3 Ways to Wear – A Tropical Print Top

29 August 2014

3 Ways to Wear Tropical Print

I was born on a tropical island – think blue ocean, blue skies, green jungles and palm trees – so I have a soft spot for tropical prints!

I picked up this cute tropical print skirt from ClubCouture at a great price, and have been enjoying how much I can mix and match with it.

1) Blazer and Bralet
Splashing out in sporty-luxe look, I’m wearing a blazer (also from ClubCouture) and bralet from boohoo.com.

2) Big White Summer Shirt
I found this awesome white shirt in a thrift store. It had embroidery, lace, tassels and made from a gorgeous cotton fabric. It was in a size 16, but I hacked it up and sewed it up to fit me. Now I consider it to be one of my best summer cover ups.

3) Grey Marle Tee
I love this look. It’s casual and colourful, but still stylish. The statement necklace (from The Accessory Report) really adds a notch of style to the whole outfit. Sandals by Holster (from The Iconic)

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


 

Architects and Heroes

28 August 2014

The other day, I dropped my aunty off in Subiaco for a doctor’s appointment. While I waited for her phone call (to be picked up), I found myself with 2 hours to spare.

Trying to avoid the mall-type shops on Rokeby Road, I wandered into the local op shop… and bought myself 3 awesome books (total of $9).

Then I found a secondhand bookstore and found another 2 books (total $4)! I was so delighted with my buys, that I needed a coffee and snack to celebrate.

Architects and Heroes

I stumbled across Architects and Heroes, a new cafe that I’ve been hearing about in the local social media circles.

It was my ah ha! moment, as there’s always something magical about discovering a treasure by accident, rather than researching it and then seeking it out with intent.

Architects and Heroes

With a cool mural stretching across the whole cafe, a laid back vibe, the smell of quality coffee, smiles from the staff, lots of seating (indoor and outdoor) and lots of fancy-wacky specialty coffee instruments… this place was a winner for me.

Architects and Heroes

The menu looked pretty good, featuring a seasonal menu of eggs, mushrooms, smoked salmon, crusty bread, French toast, cinnamon muesli. There were also lots of delicious baked goods on display too.

But I just wanted a quick snack, so I settled on a ham and cheese croissant.

Architechs and Heroes

My croissant was tasty and fresh. My soy flat white was gorgeous and smooth. My sunny spot by the window made me glow with happiness.

I pulled out one of my book finds – a double edition of The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Despite initially feeling a bit self-conscious (PRETENTIOUS NERD ALERT!), I stuck my nose into it, became oblivious to the rest of the world and read until I received the call telling me I had to leave.

I’ll definitely be back again to try out some of their meals. And I promise to be a bit more social and bring a friend next time!

Architects and Heroes
25 Rokeby Road
Subiaco, WA
Mon – Sat: 6:30 am – 6:30 pm

Architects and Heroes on Urbanspoon


 

Riding, volunteering or donating?

26 August 2014

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2013, photo by Ze Wong

Photo of me riding 200km over 2 days for The Ride To Conquer Cancer, October 2013. Photo by Ze Photography.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that for the past two years, I rode in The Ride to Conquer Cancer to raise money for cancer research.

The event is a 200km ride over two days, and is designed specifically for people who are NOT already experienced cyclists. It’s for newbies and beginner cyclists!

In 2012, when I took up the challenge to RIDE 200kms, I was very motivated about raising cancer awareness and raising funds for cancer research. This cause is something that is very close to my heart, since I nearly lost my husband to cancer, and because I have lost a good friend, who was, like me, a mother of young children. I wanted to make something good come out of my fear and loss.

But I was also deeply concerned that I could not actually do it. 200km seemed like a long way compared to walking the kids 2km to school! People in my extended family were actually counselling me against it: “Can you actually do it???”

Well, as it turned out… YES I COULD!

