Archive for January 2016

 

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Perth City Bridges Run: Thunderstorm

30 January 2016

Perth City Bridges Run Jan 2016

This weekend, I scheduled a run on a day the forecast was: 100% chance of rain and thunderstorms.

I guess I was hoping that the weathermen got it wrong!

I woke up bright and early at 5:30am, met up with my brother-in-law at 7am and we ran/walked a distance of 15km around the river, bridges and city.

I probably ran about 12km and walked 3km. My pace averaged around 6:30min/km.

I felt great after! I wasn’t drained or exhausted or suffering any pains.

I think I’ll work on some interval running to increase my speed and strength.

But overall I’m happy with doing regular 12km distances and I’ll stick with that for a bit. I might even be able to hit the 21km half marathon mark earlier than I thought!

Anyway, turns out that we started so early that we missed all the rain and thundery action. We didn’t get wet at all.

We even managed to squeeze in a coffee and chat later. Brilliant start to the weekend!

 


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Juicy Awesomeness from Pure Glow Cleanse

29 January 2016

Let me say one thing: I’m not a big fan of juice cleanses!

Personally, I don’t like the idea of drinking only juice for 3 or 5 days.

BUT…

I love drinking juices and smoothies as part of a healthy daily diet and lifestyle.

For me, I make myself a juice or smoothie every one/two/three days.

And when I DO drink one, it replaces a meal – usually lunch.

I have a big breakfast in the morning, a juice/smoothie in the afternoon, I eat healthy snacks, then my dinner is usually at 6pm.

My thinking: If I drink a big cup of yummy, low-sugar, green juice and feel full… I probably won’t be tempted to reach for a quick muffin / pie / ham and cheese croissant when I walk past some at the shops haha!

Pure Glow Cleanse

So, the lovely team at Pure Glow Cleanse sent me a 6 pack of their juices to try out.

I’ve known of Annette, one of the founders, for a number of years, when she used to write as a health and wellness writer. She had a very down-to-earth, not-hardcore, real-life kind of voice in her writings and I enjoyed reading her stuff. So when she launched Pure Glow Cleanse, I took notice of it and I liked that her juices contained no added sugars, no weird herbs, no laxatives, no vitamin extracts, and no protein powders.

How it works: You can select a 1 day, 3 day or 5 day cleanse and choose a pre-set selection of juices to be delivered to your door.

Or you can create your own 6 pack from a menu of their juices, which is what I did.

They were SO YUMMY!!

I have to tell the truth, I felt a bit irritated, because I thought I was quite good at making smoothies and juices… and tasting these juices made me sigh, because they were just amazing… and now I feel that mine are quite ordinary and mediocre in comparison.

Sooo… I take my hat off to the team! These juices are absolutely superior in quality and taste.

They tasted so clean, fresh, rich and smooth. No grittiness. No chunks. Well mixed. Lovely combinations.

Pure Glow Cleanse

Yes they are super expensive though!

They work out to be something like $10 a bottle. Which yep, makes me wince and raise my eyebrows. One of the juices was simply watermelon, cucumber and lime! Ok it was absolutely delicious, but $10?

However, on the other hand, if you wanted to create 18 juices (for 3 days), you’d have to buy heaps of ingredients (cos lettuce, kale, avocado, apples, pears, lemons, limes, watermelon, beetroot, carrots, ginger, dates, almonds, etc etc etc) wash them, store them, make the juices…. then have heaps of leftover vegetables that would probably go off?

And if you want to have less wastage, you’d have to buy less ingredients, which means you’ll just have a smaller variety of juices, so you’d probably get bored of them? And then be less inclined to make them?

So there definitely is a market for time-poor people, who don’t want the hassles of making their own juices!

As for my favourite juices :

The Matcha Milk was simply amazing. Made from matcha (green tea), spirulina (seaweed), almonds, cashews, basil nuts, dates and vanilla… omg its taste made my toes curl from sheer pleasure!

The Cafe Au Late was a close second, it was soooo delicious! It had cold drip coffee, almond, cashews, brazil nuts, dates and vanilla.

Good Karma (the Orange one) was made from carrots, grapefruit, green apple, ginger, turmeric and lemon.

Green Guru (green juice) had kale, cos, cucumber, celery, been apple, mint and lemon.

