creative

Forcast of the Day: Winter is Coming

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Forcast of the Day: Winter is Coming. Its Monday. You need something subtle, something that says pay ah-tention to get through the week. You remember the steal of a dress you picked up a month ago that you’ve forgotten about. It sucks everything in and has cut outs in all the work-appropriate places. Its figure-hugging but not so tight you can’t skip up the stairs if need be. You slip on the court heels that you’ve been wearing all week (no breaking in needed! haven’t had any blisters so that gets a huge tick!), shrug on a coat in this season’s it colour and you’re done.

Recreate my Look:

Sydney Double Breasted Coat / Sophia Exposed Dart Dress / Adelle Contrast Court Heels (all c/o Forcast)

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One Two Chi Chi Chi

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If you are looking for a deliciously fluffy, full skirted dress, stop by Chi Chi London for the prettiest, flounciest ones. It’s a pastel and floral frock shock but regardless of your day to day style, tell me you don’t want to have a good twirl and bounce in something so fun. I paired my lovely mint dress with some strappy heels but if you were going to a themed fifties party or garden day, some little sneakers would be just brill too!

If you’re interested in this dress, its made of a lovely thick material but something that you will definitely need to have steamed so it floats nicely. I would also recommend looking in the petite section if you were after a dress that isn’t so long. Available on their own site with free worldwide delivery and also Asos!

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Dress (c/o Chi Chi London) / Heels signoff2

Man Child

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Fundamentally, there’s nothing more man child than a grown adult in a pair of overalls.

Conclusively, they are so comfortable and hide the stomach with just a silver of skin so you can put it over all your cropped tees. Transition it for the colder months with a chunky sweater and make it exam time appropriate with a collegiate jersey lazily thrown on top.

Basically, they’re my new go to denim and these patched ones from Cotton On’s 91 denim range are exactly what I was looking for at $10! Same price as a pressed juice people. Loose, bronzed, brushed buttons and pockets for days.

Overall, go get yourself a pair of overalls.

Thanks for putting up with all my synonyms and I hope you have a lovely easter long weekend (if you’re lucky enough to get one!).

Recreate my look here:

Shirt / Overealls / Flats

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Seas the Day with P&O

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Ahoy! I have returned back on shore with sea legs and a full belly after seeing some of the ‘Secrets of the South‘. Last week, I spent 8 nights onboard the newly launched Pacific Eden which sailed from Sydney to Kangaroo Island and back. To give you a little idea of what a day in the life of a cruise-ling is like, I present to you a 48 hour recap that consists of one port day and one sea day.

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Port Day

0700 – Breakfast at The Pantry: The Pantry is the closest thing to a buffet that you will get on the Pacific Eden. Gone are the days of sticky salad tongs and soda dispensers. Instead, the citrus coloured interiors are divided into cuisines and everything is served by cruise staff. If you want quick food without the hassle of waiting for a 3 course meal, The Pantry is the place to go. My favourite sections were the salad bar and the dessert bar 🙂

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0800 – Shore Tour: A port day means that the liner docks for a whole day  (usually around 7am -5pm) and you’re free to roam the place as long as you get the last tender back to the boat. This particular boat docked at Eden, Mornington Peninsula, Portland and Kangaroo Island. I squeezed in a couple of shoots at these places so I can’t wait to show you more beautiful photos in the coming weeks.

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1900 – Dinner at Waterfront: As the name suggests, this is the restaurant with views of the ocean. Serving up ‘Modern Australian’, Waterfront was my favourite dining option that didn’t come with a cover charge because the menu changed every night, the staff were wonderfully enthusiastic and the decor was stunning. There’s three courses for lunch and dinner plus an extra sharing platter for the evening that is another meal in itself!

2000 – Pre Show Drinks: The drinks on the Pacific Eden were flowing every hour of the day and there are plenty of bars all around. Keep your wallet at home – all you need is your cruise card and everything purchased is put on your tab.

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2045 – Velvet Rope at the Marquee: There was live entertainment on most nights but the Velvet Rope was my favourite because it coincided with The Great Gatsby party. Expect lots of singing, dancing and beautiful costumes – all delightfully tied up in a neat 45 minutehigh action show.

2230 – Late Night Movie: If you’re still not ready for bed you can always head over to the Torquay to catch the last movie of the day. Some of our options included Jurassic World, Kingsman, Gone Girl, Age of Adeline and Fantastic Four.

Sea Day

0800 – Morning Dip: Sea days are the perfect opportunity to test out all the amenities starting with a swim in the many pools available.

0900 – Breakfast at Waterfront: Then its time to have a long breakfast complete with all the juices, pastries and sweet and savoury breakfast options in the world.

1000 – Zumba in the Dome: With all the 3 course meals you’re consuming, this is a great morning workout to do. Can you still pull a one leg stretch with sea legs?

1130 – Hair Appointment at Elemis Spa: The Elemis Spa has a a huge variety of services available including massages, fire and ice manicures or even a chop and colour which is what I had done!

