Archive for August 2008


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Pirate for a Day

31 August 2008

Callum as a pirate for Book Week

The other day was National Book Week, and my son’s school had a dress up day, complete with a parade.

Unfortunately, I totally forgot about it until the night before.

So in the morning, my 5yo and I ran around the house, frantically creating a pirate outfit. I think we did quite well.

But we were late to school.

Because my son and I had a HUGE argument about the visual design of his facial hair (that is, he was just trying to describe a “goatee” in 5 year old gibberish).

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Places To Shop In Perth

30 August 2008

I get lots of emails from people asking me where are the great places to shop in Perth.

Leederville (West of Perth City)

Atlas Divine – Women’s clothes, accessories, jewellery.

Yoyo Buffalo, Unisen, Harry and Gretal, Urban Clothing, Varga Girl, Estar.

King Street, Perth City

Zekka – Designer and concept menswear.

Dilettante – Luxuary brands

Gucci, Bally, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Linneys, Kookai, Sudway DC, Wasteland, Ruth Tarvydas, Wheels and Dollbaby, Periscope, Love in Tokyo.

Subiaco (West of Perth City)

Merge Clothing, Zara Bryson, Mollini, Xile, Saba.

William Street, Northbridge

Tu – Women’s clothes, accessories, jewellery.

Pigeonhole – Clothes, homewares, gifts.

Lala Orange


Love in Tokyo, Ashe


Aelkemi, Wayne Cooper, Elle

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Holiday Moment 2008: Going Bush

29 August 2008

Holiday Moment 2008 - Going Bush

Last week we were actually away on a little family holiday. We took a road trip up north to visit my husband’s family. They have a large property which is simply beautiful this time of the year.

We spent most of the time outdoors – helping with the yard work, fixing things, making bonfires, visiting the beach, taking walks. It was incredibly relaxing and refreshing. I didn’t touch a computer once!

This is a little barbecue fire we made out of some old bricks and a discarded grill we found. We walked to the cute country town shops. We bought sausages, eggs, onions and buns. We made a little fire with sticks we gathered. And we made the most delicious hotdogs ever!

(If you look close enough, you might see our names on the sides of the barbecue, scrawled with the burnt end of a stick.)

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Yummy Alannah Hill Designs

28 August 2008

I Love Alannah Hill

With the Perth Fashion Festival approaching, I’ve been in the mood to hit the shops and buy some new pieces for my wardrobe, in particular, clothes by Australian designers.

My favourite for my shopping trip was Alannah Hill. I’ve been a big fan of hers for ages! I just love her super-feminine designs, colours and textures.

I fell in LOVE with this polka dot silk cami. I was standing in the change rooms thinking, oh my goodness, it will go so well with all the skirts in my wardrobe, all my jeans and all my pants. My clothes will welcome it with open arms as an excellent addition to the family. But it was priced around $300 I think (I didn’t get the exact price).

The sales woman was fantastic. She paired the cami with this lovely silk ruffle skirt, with two-toned details that peeked through when you walked. Loved it! But again, it was around $350 (I think). Ouch.

I tried on some other pieces – a gem detailed silk blouse, and a pink floral dress. I have them over at the Doing The Karen Cheng Facebook group. Enjoy!

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Of Mothers and Gravity

26 August 2008

Callum in a tree

Sometimes we’ll be in a park and I’ll hear “HI MUM!” coming from above my head.

I’ll lift my eyes to see my 5 year old SEVERAL METRES UP A TREE teetering like a buffalo on a branch, waggling his legs like an excited puppy and grinning from ear to ear like the Cheshire Cat.

How did he get there? God knows.

But watching him wiggle back down… was like having my teeth extracted… from my eye sockets.

It’s times like these, I wish my kid had his face buried in a computer game.

Ok not really.

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Fashion Boutique Review: Pigeonhole

25 August 2008

Pigeonhole Shop

I was introduced to Pigeonhole through a friend of mine.

It’s a quirky little shop in the city, crammed full of clothes, accessories, jewellery, designer gift items and other super cool things you can’t find anywhere else – I instantly fell in love with it!

