Archive for July 2009

 

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Winter Holiday 2009: The Wild

30 July 2009

When I was a kid, I grew up on Christmas Island – a small little island covered with tropical jungle. It was in this jungle that myself, my siblings and dozens of other neighbourhood kids would play for hours. It was uncharted territory as far as we were concerned, and our playtime was always filled with excitement and imagination.

I guess I grew up with a belief that kids don’t need colour-coded play equipment and computer games.

Winter Holiday 2009
Kids need to run around and PLAY. They need to get dirty. Climb trees. Scramble on rocks. Build things out of sticks. Dig holes in the ground. And to be able to eat their sandwiches from a plate of pure, clean grass.

I had an awesome childhood, and becoming a parent, meant I also wanted my kids to experience the WILD.

So while we were on holiday up north, we spent a lot of time at a beautiful local creek. My two older boys, with a little help from my husband, built a leaky dam out of rocks across the whole width of the creek. They literally changed the way the water flowed, experimented with rock shapes, opened channels and saw the way water swirls in deeper pools. They had so much fun.

Winter Holiday 2009

In the photo above, my boys decided it was time for a “smoko” – Aussie vernacular for a little rest break.

Winter Holiday 2009

I loved the way they just waded into the knee deep water, unafraid. Of course their shoes filled up with water and they got completely soaked. This is my 4yo catching tadpoles, with a kitchen sieve.

I really like to teach kids about stuff… by allowing them to be in it. You can learn about frogs and tadpoles in the classroom, but until you’ve actually caught one and have it wriggle between your fingers, I don’t think you’ve really learnt about the urgent, miraculous cycle of life.


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Daily Outfit 29-07-09

29 July 2009

Daily OutfitOne of the things I’ve been determined to do this year is to save money on clothes.

Which means I’m revisiting some of my old outfits lurking at the bottom of my closet.

Admittedly, I’m a bit of a hoarder. I have very sentimental attachments to a lot of my clothes, and I used to keep all my old favourites in several big boxes.

But a few years ago, we moved to a smaller house, so I had to cull a lot of stuff out. And I’ve only kept my favourite of favourites.

This is a very standard office look, but it’s a look that I definitely don’t do anymore! It’s as bizarre for me as if I wore a tutu with green dots.

I shocked the socks off my office-going friends!

The funniest thing about this outfit is: Every piece that I’m wearing is at least 10 years old.

Not to mention the black nails, for old times sake.

Ah, fashion is such fun.

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


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Making Baby 3 – The 4 Month Update

28 July 2009

Liam - 4 monthsLiam is 4 months old, and still as cute as a button.

Not much has changed in the last 4 weeks. Which is a good thing! He is still a very happy and contented little baby.

He sleeps 12 hours through the night. He has a big 2 hour nap in the morning, and grabs little 30 – 45 minute naps throughout the day – in the sling, in the car, in the shopping trolley.

He would probably sleep a bit more during his naps, but I’m often waking him up and dragging him around the place, picking up the other kids from school etc.

I think he’s about 6kgs. He’s much bigger and longer than my other 2 sons at this age, so he doesn’t fit ANY of the winter hand-me-downs!

He has been sick with a running nose and a phlegmy cough a few times in the last month, but he didn’t seem to be greatly affected by it. He still feeds and sleeps all the same.

Liam’s pretty sleepy and dopey in the mornings, but he brightens up considerably in the afternoons and evenings. He chuckles and sings, and he’s just such a pleasure to be with.

Liam - 4 months

He has begun to look at things with interest, reach out to grab things, bite things and get tangled in things.

Liam - 4 months

He can hold his head up for a few minutes now! But he can’t do that and SMILE at the same time. If he does, his head wobbles, he face plants the floor, and he breaks out into chuckles. Very funny.

When he is on his tummy, I can see that he is beginning to bring his knees up and giving a little kick – the first signs of crawling.

To be honest, I’m dreading the moment when he begins to move. It means I have to be a lot more diligent with the cleanliness of my house. Small bits of lego, coloured matchsticks, bits of stickers, and cashew nuts… I can’t walk past it all and think, “Meh, I’ll do it later.”

