Archive for October 2008


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 5: Morning Sickness

31 October 2008

Last week I began a course of hormone medication.

And ARGH I feel absolutely disgusting now! I am nauseous, dizzy, irritable, tired, bloated, my body aches, my head aches, and my skin and hair feels SO GROSS. It all hit me like a train, 4 days ago. I basically woke up in the morning and WHAM.

Every moment of the day, I feel like throwing up, or that I might faint from dizziness. It’s awful.

I’m not sure if this is actual morning sickness, or just the side effects of the hormone medication.

The doctor told me to REST, REST, REST!!

And I said, “Ok, but what do you actually mean by REST? I have to look after two little boys, so I don’t usually do much of this RESTING thing that you’re talking about.”

It turns out that I can’t do anything “strenuous”. I have to lie down as much as possible. Get someone else to hang up the clothes. Stop cooking, order take away.

I can’t play netball. I’m not allowed to run or jog. I haven’t been on my daily walks, and combined with everything else I’m feeling… I feel like a lazy blob. Bleh.

When I was pregnant with my first two boys, I had no morning sickness at all.

In fact, when I was carrying my first child, I didn’t actually have anything wrong with me until I was around 8 months! And after that, it was only a few aches and pains.

I had what everyone called a “perfect pregnancy”. I had glowing skin and shiny hair.

For my second child, I just got headaches and a few aches, but no nausea.

When I tell people all these things, everyone says – OH THIS MEANS IT’S A GIRL!

Different pregnancies mean different gender? Hmmm, don’t know about that.

At this stage, I’m not really concerned if the baby is a boy or girl. I know that the morning sickness is really a GOOD SIGN of a normal pregnancy.

I’m just hoping to the high heavens that the baby will be fine and healthy.

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

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White Skirts and Latte Shoes

30 October 2008

Shoes from Charles and Keith

I’m loving my latte coloured heels (from Charles and Keith, Singapore).

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My Lettuce Box

29 October 2008

Lettuce Box

The idea of having a lettuce box was inspired by my mother. Last year, she planted 6 baby lettuce plants in a sunny patch of dirt in her backyard. She watered them every day, and every week she had a huge bundle of fresh lettuce leaves – it went on for months!

I was very envious! And inspired! Especially because her “patch of dirt” was not very impressive at all, yet she still managed to grow the lettuce. I decided to do the same.

Unfortunately I have a major snail problem in my garden, and wasn’t happy to put the lettuce straight into the ground. So I bought a plastic tub, drilled a few holes at the bottom, filled the bottom with leaves, topped it up with a mixture of organic worm manure and mushroom compost.

I put in 4 baby lettuce seedlings.

I hand water them every day, and yep, once a week, I have a small basket full of fresh, organic lettuce leaves. And the snails don’t seem to make it into the box.

I’m absolutely delighted, and embarrassed, by how easy it is.

Lettuce Harvest

My harvest after 4 days!

Sometimes in the evenings, I might be looking for a quick side salad, so I run outside and snip off a few leaves. They are so tender, fresh and crispy! Nothing like you’ll find in a supermarket.

I can’t wait for my cherry tomatoes to ripen!

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Candy Cult Exhibition

28 October 2008

Candy Cult Exhibition

The other day, I was invited to an exhibition opening, Candy Cult. It was a character art exhibition showcasing local and international artists from diverse backgrounds of street art, game design, illustration, vector graphics, animation and graphic design.

I also thought my 5.5 year old son would enjoy it. So we kinda went on a date.

It was quite cool! Great to see such a nice range of styles, and I spotted some familiar names.

I was trying to teach my son about character design and illustration. “See how some have black outlines and some don’t? Some have really big eyes, some have no eyes!” But he got a bit bored of my lecturers and wanted to know why they didn’t move.

Candy Cult Exhibition

My favourite for the evening was Dear Rider by Lisa Max (Germany).

Candy Cult Exhibition

And my son liked the little green dinosaur, Ive by Edward J Grug III (Australia).

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Moment of Reflection

27 October 2008

Moment of Reflection

On the weekend, I took a gentle walk by the river with my 3 year old.

I needed to stretch my legs and I needed some stillness. My son danced around the shore, chasing ducks, collecting pebbles and drawing in the sand.

It was a gorgeous morning for reflection. Perfect for recharging my soul. Remembering that no matter what happens, life is what I make of it.

