Archive for May 2015

 

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Vanilla Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Popcorn

29 May 2015

Vanilla Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Popcorn

In my quest to develop my cupcake-making skills… I made some vanilla cupcakes topped with salted caramel popcorn this week.

Much to my children’s delight, I didn’t hold back with the sugar and butter.

I must say, they looked pretty amazing in the end!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Popcorn

I did a lot of careful research and chose a vanilla cupcake recipe, a salted caramel popcorn recipe and a caramel frosting recipe… from three different sources.

Unfortunately I’m not going to share the recipes with you, because I wasn’t 100% happy with any of them in the end. However, I completely accept that my technique and execution was probably a bit off too!

The cupcake recipe I used was much too sweet and a little bit dry. I want my cupcakes to be much more fluffy and moist. They turned out so plain (and boring) that I decided to scoop out the core of each cupcakes and fill it with a bit of caramel frosting.

The caramel frosting, while it had a lovely texture, it was just way too sweet!

The salted caramel for the popcorn wasn’t smooth. The sugar crystalised as the caramel cooled, so it looked grainy. Probably not enough butter? It also made the popcorn go a bit soggy. I’ve made delicious, crunchy caramel popcorn before, so I know I can do it – I just need to find the recipe.

In fact, it was ALL SO SWEET, that even my kids couldn’t eat a full cupcake each.

I pretty much used 1 cup of white sugar for the cupcakes, 3 cups of icing sugar for the frosting and 1 cup of brown sugar for the caramel.

Yikes! That’s a terrifying amount of sugar!

Salted Caramel Popcorn Vanilla Cupcakes

So now that I look at these cupcakes… even though they look absolutely stunning and much like the ones I see in the shops, I don’t think they are worth it. I don’t feel good about making something so unhealthy for my friends and family.

I’ll be looking for much healthier options and substitutes now.

But at the same time, I’m still hoping to make them look amazing.

My quest continues!


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Zimmermann Silk Dress and Long Grey Coat

28 May 2015

Long grey coat

Outfit: Silk dress from Zimmermann | Grey coat from Sheinside | Boots from Betts

An item that has long been on my wardrobe wishlist was a simple, black, silk dress.

It’s definitely something that never goes out of style. It looks effortlessly sexy with high heels and looks casual-cool with sneakers or sandals.

I wanted a dress that was short and loose fitting. So I had my eye on some silk dresses from Zimmermann. They were beautiful but oh my, they were waaay out of my price range!

I spied a few on ebay, and finally managed to snap up this gorgeous Zimmermann draped, silk dress – the one I’m wearing here!

It’s a size 0, but when it arrived, the straps were too long for my body that it showed so much of my chest and boobs that I was destined for a peek-a-boo accident.

I decided to sew up the straps myself, taking off 5cms from each strap. It sits better on my body now and looks much more proportionate on me.

It cost me a fraction of the original price, I paid a bit extra for dry cleaning, the fabric is in perfect condition… and I’m sooo happy with it. The silk is simply divine!

As for my long, grey coat

Eeep, isn’t it gorgeous?

I had my eye on this coat, but again, at $300 it was outside my price range.

I was also looking to buy this one.

But in the end, I took a bit of a risk and bought this long, grey coat from Sheinside.

It was amazingly affordable and thus I wasn’t expecting much. If you scroll down on the product page, you might be suckered in (as I was) by all the stunning street style photos of the coat.

Anyway, the coat was utterly perfect for me. I bought the size S, and it fit me across the shoulders, back and arms. Usually I have trouble finding coats for my small frame, but this one was great!

My over the knee boots are a pair from Betts. Amazingly I got them 5 years ago (and reviewed them in this post)! Yet since then, I have always managed to take them out every winter to wear them. That’s pretty great value :)

I put together a few of my shopping finds here for you to browse.

Happy shopping!


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HBF Run for a Reason 2015

25 May 2015

So… I wasn’t really planning to do another running event this year!

I was just planning to work towards running longer distances and to increase my running stamina.

