Archive for June 2010

 

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Afternoon Tea in Autumn

30 June 2010

Chocolate Nutella Muffins

I made Chocolate Hazelnut Nutella Muffins for the kids on the weekend!


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Urban Outfitters Blazer and Betts Suede Shoes

29 June 2010

Blazer and Grey Suede

It’s SALE SALE SALE season everywhere you look!

Urban Outfitters are having a huge online sale and I just couldn’t resist FREE shipping to Australia (for orders over $150). There is so much cool stuff over there!

I picked up this really cute Navy Blue blazer for $40 and a few other things too.

I had so much fun in this outfit. I enjoy the preppy look – neat, clean cut, and slightly classic.

Oh and I love love love my new grey suede ankle boots – 50% off!

Outfit Details –
Jacket: Navy Blazer from Urban Outfitters
Top: Kookai Basic top
Shorts: See By Chloe shorts
Scarf: Sequin scarf from Forever New
Shoes: Ankle boots from Betts

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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Alcohol to Take Me Away

28 June 2010

I’m in the kitchen, trying to cook risotto for dinner.

I’ve got one arm around Liam, my 15 month old toddler, who I am holding on my hip. Yes, I’m trying to cook dinner with one hand, after a night of broken sleep.

He has been cutting new teeth AND he has a stinking head cold with a runny nose. And even with pain killers, he just screams and screams until my head explodes if I don’t pick him up.

As I hold him, he practices every sound he knows, very loudly, in my ear.

He recently worked out that when his brothers play video games, it is called the “Wii”.

So he shouts…

“wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii Wii Wii Wii Wii Wii Wiii Wiiiii Wiiiiiiii Wii Wi Wii Wiii Wiiii Wiiiiii Wi Wi!!!!

..into my ear. This goes on until he changes to an earlier favorite of his which is…

“loddle loddle loddle loddle loddle loddle loddle loddle loddle loddle LODDLE LODDLE LODDLE LODDLE LODDLE LODDLE!!!!

And then, because we have been teaching him to call his big brothers by the Cantonese phrase “Gor Gor”…

“gor gor gor gor gor gor gor gor gor Gor Gor Gor Gor Gor GOR GOR GOR GOR GOR GOR GOR GOR GOR GOR!!!!

…which goes on until he goes back to…

“wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii wii Wii Wii Wii Wii Wii Wiii Wiiiii Wiiiiiiii Wii Wi Wii Wiii Wiiii Wiiiiii Wi Wi!!!!

I turn up the stereo in the living room, so loud that it is rattling the ornaments on the shelves… but the louder I turn it up, the louder Liam gets in my ear.

He won’t be ignored, or drowned out. And it’s my job to listen to him express his pain and frustration.

And you know, it’s pretty hard to cut mushrooms with one hand. And did I mention I had to pick up the other two kids from school in half an hour?

I love this kid like anything, but right now, I just want him to be in some other place, or even better, for ME to be in some other place altogether.

Suddenly Liam stops making noise… just long enough to sneeze green and yellow snot all over me, the mushrooms and the counter top.

Without even wiping his still-warm snot from my face, I sigh, pick up the cooking wine, and glug-glug-glug it straight from the bottle. Aaaah that hit the spot.

Obviously this is not a good look.

And it’s also why there is no photo for this post.

Ah well. This is life for a mother of three kids.

I really, really need to go shopping… in another universe.


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Sao Paulo Fashion Week 2010

25 June 2010

So apparently, after New York, Paris, Milan and London Fashion Week… Sao Paulo Fashion Week is right up there and next in line in the world’s fashion calendars. The event is the biggest showcase of fashion and style in Latin America.

Here are some snippets of eye candy!

Sao Paulo Fashion Week 2010

I just adore the cut out shoes and the corset tops!

Images from The Age


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The Worst Chinese Restaurant Ever

24 June 2010

I can hardly believe it. I am writing a negative review of an experience I have had. My usual policy is to not write about bad experiences, but this one was SO bad that I am actually amazed.

The other night we were invited out to celebrate a birthday at a Chinese restaurant. I was pretty excited, because it was a very large group, and it promised to have great atmosphere.

Now I usually love steamboat dinners – a format where everyone sits around a simmering pot of soup, and cooks various raw foods, like meats, seafood, tofu and vegetables. It is always such a merry and fun way to eat food with loved ones, and you end up with a unique soup to eat. And my boys, including my husband, love the format too!

