Archive for November 2016

 

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Swim + Resort Series 2016

30 November 2016

I recently attended the Swim + Resort Series fashion event by the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival and Fashion Council WA.

The event was held at the infamous Bather’s Beach House in Fremantle and showcased swimwear and resort wear by Australian and West Australian designers.

TPFF Swim + Resort Series 2016

I loved it! The vibe, the fashion, the people, the outfits, the sunshine – it was all so different to night time fashion shows, where the atmosphere can get pretty moody and serious.

There was an ABUNDANCE of white dresses, fake tans, body shimmer, legs, legs, legs, bronzed cleavages, sunglasses, white lace, and lace-up gladiator sandals!

TPFF Swim + Resort Series 2016

Lots of beautiful and sexy dresses by Natalie Rolt.

TPFF Swim + Resort Series 2016

Stripes, sequins and gold pants by Sass & Bide.

TPFF Swim + Resort Series 2016

And lots of thought provoking designs and engaging colour schemes by Budgy Smuggler… ha!

It was a fun show. It’s open to the public, so anyone can purchase tickets and see the show, enjoy drinks and watch the sun go down by the beach. Tickets for next year via the TPPF website.


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Jacaranda Purple

29 November 2016

Jacaranda 2016

I keep saying this every year.

As we approach Christmas… we don’t have snow. We don’t have streets filled with Christmas lights.

We have Jacaranda flowers.

As I drive through the city, through the suburbs, every where I look, there are trees covered in the prettiest purple, propped up against the bright blue sky.

It fills me up with the happiest and most childlike joy you can imagine!


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Fitness Update: New Activewear for Yoga

28 November 2016

Activewear from Revolve

Happy Monday!

I kinda, sorta was accidentally talked into signing up for a $49 unlimited Hot Yoga deal recently. So I’ve been doing hot yoga 3 times a week, and regular yoga once a week.

That’s a lot of yoga. And that’s a lot of sweaty active wear!

I thought I would take advantage of all the online sales and pick up some new activewear.

So.

Black activewear. What do you think? It looks hell boring, I know.

I like the idea of cool, funky, colourful prints… I love seeing other girls wear colourful prints… and I have quite a few brightly coloured items myself. But I think in reality I’m just an all-black kind of girl.

I found some black pieces with different detailing and eeeeek, I’m loving them so much!

Activewear from Revolve

Wearing: Free People Moonshadow Bra and Varley Vincent Compression Tights.

So affordable! Not as luxurious and contouring as Lululemon, but still great to wear.

Do have a peek at the Cyber Monday Sale at Revolve, with additional 20% Off Sale Items + Free Express Shipping. Just use the code CYBER20 at the checkout.

Enjoy your week!

xxx


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What I Wore: Cashmere and Stripes

26 November 2016

Grana Cashmere + Italian Cotton

Just showing off a few details of my outfit from the other day — basically the most comfiest outfit combo ever!

The weather may be warming up, but I find that the mornings, air-conditioning in offices and cars, are all enough to make me throw on a light cardigan to get me places.

Wearing:

Grana Cashmere Longling Cardigan

Grana Stripe Boyfriend Shirt

A.P.C Half Moon Bag from Shopbop

Frame Le Color Skinny Jeans

Black Pointed Flats from Charles and Keith

xxx


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My Weekend Super Stars

25 November 2016

Clare V Bag

With the hot weather well and truly settled in, I’ve pulled out a few of my favourite sandals, including these super cool Raye Slides from Revolve.

Ah toe ring slides. They’re weird looking. But once they’re on your feet, they feel so right and they look pretty cool!

I’ve been wearing them with everything – denim shorts, black cropped pants, a simple, black tank dress! I love high rotation items.

They definitely look much more stylish than my rubber flip flops :)

Clare V Bag

I have been eyeing a tan leather bag for a really long time… and at first I was looking for a tan leather tote.

But I had to be honest with myself, I’d hardly use a big “casual” tote.

Nowadays I zip out the door with my phone, keys, purse, a little beauty case with lip balm + compact and a pair of sunglasses on my head. So these 4-5 items would be rattling around in a cavernous tote, which is a bit silly.

So instead I looked for a bag that could double as a clutch and found this gorgeous Clare V. Fabienne Bag from Revolve.

Clare V Bag

I’ve swooned over Clare Vivier’s bags and clutches for ages. Two of my girlfriends have a Clare V oversized clutch and a Flat Supreme Clutch and the leather is really soft and lovely.

This bag’s leather is just beautiful too and the natural, warm camel colour is divine.

I love the size (not too small!), the cross body length, the structured shape, and the minimal style.

Revolve are having their Black Friday Sale today and offering up to 65% off and free express shipping so pop over to take a peek at the great sales!

