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Posts in “Home Design”

DIY cute container for the pantry with FREE printable

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

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As much as I like the extra space where we live in Galveston, we have limited storage for our groceries. I decided to start cleaning up and organizing our cabinets for groceries. I used a DIY container (similar to the container for our laundry room) to hold coffee, baking ingredients, and sugar. The cool part about these homemade containers is that you can put whatever you want in it. Plus, you can label them with the FREE printable name tags, which you can download below! Keep scrolling for a tutorial on how to create this simple container option for your kitchen.

Materials:

Boxes

Scissors

Fabric of your choice

Twine

Pencil

Hot Glue

Cutter

FREE Printable (download here)

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I used small boxes from Target, but you may use larger ones depending on your pantry needs.

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Remove all the sleeves from the box and start to cover it with fabric, using hot glue. Make sure the fabric fits well before you glue it onto the box. DIY container for pantry FREE printables name tags (4)

I also added a separate, folded fabric on the front of the box’s top edge. It adds some simple style.

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For the name tags, I made them from leftover cardboards (probably a little bigger than a business card). I made rectangular cutouts with spaces in the center. I then glued some big twine rope around the edges to decorate it.

DIY container for pantry FREE printables name tags (3) Again, simply download these FREE printable name tags. I also shared other tags that say things like: Asian food, sweets, seasonings, crackers, etc. to use for your own pantry.

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Here are the before and after images of our pantry. If you liked this, you may also want to check out my DIY coffee-stained serving tray tutorial.

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Kid’s play area + machine-washable rug

Sunday, March 4, 2018

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How sweet to watch them play together! I really love this stage that my youngest son is in now. He’s able to sit on his own and watch his Kuyas (Tagalog for big brother) while playing or browsing through books :) Now that the weather is not gloomy and super cold anymore, we are enjoying our play area with bright sunshine. This is where we mostly read stories, learn some Tagalog words from Filipino children’s books, play with legos and have other fun activities! Lorena Canals sent us this gorgeous rug to enjoy in the kids’ play area. One thing that makes me excited to use this is that it is machine washable! If you have three boys, you’ll probably need a rug that is easy to throw in the washing machine. You’ll also need one that doesn’t worry you about stains, dirt, and spit up from the baby. 😉 This one rug checks off all those criteria. Who else can relate??

The one we have for our kids’ room is called “Bereber Beige”. It is simple and super soft, whether for your kids’ room or for the living room.  There is also this runway rug with a similar print for use in the kitchen or hallway.

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The rug is 100% super soft cotton, which is so nice for my baby to lay down in, especially for his tummy time. Lorena Canals rugs also use natural dyes, so there is no irritation for babies and kids like mine with sensitive skin. kids play area machine washable lorena canals rug (8)

Here are some of my favorite pics from their site that you should check it out for your home. There is also a wide selection of cushions with unique and cute designs, blankets of varying colors and shapes,  stylish baskets to hold items like magazines, scarves, toys, and wall decor! Be sure to check out their website to browse these super cute pieces and for inspiring images to see!

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Tropical Green

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Azteca Natural

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Round ABC

I think this is attractive for a kid’s room. I like its simplicity and how it’s educational at the same time.

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Hippy Mint

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Do you love to use machine-washable rugs at home?

Don’t forget to follow me and Lorena Canals on Instagram!

 

This post is partnership with Lorena Canals Rugs. All opinions are honest and my own.

 

 

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When You Don’t Feel Thankful

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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photo source @nellyfriedrel

Most days, I feel thankful and appreciate my life, as well as the things and people around me. But I’ll be honest, there are days where I compare myself to others and find myself full of complaints, frustration, and disappointment. We are now studying Romans at Bible Study Fellowship and I read a verse this week from Romans 10:11. It says, “Anyone who believes in Him will never be disappointed”. It lit my eyes up this week and showed me that no matter how we feel, the important thing is to trust Him and be thankful for what plans He has for our lives. It might not always be the way we want things, but it’s part of His plan for us. To keep myself from forgetting some of the things I am thankful and appreciative for, I made notes for myself. Here they are:

  • Having more time to see my kids as they grow up, and being able to be a stay-at-home mom with them.
  • Having helpful and generous parent-in-laws who help us.
  • Having good health insurance for our family.
  • Having enough money to buy our groceries every week.
  • Having a husband who helps out with the kids after a long and stressful day at work.
  • Having my sister, mom, and brother who take time for my kids by talking and entertaining them in video calls, even though they are thousands of miles away.
  • Having friends who encourage me in spirituality and motherhood.

