Archive for August 2010

 

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My Perfect £1 Miu Miu Jacket

31 August 2010

A few months ago, online designer discount boutique The OutNet had a special birthday sale with designer products selling for 1 British pound, which is about 2 Australian dollars.

The Outnet is a sister site to Net-A-Porter, and they use the OutNet to sell their unsold stock from last season. And I love buying last season’s stuff for a bargain, because if you choose the right pieces – it doesn’t look like last season.

There was a special RSVP list, a secret start time and when the day finally arrived, there was a whole lot of online drama – crashing servers, grinding load times, error pages and grumpy tweets.

I was one of the lucky few, who happened to be sitting at my desk when the email popped in. I quickly went to the website, picked something in my size, and went straight to the check out. It was really a crazy online lottery.

There was a selection of dresses, skirts, tops, accessories, but I had my heart set on an investment piece, something I would love to have, that I could wear again and again, but wouldn’t actually spend thousands of dollars on.

outnet-miumiu00

In this case, a Miu Miu metallic blazer. It was in a classic style, a tailored piece, in a heavy fabric.

It looked awesome in the photo!

It arrived, and it was very lovely indeed.

outnet-miumiu01

But, as you can see, it was way too big for me! HUGE! I felt like I was trapped in a parachute!  Or like I was a big, grey, lizard shedding its old skin! I was walking around in a radioactive tent!

I swear it said Italian Size 38 (which is US 2, UK 6, AUS 6) when I clicked to buy it. But I can’t remember now. Mistakes are often made in the excitement of a sale. Oh well. These thing occasionally happen with online shopping.

To solve this problem, I went to my precious seamstress lady and told her the whole story.

“YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHAT I BOUGHT!!” I shrieked.

And she was like – “OMG!! A MIU MIU JACKET FOR $2!?”

Anyway, she altered it a bit here and there, and made the jacket the same shape and size as I am, which is of course exactly how your clothes should be. It looks great now! She did a wonderful job!

outnet-miumiu02

So, jacket ($2) and shipping ($17) and alterations ($30) = $49! And this jacket was on sale last year for around a thousand dollars. And the thousand dollar version wouldn’t have fitted me this well.

Happy Karen!!

I can’t wait to mix it up with some layers.

( 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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Kick-Ass Vegetarian: Spinach and Chickpea Curry

30 August 2010

A few months ago, I was very inspired by a friend of mine to try to be more “vegetarian”.

My reasons – for my long term health, for environmental sustainability, and hopefully to look and feel better (skin, body, and energy).

So twice a week I’ve been cooking vegetarian meals.

Spinach and Chickpea Curry

I made this curry in 20 minutes, using stuff I already had in the pantry and fridge. And omg it was so yummy, we practically licked our plates and pots clean.

Spinach and Chickpea Curry

Half an onion, chopped finely
2 tablespoons of oil
¼ cup of bottled curry paste
300mL of water
400g can of chickpeas, drained
1 cup of red lentils
400g can of whole tomatoes, juice drained1 big handful of fresh spinach chopped, or a 40g portion of (defrosted) chopped frozen spinach
basmati rice
natural yoghurt to garnish

1. Heat oil in a pan, on slow medium heat cook onions for 5-7 minutes, until very soft and golden.

2. While doing that, boil some water in another pot, and boil lentils for 10 minutes and drain.

3. Stir in curry paste ad cook for 3 minutes.

4. Add drained chickpeas, drained lentils, drained tomatoes and give it a good stir. I like to break up the whole tomatoes too. Add about 300mL of water. Turn up to medium-high heat. Cook for about 10 minutes.

5. Add chopped spinach. Stir for 1 minute.

6. Turn off heat, and serve hot with basmati rice, yoghurt and bright green vegetables.

Notes –

For the curry paste, I used Pataks , which you can buy at any supermarket.

I used tikka masala flavour this time, but you can use ANY BRAND and ANY TYPE of curry paste for this recipe. I like to use balti or rogan josh curry pastes too.


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15% Off ASOS Collection on now!

27 August 2010

Look what landed in my mailbox last night! A SALE!

