Archive for August 2014


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3 Ways to Wear – A Tropical Print Skirt

29 August 2014

3 Ways to Wear Tropical Print

I was born on a tropical island – think blue ocean, blue skies, green jungles and palm trees – so I have a soft spot for tropical prints!

I picked up this cute tropical print skirt from ClubCouture at a great price, and have been enjoying how much I can mix and match with it.

1) Blazer and Bralet
Splashing out in sporty-luxe look, I’m wearing a blazer (also from ClubCouture) and bralet from

2) Big White Summer Shirt
I found this awesome white shirt in a thrift store. It had embroidery, lace, tassels and made from a gorgeous cotton fabric. It was in a size 16, but I hacked it up and sewed it up to fit me. Now I consider it to be one of my best summer cover ups.

3) Grey Marle Tee
I love this look. It’s casual and colourful, but still stylish. The statement necklace (from The Accessory Report) really adds a notch of style to the whole outfit. Sandals by Holster.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

( 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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Architects and Heroes

28 August 2014

The other day, I dropped my aunty off in Subiaco for a doctor’s appointment. While I waited for her phone call (to be picked up), I found myself with 2 hours to spare.

Trying to avoid the mall-type shops on Rokeby Road, I wandered into the local op shop… and bought myself 3 awesome books (total of $9).

Then I found a secondhand bookstore and found another 2 books (total $4)! I was so delighted with my buys, that I needed a coffee and snack to celebrate.

Architects and Heroes

I stumbled across Architects and Heroes, a new cafe that I’ve been hearing about in the local social media circles.

It was my ah ha! moment, as there’s always something magical about discovering a treasure by accident, rather than researching it and then seeking it out with intent.

Architects and Heroes

With a cool mural stretching across the whole cafe, a laid back vibe, the smell of quality coffee, smiles from the staff, lots of seating (indoor and outdoor) and lots of fancy-wacky specialty coffee instruments… this place was a winner for me.

Architects and Heroes

The menu looked pretty good, featuring a seasonal menu of eggs, mushrooms, smoked salmon, crusty bread, French toast, cinnamon muesli. There were also lots of delicious baked goods on display too.

But I just wanted a quick snack, so I settled on a ham and cheese croissant.

Architechs and Heroes

My croissant was tasty and fresh. My soy flat white was gorgeous and smooth. My sunny spot by the window made me glow with happiness.

I pulled out one of my book finds – a double edition of The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Despite initially feeling a bit self-conscious (PRETENTIOUS NERD ALERT!), I stuck my nose into it, became oblivious to the rest of the world and read until I received the call telling me I had to leave.

I’ll definitely be back again to try out some of their meals. And I promise to be a bit more social and bring a friend next time!

Architects and Heroes
25 Rokeby Road
Subiaco, WA
Mon – Sat: 6:30 am – 6:30 pm

Architects and Heroes on Urbanspoon

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Riding, volunteering or donating?

26 August 2014

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2013, photo by Ze Wong

Photo of me riding 200km over 2 days for The Ride To Conquer Cancer, October 2013. Photo by Ze Photography.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that for the past two years, I rode in The Ride to Conquer Cancer to raise money for cancer research.

The event is a 200km ride over two days, and is designed specifically for people who are NOT already experienced cyclists. It’s for newbies and beginner cyclists!

In 2012, when I took up the challenge to RIDE 200kms, I was very motivated about raising cancer awareness and raising funds for cancer research. This cause is something that is very close to my heart, since I nearly lost my husband to cancer, and because I have lost a good friend, who was, like me, a mother of young children. I wanted to make something good come out of my fear and loss.

But I was also deeply concerned that I could not actually do it. 200km seemed like a long way compared to walking the kids 2km to school! People in my extended family were actually counselling me against it: “Can you actually do it???”

Well, as it turned out… YES I COULD!

