IN PROGRESS: Dark Walls (and Pegs for Dark Rooms for Kids)

Please excuse yaya’s messy bed and somewhat grubby sheets, eek

I am happy to report that I finally got around to having the boys’ shared bedroom painted.  Actually, the happy part is finding the perfect dark grey paint – I wanted something that would look almost purple or navy depending on the light.  I took these photos with my cellphone camera, so they do not do justice to the actual color, but you kind of get an idea of how well it looks with white and green.

I originally planned on having the bathroom and cabinet doors painted white, but I ended up liking how the green looked with the dark walls, so I decided to keep it!

The notches you see in the window frames are from the old blinds.  I had the blinds removed (including the notches, haha).  I canvassed for roller blinds (plain white or cream colored ones) because I read somewhere it’s dangerous having long curtains by a toddler bed or crib. (Are blinds any better though?)  The window grills used to be black too – I had Mang Ariel paint them white.

I’ve always wanted one of my boys’ rooms to be painted dark grey, and I studied a gazillion photos online of dark rooms and nurseries (some photos and links I’ll be sharing below!).  I also read that for teeny rooms, painting them all white will only work if these rooms get a lot of natural light (check Emily Henderson’s article “Design Mistake #3: Painting a Small, Dark Room White“).  Both the shared boys’ room and Laz’s bedroom are all small – but Laz’s room has two huge windows and gets a lot of light.  Alo and Bo’s room is tucked in the front of the house and doesn’t get a lot of light at any time of the day.  So I decided to paint their room dark grey.

Another plus:  the furniture in the shared boys’ room are all either inexpensive or hand-me-downs.  Once I started painting the furniture white, I discovered it looked so much better (and not as cheapie looking) against the deep dark walls.  So far, so good!

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DINING ROOM: Chairs at last (and life lately)

It’s been over a month since my last post (I’m not counting my checklist updates), and so much has happened since – both from the family and the home perspectives!  I’ll be ante-dating some Mommy Closet posts to document the belly growth for Bo’s sake some day, but for most of the updates I’ll be moving forward.  Admittedly, there have been quite a number of hauls – I’ve been on serious nesting mode and am still hoping to get the major areas done before the baby comes.  I’ll be hitting my 34th week this Monday, so I’m giving myself 3 more weeks if Bo follows previous schedules!  (Both Laz and Alo were born on my 37th week and 3rd day exactly).

Anyhoo!  I guess one of the biggest updates on the home front is that we finally got dining chairs!

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Sorry for the lousy photo – obviously, took this at night time.  Oh, but notice my red riding hood planter?  Been waiting a while for Hey Kessy to restock that in that large size.  I could’ve ordered from Gawa ni Femi online, but since I’m in U.P. Town a lot, I figured I’d prefer to wait until Hey Kessy restocked rather than pay for shipping.  I so love her – I have yet to name her, teehee.

I finally decided to go with the Charles chairs with the metal legs from MOD Living.  As I shared in this post, it took me weeks and weeks of deciding between these with the steel legs or the wooden ones (another Eames repro available at MOD Living).   I worried about white and wood chairs being too matchy matchy with my dining table (despite my dining room peg here).  I really felt like I needed some contrast – be it ever so subtle like chair legs, for crying out loud – and I am SO happy that: 1) I was finally able to make up my mind, hahaha, and 2) how the chairs go so well with our handcrafted dining table from Dekko (which, by now, is a store that I love to pieces).

And yes, I refused to peel off the plastic wrap around my table legs until everything was Just. So.  And to think I got this table early August!  I would have left the plastic covering the table top, too, had Laz not complained about it.  (I went down to dinner one day and discovered Laz had removed the plastic – iritang irita siya, hehe.  Naka irita nga naman, furniture still wrapped in plastic! HAHAHA).

What kept me occupied for this area was completing the pieces for my table settings.  Naging suki na ako ng Crate & Barrel in Megamall and Habitat Manila in U.P. Town.  I will also not tell you how many times I’ve made a beeline to an H&M Home in the past month (ang mura naman kasi!!!).  It became to me what Common Room was before when I was setting up the Family Command Center and School Station.  Save for ordering monogrammed napkins over at The Olive Tree (via telephone and email actually, not through their site), drooling over some stuff from Bungalow 300 (ang layo kasi from me!) and ordering some handmade holiday decors, it’s been all about ducking in and out of brick and mortar places for plates, table napkins, and what not.

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Kids’ Table Setting for Halloween

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Laz’s Halloween table setting for the whole month of October.

