The Casual Tank Dress

2 March 2015

Casual Tank Dress

I’m currently obsessed with tank dresses!

I was so sick of wearing tees and tanks with shorts one day, that I bought this grey one on impulse from Cotton On. It was originially $19 and with 30% off, I paid $13. I probably wouldn’t have bought it otherwise.

I love LOVE the colour and the fine knit fabric (so soft, no creases!). It was absolutely delicious to wear… but the quality was terrible.

I wore it all day, once. I hand-washed it gently and noticed that it had pilled around the chest area, where my arms came into contact with the dress. I felt so bad and silly for buying something so cheap and so poor in quality!

Sigh. It seems stupid to toss it out now, so I’m going to keep wearing it until it has holes in it… mainly because I do love how easy, casual, effortless, simple it is, yet it has an everyday kind of “polished” feel to it. I still feel a bit dressed up even though I’m wearing sneakers!

In the meantime I’m going to look into buying a better quality one, possibly in an organic cotton, or some other eco and ethical friendly fabric.

Has anyone bought a tank dress from Bassike or Metalicus before? The XS looks a bit baggy?

Here are some other styles that I adore!

Happy shopping!
xxx


 

Snap Crackle Pop!

28 February 2015

Chinese New  Year 2015

Chinese New Year celebrations run for 15 days… and we’ve been totally overwhelmed with food, family, festivities and fireworks!

I love this time of year!


 

3 Seconds of Weightlessness

26 February 2015

Jetty Jumping

I tried NOT to think about it.

I knew if I actually stopped and considered my situation, I would find myself overcome with fear.

I took two fast steps towards the edge of the wooden jetty and leaped high into the air. In the 3 seconds before my feet touched the water, my senses exploded and I was suddenly so aware of the moment. As they say, it was as if time had frozen.

3 seconds is not very long. But curiously, it was long enough for me to have a conversation with myself, in my head.

Stay upright. Don’t do anything silly. This will be over in a sec. You want to be alive at the end. Just hit the water with your feet. Don’t land on your back or head. Mother Karen has spoken.

I’m weightlessness. I’m floating. I’m flying. I’m suspended in air. This feels unnatural.

My hair is going to get wet. Thank you stating the obvious.

I’m falling. Like in my dreams. This is a bit freaky. My stomach is going wobbly. I want to throw up. Oh god why am I taking so long to hit the water? I don’t like falling. I tense my body.

As I hit the water, it swallowed me up.

Cold fingers of water slid up my legs in an instant; up my stomach, up my chest, up my neck. It snaked around my ears, across my face, up over my head, like urgent hands pawing through my hair.

The sky disappeared. The world turned blue. A white ceiling appeared above my head. The blue squeezes my chest and grips my face.

It’s over. I’m cold. And I can’t breathe.

Would I do it again?

I’m not so sure.

Maybe I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had just screamed, WAAAHHHOOOOOOOOOOO!!

 


 

Possibly Not So Nasty

25 February 2015

Have you ever shopped at Nasty Gal before? I haven’t… because the name alone makes me want to run far away!

But I recently bumped into a friend of mine who was wearing this lovely dress and it made me think twice about the site…

Nasty Gal Dress

Pretty huh?

So I popped over to the site and found some nice pieces – a spotty drop-waist dress, lips jumper, turtleneck dress, furry handbag.

And in the mix I found some crazy pieces too… try to spot the Dyspnea Mutha Fluffa Feather Dress!

 

 

Have you bought anything from Nasty Gal before? How’d you go?


 

33 Poets from Tu Clothing

23 February 2015

On the weekend, I attended a Chinese New Year Ball and saw in the Year of the Goat with lots of eating, dancing and fireworks!!

This is the dress I wore to the ball – it’s not red, but isn’t it GORGEOUS?!

33 Poets Dress

I found it at a local boutique, Tu Clothing which focuses on West Australian fashion labels, independent designers, as well as popular Australian labels.

The dress is by 33 POETS, by Rebecca Paterson, one of Australia’s leading fashion practitioners in innovative and experimental design. I recognised her name, as she’s had another label (Breathless) and she has participated in various Fashion Weeks.

When I pulled this dress from the rack, I was struck by its beautiful fabric. The sales assistant explained it was “Shibori silk”; Shibori is a technique of Japanese tie-dying. I really wanted to try it on. But when I looked at the garment carefully, it was actually a SKIRT, in Size 10! Four sizes too big for me!

The sales assistant assured me that it was actually a kind of MULTI-WAY DRESS, and it would be fine on me. She did some dressing magic on me… and ta da! It was beautiful!
33 Poets Dress

I was able to borrow the dress for the evening.

This is me, back in my studio. It has some amazing folds, drapes and tucks. The sales assistant tied a few knots in the silk, under the layers, fluffed it up a bit and made it more boofy and Cinderella-like.

It was so pretty to wear :)

33 Poets Dress

This is the dress worn as a skirt. The shape is still beautiful, but it was too big for me around the waist, and it was really long. I had to tie the belt a few times around my waist, and bunch it up behind me for this photo.

