Posts in “DIY”

Before and After: Our Entryway Makeover

Tuesday, August 27, 2019



When we moved to our own new house, I was excited to have enough space in our entryway for a comfortable bench to sit on and space to store our shoes.  I thought it would be great if our bench could serve as both seating and storage.That’s why I decided to decorate our entryway with the help of Simpli home, who sent me this sturdy and fashionable storage bench for me to feature on today’s post.

Simpli Home has tons of benches to choose from.   I chose their warm shaker entryway bench because it has everything I was looking for: enough space for two people to sit on, longer than the other benches, made of  solid wood, and with plenty of storage for our shoes. We used to have a shoe rack, and all of our shoes were exposed – it’s wasn’t very attractive. I love having an entryway bench with closed storage now: it makes the space look clean and organized.

I’ve been going back and forth between having a long hook rack on the wall or having a stand coat rack for our bags, hats, keys, and coats. I decided to go with a decent size hook rack to save space, and added a quick painting I did to add some color.

I love greenery inside our house, as it’s inviting and lovely to see! But… I’ve recently realized  I don’t have time to take care of real plants. Haha! So this year, I’ve been grabbing faux succulents and other faux indoor plants for the house. So busy here, you understand right? 😉 

This DIY hanging planter is so easy to create. I used macrame rope and a small slice of a log from Hobby Lobby,and simply tied a knot on the bottom and secured the top to hang.


To finish up decorating this area, I added a long pillow for the bench that I made using a pretty scarf I saw in a consignment store as a pillow case. I also added a perfect-sized area rug as well. 

The kids’ shoe metal container we used before was too open and the shoes were too exposed so I decided to use a wicker basket instead so that all their shoes would be covered.

I love the bench that anchors our new entryway for so many reasons., It is a great size for shoe storage, easily fitting at least 6 pairs of shoes plus flat sandals on the side. I also love that it has enough space underneath the bench for me to put our everyday slippers. It comes in4 different shades of colors (the one I chose is called Distressed Grey). The seating is comfortable, and when guests enter the environment feels much more welcoming.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of our entryway, and that you are  inspired to redecorate yours too! 

In partnership with Simpli Home. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.


5 days of fun school lunches for kids

Saturday, August 10, 2019

This post is sponsored by adidas. All my opinions are my own.

We have a child who is entering kindergarten this month! With all the busyness before the first day of school, wearing comfy tops like this one to do some errands or cooking in the kitchen certainly helps me in more ways than one. For today’s post, I’d like to share these five school lunches for kids with a twist of fun and creativity! If you’ve been a reader of my blog or been following me on my Instagram stories, you know that I love art and design and I sometimes share some creative lunches for my kids since I’m a stay-at-home mom. I thought why not apply my art background on food so my son will get more excited to eat them. 

Thankfully, my kids are good eaters. It takes practice, lots of patience, and training to turn our kids to one. Credit goes to my husband who has a background in Child Psychology 😉 Anyway, scroll down and enjoy these five days of fun and homemade school lunch for your kids!

Lunch: Cheese Sandwich with Pepperoni 
Theme: School bus

When my kids think of school, one of the first things that comes to mind is a school bus! Here’s how to make an edible school bus: grab a knife and trim the top left and side of two sliced of bread to create a curve. Make three small square holes in the front as bus windows. I added a few pepperoni as wheels and a stop sign that says ‘K” for kindergarten. I threw some steamed broccoli, almonds, raisins, and cherry plums for a fruity treat.

Lunch: Avocado Cheese Quesidilla
Theme: Fish

Tortilla is a hit at home especially for my kids. I grabbed a fresh tortilla in the grocery to make this easy and healthy avocado cheese quesadilla. After I made them, on the same iron skillet pan, I fried corn and black beans with oil, some cumin, and paprika for a few minutes. The other side is sweet pepper (as fish skin), more avocados, and fresh mangoes.

Lunch: Mini Bagel Pizza
Theme: Owl

One of the easiest lunch that I actually give to my kids is pizza bagel. The best part of it is that my kids can join and help create their own. You can make these bunch and freeze it for later after you baked them. I think this will be my eldest son’s on-the-go lunch!