But the signs were not good when we arrived outside. First of all, the restaurant was called a “steamboat AND buffet restaurant AND cafe”. And I have to say that I think that an eating establishment should choose one thing, and do it very well.

Inside, things got worse as we saw the tables. They were tiny rectangular tables, pushed up against the wall, and jammed so close to each other, that you could not get in or out of your seat without everyone else also getting up. It was as bad as sitting in economy seats on a plane, five deep on each side.

One of the advantages of steamboat is that you don’t order… all the raw ingredients just arrive on plates, and you start cooking yourself. This should save a LOT of time.

But after about 45 minutes, nothing had arrived, and even the water we asked for hadn’t appeared. There seemed to be plenty of waiters and waitresses, but they seemed very confused and distracted.
Chinese Steamboat Dinner
The boys nagged us so much we gave them our mobile phones to play with.

Finally, in frustration, I went next door (everyone on my side of the table had to get up) to the Asian supermarket to buy a bottle of water and some snacks for my toddler… and I saw one of the waiters from the restaurant buying CHOPSTICKS!! I followed him back into the restaurant (everyone on my side of the table had to get up again), and I fed my toddler bottled water and potato chips while we waited for the food.

And then, finally, the dazed waiter arrived with a huge bowl of just-boiled soup, and tried to lean all the way down the table to place the bowl on the tiny gas stove. As he struggled, everyone at my table reared up in fear that the soup would spill all over someone, but the waiter seemed oblivious to the danger. My husband reached out and took the bowl from him, and put it down on the dinky portable gas stove. The waiter lit the gas stove.

Chinese Steamboat Dinner

Now my bored children were sitting literally 20cms away from a pot of boiling hot soup balanced precariously on a cheap gas stove designed for outdoors camping use, with a naked flame. Great. I can SOOO relax now.

And it just got worse from there. Once all the gas stoves were going and the soup bowls installed, the whole restaurant was filled with hot steam, and the windows fogged up. So, no ventilation in the restaurant.

Chinese Steamboat Dinner
At least my son could use the windows to draw a fighting scene from Star Wars to momentarily ease his boredom.

Then the food arrived, and the tables were so small that there was no room for the food plates. There were no ladles for the soup. People kept tripping over and spilling soup and noodles everywhere!

Chinese Steamboat Dinner
Then, as you can see from the photo above, the wait staff couldn’t cope with the turnover of plates – so customers just started to LEAVE DIRTY PLATES ON THE FLOOR!

Then we asked for some rice for our toddler, who didn’t like the noodles, but we were amazed to be told that…THEY HAD NONE! Okay, lets think about that for a moment.

A Chinese restaurant. With NO RICE.

Is that actually possible?

When I went to the toilets, I found the corridor jammed with boxes of little portable gas stoves. The toilets were as bad as the public toilets in a bad part of town.

And on the way back, I saw a tiny chinese waitress trying to kung-fu kick open the kitchen door. She was kicking it because she was using both hands to carry a tray of soup bowl, each one as large as her head. The door was jammed shut because someone had tied a dirty old kitchen wash rag around the handle to stop it from banging shut each time someone walked through. It was like watching a Chinese acrobat do a dangerous stunt, like juggling a chain-saw.

I mean, how much does a rubber bumper-thingy cost from the local hardware store?

In the end, we were having such a terrible time, that we had to leave early.

A Chinese restaurant with NO rice and NO chopsticks.

I’m still trying to comprehend that.

NO rice and NO chopsticks.

Amazing.


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Hype Fashion: A Touch of Gold

22 June 2010

Hype Online Fashion Boutique

I received this very cute and simple Gold Sequin-Trimmed Black Mini Dress from the lovely girls at HYPE Online Boutique.

The dress is made from a stretchable cotton, so it’s really comfortable and easy to wear. It’s almost like a good quality, fitted, t-shirt dress.

I thought I’d have a bit of fun and show how versatile it is by wearing it both as a top and dress!

LEFT: Wearing outfit to an afternoon lunch meeting.

Then *take off belt and skirt in the car, in an unglamorous display of limb contortionism*

RIGHT: Wear outfit to an evening function

And I haven’t even tried it tucked into jeans, or over pants, or with leggings etc.

