Archive for November 2012

 

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Somebody Get Me A Freaking Chill Pill

29 November 2012

These last few weeks, my irritation towards my children have reached a record high.

This is what I’m talking about.

Toy Guns

My kids are now playing with toy guns.

It’s the latest craze to sweep over my boys… and it annoys the crap out of me!

I have these lofty ideals that kids can and should be exposed to a wide diversity of subjects like… arts, cultures, languages, music, history, cinematography…. and I want them to learn about insects and sea creatures, discover how clouds and volcanoes are formed, engage with puzzles, crosswords, and imagination games.

Yet here they are… running around like crazy wild animals, shooting foam bullets at each other! Bah!

And they are having fun! EXHILARATING fun! How dare they!

There used to be a time when I had control over what my children played with. I confiscated every gun, sword, stick and light sabre in the house – and righteously declared that this was a NO-WEAPON HOME.

In fact, there were no computer games, or electronic gaming devices, or anything that I considered to be “pointless, time wasting activities”. I was pretty strict and I remained pretty solid with my house rules. I stuck to my guns, you could say.

So after YEARS (like 8 years?) of being incredibly uptight and bad-tempered about what my boys chose to play with…  it finally happened.

Sigh, I decided that I just have to CHILL THE HELL OUT about some things.

Now I just sit back and watch them run around in the park with their friends, shouting, shooting, jumping, rolling, commando crawling, hiding, crouching, sneaking, working in teams, attacking and defending bases.

I do a lot of sighing. And rolling of my eyes.

But I’m a much happier person this way.

And so are they!


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Win $300 to spend at Wanderlust + Co!!

27 November 2012

Wanderlust + Co Arm Party

(Above: Wearing Multi-stud wrap bracelet in silver and nude)

Wanderlust + Co is an online shop – one of my favourites! – with a gorgeous range of wristwear, rings, necklaces, earrings and clutches.

Their pieces are on-trend and affordable. And their collections suit a huge range of tastes – from trendy streetwear, to timeless classics, to pretty crystal bling, to edgy and quirky designs.

**(I have a special discount code to share with everyone. Please scroll down to view the details!)

Anyway, the team at Wanderlust + Co and I have collaborated to bring an exclusive competition to my wonderful readers….

You can win a USD$300 giftcard to spend at the online store!

– This competition is now closed! –

Here’s a bit of arm party inspiration for you, based on my favourite Wanderlust + Co bracelets.

Wanderlust + Co Arm Party

Wearing Stud & Buckle Wrap in nude, and  Chain Triple-Wrap Bracelet in gold and green.

Wanderlust + Co Arm Party

Wearing XL Buckle Up Leather Bracelet in tan.

Here are a few tips for your arm party entry photos:

1) Use Instagram on your smart phone. Play with filters and colours.

2) Choose a fashion theme. Try a tough, rock-chick theme. Or a pretty pastel theme. Or a bright summer theme with neon and loud colours.

3) Find a cool backdrop for your photo. Your favourite beach with an old wooden jetty. A park covered with autumn leaves. A hidden alleyway with amazing urban street art.

4) Find some gorgeous props. A birdcage! Your pet rabbit! A beautiful, old, black and white wedding photo of your grandparents.\

5) Most of all, have fun!

Wanderlust + Co Arm Party

SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE

And lastly, I have another special treat for all my readers!

Enjoy a 20% off ALL stock (including sale items). Enter the code word “karen20” at the checkout. Valid until 30 Nov 2012.

Happy shopping and snapping!!

( 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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Keeping Fit, This Is How I Roll (And Win a $100 Athlete’s Foot Gift Card)

26 November 2012

Last week, I wrote about how I went to have my feet professionally fitted for proper running shoes at The Athlete’s Foot.

I walked out with a pair of shoes and spent the week testing them out.

This week, I’m sharing a bit about my new fitness adventures and I’m also giving away a $100 Athlete’s Foot Gift Voucher to one of my readers! Scroll down for details.

Asics Pink Shoes

Here they are! My pair of bright pink ASICS Gel-Nimbus 14.

So – with my new shoes – this has been my exercise regime for the last week.

• Every day, after I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is put on my work-out clothes and my sneakers. I think it is a fantastic habit for me, because it puts me in the mood to be active and energetic for the rest of the day.

• If I’m organised enough, I will go for a quick run in the morning.

But I usually have to wrangle my three children in the mornings – get them breakfast, make their school lunches, make sure the kids are packed to go to school, and then organise myself for my own day.

So usually, I am not organized enough for a morning run.

• If I didn’t get out for an early morning run, I’ll walk my big children to school, while my little boy sits in a jogger pram.

Then I’ll run home while pushing the pram. My boy loves it and shouts “GO FASTER MUM!”.

• If I wasn’t organised enough for either a morning run or a walk to school, I would go to the gym in the mid-morning, while my little boy is in the crèche.

At the gym, I love my “Pump” and “Combat” classes.

And I have been totally addicted to all the pin-loaded strength machines (not sure what they all are actually called).

• In the afternoon, I try to walk/run to pick up my children from school.

• After school, I usually hang out with my kids in the park or in the street. I’ll go for a short run with them, play tennis on the street with them, or kick a soccer ball around.

• (Oh I also cycle about 50km each weekend to keep myself fit. But I don’t wear my running shoes while I cycle, in case I get them dirty from all the oil and grease from the bike chain).

