Archive for September 2013


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Classsic White

30 September 2013

Yesstyle Feature - Sarah

Sometimes I love going back to fashion basics. Especially during these trans-seasonal months.

I do get a bit bored of examining trends and experimenting with fashion. There’s just so much weird and crazy stuff out there! It’s never-ending!

You just can’t go wrong with a white silk shirt, skinny jeans and pointy heels.

I always feel comfortable, effortless and stylish in a simple, classic outfit.

Yesstyle Feature - Sarah

I picked the shirt and jeans from Korean brand Sarah, from YesStyle.

And I also found this amazing Chanel style handbag. It’s so pretty and it feels lovely.

Unfortunately this size has since been sold out. And there is a slightly smaller handbag size here.

My silver shoes are from The Iconic.
My necklace is from Kailis Jewellery.
Watch from Guess.
Earrings from Shopbop.

By the way, I’m showing off my new curls here (I had my hair permed the other week) and I just looooove it!

( 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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Going Bush

27 September 2013

This weekend, we’re going camping.

And I mean CAMPING camping.

We’re going with some friends, and we’re driving 4 hours out of the city to a “place” between Perth and Kalgoorlie.

It’s not a caravan park. It’s not an official campsite. It’s just a “little spot on the map” in the middle of the bush.

There’s no electricity, no running water, no showers, no toilets.

Just bush.

Lots of beautiful, Australian bush.

Australian Bush Sky

I told my 4 year old, “YAY we are going on a little holiday!”

And because we holidayed in Singapore a few months ago, he replied, “Oh cool! Is there going to be a swimming pool and buffet breakfast again?”

Uh. No.

It will be a very interesting trip indeed!

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Secrets of the Afterlife

26 September 2013

Last weekend, it was a wet, cold, rainy weekend. The kind where you wake up in the morning and think – Oh god, how am I going to entertain these kids today?!?!

Well, that morning, a crazy part of me thought – Oh why don’t we go to the WA Museum today?! That’s indoors. I have been meaning to catch the most recent exhibition about Ancient Egypt.

So I bundled my three kids into the car and off we went.

What was I thinking?!

Ancient Egypt Exhibition 2013

The exhibition was called, The Secrets of the Afterlife, in collaboration with the British Museum. I say “was” because this day turned out to be THE LAST day of the exhibition. I was lucky to see it!

It was a journey into the ancient Egyptian world of magic, mummies and mystery.

The artifacts were AMAZING!

Ancient Egypt Exhibition 2013

The preservation of the materials. The ritualistic decoration. The intricate beading. The craftsmanship. It was jaw-dropping.

Ancient Egypt Exhibition 2013

This is the surface of one coffin. The paintings were so detailed, clear, precise, and vibrant. I was in design heaven.

If you consider that most of these items are dated back to 1500 BC… that’s over 3000 years old!

It was completely mind boggling. And I was filled with spine-tingling awe.

Ancient Egypt Exhibition 2013

Then came the jewellery and I almost lost it. I was so excited.

The lizards symbolised the renewal of life (based on the creature’s ability to re-grow new limbs or tail). The beads on the left necklace are shaped as poppy seed heads.

These pieces are over 2000 years old. Made from gold, carnelian gemstone, glass. Gaah how beautiful!

Ancient Egypt Exhibition 2013

On the right is a heart-scarab amulet, with spells from The Book of the Dead inscribed at the base.

On the right are a collection of make-up containers. The tube-like containers are kohl eye paint holder, and the little semi-circle box is for storing cosmetics. How beautiful!

These items are dated between 1500 – 1069 BC.

Yup, so all this was very lovely, but what REALLY happened during the outing?

I wish I could say that I had a wonderful experience soaking up and appreciating history and the creativity of our ancient ancestors… but in reality, I had to RACE through the exhibition. I only had 2 seconds to look each item. I literally just stopped at each piece, went WOW, took a photo of it, took a photo of the information plate, then rushed on to the next piece. Literally. It was shameful.


Because my 4 year old was shouting things like “If these are the mummies, WHERE ARE THE DADDIES?? BWAHAHAHA!!!” over and over again.

He was knocking things over. Jumping around. Falling to the ground. Banging on the glass. Banging into other people. Shouting really loud. Licking the glass. Putting his hands over the information panels when people were trying to read them. Ripping up the brochures and sprinkling the paper all over the floor.

He was holding my hand, but jumping and pulling in all directions, so I was jerking around, and being pulled to the ground at random times. I was constantly scolding him, warning him, punishing him, and of course, trying to engage him in the exhibition to no avail.

Ooooh it was hard work. I was pretty pissed off that I couldn’t enjoy the exhibition, but really, it was my own fault! Why did I do this to myself? I was swearing inside. And shaking my head at the whole BITTERSWEET EXISTENCE OF PARENTHOOD! I was close to tears.

That is…

Until right at the end… we reached the last little nook.

I wanted to take a photo of the last exhibition piece… so I asked my kids to wait against a wall. It was actually a wall with a connected partition that created a 20cm gap. My 4 year old giggled naughtily, “Tee hee, I’m going to squeeze through this gap and I’ll see you on the other side mum!!”

(I thought what he said was quite witty and profound, since this was an exhibition about the afterlife…)

I bent down to him and said very sternly, “DO NOT put your head through that gap. You are NOT to squeeze through to the other side, do you understand?!”

He said yes.

I turned away. I was about to snap my photo, when I heard him say, “Er, help!”.

Oh god no.

Ancient Egypt Exhibition 2013

Yep. He put his head between the wall partition.

My son got his head stuck in the wall!


And yes. Since I had a camera in my hand, I took a photo of him.

Oooooooh, dear internet. Do forgive me, because I could not stop myself from laughing. I had to press my lips together and bend my head into my chest to hide my smile. It was a serious and dangerous situation for my child, yet I giggle uncontrollably. I had pangs of guilt but oh my, it was sooooooo funny.

He was saying things like, “Um, mum. I think my head is stuck. Can you help me?”

Sigh. Ok.