I’m really, really enjoying this baby phase. I get a bit weepy and precious whenever I think that this will be the last time I get to cuddle a baby. But in the same second, I’m looking forward to fishing and camping trips with the whole family in the future. Ah, such bittersweet moments.


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


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Fashion Find: Boyfriend Blazers

27 July 2009

Topshop Blazers

I’ve always been a fan of the blazer. I like their structured, sleek and tailored-look. And I love that you can add one to pretty much any outfit and look great. They are superb for extending your wardrobe, especially in the cold weather.

I’m enjoying the recent wave of variations on the blazer. Especially the “boyfriend blazer”, which I’ve never heard of until recently. I love the look of them (jacket on the left). But they definitely don’t suit my body shape – I’m short and petite, and the boyfriend blazer tends to be a bit shapeless, boxy and baggy. I feel like paddle-pop ice cream when I wear one.

So I tend to go for jacket that’s a little more fitted and cropped (middle and right jackets). Much kinder to my waist and hips.

Blazers from Topshop.

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


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Torn Between Two Lovers – Canon PowerShot and Nikon D80

24 July 2009

A LOT of people email me and ask about which camera I use. So, I’m going to explain how I came to have two cameras, and what I think of them. This is not actually a comparison of brands – since I am comparing a “compact point-and-shoot” Canon with a Nikon “DSLR”.

Karen Two Cameras

Loving my Canon Powershot

I have been using compacts since digital photography came along. I had a Canon Powershot s45, and I carried it EVERYWHERE with me – I would even leave it on the kitchen bench while I was cooking so I could take cute pics of the kids in impromptu moments.

But after a couple of years, this rough treatment had its price – the Canon Powershot s45 got “water damage”, and I strongly suspect, like the remote control for the TV, that the “water” was kid’s saliva!

The cost to repair the Canon Powershot s45 was almost the same as the newer Canon PowerShot A700. I didn’t even consider swapping brands, because I wanted the same thing again, just upgraded.

But I used it in exactly the same way – I would throw it in the nappy bag, put it down on the grass, and store it on the kitchen top, teach the kids how to take pics – because that’s what I have it for – to take super fast pics of stuff really happening around me all the time.

When the new Canon PowerShot A700 was only two weeks old, I crushed the auto-lens cover thingy in the nappy bag, so the lens cover doesn’t close now, and sometimes, I have to push it open with my fingers.

bashedcannon

Due to the dent underneath the “C” in “Canon”, Mr Powershot can’t close his eye, so he can never get to sleep – poor little guy.

Also the “go right” button on the menu selection doesn’t work anymore (I expect due to sand or water damage), so I can’t easily use manual focus, for example. But since I use the Canon in such a spontaneous way, I almost always use it in “auto” mode anyway.

Time went by, and I was getting more and more inspired by photography blogs. I was envious of the depth of focus, lighting, the spontaneity of people’s expressions. I was ready to explore a more careful way of taking pics.

Time to move up to a DSLR

A friend who has been really into photography for a long time had just bought a Nikon D80 after doing months of research to compare Nikon vs Canon DSLRs. He said that he couldn’t find any real difference between the brands at all, not even on price, and he had eventually gone with the Nikon just because it would allow him to use some old 35mm film Nikon telephoto lenses that he had. I trusted his research, and bought my own Nikon D80 so I could share experiences and lenses with him.

So, here is what I have learned (so far).

The Nikon D80 is great for doing a lot of fast photos, because it has much greater capacity. With the flash turned off, it will just take and take pictures – 5 a second, or something like that, if you hold the button down. This has been great for catwalk fashion photography, for example, and the resolution of the pics is definitely greater – which is important if you are going to manipulate images for professional print use, as I occasionally do.

