Archive for May 2011

 

day of week

Turn Down the Air Conditioning!!

31 May 2011

Formal jackets for a winter wedding
So the other day I was thinking what I could wear to a wedding.

And in particular, what jacket could I wear, that looked formal enough, and a bit more interesting than “a black dinner jacket”.

Because hey, that was the part where I always fail at weddings.

I would find a gorgeous dress to wear, but most of the night, I would hide inside my husband’s black dinner jacket, because my own jacket wasn’t warm enough ha!

And I’m not talking about an outdoor wedding, this is for inside a restaurant or ball room! Because I always find the air conditioning too cold even if I’m just sitting having dinner.

So I thought I’d put together some formal jackets and coats, to see if I can look relatively stylish while I sit and eat at a formal event.

I started with a lovely blue dress I own (from ASOS). And then tried to find some coats that would match.

But really, these coats would match many different styles of formal outfits.

Formal jackets for a winter wedding

Fur jackets. Whether you’re a fur lover or a faux fur lover… the look of fur is a classic one, and it will always add a splash of glamour to your outfit. Halston Heritage Faux fur coat (my-wardrobe.com), Liska mink shawl (farfetch.com).

Formal jackets for a winter wedding

Sequin jackets. A tasteful sequin jacket can be a very pretty addition to an outfit. They are nice to wear all night long during the evening, especially to take the bite out of the crazy-cold air conditioning.  And ok, maybe you’ll need an extra coat! Antik Batik cardigan (stylebop.com), Milly bolero (net-a-porter).

Formal jackets for a winter wedding

Satin jackets. These are particularly nice for day time formal events. They pair well with floral and pastel outfits.  Philip Lim satin jacket and Maje Efi white blazer (net-a-porter).

Shawls or Pashminas. I’m actually not a fan of either. When I wear a shawl, I always feel like an “aunty”. But who knows, I might change my mind as I get older.

All these jackets are fairly classic in their styles, meaning they will always look stylish, and will last for seasons. They are pretty much investment pieces for any wardrobe. If you have any two of them, you’re set for dozens of formal winter events.

As for what I wore – I chose to wear a cream faux fur crop jacket with my blue dress. And yes, I was snug as a bug.

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


day of week

Silver Linings in The Daily Grind

30 May 2011

Today was one of those simple, effortless and enjoyable days…

monday-liam

In the morning, I dropped my two big children off at school. Then I took my 2 year old to the local library for a Story Time Session. It’s a little class for children 0 – 3 years to do a bit of singing, hear a story, and do some craft. It’s very low stress, which is what I love about it.

Liam is not too impressed with the set up (he doesn’t like the Scary Singing Librarian Woman).

But I feel that the class gives him a good chance to hang out and watch other kids who are his age. He does everything reluctantly, and I completely ignore his bad mood. I’m the one humming away, having a splendid time colouring in his worksheets like a graphic artist pro.

“We” even got a sticker for the awesome colouring in.

monday_karen

Then we took a walk to the park and ate some fruit. I bumped into some mothers I knew, who were doing the same, and had great catch up. While we were talking, we noticed a group of guys in the carpark on the other side of the park packing things into their cars. And then they started TAKING OFF THEIR CLOTHES!

We tried not to stare, but by the time there were down to NOTHING BUT UNDERWEAR, we found it a little difficult to keep our eyes away – will they or won’t they go the whole monty?!?!

Unfortunately for us, they started to re-dress. They put on some corporate clothes, and drove away. So we assumed that the bunch of guys were from the same office, and were on the same sports team having a practice session? Nothing beats a morning strip tease to entertain a bunch of stay at home mothers! Sorry, no pics…

monday_trees

Then I drove to my mother’s house, where I did a “Dump and Run”. As in, dump the child, and run away as quickly as possible, so I don’t have to deal with my son crying as I abandon him.

Thankfully my mother loves the company. I go to visit 1-2-3 times a week… and it’s like our second home.

