YESSTYLE.COM HAUL & REVIEW

YESSTYLE.COM – it was a fashion website that was big back when I was in high school, but it was also a website that I never bought from because I never had any money and everything looked so expensive. I don’t know what compelled me to, but a few weeks ago I decided to go on the website and make my first order. Do I regret it? Absolutely not!

If you are into your Asian, Kpop, Linen (and all the above) fashion then this is definitely a website you will thoroughly enjoy. Something that was only meant to be a quick browse while I was on the toilet, soon turned into an hour of me watching, wish listing and saving a bunch of items I didn’t even know I “needed” in my wardrobe.

Since this was my first experience ordering from the website I decided to provide a review for all of you guys who are contemplating on thinking of placing an order from YESSTYLE.COM.

WHAT DO THEY SERVE?

I believe it’s a website dedicated to a bunch of different manufacturers and sellers from around Asia – think of eBay but a lot more classier, no used, vintage items and actual regulations. They sell a crazy amount of different things for men, women and children. From clothing, underwear, swimwear, shoes & accessories to asian cosmetics, skincare, home & lifestyle.

BROWSING

The website is made all electronic device friendly. They do have an app, which I refuse to download to resist any urges to do unnecessary shopping. But the website made it easy to navigate, watch and place orders on items. They even have subcategorised menus for things such as new items, 48 hour sale, in-stock items, Korean highlights and Japanese highlights.

The products they sell have a good amount of images, varying from inspiring outfit ideas to close up detailed images.

If you’re lucky a few of the products also have a few reviews from past consumers, which was very helpful when it came to sizing.

PRICING & SHIPPING

I don’t know what happened but it seems that within the last few years YESSTYLE has become a lot more affordable. Don’t get me wrong, they still have their pricier items, but they consistently do flash sales (probably every couple of days) so you are always bound to get a good bargain.

Depending on where you live, free shipping can be available. They have deals such as “spend over $50AU, receive free shipping” – which of course I did, spending $50+ isn’t hard to do when it comes to clothes!

Now this is where I have a little story to tell you guys that made me become a very impressed and satisfied consumer on YESSTYLE.

During initial purchase I had ordered 6 different items, all in which they had to wait until arrival to the factory before actually shipping to me. Within the next 24 hours I had received an email notifying me that one of the items was no longer in stock. Not only was there an apology attached to the email but also a full refund on the item and spending credit worth $5US for next purchase. After getting my money back for the unavailable item plus extra credit on top of that – I was happy and not phased at all by the loss of purchase.

The arrival of my package came within the week – which is very fast considering I didn’t pay a single dollar for shipping.


SIZING

When it comes to online clothes shopping for Asian based websites, I tend to become very wary about the sizing. Usually their “One size fits all” really means “One size fits small”. And their large means our medium.

The website does provide measurements for all items and depending on what item, they actually have a great amount of size selections, some actually went from XS to XXL. Which I thought was fantastic!

However, even though they provided measurements for all the sizes, I had learnt my lesson from a few other websites and instead opted for the larger sizes.

When my package arrived I found that everything was true to size. EVERYTHING. Some actually came quite bigger than expected – but I don’t mind, I always like the extra room for a food baby.

FINAL THOUGHTS?

I’m obsessed with the website, I have since initial purchase been upgraded to a “Bronze Member” which includes a $10US credit voucher and 3% discount from all future purchases. Honey, I’ve got so many items on watch that I know I will be a “Diamond Member” by the end of the year.

All the items I received are top notch quality, true to size and affordable. I can’t complain. The items were so unique to what I would find here at our local shopping malls.

I do recommend that you guys check out the website, it may be your next go to impulse shopping website.


HAUL TIME! WHAT I BOUGHT.

Snow Flower – Print Collared Linen-Blend Dress

$24.20AU

PURCHASE HERE

A breathable linen dress. One that I can’t wait to wear for the warmer seasons.

Clover Dream – Linen Cotton Panel Shirtdress

$27.86 AU

PURCHASE HERE

One of my favourite purchases from the lot. I’ve worn this dress about 3x already in the last two weeks. Again, breathable linen fabric – perfect for the upcoming warmer seasons, comfortable and plenty of room to run, chase and squat after the kids.

Clover Dream – Linen Jumper Midi Dress

$27.86

PURCHASE HERE

How adorable is this piece?! Imagine, a white T and white canvas shoes for the Summer time. Heck yeah! This is probably one of the items I was uming about before payment. I am sometimes wary when it comes to wearing overalls – even though they’re absolutely adorable. They tend to accentuate my food belly, but not with this one. It’s flattering in the most awesome way, comfortable and breathable.

Fancy Show – Check Cropped Pants

$23.00AU

PURCHASE HERE

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Anything with or close to a tartan print is always automatically placed into my basket. These cropped pants are definitely no exception. Cute right? Yeah, thought so.

HOTCAKE – Print Crewneck T-Shirt

$10.83

PURCHASE HERE

Why not get a graphic T that has a phrase I constantly use as a mother? Something I know I’ll be wearing as a basic with absolutely anything.

So this sums up my haul from YESSTYLE.COM I hope you all found it helpful. Let me know if you guys ever bought from there and paste any links as well!

xo/VANESSA



Easy Mom Spring OOTD Ideas

Hi guys!

