Monday, July 30, 2012

Wardrobe Diaries: Summer in the Country

So I didn't really take a day trip to the countryside but that was the inspiration I had for these pictures. Although if I wanted to, I really wouldn't need to travel far. Summer is winding down and I recently realised I haven't been wearing my new key pieces nearly enough this season. Good news is I will be in Australia for the last quarter of the year so I will get to relive these glorious summer days, bad news is I get to relive these glorious summer days. And here I was looking forward to my favourite fashion season- Fall/Winter especially with all the pre-fall lookbooks coming out recently. I guess I'll just have to stick to these floaty skirts, silky tops and bright lippy a tad bit longer.

On a totally unrelated note, I finally got my hands on some Trader Joe's Cookie Butter this weekend. If you haven't had it yet, you need to, it will change your life. xx

{ nasty gal crop top . bb dakota skirt . foley + corinna clutch . guess wedges . lipcolour forever yummy by revlon }

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday's Fancies: London Olympics 2012

So I must admit, this week I am cheating with my Friday's Fancies. While I usually only use photographs taken by myself, this week I stole borrowed some images from a friend. Unless you've been living under a rock for the past month, I'm sure you're all aware of the London Olympics commencing tonight at 9pm London time. A dear friend of mine is actually participating in the opening ceremony! Being a participant he also has the privilege of seeing Olympic Park before it opens up to the public. I thought I'd share some of his pictures with you. Can't wait to see what London has in stall for us tonight.  Happy viewing everyone! xx

A sneak peak at the site of Olympic park free from tourists, visitors and sporting enthusiasts.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit is the observation tower near Olympic Stadium. Designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond. If you ask me, even good designers have bad days. 

I love this explosion of colour.  This entire surface is made from rubber. I can see how it would be amusing for the kids to run around on. 

This outdoor stage is so much fun to look at! If an echo were ever to materialise, this is what form it would take. Seriously, can you picture it? 

This piece of mess is pretty much a giant speaker. The Coca-Cola Beatbox is a piece of experimental architecture created to provide music throughout Olympic park.  

*Photo credits David Ha 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fortnum's Shortbread with Lebovitz Chocolate Sauce

Okay it's confession time, I utterly love Period films and tv shows. So naturally, I (along with a million other viewers) cannot get enough of Downton Abbey. It has been 7 grueling months since the last episode and I am getting antsy waiting for season three to commence. In the meantime I have been spending all my waking hours over at Downton Abbey Cooks. A website dedicated to Period cooking? Fantastic!

I was quite excited when I came across this shortbread recipe on Downton Abbey Cooks. I mean, who doesn't love shortbread? And a recipe courtesy of shortbread extraordinare, Fortnum & Mason tea house in London. Well that was just begging for me to try out.

Of course no shortbread is complete without some chocolate sauce on the side. And who better to consult for a dessert recipe than David Lebovitz? I searched "David Lebovitz chocolate sauce" and sure enough a recipe popped up. If you like your chocolate rich, dark and complex then this is the for you. If not, you're better off grabbing a bottle of weak sauce chocolate syrup from your local supermarket.

Fortnum's Classic Shortbread

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup caster sugar plus extra to sprinkle
1 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup rice flour

1. Prehead oven to 300F, lightly butter or line a 9 inch square pan
2. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted flour and rice flour, use wooden spoon to work all ingredients together. Do not over knead.
3. Press mixture into pan. Use the back of a knife to score the batter into 18 fingers. Prick each one with a fork.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and score again. Return to oven and continue to bake for another 30 minutes till mixture is set.
5. Score again and sprinkle with light dusting of sugar. Shortbread should break along scored lines.
6. Cool shortbread on wire rack and store in airtight container. (Recipe slightly adjusted from original)

Lebovitz's Chocolate Sauce

1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz semisweet chocolate

1. In medium saucepan mix together water, sugar, agave nectar and cocoa powder.
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in chopped chocolate till melted.
3. Let chocolate sauce stand for a few hours to thicken before serving. Store in refrigerator for up to 10 days. (Recipe slightly adjusted from original)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wardrobe Diaries: Khaki Florals

When I dabbled in graphics design a few years ago, the first and most important lesson I learnt was to always design in black and white. The reason was simple, most companies print in black and white ink so your logo must first work in black and white before it can work in colour. I think the same rule of thumb applies to fashion. For me, it's all about the silhouette. A good silhouette is the foundation for other embellishments. The right proportions is to fashion what black and white is to graphics.

