Get the look: The Bargain buy dress!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I'm not one to shop online all that often as generally I like to see the product in the flesh first. But, back in January I was ordering a couple of new Nike gym tees from The Iconic and soon found myself immersed in the 'dresses' section. Believe it or not, I hate dress shopping. Just ask Mr B. The poor man has listened to me complain time and time again and has spent many an hour watching me try on dress after dress only to walk away empty handed and deflated. Be it online or instore I find it really hard to find dresses I feel truly comfortable and confident in. However, when I stumbled on the orange Ezra number (above) at only $39.95 and The Iconic's famous '100 day free return' policy I thought what the heck, if it doesn't fit I'll simply send it back. When I first opened the package I'll admit I was underwhelmed BUT once I slipped it on I was amazed that it was the perfect fit and super comfy! So, later that night I jumped back online to order one in black too (because a plain little black sheath can never go astray) and I also ordered three others (all for $39.95 each) in the hope that the sizing would be consistant with the first dress. The very next day I received the second package (and for some reason was still apprehensive and again underwhelmed when I first opened them) but one by one I tried them on and just like when I was a teenager, I did a cheesy little catwalk for my Mum (who was in town visiting) and with every dress her response was 'WOW'! I'll do the math for you my friends, that's five dresses for under $200! I know, what the frock right? hee hee. It just goes to show you don't need to spend big bucks to feel good in a dress!
Teamed with shoes and accessories I already owned, I wore the 'Orange Sheath' dress to a wedding last month and the 'Floral sheath' for a special dinner with friends last Saturday night. Unfortunately I think both have now sold out BUT I have compiled a few of my other favourites below (of which a couple were amongst my second order) all available from The Iconic. Most dresses from the Ezra collection are priced between $30- $40 so the whole collection is definitely worth a good look!
Fluttersleeve tulip dress here
Blue floral sheath here
Assymetrical wrap skirt floral sheath dress here
White with floral tulip dress here
Coral floral sheath here

Happy shopping my friends :)

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Coconut and Date Balls!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

This is has to be the easiest and quickest recipe I have ever posted. And one with the least ingredients... two ingredients my friends, yes, only two! I was doing a clean out of the fridge and had half a packet of dates left over from some baking which was uncanny because it was only just yesterday that a friend of mine who has a very fussy little eater who's favourite food is chocolate (isn't it all of ours?! :P) told me of her sneaky way to get some extra fruit into her daughter. You know I'm all for tricking our little ones (do you remember my zucchini spaghetti!) so I was excited to try these little babies on my girls. I whipped them up earlier today in a matter of minutes and they were an absolute hit... seriously my girls were going nuts for them! Allegra even said 'Mum, can I have another chocolate ball please?!' Misson accomplished and perfect for the lunchbox!



Coconut and Date Balls

Ingredients

2 cups of pitted dates, roughly chopped
2 cups of desiccated coconut

Method

- Place dates and one cup of the coconut into a food processor or blender.

- Process on high until the mixture all of a sudden comes together and forms a sticky ball (refer above picture).

- Remove mixture and roll into teaspoon size balls.

- Lastly, roll into the remaining one cup of coconut.

- Pop them in the fridge for an hour or so until they are firm to touch. See, easy peasy!

- Enjoy!
 

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Salmon, Avocado and Mango Lettuce Wraps!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mr B and I will often enjoy a piece of fish (we both love salmon!) served with a yummy salad for dinner. After cooking my San Choy Bow a few weeks back, I was inspired to turn my boring old 'fish and salad' recipe into something a little more fun! We all love eating with our hands don't we?! And using lettuce as a bread/taco/wrap replacement means this meal remains healthy, low carb and ridiculously tasty!    

Salmon, Avocado and Mango Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

1 Iceberg lettuce
2 salmon fillets (if I can find it in supermarkets I like to buy the fresh salmon glazed in a yummy japanese marinade)
1 large avocado
1 large mango
1/2 bunch fresh coriander
1 small tin of four bean mix, drained and washed
I fresh corn, cooked and carved off the cob
2 tablespoons of pepita and sunflower seeds (these add a healthy crunch but feel free to substitute with cashew nuts or any nut of your choice for that matter)
1 tsp olive oil or butter
Sweet chilli sauce (optional)

Dressing

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely grated
1 tablespoon honey
Pinch of sea salt

Method

- Carefully remove lettuce leaves so that they remain in tact. Using scissors, cut them into a round dish-like shape. Place in fridge, covered, until required.

- Heat oil/butter in fry pan over medium to high heat. Place the salmon (skin side up if it has skin) in the pan. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn the fish over and turn down heat slightly cooking until it feels firm to touch and both sides have a nice golden, crispy look to them (usually around four minutes).

- Turn off your stove, leave fillets in pan and set aside to cool slightly whilst you assemble the salad.

- Cut up your mango, avocado, coriander (leaves only, no stems) and place in a medium side bowl with your bean mix, corn, pepita and sunflower seeds.

- Combine all ingredients for dressing in a small jar and shake until well combined.

- Dress your salad and then using your hands roughly break up your salmon fillets into nice chunks (the fillets should fall part pretty easily) and add them to your salad.

- Toss all ingredients together and spoon into prepared lettuce wraps.

- Drizzle with sweet chilli sauce and a dollop of egg mayonnaise (Thommy is my fave ~ so bad but so good).

- Enjoy!
 

