Archive for December 2015

 

day of week

What I Wore: Christmas Lunch

30 December 2015

Christmas Lunch Outfit

Wearing: d.RA Chambray Sparrow Top | Fendi Skinny White jeans, similar | Diavolina heels | Tory Burch handbag | Jewellery by Kailis Pearls and Wanderlust + Co.

I’ve been living in my shorts and sandals these last few days… so it was really nice to DRESS UP and head off to a Christmassy lunch with friends.

Even though I didn’t wear a dress, I felt rather awkward in high heels and I felt very formal with my legs covered up haha!

New to my wardrobe is this new Chambray Cotton “Sparrow” Top by d.RA.

I was absolutely smitten by the White Cotton “Sparrow” Top by d.RA that I recently bought (I reviewed it here)… so I when I stumbled across the BLUE one, I knew I had to buy it too!

I bought it in a size XS from Revolve Clothing and it is currently on 50% off final sale.

It really is a lovely loose shape, but still flattering on top. It goes with all the neutral colours in my wardrobe.

I can wear it with my short shorts this summer, then wear it into Autumn with my skinny jeans and black pencil skirts.

But best of all, I because of the flowy style, I can eat all I want and hide my festive belly ho ho ho.


day of week

A Trip To Adventure World, Perth

29 December 2015

Adventure World 2015

Perth is not exactly world renowned for its theme parks, but it does have a few fun parks with rollercoaster rides, water rides, and race tracks – just enough to keep the kids happy and busy all day.

We headed off to Adventure World with a few of my children’s friends, on a gorgeously, hot summer day. There were 8 of us in total: me and 7 boys — eeep!

Once we set up a base camp of towels in the shade, all the 12 year olds and 10 year olds ran off to the water slides. Argh, I was so nervous about letting them run off by themselves. But that’s one thing I love about this place: it’s family friendly and it’s mostly safe. My kids and their friends are pretty sensible and reliable, so I trusted that they won’t do anything silly or irresponsible.

Adventure World 2015

As for me, I got to hang out with my 6 year old. But he was soooo grumpy about it!

I thought it’d be a nice opportunity to spend time with him and show him all the rides that I used to go on as a kid!

“Come on! Lets go on this ride! Let’s jump into the pool and slide down that water slide! Let’s explore the kid’s pool! Let’s go on the monorail! Let’s watch the go-karts!”

But nope, he had a bad case of Mr. Shitty Attitude about the whole place. He just wanted to sit on the towels and eat chips. Then he just wanted to go home. For real??

Adventure World 2015

After an hour of gentle pushing and trying all kinds of psychological parent tricks, I was about to give up and take my 6 year old home, when the bunch of 10 year old boys came back… and so I asked if THEY could take him on a ride or two.

Suddenly this was THE COOLEST PLACE EVER!

If the big brothers were having a good time, it must be cool! Hanging around mum = not very cool.

I wasn’t offended.

I was happy and relieved that he finally loosened up and could finally enjoy the fun park. And I was also happy that I didn’t waste my money on his entry ticket and that I didn’t have to work out how to “punish” him for his bad attitude, or at least, not even making the slightest bit of effort to change his attitude. Phew.

Adventure World 2015

After he loosened up, we had a much better time together.

I took him up on the monorail and he squealed with delight!

There were a couple of random boys on the rail car behind us (maybe 10 year olds?) who kept bumping into our car. We were going at a good pace, but they were purposely speeding up to catch us and bump us. I asked them politely to stop, but they laughed at me and did it a few more times, so I turned around, put on my Angry Asian Aunty tone, and blasted the hell out of them.

Ok not really, I just spoke sternly to them, at length.

But while I was speaking sternly, I was thinking, this could backfire on me, they could start bumping me harder. Or worse, be filled with monorail rage and do something really reckless? So as words left my mouth, I was also trying to think of a backup plan. Hmm, nothing really came to mind.

Anyway, they stopped bumping us and slowed right back. A win for the AAA in a bikini ha!