Basically, I have practically lived in my new shoes for the last week!

The shoes are comfortable, lightweight, extremely breathable and supportive. I’m also confident that I’m not damaging my feet, knees, or back when I run.

I wanted to take a photo of myself wearing my shoes at the gym after a work out (for this blog post). So after a huge cardio and strength session, I noticed that the gym was really quiet. I tried to take a photo on my mobile phone in the gym mirror. But omg it was such a bad photo – the mirror had sweaty palm prints on it, yuck!

Instead I went home, powdered my face and voila – here’s me showing off my shoes, my arms and abs in progress and if you look closely enough, my stretch marks haha.

Asics Pink Shoes

And so, now to the giveaway!

WIN A $100 ATHLETE’S FOOT GIFT VOUCHER

-This competition is now closed! –

Send an email to me at athletesfoot@karencheng.com.au

Include these 4 things:
1) Title/ Subject your email “Show me the shoes!”
2) Full name
3) Email address
4) Tell me (in no more than 100 words) – What do you do to keep fit?

Who can enter:
Unfortunately, the competition is only open to Australian residents over the age of 14. Sorry to everyone else.

Competition Ends:
Competition runs for 15 days and closes: Monday 10 December 2012, 5pm AEST

See the full Terms and Conditions here.

Good luck everyone! Work hard, tone up and stay lean!

xxx


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Frockaholics for Vogue’s Online Shopping Night

23 November 2012

The other day I indulged in a bit of fashion-girl fun.

The team at Frockaholics Online sent over a huge box of goodies for me to feature on my blog. So I had the pleasure of road testing a stack of awesome party dresses for the festive season!

They also want to offer all my readers 20% off all stock as part of Vogue’s Online Shopping Night on the 26 November. Scroll down for details!

These were my favourite picks and how I would wear them.

Frockaholics Online

(Left) This pink and white dress is by designer Talulah. And oh how I adore this label. It captures feminine silhouettes, with great prints and slightly edgy details. And it has a touch of sexiness, with a cool, street style spin.

This dress was super easy. I just zipped it up, it fit perfectly, it was easy to wear, it had a good comfortable stretch and it looked great!

Check out the Talulah collection here.

(Right) The next dress is by Rachel Gilbert. I am amazed by how she continues to create collection after collection of sublime and stunning dresses. This one is a heavily sequin/beaded dress with a sheer panel neck.

I could feel how luxurious and high quality the garment was by its weight. It was divine to wear.

Check out the Rachel Gilbert collection here.

Frockaholics Online

(Left) This cute day time dress is by Sara Philips. Known for her playful styles that are a bit quirky-cool, I have always enjoyed Sara’s garments (especially her prints).

This dress has cross back straps, and the back was a bit low, so I couldn’t wear a bra. But it fell nicely and the colours looked very unique and cool.

Check out the rest of the collection by Sara Philips.

(Right) Ok I think this dress was the winner for me! It was the first time I’ve tried a dress by Watson X Watson and I loved it!

It is made of bright blue lace with neon trim, with a high neckline and short skirt. I like the slightly sporty luxe look mixed with the feminine lace. And also, it felt very comfortable to wear and it fit me sooo well.

I love the prints in the rest of the collection! Check out Watson X Watson here.

Frockaholics Online

(Left) This was my second favourite item. I really, really liked this top by LIFEwithBird. I wished I could have kept it! It would have slipped right into my wardrobe and I would have worn it with every bottom-piece I own. Leather pants, maxi skirt, sequin skirt, denim shorts, leopard jeans… everything!

It has a knit front, with a silk underlay, so it’s slightly sheer. LOVE it.

Check out the rest of items by LIFEwithBIRD.

I wore it with my own shorts and booties.

(Right) And lastly, this is a top by Magdalena Velevska. At first I thought it looked a bit weird, because it was bright neon lime (same colour as my hi-vis cycling jersey haha) and it had these fuzzy circle shapes that look like cut up tennis balls?!

But as I styled it and wore it, I realised that I wanted to match it with heaps of things in my waredrobe. It’s look great with leather pants, slim pencil skirt, white blazer, white jeans, a bright floral skirt etc. It just looked so eye-poppingly unique.

So in the end I thought it was pretty damn cool and I wouldn’t mind having it in my wardrobe either!

Check out the Magdalena Velevska collection here.

*SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE!

As part of Vogue’s Online Shopping Night, Frockaholics will offer 20% off all stock.

Use Code VOSN20 at checkout. Only valid on 26 Nov 2012.

Also!

I’m letting you know that there’s a secret 12-hour Flash Sale on the 26 November.

Starting at 12pm all items will be priced at $49, $79, $99 and $149. First 40 customers will receive a FREE Totem bag with purchase.
Sign up to the mailing list and receive a $30 VOUCHER to use on your next Frockaholics purchase PLUS automatic entry into the draw to WIN a $500 Shopping Voucher.

Just head on over to the Frockaholics Online website and follow the big banner :)

Terms and conditions: Free express shipping on all orders; Other offers cannot be used on Flash Sale purchases; All Flash Sale purchases are final; Flash Sale ends at 11:59pm 26 November 2012; $500 Voucher will be drawn 28 November 2012 and winner will be notified via email; Vouchers can only be used on full price stock.

