Thursday, August 18, 2022

Throwback Thursdays: Waterbom in Bali

One of my fondest memories is visiting Bali when the kids where all still minors. Their age ranged between 10 to 17. Miggy was just 12 years old when we went to Bali as the Apolo 11. Kuya and his fam were the Apolo 7, while my parents and me and Miggy made up for the 4. For a few years, we would celebrate the holidays in Indonesia. Kuya figured out that it was cheaper to fly us in versus them flying home. 

In one of our trips, we spent time in Bali. Traveling with a huge group was crazy. We constantly had to count and make sure no one was left behind. It was harder when the kids were younger. It was more fun though when they were in their teens. That was the time I realized they were indeed growing up because my niece just dropped the news on me that she already had her first heartbreak! I thought they would stay babies forever. 

We eventually visited Waterbom in Bali. It's a huge water park. It was like a huge version of Splash Island. My nephews and nieces dragged me and Miggy to go through the crazy collection of slides. I eventually gave up because all of it required going up several stories of stairways, haha. What I enjoyed though was the lazy river. We all piled up on huge salbabidas and just let the water push us through the course. 

We had a great day at Waterbom. It's one of those happy days tucked in my core memory. The kids then were still so young, but I realized they were already starting to become their own person. They are all grown-up now. All have graduated and some have gotten married already. I'm glad we got to experience Waterbom back then. Maybe next time there would be new chikitings in tow. 

What's your favorite fambam memory?

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Wellness Wednesdays: Are Hand Massagers Helpful?

Last week I wrote about my pain reliever collection. It came up because I injured my arm and it's been hurting. I think it's my torn ligament that got triggered, so I used ointments and PT exercises to alleviate the pain. I had to do that since Sweetie and Miggy were still in isolation when the pain started. It would've been too risky to go see a doctor by myself. 

When Sweetie ended his isolation, he introduced me to his collection of hand massage gadgets. Yes, with an "S", haha. He's been trying to find the best hand massage device for a few years now. I never tried it since I did not have a need. I was following some hand massage videos, but the gadget made a huge difference. 

Hand massage gadgets

I tried the black one first. It was quite overwhelming and gave too much pressure, so Sweetie aborted the massage after a few seconds. He told me that the long, white one would leave dots on my hand after the massage. I've seen his hand with dots several times after using it, so I skipped using it. The best one among the three was the small white one. 

The "Comfier" hand massage device also has good reviews from Jay. I've been using it for over a week now and I feel my arm is almost back to normal. I think what also helped was the heat it would provide while it's massaging your hand. I read that heat is better when you're lower arm hurts. I've now reduced the arm exercises. I also don't use as much pain reliever anymore. 

I guess as you age these gadgets help provide relief. Prevention is key though and as my doctors keep reminding me, keep moving! 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Creative Happy Tuesdays: How to Make Curtains

Creating something always makes me happy and calm. My doctor encouraged it when I eventually got depressed after going through several medical episodes. It helped center me and it became part of my therapy. 

When we moved back to the Philippines and moved to our new home, the first thing I had to make were curtains! None of curtains I owned fit the windows and sliding doors, so I resolved to make them. Making it by myself allowed me to choose the fabric to use. It allowed me to explore other types of fabric. 

It was my first time to make curtains. I figured it would be easy compared to quilting. Got help from the boys to measure the windows and sliding doors. After that I got linen fabric on Shopee. I was happy to find out that there were so many suppliers from Divisoria selling on Shopee. 

Here's a tutorial how I made a simple rod curtain -

Step by step guide also available on my Needle Adventures blog.

When I have time to make, I'll probably try other types of fabric :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, August 15, 2022

Home on Mondays: Is Shipping Your Home Items to Your Home Country Worth It?

We did the big move back home in November last year. We choose between sending our items via LBC or by shipping it. It was 10 years worth of accumulated stuff, so we decided to get help from a shipping company. 

We made a detailed list of the items we were set to bring home. We eventually decided to ship our things because of our toy and fabric collection and appliances (TV, piano, several air purifiers and kitchen appliances). We thought it might be too risky to ship those items via balikbayan box. Our cleaner also told us that the TV she sent back home was damaged. 

