Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cleaning the Bathroom

Cleaning the bathroom and making it sparkly are some of my biggest challenges at home.

As a working mother, I'm glad there are several tips found in books and in the internet which can help me do this task with much ease and efficiency.

Click here and here for some useful stuff you can read.

The Value of Manual Work

I attended a talk last Monday about the value of home management and one of the speakers talked about how manual work as equally valuable (or even better) as doing professional work. She said that the reason for this is because manual work, since it's nature of routinary, gives you the opportunity to pray, and to pray more. And since one can precisely pray while working, it only makes sense that one should work well and try to offer to God a kind of work that is NOT sloppy even if it means just cleaning your kitchen sink.

What a wonderful idea! If only all the housewives and household helpers have this kind of attitude with regard to household work. Then they would have sanctified their work and sanctified themselves by praying for themselves and for the families whom they serve while doing their daily tasks. With this, they can find satisfaction in their work and won't look at it as something that is downgrading or shameful. I personally don't think there's anything shameful about working as a household help, a yaya or a laundry woman. The nature of their work is not at all something to ashamed about. What should be shameful is when you don't do your work well.

My resolutions: Love your househelp as if they are your family and pay them well too! Their service to you is 24/7 and their compassion for your family is really priceless!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ikea Stuff

It's kinda funny but one of the "highlights" of our Singapore trip last year was spending a whole morning at IKEA.

It was our second day in the country and it had suddenly rained. We were planning on hitting Orchard Road early but decided to just have breakfast and shop at the IKEA store. What a wonderful experience we had there.

Here are our most useful purchases:

These are their storage baskets they have named Korall Fisk and Korall Skolpadda. Right now, it's where we keep Zoe's stuff toys and other things. Very very nice.

I just love IKEA. Wish we could go back there when we start our house renovation to make way for Zoe's room. I've actually seen the store in Kamuning which re-sell IKEA stuff but I'm afraid their stocks might be limited. And of course, iba pa rin yung IKEA experience.


*photos downloaded from

Thursday, April 17, 2008

There has to be more to life than... so-called "career".

As a working mother with a very young kid, I often find myself stressed-out and pressured to maintain a level of success that is purely determined by the standards of my company. I sometimes live as if I work for my career and not for my family nor (more importantly) for God. Like me, do you sometimes feel like you're "drowning" in your own work?

I was having lunch with my architect friend this noon time and we found ourselves discussing alternatives we can incorporate in our lives. My friend was diagnosed with breast CA last last year, the very same time I found out that I was pregnant. We had lots of struggles, she and I, but we managed to cope somehow. She now eats and lives a healthy lifestyle while I strive to be a better mother each day.

What alternatives are good, you may say. I guess it's something like overcoming fatigue with having control over the things are managed. Change of attitudes, habits, thought patterns, etc. Applying the 80/20 principle by Italian economist Prieto can a good start.

"Life will be easier and more satisfying in the end when you have control of it, whether at work or at home."


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just a Quick One.

Aside from clear books, one of my favorite organizers are those big plastic containers available in the department stores. I started using these when I was preparing for my wedding. It was so convenient. We placed all my wedding stuffs there and rolled it away without difficulty on my big day.

Today, I find these very helpful in storing Zoe's books and other small toys. Less mess in the playroom!

Oops! So there's Mom's missing flip-flops! LOL.

Tip of the Week: Pictures

Here are some tips I got from organizing my digital and developed pictures last week:

1. LABEL, LABEL, LABEL - Don't you just regret it when you realize that you are looking at a picture and don't know when this was shot or where the place it was shot was? My own childhood pics were not labelled and I wanted so much to know the time and place of my pics. So moms out there, please make this a habit. It's so easy to write "Zoe at 10 1/2 months, Greenbelt, Makati". Your kids will be so grateful you did.

2. Buy lots of photo albums - When you finally get enough money to develop your digital pictures, you sometime don't have available albums to use! So keep your pictures safe, put them inside acid-free photo albums. I would buy lots and lots of those brown Family Heritage-types from Kodak developing stores. Not only were they durable but having similar items also looks good on the shelf. Having too many kinds of albums of all different shapes and sizes on the shelves can be such an eye-sore.

3. Learn a new program such as Picasa or Adobe Photoshop. This would greatly help in putting a little creativity in your photos. I've tried to learn these when I was preparing for my daughter's first birthday. Because of this, I was able to come up with DIY tarpaulin and invitations. I just wish I had more time to develop my skills on digital scrapbooking and more money to buy scrapbooking digital packs.

To end, here's a sample of labeling through Photoshop: ^_^

What I've Been Thinking About Lately

I recently finished an old book by Christiane Collange entitled "The Well-Organized Woman". I found this one amongst stacks of books at Book Sale. Although published a long time ago, many of her ideas are still fresh. Here she talks about how a woman is like a business-owner whose clients are her husband and kids and her business is her home. She talks a lot of common sense really. How I wish that I could be everything she talks about.

Some of the desirable traits of a well-organized woman: ease, elegance and economy. I think she said that it's only possible to have 2 of these things at the same time.

Many times, we long to have all three. Maybe that's why I get hang-ups when it comes to my home management skills. Now I know that you just can't have it all at once. We're just mere mortals. :-)

But sometimes I feel that Zoe's yaya has more ease than me when it comes to handling my daughter. Now that's a different story....Whaaaa!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


My husband and I have been canvassing for vacuum cleaners for several months now and still haven't gotten around buying one.

Though we have already found last Sunday a model that is okay and reasonably-priced, we decided to put off buying it for some unknown reason. I'm actually glad we didn't buy it yet 'coz the following day, we got a call from my in-laws telling us that my mother-in-law is sick and had to be taken to the hospital.

Good thing we didn't spent our savings on the vacuum cleaner. At least, we had extra money to pay for my mother-in-law's expenses in the hospital. God has His ways, ain't?

Do You Really Want? be organized, that is.

I have been asking myself that question for some days now. And my answer has always been yes. However, my life is so jam-packed now. Time and energy is so limited. Plus work has been very stressful that even adrenaline rush isn't enough to keep me moving.

I want to have control over the house and my stuffs but sadly, the reality of life sets in and I am not able to do everything I want all at the same time.

But at least, I already made a decision to live ORDER. It is up to me to live it in the big and small things in my life. With that and until there's a significant change in the way things are, I'll hold on to my decision.

Thank God

Thank God! --- for clear books and for 3-day weekends!

I'm so glad to have found the time last weekend to file all those insurance, warranty papers, receipts, recipes and all kinds of other knick-knacks inside my empty clear books. You see, I have this big paper bag at home which serves as a "dump bag" for all those papers that I want to file but got no time to do so. I have been waiting for the right time to be able to discard all the things that I don't need anymore and then file all those worth keeping. Good thing the government moved the local holiday from April 09 to April 07 which was the nearest Monday.

I so love clear books! With it, you just need to group the papers that go together, slip the documents in (no need to punch holes and use fasteners) and viola! So easy!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Smart Organizing

"Like is like a wild horse that wants to roam all over the track and, if possible, jump the rail and run amok without direction. Life veers toward complexity. Left to itself, your life will become more and more complicated, cluttered, and busy."

That's quoting from the opening statements of the Smart Organizing book by Sandra Felton.

How so so true. Many times, we run our lives with such lack of direction that we scatter pieces of ourselves along the way. Without a clear direction, our life becomes a big mess. What we need is to simplify our lives and take one step at a time to "clean up" and begin a life with a mission, with a cause.

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