Liam Turns 5!

15 April 2014

My little chicken turned 5 years old and we had a kind of mini festival for him – celebrating his birthday over a few weeks, with lots of different groups of family and friends.

Liam Turns 5

For all his best friends from school, we threw him a huge party in our backyard.

We put up a bouncy castle, we had snacks and lots of play time. My older boys organised and lead some simple games for the kids, like relays, egg and spoon races, “What’s the Time Mr Wolf” chasey games. I was so proud of them, it was a fun party!

I made a two tiered cake, which Liam requested to be in the theme of Disney’s Lightning McQueen. I totally stole the idea and design off the internet, so I get no points for originality!

Liam Turns 5

I made two chocolate cakes. The bottom tier was 18cms in diameter and the top tier was 10cms.

(Unfortunately – as I found out at the end – the cake recipe I used was much too dry, stogey and it just didn’t taste very nice. Boo! So I have to find myself a new chocolate cake recipe for next time, and make sure I do a bit more testing.)

Liam Turns 5

I bought some white fondant, which I dyed, rolled out and moulded to make a desert & sky scenery for the base.

The fondant was too soft for my liking. It kept sagging and my moulded figures wouldn’t hold their shape. I had to constantly keep moving the cake in and out of the fridge to keep the fondant in place. I have to find a good quality fondant next time. From a proper cake shop! And stop buying supermarket brands!

Liam Turns 5

I made a checkered flag design for the top tier. I made some stars from yellow fondant. I printed out a Disney Cars logo and super imposed my son’s name in the middle. I decorated the cake with Cars characters which made the whole cake looks so lively and happy.

The result was awesome! I was really happy with the end result and Liam just LOVED the cake!

Happy Birthday Liam, we loved making a fuss of you!


 

A Bit of Refurb Magic

14 April 2014

Outfit: Refurb Magic

Last month, I realised that I had quite a few clothes that I didn’t wear anymore because they “didn’t quite fit right”. For example, I have a skirt with a waist that is a bit too loose. Or the legs of some pants are a bit too long. Or the neckline of a top is too low. And so on.

So I spent a few hours going through my wardrobe and pulling out all these items… and to my embarrassment, I made a VERY BIG PILE. All these unworn clothes! Thus I began My Reburb Project, promising myself that I will spend a few hours here and there, sewing up a few of these unused clothes. I’m so glad that I’ve started, because it’s like rediscovering old favourites that fit me PERFECTLY!

I wore two of these refurbished goodies the other day.

My Sass and Bide Tank had shoulder straps that were a little *too long*, so that the neckline dipped just a touch*too low*, showing a bit *too much* cleavage for you know, a casual day time look. My boobs weren’t exactly going to pop out, but I found myself quite conscious that I had lots of skin on display. I actually find this happens with most Sass and Bide tanks that I try on. I guess Sass and Bide models are not Asian shorties like me!

I also have a pair of black JBrand Super Skinny Capri Jeans – which are so insanely comfortable, soft and snug. But they are a tiny bit loose at the waist, and since I don’t like to wear a belt with them, I find that throughout the day, they ride down and make my ass look saggy. And I have to constantly pull up the back of my pants like my 5 year old son does.

So I sewed a 1cm dart at the waist and they sit so much better. Yay!

Outfit: Refurb Magic

As for my handbag – which is not refurbished – it is a Tory Burch Thea Cross-body bag that I bought recently and I am so in love with the rose blush colour!

The size is just a little bigger than your standard cross body bag (19cm x 24cm x 9cm) so it fits everything from my rather large purse, my smart phone, compact camera and powder compact, lippie and even a packet of tissues. It’s a fantastic everyday bag, that looks refined and tailored, with an added tassle charm. It’s just adorable.

It also goes so well with my gold and my rose gold jewellery and wrist-wear.

Outfit: Refurb Magic

Lastly, I ‘m wearing my super comfy sandals from Vangoh Shoes.

My fedora hat was a gift.
My necklaces are from Wanderlust + Co.

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


 

The Joy of Rainfall Showers

10 April 2014

Earlier this month, my sister got married at a fancy shmansy hotel in Perth.

Because I was a bridesmaid, and because I was going to be out and about doing wedding things from 6am to 11pm, I knew I needed a place to crash during the day – thus I booked a room at the hotel.

