Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Made a Tablet Case Out of Scrap Fabric

I decided to make a new case for my tablet since the last one I made has seen better days. I made it when I started quilting again in 2015. It was a practice piece and I told myself I'll make a proper one someday. "Someday" arrived and I wanted to make something useful for my last scrap fabric project (for now!). 

Since my last tablet case was pretty colorful, I decided to stick to black, red and white fabric. I went through a quilting magazine for inspiration. Chose a simple design that would fit the scraps I had on hand. I also used scrap wadding and binding to finish the project. 

Here's how I made the tablet case:

And how it turned out:

Side by side with my 2015 project :)

Measurements and other info available at:

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, October 30, 2023

Had Our 10-Year Old 2-Seater Sofa Reupholstered

We've only ever bought 2 sofas in the past 13+ years Sweetie and I have been together. We originally used a sala set from Sweetie's home in Marikina for a few years. We bought a 2-seater sofa when we moved to our condo ten years ago. The space was small, so that's the only thing that fit. The second sofa we bought when we were in Singapore. It was convertible into a bed and we got to enjoy it for a few years. Unfortunately, we had to leave it in the last place we rented.

We enjoyed using the 2-seater sofa. We pulled it out from the condo and have been using it at home. I had many restful naps on it. It was also the only sofa we had since we moved. It became a prime spot in our family room, hahaha. Eventually, it broke down. One of the legs snapped. Miggy was able to replace the legs with a new set. It worked, but the foam also softened up. Sitting on it gave us backaches. 

So, I had the sofa re-upholstered together with Mom's sala set. The cost is honestly more expensive than buying a new one, but I figured it would be more eco-friendly to reupholster it. The structure of the sofa was also still pretty solid. I chose the same fabric color. You'd only know it's new because the foam is back to being solid. I napped on it a couple of times already since it was delivered, haha. 

Using one of Mom's quilt blankets to cover part of the sala set. 

Few things I learned about getting your sofa re-upholstered:

1. Find a reputable and trustworthy company. I first searched on FB and sent several inquiries. I decided on one a few weeks later, but when I tried to find the company page and messages again, it was gone. 

2. Don't search on FB, search on Google Maps. Most of those I found on FB were far from where I live and well since they didn't seem to be trustworthy, I went and searched for upholstery service near me on Google Maps. I found two that seemed promising. I researched about them and even went to see the one near me. I contacted both by calling them up and decided to go for the one a bit farther from me since the company seemed to be more established. 

3. Choosing fabric can be overwhelming. We at least knew what kind of fabric and color to choose. That made it easier for us to decide on what to use. 

4. Ask about payment and delivery schedules. The company forgot to inform me that I was supposed to pay 50% down in cash. I don't keep that much cash in my wallet, so they agreed to receive payment via GCash. They required me to pay in cash when the items were delivered.

5. Get to know the crew if you have a chance to meet them. That way you can also gauge how much experience they have doing upholstery work. Mang Jojo said he's been with the company for over a decade now. He was also able to assess that Mom's sala set was made of solid wood and would last a long time. 

Overall, I think getting our sofa and Mom's sala set re-upholstered was a good decision. It would have probably cost us four times the cost to purchase a new 2-seater sofa and a 5-piece sala set. We had been scouting for a set for our home for many months now and I just couldn't justify the cost. Mom would be very happy to know that we eventually took her sala set. She would have been very disappointed if we just let it go. :)

#BeKind StaySafe

Sunday, October 29, 2023

I Didn't Know Mom Kept a Lot of My Childhood Things

We've been working on decluttering Mom's home the past few weeks. The team breezed through the common areas of the house, but things slowed down when they got to Mom's room. I was told that Mom really had a lot of knick-knacks. 

I went over to inspect the sorted boxes and was surprised to see a lot of things from my childhood. She kept all my piggy banks, my Hello Kitty mirror and comb set, my first sewing kit, my Millionaire's Game play money etc. I had thought they were long gone already. She had been nagging me to get my piggy banks since I got home. I didn't because my house was a huge mess. I made space for it already, so I got some of it. I know the rest she kept in a cabinet we haven't opened yet. 