How about you? What are the things you can forget to be thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Our shared room with baby + organic baby mattress

Sunday, October 22, 2017

This post is sponsored by My Green Mattress, but all opinions are honest and my own. shared room with baby organic crib mattress (8) shared room with baby organic crib mattress (3) shared room with baby organic crib mattress (4)

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Brent and I always wanted to sleep close to the new baby, before he turned one year old. Our first two sons slept in a bassinet as babies, during the first few weeks after I gave birth to them. I found it easier to get up and feed them, most especially when they were still waking up at night frequently. When I gave birth to my third son, I really didn’t expect that he would be the biggest baby I have ever had. He weighed ten pounds at birth! See my birth story here. Just imagine how much he weighs now, after a couple of months… He’s a big baby indeed, and cute!

We are thankful to have found a place in Galveston that has much more space for us. It has bigger rooms that work perfectly for our shared room with a baby crib. We are using an Emily Natural Crib Mattress from My Green Mattress for our son’s crib, which fits perfectly. I wish I knew about this baby crib mattress back when my two eldest boys were babies. They have sensitive skin and one of them has eczema and allergies, so this would have been great. My Green Mattress is a family business located in LaGrange, Illinois. They use organic cotton and 100% natural eco-wool quilted covers. You can tell that the quality of this mattress is astounding since it is hand-crafted. I like how this company prioritizes offering all-natural mattresses that are non-toxic, soft, and comfortable for babies.

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I can’t wait for our little son to use this mattress, all the way until we transform his crib into a toddler bed! shared room with baby organic crib mattress (11)

Are you also sharing your room with the baby? How does your little one sleep?

 

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My Workspace + DIY Post-It Board

Sunday, October 8, 2017

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I made an easy and affordable DIY Post-it board for my new workspace. Since we just moved here last month, I only now got a chance to organize and clean this area. This is something that I’ve been excited to do. The area serves as my quiet place to unwind when all the boys are napping. I put less stuff on the shelf so it doesn’t look cluttered. On it, you can find a couple of frames, the Bible, and a gift from a friend. I decided to add a couple of items to my workspace that are inspired by my home country: the Philippines. These items include a Philippine flag and a Bingo container, which my siblings, cousins, and I played with when we were young. If you have noticed, the DIY leaf painting on the wall has been moved a couple of times.  You may have previously seen it in the bathroom or master bedroom. I think this painting will stay awhile in my work station, since it symbolizes my blog’s logo. I love how the Post-It board helps me with important reminders, so I don’t forget about things. Even though I have my own planner, I always find it easy to remember things if I write them down on a Post-It and stick it up somewhere. If you’d like to create this kind of Post-It board, here are the materials and steps. So easy!

  • Cardboard frame (less than $2 from IKEA)
  • Twine
  • Glue stick and glue gun
  • Scissor
  • standard paper

Start by gluing the twine in layers around the cardboard frame. I ended up with about 4 layers of twine. When you get to that layer, simply cut the excess twine off.Once you’ve done this, you can cut out more pieces of twine and glue them to the corners to make corners for the frame. Then, use a piece of standard white paper (or any type of design that you’d like to use) as the frame’s background. That’s it! You have a simple, easy, and affordable Post-It board. You can also use a dry erase marker if you’d like to write directly on the board instead of using Post-Its. You could also use both ways!

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Chair from a garage sale of Impact Church. They have an annual garage sale every March, so follow their page for announcements! work-space-diy-post-it-board (1)

Do you find it more effective to put your reminders on Post-Its, in a planner, or a cellphone calendar?

 

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Minimal Bathroom Summer Refresh (+ Win $1000 or $250 Target Gift Card!)

Monday, June 26, 2017

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MegaSummerRefresh #CollectiveBias

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Our guest bathroom is used mostly by the kids, and has been decorated with them in mind. However, since it’s summer, visitors like family and friends are visiting more often, and I wanted to give our guest bathroom a more clean, adult look (sorry kids!).. I found these lovely items at Target, where Quilted Northern offered an exciting and fun challenge for a bathroom refresh. I’m pretty excited to join this challenge to transform our guest bathroom into a clean, minimal, and classy look which requires only few simple steps!

 

WINDOW PANELS

First, I focused on changing the shower curtain. I used window panels to give an airy, spacious illusion in the bath. This not only gives a nice, clean  style to the bathroom, but it also hides my kids’ toys and the clear shower curtain in back of the window panels, keeping the shower area clean and simple.