Requested for a quotation from several reputable companies. They came to our home to inspect the items we were going to ship to assess how much it would cost. We eventually chose the one that was associated with the company that brought my items when I moved to Singapore. We asked a gazillion questions and we were reassured that our items will arrive safely. 

Our things were packed a week before our flight. At the end of the second day all our items were put inside a container van. It was locked and immediately loaded on the ship. The shipment arrived three weeks later and delivered to our new home on the first day of December. 

We finished opening all the boxes last summer. We had a spreadsheet of everything that was packed and how many boxes were packed. It was almost double of what we estimated if we sent everything via balikbayan box. The cost would probably have been the same. 

The advantage of shipping your items back through a shipping company is they have people who would help pack your items. The items are insured and they make sure everything will arrive in one piece. So far, only one item has been missing, my old MSI laptop. The drawback though were unforeseen additional expenses. 

We were charged additional fees for the volume. We were surprised about it because when we unboxed most of the boxes were not full. What was more painful was getting charged the customs fee six months after the items were delivered. The fee was 250% higher than what they quoted. The amount really affected our budget since we were originally told that there were no charges anymore. 

So, was it worth it? I think it was since it was not possible for us to pack the items ourselves. All our appliances and collections arrived in one piece (old MSI laptop still MIA). We could have probably saved money if we split up our items. Sent the appliances and other risky items via a smaller container van. Then send less valuable items via balikbayan box. We could have also de-cluttered months ahead of our scheduled departure, but that would have been dependent on being well enough to do it. 

We were initially happy about getting all our items in one piece, but that was quickly erased when we were given an unexpected large customs bill. The receipt showed that it was billed in November 2021. We were only told about it in April 2022. They also gave empty promises about a discount and allowing us to pay in installments. So the happy service turned sour and left us disappointed. 

We just decided to pay it in full since we just want them out of our lives. Shipping your items back home? Do think twice about it. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Miracle Sundays: For Mama Mary

I just realized it's been five years since I contributed to Book 5 of Fr. James B. Reuter, S.J.'s book "Mama Mary and Her Children". I flew home for the launch which was held at National Bookstore. I met Tita Cherry (Castro Aquino) and got to see my friend, Rowie Matti, again. It was a special occasion for our family because my Kuya also contributed a story for the book. I took a leave and flew home so I could attend the launch. Of course, I brought my Mom with me. 

I knew Rowie and Tita Cherry were preparing for a new edition of the book because they asked if I could contribute or have my Mom contribute to the book. I tried to convince my Mom to write, but there were pressing matters at home which prevented us from meeting the deadline. Little did I know that God had other plans for me to contribute. 

In early July, I heard about the passing of Tita Cherry. I reached out to Rowie to send my condolences and for some strange reason I offered to help edit the book if she needed it. Fast forward to early August, my boys were in quarantine due to COVID-19. Rowie messaged me five days before her editing deadline with the publisher, she needed my help. 

Mama Mary and Her Children Book 5 launch, September 2017.

It was really a bad time. My boys were still in quarantine. I was taking care of them full time and I was exhausted from doing everything at home. To top that off, my right arm was constantly in pain. I could barely lift anything and typing on my laptop caused more pain. But, I said yes. I did not hesitate to give my help even though I knew it would be challenging. 

After Rowie sent the manuscript, I immediately worked on it. Finished 40 pages on the first day. I told myself, I would do 40 per day and I should be finished by Sunday. It took me about two hours to cover 40 pages. Told myself, easy peasy. I ended up not editing anything on day 2 because I was in so much pain. I did exercises, put on salonpas, tried different pain relievers and oils. I was avoiding taking meds because I already have a lot of maintenance meds which I take. Day 2 was really bad I had to take a pain reliever. 

I made up on day 3 and finished 60 pages. My arm was so painful by the time I finished. I prayed to Mama Mary to heal me so I could finish editing the book so Rowie could meet her deadline. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning in so much pain, I took another pain reliever and prayed harder. I was feeling a bit hopeless on Day 4 because I was once again in pain. Told myself I'd just work through it and again said a little prayer to Mama Mary. I even took off the wrist brace because it was getting in the way of typing in my comments. 