I had the pleasure of chatting to owner Johann Kim, who was such a cool guy! The shop opened less than a year ago, and it stocks over 600 local and international brands of STUFF.

Johann constantly travels all over the world, scouring, sourcing and buying all the cool bits and pieces for his shop. It sounds like so much fun and it makes me so envious!

Pigeonhole Shop

Even though Pigeonhole is in the Perth City mall area, it might be a little hard to find. So be sure you grab the map from the website. It’s at the very end of a very weird and wonderful arcade, and indeed it has a very pigeonhole-like charm!

Shop 16,
Bon Marché Arcade
80 Barrack Street,
Perth 6000
Phone: 9221 9837

And they also have a very cool blog and Facebook Page!

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Making Baby 3, Part 31: IUI Number 2

23 August 2008

Ward Roof

So the other day I went into my fertility clinic for IUI Number 2.

Things were much easier this time round. I knew how the procedure went. I knew the doctors and the nurses. I knew where to stand, where to sit, what to sign, where to lie, what to expect, how long to wait.

I was very relaxed and I had a good feeling about it.

I know it sounds a bit silly, because you can’t really trust your feelings on these things, but nonetheless I was very happy and peaceful. I felt balanced. That, either way, life will still be great.

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.

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Chocolate, Walnut and Berry Muffins

22 August 2008

Chocolate, Walnut, Berry Muffins

Again I’ve been cutting and pasting various muffin recipes to make a muffin that fulfills my current craving. These came out perfect! Eat them hot with fresh strawberries and cream.

Chocolate, Walnut and Berry Muffin Recipe

2 cups self-raising flour
1/3 cup of castor sugar
1/3 cup of cocoa powder
1/3 of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries
60g melted butter
1 egg lightly beaten
1 cup of milk

Makes about 8-10 muffins.

1. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa into a large bowl.
2. Mix in butter, egg, milk, walnuts, and berries. Combine well.
3. Spoon mixture into greased muffin pans.
4. Bake in 180C oven for 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Note: I think 1/3 cup of castor sugar is enough for little kids. The muffins taste mildly sweet with a nice tang from the berries, which is fine if you’re topping the muffins with chocolate icing or sweet yoghurt.

But if you prefer your muffins to be a bit sweeter on their own, I suggest you use 1/2 cup of sugar. Enjoy!

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Olympic Fever

21 August 2008

Callum and Sean with Medals

It’s very funny to see how my boys have taken to the Olympics.

They are absolutely obsessed with all things SPORT – in particular the idea of racing to see who will be the champion. It seems that they are rather fixated with WINNING.

And while I’m trying to tell them that “Sport is not all about winning”, they will sit in front of the TV and imitate all the athletes and their Gold Medal Reactions – that is, all the air punching, arm pumping, whooping and cheering, big smiles and jumping in the air. It’s very funny.

In fact, they have been imitating everything they see on the Olympic channel – from the athletes who cry when they win, to athletes who shake their heads in distraught, to those who curl over with muscle injuries, to those who hug their team mates.

It’s strange to think that my children are learning these “sporting behaviours” from the sporting champions themselves.

My dad went to a State Olympic Team Event and came home with two souvenir Beijing medals. Of course the boys were thrilled out of their socks.

And the house has seen non-stop victory dances since then.

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Where’s Spring Already?

20 August 2008

Where's Spring Already?

As much as I enjoy playing with winter layers – jackets, knits, knee high boots, woolen fabrics, stockings, leggings, turtle necks, scarves, beanies… the novelty has completely worn off.

I’m so over this cold weather! Where’s spring already!?

I was so happy to see all the spring fashion come out in the department stores the other week. I’m loving all the bold colours, ruffles, flowers, spring prettiness and bright coloured shoes!

I don’t usually wear girly, flowery prints, but I loved this aqua dress from Wish. Shoes are from Zu. And makeup from MAC and a Revlon quad palette.

I tried on another aqua dress, over at the Doing The Karen Cheng Facebook group.

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I Love Hamish and Andy

19 August 2008

Hamish and AndyIf I was having the crappiest day of my life, there would only be two things that could crack a smile on my face. One, my husband. Two, the Hamish and Andy radio show.

