Archive for August 2016

 

day of week

What I Didn’t Wear: Forever New Rust Dress

31 August 2016

Last week, I was having SUCH a bad day with my kids (just one kid)… that I stormed out the door the moment my husband returned from work.

I headed to the local shops, to pick up my dry cleaning, buy some makeup remover, buy some baking paper… then I went into a Forever New and spotted this dress!

Forever New Rust Dress

I tried it on, I thought it looked great, and with not much consideration, I bought it – YES IMPULSE SHOPPING!

It stayed in the bag for a few days, then when I was preparing to go out to dinner with some girlfriends, I tried it on and took these photos.

I realised that — I DIDN’T LOVE IT.

It was really low cut and cleavagey – I don’t mind showing a bit a cleavage now and then, but this looked a bit.. um, trashy?

I felt that the skirt shape made my hips and thighs look HUGE! And the shape of the top made my arms look really chunky.

And the material was staticky too. As I walked around those few minutes, the skirt lining stuck to my legs and rode up my thighs in an unpleasant way and I kept having to reach in between my legs to unstick them. Very unclassy, haha!

Forever New Rust Dress

I must admit that these photos do make the dress look quite flattering.

But in the end, it’s not really about how I look in the dress, it’s how I feel in the dress. It completely changed my posture and the way I moved.

I didn’t love it, I didn’t love how it made me feel… so I returned it.

(And while I was back in the shop, I swapped it for another – cheaper – dress! Will share pics of it soon!)


day of week

Ready for Spring: Lovers + Friends Romper

29 August 2016

Revolve - Lovers + Friends Romper

Ok I think it’s official… Revolve Clothing have *the cutest* range of casual + fun + summery rompers ever.

I was browsing through their Rompers Page and I added… um… about 7 to my shopping cart!

These were my favourites:
relaxed drape romper (grey blue),
slightly dressy romper (navy),
day-to-night romper (vivid red),
minimal floral romper (pastel),
poolside romper (navy + white stripe),
smart tailored romper (blush),
soft floral romper (perfect wedding guest outfit!)

…. buuuut after a long deliberation, I decided to choose this one:

Lovers + Friends Bello Romper

Looking through the Revolve Instagram page, you’d think that every blogger in the Mediterranean had chosen this particular romper haha!

Ah, but that wasn’t enough to turn me away. I LOVED the chambray colour, the cute sweetheart neckline, the tie-front detail, the white embroidery, the thin straps and the mini length shorts.

It fit me perfectly in length and makes my legs looks super long!

Revolve - Lovers + Friends Romper

I must admit, the weather is a little too cold in Perth to wear it at the moment.

But I’m sure in a few weeks, I’ll be rocking this all over the place!

Have a fantastic week!

xxx


day of week

Grana Silk Camisole Tops – My Review

25 August 2016

Grana Testing

Hi everyone, just letting you know that I’m not being paid to write this… I wish!

I’ve recently become very interested in investing in a range of silk camisole tops for my wardrobe.

I have 3-4 silk shirts from Equipment (two I bought off eBay!), 2 silk tops from Tibi, 1 silk shirt from Isabel Marant, 1 silk dress from Zimmermann, 2 silk tops from Country Road (very old, with ruffles!), 1 silk top from Forever New (very old with a digital print), a few silk dresses from Sass and Bide and Aurelio Costarella. I think that’s about it.

So far, the silk I like from most to least is: Equipment, Isabel Marant, Tibi, Zimmerman, then lastly Country Road and Forever New (their silk feels more like a kind of stiff polyester silk).

(I didn’t rank the designer dresses, because I only wear them occasionally).

Now that I think about it, this scale possibly reflects the price of each garment too. I guess it rings true… you get what you pay for.

Anyway, I was keen to buy a silk racerback top from Grana, for AU$65.

I’ve heard nice things about their silk, plus their silk items are SO AFFORDABLE!!

When I was in Singapore, I was in a cafe, I saw this tall, gorgeous, young Asian woman, wearing a bright orange silk racer-back camisole and it looked AMAZING on her. I knew it was Grana, because her tag was sticking out! I wanted to let her know about the tag, and ask her if I could FEEL the silk of her top, but um, that would have been waaay too creepy!

