Monday, December 14, 2015

Holiday Cards

So I've been prepping our Christmas gifts to Swe-cha's teachers this year and I hit a snag - I ran out of "Holiday" cards. All I could find are "Christmas" cards and now I'm bummed because I so wanted to get all these done by tonight and send them off to school by tomorrow.

Kainis how everybody is so careful these days because we're all afraid to offend other people but I think if one were to greet me for a holiday that I don't observe, edi dedma! Why would I be offended?
Lalo na kung may gift diba ?

I am so tempted to just send these gift cards out enclosed in CHRISTMAS cards and a note that says to please send the gift cards back if they don't celebrate Christmas.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

LED lights

We had around 50 people over at our house last weekend, we hosted this year's Christmas party for our group (this will be a separate post, if I feel the urge to do so). Ang saya rin. This was the first time that most people have been to our home so maraming questions.

The most frequently asked question was "anong pinagawa nyo dito sa bahay ?" and our answer was "painted the living area lang, everything else came like that already"

Now that we've gotten a chance to take a breath and think about it, hindi lang pala yun. One of the most significant updates we did was the lighting. Hindi lang obvious because you don't normally look up. The recessed lighting (can lights) were already there, we just replaced the bulbs and the switches since the old dimmers didn't work with LED lights.

Check out the picture on the left, see all those bulbs that aren't in boxes? Lahat yan pinalit namin and all those came from the living areas - imagine how bright it can be when all the lights are turned on! We love it :-)

These BR-40 bulbs which are 100 watts each. Someone remarked "ha ? that's like a whole refrigerator and freezer!". Yep. Those first few weeks at home when we still had these floodlights installed ? I kept following my boys so I could turn off the lights after them, iwan kasi nang iwan ng ilaw, they are so not conscious about the electricity! Actually, even now that we have LED lights and have a solar power source, conscious pa rin ako about turning off lights in rooms which are unused but it's not heart-attack inducing na.

The bulbs in boxes are spare bulbs which the previous owner kindly left for us.

I've been trying to give them away, I posted them on freecycle a few weeks ago and I finally got some takers today. We're giving away all the BR-40 bulbs, yung mga PAR-20 & PAR-30 bulbs and candelabras, we'll keep in the meantime since we may have some use for them.

As I write this post, I see a car stop in front and pick up the bulbs, ayan 15 have been picked up na.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tambour Door

See that picture ?

That, my friends, is a Tambour Door.

For the longest time, we just called this a plain ol' roll-up door. Sometimes, we call it the appliance garage roll-up thingie.

Anyway, we have two of these corner appliance garages in our kitchen. One of them was broken when we moved in and we never made any effort to fix it. The end that's attached to the dowel has become detached so when the door is open, the rest of the door dangles in the back.

Tonight, I found hubby trying to fix it when I got home.  (Finally!)

Being a typical man, he went about it in brute force fashion. Kung ano ano ginagawa nya trying to attach it back.

In typical me-fashion, I decided to consult my friends Google and YouTube. We learned a couple of new things today.

(1) The proper name for this is a Tambour Door.

(2) We learned how to attach it correctly. If we hadn't found instructions nor watched the installation video we found in YouTube, there was no way that we can ever guess how to install it - we'd give up in frustration first!

(3) Since we're fixing a door that's already attached, we needed 4 hands :)

As we were testing our fix by rolling the tambour door up and down, hubby kept muttering "2 years!" under his breath.

When we were satisfied (and ecstatic) that everything was working great, he gleefully exclaimed one more time, "TWO YEARS!".

Yes, we ignored this for 2 years. Kaya naman namin, we just have to put our minds to it.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Someone posted a Facebook album of a family celebrating their Dad's promotion. The Dad and I went to the same university, he was a few years ahead and by the time I was graduating, he was also a professor, taking up graduate studies at the same time.

Back then, he drove to school, not the latest model but it was a decent model.  Obviously, it was a car provided by his parents, as if naman kaya nya bumili ng car at that age. He also went to an expensive Chinese all-boys school. Fast forward a couple of decades, he's married and has 6 kids - the first 2 aren't his, only the last 4 are, but he's taken responsibility for all and from the posts of the eldest (oo, chismosa ako at ni follow ko yun), he is a great dad.

One thing that stood out to me while browsing through the photos was that they were commuting. The album showed several photos of them riding a jeepney. Nag grocery pa sila and all I kept thinking was "ha ? nag grocery sila and pano nila iuuwi ? Jeep rin ? Ang dami nilang kids, how do you get a jeepney with space enough for 8 ? "

Back when I knew him, he was driving a car. Now, he does not na (unless they have a small car which doesn't fit 8 people ? pero parang impossible ), parang na downgrade* ? I couldn't get past that and started speculating how things might have progressed for him.

I was imagining different scenarios in my head in an effort to understand the situation  when I came across another friend's post on my newsfeed, sabi nya....

     "... for making me realize success is not measured monetarily."

And just like that, it clicked.


* thought I'd provide a little context about the term "downgrade" - I went to the state university and my classmates were from all walks of life. There were the obviously rich kids who come to school in expensive clothes and drive the newest model car every year and then there were the more deprived ones who one have 1 pair of jeans which they wear the whole week and then wash over the weekend. If it rained on a weekend and his laundry didn't dry, he wears pambahay shorts on Monday.

The happy part is that these days, yung mga deprived dati, they're doing really well with houses of their own. They also have their own cars, yung iba may investments pa na condo on top of their own house. Nakakatuwa, diba ?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cleaning up

Hubby stayed up late last night, inabot ng 4am, just putting these things away.

Ang galing. *slow clap*

This is our 4th bedroom. Since this has its own full bath and is quite spacious relative to the other bedrooms, I thought this would be a good room for my parents should they choose to stay longer with us some day.

My vision is to ultimately update the bathroom, medyo stuck in the 80s kasi complete with blue tiles and matching toilet. We also want the install overhead lighting - this may happen sooner than the bathroom project but we'll see.

For now, since their visits are so short, we have been using this as our "unpacking space" - meaning, the space I strew things about from the time I unpack a box and until I decide where they should go (this could be an indefinite amount of time). This is also where the stray things and all the kalat go if we have to clean up in an emergency (the kalat gets thrown in a bin and they go here). Because of that, I like to rummage in here when I get the chance, maraming surprises na nahahanap.

