Chinese New Year celebrations run for 15 days… and we’ve been totally overwhelmed with food, family, festivities and fireworks!
I love this time of year!
Chinese New Year celebrations run for 15 days… and we’ve been totally overwhelmed with food, family, festivities and fireworks!
I love this time of year!
I tried NOT to think about it.
I knew if I actually stopped and considered my situation, I would find myself overcome with fear.
I took two fast steps towards the edge of the wooden jetty and leaped high into the air. In the 3 seconds before my feet touched the water, my senses exploded and I was suddenly so aware of the moment. As they say, it was as if time had frozen.
3 seconds is not very long. But curiously, it was long enough for me to have a conversation with myself, in my head.
Stay upright. Don’t do anything silly. This will be over in a sec. You want to be alive at the end. Just hit the water with your feet. Don’t land on your back or head. Mother Karen has spoken.
I’m weightless. I’m floating. I’m flying. I’m suspended in air. This feels unnatural.
My hair is going to get wet. Thank you stating the obvious.
I’m falling. Like in my dreams. This is a bit freaky. My stomach is going wobbly. I want to throw up. Oh god why am I taking so long to hit the water? I don’t like falling. I tense my body.
As I hit the water, it swallowed me up.
Cold fingers of water slid up my legs in an instant; up my stomach, up my chest, up my neck. It snaked around my ears, across my face, up over my head, like urgent hands pawing through my hair.
The sky disappeared. The world turned blue. A white ceiling appeared above my head. The blue squeezes my chest and grips my face.
It’s over. I’m cold. And I can’t breathe.
Would I do it again?
I’m not so sure.
Maybe I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had just screamed, WAAAHHHOOOOOOOOOOO!!
Have you ever shopped at Nasty Gal before? I haven’t… because the name alone makes me want to run far away!
But I recently bumped into a friend of mine who was wearing this lovely dress and it made me think twice about the site…
So I popped over to the site and found some nice pieces – a spotty drop-waist dress, lips jumper, turtleneck dress, furry handbag.
And in the mix I found some crazy pieces too… try to spot the Dyspnea Mutha Fluffa Feather Dress!
Have you bought anything from Nasty Gal before? How’d you go?
On the weekend, I attended a Chinese New Year Ball and saw in the Year of the Goat with lots of eating, dancing and fireworks!!
This is the dress I wore to the ball – it’s not red, but isn’t it GORGEOUS?!
I found it at a local boutique, Tu Clothing which focuses on West Australian fashion labels, independent designers, as well as popular Australian labels.
The dress is by 33 POETS, by Rebecca Paterson, one of Australia’s leading fashion practitioners in innovative and experimental design. I recognised her name, as she’s had another label (Breathless) and she has participated in various Fashion Weeks.
When I pulled this dress from the rack, I was struck by its beautiful fabric. The sales assistant explained it was “Shibori silk”; Shibori is a technique of Japanese tie-dying. I really wanted to try it on. But when I looked at the garment carefully, it was actually a SKIRT, in Size 10! Four sizes too big for me!
The sales assistant assured me that it was actually a kind of MULTI-WAY DRESS, and it would be fine on me. She did some dressing magic on me… and ta da! It was beautiful!
I was able to borrow the dress for the evening.
This is me, back in my studio. It has some amazing folds, drapes and tucks. The sales assistant tied a few knots in the silk, under the layers, fluffed it up a bit and made it more boofy and Cinderella-like.
It was so pretty to wear :)
This is the dress worn as a skirt. The shape is still beautiful, but it was too big for me around the waist, and it was really long. I had to tie the belt a few times around my waist, and bunch it up behind me for this photo.
The size 10 works as a dress for me, but not as a skirt. I would love to try it in a size 6 – it’d definitely be a front row, show stopper!
And lastly, if you unzip the dress from top to bottom, it turns into a kind of kimono jacket. Looks like a stunning trench coat! You could totally get yourself street-snapped wearing it to a freezing New York Fashion week haha!
Again it was a bit too big for me, and again I’d love to try it in a size 6.