Told my siblings I found our inheritance, LOL. 

What also surprised me was seeing the table by her bedside with my first communion photos. It wasn't there the last time I visited her at home, so she must have put it there recently. She must have been praying hard for me since I was getting sick a lot before she passed away. 

I've also started going through the papers she left behind. A lot are Dad's stuff. My Mom was really good at organizing things especially paperwork. All I need to do for now is change the envelopes they're stored in. Most of the papers are properly labelled and I'll find time to scan them. The photos though will be a huge monster to tackle since Mom loved to frame photos. Will hopefully be able to save them. And that's a different scanning project, let's see if my old HP printer will hold up, haha. 

I think Mom hung on to my things because I lost a lot during typhoon Ondoy. It broke my heart because most of the things I lost were items I bought with my hard earned money. My heart was heavy on the way to my childhood home. I didn't really want to see my Mom's things sorted in boxes, especially the ones in her room. My sadness though turned to joy when I saw how Mom painstakingly preserved my things. She'd been wanting to give some to me the past few years. I didn't want to since my house was (is!) still messy. She probably wanted to show how much she loved me by keeping my stuff. 

Oh, and it was a very hot day when we went. It surprisingly started to rain when we parked in front of the house. I guess, Mom wanted us to stick around for awhile. The rain made the house a bit cooler :)

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Bought Some Gumamela Plants from Mahogany Market

When I saw the gumamela (hibiscus) plants at Mahogany Market, it elicited happy childhood memories. Mom had it in her garden when I was growing up. I used to get flowers from it to make bubbles. I asked my Malaysian friend if they would grind some gumamela flowers, add water and detergent to make bubbles (and use alambre to blow bubbles with). He had no idea what gumamela was used for since they probably had ready made bubble juice in his generation. #signsofoldage

I had no plans to buy flowers when we went to Mahogany Market. I ended up getting four pots of gumamela on a whim. Aside from Mom having gumamela in her garden, I remember we had them in school too. It used to be very common also in our village. I don't see it often nowadays and probably plant collectors don't see much value in them. It's valuable to me because it brings back happy memories. 

To be honest, it took awhile to figure out how much water the plant needed. I read it liked its soil to be moist. The plants shed leaves and the flowers soon died after they opened. I immediately read more about hibiscus care and figured out it probably needed more water. I checked the soil in the afternoons to see if it was dry. It was, so I experimented for a few days to see how much water it needed. 

The plants have been with me for a month now. They look healthy. I've started to remove new leaves as instructed by Manang Lydia. She said I should do this to encourage the plant to grow more flowers. Since they re-potted the plants already, I will probably add some fertilizer by month end. That's one thing hibiscus plants need according to my research. 

I hope the plants last long with me. My plan is to also see if I can propagate it so I can give some to my friends.  :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, October 27, 2023

Homemade Arroz ala Cubana

Now that I'm retired, I've been teaching Miggy how to cook. I recently taught him how to make arroz ala cubana. I had him cook while I was instructing him. Normally he takes care of filming, but this time I wanted to see if there were any more cooking skills I could teach him. I noticed he needed help with how to wield the cooking utensil. He was having a hard time mixing the meat with the veggies. Last time I taught him how to hold the pan handle while cooking so that the pot doesn't move around. 

Add egg if you wish :)

They didn't have cooking in their home economics in high school. We had it, although I only started really cooking in my 30s. I reviewed the basic through YouTube (knife skills, proper mixing etc.). What I remember from high school cooking class are the measurements and how to use most cooking gadgets. 

Arroz ala cubana is one of our favorite meals at Pancake House. It's gotten pretty expensive, so I whipped out the recipe we use since we had some ground beef. It's pretty easy to make, so this is now one of Miggy's dishes. Next time I'll let him cook it on his own, haha. 

More info and complete recipe at:

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, October 26, 2023

That Time We Met "Forrest Gump"

A lifetime ago I used to attend a lot of events. I eventually stopped attending because I felt it wasn't aligned with what I want to do with my blog, plus I got busy with work. One of the most fun events I attended was at Bubba Gump. They flew in the Forrest Gump impersonator, Steve Weber, to help promote the restaurant. 

