Wearing: Self Portrait and Cult Gaia

13 June 2018

Self Portrait and Cult Gaia

I love a good “jeans and nice top combo”!

Especially when it’s a super-fancy statement top, that’s possibly bordering on over the top :)

Shopbop is currently having a Sale On Sale Event and you might be able to get some great stuff for up to 70% – amazing! Simply use the code “SCORE18″ at the check out to score an additional 25% off your order.

I was soooo please to get this Self Portrait Top during their last Shopbop Sale.

I’m a bit obsessed about this brand. I love all their lace dresses and statement ruffle tops.

I’m slightly worried that in a few years I’d go “what was I thinking?!” but I have a good hunch that expertly ruffled and draped tops will still be in fashion, especially when worn to a cocktail function or special event.

I’d be able to wear this with black pants, mini, midi and maxi black skirts, white pants… the list goes on.

Self Portrait and Cult Gaia

This top is actually a “one shoulder” top, but I’ve dropped one shoulder to make it an “off shoulder” top.

The only issue I have is the sizing. I’m usually a Size AU 6 or UK6… which usually translates to a US 0.

This top is a UK 4 / US 0… so it’s a tiny bit squeezy for me. It fits perfectly on my body/waist and it stays put. It’s a little tight at the arm holes and shoulders… so I won’t be reaching up high to get wine glasses from a top cupboard or anything haha.

I have another Self Portrait top that is UK 6/ US 2, which is a better fit at the arm holes and shoulder, but a bit loose at the waist, so it slides up/down.

But they are still very wearable for me!

Do check out the special tops (Blouses or Tops for a Night Out) over at Shopbop if you’re keen for something similar.

Self Portrait and Cult Gaia

My bag is the Bamboo Circle Bag by Cult Gaia.

I knew this bag would be delicate when I got it! And after using it a few times, YES it is super fragile and I’m quite afraid of smashing the wood against something or snapping the string that holds it all together.

So I simply use it as I would a small clutch: holding only my phone, card case, and a small leather pouch for my lipstick and keys.

Not very practical, but sooooo pretty haha – I guess it’s a similar story if you love mini handbags.

I also like this Black Acrylic Luna Circle Bag by Cult Gaia, it’d be easy to clean and a bit more flexible (maybe?). But that one is a little more expensive.

Jeans are Karolina Jeans by GRLFRND

Shoes are by Diavolina (currently selling at Zomp).

Trumpet Pearl Earrings are by Kailis Jewellery – so stunning!

Happy shopping and hope you find something you like!

xxx


 

My Morning Tea for IGA Purple Bra Day

9 June 2018

BCCWA IGA Purple Bra Day 2018

For my ambassador role with Breast Cancer Care WA ‘s IGA Purple Bra Day I thought I would throw a big morning tea for a few of my girlfriends!

This was actually outside of the scope of the ambassador project. They really just wanted me to talk about Purple Bra Day and encourage people to hold an event, I didn’t have to raise any funds or hold my own event. But where’s the fun in that?

Nothing like a bit of walking the talk, right?

Plus you all know how I love to cook and bake!

IGA Purple Bra Day is a fundraising event from 1 May – 23 June and anyone can join in the fun! You can head over to www.PurpleBraDay.com.au to register an event, or make a one-off donation.

Then you simply hold your own event… have a morning tea, a bake sale, a sausage sizzle, organise a dress up day at work, dye your hair purple (or shave it off!), set up a collection jar at your workplace, have a girls night in, or go big and challenge yourself in some way (jump out of a plane?) all in the name of fundraising for a worthy cause.

Here’s my page, tinyurl.com/kcpurplebra.

I’d love some support, any donation will help, big or small! Thank you!

Anyway, that top photo, that was my purple morning tea spread :)

I actually had ham and cheese croissants in the oven, which I forgot to lay out for the photo. And a platter of fruit. Where would I have put everything? Who knows?

BCCWA IGA Purple Bra Day 2018

It was my first time covering strawberries with chocolate.

I had to throw out my first 3 failed attempts (actually I just ate them), but it got easier after a bit of practice.

