Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Color schemes and furniture

Since we got the lighting installed in our MBR last week, I've been pushing to get a decision on the paint & bedroom furniture. Like I said, it's been a year and a few months since we moved and none of the 4 bedrooms are "properly" furnished yet, medyo nakakahiya na.

Another factor to consider is that my parents will be coming for a visit again in the next month or 2, this will be their 3rd visit since we moved, and super nakakahiya na for them to see that we still haven't done much.

We both work full time --> this is our excuse. We're usually exhausted when we get home and I would rather play / spend quality time w/ our child when I get home. Well, and yeah, tamad rin.

So now that we sorta have this momentum going... I'd really like for it to go on till we finish one project (we've got lots more waiting in line).

I think we won't have a problem with the paint choices as we've been looking at paint chips and both hubby and I gravitate towards the same shades anyway. The furniture - specifically, the bed - will be more of an issue.

So far, the mashup of both wishlists seem to be:
- no boxspring, so this limits our bed frame choices to storage beds or platform beds (pareho lang ba yun ?).
- contemporary look - not traditional and not too modern. We'd also like to stay away from sleigh beds.
- not upholstered
- king-sized mattress w/o springs, he'd like a foam mattress (not necessarily memory foam, but there doesn't seem to be any regular foam mattresses available in the US, puro memory foam lang which is so expensive), she'd like something more affordable.
- something that is open at the bottom so there's more air flow.

Monday, February 16, 2015

MBR Lighting

We finally got around to contacting a licensed electrician and getting recessed lighting installed in the master bedroom - it only took us a year and 3 months. We had 4 cans installed and put in daylight dimmable bulbs - hubby and I are so pleased.

It's not such a difficult project, really, it only took the guys (an electrician and an assistant) a couple of hours to get everything installed. That also includes cleaning up after themselves.

The delay was due to the fact that I wanted someone with good references who could come in and do the actual work on a weekend. When I finally did find one,  he wanted to drop by on a weekday to scope up the work and give a proper estimate. It took some creative finagling with our schedules but the stars did line up recently.

We're now 1 step nearer to getting our MBR set up. Next step is to paint over the blue walls - I never liked the shade of blue and found it too drab - and when we have that done, the last step is to buy furniture.


It's 2 degrees outside and it really feels like -18 because of the windchill.

Yes, in case you are wondering, it feels like -18 FAHRENHEIT outside right now.

I wasn't able to sleep well last night because I keep hearing the howling of the wind and then I worry that our roof is going to get blown off. This thought then brings my worrying to a whole different level because I start thinking about the cost of replacing the roof and the cold and how we're going to keep the house habitable while the roof is out and being repaired,..... well, you get the point. Hence, the sleeplessness.

It seems like winter has been getting colder and harsher year after year. I don't remember it being this cold in the past decade that I've been here.

As for the family, we have just been keeping warm in the house, we haven't been out once the entire weekend and looks like Swe-cha and I will be staying home all day again tomorrow, given that it's a holiday. We are thankful that we haven't been getting snow, unlike the New England states. It's bad enough that our brakes are failing (mine failed on my way to work last Friday and I had to pull over into a grocery store parking lot to get it pumped/primed/warmed up) due to the extreme cold, I wouldn't want to have to fight my way through ice & snow on the streets as well.

One highlight of the weekend though is how much fun hubby and I had making "shaken iced tea". I've been somehow addicted to Starbucks' version and this weekend, we made some and shook it up in a bottle, making a lot of froth, it was a lot of fun and so yummy. Compared to Starbucks, it was cheap too (and you know that this is my operative word)!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Nothing beats old school

While I was pregnant with our son, I had a grand idea. I thought photobooks were the way to go instead of going with regular photo albums.

I'm not crafty so while I collected mementos, I just put them in a box and didn't bother with a scrapbook.

Now, our son is 5 and the only thing I have to show are 2 photobooks. One covers his 1st bday celebration in Manila and the other covers a trip to California where we spent Christmas with my sister's family.


The trick is really to collect photos & lay them out as you go along. This is really something that's easier to do with old-school albums where you just print & slip the photos in and don't have to worry about designs, layouts, embellishments, backgrounds and captions. You can always go back to them in the future if you feel the need for captions but with photobooks, you really have to sit down and that is something that I have not been able to do.

Yesterday, I dropped by Michael's and purchased said albums.  I also picked up some photos that I had printed out in Costco, those are meant to go into frames and will go in the bookshelf. It's been a year since we moved and we can't keep putting off "unpacking" forever, sana maayos na namin yung library.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

I finally got around to buying an artificial tree for Christmas - I waited until after Christmas because I wanted to get them on clearance. As it was, I was almost too late when I went tree-shopping on Saturday (12/26), the seasonal aisles on the stores were almost empty when I got there - I wasn't the only person looking forward to the post-Christmas sales, obviously.