It was a fantastic experience… it completely transformed my views about personal fitness. It was a brilliant journey to go on. I learned so much about myself, about bikes, about fundraising, and the power of working as a collective. Over the two years, The Ride to Conquer Cancer event has raised approximately $39.1 million in Australia (the proceeds go directly to research facilities in each state) – which is amazing!

But this year, I am not riding. The truth is… I’ve now picked up a whole lot of other sports like running, netball, yoga and strength training. So while I’m still pretty fit and active, I haven’t actually been on my bike since October last year – 10 months ago! I just don’t have time to do the training.

But my dedication to the RTCC, and the cause, has not diminished, so I am still participating, as a Volunteer/Crew Member. I’m going to be finding out what it takes “behind the scenes” to make a huge event like this work. And of course, I am hoping to motivate YOU! So I’ll be reporting on what I see and do. Of course, I’ll be doing the Perth RTTC… but there are also rides in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

What can you do?

I did it, so you definitely can do it too! You can sign up with a friend, or you can sign up by yourself and the RTCC people (volunteers like me) will match you up with a team of new friends you can train and ride with.

When I first started out, I was a complete beginner cyclist. A total noob! I started training with a 15 year old, rusted, mountain bike. Read about my whole journey from when I first started my cycling journey!

The Ride to Conquer Cancer organisers are looking for people to join the volunteer and crew teams. It’s the best way to experience the event while you support the riders on their journey! Pop over to the Ride to Conquer Cancer Crew Page to find out more.

If you can’t participate or volunteer, what about making a small (or large) donation that goes immediately and directly towards cancer research. You can go to my donations page and make any donation amount you wish – $20, $50, $100, $500! You can leave a public message, or a personal message, or just do it anonymously. And you get a receipt, so you can claim this against your tax.

More coming soon!

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Win $500 to spend at French Connection

25 August 2014

Win a $500 French Connection Voucher

Hi everyone! It’s been ages since I’ve run a competition on my blog.

So I’m super excited to share that I’ve teamed up with French Connection to give my readers a chance to win a $500 voucher to spend at any French Connection store. Woo hoo!

All you have to do is click here to the competition page, fill in a few details, and make sure you click the check box to subscribe to the French Connection Style News (that’s a must if you want to enter the competition).

Scroll down to the end of this post to read the terms and conditions.

Competition ends next Sunday, on the 31st August, so be quick!

Here are my picks from the new season collection, you know, “if” I won.

Win a $500 French Connection Voucher

I’m loving the tropical prints with the strong black and white basics.

Win a $500 French Connection Voucher

The sweetheart sweater definitely has my name written on it. And I’d love to try this slinky jumpsuits and floral print skirt too.

French Connection is a fab store to stock up on your work basics like blazers, shirts, pants, blouses. Heck with $500 I might just buy a real leather jacket.

There’s so much good stuff, do pop over to have a look!

Have fun and good luck!


Competition Terms and Conditions
The competition closes on Sunday 31st August at 11.59pm.

Competition participants must subscribe to the French Connection database to enter. Users who have not subscribed to French Connection Australia will not be entered into the competition. Each entrant must opt-in to receiving Style News and promotions from French Connection Australia.

One entry per person is permitted. One winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries received before the closing date.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday 2nd September. This gift voucher will be redeemable for 12 months and is only for an Australian store and cannot be used online (sorry to all my international readers!)

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Oh mud! Glorious mud! How I love thee!

22 August 2014

Western Mudd Rush 2014

So last weekend, some friends and I got together to do the Western Mudd Rush – a 9km run with 23 mud-themed obstacles.

What was I thinking?!? I hate being dirty! I hate mud! I hate being cold! And for this event you get to be all three – dirty, muddy and cold… while running!

The truth was, I did it because of my boys.

The event had a separate section for kids to participate and my two big boys (aged 11 and 9) were falling over themselves to get signed up. So I, and a couple of my friends, got our kids together and decided to ALL give it a go. The kids did their event on the Saturday, and the adults did it on the Sunday. We actually had 6 adults sign up for our team, but at the last minute, 2 of them couldn’t make it.