Adventure World 2015

I bought snow cones for everyone, which looked so pretty, but for the record, were a complete waste of money. We should have just bought slushies.

Adventure World 2015

It has been 3 or 4 years since my kids were last at Adventure World, so they haven’t been on the go-karts before. The bigger boys lined up for 40 long minutes, but it was worth the wait. It ignited all their video game racing skills and it blew their minds! They loved it.

I actually thought that I’d get an hour of quite time by myself, so embarrassingly, I brought a book!

Turns out that I was up and about on my feet, in the water and on rides with my kids the whole time – and having a blast!


day of week

Balayage at Curi, Korean Hair Salon

28 December 2015

Balayage from Curi Hair, Subiaco

After quite a few months (8 months to be exact) of sporting dark hair, I’ve finally decided to lighten my locks for summer.

I had foils (balayage style) done at Curi Hair in Subiaco and I’m soooo happy with the result!

I asked for less contrast and less light bits this time, so my hair still looks a bit darkish.

I took this photo on Christmas Day, a week after the new colour. I tried wearing my parting more to my right and I curled my ends a little too. Basically I love my new look for the new year – yay :D

*Wearing Danika Blue Off Shoulder Top from Hello Parry.


day of week

Christmas Festivities 2015

26 December 2015

These last few days (or weeks?) have been a huge, happy blur.

Our lives have been filled with food, catching up with friends and families, cleaning the house, parties, washing dishes, swimming, fruit platters, relaxing, toys, video games, movies and hours of doing nothing much.

It has been a bit tricky to keep track of the details and recall what happened where and when haha.

But I love to keep a record of the events on my blog, so here goes!

Christmas 2015

Christmas Eve dinner was at my place, with just a small number of guests from both sides of our family: 12 adults and 6 kids in total.

My sister and brother in law (visiting from London) joined us for the first time. My husband’s aunty and uncle were there too.

There was waaay too much food as usual! I successfully delegated out the cooking, so all I had to do was bake the ham and roast vegetables. It was very easy, relaxing and rather enjoyable.

The kids helped to dust, clean, vacuum, clean windows, sweep cobwebs, put up the decorations and set up our swimming pool – they were so helpful. I was so proud of them and glad that they were happy to lend a hand. I rewarded them with fruit smoothies and a swim.

Christmas 2015

My 6 year old wrote out all the table name cards, and he announced that he didn’t think the name “Karen” suited me very well. He much prefered my name to be “Mum”.

He pointed out that since 3 out of 5 people in our house called me “Mum”, which is more than 50%, I should strongly consider changing it.

I told him that only THREE people in the WHOLE WORLD gets to call me “Mum” and one of them is HIM, so he should feel extra-special and he should try working out that percentage.

Christmas 2015

My favourite eats for the evening were my Yorkshire Puddings! Omg they were super crispy and amazingly delicious with gravy.

I used this Yorkshire Pudding recipe (the same one I use every year) but this time I accidentally left the oil in the pans in the oven for too long (I forgot about them until I smelt burning butter coming from my oven — oops!). I also used less batter in each muffin pan, because I had to make 18, not 12.

These combining factors made my puddings rise spectacularly. It was a bit of a fluke, but now I know for next year.

Christmas 2015

My 12 year old made this lovely Christmas Cake with his grandpa.

It tasted so good – however there was a bit of cooking drama over at grandpa’s house. They burnt the first cake, because they mixed up Fahrenheit and Celsius… and they baked the cake at 275C for 4 hours, yikes.

Thankfully they had enough ingredients to make another cake the following day, so Christmas dessert was saved and nobody’s house was burnt down.

Christmas 2015

On Christmas Day, we all woke up early and some family members came over for breakfast (leftover ham). We opened presents and hung out at home. It was really lovely and relaxing.

We don’t follow any Santa traditions in our household. That is, we don’t leave milk and cookies out for him, we don’t fill up stockings, we don’t write letters and the kids don’t get “a present from Santa”.

I think this irritates our kids a bit, because there is a lot of discussion about Santa traditions at school, especially in the younger grades.