I can scrub a toilet and floors. I can even do carpentry, electrical, plumbing and even yard work. I budget, handle our finances and even do our taxes. But if I had to spend more than 2 hours cleaning up (meaning, "magligpit"), I get reduced to tears or hubby would just find me sitting in a corner, surrounded by loads of stuff and staring into space.

Feeling ko, lahat kaya ko except magligpit. If I were Superwoman, this is my Kryptonite.

Okay, I don't do insects either. Hubby is the designated spider-catcher, fly-swatter & silverfish-squisher at home, but I digress so let me get back on point.

Thankfully, this is one of the things where I get a clear view of how nice our partnership is. Kung anong hindi ko kaya, ginagawa ni hubby and vice versa because this was all him. I did try

I find this batch of cleaning up particularly impressive because we only had 1 sungit episode.

We also dropped off 2 big bags of clothes at the neighborhood donation box and the feeling is great. Nakalinis na, nakatulong pa. There are several jackets/coats in those bags. There's more to follow, sana makarami kami ng ma purge na gamit.

Wish us luck!

Sunday, November 15, 2015


I was on the phone with Daddy this afternoon when Mom kept butting in the background, asking about stuff. Eventually, Dad says, "o, you talk to your mom muna, she really wants to talk to you" and he passes the phone over to her.

So mom says, "I just really want to hear about how you are", in a tone na parang nag e explain pa and I say something like there's really no need for an excuse for us to talk - note that we talk almost every single day, wherever they happen to be, and our phone conversations almost always start with that line.

So she asks what we're having for dinner, and I start answering but she butts in at around the 3rd & 4th word and asks another question. I answer her next question and in the middle of the sentence, she interrupts and asks yet another question so I just kept my answers as short as can be. Para bang she's just asking for the sake of asking, but she's not really interested enough to listen.

For example:
Q: Kumusta na kayo ?
A: ok naman

Q: May bago ?
A: wala naman, ganon pa rin

Then we get to the point where there's a lot of dead air (quiet lang) and she we say our goodbyes and put down the phone and today, I particularly feel bad because I wanted to talk to Dad.

One time, I asked Achi if Mom treats her this way too and she said yes! We laughed so much while exchanging stories because her kwento is exactly the same as mine! Mom calls and starts with a line that makes you feel guilty, samples are:

"Pasensya ka na, alam kong busy ka, pero gusto ko lang kayo makausap"
"Gusto ko lang makabalita sa inyo, miss ko na kayo"
"Tumawag lang ako kasi gusto ko malaman kung may bago na, matagal ko na kayo hindi nakakausap"

... and like I said earlier, every day yan and then when you actually start to answer, hindi naman sya nakikinig so we just listen. Siguro gusto lang nya ng makekwentuhan and asking about how we are is an opener for her to tell her story.

Friday, November 13, 2015


We finally got the ice-maker in our fridge repaired.

It broke when we moved to our house 2 years ago. Hubby wanted it fixed but I thought it wasn't important - not for the $200-$300 I estimated it would cost.  I told myself that it was a 1st world problem, no big deal.

So for the past 2 years, we've been making ice the regular way in ice cube trays. We'd fill the trays with water, bring it downstairs to the freezer in the basement and when we  need ice, we bring the trays up and dump the cubes into the ice cube tray in our kitchen freezer.

Now, refilling the ice cube tray has always been my job. It wasn't something we agreed about but hubby has never done it and if I think about it, I was the one who put her foot down regarding the repair so I was it. Kaya lang, lately, I find myself forgetting about it or just getting plain lazy about filling the trays and bringing it downstairs. Medyo balancing act kasi yun each time, nakakatamad so for weeks now, we don't have ice. Not a really a big deal, but when you're having one of those days when you just want to have a sip of any ice-cold drink,... sorry!

So while waiting in traffic on my way to work last week, I happened to stop beside a FridgeFix truck. Bored, I read the text on their truck and took note of the company name. Did some research later that day and broached the topic with hubby. Surprise, surprise (sarcastic), hubby was totally on board with the repair. Side note lang, in fact nga kung siya ang masusunod, ni co consider pa nga nya magpalit ng refrigerator to get an ice-maker that works. *roll eyes*

Today, I found myself WFH (working from home) again unexpectedly. Traffic was a mess this morning and I decided to turn back home. Pag uwi, I figured it was as good a time as any to call FridgeFix. My thought was that if they could send someone today, I'd take it as a sign. Otherwise, hindi na.

And guess what ? As it turns out, they had a technician available for 2-4p. I accepted the appointment but when I put down the phone, medyo alangan ako because I have to pick up Swe-cha from daycare in the afternoon. What if the tech comes in at 4p, how long will he need to diagnose and repair ? So while thinking about cancelling, my phone rings. It was FridgeFix. They had a tech in my area who got freed up, they can be at my place in an hour. Ayos! That was the universe coming into alignment with our needs :)

Ice maker was  broken, couldn't be repaired. I thought the $350 repair estimate was too steep and got the price down to $300 flat (inclusive of tax and the house call - they charge a $75 house call fee which is NOT applicable towards repairs) and gave the go ahead.  I probably paid too much, but it was convenient because it fit my schedule.

Now, I am staring a this room-temperature bottle of coke and am waiting for the ice to form. Sana lumabas na!

Am sure that when hubby and Swe-cha gets home tonight, matutuwa rin sila. Etong 2 boys ko ang mahilig mag ice. Swe-cha keeps getting ice & pag ubos na "Mommy, more ice" pero never naman sila gumawa ng ice. Hay.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I had my birthday last weekend. It happened to coincide with the Great Wolf Lodge vacation that I booked - I booked this weekend because Swe-cha didn't have classes the Friday before so he wouldn't e missing any classes.

Everything worked out nicely and this is the first time in many many years, we had something that was close to a celebration on my birthday.

The last time that my birthday was celebrated with some sort of fanfare was in 2004 where my friends helped me throw a combined housewarming & birthday party. 11 years ago na pala yun, ang tagal na.

Got a very nice and touching card from Dad, he signed it for the entire family, including my new niece. Dad is thoughtful that way.

