The Everyday Boot

I’ve been looking for a pair of simple black boots with a bit of heel. Not a stiletto heel, not a wedge heel, not a platform heel.

I wanted a moderately chunky heel… that’s not TOO chunky or square.

Plus I didn’t want any buckles or straps or studs either. Just a simple, everyday boot, with a bit of height.

Vangoh Boots AW14

Say hello to my new babies from Vangoh Shoes.

They sit perfectly between looking elegant and casual. They are so comfortable and easy to wear too.

I’ve been wearing them with my skinny jeans, other times with black leggings, or with chunky grey socks. The extra bit of height makes my outfits look just that little bit more dressed up and ready to conquer my day.

Here’s to a brand new week of boot weather!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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

Simple Vegetarian Dinner: Grilled Zucchini and Pesto

Grilled Zucchini

I had a delicious, quick and simple vegetarian dinner the other day.

This is what I did…

I sliced up some red onions + spring onions and soaked them in a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar + olive oil for a few minutes.

I thickly sliced half a zucchini into thirds and threw them onto a hot griddle pan. Threw other random veggies (beans, broccoli, mushrooms) on the pan too.

(Here’s a tip: Don’t leave the veggies on the pan for too long. You don’t want to over cook them.)

I smeared zucchini slices with bought pesto in a bottle (I used sundried tomato pesto).

Then drizzled the onion dressing over everything.

Eat!

So quick and easy. I love my griddle pan!

How to remove stains, and your sanity.

Cleaning is a job for experts to keep your business running on top of the game. If you want an affordable cleaning service that has all the cleaning equipment needed then you might want to check State Wide Carpet Cleaners they are a specialist carpet cleaning services in Adelaide, Australia.

Everyone loves a BEFORE AND AFTER shot. And everyone loves a home renovation story too.

So let me present to you what I have been doing for the past week.

I’ve been cleaning up our bathroom.

Tile Clean

Before: The grout was stained yellowed and patchy brown. It was NOT a good look.

It looked like 20 years of accumulated dirt, crusty chemical build-up and general wear and tear had seeped into the grout. Lovely right?

Tile Clean

After: Sparkling white grout! I am a genius. I know.

But, let me tell you people, it was such paaaaainful and agonisingly slow work.

This is how the whole process started –

My husband and I decided that we were NOT going to spend $7000 on a new bathroom renovation. And although he can do the tiling himself, he was unavailable. You know, the whole “I have a full time job” excuse followed by the whole “I have to be a happy parent to 3 young boys”. Yeah OK, I let him off on this one.

So if I wanted a clean looking bathroom, I had to clean it myself. Hmph.

First I tried an organic home cleaner (what a joke!), then a normal heavy duty cleaner, Jiff, bleach, sugar soap, proper grout cleaner, oxygenated whitening cleaners and cleaning acids. NOTHING worked. I was so desperate, I was going to try whitening toothpaste. But I decided that that was such a stupid idea!

Absolutely nothing removed the yellow and brown stains from the white grout. I was SO ANNOYED! All that experimenting took me 3 hours.

Then I bought a tile rake. It’s a metal scraper that grinds off the top layer of grout. Like sand paper. It took me about 3 hours to scrape all the grout back. And guess what. After digging down into the grout, I discovered that the stains were not just on the surface of the grout… they went deep.

Then I used a grout paint.

Tile Clean

That’s right. I freaking HAND PAINTED the whole grout grid, with white paint, using AN ARTIST BRUSH!!

It was a bloody masterpiece I tell you. I bet Michaelangelo didn’t have to do this crap.

All that hand painting took me about 4 hours.

The label on the paint bottle said that the dried paint could easily be rubbed off tiled surfaces. I should have tested it first. Because for my first coat, I painted the grout in big messy lines and let the paint splash up onto the tiles. Big mistake. BIG mistake. Because the excess paint on the tiles was NOT easy to remove. So now I had to scrape all the dried paint OFF the tiles, which subsequently messed up my first coat of paint IN the grout (where I actually wanted it). That took me another 4 freaking hours.