I put my camera away. And began to think. How to get my son’s head out?

I held his head and tried to pull him out gently. Nope, stuck.

I pressed his ears tightly against his head, then pulled. Nope. Hmm, definitely stuck.

I smooshed his temple/cheeks/face/ears together in my hands (oh god I was trying not to laugh!) and pulled a little harder… then he started to scream in pain! Good grief, now everyone was looking at us.

I asked my other boys to find an attendant for help. Maybe they could move the wall partition?

But my boys started to have an argument about WHO was going to do the asking. They were going back and forth with their bickering, while my little one cried louder and louder. I turned to them and growled, “WILL YOU STOP ARGUING!! I NEED SOME HELP AND I NEED YOU TO GO FIND SOMEONE WITH A BADGE!!”

In that moment, Liam seemed to have twisted and turned, and -POP- out came his head. He was free.

Thank goodness!!

I certainly calmed down after that. And I wasn’t so grumpy any more.

I smiled knowing that I had great photos of the exhibition (and my son with his head stuck in a wall). And that I could soak up the creativity of our ancient ancestors (and my son)… forever.

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Win a $500 Shopping Spree at Ae’lkemi

25 September 2013

Ae'lkemi Dresses

To celebrate the start of the new season, I’m teaming up with award-winning West Australian designer label Ae’lkemi to offer all my readers (WORLDWIDE) this fantastic giveaway!

You can win a $500 gift voucher to spend at Ae’lkemi, instore on online.

OOoooooOOOOoooh so exciting! I wish I could win!

If you win, you can pick out one of these stunning runway ready gowns, that are available from the Ae’lkemi Online Store. These are the ones that I like…

Ae'lkemi Dresses

Left to right – (1) One Shoulder Scuba Dress,
(2) Lace Scuba Dress, or
(3) Paris Knit Gown in Tangerine or Black*

Ae'lkemi Dresses

Left to right – (1) Shoulders Sequin Gown in Moet or Silver*,
(2) Wrap Tuck Dress,
(3) Leopard Print Dress*

* = These dresses are over $500.

Or if you live in Western Australia, you can go into the Ae’lkemi boutique in Claremont and pick out something equally fabulous.

Here’s a sample of some new season colours and fabrics from the boutique.

Ae'lkemi Dresses

You’ll find formal evening gowns, pretty cocktail dresses, sexy party dresses, simple elegant dresses and statement jackets.

There are punchy citrus hues, statement reds, snakeskin textures, graphical prints and lots of sequins!

Ae'lkemi Dresses

And of course, I was given the opportunity to go into the store to select a few dresses to borrow and try out.

The first dress that caught my eye (pictured first in this blog post) was the Shoulders Sequin Gown in Moet.

It is a little more than $500, but oooooooh I adored the elegant colour, the simple cut and the sexy back! It also comes in a pewter and a black.

Ae'lkemi Dresses

This Citrus Dress is also a little more than $500, but I thought it was such a wonderful cocktail dress.

I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It was so bright and vibrant. The mix of textures and fabrics, and the subtle shapes make it a sophisticated and stylish dress. I could wear it to a lunchtime function, a wedding, or a night time party or function.

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

What You Win:
The winner will receive a gift voucher to the value of AUD$500, to spend at Ae’lkemi. No part of this gift voucher is transferable for cash.

Giveaway Dates:
Runs for 2 weeks. Starts on Wednesday, 25 September 2013.
Ends on Wednesday, 9 October 2013, 11:59pm (GMT +8).

How to Enter:
This competition is now closed!

All the best! Hope you win!

(By the way, a few of my international readers have fallen in love with the gowns and have asked how Ae’lkemi is pronounced? It is simply pronounced “Alchemy”.)

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Review: Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution

23 September 2013

In the last few years, one of my most significant skin problems has been dark spots caused from acne.

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Range

In my teens I had a huge acne problem – think, surface of the moon!

But now that I’m in my 30s, my hormones have calmed down… and I get about 1 zit a month.

It may be just ONE, but it’s a whopper. One of those deep, volcanic, super-painful, boil-like ones that takes days to develop and hurts my face when I smile. Then after a week, when it’s all over, it leaves this HUGE dark spot… that takes freaking MONTHS (possibly up to a year?) to fade.

Sometimes I get one on my jaw line, one next to my nose, ON my nose, above my upper lip, on my chin, up near my temple. One each month. Spot after spot. Man it’s annoying!

Anyway earlier this year, Kiehl’s launched their Clearly Corrective Range, which caught my attention, and in particular the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution.

There was lots of hype about it and yup, I was sent a bottle to try.

That was in February this year. 7 months ago.

As you can tell from the product photo above, this post is a bit overdue. Look how much I’ve used up in 7 months. This stuff lasts forever! I also received the Hydrating Moisture Emulsion, more on that later.

I used the “Dark Spot Solution” religiously for a couple of months, twice a day.

During the first week – I was trying to keep track of my dark spots. Any change? Any lighter? Faded yet?

But seriously, after a few more weeks, being a busy mum, who has to wake up early in the morning and rush through a morning face care routine – I didn’t have all day to examine the colour of my spots. It just wasn’t that important! :P

However, I did stick with it.

And one morning, I routinely put some of the solution on my “spotty zones” when I noticed – omg what happened to all the spots?! They seemed to have faded?! They are almost gone?! I swear I had a spot above my right lip last month?!

In 3 months, I’m positive that my dark spots had faded to almost nothing.

Well I’ll be damned!

I kept using it everyday for 5 months in total, and after that, I’ve only been using this sporadically, only when I need to. Just last month, I had a double zit (one formed right next to another one) that left a HUGE dark spot on my jaw… with the solution, it faded by half in 2 weeks.

So, I’m happy. It gets a big TWO THUMBS UP from me.

And I’m definitely going to buy it again.

I doesn’t fade freckles or sun spots though. (I tried!)

As for the Clearly Corrective White Hydrating Moisture Emulsion, it says it has been tested and developed for Asian skin, claiming to “correct visible uneven skin tone and enhance luminosity and hydration levels for a notable improvement in skin clarity”.

