Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Ikea Furniture We've Tried

I'm writing this while it's still fresh in my memory. We bought furniture from Ikea during our stay in Singapore. It was convenient to buy from Ikea, more affordable and honestly I had no idea where else to buy furniture from (furniture shops were located far from where I originally lived). 

Bed & Bed Frame

The first item I bought was a bed frame. I shipped a Uratex mattress and found out too late that the size was an odd size and was not common in Singapore. Ikea had it, but it was out of stock so I slept for two months on the floor! The options were also very limited so I had to wait for the stock to arrive. I immediately went to Ikea when the bed frame became available. It was only then I learned that you have to purchase a slatted bed base for the frame*. 

Locally made mattresses don't fit Ikea bed frames perfectly.

Eventually we got a second bed for Miggy. Got a single bed together with a mattress at Ikea for him. Ikea has a lot of options for single beds and some are really affordable at SG$30 (frame only). When Sweetie moved to Singapore we got a queen bed and I gave my old bed to Miggy. We were not too happy though with the mattress and wished we could obtain one from Uratex. 

What I liked about Ikea beds is the option to have storage. Space is precious so using your bed as storage is good. I used to put towels and fabric under my side of the bed. Will I buy Ikea beds again? They have really nice bed frames, but I prefer using Uratex mattresses. And to make sure that the mattress is a good fit for the bed frame, I'll buy local. 

Book Shelf

Ikea follows their own measurement system. This means most, if not all, their items fit perfectly. I "inherited"** my housemate's billy bookcase when she moved to another country. It fit perfectly in our new place, so we got a matching one since I had a lot of books. The shelf I got from my friend has already lived in 4 apartments in SG and will soon be here in Manila! The second shelf has been with us since 2016. We originally planned to sell the shelves before going home, but decided last minute to bring it back with us since it's sturdy. 

The billy bookcases.

Kitchen Shelf

We got this shelf on a whim because it was very affordable. It's made of metal and fit our needs perfectly. We used it to house our microwave and convection oven. We also used it to store Sweetie's teas, breakfast and snack food. The bottom part we used to keep boxes for other appliances like our vacuum. We were sad to let it go when we moved. How I wish we just stored it since it could be dismantled for storage. 

Display Cabinet

Best way to appreciate the display cabinet is through my "May the Fourth" video. It shows how I organized my Yoda collection in it when we moved last year. I loved that display cabinet since we were able to add lighting to it. Too bad we were not able to bring it back home. We gave it to the cleaner who mentioned he collects toys too. Ikea has a lot of options for display cabinets, go check it out.


Our most favorite Ikea furniture was our couch. We got a sofa bed as an extra bed in case we had visitors. I spent a lot of time napping on that couch. It became my favorite spot at home and I was really sad to part with it when we went home. We unfortunately had to make a deal to leave it with our landlord when we moved to the apartment. The couch in the apartment was already well-loved and to get rid of it we agreed to leave it when we left. Given the chance I'll probably buy the same again. 

Clothes Cabinet

Ikea offers modular cabinets. We had to get Sweetie his own cabinets when he moved to Singapore, but the space in our bedroom was limited. We found the perfect cabinets for him and we were able to customize it based on his needs. The cabinets were pretty sturdy too and it'll be joining us here in Manila soon! 

Ikea offers a wide variety of furniture and as I mentioned, they follow a measurement system that makes it easy for you to mix and match different items. I struggled though because they use the imperial system of measurement. I'm more used to the metric system of measurement. This is also probably the reason why my Uratex mattress did not fit the bed frame perfectly. 

Ikea made it easy for me to buy furniture. I realize though that I only bought furniture when I was in Singapore. We usually had them customized when we're here since my Mom has an in-house carpenter. He made all our beds and cabinets back in 2009. We'll probably get a few pieces from Ikea, but since we're here I'll probably make a lot of comparisons before I choose where to buy or have furniture made. Buying furniture depends a lot on your needs, your taste and budget. And remember, we have a lot of amazing local artisans who make great furniture, so make sure to do a lot of research before you buy. 

