Archive for January 2013

 

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The Beach Club @ The Cottesloe Beach Hotel

31 January 2013

Cottesloe Beach is – hands down – one of my favourite places in Perth.

Whenever overseas friends and family come to visit Western Australia, we ALWAYS take them to the iconic beach. To drink coffee. To eat ice cream. To devour fish and chips. To walk along the beach. To swim. To play in the play ground. And most of all, to watch the spectacular sunset over the Indian Ocean.

Last week I was invited to a special event at a brand new eatery called The Beach Club at The Cottesloe Beach Hotel, which yes, overlooks Cottesloe Beach.

The event was a Menu Tasting, specially organised for local food bloggers (and me), where we also met the Executive Director of the Cottesloe Beach Hotel, Gary Gosatti, and food consultant Russell Blaikie, of Must Winebar and Bistro fame.

I felt a little out of my depth surrounded by hardcore food bloggers. Here I was… a fashion-crazy, cycling fanatic, in the depths of kid-wrangling, paleo eating and a fitness program.

And here they all are – absolutely lovely people – chatting passionately about the *best* places to buy pandan cake. I’m thinking – “OMG I haven’t eaten pandan cake in years. Sugar! Food colouring! Wheat! It’s so bad for you!!”

Haha I realised that THAT kind of attitude was totally unacceptable in these circumstances. So I decided to shut the hell up, lighten up, abandon all, and just ENJOY THE MEAL.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

Oh before I get into the food.

I have to share my other loves. Fashion and gorgeous graphic design. Check this out. My canary yellow, peplum dress matched the food menu AND the bar stool that I was sitting on. Howzat!

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Feta whip, dukkah, Aussie olives, and bread by Jean-Pierre Sancho – $14

The first dish to arrive was the crusty bread. This made me laugh because I’m trying to eat less wheat. Nonetheless, I tore off a crust and got stuck into it, like a real foodie.

The feta whip was lovely, smooth and creamy, with a good feta bite to it. Then when mixed with the crumbly dukkah… it was delicious. I would have eaten more, but I discovered…

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

…the olives. Oh god, I love eating good olives.

I knew that I had eaten too many, when I found myself fingering the jar like a monkey, trying to get the blasted ones that were stuck to the bottom of the jar.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Fried squid with Turkish pepper & tzatziki – $16

Oh hello there. I thought you were shoe string fries. But no. These were the softest, juiciest and most tender squid rings that I have ever eaten. Damn they were good.

My 9 year old son and I share a love for fried squid. We have been restaurant hopping in search of the best squid rings… and these might be it. I will definitely have to take him here to see what he thinks.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Spicy lamb meat balls with tomato sauce & yoghurt – $9 for a plate of 5

These lamb meat balls were quite different. Usually lamb meat balls are chewy, meaty and with a strong lamby flavour.

But this meat ball was really soft, fluffy, and it kind of crumbled when I bit into it. It was so light and flavoursome, that it filled my palate with mild spices, while the sweetness from the tomato sauce and the tang from the yoghurt made my mouth explode with happiness.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Pancetta, gorgonzola, spinach and and bechamel pizza – $24

Next up were the wood fired pizzas. Hmm. I’m a bit indifferent to pizzas nowadays. I make pizzas at home, once a week. So when I go out to eat… I prefer not to order a pizza. If I do… it had better promise to taste fricking amazing and be made by magical elves to make it worth my pain.

As I reluctantly munched my way through this slice – hallelujah – it was awesome!

Pancetta and blue cheese pizza? YUM. Can’t really go wrong there.

I sunk into my seat with pleasure, revelling in the magic of four simple ingredients. So simple. So good.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

Prawns, chilli, Borello bocconcini, and basil pizza – $25

I love eating prawns. And chili. So this pizza totally hit my happy spot.

Speaking of prawns.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Grilled Carnarvon tiger prawns, pineapple, chilli & lime salsa, bean sprout salad – $34

This dish was the big winner for me.

It looked like a mess, and it was a bit hard to see the prawns… but the aromas, oh my! The smell of the nuts and the lime and the hot prawns and chili… ahhh it was sooooo goooood.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

I was bouncing around on my seat as I ate this. The prawns were so fresh! Bean sprouts! Mint! It was all so yummy!

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

Lastly, we tried the Arkady Margaret River lamb and Mount Barker chicken cooked over charcoal served with giant tabouli salad & tzatziki – $27

I was pretty full at this point. I think I ate too many prawns. I should have paced myself properly. Such a newbie error.

