Archive for July 2013

 

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream

31 July 2013

Chocolate Cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream

This cake recipe is gluten-free! Basically, instead of plain flour, I use almond meal.

Most people expect it to taste weird when I say it’s gluten-free, but OMG it’s such a gorgeous chocolate cake that is worthy of serving up anywhere.

I don’t like chocolate cakes that are too rich, dense, sickly sweet, and loaded with eggs and sugar.

Which is why I adore this recipe, because the cake is light, moist, soft, and just divine to eat. It’s not dry or crumbly and it’s a winner every time I make it.

It’s also simple to make, and it only has a few ingredients.

Ingredients
100g unsalted butter
140g dark chocolate, chopped
100g of brown sugar
3 eggs separated
140g of almond meal

500g of fresh strawberries, quartered
2 tablespoons of icing sugar for dusting

300g of whipping cream
2 tablespoons of caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.

2. Slowly melt chocolate, butter and brown sugar, until smooth. Then let it cool for 5 minutes.

(You can melt it in a bowl over hot water, or melt it in the microwave. I just melt them in a small pot on the stove, on VERY low heat!)

3. Whisk the egg whites until you can make firm peaks when you lift the whisk up. I use an electric hand mixer.

4. Add the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture, then stir in the almond meal. Mix until well combined.

5. Fold in the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, until well combined. Pour into cake tin.

6. Bake for 30 minutes or until your skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for another 10 minutes. Turn the cake onto a plate to cool completely.

7. To make the whipped cream, just add sugar to the cream and mix with an electric mixer for 5 minutes until thick and fluffy.

8. Spread the cream on top of the cooled cake, place the strawberries on top. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Enjoy!

xxx


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Getting My Bear On

30 July 2013

After returning from my tropical holiday, I’ve been in denial about the cold weather in Australia. A light cardigan should be fine for winter! Surely I can wear my open-toe shoes in the rain!

So I’m already gearing up for some kick-ass trans-seasonal dressing.

Knit and Fur

Light knits are my go-to answer for the “in-between seasons”. Comfortable and versatile, you really can’t go wrong.

But can you believe that I don’t own a plain, black knit jumper?!

So I had a peek at Next Direct.

It was the first time I’ve bought from them. They are based in the UK, they have been around for ages… and they have a HUGE selection of styles. It was an excellent shopping experience.

I picked out this 3/4 sleeve, black v-neck knit with flecks of metallic thread. It’s really nice, sits well, comfortable and casual. It was a good buy. Unfortunately it has since sold out.

My impression of Next Direct… are that their styles are more tailored, smart, and they have lots of modern “city looks” and “classic wear”. They are on-trend, but I believe they target women over 21.

Meaning – You won’t find any neon t-shirts with crystal lettering, mid-riffs and slashed backs here ha :)

They also offer free international shipping, with no minimum spend and easy returns, which is awesome.

Knit and Fur

My furry vest is so big and fluffy, that I can’t help but give it a cuddle every time I take it off. Vest is from Korea (YesStyle), or you can get one similar here from ASOS.

My jeans are J Brand from The Iconic

Open toe heels are from ASOS

Alldressedup Bag is from ShopTheMag

Sunglasses by Prada (Sunglasses Shop)

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my


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Oh I How I Love Pain in the Rain

29 July 2013

The week I was away on holiday, I ate with absolutely no restraints.

I couldn’t help myself. It was Singapore. The food was so good. And it was everywhere.

I threw my healthy eating regime out the window and just enjoyed myself. That’s what holidays are for right?

Chicken curry and roti prata for BREAKFAST? Yes please.

Char kway teow with cockles, Hainanese chicken rice, prawn noodles, chicken porridge with yu char kway – all before dinner? Hell why not.

But after 5 days of it, I started to feel edgy.

I was dreaming of steamed broccoli and green beans!!

I was itching to jump back onto my bike and feel a bit of pain.

