Archive for May 2009

 

day of week

The Foreign Body, Part 1: A Photo-Documentary by Sean

29 May 2009

A few weeks ago, we were at a park and my 4 year old, Sean came running over to us in tears.

He had a small graze on his shin and a teeny-tiny drop of blood next to it. We wiped away the blood, said “there, there, it’ll be alright”, gave him a pat on the head, and sent him back to his ball game.

A few weeks later, I noticed that his shin had a long red lump on it. His skin was hot to touch, and there was a tiny puncture mark. It all looked very swollen and infected.

I immediately made an appointment to see our doctor, who ordered us to have an ultrasound to see what was inside. She also warned us… that if there was something inside, we might have to get it surgically removed. AAAK SURGERY!

So. Next step. The most important thing was to keep our 4 year old cool and calm about everything. Our plan was to explain the WHOLE medical process to him in meticulous detail, so there wouldn’t be any surprises.

This led him to be very excited. And with his new found interest in photography, he asked if he could take photos. We thought: Uh. Sure. That would be cute. He can document the whole experience.

The Foreign Body, Part 1: A Photo-Documentary by Sean

Sean on the lying down thing, pointing to the computer screen thing, which had lots of blurry blue blocks on it. He loved the whole experience.

The Foreign Body, Part 1: A Photo-Documentary by Sean

“The doctor’s name was Dr Chris and he’s showing me the looking-thing. It looked a bit like a mouse, but it didn’t have buttons on it. It’s just got a panel on it for looking under your skin. But it doesn’t have eyes. Just a panel. A grey panel. That looks.”

The Foreign Body, Part 1: A Photo-Documentary by Sean

“The doctor squirted jelly on my leg and rubbed that looking-thing on my leg. The jelly was cold, and it’s not the jelly that you eat. It tickled a bit, and he was kinda wobbling me around, but I was concentrating and trying to keep the camera still in case it went all blurry.”

The Foreign Body, Part 1: A Photo-Documentary by Sean

“There were two screens of my leg. One was connected to the computer over there next to me and the doctor. And the other was high up on the wall. It was too blurry for me to see. It was just blueness and fuzzy and it had words and numbers around it.”

The Foreign Body, Part 1: A Photo-Documentary by Sean

“This is dad.”

The Foreign Body, Part 1: A Photo-Documentary by Sean

“The doctor said there was something in my leg. It was the stick from the park. He drew a line on my skin to show us how big the stick was. I asked him whether he was using a never-pen [he means a permanent marker pen] because I knew you wouldn’t be happy if the never-pen-ink went on my skin, but he said it was ok to draw on my skin, so I said ok.”

I was going to record Sean’s voice and put it up online, but trust me, he would have talked your ear off.

So. We’ve been referred to see a plastic surgeon, and we’ll be discussing what’s the best way to cut this thing out.

Next step. How to convince my 4 year old that getting his leg cut open will be very cool.


day of week

On the Prowl for a Statement Skirt

28 May 2009

Statement Skirts from Net-A-Porter

I’ve been looking for a couple of new “statement skirts” to wear this winter.

Even though I couldn’t justify spending so much for these skirts from Net-a-Porter, they are definitely great for inspiration.

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Fashion and Shopping Directory.


day of week

Muesli Bars (Sort of)

27 May 2009

Muesli Bar (Sort of)

The other day I decided to make my own muesli bars. I was looking for something new to put in the kid’s school lunchboxes. And I don’t like the muesli bars they sell in the shops (they are packed with sugar and preservatives).

Anyway, I found a recipe (courtesy from the Australian Woman’s Weekly) and I was inspired.

I didn’t have everything I needed, so of course I improvised! You see, I found all this cool stuff in my kitchen pantry… and I think I got a bit carried away with the pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut, and organic puffed brown rice.

In the end I think I put too much stuff in. There wasn’t enough honey and butter mix to stick it all together! Not to mention, I reduced the sugar.

This is what it looked like once it came out of the oven. When I tried to cut it, it all just crumbled apart and they weren’t exactly BARS. So instead I stirred it all up and we ate it like toasted muesli for breakfast the next morning.

On the upside – the warm smell of roasted nuts, oats, honey and butter… *gah* it was so incredible and unbelievably mouth-watering, that I thought I would faint. Will try again next time.