The size 10 works as a dress for me, but not as a skirt. I would love to try it in a size 6 – it’d definitely be a front row, show stopper!

33 Poets Dress

And lastly, if you unzip the dress from top to bottom, it turns into a kind of kimono jacket. Looks like a stunning trench coat! You could totally get yourself street-snapped wearing it to a freezing New York Fashion week haha!

Again it was a bit too big for me, and again I’d love to try it in a size 6.

You can find out a bit more information about 33 POETS, their stockists and look at some of their current designs on their 33 POETS Facebook Page.

I know they have quite a lot of their stock at Tu Clothing & Cafe, who are actually having a massive designer clearance at the moment – do check it out!

Tu Clothing
218A William Street,
Northbridge WA

xxx


 

Maple Plum Crumble

21 February 2015

Plum Crumble

I bought a large bag of beautiful, dark red plums from the fruit markets, but when I got home, they turned out to be quite tart. No one was very keen to eat them, so I decided to put together a delicious plum crumble for my family.

The plums were pretty sour, so I had to use a few spoonfuls of maple syrup to sweeten them up.

Crumble
100g of plain flour
50g of diced butter, at room temperature
50g of rolled oats
50g dessicated coconut
50g slivered almonds
1 tablespoon of brown sugar (optional)

Filling
10 medium sized plums, stoned (about 10)
2 tablespoon of maple syrup
1 green apple, finely diced
1 vanilla pod (seeds) or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1. Set your your oven to 160ºC/350ºF.

2. Whiz the flour and butter together in a food processor (with pastry blade) until it resembles breadcrumbs. Toss in oats, coconut, almonds, sugar (if using) and whiz until just combined. Set aside.

3. Chop the plums into chunky slices. Arrange in a large pie dish (25cm diameter). Finely dice the apple and sprinkle on top, along with the vanilla and maple syrup. Give the fruit a good stir with a big spoon.

4. Heap the crumble evenly over top of the fruit. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot, with ice cream, yoghurt or crème fraîche.

Super easy!

Enjoy!
xxx


 

Happy Chinese New Year!

19 February 2015

Chinese New Year 2015

Wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year of the Goat!

May your next few weeks be filled with food comas, fat angpows, annoying Chinese New Year music, Asian snacks that you don’t know the name of, and fruit the size of your head!

Love and happiness to you all!


 

Oversized Cardigans For All Seasons

17 February 2015

The weather around here has been a bit crazy lately. One day it’s warm and humid like a tropical country, the next day it’s cold, rainy and windy.

I want to share 2 new cardigans (one for warm weather and one for cool weather) that I’ve picked out for my wardrobe, because it’s always nice to have an oversized cardi to throw over an outfit.

My fashion rule when picking them this time: NO BLACK!

Jackets from FashionJunkee

This Vintage Inspired Boho Fringe Kimono Cardigan from FashionJunkee is quite pretty. I thought that it would be TOO pretty for me, but I like it. The colours are nice and feminine too.

It’s been great to keep the sun off my arms, shoulders and back. It looks great at the beach too.

Jackets from FashionJunkee

I haven’t tried many items with fringing. I just assume that the fringe look would be too boho and hippy looking for me.

But I think it looks quite cool and I might try a fringe skirt or bag next time.

Shorts by One Teaspoon, top by Sacha Drake from CiaoBella, heels by Betts.

Jackets from FashionJunkee

Trying to get away from black and white, this Tribal Cardigan with an Aztec design and warm earthy colours caught my eye.

Ponchos and wraps are popular these days, but since I’m so short and petite, I feel swallowed up by the large amounts of fabric and folds on a poncho.

This is a nice halfway between a poncho and a cardigan. I like the over-sized style, it’s quite different for me.

 

 

Jackets from FashionJunkee

Cardigan is from FashionJunkee, Top from Birdsnest, Shorts by Alice + Olivia, boots by Betts.


 

Monday Morning Catch Ups

16 February 2015

Life has been zooming by so quickly! Suddenly it’s almost March!

I’ve been feeling a strong urge to sit down and take a moment to catch up with everything. So I’m going to try something a little different today. Let’s pretend that we’re at a cafe, having coffee and we’re having a bit of a catch up…

1.
The other morning I had a meeting in the city, but one of my boys turned out to be sick (he was dizzy and nauseous) and he had a strange, sharp pain in his lower abdomen. I had to cancel the meeting, take him to the doctor and keep an eye on him all day – while he stayed in bed, flopped himself around the house and complained how dizzy he was.

I actually thought his appendix ruptured?! But it turned out that he just “might have pulled something” while he was sprinting around the park like crazy, reckless, testosterone-filled boy with his brothers the evening before.

2.
Also last week, my other boy crashed his bike, injured his wrist (slightly), grazed his face (lightly) and broke his adult, front tooth! ARGH! I had to rush him to an emergency, after-hours dental clinic to get x-rays and fix his tooth.

