Devil's food cake.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Before I begin my melliferous dwellings on how gorgeously decadent this cake is, please allow me to apologise. As you may be aware, this blog was supposed to be a medium to document my relentless love of not only fashion but also baking and at its inception, I had envisioned that I would bake a weekly array of delicious goods and capture whimsical images of them whilst simultaneously managing not to outgrow my wardrobe. But somehow, the natural evolution of my blog began to emphasise the 'frocks' and less so, 'the other frivolities' and despite my valiant attempt to bake more regularly, life (that is, final year of med school and all its concomitant paperwork) rudely intercepted me at every step. This week, I finally had an excuse to triage baking to the top of my priorities because it was my dear father's birthday ... which was such a relief for my recent baking withdrawals!

But moreover, the cake

I have been an avid fan of David Lebovitz for aeons (his tiramisu and panna cotta recipes are regulars in my repertoire) so when I needed a reliable resolution to my dad's fastidious tastes ("please, not too much sugar Mandy and you know I hate icing!"), I remembered this recipe of his that I had bookmarked a few months ago. The cake itself is technically quite simple (I did have majestic plans to create chocolate lace to embroider the margins but in the end I went for a more minimalist aesthetic) but it is the moist chocolate base swimming in the rich ganache frosting that makes it transcendent. I wish I took a picture of the interiors because it was one of my neatest layering works to date! Definitely a recipe that is kind to any baking skill level and will most certainly please every chocoholic's palate. 

...And my fussy dad's verdict? Well, I think the fact that he ate it for breakfast the next morning is irrefutable proof that it was a raging success. ;) 

Recipe link here

Much love, Mandy. xx

Giveaway : the little black (and white) dress.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The lovely people at are currently collaborating with my blog and giving away this beautiful dress to one of my stylish readers. I ordered one of these for myself as I was immediately allured to the classic silhouette, the monochrome palette and the ease at which it can segue from a languorous brunch (think feline sunglasses and black suede pumps) to the office (with tights and demure kitten heels). 

How to enter:
(1) Follow my blog on Bloglovin' or Google Friend Connect or Facebook
(2) Register yourself on here (literally takes two seconds!)
(3) Comment on this post with your name and email address

The competition closes on May 15 and is open to my international readers too. Winner will be chosen from a random number generator. Good luck! 

Much love, Mandy. xx

The perfect white shirt.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

For the past few years, Madison has collaborated with Witchery to create the 'white shirt campaign' to support an incredibly worthy cause with 100% of proceeds going to Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. If you are anything like me and love your wardrobe being filled with a cornucopia of sartorial staples that transcend the season, then perhaps you will understand just how tedious it is to find the perfect white shirt. The elusive search has endured for years and I still find it absolutely impossible to find one that is (a) constructed to perfection, with the exact gradient of white that I want, and (b) within my somewhat limited budget. 
                                           ...But finally, I think I may have found The One.
 Soft and deconstructed in a silken fabric, I can already envision this one being worn to work tucked into some structured pants or draped casually over denim shorts for the weekend. But the best part? The fact that you know you have contributed to a benevolent cause and being in the medical field myself, I can certainly vouch for the fact that research is the foundation for medical progress and that every cent counts.
I also wanted to send out some love to my beautiful and incredibly talented friend Sam Clark who is an emerging young designer that was nominated as a finalist for the White Shirt Campaign competition - what an accolade! We're so proud of you Sam and I personally hope that your gorgeous design goes into production so that I can casually remark "my friend designed this" when I check out haha. 
                               See the rest of the collection here - hope you also find The One!
                                                                      Love, Mandy. xx 

ASOS feature.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Yesterday morning I woke up to a lovely comment from one of my lovely readers, Karen, who informed me that I was recently featured in the weekly ASOS newsletter. Being an ardent follower of ASOS (my addiction started long before they became so ubiquitous), I couldn't be more flattered and excited!

I thought I would also take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for all your continued support - I have been so overwhelmed with love notes in the past few weeks that I constantly worry that I have missed someone out in individually thanking them (if that is the case for you, please accept my profuse apologies - feel free to send me an email abundant with sad face emoticons!). This blog was always intended to be a medium for me to keep track of all the things I love and I never dreamed that I would make so many lovely friends in the blogosphere or be inundated with such melliferous words on a daily basis. I am so moved by everyone who passes by and I wish there were adequate words in the English language to express my gratitude and love for all of you. :)

I hope your weekend has been sparkling and full of sunshine!