Muesli Bar Recipe

125g butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups of rolled oats
¼ cups sesame seeds, toasted
¼ cup sunflower seeds, chopped
¼ cup desiccated coconut, toasted
¼ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
¼ cup sultanas
2 tablespoons of unprocessed bran

Grease a pan (20com x 30cm)
Combine butter, sugar and honey in pan on low heat, until sugar dissolves.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Press mixture into pan. Bake in 180C oven for 20 minutes, or when lightly browned.
While warm, cut into bars. Cool completely in pan.
Store in air tight containers.


day of week

Fashion Find: Pelava Jewellery

26 May 2009

Pelava Jewellery by Leonie Wilson

I’m always so excited when I find stunning, unique, contemporary jewellery – and then discover that the designer comes from the same city in which I live: Perth, Australia.

This made it easy for me to catch up with Leonie Wilson, designer and creator of Pelava Jewellery. It was a real delight for me to hear her talk about her love for creating. It re-kindled my own passion for creating things.

After travelling around the world, gathering inspiration from her surroundings, Leonie began her jewellery design career in the US. She returned to Australia, with her head bursting with ideas and launched her label, Pelava.

Pelava Jewellery by Leonie Wilson

I just love the bold and simple shapes of her pieces. They have a very organic and elegant feel about them.

Left is an earring from her Resinate range – sterling silver earring with resin inlay.

Right are her Double Round Linx Earrings.

Pelava Jewellery by Leonie Wilson

Left is a Round Linx Chain. Right is a Linx Matt Stone Pendant.

Leonie tells me she loves to “get out there” – in particular, setting up stalls at designer markets, and meeting and talking to the people who actually wear her jewellery.

Looking at her whole range, it’s easy to see how well she knows her market. She’s created a set of eight collections, each with strong designs, great colours and polished workmanship. And they all seem pretty affordable – especially for handmade jewellery with high quality materials.

On her Pelava website, you can download her catalogue, view prices, and ogle at all her yummy designs. Plus, she does take national and international orders online.

Check out my favourite online shops in the Fashion and Shopping Directory


day of week

Making Baby 3 – Sleeping Through the Night

25 May 2009

Liam at 9 weeks

At 6 weeks old, my newborn Liam had established a night time routine – but not a good one.

He would go to bed at 8pm on the dot. Then he would wake up at 12am, 2am, 4am and 6am. Every two hours!

And guess what, my other 2 children also woke up at 6am! And we all have to leave for school at 8:00!

It was really hard. The broken sleep in the evenings, plus the very busy days looking after the other children and running the house… it was a very bad combination.

I was really cranky and irritable. I was constantly dazed. I kept having little memory “black-outs”. I was snapping and shouting at the kids – saying things like “Mummy’s got a headache! Can you just GO AWAY??”. I was emotional. I was grumpy at my husband. I would cry at random things. I would be really angry and breakdown if the smallest thing went wrong. And I could feel myself slowly sinking towards depression.

This went on for 8 days.

I soon realised that there was a pattern in my newborn’s night time feeds:

He has a huge feed at 8pm. At 12am he wakes up for a medium feed and goes straight to sleep.

At 2am, he cries out. I pick him up and he’s very sleepy and sluggish. He’s so sleepy that he doesn’t actually seem hungry, he doesn’t attach well, and so he gulps down a lot of air. He only drinks for 3-5 minutes and falls asleep on the breast.

When he’s done, I burp him and he usually throws up half or all of what he had drunk (I thought he had reflux). I clean him up, change his clothes, change his nappy, I burp and pat him a lot. He falls asleep, I put him down. All up, it takes 45 minutes.

At 4am, pretty much the same thing happens.

After 4 nights of this, I had perfected the art of aiming his head so his vomit goes on the floor without getting any on his clothes!

After 6 days of all this, I begin to suspect that he was waking up and crying out of habit. He just didn’t seem hungry, and maybe he just wanted something to suck on.

So after 8 days and nights of all this craziness, I decided to do something about it, to save my sanity, and to save my family from “mad” me.

Day 1

I put him to bed at 8pm. He woke up and had a big feed at 12am.

At 2am, he cried out and I went in to pat him, stroke his head, and say reassuring things to him. But NO FEED! I left the room. He cried.

After 5 minutes I went in again and gave him another pat, stroke and kind words. But NO FEED! He cried!