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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 4: Spotting

25 October 2008

Most of this week went by without any event. Nothing! No morning sickness. No dizziness. No anything! I felt very, very normal. I don’t think the reality of “being pregnant” had kicked in yet.

But by the end of the week I had spotting. I’ve never had spotting before. Even with my first two children.

Everyone I’ve ever spoken to, and everything I’ve read, says that spotting in early stages of pregnancy is very common.

Many mothers have told me that they had spotting, even heavy spotting, all throughout their pregnancies – and their babies have come out perfectly fine.

But I also know that spotting may mean that the baby did not make it.

I was very calm, I didn’t freak out. I called my doctor at the fertility clinic.

I went in for a blood test and was told that I had low progesterone. Apparently, at this early stage of the pregnancy, progesterone is important.

So as of yesterday, I am on hormone medication.

And I’m still hopeful.

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

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In Front of the Camera

24 October 2008

In Front of the Camera

In addition to all the delicious snippets of fashion, the girls at Fashionation wrote about a topic that piqued my interest.

Have you ever been photographed by someone who loves you?

I thought it would be an easy question to answer. Particularly because my husband is actually a fantastic creative photographer. In fact, some of the more creative photographs on my website were conceived and taken by him.

However, I realised that my husband doesn’t take many photos of me.

And haha, the reason for that is, I’m too used to being behind the camera. I like to be the creator and the art director. I like to be in control! Plus I don’t feel completely natural when someone is trying to take a portrait photo of me. I wrinkle my nose, roll my eyes and say things like “Are you done yet??”

So no, because of me, there are no creative or powerfully emotive portrait photos of me, by my husband.

I did manage to find a silly photo my husband took of me the other day! Ok it’s not a great photo. It’s more of a point and shoot snap, and it certainly doesn’t show off any of his photography skills.

We were getting ready to go out to dinner, and I was asking my husband whether I should get a haircut. Not very emotive.

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The Broken Fingernail

23 October 2008

Callum's Broken Finger Nail

During the school holidays, my 5.5yo rode his bike into a pole.

He didn’t have a concussion. He didn’t break any bones. In fact, the only thing he broke was his fingernail.

I wasn’t there when it happened. Apparently there was a lot of blood. And screaming.

We took him to a clinic and the nurse said, “Oh! He’s pulled the whole nail out at the cuticle. That means it’ll never grown back.”

I was a little shocked by this. “Aren’t finger nails supposed to grow back??”

I asked a whole lot of other questions, like “What will be there instead of a nail? Will it be prone to infection? Could he have some kind of surgery to implant the cuticle back? Or a fake nail he could wear? Can’t I do something?!”

But no. My little guy will have a funny little finger for the rest of his life.

Perhaps being pregnant and all, I got a bit emotional and upset.

I mean, IT IS just a fingernail. It’s not like he’s missing his whole finger.

And my son was very unconcerned by it. As a matter of fact, he thought it was quite cool.

I guess I was floored by how such a small, almost silly incident, can make a mark on us for the rest of our life.

It kinda makes me want to wrap my children up and protect them from the big, bad world.

On the other hand, it’s inspiring to remember that small, wonderful incidents can have an equally positive affect on us for the rest of our lives.

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Meet Australian Fashion Designer: Yeojin Bae

22 October 2008

Yeojin Bae - Peotic Form 08 Collection

When I was in Melbourne, I was very keen to meet designer Yeojin Bae and visit her new studio showroom in Prahan.
Yeojin BaeYeojin has been a fashion designer for 14 years and counting. With internships in New York with Marc Jacobs and Anna Sui under her belt, she came back to Australia to work at Charlie Brown and head designer at Saba.

She has a string of awards, featured in US and Australian fashion magazines, and has launched herself as one of Australia’s most exciting and upcoming designers.

Last year, Yeojin launched her self-titled label, now stocked worldwide. And earlier this year, she set up a brand new retail showroom, with her full collection.

Yeojin Bae - Studio

Unfortunately, Yeojin was not in town during my stay in Melbourne, so I wans’t able to meet her in person. But I did take the time to visit her showroom in Prahan.

It was gorgeous! With high ceilings, restored details, it had a minimal but wonderful mix of furniture that made it seem more like an intimate studio apartment, rather than a shop.