While I was gone I completed a whole list of errands – going to the bank, the post office, researching the price of furniture at 3 different stores, donating some things to the secondhand shop and a touch of shopping. I felt so good that I got so much done!!

monday-noodles

I returned to the house, to find that my mother had played, sang, cuddled, tickled, talked to and entertained my son for the whole time I was gone… AND cooked him lunch – fresh wonton noodles, with char siew and roast pork that she made herself the previous night. That kid is spoilt I tell you! (As am I.)

My son didn’t seem to appreciate my mother’s cooking. I ate two plates of the noodles with chilli and fried onions. It was GLORIOUS I tell you.

Then I sat back to have a cup of tea and a chit chat with my mum.

I must admit, I don’t feel this happy and appreciative everyday. Most days I’m too busy or stressed or feeling down or my mind is whizzing around.

But today, I felt a great clarity, a great calmness, and a deep contentment.

And it makes everything seem magical.


day of week

Fuzzy and Chunky for the Weekend

27 May 2011

Fuzzy Knit Jumper

I bought this fuzzy jumper from Sportsgirl – and I just looooove it.

It’s a large knit jumper with big holes so you can see what is worn underneath. It’s slouchy, has lots of texture, looks casual yet kind of sophisticated.

The knit has feather bits in it, so it feels as soft as cashmere and from afar, it looks like cashmere. I like wearing it over bright coloured tops and skinny black jeans.

White Pants + Denim Shirt

I found a very nice denim shirt by a Korean label called Beige, from YesStyle. It was a little costly, but the quality is great and it has been well worth the price. It has been great to wear on its own. Or worn open and layered with a tank top, cardigan, and trench coat.

And these yummy white pants are by Fendi, an ebay bargain.

ASOS Chunky Heels

Chunky heel platforms from ASOS. Ah what more can I say. I’m a sucker for shoes, especially classic beauties like these.

(BTW I hear ASOS are having a massive 20% off all brands. Free worldwide shipping too!)

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


day of week

Sticky Tape Solutions: Practical vs Fashionable

26 May 2011

Whenever I go cycling or jogging, I have to wear a watch. I like to time myself, and I have to keep a time check to make sure I don’t go over time.

Sticky Tape Solutions

Anyway, my favourite sports watch broke a few weeks ago. The battery cover fastener thingy fell apart, so the battery just fell off whenever I took the watch off. It was most annoying.

In my hurry out the door, I got a bit of sticky tape and wrapped it hastily around the back of the watch. Classy right?

Not very fashionable, but very practical.

And it just became one of those things.

I kept reminding myself, “I need to get a new watch”

“I must bring that to a watch fixing place to see if they can mend it”

“I must take that tape off and see if I can glue it back myself”

Days turned into weeks. And no one noticed.

Heck, I didn’t even notice it. The clear sticky tape just blended into the white colour of the watch.

It was only when the tape started to get old, lifting off at the edges… filling up with dirt and sweat.

It was then my brain went “IT’S PROBABLY TIME TO STOP USING THE WATCH KAREN!”

It may still be practical, but even I have to admit that it is beyond fashionable, and bordering on STUPID and GROSS.

So yes, I have stopped using my favourite watch. It sits above my monitor, still wrapped up in sticky tape, ticking away faithfully and telling me whether I have gone over time.


day of week

Bindaring Red Cross Clothing Sale 2011

24 May 2011

On Saturday morning, I drove over to the Claremont Showgrounds for the annual Bindaring Red Cross Clothing Sale – one of the biggest fundraiser for the Red Cross in Western Australia.

At 9am the Jumble Sale began. It was a warehouse full of secondhand items – women, men and children’s clothes, all sorted out into tops, dresses, skirts, pants, shoes, accessories etc. Most items were priced from $1 – $10.

At 10am the Designer Clothes Sale (new and selected secondhand items) began in a different warehouse. But here’s the BIG tip.

You have to start lining up at least 1 hour before, because the queue was enormous by 10am! The smell of high profile designer garments on super cheap sale had brought out a huge crowd of bargain hunters.

Bindaring Red Cross Clothing Sale 2011

I went in at 10:05am and this is what I saw. Thousands of garments hung on racks, organised by sizes and type of clothing. There were hundreds of people there! It was CRAZY – in an exciting and fun way.