After 10 minutes, I did the same thing. Still crying!

After 15 minutes, I did the same thing. Lots of crying!

Whenever he started his angry or his breathless crying, I went in earlier. The sound of my voice and my strokes seemed to soothe him considerably. But I always left the room after a few minutes. And NO FEED!

It went on and on for 2 hours – every 15 minutes, going in to say hi.

Man, I was wrecked. I was really upset. My heart was crushed from hearing him cry. I felt like I was abandoning my child. I felt like such a terrible person, and a bad mother. I was starving my child! My child is going to have issues! My child is going to hate me! I couldn’t look at his face while he cried, or else I would have given in.

The only thing that kept me going was the fact that we had used the same technique with my other two children to sleep through the night. And it worked for them. So I knew he’d be ok.

Also my husband was very supportive, he stayed up with me to make sure I didn’t go crazy.

Liam finally went to sleep at 4am!

He woke up at 6am, I gave him a big cuddle and a big feed. And he went straight back to sleep.

(So he had gone 6 hours without a feed. During the day I was watching him like a hawk. He showed no signs of distress at all. He was happy, smiling at me and locking his eyes onto things whenever he was awake. And he slept soundly for 3 hours in the afternoon.)

Day 2

I put him to bed at 8pm. He woke up and had a big feed at 12am.

At 2am, he cried out and we did the whole thing all over again – every 15 minutes, going in to say hi.

This time he only cried for 45 minutes. But he only did a whimpering kind of cry, not an angry cry.

He went back to sleep and woke up at 6am.

(Again, he went 6 hours without a feed. He was absolutely fine and happy during the day. He had several big sound naps too.)

Day 3

I put him to bed at 8pm.

This time he didn’t wake up at 12pm. He woke up at 3am!

He just whinged for 15 minutes. I went in to pat him and say hi.

He went back to sleep and woke up at 6am.

Day 4

I put him to bed at 8pm.

And he woke up at 6am.

Day 5 to Now (3 weeks later)

Still sleeping at 8pm and waking up at 6am.

In the evenings he gets pretty hungry. He feeds 5:30pm, 6:30pm and 7:30pm. I figure that he’s topping himself up for the long night sleeps, which is great.

I’m SO RELIEVED.

Officially, this technique is called “controlled crying”. I am aware that there are some people who don’t believe in it and discourage it. I’m making no judgments, and I hope no one else does either.

I’m simply sharing my experience here, which is that – I can’t be a good mother to all my kids, I can’t be a good companion to my husband, and I can’t manage a home… if I am suffering from sleep deprivation.

I know that Liam is putting on lots of weight. He’s reaching his baby milestones (smiling, gooing and gahing, following things with his eyes and ears, doing lots wet and dirty nappies), his breast attachment is much better (no more reflux and throwing up his feeds), he is sleeping soundly during the day, and… he gets a lot more cuddles and kisses from a relaxed and happy mummy.

(The photograph above is Liam and I ahgoo-ing at 9 weeks. When he is bright and awake, and you say “AH GOOOO” to him, he’ll respond with an AH GOO too. It’s so darn cute that it even makes my husband ovulate.)


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


day of week

Daily Outfit 22-05-2009

22 May 2009

Daily Outfit 22-05-09

Last week I went to a ‘Cupcakes and Champagne’ event held at Tu, a boutique in Shafto Lane, Perth.

They were celebrating their 5th Anniversary!

I’m loving my new belt from Sportgirl. I’ve been wearing it everywhere. The art deco looking design seems to be a superb feature for any outfit.

Top is actually a short smock dress from Forever New (I’m wearing it like a dress here). Layered skirt from Tokito, shoes from NineWest, bag from David Jones. Stockings from Target.

I decided to go solo for this event. There was a DJ, some live musicians, a balloon making guy, a host of gorgeous girls serving yummy food and drinks.

I managed to talk to quite a few people. I even met a blog reader and an old friend, whom I haven’t seen in 10 years. I had a great time.

It was lovely to be out and about by myself. I really have to credit my husband for being so supportive and so happy to look after the 3 kids. And for practically shoving me out the door! He’s a good man. I like him a lot (obviously).