It did occur to me to ring in sick as well. But my husband and kids would have hassled me about it… for years.


Western Mudd Rush 2014

Yes a few minutes in and I was splattered with mud already! The organisers made everyone have their participant number tattooed (temporarily) onto their forehead, because you were bound to get every other part of your body covered with mud. I liked it because it made me feel bad-assed.

I took my Nikon AW100 waterproof camera along for the ride. I carried it in a bum bag which I secured tightly around my belly, under my singlet, so I looked like I was 6 months pregnant! But after a while I found that it got in the way, so I slid the bum bag around so it sat against my back. That would have been a handy trick for when I was pregnant.

The weather turned out to be amazing. It was cloudy and slightly cool – perfect for running and getting muddy!

Western Mudd Rush 2014

The obstacles ranged from climbing up ropes, balancing on a beam, climbing across ropes, jumping over fences, crawling through tubes…

There was even an ICE BATH. Forget the ice bucket challenge. We had to jump into a TANK full of ice and freezing cold water, then we had to COMPLETELY SUBMERGE ourselves to get under a wooden bridge and then climb up a ladder to get out of the ice tank. It was insane! I was so so unbelievably cold and numb. But I did it. And I survived! Woot!

Western Mudd Rush 2014

There was a lot of climbing too, which I found to be quite challenging.

I have been working on my upper body strength, but I couldn’t get past the fact that I AM SHORT! My legs were too short, my arms were too short and the length of my body meant I was *just* out of reach for a lot of things.

But I still managed OK. I’m small, I’m light, I can jump high. And whenever I needed some help, my awesome team mates gave me a helping hand, or gave my butt a little push upwards.

Western Mudd Rush 2014

For example, take this rather large obstacle.

I needed a step (my team mate’s hand) to help me get over the wall. After that I was all good with getting over and down the wall by myself. Yay me!

Western Mudd Rush 2014

Then there were these tricky, spinning, slicked-with-mud barrels that we had to get over. Easier said than done. You couldn’t just climb over it. It was more of a leap, grab, swing legs over, use the momentum of your body to swing the rest of yourself over and then land on your feet. Go too fast and you’ll spin off the other side and injure yourself. Go too slow and you spin backwards and probably injure yourself.

Western Mudd Rush 2014

As we progressed through the course, the mud became more obvious.

There was a lot of mud to walk through and run through. There were muddy puddles and lakes to wade through. There was lots of mud smeared on things. But by this point were were DYING FOR SOME MUD TO ROLL IN!!


Yes, these were the words that came forth from my mouth.

Western Mudd Rush 2014

The Slippery Slide! Now this was fun.

We got to slide down a wet, bumpy hill on our ass, at high speed, straight into a pool of muddy water that smelt distinctly like… farm animals? Yes. Cows. Horses. Pigs. Wet farm animals.

Western Mudd Rush 2014

Here we pulled ourselves along a pool of cold, muddy, farm-animal-smelling water inside a cage thing. It was pretty easy for me, because once again, I was small and light.

Look at the silly smile on my face! I was having a great time! Even though I had mud in my hair and I smelt like a pig!

Western Mudd Rush 2014

Then there were two long tunnels, filled with muddy, agriculturally aromatic water, which we had to crawl through. Because I was small, I could easily crawl on my hands and knees. But a lot of other people had to do more of a commando crawl on their forearms and drag their whole bodies through the sludge.

I scurried along quickly and easily like a rat in a sewer. I crawled through the first tunnel, and my thoughts were… OMG this would be such a cool photo! I KNEW I wanted to take a photo from inside the tunnel, looking out.

I also knew that while inside the small confined space of the tunnel, I wouldn’t be able to get my camera out of my bumbag. So before I entered the second tunnel, I took out my camera and CARRIED IT IN MY MOUTH. My camera is the size of a smart phone, so I actually chomped down on it and carried it with my teeth. Like a rodent with a piece of bread, bigger than it can chew. Oh the things I do for the perfect photo.

