Life From Laziness

25 April 2017

Ok here’s a funny story.

Before I left for my 4 week long trip to London and Paris (in January)… I snipped off a pretty hydrangea flower stem from my garden, placed it into a tall jar of water and left it in my laundry.

You know, for decoration.

Then I hopped on a plane and left my husband and three kids at home.

4 weeks later.

I noticed that no one thought to throw out the rotting stem?!

Hydrangea Sprout

But I also noticed that a baby hydrangea had sprouted!

It was very cute.

Hydrangea Sprout

I didn’t know hydrangeas grew from stem cuttings!

And I wouldn’t have known this because… I would have NEVER left a rotten stick in a jar of water for 4 weeks!!!


 

Online Store Based in Australia / Singapore : ELONE

23 April 2017

Dress from Elone Online

I haven’t reviewed a new, independent online boutique in ages!

I’d like to introduce everyone to ELONE, an online store that stocks Australian brands specially chosen for their quality clothes, on-trend styles and affordable/reasonable prices.

Best thing about it: Edit of high-quality dresses. There are some really pretty stuff here!

Dress from Elone Online

The founder of ELONE is Elif, who is half Singaporean and half Australian. Even though I’m not Singaporean, my parents were originally from Singapore, and I spent some time working and living there in my 20s – so Elif and I have a lot in common and love to talk about our greatest love – FOOD haha!

The first time I met her, we were at a mutual friend’s dinner together. I forgot my purse and she paid for my meal – which was so kind and generous of her and so embarrassing for me!

Anyway, she is a lovely person in real life, with a beautiful personality and an equally gorgeous personal style.

You can see her style reflected in the choice of clothes in her store – feminine, classic, fun, polished, and stylish (but not over the top). Safe to say, I love everything in there!

Some brands you’ll find: Steele, MLM Label, C/Meo Collective, Suboo, May The Label, Talulah, Senso and more.

Dress from Elone Online

I’m wearing the Steele Agatha Dress in Jardin print (courtesy of Elone).

I’ve seen lots of girls on Instagram wear Steele dresses before, but this is the first time I’ve tried one out myself.

It is a stunning dress. It is really good quality in terms of its fabric, cut, stitching, construction, draping, and ruffles.

It has a fantastic weight. It’s not lined, but it’s not see-through.

The fabric is 100% rayon, so it’s easy to iron/steam and not overly delicate. It is easy to wear, effortless to move around in and has a lovely flow and drape.

It doesn’t have weird bunches of excessive fabric at the hips or chest, which is often a feature of cheaper-made dresses.

I absolutely love it! I think it looks best with nude or black strappy heels, or white even sneakers.

Dress from Elone Online

ELONE has free shipping for Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand for orders over $100.

Head over to see their insanely pretty collection of Dresses. They have shoes, knits, leather jackets too. Like I said, it’s a great edit.

And check out their Sale section to grab a bargain.

If you’re keen to buy, you can use my code “KAREN15″ to receive 15% 0ff your whole order!

(Also wearing my trusty Mezi tassel earrings (old) and Schutz Cadey Lee Heels.)

Have an amazing week!

xxx


 

The Teenaged Pranks Begin

22 April 2017

After Easter Platter

I don’t know about you, but my pantry is still full of Easter Eggs. And since we’re off to another morning tea with family, the eggs make a nice decorative centre-piece.

Or maybe they are grapes wrapped up in Eater Egg wrappers….?

Welcome to my life of teenage pranks.

I heard it gets much worse.


 

What I Wore: Easy Breezy Cotton Shirt

21 April 2017

Easy Breezy Cotton Shirts

Woooo the weather has been glorious lately!

My big boys have been hanging out with their own friends lately – catching a bus to the city, or catching a bus to the movies or just hanging around (yikes, that’s a whole different blog post!).

So I have been spending time with my little boy – doing “little boy” things like… taking a walk through Kings Park to catch Pokemons haha.

We invited another little friend along and wow, the dynamic was so nice. No fights. No complaints. No whinging. No nagging. No squabbling. No winners and losers. No insults. No swearing. No sarcastic comments… that often come with teenaged boys.

It was a lovely park date, just like the good old days for me.

Easy Breezy Cotton Shirts

Another simple outfit.

I prefer to wear long sleeves when I’m out and about in the afternoon, as I don’t like to get too much sun on my arms, shoulders or chest.