The meats were gorgeously, soft and juicy. They were slow roasted on the woodfired rotisseries, and you can choose to order either the lamb, chicken or have them mixed up, served with giant pearl couscous.

The flavours of the tabouli went well with the meat. But I’m not a big fan of pearl couscous. I’m more of a salad or salsa kinda girl.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Photo courtesy of The Cottesloe Beach Hotel

We were given a tour of The Beach Club, and I adored what I saw.

There was a fresh mix of different dining spaces – modern lounge chairs and low coffee tables (I saw a few families with kids in that area), normal table seating for a sit-down dining experience, bar stools and high tables for a more pub-style gathering, really nice corners to sit and chill out with friends… and you can even sit outside in the open air, under beach umbrellas (out of the wind!).

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

It was fantastic to see a place like this emerge in the beachside Cottesloe area. It was stylish, sophisticated, breezy, relaxed and definitely more “grown up” than its former life as an old beer garden.

The food was superb too, offering patrons a well considered menu for modern Australian dining.

It is definitely a place where I would take my family for a meal, meet a girlfriend for coffee, take a big group of friends for dinner, or just sit around with friends sharing nibbles and a beer.

And if you’re a visitor of Perth, make sure you check out Cottesloe Beach, go for a walk, have an ice cream, watch the sunset, then visit The Cott Beach Hotel for a meal to end your day. It’s just opposite the main beach car park.

Wearing Yellow to the The Beach Club

And lastly, just so everyone doesn’t forget that I like to mix up fashion with my food… this is what I wore to the The Beach Club.

I was probably a bit over dressed when I arrived (6pm) because there were lots of women wearing sun dresses and beachy tops and shorts. But I didn’t feel awkwardly over dressed at all.

By evening (8pm), there was a big after-work corporate crowd, lots of women in evening party dresses, and still lots of people in casual summer clothes and sandals! I love the laid-back beachy fashion mix!

The Beach Club
Cottesloe Beach Hotel
104 Marine Parade
Cottesloe, Western Australia

www.cottesloebeachhotel.com.au

A big thanks to The Beach Club for the invitation and dining experience.

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

The Beach Club at Cottesloe Beach Hotel on Urbanspoon


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Jewellery To Get Attached To

29 January 2013

I want to introduce everyone to one of my new sponsors!

Forin is a new fashion jewellery store that lets you create your own bracelet (or necklace) using beads and charms.

You’ve probably seen the concept before – think Pandora and Swarovski Chamilia. But Forin offers a more affordable price point, while still using high quality sterling silver alloys (and not silver plating over lesser metals).

If you’re not familiar with the details… Pandora and Swarovski also use high quality sterling silver for the majority of their beads and charms.

Ok, so…

…when the team at Forin asked whether I would like to try out some of their products, I was really hesitant.

Firstly, I am a lazy. I like to buy something that someone else has already designed. I don’t want to spend time thinking up a design for myself. Sigh, who has the time for that?

Secondly, I didn’t think all those charms and beads were quite my style. I always gravitate towards classic designs, or funky-bold statement jewellery.

Thirdly, I’m not that sentimental with my jewellery. I will wear something everyday for months and love it. Then I find something new, and stop wearing the old stuff. I move on. Quickly.

However, I figured… hey why not, these “Design Your Own Jewellery Concepts” are really popular, I’ll give it a try and see how I go.

I was really honest with the Forin founder. I said to her – “I am not a fan sorry!”
I even tried to make plans with her on how I was going to send the samples back to her!

Anyway, I picked out a few bracelets, charms, glass beads and Swarovski Crystal beads. They arrived beautifully packaged in a velvet case.

Forin Jewellery

I sat there for a good length of time, playing with different design variations, trying them on my wrist, feeling them jangle about.

This clustered variation (pictured above) had most of the beads and charms that I chose from the website. It looked quite cool!

I discovered that I liked the “busy clustered” look, rather than just “one or two beads” on a bracelet chain.

I also realised that I chose too many “blue and turquoise colours” and should have chosen more blacks and silvers – which is a bit more of my style.

Forin Jewellery

So this is me wearing my clustered bracelet, stacked up with my other daily wrist wear. Looked pretty good.

I wore my Forin bracelet everyday for a week or so. I changed the designs every 3 days. Tweaking it to how I like.

I made so many mental notes!

“I really like the Paw Print Charm, it’s so cute! I must get myself another one.”

