DIY Reupholstered Dining Chairs

do-it-yourself projects, household

Here’s my new mantra:

And I live it as I believe it.

In between house works and mommy-duties, I stole some time to do what I set up myself to accomplish. And it took almost three months to finally finish! I only had to look at this ugly chair to start a panic-attack!


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there were 4 of these

As soon as I made myself to believe that I can change how the chairs look, I went to Dongdaemun Fabric Market and savored every touch and every feel of the fabrics all around me. I tell you, the place is every crafter’s paradise. I was dizzily overwhelmed by all the available materials. I got fabrics for the chairs and the curtains (which I haven’t even started doing yet!). I chose this material to reupholster the chair.

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It took me ages to finish 4 of these chairs. The fabrics were first measured and fitted and hand-sewn. I may have done it the harder way but I think sewing the edges made it look more neat. After several weeks, I did finish all 4 of them!

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i thought I’m done with this!

Yap, I thought I’m done with them and I could go on my next DIY thing.

I found myself staring at the chairs for several days and they were just so incomplete – freshly upholstered seat but has-seen-better-days backrest!

And so I labored for days and weeks again on my hand-sewing. I used the brown fabric I intended to use as part of my curtain and cut the Victorian-floral design from the other fabric and sewed it together.

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i kinda like it!


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back – it ain’t perfectly neat but that’s the most I can do for the moment

That’s one chair done. I got another 3 to complete all 4! With this goal constantly in my mind and with my first son’s vacation, the Mommy-me can’t think straight and prioritize well. And before I noticed it, the habit began: I would bring my son to a coffee shop, let him read or check on videos or let him practice guitar while I keep myself engrossed in my sewing. And after I patiently hand-sewn everything everywhere, I got them all done!

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my first attempt in reupholstering chairs

So, please excuse me if I take a little bit of pride in my first re-upholstery job. Seeing this makes me smile.

How I got them finished and the thought that I was actually able to have the patience to go through it all perks me up to continue doing more. And that means my boys (husband included!) bearing with my mess and my “forgetfulness” with house works left undone. Let me, then, end with this:




Orange Peel for your Citrusy Aroma


Browsing through various pins at Pinterest does give us a treasure trove of different ideas. Last week, I saw how orange peels were put into use before they were finally thrown away for good. So, after I bought oranges last week, I did exactly what I had newly-discovered.

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orange peel

I cut the orange in half and carefully scooped out the insides for our breakfast. I got my tea candles and excitedly and carefully centered each inside the orange peel. Perfect!

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citrus aroma around the house

Tea candles aren’t expensive. It’s the scented oil that are a little bit pricey. Now, with my orange left-overs, I don’t need these scented oil anymore. Well, not until I run out of orange peels!

I wasn’t done with the orange peels after one tea candle so I still managed to use them at the dinner table. In the photo below, only two remained since the other one was too dry already to even emit a nice aroma.

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dinner table centerpiece

So there goes my newest household discovery. Inexpensive and beautiful.


Veranda Farmer: My Potato Patch Diary

hobbies, home gardening

Cradled in my apartment veranda these days is a tiny potato patch.

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my veranda potato patch

How this came about made me an incidental veranda farmer. I didn’t bother to put some potatoes inside the refrigerator and sprouts appeared on them. When I was told that it’s no longer safe for cooking, I hesitated throwing them so I googled about sprouted potatoes and got the idea to plant them. I never had any experience planting root crops before but I was willing to take my chances. I was even excited about it!

I got my hands dirty and buried these sprouting potatoes in the small patch in my veranda:

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the potatoes that sprouted and the beginnings of the potato plants

I watched them grow daily and got excited each day. Even my sons were getting involved! They watered the plants morning and early evening.

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my son, LeRuof, watering the potato plants

Even my parents didn’t know how a potato plant looks like. When they came over for a few days more than 2 weeks ago, they were surprised with my unlikely new “interest”. These flowers amazed me! I never thought a potato plant could flower so beautifully.

