Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Billowy top revisited

After seeing many of my fellow bloggers take on the 30-for-30 challenge, I've been trying to find creative new ways of mixing items from my wardrobe. Isabel L. of Forever Understated is dynamite at this. Think a scarf + belt around the waist for a kimono-style look, three belts standing in for suspenders and prints-on-prints-on-prints. Her blog inspired me to stretch my imagination.

So, here's my first attempt. Some of you may recognize this top from an earlier post, when I wore it off the shoulder with a sequined black skirt. It turns out the material's thin enough that I was able to tuck it into a form-fitting grey sheath for some insta-sleeves. I like how the floaty fabric of the top balances the strong lines of the dress.

Have YOU remixed anything lately? Share your ideas (and links) below!


Could have used some sunglasses...

I call this 'plane-wing' hair.
Dress– RW & Co.
Top – Louben (Winners) (also seen here)
Booties – Thailand markets (also seen here)
Necklace – Ardene (also seen here)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Neutrals with a simple sundress

First off, my apologies for the last two posts of pictures-sans-text. I was locked out of my account for a couple of days. Thanks for the warm welcome to Blogger, Google! (I kid, I kid – don’t blacklist me). But, despite the technical problems, starting this blog has been a genuinely rewarding experience. I absolutely love reading your comments and am so happy that people are taking an interest in my humble little blog. I’m acutely aware that it’s not nearly as sophisticated as some of the others out there, but seeing a gorgeous layout, a stunning set of photos, or an exquisitely-written post gives me something to admire and aspire to. Yes, this blog is a work-in-progress and I’d love to hear your feedback. If you have any suggestions for me, whether it’s how you’d remix an outfit or improve upon a recipe I show on the site, or a feature you’d like to see, speak up and start the discussion! And don’t forget to follow me J

OK, now that I’m done with the sentimental stuff and being a stereotypical Canadian…on to the clothes we go! I found this sundress at a thrift shop in Sydney. The print reminds me of the sort of blue-and-white printed wallpaper you’d see in older homes in France. I liked how the extra lining in the bottom half gives it a poufy effect. This style is good for defining your waist and giving an illusion of curves if you have a boyish figure like me or for concealing a larger bottom half if you’re pear-shaped, but with a small waist. I added neutral colours in the form of the jacket, wedges and earrings, but a remix option is a pair of kitten heels and cat’s-eye sunglasses. I’ve been styling my hair the same way for the past little while because I’m overdue for highlights and this conceals my roots best. Please don’t recommend I see my colourist (see ‘suggestions’, above).

- Kat xx

We'll just pretend my strap demurely slipped off my shoulder, rather than break mid-shot, mm-kay? 

Dress– Thifted (Sydney)
Jacket – Olsen
Wedges – Clarks (Winners)
Earrings - ? (Sydney)
Bracelets - Gifted

For more thrifted finds, check out spunky chateau's Thursdays are for Thrifters Link Party.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Trend trial run: leopard print, shorts-with-tights

Blazer – RW & Co (seen here)
Leopard tank – Trendyland (Winners)
Jeans – Superblue (seen here)
Boots – Geox (seen here)
Bag – Dooney and Burke (seen here)
Bracelets – Le Château
Earrings – Gifted
Headband – Diva

Blazer – Deane and white (Winners)
Leopard tank – Trendyland (Winners)
Shorts – Mexx (seen here)
Shoes – Jessica Simpson
Bag – Dooney and Burke
Bracelets – Le Château
Earrings – Zone

Monday, May 23, 2011

More ways to flower-pin

White, black and kelly green is often overlooked as a colour combination, but I love how modern these three look together. In tribute to this troika, I wore classic black trousers from the Gap with a stitched-stripe button-down and white belt, and topped it all off with a green cardigan. The contrasting flower pin was plucked from the waistline of this tweed skirt and reinvented a la Bradshaw.

Shirt– Olsen
Cardigan - Jacob (also seen here)
Pants – Gap
Belt - Mexx
Shoes – Nine West
Bracelets – Thrifted (also seen here)
Earrings – Thailand markets
Pin – from Chapter One skirt

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Parmesan and breadcrumb-crusted pork with mushrooms; baba ganoush

To make the pork, I cut my pork chops in 2 lengthwise, so you end up with two thinner 'patties'. If your pork chops are already pretty thin you can skip this step. Then I dipped each in a mixture of one egg beaten with Dijon mustard, then rolled them in Panko breadcrumbs stirred together with a handful of grated Parmesan and a couple of shakes of dried thyme. I cooked them in the oven on a wire rack for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

To make the mushrooms, I sliced then sauteed them over med-high heat in about 1/2 tsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp butter with 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic. I usually put the a lid on for the first couple of minutes, then remove it to finish browning and to evaporate some of the moisture.

The vegetables in our fridge that night consisted of mushrooms...and eggplant. So I decided to make some baba ganoush as a odd sort of bedfellow to the pork and mushrooms.

Peel and dice three small eggplants (or one large one) into 1-inch cubes, then microwave for 8-10 minutes in a glass dish with a bit of water, stirring every couple of minutes. If you have a BBQ, cooking the eggplant on the grill will give the eggplant a nice smokey flavour.

Put the eggplant pieces in a blender. Add 1/4 cup tahini, 3 minced cloves of garlic, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of ground cumin. Some people make 'a well' in the baba ganoush for extra olive oil, but I don't find I need it. Season to taste. Serve with pita.

I'm sorry for my pitiful attempt to make this look more like an exotic appetizer (let's sprinkle some paprika!) and less like cement drying. You can blame the photography skills and I'll blame the unphotogenic BG.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Shrimp rice paper wraps

Make the rice paper wraps according to the package directions. Once the first wrap has softened, spread about 1/2 - 1 tsp of sweet chili sauce over the surface using the back of a spoon. Add 3-5 shrimp (tails removed), a handful of thin strips of cucumber, yellow pepper and carrot, slices of water chestnuts and diced green onion, and basil and mint leaves. Tuck the ends in, and wrap. I'm not going to lie, If you haven't tried making these before, softening and rolling the wraps can be finicky at first. For dipping, I suggest my beloved Wafu vinaigrette. This Japanese-style sauce is smooth and creamy, with an unmistakable nutty flavour inspired by lightly toasted sesame oil. This review is completely one-sided because I LOVE Wafu and will never believe otherwise. I even took it to Australia in case you question my devotion. But anyways, back to the wraps. Be adventurous! Try some other flavours. Mango might be nice, as might a teriyaki beef filling with orange-chili dipping sauce.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Trend trial run: Colourblocking

When I was in my early 20s, my Mom offered to hand me down these 'classic' (her words) high-waisted, buttercup-coloured cropped linen pants with matching vest. At the time, I'd hear 'classic' and think 'fuddy'. Knowing I would never be caught dead in a pair of pants that basically came up to my armpits I turned her down (but nicely, gotta respect your parents people). But what goes around comes around, and mama - the one who gets rid of everything - had the foresight to know I'd come to love them. And that is the story of how the pants-that-almost weren't wound up headlining this post.  

I decided to give the colourblocking trend a whirl, adding a fuschia tee, teal sweater and light green bracelet, plus some colourful flower pins. I kept my makeup simple with just a quick swipe of colour on my lips.

Tell me - Yay or nay? Have YOU tried colourblocking an outfit?

Long-sleeved shirt– Dynamite
Tee - Jacob
Pants – Tuzzi
Shoes - Guess
Pins – Thailand markets
Bracelet – Aakriti Designs