Freeway Ride

So yesterday morning, I rode 85 kms.

It hurt like hell. My legs were burning. My bottom was hurting. My whole body was aching and throbbing.

The last 20kms were the hardest. It started to rain. The wind picked up. I needed to pee. I rode slower and slower. Every down stroke of each pedal was agonising.

And I was so far behind my group (as you can tell from the photo).

All I wanted to do was to STOP AND LIE DOWN IN THE SAND!

But I just sucked it up… and cursed and swore until I reached the end… the cafe and toilets.

On hindsight, it wasn’t that bad.

The rain was nice. And the pain was better.


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A Kaleidoscope of Orchids

27 July 2013

While in Singapore, my husband and I managed to squeeze in a date night by ourselves!

We went to Marina Bay Sands (which I haven’t been to before), took a stroll around the casino, the Art and Science Museum, and walked around Marina Bay enjoying the wonderful tropical evening.

Singapore, Chijmes Outfit
Then we visited an old, favourite place of mine – Chijmes, on Victoria Street. It was so leafy, peaceful and un-crowded. It certainly had a very different vibe to the insanely-busy casino. My husband and I shared drinks and a meal, under the trees.

I wore this stunning Artic Queen Dress from Alibi Online.

The colours are so so pretty and vibrant, like a kaleidoscope of jewels, orchids and tropical flowers. It was very eye catching and it was lovely to wear. The back of the dress has a deep V-neck, with an exposed zip… and I think I could get away with wearing it back to front :)

As for the rest of my outfit, I wore my big, gold tassel earrings from Frockaholics, my navy Rebecca Minkoff handbag from Shopbop, and leather heels from GlamRockChic.

With love from Singapore!

xxx


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Four Bags of Spew

25 July 2013

Last week I went to Singapore for a family trip.

It was the first time my 2 boys (aged 10 and 8) had EVER been on a plane.

I thought they would love it.

I mean, they get to have their very own TV screen, they can play computer games, watch tv shows and movies and eat snacks for 5 hours!

But what did they do instead?

VOMIT!

They filled up 2 AIR SICK BAGS EACH!

I sat between them. Two spewing kids either side of me.

They were bent over, clutching their paper bags, making horrible vomiting noises, and filling the entire plane with such a ghastly smell… Oh, my poor boys.

One thing I must say, I am genuinely very impressed by the technological advances of air sick bags. Those flimsy paper bags? They don’t leak! They don’t lose their shape! They can hold up to 2 cups of watery stuff without losing their structural integrity! Hasn’t modern day travel come a long way.

There was not a drop of spew on their t-shirts, the airplane blankets, the seats. And most importantly… there was no spew on me.

When they were done, the plane had landed.

Hello Singapore! We brought gifts!

I was holding FOUR FRICKING BAGS OF PUKE and calling out to the air stewards – “UMM, EXCUES ME! I NEED SOME HELP HERE!” The bags sloshed around dangerously as I tried to press the HELP button with my elbow.

By now the other passengers were starting to stand and open the overhead compartments. People were flowing out of their seats into the aisles! Oh no what was I going to do? I was trapped with my bags of vomit!

Thankfully, I found a plastic bag (that held a plane blanket) and carefully placed all the paper bags into the plastic bag, knotted up the top and left it on the seat.

It was our gift to air travel :P

Bags of Spew
Eeeeeeeewwwwwww!


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Call Me Crazy, But I Love The Humidity

24 July 2013

Wow I’m back from my Singapore trip… and I have lots of photos and fun posts to share with you all!

But before I dig through thousands of holiday snaps, and before I crank up my washing machine to attack 7 loads of laundry… I just want to show you THE photo that best describes our holiday:

RTC Pool

Hours and hours of swimming (morning, afternoon and night!), in the glorious tropical weather and enjoying poolside satays!