Anyway, if you are looking for some high quality juices to try, or try a juice cleanse, do check these guys out!

Have an amazing weekend!

xxx


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My Running Watch: Garmin Forerunner 15

28 January 2016

Garmin Forerunner 15 Watch

I picked up a new toy for my run this weekend – a running watch!

It’s a Garmin Forerunner 15 (AUD$249) which I bought off eBay at an absolute BARGAIN price – hardly used and in perfect condition.

It’s a slightly older model and apparently a good entry level running watch. The top level Forerunner is something like AUD$699. Ouch! I bought the small sized watch and they only came in three “sporty” colour choices – bleh.

I resisted buying a running watch for years, because I didn’t want my runs to focus so much on gear and gadgets.

I had an overkill of gear and gadgets from my cycling days…. and what I love about running is the fact that I can do it while being so light and free.

Anyway, in the past, when I first started to run, I opted to just run with my smart phone to track my distance and speed.

However, I found that my sweat/body heat fogged up the camera lens and all my photos turned out weird. So I stopped using my phone and started using a Jawbone UP24, which was a gift. But that’s just a simple pedometer which tracks steps and sleep. The distance and times were not very accurate.

So! I’ve finally made the switch to a running watch to keep track of my times and distances.

It came with a heart rate tracker, which I’ve been told by my hardcore running friends, is very useful and steps up my running to a whole new level… but eeep, I don’t think I’ll go there yet!

I want to keep my runs sweet and simple!

Looking forward to another long run this weekend. Hope you all manage to get out and about too!

xxx


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Underwater

25 January 2016

Underwater Camera at Mandurah

It is often quite mesmerising to see the results of a kid with a camera.

Perhaps even more so when they are playing underwater.

Underwater Camera at Mandurah

These little people you created. You get to see how they see the world.

Full of weird and wonderful things.

Underwater Camera at Mandurah

To them, it’s just a moment. A snap. It just looks kind of cool.

But to me, it’s magical.

Underwater Camera at Mandurah

They mess around and experiment. They try to copy images they’ve seen on TV.

They have crazy ideas – big ideas – uninhibited by rules.

Underwater Camera at Mandurah

We were in the holiday resort pool for hours. Day after day.

We took hundreds of photos. Silly photos. Happy photos. Hilarious experimental photos.

We took photos of bubbles, tiles, feet, hands, bums, smiles, eyes, mouths and each other.

It was such a great way to record our summer holiday!

(Photos taken with a Nikon Coolpix AW100)


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Laid-Back Summer Styling

23 January 2016

I totally love summer in Australia! Month after month of warm sunshine, blue skies, beaches, picnics and endless casual outdoor activities… it’s definitely a kind of paradise for those who love the laid-back lifestyle.

But for me, there usually comes a point where after WEEKS of being laid-back in the stinking hot weather, I look down at what I’m wearing and think – I’m leaving the house dressed like this??

Two words: Summer Slob.

So in collaboration with Shopbop this month, I’ve picked out my laid-back summer favourites to combat my inner summer slob!

Shopbop Joie Dresses

I just loooove the relaxed (but still polished) styles from Joie.

I have tried on a few dresses and tops before, and they are just super-soft and delicious to wear.

I can’t decide on a flowy silk dress or a 100% cotton top though.

Shopbop Soludos Shoes

These artist collaboration Jason Polan x Soludos shoes are soooo cute and affordable.

I like the winking eye ones, but I feel that the donus will be more fun to wear :)

Shopbop Borwn Leather Totes

I’m tempted to buy a brown leather tote, mainly so I have a bag big enough to cart my laptop around.

Oh and you know, so I can buy flowers wrapped in brown paper, a baguette and other trendy items haha. I jest.

The one of the left is by Baggu and the other is by Madewell. Both around the US$160 mark.

The question is, should I go for the soft, supple, slouchy leather… or one with a bit more structure and stiffness to it?

Shopbop Miguel

Best way to take me from slob to suburban superstar is a pair of handmade luxe earrings.

These stunning danglers from Spanish designer Miguel Ases are a bit expensive yes, but they’d completely transform my white t-shirts and denim shorts!

