What I Wore: Sunshine and Rainbows

19 November 2017

Hello Parry Tee

Personally, I find t-shirt shopping to be incredibly boring. I’d much rather wear a silk top, or a shirt, or a camisole.

But lately, I’ve become a bit obsessed about finding a good tee.

I’ve tossed out a lot of my old ones (with holes and stains) and here I am… on the hunt for “the perfect tee”.

I bought two from Uniqlo. They were OK. I didn’t like the material. They just felt thick and weird. I found them too stretchy and they warped after a few washes. I still wear them though!

I bought one from Grana. It felt really lovely and had a nice shape, but it was too see-through. It’d be fine in a different colour, but not white.

I actually like the kids “Organic Cotton” range from Best and Less (which I’ve bought for my kids), but it seems a bit wrong to pay $4 for a t-shirt?? Something is not quite right with that pricing structure!

In the meantime, I picked up this super cute Sunshine & Rainbow Tee from Hello Parry, with embroidered text (not print). The cotton is lovely, thick, has a nice shape and much better quality than the Uniqlo tee. But the cotton is not as smooth/soft as the Uniqlo one.

Denim skirt by Lovers + Friends (omg I’m obsessed about this skirt! I’m wearing it everywhere!), Acne Studios Jensen Booties, APC Handbag, Celine Sunnies and Jeanswest denim jacket.

Have a great week!
xxx


 

Reusable Shopping Bags for Groceries and Produce!

17 November 2017

Reusable Shopping Bags

This is a slightly different topic for me.

​This post isn’t sponsored, I’m just excited to share about something kind of cool, that’s NOT about clothes… um, but it’s still about shopping!

For the last 10 years I’ve been a believer in re-usable shopping bags for my grocery shopping.

I’ve tried so many types: Canvas bags, papery cloth bags, material bags, string bags.

In the past, I “invested” in 6-8 bags at a time and tried to use them as diligently as I could. Most times I would forget to take them along on my grocery shopping trip. Or I just couldn’t be bothered because they were so big and cumbersome to carry around.

This is what I use now. And I’m pretty good at remembering to take them along with me now.

Reusable Shopping Bags

Those rolled up green and black things are reusable shopping bags from Woolworths. Even though I usually shop at Coles (it’s closer to my home) I’ve found that these bags work best for me. I’ve been using them for the last 5 years.

I can’t find these reusuable shopping bags on the Woolworths website, but they sell them in-store at the checkouts. They are about $8 or $9 for a pack of 8 bags.

The string bag is something I bought from the markets a few years ago and I just use it to carry all my bags. A bag of bags!

I found the string bag to be a bit impractical, because they are too big for produce, and too “delicate” for regular shopping items. Plus they were a bit expensive for each bag.

Reusable Shopping Bags

Best features – They are small when rolled up. Each bag has a little elastic band that keeps it rolled up. I can easily fit about 8-10 of them in my regular handbag.

Best tip – Buy a lot of them so you can use them all the time. I own about 20 at the moment, I always leave 2 at the bottom of my handbag, 10 in my car, 4 in my second handbag and there are about 4 hanging around my house and pantry.

They are super strong and they can fit A LOT stuff in them (more than a regular plastic bag). They are easy to wash too.

If I do a large grocery shop, spending about $250, I use about 6 reusable shopping bags.

Reusable Shopping Bags

This is my petite A.P.C handbag (which is about 23 cm x 18cm) and my iPhone 6 plus (which is about 16cm x 8cm), next to 4 rolled up shopping bags. They are very compact!

Reusable Shopping Bags

Ok this is what I’m more excited about, as I bought them last month.

They are reusable produce bags from Flora and Fauna (I recently discovered this cool site for all kinds of eco-friendly and natural products.)

I bought the ONYA Produce Bag 8 Pack, which are made from recycled PET drinking bottles. They are 30cm x 25cm (a little bigger than an A4 piece of paper) and hold up to 2kg produce.

So far, 8 bags have been enough, but I might buy another set in a larger size, mix them up and leave a set in my car, because yup, I’ve forgotten to take them with me a few times.

Plus they tend to get a bit dirty/mucky, so I’ve been washing them, hence they are not available to be used.

I love using them! And I feel so good using them, knowing I’m reducing the world of a couple of plastic produce bags each week!

(If you do happen to buy via my link, I do get a little commission for the referral.)