It was a fantastic experience… it completely transformed my views about personal fitness. It was a brilliant journey to go on. I learned so much about myself, about bikes, about fundraising, and the power of working as a collective. Over the two years, The Ride to Conquer Cancer event has raised approximately $39.1 million in Australia (the proceeds go directly to research facilities in each state) – which is amazing!

But this year, I am not riding. The truth is… I’ve now picked up a whole lot of other sports like running, netball, yoga and strength training. So while I’m still pretty fit and active, I haven’t actually been on my bike since October last year – 10 months ago! I just don’t have time to do the training.

But my dedication to the RTCC, and the cause, has not diminished, so I am still participating, as a Volunteer/Crew Member. I’m going to be finding out what it takes “behind the scenes” to make a huge event like this work. And of course, I am hoping to motivate YOU! So I’ll be reporting on what I see and do. Of course, I’ll be doing the Perth RTTC… but there are also rides in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

What can you do?

Ride!
I did it, so you definitely can do it too! You can sign up with a friend, or you can sign up by yourself and the RTCC people (volunteers like me) will match you up with a team of new friends you can train and ride with.

When I first started out, I was a complete beginner cyclist. A total noob! I started training with a 15 year old, rusted, mountain bike. Read about my whole journey from when I first started my cycling journey!

Volunteer?
The Ride to Conquer Cancer organisers are looking for people to join the volunteer and crew teams. It’s the best way to experience the event while you support the riders on their journey! Pop over to the Ride to Conquer Cancer Crew Page to find out more.

Donate!
If you can’t participate or volunteer, what about making a small (or large) donation that goes immediately and directly towards cancer research. You can go to my donations page and make any donation amount you wish – $20, $50, $100, $500! You can leave a public message, or a personal message, or just do it anonymously. And you get a receipt, so you can claim this against your tax.

More coming soon!


 

Win $500 to spend at French Connection

25 August 2014

Win a $500 French Connection Voucher

Hi everyone! It’s been ages since I’ve run a competition on my blog.

So I’m super excited to share that I’ve teamed up with French Connection to give my readers a chance to win a $500 voucher to spend at any French Connection store. Woo hoo!

All you have to do is click here to the competition page, fill in a few details, and make sure you click the check box to subscribe to the French Connection Style News (that’s a must if you want to enter the competition).

Scroll down to the end of this post to read the terms and conditions.

Competition ends next Sunday, on the 31st August, so be quick!

Here are my picks from the new season collection, you know, “if” I won.

Win a $500 French Connection Voucher

I’m loving the tropical prints with the strong black and white basics.

Win a $500 French Connection Voucher

The sweetheart sweater definitely has my name written on it. And I’d love to try this slinky jumpsuits and floral print skirt too.

French Connection is a fab store to stock up on your work basics like blazers, shirts, pants, blouses. Heck with $500 I might just buy a real leather jacket.

There’s so much good stuff, do pop over to have a look!

Have fun and good luck!

xxx

Competition Terms and Conditions
The competition closes on Sunday 31st August at 11.59pm.

Competition participants must subscribe to the French Connection database to enter. Users who have not subscribed to French Connection Australia will not be entered into the competition. Each entrant must opt-in to receiving Style News and promotions from French Connection Australia.

One entry per person is permitted. One winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries received before the closing date.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday 2nd September. This gift voucher will be redeemable for 12 months and is only for an Australian store and cannot be used online (sorry to all my international readers!)


 

Oh mud! Glorious mud! How I love thee!

22 August 2014

Western Mudd Rush 2014

So last weekend, some friends and I got together to do the Western Mudd Rush - a 9km run with 23 mud-themed obstacles.

What was I thinking?!? I hate being dirty! I hate mud! I hate being cold! And for this event you get to be all three – dirty, muddy and cold… while running!

The truth was, I did it because of my boys.

The event had a separate section for kids to participate and my two big boys (aged 11 and 9) were falling over themselves to get signed up. So I, and a couple of my friends, got our kids together and decided to ALL give it a go. The kids did their event on the Saturday, and the adults did it on the Sunday. We actually had 6 adults sign up for our team, but at the last minute, 2 of them couldn’t make it.

