Thursday, 31 July 2014

Basically Timeless

American Apparel Sheer White Shirt ($10, Glebe Markets)
To construct a building you must first have a foundation. Likewise, there are some closet essentials that can be built upon to fall under different styles whether it be simple and classic, bold and wacky, etc. But you don't need to offer your wallet to the heavens to do so, thrift stores are a great place to hunt for basics particularly if you're concerned about brands and quality. The white shirt is excellent to start with, whether worn on its own over denim for a casually chic outfit or over dresses to achieve a drapey, whimsical effect. 

Country Road Long Cream Cardigan ($3, Vinnies)
The cardigan is prefect for autumn and if you feel that what you're wearing is too exposing. Outerwear has the ability to act as the metaphorical bow on the present - tying everything together. 

Lulu & Rose Leather Shorts ($1, Opshop)
As I don't have a leather jacket, I thought I'd compromise with leather shorts instead. Fortunately, leather shorts require the exact amount of effort to wear as denim shorts except it provides an edge that denim does not. 

Mighty Fine Graphic T Shirt ($1.45, Summerhill Anglicare)
Graphic shirts are the simplest way to add a certain quirkiness to outfits, depending on the print. I'd like to think that this contains a myriad of motifs from various games (at the very least Mario.. spot them! ahaha),  plus they're great for when you're having a lazy day (all day, every day). I had taken shirts like this for granted, after being so used to wearing muchly oversized men's shirts I had forgotten just how flattering a shirt that captures your shape better is (I know, you don't say Captain Obvious). So since then, I've been on the hunt for smaller sized women's shirts (why are they so hard to excavate? Often they're too thin, too tight or the graphics are just too wildly inappropriate and juvenile, this along with faux pockets are a massive gripe! Digression, digression, digression). 

Levi Skinny Jeans ($8, Salvos)
No list such as this is complete without the classic blue denim! Another is black. This one I feel is pretty self explanatory but I must reiterate that depending on the type, Levis are easily $60+. You just have to be patient and paw through the rack as desperately as a person searching for water in a desert. Yes, finding the ultimate pair of jeans is equivalent to life. Jeans are the most dependable thing in your wardrobe and they will long outstrip any in terms of wear. I'd write an ode to jeans but even for me, that's a tad melodramatic. 

Witchery Striped Dress ($8, eBay)
Cheating slightly, but depending on how its worn it can be casually sweet or edgy (if you have a leather jacket which I lack, haha). Worn on its own with ankle boots, with it's unusual diamond hem achieves a rather chic look. 

Princess Highway Jumper ($6, Salvos)
This is my 'simple' jumper because I don't possess anything plain, take that as you will. Perfect to be paired with collared shirts for a preppy style or worn over dresses for a casual one. 

BCBG Max Azria Cropped Blazer ($8, Salvos)
If anyone can find a trench coat for less than $15 at a thrift store, should then be advised to purchase a lottery ticket to try their luck. In all seriousness, it's unfortunate that the picture doesn't capture the intricate details of the blazer, but the general effect is the same, boosting even the graphic shirt into classier realms. 

Sportsgirl Plaid Shirt ($2, Preston Bazaar)
Not your typical plaid shirt. Colour schemes go a long way in projecting differing auras. Darker tones lends itself to a more polished vibe. For the ultimate slouchy outfit, wear untucked with a form of denim or leggings, perhaps a blazer for an attempt at elevating it ahaha. 

Zara Brown Trousers ($8, Salvos)
Recently, I had been steering away from denim as my preferred bottoms. These trousers, although they have a slim fit, encapsulates your legs instead rather than clings, giving the illusion of slimmer legs. The earthy tone of the brown gives any outfit a softer and feminine look. Strangely, although it's a colour I normally steer clear from after being confined to it for 5 years, I find myself rather drawn to the effect it gives to outfits.