The kids do get presents, but we’re just pretty low key about it. They just receive one simple present from us and one silly present from me (this year I gave them Star Wars Pez Dispensers haha!).

We actually sit them down and discuss what they’d like for Christmas. And this year, they requested to receive money from us and relatives, instead of toys, so it can go towards buying a few secondhand laptops for our household.

In a way, I’m a bit torn, Christmas is usually supposed to be about gifts of love, surprise, being thoughtful, the joy of giving…. and here we are, being so practical about gifts! Oh well. For us, Christmas is more about family gatherings and spending time with loved ones.

Christmas 2015

For Christmas evening, we went to my parent’s place for another big feast and swim.

My husband set up his telescope and we saw the rare full moon on Christmas day. I managed to line up my smart phone camera with the telescope eye piece and took this snap.

It was very cool and very magical.

A perfect way to end the day really.

So I hope you all managed to have a wonderful, magical and stress-free Christmas too!

Here’s me wishing you all much happiness and love for the new year!


day of week

Endless Summer Fun

21 December 2015

Liam Christmas 2015

I just had to share this beautiful photo with you all!

My kids and their cousins were in the midst of a water fight… and my 6 year old took a second to smile up at me, from behind his shield.

Hehe this photo makes every molecule in my body smile.

It captures the childhood I’ve always wanted to create for my kids – Endless hours of summer holiday fun; Endless playing with cousins in my parent’s pool; Endless bowls of snacks, fruits and BBQ dinners; and endless amounts of laughter, games and fun.

I’ve pretty much just recreated my own childhood right there, so yep, life is pretty sweet right now.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday!

xxx


day of week

Win a £400 Farfetch Voucher!

19 December 2015

Hi everyone, hope you’re all having a great run towards Christmas!

To celebrate the launch of the new-and-improved Farfetch Discover shopping app, I’m working with the fashionable peeps at Farfetch to offer all my readers a chance to win a £400 Gift Voucher!

Scroll below for details!

Farfetch Giveaway

What’s new with the Farfetch Discovery App

Quite simply, the app is nice and simple, clean, fast and easy to navigate.

It’s not clunky, slow, weird, buggy or annoying… (I’ve used a few shopping apps like that!).

The product photos, the ‘add to cart’ button, the wishlist, the size guide, the ‘more info’ button, the shipping details, the ‘search’ function, the ‘refine’ feature, the ‘sort’ button… ALL the typical shopping cart functions are within reach and the user interface is super intuitive.

The weekly edits are… um how can I say this, pretty freaking amazing, and yes, it helps that the shop is full of high end luxury items that are easy to look at. They have put a lot of thought into the curated selections and it really pops when you scroll through them.

My favourite part of the app is the larger hi-res images of products. You can zoom in real close to check out the finer details of the item. The photographs are crisp, clear and look stunning.

The app is currently available for free download (at the moment only available on the Apple store).

 

 

Farfetch Giveaway

Stuff I’ve Added To My Shopping Wishlist (whilst lying in bed)

Being in a very festive mood – I’ve picked out these eye-popping, adorably fun and stylish items…

3.1 PHILLIP LIM Classic Tuxedo Jacket
MARY KATRANTZOU Heidi Dress
FENDI Bag Bugs clutch
AQUAZZURA Wild Thing sandals
AURELIE BIDERMANN Asclepios snake ring
TORY BURCH Sylvan Cactus earrings

Something you might not know about Farfetch is… it is actually a collection of 300 independent boutiques from around the world, united under in one e-commerce website. So when you buy from Farfetch, you’re actually supporting an independent boutique and the product is shipped directly from that shop to your door. Very cool!

 

 

Win a £400 Farfetch Gift Voucher!
This giveaway is open for all worldwide readers.

In order to enter, you must follow the link below to the entry page and enter your details:

A Farfetch Giveaway powered by Rafflecopter

When you’re at the entry page, you’ll have to: Download the Farfetch Discovery App, then when you first load the app, take note of what type of tree is featured in the opening images. Write this answer in the entry page.