I wanted to include the word “SIMPLE” in the blog title but it would be a mouthful. “Simple” was the objective though – Laz and I had to compromise.  My eldest son has been bugging me for years to decorate for Halloween.  It was never a favorite holiday for me, and I found most of the available Halloween decors I’d see in the malls too kitschy or over the top.  I saw some really lovely Halloween table settings online – with black candle sticks and pumpkins and all – but it’s just not for me.  I wanted something minimalist, and clean clean clean.  Plus, we don’t have fall here, and we don’t even have those big orange pumpkins – it’s just a tad too Western – so I’m keeping the pumpkin decor to a minimum too.

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Alo’s place.  Their dad says the cat actually looks like a birthday cat, but Alo likes it, yay!  They only had 3 designs left in the Pottery Barn Kids BGC and Estancia branches – the owl, the black cat, and the witch.  Hopefully next year I’ll be able to buy a spider or skeleton print.

This is Alo’s place.  I included a feeding bowl because my 2-year-old often gets restless sitting down at the table for meals, and likes to race around or sit in the lanai when Yaya feeds him.  (The bowl is part of a 2-piece set from Munchkin; I just lucked out that 1 of the bowls came in orange).  I’m already in the process of upgrading Alo’s every day tableware, so the orange feeding bowl was an added bonus for Halloween.  (My Diko has graduated from rubber baby spoons!)

Unlike Laz’s utensils, Alo’s cutlery are stainless steel from Pottery Barn Kids and of really nice quality.  I’ll replace Laz’s flimsy utensils next year – these are the SM-bought ones I bought for the driver’s packed lunch last year; I looked in Pottery Barn and in Rustan’s but couldn’t find a nice 12-piece utensil set in white.  Actually, I was hoping to get a 3-piece set for Alo with a knife, but they didn’t have that in white in both PB Kids branches in Manila.

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Got these spider chair covers, too.  They only had 2 left in PB Kids Estancia, and I may have to get a 3rd chair cover in BGC for Bo, otherwise the 3 boys won’t match next year, eek! FYI, ALL the Halloween decor in PB Kids in Estancia are on sale – most are 50-60%!  I called early September if Pottery Barn had Halloween decors already, and am I ever glad I didn’t run out right away to get them.  Yep, there are a lot less options for tableware at this point (I would have dearly wanted a spider print plate), but hey, like I told Laz, we’ll build up our holiday decorations every year, bit by bit.

Speaking of Bo, I ended up buying 3 plates instead of just 2 as I originally intended – just in case Pottery Barn doesn’t make the same kind or size next year!  I stocked up on the tumblers, too, and got 3 with the spider print because that’s my favorite design – 1 for each little boy in my life.

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Ready for 3 P’s come next October!

In the years to come I only plan to add a few things, like black table napkins, and maybe those acrylic skull goblets Laz spotted in Rustan’s.  Or I might not, hehe!  I am liking the uncluttered look right now.  Oh, but I actually wanted to order skull-print plates from The Coolist (for adults!), and they emailed me back their prices, but I wasn’t able to place my orders in time.  I also didn’t want to spend on Halloween plates for ME this year, since I still need to get 1 or 2 items by way of decorations.

I’ll share our simple Halloween decor at home in another post!

*Sources and price lists after the break!

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RE-EVALUATING MY PROJECT PRIORITIES (AND MINI-PROJECTS!)

**UPDATED as of 23 October 2016

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Yet another mini project – the boys’ clothing inventory for yaya

I feel like I’ve been all over the place when it comes to tackling projects around the house.  I’ve read about how home decor and organization can take forever because people lack focus.  I swear, I’m more focused than it seems.  Oh, I do get sidetracked here and there, but tackling the house on top of being pregnant, parenting 2 little boys, juggling 3 jobs, plus the emotional storms that still hit me every week has been a pretty tall order.  In other words, life gets in the way.

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Even creative journaling was put on hold (I so enjoyed it, but I only got to do 1 week last July, and nothing so far for August.  Boo).

I also find myself doing mini projects when: 1) I’m too swamped with work; or 2) I’m saving up for major purchases or prepping to tackle bigger expenses.  I also like to scribble down my to-do lists in this blog – actual ones that need immediate action before I give birth and my “red notebook” lists, or castles in the air as they’d say in Little Women.  I guess the way I’ve been handling things right now is that I have ONE major project going on (as documented in One Corner at a Time), but simultaneously I find myself tackling little organization projects here and there too (organization projects usually because these don’t cost anything, or expenses are minimal as opposed to, say, saving up for dining chairs or a couch!).