But the team at HBF asked me if I’d like to join in the fun at the HBF Run for a Reason and to do a bit of social media for them.

I accepted eagerly and committed myself to both the 12km distance and er… learning how to run and take photos at the same time??

Surely there’s an app for that.

HBF Run for a Reason 2015

So this was me, the day before the event, picking up my participant running pack at the HBF Event Centre at the Perth Arena.

I asked a HBF Volunteer (a girl on her morning tea break) to take my photo… and I was trying to think of some clever way I could change the word REASON with my silhouette.

But all I could think of was TREASON and RANSOM… and decided they weren’t very appropriate haha. So I was just went with a kind of generic “Y”.

HBF Run for a Reason 2015

On the morning of the run, I drove to my local train station and caught the train into the city. Participants were allowed free public transport all day. It was fast and easy.

There were thousands of other participants using public transport too, so the atmosphere of the city was buzzing with excitement.

The only downside of the early morning start was that it was so freaking cold!

I think it was 7-8C?? Thankfully the event had a special service where you can wear a jacket or jumper to the event, wear it for the 30-45 minutes while standing around soaking up the pre-event entertainment, and then leave it hanging on the railings at the start line, where it will be donated to charity!

For me, I clung onto every last bit of warmth from my jacket and waited till the *very last minute* to donate it.

HBF Run for a Reason 2015

And we were off!

Unfortunately when I tried to run and take photos, they turned out terribly blurry.

So this is my “stand still and get into people’s way” photo.

 

HBF Run for a Reason 2015

One of the things I looked forward to during this event… was to run through the Northbridge Tunnel (1.6km).

I have never done it before and it was just one of my little running aspirations for my own city. Yay!

Again, I had to stop and take this photo, because I definitely couldn’t run backwards and take snaps.

HBF Run for a Reason 2015

The whole event was dotted with photographers, TV cameras, cameras on cranes, camera drones… it was all quite exciting!

I spotted two of Perth’s coolest photographers (David Chong and David Broadway) camped by the side of the road. Ok yes, they were my mates, so I slowed down to take a photo of THEM at work.

In fact, I doubled back so I could do a silly slow-motion run for them to photograph.

I pretty much knew then, with all my stopping to take photos antics and uploading to socal media… that my running time for this event was going to be very average! Oh well!

HBF Run for a Reason 2015

The day cleared up and the sun came out.

It was such a beautiful day for a run next to the river!

HBF Run for a Reason 2015

I sprinted towards the finish line, but 10 metres before I crossed it… I stopped to take a photo haha!

Aaah in the end, it was so much fun. I really wasn’t concerned about my running time at all.

I was surrounded by so many people who laughed, cheered, skipped, sang. There were people in all shapes and sizes, young and old, all going different speeds, all getting out there, being active, raising money for a good cause – it was a really enjoyable day and a fantastic event to be a part of.

HBF Run for a Reason 2015
After the event, I was invited over to the corporate sponsor’s area for a VIP breakfast and massage.

That was veeeeery nice indeed! Thank you HBF!

For those interested in my running details…

I did a 12km running event in September last year (after I had a flu) and my running time was 1 hr 30 mins.

For this 12km run, including all my stops, my time was 1 hr 31 mins (which is a pace 7:35 min/km) – how funny!

Usually I run at a pace of 6:00 min/km, so it should have taken me 1 hr 12mins. So I have a small part of runner’s pride in me that is annoyed that these times are set in stone on the internet as my “official times” but as I said, I’m not too fussed about it.

In fact, I’m keen to do it again next year with my kids! And maybe we’ll dress up!

See you there next year :)

xxx


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Midweek Shopping Inspo

21 May 2015

Sale Stud Shoes

Stud Shoes!

Sooo, if you don’t mind a bit of “designer inspired style”, I found a few cool shoe finds over at The Iconic.

They are also having a 30% off everything sale TODAY, so you can get the shoes on sale with the code “VOGQ30″.

Diavolina stud shoes here (genuine leather). Heels are $199.95, flats with straps $189.95, flats $169.95.