If you wish to gain more entries for the giveaway, you may follow Farfetch on Twitter, Pintrest or Facebook too.

Giveaway closes 31 December.

All the best to you and have an amazing Christmas!!

xxx


day of week

Spiced Vanilla Christmas Cookies

18 December 2015

Christmas Vanilla Spiced Biscuits

I made a huge batch of delicious Spiced Vanilla Christmas Cookies for my neighbours and friends!

I made about 80 biscuits in total, then I was sooo over it and refused to make any more. However they were SO YUMMY that my kids (and myself) ended up eating about 20 (over a week) and so we only ended up giving away 12 packets (4-5 biscuits in each) away.

Next time I think I’ll make stars, or round shapes, because my Christmas tree and Christmas men shapes were much too big and a gift bag of 4 biscuits looked really inadequate. I think 8 stars would look much nicer.

The recipe that I used is a variation on Jamie Oliver’s Ginger Bread People recipe, because I don’t really like ginger flavoured biscuits, plus I discovered that my ground ginger was out of date by 6 years haha!

The cinnamon and nutmeg add a gorgeous, subtle flavour to the sweetness of the biscuits, so it doesn’t taste like a boring butter cookie. I only used 1/4 teaspoon of the spices (instead of 1/2 teaspoons), because I don’t like super-spicy biscuits.

Christmas Vanilla Spiced Biscuits

Christmas Vanilla Spiced Biscuits

Christmas Vanilla Spiced Biscuits

Christmas Vanilla Spiced Biscuits

Spiced Vanilla Christmas Cookies
(Makes about 14-18 cookies)

125g unsalted butter
100g soft light brown sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup
300g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
2. Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small pot on low heat, until the sugar is dissolved. Stir until well combined.
3. Mix flour, bicarb, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl and stir.
4. Pour the butter and sugar mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir well until it becomes a dough.
5. Cut the dough in half. Place each dough ball onto each baking paper paper. Flatten them out to 5mm and cut out with shapes directly on the paper.
6. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Decorate with icing and store in an air tight container. Mine were still delicious and crunchy after 7 days!

Enjoy!

Christmas Vanilla Spiced Biscuits

As for the decorating… I was VERY STRICT with my icing instructions, that my kids helped me for 10 minutes then left me alone haha! I did let them make silly biscuit men! And I promised that I’ll make another batch for them to decorate how ever they want – after Christmas.


day of week

Raye Shoes: Exclusively From Revolve Clothing

17 December 2015

My new purchase from Revolve Clothing arrived the other day and I’m a bit thrilled!

Raye Sandals from Revolve Clothing

I was drooling over some of the stunning shoe styles by Raye (especially the heels!), an up-and-coming shoe brand which is sold exclusively at Revolve.

I was rather impressed with their trifecta of awesome: quality, very cool designs and price.

I’m not usually smitten by the whole collection of ONE particular brand of shoe (although lately I’ve also been loving Schutz shoes too).

 

Raye Sandals from Revolve Clothing

Anyway, I decided not to get a pair of heels, and instead I picked out a pair of Raye Sara Cow Hair Sandal (still on sale!) because…. my friend has a pair of Ancient Greek Sandal slides – which are SO soft and luxurious – that I have been itching to get a pair too.

These are not the standard slide design, as it also has a leather toe ring… which I’m aware is not everyone’s cup of tea.

It’s a bit “untraditional” and “unclassic” but I love that it’s different!

When I’m walking around in my white tee, denim shorts and looking like everyone else, I can feel happy that my feet look a bit special haha!

Raye Sandals from Revolve Clothing

I also want to note that the fast delivery was fantastic, the customer service was top notch and the free shipping was pretty damn sweet.