It was an excellent decision. The wedding reception dinner ended late. It was too late for my youngest boy, so my husband took him home early (hello 9pm bedtime!), leaving my older two boys to stay overnight at the hotel with me.

Crown Hotel, Perth

This is us at 11pm, after a looong day. We were at the lift lobby about to head to our hotel room.

The room was lovely, modern and super stylish. It was a bit of a splurge, but the extra money spent was lost on me. You see, I’m a bit indifferent to all the over-the-top poshness. I am not too fussed about fancy accommodation. I’m happy, as long as my room is clean, comfortable, quiet and it has the hotel basics.

But my boys? My goodness. They were sooooooo excited.

Their eyes were popping out of their heads! They couldn’t BELIEVE how new, shiny, soft, clean, well designed, stylish, modern and expensive everything was!!!

They were falling over themselves. Oh my gosh, this carpet is so soft! Feel how soft the pillow is! No way! THIS quilt! It is soooo fluffy! This bed! Freaking amazing! Look at me! I feel like I’m being swallowed by a marshmallow! It’s like I’m making snow angels on the mattress! I could die and be happy on this bed! I want to live on this bed! Look at this lamp! No look at this clock! Oh the curtains! They are so thick! Look how smoothly they glide over the tracks! WHOA look at the shower! And the bath!

Oh man, they just went on and on and on like that, non stop, for ages. I thought it was soooooo adorable and hilarious and beautiful and innocent and just an example of how children enjoy such simple things with such pure joy.

I stood back with a huge smile on my face. I remember being 8 years old and completely astonished by the insides of a hotel room. As an adult, of course, the novelty of it is considerably less. But as a mother, my joy was in the happiness and contentment I felt knowing that my children were experiencing such a thing for the first time ever.

Crown Hotel, Perth

The next morning, I ordered our breakfast to come up to the room. Just as an extra treat :)

It was 7am, and again my boys were failing over themselves with excitement. WHOA! Room service! Just like in the movies! OMG this french toast is so fluffy! The maple syrup is so good! This is the best poached egg I’ve ever eaten! My taste this danish pastry! I’m going to cry! This croissant is still hot! Oh yum this bacon is so so soooo goood muuum!

Crown Hotel, Perth

Then we went downstairs to check out the pool, hot spas and water slides. We found lounge chairs, poolside cocktails, and a pool table. The weather was just amazing.

After that, we went back to our rooms, so the boys could have a shower. They sat under the rainfall shower head, completely blissed out. Then they moved on to the bath (I just ¼ filled it because I felt terrible to waste so much water!), and covered themselves with water and bubbles and splashed around with glee, like seals.

I was in a very playful mood, and I kept interrupting their merriment.

I casually reminded them that they had once told me their ULTIMATE holiday was camping in the wilderness, with bush walking, a bonfire,  no tv, no electricty, no water supply and where we had to dig our own toilet in the ground!

I teased them and said, “So which kind of holiday would you prefer NOW???”

They sat back in the bath, with a crown of soap suds placed deliberately on their heads and under their noses like moustaches, and they were thoughtful for a few moments.

After a few minutes, they both agreed that a camping trip is still their most ideal holiday, but a 5 star hotel is nice… once in a while.

And with that they wrapped themselves up in the big, oh-so-fluffy, white robes, with white slippers on their feet and spun around on the swivel chairs till they fell off laughing.

I love my boys and I love their happiness.


 

Bridesmaids Dresses from White Runway

4 April 2014

A few weeks ago, I was a bridesmaid for my sister’s wedding.

I think my official title and role was “The Chief Bridesmaid” – which sounded a little scary, possibly involving sacrificial animals and tribal initiations.

Thankfully it was a lot simpler than that, just involving pretty dresses.

So part of the Chief Bridesmaid’s job was to help decide WHAT the bridesmaids – just two of us – were going to wear, our earrings, our shoes, our hair, our make up, our nail colours, and our style of eye lashes (I’m not kidding).

Thankfully my sister is not the Bridezilla type. She was very relaxed and easy going about all of it.

For the bridesmaids dresses, she wanted two matching navy dresses, that were flattering, comfortable, gorgeous and something that we could wear again and again.