*Looks like they include this now when they sell bed frames.

**Bought for SG$20

#Home27 #NewG219 #Xmas25 #StayHome #BeKind   

Monday, November 29, 2021

My Favorite Things from Ikea

I'm so happy that Ikea has finally opened here in the Philippines! It's always fun to shop there and it's one of those places I've always been fascinated with because it was one of our case studies in grad school. They were really able to address what the market needs and that's why so many people love Ikea. A similar shop I think would be Uniqlo. 

Ee-kyah, Ai-kee-yah, Ai-ke-ya, honestly I don't know how to properly pronounce it despite being a customer for a long time now. I always loved going to Ikea in Singapore. In fact, that's where I did my walking exercises post-OHS. Shopping is a good motivation to exercise! Haha. 

Saw this tag in 2018 in SG. It was a super long wait for us!

I've brought home many things from Ikea and I thought I'd make a list of what I always purchase. Most of the items are useful and last a long time. Here are my favorite things from Ikea:

Yummy meatballs.
1. Bevara sealing clip - we use this clip to seal opened packages. We even tried using it on our hair!

2. Betydlig curtain brackets - this is what I used for our home. You can also double it up by adding a curtain rod holder.   and they're still working even after 8 years! We probably just need to tighten the screws. After doing some research I also found out they're cheaper than other curtain brackets out there. 

3. Racka curtain rods - I got some of this last week. I needed quite a lot and had to find the cheapest rod I liked. I was surprised to find out that the Racka curtain rods were very affordable. I was also able to get the longer rods I needed. 

4. Kungsfors rail - I have a tiny kitchen so I thought it would be useful to install a rail under the kitchen cabinets. Got two rails from Ikea and added hooks and a condiments basket. It's been very useful. 

PH delivery crew :)
5. Krama washcloth - I've bought this multiple times! It's like the morning glory towel equivalent of Ikea, haha. I normally use it for the kitchen. 

6. Rinnig tea towel - the tea towels go on sale often, so this is one thing I always get whenever I go. I even use them to cover dough whenever I bake bread. 

7. Bath and hand towels - yup, I'm obviously a fan of Ikea towels. Living with two boys I've had to color code our things. Blue for Sweetie, green for Miggy, beige for me. 

8. Nyskoljd drying mat - this item is usually on sale, so it's one of the things I always buy whenever I visit Ikea. 

9. Luddros mattress protector - I normally get this whenever I move. It's washable, so you can reuse it. 

10. Mixing bowl - I'm not sure if this is still available, but Ikea used to sell a mixing bowl that had a cover. It had a hole in the middle which allowed you to mix ingredients without it flying all over your kitchen. It's probably my most favorite item from Ikea. 

I've also tried many other things and can probably make a part two of this list, haha. I just listed down items I bought frequently from Ikea. I'm also happy to give my thoughts on their furniture if you would find it useful. Comment down below if you think I should write about their furniture too. 

Skip the lines, just order online!

#Home26 #NewG220 #Xmas26 #StayHome #BeKind   

Sunday, November 28, 2021

The Basement Cat, a Short, Short Story

Our community has a group that takes care of stray cats. The group was created mainly to help control the stray cat population and make sure they were fed. My neighbors have done a great job and the cats have been living comfortably. 

There's a cute "tortoiseshell patterned" cat who lives in our basement. He/she usually hangs out by the stairs and Miggy said it also likes standing by the elevator acting like a doorman. I'm not sure if it's friendly since it only stares back whenever I greet it. 

I had a chance to take some photos of it yesterday and here's what happened. 

The cat got annoyed when Sweetie joined me in taking photos, haha. It stood up and left in a huff. I haven't been allowed to have pets because of my allergies and it's a lot of work taking care of one. I always had pets growing up and I miss having one. Maybe I'll get some fish next year :)

Update: I just found out that the cat's name is "Charm". Also read that tortoiseshell cats are usually female.