Outfit –
Jacket: Sharp shoulder detail jacket from Birdsnest
Dress: Gold Lined Dress by HYPE
Belt: Vintage
Skirt: Country Road
Shoes: Fierce gladiator heels from Betts

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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Holiday Moment 2010: Golden Rottnest

21 June 2010

Rottnest 2010

During our holidays, we stayed in a little chalet right next to the beach. So it was no surprise that we spent a LOT of time on the beach.

We would play on the beach after breakfast. Eat lunch on the beach. Have ice cream on the beach. Swim in the ocean. Drink wine on the beach. Have a barbecue dinner next to the beach.

I love hanging out at the beach! Even in winter!

Rottnest 2010 - Beach Cricket

Later that evening, as the sun sunk towards the horizon, we joined a bunch of friends in the Great Aussie Tradition of Beach Cricket.

Life was good.


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Mixing Seasons: Sandals

18 June 2010

Sandals by ASOS

It’s funny how, just a few posts ago, I was talking about how crazy fashion was – how it can be summer, but the shops are full of winter gear. And vice versa.

Well in my search for some winter boots, I bumped into these SUPER CUTE sandals from ASOS Online Store.

So it’s 8 DEGREES outside and I’m drooling over sandals!

Women. Crazy.


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Knickers in a Knot

17 June 2010

My 7 year old son has to do spelling homework everyday. He is given a list of 14 new words each week. And one of his tasks is to write EACH word in a sentence.

Well, yesterday I caught him somewhat cheating.

“I was knitting on my knee and a knight knocked on my knob and asked for a knife.”

6 words in one sentence!

I didn’t know whether to applaud or scold!


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Winter Wardrobe Update: The Leather Jacket

15 June 2010

Wish Jacket from BirdsnestAs a consumer, I’ve realised an annoying thing about fashion – it is obsessed about THE NEXT SEASON.

The weather might be roasting hot outside, but the shops are full of woolly jumpers!

You’re looking for a new winter coat, but all you find are strappy floral dresses.

It’s crazy I tell you.

Right now, the cold weather has set upon Australia – and I’ve had some recent new season wardrobe updates!

<– This is my new love.

If there is one item you MUST buy to update your wardrobe this winter, it is a Leather Jacket.

But if you’re like me – much too poor to afford real leather – there are some pretty good quality leather-look ones out there.

I’m wearing a jacket by Wish, $140. It’s buttery soft, looks uber cool and I absolutely love it.

View all jackets from Birdsnest.com.au.

Hope you find something you like!

Outfit:
Jacket: Wish
Top: Kookai
Jeans: Sass and Bide
Shoes: Betts
Bag: Myer

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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Rottnest Holiday 2010

14 June 2010

Rottnest Island, Geordie Bay 2010

I love a good holiday! We took a 5 day trip to Rottnest Island last week, and it was AMAZING.

Rottnest Island is a tiny island west of Fremantle, and only takes 30 minutes on a ferry to get there. There is no Universal Studio, no shopping malls, no 5-star hotels, or fancy restaurants. In fact there’s not much to do there but ride a bike and sit on the beach.

For most of the time, my children DISAPPEARED. They literally just ran off and played with other random children on the beach, in the sand dunes, in the bush, and rode their bikes around the place.

My husband and I sat on the balcony of our chalet, over-looking the bay (pictured above) and ate bacon and eggs in the peace and quiet until 10am. Like I said. AMAZING.

We actually went with a group of friends – there were 50 of us, including kids – and we spent a lot of time hanging out, cycling, having barbecues, going to the bakery to eat meat pies, playing beach cricket, and having a glass of wine on the beach.

I feel like my body has been dipped in warm sunshine. It was the best holiday ever. More photos to come!


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Mattel Learning Camera for Toddlers

11 June 2010

My advertising sponsors, Nuffnang and Mattel, send me kids toys every now and again. Sometimes I review them… and use the money to help cover my addiction to clothes, chocolate, and the occasional lens purchase for my Nikon DSLR.

The most recent toy is a Learning Camera. I smirked and thought – now isn’t that just so very fitting for me and my crazy little family, because we are obsessed with cameras!

Some of cameras from our camera collection

My husband is a camera enthusiast from way back, so he has lots of old cameras. I own quite a few cameras too. And being a veteran blogger, I never leave the house without one! So yes, we take lots of photos. So much so, my poor kids think that it is completely normal to go around photographing EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME.

As you can see, we have an embarrassing accumulation of cameras! We have a few old school 35 mm cameras, a 16mm movie camera, various digital cameras. And in the top left, check out the 1940 Brownie Reflex and the 1946 Six-20 Brownie C!

