Heart-shaped eggs in toast.


The p e r f e c t breakfast recipe for the looming Valentine's weekend.

A handful of weekends ago, I woke up and decided it would be a day of at-home brunching, Netflix (that was the day I watched the entirety of Making A Murderer on Netflix and decided I'd become a supersleuth) and quietly whittling away at some side projects. And, if an at-home brunch or breakfast can get me out of bed, then it's certainly worth sharing! I thought it'd be the ideal recipe to share as Valentine's Day creeps up on us, too!

Meet my heart-shaped eggs in toast...

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Now this is a fairly uncomplicated recipe, but adorable and satisfying nonetheless.

It probably takes all of 15 minutes to prepare and a further 15 to cook, and it'd be a lovely thing for your other half/best friend/human-you-appreciate-lots to wake up to on a regular Sunday or Valentine's Day, right? I've seen similar concoctions - far more complicated than this! - on Pinterest, but here's how I assembled mine:


To serve 2, you'll need:
- 2 slices of toast (thick cut or you could layer two slices like I did, making that 4 slices!)
- Rashers of bacon to your preference
- 2 medium eggs
- A sprinkling of parmesan cheese
- Salt and cracked black pepper
- Two avocadoes!
- A knob of butter
- A fresh lime

+
A chopping board
Knife or heart-shaped cookie cutter (I used the former!)
A deep(ish) pan
Your oven

Method:
1. Firstly, you'll need to create your heart-shaped toasts. Pre-heat your oven on a grill setting. Bring out the chopping board and get to work with either pressing your cookie cutter into the centre of the bread, or simply carve your own, like I did! I can confirm they're relatively easy to create!

2. Butter one side of your bread and plop it into your pan, butter side down. (I had an... accident with my baking tray, hence my use of a pan!) Brush the edges of the open side of your bread with a little butter to grease it.

3. Next, you can crack your eggs into each slice of bread. Be gentle to keep the yolk intact.

4. Grab a handful of parmesan cheese - we like to indulge around these parts - and sprinkle atop the egg. Here you can season with salt and pepper, if you wish.

5. Layer your bacon in the pan, just around the toast. Swing the pan in your oven at about 200.

6. Slice up your avocado and place in a bowl. Season generously with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of a fresh lime.

7. After about 15-20 minutes, bring the pan out. Your toast should be gently toasted around the edges and bottom, the eggs centres white, firm yet fluffy, and the bacon perfectly crisp.

8. Plate up, & serve in bed along with your avo bowl and a twice-sweetened tea, fresh orange juice or lovingly prepared coffee!

9. Instagram your creation and tag me (heh) at @winyeemichelle.

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... A very happy Valentine's day to you from me and my kitchen. ♥


A-Z of Michelle: C for Curiosity


Welcome to A-Z, a new mini series at Daisybutter, a fortnightly series that takes a letter from the alphabet and where I aim to introduce the many facets of myself to the blog.

The A-Z of Michelle is a 26-part series on Daisybutter. Once a fortnight, I'll be introducing a new 'thing' about myself or an opinion that I'd like to share or a short story snippet. You get the gist. And each will hail from a respective letter of the alphabet. I've become quite enamoured with the alphabet as of late, even renaming my magazine to A for Aesthetic (oh so creatively from its former Aesthetic Magazine), heh.

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Although I officially finished education an insane four years ago, one of my secret not-so-often-documented quirks and traits is that I love to research, to learn, to try. I fully champion curious minds and curious brains and mentioned here that, most weeks, I find myself a topic or issue and throw myself wholeheartedly into learning all about it. Last week was mostly about packing for my trip but the week before, I spent at least 3 hours reading about the multiple varieties of cherry blossom or sakura.

