Muse.

I’ve been keeping a closely-guarded secret from you all for a little while now.

These fold-up vinyl ballet flats sound like all kinds of wrong (which is partly why I haven’t taken a picture of them until now) but ever since my husband came home with them a few months ago, they haven’t left my feet. Whilst other husbands buy their wives coveted handbags with their weekly take-home pay, mine reaches for the $9 plastic shoes from the Dr Scholl stand at his pharmacy. I really, truly, wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s such a sweetheart.

Though I suspect he was getting irritated that I kept stealing his shoes at the end of a long night whilst he had to walk back to our car in just his socks.

But back to these shoes. These flats are the perfect companion to a long walk to and from the car as they fold neatly into my clutch bag. Then I do the quick switcheroo with my Pigalles or Decolletes as I round the corner.

As I inch frightening closer and closer to my thirties, I’m finding that teetering around in high heels are becoming a thing of the past (i.e. the haze that was my early 20s). My husband says that when we start a family, high heels will be a foreign concept to me, so I may as well get my training wheels on.

To my outfit, last night we went out to dinner to belatedly celebrate my husb’s birthday. I dug deep into my Lover archives and wore:

Muse lace dress in Nutmeg from Untitled, Acne Scuba Star leather jacket, Alexander Wang black Marion bag (not pictured).

Boxing update.

Boxing Update: six weeks and counting

I think I’ve found my fate. Death by star jumps.

But it’s okay, because at least I have mastered burpees (just) and planks (for a mere minute – none of these crazy CrossFit stuff) before I collapse at the helm of a heavy bag.

In all seriousness, since my first class six weeks ago, I’ve been hooked. I’m actually really, really, really loving my boxing classes. And by that, I mean I happily box after work on Fridays or I rather get up at the crack of dawn on Saturday mornings and take a shower in my own sweat, than sleep-in like normal, sane, people.

Boxing has been the mental and physical kick up the arse challenge  I’ve needed. The past six weeks have taught me so much about self-discipline, self-motivation, bettering myself for myself, commitment, persistence, and the simple fact that you will be rewarded if you work hard enough.

I box four times a week. On the fifth day, I skip at home or go for a short, 4km run (one of those pictures above is of a pram – I ran 4km pushing that pram with my two year old niece in it). My sixth and seventh days are my rest days – and probably deservedly so after my brother roped me into pushing his daughter in her stroller around a lake for 45 minutes on more than one occasion. You don’t know how many times I promised the girl there’d be a playground around every bend.

After about 4 weeks, I started to see results. Real results. Stuff that I haven’t seen in all of the 8 years I’ve been attending group fitness classes at the local gym.

I have real muscles! And real, girly abs! I sweat shit loads, five minutes into the warm-up. I also have permanently calloused and scarred knuckles (as my trainer says, what’s the point in turning up if your workout is half-arsed?). I’ve noticed that I’ve lost a few centimetres from my waist, hips and thighs. I’ve also lost some boob; almost a whole cup size I think. That was a shock as it’s always the last place to lose/gain weight, but whatever. I think most girls have a love/hate relationship with their boobs and bodies and I’m no different. I think I’ve just learnt to stop sweating the small stuff, quite literally.

To that end, boxing for me has become a lifestyle. It has become part of my every day routine and I treat it like I’m (happily) turning up to work each day. Of course there are days when I’d rather be on the couch mindlessly twittering after a long day at work but then I remind myself of this:

Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do.

Boxing has made my day to day life so much more purposeful. There is always something to achieve; something to strive for; something to be secretly proud of; whether it be holding that plank for another 30 seconds, running for that little bit longer, skipping in double the time, or lifting heavier weights because you’re coming to the realisation that there is nothing to be afraid of anymore. 

Postcards from Malé.

tumblr_m1wkodhdPU1qfu6pbo3_1280tumblr_m1wkodhdPU1qfu6pbo1_1280

tumblr_m1wkodhdPU1qfu6pbo2_1280

How many of you would believe me if I said that these photos were from my honeymoon in the Maldives?

My husb and I had a few hours to kill at the airport before we would depart for Perth so we decided to board a ferry and see the ‘other’ (you could say, less glamorous) side to the Maldives. Malé is the capital city in the Republic of Maldives and its urbanised, conservative nature couldn’t be of any greater contrast to the westernised outer island resorts.

In addition to tourism, the fishing industry generates a huge proportion of income for the Maldives which explains why every street corner is lined with almost every kind of fish imaginable. According to our tour guide, the fisherman are also amongst the highest paid workers in the Republic, mostly because their job takes them away from their families for months at a time, and also for the fact that it is incredibly labour-intensive.

