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Bridesmaids Dresses from White Runway

4 April 2014

A few weeks ago, I was a bridesmaid for my sister’s wedding.

I think my official title and role was “The Chief Bridesmaid” – which sounded a little scary, possibly involving sacrificial animals and tribal initiations.

Thankfully it was a lot simpler than that, just involving pretty dresses.

So part of the Chief Bridesmaid’s job was to help decide WHAT the bridesmaids – just two of us – were going to wear, our earrings, our shoes, our hair, our make up, our nail colours, and our style of eye lashes (I’m not kidding).

Thankfully my sister is not the Bridezilla type. She was very relaxed and easy going about all of it.

For the bridesmaids dresses, she wanted two matching navy dresses, that were flattering, comfortable, gorgeous and something that we could wear again and again.

We chose these two BEAUTIFUL dresses from White Runway – an online shop specialising in bridesmaids dresses, formal evening dresses, cocktail dresses and mother of the bride dresses.

Gah the dresses were sooooo pretty and soooo flattering!

Bridesmaids

This is Rui Hsian and I, posing in our Mikaela dresses and ready to head out the door to do bridesmaidy things.

They are actually by an Australian designer that I adore, Pia Gladys Perey (via White Runway).

I already have several of her dresses – all super soft, super comfortable, stretchy and easy to wear, and all made in her signature slinky, silky fabric that drapes wonderfully.

The fabric didn’t need to be ironed too. I literally just folded up the dress loosely into my luggage, then when I arrived at the hotel, I hung it up for 30 minutes before wearing it, then viola, I was good to go. I also have to add, that they were very affordable, for bridesmaids dresses.

But I think the best thing about my dress is that I can wear it again, out to dinner, out to a function, out to someone else’s wedding. It’s versatile!

If you check out the all the Pia Gladys Perey dresses, you can actually choose a different style of dress, but choose the same colour and fabric. So all your bridesmaids can have a dress that best suits their style and body shape, and be all matching. Very clever!

Bridesmaids
(Photo by Jason Tey)

Our hair and make up was done by local hair and makeup artist, Creations by Kassy.

I cannot begin to describe what a great job she did with our hair, make up, eyes, eye lashes and eye brows (oh wow those brows!).

I took a peek into her makeup kit and almost died with envy. She had all the “best of the best” cult beauty products – from Urban Decay, to Smashbox and classics like MAC, Nars etc etc.

And the three of us (bride and bridesmaids) looked incredible from 7am all the way til evening! My makeup didn’t melt in the sun, or smudge, or go all shiny or oily. I needed a touch up of lippie before dinner, but my face makeup was matte all day. Amazing! What kind of beauty magic do these makeup people use?!

Bride and Bridesmaids
And lastly, here’s another shot of the three of us, in all our girlified glory!

Love and sunshine to you all xxx


Love is in the air!

1 April 2014

As I mentioned before, my little sister got married!

BT & CC Wedding

Oooh I just love weddings! And this one was extra special because it involved my one and only sister, a great guy, and all of my family. I was a bridesmaid and part of the wedding party, my 2 sons did a special reading during the ceremony and my youngest son was a ring bearer.

It was such a sweet and fun day… and everyone was giddy with happiness and love!

So as promised, I have a few photos to share.

The photos were taken by Perth wedding photographer Jason Tey, who did an amazing job. When I saw the photos, I squealed with delight upon seeing how pretty my sister looked, how great her husband looked when posing (not awkward or forced), how natural everyone looked, and how the light was captured so… exquisitely!

BT & CC Wedding

I love this shot, they totally look like Korean movie stars :)

This pic needs a title like “The Proposal” or “52 Pairs of Shoes” or something like that superimposed on top.

BT & CC Wedding

Pretty dresses, sparkly earrings, pretty flowers, pretty hair, glam hair, gorgeous makeup – this is one serious girlyness overload.

From the left, of course that’s me, my sister Christine, and Rui Hsian, who is my sister’s long time friend from high school.

Rui Hsian and I are both married with kids, and while we suspected that our official titles were supposed to be “MATRONS OF HONOUR”, we insisted that everyone called us “The Bridesmaids”.

I’ve had so many people compliment us and ask about our dresses, so I’ll be talking about the dresses in another blog post (this Friday!).

BT & CC Wedding

And here we all are. The damn fine looking bridal party at Brookfield Place, in Perth City.

The photographer and videographer followed us all day, from morning till night (9am – 9pm)… and we even traipsed across the city to several locations, just to take special wedding party photos.

It sounds pretty epic and tiring, but we had so much fun, chatting and laughing, and it was all very relaxed and chilled.

Surprisingly the photographer (and videographer) didn’t get in the way at all, they didn’t crowd the space, they weren’t annoying, awkward, pushy or in our faces. They just got on with the things they needed to do, dashing in and out without interrupting our fun.

It was like being on a great big, girly party all day long!

xxx


My Travel Essentials

11 March 2014

I have some exciting news!

1) My little sister (my ONLY sister) is getting married this weekend and I’ll be one of the bridesmaids!

The wedding will be in Perth, then next week we are going to fly over to Singapore and Malaysia to celebrate with her partner’s family.

2) I’ll be travelling without my husband and kids and I’M A BIT EXCITED! I’ll be able to focus on lots of girly-girly-pretty-pretty wedding things without feeling guilty about ignoring all the man-boys in my life.

But this is all a bit scary for me.

The last time I went away by myself was 3 years ago. I went to a very wintery Denmark for 7 days for a fashion media trip and to attend Copenhagen Fashion Week. I found that packing for such cold weather was quite difficult, especially when trying to fit in all the bulky coats and knits. I had to pack as if I was going on a mission to Mars!

This time around, I’ll be going to a tropical place that I am very familiar with, so packing should be a cinch.

However, the DANGER is that I will be just TOO relaxed about my packing…. And that I won’t have the proper essentials I need for playing the major supporting role in the biggest event of my sister’s life.

So, all my outfits need to be planned (from my bridesmaid’s dress all they way down to what swimsuit I’ll wear at the girl party by the pool), my beauty essentials will need to be packed, shoes, jewellery, cameras, passport… I guess I’ll have to make a packing list.

Travel Essentials

Here are some of my travel essentials… (clockwise from top)

•   Passport, camera, smartphone, watch – of course!
•  Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Perfume – for me to smell nice.
•   L’occitane rose hand cream – for soft hands 24/7.
•   Napoleon Perdis Camera Finish Powder – for keeping my skin matte.
•   Chanel Vitalumiere Makeup with SPF15 – for flawless looking skin.
•   SK-II Stempower Cream – to keep me hydrated and radiant all day.
•   SK-II Skin Signature 3D Redefining Mask – to prep my skin for the big day!
•  Sukin rosehip oil – for sensitive, dry patches on my skin.
•  Chanel Nail lacquer – for manicure touch ups.
•   Bobbi Brown lipstick – for gorgeous colour.
•  Chanel Eyeliner in Noir – for smoky eyes.
•  Clinique Mascara – for thick lashes.
•  Tiffany and Co cosmetics case – to stop things from getting lost in my handbag!

I’m sure I’ll add more to this list… as the days get closer to my departure.

I’m so excited!


Korean Hair Dresser in Perth: Balayage!

10 March 2014

I’ve been going to a cool Korean Hair Salon in Subiaco, called Curi Hair.

Last year I had a perm, then some hot oil hair treatment… now I finally took the plunge to colour my hair in balayage style.

I was a little nervous about it because… my hair was quite dry from the perm and I knew that it would become even dryer and frizzier after the colour. But I was dying for a change and a fresh new look for my sister’s upcoming wedding.

Korean Hair Dresser in Perth - Balayage

So this is me in the morning, just about to head out the door to my hair appointment.

My hair looks soft and a bit frizzy because I washed my hair the night before and I didn’t blow dry or use any products.

Korean Hair Dresser in Perth - Balayage

I was surprised that the treatment only took 2 and a bit hours.

I should have brought a book, because I spent the 2 hours reading horribly trashy celebrity magazines that made my head hurt. I had a nice cup of tea though.

Korean Hair Dresser in Perth - Balayage

Ta da! I was a bit shocked. It was so light. I’ve never had my hair this light in my whole life.

But I really liked it!!

What do you think? Do I look younger? Do I have to tint my eyebrows now?

Yay for a fresh new hair do!

Their prices are really reasonable.

BALAYAGE starts from $135

FOILS
1/4 head is $45,
1/2 head is $70
Full head of foils is $90

TINT FOIL
1/2 head is $100
Full head is $135

Do check out their Curi Hair Facebook Page for more photo examples and contacts!


Fred and Ginger in Top Hat

7 March 2014

I recently watched Top Hat, a 1935 musical comedy staring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers… who I didn’t know much about until now.

I didn’t CHOOSE to see this movie. It was forced on me by my husband, who is a fan of “classic” movies. This happens now and again. If I want to snuggle up to him on the couch, the price I often pay is to suffer through a film which is “important to cinema history”… as opposed to “entertaining”. For example, you might like to read my review of Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry.

Thus, I was expecting Top Hat to involve aliens, guns, car chases, zombies, weird humor, or whatever.

But I LOVED IT! It was so cute, funny (in a silly way), and the dancing was lovely. And after I got used to the style, I realized I was watching a romantic comedy-musical that was almost older than my grandmother. But it still worked!

The movie was one of the most popular and successful movies of its time and it broke box office record, grossing $3 million dollars – which was a lot of money back then! It is continually referenced as one of the most stylish films of the 1930s… Hollywood’s “golden” era, when modern glamour was invented.

Fred and Ginger were Hollywood’s top stars in the 30s and 40s and they had such an electric on-screen chemistry that they went on to make a total of 10 movies together. So they were as big as can be, in the world of movies stars, pop music stars, and celebrity icons… but they were not a couple in real life. Top Hat was a movie written specially for them, especially to show off Fred’s amazing dancing.

Even though the movie was in black and white, I was so struck by the interior set designs and of course… the fashion!

Fred and Ginger in Top Hat

Basically I was checking out all the clothes worn by both Fred and Ginger throughout the movie.

But being a girl, I was very taken by this feather dress!

Fred and Ginger in Top Hat

I had to do a bit of interweb digging to find this stunning photo of Ginger Rogers and her dress.

I don’t know who took the original photograph, but by the looks of it, it was a film still portrait taken on set at the RKO Movie studios.

Ginger collaborated with RKO costume designer Bernard Newman to create this blue feather gown. It features a figure-hugging, low back, bias-cut silhouette, which was covered with ostrich feathers. Stunning!

Fred and Ginger in Top Hat

The dress famously dropped feathers everywhere and apparently the feathers floated all over the stage, got caught in Fred’s suit, hair, face and made a huge mess during the dance scene. Yet Ginger insisted on wearing this gown, despite Fred’s and the film crew’s protests. Fred subsequently went on to called her by the nickname, “Feathers”. So cute.

I also discovered that Fred always chose his own wardrobe in movies. He had a signature “casual elegant style” and as a result he was a significant influence in 20th century men’s fashion and often named one of the best-dressed men in the world, and helped established sophisticated “masculine cool”.

At the end, I realised that my husband and I had watched a whole romantic comedy together… without him whining about it!

Well, there you go.

I wonder what other time traveling treasures are out there!


The Little Black Dress: Always Chic and Always Stylish

5 March 2014

The other night my husband and I went out on a last minute date night. And I mean LAST. MINUTE.

He ran into the room, “Quick we have babysitters, lets GO OUT NOW!”

“What? Where? What are we going to do? Watch a movie? Eat out? I haven’t booked anything.”

“Doesn’t matter, just get dressed NOW!”

“Yeah but I need to dress appropriately, like, what if we decide to go… rock climbing? What do I weeeeeaaaaar???”

“We’re not going rock climbing. Just wear something NICE!?!”

Little Black Dress

So what’s the answer to WHAT DO I WEAR? A little black dress, of course.

It’s the perfect outfit for any nice occasion! It’s always chic and always stylish. I never feel daggy or “badly put together”.

This little black dress is by FashionJunkee, and it’s one of those easy to wear, miracle dresses that hugs and fits in all the right places. It’s made from a thick fabric, which has a good, comfortable stretch to it. It feels like I’m wearing shapewear that pulls me in and helps with my posture.

It has some sheer lace at the top, a sweetheart neckline and cap sleeves. It’s cute as a button. And plus it is really affordable.

My styling notes are pretty straight forward.

I chose big, bold and colourful earrings, to add interest and sparkle. These are from Wanderlust and Co.

Black suede heels from Betts. I could walk all day in these.

Handbag is by Rebecca Minkoff from Shopbop.

And the chair? Well, I took this photo as I was heading out the door and there was all this kid stuff in my photo studio… so I just included it in my pic. I consider it to be a reflection of the reality of my life – surrounded by kids, mess and bright colours!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Casino Royale

4 March 2014

I have quite a few circles of friends, but I’d say that my biggest group of friends is my “scuba diving group”. Once upon a time we used to go scuba diving together. But now, you’d be hard pressed to find any one of us who has touched a wetsuit in years. We’re too busy with kids, mortgages, life. You know how it goes.

We still see each other often. We go camping together. We have barbecues together. We do outdoorsy things like bush walking, kayaking, boating, watching movies. We’ve created a happy little village for ourselves and our kids. It’s a rare and beautiful thing.

So it makes me beam with delight to see my friends (particularly this group of friends) all dressed up and without kids!

Tuxedos, bow ties, top hats, fedoras, shiny croc-skin pointy shoes!

Strappy silk dresses, flowing gold sequins, long satin gloves, pearls, fur, and diamonds!

My lovely girlfriend, Bec, celebrated her birthday with a Casino Royale theme party. There were card tables and roulette tables, finger food, dancing, entertainment, a DJ and a dance floor.

Casino Royale Theme Party

Now if you ask me honestly, I have to say that I don’t like gambling at all. Especially the whole “losing money” thing.

Plus I don’t like roulette. That spinning wheel? I can’t handle it. It makes me want to barf on the table.

But… I really like card games!

I played all kinds of card games when I was a kid and teenager and I am pretty good at it. Especially bridge, blackjack and poker.

I used to love playing poker. I can’t do a straight poker face to save my life. But, I can pretend to be a “ditzy princess” like a star. I’ll be chatting casually about frivolous topics like high heeled shoes, and then BAM I’ll throw a straight flush right atchya.

Casino Royale Theme Party

Look at me! I match the card table!

Because I can’t stand losing, it means I can’t play at casinos. My card playing skills get thwarted by my psychological inability to throw perfectly good money away. So I don’t take any risks, I am paralysed with anxiety and I play terribly.

But since we were playing with fake money at this party and I was amongst good friends… I enthusiastically DOVE HEAD FIRST into the card playing spirit. I could feel my competitiveness rise and rise.

As my chips multiplied like a single-celled organism, spilling all over the place, enveloping the table, I wanted more, more, MORE!

Deal faster damn it, faster! Quit talking! Stop entertaining us with card games, give me my hand noooow!

Unfortunately I lost all my fake money and I had to drown my sorrows on the dance floor haha.

Casino Royale Theme Party

This is what I wore! The dress code for the event was black tie glamour, not James Bond characters. So I wore my stunning Pia Gladys Perry dress that I reviewed here.

Perhaps because everyone else wore black, red, white, gold and silver gowns… I kind of stood out and I received so many compliments! Which is lovely and all, but I really think it’s a strange Kermit the Frog colour! Thank goodness it looks ok with my skin colour.

Casino Royale Theme Party

My girlfriend also gave me a gift. A souvenir for the night. I was told that my dress had a split that was worthy of a racey, lacey thigh gun holster.

So I walked around all night, with this knobbly thing between my legs and used it to pew pew all the law breakers.

It was such a great night!! :)


And this is how you wear a fish pond

27 February 2014

Fish Pond Poo

Recently my parents went away for 4 weeks (holidaying around the US!) and I looked after their house. They also asked me to look after their koi fish, and of course I said yes.

But to avoid what happened last time (I killed my mother’s fish), I promised her that I would be extra diligent so it wouldn’t happen again.

So. I popped over every second day to check up on those fish.

All was fine until week 3.

It was a Friday afternoon. All my children were at school and I had 3 hours before I had to pick them up. I was actually on my way back from meeting in the city, so I was dressed quite nicely, wearing crisp white jeans, silk top and a blazer. I stepped into my parent’s garden and the smell hit me. The sour stench of rotting algae and fish death. OH NO!!

The pond water was murky. The pump had stopped working. I slowly peered into the water. All the fish were still alive! But they were moving pretty slowly.

Siiiiiigh. I didn’t want to fix this problem! I have so many errands to run today! I didn’t have time for this! This was supposed to take 3 minutes! In. Feed fish. Out. Done.

But of course, since I killed her other fish, The Good Chinese Daughter in me felt obliged to sort out this problem before MORE FISH DIED!

So I took off my high heel shoes and carefully stepped on some rocks so I could take a closer look at the pond pump.

Hmm. The pump sat at the bottom of the pond and it was very murky down there. I couldn’t see a thing. I grabbed the slimy tube connected to the pump and lifted the whole thing up and out of the water. It looked like a dead and smelly swamp creature covered in brown algae, just like in Star Wars. The pump was not working. Possibly clogged? I gave it a shake to dislodge anything that might be stuck in it. But it was still not working. So I carefully placed it back into the pond, but just as it hit the water, it slipped from my hand and made a big splash.

I gasped. MY WHITE JEANS!

I looked down and my white jeans were splattered with dirty pond water. Shit. Shit. SHIT!

I went back into the house and I reluctantly took off all my clothes, except my knickers and bra. I gave my white jeans a wash and hung them up. Then I went BACK to the pond to examine that pump again.

That’s right! I was standing IN a fish pond in my freaking underwear! My NICE underwear!

I was praying that no one came to the house – postman, delivery guy, pool cleaner, electricity meter reading guy, the neighbours – how embarrassing!

Sigh. I took apart the whole pump. Tubes. Filter pads. Power supply. Everything. Everything was covered in this brown slime. My fingers and hands were covered in it. It was dripping down my arm. The filter pads were so clogged with the stuff, that I couldn’t see inside any of the pump parts. So I had to spray water on it to clean it, and the spray splattered the brown stuff onto my chest, face, hair too.

It was truly disgusting. It was slimey and sticky. It smelt sooo bad. And I SMELT SO BAD!

I deduced that the power supply had failed.

So I called the closest water pump specialist in the area. The guy on the phone told me that all the blown slime was probably fish poo. Oh god. I fed the fish too much. The fish went on a pooing spree. The poo clogged the pump. The pump died.  And so that is how I came to be standing in my underwear, covered in fish poo, talking to a guy I have never met.

EEEEEeeeeeeewwwww.

So then, what happened?

I bagged the old pump. I hosed myself down. I changed back into my nice clothes (and wet jeans!). I drove to the pump shop. I showed the guy the broken pump, in wet, white jeans. I bought a new pump (for $259!!). I drove back to my parent’s house. Checked that the fish were still alive. I took off all my clothes again. I installed the brand new pump. Tested it to make sure that it worked. Had a quick shower, with soap this time. Changed back into my nice clothes again. And then rushed to pick up my kids from school!!

I only *just* made it!

And, I hope, nobody noticed the faint whiff of fish poo :P


Spots and Pink

14 February 2014

Spots and PInk

Where I live, we’ve been having a sweltering heat wave for weeks… and after all, I do live in Australia, so this is not unexpected. But there has just been a nice cool break from the heat… and I’ve been dying to wear my jeans and sweaters again.

In my effort to wear (and feature) more casual and everyday outfits, I have absolutely fallen in love with my monochrome + pink formula. Black, white, grey, then add pink. It’s a bit lazy, but it makes dressing so easy :)

I adored this outfit. I had a smile on my face all day.

And having a pretty, spotty sweater that I can throw onto anything, significantly helped with my cheery smiles.

Outfit details, plus links for shopping:

Spotty jumper from Sportsgirl
White jeans by Fendi
Rose anorak jacket from AL&ALICIA
Nude heels from ASOS
Beige hat from ASOS
Silver leather clutch from Birdsnest
Jewellery from Kailis and Shopbop

Anyway, I hope you have a fun this Valentine’s Day, if you’re into that. We’re not! We’re off camping this weekend, bye!! And the rest of summer is still to be gotten through. I am looking forward to winter already!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


My Morning Beauty Regime This Summer

11 February 2014

Being a mother of 3 young children, I’m pretty busy from the MOMENT I WAKE UP in the mornings. I’m all GO GO GO!

However I always make it a point to have some kind of morning beauty regime, to put on (at least!) a bit of make-up and to make sure I look presentable.

My beauty regime has changed over the years. When my children were newborns, my method was more “slap and dash”.

But nowadays my children are getting a bit older, they can get dressed on their own and pour their own cereal in the morning, so it gives me 10 extra minutes in the morning to look after my skin.

So my regime has settled into a really nice place – and this summer, it is all about hydration and sun protection.

My Morning Beauty Regime This Summer

When I wake up in the morning, I like to use a very simple and gentle cleanser.

I also like to use organic products where I can, and I really like Sukin Organics.

I have bought and tried a LOT their products (facial scrubs, shampoos, body creams, lotions, oils), mainly because they are so affordable and they smell nice. Mind you, some of the products I don’t like or are just not effective for me.

I use the Sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser, it’s really gentle and doesn’t dry out my skin.

It’s not very effective for a deep cleanse, if you’re trying to wash off a full face of makeup. But if you’re just washing off some tinted moisturiser or you’ve just woken up, this is perfect.

My Morning Beauty Regime This Summer

After cleansing, I use the SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion like a toner.

Then apply a few drops of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence all over my face.

And then I use a bit of SK-II Stempower, which is a moisturising cream. The packaging makes it look like a rich, night cream, but it is actually light, smooth and hydrating without being greasy, and can be used for day and night.

For the last 4 weeks, I have been testing out these 3 products together, using them morning and night. In the past, I have used the Facial Treatment Essence and the Clear Lotion before, but this is the first time I am using all 3 products together.

The results have been… great! I don’t know if the impressive result has been a combination of my new year resolutions to exercise more, drink lots of water and eat healthier… but it seems to be working for me – in a very good way.

My skin feels hydrated, it looks clear, seems to have an even skin tone and texture, and my cheeks feel just that little bit firmer and plumper than before. So much so, I actually feel happy to go out of my house with no foundation or concealer on :)

I do use a bit of tinted moisturiser and powder, which leads me onto the next few products in my regime.

My Morning Beauty Regime This Summer

I use Mecca’s In A Good Light, which is a tinted moisturiser with SPF30+. It has a very light and creamy texture that glides nicely over my skin, and leaves my face feeling well hydrated.

It only comes in ONE colour, which I first thought was very strange. I thought that since Mecca was an Australian brand, it would cater more for Caucasian skin tones? But nope, it looks gorgeous on my olive skin colour. It give me a nice sheer coverage and gives me a kind of fresh, healthy and warm glow.

Then I finish off with a bit of Napoleon Perdis Camera Finish Powder all over my face.

That’s it!

Sweet and simple!


Everyday White Lace

7 February 2014

Everyday White

This past week, my day-to-day life has changed significantly. All my children are in fulltime school and I now *officially* work from home (instead of looking after a child). What a milestone! I’ll be writing a bit more about that soon.

Anyway since I work from home, I will no longer be hanging around all day in my pyjamas, tracksuit pants or my gym clothes! :)

I have adopted a smarter dress code, to keep me in a “at work” mindset. I call this a casual, everyday style, but also polished and on-trend.

Here are some of styling notes for today’s outfit.

  1. I bought a simple, crochet lace tank (on sale!) in crisp white. It’s really girly and feminine, so to balance it out, I chose to wear it with man-ish items like, tailored cuff shorts and a fedora style hat.
  2. To keep it casual, I wore sandals. I could have worn some oxfords, to keep in with the man-ish style.
  3. But I felt that the sandals also lifted the outfit, with its splash of colour.

And here are the outfit details, with links for browsing!

Lace tank from Forever New
White cuff shorts from Zara
Peach leather sandals from Vangoh Shoes
Crossbody handbag from ECCO
Straw fedora, vintage find from London

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Summer in the City

23 December 2013

With the weather warming up towards an Australian Christmas, I’m not particularly inspired to dress interestingly. I just want to wear a top + shorts + thongs!

But the other day I was off to a festive meeting in the city so I thought I should put some fashiony effort into my outfit.

Ruffle Skirt + Nude Shoes

I decided on a print on print outfit.

I’m wearing a semi-sheer, print top by AL&ALICIA, and I put a knot in it to make it cropped at the waist, because hey, it’s summer.

This ruffle hem print skirt is by Korean brand, Coolhada. Ruffle hems are definitely the ‘IT’ trend at the moment… so I thought I’d give it a go, and turns out that I really like the style and it suits my petite body shape. It has a fun and flirty look that I adore. I bought the skirt from YesStyle, which has tonnes of cute ruffle hem skirts, in hundreds of colours, patterns, and sizes. Worth a look!

My felt hat is from ASOS. You might remember I wrote about felt hats a few months ago. Well this one has a more structured brim which I preferred over its floppy-brimmed cousin.

My wristwear pieces and necklace are from Wanderlust + Co.

My bag is by Alldressedup from Shopthemag.

The chair was some treasure I found, that was buried under a pile of household junk on someone’s verge.

Ruffle Skirt + Nude Shoes

And lastly, I’m wearing a new pair of shoes from Korean brand Nanning. They are genuine leather, open-toe, lace up booties… and they are divine! They are buttery soft and so so comfortable.

I chose them because the style was quite unique and I don’t own a pair of open-toe booties. Ok they were possibly a bit too bootish to wear on a hot day, but haha they matched my top, they looked great and they amped up my outfit very nicely!

I will definitely be wearing them more when the weather cools down.

Happy Festive Season everyone!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Change My Race

5 December 2013

What?

REALLY?

Uh…I don’t think so, ACTUALLY.

A few nights ago, a TV station in Australia (where I live) showed a documentary that explored the idea that young Asian Australian women feel pressure to undergo facial surgery, in order to “change their race” – to take on “white” characteristics to appear beautiful.

Since I am interested in beauty and fashion and am both ethnically and culturally Asian, I was obviously interested. I was especially interested since the show was hosted by a very attractive Australian Asian woman about my own age – Anna Choy (below), who is a well known TV personality, and who, in my opinion looks simply beautiful.

Change My Race

But to be honest, I couldn’t accept what the show was saying about Asian Australian women in Australia.

I felt that the documentary was misleading viewers to think that ALL Australian Asian women feel the pressure to look “white”. It implied that ALL of us feel out of place, that we all feel that we don’t belong, and deep down we actually want to change how we look to fit in. The show made Australia seem like a scary, unwelcoming place for Asians.

An Asian Australian girlfriend of mine also watched the documentary, was concerned about it, and said so on social media. Realising that others have also been concerned is what moved me to write about this show.

Let me state this clearly – I’ve have lived in Australia for 30 years, and I have never, ever been racial abused, verbally or physically. I’ve also never thought that I needed to look “white” in order to fit in, or be accepted. I went to school, university, got a job, volunteered, am part of several different communities, and have friends of all shapes, sizes and colours. I was ONCE teased about my flat Asian nose by my white boyfriend, and he married me!

Sure, I live in Australia, where the commercial media very strongly projects images of the supposedly ideal Australian girl – rich, white, tall, thin, blonde and tanned – just like in America. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 12% of Australian are of some kind of Asian ethnic background. These figures are not very definite though, because in Australia, the government does not record any information about an individual’s race, which I think is really nice – race is OFFICIALLY not important.

With over 80% of people in Australia being white(ish), of course advertising is going to try and reach them with images of beautiful white people. These images are everywhere, on billboard posters, magazines, TV commercials, fashion catwalks, websites and they DO create a feeling of “that’s what you should look like”.

But this is not a RACIAL issue. This stereotype, which is pushed on us by the media, affects ALL women, Asian or not. The fantasy women portrayed in these images are a zillion miles from any human being I have ever met. Almost EVERY woman is going to have some big or small insecurity about their looks, their body shape, parts of their body. Everyone is going to wish for something they don’t have. It’s a HUMAN issue.

Having an Asian face in a mostly white society does create some amusing and interesting experiences, I admit. Because my kids look more white than Asian, I have twice been thought to be the nanny of my kids, not their mother. Both times, this mistake was made by older white people who had come to Australia from countries where inter-racial marriages are very rare. Man, they were so embarrassed when they realised their mistake. Very awkward. And twice, I have been mistaken for a prostitute when in the company of my older, white husband… both times, while on holiday in Asia, once by an Asian man, and once by a white tourist. Very funny when we showed them our matching wedding rings (though it has caused me to wonder if I should dress differently when in Asia).

As part of the TV show, Anna Choy also took the viewers of the show to the streets of South Korea, which now has the world’s highest per capita rate of cosmetic plastic surgery. She introduced us to the world of nose jobs, double eyelid surgery, and dangerous jaw reconstruction in order to get the “V line” babydoll face shape. She showed us a subway station full of billboards with shocking before and after surgery photos, with the promise of success, love and a happier life.

Change My Race

Like a lot of people, I feel bad that any woman would risk their health, and their unique appearance, to look like some media generated “ideal”. But I just don’t think it is very fair, or useful, to compare a multicultural society like Australia with various Asian countries. Asia is a very big, diverse place, with very different countries, each with their own different beauty ideals and trends, unique to their society, with different levels of influence from Western culture. So I don’t judge these Korean women, since I can’t possibly understand the forces that motivate them.

My conclusion is that TV shows like this are carefully designed to shock, stir people up and to create a conversation. And I guess it worked! Here I am, stirred up and being part of that conversation. But I regret that the TV show was so alarmist in tone.

I consider myself very lucky to be a HUMAN BEING living in Australia, and having an Asian face just makes it even more interesting for me, and everyone one I meet. Just think… only 12% of Australians have an Asian face. I’m THAT special!

Women, please love yourself, love your uniqueness, love being who you are! And remember, the most important part of your beauty regime is to keep a smile on your face, what ever your race.


Very. Hard. Firemen.

2 December 2013

I’d never been in a room full of hot, muscled, super fit EXCITED men with almost no clothes on – until now.

Firefighter 2014 Calendar Party

I went to a night club to support the Perth Fire Fighters as they launched their 2014 Calendar to raise funds for the Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital Total Burns Unit.

I wasn’t exactly delighted to be going, to be honest. I’m a happily married wife and mother of 3 kids, living in a quiet, modest suburban house… what on earth was I doing going to a “ladies’ night” in a NIGHTCLUB? I get enough loud noises and bad behavior at home from my three sons and one husband! Not to mention the theme of the evening was “Doctor’s and Nurses”! You can see my battle with getting an appropriate costume here.

Am I getting old?

But, I was sure it would be… interesting. After all, it was going to be young, hard men taking their clothes off. I may be getting old, but I am still a woman. And these guys were going to take their clothes off for the best of causes.

When I arrived outside the nightclub, I saw a couple of hundred women queuing up to get in…and also that NONE of them were wearing a nurse’s costume. So how stupid did I feel? Oh Well!

I met up with my media contact (also NOT dressed in a medical theme, dammit!) and we discussed a few of the technical aspects of the evening, about when the guys would come out, and where I could stand to get photos, etc.

And then I said to her “Hey, how about we go backstage before the show, and I meet the guys?”

I wanted to really check out the facts, and make sure everything was what it claimed to be. I was suspicious because, having seen the calendar, they all seemed to be far too good looking to be normal human beings. I wouldn’t want you to buy a calender that wasn’t what it seemed. What if these guys were actually professional models and dancers, and not real firemen?

The media person said “Okay”.

So I was taken backstage to meet the currently twelve hottest guys in my whole city.

The backstage area was large, but cluttered with backstage props, chairs, tables, clothes racks and… FIREMEN! When I first saw the guys, it was a little… awkward… for me. Some of them were in their ordinary clothes, some of them were already in their first costume… and some of them were in between. I was blushing a little, but I suspected that these guys could be professional performers… because they didn’t seem AT ALL shy about me being there while they were changing. There were few other women there in nurse’s uniform’s, and it occurred to me that maybe that kind of dedication to a theme was what it took to “get backstage”.

firemen2013-06

This is me with Dan (Mr August) and Tom (Mr March). Notice that they are wearing braces to hold their pants up, not belts. This means that their pants gape open a little at the top, and since they don’t have any belly bulge, I was tempted to quickly glance down and see if they were wearing fireproof underwear.

I started to feel a bit warm and… flustered. There were so many hard guys around. There was no denying it.  They were all very good looking with striking, angular features, and intense, kind eyes that you could get lost in. Their bodies were very impressive. The effort these guys must put into building this kind of physique was amazing. But were they real?

Firefighter 2014 Calendar Party

So I honed in on John, Mr December. He was lifting a few objects to warm up his chest muscles.

We chatted for a bit while he flexed his muscles, me in my nurse’s costume and him in his peek-a-boo fireman’s pants. I’ll be honest with you… I was trying to maintain eye contact, but I was distracted by his chest and abdomen and everything else he had going on. His muscles just didn’t look… REAL. So I asked if I could take a close up picture of his six pack. I kneeled down in front of him, to get the angle of the lights right for the photo. He was such a nice guy. He even smiled at me while I was kneeling there.

Yup, up-close, his muscles certainly looked real to me. Good, glad we got that sorted out!

Obviously the firemen train to operate in very hot conditions, which is probably why they did not seem to be troubled by the increasing heat backstage… but I was getting very warm, and suddenly wished I had worn the skimpier nurses costume.

I found the coverguy of the calendar, another John (Mr July) and asked him lots of questions about being a fireman. He told me that he had never done any kind of modelling or dancing or performing in front of an audience. He also quietly admitted that he was very nervous, but excited (that made two of us). It was sweet to see a big, buff fireman with a vulnerable side, but I felt I needed to do my final check that these guys were real firemen… so I asked him:

“What is the Fireman’s Lift?”

You know when you watch movies, you always see a fireman walking out of a burning building, as it explodes dramatically into flames behind him, and he is holding a maiden-in-distress in his arms.

Anyway, I wanted to know if this “Fireman’s Lift” was an ACTUAL LIFT, or was it just a myth? Do real fireman actually use this lift? Could coverguy John possibly perform this lift on ME? John knew exactly what the Fireman’s Lift was and he performed it to perfection. I could tell it really was no problem for him at all. And it was no problem for me either. He was so strong, he could have picked me up with just one arm. I imagined that he could easily have handled me AND my best friend as the same time.

Firefighter 2014 Calendar Party
Ok, I’m aware that I don’t look very distressed here. And that John also has a very big grin on his face. But I’m sure if there was a burning building behind us, it’d look very authentic.

Then someone said that it was five minutes till the show started. John put me down as gently as can be, and suddenly dropped to the floor and started doing push-ups, to really pump up his muscles. I asked him if there was anything I could do to help, and he said I could sit on his back, to stress his muscles more. I thought he was joking, until another fireman yelled out for me to do it.

So I did.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) there are no pictures of me going up and down on a fireman’s back… but I can tell you that I was riding side saddle – in this position, you don’t get to hold on with your knees, but it seems more dignified. Tragically, the media person came by and said I had to leave coverguy John, and join the crowd out the front. My only regret is that I never really got to say a proper goodbye to him.

I found my reserved spot in the front row, joining a crowd of excited women, and the show started. The firemen did short performances and dance acts with cheesy themes – fireman outfits (obviously), pilot outfits, strip trease, etc. You could tell the firemen were not professional performers – they were a bit nervous, but at the same time loving it.

Firefighter 2014 Calendar Party

The music was loud and pumping, the energy of the women in the audience was heaving. There was so much screaming, cheering, hooting and laughing. The guys on stage were flirting, grinding, tearing their clothes off. I felt quite intoxicated and energised by it all… and I joined in with the cheering and hooting until my throat was sore! It was so much fun!

Watching the guys on stage, with huge smiles on their faces, you could tell they were having a great time and that’s what made it really enjoyable – as well as the fact that they were all as HOT as can be.

But on a serious note:

Fireman actually have a real excuse for spending a part of every day building up their muscles… because they have a very particular job. They go into a building that is on FIRE, wearing very heavy protective clothing, pick up a whole human being, and carry them up and down ladders and steps and through windows and doors that are on FIRE. So they need to be super strong. And they rip open crashed cars to get people out… not using their bare hands of course, but using really heavy equipment. These are actually super fit guys who literally risk their lives to save you. Of course there is something VERY appealing about that.

At only TEN DOLLARS, the calender is a PERFECT novelty gift for several of your friends for Christmas.

All proceeds will go to support the Princess Margaret Hospital Total Burns Care Unit by funding state-of-the-art equipment and vital research.

You can buy Calendars online from the PMH Online Shop.


My Secret To On-The-Go Glamour

25 November 2013

Wanderlust Festive

Hi everyone!

Planning your festive party outfits yet? Nope? Me neither!

I tend to go for a more “slap things together at the last minute” kind of approach. I like to call it On-the-go glamour haha. Perfectly suited to crazy-busy people, with lives full of unglamourous activities like jobs, kids, sports, housework and gardening.

So if you’re hoping to ace this ‘on-the-go glamour’…

My secret is : Own a stack of statement jewellery.

Wear them with your tee and jeans. Sweater and shorts. Tank and pants.

I find that when I have great accessories, I can pretty much transform any outfit to a super-special one. They don’t have to cost the earth either.

Wanderlust Festive

These statement pieces are from Wanderlust + Co Jewellery.

I’m wearing The XL Multi-Gem Earrings which are sparkly, colourful and glam.

Wear with a simple black shift dress. Or white strapless dress. I’ll be wearing them to an upcoming corporate White Christmas party, with white pants, white top and white blazer… and they’ll stand out brilliantly.

Wanderlust Festive

This necklace is the Multi-Gem Box Chain Necklace in Teal.

Again, it will totally transform any everyday outfit. It has a gorgeous feminine style and it is easy to throw on top of an after-work ensemble.

Here, I’m wearing it with a silk shirt and skinny jeans. I’m hoping to wear it with a maxi dress for a weekend party. Or with a cocktail dress during the festive season.

Wanderlust Festive

This is the Multi-Spike Gold & Neon Yellow Necklace.

OK I’m not wearing it with a particularly glamourous outfit, but I think this necklace design is one of those simple yet striking styles that are perfect for everyday wear. It adds a slightly edgy touch and polish to an otherwise casual outfit. I’ve been wearing it with my graphic tees and jeans.

Check out all the new necklaces and earrings from The Statement Series at Wanderlust + Co.

The quality of the jewellery and customer services are excellent…  so are their affordable prices. They offer FREE Worldwide Shipping on orders over $50.

Hope you find something you like for the festive season! Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Swarovski By Shourouk

17 November 2013

Shourouk for Swarovski

Parisian designer Shourouk, known for her colourful, flamboyant and statement designs, has teamed up with Swarovski to create some utterly dazzling pieces of jewellery.

Shourouk for Swarovski

I was really honoured to be able to borrow this necklace to wear to a recent fashion show.

I brought it home in a fancy bag and box with a fancy ribbon… and almost gave my husband a heart attack – “Look what I picked up from the shops today honey!!!” Hehehe.

I teamed it with a gorgeous navy Pia Gladys Perey Dress from White Runway, which I’ll show off in another post!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Costarella + Frock Stars Exhibition at the WA Museum

15 November 2013

I was invited to the launch of TWO new exhibitions at the WA Museum.

1. Aurelio Costarella: A 30 Year Retrospective

2. Frock Stars: inside Australian Fashion Week

The launch event was -of course- glamorous and stylish… with a few heartfelt and tender moments during the speeches. I had a tear in my eye, which almost ruined my mascara, but thankfully I managed to dab it away delicately with my used finger-food tissue, in true fashionista style :P

Costarella + Frockstars

As the guests gathered in the beautiful Hackett Hall (pictured) I was led downstairs to have a crowd-free preview of the exhibition!

This worked out really well for me, particularly after my last disastrous visit to the museum, where um, I brought all of my 3 children to look at Egyptian mummies and one of my sons got his head stuck in a hole in a wall!

So, this evening I was thrilled to get to see everything up close, at my own pace, and have time to take nice photos.

Costarella + Frockstars

1. Aurelio Costarella: A 30 Year Retrospective

Aurelio Costarella is one of WA’s most successful fashion designers… and this exhibition celebrates the last 30 years of his career.

It is a fantastic way to see how Costarella started, how his style evolved over the years, and to see some of his intricate works up close.

If you’ve heard of Costarella, and seen his dresses in magazines or on TV, but have NEVER seen his clothes up close… you should definitely make a trip to the museum to see this exhibition.

Costarella + Frockstars

Mannequins are displayed throughout the museum’s permanent galleries – right next to the dinosaur bones, the stuffed bears, tigers and hanging with the stuffed pelicans!

My children come to the museum very often, and I’m sure they would be shocked and bemused to see “fashion” mixed up with the T-Rex bones.

Costarella + Frockstars

It was delightful and enchanting to see the garments presented in this museum format.

The exhibition is free, and the garments are spread out over 3 levels in the museum. Just grab a map and enjoy the journey through time!

(Oh and I recommend you DON’T try to see the exhibition with 3 young children!!)

The exhibition runs from 2 Nov 2013 – 2 Feb 2014

2. FROCK STARS: inside Australian Fashion Week

Created by the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, this exhibition presents a behind-the-scene look at Australian Fashion Week.

You get to learn about the history of AFW, how it actually works, who runs it, its organisational structure, the highlights and achievements.

You also get to discover some tasty bits of gossip and controversy about models, editors, designers and their shows. Of course, what is fashion week without the GOSSIP AND CONTROVERSY!

Costarella + Frockstars

There’s a display of garments (and fashion shows) that have made a significant impression on AFW.

You can also get to see what it is like to “sit front row” and listen to interviews with designers and industry insiders.

Costarella + Frockstars

There are a few interactive parts to the exhibition. There is a recreation of Nicola Finetti’s design studio, where you are invited to explore the space, and see how he develops a collection from design to manufacture.

OK it all looks a bit TOO neat and tidy at the moment. From what I know about designer’s studios, I believe they tend to be a little messier and chaotic.

I’m sure once they let a bunch of 8 year old school girls loose in here, those fabrics will be tossed all over the floor and spread out on that table in no time.

Costarella + Frockstars

Lastly there was this great “Workroom” where you get to choose a paper doll (male or female), grab some clothing templates, take two paper fabric swatches… and you can create your very own garment for a mini paper catwalk!

What an cool idea!

Costarella + Frockstars

I got a bit excited.

I wanted to pull up a chair and start snipping away at a few swatches. I didn’t care about the launch party upstairs, I wanted to do some glue sticking!

As for my 3 boys? Would I take them to this exhibition? Haha they would hate this! They would roll their eyes and make throwing up noises – “Muuuuum, enough with the faaaashuurn already…bleeerrghh.”

Oh wait, maybe I’m not being fair on them. Maybe they might surprise me and have a genuine *flair* for fabrics and colour. Some of the best fashion designers are men after all. I might just take them back… just to see what they come up with!

Frock Stars is also a free exhibition and is on from 2 Nov 2013 – 27 Jan 2014


Anyone Needs Mouth-to-Mouth?

12 November 2013

Yes I went to a Firefighter Calendar Party on the weekend!

But a few days BEFORE the event… it came to my attention that it was going to be held at a nightclub… and theme for the night was DOCTOR’S AND NURSES.

Riiiiiiight. I guess I didn’t want to stand out, or dampen the evening with a lack of enthusiasm, so I reluctantly decided that I would dress up as a nurse.

Immediately I looked online for possible costumes and ideas. And here is the range of available nurse costumes you can get.

Nurse Costume

Or…

Nurse Costume

Or even…

Nurse Costume

While the FIRST outfit was very realistic and would allow me to relive my ER days, with Dr “McDreamy” (aka Patrick Dempsey).

The THIRD one, um well… I might get a little bit cold walking from my car to the nightclub.

So I chose to go somewhere in the middle ground :P

And of course, I left it to the last minute.

The day of the event, I went to a costume hire shop and found 3 nurse outfits. Unfortunately none of them fit me, because i am so tiny winy. Argh! So hiring was not an option.

My next option was to drive across the city, hunting for a sized “Karen” nurse’s costume – ugh, no thanks. I don’t have enough time!

Then, out of desperation, I walked across the road to a second hand clothing shop to see what I could find.

A light bulb went off in my head. I decided that I was going to MAKE MY OWN NURSES COSTUME!

Nurse Costume

I bought this good old Van Heusen cotton shirt in a size XXL, for $5. It had a coffee stain on it, so I washed it and put it out in the sun. Thankfully it was a hot, sunny day and the shirt dried in 10 minutes. It looked brand new!

This DIY thing was VERY risky, because I’m not *that* great with my sewing machine. I don’t know any technical sewing terms. Nor do I know any clever sewing techniques.

I can string up a sewing machine and I can sew straight lines. That’s about it.

Oh and it was 2pm, and I had to pick up my children from school in 45 minutes.

No pressure!

Nurse Costume

I laid the big white shirt on my dinner table.

I placed a strapless dress (also white) on top of of the shirt, to be a template. Then I traced an outline of my dress, leaving a slight margin. Is that what it’s called? A margin? Sorry, that’s graphic design talk yo.

Nurse Costume

After drawing a faint line, I pinned the shirt together and I cut the sleeves off, leaving a raw edge.

Nurse Costume

Then I sewed along my drawn line – ZHOOOOP!

And again on the other side – ZHOOOOP!

(Sewing sound effects are very important when making garments. I’m sure they teach that at fashion school.)

Nurse Costume

I also bought a red t-shirt for 50 cents.

I cut out a cross.

Nurse Costume

I sewed the cross to my pocket.

And…

.
.
.
.
.
.

Nurse Costume

So what do you reckon? You think I can start a new fashion label specialising in nurse costumes? You buy? I could even cut out a few holes here and there for those who want it to be a bit kinkier?

I also took one of the shirt sleeves (yes the arm sleeve fit over my head!) and made it into a little cap.

Hehehehe.

So there you have it, my nurses costume for the party!


Pinwheel Jewels + Win a pair of earrings from Anton Heunis

7 November 2013

Hello my lovely readers!

I’m very excited to share with you all… my brand new sponsors: Pinwheel Jewels.

Pinwheel Jewels are e-retailers of luxury fashion jewellery in a great range of styles and prices.  They feature a lovely collection of jewellery that are elegant, stylish and sophisticated. From international labels such as Anton Heunis, Kenneth Lay Jane, Gorjana, Ben-Amun to trend setting and emerging designers such as Bounkit (USA) and WoonHung (handmade designs from Singapore).

