Archive for July 2012

 

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Mini Dresses from ClubCouture

31 July 2012

I’ve been wearing clothes from ClubCouture for almost a year now, and I am continually impressed by the quality of the clothes, the affordable prices, and each new collection that they launch – oh their dresses are just lovely!

They sell stylish and pretty jewellery and cute bags too.

I chose these dresses a few months ago, and have been itching to show them off on my blog!

Mini Dresses from ClubCouture

This Black Dress (above left) is a fantastic, classic, strapless bandage dress. I adore this one! It’s made in a bandage style, with strong, thick, firm, stretchy fabric… and it is like wearing shape-wear. It pulls you in and holds you up at all the right places! A great wardrobe investment, in my opinion.

I’m wearing a size UK6 and it *just fit* me. If you’re on the bigger side of a size, you should probably buy a size up, as it’s a very snug fit.

This White Holly Dress (above right) is a very cute and simple white lace dress with a soft nude lining. It is a lovely mini dress and I’m very happy to have it in my wardrobe for the summer ahead.

Mini Dresses from ClubCouture

This Black Cross Bandage Dress looked and felt amazing. It was quite tricky to put it on (I put my head in all the wrong places!) but ahhh I loved it!

The Pink and Turquoise Dress was cute and unique too. The turquoise neckline actually continued into a deep V on the back of the dress. I liked the bandages on the chest, giving it a subtle texture. Again the dress was made from a thick, strong and stretchy fabric.

The quality of these bandages dresses are definitely comparable to designer items $300 and above.

They are both very Herve Ledger inspired!

Unfortunately these two dresses were pretty popular and are now sold out on the site.

But do check their Premium Range for dresses that are suited for functions and special occasions.

Mini Dresses from ClubCoutureYou might have remembered a dress I wrote about a few weeks ago? It was a one I called the “Garden Party Dress”.

It is actually called the Floral Printed Sheath Dress and I was told that it is now back in stock!

Special Discount Promotion: Buy 2 for 20% Off

ClubCouture are currently having a promotion, where you can buy any 2 items and receive 20% your total order. No code needed, just add TWO items to you cart and they will take care of the rest!

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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Liam : 3 years and …a bit?

30 July 2012

(Warning!! The following contains long, detailed, explicit, motherly adoration of a child.)
Liam is 3 years and 4 months

My little Liam is 3 years and 4 months.

He’s bright, eloquent, a bit particular about certain things, and yes, totally lovable!

The biggest change since my last update is his obsession with letters and numbers.

Writing out letters and numbers is a daily activity for us – only because he LOVES it so much. We sit down with a stack of paper and coloured pencils, and he writes the numbers from 1-20, and then he writes the alphabet from A-Z.

I help him a little, but it’s HIM who leads the activity. He tells ME what HE wants to do.

We started writing 1-10. But after memorising them so quickly, he has moved on to 1-20. Now we’re working on number order.

I scribble out worksheets with “puzzles” like 11, 12, 13, ___ and he fills in the missing number.

And he says brainy stuff like, “What is the number 1 and 8 again? Is that eighteen? Does that come after seventeen?”

Liam is 3 years and 4 months
Drawing of Bluey (his toy bunny) and Liam!

He has also memorised and recognised the whole alphabet, he can write every letter of the alphabet, and he knows the phonic sounds to all the letters!

He can spell out simple words by himself, just using the sounds of letters!

He prefers to write words of things his likes – Liam, Mum, Dad, Callum, Sean, Cat, Bluey (his bunny), Clock (because it’s got numbers on it), Pink (his favourite colour), Poh Poh (what he calls his grandmother).

His number and letter formations are still a bit wonky, but they are still legible.

Lots of other mums praise me and all the “work” that I do with him. But seriously, it’s all HIM, his own personal interest and his long-standing fixation with numbers and letters.

OK I guess I am active in Liam’s early childhood learning, and I sit down with him and do activities with him. But I was also very involved and very active with my other two children’s early learning too. In fact, I was probably more active with them… and they didn’t learn how to spell words and read until they were 6 years old.

Honestly, I’m just surprised and pleased by how advanced he seems to be. I don’t think he’s a one-in-a-million, crazy-smart, genius kid. I’m not going to push him into any hardcore academic programs.

I’m just going to continue with a bit of gentle pushing and encouragement here and there. And at the same time try to balance out his other developmental areas – such as social, emotional, and physical development.

And I need to do that, because….

Liam is 3 years and 4 months

Liam doesn’t like to go outside his comfort zone. He doesn’t like to try new things. He’s not very adventurous. He likes his routine. He likes thing to be predictable all the time. He likes to know that things are the same… and will be the same all the time.

But he gets bored with things being the same! And I can tell he wants to explore new things and have new experiences… but it is so hard for him to let go! He really fights it, he argues with me, negotiates for his way, tries to stall it, pretends to be disinterested, throws a tantrum.

