what to pack

Thursday, February 28, 2013

we have two trips planned for the upcoming spring break and i thought i'd do a little what-to-pack blog entry. i feel like no matter how i plan ahead of time, i always end up forgetting something. travelling with a child is always challenging but now that aston is older, travelling with him has been such a breeze with fewer meltdowns and surprisingly has been stress-free. i just need to pack efficiently and hopefully not miss anything.

here's what i pack in my own hand carry tote :
magazines, my mini iPad, sunnies, folding flats (if i'm wearing boots) or socks, a scarf or shawl big enough to use as a blanket in the plane and my can't-leave-home-without-it beauty product, benetint. a multipurpose lip and cheek stain product that saves space and makeup application time ideal for travelling!

What to Pack

aston enjoys travelling and he's pretty responsible with his luggage now. he helps in packing and picks out his outfits and snacks. he loves pulling his own hand carry luggage so that helps us out a lot. on top of packing his favorite coloring books and small toys, i make sure we stock up on his snacks, extra underwear and socks. i also make sure we pack a light jacket for him in case weather changes.

what to pack

i hope this post helps you a little in your own travel packing strategy.
enjoy your spring break!

lime green and navy

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

spring sprucing has kicked off in our home. i am loving the navy and lime green combo lately and i am not wasting time switching stuff around. i have a few ginger jar collection and i thought it would be perfect to add touches of lime and chartreuse accents around the house to complete a whole fresh spring look for our home.

images 1 unknown, 23

i ordered these monogram placemats from joss and main earlier this month and i love them. i also got a pair of pillowcases from etsy. i thought the pattern and explosion of colors on the pillows are just bright and lively!



here are a few more things i've been eyeing ~ how pretty are these printed bowls? perfect to toss your keys and extra coins to. maybe i'll also add this amazing candle in the most perfect celadon hue in my coffeetable mix. sprucing is not quite done just yet so stay tuned! 

are you spring decorating yet? do share! 

DIY acrylic tray

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

i've always meant to try this DIY acrylic tray since the holidays. my version uses a very inexpensive acrylic frame from michaels craft store frames section (thanks to a tip from instagram!). an 8 x 10 picture frame is only $ 3.99. it also comes in other sizes all under $ 10. it is not a deep tray, its really meant for pictures but i don't think it matters. container store also carries these acrylic stacking trays in more varied sizes and slightly deeper versions.

supplies : 

acrylic tray
wrapping paper (i used one i already have from target's $ 1 bin)
scissors or blade

this is one easy tutorial. pick your paper liner and cut the desired size (making it slightly bigger - you will go back and trim excess later). turn over your acrylic tray and make sure the bottoms are clean. apply the mod podge clear (follow instructions on container) to the bottoms of the tray (reverse side). 

once that's coated, slowly apply your paper, smooth it out to avoid bubbles. let it dry. then you can cut the excess paper using scissors or a blade cutter for a more finished look. enjoy!

check out more DIY tray versions from the talented courtney (her's has monograms on it!) and from For Chic Sake's metallic DIY with free printables!

oh and by the way, that pretty bead necklace is now available in my goodsie shop!  

going king size

Monday, February 25, 2013

last saturday we spent a great deal of the day shopping for a new headboard for our bedroom. we currently have a contemporary leather one similar to this which we've had forever. it is also time to change mattress sizes and move to a bigger king bed since we have an additional constant bed mate (an almost 6 year old sleepyhead).

this time i want it to be a lighter-colored tufted headboard with softer edges and rounder shape. and no more leather material please. oh and yeah, we had to pick out a new mattress too. here are some major contenders : 


can't wait to show you all what we picked. also i'm dying to update our bedside tables and lamps as well. that'll have to wait though. the new bed and mattress has an ETA of 8-10 weeks. can't get here any faster. currently we have antique chinese side tables that house old magazines, aston's toys, books and endless iphone cords and chargers. not pretty. like i said, i. can. not. wait.

bedside table


and to kick off monday madness, i am visiting the lovely mae of mae badiyan blog
sharing my favorite spring trends!  stop by and say hello!

red carpet date night

Saturday, February 23, 2013

oscar red carpet

let's play dress up shall we? let's pretend that we're walking the red carpet. a girl can dream, right?

are you all excited to see the dresses that the ladies pick to wear for sunday night's award show? i'll be watching the E! team coverage of the red carpet and i'll be rooting for some of my favorites to win. i actually love to listen to everyone's acceptance speeches - some funny, some random rants and mostly emotional moving speeches that i look forward to hear. i miss billy crystal tho.

i'll be tweeting as well and may follow a few twitter parties to add to the fun - so follow along!

if you love the above ensemble (for prom or a formal gala), you can shop the look here :

have fun at the oscar's (or at your own oscar viewing party!)......!

weekend welcome

Friday, February 22, 2013


friday couldn't come any sooner. this week has just been crazy with our bathroom repair underway (which is still halfway from over), catching up with work and fulfilling activities with aston. i am looking forward to some down time with the family and soaking in that next week is already march! whhhattt? 

i foresee getting busier in the next coming weeks and months preparing for spring break, easter, ben's and aston's birthday and finalizing summer camp for our little guy. before you all enjoy your friday and the rest of the weekend, here are a few favorites from this week.....

