Archive for September 2012

 

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An Evening With Flannel

30 September 2012

Whenever I hear about fashion shows that stray from the traditional catwalk format, I always roll my eyes – whether it’s Chanel’s 2010 ice berg, or more recently, Louis Vuitton’s 2012 steam train – I’m no expert fashion editor, but I question whether “the show” is really all about the clothes, or is it’s just for entertainment’s sake.

Flannel SS12

With that in mind, I went to see Flannel’s Spring Summer 2012/13 collection, Neronis, styled by former Vogue fashion editor, Meg Gray.

The event was a 3 course sit-down dinner, combined with a fashion show – where the models posed on small sets of furniture during  pre-dinner drinks and then showed off the rest of the collection while walking around the diners.

Flannel SS12

The venue was wonderfully decorated. I walked around and I felt like I was in a movie set or a period play… and I could really feel the anticipation of something really exciting about to happen.

Flannel SS12

I really enjoyed the rich visual styling, evoking feelings of a bygone era. The lighting and mood was gorgeous, the flowers, armchairs, lamps, rugs, mirrors – all deliciously romantic and elegant.

Flannel SS12 - Photo By Dan Boud
(Photo by Dan Boud)

And the clothes were beautiful.

Flannel’s designer, Kirsty Lawrence presented us with beautiful lace dresses, sequined kimonos, silky gowns, feathered details, flowing pants, all inspired by the 1920s circus girl. The colour palette was full of creams, mints, corals, metallics, with black.

It was such a pleasure to watch the models elegantly standing around, delicately perched on the furniture, gracefully walking between tables and chairs… and showing off the clothes.

My favourites were the lace dresses.

Flannel SS12 - Stefan Gosatti
(Photo by Stefan Gosatti)

So I take it back. I thoroughly enjoyed the theatrics of the show! I loved that it was different. It worked brilliantly as part of a fashion show. And everyone remembered it and everyone raved about it.

It was a unique fashion experience… and now I’m super keen to pop into a store and try on some clothes from the collection.

Unfortunately I wasn’t given a seat at a dinner table, because bloggers were invited as a media photographer and not guests. That wasn’t a problem at all, because it was nice to move around during the show. I stayed for pre-dinner drinks, saw part of the show, then left early… because I was so hungry, and it was really awkward standing around while other people ate!

Flannel’s philosophy is Paris meets New York for the Australian lifestyle. They don’t have an e-store but you can pop over to the Flannel website and see the new collection.


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Shopping Files: J-Brands from The Iconic

28 September 2012

Khaki J-Brand jeans

Last month, I decided that I have too many bright coloured jeans, and I just need a pair of everyday skinny khakis.

So I bought myself a pair of Khaki J-Brand jeans from The Iconic – on sale! They were $275, down to $165, then with an extra 25% off coupon, I paid $123 for them! I’m so happy with them. Such a win purchase.

They are super-soft, good length, great stretch, lovely colour, I like the zip details and they fit perfectly.

I’ve worn them lots of times casually (as shown here) and also I wore them dressed up (with a sheer, black sequin top and high heels).

Tshirt: Rebecca Minkoff tee from Shopbop
Belt: Sportsgirl
Wristwear: Wanderlust + Co
Shoes: Habbot

Khaki J-Brand jeans

Sooo…….. The Iconic are having their Mid-Season sale right now, with up to 50% off hundreds of items (including Sass & Bide, Finders Keepers, Talulah and heaps more).

Or you can head over to access The Iconic Mid-Season Sale here!! I’m not sure how long this sale goes on for, but my guess is: a few weeks?

Enjoy!!

( 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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All I got was this poo covered egg

27 September 2012

Chicken Coop Egg

My parents have been overseas for 4 weeks. They are travelling and cruising (in a ship!) around Italy, Spain, France, London – with a whole bunch (like 16 of them) of their childhood friends! I’m terribly jealous!

Anyway, my parents have 7 chickens living in their backyard.

My parents also have lovely neighbours who feed those chickens on alternate days. While I pop over to feed them every other day.

I usually drag my 3 year old son along for an adventure of “Feeding The Chickens”. He is always excited about the chickens, but he also is utterly terrified of them.

Well, yesterday I was trying to collect an egg from the chicken coop. It was in the furthest corner of the shelter, covered under a pile of hay. I crept into the shadowy, smelly, hay-strewn, poo-covered, wooden cave.

