Friday, April 29, 2016

A product review and a giveaway- The Gussy waterproof handbag rain covers!

If you are a bag lover like me, you would likely leave your most coveted bags or purses at home when it's raining outside to protect them from water stains. Sometimes, having just an umbrella isn't enough because the poor bag will still ended up catching lots of little rain droplets that leave a permanent mark. I have tried covering my bag with plastic bag in the rain and trust me, it's not a stylish solution. 

Instead of enjoying my beautiful leather bags and my fancy designer bags, I find myself constantly worrying about them getting ruined in the rain or snow! I just want to be able to pick a handbag based on my mood or my outfit and not based on that day's weather or weather forecast. Truth to be told, I am tired of carrying my least favorite handbag during those rainy or snowy days! 

So how do we protect our beloved designer handbags from the unpredictable weather? There is finally a great solution! Can you imagine getting a pretty raincoat for your bags? Now, The Gussy offers smart and stylish waterproof handbag rain covers for your bags and purses! Check this out, my lovelies!

Aren't these rain covers fabulous? They absolutely fit right in with your day-to-day ensemble!

I was thrilled to be offered some fabulous samples to try! These are the two rain covers I received from The Gussy recently.

Front view.

Close up!

Back view.

I am truly in love with this gorgeous rain cover! Featuring a witty, original trompe l'oeil design by New York artist Susan B. Allen, this rain cover looks charming and absolutely chic! The beautiful minimalist design and neutral khaki color would work well with any bags or outfits! 

Front view.

Back view.

This black rain cover is just as stunning! The contrasting beige trim is definitely a lovely touch. Exuding style, sophistication and elegance, you can't go wrong with this beautiful bag protector!

Both Gussy rain covers are generously sized (36" width by 16" height) and will fit larger bags, whether it's a crossbody bag, hobo bag, tote bag- you name it! They can also be used to protect suitcases, rolling bags, computer cases, diaper bags, briefcases and even a beach bag! 

Made of sturdy, lightweight waterproof polyester, a material similar to those of a good raincoat, the material is well-made and looks durable. I like that they are pretty easy to use too. You just slip the strap through the middle flap and reattach the velcro and that's it! A sleeve is included with each rain cover as well.

Overall, I am pleased with both my bag rain covers! Now, I can protect my favorite bags in style and not having to worry about ruining them during the rainy days. Instead, I am going to embrace the rain so I can show off my rain covers! #EmbraceTheRain 

A must-have accessory for anyone who loves style and fashion. It also makes a perfect gift for the fashionable ladies in your life! Highly recommended!

*I have received these products to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Go get yours here!

Here's another great news. The Gussy has decided to give away a rain cover to one lucky winner! (The winner can pick any rain cover of her choice!)

This giveaway is open to US readers only (sorry my international friends)!

To enter:

Be a follower of Mix And Chic blog via Google Friend Connect, visit The Gussy and let me know which is your favorite rain cover on the comment section below. Please also follow The Gussy on Twitter. (one entry)

For example: I am now following you on GFC and The Gussy on Twitter. My favorite rain cover is ............

For additional entries (an extra entry for each of the following):

1. 'Like' Mix And Chic on Facebook and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a separate comment to let me know as well.)

2. 'Follow' Mix And Chic on Twitter and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a 
separate comment to let me know as well.)

3.'Follow' Mix And Chic on Pinterest and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a separate comment to let me know as well.)  

4. Mention this giveaway on your Facebook status (include a link back to this post) and leave a separate comment. 

5. Tweet about this giveaway (include a link back to this post) and leave a separate comment.

6. Blog about this giveaway (include a link back to this post) and leave a separate comment.

7. Bonus question: Let me know what you love about The Gussy.

The last day for entries is May 8, 2016. The winner will be chosen by and announced on Monday, May 9, 2016. Good luck, ladies!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Interior or exterior window shading - Which will it be?

This article is provided by Ann Bui.

