Archive for November 2011


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Flaunt Online Fashion

29 November 2011

Many, many months ago, I did a review of an online shop called “Kind of Wonderful”, which sold lots of great clothes at fab prices.

Well they have recently re-branded and they are now called FLAUNT.

They might have a new name and site, but they still have their fantastic collection of clothes and accessories at very affordable prices – everything is priced around US$20 to $30.

And of course, they are the same friendly and helpful team!

Flaunt Online Fashion

Here I’m wearing a pretty Sweatheart Flare Dress in deep red. It’s in a very classic style, with figure-hugging cut and a gorgeous flowy skirt, so it won’t go out of style. It’s the perfect dress to wear to a wedding, out to dinner, a summer party, or even during the day. I thoroughly enjoyed twirling and whirling around in it.

Flaunt Online Fashion

My favourite thing about their store is… their super collection of dresses. There are so many cute, simple, pretty, classic styles.

Check out these pastels dresses and bright dresses. Niiiice.

Flaunt Online Fashion

They bring in new designs (up to 20 of them!) every week, so it’s quite fun to check out all the new stock.

They also sell bags and shoes. And they ship internationally. Do check them out!

Hope you find something you like – happy shopping!


( 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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When To Throw Away Your Old Makeup and Skincare Products

28 November 2011

When we moved house, I didn’t have time to *slowly and carefully* sort through all my stuff, and pack it all up in an efficient manner. I literally had to grab my bathroom drawers, tip all the contents into a box, seal and label it, and pile the boxes into the back of a truck!

So I approach this subject with much embarrassment… 8 months later, I still have many unopened boxes of shit stacked up in my shed.

The other day however, I managed to sort through all my makeup and skin care products.

Makeup Toss
There was actually a lot more stuff that I didn’t photograph, because they went straight into a rubbish bag.

I did a Google search on when to throw away your makeup and skin care products and created a summary to share. Behold!

Moisturisers : 6 months
Face creams: 1 year
Gel Cleansers: 1 year
Cream cleansers: 6 months
Serums: 6 months
Fragrance: 2 years

Foundation: 6 to 12 months
Concealer: 3 months
Loose Powder: 2 years
Pressed Powder: 18 months
Blush (powder): 2 years

Eye Liner (pencils): 3 years (if sharpened regularly)
Eye Liner (cream or liquid): 6 months
Eye shadow (powder): 2 years
Mascara: 3 months

Lipstick: 1 -2 years
Lip gloss: 18 months
Lip liner: 3 years (if sharpened regularly)

Nail polish: One year
Makeup sponges: Wash after each use, and throw away after 2 weeks
Body sponges: 6-8 weeks

Makeup Expiry DateAll makeup and skincare products have this little symbol that tells you how long it will keep, with 3M, 6M, 12M, 18M etc. (M being months).

Needless to say, I was a little shocked, and a little grumpy. Firstly, because I tend to use my expensive products very sparingly (especially the stupidly expensive stuff!!). And secondly, the expiry dates all make sense and I always *knew* that you shouldn’t keep your products for too long.

I also discovered some interesting points…
– Products that have fatty acids go off quicker, dry products can last several years.
– Wet products (like lip gloss, mascara, liquid foundations) can harbour a LOT of bacteria!
– You shouldn’t mix water with your products (like shampoo) because it messes with the balance of preservatives
– 3-in-1 products for (lips, face and eyes) are a great way to spread bacteria all over your face. Clean the tips before using on different areas.
– Wash cloths and sponges can harbour bacteria and mould, you can microwave them for 3 minutes to disinfect it.

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Seeing Double

25 November 2011

Pippa McManus - Seeing Double
Last week, I went to an exhibition by fashion illustrator, Pippa McManus.

The exhibition featured 20 prints, which were a range of colour pencil fashion illustrations – all gorgeously sketched and painted.

An absolute must-see for fashion illustration fans in Perth.

I was swooning over them! Ahh, I wished I owned them, I wished I could hang them up in my home and I wished I could draw and paint like her!

Pippa McManus - Seeing Double

I recently got to know Pippa during the last fashion festival, she is just lovely, cool, talented, so down to earth and has the most amazing wardrobe!

I also got to know of her blog, Workable Fixative. And have been excitedly following her work and new projects. Her work is stunning and sexy, I love it!

Her artworks in this exhibition are for sale.

