Archive for October 2015

 

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Everyday Dainty Diamonds

30 October 2015

Brought to you by Zamels

Minimal, simple ring by Zamels

I’m working with Zamels Jewellery to show off some of their dainty diamond jewellery pieces they have in store.

I’m not exactly a “big diamond rock” kind of girl, mainly because I like to stack my rings, mix and match my jewellery… and well, truth is, I can’t afford big diamonds ha!

Minimal, simple ring by Zamels

I was totally smitten by this simple and very pretty 9ct gold diamond ring.

I love that it looks a bit different and it has an understated, minimal sophistication to it. It’s simple enough to wear every day on its own, or mixed with other rings on my hand too.

Now I have my eye on the Infinity version of this ring too :)

Pop over to Zamel’s Instagram for more affordable, everyday jewellery inspirations.

Have an amazing weekend xxx


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GENERICS Urban Apothecary – Beauty Survival Kit and Cleopatra’s Rose Milk Bath

27 October 2015

After a crappy and hormonal day yesterday, I was feeling so BLAAAH that I decided to take this morning off to cheer myself up.

Usually I like to 1) get stuff done to feel productive, 2) bake something yummy and beautiful to feel creative, 3) force myself to exercise so I feel all righteous, 4) force myself to clean my house so I feel cleansed, or 5) do something a bit unexpected to lift my spirits.

(I don’t go shopping because that always goes wrong!!)

Anyway, today I needed a serious case of spirit lifting!

I road tested the new Beauty Survival Kit by GENERICS Urban Apothecary.

GENERICS Urban Apothecary, Beauty Survival Kit

GENERICS Urban Apothecary is a new brand offering a range of simple, affordable, handmade skincare using premium Australian certified organic and natural ingredients.

They are paraben free, SLS free, no artificial fragrances, no animal cruelty and no toxic chemicals.

The unisex range includes mud masks, lip balms, moisturisers, cleansers, hand creme, hair care & spa care.

When I visited the store, all the smells and scents wafting around the shop were just heavenly!

GENERICS Urban Apothecary, Beauty Survival Kit

This Beauty Survival Kit is a limited edition set, retailing for $99, with a $255 total value of all the individual items.

There is a mineral body mask, organic body lotion, organic body custard, vegan lip balm, lip brush, mascara wand, dual eye shadow brush, eye shadow / highlighting brush, organic botanical perfume, tinned vegan soy candle, organic face moisturiser… and the best selling Cleopatra’s Rose Milk Bath.

GENERICS Urban Apothecary, Beauty Survival Kit

Cleopatra’s Rose Milk Bath

Oh what a treat! I haven’t had a foot soak in years!

Knowing that I was going to take some pretty photos, I snipped a huge bunch of fresh roses from my garden to decorate my tub.

I blocked out 1 hour from my schedule, I grabbed a book, armed myself with a towel and set up a little basin of hot/warm water.

I sprinkled half the milk bath powder into the water, although I think I was supposed to use more.

I gave it a stir and the gorgeous rose fragrance filled my living room.
GENERICS Urban Apothecary, Beauty Survival Kit

The foot soak was AMAZING!

It was immediately calming, relaxing and totally indulgent.

After the soak (less than an hour), my feet felt so refreshed and soft. You can use them in a regular bath too, which I imagine would be equally amazing.

These vials of milk bath powder would make great Christmas presents too!

Hope you enjoyed my photos!

They were so fun (and relaxing) to take :)


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What I Wore: 3.1 Phillip Lim Miniskirt

26 October 2015

3.1 Phillip Lim Cord Frame Miniskirt

Hey hey! Did you manage to score anything cool from the Shopbop sale?

There’s still some awesome stuff up in the Sale Section, if you want to take a peek. There are button down shirts, bucket bags, luxe booties, cross body bags and more, just search for sale items.

As for me, I picked up this gorgeous 3.1 Phillip Lim Miniskirt SS15 with a discount of 60% during one of the previous sales (originally $520!).

I’m totally in love with the classic miniskirt shape, the silk, the structure, the versatile style, the neutral colour, and the fact that it fits me perfectly. I am over the moon!

I’m also wearing: Off Shoulder Top by Hello Parry and Schutz Heels, also from Shopbop.


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Philosophy’s Renewed Hope in a Jar

24 October 2015

Hope in a Jar

I have used many Philosophy products over the years and I have many favourites, including this one Hope in a Jar.

