Archive | September, 2011

Review: Jurlique, Rosewater Balancing Mist

23 Sep

It’s not the first time I use Jurlique’s products; however, it’s the first time I bought their product myself, instead of others giving me their products as a gift. I have tried their rose hand cream before, not my favourite though.

Jurlique: Rosewater Balancing Mist

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist (AUD$39)

Description: A hydrating mist, rich in the living energy of rose and marshmallow to restore, tone and hydrate. Leaves the skin balanced and refreshed.

I bought this full size product which came with a free 30mL travel size in July, and started using it since August. I use it twice a day before I put my moisturizer. I like how it is refreshing and smells nice, but I don’t think it does wonder on my skin. My skin didn’t break out after using this product,  but no noticeable improvement either. I particularly don’t like how my skin feels after I spray it on my face, the product leaves my skin sticky and it isn’t that hydrating at all. Good product if you want to refresh your skin, but nothing more than that. To me, I think this product is overpriced, and I don’t think I’m going to repurchase this in the future. I’m sure there are other cheaper alternatives out there.

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Floriade 2011, Canberra

21 Sep

I guess the last time I went to Canberra was 10 years ago, but I completely don’t remember how Canberra looks like, and I have no idea where my mom put the photos we took, so I have no way to recall everything that happened during my trip years ago in Australia.

I have been looking forward to this event for a long time, because during my semester break, I didn’t get a chance to visit Canberra with my friends, so I have been trying to find an excuse to pay a visit. Floriade definitely is the perfect excuse for a weekend escape and to embrace the coming of spring.

I did a bit of research on the Internet, and many people recommended going to the Floriade around 2 weeks after it officially starts. However, I know I won’t have the time to have a weekend escape once school resumes normal (crazy assignments coming!). Seeing how nice the weather would be on the first day, I decided to have an impromptu trip with my friend.

Murrays Coach

Murrays Sydney Floriade Coach

When I was in the US, I always took the coach to travel between cities. One of my favorite coach companies was MegaBus, because their seats were comfortable and they had free wifi, though not always stable. I have to say Murrays’ service did impress me. Their seats were comfortable; even after a 3-hour trip, I didn’t feel any pain at all. The company has a Floriade Special Package; $49 return trip from Sydney to Canberra, drop off and pick up directly from Commonwealth Park. Very convenient for us, who don’t know how to drive or foreign travelers. You also get to choose your departure time in Sydney, 7am or 9am. We chose 7am, so I had to wake up at 5:30am that morning!

The company did make a mistake though. Originally the coach was to pick us up at the place where they dropped us off in the morning at 5pm. We confirmed with the coach driver before we headed to the Floriade that morning. However, the coach didn’t arrive until 5:30pm. The coach driver who picked us up told us that the driver from Sydney misunderstood the pick up location, so he actually waited for us somewhere outside on the Commonwealth Avenue instead.  Luckily one of the passengers mentioned to him before he left the shuttle bus stop for Canberra Centre, and of course the company realized they left their customers waiting (I guess there were a total of 16 passengers!), so he came to pick us up to catch the 6pm coach back to Sydney. The coach, that was supposed to pick up, was going to pick up more passengers at Jolimont Centre and leaving there at 6pm anyway, so there was no delay in our schedule. Provided it was only the first day of Floriade, I think it is understandable and I guess the same thing won’t happen again.

P.S. The coach driver who picked us up from the Commonwealth Park was actually the one who took people from the Commonwealth Park to Canberra Centre, a free shuttle service from Thursdays to Sundays. I think his name is Roy, and he’s super friendly and nice!

It was actually pretty crowded, and I didn’t expect so many people on the first day, but it was an enjoyable day, except for the hotdog we had at one of the food stalls there, the sausage wasn’t heated enough and my friend said she felt like it wasn’t fully cooked.

There were a lot of  signs around the park, like the one below, it actually took me and my friend some time to figure out what they mean.

Interesting sign

Tasty donut puffs!

Tasty honey donut puffs to start the day!

Tea pot and tea cup made of oranges

Tea pot and tea cup made of oranges

Gnomes

You can paint your own gnome

I’m no expert at taking photos, but hope you guys enjoy them.