But I am sure you can see that one camera stands out – the Mattel Learning Camera, which is the one that looks like a plastic toy. When I unwrapped the “camera”, I immediately checked to see if it had a USB port, how fast the lens was, and how many megapixels it was – because, you know, I’m a camera geek.

I was confused, and initially disappointed, to discover that the camera has no USB port, no lens, and exactly zero megapixels. Oh I get it…it’s not an actual camera. It’s a cute little toy in a camera theme.

After I got over my own excitement and disappointment about (not) having a BRAND NEW CAMERA IN THE HOUSE… and thought about this like a mother, I realized that any real camera function would have been a waste for a kids toy – it would just never survive day one.

So I let my 1 year old son Liam take over the review process. Like all kids, he is a harsh judge of toys.

Liam and a Learning Camera

This is him going LOR LOR LOR LOR LOR LOR to the music – with a magic sparkle in his eyes. He loved it. So it works.

I’m relieved to tell you that the Learning Camera is one of those indestructible toys that you can give to a toddler in the car, or pram, or in a café, and it will keep them busy for a substantial amount of time. It’s small enough to keep in a nappy bag as an emergency distraction if you get stuck in a long queue.

And when your kid gets bored with the switches and sounds, they can use it as a hammer or throwing object – and it will still work afterwards. I think of it as a cross between a rattle and a portable activity centre, and it will still be intact long after the kid has grown up and left home.

If only my real cameras were this indestructible!


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Drinking Tea with Liam

10 June 2010

Drinking Tea with Liam

My 14 month old baby has an insatiable curiosity for the world around him.

He relentlessly picks up and examines everything! It drives me crazy!

The other day I was sitting in the sunshine, enjoying a cup of tea by the river.

Liam had eaten a scone, spilled a cup of water, torn open packets of sugar, whizzed my tea bag over his head… and now left me in peace while he toddled around the playground.

When I slurped the last of my tea, I SAW THIS!

He had placed a little sauce dish into my cup of tea!

Ugh, how did I not notice?!?


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Sparkle and Suede

9 June 2010

Clothes from Birdnest and Shoes from Betts

Glossy magazines with pages and pages of fashion spreads and outfit layouts (like the one above)… are always a lot of fun to browse. It’s like window shopping, by outfit – ON SPEED. I like.

When you flip through a magazine, there is always that magical, silly-girl moment as your eyes fall on an outfit and you go, OMG THAT IS AMAZING! WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT YOU COULD WEAR A MILITARY VEST OVER A FLORAL DRESS AND STILL LOOK SO GOOD!!

Then after 5 seconds of drooling, you realise, “Hang on, that would look absolutely crap on me!”

And then you sigh “Ok. Someone show me what real people are wearing please.”

Thus I thought it might be fun to create a simple outfit layout of what I wore the other night.

Clothes from Birdnest and Shoes from Betts

My husband and I went out to dinner and then out to a bar for a drink, for our weekly date night. I thought I’d dress up a little more than my usual jeans and boots!

Dress: Living Doll Dark Night Dress from Birdsnest.com.au
I wasn’t too sure about this dress when I saw it online – in particular, the quality of the sequins. But Living Doll is a pretty good brand (the label is stocked at David Jones) so I took a punt. I was SO HAPPY that I chose it in the end! It is such a pretty and easy to wear party dress.

Jacket: Living Doll Epic Shoulder Jacket from Birdsnest.com.au
I love the sharp shoulders! Again a really easy to wear jacket – dress up with dress and heels, or dress down with jeans and a top.

Shoes: Purple Suede Pumps from Betts.com.au
These shoes are simply stunning for winter! They come in black and purple suede, and black leather-look.

Earrings: I couldn’t find the earrings I was wearing online, but they looked similar to these Samantha Wills earrings.

View all jewellery from Birdsnest, including brands like Samantha Wills, Adorn, Polli and more.

Don’t forget to check out the Winter Sale Page at Birdsnest.

Happy shopping everyone!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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I Heart Blue Cheese

7 June 2010

I Heart Blue Cheese

One of my favourite things in the world is CHEESE.

I could sit down with a platter of grapes, figs, nuts, crackers and A HUNDRED DIFFERENT VARIETY OF CHEESES FROM AROUND THE WORLD – and I would be in heaven.