Shopbop Phone Cases

And lastly, nothing says “Let’s not take life so seriously” like a silly smart phone case!

The Sharky and Lips are by Stella McCartney Phone Cases and the Glitter Wink one is by Chiara Ferragni.

Here’s to three more months of warm weather down under – whoop!

xxx


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Hello Parry Off Shoulder Top

21 January 2016

I have fallen considerably in love with the off-shoulder look this season!

So much so, I want to show off my Danika Blue Top from Hello Parry and 3 of my favourite everyday looks.

Hello Parry Off Shoulder Top

Lunching with girlfriends in the city: Hello Parry Top, Cotton On Skirt, Schutz Heels.

I just adore the light blue colour of the top. It looks like denim/chambray, but the material is not as heavy, so the top is light and flows nicely.

The material is a poly-blend, which has a silky/satiny feel… and it doesn’t CREASE in my wardrobe, so I don’t have to iron it before I wear it – it’s perfect haha!

Hello Parry Off Shoulder Top

Going out for dinner: Hello Parry Top, In Good Company Pants, Senso heels.

The fabric is also soft enough to tuck into my bottoms. I paired it with some soft pants to keep my look casual, but it’s still polished enough for an evening look.

I much prefer the design of this top than the longer hem version. I feel that the shorter hem fits my short and petite frame. I’m wearing the Size S, which fits size 6 or a small 8.

 

Hello Parry Off Shoulder Top

Picnic in the park: Hello Parry Top, Nobody Shorts, Raye sandals, Sportsgirl hat.

I love that it’s great for casual looks and for when you want to dress up a bit. I want to wear it everywhere… or else, just have lots of colours of the same top!

Anyway, considering that the popular Tibi Off Shoulder Tunic version costs about US$300, this one is pretty well priced.

I believe this off-shoulder look will be sticking around for a few more seasons, but I have a feeling that I’ll be pulling my tops out every summer for a long time :)

Have a great weekend everyone!


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Kickstarting My Fitness

20 January 2016

Road Running

Ha this photo made me crack up! I’m matchy matchy with the road! But I don’t know if it’s funny, lame… or possibly dangerous?

Whatever the case, I don’t actually run on the road, as I get super paranoid about being hit by a car.

A Fitness Update :

1) I’ve been running once a week, doing 3 – 4kms. Now I’ve increased it to twice a week, doing 5 – 6km distances.

I’m hoping to do longer distances (12 – 14kms) on the weekends.

2) I’ve also been going hard at my fitness workout program (just a series of exercises I made up for myself), twice a week.

3) Healthy eating has resumed. I’m slowly getting my portion sizes under control too.

4) I’ve started to do a bit more exercise with my boys too. They have expressed a desire to get fit before school starts, so I’m leading them through a few training exercises.

I really enjoy teasing them and the sarcastic banter between us, because at the moment I’m fitter than they are, and I have more stamina. But I’m sure they’ll overtake me really soon then I’ll be left far behind!

I’m feeling so much better these days.

All the endorphins, the dull ache of my muscles, the feeling of building strength in my body and the good sleep that comes after… all makes me feel very happy and satisfied. It’s so good for my mental state!


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Luxe Business Cards by Moo

18 January 2016

Brought to you by Moo

I have been meaning to make myself some simple business cards for… um… 5, 6 YEARS??

Haha and being a graphic designer by trade didn’t help me either. I couldn’t just make any old card – I HAD to make them properly. And PROPER cards took time. So in the end, they didn’t get done.

Anyway, recently, by some glorious timing of the universe, the kind folk at Moo.com hit me up to test out their new luxe business cards.

This is what I came up with!

Moo Cards by Karen Cheng

I made some simple luxe business cards with my contact details and a photo on the back.

Even though there were lots of gorgeous templates on the site, I chose to “Design my card from scratch”.

I chose 30 photos – colourful, vibrant, striking photos, all taken by me, that reflected the vibe of my blog. I simply uploaded them onto the Moo site and fiddled around with the landscape and portrait settings.

Most of the photos were taken with my DSLR Nikon D90 (old model), point and shoot Nikon P300 (old model), my new iPhone 6plus and even my old iPhone 4s (YES the images still looked great!).