Save 15% off the ASOS Collection until 31st August.

Make sure you enter AWSTYLE15 at the checkout.

Argh, I went a little overboard and added a whole heap of stuff to my Shopping Cart.

And this morning I culled it down a little (shown below), and as you can see I’ve kept an eye out to add some “nude/cream” items to my wardrobe.

ASOS 15% Off Sale
Sandy coloured mini dresses.

ASOS 15% Off Sale
Light cardigans in Autumn colours.

ASOS 15% Off Sale
And cream leather to hold my bits and pieces.

Love it all! *Decisions decision*

Happy shopping!

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


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The “F” Word

26 August 2010

I admit that I am SO NOT ready to talk to my 7 and 5 year old boys about sex.

*They are too young!*

Right???

I grew up in a very conservative Chinese Christian environment. And my parents certainly never sat me down and explained the birds and the bees to me. I just worked it out from playground gossip, health education lessons at school and girly magazines.

So I guess I’ve grown up believing that, when people get together and talk, you’re not supposed to talk openly about sex!

But my husband was raised very differently. He grew up believing that kids should be very well informed with all the nitty gritty details about sex, drugs and alcohol by their parents. Especially before they are taught these things by their friends, media and other people in their lives.

Which, yes, is my view now.

So since he is more practiced at it, he got the job of talking to the kids about it!

But how much information is too much?

He decided to answer their questions fully, but not to go beyond that.

Walking home from school one day, one my kids said the “F” word, which they had learned from other kids in school, and my husband reminded him that he is not allowed to say it.

This is kind of how the conversation went.

SON: “Sorry Dad.”

HUBBY: “That’s okay… just remember not to say it again, especially not to your teachers, and not to Mum, and ESPECIALLY not to your grandmother!

A long silence.

SON: “Dad, what does “F##K” actually mean anyway?”

HUBBY: “Well, it means the same as sex. It’s a rude word for sex.”

SON: “Oh.”

A long silence.

HUBBY: “Do you know what sex is?”

SON: “Of course!”

A long silence.

HUBBY: “Well, what do you think sex is?”

SON: “It’s what mum looks at on her computer all the time.”

HUBBY: “REALLY?!!”

SON: “Yes, she is always looking a those people with no clothes on, in their underwear. And in those magazines she has.”

HUBBY: “Oh! No, that’s not sex. That’s just fashion.”

SON: “But they haven’t got any clothes on!”

HUBBY: “Um. Um. Er… Um. When you haven’t got many clothes on, that’s not sex, it’s just being naked.”

SON: “So what IS sex?”

A long silence. Dad sighs deeply.

SON: “Well?!”

HUBBY: “Weeeeell… Sex is when two adult people take all their clothes off and have a really close cuddle, and kiss.”

SON: “That’s yuck! Why do they do that??”

HUBBY: “Because it feels nice, it’s exciting, and they want to be really nice to each other.”

SON: “Don’t they get germs?!”

HUBBY: “Yes, you can get germs. So you have to be really careful who you have sex with.”

SON: “I don’t want to do that… it’s disgusting!”

HUBBY: “ Well, yes, it is disgusting, but when you’re an adult, you’ll really want to do it.”

SON: “Why?”

HUBBY: “Let’s see… why… okay. It’s nature’s way of making babies. When a man and a woman have sex, a little bit of the man goes into the woman, and that’s how the baby starts to grow inside the woman. It’s really amazing. But you have to be very careful not to make a baby until you are sure you are ready for it. Babies are a LOT of work.”

Another long silence.

SON: “Do you and mum have sex?”

HUBBY: “Ah..well, yes, yes we… have. That’s how we got three babies. That’s where you came from!”

Another long silence.

SON: “That is soooo disgusting.”

Awkward silence.

HUBBY: “Hey, look at the cool old car!! That’s a 1964 Model S Valiant!”

SON: “Wow, COOL! Can we get one!?!”

And hubby was SO RELIEVED that the son didn’t want to know the EXACT PLUMBING DETAILS OF SEX and exactly how the little bit of the man gets into the woman.  But no doubt, that question will come soon enough.

