Go Big with These Styles For The New Season

Yippee – who doesn’t love a big sale?!

In collaboration with Shopbop, I’ve curated a selection of fantastic items from their Go Big Spring Sale, keeping in mind, wardrobe longevity, versatility, and style hints for an updated look.

Enjoy 15% off orders over $200, 20% off orders over $500 and 25% off orders over $800. Simply use the code “GOBIG18” at the checkout!

Shopbop Spring Sale

Cocktail Dresses

The other day I had a cocktail party to go to and I had a panic attack. Most of my dresses are cotton summer dresses and I only have 2-3 really nice cocktail dresses… which I have worn soooo many times already (it was starting to look a bit embarrassing), that I actually uttered the words “OMG I have nothing to wear!”.

I really believe in choosing and buying dresses that you can wear again and again. And these two are definite winners.

Lover Ingenue Slip Dress – This dusty rose colour will always be in style. Adjustable straps, easy length, you’ll definitely get lots of wears for weddings, cocktail parties, garden tea parties, horse races and more.

Self Portrait 3D Floral Azaelea Dress – Such a gorgeous dress for this new season. The red colour and 3D lace  just is stunning. You definitely can’t go wrong with this one.

Shopbop Spring Sale

Statement Kitten Heels

OK yes I know these are a tad expensive, but this is a Go Big sale after all! If you’re in the market for a statement splurge, kitten heels are the go.

Aquazzura Powder Puff 45 Sling Pumps – I’m love! I was seriously so tempted to buy these, but thankfully they are sold out in my size. Easy to wear kitten heel, with a fun pompom, pointed toe, cute AF. They’d be so perfect to wear with a simple dress or jeans and a tee. 25% off too.

Aquazzura Kisha 45 Pumps – White pointed-toe shoes are super popular this season. These have been sitting in my Shopping Cart for a while. You see, I have a pair of cheap & cheerful white ASOS pointed toe flats and have been considering to upgrade to something more luxe. I know these will be a classic for my wardrobe. Will last me years. Will go with everything.

Shopbop Spring Sale

Cute dress alert!

Tis true, I’m always on the lookout for sweet and simple dresses with a cute print.

Cupcakes and Cashmere Dezzi Spring Bouquet Floral Dress – Easy to wear, lovely colour and print. Not too bright and floral. Perfect for days you want to wear floral without looking TOO FLORAL – happens to me all the time.

re:named Ruffle Wrap Dress – This cutie is AUD$75. Again, another floral dress that is not IN YOUR FACE floral.

 

Shopbop Spring Sale

Mid Heel Magic

Ok perhaps this comes with age, but I’ve been loving my kitten heels lately. And when I wore my high heel stiletto shoes one night to a party, I almost cried. My feet were so sore! I’m tossing out my cheap heels, keeping my luxe ones, and I’m now slowly trying to buy a couple of good quality mid-heeled shoes so I can have more comfortable options.

Loeffler Randall Emi City Sandals – Lovely light nude colour to go with everything. Sleek and minimal design, with a stylish wave detail. Loafer Randall has the loveliest leathers, this will surely be nice and comfy.

Stuart Weitzman Nearlynude Sandals – Mr Weitzman is a master shoe maker and all his shoes seem like wardrobe classics. These are just gorgeous!

 

Shopbop Spring Sale

Square-neck Necklines

Square or straight necklines are fast becoming popular again. These work well with tank tops or dresses (I’m not a fan of the cap sleeve with a square neck look). I just adore these casual dresses because they are fun and flirty, yet their style and colours keep them versatile and wearable.

Bec & Bridge Under Eave Mini Dress – Perfect for a getaway or just the weekend. Denim and navy will always be a classic wardrobe colour. Love the hugging and flattering shape of this dress!

Steele Estate Dress – Another good-looking casual dress! I’m obsessed! This white and pinstripe pattern will last for many seasons.

Shopbop Spring Sale

Everyday Sling Back Heels

Ok you probably get the idea that low heels are back in fashion, especially sling backs. I love mine. So easy to slip on and off. A bit like flip flops, but much more stylish. Choosing shoes from a more affordable brand, still made from leather, in a classic, minimal look, will ensure they last you years.