It’s that time of the year. The time where we are transitioning from Winter into Spring and we can’t decide whether we are hot or cold, whether it’s too early or not to pack our coats away and whether or not denim shorts are appropriate to wear just yet.

It can be very confusing, especially for a mother who is just after something comfortable to wear so we can actually chase our kids. Honestly, if it were up to me I’d say Pj’s all year round, but there’s just something about flannel pajamas and school drop offs that shouts “hey fellow mothers! judge me!”.

Here are a few outfit ideas that are comfortable, transitional and also affordable. Majority of the items mentioned is actually from my Kmart Spring Fashion Haul. Haven’t read it yet? Then CLICK HERE.


 Outfit #1

  • Tartan Dress – Korea
  • Mustard Jumper – H&M
  • Black Scarf – Ebay
  • Baret – Ebay
  • Boots – Payless

Honestly? This is what my husband would call a typical Vanessa outfit. Anything that resembles a tartan print is usually put straight into my basket and into my wardrobe. What I love about this shirt/dress is that it’s long enough to wear on it’s own when it get’s warm, but perfect with a pair of tights for when it get’s cold.

Outfit #2

  • Dress – Kmart
  • Scarf – Jeans West
  • Boots – Kmart
  • Bag – Kmart

The flow of the dress allows me to sprint after my kids (literally – my son is a fast runner) and just overall feels so comfortable. You know what the best thing about this outfit is? I literally just threw on a dress, a scarf and boots and automatically looked put together.

Outfit #3

  • Top – Kmart
  • Skirt – Salvation Army
  • Scarf – Hand me down
  • Tote Bag – Made by yours truly
  • Shoes – Kmart

I’ve probably worn this outfit 5 times already in the last month. It’s just so darn comfortable and adorable! It just screams buying a bouquet of flowers from the farmers market (and I actually did with this outfit. Ha!).

Outfit #4

  • Top – Kmart
  • Boyfriend Jeans – Big W
  • Bag – Aldo
  • Shoes – Kmart

This is what I typically would wear to my kids playgroup, sport classes or anything that requires me to be more active than usual. It’s comfortable, not restrictive and still looks put together.

So that sums up todays blog post. A big thank you to my fellow mother friend Griz for giving me this “Easy Mommy Outfit” idea. You are a charm!

Thank you for visiting today. I will see you all next Wednesday with our next post!

xo/Vanessa



Spring Cleaning Checklist

A new season is here! And generally that’s a sign for me to deep clean, cull and reorganise our home – in other words Spring clean. Yes, I don’t just leave Spring cleaning for Spring, I tend to do it at every turn of a new season.

I thought I’d give you guys a copy of our checklist of the thing’s our family does when we Spring clean. Keep in mind this list usually takes about a week to complete – depending on how much you own… and we own a lot!


SPRING CLEANING CHECKLIST

ENTRY WAY/FOYER

  • Wipe surfaces
  • Dust and clean rugs/mats
  • Wipe down front door

SHOE CLOSET/STAIR CASE

  • Empty and purge
  • Dust Shelves and storage
  • Clean and polish shoes
  • Reorganise
  • Wipe stair case railing and glass

LIVING ROOM

  • Dust shelves, coffee table, entertainment unit, decor and surfaces
  • Dust Lampshades and light fixtures
  • Launder all cushions and throw blankets
  • Wipe down windows
  • Purge and donate items
  • Polish and wipe couch (if leather)
  • Dust and air rugs
  • Wipe remote controls

DINING ROOM

  • Wipe Surfaces and light fixtures
  • Wipe windows and mirrors
  • Wipe tables

BATHROOMS

  • Scrub shower, sink and counter tops
  • Clean shower drain
  • Empty, purge and reorganise drawers and shelves
  • Purge and restock medicine cabinet
  • Empty and Wash bin
  • Scrub toilet
  • Wipe mirrors

KITCHEN

  • Empty, purge, reorganise and wipe down fridge and freezer
  • Empty, purge, reorganise and wipe down pantry
  • Wipe down microwave and stove top
  • Deep clean oven
  • Wipe down cabinets
  • Wipe down appliances
  • Scrub sink, dish rack & faucet
  • Wipe down rangehood
  • Wipe down counter tops, bar and bar stools.

BEDROOMS

  • Dust and wipe light fixtures
  • Clean windows and blinds
  • Shake & air out rugs
  • Empty, purge and reorganise wardrobes
  • Purge and donate knick knacks
  • Wipe down all furniture and shelves
  • Wash beddings
  • Turn mattress over
  • Wipe door knobs, door and light switch
  • Wipe mirrors
  • Purge and reorganise kids toys

OFFICE

  • Purge and organise paper work
  • Purge, organise and restock office supplies
  • Organise computer files and hard drives
  • Organise emails and folders
  • Dust and wipe down surfaces
  • Purge and reorganise craft supplies, make up collection and DVDS.
  • Wipe light fixtures
  • Organise and label chargers and cables
  • Clean camera equipment
  • Dust and air out rugs

ENTIRE HOUSE

  • Dust and wipe aircon vents
  • Dust and wipe walls and wall skirting
  • Dust and wipe door frames
  • Vacuum
  • Steam Mop

OUTSIDE

  • Weed the garden
  • Mow, edger and water the lawn
  • High pressure driveway and decking
  • Brush cob webs
  • Wipe down outdoor furniture
  • Dust and wash cushions
  • Harvest and fertilise vegetable garden

Seems like a lot isn’t? Lol, that’s pretty much what it takes to make sure I have a dust and clutter free home. Thank you all for visiting today’s blog post.