Pippa McManus - Seeing Double

Pippa and I at the end of her opening launch night.

Exhibition is at Tu Boutique: Stairwell Gallery
218A William Street, Northbridge, WA

Exhibition dates: 10 – 30 November 2011

tu opening hours:
Mon – Thu: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Fri: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Sat: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sun: 12:00pm – 5:00pm

More information here, on the Seeing Double Exhibition Page.

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Colour Inspiration – Storm Approaching

24 November 2011

Colour Inspiration - Storm Approaching

My husband‘s most recent home renovation project is… painting the back fence.

It’s not quite finished yet, but the other day I noticed that it was the same colour as the thunderclouds brewing in the horizon.

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The $1000 ASOS Giveaway Winner is…

23 November 2011

I love it when you get to give good news to someone!!!

I used a random number generator to pick a winner, and the winner of the exclusive to Karen Cheng readers ASOS giveaway is…

Keshia from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia!

Keshia picked the Darling Satin Broderie Cropped Jacket. Nice choice!

So I’ll be putting Keshia in contact with ASOS headquarters in London, and they will give her a $1000 voucher. (Even I am jealous!)

Thank you everyone who entered, and I’m so sorry to all of you who didn’t win this time, but maybe next time?

If you like, you can sign up to my newsletter, to make sure you know about other giveaways and other cool stuff that I’ll be running!

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Crazy Pants

22 November 2011

Crazy Pants!

I’ve been feeling quite adventurous lately. Quite possibly it is the change in weather, stirring me to get out and have a bit of fun. I love the way it has made me more adventurous towards what I put on in the mornings.

The other day I threw together… a bit of yellow, with a bit of green, tossed with some pattern clashing, and a vintage belt. I loved it! It totally matched my mood.

I was happily walking down the street with a big smile on my face.

Pants: YesStyle
Tank: Sportsgirl (modified by me)
Belt: Vintage
Jacket: Miu Miu
Wedges: YesStyle

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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Everyone needs an ironing man!

21 November 2011

Iron Man

Wayhey! And suddenly I look forward to the ironing!

I admit, I don’t currently own either of these men.

But can you imagine? My very own Ironing Man. Someone to keep me company as I go through the hellish drudgery that is ironing.

Heck I might even start ironing my bed sheets!

Apparently Mr Naked Iron Man is soft to touch, super strong so he will hold any weight you lay on him, and he’s made of heat-sensitive ink so the more you heat him up the more he will “reveal”. It certainly brings a whole new meaning to “hot and steamy” housework.

The only problem is which one to choose – the blond or the brunette?


Have a fab week everyone!

(I spotted these on Annabel Trends.)

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ASOS $1000 Giveaway Ends This Sunday

18 November 2011

ASOS Giveaway $1000
Just wanted to remind everyone of my exclusive giveaway!

ASOS and I are giving away a $1000 ASOS gift voucher to one of my lucky readers!

Please head on over to my ASOS $1000 Giveaway Post and enter. It’s super simple.

This giveaway ends Sunday, 20 Nov 2011, 9:59pm (Perth/Singapore time).

Good luck!

And… just to inspire you (or tempt you), here are a few items that I picked out from ASOS recently.

ASOS Sparkle Dress

ASOS PETITE Sequin Wrap Front Dress

I was looking for a sparkly, stand-out dress to wear for the party season and this one was just stunning! Wrap front, plunging neckline, two-tone sequins – I love it and can’t wait to wear it out.

ASOS Blue Suede Shoes

ASOS SALOU Suede Stiletto Point Court Shoe

And to match, I found these genuine suede leather pumps. Classic and simple, pointed-toe style, but in BRIGHT BLUE!

And please don’t forget to sign up to the ASOS Newsletter and Like my Facebook page xxx

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Colour Inspiration: Broccolini

17 November 2011

Broccolini Harvest

My broccolini was ready for harvest on the weekend.

After washing all the white waxiness off the leaves and stalks, I was treated to a gorgeous splash of rich, deep greens.

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Invisible Zinc

16 November 2011

One of my blog sponsors, Nuffnang, asked me whether I would like to write a post and review a product from Invisible Zinc, I said I would love to – and I almost said, “Don’t bother sending me any products, because I already have several products at home that I use.”

There ain’t no need to preach to the converted. I adore my Invisible Zinc products!