We chose these two BEAUTIFUL dresses from White Runway – an online shop specialising in bridesmaids dresses, formal evening dresses, cocktail dresses and mother of the bride dresses.

Gah the dresses were sooooo pretty and soooo flattering!

Bridesmaids

This is Rui Hsian and I, posing in our Mikaela dresses and ready to head out the door to do bridesmaidy things.

They are actually by an Australian designer that I adore, Pia Gladys Perey (via White Runway).

I already have several of her dresses – all super soft, super comfortable, stretchy and easy to wear, and all made in her signature slinky, silky fabric that drapes wonderfully.

The fabric didn’t need to be ironed too. I literally just folded up the dress loosely into my luggage, then when I arrived at the hotel, I hung it up for 30 minutes before wearing it, then viola, I was good to go. I also have to add, that they were very affordable, for bridesmaids dresses.

But I think the best thing about my dress is that I can wear it again, out to dinner, out to a function, out to someone else’s wedding. It’s versatile!

If you check out the all the Pia Gladys Perey dresses, you can actually choose a different style of dress, but choose the same colour and fabric. So all your bridesmaids can have a dress that best suits their style and body shape, and be all matching. Very clever!

Bridesmaids
(Photo by Jason Tey)

Our hair and make up was done by local hair and makeup artist, Creations by Kassy.

I cannot begin to describe what a great job she did with our hair, make up, eyes, eye lashes and eye brows (oh wow those brows!).

I took a peek into her makeup kit and almost died with envy. She had all the “best of the best” cult beauty products – from Urban Decay, to Smashbox and classics like MAC, Nars etc etc.

And the three of us (bride and bridesmaids) looked incredible from 7am all the way til evening! My makeup didn’t melt in the sun, or smudge, or go all shiny or oily. I needed a touch up of lippie before dinner, but my face makeup was matte all day. Amazing! What kind of beauty magic do these makeup people use?!

Bride and Bridesmaids
And lastly, here’s another shot of the three of us, in all our girlified glory!

Love and sunshine to you all xxx


 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake + Ice Cream

3 April 2014

Almond Chocolate Cake

I am so in LOVE with this chocolate cake recipe! I’ve made it before, in this blog post, Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake.

I don’t use flour. I use almond meal instead.

I also have been experimenting with the recipe by using less and less sugar each time. I’m down to 70g of sugar, it still tastes amazing and it’s still a winner every time I make it (original recipe asked for 100g).

In this picture, I served it with homemade ice cream, mixed berries and roasted pistachios.

OMG soooo yummy!

Ingredients
100g unsalted butter
140g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
70g of brown sugar
3 eggs separated
140g of almond meal

Toppings
vanilla ice cream
mixed berries
pistachios

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.

2. Slowly melt chocolate, butter and brown sugar, until smooth. Then let it cool for 5 minutes.
(You can melt it in a bowl over hot water, or melt it in the microwave. I just melt them in a small pot on the stove, on VERY low heat!)

3. Whisk the egg whites until you can make firm peaks when you lift the whisk up.

4. Add the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture, then stir in the almond meal. Mix until well combined.

5. Fold in the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, until well combined. Pour into cake tin.

6. Bake for 30 minutes or until your skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for another 10 minutes. Turn the cake onto a plate to cool completely.

7. Add toppings and serve immediately!

Enjoy!!!


 

To Stay In Luve

2 April 2014

My youngest son Liam turned five last week. As the baby in the family, he has gotten away with bad behavior for longer than anyone else. My fault, I have to admit… he is my LAST baby.

So, I have been going all “Tiger Mom meets Super Nanny” on him recently, to get him to stop his anti-social behavior. He is often sent to his room to ponder the error of his ways, and calm his red hair down.

Often, he emerges with a note he has written as a peace offering.

And this is my favorite one so far.

Scroll down to the bottom of the note, where I have translated it from Liam-speak into a human-readable form.

To Stay In Luve

“I need to remember not to kick, punch or hit my brothers. Especially, don’t say swear words. This will all help to maintain the love in our family.”

Well, he is getting the message, but obviously, I need to work with him on his spelling, letter formation, grammar an general neatness. Some lined paper wouldn’t hurt either.

Damn, I Luve that kid so much.


 

Love is in the air!

1 April 2014

As I mentioned before, my little sister got married!