Billini stud shoes here (leather look upper). Both flats and flats with straps are $79.95.

 

Anine Bing
Anine Bing Tops

I’m a bit in love with the relaxed-cool basics over at Anine Bing.

Her boots, jeans and jackets are lust worthy, but a bit out of my price range.

However, her whole range of tees and tops ARE in my price range…

Linen Tank Top – US$69

Striped Short Sleeve T-Shirt – US$99

Ivory Layered Top – US$169

 

Sale Silk Shirts

Silk Shirts from The Outnet

I spotted some gorgeous silk blend shirts over at The Outnet, at prices that won’t break your bank account.

A silk shirt is perfect for any season and any occasion (maybe not the beach) and is definitely a wardrobe must-have!

Iris and Ink Silk-blend boyfriend shirt – USD $110

Iris and Ink Pleated silk crepe de chine shirt – USD $98

T by Alexander Wang Printed Stretch-silk chiffon shirt – USD $188

Happy Shopping!
xxx


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Brain Training with a Rubik’s Puzzle

19 May 2015

I’m very INTO brain training these days!

I know it’s a bit of a buzz word at the moment. But my father-in-law has been encouraging us to train our brains for the last 7-8 years, so I actually feel a bit slow to catch on.

Anyway… in the last year or so, I’ve gone back to reading literature, I’ve subscribed to brainy magazines, and started to tinker with music.

But my latest obsession is the Rubik’s Cube Puzzle.

Rubik's Puzzle

It started with my 10 year old son. He recently bought one with his birthday money and he watched some online videos on how to solve it.

I peeked over his shoulder and was amazed to find that you actually have to watch 6-7 VIDEOS, which were all about 8-10 minutes long!

I was intrigued.

So I sat down next to him and we watched them together.

We took notes, we drew diagrams, and we practiced.

Rubik's Puzzle

I am so, so, soooo pleased that I can solve a Rubik’s cube now!

It’s definitely one of those things I can say that I know how to do haha!

There are lots of steps involved and lots of moves to memorise.

I had to refer to my notes A LOT.

The first time I solved it completely, without looking at my notes, this was my record time:

Rubik's Puzzle Record

21 minutes!

Oh man it was painful. It hurt my brain. My neurons were definitely stretched in ways I never thought possible.

I did it 3 times… suddenly my lunch hour had passed in a snap and it was now time to pick up my kids from school.

Possibly not the best use of my time on my day off, but hey I guess it’s better than watching day time TV??

I practiced a bit every day… and after a few weeks, this is now my best record time:

Rubik's Puzzle Record

That’s right! 2 and a half minutes!

I’m so proud of my brain!

Yes, so just like learning how to make cupcakes, it won’t solve the world’s problems, but it’s a baby step towards having a higher functioning brain in my old age.

Plus it’s a great party trick.

(Btw I think the world record is 5.6 seconds!)


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Feeling Alive on a Sunday Morning!

18 May 2015

Footy in the Rain

So this is how I spent my Sunday!

I was wearing 4 layers of clothes, rain boots, sitting on a camping chair, hiding under an umbrella… while watching my 10 year old boy play football in the pouring rain.

Ah the things we do for our kids.


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Running in the cold

15 May 2015

Activewear
Hi everyone! How’d your week go?

I’ve been doing a bit of running in preparation for my 12km running event; fitting in a 5km here and a 10km there.

I’m a bit nervous about the event, even though I know I shouldn’t be. The competitive part in me thinks that I should SMASH all my previous running records, but the sensible part in me thinks I should just have fun, keep fit… and don’t hurt myself :)

Anyway, I want to talk about this jacket.

It’s a thick, fleecy jacket from Jeanswest’s activewear range. I’d say that it’s more of a coat, than a regular sports jacket (which is usually made from a thin and breathable fabric).

What makes this jacket different is that it has a really nice knit texture on the outside, so it looks stylish and versatile enough to wear over other casual wear outfits, like jeans and a t-shirt. It’s also warm, light and soft, so it feels lovely on the skin.