“I’d like to get a few more black Swarovski Crystal beads, so I can alternate them with the silver charms. More black!”

“There needs to be more repetition in the pattern, to make it look a bit more balanced.”

“I’d be so nice if I could wear a charm that reminds me of each of my children.”

Yes, I was designing my own bracelet. And yes, it was quite fun.

Forin Jewellery

This was another variation that I liked. I wore it like this for a while. It was very easy to wear with my daily outfits.

In fact, this was my favourite design and bead arrangement.

(Although I’d like to swap all the blue crystal beads with black crystal beads.)

Forin Jewellery

And this is yet another variation. This time I bunched up 5 charms and beads together, with no separators, showing off more of the bracelet chain. This design was nice too. I’d like to try a bracelet full of charms and beads all the way around!

Anyway…

During my “testing phase”… can you believe it, I walked into a Pandora and a Swarovski store to compare the quality of the beads and charms. My bracelet passed with flying colours. Its charms were just as bright and shiny. Its crystals were just as glittery and sparkly. Its weight and the sound it made when it jangled… was just as nice. (That’s right, I like to listen to my jewellery, don’t you? :P)

And so I walked out, being very pleased with my Forin products.

I emailed Jace (Forin’s founder) and told her how happy I was with her products, that yes, I would love to do a review, and yes, I think I’m a fan now!

I’ve realise that after wearing it for a few weeks, I adore my little bracelet. I really, really like that all the little elements in its design was chosen by ME. I have become quite attached to it!

So I guess I’m not so lazy… I guess that beads and charms can suit me… And I guess that I can be a bit sentimental with my jewellery after all :)

I’m now happily planning away at how I’m going to add to it. A few more black crystal beads. A few more cute charms. And some charms that remind me of each of my children.

I’m looking forward to wearing it after I’ve *really* personalised it.

The Forin website is very easy to use. Pick a bracelet. Choose some beads. Some charms. Add some stoppers and clips. And you’re good to go! Or you can check out their ready-to-wear collection.

Check out all the whole collection of beads here and all the charms here.

Special Discount!
Forin has offered a S$10 discount for every purchase that is over S$100. Just use the discount code “10OFF” at the last step of the checkout process to enjoy this discount.

This promotion is valid till the end of next month, 28 Feb 2013.

Enjoy a browse and I hope you find something you like!

xxx

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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Current/Elliot Jeans, Diva Jewellery and My Honeybees Thongs

25 January 2013

It’s Friday and I’m very excited about sharing some new bits and pieces I have!

currentelliott

I bought some Current/Elliott Red, Skinny Snakeskin jeans. Ahh I love them so much. They are just the right mix of effortless rock and roll statement, bold colour, with a cool pattern that I am drawn to :)

They are insanely comfortable, and soooo soft and stretchy in all the right places. I could slip them on in the morning, wear them all day, lounge around on the couch in the evening, then slip them off at night, so I can have a shower before bed. In fact I did that for 2 days straight (I know, it’s a bit gross)… and I would have gone longer still, but the weather got too hot for wearing jeans during the day :P

I’m wearing a size 25 and they fit perfectly around my thighs. I do have to wear a belt, to make sure that they don’t ride too low and show off my daggy knickers. But I prefer to wear belts with my jeans anyway, so no loss there. Or maybe I should just wear nicer knickers? Maybe not.

I’m now lusting after another Current/Elliott pair from Shopbop, namely the “Stiletto Jeans” which are still on sale!!

ALSO.

My 7 year old son made a colourful, wooden, bead bracelet for me. I’m showing it off in the photo above.

Basically he got really bored one day, so he decided to – secretly – crack open my craft box. He strung together a pretty little gift for me, wrapped it up and made a card. No occasion. Just because! What a sweetie!

I’ve been trying to wear it with the rest of my arm swag whenever I go out. And it looks so cute!

necklaces_diva

Look at this jewellery haul!

The other day, I walked into a Diva shop and discovered that they were having a closing down sale – where everything was selling for $8, $6 or $4. Bargains galore!

(Top) Turquoise and gold spike necklace was $30, but I got it for $8.
(Bottom Right) Statement Diamante Necklace was $35, now $8. Diamante Ring was $15, now $6. Rhinestone earrings were $10, now $4.

Now the other two items, were not from Diva.
(Bottom left) Stunning choker by Collette Dinnigan for Lovisa – on sale!
(Also bottom left) Yellow flower earrings from Pigeonhole.

thong-honeybee

Lastly I was given a pair of these cute thongs from My Honeybees.

