WHAT’S INSIDE: My “House” Tool Box

I assembled a tool box for our lanai-playroom to save me from having to lug down all my supplies when I need to label (or relabel), organize, and repair the kids’ toys and toy bins. Now all I need to bring down is my label maker. Here’s what’s inside:

Scissors from Muji; Pilot pens, Sharpies, correction tape, and sticky pad from National Bookstore; small notepad from Papemelroti – for temporary labeling of bins, to jot down my to-do or to-get lists, and the scissors, for when we redo tags for our toy baskets

Tags from Common Room, crochet hook, string from Wilcon, masking tape from National Bookstore, and washi tape from Muji – we use the crochet hook to thread the tags for the toy baskets. I use the masking tape for a variety of things, and the washi tape with the sticky note for temporary labels. I find that Muji still makes the best (i.e. really sticks) washi tapes even though the designs are limited.

Measuring tape, small tool set, tiny screwdriver – all from Wilcon; plastic container with batteries – I need the different sized screwdrivers for when we replace batteries for battery-operated toys. I’m happy to report we are down to only 3 battery operated toys for this room so far. The measuring tape is because I always seem to be measuring stuff in that room, whether for window treatments or measuring console tops or shelves for trays or containers.

I got 3 pp containers from Muji to corral everything inside my house tool box:

As you can see, everything fits nicely inside. The blue plastic container for my extra batteries is old, from SM Department Store. I love that this tool box is tall enough so I can keep my pens and scissors upright.

My house tool box is from my fave, Anna Banana Rustics. It’s really such a happy find for me, since it’s decorative and functional at the same time.

(I often get so tempted to buy all these cute farmhouse decor for sale in IG, and I admit I’ve succumbed repeatedly in the past. Now I’ve learned to reign in buying knick knacks and keep remembering this tool box – trying to get something which not only sparks joy but is actually useful. It’s just more me).

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A very simple DIY hanging bird house

Did a very simple DIY project for the kids’ lanai-playroom, since I’ve been assessing and reorganizing it a bit.   Now, Bo has a little mechanical bird that sings and parrots what you say.  He LOVES that thing.  Problem is, it comes in a sparkly pink plastic cage which is, well, not pretty.  So I made Bo a new hanging bird house (or “bed”?) – I’ve always meant to replace the pink cage and wanted something we could hang from the side of one of the corner bookshelves.  Here it is:

The little white wooden plant holder is from Daiso.  Used jute string from Common Room.  Repurposed one of our wooden Montessori rings.  (The husband helped me thread all the jute string through the teeny tiny holes I drilled into the planter).  We lined it with a simple green fabric from Expressions.  The cute black butterfly hook is from Wilcon.

You can’t tell from this photo, but the bird house is hung mid height – at child level, because we practice Montessori at home and I want everything to be accessible to my youngest.  He loves that little “bed” – he sometimes gets the fabric out, puts the bird on the coffee table, and covers him with the fabric – tucking him in for bed!  Haha.

I firmly believe kids’ hobbies and interests should become a part of your home – and your home decor.  So it’s also matter of integrating the toys they love to FIT our home, which hopefully we were able to do here.

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Upcycled Book Crate

Since I learned how to stain wood last year I’ve kind of been obsessed. I used a plain crate from Cut the Scrap (I love their crates; still the best quality in my opinion), then sanded, stained, sealed, and added casters. Here’s the final product:

I added the book plate with wood glue. Bought the plate and letters from Papemelroti. They can stick the letters for you, actually, but I prefer to do it myself. I got both the plate and letters last year but only recently got to use them!

Here’s a before shot of the crate:

As you can see, the crate is nice on its own, but I just wanted a darker finish to go with the rustic vibe I was after for our lanai-playroom. Oh, and adding casters for a newbie like me was the hardest thing, hahaha. I don’t think I’ll be tackling casters for a while for my next DIY projects!

For these crates, I always save up thick discarded bits of carton from delivery packages or balikbayan boxes, slap them together with wood glue and masking tape, and cover them with old posters (because it’s thicker) to line the bottoms. Keeps the kids’ small toys and what not from falling through the slats.