See you all soon!

xo/Vanessa


DIY – Office Wire Pin Board

Recently we’ve been concentrating on organising and redecorating our home office. I did a lot of DIY projects for it and decided to record them for you all – so you could do them as well! Today we are focusing on making this Wire Pin Board.

 

What You Will Need:

  • Wire mesh panel – Bought from Bunnings.
  • Spray Paint – I chose Matte Black

Step One

Spray paint your wire panel and allow adequate time for drying before handling.

TIP: For more opaque colour without streak marks, spray it in three thin coats, making sure to allow time to dry between each coat. 

Step Two (Optional)

This step is optional. I had some cute pegs left over from a previous DIY. I decided to spray paint them as well to use for hanging memos onto the wire board. You can totally skip this option and just use Bull Dog clips. The pegs can be bought from your local Spotlight or Dollar Store.

Step Three

I didn’t want the hooks I used to hang the board to be an eyesore so I used clear removable hooks – purchased from Bunnings.

Complete!

There you have it! A board that you can peg whatever you please, you can use it as an inspirational mood board, a board for your bills or just everyday memos!

Thank you all for visiting todays blog post. If you get stuck on the DIY feel free to leave a comment and I will help you out ASAP.

Be inspired and get creative!

xo/Vanessa

DIY Wardrobe Rehab – Sunglasses!

Welcome to our first Wardrobe Rehab DIY blog post. A series dedicated to upgrading and revamping old retired fashion pieces. Today we will be DIYing an accessory piece that is not only functional, but considered a fashion statement as well – Sunglasses!

Whether you are going to a music festival or you simply want something to up style your default outfit, we have it for you! Of course everyone has their own unique style so today I have set up two different rehab DIY’s, both of which you can customise to suit yourself.

Flower Blooming

These pair are perfect for the warmer months and just screams “flower power”, making it perfect for the boho fashionistas.

What you will need:

  • Glue Gun
  • Scissors
  • Sunglasses – Salvation Army
  • Paper Flower Embellishments – Dollar Store

 

 

Step One

Cut the stems from the flower buds as closely as possible to the bud.

Step Two

Using your hot glue gun apply glue to the base of the flowers and press onto the frame of your sunglasses.

You can design how you place the flowers however you’d like. I decided to go hard out and place it along the entire frame. Why not ey?

Completed! Have fun making an entrance!

Classic

This pair is made for those who love their pearls, love their diamonds and can’t resist a bit of Miss Hepburn in their wardrobe. I used pearls as the embellishment but you can use whatever sparkles your sunshine!

What You Will Need:

  • Sunglasses – An old pair
  • Glue – E-6000 (love this glue when it comes to handling beads)
  • Pearls – From an old necklace
  • Tooth picks (optional)

Step One

Apply the glue to your embellishment.

TIP – Using a toothpick makes it less messy and you can be a lot more precise with applying the glue.

Step Two

Gently press the embellishment to the frames of your sunglasses. As per usual you can design it however you’d like. I decided to just add it to the top corners as an accent feature.

Step Three

Give adequate time for the glasses to dry. E-6000 is not a hot glue gun so it will need a couple of hours.

Alright folks, I hope you all enjoyed today’s DIY. If you have any trouble with the DIY feel free to leave a comment and I will help you out asap! Thank you for visiting.

Remember! Be inspired and get creative.

xo/Vanessa

 

DIY Vase Fillers – Foam Balls

Ever have that one (or more) vase in your home that contains absolutely nothing and ends up being a dumping ground? We do. It’s a beautiful glass vase my mother gave to me, and what do we use it for? Our keys, creams, gift cards and of course bills. What a waste right?

So what do you do to dish the dumping ground and make use of that exquisite vase? Get some vase fillers! Of course you can go the more expensive and quicker route by buying fillers that cost on average about $20AU a pack, but this is Vanessas Corner. And that’s not what Vanessas Corner is about, is it? We are about affordability, creativity and getting absolutely smashed with mess. On today’s DIY blog post I decided to give you all an easy step by step tutorial on how you can switch the clutter for beautiful and affordable vase fillers.

In this post I’ve created two types of foam balls – a beautiful rose embellished one and a rose gold glittered one. Of course, you can opt for one or do what I did – both!

Rose Embellished Filler

You Will Need:

  • Foam Balls – Dollar Store
  • Tissue Paper – Dollar Store
  • Glue Gun
  • Scissors

 

 

 

 

 

Step One

Cut your tissue paper into equal strips. I did mine with a width of 1inch each. Keep in mind the thicker and longer your strips, the more full and bigger your roses will be.

Step Two

Scrunch each of your strips individually into tight balls.This will give the roses some texture and make the next steps easier to achieve.

Step Three

Gently unravel and straighten out each scrunched strip. Roll tightly your strip for about 1nch. This will be the centre of your rose so make sure it is tight and pact.

Step Four

Gather and wrap the tissue paper around the rolled centre of your strip. I found it easier to maintain the tightness of the rose by keeping it in hold and turning it with my left hand, and using my right hand to gather the strip.

Step Five

When you’ve reached about 1cm towards the end of your strip pinch and flatten it with your fingers and secure the rose by glueing it down with your hot glue gun.