Food: Pasta Salad
Theme: Writing K for Kindergarten

Another easy and healthy lunch idea is pasta salad. I know, I know.. salad for kids? Well, the good side of pasta salad is that you can experiment with ingredients — olives, cube cheese, zucchini, cherry tomatoes. For protein, we usually use marinade chicken but this time, summer sausage as it’s easy to chop and add on the salad. The adorable cheese pencil I got from Pinterest! You can add apple sauce and some crackers as side dish.

Lunch Idea: Koren Beef with Rice
Theme: Bear

This 30-minute korean beef that I found in Pinterest is one of the meals that my family loves. You can throw some veggies like broccoli, carrots, green onions, and red peppers. Since I’m from the Philippines and my husband spent some time living in Asia, we love having rice at least once or twice a week! And yes, we love leftovers so it doesn’t go to waste! Any left is what I will pack for my son’s lunch.

I hope this post inspires you to create your son’s lunch with a twist. Whether you want a creative lunch or just a simple one, the important thing is the effort you make for your little one(s) and that it comes from the heart <3

adidas kid’s shirt (similar one)

blue tank top

Feel free to share with other moms. Happy weekend!


CATEGORY DIY, Family, Food

DIY Storage Box for Your Home

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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DIY is something that is really close to my heart. The frugal crafter in me enjoys the process and the creativity that goes with it. The feeling of completing a project, no matter the size, is always an incomparable feeling.

A few months ago, I shared my children’s playroom makeover featuring DIY storage boxes. The most challenging part was sorting all their toys! I’ve mentioned before that I think my kids have more stuff than me. And I can honestly say that it still rings true. With all their whatnots lying around the house, I decided to make my own storage box.

I made my version of a cube bin out of recycled cardboard boxes and a few other things I found in our home. It’s been a few months and I’m happy to report that my DIY bin is still in good condition. I’m so glad I was able to pull this off. It definitely saved us a few bucks! Sharing with you a step-by-step guide on how to make your own.


Heavy Duty Boxes

Duct Tape




Adhesive tape

Fabric Tac

Fabric (got them in Hobby Lobby)

Cotton Rope

Eyelets (extra large)

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diy storage box home tutorial 1. Cut your preferred size for your bin. Here are my measurements for my cube storage:

*Front and Back is 12.75 “ x 13”

**Right and left side of the box is 13” x 15”

***Bottom is 12.75” x 14.75”

Tape the sides together using duct tape or packaging tape to create a cube.

2. Punch two holes in front of the box. You can also use hand-held paper cutter. The two holes will serve as your bin’s handle later.

3. Use old newspapers to protect the surface of your work area. Measure and cut your chosen fabric for the **right and left side of the box (I added extra 1-2 inches for the measurements) and use adhesive spray to cover the sides. I used Fabric-Tac to secure the edges in its place.

4. Prepare your fabric for the cover of *front, back, and bottom.  Fold at least half an inch of each sides of these fabric covers, iron the sides and then sew together or use Fabric-Tac. I connect all the covers for the front, back and bottom by sewing them together. It should look like a table runner. 

5. Start to spray the adhesive and place the front, bottom, and back cover of the box. I used Fabric-Tac to secure the edges in its place.

6. Cover the hole we punched earlier with an eyelets to protect the fabric. It doubles as a subtle design too!

7. I used a white cotton rope and laced it together. Mine is 24 inches in length.

8. It should look like this once you’re done with the knot. You can use washi tape to secure the folds of your fabric inside, it can also add a bit of style. 

I know life can be busy, especially if you are a parent. Here’s a list of ready to buy cube bins at your convenience.





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I hope you enjoy this DIY cube bin tutorial!


Turning 5 at Pump It Up

Monday, April 22, 2019

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My son recently celebrated his 5th birthday at Pump It Up of Webster. I’m so thankful that I was able to organize everything and that the kids’ actually enjoyed the party! Let’s face it. Entertaining kids is a challenge these days. With all the gadgets around, it’s quite hard to find an activity that they would really enjoy.