Oh my goodness, Hamish and Andy are just so funny.

I’m always left with a happy glow after listening to them. Sometimes I even have to pull over in my car because I’m laughing so hard, and I just need a few seconds to breathe.

Hamish and Andy are two, very popular Australian comedians, who are basically two young, goofy guys, who talk about all kinds of crazy stuff.

In my opinion, I’d say that their comedic style is a classic example of young, modern Australian comedy. It’s down-to-earth, random, fast-paced, witty and the guys are too charming.

Their humour is not cringe-inducing, it’s not TOO in-your-face, not TOO intellectual, and not TOO stereotypical-Australian. It’s just great “everyday Aussie humour”.

So if you’re not from Australia, and you’ve never had the chance to listen to “everyday Australian humour”…

Hamish and Andy are currently in Beijing providing a radio commentary on the Olympics, China, sports, Australian sports people, life in the Olympic village, other random Chinese things, like karaoke bars and cooked frog bowels etc – I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

I admit, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but hey, give it a go.

You can download podcasts or listen to them live from the Hamish and Andy site.

I recommend starting from their first day in Beijing:

Hamish & Andy – Best Of Monday 11th August


Hamish & Andy – Best Of Tuesday 12th August
Hamish & Andy – Best Of Wednesday 13th August

And so on. Enjoy!

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Sugar Blue Burlesque

18 August 2008

Sugar Blue Burlesque

An interesting attraction has hit Perth this winter – burlesque shows!

I first heard about Sugar Blue Burlesque through Facebook. Then a few people I knew told me about it, and now the event seems to be spreading by word of mouth like wildfire!

I went to their website and was immediately struck by the incredible photography and the absolutely amazing costumes.

Melanie Bruyer aka A’dora Derriere is from Perth and started Sugar Blue Burlesque with a good friend. She is a professional swing dancer AND costume and lingerie fashion designer, who makes most of the costumes for the troupe.

They do these themed monthly shows, have burlesque dance classes, are available for burlesque hen’s nights, or even corporate events!

Sugar Blue Burlesque

Burlesque originated in the 1840s and is basically a style of theatrical entertainment. Kind of like a variety show, with dancing girls, singing, comedy acts, contortionists and strip tease – all laced with satire, wit, bawdy humour and a big slice of tasteful sexiness.

I got to go to one of Sugar Blue’s shows, themed House of Horror Harlots! It was a lot of silly, outrageous, fun and crowd pleasing antics. The show was a line up of dance acts, singing and humourous skits. It was so popular that all the seats were sold out, and even standing room was limited!

All of the performances had been adapted to a horror theme, and everyone was dancing like a zombie or a vampire! The costumes were really amazing!

Sugar Blue Burlesque

This is me with the hosts for the evening, Fanny and The Beaver. They were such an excellent pair – funny, charming, quick witted and very entertaining throughout the whole night. They really encouraged the audience to participate, and they were completely unmoved by heckling and shouting from the audience, many of whom had come dressed up in theme!

I guess most of all, I fell in love with the costumes and the burlesque style and glamour. I was inspired! Now I can’t wait to play with some burlesque styles and looks the next time I’m putting together an outfit.

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Lemon Berry Muffins

16 August 2008

Lemon Berry Muffins

I’ve been in a very hands-on mood lately. I want to get my hands dirty and make things. So I’ve been baking. Or rather, I’ve been experimenting with baking and making up my own muffin recipes.

Lemon Berry Muffin Recipe

2 cups self-raising flour
1/3 cup of castor sugar
2 teaspoons of grated lemon rind
1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries
60g melted butter
1 egg lightly beaten
1 cup of milk

Makes about 8-10 muffins.

1. Sift flour into a large bowl.
2. Mix in lemon rind, sugar then egg, butter and milk.
3. Then stir in berries.
4. Spoon mixture into greased muffin pans.
5. Bake in 180C oven for 25 minutes until golden.
6. Drizzle with lemon icing glaze on muffins while hot.

Lemon icing glaze
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
icing sugar

Mix juice and enough icing sugar to make a watery icing for glazing. About 1 teaspoon of glaze for each muffin.