I took two steps in. I was holding onto an inner frame of the hut with one hand. I carefully balanced on one foot, stooped down like a ballerina to scoop up the egg with my other hand. When Liam SLAMMED the door shut behind me! The latch flew up and caught into its lock.

OMG I WAS TRAPPED INSIDE THE CHICKEN COOP!!

I was standing on one foot, holding onto a wall with one hand and an egg in the other one hand. It was ridiculous!

I was like – LIAM WHY’D YOU SHUT THE DOOR?

He replied, “Because the chickens were trying to escape! You were letting them out!”

“No I wasn’t!! I was trying to get the egg!”

“The chickens were escaping!!!”

“THEY ARE NOT ESCAPING! Now say you’re sorry and open the door!!!!”

“NO! The chickens will come out if I open the door!!

Our pointless shouting went back and forth like that for a good 5 minutes. And he refused to unlock the door because he was mad at me.

And he was saying shit like, “WELL YOU’VE BEEN A NAUGHTY MUMMY, SO YOU SHOULD STAY IN THERE FOR 2 MINUTES!!!”

Oh boy was I mad! While standing on one foot!

OK I probably could have placed the egg carefully on the ground, dodged all the crazy chickens. Regained my balance, back up into the doorway and unlatched the door myself.

But I was so angry… (and I didn’t want to step on chicken poo) I wanted HIM to admit that he was wrong, for HIM to open the door and for ME to win on principle.

In the end, I realised that I was the one stuck in the cage.

So I had to suck it up and be all – “Oh sweetie pie, could you just let mummy out and you can have some ice cream?”

I lost. He won.

Welcome to my world of daily battles with a 3 year old.

(At least I do better with my husband. I always win.)


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Reminder: $1000 my-wardrobe Giveaway Ends Thursday night!

26 September 2012

Yep just a friendly reminder for all those interested – you can win a $1000 voucher to spend at my-wardrobe!

This giveaway is open worldwide, and will end on Thursday, 27 September 2012, 11.59pm (GMT +8).

Go to my giveaway post for more details and to enter.

The lovely team at my-wardrobe sent me a few dresses to review on my blog, and for me to wear to the recent fashion week!

They were such gorgeous dresses and I was terrified that I would spill food, drink, get lipstick marks on them. Thankfully I didn’t!

My-wardrobe

This first dress is by ACNE (one of my favourite designers!) and the design is exclusive to my-wardrobe.

It’s pretty much a big silky t-shirt dress, with a high round neck and cut-out back. It has some really nice drapes and layers too. You can wear it on it’s own, or with leggings, tucked into jeans, or as I have, belted at the waist.

Because it had a cut-out at the back, I didn’t want my bra to be exposed, so I wore a black camisole underneath and I was snug and warm all night.

I wore it with a rose gold belt from Sportsgirl and green heels from GlamRockChic (which completely lifted the whole outfit!)

My-wardrobe

Secondly I wore this Just Cavalli dress – which was soooo cool! I love the crazy angry wolf print!

This dress was definitely a loose fit dress, in a shift style. However, I think it was a bit too loose for me. The photo on the left shows the dress as is, it looked a bit shapeless to what I’m used to. But on the photo on the right, I pinned the dress back and it looked much more fitted and flattering for my shape and petiteness.

But really, I loved the print so I would still purchase it and I would get the dress slightly altered.

I received heaps of compliments for both dresses. They were really eye catching and different.

Anyway, all the best to everyone for the giveaway – hope you win, if not, there’s always next time :)

xxx

( 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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Sweetness is Forever

24 September 2012

With 26 more days until I do my charity fundraising ride, I wanted to share a post from the past.

I wrote it in 2008, four years after my husband was diagnosed with cancer.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Life’s Sweetest Word

22 July 2008

Four years ago, this month, we weren’t in a good place.

My husband was battling cancer and underwent his first round of chemotherapy. It was an aggressive form of cancer, resistant to chemo, and there was no guarantee of success. We had a 2 year old kid, and we just got news that we were expecting another baby.

Every July that comes and goes, I sit and make myself remember it all.

I remember the bleakness. I remember driving through rain, towards the hospital, walking through a car park littered with leaves. I remember the smell of the corridors. The sounds of the machines and medicines. I remember having no joy in my spirit.

