Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Travel Packing Tips for Light and Stylish Holiday

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You would think that because we are women, packing lightly and looking stylish are two things that belong on different sides of the spectrum but contrary to popular belief, it really is possible to travel light and still manage to pack stylish pieces to make your holiday Instagram worthy.

With all of our options for layering, mixing and matching, donning ballet pumps and all of those lightweight materials, packing light is definitely easier for us when you think about it, you just have to learn how to fold well and know what you are going to wear. The following tips will help you master the art of traveling light in style.


As women, we are fortunate to have so many beautiful materials to play up our look from silk, lace and delicate cotton. All of these materials which transpire in elegant blouses or shorts, chic midi skirts and sleek trousers are all light weight pieces that won't take too much space in your luggage. Fold such light pieces well and roll them at the end so they don't crease and you will find that they take half the space of denim pieces or one bulky jacket.


Channel chic vibes and make your life easier when packing by adding more one outfit pieces rather than a lot of separates. Go for dresses, jumpsuits and playsuits that suit your body. These one piece outfits will take less space than two items.


Another way of having several outfit options on holiday without packing your whole wardrobe is by choosing style pieces that go together, so that you will be able to layer, mix and match and have a different outfit for everyday of your holiday.


Accessories are just as important for a stylish girl going on holiday but packing your entire jewelry collection isn't practical (not to mention the fact that it is risky). Choose jewelry pieces that will go with most of your outfits, add a scarf and keep your sunglasses on you so that you will be covered throughout your holiday.


Hairsprays and the hair dryer, lotions, make up and even perfumes if you have — travelling sized packages are your friends and you should take advantage of them. You are going to be on holiday so you won't need a whole bottle of shampoo or the whole of your make-up case. Stick to the essentials and reduce the bulk.


Speaking of bulk, when you start going for lightweight materials and traveling sized packages you will find that you have enough space to bring along a bulky piece with you. Whether that is a pair of heels or a wide brim hat, a classic coat or a pair of boots, it will definitely be easier to add a bulky piece once you have packed so many lightweight pieces.

About the Author: Jae Rustia is a fashion junkie by day and a reader by night. Find her on Twitter @JaeRustia.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

My Second Trimester Pregnancy Outfits

At the end of this week I will be entering the third trimester of my pregnancy. It awes me how time flies and how the nine months journey of pregnancy doesn´t actually feel that long, at least that´s how it feels for me thus far.

So I thought that before I bade farewell to the golden trimester of pregnancy I better go back to all the outfits I wore the past three months. All these outfits are clothes from my pre-pregnancy closet. I didn´t shop for pregnancy clothes, and even the few dresses I bought while pregnant are dresses that I will certainly wear post pregnancy.

Week 19
Week 19: Black and White Stripe Dress 

This b&w stripe dress is a sleeveless summer dress which I layered with a purple cardigan for an indoor outfit. This photo was taken on a winter day so this won´t work outdoor.

Week 20
Week 20. Little Gray Dress 

For a first taste of spring, I layered a little gray dress with cowl neck with a black and white leopard print cardigan (which I could no longer close due to the bump), a pair of dark gray leggings, a brown leather jacket, and I finished the look with some high-top sneakers that are so comfy for a stroll at the park. I also added a black infinity scarf to keep my neck warm.

Week 20

Fit and Flare Polka Dot Dress

That weekend hubby and I were invited to the first birthday party of Angie, my friend´s blessed baby who arrived while she´s 42 years old! I wore a sleeveless fit and flare dotted dress which, luckily, has a stretchable bodice to accommodate my growing belly. I layered it with a black pullover.

Baby Angie was so lucky to have a warm weather for her birthday. The temperature hit 20 degrees so that we´re able to have outdoor pictorial.

Week 21

Week 21: Rose Quartz
Rose Quartz is 2016`s pantone color. Digging deep in my closet I found this rose quartz knitted sweater dress which I have never worn because it used to make me look too thin pre-pregnancy. Now that I have gained a few kilos and with a showing bump, the dress fitted perfectly.

I layered it with a dark brown floral silk scarf, some black tights, a pink leather jacket, and some maroon lace-up ankle boots for spring.

Week 23
Week 23: Printed Velvet Cardigan

This photo was rather spontaneous. Hubby and I did cat sitting for our two cats in the garden and he took some baby bump photos for me. I was wearing my house clothes, a comfy knitted sweater in mint with some comfy, red plaid shorts, and I swapped my winter slippers for these (for the garden) flat brown boots. I also threw over a printed velvet cardigan which is my favorite.

