Beach Make-Up Rules

Beach Make Up Rules

When I go to the beach, I normally don’t wear much make-up. Having said that, I still like to look more or less presentable. Here are a couple of make-up tricks that help me feel more comfortable yet sun-safe about my face when I’m at the beach.

Skin
Swap foundation for a tinted moisturiser with SPF 30+ (I use Invisible Zinc). I suggest to apply it with a brush for an even coverage.

Eyes
I simply use an eyelash curler and no mascara. However, in summer you never know where you’ll end up – on a beach or taking an impromptu lunch with a friend. If this is the case, always opt for a waterproof mascara (my favourite is Dior Iconic Overcurl waterproof mascara).

Lips
Swap lipstick for a lip balm (my favourite is Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment). For a hint of colour, apply a lip blusher that closely matches your own lip colour (I use RMS Lip2Cheek balm).

Click here to check out my beach essentials.

Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie

After our captivating adventure to Young (the Cherry Capital of Australia), I’ve been consumed by the idea of baking a cherry pie at home. I used a recipe from the book called New York Cult Recipes and the result was exactly what I’d hoped for in a cherry pie. The oozing cherries had just enough sourness and the crust was crisp and buttery. This brought back some nice memories of summer and our road trip.

Ingredients:

Pastry
250g cold unsalted butter, diced
500g plain flour
50g icing sugar
1 tsp fine salt
100ml cold water
3 tsp lemon juice
300g dried beans (for baking)

Filling
2 1/4 tbsp cornflour
2 1/4 tbsp lemon juice
900g sour cherries, pitted
200g granny smith apple, cored and diced, not peeled
175g caster sugar

Glaze
1 egg yolk
a little water
raw sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Method:

The Pastry
Using a food processor or grater, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a crumbly consistency. Incorporate the water and lemon juice and combine by hand just until you have a smooth dough. Divide into two balls of the same size, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

The Filling
Meanwhile, combine the cornflour with the lemon juice. Place this mixture and the cherries, apple pieces and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook together for about 15 minutes, stirring. Allow to cool completely.

Shaping and Blind Baking
Preheat the oven to 180C. If the pastry dough is too hard when it comes out of the refrigerator, let it soften. Butter and flour a 26cm pie dish. On a floured surface, roll out the balls of dough into two rounds large enough to hang over the edge of the dish by about 5cm. Place one of the rounds in the dish, then roll the overhang onto itself. Prick the pastry base with a fork, cover with baking paper and dried beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for about 5 minutes until dry and light golden. Fill the pastry shell with the cold filling. It is essential for the filling to be cold before attempting the lattice, otherwise the heat will make the strips of dough too soft to handle.

The Lattice
On a floured surface, cut the second round of dough into medium size strips. Lay the strips across the pie, evenly spaced. Peel back ‘odd’ strips and lay down the first of the perpendicular strips so it’s under the ‘odd’ strips and over the ‘even’ strips. Repeat the process, peeling back the ‘even’ strips this time for the second perpendicular strip to go under, and keep going in the same way with the last perpendicular strips, continuing the alternation. Pinch the edges to seal them.

Cooking and Serving
Brush the pastry with the mixture of egg yolk and water and sprinkle with the sugar (optional). Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Allow the pie to cool for at least 4 hours before cutting.

Young NSW

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[Harvest from a cherry orchard]

Last year, on my Birthday, we drove to Young for the Cherry Picking Festival. We were so excited to get out of the city and four hours later, we found ourselves in the country town of Young. The town is renowned for its scenic countryside, vineyards, orchards, fascinating pioneering history and for being known as the Cherry Capital of Australia!

The cherry festival was in full swing. We witnessed all sorts of entertainment, from a pie eating competition to the streed parade. The farmers market had an abundance of fresh and tasty produce. We picked our own cherries at Ballinaclash Orchard, which was one of the highlights, and indulged on cherry pies!

On the second day, we had breakfast at Wilders Bakery and visited Lambing Flat Folk Museum. We drove back to Sydney via Orange, where we stopped for some wine tasting at De Salis Winery.