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that which I see every morning

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that which I see every morning

I am really supposed to wait for around 10 weeks before I can harvest… but being the newbie that I am, I always took a peek (daily) at the growing potatoes underneath the plants.I diligently cover them up after, of course. If you try them in your own home garden, just make sure you don’t hurt the potatoes so dig gently.

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taking a peek at my first gardening attempt

Finally, got the courage to pull out the first plant last week! I got more than I needed, although some of them could have used more days under ground.

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my first pull!

Look! I pulled 3 plants and got all these! I used some for my menudo and will be using more for my corned beef. Whoooaaa! These earthy things could actually make one so happy! hahaha!

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not a bad harvest for the first batch of a first time potato farmer, eh?

I left some plants for future harvest. Maybe in a week or two. Until then. For now, I continue to watch them in my tiny veranda potato patch.

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waiting to be harvested

Hubby is now looking forward if I will be true to my word and grow sweet potatoes. We’ll see..

“Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers. Or you can grow weeds.” (


The Fantastic 4 in Asia’s Got Talent


I am pretty sure Filipinos will be up late tonight waiting for the result of the Grand Winner of Asia’s Got Talent. This is an endless showing of Filipino talents! 4 finalists out of 9!

Before the frenzy over the winner begins tonight, let’s take a look at each finalist:

El Gamma Penumbra: Simply Amazing



Gerphil Flores: Classy and regal.



Junior New System: Unequaled energy



Gwyneth Dorado: Youthful confidence.



Philippine’s has a dilemma, though. All these 4 need every support and vote. Filipinos will be divided. Hopefully, the Grand Champion will be one of them.

I, too, will be looking forward to tonight.

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Email for Kids

children-related, internet concerns/blogging

My first son is at this age when he can already manage to have his own email account (skeptics, hear me out!). He is 8 years old and I did ask his IT teacher abut this before I decided to give him his own. And, yeah, he had been practicing with his own email account at school so why not get  him one which I could monitor?

And here is where this Email for Kids site conveniently enters the picture. As a parent, I created my son’s account and without him knowing about it, I could monitor his mails and control his use. I simply told him, “you have your own account now! I’d love to receive emails from you.” Boy, he was glad! What he doesn’t know is I have control over his account.

  • I can see all his incoming and outgoing messages. Sorry, he is just 8! Privacy is not yet something I could fully entrust to him. Reality is, he still needs protection from all these available information from the world wide web.
  • I can see all mail queues coming his way so I can block spam emails, especially those with adult contents.
  • And since I enabled the Contact Manager, I could also prevent him from sending and receiving particular emails from particular contacts (again, my son is just 8!).
  • And so he can access his emails at the right time, I have also just set the time and days when he can log-in to his account.

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Yap! I give him freedom. But just the right amount.

He likes it since he can easily access his email account in my i-pad and it has a simple and kid-friendly look.

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He sees that there are three buttons: Parent Login, a Teen Login, and Kid Login. He knows which button he as an access to but he is unaware of the controls that I have when I get into my Parent Login button.

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Really, I appreciate that there are creators of this kind of application. We can let the kids feel and explore their freedom without them knowing our control over that freedom.

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Children of Nature

activities for kids, journal

Since our family moved here in Sangam-dong, kids had been more active outside with friends. Most of their classmates are our neighbors, too. That’s what you get for living walking-distance to school. Needless to say, we love the new environment.

Aside from the wonders of the hill behind our apartment, the ponds at the bottom of the hill with wooden bridges are now open for the kids to explore.

Richard Louv authored the book “Last Child in the Woods” which advocates for children’s direct exposure to nature for a healthy childhood. I find some of his quotes relevant in here:

“In our bones we need the natural curves of hills, the scent of chaparral, the whisper of pines, the possibility  of wilderness”.

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“Nature is imperfectly perfect, filled with loose parts and possibilities, with mud and dust, nettles and sky, transcendent hands-on moments and skinned knees.”