Step Six

Cut the bottom tip of your rose to create a flat base for gluing.

Step Seven

Cover the entire foam ball by gluing all the roses down and you are done!

Rose Gold Glitter Filler

What You Will Need:

  • Foam Balls – Dollar Store
  • Fine Glitter – Spot Light
  • PVA Glue – Dollar Store
  • Paint Brush
  • Clear Spray Paint Gloss Finish (Optional) – Bunnings

 

Step One

Coat your foam ball with a layer of PVA Glue using your brush. The thicker the layer of glue you apply the more prone it is of being uneven – I applied only a thin layer.

Step Two

Sprinkle your now glued ball with your glitter evenly and allow to dry.

Tip – I pierced mine with a toothpick as a handle. It made it easier to manoeuvre the ball and to evenly cover the ball with glitter without getting too messy. To dry evenly just pierce the toothpick into a stable base – I used a tissue box.

Step Three – OPTIONAL

Glitter can release a lot of fall out which can be a huge ugh! Especially in my books. This step is optional but recommended.

Fix the glitter to prevent fall out when handled by spraying a VERY thin layer of clear spray paint on top (glossy finish spray paint will make the glitter sparkle 10x more!). Allow to air dry.

Tip – Make sure you only do a very light layer as the ball can soak up the paint and become deformed.

 

And there you have it! Your vase is no longer a dumping ground for clutter but a new decorative piece for your home. Ours is kept on our fire place as an accent piece.

Thanks for visiting and reading todays blog post. I hope you all feel inspired & feel creative. If you have any questions about the DIY feel free to comment and I will get back to you guys asap!

xo/Vanessa

 

 

 

27 Memories of My Father – Happy 71st Birthday Daddy George!

My father passing away when I was 23 years old is a grudge that I don’t think I’ll ever let go of. It was when I was still in ways immature, selfish and only cared about what was going on in my head and in my life. I didn’t get the chance to fully realise all the things he did for me – big and small. I wasn’t mature enough to show him my gratitude, show him my utmost love and ask him about all the stories he cherished so much.

After their death you mourn, and then you begin to live life as normal, you learn to go by everyday without them – it’s almost as if you forget. But then there’s that one moment. You visit a new and exciting restaurant, you buy your first home or something as simple as you see a gorgeous necktie – and you think to yourself “F*ck, dad would’ve loved this!”. And that is the moment you realise someone is missing and will never return. I’m sure a lot of people who have lost someone so dear to them can relate to this.

Someone once said something to me on the day of my fathers passing, something that will always stick with me forever. “Don’t morn his death, instead celebrate the life he lived – because he lived a good one.” And since then I never liked to put attention towards my fathers death anniversary. It’s a day I don’t want to publicly acknowledge. But, I do love to celebrate his birthday. And just a few days ago we celebrated what would be his 71st Birthday.

Now I may not have been able to hear all the stories he had, or all the memories he treasured before his passing. But I do have my own memories of my father that always makes me smile, cry and laugh when I think of them. In celebration of my fathers 71st Birthday I decided to give a glimpse to you all of what an amazing man my father was and is.

  1. The reason why I think I believe so much in equality is because of my father. He never, ever said women were suppose to be a certain way. He believed instead a marriage should be about teamwork, especially when it came to the upkeep of a household. You would always see him folding clothes, ironing and moping. In fact, he was the one who taught me how to clean sneakers so that they always looked brand spanking new. He really raised the bar of standards I had for men in my life.
  2. He taught me road rage. My father was a very patient man. Rarely would he raise his voice. And you’d wonder how does he release his anger? I laugh now, but I really think he released his anger on the road. Beeping and calling bad drivers the “diablo”* was something my father usually did.
  3. My father hated smacking me. He couldn’t. How could you smack someone so adorable? But one time he did. I remember I told him I didn’t want to got to church. Instead I wanted to go late night shopping and buy toys. He then smacked me after I continually threw tantrums while he was trying to get me ready for church. 30 minutes later he guiltily came back to me with a peace offering – a hug in one hand and a McDonalds happy meal in the other… I still went to church service that night.
  4. He hated it when we spent money on him. I was in High School when I got my first job. Now, you should know my father was an outfit repeater. He would wear the shit out of his clothes until they were falling apart and super glue just wouldn’t stick them together again. He just didn’t like buying new things. So when I got my first pay check, I bought him a new pair of shoes. Instead of saying a simple thank you, he actually got angry. He asked me why would I waste money on him, instead I should save it and buy a property (yeah… at 16 years old, buying a property was on my priorities list… lol).
  5. He was always so proud of every accomplishment I made – big or small. From when I got my Provisional license to my very first car, he always made a huge commotion about it. My first car that I bought was a shitty Hyundai Exel. It had no power steering (don’t even ask how I was able to go around a roundabout in that thing) and the passenger side window wouldn’t open. It was literally a shit box. But my father was so proud. I would catch him, more than once always washing and wiping down my car when I wasn’t home. He even tried to make me love it by telling me it was a sport car because it had a spoiler (lol!)
  6. He had the biggest green thumb. If he wasn’t working, napping or mopping the floor he was outside tending to his babies (his garden). You know how there are those types of people who love their lawn so much they won’t even let anyone step on it? That was my father. He was what I would call a lawn enthusiast. It had to be green and it had to be a certain length. He wouldn’t let anyone near the lawn mower because he said “You might cut it too short.” Yes. That was my father.
  7. Majority of my childhood was me using Hilton Hotel pens to draw. My father use to work for the company and nearly every week he would take home a shit load of Hilton Hotel pens. (Is that stealing?)
  8. Being the youngest in the family, I was very much a daddy’s girl. I had the biggest separation anxiety whenever I wasn’t around him. There was a time he worked as a security guard, he use to work night shift guarding a cemetery. I would cry so hard when he left for work that he then started bringing me to work. I would spend the entire night sleeping in the car, assured that it didn’t matter because I was near my dad. However, when he would finish his shift I would make him take a shower before he could hug me because I was so scared that he took the dead people with him on his skin – trust me, I’m rolling in regret right now.
  9. Dad was far from being a culinary enthusiast or even an amateur chief. But he did make bomb ass sinangang* and fried egg. Every single morning, before he left for work he would always make sure we woke up to a fresh new batch on the kitchen bench. I am also convinced that he invented bread dipped in coffee and microwaved bananas.
  10. My father and I had our own little tradition. Every Sunday morning, before we would go to church together, we would have a little breakfast date at our local bakery. He would always buy me a warm croissant with strawberry milk. However, as I grew up, got my own car, traditions changed and I wanted to go to church separately.
    Dad helping me out of the car on mine and Tony’s wedding day – 2012.