I squeezed my way through the madness and started to browse. I wouldn’t say women were actually fighting each other for the clothes, but there was definately a “Boxing Day Sale” fever to the speed with which girls were trying clothes on, and then going back for more. The clothes that were plonked in the returned basket from the dressing rooms were plucked out by other shoppers before the volunteers could re-rack them.

I guess it was fun because nobody was pretending to be dignified in an upmarket boutique, and just browsing. This was RAW shopping – with intent.

Some of the brands I saw at a glance – J Brand, ACNE, Josh Goot, Vivienne Westwood, Scanlan and Theodore, Bec and Bridge, Breathless, Flannel, Hussy, Wayne Cooper, Country Road, Witchery, Cue, Saba… and so many more.

Prices were colour-coded – $15, $20, $30, $40, $50 and $60. Volunteers were going along the check-out queues taking handfuls of cash from shoppers.

I found 6 items that caught my eye – but in the end I only decided to buy two.

Bindaring Red Cross Clothing Sale 2011

I bought this Tee Dress, by Josh Goot, which was originally priced $520 on the shop label, but I got it for $40. It was sized S and in the most amazing blue! I didn’t try it on but I figured I could get it tailored to fit me.

And I bought a lovely knit top by Bianca Spender for Carla Zimpatti for $30.

Everything I browsed through was in great condition, like new. They weren’t stained, old, worn out, broken, or pilled. The Red Cross team definitely had great quality control on the garments.

The organisers told me that all items were either donated secondhand by the community, or donated BRAND NEW by local boutiques and designers moving on out-of-season stock.

Bindaring Red Cross Clothing Sale 2011

In addition to the sale, the event holds a designer outfit auction. About 20 outfits were displayed on mannequins and interested buyers could walk up to them, feel the fabric and quality, and ask to try on certain items. But you had to bid on the WHOLE outfit. A great idea.

Some labels I saw on the auction mannequins: Moschino Cheap and Chic, Marc Jacobs, Versace, Chloe, Flannel, Vintage Oroton, Michelle Jank and more.

Bindaring Red Cross Clothing Sale 2011

I really, really enjoyed myself! I felt so thrilled that everyone seemed to be grabbing a bargain. The atmosphere in the air was as if everyone hade just won a lottery and was about to do a happy-dance. It was sooooo much fun chatting to random, happy strangers about clothes.

Bindaring Red Cross Clothing Sale 2011

And to top it all off, there were raffles, and a coffees and cakes stand! All homemade by the volunteer team, of course.

This sale makes the most money in one fundraising event for the local Red Cross. It has been running for 48 years and they have raised over $1.4 million in total.

It is all run by volunteers, and they made over $100,00 in a couple of hours.

WOW! What a cool fashion experience.

I’ll run a story about it before next year’s sale, in case you want to go!


day of week

Kailis Oprah Pendant Competition – Winner!

23 May 2011

Oprah Pendant

For my Kailis Oprah Pendant Competition competition, we had a total of 2438 entries!!

Blackglass (an Interactive Communications Agency) handled the database… and after removing incorrect, incomplete, duplicate information, the list was narrowed down to 2310 entries.

The list was put into a random selector thingy…

and the winner by random draw is…

Agnes from Singapore! Congratulations!

Thank you everyone for entering, sorry you didn’t win, but hey, maybe you might get lucky with my next competition!


day of week

My Gorillas

22 May 2011

It was Sunday afternoon and my husband and I were feeling lazy. Really lazy. I was considering what to make for dinner, and all I could come up with was… toast.

Maybe I would even spread some butter on it.

A thought like that makes me chuckle – because as if I – with The Chinese Mother Gene cruising through my veins – would even consider anything less than a 3 course meal plus broth for dinner.

But, hey my children would totally go for an idea like toast for dinner.

Heck, they’d be happy with frozen, sliced bread served straight from the freezer.

And they would still love me. Which is what I love about having boys. My boys. They are low maintenance. They’d wear the same pair of underwear, socks, t-shirt and shorts for 7 days, until I’d complain that I had nothing to put in my washing machine.

In fact, if I didn’t insist… they’d probably grow their hair out, never cut their finger nails, never brush their teeth, never have a shower, they’d wear their shoes from school, to the park, into the house and then to bed. God help me when they grow into teenagers.