Revolve are still having their special Spend and Save promotion at the moment. Happy shopping if you’re heading over there!

xxx


day of week

Looking for: A Wedding Guest Dress

16 December 2015

I’m pretty excited to share that I’m off to Bali next year to attend a friend’s wedding. She’s a family friend and so I’m actually flying over with my mum! Yay I can’t wait :)

Anyway, I’m on the look out for a wedding guest dress to wear and here’s what I’m thinking…

Wedding Guest Dresses

Dresses from Nicholashere and here.

Ugh. Both so stunning. Want both.

Wedding Guest Dresses

Gorgeous lace dresses by Diana von Furstenberg.

Again ugh. Both so stunning. But both so expensive.

Here and here.

 

Wedding Guest Dresses

Totally digging this navy lace dress by Saylor.

The sparkly one looks good. But possibly too sparkly for Bali?

Here and here.

 

Wedding Guest Dresses

Bec & Bridge dresses here and here.

I just adore that navy one.

But maybe the second one is a bit too sexy and potentially poppy-outy?

Eeeep what do you think?

(Not “What do you think about popping out?”. What do you think about the dresses…?!)


day of week

Fruit and Veggie Inspo

15 December 2015

Fruit Plate Inspiration

My kids are pretty good eaters and they enjoy their cut fruits and vegetables.

I wouldn’t say they love it, but they will happily eat through a mixed plate that I put in front of them.

Part of my push to get them to eat so much fruit and vegetables, is because I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I don’t pack a super-healthy lunch box for my kids.

They just want (1) a simple sandwich, usually vegemite or honey on wholemeal bread (2) some savoury, cheese biscuits and (3) half an apple. Not exactly great brain food.

Basically, they want to QUICKLY SHOVE the food into their mouths and run off to play. They don’t want to sit still long enough to eat.

So yep, they come home and they are starving.

In fact, they will INHALE ANYTHING edible that I lay out on the table within their reach – I figured I may as well put something healthy in front of them.

Anyway, here’s a few snaps of some fruit and veggie plates that I’ve put together in the last few months!

Fruit Plate Inspirationtplate02

Fruit Plate Inspiration

Fruit Plate Inspiration

Fruit Plate Inspiration


day of week

Just The Two of Us

14 December 2015

Tasmania, Cradle Mountain SnapA few weeks ago, my husband and I went to Tasmania for 10 days.

Just us. No kids.

It was awesome! We became a couple again. Not mum and dad. Just Karen and Andrew.

And you know what? I realised that I’m a pretty fun person!

I’m adventurous! I’m relaxed! I’m easy going and nothing seemed to shit me at all!

And my husband? He’s really cool! He’s funny, engaging, super fun to talk to and so chilled, plus he’s an excellent and well-matched travel companion for me. That’s right, I actually loved hanging out 24/7 with my husband of 13 years haha!

During the trip, I had a thought: Hey we are a pretty cool couple… when we’re NOT shouting at the kids, battling fatigue, juggling schedules, barking out instructions, breaking up fights and riding the tense ups and downs of parenting. Ha!

A short break from normal life, was just what we needed for this year.

I’m so happy to be finishing this year on a high and eagerly awaiting to see in the new year!

Hope your week is filled with love and loved ones! xxx


day of week

What I Wore: Everyday Distressed Jeans

11 December 2015

What I Wore: Everyday Jeans and Top

With the crazy-festive season just around the corner… there’s no better way to celebrate your state of denial by wearing jeans and a black tee to a Christmas party!

Only joking, the event was just a casual backyard gathering, with pot luck food, kids in the pool, paper plates and a whole lot of great conversations and laughs — the best kind of gathering!

I’m wearing…

Off shoulder tee by Forecast (The best $35 I’ve spent this season!)

Distressed jeans by Frame Denim (Hands down the best jeans ever. That’s what I always say right?) from Shopbop.

Tony Bianco Heels from Styletread

Have an amazing weekend everyone!

xxx


day of week

Create Your Own K. Jacques Sandals

9 December 2015

A few weeks ago, I mentioned I’ve been on the look out for some luxurious sandals.

I had my heart set on some handcrafted, genuine leather sandals – I’ve never had a pair like that before.