After many years, they have recently launched the brand new formula and renamed it, Renewed Hope in a Jar.

I’ve been loving it as my day time moisturiser.

It is a lightweight, whipped moisturiser that features a blend of alpha hydroxy acids and hyaluronate. It promises to refine and smooth the skin, improves pores, fine lines and provide all day hydration.

Also it is formulated without parabens or sulphates, which is great.

I have been testing lots and lots of skincare products at the moment, but it’s nice to fall back on old favourites.

I adore it because it dosn’t feel greasy, it leaves my skin feeling dewy, and I like that it has some active ingredients to work on my skin throughout the day :)

You can pick it up online from SephoraStrawberrynet, or Adore Beauty.

 


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Still Lusting After a Shirtdress!

23 October 2015

Shopbop Shirtdresses

Sometimes I get a bit obsessed about searching the world for one particular item… and lately this one thing is the perfect shirtdress.

I’m still dying to get one… but I’m still trying to find that perfect trifecta of style, quality and price.

These 3 shirt dresses are so, so close!

They are from the Shopbop Sale (sew styles added), search for shirtdresses.

Parker Kimmi Dress, $297 (hmm a bit expensive, but it’s so pretty!)

Pam & Gela Printed Gauze Dress, $74 (60% off)

d.RA Prato Dress, $40.80 (70% off)


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What I Wore: That White Aelkemi Dress!

22 October 2015

Aelkemi Dress, Spet 2015

Wooohoo! Check it out! Look at me all glam and fancy! Eeep!

My lovely photographer pal, Manny Tamayo took this snap of me at the Closing Night of the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival.

Aaaaand, I’m wearing an amazing gown by one of Perth’s top fashion label, Aelkemi.

You know how they say that real style is all about the person, and confidence, not the clothes blah blah blah.

Well in this case, THIS dress was everything haha! For realz!

It was the end of fashion week. I had been going to fashion events for 5 days in a row, I had little sleep all week, I had been juggling my kids, work, wife and mummy duties. Then before this final event, I ran around making dinner and helped kids with homework, jumped in and out of the shower, brushed my hair hastily, slapped on some makeup, slipped on the dress… then omg I stopped in my tracks and felt like I was transformed!

My shoulders arched back, my posture straightened out, my tummy tucked in, my chin lifted up, my neck felt elongated, I walked taller, and stood more confidently, I suddenly felt that I could conquer the world and party all night!!

The dress was so comfortable to wear and so easy to move in. It sat and skimmed off my curves rather than hug and squeeze like a body con dress. The slight folds, the drape, the cut — ahh it was perfect.

I’m so in love with it that I might see if I can get a custom length made up, possibly a mid calf length? In dark blue?

The Aelkemi online shop has a small selection of dresses to buy, but if you want to see the good stuff, you’ll have to go instore. So if ever you’re in Claremont, do pop by to check it out!

Aelkemi
Time Square Center
22/337-339 Stirling Hwy
Claremont WA 6010

*Outfit: I’m also wearing Nude Schutz Heels and Zac Posen Clutch.


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My Favourite Green Smoothie

21 October 2015

For me, I don’t really like my green smoothies to taste like vegetable juice!

You know, the ones that are made from *just* spinach, kale, apple, celery and coconut water. To me, they are not really smoothies.

Green Smoothie

I prefer my green smoothies to be a bit more like a delicious, creamy milk shake!

Most of the time I will “skip” the usual breakfast of eggs, avocado, bread, oats, granola and fruit, and have one of these smoothies for breakfast. Then follow it with a bowl full of nuts and seeds as a snack. Then have a filling lunch.

Or I might have a full breakfast, then have a green smoothie for lunch. It’s pretty filling!

Anyway, after lots of trial and error, I’ve created my favourite recipe! Hope you like it!

My Favourite Green Smoothie

Half an avocado
Half a small pear
1 cup of spinach
Slice of pineapple (I buy canned pineapple and keep the rest in a glass bowl in the fridge)
1/3 cup of natural yoghurt or vanilla yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon of lime rind
1 cup of coconut water
1 teaspoon of honey (optional if you like your smoothies a bit sweeter, or you could use the whole pear, or 6 green grapes).

