Archive for July 2015

 

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I need a tropical island pronto!

31 July 2015

Wheeee I’ll be jumping on a jet plane for a girl’s trip soon!!

No kids, no husband… HELLO tropical island!!

I’m bouncing with excitement, daydreaming of the warm weather and currently obsessed with the following:

Shopbop White Rompers

A White Romper (more rompers here)
Forget the floaty, patterned, summer dress… a white romper is the new summer staple! Cool and chic, the romper nods to casual resort wear on warm balmy nights by the pool. Bring. It. On.

Yumi Kim Jet Set Romper

Club Monaco Zandu Romper

LIV Allie Cutout Romper

Shopbop Shoes by Schutz

Nude Heeled Sandals from Schutz
Needing some pretty nude heels to go with white, blush and grey outfits… I can’t decide to go with a sleek/simple or statement lace-up styles, which look much cooler!

Schutz Cadey Lee Sandals

Schutz Dubianna Lace Up Sandals

Schutz Dubia Sandals

Outnet Swimwear
Discounted Designer One-Piece Swimwear
While bikinis are fun to wear, sometimes I just want to wear a goddamn one-piece, especially if I had a big meal the night before haha. This is proof that one-piece swimwear can look stylish, elegant, NOT childish (multi-coloured) and NOT boring!

Tory Burch Milos polka-dot underwired swimsuit

Missoni Crochet knit-trimmed printed swimsuit

Lisa Marie Fernandez Arden one-shoulder swimsuit

 

Wanderlust + Co necklaces

Triangly Necklaces
I’m trying to stay away from delicate necklaces that are too pretty or too cutesy at the moment. These necklaces have a nice edgy style to them, without being too arty or awkward.

Frame-Diamond Gold Necklace $29

Dusk To Dawn Layered Gold & Marble Necklaces $49

Tri Pave Layered Gold Necklaces $49

Happy Shopping!

xxx


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Mini Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

30 July 2015

Mini Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

I’ve been baking again!

I recently made some gluten-free (flourless) mini chocolate cupcakes and topped them with crushed Oreo icing and a mini Oreo biscuit.

I used my gluten-free chocolate cake recipe because it’s one of the best and yummiest cake recipes I know.

The cupcake was – not surprisingly – moist and delicious. It was a bit like a light, soft, cakey brownie. I reduced the amount of sugar in them since I was going to put an icing topping on them, so they tasted lovely.

Mini Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

I made 16 mini cupcakes for my girlfriend’s birthday party and they were a HIT!

They looked great and had such a big visual wow factor.

I used a silicone cupcake baking tray (instead of cupcake cases) because I love the look of a naked cupcake :)

Mini Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

This is what they looked like in the centre!

Gluten-free chocolate cake recipe
(Recipe makes about 18-20 mini cupcakes)

Ingredients
100g unsalted butter
140g dark chocolate, chopped
60g of brown sugar
3 eggs, separated
140g of almond meal

Oreo Butter Icing
125g butter, cubed and left at room temperature
1 1/2 cups of icing sugar
1 tablespoon of milk
4-5 Oreos, finely crushed in food processor

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Spray vegetable oil over a silicone mini cupcake tray, or prepare 16-18 mini cupcake cases.

2. Slowly melt chocolate, butter and brown sugar, until smooth. Then let it cool for 5 minutes.

(You can melt it in a bowl over hot water, or melt it in the microwave. I just melt them in a small pot on the stove, on VERY low heat!)

3. Whisk the egg whites until you can make firm peaks when you lift the whisk up. I use an electric hand mixer.

4. Add the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture, then stir in the almond meal. Mix until well combined.

5. Fold in the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, until well combined. Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture and fill each of the cupcake cases until they are 3/4 full. The cake will rise only slightly.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until your skewer comes out clean. Take out of the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Lift out the cupcakes and put them on a rack to cool completely.

7. Make butter icing by mixing butter and icing sugar with an electric mixer for 5 minutes until thick and fluffy. Use a large tablespoon to scoop in the crushed Oreos a bit at a time. Mix well until you like the colour/Oreo concentration of the icing.

8. Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes and decorate with a mini Oreo on top!

Enjoy!

xxx


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Turtleneck Knits From ShowPo

29 July 2015

Turtleneck Knit

I have to be honest… for most days of the week, I dress very simply and casually. And lately, all I ever wear are jeans, jumpers and sneakers!

This combination used to bore me to tears, but I’m actually loving the comfy fashion trend this season: BIG, CHUNKY, TURTLENECK KNITS.

I picked up this Sleeveless Turtleneck Knit from ShowPo.

It also comes in black, white and grey too.

It looks great, feels great, it’s affordable, and I like that it looks current without looking too dressed up.

Turtleneck Knit

Wearing: Grey long coat from Shein (on sale!) | Beige Turtleneck Knit from ShowPo | White jeans from Fendi (ebay) | Acne Studio black pumps from Forward By Elyse Walker.

I wore this outfit out to dinner with my girlfriends the other evening. I thought I might freeze in a sleeveless knit, so I wore a little camisole tank top underneath. Once I entered the warm restaurant, I took off my coat and the extra layer kept me sufficiently snug all night.

The knit was a lovely addition to my wardrobe!

Turtleneck Knit from Iconic

Now, in case you all think that I love, love, LOVE all the clothes that I come across… I decided to include this photo of a knit that didn’t make the cut.

I receive heaps of samples and I buy lots of items on a regular basis, but I only feature the ones that I like. I send lots of items/samples back.

This grey turtleneck knit is from The Iconic.

It looked gorgeous on the model, but I found it to be too big, baggy, and too long in a very unflattering way (it made my legs look short). It was very “meh” and I felt so frumpy. I didn’t like it at all.

In the end, I returned it. I much preferred the range from ShowPo.

Anyway, I hope you manage to take a peek and find something you like!

Happy shopping!

xx Karen


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2 Brown Men, Malay Cuisine at Tan’s Food Court

26 July 2015

My dad, my mum and their friends love food. Having all been born and raised in Singapore or Malaysia, they ALL love to cook and eat the food of their childhood. So I consider them to be my local experts at finding the best value and best tasting Singapore/Malaysian/Malay/Chinese eateries around Perth!

The other day my dad took us to Tan’s Food Court, Canning Vale. It is a fairly new food court; I heard there had been a few bumpy starts in the beginning, but it I now officially open with 8-10 new, exciting food court stalls.

There is a stall that specialises in roast ducks and roast porks, classic Singapore/Malaysian style hawker foods, Indonesian food, Vietnamese food, Thai food, dim sum styled dishes, and Indian and Malay hawker food.

Today we tried out some classic Malaysian dishes from 2 Brown Men Indian and Malay Cuisine. Love the name!

2BrownMen Malay Cuisine at Tan's Food Court

When we arrived, the food court was almost empty. That didn’t deter us, because there was a queue at the 2 Brown Men shop!

That was a good sign.

Speaking of signs, I took a quick snap of their menu.

(There was lots more on the menu, I just didn’t have enough room to post up the whole thing. I’ll upload it to their Facebook page.)

2BrownMen Malay Cuisine at Tan's Food Court

The prices were pretty awesome for Perth’s hawker food standard.

Mamak stlye food is only available from 12 – 7:30pm. Malay cuisine is only available on weekends. And Roti Pratas are available mornings to 12pm and evenings from 4pm – 7:30pm.

2BrownMen Malay Cuisine at Tan's Food Court

First up we tried the Mee Goreng Chicken ($9). It was amazing!!

The noodles were dry (no puddles of sauce) and absolutely jam packed with flavour. There was a perfect balance of sweet, salty and spicy.

Most mee gorgeng that I have eaten, have a “clean” look about them, as if the noodles were lightly tossed in sauce – like a healthy noodle salad.

But these noodles looked like they have been fried up really well and the noodles have soaked up the sauce, making them super tasty, without being gluggy or sticky. Soooo yummy!

2BrownMen Malay Cuisine at Tan's Food Court

Next up, we ordered Mee Rebus ($8.50).

