Posts in “Lifestyle”

Cute Organizer Planner 2017

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


This coming weekend, we’re going to be welcoming the year 2017! Do you like to have a cute organizer planner for 2017? Do you like organizing your day and life with planners? I sure do! Traditional planners are effective for me to have throughout the year as I use them for: scheduling, planning, writing inspiring verses, making to-do lists, and to write out thoughts (like about motherhood). My husband has installed a planner and to-do list apps on my phone many times, but I could never get into using them. I’m still more on the traditional side where I prefer to write and turn pages. 😉 Over the past few days, I have been searching for a good planner to use for next year. I wanted thought to share some of the ones that caught my eye.

  1. Hidden Greenery Planner
  2. Kate Spade Pink Diary
  3. Floral Life Planner (sold out, but you may try their other planner)
  4. 2017 Crosshatch Planner
  5. Anthropologie Chambray 2017 Planner
  6. Floral WaterColor Planner With Scripture
  7. Anthropologie Bonheur 2017 Planner


Which one caught your eye? I think I like #7, simple and classy :-)


Simple Bathroom Makeover + Makeup Organizing

Saturday, September 24, 2016


I finally had the time to organize our bathroom last week, since we moved back to Houston and got our own apartment. If you follow me on Snapchat and on Instagram, you might have seen how I used window curtains for exterior shower curtains. I love how it turned out! It looks great and adds beauty to the bathroom. Another nice touch was adding some plants to make the bathroom feel relaxing and calm. I also love these wooden containers from my mom, made in my hometown in the Philippines. These kinds of containers will be on my shopping list the next time I go back there. They are so beautiful and well-made!


I love this round, wood container which I use for cotton balls bathroom-makeover-makeup-organizing-5


A wooden coaster for my rings, so I don’t misplace them.


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My husband loves how this curtain turned out too. It will also help during the cold season, keeping the cool air from getting into the shower. One issue that I encountered was finding longer shower curtains for the inside. Most stores only offered standard sizes, which were too short for our shower. However, I was able to come up with my own solution. I hand-sewed a piece of another shower curtain onto the existing one. This extended the length to help keep water from splashing outside. Our shower has two rods for holding shower curtains: one for the outside, and one for the inside. I moved the inside rod holding the clear shower curtain higher up, so that it wouldn’t be visible.  This helped make it look more aesthetically pleasing on the outside. You can see the changes in the before and after pics below.


Here are similar items you might like to check out for your bathroom. :-)

Window Curtain

Shower Curtain Rod

Soft Bathroom Rug

Fern Plants In Burlap Planters

3- Opening Rope Collage Frame

Oval Wood Tray With Copper Handle

Palm Tifton Canister

Cactus Mercury Glass Jar With Rope Trim

Wood Placemat

Wood Coaster

Any tips on how you organize your bathroom simply and make it beautiful?


An Emergency Diaper Kit For The Car

Monday, September 12, 2016

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


As the mother of a toddler and an infant, I’ve learned to be ready with what I need to bring for my kids in our diaper bag. This includes items to pack for feeding, diapering, and extra clothing. But of course, there are days that I feel sleep deprived and forgetful; on other days, there are unexpected outdoor activities or restaurant visits.  No matter how well I’ve prepared, I sometimes forget to bring things like extra diapers. Today, I’m excited to team up with Huggies and Costco  to show you a step-by-step on how I packed an emergency diaper kit for my car. This is a life-saver and is super helpful for parents like me! Here’s how I created mine – it only takes 2 steps!

emergency-diaper-kit-for-the-car-6 1. Use a container that has a few inserts to help with organizing. This is an affordable bathroom shower container I used to organize the stuff I need for the car. It has a handle that is easy to carry if I need to move it around.