It’s soooo much nicer than the fleecy hiking jacket that I wear (from Mountain Design!), which is not particularly very insulating, nor is it very stylish haha!

Have a fab weekend!

xxx

Wearing:

Knit Fleece Jacket from Jeanswest
Sports Bra from Lululemon
7/8 Leggings from Lorna Jane
New Balance Sneakers from ASOS


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Learning How to Make Pretty Cupcakes

14 May 2015

I have always wanted to be able to make kick-ass cupcakes!

I guess you could say, it has been one of my “personal goals” for a long time.

Sure, it’s not saving the world. It’s not learning a new language. But cakes can be expensive these days, and I’d love to be able to make gorgeous looking cakes or cupcakes for my friends and family.

Yes I know I have been making cupcakes for years (especially since having kids), but they never turn out consistently pretty. Which is why I want to up my skill.

Here are some of my baking notes:

Mother's Day 2015

I made some cupcakes for Mother’s Day on the weekend. They looked really cute!

I tried out a new recipe, but in my opinion, they tasted too dry.

I also think that I didn’t put enough batter in the cupcake case, so there’s too much of the case showing.

And next time I won’t make fondant shapes to go with a batch using sprinkle decorations.

Oh AND I think I’ll try piping the frosting next time. This flat-style just doesn’t cut it.

Vanilla Cupcakes

My second batch!

This is the first time I’ve tried piping with a proper piping bag and tip. It was quite easy and fun!

But I didn’t make enough frosting to cover all the cupcakes. So after I covered 3 cupcakes, I realised that I had to pipe less frosting, oops!

The cupcake recipe was only so-so. Still not completely happy with it.

Do you have an AMAZING cupcake recipe you can recommend to me?

I also experimented with the baking time, just so I could get that lovely golden brown top. But at the same time I may have dried out my cupcakes.

AND I used the wrong baking pan, so the cupcake cases folded in a bit and make them a little wonky – not a perfect circular shape.

Haha it sounds like I’m totally trashing myself!

But I don’t think I’m being negative. I’m being critical, taking notes and being mindful of how to improve next time.

I’m a bit like that with my kids. I tell them to – Research, set goals, work on skills, re-evaluate, improve, and practice, practice, practice!

Be thrilled by the learning journey, be determined to improve and celebrate the sweet success at the end!

If that sounds like a Tiger Mum, then so be it :)


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New Hair, New Knit

13 May 2015

Revolution The Label Knit

I got a haircut today and decided to go shorter!

The amazing team at Curi Hair retouched my colour, gave me a trim, a conditioning treament and gave me some curls (with a hair iron).

Even though I absolutely love, love LOVE the fresh length, the healthy texture and the new look of my hair – I still miss having long hair.

There were a few girls at the salon with long, gorgeous, ombre curls, in tortoiseshell browns (just look at the gallery on the Curi Hair Facebook page) and I had pangs of regret and envy haha!

Anyway, I’ll definitely keep my hair at this length for a bit, then I think I’ll start to grow it out after winter.

My new knit is the White Renegade Knit from Revolution The Label, which is still on sale.

Leatherette Pants from Topshop,

Ankle boots by Senso from The Iconic

Saint Laurent Sunglasses from Vision Direct

Bag by ALLDRESSEDUP


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The Ray-Ban Clubmaster

11 May 2015

 

I bought my first Ray-Ban Clubmaster sunglasses a few years ago from Singapore airport.

After a few weeks, I stepped on them (they were in a shopping bag and I accidentally stepped on the bag!) and they were bent out of shape. You could say, the sunglasses and I were crushed.

I put them away, planning to get them fixed, but somehow I lost them. I must’ve placed them in the wrong box during the move to our new house and they have ended up in the bin :(

Ray-Ban ClubMaster

So… I was super happy to be sent a new pair from SunglassesShop. These are the Ray-Ban Clubmaster sunglasses, Tortoise W0366 Small 49mm.

Ok here’s a bit history about this style of glasses.