It did occur to me to ring in sick as well. But my husband and kids would have hassled me about it… for years.

 

Western Mudd Rush 2014

Yes a few minutes in and I was splattered with mud already! The organisers made everyone have their participant number tattooed (temporarily) onto their forehead, because you were bound to get every other part of your body covered with mud. I liked it because it made me feel bad-assed.

I took my Nikon AW100 waterproof camera along for the ride. I carried it in a bum bag which I secured tightly around my belly, under my singlet, so I looked like I was 6 months pregnant! But after a while I found that it got in the way, so I slid the bum bag around so it sat against my back. That would have been a handy trick for when I was pregnant.

The weather turned out to be amazing. It was cloudy and slightly cool – perfect for running and getting muddy!

Western Mudd Rush 2014

The obstacles ranged from climbing up ropes, balancing on a beam, climbing across ropes, jumping over fences, crawling through tubes…

There was even an ICE BATH. Forget the ice bucket challenge. We had to jump into a TANK full of ice and freezing cold water, then we had to COMPLETELY SUBMERGE ourselves to get under a wooden bridge and then climb up a ladder to get out of the ice tank. It was insane! I was so so unbelievably cold and numb. But I did it. And I survived! Woot!

Western Mudd Rush 2014

There was a lot of climbing too, which I found to be quite challenging.

I have been working on my upper body strength, but I couldn’t get past the fact that I AM SHORT! My legs were too short, my arms were too short and the length of my body meant I was *just* out of reach for a lot of things.

But I still managed OK. I’m small, I’m light, I can jump high. And whenever I needed some help, my awesome team mates gave me a helping hand, or gave my butt a little push upwards.

Western Mudd Rush 2014

For example, take this rather large obstacle.

I needed a step (my team mate’s hand) to help me get over the wall. After that I was all good with getting over and down the wall by myself. Yay me!

Western Mudd Rush 2014

Then there were these tricky, spinning, slicked-with-mud barrels that we had to get over. Easier said than done. You couldn’t just climb over it. It was more of a leap, grab, swing legs over, use the momentum of your body to swing the rest of yourself over and then land on your feet. Go too fast and you’ll spin off the other side and injure yourself. Go too slow and you spin backwards and probably injure yourself.

Western Mudd Rush 2014

As we progressed through the course, the mud became more obvious.

There was a lot of mud to walk through and run through. There were muddy puddles and lakes to wade through. There was lots of mud smeared on things. But by this point were were DYING FOR SOME MUD TO ROLL IN!!

COME ON ALREADY, WHEN DO WE GET TO COVER OUR BODIES WITH MUD!?!?!

Yes, these were the words that came forth from my mouth.

Western Mudd Rush 2014

The Slippery Slide! Now this was fun.

We got to slide down a wet, bumpy hill on our ass, at high speed, straight into a pool of muddy water that smelt distinctly like… farm animals? Yes. Cows. Horses. Pigs. Wet farm animals.

Western Mudd Rush 2014

Here we pulled ourselves along a pool of cold, muddy, farm-animal-smelling water inside a cage thing. It was pretty easy for me, because once again, I was small and light.

Look at the silly smile on my face! I was having a great time! Even though I had mud in my hair and I smelt like a pig!

Western Mudd Rush 2014

Then there were two long tunnels, filled with muddy, agriculturally aromatic water, which we had to crawl through. Because I was small, I could easily crawl on my hands and knees. But a lot of other people had to do more of a commando crawl on their forearms and drag their whole bodies through the sludge.

I scurried along quickly and easily like a rat in a sewer. I crawled through the first tunnel, and my thoughts were… OMG this would be such a cool photo! I KNEW I wanted to take a photo from inside the tunnel, looking out.

I also knew that while inside the small confined space of the tunnel, I wouldn’t be able to get my camera out of my bumbag. So before I entered the second tunnel, I took out my camera and CARRIED IT IN MY MOUTH. My camera is the size of a smart phone, so I actually chomped down on it and carried it with my teeth. Like a rodent with a piece of bread, bigger than it can chew. Oh the things I do for the perfect photo.