  • homemade sprinkles make every dessert treat a party in itself
  • preps for aston's 6th golf birthday party is in full force and i'm pinning all sorts of party inspiration in my board to guide me. you can never be too early planning for it right? 
  • can't get this easter tulip arrangement out of my mind. thinking of replicating it for easter sunday brunch
  • ok guys, don't judge but i am loving my hue denim leggings (i refuse to call them jeggings). it has enough stretch for comfort but still maintains its shape and holds in every bulge you may have in your body. i have it in dark denim, grey, foil print and the lacquer (leather-look) finish ~ i have them on rotation
  • favorite shopping lust items for the week - this bag, these monogrammed notecards and i finally made this rose gold coral ring mine. it's perfect for spring and summer!
  • and speaking of shopping, my closet spring cleaning is far from over ~ so visit my goodsie resale shop and see if you spot something you like. i'm constantly adding items so keep checking!
and finally, today is the last day to join our PBC CLOSET earrings giveaway! a winner will be announced tomorrow! 

easter inspiration

Thursday, February 21, 2013

are you excited for easter? i am. it is my next favorite holiday after christmas and i am looking forward to celebrating it every year. it is also around easter when my husband celebrates his birthday, so we always have family and relatives around that easter weekend. 

pottery barn has some amazing inspiration for you and some precious easter brunch and party ideas. their fresh farm easter brunch feature shares some lovely decorating and recipe tips. i particularly love their easter egg decorating party where both adults and kids will enjoy doing easter sunday. both easter-themed soirees have free invitation downloads and music playlist on their site. they've got everything covered for you!

all images from pottery barn

time to bloom

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

there's more rain than freezing temps where we are lately. sign of spring and it is almost here. time to bring out girly floral patterns in bright hues! 

flower power

more floral looks here :

and in case you missed my GOODSIE shop opening yesterday, i've added more slightly used lovelies last night! 

spring cleaning

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

our master shower/bathroom repair is underway (yes, its been delayed). dust is everywhere, my clothes and shoes have relocated (they will be putting in new carpet), all my designer handbags are upstairs and my closet doorway is covered in plastic. yes, part of my husband's closet (where half of my stuff are housed) was not spared from the shower leak hence, a new coat of paint and carpet is needed. 

so with all these major relocation and closet re-evaluating i was able to purge and donate 2 large bags of old clothes and shoes to goodwill last week. i have now moved on to my accessories collection, going over trays of costume jewelry and sorting out which ones i can get rid of to make room for new equally gorgeous stuff from christmas and early this year! 

enter my newly opened resale shop at goodsie!
browse, look around and see if you find anything you like. i am constantly adding things and my next stop would be my clothes and shoes - some new with tags and others barely used and in excellent condition! 


i didn't realize spring cleaning would be this much fun. i'm looking forward to sending off these precious items to new homes and hopefully not regretting i'm letting them go! 

shop my goodsie store HERE

hydrangeas and tulips

Monday, February 18, 2013

i am such a bad blogger. i have not been busting out the real heavy camera in awhile. just contented with my iphone shots and relying on instagram to improve them but i have to admit the real camera brings out the best in every shot. 

i have a canon T2i that i got for christmas from my kind husband 2 years ago with just the lens that came with it, nothing fancy. i took these pictures from my whhostess trunk show at home last november and just uploaded them yesterday (i told you, i'm such a bad blogger!). 

i brought it out last thursday to take pictures for aston's valentine's day party at school. i will share some of those fun shots on a later post. in the meantime, here are some images that's making me long for spring - hydrangeas and tulips - love them! 

happy monday!

top it off

Sunday, February 17, 2013

is your sunday off to a fun start? if you're going out shopping today, let me share a little obsession that you may check it out too.

i am a little obsessed with wearing light blouses lately. i love that you can dress it up or down. throw it over a pair of distressed jeans for a more casual look or wear it with coated skinnies and booties and you're ready for a night out! 

here are a few of the blouses i am swooning over......