I think I already have an even skin tone… and yes my skin has been luminous and clear. But have to admit that I used other products while testing this product. So I’m not sure how much of it was due to this product.

I’m probably not going to buy this product again.

Anyway if you’re keen, you can buy the Dark Spot Solution or any other Kiehl’s products directly from the Kiehl’s Australia Website, where they are offering FREE SHIPPING for orders over $50, and 3 samples for every order.

xxx Enjoy!

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Tropical and Oceanic

20 September 2013

The Iconic - Dresses

I’m loving the rich, gorgeous colours for this new season.

These dresses from The Iconic pretty much sum up my new love for bright blues and greens.

Their new season items are very drool worthy. Or check out their 30% off selected spring items.

From left to right –
(1) Talulah Whimsical Vibe Dress,
(2) Fresh Soul Senorita Dress,
(3) Bebe Sydney Reflection Dress.

Ooh I also have two super-special discount codes for you to use at The Iconic :) So if you’re going to buy something from the new season range, do use them!

20% off, min spend $79
Only full priced items (excluded G-star Raw)

$10 off, min spend $69
Only full priced items (exluded G-star Raw)

Expires October 10th.

Enjoy xxx

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It Also Cooks Peabrains!

19 September 2013

One day I was having a casual conversation with my 8 year old son… when he said something like…

“Well our microwave is so advanced that it can cook: rice, pasta, chicken, beef, soup, vegetables, children…”

“Say what?”

“Children. Our microwave knows how to cook children.”

“Dude. It doesn’t.”

“Ye-es. It even SAYS SO!”

So he takes me over to the microwave. He presses a few buttons and LOOK AT THAT MUM BOOYAH YOU’RE WRONG AND I’M RIGHT!!!

Microwavable Child

Turns out he just activated the CHILD LOCK.

I kept a very straight face. But inside, omg I was rolling around with laughter!!


A few days later, I wanted to take a photo of the “CHILD” message on the microwave … so I could write this blog post.

I tried everything, and I just COULD NOT activate the child lock. So in the end I had to call him over and sheepishly ask him to activate it!

(Hmm, is that irony? Or just good design? Or perhaps bad design?)

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Mop Head

18 September 2013

Liam Cake Pop, Sept 2013

This is Liam, at the shopping centre, about to get a haircut and showing off his SIT STILL bribe.

I prefer his hair length to be a little longer (than my other boys), and I have been trying to convince him to use a bit of gel or mousse to style it up. Ah he would look sooo cute with spiky hair! But he completely refuses to have his hair styled… and so it just looks messy and unkempt.

So we decided to just buzz-cut it all off!

Oh well. Hair grows back.

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Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

17 September 2013

Early last week, I contacted a new Korean hair salon in Perth because… I wanted a balayage and a PERM!!

The salon I contacted is called Curi Hair and it was recommended to me by the owner of Vangoh Shoes, Vanessa. She had a killer balayage and I asked her where she got it done.

She said she went to a new salon next door to her Subiaco store… and it was a done deal – I have always wanted to try a Korean hair salon and I always prefer to go to places with a word of mouth recommendation!

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

Curi Hair opened about 3 months ago, by husband and wife team, Jay and Tiffany.

I must admit, I was a little afraid that the owners didn’t speak much English and that I would have trouble communicating with them. But it turns out that Jay and Tiffany had been living in Sydney and then Perth for about 7 years, and working in hair salons all over Australia.

Prior to that, they had been living in Canada and of course Korea.

They both have up to 15 years of hair dressing experience, they knew all the names of the local salons that I had tried out over the years, and they even assisted backstage at past Australian fashion festivals. It all made me feel confident that they were professional, had loads of experience, savvy with trendy styles, up-to-date with modern hairdressing news and technology etc.

Plus they were just lovely, friendly and so warm to chat to.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

Ok so I told them what I wanted – a balayage and a perm. But they said that a perm can be very drying for hair, so it’s best to have a perm first THEN do a balayage a few weeks later.

The professionals know best, so I was fine with that. I flipped through a hair style book and found what I wanted.

See that hair model in the front, wearing red? BINGO ! I wanted tight-ish curls, no fringe.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

So this is my BEFORE photo.

I had a gorgeous balayage done 1 year ago… and I haven’t had a hair cut in 6 months. I often colour my own hair using home hair dye to keep my lighter bits vibrant.

I have been itching to have another balayage (for a few months now), as I want my ends to be lighter for summer.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

OK so first up, I had a hair cut (left). Then they gave me a hair treatment which involved putting a steam cap over my hair for about 20 minutes.

The whole thing ballooned around my head as steam was gently pumped into the cap. There were a few air holes in the cap and steam was shooting out (pictured right)… it looked pretty comical and I felt like a kettle.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

I actually can’t recall the exact order of treatment!

I think they then put the perm agent into my hair, covered it with a shower cap and then warmed it up with a rotating warming machine (pictured above) for another 20 minutes or so.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

While I was waiting, I flipped through the hair style book again… swooning at all the pretty perms.

This is an example page for medium length hair.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

And another example page for long hair.

After the wait, they partially washed the perm agent out my hair, then they strung me up to this machine…

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

Ceramic rollers were rolled onto my hair. Then little clamps (that look like robot hands) were clipped onto the rollers… which kept the rollers heated at a constant temperature.

It looked like some crazy science-fiction, alien robot!!

They told me that this machine (and most of their equipment) are imported from Korea. Regular salons in Australia don’t have this kind of machine… because Anglo-Australians have a very different hair texture to Asians.

After another long wait, they took the clips and rollers off my hair.

They washed my hair AGAIN and put another “neutralising treatment” into my hair (I think?).

They towel-dried my hair. Put in some hair oil.

They blow dried my hair, with lots of twisting and twirling.

A bit more serum and BEHOLD!

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

Ooooooh I was so happy with the result!!

It looks so pretty!!

Apparently the curls can last up to 6 to 12 months!! Over time the curls will get looser and softer.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

The curls look really natural – and not at all like the AUNTY perms of the 80s!

