Archive for January 2014

 

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Run, run as fast as you can

31 January 2014

Helloooo everyone! How y’all going with your new year fitness goals?

I’ve been running and er… shopping for my running.

Active Wear

Basically I took advantage of the crazy 50-70% off sales and bought some running gear to make my life a bit easier. I mean, if I want to run everyday or alternate day, I should have at least more than one pair of running shorts, am I right?!

So I bought some shorts, a bra top and a 3/4 sleeved running top.

Active Wear

When I first started this running thing, I was quite apathetic towards all the sexy and gimmicky running tops with “mesh panels” and “peek-a-boo cut-outs”.

But I’ve changed my mind! Complete 180! OMG you guys! Tops with mesh panels and proper wicking is a MUST! Tops with a sexy back is also a must! And hey, the more cut-outs the better! The more support and padding the better too!

See, I don’t actually run *just* wearing shorts + bra top.

I wear a running top over the top. Why? Because, it’s terribly difficult to spread suncream all over your back. And um, well, it’s just not so cool to “let it all hang out” in the park for everyone to see. (Says the girl who is posting photos of herself “letting it all hang out” on the internet!)

So with the extra running top, I get really hot and sweaty during my runs. Like really hot. Sometimes I wish it would rain. Or that someone would spray me with water. Or that I could just run through someone’s garden sprinklers, like the park dogs do.

Active Wear

I found this top on the sale rack too. I wanted a very breathable top that covers me up from the sun while running. The shoulder cut outs look a bit weird. But they seem to work at cooling me down. I just hope that I don’t end up with strange tan shapes on my back!

Check out the epic range of Sportswear at The Iconic.

( 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 Kangaroo Selfie

30 January 2014

When I was 8, our family went to a wildlife park to see and pat some Australian animals. Koalas, kangaroos, snakes. Apparently, I was SO TERRIFIED of the kangaroo that my parents had to drag me close to the kangaroo, holding me in their arms, forcing my arms to be outstretched and they made me touch it.

And of course, the story became part of my family’s folklore and I was forever teased by it – “Haha remember the time when Karen didn’t want to touch the kangaroo?! She’s such a wimp!!!”

Kangaroos at Caversham

So here I am, many years later, as a parent myself. I took my 3 children out to visit Caversham Wildlife Park, which is a must if you’re a visiting Perth.

It’s a large park full of Australian animals, offering visitors a hands on experience. You can pat kangaroos, take photos with a wombat, hold a snake, pat a lizard, milk a cow, feed a goat and much more.

Standing in the middle of the kangaroo enclosure, I didn’t have a nervous breakdown or anything. Quite the opposite.

I was surrounded by 20 or so tame kangaroos, patting them, hand feeding them and mezmerised by how graceful, beautiful, sleek and lean they were!

Kangaroo Selfie at Caversham

And of course, taking selfies with them.

You know what?

I realised that I’ve never really seen a kangaroo up close before. Our national animal. Their doey eyes, glossy fur, alert ears, twitchy noses. The funny way they bounce around, not walk. They are such beautiful creatures.

I LOVED the experience!

I guess I am cured of my fear of marsupial.


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Stempower Goodness

28 January 2014

SK-II Stempower Kit

Earlier this month, I popped into an SK-II counter to have my skin analysed. My skin results were not great.

So SK-II has provided me with this new Stempower Kit (yipee!) which I will test out and use twice a day for 3 months.

The kits contains the Stempower Moisturiser 50g, Facial Treatment Essence 30 ml and Skin Signature 3D Redefining Mask.

The SK-II Stempower Moisturiser is actually a new product with a new anti-aging formula, and it can now be purchased in this affordable kit. And when I say affordable, I mean… the price of the moisturiser (by itself) is the same as the Stempower Kit!

I’m curious and excited to see how it all works together and I’ll let you how it goes!

Find out more about the SK-II Stempower Kit here.


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The Writing on the Wall

27 January 2014

My husband came home one Friday night from “a S#!T of a day” (his words not mine) and he announced that he was going to paint the dining room.

I had been asking him to do it for a loooooooooong time. The tin of paint had been sitting in the shed for weeks. So I was glad he was *finally* getting around to it. I asked “That’s nice dear. When?’