I remember trying to live – one day at the time. Having to concentrate on just getting through that single day. It was too painful to think about the future, or life. I would crumble at the thought of how the little things would never be the same – a family picnic in the park, a trip to the beach, a cup of tea at a cafe.

I remember thinking that I might lose my best friend. That my children might not remember who their father was. That I would be sitting in our house, with every single object around me, reminding me of the man I love. That I might forget his face.

I remember the sheer focus and mental discipline that was needed to stop myself from going mad. The thousands of terrible and depressing thoughts, raining relentlessly in my head, images I couldn’t stop, clouding my view, gripping, choking, dragging me down to that deep, dark place.

I remember faith. Holding on to this really huge floating thing that kept my head above the water. I wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it, nor why I was doing it at the time, but it was big, much bigger than me, and it worked.

I remember the helplessness. I remember I couldn’t do a single thing to change anything. Nothing. Just hopelessness. Emptiness. And heart-wrenching sadness.

Then I snap out of it.

I sit back from my awful recollection, I look at myself – here – in the present.

And I think, Oh my God, how did we escape that one?

Did that really happen? Am I REALLY sitting here with my healthy husband and not one son, but TWO sons running around outside, throwing leaves at each other in the garden? With everyone smiling and laughing and happy as can be?

Why did things turn out like this? What on earth did I do to deserve it?

I’ve come to realise that concepts like “fate” and “destiny” are meaningless to me.

Whereas I discover one of life’s sweetest words – grace.

It heals all that is broken inside me, and makes me want to change my life. To live the best I can. With purpose. With significance. With gratitude. With happiness.

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And now back to 2012.

My husband survived that battle with cancer. Now there are THREE sons!

He/We were lucky…no question, very lucky. But what made that luck possible, gave him a CHANCE at luck, was that before he got sick, a lot of smart medical people had done the research to know what was the best thing to do.

And my friend Claire, who died earlier this year, died because not enough research had been done.

And that’s why I’m riding, and a lot of other people are riding. And if you make a donation, you’ll be riding with me too, to help clever people find the answers that one day might make you, me, and the people we love, lucky too.

Make a difference?


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Morrison SS12 Runway Show

23 September 2012

Morrison SS12

I had the pleasure of attending the Morrison SS12 Runway Show, a celebration of their 10 year anniversary.

For my international readers, Morrison is one of Western Australia’s most prominent labels, known for their high-quality garments, their classic and effortless styles, and their love for all things organic and nature inspired. It’s heavenly to walk into a Morrison store!

They are most notably respected for all their many business and design awards, and the fact that their garments are designed and produced in-house, in Australia.

I’ve met husband and wife, Richard and Kylie, the duo behind the label, and they are absolutely lovely and gracious people (with 2 cute boys!). If you’re interested, I’ve written about the Morrison fashion store and online shop here, and I’ve also worn and reviewed their clothes in this post.

Morrison SS12

I had an amazing seat for the show – the girly fashionista in me was squealing with excitement, but the professional blogger part of me was tsk-tsking me because I didn’t bring my big DSLR camera. Instead I took snaps with my iphone (so I could upload them live to instagram) which was lots more fun!

I adored this green palm print on this dress. The print also came out on some Bermuda shorts, which looked totally cool!

Morrison SS12

There were a lot of garments on show, but these were my favourites. A black leather gown (how effortlessly luxe does that look?!), a white puff cocktail dress (so cute!), and this peplum evening gown (structured and sophisticated).

The show was definitely more of a “spectacular runway show”, with styling that was more dressy and formal.

However if you walked into a Morrison store (or took a peek at the Morrison eboutique) the majority of the clothes are more on the casual, everyday side. Loose fitting tops and flowy dresses, relaxed shorts and pants – all in luxurious fabrics, all gorgeously crafted, and yes, all effortlessly stylish.

I would kill to own a pair of their relaxed linen shorts or leather pants for this summer!


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And puppy dog tails…

20 September 2012

My boys were outside doing god knows what.

I called them in for dinner, and reminded (read: nagged) them to do all their usual “Before Dinner” tasks like – tip the sand out of their shoes OUTSIDE the house, change out of their dirty clothes, wash their hands.

So after splish-splashing around in the bathroom for 10 minutes, they all finally sat down at the dinner table and just before they were going to shovel the pasta into their mouths…

I SAW THIS!!