I insist, I am firm, I try to convince him and I argue with him, and in the end I usually just force him to try it… and after we do the new thing, he is usually very happy.

For example, he likes that we buy our fruit from one particular fruit shop. If we go somewhere else to buy fruit, he gets really upset. And he will argue with me – for HOURS – about it.

Another example. He likes the numbers 2 and 4. And if my maths question doesn’t give him an answer where he can write a 2 or 4, he refuses to do the question. Or he’ll just write 24, rather than the actual answer and he’ll argue with me again!

Or, he likes to borrow 3 books from the library. And he wants to borrow the same 3 books again and again. If not, then more arguments!

Oh the list goes on and on. It drives me INSANE! He’s one funny kid.

After we do the new thing, I usually list out all the good (and maybe some not so good) things about the experience. Just so to help him mentally process and assess the experience or situation.

Like, “It was such a good thing that we borrowed these new books, so we could see these pictures that we’ve never seen before! Now we know what sunken treasure looks like!”

Liam is 3 years and 4 months

As I try to let my older children become more involved with more complicated tasks (for example, cooking dinner by themselves), I try to get Liam involved too.

I admit it’s really hard, especially since I’ve done the whole “toddlers helping mummy in the kitchen” thing TWICE already. I have very little patience left in me… and really, I just want the kids to play in a different room, while I whip up dinner in 30 minutes flat haha.

So in terms of being independent, following instructions to do jobs, helping to do housework… Liam is behind where my other two children were at the same age.

It’s definitely my fault, as I don’t follow up, insist, or expect him to do as much as his brothers. Unfortunately, he’s turning into a “typical” third child, who is the baby of the family, and not expected to do any hard work – oops!

Liam is 3 years and 4 months

Liam loves his 3 year old Kindergarten, but he HATES that I leave him.

He cries and shouts for hours in the morning about not wanting to go. He still kicks and screams and says all kinds of things emotional blackmail stuff like “You promised you won’t ever leave me anywhere where I might be far, far away from you.”

But the teachers say that the moment I walk away from the Kindergarten door and shut the gate (5 seconds) he’s perfectly fine and happy. They tell me that he is very involved with all the activities, he’s keen and interested in everything the teachers say, he plays very happily. They say he’s very smart, very bright, intelligent and very funny… (I’m sure that they say that to all the mums).

Anyway, I’m so, so glad that he’s blossoming in such a great environment.

Part of me is a little jealous, because when I try to do new activities with him – as I said – he just bosses me around, tells me what he wants to do and how I should GO AWAY because he just wants to do his own thing thank you very much.

(Let’s hope he’s not doing the same to his teachers!!)

I am really excited for him, for next year, when goes to 4 year old kindergarten. He’ll be in a structured learning environment – all day – surrounded by numbers and letters. He’ll absolutely LOVE it :)

Not to mention, I’LL love that he doesn’t nag me about being bored.

And I’ll love missing him all day, and then picking him up in the afternoon and hearing his beautiful little squeaky voice, bubbling with excitement, and watching his eyes sparkle as he tells me stories of his day.


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I’m a Badass Brick Paver

26 July 2012

A few weekends ago, my husband was out of town for a few days.

And whenever my husband leaves, I – SUDDENLY – discover things are going awry around the house.

It always happens. I need a handy-man 24/7.

That weekend, it had rained very hard, and the side of our house got flooded.

We have a crooked old brick path in that area, and it is also where we keep our  rubbish bins. You know, the big green ones on wheels? Anyway, the paving bricks on the path were already so loose. It was really difficult to wheel the bin out once a week for collection.

So when the path flooded, the ground washed away, and the brick path totally fell apart into a messed up jumble of rubble.

So what did I do?

I dragged the bin out of the middle of the mess, and I spent the morning RE-PAVING the BRICKS!

Paving

Ta da!

Haha don’t look too close. It’s a bit wonky. And the bricks don’t match. I don’t think I compacted the ground hard enough. I hope it doesn’t wash away in the next rain storm!

I was a bit embarrassed about it actually, and I didn’t dare tell anyone, because it was so uneven.

But my sons were very impressed, which made me feel a little better. And it was much better than it was before.

When my husband came back, I didn’t mention it to him, and it took him a week for him to realise I had done it!

He discovered it when he was putting the bin out one morning. He came back in with a very confused look on his face, like “Who fixed up the paving? My brother? The neighbour? Your dad?”

And I have to say….when I casually told him it was ME, I enjoyed the look of surprise – and disbelief – on his face IMMENSELY :)


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2 Dress Trends To Try This Season

25 July 2012

Gosh Celebrity Fashion asked me to check out their latest collection for review :)

I had a really good browse in the store and the best thing about it… is their fab collection of dresses. And their prices were good – low to middle of the range!

