When I was a kid…

Rock Cars

My mother used to tell me stories about “when she was a child”.

She grew up in a family of 10 children, and never had any money for toys. She and her sisters used to play with “dolls” which were actually sticks wrapped up in scraps of cloth. They used to collect bottle tops, glass jars, marbles, wood, broken furniture, and other bits of rubbish by the side of the road, and turn them into toys and games.

Of course, I re-tell my children these same stories.

I inflict them with the WOODEN STICK DOLL STORY, whenever my children whinge “Muuuuum I’m boooooored!”

Then there’s the story of when grandpa was a kid. Did you know he had to walk for MILES in the snow… in shoes that were too small for his feet… and he had to cut off the front of the shoe to make room for his toes!

Or the one where grandma’s family had 12 PEOPLE LIVING IN ONE SMALL HOUSE the size of our garage!

Then of course, I just had to throw my own stories into the mix, just so that they have ample ammunition for THEIR OWN CHILDREN in the future.

“Did you know my sister and I never played computer games. We’d spend all day climbing trees and swinging on vines in the jungle behind our house. We would make secret hideouts. And we would even draw on rocks and sticks and turn them into play things.”

So the other day, what do you know… I stumbled across my children playing with these rock cars.

Daily Outfit: A Spring Wedding

Daily Outfit Spring WeddingDeciding what to wear for a wedding is always tricky – unless, of course, you are the one getting married.

It’s even more tricky when the wedding is held in a hot afternoon, following by a reception-dinner til midnight.

Trying to dress for hot and cold weather gives me such a headache.

Not to mention, my outfit had to be “nursing friendly”, as I needed to breast feed my baby.

I had to find something that could:

1) Look good as day wear and evening wear,

2) Look somewhat Spring-ish and formal,

3) Had to look good with a jacket (because I hate the cold and mosquitoes!)

This is what I came up with.

A floral top from Review. Dusky pink tulip mini skirt from Forever New. Black jacket. And some moderately fierce shoes from Betts.

I also had a white flower accessory in my hair, but it didn’t make it to the wedding, because my baby yanked it off and ate it.

So I decided to use my baby as my fashion accessory instead – it’s very trendy these days (unless you’re the one getting married!).

He was cute as can be, and very well behaved until he puked up on my jacket!!

The Long and Short Of It

Passport Photo from 1999In the last week or so, a lot of people have written to me regarding my *deliberation* on whether to get a drastic hair cut.

Well once upon a time, I did have short hair.

This is what I looked like in 1998 – I was 20. Don’t you love the passport photo?

One day, eleven years ago, my hair was long and straight, and I suddenly thought – IT’S TIME.

I walked into a hair salon in Singapore, and said, I’d like a bob thanks.

The hairdresser, who was a lovely, young Singaporean man said, “Eh? Bob? Wah?””

And I was like, “Eh? Do you speak English? Bob! Short! Cut it all off!”

He then spent 15 minutes trying to talk me out of it.

But I waved my hands around saying, “No no! I’ve already thought about it! My love life is going no where! I need a holiday! I need a change! Cut it off! All! Now!“

He was so nice to me after that.

He actually cut it a bit shorter and sleeker than in the picture here – longer at the front and shorter at the back.

Anyway, it was the shortest I ever had my hair. Everyone said it looked great on me, that it made me look taller and my neck look longer.

But it took me AGES to get used to using a SMALL amount of shampoo when washing my hair. I’d get into the shower, squirt a HUGE GLOB into my palm, and think ARGH TOO MUCH! And try to squeeze the shampoo back into the bottle. So, short hair =  little shampoo.

And all the blow drying and styling was annoying. I couldn’t just wake up, tie my hair back in a ponytail and go. I had to use so much product to stop myself from looking like a bear.

And then I had to visit my hairdresser every 4 weeks for a trim. It was so expensive to maintain.

Me, 1998 or 1999 - cant remember!
This is me in 1998 or 1999, I can’t actually remember. The other person in the picture is my little sister, and she was feeling very blurry that day. Hi Sis!

I think I kept my hair short for about a year. I tried a few variations of this length – the “Posh” bob, a more jagged bob, wispy ends that curled up, ends that curled in, and a few different shades. Then I got bored with it.

I was tempted to cut it REALLY short, and try the whole cute pixie-look, or spiky biker-chick look! But I didn’t like the idea of being mistaken for a guy. Hey, that might’ve been kind of interesting! Being a biker chick, that is.