But I will admit that daydreaming about so many different projects, big and small, has been confusing me recently.  For instance, in my last Project Priorities list, my rundown of projects to handle was as follows: 1) Laz’s Room; 2) Living Room; and 3) Kids’ Ground Floor Bedroom.  Oh how that changed so drastically!  As for my mini projects – I still haven’t finished organizing my keys, our main family menu board, and my filing system at home!  (Substantially finished, I swear!  Mahal magpa-duplicate noh!  And as for the filing system, the study room is still a mess, so I was hoping to clear it up first).  Haaay.  Kalat na kung sa kalat!  Kainis!

So ‘eto na!  DIZZIZIT.  I am drawing up my Project Priorities – including my Mini-Projects – AND STICKING TO THIS LIST.  So help me, Lord.  Promise, ‘eto na, no more detours or distractions.  (P.S.  I’ve completed almost everything in my previous Mini Projects list though – I’ll still update that post for links, but I’ll incorporate that Mini Projects list to my new one below).

PROJECT PRIORITIES

FIRST AND FOREMOST:  LAUNDRY ORGANIZATION

Buy laundry hampers!  Okay, this is really important because while we have a schedule for the help for laundry, the dirty clothes are freakin’ all over the place.  To do this, I have to also clear the upstairs landing.  Augh.

For the upstairs:

  • For the landing – 3 big hampers (Darks, Lights, Whites) Got 3 dark grey plastic Rubbermaid bins from Wilcon (originally for trash).  I originally wanted just plastic hampers, but now I’m not sure I like them – they make my landing look like a recycling center, haha.  I am eyeing these and these baskets now. 
  • For the landing – 3 mesh bags inside bigger bins for socks
  • For the bathroom – 1 small “transition” bin (for all clothes before sorting into other hampers) My favorite Skinny Can by Umbra.  Yes, I seem to use trash cans for laundry hampers.  (I generally don’t like how some baskets shed?  And I worry about snagging delicate clothes on baskets.  Plus, they stink more and are harder to wipe down that plastic hampers. Aaaah!  Aesthetics over function?!).
  • For the walk-in closet – 1 medium-sized bin for everything, 1 small hamper for items for handwashing and dry-cleaning, 1 basket for clothes for repair or alterations

For the downstairs:

  • For the boys’ bedroom – 1 hamper for school uniforms, 1 big hamper for pambahay and panglakad clothes
  • For the boys’ bedroom – 2 mesh bags for socks (one for each hamper)
  • For the boys’ bathroom – 1 small “transition” hamper

I have to figure out if we need separate bins downstairs for:

  • bedsheets;
  • towels and face towels; and
  • kitchen towels, cloths, and pamunas.

I’m going to use my trash cans-turned-hampers for the bedsheets, etc. to keep in the laundry room once I buy the baskets for the landing.  (Para naman hindi masayang!).  Then I need to figure out where the clean and folded laundry (in the laundry room) should be stored before ironing day (2x a week) rolls along.  Then where to put the ironed laundry before they get sorted into our closets???  – Got a white coat rack for the landing, with white metal hangers, where Mafe now hangs ironed shirts and dresses (instead of hanging them on closet door handles before – drove me crazy).  Got 2 deep Sterilite white plastic baskets for folded clothes.  All for the landing.

Gosh, that’s a lot of bins.  But I noticed that one big source of kalat in our home are all the dirty laundry, even the clean laundry, and where they should go!

In short, as I have been observing our daily routines and day-to-day messes, it seems I need to tackle our Laundry Room pronto!  (This includes hooks for the baby strollers!!! – My dad got me the hooks!  I just need to get it from him and install them)

Dining Room

  • Get some chairs!The H got 4 white Charles chairs with steel legs from MOD Living  – salamat! (09.15.16)
  • Get a booster seat (or even a high chair still?) for Alo.
  • Complete my initial set of tableware (just need glasses now and them woven coasters.  All the stalls in Greenhills were out of the round ones, arrrrgh.  – Got Adeline origami-esque glasses from Habitat Manila, yay, and round woven coasters which were gifts from my mother.  Have temporary mother-of-pearl coasters for now care of the H.  Oh and my lighter grey table napkins (spotted in Rustan’s!  Though I ordered a white monogram set from The Olive Tree), and a silicone cookie sheet to line my bamboo woven serving tray). – I am FINALLY set for now, even down to the trivets.  I can live without light grey table napkins; my beige ones worked better with my Crate and Barrel printed plates because I got rattan oval placemats!  Even got trivets.  I just need to set up everything up and take photos for Mafe’s reference.
  • Get a new white electric fan for this space

After I finish the above, I’m putting the dining room on hold and tackling the ground floor bedroom first because helllooo, the baby is coming in 2 months!  #slightpanicmode

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