Sass and Spice

5 ways to wear a 90’s slip dress for Winter

Stuck in a rut during winter wearing the same uniform of ripped jeans, boots and jacket? If you are like me and have been loving 90’s inspired slip dresses, why not try styling them differently so you can wear them right through winter too?

So what is it about the slip dress that is making a comeback right now? Well, unlike other 90’s fashion like flannel shirts, chunky platforms and high waist ‘mother jeans’, the slip dress is very chic and sleek. It’s actually mind boggling that it actually faded off the fashion radar since it’s such a wearable staple item that should belong in every female’s wardrobe.

 

Lyst, Givenchy slip dress

I’m loving this beautiful Givenchy silk slip dress. It’s asymmetric cut and criss cross detail at the back makes it perfect for both either casual or elegant affairs. Available via Lyst here

Here are 5 ways to style the slip dress this winter:

1. Pair it with thigh high boots

Lyst

Image source: Splash news via Daily Mail

Now fashionably acceptable to be worn outside a strip club, these boots are also perfect for winter because they are one of the few fashion items which are ultra sexy but actually keeps you warm too.

SassandSpiceLystOfficegreysuedeboots

I love these boots from Office which are crafted from grey suede. It features a rounded toe and slim mid height stiletto heel, plus very affordable too. Available here.

2. Dress it over a turtleneck

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Image source: Yahoo Style

If ultra sexy boots aren’t your thing why not go the other way and embrace ‘geek chick’? And what better way to work a 90’s look with another another 90’s fashion cult item? Perfect with white sneakers too.

3. Juxtaposition with your accessories

Lyst

Image Source: Sandra Semburg

Wearing a dress is always cooler when you wear it unexpectedly and ensures you don’t look the same as when you wore it summer. Toughen up a dainty dress with some boots. Make an evening dress casual by wearing a beanie. And don’t forget the oversized coat…which is very practical too!

Self Portrait lace slip dress, Lyst

If the minimalist look isn’t for you, add ruffles, white floral lace and sheer polka dot detail! I love this detail in this dress from Malaysian-born designer Han Chong, Self Portrait and would wear it with nude or white accessories. This dress is available here.
4. Wear over pants

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Image Source: Sandra Semburg

Yes you read that right! Swap the standard black tights and instead wear it over jeans or black pants instead. To avoid looking like a preschooler, I would ditch the sneakers and wear it with some neutral coloured pumps and a tailored blazer.

Rick Owens black pants, Lyst

Try this look with these Rick Owen casual trousers. Available here.

5. Dress it under a knit.

Lyst, Slip dress

Image Source: Collagevintage.com

When all else fails, just put a chunky knit over your dress. It always works to hide a multitude of sins.

Alexander McQueen knit, Lyst

This Ivory cable-knit wool sweater By Alexander McQueen is available on sale here.

This sponsored blog post is a collaboration with Lyst. Lyst partners with the world’s greatest designers and stores to bring you the world of fashion in one place  From high-end to high-street fashion, Lyst gives you a personalised shopping and style inspiration experience and compares prices from around the world to get you the best prices.

S x

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Variety of Choice Home Lottery

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Variety WA- The Children’s Charity of WA is all about empowering WA kids who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs to live, laugh and learn. For 3 year old identical twins Elisabeth and Mishelle (pictured above), Variety has granted these girls with special high chairs which gives sufficient support and helps lessen the labour intensive process of feeding each daughter one at a time on their mother’s lap.

Variety helps children in need overcome the obstacles they face to live life to the fullest and help kids be kids. Their work allows children to gain mobility and freedom, to get out and about in the community, to increase self-esteem and help achieve independence.

By purchasing a ticket in the Variety of Choice Home Lottery, you will help Variety to positively impact the lives of children like Elisabeth and Mishelle, and their families, in Western Australia. A million dollar Plunkett Home is up for grabs and as since there are only 50,000 tickets on sale, it’s the best odds for an entrant to win a home lottery prize in WA.

Net proceeds from ticket sales will allow Variety to help raise vital funds to support their various projects and tangible equipment for children in need throughout WA. This can range from iPad and specialist ‘apps’ to help children living with Autism, to vehicle modifications for children with physical disability to travel safely in the family car, modified bicycles, camps, wheelchairs and more.