This kind of perm technique is called a “Setting Perm”. It’s similar to a “Digital Perm” which just uses a different machine.

The whole hair experience was supposed to take about 2-3 hours. But it took me 4 hours, because I took lots of photos, talked to Tiffany and Jay a lot, I went out for a toilet break, and I also had to move my car (I parked in a 2 hours parking zone!) and I also stopped to buy myself some sushi for lunch haha.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

This photo is me ONE WEEK later, having brunch with my friend Randall.

I was supposed to: towel dry my hair, apply hair oil, then twist and twirl sections of hair into little ringlets… then blow dry the ringlets to help them keep their shape.

But I was in a huge rush and I just did a LAZY BLOW DRY, blasting hot air in all directions until it was all dry haha (sorry Tiffany!). But hey this is real life and who’s got time for glamorous hair everyday? I applied some hair oil and smoothing cream.

[EDIT: This photo below is me one month later. I finally got the hang of it! I just wash my hair, towel dry, apply hair oil, and then some hair spray. So easy!]

Boyfriend Jeans and Checks

I actually love, love, LOVE these soft, bouncy “everyday” curls.

As for creating *glamour* curls (like when I first stepped out of the salon)… I still need a bit of practice to get my curls tighter, more defined and less frizzy.

I’ve also noticed that I have a lot of frizziness, which I never used to have. All my naturally curly-haired friends just laughed and said that was TOTALLY normal for curly hair… and I should just invest in a good hair oil.

I’m definitely coming back for my balayage soon! Can’t wait!

I completely recommend them!

The prices?

The price for a setting perm starts at $180, and it goes up a *little* if you have super long hair.
Balayage starts at $135, and goes up a little bit if you have super long and thick hair.

Cut, wash and blow dry for ladies start at $45
Colour tint for ladies start from $65
1/4 head foils from $45
1/2 head foils from $90
Full head foils from $110

Curi Hair
Unti 4, 103 Rokeby Road, Subiaco, WA

(They are in a little laneway, near the corner of Forrest Street and Rowland, next to the Forrest St Carpark.)
(08) 6161 0710

They don’t have a website yet, but they have a Curi Hair Facebook Page.

A big thank you to Jay and Tiffany!



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Fashion Orgasms, Courtesy of Jaime Lee Major

16 September 2013

Jaime Lee Major presents Light Magic

Omg! Omg! No way! Yes! Omg! Omg I’m going to diiieeeee! Omg!

My eyes were having orgasms!

That was my reaction when I saw this Perth Fashion Festival runway show by Australian designer Jaime Lee Major.

Jaime Lee Major presents Light Magic

With the catwalk transformed into a magical, fantasy, fairytale garden… Jaime Lee stunned everyone with her glittering creations.

We saw gorgeous beaded gowns, sparkling cocktail dresses, lace embroidered pants and jewel encrusted suits.

Jaime Lee Major presents Light Magic

The attention to detail was out of this world.

Every. Single. Garment looked like a magical artwork. Each piece floated down the mirrored catwalk and my eyes popped from all the intricate detail of embroidery, gems, sequins, feathers, ruffles.

Jaime Lee Major presents Light Magic

And just when I thought that I had seen the climatic last pieces…

There were more!

Jaime Lee Major presents Light Magic

No way! Omg more! Omg another one! Omg they are amazing!!! Omg I can’t take this I’m going to diiiieeeee!!!!

Jaime Lee Major presents Light Magic

Haha jokes aside, I really was filled with a sense of awe, wonder, astonishment and pride. To think of the hours of hard work she poured in each garment. To think that clothes on a catwalk could create such an effect on me. It was a wonderful experience and such a pleasure to watch.

You can view the whole “Light Magic” photo gallery of visual delights on her website.

Only having been launched in 2010, Jaime Lee has a penchant for attracting media attention, with her very first show causing a flurry of excitement in NY. She presented her second collection at Australian Fashion Week and created dresses for award winning singer Kimbra. This is her third collection.

She is available for private order, custom made womenswear via her website, Jaime Lee.

(All these images are by photographer Stefan Gossati. I had a great seat for viewing the clothes up-close, but terrible for taking photos, so I wasn’t able to take any good ones, boo!)

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Training Up For 200kms of Cycling

15 September 2013

With FIVE more weeks until my big 200km fundraising ride… I thought I should get back on my bike and start covering some serious distances!

So I met up with my cycling group and we rode 85kms in one morning.

Sounds really impressive, but I was SOOOOOOOO SLOW.

It was really embarrassing. It was not an impressive effort at all.

See, I was trying to pace myself. I haven’t been on my bike for a couple of weeks, I didn’t want any muscle injuries and I wanted to do the whole “Slow and Steady Wins The Race” thing. You know, like a tortoise?

Having said that… this particular day was really, REALLY WINDY. Perth has been experiencing weeks of rain, stormy conditions and winds between 30-50km/h.

I rode painfully and shockingly slow for 43kms… heading into a strong wind.

At some points I was riding 10km per hour! *Cringe*

Each down stroke of my pedal was really hard work, making my leg muscles burn. Imagine doing that for 2 hours straight :P

But once we turned around… the wind was behind us, pushing us along… and I was *flying* on my bike. It was awesome!

I was cruising along, with hardly any effort at all at 38km/hr… it was fuuuuuun :)

It kind of made all the hard work worth it.

Bike Path on a Windy Day

This is the lovely bike path that leads straight from Murdoch Train Station to Paganoni Road (slightly north of Mandurah). 43kms of flat, straight paths. Effortless right?

Oh and I did something really stupid!

The night before my ride, I adjusted my seat – just down a little tiny bit. I have a bottle carrier mounted on the base of my seat, and so I adjusted that too.

And I did these adjustments IN THE DARK. Which yes, is just genius.

So at the start of my ride, I felt that I was going really slow. Unusually slow. I was pushing and pushing my pedals with so much effort. I thought the resistance was from the strong winds and that my legs were out of practice.

It turned out that the bottom of my bottle was pressed against my tires… and acting like a brake!