Sure I was worried about the accident, a possible head injury and possible broken bones… but above all, I was extremely grumpy about the dental bills and that he was so careless and reckless!

3.
My two big boys, aged 11 and 9, have shared a room for the last 5 years and I believe it’s because of this that they have formed a really strong, brotherly bond. It’s been the best thing for them. But a few weeks ago, we decided that they needed a bit of space for themselves and we moved my oldest boy into his own room, that is, into the room that I have been using for my office. This obviously meant that I had to move my office/work things OUT of that room.

So for the last 4 weeks, I have been on an almighty clean-up and organisation frenzy of our entire house! I’ve been trying to do about 1-2 hours of cleaning, sorting, throwing and organising per day. I’m almost done!

4.
I received a sample of Organic Chamomile Flower Tea, and have been totally obsessed with it. It’s floral, but gorgeously smooth and earthy. Nothing like the stuff from the supermarket! It comes in a loose leaf form, which really makes it look like a bag of dried-up garden clippings. In fact it looks exactly like the daggy bowl of potpourri in my mother’s toilet window sill.

5.
My husband has been super busy at work lately. He usually gets home *just* in time for dinner, after which we all take a sunset walk in the park. It’s so nice to get out of the house during that time; we all chit chat about our day and have a kind of family news-telling session. My husband and I quickly work out what each child needs for the rest of the evening: to work quietly on a school project, to finish homework on the computer, do some research on an interesting topic, to chill out and watch a bit of TV, or to RUN around and use up some of their youthful energy… then my husband and I will split up the tasks so we can have one-on-one time with each of them. It’s hard work, tiring but… fulfilling!

6.
In terms of exercise, I haven’t been running or cycling lately. I have just been doing full-body workout routines at home, at night, after the kids go to bed. I work up a sweat with my floor exercises and dumbbells and I can feel all my muscles (and ass) getting bigger, tighter and rounder! Way hey!

7.
Oh and netball! I play netball once a week. I still love it. My team mates and I have been playing so well lately. The other night we were against a team, that we had previously lost to. But we were on fire, we totally smashed the game and we won! It was a sweet victory for us. It’s such a buzz to win!

8.
A friend of mine is currently going through a family crisis, which has collided with their home renovation plans. So another friend of mine has helped them out by organising a backyard busy bee for them. About 30-50 people (including kids!) from our school community turned up to help; each person doing a little bit of mowing, weeding, moving sand, cleaning walls, window washing, cutting trees, digging out stumps, moving rocks, shifting bricks, demolishing a shed. 7-8 hours of work on a 40C day! What an amazing little community I live in! What an amazing bunch of people I know!

9.
I’m really looking forward to the Chinese Lunar New Year (on the 19th February)! Can’t wait to hang out with my aunties, uncles and cousins again. All my clean eating, healthy salads, raw smoothies will be going out the window. I’m going to get stuck into some roast pork, roast duck and peanut cookies!

10.
Ahh, March is party month for us. My husband’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, my 2nd son’s birthday, my 3rd son’s birthday fall in March. I can’t wait to organise some kick-arse parties!

Bring on March!

 


 

Black and White Stripe Skirt from Modcloth

13 February 2015

Stripe Skirt from ModCloth

Last week I talked about circle skirts, and tested out a white mid length skirt from online shop Hello Parry. This week I want to show off another circle skirt that I bought recently.

It’s called the Stripe It Lucky Skirt from Modcloth.

When I saw the product page, it seemed like it was one of the most popular items on the Modcloth website! There were 250+ reviews and 30+ photos submitted by real customers (of all shapes and sizes) wearing the skirt and looking very happy with it.

I thought it looked really cute and decided to give it a go too. Besides, it was so affordable and it was 20% off (it’s STILL on a 20% off sale!).

Modcloth White Off White

The first thing I noticed about the Modcloth skirt was that it was not white. It’s not bright white, or off white, or WHITE white. It is a cream.

To show you the difference, I placed the skirt on top of this white midi skirt and hung them both over a white door, pictured above.

It did put me off a little. It just means I won’t wear a bright white top with it (which excludes a lot of tops in my wardrobe!).

But once I started wearing the skirt with black tops and coloured tops, the whole white balance of my outfit changes, and the cream actually does look “white” in the end.

I am usually a size XS (waist 63cm). But I ordered a size “S” and it fit perfectly. The waist band has a nice stretch to it, so it is really comfortable to wear. The skirt also has a rib texture to it, but it doesn’t look that bad at all.

Stripe Skirt from ModCloth

I really like this shorter length of skirt, because it suits my petite frame and it makes my legs look a bit longer :)

The shape holds nicely. It doesn’t crease like crazy. It flows and falls nicely. Basically, it’s a nice skirt for everyday wear!

If you’re looking for a new skirt, Modcloth has heaps of super cute styles, retro styles and pretty prints. Check them out here! Most of the skirts are set at a great price, although from experience, you might have to watch out for the sizing by reading other customer’s reviews.

Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


 

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