TOTAL: $55.45 

Well how about that? I was hoping that everything would end up under $50, but I guess that's too much of an ask haha. But basics are designed to outlast the apocalypse whilst your other clothes disintegrates. Perhaps the next post shall be designed to reveal how these can be styled, how many outfits will I generate from that I wonder? Anyway, I hope this was a valuable insight into utilising the most out of your thrift store! I know it's a long instilled fact that you should invest in your basics, but not everyone can go out and purchase jeans for $200+ (myself included). Plus, most of these items lasted the initial washing test so it would be safe to presume that they would last a ton of other washings. 

XX

Jeannie





  





Tuesday, 29 July 2014

5 Ingredient No Oil Muesli


Debatably healthy, unquestionably simple. And addictive. Most recipes I had encountered were ridiculously extensive in their ingredients list and would contain copious amounts of oil, sugar and nuts - rather indulgent for a breakfast item isn't it? Now this is perfect for spooning over yoghurt, ice cream, dug straight out of a jar with a spoon.. hey, I won't judge you if you don't judge me! The low temperature ensures its crispiness so don't freak after cooking that it isn't crunchy, it will as it cools!

Ingredients

3 cups of Oats 

1/2 cup honey 

1/2 cup peanut butter (can be omitted, if so increase to 3/4 C honey)

Pinch of salt 

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 - 1 cup of seeds, nuts etc (optional)

1 mashed ripe banana (optional for banana bread flavour [it smells incredible!] but it return it cuts down on the shelf life to 2 weeks)

Method 

Preheat oven to 150C

Warm peanut butter and oats slightly in microwave. 

Mix in the rest of ingredients until coated.

Spread out evenly onto lined baking tray. 


Bake for 15 minutes. Remove, stir then bake for another 10-12 minutes. 


Enjoy however you like your muesli! Store in an airtight container or fridge. Just look at that glorious golden brown! I would recommend that you put this nowhere near the silverware drawer.. unless you have spadeful amounts of self control, I certainly don't.

XX

Jeannie






Saturday, 26 July 2014

The Outfit Algorithm: Denim Shirt

NastyGal Heart Print Denim Shirt $15
Introducing the next in the Outfit Algorithm series! Is it obvious that my heart sings for embellished things? Pun not intended but wholly fortunate. Perhaps it would've been more wise to stick with dressing up basics but I reasoned that well, since it's a medium wash and a normally sweet print why not see if I can upend that? Plus, nothing trumps the casualness and laziness factor of a denim shirt.

Level 1: Bottoms

Lulu & Rose Pleather Pants (Liverpool Opshop ,$1), Cheap Monday Acid Wash Skinny Jeans (eBay), Motel Rocks Grey Star Printed Jeans ($30) 
To offset the sweetness of the heart print, we have the opposite end of the spectrum - pleather to toughen it. The star printed jeans in order to play up the whimsical factor of the shirt whilst the acid wash provides a contrast against the medium wash. Here, all of the pants are of a more skinnier fit so as to allow a streamlined effect, balancing out the looseness of the shirt when worn untucked.

Level 2: Shorts 

Versace High Waisted Shorts (eBay, $25), Finders Keepers Shorts (eBay, $15)
Because floral print is so overrated. Ahaha. Juxtaposition is everything, adds interest, adds opposing ideas that shouldn't exist yet works in harmony when viewed from a distance. In this instance it's the different hues of blue working against each other but still complementing and the leaf print against the heart but as blue and brown tend to universal colours it all pans out.

Level 3: Skirts

Cue Layered Skirt (eBay), MNG striped skirt (Anglicare, $8)
Here we have two contrasting styles. The Cue skirt amps it up to the more regal tier whilst still retaining a quirky twist whilst the MNG skirt plays up the sweet factor from the dusty rose against the blue but the stripes gives it more elegance. Both skirts sit rather high on the waist, giving you an extremely flattering silhouette.

