The Garden Party Dress

Club Coutture Dress

When I put on this dress to go out the other day… I thought of a lovely garden party with white table cloths, roses, fine china tea cups, high tea nibbles, sunshine, fluffy clouds, white hats, birds, butterflies, cupcakes and confetti!

It was such a lovely image and feeling to embrace!

This mirror print floral dress was given to me courtesy of ClubCouture.

It’s so graceful, sophisticated and gorgeous. It’s perfect for a more grown-up, feminine style. It is fully lined, has a satiny smooth finish and it comes with a black silky belt.

Perfect for garden weddings, daytime luncheons, and just general walking around in the sunshine feeling fabulous!!

Club Coutture Dress

My silver necklace is courtesy of Lovisa.

Two tone teal heels with metal sequins, by Gorge Shoes.

Silver Cuff by Wanderlust + Co.

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.

What I Want For My Birthday

Dawn Cycle June 2012

I took this photo during one of my recent morning cycles.

I woke up at 6am (in total darkness!) and as I rode, I saw this breathtaking sunrise over the river.

It made me feel so small, so grateful and so inspired. I felt so alive. So peaceful. So happy.

I was thinking about my big Fundraising Ride and how I have committed to ride… 200km. It still sounds crazy!

It doesn’t seem possible at this stage… but I’m slowly working towards my goal.

I can feel the excitement and courage of pushing myself mentally and physically. Overcoming my fears, self-doubts and anxieties. Mixed up with feelings of drive, pain, and euphoria. The journey has been amazing so far!

But what has really surprised (and stumped) me… is the fundraising. It isn’t going too well.

A handful of generous people have already donated, to whom I’m very thankful. But I’m just not reaching my fundraising goals… it’s surprisingly *really* hard work!

So…

My birthday is next week and well, I thought that I’d take a moment to be all bold and brave (since its my birthday)… and ask if YOU would like to donate $10 ($20 or maybe $50?) to my fundraising bike ride?

I’m trying to raise $10,000 for cancer research and I need all the help I can get!

If everyone who reads this blog donated just $10 to the cause, I’ll DEFINITELY be able to reach my target… and that would really be the best birthday present ever! :)

You can go to my donations page and make any donation amount you wish. You can leave a public message, or a personal message to me, or just do it anonymously. And you get a receipt, so you can claim this against your tax.

The money goes immediately and directly to cancer research.

Thank you sooo much!

FashionJunkee Evening Dresses

A few weeks ago, I published a photo of myself wearing a red evening gown. I received so many emails from people asking me: WHERE DID YOU GET IT??

It is a Sweetheart Shaped Dress is by US based fashion house, FashionJunkee, who ship internationally of course.

That red dress is one of my favourite dresses, because –
1) It’s a simple tube dress.
2) It’s figure hugging and flattering. And looks great on.
3) It has lots of rouching so you can pull it up or down (to suit your height) and it disguises any bumps and lumps.
4) The fabric is robust, yet soft and slinky. It might need a little swipe with an iron along the bottom of the dress, but other than that, you can roll it up and bundle it into a suitcase. I love dresses like that.
5) It’s really affordable ($48!!)

The dress comes in lots of different colous: black, white, red, cobalt blue, dusty pink, purple and leopard print!

You can even get them in a short version, in black, white, red and blue.

The team at FashionJunkee sent me a few colour variations (that I chose) and a few other items for me to try out!

FashionJunkee

This is me showing off the purple evening gown. I was going to style it with a neon accessories – a yellow belt, big neon statement necklace and shoes… which would have looked fab!

But I chose to go with the dark, vamp look, with black jewelled accessories. I loved it! My husband really liked it too :)

FashionJunkee

And this is the Dusty Pink version of the dress. It’s such a lovely pastel colour. I could have gone crazy with white gold bling, but I went with a simpler choice of accessories – with my woven pearl necklace and fur coat.

The website suggests that this style of dress (in long and short) is a great choice for bridesmaids looking for a more affordable alternative.

For sizing, I’m a size UK6, and I’m wearing a listed size SMALL. It’s a really good fit on me and a bit tight so it stays in place!

FashionJunkee

And check out this new dress! I chose it from the site because it just looked so CRAZY YELLOW and sexy at the same time (I didn’t fancy looking big and frumpy like Big Bird).