I found lots of pieces featuring new colours, cool trends and lovely, statement styles. They also have FREE  shipping Australia wide and hassle-free returns, which is nice. Of course, they also ship internationally.

I selected a few items, but these 2 dresses were my favourite of the lot.

Clothes by Gosh

The Peplum Dress

The peplum is one of this season’s hottest trends. A peplum is a little “skirt” that sits on the waist of a skirt, dress or along the bottom hem of a top. It’s fun, flirty and very feminine. You have to try it! It transforms your silhouette, accentuating the waist, making you look like you’ve got sexy curves, and a hot hourglass figure.

I really like the peplum style. As long as the peplum is not too ruffly, I think it really suits short and petite women.

You can even buy skirts or dresses with removable peplums. So you can wear it from day time to night time.

This white strapless dress is called the Shutterbug Peplum Dress by Keepsake. I LOVE the clean lines and minimal detail. It is polished, sexy, and a perfect party dress for a night out!

The fit was nice and snug on the waist. The length was great on me. The fabric felt nice. If anything, I didn’t have enough boob mass to fill the bust area to it’s *fullest potential*… ahem.

But it looked good on, so I would still wear it.

Clothes by Gosh

The Print Dress

Finding a nice print dress that works well for both work and play can be tricky, especially if you want to find something that is colourful but not TOO colourful!

I really liked this Silk Dress by Honey and Beau. The print is so lovely – like a water themed oil painting by an Impressionist masters. The drapes and pleats are lovely too.

It features a tulip skirt, and a drape collar which have little drawstrings. On the left I loosened the drawstrings and the collar fell like silky ruffles on a deep V neckline. On the right I tightened the drawstrings and it gave the dress a higher and more modest neckline.

The website said that it was a “mini” dress. But for short ol’ me, the dress ended mid-thigh – which was perfect in my opinion!

Do check out the rest of the Honey and Beau items, as there are lots of nice stuff available!

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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Balayage at Head Studio

23 July 2012

Last year, I was hankering to do something different with my hair – I wanted a balayage style, but I didn’t have time to research the style, research a salon, and organise some time away to get it done.

Finally for my birthday last week, I decided, yep, it’s time for a hair change.

Balayage (pronounced BAH-LAY-ARGHE) (as in garage or mirage) is a highlighting technique where the lightening agent is painted freehand onto the hair. It’s when there’s a gradient from dark roots to light tips.

Lots of people also call the effect ombre (pronounced OM-BRAY), which refers more to a two-tone colour change, and less of a slow gradual gradient effect. And you can use the word ombre to describe a colour tone change in clothing, accessories, textiles, painted surfaces.

Whatever you call it, done badly, it looks like bad regrowth. You could look like some scary rocker chick. Done superbly, your hair can look naturally highlighted, sun-kissed, full of depth and texture and fresh.

So first I did a bit of research.

This is what I DIDN’T want.

Balayage Hair

It might look cool on Drew Barrymore, but I didn’t want such a drastic gradient and I didn’t want my ends to be so blonde!

Balayage Hair

Here Rachel Bilson and Ashley Simpson have a slightly more gradient effect in their hair.

But I still didn’t want so much of my ends to be so light. And the gradient still wasn’t gradual enough.

Balayage Hair

This is what I wanted. I loved the balayage on Jessica Biel! A gradual highlight, touches of lightened hair tousled between dark and medium colour strands.

Balayage Hair

And same again in this picture of Lily Aldridge.

(All celebrity pictures were taken from all over the internet without owner’s permission – sorry!)

SO. I called the team from Head Studio, who have done my hair before (I published a review post about them here).

I knew they would do a great job, because they seem to be constantly winning hairdressing prizes, and they are always on the cutting edge (excuse the pun) of new hair styles and trends.

I asked them if I could write a blog feature about the whole process and they kindly offered me a complimentary balayage, for my review. I hoped like crazy that it would turn out ok!!

Balayage at Head Studio - July 2012

I walked upstairs and was greeted by one of their GORGEOUS salon rooms.

This photo was taken from the Head Studio website, because when I was there, it was actually was full of women getting their hair done (and understandably, no one wanted to have their picture taken while having hair treatment!).

Balayage at Head Studio - July 2012

So this is me at 11am, with my day-old washed hair. Long, straight, black – as it has been for a looooong time.

I was given a proper flat white coffee, a stack of fashion magazines and an orgasmic head massage. Ah I love them already.

Then I met my colourist, Ashley, who had a string of impressive national achievements.

We had an extensive chat about what I wanted. She provided me with an ipad FULL of example hair photos, celebrity hair dos, red carpet photos, fashion and style photos… and we even found the photos of Jessica Beil (pictured above) it was brilliant.