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’s Crooked Smile

22 November 2012

Liam's Crooked Smile

Whenever I try to take a photo of my children, I say: SMI-ILE!

But what I get in return are horrible, teethy snarls you’d find at a dentist’s cavity inspection. And the sound effects too!!

I always end up shouting… “Smile normally! Close your mouth! Stop twisting your face like that! Can you spit that out? Don’t show so much of your gums! I said SMILE for god’s sake, not show me your tonsils.”

Then I sigh, put my camera away and wonder why I even bothered.

Please tell me it’s not just me.

ANYWAY.

Lately, Liam has perfected this super-cute crooked smile as his go-to smile (top left).

I love it. He looks like a teddy bear.

(And it matches my husband’s crooked smile.)


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Kailis Princess Party 2012

21 November 2012

Kailis Princess Party 2012

Last week, I was invited to attend the highly-anticipated Kailis Princess Party.

Now what on earth is a Princess Party you might ask? It’s a very special VIP event held by Kailis Jewellery, for their special clients and media people (like me!) to show off their latest jewellery designs and special collections. It’s all very special indeed.

Champagne, canapés, fresh oysters, dashing young men serving cocktails… and as much exquisite jewellery to try on as any girl could ever want.

How could I say no to an invitation like that? :)

Kailis Princess Party 2012

The event did not disappoint!

The showroom was filled with a bright, natural light, which bounced off the warm wooden floors, mirrors and glass cabinets. The place was decorated with white orchids and white lilies.

It had a really lovely and natural feel about it, but still glamourous and enchanting.

Kailis Princess Party 2012

Everyone gathered around the glass cabinets, nibbling on the finger food, sipping champagne, chatting and gawking at the beee-eeeautiful jewellery.

I went around taking detailed photos, hoping to capture all the beautiful moments of the event.

Kailis Princess Party 2012

There was a delicious array of canapés served on round mirrors, carried by a delicious array of young men.

This pancake and smoked salmon ensemble was so yummy, that I stole one, then squirreled behind a glass cabinet to take it apart, to see what it was made of!

Then I made my way to the bar, ate waaaay too many fresh oysters, sipped a bit too much champagne and got friendly with the cocktail boys. As you do.

The showroom was jam-packed full of women! Everyone was beautifully dressed for a fancy afternoon party, and yes, everyone was adorned with their own pearls (or in my case, pears on loan from Kailis).

Walking through the crowd was like viewing a moving inspiration board on how to wear pearls and look fabulous – everything from earrings, necklaces and bracelets.

Kailis Princess Party 2012

I met the gorgeous Y, who reads my blog! She was lovely to talk to, not to mention, she was styled impeccably in a black and white dress, and had very cool black caviar nail art. Hi Y!

Kailis Princess Party 2012

Myself with Sarah and Mel. Who said young women can’t wear pearls!

Kailis staff members walked around the boutique, helping women try on which ever piece of jewellery that took their fancy.

At first I was a bit shy. I stood back and took photos of other people wearing the jewellery.

Then I thought – Oh what the heck, the jewellery is out of the cabinet, I may as well have a go too!

Kailis Princess Party 2012

So I tried on this *incredibly stunning* cuff made from white gold, diamonds and a humungous pearl. It was a couture piece, so it was – ahem – a little expensive.

In fact everyone wanted to try this particular cuff on. We stood in an orderly queue (as orderly as one can, while a little tipsy) and it was passed ceremoniously onto the next person.

You should have heard the gasps and squeals of delight once the clasp snapped shut over each woman’s wrist haha!

Yes, it was frivolous fun, but this was a princess party yo.

Kailis Princess Party 2012

By the end of the party, even I loosened up and tried on a lot more pieces. I think I tried on about 10 pieces of jewellery. It was FUN :)

Everyone was in really good spirits and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Lots of women were taking photos on their phones (of themselves wearing the pearls) and sending it to their husbands – and having a good giggle about it.

Kailis Princess Party 2012

As for me, this was my ultimate princess moment haha.

A couture necklace with beautiful pearls and pink sapphires, which went perfectly with my complexion, my dress and my hair maybe?

Who knows what the magical combination was, but every other woman who caught sight of me, sighed with approval. I could feel the adoration, the admiration and the sisterhood swirling all around me.

Yup, this was the winner.

So I took a snap with my iphone and I was about to send it to my husband, but remembered that he has a dumb phone (damn!) – so I sent it to Instagram and Facebook instead, and hoped he gets the notification. (Hmm, a bit too subtle perhaps?)

Anyway, I guess the biggest lesson I took home from this experience is that – women of any age can wear pearls and look amazing. I’m a big, big fan!

Thank you Kailis for the great afternoon!

(All photos are my own. Taken with a Nikon D90 and 35mm f1.4 lens.)


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It’s all in my head. And hair.

19 November 2012

On the weekend, I was doing a bit of gardening.

I was wearing my big straw hat, sunglasses, gloves and long sleeve gardening shirt for extra sun protection. That’s right, as much as I love a healthy, glowing tan… I cover up like you won’t believe.

Anyway, this particular day, I was weeding a large flower bed. It was really windy and loose hair strands from my pony tail kept flying around in the wind and annoying me. There was one particular lock of hair that wouldn’t tuck into my pony tail properly.

It kept blowing around my ears and brushing my ear lobes and tickling down the length of my neck. I kept flicking it back with my gloved hands, and trying to tuck it behind my ears.