My son was so happy to celebrate with his friends from our church. They definitely loved climbing and sliding down the huge inflatable slides. I didn’t need to worry at all about everyone’s safety. Pump It Up’s friendly staff were always present to supervise the area and attend to the kids whenever they needed help with something.

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What I love about Pump It Up though, is that they’re really clean and organized. As mothers, we don’t want our kids playing in areas with questionable sanitation. So this was a huge plus for me! This is one of the first things I’ve noticed in their facility. They keep the play areas really clean!

They also helped me with the e-vites including sending a reminder to my guests before the actual party. This really took a load off my plate and allowed me to attend to other things. It’s always nice to have a little helping hand when setting everything up is getting overwhelming. The part I super loved about all this is, I don’t have to clean up after the party! Parties are fun but the clean up after is a feat. My family and I can just have a good time without worrying about the mess we need to clean up after. It’s like having your cake and eating it too! 🙂

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Since my son is into Ninjago lego 😉 He also requested for Lego cupcakes just like I did for his brother last year. “Lego Birthday Theme”. It’s easy to make and you can buy ready made fondant in grocery stores. Use a small icing stainless tip to create small rounded shapes for the brick Lego effect.

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To complete the party favors, Bitsy’s sent these delicious and healthy snacks for the kids!

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If you’re thinking of a kids’ party that even the adults will enjoy, I highly recommend Pump It Up. It’s simple, stress-free, and private. The Glow in the Dark, Balloon Drop and Bubble Experience are just so much fun that you surely would want you and your kids to experience. The reservations are quick and you can choose from different packages for all party sizes. You can browse their packages and play areas here. Book a date through their online calendar and you’re good to go!

Thank you to Pump It Up of Webster for this fun and cool birthday party! You made my family and friends super happy!


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 😉

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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?


Do-It-Yourself Fun Chart For Kids and Mom

Monday, January 21, 2019

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Today, I like to share our to-do list chart for my eldest boys and for myself as a mom of three children. This chart  helps me especially my kids with our daily routine. My eldest boys are in pre-school and they are already in the stage where they can do things on their own and even in doing household chores from time to time (putting away clean silverware from dishwasher, making their bed etc.). Also, I decided to create this chart to remind them of other things they need to learn like leading the prayer and memorize Bible verses to name a few.

I believe that being responsible starts at home. They learn not only about cleaning or organizing but also they learn the value of doing things together as a family. I’ve mentioned before that my husband is a child psychologist. He said that charts are also a great way to teach our kids and make them excited to do activities. It also helps me because I don’t need to remind the kids time and again what needs to be done 🙂


You are free to do any style you want and to decorate  each chart. Here are the FREE printable icons that you can use for your chart. I hope this helps you and your kids enjoy do things at home.



Magnetic sheet ( $2)

Metal Board with rope to hang (Walmart)

Construction paper

Magnetic Alphabets (optional)

Pom poms (optional)

Twine (optional

Laminate (optional)

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STEP 1 Print customized icons in 8.5 x 11 paper.

STEP 2 Cut and glue construction paper to add a pop of color. I designated color each of my kids.

STEP 3 If you can, laminate so it won’t get dirty easily. It makes the paper stable to hold as well. If you’ve noticed, I’ve included some blank rounds on the FREE printable file, this way, you can add your own drawing for your kid’s chart.

STEP 4 Cut magnetic sheet in small pieces that will fit the rounded icon.

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(no, this chart it’s not for this little fella 🙂 )

I used a jute rope to create two columns. The left side that says “TO DO” are the icons that I want my kids to try to do. You can add other icons as you go along. I try to feature 4 to 6 icons and once they’re done, they can get 4 to 6 minute of screen time play (they love PBS Kids like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Wild Kratts) or anything that tickles their fancy in that moment. They are into marbles recently, so I also use that as rewards when they finish a task.

For this chart, I also have a space where it will remind myself and my children to read the Bible and lead a prayer during mealtime. I also included a verse for the month as well.

