Outfit of the day Post- Visitors!

This is an outfit from earlier in the week when James’ childhood friend came to visit us! Floral Outfit I baked macarons that day which were an unfortunate failure. I was too overambitious and I doubled the ingredients and ended up with… one gigantic tray shaped macaron. Epic fail.

Easy Macaron Recipe – The Adventure Continues…

Macarons… they’ve become a serious obsession now.

I blame Lolita brands for this obsession. If they didn’t keep including them in prints or in sweets deco maybe I could forget about how melt-in-your-mouth-delicious they are… maybe I could ignore the fact that they are incredibly pretty… and maybe I could stop thinking about how I desperately want one for breakfast today with a cup of tea…

Epic Macaron Recipe

But no!

And so it goes on until one day I got so frustrated I decided to make them myself. I suppose that’s in keeping with the spirit of this blog ^_^

I searched and searched for a recipe. Many were too complicated with things like measuring the temperatures in the room and comparing the humidity to get the correct amounts for different parts of the world!? Macarons are apparently the most fickle of all deserts.

Finally just as I was about to give up a friend sent me a link to Not Quite Nigella’s Recipe. It seemed easy enough but I wasn’t too keen on the idea of pistachio as I wanted James to actually eat them too. I kept searching until I found the Tasted By Two version. Seemed easy enough… and so the experimenting began! After maybe 10 batches I have modified the recipe for our kitchen/temperature/humidity/what ever other ridiculous things macarons are scared of. I am not a baking purist, I just did what worked! These techniques might not work for you but I assure you that my result was freaking awesome ๐Ÿ˜€

So here is everything I’ve learned about macarons and my modified version of the Tasted By Two Recipe:

What you need:

Ingredients for chocolate macarons with chocolate filling-

For the outside bit:

  • 65 grams Almond Meal
  • 80 grams Icing Sugar
  • 40 gramsย  Caster Sugar
  • 1 table spoon Cocoa Powder
  • 50 grams Egg White at room temperature
  • Oil spray
  • Pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • Cooking chocolate
  • Butter
  • Thickened cream
  • Icing sugar

Utensils-

  • Scales
  • Sieve
  • Aluminum foil
  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric beater
  • Baking trays
  • Spoon etc
  • Piping bag/Small plastic bag

Gather everything together ๐Ÿ˜€

Epic Macaron Recipe

James doesn’t like chocolate much either so he asked for some blueberry flavored ones.

I used tinned blueberries, crushed them and added to the mixture just before piping.

Epic Macaron Recipe

This is easy enough, you just need to add slightly more of the dry ingredients to counter the wet of the blueberries. If you’ve made a couple of batches you should be able to roughly guess at what the correct consistency should be.

Epic Macaron Recipe

My absolute FAVORITE flavor is green tea with pistachio filling. OMG this is seriously awesome. All you need to do is add 1/2 a teaspoon of matcha powder to the mixture instead of your chocolate powder. I’m using one from Tea2 but any will work.

Epic Macaron Recipe

Green!

Epic Macaron Recipe

They all look so pretty!

Epic Macaron Recipe

When you come back to the macarons the icing should have formed a very slight shell, you should be able to touch the top without getting your finger wet. Pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius. When the oven is ready you can put in the tray and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes you should be able to see the little crinkly bottom feet, if not something has gone wrong! Cook for another 4 minutes and then allow them to cool on the bench.

This is a picture of the first time I tried to make them, they weren’t very pretty but you can see the little crinkly feet I’m talking about…

Epic Macaron Recipe

Leave the macarons to cool while we make the filling.Basically all that is involved in that is melting chocolate in the microwave, adding a little cream, butter and a little icing sugar so it doesn’t go solid again. Very delicious. Be sure to taste it along the way ๐Ÿ˜‰

Epic Macaron Recipe

The pistachio variation on this is basically crushed pistachios with butter and icing sugar to make a delicious paste:

Epic Macaron Recipe

Now it’s time to remove the macarons from the tray and turn them over… the bottoms should look like this:

Epic Macaron Recipe

Below is a good example of failed bottoms. The reason this didn’t work is because they weren’t cooked long enough so the insides were liquidy. They stuck to the (stupid) baking paper and collapsed when being removed. Still tasted good though.

Epic Macaron Recipe

Take a half and spread some filling on, pop another half on top and you’re done ๐Ÿ˜€

Taadaa! Success!

Epic Macaron Recipe

And here are the delicious green tea ones:

Epic Macaron Recipe

So there you have it! No longer will I be a slave to sweets deco and brand prints! Next time I crave macarons I’ll bloody well make some! ๐Ÿ˜€ Mine may not be the prettiest ever made but they tasted damn good and nobody complained so I’m happy!

Hope you all enjoyed the adventure as much as I enjoyed eating all of the failed and successful batches of macarons!

Hime Gyaru FAQ

I’ve been saying I’m going to do this Hime Gyaru FAQ for such a long time now but I just kept putting it off and avoiding it. I find writing things like this very difficult because there is so much about fashion, especially those whose roots are in a different culture, that is subjective. Writing essays on the subject is not something I want to do, I would be much more at home making some hair bows!

Also please note that these are just the conclusions that I have come to from my own research and opinions. I am not the be-all end-all authority on the subject of Hime Gyaru. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert, I am just writing in response to the huge number of questions I receive on the subject so I don’t keep having to repeating myself.

About The Hime Gyaru Style:

What is Hime Gyaru?