After 15 minutes, I was so irritated by my wayward hair that exasperatedly, I threw my hat to the ground and took a minute to re-tie my pony tail.

Satisfied with my new hair do, I reached down to pick up my straw hat, then let out a blood curling squeal.

.

.

.

.

.

Garden Hat

My scream was so loud and so horrifying, that I made my toddler cry.

Out from my hat crawled a very large spider.

It took me a few seconds to register that IT WAS THE SPIDER – NOT MY HAIR – TICKLING ME ON THE NECK.

I stood there, IMAGINING the spider’s long, hairy legs creeping across my ear, walking down my neck and behind my ear… and connecting those images with the wispy, prickly, feathery SCUTTLE sensation that I was felling for all that time!!!!

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKK!!!!

It was REALLY BIG!

I have to admit, that the spider itself didn’t actually scare me.

IT WAS MY IMAGINATION! It was on freaking overdrive!

My brain just kept going on and on and on.

Replaying the feeling on my neck over and over again.

I just stood there dumbly while the colour drained from my face. It took me a few minutes, then I turned ghostly pale, and yup, I blacked out haha.


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Run Karen Run!

18 November 2012

The other day, I was invited to check out the services at The Athlete’s Foot, where they specialise in professional shoe fitting, and helping you find a shoe to suit your feet and your lifestyle.

The deal was that I would go through the whole process of getting my tiny, little feet measured, analysed and matched with something from the latest range of their exclusive Asics shoes and I would report on what the experience was like.

At first, the whole idea made me laugh – both with bewilderment and nervous anticipation.

SHOES? YOU MEAN SNEAKERS? FOR RUNNING?

I wear a lot of high heels. When I talk about shoes, I like to talk about leopard prints, nubuck leathers, peep toes, sling backs, and studs.

So when I think about FUNCTIONAL running shoes… I think, “Eh what’s the big deal?”

Truth is, I’ve never had my foot properly fitted for a proper running shoe. I only ever buy sneakers at Warehouse Outlet stores, where I grab something that looks good, in my size, and on sale at 70% off. Shoe comfort? Meh, I’ll just wear it in. Or I’ll just wear thicker socks.

Or worse. I would buy designer “lifestyle” sneakers online, on sale. Zero fitting experience!

I think I have only ever bought about four pairs of sneakers in my adult life.

And given my recent fitness pursuit into the world of cycling, it made me a bit I embarrassed by how uninterested I have been towards looking after my feet. After all, I now know things about bikes I never imagined I would, and it has made my life better. So maybe owning a pair of proper running shoes is another whole world of undiscovered pleasure waiting for me.

So here we go…

The Athlete's Foot

This is me, arriving for my first ever professional shoe fitting!

The Athlete's Foot

That’s right! I wore my leopard print, leather, peep toe heels for just the occasion haha.

I was met by Christina, a professional shoe fitter.

But I suddenly got a bit nervous. Cold feet, you could say. Was she going to be like one of those professional BRA FITTERS with cold fingers and a big prodding attitude? Was she about to fondle my toes?

Thankfully Christina was just fine. She explained the whole process to me and asked me a bunch of questions to work out whether I have problems with my feet, what kind of lifestyle I have, and how I might use my new shoes.

At one point, she asked, “So what do you wear when you run?”

I was rather embarrassed and mumbled, “My Converse Chucks?”

I may as well have said I run in my thongs, because Chucks are trendy “lifestyle” canvas shoes, not made for running! Naughty Karen!

The Athlete's Foot

She measured my foot. Size US 5. No surprises there.

Like I said… I have tiny, tiny little feet.

The Athlete's Foot

I was ushered over to The Athlete’s Foot Fitprint system, which was pretty cool. I stood on a pressure mat, which told me about my arch, balance, pressure points.

LOOK! Apparently I’m a little more “flat footed” on one foot. Christina thought that could mean that one of my legs is slightly longer than the other.

What the hell? Apparently it’s REALLLY common. Well, there you go – I am a bit wonky in the legs!

Now I can’t tease my husband about his different sized feet :P

The Athlete's Foot

I also walked across the pressure mat, and it showed an analysis of my foot, my walk, and how I roll. How I roll! It was really interesting.

It turns out that I have really good feet and a really good walk (despite the allegations made about my legs not being the same length). Which is why I don’t have any problems with my feet, ankles, legs, muscles, or back. I make up about 65% of the Australian population that have a neutral foot type. And it all comes down to good genetic luck really.

With that information, Christina said she would get me three different pairs of shoes to try, and whisked off.

Part of me – the girl who loves to shop – was a bit distressed. I ONLY GET TO CHOOSE FROM THREE PAIRS OF SHOES?

But then I looked around the shop and saw HUNDREDS of shoes lining the walls of the shop. So then I was relieved that I had Christina’s help to narrow the choices down.

The Athlete's Foot

She came back and placed the 3 pairs of shoes in front of me and I immediately thought….THOSE PINK ONES ARE SO MINE!

But of course I had to focus on comfort and I tried my best to give all of them a fair go.

From left to right: Mizuno (Wave Ultima 4), ASICS (GEL-Landreth 7), and ASICS (Gel-Nimbus 14).

I first tried on the purple ASICS shoes and there were great! I’ve never worn such comfortable sneakers in my life!