Level 4: Layered Under Outerwear


Including all blazers, coats and miscellaneous other forms of outerwear, demonstrated above - the anorak. An anorak with pleather sleeves? A sure fire way to toughen up a typically feminine piece.  

Level 5: Layered under Jumpers 

Topshop Pastel Pink Knit Jumper (eBay), Aztec Print Jumper (Salvos, $3)
Denim shirts seem to pair fantastically with pastels, and it plays on the femininity and cuteness of it to the fullest. I'm a sucker for collars and shirts paired underneath a jumper are the most effortless, lazy ways to wear them.

Level 6: Layered Over Dresses

Mika & Gala Dress (Salvos, $10)
Or conversely, layered under a dress. A stark contrast would be achieved by layering a chiffon dress underneath, a twixt of a flowy dreamy fabric, offset by the casualness of the denim, but with the heart print, it would tie in the whole whimsical look.

Level 7: As Outerwear Itself 

Chicabooti Studded Skull Muscle Tank (Anglicare, $1.45)
Ahaha, the contrast of this is almost as if My Little Pony was revamped into a horror movie.. has that been done already? It's almost ironic in a sense at this point. When worn with bottoms, a casual look is garnered if worn untucked. 

Level 8: Accessorise


Or with bow ties, or necklaces your call. Bow ties and ties have that kind of preppy feel that I find is so attractive. In one instant swoop, I feel that it adds an edge of sophistication and quaintness.

And that wraps up the Outfit Algorithm for the denim shirt. Often times I think it's useful to have the multiple ways in which things can be worn in one single viewing session as it's easy to overlook it during times of mass panic like 'oh god, I'm going to be LATE', or taking in the vastness and number of choices one's wardrobe can pose. 

Until next time!

XX

Jeannie



Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Review: Lioele Waterdrop Sleeping Pack


If it wasn't apparent from the title, today I will be giving my two cents on the Lioele Waterdrop Sleeping Pack. 


According to its manifesto, 'By including Swiss Alpine extract, it is absorbed without stickiness and also formulates moisturising film to supply moisture and nutrition onto tired skin by daytime to keep your skin moisturised until the next day'.

Has it lived up to its claim? A resounding yes. This product has been a godsend particularly since my skin has a tendency to become rather dry during winter. After applying it, my skin looks instantaneously more healthy, as though the prior dryness was nothing more than a distant dream. And so smoothhh and softt. Furthermore, it has a volume of 120ml which is guaranteed to last you a very long time since only a pea sized amount is needed at most. A bonus is that it has a rather nice fragrance, so it's rather soothing to apply at night, kind of akin to the effects of lavender.


Here is what the product looks like and as you can see, it holds its form but despite its creamy consistency, it blends into the skin like a dream, almost melting into it, leaving no stickiness behind whatsoever.

So that is my review! Short and concise-ish. I have quite a few products stockpiled here and there that I've bought over the previous months so I'll be making short reviews like this in posts to come.

XX 

Jeannie

Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Outfit Algorithm: Dress

Mika & Gala Dress, $10, Vinnies
I have my friend to severely thank for the next series of posts. It all began on a distant star.. or with far less hyperbole, a fated train ride. We were on the topic about our jobs, mostly fixated on the more irksome parts. One involved the value of our pay and how it seemed to be eaten up almost immediately by travel and food during the week. So basically, we worked hours a week merely for us to subsist. As she worked in retail she had another wallet devourer - the fact that she had to purchase clothes from the brand as the 'uniform'. Additionally, since the brand was fairly pricey, and even with her staff discount, she found she was spending rather than saving money. That got me thinking of ideas to circumvent that. She could either rely on basics or classics to make the most of her situation or be inventive with a more unique piece. And thus.. the Outfit Algorithm series was born!

