Archive for October 2012

 

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Shopping Files: Bikinis on Sale

31 October 2012

Shopping Files: Bikinis on Sale

The other day I was in Target, looking for some shorts for my son, when I stumbled across a bikini top with a really cute pattern (a bit Missoni-esque perhaps?). It was a crochet design in pretty rainbow colours… and it was reduced to $18.

I snatched it up in a size 8 and went to try it on in the change room – but *gasp* the cut of the size 8 was … um a bit TOO revealing! So I went up to a size 10 and then 12, which weren’t any better. No wonder they were on sale :P I eventually bought the size 14 top and matching briefs… and just tied the bikini strings a little tighter haha!

I’m pretty happy about the price. To think my last swimsuit cost around $120.

Wore this outfit to the beach on the weekend. Boots and sand? Because I can.

Stripe shirt – Ben Sherman

Lace shorts – Stephie’s Shop

Boots – Isabel Marant inspired booties by Midnight Coco (c/o YesStyle)

( 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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The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer – Perth 2012

29 October 2012

Last weekend, I rode 200km in two days.

As you might know, I have been preparing and training for this fundraising cycling event for the last 11 months and to have the moment FINALLY ARRIVE was both mind blowing and terrifying!

I spent the few days leading up to the event being very excited, nervous and unable to sleep. I even had cycling dreams! You know you’re a serious cyclist when you have cycling dreams haha.

The night before the event, I packed my bag, my sleeping bag, my tent mat, my bike and all my gear… I put everything into my car and I was all ready to go.

After that, I felt very calm and I was REALLY looking forward to the next day. A bit like Christmas really. Or like I was getting married next morning. THAT’S how excited I was. I went to bed at 8:30 pm.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

The next morning, I woke up at 4am. I leapt out of bed in complete darkness, and went about getting ready.

I met my team mates at McCallum Park, just south of Perth City. The sun was rising over the river and there were hundreds of people with their bikes. There was pumping music, breakfast was being served, and there was an incredible buzz in the air.

I strolled through the crowd with a huge grin on my face – knowing we all were about to do something pretty damn cool.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

At 6:30am it was time to shuffle into position for the opening ceremony.

It was announced that there were 1219 riders in total, raising an amazing $4.6 million! Holy cow!

There were a few inspirational speeches where one young lady shared her cancer story… which was so heart-wrenching and moving that I had tears streaming down my face. I looked around and saw that everyone else was sniffing and crying too.

It was such a powerful – yet unusual moment – because here I was, sitting on my bike, looking up at the rising sun, squished together with thousands of other people on their bikes, everyone was dressed up in yellow lycra, helmets and sunglasses, everyone was crying… and it was as if I could feel everyone’s heartbeat sharing this one resolve – we’re doing this to conquer cancer.

Phew. It was a heavy moment.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

And off we went.

It was a slow start, because there were so many riders on the road.

We practically scooted our bikes over the start line… then for the first 3kms we were riding very slowly at 10km/hr. Everyone was finding their own pace and everyone was being courteous, careful and trying not to crash into each other.

After that the pace picked up and ahhh the ride was fantastic! There were so many people lined up along the roads cheering us on and waving flags and banners.

My group of 12 was split up because of all the traffic lights. But I stayed with a few people from my group and we rode leisurely at 25 – 28km/hr.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

At the first 25km pit stop, the queue for the toilets was so loooooong.

However we were well looked after with free fruit, muesli bars, biscuits, water and electrolytes.

Our team gathered together again for a quick chat and soon we were back on our bikes.

There were a lot of instances when I was separated from my team mates again and I was riding with complete strangers. But that was fine, all the strangers seemed like friends, and we all just chatted merrily and enjoyed the ride.

I was actually really surprised by how many “non-serious” bike riders were participating. There was lots of people on hybrid bikes, mountain bikes, fixies (single gear bikes), and even cute, stylish bikes with baskets. Lots of people I chatted to, said they had never ridden further than 50kms in one go.

But hey – they were here, riding for a cause. And really, this was a ride not a RACE.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

After another 25km, we stopped at the next pit stop for lunch. Chicken wraps never tasted so good!

We stopped for 40 minutes and on hind sight, I think we “rested” for too long.

Usually on our group training rides, we don’t stop for lunch. We don’t eat heavy foods, nor do we stop for such a long period of time.

So by now – sitting on the soft grass, in the warm sunshine for half an hour – my body was moving into sleepy, shut-down mode… and I needed a coffee pronto!