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Making Baby 3, Part 30: IUI Result Number 1

14 August 2008

Pregnancy Test - NegativeA month ago I had my first IUI procedure. I was told to go home, rest, wait two weeks, and then come in for a blood test to determine whether or not I was pregnant.

Of course I couldn’t wait, so I did a home pregnancy test after ONE week.

Both the home test and the lab test results were the same: NOT PREGNANT.

Oh well! I’m not stressed about it.

Some thoughts on IUI Number 1

I found my reaction and feelings towards the IUI to be very laid back and relaxed. I wasn’t precious or squeamish about it at all.

I felt like it was a bit of an adventure. A new step. I felt happy that things were moving forward. Things were happening and we were getting closer to being pregnant. I had faith in the doctors. And I was very relieved that I just had to let myself go to the process.

I found the whole scientific process of IUI to be interesting and fascinating. The practice of defrosting sperm, analysing it, washing it, injecting it, flushing it – it may put some people off, but I was very intrigued.

Like the moment I’m sitting on a plane as it speeds down the runway, and suddenly 300 people and this lump of metal are flying through the atmosphere. Like when I see images of the surface of Mars taken by a remote controlled robot. Or knowing that we have a vaccine for cervical cancer now.

I think, my goodness, science is pretty amazing.

So with that attitude, when the nurse asked me whether I wanted my husband to come in from work, to join me, to hold my hand, to share the moment, and maybe “push the button”.

I laughed and said, “No thanks. I’ll be fine.”

It was, after all, a clinical procedure. And I was happy with it being that way. There was no point trying to pretend it was something else.

The odds for falling pregnant on the first IUI is really low. Yet I was feeling really good, relaxed, happy and excited even.

But I’m not disappointed with the negative result at all. I’m super keen to try again! Sign me up for IUI Number 2!

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.

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Hey mum, there’s a sandpit in my shoe!

13 August 2008

There’s a sandpit in my shoe!

Everyday, I pick my son up from school.

When we get home, the first thing I have to do is bark: PLEASE TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF OUTSIDE!

Because, if I forget to remind him, I’ll have sand sprayed all over the house.

I assume all the sand is from the school sandpit. But there’s so much of it! I don’t even know how there can be enough room in there for his feet. There was like ¼ cup of sand in each shoe.

Maybe I need to get him thicker socks.

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Meet Lifestyle Blogger: Joyce Wong

12 August 2008

Joyce Wong from Kinky Blue Fairy

Years ago I stumbled across a blog who linked to me, Kinky Blue Fairy. I found Joyce Wong, a hot, pixie-faced chick, with attitude, who seemed to party non-stop!

Over the years of popping in and out of her site, I’ve found myself quite entertained and deeply fascinated – for me it’s seeing how the other side lives. Ah, so that’s what real party girls get up to! What a jam packed life! She has so much energy! And I love her outfits!

Tongue in Chic Fashion BlogJoyce’s pet project is Tongue in Chic, a very cool fashion blog based in Malaysia (such a great name!). It’s definitely a regular stop for me when keeping in touch with fashion in the Asia region.

I just love the range of stuff that she and her team covers. Everything from fashion shows, fashion events, bargain hunting, latest trends, sales, designers, fashion ideas, fashion scouting in Hong Kong, Bangkok, China and more.

Tongue in Chic are launching the new version of their site on the 20th August 2008, complete with a rocking launch party! Wish I was there!

I also asked Joyce if she was interested in “Doing The Karen Cheng”, she laughed and said SURE!

So you can see her pics on her Kinky Blue Fairy site, and on the Doing The Karen Cheng Facebook Group. Enjoy!

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Shells at South Perth

11 August 2008

Shells at South Perth

On the weekend we went to a birthday party picnic at the South Perth Foreshore.

The boys mucked around on the beach, gathering shells and broken rocks, until we gave them a little project –

To build a little path of shells from the shore to the car park. Man, they loved it. It must’ve entertained them for a good hour.

People walking past asked if it was a public art thing. Families and children passing by would join in the fun for a few stones then leave. Many people just stood and watch. It was painfully slow, but they did it!