After spending a few days on a deserted island with butlers and bell boys tending to our every need, being able to prance around in a teeny swimsuit without having to feel like you’re committing a crime, as well as access to an endless supply of cocktails and a long stretch of beach we could call our own, I will never forget the way my head spun as we navigated the colourful but fish-fumed streets of Malé.

It was as if I had taken a ferry and after a short 20 minute trip, I was in Sri Lanka, instead. Mindboggling, right?

Happy Birthday.

Because birthday celebrations have been practically non-existent in my family for most of my life, I’m always curious as to how others (like my husband’s family) celebrate and acknowledge such an occasion.

Amongst other things, these birthday text messages that my husband received from his parents yesterday are too good not to share.

image

image

I love my in-laws 🙂

Tết.

Cue boucle peplum top, H&M dalmatian print trousers, Christian Louboutin Pigalle pumps, Alexander Wang Marion purse (not pictured).

Being part-Vietnamese, my family celebrates Tết. Having married into a Malaysian-Chinese family, and still having strong Vietnamese roots thanks to my parents, I always love this time of year. The idea of starting anew seems to put everyone in a good mood.

It was my husband’s first ever experience at a Vietnamese Lunar New Year carnival, and he loved every second of it. It’s chaotic, messy, colourful, completely over the top, but always so much fun. I hope that when we have kids, they  will grow up to appreciate where they’ve come from, too.

 

Just do it.

Nothing beats a t-shirt you can run in AND wear out on a dinner date in the same week.

Tonight I wore my favourite Nike tee with a pair of Zara printed silk cropped culottes and Christian Louboutin Pigalle pumps.

Wiccan.

What I wore last night to Stars.

Lover Wiccan dress (arrived in the mail yesterday so of course I had to wear it right away), Zara velvet smoking slippers with ivory embroidered skulls on them (the comfiest shoes I own) and Alexander Wang black Marion purse.

Bring on The xx in April 🙂

Eton Mess.

Et voila! My ‘Eton Mess’.

I will freely admit I am a complete meringue novice and utter disaster in the kitchen so it was a small miracle that I had no complaints about my dessert at lunch today. I had contemplated making something a bit more ‘relevant’ to the occasion (like Ang Ku Kueh) but when you have a mother in-law who makes the best Ang Ku Kueh in the business, why not err on the side of caution and just make something very English, like meringue?

To that end, I’ve been eating nothing but salad and tuna for lunch all week in preparation for the onslaught of food that Chinese New Year will bring this weekend.

I’ve already had my quota of Yee Sang today (but jeepers – it’s not until you start eating ‘clean’ that you realise how fatty this is for you!) and I’m eagerly awaiting what my mum has in store for us when we have dinner with my family tomorrow night.

To all my readers who are celebrating, wishing you all a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year!

Beat to beat.

Country Road silk shirt, Cotton On polka dot flippy skirt, Witchery heels and fedora.

Today’s outfit, pre-meringue mayhem.

My sister came over tonight to help me make a dessert I plan on bringing to a CNY lunch tomorrow. I decided to make an Eton mess (crumbled meringue with strawberries, creme fraiche and raspberry coulis) from the 2012 Gourmet Traveller Cookbook.

In the interest of saving time, I came up with the bright idea of making the meringues in my Thermomix, but we ended up turning the kitchen upside down and inside out (we just could not get those peaks freakin’ stiff!). After two hours cursing this very ‘spensive blender, we finally relented and used a $20 electric mixer instead.

They’re cooling in the oven at the moment and have turned out so well. As for the Thermomix, I think I’ll just stick to stir-fries in future.

Down South.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

There was no better way to spend Australia Day than by taking in this magnificent landscape that I’m incredibly lucky to call home.

As with 99% of all roadtrips down South, this one last weekend was planned on a whim. My husband and I have learnt to appreciate mini holidays like these; little trips that don’t require a passport, a suitcase or an itinerary. I love just being able to throw a few of my favourite things in a duffle bag and leaving with only a full tank of petrol to get us to one of our favourite places in the world.

In the office.

Today’s work outfit.

Cameo nude silky tank, H&M skirt, Alexander Wang Emile tote, Chanel ballet flats, Michael Kors rose gold watch.

Husband’s off to the movies tonight with his mates whilst I’m capping off the heinous week gorging on yermmmmy Italian with a few of my girlfriends. And with wine. Lots and lots of wine.