images from shopbop

 you can browse more blouses here :

and don't forget to join our current giveaway! 
details HERE

pbc closet giveaway

Saturday, February 16, 2013

how's everybody's saturday so far? well, it's only going to get better. my friend nina just launched her online accessories and gift store, PBC CLOSET and i can't be anymore excited for her. she has been very busy stocking up the store with pretty things and has generously shared a pair of earrings to giveaway today!

she's running a special 15% off with $75 purchase or more with code pbcopen 

so hurry and check out her shop to mark your favorites. here's mine : 

the queen medallion pendant necklace (one of my favorites!)

and the endless lovely bracelet collection that you can browse HERE
you may want to check out her line of rings and earrings - lots of bold and dainty pieces you will love!

if you're not into jewelry, her store also carries cute iphone cases, key chains, handbags and clutches too! 

so on to the fabulous giveaway ~
we are giving away this rhinestone and flower resin earrings (valued at $ 38) to one lucky winner!

Pbc giveaway

see the rafflecopter widget (so many chances to win) for details on how to join! note : you don't have to have a blog to enter the contest and international readers may join! we will pick a winner on Feb 23 - GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

about pinterest

Friday, February 15, 2013

i just had to end an already awesome week with a high note. earlier this week, pinterest rolled out their new ABOUT page design and i was thrilled to be a part of it. a few months ago, they contacted me on submitting a few pictures relating to my superhero/star wars board i created to collate all my party inspiration for aston's birthday party last year. they mentioned that they will be revamping their site's design and would love to include real people utilizing pinterest in their daily lives (uhm yeah, i definitely use it everyday!). they will be choosing a few so it wasn't a confirmed deal. 

so, i ended up submitting a couple of pictures my niece ailynne took at the party and it was indeed a pleasant surprise to finally receive an email from them a few weeks ago. then just the other day, i saw the completed amazing page redesign. can't contain myself i just had to share it! 

thanks pinterest

if you are planning a superhero or star wars - themed party anytime soon, stop by my board, browse around and re-pin tons of party inspiration

our valentine's day

Thursday, February 14, 2013

we normally don't have big plans for valentine's day. up until we had aston, we'd go out to dinner avoiding valentine's day but opting to dine out a few days later. so tonight, it's dinner at home and sharing desserts. 

but aston and i had been busy preparing for his valentine's day party at school. i ordered stickers to go on his sweet treat packages (finger skateboards and sports erasers - ha! - boymom for sure) and last night we finished off writing valentines cards to 13 friends for school. poor thing mastered drawing hearts and writing his name, such a pro! 

later, i'd be heading to his valentines party and snap pics for his classroom. thankful that i can spend that special day with him!



can't resist wrapping his teachers a couple of sweet valentines gifts! 


and we received a lovely card from my parents this morning! 




Wednesday, February 13, 2013

i just caught the last final minutes of the grammys last sunday and i missed the red carpet. thanks to toddlewood, i caught a glimpse of some of the fashion in adorable mini versions. how fun are they? for more cuteness, check out the golden globes mini-me's here

for the love of oscar

rich hues, fur, dramatic drapery, jacquards and romantic toile prints sums up the gorgeous fall 2013 ready-to-wear oscar de la renta runway show yesterday. and the show stopper, just as on every runway show oscar presents - the pink ballgown with embroidery (came in purple too)! LOVE!
all photos from style.com

last minute guy's gift guide

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

i realized it's a few days away before valentine's day and if you're still searching for the perfect gift for him, here's a last minute gift guide that will make your life easy. i myself just picked up my hubby's present yesterday, so it's never too late! 

spring for your home

Monday, February 11, 2013

is your home ready for spring? i am itching to spring-ify (is there such word?) our space. i've got our landscaper scheduled to come back to finish his job in our backyard since we put it on hold during the holidays. i am so ready to add some more bushes and perennials in our backyard landscaping. i'm just hoping for great weather and no freezing temps so this can be all done. 

 in the meantime, i browsed on my favorite stores and here's what i found that i think would add color and brightness to any home! 

spring for home

sunday craving

Sunday, February 10, 2013

hello sunday! hope you all are enjoying your day despite the nasty weather. 
before we head out for a crawfish party (complete with mardi gras-inspired french macarons), i'll leave you with this perfect spring/summer dress to love this season. 

shop all latest dresses here

saturday links

Saturday, February 9, 2013

the weekend couldn't be here any faster! we've got a to-do list to tackle this weekend which includes picking out tiles for our repaired shower. exciting, huh? i am just looking forward hanging out with my family and a fun crawfish party on sunday. yum. 

here are a few links i have been re-clicking for awhile : 

enjoy the weekend! 

my valentine

Friday, February 8, 2013

so the other day, my husband sent me a text message stating that he ordered a hybrid car for me. as far as i know, i am perfectly ok with my current car but it seems that my husband is always in the market for a new one. an aston martin-lookalike hybrid ford fusion is what he wants and he's making it sound like i need it. 

honestly, i think this car is really for him. and for what it's worth, any of these babies would do it for me. something sparkly, something pink, something lacy or something smelling divine!  what are you getting your sweetie for valentine's day? 