My tires were wearing out the bottom of my water bottle!

It was only until one of my team mates noticed my leaking water bottle – that I realised what was happening.

Leaking Bottle

Look at that!

The bottom of the bottle was worn through in three places, because I shifted it around two or three times while riding.

Geez, I felt so stupid :P

OK that aside, I was wondering if you’d like to support my ride?

Donate on my fundraising page here

Donate any amount you feel you can – $20, $50, $100, $500, $1000! You can leave a public message, or a personal message to me, or just do it anonymously. And you get a receipt, so you can claim this against your tax.

And if you’re interested, you can read the rest of my Fundraising Cycling Stories here.

Thanks so much!


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Fire Breathing Dragon

13 September 2013

Malaysian Cuisine
(I took this photo while eating at The Rice Noodle House, Shelley WA.)

One of my favourite meals to eat is Nasi Lemak with Sambal Ikan Bilis, pictured above. It’s a coconut rice dish with a kind of chilli jam with dried anchovies, served with condiments like egg, cucumber, nuts, and meat pieces that are either fried or curried.

Well it turns out that my mum is awesome at making this dish. Especially the sambal (chilli sauce).

She regularly makes the sambal in a HUGE POT, and then divides it up into batches for herself, my brother and I.

That’s right!

Most grandmas make strawberry jam and orange marmalade in cute vintage jars with fabric tops and handwritten labels – but my mum makes ANCHOVY CHILLI JAM YO! In recycled 4L ice cream tubs no less!

Well whenever I receive my 4L tub… I always divide my batch into smaller portions and pop them into the freezer. And every time I don’t feel like cooking dinner and want a quick meal, I defrost a portion and ENJOY THE HOMECOOKED GOODNESS OF NASI LEMAK!! It’s pure happiness!!

(My Anglo-Australian friends tell me they have frozen pizza, pies and quiches stored in their freezer for emergency meals. My freezer is full of frozen curry, sambal and satays haha.)

Nasi Lemak Sambal

The other day, I defrosted a portion of sambal for my husband and I, to eat for dinner. The kids? Oh they can have whatever. I’ll just make them some baked beans on toast. Who cares, I have my nasi lemak.

As it simmered on the stove, it smelled amaaaaazing. My mouth was watering and aching with hunger the whole time it took to cook some coconut rice, slice some cucumbers… and make some toast for my kids.

When I finally sat down to eat it… I greedily swallowed one huge mouth full and… I NEARLY DIED!

Holy shit, my mum must’ve used some insane, freaking hot chillies in her most recent batch.

The chilli seared the inside of my mouth and throat.


My eyes watered. I started to cough uncontrollably. And I couldn’t breathe.

My body decided that it didn’t want the chilli in my lungs… so I started sneezing and sneezing and coughing and choking and coughing.

I spluttered and coughed chilli everywhere! I was spray painting the dinner table with chilli – to my family’s horror.

Oh god it was awful. There was chilli up my nose. Chilli burning my throat. Pain behind my eye balls. My tongue was on fire. Even my teeth were hurting! And I couldn’t breath properly!

I half-crouched half-laid on the floor, squeezing my eyes shut and tried to concentrate on breathing while my kids stood over me shouting helpful things like “DO YOU WANT ME TO POUR WATER ON YOUR FACE???”

It was not very graceful at all.

A little while later, after my wonderful husband cleaned up my mess… my whole mouth and nose was still on fire. Parched. Raw.

I could only manage a bit of dry toast and cucumbers for my dinner.

And the crazy thing was… later that evening, around supper time, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit, that I was still quite hungry, so I opened a can of tomatoes puree and mixed it with the chilli and ate it with the leftover rice haha!

Fire Breather

Oh and the whole event made such a lasting impression on my 4 year old… that he draw me a charming “Get Well” card before he went to bed.

Am I spewing or breathing fire?!

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Wearing Gold and Feeling Like Oscar

11 September 2013

Once again the gorgeous team at ClubCouture asked me to pick out two dresses to test out for the new season.

I selected both dresses from their Premium Range and I am so impressed with the cut, style, material and overall quality of each piece.

Club Couture Dress

Wayhey! Check it out, this is the Gold Banded Bodycon Dress… and it’s GOLD!

On the website photo, it looked pale gold and almost beige. But nope it’s more of a bright yellow gold in real life. When I took it out of the box, I was a bit shocked and I wasn’t sure if I would actually wear something SO GOLD. It looked a bit garish and gaudy, a bit like an all-over sequin dress. One of those bold textures you just have to COMMIT TO! :)

But of course, after wearing it, I seriously feel like a million bucks :P

I absolutely loved it. (Yes, it also made me feel like the golden “Oscar” statue!)

The material is strong, firm and stretchy. It feels like I am wearing a corset, hugging and tucking in all the right places.

I reviewed a similar dress a few months ago (the Patterned Banded Bodycon Dress – which is still available in the shop) … and I said a similar thing about that dress too (you can read the post here).

I’m wearing the UK6 – and it was a little tight for me to zip up – I had to “suck it in” a bit. If I had bigger boobs, I’d probably want to to go a size up!

Anyway, once the dress was on, it felt perfect. That shoulder strap is really comfortable.

Club Couture Dress

I took a few close up snaps of the dress so you can get a better idea of the texture and colour. The base material is a light brown, which has been “painted” over with gold fabric paint, which is metallic, stretchy and flexible. It doesn’t look homemade or tacky. it just looks like a cool splatter pattern!

But where would I wear it? Probably to a fancy cocktail party. I’d wear it with strappy heels and minimal accessories.

Club Couture Dress

The second dress I chose is this beautiful Elise white lace dress, with a good lining and a matching belt.

The lace is a soft cotton and it not scratchy or stiff at all. The cap sleeves and the key-hole neckline is delicate, pretty and modest.

I was a little afraid that it would look and feel like a wedding dress, and that I wouldn’t want to wear it out. But nope, the pencil skirt and the belt makes it a bit more like a stylish regular dress!

