PANDORA’s Letters, Numbers and Symbols

Brought to you by Nuffnang and PANDORA

I’m so excited to be sharing about PANDORA’s latest range of charms on my blog today!

I have borrowed a whole bunch of different bracelets, rings and a selection of charms to play with and style up. And at the end of my loan, I’ll be able to pick a few to keep. You can check out my picks below.

PANDORA has been around for over 30 years, but it was only in 2000 that the Danish company launched its charm bracelet concept. The idea is pretty simple: you can create customised and personalised jewellery by choosing from a range of charms, beads, and crystals that are symbolic and meaningful to you.

This week, PANDORA is launching a new range of 14ct rose gold and sterling silver charms of letters, numbers and symbols.

PANDORA’s Letters, Numbers and Symbols

These are some of the charms that I really liked.

You know, when I first got into creating my own charm bracelets (last year?), I used to struggle with the indecision of trying to choose a charm collection that personifies my character and interests. There were charm designs of cats, dogs, owls, love hearts, musical notes, hobbies, natures, flowers, special occasions… and more. It was quite tricky to start the process of choosing.

Obviously, with the new letters and numbers charms, it’s much easier to create a meaningful collection of charms (especially for indecisive people like me).

I chose my initials “K” and the “C”. And I’m thinking next time I’ll get the first letter of my husband’s name and each of my kids too… K, A, C, S, L.

But I’ll have to make sure I put them in the right order, or I could end up wearing “SLACK” or “LACKS” on my wrist haha!

PANDORA’s Letters, Numbers and Symbols

I adore the colour of the rose gold charms, especially with a bit of extra sparkle from the cubic zirconias. And I think they look great when worn with the silver charms to create a modern, mixed metal look.

I really liked the symbols too. The key was my favourite. To me it represents the unlocking of doors – future doors, doors of opportunity, doors of happiness, doors of success. And I also like the clover that expresses good luck – but I see it more as a symbol of “good blessings”… because I have many to be thankful for.

I’m super pleased with my final choices!

PANDORA’s Letters, Numbers and Symbols

The mixed metal look, the sparkly charms, the shiny silver bangle and the white leather bracelet wrap … they all fit really well with my style. I really enjoyed wearing them.

I’ve styled them here with my faux fur coat by Shinn (Korea), blush silk shirt by Sarah (Korea), black needle jeans by Acne Studios, gold stud heels from Boohoo, crossbody bag by Alexander Wang, rings by Wanderlust + Co.

The new range is in store now. Or you can check them out on the PANDORA website.

Enter to Win!

There is also a competition to go with the launch!

Express your own personal style when you #sayitwithPANDORA and enter for your chance to win 1 of 3 bangles with letter, number and symbol charms in 14ct rose gold and sterling silver. Head over to the PANDORA website here to check it out!

xxx

Being a Book Nerd, at Northside Books

The other evening, I found myself right smack bang in the middle of the city with 3 hours to kill.

It was 4:30pm, I had just finished a meeting and I was going to have dinner with some girlfriends, nearby at 7:30pm.

OMG what am I going to do with 3 whole hours?! It was such a rare and extraordinary moment that I had no idea what to do with myself!

I decided to pop into Northbridge, to visit a friend who owns a café and another friend who owns a fashion boutique. I thought I would do a bit of shopping and wander around to discover some new shops in the area. Who knows what treasures I would find?

But I didn’t make it to the fashion stores.

I wandered into a book store, planning to have a quick look… and I didn’t leave until the very last minute!

Northside Books, Northbridge

Oh my I was in literary heaven. I haven’t stepped into an independent specialty bookstore in YEARS! There was such a diverse range of classics, modern literature, art, design, architecture, cooking, history, children’s books, cards and more. It was such a great little bookstore, tantalising with the promise of treasure that I was craving for.

I have a mental list of “Books I Want Read” in my brain which went into overdrive. So many books I need to buy! I was quivering with excitement! Where do I start?!

The guy who owns the bookstore (James) was exceedingly helpful. He was friendly and charming, full of excellent suggestions, and not judgemental at all haha! He was such a quirky, book nerd (sorry James!) but exactly the kind of person for a bit of fun, bookish chat… especially if you’re like me, a closet book nerd.

Northside Books, Northbridge

I have found my next book, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. Winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize. Can’t wait to start!

In 2000, I used to work in the city, near a speciality bookstore. Every couple of weeks I would pop in and say “Please sell me some great literature!” The store owner would pass something to me (any age, any size, any genre), and I would devour it gleefully. Looks like I will be restarting this old habit again. I haven’t been *this* thrilled to read literature in years.