The lucky winner will walk away with one million dollars to spend with Plunkett Homes, building in the style and location of their choice. They could buy land and build a countryside retreat, demolish their existing home and build a brand new million dollar mansion or even build two houses and enjoy rental return for years to come. Or they can take $800,000 in cash instead – the winner has the choice!

Tickets are at $100 each. To purchase tickets visit www.varietylottery.com.au or call 1300 30 38 30. Ticket sales will close at midnight on Friday, 31 July unless sold out prior. Ticket purchases made before June 27 will also go into the draw to win one of two cash bonus prizes, as well as the main prize pool. Plus, there is a one in 20 chance to win a range of other fantastic items including cars, overseas holidays, jewellery, electrical goods and much more.

Good luck!

 

 

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My home on Apartment Therapy

My home has been featured on Apartment Therapy today! Click on the link to see the beautiful pictures taken by Hayley Kessner.

Also, a big welcome if you have come from the Apartment Therapy site! My Instagram @SassandSpice has more pictures of my home here.

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Close Encounter at Perth Zoo

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Going crazy like me figuring what to do during the school holidays? Perth Zoo is always a good idea and there is so much going on there at the moment.

A few months ago, Lily, Nyla and I were invited to our VIP day at the Zoo to sample the Orangutan Rooftop and the Bush Buddies Close Encounter Eye to Eye. Close Encounters take you behind-the-scenes to experience the animals up close.

The Orangutan Rooftop Close Encounter Eye to Eye is recommended for 8 year olds + so I’m sure they catered it for our younger age group. The primate zookeeper took us up the stairs to the roof so we could see the Orangutan exhibit from up high. Lily got excited that she got to throw a bag of food to the mother Orangutan who then gave it to her 4 year old daughter.

There is no age limit for the Bush Buddies Eye to Eye so it’s perfect for when you have preschooler aged children or toddlers. Lily’s favourite moment was when a quokka called ‘Sticky’ came up to her and she got to feed him. Sticky is actually named after the Kings Park play area ‘Sticky Beaks’ because that was where he was found! It is assumed someone stole him from Rottnest Island and abandoned him there.

There are lots more Close Encounter programmes and right now there is also a Eye to Eye Dino experience to give you a special tour of the dinosaurs at Zoorassic Park.

You can find more about these programmes on their website here: http://perthzoo.wa.gov.au/visit/close-encounters/

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WestSwim – Learn to Swim School

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I remember learning how to swim in primary school from the age of seven. It is very much the Australian way of life to be around water and to know how to swim.  Even though I can swim, I don’t think I’ve truly mastered it…which has a lot to do with the way I was taught and not doing lessons regularly enough. I really want my girls to learn how to be safe around water and be able to swim well. If they have this knowledge, I think they can be confident enough to master it (if they wish) and most importantly be safe.

Swimming WA (the peak body for swimming in the state) have established their own learn-to-swim programme called ‘WestSwim’. I took up a free trial to have both Lily and Nyla assessed and then have a follow on free lesson. Lessons are 30 minutes and conducted all year round in a 25 metre pool. The programme aims to build life long swimming and water safety knowledge for 2.5 year olds right through to teenagers.

The main point which differentiate WestSwim from other classes my daughters have participated in is that there is a big focus on correct technique and water safety right from the start. The pool is 1.2 metre in depth so in between the raised platforms they really have to swim. Parents also don’t have to go into the pool and there is a low ratio of instructors to students so I could see my kids getting a lot more attention than with their previous swimming schools.

Lily and Nyla also both had their lessons at the same time which I find very handy given I don’t have to wait around for another lesson and needing to entertain Lily or Nyla whilst the other one is in the pool. Lily’s lesson had her practising freestyle stroke with a board and she got a lot of one on one attention. Nyla actually had the instructor to herself and her lesson focused on her kicking, blowing bubbles and trying to raise her confidence with putting her head in the water.

