Friday, 22 November 2013

Announcing a temporary hiatus.

The time has come. I will be without internet for a week [hopefully not more!] as we switch providers, so other than this post, and my scheduled gratefulness post going up on Sunday you won't hear from me for a few days. I've been busy studying for my final uni exam so I haven't had a chance to schedule in new posts to go up over my absence so until we are back online, Roli out.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A tasty, fishy food by Roli and James

As any of my regular readers know, this is not a foody blog. But sometimes, I just have to share something tasty. And this, this is supremely tasty. And not just tasty, but really simple and pretty healthy too. Introducing our brand new baked veggie and salmon cakes!

This photo is terrible because, as usual, I ate my dinner then realised I was meant to take a photo so I camera phoned the leftovers in the dark kitchen. They don't look so creep-y yellow in real life, promise!

What you need:
2 carrots
1 large zucchini
1 big can of pink salmon, preferably in the 400-500g range.
2 eggs
1/2 cup breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup plain flour
Your favourite herbs and spices.

What to do:
0. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celcius.
1. Grate the zucchini and carrots into a large mixing bowl.
2. Open the salmon can and drain out most most of the liquid. Add all the salmon to the mixing bowl.
3. Crack your eggs into a cup just to make sure they're fresh, then add them to the bowl as well.
4. Add the flour and breadcrumbs and sprinkle in whatever herbs you like. I think we used oregano, paprika, salt, pepper and a bit of minced garlic.
5. Make sure your hands are clean and get in there. Mix it all together thoroughly with your hands. It should be goopy, kind of the consistency of bread dough after kneading, but not. I'm bad with food analogies. Add more breadcrumbs/flour or another egg if you feel the mixture is too runny or too dry. It should stick together but be easily mould-able.
6. Line a baking tray and mould small handfuls of the mixture into flat-ish balls. Our mix made eight, but making them a bit smaller and ending up with around twelve is probably best.
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes and flip. The underside should be brown when you flip, if not, leave them in for a bit longer. Bake for another 10-15.
8. Serve and devour!

The great thing about these is that even though there is a lot of fish, they don't taste particularly fishy, and you're getting lots of good vegetables too! A few variations that you may want to try...
1. Use tuna instead of salmon.
2. Sub out the flour and breadcrumbs for mashed up sweet potato [about two medium sized ones should do it] and it's paleo ^__^
3. Add other vegetables like corn kernels to change up the texture.
4. Mix in a dash of sweet chilli sauce and some spring onions for a different flavour.

Let me know if you make these and if you liked them!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

A Complete Steampunk Lolita Wardrobe for [just over] $500

It’s been a while since my last hypothetical wardrobe post but finally, I have designed one combining two of my abiding loves: lolita and steampunk! I will be honest though, and say that since a lot of the steampunk vibe comes from accessories this is really just a classic lolita wardrobe in a steampunk inspired colour scheme. Regardless, I really love it and I hope you do too!

To reiterate my usual spiel: my definition of a “complete” Lolita wardrobe is one that can yield you a pretty unique outfit every day for a week. Also as per usual, I do not include purses or accessories for two reasons. Firstly, everyone likes different things there and secondly, most girls already have something appropriate in each department. In this wardrobe in particular, what true steampunk fan doesn’t already have something coggy, some goggles or that ubiquitous octopus jewellery?

Now, on to the wardrobe breakdown!

1 OP, 1 JSK and 1 Skirt:
Again I’ve followed my usual mantra of one plain piece and two patterned ones. The solid coloured skirt from Bodyline [$53] is anything but plain in construction, and both the Bodyline OP [$47] and the Fan Plus Friend JSK [$82] have a nice balance of construction details and patterned fabrics.
1 Neutral Blouse with Detachable Sleeves:
This ivory Bodyline blouse [$47] even has a detachable jabot. Detachable everything!
1 Contrasting Blouse or Cutsew:
This lovely, detailed long sleeve blouse from Fan Plus Friend [$60] makes me drool a little on my keyboard every time I see it, so it was the natural choice for providing extra colour and detail in this wardrobe.
2 Outerwear:
Once again I’ve chosen something “structured” and something “pretty”.  Both from Bodyline, this time around the “structured” is the green sailor jacket [$27] and the “pretty” is the simple brown bolero [$20].
2 Headpieces:
Both headwear choices come from Fan Plus Friend: a standard headbow in ivory [$7] and a lovely brown bowler hat [$13],
2 Pairs of Shoes:
One day I should probably write a post about all my shoes, because maybe then I could truly manage to convey how amazing I think shoes are, and how much they impact an outfit. But for now, enjoy the two Bodyline choices in this wardrobe: ivory Oxfords [$33] and cute brown boots [$47].
5 Items of Legwear:
My usual line for legwear is one pair of solid colour tights and a patterned or printed pair, as well as three pairs of socks: a plain neutral knee high or OTK pair, a more interesting pair of knees highs and a pair of ankle socks. However, I couldn’t find a patterned knee high sock that worked with this wardrobe, so I picked two plain pairs from Fan Plus Friend [$3] in different colours instead. The plain tights are from eBay [$5] and the lovely printed pair are by Ophanim [$27] while the cute little ankle socks are Bodyline [$1].
1 Petticoat:
As always, I haven’t included an image of the petticoat because that would be irrelevant, but I am factoring in the price as no Lolita wardrobe is complete without a petticoat! I figure that $50 is a fairly reasonable average price.
Total Cost: $525
Well....that’s not too much over budget! ^__^

And now, my favourite part... sample outfits!

A very simple outfit that lets the details do the talking.

Again, a simple outfit, but this one is better for cooler climates!

A very toned down outfit that draws attention to the print on the JSK.

This is the "uber green" outfit ^__^

Lots of detail, textures and patterns make this outfit really eye-catching.

For some reason, this one makes me think of hunting parties in old movies...

I saved my favourite for last! I would so wear this for a steampunk photoshoot!

So there you have it! As you can see, there are still a lot of interesting combinations you could come up with using this simple three colour wardrobe ^__^

As always, if there’s a particular lolita style or theme or colour palette you’d like to see my budget version of, please leave a comment letting me know. And, if you liked this and feel like checking out the previous ones, I’ve done this kind of hypothetical wardrobe for sweet, classic, gothic, sailor and bittersweet lolita.

Two quick endnotes on pricing:
The prices I’ve listed are exclusive of shipping costs, because they vary depending on your location and Bodyline is notorious for spontaneous price changes, so who knows how long things will stay as I’ve written.