And suddenly the image of 3 big, smelly, dirty gorillas draped around my lounge room drinking milk from the carton made me snap out of my lazy toast daydream.

I jumped up from the couch, poked my husband in the ribs and announced that we’re having a BUSY BEE! RIGHT NOW!

I threw mops, brooms, buckets and sponges at my sons. I told one to attack the bathroom. The other was assigned to the toilet. And the last one (who is only 2 years old) was on picking up duty.

Funnily enough, they quite enjoyed the tasks.

I swear I’ll make gentlemen of my boys.


day of week

Weekend Outfit Plan – While The Sun Is Out

20 May 2011

I’m planning a casual outfit for the weekend, and before I start pulling apart my wardrobe looking for items, I thought I would put together a few images to help me get started.

I’m trying to wear 1) a classic slouchy top with 2) a bold maxi skirt and 3) chunky heels.

And accessorise with 4) a skinny belt and 5) a stack of rings.

Outfits - While the Sun is Still Out

Tops (from left)
Bonds Sloppy Joe Grey Jumper, from Big W
Bassike White t-shirt, from THE OUTNET.COM
Splendid Nude T-shirt, from net-a-porter.com

Skirts (from right)
Missoni Crochet Knit Maxi Skirt, from net-a-porter.com
TIBI Constellation Long Skirt, from my-wardrobe.com
ACNE Maxi Skirt, my-wardrobe.com

Shoes (from left)
ASOS Platform Sandals, from ASOS
Michael Kors Platform Sandals, from ShopBop
ASOS Suede Platform Sandals, from ASOS

Happy weekend!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


day of week

Broccoli Surprise

19 May 2011

Now, a couple of years ago, this would have made my inner girl scream out “EWWW!”

Broccoli Surprise

But, living with three little boys (and one big boy) has toughened me up a lot.

So now, when I find A BIG GREEN CATERPILLAR crawling out of the broccoli that I was just about to steam for dinner…

…I just think of it as an opportunity to show the boys something really cool.

Which is easy, because they think almost anything gross or dangerous is cool.

I guess it proves that the vegetables from the “fresh market” are in fact both fresh, and not covered in pesticides – just like they promised.

A little extra protein with your veggies, anyone?

(No caterpillers were harmed in the making of this blog post. It was released back to the wild.)


day of week

Kailis Oprah Pendant Competition – 3 days left

17 May 2011

Kailis Oprah Pendant

With only 3 days left in my exclusive Kailis Oprah Pendant Competition, I thought I would post a little reminder for everyone and do a little feature of the pendant itself.

The Oprah pendant consists of a 10-12mm Australian pearl, 0.02ct ‘secret’ black diamond, 90cm sterling silver chain, and a limited edition ‘O’ medallion. The overall cost of the pendant is $650, but for a limited time people can purchase the necklace for $450.

I adore its design because it is simple, elegant and timeless, yet modern. It’s not loud and showy. It’s understated and graceful… and effortless to wear.

Here I’m wearing the pendant with a very simple evening outfit (I call it my out-to-dinner-with-my-husband outfit). The pendant would also be perfect with a smart casual outfit (think nice top and a pants), or to work, or to a wedding, party or function.

Kailis Oprah Pendant

The long chain is great, because I can double it up, slide the O medallion and the pearl around, so it looks like I’m wearing two little matching necklaces. Or I can just wear the pearl alone, or medallion alone – it’s like having 2 pendants really.

If you haven’t entered, do pop over to my Kailis Oprah Pendant Competition page, scroll down and fill out the form!

Competition closes Friday 11:59pm (AEST), 20 May 2011.

The competition is now closed!

Outfit:
Necklace by Kailis
Jacket by Wish
Dress by ACNE from my-wardrobe.com
Suede shoes by Betts


day of week

Someone’s Poisoned The Waterhole

16 May 2011

The latest milestone in my 2 year old’s speech development is… swearing.

Well, he doesn’t actually say swear words (yet), but he says rude things. And of course, he learns those things from his older brothers.

He says things like, “You’re a stupid head”, “Move your fat butt!”, “You idiot poo bum”.