Anyway, I now have a lovely photo of the inside of the tunnel AND the inside of my mouth. Ah the memories I’ll be able to treasure forever.

Western Mudd Rush 2014

Then came the grand finale. We had to crawl across a huge pool of thick, gluggy, brown mud, with barbed wires overhead. Argh the mud was so oozy and sticky, like clay. The ground was uneven, so some people fell into pot holes full of mud and got completely covered with the stuff.

It was -honestly – soooo much FUN.

We laughed and squealed with delight. We rolled around, hugged each other… and I took a selfie of course.

Western Mudd Rush 2014

Happy. Like unashamed pigs.

Oh there was one more obstacle after this… a stack of sea containers with a rope ladder thingy, before we hit the finish line.

Western Mudd Rush 2014

Look at us – WINNERZ!!!

(OK we didn’t actual win. We just finished the whole thing).

We took about 2 hours to do the whole 9km course. We ran most of the track and walked some parts when we got too tired. Some obstacles had long queues, so we had to wait a while. There was no pressure to complete each obstacle. There was just a general attitude to “Have fun and give it a go!”. It wasn’t a race. We went at our own pace. We overtook some groups, and other groups overtook us.

There was so much laughter, chat, banter and just enjoying the moment. It was definitely one of the most fun I’ve ever had at an “Organised Sporting Event”.

We had a quick, cold outdoor shower (it was more of a hose down next to the horse stables), we changed into dry clothes, and sat down on the grass for some hotdog and chips. My god, it was the best tasting hotdog ever.

I had a proper shower when I got home, because I still had mud in all my nooks and crannies. I also had to wash my hair twice to get rid of the farm animal smell.

Big thanks to my team mates! Next year we plan to get a bigger group together and dress up in a theme.

Hope you enjoyed my photos. Looking back through them, I can’t wipe my smile off my face!!

xxx

 


 

Keeping it Real: My Dressing Table

20 August 2014

Dressing Table

In an effort to reduce my clutter, I’ve been donating a lot of my stuff to charity, storing my keepsakes properly, throwing out the junk… and just trying to be a bit more organised in general!

So since things are looking a lot neater around here, I thought I’d share my progress and give you a peek into some of my everyday spaces.

Starting with my bedside table.

Usually the place where I throw my used tissues, my bedside table is actually a set of tall drawers where I store some of my clothes.

Yep there’s a lot of stuff on my bedside table! It’s where I keep the jewellery, perfume, nail polish, hand cream and sunglasses that I wear and use regularly. I guess it’s kind of a dressing table.

Oh and I jam my current reading book behind my mirror!

Dressing Table

As for the details. I can’t have fresh flowers in the same room as I sleep, as it makes me sneeze at night. So a cute bunch of everlasting peonies works a treat.

And I don’t actually light candles next to my bed either. The amount of clothes, bedding, rugs and flammable liquids I have, makes our room a bit of fire hazard.

So it all looks very pretty and stylish right? But the truth is, our bedroom storage system still needs a lot of work.

Wardrobe

Behold! Four boxes of STUFF (I’m afraid to look inside them) still sitting above our antique wooden wardrobe, with doors that don’t close properly.

The wardrobe was left on the side of the road, and my husband couldn’t resist its water damaged, chipped, vandalised, warped mirrored, insect ridden charms.

And the boxes have been up there since we moved house four years ago.

I’ll get around to cleaning them out one day!

 


 

What I Wore: Keeping it Simple

19 August 2014

Black + White

With the change of season almost upon us, I’ve been keeping my wardrobe pretty simple and easy. I’m trying to wear my old favourites and my classics, and doing a lot more mixing and matching with what I already have.

This way I can work out what is lacking in my wardrobe and work towards filling the gaps.

The other day I threw on a simple tee + jeans outfit for a meeting in the city.