And he said “Right Now!”

I looked around the dinning room. It was full of all our usual furniture. He’d have to move the furniture, clean the walls, roll up the rugs, mask the door and window frames with tape, cover the floors with drop sheets, etc. It was at least TWO HOURS of preparation to get the walls ready to paint.  He looked tired and irritable.

I tried to talk him out of it, but he was in one of his… moods. Now, my hubby is Mr Square at work. He has a very tidy hair cut, he manages big, complicated jobs, and solves problems all day long. And he is mostly Mr Square at home too. He is the thinker, the organiser, the calming influence. He likes everything to be in its place. He makes conservative, safe choices. He is the perfect balance for my own dynamic and creative nature.

But sometimes, he goes… bonkers! And I have learned to just stand back, keep out of the way, and enjoy the show.

He feverishly set about prepping the room, after he evicted us from it. The kids ate dinner, not watching TV, but watching him turn the place upside down, like a madman. With some reckless shortcuts (like stacking all the furniture on top of the table, and just not bothering with masking) he got the tin of paint from the shed, and the brushes and rollers. And then…

…he decided to INVOLVE THE CHILDREN!

Wall Painting

Can someone call the crazy police?

He gave the kids a paintbrush each, a Chinese takeaway container full of paint each… and instructions to “JUST GO CRAZY!”

(Oh and a few rules like – no rude words, and no penises.)

Wall Painting

My children had such a *gleeful* and *wild* time.

It was like there was some kind of artistic, hippy, music festival happening in my dining room, where everyone painted their bodies and hair and played air guitar to rock music, totally lost in their own worlds.

Wall Painting

They were COVERED in paint at the end!

It was funny, weird, beautiful, bizarre and one of those moments that I was so happy to capture with my camera. The kids went to bed (after a shower) happy as can be.

And when they woke up in the morning… my husband had covered up their graffiti with three coats of “Antique White”.

I guess he was just letting off steam in a practical way. He was so calm, relaxed and so pleased with himself when he woke up.

And… he made us all pancakes for breakfast!


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Running on Empty

25 January 2014

Over the Christmas and New Year break, I fell off the exercise wagon. Again!

I had sporadic bursts of exercise here and there, driven by all my pigging-out and over-eating, but I didn’t have a routine. So finally, I’m now very keen to hit my new year running and exercise targets.

I’ve been waking up around 6am to get a run in before the rest of my family gets up, and to avoid the heat of the day. Usually I eat a small breakfast of fruit and muesli, brush my teeth, put on suncream, drink a glass of water and have half a cup of tea before my run. My runs only ever take me 30-40 minutes. But I’ve found it to be a bit problematic, because I feel sluggish in my tummy, and I have a heaviness in my bladder and a that irritating feeling of possibly needing to pee soon.

6km run - 5:30am

TODAY I decided to do something different.

I literally stumbled out of bed at 5:30am… put on my running clothes, drank half a glass of water, ate one sugar lolly and ran out the door. THAT’S IT!

I felt really stiff, I had a few pangs in my joints and I was so irritated that I hadn’t brushed my teeth and that my breath smelt bad, ugh.

But after I ran about 3kms, I suddenly felt brilliant.

I felt magically fluid and oiled and full of energy and power.

I ran 6km with ease. It was the longest distance I’ve ever run (without resting). I wasn’t hungry or thirsty. I felt sooooo goood. I was really surprised. I think I could have kept going but I needed to get home and get ready for my day.

I’m aiming for 10kms!

Follow me on instagram if you’d like to keep tabs on my exercise adventures – @karenlycheng


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Staying Connected on Holiday with Telstra 4G

23 January 2014

Demark Roads

Telstra has sponsored me to share my experience of using a Telstra 4G Mobile Broadband device while on holiday.

This was a no-brainer, since over the New Year break, our family headed down to the Great Southern Region of Western Australia – a place famous for its big trees, lush forests, sparkling rivers, amazing beaches, wines, cheeses and chocolates.

We stayed on a remote farm with friends and their kids. We did lots of fantastic activities like boating, fishing, swimming, bush walking, building go karts, riding on quad bikes, driving around the farm on the tractor and ute.

