What I Wore: Matches Fashion at Mosmans

26 November 2014

The other day I mentioned that I went to a Matches Fashion event at Mosmans Restaurant.

This is what I wore!

Matches Fashion Event - In Good Company

I was itching to wear my new dress from In Good Company, called the SIENNA Draped Back Dress, in Petrol.

It is so simple and elegant, but it also looks modern, sleek and a bit sporty too. I just slipped it on and it was good to go.

The colour is just gorgeous too. It is a deep blue-green, that looks vibrant and quite unique.

The other reason I love the dress is because of the beautiful draping at the back!

Matches Fashion Event - In Good Company

It is called a “butterfly” detail… and it just looks so cool, in an understated kind of way.

The overall drapey-ness of the dress makes it quite forgiving. Which really means I could eat and eat without having to suck and hold my tummy in all day haha!

I’ve paired it with some simple black pumps by Acne (from Forward by Elyse Walker)

Matches Fashion Event - Zac Posen

And a new addition to my clutch family is this Zac Posen clutch from Shopbop. Everyone needs a show stopping clutch!

Thanks to Michelle for taking the photos of me!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


 

The Slower Lifestyle?

24 November 2014

Basketball Feet

My husband and I once made a promise that we were NOT going to become parents who crammed our children’s lives with tonnes of extra curricular activities, soccer, football, cricket, hockey, tennis, swimming, gymnastics, martial arts, music, languages, and extra tuition.

We enrolled them into ONE thing per year – and that was it.

Our plan was to… um, spend time with our kids instead??

I have to be honest… the ambitious TIGER PARENT in me found this to be very difficult.

I felt an ENORMOUS sense that I was STARVING my kids from new and important experiences. I felt that my children had so much potential and given the right environment (and lessons), they would be able to flourish, grow, and develop so much more. I felt that everyone around me had their kids in 2 or 3 or 4 extra curricular activities, and that my kids were going to be behind their peers and lack the advantage they need to succeed. I had serious FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out!

Yes, yes I know that spending time with my kids is important. But really, how many times do my kids have to follow me to the grocery store to buy apples? How many times do I have to push them on a swing? How many times do I have to explain things about the world to them – mundane things like how traffic lights work, what are the rules for wishing wells, what’s a credit card? Surely they must get bored of me and need some other kind of stimulation?? Surely kids need to be pushed and challenged so they can learn and excel?!

Oh god. For the last 10 years, I have been in a constant internal struggle about whether we were doing the right thing. I felt like I was just stumbling along and making things up as I go. I felt like a very mediocre parent. I felt that this “slower lifestyle” that we chose was just a lazy cop out. Did we take the easy way out?

Do they need more? Do they need less? We’ve made so many boring, long-term, conservative decisions – to live in a city where the rest of our family lives, to live in only one suburb, to not move the kids from school to school, to live in walking distance from our school and parks. No big overseas holidays, no sudden career changes, no over spending, no gaming consoles, no ipods – we are pretty strict. Perhaps too strict?  Life has been quite boring. But in a good way. Stable, safe, secure.

I guess we wanted to keep life at a slow pace, with low stress and low tech.

But my, how things are starting to change.

Both my bigger kids have interests and hobbies now. One is almost in high school too! There are volunteer meetings to attend, excursion payments to arrange, health forms to fill out, sports uniforms to buy, fundraising activities to support, music concerts, presentation assemblies, parent orientations, parent and teacher meetings…

This weekend, I had to ferry my kids to 3 basketball games, and I stayed to watch 3 hours of basketball. (My husband had to work over the weekend). The first game was at 7:45am Saturday morning and the last game finished at 7pm on a Saturday night! All the way through the first game I was thinking – I HAVE SO MUCH WORK AND HOUSEWORK TO CATCH UP ON! WHY AM I DOING THIS? AFTER ALL WE TRIED TO CUT BACK, HOW DID PARENTHOOD END UP LIKE THIS?

So during the second game, I had to consciously put away my frustrations.  I sat back and just tried to chill out and organise my thoughts. Why am I so stressed?

I realised that I’m so glad that we chose a “slower lifestyle” for their early years, because now life seems to be stepping up a notch or two now. And since I spent so much time with them as younger kids, I am quite happy to “let them go” and let them start exploring the world for themselves.