Total bliss!!

xxx


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3 Ways to Wear Silver Shoes

23 July 2013

3 Ways to Wear Silver Shoes

I bought these silver mirror heels from The Iconic a few weeks ago and I just love how they add a simple, vibrant shine to my outfits.

I discovered that the silver shoes work well in place of nude, white or black shoes. I would definitely categorise them as a “neutral colour”.

While I would wear them with reds and pinks, I don’t think I would wear them with yellows, oranges, camels or browns.

I would mainly wear my silver heels with cool colours – like blues, greens, turquoise, greys, navy, white and black.

Left Outfit:
Sash Drake White tee from Ciaobella Travel
Print skirt by Ode (from YesStyle)
Necklace from Equip

Middle Outfit:
Silk tank from ForeverNew
Dotty Circle skirt from AL&ALICIA
Gold bracelet from Shopbop

Right Outfit:
Denim shirt (knotted) from ASOS
Denim shorts from Sportsgirl
Bracelet from FORIN and Shopbop

( 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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Dreaming of Tropical

19 July 2013

Dreaming of Tropical

I’ve been on the look out for a one piece swimsuit, that looks a bit like this Ted Baker one (from ASOS)… colourful, strapless, with a sweetheart neckline.

I have seen so many gorgeous, tropical print swimsuits in dark green and blue shades… that if I eventually buy one, I swear I’ll totally wear mine as a bodysuit in some glam, night time outfit. But I’ll have to make sure I don’t smell like salt.

On another note, how sexy are those Heeled Sandals? They were $74 from ASOS, now $37.

And that leopard print Clare Vivier clutch is definitely a worth investing in.

Outfit Details
Ted Baker Swimsuit from ASOS
Alexander Wang White Pants from The Outnet
Black crop jacket from Topshop
Clare Vivier Clutch from Shopbop
Ben Amun Necklace from Shopbop
Leather and Textile strap heels from ASOS
Nars Manhunt Lipstick from StrawberryNET


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My Red Headed Flying Fox

18 July 2013

Liam on Flying Fox
I wanted to share this photo of my little 4 year old… because it makes me a little fuzzy inside.

And I need a bit of that right now.

You see, as I write this, the kid has been a horrible little monster.

And I just need to reassure myself (and the internet) that I don’t actually want to sell him to the local childcare as a permanent child helper, who lives in a box in the shed. Did I really say that? Maybe.

Here he is in the photo… sitting on a flying fox, 2 metres up in the air. He’s terrified, frozen with fear, yet putting on a brave face. He wants to be just like his big brothers.

As he whizzed past me (taking a picture of him) on the flying fox, he mouthed out to me – I LOVE YOU MUM, followed by a theatrical and crazy-eyed AAAAHHHHHH!

I love you too, you crazy little red-headed boy.


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Our Epic Overseas Family Trip

17 July 2013

By the time you see this blog post, I will be on a jet plane headed to the sunny island of Singapore!

My husband, myself and 3 kids are flying in for a 6 day holiday, where we will meet my parents, and my brother, his wife and his 3 boys, who have also flown up from Australia.

It’ll be an EPIC family trip! 6 adults and 6 young kids!

It is the first time my two big boys (aged 10 and 8) have *ever* been on a plane, been to a different country, and stayed in a fancy hotel. So they are reeeeally excited! I suspect something as simple as the “breakfast buffet” is going to blow their minds haha.

We are taking the kids to Legoland (in Malaysia), Universal Studios, Sentosa, the Aquarium, the Zoo, Night Safari, Gardens By the Bay… and more. And we’re trying to fit all that inside 6 days. It might not be possible, but we’ll give it a go.

As for my blog, I have lots of posts lined up for the next week and I’ll be posting my updates on my Facebook Page and Instagram (follow me on @karenlycheng).

To end this post, I thought I’d share with you my beauty bag.

Packing for Singapore!

Behold… 3kgs of beauty crap!

