-28-10-01-07-1-1Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-35-10-1  Screenshot_2014-03-28-10-03-48-1 Screenshot_2014-04-09-12-46-54-1 Screenshot_2014-04-09-12-47-38-1 Screenshot_2014-04-09-12-47-50-1 Screenshot_2014-04-09-12-48-04-1 Screenshot_2014-04-09-12-48-11-1 Screenshot_2014-04-09-12-48-21-1 Screenshot_2014-04-09-12-48-30-1 Screenshot_2014-04-09-12-48-36-1 Screenshot_2014-04-09-12-48-44-1 Screenshot_2014-04-09-12-48-50-1 Screenshot_2014-04-09-12-48-56-1

I am also eternally grateful to have such a great friend who has basically given me Tuesday Therapy sessions (food comas and laughs) to transform and translate my heavy thoughts into nice,  light and fluffy dumplngs 🙂  I hope I can be there for you forever my dear,  and out of all this I am so lucky to have this solid friendship with you!

Friendship’s like this are far, few and priceless!

Lets hope like hell the next few months Cloud 9 comes knocking on my door.

Like where the fuck are you?

That TART!

Published February 27, 2014 by itsachunglife

Dark Choc Coffee Tart

Bitter Chocolate and Coffee Tart

Each and every Sunday I wake  up craving sweet, sweet, sugary goodness!  My quick fixes usually on rotation are french toast, crispy bacon with maple syrup and fried banana, or banana choc oat pancakes.

I’d been ‘researching’ this recipe for a while and was salivating over the thought of the flavour and aroma sensation of  dark chocolate with coffee and a hint of orange,  and that roasted hazelnut for texture.     I needed this tart for Sunday brunch!

The tart is relatively easy to make, you can get away with not using the exact tin size and even rolling out pastry with a Vodka bottle.  The pastry smells so buttery and tastes like shortbread, the nuttiness of the roasted hazelnuts and the bitter dark chocolate and coffee perfectly balances the sweetness in each mouthful.  Perfect with a scoop of ice cream. You’re gonna want more!

Craving fulfilled xo

INGREDIENTS:

175g Flour

1 pinch Baking Powder

1 pinch Salt

65g Caster Sugar

125g Butter

1 Egg

FILLING

150g Caster Sugar

90g Butter

1/2 Orange

2 Eggs

1T Flour

200g Roasted Hazelnuts

100g Dark Chocolate

1t Ground Coffee Beans

2t Campari, optional

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Rub in the butter and egg(only yolk) until it forms a smooth dough. Rest the pastry in the fridge for at least an hour before rolling it out to fit a 20cm tart tin (I used a 22cm tin and it made no difference), pressing it to the edges. Leave it to rest for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the oven to 180 degC. To make the filling, use an electric mixer to cream the sugar and butter until pale and creamy. Add the orange zest(½ orange). Lightly mix the eggs for a few seconds, then mix into the butter. Add the flour, hazelnuts(chopped), chocolate(grated), coffee(finely ground) and Campari. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool before taking it out of the tin.

Pear and Apple Crumble

Published February 8, 2014 by itsachunglife

 Such a great way to use up soft pears and floury apples.  Semi healthy too, since each ramekin contains one serving of fruit and you could absolutely get away with not adding any sugar to the fruit mixture.

Ingredients:

3 pears

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1 apple

3 T lemon juice

1/4 C sugar (use less or leave out if you prefer it a bit tart)

1/4 C cranberries

Pinch nutmeg

Pinch cinnamon

Crumble:

1/3 C flour

1/4 C + 2 t brown sugar

pinch salt

1/2 t cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

2 T butter

1.5 T cold water

1/2 C rolled oats

Directions:

1. Pre heat oven to 190 C bake.

2. Peel and cut fruit into 1 cm chunks.

3. Toss fruit into a bowl with lemon juice, sugar, cranberries, nutmeg and cinnamon.

4. Divide evenly between 4 ramekins, or put all in large baking dish.

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5. In another bowl combine flour, butter, sugar, salt and spices until all the butter is rubbed in.

6. Add in rolled oats, then add water to mix.  If like me you enjoy a crumble with big biscuity chunks add a bit more water so the mixture forms small dough like balls.  If too wet, add more rolled oats.

7. Spoon crumble on top of fruit and bake at 190 C for 40-45 minutes.  It’s ok to be full to the brim, as it will reduce as it cooks.

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8. Serve warm with ice cream. Enjoy 🙂Image

Link where I got this recipe from and tweaked for my own: http://www.food.com/recipe/apple-and-pear-crumble-188388?mode=us&scaleto=8.0&st=null

My next culinary goal…..well I”ve really been craving Chelsea Buns, and it seems like the Australians don’t know what they are.  So I either give it go, or wait until I go back home to NZ for the sweet delight.  It’s just tough though…I have to make bread :/

Year of the Dark Horse

Published February 7, 2014 by itsachunglife

Dark horse

Life happens and slowly but surely I find myself deleting all the bright and colourfuls on my Pintrest to make way for my new moody blues (actually black) for what I think is going to hang over me for the rest of the year.  I’m not a big conversationalist and my way of expression is mostly portrayed through what I wear and write.

It’s Friday afternoon, I’m stuck at work ploughing through Pintrest in search of inspiration because my shining light a.k.a fiancé is taking me on a shopping spree for my birthday!