Not only does the D80 have huge internal bandwidth and storage, but it also has actual physical buttons for adjusting everything. This makes it MUCH faster to change the settings, compared to a compact, where you have to change down through menus on the screen. With the Nikon D80, I can change manual to auto focus, aperture, etc without even taking it down from my face. Very cool, once you get used to it. The DX 18-135mm zoom lens is definitely a more powerful zoom than the Canon compact.

orange_moon02

For example, these moon rising shots were much clearer and dramatic, and more fully convey the experience I had, taken with the Nikon D80. And the range of controls of almost everything in the menus is HUGE. The Nikon D80 just feels like a very powerful tool.

Problems with the DSLR

BUT! The Nikon D80’s carry case is a big as my head, whereas I can put the Canon compact into my purse. So I never take the Nikon D80 anywhere casually, and so, I never take impromptu pics with it.

I just presumed that since the DSLR was physically bigger, and more expensive, it would naturally be twice as capable in every way. But not so.

The in-built flash is much less powerful than I expected, and although the DX 18-135mm zoom lens is “zoomier”, it does not actually allow any more light than the Canon compact – they are both limited to an “f” stop of 3.5. Because I don’t like flash photography very much, getting more from natural light is important to me.

And a MAJOR problem is that I can’t take Macro photos with the Nikon’s DX 18-135mm zoom lens. The Canon compact’s single in-built lens, however, can take amazingly close up pics using the “flower symbol” macro setting for focus.

Dragonfly

For example, this pic of the wings of a dying dragonfly my kids found. I just LOVE discovering these amazing textures and structures, so this is an important part of my photography.

Learning to Love Them Both

On the other hand, a huge advantage of the Nikon D80 is that you can change the lens. For example, I have just started experimenting with a fixed lens 50mm lens (it has no zoom). Because fixed lenses are so simple, they can pass a lot of light…which is great for me, since I don’t like using flash. For example, the current Nikon Standard 50mm f/1.4G lens (with auto-focus) has an aperture of f1.4. That’s FOUR TIMES more light than either of my current zoom lenses. However, this lens is around US$400-500, and I’m just not ready to spend that kind of money.

So in the meantime, I am using a Nikon “E series” lens from the late 1970’s or early 80’s that my friend gave me. It uses the same “F” mount that Nikon still uses, so it goes straight on, but it won’t auto-focus OR work out the exposure. This is no problem, since I just take a picture, see if it is too bright or too dark, and change the ISO, shutter speed or lens aperture to fix it. I’m loving the way I can shoot in almost any natural light, and don’t have to operate the zoom. And, the retro look of the tiny lens gives the Nikon D80 a vintage fashion look I love!

oldschoollens

My D80 gets some street cred with an “old school’ lens accessory.

Summary

Part of the reason I am so happy with my Canon Powershot compact is that it is a pretty sophisticated camera. It has great light sensitivity, it can be made fully manual, it has a quality zoom lens, etc. Because it is so much quality packed into a small size, it makes sense that it is not a cheap camera.

I guess my advice is….don’t buy an DSLR unless you want to do a LOT of reading of the manual, lens changing, experimenting, and carrying of bulky gear. Unless you do, you won’t be getting any of the benefit of the much greater capacity to take “professional” quality photos.

Using an DSLR is a different kind of photography for me. Far more planned, like landscapes, and portraits, and special effects stuff. I’m excited about all the pictures I know I will be able to take with the DSLR. But there are so many possibilities, it can be overwhelming. I’ve got a lot to learn!

So for day to day, I’m still packing my ever present, much abused, ever faithful Canon PowerShot A700 compact into my handbag/nappy bag. And when I or my kids finally kill it, as we surely will, I’m probably going to go straight out and buy the current Canon equivalent, the PowerShot A1000 IS or the PowerShot A2000 IS.

Happy snapping!


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Breath by Tim Winton

23 July 2009

Admittedly, most of my personal spare time is taken up with online work and soaking my brain in the bottomless pit that is the internet – email, news, blogs, fashion updates, Facebook, twitter.

I have long ago drowned in the cacophony of visual clutter and the world of short sentences. And like a hamster in a wheel, trying to “keep up” and “stay connected” is tiring, self-defeating and most times futile. Life is to be lived, I say. And it’s good to get away.

Breath by Tim WintonSo while I was on holiday, I stuck my nose deep into, Breath by Tim Winton, an award winning, modern Australian, literary novel.

