Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Creative Happy Tuesdays: Trying to Quilt a Cat with a Tail

My goal is to learn something new everytime I create something. I came across this cat with tail design on Pinterest and thought it would be interesting to make. Instead of making a placemat I used the design to cover a kitchen appliance. I'm still working on it, but the base was pretty easy to assemble once I figured out the template. 

Here's how I made it -

I'm halfway done with the project and just need to figure out the eyes and bowtie. I also need to figure out how to add the tail between the quilt and the binding. I expect I'll be doing a lot of unstitching (tastas) when I come to this part. Mom did saw, if it's ugly, tastas!

Hope to finish all my kitchen covers before the month ends! We'll soon clear our living room, that means I can finally make some throw pillow covers. I think I've made enough cat quilts for the time being, so I might work on a new theme next.

More details about the project on my sewing blog:

#BeKind #StaySaffe

Monday, May 29, 2023

Home on Mondays: Why Home Fire Insurance is Important

We learned a lot in the past year about home management. We also experienced a lot in the year and a half since we moved to our new home. Last year, Kuya got fire insurance for our ancestral home. We also got for our new home since you never know what may happen.

True enough a fire broke out behind our house two months after we got fire insurance. We got very nervous because the fire was right behind the firewall. The guard told us the fire got 40% of the structure before firefighters arrived. We got lucky because the structure's walls were very thick. The firefighter said our firewall was pretty warm. 

We immediately had the firewall inspected. There were bulges in it. Good thing our agent was very accommodating. He helped us get it further inspected and saw through the claim. Inspection showed that the firewall needed some repair only. 

It took seven months for the claim and the firewall to be repaired. Architect Wansi's team took care of the repairs. They reassured us that the firewall is now safe. They're also working on finally adding a sampayan for us. Yay!

When you get fire insurance, they will only insure the cost of your house. So let's say you have a 100 sqm house, built at 35k per sqm, then your house is insured for PhP3,500,000. I don't remember, but I think we were also asked to list our appliances so it can be included in the computation. After the computations, we received several quotations from several companies. Our agent explained each one and then we selected what we thought was best for us. 

We also saw several fires break around our area. Some were really huge. We learned how to manage our anxiety over them by monitoring it closely. We follow TXTFire Philippines on Facebook. They usually provide updates about cases and that helps reassure us whenever we hear a firetruck pass by (we're parallel to a main street so we always hear whenever they pass by). PTSD is real, just make sure you're well informed so it doesn't get triggered. 

#BeKind #StaySafe


Sunday, May 28, 2023

Miracle Sundays: Missing Mom

Dear Mom, it's been four weeks since you joined Daddy in heaven. Most days I just think you're at home and busy with your garden. The most difficult is not being able to call you up and tell you stories. I dream of you often and as usual you just say you're okay and happy with Dad. 

My heart is heavy today Ma. I couldn't even  bring myself to wear the shirt I wore when we  brought you to MMP. The only thing that calms me is sewing and when I get to go out to tend to my plants. We've been thinking about how to preserve your garden. I told Kuya that we have to protect it at all costs because we won't be able to replicate it. 

I've been keeping myself from crying because I know it's not good for my heart. I remember you said the same thing when Mama Lola passed away. I don't know why, but today's different and the tears just keep falling. I'm just thinking my body needs to release more fluid (hehe). 

The past few weeks have been quiet. I got to see Ate and Kuya together after so many years. We celebrated Daddy's birthday with a Lucban feast. I followed your skilled cooking technique, ordered food (haha). The AQI has been really bad so I haven't been able to do much. Hopefully I'll be able to do the required paperwork this week. I just couldn't bring myself to do it because it seems so final. 

We're busying ourselves to clear out our living room in time for your 40th day. Kuya and I decided to do it in my home to protect me from the heat. We'll just have a private mass and then hopefully stream it so everyone can join. 

Miss you Ma. Kisses and hugs.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Plantita Saturdays: Berries in Our Garden!

The other day, Sweetie surprised me with news that the bushes in our pocket garden bore fruit! We recently had our pocket garden cleaned up. After the plant boxes were added, soil was added. Miggy also added some coffee grounds and a week later we were surprised with berries. 

We're not really sure what kind of berries grew. Google Lens said it's black chokeberry or California privet. The berries are quite small though, so we're just having birds eat it (we're also not sure if it's edible hehe). I found out after some research that berries like slightly acidic soil. Adding coffee grounds probably helped provide better nutrition for the bushes. 

It was a pleasant surprise since the bushes were already there when we moved in. We're just going to leave the berries for the birds. No wonder Mr. Bulbul has been doing his afternoon concerts again :)

Do let us know if you're familiar with this berry :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, May 26, 2023

Foodie Friday: Tuna and Mushroom Alfredo

This recipe is one for the books! Miggy and I almost aborted our quest to try making tuna and mushroom alfredo. I put too much butter on the pan, so the sauce turned yellow even though we added cream and milk! We looked at each other and almost stopped taking a video. We thought our effort would go to waste. 