Tip: They look 300 times better once you place them in a mini cupcake case!

Tip: Spend a bit more to use really good chocolate and they’ll taste amazing.

Tip: Use a bit of coconut oil to keep the chocolate runny and easy to work with.

BCCWA IGA Purple Bra Day 2018

I put together some waffle bites – which were a hit!

I didn’t make the waffles, even though I have an awesome waffle recipe and an awesome deep-pan waffle maker. I bought pre-made waffles from Coles and they tasted surprisingly good, like doughnuts.

BCCWA IGA Purple Bra Day 2018

I made these from scratch! I made them the night before and iced them in the morning.

They were white chocolate cupcakes with purple butter cream icing. They tasted lovely, moist, but boring. Next time I’ll stir through some passionfruit pulp or something.

BCCWA IGA Purple Bra Day 2018

I used all my cute, op-shop found, vintage tea cups and saucers – yay!

This is pretty much the main reason I like to throw girly morning teas: I get to use my eclectic vintage tea sets haha.

BCCWA IGA Purple Bra Day 2018

I also bought these meringue cups, added whip cream and berries.

I had heaps of melted chocolate left over, so I made the little swirl things on top at the last minute.

(I think these were too sweet, not many people ate them and there were a lot left over).

Anyway, most importantly we had a fab time catching up.

A big, BIG thank you to my girlfriends who donated, we managed to raise $200!

Please, please help me reach my fundraising goal, you can donate at: tinyurl.com/kcpurplebra

Thank you so much!

xxx


 

Finished Reading: The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

8 June 2018

The Time Machine By H.G. Wells

I have a thing for classic literature and a particular thing for classic science fiction.

I recently looked into some of the earliest scifi novels and I was blown away to discover that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was written in 1818, BEFORE Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb in 1879. Crazy! I haven’t read Frankenstein yet, but it’s definitely high up in my books to read soon.

Well, I found this lovely vintage copy of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells in an op shop and decided to give it a go.

It was written in 1895. And to put that into context – the first car was invented in 1885, the first airplane was invented in 1903.

I really didn’t know what to expect!

What I thought – I really, really enjoyed it! First fews chapters were really tricky to read (omg, lots of old fashioned philosophical language), but the rest was VERY easy to read and flowed like a modern novel. However, it was CREEPY AS HECK.

(Spoiler: it pretty much descends into a zombie apocalypse tale and freaked me out! For example the time traveller was stuck in a dark hole and surrounded by little creatures with feathery fingers that tried to grab at him in the darkness, pulling him down and he was being overwhelmed by them… akkk!)

There is a scene in the story that has stuck in my mind.

It’s where the time traveller (he has no name) sits on his time machine and he turns the knob 800,000 years into the future. The sun, moon and stars zoom across the sky in a colourless blur and he pauses to find himself on an empty beach, looking up into an empty sky. I sometimes feel like my life is zooming by like that! Haha!

I definitely have to try War of the Worlds now. But I keep thinking of the movie and Tom Cruise, so it’s pretty much ruined for me :)


 

Net-A-Porter June Sale

7 June 2018

Net-a-porter Sale June 2018

Net-a-porter Sale June 2018

Eeek, I took advantage of the Net-A-Porter Sale this morning and bought this Self Portrait One Shoulder Mini Dress that was on sale for 50% off!

It was a bit of an impulse buy. But I just ADORE all my Self Portrait dresses + tops. They are all so timeless, striking and beautiful. And I’ll definitely wear it for years to come.

A department store cocktail dress is about $250 – $500. Designer ones are $400 and above… so to get one on sale under $200 is just awesome.

Haha will you listen to me justifying it.

Btw this is not sponsored. Wished it was!

*Fingers crossed it fits!*


 

Grana Boxy Silk Top Worn Two Ways

6 June 2018

Grana Blue Silk Top Worn Two Ways ​

A few weeks ago, I managed to get a few snaps of myself heading out in my new Grana Boxy Silk Shirt.

I picked out this top (courtesy of Grana) because I was looking for something a bit “summery” and still “smart”.

Plus I wanted something a bit “grown up” that I could wear to client meetings, but not be too boring and formal.