I just love the feminine, elegant, simple and vintage edge to her designs!

Yeojin Bae - Lili Marlene 09 Collection

Images by me, Yeojin Bae and

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Homemade Chicken Kebabs

21 October 2008

Homemade Chicken KebabsIn Australia, there’s a wonderful and vibrant community of Lebanese migrants, and I absolutely adore their food.

One of my weaknesses are chicken kebabs. Especially with garlic sauce. Mmmmm.

So today I thought I’d try to make some myself. At the shops you can pay up to $9 for a chicken kebab. I think mine cost about $2.50 each.

Recipe for Homemade Chicken Kebabs

500g of chicken breast or thighs
3 tablespoons of barbecue sauce
(I actually didn’t have any barbecue sauce, so I just mixed up some soy, hoisin and Worchester sauce.)

1) Marinate chicken for 30 mins in fridge
2) Grill chicken until crispy. Leave to cool, then slice up.

Vegetable Fillings
I also had avocado and snow pea sprouts.

Garlic Sauce
2 cloves of garlic
5 tablespoons of natural yoghurt

I had no idea how to make garlic sauce, so I just improvised with garlic and yoghurt. It was delicious! It was definitely the most crucial and indispensable part of the kebab! So don’t leave it out!

Pita Bread
Wholemeal or white pita bread

Lightly oil a pan, fry for a few minutes to turn brown. Roll it up when it’s all nice and warm.

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Pasar Malam and Crazy Foodies

20 October 2008

Curtin University Pasarm Malam

The other evening, my husband and I took the kids to check out a pasar malam, which is Malay for “night markets”. It was a huge event at Curtin University, hosted by the International Students Committee for Multicultural Week.

The place was packed! I didn’t realise there were so many international students in Perth!

There were more than 40 stalls, all selling pasam malam favourites – satays, fishballs on a stick, nasi lemak, curry and roti, endless varieties of noodles and rice. As well as favourite Asian style drinks like chendol, rose milk, coconut juice and soya bean milk. I was in Asian food heaven!

Walking through the crowd, there were queues and queues and queues for all the stalls. It was unbelievable. It was like there was this frantic hunger in the air. The smells seemed to have turned everyone crazy, struck by a hysterical need to HAVE FOOD.

Curtin University Pasar MalamI think the most popular stall for the evening sold “Seafood on a Stick!”. I wiggled my way to the front of the stall, stood up on a block and took some snaps of the sizzling seafood. All the while, I was going a little crazy myself, with my mouth watering and an overwhelming temptation to reach out and nab a stick.

I thought my kids would be interested to see such a funny spectacle – a huge crowd of people gathering just for the love of food. But my kids got quite grumpy. They were surrounded by the smell of food, and all they could see were legs and shoes.

In the end, we didn’t buy any food, because the queues were so long. I admire people who have the patience to queue. That’s dedication to your food!

For me, having two grumpy and hungry children dangling off my arms, was enough for me to turn to my husband and say, “Let’s just grab some pizza on the way home.”

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Balmy Evenings

19 October 2008

Winter is over. The weather is warming up.

The days are longer. The air is thicker. The heat from the day clings to the trees, the roads, the earth.

We walk through the park each evening, and the night is rich with new smells.

Warmed eucalyptus trees, flowers bursting with honeyed oils, Indonesian curries, sizzling sausages, chlorine, grass cuttings, bore water sprinklers.

I love this time of year.

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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 3: PREGNANT!

17 October 2008

So yes! After our third try at assisted reproduction using IUI, we are finally pregnant!

I know I’m still in “early days” but to see those two lines after all these months sent a jolt from my eyeballs to my toes.

I was filled with the greatest sense of happiness, disbelief, relief, excitement, shock and I could not but feel the power of life’s sweetest word, grace.

I actually first found out that I was pregnant from a phone call. My nurse at the fertility clinic called while I was having lunch with some friends at a Chinese Restaurant. It was so noisy that I couldn’t hear what she was saying.

As I made my way outside, I was shouting “WHAT DID YOU SAY?? I’M WHAT?? CAN YOU SAY THAT AGAIN??”

I stood on the pavement, repeating to my nurse, “Really? Are you sure? I mean are you really sure??”

I walked back into the restaurant. I didn’t plan to say anything to my friends, but the smile on my face gave it away. A big wide silly grin. Ah, I couldn’t contain myself.