But my legs? As long as I’ve got SPF30+ on them, they can have as much sun as possible.

I’m wearing Hello Parry Embroidered Shirt, Levi’s 501 Shorts, Clare V Bag, Betts heels.

The embroidered shirt is such an awesome, relaxed top. It’s made from a thick 100% cotton so it feels divine. It’s soft, breathable and doesn’t look cheap. It runs a little big though, as it’s a relaxed, loose fit. I’m wearing a Size 6, but it would be better for someone who is a size 8 or 10.

These Levi’s 501 Shorts have an amazing fit! I ordered my usual jeans size (Size 25) and I was quite skeptical they would fit me. But they hugged my waist/hips/bum so perfectly! They have a great soft, stretch without being too tight, or too stiff. They also have a slightly loose fit at the thigh, so they don’t create rolls in my thighs haha.

Have a great weekend!

xxx


 

Statement Earrings for the New Season

18 April 2017

Statement Earrings 2017

I bought myself a few statement earrings recently!

I was looking for gold, bold earrings that had a nice weight to them.

I didn’t mind paying a bit extra, as I don’t like the cheap and nasty, lightweight fashion earrings that you can buy these days.

Statement Earrings 2017

These gold crosses are from a cool, little Perth boutique in Claremont, Perlu. They have an online shop, and I actually put the order through online and had it sent to me. Love online shopping!

They are just gorgeous. They have a good weight, they feel like real quality jewellery and they are much nicer than the el-cheapo versions.

For the others – you’ll have to scroll up to the top photo – the top earrings are from Sportsgirl (ok these were a bit cheap), and the other two are from Kookai (these are SUPER nice and I’m totally obsessed with wearing the bottoms ones).

Have a great week everyone!


 

How Do You Spend Time with Your Teenaged Boys?

16 April 2017

When my kids were young, I used to have lots of special, quality one-on-one time with them.

We would go to the park, or a cool playground. We would go for an outing, visit the zoo, or a museum, or a city farm.

In fact, going to the shops to buy a smoothie used to be a really exciting adventure for them haha.

But not now!

My kids are growing older, and the way we spend quality time together is changing.

The gap between my interests and their interests is widening.

Sure we still go for walks, we still have outings, we still go out for a fancy lunch.

But how do you have special, quality one-on-one time with a teenaged boy (without spending a fortune)?

I’m not interested in go-karting, paint-balling, LAN gaming, building robots and watching youtube videos.

I AM interested in rock-climbing, tennis, swimming, running, cycling — however to tell the truth, I see these things as my “me time” activities. Precious moments where I – Karen – get to have some quiet time, meditating time, recharge time… getting fit, by myself.

During these school holidays, I’ve had to open up my precious “me time” to include my boys.

They come running and cycling with me.

It’s fun. But they talk too much.

I love it. But it gets a bit annoying too.

Next Gen Health Club

The other day I took one of my boys to my gym, where we played a game of squash (omg so much fun!), went for a swim, then ate sushi for lunch, while enjoying the cafe’s free wifi.

We spent 3 hours together and actually had fun.

It was so relaxing and chilled out too.

Next Gen Health Club

This is me after 20 laps of the gym’s pool. Stunning day for an outdoor swim!

My boy decided not to swim after all. He took a nap on the lounge chairs by the side of the pool.

Thank goodness I like sports and fitness, or I’d have nothing in common with my teenaged boys.

Might be time for me to build robots soon. I’d like my quiet runs back.


 

What I Wore: Sushi Lunches

15 April 2017

Off Shoulder Knit + Hello Parry Dress

Hi everyone!

It’s currently the school holidays and this is what usually happens every morning…

I get to sleep in until 7:30am! Sometimes 8am! Oh the indulgence!

My boys make themselves a big, hearty bacon + eggs + croissants + baked beans breakfast. Yep, every morning. They love their bacon. And I keep the fridge well stocked.

I have to dodge and weave through my own kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee.

Then we all sit down and plan our day. Who is meeting up with friends, visiting family, watching a movie, any outings, any sports, trip to the shops, major and minor chores for the day, how many hours of work I need to do, how many hours of computers games they can get, where are we having lunch, what is happening in the evening…

This particular day, we all went out to have sushi for lunch!

(We had sushi because I didn’t want to spill laksa on my white jumper haha!)

Simple outfit today:

Hello Parry Woven Dress as a skirt.