Forrest Gump is a memorable movie. Tom Hanks played the role well and I guess Forrest resonated with a lot of us. Who could forget the line, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." I rarely remember movie quotes, but this is one that I do remember. And like a lot of the events I've attended, this event with Forrest Gump was memorable. 

Anyway, it seems Bubba Gump closed down here in Manila. Last time I was able to eat at Bubba Gump was in the US with the boys. Their food is good, most of it has shrimp in it (unfortunately I'm now allergic to shrimp). Do try it in case you are near one. Aside from the food, they have a lot of memorablia from the movie. 

I don't know why I randomly remembered this event from 2008. I guess the universe is telling me to watch the movie again, haha. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

I Did a Sleep Test

One of the things I've been struggling with is falling asleep. More often than not I still feel tired when I wake up in the morning. My Fitbit tells me my oxygen saturation while asleep when I wake up. It used to go down to 93 to 94% before I started pulmo rehab. It has improved, but I still feel tired and my energy is still limited most days. 

My doctors have been working on finding ways to improve my endurance. I've done my regular tests and my new pulmo is also a sleep expert. He appraised me and Sweetie and recommended we do a sleep test. I finally did it the other day. Told the medtech it should be easy peasy since I just need to sleep. We were lucky because we were able to do it at home. 

Not yet wired at this point.

So I thought it would be a walk in the park compared to other tests I've done in the past. I knew they were going to stick some wires on me, but I didn't expect it to be a lot. It took 30 minutes for them to stick everything on me. Good thing my PT advised me not to use conditioner because they needed to stick stuff on my head. It wasn't easy. 

I was fighting sleep the whole day, but was told not to take a nap. After an hour and half of paperwork, setting up the machines and wiring me, I finally settled in and tried to sleep. It took awhile before I fell asleep. Sleeping while there are strangers monitoring you and not being able to curl up on my side was hard. They also moved me whenever I defaulted to my usual position. At some point they also put a mask on me. It made me feel like I was wearing Darth Vader's mask, haha. 

Got the results and I apparently have moderate sleep apnea. I have to schedule to see my doctor to find out what we need to do. Hopefully, it would help my quality of life since there's so much I want to do at home. Pulmo rehab has been helping, at least I can do one activity per day now versus 2 to 3 activities per week. I was told to rest though since I have the tendency to push hard whenever I feel okay, haha. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Retaso Project: Made an Old Notebook Look New

Found a lot of mementos while decluttering. I also found a number of notebooks collected from events and those given to me by colleagues. I just kept them for future use. I just kept a few since I can't possibly use all of them. Found one notebook that was wrapped in plastic and wanted to use it. 

I was disenheartened when I removed the plastic cover because the cover became brittle through the years. Specks of black material came off and I immediately put it back inside the plastic cover. The paper of the notebook is really nice, so I thought I could do something to fix the cover. 

I had an aha moment last week and realized I could use scrap fabric to make the notebook look new again. I found chunks of Harry Potter fabric I used for the HP quilt blanket I made for Jomar and Celine as a wedding gift. It was perfect for the retaso project and I finished it in one evening. 

Busted out my glue streaked cutting mat for the project. It was a bit messy, but I remembered how much fun I used to have when I used to make decorative boxes. Oh, maybe I could do this also for my old Ikea boxes. They have stood the test of time, but they need sprucing up. 

It's a simple project, but a nice way to save old notebooks na inaagnas. I didn't want to give away the notebook since it was already damaged. I was thinking of skipping buying a planner for next year and just use the notebooks I've collected. 

This retaso project was also a warm-up for me. I rested from doing any sewing the past two weeks since I've been unwell. I like making smaller projects since they're faster to finish, haha. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, October 23, 2023

What We Learned from Our Decluttering Coach

We are about 85 to 90% done decluttering our home. We just have a few boxes left and we're aiming to clear most of it out before the month ends. We got help from a decluttering coach because merging two homes was overwhelming. It's almost two years now since we moved back to the Philippines and we're hoping to have a more decent living space by Christmas. 