(Also wearing  Tularosa x Revolve Amelia Lace Top and Cotton on Shorts.)

Have an amazing weekend!

xxx


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Who needs frosting, when you have fruit!

24 November 2016

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

It’s a little embarrassing how often I make this Gluten Free Chocolate Cake.

But it’s one of my favourite dishes to make when visiting friends and everyone loves it!

For this cake, I embedded it with raspberries, as I did in this recipe, and I served it with ice cream.

However the little kids were more excited about the blueberries and strawberries that they picked off all the fruit and left the chocolate cake for the adults haha.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends! xxx


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Being That Chick Who Changes Tires

23 November 2016

My husband is currently out of town… and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while now… you might remember how MY HOUSE FALLS APART every time he leaves and I end up having to FIX STUFF.

Like that time I had to replace a tap, or pave some bricks.

I might sound like I’m having a humble brag… Yeah ok I am. But I’m also extremely pissed off about it. And I’m also having a big laugh at myself, because while I’m being that chick who does handyman stuff, I’m cursing and swearing and wishing I was somewhere else having a manicure.

Bike Fixing

My son’s bike is an old, rusty, BMX stunt bike (or whatever you call it)… the tire wore out and the inner tube was busting out.

So I wrestled with rusty bolts, old head bolt wrenches, a disgustingly oily chain, and a worn thread and managed to get the wheel off.

Or course I measured the tire, drove to the shops, and bought the WRONG size (my foot is pointing to the 16 inch tire, leaning against the 20 inch wheel!). Back to the shop.

Then it turned out that the inner tube was in really bad shape, so I had to replace that too. Back to the shop again.

OMG it took me freaking hours. So annoying! I could have been doing something else!

THEN it turned out that the bolt was so worn out, it wouldn’t go back on, so I had to get a NEW bolt — at which point I threw my hands in the air and gave up.

I’d rather buy the kid another bike.

So… my son’s bike is still lying in pieces, waiting for my husband to get back. I feel a pang of defeat every time I catch a glance of its lifeless, broken skeletal frame… because I’m sure bolts are $3.50 from a hardware shop?

I know I probably should have made my son help me, so he could be a part of the experience. The kid builds robots out of Lego – surely he can help with a bike?!

But I was so grumpy, it probably wasn’t a good experience to share.

Whatever. I’m off to do my nails!


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What I Wore: Simple with a bit of Statement

22 November 2016

Aquazzura Heels

I was off to a meeting the other day, and outfit-wise, I was feeling reeeeeally lazy. I threw on a simple and casual top + bottom combo, with a sharp blazer and a structured handbag to make it look smart.

I was going to wear white sneakers, which would have been O-K.

But at the last minute, I decided to throw on some special heels instead – my Aquazzura studded pumps.

Woo hoo statement heels! What a difference it made to my mood!

Aquazzura Heels

Outfit details and shopping links:

Alexander Wang Blazer from The Outnet

Rebecca Minkoff T-Shirt from Shopbop (I bought this tee 5 years ago and I still love it!).

Stretch Denim Skirt by Cotton On.

Michael Kors Selma Bag from Shopbop.

Celine Sunglasses from Vision Direct.

Aquazzura Heels

Lastly, the shoes that changed my mood – these are my Aquazzura Belgravia Lace Up Heels, (link goes to the plain black version), which I scored on a sale!

Shopbop is having a Buy More, Save More Sale from 22 – 29 Nov. Enjoy 15% off orders over $200, or enjoy 20% off orders over $500, or if you’re game, indulge in 25% off orders over $800. Use the code “GOBIG16″ at the checkout! There are some brand and product exclusions, so check out the terms and conditions on the site.

Enjoy browsing or shopping!!


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Grana Cashmere Cardigan and Boyfriend Shirt

21 November 2016

Grana Cashmere + Italian Cotton

Hi everyone!

I’m working with Grana again to show off a few basic (and lovely!) additions to my wardrobe.

I picked out two items.

Longline Cashmere Cardigan in Heather Grey.

I had a long grey cardigan for many years; I bought it from Country Road, it’s 100% wool, I wore it every year (all through Autumn, Winter and Spring), but now it has moth holes in it and I don’t really wear it anymore. I do still wear it out on the weekends or out to buy groceries… but I certainly don’t wear it to meetings or any where I have to look smart or professional.

So I’ve had my eye on replacing it, because as I said, I pulled it out of storage to wear it every year. It was always in high rotation for 9 months of the year. It was definitely a timeless wardrobe piece for me.

Grana Cashmere + Italian Cotton

I don’t have much experience with cashmere. I have a few cotton cashmere blend jumpers, a bamboo cashmere jumper and I have a longhair cashmere cardigan (which is really soft and fluffy).

But what I CAN say about this Grana Cardigan is — OH MY, it’s beeeeautiful!