(The biggest compartment – not really pictured – was the heaviest, with bottles of shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, body moisturiser, night cream, suncream, nail polish remover, cotton pads, etc etc etc!)

Sheesh. Why do us girls do this to ourselves? :P


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Strapless Dresses from ModCloth

16 July 2013

Remember a few weeks ago, I was deliberating on a dress to buy from ModCloth?

Well I’m still deciding!

But I’ve narrowed my search to… a strapless dress, with a bit of a flare skirt and a nice print.

What do you think of these? I can’t really decide. They all look pretty and they stand out a bit, but not too much. Perfect for weddings and parties :)

Strapless Dresses from ModCloth

Ocean print dress – Time of My Life

Violet dotty dress – Linger a Little Longer

Strapless Dresses from ModCloth

Dark blue dress – Baklava Beauty in Blueberry

Mint roses dress – Traveling Cupcake Truck

If you’re new to ModCloth and you’d like to sign up as a new member and make a purchase over $50, you can get $15 off by using my referral link here.

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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Best Playdough Recipe

15 July 2013

The school holidays are still here and I was talked into making a fresh batch of playdough.

I almost forgot the joy of sinking my fingers into hot, fresh, squishy, springy playdough on a cold winter day.

Here’s the recipe –

Ingredients
2 cups of plain flour
½ cup of salt
4 tablespoons of cream of tartar
1 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 cups of water
Some drops of food colouring

Directions
1) Put all the ingredients into a pot and stir well!

Playdough _ Yellow

2) Heat on a medium/low heat until mixture thickens, stirring continuously.

My 4 year old’s favourite colour is now yellow. So the playdough looks like custard.

Playdough _ Yellow

3) It takes about 10 minutes to turn into a thick sticky mess. Keep stirring to heat the dough evenly.

Playdough _ Yellow

4) Once it sticks together, roll it into a ball in the pot. Press the ball with your fingers, it should be spongy, not sticky.

Take it off the heat and leave it for 5 minutes to cool down.

Hey presto, perfect playdough that is smooth, elastic, soft, malleable, holds its shape, does not smell of chemicals.

It can last up to 3 months when placed in the fridge in a sealed container. When I reuse it, I like to put it into my microwave for 60seconds to warm and soften it up again.

Playdough _ Yellow

Playdough _ Yellow

Playdough _ Yellow

Enjoy!

xx


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Nirvana

12 July 2013

Swarovski Nirvana Ring

Oh my. I was given the opportunity to feature this Nirvana ring by Swarovski, made from solid Montana crystal, in deep blue.

Swarovski Nirvana Ring

Just look at that crystal! It’s stunning!!


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Back at it

11 July 2013

Oh man, it’s been weeks since I’ve gone for a bike ride.

My running programme has pretty much stopped. And I’ve been to the gym ONCE in 2 weeks.

No I haven’t been sick.

I’ve just been really busy with work… blog projects, proposals, emails, invoicing, backend coding, meetings, photography, editing. It’s 24/7 and it’s the reality of running a small business.

Oh and the weather has been so cold! I walk around wearing 3 layers… stressed, cold, busy, distracted, with a zillion things to do, with chipped nail polish, mountains of laundry to fold, kids fighting and bored on the school holidays… and I’ve totally lost ALL my motivation to exercise.

Even my eating has gone haywire!

And let me tell you, when I eat badly I get hell cranky and shitty.

I hit an emotional wall last week, and I slowly emerged from my train wreck… resolved that I couldn’t change the world before the weekend, by myself.

I accepted that I should stop hating myself and just take a few baby steps in the right direction. Towards the place where I want to be.

I asked my husband for a bit of help. He came home from work early. He took over the home duties, while I dusted the cobwebs off my bike.

Perth City Ride 30km

I rode to the city and around the river. Slow and gentle. The clear winter skies were beautiful. The air was so crisp and cool.

I pushed myself until my distance ticked over 30kms. My legs didn’t hurt. At all. Suddenly I felt good. My body remembered how to do this.