Copious amounts of love, Mandy. xx


Thursday, 12 April 2012

(Skirt - SABO SKIRT, floral headbands - Sportsgirl, shoes - Jeffrey Campbell Sassy, flat sandals - RMK)
1. Just when you thought that these Jeffrey Campbells could not be any dreamier, lace them with the daintiest flowers and they become imbued with even more magic. 
2. A rare moment where I'm clad in flats. I usually live in heels due to my petite stature (fun size!) but there were some pretty tortuous driveways in the residential Fingal Heads area that I had to yield to the more pragmatic option. 
3. Trespassing on private property the only way we know how - with vertiginous heels and bold mustard skirts whilst feigning fascination at their trees haha. 
                                             Photos by the always exquisite Love Yaz
                                                                   Love, Mandy. xx

Wardrobe inspiration : sporty chic.

Monday, 9 April 2012

TOPSHOP navy blazer // BAUBLE BAR phospho necklace // TOPSHOP white shimmer tee // TOPSHOP red sporty shorts // TOPSHOP reflect metallic heel
In an ideal world, my daily casual wear would resemble something like this. The sporty chic aesthetic is so sleek and so incredibly wearable, and the addition of a slick pair of heels (oh my, I am so enamoured by these Topshop ones) integrates the whole look into a more polished manner. The sporadic bursts of colour also concede to my affinity for brights though I'm somewhat devastated that the neon necklace isn't available for purchase in Australia. For all my beautiful European readers, I'm so jealous! 
       I hope you all had a lovely Easter and that there were copious amounts of chocolate involved. :) 
                                                                      Love, Mandy. xx   

Alabaster afternoons.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

(Top - Finders Keepers, jacket -, shorts - Bec & Bridge, floral clutch - Dancing at Dusk, Karissa heels - Tony Bianco)
                                                                Photos by the always exquisite  Love Yaz.
Yazzi and I meandered around the pier, walking past the plethora of fishermen and lackadaisical weekenders to find the perfect spot to capture my latest obsession with whitewash ensembles. It was the perfect occasion for it with the copious light lending a really crisp tone to our images and somehow, we even managed to beat the pluvial onslaught that happened a few minutes before our arrival. Even despite the tumultuous wind (to which I begrudgingly tied up my hair), Yazzi snapped the prettiest images and made me realise what a gift it is to have someone who is synergistic on the same creative wavelength. 
This post would, of course, be incomplete without a few words about this exquisite floral clutch. I have always been such an ardent fan of Kelly Smith's work with her gorgeously effeminate illustrations and when she announced the release of her new label with Lauren Stevenson whimsically named Dancing at Dusk, I immediately knew I had to acquire something from their beautiful collection. As fate would have it, I have been lusting for a floral clutch for aeons and this one is a lovely allusion to the current floral trends without being overtly ostentatious and the print and pastel palette just effuses the kind of loveliness you know that you will keep forever. 
Apologies for the length of this post but when you're surrounded by incredible artists who instil so much inspiration and prettiness in your life, gushing about them in a verbal deluge becomes inevitable! 
                                                Hope you are all having a sparkling week! 
                                                                        Love, Mandy. xx

Mustard skirt perfection, part 1 : lilting.

Monday, 2 April 2012

(Skirt - SABO SKIRT, top - Finders Keepers, shoes - Jeffrey Campbell) 
                                               Photos by the irrepressible LOVE YAZ
 You may be wondering why this post seems to be a precursor to several posts of the same nature - the truth is, this skirt created by the exquisite girls at Sabo Skirt  was just a dream to shoot with and  when you have someone as talented as Yazzi Williams by your side, you cherish every image and feel compelled to share them with the world because she captures them flawlessly. 
It is impossible to express my love for this skirt with brevity but everything about it is perfection - the soft slits that lilt with the afternoon breeze, the vibrant mustard hue, and the fact that when you wear it you feel like you're bringing a little bit of sunshine with you. It is indeed a rare moment when such an item of clothing induces you to dedicate a whole trilogy to it, but the incredible girls at Sabo Skirt will do that to you. <3 
                                                                 Love, Mandy. xx 

Sneak peek : yesterday's photo shoot via Instagram.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

I just had to share a few images from yesterday's photo shoot with the incredible Love Yaz (seriously, if you don't believe me please redirect yourself to her blog here) via my mobile phone and Instagram. We had so much fun chasing the sunset, frolicking in the wind and exploring quaint seaside villages ... thank you again Yazzi for a beautiful day - love you more than you can imagine! 

Love, Mandy. xx