Jewellery Obsessed!

22 November 2014

I’m a bit obsessed about getting some new jewellery for the festive season!

I’m stocking up on some clean, delicate styles for lots of mixing and matching – how gorgeous are these?!


 

Burn Out Tank Tops

21 November 2014

Burn Out Tanks from FashionJunkee

When I was occasionally doing exercise, I felt OK about buying expensive, high quality active wear that will last for years and years.

But now that I’m active 3-4 times a week (sometimes more), I go through my gym / running / active clothes so quickly that I often find myself with a pile of used, stinky clothes and nothing to wear! And sometimes “having nothing to wear” becomes an easy excuse for me to skip going for a run for that day haha!

So I’ve been looking into more AFFORDABLE active wear – that still looks good and looks a bit different.

Let me be honest, sometimes when I turn up to a gym class and see that 5 other women are wearing exactly the same Target top as me… I know it’s not a fashion show, but I still feel a little un-special OK?

I also don’t like active wear with big shouty slogans, like “ONLY YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!” – and I only say that, because I used to have a tank that said that and I felt ridiculous whenever I wore it :P

Anyway, so I found some really cool tank tops from FashionJunkee.

They are animal print, burnout tank tops, similar to the Stella McCartney range, and waaaay cheaper.

Burn Out Tanks from FashionJunkee

They look SO COOL! And they are only US$12!

The tank tops are made from a light cotton blend, they are soft and breathable. Because of their loose fitting design, they are comfortable and easy to wear and move around in.

They come in different colours like Aqua, Peach, Lavender, Lime Green, Coral and of course Black and White. Check out the whole colour range here.

I’m usually a size AUS 6/ UK 6 / US 2 and the tank that I’m wearing is a Size SMALL. It would easily fit someone size AUS 6 – 8.

The ‘burnout’ design makes the tank a little sheer, so you can show off your coloured sports bra, or layer another coloured tank top underneath.

And you can wear them as casual wear, beach wear, pool side wear…. they are super versatile!

FashionJunkee have been my blog sponsors for a really long time! They are based in the US and so the team have organised a special shipping promotion for all my US and international readers.

$25 Shipping on orders of $75 or more for International orders
$7 Shipping on orders of $75 or more for Domestic U.S. orders
The promo runs across the whole site, so you don’t need to use a code.

(For my Australian readers, the flat $25 option is cheaper than the new US parcel forwarding service by Australia Post!)

Plus if you sign up for their mailing list, you’ll be the first to be notified about their Black Friday and Cyber Monday coupons and deals!

Buy a couple of tops! Buy for your girlfriends!

Enjoy!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


 

A Little Update on Liam

19 November 2014

Liam at 5 1/2 Years

My little Liam is growing up!

He’s 5 ½ years old now and he just loves school! He loves being at school, playing with his friends, listening to teachers, following instructions, earning stamps on his “good-work” chart, doing craft, doing new things, and learning new things. His social skills have developed so well in the past year. He does have a reputation for talking WAY too much… but that is definitely better than him not talking enough, right?

He’s also quite a bright cookie and possibly quite advanced for his age.

For example, the other day I was helping my 9 year old do his homework, which involved classifying words into nouns, verb, adjectives and adverbs. Liam was SO interested in this that he too made himself a chart and started classifying words he knew. I went one step further to teach him about building sentences and clauses (oh my god!) and helped him create more complex and interesting sentences. He was SO excited. I could see it in his eyes. They grew wide and sparkly with wonder and amazement. I seriously could not believe we were doing this for fun??

Then we do this thing… where he recites the NATO phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta…see more here) out loud, as fast as he can while I time him with my stopwatch. Again, we do this for FUN?? He does it in 45 seconds (and I can do it in 24 seconds)!

Er yeah, so I’m really happy with how Liam is coming along academically.

BUT… we’ve been having trouble with his active side.

Both my husband and I are pretty sporty and active. And my other two boys (aged 11 and 9) are VERY sporty. They will zoom through their homework after school so they can head to the park to play football, basketball, soccer, hand ball, ride their bikes, go on their scooters, climb trees, or just run! I only have to say, “There’s 1 hour before dinner time, why don’t we go…” and they will zoom out the door, grab their hats, jump on their bikes and be on their way to the park. It’s easy to be active with my big boys.