The white and navy Mizuno shoes were a teensy little bit firmer on the sole. I preferred the purple ASCIS shoes because of their flexibility in the sole.

The Athlete's Foot

This is me going “Oooooooh well lookie here, this one might be the winner!”

I look like a school girl in this photo! Maybe I should have worn my skinny jeans. And right there is a giant fashion tip – shoes make all the difference to an outfit. Shoes say everything.

The pink ASICS shoe definitely gripped and supported my foot (from front of the foot to the heel) so much better, making it more comfortable than the others. It had very cool shock absorption, great flexibility and just an awesome overall fit for me.

I was bouncing around the shop, focusing on my step and my foot arch, going – OH YEAH THIS IS HOW I ROLL!!

The Athlete's Foot

See? Love at first sight. They are, after all, screaming bright pink.

I can’t wait to go running in them. I don’t think I have run any long distances in 7-10 years!

I’ll be testing these babies out and letting you know how I go :)

I’ll also be giving away an Athlete’s Foot Gift Voucher in my next post, so stay tuned!

(This post was kindly sponsored by my blog advertisers Nuffnang.)

xxx


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Reminder: Win an AL&ALICIA x The J. MYERS CO Leather Cuff

17 November 2012

AL&ALICIA x JMC Cuff

Just a reminder for all those interested!

Win yourself an exclusive (and beautiful) AL&ALICIA x The J.Myers Co leather cuff, in red, black or grey. All you have to do is to join the AL&ALICIA mailing list from Facebook.

How To Enter
1) Pop over to the AL&ALICIA facebook page and LIKE it.

2) Along the top horizontal menu, click on the “Mailing List” button. It’s mint colour with a pic of an envelope! (No need to load any Facebook Apps)

3) Fill in your Name and Email Address. You’ll receive an email, which you’ll have to click to confirm.

That’s it!

The winner will be drawn randomly and contacted via email.

This competition is open worldwide.

Competition dates – From 12 Nov – 19 Nov 2012.

Good luck! xxx


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Recharging On The Fly

16 November 2012

These last few weeks have been awesome.

I think have hit a fantastic balance of being busy, productive and professionally challenged… while juggling my mummy duties, my wifey duties, and lots of personal projects and appointments (dentist, gardening, gym sessions and hanging out with my mum).

But what I find most amusing is that even my “Relax Time” is crammed into my schedule.

But hey, it works for me.

30 minutes of Relax Time starts now!

Cycle, Coffee, Fashion

And when it’s the weekend, this is how I relax.

A 50km cycle, a cup of damn fine coffee and a touch of fashion.

Makes for a happy Karen :)


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Miss Versatility Strand by Kailis Jewellery

15 November 2012

A few weeks ago, I received an interesting email from Kailis Jewellery, asking me whether I would like to be involved in a little project – in which I road test a string of pearls for a month.

Now I usually borrow fashion media samples for a week, wear them once for a photo shoot, and return the items the following week.

I don’t usually borrow items for a month. And I don’t usually wear something, WORTH THE PRICE OF A NEW CAR around my neck.

I told them I wouldn’t need it for a month, I’d be too scared of losing it or breaking it!

But they insisted.

They wanted me to EXPERIENCE what it was like to own and wear the pearls – you know, while wearing them to VIP fashion parties, out to dinner with my husband, lunch with my girlfriends, out about in the city to do some shopping, or hey, taking an evening stroll by the beach at sunset.

That idea intrigued me.

Do people really wear their pearls to the beach? Seriously? Ok so Miranda Kerr wears her Kailis Pearls to the beach – but then, she is a super model married to a movie star. I thought pearls were only for grand occasions. Buuuuut… out shopping? Out to lunch? To the movies? Hmmmm that could be A LOT of fun.

So I said yes and popped into the Kailis Jewellery store to pick them up.

*faints*

The Versatility Strand is a long, single-strand pearl necklace that is designed so that you can detach sections of pearls to create different lengths of shorter necklaces, as well as small bracelets. The picture below shows the concept of one strand, in its four different variations.

The pearls are attached by specially designed clasps, with a Kailis signature studded diamond. Pretty!

Kailis Jewellery  - Versatility Strand

As you can see, it’s such a simple, elegant idea.

Why just have one long pearl necklace, when you can change the lengths and match them with your outfit.

The Versatility Stands are available in all different sizes and grades of pearls. You can choose a strand that have large pearls that glow like the moon, or smaller pearls with a silver-platinum colour. Basically, you can choose a strand that suits your budget and they all vary according to the size of the pearls, their lustre, shape, surface and colour etc.

Can you imagine that it takes the designers YEARS to find perfectly matched pearls for one strand (same size, surface, colour!)… because these are REAL PEARLS from REAL OYSTERS.

Kailis Jewellery - Versatility Strand

I was shown this beeeeautiful Versatility strand, which I got to try on.

The pearls were so SO shiny, SO white, heavy (in a good way) and gah they were utterly gorgeous and so smooth against my skin. It cost around $800,000! Eeeep!

(I am amazed that they let me touch it with my unwashed hands.)

I was also told that Kailis have a Couture Strand range, featuring some of the largest, most exquisite and expertly matched pearls in the world. I didn’t even bother asking how much THOSE cost. It just boggles my mind to think of so many zeros.

So just when I thought that I’d never be able to own a string of pearls… they tell me this:

Kailis are now introducing their latest necklace range, the Miss Versatility Strand (pssst… which are much more affordable ladies!).