Anyway, I now have a lovely photo of the inside of the tunnel AND the inside of my mouth. Ah the memories I’ll be able to treasure forever.

Western Mudd Rush 2014

Then came the grand finale. We had to crawl across a huge pool of thick, gluggy, brown mud, with barbed wires overhead. Argh the mud was so oozy and sticky, like clay. The ground was uneven, so some people fell into pot holes full of mud and got completely covered with the stuff.

It was -honestly – soooo much FUN.

We laughed and squealed with delight. We rolled around, hugged each other… and I took a selfie of course.

Western Mudd Rush 2014

Happy. Like unashamed pigs.

Oh there was one more obstacle after this… a stack of sea containers with a rope ladder thingy, before we hit the finish line.

Western Mudd Rush 2014

Look at us – WINNERZ!!!

(OK we didn’t actual win. We just finished the whole thing).

We took about 2 hours to do the whole 9km course. We ran most of the track and walked some parts when we got too tired. Some obstacles had long queues, so we had to wait a while. There was no pressure to complete each obstacle. There was just a general attitude to “Have fun and give it a go!”. It wasn’t a race. We went at our own pace. We overtook some groups, and other groups overtook us.

There was so much laughter, chat, banter and just enjoying the moment. It was definitely one of the most fun I’ve ever had at an “Organised Sporting Event”.

We had a quick, cold outdoor shower (it was more of a hose down next to the horse stables), we changed into dry clothes, and sat down on the grass for some hotdog and chips. My god, it was the best tasting hotdog ever.

I had a proper shower when I got home, because I still had mud in all my nooks and crannies. I also had to wash my hair twice to get rid of the farm animal smell.

Big thanks to my team mates! Next year we plan to get a bigger group together and dress up in a theme.

Hope you enjoyed my photos. Looking back through them, I can’t wipe my smile off my face!!



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Keeping it Real: My Dressing Table

20 August 2014

Dressing Table

In an effort to reduce my clutter, I’ve been donating a lot of my stuff to charity, storing my keepsakes properly, throwing out the junk… and just trying to be a bit more organised in general!

So since things are looking a lot neater around here, I thought I’d share my progress and give you a peek into some of my everyday spaces.

Starting with my bedside table.

Usually the place where I throw my used tissues, my bedside table is actually a set of tall drawers where I store some of my clothes.

Yep there’s a lot of stuff on my bedside table! It’s where I keep the jewellery, perfume, nail polish, hand cream and sunglasses that I wear and use regularly. I guess it’s kind of a dressing table.

Oh and I jam my current reading book behind my mirror!

Dressing Table

As for the details. I can’t have fresh flowers in the same room as I sleep, as it makes me sneeze at night. So a cute bunch of everlasting peonies works a treat.

And I don’t actually light candles next to my bed either. The amount of clothes, bedding, rugs and flammable liquids I have, makes our room a bit of fire hazard.

So it all looks very pretty and stylish right? But the truth is, our bedroom storage system still needs a lot of work.


Behold! Four boxes of STUFF (I’m afraid to look inside them) still sitting above our antique wooden wardrobe, with doors that don’t close properly.

The wardrobe was left on the side of the road, and my husband couldn’t resist its water damaged, chipped, vandalised, warped mirrored, insect ridden charms.

And the boxes have been up there since we moved house four years ago.

I’ll get around to cleaning them out one day!


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What I Wore: Keeping it Simple

19 August 2014

Black + White

With the change of season almost upon us, I’ve been keeping my wardrobe pretty simple and easy. I’m trying to wear my old favourites and my classics, and doing a lot more mixing and matching with what I already have.

This way I can work out what is lacking in my wardrobe and work towards filling the gaps.

The other day I threw on a simple tee + jeans outfit for a meeting in the city.

Black + White

It was a simple and smart, with a touch of trend, and a pop of sparkle.