But then he started saying something else.

Whenever my 2 year old heard or saw something surprising, he would shout out “WATERHOLE?!”

Which, I must admit, I found it to be utterly hilarious and cute.

Ooooh it was so funny… it made me and everyone else in the family laugh and laugh.

We’d be at the shops, and he’d see a man dressed up as a rabbit and he’d go, “Waterhole! Mum! Look at that man!”

Or I’d surprise everyone and serve chocolate cake for dessert, and he’d spit his food out and say, “Waterhole?! We eat chocolate cake for dinner?!”

Because I was always choking back with laughter and wiping the tears from my eyes… I never corrected him or scolded him for saying it. And that was weeks ago.

But I’m paying for it now. Because his pronunciation has improved. And now I realise what it was that he was actually saying the whole time. Just what his brothers have been teaching him – in secret.

It’s not “Waterhole”.

It’s “What The Hell?”

As in “WHAT THE HELL!! Are we going for a bike ride!?”

I cringe under my skin everytime he says it. It’s just so wrong to hear it from a little 2 year old.

I have begun to correct him, but it has been close to impossible to change the habit.

Hopefully, it’s just a phase.*crosses fingers*


day of week

my-wardrobe Launches in Australia

13 May 2011

Last week I flew to Sydney to meet with Sarah Curran, founder and CEO of my-wardrobe.com, an online boutique.  She and her team were in town for the Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, to meet with designers and the Australian media.

As I have been a fan of my-wardrobe for a while already, it was my pleasure to receive a special invitation to meet her, and talk over a cup of tea.

We managed to chat and share stories about working in the online fashion industry, balancing work and life,  our children, travelling, etc.

We also talked fashion (of course).  She is one passionate and ambitious business woman! And I loved asking her so many direct questions, about how my-wardrobe.com select garments from designer’s collections, and how they anticipates and responds to trends.

my-wardrobe Screenshot

my-wardrobe.com is an online boutique specialising in “everyday luxury” clothing, shoes and accessories. It pitches itself between net-a-porter (high-end runway fashion) and ASOS (trendy fast fashion).

It is targeted at women who want designer pieces that can fit into their everyday lives.

I love how they have cleverly celebrated this idea of “everyday luxury” across the site, with daily style news, magazine-style features, fashion TV, edited collections and street-style photography.

my-wardrobe Daily Buzz

This is an example of really nice styling ideas from their daily fashion blog. A lot of fashion tries to be exclusive, but my-wardrobe strives to make it accessible and inclusive, which is also one of my own passions.

I am subscribed to their newsletter, and I must say, it has some of the best real-life style tips and outfit inspirations incorporating trends and brands that has ever landed in my inbox.

my-wardrobe Newsletter

Above is a little snippet of their “Fashion Forecast” – the week’s weather forecast (for London) and ideas of what to wear for that day. It’s such a nice idea.

In the next few months, Australian shoppers will soon be able to enjoy more localised content, features and styling advice that are more appropriate to their climate!

The fun news for me is that I’ll be partnering with my-wardrobe.com and you’ll be seeing a bit of my own contributions as part of their launch into the Australian market!


day of week

1pm

12 May 2011

Liam Watching TV

Here’s a little peek into my new home.

This is the children’s activity room. There’s a wall full of board games, puzzles and toys, there’s a drawing desk, a couch and a tv.

It also has two lovely French glass doors, that shuts away all the noise… so I can be on the other side of the house in peace.

I used to think that having an “open plan house” was the way to go for modern families. But after living in a house with these amazing things called DOORS, I just love having quiet spaces for myself.

Having 3 children is a blessing, but omg, they are really, really noisy!

In this photo, my little toddler Liam is watching his favourite movie, Bolt (the animated movie about a Superhero dog). He’ll ask to watch it every day. Funnily, he’ll only watch the first 15 minutes of it. Then he’ll become sleepy, and I’ll scoop him up from the couch and he’ll nap for 1-2 hours.