Sorry, but I had to highlight the following photo, because these flowers reminded me of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC! I was there in 2010! Check it out if you are in the States in March!

The Commonwealth Park is so big, my friend and I walked around and love it so much.

Nerang Pool

Nerang Pool

Walking around Lake Burley Griffin. Such a great place to spend the afternoon!

Lake Burley Griffin

Lake Burley Griffin

Lake Burley Griffin

Taking the free shuttle bus from Canberra Centre back to Commonwealth Park.

Commonwealth Avenue

Definitely should visit Canberra during spring for the Floriade! I would love to visit Canberra again, love the cleanliness and quietness during the weekend.

Floriade’s official website: http://www.floriadeaustralia.com/

Murray’s official website: http://www.murrays.com.au/

Restaurant Review: Max Brenner, Paddington,

15 Sep

Been to Max Brenner twice, once in June and once in July. I went there on a Saturday afternoon on both occasions, because I took my friends who were visiting Sydney to the nearby Paddington Market before heading to Max Brenner. So the Paddington store is the only one I have been to in Aussie so far, and I like their cute decoration!

Cute Max Brenner

Inside Max Brenner

DRINK ME! :)

Left: Peanut Butter Iced Chockie (AUD$7.60)

Right: Don’t remember what my friend got, probably it was the hot chocolate with crunchy waffle ball.

I really like the Alice Cup, if my luggage isn’t overweight, I will definitely buy one! The hug mug is cute too! The peanut butter iced chockie was really good, I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate! The perfect drink when it’s hot and sunny outside!

The second time I went there, I tried something else.

Italian Thick Chocolate

Italian Thick Chocolate (AUD$6.0) with the unique bald man napkin.

Tutti-Frutti Waffle

Tutti-Frutti Waffle (AUD$18.5)

This time it was a like-and-dislike experience. I thought I would like the Italian Thick Chocolate, however it was too rich for me and it was not the kind of chocolate taste I like, if that makes sense. However, the tutti-frutti waffle was super good! Crunchy on the outside and chewy inside! And guess what made my friend and I so excited, there were BANANAS! I haven’t bought any bananas since I got here, because they are too expensive! AUD15 per kg, you must be kidding! I can get a whole lot of them back in Hong Kong! My friend and I love bananas, so we got really excited when we saw those banana slices! Of course the waffle was really good with the yummy chocolate sauce, ice-cream and strawberries!

Environment: 8/10 (Can be a bit crowded and hard to get a seat, but generally comfortable and not too noisy)

Service: 8.5/10 (The staff were really nice. They always come and ask customers if they want to have some water or not. I guess it’s because after a rich chocolate drink or dessert, people usually want a cup of water to clear their throats. Even the store is always packed with people, they do not force customers who have finished their drink or dessert to leave, which always happen in Asian countries; you can sit down and relax as long as you want. )

Food: 8.5/10  (Like the waffle a lot, but the hot chocolate drink was a bit too rich for me. Maybe I should try something else next time)

Overall: I love Max Brenner. Their waffle is the best! Didn’t really like the drinks I have ordered so far, but I think I should try others out.

Address: Shop 437, Oxford St, Paddington NSW 2021

Official Website: http://www.maxbrenner.com.au/

Festival of the Winds, Bondi Beach

15 Sep

Went to Bondi Beach last Sunday (11th Sept) for the Festival of the Winds. It is my 3rd time at Bondi Beach, and still loving it, especially because the weather was so nice and sunny! It was so crowded, and there were many kites flying up in the sky.

So many people, so many kites!

Can you see all those tidy kites up in the sky?

Love the blue sky with white clouds!

Blue sky + White clouds = the perfect combination!

Don’t ask me why, but I was in love of aliens that day.

UFO taking off UFO UFO up in the sky UFO flying back home!

The creepy alien kite!

The big whale!

Wasn’t as excited as I thought it would be, I guess because the wind wasn’t stable enough, so the big kites weren’t always up in the sky. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the weather so much!

Of course I had my favourite fish and chips, with my fatty deep fried Mars bar from Bondi Surf Seafood. I think this fatty dessert originated in Scotland, and I have seen it in the United States before; however, this is my first time trying it. It actually tastes good, like how the caramel is melted, but I don’t think I can finish one whole bar on my own. Forget about losing weight for one day, and give it a try! I know it’s not healthy, but still worth trying it once!