Whiz everything up on a high speed blender and enjoy!

xxx


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ECCO Soft 7 Sneaker Giveaway

19 October 2015

Brought to you by Ecco Shoes Australia

ECCO Soft 7 Sneakers

Do you remember… back in 2011, I was given the opportunity to fly to Denmark (courtesy of ECCO Shoes) to attend Copenhagen Fashion Week and also given a tour of the ECCO shoes headquarters?

Well I’m working with ECCO Shoes once again, this time we are offering one of my readers a chance to win a pair of ECCO shoes sneakers from their latest Soft 7 collection!

Please scroll to the bottom of this post to check it out!

ECCO Shoes Soft 7 Sneakers

This is me, on my street, showing off my new Soft 7 Sneakers.

YES! They are amazing! They are sooooo soft, comfortable, light weight, and super flexible. The quality of the leather, uppers, inlay and sole… IS OUT OF THIS WORLD!!

I’ve never owned super-duper luxurious leather sneakers before – eeep!

Although the Soft 7 Low Sneakers are bestsellers and that “tennis shoe” sneaker style is phenomenally popular these days….

I chose the Soft 7 High Top Sneakers, because they are a bit different, I already have low-style sneakers, and I have always wanted white high tops. They are simply amazing to wear!

Most high tops tend to feel restrictive for your ankle; you can’t really turn your foot very well, and sometimes the shoe rubs at the back of your ankle. But on these Soft 7 shoes, there is a little groove in the lip of the shoe at the back of the ankle (see the product photos here), which makes the shoes really comfortable to walk in and rotate your foot.

ECCO Soft 7 Sneakers

I styled up the shoes in 3 different ways that I would wear them.

First is a clean, simple everyday style – white silk shirt (from Equipment), blue skinny jeans (from Jeanswest), silver earring studs… covered up by my hair (by Rebecca Minkoff from Shopbop).

ECCO Soft 7 Sneakers

 

The other day I drove around town doing a bunch of errands, wearing this simple get up.

It was cold and rainy, and I needed a hat to hide my unwashed hair!

Grey Tee (from Country Road), black jeans (from Nobody), long grey coat (from Shein), fedora hat (from ASOS) and black bag by Alldressedup.

ECCO Soft 7 Sneakers

And lastly, the weather turned all glorious and summery, so I tested the shoes to see how well they would hold up during the warm day. Basically I wanted to see if they would make my feet hot, sticky and yucky.

Nope! They were lovely and light! Loved them!

Dove grey tee (from Sportsgirl), denim shorts (from One Teaspoon) and Ray-bans (from SunglassesShop).

Win Win! A Karen Cheng x ECCO Shoes Soft 7 Giveaway!

ECCO Soft 7 Sneakers

So to celebrate the launch of Ecco Shoe’s Soft 7 Range, I’m giving my readers a chance to win one pair of sneakers!

You get to choose which of the four styles that you like (shown above). Low style sneakers are valued at $239.95 and high tops are $259.95. Of course you get to choose whether you want low-style or high top style, choose your size and colour.

This giveaway is only open to my Australian readers over 18 years old, sorry!

1) Pop over to the ECCO Shoes Australia Facebook page and LIKE it.

2) Email me at soft7@karencheng.com.au, let me know that you’ve liked the page, tell me your best contact email address, and tell me what outfit you would MOST wear with your new Soft 7 Sneakers?

If you want, you can also tell me which pair you would like, your shoe size and colour preference too. That’ll make things much quicker if you win! You can say hello too, if you like!?

This giveaway will run from Monday, 19 October 2015 – Friday, 6 November 2015, 11:59pm (GMT+8)

The winner will be chosen at random. I’ll contact the winner before announcing on my Facebook page (you can like that too if you want!). No asking for cash instead or anything silly like that.

Good luck!

xxx


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Reaching Out and Volunteering for Charity

15 October 2015

Red leaves of Autumn

I took this photo back in 2004.

It was of a tree outside the hospital, in which my husband had chemo and surgery.

I stood in the carpark, looking at the beautiful leaves, with tears streaming down my cheeks.

The photo – blurry, unfocused, striking – reminds me of cancer, death, life and love.

It reminds me of that single moment when everything was tumbling down, all around me.

I printed the photo and have it framed in my house. I guess, when life gets too crazy, I look at this photo to remember the things in life that matters the most.

OK why am I sharing this?

This weekend, I’m volunteering at a 2 day charity event, which is raising funds for cancer research.

Handing out water bottles? Helping people with name tags? Picking up rubbish? Cheering on participants? Dressed in a tutu?

