Dinner at La Vache!

The steak, the whole steak, and nothin’ but the steak.

There are days when you want options, and there are days when you just want a really good steak, y’know? At La Vache! (which literally translates to “The Cow!”), you get just that.

First things first, everyone gets a simple green salad with walnuts, so you’ll feel really virtuous before all that meat, fries, and dessert descends unto the table (and into your belly).

This plate of steak and fries may appear unassuming, but I can assure you that it’s one of the best I’ve had. And don’t worry, this wasn’t all of it. Our steaks were served on large metal platters (which you’ll see in the final photo) with tealights underneath to keep the food warm. I ordered my steak medium-rare, and I wish I’d taken a close-up of it. Oh well, just imagine a super juicy steak. Mm… Writing this is making me crave steak-frites right now!

Also, the fries were all-you-can-eat! They’re apparently fried in beef fat, and were pretty flavourful.

If you love meat and have a sweet tooth, they’ve also got an impressive array of desserts to choose from. I believe this was the Napoleon? (Also, this was Elon’s birthday dinner, hence the celebratory message.)

Caramelised apple tart.

Gateau au chocolat.

A massive macaron with blackberries.

Paris-Brest (a ring of choux pastry with hazelnut cream).

A little souvenir.

Satisfied diners. Can’t wait to come back again!

La Vache!
48 Peel Street
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 2880 0248

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NYX Lid Lingerie Review – New Favourite Palette?

For a self-proclaimed makeup addict, I don’t actually own that many products, as surprising as that sounds. For the longest time, Urban Decay’s NAKED palette was the only eyeshadow palette that I had. (Of course, I’d owned other eyeshadows before, but they either expired or got used up over the years.)

Earlier this year, I finally purchased a new palette – the “go-to palette” by NYX. I was hoping that it’d really be my go-to palette for travel, but two trips and one staycation later, I had mixed feelings, to be honest. I’d find myself using just the brown, grey, and black shades – the neutrals, basically. The lightest colour was too light for me, and I didn’t touch the green or purple shades at all.

And the “face” part? Forget it. Even now, I’m still struggling with contouring and highlighting, and the powder gets everywhere. I’ve since switched to a contour-highlight stick, and it’s become somewhat easier. More on that in a future post!

So anyway, for years I’d been on the lookout for a matte eyeshadow palette. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, and I’m just not into super shimmery eyeshadows anymore. Quite a few high-end brands offer matte palettes, but they’re just so expensive. I looked into drugstore options, but the quality was underwhelming when I swatched the products at the store.

The NYX Lid Lingerie palette was a surprise find – I was in Singapore back in May and mysterious forces pulled me into the nearest Sephora store. The gorgeous neutral colours called out to me, and the quality of each shade was impressive. And with a price tag of S$22, it didn’t leave a huge dent in my wallet.

No names, so let’s just call them Shades 1 to 6 (left to right, top to bottom). They’re mostly warm-toned browns, with a muted lilac thrown in to keep things interesting.

Yes, the lines are a bit wonky. I’m still learning!

Here I’m wearing Shades 1, 2, and 6. I love this palette – it’s got all the shades that I need, and as a bonus, I can use Shade 4 on my brows too. It’s great for everyday looks, but you can just as easily use it to create a dramatic smoky eye for a night out. Quality-wise, it’s better than the “go-to palette”, and I’m definitely packing this with me for my next trip.

Ah yes, I open my eyes and the makeup “disappears”. It’s mostly lousy photo-taking, and I’ll have to work on the right angles and lighting to get the colours to show.

So that’s all for tonight, and maybe there’ll be more of such posts to come. Confession time: since the start of this year, my collection has grown exponentially. I mean, with trips to Taipei and Seoul, it’s almost impossible not to go shopping for beauty products, and they’ll probably get me through the next few years. I could try to abstain from shopping till 2020, but where’s the fun in that?

Butterfly Afternoon Tea at Urban Park

Hello! Yet again, it’s been some time since I was last here. By now, just about all my blog posts can be classified as “long overdue”, but I’m going to try and catch up anyway!

Back in July, Sonia and I had a lovely girls’ day out at Urban Park, where we had their signature Butterfly Afternoon Tea. Doesn’t everything just look too pretty to eat?

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s the dry ice effect too!

Putting the “Butterfly” in “Butterfly Afternoon Tea”.

The savoury bits: Scottish smoked salmon brioche, Tuscan salami brioche, parma ham and cheddar pancake rolls (wrapped in paper), and prawn cocktail tomato salsa shooters.

The sweet stuff: chocolate eclairs, fresh fruit tartlets, green tea and mango macarons, chocolate tartlets…

…and the cutest little “plant” cupcake!

Of course, it wouldn’t be an afternoon tea without the actual tea. Here we’ve got “Des Vancances”, which is a blend of green and black tea with bergamot, sunflower petals, and fruit.

Cheers!

How’s everyone? As always, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to come on again soon. We don’t have anything major planned for September, but I’d love to be able to squeeze in another visit to Disneyland, especially once the Halloween decorations are up! Anyone else excited about Halloween? Let me know what your plans are!

Summer Staycation at Disney Explorers Lodge, Hong Kong Disneyland

When we arrived, the first thing that caught my eye was this striking tree in front of the hotel.

The lobby was cavernous! High ceilings and beautiful decor that reminded me of the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World.

I have a thing for antique looking world maps with fun details.

I love how immersive it is – something fun to look at everywhere you turn!

Finally, we reached our room, which was really spacious by Hong Kong standards.

The essentials.

No bathtub, unfortunately, but the shower area was quite roomy, with that special shower feature that I can’t remember the name of at the moment… Rainfall shower head?