BT & CC Wedding

Oooh I just love weddings! And this one was extra special because it involved my one and only sister, a great guy, and all of my family. I was a bridesmaid and part of the wedding party, my 2 sons did a special reading during the ceremony and my youngest son was a ring bearer.

It was such a sweet and fun day… and everyone was giddy with happiness and love!

So as promised, I have a few photos to share.

The photos were taken by Perth wedding photographer Jason Tey, who did an amazing job. When I saw the photos, I squealed with delight upon seeing how pretty my sister looked, how great her husband looked when posing (not awkward or forced), how natural everyone looked, and how the light was captured so… exquisitely!

BT & CC Wedding

I love this shot, they totally look like Korean movie stars :)

This pic needs a title like “The Proposal” or “52 Pairs of Shoes” or something like that superimposed on top.

BT & CC Wedding

Pretty dresses, sparkly earrings, pretty flowers, pretty hair, glam hair, gorgeous makeup – this is one serious girlyness overload.

From the left, of course that’s me, my sister Christine, and Rui Hsian, who is my sister’s long time friend from high school.

Rui Hsian and I are both married with kids, and while we suspected that our official titles were supposed to be “MATRONS OF HONOUR”, we insisted that everyone called us “The Bridesmaids”.

I’ve had so many people compliment us and ask about our dresses, so I’ll be talking about the dresses in another blog post (this Friday!).

BT & CC Wedding

And here we all are. The damn fine looking bridal party at Brookfield Place, in Perth City.

The photographer and videographer followed us all day, from morning till night (9am – 9pm)… and we even traipsed across the city to several locations, just to take special wedding party photos.

It sounds pretty epic and tiring, but we had so much fun, chatting and laughing, and it was all very relaxed and chilled.

Surprisingly the photographer (and videographer) didn’t get in the way at all, they didn’t crowd the space, they weren’t annoying, awkward, pushy or in our faces. They just got on with the things they needed to do, dashing in and out without interrupting our fun.

It was like being on a great big, girly party all day long!

xxx


 

Sushia Izakaya and Bar

28 March 2014

My sister (who lives in London) was in town last week, and I took it upon myself to organise a dinner for 12 of her/our girlfriends. It wasn’t a hen’s party, it was just a simple dinner and gathering where we all could catch up.

She loves Japanese food, so I wanted to find a place that had great food, suitable for large groups, and was a bit special.

I asked local food blogger, Michelle, and she recommended I try out Sushia Izakaya and Bar in Brookfield Place, Perth City. It was perfect!

It was new, modern, stylish, lots of tables and room to move, a great capacity for large groups, and it had a big open kitchen.

Sushia, Brookfield Place, Perth WA

I’m actually not sure what this cold dish was called. See? This is why I’m not a pro food blogger heh.

It was a platter of mini salmon and chicken tacos, and salmon and avocado entrees. And it was yummeh.

Sushia, Brookfield Place, Perth WA

Although there were 12 of us, we kind of split ourselves into 3 groups of 4, and we ordered a few dishes to share between the 4 people. It just made things easier for us to share food.

The Tuna Tataki (Seared tuna, miso aoli and Japanese dry spice – $23) came out and I almost squealed with delight. I love cold Japanese dishes and this looked amazing.

The tuna was so soft and fresh. Its flavours were delicate and delicious. The miso aoli was heavenly!

Sushia, Brookfield Place, Perth WA

This was the Gyu Tataki (Seared beef with garlic chips, chives, momiji oroshi scallion, ponzu sauce) $21

The beef was aaaaamazing! It was also soft and fresh, and it almost melted in my mouth. There was a bit of crunch from the scallion and a burst of salty and tangy flavours. It was such a joy to eat.

I wish I had to confidence to serve up raw beef at home.

Sushia, Brookfield Place, Perth WA

Then we shared a Gindara Saikyo Yaki (Cod in saikyo miso marinate – $38) which was quite nice. I was told this was one of popular dishes.

However, the fish was not as soft and “fall-aparty” as the previous dishes. I think it could have been due to the fact that the girls and I were talking and talking, that we forgot to eat it straight away, and instead left it on the table (for a good 10 minutes) and it got a bit cold. Nonetheless, I could taste the infused miso flavour and it was really nice.