And when the question comes, I’ll be saying…”GO ASK YOUR DAD!”.


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Liam 18 Months

23 August 2010

Liam - 18 months

My baby is 1½ years old! And he is definitely the most easy-to-look-after kid I’ve had.

He is at a SUPER CUTE age – constantly exploring the world, happy with the simplest things, full of smiles and giggles, and not old enough to talk back!

I took this photo of Liam in our backyard. We were eating an apple together and I peeled off the “Grown in WA” sticker and stuck it on his nose. He laughed and walked around the garden with it on his scrunched up little nose, snorting like a pig. Too cute.

At this age, people seem to ask me these questions.

Does he say any words?
His latest favourite thing to say is “READY GO!” Tragically, he picked it up from the computer game Super Mario Kart.

He says heaps of other words, I think 24 in total, like – daddy, mama, ball, water, down, book, draw, star, car, ear, pop corn, banana, meow, see ya, bye, poo, wow, more, gor gor (Chinese for big brother), bike ride, shoe, sock, and of course, ready and go.

Lots of people have told me that this is pretty advanced for a 18month old, so please don’t compare if you have a toddler too!

He can also point to his ears, head, mouth, nose, and belly button. And follow lots of verbal instructions.

Does he eat well?
He doesn’t drink any milk at night, formula or cow’s milk.
He can eat like there is no tomorrow, if he likes the food. He is a little fussy. He loves pasta, rice, broccoli, cauliflower, peas and corn, carrots, noddles, toast, sausages.

How many teeth does he have?
He has 16 teeth. 8 top, 8 bottom.

His sleep patterns?
He still sleeps from 6:30pm at night to 6:30am in the morning. He likes to have at least 1 hour nap sometime during the day, but he’s not too fussed WHEN he has it.

Is he active?
Hell yes.

Does he get along with his older brothers?
Yes! The other two kids are really, really good with him. They know all the rules and how to look after him. They are pretty helpful with keeping an eye on him.

Have you begun toilet training?
HA! No! But he does walk over to tell me when he’s done a poo. (He looks at me with a worried expression and pats his tummy.) It’s rather convenient.

I didn’t teach him that at all. He just does it.

Liam - 18 months

Photo: We were going to a wedding and I bought Liam a special little outfit. Shirt $2 and pants for $3 from an op shop. And just as predicted, he smeared tomato sauce over the shirt.

At this age, kids also start to pick up “weird little habits”, and they just keep doing them no matter what. It’s actually quite cute, but weird and annoying.

Weird habit #1
When he wants to eat a banana, he screams NANA-NANA-NANA!
If I peel a banana for him, he throws it on the floor, and keeps screaming NANA-NANA-NANA!
So I give him another UNPEELED banana – and he’ll sit there happily eating the banana, peel and all – starting from the middle, and tearing it open with his teeth like a monkey.

Weird Habit #2
He likes to be bare foot on his right foot. EVERY SINGLE TIME I put shoes on him, he’ll take off his right shoe and sock. He then hides the shoe and sock somewhere. So it’s impossible for me to find it, and I get so frustrated, that I just leave him with one bare foot.

And sometimes when I’m in a rush trying to head out the door, I can’t find ANY matching pairs of shoes or socks, so I feel like a dumbass dressing my son in mis-matching shoes. And he’ll still take off the right shoe + sock.

People will come up to me in the shops, and say “Are you aware your son has lost one shoe?”

(He’s happy to wear sandals on both feet though.)

Weird Habit #3
He loves drawing and shouting DRAW DRAW DRAW!
But when I give him a pencil and he munches the lead bit off. To him, pencils are a kind of fibrous snack.

Weird Habit #4
He likes to put stickers on his face. I wonder where he learned that from?

Weird Habit #5
Maybe not a “weird” habit – he sucks his thumb! We really didn’t mind it when he was little, and he only did it for a few minutes before he went to sleep.

But now he does it all the time, and it’s just a comfort and boredom thing. He sucks it so often that a few months ago, the skin on his thumb became soft (read: digested), gross red, and badly infected, and he had to be on antibiotics.