It doesn’t sound very worthwhile. It actually sounds kind of pointless, trivial, unnecessary and insignificant.

Wouldn’t it be better to work hard at raising $10,000 for the charity instead?

Perhaps.

But I remember that moment with the red leaves.

How, when my husband and I were living in chaos, I didn’t need money. I didn’t need grandiose gifts or gestures.

I just needed someone to reach out, give me a hug, have a cup of tea with me, have a chat and share a laugh.

Sounds trivial. Sounds insignificant.

It’s these things that mattered the most.

Do head over and join me on Instagram (@karenlycheng) and Snapchat (heykarencheng) to check out my volunteering antics!


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October Coffee Catch Up

14 October 2015

Phew! With the kids back at school, the house is quiet once again. I can sit down and THINK!

You know, HAVE THOUGHTS!

These last few weeks have been a bit chaotic.

1) My computer hard drive crashed and was told by a Mac guy that “it was cactus”. I lost 6 months of photos, emails, contacts, documents and development work. I was DEVASTATED!

I had a moment where I closed my yes, squeezed the bridge of my nose between my thumb and finger… and instead of letting out a string of curses, screams and tears, I just sighed “Aaaaaah craaaap!” Things could have been worse.

It turns out that I found most of my photos, which were still on my cameras (thank goodness!), my emails and contacts were backed up on my server (such a blessing!) and most of my recent documents were not super critical (phew!).

I did lose 6 months of blog development work, which was – honestly – only 4 months of full time work, and if I really thought about it… it wouldn’t be difficult to redo.

THAT’S WHAT I’M TRYING TO TELL MYSELF! TRYING TO STAY POSITIVE!

2) A few weeks ago, I went for my regular pap test and my doctor gave me an ALL OVER check up.

She found a small lump on my breast and sent me to get a mammogram and ultrasound.

I knew my boobs and didn’t think the lump was anything unusual, but it was a lump nonetheless.

Yeah, there was a little bit of uncertainty at the back of my mind. A niggly, unsettling thought of what if?

I didn’t entertain that thought though. I just went ahead, had the test and waited for the results.

The results were all clear. Everything is all good.

I’ll go into a bit more detail in another blog post.

You can be sure that I’m holding onto the words “thankfulness” and “gratefulness” like precious gifts from above.

3) Speaking of gratefulness, I am working with some amazing clients at the moment!

I know at the end of the day, it’s a business relationship, but working with such lovely, friendly, passionate, creative people, who love and support my work; getting to choose my own projects, come up with fun and exciting ideas, that are realistic for me to do, given my desire to be at home with my kids – is really a dream come true!

I love my work! If only it could pay more! Oh well, can’t win at everything!

4) Oh, I’ve got two trips coming up.

One to Singapore, with a couple of my closest girlfriends!

One to Tasmania, with my husband!

Yes, yes. It’s not exactly magazine-glamorous like Paris, Santorini or Turkey.

But hey, I could be stuck in a 7 hour transit at a foreign airport with my best girlfriends (or my husband) and have the Best. Time. Ever. It’s more about the sharing of experiences and the journey, than the destination for me.

5) So I know I say this ALL the time. And it’s probably an indication of how much I adore my kids and parenting over the years.

But I just have to say: My kids are at such a great age at the moment!

They are age 12 (year 7), age 10 (Year 5) and age 6 (year 1).

They are all funny, quirky, inquisitive, full of personality, confident, smart, interesting, little people, who I actually like to hang around with!

(Yes they are also annoying, loud, rude, obsessed with computer games, but that’s another blog post…)

6) OK I have seriously lost the plot with my exercise and healthy eating.

It’s all been very irregular, sporadic, disorganised, and haphazard… and it’s been um… 4 weeks?

I need routine! I need goals! I need some kind of plan! I just need to put on my running shoes and get outside, really.

I think I’ve put on about 3kgs. I think I’ve lost muscle mass. My super skinny jeans are a bit tight around my waist, hips, and thighs. And I need to unbutton them whenever I sit on my couch to enjoy my bowl of ice cream haha!

7) Lastly, do you remember that epic 200km bike ride that I did (in 2012 and 2013) called The Ride to Conquer Cancer?

I volunteered to be part of the Event Crew last year (2014) and I loved it. I dressed up as a giraffe and a frog.

So this year, I’m volunteering again! And yes, I’m dressing up again. I’ll leave it as a surprise, unless you’ve seen my snapchats, then you’ve probably seen me in my wig already haha!