Sam Edelman Ludlow Slingback Pumps – These are a more affordable version of kitten heels I bought a few months ago (reviewed here).

Steven Lourdes Slingback Flats – Go the white shoe! I hear you saying, “Um I don’t know about white shoes”… But if you are used to wearing white sneakers with jeans/pants/everything… you’ll probably be surprised how these white shoes will just go with everything, then you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.

Hope you find something you love!

Happy shopping!

xxx

What I Wore: Grana Classic Silk Camisole

Grana Classic Silk Camisole

The weather in Perth has been aaaamazing these last few weeks. Not too hot, not too humid, not too cold. Perfect for stepping out in a nice strappy top, jeans and sandals!

I’ve been happily testing out a few new Grana items (gifted!) and will be featuring them over the next few weeks. I’ve noticed that they are launching updated styles, where they’ve tweaked the hem lines and improved on the overall fit. I shall let you know how I go!

For this new season, Grana has released a new Silk Classic Camisole – a new style and in new Spring colours.

Their past silk camisoles have been “round-neck” styles with a racer-back, or “v-neck” styles with a v-back.

This one is more of a straight neckline across the chest and back, with a stylish, minimal drape. I think this looks much more modern and very COS.

It sits nicely on my chest; not too low. It doesn’t flare out at the bottom. It’s a loose fit, but still flattering and slimming.

It’s sweet and simple, I really like it!

Grana Classic Silk Camisole

I liked the style so much, I picked out the top in TWO colours, that’s saying something!

I chose Off White so I could wear mix and match it with blacks and denim and this Pink Frosting colour for something different.

Funnily, I wear the Pink one more, because the colour is super sweet, a bit different to what I usually wear and it kind of brightens my complexion?

The silk is absolutely lovely. It has a slightly “matte and velvety” feel, rather than “shiny and slippery”. And I find that it’s quite similar to my Equipment silk shirts, more so than silk tops from Zara and Topshop. Basically I think it’s really affordable for the quality.

Grana Classic Silk Camisole

As for sizing, I’m wearing a Size XXS and it fits perfectly. Here’s a picture of how it sits under my arms – not too low that my bra strap shows. I love the shape of the back.

Another different thing is the lining. In the past, they have used a double lining of silk – where sometimes when the weather is wrong, the lining gets a bit staticky. But they have used a different kind of lining this time. It looks like standard lining (which is slightly see-through and a bit like satin/polyester) but it is in fact, soft, flowy, drapey, feels good on your skin and it is still 100% silk.

So this top feels very light and breezy to wear.

Would I recommend to my friends?

Yes! If you’re the kind of person who would love to wear more silk in your everyday or work outfits, this classic top is perfect. Especially at this price. But if your wardrobe is overflowing with camisoles, you probably don’t need another one haha! Maybe a white one to update your look slightly?

Special Discount Code

If you’re a new customer, you can use my code “karenxgrana” to enjoy 10% off your order and free shipping!

Enjoy!

Extended Learning with Lego Mindstorms

Lego Robot Printer

Hey hey, we’re all about EXTENDED LEARNING over here! ;)

While it sounds so academically enriching and profoundly challenging, it really just means: kids learning things outside of school, at their own level, at their own pace.

I have to admit that we do these things more as a “desperate attempt to entertain the kids” and “a way to get the kids off their screens” – ha!

In fact, I should have called this post: Cool Shit We Did During The Holidays.

We’ve dabbled in so many things at home over the years: gardening, camping, bush walking, rock collecting, stop motion animations, spheros (programable balls), electronics, carpentry, bicarb explosions, taking apart computers, melting metals… so much more, I can’t even remember.

Anyway, we bought our kids a set of Lego Mindstorms EV3 back in 2013.

My big boys were 10 and 8 years old, and they were obsessed with Lego blocks, so we felt it was a good step up into a whole new world of programming and creative thinking.

Over the years, both my big boys have chosen “Robotics” or “Programming” electives in Primary School, High School and a School Holiday Uni Course for Kids, and we discovered that all the schools use this same system + set.

