Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Happy Wednesday Everyone! 

We are leaving on our camping adventure today (yes I know, I am going camping...)! But before we leave I wanted to wish you all a very happy New Year. I will be back and blogging consistently next monday, Woo Hoo! Until then, stay safe and surround yourself with the ones you love. 

Lou xxx

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

It's Holiday Sale Season!

Morning Everyone! 

Now that the Christmas Chaos is behind us, it is officially sale season. And who doesn't love a good sale?!? I always try and stick to a detailed budget when christmas shopping to avoid a total financial blow out. 
I managed to do pretty well this year and thus have rewarded myself with a little retail therapy :) Here are a few bargains I have bought in the last few days which I know you will all love! 

How gorgeous is this Cheesecloth Swing Tank from Country Road! It is light, super soft and perfect over shorts for summer. I also bought it in white and black/white stripes. Pick one up for yourself for only $50, here. 

I love my new MinkPink Sweet Like andy Low Back Swimsuit! It is currently reduced on ASOS. Find  it online here. 

We all know I have a slight addiction to scarfs. So when I saw this Pointelle Knit Wool and Cashmere infinity scarf, reduced I just had to buy one! They are 25% off at Nordstrom now. Grab one in store or online here. 

Country Road, Multi Stripe Tee for only $35. I think yes! Pick one up for yourself in store or online here. 

Last up, I am loving my new Trenery, Bailey Canvas Espadrilles. They are available in three different colours and are 40% off #win. Grab a pair here! 

Happy Sale Season Ladies! 

Lou xxx

Monday, 28 December 2015

Christmas Candy Cookies

Happy Monday! 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day and weekend, filled with family, friends and great food.  I am lucky enough to have a few days off over this christmas/ new year break and plan to use this time to catchup on my favourite TV shows, see friends and bake! Three of my very favourite things. 

One recipe which is super popular in our household this time of year, is my left-over christmas candy cookies. These cookies are a delicious treat and great little gift for friends and family! 

You Will Need 
180g butter, softened
⅓ cup (75g) caster sugar
½ cup (125mL) NESTLÉ Sweetened Condensed Milk
1½ cups (225g) self raising flour
300g of chopped, left-over lollies/chocolate (i.e. M&M's, Candy Canes)

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.
Cream butter and sugar together then beat in NESTLE Sweetened Condensed Milk.
Add flour then lollies/chocolate, mix well.
 Roll heaped teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls. Place on prepared trays, allowing plenty of room for spreading, and press gently with a fork.
Bake in batches for 15 minutes until golden. 

Lou xxx

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Almost Christmas!

Its Christmas Eve! WOO HOO! 

Like many of you beautiful folks, I will be taking a few days off to spend time with my loved ones. I also plan to eat way to much food, relax and count my many, many, many blessings. 

I will be back next week! But until then I wish you all a very happy, safe and joyful Christmas! 

Lots of Love 
Lou xxx

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides

Happy Wednesday! 

I know I advent done a book review in what feels like forever but to be completely honest I have been a rather slack reader lately :( Between post vacation catchup, christmas prep and work, I have been a busy lady. 

However I have finally started The Marriage Plot and I am loving it! This one has been on my to-read list for a while now and my mom and several friends have recommended it to me. So I decided to finally get started and I am so glad I did! 

I am about half way through so if you know the ending please don't tell me ;) This humorous and heart felt coming of age story, follows three Brown university seniors through their final year of university and first year post grad. 

This is a great holiday read, its light, funny and seriously relatable. Covering everything from our (sometimes testing) child/ parent relationships, to young love and the depths of true friendship. 

I am loving this book and can't wait to finish it. a great read for your christmas break!

Lou xxx

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

I Heart Cambodia!

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Today I am sharing the final part of our recent trip to Vietnam and Cambodia! It has taken me a while I know but hey, better late than never! 

I honestly didn't know very much about Cambodia before we left. I knew there where a few major touristy things that where on the to-do list but I didn't not a whole lot about food, culture etc. (Very un-me to be this care free when traveling!) Regardless we had an incredible time and I fell head over heels for this small but amazing country. 

An ABSOLUTE must do when in Cambodia is Angkor Wat. One of the most famous temples  in the world! 

Angkor Wat is huge and I would highly recommend hiring a tour guide to show you around. You can find local tour guides at the front of the temple and should cost you around $12 USD for an hour. 
Our guide was worth every cent! 

