Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hong Kong Holiday Travel Capsule Wardrobe

We are off to Hong Kong soon, and like all of my recent holidays, I decided to pack a Travel Capsule Wardrobe for the trip. Last time, we went in the peak of summer (you can check out that wardrobe here), making it relatively easy to pack (hot, hot and hotter!). This time, it was a lot harder to plan - usually at this time of the year, Hong Kong is hot and humid, but this year, the look-ahead forecast seemed to be promise cooler temperatures, but with a few hot days thrown in. Plus, with most days having a high chance of rain, I am predicting that even though it is going to be cooler, it may even be more humid this time around.

Last time, I went quite light and bright with my colour palette, thinking summer holiday, and forgetting that like most big cosmopolitan cities, black and dark colours tend to reign. While I am not aiming to "not look like a tourist", since really, as soon as you whip out the guide book the gig is probably up, I also didn't want to stick out like a sore thumb. So instead of colour, I went for a dark and deep palette of black, grey and navy, with a few hints of aqua and orange.

Hong Kong Holiday Capsule Wardrobe

So what have I packed? From left to right, top to bottom

  1. CAbi teal, black and grey chiffon tunic
  2. CAbi aqua, grey and white chiffon blouse
  3. Eileen Fisher black asymmetrical jersey tunic
  4. Eileen Fisher navy linen jersey tank with sequins
  5. Eileen Fisher grey linen jersey beaded tunic
  6. Eileen Fisher navy silk jersey tank
  7. Howard Showers black oversized jersey tee
  8. Witchery navy jersey tank with studded shoulders
  9. Sportscraft orange cotton 3/4 sleeved cardigan
  10. Taking Shape navy and grey waterfall cardigan
  11. CAbi black lightweight waterfall jacket
  12. Virtu black cropped pants
  13. J Jill black matte jersey pants
  14. Howard Showers black silky knit pants
  15. Eileen Fisher black silk habitue maxi dress
  16. Virtu black jersey maxi dress

  17. LeSportsac backpack
  18. Witchery blue and black clutch
  19. Tory Burch orange ballet flats
  20. Django & Juliette black suede wedges
  21. Naturalizer black sandals
  22. Witchery black, white and aqua pom pom scarf
  23. Orange gauzy linen scarf
  24. Sportscraft blue and black scarf
  25. Black horn cuff
  26. Pandora bracelet
  27. Tiffany silver ring
  28. Witchery oversized silver ring
  29. Witchery long silver necklace
  30. Taking Shape black and grey belt

We are going for a week, and if it were somewhere cooler and less humid, I would probably pack two-thirds of this capsule, but if last time is anything to go by, I will need to change outfits at least twice a day, and if I can help it, I would prefer to not do laundry while I am there.

Plane trip

When flying, comfort is obviously my first priority, but looking presentable is a close second. While I can't imagine that I will ever score a free upgrade while flying with two young children, I believe that putting at least a little effort into your appearance shows respect for not only yourself but those around you as well. The navy top is silk jersey, and the pants are matte jersey, so they are as comfy as a tracksuit, but still much more polished, especially since the pants have been tailored to the perfect length and fit. I always fly with a scarf, as it is not only a great accessory, but can help deal with the cool air of the plane. The same goes for the wool waterfall cardigan - while I probably won't need it in Hong Kong, we are leaving at 4am in the morning from home, and arriving back home at midnight, so it will keep me warm to and from the airport, as well as on the chilly plane. A for accessories, I am keeping it simply with oversized silver ring and black horn cuff, and my trusty Tory Burch ballet flats, which are not only ultra comfortable, but practical for taking off when going through airport security.  Lastly, I decided on a backpack for this trip, and i actually went and purchased it just for the trip. In the past I have taken one of my larger shoulder totes, but have found them quite impractical when travelling with two young children. I really need both hands free, and I am hoping a backpack will be the solution. Plus, this one from LeSportsac was just so cute, and had the my two pop colours of orange and aqua in its print, how could I resist!


We've got 4 days of sightseeing while in Hong Hong, and again, I want to be comfortable while still looking great! The cardigan and light weight jacket will be great for the cooler mornings, when we are in heavy duty air-con, as well as on our planned harbour cruise.  All of the fabrics are light and breathable, so even if the humidity gets right up there, I should still feel cool and dry.