Since then, we’ve had to sew up the hands of his bed clothes, so he can’t get to it at night.


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Press Feature: The West Australian – In The Bag

20 August 2010

The West Australian - In the Bag (Small)

(click here to view larger version)

A few weeks ago I was featured in The West Australian Newspaper, in a beauty feature about winter skin care, along with 2 other Perth personalities, Carly Paiker (jewellery designer) and Jessica Gomes (model).

This is what my bit says:

Karen Cheng, Award-winning blogger of Snippets of Life at www.karencheng.com.au. Cheng writes about lifestyle and fashion while juggling family commitments.

It’s important to protect your skin from UV rays, even in the winter and I like Mecca To save Face SPF30+; it’s weightless, non-greasy and feels great on my skin.

For my hands I use L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. I love the smell and the moisture boost.

Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Eye Cream is wonderful. It reduces puffiness around the eye and smells lovely.

If my skin is in need of a boost, I put a few drops of Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil on my face at night. I love the feeling of my skin the next morning.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence and SK-II Skin Signature Moisturising Cream are also great for perking up your skin. After a few days my skin always feels smooth and radiant.

Before going out I use Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Skin Primer – it makes my foundation sit and look amazing.

I also love Burt’s Bees Lip Balm – makes my lips soft and kissable – and Bobbi Brown SPF15 Tinted Moisturiser.

Big thanks for Maya for writing it up, and Pia for scanning the article!


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All Things Green

18 August 2010

Lettuce Harvest

My 1 year old and I hung out in the garden.

Him, munching on his morning snack while kicking a ball.

Me, harvesting a bowl full of lettuce and skipping with glee.


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YesStyle Trench Coat by Mersh

17 August 2010

Trench Coat from Yesstyle

I got my hands on a new trench coat from YesStyle – and I’m so so so happy with the quality for the price.

It is from a Korean brand called Mersh, which has a really nice collection of really stylish, good quality, grown-up-gorgeous clothes. It’s definitely an Asian brand that I recommend.

Trench coats are pretty much cold weather, wardrobe staples. I have plenty of black and grey coats. And for the longest time, I have been looking for a beige or cream one that is lightweight, in a classic style, not big bulky and woolen, can see me through winter and spring, and fits my petite frame. This one is perfect!

Unfortunately I must’ve bought the last one in this style.

However, if you’re also looking for a coat or blazer, and you don’t want to spend a fortune, these are some good starting points I’ve found –

See all Trench Coats at YesStyle.

See all Blazers at YesStyle.

I might try looking for a white, red or teal one next time!

Happy shopping!

Outfit Details –
Trench coat from YesStyle
Top by Sass & Bide
Leather skirt from Urban Outfitters
Socks from American Apparel
Shoes 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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Death of a Snow Dome

16 August 2010

On a recent holiday, my 7 year old bought a souvenir snow dome with his pocket money. You know, the ones where you turn it upside down, and the snow swirls around in the water?

Rug Sparkles

Well, he took the snow dome to school, it got crushed in his bag and all the water leaked out. When he got home, he wanted his Dad to fix it. So the snow dome sat on the edge of the kitchen table for a couple of hours, waiting for Dad.

But before Dad came home, my 1 year old, Liam, found the cracked snow dome, carried it away, and dropped it on the floor. Already fractured, it fell apart completely, and all the plastic “snow” came out. Liam played with it for a while, scattering the “snow” all over the room and himself.

When he got bored and wandered off, he was sprinkling tiny little bits of sparkle, like he was a big, ugly, clumsy Tinkerbell.

By the time I realized what had happened, thousands of tiny little sequins were hopelessly scattered around the house. It was like an army of gay pixies had held a really wild mardi gras parade after-party at our place.

The sparkles have some kind of static electricity stickiness that make them tend to cling, and no amount of vacuum cleaning got rid of them all. They have now found their way into every corner of the house. Even weeks later, I am still noticing them on our clothes, our hair, stuck to the boys faces, and it even appears in their food! It’s so irritating!

