Monday, October 27, 2014

Bohemian princess | Dainty & Bold

There are so many looks that you can go for during summertime, one of the reasons why I love summer and going on beach vacations its because I get to play with the colours of my outfit, and they're often very expressive! They're also surprisingly easy to style because of the wide options I get. Bohemian style is certainly one of my favourites, there are no such thing as too many accessories or too much prints and colours. 


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These are some of the accessories I packed for my Bali trip. As you can see, there are lots of beaded bracelets and necklaces, bangles and bright jewellery. And also colourful outfits!



Some of the looks that I experimented during my trip and it turned out pretty well! They're yet comfortable and stylish.



 [1]


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Lace embroidered white top [Abercrombie and Fitch] 

Denim shorts with lace trimmings [Ms.Selfrige]
Bejewelled flip flops [Aldo] 
Oversized sunnies [Linda Farrow] 
Accessories [Accessorize]
Colorful tribal bag [ Chiangmai]


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No matter if you're dressing for Summer or Winter, denim is one of the basics and a must have in every girl's wardrobe. Wether its a shirt, jean or even a jacket! They're really versatile and can transform you into looking chic and high fashion instantly if you pair it up with the right clothes.


I paired my light denim shorts with a simple white top, but little embroidered details on the top did make a lot of difference to my look. And adding stacks of bangles and a bright coloured bag made my outfit pop instantly!




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Colourful embroidered or fringe bags are a great addition to channel the bohemian/tribal look! I got this bag directly from the Yunnan villagers in Chiang Mai a few years back. The villagers produce these beautiful traditional handmade accessories and sells them in the market mainly for tourists, to make a living. These handicraft is passed down from generations to generations, which makes these bags an inspiring, beautiful piece of art. 




[2]


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Black tie cropped top [Parsealed] 

Imperial Bib necklace [Dainty and Bold] 
Embroidery shorts [JustB by British India] 
Bangles [Various]



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I brought a lot of embroidered clothes with me during this trip, adding some flair to my outfits. They can be quite eye catching and I absolutely love them! Also, adding some bright jewellery into my not-so-bright outfit can definitely change the bland look into something more interesting. 



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"As a timeless addition to our Queenlike Collection, the Statement Imperial Bib Necklace is majestic is every way. The high quality multi-coloured glass gemstones with high-shine crystal trimmings set in gold plated necklace is magnificent against dark-coloured shirts, shift dresses or evening dresses. Wear this for an added pop of colour and a touch of grandeur to your daily looks!"  - Dainty and Bold




[3]



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Peacock maxi [JustB by British India] 

Ultramarine sparkle ear cuff [Dainty and Bold]



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Transform yourself into a boho princess by slipping into a maxi dress! Maxi dresses are one of the items that its hard for me to resist. I like how the prints are really straightforward on the dress that makes it look really cute. The statement ear cuffs added a luxurious look towards my outfit, featuring 
cubic zirconia on a sturdy gold-plated casting, it does make me feel super special.




[4]


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Ethelyn embroidered top [Love Bonito] 

Sequin pocket shorts [Bershka] 
Patent loafers [ZARA] 
Bag [Valentino rockstud flap] 
Beaded stack bracelet [Dainty and Bold]

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A twist of modern and bohemian. Simple coloured pastel top and bag paired with denim that comes with cute pockets! Instead of pairing it with a pair of feminine sandals, I chose to pair it with loafers that gives a cute and preppy finish.


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First time trying on knuckle rings and it wasn't that bad! Due to my tiny fingers, its really hard for me to get rings that fits. They're all way too big for me. That's why I don't have much rings in my collection. Really looking forward to adding some more rings into my jewellery collection though. Any idea where I could get smaller size of rings?



Dainty and Bold is now running a SALE on their site! 

Do check out their page and see what they have in store right now! Apparently they're offering free shipping if you purchase up to $100 worth of products. They have recently set up a base for international deliveries in Malaysia, it will only take 2-5 working days for delivery within Malaysia.

You can still get a discount of 15%  from 10/11/2014 - 20/11/2014 after the SALE ends by just keying in the promo code "ISABELLAKUAN" 

The promo code only applies when the sale ends. 

Happy shopping ladies :) 




Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lembongan Island : Getting there


I have been longing for a beach getaway for the longest time, and it was hard to make a decision on where to travel to. I've been deciding between a few islands and Boracay was the first on my list. But unfortunately it was monsoon season and I obviously do not want to be stuck in the miserable rain and ruin my holiday so we had to cancel the whole idea to Boracay. Making simple researches about the climate is really important  especially when you're travelling to an island. Make sure you avoid the monsoon season and choose the right time to travel.