Kailis Jewellery  - Miss Versatility Strand

It simply is a shorter length of pearls, with the same detachable “Versatility” features. This time the strand turns into 3 distinct and stand alone pieces, which are extremely wearable and versatile – a long pearl strand, a short choker strand and a bracelet.

And being a shorter strand, the price of the Miss Versatility Strand is in a more accessible range – so that even my husband could afford to buy it for me. (Are you reading this babe?)

Kailis Jewellery

So this is my strand. Did I just say “MY”? I meant, this is THE strand that I am BORROWING to try out. It is one of the higher grades of pearls (of this size) in this current collection and oh my, it is stunning! The colour and lustre of the pearls are just gorgeous!

I think these pearls are a lovely size. Not too LARGE and in-your-face and not too small.

And then we got to the part where I was going to take the pearls away.

Yup I walked them out of the shop. Eeeeek so exciting!

A few days later, I cracked open the box and took them out to play.

Kailis Jewellery

Why hello there. We are going to be very good friends.

It so happened that I had a couple of evening events come up, so I could “road test” them.

I went to the launch of a new boutique hotel on Thursday, then a launch of a new fashion boutique on Friday, and then I went to the opera with my husband on Saturday.

Yes, I wore the pearls every evening! And here’s a peek at how I wore them.

Wearing Kailis Jewellery

I’ll be showing them off in greater detail in another blog post, and talking about how I worked the pearls into my fashion wardrobe.

In the meantime, I’ll be wearing my pearls for a few more weeks. I have a grand ball to attend, a few lunch soirées and who knows, I might even make it to the beach, as recommended.

For beautiful pearl photos and fashion inspirations, check out the Kailis Jewellery Facebook Page.


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Mini Macs by Rebecca Minkoff

14 November 2012

Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac

Oops I just did something naughty :)

I just bought myself a Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac Clutch from Amazon Fashion, at 20% off!

I chose navy, which do you like?

20% off $80 orders of selected accessories sold and shipped by Amazon.com. Enter code BAGSFALL at checkout. Promotional offer valid through 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time) November 16, 2012.


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The Many Faces of Liam

13 November 2012

Liam - 3.5 years old

My little monkey is 3 years and 8 months.

As I write this, it is 8.30pm. Exactly one hour ago, Liam was running through the house in his underwear, stomping through the hallways, singing in this loud, crazy, high-pitched voice, and I was chasing him around, shouting “WILL YOU STOP MAKING THAT NOISE!!!!!”, waving his pajamas at him, and trying to get him to brush his teeth. He drives me CRAZY!! Every night, before bedtime.

It was so bad that I threatened to locked him outside with the spiders :P

But.

Now.

He’s sleeping sweetly and quietly in the next room as I type this. I can hear him gently tossing around in bed. I’m looking at these pictures, wishing he was here so I can cuddle him. I’m tempted to sneak into his room, as I often do, and just watch him as he sleeps, because he is so beautiful.

(Same goes for my two other boys.)

And in the morning…

They will all drive me insane.

All over again.


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Win An Exclusive AL&ALICIA x The J. MYERS CO Leather Cuff

12 November 2012

AL&ALICIA Leather Cuff

In celebration of AL&ALICIA’s 3rd anniversary, the team have collaborated with The J.Myers Co to create an exclusive beautiful leather cuff.

It is a gorgeous double wrap leather cuff made entirely out of genuine python skin and leather and available in 3 colors – black, grey and red.

It’s simple, stylish, a bit edgy, and oozing boyish chic appeal. I’m thrilled to be adding it to my wrist wear collection.

There are only a limited number available (60 in fact!) and they can be purchased online from the AL&ALICIA site, from November 18th.

AL&ALICIA Leather Cuff

This is how I wore the cuff on the weekend.

I wore my denim shirt, J Brand khaki jeans, leopard print flats, a chunky black watch and a colourful jumble of bracelets.

Love love love it :)

AL&ALICIA Leather Cuff

So here’s your chance to win yourself one cuff!

In any colour you like! All you have to do is to join the AL&ALICIA mailing list from Facebook.

How To Enter
1) Pop over to the AL&ALICIA facebook page and LIKE it.

2) Along the top horizontal menu, click on the “Mailing List” button. It’s mint colour with a pic of an envelope! (No need to load any Facebook Apps)

3) Fill in your Name and Email Address. You’ll receive an email, which you’ll have to click to confirm.

That’s it!

The winner will be drawn randomly and contacted via email.

This competition is open worldwide.

Competition dates – From 12 Nov – 19 Nov 2012.

All the best!

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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Lest We Forget

11 November 2012

This morning I told my boys it was Remembrance Day and how important it was to remember people who have died during all the wars of history. My boys are pretty sensitive to stuff like that.

Remembrance Day 2012

An hour later, I found that they had recreated a war scene with all their army toys, as a remembrance.

In the end, to be honest, I actually think they were just playing “war games”. What started as an intention to create a remembrance garden, got overtaken by them being 7 and 9 year old boys. Oh well.

I wasn’t sure if this was the best way to remember, but at least their heart was in the right place.


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The Yummiest (But Unhealthiest) Potato Salad Ever!

10 November 2012

Potato Salad Recipe

I made a kick-ass potato salad recently and it was so so SO DELICIOUS.