For my 11 and 9 year old, we’ve gone past all the intensive care stages with them (the newborn stage, the toddler stage, and the pre-primary stage). We’re at a stage where there’s a lot more guiding, supporting, creating positive environments, discussions, making clear rules and consequences (and sticking with the consequences, even though it hurts me more than it does them) and standing back. They’re learning about themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, their peers, their society, the world, and how they fit into it all. It’s a stage that is actually really exciting and rewarding.

So when I look at my kids now, I feel they’re off to a good start.

Even though they can be a pain in the arse most times, my kids are actually pretty great. I’m so pleased and proud of how they are growing up. I really like them! And I feel privileged that I got to be their parent!

I guess we did something right, right??

By the end of the second hour of basketball, as I sat on the bench with basketballs rolling at my feet, with another hour of a basketball game ahead of me, life and parenthood didn’t feel all that bad after all.

If only I could go back 10 years and reassure myself of that we were doing the right thing!


 

Jewellery Obsessed!

22 November 2014

I’m in a bit of a hurry to get some new jewellery for the festive season.

I’m stocking up on some clean, delicate styles for lots of mixing and matching – how gorgeous are these?!

Jewellery Wanderlust + Co

These bangles and rings are from Wanderlust + Co, who offer free worldwide shipping on orders over $50. These styles are priced from $39 and under.

Jewellery - The Iconic

The swallow necklace and matching earrings are just so adorable. I can definitely see myself wearing them all season.

These are from The Iconic (by Grace + Scarper) and they’re gold plated sterling silver. They are priced $99 for the necklace and $65 for the earrings.

Jewellery - The Outnet

And lastly these gorgeous rings are by Spanish designer Monica Vinader, from the Outnet. I really like Monica’s style because her pieces have a very relaxed and organic look to them, and go well with a casual everyday style. I have one silver ring and I seem to wear it every other day!

The Outnet are offering free global shipping, just use the code “HAPPYHOLS” at the checkout!

Hope you all had a great weekend!


 

Burn Out Tank Tops

21 November 2014

Burn Out Tanks from FashionJunkee

When I was occasionally doing exercise, I felt OK about buying expensive, high quality active wear that will last for years and years.

But now that I’m active 3-4 times a week (sometimes more), I go through my gym / running / active clothes so quickly that I often find myself with a pile of used, stinky clothes and nothing to wear! And sometimes “having nothing to wear” becomes an easy excuse for me to skip going for a run for that day haha!

So I’ve been looking into more AFFORDABLE active wear – that still looks good and looks a bit different.

Let me be honest, sometimes when I turn up to a gym class and see that 5 other women are wearing exactly the same Target top as me… I know it’s not a fashion show, but I still feel a little un-special OK?

I also don’t like active wear with big shouty slogans, like “ONLY YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!” – and I only say that, because I used to have a tank that said that and I felt ridiculous whenever I wore it :P

Anyway, so I found some really cool tank tops from FashionJunkee.

They are animal print, burnout tank tops, similar to the Stella McCartney range, and waaaay cheaper.

Burn Out Tanks from FashionJunkee

They look SO COOL! And they are only US$12!

The tank tops are made from a light cotton blend, they are soft and breathable. Because of their loose fitting design, they are comfortable and easy to wear and move around in.

They come in different colours like Aqua, Peach, Lavender, Lime Green, Coral and of course Black and White. Check out the whole colour range here.

I’m usually a size AUS 6/ UK 6 / US 2 and the tank that I’m wearing is a Size SMALL. It would easily fit someone size AUS 6 – 8.

The ‘burnout’ design makes the tank a little sheer, so you can show off your coloured sports bra, or layer another coloured tank top underneath.

And you can wear them as casual wear, beach wear, pool side wear…. they are super versatile!

FashionJunkee have been my blog sponsors for a really long time! They are based in the US and so the team have organised a special shipping promotion for all my US and international readers.

$25 Shipping on orders of $75 or more for International orders
$7 Shipping on orders of $75 or more for Domestic U.S. orders
The promo runs across the whole site, so you don’t need to use a code.

(For my Australian readers, the flat $25 option is cheaper than the new US parcel forwarding service by Australia Post!)

Plus if you sign up for their mailing list, you’ll be the first to be notified about their Black Friday and Cyber Monday coupons and deals!

Buy a couple of tops! Buy for your girlfriends!

Enjoy!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


 

A Little Update on Liam

19 November 2014

Liam at 5 1/2 Years

My little Liam is growing up!