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

The weather was just brilliant.

Beautiful, big, bright, blue skies, warm sunshine, a gentle breeze.

And the road was just long, straight and flat!

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

This is Cheryl and I, riding along with big smiles!

I was wearing arm warmers (and these are the summer versions, called, sun sleeves) which are just like socks for your arms. They are SPF40+ and you’re supposed to wear them to protect your arms from the sun… but um, I was really hot, so I pushed them down and felt a bit like a rock star.

Also my husband drove himself and the kids down to meet me along the way. They stopped by the side of the road to wave, cheer, hoot and take photos of me as I rode past! Such sweeties!

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

I arrived at the camp grounds (actually the football oval in the town of Pinjarra) and it looked awesome!

A HUGE thanks to all the volunteers and crew members whole gave up their time to make the whole event run smoothly. For example, all the tents were set up by kids from the local primary school – over 600 two man tents!  The sleeping gear of every rider had been trucked down before we arrived, and there were volunteers unpacking it, and helping weary riders carry it to their tents. And guess what? The people unpacking the trucks (in the hot sun) were all volunteers… and some of them were scientists who work at the Research Institute.

Day One’s ride was a total of 97kms and it took me 4.5 hours of riding, with 2.5 hours of rest. Total time to complete was 7 hours.

Of my all my group mates, I arrived last because…… I stopped several times to take photos so I could upload them to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram :P

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

There were a LOT of bikes. From super expensive bikes, to a funny, old kids ‘chopper’ bike with small wheels. They looked like insects, nesting for the night.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

Speaking of resting insects, I found my tent and lay down to take an afternoon nap.

I was only looking up at the sky for a few seconds before I became unconscious.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

As evening fell, everyone had showers, a massage, joined in the yoga tents, and slowly gathered in the main tent, for a beer and to eat dinner. In the picture above, notice someone is having a nap at the dinner table, after having a nap in their tent.

Later there were some speeches and a band played. It was such a fabulous atmosphere. It was like a fun cross between camping, being at a really quiet rock concert, and having joined an army with a yellow uniform and excellent food.

During the speeches, someone shared how cancer had touched his life…how he slowly watched cancer defeat his best friend.

I sat in the crowd and looked around. I looked at people’s faces. Faces of total strangers. There were so many. In that moment, it made me appreciate that everyone had a story. Everyone around me, at some point in their life, cried heavy, silent tears for someone they loved and lost.

If there was one part of the Ride that I will remember forever, it would be that one.  I knew that my tears are not alone.

Phew, another heavy moment.

I went to bed at 8:30pm and fell asleep promptly! But I woke up at 2AM with a really sore back and I couldn’t get back to sleep because – there was an orchestral chorus of SNORING going on in several of the tents around me. So in that way, it was just like being at home :)

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

By 4AM I decided to “wake up” which was a good decision because I was first in line for the toilets, bathroom, coffee (they were damn fine coffees!) and the hot breakfast.

I don’t usually eat such a hearty meal before a long ride, but I was soooo hungry, and who can resist the smell of bacon? The breakfast spread was amazing.

I was quite worried about my ride for Day Two… because of my poor sleep, my sore back, my sore bum, having just eaten too much food before my ride… and the fact that I HAD NEVER RIDEN 100KMS BACK TO BACK BEFORE.

But hey, for Day Two, I think I had my best ride ever!!

I stayed with the faster riders of my group. We rode fast, we worked as a team, it was really exciting. Like REALLY EXCITING. And fun!

Then later on I lost my team because of a pit stop and bad communication (I didn’t shout out loud enough!).

So I rode with some strangers, and lead them peleton-style passed other riders, collecting a train of riders on our tail. Yes I was leading! Ok it wasn’t very fast (about 28-30km/hr). But still, talk about a RUSH!!

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

By lunch time we had rode 60km all in one go and I was quite pooped.

I saw all these bikes lying like sleepy cattle on the grass and it was exactly like how I felt.

So I decided to take it easy for the rest of the ride. You know, try to enjoy the last of the experience rather than ride hard and fast and give myself a heart attack.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

The last 40kms was quite challenging and fun. We rode along main streets, on roads with lots of traffic and traffic lights.

There were quite a few hills that went up and down… I’m proud to say that I was fit enough. I did fine on the ascents and loved zipping down the descents. But I completely lost my group.

And finally for the last 10kms, we rode along my favourite part of the river in South Perth, with spectacular city views and crazy perfect weather!

(Yes I had 3kms left to the finish line and can you believe I stopped to take a tourist photo of the Perth City skyline?!)