But, it is kind of cute in a way… I’ll be walking along, and suddenly notice a gleam of bright green or silver in the carpet, or on the couch.

It’s like a little bit of magic in my day. Irritating, but beautiful.


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Daily Outfit: Runaround Work Days

13 August 2010

What to Wear: Busy Days

These last few weeks, I have been running around town – doing lots of errands, going to meetings, picking up packages, returning garments blah blah blah.

During busy days like these, the most important thing for me for how I dress – is COMFORT.

I really hate wearing tops that slide out of position when you get in and out of your car. I don’t like dresses that crease and crinkle when you sit down. Or skirts that creep up your legs when you wear them with leggings.

So this is my favourite outfit of the moment.

Dress: A stretchy jersey Quilted Sleeve Dress from HYPE Online Boutique. It’s a comfy, loose-fitting dress with quilted cap sleeves, and it has POCKETS. It’s very easy to wear.

Jacket: Another favourite of mine, a leather-look WISH jacket from  Birdsnest.com.au.  I wear this everywhere, it’s a bit embarrassing.

Shoes: Velvet-feel ankle booties from Betts.

Handbag: 15+ year old Fiorelli handbag.

( 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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Panasonic Lumix G2 Digital Camera Review (and Giveaway!)

11 August 2010

Sponsored by both Panasonic and Nuffnang, I was given the opportunity to test out the new Panasonic Lumix G2.

Panasonic Lumix G2

I figured that, although I am obviously NOT a serious camera reviewer, I would be a good candidate for sharing my views on the use of digital cameras, because I take photos – almost everyday – of a HUGE range of different subject matters: fashion, food, children, landscapes, events, macro details of nature and self portraits.

So I really consider and care about the usability of cameras.

I already have TWO cameras that I use everyday, and I am very happy with them.
– A point and shoot Canon Powershot A700 (4 years old)
– A Digital SLR Nikon D90, with 2 lens.

But they are both a few years old now. So as I tested out the LUMIX G2 I had several questions, including: what is new in the world of upmarket cameras?

To find out, I carried the LUMIX G2 with me for a week (and I get to keep it in the end!).

What kind of camera is it?
I believe this camera sits BETWEEN a compact point-and-shoot camera and a fully professional style DSLR – AND it shoots really good video.

Why should you buy it?
If you want a best of three worlds –
1) a point and shoot with lots of super easy automatic settings,
2) full manual options for taking interesting and creative photography
3) shoot high quality video

Photo from Panasonic LUMIX G2

Photo: This is me riding my castor board, with the camera in my hand, doing some fancy-shmancy creative photography.

I deliberately made the background blur by manually setting the shutter speed to very low – about 1/8th of a second. And I didn’t even fall off the board!

What are it’s best features?
Personally, I found these to be the best features of the Lumix G2:

1) A Touch Screen
The LUMIX G2 is apparently the first camera (with interchangeable lens) to have a touch-sensitive screen, with the screen on a swivel mount too.

Photo from Panasonic LUMIX G2
Photo: I swiveled the screen around and used it to take some self portraits.

You can swipe the screen with your finger and scroll through your photos like an iphone.

You can tap to zoom in on the photo, then scroll around with your finger. It was very easy to use, but at times the functions were a bit inconsistent eg: you can use your fingers iphone style to zoom in on a picture, but you have to select another button with your finger to zoom out.

When taking a photo, you can point on the screen exactly where you want to focus. Then tap on the screen to take the photo.

You can also adjust all the camera settings using the touch screen – ISO, exposure, white balance etc.

2) Interchangeable Lenses
You can change the camera lens to increase the zoom range, or to use a faster lens. This is great if you want to do more creative photography.

The default lens (14 – 42mm) gives nice wide shots, but it’s not a great zoom lens. You won’t use it to capture a bird in the air or a squirrel in a tree. You’ll need the 42 – 200mm, which will cost an extra $300, if you buy the whole camera and twin lens kit.

It is obvious that the default lens was chosen to be lighter and more compact that a DSLR – which makes it more convenient to carry around.