I was tossing between a few brands, with K. Jacques definitely being high up on the list because of their long standing reputation of high quality sandals and large range of styles. I was kind of happy to pay a maximum of $200-$250 for which ever brand I chose. In the end, I received a very well timed (more like, crazy-coincidental!) email from the team at K. Jacques.

Create Your Own K. Jacques Sandals
(Photo courtesy of K. Jacques)

K. Jacques was created in 1933 by Mr. and Mrs. Keklikian Jacques in St. Tropez, and still remains as a family business today.

They have boutiques in St. Tropez and Paris, but you can find their shoes in most online luxury boutiques, including Shopbop, Matches Fashion, Net-a-Porter, or if you want to nab a cheeky sale then try The Outnet.

I had the pleasure of trying out the “Customization” feature on the K. Jacques website.

You basically, choose the style of sandal that you like, choose the kind of colours, leathers and sole and mix and match until you come up with a style you love. It’s pretty simple and self-explanatory.

Create Your Own K. Jacques Sandal

There are 32 sandal styles to chose from.

These are just a sample. They all looked beautiful!

Create Your Own K. Jacques Sandals

I had a few ideas and created these three sandals.

I loved the idea of light peach mixed with silver. Then I also wanted strappy sandals in a metallic champagne leather.

Then I realised that I already have a few tan sandals, and I probably should get myself a good quality black pair, maybe with a bit of black and white leopard print?

I spent some time playing with the online app. And I also googled the entire internet for real life photos of real people wearing different designs.

Create Your Own K. Jacques Sandals

I spent aaaages trying to decide!

In the end, I settled on the classic Epicure design in Black leather!

Yes…. I customised a pair of sandals to look like one already made by the K. Jacques shoe designers – hehe oops! I figured that at the end of the day, I want my sandals to last me YEARS and therefore it has to match with LOTS of outfits. So classic is best for me this time around!

I was a bit nervous that they wouldn’t fit, or the leather might be too stiff and they would cut into my feet, the sole looked really rigid – what would I do? I guess I would just return them?

Thankfully, they arrived at my doorstep and I was totally in love.

They were gorgeous, so so so comfortable and they fit me perfectly (Size 36)!!

Create Your Own K. Jacques Sandals

I absolutely love wearing them and… hehe I’m really careful about where I walk with them.

I want them to last a long time :)

Create Your Own K. Jacques Sandals

I would be completely happy to save up for a dark brown leather pair or a light tan pair now.

Do pop over to have a peek at the K. Jacques St Tropez online store.

Happy shopping!


day of week

Raw Chocolate Cheesecakes (Dairy Free)

8 December 2015

Raw Chocolate Cheesecakes

Again, before you judge me as being a crazy health freak, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it :)

Having a container of these in my freezer, has SIGNIFICANTLY reduced the amount of regular chocolate and ice cream I eat each week!

Raw Chocolate Cheesecakes

I prefer to make mini cheesecakes, instead of one large one.

This is because the cakes have to be frozen and when you want to eat them, you have to take them out and defrost them for 30 minutes. Much easier to defrost a couple of small cakes, than 1 large cake.

Plus they look hella cute.

Raw Chocolate Cheesecakes

This recipe is based on my Raw Coconut and Lime Cheesecake, but I dump the lime and add chocolate and more dates.

Raw Chocolate Cheesecakes

(Makes about 18)

Filling
1 cup raw cashews soaked overnight (or at least 4 hours!)
1 cup of pitted dates, chopped
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
½ cup coconut cream
2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons of cacao powder
½ teaspoon vanilla essence

Base
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup of dates, softened in water, drained and chopped (pitted dates are fine)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoon of cacao powder
pinch of salt

Decoration
½ cup of shredded coconut
½ cup of raspberries

1. Line a loaf tin (or a spring cake tin) with grease proof paper, or grease with coconut oil.

2. Base: Using a food processor, blend the almonds, dates, coconut, coconut oil, cacao powder and salt until it turns into an even grain.