#Home25 #NewG221 #Xmas27 #StayHome #BeKind   

Saturday, November 27, 2021

The Magic of Being Home

Daddy visited me in a dream the other night. He drove me and Mom to a huge, posh resort in our old Toyota Corolla. It was a long, scenic drive through the mountains and eventually we started to see parts of the beautiful blue green sea. When we reached the resort, we immediately sat down at the sandy beach and ordered lunch. I didn't get to see what food we ordered because I woke up. 

Yesterday, Sweetie and I were finally able to visit our home church. It was closed, but we were able to peek inside to say a prayer and to check for any changes. It was generally the same. I closed my eyes for awhile and imagined all the times it was full especially during Christmas and our Parish fiesta. Also remembered the many years I served as part of the choir. Visiting even for a short while, I felt more missing parts of myself come back. 

My roots run deep where I grew up and that's probably why I felt incomplete the past decade I lived in Singapore. Many would embrace the opportunity to experience living abroad, but I really struggled being away. It's probably because I knew my Dad wouldn't have approved. I moved to Singapore ten months after we lost him and that's why moving weighed heavily on me. Now that I'm home, Daddy welcomed me with a beach date with Mom. 

The situation is very different now. A lot of my friends have moved abroad, some in nearby cities, but most of my Ates and Kuyas are still around. A number of my Tito and Tita neighbors have passed away in the past two years. I remember my Mom told me when Daddy passed away that this is how life goes. She was very matter of fact about it, but I realized later on that was my Mom being her strong usual self. 

And now that I am where I really want to be, my immediate goal is to build a happy and loving home where we can create a lot of happy memories. Immediate target in the next two weeks is celebrate Mom's birthday. I've so far ordered some buntings and will plan our menu next. It's just going to be the four of us for now. So excited! 

#Home24 #NewG222 #Xmas28 #StayHome #BeKind   

Friday, November 26, 2021


We giggled as we ate our "Thanksgiving" dinner last night. It's Thanksgiving in the US and Miggy mentioned it as we started to eat dinner. "While everyone's eating turkey, we're eating Indomie," Sweetie said and that was when we giggled. We did order spinach lasagna for Thanksgiving, but only realized after that it will only be available on Saturday. We seriously need to do better in planning our meals. 

We enjoyed our meal. What's more important for us is we're together as a family. We're able to share stories, memes, weird ideas and funny memories in person. Sometimes when we need quiet time we retire in our room to recharge or do our own thing. Being together again is what I'm most thankful for this year. 

I am also thankful to be alive. I had my second PE* last January and have had complications after. I'm grateful for all the love and care from my family and friends. I'm also grateful to all my doctors, nurses and health workers who have cared for me. I am alive because of them and I thank God for giving me this chance to live. 

My only wish for now is for all my family and friends to be safe, healthy, secure, blessed and happy. I've also been praying for our country to have a leader who would bring peace, progress and prosperity. And, of course, bottomless prayers for all frontliners. My impossible cause prayer to St. Jude is for me to be healed. 

Being thankful and grateful is what has helped me the past few months. It's what has kept my PTSD** at bay. I'm still adjusting to my new life and I'm slowly accepting that my body is very different now. My biggest mistake post-OHS*** was to live like I didn't have surgery. I was bent on proving I could do everything. For now I'll just be thankful and grateful I have this chance to create more happy memories with family and friends. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

#Home23 #NewG223 #Xmas29 #StayHome #BeKind   

PE - pulmonary embolism

PTSD - post traumatic stress disorder

OHS - open heart surgery

Thursday, November 25, 2021


Sweetie made a proposal yesterday. He needed to warm up the car and asked if I wanted to go and chill with him. So down we went to the basement after hanging laundry. Got in the car and laughed at the absurdity of what we were doing. 

Then Sweetie decided to go around the property. He had to drive really slow. It was fun while it lasted and the cold car aircon was a welcome respite from the hot afternoon. At least we were able to go out and maybe that's what we can do sometime soon (i.e. go to Tagaytay and get drive-thru!). Still need to be cautious. 