It’s so refined, luxurious, super soft, not itchy at all, warm, yet lightweight and a bit breathable. It really does say this is a luxurious product.

Grana Cashmere Cardigan

I really like the cuffs too. It’s ribbed and double layered, so there’s a feeling of a superior finish to it – rather than floppy, cuffs that might/warp stretch over time.

The cardigan is not thin or flimsy. And it’s not itchy at all. Wool tends to be a teeny-weeny bit itchy, but it’s bearable. This cashmere is soft and smooth. I’m so happy to wear it against my skin. The knit feels really strong, tight, firm but super soft.

I did a quick search online (um, at Nordstrom and Shopbop) and found some “high end” brands offering something similar. Their price point ranges between $300 – $700. So this Grana one is pretty affordable in comparison.

I’m wearing a size XS, which I chose based on the chest measurement from the info about the garment measurements – very handy. I wish all fashion stores would have individual garment measurements!

The quality is just fantastic and I can’t stop raving about it!

Grana Poplin Cotton Shirt

The other item I chose is the Poplin Boyfriend Shirt, in Blue Stripe.

It’s made from 100% Italian Cotton Poplin – which HONESTLY means nothing to me. I have no idea what that is. It just feels like a man’s business shirt. A really nice, smooth one.

This Poplin Shirt has a lovely roomy, casual and relaxed feel to it. Yet because of the firm cotton, it has a business-like, polished look to it. I really like it! It’s a real classic piece.

I can definitely seeing myself wearing it for years.

(As long I don’t spill coffee on it!)

I measured my chest, compared it to the garment measurements on the site… and chose the closest matching size, which was XXS.

I thought, maybe I could try going two sizes up and go for the BAGGY look… you know, like I just spent the night at my boyfriend’s apartment, and I had nothing to wear so I grab his shirt and wear nothing else underneath — HAHA.

In the end, I just wanted a shirt that DIDN’T make me look fat, so I chose the size with the measurements that fitted me best. Ha!

10% Off Discount Code

Grana has extended the discount code for my readers until the end of December!

You can get 10% off your total order and FREE Shipping, by using the code “KARENxGRANA” at the checkout. Valid until 31 December 2016.

Enjoy!


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Meal Prepping: Roast Vegetable and Quinoa

20 November 2016

Meal Planning

I’ve been trying to get my weekly eating patterns in order… so I made up a huge batch of Roast Vegetable and Quinoa Salad for myself and my husband.

It sounds a bit fancy, but I just cubed 1 large sweet potato, 4 potatoes, 1 aubergine, 1 head of cauliflower and seasoned it all with garlic, salt, pepper and herbs.

I set the oven at 180C and roasted the vegetables for 1 hour.

Then I cooked 2 cups of quinoa.

Tossed everything together with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning.

Threw in some fresh salad and fresh herbs (I had some leftover coriander and chives).

Split it all up into portions – about 10 containers!

Then threw into the freezer.

Quite easy!

Meal Planning


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Oily Eyelids and Liquid Eyeliner

18 November 2016

Rimmel 24Hour Colour Precise

I have been using liquid eyeliner pens for about 10 years or so.

I’ve tried so many brands in that time!

I prefer liquid eyeliners over pencil eyeliners because, my biggest problem is that I have OILY EYELIDS.

This means my eyeliner tends to transfer to my upper eyelid and smudge off throughout the day. I also find that eye primers and eye bases don’t work for me.

This is what I do to manage my oily eyelids: I apply the eyeliner. I dust my whole eyelid with skin-coloured eyeshadow or powder — but of course, as I sweat throughout the day, the powder wears off, so I’m constantly having to find a mirror and apply powder to my eyelids during the day, and I’m also wiping the black transfer off my eyelids all day too. Haha it’s such as hassle.

I found a few brands that are pretty good: Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel (brush and gel pot is a bit fiddly though), Dior (bit too expensive!), Revlon (pretty good for the price!). They all still smudge after 10 hours, and I manage this by giving my eyelids a dust around the 5-6 hour mark.

Lots of big name brands DON’T work for me; they smudge and transfer after 1 or 2 hours of wear – Clinique, NARS, Sephora, and lots of drugstore brands like Maybelline, L’Oreal, Max Factor, Covergirl to name a few.

ANYWAY – Rimmel sent me a 24 Hour Colour Precise Eyeliner – in black, blue and white.

Of course I had my doubts (because of its low price), but turns out that it’s really good! It has excellent staying power!

This is what I do now: After applying this Rimmel eyeliner and dusting my lids with powder in the morning (say at 8am), my eyes will stay smudge-proof for around 10 hours, till 6pm. So good!

If I’m going out in the evening, I will just clean the top of my eyelids (leaving the eyeliner in place), reapply the eyeliner, reapply the powder, and it’ll last all through the evening.