In terms of her technique, when she was working away… she didn’t seem bored, or treat me like I was just-another-head-with-hair-to-colour-today. She was so skilled and attentive to my hair, as if I was a work of art. She came across as a real and rare craftsman (or craftsperson?). She was just awesome.

Balayage at Head Studio - July 2012

As for me, I had no doubt the final look would look nice.

But I was sooo nervous. Hence the funny look on my face. The last time I lightened my hair significantly… I was 15! I had bleached my fringe all by myself and it looked pretty bad haha.

But now? What would it look like? Will it suit me? What if I hate it? What if it’s too light? What if I don’t get used to it?

I was finally led to the basins, where all the colour / toner / lightening agent (I have no idea!) was washed out, and I was given a conditioning hair treatment too.

I was led downstairs, my hair was blow dried, curled a bit and THIS WAS THE RESULT!

Balayage at Head Studio - July 2012

OMG it was gorgeous!! I WAS SOOOO HAPPPY!

Like seriously, I was so thrilled that I jumped up and gave Ashley a big hug and squeal! I felt so lame, but haha I was completely over the moon!!

Balayage at Head Studio - July 2012

I feel like such a bimbo in saying this… but I TOTALLY LOVE MY HAIR!!

Gah it’s so pretty! Why didn’t I do this sooner!?!

Balayage at Head Studio - July 2012

She painted a bit of colour in small touches near my eyes and cheeks, to make the gradient more gradual. The colour is just perfect, the highlights are lovely, the loose curls are a perfect touch.

I think it really suits me, lifts my complexion, brightens my face and maybe makes me look YOUNGER? What do you think? Forever 25? Haha!

A BIG THANK YOU to the team at Head Studio.

They get 11 out of 10 from me… for customer satisfaction for the service, the final outcome and the overall experience.

I completely recommend these guys! Again!

Head Studio
64 King Street
Perth WA 6000
Phone: 08 9481 6464
Email: info@headstudio.com
Web: www.headstudio.com.au (includes prices and map)


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How To Make Cake Pops

20 July 2012

Cake Pops 2012

A few weeks ago, I made “cake pops” for my son’s birthday party. I received so many comments about them, that I thought I would write a blog post about how I made them.

Cake pops are basically cake balls on a stick, like a cupcake lollypop. There are a number of ways to make them, but I stumbled across some pans in my supermarket (Woolworths) for $30 and thought I would give them a go – considering how utterly bored I am from making cupcakes.

If you are interested, you can buy the exact cake pop pans from Amazon. Or you can just search for Bake Pop Pans.

You can also buy cute paper sticks to use, which make the cake pops look really nice. And they are very cheap.

Cake Pops 2012

Here are the pans, a top and a base.

They came with silicone clips, reusable cake pop sticks (which don’t look very nice) and instructions (which are a bit vague, if you’re a first time baker).

Cake Pops 2012

The instructions say to use a standard cake recipe, adding an extra egg and halving the amount of water / milk. I tried it, as instructed, and I wasn’t happy with the resulting cake.

I recommend you use your favourite cupcake recipe and follow it exactly, if you want a nice cake to eat. Here I used a vanilla cupcake recipe, which I will share on my blog soon.

Coat the pan with lots of melted butter (so they won’t stick to the pan!).

Fill the pans with the cupcake mixture, pop the top on, put on the silicone clips, and bake them just as you would cupcakes.

Cake Pops 2012

Here they are after 25 minutes,  in a lovely golden colour. You can see the yellow silicone clip on the left.

There’s a bit of over flow, which is a good sign that the cake has risen and has become a sphere.

Cake Pops 2012

Break off all the over flowing bits and feed any hungry children who may be circling the kitchen.

Lift the lid off, which should come off easily, thanks to the butter.

Cake Pops 2012

Pop them all out, and scrape off the little edge / seam of cake, to create a smooth ball.

Let them cool for a few minutes.

Cake Pops 2012

Use a stick to make a hole in all the balls. I call it pre-holing the balls ha!

Coat the end of each stick in a little bit of melted chocolate and push each stick into the cake balls. This is to make sure that the stick is STUCK onto the cake ball. You don’t want the cake to fall off the stick.

Lay the cake pops down and keep them in an air tight container. As you don’t want them to dry out while you prep all the decorations.

Cake Pops 2012

Now the fun part!

Dip them in melted chocolate and decorate away!

There are some REALLY cute ideas on the internet… but I’ve just gone for the simple: coat and sprinkle.

The first time I made the cake pops, I didn’t have anything to HOLD them.

So I found a lump of children’s play dough in my fridge and stuck them all in. Afterwards I realised that the playdough was PINK, so I covered it with foil to make it look a bit nicer.

Cake Pops 2012

The second time I made the cake pops, I made them upside down… which is sooo much more practical.

The great thing about these cake pops, that since they are coated in chocolate, they are very robust and almost unbreakable, so you can stack them into a container and they travel well.