On my way home, I stopped off at a pharmacy and bought a home test pregnancy kit. You know, just in case the nurse was, like, joking.

It’s so amazingly strange. After 12 months of trying. I’m finally pregnant!

(PS. Again, I want to say a big THANK YOU to all the people who has sent me messages!)

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

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Designer Cakes Fit for a Queen

16 October 2008

The World's Most Valuable Cake

The other day I was invited to a VIP Cake and Cocktail Party, hosted by Julia and her cake decorating company Cupid’s Delight.

They were launching their latest range of couture cakes in their showroom, and unveiling their most spectacular cake yet.

I had no idea what to expect. I knew nothing about the cake industry – but I loved Julia’s story.

She was an accountant, who discovered she had a passion for cake decorating. After that she decided to start a cake decorating business, and now has a gorgeous collection of cakes, a team of cake decorators and a flair for getting a lot of media attention!

Cake Display at Cupid's Delight

I really enjoyed looking at all her cakes! It ignited a crazy dream I once had – to be a cake decorator myself. It looks like such fun. Like scrapbooking, but with icing.

I was told that the cakes on display were actually display cakes, so on the inside, the cakes are made of foam – which, for some reason, made me chuckle.

With security guards dotted around the showroom, media photographers, a TV crew, and a room full of very well-dressed guests, there was definitely something in the air.

It was unveiled that Julia had broken the Guinness World Record for making “The Most Valuable Cake in the World” valued at AUD$3 million dollars.

It was very exquisite! It had loose diamonds set into the sides and edges, pink diamonds, sapphires and pearls. See the photo above of me and the world’s most expensive cake.

I was also told that it was now available for sale!

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Daily Outfit 15-10-08

15 October 2008

Daily Outfit 15-10-08

Today I went to a cafe to meet up with a friend who recently had a new baby. It was a lovely morning for it – sitting under umbrellas with the warm spring breeze and hot sunshine.

I’ve been eagerly waiting for the weather to warm up so I can finally wear my new white tulip skirt, which I picked up at Soon Lee, in Singapore. I love it! It’s so cute!

I’m also wearing black singlet top from Country Road. And shoes from Nine West. Blue shoes make me happy!

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Update and Morning Tea in the Garden

14 October 2008

Update in the Garden

When I was in Melbourne, my husband took a week off work to look after the boys. I was terrified that they would drive him crazy, particularly because it was THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS that week.

So before I left, I arranged a series of playdates, babysitting, park dates, and sleepovers.

They were so busy, they hardly noticed I was gone! It was a breeze! Everyone had such a great time! The boys were wonderful! And my husband actually enjoyed himself.

I was so pleased, in fact, I was glowing with pride.

I came back to a relaxed and happy household – and it felt so good. OK the house was in a mess, but I didn’t care.

I must admit, even though I had a fantastic time in Melbourne, doing all the stuff I love – deep down I had a huge hole in my being.

Life was not the same without my husband and my two little monkeys.

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Making Baby 3, Part 34: Hey Guess What?

13 October 2008


Read my whole story of Making Baby 3.

[Post Edit]
Wow! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has emailed me, sent messages through Facebook, wrote on my Facebook wall, and then Flickr and Twitter! It’s incredible, wonderful, and absolutely mind boggling to know that so many people out there are thrilled for us!

It’s still early days right now, but we are literally floating with excitement and happiness!! Thank you everyone for your love and well wishes!!

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Places to Shop in Melbourne

10 October 2008


Main streets: Swanston Street, Collins Street, Little Collins Street, Bourke Street, Little Bourke Street, Flinders Lane, Flinders Street.

Bourke Street is the pretty much the epicentre of Melbourne CBD. As a shopping experience, it is very mainstream with Myers, David Jones, Sportsgirl, Portmans, MNG, Adidas, Sussans and much more.

Collins Street is where you’ll find all the high end designer labels, such as Tiffany’s, Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Polo Ralph Lauren, to name a few. There is also Country Road, Kookai, Nine West, Saba, Cue, Le Louvre with brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Stellar McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Elie Saab.

Little Collins Street has FCUK, Zu, Oroton, Bettina Liano, Zomp, Arthur Galan, Scanlan & Theodore, Jigsaw, Witchery, Satch.