SO what is the quality of Grana Silk like?? Where does it sit on the scale of all my silk items?

I bought these two tops above and here are my thoughts.

Grana Silk Tops Review

The Grana Silk V-Neck Camisole in Marzipan for AU$71.00 in XS.

The website describes the top as a “structured V-neck with the beautiful relaxed drape of Georgette Satin”.

For me, I didn’t like this Georgette Satin. Even though it was 100% silk, it felt more like a slightly stiff/slippery satin than silk. And it had a satin shine to it, which I didn’t like.

This “satin-look, slip top” may be on-trend at the moment (worn over a white t-shirt), but I felt that the material made the top look a bit cheap.

Having said that, it looks and feels like a high-quality polyester top from Witchery, which would probably cost you around $70-$80 anyway.

I liked the “structured” shape and soft drape of the top, but the XS was slightly too big for me (I’m usually a standard Size AUS/UK 6). It flared out slightly at my arm pits and it didn’t sit nicely on my chest.

I chose the size based on my equivalent AU sizing, but I should have chosen based on the measurements supplied on the site, which indicated that I should have bought a XXS.

I loved the colour though! It was a muted ivory and would work really well with the rest of my wardrobe.

I also loved that it was lined (double layered).

Unfortunately I decided to return this top.

I had to pay $10 for return shipping. I might buy some black shorts instead.

Grana Silk Tops Review

The Grana Silk Racerback Camisole in Rust, for AU$65.00 in XS.

The website describes the silk as “100% silk Crepe de Chine”.

I LOVE the silk for this price. It feels softer and more “buttery” than my Tibi top. It is DEFINITELY a winner, I’m very happy with it and I think it is super-duper good value for a silk top.

However, the silk does feel a little… delicate. It feels so soft, like it might tear or snag it on something sharp, where as my Tibi top feels a little more stronger and robust.

Basically I feel like I have to BE CAREFUL with the Grana top, where I simply don’t even think/notice that I’m wearing my Tibi silk top.

The Size XS fits me perfectly.

The top is lined (double layered).

The colour is OK. I was hoping for it to be a little darker (as shown in my shadowy photo above), but in fact it is more like on the photo on the website: a bright burnt orange.

I decided to keep this top, instead of swapping it for another colour, like navy, because I think I’ll get a lot more use from this colour than the other colours offered on the site (plus I already have a black, white and grey top in a similar style).

I’m trying to wear a bit more colour!

Take home message:

Read the fabric description carefully.

Buy the 100% Silk Crepe de Chine. It’s beautiful!

Look at the supplied measurements on each individual garment.

10% Discount Anyone?

I have a 10% discount code if you’re keen to buy something from Grana!

Just use this link, create an account and they’ll automatically send you the 10% discount code to use on your order. (If you do make an order with the link, I will get some credit added to my account, so if that upsets you, sorry! Just type in www.grana.com and you won’t get the 10% discount sent out to you.)

Happy shopping or browsing!!

xxx


day of week

Styling banana cake with a bit of love

24 August 2016

Banana Cake Styling

I have been clashing with one of my boys these last few weeks. Lots of fighting, shouting, negativity. It’s been pretty bad, worse than usual.

I won’t go into an detail (because he reads my blog now and again, and my heart is a bit fragile) but basically, we’ve been having an awful time. I suspect that 20 years from now, when he looks back at his childhood, all he’ll be able to remember of his mother is me being this angry, frustrated, shouty, crazy person.

Anyway, to heal this mother-son relationship, I figure that since I’m the adult, I should do something to change the situation and bring about some positivity.

I’ve discovered he’s quite interested in my work. Photographing things, styling, visual branding, social media strategies, creating a branding voice, graphic design and Photoshopping; Not so much the fashion stuff for my blog, but my commercial/contract/freelance work.

So I talk to him about it… and to my complete surprise, he actually had some really clever ideas and feedback. And would you believe I like to bounce my ideas at him and get him involved with some of my styling.

