Archive for September 2009


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Formal Dresses from FashionJunkee

30 September 2009

Dresses by FashionJunkee

This year, I found myself attending quite a few formal events – from huge charity balls, to local community end-of-year celebrations.

While I don’t believe in “never wearing the same dress twice”, I do believe that a new frock is necessary once in a while! I guess, it’s a little embarrassing when someone remembers you from last year, because of your outfit. And even funnier, when you look back on old photos of yourself wearing the same dress, and you can’t even remember where you were.

Anyway, I thought I’d point everyone over to FashionJunkee, to check out their range of affordable, full-length formal dresses.

The red dress (above) was fantastic to wear. It was very comfortable, stretchy and slinky. It felt very fitting and secure, that is, it didn’t feel like it was going to slip right off if I accidentally stepped on the hem. The ruching hid any bumps and lumps, plus you could just gather it up or down a bit depending on the height of your shoe!

The purple dress (above) was also great. It felt more floaty and swishy. I loved the little twist-tie detail at the front. There is a padded bust, but somehow I never feel *quite secure* without some support.

Here are some others that I liked.

Dresses by FashionJunkee

1) Dark Blue Jersey Maxi Dress, 2) Aqua Sweetheart, 3) Black Ruffle Halter, 4) Yellow Twisted Back Dress.

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

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Pan-Fried Mackerel with Silverbeet

29 September 2009

Pan Fried Fish and Silverbeet

I’m a very throw-it-together kind of cook.

No recipe. Just a bit of this and a bit of that.

Great for my family. Not so great for my website.

I made dinner in a crazy flurry – while making pureed pumpkin and steamed apple for my baby, helping my oldest child with his spelling and maths homework, and helping my middle child make a dinosaur diorama.

Sometimes I wonder, WHY don’t I just order CHINESE TAKEAWAY? MY LIFE WOULD BE SO MUCH SIMPLER.

Would you believe me if I said that cooking helps me relieve stress?

Anyway, I had a bunch of fresh silverbeet in my fridge. Shallots and garlic at the bottom of my cupboard. A few pieces of fish in my freezer. Bit of lemon, butter, pepper and lots of olive oil. Served with rice.

(Apologies, I initially posted that the fish was barracuda. But my dad (who bought the fish for me, said it was actually mackerel! Like I would know the difference anyway!)

View more of my recipes here!

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Fashion Find: Stylish Slings!

28 September 2009

Baby Sling from

I just love using a sling when I carry my baby.

Very often I get stopped and asked where I bought it, so I thought I’d do a review of some very stylish designs that you can purchase online.

I wrote to Maternalove, an online boutique specialising in maternity wear, nursing clothes, and other accessories. I asked them if I could test out one of their slings, as their range was particularly eye-catching.

People usually comment that slings are just for tiny newborns. But my baby is 6 months old, I carry my baby EVERYWHERE!

When I dash in and out of my car, drop my kids off at school, pick up some milk from the shops, or dash out to queue up at the bank – I don’t like to set up the whole pram ensemble – blankets, nappy bag, dangly toy, water bottle – especially when I’m only out of the car for 10 – 15 minutes.

So when I carry my baby around a lot, my wrists and arms get quite sore. I guess the sling is just a really nice way to ease some of the weight off my arms, and distribute it evenly across my back and shoulders.

Baby Sling from

They stock some really nice sling designs!

Also, for those interested, do check out Maternalove’s collection of new arrivals. Really nice stuff.

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

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Featured in Singapore Women’s Weekly Oct 2009

25 September 2009

Singapore Women's Weekly Oct 2009

Thought I’d share a cool update!

I’ve been featured in the Singapore Women’s Weekly, October Issue. Go check it out!

The article is titled “You Don’t Have To Be a Teen to Blog”. It features Malaysian biologist and conservationist blogger Chen Pelf Nyok, and myself.