Poached Eggs

Once home, I had a hot shower and made myself a snack.

I made poached eggs on a pile of steamed spinach and lettuce. Just like what I used eat.

I took the time to poach the eggs. Slowly. Just like how I used to do it.

As I carefully sliced open my eggs and watched the perfect yolk ooze out onto the deep green vegetables, I smiled and found my happy place again. In the simple details of life.

I remembered just how different life can feel… by slowing down.

To Stop. And smell the egg yolks, in my case.


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Slouchy Slouchy

9 July 2013

Slouchy Slouchy

I’m completely in love with my In Good Company slouchy pants :)

When I dress myself in the morning, instead of grabbing my red jeans or printed jeans… who would have thought I would be so excited to pull on a pair of black pants.

I was headed out to the city today to drop off some items. I threw on my printed tshirt, a printed scarf and some bright coloured shoes. I felt a bit mismatched and laid back, but meh, who cares.

Slouchy Slouchy

I wore some chandelier earrings to sparkle up my outfit.

And I popped my hangbag items into my new roll-up clutch in champagne gold. I think the clutch is supposed to look like a paper lunch bag… which is really cute, and handy.

Slouchy Pants from In Good Company
Print Tee by Zoe Karssen from The Iconic / The Outnet
Scarf from Sportsgirl
Roll-Up Clutch from YesStyle
Blue shoes from ASOS

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my


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The Pickled Fig, Fremantle : A Vegetarian Feast Night

8 July 2013

Several years ago, due to health reasons, my husband changed to a vegetarian diet. He took it on for 6 months then he changed back once his health improved. I cooked most of his meals during that time, so I became very familiar with cooking vegetarian dishes and I really enjoyed it too.

Since then, he and I have been very interested in eating a more vegetable-based diet and eating meatless meals 2 or 3 times a week.

Which brings me to my latest food review…

I accepted a warm invitation by The Fig to experience their Vegetarian Feast night.

We have never been out to eat – exclusively – vegetarian food. So this was something different for us.

The Fig owns three eateries in Perth: The Naked Fig in Swanbourne, The Wild Fig in Scarborough and The Pickled Fig in Fremantle… and once a week they offer a special vegetarian menu for their patrons.

I have never been to any of the three Figs. And this evening, we went to The Pickled Fig in South Fremantle.

The Pickled Fig, Fremantle : A Vegetarian Feast Night

Being in South Fremantle (right next to the beach and playground), the restaurant is quite isolated from the rest of the hustle and bustle of Fremantle’s main cafe strip.

It felt like we were entering a “hidden gem” – warm and cosy, rich with colours, dim lighting, local artworks, and an eclectic feel.

The Pickled Fig, Fremantle : A Vegetarian Feast Night

We chose 2 entrees, 2 mains and 2 desserts from the vegetarian menu.

The Pickled Fig, Fremantle : A Vegetarian Feast Night

Funky Blue Fungi – Sautéed button mushrooms in a rich blue cheese and garlic creamy sauce served with Turkish breads (vegetarian and gluten free option) $18

This entrée was fantastic. The sauce was superb.

If there is anyone who thinks vegetarian food is bland and boring, then you have to try this winning combination of blue cheese, garlic and mushrooms.

I don’t usually eat white bread, but I broke off a piece to dip into the cheese sauce… and to my delight, the bread was amazingly soft, springy, crunchy and fragrant.

I ended up eating the whole slice oops.

The Pickled Fig, Fremantle : A Vegetarian Feast Night

Nachos To Share – Corn chips, red beans, napolitana sauce, maffra cheddar, avocado, diced tomato & spring onion topped with herbed sour cream (vegetarian, vegan option and gluten free) $20

When we were ordering our food, the waitress wiggled her eyebrows at us, saying “Are you SURE you want this? It’s pretty big. The serve is for two people.”