1) Office Outfit – Ok I don’t work in an office, but I met some newish clients and I didn’t want to look too corporate, too casual or too fashiony. So this top was perfect with a plain black pencil skirt, blazer and heels for my meeting. I was running late, so I didn’t get a photo of my outfit!

2) Fun / Dressy Outfit – I wore the shirt with a ruffle skirt (omg I love this skirt!). I tied a knot, tight under my bust and it looked super cute for the photo. Then I relaxed the knot a little when I actually wore it out (to a day time soft launch in the city).

I probably could have just worn the top in a normal way, tucked into the skirt.

3) Smart Casual Outfit – And this is me, meeting up with some girlfriends for a coffee date, with jeans and flats.

I could probably wear it over a white dress, to make it look like a skirt.
Grana Blue Silk Top Worn Two Ways ​

It’s a lovely, light and breezy top. It’s super versatile and easy to wear. The quality it just amazing. I love the feel of this silk crepe de chine.

I chose a pastel blue, because 1) wanted to try more colour 2) pastels are going to be on trend this spring 3) pastel blue is easier to wear than other pastel colours like yellow or purple.

Warning though: it’s a bit cropped so it’s better suited to high waisted jeans or skirts.

The good thing about it being cropped, is that it makes my legs look longer!

I’m wearing the XXS. I’m usually a AU6 or UK6.

The Sunny Sale

Grana are also having a “Sunny Sale” with 30% off a large selection of items, summer and winter styles.

Unfortunately this Boxy Silk Shirt is not on sale.

But you can get v-neck camisoles starting at $45, silk dresses starting at $79, silk tank tops for $39, cashmere sweaters for $99 and more. It’s a great time to buy if you’ve been holding out for a clearance sale.

Or if you want to try a new season item, you can use my code “karenxgrana” to get 10% off and free shipping! Valid until the end of June.

Enjoy!

xx


 

IGA Purple Bra Day 2018

5 June 2018

I’m super excited to share that I am working with Breast Cancer Care WA as an Ambassador for IGA Purple Bra Day!

The scope of the project only included Instagram. So technically, this blog post is “unofficial” and I guess you could say that I’m sharing some “unofficial and behind the scenes” thoughts of the project on my blog – which in itself is an interesting irony.

Anyway, I’ve worked with BCCWA before, back in 2009 (um, 9 years ago!). I remember they were such a lovely bunch of people – warm, caring, inspiring, full of go-getters, full of people who actually stood amongst the front line of breast cancer care and actually helped people in need. I like those kinds of people.

I really admire that this charity is very “hands on”. All the funds go towards practical and personalised support for those affected by breast cancer: specialised breast care nurse support, counselling, transportation to and from medical appointments, practical and financial support and more.

For example, I read about a single mum with two young kids, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, she still had to go to work, go to chemo treatments, still do her grocery shopping and cleaning, make her kids’ lunch, take them to school… she was helped by BCCWA, who organised volunteers and service providers to help her and her family.

Sure, raising funds for breast cancer research is super important, but when someone is in need right now, nothing beats personal and practical support, which also needs to be funded somehow.

BCCWA IGA Purple Bra Day 2018

From left to right, Maya, Myself, Malinda and Christine.

This year, as part of the collaboration, I teamed up with a few other WA influencers for a group photoshoot. I’ve done many photoshoots before, but I’ve always been on the production side of things. I’ve never been IN a group photo like this before. It was heaps of fun. Our photographer Angela Della Rosa did a fantastic job.

The campaign catch phrase was #breastfriends… and by the end of it, I think we were all breast friends indeed!

You see, for the group shots, we had to get RIGHT UP CLOSE to each other. Our noses were almost touching. Our cheeks, boobs, shoulders, arms, hands were all pressed up together and our legs were all entwined haha. And we had to stand there like that for 5 minutes, smiling and giggling on cue. We felt ridiculous. Plus it was super awkward when you hardly knew someone. We spent the whole time in fits of laughter!

And of course, the photographer was spot on and the photos looked great in the end!