Photo from Panasonic LUMIX G2

Caption: A lovely photo of my apple berry dessert. I would have liked to get even more of a close up, but the lens does not allow for amazing macro photography. I’ll need to change to a macro lens.

3) Great Video Quality
Because it does at least an hour of high quality video with an 8GB memory card, I suspect I’ll be carrying it around quite a lot! It will replace our 8 year old DV camera nicely.

4) Lifestyle and Automatic Functions
I found a WHOLE BUNCH of automatic settings that I quite liked.
Scene – Sunset, Party, Baby 1, Baby 2, Pets and Peripheral Defocus.
Portrait – Normal, Soft Skin, Outdoor, Indoor, Creative.
Landscape – Normal, Nature, Architecture, Creative.
Sports – Normal, Outdoor, Indoor, Creative.
Close Up – Flower, Food, Objects, Creative
Night – Portrait, Scenery, Illuminations, Creative

OR you can just click the Intelligent Auto button at the top (although we kept calling it the Stupid Button) and the camera works out EVERYTHING – exposure, shutter speed, aperture, depth of field, best focal range – automatically. It’s actually quite cool and very handy when you’re on the go.

Photo from Panasonic LUMIX G2

Photo: I just chose “Scene > Sunset” to take this photo over my house. Beeeeautiful!

5) Face recognition and focus tracking
I quite liked these functions. They are excellent when you have kids or pets that don’t sit still.

You can register faces, that the camera will recognise, and where ever that face is in the frame, the camera will make sure that the focus, exposure and settings are perfect for that particular face. Quite cool.

Also you can choose what you want to focus on, face or object, and the camera will track the object if it moves, or if you move.

Summary
Instant point-and-shoot, manual control over everything, and high quality video.

If you are a beginner photographer, and you’re looking for a single camera that does all three things – you should definitely consider this camera!

Win a Panasonic LUMIX G2!
Panasonic and Nuffnang are giving away a Lumix G2 with the 14-42mm lens, worth $1299, to a lucky reader.

To Enter
Email me at karen@karencheng.com.au
1) your name
2) your email address
3) answer this question: How would the Lumix G2 make you a better photographer?

This competition is only open for Australian residents over 14 years. Competition ends 11:59 pm AEDST 3 September 2010.

Visit The Nuffnang website for the full terms and conditions.


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Selling Body Parts

10 August 2010

Callum's Teeth

So, it finally happened. My first son, Callum, has reached the age where his baby teeth have started to fall out.

Most of his classmates already have large holes in their smiles (like they’ve been in a boxing match), and some already have front teeth that are too big for their mouths (so they look like rabbits).

And Callum couldn’t be happier about joining them.

But he’s not concerned about “keeping-up” with the other kids… it’s a money thing!

When Callum’s first tooth began to feel loose, my husband was so excited that he made the mistake of promising that the “tooth fairy” would pay Callum $5 per tooth.

Callum quickly worked out that he had 20 teeth to lose, which means he could make $100 in total! (He is saving up to buy a Nintendo DS, and he needs all the money he can get.)

I tried to get husband to reduce the price to $1 or $2 per tooth, but he says “a deal is a deal”.

So now we have to STOP OUR SON FROM PULLING HIS OWN TEETH OUT!!!

His logic is… they are going to come out anyway, right?!


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STYLEAID 2010 Tribe

9 August 2010

Last weekend, I attended the STYLEAID 2010 Ball – the biggest fashion fundraiser event in Western Australia. It was SUCH a cool evening!

The fashion show was probably one of the best I’ve seen in Perth, in terms of the range of styles, the quality of designs, and also the overall production and presentation.

Some of my favourite designs for the evening:

Stlyeaid 2010 Tribe - Aurelio Costarella

Aurelio Costarella – Once again, Ray’s creations completely dazzled me. This collection seemed to be all about the details, with each garment featuring an amazing mix of fabrics like silk, leather, lace and velvets.  I want any one of his black dresses!

Stlyeaid 2010 Tribe - Of Cabbages and Kings

Of Cabbages and Kings – A new name in the Australian fashion scene, these guys have created some very strong and striking garments. Their media photos were very impressive too.