We came home feeling refreshed and with a feeling that there is so much more to explore in Australia in addition to the coastal towns and countless beaches.

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[Warm welcome to Young – Cherry Capital of Australia]

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[Cherry pie eating contest]

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[Cherry orchards at Ballinaclash]

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[Cherry treat from Allambie Orchard]

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[Parade on the streets of Young]

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[Peaceful setting at Allambie Orchard]

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[A must-visit bakery in Young, well-known for its award-winning cherry pie]

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[Last century’s cooking appliances at Lambing Flat Folk Museum]

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[Views from De Salis Winery, Orange NSW]

Ring and Cufflink Tray DIY

Ring Tray DIY

Since I got engaged, I’ve been carefully looking after my diamond ring and keeping it safe at all times. When I was searching for some wedding inspiration, I came across this great DIY and decided to give it a go. I made one little tray a couple of weeks ago and showed it to my fianc√©. He thought it was a great idea and asked if he could have one for his cufflinks. I now have the trays all around the house: bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. This can also be a nice present, and you can even make it personal by using different stamps or initials. Here is how to make it:

Step1
Items you need: FIMO oven hardening modelling clay, round cookie/scone cutter, stamps and baking paper.
Step1-2
Roll the clay into a ball. Using a rolling pin, roll the ball into a flat circle ensuring an even thickness.

Step 4-5
Cut out a circle with the cookie/scone cutter and press down with a stamp in the centre.

Step 6-7
Slightly bend up the sides and place on a backing tray lined with the baking paper.

Following the clay instructions, bake for 30 minutes at 110C. Once cooled, it’s ready to be used.

Shoes and Nail Polish Combinations

Nail Polish Combo

As a young girl, I remember accompanying my mom to a beauty salon which was the equivalent of a modern day spa. It was affordable, with a full head-to-toe beauty service provided in one spot. As any other girl, I was fascinated by the place and would often end up having my nails painted to match my mom’s finger tips. Now, as an adult, I have accumulated a big collection of nail polishes. Whenever I buy open shoes or sandals, one of my first thoughts is about a colour of a nail polish I could wear them with. Here is my take on high heels and flats paired with complementary nail polishes.

Nail Polish Combo flats

Classic Lamingtons

Lamingtons

Happy Australia Day! Despite the recent Christmas break, I’ve been looking forward to a relaxing long weekend at home and this holiday has come at the right time. To feel the essence of this day, I decided to try and make a traditional Australian dessert – Lamingtons. It’s believed that the recipe originates in Queensland and it was named after Lord Lamington, who served as Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901, although it might have been named for his wife, Lady Lamington. It’s an iconic dessert and would be a perfect complement to any backyard barbecue. I hope you have a great holiday!

Ingredients (serves 12):
125g butter, softened, plus 1 tbs extra, melted for icing
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups (255g) self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
2 cups (320g) icing sugar
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa
1/3 cup (80ml) boiling water
1 cup (70g) shredded coconut

Method:
Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan. Grease a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan. Line with baking paper, leaving a 2cm overhang on all sides. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, caster sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in half of flour and half of milk until combined. Stir in remaining flour and milk. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Smooth surface. Bake for 30-35 mins, until skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 mins. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 20 mins.
Meanwhile, sift icing sugar and cocoa into a medium bowl. Add extra melted butter and boiling water. Stir until well combined and smooth.
Cut cake into 12 pieces. Place coconut on a tray. Pierce a cake square with a bamboo skewer, being careful not to pierce all the way through. Dip cake into icing, then toss in coconut, to cover evenly. Place on a wire rack over a baking tray. Repeat with remaining cake. Stand for 1 hr, until set. Serve.

Ice Cream Sandwich

ice cream sandwich

In summer, there is no better treat than ice cream. When it’s too hot to cook in the kitchen, this one-minute dessert is the best solution, plus you get to try out a variety of flavours. All you need is a few ice cream tubs in your freezer and a pack of cookies. I used Arnott’s cookies and filled them with my favourite ice-cream flavours: Sara Lee ‘Strawberry & Cream’, Sara Lee ‘Salted Caramel’ and Bulla Creamy Classics ‘Mint Choc Chip’.