    Randomly after church one day he showed up in front of me, a strawberry milk in one hand, a croissant in the other and a warm smile on his face. You know what makes me cry when I think about this story? Is that back then I didn’t see it as anything significant. I didn’t see it as him thinking of me and reaching out to me to spend time together. All I did was say “Thanks dad!” and walked away.

  11. He literally believed that a Big Mac from McDonalds was healthy because it had lettuce in it.
  12. He was the one in our family who never slept until a fight was resolved.
  13. He believed every single one of my 18 year old lies. There was a time where I borrowed his car to go out and decided to have a cigarette in it. The next day he confronted me asking me why his car smelt like yoss*. I then made the biggest bizarre lie and said “that the window had been down while a group of people were smoking next to it. The smoke must’ve gotten into the car.” He believed me.
  14. When Tony and I started dating my dad decided to implement a 10pm curfew. Of course, we never really followed it. But every night when I came home my dad would be waiting in the formal lounge room reading the bible. And it wasn’t ever an angry wait. He wouldn’t say anything except “Oh! You’re home.” It was an unconfirmed way of him just waiting to make sure I got home safely, because as soon as I went into my bedroom, he would go straight to bed.
  15. Dad loved rice. He ate everything with rice. Pizza and rice. Banana and rice. Mangoes? Can’t have mangoes without rice – even better when he used his hands.
  16. I was about 8 years old or so and every night he would take me to pick up my mum from work. He would also sneakingly buy me a McDonalds apple pie and tell me “not to tell my mum or sisters.”
  17. Dad was an avid Tennis match enthusiast. You know how usually when people watch rugby or soccer they yell at the TV? Dad did that… but with tennis. You knew the Wimbledon was on because dad would be yelling “NOOOO!” in the kitchen.
  18. He loved Justin Timberlake. He thought JT was a musical genius, especially with the song “Senorita”.
  19. Dad and I watched the movie “Troy” together in cinema. A mortifying experience out of my entire adolescent life. Imagine this – we are both at the edge of our seats with all the action scenes, then BAM! Brad Pitts bare ass and sex scene is smothered in both yours and your fathers faces. Awkward right? To make matters worse my father got the popcorn box and covered my eyes with it.
  20. Dad didn’t like Britney Spears – because she cheated on Justin Timberlake.
  21. He could’ve won “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”. He knew every trivial knowledge there is to know. He absorbed information like a sponge. He knew where every single country and state in the entire world was. Don’t believe me? One time Tony and I bought him a globe to test his knowledge out. The most random locations Tony and I questioned him on, he was able to point out on the globe. It was f*cken insane.
  22. I once took my parents to watch “The Pursuit of Happyness”. That was the first time I saw my father cry so hard because of a movie. I was distracted from the end scene because of my fathers sobbing, he just blew into a handkerchief and said to me “I believe in Will Smith.”
  23. Dad never really kissed us. He would just pat our heads and smell our hair – I miss that.
  24. He was always so concerned when he noticed us losing weight. He hated it when we thought we were fat. Up until I was 12 years old he would literally hand feed me if I didn’t want to eat.
  25. Dad spent a lot of time in the toilet. It was pretty much his library. He actually read our entire Encyclopedia collection on the toilet. That’s probably why he knew so much about space, robots and safari animals.
  26. He was a realestate expert. He knew what the going rate of a property was, the trends and what was on the market. Before the internet and the realestate app, there was realestate catalogues. He would drive by every single realestate around our home and make me and my sisters get the magazine for him. Back then it was embarrassing for us. He wouldn’t even park the car. He would just turn on the hazard lights and make us run in and out. In fact his ideal day would be a morning spent at church, a lunch at McDonalds (eating a “healthy” big mac of course) and the rest of the afternoon looking at display homes.
  27. He was the loudest person at my High School graduation. I thought I was a loud cheerer. I wasn’t. When I went on stage to collect my certificate, my father made everyones ears bleed.

