Turtleneck Knits From ShowPo

29 July 2015

Turtleneck Knit

I have to be honest… for most days of the week, I dress very simply and casually. And lately, all I ever wear are jeans, jumpers and sneakers!

This combination used to bore me to tears, but I’m actually loving the comfy fashion trend this season: BIG, CHUNKY, TURTLENECK KNITS.

I picked up this Sleeveless Turtleneck Knit from ShowPo.

It also comes in black, white and grey too.

It looks great, feels great, it’s affordable, and I like that it looks current without looking too dressed up.

Turtleneck Knit

Wearing: Grey long coat from Shein (on sale!) | Beige Turtleneck Knit from ShowPo | White jeans from Fendi (ebay) | Acne Studio black pumps from Forward By Elyse Walker.

I wore this outfit out to dinner with my girlfriends the other evening. I thought I might freeze in a sleeveless knit, so I wore a little camisole tank top underneath. Once I entered the warm restaurant, I took off my coat and the extra layer kept me sufficiently snug all night.

The knit was a lovely addition to my wardrobe!

Turtleneck Knit from Iconic

Now, in case you all think that I love, love, LOVE all the clothes that I come across… I decided to include this photo of a knit that didn’t make the cut.

I receive heaps of samples and I buy lots of items on a regular basis, but I only feature the ones that I like. I send lots of items/samples back.

This grey turtleneck knit is from The Iconic.

It looked gorgeous on the model, but I found it to be too big, baggy, and too long in a very unflattering way (it made my legs look short). It was very “meh” and I felt so frumpy. I didn’t like it at all.

In the end, I returned it. I much preferred the range from ShowPo.

Anyway, I hope you manage to take a peek and find something you like!

Happy shopping!

xx Karen


 

4NE1 Korean Beauty and Nail Salon in Perth

27 July 2015

Hi everyone!

I’ve been very curious about Korean beauty products for a while now; and I have been itching to try out a Korean beauty salon in Perth.

So I did a bit of asking around and some of my friends recommended me to try 4NE1 Korean Beauty and Nail (pronounced For-Any-One) in Rivervale.

They do semi-permanent makeup for eyebrows, semi-permanent top and bottom eyeliner, even semi-permanent lip liners, eyelash extensions, body slimming, facials, LED Dynamic therapies, micro-hydrabrasion and more.

My friends had semi-permanent eyebrows and eyeliner done and have been really happy with the results.

Finally convinced to try it out, I gave them a call and popped into the shop.

Korean Beauty Salon - 4NE1, Rivervale

The shop was simple, clean, new and spacious. The lovely staff, dressed in all-black uniforms, greeted me at the door and showed me around.

They all looked so young! Yet they were all cute and coy about it, claiming to be my age and possibly older?? Omg I need to get some Korean beauty products pronto!

Korean Beauty Salon - 4NE1, Rivervale

They do a full set of Gel Nails for $55 and Signature Nail System (SNS) for $40. SNS uses a dipping powder, it doesn’t use UV light (like gel nails) or harsh chemicals (like acrylics). Deluxe manicures and pedicures start from $40 – $50.

Everything seemed very reasonably priced.

The salon’s business owner, Sophie, told me all her staff worked as professional beauticians, massage therapists, nail and hair stylists back in Korea, with considerable years of experience. As they immigrated to Australia, they set up home salons, offering their clients great service without the high prices. These ladies became so popular and sought after, that they teamed up with Sophie to set up 4NE1, to translate the same low prices to clients, but with a more professional outfit.

Sophie often goes back to Korea to bring in the latest beauty machines and equipment for their therapies.

There is a large back area with a waiting room, 2 private therapy rooms, change room and dressing room, and toilets.

Korean Beauty Salon - 4NE1, Rivervale

Anyway, THIS was what I wanted – mink eyelash extensions! (I took a snap of a poster on their wall.)

Their Natural Eyelash Extensions are $90, Glamourous Volume Eyelashes are $110, and Eyelash refills are from $45.

