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


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!



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.


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.


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.  


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!

MASTER BEDROOM: Looking up my cleaning essentials

We’re back from a lovely, lovely family trip to Osaka. We went with my eldest son’s friends’ families and had such a great time. I was able to think about the cleaning essentials I need, and actually, while on the plane, hehe. When we flew back home, I knew I would end up getting something from Muji because it was important for me that my tools are not only functional but also pretty, and preferably white.


The Muji cleaning system (the mop head was out of stock in the Shang branch)

I also knew I wanted to use Muji’s cleaning system because it’s so smart and simple – one rod for all the brushes. My only issue is the dust pan, as it does not sit flat on the floor. I would need to look for another kind – except I can’t seem to find anything else that is as neat and streamlined as the one Muji makes.

This is a little too detailed for cleaning supplies, but I’m trying to make sure every single thing in our home has a purpose and every choice is intentional, and this is for my own reference in this little read corner of cyber space, so here goes:

  1. broom – for obvious reasons. I want a brush broom because the walis tambo I get always shed. I seem to be sweeping our bedroom several times a day because the 3 boys hang out there all day.
  2. dust pan
  3. desk broom and dust pan – for our shelves, window ledges, table tops
  4. mops – Muji has 2 kinds. I actually want to get one just for Bo, because he spills when we water plants, and he tries to wipe it away with toilet paper. His own mop would be great. (Muji has a short pole, and a telescopic pole, all available locally, thank goodness)
  5. duster – for pendant lights, cornices, and higher shelves
  6. natural bristle brush – for higher shelves and corners
  7. micro fiber cloths – I cannot find one that is not some garish color. The hardware stores only seem to carry blue and yellow, and the occasional grey (which is sold with one very bright yellow, ugh).
  8. all-purpose cleaning spray – I’ve always used, and still love, the one from Messy Bessy
  9. vacuum cleaner – Dyson is the gold standard. I want something I can attach to the wall, and without bags or cords, because I want it stored out of the way, but still easy to grab. So Dyson it is. (Our vacuum now, I get so lazy about using it because too many attachments, it’s big and bulky, I have to empty out the bag, etc etc).

As for storage, for now I’m going to hang them from hooks on the wall behind our dressing room door. Just simple wooden hooks from either H&M Home or True Home in Magnolia, with twine strung through the tools for hanging.


Some time ago, seeing how frustrated I got about not finishing anything at home, my husband suggested focusing on 1 project at a time.  Oh, I know this is obvious, and this is advice I’ve seen in various sites, but honestly, it’s easier said and done.  When you’re renovating your house you see so many things you want to do, and end up dipping your toes into too many ponds.  Some people are really amazing about juggling so many projects at home – and actually finishing them all, with matching checklists, before and after photos, big reveals and all.   Other people – like me, apparently – are not as good at it.   Since I kept wanting to tackle several big projects and mini projects together, I ended up feeling discouraged about not completing anything.  My purchases felt unintentional or premature, and my efforts felt half-hearted or half-baked.


Recently, our living room has been more boho than scandi in my attempts at scandiboho style.  The H wants the monochrome back, hehe

Well! That has to obviously change.   I’m going to allow myself to work on 4 projects at a time – major and minor ones.   (As in really minor projects, like cleaning out a closet).  We’re renovating the master suite and utility areas – 98% done with the former, and 70% through with the latter – but I’m not going to count each renovation as 1 project (because there are sub projects within each renovation area – no doubt, if you’ve renovated, you are well aware of this!).

So my 4 Projects right now are the following:

  • 1st Priority Projects for the master bedroom (described in detail here, with a quick view of the 1st Priority items here, and updates on the Weekly To-Do List in my sidebar)
  • Paper management (including re-organizing our manuals and warranties)
  • Keys organization
  • Linen organization

I’ve purged and organized relentlessly before, but I just started a better system for filing away our documents at home and I want to see it through.  New doors also mean new keys, hence, I’m back to key organization and storage.  As for the linen, that was something I’ve been doing before we even renovated and as with paper management, I just want to see it through.


And we’re back

We’re alive!  And it’s been almost 6 months since my last post.  Come to think of it, even towards the latter part of 2017 I was already woefully behind on the home makeover updates.  And now it’s April.  And sooooo much has changed.  Priorities have shifted, entire project plans thrown out the window, major renovations started – it’s a whole new ball game.  My entire Project Gallery, and all those checklists – right out the window.

And, no, we did not move. Ha.