Fatty food: Deep fried Mars bar

If you love to see kites flying up in the sky or you wanna try out your skills, definitely come to Bondi Beach next year to join the Festival of the Winds.

Official website: http://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/things_to_do/places_of_interest/bondi_pavilion/annual_attractions/festival_of_the_winds

Restaurant Review: Adriano Zumbo, Balmain

11 Sep

My friend invited me to her home for dinner, but I didn’t know what to bring. I have been thinking of trying Adriano Zumbo for a long time, so I decided to go there to get some of their cakes for dessert. I went there on a Saturday afternoon and it was packed with people. The shop is very small, I nearly walked pass it, luckily there was a queue outside the shop.

Adriano Zumbo

(Left Top to Bottom: malt & teaser, passiondor, lukas on the ride)
(Right Top to Bottom: what a great pear, passionfruit tart)

malt & teaser (AUD$9)

Official description: chocolate sabayon mousse, almond malt dacquoise, malt bavaroise, vanilla creneaux, almond praline feuilletine

It started to melt when I got home; before I got to my friend’s home, it kinda of collapsed already. I didn’t put the cakes in the fridge, thinking the weather was still cool… maybe I should put them in the fridge next time. Anyways, despite the ugly appearance, this cake is so good!

passiondor (AUD$9)

Official description: hazelnut dacquoise, praline feuilletine noisette, passionfruit milk chocolate ganache, passionfruit milk chocolate chantilly

Liked the different layers and texture. For me, it was a little bit sour, but still acceptable.

lukas on the ride (AUD$9)

Official description: macadamia dacquoise, macadamia praline mousse, vanilla chantilly, pear tatin and macadamia nougatine

My favourite out of all! I was given a small piece to try when I was waiting to be served at the store, and I was immediately impressed by it! My friends like this one too!

what a pear (AUD$9)

Description: choux pastry, pear & vanilla creme patissier, almond crunch, pear mousse, pera gel, chocolate square and marzipan

The green colour actually looks a bit scary to me, but it was good, it’s like a creme puff with pear jelly inside.

tarte aux fruits de la passion (AUD$6)

Official description: passionfruit curd and pâte sucrée

We were all shocked by how sour this fruit tart was, I guess it’s because everyone was expecting it to be a fruity tart with a hint of sour. For those who like sweet treats may not like this one. Although I didn’t like it at the beginning, it wasn’t that bad after all, you just need to be prepared before you have a bite.

Oh no, I’m so bad at describing food! Sorry for the bad quality photo too! Although my description is so bad, Adriano Zumbo’s cakes are amazing, should definitely try them if you have a chance!

Environment: N/A

Service: 8.5/10 (The staff were friendly and helpful. Even though it was fully packed, she explained to me in details when I asked her about the cakes. She even told me to be careful while handling the cakes, and it would be better to hold with both of my hands rather than carrying it in a bag.)

Food: 9/10 (A little bit pricey but super delicious!)

Overall: I love their cakes so much! Their location is not convenient for me, but will definitely revisit again!

Address: 296 Darling St, Balmain NSW 2040

Official Website: http://adrianozumbo.com/

TYPO: Get Crafty Cards

10 Sep

Went to Westfield Eastgardens this afternoon, planning to buy some new clothes, but didn’t find anything I was interested in. Clothes in Aussie are relatively more expensive, I wanna shop back in Hong Kong! Anyways, back to the main topic, so I came across Typo and thought I might wanna get a birthday card for my friend. Bought Typo’s cards a few times, and was out of ideas what to get there; but these cute cupcakes caught my eyes!

Typo Get Crafty Cards

You can get them at AUD$6.95. They come with 2 large cupcakes and 1 small cupcake, 3 happy birthday tags, 3 cards and 3 envelopes in different sizes.

Well, I would have to say the paper quality isn’t that good and it would have been better if the medium-size card wasn’t in red, because the cherry on top of the cupcake is red too.

They also have a few more different options, some with butterflies, some with elephants. If you are bored with regular cards, try Typo’s Get Crafty Cards and “Stick Create Send”.