As I took it out of the box, I thought, WAYHEY – THAT is pretty damn yellow! Even I felt a bit shy… thinking… am I really brave enough to wear this in public??? It’s backless too, so you need a stick-on bra, or to go bra-less.

My verdict? It is a very cool dress and I felt fantastic in it!! Yes I would wear it… but it’s a tiny bit big under the arms for me. I’m wearing the listed size SMALL, but I feel it would fit a size 8 person better.

I think I’ll take it to my tailor to get it taken in a little bit – so I can wear it :)

There are other colours of this dress too: white, red, blue or leopard print (if yellow doesn’t agree with you).

For my shoes, I’m wearing the Orange Suede Heels, which are pretty comfortable for platform heels.

And I’m holding the Quilted Purse in Blue-Green – LOVE the colour and the cross body strap. You can also get it in burgundy, mustard, grey and black.

Hope you find something you like! Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.

Making Pretzels

In Perth, you can go to the shops and buy a bread pretzel for $4.80. If you want a cheese and bacon pretzel, I think they are $5.40 or something like that. A bit expensive if you ask me.

Sooo, if I were to buy 1 pretzel for each of my 3 children, it would cost me around $15!

I looked up the recipe and made my own pretzels this afternoon. It was super easy. Baking with yeast is NOT scary at all. I even modified the recipe to make it even easier (it asked for bread flour, which I have NONE).

Pretzels

My little blobs of pretzel dough!

Pretzels

Ready for the oven.

Pretzels

My plain pretzels. The bready smell is DIVINE!

Pretzels

My cheese pretzels. Soooo soft and tasty, with a bit of crunch on the outside. YUM!

So when the kids come home from school, they can nom on some hot and freshly baked pretzels. I am so awesome.

Pretzel Recipe

Ingredients
Makes 12

• 2 teaspoons of dried yeast
• 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 ½ cups (375ml) warm water
• 4 ½ cups (590g) plain flour

• 2 cups (500ml) warm water
• 1 ½ tablespoons bicarb soda

• 30g butter, melted
• 2 tablespoons coarse salt

Method

Preparation: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook: 10 -15 minutes

1. Dissolve the yeast, sugar and salt in 1 ½ cups of warm water, into a large mixing bowl.

2. Stir in flour, and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, for about 5 minutes.

3. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover with cling wrap, and let it rise for 1 hour.

4. In a 20 cm square pan, combine 2 cups warm water and bicarb soda.

5. After the dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 30cm rope, pencil thin or thinner. Twist into a pretzel shape, and dip into the bicarb soda solution.

6. Place on baking paper covered baking trays, and let rise 15 to 20 minutes.

7. Bake at 230C for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt, garlic salt or cinnamon sugar.

Shopping at The Iconic – With Free Shipping and Returns

The Iconic is a fairly new online fashion store – and it is HUGE. MASSIVE I tell ya!

It sells lots of on-trend fashion products and lots of different high-end to low-end brands. It’s like a great big clothing department store, and you can filter by size, colour, brand etc.

It’s really well laid out, easy to navigate, the photographs of the products are very good, and there are lots of different sizes and colour options, AND there seems to be a good amount of stock of each item.

They also sell LOTS of shoes, sportswear, surf and skate brands, lots of accessories, and they are moving into beauty products and homewares too.

On the weekend, I finally got around to browsing the whole store… I looked around for ages! I was very impressed… it gets FIVE stars from me, for easy and enjoyable shopping!! And yes I did buy something…

 

Iconic Stylestalker

This is what I bought. A Stylestalker Top in Blush , on sale from $89 to $61. It’s a simple knit top with a semi-metallic thread. It arrived in a few days… and I LOVE IT!

(And I wore it 2 different ways, in a casual outfit and a party outfit.)

THE BEST THING about the Iconic

1) It is HUGE.

2) Free shipping within Australia – Yep, nothing beats free shipping. They also do free over-night shipping Australia-wide, meaning you’ll get your package the next day in most big cities.

3) Free Returns within Australia – According to the website, you just fill out a form. Print off a label, the label is postage paid, drop it off at the post office and you’re done!

Happy Shopping!

 

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.