They were originally called Browline Glasses and were first produced by a brand called Shuron Ronsir in 1947. They were popular during the 1950s and 1960s, especially in America. Then by the late 60s-70s, they were pretty unpopular.

They made a come back in the 1980s. It was only in the mid 80s that Ray-Ban created the Clubmaster, which quickly became one of their best selling sunglasses along with the Wayfarer and Aviator styles.

Apparently the style took a dive in the 90s. But in the 2010s with the influence of Madmen the tv show, return to 1950s fashion, and the rise of the hipster subculture, the Browline/Clubmaster style has certainly seen a comeback.

For me, I love wearing them because they are a bit retro, they look a bit quirky, and they don’t dominate my face (like my huge black plastic ones).

Do check out other best seller sunglasses on the site and you might pick up a bargain!

Enjoy xxx


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Weekend Shopping Updates

9 May 2015

Yay it’s good to still see some epic sales on the net!

Shopbop is still going with their Up To 70% Off sale… and I found these amazing, everyday skirts (with XS and petite sizes still available).
Sale Skirts

Theory Prosecco Efersten Skirt – US$177.00 (40% off)

Torn by Ronny Kobo Ronny Skirt – US$89.40 (70% off)

BB Dakota Phinley Pencil Skirt – US$49.00 (30% off)

 

Sale Tees

Can’t go wring with Zoe Karssen tshirts that are 50% off!

Zoe Karssen Satisfaction Tee – was $84.95, now $42.48

Zoe Karssen Basic Boyfriend Tee

Zoe Karssen Bat Short Sleeve Tee – was $84.95, now $42.48

 

Sale Skirts

Cute and chic flare skirts from Chichwish.

La Diva Pleated Maxi Full Skirt – $39.00 (49% off)

Brushing Flowers Pleated Midi Skirt – $42.42 (15% off)

Sing a Love Song Printed Midi Skirt – $46.00 (33% off)

 

Sale Shoes

And some cool and casual flats from Shopbop…

Soludos Zebra Smoking Slippers – US$38.50 (30% off)

Melissa Melissa Jean + Jason Wu Flats – US$73.50 (30% off)

KAANAS Marseille Wedge Espadrilles – US$83.30 (30% off)

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Enjoy!

xxx


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My Best Crazy Moment This Week

8 May 2015

Once a week I play netball with my girlfriends at a local indoor sports centre.

Sometimes my game starts at 6:15pm. Other times it starts at 8:15pm or 8:55pm.

It’s a fantastic, high intensity workout!

No matter what time the game ends I always leave with a FABULOUS BUZZ.

One night, after a late game, I popped over to the supermarket to buy some bread and other bits and pieces.

Supermarket Dance

I had my earphones on, blasting through my workout tracks.

I was high on life.

I felt so youthful, happy and full of energy!

And with all those factors combined… I saw this ahead of me and I danced!!

Supermarket Dance

I was going up and down the aisles skipping to Taylor Swift and Katy Perry! Ha ha!

Have a fantastic weekend everyone.

xxx


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Revolution The Label

7 May 2015

Revolution Jumper

Pictured: Revolution the Label Renegade Knit | J.Crew Jeans (also similar here) | The Horse Watch from Surfstitich | Tony Bianco heels from Styletread | Saint Laurent sunglasses from Vision Direct

Revolution The Label is a new label by designer Ben Conroy, offering a tight edit of modern, sleek, simple and minimal designs for women and men.

Yes I know, there are so many new, small, independent designer labels these days! Why and how is this one different?

Well, I have met the designer a few times in the past, albeit briefly, and I have silently followed his label on Facebook. Over the months, I noticed that he and his team often speak about ethical responsibility, getting to know their manufacturers, working under an agreement of fair work and fair pay… It piqued my interest.