Twister Sweater by Majorelle

3.1 Phillip Lim Bucket Bag

Adidas Stan Smiths from ASOS

Hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend!

xxx


 

Read: When Breath Becomes Air

14 April 2017

When Breath Becomes Air

I usually stay away from memoirs about cancer.

My husband is a walking, talking memoir of cancer survival…

And whenever I volunteer for cancer fundraising events, I hear so many inspiring and heart-breaking stories about cancer.

I’m not exactly seeking out to read yet another cancer story.

However, I picked up When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi after hearing so many positive reviews.

What makes this story so different?

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015. He was aged 36. He was a brilliant neurosurgeon, and outstanding researcher. He was a lover of literature. He had a brilliant philosophical mind. He was a doctor, then he became a patient. He left behind a wife and baby daughter.

He wrote it at a very particular time of his life – near the end – while faced with death. So parts of it reads like a stream of consciousness.

It’s a bit intellectual. It’s a bit heavy.

It’s a very philosophical. It’s very sad. I cried.

I’m glad I read it.

However, strangely, I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone.

Those who are looking for a general “roll up your sleeves and get practical about living the best life you can” kind of inspiration, probably won’t find it here. This book is much more of a deep, introspective, pondering look into one man’s very particular life, with very particular views.

If anything, it’ll possibly help you feel and understand what it might be like to face death with a brave and courageous heart.

On another note, if you’re interested, you can take a peek at my Goodreads Reading List if you like.


 

The Classic Moto Leather Jacket

13 April 2017

Hi everyone!

Back in February, when I was in London and Paris, I spent weeks searching for a classic moto leather jacket.

I tried on leather jackets in All Saints, The Kooples, Acne Studios and a few other high-end brands while I was shopping in Paris. I also tried on jackets at Zara and Topshop.

I almost bought one from All Saints. And I also wanted to get one from The Kooples, because they were having a 25% off sale. They looked SO GOOD when they were hanging on the rack!

But in the end, they just looked too bulky on me. The jackets were lined with a quilted padding and they felt big and puffy. I was very warm – almost too warm – and I just don’t think they were suitable for Australian winters, and how I dress in winter.

Also the styles were very boxy on me and the sleeves were slightly too long for me.

I wanted a leather jacket that I could pop over a light sweater, or a long-sleeve t-shirt, or a floral dress.

I wanted a slightly, slim-fit leather jacket, with 3/4 sleeves (which would be normal fit for me), not too cropped, not too long, with a thin lining, no padding, minimal hardware, smallish lapels, smooth and soft leather, and no quilting or patterns in the leather. Picky much? Haha!

In the end I came back to Australia empty handed.

OAK Leather Jacket

Months later, lo and behold, I decided to take a bit of a risk and bought one online (after reading heaps of great reviews!) from Shopbop.

Oh my goodness, it was such an amazing buy!!!

This is the LA Rider Jacket by OAK, a New York label.

It was AU$640 and best of all I got it on sale!

Shopbop is currently having a 3 day sale. Just use the code EVENT15 to receive 20% off when you spend under US$500 or 25% off when you spend over US$500.

OAK Leather Jacket

As you can see, it’s EXACTLY what I wanted – a slim fit leather jacket that fits my arm length!

Leather Quality: The leather is beeeeautiful! It’s smooth, soft and buttery.

It looks so, so good. Definitely looks better than the Zara and Topshop leather jackets that I tried on. And it looks JUST AS amazing as all the high-end leather jackets I tried on. Although it is a lot lighter than the high end ones, because this one doesn’t have so much hardware and padding.

OAK Leather Jacket

Even with my arms out, the jacket looks slimming and flattering.

The lining is 100% cotton, the sleeve lining is 100% polyester and there is no extra padding anywhere on the jacket (eg. on the shoulders).

Oh and it also had snap buttons on the lapels, so they SIT FLAT – I hate it when my lapels curl outwards and catches on my arms and bags.

Sizing: I bought the size XS. I’m 160cm and 45kg, and I’m a pretty standard Size AU6.

A few reviews mentioned that the sizing was small, and that it felt tight across the back and arms.

But I found it to be perfect. I can wear a long sleeve top underneath, and I can hug myself and it stretches nicely and comfortably across my back.

If I wear a t-shirt and a knit sweater, it feels a little tight at the arm holes, and the fit is snug but not uncomfortable.

OAK Leather Jacket

The crop is just right. It’s not awkwardly short (or long) on me. It sits just above my regular fit jeans, so it looks nice and proportionate on me.