It was so much fun!

Now, we have a pretty strict rule when on holiday, that we do not check our work emails. That’s the point of the holiday is to get AWAY from all of that, right?

But this year, we wanted our kids to be able to Skype with their grandpa everyday while on holidays. He has been a bit sick recently, so we wanted to stay in close contact with him and to cheer him up with all our photos and stories.

So we gave the kids a digital camera and let them take snap shots of all their adventures and favourite holiday moments, which we uploaded to an online photo album. Then they would Skype with him while they all viewed the online photos at the same time.

Here are some pics they took.

Farm Quad Bike

My big boys messing about on a parked quad bike.

Farm Go Kart

The dads and kids made a go kart and took turns to roll down the hill.

Farm

Er yep, this is what happens when you let a 8 year old take photos of “interesting” things during his holiday trip!

Some other ways we used the device to make our holiday better:

We planned to do a bit of bush exploring and wanted to find the location of a waterfall picnic area that we had heard of. So we used the device to help us look up maps and information of the region, and showed the kids where our next adventure was going to be.

And one night we streamed a 58 minute TV documentary about Great White Sharks off YouTube, and huddled around the laptop to watch it! It was very unexpected and entertaining, and a great way to calm the kids down for bedtime (well, sort of!).

Oh and I ASLO used the device to check out the post Christmas and New Year sales haha!

Telstra 4G Mobile Broadband Device

The mobile broadband device says it can connect up to 5 wi-fi enabled devices simultaneously. We did in fact connect 4 (a Samsung Galaxy and iPhone), an ipad and a laptop… at the same time.

It worked just like it was supposed to, and I noticed that it would switch between 4G and 3G, depending on availability, even while we were Skyping, without dropping the link. This is while we were on a farm surrounded by trees and hills, 30kms from the nearest town, and at least 4km from the nearest major road where a mobile tower might be. Apparently, there is an antenna that you can plug in to improve reception, but we didn’t test that.

So while we won’t use mobile connectivity to check our work email and social media every single day on holiday, it’s been really great to have that capacity to stay connected to family, and to download stuff to enhance our holiday!

Click here to find out more information about Telstra 4G pre-paid broadband devices.

And check out how other Aussie Bloggers used their Telstra 4G device here, http://telstra4gwifi.com.au


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Staying G-Rated at the Beach

22 January 2014

We’ve been hanging out at the beach lately!

Beach Letters

This is my 4 year old and I, being love hearts on the sand.

Beach Letters

And these are all my boys making letters in the sunset. I asked them to spell out a 3 letter word so I could photograph them.

After a lot of shouting and laughing, my 2 big boys started to direct my littlest boy… and I could see they were trying to spell out the letters F-U-C… !!!

So I barked at them and they quickly came up with something a little more G-rated. A nice three letter word like C-A-T.

Gah… my boys are SO naughty!!

And anyway… how did they think they were going to spell a four letter word with only three guys?!?!


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Are YOU the San Churros Northbridge girl?

21 January 2014

Last night, I was at the San Churro’s in Northbridge, Perth with some friends visiting from Singapore. My girlfriend asked one of the waitresses if she would take a picture of us, and of course, the waitress agreed. She held the camera up to frame us, and then she said:

“Oh My God! You’re Karen Cheng!! I read your BLOG!!”

And then she took the picture, handed my girlfriend’s camera back, and before I could recover from my own surprise and have a chat with her, she left us.

Was that YOU?

I went looking for you later (I even went into the kitchen), but the manager told me you had already gone home. Damn! I wanted to take a picture with you.

The reason I was so shocked by you recognising me is that, while it happens occasionally, I have never, ever gotten used to it. I am actually a bit shy in real life, if you can believe that. In fact, I am really quite awful at meeting people. I mean, I would be a DISASTER at speed dating.

Of course, I realise that this is soooooooo ironic, since I share so much of my life with thousands of people every day. Online, I’m like blah blah blah blah blah, but in the real world, with new people, I am like talking to a brick wall. My friends made so much fun of me after you left. ARRRGH!