WestSwim currently operates out of two (2) venues in Perth – Chisholm College, Bedford and Churchlands Senior High School, Churchlands. Check out their website to find more about their programme: http://www.wa.swimming.org.au/westswim

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Marnie’s Birth Story

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Meet Marnie! She is now 9 weeks and we love her to bits. Both Lily and Nyla adore her and surprisingly they have coped really well with the new addition. The birth went really well and I really do credit hypnobirthing for getting over my initial fear of childbirth and having calm birthing experiences.

My contractions started 6 days before my due date and half an hour after coming back from spending the afternoon with Lily at Kmart buying her art supplies. I messaged my husband to tell him I could be in labour and then had to arrange for our friends to come around and stay the night at our place in order for Lily and Nyla to be cared for since my family were all away. After an hour I knew I definitely was in labour so started bouncing on the fit ball during each contraction for pain relief.

At 7pm both my girls were asleep and I was frantically gulping down raspberry leaf tea and trying to relax with the hypnobirthing music. At 10pm, my friends arrived and I was ready to go into hospital. At this stage I was still able to talk normally and even had conversations with my friends before getting into the car.

When I arrived in the hospital I actually requested for the internal exam to see how far along I was as the contractions were about 5 minutes apart at this point. I was 4 cm and after I explained that it was my third labour and how quickly Nyla came they were prepared for a speedy labour. I tried the bath for the first time which wasn’t available for my previous births and it just wasn’t for me as I felt more comfortable standing up at this stage and the shower head could be directed at my pelvis which was experiencing the most pain.

I remember feeling a lack of confidence and frustration directed at that my parents being away, so knew these were the classic signs of the ‘transition phase’ and that the birth was close. My legs were trembling at this point and I was grasping for dear life onto the bar in the shower demanding my husband to direct the water all around my pelvis. After 10 minutes I felt this huge weight down on my bottom so felt the strong urge to push. The midwife calmly suggested I stay in the shower instead of turning off the shower and moving to the bed. This probably alarms most people but after Nyla’s birth I knew not lying down was the best position for me in terms of managing the pain and post delivery recovery.

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At 12:38am, after a few pushes, the baby was delivered in my arms before the doctor even arrived! I remember the shower still being on so I had a very quick rinse (quite handy actually) and headed to the bed. I forgot to even check the baby’s gender and when I saw she was a girl I knew we has to call her Marnie as Lily wanted that name if she had another sister.

I loved this birth as there were no interventions and post delivery recovery was fantastic as I didn’t need any stitches. I would have never had thought I’ll be the type of person to have had a birth this way as before getting pregnant with my first I was adamant that I would be having an elective Caesarean birth due to my fear of childbirth. I’m so thankful that hypnobirthing came into my life.

Our family really does feel complete now and even though I’m constantly getting the question of trying again for a boy, we have decided that three kids is the right number for our family – regardless of the gender of our children.

You can read Lily’s birth story here and Nyla’s birth story here.

S x

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Childsmart Product Review: BRIO Ride On Dachshund Dog

Nyla loves dogs but we decided to not get one as a pet just yet as we are still dealing with all the chaos of having a newborn. So for now, ‘Dachsie’ (The BRIO Ride On Dachshund) will have to do for Nyla and she loves it!

This iconic ride on toy is from BRIO and originates from the 1950’s.  Nyla pushes it along with her feet and it delights her to see the tail wag while she moves forward. It seems easy for her to manoeuvre and steer as she moves around very quickly. We have other wooden ride along toys but Dachsie is sturdier due to the solid wood design and the non-slip rubber wheels.

BRIO, originates from Sweden and have been creating quality educational toys since 1884. BRIO are known for successfully combining innovation with respect for their heritage of quality craftsmanship.  Since 2014, their wooden toys have been made from traceable wood coming from responsibly managed forests.  

I’ve been a fan of BRIO products since having Lily and I particularly love their clean and simple designs which are still bright and cheerful enough to appeal to kids. I know Nyla will get a lot of love and use of out Dachsie and I’m confident that it will be passed along to her younger sister still in great condition and hopefully she will love it too!

Product specifics:
Age: 12 months+.  Up to maximum weight of 25kg.
Dimensions: – L 57.7 x W 27.5 x H 39cm
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
This post is part of the Childsmart’s Trial Club Program where I will be receiving products to provide an honest review. This is not a paid post and all opinions, words and views are strictly my own. 