The other day, I made a banana cake and cut up a whole lot of fruit for my kids to eat after school. I thought it was a nice opportunity for a pretty photo, BUT I was trying to prepare dinner at the same time, so I asked HIM to style up the banana cake.

I showed him a few photos of cake + fruit + flower styling as inspiration, by Floral & Fauna Cafe in Northbrdige. I did tell him to give it his own personal twist, but in the end, it did look quite similar to their styling.

Nonetheless, I was so so proud of his work!

But I think I was glowing more from the little bonding moment we had that afternoon and how it healed a little bit of my heart.

Banana Cake Styling


day of week

Fitness Update: First 10km in ages!

23 August 2016

Last Saturday, I struggled through my first 5km run in 6 weeks.

So the following day (Sunday), I made myself run another 5km and I felt soooo much better about life!

Running

This week, I decided to do a longer run.

I set aside 1.5 hours and plotted out a 10km run using Gmaps.

The run was great. I started to feel wobbly at the 5km point, but I pushed through and it was all good.

I ran a pace of 6:30min/km and I only stopped to cross roads.

The main problem was that… it rained!

It poured so hard that my shoes filled up with water and my running jacket got absolutely soaked. And when it stopped raining, my wet jacket made me really cold, so I took it off and tied it around my waist.

So there I was, in the middle of winter, running in the rain, wearing a wet singlet and teeny tiny running shorts (also wet), and I was praying that my mother didn’t drive past and see me like this – she would have lectured me to death about getting rheumatism when I’m older?!?!

What is it with Chinese mothers and not getting wet/cold? Haha.

Anyway I ran and I felt AMAZING!!

Planning to do an even longer run next week :)


day of week

What I Wore: Sabe Structured Top

22 August 2016

Hello Parry Sabe Top

Top from Hello Parry, Skirt by Tokyo Fashion (similar styles here), Cardigan by Acne Studios, Heels from ASOS.

OK I’m talking tops here.

A good, going out top.

A versatile top (that you can wear with jeans or shorts) but not boring or expensive either.

I’ve been dying to feature one of my favourite tops this season, because it’s a good one! I wear it all the time, it goes with everything and I really like it.

It’s called the Sabe Structured Top, I’ve had it for about 2 months, and I’ve actually written about it before in this post.

Hello Parry Sabe Top

I went to a day time event the other day and wore the top with a lace skirt.  I love that I can wear it with a plain or patterned skirt and it looks amazing.

Because the top is structured in a loose way, it hides the waist a little, so it’s nice to pair the top with skirt/pants/shorts that skims or hugs your waist. That way your silhouette looks flattering, balanced and you’re not doubling the boxiness.

So pencil skirts, jersey pencil skirts, midi skirts, slim fit jeans, cropped pants, slim shorts will look great.

Hello Parry Sabe Top

Top from Hello Parry, Jeans from ForeverNew, Blazer by Alexander Wang (from The Outnet), Heels by Schutz

Here I was heading out to a coffee date with a girlfriend.

I like that the top looks smart and more polished than a regular tee.

Hello Parry Sabe Top

As I said in my previous post, I think the top looks gorgeous on, it looks effortless, minimal, it has a super-flattering, classic, Audrey Hepburn style about it. It’s not clingy, not boxy and it really suits petite, small-frame people like me.

Quality is brilliant, the fabric is soft and has a slight, satiny shine to it, that gives it a polished look.

It also comes in BLACK, which also looks gorgeous.

If you check out the photo of the model wearing the top, you can actually wear it like a regular top (not just off shoulder). I’m wearing a size S (I’m usually a size 6).

I have a 15% off everything code to share with you all (which makes this top under $50!)

You can use the discount for everything including new arrivals and sale items (even the stuff on 60% off sale).

Just enter the code “karenforhelloparry” at the checkout.

Enjoy!


day of week

Shopbop Best Buys Under $100… (Ok more like $130)

19 August 2016

Many people have written to me saying, Yo Karen we love the stuff you feature from Shopbop, but some of it is a bit expensive! Show us the good, cheap stuff! I’m broke!