Going through the last 60 pages was somewhat a breeze. There were just a few typographical errors, spacing issues. I felt like I was actually reading a published book already. Halfway through the 60 pages the pain in my arm dissipated and I was able to focus on reading the stories word for word, period to period. And it was truly a joy to go through all the stories. It was a good reminder to me that I am Mama Mary's child and that she would always be there for me. 

God really works in mysterious ways. I hope Rowie meets the deadline and that the book will be out by Mama Mary's birthday. 

Have a blessed Sunday everyone!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Plantita Saturdays: Got My Blue Ternate to Bloom More Flowers

Got some blue ternate seeds from this shop and planted them last summer. It took awhile before it sprouted. When it did it started to grow longer and produce many leaves. It just grew longer and longer with no flowers in sight. 

I thought maybe I was doing something wrong. Did some research and found out that you have to prune it a bit. It's the way to tell the plant to start blooming. After three months since I planted the seeds it finally bloomed on June 3. It was just one big flower. It was so pretty.

I noticed though that there were tiny dots on it. Also noticed that some of the leaves were being eaten by leaf miners. I immediately cut them off. I got excited when more flowers started to appear. Things quickly went bad when we suddenly had an infestation of caterpillars. To save the plant, I physically removed the caterpillars and treated it with neem oil. Surprisingly, the plant seemed to like the neem oil and started to produce more blooms. 

The caterpillars though left the plant weak. It looked sad and got more sad when I got busy taking care of the boys when they got sick. I eventually found the time and started giving the plant some fertilizer. I also sprayed it with neem oil again since the caterpillars came back. After two weeks it started producing big blooms again. 

I think we should be able to use the blue ternate flowers for tea! Yay! The secret sauce to getting your blue ternate to bloom more is TLC + weekly fertilizer + neem oil twice a week. :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, August 12, 2022

Lakwatsera Fridays: Sentosa Grillfest

Back when we lived in Singapore, we used to stay in Harbourfront. On weekends we'd walk from our home to the beach. It would usually take us almost an hour since we also play Pokemon Go while walking. It was a 3 km. walk. How I miss those days I could walk that far. 

The last time we were able to hang out in Sentosa was when they had the Sentosa Grillfest in 2019. I invited some friends to come with us since I thought they would enjoy the experience. The event was set-up at Siloso Beach Walk. It was a short walk away from Beach Station and you could smell the yummy food being grilled while walking. 

There were a lot of different stalls and you could tell which was good from the long lines. Good thing we came a bit early and planned what food to buy. There were a lot of tables and chairs scattered across the venue, so it wasn't really hard to find a place to eat. It's been three years and I guess the food was okay. What I remember more was the heat. As my HS classmates term it, hulas na hulas kami, LOL. Well, here are some photos of what we had -

I know they have similar night markets here. It's not near where we live and I wish we had this in our neighborhood. I miss strolling through night markets and eating whatever smells good (haha). I wanted to go to the Legazpi Sunday market, but the boys are stricter than ever. What I'll do for now is research what food we could get for delivery. I know some popular restaurants also sell their ready-to-cook food. 

No new lakwatsas for now. You may want to check out our latest Bohol adventure, here's our travel diary -

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Throwback Thursday: Pixar Exhibit in Tokyo

I got to visit the Pixar Exhibit at the Mori Arts Center the last time I visited Tokyo. It was just a stone's throw away from where I was staying, so I thought it was something I could do after work. I was interested to see the exhibit since Miggy was about to finish his animation course. I thought it would give me a better understanding about the process of producing an animated film. 

I was given a good view of how Pixar creates its films. The first part of the exhibit walks you through the process of creating a film. I would usually ask Miggy how they created things and seeing how Pixar does it made me understand better why it takes so long to create a project. 

It was fun to see how Pixar created some of the popular characters from their movies. They had sculptures and sketches on display. Then as you move forward through the exhibit they would show how the character develops into what you see on screen. How I wish I had Miggy with me when I went through the exhibit. 

At the end of the exhibit I bumped into my colleague. He also went around and I bumped into him at the museum shop, haha. He was picking up a few things for his family. The shop was already closing so we both rushed to finish our shopping. After going around the visit I called up the boys to update them about what I saw at the exhibit. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Wellness Wednesdays: My Pain Reliever Collection

Friends have been reaching out to me to ask what ointments I use. So very Tita! Hahaha. Well, I am one since I have a lot of nephews and nieces and a gazillion people call me Ate too. It's been a week and a half since my arm started feeling painful. Ouchieeee! I probably injured myself from unboxing and transferring some heavy items. Oh yes, I got myself in trouble while the boys were in isolation. 