I’d wear it to a garden party, afternoon tea party, an award ceremony, a formal dinner, maybe even a cocktail party – but not to someone’s wedding!

I’m wearing a size UK6 which fits perfectly. I’m also wearing nude coloured underwear and strapless bra… which are not visible.

Anyway, I hope you manage to have a bit of a browse of the store and hopefully you’ll find something you like?

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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The Dog in My Kitchen

10 September 2013

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I was not a fan of dogs.

I never had one as a kid, and I thought of them as dirty, smelly, disease-carrying, poop-making machines – that scared the hell out of my toddlers in the park (whenever they ran up to us at terrific speed, teeth drooling with slobber).

But today, I have one in my kitchen.

No, we do not have a new pet!

My husband’s Aunt recently moved to live close to us, and she has a dog named Billie. When she comes to visit, so does Billie… and I have gotten quite used to having him around.

Today, we were babysitting Billie while our Aunt was visiting somewhere that dogs are not allowed. I was actually very happy with this arrangement… but Billie was not. He is very attached to our Aunt. She warned us Billie would sulk.

Sure enough, as soon as our Aunt left (without him), he went into a woeful sulk.

But he didn’t go and find a quiet corner to hide in. No way.

He carefully set himself down in the MIDDLE OF MY KITCHEN, while I was trying to cook dinner!

Billie Having a Sulk

So I cooked dinner, stepping over him and around him, while my kids did their homework. Every now and then, he would sigh deeply. I would bend down and give him a pat, and he would completely ignore me.

What a sulker! But I was also spoiling him rotten, because nobody else gets to be in the kitchen while I am cooking.

He warmed up to me very slightly about an hour later. I even got this photo of him making eye contact with me.

Billie being a Cutie

What a cutie!

When our Aunty came home, Billie was SO excited and SO happy, it was actually beautiful to see them together.

I guess dogs are really just like people.

But with bigger and sharper teeth.

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Mah Swag For Mah Stuff

9 September 2013

Marc by Marc Jacobs Pearl Satchel

I’ve found my perfect carry bag – yay!

I’ve been looking for a large, stylish, carry bag to hold ALL MY STUFF when I’m out and about. Cameras, lenses, laptop, ipad, makeup… everything!

I’ve accumulated so much stuff that been using my gym bag, which was just… silly really.

The bag that I was looking for, had to have a flat base, it had to be large and practical, it had to be stylish and classic… and it had to go with any outfit for whatever occasion (so it had to be black).

Marc by Marc Jacobs Pearl Satchel

It’s a Marc Jacobs Leather Pearl Satchel… I’ve been stalking similar ones on Shopbop, and net-a-porter for a while now. I was considering a tan or dark brown leather too.

But this one came up on a super-special Designer Bag Sale on YesStyle. So I nabbed it on sale.

Very, very happy!

Enjoy your week!

( 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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Chewy Anzac Biscuits

7 September 2013

I’m always on the look out for simple and easy recipes to make as an after-school snack.

I usually serve my kids cut fruit, vegetables and *something else*… which can be anything from muffins, cupcakes, bread pretzels, muesli bars, granola, biscuits, corn thins with spread, cheese on toast.

The other day, my 4 year old and I made Chewy Anzac Biscuits.

Chewy Anzac Biscuits

I’ve always made the hard and crunchy Anzac biscuits. This is the first time I’ve tried the chewy version, and they are amazing! My kids loved it. I don’t think we’ll be making the hard ones anymore, because these are too delicious.

I found this recipe on the Jamie Oliver website. It tasted brilliant, but it was much too sweet. I had a bit of a headache from the sugar over-load, but my kids liked them :P

Next time will be using 1/3 cup of brown sugar!

1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup dessicated coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar (TRY 1/3 cup instead!)
125g butter
2 tbs golden syrup (Or honey works fine too!)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Line 2-3 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, golden syrup and 2 tablespoons of water together over a medium heat until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda. The liquid should froth up a bit.

3. Sift flour into a large bowl, add the oats, coconut and brown sugar. Stir together.

4. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.

5. Roll level tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on trays about 5cm apart (to allow for them spreading). They look quite small, and you may be tempted to put more into each ball, but don’t. A little goes a long way! Press with a fork lightly to flatten slightly.

6. Bake for 10-12 mins or until lightly golden brown. (If they are too brown, they will become hard and not-chewy when cold.)

7. Remove from oven and allow to stand on trays for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

8. I managed to make 36 biscuits. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

* When the biscuits are removed from the oven they will still be very soft, but they harden up on the tray.

* I found the mixture to be a bit wet and sticky, so I added a handful of flour to make it easier to work with.


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Frocks, Frocks and more Frocks

6 September 2013

I’ve been borrowing a few dresses from online boutique, Frockaholics, to show off their new season items. There’s a lot of new stuff!

Here are another two stunning dresses that caught my eye… and made their way to my lucky paws.

They are perfect for special evening functions or as wedding dinner dazzlers.


This indigo floral lace dress by Collette Dinnigan is gorgeous! I am so in love with the colour. I am actually surprised that its price tag is quite reasonable too.

The cotton lace is pretty and flattering. The cut is fitted and curve-skimming, but still loose and comfortable to move around in. It is definitely one of the nicest lace dresses I have worn.

My only issue is that the straps are really long on me. The neckline droops quite low on my bust. So I had to pin up both shoulder straps – an inch on both sides. Once that was done, it looked so preeeeety :)

I’m wearing the size XXS.

Also wearing earrings from Swarovski, vintage clutch, ring by Samantha Wills, nude heels from ASOS.


Ah and this Blair dress is by Rachel Gilbert. She always makes such stunning and striking dresses and this is no exception.

Nude, silvery, and perfect for any glamourous occasion. The beading has a good weight to it, making the dress feel really luxurious. I’m wearing size 0, it fits wonderfully and the length is nice on me too.

I feel like a Hollywood diva in this dress! However that photo of me cracking up

Do check out the whole amazing dress collection from Frockaholics! Prices start at $120 onwards.