1300 – Lunch at Angelos: Aside from the Waterfront, there are two other restaurants that are included in your ticket. Angelo’s does Italian and Dragon Lady does Pan-Asian.

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1400 – Silver Screen: Breakfast at Tiffany’s: There’s always a classic flick on in the afternoon. I’ve been meaning to watch this Audrey Hepburn film for the longest time so this long sea day was perfect for that!

1530 – Gym: Get your body ready for dinner ha!

1730 – Spa: There’s an outdoor jacuzzi for those who don’t mind the natural elements but if you want to spoil yourself, try the Elemis spa rooms. There’s a wet and dry steam room, a jacuzzi and my personal favourite, the heated ceramic beds which dry your wet swimmers.

1900 – Dinner at Luke Magnan Salt Grill: Salt Grill comes with a $49 cover charge but its still a price that can’t be beaten if you were to experience his food in one of his physical land stores. The French and Chinese fusion inspired menu is presented in a simplistic way that still packs an incredible punch of flavour.

2145 – Comedy: A bit of cheeky fun for all the adults on board.

223o – Bianco White Party at the Dome: There are a ton of parties on board and there’s a great atmosphere created when everyone gets involved in the theme. Our cruise had a sail alway, a back to school party, a gatsby night, a bianco white party and a las vegas pool party.

2359 – Midnight Snack and Zzzzz: Your stewardess makes your bed twice a day which is service that I have never experienced. They will first make your bed in the morning and then whilst you’re having dinner, they get it ready for the evening by dimming the lights, placing a tray of midnight snacks on the bed and twisting your towels into animals. You will feel incredibly spoiled and taken care of for sure!

po41 2cheeky cheeky po27po57The Opera House as we sailed awayIMG_1115

Post created in collaboration with P&O Cruises

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Black for the Summer

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Happy New Year! I have had a two week break from Style Smorgasbord because I wanted to recharge, reflect and redirect my energy towards the holiday season. Whilst we should aim to improve upon ourselves daily, the first day of the year is always a great ritual of self assessment that demands personal honestly and reinforces humility. Instead of coming up with new year resolutions for 2016, I decided to create a list of 101 things I want to achieve in 1001 days. You can see my list here

I would say I am a very excitable person. Thusly, I rarely wear black especially head to toe black. However, I love a good oxymoron and black in the summer is refreshingly that. I received this boater for Christmas and plan to wear it forever. The brim is wonderfully wide and perfectly practical and adding it to any outfit just makes me feel like I am on vacation somewhere tropical.

Hat / Top / Skirt / Scarf

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/ Photography Credits – Matthew /signoff2

Conservative Trending

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Top / Jeans / Belt / Bandana / Watch (c/o) / Flats / Bag / Nails

I’ll always go to the clearance section of any store before I even glance at the new arrivals. Further 50 percent off emails and banners make my hands sweat with excitement. Pricing an online store from lowest to highest gives my great satisfaction. Lets face it, I’m not the biggest fan of spending money on trends. Its easy to see what’s going to go out of style and what to invest in. I like the whole 70s thing that every chainstore is shoving down our throats but not enough to commit to a pair of flared jeans for more than a month. Instead, I add a red bandana and brown cross body both stolen from my mum’s wardrobe and I don’t have to spend a dime.

That’s not to say I don’t like to splurge on the finer things. Timepieces are something I thoroughly enjoy and this year I have managed to acquire quite a few unintentionally. One of which includes this Rumba Time piece. The beautifully cut edges reflect light and create the prettiest rainbow effect on your walls. Unfortunately Rumba Time’s website only ships to certain places. However, you can buy this exact style on ShopBop which I recommend because the shipping is crazy fast even if you live in Australia.

So save those dollars and invest in lasting pieces that your children can steal from you down the road. Or put it towards that holiday you’ve been meaning to take yourself on. Experiences are always greater than material things. Period.

rumba14rumba3rumba4rumba8rumba13rumba12rumba15Edit: I have decided to update my sign off with a more personalised touch. Writing Christmas cards and gift tags helped me come up with a new way of spelling out ‘much love karen’. Let me know what you think of it and thank you so much for reading.

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P B & J

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Introducing the new PB&J that’s the next best thing since old school Peanut Butter and Jelly – Paul’s Boutique and Jacaranda. When I was fourteen, or as we now like to say, a ‘twelvie’, I was a bit obsessed with obnoxious bags like the Juicy Couture daydreamer and the Paul’s Boutique Maisy in a shocking jelly pink. As popular Tumblr, PopCultureDiedin2009 reminds us on a daily basis, the days of velour sweats and Chihuahuas in rainbow monogrammed purses is long gone. Post-financial crisis, we are more thrifty, we crave quality, simplicity, capsule wardrobes and monochrome palettes.