I decided to try the Glamourous Volume Eyelashes.

Korean Beauty Salon - 4NE1, Rivervale

BEFORE: These are my eyelashes before the extensions.

The whole process took about 1.5 hours and didn’t hurt at all.

I just lay on the chair, half meditating/relaxing and half trying to guess what she was doing.

Korean Beauty Salon - 4NE1, Rivervale

AFTER: These are my glamourous eyelash extensions!

The difference was amazing. They looked and felt very natural.

This was the first time I’ve had eyelash extensions. They felt completely normal, they didn’t itch, or irritate me.

I was very happy with them!

Karen Lash Extensions

I think from afar, they didn’t look THAT dramatic, which was a good thing. But close up, they looked full, lush, natural and they definitely made my eyes look brighter.

I was quite conscious of them for the first few days. I wanted them to last so I was trying to take care of them – being careful when washing my face, exfoliating, drying with a towel, and when pulling clothes over my head.

I did a bit of research on “How to look after your eyelash extensions”, so that helped.

What I liked best: Every day I woke, went through my usual skin care regime, put on my foundation, blush and brows. That’s it. My eyes looked naturally pretty, so I didn’t feel the need to use mascara or eyeliner. It was great!

In total they lasted 3.5 weeks. I probably should have gone in after 2 weeks to get refills, but I went camping instead!

Conclusion: Yes, I recommend going to 4NE1. It’s a nice and simple salon, with very lovely, attentive staff, who are very professional and experienced.

I’ve been to salons where the ladies are dressed in home clothes, they are too casual, they talk loudly, gossiping and laughing in a different language. They seem unhappy and bitchy… and I just feel that’s a very unprofessional vibe to bring into a salon. Oh and sometimes I feel like they are talking about me while I’m in the room?! I don’t like that kind of salon experience at all.

It would suit people who already know what they want and like (nails, facials, semi-permanent tatoos), people hoping to save some money and people who know the right questions to ask.

I found it a little difficult to understand the ladies due to their accents. For basic instructions and explanations, it was absolutely fine.

But I was keen on some deeper conversation about their step by step procedures, the after care, what are they doing right now, what products are they using… plus I’m dying to know a bit of history of the procedures and for them to tell me juicy details like “This is the most popular service! And customers just love this other thing!”.

(However, I concede that perhaps it’s a bit much to expect a beautician to give me a historical lecture while she’s waving tools over my eyeball?! Plus I would prefer her to focus on the eyelash task, rather than chat to me… so it was probably better that she wasn’t so chatty!)

Check it out if you live nearby!

4NE1 Korean Beauty and Nail Salon
98 Kooyong Road, Rivervale

They don’t have a website, just a 4NE1 Facebook page with lots of before and after client photos.

Enjoy!


 

2 Brown Men, Malay Cuisine at Tan’s Food Court

26 July 2015

My dad, my mum and their friends love food. Having all been born and raised in Singapore or Malaysia, they ALL love to cook and eat the food of their childhood. So I consider them to be my local experts at finding the best value and best tasting Singapore/Malaysian/Malay/Chinese eateries around Perth!

The other day my dad took us to Tan’s Food Court, Canning Vale. It is a fairly new food court; I heard there had been a few bumpy starts in the beginning, but it I now officially open with 8-10 new, exciting food court stalls.

There is a stall that specialises in roast ducks and roast porks, classic Singapore/Malaysian style hawker foods, Indonesian food, Vietnamese food, Thai food, dim sum styled dishes, and Indian and Malay hawker food.

Today we tried out some classic Malaysian dishes from 2 Brown Men Indian and Malay Cuisine. Love the name!

2BrownMen Malay Cuisine at Tan's Food Court

When we arrived, the food court was almost empty. That didn’t deter us, because there was a queue at the 2 Brown Men shop!

That was a good sign.

Speaking of signs, I took a quick snap of their menu.

(There was lots more on the menu, I just didn’t have enough room to post up the whole thing. I’ll upload it to their Facebook page.)