Purchasing new window treatments is a major home upgrade and hefty investment, certainly not the kind of decision you make every day. With so many window shading options available, how do you choose?

Exterior window shading- specifically, exterior rolling shutters and retractable solar screens- is the best choice if you want to strategically add value to your home and save money on energy bills while keeping it cool and clean.

Unmatched Cooling Power

When it comes to blocking the sun’s heat, outdoor shading products are more efficient in keeping your house cool than interior options. Exterior rolling shutters block the heat outside the house and retractable solar screens absorb the heat- but either way, heat is reduced before it reaches your home’s interior. That’s because exterior shades are installed away from the glass, allowing solar radiation to rise and dissipate into the air before it has time to warm the glass.

Interior blinds, on the other hand, block light but trap the sun’s heat inside the house. In the same way a convection oven circulates hot air to cook your food, the heated air trapped between the window shades and the glass rises, pulling cool air from the floor towards the ceiling. Instead of blowing away in the wind, the heated air cycles back around, making the room warmer and warmer.

The difference is significant; exterior window shades can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65% on south-facing windows and 77% on west-facing windows. Conversely, you can retract them in the winter to let solar heat warm your home’s interior.

Saves Energy

Rolling shutters and solar screens can be applied to any glass window or door to reduce the sun’s glare and excessive heat. When your house is cooler, you run the air conditioner less, which reduces energy consumption. Who does not want to lower their utility bill? And if you really want to save energy, you can upgrade to solar powered motorized rolling shutters and solar screens.


Unlike rolling shutters, solar screens are semi-transparent; they block harmful UV rays, but not the view. So you can still enjoy watching the sunset, but without frying. Solar screens block 90% of the sun’s UV rays, which protects your skin, furniture and floors and lets you reclaim living areas lost to bright light and excessive heat.

Less Cleaning

Hate to dust? Blinds and drapes accumulate dust and dirt inside the house which require constant cleaning. With rolling shutters and solar screens installed outside your home, you will have a much cleaner environment inside the house. When not in use, they roll up neatly into an inconspicuous metal enclosure, keeping them clean and protecting them from the elements.

Interested in Exterior Shutters or Solar Screens?

European Rolling Shutters in San Jose, CA is the Bay Area’s exterior shading expert offering a range of energy-saving products customized to fit your home, including retractable awnings and pergola covers.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Product review- ShedRain umbrellas!

I remembered buying my first umbrella to protect myself from the scorching hot sun (that gave me annoying headaches) and the rain when I was attending college in Malaysia. Because I lived in a college dorm and I had to walk a good distance to my classes everyday, getting an umbrella was a practical choice.

The umbrella I purchased was a gorgeous bright red color with a curved wood handle. A typical umbrella at that time would cost between $6-$7 each but I decided to splurge and bought a $20 umbrella. I love that umbrella so much and would literally bring it everywhere. And it wasn't even a compact umbrella. 

I even brought it with me in my gigantic luggage when I first came to the United States to pursue my studies more than 10 years ago. There were a few times I almost lost my beloved umbrella due to my absent-mindedness but thanks to my friends and a few kind souls, I was able to retrieve it back. My red umbrella served me for more than 10 years before the ribs finally broke. Needless to say, I was sad because it was such a sentimental item for me.

Perhaps of the love I had for my old, broken umbrella, I started to have an obsession over umbrellas. We already have a few umbrellas at home but I really wanted to have my very own umbrella so I went online to shop. I ended up ordering a nice over $60 fancy striped umbrella all the way from UK and then another punchy graphic umbrella a few years later.

So, when the nice folks from ShedRain offered to send me some of their umbrellas to try, how I can resist? These are the umbrellas that I picked!

This designer umbrella is so chic and gorgeous! I really love how bold and fun the stripes are! The 42-inch canopy has a great 'push-button auto open" feature and fully expand from the retracted position at the base. 