Then at the end of the evening, a simple wipe of Gentle Eye and Makeup Remover (I use L’Oreal) and the eyeliner comes off REALLY easily. In two swipes! No need to rub again and again and again and again!

It claims to be “24 Hours Wear” but I haven’t tested whether it stays on for 24 hours! Maybe it does?

The tip is softer than usual. A lot of online reviewers say it’s flimsy and crap, but I really like it! It feels like a soft brush tip.

It costs $13.95 from Priceline, but I saw them on 50% OFF at Coles, so I bought two… and put one in a little makeup bag to leave in my car!

I’ve been using this eyeliner for a few months now. I was sent the product as a free sample, but I believe it’s a winner for the great price, and I’m super happy to share!


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My Mid 30’s Skin Journey

15 November 2016

Skin Journey Nov 2016

Hi everyone!

This post isn’t sponsored. I’ve been working on this journey (and blog post) for 12 months now.

In that time, I researched and visited 3 medical practitioners. I paid for all my own consultations and products. I declined many offers for free trials and sponsored reviews because I didn’t want anyone to influence me with their own agendas. I was seeking genuine advice and information, from someone I trusted, and preferably from someone who didn’t know I was a blogger!

12 Months Ago

My skin was turning a corner. The signs of ageing were increasing and my skin was starting to look a bit… tired, dull, old.

I don’t actually have a problem with ageing. I’m quite happy to grow old gracefully!

But I decided that I wanted to DO something about my skin, I wanted to KNOW what could be done and I wanted to talk to an expert.

Skin Journey, Nov 2016

My Issues

I have lots of sun spots and pigmentation.

I have teenaged acne scars on my cheeks that make my skin look cratered – which has been looking worse as I get older.

I have a few tiny raised lumps/growths on my skin too: seborrheic keratosis and senile angiomas – which I have already checked out. Not cancerous.

I know my skin is prone to hyperpigmentation… so after I get a pimple, there is a dark spot or scar for up to 6 months. Thus I have lots of dark spots, especially around my nose, mouth and chin.

I’m losing general elasticity and firmness in my skin.

My Unknown 

Everyone seems to be talking about treatments like laser, IPL, fractional laser, CO2 lasers, and more. But would they work with my olive Asian skin and my hyperpigmentation? I had no idea where to start.

I’ve heard about other people’s amazing laser experiences and I’ve seen people who have had great results. But I’ve also heard about bad results. I’ve read that some people are hooked on it, some people regret starting laser so young and wished they started on something a little less harsh. Some started with skin that was OK, but after a bad treatment, their skin didn’t react well and they looked older and worse because of it.

(Oh man, I did waaaay too much reading on the internet and it scared the crap out of me! It must be true right? Haha!)

Dud Experiences

I went to visit a few doctors, found from my own research and I wasn’t particularly happy with them.

It was just little things, for example I felt like I was being spoken down to, or I felt like an idiot for being apprehensive and asking so many questions. I just didn’t have a good gut feeling with them.

For one doctor, I asked a question about a particular laser. I was hoping for an explanation of how the laser actually works to make skin look better – I know it makes holes in the skin, but how does that actually produce the desired effect in the dermis?? Instead I was told that Kim Kardashian and lots of other Hollywood celebrities use it every 6 months because it’s amazing. Oops! Not a great way to sell laser to me, sorry!

My Determatologist

Basically I wanted to talk to a real skin doctor; someone sensible, someone who focused more on skin health and skin conditions, rather than on beauty and cosmetics.

10 years ago, one of my boys had very bad eczema as a toddler and we went to a paediatric dermatologist, who was just amazing! She helped us fix my son’s eczema and now he has ZERO signs of eczema. She gave us great advice for our whole family over the years, but she doesn’t treat adults. I asked her for a recommendation for a dermatologist whom I could see, and she gave me the name of her colleague.

So I went to see this colleague and I really liked her a lot too. She’s around my age, possibly a bit older. She was honest, sensible, conservative and she knew ALL the answers to ALL my questions. She gave me a quick lesson about skin cells, in a science teacher kind of way (not from a beautician’s perspective). She did a thorough check of my skin, heard me whinge about my first world problems… and she recommended a few things to me.

My Treatment

My dermatologist said that fractional laser is the best treatment for acne scarring, because it gives the best results. But the problem is that I have to find the laser that best suits my skin type. She didn’t have the right laser for me and she declined to treat me.

She recommended that I see a particular laser clinic in Perth, but I won’t share, because I haven’t been there yet!

I asked her: Once the skin is lasered and the scarring is gone/ fixed/ skin healed … will that result last forever, or will it slowly revert back to it’s scarred state after 3-5 years? Her answer: Fixed forever. However skin will still age and will lose elasticity over time.