We don't get bored just being home. There's a lot of things you can do at home. I've been a lot slower doing things, but at least I've been able to tick off important tasks like getting our real property tax paid (thank God for neighbors who do services for a small fee!). I've been wanting to sew, but home is a huge mess now. Maybe things will be better next week. 

Anyway, we got ourselves a "Welcome Home" cake from Red Ribbon. I've missed their mocha cake and will likely get it's equivalent from Goldilocks in a few weeks. Oh dear, my chubby cheeks are back. I really need to go back to home-cooked meals soon. I'll get Miggy to help make some adobo tomorrow.

Thirty days before Christmas! 

#Home22 #NewG224 #Xmas30 #StayHome #BeKind  

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Rediscovering Old Haunts

It's been 20 days since we arrived . I've been out only thrice since November 4 - hotel to home and visited Mom twice. We continue to be cautious so we're just staying home. I miss going to my favorite places and I've been checking if they have extended their services online. We've been spending time at night browsing through the online pages of stores.

Here's what I've discovered so far (listing based on where I usually buy stuff pre-pandemic) -


Booksale - they have a page on Shopee, search for So far they have over 2k books listed. I wish they would also add craft books and magazines to the list. You can also message them via their FB page if you're looking for a specific book. 

Fully Booked - available on Lazada and Shopee. Also no craft books, but you can buy materials for your crafts. May be better to order via their website since their listings is more complete there.

National Bookstore - you can search the entire store via their website, but if you're looking for popular items they should be available via their Lazada shop. 

Book publishers/bookstores like Feastbooks, Central Books, Chinkee Tan, Philippine Christian Bookstore, Merriam & Webster Bookstore and other bookstops are available on Lazada/Shopee. I got a couple of Didache 2022 already from the Feastbooks Lazada page. 


S&R - so apparently you can already buy stuff from S&R without needing to be a member. Just order through their page on Lazada or Shopee. 

Landmark - Landmark has a page on Lazada and Shopee. They sell mostly dry goods, home living stuff and beauty products.

SM - I was actually surprised to find SM's pages on Lazada and Shopee. I first discovered their shop website before I went home. I ordered my first grocery through SM since I'm more familiar with what they sell than Robinson's, Walmart or Metromart. 

My friend Ederic advised me that it's cheaper to order directly from manufacturers via Shopee/Lazada. There's two things I need to do before I do this: (1) Make a list of our menu so I can create a proper grocery list, (2) Find out what brands I normally use, i.e. Del Monte, P&G, Dole etc. 


Abenson - has a listing on Lazada, but has no products being sold yet. I ordered some items and there was a lot of back and forth via email to clear my card. They said they were going to inform me when they would deliver, but they just delivered anyway, haha. As with previous experience, there was no follow-up on who would install the appliances. 

Electroworld - also has a listing on Lazada, but no products available. There's a fake page on Shopee though hehe. I used to buy gadgets here. 

Shop SM vs. SM Appliance Center - SM has a list of appliances on Shop SM, but the more comprehensive list is still on SM Appliance Center. 

The nice thing about Lazada and Shopee is most manufacturers have their own pages and you can buy directly from them. Takes some figuring out though if you need help for installation. A new fave place to buy appliances for me is the Mi Store. I've acquired two rechargeable fans through the online store. 

Craft Stores

I normally get materials from Carolina's Lace Shoppe and Divisoria/Quiapo. I haven't really looked into this since I don't need to buy anything for now. I know you can order from Carolina's from their FB page and some shops from Divisoria have pages on Lazada/Shopee (and OMG the prices are exponentially cheaper!). Will explore this maybe after Christmas. :D

#Home21 #NewG223 #Xmas31 #StayHome #BeKind  

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

My Childhood Home

I think I can never live far away from my childhood home. We lived a few streets away when we moved to our first home. It still felt too far, so we found a new home on the same street. Eventually we acquired a condo unit which was within the same barangay. It just doesn't feel right to be too far away and our community is pretty tight knit. 