The only option left was Phuket and Lembongan! Thanks to my indecisiveness I've decided to give Lembongan a shot because the beaches are not polluted and the island is less commercialised. I'm quite anal when it comes to choosing a clean beach. Its way more fun to snorkel when the island is less commercialised. With less people and boats, you can snorkel in a freer space and you certainly don't have to worry about having strangers shoving their foot into your face around you while you snorkel.

I went on a trip to Krabi once and it was a disaster. Krabi is a great place to chill with a bunch of friends and all that, but definitely not for a good snorkel or dive.


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Airport coordinate!

Khaki wind breaker [ZARA] Plain white tee [TOPSHOP] Skinnies [MANGO]
Crochet slip ons [H&M] Watch [Daniel Wellington] Sunnies [Tom Ford] bag [Givenchy]


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To get to Lembongan, you'll have to take a flight to Bali, get a cab to Sanur and take a fast boat from the Sanur beach to Lembongan island. It takes about 15-20mins to get to Sanur from the airport and the boat ride will be approximately 2 hours or more.


There's one thing I learnt at Bali's airport is that : TRUST NOBODY.

This guy offered to carry our luggagewhen we were at the arrival hall and even got us a cab which I thought it was really kind and nice of him. And he was dressed in a uniform so I thought he was one of the airport officials. What I didn't see it coming was that he demanded for money after settling our luggage in the cab. Without debate we gave him some money but he demanded for more! Apparently there are a lot of fake porters around the airport who offers to help but they'll demand you for money after. It's unbelievable how greedy and sneaky these people can get. 

So if you guys happened to encounter situation on the above at the Denpasar airport, just be firm and say NO! Also please do not give in to cab drivers who doesn't run by meters and demands more money than you should be paying. The blue bird taxi is always the best! They provide great service with responsible drivers who turns out to be very honest too! Make sure you get the cabs with a blue bird logo, those are the ones that runs by meters. 

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Before heading to Sanur beach, we made a stop at Warung Babi Guling Sanur ( right opposite Mc Donalds) and had lunch! Everything was planned before we came cause I've read some awesome reviews about this place.


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Enjoying a bottle of refreshing Fanta.

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Didn't know what to expect because the first time I had babi guling was years ago. This is a lot different than the one I had! Better too! If you want to try something less overrated, I'd suggest you come to this place. 

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The plate that was serve consists a large portion of meat, some fried veggies and bitter gourd, pork lard, crispy skin, satay, liver, chill and some peanuts.

Good for the taste buds, bad for the arteries. I've never seen such a huge piece of pork lard in my entire life! And they gave me two pieces :D

The lard and skin were really crispy, everything tastes pretty good! I think they are way tooooo generous with their portions, I couldn't finish all the pork at the end! It is just too meaty for me to handle. I can almost feel myself having heavy breathing towards the end of my lunch.



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We took the JJ fast boat service and there are only three shifts that the boat departs from Sanur to Lembongan. Make sure you catch them at the right time!

The shifts are:

1) 8.45am
2) 12.30pm
3) 3.30pm 

The ride costs about 500,000 rupiah (40USD) round trip per person. And make sure you wear shorts! I got my jeans soaking wet up above my knees which I totally regretted for not wearing shorts and slippers. The ride was quite nasty, the tides were kicking hard and the ride was so bumpy that I almost puke my lunch out. 

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"The boat ride is totally worth it" what I thought to myself upon arrival at our beautiful resort.

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Bean bags and white sandy beaches. Beautifully laid back with loads of charisma and energy!

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This is where we spend most of our free time. Lying down in the sun with our juices refilled and we can even have our breakfast by the beach!
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The magical corridor that we'll have to walk past everyday to the beach club. I get so captivated every time when I'm walking past this area. It just makes me feel so lucky to be here!

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Our pool villa for 3 nights. The Lembongan beach club and resort provides an impeccable service and great food too! They serve various cuisine for breakfasts, and they're all well presented! When I say various, what I meant is that they even serve Korean and Japanese. How cool is that!

No complaints about the place, I love it! The private pool we have is warm the whole time which was nice, the room is possibly the best choice we've made. What's not to love about four post beds?

The staffs comes in every evening to dim the room lights and let down the drapes to protect us from mosquitoes while we are out for dinner which I think its really a very sweet gesture.

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Walked out to explore around on our first night cause we wanted to have more choices for lunch and dinner. Turns out that there were a stretch of restaurants just 5 mins away from out resort. They serve mostly Western and Balinese food and the standards are above average I would say. Pretty cheap too! Dinner ranges about RM50 for two person. Romantic settings and an affordable dinner, Lembongan truly is great place to be.