The article portrays us as smart, graceful, generous, serious, young woman who can run an online business, be their own boss, make money, support charities, write about the more significant world issues in life, AND have a fulfilling life.

So strange to see myself in ink!

I suppose being a blogger (a self-publisher), I am used to being the one writing about myself. I always find it strange to read what a journalist has written – or not written – about me.

I always find myself thinking: “But wait!! I told you about all this other cool stuff as well! Why didn’t you put that in!?” Oh well, I’m a bit of a control freak!

(Note: I’ll upload the whole article next month. Follow me on Facebook or Twitter and I’ll update everyone.)

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Making Baby 3 – Baby Feeding

24 September 2009

Ok. By popular demand and ongoing requests, here are some more pictures of my 6 month old baby, Liam. Geez, you girls can’t get enough of the baby photos!

Liam 6 Months Eating Pumpkin

Liam is truly a cool little baby. He is just so happy, relaxed and low-maintenance!

Liam 6 Months Eating Pumpkin

He’s eating pumpkin and apple with a mixed rice cereal.

Liam 6 Months Eating Pumpkin

I just love the sparkle in his eyes when he smiles.

Check out how much he looks like my first son, Callum at 6 months and 7 months. You’ll have to scroll to the bottom to see pics.

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

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Daily Outfit: Fashion Festival Day 2

23 September 2009

Daily Outfit: 23-09-2009I LOVE SEQUINS.

If I had the money, I’d have a LOT of sequins in my wardrobe – short dresses, long dresses, blazers, crop jackets, bomber jackets, pencil skirts, floaty top and sparkly shoes.

I’d have them in black, silver, navy, gold and heck I’d have PINK sequins.

And pants! Ohh I’d have charcoal coloured sequin pants with speckled white and silver!

But of course, I would never live it down.

I’d be THAT crazy sequin woman. Stuck in an era of revived, tragic fashion fads.

And there’s always the risk of having a bit too much sequin on your body – and looking like a lizard.

Well, the shops are full of sequins, and I found this cool dress, with a geometric sequin pattern and beading. Very cute.

This is what I wore to the VIP Launch Party for the Perth Fashion Festival.  Plus leather jacket and handbag.

I’m also wearing my favourite peep toe ankle booties.

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

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Morning Walks and Simple Pleasures

22 September 2009

Lately the weather has been cold, windy and overcast.

We’ve found ourselves stuck indoors for the past week, and I tend to get a bit restless when I haven’t had a walk.

Walk in the Park - Sept 2009

The other day it was still quite cold, but I took advantage of the clear sky.

I brought my 4 year old boy and 6 month baby to the park for a stretch.

Walk in the Park - Sept 2009

We sprawled ourselves out the grass. We watched cranes dig for snails.

My 4yo and I played a game of no-rules soccer.

Walk in the Park - Sept 2009

We walked to the lake. We drew pictures in the cappuccino froth that collected at the edge of the water. We threw rocks and made leaf boats.

The huge gust of wind blew Sean’s cap into the water. And we spent the next half hour trying to fish it out.

In those few hours, life was so simple. It was grand.

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Fashion Find: Kooshi Online Sleepwear and Lingerie

21 September 2009

Kooshi - Online Sleepwear and Lingerie

Kooshi is an online shop that specialises in sleepwear, slips, lingerie – that are sexy, comfortable and affordable.

When they asked me if I was interested in doing a review, I thought, UHHH I am not taking pics of myself in lace underwear!

Thankfully I took a peek at their website and discovered that they had quite a large selection of good-looking and tasteful sleep and lounge wear. In fact, there were quite a few nice designs, and I had a hard time choosing from such a good range.

They arrived perfectly and timely!

I must admit, I owned quite a few nice sets, years ago. I just love good quality undergarments. They are the kind of thing that every woman should own! But my old sets slowly wore out, and I just never got around to buying new ones. I guess, it’s very nice to know that you can buy nice undergarments online.

In the photos above, I’m wearing the Stacey Slip and Kimberly Slip.