And then I really, really wanted to dye it pink, blue or purple, just for fun.

But in the end, I was very busy with work, so I just decided to slowly grow it out again.

Mind you, it looked terrible for ages! I looked like a school girl until it grew to about shoulder length.

And my hair has been long past my shoulders ever since, and getting longer and longer.

So there you have it.

The very short history of my not-so-short hair.

Fashion Find: FashionWA

During the Perth Fashion Festival, I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely girls behind FashionWA.com.

I attended their official launch party and I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of something that strives to increase the profile of WA (West Australian) fashion, and gives back to the industry.

The website is an online fashion shop showcasing up-and-coming WA fashion designers, and especially the “harder to find” labels. It also has a section where you can read various WA designer profiles.

There is a LOT of good stuff in there, but here are a few that especially caught my eye.

FashionWA - pinchandspoon

Exclusive silk garments by Pinch and Spoon

FashionWA - Alister Yiap

Art Deco Jewellery Collection by Alister Yiap

FashionWA - Generics and Martini + Coz

Handbags by Generics Accessories (left) and Fringe Handbag by Martini + Coz (right).

Other designers include ANOUSHKA, Carly Hunter, ELEMENTREE, Generics Accessories, GOSPEL, Luxe by JJ, Malachi Alister Yiap, Martini + Coz, Paper Skye, PetticoatMINX, pinchandspoon, STAND International, Story by Tang, Tu.

Do pop on over to FashionWA.com and take a peek!

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Fashion and Shopping Directory.

Day Trip To the City

Day Trip To The City

During the school holidays, I decided to embrace the fact that I was now a mother of three kids. I was possessed by SUPER KAREN, brought on by my own boredom and a need to get out of the house.

So what did I do? I brought all my children out on a day trip, BY MYSELF.

You see, usually when I take all the kids out for a special outing, I am never by myself. Either my husband, my mother, or friends are with me.

Sure, I have taken ALL THREE KIDS out to the shops, library, or park by myself. But these are all places they are familiar with. They know how to behave in a shopping centre or a park. And I know exactly what to prepare for.

But how will they behave while walking along a crowded jetty? What will they do when they see open windows on a moving ferry? How will I get them to cross a busy city road inside a swarm of people? And how will I be able to find a public toilet in the city at 2 minutes notice?

Well I guess I was going to find out!

Day Trip To The City

We caught a ferry into the city. It was the first time my kids have been on a boat travelling over a large body of water.

And oh look, there was only ONE OF ME there. If the ferry were to sink, I’d have to save ALL THREE KIDS by myself!

I took mental note of the positions of the lifejackets and quickest exit points. I worked out that I would have to grab one kid under each arm, and throw the other a life-ring that I would tie to my waist….

Thankfully the trip only took 7 minutes, the ferry did not sink, and I was saved from my own *insane, extreme and imaginary scenarios of disaster* that inflict mothers worldwide. Or is it just me?

Day Trip To The City

At one point during our walk, I plonked my baby under the pram for a rest and stretch, because I couldn’t find a spot of shade. All was ok, until he rolled over and started to lick the wheels. I looked down at him and thought, oh well… I’m sure a bit of grit will be good for his digestion.

We walked around all day, sight-seeing and exploring. We sat in the Supreme Court Gardens, ate lunch and enjoyed the sunshine.

Day Trip To The City

My kids behaved like perfect angels for the whole day. I had a brilliant day. I was completely NOT STRESSED. I was beaming with a relaxed glow. I could feel my bones soften, and my heart rate plod along at what I like to call, Ice Cream Speed.

Chips for lunch? Sure. Ice cream? Go for it. Whatever. Enjoy.

While I praised the kids for their wonderful behaviour, I made sure I didn’t over do it. Good behaviour should be a norm, not a special event.

But I must admit, I teased them a bit – Hey! Aren’t you going to nag me about who’s going to hold the ferry ticket? I haven’t heard any fighting! Give me some fighting! Argue about who’s standing closest to the pram right now! Give me a tantrum about the wrong ice cream flavour! C’mon, let’s hear some whinging!

My kids rolled their eyes at me, and said in a mock sensible tone, “Excuse me mum, but we’re going to have a good day today if you don’t mind.”

Gotta love em.