Karen at Cottesloe Beach

I wear suncream everyday. On my face, my neck and chest, my shoulders, arms and hands. However, I always forget to put suncream on my feet whenever I wear sandals, and end up with stripy feet by the end of summer. Very trendy, not!

I also always try to wear a big hat, sunglasses, and a shirt to cover my shoulders too (but in this photo above I was just about to have a swim).

I don’t exactly work 7 full hours in the sun. Yet I am outside everyday – cycling, jogging, walking, doing the school run, driving in a car, standing around in play grounds. It’s just moderate sun exposure, nevertheless I still believe in wearing nothing less than SPF 30+.

I’ve been on a looong journey to find a SPF 30+ suncream that applies nicely, feels great on and is affordable.

Which brings me to my favourite Invisible Zinc product, a daily moisturiser called, ESP Environmental Skin Protector SPF 30+.

 Invisible Zinc ESP

All Invisible Zinc products are made from a naturally derived mineral reflector, Zinc Oxide, and it creates a physical barrier (instead of a chemical absorber) to protect your skin against UVA and UVB rays.

There is no titanium dioxide, no parabens, no chemical SPF active ingredients and it’s sensitive skin friendly.

The ESP Moisturiser has a really nice, light texture. It is not thick at all. It doesn’t make your skin go all white, greasy and gluggy. And after you put it on, your skin feels smooth and matt.

Oh and the micro-fine particles are also said to help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, and to give your skin a smooth texture. It’s pretty awesome!

I also adore the Tinted Daywear, which is a mineral makeup with 3 in 1 moisturiser, zinc sunscreen and sheer foundation.

Invisible Zinc Pack Giveaway

If you’re interested in trying out some Invisible Zinc products, I’ve been given an Invisible Zinc pack to give away to one of my blog readers.

 Invisible Zinc Products

What do you win?
1x Environmental Skin Protector SPF 30+
1x UV Silk Shield Foundation SPF 30+
1x Tinted Daywear SPF 30+
1x Junior Clip-On SPF 30+

Who Can Enter – This giveaway is open to Australian residents, aged 14 years and over.

Giveaway Dates – Giveaway runs for 9 days, from 17 Nov – 25 Nov 2011 (Ends 5:00 pm AEDST).

How To Enter – Email me at, your full name and answer this question – “How will Invisible Zinc benefit your summer?”

The most creative answer will be chosen as the winner.

It’s a great prize, good luck!

Please read the Terms and Conditions.

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Almost Three

15 November 2011

Liam 2.8 years old

Liam is 2 years and 8 months old now… but I have to admit, most times I think of him as a 4 year old.

He is definitely a lot more “grown up” than my other children, when they were this age. And because he is the youngest of 3 kids, it astounds me how much more he has been exposed to.

This kid collects money, he loves watching Batman and Star Wars cartoons, he owns a stack of Ben 10 trading cards, he is obsessed with fart jokes, and he swears under his breath. His eyes sparkle when you talk about computer games, and he will talk back at you – non-stop – about every single wii game that we have on our shelf.

It makes me feel a bit sad sometimes, that maybe he’s missed out on an “idyllic and innocent moment in childhood” where kids entertained themselves with simple things like cardboard boxes.

But I guess that’s the magic of having multiple children – discovering how different they all are, and discovering how you can love them all with the same intensity.

Liam 2.8 years old

This photo just floors me. Within his features, I can see hints of him as a young man. You can stare at his eyes and get lost forever – did I really create him? Is he really made from half of me?

Liam is timid and mild-mannered when he’s with strangers, but he’s bold, reckless and loud when he’s with his brothers.

I can have long conversations with him, I can reason with him, he can tell jokes and make me laugh, and we can read stories together. He’s so expressive and adorable with his words and speech – he’s at a wonderful age.

On the downside, he can be a hell of a whinger. If he wants something, he nags and nags and nags in that high pitchy irritating whiney way, clings to my legs, and makes his body floppy and lies on the floor whining, until I send him to his room.

And currently, sending him to his room, is enough of a time-out for him to change his behaviour.

Last year he had quite a strong “fussy” personality, where he was very (VERY!) particular about dirt, sand, colours of objects and other little things. He was annoyingly high-maintenance.

But now, he’s pretty easy-going. As long as I explain what is happening or about to happen, he doesn’t freak out or complain. He’s pretty sensible!