There are some cool lanes off the main streets and arcades that are jam packed with shops. Some must see ones are Scott Alley, Manchester Lance, Howey Place, Cathedral Arcade, Block Arcade, Royal Arcade, The Walk Arcade.

The GPO is gorgeous. On the corner of Bourke Street and Elizabeth Street, you can find all the big name Australian fashion designers and more. Akira, Wayne Cooper, Zimmermann, Karen Millen, Hussy, Lisa Ho, Mimco, Gorman, Ben Sherman, Metalicus, Veronika Maine, to name a few.

Melbourne Central is a very large shopping mall in the city, on the corner of La Trobe Street and Swanston Street. It has over 300 shops and it seems to be crammed full of people.

QV is another large shopping mall in city, on the corner of Swanston Street and Lonsdale Street. It too has heaps of shops, eateries and very busy!

Discount Factory Outlets (DFO) is also in the city, on Spencer Street (cnr Bourke Street). It’s a huge collection of discounted clothes and shoe shops in one air-conditioned, undercover mall.

You can cover heaps of shops in a very efficient amount of time, and stop for a bite to eat. You’ll find Marcs, Pilgrim, Review, Guess, Peter Alexander, Veronika Maine, Nine West, Country Road, Portmans, Just Jeans, Dotti, Tony Bianco, Sandler etc.

I recommend allowing 3 or so hours to cover all the shops in the DFO mall.

Overall, for shopping in Melbourne City , I recommend to start at Degraves Street and walk through to Centre Place. Then start working your way along the grid of the city.

Must see shops in the Melbourne CBD:

Scarlett & Sly
Shop 13, Centre Place, 258 Flinders Lane.
A little shop full of good looking, affordable clothes and accessories.

Kinki Gerlinki

Shop 22, Centre Place, 258 Flinders Lane.
Very cute shop with colourful, bold clothes, shoes, bags and accessories.

Alice Euphemia

Shop 6, Cathedral Arcade, 37 Swanston Street (Cnr, Flinders Lane).
Gorgeous clothes and jewellery. Everything is Australian made and designed.

Shop 5, Cathedral Arcade, 37 Swanston Street (Cnr, Flinders Lane).
Super cute accessories, kids clothes, and great gift items. All in bold, cute, retro Japanese, kitsch style.

Little Salon
Shop 1, 353 Little Collins Street.
Nice independent designer gifts, accessories, homewares, art, jewellery.

Corky Saint Clair
Shop 3, Cambell Arcade, Degraves Street Subway
VERY nice independent designer jewellery and gift items. Has clothes too.

The Cats Meow
Shop 9, Cambell Arcade, Degraves Street Subway
Great range of independent designer clothes, handbags, accessories and jewellery.

Fashion Incubator

Shop 238, Level 2, Melbourne Central, 211 La Trobe Street.
Hosting 20 or more young emerging Melbourne fashion and jewellery designers, this a great place to pick up completely new and innovative clothes and accessories.


All of Brunswick Street, Gertrude Street and Smith Street is a fantastic shopping experience, especially if you’re looking for a more laid-back, groovy, arty, independent vibe.

It’s a great area to explore. The place is bursting with boutiques, homewares shops, groovy cafes, random shops, vintage shops, and discount outlets!

I recommend starting at the North end of Brunswick Street, corner of Johnston Street, and work your way down. There are just zillions of little independent shops and boutiques.

On Smith Street, north of Johnston Street, you’ll find various discount sportswear outlets such as Nike, Adidas and Fila.

is a lot more spread out. I found that the boutiques are dotted all over the place, so make sure you wear good walking shoes because you have to do a lot of walking!

I recommend dedicating 3-4 hours to cover the whole area. Which is fine, because there are heaps of places to stop for a delicious snack and coffee.

Must see shops in Fitzroy

Douglas and Hope
181 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Lovely clothes, shoes, bags, jewellery, accessories, gifts, toys.

Meet Me At Mikes
63 Brunwick Street
A Quaint Australian family run shop of homemade craft, vintage gifts and accessories.

Shop Sui
227 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Fantastic selection of clothes, accessories, jewellery, hats, retro toys, homewares, stationery, and wonderful little gifts.

73 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
T-shirts, toys, gadgets and great gifts.

321 Smith Street
A fantastic gallery of handmade jewellery and accessories, supporting local crafters and designers. Fantastic place to pick up unique gifts and jewellery.