So, San Churro’s girl, I am very sorry if I seemed distant, distracted, disinterested, aloof, unfriendly, too busy, snobby, cool, or in any other way unfriendly. I am not any of these… I am just socially inept!

And, if you don’t feel like I am now stalking you in some weird way, maybe you can send me an email? I want to thank you for reading my blog, and I have a couple of questions I’d like to ask you.

My email… karen [at] karencheng [dot] com [dot] au

I hope we talk soon!


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A Touch of Blue and Green

19 January 2014

Summer Outfit

So this is what I WISH I was wearing to a casual lunch party at the beach – white, with a touch of blue and green.

I’ve been lusting over this exquisite ostrich feather tank by 3.1 Philip Lim. I suppose it is possible that I’d feel (and look) like a baby chicken with all that fluff on my chest… but the floaty texture and subtle colours are simply divine!

Same goes for these cute, leather sandals… the hint of the blue and green would go perfectly with the goose top and denim. Swoon!

Outfit details:

3.1 Philip Lim top from my-wardrobe
Saint Laurent Sunglasses from Shopbop
Lipstick by Tom Ford
Clare Vivier Clutch from Shopbop
Ksubi shorts from net-a-porter
Nail lacquer by Tom Ford
Laquila Mint Sandals by Vangoh Shoes

( 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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Scratchity Scratch

17 January 2014

My children’s school sent home letters informing everyone that there had been an outbreak of head lice.

I carefully searched all my boys’ hair. It wouldn’t surprised me AT ALL if my boys caught head lice.

My boys are feral, wild, dirty, smelly, and they have NO natural sense of cleanliness or hygiene WHATSOEVER!

So, the shame of dirtiness could easily be in my home.

I searched the hair of all my boys. But I did not find any lice. Yay!

After another week, and the school sent out another letter. I searched my boys again and still no lice. Feeling good!

And another letter. Still no lice. So, home free, and no shame on me.

Then one day I saw one of my boys scratching his head.

Oh crap.

I was in a kind of denial. There are so many reasons a boy might be scratching his head. My boys play so much sport… heat and sweat are the instant recipe for scratchy heads. Or maybe they were just thinking a lot? And when I looked for lice, I still couldn’t find any evidence of them anyway.

But there was so much scratching! And because I was wondering if they had lice… my own head started to itch. But, obviously, I couldn’t have lice, since, as my husband points out, I am obsessed with my hair, and wash it every second day. So, my itching was just paranoia – right?

But I decided to play safe with the boys. I went to the chemist to buy some natural, kid-friendly, lice-killing hair lotion, and the special, superfine-louse-catching fine-tooth comb that comes with it. Apparently, lice can move so quickly that you don’t see them when you just look with an ordinary comb. That is their superpower. But the lice-lotion kills them dead, and then you can comb them out.

I followed the instructions.

The lotion was a disgusting, greasy, oily, sticky, unpleasant, eucalyptus-smelling OIL that I had to pour all over their hair and scalp. I used rubber gloves.

Once the hair was all coated, I waited 10 minutes. And then I began to comb.

OH GOD I was so disgusted. I was cringing with revulsion!

I combed about 20 dead head lice out of my boys hair.

TWENTY!!!!

I had never seen a head louse before in my life!

I thought they would be teeny tiny like grains of sand? But they are HUGE. Like the size of a grain of brown rice. You can actually see the little head, body and legs.

I stood there completely dumbstruck and in shock. I realised that there had been an entire zoo full of animals living in each of my son’s hair for weeks!

Oh no.

Wait, what? Does this mean I could have head lice?!? MEEEE???? Eeeek!!!!

Does this mean, I have to put this insecticide crap (waves bottle of oil around) in my long, thick, beautiful, shiny hair?!?!

I put it off for a couple of days. I had NO itching.

I possibly had a bit of imaginary itching.

You can’t really TALK about lice without FEELING a little TWINGE in your scalp and a strong the urge to scratch one spot on your head!

Anyway, I just couldn’t stand not-knowing whether I had those little buggers in my hair.

I was thinking, “Maybe this is a good time for getting a balayage done to my hair. Peroxide will kill them off for sure!” But the idea of going into a fancy salon and THEM discovering I had lice was just too awful. Imagine my humiliation!