When we got back home, we gave Swe-cha a present. We'd been holding onto it for days, we knew that he wanted it very much but we didn't want to give it before our trip in case he loses interest in the trip. Sayang naman.

As we were unwrapping the gift, a sad thought crossed my mind "pambihira naman, ganito pala ang maging nanay, ako ang may birthday and yet here I am, giving someone else a present. Nasan na ang gift ko ?"

That sad thought was unexpected. I should be used to things by now. Hubby and I have never been gift-givers so birthdays and occasions pass by without fuss. One year nga (just a few years ago) he even forgot that it was my birthday and I had to remind him of the date. Nagtampo talaga ako nun.

So as we were tearing the wrapper off of the Marble Run toy that we got Swe-cha, I saw his face light up and he started jumping up and down with excitement. Ang saya saya nya! And that's when it hit me, THIS is my gift. My  heart overflowed with love, joy and happiness. I'm super thankful to the Lord for another year with my family.

Monday, November 9, 2015


Had a really weird dream last night.

I went to a spa where I was led to the massage room. I took off my clothes, wrapped myself up in a towel and went through a revolving door to the shower area. The revolving door was actually a cabinet which turns so it looks more like a "secret" passageway.

I took a shower and went back through the revolving door. When I got to the other side, I was in a dry market. It was in Cubao, according to the people there.

In retrospect, okay rin naman. The last time we flew home, the ticket cost us $1600/head, the portal-slash-revolving door in my dream was free. Yun nga lang, my clothes and purse were left behind in the massage room and I only had a towel wrapped around me.

I looked around and asked to borrow a phone from one of the vendors, it turned out that I also had a few P5 coins in my hand so I could afford a phone call. I called a number that I had memorized from a long time ago even though I didn't remember whose it was, naalala ko lang yung number and that I used to call it decades ago.

Someone answered, nasa America rin sya on vacation.


Lesson: always keep your clothes and purse with you.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Saturday, October 10, 2015

SUPER LOVE: Gator Strike Plates

First off, let me get this out. This is not a paid post. This is not a paid endorsement deal - as if naman I have enough readership, haha! ;) This is an honest-to-goodness rave about a product.

So we moved to an old house 2 years ago. As with any house, the structure eventually settles and the materials expand and contract due to temperature changes and these result in doors being out of alignment. We have 3 doors that do not latch properly, depending on the season (seasonal lang siya nasasara) - the master bathroom, the one going down to the basement and a closet in the 4th bedroom.

The closet wasn't too bad (it doesn't latch close but doesn't swing open on its own), the basement door annoys me but I use a security bar to secure it anyway but imagine having a bathroom door that would not close. Kainis diba ? Thankfully, it was the master bath and we just close the master bedroom door when we use the bathroom so may work-around.

I've looked everywhere for possible solutions - shims in the hinges, loosening and/or tightening the hinges, ,etc - but I couldn't find a solution that worked for us. I was all set with reaching out to a carpenter/contractor to fix this but it didn't seem like a big enough job. Baka lugi lang ako sa minimum fee.

A few days ago, I came across an ad for Gator Strike Plates. I looked for reviews and Amazon has it for 5 stars (98 reviews), I figured that was enough to make me go for it. I purchased 3.

Tonight, we installed all 3 and they all fit perfectly. ALL OUR DOORS LATCH & CLOSE PROPERLY NOW. How awesome is that ?

I wish I knew about this 2 years ago, it worked perfectly!

If I had to have a complaint, it would be because I couldn't find this product anywhere w/o paying for shipping. Amazon ships this out for $4.99 each plus $1.99 shipping for each one you purchase. I eventually found them on ebay for $4.99 each but with a flat shipping fee of $1.99 no matter how many pieces you buy (this is why I decided to go for it and got 3 at the same time).

Out of pocket $16.96 to repair 3 doors. super sulit!

I feel so happy that I want to call up all my friends and ask if they have doors which do not latch just to recommend this stuff but I won't kasi 10:30p na.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Toy Closet

One of the biggest issues we deal with at home is getting Swe-cha to clean up after himself. He does pretty well if asked to clean up but if you're not around, he tends to want to take out ALL his toys. The end result is that we have toys strewn all over the house.

Not good, especially if you walk around barefoot like I sometimes do.

While reading up on possible solutions, I came across a blog where the mom decided to lock up all the toys in the basement. The kids are allowed to choose 1-2 toys every week. Her husband thought she was crazy at first but it turned out well for her family. The children learned to share with each other, play with each other's toys, they got more imaginative because had to get more mileage out of each toy, they turned to their books and crafting, and the house was much much more organized.

Hubby had long been advocating that we turn one of the bedrooms into a playroom. I didn't think that it was such a good idea because I didn't like the idea of Swe-cha being in the room by himself while I'm doing chores around the house. Reading that blog post (I'll put a link back if I find it again) gave me an idea - sort of a twist on hubby's plan. Since we're not using the closet in my home office, we replaced with door knob with a combination lock (Swe cha is good with keys and finding out our hiding spots).

He does not know this yet but whenever I get the chance, I've been putting his toys back into the original box if we still have it or into small containers and storing them in the closet. The plan is for him to clean up his current toys before exchanging it for another set. Since the closet is locked, there's no way for him to get toys when we're not looking.

Wish us lock!

Monday, October 5, 2015

MBR Updates

My boys painted our MBR last week and I am loving the new color. It feels so much more presko and bright - it was exactly what I wanted.

We didn't get to paint the baseboard heater covers anymore for the following reasons:
- we couldn't find the glossy white paint. I know we still have a can and I didn't want to buy more
- we were iffy about taping painters tape on the newly-painted walls before the paint had time to set in.

As it turns out, I barely notice them anyway. And yes, I realize that they are covered in both pictures I'm publishing with this post. That was not intentional :)

Our furniture arrived as scheduled the week after. The delivery truck arrived first thing in the morning - 7am! And they quickly unloaded the stuff. Ambilis!

Probably took them half an hour to get the stuff unloaded - dresser, chest of drawers, 2 nightstands, a king sized bed frame with headboard, and dual box springs. The bedframe had to be put together during this time while the other pieces already came pre-assembled.