They are a company striving to raise awareness of the Australian honeybees, while selling these stylish thongs. For every pair they sell, they donate $2 towards research into keeping bee populations happy and healthy.

They have lots of pretty and vibrant colours to choose from – including aqua, lilac, hot pink, lime and champagne. I like them a lot!

Ok, that’s all for now. Hope you have wonderful 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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Say Hello To My New Lamp

24 January 2013

For months, I’ve been trying to find a table lamp for my house, so I can light up a particularly dark corner of my living room.

And at last, I found this very pretty (and well priced) lamp from Freedom – it’s perfect for my little table.

lamp-freedom01

I really like the shape of the lamp, size of the lampshade, the pattern on the base, and how the glaze-wash over the ceramic is messy and puddled a bit here and there.

Oh and it matches my paintings. I painted about 12 abstract landscapes (oil paint on stretched canvas) in 2007, when I was part of a group art exhibition. I managed to sell some, but the rest are not for sale. I can’t part with the remaining few. Instead they are dotted all around my house :)

lamp-freedom02

This painting is actually 1 of 4 square canvases (a quadtych?) inspired by my scuba diving days and swimming in the deep ocean. The sea sponge and driftwood were found objects from our beach holidays. The white vase and tea light holder were gifts. And the silver reindeer figurine is from my Christmas decoration-collection, that I decided not to pack away.

You know, I LOVE flipping through interior design magazines. I sigh at all the stunning rooms and beautiful objects, and I appreciate fine design and craftsmanship… but being a one income family, we simply can’t justify spending thousands (or hundreds!) of dollars on pretty furniture.

So… alas most times I make and restore things myself. I find secondhand furniture and objects (from the tip or thrift shops) , I clean them up, give them a bit of paint, or sand them back to create an antique look that I adore.

And this lamp… is the first homewares item I’ve bought in a loooong time!


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Wearing Grungey and Moody Prints

22 January 2013

Prints are still on trend for this season and the next.

Especially mirrored digital prints and prints with a “grungey” and “moody” edge. For example prints with dark colours, black and white prints that are geometric or messy… and angry/angsty images – like wild animals! Think wolves, bears, tigers, owls, bulldogs, sharks.

romwe_tunic

I found this cool, Retro Style Dress (from Romwe) with a scarf-style print and a very 60’s mod shapeless style.

I’m actually not sure what the picture is? A flower? An astronomical chart? An ink blot for a psychological test? No idea, but it looks nice and not too in-your-face.

It was great quality for the price I paid. It had a nice weight to it and the material had some quality to it. But when I tried it on, it was really short. It’s like a big t-shirt – a very different shape to the other dresses I own.

So I wore it out with little black shorts underneath and felt much better about wearing such a short dress! I really like it. I’ll be wearing and layering it up with leather pants or leggings in winter.

Actually, there’s some pretty amazing printed clothes over at Romwe. Tshirts, blouses, jumpers, jackets, skirts, leggings. All very affordable and with prints that I’ve never seen in the shops or other online stores before. Worth a look! I did a search so here’s a quick link to the clothes with prints results. 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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This Boy Is On Fire

21 January 2013

Wasabi Peanuts

The other day I went to my dad’s place and discovered – to my delight – that he had bought a tin of wasabi and nori flavoured peanuts. ZOMG! I love wasabi peas and peanuts!

So, totally ignoring my healthy paleo eating regime… and all the horrid ingredients in these things… I happily ate about 1/3 of the tin.

They were very fiery! The wasabi shot straight up my nose, bore holes into my brain, and my eyes felt like they were going to implode. It was so gooood :)

My 3 year old boy must have seen how much I was enjoying them… because he walked up to me and demanded to eat some. In fact, he scowled at me with narrowed eyes. He was so rude! Let’s just say he’s been in a very naughty phase these last couple of weeks.

I said simply, “Sorry Liam, these are not for you. These things are really hot. Like chili. They will burn your tongue. You won’t like them. Eat this instead.” And I handed him a dried apricot.

He huffed at me, stamped his foot and started the whole, “I WANT ONE! GIMME ONE NOW! THAT’S NOT FAIR!”

Bah, he was so rude. I have to admit that – for a split second – I was temped to give him one so that I could teach him a lesson. But no… these peanuts were really hot and oh what a horrible mother I would be!