Nothing could have been further from the internet. With his rich, lyrical and evocative prose. It was perfect. It was exactly what I needed.

He’s one of my favourite authors ever. Able to capture an entire moment in 5 simple words. I’m floored, mind-boggled and stunned by his brilliance as an author. Great story. Great characters.

As I turned the last page over, I had a pang of sadness. It’s over already? What am I going to read now? How on earth am I going to find something to top that? And I was tempted to start reading it all over again.


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Jack Be Nimble Designer Jewellery

22 July 2009

Jack Be Nimble Designer JewelleryFor my birthday, after a bit of subtle prompting, my husband bought me a necklace that I had been desperately drooling after. I looooove it.

The necklace comes from the range of indi designer jewellery from Jack Be Nimble, a new collaboration of four West Australian designers, Jacqueline Payne, Alister Yiap, Celia Chee and Kelly McIntyre.

I first saw their stall at some recent designer markets in Perth. I was immediately struck by their colour palette – black, white and silver. And I really like that each designer had kept their individual styles. Not to mention their prices are very affordable (prices start from $30).

My particular necklace was designed by Kelly McIntyre, and she has quite a few other super-yummy designs in her range.

Jack Be Nimble Designer Jewellery

And these ones below are by (left to right) Alister, Jacqueline and Celia.

Jack Be Nimble Designer Jewellery

They have an online shop and gallery, and they ship national and international.

To buy, just email the team or contact the designers individually. Or you can contact them through their Facebook Page.

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


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Inspired by…

21 July 2009

…the infinite variety, colour and texture of things living below my ankle.

nrbobtail

NRcentipede

nrflowerfireworks


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Perth Fashion Festival 2009 Program Launch

20 July 2009

Perth Fashion Festival 2009 Launch

The Perth Fashion Festival launched its program for 2009, detailing a 7 day calendar jam packed with fashion shows and events, from September 4 – 10 2009.

I braved a frosty Wednesday morning to attend the launch at the historic Perth GPO building. Guests entered along a red carpet and past a window display of live models adorned with a variety of West Australian designer clothes, all in a white ethereal theme.

Perth Fashion Festival 2009 LaunchThe centre of attention for the morning was Emily Cattermole, The Face of the Festival, who was wearing this amazing white dress by LinPin.

And Tom Bull, another international model from Perth, was presented as the Youth Ambassador for the Festival. I just adored his outfit by Aelkemi, and the whole babyface-with-facial-hair look. So cute.

As I scoffed down some breakfast pastries and flicked through the program, I was most excited about the individual designer shows by Ruth Tarvydas, Wheels & Dollbaby and Morrison. Yay, can’t wait!

Check out the list of all the events here.

Images by the lovely Stefan Gosatti, Official Festival Photographer.


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Winter Holiday 2009

17 July 2009

Winter Holiday 2009

So I’ve actually been away this past week!

Our little family drove up north to a small country town for a 6 day stay at my in-law’s property.

We eagerly immersed ourselves into the slow country pace – making bonfires, wading in the creek, playing in the fields, digging for rocks, exploring broken tractors, toasting marshmallows, eating wonderful home cooked meals, and reading novels.

There was no internet connection and it was WONDERFUL.

The drive took about 6 hours, but with a few stops, the whole trip took about 8 hours – with 3 boys crammed into the back of the car!

We’ve made this trip every year for the past 9 years. So when my first son was a little baby, he screamed for 1 hour before he went to sleep. My second son screamed on and off, for a total of 2 hours.

But Liam, who is 4 months old now, he didn’t cry AT ALL. He spent most of the 6 hours asleep, sitting, staring out the window, gooing at his dangly toys, enjoying the occasional pat on the tummy by my older boy. And he did this for the 6 hour trip up and back. Of course we stopped every 2 hours for food and a stretch, but it’s almost unbelievable how good he is.

Winter Holiday 2009

We had a few jobs to do, such as clearing the paddock of dead trees and branches. Come summer time, these could be a fire hazard, so while it’s winter we can safely make a bonfire to burn off the wood.