I followed a link and found an article written by Ben, who went to Denpasar to interview the owners of the manufacturing company which is used by his label. The owners are a husband and wife team, who have had their business for 10 years, and have had the same staff with them since the beginning…

Here’s an excerpt:

WHAT IS THE OPERATING HOURS OF THE BUSINESS AND HOW DOES THAT AFFECT STAFF AND THEIR PAY?
We all start at 8am and finish at 5pm. If we ever have extra work to complete on schedule some staff will stay back until 8pm but we pay by the hour so anyone who works overtime gets paid extra. The factory shuts down from 12pm – 1pm for lunch break. Everyone eats together outside and plays games, some have sing along and some have a nap in the sun. This hour does not get deducted from their pay.

HOW MANY LABELS DO YOU MANUFACTURE AND HOW DO YOU MANAGE THE WORKLOAD?
Currently we manufacture for 6 labels including REVOLUTION THE LABEL. This is a good amount of work for us now and should we ever loose any business and need more accounts we have a great relationship with all the designers we will let them know to pass on our details to meet with new clients. If I take on more labels and get too greedy, we will have to compromise on the amount of work to get done and we wont be able to deliver the high standard of quality along with the fact my staff will start to become unhappy in the workplace and we very much want to remain happy and be able to deliver the quality.

Read the rest of the interview here…

The interview really stopped me in my tracks!

On an intellectual level, I know about the collapsed garment factory in Bangladesh, I know about exploited factory workers and poor working conditions and I know the importance of being conscious in my fashion choices to support a more sustainable fashion industry.

So I really appreciate Revolution The Label for, not so much educating me, but presenting me with a raw human and emotional connection to fashion. I am much more conscious of it now, and I feel like a richer person for it.

I like a label with a heart, soul and mission.

Plus it has a damn fine looking collection too!

They are currently having an Up to 60% Off Sale, to move along their current stock to make way for their new collection.

I bought a few items and I was super excited that the quality was really amazing for the price! Can’t wait to show them off on my blog!

xxx


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Run for a Reason!

6 May 2015

Run For A Reason 2015

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (@karenlycheng), you probably know that I’ve signed myself up for another running event, yay!

The HBF Run for a Reason is on the 28th May, offering 4km, 12km and 21.1km (half marathon) distances. They are raising funds for five charities, which is kind of cool – the Cancer Council WA, Diabetes WA, Heart Foundation WA, Lifeline WA and Telethon.

I was very tempted to sign up for the half marathon distance!

That would be an awesome challenge for me. I have no doubt that I could do it. I just need some training :)

But I knew my husband was going to be overseas and insanely-busy with his work during the first half of this year, and I wouldn’t be able to fit in all the training and juggle all my family/work/friend commitments.

So 12km it is!!

At the moment, my weekly fitness regime consists of a weekly 5-8km run, 1 netball game and 3 cross-training/weights/yoga/core workouts. I haven’t really pushed myself past a 12km running distance. But I have about 3 weeks to go, so I should be all good.

I’m looking forward to running through the Northbridge Tunnel, running along the river, enjoying the beautiful city, supporting some great causes and reveling in the atmosphere of the fantastic event!

 

 


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Reading: I am Malala

4 May 2015

I am Malala

Earlier this year, I read the book I am Malala.

I was keen to find out more about Malala’s story, as I only knew of what I heard from the news; that she was a 16 year old Pakistani activist fighting for the rights of girls to have an education; that she had been shot in the head by the Taliban; that she won the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2014.

Honestly, I had wanted to read the book since it was released in 2013. But I felt a bit guilty and morbid that my interest was piqued by such a horrifying act (a young girl being shot in the head!). However on the other hand, I am fully aware that she is using her own story of survival and her new found fame to drive her very worthy cause and take it to a wider audience – to people on the other side of the world, like me.

So it was with that internal mix up of guilt, curiosity, and a desire to support her … that I went out and bought her book.

The book is a bit chopped up. There is a bit about the history of Pakistan and regional politics, which I found really fascinating and informative.

Then there are parts of the book with a more personal tone, where Malala speaks of her hometown in Swat Valley, her upbringing, her family, the everyday dramas they faced, the events leading up to the Tabilan invasion, the shooting, and her life after the shooting. I really enjoyed reading about all this too.

It is written in a very easy, simple, straight-forward style.