I sighed and was *just* about to gently explain it all over again… when suddenly he whacked the tin out of my hands! Deliberately!

The wasabi peanuts flew across the table, he snatched one up in his hands and then he RAN out the door so I couldn’t catch him! So naughty right??!!

I shouted, “NOOO LIAM DON’T EAT IT!!!”

But of course it was too late. He started to SCREAM from the other room. And I mean, SHRIEK AND CRY AND CLAW AT HIS FACE like you would not believe!

He was smacking his own nose and face… and I have to say that I’ve never seen a kid DRAG HIS TONGUE across a carpet so urgently before. It looks exactly like it does in the cartoons. It was definitely a first for me.

So I fetched him some water, I cleaned his tongue with a tissue paper, I gave him some cuddles, and I patted his back as he whimpered in a fetal position on my lap. I was very kind to him.

But inside of me… omg I was rolling all over the floor, hysterical with laughter. Bwahahahaha!

Number one lesson in life buddy = Listen to your mother, yo.


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Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

20 January 2013

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been running some cool giveaways and competitions on my blog.

One giveaway was a $1000 gift card to spend at my-wardrobe … won by a very lucky, Suzzane C.

After she received her prize, I checked up on her to see if everything went OK. And she sent me these exciting photos!

My Wardrobe Winner - Shopping!

She chose two gorgeous designer bags – perfect for everyday use.

One from See by Chloe and the other from Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Great choices! I’m very envious :)

My Wardrobe Winner - Shopping!

my-wardrobe is currently offering FREE SHIPPING and FREE RETURNS on all orders to Australia. No trip to the post office required!

Also to celebrate Australia Day, enjoy 20% Off (New season items only) just enter the code AUSTRALIADAY20 at the check out. Promotion ends 28 Jan 2013.

Enjoy!

*If you’re interested in being notified of more of my upcoming competitions and giveaways, please sign up for my newsletter. The sign-up box is on the top right of this page. Thanks for your support!


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I’m the meanest mum in the world

19 January 2013

My mother always told me a story… about how her family was so poor that they couldn’t afford toys.

How she and her sisters would bundle up an old towel and pretend it was a baby. How sticks would become dolls. How they played with old tin cans, bits of rope and rocks.

She often tells that story with much fondness.

And that’s what came to mind when my 3 year old showed me this…

Liam's iphone

He made himself a paper iphone.

Yeah he had to MAKE ONE, because I refuse to buy my children ipods, iphones or ipads.

Haha aren’t I the meanest mum in the world? *cackles*

Anyway, this activity was picked up by my older two children. They began to “upgrade” Liam’s phone, by sticky taping other pages on top of the paper iphone to represent the different apps – games, maps, notes etc. In the end it even came with a stylus!

Ah it was so clever. And creative!

I was secretly so proud.

And I wondered if they would ever look back at this and have the same kind of nostalgic fondness.


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Paleo Eating: Salmon and Salad

17 January 2013

This was last week’s lunch – Salmon crusted with pistachio and sesame dukkah, with assorted sprouts.

Salmon with Dukkah

One of my favourite paleo meals is SALMON AND SALAD.

I absolutely love salmon.

I love it lightly cooked with a bit of salt and cracked pepper. Baked with pesto. Raw with wasabi and soy sauce. Crumbed with Italian herbs. Mixed with Indian spices.

But most of all, I love my salmon pan fried, coated with dukkah (a blend of nuts, seeds, and spices).


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A Flair For Black and White

15 January 2013

Club Couture have launched their new Flair collection, showcasing only black and white pieces, that oozes modern chic.

Featuring halter necks, racer backs, clean lines and crisp tailoring… I really took a shine to them.

Clothes from Club Couture

This top is the Contrast Racerback Tunic.

Usually I’m not a fan of shapeless tops, but this one has a seriously sexy racerback back (see photo here) and it seems to fall and flow really nicely. I’m wearing a singlet underneath, which is visible at the back. It’s just a very sporty and sexy look, in a very effortless (but still smart) kind of way.

It’d look fab with a long grey cardigan thrown over the top, or a black blazer, denim jacket, or wool coat.

I’m wearing it with leather pants, leopard print heels and a cluster of metal necklaces. It’s quite refreshing to be wearing such a simple and monochromatic outfit!

Clothes from Club Couture

This Sleeveless Contrast Dress also caught my eye when I saw it on the website. I really liked how preppy it looked. And it turned out to be lovely to wear. Easy, comfortable and it looked great.

