Adore Me

The other day, I was asked by a representative of Adore Me, to create a sexy, summer inspired Flat lay and I thought I’d share it with you all.

A simple, white, lace bra is a staple of the summertime. It compliments tanned skin and looks very elegant slightly peeping out from underneath a simple T-shirt. In addition, I’m just as lace -obsessed as everyone else this season.

Keeping with the minimalistic theme, a basic accessory completes any outfit. I think crystals or cool stones are wonderful to wear around this time.

I’ve also included one of my all time favourite perfumes. Though it’s one of my go-to’s and is used year round, its scent is the perfect depiction of what summer should be: Classy, flirty and fun.

And lastly but most deliciously, a plate of juicy watermelon because what Summertime inspired flat lay is complete without one?

If anyone was wondering, Adore me is a Lingerie brand, for whoever would like to check out their amazing collection! And fear not, my plus-size friends who complain that there is not enough nice lingerie out there for you, they’ve got you covered!

Enjoy the rest of the Summer!
– A Pearl of the Orient.

 

 

 

 

 

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Pokéball

Now that I’ve grabbed your attention with a misleading title (I know, I’m just SO devious), I will reveal to you that today’s blogpost has nothing to do with Pokemon, rather, with Poke Bowls.

For those of you who don’t know what that is: a Poke Bowl is a Hawaiian-inspired dish with a rice base, topped with greens and raw fish ( usually tuna) which has been marinated in an asian-style sauce. So basically…sushi, but cooler.

One thing you should know about me? If you tag me in a photo of food, I will instantly crave it. My cravings know no boundaries. So yes, after being bombarded with photos of Poke Bowls on social media, I knew I had to have it. However, after multiple google searches, I realised that not a single place in Vienna serves them. If any entrepreneurs are looking to invest in the food industry…here’s your market!

Anyway, seeing as Poke Bowls are not yet a thing over here, I decided to make my own…which was a bad idea. I don’t think there was a problem with the recipe itself, I just happened to succumb to a series of unfortunate events.

Firstly, I went to the store and was quite honestly offended by the price of fresh, sushi-grade salmon. Double the price of sushi from a restaurant, yet half the quantity! So me being me, I thought : Meh, smoked salmon will do. Then, while combining the ingredients, I put in WAY too much soy sauce, obviously forgetting that smoked salmon in itself is pretty salty. In combination with cooking too little rice, my Poke Bowl (though pretty) just ended up tasting like sodium and not much else. So why am I still sharing the recipe with you? Because I feel that if you can follow basic instructions (unlike me) , you’d have a masterpiece…so here it is!



Salmon & Avocado Poke Bowl

Author: justputzing
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Asian, Hawaiian
Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  5 mins
Total time:  20 mins
Yields: 4
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 lb sushi-grade salmon
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • Cooked white rice, to serve
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • ⅛ cup sesame oil
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • Sesame seeds
DIRECTIONS
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together red onion, green onion, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and ginger. Set aside.
  2. Remove bones and skin from your salmon, if any, and cut the fish into ¾″ chunks.
  3. Add fish and avocado to the bowl with the marinade. Toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Serve with extra diced green onions and sesame seeds on top of steamed white rice that has been cooled to room temperature.
  6. Enjoy!

    – A Pearl of the Orient.

What I didn’t expect in my early twenties.

As a kid, I often imagined myself all grown up. I pictured myself in my mid-twenties, living in my own apartment in a big city, with a successful job, an adorable golden retriever and a bathtub filled with 100 dollar bills. One day, reality got out of bed and proceeded to give me a slap in the face. So without further ado, here are a few things that didn’t turn out the way I expected.

 Not looking like an adult
This is not to say that I get mistaken for a child but …a prepubescent teenager at the least. Whereas this generations 12 year olds are busy looking like young adults, I’m still getting ID’d at the local supermarket for trying to buy a bottle of wine for gods sake.  WHERE IS THE JUSTICE!?

Not being a makeup godess
I have yet to master the fine arts of makeup. Though I can just about manage to put on foundation, blush and mascara, anything beyond that is pushing it. If I try to do anything out of the ordinary or involving more than two eyeshadow colours I tend to end up resembling Ursula from The Little Mermaid. I’ve also pretty much given up on trying to work false lashes for a night out. Most attempts have ended in a tantrum, tears, a faceful of smeared eyeliner and me back in my pyjamas. Ladies, it ain’t pretty.