Need. Want.

what i wore

Thursday, February 7, 2013

i had been posting #ootd pics in instagram (@swankychicfete) and i had a few inquiries on either my accessories or top or shoes or even nailcolor so i'll share them here. 
gap has been heavy in my wardrobe department lately and i simply love their shirts and blouses (as shown on the top 2 photos - on sale!). the distressed skinny jeans are from gap too. the tortoiseshell chainlink necklace is from my friend nina's shop, pbccloset, which has been a daily favorite too. her site has not officially launched yet, so keep an eye for it!

luckily, i am able to go to work in casual clothes so i live in my skinny jeans, ballet flats and blouses every single day. with the weather up to past 75 degrees, i hardly have to  bust out any of my sweaters!

and before i let you go, i have been notified by skinny scoop that my blog was nominated as one of the top 25 party planning blogs and i'm so happy and honored for this nomination. for some of you that may not know, this blog actually started as an event/party inspiration blog and is still is with some new sprinkling of home decor and fashion style posts. it has evolved some but i am truly proud of my humble beginnings and the 5 readers that stuck with me all these years - LOL. i am even more proud of where this blog has taken me - happy with new friendships and partnerships with you all. thank you for your valuable time and comments and i do appreciate all of you!

so whenever you can get a chance, click the button below - stop by and scroll down the page and vote for me!

 photo list_100246_static_image_zps9a99f5b3.jpg

what is love?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

what is valentine's day? straight from the mouth of babes. 
sweetest, funniest kids ever. 

source : small fry blog

valentine's day date night

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

make it extra special that night and dress up girly and flirty. what are your plans? 

valentine's day date night

dress (other options here and here) // shoes // earrings (similar here)
clutch (similar here and here) // perfume // gloss

weekend recap

Monday, February 4, 2013

still having super bowl hangover? or can't get enough of beyonce's halftime show? safe to say, amidst the lights out drama, the B mini-concert and the almost comeback of the SF 49ers - it was a pretty exciting night!

here's what went down this past weekend : got my february julep maven box and i cant wait to try the colors and the top coat that everyone's raving about. one of our staff made me try greek on the go - tiny granola bites with yogurt and they are addicting!

i have some of the sweetest online friends, laurel of go against the grain sent me the cutest valentine's package ~ cupcake toppers and chocolates ~ can't say no! thanks laurel!

more weekend highlights : a surprise package from my newest blog sponsorchic peek. read all about their fabulous membership subscription program here.

i finally busted out a new candle - a gift from the holidays - that smells amazing, voluspa suede blanc. it's got a fresh musk scent that's perfect for winter. more scent report, i picked up a new cologne, calypso's bellini eau de toilette. i love the sweet scent with it's hint of citrus and jasmine. can't wait to wear them for spring and summer. 

and the weekend does not end without me baking my most requested gluten-free peanut butter cookies. it has become a family favorite. this time i skipped the nutella, still yummy. you can get the recipe here

ok, let's get this week started! 

superbowl sunday style

Sunday, February 3, 2013

whether you're in the actual dome cheering on your favorite team or at home in front of the tv watching the game (and awaiting the exciting commercials) - make it a stylish one! 

superbowl sunday

shop the look here :

i'm really more excited for the halftime show and the funny commercials! 

saturday sponsor highlight

Saturday, February 2, 2013

today i am ecstatic to introduce my latest blog sponsor, CHIC PEEK. the latest in monthly jewelry subscription providing their members access to high-end gem pieces in affordable prices. members' special perks includes access to in-house stylists, free priority shipping, first hand trend reports, special offers and giveaways and of course, your choice of a piece of beautiful trendy jewelry at the low price of $ 30 every month! 

membership is free and signing up is easy and not to mention, fun. once you sign up, it'll first take you to a series of style quizzes that will lead you to the stylist's jewelry picks that fit your personal style. you can choose from that or you can browse the regular online shop. i've easily chosen my favorite pieces and below are just some of them : 

 photo 14ecce2e-ddfc-4c20-a832-5dff5836ddeb_zps5a00a5d0.jpg