This is me getting dirty and glowing from the sheer pleasure of physical yard work. I seriously can’t put into words how good it feels to balance my life out like this.


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Guess Who?

16 July 2009

Guess Who

I’m sure most of you know about the game “Guess Who”.

Basically you and your opponent select a random character, and you both take turns to ask a question, in order to deduce which character the other play has.

My kids are actually quite good at the game, however trying to play with a 4 year old does become problematic at times.

Instead of asking the typical questions, like “Do you have brown hair? Do you have blue eyes? Are you a man?” he asks:

“Are you ugly?”

“Um. Well. Actually …” I stammer.

“Or are you just funny looking? Because if you’re funny looking, you’re definitely this guy here…”


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Fabrix Cases

15 July 2009

Fabrix Cases

I spend a lot of time hunting for unique and cool products that you can buy online. Products that stand out in some way, whether it’s concept, design, value for money or sheer eye candy.

Well, the lovely people at Fabrix Cases asked whether I would like to try out some of their handmade cases for laptops, cameras, ipods etc.

The moment I saw their website, I said yes! The site was really well designed, super slick and professional, plus the products were presented really well and looked great.

I asked them to send over a laptop sleeve for a Mac Book Pro, and yep, it fit perfectly.

Usually I store my laptop in a chunky case. But when I want to travel light, I just carry the laptop as it is, and pop it into my tote handbag. The sleeve was a great way to protect the laptop from getting scratched up from the bits and pieces in my handbag. Looks so pretty too!

Fabrix Cases

We took the laptop and sleeve to a cafe to test it out. Also discovered that it protects the laptop from the table surface or any liquid spills. Not to mention, several people came up to us and asked us where we got the cover.

Fabrix Cases

I also asked for a camera case for my Canon A700. Fits like a glove. Love the material. So much more stylish than the utilitarian zip case.

Browsing around the online shop, there are some really gorgeous and cool case designs. I’d also say that these cases would be a perfect place to get gifts for men – I’m always scratching my head when it comes to what to buy my guy friends!

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


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My Daily Schedule – 6yo, 4yo and 3 months.

14 July 2009

This schedule is for a very typical Tuesday, when my 6yo is at school and I have to look after a 4yo and a 3 month baby.

6:30am – Alarm clock goes off. Myself, my husband and both boys wake up. We all eat breakfast together.

7:00am – I hustle to get the boys ready for school. I get myself ready for the day.

7:30am – Husband leaves for work.

8:00am – I wake the baby up, feed and change him.

8:20am – Pack all the kids into the car and drive to the school.

8:30am – Drop off older boy to his classroom.

9:00am – Return home. Baby goes to sleep. My 4yo will do a craft activity, watch tv, play, read or explore the garden by himself, while I get an hour’s work on the computer.

10:00am – Have morning tea with my 4yo. Do chores around the house. Pack a lunch.

11:00am – Baby wakes and feeds. He is usually wide awake and very alert at this time.
Great time to play with him. We usually go out for a playdate or visit someone.

1:00pm – Come home. Make preparations for dinner. Most times I’ll have it made, and have it ready to be put in the oven, or warmed up ready for dinner time.

2:00pm – By 2pm I have to make sure that my baby is fed and changed.

2:30pm – Put baby in the pram. My 4yo and I walk to school.

3:00pm – Pick up 6yo from school.

3:30pm – Arrive home. The boys get NO afternoon snack.

4:00pm – Older boy does his homework with me. Boys play, while I start putting dinner together. Baby usually naps or sits and stares at the bigger boys.

4:30pm – The boys eat their dinner. I feed and play with baby.

5:00pm – Husband comes home. We join the boys and eat dinner.

5:30pm – My husband takes them for another walk, or a bike ride, or kick a ball in the park, or a wrestle in the lounge room.

6:30pm – Kids get bathed and a story.

7:00pm – Husband puts the boys to sleep and washes the dishes. I feed and play with baby.

8:00pm – I put baby to bed for the evening. I do a bit of tidying and cleaning. Husband makes school lunches for boys for tomorrow.