For example, did you know there’s one variety, the Kikuzakura, that produces over 100 petals per bloom, creating a pastel-hued chrysanthemum effect? I, very proudly, spelt chrysanthemum in one go without autocorrect by the way, because that was another of my previous research topics! Previously covered topics of mine? The misconception that lobsters are immortal, the history of Hong Kong’s women-only prisons and also the dwellings offered to employed police offers back in the 1940’s. I’ve read (with Rachel’s inspiration!) all about passports and discovered the ranking and design of each one. I spent many hours, once, reading about the designers behind Japanese labels sacai and kolor, discovering that they’re married! Sometimes I spend hours learning a new photography technique to further my blog, other times I’m in a rabbit hole learning about the origin of the cashew (not a nut!).

But what to do with this wealth of nonsensical random facts? Well, I don’t know. I work in editorial copy and produce freelance articles, as well as run my own magazine. I’d like to think all of these eclectic facts help to shape and inform my work, lending a new edge to my writing. You never know when you might need 10 fun facts about the Royal family! And, if all else fails, they make excellent conversation fillers too. Honestly, ask the girls, they receive one fun fact almost daily to start their days! I think it’s important to keep the mind ticking over with newness all the time. Some people find it odd but I wholly embrace learning new things all the time, you’ll never know it all but you can try.

C is for curiosity, one of my favourite traits. There’s always more to learn.

婆婆。


For my loving 婆婆.

On Thursday 4th February, 2016, I lost the Queen of my heart, my beautiful Granny. Cancer deals the cruelest hand and it dealt its cruelest yet when it stole the light of my family’s lives. This blog is a place where I share my moments and this is probably one of the most significant, if not saddest, yet. Throughout the entirety of this blog’s existence, I’ve spoken candidly about how much I adore my Granny. She truly is the centre of my world, the sassy matriarch who commands all, who was stronger than I can comprehend and who loved unconditionally. I’ve never known a stronger bond than the love she held for her six grandchildren.

Do you know what? I can’t even see my screen as I write this. I those two days, I never left the apartment, my Granny’s beloved apartment, only moving from my bedroom to shower and complete incense burning rituals.

Granny Daisy means the entire universe and beyond to me. We lost my Grandad before I was born and my other grandparents lived in Malaysia. Like so many other first-generation British born Chinese kids, I was raised by three adults: Mum, Dad and Granny. Friday evenings were spent at her home, running wild with my siblings and cousins until my hair was so matted from sweat that I could sweetly force her to do my hair in French plaits. We played pirate ships in her wardrobe, drove her insane playing hide and seek, chase, begging her to let us play out in the garden where we’d inevitably trample on her beloved flowerbeds. We eagerly awaited 8.30pm when, just before the TVB news broadcast, she’d cut up several varieties of fruit, so colourful, into bitesize pieces for us. Then we’d grab a piece and rush around playing chase in the house, smashing bits of kiwi and banana into the carpet. I remember us playing so much that Granny would pull out her spare bedding and tuck us in to sleep upstairs before our parents finished work at the takeaway. We’d wake up at 9.25am for SM:TV, still in porpor’s house and watch Pokemon as she gave her crazy commentary.

As we grew up, we still loved spending time at Granny’s. I loved her casual use of the odd English word here and there “lee-mol kuntrol (remote control)”, when she spoke Cantonese to the poor Tesco fishmonger counter lady - forcing her to learn Cantonese! I loved when she surprised us with jelly after dinner. I loved when she made my siblings, cousins and I race around the garden in the summer. I loved when she came to surprise me after my first day at secondary school. I loved when she pretended she was visiting us when really she wanted to use our massage chair and watch TVB on a HD TV. I loved her crazy shirts that she picked up in Hong Kong and her penchant for wearing regal purple like the Queen she knew she was. I loved how she was not-so-secretly addicted to Mini Rolls, M&S yum yums and Lucozade. Sundays filled with huge batches of her homemade Hakka food, of her special turnip cake and glutinous rice for Chinese holidays, laughing as she muted all animal and wildlife documentaries and commentated along for us. (We’d put the subtitles on and giggle at her completely made-up narratives!)

My Granny isn’t the sweet, quiet, chilled out lady that many think of at the word ‘Grandma’. She was loud, hilarious in her own way, full of incredible tales from Hong Kong, China and those early days when they moved their family to England. She was inconceivably proud of every single thing that we achieved and was always the first person I wanted to tell whenever I did well at Uni. That was the big thing for her.