Went over to visit my Mom today. The frontage of our home was full of foliage which was a welcoming sight. Mom has a green thumb and anything she touches flourishes. I had her tour me around her garden and chided her for putting ornamental plants on Kuya's hydrophonic garden, hahaha. She really prefers taking care of flowers and ornamental plants than growing veggies. (Shhh don't tell my Kuya!). 

I spent a lot of summers hanging around in my Mom's garden. She would lay out a banig in the afternoons and that's where I used to play with my dolls. Eventually she started teaching me how to sew and quilt. We spent a lot of afternoons sewing under the tree. Sometimes I would take a nap in the hammock. At that time I just enjoyed the garden, but I wasn't really interested in learning how to tend one.

It's been two years since I've been back. I realized it's a good that I've come home already. Aside from Mom needing one of us here, our home also needs tending. The first order of the day though is to plan for my Mom's upcoming 86th birthday and bring her for a check-up. Christmas is fast approaching so we'll see how best we can celebrate as a family. 

#Home20 #NewG224 #Xmas32 #StayHome #BeKind  

Monday, November 22, 2021

The Perils of Being Home

I know I've been eating too much the past two weeks, so I tried to cut down beginning yesterday. I haven't even weighed myself since I got home since our weighing scale is in a LBC box on a ship on it's way here. I feel a bit heavier and that's not good for my body. It's really hard to stop eating when all your favorite food is just within reach!

We haven't been able to cook because my stove conked out. It's taking awhile for the repair center to come back and replace the hot plates. I decided to get a single burner stove and it got delivered last night. This will help us prepare healthier dishes. I'm glad Miggy has taken a liking to cooking, so he can assist. 

The cost of living is really much cheaper here, which means it's taken a lot of willpower to resist shopping. I was really happy though that I was able to get good deals for some items we need during 11.11. It's not just Lazada or Shopee doing crazy offers, but also legacy stores like Abenson, Our Home, SM Appliance Center. I was able to buy three shower heaters for the price of two! Wow! It just takes a bit more research and digging through offers to get good deals. 

I'm not sure if it's pollen, dust or pollution, but the air quality the past few days has been very bad. I've been having asthma attacks everyday, ugh. I just had one while writing this post and thought I was going to keel over. Good thing I was able to calm myself and take deep breaths. I'm not really used to having severe attacks. They're generally mild and I can usually stop it in its tracks. I probably need to keep the windows and doors closed for now. 

I love being home and we're still adjusting to our new life. A bit of discipline is needed to make sure we don't run dry too soon, haha. I'm looking forward to spending Christmas with my boys and my Mom. Ahh, it means I have to sacrifice the calories for the next few weeks so I can indulge for Christmas. It's going to be hard though! 

It's a new week! What new experiences would it bring?

#Home19 #NewG225 #Xmas33 #StayHome #BeKind  

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Our New Life

I'm trying to push myself to move around more. Our tiny place does not allow me to reach my 2k daily steps. It's also been hard to find a corner where I can do my daily exercises. I've started to feel lethargic and my body has been telling me to move more to burn everything I'm eating. 

Yummy lasagna by Drake's Lasagna! Order from my friend Adrian Cruz :)

So yesterday we went down to check out the bazaar in our community. Only residents were allowed and there has been no active cases the past few weeks. It was fun to see the activity organized by the property management office with residents. Red and blue tents lined up the main road and residents sold a lot of different goods. 

It was a good day to go out. The sun was hiding and it seemed like it was going to rain. It was the perfect day for a walk. I was hoping to buy some coffee, but we ended up with three cups of latte, puto bungbong, and kwekkwek, haha. Not the best combination, but the three of us enjoyed it for merienda. The funny thing is Sweetie ended up buying Transformers toys in mint condition. It was being sold for a really good price, so he snatched it up immediately. 