8:30pm – Husband and I hang out!

11:00pm – We go to bed.

Read all my daily schedules (when my kids were at different ages).


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STYLEAID 2009 Preview

13 July 2009

Styleaid 2009 Preview

One of Perth’s biggest and most important fashion events is STYLEAID, which brings together two of my greatest passions – fashion and community service.

Each year, about 500 members of Perth’s fashion industry all contribute their time, for free, to create a celebration of West Australian fashion, producing some amazing high end fashion/art imagery, and to put on a spectacular fundraising dinner/runway show.

This year, the theme for STYLEAID is “White On White”. The funds raised go to support the West Australian AIDS Council, an organisation that provides education to prevent the spread of AIDS.

Every STYLEAID also features both established and emerging West Australian designers, and since it happens at the end of July, it kind of kicks off the whole spring fashion season in Australia.

Styleaid 2009 Preview

From left to right: Ruth Tarvydas, Aurelio Costarella, One Fell Swoop and Stand International

I didn’t get to go last year because tickets were all sold out weeks before the event, as they are this year. I was pretty disappointed.

But this year, I HAVE TICKETS! So I can’t wait till the 31st July to see the best of my home town’s fashion community all on one runway, in one evening!

Now, what to wear?!?


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Berlin Fashion Week 2009

10 July 2009

I was really looking forward to the latest shows from the recent Berlin Fashion Week. Perhaps my anticipation reflected my current frame of mind – I was in the mood to BUY. And it’s always the case, when you desperately want to buy something, you find nothing in the shops. So I was twinkling my toes with eagerness to see some nice stuff.

As a result, the images and styles that caught my eye were very pretty ready to wear garments.

Berlin Fashion Week 2009

Anja Gockel had some very simple and stunning pieces – stuff I would LOVE to add to my wardrobe. Her unusual colours combinations in satin/silk stood out to me the most. In particular the moss green dress, the coffee and pink combo, and the navy, cream and painterly colours.

Berlin Fashion Week 2009

I fell in love with Guido Maria Kretschmer’s collection. Specifically the designer’s attention to detail, subdued palette, and simple geometric shapes. Overall it was full of very classic and sophisticated designs, and like I said, clothes that I would love to wear.

I know there is a lot of commentary about the state of the fashion industry within a global economic crisis. And I am aware that a lot of people are concerned that fashion collections are becoming too conservative or unadventurous, but hey. I’m a consumer and I want to consume, crisis or not! So perhaps a wave of ready-to-wear collections is a good thing for the global economy. Bring it on!


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Our Wii Family

9 July 2009

Our Wii Family

So we finally bought a Nintendo Wii. The very first computer game console in our house.

To emphasise the enormity of this momentous occasion, I made the whole family sit down one evening and let each one be inducted in the hall of Miis.

We all created our own avatars, and it was actually a lot of fun.

True to his character, my 6yo Callum, had to view every single possible variation of eye brow before he chose one, not to mention every hair style, hair colour, hair parting, etc etc etc. He took AGES to make his avatar! Until we were throwing pillows at him to hurry up. It was like a scene from a 1990s television sitcom.

My 4yo Sean, spent his time creating a strange 6 feet tall man, with long black crazy hair, a curly beard and moustache, dark sunglasses and a mole, wearing a black t-shirt. We all went, WHAT THE??

At first I told him, “If that’s who you want to be, then it’s fine.”

But as I tried to play tennis with his character, it kinda creeped me out that I was calling this guy on the screen SEAN! And it just got too weird to think that maybe he wasn’t just playing around to make us laugh, maybe he sees himself like this? A basketball playing rockstar bikie?

So a few days later, I showed him a picture of himself and asked him to change it to something that looks a little more like himself, please – BECAUSE MUMMY THINKS YOUR GUY IS CREEPY!!

We also have characters for my parents and our babysitter. So much fun.


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Peeps and Fleece

8 July 2009

Rafael from Betts

Last week, I got myself some new shoes from Betts. I’ve been eyeing them for months, so when I found out I was attending a function, I knew I had to get them. I admit, the height of them are a bit crazy, but damn, it makes an outfit look awesome!