Usually some exercises my physiotherapist taught me would fix the issue. My mistake was continuing to work whenever my arm felt better. We're really afraid to go to a doctor now because of the increased number of cases. I haven't even set my follow-up appointment with my cardiologist. The last time we were in the hospital there were people coughing everywhere. We haven't been able to visit my Mom also since the boys are still coughing. 

Anyway, to alleviate the pain I've been exercising my arm, putting on some ointment and Salonpas. I drank Panadol for a few days when the pain was unbearable. I've had this pain before and it was solved through physiotherapy. I've been using some of my ointments and oils though this past week. Here's what I have --

Salonpas - this is the first pain reliever I used haha. There are now many different variants and the one that provides the most heat is the "Tiger Balm" patch (only available in Singapore so far). I still prefer Salonpas because you get burned if you forget to remove the Tiger Balm patch at least an hour before you take a bath (a lesson I learned the hard way). Salonpas has many variants too, so far I like the ones that come from Japan. 

BSI Medicated Spray - I learned about this I think from a local doctor. I used to have a lot of leg cramps and he recommended this since it's used by a lot of athletes. We have beside our bed in case of rude awakenings caused by cramps. I rarely use it for my legs now and tried it on my arm last week. It worked well. 

Tiger Balm - I started using Tiger Balm when I lived in Singapore. They use it for all types of pain! I normally use it for headaches and other body pain. I don't use it now since I think it needs to be replaced already haha. I have asked a friend to buy a replacement for me. 

Panaway by Young Living - I use this oil together with V6 carrier oil. It's what I've been using it for my arm this past week. I use a roller to slather it on and then I lightly massage my arm. Pain is usually gone after a few minutes. It's also good for bruises. Do check with your doctor though if you take meds because it can interact with it. 

Deep Relief by Young Living - I mainly got this essential oil blend for Sweetie when he was doing rehab for his knee. It's really good to use after exercise since it helps relieve tension in your muscles. I use it sparingly since it can interact with my meds (those blood thinners are really nasty!). 

Fastum Gel - this was prescribed to me by my spine doctor. It helped alleviate pain in my lower back. I used it once or twice this past week for my arm. My doctor repeatedly told me though not to use it after two weeks of application. He said to give it a rest in between uses.

Rumalaya - my doctor originally prescribed the joint supplement when I was having severe backpain. It really helped! He also gave me this ointment to try. It's what I've been using this past week to relieve my arm pain. I think it's working well with the exercises I've been doing. The boys also use it. 

My friend was shocked with my collection of pain relievers, haha. I was asking her about her heat lamp since heat would help my arm. It was a very tita conversation, hahaha. I realized as you age you really need to surround yourself with people your age. They would understand the changes in your body and provide advise on what you could do. 

Managing pain is something you should do. I cannot function very well when something is painful, especially if it's toothache level kind of pain. I was flat on my back last Monday and I had a slight fever because of the pain. Sweetie was really worried and kept checking my temp. He only relaxed when my temp went down after taking some Biogesic. The Biogesic also helped with the pain, so I was finally able to move around by evening. Whew!

Of course, please check with your doctor before using stuff on yourself! If you notice I don't have Vicks on my list. I'm unfortunately allergic to some variants of it, so I just avoid using it. 

Hope you're having a great, healthy day!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Craft Tuesdays: Preparing the Binding for the T-shirt Memory Quilt Project

My arm felt a bit better today, so I resolved to make the bias tape/binding tape for the t-shirt memory quilt project I've been working on. I've not been able to work on it for a month now. My plan is to finish it, by hook or by crook before my birthday! Haha. 

Luckily, I already cut the fabric to make binding before I went on break. Finding it though was a challenge! I looked through the boxes in my fabric cabinet and couldn't find it. I eventually gave up looking and prepared the table to just cut a new batch. I was looking for a pencil when I found the strips in my sewing basket. This just means I need to do some tidying up in my craft/maker room. 