Dirty Fingers

UUGH BOYS ARE SO GROSS!! Anyone want to swap for a couple of girls?? ;)


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3 Ways to Update Your Working Wardrobe

19 September 2012

Most of my working career was spent in advertising or digital media companies. And because I was in the creative department, my dress code was usually “relaxed and casual”. Which meant everyone dressed like urban hipsters, or bohemian artists.

But I always loved the corporate professional look. And I hankered to put on a sharp suit, tailored pants, classic button downs and pencil skirts. So in the end, I dressed somewhere in between, and I kind of looked like I was part of the marketing team haha.

Anyway, my fashion eye is always attracted to that “creative corporate” look… so I thought I’d put together some outfits on how to update a working wardrobe with some on-trend key pieces.

Work Wear Sept 2012

1) THE WHITE PENCIL SKIRT

While most of us have black, grey, navy, camel pencil skirts for work… a crisp white pencil skirt will go a really long way. It’ll slip innocently into your wardrobe and GO WITH EVERYTHING from all your usual neutral or coloured tops, as well as the new season patterned prints.

My lovely white pencil skirt with zip detail is from Korean boutique, Beauties Closet.

Navy button down shirt from DKNY.

Beige trench coat by Mersh, from YesStyle.

Beige heels are by Habbot.

Work Wear Sept 2012

2) THE FLORAL PRINT SHIRT

Most people feel that floral prints should be kept for the weekend. But with a gorgeous print (that’s not so busy) and teamed with classic white pants and a black blazer, it’s not hard to get your style on.

Classic blazer by ClubCouture

Floral Silk Shirt by Antipodium, from Frockaholics

White pants by Fendi

Heels from ASOS

Work Wear Sept 2012

3) MONO PRINTED PANTS
Inject a bit of style into your work wardrobe with some black/white printed goodness. Wear it with structured top and jacket, to keep the look smart and polished. Wear it with neutrals so the pattern is not so LOUD!

These pants are no longer on sale online. But I am totally in love with these Black and white Leopard print pants from ASOS. Or Lola Vs harper Pants from The Iconic.

T-shirt is from Country Road

Jacket is from a Korean brand called Ode.

Necklace is by Lovisa, from The Iconic

Beige heels are by Habbot

( 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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Iris

17 September 2012

Iris

My favourite flower in the world is the Blue Iris.

For the first time ever, I planted half a dozen of them in my garden and finally the spring rains and warm sunshine have made them bloom for me.

*So happy!!*

I always thought that if I ever grew beautiful flowers in my garden, that I would cut them and put them into a tall glass vase in my house.

But now that I see them swaying in the breeze surrounded by other flowers, watching how the sun and light falls across their petals, how their colours change throughout the day…

I decided to leave them where they are :)


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WIN $1000 to spend at my-wardrobe

13 September 2012

To celebrate the new and exciting fashion season all over the world, I have teamed with my-wardrobe to bring to all my wonderful readers (yes you!) another amazing giveaway!!

We’re offering the chance to win a gift card of AUD$1000 for you to spend at luxury online boutique my-wardrobe.

Which means you could pick up some designer items that you’ve been drooling over, namely from Acne, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Marc Jacobs, Carven, Vivienne Westwood, Mulberry, By Malene Birger, McQ Alexander McQueen and more!!

These are some of the outfits you could win with $1000. (Or rather, these are the items I would pick if I was allowed to enter the giveaway.)

WIN $1000 to spend at my-wardrobe

McQ Alexander McQueen
Ivy Leaf Jacquard Knitted Dress

MICHAEL Michael Kors
Small Black Webster Shoulder Flap Bag

Diane von Furstenberg
Jodi Metallic Printed Leather High Sandals

WIN $1000 to spend at my-wardrobe

Paul & Joe Sister
Baileul Cotton Lace Top

Sara Berman
Exclusive Skinny Leather Trousers

Sam Edelman
Nude Lorissa Peeptoe Court Shoe With Studded Heel

Anton Heunis
Green And Blue Spiked Pendant Earrings

WIN $1000 to spend at my-wardrobe

Just Cavalli
Wolf And Jewels Print Tunic Dress

Terry de Havilland
Exclusive Mimi Lightning Court Shoes

Diane von Furstenberg
Tonda Weave Contrast Patent Clutch

Who Can Enter:
It’s open to all readers WORLDWIDE, over 18 years.

What You Win:
The winner will receive a my-wardrobe gift voucher to the value of AUD$1000.