My husband and I are both little, short and kind of on the slim side, but we have big appetites and we like a good bowl of nachos. So we said YES.

Big mistake. Should have listened to the waitress. The serve was huge!

Although the presentation wasn’t great and the cheese could have been hotter and more melted…the flavours were very yummy and the avocado topping had a delicious fresh and zingy taste.

It was one of the nicest vegetarian nachos I’ve eaten… usually because vegetarian nachos are often served as the poor and pathetic version of the meaty nacho option.

The Pickled Fig, Fremantle : A Vegetarian Feast Night

Risotto – Pumpkin, sundried tomato & corn risotto with white wine, garlic and
parmesan (vegetarian and gluten free) $26

My risotto arrived and it looked good. Colourful, full of different textures and layers and it was a substantial serve.

The corn and pumpkin added a nice sweetness, the garlic and parmesan gave it lots of flavour, the sundried tomato gave it an added punch.

You could tell that the dish wasn’t trying to “show off”, or be “modern” and introduce new and complex flavours together. So I guess it wasn’t surprising, or OMG AMAZING.

It had a home-cooked feel to it, tasty, full of flavour and hearty.

The Pickled Fig, Fremantle : A Vegetarian Feast Night

Curry – Mild lentil and chickpea dahl with basmati rice (vegan and gluten free) $23

Same goes for the curry. It had yummy, fresh, spicy flavours, with a real home-cooked feel about it.

It was a hearty serve and an enjoyable dish.

In fact, it was so tasty, that it’s inspired me to try a little harder when cooking vegetarian curries from now on.

The Pickled Fig, Fremantle : A Vegetarian Feast Night

Ooey Gooey – the figs famous gooey choc pudding with vanilla parfait, a crisp chocolate cone and run and raisin figs (vegetarian) $10

YUM this chocolate pudding was fantastic!

The centre of the pudding was hot and gooey, contrasting nicely with the moist chocolate cake surrounding it.

The figs were a little too rich (sticky and sweet) for me, I left them all (but one) untouched.

All the ice cream disappeared in a snap though! Definitely worth $10.

The Pickled Fig, Fremantle : A Vegetarian Feast Night

White choc panna cotta – infused with vanilla served with summer berry compote and pistachio biscotti (gluten free option) $10

The panna cotta was delicious and light, and the vanilla flavour made it taste like ice cream jelly.

I thought this dessert looked marvellous all plated up. And I hope to try making it at home to serve at a dinner parties.

Overall, the entrees and mains had a very home-cooked, simple, good “honest food” taste to them.

I felt quite good that we ate vegetarian tonight (although some of the dishes were not exactly very healthy!)

I believe the prices are reasonable for a such a nice meal. Most times we pay double the price for a very mediocre meal. So I enjoyed the whole experience.

Next time we would order 1 entrée, 2 mains and 1 dessert.

And next time we will listen to the waggling eyebrows of the waitress.

Vegetarian Feasts are available on the following nights:
Naked Fig, Swanbourne – Tuesday
Wild Fig, Scarborough – Wednesday
Pickled Fig, South Fremantle – Thursday
(On those days, meat options are still available on the menu.)

I’ll definitely come back during the day to try the lunch menu, eat some non-vegetarian meals, and to enjoy the view of the ocean.

The Pickled Fig
9/21 Ocean Drive
North Coogee, Fremantle

The Pickled Fig Cafe on Urbanspoon


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Napoleon Sale at Adore

7 July 2013

Adore Napoleon Sale

Adore Beauty is having a 15-22% off sale of Napoleon products… makeup, skin care, brushes!

So I decided to stock up on a few of my favourite items… plus try a few new products.

I’ve been trying out the Pro Palette Concealer for a few weeks and it is now in my TOP 10 MUST HAVE beauty items. Every time I use it, it makes me want to cry because I’m so happy that I’ve finally found a concealer that works for me, matches my colour, and is affordable.