Get the look: The top knot!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Just over a year ago I had a disgusting experience at a local salon (I'll spare you the long and traumatic story!) which in return saw me master the 'top knot'. I've had several requests over the months to do a 'how to' post on how to achieve the perfect top knot, however, I was a little hesitant as I wasn't sure how many people would be interested or able to follow my tutorial as I appreciate not everyone has hair long enough to achieve this without using a hair donut. But, with a few more request from lovely Instafriends in recent weeks, I thought I'd share my super easy (and super quick) way of achieving this go-to 'do' for every occasion! P.S excuse the dodgy bathroom selfies... Allegra hasn't quite mastered photography :)
Get the look:

1: Start by brushing your hair, then tie it up into a high ponytail. I have quite a lot of hair so to ensure it is super secure I like to use x2 thick hair ties.

2: You can choose to skip step 2, however, I prefer a bit of height so using a tail comb I gently lift the front section of my hair bit by bit until it is even and at a desired height.

3: Can you see the difference between image 1 & 3?! Being a busy and active Mum (especially in the humid weather) this high pony tail is my hairstyle of choice during the week.

4. Pulling your pony tail over one shoulder (I always pull over my right) tease the middle and inner section only, leaving the outer, top of your pony tail and ends neat and smooth. Tease until it's got some good volume and feels like it won't just fall out as soon as you move your hair.

5. Once you've finished teasing, lift up your pony tail towards the front of your head (the teased part of your hear should be on the inside) and twist into a donut-like shape smoothing any uneven hairs as you go. Slip in a few pins as soon as you have your desired shape to hold it before moving to step 6.

6. With the remainder of your hair (which should be your smooth ends only) twist and wrap around at the base of your top know and pin once the last of your pony tail is concealed.

7. Give you hair a decent spray of hairspray and tidy up any messy bits. You may decide to slip in a few extra bobby pins for extra security if you feel like it's not secure enough (I usually achieve this look with as little as 2-3 bobby pins). Enjoy

Get the Look: The Animalia Blazer and Leather Look Mini!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

 I don't get out at night all that often these days, so when Mr B and I locked in date night to celebrate Valentines Day, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to wear my new Casablanca 'Animalia' blazer by Indiana by Freda.... because there's nothing sexier than a bit of animal print right?! ;) I now own three of Indiana by Freda's amazing blazers (one in a floral print which I posted about here, one in black and now this one) because they are seriously such a great cut! I just love the structure of the slightly padded shoulders, the three quarter sleeves AND the fact that they can be dressed up or down. With the weather in Sydney being so sticky and humid of late, I didn't want to wear pants and given us ladies 'never have anything to wear!' (right? haha) I hit the shops last week in search of something to team up with my sassy new blazer! I must admit this Country Road skirt didn't look much on the hanger (especially given it is an a-line style) but as soon as I slipped it on I fell in love! It is super soft, super comfy and hugs in all the right places... and for an item that will now become a staple in my wardrobe, it cost under $100! Needless to say I came home from the shops one happy Valentine :) And honestly, it's not often that I feel truly sexy but this skirt and blazer combo (along with some red hot lippy of course) did the trick and was certainly a welcomed change from my usual 'Mummy' uniform...
  

Get the look:

Casablanca 'Animalia' Blazer from Indiana by Freda
Leather look A-line skirt from Country Road
'Mod about you' nail polish by OPI available here
Zigzag ring from Louis Vuitton
Shoes (exact pair no longer available) but still sell similar at Tony Bianco
Grand Apparat bangle from Hermes
'Lady Danger' lipstick from MAC cosmetics

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Chicken San Choy Bow!

Friday, February 14, 2014


Earlier in the week it was that time of the month again... yes, that's right, time for my monthly ladies Cooking Club! For those who haven't seen my previous post about this, basically, our Cooking Club consists of a groups of us Mumma friends who get together on a monthly basis (we lock in the second Tuesday night of every month) to enjoy good (homemade!) food, good wine and great company (and with the extra luxury of it being kiddie free)! The dinner is hosted by someone else each month and they set the theme! This months theme was 'Finger food' so I chose to make a crowd pleaser and something that was also easy to whip up after I had done my girl's dinner, bath and bedtime ritual also allowing me time to slip out of by bummy Mummy clothes and pop on some lippy! Who doesn't like a crispy cup of lettuce filled with delicious asian flavours?! Happy Cooking my friends :) x


Chicken San Choy Bow

Ingredients

10 iceberg lettuce leaves (I always like to buy two heads of lettuce just to be on the safe side as it's not guaranteed that all leaves inside will be in tact)
2 tsp vegetable oil
4 green onions (shallots), finely sliced
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 gloves garlic
500g chicken mince
3 tbs hoisin sauce
3 tbs kecap manis
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
230g can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 packet Changs Original Fried Noodles

Method

- Carefully remove lettuce leaves so that they remain in tact. Using scissors, cut them into a round dish-like shape. Place in the fridge, covered, until required.

- Heat vegetable oil in a pan/wok on high. Stir-fry green onion, garlic and ginger for 1-2 minutes. Add chicken mince and cook for about 5 minutes, until colour changes.

- Add hoisin, soy sauce, keycap manis, sesame oil and water chestnuts and continue to stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes. Stir until sauce is completely combined with chicken mixture and then transfers immediately to a serving bowl.

- Arrange lettuce cups on a platter. Spoon a little chicken mixture into each leaf, drizzle a little extra keycap manis and top with a sprinkle of fried noodles to serve.

- Enjoy! :)
 

Get the Look: Indiana Bambino!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Some of you may already know that I am a huge fan of the fabulous Australian Brand 'Indiana by Freda'. Well, have you seen the new Indiana Bambino range for kids?! Ummm, it is possibly better than the woman's range! Seriously, I wish it all came in my size. Below you will see my girls looking just so beautiful in a few of pieces from the Indiana Bambino line...
         Go on... what are you waiting for?! Go and check out Indiana by Freda's website! I received an amazing new item from next seasons woman's autumn/winter range in todays post that I will share with you later in the week... I almost died when I opened it... it is heaven!!! Happy shopping my friends :) xxx

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