I presented all these upside down cake pops on a large white platter with lots of coloured smarties. It looked fantastic!

Overall they are fairly simple to make. It’s also easy to make a large number of them at one time. So it’s great if you have lots of guests.

Best of all, they look great, and both kids and parents LOVE the novelty!


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Cycling Clothes: Erotic AND Practical

19 July 2012

Cycling is changing me in more ways than I could have imagined.

As a fashion person… I have never liked the *look* of cycling lycra.

The tops and pants are mismatched in garish bright colours, they are always plastered with corporate logos, and everyone looks like they have been shrink-wrapped in a flag. It’s just multi-coloured bleerrrgh to me.

Cyclist Colour
(image by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

So when I first started cycling, I swore that I wouldn’t be caught dead in lycra. There was no way that I was going to put on that crap.

Instead I wore my luxe yoga pants and a plain tee whilst cycling. I thought I looked sporty, like I was going to the gym for a gentle stretch… and then out for coffee (and a big fat slice of chocolate cake) with a friend.

But alas, I was naive. Cycling is VERY different to doing pump classes, pilates, or zumba.

For one thing, cycling is REALLY hard work and you sweat like a pig. And if you sweat while you are wearing a backpack, you end up with a disgustingly wet back. I tried to ride without a backpack, but I couldn’t carry all my stuff – like my phone, money, and snacks.

I tried to solve this problem by stuffing a twenty dollar note and my iPhone into the front of my pants while I cycled. I may or may not have put a banana down there too. Ahem.

Of course, the heavy, smooth iPhone slipped downwards into the V where my thighs met… which was quite tolerable when cycling… until my husband called to see how I was going. With a vibrating phone, money, a bike seat, and possibly a banana… it got way too busy down there to concentrate on cycling.

Suffice to say, I caved in and bought myself a cycling jersey.

Cycling Clothes

And what do you know. As boring as it is… the jersey is such a functional piece of clothing.

They are made from soft, breathable material, with zips that don’t poke at your chin when you’re in a “cycling position”, reflector bits, a bit of silicone along the bottom hem so they don’t ride up.

Cycling Clothes

Cycling jerseys also have 3 massive pockets at the back where you can store stuff. A phone! A banana! A muesli bar! Sunglasses! Money! Why hasn’t regular fashion caught up with this??

Now I get annoyed at my normal clothes with small, pitiful pockets… which don’t let me carry bananas around!

But the most entertaining thing about cycling jerseys… is that they have a easy zip tag so you can single-handedly zip down your top while you are riding along, to allow air flow over your chest to cool yourself down.

So on really REALLY hot days, it’s very common to see lots of lean cyclist men, fully unzipped and bare chested, zoom by on the cycle paths. Skin, sweaty muscles and washboard abs – hello distraction!

(Although, there are also plenty of men riding around out there who have hairy chests and bellies like they are ten months pregnant.)

You can see guys on sweltering days, parked beside the road for an emergency cool down, throwing their heads back, squirting water from over their heads, faces and chests, the water cascading in slow motion down their bare pecs in the glistening sun! It’s very entertaining.

However, I’ll admit that I have tried this myself a couple of times. It’s not as sexy as it looks. Weirdly erotic perhaps? It’s actually quite disgusting with all the sweat, sun screen and sun-warmed water oozing down my cleavage, belly, down to where I used to keep my iPhone, with all the cars and bikes zooming by. It just feels like I had an accident and wet my pants… but hey it does cool me down!

ANYWAY, getting back to cycling clothes.

Cycling Clothes

As the weather has cooled down, I have bought a long sleeved jersey. I’m so in love with it!

It has brushed fleece, reflective piping, full length zipper, silicone gripper, nine panels of insulation techno fabric for maximum ventilation, fit and comfort.

I am *embarrassingly* excited by how practical it is.

Cycling Clothes

THEN I needed a jacket that also kept the rain and wind out for really cold morning rides… and so I bought this very sexy jacket.

Do you love the colour? It totally matches my sports bra, my shoes AND my banana.

The arms ZIP OFF so I can wear it as a vest. There are zillions of pockets inside and out. There are ventilation panels. Reflective bits. It is so so practical. Omg the functionality is such a turn on!!

How will I *ever* look at fashion – and all it’s unfunctional-ness – the same again?

………………………………………………………………………..

I’m having a lot of fun getting ready to ride 200 km in two days, but it is for a deadly serious cause. I’d love it if you could donate $20, $50 or whatever you can to fund research to find the cure for cancer. I’m trying to raise $10,000.

You can go to my donations page and make any donation amount you wish.

The money goes immediately and directly to cancer research.

I want to make a difference!

Please help me!