I’m really looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and helping out a great charity event :)

Alrighty, I could go on and on!

Gotta go!

xxx


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The Shopbop Friends & Family Sale

13 October 2015

Shopbop 25% Off Sale

Yeeeew! I have some exciting news, The Shopbop Friends & Family Sale is on again and they are offering 25% OFF your whole order!

Use the code “INTHEFAM25″

(There are a few brand exclusions, mainly the super expensive, high end designer labels, but almost all of the site will be eligible for the 25% exclusive discount!)

Happy shopping!

xxx


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Loving: Korean Facial Sheet Masks

12 October 2015

Brought to you by Aniqa

I’ve never been a face mask kind of girl.

I’ve never liked using clay or mud face masks at home. I find the whole process to be messy, yucky and labourious. I hate the feeling of my face tightening under the mud, the way the clay gets hard and crusty, then having to wash up the semi-dried up gunk off my face! Ugh!

However over the last few years, I’ve discovered facial sheet masks and I realised how easy, refreshing, soothing, and hydrating they are. So I now LOVE giving myself a weekly face mask.

Mizon Face Sheet Masks

(A sample of the Mizon range from Aniqa with flowers from my garden!)

Sheet masks are great because they deliver essence and concentrated active ingredients straight to your face, and the sheet stops the essence from evaporating, which allows your skin to get the maximum hydration and absorption.

I find sheet masks to be such a quick, easy and affordable way to give my skin a boost. They are an excellent alternative to going to a spa or beauty salon.

And at $4 a pop, there’s no contest really!

Mizon Face Sheet Masks

Aniqa have a really impressive range of facial sheet masks, with prices ranging from $3 to $9 each.

They gave me a stack to try out and I thought I’d share how I use my favourite mask, the Mizon Firming Mask.

Now I can’t give you a precise scientific assessment on the results, but I can tell you that my skin feels super hydrated, soft, smooth, and looks lovely for the next two days!

Mizon Face Sheet Masks

Ok this whole step by step thing is probably unnecessary and pretty self explanatory, but I do have a few tips!

Plus these photos were fun to take, so bear with me :)

Mizon Face Sheet Masks

Take the face sheet mask out of the packet, but don’t toss the packet yet!

Keep it upright, lean it up against your toothbrush holder and save it for later.

Mizon Face Sheet Masks

Unfold and open up the face mask completely, until it looks like a creepy dude.

Make sure you have the two eye-holes on top!

Mizon Face Sheet Masks

Thwack it onto your face!

Stretch it around to position it correctly on your face. Smooth it all out and press it all down to get rid of air bubbles.

Keep your mouth closed, try not to smile.

Oh and make sure the nose flap thing is not covering your nostrils. Make sure you can breathe!

See? I told you my tips are gold.

Mizon Face Sheet Masks

Once it’s on your face, pick up the mask packet, tip the remaining contents onto your hands and smooth the essence all over your neck, upper chest, and hands.

Heck use it on your feet and legs too, just don’t let it go to waste!

Leave the mask on for the recommended time, usually it’s about 10 – 20 minutes.

When the time is up, take off the mask; you’ll find that it’s still drenched with essence, so I like to rub it on my arms and legs. Leave the residue on your face. Don’t wash it off.

As for when to use a face sheet mask in your beauty regime: Remove makeup, cleanse, tone, use essence, then use sheet mask. You don’t have to use serum, eye cream or moisturiser after that. You can just head to bed!

Do take a peek at all the available face masks from Aniqa :)

Enjoy the pampering!

xxx

 


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What I Wore: Relaxed Chambray Jacket

11 October 2015

Summer Casuals

With the school holidays finishing up, I’ve been heading out with my kids for a series of chilled-out outings, play dates, fitting in a few errands and basically enjoying the glorious weather.

In terms of my daily outfits, I’ve just been keeping things casual, relaxed and polished.

My basics are high quality. My accessories are high street brands. I’m not exactly reinventing the wheel.

Oh but I am utterly in love with this light chambray jacket (on sale)!

I’ve been throwing it onto every outfit before I head out the door. The colour, quality and feel of it is just great!

It pretty much replaces my light khaki jacket and adds a bit of double-denim cool, if I’m wearing blue denim jeans.