But for Liam, it is a HUGE chore to get him outside. My shoes hurt, I can’t find my socks, I’m too tired, I have a scratch on my finger, it’s too sunny outside, I don’t want to put on sun cream, I have the wrong hat, my socks don’t match, waa waa waa. Most times the battle is soooooo difficult and emotionally draining, that I just skip my exercise for the day and stay home with him. It is definitely not a good thing for either of us.

But once the kid is ON a bike, or ON a scooter, or has decided that he’ll run through the park… he is absolutely fine! He is always happy as can be to be there!

We have recently signed him up to play in a basketball team, mainly because 6 of his closest friends were also in the team. But he doesn’t like it very much. He would much rather be at home doodling in his book, playing with Lego, organising his room, or working through an online learning program on the computer.

Because he doesn’t really enjoy being active, I find that he is much more drawn to being on a computer screen (playing educational computer games, maths, spelling and puzzle apps on the tablet) than my other 2 kids. I’m not sure if that’s because he’s the youngest of 3 kids and he’s been exposed to things at a younger age. Or it’s because of his personality. Or his age, as he is much younger than my two older kids after all. Or maybe it is his interest in computer games makes him less interested in being active?? Ugh, who can know?

He’s a great sleeper. He sleeps 7:30pm at night and wakes up at 6:30am. He gets very, very cranky after school (3pm) and I sometimes force him to have a nap for 1 hour, or at least make him lie down in his room with the curtains drawn. I find that makes him a much happier member of our family.

He is definitely the most “cuddly” and most “open to showing love and affection” of all my children. He loves cuddles, he absolutely adores me, and he seeks me and my husband out daily to give us a great big hug in the morning.

I hope he doesn’t grow out of that too soon!


 

30% Off Nike Sneakers? Yes please!

18 November 2014

OK so if you ever need some inspiration to run, or buy new sexy sneakers to run… this might be it! Head over to the Nike sale at ASOS.

Nikes ar ASOS

 

ASOS is having a 30% off EVERYTHING sale… and I nabbed myself a pair of new kicks!

I bought the leopard print pair :D

Shopping links are below (use the promo code “30FRENZY”)!

The sale ends 4am, Thursday 20 Nov, so be quick.


 

Matches Fashion Brunch at Mosmans

17 November 2014

Matches Fashion Show at Mosmans

Let me be honest here. One of the best perks of my job is that I get to go to events, take photos, talk to people, and write about the experience in my own personal voice – and get paid for it! It’s always different and always interesting.

However, not all of them are fancy and glamourous. I do go to lots of simple and not-so-interesting events too.

So when a brand holds a special event – where you can see the effort and special consideration that went into all the details from table styling, to flower styling, fragrant styling, food styling and fashion styling… I definitely sit up and take notice!

Matches Fashion Show at Mosmans

Matches Fashion came to town, inviting a whole bunch of digital influencers, editors, stylists and fashion journalists for a lovely champagne breakfast, to showcase their latest collection and to launch their VIP Online Service.

The event was held at a super posh riverside restaurant, Mosmans Restaurant, which has one of the most stunning inner-city views of Perth. The big, glass windows opened us up to the river and glorious natural light streamed into the venue. It was a gorgeous day for a fashion event!

Matches Fashion Show at Mosmans

We were treated to a 3-course breakfast (so much delicious food and not enough tummy space!) and very pretty table styling (I sooo wanted to nab a candle or two!).

I sat on a table full of ladies – all whom I didn’t know – and we all talked freely and happily about travelling, food, weddings, textiles, art, fashion and most of all… online shopping.

I also sat next to the new business and event director, Catherine West, and was able to ask her lots of questions and get all the hot goss!

(A bit more about that later.)

Matches Fashion Show at Mosmans

The thing that I enjoyed the most was the fashion show. I was struck by the very cool styling!

The use of pattern mixing and accessories to brighten the whole outfit is not a new concept. But these guys did it exceptionally well.

The fun, printed skirts were my favourite!

Stella Jean Pony Print Skirt (view)

MSGM Orange and Black Skirt (view)

Matches Fashion Show at Mosmans

A hint of oriental and ethnic prints, but with a modern twist.

Stella McCartney pleated dress (view)

Dolce and Gabbana printed top and skirt (view)

Matches Fashion Show at Mosmans

Bright, bold, high-contrast stripes never go out of fashion!

