Decluttering & Organizing · Mrs. Monologues

Our Real Living Makeover

If you read this post last month, I hope I inspired you to join the makeover contest of Real Living. A lot of people tell me I am very lucky when it comes to contests. In a way, that may be true. What I want to think is that I win because I try. Hard. I don’t have many desires but when I want something, I commit. For this makeover contest, I read the stories of past winners.  I took photos of my house and had the pictures developed. I wrote and rewrote and rewrote my entry. And then, I commuted from Paranaque to Ortigas to handcarry my entry to Summit Media. When I learned that our house was shortlisted, I planned for the ocular inspection by rehearsing how to “sell” our house and by baking chocolate chip cookies in the morning (which RL team was not able to taste because they came early). Now, was I really just lucky? Continue reading “Our Real Living Makeover”

Mrs. Monologues

Before and After: Toilet Ring



One of the things that I wanted to tackle during my medical leave was the awful toilet ring that haunted me for months. Had I posted this months earlier, I would have remembered what exactly we did, the order, how long we let products sit. But in case it might help, here are the products that we used on the toilet bowl until we finally erased the ring

1. Coke. Let sit overnight. I think we did this twice.

2. Lemonade juice powder. I read somewhere that the acids of citrus drinks can loosen grime

3. Oxalyc crystals. If they can remove rust on our clothes, maybe they’d work on the toilet too

4. Baking soda. We all know that baking soda has magic cleaning powers. For a month now, I stopped using shampoo and started using baking soda to clean my hair and scalp. Girl scout promise, my hair fall problem vanished just after one washing.

I really wanted to use natural and non-conventional product but I later on surrendered and used commercial cleansers because we were still not achieving the whiteness that I wanted. Continue reading “Before and After: Toilet Ring”

1001 Things To Do · Aki's Preschool Years · Arts and Crafts · Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues

Aki’s Library and Study Area {Part I}

Almost weekend! Yey!

With more than 200 likes, this is my most liked photo in Facebook for the year. Continue reading “Aki’s Library and Study Area {Part I}”

Aki's Preschool Years · Arts and Crafts · Memoirs of a Mummy

Aki’s Library and Study Area

Now that Aki is in the big school, one of my top priorities is instilling good study habits. He has assignments almost everyday. He has quizzes at least 2 times a week. He needs to learn to set aside time for studying. This is easier said than done if you live in a house full of distractions. So, starting June, I slowly transformed his play area into a study area. If I were a kid, it would take more than will power to write my name 8x if my study table is surrounded with toys.  I moved all the play things near our sofa, semi hidden by the main door. Now, the corner under the stairs look like this Continue reading “Aki’s Library and Study Area”

Maqui's Me Time · Mrs. Monologues · Vanity Project

Mid-Year Organizing Resolutions

After 6 months of on-off spring cleaning, we are finally having our much awaited garage sale this weekend. I can’t wait to find new owners for our excess blessings. We are also visiting an orphanage next month. I hope the 13 kids with ages 2-10 will love Aki’s old toys. If you have preloved blankets, school bags, toys or anything you want to share, just drop me a note in the comment box. I’d be more than willing to meet up with you to get the items. Or maybe we can go to the orphanage together:) Do I sense a playdate? Paging my fellow playdate organizers Maggie and Sha

Anyhoo, today I’d like to share that I have implemented 3 systems to  manage the clutter and stress in our house. These are my mid-year OC resolutions which I may or may not continue. Haha

First, I tackled the bills bills bills. Don’t you just hate them? Because we didn’t have a filing system before, I had to deal with 2 paper bags full of  statements of account, some dating back to 2011.  I read somewhere that for bills, we just have to keep them for one year. I sorted the bills based on date. Those issued more than a year ago were burned. Sorry, Mother Nature. This will be the one and only time that  we will choose protection from identity theft over you. Promise. Next time, we maybe will buy a shredder.

Anyways, I sorted the bills per institution. I then sorted each pile chronologically. The idea is that every time we add a new bill to the pile, we have to get rid of the oldest bill which is at the bottom. Also, we put all the sorted bills in an open box beside our closet, where it can haunt us everyday.


Then I tackled my overwhelming reading materials. Many times have I seen a recipe that calls for a special ingredient. Once I have that special ingredient, I will put in my pantry shelf where it will rest in peace until months after its expiration date when I rediscover it again. Or sometimes, I do get to use 5 tablespoons of hoisin sauce in that Chinese dish that I wanted to try but whatever happened to the rest of the bottle, I will never know.

So here is what I did. I collected all the magazines and cookbooks that I want to read or reread.When I see a recipe that I want to try, I take a picture of it. After reading the magazine, I mark it with a black dot to remind me that I am done with that magazine. As for the pictures, they will be organized per type in a folder in my laptop with the help of an Excel file or Google document……. someday. Haha. Seriously, the file was not as easy as I thought. I use a camera to take pictures which means I need to transfer the picture from the SD card to the laptop. Then, I need to sort pictures into the recipe folders and update the file. If there are other things that you want to do, a special recipe file is the last thing you want. And based on experience, the more complicated a system is, the more likely that it will not be followed.  Hopefully, my new phone (Thanks, Globe!) which I should get anytime soon, comes with features that will help me organize pictures.

