weekend roundup

If you hadn't already guessed it, I spend a fair amount of time on the internet. While I attribute this to my blog and the fact that I need to go online to study, I'm seriously starting to think it's becoming an unhealthy habit that can only result in my mediocre eyesight and lack of social life! Anyway, why not put it to good use for once? I already use the Pocket app religiously for reading articles on the go, so I thought I'd share the love and list some online things that I've been liking lately:

  • Thirteen Thirtyfive by Dillon. I only recently heard this song on a Youtube video, but haven't stopped listening to it on repeat since!
  • I'm pretty sure everything on Mr. Printables is intended for kids, but it has blown my mind. Since discovering it, I somehow think that making these 3D letters and animal pompoms is completely necessary...
  • Two words - funnel cakes. While it's unlikely that I'll have the real deal at a carnival anytime soon, I'm definitely keen on trying the recipe at home!
  • I feel like I'm a bit late on the bandwagon, but the Humans of New York Facebook page is incredible. While there's also an official blog, I really think that half the fun is in browsing the witty comments section.
  • If you'd like snippets of history on your timeline, the History in Pictures twitter feed was made for you.
  • Recently I made vanilla panna cotta with strawberries, and oh my word it was amazing! In case you were wondering the recipe's here, and it's actually surprisingly simple.
  • T2 just came out with an apple crumble tea, and the sound of it alone is making me salivate!
  • Have you seen the Youtube channel Tastemade yet? Anyway, every video in this beverage series is complete and utter food (drink?) porn.
  • This interactive site makes me want to visit New York City even more, if that was even possible.

If you have any interesting links to share with me, feel free to do so! I'm always on the lookout for tidbits to cure my boredom, so they would be much appreciated. Anyway, I hope you all have a great weekend ahead of you!
Posted by : Mani

life in greyscale

Thrifted jumper, Cue skirt, Oroton bag, Nine West sandals

To be honest, it just wouldn't be a post of mine if I didn't mention that Australia's weather is insane. And by insane I mean confusing, especially with the transitional season bringing one rainy day followed by a sunny one (hence the sandal/sweater combo)! While I'd much prefer the temperature to be either straight up hot or cold, I guess I'm pretty happy to take advantage of the last days of sweater weather while I can. After all, I'm pretty sure it won't be long before the thought of sweaters alone leaves me feeling like a hot mess...

Anyway, on to the rest of the outfit! In all honesty, I never used to be a fan of sandals. They were either too flimsy, too chunky, left too much of my foot exposed... However, these babies have lasted me since last year and I still love them! What more can I say? The black and white embellishments go with everything and I've even bothered to fix them with shoe glue, which is saying something. The only problem is that there are only so many times I can rewear these, so I guess another sandal purchase is on the cards for me soon.

So with my midsem break from uni coming up soon, so many things on my to do list have been accumulating and I probably shouldn't even be writing this post at the moment! Looking at these pictures has also reaffirmed the fact that I'm in desperate need of a haircut, which doesn't really help things. Anyway, I'll leave you with this not-so-flattering picture of my foot, and until then I hope you have a great week!
Posted by : Mani

berry pavlova

If I inherited a sweet tooth from anyone, my mum would definitely be the person to blame. While she has an unbridled passion for food in general (especially of the spicy variety), for as long as I can remember she has been making all kinds of cakes and desserts. If only her arsenal of culinary skills was something that could also be passed down, but I digress!

Anyway, if you've been living under a rock and have never heard of pavlova I'll give you the lowdown! It's basically a decadent meringue topped off with whipped cream and fruits, and it's incredible. While I'm quite sure you can buy baking kits for them here in Australia, my mum seems to have perfected the recipe after years of ending up with depressingly hollow meringue shells. I've never come across a person who can resist it, so keep reading for the recipe:

Take note - the meringue has to stand up like this by itself! It may take a lot of work to get to this point, but it's worth it.

Berry pavlova recipe (makes one pavlova):
4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon corn flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Thickened cream
Mixed berries

1. Preheat oven to 150°C (170°C fan-forced) and line a tray with baking paper.
2. Beat egg whites until stiff, then add half the sugar whilst continuing to beat. Mix in the rest of the corn flour, vinegar, and cream of tartar.
3. Gradually add the rest of the sugar whilst beating the mixture until it is thick and glossy. The meringue should form stiff peaks, and not sink into the rest of the mixture.
5. Spread the meringue onto the baking tray with a spatula, and shift it until it's the shape you want (I doubled the recipe, so two meringues are pictured here).
6. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 90-100°C and continue to bake for 1 hour.
7. Leave the pavlova to cool in the oven. Whip cream and defrost berries if necessary.
8. Spread as much cream and berries as you want on your pavlova! If you don't like berries, this would also work with any other type of fruit.

So there you have it! Admittedly it's not the neatest looking dessert, but I can vouch for the fact that the marshmallowy centre is to die for. It's also surprisingly simple, considering that I'm not great at baking and even forgot to include the vinegar and cream of tartar this time (oops)! Thankfully it still turned out well, but maybe if you add them your pavlova will be able to heal unicorns or something like that. Anyway, if you happen to give this a try let me know!
Posted by : Mani

here comes the sun

1. Sneaky  Priceline haul  2. Hot chocolate  3. Sushi, aka my number one weakness  4. Experimenting with my Instax lenses  5. Studio Ghibli prints from SmashCon  6. Oh-so-decadent beesting cake  7. Full moon on a pastel sky  8. Seeing spots  9. Loitering in the State Libary  10. Current read  11. Spring blooms  12. My new favourite tea blend

Even though I probably repeat myself at the beginning of each month, I still have to ask the question - where has the year gone?! To me it seems like August came and went in a flash, especially considering it was spent getting back into the swing of uni (punctuated by the occasional sugar indulgence). Right now I'm still feeling a bit disorientated by my new schedule, but I just know that when I get used to it the year will already be over! I guess you can never win with these things, huh.

In other news, last month I started reading Quiet as per Eliza's recommendation and am loving it so far! So many examples could have been plucked from my own socially awkward experiences, and make me feel a tiny bit better about being a hermit. Anyway, if you're introverted and also happen to be a psychology nerd this is definitely worth a read, but for a lazier option you can also watch Susan Cain's TED talk here.

I guess that's about it for now, so if you happen to be interested in more food photos and random tidbits my Instagram username is @manisay. Anyway, I hope this month turns out to be a great one for you, and I'll see you soon!
Posted by : Mani