Vitamin A

She prescribed some Vitamin A cream to me, (which I have been using for 12 months now), and it has been FANTASTIC.

Vitamin A (or Retinol, Retin A, Tretinion) stimulates the skin cells, makes them turn over much more rapidly, therefore increases the shedding of dead skin cells. It reduces the look of fine lines, smoothes and refines the skin, improves skin tone, improves hydration, decreases sebum production, promotes healing and healthy cell growth and lots of other cell things. Sounds a bit too good to be true.

There are quite a few side-effects (dry skin, redness, flaking) and some people react very badly to it. I read that you can slowly increase your tolerance to it by starting with a low dosage.

But my skin loves it and my skin looks SO much better for it! I loooove the stuff!

Starting Laser? 

For the last year, I’ve had the phone number of that laser clinic in my hand. But I’m too chicken to start!

Whenever I think OK I’m going to make the phone call to start my treatment, a large part of my brain thinks:

“Oh man, I don’t hate my skin that much. I don’t look that bad! I’m actually quite happy with how I look. I’m going to leave it for a bit. I don’t need it yet. A bit of makeup and I’ll be right!”

It’s a mixture of not-wanting-it-bad-enough, being not-too-fussed about my skin, being happy with the way things are, being a bit lazy, being a bit fearful…

Haha so, I haven’t started any laser and that’s how it’s been for the last year.

Starting Facials

Ok so what I HAVE been doing: I’ve been getting good and effective facials, peels, skin rejuvenation, non-invasive treatments instead.

I’ve tried a few of these active facials. Some are very mediocre! Some a good and some are AMAZING!

Just like my hair, just like my teeth check ups, just like my exercise… if I do them on a regular basis – my skin looks great and feels great. It’s all about maintenance – small, slow steps upwards!

I’m sure – eventually- I’ll give laser a go, but that might still be a few years away.

I hope to write a bit more about my facials and treatments soon!

Thanks for reading!


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What I Wore: Lace, Fur, Bling

12 November 2016

Lace Dress + Fur Clutch

I’ve had quite a few events this week. In fact, I’ve been going out every night of the week….

Monday (Hot Yoga), Tuesday (Hot Yoga), Wednesday (Event), Thursday (Event), Friday (Dinner party).

My dear husband has been THE BEST HUSBAND EVER – as long as I have dinner ready to go, the moment he comes home at 6pm, I can head out the door, he takes the kids to the park, feeds, cleans, helps with homework, puts them to bed and cleans up. What a guy!

Anyway I was determined to wear some of my old dresses to these events.

This is a Petite Lace Dress from ASOS that I bought last year. And can you believe it… it’s still available online, in black. It was brought back into stock by popular demand, several times.

It’s on sale for 45% off and ASOS is having a Click Frenzy Sale with an additional 30% off!

But if you’re looking for a white lace dress, here’s an equally pretty dress.

My faux fur clutch is by London brand Whistles, also from ASOS, but it is no longer available.

My shoes are from Styletread, again they are not available any more, but the flat version and block heel version are on sale.

Enjoy your Saturday!

 

xxx


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What I Wore: Bell Sleeves + Dion Lee

11 November 2016

Flare Sleeves

Last week I went to an event, and I wore a new top, this Shein Contrast Bell Sleeve Top.

I have a few flared-sleeved tops, but none with sleeves THIS FLARED! They are REALLY big! Ridiculous really.

Honestly I see these kind of tops as a temporary trend and know they will be gone in 1-2 seasons. So I’m very reluctant to spend a lot of money on them.

Anyway, recently Shein asked me to pick something from their new collection, which is how I have come to own this top.

Err… and it looks really cool!

It looks SO fun, flirty and unique, that I have to admit that I’m changing my tune now!

I kind of want to wear it every where.

Things I love about it:

I like that it is slightly fitted. Most flared-sleeve items these days are really baggy and I find them too overwhelming for my frame.

I love the simple white with black detail. It instantly goes with any of my black pants, skirt, and jeans in my wardrobe… and it gives my outfit a lovely, modern lift. Personally I wouldn’t wear it with denim shorts, but that’s just me. I’d stick to tailored pants, pencil skirts and cigarette cropped pants.

It fits really well – I’m wearing Size XS.

Not so great things about it:

The price is rather cheap. It’s US$11.

But you know what, the material is ok.

It’s a smooth, stretchy, 95% Polyester 5% Spandex, with a slight shine to it. The stitching is just passable. It’s a teeny-tiny bit see through, but I’wearing a nude strapless bra, so it looks completely fine.

It’s fitted, but it’s also loose in areas. Which is why I tucked it into a skirt.

The sleeves are totally impractical, and just a bit of fashion fun.

So… after wearing this top, I might actually look around for something similar, but in a higher quality.

