Second hand books and new titles

Possibly the one thing I love MORE than shopping for clothes, is shopping for books, but now I can read romance books online free.

My collection is constantly growing – even though I have waaaaay more books than I can possibly read.

My shelf is full of classic book titles, trashy pop novels, prize winning stories and book titles you’d see in internet lists like “Top 100 Books To Read”, “50 Greatest Novels of All Time” and “50 Books You Must Read in Your Life”. I’m just addicted to stocking up on all the books I think I might like to read… someday!

So a favourite hobby of mine is to pop into an op shop and browse through the book section.

Oh the titles I’ve found! My heart breaks a little to see some of the books that people throw away. I guess everyone is switching to e-readers or they don’t have enough room in their home to store their books. That’s good for me!

Yesterday, was my best haul yet.

Books Wolfhall

I’ve been looking for a vintage A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens for the longest time! I saw one beautiful, leather bound edition, but I had to purchase it in a set of 10 books and it was $500 for the whole set! This edition above was deliciously aged (published in 1950) and at $1.50 you should have seen me grin from ear to ear!

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood won the Man Booker Prize in 2000 and I’ve been wanting to read it since then! Er yes, 14 years ago.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel is a 2009 Man Booker Prize Winner and is said to be utterly amazing, but intense. I don’t actually know if I have the stomach to read it, since I couldn’t even finish Game of Thrones (which had so many evil, manipulative, immoral people, that it made me so stressed when I read it in the evenings!). Anyway, this hardback cover edition is 5 years old and still retails for $35. I bought it for $4.

Books Mazerun

I also decided that it was time for the kids to start some new novels too. My kids go through cycles of being obsessed with reading until their necks and backs are sore from reading too much. Then they move on to being obsessed with sports, until their legs and arms are sore from playing too much sports.

These are fairly new titles and I didn’t get them at a secondhand store.

The book on the top of the pile, Don’t Look Now by Paul Jennings and Andrew Weldon was for my 5 year old. I bought it as his introduction to “big boy books” (even though it’s like a comic). He’s blitzed through it and now he’s moving onto Andy Griffith’s Just Stupid! series.

The 52 Story Tree House by Andy Griffiths was finished in 2 days by my 9 year old. And he is now halfway through Billionaire Boy by David Williams. Both books were said to be “really great”.

As for my 11 year old, he finished The Maze Runner by James Dashner in 2 days too and says that it is the best book he’s ever read! He says it’s even better than Ice Station by Matthew Reily, which he rates very highly. He’s still going with The Scorch Trials (the sequel to The Mazer Runner) which he says is pretty different to the first book but it’s still a great read.

(My son hasn’t watched the movie The Maze Runner yet. I told him he had to read the book first!)

I’d love to get some reading suggestions for Christmas! Please feel free to drop me a note on my Facebook page!

Burgundy Bandage Dress from ClubCouture

Bandage Dresses from ClubCouture

If you’re a regular reader of my site, then you’ll probably know how much I LOVE my bandage dresses!

ClubCouture have sent me a few bandage dresses to review over the years (most are still available on their website!). I have a black, gold, patterned, and two grey tone designs.

Still I wear them all the time, because a bandage dress is so easy to wear. I just slip one on and it’s like an instant ego boost! The strong, stretchy fabric pulls me together (like a corset), and I feel amazing.

But I do have to rotate them so I didn’t look like they are the only dresses in my wardrobe haha.

Burgundy Bandage Dress from ClubCouture

So today I’m testing out a red/pink version called a Premium Veena Dress. Yep, it’s amazing.

The pink, dusky rose, deep magenta and burgundy colours are vibrant and rich. They give the dress a very feminine feel, which goes really well with classic, fine jewellery and pearls. I would be completely happy to wear this to both a day time and night time event.

The fabric is soft to touch and has a nice texture; it’s not plasticky or rough.

 

Burgundy Bandage Dress from ClubCouture

I think I’ve put on a kilo or two from my 8 weeks of no-exercise, I’m not too sure, but I’ve definitely lost my tone and I’ve gone a touch wobbly in places. Ok ok maybe no one can notice at all, but I FEEL a bit flabby after not going to the gym and running ok?!

Anyway all that doesn’t seem noticeable in the dress because, as I said, it pulls me together like a firm corset and I feel fabulous darling!

Burgundy Bandage Dress from ClubCouture

I needed to suck it in big time to zip up this Size 6. But once it was on, it felt absolutely fine. Possibly a bit tight, but I wouldn’t want to go a size up, as it’s *supposed* to be a figure hugging, firm fitting dress!

I could still move easily in it, as you can see from my silly stretching pose, trying to expand myself to the max.

It’s very affordable for the US$129 price, especially because it’s a high quality dress.

I’ve been wearing my older designs for 2.5 years and they are still in perfect condition.

Do take a peek at the whole collection from ClubCouture!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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

Dinner Inspiration: Salmon and Salad

Salmon + Salad

I made this for dinner the other night; and as I sit here, editing the photo, my mouth is watering again!