This was so fresh and flavoursome. You could taste the fresh spices and the balance of sweet and sour in the gravy.

All my aunties and uncles raved about how authentic the flavours were. They said, “See how the sauce is rich, thick and coats all the noodles? That’s how it’s supposed to be. If the sauce is thin, soupy or watery, then it’s not authentic. This has been cooked perfectly!!”

And their eyes would roll back and a content smile would spread across their face… and I knew they were reliving some kind of childhood memory of the “good old days back home when a bowl like this would cost them $1.20″.

2BrownMen Malay Cuisine at Tan's Food Court

This is always a favourite of mine: Roti Prata ($3)

It had lovely texture; it was crispy and flaky, not too doughy or tough, it was easy to tear and good to eat. It could have been a bit more fluffy, but otherwise it was fantastic value!

2BrownMen Malay Cuisine at Tan's Food Court

Lastly we ordered this for my kids, for their “dessert”.

Roti Tissue ($4.50) is similar to roti prata but it is much thinner and cooked to be very crispy, served as a cone, and covered with melted margarine and sweetened condensed milk (or sugar) on top.

It was crunchy, crispy, buttery, sweet, and a bit salty – ah it was delicious and addictive!

It crumbled and shattered as we broke it apart and within a blink of an eye, it was all gone and the kids were screaming for more!

I really enjoyed eating at 2 Brown Men. Next time I’m dying to try the Nasi Lemak, Mee Siam and Mee Soto.

2 Brown Men
Tan’s Food Court
46/48 Catalano Circuit, Canning Vale
(Corner of Bannister Road and Forum Ave)

2 Brown Men Facebook Page

Enjoy!

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Whimsical Kate Spade Studs

25 July 2015

Kate Spade Studs from Shopbop

Whenever I fall into a fashion rut, I always look for some new accessories to freshen up my outfits.

When I spotted these whimsical studs from Kate Spade, I practically leaped out of my chair and frantically bashed at my keyboard trying to BUY THEM NOW! BUY THEM NOW!

My first pick: Kate Spade Lip Studs
Second pick: Kate Spade Pineapple Studs
Third pick: Kate Spade Banana Studs

Other earrings shown: Glasses Studs, Eye Studs, Gorjana Palm Tree Studs.

Outfit: Stripe Tee from Seed Heritage, Paige Jeans from Forward by Elyse Walker, Converse from SurfStitch.

What do you think? Super cute right?


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What I Wore: Double Camel!

23 July 2015

Early on Tuesday morning, I made my way into the city to attended a special Program Launch for the 2015 Telstra Perth Fashion Festival.

This is what I wore: A double camel outfit! I matched the floorboards!

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 Program Launch

I was just going to take a photo in my light studio, but the lovely Andrea from ShopGoh convinced me to take snap at the event… and she took such a nice photo of me that I had to post it up! I was so chuffed – thanks babe!

Wearing the same colour for your top and bottom is becoming quite popular these days – a step up from two piece matching suits and one piece jump suits.

Double white and double denim outfits have been the most popular so far, followed by double grey and double tan coloured outfits.

I was super keen to try putting together a double camel outfit, because I have SO MANY camel / tan / caramel coloured items, all stored away carefully in my wardrobe. I have to put them to use some how!

I also want to try out double khaki and double beige too – just for fun.
Double Camel Outfit

So the funniest aspect to this story: BOTH my top and pants are 15 years old!

My top is a beautiful crocheted knit top by Kookai and my high-waisted, wide-legged pants are from Witchery.

I bought them (separately) when I started working as a web/graphic designer.

I love how fashiong goes around and around!

With everyone dressing in monochrome colours these days, I’m hankering for an injection of colour again!

My heels are Alexander Wang from Forward by Elyse Walker, my bag is by Marc Jacobs (Shopbop).


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Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 Program Launch

22 July 2015

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 Program Launch

After spending a week camping in the Australian desert, I was SO glad to put on some high heels, make a trip into the city and dive head first into the sparkly and glamourous world of fashion!

The Telstra Perth Fashion Festival launched its 2015 Program and it was so enjoyable to be a part of it.