2. Pack what your child needs. As a mom of a toddler and infant, here are the things I put in my emergency diaper kit for my car:


  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Ready-to-go Bag
  • Extra Bag
  • Extra Clothes
  • Bib
  • Snacks (these get eaten very quickly!)
  • Toy and a book
  • Plastic Bags
  • Diaper Cream
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Moisturizer
  • Teething Toy

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Parent tip: Have a ready-to-go diaper bag in the emergency diaper kit which can be easily taken with you when needed. Fill it with only the basic things you need: a diaper, wipes inside a small ziplock, and a grocery bag for dirty diapers or clothes. You can also use a large ziplock as the bag to carry everything in.



My eldest son, who is two years old, knows how to use the potty now, so I pack extra briefs and bottoms. However, we still have him wear diapers during bedtime and long drives since he can fall asleep in his carseat. So having extra diapers inside the car is a must! Our youngest son, who just turned one year old, is wearing a size 5 diaper! I know, what a big boy! He has been much more active since he started to crawl, walk, and climb. I love how Huggies Little Movers Plus diapers (Size 5) absorb so well, protecting my son from any leaking. I used to use  a different diaper brand in size 6 for him for bedtime since he often leaks at night. However, since using Little Movers Plus diapers in size 5, I have not had to wake up and change his diaper due to leaking. The Huggies Little Movers Plus diaper also has comfortable grip straps, a perfect fit for on-the-go movers like him. These Plus diapers are only available at Costco.



Make sure to check out these discounts with free shipping below.

Little Snugglers Plus (Sizes 1 & 2) – regularly $37.49, $31.49 after $6 discount and free shipping. (Offer valid 9/1 to 9/25)

Little Movers Plus (Size 3, 4, 5, & 6) – regularly $42.99, $36.99 after $6 discount and free shipping (Offer valid 9/1 to 9/25)

Also, Little Snugglers Plus diapers are now available in size Newborn starting at $29.99. You may purchase them in select warehouses and online at




Are there any items you always forget to pack for your child that you need inside your car?



Living Room Ideas to Inspire You

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Living room ideas for your home. Get inspiration on how to decorate your own space.


Interior decorating is something I would love to learn more about, especially choosing the right color palette for furnitures and accessories. I always like the feeling of entering a living room that is inviting, clean-looking, and functional. Brent and I just moved into our apartment here in Houston, so I’ve been looking for inspiration on how to decorate it. We’re looking for the right kind of furniture and style to use for our space, while being kid-friendly. We are planning to furnish our space little by little, to accommodate our time and budget. However, this compilation of ideas is helping us think, plan and get creative with the type of atmosphere we want for our home. Here are some living room design ideas I’ve been inspired by, to browse. Enjoy!


Photo Source

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Add with Boho Pillows


Teepee Tent for the kids! Photo Source


Black and White Modern Style + Plants


Live like in Villa


I think Brent would love that door!


Beach life feel. I think this is one of my favorites even it’s not actually a living room (but a master bedroom).


Country Style


Another beach life feel

What kind of style or vibe would you like for your living room? Minimalist, tropical, country, shabby chic? Comment and let me know. I always enjoy hearing your thoughts and ideas.!


Embracing Summer With Kids

Sunday, August 21, 2016

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Summer is almost over! We’ve been experiencing rain these past few days. Before I know it, it will be cold again! Even though summers in Texas are hot, we embrace them. We try to do some fun activities outside the house, to entertain my two little munchkins. Especially if we don’t have playdates with other moms and kids, these are a must. I wanted to share the simple ways we enjoy summer, without needing to drive.



I always try to bring my kids outside after breakfast to see the morning sunshine. Whether walking around the neighborhood, playing on the grass, going for a stroll, or biking I want them to go outdoors. I think it is healthy for them to go out at least twice a day to get fresh air and see nature. It is not quite as hot before 10AM, so that’s the perfect time to enjoy the morning sunshine with kids.