Not being mature
Wasn’t I supposed to go through a life-changing transformation by now? I thought I’d wake up one day and I don’t know…know how to adult? I’m pretty sure I have the same mental state as I did a few years ago, I’m just better at hiding it. Someone farting? Still hilarious . Getting ‘cooties’ from boys because they are ew? Still a thing.

 Not being able to eat whatever
I know, I was shocked too. Contrary to wishful thinking, one can no longer eat Mcdonalds 5 days a week as well as a variation of sweets and chips without consequences. Now I actually have to TRY make health-conscious choices. When I don’t ( which happens more often than not) at least I feel guilty about it! I am going places.

Not being at the epitome of my party life
I thought finally being legal, I’d go all out. I’d leave my inhibitions behind and spend countless nights partying till dawn. Instead of having my tolerance increase, it has hit rock bottom. When three beers get you borderline drunk, you have a problem. Also, hangovers feel 100 times worse. I don’t know how I ever went out over more than 2 consecutive nights in a row. I can try to stick to wine spritzers all night to minimize the damage but you can bet that I’ll still wake up feeling like my bodys been dragged to hell and back again. Twice.  Plus let’s admit it, the best part of a night out now adays is the kebap on the way home though technically, it could probably be made of carpet and it would still taste bomb.

My love for red wine
Ok I realise I was just whining about hangovers but red wine is love. Women in movies like Sex in the city are portrayed for loving their wine and lots of it. Not that long ago I would have gagged at the thought so I don’t know how I got here, but there’s no going back. A glass of red wine after a stressful week or accompanying me on a night in is like having a warm, emotion filled embrace (in liquid form). Then I pass out, mouth open, hand in spaghetti, feeling like I’m lying in a bed of roses.

Having a schedule
I used to heavily judge those who had a calender and had to ‘check their schedule’ before agreeing to making plans.It sounds so obnoxious , right? I HAVE BECOME THAT PERSON. I probably wouldn’t make it through my semester without ical and god forbid if I lose that planner. I can actually use that pretentious line ‘I’ll pencil you in for Wednesday from 7 to 745pm’ and be dead serious about it. When it comes to brunches with my friends? It takes intense planning and swapping of schedules before we can agree to meet…three weeks later.

Not finding my calling
I have so many talented friends who have really figured out where they are going in life and are headed straight to the top. Me? I’m pretty much just chilling. I don’t quite know what to do with myself just yet. As for exceptional talents, I’m still looking. I can make really ugly facial expressions though? And my eyelids are really pudgy? That must count for something!

So a lot has changed and not everything happened like I thought it would but that is the wonderful thing we call life and as we’ve all figured out, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.
Have a great weekend!

-A Pearl of the Orient.

 

Baking bread.

If you have a true appreciation for food, I recommend that you go and watch the Netflix series Cooked by Michael Pollan. ( Side note: Make sure you’ve eaten before-hand because those beautiful visuals make you incredibly hungry. Slobbering is also a possible side-effect.)

The series explores the human history of cooking in regards to the four elements: Earth, Fire, Air and Water and takes us back to the origins of cooking and how it has helped us evolve as a species. It has become increasingly evident that many of us are no longer  interested in where our food comes from and how it is being made as long as it’s tasty and lands on our plate fast.  I too, am guilty of ordering out multiple times a week instead of putting those hands to work. With the food production industry providing quick and delicious alternatives, what need is there to cook?

“When we learned to cook is when we became truly human. But we’ve lost touch, I think, with how that food got to our plates”. –  Michael Pollan.

One of the most eye opening episodes for me was that of Air which revolved around bread, the basic staple of our diet since prehistoric times. I was shocked to realise that I didn’t even know how to make the most basic thing without having to google a recipe because it had always just been there, sitting in its plastic wrapper. Speaking of which, did you know that home-made bread needs about 5 basic ingredients? Now, look at label on the packaging of manufactured bread. How many ingredients can you count? It’s no wonder we’ve become so sensitive to food allergies.

Not only did I come away from that episode with a new found appreciation, love and respect for cooking but also the incredible urge to bake some bread myself and so that’s what I did.

Saturday morning was spent baking a home-made ciabatta and I’ve got to say it was pretty fun. Kneading the dough brought me back to the good old playdough days and I’ll admit I might have eaten some raw …but it tasted so good! My patience was tested while waiting for the dough to rise but it was all worth it. I’d forgotten how satisfying it is to make something from scratch and then have someone to share it with. It was perfect; fresh and toasty out of the oven and paired with fresh prosciutto, tomatoes, mozzarella and olive oil.
If you’d like to give it a go yourself, here’s the awesome recipe I used!