Check out my favourite online shops in my Fashion and Shopping Directory


day of week

Weekend Magic

21 May 2009

Sean and Callum's Magic Show

I’ve always been fascinated by the kind of games my boys think up.

The other day my husband and I were ushered into the backyard, and we were presented with a Magic Duo Act. It was SO funny.

My 6yo was trying to make a bottle of honey disappear with a brown paper bag.

While my 4yo did a bit of stand up comedy, which came out like:

“What’s a puppy in the sun, a hot dog!”

He was much too excited to work on his timing, and the fact that he had told this joke about nine million times in the past two weeks didn’t seem to affect his confidence at all.


day of week

Silver and Black

20 May 2009

Neckalces from Forever21

I’m loving the range of silver and black necklaces that are all the rage lately. They are two of my favourite wearable colours, so I’m definitely going to stock up.

These are from Forever 21.

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Fashion and Shopping Directory.


day of week

Fashion for My Baby’s Bum

19 May 2009

Now here’s a topic I really believe in – re-usable cloth nappies/diapers.

Liam at 8 weeks
Liam models the Petite Pocket Nappy in ivory, by Bumwear. You can see he is a natural for the catwalk.

With my first son, I was idealistically opposed to disposable nappies. We went with foldable cotton nappies/diapers with huge safety pins, and plastic cover pants. The nappies were huge in size, and the plastic covers often ripped. And there were often leaks as our nappy origami and pinning technique had to adapt to Callum’s changing size.

It was quite a lot of work, and we did gradually end up using some disposables – especially when we were out and about. And I did prick my finger with the pins, and the sheer bulk of cloth that has to be washed is amazing – lots of water.

Of course, disposable nappies are much, much more convenient – but they cost money, which adds up when a baby needs changing so often, and the dirty nappies fill up the bin and smell bad. Not to mention the environmental impact once they get thrown out.

So after Sean was born, I got into re-usable cloth nappies/diapers, and I became a fan of Bumwear.

I admit that I was initially drawn particularly to Bumwear as a brand because of the fun, vibrant colours – and the name.

But after one child in Bumwear, I am now convinced of their long term functionality as well. It really shows that they were designed by a mother who actually developed them on her kid’s bums!

So I absolutely can recommend re-usable nappies. Much cheaper than disposables, and they are much easier to wash and hang out than old style nappies/diapers. You can even use liners to make dealing with the chunky bits easier.

Bumwear Cloth Nappies / Diapers

These are Petite Pocket Nappies, for newborns until they weigh 9 – 10kgs.

Bumwear Cloth Nappies / Diapers

These are Bumwear’s best selling One Size Pocket Nappies. They can be worn by babies, from newborns until they are toilet trained. My second son was still able to fit these when he was 3 years old.

Bumwear’s range of colours, patterns, button placements, texture of outer cover, and stretchy-fitted designs have made me happy.

Liam, my newborn is now 8 weeks old and I’m using both cloth and disposables. The basic rule is: re-usable at home, and disposable when we go out for long periods of time, so that when a change happens, I can just dump the offending nappy in a bin, rather than carrying around a dirty one all day.

That’s my workable compromise, and I’m happy with it!


day of week

Making Baby 3 – Sleep Deprivation

18 May 2009

At 5 weeks old, Liam’s sleeping and feeding patterns were all over the place.

Most times he would need to feed every 3 hours, sometimes 2 hours, or 4 hours. Sometimes he would surprise me and sleep for 6 hours straight. Followed by a feeding frenzy every 1 hour.

During the day, irregular feeding patterns were fine – but at night, it was terrible.

He soon fell into a night time pattern. He went to bed at 8pm. Woke at 12am, 2am, 4am and 6am.

The sleep deprivation was shocking. My brain was completely fried. I was walking around like a zombie.

I couldn’t get enough rest to give me the deep REM that I needed, so my waking hours were a blur. It felt like every time I blinked or close my eyes for a few seconds, I was launched back into my dreams and my brain was mixing up strange visions with reality. I couldn’t do things properly, nor could I sustain a conversation. I was living in a complete haze.

It was all pretty hard work. Especially having two other noisy children who needed to be taken to school, needed after school activities, feeding, bathing, talking to, reading to, and help with homework. Not to mention I had to juggle cooking dinner, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, running the house, hanging out with my husband and other things.

I didn’t take naps during the day, because I still had a 4 year old to look after some days. And there was so much work to do around the house!