I made a really simple Asian style dressing with 1 lime, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of fish sauce.

(I like this dressing recipe, because I don’t have to finely chop garlic or ginger, and it has no sugar! Haha I’m so lazy!)

I threw together some snow pea sprouts, bean sprouts, sliced cucumber, sliced carrots and sliced zucchini, spinach and coriander.

I pan-fried some salmon fillets. Piled them together. Drizzle the dressing on top. Crush some cashews and sprinkle over the top.

All done!

For my husband and kids, I mixed in rice noodles with their salad. But I’m trying to eat carb free for a while, so I skipped the noodles and had another portion of salmon. Best dinner ever!

 

What I Wore: White on White Lace

Lace Skirt. White on White.

After posting on my blog (and Instagram) about heading into the city for a meeting and shopping the other day, I received a lot of comments about my skirt.

Yes my white lace skirt is new! It’s from the lovely team at YesStyle.

I’ve seen this style of lace skirt selling at various places on the internet, and was keen to try one myself.

I picked out this lace skirt design that I liked, from Tokyo Fashion. It is super affordable at AUD$30, including postage! But it takes 2-3 weeks to arrive, which is a bit annoying. It’s definitely one of the more prettier designs that I’ve seen, so I think it was worth the wait.

It is partially lined, so it’s not see-through. The hem sits at a very modest length below my knee. It does bunch up and look a tiny little bit bulky at my hips (um, because I think my bum is a bit small!). It only comes in one size, so I think it would be suitable for a size 6-8.

Lace Skirt. White on White.

Being such a delicate looking skirt, I would pair it with classic/ladylike styled tops such as a button down shirt, silk shell tops, simple tank top, simple tee crop, 3/4 sleeve breton top… in neutral or blush colours.

This drapey white top with shoe string straps, from In Good Company, is just a perfect match for the skirt!

I’m also wearing:

Felt hat from ASOS
Bag by Marc by Marc Jacobs, similar from Shopbop
Shoes by Koo
Jewellery from HannaLee and Wanderlust + Co.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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

A Spot of Shopping at enex100

I had a meeting in the city the other day, so I stopped off at enex100 to do a bit of shopping.

I haven’t been to this mall in a year or so, and I was really delighted by the mix of high street stores and independent boutiques (including a designer clearance sale pop up store!).

My first stop was The Generics Installation, owned and run by a friend of mine.

I was immediately suckered by the mixture of bright fabrics and promise of a brand new dress!

Generics Boutique at enex100 Perth

There was so much on offer! You’ll find hot and edgy brands here, like Zanthus, Wild Horses and Zhivago.

Generics Boutique at enex100 Perth

This Generics pop up store /installation offers customers a free one-on-one fashion consultation and personalised styling for events.

Lots of pieces were very statement, glamourous and cool. The prices are great too; you pay a little bit more than high street fashion prices, in order to get high quality.

Generics Boutique at enex100 Perth

I found quite a few stunning items. On the right is a fur vest which seemed to make me look freaking magical every time I popped it over whatever I was wearing and trying on. It was on sale too! It was like a fashion lift, which instantly upped my cool factor haha.

On the left is was a gorgeous deep green statement necklace with very pretty tassels.

Generics Boutique at enex100 Perth

I also spotted this amazing semi-sheer dress, which came in a long and short version, and also in black and red styles. I grabbed a few to try on and I swear I had to “fight off” a girl every 10 minutes, who walked into the store and wanted to try one on. They were just stunning.

I was a bit freaked out by how sheer they were. But they covered all my important bits so I was ok.

I just felt like a sexy, fairy princess whose only covering was a snowflake :P

Generics Boutique at enex100 Perth

I tried on a few other bits and pieces, suggested by my friend. She did a great job styling me!

She knew exactly what was hot, current, what would look good on me and she got a good feel for what kind of things I liked :)

I walked away a very happy girl!

Pigeonhole at enex100 Perth

My next stop was Pigeonhole at enex100.

I needed to buy a gift for my girlfriend and I was sooo excited that I was finally going to buy a “cool and thoughtful gift”.

Usually I’m not such a great gift giver. I often buy my friends something that’s (admittedly) a bit boring, practical and predictable.

Nice hand cream. Yummy foot scrub. Designer candle. Classic bracelet. Trendy keyring.

Yes they are nice to give. And they are nice present to receive. But… how cool/unique/surprising/different would it be to receive one of these quirky bottles?!?

Pigeonhole at enex100 Perth

Or these science beaker containers?!

Pigeonhole at enex100 Perth

From unique photo frames, to cute cups, colourful saucers, cool hats, unique bags, weird statues, vintage cameras, pretty pots, funny ornaments, hipster lamps, knitted scarves, funky umbrellas, and lovely jewellery… this place had everything!

Pigeonhole at enex100 Perth

I actually ran out of time, and didn’t get to explore a few other shops that caught my eye.

I’ll have to come back to the city another day and check them out!

xx