To be honest, there is so many more memories, so many more wonderful stories I could share with everyone. These are just the 27 that came to mind the second I thought of writing this post. Funny enough I now realise how much they have to do with McDonalds.

Thank you to everyone who read this blog post. I wish everyone was able to know and see my father in the light that I saw him, because he is an amazing man, a wonderful human and to this day, Tony and I always say he would’ve been the greatest grandparent to our children.

I love my daddy.

xo/Vanessa

*diablo – Tagalog term for the Devil

*sinangang – Filipino garlic fried rice

*yoss – slang term for cigarette

Kmart Spring Fashion Haul

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m no stranger to Kmart… or a bargain. A visit to Kmart once a week is an understatement and our house pretty much looks like Kmart vomited inside of it. They always have something new, fun and exciting at affordable prices! Dare I complain? Heck no!

Recently I paid a visit to Kmart and yes… I bought a few things. Spring clothing pieces in particular. Okay. Hear me out. I’ve tried going down the minimalism route – but I just can’t. I get bored way too quickly to become a minimalist. Some call it ADHD, I call it boredom. Even my husband calls my interests “phases” because I change so quickly, one minute I’m obsessed with Urban fashion, the next I’m covered in pastels and flowers from head to toe. So what has been my latest obsession? Linen fashion. It’s pretty much the effortless, boho look mixed in with a bit of Japanese street. And surprise surprise, Kmart had a few things that tickled my Linen fashion fancy, and yet again – at affordable prices.

So here is my little Kmart Fashion Haul. Take it as it is, me showing you what I bought and what you could buy today… or tomorrow.

EMB BOHO DRESS – $25

Okay, let’s start with the most expensive thing out of the bunch. This faux denim embroidered dress. Yes, $25 is a bit steep (for Kmart) but how could I resist the flow of this dress and the gorgeous embroidery along the neckline? This and a pair of camel boots? Yes fricken please!

Beautiful embroidery – just screams Spring!

LS EMBROIDERED TOP – $15

Clearly this is a staple Spring top. The embroidery along the sleeves is literally what caught my eye. This top is all about the detail.

 

 

LS RELAXED SHIRT – $12

When I put this item into my basket I had one and only one look in mind. Tied around the waist, a pair of light washed boyfriend jeans and white sneakers. Effortless mommy? Absolutely.

 

LS VOLUME SLEEVE – $15

This is what I picture paired with a pretty maxi linen skirt. It’s a throw on top that exists in every mothers wardrobe.

WOMEN’S CAS SANDALS – $15

Saw these and immediately threw them into the bag. Staple sandal for any warm month.

NU BUCK BUCKET BAG – $15

I’ve been using the same bag for the last 3 years – I needed another option. Love the optional two handles and the camel suede. I know I’ve said it already in this post, but I need to say it again – A Spring staple!

Alright, that pretty much concludes today’s blog post. Hope you feel all tempted to visit your local Kmart. I can’t wait to style these for future posts!

xo/Vanessa

What I Love About Being A Mother

Yes, like every other parent, I have my off parenting days. Days where I literally feel like I’ve completed no tasks but yelling till my throat is tired. I could vent for hours upon hours on how my son James laid on the floor of our local Kmart screaming, because he didn’t want to leave ( I felt his pain, I never want to leave Kmart either). Or how my daughter Maddy told me I “broke her heart into two” when I told her she can’t have an ice block for breakfast – true story.

Honestly I’ve had the moments where I’ve been so frustrated I actually yelled “FUCK” to the ceiling (as if someone was actually going to bust through the roof and save me) and yes I’ve had minutes where I day dream and make a mental note of all things I’m going to do when the kids finally hit primary school (6 hours of complete silence – heck yeah!). All mothers do that. It doesn’t mean we hate motherhood, or that we regret having babies. I love being mother. Hands down has got to be the greatest thing that has ever happened in my life. Apart from discovering Korean Dramas – have you ever watched an episode? It’s a drug I tell you!

You know what beats the thing’s that my kids do that drive me insane? The things they do that make me love being a mother! To celebrate our special day – Mothers Day. I have listed a few things that I love about being a mother.



1. The Lessons They’ve Taught Me

My kids have taught me more lessons than I could have ever learnt in my years of studying, reading books and pinning on Pinterest. All us mothers can agree that our kids have enlightened us, taught us things about ourselves, about the world and about empathy.

As annoying as the constant “why?” our kids ask us can be, it really opens up our minds.

“Mum, why is the sky blue?” Had to google that one.

“Mum, why does everything cost money?”

“Mum, if you and daddy are true loves first kiss then why are you yelling at each other?” 

There was even a time when I explained to Maddy what poverty is and she asked me “Why don’t people who have money share it with the poor people?” Yes, my four year old asked me that. Trying to explain an answer to what seemed like a simple question made me just sit still and think “far out, ay.”

I’ve always been a person with a lot of empathy, but never to the level that I have now. Our kids have so much innocence. They haven’t been jaded like we have. They don’t see things as complicated as we do. They have a fresh new set of eyes that makes me look at things and learn lessons that I’ve never realised before.

2. Forgiveness

Kids are all about forgiving. One minute they are literally fist fighting with each other, the next they are both holding hands and playing like nothing ever happened. Kids forgive so easily, they never carry a grudge.