Overall it is interesting, inspiring and gave me lots of think about.

These were the main ideas that struck me the most.

Poverty
I understand poverty at an intellectual level, but I can’t handle it on an emotional level. The more I tried to absorb the kind of poverty Malala talked about in her book, the more I was rendered with a heart-gripping helplessness, sense of unworthiness and sadness… that made me consider selling all my possessions so that I wouldn’t feel the guilt of my own Western richness. I seriously couldn’t handle it. And I have no clue about what to do about it in a way that would even make a difference.

Her Attitude Towards Education
I loved that she loved to learn. That was very inspiring to read. I loved that education was so precious to her; Chemistry, algebra, geography, all of it.

Her Upbringing
I wanted to know… what kind of teenager feels so passionate and so driven, that she endangers herself and speaks up against the status quo of her country and government??

Well, her story points to her father. Her father was passionate about education and speaking out about human rights. Her father was a teacher. He built schools – many schools! He loved education. He loved helping people. He loved his country. He went to meetings with other community leaders in the middle of the night, to discuss politics and education and how to create a better future for his country.

So it was very heartening to see that she had followed that path too and has now made it her own.

As a parent, I read most of this book with a bursting pride in my heart. What an amazing young lady she is. I am so proud of her!

Finding a new home
After Malala was shot, she was brought to the UK for medical treatment. Weeks later, the rest of her family were also moved to the UK. Now they have a new home, they live in a comfortable little town house, with running water, supermarkets, education, safety, security, freedom. They pretty much have everything they could need or want. But they are alone; away from the rest of their family and their friends, away from a world that they know, and are comfortable.

I felt their gratefulness for their new home, but I also felt their disconnection, loss, emptiness and sadness from being away from their old home.

It gave me a bit of insight as to how refugees in a new country might feel.

And I am so deeply grateful that I live in a such a comfortable and prosperous place that I can call home.

East and West
Having been educated and lived most of my life in a Western society, I see nothing but inspiration and empowerment in Malala’s story.

But in Pakistan, I have heard that there are critics who speak out against her story and her “Western” ideals. They point out the hypocrisy and narrow-mindedness of her global supporters, who look past the bigger issues of conflict, history, politics, economics and war involving the West in the region. I’m no expert on the topic, but I do know that it’s extremely complicated… and that sometimes Western ideas are not always the solution.

Phew.

And that folks… is as heavy as I’m going to get on global politics on my fashion lifestyle blog ;)

The cover of the book is bright and modern. The publishers chose a wonderful photo of Malala. Her face and expression really said: Peace, confidence, looking past her troubles towards something greater than her own.

The book was a fascinating and easy read – I recommend it for everyone!


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Weekend Shopping Updates

1 May 2015

Sometimes there’s nothing like an Up to 70% Off Sale to get you into the mood for some online shopping haha!

Here’s some stuff that I’m feelin’.

SHOPBOP SALE AW15

Feels: Lazy, comfy, slouchy, lie down on the couch, can’t be bothered ironing, everyday should be a Sunday.

Sundry Stripe Combo Ruched Sleeveless Mini Dress – US$96.60 (30% off)

Velvet Monet Chambray Shirtdress – US$105.00 (30% off)

Sundry Stripe Combo Boat Neck Mini Dress – US$98.00 (30% off)

SHOPBOP SALE AW15

Feels: Need a change, bored, stuck in a rut. 70s boho fringing, 90s backpacks, and 60s mod inspo looks awesome!

Rebecca Minkoff Finn Cross Body Clutch UD$136.50 (30% off)

Reece Hudson Bowery Small Bucket Bag – US$402.50 (30% off)

Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Tote – US$228.00 (30% off)

SHOPBOP SALE AW15

Feels: Fragile, delicate, bored of black and white, bored of jeans and khaki jackets. Some lace in pastel hues hits the spot!

Saylor Lissa Dress – US$207.90 (30% off)

Diane von Furstenberg Martina Lace Dress – US$284 (50% off)

English Factory Lace Mini Dress – US$90 (30% off)