Everyone asks me…. How did I do it all? How do I manage?

The secret is: to have a loving, hard-working, and understanding husband!

And really… I just have to get on with it! I just get organised! I discovered that the human body is quite capable of amazing things, if you’re willing to push it.

Juggling, adapting, staying active and busy. I’d rather push myself, than be a lazy blob.

Life is going great! Although a little hazy.

(By the way, Liam is actually 8 weeks old now and he sleeps 10 hours through the night! But more on that later…)


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


day of week

Ukrainian Fashion Week 2009

16 May 2009

Thought I’d bring you all some fashion snippets that caught my eye from the recent Ukrainian Fashion Week.

Ukranian Fashion Week

Gorgeous, flowing and very pretty-to-look at dresses by a very talented new designer, Nataliya Dolenko (UK).

Ukranian Fashion Week

Love the structured satin and long socks by Avtandil Tskvitinidze (Georgia).

Ukranian Fashion Week

And aside from the yummy pants by Darya Taranenko (Ukraine) … there are LIVE REPTILES slithering around on the catwalk!

Check out the little crocodile in the background. The models look so calm, even without their shoes!

Check out my favourite online shops in my Fashion and Shopping Directory


day of week

Liam at 6 Weeks

14 May 2009

Liam at 6 Weeks

Liam weighs 5.1kgs and is 57cm. He gave me his first smile the other day, and now you can’t stop him!

Liam at 6 Weeks


day of week

Daily Outfit 13-05-09

13 May 2009

Daily Outfit: 13-05-09

Weekend lunch with some friends!

Vintage velvet blazer.
Singlet from Kookai.
Skirt from Country Road.
Belt from Sportsgirl.
Shoes from Charles and Keith.

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Fashion and Shopping Directory.


day of week

Making Baby 3 – Confinement!

12 May 2009

Making Baby 3 - Confinement Food

Chinese people have a tradition called “confinement”.

It’s based on the belief that when a woman has given birth, her body is “cold, weak and empty”. In order to bring herself back to health, she must observe 30 days of certain lifestyle and dietary changes.

Some of these changes are:

The woman must stay indoors for 30 days. She should not go out and expose herself to cold temperatures, cold wind, or breezes. She must rest. She must lie down as much as possible. She should not do anything strenuous or vigorous.

She must not wash her hair or bathe for 30 days. Yes, you heard me right. No washing for 30 days after delivery. She has to avoid all contact with water – including, not washing her hands. She must stay warm and cover up all parts of her body

She can’t drink plain water. Instead, she has to drink a special red date tea at all times.

While I appreciate the significance of traditional beliefs and customs – I chose not to follow many of these practices, for obvious practical and hygiene reasons. In fact, I had a shower about 30 minutes after Liam was born! It was the same for my first two newborns.

However, the aspect of confinement that I was VERY happy to observe was – CONFINEMENT FOOD. There’s a whole list of weird and wonderful Chinese foods that are said to nourish the woman’s body, revitalise health, expel wind, create warmth and increase the supply of breast milk.

When I explained this to my husband, after the birth of my first child, many years ago, he thought I would be eating an amazing array of fresh, healthy green vegetables and rich protein dishes. Oh how he was wrong.

Because the dishes were more like this.

Making Baby 3 - Confinement Food

This is slow stewed pig trotters with old ginger in black vinegar. It’s absolutely delicious. It’s to die for. In fact, my mouth is watering as I write this. But my husband thinks it looks like someone already ate it once.

After each of my children were born, my mother made a huge pot of this stuff for me. The thick, black soup bubbled and simmered on my stove for weeks. She kept adding more ingredients to the pot each week, enhancing it’s richness, flavour and texture. The smell of vinegar and ginger filled my house. It was divine. My husand spent a lot of time opening the windows to let the smell out, and my mother closed them all up again to stop me from getting chilled.

She also made delicious dishes with chicken, sesame oil and ginger. Sometimes it was pork and ginger. Eggs and ginger. Broccoli and ginger. Green beans and ginger.

Day and night. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had something cooked with sesame oil and ginger. I loved it.

My mother came over every day to help. She arrived in the morning, cooked me breakfast, got the boys ready for school, took the boys to school, washed the dishes, helped with the laundry, made me lunch, cleaned the kitchen, swept the floors. I got lots of sleep. And most importantly, I ate LOTS of confinement food! It was wonderful! I am a very fortunate Chinese girl.