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FLOATING SHELF

Extend this clean and simple look to the walls  by adding a floating shelf. This is a striking way to add dimension and color to the wall! Since I wanted the guest bathroom to look clean and minimal, I chose a small, sturdy white finish floating shelf.

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ADD A LOVELY PLANT

Target offers some beautiful artificial plants – which means no watering required! I found this faux succulent plant in a muted gray square cement pot, which added a lovely greenery look to the bathroom. I also added Quilted Northern® Mega Rolls on top of the toilet bowl for simple storage. Even though we won’t change the tissue roll often (Quilted Northern Mega Rolls have 4 regular rolls in one) the stack of tissue adds a richer, fuller feeling to the bathroom!

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By the way, you can save 10% off Quilted Northern Mega Toilet Paper on Cartwheel from 6/20- 7/8, and they also offer $5 Target Gift Card when you buy 3 packs of Quilted Northern Mega Toilet Paper. This deal is only available from June 6 to June 24 only, so be sure to check it out!

Here’s a before and after of our guest bathroom, which obviously been hanging out with the little ones. If you are wondering what’s that green bucket is, we call it a “Tabo” in Tagalog (Filipino). It’s what my mom gave to my kids to use for taking bath, as most Filipino kids use a big bucket of water and tabo, rather than a bathtub, to bathe 😉

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I know most of you love winning prizes! Good news! Vote on your favorite Quilted Northern character-inspired bathroom [Daddy Gator, Little Miss Puffy Tail, or Sir Froggy] for a chance to win a $1,000 Grand Prize or a $250 Target GiftCard! Sweepstakes run from 6/19-8/1.

#MegaSummerRefresh #Sweepstakes (6/19 to 7/31)

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I hope this post inspires you to give a little refresh to your bath this summer! Any tips on how you make your bathroom look clean and nice for visitors?

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Living Room: DIY Painting For A Blank Wall

Friday, May 26, 2017

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It’s been almost a year now since we moved into our apartment. I realized it was time to do something with the blank wall behind our couch, to make our living space more inviting. I had thought of two options on how to add decors to the wall: frames or a painting that I would make. My husband surprised me with an art store gift card for my birthday last month, and I thought this would be the perfect time to do something that I enjoy. That’s why I chose to make a painting for our living room wall.

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I used two pieces of canvas for this wall art. Since I’m pregnant and I painted inside the house, where my children are always present, I chose to use acrylic paint over oil. It doesn’t smell and it dries easily. living-room-diy-painting-blank-wall-6

There are different styles of painting and I chose an abstract style inspired by the ocean’s blues and whites. My husband loves going to the beach and the color blue, so I tried to get inspiration from there. When it comes to using acrylic paint on a big surface like this canvas, I like to have a spray bottle of water beside me. This makes it easy to spray some water on my palette (or even directly onto the canvas) to create smoother brush strokes with the paint. Art sponges and palette knives are great tools as well to create texture on the canvas.

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How do you style your living room wall? Happy weekend!

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Bathroom Update on a $20 Budget

Monday, April 3, 2017

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When we moved back to Houston last year, we were excited to move into our new apartment with our kids. The first thing that I fell in love with at our new place was the bathroom. Overall, our new apartment is more spacious than our apartment in LA, has a big tub, and has a walk-in closet too. Texas has bigger spaces, but guess what, it has lower costs of living too, especially compared to LA. You can see my post about our bathroom makeover here, where I added curtains and some plants too. This time, I decided to remove the plants and add artwork I made, inspired by a coconut tree. I bought this affordable poster frame (around $15) a few months ago, but never had time to start painting. I finally found some time to paint during my kids’ bedtime. It’s a good way to relax after a long day. I used watercolor for this painting which i was actually hesitant to use, as it had been a long time since I last use that medium. But hey, it turned out okay, right?  I guess my artist friends will be like, “Umm, you need more blending.” Haha

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I went to one of the biggest garage sales in Houston held by Impact Church of Christ last month. That’s where I got this native basket that I turned into magazine container. What was the price? Only $2!! This is what I always love about going to this garage sale of Impact Church, I always find cool stuff in a very affordable cost. You can find stuff for babies and kids, furnitures, kitchenwares (found gorgeous pieces!) and many more. You should definitely won’t miss this garage sale that happens every year (around March). Better follow them in Facebook to get updated for upcoming events. And guess what, all the money you spent will be 100% donated to this church who helps people who are less fortunate. bathroom-update-on-a-budget (5)

Here’s a haggard photo of me and my fresh artwork made by time and effort of a mom 😉

Happy weekday to all! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram :-)

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Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, photography, motherhood and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of three boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Based in Houston, Texas. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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