Tuesday, January 22, 2013

School Outfit ...?

 

 It wasn't until recently when I was talking to a friend of mine that I realised I spend the majority of my time-- my life at school. I mean, I'm a student and I work at the university so it is obvious to me that I do spend a lot of time at school. However, to sit down and actually think about school never crossed my mind. Now that I think about it, it boggles me! I spend a lot of my time at school and a lot of the time I am at school from 7:30 am up until 9:00 pm because I am working AND going to class. Most of my classes are in the evening.



Outfit details:
Dress: Old Navy (get it here)
Belt: ASOS (similar)
Tights: ASOS (get it here)
Scarf: Winners (similar)
Shoes: Thrifted
Bag: Cambridge Satchel Company (get it here)
Lipstain: Sephora Cream Lipstain 01, "Always Red" (get it here)

Being at school a lot affects how I eat, how I dress, and how I plan my day. This outfit is very similar to what I wear every day: a dress (or top and a skirt), tights, scarf, flat shoes, and my red bag - it is both comfortable and fashionable to some extent. Come rain, shine, or heavy snowfall I probably am wearing a skirt. My co-workers often ask me how I can survive the Winnipeg winters (with temperatures so extreme, just this past week... -43 Celsius with the windchill) with just wearing tights. I can, somehow, and it's probably because I am accustomed to it or because my extra padding (see fat) is keeping me warm. Perhaps I have gone completely bonkers and do not realise how cold it is because I am willing to suffer for fashion. Regardless, this is what I am wearing. I do wish that I could dress a bit more exciting - baring leg or being able to wear shoes without having to think about if I'm going to fall on my ass when I slip the ice. I am jealous of the other Canadian bloggers who live in nicer climates and can wear what they like. Unfortunately, in the prairie winter I have no choice.

Which brings me to this question:

Do you let the weather dictate what you wear or do you suffer for fashion?

I'd love to see your responses! Until next time everyone.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

First (actual) outfit post of 2013.

It's already mid-January and I am sorry that it took me this long to post an actual outfit picture. The first two weeks of the winter session was hectic enough as it is and I had to "get back to the grind", but not just that but since I am nearing my graduation pretty soon I have to think about planning my future, which meant I had to look over my degree planning and look at what I actually had. I realised that I had too many sociology credits and now I need to take humanities and other general electives for the next year, greeeeat. On top of that, one of my seminars wasn't going well and I dropped it because of stress-related stuff and the grade I got for the mid term season was not very good as I had hoped to be. I know I'll sound pretentious here but I got a C+ on one of my papers. As an honours student, that made me feel so horrible and bad. I have never gotten that low of a mark on my papers before, and on a senior level course that is just horrible. Some people think it is ridiculous that I dropped over a low grade and that it's unrealistic to expect A's all the time (not to brag, but I aim for A's all the time... who doesn't?) but I have to think about my GPA. So yes, I dropped it... and apparently some classmates of mine think I am pretentious and unrealistic because of it. Whatever, they can talk all they want.

 
Before anyone asks, yes I am wearing extensions.

Anyways, because I had dropped a senior seminar class this leaves me for more time. Which includes outfit posts. I have a tripod and I need to practice using it. Today this outfit was photographed by Gab (my fiance) and what's annoying about living in a really cold city with lots of snow is I can't take pictures of myself outside. So, with limited space I have here in this small house I can only find so little places to take pictures. I'm still trying to find THE perfect place in the house. I guess this spot will do. The curio behind me is filled with my moms collection of Filipino sculptures or something, I'm not sure what it is but there's my limited explanation.


Dog Shirt: ASOS (similar)
Skirt: ASOS (get it here)
Sweater: New Look (similar)
Tights: ASOS (get it here)
Shoes: Thrifted 
Glasses: Rough Justice Material Gurl in Tortoise via Clearly Contacts (get it here)

Going back to the outfit, I typically wear boots but since I'm just going around thrifting today I would spend the majority of my time inside anyways - barely any walking. So that explains my shoe choices. As for this outfit, I love every piece I am wearing and I wear it at least once a week. I am absolutely in love with the dog print shirt and the collar. I find myself gravitating to neutral or monochromatic colour schemes lately. Perhaps it is because it's winter?