We learned a lot from our decluttering coach, Ally Canita in the past few months. Here's what she taught us:

1. Define your intention. Knowing your intention makes it easier when you need to make decisions on what to keep and let go. 

2. Make a plan. In our case we identified rooms where we needed help. From the room places to keep items in were identified. 

3. Sort everything first. This is where we were really glad to have help Ally and her team went through all our boxes and cabinets and sorted all the items. They were categorized in different boxes. 

4. Identify items that will be kept, decided on later, and for donation. We went through this process a number of times until we were able to choose what to keep and donate. 

5. Integrate a system in storing your items. I was shocked to find out how much dishwashing liquid I had in my inventory. I kept buying whenever we did groceries because I always thought we were about to run out. What we didn't know was we kept storing it in different places, haha. The team organized our pantry and cabinets properly. And yes, we finally ran out of dishwashing liquid, hahaha. The system they did helps us to know easily what items we need to re-stock. 

6. Identify organizations where you could donate pre-loved items. Luckily Ally was already in contact with organizations. The boxes of books we donated were eventually sent by the org to Bicol. We also donated a lot of clothes, bags and houseware. 

I was so happy I was able to reduce my stuff. I really had a lot and defining my intention helped a lot. I also based my decisions on my current situation. I rarely go out, so I don't really need a lot of clothes, bags and shoes. I'm still working on reducing what I still have since I think I still have too much. 

Still a long way to go, but with Ally's coaching we aren't as overwhelmed anymore :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Oh, Mom

We have started to sort Mom's things. I promptly got sick the first day we started, so I just got updates from the team helping me. When they started sending photos of items that were boxed I started crying. It's only been five months and seeing Mom's things boxed just seems so final. 

The team confirmed that Mom's things were organized. I was told by several people that it seems she prepared her things. She probably knew she was going soon and wanted everything in order. She even put most of her clothes in boxes. 

We covered only a few rooms. Most of the items Mom has are decorative. I remember she got a lot of decorative items from estate sales in the US. She also liked collecting angels and she has a lot of religious statues. We will probably just keep some, give away to relatives and her friends and donate the rest. I have checked with a friend who is a nun and she said there's a place where we can bring religious items. 

This part of losing a loved one is difficult. If I could I would rather leave her home untouched. That way I could just think that she's away visiting Ate or Kuya. I know it doesn't work that way. Realistically, I have to clear everything so we can fix the house and make it livable. 

On Home Buddies FB, I saw someone ask how to convince her Mom to let go of her glassware collection. All of those who responded said it's impossible. It's true. I commented also and told her to let it be and expect her Mom to be more stubborn as she ages. 

Mom was like that. We prepared a room for her in our home. She wanted to be in her own home and she also refused to have things fixed. I only got as far as having her roof fixed because water would pour in when it rains (it was a waterfall). 

Oh Mom, wish you were here. I know you knew this task was going to fall on my lap and you tried to make it easier for me. We are saving what is valuable and will let go of things that will be more helpful for others. 

Miss you Ma. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, October 21, 2023

My New Herb Garden

I was overwhelmed when we visited Mahogany Market. Since it was a last minute trip I wasn't able to make a list of the plants I wanted to get. I just knew I wanted to buy something that I couldn't grow. I've been trying to grow herbs since I arrived, so I ended up getting herbs.

I waited two weeks before I posted to see if they would survive the heat here. It's much cooler in Tagaytay and everything is overall better for plants there (sun, soil, water etc.). Here's what I got -

Dill, Sunflower, Basil (top)
Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme (bottom)

Lemon Basil, Peppermint, Hydrocotyle vulgaris (top)
Serpentine, Spearmint, Rosemary (bottom)

Also got parsley because the parsley I grew last year wilted away (I got sick and wasn't able to water the plants).  

I honestly struggled to figure out how much water and sun they needed. I researched each and every plant one night (I have a spreadsheet!). I'm glad I have a soil meter and I've been using it everyday to determine if they need water. Unfortunately, the basil and sunflower I think are not going to make it. They were really affected by the extreme heat. 