Easy Homemade Ciabatta

Author: The Crepes of Wrath

Prep time:  2 hours 30 mins
Cook time:  40 mins
Total time:  3 hours 10 mins
Serves: 1 large loaf
Perfectly crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside homemade ciabatta bread.
Ingredients
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1¾ cup + 2 tablespoons warm (115 degrees F) water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for the bowl
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Pour in the warm water, and beat for 5 solid minutes, either with a mixer or a wooden spoon. If you have a dough hook, use it and knead the mixture for an additional five minutes, until the dough is well combined, otherwise just keep beating with the wooden spoon.
  2. When the dough is well combined, flour your hands, stick ’em in a bowl, and pull parts of the dough up and slap it back down into the bowl. Do this for another 5 minutes. This will push air bubbles into the dough and create nice holes when it bakes.
  3. Oil a large bowl, then plop the dough into that bowl. Drizzle your olive oil over the top of the dough, then cover the bowl in plastic wrap and cover with at towel. Place the bowl in a warm spot and allow it to rise for 2 hours.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then sprinkle it with flour. Flour your hands, and shape the dough into a long loaf, about 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with a just touch of flour for strictly aesthetic purposes (trust me, it looks pretty), then bake for 35-40 minutes, until the bread is lightly golden. If you tap the bread, you should feel like it’s hollow – that’s how you know it’s ready! Place the bread on a cooling rack and allow it to cool down for a minimum of 20-30 minutes.

Have a lovely week!

– A Pearl of the Orient.

 

Healthy and delicious ways to start your day.

We all know that most mornings are a battle between getting that extra bit of sleep or having enough time to shower and eat breakfast. But what if you could have a little bit of both? Todays blogpost features some of my favourite go-to breakfasts that are not only quick to make but healthy AND tasty too. We can’t have you starting the day hangry, now can we?

1. Porridge with fruit.

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I can’t say that I was always a fan of porridge but recently I’ve been enjoying Alnatura’s Rotebeeren Frühstucksbrei (Berry flavoured porridge). It’s done in 5 minutes and you’ll be kept full until lunch and that’s coming from me…the girl who eats 4 meals between lunch and dinner.

What you’ll need:
-70g of porridge mix
-100ml of warmed milk
-Fruit of choice
-Coconut flakes (if you’re fancy like me)
-Chia seeds (also optional)

Serves : 1

Mix everything together, let it sit for a few minutes and you’re good to go! Bear in mind you need to add more milk if you prefer a thinner consistency .

 

2. Greek yoghurt and granola.

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I love having greek yoghurt with granola in the morning because I feel like I’m treating myself to dessert. It’s like having cookies, yoghurt and a smoothie all in one.

What you’ll need:

-0% fat greek yoghurt
– 50g granola
-Fruit of choice
– Cinnamon to garnish

Serves: 1

You can also add a tiny teaspoon of honey to the mix but I personally find it sweet enough with the berries and granola in there.

3.Egg cups

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I can’t tell you how great these egg cups are. You just have to try them. Whats great about them is that they can be made in bulk and eaten as snacks or be kept for breakfast the following day.

What you’ll need:
-6 eggs
-Spring onion
-Handful of spinach
-Button mushrooms
-Cherry tomatos
-Ham or Bacon
————–
-Sriracha sauce
-Garlic powder
-Salt and Pepper
————–
– A muffin pan

Serves: 2 ( makes about 8 medium cups)

Start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Chop up all your ingredients into small pieces and put them into a bowl. Then, crack in your eggs, add some sriracha sauce or any kind of chilli sauce for a kick of flavour and finally some garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into a muffin pan but only about 2/3 full as the mixture rises and leave it in the oven( while you go shower!) for approximately 15 minutes or till the top is hard.

4. Egg and avocado spread on toast.
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Trying to say that avocado and eggs don’t go together is like telling the crazy cat lady she doesn’t belong with her cats. Essentially, we’re talking about a match made in heaven.

What you’ll need:
-1 Avocado
-2 Eggs
-Lemon
-Garlic powder
-Salt and Pepper

Serves: 2

Place the 2 eggs carefully in a pot of boiling water for about 6 minutes; we are soft boiling the eggs so that they are still nice and gooey and easy to mix later. Cut open the avocado, dispose of the seed and spoon the rest of the contents into a bowl. Once the eggs are done, crack the top open , and empty the egg. Using a fork, mash everything together. Don’t forget to add a dash of lemon juice, garlic powder and some salt and pepper to the mixture. Chilli flakes are also always a great idea if you’re feeling adventurous. Spread this on a toasty slice of whole wheat bread and enjoy.