Two Queen beds! We napped on separate beds in the afternoon, but at night I wasn’t used to having all that space to myself, and crept into Edwin’s bed shortly after. XD

Can you spot the Mickey motif?

Ending with the view from our window.

The One Thing No One is Talking About in This Photo

So Singapore’s National Day is coming up (9th August), and people are getting ready to celebrate her 52nd birthday. It usually involves putting together a red and white outfit, and recently this picture has been making the rounds on Facebook:

Folks expressed their unhappiness over the choice of models in the photo, seeing that three out of four appear to be Caucasian. They pointed out that it wasn’t an accurate depiction of Singapore’s ethnic composition of “Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Other”, which means that only one of the models should be allowed to look vaguely white.

Whatever your stance is on the issue, take it elsewhere. I’m here to talk about a detail that I noticed just this morning. Now I can never unsee it, and neither should you.

Take a look at their collars:

Don’t see it yet?

Who wears polo tees buttoned all the way up? The woman and girl in the photo, apparently. That’s not how polo tees are usually worn. Sure, the top button wants to feel just as useful as its neighbour, and if that’s really your preference, go right ahead. Maybe both female models really do prefer to wear their tees in that manner.

What I find interesting is that the man and boy are wearing their respective tees the usual way, i.e. doing up just one button. So what we have here is this image – the male models end up exposing a little more neck, while the female models are more covered up.

I could be wrong, but my gut feeling tells me that this was deliberate styling. You know what it looks like to me? This ad is sending a message to us all, saying that women and girls should be modest and cover up at every given opportunity, while men and boys are not subject to the same expectations.

Am I overreacting? Possibly. But it’s not “just an ad”. There are countless ads and images out there that spread a similar message. (Yes, there are also others that have a completely different message, where cleavage is used to sell just about everything, but let’s save that for another argument.)

Most of you reading this will probably think that it’s just how the world works, and being angry about it won’t change anything. But here’s something to think about – people were quick to zoom in on the “whiteness” of the models, but no one has any issues with how the tees are worn differently by the male and female models. Sure, it’s a minor detail when that’s all you’re looking at, but it’s indicative of a bigger picture.

Most people aren’t afraid to call out racism. We know not to use racial slurs, and if someone has made inappropriate comments, they are promptly corrected. On the other hand, sexism is present in our everyday lives, but it isn’t as easily recognised and called out. Policing how women and girls should dress and behave is just one example. We have to sit with our knees together and our skirts can’t be too short. If we attract unwanted attention in public, somehow people think it’s okay to comment that we’re “asking for it”. I could go on and on, but I haven’t got all day.

So next week, when you’re reciting the pledge and thinking about how we’re equal “regardless of race, language, or religion”, don’t forget gender equality too.

What’s in My Bag?

In My BagThis is what you’ll see in my bag on any given day. Is it any wonder why it weighs as though it’s filled with bricks?

Book and glasses

I almost always carry a book with me, and alternate between fiction and non-fiction every month. In July, it was “Body Language: A Practical Guide” by Dr. Glenn Wilson. Right now, I’ve got Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”, which I hope to get started on soon!

Hair ties and bobby pins

These things disappear with alarming regularity, only to reappear in pockets and the washing machine from time to time.

Tissues, plasters (band-aids), and hand sanitiser

Germs are the worst.

Small pouch

For storing just about anything that will fit inside. I can’t tell you just how many times I’ve had to rummage in my bag to find a pack of tissues. Coupled with the urgency of the impending sneeze, it’s not a good place to be in.

Compact mirror

Strange that the days you forget to bring it out are the days you desperately need it. Applies to everything else, really.

Earphones

For watching that funny video on the train without making the other commuters an unwilling audience.

 

Phone

An absolute necessity in today’s world.

Wallet

Ditto.

Umbrella, sunglasses, and folding fan

The weather this summer has been alternating between “scorching hot” and “raining buckets”. How delightful. Wake me up when sweater weather is here!

Tinted lip balm, lip gloss, concealing balm and mini vial of perfume

For touch ups throughout the day, though I don’t really bother unless I’m going somewhere nice in the evening.

Scarf

Shopping malls in Hong Kong could double as walk-in freezers.

Candy

To keep those pesky sugar cravings at bay.

Earrings

Sometimes I take my earrings off in the middle of the day, and then forget to put them back on. It works in my favour because there are also times when I forget to wear earrings when leaving the house, and it’s nice to have a “spare” pair.

10 Ways to Embrace Your Inner Goddess

Hello everyone! This month, I’m taking a break from setting goals, and I’ve decided to do something a little different. The theme for August (and possibly the rest of the year) will be how to embrace one’s inner goddess. Like the studious geek that I am, the library was the first stop for research.

“The Goddess Guide” is a delicious manual full of lifestyle tips (style, beauty, home, travel, joie de vivre) for any woman (or man) seeking to get the most out of life, and that’s where I drew most of my inspiration from, and you’ll see more in the list below. “Naming the Goddess” is a series of essays featuring a myriad of actual goddesses, from Artemis to Kwan Yin to Sekhmet. One of my goals in July was to “embrace spirituality”, and this book is as good a starting point as any. It’s not exactly relevant to today’s post, but I just thought I’d share what’s on my reading list at the moment.

So before you get impatient with my rambling, here are ten ways to embrace your inner goddess:

  1. Get carried away by great works of fiction
  2. Surround yourself with art that you love
  3. Take lots of photographs, capture the beauty around you
  4. Go green
  5. Light a scented candle (or several)
  6. Delight in dark chocolate
  7. Savour breakfast
  8. Take a day off social media from time to time
  9. Invest in luxurious sleepwear
  10. Be mindful of the present

Is there anything you would add to the list? What inspires you? Let me know in the comments below!