We hired out the work.  More costs, sure, but the H got on board the renovation train and we haven’t looked back.  Embracing Montessori at home also played a part in it.  My ongoing quest to declutter and pare down our home was supplemented beautifully by the Montessori philosophy of an orderly, functional, and beautiful environment for the child.  I’m not saying our house is beautiful ha!  But hell ya, we’ve been curating and decluttering for years – although everything is messy again now because of the renovations.

When we first moved in 2 years ago, we expanded one of the bedrooms upstairs to build a master’s suite with a small ante room and a walk-in closet.  Now, we rebuilt that room – everything except the walk-in closet (and bathroom).  Literally tore down the 2-year old dry walls and built better ones (I realized afterwards that the work then was shoddy).  We fixed the electrical for the entire 2nd floor, replaced doorways – doors – door knobs and hinges – baseboards – mouldings – lighting – electrical outlets and switches – aaaaand we refinished the floors!  Still refinishing the floors, actually. Obviously, we repainted the walls too.  Also ripped out old closets and cabinets – more storage means more clutter, and I’ve seriously been purging our home (actually, homes) for the past few years.   Our cabinets were mostly empty – didn’t need them, so out they went.

One of my favorite bits was when we rebuilt the entire entrance to the ante room – it used to be a dry wall and a small doorway off to the side which opened up to our bedroom.  Tore that out and the too-shallow closets behind the dry walls, and built a large open doorway in the middle of the new dry wall, with slimmer (but deeper! And smarter!) closets on each side of the doorway, plus cupboards above the doorway for suitcases.  I’m keeping 1 closet for the boys’ clothes (I keep some upstairs; most of their clothes are in their shared bedroom downstairs), and another closet for my Montessori materials and maybe office supplies.   The overhead cupboards are for suitcases.

Speaking of the shared bedroom downstairs.  Gasp.  Big changes there too.  I mean, it’s still a work in progress and actually terrible looking right now – we ripped out the built in closets (too big, too bulky, blocked the passageway from the door) and that cabinet with the light by the door (too bulky, we don’t need it, blocked the passageway from the door).  Eventually, we’ll pull out the bathroom a bit too, reposition the bathroom door, and of course repaint the room and refinish the hardwood floors, as with upstairs.  But that’s down the line (most likely next year!).   I don’t want a built in closet anymore since it’s such an itty bitty space; I’ll have a free standing wardrobe made.  (An antique aparador would be nice, but the H is iffy about mumu and other silly things).   I’m even thinking smaller windows, because at one point in the afternoon we get the sun full blast in that bedroom; there’s no ventilation, so I don’t need windows that stretch across an entire wall.

The important thing is we had a window type A/C unit finally installed in the shared bedroom, so the kids have a place to hang out in downstairs aside from the lanai. (This left a gaping hole in the window where the A/C used to be upstairs.  So now we also needed to have that window repaired – welding and glass works, ack!).

I think it’s just as well that the rooms downstairs remained unfinished for most of last year.  Too many awkward parts that I struggled to work with (small narrow living room, no entry way, spiral staircase smack in the middle of the open plan layout, teeny dining area), because we’ll be tackling those as well – not any time soon, but the plans are there and I think we’ve finally hit on the perfect solutions for the dead spaces here in the house, based on how we actually use each area and the needs of the family – and where the sun is hottest!

For instance, the lanai – we will be moving our dining room there.  Yes, you heard me.  The kids’ playroom will have to be the shared bedroom downstairs.  Smaller, but it’s much cooler.  We just need a few tweaks for the lanai, like build a little low wall, trim the glass panes, remove the built ins I had Mang Ariel put it, new lighting or outlets.  Maybe someday we’ll reconfigure the kitchen and laundry room (I’ve always found the latter too big and, well, underutilized).   As for bedrooms? Extensions – I’m dreaming of building UP someday, and a new lanai off to the side of the house where the picnic table is because that’s where the breeze is.  (The existing lanai right now is not breezy at all, and just hot).   We also need screens.  No use having all these windows if we don’t open them because of lamok.

I’m rambling, I know, but it’s been so long and so much has happened and changed.   Right now, the ongoing projects are: rebuilding the master’s bedroom and ante room, and we’re constructing a new utility area out back.  Within the year, we need to tackle the two bathrooms, too.  That’s the major work we’ll be contracting out for this year – so far!  (If budget permits, maybe we can throw in the shared bedroom downstairs for this year’s renovations).

Still rambling!  Take heart!