Summer Casuals

Chambray jacket from Jeanswest (On sale)
White Tee by Sacha Drake (from Ciao Bella Travel)
Shorts by Alice and Olivia
Schutz Sandals from Shopbop
Sunglasses from Hello Parry
Handbag from Witchery
Hat from Sportsgirl

Have an amazing Sunday!
xxx


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Creating Holiday Moments with Stayz

9 October 2015

Brought to you by Stayz

Hi everyone!

I have recently been working with Stayz (Australia’s largest holiday rental website) to help inspire families to create new holiday memories.

I love this idea. It is so inline with how my husband and I raise our kids. We love taking any opportunity to get away from our daily routine and to create family experiences that we’ll remember forever.

Last week, we took a trip to Dunsborough, a very popular holiday spot in the South West region of Western Australia (and one of our favourite places) – filled with beaches, wineries, forests, caves, bush and cafes. We also invited some good friends – another family – to join us.

Stayz Holiday in Dunsborough 2015

And yes, we stayed at a Stayz house, called “Happy Daze, Dunsborough” right next to the beach!

The coolest thing about Stayz accommodation is that you can rent the WHOLE house.

They have over 40,000 properties across Australia, in 1,700 locations so there are lots of options for groups of any size. That means, you can holiday with your family, your extended family, or even multiple families.

Stayz Holiday in Dunsborough 2015

This particular house had enough beds for 8 people, two living areas, a fully equipped modern kitchen, air conditioning, all bedding and towels provided, a washing machine, a clothes dryer, a front yard for the kids to play, a balcony, and much more. It was just fabulous.

To put things into perspective for you… the last time we went on a family holiday, we went into the BUSH, where there was no running water, I didn’t shower for 3 days and er… I had to dig my own toilet!

So you could say that I am not accustomed to this level of luxury! I was really pinching myself and counting all my blessings!

Stayz Holiday in Dunsborough 2015

There was no formal check-in; the key was hidden in a safe box on the property.

We simply arrived, unlocked the house, we were greeted by a beautiful, spacious home, a bottle of local white wine and we cracked open the cheese and crackers to celebrate!

Stayz Holiday in Dunsborough 2015

The kids immediately went downstairs to play, in the separate living room, and some started a soccer game on the front lawn.

What did the adults do?

Within 5 minutes of arrival, we were sitting on the balcony and watching the sun set in the peace and quiet. Ahhhhhh!

Stayz Holiday in Dunsborough 2015

That night I cooked a big dinner, fed all the kids and set up a DVD for them to watch downstairs.

Us adults were able to sit and have a quiet dinner! With loooong conversations!

It was so lovely and relaxing.

Stayz Holiday in Dunsborough 2015

The next morning, my husband (bless him) woke up early and made pancakes for everyone. What a treat.

Again I sat on the balcony and enjoyed the sunshine, while chatting to my friends and kids.

Oh my, it was bliss.

Such simple pleasures!

Stayz Holiday in Dunsborough 2015

During the day, we took a long walk on the footpath which ran along Geographe Bay.

The kids took turns to scoot or walk. In fact they were falling over themselves to walk and talk with an adult, just to hear our stories and get some undivided attention.

Stayz Holiday in Dunsborough 2015

We headed over to Meelup Beach, which was still and calm.

The sky was cloudy and the water was a bit too cold for a swim.

Nonetheless, the colour of the water turned into a brilliant turquoise everytime the sun peeked out from behind a cloud and hit the ocean.

We saw whales! About 9 of them swimming across the bay!

Stayz Holiday in Dunsborough 2015

My kids and I ran around, making sand castles, playing chasey, writing our names in the sand and taking photos (yes I took selfies and snapchats with my 12 year old!).

Stayz Holiday in Dunsborough 2015

There was also a fresh water stream next to the beach, which trickled into the ocean.

My husband started a “dam building project”, which excited ALL the kids, including 8 other random kids who were also on the beach and also wanted to join in.

They worked on that dam for 2 hours!

I think that was the highlight for all the kids.

Stayz Holiday in Dunsborough 2015

That night, I made a 6-hour, slow-cooked Moroccan lamb shank stew with potatoes, carrots and brown rice.

I brought along my extra-large slow cooker just so I could make it. But I was also very pleased that the kitchen had everything I needed; even little things like olive oil, salt and ground cumin – which I forgot to bring.

It was soooooo delicious! And of course, we had to wash it down with more local wine.

Stayz Holiday in Dunsborough 2015

Next morning, my friend made perfect eggs, bacon and homemade bread, for breakfast.