Lastly, it was my ever cluttered bags turn for an OC fix. I got this tip from Sieggy. I grouped the usual contents to two groups. The bigger pouch has my wallet, office ID, keys, eco bag, foldable fan, feminine pads and alcohol. The smaller leather pouch, which I got from The Soshal Network (Thank you TSN!), has my make up arsenal.Whenever I need to change bags, I just transfer my pouches. Why didn’t I think of this before???



Continue reading “Mid-Year Organizing Resolutions”

Mrs. Monologues · weaning

In other kitchen news….

Some things that I am loving in my kitchen/dining area

Oolong tea leaves. We make tea at least twice a day.
There is no more space in my bookshelf for my cookbook collection so I transferred the books to the hangging shelves in the kitchen.


Most of these books are from, can you guess , can you guess, Booksale of course! Some books, I got for as low as 10 pesosesoses.

My napkin holder from Ikea. Doesn’t it look like it belongs to some modern art museum? Thanks, Mae for this gift!
Homemade fruit jams by Ate Doring
Continue reading “In other kitchen news….”

1001 Things To Do

Fly Fly Green Butterfly


I am so happy to share that we have discovered new butterflies in our garden.

Missed our posts on our save-the-caterpillars project last year? Click here to back read.

Technically, the new butterflies/caterpillars are not in our garden because the host plant , the acapulco is right in the border of our property and that of our neighbor. The neighbors do not seem to care about the plant so I am claiming it to be ours. Manang Lydia said in Samar, acapulco is considered a weed but I think it is to pretty to chop down.


After diligent observation for about 2 months, we now have a better understanding of the life cycle. I still have yet to find out what kind of butterfly this is so Bostjan, if you are reading this, feel free to jump in and share your expertise with us again.

Remember this Vet for A Day post? Aki nurtured an injured butterfly back to health. It was the first time for us to see a green butterfly in our garden. We never saw one again until late last year. While opening the gate, I saw a green butterfly in labor. I know how a butterfly in labor looks like because I have seen a lot of other butterflies lay eggs in our calamansi plant. They flap their wings faster. They don’t care if your face is 2 inches away which is unusual because normal butterflies will fly away as soon as they sense that you are coming. The eggs come out of the tail.

My dear one playing with his new pets.


He even came up with a caterpillar race for them similar to the one he made for the chubby pets from last year.
Let’s look at the life cycle, shall we?
Continue reading “Fly Fly Green Butterfly”

1001 Things To Do · Mrs. Monologues

Do you also have an ant problem?

I would like to inform all the wives out there that there is hope. There is hope against our fight against ants. The ants who try to invade our home are little devils, I tell yah. I so hate it when I see Aki covered with bites. How dare they….They even try to get their share of our steamed rice. Put food on the table and they will be there in a minute or two. I thought ants only like sweet foods but no, they eat everything. We have to put the serving plate over a bowl of water to keep those ants away. Some of our ants are even suicidal. We have this food cover, a little plastic dome that we use to keep flies from infesting our food. Normally, we would put the serving plates or bowls over a shallow plate of water and then cover the whole thing with the food cover. Those nasty ants would climb the cover and skydive just to reach the food. Small but terrible. Well I am terrible-r than you, nasty ants! I show no mercy especially when someone or something tries to hurt my family.

Thanks to my favorite neighbor, my sister-in-law Mae, we discovered this product.


The idea here is that the ants will happy eat the gel and bring it to their queen. It will be too late when they all discover that the yummy gel they ate is actually poison. Bwahahahaha *evil laugh*

Just look for the ant trail. In our case, ant trailS.


Just looking at this pic makes me angry!


Put a drop or two near their exit points and watch the ants scamper to their death.


Bwahahahahahahahahahaha Continue reading “Do you also have an ant problem?”

Maqui's Me Time · Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues

The sun will come out

I feel guilty about my post last night. I sounded like a silly working mommy complaining about money and commuting when parts of Metro Manila are submerged in water. It was only this morning when Franco turned on the TV did I realize the gravity of the flood problem. When I was still a college student in UP Diliman, the only flood prone areas that I know were UST and Marikina. Now, when you watch the news you see water everywhere. How can an expressway be flooded?

To relieve my guilt, I am posting the things I am thankful for today:

1. My family is safe and we are together. I would be worried sick if I was stuck in the office or, worse, in traffic.

2. We had our door fixed last weekend. The problem with our front door is that rainwater goes inside the house when the winds are strong thru the space between the door and our floor. Mang Totong painted the door with emulsion/emulsifier/emul-something paint that repels water. We also installed a strip of rubber to the door to fill the gap.  We are seriously considering extending the canopy but we are still checking our options.  A cement canopy would cost us 23-25K . Polycarbonate and stainless steele canopies cost even more. Anyhoo, I am just thankful that I am less paranoid now about our living room getting all wet.

3. I just replenished our supplies last weekend.  I am thankful for the food stored in our refrigerator and in our pantry. Continue reading “The sun will come out”