Week 23
Week 23. Bike Look

Really loving this biker look I created for my bump. This outfit features Calvin Klein leather boots, Zara leather jacket, X=ACT sweater dress (a popular brand in Thailand), and Picard satchel.

Week 24
Week 24. Print on Print Monochrome

I matched a floral print Mango sweater with a Mango plaid mini skirt (both monochrome) for an appointment with my OB. Because it snowed that day, I finished the look with some tall boots and an army coat.

Week 24
Week 24: Pashmina Scarf

My spring layering turned out to be not warm enough for the weather that day, but it was too late to go home and change, so I wrapped myself with a two-sided thick pashmina scarf to protect my baby bump from the cold. The scarf became the main statement of this look.

Week 24
Sweater Dress with Flutter Sleeves

For a fridate with hubby, I layered a fave knitted sweater dress with flutter sleeves with all black – pullover, scarf, tights, and black oxford flat shoes.

Week 24

Paisley Print Mini Dress

This mini dress which I got from a flea market quickly became a favorite of mine. It´s so, so gorgeous that it can be layered nicely for spring or worn as is for summer. Because it´s empire waist, it catered my already big bump.

Week 25
Week 25. LBD with Houndstooth Blazer

Hubby´s second cousin who´s also his goddaughter had her first communion last week. For the event, I dressed up a stretchy little black dress with black stockings, a houndstooth print blazer (sleeves rolled up) from Mango, snake print high heels with ankle strap from H&M, and a pink pop Valentino satchel.

Little Black Dress

This LBD was gifted to me by a friend in Bangkok. My hubby loves how it looked on me before I got pregnant, but the dress turned out to be also gorgeous for my bump because of its stretchy material. I just love how it shows off my bump. I accessorized it with a slim mono print scarf and of course, the snake print stilettos.

Week 26
Week 26
Week 26. Oversized Purple Sweater Dress

I love plenty of oversized pieces because of how comfortable they feel. This purple sweater is one of them; I got it from H&M last year and it´s just perfect for my bump. In order to balance the boxy look, I paired the sweater with some nude slim boots.

So that´s about my pregnancy outfits for second trimester. Remember that they´re mostly outfits for spring. I´ll be showing more in summer so expect me wearing maxi dresses and lots of airy mini dresses.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Military-Chic Combo for an End-Winter Casual Date with Hubby

I recently celebrated the arrival of spring, but guess what? It still is very much winter in my side of the world – cold, rainy and freezing windy – that I guess the slang “crappy weather” is becoming a daily part of my vocabulary. Yay!

However, just before winter officially ended, on our calendar at least, my husband affectionately asked me out for a Friday lunch date to celebrate the weekend. I even got to choose the place, and because preggy me loves yummy healthy foods, I picked the popular vegetarian restu in our city.

My husband works really long hours during the week but he get to go home early on Fridays, at two in the afternoon. That´s the reason why Friday afternoons are usually a date-time for us.

One of the things that I love to do is walking and I continue to do so while pregnant. For the Friday date meet-up, I walked from our place to the city which took me 45 minutes using the short-cut in the woods, while hubby drove straight from his work to the city. I feel good whenever I get to walk long.

As for my outfit, I wore the army green jacket my husband got for me at Zara during our Würtzburg escapade early this month. I love this jacket because it´s roomy and comfortable for my growing baby bump. Finally, my favorite black parka could rest for now, it´s a little tight already around the belly area.

I wore a gray hoodie and gray wool shorts under the jacket, very basic and comfy, teamed up with black tights, nude pashmina scarf, and brown suede knee-high boots. I carried a lemon yellow satchel too. While my outfit is more about comfort than style, putting a little thought on the color combination, which is pretty much military-chic with a hint of girly-ness, keeps the look still stylish albeit casual. Even my tortoise eyeglasses with yellow green accents on the side matched the color combo!

The delish vegetarian meal we enjoyed + the green and orange smoothies actually made me wished that I could be more creative with the vegetables I prepare at home. But if I cook as great as at the restu, then it diminishes the excitement of eating out, right?

Btw, the green smoothie was mine and it tasted much better than the orange.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Pregnancy Outfit: Yellow Print Body Con Lace Dress at Week 17

Hello, girls! I kept mum about my pregnancy until my baby turned 17 weeks. My husband and I just wanted to make sure that our baby is safe before we share the good news to our friends. Aside from my private Facebook account, the only place I´ll be sharing my baby bump outfits will be here on my personal blog.

I wore a yellow print body dress which is super stretchy. I got this dress eight years ago while still living in Bangkok and have shared an outfit look of it here on the blog sometime in 2009.

See the dress in 2009 here: It's not only what you wear, it's where you go

I added a gray cardigan to cover my shoulders.

