When you are packing for a big overseas adventure, shoes are generally something packed last minute and given little thought. But I am sure a week into your trip when your feet are covered in blisters, your lower back is aching and you are scolding yourself for taking 7 pairs of shoes you will wish you had been more organised!
Now firstly, for the love of god – please don’t wear sneakers when travelling. If you want the equivalent of a large sign strapped to your head declaring “I am a tourist!” then by all means go ahead. But if you like to look somewhat fashion forward and try and blend in as a local when abroad, there are other (comfy) options.
♥ DON’T wear thongs – they are easy to trip over in, are slippery when wet and don’t protect your feet properly from nasty things (broken glass or worse). Similarly, ballet flats look great but most provide no cushioning or support for your feet and can lead to lower back pain.
♥ DO look for nice sandals that have proper arch support and a sole with stable grip. I love Ziera shoes (formerly known as Kumfs)- they are designed with comfort and support in mind and whilst they used to be a bit daggy, they have released a lot of nice looking designs.
2. Ziera Talon shoes
♥ Dressing up at night – strappy heels/wedges are perfect for warm nights. But only take ONE pair that goes with everything – something black and timeless works well.
♥ DON’T think you can get away with wearing just sneakers or low cut leather shoes. Not only will you freeze but your feet will get soaked through from snow.
♥ DO buy knee high boots preferably in leather (for quality, although I understand if you would prefer pleather for ethical reasons). As you’ll be wearing them everyday, select a simple style and colour that can work with all your outfits.
♥ DO ensure your new boots have a rubber sole to prevent slipping in the wet/on ice (if you find your dream pair of boots that have a leather sole, then go to your local cobbler and get them re-soled with rubber!)
♥ Dressing up at night – enclosed high heel brogues or heeled boots are the safest option. You’ll look sexy and won’t lose a toe to frostbite!
♥ Ankle boots, brogues, mary janes – mid season weather is the easiest in terms of shoe options! Make sure you always have a wet weather shoe option.
♥ Team your shoes with socks or cute hosiery if it gets a bit chilly.
♥ Always break in your shoes/boots before you leave for your trip! You don’t want to spend the first few days of your holiday covered in blisters.
♥ Waterproof your shoes with a waterproof spray before you leave.
Stay tuned for a post on what clothes to pack for the various seasons!
I have also recently stumbled across They Draw & Cook, a site featuring recipes illustrated by artists from around the world. Two that grabbed my attention:
Chocolate Coconut Candy by Taylor Higgins – See the full size here (love this colour palette)
I have made these cookies 3 times in the past 2 weeks due to popular demand! In fact a guy in my class declared them “the best cookie I have ever eaten” (thanks Jason!) This recipe makes 24 cookies (12 filled cookies in total) and my god are they decadently amazing.
- 125g butter (at room temperature)
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- 2½ cups plain flour
- 1½ tsp bicarb
- 2 tsp ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- ½ cup raw sugar (to roll cookies in)
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 4 tbsps water
- ⅔ cup cream
- 175g butter (at room temperature)
- 1½ tsps salt (I like to use sea salt)
- 2 cups sifted icing sugar
- Preheat oven 180°C. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and golden syrup and mix well.
- Sift in flour, bicarb and spices. Mix until combined.
- Roll mixture into small balls and roll in raw sugar.
- Place balls on baking sheet and flatten slightly (I fit 12 per baking sheet).
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden.
- Dissolve the sugar into the water in a heavy bottomed saucepan and let it bubble away over a medium heat.
- The mixture should turn a golden caramel colour after around 5 minutes. DON’T stir the caramel mixture – the sugar will crystallize.
- Once the caramel has reached the desired colour, take it off the heat and add the salt and cream. Stir furiously as the caramel will want to harden quickly.
- Pop the caramel cream mixture in a small bowl and put it in the fridge to help cool down quickly.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and icing sugar for 5 minutes until fluffy.
- Add the cooled caramel cream mixture and continue beating until well combined.
- Dollop a generous amount of the buttercream (about 1 tablespoon) on half of the cooled cookies and sandwich the cookies together with the remaining ones.
I stumbled across these collages by New York based Spanish designer Kike Besada and they really grabbed my attention. I would love to hang one on my wall!
Hope you all have a lovely weekend!
Happy Thanksgiving to all my North American readers! I would love to experience an authentic Thanksgiving meal in the States some day – can you believe I have never even tried turkey?! (To be fair, I was vegetarian for 10 years so that’s a lot of missed pheasant-eating opportunities).
