What I Wore: Tibi Silk Halter

27 June 2016

Tibi Top from Revolve

If you’ve been following me on social media in the last week, you might have noticed that I’m totally crushing this Tibi Silk Top from Revolve. I think I’ve already worn it out 3 times hehe.

Yep so, Tibi is a New York label with a gorgeously clean, modern-pretty, casual-chic style. I am such a big fan of their collections and I drool whenever I see their lookbooks. They are also super-duper, eye-wateringly exxy, which is why I’ve never bought anything by them before.

But Revolve had a few Tibi silk tops on sale (the sale is still on!) and I managed to nab this one for 45% off in size 0. Woohoo!

The silk is just beautiful. It has a slight shine to it and drapes really nicely. It’s much softer and smoother than Equipment silk.

The back is a racerback style, which kind of makes it a bit sporty and sexy. I really like it.

Untitled

The top is lined but it still feels really light. And even when I tucked it into my skirt, it still fell in a lovely way.

The Size 0 is a perfect fit on me, as I’m usually a Size AUS/UK 6.

The colour is a warm nude, but it’s called “Terracotta” and looks great against my skin! I thought it would look weird and washed out. So happy that it worked out.

Wearing:
Tibi silk top (fromRevolve)
Lace Skirt, similar ones here
Whistles Fur clutch from ASOS
Casey Lee Nude Heels by Schutz (from Shopbop)

Tibia Top from Revolve

So… now I’m a bit obsessed and currently hunting around for other silk racerback tops. By any chance, has anyone bought a silk top from Grana before? In particular their Silk Racerback Camisoles?

I have a 10% discount code is you’re keen to buy. Just use this link, create an account and they’ll automatically send you the 10% discount code. I’ve been keen to buy one (only $42 for a silk tank?!) but I can’t find a nice colour in my size. Maybe I’ll just start off with a black racerback one?


 

When Life Gets A Little Overwhelming

24 June 2016

Bali Skies

Aah, I always get a bit fragile this time every month.

I get a bit quiet and weepy. I’m hard on myself.

I feel like such a loser. I feel like I’m failing at life. I KNOW I have so many things to do. I want to be ahead. I want to stay on top of things. I don’t want to struggle. But I feel completely paralysed. I feel that everything I have to do to move forward is just too big, too hard, too overwhelming. Like really, REALLY OVERWHELMING!

And these things are not even big things. That’s the crazy thing about it.

It’s just little things like: Maybe I should prepare dinner before the kids come home – not at 5:30pm when I’m helping them with their homework!

Things like: Ok I have a business meeting is tomorrow 9:30am, maybe I should read the brief before the meeting, not at 9:25am at the traffic lights!

Things like: Fix car brakes before winter rains – I don’t want to find my car is broken down on the side of the road! And have I don’t this yet? Nope!

Things like: My insurance company offering me to save around $700 per year in a home, health, car insurance package – I got a quote, I confirmed that YES I would save that much, but it is 4 months later and I still haven’t switched it over!

Why haven’t I done these things?

Because I’m busy. Because I’m an idiot. Because I deal with things in front of me and I forget to do the other stuff that I don’t see.

Because I’m cooking dinner, going out for coffee, helping kids with homework, going to yoga and posting on Instagram?? Is that all that my life amounts to?

Omg I feel like such a loser!

Words like… inadequate, insufficient, unsuccessful, FAILING AT LIFE come to mind. They spin around and around in my heart and they feel like the truth.

In my head I know that it’s not true.

I know I just have to make a list. Make small achievable goals. Tick things off, one by one. One step at a time. Find little motivations. Surround myself with people who love me. This is just a bump in my monthly hormones. This is not who I am. I got this.


 

My First Grown Up Purse from Tory Burch

23 June 2016

Tory Burch Purse

Tory Burch Wallet in the Saffiano Envelope Continental style.

As a birthday present to myself, I finally got myself a “proper” purse!!