Most of the other herbs have adjusted well and we water it in the morning. I normally check in the afternoon which ones are dry and that's what I water. It takes a bit of time, but I've sent so many herbs back to the earth in the past and I vowed to make it work!

Since most of the herbs are growing nicely, I might try to propagate some. I plan to put those I propagate in the vertical garden. That place gets morning sun and it would be nice to fill it up with herbs since that's what I had it built for. Hopefully Grogu won't climb up and eat my plants! 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, October 20, 2023

One of Our Favorite Filipino Dishes, Pork Sisig with Mayo!

I don't know anyone who doesn't like sisig. It's one of our Filipino dishes that is prepared differently in every region and every household. Although I think more households prepare adobo than sisig at home since this dish is popularly served with beer as pulutan. Well, in our household it's something we like eating anytime with any kind of beverage (sometimes coffee if it's eaten as leftover for breakfast haha). 

I learned to cook a lot of dishes during the lockdown. We were stuck in Singapore and majority of the Filipino restos that offer delivery were located on the other end of the island. Delivery was expensive too, so we only ordered Filipino food during special occasions. I discovered that it's fairly easy to make sisig at home. I've been making it with or without mayonnaise. TBH, I prefer sisig with mayonnaise (my favorite one is in Davao!). 

Surprised Miggy last week and cooked a huge batch of pork sisig for the three of us. So the measurements for this are for a kilo of meat. Just halve it if preparing a smaller serving. It's surprisingly very easy to make, I took longer slicing the veggies than cooking it. Next time I'll just ask Miggy to cook it, haha. 

We don't eat spicy food at home, but just add sili if you want it spicy. :)

Recipe and more info at:

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Most Prominent Thing on My 13th Birthday

I was surprised to find scanned photos of my 13th birthday. Most of the photos were action shots and I was surprised I didn't even have a cake candle blowing photo. If I remember correctly, it was Kuya and Ate Joy who organized the party. My parents I think were away at that time.

It was my first birthday to have boys invited! Most of those who came were my classmates, bus mates and neighbors. It was held at home and everything was cooked by Tita Olive (except for the cake!). The most prominent thing about the party is how you can easily date it. One look and you know it was in the 80s because of our hair and our ginormous ribbons. Don't mind the outfits because fashion keeps coming back anyway.

I must honestly say I felt awkward that day. I wasn't used to having boys around and at that time we were just coming out of the "I hate boys, I hate girls" period. The situation in the school bus was also weird. Girls sat together and only little school boys were allowed to sit beside girls if needed. It would be years later when I eventually learned how to be friends with boys. 

One thing I enjoyed when I unearthed these photos is seeing my childhood home before Mom and Dad changed it. I liked how it was so much more open before. Tito Bert (the architect and my Dad's brother) designed it so that air would easily flow in. The living room was flanked by two huge sliding doors and it was left open during parties. 

I don't even want to count how many years ago this party was held. Hahaha. It will make me feel ancient. I wonder where most of my bus mates are now. I never thought to look them up on social media. I know where most of my classmates are since we're connected on FB. The boys I really have no idea where they are except for one who I think became a famous basketball player. 

Thanks Kuya and Ate Joy for organizing this party! And thanks Kuya for taking the photos. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

My Pulmo Rehab Journey

My therapists suggested I should blog about my pulmo rehab journey. I'm supposed to complete 16 sessions within two months. It's been a month since I started and I have not met the target. My immune system and stamina hasn't been able to keep up, so there were weeks I was only able to do one session. 

I had done cardiac rehab after heart surgery, rehab for my shoulder, and rehab for my back. Pulmo rehab is the "lightest" kind of rehab I've experienced. Light because it's mostly breathing exercises targeted to expand your lungs. The goal is to strengthen my lungs and save the good parts. The exercises look easy to do, but they wipe me out. 

Three out of the five sessions I've done rendered me useless for the rest of the day, haha. I have four therapists who switch with each other depending on how I did previously. Yesterday, Ronald took charge of my session. He said he used to do cardiac therapy. My other therapists, Jeff and Ameera, popped in during my session to say hello. 