At the time when this 2nd picture was snapped, the mattress had not been installed yet, we asked them not to put it on yet as we wanted to clean the wood pieces first.

I am so happy with our furniture and the 2 year wait is so worth it. I'm glad we didn't buy just for the sake of buying before and opted to wait till we find a set that we really like.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


A few seconds ago, Swe-cha came to me with an iPad. He had paused the video he was watching to a particular scene and as he showed it to me he said, "The little ladybug is holding a number 5". This is the longest sentence he has composed ever! =)

Yesterday, while Daddy was still prepping to paint the MBR and hindi pa ready "magpatulong", Swe-cha kept wanted to enter the room already and help. Daddy eventually had to raise his voice in asking him to step out kasi hindi nakikinig. Swe-cha runs downstairs to me, points to the direction of his daddy and "Daddy yell". He's starting to tell a story/talk about something that happened already.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

MBR makeover

Last Saturday, we managed to score a memory foam mattress that hubby found comfortable and whose price I found comfortable. Given that we had the mattress already, I decided to give furniture hunting another shot and started browsing around the websites of our local furniture shops. I found one that we both liked.

We dropped by the shop last Sunday to check it out and we both liked the set in terms of looks, shade/color, build, etc. The drawer mechanism wasn't the soft-close type that we wanted but it was a very small consideration so we decided to purchase it anyway. Delivery has been scheduled in October.

It has been 23 months since we purchased this house and we have been hunting for bedroom furniture on and off all that time. Just imagine finding everything on the same weekend - meant-to-be, diba ?

Now, our master bedroom has been empty all this time. We use the master bath and keep our clothes in the walk in closet but we sleep in the other bedroom where we set-up the queen bed which we brought over from our previous home.

When we got the house, the MBR was painted in blue which I didn't really like. I thought it made the room look darker than it really was. Installing daylight bulbs in the recessed lighting helped brighten up the place but I wanted something brighter. We've always talked about painting it but never got around to doing it, our MBR to-do list looks something like this:
- recessed lighting (installed in Feb 2015)
- paint the room
- furniture
Note that we moved here end of 2013.

Oo, slow kami, but that's just how we roll =)

Anyway, since we expect the bedroom set to be delivered next weekend, we needed to get the painting done this week. We decided to go with Celery Ice again (this is the same color that I used in my guest bedroom in the condo).

I asked hubby if he wanted to get our handyman to do the job but he prefers to do it himself. It's almost 10p now and he's still doing touch-ups but it does look like he's going to be able to finish this project within day, despite the help of his little right-hand man / graffiti artist (see picture). Seeing him/us complete projects like these make me smile. Amerikano na talaga, marunong mag-DIY *grin*.

After today, if hubby wants to go ahead and upgrade his phone, I won't complain. He's earned it many times over. But shhhh, don't tell him I'm saying yes.


edit: note that this isn't over yet. we have to paint the baseboard heater covers tomorrow. The were painted the same blue as the walls, we're painting them glossy white.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Box Tops for Education

Box Tops for Education - BTFE - seems to be a big thing here.

It's really just a small tag that you cut off from a product label and each label is worth 10c to your school. Swe-cha's school this year has a goal of $2000 (wow!) - that is 2000 x 10 = 20,000 labels! Maraming matyagang mga mommies and daddies.

In the past, I used to just tape any small bag that I happen to pick up - picture shows a sandwich bag which is what we currently have - in our message board and collect the labels as we get them. When the school asks for them, I tape & seal the bag and just hand over the whole thing. Sila na bahala magbilang.

I've always wondered about who volunteers to count. The labels aren't uniform and they aren't of the same material. Some are printed on paper (from can labels), some are printed on cardboard (from boxes) and I've even had some that are printed on plastic (from Hanes underwear packaging). The plastic ones tend to stick to my fingers due to static too.

This year, Swe-cha's started going to a new school and it looks like they're more serious about their box tops here compared to the previous one. I say that because they gave out submission sheets! The image below is our 2nd sheet already, so that's our second $1 contribution.

I did some research and found out that there are lots more designs available. There are sheets for 20 box tops, there are sheets for 25, and sheets for 50. It makes it easier to count and when the BTFE coordinator submits this, they have to submit in bunches of 50s (=$5). 

May method naman pala :-)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Counting to 100

Last night, we found out / realized / proved that Swe-cha knows his numbers all the way to 100, at the very least. We weren't quite sure before because his school reports only say "Can count from 1-20" and there's a check mark in the column beside it which says he does this well. It doesn't really tell us that he can count beyond that.

These days, whenever he wants to use the "Mommy's iPad" instead of his own, his Dad (Yes, Daddy is the main user of "Mommy's iPad", the name is a misnomer) would say "5 minutes" and they'd start counting 1 to 300.

Last night, Swe-cha counted to 1-100 with minimal coaching. He got stuck at 69, 70, 69,  ...
Daddy had to step in and coach him with "seventy....?" and he got right on track with 71, 72 and so on. We never did count to 300 last night because there was a lot of fanfare when he got to 100 - screaming, clapping and jumping may have been involved.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

We're operational

Our solar system was finally operational on September 1. I kept a close watch on the dashboard and was sorely disappointed when we generated 0 kwH all day. I called it in the next day and they said they'd check, I got a return call late afternoon and was told that everything should be okay now. I checked the dashboard again and we generated 13.xx kWh.

On day 2, hubby and I were both watching. We generated 17.xx  kWh.  Better na. It also felt hotter that day so there must have been more sun.

I also pulled out documents to see what sort of levels we were supposed to be generating. As it turns out, we have a 6.76 kW system. I looked up a website which gave some guidelines for estimating solar power generation in our region and I got the following computation:

(system size) * 1600 (the rate assigned to our region) * 78% (efficiency rating siguro)

and ours came down to 8,436.48 kWh / year. Divided by 365 days / year, we have an average of 23 kWh/day. So it looks like we're getting there.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Customer knows best

Okay, I really shouldn't be drinking sugar but I decided to take a small treat this afternoon so I asked for a shot of liquid sugar instead of my usual plain black iced tea at Dunkin Donuts.

DD staff assembles my tea and hands me a cup that had what seems to be a half-inch sludge of white sugar granules.