They offer secure international shipping, free shipping to Singapore, and for a limited time, they are offering free shipping to Australia (ends 21st Nov).

You know, one way I can spot a great shopping site is… if I scroll through their collection and go… OH I WANT THAT! AND THAT! I WANT THAT TOO! OMG I WISH I HAD THAT! And that is definitely what happened when I visited this site :)

Anyway, Pinwheel Jewels and I have come together to offer all my readers an exclusive giveaway.

You can WIN a pair of these earrings from Anton Heunis (valued at SGD244)!!
Pinwheel Jewels

Aren’t they preeeeetty?!?!

Please scroll down to the bottom of this post for all the details of the giveaway.

Pinwheel Jewels

So of course I had to test out the prize :) Here I’m wearing the Anton Heunis Cluster Drop Earrings that you could win!

Gahh they are stunning!

They are made from blue, grey and clear crystals set in 18K gold plated brass. They have a wonderful weight – not too heavy that they hurt my ears, and not too light that they feel cheap. They have an amazing sparkle and the cluster design is just gorgeous and feminine. I feel like a million bucks when I wear them.

I chose these to be the prize, because, let’s just say I thought you might like them *GRIN!*

I’m also wearing a lovely Anton Heunis Clear Crystal Teardrop Pendant.

Pinwheel Jewels

For this next piece… I just *had* to feature these earrings, and you’ll see why in a second.

These earrings are by a relatively new New York designer called Bounkit. Since his launch in 2006, his handmade designs have been picked up by Oprah Winfrey, worn by Liv Tyler, Salma Hayek and seen on the sets of “Gossip Girl” and more.

The concept of his designs are “convertible earrings” that transform from simple studs to glamourous red carpet bling, by changing the drops. So clever!!

So really, you get 4 earrings in 1 – how cool!

Mind you they are a bit pricey, but they are perfect for a girl who loves quality, wants to make a statement and who can afford it!

These are the Green Multi-Drop Earrings, and as you can see from the photo above, there are 3 sections to the earrings, the stud and two drops.

Pinwheel Jewels

Here I’ve take off the bottom drop and wearing one drop + stud (left) and just the stud (right).

Here are some close up pics of the earrings…

Pinwheel Jewels

It also shows how you can mix and match drops too! Such a simple but brilliant idea :)

And you must check out the other convertible earrings from Bounkit designs available at Pinwheel Jewels – such pretty cluster designs in pretty colours (light blue, smokey topaz, amethyst, green amethyst) . Eeek!

Pinwheel Jewels

Lastly, I am pretty excited about featuring these earrings by Singapore designer, WoonHung.

She has some beautiful, feminine and delicate designs, that ooze a real sense of fine craftsmanship and sophisticated style. She hand makes her jewellery using 14K -18K gold plated pieces, and are priced at a very reasonable price point.

They are really pretty! I can just imagine wearing them with a crisp white shirt and a shorts and gold sandals. Or with a lovely dress for a special occasion.

Pinwheel Jewels

Her pieces are stocked in major department stores and niche boutiques in Singapore and Japan.

Do check out the rest of the WoonHung Collection at Pinwheel Jewels.

Pinwheel Jewels
*GIVEAWAY DETAILS!*

What you will win: One pair of Blue Cluster Drop Earrings by Anton Heunis, valued at SGD244.

Who can enter: This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE. You have to be over 18 years of age.

Dates of Giveaway: Giveaway runs for 14 days. Thursday 7 Nov – Thursday 21 Nov 2013, 11:59pm (GMT +8)

How to enter:
1) Pop over to the Pinwheel Jewels Facebook Page and LIKE it.
2) Scroll to find the wall post about this giveaway (with the graphic above).
3) Leave a comment and tell us “Which is your favourite piece of jewellery from the Pinwheel Jewels Website?

That’s it! Yes this is a Facebook only giveaway, so you must have a Facebook account to enter.

When the giveaway ends, we will randomly draw a name and contact the winner via Facebook.

We will announce the winner on the Pinwheel Jewels Facebook Page, and we will send the winner a personal message too, so please check your messages on the 22nd November!

ALL THE BEST!!

And happy shopping!!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Red Robert Robert

4 November 2013

Robert Robert Red

Hello gorgeous!!

I received a new pair of shoes in the mail a few weeks ago, and they are finally making a debut on my blog.

These hot mamas are from Styletread, by designer Robert Robert.

I seriously can’t get enough of them… I want to wear them with everything, with every colour and every pattern!

I’ll be rocking them with skinny jeans, slouchy pants, cocktail dresses and a-line skirts.

I got them on the Up to 50% Styletread Sale here.

Happy shopping!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


The Biggest Rainbow Vomit Ever…

3 November 2013

The Color Prun Perth 2013

I attended The Color Run with a bunch of girlfriends this weekend!

If you haven’t heard about it, it’s a 5km run… where you just have a fun time getting covered in colour. It’s not a race and it’s not actually about running.

There were THOUSANDS of people at the event, children of all ages, scooters, prams, even wheelchairs… so there wasn’t much running happening. It was more of a walk :)

Along the 5km course, there are different colour stations, where coloured powder-dust is thrown at you. The event volunteers (who are throwing the colour) try to aim at your white clothes, but the dust just goes everywhere – your face, hair, ears, arms, legs, shoes.

Everyone was very keen to get completely covered in colour, so by the end, some people were rolling on the ground and sliding around in the coloured dust. It was crazy and fun!

The Color Prun Perth 2013

I took these photos approaching the end of the event: coming up to the finish line and at the concert – where the organisers got everyone to throw their packets of colour into the air. It looked awesome!

I stood back to take these photos, because I didn’t want my phone camera to get stained or clogged with the colour dust.

The Color Prun Perth 2013

This was me, covered in colour and dancing away in front of the stage :)

Yes I had a great time!

After I took this photo, someone nearby threw a packet of dark green dust in the air. So I had dark green colour on my face, which outlined my sunglasses, so I looked like I had green eye bags, nice! I had also wiped under my nose and gave myself a purple moustache! And I had orange hair!

By the end of it, I had an old-lady moment, where I looked at myself, completely covered with dusty colour… and I felt really irritated and precious, “Ugh, what am I doing here?! I don’t actually like getting dirty! I’m disgusting! Now I have to go clean myself!” Haha.

Anyway… overall, the whole event had a really fun and happy vibe. It was great for kids too.

Would I recommend the event? Yes. But get a big bunch of friends, get dressed up in some silly outfits (crazy coloured socks and tu-tus) and really get into the colour craziness and dancing – while raising money for charity.

xxx


The Accessory Report – Necklaces

29 October 2013

Hi everyone!

I’d love to introduce you all to my new blog sponsors, The Accessory Report.

With FREE international shipping, an AMAZING collection of drool-worthy jewellery, all at super-affordable prices (Around US$20-35)… I really hope you like their stuff as much as I do!

They asked me to pick out a few to try… and eeks, I didn’t know where to start! There were so many to choose from.

I had a good think about what I already have in my wardrobe. I have lots of statement necklaces that are better suited to wearing with cocktails dresses and evening gowns.

What I have been lacking… were necklaces that would go with “everyday outfits”… like a crisp white shirt, a grey t-shirt, a white tank top and jeans, a blue denim shirt. But the necklace would still have to look stunning and stylish.

The Accessory Report

So I picked out these two, and I can’t stop wearing them! They are fantastic! They seem to go with everything. And it’s funny, because I would have never thought of buying styles like these in a shop.

Left is the Victoria Necklace in Navy (it is currently sold out, but you can put yourself on a waiting list for when they are restocked). The Grey version is still available though.

On the right is the Odelia Necklace.

If you follow my Instagram and Facebook, you may have seen me wearing them in the last couple of weeks. They are just soooo easy to wear and add a fantastic pop to my outfits.

The Accessory Report

The is me wearing smart casual outfits with the Odelia Necklace. See? It doesn’t look too over-the-top or too blingy!

It looks great and add a finished and polished touch to my outfits.

The Accessory Report

These two outfits are very simple and just a little more dressed up for a night time occasion.

Once again the Victoria Necklace adds the perfect finishing touch.

These are some other necklaces that caught my eye… and have made me very tempted to buy :)

The Accessory Report

This is the Collette Necklace and the Emili Necklace.

The Accessory Report

This is the Monroe Necklace and the Eleanor Necklace.

The Accessory Report

And yes, these are a lot more sparkly, statement and stunning!!

Left is the Petite Kaleidoscope Necklace and the Ruxena Necklace (approx US$30-40).

As for the quality, they match the costume jewellery sold in Diva, Lovisa, Collette, and high street fashion stores like Forever New, Zara, Topshop, and Sportsgirl.

They also stock pretty earrings, bracelets and clutches.

Free international shipping on all orders makes online shopping very sweet indeed :)

Hope you find something you like!

Happy shopping xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


1000 Dresses For under $100

23 October 2013

Hey everyone!

After *all that* cycling, I’m back to reviewing new season fashion goodies YAY.

Birdsnest Online continues to be one of my favourite online stores… offering a huge range of women’s clothes.

There are like… THOUSANDS of dresses under $100. Most of them are familiar brands like Wish, Fate, Esprit, Ladakh, Mink Pink, Sacha Drake, and even Collette by Collette Dinnigan.

Dress from Birdsnest Online

This is a Mink Pink coral dress that I picked out.

I have 2 or 3 simple, short, summer dresses from Birdsnest (see my old post here) and over the years, I have been surprised by how often I wear them. Going out to lunch with girlfriends, day time play dates, lunching with my parents… going to casual places where I don’t need to dress up too much, but I still like to look like I’ve put in some effort :)

This coral dress is not your average plain jersey skater dress, as it has a soft cotton lace overlay, giving it some texture and a nice feel.

It’s super cute, bright, soft, fun, summery, and needs no ironing! WIN!

Dress from Birdsnest Online

Birdsnest have also launched their own label called, “That Bird Label”… and wanted me to try out one of their styles. The collection features 20 spring dresses, specially designed in-house, after significant surveys and research on what modern Australian women love to wear.

They cater to all shapes and sizes, and flatter lots of different body shapes. Their sizes go from 8 – 16. The dresses don’t come in size 6, which was a bit tricky, because I’m a size 6!

Nonetheless, I chose this pretty Maggie Wrap Dress and it still fit quite nicely. However a part of me thinks that the dress would have looked much nicer if I had a few more curves and was fuller in the bust. I had to wear my super-push-up bra to “fill it out” haha.

It has a lovely, ladylike shape, accentuating the hour-glass figure, and features a fun pattern and vibrant colours. It is made from very nice and soft cotton material too. Very nice dress!

Top from Birdsnest Online

Lastly, I chose this loose fitting cotton tunic with contrast embroidery detail, called the “Moroccan Magic Top”.

It’s light, comfy and a bit see through… which is perfect for wearing this summer, over your swimwear. I’m wearing a size 8.

And if you need more shopping or styling inspiration, check out this massive gallery of outfits!

Happy shopping!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Win a $500 Shopping Spree at Ae’lkemi – Reminder

8 October 2013

Hello hello! Just a friendly reminder here!

My exclusive shopping spree giveaway… ENDS WEDNESDAY 11:59pm!

You can win a $500 gift voucher to spend at Ae’lkemi, instore on online. This giveaway is open to all my readers, worldwide.

Do check out my original blog post about the giveaway, to give you more of an idea of what kind of runway ready gown you can pick from the collection.

Ae'lkemi 2013

Now this special dress is a one-off piece that I borrowed. I wore it to the Ae’lkemi Lumiere 2013 runway show at the Perth fashion Festival… and oh my, being honoured to sit front row wearing this dress, I felt very special indeed! Eek!

That ruffle hem is gorgeous!

Ae'lkemi 2013

The dress is a cross between this Raglan Scuba Dress and this Shoulders Gown. It isn’t on sale on the website, but as I said, you can check out what is on sale at the Aelkemi website.

Look at that sexy back!

Ae’lkemi Giveaway Details
Who Can Enter:
It’s open to all readers WORLDWIDE, over 18 years.

What You Win:
The winner will receive a gift voucher to the value of AUD$500, to spend at Ae’lkemi. No part of this gift voucher is transferable for cash.

Giveaway Dates:
Runs for 2 weeks. Starts on Wednesday, 25 September 2013.
Ends on Wednesday, 9 October 2013, 11:59pm (GMT +8).

How to Enter:
This competition is now closed!

All the best! Hope you win!


Watercolours For A Sunny Day

6 October 2013

Freez Clothing

There’s nothing quite like waking up in the morning and seeing the sun filter through my window. A sunny day is always my mood changer. And I’m always reminded of how blessed we are with beautiful weather.

I was so happy to reach for my colours and prints the other day. I had a girly catch-up by the beach and wore this lovely watercolour dress.

Floaty, silky, a little ruffle and drape. It has a relaxed and effortless yet polished feel to it.

I found at Freez, an online store offering affordable and clothing.

Lots of nice dresses, in nice prints, nice styles and nice colours!

Watercolours are my weakness. I love painterly prints. As simple as it sounds, the connection comes from my art background – all the years of sloshing paints and colours around on paper.

Enjoy the sunshine everyone!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Win a $500 Shopping Spree at Ae’lkemi

25 September 2013

Ae'lkemi Dresses

To celebrate the start of the new season, I’m teaming up with award-winning West Australian designer label Ae’lkemi to offer all my readers (WORLDWIDE) this fantastic giveaway!

You can win a $500 gift voucher to spend at Ae’lkemi, instore on online.

OOoooooOOOOoooh so exciting! I wish I could win!

If you win, you can pick out one of these stunning runway ready gowns, that are available from the Ae’lkemi Online Store. These are the ones that I like…

Ae'lkemi Dresses

Left to right – (1) One Shoulder Scuba Dress,
(2) Lace Scuba Dress, or
(3) Paris Knit Gown in Tangerine or Black*

Ae'lkemi Dresses

Left to right – (1) Shoulders Sequin Gown in Moet or Silver*,
(2) Wrap Tuck Dress,
(3) Leopard Print Dress*

* = These dresses are over $500.

Or if you live in Western Australia, you can go into the Ae’lkemi boutique in Claremont and pick out something equally fabulous.

Here’s a sample of some new season colours and fabrics from the boutique.

Ae'lkemi Dresses

You’ll find formal evening gowns, pretty cocktail dresses, sexy party dresses, simple elegant dresses and statement jackets.

There are punchy citrus hues, statement reds, snakeskin textures, graphical prints and lots of sequins!

Ae'lkemi Dresses

And of course, I was given the opportunity to go into the store to select a few dresses to borrow and try out.

The first dress that caught my eye (pictured first in this blog post) was the Shoulders Sequin Gown in Moet.

It is a little more than $500, but oooooooh I adored the elegant colour, the simple cut and the sexy back! It also comes in a pewter and a black.

Ae'lkemi Dresses

This Citrus Dress is also a little more than $500, but I thought it was such a wonderful cocktail dress.

I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It was so bright and vibrant. The mix of textures and fabrics, and the subtle shapes make it a sophisticated and stylish dress. I could wear it to a lunchtime function, a wedding, or a night time party or function.

Ae’lkemi Giveaway Details
Who Can Enter:
It’s open to all readers WORLDWIDE, over 18 years.

What You Win:
The winner will receive a gift voucher to the value of AUD$500, to spend at Ae’lkemi. No part of this gift voucher is transferable for cash.

Giveaway Dates:
Runs for 2 weeks. Starts on Wednesday, 25 September 2013.
Ends on Wednesday, 9 October 2013, 11:59pm (GMT +8).

How to Enter:
This competition is now closed!

All the best! Hope you win!

(By the way, a few of my international readers have fallen in love with the gowns and have asked how Ae’lkemi is pronounced? It is simply pronounced “Alchemy”.)


Tropical and Oceanic

20 September 2013

The Iconic - Dresses

I’m loving the rich, gorgeous colours for this new season.

These dresses from The Iconic pretty much sum up my new love for bright blues and greens.

Their new season items are very drool worthy. Or check out their 30% off selected spring items.

From left to right -
(1) Talulah Whimsical Vibe Dress,
(2) Fresh Soul Senorita Dress,
(3) Bebe Sydney Reflection Dress.

Ooh I also have two super-special discount codes for you to use at The Iconic :) So if you’re going to buy something from the new season range, do use them!

ZAN20XL
20% off, min spend $79
Only full priced items (excluded G-star Raw)

ZAN10DK
$10 off, min spend $69
Only full priced items (exluded G-star Raw)

Expires October 10th.

Enjoy xxx


Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

17 September 2013

Early last week, I contacted a new Korean hair salon in Perth because… I wanted a balayage and a PERM!!

The salon I contacted is called Curi Hair and it was recommended to me by the owner of Vangoh Shoes (which I blogged about a few weeks ago), Vanessa. She had a killer balayage and I asked her where she got it done.

She said she went to a new salon next to her Subiaco store (can you see the Vangoh shoe store in the background?)… and it was a done deal – I have always wanted to try a Korean hair salon and I always prefer to go to places with a word of mouth recommendation!

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

Curi Hair opened about 3 months ago, by husband and wife team, Jay and Tiffany.

I must admit, I was a little afraid that the owners didn’t speak much English and that I would have trouble communicating with them. But it turns out that Jay and Tiffany had been living in Sydney and then Perth for about 7 years, and working in hair salons all over Australia.

Prior to that, they had been living in Canada and of course Korea.

They both have up to 15 years of hair dressing experience, they knew all the names of the local salons that I had tried out over the years, and they even assisted backstage at past Australian fashion festivals. It all made me feel confident that they were professional, had loads of experience, savvy with trendy styles, up-to-date with modern hairdressing news and technology etc.

Plus they were just lovely, friendly and so warm to chat to.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

Ok so I told them what I wanted – a balayage and a perm. But they said that a perm can be very drying for hair, so it’s best to have a perm first THEN do a balayage a few weeks later.

The professionals know best, so I was fine with that. I flipped through a hair style book and found what I wanted.

See that hair model in the front, wearing red? BINGO ! I wanted tight-ish curls, no fringe.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

So this is my BEFORE photo.

I had a gorgeous balayage done 1 year ago… and I haven’t had a hair cut in 6 months. I often colour my own hair using home hair dye to keep my lighter bits vibrant.

I have been itching to have another balayage (for a few months now), as I want my ends to be lighter for summer.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

OK so first up, I had a hair cut (left). Then they gave me a hair treatment which involved putting a steam cap over my hair for about 20 minutes.

The whole thing ballooned around my head as steam was gently pumped into the cap. There were a few air holes in the cap and steam was shooting out (pictured right)… it looked pretty comical and I felt like a kettle.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

I actually can’t recall the exact order of treatment!

I think they then put the perm agent into my hair, covered it with a shower cap and then warmed it up with a rotating warming machine (pictured above) for another 20 minutes or so.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

While I was waiting, I flipped through the hair style book again… swooning at all the pretty perms.

This is an example page for medium length hair.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

And another example page for long hair.

After the wait, they partially washed the perm agent out my hair, then they strung me up to this machine…

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

Ceramic rollers were rolled onto my hair. Then little clamps (that look like robot hands) were clipped onto the rollers… which kept the rollers heated at a constant temperature.

It looked like some crazy science-fiction, alien robot!!

They told me that this machine (and most of their equipment) are imported from Korea. Regular salons in Australia don’t have this kind of machine… because Anglo-Australians have a very different hair texture to Asians.

After another long wait, they took the clips and rollers off my hair.

They washed my hair AGAIN and put another “neutralising treatment” into my hair (I think?).

They towel-dried my hair. Put in some hair oil.

They blow dried my hair, with lots of twisting and twirling.

A bit more serum and BEHOLD!

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

Ooooooh I was so happy with the result!!

It looks so pretty!!

Apparently the curls can last up to 6 to 12 months!! Over time the curls will get looser and softer.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

The curls look really natural – and not at all like the AUNTY perms of the 80s!

This kind of perm technique is called a “Setting Perm”. It’s similar to a “Digital Perm” which just uses a different machine.

The whole hair experience was supposed to take about 2-3 hours. But it took me 4 hours, because I took lots of photos, talked to Tiffany and Jay a lot, I went out for a toilet break, and I also had to move my car (I parked in a 2 hours parking zone!) and I also stopped to buy myself some sushi for lunch haha.

Korean Hair Salon in Perth: Curi Hair

This photo is me ONE WEEK later, having brunch with my friend Randall.

I was supposed to: towel dry my hair, apply hair oil, then twist and twirl sections of hair into little ringlets… then blow dry the ringlets to help them keep their shape.

But I was in a huge rush and I just did a LAZY BLOW DRY, blasting hot air in all directions until it was all dry haha (sorry Tiffany!). But hey this is real life and who’s got time for glamorous hair everyday? I applied some hair oil and smoothing cream.

[EDIT: This is me one month later. I finally got the hang of it! I just wash my hair, towel dry, apply hair oil, and then some hair spray. So easy!]

Boyfriend Jeans and Checks

I actually love, love, LOVE these soft, bouncy “everyday” curls.

As for creating *glamour* curls (like when I first stepped out of the salon)… I still need a bit of practice to get my curls tighter, more defined and less frizzy.

I’ve also noticed that I have a lot of frizziness, which I never used to have. All my naturally curly-haired friends just laughed and said that was TOTALLY normal for curly hair… and I should just invest in a good hair oil.

I’m definitely coming back for my balayage soon! Can’t wait!

I completely recommend them!

The prices?

The price for a setting perm starts at $180, and it goes up a *little* if you have super long hair.
Balayage starts at $135, and goes up a little bit if you have super long and thick hair.

Cut, wash and blow dry for ladies start at $45
Colour tint for ladies start from $45
1/4 head foils from $45
1/2 head foils from $70
Full head foils from $90

Curi Hair
Unti 4, 103 Rokeby Road, Subiaco, WA

(They are in a little laneway, near the corner of Forrest Street and Rowland, next to the Forrest St Carpark.)
(08) 6161 0710

They don’t have a website yet, but they have a Curi Hair Facebook Page.

A big thank you to Jay and Tiffany!

xxx


Fashion Orgasms, Courtesy of Jaime Lee Major

16 September 2013

Jaime Lee Major presents Light Magic

Omg! Omg! No way! Yes! Omg! Omg I’m going to diiieeeee! Omg!

My eyes were having orgasms!

That was my reaction when I saw this Perth Fashion Festival runway show by Australian designer Jaime Lee Major.

Jaime Lee Major presents Light Magic

With the catwalk transformed into a magical, fantasy, fairytale garden… Jaime Lee stunned everyone with her glittering creations.

We saw gorgeous beaded gowns, sparkling cocktail dresses, lace embroidered pants and jewel encrusted suits.

Jaime Lee Major presents Light Magic

The attention to detail was out of this world.

Every. Single. Garment looked like a magical artwork. Each piece floated down the mirrored catwalk and my eyes popped from all the intricate detail of embroidery, gems, sequins, feathers, ruffles.

Jaime Lee Major presents Light Magic

And just when I thought that I had seen the climatic last pieces…

There were more!

Jaime Lee Major presents Light Magic

No way! Omg more! Omg another one! Omg they are amazing!!! Omg I can’t take this I’m going to diiiieeeee!!!!

Jaime Lee Major presents Light Magic

Haha jokes aside, I really was filled with a sense of awe, wonder, astonishment and pride. To think of the hours of hard work she poured in each garment. To think that clothes on a catwalk could create such an effect on me. It was a wonderful experience and such a pleasure to watch.

You can view the whole “Light Magic” photo gallery of visual delights on her website.

Only having been launched in 2010, Jaime Lee has a penchant for attracting media attention, with her very first show causing a flurry of excitement in NY. She presented her second collection at Australian Fashion Week and created dresses for award winning singer Kimbra. This is her third collection.

She is available for private order, custom made womenswear via her website, Jaime Lee.

(All these images are by photographer Stefan Gossati. I had a great seat for viewing the clothes up-close, but terrible for taking photos, so I wasn’t able to take any good ones, boo!)


Wearing Gold and Feeling Like Oscar

11 September 2013

Once again the gorgeous team at ClubCouture asked me to pick out two dresses to test out for the new season.

I selected both dresses from their Premium Range and I am so impressed with the cut, style, material and overall quality of each piece.

Club Couture Dress

Wayhey! Check it out, this is the Gold Banded Bodycon Dress… and it’s GOLD!

On the website photo, it looked pale gold and almost beige. But nope it’s more of a bright yellow gold in real life. When I took it out of the box, I was a bit shocked and I wasn’t sure if I would actually wear something SO GOLD. It looked a bit garish and gaudy, a bit like an all-over sequin dress. One of those bold textures you just have to COMMIT TO! :)

But of course, after wearing it, I seriously feel like a million bucks :P

I absolutely loved it. (Yes, it also made me feel like the golden “Oscar” statue!)

The material is strong, firm and stretchy. It feels like I am wearing a corset, hugging and tucking in all the right places.

I reviewed a similar dress a few months ago (the Patterned Banded Bodycon Dress – which is still available in the shop) … and I said a similar thing about that dress too (you can read the post here).

I’m wearing the UK6 – and it was a little tight for me to zip up – I had to “suck it in” a bit. If I had bigger boobs, I’d probably want to to go a size up!

Anyway, once the dress was on, it felt perfect. That shoulder strap is really comfortable.

Club Couture Dress

I took a few close up snaps of the dress so you can get a better idea of the texture and colour. The base material is a light brown, which has been “painted” over with gold fabric paint, which is metallic, stretchy and flexible. It doesn’t look homemade or tacky. it just looks like a cool splatter pattern!

But where would I wear it? Probably to a fancy cocktail party. I’d wear it with strappy heels and minimal accessories.

Club Couture Dress

The second dress I chose is this beautiful Elise white lace dress, with a good lining and a matching belt.

The lace is a soft cotton and it not scratchy or stiff at all. The cap sleeves and the key-hole neckline is delicate, pretty and modest.

I was a little afraid that it would look and feel like a wedding dress, and that I wouldn’t want to wear it out. But nope, the pencil skirt and the belt makes it a bit more like a stylish regular dress!

I’d wear it to a garden party, afternoon tea party, an award ceremony, a formal dinner, maybe even a cocktail party – but not to someone’s wedding!

I’m wearing a size UK6 which fits perfectly. I’m also wearing nude coloured underwear and strapless bra… which are not visible.

Anyway, I hope you manage to have a bit of a browse of the store and hopefully you’ll find something you like?

Happy shopping!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Frocks, Frocks and more Frocks

6 September 2013

I’ve been borrowing a few dresses from online boutique, Frockaholics, to show off their new season items. There’s a lot of new stuff!

Here are another two stunning dresses that caught my eye… and made their way to my lucky paws.

They are perfect for special evening functions or as wedding dinner dazzlers.

Frockaholics

This indigo floral lace dress by Collette Dinnigan is gorgeous! I am so in love with the colour. I am actually surprised that its price tag is quite reasonable too.

The cotton lace is pretty and flattering. The cut is fitted and curve-skimming, but still loose and comfortable to move around in. It is definitely one of the nicest lace dresses I have worn.

My only issue is that the straps are really long on me. The neckline droops quite low on my bust. So I had to pin up both shoulder straps – an inch on both sides. Once that was done, it looked so preeeeety :)

I’m wearing the size XXS.

Also wearing earrings from Swarovski, vintage clutch, ring by Samantha Wills, nude heels from ASOS.

Frockaholics

Ah and this Blair dress is by Rachel Gilbert. She always makes such stunning and striking dresses and this is no exception.

Nude, silvery, and perfect for any glamourous occasion. The beading has a good weight to it, making the dress feel really luxurious. I’m wearing size 0, it fits wonderfully and the length is nice on me too.

I feel like a Hollywood diva in this dress! However that photo of me cracking up

Do check out the whole amazing dress collection from Frockaholics! Prices start at $120 onwards.

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.


Smitten In One Fell Swoop

2 September 2013

One Fell Swoop SS14

Last week I attended a fashion show in the middle of the city… but with a difference.

Between all the fancy, glittering shops… I found myself, with a bunch of other fashion media types, in a dark alleyway that led to an old, dusty, unused cinema – untouched for 20 years.

One Fell Swoop SS14

The cinema had been gutted. The floors, walls and steps were bare concrete and wood. The place wasn’t actually dirty like a construction site, but there was definitely a feeling of rawness, a striping back of all surfaces, stepping back into the past and walking into a crypt of some sort.

I was surprised that the whole place was not freezing cold and filled with a terrible echo.

Oddly, it was warm, inviting and exciting.

One Fell Swoop SS14

We were all here to view a SS14 Runway Presentation by One Fell Swoop.

For my international readers…

One Fell Swoop is an Australian label that began 8 or 9 years ago. Over the years, they have slowly built a cult clientele who are utterly in love with their dedication to luxurious fabrics and gorgeous tailoring and draping. But I have never tried on any of their clothes, mostly because it is quite tricky to find their stuff and they are only stocked in a few stores.

In 2011 they won the WA Designer Of The Year award for their innovation and have since showcased their collections in Singapore.

I’d say that their style is sophisticated, modern, minimal and avant-garde. Does that make sense? They are well known for drapes and playing with feminine shapes, forms and fabrics.

It’s hard to describe. Here, look at my photos from the runway.

One Fell Swoop SS14

The show gave us lots of classic One Fell Swoop stuff. Amazing drapes around the body, tucks and folds, mixed fabrics.

I have always liked looking at their clothes on the runway!

But would I wear any of it?

Hmm, I’m not sure. It all looked really sheer.

I bumped into a few people I knew at the show, and they told me they were wearing 2, 3 or 4 layers of One Fell Swoop garments, all layered effortlessly over each other. And they looked good.

One Fell Swoop SS14

Left: This navy lace dress was gorgeous! I loved the lace panel at the front and back. So sophisticated and sexy.

But hmm, I may not be “perky” enough for this particular dress :P

The navy drape top on the far right was nice and it looked wearable. The back panel was completely lace and sheer though. Good for layering.

One Fell Swoop SS14

As each piece came down the runway, through the cavernous hall… I thought OMG YES, I’m going to pop into a store and give them a go.

That short, sleeveless, red dress in the second row, second from the right… has my name written all over it!

One Fell Swoop do have a website, but it is not an online shop. Hopefully they will have their website updated so their garments can be available internationally.

I know they are stocked at Dilettante boutique at 575 Wellington Street (near the corner of King Street) – where you can also find Dion Lee, Gareth Pugh, Helmut Lang, Josh Goot, Preen, Vivienne Westwood.

It was a gorgeous show and I was so grateful to be invited!


Suiting Up with Bec & Bridge

28 August 2013

Suiting Up

Another outfit from my wonderful blog sponsors, Frockaholics. Thank you guys! I’m so grateful!

Aussie designers around the country have dropped a tonne of new stock in stores, just in time for the new season. Look out for fab monochrome items, bold graphics, and floral prints.

Here I’m wearing a super-duper cute jacket and shorts from Bec and Bridge. I love the print! I’ve never worn a matching floral suit. I feel busy, like a newspaper. Yet effortlessly cool, as I sashay around in a camouflage blur of black and white.

They are fab investment pieces, as you can wear both the shorts and jacket separately, again and again. Both are standout, eye-catching, tailored pieces, and both are versatile for polished styling.

There are also a dress and  a pair of pants (in the same print) on sale, but I thought I would get more out of the jacket and shorts.

Top is from In Good Company

Strappy heels are from ASOS.

Felt hat from Sportsgirl

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


MIRROR, MIRROR

25 August 2013

I have a new mirror! Yeah another one!

This time I have it set up in my bedroom, so I can take a quick outfit snap before I head out the door. It’s awesome. How did I ever live without it? My potential for vanity will now know no bounds!

The only problem is that I have to tidy my bedside BEFORE I take a photo. And under my bed too! Pfffft who cleans under their bed?!

Me, now! Old bed slippers, fuzzy socks with holes, bits of tissue paper, balls of dust, piles of hair… it’s not a good look. I guess it’s incentive for me to sweep more :P

The other problem is that our jarrah floors seem to emit an orange colour tone EVERYWHERE… so I look like I have a killer tandoori tan. And my legs seem to blend into the floor boards. Oh well. I’ll work something out.

Camilla and Marc Dress

So this is me AFTER attending a fashion event the other night. It’s about 10:30pm and god knows how I managed to look so fresh and smiley. Lots of makeup?

I’m wearing a new Camilla and Marc “Night Flute” Dress from Frockaholics. Eeeeek omg omg it’s such a gorgeous dress!

I wasn’t too sure about the print at first. I thought it looked a bit too “retro 60s print” for me? But it’s so quirky and unique. The pattern is actually an African inspired print. And the cut hints at the 50s with its sweetheart bustline, nipped waist and big circle skirt. Love it!

I moderned up the dress a bit, with a white snakeskin biker jacket and some rock stud heels. I didn’t wear too much jewellery. Just some jewelled studs. And a silver clutch.

Jacket from YesStyle
Heels from BooHoo
Earrings from Shopbop

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Holographic and Floral

21 August 2013

Floral & Holographic

A few weeks ago I received this new Arctic Queen dress from Alibi Online – featuring a gorgeous kaleidoscope floral print.

I still can’t get over how pretty and vibrant it is! Like a flower shop exploded on it!

Anyway, I wore the dress BACK TO FRONT this time. Sounds terribly uncool, but just look at it! Looks like a normal dress right?

The bust, tummy and bum areas (of the dress) looked absolutely fine – because let’s face it, if you want to wear a dress the wrong way, you want it to make sure it skims over your curves correctly.

You don’t want lumpy bits in the wrong places.

I wore it out to dinner like this and received a few compliments, so it couldn’t have looked that weird (or lumpy) haha.

When the dress is worn the right way around, it has a very high, round neck and it’s just a slightly different look… so it’s kind of = two dresses in one! You can check what it looks like in my post here.

Floral & Holographic

T Bar Heels – These heels are my second pair of Vangoh Shoes. They are hell cute! The T-Bar adds some visual interest and creates a geometric look that suits the “bold, geometric print and pattern” trend that is very popular at the moment. Me love!

My clutch is a Marc by Marc Jacobs Wristlet from my-wardrobe.com. The holographic shine is very cool, and goes well with the dress. I couldn’t stop *pressing it* all night to see the colours warp.

My friends were like – “Dude that’s not an ipad! It ain’t touchscreen. How much have you drunk?!”

My bracelet (pictured left) is from Forin Jewellery and sparkled so nicely! I must try to find more glittery crystal charms to add to it.

Hope everyone’s having a fab day so far xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Vangoh Shoes

14 August 2013

Hello hello everyone!

I would like to introduce you all to brand new sponsors for my blog, Vangoh Shoes.

They are an online shoe store focusing on stylish and comfortable shoes and accessories for women.

How are they different? They stock a unique collection of shoes (leather and non-leather) at affordable prices. They focus on classic shapes and styles, with a touch of trend. Plus they ship worldwide.

(Flat rate shipping within Australia is $9.95)

I really like their designs, because the shoes look great and are perfect for everyday wear.

Vangoh Shoes

Barcelona Flats ($47.97), Snake Skin Flats ($49),  and Alexandria Flats ($49).

Vangoh Shoes are run by a husband and wife team based in WA. I spoke to Vanessa Goh, owner of Vangoh, who says her husband actually started the business first, and named it after her (awww is that sweet or what?!). They have two boutique stores in Perth, the brand is stocked in over 30 stores around in Australia and they have an online store.

Vangoh Shoes

The majority of shoes in stock are uniquely designed by Vangoh. They also stock other shoe brands, bags, accessories and jewellery.

I managed to pop into the store to check out their CLEARANCE SALE.

The sale is also online, so do check out the fab bargains.

Vangoh Shoes

These Merlot Ballet Flats were $69.97, now $41.97.

Vangoh Shoes

These Bordeaux Flats are one of their best sellers! Non-leather, soft, breathable. Apparently it is great for people with wider feet, long toes, as it is nice, roomy and comes up quite high on the upper foot.

They were $79.95, now selling for $47.97!

They are a variation of the the Barcelona Flats, also a best seller (seen in the first photo of this post).

Vangoh Shoes

Yep they also have heels for partying, work and events.

As well as a whole swag of colourful clutches and bags.

Vangoh Shoes

A note about Vangoh sizing – I noticed that lots of the shoes I tried on were on the large side.

While I usually fit a AUS Size 5 or 6. I needed to put a gel pad on the sole of the Size 5 in order for it to fit perfectly. So if you’re looking to buy, you might like to try a smaller size.

Vangoh Shoes

OK, so the Vangoh Team let me walk out with 3 pairs of shoes from their clearance sale to test out! Eeek!

I’ll be dressing them up over the next few weeks.

But to start, I’m showing off the Barcelona Flats in Navy in my most classic winter outfit!

As I said earlier, I am wearing a Size 5, with an inserted gel sole. THEY ARE SO COMFY! I have been wearing them everywhere the last few days, and my girlfriends (with size 6 feet) and my mother (who is also size 5) want to steal them from me! It kinda makes me want a pair in all colours :)

Please pop over to the Vangoh Website to check them out.

Rest of the outfit:
Trench coat by Mersh
White t-shirt from Country Road
Jeans by Vivienne Westwood
Tartan scarf by Burberry
Bag by Mimco
Pearl stud earrings from Shopbop

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Crazy, Sexy, Cool

1 August 2013

Valentino Inspired Heels

Inspired by Valentino, these shoes are crazy and glam enough to make me weep.

The studs look like teeth. Or shiny rocks… just kind of stuck on your feet.

They’re a bit tribal. A bit fierce. A bit lady-like.

They’re such a great, playful combination.

Um. They stand out a bit. They don’t seem to “match” any outfits in my wardrobe, but I think that’s the fun of it.

Just wear them with skinny jeans. Or black pants. Or with any dress and enjoy the statement-ness of it.

Valentino Inspired Heels

I wore them out to a fashion show the other night. They were comfortable too.

I just love it when people swoon over my shoes and then I get to tell them I only bought them for $65. It’s like I’m sharing precious girl secrets.

They are called  Ava Studded Heels from Boohoo. Also available in black, beige and pink.

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Getting My Bear On

30 July 2013

After returning from my tropical holiday, I’ve been in denial about the cold weather in Australia. A light cardigan should be fine for winter! Surely I can wear my open-toe shoes in the rain!

So I’m already gearing up for some kick-ass trans-seasonal dressing.

Knit and Fur

Light knits are my go-to answer for the “in-between seasons”. Comfortable and versatile, you really can’t go wrong.

But can you believe that I don’t own a plain, black knit jumper?!

So I had a peek at Next Direct.

It was the first time I’ve bought from them. They are based in the UK, they have been around for ages… and they have a HUGE selection of styles. It was an excellent shopping experience.

I picked out this 3/4 sleeve, black v-neck knit with flecks of metallic thread. It’s really nice, sits well, comfortable and casual. It was a good buy. Unfortunately it has since sold out.

My impression of Next Direct… are that their styles are more tailored, smart, and they have lots of modern “city looks” and “classic wear”. They are on-trend, but I believe they target women over 21.

Meaning – You won’t find any neon t-shirts with crystal lettering, mid-riffs and slashed backs here ha :)

They also offer free international shipping, with no minimum spend and easy returns, which is awesome.

Knit and Fur

My furry vest is so big and fluffy, that I can’t help but give it a cuddle every time I take it off. Vest is from Korea (YesStyle), or you can get one similar here from ASOS.

My jeans are J Brand from The Iconic

Open toe heels are from ASOS

Alldressedup Bag is from ShopTheMag

Sunglasses by Prada (Sunglasses Shop)

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my


A Kaleidoscope of Orchids

27 July 2013

While in Singapore, my husband and I managed to squeeze in a date night by ourselves!

We went to Marina Bay Sands (which I haven’t been to before), took a stroll around the casino, the Art and Science Museum, and walked around Marina Bay enjoying the wonderful tropical evening.

Singapore, Chijmes Outfit
Then we visited an old, favourite place of mine – Chijmes, on Victoria Street. It was so leafy, peaceful and un-crowded. It certainly had a very different vibe to the insanely-busy casino. My husband and I shared drinks and a meal, under the trees.

I wore this stunning Artic Queen Dress from Alibi Online.

The colours are so so pretty and vibrant, like a kaleidoscope of jewels, orchids and tropical flowers. It was very eye catching and it was lovely to wear. The back of the dress has a deep V-neck, with an exposed zip… and I think I could get away with wearing it back to front :)

As for the rest of my outfit, I wore my big, gold tassel earrings from Frockaholics, my navy Rebecca Minkoff handbag from Shopbop, and leather heels from GlamRockChic.

With love from Singapore!

xxx


Strapless Dresses from ModCloth

16 July 2013

Remember a few weeks ago, I was deliberating on a dress to buy from ModCloth?

Well I’m still deciding!

But I’ve narrowed my search to… a strapless dress, with a bit of a flare skirt and a nice print.

What do you think of these? I can’t really decide. They all look pretty and they stand out a bit, but not too much. Perfect for weddings and parties :)

Strapless Dresses from ModCloth

Ocean print dress – Time of My Life

Violet dotty dress – Linger a Little Longer

Strapless Dresses from ModCloth

Dark blue dress – Baklava Beauty in Blueberry

Mint roses dress – Traveling Cupcake Truck

If you’re new to ModCloth and you’d like to sign up as a new member and make a purchase over $50, you can get $15 off by using my referral link here.

Enjoy!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


YesStyle Offers Free Worldwide Shipping On All Orders

13 July 2013

Pink Tweed Jacket

Ok so you all know how I love my Korean brands?!

Well one of my favourite online shops YesStyle (with fashion from Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong) is now offering FREE international shipping with no minimum purchase.

The offer ends on the 31st of July… so do pop over to take a peek at the site!

Check out some of my favourite brands here:

Sarah – full of sleek, simple, on trend styles. A bit like Zara.

Midnight COCO – a nice mix of feminine and sleek styles.

Kenzi W – lots of urban, cool, street wear and casual gear.

Nanning 9 – lots of casual, feminine, floaty tops and dresses.

SHINN – trendy but very classy collection.

Ode – styles are a bit more grown up and sophisticated. Some very nice florals prints in the latest collection.

My Outfit Details:
Pink Tweed Jacekt by SHINN (from YesStyle)
Sash Drake White tee from Ciaobella Travel
Black ankle strap shoes from ASOS

Black harem pants from Zanthus
Black peplum skirt from Stephie’s Shop

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Slouchy Slouchy

9 July 2013

Slouchy Slouchy

I’m completely in love with my In Good Company slouchy pants :)

When I dress myself in the morning, instead of grabbing my red jeans or printed jeans… who would have thought I would be so excited to pull on a pair of black pants.

I was headed out to the city today to drop off some items. I threw on my printed tshirt, a printed scarf and some bright coloured shoes. I felt a bit mismatched and laid back, but meh, who cares.

Slouchy Slouchy

I wore some chandelier earrings to sparkle up my outfit.

And I popped my hangbag items into my new roll-up clutch in champagne gold. I think the clutch is supposed to look like a paper lunch bag… which is really cute, and handy.

Slouchy Pants from In Good Company
Print Tee by Zoe Karssen from The Iconic / The Outnet
Scarf from Sportsgirl
Roll-Up Clutch from YesStyle
Blue shoes from ASOS

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my


In Good Company – Capsule 2

2 July 2013

Earlier this the year, I reviewed In Good Company, a new label offering a collection of gorgeous modern day classics and quality basics at an affordable price point.

The whole collection oozes understated style and effortless chic, with fluid and feminine shapes. I really like their stuff!

In this latest collection – Capsule 2 – look out for sleek cuts, stylish colour blocking, touches of pleat details, and chic silhouettes of the little white dress.

These are my favourite picks and 2 ways to wear them.

In Good Company

Ellis Slouchy Trousers

Aah I do love a good pair of slouchy pants. So effortless and cool to wear. These are hands down my favourite piece from the collection because of their excellent “slouchy to slim-fit ratio”. Not too baggy, not too fitted. Just right.

Plus, the back fits very nicely around my bum (like I said, it’s not too loose and baggy) and the crotch is not too low that they look like clown pants.

It features a comfy elastic waist, elastic cuffs and good sized pockets. I am wearing their smallest size S (which fits AUS8/UK8) so it’s a little big for me around the waist. But I loved mine so much, that I went to a tailor to take them in a bit.

I have been wearing mine non-stop these last few weeks… with a simple tee and scarf.

In Good Company

I also wore the slouchy trousers in a sharper and more polished outfit – white blazer, a colourful silk tank, some matching jewels and my new silver shoes.

Perfect for the office and work place.

In Good Company

Jess Draped Collar Top

The draping on this top is just lovely! It is a bit different to your standard sleeveless top, as it has a smart and tailored look to it. It’s visually interesting, and has an elegant shape. It radiates an effortless, day-time glamour that is versatile for work or play.

Here I teamed it with an equally vibrant skirt for a fun and punchy party outfit. The lace adds a bit of texture and the silver sandals keeps the outfit feminine and fancy.

This top definitely fits as part of a corporate wardrobe. It can easily be mixed and matched with your working staples… a black pencil skirt, a printed skirt, or pants (that are black, charcoal or pin stripe).

In Good Company

Also the top looks great when worn with shorts, jeans or cropped pants.

I’m wearing white cropped pants and leopard print heels for a smart-casual daytime look.

The top comes in a bright sorbet (pictured) and a navy. I’m wearing a size XS.

In Good Company

Gretchen Dress with Peep Sleeves

When I saw this dress on the model, I didn’t know whether it would look good on me. But I chose it anyway, and when it arrived, I was so so happy that it looked great!

The off-shoulder sleeves are pretty and sexy, in a relaxed poolside goddess way.

Its silhouette is clean and sleek, yet the fabric is fluid, flowy and loose. It’s comfortable and unfussy to wear.

The length is nice, classy and elegant. I felt like I could browse through an art gallery on the weekend in this dress.

In Good Company

But I tend to wear my dresses a bit shorter – so my legs look longer. So I wore a belt on my waist and hitched up the dress a bit… and that looked fabulous! It felt a bit more like a party dress or a dancing dress for summer nights at the beach :)

The dress has a lining of the same material, so it’s not see through. I just wore my standard, skin-coloured, strapless bra and skin-coloured underwear underneath.

I’m wearing size XS.

*SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE*

Again, the team at In Good Company have offered a special discount to my readers.

Enter the code “fashion&life2″ and enjoy $10 off Capsule 2 items (not applicable to Mini Me, Collaborations and Surplus items). So only items in “What’s New, Collections and Reissue” section of the website.

Do pop over to check out their new arrivals!

Hope you love the stuff as much as I do. Enjoy!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Out To the Movies With My Goat

25 June 2013

I went out on a date night to the movies with my husband. No he wasn’t the goat.