When I saw the red dress come down the runway, I immediately perked up and thought that it could make a wonderful home in my wardrobe indeed.

Stlyeaid 2010 Tribe - Tim Godbold
Tim Godbold – Back from working at Ralph Lauren in New York, Godbold has recently made a return to the Australian fashion industry, launching his own ready-to-wear label. His collection is gorgeous and oh-so elegant! I love the simple, fluid and effortless shapes.

When this male model (pictured) walked down the catwalk, I believe every woman – and quite a few men – in the audience, stopped breathing and may have choked on their second course. I know I did!

Styleaid 2010 - What I Wore

As for what I wore to Styleaid: I turned up in a very shiny, look-at-me, silver mini dress from one of my favourite West Australian designer labels, Joveeba. Clutch is from Betts. Shoes are from Wittner. Earrings from Diva.

Photo Credits: All catwalk photos are by Stefan Gossati. Photo of male model from SMH.


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Sportsgirl Fashion Blogger Challenge: 1 Dress, 2 Outfits

6 August 2010

Sportsgirl Fashion Blogger Challenge

A few weeks ago, the online team at Sportsgirl asked me whether I’d like to be featured on their blog and participate in a fashion challenge – I said sure!!

They sent over a dress and when I opened the package, I went – ARGH I HATE FLORAL!

My results were published on their Sportsgirl Blog, along with outfits from two other Australian fashion bloggers. Check it out!

Basically I was trying to play down the DELICATE, FEMININE FLORAL print, by mixing the dress with “tough chick” items, and then “boyfriend style” items.

First Outfit
Dress: Candice Tunic Dress from Sportsgirl
Jacket: Tuxedo Style Blazer from Cue
Shoes: Over the Knee Boots from Betts
Belt: Leather Studded Belt from Warehouse London

Second Outfit (worn as a top)
Top: Candice Tunic Dress from Sportsgirl
Jacket: Rayon Twill Blazer from AL&ALICIA
Shorts: Boy Washed Shorts from AL&ALICIA
Shoes: Suede Heeled Lace Ups 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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Dirty Needle in the Park

5 August 2010

Obviously, as a mother, something you DON’T WANT TO DISCOVER is that your toddler has picked up a drug addict’s thrown-away hypodermic syringe with exposed needle!

But that is what happened last week.

Needle

My 1.5 year old toddler was wandering towards me, proudly waving something he had found, as he often does, at the edge of the lake in the local park.

Usually, it is a chewed up tennis ball, or a confectionary packet, or a plastic bottle top. But this time it was the potential for my baby to get AIDS or Hepatitis or god knows what else.

I’m sure you can imagine my TERRIFYING,  CHILLING, UTTER HORROR… as I realised what it was.

I snatched it away from him, stripped him off, and searched his skin for any signs of a needle prick.

Once I assured myself he was unharmed, I felt a wave of sickening anger surge through me. The kind of anger driven by fear and anger. I wanted to roar. I wanted to throw up. I wanted to cry.

How can this happen in my park. Near my home. How could anyone be so cruel, and unthinking, as to throw such a thing into a drain, where it would wash down into a lake?

I guess that is what happens when you are on drugs.

And then I felt sorry for who ever he or she was. I mean, I don’t imagine that whoever did this dreamed of growing up to be a drug addict when they were at school. They probably thought, as I did, that their future life would be perfect, and they would be everything they wanted to be, a lawyer, a movie star, or a plumber or something. How did they become so lost they ended up on drugs?

But I was still so outraged and scared and sickened and angry.

And then I felt weak at the knees with relief that Liam was okay… and that he didn’t even realise he had been in danger.

So there I was.

Sad, relieved, angry, frightened and sympathetic, all at once.

Sigh. Life is so complicated.


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The Ultimate Black Dress by Sacha Drake

3 August 2010

www.ciaobellatravel.com.au - Sacha Drake Ultimate Black Dress

Ciao Bella Travel is a very cool travel accessories online shop, and their team kindly gave me the opportunity to test out Sacha Drake’s Ultimate Black Dress.