Theme Parking

 Is Theme Parking a word? I don't know, but it certainly describes what we will be doing for three of our Hong Kong Days. We are planning to spend two days in Hong Kong Disney, which will include a lunch at their fine dining Chinese restaurant Crystal Lotus, hence the slightly dressier outfit in the middle. We are also going to spend a day at Ocean Park, which is the largest theme park in Asia. One thing I've learnt about theme parks is to wear trousers, secure shoes (hence, no comfy Tory ballet flats!), and no accessories that can come off or get tangled, like necklaces or scarves. So three simple, but hopefully still stylish, outfits.

Evenings Out

While I am sure most nights will be fairly casual, it's still nice to get dressed up at least a little. When travelling, I always pack a small clutch so that I don't have to lug my backpack around when going out to a restaurant. This Witchery one is very versatile - it is cobalt blue silk on one side, and black leather on the other, and also has a long carry strap that tucks away in the bag. These silky knit pants are a traveller's best friend - they read dressy, but are as comfy as a pair of yoga pants, and don't wrinkle at all.

So as you can see, with just 16 pieces of clothing and 14 shoes and accessories, I have a complete wardrobe that will take me through almost any occasion over a week. Even if I were travelling for much longer, this same wardrobe (coupled with some laundry time) would be just as perfect, with even more opportunity to mix and match the items.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Giveaway: Giggle and Hoot Magazine

It's no secret that I read a lot of magazines, and for good or bad, this means that Irini loves looking through magazines as well. I love encouraging her love of literacy through all sorts of media, so when I was sent a press release for the launch of a new children's magazine, Giggle and Hoot, I was very excited!

Giggle and Hoot magazine is based on the ABC's popular TV show, and was developed in conjunction with an early childhood expert. From the very first look, Irini was beyond excited. Firstly, is is the same size as mummy's magazines, and this thrilled her no end. Secondly, it came with a cute little craft project to make your own felt version of Hoot, the owl star of the TV show. As for what is inside, let me tell you, it is a real treat! From colouring pages, interactive literacy and numeracy exercises, more craft projects, and a fantastic "share and care" reward chart, this magazine kept Irini entertained over quite a few days, and we still have more to go. Below is a page from the magazine that the publishers have let me post for you to download.

With the school holidays just about upon us, Giggle and Hoot Magazine is a perfect treat to keep your early learner entertained. Available for $5.95 at ABC shops and centres, and newsagents nationally, the publishers have been kind enough to give me two copies to give away. Just leave me a comment, and I will randomly pick two winners next Friday evening.

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, and no compensation was received. I received copies of the magazine for review purposes and the giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Product Review: Belvita Cranberry Breakfast Biscuits

I've always struggled with finding the time (and the desire) to eat a balanced breakfast in the morning, and despite me constantly telling my kids that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it is definitely a case of do as I say, and not as I do! The worst thing is that on the days I miss breakfast, I find that my whole day gets derailed, since I am usually starving by mid-morning, and then make poor choices for the rest of the day. So I was thrilled when Nuffnang offered me a chance to try the new BelVita Cranberry breakfast biscuit.

I am pretty sure that BelVita came out a little while ago (I am vaguely aware of seeing ads for them), but because they are found in the biscuit aisle, I never came across them. The cranberry version I was sent is a new variant and it is delicious! And really, is there anything more delightful than starting your day with a biscuit? Filled with 5 wholegrains (nearly half of your daily recommendation), fibre and with a low GI, these biscuits, together with a homemade latte in my reusable takeaway cup and a piece of fruit, add up to a balanced breakfast that I can eat and drink on the go, and that keeps me going until lunchtime.

Since trying the cranberry variety, which was delicious and fruity, I went out and purchased the other flavours as well. Fruit and Fibre was my next favourite and hubby's first choice, with the fruit adding a hint of chewiness, while the Honey Nut Choc Chip was the kids' choice (no surprise there!). While I still insist on my kids having a sit-down breakfast, these BelVita breakfast biscuits offer me a convenient breakfast without compromising on taste or nutrition.

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Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post and no compensation was given to me. One packet of BelVita biscuits was provided to me for review purposes through Product Talk by Nuffnang. All opinions expressed are my own.

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