(Not exaaaaactly worded like that, but haha you get the drift!)

So I’ve trawled through Shopbop to find some awesome buys under USD$100 – and therefore AUD$130.

Shopbop Best Buys Under $100

1) BB Dakota Aden Crinkle Dress – Looks pretty, floaty and great for warm weather.
2) Hat Attack Ibiza Tote – Lovely shape and texture. Looks so stylish for a woven straw bag.
3) Splendid Danaka Wedges – Gorgeous wedges for the new season.

Shopbop Best Buys Under $100

1) Splendid 2×1 Racer Back Dress – – Sweet and simple. Can’t go wrong with the brand Splendid for luxe basics.
2) Gorjana Cayne Crescent Studs – Edgy, kind of cool, looks like claws, or fangs?!
3) Kate Spade New York Bee Pouch – Polka dots will always be in fashion!
4) Steven Sayzar Mules – Mules are soooo in at the moment, especially chunky ones. This one is close to perfect and it’s real leather too.

Shopbop Best Buys Under $100

1) BB Dakota Cuthbert Striped Top – A great looking lace top, without looking TOO lacey / flowery / girly.
2) Kate Spade New York Mix Tape Coin Purse – How cool is this coin purse?!
3) Superga 2750 Cotu Sneakers – Sleek, not-too-chunky, light grey sneakers. Minimal without being too minimal.

Happy shopping or browsing!

xxx


day of week

When Plush Toys Get Annoying

17 August 2016

Liam's Plush Toys

My youngest boy loves his plush toys.

But I’m not talking about your typical teddy bear or rabbit. Hell no.

He’d have the whole cast of Star Wars 1,2,3,4,5,6 in plush if he had access to my credit card.

The reason for this story is that my boy’s favourite toy is this bomb.

The character is “Bob-omb” from the Super Mario video game, but my boy calls him “Bombie”.

It’s kind of cute and kind of weird.

He loves his Bombie. He loves it so much that he insists on taking it everywhere, and I’m CONSTANTLY SHOUTING at him…

“WHERE’D YOU PUT YOUR BOMB?? I TOLD YOU TO PUT IT IN THE BAG SO YOU DON’T FORGET IT!!”

“WILL YOU QUIT JUMPING AROUND OR THAT BOMB OF YOURS WILL FALL ON THE GROUND!!”

Obviously, this is so politically incorrect or socially sensitive or SOMETHING and it’s super annoying while out and about.

Can you imagine if we lost it in a shopping centre and I’m speaking to the lost and found people, trying to describe the toy without using the “B” word?

“Yeah it’s shaped like a bomb. BUT IT’S NOT A BOMB! It is. But it’s a TOY one. With legs! And big eyes!”

The upshot of this is Little Bombie has to stay on his bed – in his room – forever haha!


day of week

Finding My Fitness Class Vibe

16 August 2016

Finding My Fitness Class Vibe

Wearing Abi & Joseph crop (old), Lululemon tights and Hello Parry Cardigan.

Years ago when I was part of a gym, I used to do pilates and yoga classes – I disliked both of them!

(I would rather do a boxing, pump or spin class, because I liked my exercise to be INTENSE and SWEATY!)

After that, I got into long distance cycling for a few years… and now I’m into running.

And lately I’ve discovered the joy of yoga.

In fact, I’ve fallen in love with yoga and what it has done to my body. I breathe better. I stretch better. I relax better. I meditate better. My awareness of my body, my posture, my flexibility and my pose has heightened. I loooove yoga. I never thought I would.

I’m also incredibly frustrated with it, because I want to be better at yoga NOW. I want to be stronger, more flexible, more more balanced NOW. But I’m not. It’s humbling for me. So in that, it has made me listen to my body and be much more patient with it.

(OMG will you listen to all this yogi shit coming out of my mouth!! Who am I??)

Finding My Fitness Class Vibe

Anyway, I thought I would try some pilates again. Who knows, maybe I might fall in love with that too?

Nope. I went to a new class the other day and had a rather poor experience.

