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Posts in “Home Design”

Blogging tips when you have kids at home

Friday, March 29, 2019

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A lot of people wonder how I maintain a blog with three energetic kids. My Instagram is only a fraction of what I do every day. There are days when it’s easy (especially when the kids are napping!) but there are days that are extremely challenging. My kids are not always keen on taking a nap every day. All mothers can relate that we “borrow” time for ourselves when the kids are busy with other stuff – which is how I survived blogging all this time.

I’m going to share a few tips on how I’m able to balance motherhood and blogging to avoid getting overwhelmed. I hope this inspires others to keep creating despite our busy schedules!

Set a time for blogging.

Set a time to be online and stick to it. Being a mom blogger/influence demands a lot of time with my phone. With the countless e-mails and comments, it can get quite difficult. As much as possible, I allot time for online activity so it doesn’t take over my whole day. I try (sometimes haha ) to wake up early before the kids and/or do stuff during their naptime and quiet time. No matter how busy it is, I always make sure I have time for my family.

Get organized.

Use a planner, traditional or otherwise, to organize your schedule. I like doing some stuff the old-fashioned way, so pen and paper is still my go to organizer. This year, I started having a separate planner for personal activities and another for my online blogging duties.

Take a break.

I used to feel pressured about blogging that I felt I have to post at least twice a week. There’s a myriad of website online and staying afloat requires a lot of effort. The pressure ruins the focus and sometimes, the content feels unnatural and insincere. I learned that taking a break allows me to recharge and gather better ideas as opposed to forcing myself to come up with one. Taking a breather from it all is key to a healthy mind and body.

Write about what you love. 

Choose a topic that connects with your lifestyle. This way, it’s more authentic. It’s always nice to read about something that really comes from the heart. As a mom blogger, I enjoy content related to motherhood. However, I try not to involve my kids on my campaign all the time to set boundaries. My kids enjoy our shoot when it’s about arts, crafts, or activities that involves sports and eating :)

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My workstation is one of my favorite spots at home. It’s a place where I can create and explore. I’m very much into arts so I like dabbling on a few ideas every now and then. This is where I do all the planning, researching, and organizing. My desk is from Ameriwood Home Furniture. It’s the perfect size desk for my computer ko and a few of my favorite trinkets. I like the design especially the metal hairpin style legs that make it sturdy. It has a bottom drawer where I keep all my files and other office supplies.

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I hope a few of my tips helped! Are there any organizing hacks you’re currently doing?

I received this Landon desk as a free sample in exchange for an honest review.

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My House Cleaning Schedule with Printable To-Do list!

Friday, March 22, 2019

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While cleaning and organizing sounds impossible with small kids running around almost all the time, having a guide (aka to-do list) helps me keep tasks on track. Ticking off everything from my list, of course, doesn’t happen all the time. But I still like my chores and errands where I can see them. With all the stuff I need to do, a physical reminder is a great way to keep everything in check.

I divided my to-do list in three sections: daily, weekly, and monthly.

Daily is for stuff that needs to be done every single day like making the bed, wiping countertops, and so on. For weekly, I try to focus on vacuuming and mopping our kitchen floor every monday. Tuesday is for organizing and decluttering our closet. Wednesday is for bathroom cleaning. Thursday is for changing and washing towels and bedsheets, the rest of the laundry will be friday. Saturday is for checking my “monthly” to-do list and Sunday is just for church and family day.

Monthly is for the rest of the things I can do that doesn’t require immediate follow ups like cleaning and organizing the garage, washing my children’s stuffed toys, and maybe cleaning up my photo gallery 😉

my cleaning schedule to do list free printable (5)

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I love it when our home is extra neat. It gives us positive vibes – emotionally and mentally.

You can download and print this DIY to-do list if you’re having trouble remembering which tasks you should do first. You can also laminate them and use a dry erase marker so you can use it again.

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as checking an item off your to-do list after a hard day’s work. To-do lists are great for tracking your progress and boosting your confidence in your ability to complete important tasks everyday.

Are you a fan of to-do lists too?

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Playroom Makeover

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

 

playroom makeover

I decided to do a little decluttering at home starting with my kids’ room. I switched the playroom to be their room since I can easily check up on them from the kitchen. The most challenging part is sorting all of their toys and puzzles. I honestly think they have more stuff than me! There’s a tee-pee, toddler table, chairs, and a play kitchen that needed to be places strategically in their room. Not to mention the countless Lego we have at home!