"Let's finish it and see," I told Miggy after adding the tuna and mushroom. The sauce was still very much yellow. Lo and behold something magical happened when we added the parmesan cheese. The sauce slowly turned white. We didn't question the wisdom anymore and breathed a sigh of relief that it would turn out okay (we were certainly very hungry already).

Finished cooking and nervously presented what we cooked to Sweetie to try. We all liked it and our litmus test for successful recipes is... no leftovers! It worked out! Whew! I was certainly relieved since cream and the other ingredients are quite expensive nowadays. I didn't want anything to go to waste. I think the huge chunk of butter I used was the secret to making it tasty. 

Really happy the boys loved it! Recipe is available here:

Happy Friday everyone!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Throwback Thursday: Childhood Home Happy Memories

I lived in the same house until the day I got married. Sweetie and I immediately went home to our new home the day after our wedding. Living with my parents until I married gave me the grounding and stability I needed. I could also say I completed Mom's syllabus of life lessons. She didn't know how to cook, but she really knew how to properly run a household and get cars repaired. 

I have a huge bank of happy memories stored in my mind. In time they'll probably start to fade away, so I thought I'd write down some of them today. Here are some:

1. Celebrating birthdays at home

I always celebrated my birthdays at home. I had one every year until I was 13. Miggy also had his birthday parties at home and that was really fun. When we moved out we started celebrating in restos since it was easier to do. 

2. Parties

Mom and Dad loved hosting parties at home. Mom had huge platters for her parties and she had a gazillion plates, glasses and kubyertos. Majority of our family reunions happened in our home. When not hosting parties, they would host smaller dinners. Good thing at that time my metabolism was really fast, haha. Eventually, the parties extended to my friends. I was still able to host one just before the pandemic.

3. Welcoming New Year with a bang

It was Mom who loved to buy fireworks. She and Kuya would set up a drum on the street and throw in  whatever they got. They would also put swirling lights on the palm tree that used to be on the front lawn. I'd usually hide in the sala because I'm absolutely afraid of fireworks. 

4. Having pets

Much as Mom didn't really like having pets, she allowed us to have pets. I inherited Ate's dog, Cotton, who eventually gave birth. Kuya had lovebirds, cats and fish. I eventually had an aquarium and hamsters. That's why I'm so bummed my pulmo didn't allow me to have pets. 

5. Mom's garden as my classroom

In the afternoons, Mom would force me to hang out with her in the garden. She'd lay out a banig and that's where I'd play with my dolls. Eventually, she held craft lessons for me during summer. That's where I learned how to embroider, crochet, make bags out of plastic straw, quilt, bead and paint boxes. 

It's now time to sunset our old home and re-purpose it for our current needs. Everyone wants to keep Mom's garden as it is, so we'll see how that goes :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Wellness Wednesdays: Don't Forget Your Flu Vaccination

Feel ill with the flu right we brought Mom to Manila Memorial Park. It was probably a blessing in disguise because I would have probably been overwhelmed. Ate and Kuya took care of everything after I made the arrangements. I don't think I would have made it through that week in one piece. It also took me over a week to feel a bit better. That's how it is to be immuno-compromised, you can easily pick up germs. 

I saw a Watson's ad the other day announcing their vaccination days. The last time I had flu vaccination was just before we went home from Singapore in 2021. No wonder I easily fell ill when we went out. Told the boys I think it's a good time to get vaccinated. Promptly booked an appointment and prayed it would be a good day for me. 

Saturday came and I was unfortunately unstable. The boys though didn't want to leave me alone at home, so I said I'd go with them but will probably sit out the vaccination. We ended up going to the wrong branch (haha). I didn't know there were 3 Watson's branches in our area. We were just a bit late for our appointment, but didn't need to worry since there was no line and I don't think they even had a list of those who booked. 

I felt a bit better by the time we went, so I proceeded to get vaccinated. A doctor assessed each one of us. I showed her my prescriptions and she interviewed me a bit. After the review, we proceeded to the vaccination area. Paid for the vaccine and got the jab. It wasn't painful, but I felt the effect immediately. I felt woozy and a bit short of breath. From previous vaccinations, I was told to take my regular medicines and inhaler. The immediate effects were gone by the time we got home and I even watered the plants. 

Thought I was okay, but I felt my arm go heavy by the time we had dinner. Of course, I promptly conked out on the couch after eating dinner. It's not ideal to fall asleep after eating, but I just passed out, haha. Woke up two hours later and my arm felt so much better. I put ice on it as soon as I started to feel some pain. It's been a few days and I'm still feeling some effects. It may be the vaccine or the really bad AQI the past few days. Dunno, just resting for now. 

In case you're curious, the flu vaccine in Watson's is the quadrivalent Sanofi flu vaccine. My respiratory doctor in SG kept reminding me before to get it :)

Thank you Doc Bianca and the kind nurse who had magic hands (di masakit!). 

#BeKind #StaySafe