I didn't reach for it and pointed instead, "oh, that's not liquid sugar. I asked for liquid sugar".

DD staff says "Yes, it is. That's liquid sugar."

I say, "Oh no, it's not. See that it's white ? They're clearly sugar granules. Liquid sugar is clear."

DD staff tries to hand the cup to me and asked, "have you tasted it ? you haven't tried it yet"

I respond, "I don't have to. I know it is NOT liquid sugar"

DD staff then says "okay, I'll change it."

"Thank you."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My visit to the ER

We had a very bad scare last weekend.

It was Saturday, I took a nap with Swe-cha and woke up around 6p with a headache. I decided to tough it out and by 8p, the headache had only gotten worse so I decided to take an Advil.

At around 9:45p, my sister called and while I was on the phone with her, I felt dizzy & nauseous. I went to bed to lie down while talking to her and she suggests taking my BP.


"Try the other arm.", achi suggested.



She then tells me that I have to get husband to drive me to the nearest urgent care center. NOW NA! I started getting scared and looked at the operating hours of nearby urgent care centers. They all close by 8p. So we decided to go to the ER.

So we packed up Swe-cha, already in his PJs, in the car and drove to the nearest hospital. Swe-cha kept crying because he thought we were bringing him to the doctor.

When we got there, I got off the car and signed myself in the ER. Hubby stayed in the car w/ Swe-cha. I had asked him to leave me behind and just go straight home but he opted to stay in the parking lot and wait a while.

We were in the ER by 10p. 15 minutes later, I was already being interviewed by a nurse. They checked my BP, 197/115.  F*ck. The nurse turned out to be Filipino and I asked, "uh oh. that's really messed up. I guess that means that I'll be here a while ?" Then I explained how my husband is outside with our son and are waiting for me, should I just ask them to go home ?

Nurse confirmed that it will be a while since I would have to be medicated and maybe, the doctor may order a CT scan.  So I call up hubby and they left for home.

In the meantime, I was assigned ER bed #17 and attached to all sorts of monitors. A different nurse would come by every now and then to tell me that the doctor is coming. But he wouldn't really come until an hour later at 11:20p. During the wait, the BP monitor attached to me would automatically go off every few minutes. By the time the doc comes to check me out, my BP had gone a bit down - 180/110. Still very high.

Doc says that he will give me some meds and that he will also order a CT scan to make sure that everything is okay. I see him walk out, give some instructions to the nurse and walk away.

I wouldn't get the medication until just after 12mn.

All this time, I was alone and so scared that nobody would notice me if something happened to me. I asked the nurse not to close the curtains, telling her that I was alone and that if I had a stroke, I don't have anybody to call for help. I didn't care about privacy and would feel much better if I knew that they (hospital staff) can see me. She obliged.

I'd get the medication by 12:20a and would get a CT scan just after 1a.

The CT scan came out clear, thank God! and I was able to get out by 4a. My plan was to take a taxi home but was discouraged from doing so by hubby and by the nurse who did my initial interview.

There wasn't really any definitive conclusion as to what may have caused my elevated BP. I did come home with an Rx for maintenance meds and instructions to see my doctor ASAP so that my primary care doc can adjust the dosage.

This was such an eye-opener. I am not in the best of health, alam ko yan. But I have been making steady improvements since then.

2 weeks ago, I had some labwork done and it came back with the nicest numbers I've seen in a long long time. 1 week ago, I went to my endocrinologist for a follow up and my BP was 125/80 (higher than normal, but not bad). These days, my bp is at 150/90 w/o medication and only goes down to 120/80 with medication.

Ano kayang nangyari ? ER doc suggests my episode on Saturday could've been caused by dehydration. Feeling ko, it could be also be this virus that I picked up from Swe-cha + dehydration.

Would appreciate it if you would say a little prayer for my health.

Thanks :)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Baseboard heater covers

Finally got around to attaching the baseboard heater covers properly.

We had known that they were loose even before we moved in. Our painter had alerted us to them and told us that it wasn't really a problem, we just had to attach them again using drywall screws.

1.5 years later, nagawa rin namin. And if I have not mentioned how slow we are yet, yep, we are slow. Kaya lang rin namin inasikaso na agad because one section had already fallen off because Swe-cha keeps stepping on them so he can climb onto the bay windows (he loves to look outside from this spot). If we didn't get it fixed right away, the heating element inside could get damaged.

As it turns out, it wasn't so difficult. We kept putting it off because we didn't think it was going to be this easy - the baseboard cover was made of some sheet-metal material and we were anxious about punching holes in it (baka mahirap). As it turns out, we found some videos on You Tube that showed how to do it, easy lang if you have the tools.

a) Look for studs in the wall, this is important. The reason why they were falling off in the first place was that they weren't anchored to studs. The baseboard covers were just screwed onto the drywall so the screws worked themselves loose over time. I suspect that all the other baseboards are attached like that as well, but since they aren't in high traffic areas, they're still secure.

We used our stud finder to locate the studs and marked their locations with tape.

b) Since the baseboard covers are made of sheet metal, we used a drill to make pilot holes. We didn't drill all the way into the wood.

c) Then we got All-Purpose construction screws. These ones we got are rated for wood, concrete, metal and drywall.

While purchasing screws, I realized how much variety there is - there's a whole wall of them in our local home depot. It also occurred to me how expensive they could be. For exeample, we paid $3 for 15 of these screws - that's roughly P8 / screw = 4 pandesals (nagtakam tuloy ako bigla while I was doing the math), kaya wag sayangin!

The next  bigger pack of drywall screws (not all-purpose ones) cost $8 for a 1-lb box, not sure how many screws are there. We didn't need that much so it does not make sense to get a 1 lb box.

I've never really had a need to buy screws when we were still in Manila (home projects were overseen by Dad, he took care of everything) but are they that expensive in the Philippines as well ? No wonder, Dad has a habit of picking up loose screws and nails that he sees anywhere and then saving them. I picked up this habit from him too so I have a jar of orphan screws I picked up and don't really have to buy unless I need more than a few. Needless to say, I did recover and save the loose drywall screws that were used to attach the baseboard covers originally.

d) and then just because I like being sigurista, I also got a pack of washers (30 zinc washers for $1.xx).