So, back to the disgusting lice killing oil.

I made some time one evening. I pretended I was treating myself to a special hair treatment pamper night *roll eyes*.

Obviously, my boys have very short hair, and so I only used about 1/8 of the bottle on all three of them. But for my hair? I used over half of the bottle! Like 2/3 of the bottle! I have so much hair!

It felt like I was was massaging olive oil and toilet cleaner into my scalp.

Result: I found one little louse. And I wasn’t entirely sure if it was one that was already dead and wedged in the comb from my son’s comb-through, or if it was actually from my head. I will never know.

The oil washed out just fine. I then washed my hair TWICE with my super-expensive $40 per bottle shampoo, which smells like magical fairy flowers. Then I gave myself a fancy hair conditioning mask treatment, a full blow wave and some Morrocan hair oil on top of it all… you know, just to make up for my hair inadequacies. And then I ate too much chocolate.

Phew. Glad that’s over.

I was complaining about the whole fiasco to my father in law, and he gave me some interesting insight.

He grew up in Scotland in the 1930s and 1940s, and was a doctor there in the 1950s and 1960s.

He said that EVERYBODY had head lice in those days. It was a very common thing, especially in places where people didn’t (and couldn’t) wash everyday, when a lot of people were poor. When someone with head lice came into a school or hospital – the lice would spread through everyone. Students, teachers, patients, doctors and nurses alike. Everyone had to be treated regularly, and girls and women kept their hair short, because it was just easier to get rid of the lice that way. How interesting!

And my boys are now washing their hair every second day!


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The SK-II Skin Analysis Where I Meet Ironman

15 January 2014

I’m already a die-hard fan and regular user of SK-II products, so I’m super pleased to be working with SK-II over the next few months.

I’ll be trialing a few of their products that are new (to me) and letting you know how I go.

But first, I booked myself in to have my skin analysed by the SK-II team, using their Magic Ring Skin Analysis Test Machine, which is available at SK-II counters.

(Now I don’t know about you, but a “Magic Ring Test” sounded pretty daunting and epic to me – like a scene from a Lord of the Rings movie perhaps?)

Actually the Magic Ring test is a machine that takes a high resolution photograph of your skin and then uses some whizz-bang SK-II software analysis thingy to tell you how you rate in certain areas – such as, texture, firmness, wrinkles, radiance and spots.

So I have to admit that I was pretty terrified of finding out about my skin, because I know the results would be baaaad. I had awful, AWFUL acne when I was a teenager, I now get dry patches here and oily patches there, and I probably don’t drink as much water as I should.

But my biggest skin failing… is that I cycle, run and generally spend a lot of time outdoors. And I always have, really. It is probably one of the downsides to living in Australia…. unlimited opportunity to get out in the big outdoors, and soak up all that UV light that does the damage. Well, even though I always use suncream and wear a hat… I know I won’t rate very highly against my Asian sisters who say, work indoors from 9-5pm. SIGH!

So when I saw the machine, I wasn’t terrified anymore. In fact, I couldn’t stop giggling, because when I saw it sitting on the counter…

SK-II Magic Ring Test

I immediately though of this…

SK-II Magic Ring Test

YOU would think of this too if you had young boys! You’d know ALL the super heroes!

What do you think? Possibly my new mascot for firmer and more radiant skin?

SK-II Magic Ring Test

So here I am, having my skin photographed, by putting half my face inside the mask thing. Look at the blue glowing light! So Ironman right??

I was supposed to relax my face and stay still, but the SK-II beauty consultant kept telling me, “No smiling please. No laughing either.”

SK-II Magic Ring Test

Once my photograph was processed, I gasped… because my skin on the screen actually didn’t look that horrific. Not bad for a 30 something, right?

SK-II Magic Ring Test

We delved deeper into the analysis and this photo showed my pigmentations and discolourations. Eeeep!

The machine considered my age, my environment, my ethnicity, whether I was wearing makeup that day, and gave me a kind of skin rating.

Turns out I scored quite low (in a bad way) for firmness, wrinkles, radiance, and spots. For texture I rated average for my age. And overall, I had the skin of a 37 year old. So two years older than my current age. Bleh. Like I said, I wasn’t expecting GOOD results.