What I wore to The Great Gatsby Screening

We went to see a special screening of The Great Gastby… and I took the opportunity to embrace the whole “Roaring 1920s” fashion.

I wore my hair slicked back, wore big jewelled earrings, a sequin dress and a white faux far coat.

When my 4 year old son saw me, he laughed out loud and asked me WHY ARE YOU WEARING A GOAT TO THE MOVIES?!?

I enjoyed Baz’s fairytale interpretation of the story and I really enjoyed it as a magnificent, mesmerising and visual spectacle.

Outfit:
Sequin dress by Beauties Closet
Faux fur coat by GUSET (from YesStyle)
Snakeskin clutch by Michael Kors
Nude heels from ASOS

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Blue Tweed

15 June 2013

Blue Tweed and Leather

Meet my new favourite jacket! It’s a light weight, classic tweed jacket with a speckled blue and metallic colour.

While my overall dress style is not so ”ladylike”… I like that it gives a big nod to Chanel’s iconic tweed jacket and I like that I can wear it with boyfriend jeans, for a bit of modern contrast.

I popped it over my black and white outfit, to amp up the style and also to soften the leather pants.

I’m already looking forward for the weather to warm up so I can wear it with summer shorts and mini skirts.

Outfit Details:
Blue Tweed Jacket by Shinn from YesStyle
White top by In Good Company
Leather pants from Topshop
Black wedges by NineWest from The Iconic
Handbag by Rebecca Minkoff from Shopbop

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Samudra Cafe, Dunsborough

12 June 2013

Samudra Cafe, Dunsborough

While we were in Dunsborough, some friends took me to Samudra Cafe for breakfast.

I’ve heard of it before, as it seems that *everyone* who comes to visit Dunsborough, manages to pop in for a coffee and look around.

It’s a very pretty place. The interior, furniture, decor, outdoor setting, garden and vegetable garden had been designed beautifully and in-keeping with the whole cool, organic, hippy vibe :)

The whole Samudra centre is actually a yoga school, wellness centre, retreat, clothing store and they hold little community events for like-minded people. They have a fancy vegetarian and raw food menu, boasting produce from organic, biodynamic and fair trade sources. I must admit, I was really excited to try it out.

There was a large group of us and we had just come from an early morning run by the beach. We were a bit sweaty… and unfortunately we had to sit outside in the cold. The waitress was kind enough to bring us a wooly blanket to keep us warm.

Samudra Cafe, Dunsborough

My friends ordered some Banana Pancakes (Activated buckwheat pancakes with fruit compote, coconut cream and hazelnut chocolate syrup). They were amazing and tasted very different to any pancake and topping I’ve ever had!

The others ordered Green Smoothies (pear, apple, lemon, banana, kale).

Samudra Cafe, Dunsborough

I ordered an Organic Coffee with Organic S0y Milk – and it was divine. It was a really well made coffee, I was impressed.

A little later I got a bit hungry, so I ordered the Yallingup Fruit Toast (Organic sourdoaugh fruit toast with house jam and cashew butter) while my friend ordered the Tofu Scramble Wrap (Tofu and butternut scramble, with mushrooms and avocado, mountain corn bread, side salad with a camu-camu and passionfruit dressing). It all sounded delicious!

Unfortunately, the 2 food orders took  over 45 minutes to arrive and we were getting sooo cold sitting outside, so we had to cancel our order and leave. It was a long weekend, and it felt like the whole city of Perth was down in Dunsborough for the weekend… the cafe was crazily busy. I was pretty disappointed and hungry.

Nonetheless, the coffee was awesome, so I do plan to come back for lunch the next time I’m down here!

Samudra Kombi Cafe
226 Naturaliste Terrace
Dunsborough, WA

Samudra on Urbanspoon


Pretty Party Dresses: Lace and Green

11 June 2013

I’ve been hit with a “going to weddings fever” and thus gravitating towards finding bright and attractive dresses that will be suitable for an afternoon and an evening event.

The kind team at Beauties Closet Korean Fashion sent over a few samples of my choosing.

Beauties Closet Coral Lace Dress

A-line skirts are up on the rise in the new season.

I chose this Lady Kelly coloured lace dress, because I adored the romantic texture and the sweet A-line skirt. It is such a flattering, simple and pretty dress. The fabric is a soft, stretchy lace, with a jersey lining (very comfortable!).

There are no buttons or zips, you just pull it over your head like a jersey t-shirt and it all springs back into place, skimming over your waist and hips perfectly.

Beauties Closet Drape Green Dress

Dresses with some structure and sculptural aspects have hit the catwalks this season. Especially dresses and skirts with a “wrap” or “a fold over”.

This Lausanne Chiffon Dress is quite a nice and simple wrap dress, which looks great for an evening event. It’s made from a light polyester fabric, so it drapes nicely, looks feminine and it’s not too heavy (perfect for warm weather).

The folds are a bit random, and sometimes I wished the folds would stay in place… but it just means that the dress is more drapey and loose, than the traditional “tightly wrapped” wrap dress. It also means you can eat a lot during dinner and it covers up your tummy hehe.

It also comes in a beige and black.

This dress is possibly priced a little higher than usual dresses of this make and fabric, but hey, it’s genuinely made, branded and styled in Korea, and it’s in a unique style that I haven’t come across before.

Beauties Closet are based in Singapore and local shipping costs are nice and low, starting from $2.24. But for international customers (like in Australia), it’s about $20, depending on the weight and the items will take about 2 weeks to arrive. So honestly, this is a fab place to shop if you’re a die hard fan of Korean fashion and style!

Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Have you shopped at Modcloth before?

28 May 2013

I’ve never actually shopped at ModCloth before, but I know LOTS of people who have and they are always really happy with their items.

Also, whenever I go to weddings or afternoon tea party functions, I’ll usually see a woman in a pretty, eye-catching dress… and I will always go up to her and ask where she got it from… more often than not, the woman says “ModCloth!”

Soooo… the other day I decided to try it out for myself.

Here are some dresses that really caught my eye. They have lots of styles for parties, special occasions, casual, floral, prints, maxi, minis and more.

Dresses from ModCloth

From left to right: Rose Bubbly Dress, Bubble Your Luck Dress, Palm Springs into Action

These full circle skirt dresses have been influenced from the 50s style. They look feminine, pretty and ladylike. They also create and accentuate an hourglass figure.

Dresses from ModCloth

From left to right: Lady Love Dress, Shadow of a Dot Dress, Magenta Saved by the Bow

If you’re new to ModCloth and you’d like to sign up as a new member and make a purchase over $50, you can get $15 off by using my referral link here.

Enjoy!

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


3 Ways to Wear – Spots and Stripes

24 May 2013

One of the big trends this new season is to wear black and white, especially in a big, bold prints like spots and stripes.

It’s an easy trend to wear – just wear one print item in your everyday outfit. But if you want to have a bit more fun and combine prints, here are a few things you might like to try.

3 Ways to Wear - Spots and Stripes

Big spots and small spots.
Ok this blouse actually has STARS on it – but from far, it looks pretty spotty.

And the skirt is actually a dress with blobs on it.

But hey, the craziness that ensues from putting them together is such fun.

Star Print Shirt – YesStyle
Sass and Bide Spot Dress – The Iconic
Nude Heels – ASOS
Neon earrings – Etsy

3 Ways to Wear - Spots and Stripes

White on White spots (Or black on black spots)
Most dotty prints are black on white (or white on black). So try finding tops or bottoms with white dots on a sheer white fabric. Or vice versa. Or maybe the dots are embossed on the fabric?

It will create a kind of cool texture (and not clash TOO much) when paired with another bold print.

Spotty top – AL&ALICIA
Stripe jeans – from YesStyle (nice and affordable jeans at $40!!)
Yellow Heels – ASOS

3 Ways to Wear - Spots and Stripes

Classic Breton Stripe Top with anything spotty
This one is nice and simple. There’s a good chance that you have a classic stripe top in your wardrobe. Why not try it with some spotty bottoms. A spot pencil skirt. A circle skirt with stars on it.

Or in my case, some silk shorts with palm trees on it – random enough?

Enjoy!!

Stripe top – from Big W
Palm tree shorts – ASOS
Marc Jacobs yellow crossbody bag – Shopbop
Suede heels – Betts

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Lights, Camera and Action at Blue Waters

23 May 2013

Lights, Camera and Action at Blue Waters

A friend of mine owns an amazing old house, called Blue Waters. It is in an art deco style, built by a rich family in the 1950s. It is like walking back in time as the house has been restored back to it’s original splendour… and my friend makes it available for hire for special events, parties, weddings, a photography location or for holiday guests to stay.

I’ve been to several special events there, charity functions, glamorous dress up parties, an exquisite dinner party and so on, but right now, it is being used to shoot a movie! It is a thriller by John V. Soto, starring Jonathan LaPaglia and Luke Hemsworth. It’s called “The Reckoning” and it is about a detective who is on the trail of a killer, and who is looking for two young runaways whose video footage contains the identity of the murderer.

So when my mate Dave asked me if I’d like to pop in to see how the movie was being made, I couldn’t resist the invitation!

Of course, I know about lighting, special effects and other movie trickery that are used to make things seem more fantastic…but I’ve never actually seen it happen.

So I turned up at sun set, to see the outside of the house being filmed for an “establishing shot”.

Lights, Camera and Action at Blue Waters

They were filming Blue Waters at sunset, to capture the dramatic, golden light. It was great to see the house look so luminous and big!

Lights, Camera and Action at Blue Waters

A lot of people were standing around, watching the house, and nothing much seemed to be happening. I somehow expected for there to be lots of people running around with someone else shouting at them. But it was all so quiet, and professional… with everyone just quietly doing their job.

There are a lot of official procedures on a film shoot. I had to be taken over to the office site (where all the actor’s caravans were parked, where the crew and actors have their meals, etc) to get myself officially signed in.

The whole thing was so organised and seemed to run like clockwork.

Lights, Camera and Action at Blue Waters

When I walked around on the set… what struck me most though, was, just how CROWDED it was, even in the big house. There were close to 30 specialists standing around (just waiting to do their job at a moments notice, I’m sure) make up people, stunt guys, action coordinators, lighting guys, director and associate producers and directors.

Lights, Camera and Action at Blue Waters

Also there was so much equipment EVERYWHERE! Cable, lights, clamps, stands, weird and amazing lighting thingies, microphones, props, make up kits, bags of coloured tape and lots of stuff I’ve never seen before.

Lights, Camera and Action at Blue Waters

Another thing that surprised me was how quiet it was. Everyone seemed to know what to do and when to do it. And when they were about to start filming a take, the whole house went deathly quiet. I didn’t even dare take a photo during that point, because I knew my DSLR camera would click loudly.

For one take, the main actor had to simulate being shot in the shoulder (I think) and falling to the ground (on a mat). It was pretty intense. The gun shot sound for the actor to respond to was actually someone shouting “BANG!!!!!!!!” and it was SO LOUD AND SO SHARP, that in the quiet house, I thought it was an actual gun because it echoed off the walls and floor. Interesting. I’m sure a real gun effect will be put in later in the editing.

I’m now quite astounded to realise how DIFFICULT acting is. The actor had to do this take several times, with everyone in the room looking at him. And yes there was this huge expectation TO GET IT RIGHT.

I stood there thinking, imagine if they were shooting a steamy sex scene, with so many people watching… how awkward would that be?!? (Apparently, when they do, most of the crew leave the room so the actors can do “practice their craft” in a little more privacy!)

Lights, Camera and Action at Blue Waters

After the take, I spied on the sound guy. He was watching the replay and checking the sounds.

I found it funny that he had completely taken over the kitchen and placed himself near the bowl of fruit.

Lights, Camera and Action at Blue Waters

Then I went upstairs and found some other actors waiting for the next take.

The upstairs room at Blue Waters is usually a party and dancing room. It is usually empty, except for a few bits of icon furniture: a fireplace, a chaise lounge, a baby grand piano. But today it was turned into a cosy and inviting bedroom.

Lights, Camera and Action at Blue Waters

Last of all, I made my way outside to photograph the huge balloon light they set up outside the house. The light was 2 storeys tall! It was very cool!

So, it was such an interesting experience to see how a movie is made. And most of all…I didn’t realise how labour intensive AND time consuming it is to make a movie. No wonder movies are so expensive. It’s an amazing business.

If you are interested in following the making of the movie, you can go check out The Reckoning Film Facebook Page. They have been shooting for 3 weeks around Perth, at locations such as Jandakot Airport, Leeming, Como, South Perth.


Tropical Paradise and Win a Swarovski Pendant

21 May 2013

Swarovski SS13 Tropical Paradise

I’ve teamed up with Swarovski to bring you all another fabulous giveaway!

The latest Swarovski SS13 Tropical Paradise collection features jewellery in bright, bold and beautiful tropical colours, and cute little creatures like beetles, dragonflies, flamingos (I love these). Do check out their Treasures From Paradise page, where you can cleverly scroll through 32 nice styling outfits and ideas.

We’re giving away this stunning Translucent Beetle Pendant worth $245 (shown above). Scroll down for the details.

Swarovski also sent me a few other pieces (that I picked out) to play with and show off, and here they are…

Swarovski SS13 Tropical Paradise

This is the Toya Necklace. Glittering with oceanic hues of turquoise, light blues and greens, it is clearly inspired by the corals and underwater wonders of the tropics. It definitely made me gasp with delight! I adore its sparkly bling, the weight of it, the colours, and the size of the jewels making the necklace a statement piece indeed.

It went beautifully with my turquoise gown. But I also easily wore it with a black, white, or coral coloured dress.

I’d definitely wear it with a casual white shirt too.

Swarovski SS13 Tropical Paradise

And this is the Triumphal Earrings. So versatile in style, you could wear these babies with anything… and enjoy their big wow factor.

I chose to wear it with a simple white lace dress, emphasising the earring’s romantic yet modern look.

Swarovski SS13 Tropical Paradise

Outfit details:
Turquoise Gown from Birdsnest
Shoes from PeepToe Shoes

White lace dress from Beauties Closet
Shoes from PeepToe Shoes

*WIN a SS13 Swarovski Pendant*
The winner will receive a Swarovski Translucent Beetle Pendant worth $245.
This competition is open to my readers world wide, 16 years or over.

1) Head over to the Swarovski Facebook Page and LIKE the page
2) Email me: swarovski@karencheng.com.au
3) Email Subject: I Have LIKED Swarovski on Facebook
4) Just include your preferred email address so I can contact you if you win!

Please note that by entering this giveaway, you are subscribing to my newsletter.

All entrants will go into a draw, and the winner will be randomly selected and notified via their given email address. You will have 24 hours to reply by email, if not, then a new winner will be randomly selected.

Competition dates: Starts 21 May 2013 – 5 June 2013, 5:00 pm AEDST.

All the best!


What To Buy This Winter: Checks, Khaki and Citrus Knits

10 May 2013

If you need a few ideas on how to update your winter wardrobe, why don’t you give these a go.

What to buy this winter: Checks, Khaki and Citrus Knits

1) Try Wearing Checks
I picked out this checkered shirt a few months ago and I have been wearing it non stop since – but this is the first time it’s made a debut on my blog!

As its colour is black and white, I find that I can throw it over *anything*, coloured jeans or an animal print skirt or over another print top, for some print on print action.

It’s my best winter buy so far!!

Outfit: Check shirt (from YesStyle), white tee (from CiaoBellaTravel), khaki JBrand jeans (from my-wardrobe.com), wool coat (Witchery old), black boots (from Betts).

What to buy this winter: Checks, Khaki and Citrus Knits

2) Try Olive and Khaki Colours
If you’re used to wearing black, white, grey and a neutral palette… khaki is a very easy colour to wear and add to the mix. It’s not too loud or bright and it goes with lots of skin colours.

Whether it’s a khaki jacket, pants or top… you’ll find that it’ll match with lots of things you own and give your wardrobe a fresh rework for the new season.

3) Try a Shirtdress
A shirtdresses might sound scary (voluminous, shapeless and unflattering), but whatever shape or size you are, you have to go TRY one on. You’ll be surprised!

Some tips for finding a great shirtdress – Make sure you wear it with a belt. Go for a neutral colour like black, navy, charcoal or cream. And always try to go for better quality fabric.

Outfit: Shirtdress (AL&ALICIA), jacket (from YesStyle), belt (from Morrison), suede boots (by Tony Bianco at The Iconic).

What to buy this winter: Checks, Khaki and Citrus Knits

4) Try a Citrus Coloured Jumper
If you’re like me, you probably own a lot of dark coloured jackets and coats (black, brown, grey, navy or beige). Try adding a splash of colour by layering up with a citrus coloured knit.

A predominant colour in the latest Sass and Bide collection is this electric orange (pictured left), which I have fallen in love with. But it’s a bit out of my budget for this winter, so I will be settling for this –more affordable – knit by Blue Juice, pictured in the middle!

Left to right: Sass and Bide Knit (new season $290), Blue Juice Knit ($89.95) and Ladakh($99.95)

Enjoy your weekend!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Win a $1000 Shopping Spree thanks to Berlei Dig Free Hosiery

3 May 2013

(This post is sponsored by Berlei)

Berlei Dig Free Hosiery

Berlei have launched a new range of products, called Dig Free Hosiery, which has a seam-free and smoothing waistband, aimed to increase comfort and reduce the lines visible under your clothes.

With the onset of winter, I have thoroughly tested a pair of Dig-Free opaque tights. After wearing them for a few consecutive days, I thought they were really comfortable. The waistband is similar to the top of yoga pants – which is nice. It was not super tight like shapewear, which I find squeezes firmly into my tummy, and after a few hours, I’ve had enough and I want to take them off (especially when I want to eat!).

The seamless waistband felt soft, snug and firm. They looked great and I felt like I could go all day in them.

The Shopping Spree
To celebrate the new range, Berlei is giving away an awesome $1000 Shopping Spree!

They want to know: What is your favourite go-to outfit when you are trying to turn a “bad day” into a “good day”?

For me, a bad day is when I wake up and… my skin is gross, my hair is a disaster, my back aches, I have a headache and well… I just feel like crap. And I haven’t even had breakfast yet.

But a part of me refuses to be defeated. I try to pep myself up. I go through the motions of having a shower and brushing my teeth. I reach for my good moisturizer. I wear my nice undies. I wear my nicest daytime bra. And?

I plan to wear a great outfit.

I reach for the dress that makes me smile. The top that brings the *perfect* amount of sparkle and colour to my complexion. The skirt makes me feel like a million bucks. The pair of jeans hug me in all the right places.

My Go-To Outfit

To explore this idea further, Berlei gave me a bit of spending money ($500!) to put together and style my ideal “go-to outfit”.

I spent about 2 weeks doing “shopping research” – looking endlessly through online shops, lookbooks, catalogues and going instore to little boutiques and big department stores. I like to be very thorough with my shopping and styling… it took me ages, but it was fun!

The biggest question for shopping on a budget… Do I splurge the whole $500 on ONE designer item? Or spend it on 3 or 4 $100 – $150 statement pieces?

I went for the middle ground… and bought 2 fantastic designer items that I could wear and use again and again.

Sass & Bide Dress

1) Sass & Bide Post No Bills Dress

I adore practically everything that comes from Sass & Bide! I wish I could own everything in their latest and past collections. Not to mention I have serious style envy whenever the designers, Heidi and Sarah, step out dressed head-to-toe in their own clothes. Gah talk about girl style crush!

So when I spotted this dress at $290, down from $490, I knew I found the winner. I *knew* that I would get a huge, fun, fashion buzz whenever I wore that dress. Bad day be gone!

The fabric is gorgeous, flowing silk. The print is bold and quirky. It’s black and white, so it is versatile and I will get a lot of wears out of it. And it has these two petal layers that float and swish around the dress.

But the best thing about it – it can be worn as a dress and a top. Woo hoo!

Marc Jacobs Bag

Paired with leather pants, black heels and statement accessories – wayhey, there you go, I’ve found my perfect go-to outfit :)

2) Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Isabelle Bag

Yup, my second item is a Marc by Marc Jacobs cross body leather bag, in citrus. I’ve been looking for a new, brightly coloured, small bag… just to carry my keys, purse, phone and lippy. And this one was peerfect!!

It is sold at Net-a-Porter, but I bought it from Shopbop, for $184 (down from $230 – because I had a special 20% discount). It pays to shop around!

3) Colette Colour Stone Necklace

Colette Neckalce

And with the spare $26, I also picked up this crazy rainbow bling necklace.

So that was my $500 spent, or as I prefer to think of it, INVESTED, in my wardrobe. But if you win the competition, you get $1000 to spend :)

Enter To Win a $1000 Shopping Spree

The winner will receive a cash prize of $1000 to spend on the wardrobe of their choice.

This competition is open to residents of Australia aged 18 years or over. Sorry everyone else!

*This competition is now closed!*

The winning entry will be selected based on the passion and creativity of the answer provided.

Please read all terms and conditions.

Competition dates: Starts 3rd May 2013 – 24 May 2013, 5:00 pm AEDST.

All the best to everyone!

xxx


AL&ALICIA SS13 – La La Land

30 April 2013

I’ve been a long-time fan of fashion label, AL&ALICIA.

I adore their effortlessly gorgeous clothes, the strong boy-meets-girl style and their countless wardrobe staples with fresh details. You’ve probably noticed that I wear and style their items all the time!

I had the pleasure of picking out a few items to review, style and share with my readers… from their latest Spring/Summer 13 collection – La La Land.

The team at AL&ALICIA are also offering my readers a 15% storewide discount, please scroll below for details.

AL&ALICIA

This is the Lolita Shirt. It is lovely, light and sheer, with a short vest layer which suitably covers view of your undergarments.

At first I wasn’t so sure if I would like this top. Maybe a bit too boyish tuxedo like? Too boxy? Maybe too floral? But after pairing it with cropped pants, jeans, and other skirts in my wardrobe, I realised that this was a winner. It brings a fresh, “smart yet feminine” look to my and outfits and I like it :)

I’m wearing this top in a size 0. Shorts and accessories are my own.

AL&ALICIA

Asymmetrical skirts are all the rage for the new season. And this Tuula Skirt featuring a peplum skirt and asymmetrical ends, stands out with a kind of effortless cool.

Its colour is sublte and feminine, its draping is soft, while its tailoring is smart and boyish. The combination of these elements makes this skirt wonderfully unique to wear.

Again, I’m wearing size 0. The top and accessories are my own.

AL&ALICIA

Aaah and lastly, these two dresses are simply lovely.

On the left is the Claire Dress, in the same subtle, gold shimmer fabric as the Tuula Skirt.

This dress has no zips or buttons, you just pop it over your head – I had to cover the makeup on my face with a scarf, so I didn’t get makeup on the collar, but other than that, it was easy and comfortable to wear and it fits very well. The skirt height is perfect for me too.

I’ll be wearing this dress out on a girls-night-out this weekend!

The dress on the right is Talulah Dress, so so so pretty and simple! It has delicate soft colours, feminine florals, yet mixed with boyish details like a high collar and button down pleats.

It is actually made of two layers of sheer material and it feels very nice and soft on my skin.

Do check out all the dresses here and rest of the collection on the website.

Enjoy 15% of regular priced merchandise online at AL&ALICIA.
Simply enter the code “KARENCHENG15″ at the checkout. Valid until 5th May, Sunday (midnight, UTC+8).

Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Mint Suede and Silver Glitter

28 April 2013

Peep Toe Shoes sent over a few pairs of shoes for me to play with!

They are having their Warehouse Sale with up to 75% off – and then with another extra 30% off.

There’s only a few more days left, so do pop over to take a peek.

Peep Toe Shoes

These aqua colour heels were $62.30 – down from $249!

They are soo luxurious to wear, I felt like a leggy giraffe (in a good, tall way). And they add a fabulous splash of colour to any outfit.

I thought they went perfectly with my coral and mint dress (from ClubCouture).

Peep Toe Shoes

This silver pair with a mid wedge heel was also $62.30 – down from $249!

They are lovely, so comfortable and in such a versatile and classic style. I will be keeping this pair as I’m sure I’ll wear it out a lot. I have lots of high heels, but not so many mid-heel shoes.

Here I wore it out on a lunch date with my girlfriend, with my super soft Splendid top (from Shopbop), white Fendi jeans and Diva earrings.

Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


What have you bought from ASOS?

22 April 2013

Ok if you don’t already get their updates, ASOS are having a massive mid season sale on their site, with up to 70% off items.

I recently bought a couple of items that I’m sooo happy with!

You see, I have a wedding to attend in July and I wanted a fun, party dress to wear.

ASOS Red Dress

So I bought this PETITE Lasercut Dress, and it’s gorgeous!

The big, flared, circle skirt makes the dress fun and feminine. The red is bold and eye-catching. The laser-cut layer is unique and almost lace-like.

And I love the back of the dress. I’ve fallen in love with backless dresses after wearing this backless Eileen Kirby lace dress to the WA Fashion Awards earlier this year.

ASOS Accessories

I also bought these Pointed Heels, with ankle strap and a mid heel. They have a suede/velvet like fabric and they are nice and affordable for an on-trend shoe, and for those on a budget.

These Jewel Bauble Earrings look so pretty and they would match lots of black outfits. They would also add a bit of sparkle, bling and a touch of colour to any outfit… even a white tee and black jeans?

I didn’t actually buy this Love Moschino Owl Shoulder Bag but I felt that this little style board needed a clutch to complete the outfit, and this one looked like a perfect match :)

Do you have a fancy occasion coming up? What are you wearing?

Hope you find something fabulous!
xx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Online Shopping Review: Beginning Boutique

15 April 2013

I want to introduce a new online boutique that I have come across, tested out and now recommend :)

Beginning Boutique is a cool online shop that stocks a great selection of dresses, tops and bottoms. They have familiar brands like One Teaspoon, Stylestalker, Finders Keepers – but they mix it up with affordable brands too, so you can also buy a great party dress for $55.

They update their stock often, have heaps of styles and sizes available, have free shipping throughout Australia… and most importantly, their customer service is superb.
Beginning Boutique

I was very impressed with the range of colourful skirts and styles they offered.

So I picked out a Stylestalker Skirt to try out – and it’s gorgeous! I’m a fan of the brand Stylestalker as they have some pretty bold (yet wearable) styles and their basic items always have a cool bit of detail on it that lifts up the whole garment. View the rest of Stylestalker items.

Beginning Boutique

The skirt is pretty versatile and feminine. You can wear the skirt with a white, grey or black top. Or a clashing colour, like yellow?! You can wear it with a flowing, loose top, or a tight fitting body top.

Outfit details: Top by In Good Company, Stylestalker Skirt, Colette Dinnigan x Lovisa necklace from The Iconic, Dorothy Perkins heels.

Unfortunately this particular style is out of stock, but here are a couple of other skirts that I had my eye on. Check out the whole collection of skirts here.

Beginning Boutique

Also the range of dresses is pretty good too. As I said before, the price range is $39 – $179 for a dress. And there are heaps of items on sale that are also listed in the dress section here.

Beginning Boutique

What I like most about the shopping experience at Beginning Boutique, is that when you “view all the dresses”, all the dresses are listed WITH some little boxes that show what sizes are available, so you know straight away whether they have your size.

Most of the time, you have to select your size, then it takes a few seconds to filter, then (sometimes) only 3 or 4 items are listed in that size and – well – that’s a bit boring because you don’t actually get to see the rest of the stuff the shop offers and you don’t feel like you’ve seen a good representation of what the shop has for sale.

Basically it offers you an excellent “window shopping inspiration” experience too haha!

Special Discount Code
Use the code “TENNER” at the checkout and you can enjoy 10% off your order when you spend $70 or over.

Anyway, I hope you like it and hope you enjoy a touch of online shopping.

Enjoy xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Bandage and Floral

9 April 2013

I picked out two new ‘premium’ dresses from online boutique ClubCouture… and oh my goodness, they are just stunning!!

Dresses by ClubCouture

This first dress is the Patterned Banded Bodycon Dress (very Herve Leger!) and it is absolutely gorgeous to wear.

I wore it recently to a launch at Tiffanys where I met Ewan McGregor, so I’ve now started to call it my Ewan dress haha.

It is quite an unusual dress, because if you look closely, the bandages have a print on them. And some nude panels are completely sheer. But the fabric is strong, firm and stretchy, a bit like a corset. So it just hugs you and tucks you in, in all the right places.

It’s unique, eye catching, I adore the neutral colour palette and it looks amazing… I realllly like it :)

As for sizing, I’m wearing a Size UK6 in this dress, and to be honest, it’s a *little tiny bit tight* for what I’m used to. I had to hold my breath in order to zip it up! I’m usually a good standard size and I can pretty much fit anything that is labelled UK6. So if you’re more of an UK8, then I’d choose the UK8 for this dress.

So even though it is a bit tight, the dress is stretchy enough that it feels quite comfortable to wear. I happily wore it for 5 hours one evening. It didn’t ride up my legs, or suffocate me, or pinch me in funny places. It was all good and I totally recommend it to those looking for a sexy dress that’s a bit different.

Dresses by ClubCouture

This dress is the Silk Watercolour Dress. And yes I adore this one too!

Its style is a lot more grown up and sophisticated, with its high neckline and knee length skirt. The fabric is silky and smooth. The print is colourful, vibrant, very pleasing to the eye and looks modern.

It’s not trying to be too fashiony or too look-at-me. It’s just lovely, classy and lady like. I wore it to an evening corporate event and I felt so intelligent, graceful and like I was the first lady or something!

It is perfect for work. Wearing to weddings. Wearing out to day time or night time functions. It’s a very versatile dress.

You can check out their full collection of dresses here (starting prices at $26) or view their Premium Range here (starting prices at $49).

There are a lot of great dresses and good stuff, enjoy!!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Peacocking and Swanning at the WA Fashion Awards 2013

22 March 2013

I was invited to the glamourous WA Fashion Awards 2013 held at Brookfield Place in Perth City.

I wrote a blog post about my last-minute “wardrobe dilemma” and how online boutique Frockaholics, saved the day!

WA Fashion Awards 2013

This year the event welcomed 400 VIP guests to walk the red carpet.

Fashion designers, models, stylists, photographers, makeup artists, fashion business owners, sponsors, and the media… all came together – in their most fashionable attire – to celebrate this year’s most outstanding members of the local industry.

Everyone had gorgeous hair, amazing make up, incredible tans and were sporting statement outfits and hot designer labels.

It was fun to be a part of it and watch the crowd swirl around like a flock of birds.

WA Fashion Awards 2013
Photo by Perth Photography

This is Annie, owner of Tu Boutique, and I.

I was wearing a lace dress by Eileen Kirby (from Frockaholics), clutch by PeepToe and shoes by GlamRockShoes.

Annie was wearing a stunning leather and silk gown by The Butcher and The Crow.

WA Fashion Awards 2013

This is hot stylist Mikey, and even hotter Lisa of Generics Accessories.

WA Fashion Awards 2013
Photo by Miss Mon Bon

This was my sexy back :P

It was such a warm and humid evening, you’d think that having a bare back would count for something? Nope, I was still sweating and glistening like everyone else. Not so sexy.

And here are some of the well-deserved winners and fashion friends that I’m super proud of!

WA Fashion Awards 2013
Photo by Stefan Gosatti

Shane Newton (centre) won the Designer For Tomorrow Award – he totally deserved this award for his label Zsadar.  Ange Langton (left) was last year’s winner of Designer For Tomorrow Award, and Greg Caust (right) from the Commonwealth Bank.

WA Fashion Awards 2013
Photo by Stefan Gosatti

Alvin Fernandez (Ae’lkemi) won the Most Innovative Designer Award, Teagan Sewell (Sewellery) won the Fine Details Award and Illustrator Pippa McManus won the Creative Edge Award.

I had a great time catching up with fashion friends, doing a whole lot of fashion spotting and celebrating with the winners.

But alas, I couldn’t stay for the drinking, partying and possibly debaucherous fashion activity that went on afterwards. Only kidding. I’m sure everyone just went home by 10pm, it was a school night after all :)


Karen’s Top 4: Best Ever Travel Clothes

19 March 2013

My gorgeous sponsors, Ciao Bella Travel, have asked me to put together my BEST EVER LIST of travel clothes.

This has come at a very appropriate time, because I’m off travelling in a few months time :)

Great travel clothes are really just normal clothes that are:
1) comfortable
2) easy to wash
3) no ironing required
4) a simple style that is versatile for different occasions
5) look great
6) be of good quality
7) AND be reasonably priced for all those things

I don’t travel enough to justify a wardrobe dedicated to travel, but I just love these clothes below because they have proven time and time again to be all of the above.

By the way, Ciao Bella are offering 15% off the ENTIRE SITE to all my readers, please see below for details.

Here goes. These are my Top 4 Travel Clothes…

Ciao Bella Travel Clothes

This dress is the Iris Sleeveless by Sacha Drake. Made from a textured jersey, the fabric of this dress is strong, stretchy, thick and lightweight. I don’t have to iron it. I can roll it up, pop it into my bag, then slip it on and it will still look amazing. The fabric makes the dress feel robust, like I could wear it all day and I won’t ruin it.

The stretchiness makes it fit snug in all the right places. It sits beautifully on the waist and skims over the hips perfectly, the fabric panels slim the body, and it is very comfortable to wear.

The straps are nice and thick so I can wear a normal bra underneath. And the fabric is also thick enough that I can wear my nana knickers and still can’t see any panty lines haha :)

Ciao Bella Travel Clothes

I love the square neckline. I think it looks much more polished and sophisticated than a regular scoop neckline dress (which looks like a casual tank dress).

This style works well for the office, after dinner drinks, or you can wear it to formal occasions like a cocktail party or an evening function.

I’ve also included a close up photograph of the fabric. It’s textured and very lightweight.

It is definitely one of the Top 10 Dresses in my wardrobe!

(I am wearing the size 8 dress size.)

Ciao Bella Travel Clothes

Next is this 2 Way Cap Sleeve Top by Sacha Drake.

It retails for $99, but with a 15% discount it will be $84.15, which is a bargain for such a luxe top. It’s by Sacha Drake, so you can be sure that the quality of the fabric is top notch – soft, stretchy,  strong, smooth and pill resistant.

Wear it as a regular scoop neck top or turn it around to wear it as a boat neck top.

It’s so simple and versatile. Wear it with jeans, pants and a blazer, a pencil skirt, a floral skirt, a mini skirt and a statement necklace, a maxi skirt and a scarf, shorts, bermudas… the list is endless.

(I’m wearing size 8 here.)

Ciao Bella Travel Clothes

Ok you can’t get anymore basic than this. A black 3/4 sleeve top, called the Bamboo Body Above Elbow Scoop.

If you don’t own one… quick, go get one now! This one is $49.95 ($42.45 with the discount) and it is made from organic bamboo viscose and organic cotton. Environmentally friendly material that is soft, strong and smooth. It is lovely to wear, as it feels luxurious – I can’t believe it costs under $50.

Plus it actually stays in shape after a few washes.

The tummy area of this top is a little loose. It falls nicely and it doesn’t cling tightly to your tummy, which is fab :)

What I love about the classic black top, is that I can wear it on it’s own in summer. And during the winter, it also gets worn a lot, layered under my cardigans, jumpers and jackets.

Perfect for travelling.

(I’m wearing a size XS top.)

Ciao Bella Travel Clothes

Lastly, these are luxe Bamboo Body 3/4 Leggings.

They are made from gorgeously soft organic bamboo, organic cotton and a touch of spandex. These sit nicely on my waist and hips, and fit in a “relaxed and comfortable” kind of way…  because they don’t squeeze tightly and cling, like regular active wear leggings.

So far they don’t seem to pill either.

They are so comfy, breathable and luxe, that I just wear them all day, to the gym and then slouching around the house.

(Ok sorry, my photos are a bit misleading. I don’t actually go to the gym and slouch around the house with fabulous hair :P)

The 3/4 length and the full length leggings are both $49.95, but on sale they are $42.45.

(These leggings are size XS.)

Enjoy 15% off everything on Ciao Bella Travel for all my readers!

Enter the code KARENCHENG (with no spaces) to receive 15% OFF the entire website from 19th March – 6th of April.

Happy shopping!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


2 New Dresses from Fashion Valet

15 March 2013

Fashion Valet is a huge online store (think ASOS) based in Malaysia, that offers customers everything from clothes, accessories, beauty, shoes, handbags, designer collaborations and soon to be launched – kids and maternity wear.

If you’re looking for something a bit different to all the mass marketed global brands out there, do check this site out… especially their dresses, skirts and necklaces section.

As for me, I picked out these 2 fab dresses…

Fashion Valet

A bustier, Sara studded dress with satiny drapes by LUVELUXE.

How great is this dress?! It looks good, fits well, and is really affordable. It has a really nice balance of sexy and classy, which I really like.

I like the shape of the bustier too, which is called a “sweetheart shape” as the top looks like a love heart. Usually this shape looks very feminine and pretty, but it is balanced off by the tough, square studs, corset-like trim and the black satin shine (that has a certain leather look).

Spikes and studs are BIG in this new season. Wear them on your shoulders, your shoes, your wrist, your hat. Or bust?

Fashion Valet

I wore this dress out the other night. No jacket, no coat, no vest.

Just me, the dress, some earrings and a pair of shoes. Oh how I love being on rooftop bars, sitting outside in the warm evenings. I’m going to miss dining outside when the weather changes.

Fashion Valet

I also wore this dress out the other week, to a fancy lunch date with some girlfriends.

It is the Satin Dress in Flower Creme by Spotlight (a Malaysian label) but I think this particular design is sold out now. There’s another darker version here.

It’s an easy-to-throw-on, stylish-looking print dress to wear during the day. It’s also a super affordable dress at $30. The material is thin and light, perfect for the warm weather.

I wore it with a belt around my waist, hitched it up a bit and it looked like a playsuit. Bonus :)

Happy browsing or shopping!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Donating Blood and Registering to be a Stem Cell Donor

12 March 2013

Last week, I wrote about Emily. Emily needs to find a stem cell donor, or else she is going to die from cancer.

My first step to help her… is to get registered as a stem cell donor, and to blog about the process to show everyone how easy and worthwhile it is.

The process of registering is different in every country. In the US, it is just a little mouth swab. Other countries require a blood donation too. So it is worth finding out the requirements in your country first.

In Australia, you are required to donate blood, in order to become REGISTERED. You don’t actually donate your stem cells right there and then!

So here we go……..

Eeek I have never ever donated blood before!

The reason is because, when I was in my late teens and early 20s, I struggled with low iron and a low blood count. During my 3 pregnancies, I also had a very low blood count. So I just assumed that this low-ness was “normal for me” and that I should just avoid donating.

Not to mention, I can’t stand anything “blood related”. I don’t like the sight of blood. The smell of blood. I feel faint when I see too much blood. I get wobbly in my tummy when I see it oozing out of skin. I close my eyes during gory movies and medical procedures on tv. And I hate needles! I’m a real wimp.

But seriously, it’s such a lame excuse for me. I’ve been through much tougher things in life. I’m very fit and healthy at the moment. And I should be completely able to give blood.

ALSO

When I gave birth to my first child, I lost a LOT of blood. I had to be in intensive care and I was given something like 2L of blood to help me recover. So in fact, I had been on the receiving end of someone’s donation. And my husband also received blood when he was being treated for his cancer. Obviously, it is pay back time :)

SO …

I made an appointment to donate blood and to put myself into the Australian Bone Marrow Donation Registry.

Everyone freaks out when you say the words “Bone Marrow”. The registry is called the Bone Marrow Registry, because the stem cells that are found floating around in your blood, actually grow in your bone marrow. Years ago, doctors had to take out bone marrow to get the stem cells, but now, they just sift them out of the blood stream.

Donating Blood and Stem Cells

When I arrived at the Australian Red Cross Blood Services, the little waiting room was PACKED full of people. Lots of men in business suits, there was a guy and girl couple, a few young woman, and lots of young guys too. I could hardly find a seat for myself. But, I did notice that I was the only Asian face there.

I was given a few forms to fill out. Eventually the people in the waiting room moved on and I took a quick snap, before it filled up with more people again. I thought the design choice of the waiting chairs was very cute.

Donating Blood and Stem Cells

I won’t lie. There was a lot of paper work. I had to fill out 3 forms.

But they were full of really simple questions like, “Do you have epilepsy? Have you ever suffered a stroke or a heart attack?? Are you taking any medication?”

This went on for a few pages. And I was ticking NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.

And by the end of it, I was thinking – Holy cow, I’m pretty lucky to be so healthy!

Which is what they want. Fit, young, healthy people. Hey, we are blessed!

Donating Blood and Stem Cells

And this is it. That extra form that might save the life of someone in need.

The form that puts me into the worldwide pool of stem cell donors. That one day… someone on the other side of the world, or someone next door, or even you, will be able to find your 1 in a 10,000 match.

You have to specially request this form, from the nurse at the front reception desk.

Donating Blood and Stem Cells

After submitting my paperwork, I was ushered to a little room. I talked to a nurse, who went through some pretty simple questions and answers.

For example, one question was “Have you EVER travelled outside Australia in the last 3 years? And which countries?” and I answered “Denmark, Singapore.”

She also took a skin prick, to test my haemoglobin. And then she took my blood pressure.

My results were perfect. I was a fine human specimen for donating blood.

Donating Blood and Stem Cells

I was ushered over to the donating room, which was nice and air-conditioned. A bit like a movie theatre.

I found a nice comfy seat, and the nurse gave me a snuggly, woolly blankie, which made my day.

The nurse set to work.

A teeny tiny prick of pain.

And I was all hooked up and giving blood.

Donating Blood and Stem Cells

Haha I totally look like a happy little granny here!

Lots of people asked me (after I donated) : What did it feel like?

My answer: Er, nothing! I just felt like I had some sticky tape on my arm. And I could feel the blood pressure wrap on my upper arm. I didn’t feel any “draining”, or “dizziness” or “coldness” or “light headed feelings”. I just chatted away to people nearby.

I have to admit, I was feeling a bit tense… because I was EXPECTING to feel dizzy or light headed. But I just didn’t. So actually, I felt happier as time went on, because it was going better than I expected.

Donating Blood and Stem Cells

This was my little pumping machine.

My blood packet sat in a little dish, that was rocked back and forth by the machine, like a happy little baby being soothed to sleep.

You might be able to make out the numbers on the machine.

Since I was 45kgs, I could only give 420mL. The amount collected so far was 358mL. 065 was the flow per minute. And 8:11 was the minutes that had passed.

Actually, 420mL was my blood donation, and they took 2 extra vials for testing and registering to be a stem cell donor. But I didn’t feel any difference.

Donating Blood and Stem Cells

And just like that, I was done! They wrapped me up and gave me a cup of water.

The whole thing took less than 10 minutes!

I sat there… feeling absolutely fine. I thought – That’s it??

I looked over at my 420ml packet and I was a bit shocked.

It looked like a lot of blood! I looked at my own body and thought, THAT came out of my petite little body? And I still feel fine?! Wow the human body is pretty amazing.

Then it hit me. I had this wave of euphoria. I felt so freaking awesome.

I felt like I did something really, really really GOOD. And I was so proud of myself.

The nurses were so kind and grateful. They kept encouraging me to take it easy, stay for a bit and rest. So I sat there for a few more minutes, just sipping my water and watching all the action in the donation room.

teafortu

My husband came to pick me up… and we took a gentle stroll into the city.

We found a cute tea parlour in the city and sat down for a cup of tea and red velvet cake. It was just such a brilliant feeling.

That afternoon we picked up the kids from school. I did some light housework. I cooked dinner. I watered my flowers. And I still felt absolutely fine. In fact I was glowing :)

What next? What Can You Do?

To find Emily a match, thousands of ethnically Chinese people need to register to donate stem cells. Obviously, you can make a difference by registering yourself. But this needs to go viral in order to get THOUSANDS of possible donors.

I’ve set up a Facebook page called “I’ve got Chinese Stem Cells“!

The page is an online celebration, dedicated to all the ethnically Chinese people who have registered as stem cell donors.

If you have registered to be a donor, please post up your photo!!

(Photo of your face, your arm, your bandage, your donor card, the waiting room, the donation center sign, your cup of tea, your slice of cake that you ate after! Any picture from your adventure to show you were there.)

Please LIKE the page, upload your photos to the page, and tag “I’ve Got Chinese Stem Cells”

Every time someone posts here, it will add momentum, and spread the word, to help Emily, and others in need in the future.

Spread The Word!

Email, text, or call your best Chinese friends. Send them this blog post or the Facebook page link, and ask them to go with you to register. Get them to register too! And once you are registered, go to a really nice cafe together, and celebrate life and friendship.

And then think about how many ethnically Chinese people in your family, at work, at university, your sports club, social club, church group? Anyone of them could be Emily’s match, and if they are not, then someone they know could be.

Register Here :)


Polo In The Valley Launch at Tiffany & Co

11 March 2013

To celebrate the launch of Polo in the Valley 2013, Tiffany & Co welcomed an excited crowd of VIP guests in glowing style.

Jeep Polo In The Valley 2013 Launch at Tiffany & Co

With the cobble stone road closed off, the store was lit up, the blue carpet was rolled out, beautiful horses clipped-clopped around the street, and hunky polo players posed next to a Tiffany Blue carriage (!), while greeting guests as they arrived.

It was a lovely treat to have so many interesting and “photographable” features at an event.

Jeep Polo In The Valley 2013 Launch at Tiffany & Co

So while I was being an awesome blogger, taking photos of this and that… one of the organisers walked over to me and said,

“I just want to let you know that Ewan McGregor will be arriving at 7:15pm, and everyone will have an opportunity to take photos over there.” She pointed to a spot, then hurried off to tell other media guests.

“Ewan McGregor?” I blinked.  I didn’t know he was coming. “Why yes. I would much rather take photos of Ewan McGregor, than close ups of this horse’s ass.”

Jeep Polo in the Valley 2013 Launch

Ewan McGregor with Australian actor, Matt Nable, who are both in Perth shooting up-coming thriller film, Son of a Gun.

Sure enough, as the big surprise for all the guests, the Hollywood star arrived – looking absolutely delicious – and was all smiles for the cameras.

Yup, he’s one of my favourite actors and I’m a HUGE FAN of his diverse acting and humanitarian work.

Plus he’s got that ruggedly-handsome Scottish look that I am so hot for (my husband is Scottish, so I can say these things ok?).

I seriously went all fluttery.

Jeep Polo In The Valley 2013 Launch at Tiffany & Co

We were all ushered into the store to listen to the speeches and a very cool announcement.