You can find out a bit more information about 33 POETS, their stockists and look at some of their current designs on their 33 POETS Facebook Page.
I know they have quite a lot of their stock at Tu Clothing & Cafe, who are actually having a massive designer clearance at the moment – do check it out!
218A William Street,
I bought a large bag of beautiful, dark red plums from the fruit markets, but when I got home, they turned out to be quite tart. No one was very keen to eat them, so I decided to put together a delicious plum crumble for my family.
The plums were pretty sour, so I had to use a few spoonfuls of maple syrup to sweeten them up.
100g of plain flour
50g of diced butter, at room temperature
50g of rolled oats
50g dessicated coconut
50g slivered almonds
1 tablespoon of brown sugar (optional)
10 medium sized plums, stoned (about 10)
2 tablespoon of maple syrup
1 green apple, finely diced
1 vanilla pod (seeds) or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1. Set your your oven to 160ºC/350ºF.
2. Whiz the flour and butter together in a food processor (with pastry blade) until it resembles breadcrumbs. Toss in oats, coconut, almonds, sugar (if using) and whiz until just combined. Set aside.
3. Chop the plums into chunky slices. Arrange in a large pie dish (25cm diameter). Finely dice the apple and sprinkle on top, along with the vanilla and maple syrup. Give the fruit a good stir with a big spoon.
4. Heap the crumble evenly over top of the fruit. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot, with ice cream, yoghurt or crème fraîche.
Wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year of the Goat!
May your next few weeks be filled with food comas, fat angpows, annoying Chinese New Year music, Asian snacks that you don’t know the name of, and fruit the size of your head!
Love and happiness to you all!
The weather around here has been a bit crazy lately. One day it’s warm and humid like a tropical country, the next day it’s cold, rainy and windy.
I want to share 2 new cardigans (one for warm weather and one for cool weather) that I’ve picked out for my wardrobe, because it’s always nice to have an oversized cardi to throw over an outfit.
My fashion rule when picking them this time: NO BLACK!
It’s been great to keep the sun off my arms, shoulders and back. It looks great at the beach too.
I haven’t tried many items with fringing. I just assume that the fringe look would be too boho and hippy looking for me.
But I think it looks quite cool and I might try a fringe skirt or bag next time.
Trying to get away from black and white, this Tribal Cardigan with an Aztec design and warm earthy colours caught my eye.
Ponchos and wraps are popular these days, but since I’m so short and petite, I feel swallowed up by the large amounts of fabric and folds on a poncho.
This is a nice halfway between a poncho and a cardigan. I like the over-sized style, it’s quite different for me.
Life has been zooming by so quickly! Suddenly it’s almost March!
I’ve been feeling a strong urge to sit down and take a moment to catch up with everything. So I’m going to try something a little different today. Let’s pretend that we’re at a cafe, having coffee and we’re having a bit of a catch up…
The other morning I had a meeting in the city, but one of my boys turned out to be sick (he was dizzy and nauseous) and he had a strange, sharp pain in his lower abdomen. I had to cancel the meeting, take him to the doctor and keep an eye on him all day – while he stayed in bed, flopped himself around the house and complained how dizzy he was.
I actually thought his appendix ruptured?! But it turned out that he just “might have pulled something” while he was sprinting around the park like crazy, reckless, testosterone-filled boy with his brothers the evening before.
Also last week, my other boy crashed his bike, injured his wrist (slightly), grazed his face (lightly) and broke his adult, front tooth! ARGH! I had to rush him to an emergency, after-hours dental clinic to get x-rays and fix his tooth.
Sure I was worried about the accident, a possible head injury and possible broken bones… but above all, I was extremely grumpy about the dental bills and that he was so careless and reckless!
My two big boys, aged 11 and 9, have shared a room for the last 5 years and I believe it’s because of this that they have formed a really strong, brotherly bond. It’s been the best thing for them. But a few weeks ago, we decided that they needed a bit of space for themselves and we moved my oldest boy into his own room, that is, into the room that I have been using for my office. This obviously meant that I had to move my office/work things OUT of that room.