My kids love to play in the water and get wet! Aside from bringing them to splash pads, I usually let them swim and play in the front yard before their afternoon nap. It’s a win-win because they have fun and can use up all their energy. This causes them to sleep longer (Mama’s Goal!). We used  this pool and put in under a tree for some shade. This pool is affordable and durable. It’s been almost 2 years now since we bought it, and it still looks great. You can also put something like this  Little Tikes First Slide to make this activity more fun!


Since I became a parent, I was surprised at how nature offers a lot of entertaining toys for my two kids. They love picking up rocks, acorns, small branches, and are curious about the ants etc. Recently, their favorite activity, especially my toddler’s, has been digging holes. We have been reading a book called Sam and Dave Dig a Hole,and it’s funny to hear from my eldest son about how he wants to find the diamond underground… Well good luck, kid.

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similar One-piece Swimsuit

Any favorite outdoor summer activities with your kid/s that you will miss this coming cold season?


Feels Like Home: Moving Back to Houston

Monday, August 15, 2016

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Houston is the first place I lived when I moved to the United States. It was where I met new friends, and learned how to drive, not to be shy, and say, “Hi” to people passing by on the street. I made some improvements with my English too. For example, instead of saying, “Turn off the lights” I used to say “Brent, can you close the lights?” He would tease me and reply with, “It’s not a window.” Houston has been a big part of my adjustment with culture, language and style of living. When it came to culture shock, I had so many different experiences with it. I was shocked by things like the large food servings, big fast food drink cups, unlimited refills, etc. I saw other things that amazed me as well, things which are not a big deal for others, like the garbage disposal! I also remember my first year in Houston, I tried to make friends with our neighbors. I knocked on their door and the couple that lived there were so confused when I handed them some dessert. I don’t know if it’s uncommon in the U.S., but in the Philippines it’s common to bring food over to someone who has just moved into the neighborhood. It’s a friendly gesture and way of welcoming them. 


A couple weeks ago, we came down to Houston to check out possible places to live, and I’m so thankful that we found one that we like! Brent and I are SO excited that we are finally moving back there in the next few weeks. Due to Brent’s grad school, internship, and post-doctoral fellowship, we have been moving a lot! We’ve gone from Houston to LA, to Dallas, and now back to Houston again. I think we’re experts with packing our stuff now. 😉 Going back to Houston and having our own place to live with our children, are one of the things that we have been praying about for the past year. Now, God has answered those prayers!


Here are a few photos I snapped during our trip. We just celebrated our 5th year anniversary! I praise God for teaching us a lot of life lessons concerning love, understanding, and patience. What we’ve learned has helped make our relationship stronger, with unity and hope as a married couple.




I found this J.Crew dress and Talbots handbag in thrift store. But here are other design items to buy for DRESS and HANDBAG :)


5 years of marriage!


P.S. Hello Houston makeup clients, Em Smith makeup artistry is back! For bookings or inquiries, contact me :-)


Introducing: Hello Island Mama (+GIVEAWAY for 2!)

Monday, August 1, 2016


For the past few months, I’ve been thinking of changing my blog’s name, as well as its domain name. As a makeup artist, this site served as my makeup portfolio for the past 5 years. However, after becoming a stay-at-home mom with my 2 little boys, I became more active and excited with blogging. It has kept me connected with the art and makeup fields. It delights me how blogging allows me to continue to use the skills I have acquired from Fine Arts college. Of course, it allows me to use the talents that God gave me too! I’m the type of person who likes to try different hobbies that will keep me productive and busy, especially when my kids are napping. My blog has allowed me to channel that creativity and desire to learn!

I’m very excited because starting this month, I’ll be blogging about more than just makeup and DIY tutorials. Now, I’ll be blogging about home decor, family life, stylish outfits (mostly from thrift stores btw, so no high-end stuff here ;)), food recipes that I love using, and other fun stuff that I love to do! vertical_hero_hello_island_mama_philippines_islander_blogger_life_design_makeup_beauty_diy_art_photography_logo_inspiration

With the help of my college friend Feli, owner and designer of Paper Thread Studio, we designed a new logo for my blog called Hello Island Mama. Why Hello Island Mama? Before moving to the U.S., I was raised and born in the Philippines on small island called Marinduque. The logo was inspired by the coconut trees there that I grew up with. It’s also home to things I miss, like the beautiful beaches, fresh seafood, fresh sweet mangoes, and even the tropical weather (especially if it’s winter in Texas).