Right now I can’t comprehend life without my beloved porpor. The reason I adore Sunday so much is because every single week, we’d round it off by nesting at her home, all of her beloved grandkids together eating her food, in my case helping her grow melons, complimenting her on her fresh produce and generally getting under her feet. I don’t know what to do on a Sunday now.

I’ve scheduled this post to publish whilst I’m away in Seoul. Thank you all so much for your incredible words of support over on Twitter. I’m truly blown away by your kindness.

{ HKG - ICN } I'm going to Seoul!


"Let's take flight little British unicorn passport!"

Here we go, another pre-travel post! I’m writing this in advance because, if I’m completely honest, I’m quite frankly the least organised traveller in all the land. I usually need someone to kick my ass into gear and as I type this on Wednesday, I’ve only managed to put things near my suitcase. Whoops! Promise I’ll actually put my phone down and stop browsing Bloglovin and pack later ;)

I’ve been dreaming of visiting South Korea for almost 9 years, I think. As a huge K-pop girl, watching hundreds of dramas, variety shows and obsessively watching bands and their MV’s from afar has meant my ‘to see’ list is absolutely huge! So huge in fact, that this trip will probably only be the tip of the iceberg of my South Korean adventures. I plan on visiting again later this year or next with my sister and my awesome gal pals Winnie and Mandy!

This time round? I’ll be meandering around Hongdae, Myeongdong and Itaewon kinda areas. I’m visiting Nami Island and Petite France, saving Jeju for sunnier days. I’m hoping to head to the beautiful Bukchon Hanok Village and take my time slowly familiarising myself with cute little streets and cafes and eating, well, all the street food. I’m so excited!!

You’ll be able to keep up with my travels instantly over on Twitter and on Instagram, or pop back to this post whilst I’m away as I’ve setup a little widget to keep stock of my #DaisybTravels tag. So fancy!

So, Seoul! Let’s do this…



A brunch and Winston’s Coffee amble.


{ 31·01·16 } Slow Sunday ambles and lots of food to see off January.

Right now I’m hyper-aware of leaving a beautiful city and country behind in just a handful of weeks.

My favourite thing to do at the weekend is to slowly awake with the sunrise, listening to the day unfold beneath me (I live on the 14th floor!), the oftentimes-annoying but somewhat comforting ticking traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, my elephant neighbours as they crash around upstairs, the quiet tinkling as the weekend tai chi class gets underfoot all the way downstairs in the gardens.

I like to do that lazy-girl thing of stretching all the way over to my dresser without leaving my bed, even if it means clinging on with all my might, and popping my speakers on to play some music or hang out with my YouTube subscriptions. I like to flip the sheets underneath my legs, using my legs, and bundle up like a little duvet burrito. And then I lean out again to my dresser to retrieve my cashmere socks and awkwardly put them on whilst encased in my sheets. It’s like a weekend marathon, isn’t it? How many things can you feasibly do whilst in bed?

Until at last when I can’t stand it anymore, I pad, quiet as a mouse, out of my bedroom and tiptoe to the kitchen for my morning caffeine fix. Often I take this stolen moment of standing-up-awareness (know what I mean? I don’t take anything ‘in’ when I’m sitting down or laying around) to peek outside to the streets and ascertain what the deal is. I mean, are people carrying umbrellas (evidently rain), wearing hoods (windy AF) or touting face masks (smoggier than life)? Fresh brew complete, I snuggle back in bed for a final laze, set up some very over-styled flat lays for Instagram, trying desperately not to spill my entire coffee over my very white sheets, and then get ready.

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On Sunday, the very last day of January 2016, I went through all of my lazy routine motions and headed out for an afternoon of brunch and coffee (and beer). Kicking off the farewell meals and all, once again, Helena and I headed to a delightful little Italian place on Elgin Street in Central/Sheung Wan: Mostaccioli Brothers.


I opted for eggs to order, adding pancetta and going for poached eggs. SO good! Nothing beats some fairly indulgent pancetta, eh?