Since I became a mother, I’ve been more inclined to use more colors when it comes to styling our house. I think having colorful and vivid stuff around kids can make them more feel imaginative and cheerful. I mix wooden toys and shelves for a bit of balance. I used an Ikea cube bookshelf to sort my kid’s clothes and since I also have the same furniture in their playroom. I put it on top of the other shelf to make more space in our living room. I decided to remove the sliding door as well of the closet to make it more roomy. Here’s what it looks like:

before playroom

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The sofa bed from Simpli Home added the final touch to the room. We now have an area where we can sit and relax while reading to the kids. Our playroom doubles as a guest room so the sofa is really a great addition that our guests can enjoy, too! A friend of mine mentioned that I should use a hanging rack container to sort the puzzles of my kids and it worked perfectly! Problem solved for the little pieces that always end up missing.

When I do a makeover, I try not to spend so much. It’s more fun creating your own. There are plenty of DIY project online that can easily be done at home. I did the bin cube storages for bookshelves so not everything is exposed. I did an abstract painting and a pillow cover with one of my favorite Bible verse for a finishing touch.

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(alphabet wooden puzzle / shelving unit / wooden train from etsy)

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(Kidkraft play kitchen gifted from my mother-in-law / Tee Pee / Washable and Kid-Friendly Rug / Toddler Table and Chairs)

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(Psalms of Praise Children’s Book)

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Although it can oftentimes seem frustrating and challenging, to redecorate a room, planning can be fun. With the right DIYs and technique, you can turn your snug room into a dreamy retreat. :)

Thanks to Simpli Home for sending the spencer sofa bed to help us complete our kid’s playroom!

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Mirror,Mirror On The Wall: Master Bedroom Makeover

Monday, November 12, 2018

 

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After a long and busy day with work and the kids, it’s always nice to come home to a calm and relaxing space. I take a lot of things in consideration when designing our home, from moving around and buying furniture. We’re five in the family and having a lot of space at home is number one on my list. While I was doing research on tips to maximize space, I’ve read that mirrors can double the appeal of any room through its reflection and that it can also increase the brightness of a room.

I’m so glad to have found this full-length mirror from Varaluz. It’s perfect for our room and for Brent and I, too, since we’re both really tall. The mirror can be mounted or you can simply lean it against the wall (we strapped to the wall for safety purposes). What I especially love about it is that it’s handcrafted and made from recycled materials from the Philippines. It’s sustainable furniture that helps the environment and 100% crafted with care by Filipinos from my home country. There’s so much waste that can be put to good use and Varaluz is one of the living proof that we can create something beautiful from recycled materials.

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(DIY plant holder tutorial / similar “blessed” pillow / similar world map canvas)

Our room is now brighter and more spacious. It certainly added a different feel to our space. It also helps us save a few pennies! We can keep the lights off during daytime. If you place it near light sources (lamps, windows, or chandeliers) it will reflect the light to the room.

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Do you have any mirrors placed in your home?

Thank you to Varaluz for partnering with Hello Island Mama.

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Living Room Makeover Reveal

Sunday, September 16, 2018

living room space with Havenly x Hello Island Mama

living room space with Havenly x Hello Island Mama 10

Our living room is not as spacious as our previous place.  It’s been difficult to fit our sofa, entertainment center, play area for kids, and my workstation into this room. A lot needs to be taken into consideration: color palette, furniture, and even light fixtures. So I decided to do some redecorating to make it more spacious and organized. I came across Havenly when I was looking for design ideas and tips to redecorate.

Havenly is an online interior design online service that helps you find a designer and create your new space while shopping for new home finds in one place. Havenly definitely helped me achieve the living room I wanted for our home.

BEFORE

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AFTER

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BEFORE

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AFTER

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The process was clean and simple. All I needed to do was take the survey to determine what style I was aiming for. I thoroughly enjoyed going over the images and picking favorites. This part is essential because it helps narrow down what you really want to do. You can even add Pinterest boards or other images close to the design you prefer. It was a bit difficult to choose which Interior Designer to work with at first, but Allison really captured my attention. She also likes wood and is not afraid to use color. I received great options for furniture and décor pieces that fit the budget. Allison really listened to what I wanted, and she even added a cute teepee that divided the space beautifully and created an area for my boys. Before this makeover, our living room was incredibly cluttered! We squeezed my workstation and the reading/playing area in such a quaint space. Once the design was finalized, I was more than ready to shop! What I love about Havenly is that you do all of this process in just one place, their website.

This is what my interior designer Allison created for the concept board which has a blue, green, and beige color scheme with rattan and natural woods.

