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Double Trouble

Posted on: 31 December 2011

I know we probably say this every year but how fast has this year flown? I have had an amazing year and my favourite part was definitely the month away in HK. Hopefully 2012 will be a year full of new opportunities and plenty more adventures to be documented on here! So let's round off the very last post of the year with a double outfit post with my sister Hailey!
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When we were little, my mum used to dress us exactly the same and people used to ask if we were twins. Of course those days are long gone, but on the very odd occasion some borrowing of clothes still happen and now my youngest sister, Becky is now starting to borrow our clothes. I'm beginning to think we should create a big walk in wardrobe where we can pool all our clothes together! I rather like that idea actually...
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Hailey: Blouse (Zara) Jumper (Whistles) Bow (Miss Selfridge) Jeans (Topshop) Boots (Dr. Martens)
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Hailey's shiny new docs.
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Dress (c/o Motel) Belt (Topshop) Boots (Topshop)
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You might have noticed that I managed to check a few things off that Wish List of mine! The guys over at Motel very kindly sent me the Claudia dress which I am extremely thankful for! The dress is lovely but a little bit too big. Since it's quite long on me, a belt is needed which helps with cinching in the waist along with the excess material. Despite this, I wore it on Boxing Day and happily paired it with my awesome new boots, Mawi x Disney earrings, Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palette and lip gloss by Japanese brand, Aube.
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I also wanted to say a big, humungus thank you to you all for reading this blog for yet another year. I really do appreciate you all and I'm just amazed that I have such an awesome bunch of readers who actually like my random blog posts about my life, personal style and food!

Hope you have a fabulous NYE whether you're partying it up or having a cosy night in with friends/family. Happy New Year and Happy 2012!

Festive Feasting

Posted on: 28 December 2011

Christmas is all over for another year, it always passes in the blink of an eye but it's definitely my favourite time of the year. Christmas is always about family, friends and food and that is definitely an understatement at our house! Here is a quick post documenting the last few days!
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Christmas eve is when the feasting begins which begins in a typically Chinese style. After my parents finish work they rush home and we start preparing the food for Hot Pot. This includes our annual dumpling making session and cutting up those century eggs which smell foul but taste awesome in hot pot. 
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My family are all in the catering trade so my relatives and family friends all arrive about midnight after work and we gather for our feast! We always have two tables for hot pot, one for the adults and one for the 'kids' even though us 'kids' are now well into our 20s! All sorts of foods go into the simmering hot pot including Chinese vegetables, salmon, beef, fish balls, beancurd skins, lamb, scallops and prawns. All dipped into my dad's 'famous' satay sauce.
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We tend to stay up until at least 4 am which is kind of crazy. Before long, we've only had a couple of hours sleep and we're up again, this time getting ready and preparing our Christmas Dinner! Oh and of course a cheeky chocolate from our advent calendars.
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Our festive tea towels come out and before long, my parents, my sisters, uncle and more cousins are all sitting down at the table, ready to dig into our turkey with all the trimmings!SDC10992 SDC10997
This is definitely the biggest meal of the day! After dinner, we usually sit in the living room, where adults fall asleep and the kids play with their new toys. This year we played on the Wii dance party and guitar hero. I have zero coordination so I am truly awful at both!SDC11003 While most people settle down for a small dinner on the evening, we do the complete opposite. About 4 hours later, we hop into the car and travel over to our grandmothers. We are greeted with even more cousins, aunts and uncles and we tuck into her epic traditional Chinese dinner. Lobster, suckling pig, steamed Turbot fish, Roast chicken were all on the menu. My grandmother's house is always chaotic at this time of the year with so many younger cousins running around!
SDC11065 haileybeckyme Boxing day is always the most chilled out day. Turkey toasties and tea are our snacks in the day and then we usually pop into town to have a look at the sales. This year I came home empty handed but at least my stomach was nice and full! After the shopping, we went to our favourite Cantonese restaurant and we feasted on more yummy food (crab, prawns, fish etc) with my parent's friends.
SDC11124 Despite the feasting being well and truly over (phew!), our house is still full of festive treats! This includes a huge crate of clementines that my mum bought from the market and plenty of Baileys and Chocolates. We'll be eating these for days on end!  
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Untitled-1 Hope you all had a wonderful few days! Now back to reality...

Happy Christmas Trees!