Jeff mentioned that I have a classmate who's just like me. They have to adjust our exercises to match our endurance. I'm glad they did because I was able to function the rest of the day. I even got to do some light gardening. Yaaas!

I reported to my pulmo doctor last week that the handful of sessions I've done have improved my endurance. I fell ill again though with a viral infection and missed a session. I decided to see my doctor because I've been feeling unwell and lethargic. He said I just needed to rest and drink more water. I oftentimes feel guilty when I miss sessions, but it seems common for people like me.

Pushed myself to attend yesterday's session. I wanted to rest more, but I didn't want to fall behind on my sessions. I do some of the exercises everyday. I have to remember though not to overdo things so I can improve steadily. I'm just so far happy that I have more good days now than bad days. 

If your doctor recommends you to do pulmo rehab, do it! I realized I'm 5 years late for it. I should have probably been recommended to do it back in 2018 when I had my first PE. And probably more cardiac rehab after my heart surgery. But, it's never really too late to start. Just keep going! :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

DIY Pincushion from Scrap Fabric

I think I finally used up all the tiny triangle scrap fabric. I wanted to use all of it, but it was hard to make something cohesive with it because of the variety. After moving around the joined triangles, I eventually decided to make a pincushion. I have another large cube pincushion I made from scraps years ago. Since it's looking a bit forlorn already, I thought it was time to make a new one. 

It honestly took me a few days to figure out what to do with the scraps. I also wanted to use it all up already, so I could move on to my other scraps. I also realized I need to start working on my Christmas project soon. Took a shortcut and made the scraps into a pincushion. 

Here's how I made it -

What's next? Hmmm, I need to replace the tablet sleeve I made back in 2015. It was the first project I made after my 20+ hiatus from quilting. :)

Keep `em hands busy!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, October 16, 2023

Had Mom's Half Century Old Sala Set Re-upholstered

Yes, we've been living in our home for two years now and we still don't have a sala set. We didn't rush to buy one when we moved because our living room was full of boxes until about two months ago. Ally and her team had to comb back and help us clear more stuff. I told myself we won't purchase anything for the house until we've cleared all the boxes. 

We've started the painful process of clearing my childhood home. At 50+ years old it's actually considered an ancestral house already. Most of the furniture are actually older than me, including the sala set. As far as I remembered it's only been re-upholstered once in the 90s. Mom and Grace worked on it if I remember correctly. For the past decade Mom always had covers on it, so I always thought it still looked good. I was wrong though, it badly needed some repairs. The base though was still very sturdy.

I asked my siblings if I could possibly use the sala set since it has to be removed anyway when the house is fixed. They said yes and after dilly-dallying for a few months, I finally found a reputable service company to work on the set. The one I found and inquired on FB suddenly disappeared. Good thing I take really long to decide on things. Probably saved me from getting scammed. Anyway, I found the reputable company through Google Maps.

Three weeks ago the sala set was pulled out and brought to Guada's upholstery shop. Manong Jojo and his assistant managed to fit in the 5 pieces plus our loveseat in their van (it was like playing tetris!). They delivered it to our home the other day. I was amazed with the transformation! We changed it to a neutral color to match our home (and well I'm not really fond of the color orange). I could always make quilts to put on it to add color. Plus Mom has a lot of quilted throw pillow covers she made through the years. 

Before and After

Now that I have a piece of my old home in our home, I feel more at home. We're still figuring out how to lay it out in our odd shaped living room. The set is very heavy, so we have to really plan the set-up before it's moved. I don't want the boys to end up with back pain! 

I know it's taking forever to really fix our home, but we'll get there hopefully by this Christmas. :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, October 15, 2023


"I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need."

- Philippians 4:12

I've been told once that I didn't have dreams. I told the person that if I didn't have dreams, then perhaps I wouldn't have pursued working for a global company. Back then my goals were very simple. Give Miggy the best life and eventually find my one true love. I also eventually wanted to have my own car and house. 