-Hime Gyaru is a street fashion which originated in Japan. The literal translation of Hime Gyaru (ๅงซใ‚ฎใƒฃใƒซ) is Princess Girl. It is a fashion subculture which centers around dressingย  and (depending how seriously you take it) living life like a princess.

Big Fat Bodyline Japan Review!

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Quite a while ago I placed an order with Bodyline Japan for quite a few items as a belated Christmas present from James ^_^

A lot of you asked for a review of the items so here it is!

Here is the package that arrived:

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Inside I ordered the following (not the real names but I can’t find half of the things on the site anymore):

James’s mini review of the beannie and hat is “very soft and nice” XD

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Ok let’s do the individual reviews!

Spotty Bow

Price- US$3

Made from average quality ribbon, finished quite nicely.

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On the siteI thought it was a side bow but it’s actually right in the middle, now looking at it I think she’s just wearing it to the side. The plastic band it’s on is a little flimsy.

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Over all: happy with the quality for the price. I’ve worn it several times now.

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Short ruffle socks

Price: US$5

The lace is nylon but it’s still very very soft. The actual socks are incredibly soft. I’m really happy with these especially for the price, they are adorable!

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Music Note Dress

Price: I think it was around US$35-ish I can’t find it on the site now but it was very cheap.

This is the packaging. Something about Bodyline’s international packaging has always made me happy.

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The dress:

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I fell in love with this print. It’s not top notch quality, up close the print gets slightly pixeled and one thing that irritates me is that some of the treble clefs are backwards… but unless you’re staring at it from 2 inches away and are a music nut like me I don’t see it as a reason not to buy.

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The quality of this dress is fantastic for the price plain and simple. No it’s not the same quality as AP or BtSSB but it’s still better than the average dress you would pick up at Supre or even Target. All of the seams are finished well and though there is no lining every stitch is in it’s place. *edit* I also forgot to mention that this jsk comes with bow ties for the back and shirring with ribbon so the size is quite adjustable. The bow ties are not detachable unlike other brands.

The quality of the lace was as good as any brand piece I’ve seen, no nylon at all.

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It came with 2 detachable bows on the collar which I totally love. They are the perfect size to use on my beret or just in my hair. The only problem I had (and this is really nit-picky) was the clips were put on backwards compared with everything else I own so I put them o upside down a few times out of habit ^_^

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Eyelashes:

Price: US$1-3

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I was really happy with the lashes, here in Aus lashes are usually $8-10 which I think is quite unreasonable. These are a great price and decent quality. They also offer many many different styles.

This was my favorite pair:

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Diamantes!

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Shoes with bows

Price: US$37

I can’t express how happy I am with these shoes, they are exactly what I was hoping for! I bought them so I would have good walking shoes for Melbourne, the reason I chose these ones is because the front platform is almost as high as the heel so there isn’t as sever slope as appears. Apart from rolling my ankle once they did their job fantastically and I didn’t have any major dramas.

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I picked the non-shiny version. They are very sturdily made and surprisingly light. I went through two airports with them and didn’t set off security so I imagine they are made of hollow plastic.

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The heels are thick and the bows on the back are so cute!

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One feature I really liked was the fact that the top buckle is on a snap closure. This means when you have ridiculously long nails you won’t have problems with putting your shoes on ๐Ÿ˜€

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The tread on the bottom was a nice touch too that a lot of these style shoes seem to miss out on.

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The only problem is that being white they do scuff quite easily. That’s not a design flaw, it’s just how white shoes are so if you’re going to get some you should get some shoe polish too.

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Stripe Candy Tote bag

Price: US$6

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I was a little disappointed with the colour of this one, on the site it looks like a very pastel blue but in reality it’s about half way between my photos and theirs.

The pattern is so cute!

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For some reason the straps are made from a shiny slightly stretchy almost cheap vinyl fabric. It’s a very strange choice because it feels so much more flimsy than the rest of the bag. That said I used it to carry my heavy laptop to and from Melbourne and all around the place and it still hasn’t broken. It hasn’t broken yet but I still think I want to replace the straps just to be safe.

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It’s lined with pink cotton. For $6 you can’t really go wrong though.

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So what does it all look like on? Well it looks like this…

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The skirt of the dress has lots of room for a good sized petti. Without the petti it is the perfect shape for hime style.

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And co-ordinated slightly differently. Also don’t worry I haven’t forgotten that you all want a tutorial on this hair style, I’m just a bit behind at the moment *_*

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Overall I’m happy with my purchases. I think it was great value for money and I was able to buy a lot more items than I was expecting.

Bodyline had such a stigma in the Lolita community because of quality issues many years ago, since then they’ve worked hard to change their image. Yes you will still find maid style items and no not everything there is good BUT if you are prepared to do your research and study the pictures carefully it can be a great place to pick up well priced lovely items.

I will definitely be ordering from them again ๐Ÿ˜€

Yay Bodyline Japan!

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Circle Lens Tutorial and Review from E-CircleLens

So if you’ve been following my Twitter you’ll be aware that I’ve been testing out Circle Lenses!

So what are circle lenses? Basically they are coloured contact lenses which make your eyes appear bigger, they are very very popular in Asia especially with Hime Gyaru models. I’ve been interested in trying them for like 2 years but never got around to it until now when E-CircleLensoffered to send me some ๐Ÿ˜€

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You can’t imagine how excited I was when I came home from Melbourne to a package from E-CircleLens!

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Inside the package were 3 different lenses, some pamphlets and instructions, 3 cases and a cute little doggie travel kit!

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