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one easy and budget friendly way to refresh your home using clothes in your closet


One of the benefits of spending more time at home these days is that it has enabled me to catch up on a lot of the DIY projects that have been weighing on my mind for the longest time. Take, for instance, this one lampshade project I wanted to tackle but never had the chance to. An idea came to me one night to use an old skirt I was tired of wearing but thought would make a great impact on the lamp. This is one of the easiest and most budget-friendly ways to refresh your home using clothes in your closet. I simply cut the skirt using the lampshade as my guide similar to these instructions here, and voila!

chocolate-brown-and-cream-zebra-animal-print-skirt-fabric-lampshade-diy-makeoverI don’t know about you, but when I don’t purge my mind of its to-do list, it makes me feel unsettled, restless, unfocused and forgetful until I get these things done. Especially when it comes to improving a corner of my home. Besides, the process of seeing the transformation of old, tired or ordinary objects come to life gives me the greatest feeling on earth and the bonus - it also saves me cash on buying new items that will not be as special as a customized piece created or revived with my own hands. 



Moreover, working on fun DIY projects is a form of therapy for me. It’s a very simple way to reset when I’m feeling bored, stressed, or anxious. Here are at least 4 reasons why:

1.     Clears the mind. It helps me take a moment to slow down and create, which is rejuvenating to me.

2.    Distracts from negative thoughts. Stillness is the space where all creative expression and peace come to be. Once you get in the flow of working on your project, it’s hard to dwell on troubling thoughts and worries. As the mind becomes fully engaged, it brings you right into the present moment and pushes anxiety outside.

3.    Builds self-esteem and confidence. Creating things and working with your own hands is an activity that slowly but surely, gives this tangible result as you see the improvement of a piece. That’s when you get this satisfying sense of achievement.  

4.    Reduces stress. It’s been said that creating can reduce cortisol, which is the ‘stress hormone’. Naturally, doing something you love releases endorphins – the ‘feel-good’ chemicals that combat stress. I can definitely attest to the truthfulness of that for I find that not only my mental distress but also all my body pains go away when I’m immersed in my creative work.

Try it yourself and I think you’ll agree with me. Exercising our creativity gives us an outlet from our daily routine that oftentimes doesn’t fully engage our minds. When we take the time to slow down and express our emotions creatively, it boosts our happiness levels in no time. 

See more of my DIY projects here


10 daily rituals that's giving me good vibes

During these quarantine days of 2020, one of the most asked questions seems to be 'what has been helping you get through the days?' To be honest, the cultural shift with sheltering in lockdown didn't throw our working schedule off all that much from our every day, since both the hubby and I thankfully have been working from our home for many years now. But I'm not going to lie, much like everyone else, the sudden change of how the state of the world altered life as we once knew it, has surged an avalanche of emotions - ranging from waking up some days with a burst of energy getting things done to feeling tired and unmotivated. What has helped me the most is maintaining a routine. In general, I always rely on simple daily rituals that bring me joy to keep my spirits up but even more so now, especially in isolation.  So today, I'm finally answering that question by sharing my current list of 10 daily rituals that give me good vibes and keeps my mind engaged. 

Open Up The Windows
The first thing I do when I get out of bed is to glide from room to room and open up the curtains and shades to let the sunshine flood into the house. Getting to see that early morning light bouncing off different parts of the walls instantly boosts my mood. 

Turn On The Diffuser 
Having an amazingly scented environment is a must for me in my home. The aroma of favorite essential oil combos permeating the house creates such a positive and calming effect that just makes my heart flutter. I love my little diffuser. Currently, I'm combining this calming floral aroma with this mood soother.


Get Dressed
I've talked about this before. Just because you work at home or might not necessarily have some place to go does not mean you should stay in your pajamas all day. Getting myself dressed for the day helps me to feel energized and I also find that it increases my productivity level as well. What I put on depends on how I am feeling on any given day. I'll either slip into cozy loungewear, flowy dresses, or jeans and a blouse.


Drink Lemon Water
I have my cup of lemon water which is so refreshing for the first beverage of the day, while I make drip coffee for the hubby and tea for me (although these past several days I've been enjoying a cup of coffee too, instead of my usual cup of tea).



Carve Out Time To Meditate 
With my warm cup of bevy in hand, I then take the first hour of my day to sit, relax, pray, read my Bible, and meditate. This is the part of my day I consider most important as it gives me the best chance for feeling good all day - keeping the brain engaged and in the right mindset.

Upbeat Music
Turn on a Spotify favorite playlist. In the height of the pandemic horror, I put together a 'Good Vibes Groove' playlist on the days I need a natural energy boost. I hope it gets you going on the not-so-good-days.