When all the food arrived, I was afraid that we didn’t order enough, but it was fine in the end. I even had lots of room for dessert.

We shared a Sushia Dessert Platter (which was a nice way to sample a lot of the desserts at once. I didn’t get the names of all the desserts, there was tofu cheesecake, ice cream, red bean pancake, mochi ice cream, chocolate mousse – $35).

I also had a non-alcoholic cocktail, Green Tea Punch (Lemon grass, fresh green tea syrup, fresh lime and apple juice -$14).

Overall it was excellent and I would definitely come back!

Sushia Izakaya and Bar, Perth
Brookfield Place, Basement Laneway
Website:  www.sushia.com.au


 

Beauty Review: My SK-II Skin Challenge

26 March 2014

At the start of this year, I was invited by SK-II to embark on a SK-II Skin Challenge… which is really a fancy way of saying “I used their products exclusively for 3 months” :)

So this is how I did just that…

Beauty Review: My SK-II Skin Challenge

1) Everyday after I cleanse my face, I wipe a little bit of Facial Treatment Clear Lotion all over my face, which cleans and smoothens.

I actually had no idea how the lotion works… until I looked it up 20 seconds ago (thank god I have the internet to help me sound brainy!).

The clear lotion contains AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) which exfoliates the skin and in doing so, “erases” fine lines. Making your skin smoother.

2) Then I use the Facial Treatment Essence. This is a cocktail of nutrients for the skin, ensuring that it gets all of the goodness with one application. I find that the essence balances out the skin’s pH, sebum secretions, and moisturises the skin evenly.

I’m a real fan of this essence and I have been using it for years!

While I adore the product and I adore the effect it has on my skin… I honestly think it has the softest whiff of seaweed!

But hey, I’m a woman, I don’t care, it makes my skin glow, so I’m going to keep buying it :)

Beauty Review: My SK-II Skin Challenge

3) Lastly I use the Stempower Cream (a day and night moisturiser), which feels smooth and light on my skin. It has a lovely, light fragrance – not strong nor overbearing.

The results?

Really good! My skin now feels nicely hydrated all the time and my skin tone seems to look clear and even. My cheeks feel a little bit plumper and firmer than before too. I’m pretty happy with the results.

The not so good?

The price. It’s expensive. Not everyone can afford it on a long-term basis!

Conclusion

If I could only buy ONE product, I would choose the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, mainly because I have used it for years and I like the effect it has on my skin.

BUT I would still highly recommend the Stempower Cream to try. And since you can buy the Stempower KIT (which contains the cream, essence and a facial mask)… for the same price as the cream itself, it’s kind of a no brainer – go for the kit and get all three for the price of one. Win!

Check out the SK-II homepage and sign up for their newsletter to get the latest.


 

I am the apple queeeeeen!

24 March 2014

Everyone in my family loves apples. We eat a lot of them. If given the opportunity, each person in my family would eat one apple a day, which means 5 apples x 7 days = 35 apples. How crazy is that?

I don’t actually buy 35 apples a week, I only buy around 10. And yes, by day 2 we’ve run out of apples and everyone gets a bit twitchy.

Anyway the other day, my kids sent me away to the fruit and vegetable market to BUY MORE APPLES DAMNIT!

So there I was, strolling through the aisles, filling my basket with cucumbers, broccoli, red onions… when I approached the apple crates. They were full of new season Royal Gala Apples. I looked at them in sheer amazement.

Apples

They were so red.

So plump. So firm. And so perfect.

They were orbs of nutritious perfection. Little round balls that spoke of health, strength, and the essence of life itself!

Transport yourself back in time. Imagine walking the earth during the days of our ancestors… stumbling across the damp ground, through a tangled forest, cold and hungry, lifting your eyes up and seeing a tree full of these apples!!

How happy would you be?! How ecstatic would your whole tribe be? Talk about treasures from the heavens!

I’d sing and dance around a bonfire and create an apple festival for the apple gods!

Haha which is pretty much what happened when I returned home from the shops.

I walked through the door with my shopping bags slung over my shoulders. I dropped them to the ground and watched the apples roll across the floor. My children shrieked with delight and scrambled around to gather them up in their arms. We danced across the living room, munching into the sweet, crunchy goodness of those Royal Galas. Everyone was overjoyed and much less twitchy!


 

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