He knew everything from the stories behind the inscriptions on the walls to the best photo opportunities *as seen above ;) 

When talking to friends who had previously been to Cambodia, one tour organisation came up constantly, SRM Motor tours. Established by local, Bun the company provides exciting tours for visitors and uses tour fees to provide Cambodian people with  care packages and food. As well as financially supporting an elementary school established by the company. 

We arranged a one day tour before we left home and let me tell you this jam-packed day was one of the highlights of our trip! 

Our guide, Bun took us to the elementary school their organisation established. The kids where very excited to have visitors, they where sweet, funny and eager to show us their english skills. 

We visited a traditional Hindu temple and received a water blessing from a residing Monk. 

Helped hand out care packages and food to locals. *80% of people in Cambodia live under the poverty line, so providing these people with basic toiletries and food can make a huge impact. 

We ate bugs... apparently they are a local delicacy! I still don't think I will serve them at my next dinner party. 

And witnessed this sunset via boat which was truly breath taking. 

Accommodation is cheap no matter where you stay in Cambodia. We decided to stay somewhere that was in the centre of the city, wasn't going to blow the budget but was still nice. We eventually chose La Niche D'Angkor Boutique Hotel and it was fabulous. Check it out here. 

Considering an exciting and active holiday, look no further than Cambodia! 

Lou xxx

Monday, 21 December 2015

Christmas Party Recipes 2015

Happy Monday Everyone! 

We celebrated christmas with friends this past weekend and had a fantastic time! The weather was well behaved for us, the food was delicious and the company was memorable as always. 

Today I am sharing with you some of the recipes we enjoyed this past weekend, that I know you will love! 

I have experimented with a few ham glazes over recent holidays. But I think I have found my favourite so far. This Maple syrup and mustard glazed ham was a complete crowd pleaser and will certainly be on our table again this festive season! You can find the recipe here thanks to our friends at Taste. 

Holy Beans! This cold green bean salad with balsamic vinegar is new levels of delicious! My friend Kate was responsible for the greens at Christmas dinner, and boy, did she deliver! Find the recipe for these beauties here! 

Sticky gingerbread pudding with butterscotch sauce. I think YES!! My very clever friend Soph had our mouths drooling at the sight of this pudding. *it is also a fantastic treat the next day. Got to love left-overs! Find Soph's christmas treat here. 

Last but not least, my very favourite christmas cocktail! The Absolut Mistletoe is the perfect holiday cocktail for parties or a christmas eve treat ;) 

I hope these recipes have inspired you and your meal planning this christmas week! I can guarantee that they are as scrumptious as they look! 

Lou xxx

Friday, 18 December 2015

Weekly Wrap-up

Happy Friday Everyone!

I love this time of year but man is it exhausting! I feel like I am nearly home at the moment and when I am, I have about 3456345 things to get done! But for now I will avoid all those jobs and talk about lovely, fun and exciting things that have been happening amongst the chaos lately. 

It has been seriously HOT here lately, meaning we have been doing a whole lot of this! Swimming, splashing and lounging in the pool. I bought two of the giant swans at the beginning of summer and fair to say they have been a big hit with the kids and the adults. Grab your self one here! 

I have been baking up a storm this week, with the help of some little friends :) Everything from rumbles to sugar cookies are on the menu at the moment. I love christmas! Find my favourite sugar cookie recipe here. 

Last week, I remembered I am hosting my friends christmas dinner this year. So I added another 100 chores to my list in order to prep for our lovely meal. We do this every year and it always turns out to be a fantastic night. I really don't know why I get so stressed because we could eat take aways on the floor and still have a great time!

I am really trying to remind myself what this season is actually about, during these moments of stress, panic and mini-melt down. Christmas is a time for Reflection, Rest, Family and Friends!

Need some last minute ides on how to feed and entertain your loved ones this festive season? Remember to check out my Holiday Pintrest board for great recipe and decorating ideas. You can find it here. 

I am off to bake a Ham for my dinner party tonight! Wish me luck and have yourselves a fantastic weekend! 

Lou xxx

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Morning Everyone! 

I am continuing to share our amazing trip to Vietnam and today we are talking Halong Bay! Halong Bay is a registered World Heritage site and is absolutely stunning. Located about 3 hours drive from Hanoi,  Halong Bay is a must do if you are venturing to the North of Vietnam. 

We decided we wanted to explore Halong Bay via a three day cruise, in order to give us the chance to see as much of the bay as possible and also have a few quite days, away from the hectic Hanoi. We chose to travel with Au Co Cruises and let me tell you they where AMAZING!