The actual pilates movements were OK; I was good at some moves and extremely crappy at others.

I just didn’t connect with the instructor in our style or vibe.

And it made me realise how important it is to find that connection with your class instructor, in terms of learning/teaching styles, what you’re looking for in a class, and what stage you are in your development.

Anyway, enough rambling from me, I’m still going to stick with it and stick with yoga too.

I’m hoping to experiment with a few more Pilates classes and studios in the next few weeks, and hopefully I’ll enjoy it! Wish me luck!

 

 

 


day of week

Fitness Update: Back Into Running

15 August 2016

Running 14 August 2016

On the weekend, I started to run again.

It’s been about 6 weeks since I’ve gone for a run – and it showed.

First run: I set aside 45 minutes and I planned to do a 5km run.

I felt sooooooooooo crappy throughout the whole run! I didn’t go very fast. But I was cursing and swearing the WHOLE way. I felt like absolute and utter shit!! I felt wrong, uncoordinated, slow, aching and heavy. It felt like it was the WORST run I have ever done! It was all wrong. But I did it. My watch ticked over to 5km, I immediately stopped and wanted to cry out with frustration. Ugh!!!

I was soooo pissed off with myself, that I determined to try again tomorrow. I planned to do another run the next day.

Second run:  I set aside 35 minutes and planned to do a 5km run.

OH MY GOD THIS FELT BETTTER. I went pretty slow. My motion was a lot smoother and lighter. I felt good.

At the end of it, I felt that I could have run for longer. I was content and a bit proud at myself.

Next week, I plan to do a longer run. 10km perhaps.

Nothing like a bit of failure to get myself up and kick some ass!


day of week

Unfinished Flowers with New Pathways

14 August 2016

Sketching Camelias

Inspired by the flowers from my garden and conversations with friends about the decline of the fine arts (art, painting, sculpture, literature)… I recently pulled out my old graphite drawing pencils and tried to sketch again.

It has been years since I’ve used the drawing/sketching part of my brain!

As a blogger/creative, I’m constantly taking photos, playing with composition, colours and textures in my daily life  – you’d think that “drawing and sketching” is closely connected to “being creative”? Nope!

It’s a totally different skill… and I’ve found it really difficult to get back at it again.

Just like anything really, whether it’s long distance running, tricky yoga positions, 30 push ups with your nose touching the floor, learning a new language, throwing a ball – you just have to practice, practice, practice.

And I keep telling my kids this: The more you work hard at it, the better you’ll be at it. Your brain will create little neural pathways for that skill, like making a path through a jungle, and soon the path will turn into a big, easy road.

You can pretty much do anything, if you set your mind to it!


day of week

What I Wore: Tassel Red Dress

12 August 2016

Tassel Red Dress

Oh how I love a bargain! And I love to share!

I bought this Copper Red Dress from Cotton On the other day! It’s so cute!

I’m wearing the XS and it also comes in a black version.

I love that it’s not too bulky, not too scrunchy; it drapes nicely, the waist sits at the right spot on me, the neckline is not too low, the skirt is not too short… it looks great.

It was $39.95, now $20 (Still on sale! Lots of XS/S/M sizes in stock!). I didn’t see the dresses in-store, so they must only be online?

I wore it out last night, with a fur vest and knee high boots to keep me warm. Such great buy hehe.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Tassel Red Dress

Also wearing Schutz Cadey Lee heels, Gold Tassel Earrings (similar here) from Shopbop.


day of week

Bobbi Brown Skin Nourishing Glow Foundation

11 August 2016

Bobbi Brown Skin Nourishing Glow Foundation

I thought I would stretch my visual styling muscle a bit and go with a fancy/moody photo today.

I recently received a Myer gift voucher (just from their rewards card) so I went to buy myself some foundation.

I’ve been struggling with my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation lately – I’ve loved and used it for years. But ever since I started to use self-tanning creams, the foundation doesn’t match my skin colour and I’ve had to mix it with other foundations to get the right shade and right coverage.

In the last month or so, {{{ I cracked }}} , OMG I WAS SO SICK of mixing foundation at 7:30am in the morning.