As I said, Kooshi have a great range of casual designs, sexy designs, lounge-around-at-home designs, and even swimwear.

Here are some others that caught my eye.

Kooshi - Online Sleepwear and Lingerie

Left to right, Karen Set and the Sunshine Set.

Kooshi - Online Sleepwear and Lingerie

Left to right, Chelsa 2 Slip and the Crystal 2 Slip.

Right now, they are also having a fantastic sale, so go check it out!

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

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New York Fashion Week: Doo.Ri

20 September 2009

New York Fashion Week finished last week, and I have begun to flick through the countless online galleries and images.

I’m overwhelmed by the amount of STUFF there is, and at the same time I’m clapping my hands with glee. I just love looking at all the brand new creations!

The Ready-to-Wear garments by Doo.Ri (by Doo-Ri Chung) made me swoon. All the latest looks that I love, wrapped up in one collection – blazers, short skirts, ruffles, folds, blues, neutrals, greys and a dash of metallics and tie-dye. Great stuff!

NY Fashion Week - RTW Doo Ri Spring 2010

Images from

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Rodney Olsen’s Ride for Cancer

17 September 2009

Rodney Olsen's Ride for CancerHi everyone, meet Rod.

He’s a radio announcer, and father of two kids. I’ve met him a few times at various blogging functions, and I often listen to his shows in the morning.

He is also a mad keen cyclist who has organised, and ridden in, many long distance rides, including across Australia, Canada and through India.

Like me, his family has been tragically touched by cancer. And like me, he has noticed that, despite the fact that about one third of us will actually get cancer, and all of us will know many people who will get it… there is so little discussion of it.

Cancer remains a very difficult topic. And the problem is that if people don’t talk about a problem, they can’t make it any better.

So Rod has decided to do what he can about it.

He has organised a team from his radio station to ride from Perth to Albany, stopping in one town each day to do a radio show, and get people talking about their own experiences with cancer.

The money they raise from sponsors will go to the Cancer Council, who use the money to actually DO STUFF – like care for those with cancer, to educate about early detection, and conduct research to find more effective cures.

Rod and his team will be starting their ride on Sat 17th October.

You can read Rod’s blog post about it, and you can make your own donation here.

Rod reminds me that I could do more myself, and inspires me to make plans! Go Rod!

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Basic Pancake Recipe

16 September 2009

Basic Pancake Recipe

I printed out this recipe late one Saturday night. I stuck it on the kitchen counter top, and behold, my husband woke up and made the boys pancakes on Sunday morning. But more importantly, he let me sleep in. Bless him.

Basic Pancake Recipe (adapted from the BBC Food website)

110g/4oz plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
2 eggs
200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
50g/2oz butter


1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the flour.

2. Break eggs and whisk.

3. Gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking. Whisk until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream.

4. Now melt the 50g/2oz of butter in a pan. Spoon 2 tbsp of it into the batter and whisk it in.

5. Pour the rest into a bowl and use it to lubricate the pan, using a wedge of kitchen paper to smear it round before you make each pancake.

6. Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium. Pour about 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan in one go.

7. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter.

It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be.

8. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife – the other side will need a few seconds only – then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.

9. To serve, sprinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or else simply roll them up.

View more of my recipes here!

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Making Baby 3 – The 6 Month Update

15 September 2009

Liam at 6 Months

Liam is approaching 6 months… and he just loves curling up like a ball and rolling around the lounge room.

I love how babies are so flexible! The photo above is Liam when he’s in his toe sucking mood.

He has 2 teeth now. They popped up at the same time, last week.

My other two babies were quite grumpy during their “teething stage”. But Liam, true to his style, cruised right through it. The only thing that happened was: he drooled a lot, and his chin got a bit red. He still sleeps 12 hours straight through the night.

However, his appetite has increased phenomenally this week. I have been eating large meals, 6 times a day, pigging out on dairy and carbs, and I still can’t keep up the milk production. I don’t have enough milk!