Constructed with a steel frame and ribs, it seems really sturdy and durable. Besides the wonderful quality, I also like the lovely coordinating leather crook handle detail. It also easily provides coverage for two average-sized adults. 

With a winning combination of durability and style, what's not to love about this beautiful umbrella?

I have always wanted a clear umbrella since I was a little girl so picking a 'see-through' bubble umbrella was a clear choice (pun intended). The clear canopy offers an unobstructed view, preventing me from bumping into people or cars. Additionally, the clear canopy also makes for a great photo op! 

Featuring a 'push-button auto open' design, this umbrella is very easy to operate. Overall, the umbrella seems sturdy and well made and the black trim is a beautiful touch. Coverage wise, it protects you from the rain better than the average umbrellas because of its bubble design and construction.

I really love this gorgeous dome umbrella for its beauty and practicality and would highly recommend it!

Don't forget to check out other stylish umbrellas on their site! My lovelies, are you obsessed about fashionable umbrellas as much as I do? What kind of umbrella catches your eye?

*I have received these products to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Making the most out of your basement space!

Every homeowner with an unfinished basement will dream about making the subterranean space something better. Who does not want to add another livable floor to their house? Not only does it boost property value, it frees up precious room in the main section of the dwelling, and allows for an array of options as far as purpose is concerned.

However, this is all contingent on the job being done right. Too often, homeowners get in over their heads with do-it-yourself remodeling and less-than-reputable contractors. Costs and complications spiral out of control. Basement finishing projects are no exception. In fact, they can be a particular hassle depending on the local climate and geography.

The Midwest, for example, sees anywhere from 20 to 50 inches of rainfall on average every year. This makes basements in these states especially prone to leaking in the aftermath of heavy storms.

Flooding in a utility-grade, unfinished basement is an annoyance, but leaks making their way into a finished basement are a disaster. Finding reputable safe basement waterproofing experts is key to preventing floods from ruining a finished living space. Otherwise it may only be a matter of time before Mother Nature undoes all the hard work of a basement remodel project.

In some parts of the country, the water table is simply too high to allow for cost-effective basement construction in the first place. Florida, for example, is for all intents and purposes a thin layer of land floating on the ocean, making anything below ground consistently vulnerable to flooding from the bottom up. In fact, to successfully build tunnels under Walt Disney World in Orlando it was necessary to install them at ground-level and elevate the surface by one story.

Now...what to do with basement space once it is for certain there would not be any water damage. This, of course, depends on the wants and needs of the inhabitants/owners of the home. If you have unfinished basement space but lack inspiration for what to do with it, here are the most common uses for subterranean floors of a house:


Men and women who work from home love this option for obvious reasons. It is an ideal choice for a small basement floor plan, or it can be combined with a bedroom, playroom, or other space depending on the square footage available (and the budget.)


Is the family growing? If so then maybe the basement is the perfect place for a playroom? Abide by safe-proofing procedures before proceeding.


More than one household has a treadmill or elliptical in their unfinished basement. Make it a finished basement space and allow for the option to put a TV and shower down there too. Cozy space can have a positive affect on your attempt to stay physically fit, whereas dark and dank unfinished basements are uninspiring.


Sometimes called a “man-cave," finishing a basement with the intent to use it as a place to get away from other humans for a while does not have to be gender exclusive. Home theater setups, pool tables, and poker tables are the go-to options, but what about a home library, or a meditation room?

Band Practice

With the right soundproofing measures, a finished basement can provide the perfect practice space for budding bands and longtime collaborators alike. It is better than a garage, where it is more likely than not the neighbors will be within earshot of the drum solos.


Homeowners are increasingly looking for ways to make money from their real estate, and renting is of course the primary way to go about it. Converting a basement into a spare apartment allows families to rent out what was otherwise mostly unused space, enough to cover half or more of the mortgage payment every month.

Spare Bedroom(s)

Shrinking the apartment option down a little, using the basement for spare bedrooms is the classic choice for most households. Again, if the budget and square footage allows for it, a spare bedroom can be combined with any of the previous options.