He’s 5 ½ years old now and he just loves school! He loves being at school, playing with his friends, listening to teachers, following instructions, earning stamps on his “good-work” chart, doing craft, doing new things, and learning new things. His social skills have developed so well in the past year. He does have a reputation for talking WAY too much… but that is definitely better than him not talking enough, right?

He’s also quite a bright cookie and possibly quite advanced for his age.

For example, the other day I was helping my 9 year old do his homework, which involved classifying words into nouns, verb, adjectives and adverbs. Liam was SO interested in this that he too made himself a chart and started classifying words he knew. I went one step further to teach him about building sentences and clauses (oh my god!) and helped him create more complex and interesting sentences. He was SO excited. I could see it in his eyes. They grew wide and sparkly with wonder and amazement. I seriously could not believe we were doing this for fun??

Then we do this thing… where he recites the NATO phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta…see more here) out loud, as fast as he can while I time him with my stopwatch. Again, we do this for FUN?? He does it in 45 seconds (and I can do it in 24 seconds)!

Er yeah, so I’m really happy with how Liam is coming along academically.

BUT… we’ve been having trouble with his active side.

Both my husband and I are pretty sporty and active. And my other two boys (aged 11 and 9) are VERY sporty. They will zoom through their homework after school so they can head to the park to play football, basketball, soccer, hand ball, ride their bikes, go on their scooters, climb trees, or just run! I only have to say, “There’s 1 hour before dinner time, why don’t we go…” and they will zoom out the door, grab their hats, jump on their bikes and be on their way to the park. It’s easy to be active with my big boys.

But for Liam, it is a HUGE chore to get him outside. My shoes hurt, I can’t find my socks, I’m too tired, I have a scratch on my finger, it’s too sunny outside, I don’t want to put on sun cream, I have the wrong hat, my socks don’t match, waa waa waa. Most times the battle is soooooo difficult and emotionally draining, that I just skip my exercise for the day and stay home with him. It is definitely not a good thing for either of us.

But once the kid is ON a bike, or ON a scooter, or has decided that he’ll run through the park… he is absolutely fine! He is always happy as can be to be there!

We have recently signed him up to play in a basketball team, mainly because 6 of his closest friends were also in the team. But he doesn’t like it very much. He would much rather be at home doodling in his book, playing with Lego, organising his room, or working through an online learning program on the computer.

Because he doesn’t really enjoy being active, I find that he is much more drawn to being on a computer screen (playing educational computer games, maths, spelling and puzzle apps on the tablet) than my other 2 kids. I’m not sure if that’s because he’s the youngest of 3 kids and he’s been exposed to things at a younger age. Or it’s because of his personality. Or his age, as he is much younger than my two older kids after all. Or maybe it is his interest in computer games makes him less interested in being active?? Ugh, who can know?

He’s a great sleeper. He sleeps 7:30pm at night and wakes up at 6:30am. He gets very, very cranky after school (3pm) and I sometimes force him to have a nap for 1 hour, or at least make him lie down in his room with the curtains drawn. I find that makes him a much happier member of our family.

He is definitely the most “cuddly” and most “open to showing love and affection” of all my children. He loves cuddles, he absolutely adores me, and he seeks me and my husband out daily to give us a great big hug in the morning.

I hope he doesn’t grow out of that too soon!


 

30% Off Nike Sneakers? Yes please!

18 November 2014

OK so if you ever need some inspiration to run, or buy new sexy sneakers to run… this might be it! Head over to the Nike sale at ASOS.

Nikes ar ASOS

 

ASOS is having a 30% off EVERYTHING sale… and I nabbed myself a pair of new kicks!

I bought the leopard print pair :D

Shopping links are below (use the promo code “30FRENZY”)!

The sale ends 4am, Thursday 20 Nov, so be quick.


 

Matches Fashion Brunch at Mosmans

17 November 2014

Matches Fashion Show at Mosmans

Let me be honest here. One of the best perks of my job is that I get to go to events, take photos, talk to people, and write about the experience in my own personal voice – and get paid for it! It’s always different and always interesting.

However, not all of them are fancy and glamourous. I do go to lots of simple and not-so-interesting events too.

So when a brand holds a special event – where you can see the effort and special consideration that went into all the details from table styling, to flower styling, fragrant styling, food styling and fashion styling… I definitely sit up and take notice!