I say that because I have always liked to have “fun” purses.  I liked the idea of having a serious, stylish black handbag and pulling out a crazy, fun purse or wallet.

My previous purse was a Country Road, crinkled silver leather purse, which I bought for $33 in a clearance pile. Very fun right? Unfortunately, after a few months of use, the zip stopper broke off. I had to sew up the end, so the zip wouldn’t fall off its tracks. After that it lasted me YEARS!

My purse before that, was a bright orange purse. Very fun.

However, I spilled some hand cream in my handbag and it went all over the orange leather and I couldn’t get the blotchy stain out. It looked pretty yucky for a while and not so fun haha.

Anyway, I don’t know about you, but my purses ALWAYS get bashed and gross after a few years of being handled so often. Even after cleaning my leather with proper cleaning stuff, they still look bad. The corners scuff up and sometimes the flaps get dog-eared.

Do other people experience this??

I’m not a particularly dirty person… I always clean my hands, I always look after my things, I don’t have drinks near my leather goods, I don’t place my leathers on surfaces, I don’t ever let my kids touch my purse… so I guess it’s just the general handling of the leather right?

So knowing that my purse is going to look like crap in 1-2 years, I don’t like to spend too much on a purse.

Tory Burch Purse

Buuuuut, I thought I wold try a purse with a different sort of leather this time.

Last year, I bought this Michael Kors Selma handbag in saffiano leather and I was really delighted by how durable, robust and lasting it looked. It was enough to convince me to try to buy a new purse.

The saffiano leather on this Tory Burch Envelope Wallet is amazing. It is slightly textured and seems to look like brand new every time I pull it out of my handbag.

I am the first to admit that it’s not very “fun” and it may be construed as “boring”… but I’m thinking more along the lines of “grown up and lady like” haha.

Besides… I love that it doesn’t show any finger prints, water marks, sweat, slight dirt stains, scratches, bumps – nothing! Nothing boring about that.

I completely recommend it for now. And I’ll let you know how I go in 1-2 years :)


 

Summer In Scotland

20 June 2016

Scotland Edinburgh Castle
(Edinburgh Castle, photo taken by my husband in 2011)

 

Hi everyone! I have some super exciting news to share…  we are going to Scotland for 3 weeks for a family holiday!

As some of you may know, my husband was born in Scotland and we decided to take all our kids over to visit family, see the country, go hiking, find castles, climb mountains and practice our poor Scottish accents.

We’ve secured some accommodation in the Scottish Highlands, overlooking lush greenery, lakes and mountains. Aah it’s going to be so beautiful!

We’re all pretty excited!

Scottish Highlands
(Photo of the West Coast of the Scottish Highlands, taken by my husband in 2011.)

This year has been filled with so many amazing adventures, exciting successes, fun, love, growth… and of course the crazy-busy lives of our kids. Now suddenly half the year is gone and it’s almost July?!

It’ll be so good to step away from it all and spend time – real, quality time – with our kids.

I leave in a week and I can’t wait to share photos and stories with you all :)

Internet will be a bit lean, but I’m going to try and update my Facebook Page (easier to share with family and friends), Instagram (@karenlycheng) and hopefully Snapchat (@heykarencheng) – if it works in the Highlands!


 

Wearing: Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses

19 June 2016

Brought to you by Vision Direct

Celine Sunglasses

With my birthday coming up, I was so so soooo pleased to work with Vision Direct for this blog post.

I picked out my ultimate sunglasses – the ones I have been lusting over for years – the Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses.

Named after Audrey Hepburn and the glasses she wore in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, these sunglasses are definitely a fashion classic.

My biggest dilemma was to choose between the “Audrey” sunglasses or smaller “Baby Audrey” sunglasses.

(I know, talk about first world problems?!)

I did a google search for “Audrey vs Baby Audrey Sunglasses” and I came across this YouTube video, which funnily enough, happened to be by Vision Direct, but they didn’t actually ask me to link to it or anything, it was just part of my own research for trying to decide which ones to buy.