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I made a short clip about our trip! Hope you guys enjoyed it and there will be more posts and updates about Lembongan soon!



STAY TUNED!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Melbourne : Hipster haven

As I was scrolling through my old photo albums, I know I ought to blog about this. I didn't want to blog about Melbourne again because I've done it twice during my previous visits, and I had lot of mixed feelings towards this place. Initially I just wanted to visit my friends, have a good time and get over it. But after looking at the food pictures, it would be such a waste if I did not.

So here it is!


The trip this time round was really different, there were no obligations and a purpose. It wasn't a trip that I did for someone but myself. I have learnt to see Melbourne differently and have discovered more about myself. It was a great time and opportunity bonding with friends, expanding our friendships into another level too!



There's basically nothing much to do in Melbourne unless you want to go sightseeing, but the best thing you could do is go on a food hunt everyday. There are way too many cafes and brunch places in every corner and alley that you can hardly finish trying them, not even if you're a permanent resident there and I'm not exaggerating!!! I had such a hard time choosing where I wanted to go because I only had two weeks (meh) but apparently the places I was taken to are sort of like the 'hottest' brunch places right now. I enjoyed it very much, so there were NO REGRETS!



Su picked me up from my bestie's apartment on the first day itself when I touched down and we went to Breakfast Thieves!

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Breakfast Thieves


A cafe located at Fitzroy, a neighbourhood full of retro pubs and rustic brunch places is definitely a gem to be explored. And the best thing is that they're actually vegan friendly. So if you're up for some healthy meal, this place is definitely the right place for you!



My choice was the crisp fried corn fritters on roasted fennel purée, burnt butter brussel sprout, yuzu - avocado mousse, pomegranate and raisin with poached egg. 


The taste was rather bland as I was expecting more. But its still good for a vegetarian dish! Didn't manage to finish it though. It gets really filling after a while. Two poached eggs is basically too much for me to handle.



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Su's Spicy baked eggs with spanish chorizo, mushrooms, green peas, corn and feta served with herbed garlic toast. 


This is the type of meal that you would want to have after an exhausting day! I really enjoyed this one. There were so much flavours into it, I like the fact it was served hot, the feta and eggs combined together brought the creaminess into a whole new level. Try spreading it on a crunchy toast! It just gets better.


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It was such a great weather to hang around the neighbourhood.


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Gelato Messina 



Su brought me for some gelato after a full brunch at Breakfast Thieves! The first time I had Messina was in Sydney, this was the second attempt. I'm never the adventurous type when it comes to choosing ice cream flavours. So I took the safe bet and ordered chocolate, vanilla and strawberry cheesecake. Still good!


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Fashion break! My twiggy inspired outfit. I love vintage fashion!


Pink Coat [Customise] Knitted top [TOPSHOP] Vintage cashmere skirt [TOPSHOP] Boots [vintage]

Bag [Celine nano] Sunnies [Tom Ford]
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Bought myself a pair of fly knits. It is ridiculously cheap in Melbourne compared to KL! They were even on SALE. HA!

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There were some days that we decided to stay in and make lunch/dinner so we'll head to the market to get some ingredients in the morning if we managed to wake up lol


Its only a 5 mins walk from Abby's apartment which is pretty convenient!

This cat belongs to a fruit vendor at the market. Can't help but to touch fluffy things *grins*


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About 5-10mins walk from the Queen Victoria Market, which is located in a heritage building.

Went there for breakfast and it didn't disappoint us! Thanks to Raymond for the recommendation :D


Ricotta hotcakes with poached pear and maple syrup.

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House Benedict - Potato Rosti, Grandmother Ham, Poached Eggs, Mustard and Tarragon Hollandaise.


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Such an orgasmic sight.


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Hammer and Tong


Visited Hammer and Tong early in the morning before my flight back to KL at noon. It was such a sad feeling to leave! I really hate saying good-byes, it makes people emotional.


You can easily spot urban art and drawings around the neighbourhood.  The cafe portrays a very indie feeling. With some indie songs on their playlist, everyone's pace was seemingly slow yet there's a lot going on, its such a relaxed ambiance to dine in and have a casual conversation with some friends.



Lavender yoghurt custard, strawberry and pineapple gel, berries, lychee with basil cress.


This beautiful, delicious piece of art did cheer me up!

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Duck egg, oyster mushroom, truffle butter, snow pea tendrils with Fontina brioche soldiers.


The flavours of truffles were so intense! I really love the aroma of truffles, especially when it lingers on even after your meal.