Set-up the table with the wool pad and silicon baking sheets to help absorb the heat. I usually use an ironing pad at the base too, but I got lazy today. I have to protect my sewing table to make it last longer. I already checked and they don't sell similar tables here in the Philippines. 

Took me two hours to finish 8 binding strips. I was taking it slowly so I don't irritate my angry arm nerves. The salonpas probably helped since I finished it without pain. Tomorrow I'll attempt to start binding the quilt. It's already loooong overdue and I want to work on other projects already!

I still prefer to make my own bias tape since it's quite expensive to buy. I use a bias tape maker which has helped me immensely. I used to make it by hand without an iron! It's really important to keep learning about your hobby because it will make you grow and develop. I do most of my projects now with a gadget and I'm able to complete projects faster. Happy crafter, happy me! 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, August 8, 2022

Home on Monday: Keeping Your Home Tidy

I'm on a journey to get my home fixed and get it tidy. Since the boys were in isolation for two weeks I decided to do something about our "Studio Ghibli inspired" home. Merging two homes is really hard. We have two of everything in our kitchen. And you can just imagine how much clothes we have from shuttling back and forth between Manila and Singapore. 

I know I have to aggressively reduce our things. Keeping those that spark joy has been a long and tedious process, so I needed a new strategy. I searched on YouTube and found a channel that seemed friendly for people like me. Kallie, the content creator, said that being tidy doesn't happen overnight. It's a journey.

So last weekend I embarked on the journey. I started by opening up the boxes from our old home. It was full of kitchen stuff. It was quite easy to set aside things we don't need anymore. We'll find new homes for our pre-loved items once we're done with our clean-up. 

I felt so accomplished when I emptied the boxes. I also sorted out the pile of paper bags and baking tools that need to go to the baking items cabinet. One thing I learned from the channel is you should follow the space that you have and not the other way around. That's good to know since we're planning to fix our kitchen cabinets soon. I could map out where I put everything before we work on it. 

Oh yes, it will definitely be a long journey before we could have a tidy home. Mom always kept everything tidy and clean. That's something I did not inherit from her, haha. But it's something I could learn :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Miracle Sundays: My Boys are Back!

My boys are finally free! The doctor advised to extend their quarantine to protect me. After more than two weeks they have both finished their isolation. They are still wearing masks outside when walking around and keeping a distance when we eat. That's fine since I could give back hugs. We've scheduled to come clean and disinfect the house. It's good to do that since we don't really know if the virus could live on surfaces. 

I'm truly grateful for all the prayers and support. Thank you to all those who prayed for us and sent us help. We overcame the challenge because of all the prayers and support. Aside from sending food and water, what also helped was the moral support. Family and friends reached out to check on us and give advise. 

The boys went through a few rough days and they had the most annoying cough. They both sought advise from a doctor through AIDE app. She was the same doctor that took care of them when they had the flu last June. I think it really helped that we caught the symptoms early. Aside from the medication, we supplemented it with essential oils, salabat, Lola Remedios and I diffused oils in the hallway to purify the air. 

I also felt some symptoms during the first week. I think my medications, using essential oils and taking VCO helped reduce the viral load. That, lots of prayers and my guardian angel protected me and we're truly thankful that we are all feeling better now. 

My prayer for healing continues. COVID-19 doesn't end when you're no longer infectious. It can cause other issues. Told the boys that we have to keep moving to prevent clotting. Eat properly to prevent diabetes. Do deep breathing to prevent lung issues. Monitor vital signs to catch possible myocarditis. We have to take care of our bodies to prevent other issues. One of the things I want to do with the boys is go walking everyday. Since it's raining I'll re-start spinning again. 

It's a happy day for our family today. Hope you are all doing great. Have a blessed Sunday everyone!

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Plantita Saturdays: Propagating Ginger and Tumeric

The past two and a half weeks has been challenging. The boys are doing much better now and I hope I could have them back this weekend. With the boys away I found the time to finally propagate ginger and tumeric. 

I don't have my Mom's green thumb. She told me you can stick anything in soil and it will grow. I had some extra ginger and just planted it. It just rotted and died. My Mom has magical powers over plants because planting scraps directly in soil never worked for me. 