It has been such an emotional struggle these days, I’m not my usual smiley self.  There have been at least 2 topics I could, and have tried to post in the last 2-3 weeks but it’s tough to be passionate enough to post anything while in this downer bubble.  I’m normally quite good at putting on a happy-brave face, trying to be strong for others, and refusing to be a wreck because I know the worst is yet to come (not ready to talk about yet), but this week and the last have been tough.  So for me today I saw the UPSIDE to this new mood and it translates to new clothes.  All I want to be wearing right now are colours conforming to the dark spectrum – black, navy, grey mixed with leathers, stripes and spots.  It will be slow transition so I will probably need some white and leopard thrown in for balance.  Sounds rather trendy but did I mention I live in sunny, beachy Australia where the uniform here is more bright, fluro, cotton candy anything and everything!  Plus my Chinese background sets my default fashion choice to light and bright, as anything dark pretty much symbolises doom…

Anyway enough talk about doom and gloom.  Here are my faves:

Black  tulip skirt Black & White Kim Leopard Pleat Skirt Zebra Stripe

Doesn’t look so dark after all, but as I said still in transition.

Your lighting gave me hips!

Published January 16, 2014 by itsachunglife

Bridesmaids dress shopping is fun as, especially when your aim is to try on as many looks as possible so you can buy the knock-off online!  With 5 bridesmaids to cater for from the straight up girl who I’ll refer to as J, to the voluptuous hot mess aka P.  P&J tried the thick strapped, one shoulder, halter-neck, plunging neckline and more, and I feel genuinely happy to see the look on their faces when they realise how good they look.

In between taking sneaky polaroids of the girls in their gowns, I spot an ivory dress hidden in the changing room next door.  Since I hadn’t made a bridal appointment I thought I’d try my luck and see if I could try it on. Turned out I could, and it was lust at first sight!  Then as the veil was placed over my face my mind just fast tracked right to where my father gives me that look to say he’s so proud and thinks I look beautiful, and we link arms and walk down the aisle.  We arrive to my husband to be and he is looking at me like a stunned, cheesy-mullet as if it was version 2.0 of me e.g. if I was a gamer/Pokémon trainer walking down the aisle!

Day dream over and I was given 10 more dresses, hoops and veils to try on.  I’m a bit overwhelmed by now, and thank goodness the store was closing.  I ended up putting THE dress on hold and make an appointment to try on more dresses at the Louis Vuitton of bridal aka Winnie’s for the next day.  I mean you only plan to get married once, so may as well try on the dresses which cost 7 times more than the sale dress right?  RIGHT!  Off to Winnie’s we go and wow the dresses, they are Ah-mazing and transform me into a sexy, curvy thang!  The look on P the bridesmaids face is priceless, she’s never seen me in this light before.  P has her serious voice on, I must buy it she tells me,  I’d lend you “a few grand if I could” she tells me.  Trying my best not to fall for their dresses I grab the lookbook on my way out.  We skim through their lookbook expecting to be blown away by the dresses on actual models, but had no luck just page after page of dullness.  I look through again later on and that’s when I realise the gowns are there, but appear flat, plain no sparkle at all.  Where are the Photoshop skills at?  I looked better in the gowns then the gorgeous models in your Lookbook! Your shop lighting must be just too darn good! So good it gave me hips and ethereal-ness! (Hips are a good thing, when you have the hips of a 12 year old girl).  So to get this whole look I’d need to buy your shop lighting too? Unbelievable, that is just not going to work!

Next day we go to one more store then finally back to store number one to try on ‘THE’ dress one more time.  Only this time I wasn’t as impressed especially after trying on Winnie’s masterpieces.  Then the lovely store assistant handed me another dress, it looked ok and to be honest by this stage my mind was fuzzy and I don’t think I could take another day of this wedding dress search seriously.  Anyway to cut a long story slightly shorter, accessories made this become MY dress, and after a few mind games I convince myself I’d try my absolute hardest to save for this dress. YAY! A sigh of relief that the hunt is over and smiles for days now that I can visualise the big day.

Ok, did not think this post would turn novel-like.
So here i’ll throw in the favorite ones I tried:

Backless

MermaidLacylaceJA TrollJA squaresJA laceJA bejewelled

Dying to be toasted

Published January 3, 2014 by itsachunglife

Ok so I know this actual grand opening first blog about Muesli ain’t gonna get me no fans, but hey I need to get this breakfast delight of a ‘spoonful of nuts in every mouthful’ outta my chest!

So on this occasion making this “dish” was all about using up all the random packets of nuts, seeds and fruits in the pantry.

Voilà!
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I mean check that out it’s not your average muesli, it has whole brazil nuts candy toasted in maple syrup combined with seeds, berries and oats of course.

So here’s what went down when I made it – I forgot to add both oils! I guess that’s why the oats aren’t crunchy, and instead of dried apples I added dried strawberries. I also used cashews instead of almonds and after so many adjustments it still turned out better than fine! As long as you have the correct ratio of nuts:oats:fruit:syrup you will be onto a winner!!!!

Here is the original recipe if you want to try it out: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/18365/toasted+muesli
And if I was to make this again, i’d definitely halve the recipe, because (A) I don’t have time to chew muesli on the weekday and because of this (B) you want your muesli to be fresh when you go to eat it, so making enough for your weekly consumption is enough, plus it only takes 30 minutes to put together, and (C) go all out and buy some of that real maple syrup see what all the fuss is about.

Enjoy, and now I shall get back to my actual job……..unless you leave me a comment 🙂

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