I am sure you all know what a Turducken is… you know when they stuff a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey and then cook it. Sounds wrong on so many levels, but what about if you applied this technique to desserts? That sure pricked my ears up.
I present to you… a cherry pie, an apple pie and a pumpkin pie all cooked together inside another cake! This UBER CAKE weighed in at 21 lb. 10 oz and was made by pastry chef David Lowery for guests at the Grand Geneva Resort in Wisconsin. He called it a “Cherpumple”. Tehehe.
Everyone have a great weekend!
Hi guys! Sorry I have been a bit quiet, I have been madly working my butt off towards graduating from my graphic design course and I just handed in my last assignment! Woohoo! Here are some fabulous things that I have done recently or am looking forward to:
♥ New website up
My freelance graphic design site is now complete and located at www.sarahshrapnel.com. Hire me! :)
♥ Blog re-design
I am giving my blog a complete design overhaul in the coming weeks so stay tuned!
♥ Movies movies movies
After working 12 hour days nearly everyday on projects, the only social occasion I was up to was watching movies. I saw Midnight in Paris, Drive, and several movies as part of the Japanese Film Festival: A Boy and his Samurai and Patisserie: Coin de Rue.
Midnight in Paris was breathtakingly beautiful and hilarious. I can’t wait to return to Paris and take long walks at night.
Drive was amazing, action packed and made me want to drive cars very fast (even though I don’t know how to drive). Ryan Gosling was divine (as was Carey Mulligan) but WHAT THE HELL WAS WITH THE TYPOGRAPHY IN THE CREDITS?! Mistral? In magenta? Whyyyy?
A Boy and His Samurai was hilarious and adorable. Basically a samurai from the Edo period finds himself in modern day Tokyo and becomes a housekeeper for a lady and her son who befriend him. He discovers he has a hidden talent for baking and enters a cake competition. Brilliant!
And finally Patisserie: Coin de Rue was another film I saw at the Japanese Film Festival. It’s about a girl who travels to Tokyo in search of her boyfriend and begins to work in the famous pastry shop Coin de Rue. The flawlessly creating desserts in this movie will leave you salivating.
♥ Röyksopp finally coming to Australia
Röyksopp has always been one of my favourite bands and I have never seen them live – but they are finally coming to Australia in January! And have just revealed they are doing a sideshow! (Because the Big Day Out festival is terrible)
♥ The day of eating and drinking
I took a day off from work recently and spent the entire day catching up with girlfriends and eating and drinking. I visited the new Tea Salon in Westfield and drank tea and ate scones (heavenly! A review of the Tea Salon is coming soon) and then I met up with fellow bridesmaids (my friend is getting married soon. Lots to plan!) at the Shangri-La Hotel where we indulged in decadent chocolate desserts at the Lobby Lounge before heading up to the Blu Bar on level 36 for cocktails and amazing views.
Now I am off to celebrate my new found freedom by curling up with a good book and a cup of tea! I am a party animal.
These buttery biscuits covered with sesame seeds and smothered in dulce de leche are a real treat! You make a bit of a mess eating them, but that’s half the fun :)
- 1 400g can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 30g butter
- 2½ cups plain flour
- ½ cup icing sugar
- 200g butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extra
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- Combine ingredients in a medium heavy based saucepan. Bring to boil.
- Once mixture has come to the boil, reduce temperature and simmer for around 10 minutes or until mixture is thickened.
- Allow to cool while you get on with making the biscuits.
- Put flour, sugar, butter, vanilla and cinnamon into the food processor and process for 1 minute.
- Add yolk and pulse until just combined.
- Tip mixture onto greaseproof paper or glad wrap and roll into a sausage round 4cm in diameter. Wrap in glad wrap and chill in fridge until solid.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line baking sheet with baking paper.
- Cut dough into 3-4mm discs (thinner than in my above photo, to achieve a better biscuit to dulce de leche ratio!)
- Pour sesame seeds onto a plate and press one side of each biscuit into the sesame seeds.
- Place biscuits on baking sheet and bake for 10 mins or until lightly golden.
- Once completely cool, spread half the biscuits with dulce de leche and gently sandwich the biscuits together.
Keeping healthy whilst on holiday not only keeps the waistline down but also can help keep your immune system up and prevent you from coming down with a sickness.