This ONE crate took me over a week to finish, FYI, hahahahaha, because I really wait for the drying time between stains and varnish coats. Now it’s a sturdy little thing, and I am just happy to contribute something I DIYed for the kids’ playroom. The best part is, I didn’t have to buy anything for this project – except for the casters! All the other materials, even the crate, I already had. The End. 😄

MASTER BEDROOM: Hooks

Just another tiny update on the Weekly To-Do List in my sidebar. I got the hooks I wanted for our cleaning supplies:

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Rustic mango-wood hooks

These are the H&M Home hooks I wanted – they disappeared from the U.P. Town branch where I usually go, but they’re still available in the Robinsons’ Magnolia branch. The smaller hooks are for the kids’ cleaning supplies. I still haven’t made up my mind where I want to hang them – the bigger set of hooks will definitely go somewhere in the master bedroom for my broom, etc., haha.

I’ve shared the roadblocks I’m currently dealing with for my master bedroom Checklist. So while I’m stuck with the master bedroom, I’ve been working one my other mini projects – recall, I promised the H I’d work on only 4 projects at a time. I updated it here – and one day, I’ll share our very simple linen storage!

MASTER BEDROOM: Small Strides

More updates on our Master Bedroom – we are slowly but surely chipping away on our Checklist.  We skipped ahead to our second priorities because we ended up really needing a floor fan for the ante-room where the boys sleep.   They don’t get any air circulation there when I switch off the air-con, and we don’t open our windows at this part of the house, sadly.   So last weekend we finally got our white floor fan from the Vornado booth in Trinoma.

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This is the Vornado 633

We actually had another model, but I gave it away because it was grey and white and, while I was happy with the performance, I finally admitted to myself that I really didn’t like the color scheme.  Should have gone with all white, though this model is the smaller one.  More than sufficient for that itty bitty ante-room though.

So that’s another electric fan checked off my list.  I have these electric fan sagas, I know!  Hee.

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Found the perfect container in Tokyu Hands during our recent trip to Osaka.  Got it specifically for battery organization in mind, haha.

I also finally got around to organizing all the spare batteries I am always buying when I do our grocery shopping – after I buy them, they get lost in the clutter at home.  I got so sick and tired of hunting for our extra batteries – and we seem to go through batteries a lot, unfortunately.  For some appliances, remotes, even some of the boys’ toys.  There’s always some kid asking, “Mamu, where are the batteries?”.  I also found the packet of tiny screwdrivers we bought ages ago, and they now sit in a toolbox under my side of the bed.  

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I store the battery case right behind our Wildwood pencil jar on one of the corner shelves in our bedroom.  Out of sight but still easily accessible.

I have to say, the above-mentioned corner shelves are the only storage system in our bedroom right now – save for the ledge behind our bed, and the ante-room closets do not count!  So I have to be really, really careful about what I put there – focusing on immediate, day to day items that not just I, but my whole family, needs or looks for or reaches out for.

I still don’t have a place for our extra toiletries – everything is jammed into our wardrobes in our walk-in, and it’s starting to become frustrating (this is also why I could not find our extra batteries before, hah!).   I’m thinking I’ll put the extra toiletries and other supplies in the media console once we get around to buying one.

Oh, and I’ve decided against getting a trolley/cart for the baby’s night time essentials because all we really need now is his milk, which I put on my bedside table in a little plastic container.  (We always keep 1 big bottle and 2 small ones, plus a milk powder dispenser, on hand.  Most nights he only finishes 2 bottles, but there are some nights when he goes through 3).  We don’t change his diapers at night anymore (yay for Drypers), and don’t use a burp cloth or anything else because we don’t get a lot of drool or spills either.  The only other thing I usually need to grab quickly are extra blankets, which I keep in a basket nearby.  I have extra clothes in one of the closets in the ante-room for emergencies (but nothing so far, praise God).

I also realized I need a stool or step stool in this room.  The very tall tolix bar stool I’ve been using is hard on my middle age knees (ang hirap umakyat!).  I’ve been using a cracked plastic stool I borrowed from the helpers.  I need something I can (easily) climb on to water my plants and for my dusting!  So, at this point, the trolley/cart has become unnecessary, and a step stool or stool has become a priority – making the corresponding revisions to my Checklist!