I watched Epic Gardening's video on propagating ginger and learned that you should put it in water first so it could grow roots. This is how they looked over a week ago -

The ginger now has roots, but the tumeric is taking some time to grow roots. I'll probably switch the water today to rain water. That should hasten the process. 

I think I'll keep them in water for a week or two more. It's been raining a lot and the lack of sun might not be good for them. My garden now looks like a forest because of all the nutrients it's getting from rainwater. My drum is full of rainwater now and that will make the plants happy even when it stops raining.

Hope the ginger and tumeric I propagated will result in a good harvest eventually :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, August 5, 2022

Lakwatsera Fridays: Our Happy Family Vacation in Bohol

When Sweetie said he had some travel fund expiring we tossed around ideas on where to go. We decided to go to Bohol since that was the last place we visited in 2019. It felt bitin so we thought we needed to give it closure. We defined our trip goals since we had to work around my medical condition. You really need to plan properly when traveling with someone who has health issues. 

We originally planned to go in June to celebrate their birthdays, but they both had the flu. We re-booked it a few weeks later to avoid the rainy season. Well, it was a blessing in disguise because a waterspout appeared during the week we were supposed to be there and it was a wet week. The weather was perfect the week we were there. 

Friends have been asking where we stayed and what did we do. Finally finished our travel diary vlog, so here it is --

After a lot of deliberation we decided to stay at Modala Beach Resort. It had a mall adjacent to it which saved us the trouble of taking a tricycle to the town to eat. We were so happy that one of a favorite restos, Mooon, had a branch at the strip. We also finally got to try eating at the Bohol Bee Farm restaurant. That also meant we had ice cream everyday we were there. Well, you can also check out our "Happy Tummies in Bohol" vlog here -

It was a really great family vacation for us. We were able to rest and relax and staying under the sun effectively reset my sleep pattern! My body is finally back in Asian timezone haha. We were also able to pamper our bodies with a massage and foot scrub. It was overall a chill and happy vacation and we'll probably come back soon!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Throwback Thursday: A Taste of Bacolod

Dear friends surprised us the other day with goodies from Bacolod. They sent inasal from Nena's Rose, chocolate cake from Calea and piaya from Virgie's. Wow! Our tummies were very happy and the experience immediately transported me to Bacolod. 

Bacolod is one of my favorite local destinations. There's so much you can eat and do there. The five pounds I gained staying there for a week did not go away, haha. Here's some of my unforgettable moments and activities from Bacolod -


My favorite inasal restaurant is Nena's Rose. That's definitely one place I'd like to visit again. My craving has been managed for now with the inasal friends sent us the other day. Another great place to dine in is at Bob's. Most unforgettable though was when we visited North Negros College. They laid out a feast for us! It included the fresh prawns and lobster. Best bacon in the whole wide world award though goes to Sugarland Hotel. And if ever you swing by Silay, go visit Cafe 1925.

Pasalubong Shopping

Bacolod is the sugar capital of the Philippines. There are many places you can buy pasalubong from. One of my favorites is El Ideal. We usually pass by it's original bakery on the way to Cadiz. They have bottomless goodies! Another favorite is the fresh piaya my friend gets from the market. Nothing like getting them fresh. For now they usually get me Virgie's piaya which is best served warm. I like having it for merienda. 


My most favorite thing to do whenever I go to Bacolod is head to Cadiz City. Once there we hop on a boat and go to Carbin Reef. The last time we were there though the sea became moody. We had the most adventurous ride back to Cadiz City. The boatmen though are all very skilled and I just enjoyed it like a roller coaster ride. I'd do it again to visit Carbin Reef again. 

Carbin Reef

Most unforgettable activity I've done in Bacolod is trek the Mambukal mountain to see the waterfalls. That was I think the last time I went trekking since I couldn't walk properly a week after that activity, haha. The trek though was worth it because we saw a lot of beautiful waterfalls across the trail. It was very challenging for me and the guide didn't leave me until I was safely back down. I won't be able to do it at my present state, but I'm glad I did it back then. 

Well, a place is more fun to visit when you're in good company. I will always look back at my visits and remember that I ate all the good food and enjoyed the activities because I was with amazing friends. We'll be back in good time. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Wellness Wednesdays: How to Keep Your Peace

I got very sick following the events that happened last May. I was truly heartbroken and that was topped off with other issues that I had to deal with. My doctor had to issue me additional medication to resolve the issue. Once I started breathing better I resolved to work harder at keeping my peace and not to get stressed. My doctors warned me several times already, stress will kill me. 