Matches Fashion Show at Mosmans

Matches Fashion came to town, inviting a whole bunch of digital influencers, editors, stylists and fashion journalists for a lovely champagne breakfast, to showcase their latest collection and to launch their VIP Online Service.

The event was held at a super posh riverside restaurant, Mosmans Restaurant, which has one of the most stunning inner-city views of Perth. The big, glass windows opened us up to the river and glorious natural light streamed into the venue. It was a gorgeous day for a fashion event!

Matches Fashion Show at Mosmans

We were treated to a 3-course breakfast (so much delicious food and not enough tummy space!) and very pretty table styling (I sooo wanted to nab a candle or two!).

I sat on a table full of ladies – all whom I didn’t know – and we all talked freely and happily about travelling, food, weddings, textiles, art, fashion and most of all… online shopping.

I also sat next to the new business and event director, Catherine West, and was able to ask her lots of questions and get all the hot goss!

(A bit more about that later.)

Matches Fashion Show at Mosmans

The thing that I enjoyed the most was the fashion show. I was struck by the very cool styling!

The use of pattern mixing and accessories to brighten the whole outfit is not a new concept. But these guys did it exceptionally well.

The fun, printed skirts were my favourite!

Stella Jean Pony Print Skirt (view)

MSGM Orange and Black Skirt (view)

Matches Fashion Show at Mosmans

A hint of oriental and ethnic prints, but with a modern twist.

Stella McCartney pleated dress (view)

Dolce and Gabbana printed top and skirt (view)

Matches Fashion Show at Mosmans

Bright, bold, high-contrast stripes never go out of fashion!

Stella McCartney blue and green dress (view)

Sarah’s Bag, VROOM Clutch (view)

Tibi black and what top and skirt (view)

DVF Fox Fur bag (view)

Matches Fashion Show at Mosmans

Vertical stripes, a-line cuts, and bright colours were definitely eye catching.

Roksanda purple dress (view)

Fendi Fur Bag (view)

Peter Pilotto green and patterned dress (view)

Pierre Hardy eye clutch (view)

There was so much fashion inspiration!

Going back to the table conversations over salmon and poached eggs…

I was very frank with Catherine. I told her I didn’t know much about Matches Fashion. I’ve heard of their name, I’ve been to the website, but I’ve never bought anything from them.

She told me that Matches Fashion first began as a boutique in London about 25 years ago. It now has four stores in London, but predominately it is an online store, stocking over 400 designers, and delivering to over 190 countries.

Their main point of difference is their dedicated fashion-concierge team called MyStylists, who offer 24/7 styling advice. She tells me that it’s really popular; customers love the personal advice, they love that they can ask about the fit of some pants, the chest length of a dress, the material of a skirt, and that they are less likely to return an item if they’ve talked to a stylist.

I personally have NEVER used an online stylist. Mainly because I feel like I might be talking to a robot? Or a call centre worker in a different country who just won’t be able to relate to me? And I also feel that I can just Google search the answers of my own questions by myself thank you very much. Eg, I wonder if the dress has a very loose fit across the chest? Because I have a small bust, sometimes the neckline of a dress can be too low and the material at the chest can be too baggy.

ANYWAY I was introduced to a few Matches Fashion MyStylists (one was based in London and another in Sydney, both have flown in for the event) and yes they seemed like friendly, practical, modern, NORMAL human beings, who were gorgeously dressed! And yes, maybe next time I want to know the fit of a dress, I might pop them an email. They are supposed to be experts in this area after all. Why would I spend hours doing Google searches through fashion forums and agonsing over the unknown details??

So I think I might give them a go, because I’m always looking to review new online shops and shopping experiences!

Heartfelt thanks to Matches Fashion and to the PR teams, it was a lovely event!


 

LOVE Bangle

14 November 2014

LOVE Bangle

I don’t usually wear clothes or accessories with inspirational words written on them. It just hasn’t been my style for as long as I can remember.

However, I bought a “LOVE” bangle the other day, because it looked pretty and stylish.

But immediately after I bought it, I thought – Now why did I do that?!

I’m a regular watch wearer, so I have a habit of looking at my wrist to check the time – ALL THE TIME. So if I were to wear this bangle, did it mean that every time I looked at my wrist,  I’d be reading “LOVE”?

Love. Love. Love. Love. Love Love. Love. Love. Love.