Unfinished basements everywhere are just waiting to be turned into useful, lively spaces. First they must be made to be waterproof and safe. Afterwards, it’s up to the homeowner to decide what to do with their basements. The options are many, combinations are possible, and the result is undoubtedly a better living experience for everyone under the roof.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Happy birthday to me!

Guess what? I turned 36 today! Honestly, I am perfectly fine with getting older, but hubby likes to tease me about my age. Heck, he is 9 years older than me! If I am old, then he's a piece of antique, right? Hahaha...

We are supposed to go to a new to us popular Asian place for dinner but a few weeks ago, when I tried to make a reservation, all the time slots that we wanted were unavailable. My husband tried to convince me to try the restaurant next time but I was drooling over their food so I made a reservation for tomorrow instead!

However, since it's my birthday today, I told hubby that I shouldn't be cooking and we should go dine in a restaurant instead. He agreed! So, it is like having a two-day birthday celebration! :)

I am looking forward to dine at the new eatery tomorrow! Can't wait, so excited! Oh, I also asked hubby to get me these Cole Haan boots that I have been eyeing forever! I have a few lovely leather boots so I can't imagine them getting wet but these boots are so chic, a little rugged and water repellent so it's perfect for those rainy or snowy days (we have those a lot in our area)! Plus, these boots have rave reviews as well! :)


I love asking hubby to buy me shoes, handbags and home goods as gifts. What about you guys?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Give Your Home a Refreshing Atmosphere!

Your home’s design is a reflection of who you are. Most of the fun of decorating comes from finding ways to use colors, textures, and patterns to express your personality. If your goal is to have a truly inspired motif, then you should think beyond what is visually apparent. Smells, sounds, and temperatures are also important components of the ambiance in your home. With this in mind, you should consider the impact that your cooling system has on your home’s overall atmosphere and design scheme.

Touch-ups are key

Just as you might switch out your winter knick-knacks for beachier bric-a-brac at the beginning of summer, you should also take the time to touch up your AC system. Routine maintenance will help your unit run more efficiently, which will make your home far more comfortable when the weather heats up. You can reduce your unit’s energy usage by as much as 15 percent just by replacing its filters.

Maintenance can also save you a lot of money in the long run by preventing you from having to deal with major breakdowns. In many cases, you can save yourself from any repair headaches by scheduling a maintenance appointment at the outset of the season. Taking the time to address such seemingly minor details will help your life run more smoothly overall.

Replace if necessary

Even with routine maintenance, some AC units become unable to perform well after working hard to cool your home for several years. If your AC unit is outdated, it may be worth the investment to replace it rather than pay for repairs that ultimately waste money. You can always read over some Avant loans reviews if getting a new unit becomes an unexpected cost. The latest central cooling units look much sleeker than their predecessors, so even if your unit must be out in the open it will be less detrimental to your home’s style. Modern window units are quieter than older ones, so they do not drown out your conversations.

Another benefit of having a new AC unit installed is that nearly all models are more energy-efficient than ever. When you save money on energy costs, you have more freedom to experiment with other design projects. After all, choosing new paint colors for your walls is a lot more fun than pouring all your money into steep energy bills.


All of the light fabrics and pastel colors in the world will still feel hot and miserable if your AC breaks in the middle of the summer. Should such an unfortunate event occur, you should choose your service provider carefully. Some companies do not offer service in the evenings or on weekends. Others do perform repairs during off-hours, but charge extra for this work. Choose a company that will not charge extra for rapid repairs. When you can have any issues addressed quickly, you can turn your home from sticky back to stylish as soon as possible.

Cool, classy and comfortable

The design and atmosphere of your home should captivate all of the senses. The climate of your living space is an important detail that goes a long way towards making it a pleasant place to pass the hours. By taking steps to make your home feel as comfortable as possible, you can ensure that you, your family, and your visitors will all enjoy spending time there.