Last, I just want to go through the to-do lists I’ve posted in this site’s sidebar and tabs.  They seem a bit funny to me now because of the changes at home, and the plans for future renovations.  Literally, room functions are going to be changing.

Here’s my “Weekly To-Do List” as 17 November 2017, before I take it down to make room for new lists, hehe, and with updates (in blue):


  • check availability of the white Thomson fan in SM Cubao – I did end up buying a Thomson fan, but never did get to go to SM Cubao.  I found the Thomson page on Facebook, got in touch with the sweetest girl who works there/owns the distributorship, and the H and I picked up the vintage-looking Thomson fan I’ve wanted so long.  We picked it up near Rockwell.  Much farther than SM Cubao, haha, but they told me the white ones were all out anyway, so we didn’t really have a choice.  I ended up getting the silver one, not white, and I have to say I love that fan to this day.
  • go to Kamuning to check for tela and inquire about seat covers for the couch – Another thing I procrastinated on, and now I’m so glad I did.  I actually did inquire at a stall in Kamuning one time, but never did go back with my foam to actually have the seatcovers done.  Just as well, too.  Looks like we’ll be putting the narra couch in the utility area, and since it’s a semi-outdoor space, I don’t plan to put seat covers on the sofa anymore.
  • bring couch foam for leather or leatherette cover estimate – this I still need to do.  Since I plan on moving the narra sofa to the utility area, I plan to have it covered in leather or leatherette so it’ll be more durable and will stand up to dirt and dust better (hopefully).  
  • organize cables in Command Center – I don’t know if it’s because the house is a mess right now because we’ve got boxes everywhere, but the cables haven’t bothered me for MONTHS.   Which is quite unlike me, haha.  This is simple, really, and even if I’m hoping to move the actual command center away someday (and fix the electrical for the ground floor), that’s still in the distant future, so I should probably get around to organizing the cables after all.
  • finish decluttering the remaining overhead cabinets in the kitchen – I finished this last November, and another down-the (long)-road we will redo the kitchen (tiles, layout, everything), but I did another big purge  last January, so I think content-wise those overhead cabinets are as clean as they are going to get.  I haven’t opened them in 2 months, come to think of it.  Which brings me back to my point – I really hate having too much cabinets.  I forget what’s in them and we hardly use the stuff that’s actually in there.

And since this has been a kilometric post already (WELCOME BACK!), I might as well update my Checklist category before I erase it, because that’s getting a major overhaul as well.   Here’s the entire house Checklist as of 13 November 2017, with the changes/updates in blue:


(original list here)


  1. declutter all cabinets and get rid of things we don’t use – 10.20.17 and 10.24.17 – see earlier ramblings.  I am not all about open shelving, mind, because I do think some closed cabinets are necessary.  But I still think we have too many.
  2. pack away my mother’s china and return – 10.20.17 and 10.24.17
  3. start using our own dinnerware – 10.20.27 – I need plain white plates.  Just sayin’
  4. repair broken drawers – this is actually still a necessity.  And I can’t hold this off until we build my dream kitchen, because some of the wire drawers keep getting stuck.  A little day-to-day annoyance – minor in light of real tragedies, but an annoyance nevertheless.  The challenge is I need a stop gap solution – something functional but not too expensive because we’ll end up redoing everything anyway when we renovate the kitchen.
  5. re-organize baby bottle station – 10.23.17 – I’ve finished this last year but now the damn baby bottles is a new mini project that suddenly imploded.  The babe needs new bottles – he’s outgrown those Dr. Brown bottles with the regulator and gazillion pieces.  No regulators – less things to wash, clean, sterilize, etc.  But I haven’t sat down to reassess everything (because I like to do that, FREAK, I know), so now we have a hodge podge of bottles.  The country rustic crate where we keep everything is holding up well but I want something more, well, plain because I’m over country rustic for the home.  (But not for the utility area – HA. LABO).
  6. re-organize vitamins and medicine – 10.19.17 – I need to go back to this.  Having a doctor for a father in law means we have a mini pharmacy always.  I need a medicine cabinet for the medicine we don’t use often, a nicer caddy for the daily vitamins, storage for the extra vitamins I keep on stock, a white or chalkboard for medicine dosages, etc. etc.