Then I painted the grout with a second coat of white paint. 2 hours.

Seal the paint with grout sealer. 2 hours.

Grand total of 18 hours, spread out over 1 week.

It looks great now, but holy freaking crap it was painful!

On the upside, I listened to my whole iphone playlist, which I’ve never done before. It turns out that I have excellent taste in music… for cleaning grout :)

Equipment Signature Silk Shirt and a $3 Coat

My classic white shirt is a bit of a wardrobe champion. It never goes out of style!

Whether I wore it during the summer of 2003 with denim sorts and sandals, or winter of 2010 with black pants and stilettos… it’s one of my favourite wardrobe items that is always in fashion. Casual or dressed up, it always looks current, stylish and polished.

I have had many white shirts over the years. I experimented with round collars, embellishments, embroidery, epaulettes, extra pockets, fitted cuts, 3/4 sleeves… and various fabrics like cotton, silk, linen, and polyester blends.

But my favourite style has to be the plain, loose-fitting and slightly man-ish version. Much like a man’s business shirt!

I have ONE white shirt (from Korea) in this classic style. I’ve had it for ages and I wear it to death. It’s made from a mix cotton/polyester fabric (I’m not entirely sure, because the label is in Korean!), but it feels so lovely and smooth, it looks like silk and flows like silk, and if I were to fault it, I’d say that it’s a tiny weeny bit big for my petite frame.

Anyway, I finally bought myself a new, beautiful silk shirt, the very popular Equipment Signature Silk shirt to be exact.

Equipment Signature Silk Shirt

This one fits me beautifully! The length is better for me, it’s a good fit across my shoulders, and a bit slimmer in the body… yet it still has a nice loose-fitting shape. OK perhaps the sleeves are a bit long, so it bunches up at my wrist a little bit, but I always roll up my sleeves anyway. I’m soooo happy!

The silk is top quality and gorgeously luxurious! Yet it doesn’t feel too delicate and fragile, as if it will tear or pull if I walked too close to a… fence?

Equipment Signature Silk Shirt

My other purchase for the month is this AMAZING, speckled grey wool coat.

It seriously looks like a collarless coat by Balenciaga that I spied on ShopStyle a few weeks ago. But I did not buy this online…

I got it from a SECONDHAND SHOP!

It was priced at $5, but when I got to the checkout, the lady said it was on sale for $3!!

I couldn’t believe my luck, I handed her the $5 and insisted that she kept the change.

It fit me PERFECTLY across the shoulders and the length of the arms were spot on. I usually have a problem with the arm length of the coats, because I’m an in-between size. Size 4 is a bit too small, and size 6 is a bit too big. The coat is also nice and roomy in the body, so I can layer up comfortably with sweaters and shirts.

Anyway, I was SO lucky with this purchase, I don’t know which item I’m more excited about… the once-in-a-lifetime-investment silk shirt or the $3 coat haha!!

(Oh, I did have to pay $30 to dry clean the coat.)

I’m also wearing lace shorts from Stephieshop, nude heels from ASOS, gold watch from Guess and necklace by Wanderlust + Co.

You can buy Equipment shirts from Shopbop.

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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

Suddenly I’m back at high school

Highschool Feet

The other day, my husband and I attended an orientation for my eldest son to go to high school!!

Yup. My son turns 12 next year and he’ll be in Grade 7, the first year of junior high school.

Sigh, my baby boy is all grown up!

I sat there, in the meeting room, holding a sample student’s timetable, thinking – I remember this.

I remember excitedly pouring over my new high school timetable. Comparing it with my girlfriend’s timetable. Groaning that PE class was first thing on Monday morning. Cheering that I had art class on Friday afternoons. Such great memories!

I hope he has a great time in high school.

And I hope I don’t FREAK OUT too much!