2BrownMen Malay Cuisine at Tan's Food Court

The prices were pretty awesome for Perth’s hawker food standard.

Mamak stlye food is only available from 12 – 7:30pm. Malay cuisine is only available on weekends. And Roti Pratas are available mornings to 12pm and evenings from 4pm – 7:30pm.

2BrownMen Malay Cuisine at Tan's Food Court

First up we tried the Mee Goreng Chicken ($9). It was amazing!!

The noodles were dry (no puddles of sauce) and absolutely jam packed with flavour. There was a perfect balance of sweet, salty and spicy.

Most mee gorgeng that I have eaten, have a “clean” look about them, as if the noodles were lightly tossed in sauce – like a healthy noodle salad.

But these noodles looked like they have been fried up really well and the noodles have soaked up the sauce, making them super tasty, without being gluggy or sticky. Soooo yummy!

2BrownMen Malay Cuisine at Tan's Food Court

Next up, we ordered Mee Rebus ($8.50).

This was so fresh and flavoursome. You could taste the fresh spices and the balance of sweet and sour in the gravy.

All my aunties and uncles raved about how authentic the flavours were. They said, “See how the sauce is rich, thick and coats all the noodles? That’s how it’s supposed to be. If the sauce is thin, soupy or watery, then it’s not authentic. This has been cooked perfectly!!”

And their eyes would roll back and a content smile would spread across their face… and I knew they were reliving some kind of childhood memory of the “good old days back home when a bowl like this would cost them $1.20″.

2BrownMen Malay Cuisine at Tan's Food Court

This is always a favourite of mine: Roti Prata ($3)

It had lovely texture; it was crispy and flaky, not too doughy or tough, it was easy to tear and good to eat. It could have been a bit more fluffy, but otherwise it was fantastic value!

2BrownMen Malay Cuisine at Tan's Food Court

Lastly we ordered this for my kids, for their “dessert”.

Roti Tissue ($4.50) is similar to roti prata but it is much thinner and cooked to be very crispy, served as a cone, and covered with melted margarine and sweetened condensed milk (or sugar) on top.

It was crunchy, crispy, buttery, sweet, and a bit salty – ah it was delicious and addictive!

It crumbled and shattered as we broke it apart and within a blink of an eye, it was all gone and the kids were screaming for more!

I really enjoyed eating at 2 Brown Men. Next time I’m dying to try the Nasi Lemak, Mee Siam and Mee Soto.

2 Brown Men
Tan’s Food Court
46/48 Catalano Circuit, Canning Vale
(Corner of Bannister Road and Forum Ave)

2 Brown Men Facebook Page

Enjoy!


 

Whimsical Kate Spade Studs

25 July 2015

Kate Spade Studs from Shopbop

Whenever I fall into a fashion rut, I always look for some new accessories to freshen up my outfits.

When I spotted these whimsical studs from Kate Spade, I practically leaped out of my chair and frantically bashed at my keyboard trying to BUY THEM NOW! BUY THEM NOW!

My first pick: Kate Spade Lip Studs
Second pick: Kate Spade Pineapple Studs
Third pick: Kate Spade Banana Studs

Other earrings shown: Glasses Studs, Eye Studs, Gorjana Palm Tree Studs.

Outfit: Stripe Tee from Seed Heritage, Paige Jeans from Forward by Elyse Walker, Converse from SurfStitch.

What do you think? Super cute right?


 

What I Wore: Double Camel!

23 July 2015

Early on Tuesday morning, I made my way into the city to attended a special Program Launch for the 2015 Telstra Perth Fashion Festival.

This is what I wore: A double camel outfit! I matched the floorboards!

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 Program Launch

I was just going to take a photo in my light studio, but the lovely Andrea from ShopGoh convinced me to take snap at the event… and she took such a nice photo of me that I had to post it up! I was so chuffed – thanks babe!