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

With the crowd cheering, I passed the finish line with a huge grin on my face. What an accomplishment! Definitely one of my proudest moments!

Day Two’s ride was 113kms, and I finished it in 6.5 hours (4.5 hours of riding with 2 hours of rest). So I rode a total of 210km over 2 days.

Pardon for the confusing photo above. I didn’t actually come second place (SILVER)! After I put my bike away, I wandered back to the finish line and noticed that the media on the big screen was playing a kind of honour roll for people who have raised the most money for the event. I saw my name pop up, got a bit of a shock, then I stood there till my name rolled past again and I took a snap!

Thanks to all my incredible supporters, I was ranked 12th highest individual fund raiser ($16,910) and given the honourary title of Silver Ambassador!

The Perth event raised a total of $4.6 million and was the largest cycling fundraiser in Western Australia’s history. The money raised will help fund life-saving cancer research at Western Australian Institute for Medical Research.

(And if you’re interested, the Brisbane event raise $5.2 million, Sydney raised $5.7 million and Melbourne raised $6.2 million – that’s over $21 million for cancer research… AMAZING!)

It was such a remarkable experience and event. To be part of something so huge was just EPIC! I completely recommend it!

………………….

If you’d like to read about my whole cycling journey, you can follow me as I first rode an agonising 10km distance, to getting my first road bike, to discussing the anti-fashion of lycra, butt creams and having sore lady bits…

Or if you’d like to sign up for next year’s ride in 2013, head on over to the The Ride to Conquer Cancer website and choose your city.

Anyone want to join me next year? :)


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Sandals for Coloured Jeans

26 October 2012

With the arrival of warm weather, I worked out that I can’t wear black sandals with coloured jeans.

To me, black strappy sandals have a very “gladiator” or “tough” look to them. And I just can’t slip them on while I’m wearing my sunshine yellow jeans. The contrast of colour and look… just looks a bit wrong.

So I took it upon myself to source out some affordable sandals that would go great with coloured jeans :)

Sandals for Coloured Jeans

Metallic sandals look fab with sunshine yellow!

This pair is from Novo.

Sandals for Coloured Jeans

Nude, beige and tan sandals are a no-brainer. The neutral, muted tones work perfectly for pastels outfits.

These are nude sandals with a touch of gold, from Romwe.

Sandals for Coloured Jeans

Snakeskin or zebra print sandals add lots of visual interest to an outfit, and keeps the colours and tones tied together.

These genuine leather babies are by Moonbasa, via YesStyle.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

( 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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Do you play bored tricks on your kids?

25 October 2012

One day, I made a delicious dinner of steamed fish and vegetables for my family.

I also made a serve of Shanghai style eggplant (with garlic and chilli) just for my husband and I, because my children haaaate eggplant.

But we have a rule in my house: Thou Shalt Eat ONE BITE Of Everything I Cook.

So I decided to play a HILARIOUS joke on my kids.

I placed a thin slice of steamed eggplant on their green vegetables.

OMG the texture and colour was astonishingly similar to a slug.

And even I thought it looked like a slug.

Slug Salad

You should have seen their faces.

They went pale and green and then all bug eyed.

And they were all BLERGH AAARGHHH UGGGGHHHHH YELLLLCCCHHH MUUU-UUUMM.

And in that moment – I don’t know if you ever read the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes – I really wanted to keep a straight face and just go 100% with the ploy, telling them casually that… “Yep, I cooked up some slugs for dinner, WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? They are lovely, soft and squishy and they have a nice, sweet, mild garlic flavour. Just take a bite for goodness sake.”

But in the end, I couldn’t suppress my laughter. My face was contorted in a twisted grin of pokerface merriment.

So I had to apologise and tell them the truth –

Mum is seriously bat-shit-bored of cooking dinner!


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Pigeonhole + Generics Pop Up Shops

24 October 2012

As much as I love shopping at my regular global, fashion stores (which can be very mainstream and same-same)… I also love love LOVE buying from quirky-cool shops and local boutiques that offer eye-popping accessories, cool homewares and unique vintage style clothing designs.

The other week, I went to a launch of the Pigeonhole Pop Up Store.

Pigeonhole Pop Up Shop

I’ve known Pigeonhole’s owner Johan, for a number of years now… since he started his uber cool shop in a teeny tiny space in a small, old, narrow arcade in the city. Now to see his shop, his brand, his vision… explode into a kind of mega store of quirky-cool goodness, right smack bang in the central mall of Perth City (next to the main train station no less!) makes me all teary and filled with pride.