This year, the Polo in the Valley event is donating up to $100,000 dollars to Youth Focus – a charity that raises public awareness of youth depression and suicide. Amazing!!

Jeep Polo In The Valley 2013 Launch at Tiffany & Co

I trotted around the store, taking photos of the gorgeous Tiffany models dressed in 1920′s style. There was also a string quartet, lots of canapes and free flowing champagne.

I haven’t been in a Tiffany store for quite some time, so I took a peek into the jewellery cabinets and made a mental note to come back when the store wasn’t so crowded.  I also bumped into a few people that I knew, so I had a nice catch up with them too.

As the night drew on, Ewan seemed to make his way around the room, talking to people.

Actually, I think it was more like… Ewan stood in one spot, while the crowd of guests slowly made “an understood queue” that moved at a polite pace, so that everyone was able to have a chat with him, before he suddenly left the building – as all Hollywood stars do.

And of course, I really wanted to get a photo of him and I together!

It was a getting late and I had to leave soon, so I kind of squeezed in quickly and approached him.

I told him how much I enjoyed his work, how I loved Scotland when I went to visit, and how I married a Scottish guy (I left out the bit about me being hot for Scotts) and how he looked like members of my husband’s family haha.

We had a bit of a giggle, we took the photo, I gave him a thank you cuddle, and I hung around a bit as he chatted to other guests. He was so lovely and gracious.

Jeep Polo In The Valley 2013 Launch at Tiffany & Co

Ewan McGregor and me!!

Of course, I had a ZILLION OTHER THINGS I wanted to say to him, regarding his immunisation missions, his motorcycle journeys, lightsabres and his 4 daughters.

But what I really wanted to say to him was…

“Hey I wanted to name my 3rd son after you! But my husband argued that since we already had a ‘Sean’, ‘Ewan’ would be too obvious. So we agreed on a ‘Liam’ instead. Yeah sorry.”


New Fashion Label: In Good Company

5 March 2013

Sven Tan and Kane Tan, both former designers at internationally successful, Singaporean label Alldressedup, have recently launched their new label, In Good Company.

Rather than follow catwalk trends, the label focuses on delivering affordable, modern classics with a twist and quality basics to fashion lovers. Their direction is understated style, effortless chic, with fluid and feminine shapes.

I was given the pleasure of sampling a few items (that I chose) from their very first capsule. And yes, I was very excited because I have been a huge fan the duo’s past work.

They also have kindly offered my readers a special discount code, so please scroll down for the details.

In Good Company

This is the GAIA Peep Shoulder Dress, described as a “modern approach to the quintessential sundress for the city girl.”

Firstly, I don’t usually wear plain black dresses anymore. Secondly, I don’t usually wear shapeless dresses (with no waist).

But OH MY, I looooved this dress. I felt sexy, effortless, exotic, and like I wasn’t trying too hard and just being myself.

The off-shoulder ruffles and the shoe-string straps make this dress sexy. But it was brilliantly balanced out by the shapeless cut and the light (but robust) material.

This is definitely one of my Top 10 favourite dresses. And I can’t believe how affordable it is.

In Good Company

This is the CHIANTI Strappy Camisole.

Again this top feels effortlessly stylish, with a touch of sexiness and a little twist to the classic camisole (the shoe string straps do a criss-cross at the back). I really liked it.

The material feels deliciously fluid and thick enough to not be see-through. There is a bit of elastic at the back, so it is comfortable and easy to wear. And the neckline is high enough (and sits on your chest nicely) that it won’t “fall open” if you bend over.

I think this top is perfect as part of a working wardrobe, worn with a blazer, tailored pants, or a pencil skirt.

It’s a very nice and luxe basic to own… and will go with lots of things in my wardrobe (formal and casual).

In Good Company

This is the HANNAH Camisole Top, another luxe staple.

Aaah, the fabric of this top is really lovely. It feels like soft, light, silky suede. The shoe-string straps are gorgeously unique. And it really does ooze casual-cool chic.

I paired it with some leather jeans and hehe, I was in fashion outfit heaven – totally effortless, understated and yet so stylish.

I’m so so happy with these items from In Good Company. I’m pinching myself that I get to keep them and have them as part of my everyday wardrobe. Now I’m pouring through the rest of the website (again!) to see if there are any other pieces that might purchase for myself – because I’m a die hard fan now.

AND LASTLY.

The other reason I’ve fallen for this brand…

If you happen to have a stylish little girl in tow, check out In Good Company’s Mini Me Capsule!

In Good Company
(These dresses and tops are the miniature versions of the dresses/tops I tried on!)

One-third of their collections feature both ‘mini-me’ versions of its key looks – for girls aged from 3 to 8 years of age.

Oh how I wish I had a girl!!

*SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE*

In Good Company have kindly offered all my readers $10 OFF the cost of shipping. Please use the code “fashion&life” in the discount code box at the checkout.

Do check out the rest of their collection!

They also sell shoes, accessories and special edition accessories born from artist and designer collaborations. Prices start from $89 for tops, $89 for shorts, $109 for pants, $179 for dresses and $39 for accessories.

(By the way, for sizing… I’m wearing the size XS for all garments and I’m usually a size AUS6/UK6.)

Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


6 Ways to Wear WHITE (from LOEF)

2 March 2013

The lovely team from online boutique, LOEF, gave me the opportunity to pick out a few items from their new collection to feature on my blog.

I chose some good looking WHITE items, that would freshen up anyone’s existing wardrobe.

Clothes from LOEF

1) Simple lace dress.

This dress is a fantastic little, lace dress… especially for its price.

It’s made from a thick cotton jersey, with a layer of crochet-lace over the top. Because the material is slightly thick, it feels very secure, comfortable and stretchy. So it’s easy to move around in, sit down in and it doesn’t feel tight or restricting.

It is slightly padded at the bust and is slightly elasticised at the back – so it doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall off you if you breathe in!

For a very casual weekend look, you can throw over a denim shirt, wear a straw hat and some tan sandals. Or as I have in the photos, wear it plain, but glammed up with a faux fur coat and statement shoes.

Or team it with some colourful accessories for a fun party look.

Clothes from LOEF

2) The White Blazer

This is definitely a must-have item for a modern working girl’s wardrobe. It just smartens up a colourful dress, coloured or patterned pants, or lifts an all-black outfit.

You might have noticed that I wear my white blazer very often – like, here, here and here.

You can buy gorgeous white blazers for $150+, but I have been trying to find one priced $50 – $100 to share on my blog. I have tested 4-5 in that price range (from different online sources), but their quality were bad. They felt very cheap, they were see through, or the fabric was linen-like and really rough on the skin, or the stitching was very poor.

THIS Suede Cotton Blazer is brilliant for SG$36! It is a simple and classic design. It feels lovely and light. It is properly lined, lightly padded at the shoulder. And its fabric and make, has more quality than its price suggests.

The sleeves were a little bit long for me, but I rolled it up twice for the photos above and it still looked great.

Note: I now have 3 white blazers. One waterfall-front blazer from Korea, one classic tuxedo blazer from Bardot and now this LOEF one!

Clothes from LOEF

3) Chiffon Waterfall Jacket

This is listed as a Chiffon Blazer, but I think it’s more of a “jacket” or a “chiffon cardigan”.

I think it’s a great little jacket that works well as office wear. Thrown over a shift dress, or a pencil skirt and blouse… it keeps the air conditioning chill off your shoulders and it looks smart and professional (much more than a woolly cardigan).

But I also think it works for casual outfits too, worn over a sun dress, or jeans and a tank top, or your swimwear.

LOEF stocks clothes with a “low and affordable” price point. I won’t say “cheap” because the quality of some of their clothes is actually really good (especially their LOEF Label items) and match the standards of regular high-street stores like Zara, H&M, Forever21.

I can’t vouch for the quality of ALL their stock items, but these items that I have tested and chosen to feature, are excellent for their price. And I will definitely be happy to wear them, mixed up with my high end, high street and vintage/thrifted stuff.

Enjoy your shopping!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Eileen Kirby Dresses from Frockaholics

27 February 2013

Last week, due to an annoying email glitch, I found out – at the last minute – that I was attending a formal, black-tie FASHION AWARDS NIGHT! AAAKK!

Well, when I say “last minute” it was actually 11 days.

So if you think about it, I actually did have enough time to find something to wear. However I left it really late. So of course, I found myself… 3 days before the event, with nothing to wear!

And in those 3 days, I had full schedule of work, mummy duties, meetings, and lunch dates… and no time to visit any boutiques to find a dress.

All I can say is this – THANK GOODNESS FOR ONLINE SHOPPING.

If you find a small online boutique with impeccable customer service, my tip: Stick With Them!

If they answer their emails within 24hours, specially pull an item out of their stock for you, and mail it to you in an express postbag, and YOU RECEIVE IT THE NEXT DAY… then omg you know you’ve found gold.

One of my favourite online stores is Frockaholics. They stock hundreds of designer mini dresses, knee length dresses, cocktail dresses, maxi, gowns and much more.

In my search for something to wear, I found this gorgeous dress by Australian designer, Eileen Kirby:

Dress from Frockaholics

I loved the lace and tulle. And I LOVED the back of the dress!

I wanted to get the long version of the dress, but I knew that – me being very short – I probably would need to alter it and take the hem up, so it wouldn’t drag on the floor as I walked. And since I didn’t have much time to spare… the short dress it was.

(Not to mention, if i show off a bit of leg, I tend to look taller.)

The dress arrived in 1.5 days! And oh my goodness it was utterly gorgeous and it fit perfectly.

Dress from Frockaholics

I slipped it on and felt all gushy and like I needed to make a teary Oscar speech haha.

Because it was backless, I had to wear an adhesive sticky bra for some ahem, support.

Ah what can I say… I felt sexy and amazing in it.

Check out the other pretty dresses by Eileen Kirby.

Thank you Frockalholics!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my

3 Ways to Wear Due (The New Ballet Flat by FitFlop)

22 February 2013

I was given the opportunity to road test the latest shoe from FitFlop, called Dué.

It’s a ballerina pump – so it looks like a ballet flat, but it has this incredibly cushioned sole. It also has a bit of height and made from top notch materials and leather.

FitFlop Due - Patent

They come in black leather, black patent, cherry red patent and ink blue patent.

I chose the Black Patent Due, because I wanted to try a very, very versatile shoe. One that you could wear for school drop offs, lunch dates, and working in an office. They are retailed at $199.95 for patent and $219.95 for leather, so you do want them to be versatile and last a long time.

When I received them I thought they looked a bit chunky. I’m used to my ballet flats, being VERY flat! And I admit they looked a bit plain. I’m used to wearing “statement flats” with leopard print, or studs or beige snakeskin! But I find that I don’t wear these statement flats when I know I will be walking on pavement/rough paths, because I don’t want them to wear out.

Anyway I gave the  Dués a good go. I wore them around for a week or so, and holy cow, they are really comfortable.

One day, I walked 2km in them to take my children to school, then I did some grocery shopping, went to the library, sat in a cafe for lunch, did some chores at home, then walked 2kms again to pick up my children… and I never took them off!

In fact, several people commented on them and asked me where I got them from. And I also found myself standing in the school yard, surrounded by a bunch of mums getting excited about my shoes haha. Women who spent all day on their feet, seemed to “get it”.

Best thing about them – Comfortable and they look great.

I put together 3 looks to show how the Dué can be styled to suit different occasions.

3 Ways - Due Fitflops

1) With Jeans
Whether you’re wearing your favourite slouchy blue jeans, or skinny statement red jeans… this ballet flat is made for jeans.

2) Sporty
Walking, doing errands, zipping in and out of the car. The comfort and quality of this shoe makes you feel like you could go all day in them.

3) Evening
The patent finish makes this shoe look smart and polished. It looks very cute paired with a simple dress, or a nice skirt and top,

4) Work – not pictured
Of course, you can’t go wrong wearing pants, blouse and classic ballet flats at the office. Or if you are working on your feet all day – these are just perfect.

Yes I’m a fan of them now! I recommend them for someone who wants a high quality flat and are on their feet a lot.

The Dué is on sale right now. Check the FitFlop Website for stockists and where to buy.

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


New York Fashion Week Fall 2013

17 February 2013

For me, following the fashion shows around the world is always such a fun, spectator sport!

I can sit in the comfort of my own home, eat home-cooked meals, get my husband to massage my feet… and watch thousands of images and videos of fashion creations pour through my computer screen. Technology and social media is a very cool thing indeed :)

So I must say, I’ve never been as excited for the new season to arrive as this. I adore so many of the new trends coming out.

These are my favourite looks and trends from the 2013 Fall runway.

New York Fashion Week Fall 2013 - Photo by NY Times

Theyskens’s Theory Fall 2013 – tailored boxy jackets, textured fabrics with voluminous structure, quilting, hounds-tooth, wool shorts, and tall leather boots.

New York Fashion Week Fall 2013 - Photo by NY Times

Marchesa Fall 2013 – Gorgeous flowing gowns, drapes in jewel tones, lots of deep reds and purples, ornate floral embroidery in a baroque style.

New York Fashion Week Fall 2013 - Photo by NY Times

Anna Sui Fall 2013 – Cute 60s inspired shapes, jewel tones, tweed crop jackets, long velvet jackets, geometric prints, texture mixing, patterned shift dresses and pea coats.

New York Fashion Week Fall 2013 - Photo by NY Times

Proenza Schouler Fall 2013 – Black and white palate with a touch of apricot and mint, boxy and voluminous jackets, a-line shapes, bouclé yarns, monochrome tweed, hounds-tooth, lovely texture and fabric mixing.

New York Fashion Week Fall 2013 - Photo by NY Times

Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2013 – lovely 70s inspired prints and silhouettes, colourful geometric prints, deep reds, blues and greens, andhigh necklines.

All photos from NY Times


Wearing Yellow at a Chinese New Year Ball

15 February 2013

So, I’m going to wear a canary yellow dress to a Chinese New Year Ball on Saturday night.

Why am I going against the obvious RED theme?

Weeeeeell……

Last year, I decided to try and raise some funds for cancer research. I took up bike riding, and I (and about a thousand other people) rode 200km. Together, we raised a whopping $4.6 million dollars, and I raised about $16,000 of that.

Now, when I say “I”, obviously, I actually mean WE. “We” being all the incredibly generous people who actually donated the money “I” raised.

Well, the whole thing was such an amazing experience that I’m going to do it again!

Cycling! Training! And yes, fundraising.

That’s right, I am riding in the 2013 Ride To Conquer Cancer, and here I am, deeply moved once again and aspiring to do more.

I want to raise even MORE money this year, and I have been doing a bit of thinking about how.

A few weeks ago, I asked for some help from a local Chinese association, because that’s what you have to do… ask for help. And they said YES.

So, my Ride To Conquer Cancer Ride for 2013 – the Year of the Snake – will be the official charity cause of the Chinese New Year Ball on Saturday night at Crown Casino in Perth. A Director of the West Australian Institute for Medical Research, and I, will be asking 450 people to donate money to the cause.

There will be lion dances, singers from China, a “Miss Chinese” Beauty Pageant and a whole lot of other stuff celebrating Chinese culture.

There is only one problem with this. Asking for help means that I will have to stand up on a stage in front of 450 people, make a speech, and ask them for their help. For money. Eeeek.

Did I ever tell you that I am terrified of speaking in public? That I am painfully shy? That I can’t speak English – far less Chinese – when people I don’t know are looking at me?

Suddenly, riding 200km seems easy.

Argh!!

But…

…if you want help, you have to ask for it.

And as part of asking for help, I’ll be wearing YELLOW, which is pretty much the official colour for asking people to donate money to cancer research :)

So… that’s why I will be wearing a yellow dress to a Chinese New Year Ball.

Wish me luck!


Stand Up Paddling for Valentines

11 February 2013

Whenever my husband and I are at the beach (or river), we often see people glide past us on these funny looking stand up paddle boards. We see them paddling slowly, over the calm, still waters… looking so peaceful and satisfied. And we are always filled with a bursting desire to try it ourselves!

So to celebrate an early Valentine’s Day, I surprised my husband with an experience, courtesy of Red Balloon.

Yes, we went Stand Up Paddle Boarding together!

Ain’t we romantic? :P

Stand Up Paddling for Valentines

A good Stand Up Paddling Boarding experience depends solely on the wind.

(If you’re really cool you can call it SUP boarding, but we’re not that cool, as it turns out.)

We booked for a 9am session, but the location of the paddling could only be confirmed the night before. This is so that the boarding people can look at the weather forecast and find the best spot out of the wind.

We turned up at 8:45am, in Rockingham, and we met the crew and other participants. The weather was beautiful. The water was flat, and there was a gentle breeze.

Now my husband and I are scuba divers, and we’ve been on 7-day scuba diving camping trips, roughing it out in tents, on the coast, or living on a fishing boat for 5 days. So our brains are programmed with safety protocols, dressing for the weather, and being sun and water smart.

And today? We may have over-did ourselves.

It was 39C and we turned up in long sleeve, turtleneck rashies, hats, sunglasses and long shorts.

Everyone else were in their bathers. Girls were in their itsy bitsy, floral bikini tops and bottoms, and guys with rippling muscles were in trendy shorts and were completely topless. I felt like such a nana.

In fact, I needed to carry my waterproof camera during the paddling. So I actually wore my cycling jersey (which had zip pockets) with my cycling arm sleeves! I really felt like a freak! Oh well. I’m sure my skin loved me for covering up.

Stand Up Paddling for Valentines

The briefing was great. Luca, our guide, gave us paddles and boards that suited out height… and he gave us lots of good tips.

I was a bit nervous. I’ve never been surfing before. I’m not great with boards and waves.

I was told that I might lose my hat and sunglasses if I fell into the water. Ugh, so I started to get worried about losing my sunglasses. SO THAT’S why no one else was wearing their sunglasses!

When it was time to start, we carried our boards into the water. And even I could lift the board by myself!

We waded about knee-deep into the water, and then crawled onto the boards on our hands and knees. When we felt steady, we stood up.

Stand Up Paddling for Valentines

It was pretty easy to stand on!

The boards were so wide that it was easy to find balance. The water was calm too, so the boards were not wobbly or shaky.

My husband, who, in my opinion, is not as *talented in coordination* as myself… found it to be very easy too.

I noticed there was another young lady in the group who was very, very unsure about her balance. She took a long time to steady her feet, stand up and balance herself. But when she did, she was fine.

After we all stood up, we had to start paddling.

It took me a few minutes to get used to the paddling arm motion.

I felt very uncoordinated at first. Concentrating on standing + balancing + paddling was a bit tricky. So I was doing very “weak” paddling, as if I was sweeping rice around on the floor haha.

Stand Up Paddling for Valentines

But once I got used to it, it was fuuuuun!

My paddling technique improved quickly. I began to paddle a little faster and became a lot more in-control of the board.

Oh my, it was so peaceful and soothing. It felt like we were gliding. Or strolling over water.

My husband and I were paddling side by side, laughing and chatting about romantic things like, um sharks.

Just kidding! We didn’t see much marine life. Just pelicans and a stingray.

Stand Up Paddling for Valentines

Haha I look so content and relaxed here!

We were paddling WITH a gentle wind behind us, so it was quite effortless. We could really just stand up on the board and use our bodies as sails to push us along.

Near the end of the session, we parked at a little beach, and our guide asked us to paddle back a bit, INTO the wind. He showed us how to activate our core muscles and use our shoulders to paddle hard. I tried it for a good 5 minutes and I could feel my abs getting a good workout. It felt goooood, a bit like rowing.

And… we didn’t fall into the water!

No one in our group fell into the water. Even the young lady who had trouble with her balance in the beginning.

The whole experience took about 1 hour (might have been 1 hour and 20 minutes).

Overall we had such a great time!

It wasn’t an overly strenuous activity, that we needed to lie down and take a nap after.

It was *just* active enough, *just* new and unusual enough – for a couple to share a new experience :)

I recommend it for couples, as a fun date to do together, or a simple and enjoyable anniversary or birthday present to give to someone, or to do it with your mum or dad on a Sunday morning, or just by yourself to try it out!

Stand Up Paddling for Valentines

And after the paddling we drove off to a beachside café to enjoy a hot breakfast and a cup if tea.

Such a lovely morning!

.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.

The team at Red Balloon are offering my readers a special promotion!

Receive $30 off when you spend $129 or more on ANY experience.

To redeem: Visit www.redballoon.com.au and enter the promotional code REDKC13 at the checkout to receive your discount.

Terms and Conditions: Offer valid until 31/12/13. Promotional Code can only be used once per person. All purchases are subject to RedBalloon T&Cs, for full details read here.


The Beach Club @ The Cottesloe Beach Hotel

31 January 2013

Cottesloe Beach is – hands down – one of my favourite places in Perth.

Whenever overseas friends and family come to visit Western Australia, we ALWAYS take them to the iconic beach. To drink coffee. To eat ice cream. To devour fish and chips. To walk along the beach. To swim. To play in the play ground. And most of all, to watch the spectacular sunset over the Indian Ocean.

Last week I was invited to a special event at a brand new eatery called The Beach Club at The Cottesloe Beach Hotel, which yes, overlooks Cottesloe Beach.

The event was a Menu Tasting, specially organised for local food bloggers (and me), where we also met the Executive Director of the Cottesloe Beach Hotel, Gary Gosatti, and food consultant Russell Blaikie, of Must Winebar and Bistro fame.

I felt a little out of my depth surrounded by hardcore food bloggers. Here I was… a fashion-crazy, cycling fanatic, in the depths of kid-wrangling, paleo eating and a fitness program.

And here they all are – absolutely lovely people – chatting passionately about the *best* places to buy pandan cake. I’m thinking – “OMG I haven’t eaten pandan cake in years. Sugar! Food colouring! Wheat! It’s so bad for you!!”

Haha I realised that THAT kind of attitude was totally unacceptable in these circumstances. So I decided to shut the hell up, lighten up, abandon all, and just ENJOY THE MEAL.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

Oh before I get into the food.

I have to share my other loves. Fashion and gorgeous graphic design. Check this out. My canary yellow, peplum dress matched the food menu AND the bar stool that I was sitting on. Howzat!

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Feta whip, dukkah, Aussie olives, and bread by Jean-Pierre Sancho – $14

The first dish to arrive was the crusty bread. This made me laugh because I’m trying to eat less wheat. Nonetheless, I tore off a crust and got stuck into it, like a real foodie.

The feta whip was lovely, smooth and creamy, with a good feta bite to it. Then when mixed with the crumbly dukkah… it was delicious. I would have eaten more, but I discovered…

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

…the olives. Oh god, I love eating good olives.

I knew that I had eaten too many, when I found myself fingering the jar like a monkey, trying to get the blasted ones that were stuck to the bottom of the jar.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Fried squid with Turkish pepper & tzatziki – $16

Oh hello there. I thought you were shoe string fries. But no. These were the softest, juiciest and most tender squid rings that I have ever eaten. Damn they were good.

My 9 year old son and I share a love for fried squid. We have been restaurant hopping in search of the best squid rings… and these might be it. I will definitely have to take him here to see what he thinks.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Spicy lamb meat balls with tomato sauce & yoghurt – $9 for a plate of 5

These lamb meat balls were quite different. Usually lamb meat balls are chewy, meaty and with a strong lamby flavour.

But this meat ball was really soft, fluffy, and it kind of crumbled when I bit into it. It was so light and flavoursome, that it filled my palate with mild spices, while the sweetness from the tomato sauce and the tang from the yoghurt made my mouth explode with happiness.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Pancetta, gorgonzola, spinach and and bechamel pizza – $24

Next up were the wood fired pizzas. Hmm. I’m a bit indifferent to pizzas nowadays. I make pizzas at home, once a week. So when I go out to eat… I prefer not to order a pizza. If I do… it had better promise to taste fricking amazing and be made by magical elves to make it worth my pain.

As I reluctantly munched my way through this slice – hallelujah – it was awesome!

Pancetta and blue cheese pizza? YUM. Can’t really go wrong there.

I sunk into my seat with pleasure, revelling in the magic of four simple ingredients. So simple. So good.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

Prawns, chilli, Borello bocconcini, and basil pizza – $25

I love eating prawns. And chili. So this pizza totally hit my happy spot.

Speaking of prawns.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Grilled Carnarvon tiger prawns, pineapple, chilli & lime salsa, bean sprout salad – $34

This dish was the big winner for me.

It looked like a mess, and it was a bit hard to see the prawns… but the aromas, oh my! The smell of the nuts and the lime and the hot prawns and chili… ahhh it was sooooo goooood.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

I was bouncing around on my seat as I ate this. The prawns were so fresh! Bean sprouts! Mint! It was all so yummy!

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

Lastly, we tried the Arkady Margaret River lamb and Mount Barker chicken cooked over charcoal served with giant tabouli salad & tzatziki – $27

I was pretty full at this point. I think I ate too many prawns. I should have paced myself properly. Such a newbie error.

The meats were gorgeously, soft and juicy. They were slow roasted on the woodfired rotisseries, and you can choose to order either the lamb, chicken or have them mixed up, served with giant pearl couscous.

The flavours of the tabouli went well with the meat. But I’m not a big fan of pearl couscous. I’m more of a salad or salsa kinda girl.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Photo courtesy of The Cottesloe Beach Hotel

We were given a tour of The Beach Club, and I adored what I saw.

There was a fresh mix of different dining spaces – modern lounge chairs and low coffee tables (I saw a few families with kids in that area), normal table seating for a sit-down dining experience, bar stools and high tables for a more pub-style gathering, really nice corners to sit and chill out with friends… and you can even sit outside in the open air, under beach umbrellas (out of the wind!).

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

It was fantastic to see a place like this emerge in the beachside Cottesloe area. It was stylish, sophisticated, breezy, relaxed and definitely more “grown up” than its former life as an old beer garden.

The food was superb too, offering patrons a well considered menu for modern Australian dining.

It is definitely a place where I would take my family for a meal, meet a girlfriend for coffee, take a big group of friends for dinner, or just sit around with friends sharing nibbles and a beer.

And if you’re a visitor of Perth, make sure you check out Cottesloe Beach, go for a walk, have an ice cream, watch the sunset, then visit The Cott Beach Hotel for a meal to end your day. It’s just opposite the main beach car park.

Wearing Yellow to the The Beach Club

And lastly, just so everyone doesn’t forget that I like to mix up fashion with my food… this is what I wore to the The Beach Club.

I was probably a bit over dressed when I arrived (6pm) because there were lots of women wearing sun dresses and beachy tops and shorts. But I didn’t feel awkwardly over dressed at all.

By evening (8pm), there was a big after-work corporate crowd, lots of women in evening party dresses, and still lots of people in casual summer clothes and sandals! I love the laid-back beachy fashion mix!

The Beach Club
Cottesloe Beach Hotel
104 Marine Parade
Cottesloe, Western Australia

www.cottesloebeachhotel.com.au

A big thanks to The Beach Club for the invitation and dining experience.

(All photos of the food are my own. Taken with a Nikon D90 and 35mm f1.4 lens.)

The Beach Club at Cottesloe Beach Hotel on Urbanspoon


Wearing Grungey and Moody Prints

22 January 2013

Prints are still on trend for this season and the next.

Especially mirrored digital prints and prints with a “grungey” and “moody” edge. For example prints with dark colours, black and white prints that are geometric or messy… and angry/angsty images – like wild animals! Think wolves, bears, tigers, owls, bulldogs, sharks.

romwe_tunic

I found this cool, Retro Style Dress (from Romwe) with a scarf-style print and a very 60′s mod shapeless style.

I’m actually not sure what the picture is? A flower? An astronomical chart? An ink blot for a psychological test? No idea, but it looks nice and not too in-your-face.

It was great quality for the price I paid. It had a nice weight to it and the material had some quality to it. But when I tried it on, it was really short. It’s like a big t-shirt – a very different shape to the other dresses I own.

So I wore it out with little black shorts underneath and felt much better about wearing such a short dress! I really like it. I’ll be wearing and layering it up with leather pants or leggings in winter.

Actually, there’s some pretty amazing printed clothes over at Romwe. Tshirts, blouses, jumpers, jackets, skirts, leggings. All very affordable and with prints that I’ve never seen in the shops or other online stores before. Worth a look! I did a search so here’s a quick link to the clothes with prints results. Enjoy!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


A Flair For Black and White

15 January 2013

Club Couture have launched their new Flair collection, showcasing only black and white pieces, that oozes modern chic.

Featuring halter necks, racer backs, clean lines and crisp tailoring… I really took a shine to them.

Clothes from Club Couture

This top is the Contrast Racerback Tunic.

Usually I’m not a fan of shapeless tops, but this one has a seriously sexy racerback back (see photo here) and it seems to fall and flow really nicely. I’m wearing a singlet underneath, which is visible at the back. It’s just a very sporty and sexy look, in a very effortless (but still smart) kind of way.

It’d look fab with a long grey cardigan thrown over the top, or a black blazer, denim jacket, or wool coat.

I’m wearing it with leather pants, leopard print heels and a cluster of metal necklaces. It’s quite refreshing to be wearing such a simple and monochromatic outfit!

Clothes from Club Couture

This Sleeveless Contrast Dress also caught my eye when I saw it on the website. I really liked how preppy it looked. And it turned out to be lovely to wear. Easy, comfortable and it looked great.

The full circle skirt, the contrast collar and button down… they all make it a very classy and smart dress. I’d say it’s perfect for work or weekend.

There is another similar dress, but with 3/4 sleeves, which is also very nice!

Clothes by Club Couture

Here are few more items from the collection. As I said, very modern and chic.

You can check out the rest of the Flair Collection or their New Arrivals.

Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Day To Night With Airflex (And Win A Free Pair Of Shoes!)

28 December 2012

To celebrate the launch of the new Airflex Online Shop, the Airflex team are offering 5 of my readers the chance to win a free pair of shoes! Please scroll down for details.

They also sent me a pair of shoes (that I chose) and gave me a challenge: to style the shoes in a day time and a night time outfit.

Day to Night with Airflex

I gladly accepted the challenge and I selected the Cochella Sandals (yes they are named after the famous music festival).

I could have chosen a pair of nude patent leather pumps to style from Day to Night – but that would have been too easy :)

I was keen for a styling challenge! And sandals are a bit tricky!

Can you really wear sandals from day to night? Sandals to the beach, music festival, cafe lunch, yes yes yes. But to an evening cocktail party? After work drinks at a bar? Hmmm.

Anyway, I chose this pair because they were a bit different to the typical horizontal-strap sandals. And I also hoped that the silver made them more suitable for a night time event.

Day to Night with Airflex

This is what I came up with!

For Day, I went for a more “smart casual outfit” and wore something that I’d be happy to wear while doing a bit of shopping in the city, or going out for lunch.

I’m wearing a cotton tank from Cotton On, a khaki mini skirt from Sportsgirl, leather jacket from Nabi.

For Night, I wore a slinky one-shoulder dress and channeled a bit of Grecian goddess. The shoes felt very right with the dress. I think it looked pretty good, especially when I matched it with silver accessories.

I would definitely wear these sandals with a dress to a bar/restaurant in summer. And I certainly would wear them from day to night because they are very comfortable and soft.

Best thing about the Airflex shoe brand – quality materials (leather uppers and linings), the shoes are designed for comfort and the price is quite affordable (for leather shoes).

They also have a nice range of fashionable styles and colours, for work and play.

Day to Night with Airflex

Ok here are the competition details.

WIN 1 x PAIR OF SHOES FROM AIRFLEX

What do you win?
Each winner will get to choose the exact Airflex style, colour and size that they want. You have two options… you can either make your selection online and Airflex will arrange to send them to you, or if you wish, you can visit one Airflex store to choose their pair.

How to enter?
1) Go to the Airflex Online Shop, scroll to the bottom and sign up to the Airflex Newletter.
2) LIKE the Airflex Facebook page
3) Send an email to me at airflex@karencheng.com.au and let me know your full name and your contact email address.

I will be selecting 5 winners randomly using a random number generator. And will be contacting all the winners by email.

Who can enter:
Only Australian and New Zealand residents over the age of 14.
(Sorry to all my international readers!)

Giveaway Ends:
Giveaway runs for 14 days and closes: Thursday, 10 January 2013, 5pm AEST

Good luck to everyone!

xxx


What are you wearing for Christmas?

21 December 2012

A few weeks ago, I picked out two dresses to wear to my Christmas and New Year celebrations.

These are from Beauties Closet, an online shop specialising in popular fashion styles from Korea.

I reviewed this online shop a few months ago in this blog post, and I share a few tips on Korean fashion and the best ways to shop on the site.

I also have a special 15% off discount code for all my readers that will help out with the shipping cost. Scroll below for details.

Anyway, here are the dresses. They are so pretty!

Christmas Dresses from Beauties Closet

This Sequin Feminine Dress is really adorable. In real life, wearing the dress to a candlelit dinner party, surrounded by sparkling fairy lights, I seriously felt like a twinkly angel.

It is a well made, nicely tailored dress, but I have to admit, the sequins are a little delicate. And yeah ok it’s a little pricey too, but I would definitely wear it more than once.

However, considering that most people would buy a $160 dress from a department store to wear to an event, this price is not far off, for a dress that’s a little bit different.

It’s a pretty, floaty dress, great for spring and summer.

I’d wear it to dinner parties, outdoor summer evening events, a day and night wedding reception etc etc.

Christmas Dresses from Beauties Closet

This Elbow Sleeves Lace Dress is romantic and a true classic.

Yes the dress style is quite common, but what I like about this dress is that the material is soft and stretchy. There is no zip, I just slip it on and it fits wonderfully. It’s always really nice to wear such a simple dress, because I feel so comfortable in it. It doesn’t ride up when I walk, or create static, or scrunch when I sit, or scratch my skin and make me itchy.

The dress comes in a black or white… and the styling possibilities are endless.

I have worn nude shoes, with black crystal earrings and a watermelon clutch to add a bit of colour and contrast. But you can wear the dress with bright blues, or yellows, or reds. It’s a nice way to show off your statement accessories, or your brightly coloured trench coat or your classic leather tote.

Again, this is a lovely dress that I’m very happy to add to my wardrobe. I love my Korean fashion! (Hmm, I’m tempted to get the black one now…)

*Special Discount Code*

Use the code “BCKC15″ at the checkout to receive 15% OFF your order. This offer starts 21 December and will end on 31 December 2012, 11:59 GMT8+.

And if you’d like to keep up to date with new arrivals, check out the Beauties Closet Facebook Page.

Have a fun shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


4 Great Items from Stephie’s Shop

13 December 2012

This time of year, I’m always so attracted to fun party dresses to wear during the festive season.

But when the TIME ACTUALLY ARRIVES for me to dress up, I usually wished I bought clothes which were a bit more sensible and practical :)

You see, we get invited to a lot of casual family events such as… a picnic in the park, or a beach-side barbecue dinner, or a casual family pot luck dinner. I just want to look smart and casual. I don’t want to turn up looking like I’m going to a bar for some drinking and dancing!

So I found a few items from Stephie’s Shop, a cute boutique with stylish and playful clothes at affordable prices.

Stephie's Shop

This is the Dipped Hem Dress in Crimson. I adore the classic and ladylike style of the dress. It has a high boat neckline, a fitted waist and a slightly longer hem at the back giving the skirt a nice flare.

It’s made from a heavy cotton so it’s comfortable and it hardly needed any ironing. It’s fab.

I’m wearing a size SMALL, and I’m usually a UK6, AUD 6 or XS.

See more Dresses from Stephie’s Shop.

Stephie's Shop

The second item I chose, was a sheer sleeveless blouse, called the Buenos Aires Top.

Basically I was looking for a simple top that looked dressy and smart, that I could wear in the warm weather, and that could be worn with the ZILLIONS of colourful skirts, shorts, pants and jeans that I own.

This one was perfect! I consider it to be one of those brilliant items that instantly refreshes my whole wardrobe.

Stephie's Shop

On the left is a Classic Playsuit specially designed by the team at Stephie’s Shop. It also comes in a lovely deep blue.

You can’t really go wrong with a black romper, especially one as cute as this. It is a button down (like a shirt) and has a drawstring so you can fit it to your waist.

It looks great for day to night casual party wear, as it is easy to dress up or down.

On the right is the Alabama Top in Black.

I chose this top because it was a bit more “on trend” with it’s peplum hem and brocade print. And I particularly chose it because the shine looked a bit like leather and it had a bit of texture to it… which are all features for the new season :)

So there you have it, 4 great items that went straight into my wardrobe, which I’ve started to wear and are now on weekly rotation!

Hope you find something you like too!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Hello Yellow!

10 December 2012

There’s nothing like slipping on a BRIGHT YELLOW dress to cheer yourself up :)

To start the week of Christmas parties, I received this fabulous dress from Gosh Celebrity Fashion.

Dress from Gosh Celebrity Fashion

It’s a strapless peplum dress, with origami kind of folds.

It fits me perfectly, it’s easy to wear, comfortable, affordable and most of all I feel great in it :)

Check out more party dresses at Gosh.

So whenever I wear colourful accessories, I don’t like to be TOO MATCHY-MATCHY.

I think TWO matching accessories is the most you should put together in any one outfit. For example, you can match your earrings and shoes. Or belt and shoes. Or earrings and clutch.

But DON’T try to match your earrings, bag, belt AND shoes! It just looks like you’re 12 :)

Dress from Gosh Celebrity Fashion

Clutch from Kookai
Watch by Guess
Leather and stud wrap by Wanderlust + Co
Bangles from Sportsgirl
Shoes by Gorge

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Liam’s First Christmas Concert

9 December 2012

Despite the rough couple of weeks we’ve had as a family, life has to go on.

So in the midst of all the funeral preparations… my 3.5 year old had his first Pre-Kindergarten Christmas Concert.

The event was held outdoors at the Kindergarten, in the playground, under the trees, in the late afternoon, just before sunset.

Kindy Xmas 2012

Ahhh it was so beautiful, with the pinkish sunlight caught in the trees, casting a golden glow over everyone, I couldn’t help but tear up.

The event was full of happy families sitting on rugs, lots of smiling children, big swaying trees… and the outdoor clearing was surrounded by playground equipment, a chicken coop, cockatoos, budgies and rabbits! It was really lovely.

The theme of the concert was an “Aussie Outback Christmas”.

Liam played the part of a swag man. He had a hat strung with corks and a checkered shirt. He was sooooo cute.

There were other kids dressed up as kangaroos, cockatoos, gumnut babies, jars of Vegemites, angels, and there was a Santa Claus in a hawaiian shirt driving a cardboard Holden Ute. They all sung various Christmas songs and they all had a lot of fun.

Liam Dec 2012

After the concert, Liam ran up to us to present us with a pillow that he made.

He painted a picture of himself and a cat! (We don’t have a cat, but he loves cats!)

We stayed for a shared picnic (everyone brought a plate of food to share), then sat on our picnic rug to enjoy some family time together.

The whole event was so homey, warm, accepting and loving.

There was such a lovely atmosphere in the air… that I just wanted to sit quietly, slowly soak up all the goodness into my bones… and to remember how precious life is.


A death in the family

6 December 2012

My 81 year old mother-in-law passed away peacefully a few days ago.

She had been ill for a long time, so it was not a shock.

It is a big relief that she is no longer in any pain or discomfort.

The very first time I met her… she told my husband to marry me.  So I liked her right away :)

She was an amazing, talented, super-woman kind of woman, who made (and decorated) my 3 tiered wedding cake in 2002, sewed her own dresses, crocheted her own blankets, cooked up a storm, did the book-keeping for her husband’s business and raised 4 children.

My husband’s entire family is here, and we are all very busy preparing for her funeral on tomorrow.

My own mum and dad are cutting short a holiday to fly back in time.

I have not had a close family member die while I have been an adult, so I don’t really know what this is going to be like.

But even so, I can feel this is going to be big.

Very big.

Talk soon.


Styling the Miss Versatility Strand

5 December 2012

A few weeks ago, I wrote about being involved in a special blogging project, where I had the pleasure of road testing a string of pearls from Kailis Jewellery.

The pearls are called the Miss Versatility Strand. It is a long, single-strand pearl necklace designed so that you can detach sections of pearls to create different lengths of necklaces, as well as a small bracelet. You can read more about them in my blog post here!

So yes, for a few weeks, I got to take home and wear some *exquisite and luxurious jewellery* whenever I wanted – it was very special!

Outfits with the Kailis Miss Versatility Strand

Anyway, these are some outfits I wore with the pearls.

I went out to a party with my husband and I wore a simple lace dress with a white blazer. I wanted to highlight the pearls on my neck so I  chose a strapless dress. The pearls looked and felt amazing on my bare skin :) On this occasion, I wore the Miss Versatility Strand in its long “Matinee” length and matching pearl earrings.

Outfits with the Kailis Miss Versatility Strand

On the left, I wore my magenta ruffle dress, which was a very fun, colourful, flirty style of dress. It also had a deep V neckline, so I wore the Strand in its longer “Matinee” length. It went really well with my outfit.

On the right, I wore the strand as a shorter “Collier” length necklace and bracelet with my navy one-shoulder drape dress. I didn’t think I could wear a one-shoulder dress with a short string of pearls, but it looked great!

Outfits with the Kailis Miss Versatility Strand

I also wore the pearls with smart casual outfits. These two times I wore the strand as the short “Collier”necklace.

On the left, I just wore denim shirt, white jeans and leopard heels. I loved wearing this combination – I felt fab :)  And on the right, I wore a printed silk top and bright red pants.

This is ‘smart casual’ with some ‘special’ on top.

So this is what I learned about wearing the Miss Versatility Strand:

1) Pearls are so easy and effortless. No need to think about what jewellery to wear. No need to agonise whether I should try this necklace or that necklace… will they go with this dress, will they match with earrings, and what if they clash with my accessories? Pearls just seem to work with anything, I guess because they are so naturally round and lustrous, rather than sparkly.

2) The Versatility set is so …versatile. I just put on the earrings, necklace and bracelet and… my outfit felt complete.  Just like that. I felt fabulous, and would spend the whole night feeling  confident and stylish.

3) Oooh la la, I felt expensive!

4) Pearls instantly add elegance. Not just simple, clean elegance… but super-special, timeless glamour, your royal highness, modern princess kind of elegance!

5) Be prepared for compliments. People will do double takes. People will stare. People’s eyes will bug out. Women’s eyes will light up. You’ll get a lot of – Oh my god I LOVE your pearls!!!

6) Pearls feel amazing against your skin. They warm up from the heat of your body, and take on a kind of warm organic glow, like they are alive. They feel like they are a part of you somehow. They are like happy friends around your neck :)

In the end, as much as I *loved* the experience of wearing the pearls everyday, I did have to return them.

I had a little tear and I may have held onto the box a little too tightly as I passed it back to the lady behind the desk haha.

Oh and lastly, some delightful news!

Kailis Jewellery are running a Facebook competition to Win a $1,000 Voucher towards your favourite Kailis piece. Head on over, like the page, and have a go… who knows, you might win!

(However, entry is open to residents from Australia, USA, UK & Canada only.)

Good luck!!


Keeping Fit, This Is How I Roll (And Win a $100 Athlete’s Foot Gift Card)

26 November 2012

Last week, I wrote about how I went to have my feet professionally fitted for proper running shoes at The Athlete’s Foot.

I walked out with a pair of shoes and spent the week testing them out.

This week, I’m sharing a bit about my new fitness adventures and I’m also giving away a $100 Athlete’s Foot Gift Voucher to one of my readers! Scroll down for details.

Asics Pink Shoes

Here they are! My pair of bright pink ASICS Gel-Nimbus 14.

So – with my new shoes – this has been my exercise regime for the last week.

• Every day, after I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is put on my work-out clothes and my sneakers. I think it is a fantastic habit for me, because it puts me in the mood to be active and energetic for the rest of the day.

• If I’m organised enough, I will go for a quick run in the morning.

But I usually have to wrangle my three children in the mornings – get them breakfast, make their school lunches, make sure the kids are packed to go to school, and then organise myself for my own day.

So usually, I am not organized enough for a morning run.

• If I didn’t get out for an early morning run, I’ll walk my big children to school, while my little boy sits in a jogger pram.

Then I’ll run home while pushing the pram. My boy loves it and shouts “GO FASTER MUM!”.

• If I wasn’t organised enough for either a morning run or a walk to school, I would go to the gym in the mid-morning, while my little boy is in the crèche.

At the gym, I love my “Pump” and “Combat” classes.

And I have been totally addicted to all the pin-loaded strength machines (not sure what they all are actually called).

• In the afternoon, I try to walk/run to pick up my children from school.

• After school, I usually hang out with my kids in the park or in the street. I’ll go for a short run with them, play tennis on the street with them, or kick a soccer ball around.

• (Oh I also cycle about 50km each weekend to keep myself fit. But I don’t wear my running shoes while I cycle, in case I get them dirty from all the oil and grease from the bike chain).

Basically, I have practically lived in my new shoes for the last week!

The shoes are comfortable, lightweight, extremely breathable and supportive. I’m also confident that I’m not damaging my feet, knees, or back when I run.

I wanted to take a photo of myself wearing my shoes at the gym after a work out (for this blog post). So after a huge cardio and strength session, I noticed that the gym was really quiet. I tried to take a photo on my mobile phone in the gym mirror. But omg it was such a bad photo – the mirror had sweaty palm prints on it, yuck!

Instead I went home, powdered my face and voila – here’s me showing off my shoes, my arms and abs in progress and if you look closely enough, my stretch marks haha.

Asics Pink Shoes

And so, now to the giveaway!

WIN A $100 ATHLETE’S FOOT GIFT VOUCHER

-This competition is now closed! -

Send an email to me at athletesfoot@karencheng.com.au

Include these 4 things:
1) Title/ Subject your email “Show me the shoes!”
2) Full name
3) Email address
4) Tell me (in no more than 100 words) – What do you do to keep fit?

Who can enter:
Unfortunately, the competition is only open to Australian residents over the age of 14. Sorry to everyone else.

Competition Ends:
Competition runs for 15 days and closes: Monday 10 December 2012, 5pm AEST

See the full Terms and Conditions here.

Good luck everyone! Work hard, tone up and stay lean!

xxx


Frockaholics for Vogue’s Online Shopping Night

23 November 2012

The other day I indulged in a bit of fashion-girl fun.

The team at Frockaholics Online sent over a huge box of goodies for me to feature on my blog. So I had the pleasure of road testing a stack of awesome party dresses for the festive season!

They also want to offer all my readers 20% off all stock as part of Vogue’s Online Shopping Night on the 26 November. Scroll down for details!

These were my favourite picks and how I would wear them.