If you’ve been looking for a leather jacket for a while now, this is a fantastic time to buy.

But if you’ve just started to think about it, it’s probably best not to hurry into it. Read reviews, google to look at other photos or other blog reviews. Maybe wait for the next sale.

Remember, if you’re buying from Australia, you have to pay a tax for anything coming in over AUD $1000.

Here are some awesome jackets that qualify for the 25% off discount!

Leather Jackets from Shopbop

From left to right:

IRO Ashville Leather Jacket – This is one jacket I tried while in Paris! But they didn’t have my size in the store.

Acne Studios Mock Leather Moto Jacket – Oh my mistake! This jacket is excluded from the sale, sorry about that. Looks so good thought, right?

Ganni Biker Jacket – This is the other jacket I was considering to buy from Shopbop. But it didn’t have very much info on the web, and it didn’t have any reviews, so it was difficult to decide on the fit. Those sleeves looked like they would fit me!

 

Leather Jackets from Shopbop

From left to right:

VEDA Jayne Classic Jacket – This one looked a bit long in the body and sleeves for me, but a nice one!

Scotch & Soda / Maison Scotch Leather Biker Jacket – This one looks amazing and slouchy. The price made it very appealing.

VEDA Dallas Leather Jacket – I liked the minimal design of this one.

Hope you find something you like. Happy shopping!

xxx


 

School Holiday Basketball Fun

11 April 2017

Brought to you by Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops

School Holiday Basketball Fun with Aussie Hoops

School holidays are upon us!

My kids and I were kindly invited by Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops to try out their school holiday pop up “Super Hooper” at Galleria Shopping Centre.

It was a lot of fun! My kids are totally obsessed with basketball!

They really enjoyed the set up. They had the opportunity to shoot some hoops; they had a good run around, they received some tips, and had a whole lot of ball fun …while I sat back with a take away coffee haha.

Best of all, it was free.

School Holiday Basketball Fun with Aussie Hoops

The Aussie Hoops Super Hooper runs during the school holidays from:
Tuesday 11 April 2017: 9.45am – 4.15pm
Wednesday 12 April 2017: 9.45am – 4.15pm
Thursday 13 April 2017: 9.45am – 9.15pm

At the Galleria Shopping Centre:
Corner of Collier & Walter Roads, Morley, WA.

School Holiday Basketball Fun with Aussie Hoops

I managed to speak to one of the coaches to find out a bit more about the basketball program.

(He did an excellent job of talking to me and making sure I didn’t get hit in the face with a basketball!)

The Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops program is actually the official introductory basketball program for Basketball Australia, aimed at children from 5-10 years old.

The program features a national coaching curriculum delivered by accredited coaches. Each lesson is a specially designed sequence of warm up activities, skills coaching and modified games.

The whole thing is federally endorsed and structured, and provides a pathway to an elite level into Basketball Australia. Sounds a bit hard core, but there is a clear focus for children to develop skills, enjoy an active lifestyle and have fun!

There are centres all over Australia, and about 15 in Perth – Atwell, Aubin Grove, Beeliar, Belmont, Coogee, East Vic Park, Gosnells, Hamilton Hill, Jandakot, Leederville, Morley, Samson, Success, Wanneroo and White Gum Valley.

If you’re keen, do check out the Find a Program page at the Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops website.

The programs run during the school term, so it’s a great time to enquire or enrol your kids so that they can start basketball when school starts.

School Holiday Basketball Fun with Aussie Hoops

My kids have been playing basketball for 6 seasons (3 years) as part of a local team – separate to Aussie Hoops. They absolutely love it. And I absolutely love watching them play.

We’re so fortunate that our program is run at a local basketball stadium, which is a 2 minute drive from our house! So, it’s great to see Aussie Hoops providing an opportunity for kids all across Australia to try out basketball in shopping centres and be inspired to get active.

Basketball has been such a great way for my kids to stay fit, connect socially, hang out with friends, and learn how to be part of a team.

All three of my kids are the smallest and shortest in their team (I’m not kidding!), but they are fast, agile, coordinated… and they have learned how to use it to their advantage and hold their own against the massive, tall guys!

I literally beam with pride every time I watch each of them play. It totally makes my week.

A big thank you to Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops for the fun morning – my kids have decided that ALL shopping centres should be permanently fitted out with an indoor basketball court haha!


 

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