Childsmart is the ultimate kids destination for little people and exclusive distributor in Australia and New Zealand of a number of leading brands for high quality products that satisfy toy, kids lifestyle and nursery customers. Click on the following links to purchase or find out more about this product:

Websitehttp://www.childsmart.com.au
Twitter (@Childsmartaust): https://twitter.com/childsmartaust
Facebook (@Childsmart): https://www.facebook.com/Childsmart
Instagram (@Childsmart): https://www.instagram.com/childsmart/

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Third trimester third time around

I’m well into my third trimester now as I’m officially 38 weeks so the countdown is definitely on. This is my third pregnancy (which has gone beyond the second trimester) so I’m pretty confident somewhat but having two young ones makes it hard to focus on myself like I did with my other two pregnancies.

Whereas my first trimester I spent most of my time trying to avoid throwing up and craving anything fried and salty like crazy, my second trimester was very much smooth sailing with a prominent bump forming. These were the same symptoms for all my pregnancies, but this time around, as soon as I hit my third trimester at 28 weeks, I noticed I was a lot bigger than usual and had already gained over 10 kgs. This didn’t happen for the first two pregnancies until I was 38 weeks.

And then after a hectic week involving work and Lily’s birthday I woke up in extreme pain and couldn’t walk. Not to go through the gruesome details, but a couple of needles and some huge doses of homeopathetics later, I’m on the mend.

Now that the holidays are over and I’m off work, I can really start to slow things down although it can still be hard when the kids aren’t in school and my usual support system besides my husband (i.e mum and sister) are off overseas.

So what is my advice for other pregnant ladies during their third trimester? I would say to focus on yourself and say ‘no’ a lot more to work and social gatherings. You have to look after yourself and your baby so that means plenty of rest (not running around in heels) and getting plenty of time to prepare for the birth. Oh and get lots of pampering…go and SPOIL yourself!

If this is your first birth, I would strongly recommend some birth training (i.e. hypnobirthing) outside the antenatal classes offered by your hospital or birthing centre. This is to prepare you with techniques for a natural birth but also useful to cope and calm yourself when birthing makes an unexpected turn to interventions such as inductions or emergency C-sections too. You usually only start this training during your third trimester. I would also recommend having a doula or private midwife as well as I regret not having one during my first birth as it would have taken a lot of stress out of my husband and myself who needed support from someone who was experienced with births and most importantly supportive of our birth plan.

Here are my final plans until baby arrives which are almost identical to how I prepared for Nyla’s birth:

    • Finish up pregnancy yoga and pilates
    • Walk
    • Continue with hypnotheraphy (affirmations, reading, rainbow relaxation)
    • Optimum baby positioning techniques – i.e. crawling position for at least 30 mins a day. Minimise slouching on couch.
    • Epi-Ntraining
    • Book final pregnancy massage
    • Attend final Osteopath session
    • Pack hospital bag and kids bags
    • Type and print out Birthing preferences
    • Book Acupuncturist on Week 40 (to avoid artificial induction)
    • Stock up on bulk newborn nappies and wipes

Before I know it, this baby will be here which is scary thinking I’ll be a cradling a newborn in less than two weeks!

What plans did you make during your third trimester?

 

 

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Product Review: Cleaning floor without chemicals – HAAN SI-A70 Multi Steam Mop Cleaner

Suffering from eczema and having kids makes me paranoid about using chemicals to clean the house. The only exception is probably using a bit of bleach now and again in the toilet but everything else I use mainly plant derived cleaners or just good ol’ water. Having white floors drive me mad as you can see every stain and mark the kids leave behind – but I’m still determined to not use anything chemical.

So I’m quite excited to be reviewing the HAAN SI-A70 Multi Steam Mop which I received from Crazy Sales. This steam mop uses zero chemicals and because of its high temperature, it kills 99.9% of household germs, bacteria and dust mites. The steam mop only requires water and can be used on a range of different surfaces including, carpet, tiles, timber and vinyl floors. It also features a swivel-head design for manoeuvrability and easy-fill water tank for convenience. The most attractive feature for me was the flexibility to use it as a handheld steamer so I could use it to sanitise counter tops, toys and even deodorise furniture and bedding.