He was unusually irritable one day – grizzling and crying, I thought it was his teeth, until I realised that he was just hungry. I had no milk, so I supplemented him with a bottle of formula. Presto, he was happy as could be.

I’m also offering him a small amount of solids about 3 times each day. He will hungrily chomp on anything I wave in front of him – rice, banana, apple, pumpkin. But he just swirls it around in his mouth, and it dribbles back out when he smiles at me. So he hasn’t gotten the hang of SWALLOWING yet.

Every time I place him next to another baby his age, he looks so SMALL in comparison! A part of me is a teeny bit worried that he might be underweight.

But like my other two kids, he is as active as can be. He’s not one of those cute pork-dumpling, sumo babies who lay about. Liam wriggles, jiggles and squirms like crazy during his mat time.

In fact he’s digging his toes into the carpet, bringing his knees up and moving very quickly towards CRAWLING!

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

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Perth Fashion Festival 2009 – WA Fashion Awards

14 September 2009

The Perth Fashion Festival finished up last week with the WA Fashion Awards. 13 winners were nominated and voted for by members of the fashion industry – so it was very exciting to see the results.

The biggest award for the night, Most Innovative WA Designer, went to Alison Cotton for Joveeba (pictured left below).

I was not surprised that she won, as her label has gone from strength to strength in a relatively short period of time, and each of her collections have been strong, bold and versatile. I featured some of Joveeba’s latest collection here.

Perth Fashion Festival 2009 - WA Fashion Awards

Designer for Tomorrow was awarded to Paper Skye by Kirsten Shadbolt, pictured centre above. And the Fine Details award went to Sophie Kyron, pictured right above. I am not very familiar with these two designers, but their stuff looks fantastic! I certainly hope to take a closer look at some of their work in the near future.

I also really enjoyed the Student Categories, there were so many strong designs showing great talent and potential. These ones particularly caught my eye, and were all winners or runner-ups in their particular categories.

Perth Fashion Festival 2009 - WA Fashion Awards

Pictured left – Andrea Wolf.  Pictured centre and right – Ellie Meyer.

Perth Fashion Festival 2009 - WA Fashion Awards

Katie Bell (pictured left) won the Student Costume Couture category with lovely layers and teaming of sheer fabrics. But I must admit, in the same category, I preferred Jeromy Lin’s piece (pictured right). I could so see that coming down an international catwalk. The mood of his whole collection was communicated in that one concept piece. It’s unfortunately not quite clear from this picture, but the the green neck-piece/hood was made of raw silk with an amazingly subtle organic-look print, and it was all scrunched up. The addition of the gas-mask prop made the concept all the more stand-out.

Overall, the WA Fashion Awards was a fun night out. It was great to see the industry coming together to celebrate fashion!

All images by Stefan Gosatti – Official Photographer to the Festival. Check out his brand new website for a more complete and up-to-date photo coverage of all the events!

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Daily Outfit: Fashion Festival Day 1

11 September 2009

Daily OutfitToday is the end of the Perth Fashion Festival, and man, what a week!

7 days of events, launches, VIP parties, evening fashion shows, day time functions, exhibitions, lunches. It was crazy. I am so tired.

As superficial as this may sound, I have to say it:

Dressing up, making sure you look good, having the energy to go to events, meeting people, talking to people, being friendly and charming, taking photos – EVERY DAY AND NIGHT for 7 days straight, is really, REALLY hard work.

I just want to sleep for days and DAYS.

Not to mention I’ve been playing tag with my husband on the parental duties. I haven’t seen him in a week!

I’ve taken lots of photos of what I wore to all the events. And I’ll scatter them over the next few weeks.

Here, I’m wearing a gorgeous black, silk, ruffle-collar dress I bought at 75% off, from Live. Belt by Sportsgirl. Earrings by Alister Yiap. Shoes from Zu. Handbag – I bought at a flea market in London, 10 years ago.