But having said all that, I was complimented 3-4 times during the night for it!

Also Wearing: Dion Lee Skirt

I also recently bought (from a private, pre-loved, designer online group) this Dion Lee skirt.

I don’t know what the retail price was, but I estimate it was AUD $390 judging from something similar online. I managed to buy it for $50, which was pretty amazing.

Admittedly, from the photos online of the skirt, I didn’t realise the split was so high on the leg. It turns out that the split went all the way up to the waist!

However, being Dion Lee (the Australian master-tailor prodigy) this skirt fell and moved SO well with my body and legs – that there was no danger of any peek-a-boo action… just a very sexy thigh split.

I don’t know if you’ve ever worn something so completely and utterly amazing and well made, that you just walk around, looking down at your clothes thinking – it this for real??!?

That’s what I was doing for most of the evening haha.

I gotta get my hands on another Dion Lee item!

 

Have a great weekend!

xxx


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Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses: Winner

10 November 2016

Vision Direct - Celine Baby Audrey Giveaway

Hi everyone!

In collaboration with Vision Direct, I’m so pleased to announce the winner of my Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses: Evelyn S. from ACT, who says she’s been reading my blog for 13 years! Amazing!

A big thank you to everyone who entered. And thank you to everyone who left me a little message :)

I’m hoping to have another awesome giveaway closer to Christmas – so do stick around!


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My Chocolate Granola

9 November 2016

My Chocolate Granola

I’ve been making big batches of chocolate granola lately!

My latest batch was slightly different to my usual Chocolate Coconut Granola recipe, as I didn’t use any coconut.

Here’s the recipe again! Without coconut!

Chocolate Granola

4 cups of rolled oats
2 cups of mixed seeds (pepitas, chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds)
1 cup of almonds, roughly chopped in a food processor
1 cup of walnuts (or cashews), roughly chopped in a food processor

2/3 cup of coconut oil
2/3 cup of cocoa powder
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla essence

(Makes about 8 cups of granola.)

1. Pre-heat oven to 130C. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.

2. Put coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla essence in a small saucepan and stir slowly over low heat until smooth.

3. Mix the oats, coconut, seeds, almonds and walnuts in large bowl. Pour in the chocolate mixture in and stir until all the dry ingredients are well coated.

4. Divide the mixture up onto the 3 baking trays. And bake for 30 minutes. Then turn off the oven and leave the granola in the hot oven for another 30 minutes.

6. Take the pans out of the oven and without stirring the granola, let it cool completely in the pan. It will harden and crisp up as it cools.

7. Store in a large, air tight container and enjoy for breakfast, snacks and dessert (served with ice cream YEAH!)

Enjoy!

xxx


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What I Wore: Summer Lace

8 November 2016

Black + White Summer

These last couple of weeks, I’ve been hiding away in my office – sitting in front of the computer for 4 hours at a time – trying to finish up a zillion projects at once.

(I know I know, it’s not great for my back, shoulders, eyes and my body in general, but hey, what can you do…)

Sometimes it takes a spontaneous text from a girlfriend – “I need cake! You free for a coffee?” – to wake me up from my digital stupor and to force me to step out into the sunshine.

I love my girlfriends!

Black + White Summer

I’m wearing my pretty Tularosa x Revolve Amelia Lace Top , Denim Mid-Rise Shorts from Cotton On, Fabienne Tan Bag by Clare V, suede sandals from Airflex and hat from Sportsgirl (old).

Airfield Block Heels

These are the Bengal Suede Block Heel sandals from Airflex… and they are SO well made and so comfortable.

Sometimes I feel too casual in flat sandals, but too formal in high heeled sandals. So these are a lovely mid-heel pair of sandals, which are in a simple style, sit wonderfully between casual and formal, and are perfect for the hot weather.

They have cushiony padding at the heels and balls of the shoe too, which make it easy for me to wear them all day too.

Plus the heel strap is elasticated, so I just slip them on without any need to fiddle with the buckle – so good.

Looking forward to wearing these more over summer!

xxx


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Life Blocks

7 November 2016

We’ve temporarily banned our kids from playing computer games, going on social media, youTube, and using any kind of digital device for the time being. They only get very limited use of the computer and tv.

My two big boys have been fine. They just go off to the park to play sport.

But my youngest – who is 7 years old – doesn’t like sport. And he is possibly the most obsessed (in a young kid who loves his heroes kind of way) with anything to do about computer games. He even admits that he can’t stop thinking about Mario Brothers, Minecraft and Pokemon Go, because it’s always in his mind.

Now part of me thinks it’s ABSOLUTELY FINE for a kid to love a subject so much that he can’t stop thinking about it. I’m like that too. But the problem is that, it dominates his mind so much that there’s little room for anything else.

He needs to work other areas of his brain!