Frockaholics Online

(Left) This pink and white dress is by designer Talulah. And oh how I adore this label. It captures feminine silhouettes, with great prints and slightly edgy details. And it has a touch of sexiness, with a cool, street style spin.

This dress was super easy. I just zipped it up, it fit perfectly, it was easy to wear, it had a good comfortable stretch and it looked great!

Check out the Talulah collection here.

(Right) The next dress is by Rachel Gilbert. I am amazed by how she continues to create collection after collection of sublime and stunning dresses. This one is a heavily sequin/beaded dress with a sheer panel neck.

I could feel how luxurious and high quality the garment was by its weight. It was divine to wear.

Check out the Rachel Gilbert collection here.

Frockaholics Online

(Left) This cute day time dress is by Sara Philips. Known for her playful styles that are a bit quirky-cool, I have always enjoyed Sara’s garments (especially her prints).

This dress has cross back straps, and the back was a bit low, so I couldn’t wear a bra. But it fell nicely and the colours looked very unique and cool.

Check out the rest of the collection by Sara Philips.

(Right) Ok I think this dress was the winner for me! It was the first time I’ve tried a dress by Watson X Watson and I loved it!

It is made of bright blue lace with neon trim, with a high neckline and short skirt. I like the slightly sporty luxe look mixed with the feminine lace. And also, it felt very comfortable to wear and it fit me sooo well.

I love the prints in the rest of the collection! Check out Watson X Watson here.

Frockaholics Online

(Left) This was my second favourite item. I really, really liked this top by LIFEwithBird. I wished I could have kept it! It would have slipped right into my wardrobe and I would have worn it with every bottom-piece I own. Leather pants, maxi skirt, sequin skirt, denim shorts, leopard jeans… everything!

It has a knit front, with a silk underlay, so it’s slightly sheer. LOVE it.

Check out the rest of items by LIFEwithBIRD.

I wore it with my own shorts and booties.

(Right) And lastly, this is a top by Magdalena Velevska. At first I thought it looked a bit weird, because it was bright neon lime (same colour as my hi-vis cycling jersey haha) and it had these fuzzy circle shapes that look like cut up tennis balls?!

But as I styled it and wore it, I realised that I wanted to match it with heaps of things in my waredrobe. It’s look great with leather pants, slim pencil skirt, white blazer, white jeans, a bright floral skirt etc. It just looked so eye-poppingly unique.

So in the end I thought it was pretty damn cool and I wouldn’t mind having it in my wardrobe either!

Check out the Magdalena Velevska collection here.

*SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE!

As part of Vogue’s Online Shopping Night, Frockaholics will offer 20% off all stock.

Use Code VOSN20 at checkout. Only valid on 26 Nov 2012.

Also!

I’m letting you know that there’s a secret 12-hour Flash Sale on the 26 November.

Starting at 12pm all items will be priced at $49, $79, $99 and $149. First 40 customers will receive a FREE Totem bag with purchase.
Sign up to the mailing list and receive a $30 VOUCHER to use on your next Frockaholics purchase PLUS automatic entry into the draw to WIN a $500 Shopping Voucher.

Just head on over to the Frockaholics Online website and follow the big banner :)

Terms and conditions: Free express shipping on all orders; Other offers cannot be used on Flash Sale purchases; All Flash Sale purchases are final; Flash Sale ends at 11:59pm 26 November 2012; $500 Voucher will be drawn 28 November 2012 and winner will be notified via email; Vouchers can only be used on full price stock.

Happy shopping!!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Kailis Princess Party 2012

21 November 2012

Kailis Princess Party 2012

Last week, I was invited to attend the highly-anticipated Kailis Princess Party.

Now what on earth is a Princess Party you might ask? It’s a very special VIP event held by Kailis Jewellery, for their special clients and media people (like me!) to show off their latest jewellery designs and special collections. It’s all very special indeed.

Champagne, canapés, fresh oysters, dashing young men serving cocktails… and as much exquisite jewellery to try on as any girl could ever want.

How could I say no to an invitation like that? :)

Kailis Princess Party 2012

The event did not disappoint!

The showroom was filled with a bright, natural light, which bounced off the warm wooden floors, mirrors and glass cabinets. The place was decorated with white orchids and white lilies.

It had a really lovely and natural feel about it, but still glamourous and enchanting.

Kailis Princess Party 2012

Everyone gathered around the glass cabinets, nibbling on the finger food, sipping champagne, chatting and gawking at the beee-eeeautiful jewellery.

I went around taking detailed photos, hoping to capture all the beautiful moments of the event.

Kailis Princess Party 2012

There was a delicious array of canapés served on round mirrors, carried by a delicious array of young men.

This pancake and smoked salmon ensemble was so yummy, that I stole one, then squirreled behind a glass cabinet to take it apart, to see what it was made of!

Then I made my way to the bar, ate waaaay too many fresh oysters, sipped a bit too much champagne and got friendly with the cocktail boys. As you do.

The showroom was jam-packed full of women! Everyone was beautifully dressed for a fancy afternoon party, and yes, everyone was adorned with their own pearls (or in my case, pears on loan from Kailis).

Walking through the crowd was like viewing a moving inspiration board on how to wear pearls and look fabulous – everything from earrings, necklaces and bracelets.

Kailis Princess Party 2012

I met the gorgeous Y, who reads my blog! She was lovely to talk to, not to mention, she was styled impeccably in a black and white dress, and had very cool black caviar nail art. Hi Y!

Kailis Princess Party 2012

Myself with Sarah and Mel. Who said young women can’t wear pearls!

Kailis staff members walked around the boutique, helping women try on which ever piece of jewellery that took their fancy.

At first I was a bit shy. I stood back and took photos of other people wearing the jewellery.

Then I thought – Oh what the heck, the jewellery is out of the cabinet, I may as well have a go too!

Kailis Princess Party 2012

So I tried on this *incredibly stunning* cuff made from white gold, diamonds and a humungous pearl. It was a couture piece, so it was – ahem – a little expensive.

In fact everyone wanted to try this particular cuff on. We stood in an orderly queue (as orderly as one can, while a little tipsy) and it was passed ceremoniously onto the next person.

You should have heard the gasps and squeals of delight once the clasp snapped shut over each woman’s wrist haha!

Yes, it was frivolous fun, but this was a princess party yo.

Kailis Princess Party 2012

By the end of the party, even I loosened up and tried on a lot more pieces. I think I tried on about 10 pieces of jewellery. It was FUN :)

Everyone was in really good spirits and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Lots of women were taking photos on their phones (of themselves wearing the pearls) and sending it to their husbands – and having a good giggle about it.

Kailis Princess Party 2012

As for me, this was my ultimate princess moment haha.

A couture necklace with beautiful pearls and pink sapphires, which went perfectly with my complexion, my dress and my hair maybe?

Who knows what the magical combination was, but every other woman who caught sight of me, sighed with approval. I could feel the adoration, the admiration and the sisterhood swirling all around me.

Yup, this was the winner.

So I took a snap with my iphone and I was about to send it to my husband, but remembered that he has a dumb phone (damn!) – so I sent it to Instagram and Facebook instead, and hoped he gets the notification. (Hmm, a bit too subtle perhaps?)

Anyway, I guess the biggest lesson I took home from this experience is that – women of any age can wear pearls and look amazing. I’m a big, big fan!

Thank you Kailis for the great afternoon!

(All photos are my own. Taken with a Nikon D90 and 35mm f1.4 lens.)


Reminder: Win an AL&ALICIA x The J. MYERS CO Leather Cuff

17 November 2012

AL&ALICIA x JMC Cuff

Just a reminder for all those interested!

Win yourself an exclusive (and beautiful) AL&ALICIA x The J.Myers Co leather cuff, in red, black or grey. All you have to do is to join the AL&ALICIA mailing list from Facebook.

How To Enter
1) Pop over to the AL&ALICIA facebook page and LIKE it.

2) Along the top horizontal menu, click on the “Mailing List” button. It’s mint colour with a pic of an envelope! (No need to load any Facebook Apps)

3) Fill in your Name and Email Address. You’ll receive an email, which you’ll have to click to confirm.

That’s it!

The winner will be drawn randomly and contacted via email.

This competition is open worldwide.

Competition dates – From 12 Nov – 19 Nov 2012.

Good luck! xxx


Win An Exclusive AL&ALICIA x The J. MYERS CO Leather Cuff

12 November 2012

AL&ALICIA Leather Cuff

In celebration of AL&ALICIA’s 3rd anniversary, the team have collaborated with The J.Myers Co to create an exclusive beautiful leather cuff.

It is a gorgeous double wrap leather cuff made entirely out of genuine python skin and leather and available in 3 colors – black, grey and red.

It’s simple, stylish, a bit edgy, and oozing boyish chic appeal. I’m thrilled to be adding it to my wrist wear collection.

There are only a limited number available (60 in fact!) and they can be purchased online from the AL&ALICIA site, from November 18th.

AL&ALICIA Leather Cuff

This is how I wore the cuff on the weekend.

I wore my denim shirt, J Brand khaki jeans, leopard print flats, a chunky black watch and a colourful jumble of bracelets.

Love love love it :)

AL&ALICIA Leather Cuff

So here’s your chance to win yourself one cuff!

In any colour you like! All you have to do is to join the AL&ALICIA mailing list from Facebook.

How To Enter
1) Pop over to the AL&ALICIA facebook page and LIKE it.

2) Along the top horizontal menu, click on the “Mailing List” button. It’s mint colour with a pic of an envelope! (No need to load any Facebook Apps)

3) Fill in your Name and Email Address. You’ll receive an email, which you’ll have to click to confirm.

That’s it!

The winner will be drawn randomly and contacted via email.

This competition is open worldwide.

Competition dates – From 12 Nov – 19 Nov 2012.

All the best!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Hear Me RAWR!

9 November 2012

With several seasons of eye-popping colour and dazzling neons, the fashion world is now slowly headed back to the glorious world of BLACK AND WHITE. Yay finally!

But my story starts a couple of months ago. I was itching to find and wear some sexy, black heels to fashion week. However I left it too late (as always) and I didn’t have enough time to buy myself a new pair of shoes.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, the divine designer from GlamRockChic emailed me and wanted to send me a few pairs of shoes and ask me what I thought of them. Hell yeah, send them over!

GlamRockChic #4 Hear me Rawr

This is the luxury label’s 4th collection. And I love that they are a collection of mostly BLACK heels.

The first pair of shoes I picked out was called, Modern II.

If you look at the product page, you can see the side on view and it looks HOT! There are little asymmetric, angled cut outs and wide top straps with chunky silver hardware. It’s patent leather, so it has a very sleek, modern, sexy look to it. It’s fierce, but still chic.

I wore it with my Topshop faux leather pants, Wessex Sequin top, and Bardot white blazer.

And Berrybow maroon, tweed, mini dress.

GlamRockChic #4 Hear me Rawr

My favourite feature of this shoe is the wide top strap and the cut outs.

Tthey were really comfortable too!

GlamRockChic #4 Hear me Rawr

This next shoe is called, Venus.

Ok these shoes have taken the idea of a “comfortable designer shoe” to a whole new level for me. Its upper and inner are 100% soft sheepskin, and oh my, I feel like I’m wearing a velvety glove on my feet. The inside lining of the shoes are buttery soft and I can stand for HOURS in them :)

If you have been following me via instagram (@karenlycheng) you’ll notice that last week I went out to 3 events, 3 evenings in a row. And for each of those events I wore these Venus shoes, with 3 different dresses, of course. And for each evening, I must have walked 1km in them and stood around in them for 3-4 hours.

Verdict: No blisters, no red marks, no sore ankles, or toes. Very, very comfortable. I even drove home in them. Didn’t have to take them off in the car.

GlamRockChic #4 Hear me Rawr

Its price is really affordable, considering the quality, the luxe materials and the design. Definitely a worthy shoe investment!

It’s almost a classic “fierce” shoe design. Edgy, sexy, a bit of rock and roll, yet still polished. They are my new favourite shoes tee hee.

I wore it with my Nobody black jeans, Kookai tee and Styleberry suede jacket.

And with my silk cocktail dress by Aurelio Costarella.

GlamRockChic #4 Hear me Rawr

And lastly, GlamRockChic have launched their first flat shoe, called the Modern Petite.

With luxurious materials, sleek design, it is very similar to the first shoe I talked about, the Modern II (but it doesn’t have the asymmetric cut out bit). I love the wide straps and the silver buckle, it looks modern and smart.

It’s a little different to your standard flat sandal, in that the sides are slightly raised which continues to the back of the shoe. You might have to take a peek at the product page to get a proper look.

It took me a while to get used to it, but after wearing it for a day, I realised they were really comfy, and they made my feet look really nice – slim, clean, and it just covered up my (possibly dirty) soles, and the dry skin on my heels!

GlamRockChic #4 Hear me Rawr

GlamRockChic are known for their comfortable, yet high-fashion designs, and these shoes certainly did not disappoint.

I have a special discount code for anyone interested in purchasing a pair (or two) site wide!

Apply the discount code “XMAS20” to receive 20% off with every purchase of 2 shoes from GlamRockChic in a single shipment.

Promotion duration : 9 Nov to 16 Nov 2012.

Enjoy!!!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer – Perth 2012

29 October 2012

Last weekend, I rode 200km in two days.

As you might know, I have been preparing and training for this fundraising cycling event for the last 11 months and to have the moment FINALLY ARRIVE was both mind blowing and terrifying!

I spent the few days leading up to the event being very excited, nervous and unable to sleep. I even had cycling dreams! You know you’re a serious cyclist when you have cycling dreams haha.

The night before the event, I packed my bag, my sleeping bag, my tent mat, my bike and all my gear… I put everything into my car and I was all ready to go.

After that, I felt very calm and I was REALLY looking forward to the next day. A bit like Christmas really. Or like I was getting married next morning. THAT’S how excited I was. I went to bed at 8:30 pm.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

The next morning, I woke up at 4am. I leapt out of bed in complete darkness, and went about getting ready.

I met my team mates at McCallum Park, just south of Perth City. The sun was rising over the river and there were hundreds of people with their bikes. There was pumping music, breakfast was being served, and there was an incredible buzz in the air.

I strolled through the crowd with a huge grin on my face – knowing we all were about to do something pretty damn cool.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

At 6:30am it was time to shuffle into position for the opening ceremony.

It was announced that there were 1219 riders in total, raising an amazing $4.6 million! Holy cow!

There were a few inspirational speeches where one young lady shared her cancer story… which was so heart-wrenching and moving that I had tears streaming down my face. I looked around and saw that everyone else was sniffing and crying too.

It was such a powerful – yet unusual moment – because here I was, sitting on my bike, looking up at the rising sun, squished together with thousands of other people on their bikes, everyone was dressed up in yellow lycra, helmets and sunglasses, everyone was crying… and it was as if I could feel everyone’s heartbeat sharing this one resolve – we’re doing this to conquer cancer.

Phew. It was a heavy moment.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

And off we went.

It was a slow start, because there were so many riders on the road.

We practically scooted our bikes over the start line… then for the first 3kms we were riding very slowly at 10km/hr. Everyone was finding their own pace and everyone was being courteous, careful and trying not to crash into each other.

After that the pace picked up and ahhh the ride was fantastic! There were so many people lined up along the roads cheering us on and waving flags and banners.

My group of 12 was split up because of all the traffic lights. But I stayed with a few people from my group and we rode leisurely at 25 – 28km/hr.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

At the first 25km pit stop, the queue for the toilets was so loooooong.

However we were well looked after with free fruit, muesli bars, biscuits, water and electrolytes.

Our team gathered together again for a quick chat and soon we were back on our bikes.

There were a lot of instances when I was separated from my team mates again and I was riding with complete strangers. But that was fine, all the strangers seemed like friends, and we all just chatted merrily and enjoyed the ride.

I was actually really surprised by how many “non-serious” bike riders were participating. There was lots of people on hybrid bikes, mountain bikes, fixies (single gear bikes), and even cute, stylish bikes with baskets. Lots of people I chatted to, said they had never ridden further than 50kms in one go.

But hey – they were here, riding for a cause. And really, this was a ride not a RACE.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

After another 25km, we stopped at the next pit stop for lunch. Chicken wraps never tasted so good!

We stopped for 40 minutes and on hind sight, I think we “rested” for too long.

Usually on our group training rides, we don’t stop for lunch. We don’t eat heavy foods, nor do we stop for such a long period of time.

So by now – sitting on the soft grass, in the warm sunshine for half an hour – my body was moving into sleepy, shut-down mode… and I needed a coffee pronto!

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

The weather was just brilliant.

Beautiful, big, bright, blue skies, warm sunshine, a gentle breeze.

And the road was just long, straight and flat!

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

This is Cheryl and I, riding along with big smiles!

I was wearing arm warmers (and these are the summer versions, called, sun sleeves) which are just like socks for your arms. They are SPF40+ and you’re supposed to wear them to protect your arms from the sun… but um, I was really hot, so I pushed them down and felt a bit like a rock star.

Also my husband drove himself and the kids down to meet me along the way. They stopped by the side of the road to wave, cheer, hoot and take photos of me as I rode past! Such sweeties!

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

I arrived at the camp grounds (actually the football oval in the town of Pinjarra) and it looked awesome!

A HUGE thanks to all the volunteers and crew members whole gave up their time to make the whole event run smoothly. For example, all the tents were set up by kids from the local primary school – over 600 two man tents!  The sleeping gear of every rider had been trucked down before we arrived, and there were volunteers unpacking it, and helping weary riders carry it to their tents. And guess what? The people unpacking the trucks (in the hot sun) were all volunteers… and some of them were scientists who work at the Research Institute.

Day One’s ride was a total of 97kms and it took me 4.5 hours of riding, with 2.5 hours of rest. Total time to complete was 7 hours.

Of my all my group mates, I arrived last because…… I stopped several times to take photos so I could upload them to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram :P

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

There were a LOT of bikes. From super expensive bikes, to a funny, old kids ‘chopper’ bike with small wheels. They looked like insects, nesting for the night.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

Speaking of resting insects, I found my tent and lay down to take an afternoon nap.

I was only looking up at the sky for a few seconds before I became unconscious.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

As evening fell, everyone had showers, a massage, joined in the yoga tents, and slowly gathered in the main tent, for a beer and to eat dinner. In the picture above, notice someone is having a nap at the dinner table, after having a nap in their tent.

Later there were some speeches and a band played. It was such a fabulous atmosphere. It was like a fun cross between camping, being at a really quiet rock concert, and having joined an army with a yellow uniform and excellent food.

During the speeches, someone shared how cancer had touched his life…how he slowly watched cancer defeat his best friend.

I sat in the crowd and looked around. I looked at people’s faces. Faces of total strangers. There were so many. In that moment, it made me appreciate that everyone had a story. Everyone around me, at some point in their life, cried heavy, silent tears for someone they loved and lost.

If there was one part of the Ride that I will remember forever, it would be that one.  I knew that my tears are not alone.

Phew, another heavy moment.

I went to bed at 8:30pm and fell asleep promptly! But I woke up at 2AM with a really sore back and I couldn’t get back to sleep because – there was an orchestral chorus of SNORING going on in several of the tents around me. So in that way, it was just like being at home :)

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

By 4AM I decided to “wake up” which was a good decision because I was first in line for the toilets, bathroom, coffee (they were damn fine coffees!) and the hot breakfast.

I don’t usually eat such a hearty meal before a long ride, but I was soooo hungry, and who can resist the smell of bacon? The breakfast spread was amazing.

I was quite worried about my ride for Day Two… because of my poor sleep, my sore back, my sore bum, having just eaten too much food before my ride… and the fact that I HAD NEVER RIDEN 100KMS BACK TO BACK BEFORE.

But hey, for Day Two, I think I had my best ride ever!!

I stayed with the faster riders of my group. We rode fast, we worked as a team, it was really exciting. Like REALLY EXCITING. And fun!

Then later on I lost my team because of a pit stop and bad communication (I didn’t shout out loud enough!).

So I rode with some strangers, and lead them peleton-style passed other riders, collecting a train of riders on our tail. Yes I was leading! Ok it wasn’t very fast (about 28-30km/hr). But still, talk about a RUSH!!

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

By lunch time we had rode 60km all in one go and I was quite pooped.

I saw all these bikes lying like sleepy cattle on the grass and it was exactly like how I felt.

So I decided to take it easy for the rest of the ride. You know, try to enjoy the last of the experience rather than ride hard and fast and give myself a heart attack.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

The last 40kms was quite challenging and fun. We rode along main streets, on roads with lots of traffic and traffic lights.

There were quite a few hills that went up and down… I’m proud to say that I was fit enough. I did fine on the ascents and loved zipping down the descents. But I completely lost my group.

And finally for the last 10kms, we rode along my favourite part of the river in South Perth, with spectacular city views and crazy perfect weather!

(Yes I had 3kms left to the finish line and can you believe I stopped to take a tourist photo of the Perth City skyline?!)

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

With the crowd cheering, I passed the finish line with a huge grin on my face. What an accomplishment! Definitely one of my proudest moments!

Day Two’s ride was 113kms, and I finished it in 6.5 hours (4.5 hours of riding with 2 hours of rest). So I rode a total of 210km over 2 days.

Pardon for the confusing photo above. I didn’t actually come second place (SILVER)! After I put my bike away, I wandered back to the finish line and noticed that the media on the big screen was playing a kind of honour roll for people who have raised the most money for the event. I saw my name pop up, got a bit of a shock, then I stood there till my name rolled past again and I took a snap!

Thanks to all my incredible supporters, I was ranked 12th highest individual fund raiser ($16,910) and given the honourary title of Silver Ambassador!

The Perth event raised a total of $4.6 million and was the largest cycling fundraiser in Western Australia’s history. The money raised will help fund life-saving cancer research at Western Australian Institute for Medical Research.

(And if you’re interested, the Brisbane event raise $5.2 million, Sydney raised $5.7 million and Melbourne raised $6.2 million – that’s over $21 million for cancer research… AMAZING!)

It was such a remarkable experience and event. To be part of something so huge was just EPIC! I completely recommend it!

………………….

If you’d like to read about my whole cycling journey, you can follow me as I first rode an agonising 10km distance, to getting my first road bike, to discussing the anti-fashion of lycra, butt creams and having sore lady bits…

Or if you’d like to sign up for next year’s ride in 2013, head on over to the The Ride to Conquer Cancer website and choose your city.

Anyone want to join me next year? :)


A Stylish and Casual Summer

9 October 2012

With the warm weather approaching, I’ve noticed that I have lots of casual wear that are great for being a sloppy bum by the beach or pool (tanks, tees and denim shorts), but very few items that are stylish for everyday CASUAL WEAR.

A Stylish and Casual Summer

So I’ve been looking to find a loose, white, long sleeved top for the new season. And I found these!! Casual but still a bit dressy.

Top left: Living Doll Dazzling Blouse from Birdsnest

Top right: Ladakh Dance Away Top from Birdsnest

Bottom left: Wish Sadie Blouse from Birdsnest

Bottom right: Pink Stitch Moroccan Dreams Top from Birdsnest

A Stylish and Casual Summer

Then I can wear the white blouse with some tailored shorts for a bit of grown-up casual-ness.

Alldressedup Chelsea Silk Shorts from ShopTheMag

Chloe Cotton and silk-blend Twill Shorts from The Outnet

Stretch Linen Shorts from Witchery

A Stylish and Casual Summer

And when I just don’t feel like wearing sandals and showing off my toes… these are some classic casual flats that will look great with the white shirt and tailored shorts combo.

Converse All Star Light Plimsolls from my-wardrobe.com

Blowfish Smara Espadrille Loafers from The Iconic

ASOS LANTERN Ballet Flats from ASOS

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


THIS is where the money goes

5 October 2012

Many of you will know that I’m doing a fundraising charity ride, called The Ride to Conquer Cancer, which is a 200km cycling event over 2 days.

All the funds raised will go to the Western Australian Institute of Medical Research.

Well, the other day I organised to go into the WAIMR labs to talk to some actual scientists. I wanted to know more about how the money will be spent.

WAIMR Tour 2012

Dressed in polka dots and lilac skinny jeans, I braced myself to meet some very brainy people in white coats who speak in big scientific words.

I was a little nervous, because the last time I was in a SCIENCE LABORATORY, I was in high school biology dissecting an eye ball (from a cow) and dead frogs. Not that I expected to see eye balls or frogs… it’s just one of those memories that makes me nervous… about laboratories. And scientists.

I was met by WAIMR staffer Carolyn, and I found out that she is ALSO taking part in the cycling event. Cool! She gave me a tour of the offices and labs.

There are over 200 researchers working at WAIMR. 200! I had no idea.

Everyone was in the midst of working, so the place was bustling… in a good, tidy, productive way!

WAIMR Tour 2012

So this is a typical lab where they do their research. Thankfully, no dead frogs. It was just what you’d expect from TV – benches, sterile medical stuff, test tubes. And lots of machines that look like really expensive little fridges or microwaves.

WAIMR Tour 2012

I was introduced to Ellen, who was working with cancer cells. She’s moving them from one place to another, just like on TV.

WAIMR Tour 2012

A dish of cancer cells. Right there on the bench. Wow.

Then I met Associate Professor Evan Ingley, one of WAIMR’s top  researchers – which is probably why they gave him the TOP JOB of trying to explain what WAIMR does, to someone (like me) who spends a lot of time working out what to wear to parties (or just to pick up the kids from school).

WAIMR Tour 2012

On Evan’s left is a special machine like a fridge, where they keep some of the cancer samples. He assured me that they have a different – and much less expensive – fridge where the researchers keep their lunch.

I asked Evan – So what do you researchers actually do?

He explained that his own work is to do with protein-protein interactions. I could see he was trying really hard to make it simple enough that I could understand it, without making me feel like an idiot. And I stood there and tried really hard to understand what he was talking about. I kept nodding and after a while, I realised two things.

One, that my brain hurt.

And two, that I could never be a scientist.

BUT… I did get the big picture. By studying the enzymes and proteins in cancer cells, WAIMR can discover new ways to influence the way cancer cells grow. They are also finding ways to use enzymes to disrupt signals between cancer cells. I think.  Overall, they are finding ways to prevent disease developing and to create improved treatments.

You still following?

Evan sped through the numerous ways they were going about their research, on all the hundreds of different cancers, and he told me about some different combinations of their approaches and testing. As he listed a few out, even I could work out that all the different combinations and variations were EXPONENTIAL … and I was overwhelmed by all the work that needs to be done. The task seemed enormous.

I was thinking, “Oh my god, I can’t believe you’re standing here talking to me! Go back to work and find a way to beat cancer! I mean, why don’t you have more people working for you??”

And BAM! That’s why the money is needed.

WAIMR Tour 2012

Evan showed me some different cancer cells that they work with. They all looked the same to me!

For the rest of the tour… I felt very humbled.

These scientists go to work every day and work on ground breaking information, preventions and treatments that might save my children and grand children one day in the future. This is the kind of work that saved my husband’s life, but hadn’t yet been done for my friend Claire (who died this year), and the many thousands of others who have lost their fight with cancer, and who WILL lose their lives in the future if more research is not done now.

And you know what? Quite a few of the people I met at WAIMR are also using their own spare time to raise money for their own research work.

That knowledge alone fills me with amazement, admiration and gratitude. And it further cements my passion for raising more money for cancer research.

Can you help get this research done by making a donation?


My Fashion Festival Outfits

4 October 2012

Every year the Perth Fashion Festival seems to get bigger and better! It is always packed with a lot of fun and enjoyable fashion events, making the city come alive, and it’s just a great way for me to support and see the latest collections by fashion designers from my hometown.

Having said that, it is completely out of step from my reality = Domestic mum with cooking and cleaning duties, to then slapping on some makeup, throwing on a frock and then sitting front row and tweeting instagram photos to thousands of people! Haha! It’s so surreal sometimes. In moments like these, I always pinch myself, sit back and feel so thankful and grateful for the opportunity.

Anyway, this year I REALLY enjoyed myself.

I only went to a few shows this time, but for me, it was just the right number of events for me to cram into 6 days. I’ll be posting about the actual events, collections and clothes in separate posts. Right now I just want to share what I wore!

PFF12 - What I Wore

This is me and the lovely Sussan, at the VIP Closing Night Event.

I’m wearing my emerald Genevieve dress from Pia Gladys Perey! I did a review of the dress in this post here, where I was considering whether to keep the coral, lilac or green dress. I wasn’t sure about the green dress because the colour was a bit unusual (in a Kermit the Frog kind of way) and my children hated the colour and were pressuring me to get the coral dress.

In the end, I did choose the green… and it was such a great choice!! Sooo many people walked up to me and complimented me on it, took photos, and lots of people asked who it was by. So I consider that a total win haha!

But I thought I would share with you the rather traumatic day I had getting this outfit together.

First, although I knew I was going to wear this dress to the event and I wanted to have the dress slightly altered, one thing and another led me to be BADLY under prepared.

So I ended up really desperate to find a tailor who could have the alterations done THAT AFTERNOON. So I went to the first tailor that I could find and used some evil tactics – battering my eyelids, being all smiley and sweetly chirpy at him. He did it for me in a few hours, yay. But then he also asked me whether I was married, and let me know that he had a son who was single! ERRR OOPS NO SORRY, HAPPILY MARRIED THANKS!

I had the length shortened (for $40) and the halter neck strap taken up (for $25).

Second, the event was also a masquerade cocktail party, so I raided my sister’s dress up box and found a pretty sequined feathered mask for my outfit. But, the mask was over 10 years old and was falling apart. Also, it had a tacky elastic strap that held it on…and I didn’t like that.

So an hour before the event, I asked my my wonderful husband if he could help me out.

First, he suggested that rather than wear my sister’s mask, I should try wearing the LEGO HEAD HELMET that we made a few weeks back . When I declined, he super-glued my sister’s mask sequins back in place, and he also hot-glued a chopstick to the back of the mask… so I could carry it in an elegant way.

Finally ready to go out, I was saying goodbye to my sons, who were all sitting around eating dinner. And then my seven year old son stared at me and said “Mum, are you wearing anything under that dress?…because it’s got a big hole in the front!”

I looked down and released he was referring to the split in the front of my dress.

I was rather stunned to be told by my own son , who is in primary school, that I might be indecently dressed. In fact, I had a flashback moment to when I was 17 and my mother said something similar to me. And my response was the same…yes, I was going out “dressed like that”.

pff12-outfits05

This was my whole outfit for the night!  Photo was taken by the always delightful Matt Jelonek for The West Australian newspaper.

PFF12 - What I Wore

Moving along. This is what I wore to the Ae’lkemi Show on a different night.

I was invited by Ae’lkemi’s designer, Alvin Fernandez, to come into his showroom for a private pre-show viewing of his brand new collection. My eyes bugged out as I saw all his amazing gowns up close!

He also organised for me to borrow a gown to wear for the show and for me to sit front row – Oooh la la, I was in fashion girl heaven! I won’t lie, I felt so very honoured, pampered and special tee hee.

I won’t say too much else about the dress, because I have another post coming up, dedicated to this dress and the Ae’lkemi collection!

pff12-outfits06

However, I  also found myself in the newspaper a few days later… and wondered if Alvin organised that too?

PR people are so clever.

PFF12 - What I Wore

Then I wore this gorgeous chartreuse cocktail dress to the Flannel show.

It is an Aurelio Costarella silk dress, which I bought on mega sale. I’m not sure what the original price was (I think it was somewhere between $600-$500) but I bought it for $150. It has silky soft pleats and the hem actually has a slight bubble to it, giving it a lovely shape that was wonderful to wear.

The neckline was lovely too, but it was quite low and deep. I wore a black strapless bra, and I used a bit of fashion tape (double sided tape) on my chest to keep the dress in place.

I dressed it up with simple – but chunky – gold accessories.
Gold tassel earrings are by Mezi from Frockaholics
Chain bracelet is by House of Baluch from The-Dreamery.

pff12-outfits07

I did wear some other outfits to the fashion festival (courtesy of my-wardrobe)!

But I have already shown them in a previous post… so if you would like to read about them, view them here in this post.

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


An Evening With Flannel

30 September 2012

Whenever I hear about fashion shows that stray from the traditional catwalk format, I always roll my eyes – whether it’s Chanel’s 2010 ice berg, or more recently, Louis Vuitton’s 2012 steam train – I’m no expert fashion editor, but I question whether “the show” is really all about the clothes, or is it’s just for entertainment’s sake.

Flannel SS12

With that in mind, I went to see Flannel’s Spring Summer 2012/13 collection, Neronis, styled by former Vogue fashion editor, Meg Gray.

The event was a 3 course sit-down dinner, combined with a fashion show – where the models posed on small sets of furniture during  pre-dinner drinks and then showed off the rest of the collection while walking around the diners.

Flannel SS12

The venue was wonderfully decorated. I walked around and I felt like I was in a movie set or a period play… and I could really feel the anticipation of something really exciting about to happen.

Flannel SS12

I really enjoyed the rich visual styling, evoking feelings of a bygone era. The lighting and mood was gorgeous, the flowers, armchairs, lamps, rugs, mirrors – all deliciously romantic and elegant.

Flannel SS12 - Photo By Dan Boud
(Photo by Dan Boud)

And the clothes were beautiful.

Flannel’s designer, Kirsty Lawrence presented us with beautiful lace dresses, sequined kimonos, silky gowns, feathered details, flowing pants, all inspired by the 1920s circus girl. The colour palette was full of creams, mints, corals, metallics, with black.

It was such a pleasure to watch the models elegantly standing around, delicately perched on the furniture, gracefully walking between tables and chairs… and showing off the clothes.

My favourites were the lace dresses.

Flannel SS12 - Stefan Gosatti
(Photo by Stefan Gosatti)

So I take it back. I thoroughly enjoyed the theatrics of the show! I loved that it was different. It worked brilliantly as part of a fashion show. And everyone remembered it and everyone raved about it.

It was a unique fashion experience… and now I’m super keen to pop into a store and try on some clothes from the collection.

Unfortunately I wasn’t given a seat at a dinner table, because bloggers were invited as a media photographer and not guests. That wasn’t a problem at all, because it was nice to move around during the show. I stayed for pre-dinner drinks, saw part of the show, then left early… because I was so hungry, and it was really awkward standing around while other people ate!

Flannel’s philosophy is Paris meets New York for the Australian lifestyle. They don’t have an e-store but you can pop over to the Flannel website and see the new collection.


Shopping Files: J-Brands from The Iconic

28 September 2012

Khaki J-Brand jeans

Last month, I decided that I have too many bright coloured jeans, and I just need a pair of everyday skinny khakis.

So I bought myself a pair of Khaki J-Brand jeans from The Iconic – on sale! They were $275, down to $165, then with an extra 25% off coupon, I paid $123 for them! I’m so happy with them. Such a win purchase.

They are super-soft, good length, great stretch, lovely colour, I like the zip details and they fit perfectly.

I’ve worn them lots of times casually (as shown here) and also I wore them dressed up (with a sheer, black sequin top and high heels).

Tshirt: Rebecca Minkoff tee from Shopbop
Belt: Sportsgirl
Wristwear: Wanderlust + Co
Shoes: Habbot

Khaki J-Brand jeans

Sooo…….. The Iconic are having their Mid-Season sale right now, with up to 50% off hundreds of items (including Sass & Bide, Finders Keepers, Talulah and heaps more).

Or you can head over to access The Iconic Mid-Season Sale here!! I’m not sure how long this sale goes on for, but my guess is: a few weeks?

Enjoy!!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Reminder: $1000 my-wardrobe Giveaway Ends Thursday night!

26 September 2012

Yep just a friendly reminder for all those interested – you can win a $1000 voucher to spend at my-wardrobe!

This giveaway is open worldwide, and will end on Thursday, 27 September 2012, 11.59pm (GMT +8).

Go to my giveaway post for more details and to enter.

The lovely team at my-wardrobe sent me a few dresses to review on my blog, and for me to wear to the recent fashion week!

They were such gorgeous dresses and I was terrified that I would spill food, drink, get lipstick marks on them. Thankfully I didn’t!

My-wardrobe

This first dress is by ACNE (one of my favourite designers!) and the design is exclusive to my-wardrobe.

It’s pretty much a big silky t-shirt dress, with a high round neck and cut-out back. It has some really nice drapes and layers too. You can wear it on it’s own, or with leggings, tucked into jeans, or as I have, belted at the waist.

Because it had a cut-out at the back, I didn’t want my bra to be exposed, so I wore a black camisole underneath and I was snug and warm all night.

I wore it with a rose gold belt from Sportsgirl and green heels from GlamRockChic (which completely lifted the whole outfit!)

My-wardrobe

Secondly I wore this Just Cavalli dress – which was soooo cool! I love the crazy angry wolf print!

This dress was definitely a loose fit dress, in a shift style. However, I think it was a bit too loose for me. The photo on the left shows the dress as is, it looked a bit shapeless to what I’m used to. But on the photo on the right, I pinned the dress back and it looked much more fitted and flattering for my shape and petiteness.

But really, I loved the print so I would still purchase it and I would get the dress slightly altered.

I received heaps of compliments for both dresses. They were really eye catching and different.

Anyway, all the best to everyone for the giveaway – hope you win, if not, there’s always next time :)

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Morrison SS12 Runway Show

23 September 2012

Morrison SS12

I had the pleasure of attending the Morrison SS12 Runway Show, a celebration of their 10 year anniversary.

For my international readers, Morrison is one of Western Australia’s most prominent labels, known for their high-quality garments, their classic and effortless styles, and their love for all things organic and nature inspired. It’s heavenly to walk into a Morrison store!

They are most notably respected for all their many business and design awards, and the fact that their garments are designed and produced in-house, in Australia.

I’ve met husband and wife, Richard and Kylie, the duo behind the label, and they are absolutely lovely and gracious people (with 2 cute boys!). If you’re interested, I’ve written about the Morrison fashion store and online shop here, and I’ve also worn and reviewed their clothes in this post.

Morrison SS12

I had an amazing seat for the show – the girly fashionista in me was squealing with excitement, but the professional blogger part of me was tsk-tsking me because I didn’t bring my big DSLR camera. Instead I took snaps with my iphone (so I could upload them live to instagram) which was lots more fun!

I adored this green palm print on this dress. The print also came out on some Bermuda shorts, which looked totally cool!

Morrison SS12

There were a lot of garments on show, but these were my favourites. A black leather gown (how effortlessly luxe does that look?!), a white puff cocktail dress (so cute!), and this peplum evening gown (structured and sophisticated).

The show was definitely more of a “spectacular runway show”, with styling that was more dressy and formal.

However if you walked into a Morrison store (or took a peek at the Morrison eboutique) the majority of the clothes are more on the casual, everyday side. Loose fitting tops and flowy dresses, relaxed shorts and pants – all in luxurious fabrics, all gorgeously crafted, and yes, all effortlessly stylish.

I would kill to own a pair of their relaxed linen shorts or leather pants for this summer!


3 Ways to Update Your Working Wardrobe

19 September 2012

Most of my working career was spent in advertising or digital media companies. And because I was in the creative department, my dress code was usually “relaxed and casual”. Which meant everyone dressed like urban hipsters, or bohemian artists.

But I always loved the corporate professional look. And I hankered to put on a sharp suit, tailored pants, classic button downs and pencil skirts. So in the end, I dressed somewhere in between, and I kind of looked like I was part of the marketing team haha.

Anyway, my fashion eye is always attracted to that “creative corporate” look… so I thought I’d put together some outfits on how to update a working wardrobe with some on-trend key pieces.

Work Wear Sept 2012

1) THE WHITE PENCIL SKIRT

While most of us have black, grey, navy, camel pencil skirts for work… a crisp white pencil skirt will go a really long way. It’ll slip innocently into your wardrobe and GO WITH EVERYTHING from all your usual neutral or coloured tops, as well as the new season patterned prints.

My lovely white pencil skirt with zip detail is from Korean boutique, Beauties Closet.

Navy button down shirt from DKNY.

Beige trench coat by Mersh, from YesStyle.

Beige heels are by Habbot.

Work Wear Sept 2012

2) THE FLORAL PRINT SHIRT

Most people feel that floral prints should be kept for the weekend. But with a gorgeous print (that’s not so busy) and teamed with classic white pants and a black blazer, it’s not hard to get your style on.

Classic blazer by ClubCouture

Floral Silk Shirt by Antipodium, from Frockaholics

White pants by Fendi

Heels from ASOS

Work Wear Sept 2012

3) MONO PRINTED PANTS
Inject a bit of style into your work wardrobe with some black/white printed goodness. Wear it with structured top and jacket, to keep the look smart and polished. Wear it with neutrals so the pattern is not so LOUD!

These pants are no longer on sale online. But I am totally in love with these Black and white Leopard print pants from ASOS. Or Lola Vs harper Pants from The Iconic.

T-shirt is from Country Road

Jacket is from a Korean brand called Ode.

Necklace is by Lovisa, from The Iconic

Beige heels are by Habbot

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


WIN $1000 to spend at my-wardrobe

13 September 2012

To celebrate the new and exciting fashion season all over the world, I have teamed with my-wardrobe to bring to all my wonderful readers (yes you!) another amazing giveaway!!

We’re offering the chance to win a gift card of AUD$1000 for you to spend at luxury online boutique my-wardrobe.

Which means you could pick up some designer items that you’ve been drooling over, namely from Acne, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Marc Jacobs, Carven, Vivienne Westwood, Mulberry, By Malene Birger, McQ Alexander McQueen and more!!

These are some of the outfits you could win with $1000. (Or rather, these are the items I would pick if I was allowed to enter the giveaway.)

WIN $1000 to spend at my-wardrobe

McQ Alexander McQueen
Ivy Leaf Jacquard Knitted Dress

MICHAEL Michael Kors
Small Black Webster Shoulder Flap Bag

Diane von Furstenberg
Jodi Metallic Printed Leather High Sandals

WIN $1000 to spend at my-wardrobe

Paul & Joe Sister
Baileul Cotton Lace Top

Sara Berman
Exclusive Skinny Leather Trousers

Sam Edelman
Nude Lorissa Peeptoe Court Shoe With Studded Heel

Anton Heunis
Green And Blue Spiked Pendant Earrings

WIN $1000 to spend at my-wardrobe

Just Cavalli
Wolf And Jewels Print Tunic Dress

Terry de Havilland
Exclusive Mimi Lightning Court Shoes

Diane von Furstenberg
Tonda Weave Contrast Patent Clutch

Who Can Enter:
It’s open to all readers WORLDWIDE, over 18 years.

What You Win:
The winner will receive a my-wardrobe gift voucher to the value of AUD$1000.

Giveaway Dates:
Starts on 13 September 2012.
Closes on 27 September 2012, 11:59pm (GMT +8).

How to Enter:
1) Follow my-wardrobe on Facebook OR Twitter.
2) Fill out the form below, with your name, email and tell me which is your ONE favourite designer label from my-wardrobe.

The winner will be randomly selected and contacted via email. If the selected winner doesn’t respond in 24 hours, then I will have to redraw. I will announce the winner as soon as possible on my blog and my Facebook Page.

I will also be posting a reminder on my blog and Facebook Page, before the end of the giveaway.

Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed! Thanks so much for entering.


Just Add Facial Hair

11 September 2012

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were invited to a 70s dress up party. It was party for adults (no kids allowed!), with dinner, alcohol and live band. A lot of our friends like to dress up to the max and spend a lot of time and thought with costumes, so we were keen to join in the fun.

So what do I wear to a 70s party? Well, it takes a 2 second search of the internet to discover that 70s costumes are a loud vomit of crazy colours and weird facial hair.

When considering what to wear, the biggest factor for me is COST. Sure I could go out and buy or hire an awesome outfit for hundreds of dollars. But I much prefer to pay as little as possible and be much more creative.

I remembered that I had a brown and orange floral dress made by my mother in the 1970s. I wore it here in this blog post.

Wearing this brown dress would be easy and cheap!

Buuuut I realised that I had some tall white boots, which I bought YEARS ago and wore a few times, and have never worn them since. So I was kind of eager to wear them out.

This is what I came up with.

70s Costume

The white boots are mine. The pink floral scarf is mine. And so are the white shorts.

I went to a thrift store and found a size 16, baby-doll style top, with big loose sleeves and a trippy paisley print on it – for only $3!

I sewed the waist up, so it fit me a little better, but I kept it all loose and flowy, baby. I wore the top as a mini dress, and put on the shorts for my own modesty – but they matched the boots anyway.

I was so pleased with my outfit! Only $3!!

While I was in the thrift store, I bought another paisley, floral LADIES top for my husband. I thought he could wear it with white pants?

He had no qualms about wearing the ladies top (ha!), it was a dress up party after all. But it looked totally wrong! The top had frilly sleeves, the neckline was a little too scooped? And it was just a NO. I made the final decision.

So the day before the party, I sent him to the costume shop and made him hire an outfit. Yep and it cost him $100 something, including a hire bond.

70s Costume

Haha. Yes that’s me in 70s men’s clothes! It looked pretty good!

In fact, I think I totally rocked it! I wanted to swap outfits with him, but he was not too keen on my little white shorts.

Plus he wouldn’t be able to fit my boots. Oh well.

We had a great time at the party!


Holiday Dresses by Pia Gladys Perey

4 September 2012

Earlier this year, I reviewed a glamorous navy “Bea Dress” by designer Pia Gladys Perey. It turned out to be a stunning and sophisticated dress that was easy to wear and made from a delicious silky and slinky jersey fabric… I just love wearing it!

Well the team from Gosh Celebrity Fashion offered for me to review another dress (actually, three) from PGP’s current collection, AND they are offering all Karen Cheng readers a special discount… 15% OFF on full priced PGP dresses. (Scroll below for details and the code.)

I was terribly excited, because I already adored PGP’s designs… and after a looong time of careful deliberation, I chose these 3 dresses to review.

They also kindly offered that I could keep one as a “gift”… so I had the very difficult task of choosing my favourite of the lot.

Here goes!

Dresses by Pia Gladys Perey

This is the Esme Dress in Coral. It is a one shoulder maxi dress with rouching on one side and a side split.

The colour is gorgeous and I chose it because it’s so happy, vibrant, and not a typical evening gown colour (which is usually black, red, navy or silver).

It would be perfect as a cocktail dress or a red carpet dress.

The price is mid-ranged, but still very affordable for an evening gown, considering the quality, design, flattering cut for my body shape… and just how good I feel when I wear it!

I really liked this dress style because it’s very versatile… you can dress it plainly or dress it up to the max.

I was thinking that I could wear this to a wedding (my cousin is getting married in December!), a daytime event, a fancy ball, a special function or event… anything really.