They celebrate their 5th birthday and Pigeonhole is now run by a team of 50 staff, with five stores in Perth and Northbridge, an online store, a cafe and gallery, and a production house!

Pigeonhole Pop Up Shop

You can find plenty of old school film photography gear, cute stationery (I found some vintage-style alphabet ink stamps!), cute bottles, glassware, ornaments, racks of clothes, and lots and LOTS of jewellery!

Btw the way you can buy custom Polaroid film here (and online!) – very cool!

Pigeonhole Pop Up Shop

To top it off, they had a fun fashion show showing off the latest arrivals for the new season. Love those prints! Love those colours! And the shorts!

The Pop Up Shop runs until January 2013
140 William Street, Perth City (corner of Murray Street)
(Next to Perth Underground train station on Murray Street)

Pigeonhole Online Store
If you are interested to check out their online store, they have some really nice necklaces and bracelets (I liked the metal chain ones with antique silver finish) and very cool earrings and rings.

Their shipping fees are :
Flat rate to Australia is $5.00.
International rates start from $22 – $50.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Generics Pop Up Shop

Then after that event, I looked out the window and noticed another new pop up shop in the 140 William Street Building.

Generics Pop Up Shop

GENERICS is a fashion accessories label (run by a friend of mine) full of cool and on-trend handbags, travel bags, clutches, belts and jewellery from around the world and inspired by the love of people, travel, culture, music and fashion.

Generics Pop Up Shop

I love her collection and amazed by how well priced everything is.

That spike necklace is so mine!!

Generics Pop Up Shop

Myself and Lisa (the brains and passion behind GENERICS!)

It turns out they had a mini shop celebration that night too, with tasty snacks, drinks, good company, lots of photos and some crazy dancing in the store. It was such a fab night!

The GENERICS Pop Up Shop runs until January 2013
140 William Street, Perth City (corner of Murray Street)
(Next to Perth Underground train station on Murray Street… near Forever New)

If you pop in for a peek, do let them know that Karen Cheng sent you :)


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Back to Cuddles and Coloured Pencils

22 October 2012

Pencil Sharpening

After my big, BIG weekend of cycling – sweat, tears, courage, emotions, pain, inspiration, exhilaration and ALL THAT GOOD STUFF…

…it was soooo good to come home, to be scooped up in my husband’s arms, to cuddle my children, to cook a yummy meal, and to do slow, relaxing and simple tasks.

Like sharpening pencils with my 3 year old.

And to realise that LIFE is pretty damn awesome.


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It’s HERE!

20 October 2012

I am writing this on my mobile phone, standing in a chilly park with a bike leaning on my hip, surrounded by 1200 other very excited people, at 6.30 am on Saturday morning. In literally a few minutes, we will set off on the beginning of our ride.

There are very few serious bike riders here, so for most, this the biggest thing we have ever done. Like me, many of us didn’t even own a bike a year ago.

Announced: 1216 riders in total raised $4.6million!! Amazing! #rtcc #rtccpr

It has just been announced to us that 1216 Ride To Conquer Cancer riders have raised 4.6 MILLION dollars! Amazing!

I am just giddy with excitement, and so buzzed to be part of something so huge and important.

(We’ll see how excited I am in about five hours, though, when I am tired, sweaty, and have a sore butt!)


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Shopping Files: Zoe Karssen and Leather Pants

19 October 2012

Yep I have been shopping again – much to my husband’s dismay.

Zoe Karssen and Leather Pants

I wore this outfit to an event last week. And took a few quick snaps to show off the bits and pieces…

1) I love the cool, rock styles of Amsterdam label Zoe Karssen… which you can buy from various online luxury boutiques.

I fell in love with their printed tees, and I found this RAD tee on The Iconic.

The material is 50% Cotton 50% Modal, the cut is effortlessly gorgeous, the neckline is not too low. It’s just a great, luxe, simple tee, with a cool print haha. See more tees from Zoe Karssen

I also bought it with a special coupon code – so I got 20% off!

Or you can head over to access The Iconic Up to 70% Sale here.

2) Next I bought the a pair of faux leather pants from Topshop. And they look fricking awesome.

The fashion girl in me has lusted after a pair of real leather pants for years – the biggest obstacle being the price. But I’m completely satisfied to say that these Topshop pants fit so amazing well and look sooo cool, that I have ended my search :)

3) I’ve had the white fur coat for a while now.