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The new layout gave us more space where the children can play and move easily. Our living room looks much larger now! I enjoyed shopping through Havenly and I love that the brands I trust can be found on their website. I can’t stress enough how much I adore our redecorated space. Everything meshed together well from the color down to the décor pieces.

Are there any rooms in your home you want to decorate? What style do you prefer? I’m sharing $50 off a Full Room Design or $20 off a Mini Room Design!

Thank you so much to Havenly for partnering with Hello Island Mama!

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DIY Magnetic Door Curtain

Saturday, July 21, 2018

DIY Magnetic Door Curtain (1)

Today I decided to try to make my own “Magnetic Door Curtain”. Like what I shared in my post few weeks ago, we recently moved to a new home so there’s still some decorating left to do. I wanted to create a cover for our door that’s easy to remove. Back in the Philippines, we’re used to wooden doors instead of ones made of steel. You can just imagine my excitement when I found out I can stick magnets to our door!

Materials:

Fabric of your choice

Round magnets

Hot glue

Scissor

Iron

 

Instructions:

  1.     Measure the window on the door and added extra two inches all around where I’ll fold and place the magnets.

DIY Magnetic Door Curtain (3)

2. Use an iron to flatten folds on edges of the fabric.

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3.     Create two folds horizontally on the upper side of the fabric. Use an iron again to flatten folds.

DIY Magnetic Door Curtain (2)

4.     Turn the curtain around to hot glue the magnets in place inside the fabric. (Sewing is also an option but if you’re in a hurry, hot glue is fine.) DIY Magnetic Door Curtain (4)

This is how it should like when magnets are placed.

  1.     Let glue dry and hang to your door.

Easy peasy!

What I like about DIYs is that I can personalize and customize any project. For this one, I was free to choose which design and what kind of fabric I want to work with. You can use leftover fabric or curtains you don’t get to use anymore but want to tweak. I used small refrigerator magnets that I found at home but you can try these magnets that are available in Amazon for less than $10 for 50 pcs.. Some hardware stores also sell magnets of different sizes and sets. If you want a more bohemian or lively style, you can add different colors of tassels to the bottom of your curtain.

Are there any DIY you particularly like doing? Or if there are any DIY projects you want to see, let me know in the comments.

Happy crafting!

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DIY Hanging Plant Holder

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

DIY hanging planter tutorial

 

I love doing DIY projects at home. It’s a great way to relax, spend extra time, and be creative. It’s also the most ideal way to customize something to your own liking sans the expensive price tag. Today, I decided to make a DIY Hanging Air Plant Holder. It gives any room in the house life and the plants help improve air quality at the same time! It’s the perfect season to decorate your home with plants whether indoors or outdoors. Plants also help reduce stress and create a feeling of well-being. It’s a win-win for you and your home!

DIY Hanging Air Plant Holder

Materials:

Twine

Scissors

Hook

Your preferred air plant

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Instructions:

  1.     Cut four equal pieces of twine. Adjust depending on your desired length. Take a piece of the twine that’s the length of your planter and multiply by two and the width of your planter.
  2.     Repeat three times.
  3.     Fold twine in half. Tie a knot at the top of the fold.
  4.     Hang on a hook or lay flat then take two cords and tie a knot to create four separate knots. Distance should all be the same from the top.
  5.     Take two adjacent knots and one cord from each knots and tie them together. Make four knots more. All knots should be at the same level.
  6.     You can slide beads or stones in between knots to give it more flair or leave as is for a dainty and minimalist feel.
  7.     Make sure your pot fits properly before step 8.
  8.     Make final knot below the pot.
  9.     Hang anywhere in the house and display.

That’s it! Very easy to make and does not cost a lot. It’s always a challenge to do DIY projects but once you get the hang of it, you’re left wanting to create more. But I also shared some ready to buy hanging planters below if you’d like to check it out.

 

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What else do you want to make for our next DIY? Let me know in the comments!

 

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DIY cute container for the pantry with FREE printable

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

DIY container for pantry FREE printables name tags 10

DIY container for pantry FREE printables name tags (5)

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)

DIY container for pantry FREE printables name tags (6)

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

DIY container for pantry FREE printables name tags (8)

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.

DIY container for pantry FREE printables name tags (1)

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.

DIY container for pantry FREE printables name tags (7)

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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Welcome to Hello Island Mama! I love to share about motherhood, makeup, DIYs, home styling and faith. Based in Houston, Texas. Originally from Philippines. Thank you for your time to read and don't forget to subscribe above! - Em

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

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