Giveaway Dates:
Starts on 13 September 2012.
Closes on 27 September 2012, 11:59pm (GMT +8).

How to Enter:
1) Follow my-wardrobe on Facebook OR Twitter.
2) Fill out the form below, with your name, email and tell me which is your ONE favourite designer label from my-wardrobe.

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.

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

Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed! Thanks so much for entering.


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Where Goats are Scary and Chickens are Crazy

12 September 2012

My 3 year old is learning about FARMS at school.

So the other day, the whole class went for an excursion to visit a real life working farm, called Landsdale Farm School, run by the Department of Education and Training.

It is seriously an awesome place to take kids. There are so many farm animals, gardens, play areas, picnic areas, a sun safe playground, and a café that does decent food.

But the catch was, parents HAD to attend. Which I guess is fair enough, because there were only 4 teachers and 30+ kids.

The truth was… I had already taken my older 2 children to this farm years ago. I had already seen the sheep show, fed the goats, gawked at the pigs, chased the chickens, had the tractor ride, and a donkey ride, ate at the café.

And the thought of spending 5 hours there – during the day – made me sigh inwardly with irritation and reluctance. Haha I’m such a bad mum.

But it was my 3 year old’s first time at a farm. He’s a bit of a clean freak and he doesn’t like to go to new places, so I knew the experience of new sights and activities…would be good for him.

So I sucked it up and was ENTHUSIASTIC AS CAN BE!!

But perhaps he saw my façade.

Because on the day, my 3 year old was SO GRUMPY about the whole thing.

For me, I (surprisingly) enjoyed myself. It was really nice to revisit the farm, and to see how the whole set up had been designed for children and education. Fascinating stuff.

But Liam didn’t like the cows, or sheep, or goats, or pigs, or turkeys, or the tractor rides, or the farmer’s scones.

He didn’t like how the chickens ran around loose and wild. Or how the baby goats followed us around. He didn’t like the gnomes. Or the walking between animal pens.

He just clung onto my legs for most of the time, grizzling and grumbling and saying things like, “I just want to go home and play with my Lego.”

“I really want to go home and eat noodles.”

“Are there any puzzles here? Can I watch TV or something?”

Ergh, I was so irritated at him.

In fact, he only cheered up when he found NUMBERS to look at!

Liam at Landsdale Farm School

So we walked around pointing at signs with letters and numbers, of which there were few.

(Oh he thought the bunnies were cute, and enjoyed feeding them stalks of grass.)

Anyway, that’s life with kids. Good intentions quashed. You feel like you put so much effort into things and it ends up being spat on the floor and stomped on. Eh.

To end on a lighter note, I just want to share this painting that Liam did during class time activities.

Plastic Goat

Pink. Blue. And total randomness!

Hilarious!!


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Just Add Facial Hair

11 September 2012

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were invited to a 70s dress up party. It was party for adults (no kids allowed!), with dinner, alcohol and live band. A lot of our friends like to dress up to the max and spend a lot of time and thought with costumes, so we were keen to join in the fun.

So what do I wear to a 70s party? Well, it takes a 2 second search of the internet to discover that 70s costumes are a loud vomit of crazy colours and weird facial hair.

When considering what to wear, the biggest factor for me is COST. Sure I could go out and buy or hire an awesome outfit for hundreds of dollars. But I much prefer to pay as little as possible and be much more creative.

I remembered that I had a brown and orange floral dress made by my mother in the 1970s. I wore it here in this blog post.

Wearing this brown dress would be easy and cheap!

Buuuut I realised that I had some tall white boots, which I bought YEARS ago and wore a few times, and have never worn them since. So I was kind of eager to wear them out.

This is what I came up with.

70s Costume

The white boots are mine. The pink floral scarf is mine. And so are the white shorts.

I went to a thrift store and found a size 16, baby-doll style top, with big loose sleeves and a trippy paisley print on it – for only $3!

I sewed the waist up, so it fit me a little better, but I kept it all loose and flowy, baby. I wore the top as a mini dress, and put on the shorts for my own modesty – but they matched the boots anyway.

I was so pleased with my outfit! Only $3!!

While I was in the thrift store, I bought another paisley, floral LADIES top for my husband. I thought he could wear it with white pants?

He had no qualms about wearing the ladies top (ha!), it was a dress up party after all. But it looked totally wrong! The top had frilly sleeves, the neckline was a little too scooped? And it was just a NO. I made the final decision.