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So this is my chart as a mom of three kids. I’m a visual person and this chart helps me to track what I need to do on a daily basis. This is super easy and fun to do.  I don’t have the printable to-do list since each of us have different things that we want to accomplish on a day. Here are mine:


  • One on one with big bro
  • One on one with mid bro
  • One on one with little bro
  • 8 glasses of water (I’m so bad at this)
  • Hug husband (because I’m not a hugging person that’s why I include this on my to-do list)
  • Read Bible
  • Self-care (hobbies for myself like putting a simple makeup, needlepointing, painting etc.)
  • Walk and exercise (does chasing kids count?)

Once I’m done with all of my tasks, the phrase “good work” will appear. You can print the “good work” here (simply shaded the back using pencil and trace in as your guide. Fill in with marker). You can also use image if you’d like.

If you like this post, don’t forget to pin it on Pinterest. Also, let me know if you’ll be trying this chart! Tag me on Instagram @helloislandmama so I can see your work. Can’t wait!



Christ-Centered Christmas Countdown (Fun Arts & Crafts!)

Friday, November 30, 2018

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Two years ago, I started doing a Christmas countdown and my boys loved it. This time, I decided to do it again but with simpler activities. This way, even busy mothers can participate and get crafty at home.  The important thing is to focus and understand the story of the day based on Bible verses. As a Christian parent, I firmly believe that it’s our duty to share the life of Christ and it’s lessons to our kids. Christmas is the perfect time to share the true meaning of this event – it’s all about our savior Jesus Christ who died for our sins.

It took me a while to finish researching the activities (most I found from Pinterest) and to put it all together because of this very busy season. Nevertheless, I’m excited to start soon! Some of the activities are inspired by pictures I saw online. I tweaked some of the activities to make it more personal.

I used couple of my kids’ children’s Bible books like “The Beginner’s Bible ; Timeless Children’s Stories” and “The Action Bible”  to read the stories to them before doing the activities. We also use this as a guide to help us decide which story of Jesus we want to discuss on a certain day.

Here are some of the craft activities to help my kids understand more about the story about Jesus.


An Angel Visit Mary (Luke 1:26-38)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Paper Plate

Drawing of a face

Glue/ Tape

Paper, Pencil and Scissor



Baby Jesus Is Born  Luke 2:1-7

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Small Paper Bag

Scratch paper


Star sticker or yellow cardstock



You can use popsicle stick or craft stick and wrap it up with tissue paper. Use pen to draw the face.


Shepherds Visit  (Luke 2:8-20)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Cereal Box

White Paper

Black Marker

Cotton balls

Popsicle sticks



The King of all kings (Matthew 2:1-12)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Yellow cardstock

Different colors of kraft paper (cut into small square size)


Crayons (optional)

Glitter Markers (optional)


John Baptizes Jesus (Matthew 3:1-7; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 3:1-22)

Read: The Action Bible




White paper plate (or any white cardstock)

Piece of orange paper

Eye decor

White feather (you may add more if you’d prefer)



Jesus chooses his disciples (Matthew 4:18-22; 9:9; 10:1-4; Mark 1-3; Luke 5-6)

Read:  “The Beginner’s Bible”




Straws (cut in half)

 Craft Papers, cut out of people as 12 disciples

Small bowl


Jesus’ First Miracle (John 2:1-11)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”








Jesus teaches on a mountain (Matthew 5:1-12)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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Small Canvas or white card stock

Acrylic Paint (2-4 colors)

Cottons and Clothespins


Cut out heart shape using cardstock


Up on the roof (Mark 2:1-12)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Yarn / Twine

(2) Popsicle Sticks

Small cardstock or small fabric

Lego man

Small Box


Jesus calms the storm (Matthew 8:23-27)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Empty Large Bottle

Blue Glitters


Toothpicks to make the boat


The hungry crowd (John 6:1-14; Mark 6:30-44)

Read: The Action Bible




Printed fish and bread (or draw a simple drawing and cut it)


Paper Plate

Wire string


Jesus Walks on Water (Matthew 14:22-33; John 6:15-21; mark 6:45-52)

Read: The Action Bible

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Boat Water Illustration

Wood Sticks /Popsicle sticks (2)

Peter and Jesus Illustration


Faith at First Sight (from action Bible; John 9:1-10:21)

Read: The Action Bible

Blind man at Siloam game



Illustration of a man’s face

Brown paper




A good Neighbor (Luke 10:25-37)

Read: The Action Bible




Illustration of a man


Cotton and Glue (or you can use band-aid)

I’ll draw a wounded man on a piece of paper and let the kids do the coloring. Once done, I’ll color a red spot (wound) on the man’s body. The kids can be the good samaritan helping a stranger by attending to his wound with glue and cotton.


Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”





White cardstock

Crayon to color the ears




The Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”


(teaching kids forgiveness / source)





Wiggle eyes




Printed Bible Verse: Ephesians 1:7


Lazarus Lives Again ( John 11; Mark 10:13-22)

Read: The Action Bible




Cut out papers (tomb, man and white small strips of paper)

Wiggle Eyes

Glue or Double sided tape


Man in a Tree (Luke 19:1-35; John 12:1-8)

Read: The Action Bible




Paper Plate

Green paper



Popsicle stick

short man illustration


The True King (Mathew 21:1-11; Luke 19:20-42; John 12:12-19)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Green craft papers

Popsicle sticks




Washing the Disciples’ Feet (John 13:3-30)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Action figure (or doll)


Bowl of water



The Last Supper (Matthew 26:17-29)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Cut out of brown paper as a bread

Cut out of white paper as wine cup

Purple crayon (Kids will color the cup)



On Trial (Matthew 26:57-27:2)

Read: The Action Bible




Red Paper for hand cut out

Round white paper

2 small triangle yellow paper




Popsicle stick

Wiggle eye


Death Sentence and Crucified

Read: The Action Bible




Salt dough (find the recipe here that I used before.I probably will double the ingredients)

Bag of Toothpicks



The Sealed Tomb (Matthew 27:59-28:15)

Read: The Action Bible





Card stock (for one person and tomb)




This activity is perfect for preschoolers. It teaches them to be more creative and resourceful. At the same time, they learn about a lot of things too, from vocabulary to storytelling. Expensive materials are not necessary for these activities. You can use anything that’s lying around your house. The important things is to share the story and meaning of Jesus Christ’s life.

How do you teach your kid’s the true meaning of Christmas?


Give Back and Share the Love

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

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Thank you so much to adidas for sponsoring this post.

These past few days, I’m grateful more than ever for the blogging opportunities that I have received. I’m not a big time blogger/influencer and is still quite relatively new in this field. I’m always thankful and feel extremely blessed for everything that I have right now. I know that I can’t do anything without God’s help and I believe there’s a bigger purpose to what I’m doing. I also know that God wants me to share the blessings I have received. I partnered with adidas to share a few gifts to someone who I really want to help.

The first person who came to mind is Charity – she’s a mom of two boys and I have met her through a Bible group study. Her positivity and strength was noticeable when we first met. Unfortunately, she was one of the victims of Hurricane Harvey last 2017 in Houston. Her home was flooded and destroyed the furniture they own. They now reside in a trailer with one bedroom. I truly admire Charity’s faith and resilience. After everything that happened, she remained positive and still thankful to God for every bit of blessing even after the ordeal.

Here are some materials I used for the gift basket:

Kraft paper


Artificial Christmas pine leaf


Wax paper (for the banana bread)


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I made the bread from scratch using the recipes from (I used plain yogurt instead of sour cream). I find making something for someone infinitely better and more heartfelt than store bought ones. Let the banana bread cool down before wrapping in wax paper.

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I love using twine as a finishing touch for presents. I added an artificial mini Christmas wreath to make it more elegant.

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Since Charity and her family live in a trailer, her two boys often play outside. I thought to include a mini basketball and Adidas track suits (5t and 3t size) for her kids since the weather is getting cold in Houston.

Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 5 I used twine and an artificial Christmas leaf to wrap the clothes.

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If you want to make your basket more festive, try adding ribbons of your preferred style. You can use a glue gun or adhesive to help keep it in place. Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 7

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Do you know someone you can help even in the simplest way? How do you give back especially this season?



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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