Jacquard jacket by Miu Miu (from The Outnet)
T-shirt from Sportsgirl
Black Needle jeans from Acne Studios (Shopbop)
Polkadot shoes by Habbot Studios
Handbag by Tory Burch
Felt hat from ASOS
Necklace from JCrew
Earrings from 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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Oh bloom! I’m sorry! Please don’t die!

18 August 2014

Last month, my husband bought me a double-rose cherry plum tree for my birthday. It was a large one, so I moved it into our backyard, with full intention to plant it properly into the ground that very week.

Of course, it is now 5 weeks later and it is still in a small plant bag sitting on the paving – NOT IN THE GROUND.

I feel so bad!

But it’s not that I have been putting it off or being lazy. You see, I have been reorganising my backyard, replanting a whole lot of plants, conditioning the soil, buying and spreading out mulch. It’s been a kind of backyard blitz here.

So my poor cherry blossom tree has been waiting patiently for me to get everything ready BEFORE I put it in the ground. However I suspect that, as it is with most things in life, things will never be “perfect and ready”, so I should just get on with it and commit before it’s too late!

Thankfully, mother nature is forgiving.

Cherry Blossom

My cherry blossom tree – still in its small plant bag – has bloomed for me, with the most beautiful and precious pink blossom I’ve ever seen!

I feel guilty, forgiven… and inspired to do the right thing. Like now!


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Majestic Lace Dress from Review Clothing

15 August 2014

Review Dresses

You might recall a few months ago that I attended a wedding in Malaysia? And I wore this dress from Review Clothing?

I received so many compliments and people asking me where did I get it?  You can read my first review about it here.

Anyway, this is just an update to let everyone know that Review Clothing are having a sale at the moment – 25% off new season stock. And they have the dress in new colours!

The dress is absolutely lovely to wear. It’s so simple, so easy to move in, so comfortable, so robust and so affordable. It’s fully lined. It has a high quality weight to it. It doesn’t need to be ironed. I can wear a normal bra with it. It has a sexy low V back line. It has an elegant fitted waist and a modest pencil skirt length. And it’s a standard size, so it fits me perfectly!

(In the above photo, I’m wearing the Majestic Dress in Navy. It is now $217.49 (was $289.9).

Review Dresses

Review has also brought in new colours – Black, Black/Nude, CappuccinoAurelia Dress in Blush.

Eeek I’m sooo tempted to either get the black, or the black + nude.

The sleeveless Aurelia Dress in Blush (pictured on the far right) would be gorgeous for warmer weather too.

Once again they are all 25% off, which is very cool. You can buy online and receive free shipping within Australia for orders over $150 too.




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Running With Friends

13 August 2014

Run 10k
I’ve joined a running group!

It’s not really a group group. It’s not formal. We’re just a bunch of friends (girls and guys) who are all running freaks! We all know each other through our children’s school and we all live and run in the same area, which makes our “group runs” infinitely easier to organise.

Thinking about it, I never thought I’d join a fitness group. Because, I usually like to exercise by myself. I like the peace and solitude. I like to meditate, arrange my thoughts and focus on the mesmerising beat of my feet hitting the pavement. It’s quite important for me to have that quiet space for myself.

Exercising in a large classes – in a room full of strangers – is also very solitary. Which I like. I feel no obligation to interact with anyone. And I just get lost in my own little bubble.

But what do you know, I discovered that exercising with friends is so much fun.

It adds so many new levels to my exercise routine – motivation, inspiration, sharing knowledge and a social aspect. I’m loving it!

Following people’s (ie. stranger’s) exercise updates and fitness inspiration on instagram and facebook does not compare.

Anyway, I tried out a new running route this weekend. The weather was just gorgeous. It was the first time I tackled so many hills.  I ran 10kms and felt amazing. I might try to work on my time/speed next time. I’m feeling inspired!

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Nine Fine Food, Highgate

11 August 2014

I organised a sort-of birthday dinner for myself with a few of my girlfriends at Nine Fine Food in Highgate. It was only a sort-of birthday celebration, because my actual birthday happened weeks ago. So really, it was just an excuse to have dinner with my girlfriends.