Hope you find something you like, 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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You can lead a horse to water

4 September 2013

**I have to warn you about this post. It’s a bit long, detailed and emotional, but I really wanted to capture a snippet of all the mind-numbing crap that parents have to go through every single day!

One morning, my husband took ONE of our children out to play football, then for a trip to the hardware store, then to hang out at a café… basically, they enjoyed some rare one-on-one time together.

I was left at home with the other two kids – which is usually excellent. A change in dynamics is always good for everyone.

However, this day, there was a mountain of laundry and chores that needed to be done at home, toilets to be cleaned, floors to be vacuumed… and frankly I couldn’t be assed.

It was such a gorgeous day outside!

South Perth

I decided to go for a spontaneous outing and take my two kids to the river. I was excited!

My idea was to take scooters for my boys, so they could scoot along on the long, smooth path, while I ran alongside them. I was so proud of my decision. They get to do something outdoorsy and energetic and yes I get to run! I’m always happy when I exercise!

Then I would buy myself a takeaway coffee, and ice cream and cookies for the kids. And we’ll hang around the large playground and sand pit. The boys thought it was a great idea too.

Perfect, easy morning right?

BUT. As we arrived at the river, my big boy developed a really shitty attitude.

He was grumpy, irritable and aggressive towards his little brother. He was having a kind of passive-aggressive tantrum… and he was saying random, crabby things and not making any sense.

I was very gentle and reasonable with him, at first. Asking what’s wrong, how does he feel and why, talking about ways he can make himself feel better, maybe he needs to sit alone for a few minutes to calm down before his feelings come out in the wrong way? I suggested that he take a walk to the edge of the river by himself, look at the water and then come back, while I took the scooters out of the car.

He did not want to be at the river. He wanted to be at home playing computer games.

I lightly reminded him that we were supposed to be washing toilets at home, so JUST CHEER THE F**K UP.

(Ok I didn’t actually say that to him.)

He immediately got into a hitting fight with his little brother, pushing him out of the way, grabbing a hat and throwing it into his brother’s face, who then got poked in the eye.

Trouble Number 1.

So I had to deal with a tantruming boy (with a big long lecture and a time out) and a crying boy (with a cuddle).

South Perth

My little boy (Liam) quickly settled down, and had NO PROBLEM being cheerful again.

While my older boy moaned unpleasantly on the grass (because he was in time out), my little boy and I spelt our names out with body poses (see the L, I, A and M in the pics?) and rolled around laughing. He was so cute and funny and so UNCOMPLICATED. I guess it just comes with that age. He was just happy to hang out, chat about birds, look at simple stuff and just enjoy being alive.

Trouble Number 2.

My older boy started to shout out nasty insults and negative comments towards us about our letter spelling. I had to scold him again and gave him another warning that there would be consequences for any more unacceptable behaviour.

I figured that his mood might change once we started to burn some energy. So we started our walk and my little boy scooted off happily.

But my big boy was being very uncooperative again.

Trouble 3 and 4.

He decided that he didn’t want to be on the scooter. He wanted to walk. So he started to drag his scooter angrily across the path. It ruins the metal finish of the scooter and makes it susceptible to rust. I firmly pointed out to him NOT to drag his scooter. If he didn’t want to ride his scooter, he can put it back into the car himself. I gave him the car keys, with instructions to put it carefully into the boot of the car, then to come back to where we were standing. He refused to do that and threw my car keys into the grass.

I made him pick it up and give it to me. Which he did. I was near boiling point. I very calmly told him that he was displaying poor behaviour AGAIN, and now he was not going to have any screen time for 3 days. I gave him suggestions on how to make things better from this point on, and another warning for even more consequences if he didn’t change his behaviour.

I also reminded him that I had promised everyone ice cream and cookies, and he didn’t actually have to DO ANYTHING to earn it – EXCEPT TO BE FREAKING HAPPY!!

He calmed down a bit, but he was still in a bad-temper.

I decided to give him yet another chance.

(I was PRETTY PISSED OFF, but I just wanted to get some freaking exercise!)

It took all of my willpower to decide that *I* would scoot on *his* scooter, and he could walk. I kind of made a deal – I’ll do this for you, only if you’re going to cheer up.

After internalising it for a few minutes, he agreed.

I reached out to take the scooter from him, but he didn’t pass the scooter to me nicely. He suddenly tossed it to the ground *just* before it was near my hand. Then he ran off after his little brother, pushed his little brother roughly off his scooter onto the ground and decided that he wanted to ride the LITTLE SCOOTER NOW. WHAT THE HELL??

Trouble 5, 6 and 7!

OMG I totally lost it!

I shouted at him from across the park (yes like one of THOSE mothers!) I huffed over to him, grabbed him by the arm and pulled him off the path, into the middle of the grassy field (so no one had to listen to me yell at my kid!).


And yep. I swore at him. I really wanted to wrap the scooter around his head. Instead I listed out a zillion punishments for him to enjoy over the next week.

Seriously what was up with this kid?!

I had absolutely no idea what to do now. I was FURIOUS!!

If I was at home, I would confine him to his room for the rest of the day so I didn’t have to look at him or talk to him!

But I SOOOOOO DID NOT WANT GO HOME. Because that’s what HE WANTED. WHICH MEANS HE WON RIGHT?? He gets what HE wants by behaving like a shit head to me?? NO DEAL!!

Grrrrrrrrr. The anger!

I could feel the grey hairs of stress and anxiety popping out of my skull.

Blood booooooiling in my veins. Fingernails growing into pointy claws.

AAARGH! I could not believe that we had only been out of the house for 45 minutes!

And here we were. Standing in this beautiful grassy field, over-looking the sparkling river, with the sun was blazing down on us… I was dying for a run, dying to have a good time, dying for the kids to just be happy… and I was very aware that my whole day could be totally ruined by this!


After a whole lot of deep breathing and counting to 10. I cooled down a bit thought of a way to salvage this.

I decided to skip the whole scooter and run, and head to the café to buy myself a coffee and my little boy a cookie. My big boy would just miss out. HE CAN WATCH US ENJOY OUR TREAT HA!