Loving this new experience since I never really got to live long enough in our tiny home. I rarely go out, but I realized I missed it when neighbors and the property staff would nod and say hello. Every morning, the birds who live in our a/c enclosure would keep chirping until I wake up. When I move to the dining table, I'd hear the chickens clucking. There are days when the neighbors from the next property would party with karaoke singing. And, of course, we could hear the sounds from the Skyway. 

It's very different from our very quiet life in Singapore. The energy is very different. I could feel a very strong, lively vibe around me. I'm honestly feeling a bit tired from all the activity. I guess I'm still adjusting to the fact that at least two people talk to me now (haha) and there's more activity to traffic at home. I think I'll have to sleep the day away today, haha. 

I'm happy to be home. Happy I have my family and friends within reach. I'm happy I can indulge them also with a little something like cake or lasagna. And I'm super happy that I can get anything I crave for! I think I have to work on increasing my step count, need to burn all these calories! 

Happy Sunday everyone :)

#Home18 #NewG226 #Xmas34 #StayHome #BeKind  

Saturday, November 20, 2021

New Leaves!

I put the pothos and baby rubber plant I'm propagating by my bedside. I check them when I wake up and before I go to sleep since i wasn't really sure if they'd survive. They were pretty stressed from trip and probably had to acclimate. I cut them from our plants that were indoors and they were used to the aircon and all-day air filter. They  got traumatized when I brought them here. 

I knew they were stressed because the leaves started browning. I changed the honey I mixed with the water to the honey from Bohol. Left them mostly alone and just made sure the water was refilled when needed. I noticed the pothos started rooting rapidly when I changed the honey. I was still concerned though for the second stalk because the leaves looked sad. The leaves from the baby rubber plant wasn't really propagating. 

A lot of progress happened the past few days. The leaves of the pothos are growing bigger and they've been producing new leaves too. The baby rubber plant has also started to produce roots! I'll probably keep the pothos in water, but have to research if I should move the baby rubber plant leaves to a pot with soil. 

You're probably wondering why I brought plant cuttings with me when I could just get them easily here. My Mom also has a huge garden and she'll give me whatever I need. I went through all the trouble of bringing them (a friend told me as long as it doesn't have soil it should be okay). The pothos cuttings are from the plant our landlord gave us 5 years ago and Tappy's pothos which I took care of for a year. The baby rubber plant I bought on a whim last year. It's grown a lot and I wasn't ready to part with it.

They are remnants of my life in Singapore and gardening made me happy. Our Westies neighbors are now taking care of the plants we left. I wanted a souvenir to remind  me of the happy memories I had gardening in Singapore. We haven't resumed blogging on The Balcony Farmer since our circumstances have changed. For now I'll just focus my time on propagating my two plants and will see where it goes. 

I'm just happy that my plants have started to flourish. The new leaves and new roots give me a lot of hope :)

#Home17 #NewG227 #Xmas35 #StayHome #BeKind  

Friday, November 19, 2021

The Thing that Wrecked Our World

For the first time since I got home, I had a hard time sleeping last night. I was tired from my afternoon's activities (doing laundry), but I couldn't sleep because my boys ordered milk tea for dinner. Promptly felt unwell after and it took a long time before I fell asleep. 

One of the last things I watched last night was the news. I got to listen to yesterday's tirade about a presidential candidate. Twitter was so much alive with comments and opinions regarding this issue. The struggle for power is very much apparent in the past few weeks. 

And that's what politics is all about. Harold Lasswell, a political scientist, defines politics as "who gets what, when and how" (source). Spiderman's famous quote, "With great power comes great responsibility," says it all. The problem comes when power is mixed with greed. When leaders make bad, selfish decisions we all suffer. One good example is climate change caused by rapid urbanization and irresponsible disposal of waste. 

I remain hopeful though because there are still good leaders and people who are working on initiatives that could help. There's the Ocean Cleanup supported by well-known vloggers Mr. Beast and Mark Rober. They previously started the tree planting project. Huge projects like these will help our planet. It's a way to correct bad decisions that were made by people who were drugged with power. 