Nine Fine Food, Highgate

This was the second time that I have eaten here. The first time, I forgot to bring my DSLR camera, and my iphone snaps just didn’t do justice to the food and ambiance. The food was delicious, the price of the meal was great value and I had a lovely experience. So to come here the second time… my mouth was watering with anticipation!

Nine Fine Foods specialises in Japanese cuisine with a kind of modern Australian fusion.

As well as their regluar menu, they have a special set menu called Tokutku (3 courses for $55 pp) or Osusume (4 course for $66 pp). And you can choose from a selection of entrees, mains and desserts. The only catch is that everyone on your table has to agree to have the set menu (but you can each choose your own dishes).

We decided to go with the Tokutoku. And can you believe it, between 5 of us, we all chose similar dishes.

Nine Fine Food, Highgate

For my entree, I chose the Beef Tataki with fresh herb salad and yuzu ponzu dressin.

I picked up a roll of beef between my chopsticks and dunked it ungracefully into the dipping sauce. Little bits of spring onion, herbs and vegetables were still stuck to it but they added a great crunch to the beef as I slurped it all up. The beef was tender and wonderfully soft. It was delicious! The flavours were a wonderful balance of fresh, tangy, sweet, salty and it was just full of punch.

I really liked this dish. It was already my winning pick of the night!

Nine Fine Food, Highgate

My girlfriends chose the Agedashi Toothfish, with Patagonian toothfish, tofu, mushrooms, wakame in Agedashi broth.

The soup looked so warm and comforting. I ate this the last time I dined here, and it was my favourite dish. The mix of a crunchy skin layer and soft fish flesh… was just divine.

Nine Fine Food, Highgate

For my main I chose the Barramundi and Prawn with Barramundi fillet, garlic chili prawns, vegetable pancake, plum miso and chilli sauce.

The fish was very soft and juicy. The prawns were fresh and tasty too.

Although the texture was great, I found the overall dish to be a bit salty and overwhelming to my senses after eating the Beef Tataki. It just had too much flavour, and I felt that I needed to clear my palate with (oh god) some plain white RICE?

I was a little disappointed, but I wouldn’t rate it as a terrible dish. It was just “ok” compared to the other dishes I have eaten at the restaurant before.

Nine Fine Food, Highgate

My girlfriends had the Confit Duck, with a duck leg, grilled Scallops, tempura onion, potato mash, and duck jus.

I had this dish the last time and omg the duck just fell off the bone and it was amazing. I was thinking perhaps I should have ordered this dish. The mellow warm flavours would have gone a bit better with my beef entree? I also loved the way it was styled, with all the bits and pieces placed around the plate like an artwork.

After my main, I was left feeling a bit… well, I was craving PLAIN WHITE RICE! So to move immediately onto a rich and sweet dessert, kind of threw me off.

Nine Fine Food, Highgate

I ordered Creamy Tiramisu with Bitter Espresso.

It didn’t look like much. It looked very underwhelming and a bit small.

But once I started to eat it, all was forgiven. It was very yummy indeed. The sponge was perfectly soaked with coffee. The cream and crunchy topping rounded off the dessert and gave me my ice-cream dessert fix. The portion was just right too. Not too little, not too much.

Nine Fine Food, Highgate

My girlfriends had the Green tea mattcha custard brulee.

I’m not a fan of mattcha, so I didn’t really enjoy my tiny taste of it. I did however, enjoy my grilfriends’ chuckles as they cracked the sugary caramel to reveal the mattcha green colour that makes everyone so excited!

By the end of the evening, I was suitably full. Not stuffed like a turkey. Just comfortable and content from having a good meal and a great chat to my girlfriends!

We had a few Entertainment cards between us, which offered us a discount to our bill. So in the end we paid around $46 each. Which was insanely affordable for a 3 course meal, considering the food and ambiance felt like a fine dining experience.