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


day of week

Statement Heels for Winter

11 May 2009

Statement Heels from Betts

I’ve been looking for a pair of statement winter peep toes that didn’t cost the earth.

Found these cool ones from Betts. Just can’t decide which.

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Fashion and Shopping Directory.


day of week

Happy Mother’s Day

10 May 2009

Mother's Day Gifts

This weekend I helped my two sons make some Mother’s Day pots for their grandmother.

Now I’m not comparing the technical ability of my two boys, as they are 6yo and 4yo – two years apart.

But if I might bring to attention the spirit of their paintings: one is neat and painfully meticulous, whereas the other is wild, vivid and bold.

The difference between my sons’ characters makes me laugh.


day of week

Hello Boys!

8 May 2009

This morning I received an email that seemed to stand out from the rest.

It was announcing the launch of American designer Andrew Christian’s newest underwear range – with “Show-It Technology”. This range comes in brief, boxer-brief, jock underwear styles and swim trunks and bikini cuts. Show it!

Andrew Christian's New Show-It Range Underwear

I love how the blue and white is reversed between these two model’s underwear. So well coordinated. And what a nice ladder!

Andrew Christian's New Show-It Range Underwear

I like the football-like stitching detail on the front of their underpants. I wonder if it’s just a decorative print, or if it’s actually functional, I can’t quite tell from this image.

The press release explained that the underwear “…features a comfy cup that gently lifts and presents a man’s best assets…”

Andrew Christian's New Show-It Range Underwear

I think I should look at more men’s fashion in future. There is obviously more going on than I have realised.

The whole Andrew Christian range is devoted to fun and colour and super-toned models, and you can check it all out at the official Andrew Christian website.

Check out my favourite online shops in my Fashion and Shopping Directory.


day of week

Today’s Sunshine

7 May 2009

Sean - 4 years

My 4 year old, Sean. Happy, sparkly-eyed and always full of energy.

Enjoying the park in his inside-out t-shirt.


day of week

Nursing Wear by Dote

6 May 2009

When I was in Singapore last year, I had the pleasure of meeting fashion designer Dorothy Loh. We spent a lovely afternoon sitting in a boutique, chatting about clothes and life. She was intelligent, well spoken, down to earth, and just a wonderful and inspiring young woman to meet.

Singapore fashion designer, Dorothy Loh (and Karen Cheng)
Dorothy and Me  (September 2008)

I was delighted to discover that Dorothy has recently launched Dote, a range of dresses for breastfeeding mothers!

Dote focuses on tasteful, comfortable and stylish designs. All with clever and discreet nursing openings. Dorothy’s fabrics are soft and stretchy, and fall very elegantly.

As I think back to the time when I was breastfeeding my other two children, I realise that I hardly ever wore dresses, simply because I couldn’t lift up my whole dress to nurse.

I remember having to wear jeans + tops a lot, not to mention… fumbling around and draping cloths over my shoulder, stretching my regular tops out of shape, trying to cover up from drafts, and having to hide in a back room in some places.

So I REALLY like the idea of stylish-yet-practical nursing wear, which look like normal clothes!

Clothes By Dote Nursingwear
Me at 3-4 weeks post-pregnant trying on some of Dorothy’s dresses.

I really, really liked this Indigo Cowl Dress. I just loved the cowl neckline! It’s such an elegant and simple design. Definitely doesn’t look like a nursing dress at all.

Clothes By Dote Nursingwear

The light grey Mist Puff Sleeve Dress has a empire band that lifts up to access the nursing openings.

The Black Twilight Dress, is a bit like a wrap dress, with a clever under-layer tank that makes nursing very discreet.

Clothes By Dote Nursingwear

The Black Noir Dress was another favourite of mine. Very versatile and simple. Comfortable fabric that feels gorgeous.

The Peppermint Swirl Dress is so sweet! I love the colour and the petal layer skirt.

Dote is sold in stores in Singapore, Australia, UK, Japan and France.

But you can also buy Dote from these online stockists.

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Fashion and Shopping Directory.


day of week

Making Baby 3 – Love, A Third Time Around

5 May 2009

When I had my first baby, the first few weeks were an amazing experience.