I've been thinking about this for awhile now because I'm trying to understand what we can do. As we have seen in the past year we can step up when needed, i.e. the community pantries. The idea was easily picked up by volunteers across the country. The first order of the day though is for us to elect the leader that has the best intention for us. Someone who is not weighed down with their own personal agendas, but is really sincere in serving. 

And for now we can think about what big, hairy goals we can do to help and work on what we can contribute individually :)

#Home16 #NewG228 #Xmas36 #StayHome #BeKind  

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Finally Slowing Down

Chatting with my work seatmate, I told him what I've been up to lately. We've been busy with re-organizing our home, but things are going super slow. He reminded me that's how it's supposed to be now that I'm "retired". That was a good reminder for me to just chill, relax and work on recovery. 

Seatmate spelled it out for me, "You're now completely free. You were probably anxious all those months you were on medical leave that you could still be asked to come back." What he said is true. I slept for three days at the hotel. It felt really strange because I would just conk out at a snap of a finger. And now that I'm home I also fall asleep faster. 

Now I understand why my doctors recommended me to leave my job. It was really for my own good and I'm happy they let me go through the process of letting go. It was like a break-up because I loved what I do. Through the process I learned to forgive myself, let go and move on. I catch myself smiling at odd times of the day, haha. This is really the first time I hit the brakes so hard and I'm just enjoying sitting still. 

We've been home for 9 days now and so far -

1. We finished one Survivor series (Caramoan). 

2. Got some things fixed at home, i.e. sliding door, stove is in progress. 

3. The pothos and baby rubber plant I brought home has grown roots. The pothos grew new leaves too. 

4. My kitchen's working now, well except for the stove. I ordered a one-burner stove since it looks like it will take time for La Germania to finish fixing it. I already want to cook the goodies a friend sent me (plus I received a gazillion eggs from Elvin and Lynette!). 

5. Ate amazing food. Period. 

I have a friend who's betting I will only do this for 3-4 months, hahaha. He said I'll probably yearn for the challenges I used to face. Well, we'll see, for now I just want to rest and focus on family and catch up with friends. 

P.S. It's really interesting how much people are using gadgets to prevent the spread of the virus. I see vloggers walking around with alcohol misters. Some use nano spray guns to disinfect deliveries. We never used those in SG and I wonder if everyone uses these things here? 

#Home15 #NewG229 #Xmas37 #StayHome #BeKind  

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Adulting 101

To be honest, I only learned how to manage a home when Sweetie and I got married and moved to our own home. I remember I was shocked when Sweetie said he preferred not to have househelp. We always had helpers at home which meant I focused more on my studies/work, other activities than learning how to cook and home management. 

We had a lot of misadventures when we moved to our first home. We shared this on our "Mabuhay ang Bagong Kasal". Our brand new washing machine almost blew up. Our sink billowed white smoke. The worst was the septic tank incident. My Mom eventually took pity on us and got someone to help clean the house and do ironing once a week. I think she got worried we might eventually end up hurting ourselves trying to learn the ropes of home management. 

Here's what I learned through the years:

1. Pay your bills on time. Aside from utilities, always pay your credit card bills in full. That also means do not spend beyond your capacity. Save if there's someone you need to buy. 

2. Invest in good appliances. I learned this from my Mom. Her appliances really last a long time (her Whirlpool fridge is as old as Miggy!). The Union fan I brought to Singapore ten years ago, came back home with me. 

We used our first washing machine for 9 years.
It was still working when we gave it away because we decided to get a bigger one.

3. Your first home may not necessarily be your last. This was advise given to me by my Ate. We've lived in 8 different homes in the last 11 years. We moved based on need and our lifestyle. Now that we're permanently home and we won't be traveling we'll be settling in a permanent home now.

4. Budget to save, work to be financially free. I set aside money for savings before I spent it and eventually adjusted it based on the goal to be eventually financially free. I'm not financially free yet and still working on my strategy. 