I would have to take up the hem (can you see the puddle of fabric at my feet? I’m so short!) but that’s easily done… and I shouldn’t really let my height (or lack of) determine the dress I select.

(The dress also comes in champagne and navy.)

Dresses by Pia Gladys Perey

Ooh this dress had me at LILAC!

I was totally in love with this colour!! It’s different and sweet, peaceful, calming, pretty, magical, and soothing.

This dress is the Mikaela Dress in Lilac. It’s a little more affordable than the maxi dresses, retailing at AUD$218 (with 15% off it’s only $185.30!!!)

The dress fits like a dream. I just slipped it on and it just felt GREAT. Comfortable, flattering, modest, sensual, pretty, elegant, classy. It’s a simple dress but still with interesting rouching detail that really flatters your body shape. The material is the same soft, slinky, stretchy jersey that has some weight to it.

It has good sized shoulder straps, so you can just wear your regular bra with it. Big plus!

I don’t think I would wear it to a fashion event or a black tie function. But I would definitely wear it to more semi-formal occasions like a wedding ceremony and reception, a daytime luncheon, a garden party, a stage show, an elegant dinner with friends.

The length of the dress is lovely on me – I wouldn’t have to get the dress altered. Another plus!

I was really tempted to choose this dress, because I would get a lot of wears from it and… it would be perfect for me to wear to my cousin’s wedding coming up.

(The dress also comes in turquoise and navy.)

Dresses by Pia Gladys Perey

Aaand finally… THIS is the dress I finally chose!!

It is the Genevieve Dress in Emerald (also comes in a navy colour).

I picked this one because it is just STUNNING! It has a long maxi skirt, halter neck style, deep V neckline, with a front split. Combined with the very vibrant green colour, it is bold, dramatic, fun, dazzling and sexy.

Not to mention, the silky stretchy jersey makes it fabulous and comfortable to wear. So it’s not everyday when you find a dress design that ticks all the boxes.

Ok even I’ll admit that the colour green is very bright. Almost like Kermit the Frog? But it’s unusual and it’s bold. And I really like that.

The dress is pretty much backless, and because of the low neckline, I had to wear an adhesive bra, as well as sticky lifty adhesives (both of which I don’t really like to wear) but hey – it looks good, end of story.

I’ll also need to get it hemmed up and with all that leftover fabric I could probably make myself a mini skirt (or a lot of scrunchies) haha.

This is without doubt a formal, black tie, red carpet dress. So I don’t think I’ll wear this to the wedding. It’s definitely one for fashion events and fancy formal functions. Yay I’m very happy!

*Special Discount Code*

Gosh has kindly offered all Karen Cheng readers a 15% discount on full priced Pia Gladys Perey dresses. Just use the code ‘springracing’ at the checkout. Valid from 4 – 14th September 2012.

Free delivery for Australia. And they have worldwide shipping and hassle free returns.

If you’re interested, you can still buy the “Bea Dress” from Gosh Celebrity Fashion. I have it in a navy colour, but it also comes in ash, latte, lilac, silver, red, or purple. It retails for AUD$239 (with 15% off it’s only $203.150!!)

For all the PGP dresses, I was wearing Size 6.

ENJOY your shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


The Lego Head Mis-Adventure

3 September 2012

Last week was Australian Literacy and Numeracy week and my children’s school planned a whole lot of great activities for the kids.

On the last day, the school encourages the children to dress up as their favourite book character.

My 9 year old knew exactly what he wanted to dress up as – Doctor Who. In fact, he got home that day and zoomed around the house preparing his costume.

But my 7 year old, Sean told me plainly and flatly that he DIDN’T want to dress up. I spent 3 days, gently encouraging him, making suggestions, giving him ideas, talking him through the whole dress up day (there was going to be a parade during the school assembly). But nope. I couldn’t change his mind.

Then 3 days before the dress up day, my husband asked him, “If you could dress up as ANY CHARACTER in the whole world, who would you go as?”

Sean’s face brightened immediately, and he said, “A Lego Man!”

I shook my head and told my husband the awful truth. I had already checked this out. No costume shop in Perth (or the whole of the internet actually!!) had any Lego Man costumes… we would have to make it ourselves. And there simply wasn’t enough time to make it. Sean’s face went sad again.

And that was that. My husband, in a moment of total and utter weakness, recklessly said “Don’t worry Sean… I’ll make you a Lego Man costume by Friday.”

Sean’s eyes lit up with joy and pride. His dad was going to make him the coolest dress up costume in the universe!

I smiled warmly, but really, I was thinking:

WTF??!! It’s Tuesday night already! He needs a costume for FRIDAY MORNING! THAT’S 2 DAYS!!

Sean went to bed as happy as could be.

My husband had committed us to the perilous art of LAST MINUTE COSTUME MAKING. The stakes were high. Our sanity vs our son’s happiness. Great.

My husband and I both consider ourselves to be creative geniuses. With HIS handyman building skills and MY problem-solving design skills, it should be a cinch right? Instead, we locked horns and had a bit of a brain clash on What Is The Best Way To Build A Lego Man Costume.

So nothing happened till Wed night. Clearly, we had to make it all happen very, very fast. By 9pm on Wed night, we were so scared of how little time we had that we forgot about our egos, and got on with it. The bad news was that the hardware store had already closed at 7pm. Crap!

In the end, this is how it went down.

The Lego Man Costume

The subject model on which we based our design – without the hair, so you can see the trademark Lego socket.

If only I could change my hair that easily!

The Lego Man Costume

By Thursday 6pm, we had gathered a few bits and pieces and the various tools that we thought we needed. It was also clear that with so little time, we were just making a Lego head, not a whole Lego man. Oh well.

We abandoned ideas of a beautiful paper mache sculpture (my preferred option), and went with the super-easy upside down plastic bucket solution.

An ordinary bucket was too tapered, so it would just look like… a bucket.

But my husband found a bucket with much better proportions… the only problem was that it was ENORMOUS! But we were out of time.

The Lego Man Costume

I made a stencil of the Lego mans’ eyes and mouth.

And my husband drilled some eye holes, so our son would be able to  see where he’s going during the parade.

The Lego Man Costume

I hot glued a CD spindle cover onto the top (bottom) of the bucket.

My husband gave it 5 coats of yellow spray paint, then stenciled in the eyebrows and mouth with black spray paint.

This is at 11.30pm on Thursday night! Tsk tsk.

The Lego Man Costume

At 6.30 am on Friday morning, we had a Lego head that still smelled like fresh paint, and was three times the size it needed to be.

My husband used duct tape to fix Sean’s bike helmet inside the bucket, so he could actually wear it, while I made breakfast.

Hubby went to work exhausted and with yellow paint under his fingernails.

I put the rest of the outfit together.

The Lego Man Costume

Here are my big boys… they looked awesome!

Lego is made in Denmark and fortuitously, I was in Denmark in 2011, and bought the  souvenir t-shirt.

The good news… Sean loved it!

He didn’t seem to notice that when he spoke, he sounded like he was wearing a big bucket on his head.

Even better news… the Lego Head received a lot of attention, including offers from other older students at the school to trade it for stunt bikes or video games. Thus, Sean had totally confirmation that the Lego Head was utterly cool. So he kept it.

Parenting Mission accomplished!

(But we may have to attend marriage counseling.)


Stephie’s Shop

28 August 2012

Stephie’s Shop

I’d love to introduce you to a lovely online boutique that I’m quite taken with… it’s called Stephie’s Shop.

Their clothes are stylish, understated, sophisticated and polished, yet still with playful and fashion forward details. The garments are of a good quality, yet very affordable.

You can find lots of stylish work dresses, tops that are perfect for going out or for the weekend, nice skirts for mixing and matching, and some great accessories.

The boutique has been around for 4 years, they are very popular, they add new stock items every day… and they have recently launched their own label, specially designed for their boutique.

For the outfit above, I’m wearing little Cream Lace Shorts from Stephie’s Shop. Unfortunately they are sold out now. You have to get in quick :)

(Blouse is from Frockaholics.)

Stephie’s Shop

I also chose this top and skirt.

The top is the Floral Vivid Imagery Top, with a flattering cut, V neck and puffy sleeves. I really like it because it’s so simple, yet looks great with all kinds of different bottoms (shorts, skirts, jeans and pants)

Stephie’s Shop

I styled up the top in a FLORAL ON FLORAL outfit. As crazy as it looks, it was such a fun and loud combination to wear! Loved it!

I also wore it with my lemon yellow jeans and nude heels.

Stephie’s Shop

The next item was the Perfect Peplum Skirt. And yes it was quite perfect!

A twist on a pencil skirt, the peplum creates a gorgeous hourglass silhouette and adds a fun, flirty detail to an otherwise plain outfit.

The skirt is made from a heavy, thick material, but still soft and stretchy. It has a zip at the back and a slight stretch to the waistband, which made it very comfortable, fitted and not constricting. It fit me very nicely. The length was great too.

They have international shipping and a super friendly customer care team, to deal with any returns or issues you might have.

Do check out their New Arrivals section, as they are always adding new items to the collection. They are definitely one of my new favourite online shops!

Enjoy browsing or shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Romwe Fashion Online

22 August 2012

If you are a bit of a fashionista, and you love to experiment with new styles AND you love a bargain – you’ll love this online store.

It’s called Romwe, you might have heard of it, it’s really popular amongst fashion bloggers.

It’s full of the latest trends and street styles, the prices are very affordable, new arrivals come in frequently , there is always lots of stock and sizes, and they have free worldwide shipping!

Here are a few of my very fashiony picks.

Romwe Fashion Online

Leatherette Skater Dress $45.50

Pattern Sleeve Contrast Blouse $33.99

Leopard Round Sunglasses $12.50

Metallic Strappy Sandals $45.90

Starry Night Print Leggings $24.99

Romwe Fashion Online

Dip Dye Blazer $74.99

Bird Chiffon Pattern Blouse $22.99

Leatherette Blank Pants $60.99

Triangle Pendant Necklace $12.50

Point Rivets Flats $84.99

I bought a few items to test out, to check the quality, sizing issues and the customer service.

Romwe Fashion Online

This is the Feminine Bowknot Shirt, in cream. It is a light, loose-fit blouse that flares out at the bottom, with a ribbon wrapped around the collar.

I bought it because it looked really versatile. It can be worn with the ribbon in a bow (and it looks really sweet), or with the ribbon like a tie, or worn on it’s own, with NO ribbon.

The top can also be worn loose or tucked into jeans, shorts, skirts – to create very different looks. You can check out the product page for a few more styling ideas. It was OK quality for the price too. I liked it.

Romwe Fashion Online

The next item I bought was this Anomalous Hem Vest Top, where the hem looks a bit like a skirt and is longer at the back. It looked a bit like a peplum top, but different. It also has silver rivets at the shoulders, but you can’t really see them in this photo.

The material was a soft cotton jersey, that flowed very nicely. It’s a really nice casual item that goes well with jeans and skinny pants.

20% Off Coupon

If you sign up for a new Romwe account (you have to sign up in order to purchase something anyway) you get 20% off your first order. Just follow the steps.

The big WIN is that there is free worldwide shipping, with no minimum purchase.

And if you’re not 100% satisfied with your order, they allow a full refund within 365 days of purchase. But you need to pay the return’s shipping fee.

The Romwe site is pretty big, with lots and lots of items. It’s fun to browse and discover cool, new products.

Hope you find something you like!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


My Week in Pictures: Wigs and Kimchee Noodles

16 August 2012

70s Party

On the weekend I went to a 70s themed birthday party. There were about 40 people there and everyone made a HUGE effort to get dressed up to the max. It was so much fun!

I’ll post about my outfit another time, but this was a snap I took at the end of the night – when I ended up with a Fabio wig (wasn’t he big in the 1980s??) and some funky John Lennon glasses.

Chain Clean

This was me, cleaning my husband’s bike chain one afternoon, in order to surprise him after work.

I was trying to get rid of the black grease so I could apply a dry lubricant.

It’s messy business, and I should have used a degreaser. Whatever. I couldn’t get the grease out of my nails for 3 days!!

Neon Bling

Bought some gorgeous neon and crystal earrings from etsy. Very happy with the purchase!

Baking with Liam

My 3 year old and I did a bit of baking. We made Chocolate Baci Muffins and he unwrapped 18 Baci chocolates without eating any!

Instant Ramen

I woke up with a really sore back and really bad PMS… so I was feeling a bit crappy for a couple of days. Made myself instant kimchee ramen to cheer myself up.

Michael Kors

Received a little something (as a gift)… will reveal it soon!

By the way, if you’d like to follow me on Instagram, I can be found @karenlycheng.


Korean Fashion: Beauties Closet

14 August 2012

If you’re a fan of stylish, on-trend Korean fashion you’ll love this new online store.

It’s called Beauties Closet, and they are very proud of the fact that all their stock ships directly from Korea. Orders take about 2 weeks to deliver, but it’s worth the wait considering the good price and quality.

If you’re not familiar with Korean high-street fashion, I’d say that the quality and styles of the clothes match that of Topshop, Zara or Sportsgirl.

They have lots of stock. Lots of great pictures (with Korean models and pretty styling) and they also have plenty of new arrivals that come in periodically, sometimes 50-100 pieces in each new collection.

Beauties Closet

As usual, the team allowed me to “go shopping” and pick out some samples to review.

The first sample I chose was this simple, black maxi dress with a very sexy split! It fit really well and I loved it because it’s simple, easy to wear, and had high-impact.

The material is cotton jersey (so yes, it’s just a cotton tank dress) but it’s better quality than what you would buy from Cotton On or Forever21.

The sizing for this dress is “Free Size” and it would fit someone who is XS-S (US2 – 4).

Beauties Closet

The second dress I chose was this Scarf Combo dress. The colour and print combination is lovely, classy and striking, especially with the bright yellow skirt.

The top half of the dress is cotton, so it feels like a fitted tee – which is nice because it’s very comfortable to wear. The skirt is a light, silky and airy like a scarf.

The sizing for this dress is also “Free Size” and it would fit someone who is XS-S (US2 – 4).

As pictured, the dress also comes in a navy blue skirt version.

Beauties Closet

Lastly, I had to share these cool print skirts. View the whole skirt collection here! Gorgeous colours, great prints, good looking fabrics… all at very affordable, high-street fashion prices too.

I’m wearing the Ikat Skirt, in size small.

Pictured right is the Mini Floral Skirt and the Paisley Skirt.

The great thing about shopping for Korean fashion, is that the measurements of the garment are always given. So where most international sites say a dress is just “Size US2”, Korean brands will give a size and list the waist, hip, hem, length measurements of that particular item too. Very handy.

Be aware that sometimes the measurements are made when the garment is lying flat (so the waist might be 33cm, meaning you have to be around 66cm around the waist).

Also please be aware that Beauties Closet will only do a return and exchange for a wrong shipment or defective item. And they can’t offer returns for wrong sizes or if you change your mind. It’s just how they roll.

The few items I chose (above), turned out great and I was really happy with the sizing and fit.

Here’s a tip if you want to buy Korean skinny jeans (in my experience) – go one size bigger (unless you have teeny tiny thighs). In US/UK/Australia I usually buy jeans in Size 25 or 26. But whenever I buy any Korean brand of skinny jeans, I can’t fit the thighs in 25 or 26. I have to go with size 27.

I guess you have to be handy with a tape measure and double check the numbers. If you are too uncertain, drop them an email, or just opt out this time.

Special Discount: 10% Off Store-wide

If you’re keen to make a purchase, and would like 10% off your order… use the code “KCFAL10″ at the checkout.
Code is valid for 2 weeks until 28 August.

Happy Shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


The Iconic: Sweater Days

10 August 2012

The Iconic - Sweater Days

I’ve been feeling very lazy and sluggish these last few days… and this is how I feel like dressing.

Knit sweaters and skinny jeans. Jumper and shorts. It’s easy, lazy and effortless. (I can’t even be bothered to wear colour anymore!)

I found these outfit looks on The Iconic which *perfectly* embodies my mood.

And you know what? I’m loving it.

Bring on khakis, bronze and leather – I say!

Do check out their Massive Sale Section.

Enjoy!!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Florals and Polka Dots

7 August 2012

I was approached by an online boutique called Asia Fashion Inc, which specialises in a multitude of labels and brands from Asia.

They are based in Asia, but they have free worldwide shipping – which is great!

I enjoyed browsing through their store, looking at all the fun, unique, edgy and cool clothes. It’s a refreshing change to all the same-same looks from the massive global brands. I selected a few items to borrow, test out and feature on my site.

Asia Fashion Inc

This blue-green floral dress above really caught my eye.

It is from a label called AI by Ashley Isham, known for his high-octane glamour and contemporary styling. He was also the official designer at the 2004 BAFTAs and boasts high-profile celebrity (and British royalty) clientele.

When selecting it, I definitely had “dresses to wear to a wedding” on my mind! I loved the floaty feel of the dress. It was simple, easy to wear, very pretty and the long skirt tail was just lovely. The belt is detachable too.

The dress is made in London, it’s amazingly designed and constructed. It is priced at USD$474 but it’s currently on sale for 50% OFF at the moment!!

Asia Fashion Inc

This Fuchsia Toga Dress was equally pretty. I would definitely wear something like this to a wedding, or special occasion. The print is unique, pretty and eye catching. It looks feminine and flirty and has a sense of happiness and fun. The cut and fit were fantastic too – ahh it is such a nice dress!

It’s also at 50% off at the moment!

Here are some other pieces that caught my eye from the AI by Ashley Isham collection.

Asia Fashion Inc

The next label that made me go OOOH was Jousse.

Asia Fashion Inc

I tried out their Black Polka Dot Lace Tee, which was so, so cute. On the product photo on the site, the polka dots looks quite “filled out” and solid, but it actually is more lacey and holey (like crochet). It has a soft nude lining and very easy to wear. Definitely a new wardrobe staple – will look great with jeans and cropped pants.

You must check out the whole Jousse collection! It’s full of smart, preppy looks with strong and crisp tailoring. And affordable prices too. Here’s a sample below.

Asia Fashion Inc

SPECIAL Promotion Discount

Receive an additional 10% off your order and free worldwide shipping.

Use the code “KARENCHENG” at the check out.

Hope you have a fun time shopping (or browsing)!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


3 Ways to Wear Mint

5 August 2012

3 Ways to Wear Mint

Clothes in the colour mint have been in the shops for a few months now. In fact the whole spectrum of pastel colours are very popular at the moment – pale lemon, dusty pink, light apricot, baby blue and lilac.

Personally I adore the mint and lilac the most. But that’s just me.

Anyway I thought I‘d put some outfits together for a bit of minty inspiration, especially just using neutral colours – black, white, nude, creams, light grey, dark grey.

Outfit 1
Mint Skirt is actually a dress from ClubCouture.
Floral Top from Zara
Heels in cream patent leather from Dorothy Perkins

Outfit 2
Knit sweater from Country Road
Singlet top from Rick Owens (unseen)
Mint Jeans from YesStyle
Oxfords from Habbot Studios

Outfit 3
Mint Blouse with cut out sleeves from Redopin (via YesStyle)
White shorts from Zara
Nude patent heels from ASOS

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Mini Dresses from ClubCouture

31 July 2012

I’ve been wearing clothes from ClubCouture for almost a year now, and I am continually impressed by the quality of the clothes, the affordable prices, and each new collection that they launch – oh their dresses are just lovely!

They sell stylish and pretty jewellery and cute bags too.

I chose these dresses a few months ago, and have been itching to show them off on my blog!

Mini Dresses from ClubCouture

This Black Dress (above left) is a fantastic, classic, strapless bandage dress. I adore this one! It’s made in a bandage style, with strong, thick, firm, stretchy fabric… and it is like wearing shape-wear. It pulls you in and holds you up at all the right places! A great wardrobe investment, in my opinion.

I’m wearing a size UK6 and it *just fit* me. If you’re on the bigger side of a size, you should probably buy a size up, as it’s a very snug fit.

This White Holly Dress (above right) is a very cute and simple white lace dress with a soft nude lining. It is a lovely mini dress and I’m very happy to have it in my wardrobe for the summer ahead.

Mini Dresses from ClubCouture

This Black Cross Bandage Dress looked and felt amazing. It was quite tricky to put it on (I put my head in all the wrong places!) but ahhh I loved it!

The Pink and Turquoise Dress was cute and unique too. The turquoise neckline actually continued into a deep V on the back of the dress. I liked the bandages on the chest, giving it a subtle texture. Again the dress was made from a thick, strong and stretchy fabric.

The quality of these bandages dresses are definitely comparable to designer items $300 and above.

They are both very Herve Ledger inspired!

Unfortunately these two dresses were pretty popular and are now sold out on the site.

But do check their Premium Range for dresses that are suited for functions and special occasions.

Mini Dresses from ClubCoutureYou might have remembered a dress I wrote about a few weeks ago? It was a one I called the “Garden Party Dress”.

It is actually called the Floral Printed Sheath Dress and I was told that it is now back in stock!

Special Discount Promotion: Buy 2 for 20% Off

ClubCouture are currently having a promotion, where you can buy any 2 items and receive 20% your total order. No code needed, just add TWO items to you cart and they will take care of the rest!

Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


2 Dress Trends To Try This Season

25 July 2012

Gosh Celebrity Fashion asked me to check out their latest collection for review :)

I had a really good browse in the store and the best thing about it… is their fab collection of dresses. And their prices were good – low to middle of the range!

I found lots of pieces featuring new colours, cool trends and lovely, statement styles. They also have FREE  shipping Australia wide and hassle-free returns, which is nice. Of course, they also ship internationally.

I selected a few items, but these 2 dresses were my favourite of the lot.

Clothes by Gosh

The Peplum Dress

The peplum is one of this season’s hottest trends. A peplum is a little “skirt” that sits on the waist of a skirt, dress or along the bottom hem of a top. It’s fun, flirty and very feminine. You have to try it! It transforms your silhouette, accentuating the waist, making you look like you’ve got sexy curves, and a hot hourglass figure.

I really like the peplum style. As long as the peplum is not too ruffly, I think it really suits short and petite women.

You can even buy skirts or dresses with removable peplums. So you can wear it from day time to night time.

This white strapless dress is called the Shutterbug Peplum Dress by Keepsake. I LOVE the clean lines and minimal detail. It is polished, sexy, and a perfect party dress for a night out!

The fit was nice and snug on the waist. The length was great on me. The fabric felt nice. If anything, I didn’t have enough boob mass to fill the bust area to it’s *fullest potential*… ahem.

But it looked good on, so I would still wear it.

Clothes by Gosh

The Print Dress

Finding a nice print dress that works well for both work and play can be tricky, especially if you want to find something that is colourful but not TOO colourful!

I really liked this Silk Dress by Honey and Beau. The print is so lovely – like a water themed oil painting by an Impressionist masters. The drapes and pleats are lovely too.

It features a tulip skirt, and a drape collar which have little drawstrings. On the left I loosened the drawstrings and the collar fell like silky ruffles on a deep V neckline. On the right I tightened the drawstrings and it gave the dress a higher and more modest neckline.

The website said that it was a “mini” dress. But for short ol’ me, the dress ended mid-thigh – which was perfect in my opinion!

Do check out the rest of the Honey and Beau items, as there are lots of nice stuff available!

Happy Shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Balayage at Head Studio

23 July 2012

Last year, I was hankering to do something different with my hair – I wanted a balayage style, but I didn’t have time to research the style, research a salon, and organise some time away to get it done.

Finally for my birthday last week, I decided, yep, it’s time for a hair change.

Balayage (pronounced BAH-LAY-ARGHE) (as in garage or mirage) is a highlighting technique where the lightening agent is painted freehand onto the hair. It’s when there’s a gradient from dark roots to light tips.

Lots of people also call the effect ombre (pronounced OM-BRAY), which refers more to a two-tone colour change, and less of a slow gradual gradient effect. And you can use the word ombre to describe a colour tone change in clothing, accessories, textiles, painted surfaces.

Whatever you call it, done badly, it looks like bad regrowth. You could look like some scary rocker chick. Done superbly, your hair can look naturally highlighted, sun-kissed, full of depth and texture and fresh.

So first I did a bit of research.

This is what I DIDN’T want.

Balayage Hair

It might look cool on Drew Barrymore, but I didn’t want such a drastic gradient and I didn’t want my ends to be so blonde!

Balayage Hair

Here Rachel Bilson and Ashley Simpson have a slightly more gradient effect in their hair.

But I still didn’t want so much of my ends to be so light. And the gradient still wasn’t gradual enough.

Balayage Hair

This is what I wanted. I loved the balayage on Jessica Biel! A gradual highlight, touches of lightened hair tousled between dark and medium colour strands.

Balayage Hair

And same again in this picture of Lily Aldridge.

(All celebrity pictures were taken from all over the internet without owner’s permission – sorry!)

SO. I called the team from Head Studio, who have done my hair before (I published a review post about them here).

I knew they would do a great job, because they seem to be constantly winning hairdressing prizes, and they are always on the cutting edge (excuse the pun) of new hair styles and trends.

I asked them if I could write a blog feature about the whole process and they kindly offered me a complimentary balayage, for my review. I hoped like crazy that it would turn out ok!!

Balayage at Head Studio - July 2012

I walked upstairs and was greeted by one of their GORGEOUS salon rooms.

This photo was taken from the Head Studio website, because when I was there, it was actually was full of women getting their hair done (and understandably, no one wanted to have their picture taken while having hair treatment!).

Balayage at Head Studio - July 2012

So this is me at 11am, with my day-old washed hair. Long, straight, black – as it has been for a looooong time.

I was given a proper flat white coffee, a stack of fashion magazines and an orgasmic head massage. Ah I love them already.

Then I met my colourist, Ashley, who had a string of impressive national achievements.

We had an extensive chat about what I wanted. She provided me with an ipad FULL of example hair photos, celebrity hair dos, red carpet photos, fashion and style photos… and we even found the photos of Jessica Beil (pictured above) it was brilliant.

In terms of her technique, when she was working away… she didn’t seem bored, or treat me like I was just-another-head-with-hair-to-colour-today. She was so skilled and attentive to my hair, as if I was a work of art. She came across as a real and rare craftsman (or craftsperson?). She was just awesome.

Balayage at Head Studio - July 2012

As for me, I had no doubt the final look would look nice.

But I was sooo nervous. Hence the funny look on my face. The last time I lightened my hair significantly… I was 15! I had bleached my fringe all by myself and it looked pretty bad haha.

But now? What would it look like? Will it suit me? What if I hate it? What if it’s too light? What if I don’t get used to it?

I was finally led to the basins, where all the colour / toner / lightening agent (I have no idea!) was washed out, and I was given a conditioning hair treatment too.

I was led downstairs, my hair was blow dried, curled a bit and THIS WAS THE RESULT!

Balayage at Head Studio - July 2012

OMG it was gorgeous!! I WAS SOOOO HAPPPY!

Like seriously, I was so thrilled that I jumped up and gave Ashley a big hug and squeal! I felt so lame, but haha I was completely over the moon!!

Balayage at Head Studio - July 2012

I feel like such a bimbo in saying this… but I TOTALLY LOVE MY HAIR!!

Gah it’s so pretty! Why didn’t I do this sooner!?!

Balayage at Head Studio - July 2012

She painted a bit of colour in small touches near my eyes and cheeks, to make the gradient more gradual. The colour is just perfect, the highlights are lovely, the loose curls are a perfect touch.

I think it really suits me, lifts my complexion, brightens my face and maybe makes me look YOUNGER? What do you think? Forever 25? Haha!

A BIG THANK YOU to the team at Head Studio.

They get 11 out of 10 from me… for customer satisfaction for the service, the final outcome and the overall experience.

I completely recommend these guys! Again!

Head Studio
64 King Street
Perth WA 6000
Phone: 08 9481 6464
Email: info@headstudio.com
Web: www.headstudio.com.au (includes prices and map)


Dresstronomy: Boys and Girls Come Out to Play

17 July 2012

Independent fashion label Dresstronomy sent me a few items to review from their Fall 2012 Collection, titled Boys and Girls Come Out to Play. It combines masculine/boyish and feminine shapes, with an air of whimsical playfulness.

I found some very nice garments which were effortless and easy to wear.

Dresstronomy: Boys and Girls Come Out to Play

These are the Hansel Shorts in Deep Purple. They are SHORT shorts, almost like running shorts, with a turned-up, tailored hem, so they have a nice structure and they look smart. The fabric is lovely. It’s made from shantung silk and it looks luxurious, yet it feels robust to wear.

The waistband is a stretchy fold-over band, so it’s comfy to wear. The band sits high up the waist, meaning you don’t have to worry about flashing your midriff. And the band acts like a kind of tummy shaping Spanx for your belly too haha!

I definitely recommend them if you’re looking for some smart looking shorts. They also come in black.

There was an issue with the sizing for these particular shorts, though. It’s best that you buy a size up (I am usually a size UK6, but I had to order a size UK8 – which fit me perfectly.)

Dresstronomy: Boys and Girls Come Out to Play

This is the Tanker Dress in Navy. I liked the subtle contrast from the navy and black panels (a bit hard to see in this photo), which added a unique look to the dress.

Basically it is a simple, button-down dress, with a loose cut style and a modest length. It also features a racer back style, which felt sleek and a bit sexy when wearing it.

Dresstronomy: Boys and Girls Come Out to Play

The last item I chose, was this dress is called Alan’s Tailcoat in Pink, inspired by tailcoat jackets worn by gentlemen in the 1800s.

I was told that British actress and model, Tallulah Harlech wore this same dress to the opening of the Singapore Fashion Trade Show earlier this year, and was featured in the press etc.

Yep, a long, sleeveless, shirt dress just oozes effortless cool. It’s the kind of thing off-duty models wear while walking along the street, with it flowing around their long legs. But how did it look on a shorty like me?

I think it looked quite cool. I know it is supposed to be loose fitting, flowy and effortless… but I think it might look nicer on me if I sewed it in at the underarms, so it is a *little more fitting* for me. But I liked the length and the details of the dress. And I liked the easy feel of it.

Dresstronomy: Boys and Girls Come Out to Play

And here, I hitched up the dress up over the belt to create a waist line. Looked good, and this is a nice technique for transitioning from day time to night time.

This dress grew on me in the end and I really liked it. I’m glad I got to experiment with this style, because I would never have chosen it to buy otherwise.

I chose the dress in the dusty rose pink, which looks very unique to wear. But perhaps I should have chosen it in a black, so it would be a more versatile item for my wardrobe. The dress also comes in mustard colour.

Do pop over to the Dresstronomy website and check out the rest of their collection.

Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Trend to try: Bright Coloured Jewellery

12 July 2012

As always, there are plenty of fun new fashion trends this season.

But I have particularly fallen head over heels with the bright coloured jewellery trend.

Trend to try: Bright Coloured Jewellery

(Photo by ImaxTree via stylebistro.com)

Seen last year at London Fashion Week 2012, Sass and Bide styled their spring collection with these amazingly vibrant neckpieces with intricate almost tribal details.

I love that they can be worn with blacks and neutral colours (of which my wardrobe is full of).

It can be worn with neutral or colourful patterned or print outfits (which is also on trend).

And it can go with outfits featuring big blocks of colour. Colour on colour!

Trend to try: Bright Coloured Jewellery

These coloured rhinestone bib necklaces are just so pretty! The style is much more delicate and “everyday” as opposed to the Sass and Bide ones, which are very bold, edgy and large!

These babies are by designer Adia Kibur and are only $56 from Shopbop.

Trend to try: Bright Coloured Jewellery

The amazing necklace on the left is by Tom Binns (via net-a-porter.com), hand painted Swarovski crystal necklace for £1,410.

It’s very obvious that this necklace would totally transform any outfit!! A simple black dress, white silk blouse, coloured tank, a nude dress.

If you do an image search for Tom Binns necklaces, you’ll find heaps of DIY images by crafty fashionistas too.

Apparently you can buy a $30 rhinestone necklace and use nail polish to paint the stones however you want. It looks so easy I was tempted to have a go myself – but alas I don’t have the time to do it.

And if you want to make something similar to those Sass and Bide necklaces, you can just buy an affordable stone, pearl, or jewelled necklace and then spray paint it a neon colour to create your own statement neon necklace.

The necklace top right is also by Adia Kibur (Shopbop) and the bottom one is by Etro (net-a-porter.com). I love the slightly tribal, edgy and glam look.

Trend to try: Bright Coloured Jewellery

And if you lean more towards a classic, timeless look… but still want some colour in your jewels, these might be the way to go.

Left is Kenneth Jay Lane (Shopbop) and right is by Adia Kibur (Shopbop).

Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


The Garden Party Dress

29 June 2012

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.

You can buy Lovisa jewellery from The Iconic… who are offering a new discount 20% off your order (min spend $50). Use code “20AFFMOpW6″. Valid until 11 July 2012. Click here to use the code.

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.


FashionJunkee Evening Dresses

26 June 2012

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.


Shopping at The Iconic – With Free Shipping and Returns

22 June 2012

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…

(By the way, The Iconic is offering 20% off your order (min spend $50). Use code 20AFFMOpW6. Valid until 11 July 2012 Click here to use the code.

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!

I was thinking that I could “purchase” a whole heap of items for my husband … and the items he doesn’t like, we can just ship it back for free. My husband and I hardly get to go shopping together… and I buy a lot of clothes for him, but I always get the sizing wrong! Mens clothes shopping is impossible!

ANYWAY… I organised my “want” list from The Iconic site into some categories. Enjoy!

Iconic Wedding Guest Dresses

What to Wear to a Wedding

Pastel muted florals, soft flowing drapes, just add a bit of bling and I’ve got a perfect wedding outfit.

Abyss Belted Dress by Cooper St

Tokonoma Assymetry Dress By Cooper St

Bedlam Dress by WISH

Iconic Winter Wardrobe

Building a Casual Winter Wardrobe

I’m looking for a few simple additions to my winter wardrobe.

Sherpa Jacket by Mimosa

Olivia Ruffle Blouse by Blue Juice

Cascade Blazer by Blue Juice

Iconic Sandals

Must Have Sandals

Lizzy Sandal Heels by Verali

Bettina Sandals by Rebecca Minkoff

Gladys Calf Leather Sandals by Rachel Zoe

Iconic Lusting

Lusting After

Wallpaper Skirt by Manning Cartell

The Big Deal by Sass and Bide

Mid Rise Skinny Jeans by JBrand

Iconic Heels

Very Affordable Heels!

Elise in Yellow patent by Verali ($59.95)

Elise in Pink Patent by Verali ($59.95)

Rocha Nude Heels by Nine West ($149.95)

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Frockaholics: Up to 60% Off Sale

20 June 2012

Frockaholics

Yep, the sale silly season is upon us!

Frockaholics are having an amazing sale, with up to 60% off clothing and accessories. Scroll down for details.

The team at Frockaholics sent over a huge box of sale items for me to borrow and style. I picked out my absolute favourites – things I would buy to add into my wardrobe (if I had the money)!

This Gold Willamina Dress by Rachel Gilbert is just gorgeous! It is glamorous, striking and sophisticated. Its style is simple, classic and oh-so flattering!

I would definitely pick this dress to wear to a glamorous event, or a fancy party. After wearing it 3-4 times, I’d keep it in my wardrobe for a few years and then bring it out again for a new lease of life. Good long term investment.

Gah the dresses by Rachel Gilbert are stunning! See more items by Rachel Gilbert

Frockaholics

When I first saw this Magdalena Velevska Embroidered Top, I thought it was “interesting and unique” – which is my other way of saying “MAYBE A BIT TOO WEIRD”.

But once I put it on and looked in the mirror, I feel in love with it! It’s so INTERESTING AND UNIQUE!!

It’s funky and cheeky, mysterious and bold, colourful and fun – and a real statement. It goes great with dark jeans, black pants, a pencil skirt and other dark coloured bottoms (which I have a lot of in my wardrobe).

I picked this top because it’s perfect for work, play and the weekends.

See more items by Magdalena Velevska

Frockaholics

Ok this next top is goooorgeous! It’s a sheer silk shirt by Antipodium.

The print is unique and colourful. The colours are a bit muted. It’s one of those shirts that can be for work, for day time outings, evenings, worn tied into a knot, worn open, tucked in, worn loose.

Would go well with a pencil skirt, shorts, skinny jeans, wide leg pants and more.

The jeans I am wearing are Jegging Jeans by Red Valentino. Admittedly it is the first time I’ve ever worn jeggings… because I am of the view that you either wear JEAN or LEGGINGS thank you very much.

But OMG I am kicking myself now… because they are so so SO FRICKING amazing and comfortable and lush and soft and firm and… possible the nicest pair of skinny jeans that I’ve ever worn… that now I have changed my view on jeggings :)

Sigh I wish I could afford them.

Frockaholics

Lastly, I really liked this dress by White Suede. I liked the cut-outs and the deep red colour. It’s a simple and understated shift dress, with a bit of a twist. It was lovely and easy to wear too.

With a blazer and heels it’d be great for work. Then a quick shoe swap would make it perfect for after work drinks and cocktails too.

View all the Frockaholics Sale Items

Happy shopping and hope you find something you love!!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


A Princess Moment with Aelkemi

15 June 2012

The other day we inherited a beautiful chaise lounge, which is in the style of an 18th Century Méridienne French lounge chair. It’s not actually from the 18th Century… nonetheless I’m so in love with it!

I thought it was the perfect place to perch elegantly, to show off some gorgeous dresses by Australian designer label Aelkemi.

Aelkemi Dresses

This Silk Indigo Gown is so sophisticated and stunning, yet so simple in it’s style. I really liked the high neck, the pleats and folds, and the way the dress fitted on my upper body – strong and secure. Yet I loved the way the silky skirt folds across my legs as I walk.

I felt like a million dollars hehe! I also felt like I should be dripping with diamonds and that someone needed to peel grapes for me pronto!

Aelkemi Dresses

And same with this dress. I’m wearing a Champaign One-Shoulder Pleated Gown. It was also such an elegant and stunning dress. I seriously had a Cinderella moment (which doesn’t happen often).

The dress fit me wonderfully. The pleats were luxurious and the one-shoulder was feminine and modern. It would be perfect to wear to a wedding, a ball, or some grand and elegant function.

What I love most about Aelkemi’s dresses (and overall style) is the clean and strong designs, the sophisticated and stunning looks that are all so beautiful and classic.

Do check out the Aelkemi website for more info.

(PS – I had a blast with these photos. I don’t often pose with props in my self-portraits!)


Wrapped Up in Love

12 June 2012

The team at GlamRockChic sent over a few pairs of shoes for me to get excited about.

(Also you can receive “$100 off when you spend $300”!! Scroll down for details.)

What I love love love about this brand is their dedication to making glamorous-looking shoes that are comfortable (and affordable).

These shoes are called “Wrapped Up” and it are an absolute delight to wear. They feel so soft, smooth and comfortable. They have a mid heel and… I can wear them all day – for work and play.

They are especially great for wearing in countries with warm weather, since they feature open toe and open sections for the foot to breathe. But really, I wear them in cold weather too :)

AND they come in three different looks. Behold!

GlamRockChic Shoes

This is the Black Wrapped Up shoe, with a dash of zebra print! Very edgy glamour, but still chic.

Made from sheepskin + zebra printed calfskin hair… this is definitely more striking than your normal peep toe black pumps. This design would be the most versatile shoe, since they are black and white, and will match and compliment many different outfits and looks.

GlamRockChic Shoes

I styled this shoe in two outfits. One being a very classic, simple and chic look (in all neutral colours) – black jeans, grey top and black blazer. My staple outfit. The shoes added just a touch of extra style and statement. I love!

The other outfit was a bit more fun and flirty. A party look, that is still simple and not too over the top. The shoe looks great for both outfits!

GlamRockChic Shoes

This is the Beige Wrapped Up shoe. I love the colour combinations of beige, tan and leopard print.

It is described as “a different twist to your standard nude pump”. I’d say they would be great for the office (if you can wear open toed shoes).

When I saw it I instantly thought of wearing it with blue jeans and a crisp white shirt. Or white pants and a coral coloured top. Or navy cropped pants and a nude top. The possibilities are endless with this shoe, especially when worn with whites, creams, nudes, tans, navy, reds and oranges.

GlamRockChic Shoes

Again I put together a neutral coloured outfit (all-white!) and the shoe looked fabulous with it.

And I also to prove that it can be worn at night time, I wore a more party-ish outfit – you can’t get more party-ish than a body con dress and fur coat!

GlamRockChic Shoes

Lastly, this is the Fuchsia Wrapped Up shoe.

I’ve had this pair for quite a few months and I can say for *certain* that they are super comfortable and lovely to wear.

I’ve worn them quite a few times and they have been great for colour blocking. I’ve worn them with a tangerine dress, an aqua dress, a silver sequin dress, a lime top and black jeans. Excellent shoes to wear with colourful outfits.

GlamRockChic Shoes

The outfit on the left shows that yes, the fuchsia shoes can look great with a simple neutral coloured, semi-casual outfit.

Most times when you have a “very colourful” dress, you tend to wear neutral coloured shoes (black, white, nude, grey, silver). But these fuchsia shoes go with heaps of different colours. A really nice buy!

**SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE**

Get $100 off when you spend $300!!

With any purchase of shoes worth USD300 and above on GlamRockChic’s website (does not include shipping), apply the code PAMPER100 to get USD100 off the total bill.

Then select ‘Postal Shipping’ at checkout and we will upgrade it to Courier Shipping (which is faster and more secure!)

Code: PAMPER100 (big caps all the way)

Promotion duration: 12 – 26 JUNE 2012

Happy shoe shopping my dears!!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


New Looks from LOEF

5 June 2012

LOEF Fashion

The team at LOEF sent over a heap of samples for me to play with and feature on my site.

The LOEF eboutique specialises in very affordable fashion items – mostly dresses, tops and bottoms, with a price range of $24 – $52. They are based in Singapore with international shipping.

These were my favourites:

This Grecian Evening Dress is pretty cool. It looks like a big sock when laid flat… but once you put it on, it drapes in all the right places and it looks quite stunning.

The quality of the jersey is much like a dress you would buy from Cotton On or ASOS. The fabric is lovely, light, drapey and not clingy. It’s very nice to swish in.

I found the length to be just right on me (I’m 160cms). And apparently you can turn it into a short bubble-style dress by taking the hem of the dress and hitching it up on your waist.

The royal blue dress is out of stock at the moment, but the black version is available.

LOEF Fashion

This Mint Midi Dress wasn’t quite my usual style. But after wearing it, it grew on me and I really liked it in the end.

Designed with lovely tailored pleats, an A line style skirt, this dress is fully lined, easy to wear and suggests an understated, preppy style seen from labels such as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, and also has the details of 50s Madmen style.

It’d make a great office outfit or a casual day dress.

Love the colour!

LOEF Fashion

Lastly, this Leopard Print Chiffon Top is great for casual wearing, or throwing over your bikinis by the pool.

It’s light, sheer, loose and airy – perfect for warm weather.

Do check out the rest of the dresses on offer, and 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.


5 Ways to Wear Glitter Heels

1 June 2012

Betts 5 Ways to Wear

The team from Betts sent me an amazing pair of glitter heels and set me on a challenge to style it in 5 different ways.

Yup, they are very glitzy, glamorous and great for a special occasion.

I had SO much fun styling them. They really added a pop of glam to each of the outfits.

Each time I changed into a new outfit, I stopped and imagined wearing a pair of plain black shoes.. then instantly thought “Gosh that’s a bit safe and boring”. But with the silver glitter shoes, haha I felt like dancing and strutting around. Shoes really do transformeth an outfit and mood.

And the silver colour of the shoes made them very versatile to match lots of different looks.

Here are close ups of the outfits and a breakdown of what I’m wearing!

Betts 5 Ways to Wear

Right
Red Dress: Fashionjunkee
Necklace: Sportsgirl
Ring and bracelet: Wanderlust + Co

Left
Black and White Bandage Dress: ClubCouture

Betts 5 Ways to Wear

Right
White blazer: SOL
Lilac Camisole Top: Prada
Black Crop Pants: AL&ALICIA

Left
Faux Fur Coat: Guset (via YesStyle)
Mint blouse: Redopin (via YesStyle)
Leather Skirt: Sarah (via YesStyle)

Betts 5 Ways to Wear

Dot Top: AL&ALICIA
FloralPants:ASOS

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend xx!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Dressing for a Mad Men Party

27 May 2012

I was recently invited to a sophisticated, adults-only, Mad Men themed dinner party.

By “adults only”, I mean there were no children there. It was a sit down dinner with cocktails to start, a delicious 4 course dinner made in the kitchen by a private chef, and lots of enjoyable adult conversations.

Anyway, if you haven’t heard about it, Mad Men is a TV drama series set in New York in the early 1960s. It is particularly adored because of it’s 50s and early 60s fashion and style, with its leading women all impeccably dressed.

And thus my biggest dilemma was – what do I wear??

Mad Men Images

What is the Mad Men style? Skirts are knee-lenth, full circle (flare style) or pencil style.

Necklines are circle scoop, wide v-necked or high boat-neck.

Waists are nipped in to show off an hour glass figure.

Heels are small. Toes are usually pointed.

Hair styles are short, curled, and brushed to one side.

Mad Men Images

I found lots of gorgeous photos and inspiration from the Mad Men website, but I didn’t have many things in my own wardrobe that I thought were fitting for a great outfit.

Mad Men Images

I wanted pay homage to the period and at least to do justice to the amazing style. But I had a fashion block!

I whinged at my husband for a few days, and did the whole “OH WOE I HAVE A WARDROBE FULL OF CLOTHES BUT I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!!”

So my husband tried to help and sent me this still image from the TV show.

Mad Men Images

Ironically I did have all the bits and pieces in my wardrobe for a Playboy bunny outfit. Even the ears and cuffs. But er,  wrong party!

In the end, I put together a few bits and pieces – a fine knit sweater top, with a full circle skirt, pointed toe shoes, pearls and a faux fur coat of the period.

Mad Men Party - Karen Cheng

This is me and my piña colada (not very New York, but hey, I’m no cocktail police) and some of my lovely friends dressed to impress.

We had an amazing time! 10 of us sat around the dinner table and chatted and laughed all night long! We had a smashing time.

Thanks so much to my wonderful host, Dave and Amanda!

(All images from www.amctv.com. Except the one of me kissing the piña colada.)


Dating my Brother-in-Law

14 May 2012

The other evening, my husband and I planned to go out for dinner, drinks and dancing with a whole bunch of our crazy, single friends.

But as it turned out, our babysitter fell sick at very short notice, so my husband took one for Team-Us. He decided to stay home, and I got to go out.

Yay for freedom!!