To date, I have tested the steam mop on our wooden floors. First I had to vacuum up the dust and dirt and then the mop was easy to setup with each component fixing firmly together. As the steam mop is warming up, it is placed on a mat to protect your floors and then it’s ready to quickly to use – 20 seconds in fact! The unit is easy enough to move around and you will need to apply a bit more pressure for stubborn areas. The head was quite flexible as it had no problem with going up skirting boards and corners of the room. The microfibre pads placed on the head are reusable so it can be quite cost effective too.

Some of the features include:

  • Removable Hand-held Steamer
  • Fully Functional Steam Mop
  • Swiveling Low Profile Head
  • Removable Water Tank
  • Ergonomic handle
  • 15 steam jets
  • Environmentally Friendly – Runs on a Small Amount Of Water, w/ No Disposable Pads to Throw Away, No Extra Bottles to Take Up Landfill Space & No Chemicals to Pollute
  • Equipped with a variety of Nozzle Attachments such as Wire-Scrubbing Brush, Angled Nozzle & a Mini-Steam Head with a Cleaning Bonnet

I like that it’s very quick and easy to use, plus it is also easy to pack away. You get about 30 minutes use out of this device so I targetted the high traffic areas (i.e. kitchen, main bathroom and dining area). It’s also great that you don’t have lug around a bucket and there are no strong chemical odours or slippery puddles which are left behind. I hope to try the smaller unit soon on counter tops and bathroom tiles but since our home is still pretty new, I haven’t felt the need to use this just yet.

In summary, I do think this steam mop is worth the purchase but more because of sanitisation to use in conjunction with a weekly clean (i.e. typical mop) which I still think is better for get to the really stubborn stains – like what my kids leave after having pasta! For the clean freaks out there, the sanitisation aspect will give you peace of mind when the kids drop food on the floor and still proceed to eat it. If you don’t have messy kids, the steam mop should be be sufficient to replacing a typical mop.

To find out more or purchase, head to Crazy Sales which offers a great price and swift delivery.

*Steam mop cleaner was gifted for review by Crazy Sales. This is not a paid post and all opinions, words and views are strictly my own. 

S x

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Pregnancy Pick me Up – Endota Spa

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Endota Spa is certainly one of the few spas located right in the centre of Perth’s CBD where you can truly unwind, relax and replenish your mind and body. As you enter the spacious and candle lit relaxation lounge you feel like you have totally escaped the hustle and bustle of the city and into a calming and serene sanctuary.

The spa has an eco-architectural feel and both men and women will feel equally at ease as there are not frilly cushion or sparkles.  You instantly feel at peace.

Last week I went to Endota Spa and  enjoyed the magical ‘Pregnancy pick-me-up’ which is an hour and 15 minutes treatment that includes a footbath, facial, and head, neck and shoulder massage using the Endota organics range. As I entered the treatment room, I was explained that this range is made from Australian native ingredients and is safe to use during pregnancy.

The Endota organics range felt really gentle on my skin and there was no strong odours which is perfect for pregnant women. My favourite products were the daily renewal exfoliant which has Davidsom plum and Alma berry to defend against premature ageing (I actually ended up purchasing this product to take home), and the lip and eye power serum which contains Ginseng extract.

There were no special pregnancy cushions but I felt enough support with the cushions that were provided and lying in different positions. I felt so at ease that I even feel asleep!

My body was so relaxed afterwards and my skin was absolutely glowing. Even if you aren’t pregnant I would definitely recommend booking a spot for a massage or facial here especially if you work in the CBD.

At the moment they are running an Instagram competition, and if you tag them at @endotaspaperth #endotaspaperth you can win a spa package valued at $135. So go treat yourself or get a gift card to really spoil someone special for Christmas. Find out more about their services and products at their website here:  https://endotaspa.com.au/find-a-spa/western-australia/metro/perth-cbd

*Massage was gifted for review. This is not a paid post and all opinions, words and views are strictly my own.

S x

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