 Doing What Makes Me Happy
Keeping inspired is key for me. During this stay at home and social distancing time, I started to feel like I was on autopilot which began to get depressing pretty quickly. Engaging in enjoyable activities such as decorating projects that have been neglected, creating, doing some diy's, and gardening gave me something to look forward to waking up for every day. There's nothing that brings me greater happiness than creating, decorating, and transforming spaces. Right now, the current project I can't wait to get done is our master bedroom I shared over a week ago. Sourcing and receiving the pieces to finish the space right now has definitely been one of the things giving me some good vibes at the moment.


Changing Scenery 
For me, that means going to a different part of the house that I've never fully enjoyed before. In fact, we spontaneously spent a quiet lovely picnic out in our backyard after a failed attempt to go to the lake where it's normally quiet but apparently, everyone else had a similar idea that day. I was not about to risk being under the canopy of anyone's microscopic droplets hanging over us sitting out by the water. So we ended up coming back to the house and enjoyed the fresh air of our own space as the hummingbirds came to inspect us back there. And it's amazing how even the act of laying down a pretty picnic blanket brings joy.


Fresh Cut Branches In Vases
These days we have been enjoying a lot more time out in the garden every chance we get. And since I've not ventured out much to Trader Joe's to get fresh flowers (due to the massive lines to get in), I've switched things up a bit by pruning our trees and using the fresh-cut branches in large vases around the house, which has brought such a different feel to the interior.

Curling Up On The Sofa 
Curling up time at the end of an exhausting day in front of a favorite ethereal film with the hubby.


affordable summer staycation day dresses to live in all season


With summer lurking around the immediate corner and the pandemic causing us to cancel our vacation for the year, I'm hoping to create that relaxed vacation vibe at home with a few strategic choices to boost my mood. And that includes but not limited to finding some good affordable summer staycation day dresses to live in all season. It’s not a secret that summer is one of my least favorite seasons unless I’m somewhere where the maximum temps are in the high 70s to low 80s with a breeze. Preferably ocean breeze. Otherwise, I go into complete seclusion like a hermit crab. And right now in the era of this sheltering in place amidst this horrific pandemic - any extra hibernation during the height of the summer heat might make me go rogue. 

For this "special" summer year at home, I’m dreaming of easy, flowy day dresses, comfy slip-on sandals, wide-brim hats, cool sunglasses, sitting under an umbrella in our backyard with my favorite summer books and/or magazines, and a refreshing pitcher of Aperol spritz in the late afternoons to keep me from going stir crazy being cooped up inside. This is where pretending to be on vacation is acceptable in my book. 

The hubby and I have already had our first picnic in the backyard last weekend. I must say it was pretty relaxing and got to see our backyard in a whole different light. I’m hoping this year we can incorporate other fun outdoor activities in the yard like summer grilling (something we've never done), and movie nights under the stars if the budget allows for us to get a projector this yearWe shall see. 

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Master Bedroom Redesign Plan


As we have canceled all of our traveling plans this year (like so many others due to the circumstances in the world with the Covid-19 pandemic) and will be hunkering down at home, it’s time we turned our attention to the most important room of the house that we've had on the back burner – our master bedroom. It’s been three years now since we moved into our house and we have been slowly renovating one room at a time. So far, we have renovated the kitchen, the dining room, the living room, and our front courtyard. Now, we’re ready to transform our bedroom into a space that's more than merely a place to rest our heads, but rather into an intimate 'boutique hotel' vacation retreat with a cozy resort-like atmosphere that will take our minds off missing our annual summer escape this year.

Honestly, I’ve been so physically and mentally drained and exhausted from this lockdown crisis. Finding the energy to get going on a daily basis, hasn’t at all been easy. But right now the thrill of the hunt, sourcing out the few pieces for the master bedroom redesign plan is giving me much-needed motivation. The thought of finally bringing our vision to fruition and revamping this room into the resort life that we love so much is for sure softening the blow of staying put this year.

I draw a lot of inspiration from our travels and our favorite hotels. The Maker Hotel is what's currently serving as inspiration as it perfectly encapsulates the type of stylistic environment that brings us comfort. So here's a glimpse of what’s on the mood board for the room. The goal is to have the metamorphosis completed before summer begins. 

Shop The Look

1. Gleaming Primrose Mirror | 2. Original Vintage 1960 French PELFRAN Chair (sold out... similar) | 3. Coco Fringed Jonathan Y Gold Metal Lamp | 4. Caden Vanity Set with Mirror | 5. Corsica Upholstered Standard Bed | 6. Gold Jaylin Empire Style Chandelier | 7. Nadia Rug in Aqua/Pink Loloi II (similar) | 8. Alessandro Bench Corrigan Studio | 9. Trumann Floor Lamp Darby Home Collection Co | 10. Cane Moretti Wood Frame Accent Chair