I guess I've always just been content with what I have and never really dreamed of extravagant things. My parents never spoiled me and Kuya taught me to be practical. I choose things based on function and comfort, not on brand or what's trending. It takes me at least 2 years to buy a device/appliance, or I only replace it if something is not working. 

I remember my parents also taught me the Filipino saying, "Hangga't makitid ang kumot, matutong mamaluktot."* It is really best to live below your means. No sense in being buried in debt just to acquire something that you want. I learned that the hard way when I paid my grad school tuition with my credit card. I only got lucky when Titay gave me money to pay it because she was able to collect a loan. After that I learned and never used my card for something I couldn't really pay in full when the bill comes. 

I'm especially more careful now that I am retired. I'm lucky because my boys seem content to just stay home with me. We're so busy at home, oftentimes the day isn't enough to do things we like doing. Be content and be happy. Just always believe that Papa God will provide you with everything.

Have a blessed Sunday my friend. 

*If your blanket is too short, bend your legs so it fits you."

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Got Some Plants at Mahogany Market

We were still newlyweds the last time I bought plants from Mahogany Market.We went to Tagaytay with a friend last week and he wanted to experience what locals do. So after eating lunch we headed to Mahogany Market. We missed the turn and didn't realize we should have turned at the corner of the Hall of Justice (it's a great landmark!). 

We didn't recognize the place since it changed a lot. It's more organized and it looks like they removed the building in the area where they sell plants. It's now a huge parking lot and it's easier to walk around to look at the different stalls selling plants.

I promptly got confused on what to buy. It was a last minute decision to go to Tagaytay, so I didn't have a list of what I wanted to buy. I knew though I wanted to get some herbs and plants that were hard to grow from seed.  I ended up getting a couple of herbs and got several gumamela (hibiscus) plants on a whim.


I was so excited I forgot to take more photos. We stuck to one shop since I felt it would be dangerous for my wallet to check out other shops (too much budol!), hahaha. I also want to go back. I just want to prove first to myself that the plants I bought would live! 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, October 13, 2023

Homemade Pancakes!

When we were stuck in Singapore during the pandemic, one of the things we craved for was Maya pancakes! Tried other imported mixes, but only really liked the one by Maya. It's what I grew up with and we had it for breakfast often at home. 


Researched and found this recipe. Unfortunately, I don't remember anymore if I found it online or in one of my recipe books. If I like something, I usually write it down with my adjustments on an index card. Then I mark it with stars so I remember it's the recipe I should re-use. Here's how we make it at home -

The secret to cooking it nicely? I let Sweetie take over the cooking part, haha. One thing I'd like to try is to use healthier ingredients. Maybe wheat? Or I saw some prepare them with banana. We'll get there, in time. 

More info and complete recipe at 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Wedding Time Capsule

After our wedding, we got super busy with moving to our new home and I was scheduled to go to Singapore for a business trip. I ended up placing wedding mementos in a box. I meant to organize it into a scrap book once things settled down. 

Well, it's been almost 14 years since our wedding and I only got to open the box again recently. Life got in the way and so I didn't have time to do the scrap book. When I opened the box I realized it was a time capsule. Here's what I found:

Our dedication album

We had fun reading the wishes of family and friends for us. Some were really funny. There were a few which made me emotional since some of our family and friends have passed on. Other family and friends wrote on the dedication painting made by Tito Bert. 

A copy of the invitation

A copy of the missalette

The planning book from a magazine 

The program, seating, plan and a folder for the bride

The cards from the gifts

The table cards which I made 

A newspaper from the day of our wedding

And the "Yummy" magazine I used for my first days of cooking

There were some items in the box that weren't keepsakes, since I removed them. Well, since I have a lot of other stuff to declutter, I wasn't able to make the scrap book yet. Hahaha. Maybe I'll get to it for our 25th wedding anniversary? 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Sui Generis

I just learned this term from GodWhispers. Sui Generis means "of it's own kind" or simple put, "unique". God created each one of us to be unique. Several of my doctors have told me this (actually all). I once was surprised to get so many nurses and medical students visit me after heart surgery. Word got out I was unique. They all wanted to see my veins, haha. 