Stella McCartney blue and green dress (view)

Sarah’s Bag, VROOM Clutch (view)

Tibi black and what top and skirt (view)

DVF Fox Fur bag (view)

Matches Fashion Show at Mosmans

Vertical stripes, a-line cuts, and bright colours were definitely eye catching.

Roksanda purple dress (view)

Fendi Fur Bag (view)

Peter Pilotto green and patterned dress (view)

Pierre Hardy eye clutch (view)

There was so much fashion inspiration!

Going back to the table conversations over salmon and poached eggs…

I was very frank with Catherine. I told her I didn’t know much about Matches Fashion. I’ve heard of their name, I’ve been to the website, but I’ve never bought anything from them.

She told me that Matches Fashion first began as a boutique in London about 25 years ago. It now has four stores in London, but predominately it is an online store, stocking over 400 designers, and delivering to over 190 countries.

Their main point of difference is their dedicated fashion-concierge team called MyStylists, who offer 24/7 styling advice. She tells me that it’s really popular; customers love the personal advice, they love that they can ask about the fit of some pants, the chest length of a dress, the material of a skirt, and that they are less likely to return an item if they’ve talked to a stylist.

I personally have NEVER used an online stylist. Mainly because I feel like I might be talking to a robot? Or a call centre worker in a different country who just won’t be able to relate to me? And I also feel that I can just Google search the answers of my own questions by myself thank you very much. Eg, I wonder if the dress has a very loose fit across the chest? Because I have a small bust, sometimes the neckline of a dress can be too low and the material at the chest can be too baggy.

ANYWAY I was introduced to a few Matches Fashion MyStylists (one was based in London and another in Sydney, both have flown in for the event) and yes they seemed like friendly, practical, modern, NORMAL human beings, who were gorgeously dressed! And yes, maybe next time I want to know the fit of a dress, I might pop them an email. They are supposed to be experts in this area after all. Why would I spend hours doing Google searches through fashion forums and agonsing over the unknown details??

So I think I might give them a go, because I’m always looking to review new online shops and shopping experiences!

Heartfelt thanks to Matches Fashion and to the PR teams, it was a lovely event!


 

LOVE Bangle

14 November 2014

LOVE Bangle

I don’t usually wear clothes or accessories with inspirational words written on them. It just hasn’t been my style for as long as I can remember.

However, I bought a “LOVE” bangle the other day, because it looked pretty and stylish.

But immediately after I bought it, I thought – Now why did I do that?!

I’m a regular watch wearer, so I have a habit of looking at my wrist to check the time – ALL THE TIME. So if I were to wear this bangle, did it mean that every time I looked at my wrist,  I’d be reading “LOVE”?

Love. Love. Love. Love. Love Love. Love. Love. Love.

Uh oh. I’m going to be so annoyed! I’m going to ROLL MY EYES and throw up in my mouth a little, at the need for such an obvious, visual cue to remember something that should really come from within. And if I’m relying on this bangle to tell me THERE IS LOVE IN MY LIFE – well, I feel like it is pointing out what a loser I am. What then? Next I’ll be wearing PEACE. HARMONY. JOY?

Anyway to my complete surprise, a LOVE bangle is actually quite nice to wear. Heh.

The reminder is not so shouty, obvious or mind-numbingly repetitive. I don’t throw up in my mouth. And it’s actually kind of sweet.

In fact, I dig it.

THERE IS LOVE HERE PEOPLE.

NOW I NEED SOME “HAPPINESS”!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Skirt from YesStyle
Bracelets from Hanna Lee and Generics.
Ring from Monica Vinader, The Outnet
Shoes from Acne Studios, Forward By Elyse Walker.

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


 

The Remarkable World of Bees

13 November 2014

Recently we noticed a bunch of bees hanging around the entrance to our shed. The bunch grew bigger and bigger; and after a week it was obvious that they were living in the shed. I know you’re supposed to just ignore them and they’ll ignore you, but soon there were SO many bees flying around our backyard that I felt quite unsafe going outside.

They had made a bee nest in one of our shed cupboards, and while it was really just a small nest – my nephew is allergic to bee stings and he was coming over in a couple of days – I completely panicked!

I quickly called for a pest exterminator and the bees were gone the next day.