We secured 3 sections of baseboard heaters in the living room this afternoon before our drill ran out of juice and had to be recharged. I did an inspection and looks like we still have 1 section left to do in the dining room.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


The little boy just asked for Ta-Hoe.

Specifically, he said, "Ta-Hoe ? Mommy get Ta-Hoe. Thank you."

Had to think about it before I realized what he wanted, eto pala:
image from:

We usually get our Ta-Hoe fix as part of our Sunday dimsum. Monday pa lang. It's gonna be a loooong week.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Q & A

These days, I like to play question & answer with Swe-cha during the drive home from daycare. First and foremost, this is such a happy activity because he's getting to be more and more verbal lately and I am now able to hold his attention. Secondly, it's also interesting to find out what he recalls and associates with certain things. Note, his answers are his and not taught/scripted.

Mommy: Where do gloves go ?
Swe-cha: On the hands

Mommy: Where do socks go ?
Swe-cha: On the feet

Mommy: Where do shoes go ?
Swe-cha: On the socks  (tama rin naman).

Mommy: What do you do with a bike ?
Swe-cha: Wear a helmet. On the head.

Sometimes, he'd also go off on tangents on his own...

Mommy: Where are the solar panels ?
Swe-cha: on the roof! Ladder, climbing the ladder!
Background: he was watching while the solar panels were getting installed, he saw the crew using ladders to climb to the roof.

And there are times when his answer doesn't really make sense, yung akala mo walang connection pero meron talaga ...

Mommy: What do you do in a restaurant ?
Swe-cha: (pauses and thinks) It's the Angkong
Background: we mostly do takeouts and very seldom dine in a restaurant so it wasn't a surprise that he didn't instinctively say "eat in a restaurant". As for the Angkong (grandpa) part, when my parents are visiting, Dad and I would drive to daycare together to pick up Swe-cha and we'd then drop by a local restaurant to pick up dinner. The first time that Dad went down to the restaurant, Swe-cha asked "where's the angkong?" and I said, "Angkong went to the restaurant to get our food".

Sunday, July 12, 2015

How many boo-boos ?

Swe-Cha is very fascinated with band aids lately, he keeps pointing out the smallest boo-boos and would want me to cover them with a band aid.

We've been using these colored ones that I got from the dollar store a while ago in anticipation of this, medyo na excite ako in preparing band-aids, got them long before Swe-cha wanted them.

This evening, after his bath, Swe-cha asked for band-aids for his boo-boo, I asked him what color he wanted and he answered "red". E wala palang red, so I asked him if he wanted yellow instead and he confirmed "yellow please".

Afterwards, he would recite, "how many boo-boos ? one, two!" as he pointed to each boo-boo in turn.

This makes a mommy's heart full. For a 5.5 yr old child who was non-verbal until 3, he's come a long way :) 

Friday, July 10, 2015


I am a creature of habit. 

Remember those scenes you see on TV where a patron walks in to a cafe/bar/restaurant and orders his usual ? That's me.

These days, I only have to show my face at our cafeteria in the morning and they start making my usual order. I order this custom combination so much that 2 months ago, I saw that their point of sale system had a new entry just for my order - I do feel a pang of disappointment that they didn't name if after me though.

One time, the usual cashier was out and someone who usually works the salad bar took over, I told him what I had and said "there's a special menu item for my order" and he answers, "yeah, I know, she told me."

Wow. Part ng turnover training nila ang order ko?  #ikawna

This isn't the first time that a store customized this pos system for us. The first time was at DD where I order 2 egg and cheese wraps for my son every day. Yes, he is a creature of habit too (may pinagmanahan) and he loves his egg wraps. Occasionally, I would order extra and ask them not to pop them in the oven because the wraps turn hard when not eaten right away. The first few times were difficult because I had to explain in detail what I wanted - put the ingredients together and wrap them, no need to heat because I want it cold. 

After a few orders, the branches I go to now have their own custom instructions just for us. One branch has it listed as "do not make" and another has it as "assemble only". 

Anyway,... so this morning, I thought I'd change things a bit. I liked what the lady in front of me ordered so when the cook saw me, I stopped her from making my usual and instead asked for something a veggie omelet with pepper jack cheese.

Poor cook got so flustered. She walked to and stopped at different stations and to the back, looking for ingredients that were already in front of her. At one point, she mumbling "eggs, ... where did I ...." and she had them in her hand the whole time.

When it was my turn to pay, the cashier got flustered too. It took her longer than usual to punch in my order.

at this point, I see 2 possible options for me. Either I go back to my usual and never order something else so I don't mess up their flow/routines or I mix things up more often para masanay sila.

Aliw lang :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Good day

There are days when I feel like we're drowning and there are days when I feel like we're just surviving and it's like we're just doing enough to get by. My/Our todo-list has a backlog a mile long and there just aren't enough (free) days for all of them.

However, I am pleased to note that I had a good day today and got some of the big ones done.

(1) Solar panels were installed on our roof 2 weekends ago but they didn't finish the electrical work. I tried to get them to schedule the work on a weekend again but the next available weekend date is not till late July. I decided to just schedule it for today and work from home to get it over with. Even though we're allowed to, I try not to abuse the "work from home" privilege.

The electrical work is now done, it took 6 men in 3 trucks 5 hours to complete the work. Ang dameh! 

The next step is to get the city inspector to come over and approve their work, will have to work from home again on that day too.

(2) Check out the hedges in front of our window in the picture above and see how overgrown they are. That picture was taken 2 weeks ago and today, the hedges are even taller. Parang jungle na! The landscaper we called for spring cleaning last March was a no-show and is not returning calls (now that I think about it, baka undocumented alien sila tapos na-deport ???).

Then we have these trees in the side yard that we want to remove, I just found out today that they're fig trees. They go dormant in the winter and become active again when spring rolls around. Unfortunately, leaves and other debris collect near the roots and it's hard to clean. Last season, we didn't dare try to touch it because some animal made its nest near the roots - we hope it was a rabbit but it could've also been a raccoon. Scary!

We also have hedges in the backyard that need to be pruned and vines from our neighbor's yards are growing into our yard too. I've called 6 other landscapers to date and none have called me back. They're probably all booked up and busy these days.