What colours do you find yourself wearing lately?

Until next time.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

RECIPE: Carioca

For New Years eve I decided to make a dessert for a family gathering. Filipino gatherings usually have a bunch of people, especially my family where we're easily over twenty people in a house. Food gets eaten fast. So of course, I wanted to bring something to the potluck.

For that occasion I made a Filipino dessert called Carioca. Carioca was one of my favourite desserts growing up - I remember my parents going to the Filipino grocery store and bringing me back a brown paper bag and inside was a skewer with three carioca balls on it.  Carioca is pretty much like donut balls that have sugar and shredded coconut inside and deep fried and coated with sticky/hard toffee-caramel sauce. It's a confection that is sticky and somewhat crispy (or really crunchy depending on how you make your caramel) on the outside and chewy on the inside.

This is a great potluck food or just for eating as a snack or dessert. It's sweet and best of all it's gluten-free and vegan!

Sorry for the pictures, haha, I'm going to try harder to get better quality pictures for my forthcoming recipes...

Carioca Recipe
Yields approximately 24 medium sized balls

Dough balls:
- 2.5 cups of Mochiko flour OR 2.5 cups of glutinous rice flour [Note: If you are using glutinous rice flour and not Mochiko, add in 3 tablespoons of icing sugar]
- 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
- 1 can of coconut milk
- Additional rice flour for dusting
- Oil for deep frying, flavourless oil recommended [I use canola]

Caramel sauce:
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar [I use light brown]
- 1/4 cup of water

Notes: It is important for this recipe that you use glutinous rice flour, not plain rice flour or you won't get the chewy-sticky texture. Many grocery stores and even Wal-Mart carries Mochiko Rice flour. If you are using Mochiko you do NOT add any sugar in the mixture. Plain glutinous rice flour will require you to add some sugar.

Method:

1. In a mixing bowl or stand mixer add the rice flour, shredded coconut, and coconut milk. Mix well until well blended together.
2. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the dough mixture and roll out the dough into small spheres. They will expand while frying. I try to keep it medium. If the dough is sticky, add a bit more rice flour until it isn't so sticky anymore. Set aside the dough balls.
3. Heat the oil to medium-low. [IMPORTANT: This temperature is important because while frying, if it is on TOO HOT it will splatter everywhere as it cooks, getting oil everywhere and burning you. I learned the hard way. Slow heat is best for this.] On my stove it is about a 4 out of 10 notches.
4. Fry the dough balls for about 5-7 minutes, or until your dough balls float to the surface and are a nice golden yellow colour. When they're ready, remove them from the oil and set aside in a huge mixing bowl.
5. In another pan, put in the brown sugar and water and stir until dissolved. On medium heat, stir until the caramel sauce begins to simmer and bubble and reduce. That's when it will be ready - or use a candy thermometer until it gets to the firm ball stage. 
6. Pour the caramel sauce in the mixing bowl with the balls. Using tongs or another utensil of choice, stir the balls around until they're all coated in the caramel sauce mixture. Afterwards, move onto your serving tray of choice. They will be sticky!

Photos in sequential order of method:


Here is what they look like being rolled into 'spheres'. They're not perfect but they will be rounded and smoother once they're in the fryer. I put them on a cookie sheet as I make them.


I fry my Carioca in my 'creuset' (don't know what it is in English) it's like a cast iron pot or something? Mine is Kitchen Aid. Anyway, I put in about a little more than 1/4 the pot of oil to fry. Make sure to fry it on medium low heat or it will burn or while it is cooking, the heat will cause the balls to expand rapidly and that results in oil splatter, hurt, and agony. Also, the coconut flakes may be burned too. The black spot on one of the ball is one of the leftover burned flakes from the previous batch. I use a slotted spoon above to remove them and set them aside.


In another small pot this is my caramel. When the liquid starts to simmer like this, it's almost ready. It should have lots of bubbles from reducing. When it reaches this stage I remove it from the heat and stir to set aside for a bit. Then I pour it into the mixing bowl...


Like this! Coat them evenly with the sauce using tongs or another utensil. 