So the day before the party, I sent him to the costume shop and made him hire an outfit. Yep and it cost him $100 something, including a hire bond.

70s Costume

Haha. Yes that’s me in 70s men’s clothes! It looked pretty good!

In fact, I think I totally rocked it! I wanted to swap outfits with him, but he was not too keen on my little white shorts.

Plus he wouldn’t be able to fit my boots. Oh well.

We had a great time at the party!


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Yellow Bike, Yellow Bloom

10 September 2012

Cycle to Mandurah

On the weekend, I rode 100km for my training ride. It was a fantastic ride!

I’ve been doing that distance with my training group every week, for the last few weeks.

It took us about 4.5 hours and we ride it all in one go, with small stops for drink and food.

The photo above is of me in Mandurah. Ok yes, we stopped to have a coffee at the Marina before we headed back.

Along Freeway South of Perth

This is somewhere south of Perth. We rode down along the freeway. The cycle paths are brand new, flat, wide… hardly any other cyclists or pedestrians about. I rode side by side with my team mates and I think I chatted the whole way down.

I cruise comfortably at around 28km/hr, the fastest I ever ride is 36km/hr, and all up I average around 23km/hr – which isn’t very fast, but I have to make the whole distance of 100kms without passing out at the end.

Overall, my fitness has skyrocketed… I feeling amazing and I love it!!

But I’ve now realised that if I want to keep this level of fitness and keep feeling this good, I have to look after my body really carefully.

Now I *have* to get 7-8 hours sleep. I have to eat well. I have to stop eating crap. I have to get extra exercise during the week.

Or else… I just crash.

If I don’t sleep, eat and exercise well… I get really tired and lethargic. I have low energy and I start to lack motivation and focus. My brain is not as sharp as usual. And I just feel blurry and slow and simple things seem really difficult. I crave instant energy food like sugar, chocolate and caffeine that only give me a spike of energy, then I crash again.

It’s a careful and sensitive balance that I’m trying to manage and get used to.

I don’t know if it’s just me, my age, my size, my BMI, or the fact I have 3 kids, a husband and a blog to look after when I get home. I don’t seem to know anyone else who is so sensitive in this way. Any fitness freaks out there who have gone through the same thing? Any tips on how to stay on top of it?

Bike in the Dirt

My friend had a flat tire while we were in the middle of no where. So while I was waiting for him to change his tube, I parked my bike in the dirt and did a few stretches. I don’t usually like to put my beautiful bike in the sand, but it doesn’t have a bike stand on it, and there was nothing nearby to lean it against.

Then I was struck by how cool it looked – vibrant yellow against the yellow dirt.

Much like the yellow wattle in bloom.

Yellow Wattle

It was a crazy perfect day for cycling!

Hey, you can donate to help me raise money to find the cure for cancer. Only 40 days to go before my ride!


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Sporty Gadget Girl

8 September 2012

Ipad cover

I bought a couple of items over the last few weeks.

My ipad needed a sleeve or cover, because it was getting a bit scratched up in my handbag.

So I found this cute Marc Jacobs cover in a lovely turquoise colour. It was only $38 dollars, from Endless!

As for my iphone case, I fell *in love* with this cover design by UK illustrator Pomme Chan. It’s colourful, feminine, arty, a bit different and perhaps a bit moody. It reminds me of doodles and sketches I used to do when I was a teenager in art school. Haha it’s very me I think.

And my white Adidas watch was actually a gift from my parents. It’s been my favourite watch to wear all season. View similar here.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


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Saved from the Rubbish Truck

6 September 2012

I found these two chairs by the side of the road! Aren’t they so cute?!

Mint Chairs

I was cycling home from a morning ride, when I noticed that someone had left a huge pile of broken wood furniture on their front verge for collection by the council. These chairs were hidden amongst the mess.

I came back (with my car) a little later and took these babies home.

They are very old, and made (mostly) of solid wood.

I was dreaming up plans to sand back the layers of paint, fix them up, stain the wood or repaint them from top to bottom.

Mint Chairs

But first I gave them a good scrub with water and soap… and very quickly I fell in love with their aged vintage look.

I might keep them as they are.

Now,  I just need to find a place to put them.