It’s by a very cool Korean brand called GUSET, which is stocked in YesStyle.

Hoping to find a similar fur coat in black for next winter!

4) My silver necklace was from Equip!

I don’t usually buy from Equip, because most times their jewellery looks cheap, and they use poor materials. But this necklace looked great, it had a really good weight to it and it looked well made.

It was also on sale, from was something like $20, but I got it for $3. That fact alone made me inspect it inside and out, to find out what was wrong with it. But there was nothing wrong with it, and it was a great buy! Haha it pays to look.

5) My shoes are by designer label GlamRockChic.

Hee hee I have been wearing these everywhere! It’s because they make any outfit look great, they look a bit different to your standard pump heel, and they are super duper comfortable.

That’s all for now, have a fabulous weekend!

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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4 More Sleeps To Go!

16 October 2012

Road Bike

Eeeeep!!

My fundraising cycle for The Ride to Conquer Cancer is in 4 DAYS!

I can’t believe how quickly it has come about.

It felt like it was just last week when I was telling everyone that there were 10 weeks left. Now it’s happening THIS WEEKEND!

I’ve been doing lots and LOTS of training and I’m really, really excited about finally doing the 200km ride!

But I’m also very nervous. Apart from childbirth, this is the biggest physical challenge I’ve ever undertaken.

I’m packing my one little bag allowance of luggage, and wondering what it will be like to sleep in a two person tent with a complete stranger, on a sports field with about 2000 other people.

I’m currently up to $13,034. I would LOVE to hit my goal of $15,000!!

So if you were going to donate towards this cause, but haven’t done it yet, THIS is the time to go on over to my fundraising page and click on the big green button!

Yay thanks :)

I’ll be updating my adventures live on instagram, Facebook and Twitter – do follow me!


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Geek Alert!

15 October 2012

Liam on the Pad

The other day I was at the Apple store with my 3 year old.

In the middle of the showroom there was a kiddy table, with kiddy chairs, with a stack of ipads (filled with kiddy games) obviously for kids to use.

And so while the other kids played Dora Explorer and Bob the Builder ipad games… Liam sat there, typing out words on Notes.

Such a red-headed geek boy!!

(He typed out: “Liam 24, mum, dad, callum, sean, poh poh (grand-ma), gong gong (grand-pa)” and “I love cats”)


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Two Khaki Jackets

14 October 2012

My kind sponsors at YesStyle gave me the opportunity to pick out a couple of items for me to review. As autumn and winter arrives in the northern hemisphere, there are heaps of new styles and new sales on the site.

This is what I chose!

(I actually picked out a third item, but I didn’t think much of it… so it won’t get a review here.)

Two Khaki Jackets

The first is a cotton khaki jacket with contrast leatherette sleeves. It’s a cool and unique look, possibly influenced by the college varsity jackets, but a bit more grown up, especially with the leather.

This new season is all about mixing textures and two tones. So this is a fab way to update your wardrobe.

This jacket is by a Korean brand, Norang Gomusin, and it’s on sale at the moment.

Check out the jacket’s product page here. The Korean model makes the jacket look gorgeous… and I’m happy to say that it looks and feels as good as it looks on the website. The garment has a good weight to it, so it feels like a good quality item for its price. I don’t think you can get a jacket like this for this price in Australia :P

It also comes in a tan colour too.

I really like the style of Norang Gomusin’s latest collection, full of light knits, light tops, jackets, jeans and booties. They are classic casual designs, in easy-to-wear colours, but still looks on trend, good quality clothes and very affordable.

Outfit: Jacket by Norang Gomusin, White tee from Country Road, Aztec skirt from Beauties Closet, Leather booties from ASOS.

Two Khaki Jackets

I adore this slouchy green jacket. It’s a real Throw Over Anything kind of jacket. It has big batwing sleeves, so you can easily layer up with a top, cardigan, jumper and still slip this jacket on top with lots of room in its sleeves.

This jacket is by popular Korean brand Redopin, and if you take a peek at the product page, there’s something about Korean models and styling that looks so pretty and street cool!

Again the jacket is a pretty good quality, and it’s a nice trans-seasonal item to have in your wardrobe. It’s lightweight but it needs a good iron before you wear it (as it arrives folded up and quite creased).

Outfit: Jacket by Redopin, stripe top by J.Crew, leather skirt by Urban Outfitters, flats from FashionJunkee.