Liam 2.8 years old

Liam is almost potty trained. He doesn’t need to drink any milk before his sleep. He doesn’t have a favourite blankie or toy. He does suck his thumb though. He has a 1 hour nap, once a day. He sleeps 12 hours straight through the night.

He is a very un-adventurous eater. He doesn’t like to try new foods. He loves fried kway teow and that’s about it.

Oh and he still loves pink things.

My other two boys are 8.5 and 6.5 years old. All three of them play and get along very well… and they fight and argue all the same. They ALL like the same things – cycling, balls, skateboards, sand, beach, computer games, art+craft, reading, boy movies – which makes it really easy to entertain them at the same time.

As much as I grizzle about them all the time – they really are great kids, and I’m real proud of them.

As you can probably tell, things are peachy at the moment. Being a mum is a walk in the park. And I’m absolutely loving life right now.

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Win $1000 to Spend at ASOS!!

11 November 2011

Win $1000 to Spend at ASOS

Eeeek I’m so excited! I’ve been itching to share this with everyone!

To celebrate the change in season, I’m running a brand new EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY.

I’ve been working with the team at ASOS, and we are giving away a $1000 ASOS gift voucher to one of my lucky readers.

I’ve made it super simple for you. All you have to do is to fill out the form below and tell me one item from ASOS you would love to spend your $1000 on!

Who Can Enter:
It’s open to all readers WORLDWIDE, except residents of the UK. And you have to be over 18.

What You Win:
The winner will receive an ASOS gift voucher to the value of AUD$1000.

Giveaway Ends:
Giveaway ends 20 Nov 2011, 11:59pm AEST.

The winner will be randomly selected and contacted via email. If the selected winner doesn’t respond in 24 hours, then I will have to redraw. I will announce the winner as soon as possible on my blog and my Facebook Page (please pop over and LIKE my page, if you haven’t already).

I will also be posting a reminder on my blog and Facebook Page, before the end of the giveaway.

How to Enter:
1) Pop on over to the ASOS Australia, or ASOS Asia, or ASOS Worldwide site.

2) Browse around for a bit. Choose your favourite item.

3) Cut and paste the name of that item into the form below.

4) Make sure you enter your name and email address. And that’s it!

* We would LOVE for you to sign up to the ASOS Newsletter to receive super cool updates, sale announcements, special offers and much more.

* And if you want to stay in touch with me, hear about any more competitions I’m running, and to just receive some Karen Cheng love in your inbox, you can sign up to my *new* weekly email updates (scroll up to the “Lets Stay In Touch” section to enter your email address!).

And please spread the word about this giveaway to your friends!

Love you all, and hope you have a fabulous weekend!

This competition is now closed, thank you.

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It Doesn’t Get Any Better Value Than This

10 November 2011

My husband and I go out for a “no kids” date night on a weekly basis, and usually we try to do something a little different every week.

This evening, we went to test the legendary reputation of Sparrow Indonesian Takeaway, in Highgate. It was originally located in Northbridge for many, many years, and is still run by the same owners.

We decided to eat there because so many people recommended it to us, and it is constantly listed in Perth’s Top Meals under $20 or something like that.

But, a lot of women in my family make damn fine Indonesian/Malay style food, so I have pretty demanding standards.

Sparrow Indonesian Takeaway, Highgate

As you can see, it is a little “cheap and cheerful” establishment, with only 8 small tables inside. The big, generic, red and green letters on the glass, and the security mesh, really say it all. This place seems to spend very little on presentation.

Inside, the impression of low-glamour functionality was reinforced. But it was super clean and the place was almost full of people on a Wednesday night.

The owner met us with a huge Indonesian smile and showed us to a plastic table with an excellent view of the opened fuse box for the power supply. There was a steady stream of locals getting takeaway – a good sign.

Sparrow Indonesian Takeaway, Highgate

So this is what we ordered. 1 Beef rendang, 1 Balinese chicken curry, 2 plates of yellow rice = all for $17.10.

Yes, that’s right…seventeen dollars. For TWO mains AND two serves of rice.

And my verdict?

Sparrow Indonesian Takeaway, Highgate

This is the smile of total satisfaction + embarrassment + resignation. (Note the fuse box in the background!)

It was really, reeeeeally yummy. The curries were saturated with flavour, the meats were both so tender and juicy and fell apart at the poke of a fork, the rice was perfect and fragrant, and my tummy was very satisfied indeed.