Chapel Street is massive. The shopping experience is pretty much one long stretch of shops after shops after shops.

I recommend to catch a train or tram to South Yarra Train Station, which is on Toorak Road. Walk towards Chapel Street and there is already a great selection of designer boutiques and shops to see.

The whole vibe of Chapel Street is much more upmarket and mainstream. Most of the big name designer labels are pretty much what you will find in the city, but the shops are slightly smaller and the service is more personalised. The shops are spaced closely together so there is less walking in between, but the road is so long that there is a huge area to cover!

There are also a lot more smaller local boutiques, selling more affordable (but still trendy) clothes, shoes and accessories.

North end of Chapel Street you’ll find Seduce, Alannah Hill, MAC, Pierucci, FCUK, Ojay, Gant, Arthur Galan, Marcs, Pilgrim, Adias, Wayne Cooper, Scalan & Theodore, Collette Dinigan, Karen Millen, Review, Sportsgirl, Gorman, Mimco, Country Road.

As you walk South, the shops get more ordinary – with Coles, JB Hifi, fruit and vegetable shops etc.

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Day 3 in Melbourne: Shopping in Fitzroy

8 October 2008

Again I woke up bright and early, and this time I decided to try breakfast in bed at The Grand. Ooh it was glorious! I’ve never had breakfast in bed in a hotel, and hehe it was such a treat.

Breakfast in bed at The Grand Hotel, Melbourne

Today I took a tram over to the highly recommended Fitzroy area – in particular Brunswick Street, Smith Street and Gertrude Street. (So many of my readers said I HAVE to go there! Thanks guys!)

If you’re visiting Melbourne, I highly recommend you grab some Grid Urban Maps, which can be found in hotel lobbies, boutiques, cafes. They are free, pocket sized, and cover all shopping and tourist precincts. I would have been lost without them!

Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

I really enjoyed Brunswick Street. It was bursting with boutiques, homewares shops, groovy cafes, vintage shops, discount outlets. There is so much to see! Some parts were upmarket and stylish, but it all had a very cool, laid-back, arty, grungy, independent vibe.

And I adored Smith Street, which runs parallel to Brunswick St. It was a melting pot of sights, smells and textures. I loved the way there were dodgy looking internet cafes next to a Vietnamese butcher, next to super stylish lighting shop, next to a Lebanese bakery, next to a nursery, independent designer jewellery shop, and a bustling cafe. The variety is quite an experience!

Unlike the city, where all the shops are crammed closely together, Fitzroy is a lot more spread out. I found that the fashion boutiques are dotted all over the place, so make sure you wear good walking shoes because you have to do a lot of walking. I recommend that you dedicate 3-4 hours to cover the place. Which is fine, because there are heaps of places to stop for a delicious snack and coffee.

Shop Sui

There are a few very cool and quirky little shops on Gertrude Street. Definitely worth checking out.

One in particular is Shop Sui. Run by a very cool lady, Sylvia, her shop specialises in a deliciously diverse range of products – from retro Astroboy posters, to funky leather handbags, to gorgeous handmade baby hats, to designer stationery products, to cushions, jewellery, stuff toys and much more! You must check it out!

I loved the way her shop was set up, and I spent ages browsing through every nook and cranny! I bought some gifts for my sons too.

Lady Melbourne

Lastly I headed over to a great little cafe, Cavallero, to meet up with the always stylish, Lady Melbourne.

I love her site, her sense of style, self portraits and photographic styling!

It was such a pleasure to meet over a cup of tea, chatting about fashion, blogging, clothes, shopping, Melbourne, giggling over the quirks of fashion blogging and fashion photography.

All up I spent about 6 hours on my feet. Walking, meeting people, looking at shops, taking photos, taking notes.

That evening, I did more walking. I met up with a good friend for dinner at Trotters Cafe on Lygon Street. Had yummy seafood pasta and apple crumble. Then strolled around until my feet couldn’t take it any more!

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Day 2 in Melbourne: Shopping in Melbourne City

7 October 2008

I woke up bright and early in the morning and skipped downstairs for an indulgent hot breakfast. It was absolutely delicious, especially because I didn’t have to make it myself!