It for a lunch party with my extended family, and everyone loved it! Thankfully everyone brought too much food to the party and only half of my potato salad was eaten – so I brought it home, hid it at the back of the fridge, and ate if for dinner (as my side salad), breakfast (on toast) and then again for lunch haha!

It’s not exactly a very healthy dish though :) And it takes some time to boil, chop, dice, fry everything… but omg it’s so worth it!

Potato Salad Recipe

1kg of baby potatoes, neatly cubed (2cm)
4 eggs
1 medium red onion, finely diced.
20g of butter
8 rashers of shortcut, rindless bacon, diced
2 long stalks of spring onion, finely sliced
150ml of sour cream (or heaped ½ cup)
150ml of whole egg mayonnaise (or heaped ½ cup)

1) Boil potatoes until tender. I like mine potatoes on the soft side, so when you stab a fork through it, the potato breaks easily. Cool and set aside.
2) At the same time, boil eggs for 4 minutes, until hard boiled. Cool, peel and dice roughly.
3) At the same time, fry onions in butter until golden brown. Put in bowl and set aside to cool.
4) Used the same fry pan to fry bacon until crispy. Put in bowl and set aside to cool.
5) When everything is cooled down… throw potatoes, onions, bacon, spring onions, sour cream and mayo together and stir well! Put in a nice bowl and keep in fridge. Garnish with some bacon and sliced spring onions.


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Hear Me RAWR!

9 November 2012

With several seasons of eye-popping colour and dazzling neons, the fashion world is now slowly headed back to the glorious world of BLACK AND WHITE. Yay finally!

But my story starts a couple of months ago. I was itching to find and wear some sexy, black heels to fashion week. However I left it too late (as always) and I didn’t have enough time to buy myself a new pair of shoes.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, the divine designer from GlamRockChic emailed me and wanted to send me a few pairs of shoes and ask me what I thought of them. Hell yeah, send them over!

GlamRockChic #4 Hear me Rawr

This is the luxury label’s 4th collection. And I love that they are a collection of mostly BLACK heels.

The first pair of shoes I picked out was called, Modern II.

If you look at the product page, you can see the side on view and it looks HOT! There are little asymmetric, angled cut outs and wide top straps with chunky silver hardware. It’s patent leather, so it has a very sleek, modern, sexy look to it. It’s fierce, but still chic.

I wore it with my Topshop faux leather pants, Wessex Sequin top, and Bardot white blazer.

And Berrybow maroon, tweed, mini dress.

GlamRockChic #4 Hear me Rawr

My favourite feature of this shoe is the wide top strap and the cut outs.

Tthey were really comfortable too!

GlamRockChic #4 Hear me Rawr

This next shoe is called, Venus.

Ok these shoes have taken the idea of a “comfortable designer shoe” to a whole new level for me. Its upper and inner are 100% soft sheepskin, and oh my, I feel like I’m wearing a velvety glove on my feet. The inside lining of the shoes are buttery soft and I can stand for HOURS in them :)

If you have been following me via instagram (@karenlycheng) you’ll notice that last week I went out to 3 events, 3 evenings in a row. And for each of those events I wore these Venus shoes, with 3 different dresses, of course. And for each evening, I must have walked 1km in them and stood around in them for 3-4 hours.

Verdict: No blisters, no red marks, no sore ankles, or toes. Very, very comfortable. I even drove home in them. Didn’t have to take them off in the car.

GlamRockChic #4 Hear me Rawr

Its price is really affordable, considering the quality, the luxe materials and the design. Definitely a worthy shoe investment!

It’s almost a classic “fierce” shoe design. Edgy, sexy, a bit of rock and roll, yet still polished. They are my new favourite shoes tee hee.

I wore it with my Nobody black jeans, Kookai tee and Styleberry suede jacket.

And with my silk cocktail dress by Aurelio Costarella.

GlamRockChic #4 Hear me Rawr

And lastly, GlamRockChic have launched their first flat shoe, called the Modern Petite.

With luxurious materials, sleek design, it is very similar to the first shoe I talked about, the Modern II (but it doesn’t have the asymmetric cut out bit). I love the wide straps and the silver buckle, it looks modern and smart.

It’s a little different to your standard flat sandal, in that the sides are slightly raised which continues to the back of the shoe. You might have to take a peek at the product page to get a proper look.

It took me a while to get used to it, but after wearing it for a day, I realised they were really comfy, and they made my feet look really nice – slim, clean, and it just covered up my (possibly dirty) soles, and the dry skin on my heels!

GlamRockChic #4 Hear me Rawr

GlamRockChic are known for their comfortable, yet high-fashion designs, and these shoes certainly did not disappoint.

I have a special discount code for anyone interested in purchasing a pair (or two) site wide!

Apply the discount code “XMAS20” to receive 20% off with every purchase of 2 shoes from GlamRockChic in a single shipment.

Promotion duration : 9 Nov to 16 Nov 2012.

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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Who You Lookin’ At?!

6 November 2012

mantis01

Nature turns up all kinds of “surprises” in my back yard.

It was the first time my children have ever met a HUGE praying mantis.

They were giddy with excitement… and yet silent with bug-eyed wonder.

Check it out mum! It’s soooooo coooool!

mantis02

My sons squealed as the little hooks of the praying mantis’ feet were tickling into their skin.