I didn't mind. Who knows it may help them be more knowledgeable about people like me. It's sometimes hard though since I have many limitations because of my medical conditions. Very few people understand that my endurance isn't the same as normal people. Nor the fact that I am immuno-compromised. I do have friends though who always test themselves before meeting up with me. That I really appreciate. 

We also have our unique talents and you will be able to use it properly when you ask God to navigate your life. At some point in my life I was very confused on what path to take. After a lot of heartbreak, I gave up and asked God to navigate my life. He immediately did and nudged me in the right direction. My life improved and I became happier. I even found the right one (Sweetie). I feel I was also able to use my God-given talents the way it was supposed to be used. 

Now, I'm retired. Most of the people my age are still very busy with their careers and raising a family. I guess that was the reason why I started things early. The most I can do now is share my learnings and experiences through my blog. I tried pushing myself to do the things I used to do, but it was frustrating. Took me a long time to accept that my reality is different now and God has put me in a very different path. 

September was very different from the previous months. I'm working on improving my endurance and stamina. Went on a meal plan to improve my nutrition. Also started pulmo rehab. The effects are starting to show. I'm hoping and praying that things improve in the coming months. Here's my September 2023, one second everyday compilation.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Retaso Project 5: Coaster from Tiny Scraps

The tiny triangle scrap fabric seemed bottomless. They came from making bias tape. Took me awhile to sort them and that made it easier to plan what to do. What I didn't anticipate was how small they were once pieced together. Each square was just 0.5" x 0.5" after piecing it together with others. Tried matching all the scraps and it didn't look nice. 

Then I asked myself, "What would Mom do?" Mom wouldn't have touched such tiny pieces, haha. I think should would have instead used it for her paper projects as accents. She'd probably turn them into a flower. I was bent on creating something from it. I was able to make a 3.5" x 3.5" square out of a set. The best thing to do with it is make a coaster.

One can never have enough coasters at home. They are like pens that magically disappear after some use. So I think that's what I'll do when I collect tiny triangles again or other smaller scraps. I haven't even done a crazy quilt yet. Maybe I'll do that for the other scraps. 

Turned out quite okay. The imperfections were masked by the black scrap fabric. The triangles weren't the same size, so it was really difficult to piece together. It was fun to do nonetheless. Hmm, I still have more tiny triangles. Let's see what I can come up with next week.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, October 9, 2023

An Extraordinary Week

We've been puttering around our house a lot more lately. I got to spend a lot more time gardening and cooking last week. My endurance seems to be improving a bit because of pulmo rehab. I think I'm finally starting to enjoy retirement. There were days though that were not good and I missed my second pulmo rehab session. My Fitbit says though I moved much more this week than last week. 

Achievement unlocked!

Cooked four times in the last 7 days. I don't remember the last time I cooked more than once a week. I told my therapist that I'm usually only able to do one major activity a day. I'm usually too tired after and can't do anything else. If it's a major activity, the next day is normally set for rest. Well, I'm happy with the progress I've made. I really want to be able to prepare our meals, so I'm also studying new recipes. 


I got to spend three days gardening last week. Spent two days working on reviving the orchids. Then another day organizing my plants. The kittens have been exploring the garden a lot more, so I had to move the veggies to the pocket garden. Sweetie and Miggy helped me since I had a lot of pots to move. 

Kaley Boo gave Birth!

Kaley grew a lot in the past two weeks. We knew she was due already last week since she had become more lethargic, hungrier and selosa. I posted a short video of her sleeping. She seemed really anxious though, so I felt she was about to give birth. I was right because she went MIA the next day and only came back 3 days after. We have no idea where her kittens are since she only visits us during the day. We think Kaley and the other two calico cats (Cheyenne and Sandra) live two houses away. Hopefully the kittens are okay.

Brimsley was pretty stressed out this week. We came home late twice and she didn't like it since her routine was disrupted. Ahh, the cat has been spoilt, haha. We're usually just around and rarely go out. She was so cross she refused to go to the vet! Only the kittens were able to go and get vaccinated. We'll stay home this week to make it up to her (haha). 

Hopefully things get much better! Just believe and pray!

#BeKind #StaySafe