Before I start, don’t diet on your holiday! Food is such an integral part of experiencing a country’s culture. Do you really want to be angrily munching on a salad whilst watching your travelling companions wolf down steak frites in Paris? No.
♥ Balance – everything in moderation
Whilst having pizza or pasta at every meal may sound wonderful, not only will you end up a few kilos heavier, you will more than likely feel sluggish and a bit uncomfortable in the tummy after a while. Consider having a healthy breakfast (porridge, wholegrain toast, fruit and/or yoghurt) or eat some sushi for dinner now and then to break it up. After a week of eating the delicious treats America had to offer me I felt SICK. I started buying some healthy (and cheap) breakfast supplies from the supermarket to eat for breakfast, and now and then for lunch or dinner I would have Japanese or a salad (with dressing on the side). I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself as my other main meal of the day featured delicious American treats, however it helped give my body some reprieve.
A decadently delicious burrito in LA that was as long as my boyfriend’s forearm…
…so we had Japanese the next night to balance it out
♥ Don’t forget your fruit and veges
Just because you are on holidays doesn’t mean you stop eating your regular servings of fruit and vege like you do back home. I regularly visit markets or grocers wherever I am in the world to buy fresh fruit to eat (bananas and apples are great healthy snacks) and I’ve been known to buy a giant packet of raw veges to munch on just because “I felt like it”.
Mmm apples. Cheap and healthy!
♥ Avoid drinking too much
This may be a hard one for some of you to stomach but alcohol is full of empty calories and tends to encourage ideas such as 3am kebabs and a huge fry up the next day for brekkie. I am ofcourse going to indulge in champagne in France, beer in Germany and sake in Japan but not every night. And I can’t tell you how many travellers (myself included) have wasted precious days of sightseeing by staying in bed with a nauseating hangover.
I sampled sake in Japan (left) and beer in Germany (right) but (nearly) always in moderation ;)
♥ Cook in your own kitchen
As I mentioned in a previous post, there are now many more accommodation options readily available for us to book online and many of these options include a kitchen(ette) – whether it be a hostel, someone’s apartment or an “aparthotel”. It’s great having your own kitchen when overseas as not only does it make things much cheaper but it means you can prepare healthy meals yourself.
The kitchen in the apartment I stayed at in Paris came in handy! Source
♥ Walk everywhere
I do a ridiculous amount of exercise when I travel because I walk everywhere. Not only is walking generally the best way to see a city, you burn a lot of calories whilst pounding the pavement all day everyday which helps offset your guilty indulgences. Win win!
Last week a friend and I hired a professional photographer to shoot images for our graduation portfolios – and boy what a difference does a pro make! I actually squealed “oh my god! My work looks like real work now!” Haha.
Here was our basic set-up for the shoot, with my hands guest starring as I hold a dark reflector board to minimize the highlights. We wanted to keep the shoot simplistic so as to let our work be the focus. I am sick of seeing designer’s works shot at awkward angles with extreme depth of field. Sure it looks “cool”, but you can’t get the full idea of the project!
We anticipated the shoot to take 2 hours but it ended up taking 4 hours, it was exhausting! We were fortunate enough to have an amazingly nice photographer who didn’t mind staying back later.
Here are a few shots from the day:
Penguin book covers
Fever Ray CD
Raleigh Paper packaging
Opera Australia brochure
Now I just need to finish the layout of my print portfolio, finalise my business cards, send everything off to print and then finish my portfolio website. Not to mention the other numerous assignments due. The end is near!
I don’t bother to order brownies when out anymore, they all pale in comparison to these amazingly rich, fudgey, heavenly brownies. The World’s Best Brownies Print Prep time 15 [...]
I visited Tasmania once as a child. I have vague memories of staggering up Cradle Mountain at my parent’s request, blinking back tears at Port Arthur and trying, in vain, [...]
For once I have an almost healthy recipe for you *gasp*. Before you completely freak out, fear not – it tastes absolutely delicious! I like the idea of granola but always [...]
- Treated myself to Ottolenghi's Jerusalem cookbook today. Can't wait to try out all these mouth… http://t.co/8X6qi5epxd - posted on 09/03/2014 20:45:33
- My first time to Addison Road Markets and I think I died and went to heaven. I ate amazing food,… http://t.co/KsAbtDjnYA - posted on 09/03/2014 13:16:02
- Me and Mrs Nguyen and my expertly rolled rice paper roll (cough cough) @ Fairfield Museum and Gallery http://t.co/DtcXBoREnu - posted on 08/03/2014 14:24:59