However, on this occasion, we had been planning to take my brother-in-law too. In fact, my husband and I were going to have dinner with bro-in-law before we met up with the others for drinks.

So I found myself all dressed up, driving over to my bro-in-law’s place to pick him up to go out to dinner.

On the way there, it occurred to me that I have never, ever been alone with him for any significant length of time, in the whole time I have known him – what 12 years? Obviously, we have always related to each other through my husband, or the kids, or his parents.

He is totally a super nice guy and he’s easy to be around. But he’s like a big brother to me. And now we were going spend a couple of hours, alone, together, in a nice restaurant.

Can anyone say AWKWARD!!!???

I picked him up and we were both like… “OK haha this is really weird!!”

We had a good laugh about it and it was all good between us.

But while we were driving along and chatting normally, I realised that these strange circumstances had made part of me go into a long forgotten territory of “nervous first date” mode, and I was really self-conscious. Uh oh, is my skirt riding up too high? Is my top too low? Do I have lipstick on my teeth? Did I pop a mint before I left? Am I talking too much? Am I talking too little?

OMG why am I thinking like this?!

I thought it was amusing that this insecure part of me still existed.

Long, long ago, I used to go out on a “first date” twice a week in my quest to find Mr Right :) But now er… I haven’t been on a first date since mobile phones had black and white screens, so that’s like – 13 or 14 years! I guess old habits die hard.

Then I thought maybe the problem was that bro-in-law is so much like my husband. Similar age, similar features, same sense of humor, values, etc. Obviously, he’s the *kind* of guy I could go for… no, wait… DID go for. With this realization, I relaxed a lot.

Even as we walked into the restaurant, I realised people might think we were a couple, or a potential couple. But I was cool with that. I wasn’t self-conscious anymore. I didn’t care. However… I may have relaxed a bit too much.

Because, as the evening progressed, I noticed that I was getting all WIFEY, BOSSY and NAGGY with my bro-in-law.

Saying stuff like, “Are you sure you want to order THAT?”

“I’ll have the fish, you get the beef.”

“Can we swap plates? I want to try that beef.”

“Before we leave, maybe you want to go to the toilet?”

As each phrase came out of my mouth, I instantly CRINGED. I DIED OF EMBARASSMENT.

I couldn’t believe I was saying that stuff!! To a grown-up man!

Do I really talk like that to my poor husband? My MR RIGHT, the last guy to ever have a “first date” with me, has to put up with this crap every time we go out together!!

I was just thankful that it was me who was driving, not bro-in-law, otherwise I’m sure I would have given him a running commentary about his poor driving and parking skills haha.

I was very, very relieved when we met up with the gang for drinks. A good time was had by all. And my bro-in-law, ah bless him, he showed no signs of being weirded out by me.

Maybe he was just good at hiding it.

Or maybe he just feels really, really sorry for my husband now.


Giveaway: Win 2 items from AL&ALICIA

1 May 2012

For all you who had missed out on my last giveaway – here’s another awesome one to try!

If you have been a long-time follower of my blog, you might have noticed that I’m a fan of AL&ALICA. I’ve done many features of their collections, I have LOTS of clothes from this label and many of them are my wardrobe staples :)

Their designs are a wonderful mix of flirty + feminine, with a masculine edge. It’s kind of boy meets girl, and oozing with understated cool. Best of all, the clothes are comfortable, using high quality fabrics, with exceptional tailoring.

Well to celebrate their latest collection, the team from AL&ALICA are offering my readers a special giveaway.

Win any 2 items from the AL&ALICA website, of your choice!

Please scroll down for details!

The team sent me a few goodies to review, from the Spring Summer 2012 collection – Time to Pretend.

AL&ALICA - SS12 Time to Pretend

This first dress is the Kite Dress in Blossom colour. It’s probably more of a tunic or a mini dress, with pretty double layer drape at the front. It’s made from such a light, silky and luxurious fabric that you can wear it tucked into skirts or pants.

It’s perfect for warm weather, and those hot days when you still want to look stylish, yet effortless!

AL&ALICA - SS12 Time to Pretend

This is the Spellbound Jellybean Dress – another effortless dress that is pretty and colourful. I absolutely adored this one!

I’ve already worn it twice… and I got so many compliments :) I think it’s so eye catching because of its combination of pretty print and gorgeous tailoring.

The dress looks great with a blazer or denim jacket too!

AL&ALICA - SS12 Time to Pretend

Here I’m wearing a few items.

Emma Frost Top in Whipped Cream colour, which has the CUTEST polka dot bubble sheer things on it. It is sooooOOOooo cool!

This is my favourite piece in the whole collection. It combines *perfectly* with everything in my wardrobe (jeans, skirts, shorts, cropped pants) and gives each outfit a new breath of freshness that’s quirky and fun.

Yellow shorts are the Super Shorts in Buttercup colour. It is a relaxed tailored cut, with pleats, made from super soft tencel, with full lining. It’s lovely to wear. I felt very… luxuriousl, yet casual in it!

Lastly, in the outfit with my bright blue J Brand jeans, I’m wearing a Slouchy Jacket in Powder Puff colour. This is also made from super soft tencel and it’s soooo nice to wear. It’s a double breasted jacket with a relaxed fit.

You can check out the whole “Time To Pretend” collection at the Al & Alicia website!

………………………………………………………………..

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Who Can Enter:
It’s open to all readers WORLDWIDE, over the age of 18 years.

What You Win:
One lucky winner will get to pick 2 items of his/her choice, across all AL&ALICIA collections (including sale items), subject to stock availability.

Giveaway Ends:
The giveaway will last 10 days, from May 1st to May 10th, 5pm (GMT +8)

This giveaway is now closed!

The winner will be randomly selected and contacted via Facebook messages.

If the selected winner doesn’t respond in 48 hours, then I will have to redraw. I will announce the winner as soon as possible on my blog and my Facebook Page (please pop over and LIKE my page, if you haven’t already).

I will also be posting a reminder on my blog and Facebook Page, before the end of the giveaway.

Good luck!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


My Roadmap to Ice Cream

28 April 2012

Recently I’ve been using a smart phone app called SportsTracker to log all my walking and cycling exercise.

It’s been really handy to actually plot and track my cycling routes on a google map, and keep a record of the distances and my speed etc.

But sometimes I forget to pause it – when I’m not exercising – and it still records all my movements.

And when I am reviewing my activities, I can see exactly where I’ve been!

For example, this is me going for an evening walk to my local shops. (I erased out all the street names.)

My Roadmap to Ice Cream

This is after a long, crappy, frustrating day with the kids. They have finally been put to bed, and one of them has been put to bed several times. I realise I have run out of milk, and so to clear my head, I decide to walk to the shops, rather than drive.

By the time I get to the shops, I am feeling a little better. But only a little.

You can see me cross the street on the right, go into the store, and walk to the back of the store to pick up some milk.

I walk all the way back down the store to the checkout. It’s Friday night, I’m feeling crappy, so I decide to back track to the confectionery aisle to buy some chocolate. Then I go back to the checkout.

THEN I feel guilty, because I am trying to be healthy, so I put the chocolate back, and head BACK to the check out. Now I feel all righteous, but while I’m waiting for my turn at the checkout, I think – OH OK WHY NOT!

So at the last minute I go to the ice cream freezer and snatch some double-choc ice cream, and walk out the store with a spring in my step.

And look, the whole thing took me 31:22 minutes.

I hope I never accidentally record an *indecisive dress shopping* expedition in the city haha!!


Shopthemag $1000 Giveaway Ends Friday!

25 April 2012

Yes, my amazing, exclusive $1000 Shopthemag Giveaway is coming to a close soon. Friday!

It ends 5pm, Friday 27 April 2012 (GMT +8).

So if you’re thinking about entering… go go go! Details are at the bottom!

Last week I chose some items and outfits from Shopthemag that caught my eye. This week, I got to test them out, so here they are!

STM 1000
Check out this Asymmetric Zebra Print Dress by Blackheart. It’s super hot! With a high skirt-spilt, a plunging neckline, and wild print… this dress will definitely turn some heads. It’s perfect for a glamorous night out!

Blackheart is a new label, by designer Maria Agnes, with a tough, bold and sexy style. I like it!

See more clothes by Blackheart.

STM 1000

This Belted Silk Toga Dress by Burgundy is DIVINE!

The silk is amazing to wear – lusciously fluid, super soft and so comfortable. I slipped it on and it just felt amazing.

It comes with a “distressed” brown leather belt, which gives the dress a more casual look, but I decided to wear it with gold accessories, to maximize the glam potential!

The label, Burgundy, do a lot of gorgeous silk dresses, tops, jumpsuits and playsuits. Looking at all of the range, I could do with silk maxi dresses and a toga body suit (love!)

View whole collection from Burgundy.

STM 1000

This necklace is by Alldressedup, one of my favourite Singaporean fashion labels! It’s the Raiwe Silk Wrap Beaded necklace.

View whole collection from Alldressedup.

I love these bib style necklaces because they are like an instant embellishment to the entire outfit. You can wear them with a crisp white tee, or a simple black singlet top, or with a dress.

The Colour Block Drape Silk Top by Khoon Hoi, is a gorgeous top that is elegant, timeless and yet modern (minimal design, asymmetrical, yet features drapes and cap shoulders). I think it goes perfectly with my leather skirt.

View the whole collection from Khoon Hoi.

…………………………

This giveaway is now closed!


Shopthemag Exclusive $1000 BAD Giveaway

17 April 2012

I have an AMAZING, EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY for all my readers!!

Here’s your chance to win $1000 worth of designer clothes and accessories to spend at Shopthemag!

Shopthemag is the world’s first luxury fashion website that is dedicated entirely to showcasing the top fashion names in Asia. These include Singapore’s Koonhor and alldressedup; Thailand’s The Only Son and Disaya; India’s Manish Arora and Japan’s Akira Naka.

They recently launched a B.A.D. Campaign – Backing Asian Designers – aimed to bring new awareness to the growing list of premium designers and movers and shakers in Asia’s fashion industry.

And as part of the BAD campaign, they are running THIS exclusive giveaway for readers of Karen Cheng only – that’s YOU! :)

So let’s be BAAAAAAD and support the amazing fashion talent of Asia – scroll down for the giveaway details.

These are my picks of designer items that I’d LOVE to buy… if I won $1000!

Shopthemag 1000

Khoon Hooi, Off-Shoulder Asymmetric Cocktail Dress – S$645.00
Disaya, Glistening Nightfall Ring – S$199.00
Frank, Triple-wrap Leather Bracelet – S$129.00

Shopthemag 1000

Blackheart, Faux Fur Coat, S$399.00
Burgundy, Cross-back Silk Maxi Dress – S$389.00
Disaya, Cameo Ring – S$199.00

Shopthemag 1000

Tangram, Waisted Silk Skirt with Drapes in Fuchsia – S$259.00
Song, Double Collar Convertible Cotton Poplin Shirt – S$169.00
Tan & Brown, Catharina Cheetah-print Mini Case – S$566.00

Shopthemag 1000

Chai Gold Label, Knotted Sleeve Dress, S$599.00
Alldressedup, Maxim Printed Jersey Cross-drape Dress, S$389.00

But what do YOU like?!

……………………………………………………………………….

Win a SG$1000 voucher from Shopthemag

This giveaway is now closed!


How to Throw an Arm Party!

10 April 2012

You’ve probably seen the trend of stacking multiple bracelets and bangles on your wrists, which are called “arm parties”.

It’s wonderfully fun to wear and gives your outfit a sexy, playful edge. Well the team from Wanderlust + Co asked me to share how I put my arms parties together.

They have also given all my readers a special 20% discount code! Please scroll down for details.

Honestly, there is no rule for arm parties – just stack heaps of your favourite bangles and bracelets together – whatever best reflects your personality and mood at the moment!

However sometimes – even I can admit – that the haphazard stacking can look a bit crazy and messy (which is fine when you are in a “crazy and messy mood”).

But when you want to look a bit more “put together”…. here are a few visual design tips.

1) Try just one large chunky item – your favourite watch, a big-colourful bangle, a sparkly-spiky bracelet.

2) Team it with one statement piece that compliments (or boldly contrasts) your outfit. If you’re wearing black, try a bold orange or neon piece!

3) Select 2-3 smaller bracelets that each compliment at least one other item already chosen!

4) Stick to one metallic tone for all pieces. Eg gold, silver, rose gold.

5) Stock up on white, black, nudes and neutral bracelets, because they are so versatile!

6) Experiment and be playful with you colour combinations!

Here some arm party inspirations, featuring pieces from the mouth-watering wrist collection from Wanderlust + Co.

Wanderlust + Co - Arm Party!

Top – Redophin; Skirt – LClothes; Shoes – Gucci replicas.

Wanderlust + Co - Arm Party!

Wanderlust + Co Sunburst Navy Leather Wrap, Snake cuff from Forever New, Multi-stud Silver Nude Wrap, Watch from Guess, Blue Chain Toggle Bracelet.

Wanderlust + Co - Arm Party!

Top – Alexander Wang; Leather skirt – YesStyle; Shoes – ASOS.

Wanderlust + Co - Arm Party!

Wanderlust + Co Multi-Stud Silver Nude Wrap, White Cuff from Sportsgirl, Multi-Bar Gold Camel Bracelet, Sunburst Navy Leather Wrap.

Wanderlust + Co - Arm Party!

Top – Prada; Pants – ASOS; Heels – Sportsgirl.

Wanderlust + Co - Arm Party!

Silver Braid Cuff – Sportsgirl, Wanderlust + Co XL DLink Gold Turquoise Bracelet, Rainbow Braid from Dressonomy, Multi-bar Gold Camel Bracelet.

The W+Co team is offering all my readers a discount code of 20% everything!

Just use the code “karen20” at check out. Valid for 5 days, until the end of 14 April.

Hope you find something you love!!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Hit Me Up With Some Lemon and Mint

7 April 2012

These are some fab items I picked up from YesStyle.

Yesstyle - Yellow Pea Coat

I’m getting ready for the cool weather with this gorgeous yellow wool pea coat.

I thought a yellow would be a nice way to inject some colour and sunshine into dreary cold days. It’s a bit different to your regular black, grey, navy and camel coloured coats, and it certainly makes a happy statement.

This jacket is by Angel Love, a label full of feminine lace skirts, chiffon blouses , pleated skirts, and crocheted tops.

Yesstyle - Mint Shirt

This chiffon mint shirt, with cut-out shoulders, is super hot! I can’t wait to style it soon. It’s breezy and easy, effortless and sexy – I really like a lot!

It’s from one of my favourite Korean labels, Redopin. They have some really cool mint / light green items (tops, jackets, knits) in their latest release, if you want to check it out.

Yesstyle - Yellow Jeans

I’ve been wanting a pair of yellow jeans for ages! And now I’ve already been wearing these to death :)
(Unfortunately these have been sold out.)

Oh and these are some labels I wanted to mention, as they currently have some great stuff on sale.

Stylementor from Korea has a really simple and stylish look. Nice knits, on-trend office pieces (sheer blouses, printed shirts, pleated skirts, colourful blazers) that can be easily worn from work to play.

Puffy has some really nice polka dot dresses at the moment, pretty chiffon tops and stripe tops too. Worth a look if you haven’t browsed already.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Hotness Galore at ClubCouture

4 April 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a bunch of gorgeous evening dresses :)

I picked out 4 dresses from ClubCouture and each one made me squeal with delight!

Evening Dresses from ClubCouture

This first dress is the One Shoulder Banded Bodycon Dress from the Premium range.

Its quality and construction is fantastic (much better than bandage dresses from Topshop, Zara, or ASOS). The fabric is wonderfully thick, firm and stretchy.

Personally, I feel that this dress totally rates as a high-end designer dress (without the whopping price tag).

The one shoulder style made it feel a bit more elegant for a special occasion. I wore it out to my 10th anniversary dinner with my husband and I felt amazing!!

And here is this very similar (but different) second dress. It felt so comfortable, so balanced, so perfectly snug on my whole body… I felt like I could last a whole day and evening in it.

Evening Dresses from ClubCouture

It is called the Monochrome Banded Bodycon Dress and again it is from the Premium collection.

I think this dress looks  gorgeous, in a more classic, accentuates-your-curves, safe-but-sexy way!

Again the quality and construction of this dress is great. The firm fabric and fit feels a bit like shape-wear that pulls all your curves into place :)

I can’t choose which dress I prefer. Which is to say, I love both of them!

But wait, there are more!!

Evening Dresses from ClubCouture

The black dress is called the Satin and Lace Prom Dress.

It’s $59 dollars and it’s such a cute, simple and high-impact dress! The bodice has a simple elastic at the back and it’s easy and comfortable to wear. It nips in nice and tight at the waist, and puffs out into a full circle mini skirt. It’s fun and very flirty.

The aqua dress is the Teal Bodycon Dress, just $59. This one is also a nice, simple, easy to wear dress, that you can easily dress up or down. I really liked the colour too.

The material is of a lesser quality than the first 2 bandage dresses, but it matches the quality of clothes from ASOS. Definitely a great, affordable dress.

I’m liking the whole collection at ClubCouture for their affordable clothes. There are hundreds of dress styles there. And plenty of on-trend tops – from lovely blouses to casual jersey drape tops.

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.


Getting My High-Risk Romance On

26 March 2012

10 Roses for 10 Years of Marriage

On Friday my husband and I celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary!

10 years sounds like a very long time. But really, it felt like it flew by so quickly. Of course, in 10 years, it hasn’t always all been a smooth road for us. There have been a lot of blissful highs and shattering lows.

In ten years we have moved and renovated house three times (each time, we promised ourselves we’ll never do it again), had three children and a vasectomy (to make sure we don’t accidentally do it again), survived a life threatening illness (his) and a marriage threatening depression (mine).

There have been moments when we thought we would never make it.

But we have been lucky in so, so many ways. Our health, family, children, careers, life, finances… and each other. It’s been an amazing 10 years.

Anyway, to celebrate our anniversary… usually we find a posh restaurant and have a really nice, quiet, expensive and romantic meal together.

However, this year I wanted something a little more memorable and special.

I decided that I was going to surprise my husband!!

This was a big risk, because… he doesn’t like surprises.

In fact, it was a deal we made when we got married… no surprise parties. Ever. I exploited a loophole in our marriage contract by telling him it was a surprise. So he was expecting the unexpected – but of course, he still didn’t know exactly what it was. He seemed…okay(ish) with it.

But, when the moment came, I was terrified that it would all go wrong.

I told him we were going out for dinner, so we both got dressed up – suit and cocktail dress stuff. As we left the house, I insisted on driving. Every turn I took, he was trying to guess where we were going, based on our direction.

It was nerve-racking!

I drove him to a spot on Perth’s spectacular river foreshore, facing the gorgeous city skyline. It is where we usually to go for our evenings walks, and it was on a park bench here, during a conversation about ingrown toe nails and duck migration, that we somehow proposed to each other and decided to get married.

The spot was in a very popular area, and as the sun was setting beyond the river, there were lots of people jogging, cycling, walking their dogs. As we got out of the car, we looked very out of place in our fancy dinner attire (like a pair of peacocks at the beach)!!

My husband got very confused. He thought we were going to catch a river ferry to get to the restaurant? Or that the restaurant was on a ferry? Then he thought we were just going for a walk before dinner?

As we walked along the path by the river, people were gawking at us and I felt very conspicuous. We walked past a dog doing a poop on the grass, which seemed to be constipated, squeezing so hard his eyes were jiggling about.

I suddenly realised I had probably made a really, really bad decision. But there was no turning back now.

We walked on past Poop-Dog, my husband in silence, and then we came to something else very much out of place by the riverside.

A restaurant style, silver-service table setting for two, with table, chairs, a white table cloth, plates, glasses, silverware, candles, roses, place-mats, napkins, and my husband’s favorite food in a warmer under the table. I gestured to my husband to sit.

My husband was absolutely stunned. I could tell because he was doing a pretty bad job of trying to keep his huge smile down to just a cool smirk. He loved it.

Of course I had arranged everything weeks in advanced.

From the exact spot on the foreshore, to all the bits and pieces, to the food, to how we were going to keep to food hot, to his present, to the exact time of our arrival. I got my brother-in-law to deliver, set up, and to guard everything until we arrived. When he saw us coming, he had to run and hide behind a tree, like a crazy stalker dude. Thanks bro-in-law!!

I timed it so as we sat down to have dinner in the open air beside the river, we could watch the sun set over the city skyline.

I made sure we would see the lights in the city turn on, the twinkling stars appear on the dark pink sky, listen to the birds calming down for the night, while we enjoyed our meal and drinks in the candlelight. Hee hee, it was soooo romantic.

Ok. I’m boasting now, but I am so proud. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to so much effort to create a 1 hour experience for anyone before.

But hey, I’m crazy in love with this guy and I think I’d like to keep him. For life.

—————————–

ps.

We never saw the Poop-Dog again.

After the sun fully set, we had to leave because the mosquitoes were eating us alive. We took a stroll beside the river. Then we drove to the city, had a drink in a noisy bar, before deciding we should just go home. We were in bed by 9.30 and asleep by 11.30, and the time difference was not because of reading a favourite book.


Bamboo Body from Ciao Bella Travel

23 March 2012

I want to introduce to you a new line of clothes from Ciao Bella Travel, called Bamboo Body, which is all about versatile travel wear and casual everyday wear.

The clothes are made from bamboo viscose and organic cotton. They are super-soft, smooth, thick and strong, and environmentally friendly.

Ciao Bella are offering 15% off the ENTIRE SITE to all my readers, please see below for details.

Bamboo Body from Ciao Bella Travel

I had the pleasure of testing out a few pieces, and here are my favourites!

This Henley Tank Dress is fabulous as a casual, everyday dress with a very relaxed style. You just throw it on as is, or you can play with the ruching on the sides to make it shorter or longer.

I wore it 3 ways.

1) Worn long, with a slight side ruche. Nice and simple.

2) Worn with a belt. I pulled some fabric over the belt to make the dress even shorter.

Bamboo Body from Ciao Bella Travel

3) And I felt like such a clever chicken here! I gathered up one side to create a very high split. I wore a sparkly, black tank top and tied a knot on one side. I popped a crisp white jacket over the top. Slipped on some heels and VIOLA! A completely different kind of outfit for a smoking night out!!

Just a few sizing tips (if you’re small like me). I’m usually a size AUS 6, and this dress was labelled “Extra Small” which translates to a size AUS 8. So it was a tiny bit big on me. It would fit a size AUS or UK 8 (US 4) perfectly. Check out the sizing chart on the site!

The dress also comes in black, brown and nautical navy + white stripes! You can see the items here.

Bamboo Body from Ciao Bella Travel

Speaking of nautical stripes – I loved this Bamboo Body Swing Top. It’s so soft and comfy. I also tucked it into some colours jeans and threw a blazer over the top for a smarter look.

Again the size “Extra Small” would suit a size AU 8 better, but ah, that won’t stop me from wearing it!

Bamboo Body from Ciao Bella Travel

And lastly, this Scandi Dress is lovely and simple. I adore the bright colour, the flattering cut, and the ruched details. It’s a great summer dress and perfect for lounging around the pool too.

You can check out their whole range of Bamboo Body items here.

The kind team at Ciao Bella have given my readers a really special discount off EVERYTHING in their store. You can pick up some great yoga/travel wear from Abi and Joseph, dresses by Sacha Drake, super-handy travel cloth bags for intimate wear and more.

15% off everything on Ciao Bella Travel for all my readers!
Valid until 31 March 2012. Enter promo code KAREN CHENG in the promo code box at the check-out.

Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Does My Ass Look Big?

21 March 2012

ASOS Floral Pants

About 5-6 weeks ago (yes it was ages ago!) I bought these AMAZING flower print pants from ASOS!

I am just so in love with the crazy, bold, colourful print! I’ve already worn them a few times, but it’s the first time I’ve shown them on my blog.

Haha they are an absolute eye-catcher. They seriously make people look at your legs and bum.

Which yes, as a result, I was asking my husband several times in the evening, DOES THIS MAKE MY ASS LOOK BIG? How about at this angle? Or this?

He assured me that while where was a lot of trippy, flower-action happening, no, my ass did not look bigger than normal. Phew.

50% off 50 Sale at ASOS

ASOS are having a fabulous 50% off Sale on 50 items – full of flowers, bright colours and happy patterns! There is a bright tangerine bowling bags for under $30, pastel knitted jumpers for $28, sequin dress for $40, and playsuits for $29!

Be quick the sale ends tomorrow evening!

Check out the ASOS Australia Sale

Check out the ASOS Asia Sale

Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


New Online Fashion Label : Dresstronomy

13 March 2012

Dresstronomy Fashion

Let me introduce you to a new online shop and fashion label called, Dresstronomy.

Based in Singapore, the store offers a unique selection of simple, elegant dresses at a affordable prices.  Quite a few of them caught my eye :)

Check out their collection of dresses here.

I tested out this lovely dress, called Pin Up Girl.

Dresstronomy Fashion

I was completely smitten by its shape – the drapey top, with a v-neck and the long, straight skirt, with a mega split! It looked fantastic on!

The dress is priced at about US$120 which is quite good for an elegant evening gown that’s a bit different.

It’s the most expensive piece in the collection, and the rest of the dresses are priced from US$38 to US$90 (they are currently having a sale).

Dresstronomy Fashion

Here, I am trying out this leatherette-with-studs clutch with some of  my own clothes.  I chose this particular clutch because it seems like it could go with a lot of outfit variations in my wardrobe. Fast, easy, reliable, versatile.

Take a look at all the Bags and Clutches at Dresstronomy.

They have free shipping within Singapore, and flat rate international shipping which is about US$30.

Do check out the rest of the site!

Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Furs, Sequins and Fake Hair!

9 March 2012

The very kind team at YesStyle sent over a voucher for me to choose and review a few items.

Something like a “Karen Cheng’s Pick of YesStyle”… so here are some amazing goodies I found!

Yesstyle Fur Coat

Faux fur is definitely still in season, so I thought I’d update my collection with a white furry coat. I love it! It was soooo affordable and exactly the style I was looking for.

Unfortunately for me, my children heard me say “WHITE GOAT”. So every time I put this baby on, I hear never-ending giggles about my white goat.

View All Coats and Outerwear from YesStyle here.

Yesstyle Sequin Skirt

Secondly I chose this beeeeeautiful black sequined mini skirt.

I liked it because it’s not uniformly-straight sequins. It has a bit of sparkly knit mixed into it and the shadows and negative shapes look like flames or a weird animal skin. Also the sequins are a bit matte and look like leather sequins. It’s too cool.

(Update: Sorry this one is sold out now.)

View All Skirts here.

Yesstyle Bag

Next up, found some really cute handbag designs from a Korean brand called AJITO (view collection here).

With sooo many designs, I was bound to find something I liked. I put another order in for a MINT leatherette bag too.

Yesstyle Wigs

Now I have a few friends who are trying to convince me to buy a hair piece… and they’ve told me that YesStyle have a really great range.

I had a look and holy cow, there are lots of cool looking styles… but ah… wigs are not really my thing. Maybe for a crazy dress up party? Maybe a super-long curly wig? Maybe maybe.

Check out All Wigs and Hair Pieces at YesStyle.

By the way, they have a special shipping promotion for Australian customers!
Orders less than AU$75 = AU$4.99 Standard Shipping
Orders AU$75 – AU$149.99 = Free Standard Shipping
Orders AU$150 or more = Free Express Shipping

Have a fantastic weekend!

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


The Low Down Hairy Gossip, Part 2

8 March 2012

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that my advertising sponsors, Nuffnang and Dove set me on a hair challenge – to try out a new Dove product and to keep a hair diary.

The product is Dove Nutri-Oil Serum – a “weightless blend of oils (with coconut oil and sweet almond oil) that are rapidly absorbed to give instant smoothness and shine”.

My plan was to start on a clean slate and give my hair a clarifying treatment.

Then I was going to use my normal routine of shampoo and conditioner, and use the Dove Nutri-Oil Serum as my only hair oil/serum/de-frizz/rejuvenating product for 4 weeks.

Clarifying Treatment – A Clean Start!

Over the years, I have learned that shampoos, conditioners, mousse, hair sprays, creams and gels all leave stuff in your hair. And after a while, it builds up and makes your hair heavy, lifeless, dull, coarse, and yuck. To get rid of all that build-up, you can use a clarifying shampoo – which is a bit harsh, so you should only do it once a fortnight.

I actually use bicarb soda which is nice and cheap – and it works wonders!

I have a jar of it next to my shower.

Step 1) I pour some of my NORMAL shampoo in my hand, add 2 tablespoons of bicarb soda, and work it around with both palms to get it lathery.

(If you have a sensitive scalp, it’s best not to use too much bicarb soda.)

Step 2) I shampoo my hair and wash it out as normal. The result is squeaky-clean hair, but it feels like hard, rough, unmanageable seaweed!!

Step 3) I just condition as normal, and the result is clean hair with no build-up!

Now my hair is OK – but I’m not happy with “OK”, I’m looking for *GORGEOUS*.

Add Nourishing Oil!

An occasional clarifying treatment is necessary to remove the product build-up, but it strips the oils from my hair and leaves my hair rough and straw-like.

So I *really* have to add some nourishing oil or some kind of repair serum to give my hair that extra boost of moisture, smoothness and shine. I do this after every wash.

This is where I try out the Dove Nutri-Oil Serum. I’ve only been using it for 1 week so far.

This is how I apply it.

1) After shampooing and conditioning, I towel dry my hair.

The Low Down Hairy Gossip, Part 2
The Dove Nutri-Oil Serum retails for $9.95 for a bottle of 40mL.

2) I use 4-5 pumps, because my hair is very long.

3) I rub it between both hands and warm it up a bit.

4) I divide my hair into two parts – left and right of my head – and run my fingers through my hair. I start from halfway down the length of my hair, staying away from the roots, and making sure that the ends get a good rub.

5) I blow dry my hair. Give it a quick swipe with my hair straightener.

6) And lastly I use one more pump of oil and give my ends a gentle rub, to really make it shine!

The serum smells very nice. It keeps the frizziness at bay. It feels light. It doesn’t feel greasy or gluggy.

The result has been LOVELY!

What can I say? I would definitely recommend it – especially as an affordable option for smooth, shiny everyday hair.

The Low Down Hairy Gossip, Part 2

Also as part of my hair challenge, Dove is giving away 10 bottles of Dove Nutri-Oil Serum to my readers! Do you want to try a bottle for free?

Just email me at doveoils@karencheng.com.au
1) Your full name
2) Your email address
3) In a few sentences or less, describe your hair (type, colour, style) as creatively as you can.

This giveaway is a game of skill and I will choose the 10 most creative answers. Only open to my Australian readers, over 14 years. Sorry everyone else!

Please read the full terms and conditions!

Giveaway ends on 5:00 pm AEDST on 16 March, 2012


11am Brunch

7 March 2012

Figs

I love eating figs. Usually I toss them with a bit of balsamic vinegar + olive oil + pine nuts.

But today I’m eating them with salad and a creamy french dressing.


Online Store: FashionValet.net

6 March 2012

I’m very excited to introduce my readers to an online shop called, FashionValet.

Perhaps many of my readers will have already heard of this store, but for those who haven’t… FashionValet is a very popular online shop based in Malaysia, offering a MASSIVE collection of ready-to-wear local designer clothes.

They have 60+ labels, about 80% of them are Malaysian designers and labels (Radzuan Radziwill, Tom Abang Saufi, Gallo, Azorias, Jas C, PU3 to name a few) and the rest are brands from the Asian region.

What hooked me in about this site… is that they celebrate their local designers, making fashion accessible to a wide range of tastes… and there is a strong “local fashion flavour” that is quite exciting for me to experiment and style with.

FashionValet

I’m wearing a ready-to-wear kaftan by Radzuan Radziwill, one of the most established designers in Malaysia, honoured and awarded for his contributions towards fashion in Malaysia.

Kaftans are very popular in Malaysia, and there’s a strong trend for young women to wear kaftans to glamorous events and weddings.

As you can see from Radziwill’s very large collection, kaftans come in lots of bright colours and lovely, long, flowing drapes!

I’ve always wanted a dressy kaftan, so I chose a leopard print sheer kaftan and wore my own black slip underneath. It is a one size fits all, so I pinned it along the bottom and pinned it at the back, so it hugs my figure a little. I will definitely take it to my tailor.

It is just gorgeous!! I feel very floaty and elegant.

FashionValet

This is a long tunic top by label TAS Iman by Tom Abang Saufi, another prominent Malaysian label.

I loved the drape of this top, the colours, and the combination of chiffon and jersey. Plus I really like it that I haven’t seen anything like this before – very unique!

I styled the top in two ways – worn long with leather leggings and tucked into leather shorts. I could also wrap a belt over it, or just wear it as a mini dress.

FashionValet

Lastly this top is a sheer blouse with embellished details at the collar. Sheer blouses are hot at the moment, and this one is pretty much perfect – including a pretty collar detail and 3/4 sleeves.

It is by a Malaysian ready-to-wear label called, Jas C, who has a really nice collection of affordable, on-trend fashion (check out the maroon pussybow playsuit!)

Again I styled it in two ways. Worn over a bra and with a sequin gold skirt. And worn with a singlet camisole and camel pants.

It’s a pretty big site, so if you’re not sure where to start, try the What’s New section.

Or try some browsing some of these brands:
Azorias
Quirky Brown Cow
Loushkii
Janelle

These are their shipping details:
Malaysia – Free for all orders
Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia – RM30 (US$10) flat rate. If the order is above RM 500 (US$165) then shipping is free.
Australia – RM 50 (AU$15) flat rate for all orders.

*Special Worldwide Discount for Karen Cheng Readers!!*
20% off EVERYTHING, including sale items.
Coupon Code: TEHTARIK
Last day to redeem is 12th of March.

Collect Loyalty Points
Oh and I’ve been told there’s a special Loyalty Programme where you can collect points when you shop and those points can be redeemed into cash for your future orders. Head on over to check it out!

Happy shopping!!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Choker and Clutch

3 March 2012

Choker from my-wardrobe

I got to choose a few statement accessories from my-wardrobe.com to style and wear out, but alas, they had to be returned.

This choker is just gorgeous! It looks and feels amazing to wear, and it definitely adds a sexy-tough edge to any outfit. I wanted to wear it with a blazer and pants, a maxi corset dress, a mini bodycon dress and more!

Choker from my-wardrobe

Gold and Silver Likanis Choker By Malene Birger.

If you check out the product page,  it’s been styled in some really nice outfits – worn with white + palazzo pants, a drape dress, crop pants +  cardigan, a blazer, and a jumpsuit.

Clutch from my-wardrobe

This Natural Marano Sea Snake Clutch by Anya Hindmarch is just beautiful. It oozes timeless glamour and luxury. I was just gazing at it all night… because it was so pretty and because I didn’t want anyone to steal it!

Clutch from my-wardrobe

I also wore this V-Knot Amber Ring by Wanderlust and Co.

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


The Low Down Hairy Gossip, Part 1

29 February 2012

Karen's Hair Portrait

On behalf of Dove, Nuffnang (my advertising sponsors) have asked me to write about my hair… AS IT IS RIGHT NOW.

Later on, I’ll also be testing out some Dove hair products and keeping a kind of hair diary. So for those who like a low down on hair, do look out for my future posts about this.

My Hair Lifestyle

I am pretty lucky with my hair. It is naturally thick, strong, and healthy. In fact, my hair is so thick that many hairdressers complain that I make their scissors blunt.

My hair also tends to be on the oily side.

And I love having very long hair!

So long, thick hair PLUS OIL = a maintenance headache.

I do lots of gardening. I play with my toddler in sandpits. I go swimming once or twice a week (beach and pool). I hit the gym. I cycle a few times a week, making for several hours of my head being in a sweaty helmet.

Basically, my hair is a filter cleaner for environmental pollution. It collects dirt better than an expensive vacuum cleaner. A blue whale in an algae bloom.

It gets dirty and gross very quickly.

I live in a bit of a cycle. The after I wash my hair, I like to wear it down, so I can feel it rolling sensually over my skin as I move. But by the end of day three, it is so oily, heavy and icky, that I am so ashamed of it, I wear it wrapped up in a bun so no one can see it.

Cleaning

I wash my hair every 2-3 days, in the evenings. I towel-dry, then blow-dry my hair.

I use 3 different brands of shampoos and conditioners (which are pretty good brands, costing me somewhere between $25-$40 per bottle). I use them on a rotation of 2 weeks, because of the product build-up.

I use quite a few hair care products, which I use sparingly – strengthening serums, hair oils, heat protection creams. These products are from the more expensive salon brands, as I like to buy the good stuff (and I do receive a lot of salon samples).

Preening

I don’t use any gels, mousse, or hair spray.

I don’t brush my hair. I use a wide-tooth comb.

I’ve never permed or chemically straightened my hair.

I straighten my hair with a straightening iron once a week, and maybe curl it once a month.

Because my hair is long and straight, I can get away without having it cut so often. I have one every 6-8 months. Right now, I haven’t coloured or cut my hair in 6 months. I haven’t had a hair treatment in ages! My ends are splitting, wispy and dry.

I was due to have a hair cut last month. But with Christmas, New Year and the school holidays… I just couldn’t find any time.

And at the moment, I’m trying to grow my hair longer. Hence my reluctance to go to a hair dresser.

Not to mention, I am lazy.

Overall

I am feeling pretty bleh about my hair.

Basically, I think my hair is in pretty good condition. But It could be much, much better though!

I probably do need to give it a bit more loving.

I don’t believe there is *one miracle hair product* that can make your hair look like magic. I think it’s a combination of good health, good habits, good maintenance, good products and a bloody good hair stylist!

But in saying that, there are some fabulous products out there, and unfortunately you have to do a bit of trail and error, to find the ones that suit you and your lifestyle.

So, in my never-ending quest to keep my long, thick, and black hair in good shape, I’m quite interested to test out the new Dove product (Dove Nutri-Oil Serum, “a weightless blend of oils that are rapidly absorbed to give instant smoothness and shine”), which claims to be just like Moroccan Oil, without the high price tag.

We shall see!


50% off shoes from Gorge

28 February 2012

I was sent a few shoes from Gorge (short for Gorgeous) and they asked me to see what I think, and give them a bit of a test drive.

They certainly are bold, sexy and uniquely designed shoes made from lovely materials – great for girls who want to make a statement. They are eye-catching and comfortable too.

The shoes are priced around $250 – $350.

But they are currently having a 50% off the whole collection, so they are now $120 – $175 which is quite cool if you’re looking for high quality statement shoes.

Also international shipping and delivery is FREE.

Gorge Shoes

This is ENVY – two toned leather heels, with teal suede and metal embellishments.

Obviously these shoes are very “look at me” and they will go with bold, brightly coloured outfits. But they can look great with a simple outfit too – worn with a simple black cocktail dress, or a plain white party dress.

So if you want to perk up some of the dresses in your wardrobe into a fresh outfit… statement shoes and accessories are a great way to go.

Gorge Shoes

I’m wearing PINK SPICE – all leather, with a sexy chrome anklet chain and a little jewel detail on the heel.

These were comfortable too. I wore them for 5 hours straight without any complaints.

They felt very minimal, which was nice, but still had enough bling to make my feet feel sexy and girly.

Gorge Shoes

Lastly, these white loafers SIGNORINA, are a little different to the rest of the collection, but still look fresh, smart and stylish.

Loafers are very popular at the moment, and I think this style (with added pleats details and the silver buckle) will last for many seasons.

They were a *tiny* bit big, but I slipped in an insertable shoe sole and it was all good.

I’m wearing size 36 for all these shoes. I’m usually a EU 35.5 – 36, or size AUS & US 5 – 6 or UK 3.

You can check out their whole collection on the Gorge Website.

Happy Shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


All In The Details

21 February 2012

Berrybow is an online store for women, based in Malaysia, specilising in fashion made in Korea.

In my opinion, most of the collection is perfect for work in an office environment, with elegant details, at a good price.

There is a large selection of blouses (with lovely details on the collars, shoulders and cuffs) and lots of skirts (in office styles, peplum, pencils, tulips, flares). Nothing too showy or eye-raisingly “young”.

These details (especially the embellished collars) are quite on-trend at the moment, and it all has a very vintage, sophisticated “Madmen” 50′s style.

There’s lots of mixing and matching to be done there!

Check out the New Arrivals Section.

There is also lot of opportunity use the pieces in a non-office environment as well, which is great, because a good wardrobe is versatile.

Berrybow Fashion

This is a woven fitted dress in maroon. It fits me SO well (UK6). I’m so happy I picked it. In fact, it probably ranks as one of my current favourite dresses to wear. It’s hot!

It’s got a good stretch, the material is like a heavy wool-blend and it has lining. It’s comfy, easy to move around in and a good length for my [short] height. It’s got a bit of a sparkle in the fabric too.

Great dress to wear on a night out in the town! Unfortunately it’s sold out, but there’s another in navy.

Berrybow

Next up is a cool metallic skirt. It’s a full circle skirt, so it’s tight at the waist and puffs out at the bottom, a bit like a ballerina tutu. It’s very cute.

Pair it with a camisole or singlet top for a party look.

Or with a luxe silk top and a blazer for a more glam daytime event.

Berrybow

Lastly, I chose these scallop hemmed navy shorts – as I said earlier, well-made, simple item with a very nice detail. It’s sold out in navy, but available in blush.

I also tried something new… I have a vintage silk scarf (not Hermes!) and turned it into a handkerchief top. Yes it’s just a square scarf, and it wrapped around perfectly (didn’t show my bra) plus it went well with the shorts. Super cute!

International shipping rates are reasonable, considering that the price of the clothing is affordable and the quality is good.

The maroon dress was A$42.70 + A$12.50 = A$55.20 … very worth it! You’d pay A$79 -$99 for something like that in TopShop or Zara.

The skirt was A$39.63 + A$12.50 = $52.13. Again something similar in the high-street stores would cost more.

Current promotion
Berrybow have a promotion on right now, if you sign up to be a member, you can receive a RM30 (USD$9) shopping voucher and 20% off on your birthday month.

Enjoy shopping everyone!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Sparkling it up at the WA Fashion Awards 2012

18 February 2012

Thursday evening was the night of nights for the West Australian fashion industry!

Several hundred designers, models, sponsors, retailers, media and fashionistas hit the GPO Building in the city and celebrated in style!

Those affiliated with the Perth Fashion Festival were able to peer-vote for the year’s most innovative designer, best runway model, accessory designer, best fashion creative, best boutique, best fashion blogger and more.

Sparkling it up at the WA Fashion Awards 2012

Usually, this annual event is a sit-down dinner, ball style, where everyone sits in tables of 10. But this year was a bit different, as they decorated the venue in lovely French chic style, with antique furniture, chandeliers, birdcages, roses, velvets and fur rugs. It was very pretty and unusual.

The whole floor was set up with little lounge areas, where people could hang out and mingle.

Some people commented that the setting was too informal for such an important occasion, but I REALLY liked it. I think it made for a more enjoyable time. It allowed us to move around and mingle A LOT.

I actually had a bit of wardrobe drama over this event.

In my heart of hearts I wanted to wear something by a local designer, or buy something from a local boutique to support the WA industry. But I was so bloody busy leading up to the event that I didn’t have time to find one.

As a backup, I was going to wear a FABULOUS designer dress I had ordered online, but it didn’t arrive on time!! I was pacing around my house in the late afternoon before the event, thinking that maybe the postman might just be running late?! But he never showed up!

ARGH! Thankfully I had a “backup backup” dress!

This sparkle dress, which was already in my wardrobe.

Sparkling it up at the WA Fashion Awards 2012

This is myself and Zara Bryson, winner for the Best Dressed Boutique, standing under the stars outside the GPO Building alongside the red carpet.

We were the only two guests dressed head-to-knee in mega-bling sparkles… so we just *had* to take a photo together. I was a little scared that our dresses would merge into one big shimmer, and that we would be stuck together all night. Like braces?

I felt a *little* guilty for wearing this dress, because everyone else was wearing something far more expensive, fashionista-ish and designery. But holy crap, my dress looked AMAZING!!

So many people walked up to me, complimented me, took my photo and asked me where it was from, or who it was by. And everyone’s mouth dropped open when I saidASOS. Ha! I heart ASOS.

Sparkling it up at the WA Fashion Awards 2012

I didn’t get a chance to take photos with everyone I knew, because my camera battery went flat half way through the night. Silly me.

The evening was great! There were delicious martinis, flowing champagne, a free makeup touch-up service, a live band, tasty nibbles, and gushing award winners.

The only disappointment of the evening was when a couple of hunky firemen popped in (why HELLO there!), and all of us girls hooted with excitement, thinking they were part of the entertainment, and hoped they were about to strip off!

Alas, they were REAL firemen, here because a smoke machine from the stage show that had set off the fire alarm. They turned their backs on hundreds of excited women, and went off to save lives somewhere else. Talk about committed to the job!

Sparkling it up at the WA Fashion Awards 2012

This isn’t actually my drink I am holding. I passed my camera to my friend to take this photo, and she handed me her drink to hold (thanks Lisa!). I was driving, and thus NOT drinking. But I was still intoxicated by the fab night and the company of a whole bunch of gorgeous fashion friends! xxx


70% Off at The Dreamery

14 February 2012

The Dreamery

Whoa! The-Dreamery is one helluva online shop, well-stocked for uber-current Australian designer labels. From Camilla, to Ellery, Aurelio Costarella, Gary Bigeni, Sara Phillips, Therese Rawsthorne, Josh Goot, Megan Park, Limedrop… and more.

There’s an Up To 70% Sale on at the moment – full of spring summer styles. And a $50 Sale Rack for those who like to nab a bargain. Do check it out.

Wanted to share some new items I picked out!!

This mint blouse by Gary Bigeni is just gorgeous – especially the colour. The fabric is lovely too.

The blouse has a boyfriend-ish, loose cut. Perfect for wearing open over a singlet top and shorts, in a casual outfit.

But here I was dressing it up a little and wore it cropped, knotted and low cut!

The Dreamery

The dusty pink pencil skirt is by Sara Phillips and it is perfect for work, or play. It’s made from silk but it has this jersey-robust tailoring to it, making it comfy, easy to wear and move around in. It was also 70% off.

Cuff is by Rachael Ruddick.

Rings are my own.

And I had to I just had to wear both items with my denim shirt by Beige. I loved the colour combination!

The Dreamery

This is another beauty by Sara Phillips – a jersey wrap dress, with shoulder pads that make the dress go bang! The colour is pretty hot, as is the sale price, at $96 (from $320).

Its so very comfy and easy to wear too.