The morning featured gorgeous models, kick-arse designer gowns, cool head pieces and accessories, an amazing sculptural floral arrangement… and a free flow of gourmet juices and coffee.

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 Program Launch

I always take my hat off to event organisers, producers and the people who work behind the scenes to put together a fashion moment. Because while it looked simple (and it was all over in 10 minutes!), oh the amount of time and work that must’ve gone into it!

I had a warm fuzzy feeling by the end of it – mainly because I know some of the designers, boutique owners, models, stylists – so I felt like I was part of the community and I just want to give everyone a great big group hug! Go Perth Fashion!

Check out the TPFF website to see the line up of designers, events and buy tickets.

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 Program Launch - Photo by Stefan Gosatti

Two photos by Stefan Gosatti. These are two looks that jumped out and wowed me!

On the left, Hannah wear a Jaime Lee dress with a Reny Kestal head piece.

On the right, Laura wears a 33 Poets Dress and Generics accessories.

I loved all the ornate embellishments, embroidery and the deep burgundy lips.

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 Program Launch

And the morning wouldn’t be complete without networking, catching up with fashion friends and taking fashiony photos!

Here I’m with girlfriends Sandy from Hello Parry and Andrea from ShopGoh. Taken by Part Blue Photography.

Follow me on Instagram (@karenlycheng) to catch up with my daily adventures!


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Hello Parry Knitwear + Discount Code

21 July 2015

Hello Parry Knit

While the rest of the world is wilting from heat waves and sweltering summer temperatures… Australia is gleefully snuggling on the couch with a fluffy blanket, a crackling fireplace, a hot chocolate, marshmallows, a book in hand and watching the rain pitter-patter on the window pane.

I am crazy about knits at the moment; Especially large, shapeless knits that feel like a great big, stylish hug!

Deciding what to wear in the morning is so simple.

Hello Parry Knit

Wearing: Hello Parry Isadora Knit | Witchery Faux Leather Leggings | Alexander Wang Heels from Forward by Elyse Walker | Marc Jacobs Bag (Shopbop) | ASOS Felt Hat

I was recently invited to check out some of the knitwear pieces at Hello Parry Headquarters and was thrilled by all the cool options!

I loved the grey cardigans, the statement knits and the light knits – which are great for layering and perfect for in-between seasons.

Here are some that caught my eye:

Hello Parry Knitwear AW15

Elle Tweed Print Charcoal Coatigan and Selita Fluffy Striped Knit Cardigan.

 

Hello Parry Knitwear AW15

Rosie Perforated Striped Oversized Knit Top and Julia Grey Knitted Cropped Pullover Knit.

** Special Discount Code **

Hello Parry are offering all my readers 10% off storewide (including full priced items and sale items).

Just enter the code “karencheng10” at the checkout to get your discount!

The code ends 30 August 2015.

Happy Shopping!!


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Camping at the Helena and Aurora Range

20 July 2015

Last week we went bush camping with another family and headed out to the Helena and Aurora Range.

Where on earth is that? I hear you ask.

To put it simply, the Helena and Aurora Range is 100km North of the town called, Southern Cross, and is about halfway between Perth and Kalgoorlie.

It takes about 7-8 hours to drive there.

There is no power, no running water, no toilets, no showers. It was indeed the bush.

Helena and Aurora Range 2015

There was a whole lot of red dirt! It was a stunning colour and its consistency was strangely soft underfoot.

Looking back at it now, I can appreciate its beauty.

But trust me, the red dirt got EVERYWHERE and covered EVERYTHING. By the end of the trip, it was in our tents, our clothes, our underwear, our tea cups, our cutlery, our cooking utensils… we were literally EATING IT!

Helena and Aurora Range 2015

The campfire was a hit.

Collecting firewood. Pots of tea. Toasted marshmallows. 6 hour, slow-cooked lamb stew. Crackling wood. The glowing warmth on our faces. Watching embers fly high into the sky and dance with the stars above our heads. It was so enjoyable.

The nights were cold though. The temperature dropped down to -2 degrees.