The Outfit Algorithm series would also be perfect if you feel immense guilt over splurging on a particular item - like myself and possibly for travel. Now, this acts more of a loose guideline than an actual set of rules so feel free to run wild with it. The dress I chose for the first post in the series is fairly simple in its shape, an A-line silhouette, but unique in its pastel mint colour with a leopard print. Of course you could opt for more classic colours but I thought it'd be fun to play around with such quirkiness. 

Level 1: Shoes

Bardot Boots (eBay) $25, Converse Black Faux Leather High Tops ($25)

Shoes could make all the difference to an outfit. The Converse would give the look a more preppy vibe whilst the boots would give it a slightly more polished edge. Of course, you could wear it with heels, flats, etc but I designed it with my friend in mind who had to be on her feet seven hours a day. 

Level 2: Socks

Ankle length striped socks (Daiso) $2.80, Totoro tights (eBay), Black Thigh High Socks, Heart Suspender Tights (ASOS), Grey Thigh High Socks (Dangerfield), Patterned Black Thigh Socks 

 My sister has something of a fetish with socks which appears to be rubbing off on me. Oh well, at least it's easy for me to buy her things every time I go out. Anyway, thigh length socks give outfits a slight risqué but tasteful edge, the Totoro tights, on the other hand, adds a cuteness instead. 

Level 3: Outer Layer

Acid Wash Denim Shirt (Anglicare Summer Hill) $1.45, Pastel Pink Cardigan (Valleygirl) $15,  Cue Trench Coat (Ebay) $30

Cardigans have a tendency to give outfits a certain comfort factor whilst denim shirts achieve a casualness, plus they're both lightweight and easy enough to move around in. Other the end of the spectrum, the trench coat is a classic, oozing with understated elegance. Another suggestion for outerwear is a blazer, particularly double breasted ones which gives you a more polished look. 

Level 4: Layering

Chiffon Long Sleeve Shirt (Bardot), Sleeveless Double Collar Sheer Top (Lipsy, Vinnies) $10

Long sleeve shirts layered under dresses have gripped my heart so tightly it seems unlikely to be ever released. The effect is just something so elegant and feminine. However, if that look isn't for you, a sleeveless option is provided, particularly with such a vibrant pop of colour. And collars make everything infinitely more amazing, proven scientific fact.  

Level 5: Jumpers


Dotti Jumper (Glebe Market) $2

Here is another cozy and casual option. Layering a jumper over a dress transforms it into a skirt instead. But if the dress is short, make sure to pair it with a cropped jumper so that it doesn't swallow you up entirely. Furthermore, this would go hand in hand with the previous level by having the collar peek out and bam! additional outfit! Additionally, the sleeveless shirt has the added benefit of not creating extra bulk throughout your arms. 

Level 5: Skirts

Pleather Pleated Bronze Skirt (Paper Heart, Glebe Market) $5

Doing this, converts the dress into a top and there is the added benefit of a more 'flounce' to the skirt from the additional volume, thus introducing a more A-line silhouette. A belt could be added to merge the outfit more seamlessly. But I truly love how the bright metallic bronze clashes with the more softer pastel. 

Level 5: Bottoms Up

Topshop High Waisted Shorts (eBay), Antipodium Peach High Waisted Shorts (Salvos) $8, Motel Rocks High Waisted Striped Pants (Glue) $30
With this level, I wanted to stray as far as I could from the more typical versatile colours like regular blue and black denim. However, distressed denim would be a great foil to that with its provided edge. The Topshop shorts lends a nautical vibe to the outfit due to the buttons on the front and that it sits fairly high on the body, elongating your legs to the extreme. The Antipodium shorts provide a softer form of colour blocking that is only achieved through pastels whilst the Motel Rocks pants offer more of a wackiness to it. 
Level 8: Belt It Up

Cue Peplum Bustle Belt (eBay)

I don't even want to think about how much I spent on this belt. Denial. Denial. Denial. But just look at that shape! It explains itself really, adding another dimension to simple outfits. And it just gives you this amazing silhouette. I tracked this belt down for months on eBay, to the point of obsession and when I finally landed it I didn't know whether to feel intense joy or regret. But having it in real life, quelled all my misgivings about it. Do not feel obliged to stalk this belt down, a regular belt will do. I do quite like the appearance of thin belts, as I believe that they look quite dainty and refined. 