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Holiday Dresses by Pia Gladys Perey

4 September 2012

Earlier this year, I reviewed a glamorous navy “Bea Dress” by designer Pia Gladys Perey. It turned out to be a stunning and sophisticated dress that was easy to wear and made from a delicious silky and slinky jersey fabric… I just love wearing it!

Well the team from Gosh Celebrity Fashion offered for me to review another dress (actually, three) from PGP’s current collection, AND they are offering all Karen Cheng readers a special discount… 15% OFF on full priced PGP dresses. (Scroll below for details and the code.)

I was terribly excited, because I already adored PGP’s designs… and after a looong time of careful deliberation, I chose these 3 dresses to review.

They also kindly offered that I could keep one as a “gift”… so I had the very difficult task of choosing my favourite of the lot.

Here goes!

Dresses by Pia Gladys Perey

This is the Esme Dress in Coral. It is a one shoulder maxi dress with rouching on one side and a side split.

The colour is gorgeous and I chose it because it’s so happy, vibrant, and not a typical evening gown colour (which is usually black, red, navy or silver).

It would be perfect as a cocktail dress or a red carpet dress.

The price is mid-ranged, but still very affordable for an evening gown, considering the quality, design, flattering cut for my body shape… and just how good I feel when I wear it!

I really liked this dress style because it’s very versatile… you can dress it plainly or dress it up to the max.

I was thinking that I could wear this to a wedding (my cousin is getting married in December!), a daytime event, a fancy ball, a special function or event… anything really.

I would have to take up the hem (can you see the puddle of fabric at my feet? I’m so short!) but that’s easily done… and I shouldn’t really let my height (or lack of) determine the dress I select.

(The dress also comes in champagne and navy.)

Dresses by Pia Gladys Perey

Ooh this dress had me at LILAC!

I was totally in love with this colour!! It’s different and sweet, peaceful, calming, pretty, magical, and soothing.

This dress is the Mikaela Dress in Lilac. It’s a little more affordable than the maxi dresses, retailing at AUD$218 (with 15% off it’s only $185.30!!!)

The dress fits like a dream. I just slipped it on and it just felt GREAT. Comfortable, flattering, modest, sensual, pretty, elegant, classy. It’s a simple dress but still with interesting rouching detail that really flatters your body shape. The material is the same soft, slinky, stretchy jersey that has some weight to it.

It has good sized shoulder straps, so you can just wear your regular bra with it. Big plus!

I don’t think I would wear it to a fashion event or a black tie function. But I would definitely wear it to more semi-formal occasions like a wedding ceremony and reception, a daytime luncheon, a garden party, a stage show, an elegant dinner with friends.

The length of the dress is lovely on me – I wouldn’t have to get the dress altered. Another plus!

I was really tempted to choose this dress, because I would get a lot of wears from it and… it would be perfect for me to wear to my cousin’s wedding coming up.

(The dress also comes in turquoise and navy.)

Dresses by Pia Gladys Perey

Aaand finally… THIS is the dress I finally chose!!

It is the Genevieve Dress in Emerald (also comes in a navy colour).

I picked this one because it is just STUNNING! It has a long maxi skirt, halter neck style, deep V neckline, with a front split. Combined with the very vibrant green colour, it is bold, dramatic, fun, dazzling and sexy.

Not to mention, the silky stretchy jersey makes it fabulous and comfortable to wear. So it’s not everyday when you find a dress design that ticks all the boxes.

Ok even I’ll admit that the colour green is very bright. Almost like Kermit the Frog? But it’s unusual and it’s bold. And I really like that.

The dress is pretty much backless, and because of the low neckline, I had to wear an adhesive bra, as well as sticky lifty adhesives (both of which I don’t really like to wear) but hey – it looks good, end of story.

I’ll also need to get it hemmed up and with all that leftover fabric I could probably make myself a mini skirt (or a lot of scrunchies) haha.

This is without doubt a formal, black tie, red carpet dress. So I don’t think I’ll wear this to the wedding. It’s definitely one for fashion events and fancy formal functions. Yay I’m very happy!

*Special Discount Code*

Gosh has kindly offered all Karen Cheng readers a 15% discount on full priced Pia Gladys Perey dresses. Just use the code ‘springracing’ at the checkout. Valid from 4 – 14th September 2012.

Free delivery for Australia. And they have worldwide shipping and hassle free returns.

If you’re interested, you can still buy the “Bea Dress” from Gosh Celebrity Fashion. I have it in a navy colour, but it also comes in ash, latte, lilac, silver, red, or purple. It retails for AUD$239 (with 15% off it’s only $203.150!!)