Helena went for Eggs Caprese which looked amazing!

Girly gossips and life chats over a crisp newspaper, fresh coffee and alfresco food in January are just the way to go.





We took a leisurely stroll down the rolling hills of Hong Kong Island, right through Central district, and I couldn’t resist shooting some snaps of the Chinese New Year décor and finer details of our surroundings.


Afterwards, I met my friend Keir for a catch-up over coffee. I’ve been meaning to try Winston’s Coffee in Sai Ying Pun for weeks! An Australian joint, it’s super easy to find, just take exit A1 from SYP MTR Station, turn right et voila!




I selected a flat white as always while Keir grabbed an avocado grilled cheese(!!) My thoughts on the coffee? Almost perfect! It could be a touch creamier but, actually, I wasn’t after creamy on a slow Sunday afternoon.

The crockery was absolutely perfect, look at these dreamy teaspoons! A little nod to my almost-roots in Southampton!




Also couldn’t resist being ‘that guy’ and shooting away at the interiors. Their food selection is widespread and relatively healthy! Hope I can make another trip back here before I leave…



Next up, K and I had a little wander around Central and perused the shops in ifc. We also gawped at the installation in their foyer for Chinese New Year, a faux bamboo forest that creates a monkey motif (apparently… We didn’t think so!) when viewed from the tiptop floor.

We had some obligatory beers on the rooftop because if you can’t drink at 4.42pm on a Sunday to celebrate the end of dry January, when can you?




And finally, before heading home, we took a little Star Ferry across the water. The only way to travel!

Happy Tuesday, little loves!

Sundaze 05


Girly catch-ups, good coffee and busy AF.

一. Hello you lovely thing, you! Happy Sunday and end-of-January! I feel like I’ve been oh so absent from my blog and, in turn, the social media world, this week because real life has been batsh!t crazy. Like I mentioned in last weekend’s post, I actually scheduled most of this week’s posts or had them ready to read over and publish on lunch breaks, etc. which felt really odd as this year I decided to stop scheduling posts and write posts when I felt inspired. Long work days and longer work nights done, I feel suitably exhausted and ready to crash on the sofa for the rest of my Sunday, as it’s currently… 7.36pm as I write this(!!)



二. Today I headed out for brunch with one of my colleagues, Helena. It’s been a while since I managed to a) make plans, and b) keep plans. We went to Mostaccioli Brothers in Sheung Wan for a little alfresco meal and it was simply perfect! Nothing better than a quixotic brunch morning to set your weekend back in good stead, eh? I’m thankful to have met a group of gals here who constantly challenge the idea of our standard office jobs, have plenty of insightful stories and LOLs to bring to the board, and where we motivate each other to do more. Girl power!

三. On Monday we had a company party at the office to celebrate Lane Crawford’s 165th anniversary! It was a bit odd to have a Monday evening soiree in all honesty so I stayed an hour or so at the UV party (lol) but it was pretty fun; a Cantonese opera, Chinese fortune telling and local food vendors. Also got an awesome goodie bag filled with Givenchy and Amore Pacific beauty swag. Then I got home to find that my broken tap had broken even further and spent the evening mopping, cleaning and draining a flooded kitchen. Oh the sheer joy of living alone!


四. Wednesday saw me try on some dresses for my best friend’s upcoming wedding, including this beyond-beautiful self-portrait number. I can’t wear navy, though, so someone point me in the direction of some wedding-guest dress ideas!

五. Can you believe it's three weeks today until I move back to England? I'm starting to panic a little as I haven't lifted a finger on the packing front and I'm already beginning to miss Hong Kong and all of its little quirks. I *promise* I'll start packing as soon as I'm home from Seoul ;) Speaking of which, I have even more travels in the pipeline! Japan with my brother and sister is finally booked and I also have tentative plans for Paris, somewhere in Italy and potentially an LA jaunt if we can locate funds for it. So. Freakin'. Excited. Saving for a home can wait just a little longer ;)