But to actually see the result, and the underlying problems, made me determined to see how I can improve my skin care regime.

Of course, I’ll be doing more to keep my skin out of the sun.

Or perhaps I should just wear an Ironman mask everywhere I go? :)


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3kgs of Squeamish

13 January 2014

My father enjoys going to the market to buy fresh meat and fish.

He will often come over with gifts (bless him!) of my favourite fish – salmon fillets, conveniently frozen in perfect family-sized portions.

I am always sooo happy and grateful for his gifts, because salmon is not cheap and it is so nice to eat on a weekly basis.

Salmon

However the other day, my dad came over and he bought me a WHOLE FREAKING SALMON.

WOW thanks dad!

Salmon Chop

At least it was already cut up – but not frozen.

As I laid the fish pieces in a dish, I must admit that I was suddenly all squeamish, yet fascinated. I couldn’t look the poor fish in the eye. It seemed to be pleading with me not to eat it. And yet, at the same time, I was imagining all the different ways I could prepare fish head curry.

After sorting some pieces, bagging and freezing them, I tried to slice the rest up into sashimi.

Salmon Sashimi

This is my first try at being a sushi chef. Not bad at all!

Just look at the colours of the fish, its texture, freshness and its delicious-ness.

It is amazing how the fish suddenly looks like food you can eat, without the accusing gaze of the fish eyes, the fins or tail!


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Hot Oil Treatment for My Hair

12 January 2014

In September last year, I went to a trendy new Korean hair salon in Perth called Curi Hair to get a perm. You can read my blog post about it here.

Well it’s been 4 months since my perm and OMG I FREAKING LOVE IT! It’s so easy to maintain, so easy to look after, so easy to style, and so easy to have great looking hair every single day. I just wash my hair, towel dry, run my fingers through my hair, put a few pumps of hair oil, then spray a bit of hair spray to keep the curls together. No blow drying, no straightening iron, no boofy frizz!

Anyway, the team at Curi Hair suggested that I should have a Japanese Hot Oil Hair Treatment for my hair about now, because the chemicals used for a perm can end up damaging and drying it. Plus this hair treatment is really popular in Asia at the moment, so I was keen to try it out.

Curi Hair - Japanese Hot Oil Treatment

(What I’m wearing: Bec and Bridge tee, colbalt skirt from YesStyle, and leopard print sandals from Vangoh Shoes.)

Curi Hair - Japanese Hot Oil Treatment

So this is before my treatment.

The ends of my hair are reeeally dry and wispy.

Curi Hair - Japanese Hot Oil Treatment

And this is after two hours of washing, steaming, oiling, cups of tea, and browsing magazines about other Korean beauty techniques! My hair looked and felt quite heavy and oiled, until I washed my hair two days later, and then it looked fresh and healthy – yay!

It only took two hours, it was pretty affordable (from $70), especially since I had a senior stylist applying the treatment.

I totally recommend it if you have damaged hair (coloured, balayage, or use straightening irons and blow dryers a lot)!

Check out more details on the Curi Hair Facebook Page.


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Pretty Lace + Rock and Roll

9 January 2014

Lace Shorts by Cameo

This was one of my party outfits during the silly season.

Usually I’m not a huge fan of wearing ultra-feminine, delicate-looking lace. But the combination of bright colour, pretty lace, high-waist and short, angled, leg hems… made these shorts irresistible :)

They are so cute, so sexy, floppy, feminine and fun to wear. It feels like I’m wearing a mini, flare skirt actually… except you don’t have to hold them down when it’s windy.

Lace Shorts by Cameo

Because the shorts were so feminine, I toned them down with a graphic print tee and a structured/tailored item, a blazer.

The black blazer is a new item from Romwe. It’s one of those simple, light-weight blazers, with no lining, so you can wear them in summer.

My necklace is from The Accessory Report. Every time I browse the site, I am so tempted to buy more stuff because it’s all so affordable! Check out their latest products here.

T-shirt is by Zoe Karssen from Shopbop.

Heels are by Korean brand Koo, 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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Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls

7 January 2014

I’m getting back into a routine of exercise and healthy eating!