Happy shopping for bags for your shopping haha!

xxx


 

Red Ruffle Dress + Click Frenzy

13 November 2017

Brought to you by Revolve

Heads up everyone! Revolve are having their Click Frenzy Sale right now, meaning there’s Up to 60% Off all sale items.

They also have free shipping to Australia (over $100) and free returns from Australia… so they are making it pretty darn easy to get into the whole clicking spirit.

I guess it’s a perfect time to pick out a few outfits for the festive season!

I made a little edit of “Dresses on Sale That You Have To Check Out” below, so do scroll down for some inspo, or just make a mad dash over to the Dress Sale section yourself for a head start.

However, first of all I just wanted to share this Lovers + Friends Gigi Wrap Dress

Lovers + Friends Red Dress

Ahh I’m totally in love with it.

The rich, deep red colour is so lush and unique, that it has pretty much sky rocketed to be one of my favourite dresses.

I look like the dancing emoji lady in this dress. I instantly feel all swirly and flamboyant as I walk around in it.

They say style and confidence should come from within. But hey, sometimes you need a winning dress that fits, flatters and falls so nicely on you that you feel comfortable, confident and makes you feel like dancing!

Lovers + Friends Red Dress

So I have a few wrap dresses, but this one is much more silky and ruffly than I’m used to.

It has a semi-open back and semi-halter shoe string shoulders. It’s a bit tricky to wear, as you have to thread your arms through a few shoestrings, in the right order haha.

The midi length makes it very wearable. The silky fabric makes it look gorgeous and luxe.

My only problem with it is… it’s too sexy/revealing. The wrap skirt doesn’t actually close up, so if a wind blows, or if I walk too fast, my skirt will lift up. I’d feel more comfortable with a button or stitch to preserve my modesty. It’s something I can easily do myself, so no biggie.

It also comes in black. I’m wearing Size XS.

Lovers + Friends Red Dress

Unfortunately this dress isn’t on sale. However these dresses are under AU$100… and I am pretty tempted to nab a bargain.

Privacy Please Inwood Dress – I have this dress in a slightly different style. It’s perfect for easy and effortless summer errands.

JOA Floral Wrap Dress – Lovely pink floral wrap dress. Lady like and perfect for an outdoor garden party.

Privacy Please Pink Delta Dress – I have two wrap dresses in this style. Love wearing them. This pink is very cute.

Lovers + Friends Off Shoulder Cotton Dress – This pale blue dress with little pink dots is really cute too.

Tularosa Smocked Dress – Simple, white, beachy dress with tiny cut-outs. Very cute. I’ve had my eye on this one for ages.

Hope you find something you like!

Happy shopping!

xxx


 

Please Tell Me It’s Not Just Me.

8 November 2017

Aaarrrgh my kids have been DRIVING ME INSANE THIS WEEK!!!!

ALL OF THEM!

Fighting with me. Fighting with each other.

Whinging and bickering over the smallest things. Screaming, shouting because one of his siblings LOOKED at him.

One is constantly negative. Constantly complaining. Talking back. Putting others down. Arguing for the sake of arguing. So much attitude.

Another just spends all day purposely annoying everyone else! So naughty, unpleasant, rude and intentionally provocative!

Another has just lost his brain. Forgets to do the simplest things. Forgets to follow instruction. Constantly distracted and absent minded. Breaking things because he just doesn’t think!? Throwing my knives into the sink like darts? Trying to “bottle flip” a glass of milk? Why? There’s no logic to anything he does!

All are so ungrateful! So unwilling! So lazy!

Why do I have to ask a thousand times for something to be done?!

Why are they complaining about putting their shoes away?

Why do they have to bicker? Why can’t they get along???

Sometimes I think, maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m stressed. Maybe I’m not showing any attention to them. Maybe I’ve let them get away with too much. Maybe I need to enforce some stricter rules. Maybe they have too much screen leisure time. Maybe it’s a bit of everything.

Right now they have ZERO screen time. And they are ALL grounded. And we’ve been shouting, lecturing and punishing them every single day.

I’ve been in tears every night. I feel like a horrible parent and a horrible person. Ugh.

Can I just leave them somewhere and I’ll come back to collect them when they are 25?


 

Going Lighter for Summer

7 November 2017

After months of procrastinating, I finally decided it was time for a hair change.