Actually let me clarify that. He’s an extremely bright boy, top of his class, working well above his year level (no credit to me whatsoever) and he’s very advanced and exposed to a lot of things, due to him being the third child.

So I don’t have any concerns for his brain functions, learning, development etc. The only things I’m concerned about are… teaching him how to seek other areas for fun, enjoyment and happiness; helping him develop self-control and discipline; and helping him work on his social skills, imagination and creativity!

Anyway, he’s come up with a whole lot of very adorable and in a way, somewhat tragic, manifestations of his interests.

Liam's Life Blocks

He found some bits of wood from the shed and turned them into iPads? YouTube tablets?

I asked him about it and he told me they were 45 minute videos about 1) How Our Family Came To Be and 2) A David Attenborough style look at Australia… and he proceeded to narrate the script and describe his storyboard ideas to me, but I switched off after 60 seconds… OMG that boy can talk.

I do look at these and chuckle with delight. They say so much!

Hilarious. Cute. Tragic. Clever.


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Lovers + Friends with K. Jacques

4 November 2016

Lovers + Friends Dress

It is definitely dress season here – with the abundance of Spring racing events, perfect sunshine weather for weddings and cocktails, end of year events and then there’s Christmas around the corner!

I absolutely LOVE the dresses from Lovers + Friends and was fortunate enough to pick out this beautiful Taylor Gown courtesy of Revolve Clothing.

I adore the off shoulder detail, the thin shoulder straps, the soft pink, the big flared skirt and the thigh high split!

I think it’s really lovely and a bit different to some of the dresses that are popular at the moment.

I’m wearing a size XS, although I did have to get the length altered to fit me. I think my seamstress took off something like 30cms off the length :)

Lovers + Friends Dress

I’m using my mother’s vintage pearl clutch (I don’t think it’s real pearl) but it’s such a sweet addition to my outfit. It’s a really tiny clutch though. It *just* fits my phone, my lip gloss, my credit card and ONE key!

K Jacques Sandals

I also want to share my latest collaboration with cult French brand K. Jacques (omg!).

I was given the opportunity to create my own stacked heel sandal, to show how easy and flexible their styles can be.

I chose a low heel, because comfort was key for wearing these sandals all day.

I chose the Bergamote Suede Black Leather Sandal because of it’s simple and timeless style.

K Jacques Sandals

Then I requested to swap the Black Suede for a Winter Rose Suede. There are colour swatches on site and the colour matching was pretty spot on.

There are metallic leathers, suede, animal print, snake print, printed suede, smooth, nubuk, in hundreds of colours and patterns. It does get a bit overwhelming, but if you have a clear idea of what you want, then it’s very easy to find it.

If you don’t know what you want, then there are lots of ideas and suggestions on the site and you only need to pop onto instagram and search up the #kjacques tag to see what other people have chosen.

The shoes are handmade in France, using genuine leather uppers and soles from France, Italy or Spain… and the craftsmanship is just divine!

I ordered a size 36 and the fit is snug and perfect. I’m usually a size AUS 5 or 5.5 for sandals.

Do pop over to have a peek at the other higher heel options.

It’s a bit of a splurge, but hey I’m hoping these will last me the rest of my life!

Hope you all have an amazing weekend!

xxx


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Sneak Peek: Self Portrait

3 November 2016

Sneak Peek: Self Portrait

Eeek, I bought the dress! It was on sale! I had a gift voucher!

This is a close up of that gorgeous Self Portrait Dress that I was eyeing online.

It is such a stunning dress, I can’t believe how well made it is and how well it sits on my body. Full review soon :)

(By the way, Shopbop are having a Secret Surprise Sale with over 4000 items marked down, ranging from 25%-40% off, be sure to check it out!)


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Win a pair of Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses!

2 November 2016

Brought to you by Vision Direct

Vision Direct, Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses

Exciting news everyone!

In collaboration with Vision Direct, we are celebrating the Spring/Summer season with a giveaway!!

I’m also saying a bit of a thank you to all my readers who have stuck with me over the years. Less and less people are reading blogs these days, but it turns out I still have a strong readership and I just want to give back to you guys – thank yooou!

Vision Direct, Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses

We’re giving away a pair of Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses in Black for the lucky winner – woohoo! I chose it! Hope you like it. Don’t worry, you get a brand new pair, not this one :)

I reviewed a pair of Baby Audreys (Havana) on my blog a few months ago, and as I said, they are a fashion classic. I found them to be lightweight, fit perfectly within the area of my face and the lenses are not too large or overwhelming.

They are just gorgeous sunglasses.

Vision Direct, Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses

The actual product name is Celine CL 41053/S Baby Audrey 807/1E and there are measurements on the product page if you need to check the size.