Many years ago, I used to use Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF15 (AUD$72). I even remember my shade colour (Natural 4) so I was just going to get a bottle of that and ask the makeup girl to match my skin colour.

Haha however, she used her crafty sales skills and got me to try the NEW Bobbi Brown Skin Nourishing Glow Foundation (the Natural 4 was perfect on me!) and OMG it felt amazing on my skin.

Bobbi Brown Skin Nourishing Glow Foundation

My Thoughts:

The coverage was excellent, the texture was great for my combination skin and the finish was very natural looking. It was exactly what I wanted.

Bobbi Brown says is has “moisture-reviving marine extract and collagen-enhancing ferment”. Whatever the hell that was, it covered up my dry patches wonderfully, covered my blemishes, evened out my skin tone, gave my skin a moisturised and radiant boost and made my face feel all supple, dewy and glowy ALL DAY.

I’ve been wearing it for a week now, and it’s possibly one of the best foundations I’ve used.

Although… when the makeup girl told me how much it cost, I almost fell off my chair. AUD$90. Aaaakk!

I told her I had to think about it, and I took a walk around the shopping centre, looking at myself in mirrors in different lighting, poking and prodding my cheeks, and making weird animated expressions to see how the foundation feels on my face. (What, don’t YOU do that too?)

Yep, in the end I went back with my voucher and bought the foundation – and I’m super happy I did it!


day of week

Pilbara Stars

10 August 2016

Pilbara Stars

Ok so I’m a bit proud of my husband and his crazy ideas.

I love that he’s super smart and into a whole lot of weird and random things – like taking photos of stars?

He recently went on a camping trip into the Pilbara Region with a bunch of good friends and he took a series of drone landscape photos, 3D photos and time-lapse photos. A shit load of photos.

The results were amazing though!

You could say, they were so amazing, I got a bit star struck and I may have promised to join him on a crazy campervan trip around Australia to take more photos. Maybe.


day of week

Sports. Sports. Sports.

9 August 2016

Sports. Sports. Sports. That’s what my children are up to these days.

Doing sports. Watching sports. Training for sports.

My boys are in heaven with the Olympics on tv and a 24/7 broadcast of every sport imaginable!

Lately, they have been doing Athletics at school and they have started to take their at-home training quite seriously; Borrowing my running app, my running watch, my weights, my iPod, casting a glance over my workout print-outs, disappearing to the park for 40 minutes.

They are super motivated! I love it!

However, I have a feeling that they’ll overtake me soon and I’ll be struggling to keep up with them haha.

Cross Country 2016

In other news: My 11 year old came SECOND in his School’s Cross Country Race – which was amazing!

They ran 2kms and his time was 8:24 minutes.

Meaning he was running 4:12 min/kms.

Which is pretty much my sprinting time.

*faints*


day of week

Floral Dress by Privacy Please

8 August 2016

Privacy Please Dress from Revolve

Hi everyone!

Last week I headed out to a morning fashion event, wearing this gorgeous floral dress by Privacy Please courtesy of Revolve.

It’s called the Delta Dress in a print called Gramont (lots of sizes available online).

You can get the same print in a different style called the Lehunt Dress (midi skirt with a high neck)

Or the same print in a maxi kimono style called the Plaza Dress.

Privacy Please Dress from Revolve

It is such a pretty, flirty, flattering, spring dress! I felt very feminine and girly, but still modern and elegant.

It’s a simple, wrap style, with a long tie. It’s easy to wear, comfortable, easy to move in and the fabric is light and soft.

I saw a photo of a girl wearing this dress in a casual way – with beach hair, straw hat and sandals – which I will try one day!

But for my fashion event, I decided to bling it up with gold stud heels by Diavolina, a Blush clutch bag by Tory Burch and a white blazer by Bardot (old).  I guess this would be a nice wedding guest outfit too.

Privacy Please Dress from Revolve

I actually picked out this dress a few weeks ago, and at that time, the only available size was Size S. I’m usually a size 6/ XS, but I added it to my cart anyway haha.