Here’s to doors and peaceful afternoons.


day of week

Kailis Pearls and Your Chance to Win a $450 Kailis Pearl Necklace

10 May 2011

Kailis Pearls contacted me a few months ago, offering me a gift and inviting me to review their new Oprah Pendant. So while I was happy to receive the gift, I wanted more of a story to tell, because, well, I quite like having new experiences and writing about them.

So I asked if I could pop into the Kailis Pearls store, have them teach me a thing or two about pearls, I’ll try on some pearls and… maybe they could LET ME GIVE AWAY A FREE PEARL NECKLACE to one of my readers?!? They said yes! OMG Kailis Pearls!

So I’m running an exclusive international competition on my blog. For you! My readers! I’m so excited!

Kailis Pearls

Ok. Fact one. I have never worn a real, solid pearl necklace before. And I really didn’t know much about them.

I have never been into pearls. I know they are iconic to any classic ladylike wardrobe, but I was content with owning a few low-cost pearl items – pearl earring studs, long string of pearls necklace, pearl bracelet.

Kailis Pearls

So what is it like to wear real pearls?

Aside from the fact that I was in a huge shop, with big mirrors and windows, in a room full of beautiful natural light, surrounded by glittery diamonds, shelves dripping with white gold and gold – yes I had a girly moment.

The pearls themselves – they felt cold when I first wore them, but they warmed up on my skin, and they became as warm as I was. And it was weirdly (deep breath) sensual, and natural. They felt like they were alive, a part of me, glowing with warmth, like little soft, hard, warm muscles touching and rubbing my skin.

In one word – AMAZING.

And when you take them off, it’s like you’ve lost a part of your body, and you can still feel your warmth radiating from the pearls in your hand.

Kailis Pearls

I did learn some amazing facts from the staff at Kailis, which helped enhance my pearl-wearing experience.

Apparently, Australian Pearls are the largest and most superior pearls in the world. There’s something in the Aussie water that oysters just can’t get enough of.

To make a pearl, a tiny piece of pearl shell is inserted into an oyster. It takes 2 years for the oyster to coat the shell, and for it to turn into a pearl – just like the one I was wearing on my neck.

They DON’T DO ANY grinding or shaping or refining of their pearls. They open up the oysters, give them a good wash, sort through all the pearls they find, pick out the best ones, drill a hole through the middle, string a few together and VOILA – a pearl necklace!

Ok, ok it’s not that simple… but I didn’t realise that natural pearls were so – natural – and so organic.

Also it means that each one is truly unique and that made me very excited. There were some pearls that were shaped like teardrops, pears, little beans, some had rings or creases around the middle, or multiple creases and bumps… and I marvelled at the natural beauty from imperfections.

Kailis Pearls

Fact Two. I was stupid enough to assume that pearls grew in the same kind of little oysters that you ate at seafood restaurants. Ah, no, actually, they don’t. These pearls come from special PEARL oysters.

In this photo I’m showing you the size of a typical pearl oyster shell from the Kailis pearl farms. They are huge! Like a dinner plate!

I also thought it was cool that something so beautiful, perfectly smooth and sensual could emerge from something so rough, coarse and weathered.

Kailis Pearls

These are some Kailis pearl jewellery designs that I just drooled over! Above is a AUD $65,000 couture pearl necklace. Yes, that’s right, there are THREE zeros in that price tag.

Kailis Pearls

A pair of Vibrance Earrings for AUD $19,000. And Marquise Earrings for AUD $11,900.

Haha, I’ll never be able to afford any of them! But there are simple, classic pearl pendants for $1,200… or earrings for $800 on the Kailis Website, and you can buy online, with international delivery.

Enter to win a Kailis Oprah Pendant worth $450!

Oprah Pendant

Kailis teamed up with the producers of the Oprah Winfrey show to spread the word about Kailis and Australian Pearls. They created this pendant featuring a 10-12mm Australian South Sea pearl, 0.02ct ‘secret’ black diamond, 90cm sterling silver chain, and a limited edition ‘O’ medallion.

6000 necklaces were given to all members of the audience at Oprah’s first taping of her Tour of Australia show. Now US celebrities have been seen wearing them to the Oscars etc.

Read more information on the Kailis O Pendant Page.

Kailis gifted me with two of these necklaces, one for me and one for a lucky reader. So it might be you!