So that wraps up the first in the series. I do hope you enjoyed it, this was incredibly fun to do even if my room looks like a bomb filled with clothes had exploded in it. Regarding the levels, they are either standalone or mixable so I believe the combination would be 1 + 2 + __ + __ = Finished Outfit. Until next time!

As it so happens, I thought of a few more outfits that could be done, answering the question once and for all why I have insomnia. The next few exemplify how the levels could be taken up a notch.

Bonus Level 1: Lace

Lace Long Sleeve Shirt (Summer Hill Anglicare) $1.45

I just love how the addition of dark lace just vamps up an outfit whilst still retaining some of that elegance - only there's an edge of subtle sensuality. You could also wear it off shoulder to increase that effect, by utilising the contrast of skin and the dark fabric.

Bonus Level 2: Blazer/Vest 

Wish Blazer Vest (Vinnies) $15

Hmm, I suppose this is already an existent level but I felt I needed to exemplify just how a blazer could toughen the look.

Bonus Level 3: Layered Chiffon Shirt

American Apparel Sheer Shirt (Glebe Markets) $10

I originally had this shirt in mind for one of the levels but I found it was much too oversized to wear underneath so then, stroke of inspiration that had me itching for the sun to rise, I tried this out. With the pattern only slightly obscured it makes for an interesting look. Or you could wear the shirt unbuttoned like a jacket so it would resemble something like a kimono. And it's not just sheer materials, you could do with with a plaid shirt, denim, etc. only the effect would be slightly different. I would say it's perfect for summer/spring but not in Australia where even the thinnest layer is suffocating, hence why I worship the aircon fervently during that time. 

Stay tuned for the next in the Outfit Algorithm series! 

XX

Jeannie

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

2 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse


Arguably three. But even then, when a third of the ingredients comes from a tap? Madness. It's not madness.. IT'S SCIENNNCEEEE. In any case, it is both magical and delicious and you can count the number of ingredients required on one hand before unlocking this chocolately wonderland. And it requires no cooldown time in the fridge! So what is stopping you?!

This recipe seemed to go against my core of cooking.. melting chocolate and water together? What? What? After heeding so many warnings of 'CAUTION: Do not allow chocolate to encounter the slightest bit of moisture as it will seize' it seemed to go against all my inhibitions but fortunately, you are rewarded immensely for tossing all rules out the window. Another thing to note, do not be tempted to use any kind of chocolate that doesn't contain 70% cocoa solids - my first attempt yielded more of a puree in consistency and was quite grainy so do heed that (I hypothesise that it is the freezing of the cocoa solids which yields its mousse-like consistency). Here's to more obtainable molecular gastronomy recipes in the future! Ones that don't require crazy expensive equipment and chemicals but rather, plays on its inherent properties. 

Chocolate Chantilly 
Recipe by Herve This & Heston Bluementhal

Ingredients 

265g 70% cocoa solids chocolate, chopped

240mL water 

4tb sugar, optional (Otherwise it is somewhat bitter)

Pinch of sea salt (optional)

Pinch of instant coffee (optional)

Method

Prepare a large bowl filled with ice and cold water.

Put chocolate and water (and optional ingredients) in a medium-sized pan and melt chocolate over medium heat, stirring occasionally. 

Place pan so that the bottom contacts the ice and whisk until thick. Heed the texture as upon over-whipping it becomes grainy. If this occurs, reheat until half melted, resume previous whisking briefly. 

Divide into serving cups and serve immediately. 



Does anyone know of any other low maintenance molecular gastronomy recipes? Their scientific components have wedged its way into my heart ahaha. 