Cooling down by sandwiching myself between two fans. LOL.

The past week and a half have been quite stressful. My boys got infected with COVID-19 and I felt my body was also battling it. I went through strange symptoms early last week. The many prayers by family and friends, plus my maintenance medications probably saved me*. I was also bent on staying well so I could take care of my boys. 

He's happy coz I gave
him some chocolate.
I focused just on taking care of my boys. I knew it was going to take a toll on my body, so I drastically controlled things that could trigger stress. It was the only way to make sure I could feed the boys until dinner. When you truly know your kryptonite, you can avoid the potholes that could ruin your day.

I've shared the best advise I got from a doctor and I'm going to share it again. STAY OFFLINE. If you can't really stay offline, use a digital wellbeing app to determine and curb your online behavior. I still go online to read the news, read messages from friends and scroll through social media to see what my friends are doing, but I control how much time I spend on it. I've been spending so much time away from my phone it freaks out my friends when I don't respond to their messages immediately. 

My oxygen saturation has improved. My daily step count average has increased by 1,000 and I fall asleep faster now. The past two weeks have certainly been challenging, but I've been at peace. Keeping my peace has been key so I could take care of my boys. We're still waiting until their symptoms are clear before we can be reunited. I hope and pray that will come soon.

Thank you everyone for your support and prayers. 

*Watch this video by Doc Gerry Tan on how nasal spray can prevent COVID-19 infection. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Craft Tuesdays: Craft Room Wish List

I'm back in my craft room today. I was staying at the dining table so I could be nearer to the boys, but it's warmer today so I had to go downstairs. I haven't done any sewing in the past few weeks. The t-shirt memory quilt blanket is not done yet. I suspended working on it when we went to Bohol. I'll wait for the boys to get well first before I work on it again. 

The good news is we'll start working on getting our house properly fixed. That includes fixing the craft room. I actually call it the "maker room" since I don't just work on crafts. I use it to blog, edit videos and many other things. It's essentially my "cave" haha. It's really a tiny space. It's approximately 3.5 meters by 3.5 meters. Architect Wansi said we'll need to re-layout the space to maximize it. 

Thought I'd write out what I need to make the space perfect. 

Sewing Space

The sewing space doubles as my "desk" right now. I cut fabric, iron, use the sewing machine and even eat on it (especially on hot days). Ideally though the table for sewing should be different from where you iron and cut fabric (and definitely don't eat on it!). Well, space has been an issue so I'm thinking about the following options:

Have a central sewing table (still use the table I bought from Spotlight)

Install a fold-down table from the cabinet that can be used for ironing/cutting fabric

Or install a pull out table from the cabinet

Or have a table that can be folded when not used

Fabric and Knick-knacks Cabinet

I bought two steel cabinets to hold my fabric. It looked really good since I could see my stash. The truth is I now regret getting steel cabinets with glass doors. I organized the fabric but it still looks cluttered and with a small room it's better to keep things behind opaque cabinets. Architect Wansi suggested to build a proper cabinet that will have desk space. 

Here's what I need to store: fabric, sewing tools and equipment, cameras and equipment, quilting books, wadding and I need a nook for my meds (I keep them downstairs since it's cooler there). 

Quilt Design Wall

I see this often on quilting videos from other countries. Quilters have a wall which they use while working on piecing their projects. I just whatever free space I have (usually a bed) and it's tricky because you can never fully appreciate the design and colors. I wished I had a wall when I sandwiched the memory quilt. I tried hanging it on the curtain rod, but it did not work. So I'm hoping to have a quilt wall in the maker room. 

Also just discovered some nice channels on YouTube that provide ideas and suggestions when developing your craft/sewing/maker room. Ohhh, so excited!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, August 1, 2022

Home on Mondays: Waterproofing your Home

Both our childhood homes were located in flood prone areas. We almost postponed our wedding because we were both badly hit by Typhoon Ondoy. Ended up suspending wedding preps and just crammed a month before the wedding. Because of that we made a promise to live in areas that don't get flooded. We've been successful in not getting flooded, but didn't realize there are other water issues that we'd experience. 