Who Can Enter :

This competition is open WORLDWIDE. I know my readers come from all over the world, so I wanted to give everyone a chance to win. You must be over 18 and you must fill out the form below. You can only enter once.

How To Enter :

The Competition is now closed!


day of week

To Skinny Dip or Not

9 May 2011

When organising my trip to Sydney, I was deciding on which hotel to stay in, as you do.

Of course, my main concerns were price, location and the view. And after an extensive search, I made a shortlist of potential places to stay.

One of them was this hotel.

Holiday Inn Sydney

Now, I know it’s very silly to believe promotional photographs. Especially professional, wide-angle, semi-aerial photographs taken at twilight, and specially created for visual suckers like me.

But I was completely won over.

You can see BOTH the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge in one glorious sweeping landscape, set against the classic Australian blue sky.

I somehow imagined that I would eat breakfast on the rooftop while watching the sun rise. And I KNEW it wouldn’t be that good in real life. But hey, I’m such an optimist.

Anyway, it was as good a place as any of the other hotels in my list. So I clicked, and I bought a room.

Sydney Opera House at night

I arrived in Sydney at 8pm, after a 5 hour flight. I was tired and feeling a bit stiff from sitting down in the plane. I threw my bags into my room, and decided to take a stroll.

I walked down to Circular Quay and the streets were buzzing. There were tourists everywhere. There were fashion people walking around, getting ready for fashion week.

I took a few snaps of the Opera House and realised that I was very bright and excited. Oooh should I go check out an inner city bar? Or a club? Or wander deeper into the city?

I looked at my watch, and it was 10pm.

So I decided that I should probably just return to my hotel room, run a hot bath, have a relaxing soak and wind down for a good night’s rest.

Of course, it was only then I remembered THE ROOFTOP POOL.

I literally skipped back to the hotel. I was so excited! Maybe I could have a swim under the stars?

Holiday Inn Sydney

So this is what the rooftop looked like in real life.

Suffice to say, I was pretty disappointed. If the sound of the traffic didn’t spoil the moment, then it was the sound of the air conditioning, the swimming pool pump and random mechanical clunking sounds from the harbour.

Oh well…

I dipped my toes into the pool, and OH MY, it was actually quite warm. I let the soft ripples in the pool lap against my feet as I realised that I REALLY wanted to have a swim.

But I suddenly realised that I had forgotten to pack my swimsuit! DAMN!

And then I had a crazy (and yes, a little bit naughty) thought.

Surely, nobody else is crazy enough to have a swim at this time of night. So nobody would see me. And so… did I even NEED a swimsuit? Just for a quick dip?

But then I remembered that there would be security cameras up there. What if Mr Security guard put video pics of my naked butt on the Internet? And what if someone as crazy as I was… DID arrive for a late night swim.

Hmmm.

I looked at my watch, 11pm. I couldn’t believe I was wasting my time deliberating whether I should have a late night swim in the nude!!

I went back to my room, really regretting not bring ing my swimsuit. But then I had an idea. Maybe I could wear my underwear?

Swimsuit?

I laid some black underwear out on the bed – just my comfy travelling set, a tshirt bra and some cotton mini-boyleg briefs. Of course they could pass as a swimsuit! Right? I’ve seen bikinis with less surface area than this! Rightio!

Haha then I chickened out.

I’m not actually brave (or stupid) enough to wear underwear as a bikini, alone at 11pm in a strange pool in strange hotel in a stange city. So why, oh why, did I think, even for a moment, that I would swim in the nude, alone at 11pm in a strange pool in strange hotel in a stange city?

Obviously, I needed to  get some sleep.

I ran a bath, had a soak and went to bed.


day of week

Australian Fashion Week 2011 – Outfit for Day 2

7 May 2011

Last week, I made a quick trip to Sydney for a business meeting… and to go to a few shows at Australian Fashion Week.

Because the trip was so short, I decided to travel with *just* a small carry-on bag.

And I have never done that before.

Of course, this meant I could only pack a few outfits.

These are some of the items that I packed, and I put them together to create a few “fashion week friendly” looks for myself. And I took the photos in the hotel room.