Unfortunately, in the ever-changing consumer landscape, Juicy Couture failed to keep its footing despite growing from a $200 start-up to a $51 million USD company in the space of 6 years.

Fortunately, Paul’s Boutique kept up and rebranded and when I rediscovered their brand two months ago I was pleasantly surprised. There’s a lot of wonderful pieces from their newest collections that would work from the office to a casual day running errands. One of which, includes this black backpack from their 2015 Christmas collection which has been my go to summer bag. I was umming and ahhing between colours and I considered gold just because I thought it would be festive but I settled on black when I found out the inner flap has a bit of gold hidden inside … constrained festivity if you like. The bag is now on constant rotation and I like to style it with high waisted mum jeans, white tees, midi skirts and white kicks.

November is truly almost at its end so if you are looking to do some Christmas shopping, some of my favourite pieces are the Gwyneth Backpack, Maisy Handbag and Melissa Tote Bag. They package everything up real cute so its sure to be a winner under the tree. If you’re interested in seeing more BTS stuff from their holiday campaign, head over to their blog. To see how I dressed up this midi skirt in an older post, see ‘Create‘.

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Gwyneth Backpack in Black (c/o) / Puma Cap / Forever New Skirt /

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Double D: SS x NotebookDaisy

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I am so utterly pleased with how this concept turned out! I love collaborating with people who can draw and letter (because my doodles look like dog poo and my hand writing is a nightmare) and today I’m so glad to introduce to you guys the lovely Daisy from NotebookDaisy on Instagram. Go visit her Facebook and Instagram to see more of her beautiful work now! She likes drinking green tea and spending too much money on lippy. So we’re basically the same people but she’s much more better at drawing ha! She has this very cool series on her Instagram called the little alphabet people which I definitely think you should check out and also bug her to keep making more – I think she is only up to Chastised Charlie

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I don’t like fashion (why you are a fashion blogger?!) but I love styling. I was having a bit of an epiphanic moment a couple of weeks ago when I realised that nup I don’t want to be a brand whore. The reason I write a blog is to be creative and personally I believe creativity flourishes more when you have limitations. For me, this is my smallish closest. I don’t think you need a ton of clothes to be stylish, you just need to know how to be creative and work with what you have and what is a bit terrifying to you. I also encourage outfit repeating, anything you think you look on point in, you wear it ten times and then you wear it again because if it is a good outfit, why not ?

I love this double denim day to night look. I think it would be the perfect quick car switch that you could achieve in less than 5 minutes. The base is the denim shirt and boyfriend jeans and then it is all about the accessories. For a day at uni or running errands I would go with some print mixing – stripes and polka dots are always a win, my white converse and a brightly coloured bag. For night, I would just button up my shirt and tuck it into my jeans. Add a blazer, pussy bow, pumps, statement earrings and clutch and you’re almost ready to go … Finish off with red lippy of course, flip you curls to the side and you’re ready to boogie.

I hope this post gave you some inspiration today and if you have any more styling queries or other day to night looks you would like me to do … I am up for the challenge so hit me with your best shot.

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Speckled Easter Cake

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Here’s an indulgent (both in terms of time and calories) type of cake that you can spend your easter long weekend making and eating. Its a four layered densely packed whopper that should be able to hold you over for at least four days!

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Banana Cake

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Prepare two round pans and set aside. Mash ripe bananas in a mixing bowl with a potato masher or fork and set aside. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter with a paddle attachment until smooth. Add in the sugar, and mix until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla and eggs – one at a time. Stop the mixer.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add in half of the dry ingredients. Mix in the yogurt or sour cream. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the mashed bananas until combined. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until golden – about 22-25 minutes for the recommended size. Cool on a wire rack. Invert the cakes out of the pans once they are cool enough to handle. Cool completely before slicing each cake in half horizontally to create four layers of cake.

Dark Chocolate Buttercream

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 block of dark chocolate

Place egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Whisk until combined. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place over medium heat. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to cream a double-boiler. Heat, whisking occasionally, until the egg mixture is hot to the touch. Once hot, remove from heat and place bowl on mixer. Whisk on high until the bowl of the mixer becomes room temperature. With the mixer on medium-low, add in the vanilla, butter, and melted dark chocolate. Once added, mix on medium-high until smooth. Place buttercream between each layer of cake before frosting.

Green Frosting

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups of icing sugar
  • A dash of salt
  • Green food colouring

To make frosting, in large bowl, beat softened butter and powdered sugar with electric mixer on low speed until incorporated; beat on high speed 3 minutes. Add vanilla and salt; beat 1 minute longer. Add green food color 1 drop at a time, beating until a light green colour is achieved.

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Speckles

  • 1 tablespoon of baking cocoa
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

To make speckles, stir the 2 ingredients together to create a paste, load it onto a dense paintbrush and flick at your cake.

Decorations

  • Instant Noodles
  • Mini Eggs

Break instant noodles into large chunks and assemble like a nest. Fill circle with mini eggs!

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