Again, I was pinching myself on the balcony – I was so happy!

Oh and you know what else made me happy?

Although I told everyone that the beach was my favourite part of the trip, I have to admit that HAVING A DISHWASHER was my most favourite thing haha!

Stayz Holiday in Dunsborough 2015

The kids played and played.

There was a stash of books, board games and card games in house, including our old favourite – Twister!

Stayz Holiday in Dunsborough 2015

We also enjoyed heaps of local cafes, art galleries, the shops and the bakery.

Overall, it was a such an easy and effortless holiday!

We didn’t have to wash the bed sheets or towels before we left. We just had to give the place a quick sweep and wipe down the kitchen surfaces.

I loved that there were so many things that we didn’t have to stress and worry about – towels, wifi, hair dryer, iron, washing machine, dust pan, matches, candles – it was a whole house, filled with household items. It made life sooooo much easier.

It felt much more homey, spacious and private than a caravan park, motel, hotel or even a Bed and Breakfast.

And because of all that, I absolutely loved that we had so much time to be together as a family, enjoy each other’s company and just have fun.

Renting a house like Happy Daze, for two families, was perfect for us!

So here’s a big, big thanks to Stayz!

If you’re thinking of heading off to find a house to stay in, you might be interested in this…

*Stayz Holiday Throwback Competition*

Win a $1500 Visa Gift Card to put towards your next holiday, or towards a new designer handbag – that’s kind of like a holiday right? :)

You DO need a blog to enter – Write a blog post about your favourite childhood holiday and then fill out the entry form here.

If you DON’T have a blog, that’s okay, you can post your favourite holiday throwback photo on the Stayz Facebook Page or on your own Instagram account (with the #Stayz and #HTB tags) and you could win a $100 Westfield gift card.

Check out more information about the Stayz Holiday Throwback Competition here.


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Soft Bamboo Clothes for Spring

6 October 2015

I am a long-time fan of bamboo clothing. I love its luxurious feel, its lovely drape, and the way it holds it shape and softness after hundreds of washes!

I already have quite a few basic tops and one pair of 3/4 length leggings that I wear on high rotation throughout the year.

A few months ago, I tested out some beautiful, light-weight knitwear from Bamboo Body and utterly fell in love with their range. This new season, Bamboo Body have launched a stack of new styles and have re-stocked a lot of their best sellers too.

I also have a special 15% off discount code for all my readers – which lasts all Spring (till the end of November)! Scroll down to the end for details.

BambooBody SS15

Today I’m showing off some pieces that – ordinarily – I wouldn’t have chosen. To my surprise, I really adored them and am so happy that they are part of my wardrobe now!

First up: Bamboo Pocket Pants

Being a skinny jeans lover, I never took well to wearing wide leg pants, palazzo pants or drop-crotch pants . Heck I don’t even wear tracksuit pants out of the house. But these bamboo pants are soft, relaxed, breathable and so comfortable to wear!

I love that you can adjust the height of them and they fall so nicely. When they are full length, they swish and sway so elegantly and kind of elongate my legs. I really like them!

I can’t wait to wear them in warmer weather with a little white lace camisole and flat tan sandals.

BambooBody SS15

I picked out this Taylor turtleneck top and I thought it would be good to layer under jackets or knits. They are!

But I have ALSO been wearing it on its own, with a skirt or jeans. I really like it because it looks elegant, stylish and a bit different to all the other tops that I wear. It’s nice to have a change.

Plus it feels absolutely lovely next to my skin and it’s actually rated to be SPF50.

BambooBody SS15

This Grey Ruched Skirt is such a simple and lovely piece. I think it suits me quite well.

It has a modest length, the ruching is nice, it is soft and comfortable, not too tight, a versatile style, and it also comes in black, grey stripes, tangerine.

I’ll be wearing this a lot through the warmer weather.

 

BambooBody SS15

This Navy Gemma Dress is incredibly soft, comfortable and drapes very nicely. But I thought it was a bit too long and loose for me, even though the dress was a XS.

So I hitched up the waist, with the matching belt, and wore it as a short dress. I thought it looked much better on me and it suited my style more.

70’s fashion styles are very popular this season, so the classic A-line shape is very in vogue. It looks a bit like a playsuit, I like it!

BambooBody SS15

Lastly, I can’t go past good old basics for the new season.

