Lemon Curd Shortcake for Valentines

Lemons remind me of spring and clear skies – feelings of ease and contentedness. I never really appreciated lemons for what they were, besides its’ cheery disposition of colour, I never understood its’ taste. Often overwhelmed with sourness and a little bitterness, I could not understand its’ appeal. I later learned that it wasn’t the lemon itself that was to be esteemed, but what different flavours the lemon was able to enhance – without the lemon, the taste would not be the same.

Life brings us the good, the bad and the mundane. I think it’s the lemons in our lives that give us flavour and determines whether or not that moment in time is deserving as a memory to be relived upon in years passing or as a memory for us to build upon and grow from. Lemons alter our flavours – our paths, our personalities. These lemons in the end, determine what we taste like, just the perfect amount and we are neither too bitter or too sour – too much and we are exactly that.

With Valentines coming up, I wanted homemade sweets that actually came from a labour of love. There’s nothing fancy about my recipe (I am a complete novice at baking), but as you can guess, the feature ingredient/flavour is LEMON.  Everything was made from scratch, from the whipped cream to the shortcake and lemon curd. My darling man (for reference, nicknames I have given him are: darling, boo, hubby, husband…) ate two big pieces after dinner. I was beyond pleased when he made the suggestion of how I should bake cakes and sell them as a living. Completely ludicrous to me, but I’ll take the compliment, also he did later regret eating the two pieces – we were supposed to share, but I only managed a few bites.

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A Woman’s Boudoir – A Boudoir Photo Shoot

“It was a woman’s bedroom, actually a boudoir, and no man belonged in it except by invitation.”


As much as I enjoy my man and all the things he does for me, I decided to gift myself a boudoir photo shoot. For the longest time I pondered over it and two years ago, I finally did it. I already had a clear vision of the type of photographs I wanted, so it was an easy choice for me in deciding which photographer to work with. As with all things that I choose to surround myself with, I wanted the images to be simple, timeless, elegant and with just enough provocativeness to not go overboard into a different genre of photographs.

Mostly, the women that decided to go ahead with getting boudoir photos done, was as a gift to their significant other. I almost felt silly that I was doing it for myself, but I wanted to somehow preserve my beauty in its current state, imperfections and all. I wanted photographs that I could retrieve from a dusty hat box that had long been forgotten, at the very back of the very top shelf of a closet and proudly admire myself in that one exclusively intimate moment of time.

To this day, I have only shared one photograph of the lot with my man and only I have had the pleasure of viewing the images. Even though I am QUITE n-e-r-v-o-u-s of this, I thought it time to finally share a few of these, in hopes that I will spark a thought in you. ALL women should have at the very least ONE boudoir photo worthy to have tucked away in a special place to marvel at, whenever the mood strikes. I think being a woman is such a magnificent thing and all women should be enamoured with themselves, wholly and completely – inside and out.  I advocate self love – love yourself before you love anyone else.

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Chinese New Years Eve with Portuguese Sweet Bread


Happy Chinese/Lunar new years eve! Tonight will be spent with family over dinner, at my childhood home, that lucky enough, my parents still live in, where the age of the home is starting to show through every time I visit. Since no longer living at home, I do miss the overwhelming smells of oil, sauces and spices of traditional Chinese cooking. Needless to say, anytime I visit, my parents always want to spoil me with food – the way some parents show love.

Chinese new years was definitely one of my favourite holidays growing  up, not just because of all the lucky money we would receive from family, but because you got to spend time with aunts, uncles and cousins you rarely see. Playtime with cousins was the greatest, playing whatever games we made up with whatever silly rules we could come up with. Such freedom and creativity that runs wild in a child!

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Thoughts On Being Dressed, When Undressing


“…it is still to a woman’s advantage to give as much thought to undressing as she does to dressing.”


We give so much effort and thought on our attire and general appearance when stepping out the door and yet do not give enough of the same to when we are in the comforts of our own homes. I often find that as soon as I arrive home from work or am under the assumption that I will no longer be leaving my house, I trudge up the stairs and slip into the comfiest of clothes – a pair of sweatpants or pyjama pants and a t-shirt (most likely something I claimed from my man’s wardrobe – he’s got so many, he probably doesn’t miss them, right?).

These ‘outfits’ aren’t the most well put-together and definitely not the most glamorous. I sometimes don’t even bother changing out of it in the morning, if I have no where in particular to be. While far too shameful to admit, I have grown accustomed to this habit. This is such a bad thing! With my intention to better myself and to further embrace my femininity, I have decided to be more deliberate in what I find myself lounging around in at home.

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In my latest daydreams of being somewhere charming, full of character and invitingly warm and my endeavour to learn what I can about my man’s cultural background of Portuguese/Azorean, I came across a simple, (new to me) way to drink coffee. I have a fondness for simplicity.

The recipe for galão is as follows:

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Madame of Elegance


M ost people call me Karen, a handful of close friends call me Yen. Yen (燕) is my Chinese name, pronounced in Mandarin and is the name of the Swallow bird. It is symbolic of Spring, feminine grace, beauty, happiness and good fortune. On the blog I write under the pseudonym of Madame, but you may address me as Karen, Yen or even just as Madame, whichever is best to your liking.

I am an introvert and so naturally find it easier to speak through written words. I stutter at times, struggling to find the right words to verbalize my thoughts and feelings. The funny thing is that up until the age of six, I was a chatter box and you would not be able to shut me up, no matter how hard you tried – I always had something to say. It’s not that I ran out of things to say or share, I think somewhere along the path,  I just couldn’t share them out loud. So, here I am ready to bare all that I am on Madame of Elegance.

I recently quit my job of a little over six years of which I studied for in school, obtained licenses and professional designations for (I went to school for finance and have my Certified Financial Planner designation (CFP®)). I came to realize that although the finance world was fascinating, the corporate world was not built for someone like me.  I was at my wits’ end, at the very limit of trying to bend myself this way and that way to fit into a mould of society’s creation. I could stretch no further. I could not wake up another day searching for joy elsewhere, after each tick of the second hand on the clock.

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