5. Enjoy the chores. Yes, you need to embrace the fact that chores will always be waiting for you to do. I enjoy doing the laundry and have a science on how I do it. I feel so satisfied when I'm able to complete it. Sweetie took over it the past year, but I started doing it again yesterday. I ended up feeling unwell though, haha, but I was happy I was able to do it again. 

6. Get help where you can. You can't possibly do everything. We continued to have someone come in once a week to do cleaning and ironing for us. Before we went home last week we had our place deep-cleaned. It would have been dreadful if I ended up inflamming my sinuses with dust, hehe. 

7. Ask for help if you need it. It's been very useful for me to check the posts of our neighbors when they need help for something. I normally check previous posts first on our group before I ask questions or I ping a friend or neighbor to ask directly. I needed to have our sliding door fixed and easily found recommendations on who to contact. It's fixed now, yay!

8. Think twice before buying home items. It takes me years before I finally decide to buy something, i.e. my KitchenAid stand mixer. I always ask myself if I'm really committed to it and I set goals I need to meet before buying something. I'm also changing my grocery buying strategy since we ended up throwing away a lot of stuff before we went home. I will strictly adhere to my meal plans to make sure I only buy what's needed. I'll also probably put in an inventory system so we don't duplicate stuff. 

9. Do tasks by parts. What worked for me was setting tiny home goals per day since I have to manage my energy. I would set one reachable home goal a day. This way I don't end up procrastinating, haha. Give yourself a treat when you complete the task. 

10. Stay healthy, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Too much of anything is bad for you. Don't forget to love yourself. 

Remember, there's no formula to be a perfect adult. Just do what you think is right for you. Our parents had to help us in the beginning to show us the way. Eventually my Mom said we were already doing well and she believed we could do anything now. I still ask my Mom things when I'm in a bind hehe. 

#Home14 #NewG230 #Xmas38 #StayHome #BeKind  

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

First Week: How I Know I'm Truly Home

It's been a week since we got home from hotel quarantine. It took me a few days to wrap my head around the fact that I'm truly home. I'd wake up confused when we were still at the hotel. I guess that's what happens when you get stuck in one place for a long time. Things got better when we got home and I adjusted faster. Here's how I really knew I was home:

Big hair don't care. Hello humidity! Hahaha.

1. Bottomless hugs from Miggy - this is what I missed most when we were apart. 

2. I could breathe better here! Surviving without a/c the whole day! There are days though when the AQI gets a bit bad. We also just use the air filter at night. 

3. The FOOD! I wrote that in big bold letters. Since my stove needs repairing we have an excuse to order all our favorites for now. 

4. Friends sending more FOOD! We've been receiving care packages from friends! Yay! It's been a mix of my favorite food and new food to try (like the Lola Nena's donuts!). I'm so grateful since we've been receiving food from out of town too!

5. Rows and rows of Pinoy tsitsirya in stores! I saw this today at the convenience store at our place. 

6. Kakanin everywhere! I should have seriously ordered two boxes of the puto Binan!

7. It's also much easier to get help here. When we arrived from the hotel we immediately got help from the maintenance folks to haul up our stuff. And at the airport, Sweetie was able to rest because the manongs took over everything. 

Neighbor's carpenter fixing our sliding door. 

8. I was deliriously happy when I was finally able to switch my Google Play country to the Philippines! I immediately changed all my subscriptions because they're just a third of the price compared to Singapore (well except internet!). And the prices of fabric on Shopee and Lazada, O-M-G! It's really going to reduce the cost of my projects.

9. Humor online. We all know how Pinoys can be funny at any kind of situation. Check out this posting for garter I saw the other day. LOL. 

10. And the daily politics teleserye. However funny it may seem, it's really a huge concern how things are turning out. We all need to take action and pray hard we don't go further down in the dump. Sigh. 

Of course, internet is spotty. I ended up writing this post across an hour because connection kept going up and down. Welcome to the Philippines! :D

#Home13 #NewG231 #Xmas39 #StayHome #BeKind