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“The dugout in the weeds or leaves beneath a backyard willow, the rivulet of a seasonal creek, even the ditch between the front yard and the road – all of these places are entire universe to a young child.”

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Iloilo: One Sunday at Anhawan Beach Resort

activities for kids, iloilo

Feeling nostalgic about Iloilo. Especially those times when kids got a taste of one-year Montessori education at the Iloilo Montessori School. I also got to get to know other Montessori Moms and we called ourselves the Wednesday Coffee Group. Aside from our Wednesday coffee, we went to this beach resort in Oton, the Anhawan Beach Resort. What a Sunday it was!

Kids splashed in the pool and flew their kites. We mommies were on constant look-out.

The Anhawan Beach Resort has a pool – divided for adults and a kiddie pool just below the adults’ – where our kids had a wonderful and safe time splashing around. We just sat on the side of the pool with, eyes rolling (hahaha), umbrellas! We went there almost at the end of the school year and it was already very hot. Summer time in the Philippines starts from March!

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But what really made my sons enjoy and remember that day was their kite-flying. My First-born had the kite to himself for some time and he was really into it. To this day, we still have the kite with us here in Seoul.

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The great thing with the Anhawan Beach Resort is its wide open space. Perfect for kite flying on a summer day.

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And, of course, kids need to have more activities so they can just sleep in the car on the way home (wink)… They just ran around and played whatever game they fancied. We rented one of the cabanas for the day so we had the perfect view to just watch them kids play around.

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It really was one of the great time we had in Iloilo. I’m very grateful to have met and known other Moms like me from Montessori. Thanks to Facebook we still get in touch these days.

Iloilo has an annual Paraw Ragatta event every February. In fact, it held its 39th year this year. When we went to Anhawan, the resort had its own Paraw event (not connected to the annual Paraw Regatta of Iloilo), so we saw these lining up the shore.

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Missing those days in Iloilo!

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Setting the Mood for Creativity

activities for kids, children-related, parenting

I’ve always wanted to set the mood for creativity for kids. I’m sure parents will never go wrong when they set a time and space for kids to explore their own imagination.

These days, the 2 boys like to retreat to this room after an afternoon of playing. And I’m glad to have the quiet time we all need to prepare for the night ahead.

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Child sponsorship: becoming a parent to the underprivileged

children-related, guest post

Donating clothes or toys to children is very noble. However, sponsoring a child is much better. Most people think that sponsoring is a hassle but in reality, it’s not. Sponsoring just costs around $2 (about 90 Philippine Peso or 2,230 South Korean Won) a day and that would make a difference in the life of a child living in places that don’t have the proper resources for a person to grow up properly.

In 2013, the U.S. has given a total amount of $335.17 billion to charity. However most of that money is spent on a one-time use that only helped an individual temporarily. When you sponsor a kid, you are helping a child get proper nutrition and healthcare until he or she is old enough to work. Sponsorship is like being a long-distance parent to a kid who isn’t as fortunate as those living in first or second-world countries.

Apart from food and medicine, the $2 donation that sponsors give everyday ensures a sponsored kid with necessities such as school uniforms and warm blankets for cold seasons. Unakids, a charity that aids children in areas with political strife, even offers children the choice if they want to continue into advanced studies or university-level training or trade apprenticeships, which is rather similar to what people get in the U.S. The $2 donation goes a long way and it’s much better than giving a one-time relief.

There’s a saying that goes something like, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This saying cannot be truer when sponsoring a child. So if you find it in your heart to become a foster parent to a kid who might discover someday the cure for cancer or some other incurable sickness, definitely consider sponsorship.

written for My Rocking Cradle by Mary Lewis

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Wedding Ring and Coin Holders


Hubby and I celebrated our 9th year wedding anniversary last December 4. Time runs so fast, right?

Two of the most memorable items we had during the wedding were the ring and coin holders! I was very particular about it and got myself working on the details. I had it customized to pay tribute to my parents and my husband’s parents own weddings 3 decades before we had our own.

The 2 boys will be pressured to do the same! hahaha… Well, we have set the benchmark:-).

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