六. Last but not least, this week I started listening to Serial after spending many restless nights doing Making A Murderer reading. Never been a podcast kinda girl but this one is super gripping and makes it easier to get on with work at the same time. Life changing! I'm just about to start the last episode and I genuinely have no idea where I stand on the case. It's not quite as 'obvious' as MaM but still really intriguing. Alongside that, I'm watching a K-drama called 'Cheese In The Trap' - I'm several episodes behind but hopefully I'll be able to catch up this week! ^_~

Links I've Loved:

  • The gorgeous and oh so lovely Callie announced her new gig as a shiny new columnist at Marie Claire and I could not be prouder or happier. What an achievement!
  • If you’re looking for a new read, Bee has compiled her monthly mini book reviews right here and made me want to place a huge book order. Plus, don’t ya just adore her poetic writing style?
  • Sophie’s 5 Pick-Me-Ups post certainly warmed my January cockles. In fact, her beautiful blog is one of the things I look forward to reading the most after a long and busy week.
  • With Chinese New Year just around the corner (it’s on the 8th Feb this year!), I’ve been busy getting on with spring cleaning, snapping up new clothes, getting my hair chopped and obligatory dinners with extended family. I also LOVE these DIY paper lanterns on Tiffany’s blog, a sweet little nod to the holiday.
  • I have major shopping envy after seeing Shabna’s beautiful Saint Laurent cardholder! Just look at how pretty that thing is!
  • Over on A for Aesthetic, we shared a Japanese-fusion recipe for yakiudon that I love making throughout the week.
  • My wonderful, teeny tiny team also created an edit of the Pantone pink interiors you can easily add to your home for a trend-led update. It made me want to buy all the things!
  • Oh! And my essential read for the week? Glada's beautiful blog, Miel Cafe!
Love, Michelle x

Seoul Bros. Korean-fusion street food.


UG/F, No.66 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong. Entrance on Elgin Street.
Whenever Winnie and I get together, you know there's some serious food action to be had...! Back in November when she came over to Hong Kong for her annual trip - fellow BBC's, you know how it is! - I nabbed her for a day of shopping, laughing, terrible puns (mine), stories (hers), an overdue real life catch-up and FOOD. Let's get going...

Seoul Bros. had been on my radar for a while. Opening in October in a prized space on Hollywood Road in Central, it takes pride of place up on first floor, making for the perfect people-watching spot. It's not too difficult to find, head for PMQ kinda area by Aberdeen Street and you'll find it nestled across from Ho Lee Fook, neon signs flaring. Like most places on my foodie hit list, I discovered Seoul Bros. via Instagram; it's a fusion street food kinda place, think elevated fast food!



Round One

In typical Winnie and Michelle style, we ordered a little bit of everything to try! The Hong Kong eating culture is all about sharing, think tapas style. And so, we chose the Bibimbap, Kimchi Fries, Fried Chicken (the Sweet & Spicy option!) and a Spicy Corn Salad. It's worth noting too that they have set menus, which are a good option for lunch. We ended up getting a set and then ordering extra!

Our thoughts?

Thumbs up almost all around! We're both huge fans of Korean food and really enjoyed the slight Japanese fusion of the Bibimbap and the chicken was simply amazing, succulent and tender meat with a satisfying crunchy coating and just-spicy enough dressing. The corn salad was so-so, but we only really ordered that as a semi-healthy section! We only managed half of the fries portion (classic case of eyes-bigger-than-tummy!) but I really enjoyed those too. Prices seem above average at first glance but it's worth the $ and you'll often find that non-local Chinese eateries on Hong Kong Island are a touch more expensive.



Round Two

When I decided to hand my notice in at my current job, I felt excited and relieved but also a little uneasy about the brevity of the situation I'd put myself in. And so, I hopped on a tram and wandered over to Seoul Bros. once again, this time for a sneaky takeout...

Honestly? I can't fault Seoul Bros. at all! Always such friendly, efficient and polite service! I picked up the Beef Bánh Mì and Sweet & Sour Fried Chicken and went on my way home. The bánh mì was so unbelievably moreish, soft and fluffy buns with rich and tangy kimchi and tender cuts of beef. I honestly could've eaten another in the same sitting because food crimes are the best, right? Again, I over-ordered and ended up putting most of my chicken away for eating with some rice the next day, but the chicken was every part as good as I remembered. Slightly preferred the spicy option if you were wondering!