Uh oh. I’m going to be so annoyed! I’m going to ROLL MY EYES and throw up in my mouth a little, at the need for such an obvious, visual cue to remember something that should really come from within. And if I’m relying on this bangle to tell me THERE IS LOVE IN MY LIFE – well, I feel like it is pointing out what a loser I am. What then? Next I’ll be wearing PEACE. HARMONY. JOY?

Anyway to my complete surprise, a LOVE bangle is actually quite nice to wear. Heh.

The reminder is not so shouty, obvious or mind-numbingly repetitive. I don’t throw up in my mouth. And it’s actually kind of sweet.

In fact, I dig it.

THERE IS LOVE HERE PEOPLE.

NOW I NEED SOME “HAPPINESS”!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Skirt from YesStyle
Bracelets from Hanna Lee and Generics.
Ring from Monica Vinader, The Outnet
Shoes from Acne Studios, Forward By Elyse Walker.

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


 

The Remarkable World of Bees

13 November 2014

Recently we noticed a bunch of bees hanging around the entrance to our shed. The bunch grew bigger and bigger; and after a week it was obvious that they were living in the shed. I know you’re supposed to just ignore them and they’ll ignore you, but soon there were SO many bees flying around our backyard that I felt quite unsafe going outside.

They had made a bee nest in one of our shed cupboards, and while it was really just a small nest – my nephew is allergic to bee stings and he was coming over in a couple of days – I completely panicked!

I quickly called for a pest exterminator and the bees were gone the next day.

On hind sight, I shouldn’t have panicked. I should have just stopped for a moment to think about it a bit more… because I do happen to know that bees are REALLY IMPORTANT to the environment, and our human existence on the earth!! Bees are literally making fruit and other important food plants grow, as well as pollinating all the other plants in the world. They are making the world go around!

I am sooooo annoyed and angry with myself, because it turns out you can find – very easily – local bee lovers who will extract and move the bees to a new home FOR FREE. A quick search on Google or Gumtree shows that there are 4 or 5 different services in my local area! I really feel so terrible about it all.

And then to add further pain to my guilt, we pulled out the honeycomb… to discover how freaking amazing bees are.

Honeycomb

Look at the hexagonal pattern of the honeycomb! It’s so consistent and mathematically perfect! It looks like a man-made material fit for space travel!

The honeycomb is made from wax. The bees have glands that convert some of the honey the make (sugar) into wax, which is released through small pores on their bodies. The wax particles are then chewed up by the bees, softened in their mouths, spat out and then shaped into the honeycomb.

It was awe inspiring for me to think that little insects made this object – something that looks so man made – and that they have been doing this for thousands and thousands of years, before human existence!

Honeycomb

Bees are said to be remarkable engineers, impressive mathematicians, and highly intelligent creatures. Their honeycombs are an efficient use of resources, display superior construction and strength, and maximises honey storage… so much so that there is a full history of studying honeycomb technology, spanning from 60BC.

Also it has been documented that bees do a special dance and wiggle, as their way of communicating the direction of a food source, relative to the sun and their current position!

The more I read up about them, the sadder I felt about it.

Some of the honeycombs from our shed had a bit of honey in it, but we weren’t able to eat it because it had been poisoned.

So I guess I wanted to share my photos with you all, in hope that if you ever find bees in you backyard or out in the open, where they might be considered a threat… please do a quick search for bee lovers in your local area who can move them safely and in an environmentally friendly way!


 

Tailored Style for the Heat

11 November 2014

Tailored Style

Here in the land “down under” we are in spring. While the mornings and late afternoons are just perfect, by lunchtime, you can feel the heat beating down from the sun, radiating back up from the ground and from walls of buildings! And in mid summer, it will feel like that by 8am every morning.

So it’s not really a surprise that everyone wants to MOVE as little as possible and WEAR as little as possible. The tricky bit is how to keep it classy when you’re out and about.

For smart dressing, my go-to tops in this weather are made from loose-fitting, lightweight and breathable fabrics, in a tailored style. When I wear shorts or skirts, I also try to keep them in a tailored style – with cuffs, pleats, pencil skirts or tulip shaped skirts – so I don’t look like I’m heading to the beach!

Cotton shirt from ASOS
Blue shorts from AL&ALICIA
Silver clutch from Birdsnest
Leather sandals by Suboo
Hat from Sportsgirl
Necklace by Kailis Jewellery

( 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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