The dark brown in the palette (at the front) is slightly darker than my Asian skin colour, but mixed with a dab of the lighter brown, it’s perfect. I don’t use a brush and mix it on the back of my hand like the professionals do (who’s got time for that?)… I just blend it straight onto my face with clean fingers.

My biggest problem areas are a few acne scars next to my nose, which are pretty dark spots… and like I said, this concealer has been great for covering them up. It’s like using a magic airbrush tool over my face – yay!

I’m also loving the Off Duty Tinted Moisturiser.

I’ve been looking for a simple, affordable, but good quality, tinted moisturiser, because my face has been sooooo dry this winter that I *neeeed* more moisture under my foundation.

This one has been lovely to use as a makeup base and it gives my face a nice soft and hydrated feel. The coverage is sheer and light. I like it a lot.

Enjoy the sale!

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


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Comme des Garçons vs Marc Jacobs

5 July 2013

As a birthday present to myself, I treated myself to a new clutch from my-wardrobe… but I couldn’t decide which I liked more.

So I ordered BOTH and I will see how I feel about them when they arrive! :)

What do you think?!

My Wardrobe - Clutch

COMME des GARÇONS
Super-fluoro Two-tone Zip-top Pouch

My Wardrobe - Clutch

Marc by Marc Jacobs
Electric Stage Techno Holographic Wristlet Clutch Bag

They are both around the $100 – $130 mark.

Both about the same size and style, both a happy, vibrant colour.

The Comme des Garçons one is leather, it is bright orange on one side and bright green on the other. So it’s like having two really rad clutches?

The Marc Jacobs one is thermoplastic polyurethane (not leather) but it has a cool holographic shine that I really like. It reminds me of the shine on butterfly wings. And the blue colour is just dreamy.

I just adore these flat clutches, because can also be used as pouches for my handbag (to store my notebooks, pens, tissues, compacts, lipsticks etc).

Yay I can’t wait for my parcel!

( 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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Yes it’s my birthday today…

4 July 2013

And look what my boys made for me…

My Birthday 2013

My 10 year old baked two chocolate fudge cakes, (almost) all on his own!

My 8 year old looked through 3 cake decorating books, then he chose and art directed the whole cake decoration process – putting a photo of me in the middle of the cake, surrounded by jelly lollies. My mum says I am two years old in the picture.

My husband iced the cake with chocolate frosting. (I was amazed he achieved this all by himself).

Then my 4 year old decorated it with lollies – all by himself! However we suspect he had LICKED THE BACK OF ALL OF THE LOLLIES to “help make them stick on the cake better!”

Ahh… a cake only a mother could love :P

And look at this! My 4 year old also made me a card…

My Birthday 2013

He even hid it under my pillow. It says: “L (for Liam) HEART M (for Mum). Mum I really love you!”… awww look at all those ticks.

I’ve been showered with so much love this week, presents, cards, messages! *Sniff* I’m so thankful for my many wonderful family and friends and blog readers… and I am so so so happy that I could burst!!

Much love to you all! xxx


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YEEHAA I’m Cycling and Fundraising Again!

3 July 2013

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012

That’s right – I’m going to ride 200km over 2 days to raise money to find a cure for cancer.

Again!

Last year, with the amazing love and generosity from my incredible supporters, we raised a total of $17,160 and I was ranked 12th highest individual fund raiser and given the title of Silver Ambassador! Truly an honour for such an important cause.

So why am I doing this again?

1) It was such a fantastic experience – that I want to do it again.

2) It is a worthy cause. I know there are thousands of charities out there… but I feel a deep resonance towards the West Australian Institute of Medical Research. They are an established and large team of scientists in my home town, doing internationally recognised cancer research… and all the money raised will go directly towards their actual research and projects, which will help everyone around the world.

3) I love cycling. I enjoy keeping fit, staying healthy and having a big fitness goal!