I wore 4 layers of clothing, a beanie, gloves and scarf… and I was still uncomfortably cold. It was obvious that I should have invested in some proper cold-weather, “insulated” clothing… but we were only there for 5 days and I thought I could get by. Oops.

Helena and Aurora Range 2015

The next morning, there was frost and ice over everything.

Someone forgot to throw out the dish washing water and it froze into an impressive soapy chunk.

I’ve never seen that before – frozen outdoor things in Western Australia! Who would have thought!

Helena and Aurora Range 2015

I also forgot to tip out my camomile tea and it too froze into an cute little ice block.

 

Helena and Aurora Range 2015

The days were a bit cold too. We had daytime temperatures between 15C and 18C , and there was no wind and no rain.

So in fact, it was perfect for hiking and bush walking.

We did a couple of 4-5 hour bush walks up to the top of the range, along the ridge and along the base. We found small caves and over-hangs.

It was great!

The tracks were easy to walk along, but once we went off the track, everything looked the same and it was a bit disorientating.

Helena and Aurora Range 2015

The view from on top of the range was stunning!

The Helena and Aurora Range is made out of banded ironstone formations and the whole area was covered in a variety of little rocks. We weren’t entirely sure what they were, either banded ironstone, ironore comsposites, with quartz and ocre?

It was extremely dry, with very few birds, animals and insects. While the lack of visible wildlife made the place extremely eerie, I secretly enjoyed the fact that I DIDN’T have to worry about the kids getting bitten by a snake, spider, scorpion, or ant.

Overall it was a beautiful place to camp and it was so serene, quiet and still.

In fact, the whole place had a magical and spiritual quality to it.

I really enjoyed it, despite being physically uncomfortable for most of the time (from the cold, not showering for 4 days, the constant use of baby wipes and menstrual cramps – blergh).

At the moment the region is proposed for iron ore mining, which is pretty devastating.

If you’re interested, you can read a bit more about the conservation history and the national park proposal on the official Helena and Aurora Range website.

 


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Going Wild!

17 July 2015

Girls Night Out Flatlay

Getting ready for a girl’s night out and taking advantage of the photogenic light in my house!

Zac Posen Leopard Print Clutch | Hello Parry Sunglasses | Alexander Wang Heels

Have an amazing weekend everyone!

xxx


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5K Run with a $5 Coffee!

15 July 2015

5 Dollar Run

Haha! Look what I found while I was on my run!

Money! Of the paper variety!

Then on the way home, I took a detour and bought myself a takeaway coffee!

You can probably tell how EXCITED I am by the number of exclamation marks I’ve been using!!!!!

Best! Run! Ever!

Have a fab day everyone!!


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Fresh Handmade Noodles at Kitchen Inn, Kardinya

13 July 2015

Kitchen Inn, Kardinya

Yum! My girlfriends and I met up for lunch at Kitchen Inn, Kardinya.

We ate their famous handmade noodles and it was amaaaaazing!

Kitchen Inn, Kardinya

We ordered the Braised Pork Flat Noodles and a few other dishes, but these noodles were definitely the winner.

They were just so fresh and cooked to perfection!

It made me realise that all the other noodles eating experiences I’ve had in the last few years… just paled in comparison.

The sauce was delicious and tasty. The braised pork was soft and succulent and the mince was very tasty to eat.

If I were at home, I would have licked the bowl clean.

Next time I’m hoping to try the Kolo Mee (Prawn Noodles), Curry Laska Noodles and the Kampua Mee (BBQ Pork Noddles).

Not all at once though :)

 

Kitchen Inn
19/17-23 South St,
Kardinya WA 6163

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Golfing With Dad

12 July 2015

Golfing With Dad

Aww I managed to snap this cute photo the other day!

We headed out to the driving range for some quality family time.

The kids have played mini golf before, but they have never played GOLF – in other words, they have never had the opportunity to “hit the ball as hard as they can”.

Young children, long clubs, buckets of rock hard balls, and 2-storey building with no fencing…? Such a bad combination maybe?