3. Evenly spread and firmly press the mixture into the base of the tin. Pop into the freezer. You can do this the day before. I would cover the cake tin with cling wrap first.

4. Filling: You can either rinse out the food processor, or use a high-powered blender for this. Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. You might want to adjust the taste by adding more lime juice or maple syrup. It’s supposed to have a limey punch!

5. Pour the filling over the base, smooth the top and pop into the freezer for at least 4 hours. I like to cover the tin with cling wrap to prevent it from drying out or absorbing any smells from my freezer.

6. Take out the cake to defrost for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Decorate with sliced limes, crushed nuts and shredded coconut.

Enjoy!

xxx


day of week

Girls Trip to Singapore 2015 – Day 2

7 December 2015

A few weeks ago, I headed over to Singapore with some girlfriends for a Girls Only trip (no kids, no husbands!), where we hung out in cafes, boutiques, and just chilled out.

Here’s a run down of what happened on Day 2!

(Read day 1 here)

Singapore Girl's Trip - Day 2

We woke up bright and early and on my friend’s recommendation, we headed over to Tiong Bahru.

It was love at first sight for me. I loved the 1930s streamlined architecture, the textures, the plants, the whitewashed walls, the way that the whole area had been cleaned up and revitalised, mixing old and new.

Only later, I looked up its history and discovered it was one of Singapore’s oldest residential estates, featuring 30 or so pre-war apartment blocks for the upper class — and now the area was one of Singapore’s “hippest and trendiest” cafe and shopping areas.

Singapore Girl's Trip - Day 2

There were so many quirky, hipster cafes and eating places. We settled for fresh pastries and coffee at the Tiong Bahru Bakery.

We bought an apple crumble something, a matcha croissant, and a curry sausage pastry thing.

As you can see, we split our goodies three ways.

Singapore Girl's Trip - Day 2

Most of the cute and quirky boutiques at Tiong Bahru opened at 12pm, so we popped over to check out the Tiong Bahru Markets instead.

It’s been more than 10 years since I’ve been to a wet market in Asia.

I loved the visual chaos, I loved how it was so unpretentious and raw.

I loved that all the Asian uncles and aunties didn’t care how their wares were presented, how they scribbled their prices on little bits of cardboard, how stunning strands of orchids were sitting in dirty plastic buckets!

I was so so so inspired by all that rough, raw, dirty loveliness… but I had no idea what to do with that inspiration, so I just soaked it all up and enjoyed it. And I took a few snaps.

Singapore Girl's Trip - Day 2

Gorgeous bursts of colour.

They almost look fake!

Singapore Girl's Trip - Day 2

Loved the clean, fresh smell of raw seafood.

I wanted to stroke the fish (to feel the freshness), but I don’t think the uncle would’ve liked a random woman touching his fish ha.

Singapore Girl's Trip - Day 2

Chaos! Hundreds of packets of random dried stuff!

 

Singapore Girl's Trip - Day 2

Next we walked over to Books Actually (9 Yong Siak St), a beautiful, artful, independent bookstore with a surprising selection of works.

There were lots of classics, popular modern titles, but I was mostly impressed by the amount of Singaporean authors and emerging writers (stacks of titles!) and the fact that they have their own publishing arm and supported local writers.

Singapore Girl's Trip - Day 2
I found a book that was on my “Classic Stories I Must Read Before I Die” List and promptly bought it, even though it was a little more expensive than if I had bought it online. Happy to support brick and mortar bookstores!

Ok after that, we headed home – mainly because nothing else was open, and we had to get changed for our next engagement.

Singapore Girl's Trip - Day 2

We jumped into a cab and went to the Boutiques Fair at The Pit Building for 12pm.

It’s a huge fair that hosts over 120 designers and independent sellers, all within one air-conditioned space. It features independent fashion labels for women, children, men, homewares, jewellery, bags, toys, art, trinkets and more. The brands and designers are from all over the world, and it’s all very girly.

There was so much good stuff to look at, but I didn’t buy anything.