Would I go again, for a third time? Absolutely. I’ll take my husband and I might even take my kids too, as an introductory to fine dining (without having to worry about whether I’d be wasting a lot of money on food they won’t eat). Plus it wasn’t overly posh or awkwardly fancy. It was dark, intimate and cozy. I really liked it!

Overall, it was good value for money. It’s fine dining, without the eye-watering price tag!

Nine Fine Food
227-229 Bulwer St, Cnr Lake St Highgate

Nine Fine Food on Urbanspoon

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Glasshouse Candles at Adore Beauty

8 August 2014

Glasshouse Candles
I was super pleased to discover that Glasshouse Fragrances are now available at Adore Beauty.

They offer free shipping on all orders within Australia (!!) so I am constantly ordering items – shampoo, hand cream, makeup remover, suncream, foot cream.

They have all my favourite brands like Aesop, L’Occitane, Burt’s Bees, philosophy, SK-II… so it’s pretty much my one stop shop :)

Glasshouse Candles

I already have a few Glasshouse candles, but I think Marseille is my favourite. Its fragrance is gentle and smooth, yet rich, featuring apple blossoms, gardenias and carnations.

Yes, I also collect all the jars and use them to hold STUFF (like cotton wool, cotton tips, sea shells and rose petals)!

Check out the whole collection of Glasshouse Fragrances at Adore Beauty.



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Being Bookish

7 August 2014

Wooly and Bookish

I am on a reading roll at the moment. I am currently reading two books… and my face is constantly buried in one of them.

I cook and read at the same time. I have one book tucked into my hangbag, so I can pull it out whenever I have a few minutes to spare. I turn up early to after-school pick up and sit in the car and read until the very last moment I have to collect my kids. I turn down social events because, SORRY I’M READING! (Ok maybe it’s not that bad…)

Anyway, my girlfriend mentioned that I was channeling a bit of preppy librarian chic the other day. All I needed was thick rimmed glasses and I’d be all set haha :P

Wooly and Bookish

My jumper is a luxurious Pringle of Scotland jumper, given to me by my dad, when I was a teenager. I think that someone initially gave it to HIM (he didn’t buy it) and it is a men’s jumper because its size is “42inches”.

And now that I think about it, I think it was me who adopted it on the sly, rather than my dad actually giving it to me.

Anyway, it is 20 years old and it still feels as soft, supple and amazing as I remember it when it was new. It hasn’t lost its shape, there is no pill, it has a luxurious weight, yet it is breathable and comfortable. The cuffs and collar still sit flat against my skin. It’s just gorgeous to wear. It definitely makes me appreciate a good and high quality “investment” knit. Even though I didn’t buy it! (Thanks dad!)

Jumper by Pringle of Scotland
White silk shirt by Equipment
Cuff shorts by Alice + Olivia
Suede wedges by Tony Bianco
Crossbody bag by Witchery

Novel is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (A bit sad to start, but so far it’s an excellent read.)

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My Dirty Shoe Secret

6 August 2014

I was recently invited to a very posh event in the middle of the city.

It started at 6:00pm (which is heavy, peak hour traffic in the city)… so arriving at my event in a timely manner was going to be difficult. I decided to take public transport to my event, instead of driving and parking in the city.

This was my plan: My husband was going to drop me off at the train station, I’d catch the train, and then I had to walk a “short” distance to the event.

I actually calculated my TOTAL WALKING DISTANCE to and from the car, train, the event, back to public transport and then back home again. The total was a terrifying 1km.

1km in heels?! Sigh.

That was a big deal, especially when trying to work out which shoes to wear!!

I wanted to wear ONE PARTICULAR pair of shoes that went well with my dress. A pair of silver, pointed-toe heels. However… those shoes were not the best shoes to be walking 1km in. But er, they looked great with my dress! And so the decision was made. Silver shoes it is!

Fashion won over practicality.

But here’s my little secret, people.