My husband adores seeing me in this dress pre-pregnancy but when he saw me rocking it with an evident baby bump, he initially disapproved the idea of sharing these photos to friends. He finds it too sexy for a maternity dress. But I love wearing stretchy fitting dresses for my growing baby bump because my goal is to wear the bump as an accessory. I don´t want to hide it, I want to embrace it.

Eventually my husband gave me his blessings.

Anyway, this photoshoot in my living was done rather too quickly. I hope people didn´t notice, but if they looked closely, the lining of the dress towards the left hem wasn´t properly set. It looks like the dress has a diagonal lining beneath the lace.

As you can see, my bump sets a little high, and it extends under my chests. Some say I´m having a girl, but although I too feel it´s a girl, there´s really no certainty until the day we´ll find out for sure the baby´s gender through ultrasound.

I´ll be sharing my pregnancy outfits every now and then, so whatch out for it. I´m really glad that my baby is due in summer, which means mommy can play dress up with her spring and summer outfits. Expect maxi dresses; lose tops and shorts, and A-line dresses belted right just below the chest.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

My Outfit: Patterned Tights + Lace Up Ankle Boots

Last November we were in Würtzburg, Bayern. We didn´t have enough time to get around the city that time, so we went back. No, I´m kidding ;). My mother-in-law had actually yet another appointment with the specialist and my husband had to drive her. But unlike last time when hubby and I spent more than half of the day boringly waiting for her, this time around we simply dropped her at the hospital and we went straight to the city for some joyful exploration.

This white dresser embodies my personal taste.

First we went to Ikea. We explored everything that Ikea has to offer. And you know what? I became so fascinated with the children room designs. In particular, I was going ohhh and ahhh seeing some princess-y themes for a little girl´s room. There were pink and pastels in white background accented with some floral prints and even polka dots! It´s like I´m imagining my child already to be a girl, albeit we still don´t know its gender.

We ended up buying some items for our kitchen. And then we went to have some food at the third floor of the Ikea building. Surprisingly, their menus were delicious really cheap. We understood that they made their food so affordable so their customers would stay longer and shop better. Preggy me ended up eating all that I could. I was so stuffed but if I´d just let my appetite decide, I could eat even more. (Hint: for my third trip to the food counter, I went for an overflowing bowl of fresh fruits salads. They even had last three slices of water melon for me, something I´ve always been craving since the first trimester but have to wait until summer before I could buy some at grocery stores. How lucky!)

From Ikea we went to the city´s shopping street and did some shopping at Zara. My husband got a printed bomber jacket for himself and an army green jacket for me. As for me, I got two beautiful printed dresses in silhouettes that are comfortable for a growing belly.

The outfit I wore for Würtzburg escapade is a layering of dark colors and prints. I wore a dark green sweater with a black ruffled skirt, layered with a pair of printed tights in colors that actually matched my lace-up ankle boots. My black parka hid my growing baby bump which is already at 16 weeks. All in all, although it was cold, I had a really great day.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Stylish Sportswear Pieces That You Can Wear To The Office and How

Editor´s Note: The following is a guest post by Jae Rustia.

One of the things office workers commonly complain about is that sometimes we wish we can work wearing our pajamas, or at least something as comfortable as that. But being a part of the corporate world where everyone is expected to look professional, dependable and elegant every single day, wearing comfy clothes seems like a dream when heels and skirts are always front and center.

Another struggle you probably encounter especially for those who goes to the gym before or after work is bringing all your gym stuff around; unless you have a car or a locker where you can keep them the entire day.

But did you know that there are a couple of ways you can cheat around, especially now that sportswear for men and women are more on the stylish side. Below are a few examples on how you can rock your active wear on the office without getting caught.

Wearing a Crop Top or a Tank Top: 

Ladies, I'm sure most of you have tried this before, wearing a tank top or a crop top into the office. But did you know that you can wear your favorite sportswear top into the office without being caught and still look stylish?

Turn that comfy top into an office style by wearing your crop top underneath a good jacket or pairing a tank top with a nicely tailored coat. Add some accessories and voila you'll be the next fashion icon (maybe).

Wearing Yoga Pants: 

Have you heard about yoga pants being worn in the office, no? We'll, now you do, maybe you'll be the first one in your workplace. Yoga pants if you didn't know yet are now available in different colors and aside from the normal tones of black and gray, there are printed leggings that can pass as a great option for slacks or skinny jeans. Pair it with elaborately woven knit, preferably something that is chunky and loose to contrast the tight yoga pants, an elegant pair of pumps or ankle boots and you are good to go.