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

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I Heart High-Tops

10 September 2009

Sportsgirl Hightops

I thought I’d declare a recent addition to my lust list – canvas high tops. Aren’t they so cute?

Love the tie-die pattern one too. Or buy a white one and do it yourself. Go crazy with food colouring!

These are from Sportsgirl’s new online shop.

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

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Once a Week Meal : PIZZA

9 September 2009

Once a week meal - Pizza

I’ve had lots of people ask me what I cook for my family, particularly when I’m in a HUGE rush.

Yes, we eat home-made pizza once a week. My kids love it. And I LOVE IT that they gobble it all up. Fast.

The kids have tomato, ham and cheese pizzas, opting for the fresh salad on the side.

I’ll eat two of these without batting an eyelid. The one above is a vegetarian – I just love warm mushroom and avocado!

At the moment I use bought pita breads as the base. One day I’ll get around to making my own pizza bases!

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Perth Fashion Festival 2009 – Collection 1 Highlights

8 September 2009

The Perth Fashion Festival is currently well under way, and I have been quite busy, to say the least. One of the biggest shows for the week, showcasing some of the hottest names in Perth fashion, was the WA Designer Collections Event.

Collection #1 featured Perth’s established designers – Ae’lkemi, Antipodium, Empire Rose, Flannel, Joveeba, Liz Davenport, Love in Tokyo, Megan Salmon, One Fell Swoop, Panache & 33 Poets, S2, Sophie Kyron, STAND International, Story by Tang and United Construction.

With second row VIP seats, I spotted some of these great stand-out designs.

Perth Fashion Festival 2009 - WA designer Collections #1

I previously featured some of Aelkemi’s latest S/S 09/10 womens collection. And when I saw his mens collection come down the runway, I perked up with great interest. They were great – fun, cheeky, yet polished and stylish. I loved the colour palatte!

Perth Fashion Festival 2009 - WA designer Collections #1

Sophi Kyron’s collection was definitely a head turner. With beautiful embellishments and fine textures and details, all her pieces were blooming with edgy romance. I WANT!

Perth Fashion Festival 2009 - WA designer Collections #1

Antipodium has always been a favourite label of mine. However my admiration was always based on their design concepts (strong, bold, contemporary and edgy) and an aesthetic appreciation of their strong branding and style.

But with this collection, I actually thought WOW, I might like to try wearing some of that! It was all SO COOL!

All images by Stefan Gosatti – Official Photographer to the Festival. Check out his brand new website for a more complete and up-to-date photo coverage of all the events!

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Garden Treasure From The Weekend

7 September 2009

Garden Potions

My 6yo and 4yo boys love making garden potions.

With the recent downpour of rain, we’ve collected lots of water in manky, outdoor buckets.

So when we throw the kids outside, they spend HOURS occupying themselves with all things muddy.

Of course, I discovered these much later when I was tidying up the backyard.

It was like stumbling across Aladdin’s cave of secret treasures. Just magical.

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Making Baby 3 – Baby Lovin’

4 September 2009

Liam The Plane

My bub is heavenly at the moment. He’s just so chilled and happy all the time. And super cute!

I call this one the airplane.

Liam The Plane

Every time we plonk him on the floor, he flips over and does this sky diving thing. He might prop himself up on his elbows, and try again and again. But most times we’ll find him frozen in this position.

Extra cute when he kicks his little feet and waggles his hands.

And serious cuteness overload when my OTHER two boys join him on the floor, like 3 little turtles out of water.

Look at his hair in this light! And his eye brows! It looks ginger!

Oh and he finally fits this What A Hoot Romper from Baby’s Got Style. Too cute.

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

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An Invitation To Join Me Over Here (and There)

3 September 2009

Just a bit of online housekeeping for today.

I’ve been a lot more active on Facebook and Twitter these days.