One of my favourite designers is Alexander McQueen. I love the attention to detail each outfit is given, I love the juxtaposition of hard vs soft elements but most of all, I love McQueen's silhouettes. If you stripped each design back to it's original muslin mould I bet you'd still be able to wear it out and look fabulous, though you may get some strange stares. This outfit is inspired by the McQueen silhouette. What do you think?

{ asos skirt also loving this colour . kookai top . jacket from australia . michael kors booties also in love with this and this . kate spade bag unavailable in tan also loving this colour and this colour . tom ford aviators }

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday's Fancies

Phew what a long week it's been! My photographer has been out of town this week hence the lack of outfit posts. Here's a look at some of the things the kids and I got up to. It's been a week of mischief (on their part), summer storms, outings to the beer garden (with the kids in tow, ha I won't even begin to explain that one) and lots and lots of cleaning. Did I mention the word cleaning?

This week I have also started my fundraising campaign to help raise money and awareness for Pin Down Bladder Cancer. It's one on those lesser known cancers that is no doubt equally as deadly. For the month of July I will be incorporating their limited edition PDBC pin into my outfits each day. You can follow me on instagram @jeneechen to stay up to date on how I style the pin. I would greatly appreciate your support and ask if you would kindly donate $1 for each day I wear the pin (there are only 12 days left so do the maths, but really any amount would be greatly appreciated). Thank you in advance. Together we can Pin Down Bladder Cancer once and for all. @PinDownBC #PDBC
                                                                Happy weekend all! xx

I do not know how many times I've mentioned Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream on here but they are seriously addictive. This week I decided to try out Wildberry Lavendar and Mango Lassi along with my favourite Salted Caramel. 

Love taking time out during the day to just sit and read. Luckily for me, I have an abundant amount of magazines I still need to get through. 

Ah yes, this is the stuff memories are made of. What's a childhood summer without a little indulgence. 

How cute are these mugs? I picked them up at my local TJ Maxx for myself, my sister and my cousin. Guess which one is which?

My girls are Olympics ready! Their team USA outfits have arrived. For anyone following the Ralph Lauren controversy, these say they are made in Peru. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Ultimate Girls Night Out

When I was asked by Hpnotiq to write about what my Ultimate girls night out would be I immediately jumped onboard. As far as full-time mothering goes, it's rare to ever have a minute to yourself but that isn't to say I can't live vicariously through my blog, right? Right? Hpnotiq is hosting the ultimate VIP weekend in Vegas for one lucky winner and three friends! When it comes to contests and giveaways, it just doesn't get better than this. Enter the Live Louder Dance off for your chance to win. Simply upload a video Hpnotiq LLDO - Likeable - Video Upload or photo Hpnotiq LLDO - Likeable - Photo Upload of your best (or worst) dance moves. Contest ends July 23rd so get moving (pun intended).

So onto MY ultimate girls night out. I'm not too fussed with the location, sure Vegas would be nice, but the simple fact of getting out of the house is fantastic enough for me. For the sake of this little exercise let's say I base my girls night out in my nearest big city, Nashville.
{ from top left to bottom right 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 10 . 11 . 12 . 13 . 14 . 15 }