I have a baby! I am a mother! It was exciting and exhilarating. But it was also scary and terrifying. Everything was just so new and different! It was thrilling, rewarding, pleasing and overwhelming.

I was completely drunk with the rush of love, excitement, sleep deprivation and the fact that I was at the beginning of a brand new life.

Motherly love was a new experience, and it was grand.

When I had my second baby, life was a bit rocky for our family. I was pretty drained emotionally.

I didn’t feel “connected” to my newborn. There was a bond, but we were hanging by a fine thread. Waking up in the middle of the night, feeding, changing, burping – I was tired and cheerless. It was all a chore and a duty. I didn’t have a good time.

As I held my newborn, I knew I loved him so much. But I didn’t glow with any radiance, nor did my heart swell with the sweetness of motherhood. The love I had for my child was more of an intellectual truth.

I guess it’s nice to know that despite the two very different beginnings, the relationship I now have with my sons are the same – I absolutely love both of them, with my everything.

This time with my third baby, the feeling of love is again very different.

It’s quiet and peaceful. Stronger perhaps. More mature. And much wiser.

It’s knowing that I’m blessed. It’s knowing that this will be the last time I will hold a newborn so intimately. That every moment from this time onward, is precious… and a last.

My love is a deep and treasured gratefulness.

Liam - 5 weeks


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


day of week

Australian Fashion Week 2009

4 May 2009

Australian Fashion Week finished up in Sydney last week. Here are my pick of favourites from all the shows.

Australian Fashion Week 2009 - Aurelio Costarella

Aurelio Costarella is always a favourite of mine! I’m continually spellbound by his stunning, elegant and polished designs. They never fail to appeal to the girly princess in me.

Australian Fashion Week 2009 - Romance Was Born

New label, Romance Was Born (Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales) wowed me with their sensational and theatrical outfits. Love their sense of humour and creativity. Also love the stage design and props.

Australian Fashion Week 2009 - Gary Bigeni

Gary Bigeni’s collection caught my eye. His designs were full of flat, bold colours and strong minimalist lines that worked together beautifully.

Australian Fashion Week 2009 - Antipodium

The Antipodium show was full of punk-goth attitude… yet they still manage to show off very stylish and wearable pieces. Love it.

All pics from Vogue.com.au

Check out my favourite online shops in my Fashion and Shopping Directory.


day of week

At the Back of My Closet

1 May 2009

I have no idea what 13 year old girls do for fun these days.

When I, my sister and all my girl cousins got together, we used to be quite creative when it came to passing time.

As I think back on all the things we’ve done, I giggle with embarrassment. But the truth was… we had so much fun.

We used to make our own TV commercials, then film them using a video camera. We’d act out our favourite movies, we’d make our own video clips, write our own TV shows and plays, pretend to be radio DJs and make radio shows. We’d make our own magazines, newsletters and cook books.

Having said that, we were not always so hip and savvy. We were also quite… how should I put it… down to earth? Feral?

We’d ride around the neighbourhood on our bikes like bored teenagers. We’d go out on hunting adventures, play in the creek, catch tadpoles, make daisy chains, climb trees, explore bushlands, swing on vines and make mud pies.

So we weren’t typical girly girls.

Anyway, sitting around one day, we thought it’d be really cool if we made fashion photographs of ourselves. We pretended to be fashion stylists, fashion photographers, and models.

We gathered all our favourite clothes and accessories, and set out to create a different look for ourselves.

We spent the whole day dressing up, going out on locations (the backyard) and taking photographs of each other. We did a whole lot of giggling and pouting. We had so much fun.

The Younger Karen Cheng

I think I was trying to create some kind of country, horse-riding look.

The Younger Karen Cheng

Me trying to look sophisticated and floral, I think.

As I look back at my photo album, I laugh and laugh.

I cringe with delirious embarrassment and I’m utterly mortified by how naive and artless we were.

But I also reflect on other issues, like how influenced we were by the media, how we didn’t care, how we saw ourselves, how we saw fashion, how we obsessed over magazines, what it was like to be a young girl, and what we believed was cool.

To think that after all these years, I’ve found myself to be a creator of pictures, images and media – passionate about getting the right look, fashion, design, clothes and photography.

It’s kind of interesting and charming. And still a bit embarrassing.