You wouldn’t think it, but it was such a fun and relaxing thing to do on a beautiful and sunny morning!


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The Sleeveless Trench

8 July 2015

Back in April, I went to a jewellery launch party at Linneys.

It was a very intimate party. I didn’t know very many people there. So I wandered around… and someone told me about THE PINK DIAMOND RING that was on TV earlier that morning. So of course, I had to check it out, I had to wear it and I had to take a selfie ;)

Apparently it cost $880,000! Ouch!

Linneys Pink Diamond Ring

I didn’t manage to get a good photo of my full outfit. The lighting was bad. The space was cramped.

I was going to skip putting it up on my blog… but it was such cute outfit and I got lots of compliments about it on the day.

So I decided to re-shoot my outfit last week, this time in my studio at home.

Pink Sleeveless Trench

It channels all that I’m desperately hankering for at the moment… light, white fabrics, pink hues, floaty layers, and silky textures.

My top is from In Good Company, which I reviewed in this blog post.

My skirt is from YesStyle, but you can also find similar laces skirts at ChicWish or Shein.

Pink Sleeveless Trench

Initially I wasn’t a fan of the sleeveless trench or vest, mainly because it’s a trend item and will probably go out of fashion in 1 or 2 seasons.

But when I wore one, it felt so LENGTHENING and so elegant. I really liked the way it changed my posture and the way I moved. I felt tall and lean. Much like the long grey coat that I reviewed a few weeks ago.

I liked that it added a bit of colour, layer and movement to my outfit.

You can pick up a sleeveless trench for $50-$70 or you can invest in a higher quality, designer one for $700? If you buy a one with buttons, you can wear it belted at the waist, as a kind of tailored, sleeveless dress too!

Check out some ideas I found below! I love the blush, white and dove grey ones the best.

Happy shopping!

xxx


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My Garden Birthday Cake

7 July 2015

It was my birthday on the weekend!

I had a jam-packed day full of my normal mummy-duies (football, grocery shopping), mixed with birthday treats (hot breakfast, presents, coffee date in the city, shopping).

Then later in the afternoon, I was banished from the kitchen (so I mowed the lawn haha!) because my boys and husband made me a 3 course dinner! I’ll write about that some other time.

Today I wanted to share this!

Birthday Cake 2015

On the Sunday we had 32+ friends and family come over for afternoon tea.

I made lots and lots of food and I also made my own cake.

It was the first time I used butter cream to create a smooth cake surface. It was pretty easy. I definitely need a bit more practice though.

I actually wanted to make shards of toffee popcorn and stack it on top of the cake with Maltesers and broken bits of chocolate honeycomb in a chaotic and crazy way! That was my plan… but I forgot to buy all the chocolates and I ran out of time!

Instead I blitzed a packet of Oreos and made some chocolate dirt, found some flowers in my garden (which weren’t poisonous!) and made a little garden instead.

Karen's Birthday Garden Cake

Phew, I finished it just in time. I had 10 minutes to spare before the guests walked through the door!

It looked cute, but I’m pretty inspired to make a more elaborate cake next time!


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Top 10 Ways I Recharge My Daily Mojo

6 July 2015

Brought to you by NESCAFÉ.

Not so long ago, I used to be a stay-at-home mum with three children under 6!

Now I’ve found myself as a work-at-home mum with school-aged children, who are fast approaching their teenaged years.

While this new phase of my life has certainly been easier for me to handle than “the intensive care of newborns”, it has come with new and different challenges.

Life is now fast-paced and jam-packed. With work, school, chores, extracurricular activities, hobbies, holidays, sports, music, fitness, and friends – all our activities are intensely involved towards nurturing and supporting our family and children.

If I don’t keep myself balanced, refreshed and recharged… I find myself drained, frustrated, moody and brain-dead.

So working with NESCAFÉ, today I’m sharing my top 10 ways I recharge myself on a daily basis.

Here goes!

Top 10 Ways I Recharge My Daily Mojo

1. Early Morning Rituals

I try to wake up at 6:30am each morning, before the kids wake up. If I don’t jump up and DO something to ACTIVATE MY BRAIN, I will just slump over and go back to sleep haha!