For all the PGP dresses, I was wearing Size 6.

ENJOY your shopping!

( 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

The Lego Head Mis-Adventure

3 September 2012

Last week was Australian Literacy and Numeracy week and my children’s school planned a whole lot of great activities for the kids.

On the last day, the school encourages the children to dress up as their favourite book character.

My 9 year old knew exactly what he wanted to dress up as – Doctor Who. In fact, he got home that day and zoomed around the house preparing his costume.

But my 7 year old, Sean told me plainly and flatly that he DIDN’T want to dress up. I spent 3 days, gently encouraging him, making suggestions, giving him ideas, talking him through the whole dress up day (there was going to be a parade during the school assembly). But nope. I couldn’t change his mind.

Then 3 days before the dress up day, my husband asked him, “If you could dress up as ANY CHARACTER in the whole world, who would you go as?”

Sean’s face brightened immediately, and he said, “A Lego Man!”

I shook my head and told my husband the awful truth. I had already checked this out. No costume shop in Perth (or the whole of the internet actually!!) had any Lego Man costumes… we would have to make it ourselves. And there simply wasn’t enough time to make it. Sean’s face went sad again.

And that was that. My husband, in a moment of total and utter weakness, recklessly said “Don’t worry Sean… I’ll make you a Lego Man costume by Friday.”

Sean’s eyes lit up with joy and pride. His dad was going to make him the coolest dress up costume in the universe!

I smiled warmly, but really, I was thinking:

WTF??!! It’s Tuesday night already! He needs a costume for FRIDAY MORNING! THAT’S 2 DAYS!!

Sean went to bed as happy as could be.

My husband had committed us to the perilous art of LAST MINUTE COSTUME MAKING. The stakes were high. Our sanity vs our son’s happiness. Great.

My husband and I both consider ourselves to be creative geniuses. With HIS handyman building skills and MY problem-solving design skills, it should be a cinch right? Instead, we locked horns and had a bit of a brain clash on What Is The Best Way To Build A Lego Man Costume.

So nothing happened till Wed night. Clearly, we had to make it all happen very, very fast. By 9pm on Wed night, we were so scared of how little time we had that we forgot about our egos, and got on with it. The bad news was that the hardware store had already closed at 7pm. Crap!

In the end, this is how it went down.

The Lego Man Costume

The subject model on which we based our design – without the hair, so you can see the trademark Lego socket.

If only I could change my hair that easily!

The Lego Man Costume

By Thursday 6pm, we had gathered a few bits and pieces and the various tools that we thought we needed. It was also clear that with so little time, we were just making a Lego head, not a whole Lego man. Oh well.

We abandoned ideas of a beautiful paper mache sculpture (my preferred option), and went with the super-easy upside down plastic bucket solution.

An ordinary bucket was too tapered, so it would just look like… a bucket.

But my husband found a bucket with much better proportions… the only problem was that it was ENORMOUS! But we were out of time.

The Lego Man Costume

I made a stencil of the Lego mans’ eyes and mouth.

And my husband drilled some eye holes, so our son would be able to  see where he’s going during the parade.

The Lego Man Costume

I hot glued a CD spindle cover onto the top (bottom) of the bucket.

My husband gave it 5 coats of yellow spray paint, then stenciled in the eyebrows and mouth with black spray paint.

This is at 11.30pm on Thursday night! Tsk tsk.

The Lego Man Costume

At 6.30 am on Friday morning, we had a Lego head that still smelled like fresh paint, and was three times the size it needed to be.

My husband used duct tape to fix Sean’s bike helmet inside the bucket, so he could actually wear it, while I made breakfast.

Hubby went to work exhausted and with yellow paint under his fingernails.

I put the rest of the outfit together.

The Lego Man Costume

Here are my big boys… they looked awesome!

Lego is made in Denmark and fortuitously, I was in Denmark in 2011, and bought the  souvenir t-shirt.

The good news… Sean loved it!

He didn’t seem to notice that when he spoke, he sounded like he was wearing a big bucket on his head.

Even better news… the Lego Head received a lot of attention, including offers from other older students at the school to trade it for stunt bikes or video games. Thus, Sean had totally confirmation that the Lego Head was utterly cool. So he kept it.

Parenting Mission accomplished!

(But we may have to attend marriage counseling.)