IGA Purple Bra Day 2018 Shoot

This is us cracking up about something. No doubt it had something to do with breasts.

IGA Purple Bra Day 2018 Shoot

This is me, always blinking and reseting my smile at the wrong moment!

IGA Purple Bra Day 2018 Shoot

And this is the studio floor! We completely trashed the place!

I took a sneaky pic of one of the BCCWA’s staff on babysitting duty, high-fiving one of the kids – so cute!

BCCWA IGA Purple Bra Day 2018

This was my solo photo! The photographer took heaps of variations, but I chose this one to be published.

I look a bit awkward and small, all squished up in semi-foetal position, buuuut I think it’s a cute photo and it shows off my Purple Bra and Purple Boots, which is what the whole campaign is all about!

So what’s this Purple Bra Day thing?

It is a fundraising event from 1 May – 23 June, where you can head over to www.PurpleBraDay.com.au to register an event, or make a one-off donation.

You can hold your own event: have a morning tea, hold a bake sale, a sausage sizzle, organise a dress up day at work, dye your hair purple (or shave it off!), set up a collection jar at your workplace, have a girls night in, or go big and challenge yourself (jump out of a plane?) all in the name of fundraising for a worthy cause.

I’ve set up my page at tinyurl.com/kcpurplebra so you can donate through my event if you like!

Please help! Thank you so much!

xxx


 

Wearing: Kitten-Heel Slingback Shoes

22 May 2018

Kitten Heel Slingbacks

Over the last few months, I’ve been getting lots of people asking me about my kitten heel slingback shoes.

I LOVE kitten heels for everyday wear. They are just a little bit more dressed-up, but comfy enough to wear all day.

I’ve posted about them so many times – they are Tibi Kitten Heels, but unfortunately they are sold out.

Here are some other lovely options, made from leather, that I would buy, if I didn’t already have my Tibi ones.

Shopbop Black Slingbacks

 

Left:

I really like these ones. They are Diane von Furstenberg Mortelle Slingback Pumps and I love the look of them paired with jeans or a midi skirt. Sometimes I scroll through the rest of the Shopbop site and I see a model wearing these shoes (with a different outfit), I think “Omg those look gorgeous!” – happened 5-6 times already. Might be a sign?

Right:

These are Sam Edelman Ludlow Slingback Pumps. They are almost exactly the same as my Tibi ones, except the shape of the toe cover. This style is probably a bit more “classic”, “timeless” and much more affordable than my Tibi ones :)

 

Shopbop Black Slingbacks

Left:

These Sam Edelman Raya Slingback Flats look super lovely! Comfy, practical, perfect for everyday wear, casual but still a bit dressed-up. I would definitely get these in a snap, if I didn’t have my current ones!

Right:

I have almost exactly these Steven Lourdes Slingback Flats but in white, which I bought from ASOS (not leather). I wished I bought a proper leather one in the first place, because I wear them ALL THE TIME. I won’t buy a replacement pair until my old ones break, because it’s quite silly/wasteful right?!

Happy shopping!

xxx


 

Coffee Catch Up: May 2018

21 May 2018

Lemon Sky

Hi everyone!

Here’s a mysterious photo of my lemon tree, branches bowing from the weight of lemons (which aren’t very good because we don’t water it enough) set against the beautiful, blue Perth sky on an Autumn morning. The image makes me beam with delight!

Anyway, I’ve been jotting down lots of little stories for my “Catch up with me over coffee” blog post… so here goes!

1) New Ambassador Based Projects

My latest projects for Kailis Jewellery, Breast Cancer Care WA and HBF Run for a Reason (and a few more) are in full swing. Keep an eye out on my Instagram (@karenlycheng) and I’ll be posting about them on my blog next week too.

2) Reducing Freelance Hours

Recently I’ve been cutting back on the amount of work I take on, because I have a lot of LIFE STUFF happening.

I’m planning and organising our upcoming 4 week family holiday. I know this is such a first world problem, but it’s such a headache to research, look for the best deals, gather contacts and information, compile an itinerary, send emails, book tickets. It’s taken me weeks!

I think for once I’d like to go on a holiday where everything is organised perfectly for me. That’ll be a real holiday for me!