Because our kids had the set at home, it gave them a head start, plus they were able to tinker, mess around and experiment without a time limit, which I think is really important for creative + fun learning.

They followed all the tutorials and made cars, robots and more. Even a Rubix cube solver!

They are good at it, they were interested in it. But I wouldn’t say they were passionate about it. Oh well.

These days, my kids are 15, 13 and 9.

During the 6 weeks of school holidays just gone, we had to “force” them to do something with the Mindstorms set, because honestly, given a choice, they would prefer to be on their devices, social media and YouTube.

So we enforced a “1 hour each day” rule and told them to make something cool. It could be whatever they wanted.

They just had to show some kind of research, goal, process, planning and creating.

Lego Robot Printer

One of my boys made a printer!

He just found the tutorial on YouTube.

I didn’t see the demo video or his goal, I just saw his planning and thought it’d be stupid (I’m such a supportive mum right?? Haha! Omg typical Asian mum – “Why waste your time?! Do something more ambitious and interesting!!”)

But thankfully my kid has a good level of self confidence and said, “Trust me mum, this will be really cool!”

 

Lego Robot Printer

Indeed, the result was SUPER cool. Hey, it was freaking mind blowing.

And I did apologise and tell him so.

Anyway, I’m hoping he can make me a coffee machine next.

What I Wore: Chinese New Year 2018

Chinese New Year 2018

Hello hello, wishing everyone a Happy Lunar New Year!

This is me, heading out to a Chinese New Year Community Dinner Event.

To summarise the night: There were about 300 people at the dinner, the fire alarms went off and everyone had to evacuate the building! No fire though, just a bit of oven smoke in the kitchen.

I’m wearing Lovers and Friends Etra Dress (still on sale), Stuart Weitzman Daisy Pumps, 3.1 Phillip Lim Alix Cross Body Bag.

Chinese New Year 2018

I particularly like this dress, because it’s very roomy and a loose fit… so I can eat all I want. Perfect for Chinese New Year.

(Omg I’ve been eating so much! It seems like I’ve been on a non-stop festival of eating since Christmas!)

When I stand front-on, the dress looks a bit like a sack. But the sleeves and fabric are pretty swishy, so it hides the sack-ness and it just looks like a really cute dress.

Chinese New Year 2018 - Year of the DogFor our family reunion dinner, we usually go to my grandmother’s house to celebrate with the family. But my grandma passed away last June, so this is the first year we’ve celebrated without her and we dedicated our dinner to her.

It was also the first year I helped cooked some food to share – usually I turn up with nothing (as instructed) and find that all the Aunties and Uncles have cooked a 10 course banquet dinner for everyone!

I made spring rolls and a fruit platter. My sister made a super-cute Year of The Dog Yee Sang (fish salad).

I tried to find a SUPER-LARGE platter for her to use, but I could only find a not-so-large one… so we had to split the salad into TWO plates and things got a bit crowded.

Next year we’ll be using the WHOLE tabletop in a kind of epic, grazing table Yee Sang. After all, it’ll be the year of the pig – ha!

Moore River 2018

Moore River 2018

6 months ago we returned from a 4 week camping trip to Central Australia… and after that, I swore I’d never go camping again!

Haha not really… we just made a conscious decision to NOT go away for a while.

I mean, staying at home is SO underrated these days.

Anyway, last weekend, we finally decided to break our no-camping drought to join a bunch of our friends to camp at Moore River (Guilderton Caravan Park).

Honestly, it wasn’t REAL camping, because the caravan park had lush green grass, lovely shade from trees, and super-amazing, shared facilities  – hello microwave, electric kettles and clean, hot showers!

We did lots of swimming, paddling, hanging on the beach, sand boarding, running, sunset bush walks, playing cricket, walking to the shops to buy ice cream, talking, chilling, reading the newspaper… it was the perfect.

We only stayed 2 nights, but it was truly relaxing – even with so many young kids running around.  There were 6 families in total (including 4 sets of twins!), all our good friends and I felt totally blessed to know such lovely people!

#blessedyo