Australian Fashion Week - Hotel Outfit

Top: Colours like corals, pomegranates, oranges are pretty big this season. I bought this t-shirt from Sportsgirl for $25.

Jacket: I like a good blazer… and this one has a nice mix of drape and structure. This is by Korean label, SOL.

Skirt: Gold sequin skirt that I have written about here and here.

Jeans: Black classic skinny jeans by Vivvienne Westwood, from LuisaViaRoma.

Shoes: These are luxe heels by GlamRockChic. I wore them for 6 hours straight, before my ankles started to hurt!

Australian Fashion Week - Hotel Outfit

This is the variation I wore to the business meeting in the morning – a skirt with a longer hemline, and I chose to do a bit of colour blocking (as the fashion peeps call it) and clashed two bright colours together.

Skirt: The blue skirt is by Marnie Skillings from Fashion Artiste.

Unfortunately the weather in Sydney was a little cooler than I expected and I had goosebumps for most of the day!

Australian Fashion Week - Breakfast

This is me and my goosebumps eating breakfast (a $12 fruit salad) in a café overlooking the Sydney Opera House.

As much as I enjoyed watching the fashion shows, I had an even better time talking to people and looking at what other people were wearing in the streets, where fashion is REAL!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


day of week

Mr Potato Head Moves In

6 May 2011

I woke up one morning to find that my 2 year old toddler had distributed all of Mr Potato Head’s accessories and appendages to various places in the house.

I found plastic eyes in the basket where we keep the sunglasses.

There were plastic arms in the kitchen drawer.

Mr Potato Head Moving in

And my favourite, Mr Potato Head’s feet were in the shoe rack.

I love how 2 year olds piece the world together – bit by bit – with all the current information they have in their brains.

They are so darn cute.


day of week

Black and Gold and Fur

4 May 2011

Black and Gold
OK so I needed an outfit to wear to fashion week… and I had a crazy idea in my head. Well, it was crazy for me.

I wanted to mix a very glam item with a very casual item.

And my idea revolved around a “gold sequin mini skirt” – which, yes I admit, had the potential to look quite trashy. Big fashion risk!

I finally found a really pretty one by LClothes (from YesStyle) for AUD$55. I really liked it because it wasn’t a bright yellow gold colour. It was more of a light gold.

And unlike the other sequin skirts I looked at, it was sequined all the way around the skirt, rather than just the front half!

Black and Gold

For my top, I actually imagined a more haphazard, fisherman’s net kind of knit top. Something that looked a little more rough and knotted.

I bought this slouchy knit top by Puffy (also from YesStyle), and although it wasn’t what I had in mind, I kinda fell in love with it. I have been wearing this top non-stop. I just want to throw it over every casual top-and-jeans-combo. It’s been such good value.

The only annoying thing about wearing a large-weave knit top, is that it HOOKS ONTO EVERYTHING! Rings, necklaces, door handles, stair railings and (embarrassingly) other people’s big rings!

The top I’m wearing underneath, is a lux camisole by Abi and Joseph.

And of course, since it was a fashion week, I thought I’d throw a big faux fur coat (from ASOS) and chunky gold rings.

So after taking a bit of a fashion risk, haha, I LOVED the outfit and I felt fabulous :)

Which is the most important thing!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


day of week

Watering the Grass

2 May 2011

View from Below

This was my view as I was lying on the grass, enjoying the glorious weather.

I watched the clouds playfully morph through infinite shapes, and the leaves on the trees made the sun sparkly.

I felt deeply content just to experience this sight for a few minutes.

The truth is, I have been feeling a bit.. unfullfilled …of late. Three kids is a blessing, but they are also very, very time consuming, and challenging.  It has been getting easier and easier to lose sight of how lucky I am.

But then I remembered something I was once told, or more likely, knowing me, I saw in someone’s Facebook status.

It was:

The grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence.

The grass is greenest where it is watered.

So I have been making a little time each day to water the grass .

Hugging my kids in the morning.

Asking my husband to take out the rubbish, instead of telling him.

Ringing my Mum for no reason.

It works!

I’ve been feeling much better, and it’s a nice reminder that happiness is  a daily commitment.




Shopbop Online