I also measured the total length of the front of the sunglasses, from outer eye to outer eye is 13.9cm. So you can use that measurement and compare it with your existing sunglasses.

Vision Direct, Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses

I looooove them and I’m sure you’ll love them too.

 

~ GIVEAWAY is now closed! Thank you!~


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November Check In

1 November 2016

Hi everyone!

What have you been up to these days? I’ve fallen into a really nice routine of balancing work and play… and I’m feeling rather content and satisfied about it. Possibly, a bit guilty? Nah, not really.

1) My Eating has been pretty good except for one weird thing. I’m not on any clean eating or paleo diets. I just try to eat healthy, smallish portions… I have a piece of toast or granola + yoghurt in the morning, then I snack on a bowl of nuts and some fruit. But come lunchtime I’m seriously craving for a piece of chicken. Crunchy, crispy chicken. With skin. With soy sauce and sesame oil. With mayo and chilli. So yeah, usually I have crumbed chicken and salad for lunch.

I find it weird that I don’t crave sugar anymore. I’m not into cake, chocolate or sweet things these days. It’s all about the salt for me!

2) Too much coffee. I was recently given a bag of ground coffee as a gift. So I bought myself a mini coffee plunger and OOPS, now I drink about 3-4 cups a day! With almond milk, so it’s healthier right? Maybe not.

Ok would you believe that when I was 20 something and working the city, I used to drink 4 cups of coffee a day. Then while I was pregnant and having kids, I didn’t drink ANY caffeine at all. Only in 2012 (when I started cycling tsk tsk) I started to drink coffee again and NOW look where I am.

So I’m thinking I should back off the caffeine, but holy crap my brain hurts when I only have 2 cups.

3) Sleeping too late. Usually my target is 11pm to have lights out and my head on the pillow. But it always end up to be more like 12 – 1am. And yep, every morning I get up at 6am and totally regret it.

4) Being a Mean Mum. I used to “help” my older boys and guide them through their homework and assignments with suggestions, minor assistance, proof-reading and just a general check-up on their progress and their time management. BUT after lots of tears and fights, I’ve totally backed off and they get ABSOLUTE ZERO help now. I feel really mean, but I think it’s better for them this way… and me!

5) Injured. Ok I think this is a sign of getting old… but I pulled a muscle in my back on the weekend (just by getting out of bed) and it HURT LIKE HELL! I was in tears, and my whole back hurt with every tiny movement of my body, even breathing sent pain shooting in all directions. I couldn’t drive for 2 days and I was SOOO ANNOYED. Thankfully it went away after 3 days.

6) Feeling Super Motivated to exercise now! After my back pain subsided, I felt so NORMAL, ALIVE and SO THANKFUL that I have pain-free movement. What a blessing it is! Now I feel like doing EVERYTHING. It’s like I’m back from the dead. Run! Cycle! Lift weights! Do a cardio class! Do it all while I can! Go go go!

7) Candles. I’m sooo into candles and beautiful smells at the moment. I’m obsessed. I have to have a candle burning as I sit on my computer all day. I’ve gone beyond light, floral scents and starting to turn towards more complex, warming, incense smells.

8) My Garden is going crazy! It’s full of flowers and my heart is bursting with happiness. I’m going to put an order for a truck load of poo and mulch soon – and I’m SO EXCITED PEOPLE. Poo makes me excited!

9) Vitamins. Ugh I hate taking vitamins. My husband and my mother swear by them and believe in them with all their hearts. But I don’t like to take them because I can get a bit queasy when I take them sometimes. So now I have a bit of a psychological problem; whenever I LOOK at a vitamin, I instantly feel queasy and refuse to take it (I try to avoid, or forget, or hide them, just like a child haha!). Most times I have to force myself – because my mother and husband nag me about it. And it’s not worth the argument. Honestly, I don’t think they have any positive effect on me whatsoever (the vitamins, that is). I have a healthy diet and eat a wide variety of foods after all??

However recently, I decided that since I don’t drink cow’s milk, I will try to take calcium supplements regularly (every day). I’ve been taking them for 2 weeks without fail and my nails and cuticles have been amazing! My nails don’t flake, they are not brittle and thin, they are strong and healthy looking. And my cuticles look so plump and not-dried up. I am absolutely attributing this to the calcium supplements!

10) Work has been great. It’s pouring in from all directions, and I’m really good at saying NO, so I don’t get myself over-worked and over-stressed.

11) Family life. The husband has been busy, but still comes home everyday at 5:30pm for a walk in the park with the kids.

We’ve banned all forms of computer games in our house for the time being, kids are getting bored but they get by. My husband and I are LOVING it.

12) Still Reading. I’m still halfway through The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. I read a little bit every night. I’m going so slow with this book, it’s quite embarrassing really.

Wow that was a long list! Gotta go! Have a great week!

xxx




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