I’ve been wanting lighter hair for a while – light, but NOT TOO LIGHT!

I had balayage years ago, and I’ve lightened my whole head of hair before too. I wanted something in between. But I didn’t really know how to explain it to my hair stylist.

And at the same time I didn’t want to walk away with an expensive hair treatment, but look like I had nothing done?!

I also want to point out that I have quiet a few strands of grey coming through, so I go into the salon every 4 weeks to get my roots done. So the new hair colour will have to work with that.

Lighter hair by Curi Hair

I went to the team at Curi Hair in Subiaco, and very inarticulately explained what I wanted.

My hair stylist said they were going to give me a semi-balayage with some spread-out highlights, with a bit of medium brown colour for my roots, and an intense ash toner to keep it a warm brown, not a bright orange.

The whole process took about 3 hours in the chair.

Lighter hair by Curi Hair

The result was gorgeous! I’m so happy with it!

I love that there are light bits and dark bits, and it’s all scattered around and a bit uneven.

I was told that I have to come in again in 3-4 weeks to get more ash-coloured toner (colour) put in, or the colour will fade and my hair will look orangey. I’ll probably do a hair oil treatment, or keratin treatment to keep my hair soft, shiny and smooth too.

Nothing like a new hairdo to welcome the new season!


 

Fitness Update: Gentle Nudges

5 November 2017

Cycling Nov 2017

Hello hello! As I mentioned last week, I’ve been trying to increase my exercise routine.

If I were to describe my fitness routine – I’d say MINIMAL.

In one week, I do a bit of running, an occasional class, some workouts at home. But that’s about it.

I think about how fit, healthy and strong I was 3-4 years ago and I sigh at how poor my routine is right now.

Cycling Nov 2017But every day that goes by, with me complaining about where I used to be, is just one more day of me doing nothing and getting nowhere!

So yep, no more excuses, I just have to do it.

I don’t have to be an elite athlete. I don’t have to run marathons. I just have to start getting beyond MINIMAL!

I’ve been cycling again. The weather has just been lovely for outdoor activity.

I’ve completed a few 5km – 10km cycles around the river.

And on the weekend, I managed to do a 21km cycle.

It didn’t even hurt. I felt great!

Baby steps are the best way to go!


 

What I Wore: Stud boots, which need upgrading

4 November 2017

Change in Weather

A couple of years ago, Chloe released these Susanna Stud Boots (link goes to FWRD), which I really liked, but I thought they were a bit too over-the-top to be everyday boots.

So instead of buying them, I got some good quality, leather, “inspired” boots from a Korean brand instead. All the high street stores like Zara and Topshop had versions of them (not in leather).

But just because everyone is copying it, doesn’t make it right. Part of me thinks that “inspired versions” are ok, but “exact replicas” are not? None the less, I feel quite bad for getting them.

Anyway, guilt aside. 4 years later, I still wear these boots ALL. The. Time.

They turn out to be very cool everyday boots. And they instantly up the vibe of any boring and everyday outfit!

So I think I’ll buy some real ones for next winter :)

Change in Weather

I’m wearing my Grana silk camisole, which I had previously said was slightly too small, but that doesn’t stop me from wearing it! It’s such a fab everyday top.

Lovers + Friends Black Denim Skirt, yep a bit expensive, but it doesn’t curl up at the hem!

Acne Studios Raya Cardigan, this cardigan was so itchy when I first got it. Thankfully it has softened up and it is just lovely to wear on cold mornings. It’s an XS, which on hindsight is a bit big for me. I should have got the XXS.

A.P.C. Half Moon Bag is definitely one of my favourite and most used bags. Small, cute, sturdy and structured, it fits all my essentials.


 

Fancy Sliding

31 October 2017

Hi everyone!

I’ve been crazy about fancy slides. I love mine because they go nicely with blue jeans, black jeans and black pants – which is pretty much what I wear 80% of the time!

They add a nice hint of colour to my very BLACK + WHITE + GREY + DENIM wardrobe.

They’ll be around for a few more seasons, so I’ve got my eye on a few “affordable” styles.

I checked out Zara the other day, their slides are still about $60-$80 and the quality were OK. Anything cheaper (under $50) didn’t feel very nice to wear. So I found a few fancy slides from Shopbop, between AU$110 – AU$160 to share:

Fancy Slides from Shopbop

Steven Valent Mules (A$143.05) – Oooh I like these so much. They will be perfect with my blue denim + white t-shirts. A very versatile colour combination, without being “too colourful”.