I also had a few things to organise… stuff for my father in law, stuff for the kids, and medical/dental stuff too… which brings me to my next point.

3) My 9 year old had dental surgery recently – eekk!

He and my husband woke up at 6am one morning to head to the hospital. Then he had a general anaesthetic to extract a few “extra teeth” that were pushing against his regular teeth. According to the experts, the extra teeth needed to come out now (one was growing in his palate?!) or they would cause problems in the future.

I was pacing up and down my house, my stomach all in knots and my heart fluttering from all the nervousness. I’m glad my husband went and not me.

Hours later, he was a bit sore, tired and grumpy about the numbness, but he was absolutely fine.

He even snuck outside to ride his bike on the street with the neighbours in the late afternoon! Ugh!

4) And speaking of neighbours, a new family moved into the house across the road.
They also have two boys aged 10 and 8, so they are very similar ages to Liam, my 9 year old.
They have been a breath of fresh air for our family dynamics! Liam plays with them every afternoon, for hours and hours and he is so happy! It has been wonderful to see him play with kids his own age. Sure he has heaps of friends at school. But this kind of play is a kind of long-form play brought about by boredom, hanging around and thinking up of crazy boy ideas.
Now Liam has someone to play Beyblades with, talk about Pokemons, play tennis on the street, dig holes in the garden, make books about cats, draw Minecraft pictures, build a cubby house, ride to the park, make lemonade from lemons in the backyard… all the things my older boys used to do when they were younger.
It made me realise that my older two boys (aged 15 and 13) just don’t play in that kiddy way anymore. If they did play tennis on the street with Liam, they would get so frustrated by his lack of skill, or start playing at a lower skill level, but then move to an increasingly higher level, and then eventually Liam would get frustrated. Fights! Tears! Screaming! Every! Single! Day!
So in a way, Liam has missed out on a lot of brotherly “long-form play” over the years. I’m so happy he has some new buddies his age to spend time with.
5) As for my older boys…
I’ve been slowly teaching my 15 year old some life skills and responsibilities.
Meaning: When life stuff comes up, I make him do it.

He recently bent his debit card and it stopped working. He couldn’t use it for paypass, but he could still buy stuff online. Every time he complained about it, I politely reminded him that all HE had to do was call up the bank to get a replacement. So easy!

After 6 weeks of procrastination (ugh, teenagers!) he finally looked it up online and discovered that he didn’t have to call and talk to a human, he just had to log into his account and apply for a new one online. But he now has to wait 7 more days for it to arrive in the mail haha.

Lesson: Sometimes things are not as hard as you imagine they’ll be.

He also recently broke the gears on my bike (my derailleur!) and I made him walk it to the bike shop (only 1.5km away), explain to the bike guy what happened, arrange contact details, payment, pick up details and walk back home. He was not happy, but he did it anyway. Only cost him $70 in the end.

Lesson: If you borrow something and break it, it’s your responsibility to pay for it and fix it.

Omg every day something new happens and there are new lessons to be taught. It’s been slow and painful. But he’s doing pretty well and he’s such a great kid.

6) My 13 year old boy got a job too.

I think it’s such a great/important/crucial way for teenagers to grow up, learn skills, interact with other adults and start being independent.

He has been helping my brother-in-law with house renovations, in particular, moving and cleaning bricks – hundreds of them! It’s good hard work and he gets paid by the hour.

Apparently he’s a “good worker” with a “good attitude”… which is exactly what I want to hear, yay!!

7) Thinking about universities

I know right?! What the heck?!

With lots of encouragement from his high school, my 15 year old has started to thinking about what he wants to do after high school, which university he wants to go to, what course he wants to take etc etc.

My mind is blown. I can’t deal with it.

8) Randomly, I’ve been invited to be on an Australian Reality TV Show

I received an email asking if I’d like to be a contestant on an Australian version of the Chinese mega-show “If You Are The One”!

Haha! Um, no thanks!