I actually wore these daggy foldable flats while travelling to the event (pictured below). The little flats fold and roll into a little bundle that I can pop into my handbag.

Fold Flats

Haha I’m sure most REAL FASHIONISTAS would never be CAUGHT DEAD wearing these babies. I believe they are like the equivalents of wearing Crocs to a fashion show?

And the funny thing is… these foldable flats don’t feel like PROPER SHOES. They feel like plastic socks lined with rubber soles. Or like children’s dress-up slippers.

In fact there is no LEFT or RIGHT shoe, they are the same!

So if you’re in a hurry, running after a plane, or drunk trying to walk home, you don’t need to worry about which shoe goes on which foot! They feel so wrong! But they are so practical!

I own two pairs. That’s right, such a fashionista right? I have one pair, stored permanently in my car. And one in my wardrobe, ready to pop into my handbag.

Fold Flats

The other tricky aspect about wearing these foldable flats in public… is that when you want to change back into your fancy shmancy shoes… you have to find a hiding spot to do so.

And if you are going to a posh fashion event, you don’t want other guests to see you changing shoes, so you have to find a hiding spot at least 200m from the venue! Preferably behind a large object or building. Preferably not next to a garbage bin. Or a tree.

A girl standing on the sidewalk, next to a tree or bin, wearing a party frock, with no shoes on, only means one thing = crazy drunk chick.

And that’s no way to make a fashionable entrance, is it?

So the moral to this story is that fashion CAN win over practicality, you just have to find a good hiding spot :P

day of week

Raspberry and Apple Tart (with no refined sugar)

4 August 2014

Raspberry and Apple Tart

I am on a baking frenzy at the moment!

I’ve been making my no-refined sugar tarts at least once a week, each time experimenting with different fruits.

I’ve made Peach and Pear, Apple and Almonds, Strawberry and Pear, but today I’m going to share my Raspberry and Apple Tart recipe (because my kids enjoyed this flavour combination the most).

A few weeks ago I shared my sugar-free basic vanilla pastry. This recipe can make two small 20cm tart bases, so you only really need to make HALF the portion. But I actually have a nice flan tin that is 25cms. So I make the whole pastry portion, I use about 3/4 for the tart and I freeze the rest for next time.

Basic Vanilla Pastry
270g of cold butter, chopped
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1/4 cup of ice water
2 1/2 cups (225g) of plain flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder

Raspberry and Apple Filling
4 Pink lady apples, cored
½ cup of dried cranberries
2 cups of frozen raspberries, at room temperature
Handful of almond flakes

1. Dice the apples. Roughly chop the cranberries. Place them both into a heavy based saucepan. Simmer on a medium heat. Give it a good stir every once in a while. Take your frozen raspberries out of your freezer and pour them out onto a plate to defrost.

2. Prepare the pastry. (I think you are supposed to process the butter and flour first. Then add water + vanilla. But I’m not very precious with my pastry.)

I throw all the pastry ingredients into the food processor (with pastry blade) and mix until it resembles breadcrumbs. Let it mix some more until it starts to clump together.

3. Pour the dough out onto your counter top and give it a good knead. 2 minutes is long enough for me.

4. Throw it into the fridge (just in a bowl with a plate on top, why waste plastic cling wrap?) while you clean up your counter top and wash your food processor. I only ever leave it in there for 5 minutes tops.

5. Roll the dough out between one or two sheets of baking paper. Try to get a nice round shape that will fit into your dish.

6. Grease your pie or tart dish with a bit of butter. Place pastry base into the dish. Work the pastry base into the dish so the edges look nice.

7. Your apple filling should be dry and you shouldn’t be able to see pools of liquid at the bottom of the pot. Pour the apple filling into the base and spread it out evenly.

8. Bake for 30 minutes at 180C. Take the tart out of the oven, spread the raspberries all over, and sprinkle with the almonds.

9. Put back into the oven for another 10 minutes, until the crust is nice and golden brown. Eat hot! With cream or ice cream!

Enjoy xxx