The full circle skirt, the contrast collar and button down… they all make it a very classy and smart dress. I’d say it’s perfect for work or weekend.

There is another similar dress, but with 3/4 sleeves, which is also very nice!

Clothes by Club Couture

Here are few more items from the collection. As I said, very modern and chic.

You can check out the rest of the Flair Collection or their New Arrivals.

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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A Few Of My Favourite Things

14 January 2013

On the weekend I managed to catch up on a few of my loves :)

Atomic Coffee

Cycling. I rode 40kms, mostly along the river. Then I stopped to have a 1 hour coffee chat with friends.

It was 7:30am in the morning and the cafe was bustling with breakfast orders… the smells from the kitchen were amazing.

I was very temped to order a bacon, mushroom, sausage and egg fry-up for myself, but haha I would be SO FULL… that I wouldn’t be able to ride home! I would have to take a nap, curled up, under a tree somewhere haha!

Game of Thrones

Reading. I friend of mine recommended this book to me. I’ve heard of it (years ago), but I’ve never picked it up til now.

I love it! I can’t put it down.It’s been a while since I’ve immersed myself in some awesome fiction.

Now I’m looking forward to watching the TV series.

Bok Choy Wilting

Gardening. My neighbour gave me a box full of Asian vegetable seedlings.

I’m actually not sure what they are. Bok choy? Choy sum? Nonetheless, I was so pleased to start up a new vege patch.

I transferred them into an old wine barrel… and I forgot to water them. The next day, they all wilted, and I only managed to save 50% of them. Ooops!

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead! :)


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Benefit Primer, Concealer and Highlighter Review

11 January 2013

adore_boing

I picked out a few beauty items that I’ve been itching to try, courtesy of Adore Beauty.

Benefit Boi-ing Lemon Aid Eyelid Primer/Concealer Duo Set

I’ve heard lots of positive reviews about the Boi-ing primer and Lemon Aid concealer, and I thought this was a great way to try them both. My biggest concern is… will they suit my Asian skin tone?

I have combination skin. A few dry patches here, and a few oily spots there. My skin is not sensitive, nor does it suffer from unusual oiliness or dryness. So…

When I first used the concealer, I thought it was fantastic. I used it under my eyes, and it blended so well. The colour was ok. It was a bit lighter than I expected, but after a bit more dabbing it looked fine. I stepped back from the mirror, and saw that my dark patches and blemishes were lightened and my eyes seemed brighter. I also used it around my nose and on my chin.

Same goes for the primer. I thought they worked really well on me. They both had a very nice consistency and felt smooth and easy to apply.

I layered up with suncream and a touch of foundation, and the results were excellent. I really liked the two products a lot!

But then I went on holidays and I got a bit tanned and my skin went a bit dry.

So I’m now finding that the concealer is a bit too light for my tanned skin!! I also find that because my skin is a bit dry, the concealer doesn’t seem to “melt away” as well as before. The more I try to apply, the more whitish it looks. Damn! I’m a bit grumpy, because I really liked it. I guess I’ll have to get the next shade up.

The Lemon Aid primer still looks good and works well though :)

I rate it 4/5 stars.

Benefit Watt’s Up! Soft Focus Highlighter

I’m a big fan of blush and bronzers. I believe they are the underrated secret to a radiant face! I never leave the house without a swipe of blush. It totally lifts your face and complexion.

So being such an avid user of blush, I have always wanted to try using a highlighter.

I used Benefits Watt’s Up on my cheekbones and it looked pretty good. I just applied a *tiny* little bit, blended it in with my fingertips and it gave a nice glow to my cheeks. The faint sparkle and champagne colour was nice.

But I also tried it on my brow bones and the outer corners of my eyes, and it looked weird. It just made my skin look patchy white, and looked like I wasn’t using the right colour foundation or something.

I don’t think I’ll use this every day. Just when I go out and want to look a bit more polished.

I rate it 3/5 stars.

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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My Family Of Party Animals

10 January 2013

While on our holiday, we relaxed a lot of rules and let the kids go a bit wild…

The Cidery, Bridgetown

We let them drink as much non-alcoholic apple cider as they wanted! They polished off a whole jug to themselves!

Haha! How much does that look like beer??

We visited a Cidery while we were in Bridgetown and we sat outside in the “drinking garden”.

I watched my children drink and drink and drink. Glass after glass being poured. The clinking of the glass cups. The fizzy heads tingling at their noses. I laughed and thought – this just looks sooo wrong!