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Seoul Bros., you have my heart. Please don't get eaten up by Hong Kong rent struggles.

365.


The annual Daisybutter p r o j e c t.
Each year I like to set myself a project, a challenge of sorts for the 12 months ahead. Last year I took on Project Life and successfully documented an entire year in photographs, cuttings and scribbled notes and the year before I did the Jar Project. I've always kept some form of diary (yes, one of those handwritten Groovy Chick notebooks with the plasticky lock!), an Xanga, a Freewebs site, a LiveJournal, Myspace... I've been everywhere!

2016 sees me get back to my notebook. I did this back in 2011 and 2012, undocumented online, filling the pages of a notebook with not-daily musings, lists (of ideas, objects, places, etc.), amateur doodles, writing prompts, favourite words, phrases I wanted to begin adopting into my own vocabulary... just any oddment that popped into my head, and it was fun. I can't find them for the life of me but I liked the spontaneity of noting down whatever I fancied on that particular day. So I want to do that again! My blogging clan gifted me this beautiful hardback '365' notebook - it's from kikki.K - which means I get a day off because of the leap year, and I've already taken to my daily scribbles with enthusiasm and fervour.

Pictured:-
01. Listing my goals and hopes for the year.
02. Excitement about my new rice bowls! I added in a photo for good measure, because I loved the process of shooting this.
03. 'Things to do on a Sunday.'




Some of the things I've already added include a simple handwritten list of my 2016 goals and hopes, as documented in this post, a little printout of a photograph I shot & a casual list of things I like to do on a Sunday. Since shooting these photos, I've also added a list of books I've particularly loved reading, some words about my impulse-meets-considered decision to move back and a list of favourite feelings when I've slept well. I'm hoping to slowly introduce daily gratitude notes to each page (I tend to Instagram these or just never consider what I'm grateful for - eek!) See? All sorts of random oddments!

PS. Who'd like a little post and miniature review of my Happiness Planner? x

I Got Seoul, an outfit with Lyst.


My dream wardrobe for S E O U L | { a Wish-Lyst }

In case you somehow hadn't heard me harping on about my upcoming trip to Seoul, I am indeed finally winging it over to my city of dreams early next month! Lyst invited me to try their site and create a wish-Lyst of sorts, a moodboard of whichever outfits and looks I'm winter pining for.

As Seoul is bitterly cold at this time of year and I'll be visiting in early February, my look centres around cosy comfort, girlish layering and marshmallow hues. I've taken the whole Pantone colours of the year thing very seriously this year apparently! But let's be honest, Rose Quartz and Serenity are arguably 'Mish' colours as oft-documented over on my Tumblr. I digress. My 'I Got Seoul' (expect many more of these terrible puns when I'm actually there!) Lyst is a pretty accurate representation of what I wear currently and what I want to be wearing.



I'm obsessed with pink sweatshirts right now, if you hadn't already spotted on Instagram and Twitter. Love them. Love. Them. This one from Forever 21 is oh so adorable! I *might* just have to head over to F21 after work and see if I can find one, I never ever browse their website so it's a pleasant surprise to have stumbled upon it whilst whittling away at filters on Lyst! To brace against the cold, I'm currently hunting down blanket scarves that'll keep me cosy whilst I explore for entire days at a time and this beautiful pastel boucle one from ASOS fits the bill pretty well! I have a good feeling that this one will match both my black coats and my plethora of candy coloured ones.

Another style I'm seriously into at the moment is the culottes trend. Damn it got me good. Even though I'm on the more petite side, I think it's such a perfectly casual way to do the trouser look and still look feminine. And these pink ASOS ones are perfect. I kinda imagine them with a grey or white trainer plus this Markus Lupfer knit. Dreamy.

What are your outfit wishes at the moment? Smitten with sweatshirts and culottes as much as I?
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