Just look how gorgeous our boat was! 

And the food was even more amazing! Every meal was 5 courses and absolute perfection. 

Every part of this cruise exceeded all our expectations. From the accommodation to the scheduled activities and friendly staff. I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone considering a trip to Halong Bay!

Start planning your own adventure with Au Co Cruises here! 

Lou xxx

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Holiday Pins you have to see!

Happy Wednesday Everyone! 

I hope you are having a great week. Only 10 days until christmas now! Eeeeekkk!I braved the shops today to finish of my christmas purchases but still need to grocery shop ahead of my friends christmas dinner which I am hosting on friday night! 

I love to entertain and seeing as it tis' the season! I am hosting my friendship groups' christmas gathering this year. I have fantastic friends who are smart, silly, and down right hilarious. So getting together is always fun. Today I thought I would share some decorating and recipe ideas I have for this years group dinner. 

Where have I been planing this event and holiday season?? Pintrest OF COURSE!! As most of you know I suffer from a very intense Pintrest addiction, as do many of my girlfriends. So planning our group dinners via this handy little site is our ritual. Be sure to check out my Public Board - Decorations/ food for the Holidays!

Any ways! Here are a few things I have been pinning and loving! 

You are never to old for a Reindeer cookie and these are just too cute to resist! Check them out here.

I love this look for the table. White table cloth and a long simple garland through the centre of the table. Accented with white candles and minimal table wear. Fridays table will definitely be inspired by this gorgeous one! 

I honestly believe it is the little details that not only make  great party but make it really memorable. These hand made name cards (mini pine cone wreaths) are so sweet and a beautiful party favour, that your guests will love. Find the tutorial for these beauties here.

No Christmas party is complete without a gingerbread house! Now, I'll be real the gingerbread house I make will probably not resemble this masterpiece in anyway, shape or form. *sigh. But a girl can hope for the best! Cross your fingers and toes people! 

Remembre to check out my holiday Pintrest board here for more fabulous food, entertaining and decorating ideas. 

Lou xxx

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Get your Festive on!

Morning Everyone! 

With less than two weeks until christmas the festive season is in full swing! Despite the crazy shopping centre parking, hectic grocery stores and countless events for all family members. Making you the family taxi! Christmas is also ( and most importantly) a time for family and friends, where we can catchup, eat and count our blessings.  Three of my favourite things! 

In celebration of this holiday season I am sharing some of my favourite festive fashion finds. These beauties will not only give you the festive look but make you feel gorgeous during this sometimes rather stressful build up to the big day! #pleasehurryupsanta 

Seriously how cute is this Peter Alexander Sleep Tee? My mumma bought me one of these last week and I am totally in love with it. Pom Poms and sequins on my PJ's? Yes Please!!
 Such a cute pre-christmas present for friends or sisters! Find them in store or online here. 

These gorgeous Reindeer bed socks will keep your toes cosy this season. Find them here.

When you have to leave the comfort of your PJ'S :( and venture to the chaos of the shops. Pop on this Seed Heritage sequin tee. I have been wearing my gold sequin one all month and loving it! Pick one up here. 
Still looking for a cute gift for a friend or a christmas treat for yourself? Look no further than Pandora's Holiday range. I love this Sparkling Surprise Charm and may have to add one to my collection this season. Find their Holiday range in stores or online here. 

Who says holiday sweaters have to be ugly?? This Wildfox Holiday List Pullover is nothing short of adorable! I need one STAT. Grab yours here. 

Kate Spade is my GO-TO when searching for christmas accessories and these square studs are the perfect example of her classic seasonal style. They come in a tone of colours (including red, also cute) and make a fantastic gift to yourself ;) or friends! Find them in store or online here.

Tis the season of the cocktail party! This Bec & Bridge Wrap dress is stunning and the perfect outfit for one of the tens of parties you will no doubt attend this month. You can order one from the comfort of your home right here! #win 

Need two hands to hold all your shopping bags? #guilty Grab one of these Kate Spade Cobie Hill purses, throw it over your shoulder and get shopping! This bag is the perfect size for running errands, is soft and super duper cute. This little delight is on my christmas wish list! 
PS. Santa, if you  forgot you can pick it up here!

Last but not least! Every girl needs a seasonal red and this MAC Ruby Woo, is the perfect seasonal red. Find them in store or online here. 

It's time to get your festive on ladies! What are some of your favourite festive-wear items this season?  
Please share! 

Lou xxx