The Bamboo Scoop Singlet comes in khaki, grey, grey marle, black, white, navy and taupe. They are such good quality singlets, soft, comfortable, not hard, stiff or scratchy, doesn’t have a weird sheen to it (as most brands tend to have).

The fabric is a blend of organic bamboo, organic cotton and a bit of spandex for that extra stretch. They are the best!

These Soft Bamboo Leggings are also the best everyday leggings ever! They are great for layering in cold weather, wearing them with boots, wearing for light activity, or just wearing them around the house. I’m wearing them right now, with a t-shirt, a light knit cardigan and sneakers!

** Special Discount Code **

strong>Bamboo Body are offering all my readers 15% off your whole order (including sale items).

Just enter the code “KCSpring” at the checkout to get your discount.

The promotion expire at the end of Spring (30 November 2015).

Enjoy the great value!

xxx


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Looking for a Shirt Dress

2 October 2015

A reader emailed me last week (hi Sue!), asking me if I had any suggestions for a casual dress that was a bit more “modest” than a typical summer dress, BUT not frumpy or daggy.

Yes! Sometimes I don’t feel like wearing strappy, low-cut dresses, that make me look like I spent all day at the beach… yet it’s hard to find a dress that is casual and flattering…

I spotted some of these super cute shirt dresses and I’m now obsessed!

Shirt Dresses fro ASOS

Eeep, all three of these dresses are just adorable, stylish and look so flattering!

If I had to choose between them, I’d choose from left to right:

Sessun Pinted Dress in Ivory (Ok it’s a bit pricey)

Yumi Belted Dress in Tile Print (On sale!)

Ganni Shirt Dress in Rose Smoke Print (Hmm yep again a bit pricey)

Shirt Dresses fro ASOS

Or if you’re not into print dresses, these plain shirt dresses focus a bit more on the tailoring and the fall of the fabric, so it’s best to pay a bit extra for better quality.

Warehouse Utility Shirt Dress (Excellent price for good quality)

ASOS Shirt Dress (Very affordable!)

Oasis Military Shirt Dress (Very reasonable!)

Happy shopping!

xxx


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Char Siu Pork Belly Buns at Typika, Claremont

1 October 2015

Being the school holidays, I often find it to be a rare treat to be in the company of just ONE of my kids.

The moment TWO kids are at their friend’s house, I say to my remaining child – Let’s go to a cafe!

Today I wanted to try out a new dish at Typika, in Claremont.

Unfortunately for me, I got stuck with my 6 year old. Don’t get me wrong, I love the little guy, but he just doesn’t LOVE trying out new and interesting dishes. He’s not a foodie. He just wanted chicken nuggets and chips.

But of course, I totally ignored his request and ordered what I wanted to eat:

Typika, Claremont

I had the Sticky Char Siu Pork Belly with steamed buns and pickles ($24).

The buns were absolutely perfect. They had a fresh, soft, top (not stale, leathery or crusty), with a springy and fluffy middle. They soaked up the sauce well, and they held their shape when stuffed with the filling. They were so lovely to eat!

Typika, Claremont

The peanuts were sweet, salty, crunchy, with a hint of chili. They were so good and totally addictive.

My son didn’t want any, so I ate them all!

The pickles were a nice accompaniment too. They were different to typical pickles, in that they weren’t very sour or vinegary. They tasted mild and fresh, which I actually liked.

Typika, Claremont

The pork belly was fantastic!

The char siu marinade had a delicious balance of sweet, salty and smoky flavours. The pork was fresh, tender, sticky and had an excellent ratio of fat. It wasn’t overly salty, which is often the case when I eat it at Chinese restaurants. It was good.

However, I think it could have been grilled a little harder so that the outside was crispier and had more of a crusty crunch.

Typika, Claremont

I also bought a coffee for myself and a honey joy for us to share.

When everything arrived, my son decided that he didn’t want any of the pork, or buns, or pickles, OR peanuts… so I ended up eating it ALL BY MYSELF! I felt like such a pig! I was so full.

Typika, Claremont

The honey joy was really good too. It’s been years since I’ve eaten a honey joy! I remembered how much I enjoyed the sweet buttery, caramel stickiness, mixed with the crunchiness of the corn flakes.

My son ate half of it, and I managed to eat the other half, because I couldn’t bear to see it go to waste.

I’ve dined at Typika before – several times for both food and coffee – and I have always enjoyed the experience. Cheers Typika!




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