Fancy Slides from Shopbop

Jeffrey Campbell Jena2 Pom Pom Mules (A$164.05) – These are a bit special! They are pretty much a more affordable version of Aquazzura’s flats with pom poms. However these cost um… 6 times less and these have a cute heel.

Being silver makes it a bit more versatile, as it’s a “neutral colour”.

Fancy Slides from Shopbop

The Fix Fay 2 Mules (A$111.55) – These are super pretty! I love the hint of red and pinks. Once again, they’ll be perfect for casual wear (that is, white t-shirt and blue denim).

Fancy Slides from Shopbop

Jeffrey Campbell Claes Mules (A$131.24) – These are a little more fancy! The blue is super striking, but they will go perfectly with a monochrome outfit.

Happy browsing or shopping!

xxx


 

Keeping Fit with Workout Videos at Home

30 October 2017

Working Out with Sudio Regent

I’ve been getting back into a routine of doing video workouts at home!

Usually I have a list of sets to do, such as 10 x jump squats, 10 x jack knives, 20 x pushups.

But sometimes I want to MIX IT UP and I need some ideas on things to do.

So I really enjoy doing video workouts on Youtube, because they are quick and easy (28 minutes and you’re done!), convenient, easy to set up, I don’t have to drive anywhere, I can squeeze them in anytime, and I can just wear my crappy gym clothes haha!

It’s an easy way to get my heart rate up, sweat a bit, and get my endorphins going.

But it does take some discipline to MAKE time and COMMIT to them, as I can get easily distracted at home haha.

I like using videos from the Nike Training Club, Fitness Blender and Blogilaties.

Working Out with Sudio Regent

I also enjoy doing my workouts with wireless headphones, because I can just do it quietly in the front room and no one will bother me.

I can just ZONE OUT AND GET ON WITH IT, without my kids wandering in and going — “What are you doing mum? Can I join in mum? What’s a caterpillar pose? Am I doing it right? This is stupid mum!”

Last month, I shared an in-depth review of my on-ear wireless headphones by Sudio Sweden. I went through the sound quality, material quality, style and price, pros and cons.

Anyway, the lovely team at Sudio Sweden have given me a 15% off discount to share with my readers.

Simply use the coupon code “KARENLYCHENG” at the checkout. Express Shipping is FREE worldwide.

These headphones are called “Regent” and come in black and white.

I’m also wearing Yoga Top from Lululemon and leggings by Leggings by Varley.

Enjoy!

xxx


 

Volunteering for Cancer Research

26 October 2017

So, you all know how I love to mix things up in life …?

Well this is how I spent my weekend – in a frog suit, being a volunteer for a fundraising event for cancer research haha!

Ride To Conquer Cancer 2017 - Volunteering

Back in 2012 and 2013, I participated in The Ride To Conquer Cancer, cycling 200km over two days.

It’s a pretty big and amazing event, with each year raising about $4 million – $5 million.

The event has a special place in my heart, so every year I make an effort to volunteer to support the event.

You can see all my blog posts about it here.

Ride To Conquer Cancer 2017 - Volunteering

I hooked up with my old team and we all dressed up in onesies.

They hired a couple of Mini Mokes (which look like jeeps), decorated them with streamers, installed an epic sound system and we drove around to cheer and help the participants.

I found all my volunteer gear from the previous years – even my big cat eye sunglasses.

We were on our feet from 5am and we were on the job for about 10 hours each day.

It was absolutely exhausting, but not as bad as cycling 200kms and definitely not as bad as going through chemo.

This was me, sitting in the backseat, next to Captain America, travelling at 40km with the wind in my hair.

Ride To Conquer Cancer 2017 - Volunteering

(There were 8 of us in total, but I can’t find a pic of all of us.)

Pretty much everyone I met, a cyclist or volunteer, had a story about having lost a mum, dad, husband, wife, sister, brother or child to cancer. Yep, it was pretty sobering. But everyone was in this together, with one resolve, giving 110%. It was the best feeling ever.

This year there were 855 riders and we raised $4.1 million!

If you’re keen to participate for next year, here’s the link to the Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer site.

There’s also a similar event in Melbourne and Brisbane too.


 

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