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Dresstronomy: Boys and Girls Come Out to Play

17 July 2012

Independent fashion label Dresstronomy sent me a few items to review from their Fall 2012 Collection, titled Boys and Girls Come Out to Play. It combines masculine/boyish and feminine shapes, with an air of whimsical playfulness.

I found some very nice garments which were effortless and easy to wear.

Dresstronomy: Boys and Girls Come Out to Play

These are the Hansel Shorts in Deep Purple. They are SHORT shorts, almost like running shorts, with a turned-up, tailored hem, so they have a nice structure and they look smart. The fabric is lovely. It’s made from shantung silk and it looks luxurious, yet it feels robust to wear.

The waistband is a stretchy fold-over band, so it’s comfy to wear. The band sits high up the waist, meaning you don’t have to worry about flashing your midriff. And the band acts like a kind of tummy shaping Spanx for your belly too haha!

I definitely recommend them if you’re looking for some smart looking shorts. They also come in black.

There was an issue with the sizing for these particular shorts, though. It’s best that you buy a size up (I am usually a size UK6, but I had to order a size UK8 – which fit me perfectly.)

Dresstronomy: Boys and Girls Come Out to Play

This is the Tanker Dress in Navy. I liked the subtle contrast from the navy and black panels (a bit hard to see in this photo), which added a unique look to the dress.

Basically it is a simple, button-down dress, with a loose cut style and a modest length. It also features a racer back style, which felt sleek and a bit sexy when wearing it.

Dresstronomy: Boys and Girls Come Out to Play

The last item I chose, was this dress is called Alan’s Tailcoat in Pink, inspired by tailcoat jackets worn by gentlemen in the 1800s.

I was told that British actress and model, Tallulah Harlech wore this same dress to the opening of the Singapore Fashion Trade Show earlier this year, and was featured in the press etc.

Yep, a long, sleeveless, shirt dress just oozes effortless cool. It’s the kind of thing off-duty models wear while walking along the street, with it flowing around their long legs. But how did it look on a shorty like me?

I think it looked quite cool. I know it is supposed to be loose fitting, flowy and effortless… but I think it might look nicer on me if I sewed it in at the underarms, so it is a *little more fitting* for me. But I liked the length and the details of the dress. And I liked the easy feel of it.

Dresstronomy: Boys and Girls Come Out to Play

And here, I hitched up the dress up over the belt to create a waist line. Looked good, and this is a nice technique for transitioning from day time to night time.

This dress grew on me in the end and I really liked it. I’m glad I got to experiment with this style, because I would never have chosen it to buy otherwise.

I chose the dress in the dusty rose pink, which looks very unique to wear. But perhaps I should have chosen it in a black, so it would be a more versatile item for my wardrobe. The dress also comes in mustard colour.

Do pop over to the Dresstronomy website and check out the rest of their collection.

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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My Little Green Thumbs

16 July 2012

A while ago, I was landscaping my garden and digging out some OLD plants to make room for some NEW plants. I had a few mysterious plants (left by our tenants) which were unidentifiable to me and surplus to requirements… so I asked my 7year old son to drag them over to the compost heap.

Instead he asked if he could make his own garden.

In fact, he announced that he was going to make a ZEN GARDEN.

He got this idea from the computer game, Plants Vs. Zombies (where you have to build a garden to keep out the zombies from attacking your house!) . I thought it was very clever and intuitive of him.

Both my kids set to work and… look at what they came up with!!

Zen Garden

How cute is that?!?

My kids are gardening!

They collected various rocks, pebbles, shells and bricks from all around the yard and spent HOURS arranging everything into a cute little landscape for themselves.

They asked me for more plants.

Then they harassed me for even MORE plants.

They found a few statues (or junk that could be used as statues) and decorated their garden.

Then they harassed me for more statues.

Zen Garden

My mother came over to visit later that day. She’s a hardcore gardener.

She was *so tickled* by what she saw that she went out – straight away – and bought some extra gnomes and garden ornaments for them. A reading ant with a solar panel, which lights up a little light at night.

Zen Garden

During the whole process, they asked so many questions about… what were the best plants to grow, which plants can grow from cuttings, how to consider the size of the plant in 5 years, which ones needed a lot of water and which were high maintenance…

It was all very cool.

Despite the “Plants vs Zombie” irony, I love it that my kids are so excited about something that’s not a computer game.


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Trend to try: Bright Coloured Jewellery

12 July 2012

As always, there are plenty of fun new fashion trends this season.

But I have particularly fallen head over heels with the bright coloured jewellery trend.

Trend to try: Bright Coloured Jewellery

(Photo by ImaxTree via stylebistro.com)

Seen last year at London Fashion Week 2012, Sass and Bide styled their spring collection with these amazingly vibrant neckpieces with intricate almost tribal details.

I love that they can be worn with blacks and neutral colours (of which my wardrobe is full of).

It can be worn with neutral or colourful patterned or print outfits (which is also on trend).