South Perth

Coffee and treats in hand, we gingerly sat on the edge of the river, and watched the waves roll in.

Look at that. My little boy is dancing around in the water being happy as a puppy dog, while my big boy sulks and refuses to “have fun”.

The waves calmed me down. I felt like a mad, feral monster with wild crazy hair, warts and fangs… slowly turning back into a human being.

South Perth

My little boy – bless his 4 year old heart – found a HEART SHAPED rock for me. He even washed the sand of it and told me it was “to make me happy again”. Gosh what a sweetie.

I teared a little because I was so touched by his little gesture. Kids aren’t that bad after all.

He and I went for a walk on the jetty and took photos of sea gulls, jelly fish and we even took silly pictures of ourselves. I warmed up and I dare say that I managed to find my happy spark again.

South Perth

Ha look at that! I actually look quite happy!

My big boy calmed down a lot. But he remained very sheepish and quiet. He probably realised how much trouble he was in. I felt a bit sorry for him. I had laid on the punishments real thick.

So as my little gesture to him, I broke off a piece of my cookie and handed it to him, saying, “You drive me crazy, but I still love you ok?”

And just like that he snapped back into his usual happy, easy-going self again. And the two boys played happily – joking and laughing – in the sand and water for an hour.

WHAT THE HELL was all that about??? Why are kids so psycho???

One day I know I’ll look back and laugh.

One day I’ll be surrounded by my boys, their wives, my grandchildren, we’ll be laughing over Christmas dinner, enjoying a simple meal, and glowing in each other’s company.

(At least, that’s the plan that keeps me sane!)

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My First 5km Run

3 September 2013

My First 5km Run!

Wooot on the weekend I FINALLY ran my first 5kms!!

5kms of constant running! I’m so insanely happy!

I had been stuck on 3km distances for the longest time. And I was kind of thinking that maybe I wasn’t made for running? That maybe I should just give up and stick to cycling?

Anyway, it was really cool to discover that I could do it.

And apparently my time was pretty good too. Yay!

Here’s to setting small goals and taking baby-steps :)

Now to try 8kms!

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Smitten In One Fell Swoop

2 September 2013

One Fell Swoop SS14

Last week I attended a fashion show in the middle of the city… but with a difference.

Between all the fancy, glittering shops… I found myself, with a bunch of other fashion media types, in a dark alleyway that led to an old, dusty, unused cinema – untouched for 20 years.

One Fell Swoop SS14

The cinema had been gutted. The floors, walls and steps were bare concrete and wood. The place wasn’t actually dirty like a construction site, but there was definitely a feeling of rawness, a striping back of all surfaces, stepping back into the past and walking into a crypt of some sort.

I was surprised that the whole place was not freezing cold and filled with a terrible echo.

Oddly, it was warm, inviting and exciting.

One Fell Swoop SS14

We were all here to view a SS14 Runway Presentation by One Fell Swoop.

For my international readers…

One Fell Swoop is an Australian label that began 8 or 9 years ago. Over the years, they have slowly built a cult clientele who are utterly in love with their dedication to luxurious fabrics and gorgeous tailoring and draping. But I have never tried on any of their clothes, mostly because it is quite tricky to find their stuff and they are only stocked in a few stores.

In 2011 they won the WA Designer Of The Year award for their innovation and have since showcased their collections in Singapore.

I’d say that their style is sophisticated, modern, minimal and avant-garde. Does that make sense? They are well known for drapes and playing with feminine shapes, forms and fabrics.

It’s hard to describe. Here, look at my photos from the runway.

One Fell Swoop SS14

The show gave us lots of classic One Fell Swoop stuff. Amazing drapes around the body, tucks and folds, mixed fabrics.

I have always liked looking at their clothes on the runway!

But would I wear any of it?

Hmm, I’m not sure. It all looked really sheer.

I bumped into a few people I knew at the show, and they told me they were wearing 2, 3 or 4 layers of One Fell Swoop garments, all layered effortlessly over each other. And they looked good.

One Fell Swoop SS14

Left: This navy lace dress was gorgeous! I loved the lace panel at the front and back. So sophisticated and sexy.

But hmm, I may not be “perky” enough for this particular dress :P

The navy drape top on the far right was nice and it looked wearable. The back panel was completely lace and sheer though. Good for layering.

One Fell Swoop SS14

As each piece came down the runway, through the cavernous hall… I thought OMG YES, I’m going to pop into a store and give them a go.

That short, sleeveless, red dress in the second row, second from the right… has my name written all over it!

One Fell Swoop do have a website, but it is not an online shop. Hopefully they will have their website updated so their garments can be available internationally.

I know they are stocked at Dilettante boutique at 575 Wellington Street (near the corner of King Street) – where you can also find Dion Lee, Gareth Pugh, Helmut Lang, Josh Goot, Preen, Vivienne Westwood.

It was a gorgeous show and I was so grateful to be invited!

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The Fedora Felt Hat

1 September 2013

Mirror Gordon St Garage

I took a quick mirror pic while I was at Gordon St Garage the other day and posted it to Instagram – then I had lots of people asking me about my hat!

This one was a floppy felt hat from Sportsgirl. I bought it a few weeks ago on a whim. Now that I’m wearing it around, I’m not that happy with it, as it’s a bit TOO floppy for my liking. I would have liked one with a bit more structure, a wider brim and of a higher quality.

I’ve seen some utterly gorgeous felt hats made from luxurious materials for $200+ but that’s just too expensive for me. Especially since my kids have flattened my hat twice *rolls eyes*.

Felt Fedora Hat

This Classic Fedora Hat is by Italian brand Catarzi made from 100% wool… and is stocked at ASOS – really like this one!

Felt Fedora Hat

This is a Felt Hat from Beginning Boutique, it’s very similar to the one I have. Cute, simple and affordable.

Felt Fedora Hat

And this felt hat is by G-Star Raw from The Iconic and it’s on sale!

This one has a gorgeous shape and structure… but I was looking for a black one.

Were you thinking to try a fedora hat this season?

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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