I didn't take pictures of the nicer batch, but this is what they should look like. This was my first batch where I fried them on high heat - which resulted in overly crunchy balls, which is not ideal unless you like it like that, the end result should be crispy yet very soft on the inside. It also separated while frying, making it look like cell division, lol. Not too aesthetically pleasing, this picture - but hey, they were still freaking delicious! 

Additional notes: Carioca is best served fresh but it keeps for about 3-4 days. If you decide to refrigerate, the dough will firm up a bit and is still edible, however if you microwave for about 30 seconds it will be a chewy texture again. 

Enjoy! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My NYE 2012 outfit

I didn't take much photographs for New Years Eve. All I did was go to my uncles house and hang out with my family. Here's some photos I recovered at least ... they're mostly of me. I'm sitting on the floor... because it is more comfortable than standing. Filipino house parties are packed and full of people! Nowhere to sit. :p








Outfit details:
Romper: ASOS Curve (get it here)
Belt: Addition-Elle
Cardigan: ASOS Curve (get it here)
Tights: Addition-Elle
Shoes: Not pictured, from ASOS (get it here)
Bag: Not pictured, Cambridge Satchel Company (get it here)
Lipstain: Sephora Cream Lipstain in Always Red (get it here)

As you can see I am wearing extensions, I bought them on eBay from here. They're Remy hair extensions and they're real human hair. I love the quality and price - they barely tangle and it's very soft! I highly recommend it.

Speaking of New Years eve, I made some Filipino mochi donut balls... but you're going to have to wait until tomorrow when I post the recipe! Stay tuned for that.

My favourites from 2012!




As promised from the previous post I will be posting my 12 favourite outfits of 2012. Unfortunately, because I've been terribly lazy and bad at updating I cannot provide a month-by-month favourite outfits compilation like I did in 2011. So here's some of my favourite outfits of the year. I love looking at all my outfits from the past year posted on the blog because some are cringe worthy and some of them make me yearn for better days where I feel like I looked so good, why can't I look this good style-wise again?! Lately I feel like my style has been in some sort of limbo - where I want to dress edgy yet I also love the sweet twee look! I'm in a style existential crisis. It's getting better though. I'm going to do a blog sales post within the next month or so because I need to trim my closet and de-clutter.

But I digress... this isn't about me purging my closet, this entry is about my favourite outfits!

So in no particular order, here they are...



227. - I like the colours here and I miss this shirt. RIP, my "Where's Waldo?" Shirt. My hair is so voluminous and I am so sad that it's no longer there anymore. :c

235. - I like the colours, nice and spring-like for a March day. Probably the only time I was able to put my hair in a top bun without having my bangs taking over. 

240. - I just like this outfit for some reason. And yes, I still own those ratty pair of penny loafers. I have yet to find any comparably comfortable penny loafers that are of a similar style.

254. - It's monochromic in a way that it isn't black and white. My hair, shoes, and cardigan all matched! Looking at this picture makes me long for summer days once again. There's nothing I love more than being bare-legged!

261. - Words cannot express how much I adore that yellow skirt. I wish they made it in a mini skater style. Those flatform wedges are pretty amazing too, the most comfortable thing I have ever put on my feet. 

262. - If there was a Gazel's outfit formula it'd be this: Polkadots + Skater Skirt + Brown Belt + Brown Shoes. 

264. - Reds, nudes, polkadots, and stripes. Enough said.

270. - My last outfit before I cut off all my hair. *insert sad violin music*

275.  - My foray into pants. Actually now that I revise this list, this is the first pants outfit here! Gasp. 

278. - Even though I'm makeup-less I'm still fab. I love those red tights. LOVE. 

260. - I felt fierce as hell wearing this outfit. 

238. - I admit I would change a few things about this outfit but I like my hair, makeup, and colour scheme, okay?!

In terms of a sartorial-type New Years resolution, I'd like to get my act together and have a 'definitive' style. You can definitely see in these pictures I don't know what to dress for, or what my style really is exactly. As much as I love the vintage-style stuff, it's probably not for me and I'm kind of easing away from that kind of clothing - but it doesn't mean I don't love a good peter pan collar now and then. I can't wait to see what kind of outfits - both great and disastrous - I will concoct for the upcoming year!