My favourite of the lot is blue vein cheese. I can eat it by the truck load.

In fact, I will start eating blue cheese with crackers, then I’ll toss the crackers and eat the cheese on its own – so not to fill my stomach with crackers, but with CHEESE. What are the side effects of eating too much Penicillium culture? I know not. Nor do I care.

However, having said that, there is a part of my brain that I have to shut down.

Yes I know it looks absolutely disgusting.

Yes I know it is mould and is furry.

Yes I know it is the same stuff that grows on rotten lemons.

I’ve found it best to just not think about it for too long.

The other day I was in the garden, feeling a little generous. I decided to share my precious block of Bleu with my 7 year old son. I knew he wouldn’t like it if I told him what it was.

“What’s that speckled greenish thing?”

“Um it’s a kind of chopped up plant, with a kind of salty peppery flavour. It’s actually quite…

“Mum. It’s totally rotten. You shouldn’t be eating that. It’s all through the cheese! Are you crazy? You’re gonna die! Stop STOP NOOOOOO!”

He flung my plate of cheese onto the floor and it all landed with a KA-SPLAT in the dirt.

I was so mad at him.

But as I was picking up my sticky bits of cheese, my son leaned over and said apologetically, “I’m really sorry about that mum. I didn’t know that you were serious. But since you like eating rotten stuff, maybe it’ll taste even better mixed with the sand and ants?”


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Fridays are For

4 June 2010

Fridays are For

Hanging out with friends.

Spending all day in your flats.

Sitting on soft fuzzy grass.

Munching on fruit muffins.

And feeling that life is going to be A-OK.

(Quilted Flats are from FashionJunkee)


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Viet Hoa, Vietnamese Restaurant, Northbridge

3 June 2010

Viet Hoa Vietnamese Restaurant

Last week, my husband and I checked out a rather posh restaurant in Perth, called 1907. We enjoyed an expensive meal, a glass of wine, a tranquil ambience, and a whole fine dining experience. It was classy, sophisticated, heaps of fun and just a great night out for the both of us.

But this week we decided on something a bit more – CHEAP AND CHEERFUL.

We went to a Vietnamese restaurant called Viet Hoa. It has been a favourite eating place of mine for many years. Basically it’s loud and very, very busy.

The plates are plastic. The plants are plastic. The decor is atrocious. The wait staff are rude and hardly speak any English. The menus are dog-eared and covered in a sticky grease. In fact, everything feels like it is covered in a sticky grease.

However, the food is really good and it arrives fresh and piping hot in minutes.

There’s a lot to be said for excellent and unfussy dining. I’m no snob. I love it.

Viet Hoa Vietnamese Restaurant
349 William St
Northbridge 6003
P: 9328 2127

Viet Hoa on Urbanspoon


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Versatile Activewear by Abi and Joseph

1 June 2010

Activewear by Abi and Joseph

These last few months, I’ve been cycling almost everyday and have started a routine of stretches, yoga and some weights. Ahh, it has been so much fun and I FEEL INCREDIBLE! I’m also hoping to start running soon! Can’t wait!

Anyway, I also decided that it was time to buy some good quality activewear – as the cheap workout clothes I currently own (from Target) … don’t seem to stay in shape after a few weeks of washing. Which is very irritating. I always find that the “elastic stretch” in the fabric wears out and buckles, or the whole garment stretches out and I feel like I’m wearing a pillowcase.

I’m a big fan of versatility and quality, and I just loved the range from the popular label Abi and Joseph – an online shop that specialises in yoga, pilates, workout clothes, activewear and travel wear.

In the above left photo, I’m wearing a Supplex Tank Top with cross straps in kohl and bone, with black Active Capri Pants. I’m wearing these pants in all my photos – they are so comfortable, and mold to my ass so well, that I believe that I could live in them forever.

In the above right photo, I’m showing off the Viscose Elastane Hoody in Graphite. It was definitely my favourite piece – so comfy, slim and sleek! It has been really great for layering, especially when I’m cycling in the cold.

I’m wearing it over a Cap Sleeved Viscose Top.

Activewear by Abi and Joseph

Here’s me trying to show off two tops, while ineptly doing a quad stretch, balancing and taking a photo. The pink top is a Long Sleeved Ballet Wrap Top, which is gorgeous and comfortable.

The black and white stripe top is a loose fitting Bateau Top. I have layered the tops over the hoody and pants.

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.




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