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

I’ve been making these fresh Vietnamese spring rolls for my family. Sometimes I make them once a week because my kids just LOVE eating them! So fresh, light and flavour-some.

I marinate some meat (beef slices, chicken slices, or port mince) with a bit of garlic, soy sauce, seasame oil and ginger for 30 minutes.

I cook up the meat, throw it on a plate.

Then I lay all the vegetables and rice noodles out and my family just make their own rolls. Too easy.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

As for ingredients…I don’t really have a recipe. I just use whatever vegetables are in my fridge.

But usually I like to use lettuce, spinach, sprouts, thinly sliced zucchini, cucumbers, capsicums and carrots. Also I use mint, coriander and chives.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

I also like to make my own dipping sauce with soy sauce and chilli.

I love it that the boys like them so much that they often have two or three. The rice paper skins are pretty robust, so even my 8 year old can soak them in warm water and roll it all up.

Yay for happy and healthy tummies!


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My Modern Classics

6 January 2014

Here are some of my favourite trends this season!

In fact, I see them more as my modern classics now, as I have happily adopted them into my fashion repertoire and they are here to stay.

Black and White Flat

Fedora style hats – I always try to wear a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off my face. And I have gotten very bored of my floppy straw hats, that – yes even I will admit – look a bit dorky. So, if anything, the recent trend of stylish hats has made it acceptable to wear a fancy hat ALL THE TIME. And I’m really happy about that! This hat is my favourite fancy felt hat from ASOS.

Silver Accessories – Whether they are shoes, a clutch, or a handbag… I have grown to love silver accessories and they are now my new neutrals. This clutch is my silver LouenHide Billie Clutch from Birdsnest.

Cat Eye Sunnies – Ok as a fashion trend, these are not exactly a breakthrough. Cat eye sunglasses have been around since the 1950s, made popular by Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly in the 60s. But the combination of oxblood + tortoiseshell + cat eye frame + Prada… makes it a new classic to me! This pair adds an understated cool to all my outfits. They are from Sunglasses Shop.

Black and white spots – I’ve been loving this pattern on my shoes, accessories and clothes. I think they are a fresh alternative to the orange/ brown leopard print. Plus they are much more versatile, as black and white goes with anything! These sandals are from Vangoh Shoes.

( 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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What? It’s Over ALREADY!?

4 January 2014

I can’t believe that the whole Christmas/New Year season is over already!

Happy New Year everyone!… even though it is the 4th January already! Time has slipped away from me, due to the very busy, very fabulous, very exhausting holiday I just got back from.

We went to stay with friends on a little farm in the southern part of Western Australia, and these are just some of the highlights.

Go Karting, Denmark

A go-kart built in four hours out of an old pram, a chair, and other random things from the farm shed.

Denmark 2014, Fishing

I have not been fishing since I discovered boy bands. But this holiday, I caught not one, but TWO fish haha! (However, they were so small that we threw them back into the water.)

Marron

From a pond on the farm, we caught and ate wild marron, a kind of freshwater crayfish that is considered a delicacy in Western Australia. Although my husband insisted that it looked like a giant black cockroach crossed with a lobster, I was more than happy to cook it and eat it with a tiny squeeze of lemon. Our host explained that marron survive regular Western Australian summer droughts by just walking over dry land to another water hole when they need to! I felt honored to be eating an animal with such excellent survival skills.

Moombaki Wines

We visited a local winery called Moombaki and bought one of the last bottles of wine from an award winning, 2004 vintage. It was exquisitely smooth, and was so freaking amazing – can you tell I am not a wine expert? Perhaps knowing that it was one of the last bottles made it even nicer. Apparently, their 2010 vintage is extremely similar, and half the price.

Ohlalollypop Shop

And now I know where the phrase ‘like a kid in a lolly shop” comes from. We wandered into this tiny, amazing shop called Ooh La Lollipop in a very pretty little town called Bridgetown. It’s PACKED with every kind of candy you could imagine, and Liam was delirious with excitement.

But alas, every holiday comes to an end. Although, to tell the truth, I am glad to get back home to a more regular routine… and a brand new year.




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