( 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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A Close Escape

11 October 2012

Nokia and iphone

Recently, my husband had to go away to a little rural town for the weekend, and I was staying home to look after the boys. Only hours before he left, he found out that his 1990s era mobile phone WOULD NOT WORK where he was going (wrong frequency to use the local roaming service), but that my iPhone would. So, we swapped phones for the weekend.

Bad, bad, BAD idea!

It was very confusing for both of us. Whenever I received a message from him on “his” phone, of course it was from MY phone, so said that I was getting messages from me! Huh?

And then I had to type a message to him using those tiny tiny tiny little buttons (multi-tap keys), so my messages to him were very short. And I felt very out of touch… because nobody sent any messages to HIS phone except him. Or rather, me.

But it was worse for my husband, since he had never used an iPhone before. He found the interface very confusing.

He spent the whole weekend getting phone calls and texts from my girlfriends trying to organise play dates, confirming coffee dates, asking me which colour shoes they should buy, my family members organising Sunday dinner. My sister wanted to Facetime with me from London, but he didn’t even how to get it to work. He even got a message from my mother asking if he/I wanted the left over roast pork.

Now, my husband and I do not spend very much time apart, and after only one day, he got quite …lonely. So he sent me a very, hmm… how can I put this nicely… affectionate text message. It left no doubt that he really wished that I was right there with him.

The only problem was that… he nearly sent this very private text message to…. MY MOTHER!

She was the last person to text him, and he, in his confusion, had chosen to “reply to last message” instead of starting a new one.

His finger was hovering over the “send” button when he realised his error.

I nearly died when he told me about this later.

It would’ve been so wrong! Imagine receiving an inappropriately intimate text message from ME/HIM!

Gah.

I’m sure she would have worked out what had happened… and perhaps she would have been glad to know that after 10 years of marriage, he and I are still keen to spend time together.

(Oh, and we also recently found out that our sons have been reading our text messages to each other! Delete! Delete!)


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A Stylish and Casual Summer

9 October 2012

With the warm weather approaching, I’ve noticed that I have lots of casual wear that are great for being a sloppy bum by the beach or pool (tanks, tees and denim shorts), but very few items that are stylish for everyday CASUAL WEAR.

A Stylish and Casual Summer

So I’ve been looking to find a loose, white, long sleeved top for the new season. And I found these!! Casual but still a bit dressy.

Top left: Living Doll Dazzling Blouse from Birdsnest

Top right: Ladakh Dance Away Top from Birdsnest

Bottom left: Wish Sadie Blouse from Birdsnest

Bottom right: Pink Stitch Moroccan Dreams Top from Birdsnest

A Stylish and Casual Summer

Then I can wear the white blouse with some tailored shorts for a bit of grown-up casual-ness.

Alldressedup Chelsea Silk Shorts from ShopTheMag

Chloe Cotton and silk-blend Twill Shorts from The Outnet

Stretch Linen Shorts from Witchery

A Stylish and Casual Summer

And when I just don’t feel like wearing sandals and showing off my toes… these are some classic casual flats that will look great with the white shirt and tailored shorts combo.

Converse All Star Light Plimsolls from my-wardrobe.com

Blowfish Smara Espadrille Loafers from The Iconic

ASOS LANTERN Ballet Flats from ASOS

( 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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THIS is where the money goes

5 October 2012

Many of you will know that I’m doing a fundraising charity ride, called The Ride to Conquer Cancer, which is a 200km cycling event over 2 days.

All the funds raised will go to the Western Australian Institute of Medical Research.

Well, the other day I organised to go into the WAIMR labs to talk to some actual scientists. I wanted to know more about how the money will be spent.

WAIMR Tour 2012

Dressed in polka dots and lilac skinny jeans, I braced myself to meet some very brainy people in white coats who speak in big scientific words.

I was a little nervous, because the last time I was in a SCIENCE LABORATORY, I was in high school biology dissecting an eye ball (from a cow) and dead frogs. Not that I expected to see eye balls or frogs… it’s just one of those memories that makes me nervous… about laboratories. And scientists.

I was met by WAIMR staffer Carolyn, and I found out that she is ALSO taking part in the cycling event. Cool! She gave me a tour of the offices and labs.

There are over 200 researchers working at WAIMR. 200! I had no idea.

Everyone was in the midst of working, so the place was bustling… in a good, tidy, productive way!

WAIMR Tour 2012

So this is a typical lab where they do their research. Thankfully, no dead frogs. It was just what you’d expect from TV – benches, sterile medical stuff, test tubes. And lots of machines that look like really expensive little fridges or microwaves.