Posted on: 23 December 2011

OK so the Christmas shop is finally over, our presents are wrapped and all sitting under the tree until the big day. I've spent the last few days catching up with friends which is definitely one of my favourite things when it comes to Christmas. In fact, I've just returned from a night of pizza, popcorn and wine with friends and watching Love Actually, so I'm feeling suitably festive! I'm sure you're all in the festive mood too and one of my favourite things about Christmas are the decorations and nothing beats a good Christmas tree. Our one is purple and gold this year.
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I was browsing the shops with friends today and we stopped by Paperchase and I was persuaded into buying this pink Christmas tree and decorations. For just £4, how could I resist? I picked up the Gingerbread woman from Accessorize whose decorations are now all half price! I love my new pink tree.
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I was also amazed when I arrived at my friend Katie's house for a pizza and movies. Her parents have kitted out their house in so much Christmas stuff and I couldn't help but take photos of her amazing tree.
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katie's_tree_2011 I have major tree envy. That tree is so beautiful and perfect! I've never had a real tree before and one day this will have to change! For now, I am pretty happy that I have a new tacky pink tree perched on my shelf in my room. I'm just sorry that I didn't buy it earlier- next year I will have to purchase mini fairy lights for it.

So this is the last post before all the Christmas festivities begin. I'm really looking forward to our yearly mish mash of the usual Christmas traditions and our Chinese ones which includes Hot Pot, Turkey Lunch, Lobster and our Harry Potter Boxing Day Movie (last HP sob!). Bring it on! So from me to all you guys reading, I hope you all have a REALLY wonderful and amazing Christmas.

Open Sesame!

Posted on: 19 December 2011

Something I rarely blog about is make up, but in actual fact I am a bit of a beauty junkie. I remember my first foray into make up when I was about 13, mint lipgloss from Collection 2000 and then Vanilla lip gloss from Boot's Natural Collection (yep, we've all been there right?). Fast forward to working in retail during uni where I used to diligently spend my earnings in cosmetic halls, especially MAC. It was like an obsession. A scary obsession. I have a silly amount of blushers and I managed to fill two MAC pro palettes within a couple of months, one of which is filled with rainbow brights! Thankfully those days of collecting green and purple eyeshadow are a thing of the past and I managed to curb my obsession long ago. It's funny because you'd never know since my only necessity these days is liquid eyeliner!

However when the guys over at Find me a Gift asked if I wanted to review the Pink make up gift set by Me Me Me, the beauty junkie was unleashed and I said yes!
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In theset there is a blush, a light up/mirror lip gloss and a pale pink nail polish. The gift box itself is really sturdy and I'm tempted to use it as new make up brush storage. Moving onto the nail polish, I liked the wide brush applicator (a little like the Rimmel nail polishes) and the consistency was OK but the colour is a bit dull for me as it's more of a natural pink manicure kind of colour. The pink lipgloss is a bit of a novelty with the automatic light in the cap and mirror on the side. It's a pretty nude-pink shade and slightly minty with a subtle shimmer which reminds me of the Origins lip glosses (for a fraction of the price!). Since it's slightly on the novelty side, It's definitely suited to a younger audience and my little sister quite happily took it off my hands.
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My favourite is definitely the blush which includes a little mini brush. The packaging is cute and obviously looks a lot like Benefit packaging. It's finely milled, super soft with a slight frosty shimmer and for MAC lovers out there, I think it's really similar to their beauty powder. I had a look online and the MeMeMe blusher itself retails for £8.50 which makes the £11.99 gift set quite the bargain. Crazily, the website is still offering Christmas delivery so if you're tempted you can still get it in time for Christmas.
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Onwards to something that's definitely not unusual for this blog, er yes that would be FOOD! One of the stranger things that has recently been introduced to me is black sesame spread. It's one of my favourite dessert flavours but I was a little surprised to find it in this form. It's meant to be really good for you as it's packed with antioxidants, vitamin E, calcium and all sorts of good-for-you stuff. Oh and yes that's black marker on the jar. I'm not really sure what it's meant to be blacking out but from experience it's probably because it's claiming to be beneficial for something but it's not official (or at least not in this country since the sesame paste is a product of Taiwan).
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tea and black sesameI know it looks kinda crazy (I admit it looks like tar) but it tastes super yummy! This spread is a little like peanut butter but with a strong smokey sesame flavour. This along with Kaya (or coconut jam- from Malaysia) are my favourite spreads on toast at the moment. Nom!

Made with love

Posted on: 13 December 2011

It's funny how fast the weather changes, just a few weeks ago, I could happily leave the house wearing flats and not worry about my feet getting cold. However, now I'm always thinking of thermal socks and heat tech tops (hi Uniqlo) which are totally unglamorous but they are a necessity right now! If leaving the house wrapped in a duvet was acceptable, I totally would (who's with me?). This outfit was taken not too long ago when such thoughts were definitely not on the radar just yet.
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Blouse (Miss Selfridge) Blazer (H&M) Faux Fur (Vintage) Jeans (c/o Next) Shoes (Zara)
I like how the colours of the blouse and blazer work together and I think it's clear that us bloggers love a good faux fur stole come Winter time. I bought mine last year and I love how it pulls the look together and always transforms coats and jackets. The perfect winter accessory. In keeping with the red colours in my outfit, I swapped the faux fur for this lovely red scarf.
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It was knitted by my youngest sister Becky for my birthday last month and I adore it. It's incredibly thick, super warm and as the post title suggests, made with love!