No good parent loves spanking or yelling at their children. Yes we do it, because it’s our job to teach them the difference between right and wrong, and sometimes yes we do it out of frustration, but the second we do it we feel guilt and sorry.

I can’t even count the amount of times I secretly cried in my room after I’ve spanked James on the arse for drawing on the walls. I spank him, he cries, I cry and then he forgives me.

No matter how much I’ve yelled, “broken my kids hearts into two” or made my kids cry, they will always come to back to me, hug me and love me. And that’s one thing I will never forget. Your kids will always forgive you.

3. Purpose & Strength

When I went through morning sickness for three months, I felt like giving up.

When I pushed and got 2nd degree tears during birth, I felt like giving up.

When I had sleepless nights because I was rocking a crying baby, I felt like giving up.

There were tough days I thought I’d never get through and I’d think “Shit, I can’t do this.” But somehow I did. I got through them all. And that was because of my children. They gave and showed a strength in me that I didn’t even know I had.

And this is the reason why I think parenthood is probably the most challenging thing you will ever go through in your entire life. Because when you become a parent, you will forever have the responsibility of being a parent. You can’t give up and say “I quit this job, it sucks, I don’t want it.” You force yourself to get through the tough times. And you do it, every-fucken-day.

I remember it took me about 2 years to realise my fathers death, 2 fricken years from his funeral to realise he was actually gone and wasn’t on a long vacation. Boy, was I a mess. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t want to eat or get ready for the day. I wanted to stay in bed for a month, not change my underwear and just cry. But I didn’t. I had a purpose to wake up for, I had my children waiting for their mum to come and get them out of bed.

On my lowest of lows my kids always remained to give me a purpose, a purpose to get up out of bed every single morning, a purpose to take care of my health and myself. They are your reason to keep on going and stand up tall during the hardest of times.

4. Laughter

As much as my kids drive me up the wall with their antics, they also use those antics to have me rolling on the floor laughing (literally, ROFL).

I could spend the entire day chasing my kids, yelling at them, putting them in the naughty corner over something ridiculous that they’ve done. But, no matter what, at the end of every single day, I find myself reflecting and I start laughing. It’s the exact same ridiculous things my kids did which drove me up the wall, that also had me laughing in bed that very moment.

There was a time when Maddy was just under 2 years old and she kept running away from me every time I tried giving her her medicine. She would bolt and I would have to chase after her. She tried running and hiding from me so many times that she ended up getting stuck under the dining table – don’t ask me how. At the time I was so upset and frustrated, but later on that night I was in tears from laughing at the exact same situation.

Children will make you experience a time of laughter you’ve never had before, and they will guarantee to give you that every single day, for the rest of your life. It’s amazing.

5. Love

I’ve loved many before my children. I loved hard. But then my kids were introduced into my life and I experienced a whole new level of love. It’s really a different kind of love. It’s different to the love you have for your own parents, for your friends or your partner. I don’t know if this will make any kind of sense but the love a mother has for her children is like this warm, pure, light, unconditional glow of love.

I remember when I had my first born Maddy, I was head over heels in love with her. My whole universe revolved around her. Then I got pregnant with James. I had this fear before he came. I was worried and thought “No way could I have enough love to give him, I’ve used it all up on Maddy.” But I was wrong. As soon as I held James in my arms for the first time, I felt it. I felt that warm, pure, light, unconditional glow of love for him. It was like the love just poured out and kept refilling. I didn’t run out of it like I thought I would. It was an outpour of love.

Children give you this sense and type of love that you will never experience any other way. It’s just beautiful.

There are so many more things I love about being a mother. Like seeing my kids satisfied faces after they eat a home made meal I’ve prepared, dancing like crazy with them to Kpop or the late night cuddles I get when they sneak into our bedroom at 2 o’clock in the morning. Motherhood has a lot of perks and I would never exchange it for anything in this world.

Happy Mothers Day to my fellow warriors out there. Please never forget everything we do as Mothers. We are strong, amazing women, who always gets shit done, juggles tasks, has a permanent memo in our heads and continuously wipes spilt milk. We are the bravest and strongest out there and no one could ever replace our position – because only we can do, what we do, for our own. Happy Mothers Day!

xo Vanessa



Dear Maddy Ava,

To My Dearest Daughter Maddy,

You, only a few hours old. My precious little girl. So new to this world.

As I am writing you this letter I am watching you play with your baby brother James in the park. You are both currently pretending to serve invisible cupcakes and pizza to invisible customers. You always had such an imagination. Ever so often I am hearing James call out for you to help him climb something. You’re such a good Ate*.

I am writing this letter to you in hopes that you will read this in the distant future. Hopefully as you are reading this myself and other women before you have made the world a more hopeful place. A place where you can fulfil your dreams and have more opportunities.

Mum isn’t the wisest person you will ever come across – Well, I certainly hope not. But as I’ve lived my life thus this far, there are a few things I’ve learnt along the way. A few secrets to a happier life. Shh… don’t tell anyone. It’ll be our little secret.

1. Don’t let anyone tell you how you should live your life – even dad and I.

This is your life, you are the only person living it, you are the only person dealing with the struggles, the thoughts and the results, so live it on your own accord.

I spent a lot of my years wasted by following other peoples rules, other peoples labels and expectations. I thought I had to be a certain way or else I was living life wrong. It was mentally and physically exhausting. It made me often cry and feel like I was never good enough.