(And after an hour or two, they told me that it came out the same colour!! HA!!)


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3 Ways to Wear a Sequin Skirt

9 January 2013

One of the best ways to freshen up your wardrobe is to invest in a statement skirt.

A bold, eye-catching skirt design can go a long way with all the tops, tanks, tees, shirts and jackets that you currently own.

Many months ago, I spotted this geometric sequin skirt from Forever New. I saw it and immediately wanted it, but it was $120 (I think!). I tried it on, and stood in the change room umming and ahhing over it. I couldn’t justify the price at the time, so I reluctantly put it back.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I saw it heavily discounted to $40!! I think it wasn’t a very popular item because there were three size 6’s and eight size 8’s and a gazillion size 10’s on the racks. Big win for meee!

I wore it to a small fashion store launch and a total of 6 people walked up to me and asked me where I got it from. Haha at first I was a bit shy to admit that I got it for close to nothing, but after a while, it was such a great conversation topic in the end (ie. discussing all the fabulous fashion items we bought for mere pennies!)

3 Ways to Wear - Sequin Skirt

So I put together 3 different ways to wear a sequin skirt. Of course you can try it with any kind of statement skirt. Enjoy!

1) With a Printed Tee
My very rad Zoe Karssen t-shirt is from The Iconic
Suede ankle booties are from YesStyle
Vintage belt

2) Tank and Sharp Blazer
Semi-sheer, polka dot top is from AL&ALICIA
White blazer is from Bardot
Leopard print heels are from ModaBella

3) With a Slouchy Shirt
Denim shirt is by Beige (from Korea) – similar designs at ASOS
Studded ankle booties are from 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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Swimming With The Elephants

7 January 2013

During our family holiday down in the Great Southern Region of WA, we visited a beeeeautiful beach called Greens Pool.

The colours were just amazing!

Denmark WA 2012 - Greens Pool

It’s a sheltered beach with crystal clear water and soft white sand, making it perfect for families with children.

The water was a bit cold though, being the Southern Ocean and all.

However, this particular day was 42C, so dipping in the cool water was a refreshing relief.

Denmark WA 2012 - Greens Pool

Locals say that while you’re at Greens Pool, the “thing you have to do” is to jump off the rock in the middle of the bay (into the icy water).

My 3.5 year old, who has inherited my aversion to cold water, refused to swim with us and climb on the rocks in the water.

So we made him a “rock” on the beach for him to jump off. As you can see from this picture, he ain’t no ballerina.

Denmark WA 2012

A little later we all walked east, skipping over the huge rocks, to another little cove.

Denmark WA 2012 - Elephant Rocks

This place was called Elephant Rocks. Yes, because if you have the gift of imagination (unlike my three annoyed children), there are a bunch of rocks here that look like a herd of elephants. (To see a larger photo, you can click on the picture above.)

The place was so pretty. It looked so much like the tropical waters of South East Asia.

It was very shallow, so we waded far out into the bay. I took my two big boys for a swim out and around the large rocks. The water was so clear. We saw lots of fish and our feet were tickled by weird looking seaweed.

It was just gorgeous! It reminded me of my scuba diving adventures many years ago, and it made me hanker for some awesome snorkeling.


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My YesStyle Christmas Loot

6 January 2013

Last month I got to pick out a few items from YesStyle, and they arrived a day after Christmas.

It was Christmas all over again! For me anyway :)

yes_studboots

The Stud and Buckle Boots are pretty awesome! They are by high-street Korean fashion label Redopin, and yes they are inspired by a similar Chloe boot which is really popular right now. The boot style is actually a few years old and have since spawned a plethora of look-a-likes by Jeffery Cambell, TopShop, Zu Shoes, just to name a few.

I picked out the Black Shoulder Bag because it channelled a bit of Prada, without the Prada price tag. You see, I needed a black carry bag to hold ALL MY CAMERA GEAR, when I go out to events (I don’t like using camera bags)! So the bag had to be genuine leather, simple design, stylish, no top flaps, had to have a couple of handy zip pockets, and it had to be under $100! You’d be surprised how hard it was to find a bag like that.

But this one ticked all the boxes and it is a great purchase for my very “functional” needs.

yes_laceskirt

Lastly, I chose this lovely Crochet Lace Skirt in a gorgeous coffee-camel colour. It is a really simple and elegant skirt, which fits me so well. I can’t wait to style it and wear it out.