Earrings by Mezi (their collection of designs are right up my alley)

Leopard print scarf is my own, by Redopin.

Competition – Win a $100 Voucher

If you’re interested, the-dreamery is running a competition… offering 5 lucky people the opportunity to win a $100 voucher each! Check out the details here!

Happy shopping (or browsing) everyone!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Palms Trees and Flamingos!

7 February 2012

Palm Trees and Flamingos!

I bought some Surface to Air silk shorts from ASOS, and they arrived this week!

I’m totally in love with them :)

I love the tailoring, the cut, the fit, the lush silk, and I dig the print of palm trees, flamingos and speckles!!

They were $324, but I got them on sale for $81.

Surface to Air are a Paris-based creative group producing award-winning collaborations (with musicians, artists, filmmakers) and acclaimed for their ready to wear collections. I’ve been loving their edgy designs, I’ve kept an eye on their recent collections, and I was stoked when ASOS was having a sale.

I also discovered that ASOS stocks brands like:

~ Sonia Rykiel – super cute, bold, colourful designs with a French flavour
~ Wheels and Dollbaby – a cult Australian rock-luxe label – I interviewed the designer, she’s from my hometown!
~ Spanx - haha everyone needs a bit of body shaping!
~ Elle Macpherson Intimates – so much cheaper and more range than the department stores
~ There’s always a great range of swimwear that is always well priced.
~ And you have to love the OUTLET 70% off section!

……………………………………………………………………………….

Oh oh oh! ASOS have some special deals!

1) I have something SUPER-SPECIAL for my Singapore readers!
Go to the ASOS Singapore Site and get 20% off your shopping cart by using this code – KAREN20

(Limit to one use per customer, maximum spend of £500, excludes sale items, Singapore deliveries only.)
Valid from 7 Feb to 12 Feb 2012.

2) For my Australian readers
Click here to access Womenswear: Sale now on. Up to 70% off

3) And for my readers in the rest of the world
Click here for Final clearance! 50% – 70% off womenswear

Happy Shopping!!

Outfit Details
Shorts – Surface to Air via ASOS
Button down – Witchery
Knit – Sportgirl
Bag – Alldressedup via ShopTheMag
Booties – Habbot Studios

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Chinese New Year: Red All Over

3 February 2012

Last week, my husband and I attended a grand Chinese New Year Ball, held at the glitzy Burswood Resort and Casino.

Admittedly, we have been to quite a few gala balls held by the local Chinese community. Sometimes we go twice a year.

But hey, I love going to balls! I love the dressing up. I love the large ballroom filled with people wearing beautiful clothing. I love the food. And I especially love it when I know a lot of people there and get to chat to everyone. Oh and I do love to dance at the end of the night too!

On the other hand, for my dear husband, it is a bit of a chore. Firstly, he has little choice about his attire. He wears his same black suit every year (sometimes twice a year), with the same white shirt, with the same black shoes, and when I can’t stand it, I might go out and buy him a new tie.

Secondly, he’s deadly allergic to crustaceans – prawns, crab, lobster, oysters, mussels, abalone… and honestly, the biggest feature of a grand 10-course Chinese banquet is THE SEAFOOD. Everything is laced with seafood! The soup has crab! The spring rolls have prawns! The pork has shrimp paste! The vegetables have oyster sauce! The mushrooms have sliced abalone!

The only thing he can eat is the roast duck.

However, we never complain!

We always smile and laugh. In fact, we always make it our total and utter mission to enjoy the evening no matter what. Even if the music is bad. Even if the speeches are long and boring. Even if a waiter spills crab soup on my dress… we always have a good time, because we’re together AT A $200pp BALL!!

Chinese New Year Ball 2012

I wore my Pia Gladys Perey dress from Gosh Celebrity Fashion, which I wrote about in this post. It is such a beautiful dress to wear!

And my Vamp heels from GlamRockChic.

Chinese New Year Ball 2012

This is me showing off my golden nails and bling (from a mixture of brands). But the ones to note, which I’m wearing out for the first time, are my sparkly bracelet and knot ring from this post.

Chinese New Year Ball 2012

During the evening, (when the prawns were being served) my husband went for a walk to stretch his legs and discovered that there was going to be an exclusive fireworks show, put on by the casino.

So we snuck out of the ball, followed some signs and joined a small crowd of people being ushered towards the car park. We found ourselves walking across a grassy field, in the dark and beside a small lake! The fireworks suddenly began, blasting into the air, just across the lake and a little beyond a row of cars! As you can see from the photo, it was a very busy fireworks display, and it went on for a LOOONG time. It was incredible!

Chinese New Year Ball 2012

We came back. I got a bit drunk. And I arranged various red things around my table for fun. Red much? We thought we were so funny. Well, you should have seen my RED face *flush* from drinking too much alcohol!

The very, very, VERY best thing about the whole evening… was that all our children were sleeping over my sister-in-law’s place… so my husband and I got to sleep in the next morning till 8am.

IT’S WAS FREAKING AMAZING!


Outfits and Accessories for My Chinese New Year

28 January 2012

This week, I’ve been a bit spoiled! My social life has exploded, I’ve been out and about every day and every evening! Not to mention, it was also Chinese New Year and Australia Day this week. So we have had a lot of food, fun, family and friends!

Outfits and Accessories for My Chinese New Year

The other night, I went out to dinner with good friends. We ate at a restaurant overlooking the beach. I watched the sky turn pink and the sun set over the Indian Ocean, while eating marron (local freshwater crayfish/lobster) and slow cooked pork belly. It was bliss!

I sat opposite a huge mirror and just had to take a photo!

I wore my black and lime, patterned tulip dress from Birdsnest, fuchsia heels, and a swag of arm candy.

Outfits and Accessories for My Chinese New Year

The next night, I went out to dinner with some girlfriends and again, I had such a fantastic time. Great friends, great food and great conversations – a magical combination indeed.

I wore my Sass and Bide singlet top, mustard skirt from Mersh (YesStyle) and again my fuchsia heels and arm party gear.

Outfits and Accessories for My Chinese New Year

OK so here are the fuchsia suede heels that I’ve been wearing all week, from GlamRockChic :)

Gorgeous, striking, bold and super comfy!

Outfits and Accessories for My Chinese New Year

And here’s my very Chinese New Year looking Marc Jacobs clutch in RED AND GOLD!!

I’m going to a huge Chinese New Year gala ball tomorrow, so I’ll post photos next week! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Crazy for Prints – Marni and Sonia Rykiel

24 January 2012

I bought two tops from The Outnet last week – from two of my favourite labels.

Marni is an Italian label that always seems to catch my eye at fashion shows around the world. I love her (Consuelo Castiglioni) bold, colourful, quirky, off-beat style.

While I wouldn’t actually wear most of the quirky-bold pieces in her collections, there are always some sleek designs that I drool after, and her accessories are just gorgeous.

Crazy for Prints - Marni and Sonia Rykiel

Top by Marni, denim shorts by Acne, shoes by Habbot Studios.

Anyway, I was looking for some casual tops, that still looked a bit dressy. Something that I could wear to a summer time dinner and drinks, and to a nice afternoon event.

I bought this simple, cotton camisole top by Marni – with flowers, mainly because I already have a good stock of plain tops and thought I’d try something different.

It arrived in 5 days, and it’s absolutely lovely! Light, simple, feminine, and very sweet, without being too sweet.

Crazy for Prints - Marni and Sonia Rykiel

I also threw on some coloured cropped pants and a dressy skirt, just to play with the versatility of the top.

It’d go great with lots of other bottoms – maxi skirts, pencil skirts, wide leg pants, work pieces, and of course, your favourite pair of jeans :)

Crazy for Prints - Marni and Sonia Rykiel

The next top is a Polka Dot Tank by Sonia by Sonia Rykiel.

Sonia Rykiel is an uber iconic French designer, first popular in the 70s. The label’s style is gorgeous, flirty, French, chic, ultra-feminine – full of bold colours, pink, stripes, and polka dots. It has a very unique and timeless style, but it’s very playful and cheeky too.

The top is a very simple tank, made from deliciously soft jersey, but not see-through.

While I think I will actually be wearing it more with casual shorts and skirts… I paired it with a leather skirt and pony hair heels, and it looked fab! Very French glamour!!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Curtin University Fashion and Textiles Design Show 2011

13 January 2012

Last month, I attended the Curtin Fashion Grad Show held at the Midland Old Railway Workshops. It was a breathtaking venue, with so much character. The show was amazingly produced, with no apparent expense spared.

There were 24 designers showcasing around 6 pieces each, so it was a long show. But I was not bored once, the whole event was fun and exciting to watch. What’s great about student grad shows is that the grad are going all out to catch people’s attention with their creations.

Curtin University Fashion and Textiles Design Show 2011

I snapped this ethereal, pink feathery piece from behind, by Tobi Stanley.

Curtin University Fashion and Textiles Design Show 2011

An interesting investigation into the concept of body binding and wrapping, by Ahmad Srolestz. I loved the bronze metallic accents, dark ruffles and layers within his work. It looked sexy and dark, but modern.

Curtin University Fashion and Textiles Design Show 2011

And this gorgeous show stopper by Jeromy Lim, who took out a top student award. He has already launched his debut menswear collection at his Jeromy Lim Facebook Page and is currently interning with Akira Isogawa!

Curtin University Fashion and Textiles Design Show 2011

I turned up in this outfit – that was a bit dark glam/gothic with a touch of trend.

I’m wearing a black asymmetrical dress from ASOS (that I wore last year) with a long skirt that blew around behind me in the wind… in a dramatic, ghostly way!

For accessories, I wore bright blue suede shoes (which everyone was looking at, maybe because the front of my skirt was a bit short :P), a leather studded belt, a Prada-inspired, dark maroon velvet clutch (a bit hard to see) and a House of Harlow necklace.

I love dressing up!


Winner of my exclusive $1000 my-wardrobe giveaway!

11 January 2012

My-wardrobe1000

I received a whopping 1400+ entrants for this giveaway! I want thank you all for entering (and for supporting my giveaways), but I’m so sorry there can only be one winner…

By random selection, a BIG congratulations to Veronica T from Singapore! She is over the moon!!

Veronica chose these two items she would love to own:

TIBI V Neck Layer Dress

Love Moschino Black Ribbon Laced Dress

Alas, for the rest of us, we can only dream. Or check out the current up to 70% off sale at my-wardrobe? :)

Thank you again everyone!

If you like, you can sign up to my newsletter, to make sure you know about other giveaways and other cool stuff that I’ll be running.


Pia Gladys Perey Hits My Sweet Spot

4 January 2012

A few weeks ago, I was asked to test out a Pia Gladys Perey dress from Gosh Celebrity Fashion. I didn’t know anything about the emerging Australia designer, yet I oohed and ahhed and then chose a short, navy drape dress, called Bea (size 6).

Pia Gladys Perey from Gosh

It arrived in the mail and OMG it felt AMAZING to wear.

The fabric is soft and slinky, yet strong, stretchy and heavy. It feels like a high quality garment. It’s so comfortable and easy to wear and move in. It falls, scrunches and drapes in all the right places. Quick you must go out and buy one now!
You won’t regret it!

In fact, I’d say that it rates as one of the Top 10 dresses I own!

Pia Gladys Perey from Gosh

I suspect for most people, if you’re going to a fancy end-of-year ball, or a special gala function, or an important awards night, or you’re maid of honour at a girl friend’s wedding… you’d probably go out and buy a $200 – $300 dress? If you’re lucky you might get a nice one for $150. Quite normal right?

Well I can not believe how well priced these dresses are.

I am a big fan of slinky jersey type dresses. And believe me, I have tested out lots of them! From over $500 jersey dresses and $30 jersey dresses… there is probably a time a place for each of them.

But to hit that sweet spot in the middle ground (of price for quality), this collection of slinky jersey dresses have done very, very well.

Pia Gladys Perey from Gosh

You can get different floor length gowns, and elegant short dresses. Each style comes in lots of different colours. They also look gorgeous as bridesmaids dresses!

Pia’s dresses are stocked online at Gosh Celebrity Fashion, currently there are about 43 styles you can buy.

Gosh has offered all Karen Cheng readers a 15% discount on full priced Pia Gladys Perey dresses. Just use the code ‘karencheng’ at checkout. Valid untill 30th January 2012.

Free delivery for Australia. And they have worldwide shipping.

They are also stocked in USA, Singapore, Philippines and Dubai, but you’ll have to contact the PGP team from their website.

(Oh and apparently Angelina Jolie wears Pia’s dresses.)

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Exclusive Giveaway: WIN $1000 to spend at my-wardrobe!!!

27 December 2011

My-wardrobe1000

That’s right! I’m running another AMAZING EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY!!!

This time, I’ve been collaborating with my-wardrobe.com – a fabulous online boutique offering everyday luxury items from designers such as Acne, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Marc by Marc Jacobs, D&G, J Brand, Michael Michael Kors, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania, Mulberry, By Malene Birger, and McQ Alexander McQueen.

We are giving away a voucher worth AUD$1000 to one of my readers to spend at my-wardrobe.

It is the perfect opportunity to get your hands on some designer items that you’ve always wanted!

All you have to do is to fill out the form below and tell me TWO items from my-wardrobe that you would love to spend your $1000 on.

Who Can Enter:
It’s open to all readers worldwide, over 18 years.

What You Win:
The winner will receive a my-wardrobe gift voucher to the value of AUD$1000.

Giveaway Ends:
Closes on 9 January 2012, 12pm (GMT +8).

How to Enter:
1) Visit the my-wardrobe.com site.
2) Browse around for a bit. Choose TWO of your favourite items.
3) Cut and paste the URL of the TWO items into the form below.
4) Make sure you enter your name and email address, and hit the submit button. And that’s it!

The winner will be randomly selected and contacted via email. If the selected winner doesn’t respond in 24 hours, then I will have to redraw. I will announce the winner as soon as possible on my blog and my Facebook Page (please pop over and LIKE my page, if you haven’t already).

I will also be posting a reminder on my blog and Facebook Page, before the end of the giveaway. If you are on Twitter, you can follow the my-wardrobe Twitter to keep up to date with news, sales and special offers.

All entrants will automatically be subscribed to my email newsletter and themy-wardrobe.com newsletter.

This giveaway is now closed.


Electric Blues and Shopping News

20 December 2011

I wanted to share a few bluey outfits that I’ve been wearing recently and match them up to a few sales happening around the internet.

Electric Blues and Shopping News

ASOS just started their mega sale at the moment – up to 50% off items! Click here for ASOS Australia, ASOS Asia and ASOS Rest of the World.

Isn’t this dress so PRETTY?! Glittery, glamorous, short, simple but high impact! I love the two tone blue zigzag. It’s a great skirt length for me too.

Speaking about skirt lengths. Here’s a funny story.

After my post last week, where I featured 6 dresses from Birdsnest Online, I received several comments/emails from my readers, along the lines of – “Dear Karen, you look great in the dresses, but I wonder what they would look like on NORMAL SHORT PEOPLE LIKE ME??”

It’s hilarious, because I am reeeeeeally short! I’m 160cm tall. That’s 5’2”. I can buy clothes from the KIDS section. I’m so short that when I stand next to some of my friends, I am looking at their belly buttons.

Maybe I just look tall in my photos? Maybe the way I angle my camera makes me look taller on screen?

I do cheat a little, because I tend to sew up the hems of my skirts, dresses, pants and jeans, so they fit my height and look better on me.

But with this sparkly ASOS dress, I didn’t do any sewing. Nor would I even attempt it, given all the sequins.

The blue suede heels are also from ASOS.

Electric Blues and Shopping News

I’m so in love with this top. It’s a gradient knit top from YesStyle, which is just so deliciously slouchy and easy to wear.

The tank by Rick Owens, shorts from Zara, shoes from Ecco, bag from FashionJunkee.

YesStyle is having a beauty sale, with up to 40% off items. You can pick up items from SK-II, Shu Uemura, Shiseido, and more (I think these brands are 15% off though). Also there are heaps of other fashion items that are up to 60% off.

Electric Blues and Shopping News

Frockaholics a having a sale which includes up to 40% off summer styles, including Josh Goot, Dion Lee, Manning Cartell, Ginger and Smart, Life with Bird, Antipodium, Camilla and Marc, Bec & Bridge and many more.

Here I’m wearing a very cool Rachel Gilbert skirt (from Frockaholics), tee by Country Road, blazer by Dodo, booties by Tony Bianco, sunnies by Rayban.

Happy Shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Hatch Shop – WA Designer Boutique Launch

18 December 2011

Hatch Boutique - WA Designer Launch

The other day I was invited to an exclusive launch of Hatch Shop, a new WA designer boutique supporting emerging and established WA designers. Located right in the middle of the city, at Carillion City (Hay Street end) it is fabulously central and accessible.

The space is large, inviting and crammed full of fantastic local designer goodies at mid-ranged prices.

I was itching to get a good browse through the store, but because it was a launch I wasn’t really in shopping mode. So I’ll definitely be back in the new year.

You can find designers such as Empire Rose, One Fell Swoop, The Butcher & The Crow, Little Gracie, Daniella Caputi, Zhivago, On Tour, Tindale, Zanthus, Ange Lang, Steph Audino, Martini + Coz, Alistair Yiap, Bernice Sara, Bhalo, Generics, Sewellery, Lavish Accessories, Cinderocker and Days of Yore.

Hatch Boutique - WA Designer Launch

I spotted a gorgeous jacket by Daniella Caputi, pretty dresses by Little Gracie, some cute swimwear pieces by Bernice Sara, and some beautiful silk tops by The Butcher and the Crow.

Also there were lustable items (that you must check out!) by Zhivago and One Fell Swoop.

Hatch Boutique - WA Designer Launch

Left photo: Hanging on a mannequin is jewellery by Sewellery, brand new WA label featuring an array of cool metal skulls.

Right photo: On-trend leather bags and accessories by Generics.

Hatch Boutique - WA Designer Launch

This is what I wore to the event, captured by my newly acquired iphone in the dressing rooms.

Top by Topshop, jeans by J Brand, shoes by GlamRockChic, bag by Shoulderit.

Find out more info at the Hatch Shop Facebook page.

Shop 55 Carillion City, Hay St Level,
Perth, Australia 6000

Phone 08 9226 0209


Birdsnest Online – Dresses Dresses Dresses!!

13 December 2011

The team at Birdsnest Online Store have been very busy this season! With a site FULL of gorgeous clothes for real women, they have been selling literally thousands of dresses (and other things) to a lot of very happy customers.

You can seriously get lost in online shopping heaven on this site :)

They recently launched their Summer Catalogue, with lots of inspiration to browse through. And for those who are keen for a bit of styling help, the team has put together a beautiful Style Guide that you can personalise to suit your body type and personal style.

Well they let me go crazy on the site, and I picked my favourite dresses to have a play. Behold!

Clothes from Birdsnest Online

This is the Zulu Dance dress by Ladakh, which includes the skinny pink belt. I picked it because I loved the pattern (with specks of lime), and it looked really versatile for work, and for dressing up or down.

It felt lovely to wear, it fit perfectly, hung nicely, not too tight, very comfortable to move in. I could spend all day in it, and just change my jacket. I really liked this one.

I’m also wearing a white blazer from YesStyle and blue suede heels from ASOS.

Clothes from Birdsnest Online

This stunning dress is called Moroccan Heatwave by Seduce. I LOVE the aqua colour – so vibrant and bright! I really like the layers and the asymmetric hem, making it short at the front and long at the back. And the sweetheart neckline is gorgeous too.

I’ve worn it with a pink belt from Dotti and purple suede shoes from Betts.

Clothes from Birdsnest Online

This dress is coincidently also called the Moroccan High Low Dress, by Living Doll. I felt like such a Grecian goddess! Again it has the asymmetric hem that I like. It is made up of a short slip (opaque) and the outer slip, which is sheer and floaty.

I’m wearing necklace and belt by ASOS and gold and orange shoes by GlamRockChic.

Clothes from Birdsnest Online

Polka Dots! I wasn’t sure about this dress when I saw it and chose it on the site, but after wearing it, it felt like such a great, simple, little dress.

Perfect for AM to PM wear, or just worn casually as a summer daytime dress. Good for short people too, like me. It’s called the Try Your Luck Dress by MinkPink.

Clutch from ALDO, belt (gift), red suede shoes from Betts.

Clothes from Birdsnest Online

Ooh this is the cutest summery dress ever! It only cost $49 too. Pretty print, beautiful colours, easy to wear, comfy and stretchy – I love it! It’s called the Rivers of Babylon Dress by MinkPink.

Would also love a maxi dress version of it too.

Hat from Sportsgirl, belt from LOEF, gladiator sandals from Zu Shoes.

Clothes from Birdsnest Online

Rough Hearts Dress by Ladakh, in yellow! As you can tell, my curls fell out after several hours, but I love the beachy hair look! Very fitting for this dress. Simple, bright, cute, summery, light, comfortable and so sweet.

I don’t think I’ve ever worn an all-yellow dress before. I think it looks OK on me, I like it!

I’m holding a vintage envelope clutch and wearing tan strappy heels by Betts.

Right now you can head on over to the Birdsnest website and look at the Spring Clean Sale items (and search by size!).

But stay tuned for a Boxing Day sale too. You can sign up to their newsletter or Facebook page to be kept in the loop about sales and special promotion.

Enjoy!!!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Flaunt Online Fashion

29 November 2011

Many, many months ago, I did a review of an online shop called “Kind of Wonderful”, which sold lots of great clothes at fab prices.

Well they have recently re-branded and they are now called FLAUNT.

They might have a new name and site, but they still have their fantastic collection of clothes and accessories at very affordable prices – everything is priced around US$20 to $30.

And of course, they are the same friendly and helpful team!

Flaunt Online Fashion

Here I’m wearing a pretty Sweatheart Flare Dress in deep red. It’s in a very classic style, with figure-hugging cut and a gorgeous flowy skirt, so it won’t go out of style. It’s the perfect dress to wear to a wedding, out to dinner, a summer party, or even during the day. I thoroughly enjoyed twirling and whirling around in it.

Flaunt Online Fashion

My favourite thing about their store is… their super collection of dresses. There are so many cute, simple, pretty, classic styles.

Check out these pastels dresses and bright dresses. Niiiice.

Flaunt Online Fashion

They bring in new designs (up to 20 of them!) every week, so it’s quite fun to check out all the new stock.

They also sell bags and shoes. And they ship internationally. Do check them out!

Hope you find something you like – happy shopping!

xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


ASOS $1000 Giveaway Ends This Sunday

18 November 2011

ASOS Giveaway $1000
Just wanted to remind everyone of my exclusive giveaway!

ASOS and I are giving away a $1000 ASOS gift voucher to one of my lucky readers!

Please head on over to my ASOS $1000 Giveaway Post and enter. It’s super simple.

This giveaway ends Sunday, 20 Nov 2011, 9:59pm (Perth/Singapore time).

Good luck!

And… just to inspire you (or tempt you), here are a few items that I picked out from ASOS recently.

ASOS Sparkle Dress

ASOS PETITE Sequin Wrap Front Dress

I was looking for a sparkly, stand-out dress to wear for the party season and this one was just stunning! Wrap front, plunging neckline, two-tone sequins – I love it and can’t wait to wear it out.

ASOS Blue Suede Shoes

ASOS SALOU Suede Stiletto Point Court Shoe

And to match, I found these genuine suede leather pumps. Classic and simple, pointed-toe style, but in BRIGHT BLUE!

And please don’t forget to sign up to the ASOS Newsletter and Like my Facebook page xxx


Win $1000 to Spend at ASOS!!

11 November 2011

Win $1000 to Spend at ASOS

Eeeek I’m so excited! I’ve been itching to share this with everyone!

To celebrate the change in season, I’m running a brand new EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY.

I’ve been working with the team at ASOS, and we are giving away a $1000 ASOS gift voucher to one of my lucky readers.

I’ve made it super simple for you. All you have to do is to fill out the form below and tell me one item from ASOS you would love to spend your $1000 on!

Who Can Enter:
It’s open to all readers WORLDWIDE, except residents of the UK. And you have to be over 18.

What You Win:
The winner will receive an ASOS gift voucher to the value of AUD$1000.

Giveaway Ends:
Giveaway ends 20 Nov 2011, 11:59pm AEST.

The winner will be randomly selected and contacted via email. If the selected winner doesn’t respond in 24 hours, then I will have to redraw. I will announce the winner as soon as possible on my blog and my Facebook Page (please pop over and LIKE my page, if you haven’t already).

I will also be posting a reminder on my blog and Facebook Page, before the end of the giveaway.

How to Enter:
1) Pop on over to the ASOS Australia, or ASOS Asia, or ASOS Worldwide site.

2) Browse around for a bit. Choose your favourite item.

3) Cut and paste the name of that item into the form below.

4) Make sure you enter your name and email address. And that’s it!

Extras:
* We would LOVE for you to sign up to the ASOS Newsletter to receive super cool updates, sale announcements, special offers and much more.

* And if you want to stay in touch with me, hear about any more competitions I’m running, and to just receive some Karen Cheng love in your inbox, you can sign up to my *new* weekly email updates (scroll up to the “Lets Stay In Touch” section to enter your email address!).

And please spread the word about this giveaway to your friends!

Love you all, and hope you have a fabulous weekend!

This competition is now closed, thank you.


Blood, Brains and Jelly Beans

24 October 2011

I was standing in the kitchen, cooking dinner. It was 4pm, the end of a long day. The children had finished their homework and were now playing in the other side of the house.

I couldn’t see them, and I couldn’t hear them. Just how I like it at this time of day.

I threw some chopped onions into a pan and took a sip from my glass of wine.

Then I heard a blood curling scream pierce through the air. It came from one of the bedrooms.

I dropped my spatula and ran.

It was a senseless and terrifying few seconds of running. Where your brain, heart and breathing all seem to stop. Where you see everything, but don’t process anything. Where you feel like you’re moving in slow motion.

I reached the bedroom and saw one of my sons (the middle one, of course) standing in the middle of the room, screaming, with blood pouring from his forehead.

His forehead had been slashed open, and blood oozed down over his eyes, down along his nose all over his cheeks and chin. Added to his screaming in real fear, it made for a real life horror show.

I grabbed a dirty t-shirt from the floor and slapped it over his forehead to stop the bleeding. I gathered him into my arms and held him while he screamed and shook.

Ok what do I do now?

In that moment, I suddenly felt like a helpless child.

Although I was THE MOTHER of the three helpless children in the room, I wanted someone to tell me what to do. I wanted someone to swoop in and to fix everything. I wanted all the make-it-all-right events to magically happen, just like in the movies, and for the story to unfold and everything to work out in the end.

But of course, I was here, in reality. With my bleeding son in my arms. And I was the only grown up in the room and I had to decide what to do.

Dozen things flew around my brain. I swear to god, I aged 10 years in 2 minutes.

Ambulance. Blood loss. My son is not dead. So much blood on the floor. How am I going to get my son to a hospital? Telephone. Husband. Burning onions. The smoke alarm will go off soon. Calm down. One thing at a time. Be strong. You are the grown up. Older child. Younger child. What happened?

Apparently they were playing on the floor when Sean spun around and cracked his head on the CORNER EDGE of his clothes dresser, slicing himself open.

I took a look under the dirty t-shirt.

The slash was DEEP, and with the pressure off, it welled up with blood in an instant. I slapped the t-shirt back on, partly to stop the bleeding, but also because I just didn’t want to see all that blood! AAAAHHHHHHH!!!

I instructed my older child, who is 8 years old, to get me the phone, turn off the stove, get a frozen pack from the freezer, and to run across the road to my neighbour, who is a nurse. He did it all with ease.

I called my husband. Home in 20 minutes.

My neighbour and her daughter came over. Luckily, both nurses. They have seen it all before, and much, much worse. They had a look at Sean’s wound, put some special sticky tape across it, and agreed that it would need “a few stitches”. I felt somewhat calmed. No brain damage then. No lost eye. Just a scar. No big deal.

I was feeling thankful. But screaming inside with adrenalin and fear .

We were sitting in the waiting room. Sean had a cracking headache. I was trying to be all cool and calm. This shit happens all the time, right? I’m a big girl.

The doctor saw us. He injected a big fat needle of anesthetic, twice, into Sean’s forehead.

A nurse held Sean’s head. The doctor taped little pads over Sean’s eyes to stop anything dropping in. I was instructed to hold Sean’s hands – for comfort AND restraint.

The doctor went in, with his tiny needle and thread, to pull the swollen, ugly gash back together. Despite the anesthetic, Sean was twitching, gritting his teeth and hissing with pain.

I saw everything happen in slow motion. In the warm spotlight of that surgery room, I watched the doctor sew up the layers of flesh and fat and muscle congealed with blood and fluid and god knows what else was dried onto my son’s forehead, while he twisted in pain under my arms.

So what did I do?

I fainted.

I felt the blood drain from my face. My eyes closed. And it was kind of a slow collapse heading towards the floor. The doctor helped keep my head from hitting the floor with one hand while he held the needle and thread in mid stitch with the other hand.

New nurses rushed in, picked me off the floor, gave me a cold towel for my head, pressed a glass of water to my lips, and fed jelly beans into my mouth.

I was like a rag-doll. Oh the shame.

Doctors and nurses, they were all laughing at me. Ha Ha, Mum fainted.

My son, with his eyes sticky-taped shut and still being sewn up, said, “Mum can I have a jellybean too? Save a red one for me, yeah?”

So much for being the grown up!


Enjoying the Ride

20 October 2011

Bright Blue Perth Sky

This morning I woke up, looked out my window and OMG it was such a beautiful day! For cycling! Or going to the beach!

I chose to cycle. So I dropped my 2 kids off at school, stuck my toddler in the bike seat and cycled 10kms (in about 45 minutes). Which is pretty good considering that my toddler weighs about 10kgs and I was carrying an extra 2kgs of toddler paraphernalia, including water and snacks.

I always feel fantastic when I get some exercise in the morning.

I’ve been on a health kick lately – trying to eat better, exercise hard, tone up, live healthy and enjoy the process.

Liam and Karen

Another thing I’ve been enjoying… is hanging out with my toddler.

Now at 2.5 years old, Liam is very transportable, loves to see new things and he doesn’t get too cranky if he misses his nap. I take him everywhere now. We sit down at cafes and restaurants and have a meal together. We even eat dim sum together!

He has this very “proper” personality which makes our daily conversations quite funny.

The other day we were in the car and he said, “Oh no mum! I’m wearing my pyjama pants and we’re going out! What if someone sees me? You need to do a U turn and go home right now so I can put my jeans on!”

And I’m all, “Oh man, really? Neh that’s ok. You’re a little kid. Little kids are supposed to wear pyjama pants to the shops. We’re just going to grab some milk. We’ll go fast so no one will see you…”

“Actually mum, I’m s’posed to be wearing jeans. Pyjama pants are for sleeping. And the lady at the checkout will see me. And please don’t go too fast or you might drop the milk…”

The kid’s not even 3 years old and I can’t trick him anymore.

And then the other OTHER day, I was at the meat section at the supermarket, looking to buy something for dinner. I stopped a guy who was dressed like a butcher and asked him about lamb chops.

He replied with the *DREAMIEST* Irish accent, and I was all “UH HUH, and can you explain what the difference between this cut and that cut is? And what about this one?”

I was 3 questions in, and having a very interesting conversation about meat preservatives, when Liam gave me this eye rolling look of Oh come! and he said “Stop talking to the man and buy the lamb chops mum!!”

Liam Taking off his socks (2.5 yo)

And lastly here’s my little genius at the park, taking off his socks with his teeth.


10 Designer Items Under $100

18 October 2011

I was looking online for some new sunglasses and found myself at Endless.com. It’s a site created and owned by Amazon.com that sells shoes, accessories, jewellery, bags – it’s huge and it’s been around since 2006.

But this was the first time I took a long slow browse. I examined their whole range, compared products and prices with other sites… and their found that HOLY COW they have so much good stuff at such good prices.

And worldwide shipping is free over $100.

Now I think I have 20+ items sitting in my Shopping Cart, including sunglasses, sneakers, high heels, jewellery, accessories – and haha I’m too nervous to go back and have a look.

I thought I’d put together and share a list of 10 designer items that I would LOVE to have, that are under $100.

10 Designer Items Under $100

House of Harlow – Cary Sunglasses – $91.95
I’m currently looking for a beige pair of sunglasses with a cute /unique shape – and these look perfect! Ooh I just can’t decide between these and the ones below.

10 Designer Items Under $100

Marc by Marc Jacobs Sunglasses – Red/Turquoise Frame – $98
Like I said. Can’t decide. Ok yes I may have too many sunnies,  but the leopard + teal is just too cool.

10 Designer Items Under $100

Marc by Marc Jacobs Sunglasses – Blue Ruthenium – $85
You can’t go wrong with a large pair of Marc Jacobs shades. And at this price, you won’t feel so bad if you accidentally sit on them.

10 Designer Items Under $100

Steve Madden Platform Pump – Turquoise Suede -$89.95
These are just stunning. The suede, the colour teal and the price makes this very, very tempting indeed.

10 Designer Items Under $100

Nine West Platform Pump – Black Suede – $99
These are just so pretty! The chunky heel will be in fashion for a few more seasons… so they’ll be great for autumn, winter and spring. Not to mention they look quite similar to Prada’s current suede chunky heels.

10 Designer Items Under $100

Calvin Klein Rudie Sandal – Grey – $59.95
Ok I picked these out for a friend of mine who is going to a wedding and needs shoes to match with a grey/silver dress. Pretty, simple, elegant, medium heel, and a nice grey that matches most grey dresses!

10 Designer Items Under $100

Kate Spade New York – Lynx Bracelet – $98
How yummy is this bracelet? Worn with a smart casual outfit (like tee, jeans and blazer), or with florals, or an outfit with leopard print details.

10 Designer Items Under $100

House of Harlow 1960 – Cut Out Cuff Bracelet – $85
I wasn’t too fond of House of Harlow when it first came out. But all the following collections have really grown on me and I really like the look of the label now. Love this bracelet!

10 Designer Items Under $100

Kenneth Cole – Analog Pink Dial Watch – $65
I am a very watchy person. And there is always room in my life for a new brightly coloured watch.

10 Designer Items Under $100

Juicy Couture – Gold BFF Duo Necklace – $58
This is very sweet, especially as a gift too. You get two necklaces, and yes, you’re supposed to give one to your best friend.


Oh Bella! Oh Bella!

11 October 2011

AL&ALICIA - Porcelain and Chinadolls

How gorgeous are these Bella Skirts from AL&ALICIA! This kind of skirt is called a full skirt, and I think I’ve found my fave-fave-favourite item for the new season.

Super cute, super flirty, it gathers at the waist and puffs out at the hips. I’m loving the new silhouette for my wardrobe – worn with simple tops for an effortlessly cool look.

On the left I’m wearing Small Dot Bella Skirt – it has little polka dots on them (very cute!). And the top is the Chinadoll Shirt Dress, worn tucked in.

The right is the Striped Bella Skirt which I wore with my Rebecca Minkoff Slouchy Top, and Betts Suede Heels.

AL&ALICIA - Porcelain and Chinadolls

I tried the skirts with all my favourite tops in my wardrobe, and I liked this slightly contrasting look with my denim shirt, suede boots and a Stacey Spotted Coat (from AL&ALICA). More spots!

Then on the right, I’m wearing it with my Jigsaw red top, Habbot Gold shoes, and Lace Trimmed Blazer (from AL&ALICA).

They are just fab for the warm weather, because they don’t cling to your legs. They just puff out and I walk around feeling fabulous – like prancing and dancing!

Check out the whole new collection from AL&ALICIA.

Enjoy!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Trying to look hotter than a plucked chicken

7 October 2011

Recently I went to 7 nights of glamorous fashion events, in 7 different outfits, at the Perth Fashion Festival.  Sounds considerably glamorous right? Such is the life of a fashionista, right? Ha!

Sadly, it is not always so.

If only I didn’t have to make dinner, wrangle kids into the bath, pick up their smelly socks, and clean tomato sauce from the walls… before I dashed out to these events.

The result is that I arrive at fashion events still in domestic-slave mode, and I have to mingle among the VIP gliterati, whose whole life is dedicated to looking glamorous.

Big tip. No one at a fashion event wants to know that you had to clean the green boogers from your toddler’s nose before you left the house. And that maybe you forgot to wash your hands afterwards.

Anyway, at risk of sounding like an ungrateful drama queen – I have to say that it’s really hard work to find 7 amazing, different, stylish and fashionable outfits to wear. And what is even harder than that is… to make sure your hair looks great for 7 consecutive days. Close to impossible.

DAY 1

When choosing your outfits, the first hurdle you have to resolve is to decide whether you want to have a bit of fun and DRESS TO STAND OUT or to just dress in your own personal style (which to all fashionistas, means you have to DRESS TO STAND OUT).

I don’t usually wear all black outfits to fashion events. It’s a bit boring and predictable. But this VIP event was celebrating Aurelio Costarella’s first big fashion show in Perth, so I chose to wear my only Costarella dress – a gorgeous ruffled, silk dress with an asymmetric hem. I felt it was an easy way to pass off my lack-of-glam as a homage to Costarella.

Perth Fashion Festival - Day 1

But as soon as I walked into the venue, I met Kee, a flamboyant fashion blogger from Malaysia. I didn’t *just* look drab next to him…I almost disappeared altogether. No one bothered to look at me. I clearly was a plain, dull, non-fashionista.

So I disguised my drabness by trying to be a very interesting, witty and intelligent person… and struck a conversation with this Kee fellow. He was good fun. I told him his outfit was chickenesque. You know, just a few feathers left over on a plucked chicken. Oh the wit!

I asked if I could take a photo of his crotch, because he had a painting of his own face between his legs, on his ass, and on both his shoes. But then I realised that I was going to have to get down on my knees in front of him to get the correct angle. For so many reasons – I had just met him, we were in public, it was way too early in the evening for that sort of thing – I changed my mind and converted the photo-opportunity into a more conventional side by side.

Throughout the festival Kee wore red, blue, black versions of this same outfit, and would you believe that even strategically placed feathers and a glittery crotch can look a bit dull after Day 4?

Such is the high standard and pressure of being a fashionista.

As for the rest of my outfit… my bag was not small, nor statement, nor an easily recognisable brand. It didn’t even hint at any of the trendy colour blocking or snakeskin detail that is popular right now. I grabbed it quickly on the way out the door, because it was big and it had to fit 2 cameras. Later on, I realised I had a baby change nappy kit in there as well.

Bag: All Dressed Up from Shopthemag, Shoes: GlamRockChic, Necklace: House of Harlow, Bracelet: House of Baulch

DAY 2

As you can tell, I’m not usually into attention-seeking fashion stunts.  Fashion is fun to look at, but for me I just like to dress in my own style. Polished and practical. I dislike being cold I and dislike being uncomfortable.

That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. At least I remembered one of the golden rules of being a fashion model – if you don’t have something in your hand, put your hand on your hip.

Perth Fashion Festival - Day 2

Unfortunately, I can’t remember any of the other rules, hence, I don’t look like a fashion model. I just look like me, with my hand on my hip.

I’m wearing a lime tank, digital print chiffon skirt from Ginger and Smart (from Frockaholics) and an amazing mustard/zebra heels from GlamRockChic.

At the after party, in some drunken-photo-taking episode, someone spilled champagne all down the back of my skirt. Veeeeery glamorous. Oh well.

DAY 3

By now, my care factor was beginning to wane. All my fashion friends and I were comparing hairy legs and feet blisters.

Perth Fashion Festival - Day 3

I surprisingly had no blisters. Yay for quality shoes that look hot.

Top: Joveeba. Skirt: Redopin. Shoes: GlamRockChic.

DAY 4

By Day 4, my Fashion Show Standard for grooming had pretty much dropped to zero.

My nails were chipped and twice painted over, my back was aching, my legs were stubbly, my skin was crap – and I couldn’t give a damn about the clothes I was wearing. I just wanted to see the clothes on the catwalk.

So I put on a nice and simple, favourite ASOS dress and hoped that it would make me feel better. And it did. A little. (A very little).

Perth Fashion Festival - Day 4

Here I am with fashion illustrator Pippa McManus and fashion designer Lisa Chau. Pippa is tall and fabulously arty, and Lisa dresses so edgy and hot that she is frequently mentioned in the newspapers. Me? Hey at least I remembered to put my hand on my hip!

A lot of guys walked up to me and said how gorgeous I looked. In any other context, this would have enormously inflated my ego. But at a fashion show, let face it, the guys are all gay, have a too-keen fashion sense, so I think they were just taking pity on me.

DAY 5

I was feeling so tired that I decided to spend the night at home. Which was a nice way of saying – I was pretty much over it. I needed a break from the this whole fashion fiasco.

I spent the evening with my husband, watching TV, which should’ve been lovely. But then I noticed that I was critically examining the clothes worn by the actors in car commercials. And I knew I needed to get a life.

DAY 6

It was a great show, but I didn’t even bother to take pictures of what I wore!

I just went into the venue, sat down, saw fashion, then left.

Now I understand why those people from the super-famous fashion elite seem so aloof and quickly leave after every show. They’re not going to the secret after-party. They just want to go home and watch TV!

Day 7

The final evening of the Fashion Festival was devoted to the 25 anniversary show of one of Perth’s most iconic designers, Wheels and Dollbaby, to be held in a spectacularly restored classic Colonial period theater. It was the most anticipated show of this year’s festival, possibly the decade, and fashionistas all over were writhing in pain because it was sold out months ago, and they had missed out.

And I had a free ticket.

But I also had a walk-in wardrobe full of nothing to wear, and my fashion appetite was ready to throw-up from over-eating.  I was scared Kee would be there, dressed in a Brazilian g-string mardi-gras peacock outfit, with his face tattooed onto his bare buttocks, and I would be dressed in a large brown paper bag.

I wanted to stay home.

My husband thought I should go. I pretended to be sick, but he took my temperature, fed me chocolate, said there nothing wrong with me, and ordered me out the door.

So I had to go. Maybe I’ll write about this amazing show one day. If I can ever bring myself to look at fashion ever again.

(Okay, it only took me 3 days before I found myself flicking through a copy of Vogue).


Club Couture – Online Fashion

4 October 2011

Club Couture is an online boutique which has a nice, big collection of affordable, wearable clothes. It’s definitely a great place to check out for some online shopping (or browsing).

You can buy a nice dress for under $50, tops for under $35. Actually I found some great pieces in their range of tops – button down shirts, sheer cardigans, jersey pieces and pullovers.

They also have a Premium Collection – with some good looking dresses.

Club Couture - Online Fashion

Here I’m wearing the Draped Back Blazer from the Premium collection. It’s a nice, simple, easy to wear blazer. It’s looks fitted and tailored, so it looks smart, but it’s also loose-fitting (probably because it’s slightly draped at the back) so it feels relaxed and not constricted.

I like it that it’s light, breathable, and good for hot weather.

I’m wearing it with lime tank (Sportsgirl), leather shorts (Yesstyle) and suede pumps (Betts). I loved this look!

Club Couture - Online Fashion

I chose this Floral Chiffon Dress because I wanted something floral to wear for the Spring Carnival that was bright and cheerful! I’m usually not a floral person, but this dress looked quite nice, possibly good for end of year Christmas parties?

I’m wearing a ring (Wanderlust + Co) and red suede heels (Betts).

Anyway, there’s a lot on the site, so I hope you find something you like!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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


Perth Fashion Festival 2011 – My Lust List

30 September 2011

So the fashion festival is over, I’ve sat front row for 10 or so fashion shows (I think)… and oh boy, have I seen a lot of fashion!

I have hundreds of photos still sitting in my camera… but these are the photos that I want to share.

These are the clothes that made my heart skip a beat, and I would go out and buy RIGHT NOW, if I had the money.

Perth Fashion Festival 2011 - Aurelio Costarella

For Aurelio Costarella’s collection, I LOVED how he paired the deep, rich magenta, with a muted lime. That skirt is so mine.

Perth Fashion Festival 2011 - Aurelio Costarella

I could also do with an Aurelio Costarella lime green feather coat too.

Perth Fashion Festival 2011 - Yeo Jin Bae

I adored this skirt, blouse and bikini combo from Yeo Jin Bae.

Perth Fashion Festival 2011 - Story By Tang

I am a bit of a Story by Tang fan, as I have a few of their dresses. These printed shorts are so cool and would find a very good home in my wardrobe.

Perth Fashion Festival 2011 - Poppy Lissiman

Ok I want everything and anything from Poppy Lissiman‘s latest collection. Electric colours and crazy prints. I love.

Perth Fashion Festival 2011 - Aelkemi

I want this dress by Aelkemi.

Perth Fashion Festival 2011 - Aelkemi

And this one too.

I’m a very big fan of Aelkemi, and I seriously had to contain my excitement throughout the show. I was almost squealing from my seat – Oooh I want that dress! Oh that one too! Look at that GREEN! Omg that orange is to die for!

I am totally exhausted, yet buzzing from all the fun and friends :)


Cocktail Hour by Wanderlust + Co

27 September 2011

Whenever I go to a cocktail party or wedding, I always tend to put a lot of thought (and money!) into the dress that I am wearing.

But for some reason, I usually don’t put a lot of thought into accessorising, and I often leave it to the last minute. Which often results in me, running out to the shops the day before the event to quickly buy something cheap, generic and mainstream. And I always regret it.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this new couture collection from Wanderlust + Co with all you girls out there, who share this bad habit of mine. No more excuses for cheap, mainstream jewellery!

The collection is called Cocktail Hour, and you *must* have a look at their lookbook.

I don’t usually get excited about “pretty” jewellery, but these style shots from the lookbook made my girly-side perk up and go “Ooooooh!”

The jewellery style is extremely feminine, elegant and very pretty indeed.

Cocktail Hour by Wanderlust + Co

What I love about the collection is that so many of the pieces match each other. But not in an obvious matchy-matchy way.

Each piece is unique and gorgeous, you can wear them as a statement piece, or you can wear them together, and you just can’t go wrong.

And the prices are very good too. Not mind-blowingly expensive, not discount-bin cheap. Nice and affordable.

Cocktail Hour by Wanderlust + Co

Here I’m wearing the Jumbo Dome Ring, V-Knot Amber Ring and in the first photo, I am wearing Butterfly Drop Gem earrings in Apricot.

Cocktail Hour by Wanderlust + Co

These are the large Teardrop Onyx earrings. They also come in apricot crystal and peridot (olive green gem).

Cocktail Hour by Wanderlust + Co

And this is the Amber Crystal bangle, which is elegant and timeless.

I also like that the jew