  1. new foam for the couch – 10.14.17 ordered; 10.23.17 picked up!
  2. inquire about leather or leatherette upholstery – This no longer belongs to the living room, yay.  See previous chatter about leather for the narra couch
  3. customized fabric sofa covers – free of this!  See above
  4. repair coffee table – 10.17.17 dropped off; 10.22.17 picked up!
  5. replace curtain rods (2) – I still haven’t done this for the living room.   But then again we plan to reconfigure the living room someday, which may involve some changes to the front windows where I originally needed new rods.  So I’m putting this on hold for now.  They don’t match the dining room rods (and it’s an open space) but this is one of those things that doesn’t bother me anymore right now.
  6. new, longer curtains (5) – 11.13.17 – I’m so happy this curtain saga is finally over.  
  7. new fan – drat, I still need to get this.  Technically, the Thomson fan is supposed to be for the dining area.  But until now I can’t figure out what kind of fan I want for the living room – ceiling? Stand? 


  1. re-organize white shelves – 10.13.17
  2. clear out mess under the stairs – 10.19.17
  3. new stand fan – the silver vintage-y looking Thomson.  I don’t think I want a ceiling fan over the dining table even if we move it to the lanai at one point.


  1. order black cabinet pulls – 10.19.17 found!
  2. install cabinet pulls I already bought the cabinet knobs (long, long ago), and it’s really a matter of installing them.   We still need to do this, because we will transfer the cabinet to the shared bedroom (while the latter is unfinished) for toy storage until we figure out what to do with said bedroom.
  3. paint cabinets Nope, not doing this.  As mentioned, we’ll move this temporarily in the shared bedroom, but eventually I’m getting rid of the entire thing.   
  4. remove or donate bed – 10.13.17 repaired
  5. repair fan – 10.16.17; 10.20.17; and 10.22.17 finally
  6. get a second fan – We got one.  But you know what, that lanai, without air conditioning, is still really really hot.  It sits right in the part of the house that gets ALL the morning sun, and all the rest of the sun light for the rest of the day.  I don’t even know how that’s possible.  Plus, the lanai is enclosed – it’s not a screened porch or an open area, so there is zero air there.  We don’t open the doors because lamok.  So it’s a boiler room in there, my poor darling kids.   We will move the dining room there, and get air conditioning some day, but it makes better sense for dining instead of actually lingering and hanging out and playing for the boys.
  7. tear out built-in shelves – Still a go.  Another case of too much unutilized storage.
  8. curtains or blinds? – 10.18.17 curtains (6)! Though I think curtains are not enough.  I think at one point we still need to put blinds.  Guys, trust me, mainit siya talaga, as in babad sa araw that room.
  9. replace curtain rods (2) – Still need to do this, even if we add blinds and convert it into the dining room.
  10. sort and donate the kids’ toys (again!) – 10.17.17


  1. re-organize cables – see above!
  2. re-label file folders – 10.09.17
  3. replenish supplies – Still a must.   Especially since it’s a mess downstairs, and Be my house girl doesn’t follow my labels and systems, haha, I need to replenish, and re-orient.


  1. sort and file last school year’s papers – 10.09.17
  2. re-organize supplies bin and drawers – 10.19.17
  3. re-label file folders – 10.09.17 – Somewhat related to our file folders, but the longer we live in this house, the more I realize we need a file box for the H and I downstairs, too.  I have a file box in the Command Center for storing paid bills, envelopes, and brochures and crap we get or bring home.  But for important papers – I notice the H especially has the habit of leaving work papers downstairs.  Plus we get work-related papers delivered, and they sit on the School Station, or Command Center, or dining table until we need them.   We need a mini filing system for us downstairs, too, not just for the kids.  (I say “mini” because the main ones and really important documents should be kept upstairs, lest we get an Ondoy problem again here).
  4. replenish supplies – As with the Command Center above.  Also in time for school.  Our School Station worked very well for us all throughout the school year.  But we may have to reposition it.  And make it prettier with mouldings or something.  And get it out of the way because it’s smack in the middle of the walk way from the front door.  Eeek.  The mistakes that I only realized I made after living with something for a while.
  5. empty out junk from Alo’s side – 10.19.17 – FYI, right now both sides of the School Station is filled with the kids’ clothes, because we tore out the built ins in the shared bedroom.  Eeek.  Plastic drawers – which we will be moving to the shared bedroom, too, until I get a proper wardrobe or aparador.

That’s that.  Haha.  And I say this without bitterness whatsoever – but I am glad no one reads this blog!  Where else can I document everything about the house, access the yakking from anywhere in the world, and write such kilometric posts without links, pop ups and even pictures to break up the text homygash.

It is good to be back!!!