Back then I made a little goal – to read one Man Booker Literary Prize Winner every year. I think I only have read 3. Oh the disappointment. What have I been doing all those years? I have lots of catching up to do. It kind of made me regret reading the whole Twilight series. *Face palm*

Northside Books, Northbridge

I also did something else.

I asked if he could recommend a book for my 11 year old son, something that will hopefully inspire him to read more literature.

You see, my son reads a lot. He’s read all the popular novels and book series aimed at young boys, like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, Eragon, Hunger Games, Ranger’s Apprentice, Orson Scott Card, Assassin’s Creed, Matthew Riley, Dan Brown… and many, many more. So much so, he’s moving away from young boy fiction and headed towards adult action/thriller/military/mystery fiction?! The kid is unstoppable. He’ll read anything “interesting”. Which is why I want to throw some literary classics at him.

Yeah ok, I’m half boasting, but I’m also utterly terrified about all this. In the beginning, I tried to censor the books he read, but I couldn’t keep up with him! I take 3 weeks to get though a book and he takes 3 days. Puts me to shame.

So while James the bookstore owner was recommending me some books… two other very well-read gentlemen in the store (who were just random customers) overheard me and started to drop some suggestions into our conversation too.

Frankenstein, Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Of Mice and Men, Jasper Jones, Cloud Street, Animal Farm, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island…

Soon the 4 of us – an unlikely combination of complete strangers 1) book nerd bookshop owner 2) mature gentleman 3) young hipster dude 4) Asian fashion blogger/mother – were standing around talking about all the classic books of the past that we’ve read as young folk. And throwing around our 2-5 word verdict on whether the book would suit my son! Too dark. Too slow moving. Not enough action. Language isn’t modern enough. More of a romance. Bit too sad.

It was such a refreshing, weirdly enjoyable and totally unexpected experience for me. Haha who would have thought I would spend my free 3 hours doing this??

I settled on Animal Farm by George Orwell (which I read when I was 13?), Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (adventure/action), Of Mice and Men (which I’ve always wanted to read), and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep By Philip K. Dick (again, I’ve always wanted to read this book, and I’m not sure if I bought this book for myself or my son!).

Northside Books, Northbridge

Anyway, James doesn’t know I’m writing about his bookstore on my blog. I thought I’d surprise him. It’s a ridiculously hard time for bookstore owners!

I kinda feel bad for all the times I bought my books online for $5 less. Or even drove all the way to Kmart to buy it for $2 less. I love love LOVE the old fashion feel of holding a book in my hand, I adored my trips to hip, indie bookstores in the past – so here’s my support to them!

The name of the bookstore is Northside Books, Northbridge.

They even have a little café inside (with snacks!), places where you can sit inside the bookstore and café tables to sit on the footpath outside.

It’s on 212 William Street, Northbridge, almost on the corner of James Street, opposite the famous Brass Monkey Hotel.

So if you happen to be a closet book nerd (like me) and if you happen to be passing by, do pop in and say hi!

(And check out a couple of Charles Dickens books on his sale racks for $5!)

Or pop into their Northside Books Facebook page!

 

Looking up, looking down, looking forward

Margaret River 2014

While were we in Margaret River, we took the kids on a wintery bush walk somewhere off Carters Road.

It was so peaceful and beautiful! The colours of the trees were singing out with life in the soft forest light.

Margaret River 2014

I looked up and was mesmerised by the black and grey masterpiece printed in the sky.

A light sprinkle of rain fell. And occasionally, a burst of sunshine spilled little coins of light onto the forest floor.

Margaret River 2014

The mud stuck to our boots, but it didn’t stop us from following the track into town.

The children ran ahead and disappeared out of sight. Their shouts of laughter seemed muted in the thickness of the bush.

Us adults strolled slowly, hand in hand with our loved ones, through the cathedral of trees that made us feel like kings and queens.

Simple holiday pleasures, which cost close to nothing, are definitely the best!

Just go for it, girl

Crop Top + Jeans

When it comes to finding my own personal style and dressing for my body shape, after many years of experimenting, I think I’ve finally figured out what works best for me.

I have a very petite, hourglass figure – which lets me get away with a lot – but I have short legs.

If I wear a long top, a long tunic, a pelplum top, a drop waist top, or even a shirt that ends below the waist, I always feel overly elongated and visually “top heavy”. This may or may not be an accurate certainty… but fashion is all about how it makes one feel right?

So I’ve learnt several tricks. I tuck my tops into my bottoms in order to highlight my waist. I tie knots into my t-shirts. I wear belts over shapeless dresses to highlight my waist. I wear short shorts to elongate my legs.