5. Very Berry protein shake

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If you’re not one to stomach solid food in the morning, this shake is the perfect solution for you. The fact that it tastes like a rainbow in your mouth can also be seen as a plus.

What you’ll need:
– 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (approx.25g)
-100ml of milk
-1 banana
-100g of frozen berries
-A teaspoon of natural peanut butter
– 200-300ml water

Serves: 1 ( approx. 500 ml)

Throw all your ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy.

I hope I was able to provide some inspiration ! Let me know if you decide to try any of the above dishes or if you’ve got any cool variations or ideas of your own.

– A Pearl of the Orient.

 

 

Spring fling: Outfit ideas

Hello humans!
Hope everyone’s enjoying the weekend. I spent part of the week re-organising my closet for spring and throwing some stuff out which obviously means…more space for new things! So in the spirit of spring, I’ve come up with some outfits for this season! Which one’s your favourite?
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Outfit #1: I love this outfit because it looks relaxed and dressed up simultaneously. I’d wear this one to Uni or on a nice little brunch date.
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Outfit #2: I’m so excited to start wearing Rompers again! They are a little inconvenient when you desperately need to run to the toilet but also incredibly comfy. This outfit is super playful and is perfect for a stroll in the city.Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 12.00.54 amOutfit #3: I think this look is super elegant but also extremely “chill”; for lack of a better word. I do take my colour coordinating seriously but spring is the perfect time to play with pops of colour. This one’s for a nice evening by the Donaukanal while sipping on a refreshing Hugo.

Let the shopping games begin!

-A Pearl of the Orient.

Phuk- et! We’re going to Thailand.

Isn’t it wonderful when one has something to look forward to?  Back in September of 2015, Benny and I decided to take a pass on many nights of take-out sushi, expensive christmas presents and extravagant ski trips to save for a getaway in February to Asia . The cold weather tends to lose its appeal with the absence of ginger bread cookies and christmas lights ; apparently Christmas music doesn’t lose its appeal till much later as our local Chinese restaurant was still playing Silent Night, Holy Night till late January…

After months of anticipation we were off! Now when I look back at it, it feels like a dream. Our first stop was Bangkok. I’m not going to lie to you, Benny and I were more excited about the food than anything else and we did not come home disappointed! We were lucky to have a variety of street markets in the area and over- indulged ourselves with street food by averaging 5 or more meals per day. I wish I was exaggerating. For what they lacked in hygiene ( best not to dwell too long on this aspect) , they made up for in taste, atmosphere and price.

Then, we did all the typical things that tourists do like visiting The Grand Palace , shopping at Chatuchak market,treating ourselves to an obnoxious amount of foot massages , getting ripped off by boat tour guides , riding a Tuktuk with a driver who had no regard for speed limits and then… eating some more. Bangkok is also known for its crazy night life amongst tourists and although unplanned, we managed to have a crazy night out of our own. I would divulge the details, but then again I wouldn’t because my mum reads this blog and well…the rest is self explanatory.

Our next stop?… Phuket! Our main aim was to simulate sloths and that’s pretty much what we did. With the odd bout of water rafting and elephant riding, a majority of the time was spent drinking coconuts, lounging on sun-beds, getting sand in all the places it shouldn’t be and watching mums get hilariously wasted at the pool bars happy hour . IT WAS GLORIOUS; minus the food poisoning towards the end of our stay. That? Not so much fun. I know what you’re thinking…of course we got food poisoning over there from that ridiculous amount of street food we were consuming but alas! It was the juicy, innocent looking beef burger at the hotel that turned out to be the devil. The romantic Valentine’s day dinner plans the next day abruptly went down the drain (amongst other things )and we spent the day in bed pathetically slurping on instant noodles.

After barely recovering, we headed on over to Malaysia to visit my mum. Many things that were on our list such as visiting Legoland, or popping over to Singapore never crystallised. With battered bodies, we surrendered to rest and ironically, more food. All in all , it was an incredible trip and I feel like trying to write a post about it is actually doing it an injustice. Experiences like that are felt by the soul and sometimes they simply aren’t made for sharing.You just had to be there.

Holy shit, I am deep.

– A Pearl of the Orient.

P.S. I realise that some pictures would’ve gone along well with this post but seeing as I’m a broke student and couldn’t afford to buy a good quality camera ( though I hope to in the near future) before going abroad, I feel that most of the photos I took are not worth sharing . You can , however, check out my Instagram (apearloftheorient) for a few .