Firstly… 1) I’m already married… 2) I’m not exactly a fun-loving 22 year old!?! 3) I’m old, boring, I like gardening and reading, I’m cynical and sarcastic of all things media and TV reality show related and… 3) I’m ethnically Chinese, so the TV producers are probably going to portray me as an “exotic”, “piano/violin playing”, “straight A student”, “quite-spoken prude”, or “dragon cougar lady”. Haha omg no thanks!

OK that’s all from me!

Have a fantastic week!

xxx


 

What I Wore: Grana Panelled V-neck Slip Dress

18 May 2018

Grana Silk Slip Dress

Went out to dinner the other night and wore this lil number!

A Grana Panelled V-neck Slip Dress – You can’t go wrong with a classic silk dress in black.

Jut add some simple heels, simple accessories and hey presto, I can look half decent after rushing around all day!!

If you already own a Grana silk slip dress or a Grana silk v-neck camisole, you’ll love to know that this new dress features a slim fit design with a hidden zip at the waist.

It’s very fitted and flattering, hugs my waist perfectly and such a great fit for me.

Yes the neckline is extra low, which might turn some people off. But it seems to have a good firm fit across my chest, so there’s no sliding around and no need for double sided tape.

I’m wearing a size XXS and I’m a standard AUD 6 or UK 6.

If I wanted a slightly more relaxed look at the top, I would be happy to go up to a size XS.

The skirt of the dress has a more relaxed A-line style, so it’s very easy to move, walk around and sit in.

However, if you’re prone to over-eating during dinner time, um, then you probably DON’T want to get this dress, as the silk will skim nicely over your food baby and make you look 4 months pregnant haha! Or you could invest in some Spanx?

The quality is amazing. It definitely matches some of the silk dress sold by high end labels for 5 times the price. And it is fully lined with a double layer of silk.

Grana Silk Slip Dress

In terms of versatility, you could easily wear a white shirt (with a knot at the front) with this dress. Or layer with a t-shirt and knitted sweater for the colder months.

It’s too fitted for you to wear a white t-shirt underneath. But you could buy a sheer shirt with embroidery to wear over the top.

I love this simple, classic and elegant style!

If you’re a new customer, and you want to buy a full-priced item, please feel free to use my code “karenxgrana” to enjoy 10% off your order and free shipping!

xxx


 

Mother’s Day Gifts from the Weekend

14 May 2018

Mothers Day 2018

Hi everyone, hope you had a lovely weekend, and if you celebrated Mother’s Day, I hope you were super spoilt!

For me, I told the kids I didn’t want presents – I just wanted them to wash my car :)

They did a fantastic job. My car is sparkling! They even cleaned my wheels!

(It helped that they use my Enjo car cloths, which I believe, did most of the hard work haha)

Our weeks have been so busy and rushed, that I just wanted a normal, quiet day at home – which has become so rare these days.

So my Mother’s Day Sunday consisted of a glorious 9:30am sleep in (omg I was so spoilt!), pancake breakfast, regular Sunday chores, a bit of gardening, taking one kid to his work, doing bit of shopping, hanging out with my kids, letting them play video games, bit of reading, going to the Asian grocery store and cooking for a dinner party, where we invited both of our extended families over for dinner.

As for gifts, I managed to pick out a few items for myself, including this super gorgeous Bamboo Circle Bag by Cult Gaia.

I also received a Chloé Sinature Eau De Parfum (75ml), an oldie but a goodie, via Priceline’s reward club.

Also pictured here are some Kailis Jewellery, Antheia Earrings and Twin Pearl Cuff, but these were just a loan for the weekend.

Mother's Day 2018

When my 3 kids were in Primary School, I received soooo many cute crafty gifts and cards. The teachers did such a lovely job, implementing all kinds of creative ideas for kids to spoil the mums.

Now with my two big kids in high school, I get less crafty gifts (which is a good thing!) but I do get a bit sentimental and miss all those silly “Interview Questions” or “Acrostic Poems”… thankfully I still have a kid in Year 4!

Mother's Day 2018

Talking about silly acrostic poems… I can’t tell whether my 9yo kid really thinks this of me, or he was forced to make some stuff up to fit into the poem?

I guess he could have simply used the word “awesome”?


 

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