And it can go with outfits featuring big blocks of colour. Colour on colour!

Trend to try: Bright Coloured Jewellery

These coloured rhinestone bib necklaces are just so pretty! The style is much more delicate and “everyday” as opposed to the Sass and Bide ones, which are very bold, edgy and large!

These babies are by designer Adia Kibur and are only $56 from Shopbop.

Trend to try: Bright Coloured Jewellery

The amazing necklace on the left is by Tom Binns (via net-a-porter.com), hand painted Swarovski crystal necklace for £1,410.

It’s very obvious that this necklace would totally transform any outfit!! A simple black dress, white silk blouse, coloured tank, a nude dress.

If you do an image search for Tom Binns necklaces, you’ll find heaps of DIY images by crafty fashionistas too.

Apparently you can buy a $30 rhinestone necklace and use nail polish to paint the stones however you want. It looks so easy I was tempted to have a go myself – but alas I don’t have the time to do it.

And if you want to make something similar to those Sass and Bide necklaces, you can just buy an affordable stone, pearl, or jewelled necklace and then spray paint it a neon colour to create your own statement neon necklace.

The necklace top right is also by Adia Kibur (Shopbop) and the bottom one is by Etro (net-a-porter.com). I love the slightly tribal, edgy and glam look.

Trend to try: Bright Coloured Jewellery

And if you lean more towards a classic, timeless look… but still want some colour in your jewels, these might be the way to go.

Left is Kenneth Jay Lane (Shopbop) and right is by Adia Kibur (Shopbop).

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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Scarlet Perfection

11 July 2012

Strawberries

I can’t decide whether to just dip these strawberries in chocolate, or to make a dark chocolate ganache tart topped with strawberries and cream.


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A HABBOT Thank You Sale

10 July 2012

The team at Habbot Studios loaned me a few shoes from their Autumn Winter 12 collection.

Their shoes encapsulate French inspired details, mixed with fresh Australian style, and all their shoes are handmade in Italy, from fine Italian leathers.

I love their fresh modern designs, with a hint of trend. And I especially love the amazing quality of the shoes – especially when they are having a SPECIAL END-OF-SEASON SALE!

Please scroll down for the sale details (including prizes and further reductions).

Habbot AW12

These classic pointed toe pump are just gorgeous! Not to mention they are extremely comfortable, the Italian leather feels like *luxury* on my feet… and they are on sale :)

I love the turquoise and the magenta – as they are fabulous way to add a burst of colour to my outfit. If I had to choose between them, I would choose the turquoise, because I already have hot pink heels and the turquoise suede is so vibrant and unique.

The black heel is an absolute classic. I have 3 versions of this “pointed-toe pump style” in my shoe cupboard haha. The heel height makes for good work shoes too.

habbot_aw12-03

With bright colours very much in fashion at the moment… I found these coloured flats to be so, so delightful. They go well with both coloured and neutral jeans. I would wear them very often indeed.

I’m wearing the ballet flats called “Trampoline” in Magenta. Also shown on the top, right hand set of shoes.

Pictured middle are the oxford flats called, “Unicycle” also in magenta. I really adore the mix of suede and woven textile. They would look great with pastel coloured jeans.

Bottom pair are the “Trampoline” in Grey (with a hint of blue suede).

Habbot AW12

And as a contrast to all the bright colours, I can feel part of myself going back to classic black. Focusing on textures and silhouettes.

I tested out these “Highwire” Boots in black. It has a wood block heel, that is nice and elegant (not too chunky) and a slim pull-on style, which is great for wearing over skinny pants, slim jeans or tights. I could live all day in these!

I also picked out a few other black pairs of shoes in the collection.

Top pair are the flats “Tramoline” in black. Would love to have these in my wardrobe.

Middle are the oxford style shoes called “Unicycle” in black (these were my favourite)

And “Juggler” is the oh-so smart ankle boot with brogue detail.

The Habbot’s Thank You Sale is their way of saying ‘thanks’ for all the overwhelming supportover the past year.

In addiction to the sale discount, there will be a heap of Facebook activities including giveaways and prizes, flash shoe sales by “colour” (even further discounts!), and they will be selling one-off styles and press samples for ridiculous prices via the website!

Head on over to the Habbot Facebook page and LIKE!

Good luck and happy shopping! xx

( 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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My Birthday Weekend

9 July 2012

Hi everyone, I just want to say THANK YOU for all the birthday messages over the week!

I had a really wonderful, simple, but meaningful day.

I woke up early on my birthday and was out the door at 5:30am to go for a 30km bike ride.

It was pitch black when I left. But I discovered that riding in the dark is just awesome! I have some badass night lights mounted on my bike, so it’s like riding in a big, black tunnel.  I have so much focus and there’s nothing to distract me. It was so coooool!