Anyway, it was such a great review video because the lady showed a side by side comparison of the two sunglasses, as well as putting both on her face, one after the other. So because of this video, I decided to choose the Baby Audrey ones.

Celine Sunglasses

I picked the Celine Baby Audrey with a Havana frame and Grey Green lens. The actual product name is Celine CL 41053/S Baby Audrey 05D/1E.

I decided not to choose black, because I already have a few sunglasses in black.

And I DEFINITELY made the right decision.

These sunglasses were surprisingly light weight, so they don’t hurt my face and nose after wearing them for a long time.

They fit perfectly within my the area of my face, so they are not too large and too overwhelming.

They do leave a little impression on my nose, but honesty, my Ray-Ban Wayfarers give me a more noticeable mark on my nose.

In terms of price, they are selling at Vision Direct on the cheaper end of the scale for that style. I’ve seen it online at David Jones for $450 and other places for $395 – $475. I actually saw one going for $298… but I’ve never heard of that shop before.

Vision Direct have a 100-day return policy, and I’ve actually bought from this site before, returned and swapped for a larger size, with no dramas and they have excellent customer service and communication.

Yay I’m super happy with my new shades. Let’s hope I don’t sit on them!

Celine Sunglasses

Wearing:

Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses
Tibi Silk Cami
Frame Denim jeans (They fit so well!!)
Tony Bianco heels (Lyla)
Michael Kors handbag (Selma Stud)


 

Six Willows Cafe, Willetton

17 June 2016

Six Willows Cafe

I caught up with a friend for a simple brunch at this cute little cafe way out in suburbia, called Six Willows Cafe.

We ordered a Breakfast Burger ($12) with sous vide beef, egg, bacon strips, beetroot relish, lettuce, hollandaise sauce on a toasted brioche bun. It was really, really yummy. The beef was fantastic, the bun was lovely. I couldn’t believe how affordable it was.

We also had a Carrot Cake (which was a bit dry) and a Blueberry Muffin (which was really good!) for my friend’s 3 year old.

My Green Matcha Soy Latte ($5.60) was pretty good and my friend’s Skinny Flat White ($3.8) was excellent.

I liked really liked the relaxed vibe of the place. I liked that it wasn’t trying to be too hipster, cool, fussy or posh.

It was a lovely, quiet setting for us to have a good chat.

They sell little homewares and have regular little crafty workshops too (very kid friendly).

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Six Willows Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


 

My Birthday Wishlist!

16 June 2016

Ah ha, so my birthday is coming up… and my 3 sons asked me what birthday gift would I like?

I told them it has to be – Something simple and thoughtful. Something that THEY think I would like.

So they came up with a few ideas which were all VERY cute, very sweet and very much a reflection of all our “in jokes” and our common interests. I approved them and they were very relieved that I liked their ideas. I’ll share pictures of them when I receive them!

Anyway it got me thinking about other great gift ideas, and I came up with a list.

Yes these are things I would like, but they are such cool gift ideas, that I might get them as Christmas gifts for my girlfriends? Am I mad?

Camera Bags Rebecca Minkoff and Shaffer

For YEARS I have looked for a stylish camera bag (for my huge DSLR), and I have resolved that they don’t exist and I’ll never have one that I’d be happy with.

But isn’t it funny now – digital cameras have become smaller in size and now there are these super cute and super versatile bags for sale. These two look beautiful! And they could both double up as a regular handbag.

Left: Rebecca Minkoff Camera Bag –  I’m liking the little metal detail.

Right: Shaffer Camera Bag – I think I like this plain, slouchy, understated look more.

Novelty Keyrings from Shopbop

Ok so I love a bit of novelty. Especially novelty leather bag charms!

These are so cute, cool and weird that I would love all of them haha.