You were always so eccentric with your fashion.

People would tell me “You’re a mother, you can’t have a career, your only obligations are cooking and cleaning” or “You’re a Christian, you’re not allowed to associate with gay people and others belonging to different religions”. It wasn’t what I believed in, but it was what I was expected to live by.

People will tell you ‘You’re a girl, you’re a mother, you’re a wife, so you’re suppose to only do this and you can’t do that’. Honey, it’s all a bunch of bullsh*t.

Do not let other people define you. Whether it be a religion, a culture, a clique or society. No one tells you how you should be or what you’re expected to do. Follow your own set of rules – just don’t break the law. You know the difference between being a good person and being a bad person and that is all that matters. The sooner you free yourself from other peoples expectations and rules, the sooner you will be able to live your life for yourself.

2. Relationships.

19th November 2012 – The date you were brought into this world.

In your lifetime you will go through many different types of relationships whether it be friendship or love. People will always come and go. I just want you to know the difference between someone who’s only meant to pass by and someone who’s meant to stay.

When I was younger your grandma and grandpa use to tell me “Vanessa I don’t like so and so as your friend, they don’t really care about you.” I use to snub their opinions and I ended up getting hurt. It’s true when they say you’re parents can tell when you’ve got a good person in your life and when you don’t. I was stubborn and blind, so I learnt the hard way.

You will have “friends” who only talk to you seasonally, who only approach you when they want something or need something. Those aren’t friends.

You will also have “friends” who only care about social status and climbing the social ladder – those aren’t friends. They have issues they need to deal with on their own.

Then you will also meet the people that only want to have fun. That is what they are there for. To have fun. So have fun with them. Just remember gossiping is not a way to have fun, hurting others is not a way to have fun.   

Don’t be friends with people who make you question yourself as a human being, who make you cry or feel awful. Don’t associate with people who enjoy hurting others and gossip. If they can do it to other people, how do you know they don’t do it to you?

Find a partner that cherishes you and loves you as you do them. There has to be a balance. No they love me more than I love them. I don’t want you to be in that kind of toxic relationship. Find someone that is gentle, caring, loving and passionate. Find someone just like your father. I struck gold with him  there aren’t many men as wonderful as your father is.

Your partner needs to be present. Your partner needs to notice when you are struggling and they need know when to help you. Never settle for someone who only has their own feelings in mind.

Remember, relationships need a strong foundation and hard work from both ends. It is a a two way street. If you don’t find the right person, then don’t be in a relationship. Don’t fear the word single.

3. Work your ass off.

You always snuck into mummy’s make up drawers.

You can be anything you want to be in this world. Anything.

You want to build an empire? You can do it.

You want to teach primary school? You can do it.

If what you want to do isn’t even a job title… make it one.

You can do absolutely anything this world has to offer. BUT. You need to work your ass off. The world owes you absolutely nothing. You will never get what you want by just sitting down and expecting it to happen. You have to go out there and do what you can, with all you can, to get what you want.

Have passion for life and work hard. If you work hard, you put in the time, the effort and the focus – you can do anything you want in life.

4. Be strong and stand up.

Your love for music started at a very early age.

It’s hard to know who you are as a person. It’s taken mum this long and I’m still unsure on days. Some people live their whole life not knowing who they are until they’re last five minutes of life. But know your values, know what you believe in and don’t be afraid to stand up and argue.

Live your life with passion, be offended. Because I want you too be a strong woman who’s not afraid to speak up. Don’t sit on the side lines while you watch someone get bullied or hurt. Don’t just sit on the side lines when someone tells you you can’t do something. You shut them up and let them know they can’t make that same mistake again.

Don’t be afraid to be who you are and act like how you want to. This is your life, your body, your personality. Don’t change yourself to “fit in”. Right now there are far too many women who look like a Kardashian – it’s ridiculous.

5. Don’t judge. Always be kind.

You would always sneak into your baby brothers cot whenever he cried.

Be kind. Princess please be kind to people. Stay as kind hearted as you are now. Share. Give what you can to those who are less fortunate. Mum and Dad didn’t work hard so that the world could suffer.

 

Never ever hurt someone on purpose. The last thing I want is to receive a call from school to find out that you’ve been a bully.

Treat everyone with respect and stand up for those who have no voice. We are lucky and fortunate enough to live in a country where our voice is heard and I want you to share that blessing with the world.

Don’t be afraid to apologise – when you’ve done something wrong.

Don’t judge. Be open minded. The sooner you realise there is diversity in the world, the sooner you will lose your fear of the unknown and instead become curious and happier. Not everyone will live their life like you, and you won’t live your life like everyone else.

Mummy pregnant with you. You and your brother made being a mother the best job in the world.

As much as I’d like to trust that your father and I have raised you with enough knowledge to battle everything that comes at you in your adults life, I’m never sure. And in all honesty, that terrifies me. It terrifies every mother.

I never want to see you suffer, hurt or experience any moments in your life of self doubt.

There’s a quote by Peggy O’mara and she said “The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” And I am doing everything in my might to instil in your mind that you are a beautiful, loving, strong woman who can do anything and everything she wants to in life. Please never think otherwise.

I love you so much.

Love mummy.

Ps. Make your brother read this, if you can… he’s always been a stubborn little bugger.

*Ate – a filipino term added to females older than you as a sign of respect.