So can you believe it, I actually LIKE the meditative process of assembling my kid’s lunch boxes in the morning. It gets the gears going in my brain and body.

Thankfully my kids don’t like complicated lunches. They like simple, grab-and-go kind of food – just a simple sandwich, some cracker biscuits and some fruit!

Top 10 Ways I Recharge My Daily Mojo

2. Walking to School

While my older two kids ride to school with their friends, I walk (or cycle) with my littlest boy to school. We usually meet up with friends along the way, so it’s a nice way to start the morning.

We are so blessed to live 2kms from our primary school, next to some lovely parks and creeks. It gets me moving and active. And again, I find it meditative and refreshing.

Top 10 Ways I Recharge My Daily Mojo

3. Exercise to Recharge

It’s no secret that I love fitness! I don’t have time (or money) to go to the gym regularly. So I’ve learned a whole heap of workouts, cross training, weights routines and stretches and I do them at home.

I try not to be too ambitious about it, aiming for 20-45 minutes per day, and I always feel fabulous for doing it.

Top 10 Ways I Recharge My Daily Mojo

4. A Cup of Coffee While I Read The News

This is my essential, daily, ME TIME. I need to sit back and switch off with a cup of coffee for 20 minutes, catching up on the news and emails. It’s non-negotiable!

When I’m at home, I don’t have my own espresso machine or coffee machine; I happily drink instant coffee, or if I’m really pressed for time, I use instant coffee sachets (such this NESCAFÉ Cappuccino) which is just as yummy.

5. Writing in a Journal

I do love telling stories. I love being reflective, mindful and thankful. I’m constantly jotting down ideas, things I’m thankful for and just random thoughts on my phone or in a notebook.

Even if the ideas don’t amount to anything, even if they are disconnected thoughts and feel more like a to-do list… I always feel content that I wrote them down.

6. Catching Up with Girlfriends

My girlfriends are so important to me. We share our stories and dramas; we laugh and cry; and most importantly, we assure each other that we are NOT crazy!

Talking to them is soul refreshing for me; they keep me sane and keep me grounded. So I ALWAYS make sure I make some sort of contact with my girlfriends throughout the day or week.

Top 10 Ways I Recharge My Daily Mojo

7. Learn to Laugh

As much as I like to plan my life out… some days, life just throws lemons at me.

This particular day, my car stopped working. I was supposed to do a zillion important errands, go to a parent and teacher interview, go to the shops and find parts for my son’s school project.

I could have been extremely annoyed and agitated, but I just decided to look at the positives (I spent the day at home, doing work and cleaning the house!), and even found a moment to laugh at the strange arrangement of my car’s broken parts.

Top 10 Ways I Recharge My Daily Mojo

8. Prepare and Cook Dinner

I love cooking and it definitely relaxes me.

I find that if I prepare dinner during the day, instead of doing it at 4-5pm when the kids are home, I can spend more time giving my kids my full attention when talking to them after school or helping them with their homework.

This evening, I made a slow-cooked chicken coconut curry with, eggplant and tomato. Yum!

Top 10 Ways I Recharge My Daily Mojo

9. Give Myself a Manicure

As much as I love to get a manicure and long lasting nails put on at a salon, it can get a bit expensive. Plus, my nails get quite damaged from the technique of grinding and smoothing down of the nail’s surface.

So I’ve invested in some lovely hand scrubs, hand creams, and nail polishes for me to do at home.

It takes 15 minutes to do and I’m always left feeling pleased as punch.

It’s quick and easy! Simple pleasures are always the best!

Top 10 Ways I Recharge My Daily Mojo

10. Read a Book

And lastly, my favourite way to recharge at home is to read a book, sipping on a hot drink.

I like to mix up my reading collection with a whole bunch of classics and modern literature. I only ever read a few pages each day; that’s enough to transport me to another world and relax me.

This post was super easy for me to write, because I already drink the NESCAFÉ Café Menu sachets at home and was rather happy to hear that they have launched their new and improved café flavours.