Most of them were hi resolution photos, but again, a few were snapped on my 4 year old smart phone. I did enhance the colour saturation and brightness a little on all the photos in Photoshop too.

I wanted a very simple front for my card.

I simply typed in my name and details into a MOO text template, chose Garamond font and chose a dark grey colour.

(Btw, yes I erased my phone number in this photo!)

Moo Cards by Karen Cheng

The Luxe by Moo collection uses a gorgeous, premium quality card stock, with a coloured seam (you can choose from 8 colours), has a weight of 600gsm, and I went with the matte finish.

Prices start from AU$39.95 for 50 cards.

You can even make luxe mini cards, luxe square cards, postcards and notecards, which is kind of cool.

I ordered 100 cards for AU$79.90, and because I only had 30 photos, some were repeated 3 or 4 times, which was fine with me.

I placed my order, I paid a bit extra for express printing and delivery and they arrived at my doorstep 6 days later!!

When I opened the box, I was shocked and deilghted. They looked amazing. I could hardly believe it. I was mostly surprised by how great all my photos looked, as I had expected them to look a bit pixelated and digital (like when I get my digital photos printed out).

I am SO impressed with the quality, the ease with which I made them, the online interface and the price. I totally recommend them!

Cheers to Moo for this opportunity!


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Loeffler Randall Medium Rider Bag

17 January 2016

Loeffler Randall Rider Bag

Hey hey everyone!

With all the sales and shopping events happening over the new year break, did you manage to get anything? Discounted designer shoes? Fancy bedsheets? A new fridge perhaps???

I didn’t go crazy, nor did I buy a fridge, but I managed to pick up this bag from the Shopbop Sales.

Loeffler Randall Rider Bag

I have been drooling (and saving up) for a Loeffler Randall Handbag (pronounced Leff-ler) for the longest time.

I just LOVE their Rider Bags, which are so understated, effortless and elegant. (Ok maybe the leopard print bags are not so understated.)

I like that the bag doesn’t have any branding on it. It’s a bit mysterious and low key. It is sleek, simple, minimal, a bit structured, but not too angular. The leather is absolutely gorgeous, the black hardware is sexy, the lining is pretty, there are 3 compartments and a top handle that pops down and sits flat.

There’s something deliciously symmetrical and pleasing-to-the-eye about it… and the designer in me just swoons with delight every time I see it.

Feeling that way, makes me smile, satisfied to know that I’ve bought the right bag for me, instead of buying because it’s the latest it-bag, or because I saw someone else carrying it.

Loeffler Randall Rider Bag

This is the Medium Rider (21cm x 25cm x 7cm) and it is a fantastic size as an everyday bag.

There’s enough room inside to comfortably fit my wallet, phone, makeup bag, camera, keys and even a small book ha!

I like to use it as a day-to-night bag, as I find anything smaller won’t be able to fit all my stuff.

I’m so so pleased with it!

Also wearing in my outfit – ASOS Hat, CottonOn Top, Alice & Olivia Shorts, K. Jacques Epicure Sandals.


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Jetties and Boys

15 January 2016

Mandurah Little Jetty

Jetties make me nervous. Big ones, little ones; it’s the whole idea of leaning over the edge, tipping your weight just a little too far, too late to go back and falling that gets me.

Being a mother of pushy-shovey-jumpy boys for the last 12 years, you’d think that I’d be somewhat more relaxed about being on a jetty with them? Nope!

We were in Mandurah recently, taking a walk along the Mandjar Bay Foreshore and Dolphin Quay, when we came across a little jetty. It was tiny. But it was a still about 2m above the water.

Mandurah Little Jetty

My boys couldn’t contain themselves. Walked right up to the edge. Hooked their elbows on a post and leaned out as far as possible.

Found another post and spun themselves until they were dizzy and walked funny.

Lay flat as a pancake and dangled their heads over the edge.

Found a ladder and took turns to climb down. Of course! That’s what ladders are for!

Mandurah Little Jetty

If you ever see me out with all of my kids, you’ll notice that I have a constant pained expression on my face – as if something bad could happen at any time.

My loving expression only happens when I tuck them into bed each night and plant a kiss on their forehead. My job for the day is done.


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My Summer Poolside Sandals

14 January 2016

Holster Sandals

I’ve been a huge fan of Holster Sandals for years and I have a few pairs that come out every summer.