Because it was a wrap dress, I was able to wrap the dress a little tighter around my was it, and the dress fit me perfectly everywhere – except the sleeves.

Too Big Sleeves

This is how the Size S looked on me… the sleeves drooped halfway down my arm.

So I took it to my seamstress and she fixed it up for me for an amazing price.

I was super-duper happy with the result.

Privacy Please Dress from Revolve

As for spring dresses, I have a few events, parties and celebrations coming up so I have my eye on a few more floral dresses, especially the Privacy Please dresses because they are so pretty and affordable.

Can’t wait to share!

Have an amazing week!


day of week

Almond Chocolate Crackle Balls

6 August 2016

Almond Ball Recipe

My kids play run and play SO MUCH SPORT that I have been on a mission to fuel them up with protein for muscle repair and growth.

At first I bought supermarket protein bars for them… but my kids didn’t like the taste of them, and the bars were pretty expensive at $3-$5 each.

So I developed my own almond / protein ball things, based on what my kids like. Hint: my kids hate dates.

I really don’t know what to call them, Protein Balls? Almond Balls? Bliss Balls?

Whatever they are called – THEY TASTE LIKE CHOCOLATE CRACKLES!

Almond Chocolate Crackle Balls

1 cup of almonds
1/3 cup of desiccated coconut
1 tablespoon of cocoa
2 scoops of protein powder (I use Sustagen Sport, Chocolate)
2 tablespoons of rice malt syrup / maple syrup
4 tablespoons (60g) of coconut oil
1 egg white

Throw all the dry ingredients (almonds, coconut, cocoa, protein powder) into a food processor to chop it all up and mix well.

Then add the wet ingredients (syrup, coconut oil, egg white) and process again.

Use a tablespoon to scoop up mixture and roll into balls. Place the ball into a cupcake case (the coconut oil melts and it can get a bit messy), line it up onto a tray.

Bake in 160C oven for 15 minutes.

Makes about 24.

I put 3 of them in my kid’s lunchbox, everyday and they hold together really nicely!


day of week

Buying Hiking Boots for my Family and Children

5 August 2016

In my previous post about our holiday walks and hikes around Scotland, I received a few emails from readers asking about my hiking boots and where to buy them.

I thought I’d put together some info and links for everyone.

Hiking Boots

In 2002, I bought myself a pair of waterproof, leather hiking boots which cost me around $250. I thought they would last me the rest of my life, because I only actually wore them for 2 weeks!

But 15 years later, I took them out from where I carefully stored them and discovered that the rubber sole had disintegrated and fallen off the shoe. It would cost me about $150 – $180 to resole them, so I decided to buy myself a new pair.

I was looking at these boots or something like this.

However, by complete coincidence, my late mother-in-law had tiny feet like me, so I inherited her hiking boots!

So the boots (pictured above) came from my lovely mother-in-law, they are size 36 and apparently they are 30 YEARS OLD?!

If you are interested to buy something similar, this is the equivalent boot in the same brand, Scarpa, which also happened to be the same  boot I was looking at.

Yep, they are an eye-watering $300. But hey, these boots were flipping amazing. I was submerging half the boot into water and my socks remained completely dry. They easily let me walk over slippery rocks, loose rocks, fallen trees. I’ve worn them to hiking Tasmania, through the Australian bush and now to Scotland.

A pair of good boots is worth every cent.

On the OTHER HAND.

When it came to buying hiking boots for MY KIDS, I was not happy to spend $120 EACH on something they were going to use for 6-7 days, never use again, and then grow out of in 6 months.

So I hunted online, found an online sports store based in the UK, took a big risk, paid $30 for shipping… and bought 3 boots.

Hiking Boots

All three of them are waterproof, leather hiking boots. The two on the left are Karrimore Skido Junior Walking Boots (Size 36 and Size 35) and they were… AUD$58 each.

The one of the right are Gelert Children’s Walking Boot Child’s size 12 and they were AUD$20.

I had to buy thick hiking socks for the boots to fit better and comfort.

I also went ahead and bought 3 insulated, fully water proof jackets from the same shop.