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The Grain Store



Paid Grain Store a visit while catching up with a friend. I heard so much about this place before I came, but I personally think there's nothing much to rave about. I'm not sure if I've chose the wrong choices of food or they just don't make sense.


Just not towards my liking :/



Pork belly and spiced cauliflower on brioche with apple, kohlrabi slaw, cider raisins and chill marmalade.


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Beef cheeks with vanilla parsnip puree, Russian red kale and smoked yogurt.

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Top Paddock 



Top Paddock is the first in my list among the cafes that I wanted to visit! So happy that my dream came true! Millions of kisses for my friends who brought me there and Lee Wen who drove me around!


Ordered their blueberry ricotta hotcakes served with organic maple, seeds and double cream. Honestly, the hotcakes in Top Paddock is really something that could easily win your heart and tastebuds over. The double cream itself gets all the credit. I've never tasted a cream that is so rich and milky in my life!


To top that, they're really generous by including lots of blueberries inside the hotcakes which was very refreshing.


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Rangers Valley Wagyu steak sandwich with beetroot relish, tempura beetroot shoots, fresh horse radish and wasabi leaves.

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The signature Top Paddock breakfast. Chorizo, pickled onions, grilled peppers, bacon, Adelaide green tomatoes, poached egg and relish on toast.


I don't know how they make pickled onion tastes sooooo good. And the peppers are so juicy!

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The portions were monstrous! I'm really surprised that we could actually finish it. Guess they're REALLY GOOD. We decided to sit outside to enjoy the chilly weather while having our warm brunch.


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Casual outfit to brace the cold!


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Burch and Purchese



Dropped by Burch and Purchese to get my girlfriends some souvenir and gifts. They make really cute chocpops and lollies. You can also get their handmade jam, spreads and confectionaries. They're all packed in cute gift bags and you can easily pack them in your luggage!

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I swear this is a girl's wonderland.

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I got Raymond some desserts too cause he invited us to his home and made us a full 3 course meal. Did I even mention that he's a super good cook?! 


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I'm gonna showcase some of Raymond's cooking which I'm very proud to tell everyone that I have a friend like this. 


French onion soup with a crunchy baguette and cheddar on top. Gosh I miss this.


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His very own creation. Lamb with winter veggies and cauliflower puree. He added roasted honey walnuts too!!! He can make kale taste like a million bucks. I'm not exaggerating! His presentation and cooking beats anyone, anytime. This is like gourmet level okay!!!

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And his insanely beautiful lemon tart. Please be jealous because they're really really good. I've tried it, so I know :p


He has been baking these cakes recently and it drives me crazy looking through his Instagram. If you want to torture yourself, feel free to follow his page. HAHA.


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Chez Dre 



Chez Dre has an extensive food menu ranging from all day brunch to sweet and savoury delights. I only went there for their desserts, and I had so much to eat! They change their dessert menu from season to season, so their customers can always go back for something new which I think its a brilliant idea!



On the left : Strawberry shortcake.

On the right : Green tea, kalamansi and Muscuvado sugar.


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Caramel éclair.

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Fashion break!


Checkered coat [Korea] Sweatshirt [Kenzo] Leather skirt [H&M] Bag [Dior] French tip shoes [BKK]

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Le Petit Gateau 



Paid my friend Pierrick a visit again this time in Melbourne at his very own pastry shop. He is always so kind to show us around, bring us for a kitchen tour and serve us his yummy cakes and desserts. 


Le Petit Gateau is one of the very well known pasttiserie that serves exquisite cakes who is often visited by locals. Pierrick is very passionate about baking his cakes, and it contains a lot of hard work too. Its always an amazing experience revisiting that place!



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Oh glorious lemon tart!


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One of the best seller will be the brownie and passionfruit chocolate Gâteau with a brownie base, crunchy praline and passionfruit custard with chocolate mousse on the left. Each of the layers has its distinctive taste, which makes it very interesting!



We also tried the Hazelnut Millefeuille and Cosmopolitan which has a Carrot cake base, white chocolate cheese cake in the middle and raspberry jam on top


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Yum yum in everyone's tum tum.

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My happy friends.


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Elevator selfie.


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The Lab nitrogen gelato 



If you're up for crazy ice cream flavours, this might be the right place for you!


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My food trip is accompanied by a lot of sleep over sessions too. I basically went house hopping, traveling like a nomad. It was fun! 


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Comfy outfit.


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Partners in crime.


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And our not-so-fabulous mornings. 

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Everything in Melbourne oozes me with love! I really miss that place. Perhaps another visit sometime next year?