So for the last 4 weeks, I have been on an almighty clean-up and organisation frenzy of our entire house! I’ve been trying to do about 1-2 hours of cleaning, sorting, throwing and organising per day. I’m almost done!
I received a sample of Organic Chamomile Flower Tea, and have been totally obsessed with it. It’s floral, but gorgeously smooth and earthy. Nothing like the stuff from the supermarket! It comes in a loose leaf form, which really makes it look like a bag of dried-up garden clippings. In fact it looks exactly like the daggy bowl of potpourri in my mother’s toilet window sill.
My husband has been super busy at work lately. He usually gets home *just* in time for dinner, after which we all take a sunset walk in the park. It’s so nice to get out of the house during that time; we all chit chat about our day and have a kind of family news-telling session. My husband and I quickly work out what each child needs for the rest of the evening: to work quietly on a school project, to finish homework on the computer, do some research on an interesting topic, to chill out and watch a bit of TV, or to RUN around and use up some of their youthful energy… then my husband and I will split up the tasks so we can have one-on-one time with each of them. It’s hard work, tiring but… fulfilling!
In terms of exercise, I haven’t been running or cycling lately. I have just been doing full-body workout routines at home, at night, after the kids go to bed. I work up a sweat with my floor exercises and dumbbells and I can feel all my muscles (and ass) getting bigger, tighter and rounder! Way hey!
Oh and netball! I play netball once a week. I still love it. My team mates and I have been playing so well lately. The other night we were against a team, that we had previously lost to. But we were on fire, we totally smashed the game and we won! It was a sweet victory for us. It’s such a buzz to win!
A friend of mine is currently going through a family crisis, which has collided with their home renovation plans. So another friend of mine has helped them out by organising a backyard busy bee for them. About 30-50 people (including kids!) from our school community turned up to help; each person doing a little bit of mowing, weeding, moving sand, cleaning walls, window washing, cutting trees, digging out stumps, moving rocks, shifting bricks, demolishing a shed. 7-8 hours of work on a 40C day! What an amazing little community I live in! What an amazing bunch of people I know!
I’m really looking forward to the Chinese Lunar New Year (on the 19th February)! Can’t wait to hang out with my aunties, uncles and cousins again. All my clean eating, healthy salads, raw smoothies will be going out the window. I’m going to get stuck into some roast pork, roast duck and peanut cookies!
Ahh, March is party month for us. My husband’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, my 2nd son’s birthday, my 3rd son’s birthday fall in March. I can’t wait to organise some kick-arse parties!
Bring on March!
Last week I talked about circle skirts, and tested out a white mid length skirt from online shop Hello Parry. This week I want to show off another circle skirt that I bought recently.
When I saw the product page, it seemed like it was one of the most popular items on the Modcloth website! There were 250+ reviews and 30+ photos submitted by real customers (of all shapes and sizes) wearing the skirt and looking very happy with it.
I thought it looked really cute and decided to give it a go too. Besides, it was so affordable and it was 20% off (it’s STILL on a 20% off sale!).
The first thing I noticed about the Modcloth skirt was that it was not white. It’s not bright white, or off white, or WHITE white. It is a cream.
To show you the difference, I placed the skirt on top of this white midi skirt and hung them both over a white door, pictured above.
It did put me off a little. It just means I won’t wear a bright white top with it (which excludes a lot of tops in my wardrobe!).
But once I started wearing the skirt with black tops and coloured tops, the whole white balance of my outfit changes, and the cream actually does look “white” in the end.
I am usually a size XS (waist 63cm). But I ordered a size “S” and it fit perfectly. The waist band has a nice stretch to it, so it is really comfortable to wear. The skirt also has a rib texture to it, but it doesn’t look that bad at all.
I really like this shorter length of skirt, because it suits my petite frame and it makes my legs look a bit longer :)
The shape holds nicely. It doesn’t crease like crazy. It flows and falls nicely. Basically, it’s a nice skirt for everyday wear!