WAIMR Tour 2012

I was introduced to Ellen, who was working with cancer cells. She’s moving them from one place to another, just like on TV.

WAIMR Tour 2012

A dish of cancer cells. Right there on the bench. Wow.

Then I met Associate Professor Evan Ingley, one of WAIMR’s top  researchers – which is probably why they gave him the TOP JOB of trying to explain what WAIMR does, to someone (like me) who spends a lot of time working out what to wear to parties (or just to pick up the kids from school).

WAIMR Tour 2012

On Evan’s left is a special machine like a fridge, where they keep some of the cancer samples. He assured me that they have a different – and much less expensive – fridge where the researchers keep their lunch.

I asked Evan – So what do you researchers actually do?

He explained that his own work is to do with protein-protein interactions. I could see he was trying really hard to make it simple enough that I could understand it, without making me feel like an idiot. And I stood there and tried really hard to understand what he was talking about. I kept nodding and after a while, I realised two things.

One, that my brain hurt.

And two, that I could never be a scientist.

BUT… I did get the big picture. By studying the enzymes and proteins in cancer cells, WAIMR can discover new ways to influence the way cancer cells grow. They are also finding ways to use enzymes to disrupt signals between cancer cells. I think.  Overall, they are finding ways to prevent disease developing and to create improved treatments.

You still following?

Evan sped through the numerous ways they were going about their research, on all the hundreds of different cancers, and he told me about some different combinations of their approaches and testing. As he listed a few out, even I could work out that all the different combinations and variations were EXPONENTIAL … and I was overwhelmed by all the work that needs to be done. The task seemed enormous.

I was thinking, “Oh my god, I can’t believe you’re standing here talking to me! Go back to work and find a way to beat cancer! I mean, why don’t you have more people working for you??”

And BAM! That’s why the money is needed.

WAIMR Tour 2012

Evan showed me some different cancer cells that they work with. They all looked the same to me!

For the rest of the tour… I felt very humbled.

These scientists go to work every day and work on ground breaking information, preventions and treatments that might save my children and grand children one day in the future. This is the kind of work that saved my husband’s life, but hadn’t yet been done for my friend Claire (who died this year), and the many thousands of others who have lost their fight with cancer, and who WILL lose their lives in the future if more research is not done now.

And you know what? Quite a few of the people I met at WAIMR are also using their own spare time to raise money for their own research work.

That knowledge alone fills me with amazement, admiration and gratitude. And it further cements my passion for raising more money for cancer research.

Can you help get this research done by making a donation?


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My Fashion Festival Outfits

4 October 2012

Every year the Perth Fashion Festival seems to get bigger and better! It is always packed with a lot of fun and enjoyable fashion events, making the city come alive, and it’s just a great way for me to support and see the latest collections by fashion designers from my hometown.

Having said that, it is completely out of step from my reality = Domestic mum with cooking and cleaning duties, to then slapping on some makeup, throwing on a frock and then sitting front row and tweeting instagram photos to thousands of people! Haha! It’s so surreal sometimes. In moments like these, I always pinch myself, sit back and feel so thankful and grateful for the opportunity.

Anyway, this year I REALLY enjoyed myself.

I only went to a few shows this time, but for me, it was just the right number of events for me to cram into 6 days. I’ll be posting about the actual events, collections and clothes in separate posts. Right now I just want to share what I wore!

PFF12 - What I Wore

This is me and the lovely Sussan, at the VIP Closing Night Event.

I’m wearing my emerald Genevieve dress from Pia Gladys Perey! I did a review of the dress in this post here, where I was considering whether to keep the coral, lilac or green dress. I wasn’t sure about the green dress because the colour was a bit unusual (in a Kermit the Frog kind of way) and my children hated the colour and were pressuring me to get the coral dress.

In the end, I did choose the green… and it was such a great choice!! Sooo many people walked up to me and complimented me on it, took photos, and lots of people asked who it was by. So I consider that a total win haha!

But I thought I would share with you the rather traumatic day I had getting this outfit together.

First, although I knew I was going to wear this dress to the event and I wanted to have the dress slightly altered, one thing and another led me to be BADLY under prepared.

So I ended up really desperate to find a tailor who could have the alterations done THAT AFTERNOON. So I went to the first tailor that I could find and used some evil tactics – battering my eyelids, being all smiley and sweetly chirpy at him. He did it for me in a few hours, yay. But then he also asked me whether I was married, and let me know that he had a son who was single! ERRR OOPS NO SORRY, HAPPILY MARRIED THANKS!