A box of tasty treats!

Posted on: 10 December 2011

Whenever my relatives in Hong Kong send us parcels they are always wrapped in the same way. Without fail, they are wrapped in thick green parcel paper and often reinforced with string that I know my grandad has meticulously knotted together. This makes them easy to recognise whenever the postman is at my door with that familiar green parcel in his arms. I happily signed for the package which contained perfectly wrapped Christmas presents and lots of other goodies crammed inside. 
package from hkInside were lots of treats which they knew that we would appreciate. Including the super random Hello Kitty sandwich bags which let's face it, are much better than plain sandwich bags. In keeping with the Asian stereotype, we were also sent lots and lots of noodles!
hello kitty suppliesnoodles My relatives wasted no space in the box and stuffed random treats to fill up the space. The Japanese Caramel Candy below are awesome. They're melon and sweetcorn flavoured. I guess sweetcorn seems like a funny flavour but it's lovely and milky and you have to try it to understand! These sweets join the rest of the contents of our 'Sweet' drawer at home which is stuffed with random Asian treats. The 'Sweet' drawer and the 'Tea Cupboard' are definitely my favourite places in the kitchen!
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My favourite things in the parcel are all the green goodies. Wasabi Pretz, Mint Pocky and for the tea junkie that I am, they included two packs of loose green tea (yay!) which I can't wait to try. Now for Christmas day to discover the contents of all the other goodies...

A Long Weekend in London...

Posted on: 07 December 2011

So as you know, my lack of blog posts over the weekend was because I was away in London celebrating my friend's birthday. Our friend from Germany was visiting and as a group, we decided to have a weekend to remember and do lots of touristy things too! So here is my weekend in (food) pictures starting with a trip to the wonderful Maison Bertaux. It was actually through the wonders of Twitter that led us to this old fashioned patisserie, right in the heart of Soho. I asked the oracle that is Twitter (thanks for the suggestions guys!) and now I have a a whole bunch of tea rooms and coffee shops that are in dire need of Winnie visiting. 
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It's totally worth a visit. The cakes were fantastic and we filled our little table with tea, scones and lots of choux pastry much to the amusement of the people that worked there. The tea room was really cosy and full of random art work and after a little bit of research, I found out were created by people such as Noel Fielding. Traditional but also a bit quirky? Yep, I liked it a lot and I can't wait to go back.

Afterwards we stopped off at M&M world. I've been to the one in New York before and it's pretty much the same. It's M&M consumer heaven (or hell depending on how you look at it) and every single person inside has the hugest grin on their face, including all the staff! Of course I stocked up on some M&Ms. I mean, how could I even resist?
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After the crazyness of M&M world we decided to have a wander along and found ourselves on Carnaby Street. I excitedly noticed that Monki and Cheap Monday have shop spaces there and will be opening their stores soon. I predict a mass blogger pilgrimage when the stores open. I love Carnaby Street at Christmas, the decorations are so pretty.
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My friends were really excited to check out The Diner since I've instagrammed pictures after every single one of my visits there recently. This time, I sampled their pistachio ice cream which is only £1 for a scoop! Total bargain.

Later on that eve, we went out to Grace Bar which is just off Piccadilly Circus. It was an awesome night but I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted Cristal on the drinks menu. Wowza, just loose change for some eh?
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The following day was our lazy day in. We spent the majority of the day vegging out and watching a film and eating my friends awesome pancakes. Her Mushroom and Bacon and Blueberry pancakes are incredible and I need to learn to make these.
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When we did escape the flat, we had dinner and then my friend introduced us to Foundation Bar in Covent Garden. The interior is amazing and they have cocktails served in teapots with accompanying biscuits. For someone who adores tea, this was the PERFECT place for cocktails.
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Lucy and I loving our cocktails!
Lastly, on Monday we went to Camden and explored the markets. I haven't been back here in a little while and it was fun introducing friends to the infamous Cyber Dog which sells gadgets and trance club wear and is practically a rave in itself! It's a little bit nuts and probably the most bizarre shop in Camden.
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bentosushi Kudos to Lucy who introduced me to Bento Cafe. Their sushi is INCREDIBLE and I'm hungry just looking at the pictures. I'm totally going back there next time. It's always great to discover new Sushi places to try out. I had an amazing weekend with my friends and I'm so sad that it's all over but it just means that I have to organise regular weekends like this soon!

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