Why? I don’t buy cutesy/designer/adorable things for my kids; I couldn’t afford $350 French designed earrings; I couldn’t fit bronze-painted concrete pots in my luggage; and I have already have zillions of screen printed t-shirts.

Singapore Catch Silk Shirts

The only thing I wanted to buy was a 100% silk blouse from Catch.Com.sg.

Their silk shirts were freaking AMAZING for the price. I have an Equipment silk shirt and an Isabel Marant silk shirt, which are both eye-waveringly expensive (I bought them on sale though). The Equipment silk is strong and smooth (but not the exquisitely soft type); The Isabel silk is soft and delicate (but possibly too fragile). I think that the quality of the Catch Silk Shirts sit somewhere in between the two. It’s really good.

The shirts are also designed for smaller framed women, so there are lots of XS and XXS sizes.

Unfortunately I didn’t end up buying one, because er, I wanted to buy FIVE blouses – I wanted the navy long sleeve, white short sleeve, black short sleeve, black shirt sleeve with neck tie and navy short sleeve) – and I couldn’t decide which one to get and I didn’t want to make a rushed decision. Plus they sell their shirts online, so I was going to mull over it for a few weeks.

By 3pm my girlfriends had shopped up a storm, but we were keen to move on.

Singapore Girl's Trip - Day 2

We made our way over to The Rose Veranda for high tea buffet at the Shangri-La Hotel.

I’ve never had a high tea buffet before. It was very posh, relaxing and the food was absolutely lovely.

It wasn’t the typical English high tea that I was used to. It was very different, but still yummy! I ate so much salmon sashimi. There was laksa too haha.

It was soooooo nice to sit around on beautiful chairs, nibble on small portions of food, drink amazing teas, talk to my girlfriends… for 3 leisurely hours.

Plus there was no rush to go home to cook dinner, feed and bath kids. Bliss!

Singapore Girl's Trip - Day 2

THEN. After all that sitting and eating, we decided we needed a WALK.

We drove over to Orchard Road and had a looooong, meandering shopping session.

We bought tonnes of presents. It was a successful shopping trip.

The weather was unusually lovely, so we were happy to walk around outside and enjoy the Christmas lights too.

The photo above was taken in Robinsons, my feet were hurting and I needed to sit down again. My girlfriends were troopers though, they blitzed through that department store!

Singapore Girl's Trip - Day 2

As all the shops began to close, we ended up at a food court, craving for something refreshing and sweet.

This ice kachang and chendol were not the best we’ve had, but it hit the spot.

Looking back on our day, it all seemed so indulgent, frivolous and girly… but hey, it doesn’t happen often! This is what we came here to do!

The following day? It was just as full of activity, shopping and eating! It’s kind of amazing what you can fit into a day when you break it up into 3 hour blocks :)


day of week

Classic Pendants and How to Win a Trip to London!

4 December 2015

Bling bling! I’m working with Zamels Jewellery to show off their latest London Collection currently in store.

The collection consists of 14 pieces, each set with a created ruby and sapphire to signify the British flag.

It’s a lovely idea, but significantly, I think the actual jewellery pieces themselves create quite a standout collection.

Meaning, I really like, um, all of them?

Zamels London Collection

In the past, Zamels have released a New York Collection and a Paris Collection. The New York style featured a lot of angles and squares, taking a nod to 1930s art deco architecture, and the Paris one featured lots of delicate, feminine styles… so I must say that the London Collection suits me more than the others.

It’s not too chunky, angular or ornate.

It’s classic, simple and a bit understated.

I’m totally in love with it :)

Zamels London Collection

Win a Trip To London

Here is the fun bit! You can win a trip for TWO to London, including airfares, hotel transfers, 4 nights twin accommodation, included breakfast and $1000 spending money.

To enter, you have to buy a piece from the London collection, enter in store by filling out the form and answering in 25 words or less “What are the three essentials you would take to London and why?”

I wish I could enter! Good luck!

Head over to see the rest of the Zamels London Collection.

 

Brought to you by Zamels




Shopbop Online