And most recently I’ve found the ultimate optical illusion for short people like me… the crop top! Yes, it’s not for everyone. And as I keep saying, if you’ve got the goods (whatever they are), just go for it girl!

Making your waist look like it starts higher than it really does, the crop top is a short-legged person’s best friend.

I have recently picked up a loose fitting crop t-shirt in white, black and grey – all in preparation for the warm summer months.

I love wearing them with high waisted jeans and tropical print pencil skirts.

Black crop top from The Iconic, Check shirt by Tokyo Fashion, White jeans by JCrew, white sneakers by Converse, Crossbody bag from Witchery, Diver watch by Rotary.

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

A birthday of bagpipe farts

For my birthday, my husband and I planned to go out for a fancy, romantic, degustation dinner. In fact, I was so organised that I booked the restaurant about 6 weeks earlier. It was at a restaurant that I have been dying to visit… and finally I had an excuse to spend hundreds of dollars on a meal there!

So on the day of my birthday, my family made me breakfast: Bacon, eggs, mushrooms and spinach.

It was just how I liked it. So much love right there.

My Birthday 2014

In the afternoon, I went out to lunch with my parents.

We shared a huge bowl of delicious nachos. I had my usual soy flat white.

My Birthday 2014

After lunch, we chatted and did a bit of shopping. Then I went to pick up my kids from school, brought them home and fed them a snack.

Since my husband and I were going out for dinner that evening, all 3 of my kids were going to have a sleep-over at my parent’s house. Yay! Like I said, I was super organised.

I grabbed their ready-packed clothes and drove over to my parents house. I dropped them off and zoomed home by 4:30pm… giving myself HEAPS of time to have a shower, wash my hair, put on my makeup, style my hair, and put together an evening outfit for a hot Friday night date with my husband.

But on the way home…I started to feel…unsettled. And the feeling grew. A sense of anxiety came over me.

By the time I reached my house, I realised I was feeling sick, and the feeling was growing fast.

There was a sudden pain in my stomach. I felt swollen with sickness. I wanted to throw up. My head was spinning. I felt so freaking bad that I had to lie down on my bed.

I curled up into a fetal position, squeezed my eyes shut and my head spun into a pit of swirling darkness.

I laid there, fully dressed and still wearing my makeup and shoes… and I blacked out.

At 5:30pm, I opened one eye.

OMG I was still in agony. I looked down at my stomach and I couldn’t believe it. It was huge, swollen and round and I looked like I was 6 months pregnant!!! WHAT THE HELL DID I EAT???

I reached behind me, my hands clumsily slapping the bed sheets, looking for my handbag. I found my phone and I called my husband.

The conversation went something like: URNGH. I’m sick. I ate something bad. I feel like shit. Not going out tonight. Cancel the restaurant booking. I’m staying bed.

I passed out again.

My husband came home, checked that I was still breathing, put a bucket next to my bedside table and left me sleeping.

At 9:30pm, I opened one eye again.

My necklaces were tangled in my hair. One earring was wedged into my ear. I smudged makeup and lipstick all over my pillow and sheets. I had one shoe off and one shoe on. My body was aching. My head was still dizzy. My stomach was still swollen, and I was still in pain.

Yeah, Happy Birthday Karen.

I got out of bed, took off all my jewellery, changed into my pajamas, washed my face… and tenderly staggered out into the lounge room where my husband was watching TV and enjoying his lonely Friday night “man” dinner – toast.

I plopped down next to him on the couch.

And then it happened.

I let out the BIGGEST FART of my life.

It started out resembling a big brass tuba blasting through the cushions of the couch. There was such a change in air pressure I think my ear drums popped. Then it became like a bagpipe belting out morse code. DOT DOT DAAAASH. It wouldn’t stop. Oh my god, I had to leave the room to try and save the last shreds of my dignity. My husband laughed as I fled, jet propelled.

(Mercifully, the pain in my stomach slowly subsided throughout the rest of the night. The “flatulence” did not. And every few minutes, I had a little wind instrument explosions from down below.)

I rang my mum to see if she was feeling ok (we both ate the bowl of nachos) and she was just fine, so it was not something that I ate. And then it hit me… my soy flat white tasted a bit different than usual. Damn it… they probably put REAL milk in my coffee! Grr.

My husband was very supportive. After his initial laughter, he didn’t mention my musical bottom at all. Bless him.

When we finally went to bed, he bravely spooned me and gave me a birthday cuddle in bed, being careful not to squeeze me too tight.

He said: “You know, Honey, even after all these years together, you are still full of surprises.”

And that is how we keep the romance alive! :P