So one morning, as I was putting together my outfit for the function, it occurred to me that I had not worn the shoes out before.

Usually, if I wear brand new shoes to an event, especially a long event, I always come home with huge blisters and really sore feet. So I thought it’d be a good idea to “wear them in” before the big night.

I took off my woolly slippers and socks, slipped on my new shoes, and clomped through the house all morning.

Unfortunately I got a knock on the door, and as you can probably see, these shoes would take a few minutes to get in and out of… so I rushed to the door hoping that the person would not notice the terrible fashion faux par.

Peeps and Fleece

Tracksuit pants and peep toes!

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


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Me and My Boys

7 July 2009

Our Family 2009

On the weekend, before we headed out to celebrate my birthday, I managed to snap a photo of myself, with my favourite people in the whole world.


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Maternalove – Online Nursing Wear

6 July 2009

Top by Maternalove

Continuing my hunt for nursing tops (which are just the best thing in the world!), a few readers emailed me and pointed me to an online shop called Maternalove.

They specialise in stylish and fashionable nursing wear at an affordable price. They have an excellent selection of styles, the clothes fit and fall really well, and they feel great.

Above I’m wearing a Sleeveless Twist Top. Although it’s a fairly casual top, I thought I would dress is up a bit.

Top by Maternalove

Here I’m wearing a Cowl Neck Top, which is unfortunately currently out of stock. The Drape Banded Top and the Flutter Nursing Top are really nice too. And the Double Layer Tank is definitely a winner in warmer weather.

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


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My Birthday 2009

4 July 2009

Hey, I really want to thank everyone who sent me a birthday message! Aww you guys are rad.

Wow that one crept up on me. I remember it was January not so long ago. Now we’re halfway through the year.

6 months have gone. And there are 6 months left. What happened? What did I achieve? What were the highlights? And now, what am I going to do with the rest of the year?

Out of habit, I like to claim July for myself. All of it.

I like to indulge myself a little. I like to buy myself something new. I like to organise a party for myself, or two. I like to think of something I’ve always wanted to do, and heck, just do it.

I also like to sit back and remember the good things in my life. I like to celebrate the stuff that really matter.

On Wednesday, I went out to dinner with my husband. He organised a little surprise date for us. We sat in a restaurant and talked non stop! I’m astounded that I’ve known this guy for 10 years and we still have so much to say to each other. And that I’m still madly in love with him.

Thursday, I joined a gym for the first time in my life. It is a wellness gym, as opposed to anything hardcore or upmarket. My god, my life has been changed. My body feels soooooooooooo good.

Friday, I invited a few girlfriends and their kids over for a playdate lunch. It’s always so cool to hang around with good friends, talking, laughing and simply being yourself. Knowing that they love you for being you.

Saturday, this evening, I will go out with my family and some close family friends for dinner, all 14 of us. My favourite cuisine, Japanese food.

Today I celebrate happiness. My life. My husband. My children. My family. My friends. My work.


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Boobalicious Ball 2009

3 July 2009

Boobalicious Ball 2009

The other weekend my husband and I attended the annual Boobalicious Ball – a huge charity fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Foundation of WA.

Now with a name like Boob-a-licious, I must admit, it sounded a bit sleazy and indecent. But it was actually a really fun night out! There were dance performances, catwalk shows, singing, a live band, lots of charity auctions. Everything was enjoyably tasteful and entertaining.

Going to the Boobalicious Ball 2009

The dress code for the night was “Black Tie and Dazzling Gowns”.

My main problem, was that the all “dazzling gowns” in my wardrobe didn’t fit me because I’m still carrying a bit of extra weight from being pregnant 3 months ago, and my proportions have changed slightly.

I was flapping around for few weeks saying, “Ak! What am I going to wear????”

My husband sighed and said, “Why don’t you just go out and buy something new…..” and I was out the door with my credit card faster than you could say END OF FINANCIAL YEAR SALE.

I made two shopping trips, but grrr, I couldn’t find anything.