If you’re looking for a new skirt, Modcloth has heaps of super cute styles, retro styles and pretty prints. Check them out here! Most of the skirts are set at a great price, although from experience, you might have to watch out for the sizing by reading other customer’s reviews.
Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.
I have been itching to get my hair cut short (shoulder length) for a loooong time!
But every time I get to the hair salon, I completely chicken out and ask for ” just a trim thanks”.
So last week, I rocked up at my regular hair salon (Curi Hair in Subiaco) and finally asked for SHORTISH HAIR.
I also decided that I wanted a digital perm (loose curls), to give my hair a slight curl.
Eeeek I was so nervous! I had absolute faith that my senior hair stylist would do an amazing job, but whether it was the right decision, on my part?!?! My tummy was a wobbling like jelly from the anticipation. I kept thinking – OMG what if I hate it!?!?!
This is my before photo. I had not coloured my hair, or had a hair treatment in 6 weeks. It was in a bit of a mess, it wasn’t styled. I went to the gym and it was overdue for a wash! I really needed to chop all my ends off!
And ta da! This is my after shot!
Yay! It feels fantastic! I love the length! I love the curls at the end!
I haven’t had my hair this short in 13+ years?
This is me the day after. I feel so fresh and light.
I’m so so happy with it!
OK so I woke up one morning and realised that I didn’t have any bread in my pantry for making my kid’s sandwiches!
In fact, I didn’t have much of anything in my pantry! It was one of those weeks. I did have flour, oats, coconut and lots of nuts and seeds though.
So I decided to WHIP UP an ANZAC Slice for my kid’s school lunch box. The recipe is actually for making ANZAC biscuits, but – sheesh – who’s got time to roll them into little balls and flatten them into biscuits?!
I just tipped the whole mixture onto a baking tray (with baking paper) and WHAM WHAM WHAM, I flattened it out with my hands haha.
I didn’t even use a mixing bowl; I just used a large saucepan for melting butter and mixing dry ingredients!
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons of golden syrup (or honey works fine too!)
2 tablespoons of water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup dessicated coconut
* optional 1/2 cup of pepitas
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Line 1 baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter, sugar, golden syrup and 2 tablespoons of water together over a medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda. The liquid should froth up a bit.
3. Add in the flour, oats, coconut and pepitas. Stir well until all combined.
4. Tip the mixture onto the baking tray and baking paper. Press the mixture together, and flatten and shape it into a large rectangle (or square) with your hands or using the back of a spoon.
5. Bake for 15 mins or until golden brown.
6. Remove from oven and use a sharp knife to cut into pieces. Allow to completely cool before putting into lunch boxes.
So my husband asked me to pop into the “car parts shop” to buy a light bulb for our car’s rear brake light.
You want me to go where? To buy what?
[Stares blankly at a wall full of car lights bulbs…]
I NOW understand the *brainmelt* that occurs when I ask my husband to buy tampons :P
This week I want to share the next item from Hello Parry that I’ve fallen in love with – this Poppy Laser Cut Midi Skirt.
I don’t own very many midi skirts or circle skirts. So it was a refreshing change to my usual dressing.
Circle skirts (or full/flare skirts) were popular in the 50s and usually worn with a net petticoat. The name came about because they were made from a single, circular piece of fabric. They are usually fitted at the waist, giving the wearer an accentuated hourglass shape; hence the style nods to classic ladylike sophistication.
THIS skirt is really good quality and made from a lovely thick, strong, soft, cotton fabric. The pleats are natural and flattering. And there is a tulle netting underneath that keeps the skirt in a flared shape. It’s really pretty! I’m wearing a size XS.
Since the skirt is flared and quite ladylike, I wore a tight crop top and sneakers to keep the outfit, balanced, casual and fun.
Right now, I want to show off how easy it is to wear midi skirts (especially in this circle/flare style) for everyday wear, using typical tops that I find in my wardrobe.
I’m wearing a loose slouchy singlet tank top (from Birdsnest), tucked into the skirt.