Kate Spade Keychain – Bananas! Just adorable. Would love to have these on dangling on my black handbag.

Kate Spade Keychain – Passion Fruit Drink. I really like this one because it looks more like a healthy smoothie than a cocktail. And y’all know I like my smoothies.

Iphoria Bag Charm – Bomb. Very cool, but a bit abstract. You have to do a double take. And you might get flagged as a security risk if you talk about your “bomb” haha.

Novelty Keyrings from Shopbop

When my youngest boy, Liam was a newborn, my other two boys and I (at the time they were 6 and 4 years old) went shopping to buy Liam a little toy gift. We chose a soft, dangly lion with a musical bell, because “Lion” was very similar to “Liam”.

So now whenever I see toy lion charms, I always get a bit warm and fuzzy in my heart and I think of all my boys.

Anyway, I spotted this Lion charm and found a few other cute animal bag charms that I felt I had a connection with too. Ok this is all getting a bit too lovey and cheesy.

Tory Burch Bag Charm – Cute lion!

Kate Spade Keychain – Turtle. I used to be a scuba diver and I have an insanely soft spot for turtles.

Kate Spade Keychain – Parrot. Love this vibrant red colour and it reminds me of tropical jungles. (I am from a tropical island. But my tropical island didn’t have red parrots. Just red crabs haha!)

Having said all this, I would much prefer my boys to get me a gift from their heart, and as much lovey cheese as possible.

(Oh and for my birthday, my husband is taking me on an overseas holiday! But it’s a family holiday, so I don’t think it counts. More about that soon…) 


 

What I Wore: Hello Parry Cardigan

15 June 2016

Hello Parry Coatigan

Hi everyone!

My home studio is officially out of commission for a while, because I’m using the room as temporary luggage storage (that’s another story).

So I cleaned up a wall at the back of my house (it was sooo much effort!) to take my outfit snaps before I head out each day. The result was quite nice! However 2 cm more to the right and you would have seen my laundry rack full of pillow cases – so fashionable!

My Cardigan

I recently picked up this Katina Black Coatigan from Hello Parry.

Haha if you see me in real life or follow my snapchat (@heykarencheng) you would have noticed that I’ve been wearing it almost every day now. It’s a bit embarrassing.

It’s so so soooo soft, thick, warm, snuggly, smooth (not scratchy), it doesn’t look cheap and it is not at all heavy like a typical wool cardigan. It is also roomy enough for me to wear one layer or three layers.

The most important thing for me: The sleeves are shorter than usual knits. If I have my arms down by my side, the sleeves sit perfectly on my wrists. If I have my arms bent, at a table (eating), or at the computer, the sleeves sit about 5 cm above my wrists. This is perfect for wearing a watch or bangles.

I’ve never had a jumper or thick cardigan like that before. Most of my knitwear are from Country Road or Witchery and the sleeves are really long. If the knit is THICK, I have to roll up the sleeves and they are really bulky at my wrists. So when I do wear watches or bangles, my wrists are really bulky.

This Hello Parry cardigan is so so good!

The cardigan is 80% polyamide, 15% nylon and %5 mohair. It has been exclusively designed in Australia by the Hello Parry team, and made in China with high quality manufacturing standards.

Quality wise, it definitely matches the high street labels like Country Road and Witchery.

Discount Code!

Anyway, I have a 15% off everything code to share with you all!

You can use the discount for everything including new arrivals and sale items (even the stuff on 60% off sale).

Just enter the code “karenforhelloparry” at the checkout, enjoy!

Hello Parry Cardigan
Wearing:
Hello Parry Cardigan
Isabel Marant Silk Shirt
Frame Denim ripped jeans
Ecco Leather Handbag
Tony Bianco heels
Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses


 

Fitness Update: My Regular Workout Routine

14 June 2016

Nike Sneakers

Hey hey, how you all doing with your fitness activities?

I thought I’d share my regular workout routine, as a way of writing it down, so I can refer to it and track my progress. Because at the moment, it’s just a jumbled list in my head!