Wearing the same colour for your top and bottom is becoming quite popular these days – a step up from two piece matching suits and one piece jump suits.

Double white and double denim outfits have been the most popular so far, followed by double grey and double tan coloured outfits.

I was super keen to try putting together a double camel outfit, because I have SO MANY camel / tan / caramel coloured items, all stored away carefully in my wardrobe. I have to put them to use some how!

I also want to try out double khaki and double beige too – just for fun.
Double Camel Outfit

So the funniest aspect to this story: BOTH my top and pants are 15 years old!

My top is a beautiful crocheted knit top by Kookai and my high-waisted, wide-legged pants are from Witchery.

I bought them (separately) when I started working as a web/graphic designer.

I love how fashiong goes around and around!

With everyone dressing in monochrome colours these days, I’m hankering for an injection of colour again!

My heels are Alexander Wang from Forward by Elyse Walker, my bag is by Marc Jacobs (Shopbop).


 

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 Program Launch

22 July 2015

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 Program Launch

After spending a week camping in the Australian desert, I was SO glad to put on some high heels, make a trip into the city and dive head first into the sparkly and glamourous world of fashion!

The Telstra Perth Fashion Festival launched its 2015 Program and it was so enjoyable to be a part of it.

The morning featured gorgeous models, kick-arse designer gowns, cool head pieces and accessories, an amazing sculptural floral arrangement… and a free flow of gourmet juices and coffee.

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 Program Launch

I always take my hat off to event organisers, producers and the people who work behind the scenes to put together a fashion moment. Because while it looked simple (and it was all over in 10 minutes!), oh the amount of time and work that must’ve gone into it!

I had a warm fuzzy feeling by the end of it – mainly because I know some of the designers, boutique owners, models, stylists – so I felt like I was part of the community and I just want to give everyone a great big group hug! Go Perth Fashion!

Check out the TPFF website to see the line up of designers, events and buy tickets.

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 Program Launch - Photo by Stefan Gosatti

Two photos by Stefan Gosatti. These are two looks that jumped out and wowed me!

On the left, Hannah wear a Jaime Lee dress with a Reny Kestal head piece.

On the right, Laura wears a 33 Poets Dress and Generics accessories.

I loved all the ornate embellishments, embroidery and the deep burgundy lips.

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 Program Launch

And the morning wouldn’t be complete without networking, catching up with fashion friends and taking fashiony photos!

Here I’m with girlfriends Sandy from Hello Parry and Andrea from ShopGoh. Taken by Part Blue Photography.

Follow me on Instagram (@karenlycheng) to catch up with my daily adventures!


 

Hello Parry Knitwear + Discount Code

21 July 2015

Hello Parry Knit

While the rest of the world is wilting from heat waves and sweltering summer temperatures… Australia is gleefully snuggling on the couch with a fluffy blanket, a crackling fireplace, a hot chocolate, marshmallows, a book in hand and watching the rain pitter-patter on the window pane.

I am crazy about knits at the moment; Especially large, shapeless knits that feel like a great big, stylish hug!

Deciding what to wear in the morning is so simple.

Hello Parry Knit

Wearing: Hello Parry Isadora Knit | Witchery Faux Leather Leggings | Alexander Wang Heels from Forward by Elyse Walker | Marc Jacobs Bag (Shopbop) | ASOS Felt Hat

I was recently invited to check out some of the knitwear pieces at Hello Parry Headquarters and was thrilled by all the cool options!

I loved the grey cardigans, the statement knits and the light knits – which are great for layering and perfect for in-between seasons.

Here are some that caught my eye:

Hello Parry Knitwear AW15

Elle Tweed Print Charcoal Coatigan and Selita Fluffy Striped Knit Cardigan.

 

Hello Parry Knitwear AW15

Rosie Perforated Striped Oversized Knit Top and Julia Grey Knitted Cropped Pullover Knit.

** Special Discount Code **

Hello Parry are offering all my readers 10% off storewide (including full priced items and sale items).

Just enter the code “karencheng10” at the checkout to get your discount!