XX

Jeannie

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Stovetop Pizza


As if something like this needs an introduction but I shall do my best to do it justice. This recipe embodies all that anchors itself into your culinary repertoire. Simple. Versatile. Economic. Quick. Particularly befitting for a quick lunch and as a means of utilising the leftovers in your fridge. 

As it doesn't use yeast but rather self-raising flour the crust ends up slightly crispy and fluffy - almost something like a pancake. However, this adds to its appeal and I assure you.. it is indeed worth it. 

  
Start by mixing together the ingredients in a 20cm diameter non-stick pan, without heat. (Do not worry if it comes out slightly sticky - it is meant to be so)


Add 4 Tablespoons of your preferred sauce (bechamel, pesto, anything really!) spread all the way to the edge, followed by your preferred toppings (I kept it simple with mushrooms, cheese and a tomato based sauce). Add as much cheese as you prefer (Who am I to dictate the quantity of cheese??)

Cover with lid and cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. 


Transfer to a board to sit for 2 minutes before serving. 

Stovetop Pizza

(Adapted from 4 Ingredients - One Pot One Bowl by Kim McCosker)

Ingredients

1 cup self-raising flour

2 Tbsps olive oil

4 Tbsps pizza sauce (tomato, pesto, bechamel, whatever! You are the master of how you like your pizza!)

Preferred toppings (Mushrooms, figs, pear, anything that is barely clinging onto life in your fridge, broccoli, chicken, bacon -- although regarding meat you may want to cook it beforehand before topping it etc.)

Cheese (any amount!)

2/3 cup water

Method

1. In a 20cm non stick frying pan, mix together flour, oil, water pinch of salt with a spatula

2. Work to form a dough, spread across area of the frying pan with back of spatula. 

3. Spoon sauce until the edge.

4. Add desired toppings before sprinkling with cheese. 

5. Cover with lid and cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. 

6. Carefully slide pizza out onto a board. Sit for 2 minutes before serving. 


May your pizza cravings now go fulfilled! 

XX

Jeannie

Friday, 4 July 2014

F(x) Red Light Make up Inspiration

fx,red light | Tumblr

And here I thought I had outgrown Kpop... But apparently in that aspect it is much like Maplestory.. a void you can ever escape from (ominous music plays, thunder booms outside). I jest and digress far too much. I am so enamoured with the make up look done in this concept! Particularly with the contrast of the two eyes. One immensely smoky and intense, and the other light and neutral. Perfect for those that have problems duplicating exact results on both eyes, short on time.. and overall, so intriguing and eclectic. The effect is rather interesting, with one half of your face looking quite soulful and the other, fierce. Rounding off the look with more neutral shades of berry, nude and pink lip colours, maintains emphasis on the eyes without detracting from it in the least. It's fantastic seeing f(x) play with such a dark concept, here's to hoping that they utilise it more in the future.  

Luna with additional underlines of blue, a dark shade makes it look rather futuristic without being garish 
This version that Krystal sports is more light in both cases but still offering a greater contrast.
SULLI

SULLI
Rather than a smoky eye, it uses instead, winged eyeliner thus making it more suited towards an everyday look.
SULLI
Sulli with a heavy smoky eye
F(Victoria) - Red Light | via Tumblr
Victoria with more clean lines, and overall a lighter hand, resulting in a more elegant and natural look
Krystal and a sharp, defined winged eyeliner matched with a light, natural tightlined eye, thus offering a starker contrast
F(Krystal) - Red Light | via Tumblr

Originally, I was going to name the post F(i). Get it? Get it? As f(x) is a function whose value changes depending on x and since this analysis was mainly focused on the eyes.. and.. Oh what's that? Crickets chirping? Anyway, what did you all think of the song and other factors surrounding this concept? Admittedly, I think it grows on you overtime. 

XX

Jeannie

Img Source: allkpop.com