I wouldn’t wear a top that is untucked, as I’d lose the shape of my waist and I’d look like a tent.
(Actually I might wear it with an untucked, slouchy sweatshirt in winter.)
And I’m wearing classic, pointed toe, suede pumps to match the ladylike look of the skirt. Mine are by Acne Studios from Forward By Elyse Walker, but there are lots of good quality pumps (that won’t make your feet ache) at reasonable prices over here.
Here I’m wearing the skirt with a $19 slouchy boyfriend tee from Sportsgirl! I tucked it in in a messy way and kept it loose.
The overall outfit, still looks nice, relaxed, not too girly, and a bit polished.
Hope you’re also inspired to try out a midi skirt! Happy shopping!
I was invited to the launch of May Street Larder, a brand new cafe in East Fremantle, by the same people who founded the beachside restaurant Bib & Tucker : Eamon Sullivan (the Olympic swimmer) and chef Scott Bridger.
The cafe is focused on clean, healthy eating – right up my alley! Think raw, vegan, organic, paleo dishes with lots of salads and superfoods – but with a few kitchen favourites like slow cooked pork, slow cooked lamb and house smoked salmon. Yum!
They make everything from scratch (or sourced locally) using old-style cooking techniques, like fermenting, pickling and preserving, but with a modern twist. I saw homemade pickles, jams, breads, tomato sauces, sweets, sodas, honey, cured meats and smoked fish.
I turned up to the event early and managed to snap a few photos of the interior before the guests arrived.
The cafe was lovely and spacious! There were lots of tables and seating, and even a little lounge area with a cute couch and lounge chairs for maximum chillaxing.
There was tonnes of natural light streaming in from the big windows, bouncing off the subdue colour palatte and casting a modern freshness into the space.
I loved the eclectic mix of antique collectables, natural surfaces, and random kitchen objects with old-world details.
During the launch, the kitchen offered us a special kind of menu sampler, where we could mix and match various proteins and salads. They had all the food lined up at the counter, we could select what we wanted and it would be piled onto our plate – mess hall style! This is not the usual menu and eating format though.
When it was my turn to choose my food, I apologised FIRST to the waitstaff (which is never a good sign for them, I’m sure)… then I asked them *ever so* politely if I could have TWO plates and if they could arrange TWO meals nicely, so I could photograph them. Or maybe I could arrange it myself? With a spare fork? Could you please get a spare fork for me? Can you put that piece of trout just off the centre of the plate? Can I have THAT potato instead of this one, because that one looks nicer? Oh you put too much green on the plate, it looks off-balanced, could you take some off?
I’m sure she was thinking – CURSE THESE BLOODY FOOD BLOGGERS!
Thankfully Scott, the head chef, realised what I was trying to do, so he cut in and worked his cheffy magic. He plated it up beautifully! Thanks Scott! The dish looked great – balanced, not too fussy, neat but still with an accidental cool to it, haha!
I chose the house smoked trout and some kind of kale salad and root vegetable… Not sure exactly what I had, but it tasted really good! So fresh, tender and “clean”.
This was my second plate. The slow cooked pork and CRACKLING was amazing!!
The roasted veggies were lovely too.
May Street Larder is the first and only place in Perth to offer CocoWhip. It’s made from natural coconut water and a coconut probiotic (that’s it!), and churned into a creamy, silky, smooth, cold, kind of soft serve. It tastes a bit like a mild coconut sorbet, but much lighter, smoother, and with significantly less sugar than any sorbet I’ve ever tasted.
It’s sugar free, 99% fat free, gluten free, dairy free and lactose free. It’s also served with goji berries, cacao nibs and a lupin granola.
It’s the hippest little vegan soft serve I’ve ever seen!
Big thanks to Eamon and Scott for the invite.
I’ll definitely be bringing my girlfriends back for brunch!
May Street Larder
155 Canning Hwy (Corner of Canning Hwy and May Street)
Open for breakfast and lunch.
You can find them on May Street Larder Facebook