Posts in “Home Design”

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.


How I Fit Three Boys in One Room + Closet Organization

Sunday, June 30, 2019


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When we found out that our third son was another boy, we knew that all of our three boys would share one bedroom. We want them to grow up together in one room so that they would be close and learn to share (even though 3 boys in one room can get crazy at times 😉 As they’ve grown up they’ve become very close and are always playing and laughing. We’re so glad they’re building strong relationships and making great memories!

If you have noticed on my Instagram, we have finally moved into our new house, which is the first house we have ever bought! Praise to God! When we moved in we were excited for the boys to start rooming together consistently. But the boys room aren’t very big,  so I had to make sure that the furniture would not make the room look cluttered or too crowded. My first thought was to maximize their new bedroom space by using bunk bed. After some looking, we found this perfect  Metal Twin-Twin  Bunk Bed from Bel Furniture in Houston. It’s sturdy, stylish, and space-saving, and I really enjoyed decorating the room with it.  I added some matching some wooden decor so make a boyish, warm-feeling room.  

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Thanks to the space-saving bunk bed, there’s plenty of room for our youngest son’s toddler bed. But this is just temporary – one thing I love about the bunk bed is that there is plenty of space for a trundle bed in the future for our little one. Then there will be even more space in the room for dressers, desks, or whatever else the boys need.

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For their closet organization, I used two metal frames with wire mesh drawers on either side of the closet. This gave us plenty of storage for all 3 boys’ shirts, shorts, pants, etc. 

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The kids really love their new bed! After getting everything set up I decided to add a small book shelf for each boy so that they each have a separate space to read their books when they get too crazy during the day 😉 

Thank you for Bel Furniture for helping us to maximize the kids’ bedroom! You can find the bunk bed we have here. It’s on sale!


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!


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.


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?


Playroom Makeover

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


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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!


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.


Living Room Makeover Reveal

Sunday, September 16, 2018

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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.


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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!


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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