This morning, since I was home, I saw our neighbor's landscaper mowing the neighbor's yard (it was their weekly maintenance) so I went over and ambushed the guy. We now have an agreement and he's coming over next Monday to remove the trees, prune hedges and will do the clean up. He'll just bill me for the work afterwards. Ayos! We may ask him to set up a plant bed in the side yard, but we'll think about it after the trees have been removed.

I also got a quote for regular weekly or bi-weekly lawn care, we'll think about this in the meantime kasi regular expense na ito if we go for it. I'm sure that once hubby gets a taste of having professional lawn care, it'll be hard to convince him to mow the lawn again. I don't think we're ready for this at this stage since hubby also wants to get a new car this year.

(3) There's this balikbayan box that I've been meaning to pack up & send out. The stuff I needed to pack have been sitting in our library for weeks, we look like a warehouse already. My goal was to get this picked up by the forwarder on or before the weekend of June 12 but I wasn't able to do it because I've been swamped.

So this afternoon, during my lunch break, work was relatively light so I figured I'd pack it already so I can have it picked up this weekend. It didn't take long because I've already prepared the stuff I'm sending long ago. When done, I called the forwarder - whose owner, by the way, happens to live nearby - to set up a pickup schedule. Since they live in the area, they've been very accommodating and oftentimes would even come by at 7p/8p on a Saturday. So while the guy on the phone was checking their calendar to see if they can squeeze me in for Saturday, the owner comes by and hears my name and asks "is she home now ?". When I said yes, he offered to come pick up the box right away.

Again, ayos!

Work-wise, I've had to deal with a few reported defects today and all issues turned out to be non-issues for us (well, they are still defects, but they weren't caused by our side). How great is that ?

At this point, our to-do list is still substantial.

We are still behind on laundry but our pile of clean clothes waiting to be folded/hung/or ironed is bigger than the dirty pile so I will chalk this as a win.

The magnetic board that we bought more than 3 months ago is still waiting to be hung (it needs special mounting hardware/techniques) but since we got the power (reciprocating) saw last week, we're one step closer to getting it done so I will chalk this as a half-win.

We still have not painted our MBR, this admittedly fell off our radar so am targeting the 4th of July weekend for this. How I wish I was still young enough again to feel okay luring friends over with a bbq/painting party.

There's still a lot on our plate so you can see how I really needed today's victories. Thank you, Lord, for this amazing day and as always, You have great timing.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day!

Q: What do the most macho fathers do on father's day ?

A: They use the newly-bought power tool (whoohoo!), a reciprocating saw, to cut down dead tree branches.

The dead tree was cut down last week by the crew who were installing the solar panels but they left it for us to clean up. The branches had to be cut down into shorter lengths and bundled up so they can be picked up by the city on Wednesday (our day for yard-waste collection).

My initial thought was to buy a hand-axe or a hatchet so we can just use the palakol to cut the tree down into smaller pieces. Hubby, always on the lookout for an easier way, suggested we get a reciprocating saw instead.

We had fun shopping at Harbor freight tools. We got this and a hedge trimmer for such a great price. Don't really know if they'll stand up to heavy-duty use, but for ocassional DIYers like us, having access to affordable tools is great.

For ~$24 (and it also came with a free LED light), the saw is already sulit as getting someone to come in to do it will surely cost much more.

Note that we've been trying to get someone to come over to prune our hedges and to cut down these undesireable & dead trees, the first landscaper never showed up (the ones who did our spring cleanup last year). We have called 5 more landscapers to date and none have called us back. I think it's probably because our job is too small and this is their peak season

... as I finish typing this post, I hear our garage door opening, hubby is taking out the lawn mower pala and plan to trim the grass too. (Yay!).

Thursday, April 30, 2015


2 weeks after I first tried to germinate seeds, my sweet corn and sugar snap peas are ready to be transplanted to a bigger container.

Mommy just needs to get more potting mix.

Hitting rock bottom

My health has, unfortunately, hit rock-bottom.

I knew my control was slipping and that I've been gaining weight lately, but I didn't realize that the overall effect on my health was going to be that bad.

I was puzzled when I was asked to give another urine sample when I went back to the clinic the following day to get my results. The doctor explained later that she wanted to do a pregnancy test for me because that might explain the unusual results in my bloodwork.

It turned out negative, but for a while there, my hopes were up. We have been considering having another child recently but given my most recent checkup, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go through a pregnancy with this many health issues going on with me. It wouldn't be good for the baby.

I have to thank my company for giving us an incentive to get our annual checkups done (there's a gift card when you complete certain activities). I am not the type to make an effort to see the doctor for checkups if it weren't for that incentive, my husband is the same way too so we both have to be thankful for this.

I teared up a little as I was reading the results, how could I have let it get this far ?

Anyway, sabi nga ni friend/ofcmate "at least alam mo na, pwede mo na gawan ng paraan." and he is right. My husband says the same thing and that we should treat this as a wake up call and start making lifestyle changes.

When we got home after daycare pickup, I turned on the tv and searched for an exercise video on YouTube. Ang dami pala!  The good news is that I was able to find time for exercise, kaya pala because Swe-cha generally entertains himself when we get home from daycare. The not-so-good news is that I was panting at the 5 minute mark and at 15 minutes, I found my muscles shaking and I couldn't move them anymore, not even to sit down on the floor. Thankfully, Swe-cha let me do this for 30 minutes without bothering me. He just sat on the floor watching me and applauding every now and then.

I had the realization that my fit days was really that long ago. Those days when I could easily do 3 straight hours of advanced aerobic classes ? those were long gone.

More realistic this time and considering that I still have aches and pains from yesterday's exercise session. I searched for a beginner's exercise video. Eventually, I settled on Zumba. I found it doable and after a message saying "don't judge yourself, just have fun!" on the video appeared, I started having fun. Ang tigas ng katawan ko and I don't even know if I'm doing the moves right. Boy, am I glad that I don't do this professionally - nakakahiya.

Swe-cha was a bit more difficult today, he wanted to be hugged, he wanted me to sit beside him, he wanted to write and do all sorts of things. He kept asking me to turn off the tv and at one point, was able to get hold of the remote and actually turned my video off. this resulted in my having to start over, until I was able to finish the 30 minute exercise.