Hubby and I immediately set the tree up when I got home just to make sure that it wasn't too scraggly-looking. There weren't any on display and we all know how deceiving those pictures on the boxes could be. I bought one on sale after Christmas last year but had to return it after we saw how pitiful it looked. It was the most malnourished-looking tree I've ever seen. In hindsight, the unbelievably low price should've been a dead giveaway.

I also got some holiday-themed ribbons, they're called "Tree Scarfs" now (I learned something new). I don't quite know yet how I'm going to drape so it comes out looking elegant but that's next year's problem :)

In the meantime, I'll make sure to remind hubby to sniff in the smells from our real tree as this will be the last real one (unless we find an excuse) that will grace our living room for a while. Sayang rin if we keep buying a real one every year, they're not exactly cheap.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Our bldg cafeteria upgraded to an iPad-based payment system a few months ago and I was glad for it because the iPad setup they had also came with a credit card payment system. I can now buy meals even if I didn't have cash on hand.

Lately, something seems to be off with the system or the cashiers because my usual breakfast, which I have been paying $2.30 for every single day for the longest time, suddenly became $2.14 on Monday.

On Tuesday, I was charged $2.58.

On Wednesday, I was charged $1.84.

There was no personnel change, the cashiers have been there for months.

I find the changing total odd but I don't feel like making a fuss early in the morning.


Recently, I found myself thinking about latch hook rugs.

eHowPhoto from eHow

I remember helping out with a couple of these rugs at home long long ago. It was primarily a project started by our yaya but everybody - the other househelp and my siblings - helped. I don't know where the rugs are now, they were either thrown out, left behind or lost when we moved houses. 

I'm itching to start a project now but I cannot decide what type of kit to get. My first thought was a Christmas tree skirt but I also didn't want to wait a whole year before using my first project - besides, I may lose the momentum if I have a whole year to work on the project.

What to do ? what to do ? ...

Thursday, October 30, 2014


We've been dealing with broken stuff all month long and by "broken stuff", I really mean car repairs.

Our old car, it was the one I purchased when I migrated to the US, has started needing a lot of repairs. Not surprising, really, since it is 12 years old and already has 120k miles on it so the wear and tear is expected.

Thankfully, there is a Pep Boys just across the street where I work so it works out well for me if we need to bring the car in to the shop for repairs. I drive whichever car it is that needs something done that day and drop it off in the morning and it will be fixed and ready to go by the time I leave work in the afternoon. Before this, we'd have to wait till the weekend before we can bring the car to the shop and then we'd have to contend with the weekend rush.

3 weeks ago, hubby asked to switch cars because the car was misfiring and the check engine light is on. Upon checking, I was told by the shop that the spark plugs and ignition coil needed replacing (this confirmed hubby's suspicion as well) and since we also asked for a health check, we were informed that the brake pads are wearing thin, the tires are wearing thin and that we also needed a new drive belt and some stuff flushed and fluids replaced. We had everything done, except for the tires. Damage to our wallet was $1.5k, I went home telling myself that we should be good for a while (trying to make myself feel better).

The following week, hubby asked to switch cars again because the car was making a metallic whirring sound. It turned out to be a bad idle pulley for the fan belt and that was another $400.

Then this week, hubby drives the car to work and had to pull over because smoke started pouring out of the engine. When he opened the hood to check, the entire engine was wet as if something had burst and splashed fluids all over - this turned out to be the radiator. He called AAA for a tow and had it brought to a nearby shop, the repair cost $600.

Now, while talking to big sis about this, she gets all worried because the car doesn't seem to be safe anymore and she can always front me the money for a new car if I find ourselves strapped for cash (my big sis is so sweet and generous!).

I pointed out that technically, it is  "almost-new" because we've replaced the innards already and all those repairs are really maintenance-related jobs that needed to be done and aside from that latest one where hubby had to get a tow, we were able to schedule properly and have them fixed at our convenience. Yeah, it's a bummer that we have to spend all this money and if we had a new car, we wouldn't be spending so much money getting it fixed but we would have to spend money paying for that new car anyway.

This is when I realized how spoiled we are. It's not like we always have brand new cars and haven't driven old ones. Yeah, this car is old and needs a bit more TLC but I remember being back in Manila and driving my hatchback civic 6 km to the office - the radiator was leaking so bad that it needs to have the radiator filled in the morning before I leave else I'd risk overheating the engine. At one time, the brakes slipped and I had to do an engine break and turned the wheels towards the sidewalk so I could slow down and stop. I didn't hear anybody say that it wasn't safe.

Anyway, we're on a holding pattern now so far as big purchases go. Let's see what 2015 holds for us :)


On a good note, the ceiling fan in the master bedroom has not worked in months. Last night, the power in the whole house went off for a few seconds and then turned back on again. When I stepped into the bedroom later that night, I found the ceiling fan working :) It just needed a kickstart, apparently. Now, am glad we didn't get it replaced yet.