Because they are “jelly style” sandals, I love wearing them to the beach or pool… instead of my nice leather sandals.

They have a nice sole padding too, so they are more comfortable (and stylish) than than my beach-bum, rubber flip-flops haha!

Holster Sandals

The team at Holster sent over a pair of Flat Sandals (Heaven T-bar) from their latest Summer Collection and I road tested them while I was away on holiday at a beach resort.

They got buried at the beach, accidentally left in the sun, splashed with chlorine pool water, wrapped up in a towel, left in a beach bag overnight, splashed with lemonade (so I washed them with soap and towel dried them), then I also walked in them for a few hours too. Typical wear and tear for a beach/pool holiday right?!

I probably didn’t treat them very well, but they served me so well.

There are heaps of bright, rainbow coloured sandals with pretty acrylic jewels, but I’m more of a black sandal kind of girl. And I also like this Pandora in Champagne colour one too. What about you?


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James Parker Sushi and Sake Bar, Northbridge

13 January 2016

After weeks of drooling over other people’s Instragram photos, I went out with a bunch of girlfriends for dinner at James Parker Sushi and Sake Bar in Northbridge.

In fact, I like it so much that I went a second time, with a different group of girlfriends.

James Parker Sushi, Northbridge

I really liked the spacey woodwork entrance of the restaurant. It felt a bit 2001: Space Odyssey.

The service was fantastic. The wait person helped us with ordering, making sure we didn’t order too much, and she was very patient with our indecision.

James Parker Sushi, Northbridge

My absolute favourite dish was the Fresh Tuna Aburi ($21).

It was served on a bed of spinach, and topped with other condiments and a lovely ponzu sauce. The tuna was deep pink, wonderfully fresh, and the sear was done perfectly.

The flavours, the textures, the freshness… it was orgasmic!

James Parker Sushi, Northbridge

I also enjoyed the Wagyu Beef Tataki with ponzu sauce jelly ($20).

The beef slices were delicious. However I felt that there was a bit too much ponzu jelly with each slice, which overpowered each mouthful with an intense sourness that I didn’t like. I had to scrape off some of the jelly to enjoy it.

James Parker Sushi, Northbridge

Next up, we had the Assorted Sashimi of JP ($52).

I winced at the price of this dish. But I guess with sashimi, you usually get what you pay for.

This assorted plate was lovely, fresh and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t mind-blowing, but I felt it was good value.

We also had a few sushi rolls, not pictured (Eel Dragon Roll $20, Soft Shell Crab Spider Roll $20, and our favourite, the Aburi Wagu Roll $20) and they were very delicious too.

James Parker Sushi, Northbridge

The let down for me was the Soft Shell Crab ($18) as it was a bit soggy and too salty. I think I should have chosen the Chicken Karaage instead.

Would I go again? I think yes.

I like that it offers a simple, easy, fresh sushi menu, in a cosy, yet modern setting.

The location is central, with lots of late night cafes and bars to move on to after dinner. The service is great and lots of parking options available nearby.

James Parker Sushi and Sake Bar
182 James St, Northbridge
(Corner of James and Parker Street in Northbridge)
www.james-parker.com.au

James Parker Sushi X Sake Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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Silver Sands Beach, Mandurah

12 January 2016

Mandurah Beach

My boys will be turning ages 13, 11 and 7 this year!

At this age, I LOVE that I can take them to a place – any place – and they will make their own fun.

While I didn’t strip off my clothes and jump into the water too, I was SO entertainined by their spontaneity and my heart grew SO big from watching them play in the waves.

*Love*


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Truth: I run, so I can eat fried chicken

2 January 2016

Run 2016

Haha isn’t this so clichéd?

It’s 2 days after the new year and I’ve decided to start to run more regularly!

Actually what really happened… was that I went shopping with my 12 year old son to buy school supplies and we were both craving KFC chicken spicy wings.

So we bought, we ate (omg it was soooo good!) and we totally regretted it after.

I felt really gross after that, so I had to go for a run late in the evening.

I smashed out 5km and I was pretty happy with that.

But maybe next time I can just go without the fried chicken? Ha not likely!

(Adidas Originals ZX Flux – approximately US$70)




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