They are also offering 15% off the dress to all my readers*.

Now I’ve heard of this dress before in the press and media. And I guess it was one of those things I quickly pass off as media hype.

Haha and even when I received the package, I was like, OK whatever, let’s see what the big fuss is all about.

But as I played with it, I was positively charmed.

So much so, I pranced around the lounge room and made my husband count how many styles I wore and said, YOU SHALL APPRECIATE!

There are over 20 ways to wear the dress, but I’m only showing the 10 ways that I would DEFINITELY wear it.

It turns into a skirt too. And you can wear it as a maternity dress.

So if you’re sick to death of photos of me, my boring smile, the irritating way I don’t look at the camera, and the uninteresting way I put my hands on my hips – LOOK AWAY!

www.ciaobellatravel.com.au - Sacha Drake Ultimate Black Dress

Strapless. Scoop Neck. One Shoulder.

www.ciaobellatravel.com.au - Sacha Drake Ultimate Black Dress

Cross Over Halter. V Neck. Cap Sleeve.

www.ciaobellatravel.com.au - Sacha Drake Ultimate Black Dress

Tie Front Halter. Baby Doll (Maternity). Cowl Neck.

What I love about the dress:

Quality – Good quality fabric and feels strong. It doesn’t feel like it will RIP if you step out of your car the wrong way.

Fabric – Slinky, soft, stretchy, figure flattering and hangs really nicely. It’s perfect for its function.

Over 20 Styles – The dress turns into all the classic styled dresses – halter neck, strapless, one shoulder, V neck, Scoop neck, cap sleeves. And each style ACTUALLY LOOKS GOOD.

Price – Since I would definitely wear this dress in 10 different styles, that makes each “dress” cost about $29 (and 15% less if you take up the sale offer).

Travel – It rolls up and takes up very little room. No need for ironing.

Easy To Style – No buttons or complicated twisting. It’s just pull, pull and tie.

Comfortable – There were some styles, which I was skeptical as to whether it would actually be comfortable. But nope. They all felt great to wear.

Suits Curvy Women – I have to be honest and say that I felt that I didn’t quite “FILL” the dress out to all its potential glory. The dress definitely suits petite-sizes like me, but I think curvy and voluptuous women would make this dress (and show off the styles) even MORE FABULOUS. I need bigger boobs and hips!

As I said, Ciao Bella Travel is offering all my readers 15% off Sacha Drake’s UBD* (Black or Indigo) for 2 days only. Go check it out!

*To receive your discount just enter promo code KAREN CHENG in the promo code box when you reach the checkout.

I’m wearing the UBD Petite Size (8/10). I’m usually an Australian Size 6/8, USA 2/4, UK 4/6.

The sizes and measurements are on the product page.

Happy shopping, and hope you love the dress as much as I do!

( 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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Where 3D Glasses Make Popcorn Flat

2 August 2010

Watching Toy Story 3

There’s a part of me that wishes I could say – going to the movies is a family treat. Or a celebration of being together. Or special event filled with smiles and laughter.

But it never happens like that.

Going to the movies is more like an escape. For the parent.

It’s the end of a busy week filled with homework, class projects, school sandwiches, birthday parties, appointments, events, and zillions and zillions of STUFF THAT I HAVE TO DO. AND NOW IT’S THE WEEKEND AND WE STILL HAVE TO ENTERTAIN THE KIDS. AND I JUST WANT TO RUN AWAY, HAVE SOME PEACE AND QUIET, AND ESCAPE!!

So I took the kids out to watch Toy Story 3.

If I was looking for peace and quiet, to have a nap, or to rest my brain for 2 hours – I did not get it.

Because the damn movie was so fricking awesome that I was laughing until my belly ached, and crying until my sleeves were wet.

In fact, I don’t think I have ever laughed and cried so much in a cartoon movie.

I walked out of the movie theatre with the biggest smile on my face, and yes, it was exactly the kind of escape I was looking for.

Oh and the title of this post? My kids were showing me how popcorn can look flat through 3D glasses, by pressing the popcorn flat against the eye piece.

My boys. They are geniuses I tell you.




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