( 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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Like Swimming in Chinese Tea

3 January 2013

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic start to the new year, we certainly had a memorable and relaxing few weeks.

Our family took a trip to the Great Southern Region of Western Australia. We visited towns such as Bridgetown, Pemberton, Walpole, Denmark. It’s a region best known for its beautiful forests, beaches and overall stunning views.

While we were in Denmark (about 5 hours drive from Perth), we stayed with friends on their family farm. They spent a few days showing us all the best local spots to visit and omg I had *such* an incredible time!

Behold!

Frankland River, WA

This is the Frankland River – quite possibly the most beautiful river I have ever seen. How insanely gorgeous is that view?!

Our friends have a boat and both our families took a cruise up the river. We putted along for 30 minutes until we reached this little jetty, where we stopped for a picnic and swim.

And the view of our cruise was pretty much just like in that picture above, the whole way through – breathtaking!

Frankland River, WA
The swim was also quite an experience. The water was very clean, but strangely dark brown in colour. The colour comes from the trees in the water… so it’s a bit like swimming in thick black Chinese tea. I quietly hoped that the colour didn’t stain my skin, because I didn’t want to come out looking like a tandoori chicken.

The water had thermoclines (layers of water at different temperatures) and as I swam through the river, the water near my neck was like a warm bath and the water at my feet was icy cold.  It was a very unusual and stimulating  sensation!

We also did a bit of “fun fishing” with the kids. We used overcooked steak as our bait (haha!), to ensure that we didn’t actually catch any fish.

Frankland River, WA

This is me, absolutely loving the boat ride! And this is Liam (my 3.5yo), not too crazy about wearing a life jacket.

At the very end, while we were cruising home, we bumped into some people who were paddling along in hired kayaks. I watched them glide quietly over the still, mirrored waters. Oh my it looked heavenly.

I promised myself that – one day in the future – we’ll take our kids kayaking and camping here. I’m looking forward to coming back already.


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Nikon S800C – A compact camera with wifi!

2 January 2013

I had the pleasure of testing out the brand new Nikon S800C camera for few weeks.

It is the first compact camera to be built with an android platform, meaning that you can connect it to your wifi and instantly share your photos and videos across your social media networks.

Nikon S800C

I’m delighted by how slim it is. It is practically the same size as my smartphone (iphone 4S) but it’s just a bit thicker in the body. And this is fabulous for me, as it fits nicely into my handbag – to make room for all my other girl stuff.

As a compact camera, it is just like a standard Nikon Coolpix. Easy to use, full of auto functions, auto focus, zoom, good for low light situations, and it takes a nice clean hi-res photo.

It’s a great camera for just pointing and shooting.

It definitely takes better photos than my smartphone. Especially when trying to shoot in places with low lighting, like restaurants and bars. So hey, you can look forward to seeing sharper photos of my drunken dancing in bars on Facebook haha! Ok maybe not.

It also zooms into the frame much better, and takes a clearer photo than my smartphone.

Nikon S800C

When you switch modes from “Camera Mode” to the “Home Menu“, you can connect to your wifi and connect to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. You can even install your favourite apps, photo filters, music, games, manage your files, etc etc. It’s pretty nifty. Just like an Android smartphone.

However, if you’re out and about the camera can’t *directly* connect to the internet, so you still have to find a wifi source, or use your smartphone to act as a hotspot.

Some of the features are not quite integrated yet. For example if you are in Twitter and you want to Tweet a photo, it doesn’t automatically activate the camera. You have to switch the mode to “Shooting Mode”, then take a photo, and then go back to “Home Mode”, go to the Twitter app, then upload the photo.

It was a bit clunky at first, but in a way, when I thought about it, that’s how I use my smartphone.

I prefer to take a whole heap of photos on my smartphone, carefully review all my photos, select the best one, spend some time doing a bit of cropping and brightening, THEN I upload it.

So really, I found it quite normal and have accepted that I’M THE ONE who is a bit clunky :)

Overall, it’s a good little compact camera with handy connectivity features.

I’m a little sad to say goodbye to it (it was a demo loan model), because I would have loved to take it on holiday with me!


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Hello 2013!

1 January 2013

Denmark Farm, WA

We are spending our new year celebrations in WA’s Great Southern Region.

We are on a farm and there is a creek, tractors, animals, walking tracks, lots of trees and the ocean is down the road.

Here’s me standing on the balcony, surrounded by farmland and forest, looking out into the distance… and wishing everyone a great start to the new year!!