Wearing Hoodies: 

You're probably thinking of ways on how you can wear this inside a corporate environment during cold seasons, we'll it's actually very easy. First, you've gotta choose one without too much accessories or prints and plain toned ones like black, gray, red (a darker, on the way to maroon shade is my favorite), your choice of colour.

Second, if you pair it with a skirt, you've gotta choose a nicely printed one or no print at all to make-up with the “low key look” of your top paired with a good heeled shoes, (ankle boots anyone). If you wear it with pants you can pair it with a nice black heeled shoes or pumps. Jackets, leggings or any other accessories are also a nice fashion statement.

Wearing Sports Shoes: 

You would usually see men pairing their tennis shoes with slacks and I don't see any point why not? It's stylish, it gives a sporty business appeal and it makes them somewhat more approachable.

As for women, this is an easy and stylish way to be looking chic during a casual Friday, not to mention the current trend where you pair your dresses and skirts with sports shoes. Take your time in finding the right clothes to pair your shoes, or better yet, choose a nice pair of sports shoes that can go every way with your casual/office wear.

Wearing Sports Accessories: 

There are an array of sports accessories to choose from especially for women, but how can you wear it or use it in the office?

A good example is a sports bag, there are plain prints and printed one's you can choose depending on your mood or the tasks you have for the whole day, the best choice is probably the plain toned one's as it can go a long way. Fitness bands can be worn with your bracelets or watch, or you can choose an accessory that is sports inspired to grant your inner sporty soul.

With the given options, did you find one that suits you? Did I forget to add something? Feel free to comment, so I'll know what you think.

About the Author: Jae Rustia is a fashion junkie by day and a reader by night. She's usually on Youtube watching makeup video tutorials and yoga for beginners or browsing The Upside Shop for the latest sport wear trend. Find her on Twitter @JaeRustia

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

An Early Winter Outfit for a Visit in Würzburg, Bayern - Brown Leather Jacket + Leopard Pants

Late in November 2015, my husband and I visited Würzburg, a city in Germany in the state of Bayern. It was early winter around that time, so as you can guess, I could still brave the cold with a leather jacket. In middle winter, however, I can only survive the outdoor with a parka or a thick fur coat.

We went there to accompany my mother-in-law for her eye checkup where an eye surgery was scheduled. The eye surgeon experts are located in that city. Well, it turned out, she didn´t have to do the surgery. So after a half day of waiting, we went to explore the city.

The problem in winter is the early sunset, around half past four the sun already disappears. That´s the reason why most of these photos are dark.

I wasn´t able to see much of the city but enough for me to have the impression that it´s another gorgeous city. I love their totally huge capital building which looks like a palace. And I love their parks too. Eventually, we ended up in their shopping street where we did some shopping of high street brands.

For that one-day-escapade, I wore a dark olive sweater underneath a brown leather jacket from Zara, paired with leopard pants (see how I wore the leopard pants in summer), some sneakers, and a printed scarf from Mango. For my bag, it´s a satchel from 3.1 Phillip Lim.

I hope to be able to explore the city yet once again in summer.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Happy Valentine´s Date With My Love

It was a cold, freezing Valentine´s Day for us and it happened to be on a Sunday. Here in our side of the world the entire city shuts down on Sunday, except the restaurants and bars. This is our fifth Valentine´s together as a married couple, and to mark the celebration, my husband initiated a lunch date at a Thai restaurant.

You see, even if we´re both Filipinos who live in Germany, our love story happened in Bangkok, Thailand, where I lived and worked as a teacher for six years.

As we enjoyed some of our favorite Thai delicacies, we reminisced over our cute, worthy-of-a-book-deal love story. It felt like it happened just yesterday, but if we´re to be real, the love affair started over seven years ago.

Now to our outfits … I went for a pink bell sleeved flared sweater top, white lace skirt, black tights, black tall boots, a red handbag, pulled together with a dark brown fur coat.

I love how my sweater and the fur coat hid my already evident baby bump at 14 weeks. Styling my outfits now comes down to comfort on my belly and safety for my baby.

My ever gorgeous husband went for a show-dropping casual smart look with faded blue Hilfiger slim jeans, blue striped button down matched with a blue printed necktie, and topped with a black vest, brown leather dress shoes, and a long coat.

Tom Yum Gai

Phat Thai

Spicy curry.

Steamed sticky rice with banana wrapped in banana leaves.

After a heavy meal, we attempted to walk around, inspired by the many love birds who strolled the city, but in less than 15 minutes we opted to go home as the temperature turned freezing.

So that´s how I spent my Valentine´s Day 2016, how about you, darling?