The code ends 30 August 2015.

Happy Shopping!!


 

Camping at the Helena and Aurora Range

20 July 2015

Last week we went bush camping with another family and headed out to the Helena and Aurora Range.

Where on earth is that? I hear you ask.

To put it simply, the Helena and Aurora Range is 100km North of the town called, Southern Cross, and is about halfway between Perth and Kalgoorlie.

It takes about 7-8 hours to drive there.

There is no power, no running water, no toilets, no showers. It was indeed the bush.

Helena and Aurora Range 2015

There was a whole lot of red dirt! It was a stunning colour and its consistency was strangely soft underfoot.

Looking back at it now, I can appreciate its beauty.

But trust me, the red dirt got EVERYWHERE and covered EVERYTHING. By the end of the trip, it was in our tents, our clothes, our underwear, our tea cups, our cutlery, our cooking utensils… we were literally EATING IT!

Helena and Aurora Range 2015

The campfire was a hit.

Collecting firewood. Pots of tea. Toasted marshmallows. 6 hour, slow-cooked lamb stew. Crackling wood. The glowing warmth on our faces. Watching embers fly high into the sky and dance with the stars above our heads. It was so enjoyable.

The nights were cold though. The temperature dropped down to -2 degrees.

I wore 4 layers of clothing, a beanie, gloves and scarf… and I was still uncomfortably cold. It was obvious that I should have invested in some proper cold-weather, “insulated” clothing… but we were only there for 5 days and I thought I could get by. Oops.

Helena and Aurora Range 2015

The next morning, there was frost and ice over everything.

Someone forgot to throw out the dish washing water and it froze into an impressive soapy chunk.

I’ve never seen that before – frozen outdoor things in Western Australia! Who would have thought!

Helena and Aurora Range 2015

I also forgot to tip out my camomile tea and it too froze into an cute little ice block.

 

Helena and Aurora Range 2015

The days were a bit cold too. We had daytime temperatures between 15C and 18C , and there was no wind and no rain.

So in fact, it was perfect for hiking and bush walking.

We did a couple of 4-5 hour bush walks up to the top of the range, along the ridge and along the base. We found small caves and over-hangs.

It was great!

The tracks were easy to walk along, but once we went off the track, everything looked the same and it was a bit disorientating.

Helena and Aurora Range 2015

The view from on top of the range was stunning!

The Helena and Aurora Range is made out of banded ironstone formations and the whole area was covered in a variety of little rocks. We weren’t entirely sure what they were, either banded ironstone, ironore comsposites, with quartz and ocre?

It was extremely dry, with very few birds, animals and insects. While the lack of visible wildlife made the place extremely eerie, I secretly enjoyed the fact that I DIDN’T have to worry about the kids getting bitten by a snake, spider, scorpion, or ant.

Overall it was a beautiful place to camp and it was so serene, quiet and still.

In fact, the whole place had a magical and spiritual quality to it.

I really enjoyed it, despite being physically uncomfortable for most of the time (from the cold, not showering for 4 days, the constant use of baby wipes and menstrual cramps – blergh).

At the moment the region is proposed for iron ore mining, which is pretty devastating.

If you’re interested, you can read a bit more about the conservation history and the national park proposal on the official Helena and Aurora Range website.

 


 

Going Wild!

17 July 2015

Girls Night Out Flatlay

Getting ready for a girl’s night out and taking advantage of the photogenic light in my house!

Zac Posen Leopard Print Clutch | Hello Parry Sunglasses | Alexander Wang Heels

Have an amazing weekend everyone!

xxx


 

5K Run with a $5 Coffee!

15 July 2015

5 Dollar Run

Haha! Look what I found while I was on my run!

Money! Of the paper variety!

Then on the way home, I took a detour and bought myself a takeaway coffee!

You can probably tell how EXCITED I am by the number of exclamation marks I’ve been using!!!!!

Best! Run! Ever!

Have a fab day everyone!!


 

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