The good news is that, at this point, I see results of my hard work (exercise and diet) immediately. I've lost 1 lb daily for 3 days now. Hope this continues para ma-inspire ako and maka pag 2-piece bikini for summer (mwahahaha!).

Sunday, April 26, 2015

When friends don't LIKE you anymore...

I've noticed recently that some friends have not been LIKE-ing my posts on FB.

I know it's not mandatory but since I think it's a way to say "hey, I saw this pic and I think it's nice that you were able to do this" quickly. And when I don't see that, I get the feeling that it is deliberate and that they are sending a message. After all, it doesn't take a lot to click that little thumbs up button.

Have I offended or frustrated them in any way? Granted, we haven't really been as close lately as we were before and don't spend much time together, but I do see them LIKE-ing posts of other friends who are much farther away so distance / spending time together must not be a factor.

In any case, as sad as I am with the message they are sending me, there is really no sense in wondering (who knows how & what they are thinking ?) and I just have to move on. After all, why force someone to like me/us ? Eh kung di nila ako like, edi hindi. What am I to do ?

Over the years, I've seen people cull their friends - some do that to get rid of toxic people in their lives, some just don't have time for people they consider acquaintances (and not friends) - so maybe I am being culled.

Sad, matagal rin ang pinagsamahan namin.

Anyway, kung hindi na nila ako gusto maging friend okay lang, Pero I'll always be here with my heart & hand waiting in friendship.

Sana lang malaman ko what I have done to cause them to boycott me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

South-facing window

While I was fretting about getting a portable / mini greenhouse and doing the research, hubby asked me how and where I planned to set it up.

I haven't quite figured it out yet, I told him, but what I really needed was a place where I could set up my seedlings and have them face south. Ideally, they should still be inside at this point but should be placed at a South-facing window.

So hubby asked me which way was South and I pointed to the South wall at our home and pointed out that there are no windows.

And he asks... uh,... how about the window in the 4th bedroom, can I make use of that window ? But, he points out, it's going to be warmer up there, compared to the rest of the house.

My husband is a genius! We don't have any South-facing windows in our living area but I didn't think about the bedrooms. The 4th bedroom is perfect because it really gets a lot of sun and it is unoccupied. We just use it to store semi-opened moving boxes and unused toys so I can keep the door locked (to keep Swe-cha out) when I'm not fussing with the seedlings. The fact that it is warm is also perfect, that's how a greenhouse is supposed to be - warm but not too much.

It's been a day since I planted my sprouted seeds in a seed-starting potting mix and a lot of already poked their heads out and have started sprouting the cotyledon leaves.

It'll be a few more weeks, I think, before the seedlings will be ready for the planting bed but I am so excited and really hope that they make it.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Vegetable garden

We've always wanted to have a vegetable garden but we didn't start one last year because we were going to be away for a vacation and so our raised planters remained empty (other than the weeds that sprouted - boo!). I bought seeds last year but decided, at the last minute, to not plant them.

This year, I tried to germinate (not sure if this is the right term) the seeds that I bought last year.

Since these are from last year, I wasn't sure if they're still viable so I decided to go with the paper-towel method. I soaked some paper towels, spread the seeds on the wet towels and sealed them in a ziploc bag - sort of like a mini-greenhouse. I made sure to label the bags, of course.

3 days later, the seeds have sprouted. I didn't completely open the bags so I have no idea if all seeds are good or not but here's a peek-preview. I may leave them in the bags for another day or two but I am thinking about getting a small greenhouse to put in the back, hopefully, tomorrow.

Sugar Snap Peas (the vine variety)

Sweet corn

Rio Grande Tomatoes


Beefsteak Tomatoes

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Good weekend

This weekend, with the exception of Swe-cha's fall, is one of our best weekends ever.

First off, we attended a friend's birthday party on Saturday and during that party:
(a) Swe-cha didn't cry when we went there and walked up to friend's house willingly

(b) When we saw his Ninong, I pointed him out and asked Swe-cha to hug Ninong. He went! (said Ninong then looked at me and asked "nagulat ka rin no ?" =)

(c) He passed a soccer ball around a few times with another guest's child - this was of his own initiative

(d) Did a few hand tricks with Ninang (high fives, align, and some others we didn't know about), I wasn't close enough to see how he did but there was no drama

(e) When we were leaving, he initiated a hug with Ninang's daughter.

On Sunday, we went to music school and he engaged with his teacher 100%! He was singing songs and playing instruments (the big & small drums, shakers, and the xylophone) with the teacher.

We went to Dunkin Donuts afterwards to grab breakfast and he ate 2 egg/cheese wraps (we had to kill time before mass).

And when we heard mass afterwards, he behaved the whole time and we were able to finish mass!

The only thing that marred this weekend was that he fell and hit his forehead on a corner of the wall just before naptime. His bruise swelled like crazy and I was so scared. Looks like he's okay now, but we do need to observe him and watch out for signs of concussion (pls pray with us that he'll be fine).

Monday, March 2, 2015


Today, Swe-cha came home with a missing zipper handle on his backpack.

If we were in the Philippines, I would simply bring this to my neighborhood Mr Quickie to be fixed.

If I were to show this to my Dad, he'd fashion a handle out of some scraps and attach it to the zipper body - I actually remember him attaching a round aluminum ring to a broken luggage zipper when I was little.

Since we don't have a neighborhood Mr Quickie here and my parents aren't due for a visit till spring, I've had to channel my inner-McGyver and fashion something out of what scraps / parts I have at home. I reused the toggle and elastic cord that I salvaged from hubby's ruined jacket*.

Sometimes, there's really an advantage to being a hoarder (translation: basurero).


* Last November, hubby's winter jacket got ruined beyond repair (spent too long in the dryer) and before throwing it out, we salvaged as much spare parts as we could - I cut off the toggles and as much elastic cord as I could pull out.

Super Cool!

Swe-cha's favorite expression these days is "Super Cool".

I don't really know where he picked that up and what it really means but from what I can gather....

(a) Apple juice is cool. Drop an ice cube into the juice cup is "Super cool!"

(b) trains are cool, cars that can be launched from a launcher are "super cool"

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.