16 July 2018

A New Iron-on Patch

Iron-on patches are a quick way to turn blah into TADA! It's a fun addition to jackets, shirts, bags, and shoes. 

I got myself this adorable sneaker patch. I'm a big sneaker fan -- comfort all the way!

It's a new addition to my project pouch.

Simply apply to the pouch with a hot iron and allow to cool.

The spaces on this pouch are slowly filling up with patches from travels, turning a plain pouch from blah to TADA! 

09 July 2018

Hostess Gift Ideas

Whenever we're invited to stay at a friend's place, it's always TADA! to be a gracious guest. That means being helpful around the house, being considerate (especially when sharing spaces like the bathroom), and expressing appreciation. And one way to do that is with a hostess gift!

placemats, table setting, gift ideas from overnight guests, gift basket,
Here is one that I assembled. It has a set of six placemats, a bottle of dish soap and handsoap. These items are useful in any home, but it's also a nice touch to think of your host's lifestyle. The friends who I gave this to cook and entertain a lot. 

placemats, table setting, gift ideas from overnight guests, gift basket
Instead of putting the items in a gift bag, I packaged them like a gift basket. I painted an empty clementine crate (blah to TADA!) and added "Merci Beaucoup" (Thank you very much in French) in brush lettering. You can't see it but at the base, there's shredded paper so that the items don't move around. And I enclosed a handwritten card, too.

placemats, table setting, gift ideas from overnight guests
Guess what?! My friends loved the gift and used them at breakfast the very next day. TADA!

Here are a few more ideas whether you're visiting for dinner are staying a few days:

gift suggestions from overnight guests, homemade gifts
If you like to pickle or make preserves, a jar of your handiwork will impress them. This is roasted garlic in olive oil that can be used for pasta or salad.

Homemade granola that can be enjoyed with yogurt, oatmeal, and on top of baked goods.

Baked goods -- whether from your kitchen or a favorite bakery in your town.

gift suggestions for overnight guests, candle
A candle (store-bought or handmade) that will bring scent and warmth to a home.

I hope these ideas are helpful! What about you? What hostess gifts do you like to give?

02 July 2018

The Downton Abbey Exhibit

One of the TV shows that I faithfully followed and miss terribly since it ended is Downton Abbey. 

Set in an English country estate in the early 20th Century, it chronicles the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. 

Thankfully the Downton Abbey Exhibit is currently on-going in New York City showcasing sets, props, and costumes from the show. 

An audio guide provides helpful references and thoughtful facts. Here are a few photos in case you're a fan, too. 

Let's start Downstairs, the world of the household staff:

This egg holder is my favorite item!

The call bell system indicating the rooms of the estate

Now, let's go Upstairs, the world of the Crawley family:

This is how the table is set every evening

The gong that will announce that "Dinner is ready"

Apart from the beautiful outfits, the lavish accessories were on display, too:

It was a beautiful exhibit! If you're ever in New York City, stop by and re-live Downton Abbey. It runs until September. 

25 June 2018

Straw Bags for the Summer

Hello guys! It's officially summer here in the U.S. and it's all about easy dressing -- dresses, flowy skirts, and shorts. To match the days-under-the-sun outfit, a cute bag is quite appropriate. 

The bag of the season is the straw bag, reminiscent of vacations in the French country, or adventures in Morocco, Asia, and Latin America where these bags are made.

I love the exotic vibe they bring to an outfit. Good thing I already have similar bags in my closet:

They call this the "bayong" in the Philippines. There are bigger, sturdier, and more colorful versions. It's traditionally used as a market bag and is filled with the day's finds like fruits and vegetables, and is carried at the crook of the arm.

I got this as a present. Two dear friends filled it with cookies, candy, and other treats. 

All I did was embellish the bag with pompoms...TADA!

The handles fit snuggly under the arm and it's roomy enough for all the things I take with me when I'm out and about.

Here is another bag I unearthed from my closet:

It's a clutch made from raffia.

To turn it from blah to TADA!, I added tassels and pompoms.

I feel very on trend without spending a lot of money...TADA!