And I wasn’t about to spend $250 on a dress that fit me NOW, when I’m planning to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight LATER.

So I put together a two-piece outfit and made something that looked like a simple, black cocktail dress.

I love prancing around in ruffles. It was a great night!

I wore a high-waisted satin ruffle skirt, from Forever New. A black cami from Myer. Metallic bead necklace from Myer. Beige fishnets from Myer. Shoes from Betts.


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How Much is One Child’s Life Worth?

2 July 2009

As I wrote out the title for today’s post, I felt a heaviness in my heart. What if this was a picture of my own child? What would I do?

charmaine Lim of Singapore

This is Charmaine Lim, a four year old in Singapore, who has just had her birthday. She is dying of a rare cancer. She has already had chemotherapy and a major abdominal surgery last week. This has bought her some time, but the cancer has already spread beyond her abdomen, and as you read this, she is having even more chemotherapy.

Five years ago, I went through the nightmare of my husband having cancer. Every moment of every day was filled with doubt and fear. Every day the weight – of everything – got heavier and heavier. The only thing we didn’t have to worry about were the medical bills, because in Australia, everything is paid for by a government insurance scheme – Medicare. We didn’t have to wonder whether or not we could fight for his life.

I remember before my husband had one of his operations, he said to me: “This could be worse.”

I cried and asked “How?”

“It could be our son who has cancer,” he replied. And I knew he was right.

It is a cliché, but it is true. Nothing is worse than the thought of your child dying young, not even the thought of your partner dying. Almost any parent would choose to give up their own life before their child’s. It’s what parents do.

But Charmaine’s family have a much greater challenge than my husband and I have ever had. They are working against time just to get the money to fight for Charmaine’s life.

Charmaine’s chance at survival will be improved to 50/50 with a treatment only available in a US hospital. However the treatment for this rare cancer will cost over $US300,000. That’s Half a Million Singaporean dollars.

I rang the National University Hospital in Singapore personally on Friday, to check out this story, and it is all true. The hospital administrative staff confirmed all of these details.

This is a crushing weight for Charmaine’s family. Her mother Cynthia is a single parent, with two young children, and who has already given up work to care for Charmaine. There is no medical insurance to cover this.

But Charmaine has a huge advantage. She has a family who just won’t give up on her. They have asked friends to help, who asked other friends. All kinds of people are now giving their time, and making direct donations, to help raise the money to give Charmaine a fighting chance. And I am now one of them.

What Charmaine’s family is doing is natural, right and proper. They are not begging for money. They are fighting for their child’s very life.  Lots of people have already given of their time and money, which is their expression of love and hope. But there is still some way to go to raise all of this Half a Million dollars.

Helping Charmaine is so very important because it proves that we believe every child’s life is precious. Win or lose, her situation shows us about the power of love, and of community. It will be tragic if Charmaine dies, but it will be much, much more tragic if she dies without having had this 50/50 chance.

So I urge you to please help, especially if you are Singaporean. Because if you are Singaporean, Charmaine is your child too. And if you have some way of communicating to others, then spread the word.

You can read all about Charmaine’s fight here.


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Fashion Find: Gosh Celebrity Fashion

1 July 2009

Clothes From Gosh Celebrity Fashion

I found a new online boutique called Gosh Celebrity Fashion, and I contacted them to see if I could review some of their goods.

The shop is packed with a nice variety of dresses, tops and jackets, inspired by celebrity fashion and current looks.

I’m wearing a Strapless Back Zip Dress in a stretchy satin material, which features a sliver zip down the back of the whole dress. It’s very nice indeed. Too bad I had to return it!

Clothes From Gosh Celebrity Fashion

I also liked these recent additions: From left, Crystal Jacquard Dress, Flatter me Bandage Dress, and an Angelina Jolie BAFTA Dress.

Clothes From Gosh Celebrity Fashion

And these tops were also very yummy! Masquerade Blouse (left) and Rose Silk Top (right).

Overall, GOSH specialises in fast moving celebrity fashion. I was pretty happy with the clothes, and the low to medium price range. And it’s great value for money, if you’re looking for something affordable and a little different.

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