NESCAFE Menu

NESCAFÉ sent over a few boxes of their latest range for me to try out -Cappuccino, Strong Cappuccino, Decaf Cappuccino, Mocha, Dark Choc Mocha, Skim Latté, Caramel Latté, Vanilla Latté and many more!

So far my favourites are: Cappuccino and Mocha.

I don’t drink them every day, but I do buy a box or two and go through them quickly enough, because they are so convenient, quick to make, easy to drink, and they taste nice, smooth, creamy and frothy.

I do have slight sensitivity to milk, but I’ve found that these don’t affect me at all – which is SO good, especially when I forget to buy a bottle of soy or almond milk for myself!

Top 10 Ways I Recharge My Daily Mojo

It was actually my mother that got me onto these coffee sachets, because when we travelled to Singapore and Malaysia together, I discovered that lots of cafés don’t offer soy milk as an option. Then I also discovered that my mother carried these around with her in her handbag and I would BEG her (daily) for one or two, because I was so desperate for a coffee!

I was sold since then. So now, I pop them in my handbag (with a flask of hot water) whenever I go out to do my errands, I take them travelling, and I leave them in my car, in case I ever find myself in need of an emergency coffee hit or – as I mentioned before – in need of some serious recharging!

Have you tasted them before? Do you drink coffee at home? How do you unwind and recharge?

If you’d like to try out the new NESCAFÉ Café Menu recipes, you can get a free sample for yourself at nescafe.com.au/sampling.


day of week

What I Wore: Anine Bing and Prima Jeans

1 July 2015

Anine Bing and Jeanswest Prima

I’ve been a little bit obsessed with my skinny black jeans at the moment.

I know it’s a weird thing to be obsessed about, because they’re not exactly a new thing and I’ve had many, MANY pairs over the years. What’s the big deal right?

I’ve just found myself waking up in the morning and wanting to wear nothing else. Blue jeans? Khaki jeans? Grey trousers? Neh. Black jeans it is then!

Then I’ll just throw on a knitted jumper, or a grey sweat shirt, or a denim shirt, or a checked shirt, or a white t-shirt, or a striped t-shirt… then some ankle boots and voilà my outfit is done.

I have a sneaking suspicion that my “obsession” is more from the result of winter laziness.

But I just tell myself that it’s very Kate Moss, except that I don’t have blonde hair, height, or a rock star husband.

Anine Bing and Jeanswest Prima

ANINE BING T-SHIRT

I popped over to the Anine Bing online store a few weeks ago – I just LOVE the style of her whole collection. It’s so casual, cool and everything seems to work perfectly together. I wanted to buy everything!

I bought this Anine Bing striped t-shirt and chose the size XS. It’s supposed to be loose fitting, but in all honesty, it’s probably 1-2 sizes too big for me. It looked a bit like a nightie when I first wore it! The fabric is 100% cotton and feels nice, smooth and robust.

I decided that I was going to keep it, so I attacked it with a sewing machine and took a few cms off the body. It looks great on me now :P

JEANSWEST PRIMA JEANS

Last week I mentioned that I fell in love with Jeanswest’s Prima Jeans collection and now I have a pair in blue and black.

I went into the store to try on the Super Skinny 7/8 length jeans and found that they are a perfect length for my short legs – meaning that I don’t have spend extra money at the tailor to take them up YAY!

PLAID COAT

This Black and White Plaid Coat was such an awesome buy! I got it from Shein, on sale, for under $50.

I was actually going to buy this Black and White Long Cardi, or this Plaid Blouse, but I thought the coat would last me a bit longer through the colder season.

Peachbox Bangles

SILVER BANGLES

My wristwear is by a new-ish online shop called The Peach Box.

They have a pretty cool collection of modern and on-trend designs which are really affordable. They are only costume/fashion jewellery but their price points are very affordable :)

BLACK STRAPPY HEELS

These babies are from Styletread! They are the Libby Pair by Tony Bianco and they are half price at the moment.

Phew! I’m really looking forward to the weekend – bring on the school holidays and my birthday festivities already!

Happy shopping!

xxx