On hind sight, I shouldn’t have panicked. I should have just stopped for a moment to think about it a bit more… because I do happen to know that bees are REALLY IMPORTANT to the environment, and our human existence on the earth!! Bees are literally making fruit and other important food plants grow, as well as pollinating all the other plants in the world. They are making the world go around!

I am sooooo annoyed and angry with myself, because it turns out you can find – very easily – local bee lovers who will extract and move the bees to a new home FOR FREE. A quick search on Google or Gumtree shows that there are 4 or 5 different services in my local area! I really feel so terrible about it all.

And then to add further pain to my guilt, we pulled out the honeycomb… to discover how freaking amazing bees are.

Honeycomb

Look at the hexagonal pattern of the honeycomb! It’s so consistent and mathematically perfect! It looks like a man-made material fit for space travel!

The honeycomb is made from wax. The bees have glands that convert some of the honey the make (sugar) into wax, which is released through small pores on their bodies. The wax particles are then chewed up by the bees, softened in their mouths, spat out and then shaped into the honeycomb.

It was awe inspiring for me to think that little insects made this object – something that looks so man made – and that they have been doing this for thousands and thousands of years, before human existence!

Honeycomb

Bees are said to be remarkable engineers, impressive mathematicians, and highly intelligent creatures. Their honeycombs are an efficient use of resources, display superior construction and strength, and maximises honey storage… so much so that there is a full history of studying honeycomb technology, spanning from 60BC.

Also it has been documented that bees do a special dance and wiggle, as their way of communicating the direction of a food source, relative to the sun and their current position!

The more I read up about them, the sadder I felt about it.

Some of the honeycombs from our shed had a bit of honey in it, but we weren’t able to eat it because it had been poisoned.

So I guess I wanted to share my photos with you all, in hope that if you ever find bees in you backyard or out in the open, where they might be considered a threat… please do a quick search for bee lovers in your local area who can move them safely and in an environmentally friendly way!


 

Tailored Style for the Heat

11 November 2014

Tailored Style

Here in the land “down under” we are in spring. While the mornings and late afternoons are just perfect, by lunchtime, you can feel the heat beating down from the sun, radiating back up from the ground and from walls of buildings! And in mid summer, it will feel like that by 8am every morning.

So it’s not really a surprise that everyone wants to MOVE as little as possible and WEAR as little as possible. The tricky bit is how to keep it classy when you’re out and about.

For smart dressing, my go-to tops in this weather are made from loose-fitting, lightweight and breathable fabrics, in a tailored style. When I wear shorts or skirts, I also try to keep them in a tailored style – with cuffs, pleats, pencil skirts or tulip shaped skirts – so I don’t look like I’m heading to the beach!

Cotton shirt from ASOS
Blue shorts from AL&ALICIA
Silver clutch from Birdsnest
Leather sandals by Suboo
Hat from Sportsgirl
Necklace by Kailis Jewellery

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


 

Meal Prepping for Lunch

10 November 2014

Meal Lunch Prepping

Look what I did on the weekend – I feel so clever! This is the first time I’ve done any kind of lunch prepping… that is, create an entire lunch for myself for the whole week ahead and then freeze them into packs.

I work from home most days; but sometimes I will go out for meetings or run errands, so my lunches are usually very small and spontaneous (like a muesli bar) or hastily put together (left over chicken with a piece of fruit?). Sometimes if I have a big breakfast, I’ll skip lunch and end up eating at 3pm. Or if I eat a small breakfast at 6:30am (because I ate too much the previous evening) I get distractingly hungry by 10am.

So I’m trying to manage my eating portions a little better… starting with these set lunches.

On the menu is grilled ginger soy chicken and mushrooms, with green beans, cabbage and baby spinach.

My biggest mistake when putting these together is that I didn’t have enough containers and I made too much food. So when I distributed the food, my lunch portions were a bit too big – more than I usually eat for lunch!

Also I didn’t have the RIGHT KIND of containers (I’m not a fan of plastic containers, I would prefer glass. Although I do take the food out of the plastic and put it on a glass dish to microwave anyway).

Another factor I was concerned about was getting bored of the same lunch each day? I like soy chicken and mushrooms, but for 5 days in a row? Now that I mention it, I don’t need lunch packs for the weekend, why did I make 7 lunches? I didn’t think it through very well!