2:00pm   Husband comes home to babysit the kids. A cleaning service team shows up ready to set my house in order while I'm out. A personal chef also arrives to stock my freezer full of healthy gourmet meals. 
2:15pm   A chauffeured limo stocked with cupcakes, macarons and bubblies arrive to whisk my other mommy friends and me to The Hermitage Hotel for some much needed pampering and relaxing.
3:00pm   Check into room only to find out it's been miraculously upgraded to a penthouse suite free of charge. A three-tiered array of afternoon tea delights awaits our arrival. 
3:15pm   Dressed down in our robes, we are greeted by the hotel spa team ready to pamper us with in room manipedis, massages, and facials. 
5:00pm    Feeling refreshed, we dress for our next destination. I'm wearing a Bradshaw inspired puffy skirt, Topshop bralet, Rag & Bone Blazer with Charlotte Olympia sandals and Lanvin box clutch
5:30pm    Arrive at Nordstrom for a little shopping spree where our husbands have kindly given us $1000 each in gift certificates (so we don't feel bad about using real money, genius!).
8:00pm    Dinner at the fabulous Catbird Seat restaurant. The manager is besotted by our charm and grace so drinks on the house all night.
11:00pm  The night is still young so we head to Aerial rooftop bar to dance the night away. 
3:00am     Eventually arrive back at the hotel and stumble into bed for a night of uninterrupted sleep. Did I mention the word uninterrupted? 
11:00am  Wake up to a delightful breakfast buffet set up right in our room. Our doting husband and kids arrive to drive us back home to reality.
{ from left to right 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 }

Side note: If this were a fantasy girl's night out, we'd also be extras in the sequel of Magic Mike, our shopping spree would take place after hours so we could live out our Mallrats fantasies, our $1000 budget becomes $5000 courtesy of someone other than our husband, and of course Ryan Gosling is our chauffeur/masseuse/personal butler for the night. And all this takes place somewhere fabulous like Tokyo, Vegas or Istanbu. 

The Hpnotiq Live Louder Dance Off contest ends July 23rd. Good luck! 

Thank you again to Hpnotiq for sponsoring this blog post! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Red Balloon Inspiration

I cannot believe my baby girl is turning ONE in two month's time! It seemed like only yesterday when I was planning her big sister's first birthday party. Good news is, this year she will get to celebrate her birthday in Australia just like her sister did. To all my Aussie friends reading this, yes you're all invited :)

While scouring Pinterest for inspiration (where else of course) I came across a lot of fantastic party themes and ideas but none of them screamed out to me. What I kept coming back to was the picture of Banksy's girl with the red balloon. That got me thinking, how fantastic would it be to create a birthday party around that piece of graffiti? To my surprise (and slight dismay) there isn't too many red balloon themed parties out there. Here are some pictures I've found that I'm feeling particularly inspired by. Enjoy! xx


To my two girls who may read this one day in the future. Just like Banksy's balloon girl, may hope and love never be too far from your grasp. 


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wardrobe Diaries: Get Shorty

Taking a break from all the vivid colours this summer with a no-nonsense monochromatic outfit. Around about mid way through every season I start to get fashion fatigue (as previously mentioned). Right now I'm longing for the cooler months so I can break out the faux fur and leather. Till then I'll just stick to dressing in transeasonal pieces which usually consists of button downs and blouses.... or not. I may just feel summer inspired again by the time I post my next outfit.Hope everyone is having a great weekend! I don't usually blog on the weekends, but this one has been so uneventful that blogging has been my highlight. Sad, but true. xx{ shorts last seen in this outfit }

{ shirt from australia also loving this one and this one or splurge on this . shorts from australia also loving this and this or splurge on this . r+j clutch . target sandals similar here also loving this . omega watch . nail colour forever yummy by essie }

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Happy Bastille Day

This week's Friday's Fancies is a little different, as you can probably tell from the lack of polaroids. Instead, being Bastille Day tomorrow, I thought I'd compile a collection of pictures that are quintessentially French. Enjoy and go forth to embrace your inner francophile.

{ source from top left to right 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 10 . 11 . 12 . 13 . 14 . 15 . 16 . 17 . 18 . 19 . 20 . 21 . 22 }

The Shine Project

Before I sign off for the week, I just wanted to bring to your attention a neat little site called The Shine Project. They stock some really cute jewelry that are right on trend for the season. The best thing about these pieces, aside from the cuteness factor is that the proceeds goes towards sending at risk youths to college. Everyone deserves a good education, it's a sad reality that some of those who are most eager to learn simply do not get the chance. Fashion for a cause, what can be better than that? I look forward to receiving my bracelets.


Visit >> The Shine Project 
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