Typhoon Ondoy, 2009.

We've lived in at least 8 different homes since we married and have had quite a lot of water-related adventures. Here's a list:

1. The Waterfall

It was late night when a pipe in the ceiling of the bathroom in our rental burst and created a waterfall. Sweetie was alone because I was in Sydney and Miggy was in Manila. It was horrifying since the water started leaking out of the bathroom. The condo security turned off both water and electricity so Sweetie missed going to work the next day. Landlord just got someone to patch it up and not really fix the issue. Truly traumatic since we were forced to finish our contract even with the danger of the pipe bursting again. 

2. Don't trust old pipes and faucets

We should have known there were issues with the unit. A week into our stay the kitchen sink started leaking and we had to pay to get it fixed since it was below the threshhold. We also had to have the water fixtures in the bathrooms fixed during our stay and the toilet bowl kept leaking water! Ugh! We learned a valuable lesson not to rush in signing up for a lease and be wary of sweet-talking agents. Last we heard before we moved out, the new landlord was battling with the property because of the huge government construction beside it. We left almost five weeks before our lease ended and just paid the rent to keep our sanity intact.

Well new pipes can also leak if it's not properly installed. Make sure to check all faucets and pipes before you move in. If not immediately fixed, pipe leaks can turn into expensive repair contracts.

3. Always ask when the poso negro was last cleared

Ugh, in the first home we rented there was a weird phenomenon happening in the ground floor bathroom. The shower area drain would spew out poop on its own. Ugh, the experience is still giving me goosebumps and I don't want to write about it again. The full story is here. Just trust me, if you're renting a home always ask when the septic tank was last cleared. Since we know our new home used to be an old home we jumped on the chance to have Maynilad seep the septic tank last summer.

4. Address ceiling leaks ASAP!

My friend Peter explained that ceilings leaks take a long time before you see it. He said that it starts with a few drops, but by the time you do actually see a leak the issue may have been going on for months. This happened in our new home and luckily the solar installers immediately identified the issue and we were able to tell the contractor what to fix. When I got home I was shocked to witness a waterfall situation in my childhood home when it suddenly rained hard while I was there. The ceiling was in pretty bad shape. Good thing I found a good contractor to fix my Mom's roof. They also advised where the leak started. Don't wait for leaks to turn into waterfalls!

For those living in condos, be wary if you're on the top floor. We've experienced leaks coming from the roof deck. The roof deck of the condo also serves as the laundry area. Get your admin to immediately address bad waterproofing if there are leaks in your unit. The addressed the leak issue, but the ceiling light in Miggy's room never got fixed despite follow-ups. We just had it fixed when the unit was renovated. 

5. Sealant will be your best friend

One other place water can come in is through windows and sliding doors. This we learned in our new home. The windows for the most part have been okay, but water has seeped in (and continue to seep in) from the bottom of sliding doors. Sweetie was able to fix it with sealant, but we need to have it addressed professionally since I noticed some damage already in the wall. 

6. Downspouts shouldn't make you pout

Well, the downspout beside my kitchen has been making me pout since early this year. There is certainly an issue because it's been making my kitchen cabinets stinky! Make sure your downspouts properly drain out.

7. Drains should work properly

I've been watching architect vlogs because you can learn a lot from them. Architect Oliver Austria posted a video a few months ago about building your shower area. He mentioned that the floor in your shower should be at a certain angle so that the water would naturally flow down the drain. He also went into detail about how the drain pipe should be built. Well, our new home was already built when we bought it and we've been having some issue with our shower drain. Not really sure if it's the type of drain cover or an issue with the drain pipe. We're still figuring that out. 

If there's something you need fixed, make sure you get a trustworthy contractor. I've seen several horror stories from neighbors who had their roof and ceiling fixed, but experience a waterfall at the first sign of rain. I honestly prefer asking friends and neighbors for referrals than hiring help via an app. The experience here has not been the same as in Singapore where you can hold those you hire accountable. I'm glad I got a reputable roof repair company to fix my childhood home. I tried hiring someone through the app and his quotation swung from one amount to another. And even though I already said no they kept hounding me. 

Hope ya all stay dry! 

#BeKind #StaySafe