So now that I’ve gotten the hang of updating in three places a day, I’d love to invite all of you, my wonderful readers, to join me over here:


Karen Cheng Facebook Profile


Karen Cheng's Twitter


Subscribe to Karen Cheng's Site Feed


Do say hi! And tell me what city you’re from!

(Or you can tell me what you ate for dinner last night.)

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Perth Fashion Festival: Joveeba by Alison Cotton

2 September 2009

Perth Fashion Designer: Joveeba, Alison CottonA label making a big noise in Australian fashion right now is Joveeba, by Alison Cotton.

This label is one of my personal favourites in terms of overall style and consistency, season after season. I was really looking forward to chatting to the woman behind the brand!

Alison had so much drive and determination that she didn’t even wait to finish her fashion degree course before launching her label in 2003. She worked hard to get her clothes out there, and soon they were being snapped up faster than she could make them.

Now, with a demand for her garments from high-profile celebrities and loyal fans, she has stockists all over the globe, pictures published in countless fashion magazines and Joveeba is turning heads at major Australian fashion festivals.

Joveeba can be best described as fun, bold shapes with flirty details, and relaxed, effortless style.

The latest Spring/Summer 09/10 collection is called “Chasing The Sun” and is full of hyper-colour fun, fluid ruffles and pool-side worthy prints. Alison will be showcasing more of her latest collection at the upcoming WA Designer Collections Event at the Perth Fashion Festival.

Perth Fashion Designer: Joveeba

The blue dress on the left was so comfy and light. With a silver zip up front and girly ruffles everywhere, I really felt this was an anywhere summer dress – whether off to a daytime picnic with a big hat and straw bag, or summer evening party with white blazer and strappy pumps.

Right, I’m wearing Zig Zag Opening Night dress. I absolutely adore the pattern! I also love the sheer ruffled shoulders and silver front zip. Again the dress is light weight, feels fabulous and looks so versatile. Great by itself for daytime. Then for the evening, pop a jacket on, hide the shoulders and give it a completely different look.

Perth Fashion Designer: Joveeba

The black and white dress on the left was gorgeous to wear. With a vintage lace detail, mixed up with a VERY pretty print, layers and ruffles – again a very versatile dress.

Tie-die used to be a big no-go for me. But I found myself seduced by this dress on the right. Something about it made it feel so uber-cool. The cut was great. It was very airy and once again you could wear it as a poolside daytime dress with swimmers underneath, or a night time party dress with a belt, jacket and fierce shoes.

Joveeba has a great website with lots of pics of their stuff and a list of Australian stockists.

They also have an online store, with international shipping. It’s a great place to pick up Joveeba sale items!

This is my last pre-view of fashion labels before the Perth Fashion Festival 2009 starts this weekend. It’s been a real experience trying on so much excellent clothing! In case you want to look at them all again, the others are:

Perth Fashion Festival: Ruth Tarvydas

Perth Fashion Festival: Morrison

Perth Fashion Festival: Ashe by Kelsey Ashe

Perth Fashion Festival: Ae’lkemi by Alvin Fernandez

Perth Fashion Festival: Melanie Greensmith and Wheels & DollBaby

Update:  Jooveba will be showing at the 2010 Melbourne Fashion Festival!

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Photos in a Hurry – Eggplant and Pumpkin Curry

1 September 2009

Photos in a Hurry

Last night I wanted to spend a bit of time practising my food photography.

These last few weeks, my husband and I have had really busy schedules – so I have been making very hurried meals for dinner. But yesterday I had a bit of time up my sleeve, and I made vegetarian, slow-stewed eggplant and pumpkin curry.

It made my house smell incredible – and it was sooooo yummy.

I plated the food up nicely, and as my kids watched on from the other end of the table, I snapped away with my big camera.

As I was doing this, my husband came home from work, and he dished up his own serve of dinner. I looked over at his plate and I thought it was a very amusing contrast.

So I took a photo of his plate too, and wondered which actually looked yummier.

Photos in a Hurry