The Grand Hotel, Melbourne

I took a walk around the lovely grounds of The Grand, looking for a nice spot to read the morning newspaper. Despite the austere architecture of the hotel as seen from the front, there were lots of pretty and stylish touches hidden within the building. This was my favourite, the central courtyard.

The Grand Hotel, Melbourne

Today I checked out Melbourne City as a fashion and shopping experience.

Over the next few days I’ll be visiting several famous shopping districts in Melbourne. At the end of my trip I’ll compile them into one post, Places to Shop in Melbourne – describing and featuring them all, including all the must visit shops!

I’ve spent heaps of time researching, asking around, gathering local knowledge, and creating a 4-day tour plan for myself so I can experience it all personally.

I must give a big shout out to Nadya who helped me tremendously in my preparation! She was absolutely wonderful and generous in sharing her shopping knowledge with me. She literally listed dozens of streets and districts and – off the top of her head – knew exactly which brands and boutiques could be found on each street!

Degraves Street, Melbourne

Anyway, the perfect start to experiencing the classic Melbourne vibe is on Degraves Street, a little laneway between Finders Street and Flinders Lane (near the iconic Flinders Street Station).

Melbourne is famous for it’s wonderful, old architecture and fabulous lane ways. Degraves Street and next to it, Centre Place, definitely capture the essence of Melbourne Culture, with people spilling out of cafes, tables on the cobblestone road, the smell of excellent coffee and piping hot breads, colourful boutiques with gorgeous wallpapers, quirky little Italian shops, amazing wall art… I loved it!

I spent the whole day walking around the CBD! From Gucci to Chinese supermarkets. There was so much variety and I had a blast discovering it all! Argh, my feet are so sore!

The Cat's Meow

Being me, I was specifically looking to find a boutique in the CBD that was uniquely Melbourne – something a bit quirky, arty, grass roots and not main-stream.

The Cat’s Meow is a boutique underneath Degraves St, in a tunnel called Campbell Arcade, which leads to Flinders St Station. I must admit, the tunnel was pretty dodgy, it was very old and run down. But there were several very cool small shops down there. I spent ages checking them out, and I was very tempted to buy stuff, so it’s definitely worth a look.

I met up with the women behind the boutique, Karen and Kylie, and had the nicest chat to them about their shop. Both are fashion designers with their own labels, who started the shop in 2002. It caters to women who are seeking original, everyday, alternative high-end labels and garments, most in “real women” sizes.

The stuff that caught my eye: Really nice tops from Dogstar, lovely print dresses from Surface Art, and great tshirt prints by Hamb and Non-Fiction. I bought a little handmade purse with a gorgeous print on it (to store some lip gloss and other small things floating around my handbag).

I really enjoyed being in their shop! It had a very nice, unpretentious, friendly, warm and “homegrown and proud of it” feel about it.

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The Gardening Bug

3 October 2008

The Gardening Bug

I’ve been hit by a gardening bug! The other day, I spent the afternoon reconditioning my vegetable patch, planing rows of cherry tomatoes, lettuce and snow peas seedlings. I also refreshed some of my potted herbs – basil, coriander and oregano.

After that, I had a good workout turning the compost heap and worm farm. Ah the smell of rotting vegetables!

For some reason, my sons really want me to grow carrots. I’ve never grown carrots before, so I’ve plonked in a row of baby carrots, not sure how well they’ll do though. Must try broccoli next.

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The Seed of a Policeman

2 October 2008

Callum as a Policeman

When I was 5, I had the most amazing kindergarten teacher.

She made such a strong and positive impression on me that I remember thinking at the time – I want to be a teacher, just like her, AND I want to be an artist, just like her.

It’s funny how some of my strongest passions now, were formed at such a young age.

Which brings me to my thought for the day.

When asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” my 5.5year old will say with absolute certainty “A policeman.”

He’s been saying that for the last 2 years of his life.

And I often find myself wondering whether it’s just a BOY THING?

Or if in fact he’s got a seed planted in him, and only time will tell if things will turn out that way.

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Spring Pinkness

1 October 2008

Spring Pinkness

Ah the days are getting warmer, the flowers are blooming, and my mood is getting more colourful each day!

I love this dress! It’s so simple, vibrant and feminine. Especially love the little flower petal skirt layer. And the crazy coloured print.

I’ve been looking for more bright coloured clothes for spring and I’m loving the bright pink.

I also tried on another dress over at my Doing The Karen Cheng Facebook group.