*Very happy Karen*

I strongly, strongly recommend it.

Sparrow Indonesian Restaurant
301 Lord St, Highgate,
Western Australia 6003
(08)9228 2238

Sparrow Indonesian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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At the Copa, Copacabana!

8 November 2011

On the weekend, I got to play with a few pairs of shoes from PeepToe Shoes, who are launching their brand new collection, Copacabana!

Peep Toe Shoes - Copacabana

Me doing my flamingo pose in a coral Miss Muse, and popping electric blue with the Miss Spirit.

I can’t believe how bright and stunning these shoes are. They are oh-so comfortable too.

My favourite pair is the Miss Muse, as they are pretty much *the perfect peep-toe shoe*. Simple, elegant and classic. The heel is at a great height (not too high and not too short), it is well made (inner and outer leather), and very comfortable.

They come in 6 different colours, black, nude, navy, pink nude, mushroom and coral. Definitely worth the investment.

Peep Toe Shoes - Copacabana

I toned down the colours in my outfits, to combine the shoes with a more corporate and timeless look.

I love the little splashes of colour the shoes bring!

I’m wearing the Miss Tango Shoes, in light tan and lemon lime. And again, the Miss Muse in Coral.

Check out the PeepToe Shoes Collections and look for their great competitions.


( 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 Inspiration Makes for a Stolen Heart

7 November 2011

I get invited to a LOT of marketing events – which is very cool. I don’t go to all of them. Just the ones where I can make it to AND to the ones that sound really fun and interesting.

Most times, I don’t know very much about the event, nor do I have any emotional connection to the brand.

So I walk around the event and try to figure it all out. I do my networking thing, talking to the owners, people that I know, the PR people, random guests. I take a lot of photos… and I work out whether I like the product and whether it is interesting enough to tell you about.

Anyway, the other evening I went to an event that was worthy of sharing.

I attended an exclusive VIP event for the launch of Keiko Jewellery. I was personally invited by the designer herself (she reads my blog!) so I thought I had better get my glam on and brave the stormy weather.

The evening promised champagnes, award-winning wines, fresh oysters, amazing sushi, French canapés, live music, and mingling with fashionistas.

Keiko Jewellery Launch

The jewellery was stunning and beautiful.

Keiko Jewellery Launch

I took photos of some models’ cleavage. As you do when you are photographing necklaces.

The sushi was to die for. The oysters were amazing. There was a woman playing a harp. A GOLDEN HARP! It was all just FABULOUS darling!!

After a glass of champagne, I walked around the crowd and then I saw it… OH MY… there was this amazing salt water fish tank, full of beautiful coral and colourful fish.

(Yep, so while everyone else was admiring the $10,000 statement jewellery, I fell for a fish tank.)

Keiko Jewellery Launch

Being a scuba diver, I love the ocean. I love the colours and shapes, forms and textures of the underwater world. I derive so much inspiration and pleasure from watching various aquatic organisms move around in water. Even watching seaweed sway in the current makes me feel so relaxed and happy.

One of my ultimate *materialistic* fantasies is to own (not a designer wardrobe) but a coral fish tank in my house. I would sit, with my cup of tea and watch it all day. I could happily  grow old watching all the little fishies, slugs and starfish, moving and swimming around doing their thing.

Being a designer – and looking at this fish tank – I was struck by a tremendous sense of inspiration. And suddenly all the pieces fell together – the name of the jewellery collection – “Ocean Intrigue”, the sushi and oysters, all the sea creature shapes in her designs.

Ah ha! I found my connection with Keiko the jewellery designer.

I got a sense of how much she loves the ocean and the surf. And bam, I loved her work.

Especially this piece. Selling for a fine $14,500. I’ll let hubby know what I want for Christmas.

Keiko Jewellery Launch

When I was a Design student, I learned about the concept of “the designed object” and how we, as consumers, choose to adorn ourselves with objects we are emotionally connected to.

Well, just looking at this ring above, makes me smile, thinking about all the little fish swimming in my imaginary fish tank.

Keiko, you stole my heart.

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About Bubbles

3 November 2011

My maternal grandmother’s birthday party, in her backyard at sunset.


A dozen grandchildren play. Bubbles are blown.


I dance around, trying to capture them in my camera before the kids swat them out of existence.

Bubbles in the Backyard

Round, soapy, watery, airy moments of happiness.