4) I want to make a difference. I want to do something significant. I want to use my voice and my blog to get behind something bigger than me. My husband is alive, and my children have their father, because of cancer research that was done decades ago, and now there is so much more work to be done to find more cures and improve treatments.

So… I would love for you to dig deep and support my ride!

Pretty Please?!

(It’s my birthday tomorrow!!)

Donate on my fundraising page here

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day of week

In Good Company – Capsule 2

2 July 2013

Earlier this the year, I reviewed In Good Company, a new label offering a collection of gorgeous modern day classics and quality basics at an affordable price point.

The whole collection oozes understated style and effortless chic, with fluid and feminine shapes. I really like their stuff!

In this latest collection – Capsule 2 – look out for sleek cuts, stylish colour blocking, touches of pleat details, and chic silhouettes of the little white dress.

These are my favourite picks and 2 ways to wear them.

In Good Company

Ellis Slouchy Trousers

Aah I do love a good pair of slouchy pants. So effortless and cool to wear. These are hands down my favourite piece from the collection because of their excellent “slouchy to slim-fit ratio”. Not too baggy, not too fitted. Just right.

Plus, the back fits very nicely around my bum (like I said, it’s not too loose and baggy) and the crotch is not too low that they look like clown pants.

It features a comfy elastic waist, elastic cuffs and good sized pockets. I am wearing their smallest size S (which fits AUS8/UK8) so it’s a little big for me around the waist. But I loved mine so much, that I went to a tailor to take them in a bit.

I have been wearing mine non-stop these last few weeks… with a simple tee and scarf.

In Good Company

I also wore the slouchy trousers in a sharper and more polished outfit – white blazer, a colourful silk tank, some matching jewels and my new silver shoes.

Perfect for the office and work place.

In Good Company

Jess Draped Collar Top

The draping on this top is just lovely! It is a bit different to your standard sleeveless top, as it has a smart and tailored look to it. It’s visually interesting, and has an elegant shape. It radiates an effortless, day-time glamour that is versatile for work or play.

Here I teamed it with an equally vibrant skirt for a fun and punchy party outfit. The lace adds a bit of texture and the silver sandals keeps the outfit feminine and fancy.

This top definitely fits as part of a corporate wardrobe. It can easily be mixed and matched with your working staples… a black pencil skirt, a printed skirt, or pants (that are black, charcoal or pin stripe).

In Good Company

Also the top looks great when worn with shorts, jeans or cropped pants.

I’m wearing white cropped pants and leopard print heels for a smart-casual daytime look.

The top comes in a bright sorbet (pictured) and a navy. I’m wearing a size XS.

In Good Company

Gretchen Dress with Peep Sleeves

When I saw this dress on the model, I didn’t know whether it would look good on me. But I chose it anyway, and when it arrived, I was so so happy that it looked great!

The off-shoulder sleeves are pretty and sexy, in a relaxed poolside goddess way.

Its silhouette is clean and sleek, yet the fabric is fluid, flowy and loose. It’s comfortable and unfussy to wear.

The length is nice, classy and elegant. I felt like I could browse through an art gallery on the weekend in this dress.

In Good Company

But I tend to wear my dresses a bit shorter – so my legs look longer. So I wore a belt on my waist and hitched up the dress a bit… and that looked fabulous! It felt a bit more like a party dress or a dancing dress for summer nights at the beach :)

The dress has a lining of the same material, so it’s not see through. I just wore my standard, skin-coloured, strapless bra and skin-coloured underwear underneath.

I’m wearing size XS.

*SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE*

Again, the team at In Good Company have offered a special discount to my readers.

Enter the code “fashion&life2″ and enjoy $10 off Capsule 2 items (not applicable to Mini Me, Collaborations and Surplus items). So only items in “What’s New, Collections and Reissue” section of the website.

Do pop over to check out their new arrivals!

Hope you love the stuff as much as I do. Enjoy!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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




Shopbop Online