I’m not a professional trainer, I don’t have a certificate in fitness or nutrition. I have NO idea if I’m breaking any sacred fitness rules. But I have been to tonnes of different workout classes in my lifetime, watched enough workout videos, read up about routines… enough to know what I like, what I don’t like and what I’m comfortable with.

So this is just that – a routine that I like.

I don’t like workouts that are too jumpy and cardio-y. If I want a cardio and aerobic workout, I run or do sprints, because they are most efficient for me, time wise. Plus I love running.

With my workouts, I’m more focused on my muscles, toning and strength. I’m not trying to burn masses of energy or lose weight.

This routine is my “comfortable” limit. I don’t sweat too much. I don’t strain myself too much. This is just my personal maintenance.

(Which is why I started the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide a few weeks ago; I was keen to start a bit more of a structured routine to give me an extra push.)

My Regular Workout goes something like this:

2 minutes of yoga stretches – various yoga poses, bending over to touch my toes, lower back stretches, leg stretches.

20 jump squats, 20 push ups, 20 lunges, 20 tricep dips, 20 crunches, 20 weighted lunges (2 x 5kg dumbbells), 20 weighted squat with standing press (raise dumbbells vertically upwards), 20 bicep curls, 20 jack knives (2 x 3kgs), 20 bicycle crunches, then a series of butt exercises (fire hydrant!) and core exercises (planks, commando).

Then I’ll repeat… until I’m tired and can’t do anymore!

Do you have a regular workout? Stuff you make up yourself?


 

What I Wore: Grey on Grey on Grey

10 June 2016

Grey on Grey

Over the last few months, I’ve been having a splendid time digging deep into my wardrobe and discovering lots of clothes I’ve forgotten about!

So. Let’s get started with Karen’s El-Cheapo Fashion Tips shall we?

Grey is pretty much the hero colour for this new season. Grey on grey on grey.

The trick is: Pull out all your old grey items and wear them together to feel like a super trendy person!

Grey Shirt

I bought this Ben Sherman Women’s Shirt about 4 years ago (worn here, with er… bikinis). It has a really flattering cut and it fits me perfectly.

The reason I don’t wear it often, is that the buttons are a little small for the button holes… so the buttons pop open whenever I move too much. I’ll be paying for my groceries and POP, hello girls!

I have been meaning to change the buttons, but seriously, who has time for that? Instead I try to wear the flattest bra I can – or a crop top – so I don’t get caught flashing the school headmaster.

Oh the shirt also has these big cuffs, which I have always rolled up.

It turns out that big cuffs are “in” now; and while I took a photo of myself looking very trendy here… after trying to drive a car and eat lunch with floppy cuffs, I decided they weren’t for me and rolled up the sleeves again.

I can’t seem to find any Ben Sherman shirts for women anymore, I guess they’ve just stuck to making men’s shirts.

Grey Jeans

My grey jeans are Super Skinnies from Jeanswest, also bought years ago, so they are no longer available.

They are really similar to these mid-rise CK Jeans, which are on 15% off sale at the moment, (with an extra 30% off if you use the site code).

The reason I don’t wear these jeans very often is because I once washed them with “eco-friendly” washing powder and they came out with blotchy stains on them. I was so annoyed! You can see some blotches in the photo, on my hips. I know, they don’t look that bad. They look like a cool vintage acid wash, right?

Off White Handbag

I think I’ve already mentioned that my Alexander Wang Marion bag was a preloved item I bought from a private sale.

I saw one on clearance sale at SSense and then I saw a black one on sale at Shopbop a couple of weeks back, but now I can’t seem to find any Marion style bags online anymore?!

Background

It’s this season’s greatest accessory. Be sure to photograph yourself in front of a greyish background. Here’s some inter web inspo just for you.

Enjoy your weekend and enjoy your greys! ;)

xxx

 


 

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