They let it walk over and across their arms, up onto their shoulder, neck and head. They delighted in its shaky, robotic walk.

For me, I soaked up the moment. It reminded me of how I used to be.

I didn’t used to be so indifferent – or freaked out – by insects.

I too used to be a kid with bug-eyed wonder.

Ah, to be young, and for every day to be looked upon with new eyes.


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Dear Anonymous…

5 November 2012

Ride South Perth

…thank you so much for your donation! In fact there were 82 of you who donated anonymously towards my fundraising Ride to Conquer Cancer.

And also I want to thank these people… Adeline, Ai Ling, Alice, Alice E, Alice L, Amelia, Andrea, Andrew, Angel, Angela, Angelia, Anna, Anna L, Anna N, Annie, Anthony, April, Benjamin, Beverly, Brendon + Christine, Carmen, Catherine, Cecilia, Charmaine, Cher, Cherie, Cheryl, Chien Teng, Chin Chin, Chloe, Choy, CM, Cook Family, Corrine, Cynthia, David C, David S, Debbie, Denise T, Denise W, Diana, Diane, Don, Doris, Elaine, Elena, Eley Family, Eng, Evelyn, Felicia L, Felicia T, Felix + Loreen, Fifi, Fitri, Florence, Frances, Heather, Helen + Barry + Abby, Ho, Honey M, Honey T, Hong Xi, Howard, Hui Jee, Ian, Jaclyn, Jacqueline, James T, James W, Jamie, Janice, Jasmine, Jason, Jeffrey, Jen, Jenny, Joelle, John, Julian, Julie, JZ, Karen C, Karen L, Karen T, Karen W, Katherine, Kevin, Kim, Kimbra, Kinisimere, Kong Wen, Lada, Lawrence, Leong, Li, Li Mei, Lina, Lingzie, Lisa, Livia, Louise, Lynett, Lynn, M + M, Magdalene, Maggie, Marie E, Marie Y, Marna, Matthew, Mely, Michelle, Mindy, Ming Fen, Monica, Narelle, Nicolas + Diana, Nikki, Nurshida, Patricia, Patrick C, Patrick H, Pei Siong, Pei Xian, Peter H, Peter L, Phang, Phil + Aimee, Phillip, Polly, Preeta, Rachel, Rachel L, Rajinder, Randall, Rick, Rob, Roz, Ruth, S, Sandra, Sapphira, Sarah, Serene, Sharon, Shealyn, Sherry, Shio Peng, Sho Mae, Shujun, Siew Hui, Simone E, Soo Mei, Stacey B, Stacey N, Steven, Sue Cing, Suk Yen, Susan, Susanne, Tanith, T H, Urika, Vanessa, Veronika, Victoria, Wean Sin, Wei Li, Wen Keng, Wendy, Xin Li, Yang Ping, Yen, Ze, Zhi Lin… and a few others, including family and company names I can’t mention here for privacy reasons.

Some of you donated $5. Others donated $3000.

From the bottom of my heart, I really want to thank you all for your support.

By all giving whatever you gave, how ever much it was, you gave $16,910 under my name, and that was part of $4.6 million from the Perth Ride, and over $21 MILLION Australia wide, which goes to do cancer research that will make a difference GLOBALLY in years to come.

You should be so proud of yourself!


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Can You Spell Shut The Hell Up?

4 November 2012

Zoo Word

I took my 3.5year old son to the zoo the other day.

And you know what? He’s a little obsessed about spelling.

So he didn’t think much of the beautiful elephants. The wonky giraffes. The grumpy lions. Or the lazy rhinos.

But he loved THE SIGNS!

He rushed over to each carved, wooden sign… rubbed his fingers over each letter (as if they were magical) and shouted them out one by one.

T-I-G-E-R!

And for 3 hours – no fricken kidding – he asked me how to spell every single word we saw on a sign.

“How do you spell ELEPHANT? Can you spell it again? What about RHINOCEROS? What about CHIMPANZEE! Spell it again! And again!”

Ok half of me is boasting here.

And the other half just wanted to spell B-A-T-S-H-I-T-C-R-A-Z-Y.


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Romwe 30% Off Sale

2 November 2012

I had lots of great feedback when I posted about the Romwe online shop a few months ago.

So I thought I’d do another shout out about a sale they are having –  an Up to 30% Off Buyer’s Pick Sale

Romwe Buyer's Sale

There are lots of cute knits and blouses on sale. How cute is that little puppy knit?

Faux leather skirts and galaxy prints are really popular too.

Romwe Buyer's Sale

There’s some Sass & Bide inspired leggings, cool jacquard trousers, and lots of accessories on sale!

The sale goes from 2nd – 8th November.

No need a special code, just head on over to the Buyer’s Pick Sale Page

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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The good, old stay-at-home date night

1 November 2012

Sunset Park

After a week of strict routines for daily homework, swimming lessons, dinners and bedtimes… my children had a sleepover at my parent’s house.

My husband and I were left with a quiet house – YES OH THE GLORIOUS QUIET!

We took a long, peaceful walk in the warm sunset.

Watching the full moon rise over the pink sky. Colours of trees fading to black.

Bird songs blended with frog songs.

We walked through the neighbourhood park.

The grassy meadow was filled with wafting smells of barbecue steak, Indian curries, Malaysian spices, garlic prawns and Italian sausages.

It was like floating through a layered ocean of aromas.

One word: magical.