Black + White

It was a simple and smart, with a touch of trend, and a pop of sparkle.

Jacquard jacket by Miu Miu (from The Outnet)
T-shirt from Sportsgirl
Black Needle jeans from Acne Studios (Shopbop)
Polkadot shoes by Habbot Studios
Handbag by Tory Burch
Felt hat from ASOS
Necklace from JCrew
Earrings from Shopbop

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


 

Oh bloom! I’m sorry! Please don’t die!

18 August 2014

Last month, my husband bought me a double-rose cherry plum tree for my birthday. It was a large one, so I moved it into our backyard, with full intention to plant it properly into the ground that very week.

Of course, it is now 5 weeks later and it is still in a small plant bag sitting on the paving – NOT IN THE GROUND.

I feel so bad!

But it’s not that I have been putting it off or being lazy. You see, I have been reorganising my backyard, replanting a whole lot of plants, conditioning the soil, buying and spreading out mulch. It’s been a kind of backyard blitz here.

So my poor cherry blossom tree has been waiting patiently for me to get everything ready BEFORE I put it in the ground. However I suspect that, as it is with most things in life, things will never be “perfect and ready”, so I should just get on with it and commit before it’s too late!

Thankfully, mother nature is forgiving.

Cherry Blossom

My cherry blossom tree – still in its small plant bag – has bloomed for me, with the most beautiful and precious pink blossom I’ve ever seen!

I feel guilty, forgiven… and inspired to do the right thing. Like now!

 


 

Majestic Lace Dress from Review

15 August 2014

Review Dresses

You might recall a few months ago that I attended a wedding in Malaysia? And I wore this dress from Review Clothing?

I received so many compliments and people asking me where did I get it?  You can read my first review about it here.

Anyway, this is just an update to let everyone know that Review Clothing are having a sale at the moment – 25% off new season stock. And they have the dress in new colours!

The dress is absolutely lovely to wear. It’s so simple, so easy to move in, so comfortable, so robust and so affordable. It’s fully lined. It has a high quality weight to it. It doesn’t need to be ironed. I can wear a normal bra with it. It has a sexy low V back line. It has an elegant fitted waist and a modest pencil skirt length. And it’s a standard size, so it fits me perfectly!

(In the above photo, I’m wearing the Majestic Dress in Navy. It is now $217.49 (was $289.9).

Review Dresses

Review has also brought in new colours – Black, Black/Nude, CappuccinoAurelia Dress in Blush.

Eeek I’m sooo tempted to either get the black, or the black + nude.

The sleeveless Aurelia Dress in Blush (pictured on the far right) would be gorgeous for warmer weather too.

Once again they are all 25% off, which is very cool. You can buy online and receive free shipping within Australia for orders over $150 too.

Enjoy!

xxx

 


 

Running With Friends

13 August 2014

Run 10k
I’ve joined a running group!

It’s not really a group group. It’s not formal. We’re just a bunch of friends (girls and guys) who are all running freaks! We all know each other through our children’s school and we all live and run in the same area, which makes our “group runs” infinitely easier to organise.

Thinking about it, I never thought I’d join a fitness group. Because, I usually like to exercise by myself. I like the peace and solitude. I like to meditate, arrange my thoughts and focus on the mesmerising beat of my feet hitting the pavement. It’s quite important for me to have that quiet space for myself.

Exercising in a large classes – in a room full of strangers – is also very solitary. Which I like. I feel no obligation to interact with anyone. And I just get lost in my own little bubble.

But what do you know, I discovered that exercising with friends is so much fun.

It adds so many new levels to my exercise routine – motivation, inspiration, sharing knowledge and a social aspect. I’m loving it!

Following people’s (ie. stranger’s) exercise updates and fitness inspiration on instagram and facebook does not compare.

Anyway, I tried out a new running route this weekend. The weather was just gorgeous. It was the first time I tackled so many hills.  I ran 10kms and felt amazing. I might try to work on my time/speed next time. I’m feeling inspired!


 

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