To celebrate my first blog post on Hello Island Mama, I’m giving away an Amazon or PayPal gift card to 2 winners. Each winner will each receive $25 via Amazon or PayPal (winner’s choice) as a thank you to all my readers who support this blog! I am truly thankful for all of you! Contest ends on 8/6 at midnight. This contest is open to residents of the U.S.A. and all over the world! Enter via Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

What topics do you want me to talk about on my blog? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below :)
I’m looking forward to many more adventures with you on this blog! Again, thank you for your support! :-)



Change Your Mood With Music + DIY Sharpie Mug

Monday, May 9, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #SongsToShare #CollectiveBias DIY_do_it_yourself_sharpie_mug_music_song_inspired_coca-cola_sing_for_joy_em_smith_2



I’m thankful that I learned how to play some basic chords to play on the guitar. My brother taught them to me when I was in middle school. There is something about strumming a guitar and singing that makes my day relaxing and calming, especially with the kids. One time, my toddler was being fussy and suddenly my youngest son started to cry too (it’s like a domino effect, isn’t it?). I grabbed my guitar and started to play while singing a random song. Suddenly, the room was filled with silence. It was amazing! It is so wonderful how music can positively affect someone’s mood.


Today, I’m so excited to share how Coca-Cola™ products from Brookshire’s inspired me with their new campaign, “Share a Coke and a Song.” It gave me the idea of creating an inspirational mug that can be made at home. Coca-Cola has always come up with great ways to inspire people to be creative, and connect with loved ones.

Here are the things you’ll need to create a DIY Sharpie Mug,

Design for your mug (Here’s a FREE printable one I made for you to use!)

Plain Mug


Oil-based Sharpie

Masking or Cellophane Tape



Oven and Tray

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  1. After you print your design (or the one I shared above), cut it out to fit on the mug.
  2. Start using the pencil to shade the back of the paper with the design.
  3. Put the design on the face of the mug, and use clear tape so it won’t move.
  4. Using a pencil, start to trace the design over the paper while applying a good amount of pressure. This will help the pencil marks be more visible. The pencil from the shade will stick to the mug better and It will give you a more visible guide to follow for Step 5.
  5. Remove the paper and check to make sure the pencil markings are visible. Begin to draw by tracing over the marks left by the pencil. I used an oil-based Sharpie.
  6. If you need to fix up some mistakes, don’t worry. Just use Q-tips with alcohol to clean the areas you want to fix.
  7. Put your mug in a tray and bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Make sure to put the mug in the oven before it’s hot, so that it won’t get cracks.
  8. Remove the mug from the oven. Let it cool, and it is done!


I love the lyrics written on this Coke can that reads, “Lean on me.” The song reminded me that I can lean on someone like my husband whenever my day is challenging. In addition to saying a prayer, finding something to do like playing guitar, singing, or walking outside with the kids, help to make my day better. They refresh my mind and thoughts. In fact, my husband and I were discussing how sometimes it’s difficult to control our feelings. However, we can find ways to control our behavior.

Here are few of the songs from these special Coca-Cola cans that you can check out!



By the way, Brookshire’s has a program called “YourPoints” that helps you save on fuel and groceries. Just sign up and use your registered Thank You Card every time you shop. You can earn one YourPoint with every dollar spent. I also got a new app called “Shazam” on my phone to play songs from the Coca-Cola’s Share A Song. This app is available on most mobile devices for iOS and Android.


What song from Coca-Cola products will you get inspiration from and to whom will you share it with?



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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