And the glowing sky before the sun rose was out of this world:

Birthday 2012 - Dawn

I got back around 7:30am, had a hot shower and leisurely washed my hair (bliss!).

The kids (and husband) made me a fancy breakfast of poached eggs, bacon, herbs and hollandaise sauce. I opened presents and cute handmade cards. I sent the big kids to school. I ran a few errands with my little kid.

Then I met up with my parents for lunch. Picked up my kids after school, and we all had a walk in the park.

Karen and Liam - July 2012

When we were in the park, my 2 big boys ran ahead, so my 3 year old and myself walked behind slowly, swishing in the fallen leaves, singing and dancing away like nobody was watching :)

Got home and made dinner, then hung out with my family. And haha I had to go to bed early because I was so tired from my morning cycle!

So yes, a lovely and simple day.

(I’ll be having a few other celebrations over the next few weeks!)

Also I want to say a special thank you to everyone who generously donated a birthday gift to my Fundraising Ride to Conquer Cancer too!!

Have an amazing week ahead! xxx


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ASOS Rainbow Rush

6 July 2012

I had the delightful opportunity to pick a few items to feature on my site, courtesy of ASOS.

And I wanted to share… ASOS is having an Up to 50% Off right now!

I chose a selection of BRIGHT, HAPPY COLOURS + PRINTS… and had soooo much fun putting them together.

ASOS Colours

Firstly, I chose these Geometric High Waist Shorts by Motel. They are soooo cool and so fun – I like them so much! They seemed to instantly lift my mood… and make me want to hit the beach.

I ordered a size 6, and when they arrived they looked too small. But they fit perfectly… as they have a really good stretch. They almost feel like swimmers. So they are really comfortable and perfect for summery weather.

The high waist is really nice, the stretch holds my tummy in, and the short-shorts makes my legs look really long!

Yellow Heels are also from ASOS
Necklace from Lovisa (via The Iconic)
Top from AL&ALICIA

ASOS Colours

This White Blouse is a lovely light, simple, sleeveless shirt. A very versatile and neutral item, great for wearing with neons and bright coloured skirts, jeans or shorts. Very affordable too.

I was surprised by how affordable thisPhotographic Floral Print Pencil Skirt was too. Made from a stretch jersey, it’s comfortable and very easy to wear. Big on visual impact, looks elegant yet unique. Fantastic buy.

Necklace by Lovisa (via The Iconic)
Heels by Betts

ASOS Colours

Lastly I chose this sheer button down ASOS Shirt with a Bug Print. Made from sheer chiffon material, easy cut, easy to wear and style in different ways. I thought it was a great buy too.

(And it’s on sale at the moment!)

Blue jeans by Jbrand (via my-wardrobe.com)
Heels by Sachi (old).

Happy shopping and I hope you find something you like!

( 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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Balsamic Blueberry Waffles (and a Chicken Caesar Salad)

5 July 2012

Waffles with Balsamic Berries

The other day my cousin, who lives in the US, was in town. I actually wanted to meet up in a nice café and eat a delicious gourmet lunch… but my 3 year old was a bit sick, so I suggested we met at my home.

I went all domestic-goddess and I treated us to a fancy lunch.

I put the meals together as we chatted. So the food was fresh and hot as we ate.

For lunch, I made freshly crumbed chicken Caesar salad. I crumbed the chicken myself, cooked it earlier and kept hot and crispy in the oven. I even made and toasted my own garlic bread croutons. It was soooo good.

Caesar Salad

This is a very poor photo of my salad. I took it in a hurry with my iphone, because I was waaaay too hungry to get my big DSLR to take a proper photo.

For dessert I made a fresh batch of mini waffles (top photo) using my favourite waffle recipe. (Everyone always asks me what waffle maker I have… it’s a new Cuisinart Belgian Waffle Maker.)

I smashed up an Almond Magnum, which of course is made up of vanilla ice cream, a chocolate shell and choc-coated almonds slivers, and arranged it over the waffle.

Then I poured a Balsamic blueberry syrup on top.

OMG it was sooooo yummy!! Especially since the waffle was still hot and crunchy, the blueberry syrup was hot too, and the ice cream was cold. IT WAS AMAZING!!

The recipe for the syrup is so easy!

Balsamic Blueberry Syrup
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
125g punnet blueberries (or frozen blueberries)
2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons (60ml) of water

Put sugar and water in a pan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.
Simmer for 2 minutes, then add berries and balsamic, and stir for 1 minute.
Done.

(Since it was just serving 2 people, I made HALF this portion. And I only use half for our waffles. I kept the rest for my breakfast muesli the next day.)


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Look ma, no hands!

2 July 2012

Liam found a new way to carry his bunny, Bluey.

Liam - 1 July 2012
Liam - 1 July 2012
Liam - 1 July 2012
Liam - 1 July 2012
Liam - 1 July 2012

He is such a little clown :)