The whole thing was pretty time consuming. I had to plan what to eat, buy the ingredients, marinade the chicken, cut and wash the vegetables, wipe down the containers, divide the vegetables, cook the chicken, cut it up and divide it all up, let it cool down, THEN lastly I had to make room in my freezer. Thankfully I had room in there! I actually made 4 more lunch packs for my husband, so I had ELEVEN containers to freeze all together!

It took me about 2.5 hours on a Sunday.

Which if you think about it… is not that bad when you think about how I’ll benefit from it during the week. Right??

Phew, it was hard work. Don’t know if I could keep it up :P


 

Melbourne Cup at The Cottesloe Beach Hotel

6 November 2014

For those who are not familiar with Australian celebrations, the Melbourne Cup is a major horse race that happens at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, but watched by the whole nation. It has been running for about 150 years and according to the interwebs (so it must be true!) it is one of the richest horse races in the world!

It’s a huge event in every Aussie city and town. Even for those at work, everyone stops work to watch the race, share a drink and a silly hat. Restaurants, bars, pubs are full of Melbourne Cup lunches, and boutiques and department stores cash in on selling dresses and hats.

I’m not actually a huge fan of horse racing, betting OR drinking copious amounts of alcohol. So I don’t usually attend Melbourne Cup events, because they are pretty much wasted on me.

But this year, I was invited to a super special GH Mumm Champagne Melbourne Cup event by a PR buddy of mine (Thanks Caitlin!) at the Cottesloe Beach Hotel.

Well, since Cottesloe Beach is such a spectacular location (like Bondi Beach in Sydney, but much nicer), and since the invite made it clear it was a SERIOUS dress up event, I was inspired to try a little harder this year!

You might have read my last post… about how I painstakingly made a sculptural, arty head piece to wear, and then put together an outfit featuring a brand new dress from In Good Company and Alexander Wang. I was quite excited!

Melbourne Cup Day 2014

I arrived at the event and immediately found another buddy of mine, fashion stylist and blogger Andrea, looking absolutely fabulous daaarling.

The entrance was decorated with flowers (we weren’t actually at Flemington, as the sign suggests!) and there were beautiful horses being paraded on the street. Real horses! We took plenty of photos.

Melbourne Cup Day 2014

I tried to take a selfie with a horse, with my best horse face. But my nose is way too flat and short and obviously not long enough.

Melbourne Cup Day 2014

Look at us! Find a red carpet and you’re bound to find a fashion blogger on it!

We made our way up to the VIP bar and found the crème de la crème of the Perth fashion and social set.

We mingled, we sipped on champagne, and we gobbled up amazing nibbles. Then… just as we moved over to chat to the fashion designers, tv presenters, celebrities and sports stars… MY FASCINATOR BROKE. It rolled off my head, bounced off my arm and landed on the floor like a very large, and very dead mosquito.

I completely cracked up laughing. OMG how typical! How embarrassing!

Melbourne Cup Day 2014

Look at my dead mosquito. The sculptural bit came away from the headband bit, and in this photo, I was just holding it together in my fingers.

I put it together with sewing pins, super glue, but mostly a hot glue gun… which has never, ever failed me before! I should have used… um, computer cable ties? Fishing line? Bolts? Magic? How will I ever begin a career in millinery now? Crafty Karen FAIL.

Thankfully I had a SPARE FASCINATOR in my car. I had brought it along, in case I chickened out of wearing my DIY sculptural one. Oh the irony.

Melbourne Cup Day 2014

Phew. This is me with my spare fascinator, which cost me $35. I felt a bit unspecial. But it did the job. Nobody could accuse me for breaking the hat-wearing tradition.

Melbourne Cup Day 2014

As for the rest of the event, it was full of fabulous food, fascinators and spring fashion. There were hundreds of people there!

It had a great energy and atmosphere, it was colourful, fun and frivolous.

Melbourne Cup Day 2014

There was also a fashion show with clothes from ACO Boutique in Cottesloe. And there were awards for best dressed guest and best fascinator – guess who didn’t win :P

Melbourne Cup Day 2014

There was so much pretty fashion!

I managed to bump into a few other buddies of mine and yes, I had a fabulous time in the end daaarling!

And next year… I will consult a structural engineer about the design of my arty fascinator. Or at least my husband.


 

Read Older Posts »