I had the length shortened (for $40) and the halter neck strap taken up (for $25).

Second, the event was also a masquerade cocktail party, so I raided my sister’s dress up box and found a pretty sequined feathered mask for my outfit. But, the mask was over 10 years old and was falling apart. Also, it had a tacky elastic strap that held it on…and I didn’t like that.

So an hour before the event, I asked my my wonderful husband if he could help me out.

First, he suggested that rather than wear my sister’s mask, I should try wearing the LEGO HEAD HELMET that we made a few weeks back . When I declined, he super-glued my sister’s mask sequins back in place, and he also hot-glued a chopstick to the back of the mask… so I could carry it in an elegant way.

Finally ready to go out, I was saying goodbye to my sons, who were all sitting around eating dinner. And then my seven year old son stared at me and said “Mum, are you wearing anything under that dress?…because it’s got a big hole in the front!”

I looked down and released he was referring to the split in the front of my dress.

I was rather stunned to be told by my own son , who is in primary school, that I might be indecently dressed. In fact, I had a flashback moment to when I was 17 and my mother said something similar to me. And my response was the same…yes, I was going out “dressed like that”.

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This was my whole outfit for the night!  Photo was taken by the always delightful Matt Jelonek for The West Australian newspaper.

PFF12 - What I Wore

Moving along. This is what I wore to the Ae’lkemi Show on a different night.

I was invited by Ae’lkemi’s designer, Alvin Fernandez, to come into his showroom for a private pre-show viewing of his brand new collection. My eyes bugged out as I saw all his amazing gowns up close!

He also organised for me to borrow a gown to wear for the show and for me to sit front row – Oooh la la, I was in fashion girl heaven! I won’t lie, I felt so very honoured, pampered and special tee hee.

I won’t say too much else about the dress, because I have another post coming up, dedicated to this dress and the Ae’lkemi collection!

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However, I  also found myself in the newspaper a few days later… and wondered if Alvin organised that too?

PR people are so clever.

PFF12 - What I Wore

Then I wore this gorgeous chartreuse cocktail dress to the Flannel show.

It is an Aurelio Costarella silk dress, which I bought on mega sale. I’m not sure what the original price was (I think it was somewhere between $600-$500) but I bought it for $150. It has silky soft pleats and the hem actually has a slight bubble to it, giving it a lovely shape that was wonderful to wear.

The neckline was lovely too, but it was quite low and deep. I wore a black strapless bra, and I used a bit of fashion tape (double sided tape) on my chest to keep the dress in place.

I dressed it up with simple – but chunky – gold accessories.
Gold tassel earrings are by Mezi from Frockaholics
Chain bracelet is by House of Baluch from The-Dreamery.

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I did wear some other outfits to the fashion festival (courtesy of my-wardrobe)!

But I have already shown them in a previous post… so if you would like to read about them, view them here in this post.

( 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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The Money Shot

2 October 2012

Margaret River

So, this is where I was and what I was doing, last weekend.

The above photo was taken at the White Elephant Cafe in Gnarabup Beach, Margaret River. The cafe had a few wooden tables over looking the beach, and ahhh it was bliss. I find that a steak burger always tastes better when eaten overlooking the Indian ocean!

We had a family holiday “down south”, as we say in my home town. It was fantastic! We only went for three days, but it was enough for me to rest and recharge my batteries.

We stayed with friends, who also had 3 kids, so most of our activities were tailored for the children.

Busselton, Dunsborough and Margaret River are very popular holiday destinations for the people who live in Perth. It’s only a 2.5 hours drive south, and it is full of awesome food places, local wineries, cheese factories, chocolate factories, bush walking, hiking, caves to explore, boating, fishing, zillions of playgrounds for the kids… and the best beaches in the world, in my humble opinion :)

Busselton Jetty

This is Busselton Jetty, the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere (about 2km long). There’s a train that can take you to the end of the jetty, and there’s an underwater aquarium at the end too.

(Many years ago, I did a scuba dive at the end of the jetty AT NIGHT! It was pretty amazing!)

We took the kids to lots of interesting parks and places, including the Yallingup 3D Maze and Puzzle Cafe.  And a climb through Giant’s Cave!

I also managed to squeeze in a quick 20km cycle for myself.

But most of all we relaxed and hung out at the beach.

It was young boy heaven. They had a gang of friends to run around with, water to splash in, sticks to sword fight with, rocks to climb on, and sand to make castles with.

It was a simple and easy holiday, but we all had a fantastic time!




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