After leaping around in the afterglow of pride, we had to convince the kids to pick up all the shells and return them to the beach.

I would have loved to have left it there, but I’m sure the lawn mowing men would not be happy with our “art”.

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NDP08 with the Singapore Students Society

10 August 2008

NDP08 with Singapore Students SocietyA week ago I received an email from a reader, who happened to be one of the organisers for the UWA Singapore Students Society.

She invited me to a Singapore’s National Day Parade event they were holding at the University of WA tavern – where they were serving up Singaporean food and watching the NDP on the big screen. They had quizzes, games, prizes, drinks and it all just sounded like a lot of fun.

The whole place was decorated in red and white, there were barbeques cooking roti pratas, and pots of simmering chicken curry. I thought it was actually very sweet of them to organise this for the Singaporean students living in Perth.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve set foot in the UWA tavern. I didn’t know anyone, I wasn’t a student, I wasn’t Singaporean and I didn’t even study at UWA! So I must admit that I felt a little awkward as I approached the event.

But as I arrived, a man sitting in the front row caught my eye. My uncle! Born and bred Singaporean, with a glowing list of academic and business achievements (and a medal!), he was there as the guest of honour to give a little speech before the proceedings.

Hehe it was such a completely random, but nice surprise. Great to catch up with him. Then it was lovely to meet Joanna (who invited me) over a cup of buttered corn. Thanks Joanna, it was a fun night!

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Only as a parent

7 August 2008

Satellite on my ass

Only as a parent can you walk out the door with a satellite stuck to your butt.

Sharks in my handbag

And 3 rubber sharks in your handbag.

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Lust (in Leather)

6 August 2008


A few years ago I was in a boutique and I tried on a beautiful tan, vintage leather jacket.

It was GORGEOUS and I wanted it so badly! The only problem was: it was $720, and there was no way I could justify spending that much money on it. So I put it out of my mind and decided to forget about it.

However, today I was shopping… and I think I have fallen in love again.

This one is just as gorgeous. Looks and feels just as yummy. Plus it’s much more affordable… but argh! Do I really need it? I can’t decide! Argh! I can’t believe I’m posting about this! I’m such a girl!

(You can tell how much I want it by that strange smirk on my face.)

(Pic at the Doing the Karen Cheng facebook group.)

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Personal Goals – Reflections for August 2008

5 August 2008

Karen ChengEvery month I make myself think about my personal life goals.

I might set new goals, revisit on-going ones, check up on how I’m doing in various areas in my life. I’m not strict about it. It’s just nice to create a space for my thoughts.

I decided to skip my reflections for July. It was the month I turned 30, and really, I had one goal – to turn 30 and celebrate it by doing something significant.

I can’t exactly pinpoint a beginning, but I think I have always been plagued by a “wanting to achieve something”.

A wanting to be special. A desire do something significant. A yearning to stand out of the crowd in a special way. A hunger to be someone amazing and inspirational. To live an admirable life and make a difference.

I have always looked up to amazing women. Female scientists, politicians, designers, humanitarians, artists, writers, public figures. Women who have conquered illness, climbed mountains, helped build hospitals for dying children, inspired millions. I would read about their lives and be filled with utter amazement and awe.

And who am I? Absolutely nobody. Just plain old Karen. Living in Perth.

Until I realised that my life is how I choose to live it.

I can sit back and envy others, or I can try to make a difference.

I can focus on my inadequacies and insecurities, or I can be significant in my very own special way.

So, here I am.

I am 30, and it is a new beginning.

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Vicente Villarin – Spring 2008

4 August 2008

Vicente Villarin – Spring 2008

I stumbled across the Spring 2008 collection of Vicente Villarin, by fashion designer Joanne Cordero Reyes.

I just love the way her pieces have an artful form about them, full of texture, depth and subtlety. Gorgeous stuff.

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Afternoon in the Garden

1 August 2008

Afternoon in the Garden

Today the boys made mud soup, mud cakes and mud salad. They used wooden trains to set up a chain store distribution mechanism to sell their muddy goods to the ants. It was very amusing.