They all worked out to be absolutely perfect and the quality was really impressive.

 

Haha this isn’t a sponsored post, I’m just happy to share because I was so happy with the products, my boys all commented how comfortable the boots and jackets were, and we ended up using them everyday for 3 weeks while we were in Scotland.

PLUS I couldn’t believe how lucky I was with guessing the correct sizing of my kids (UK kids sizing is by age, and my kids are not the typical size for their age). It might have been a different story if I had to send 3 pairs of boots back to the UK?!

Hope this helps!


day of week

Fitness Update: Losing 3-4kgs and Muscle Strength

4 August 2016

Yoga Feet

So in one of my previous posts, I mentioned that I had returned from my 3 week holiday, and even though we went on 6 hour walks and climbed mountains… I put on 3kgs.

Usually my weight fluctuates by 1-2kgs, but add 3kgs on top of the fluctuations meant I saw the scales tip to 5kgs over some days!

Ok ok I wasn’t too concerned about the weight gain. I was more annoyed that I lost a lot of muscle mass/toning. I worked soooo hard to tone up! Bah, such first world problems huh?

Anyway, I managed to bring my weight back to normal after a week.

How? I just went back to eating my normal, small-sized portions – instead of my pigging-out-holiday portions!

I just ate mainly vegetables and protein (meat, fish, eggs, nuts).

And I limited the carbs, biscuits, cakes, scones, chips and muffins.

I’ve been testing out some different varieties of organic herbal teas (not the weight-loss, laxative stuff) and it turns out that I drink about 4 cups a day, so I end up being quite full all day and less in the mood for snacking.

As for gaining strength…

I used to be able to do 20 push ups no problems, sometimes 30. Now I get wobbly at 5, and I think I’m going to DIE when I reach 9.

I’ve started doing yoga twice a week (in class and at home).

I’m doing Kayla’s Bikini Body Workout once a week (because I’m slack).

I’m randomly choosing a 28 minute YouTube workout to do once a week (because it’s fun).

I’m doing weights everyday (because it’s simple).

And I haven’t started to run yet (because it’s cold).

I guess you can say that my exercise routine is not surviving through winter very well!


day of week

Organic Makeup from Generics Shop, Northbridge

1 August 2016

Generics Tea and TMF

A couple of my friends have been on a quest to test out natural/organic/vegan/ethical/sustainable makeup brands, such as rms (Mecca), BareMinerals (Mecca), ILIA (Mecca), Nude By Nature, to name a few.

I haven’t tested any, except for Nude by Nature: I bought some mineral foundation from them and I thought I had matched my skin colour, but it turned out waaay too pink for my skin tone, and so I don’t have the heart to toss it out and buy a new colour.

Thus I was introduced to tmf cosmetics (the makeup factory), an Australian brand focused on vegan, organic, cruelty free, mineral makeup. They have an easy-to-use line of mineral foundation, blushes, bronzers, eye liners, organic lip glosses, brow colours and more.

I picked them up, courtesy of Generics – Style Lab / Urban Apothecary / Pamper Corner (Corner of William and Aberdeen Street, Northbridge).

Tmf do have a website, but I’ve been told it’s just a temporary site, as the new site will be live next month. So the temporary site doesn’t have much information about the brand/products, plus it links to the wrong Facebook page. BUT you can check out their actual Facebook page here (which is quite active and has a good 24K following).

Despite all that, I was truly amazed by how LOVELY the products felt on my skin and lips.

I loved (LOVED!!) the lipstick best of all. It was really hydrating and nourishing. And after I applied it, it left this very natural, soft, after-feeling, that was simply amazing.

It made me realise how “chemically” all my regular lipsticks feel on my lips – I know that’s such a typical “organic lover” thing to say haha, but that’s the only way I can describe it!

The foundation was really nice too. But I preferred to use it as a finishing powder, on top of my regular makeup.

There’s no way to look at colours or buy online, so if you’re interested you have to pop into the Generics Shop in Northbridge to check it out.

Have you tried organic makeup before?

 

Which brands/products have you tried?

Why has no one ever told me how amazing it feels?!