Friends Around the World

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Transforming Your Garden Into A Relaxing And Tranquil Retreat

All of us have days when we crave some peace and quiet. If you have a stressful job, or you’re run off your feet at home, there’s no better place to retire to than the garden. Spending hazy evenings in the outdoors can help you to relax and recover. Here are some top tips to help you transform your backyard into a tranquil retreat.

Think about colors
Colors stir up emotions and create an atmosphere. Brighter shades like red, yellow, and orange can make you feel energized and lift your mood. Pale, lighter colors can help to calm you down and create a laid-back, chilled-out vibe. If you’re eager to turn your garden into a peaceful sanctuary, choose your colorways carefully. Go for options like duck egg blue, lilac or taupe and avoid clashing or busy prints. You don’t need to go crazy and start covering every stone or fencing panel with paint. Use colors as accents. You can inject different tones with plant pots, candle holders, and soft furnishings, for example.

Embrace laid-back, alfresco dining
The last thing you want when you get back from work is to spend hours in a hot kitchen cooking a meal. Thankfully, there are some excellent outdoor options that can make life easier and enable you to enjoy your garden as much as possible. Barbecues are a summer staple, so why not consider something a little different? If you fancy kicking back on the patio with a glass of red and a delicious, simple meal, why not invest in an outdoor pizza oven? You can find tips and reviews online by visiting sites like Hot Tub Advice.

Section off a cozy area
Spending time in the garden isn’t always about playing with the kids or hitting home runs. Sometimes, you just want to take time out, read a magazine or enjoy a coffee in peace. It’s always good to make your garden a versatile space. Section off an area of decking or put up a gazebo. Scatter some lanterns and oversized floor cushions around. Drape sofa sets with throws and blankets. Hang a hammock from the trees, and snuggle up.

Make the most of lighting
Lighting is one of the best ways to set the tone of an interior or exterior space. Your lighting choices can create all kinds of different moods. In the garden, go for twinkling fairy lights, subtle spotlights or floor-level lighting to add ambiance. If you’re short of ideas, you’ll find inspiration in home and garden magazines and online.

Choose plants carefully
Plants look wonderful, but they also boast other benefits. Certain scents are proven to help us relax. Including specific plants in your beds and planters may help you to sleep better and conquer stress. Lavender is a popular option. Plant it near your sofa and let the aromas drift through the air.

For many of us, there’s nothing better than getting out into the garden when we’re feeling a little fraught. If you love spending time outside, these tips will hopefully help you to transform your backyard into a heavenly haven. Go for soothing color tones, and use furniture, cushions and throws to create a cozy seating area. Indulge in a post-work soak or climb into a hammock and have a snooze.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Comfortable Footwear to Walk Around Hard Wood Floors #Flipflops

Remember our dilemma and nightmare with Empire Today a couple of months ago?  I really regret that decision of  hiring  them to do our  floors in the kitchen, family room, and hallways.  The  two-day job that  they promised turned out to be more than three weeks.  It messed up our plan of moving  and selling our old home soon.   The third and last  contractor that they sent  works alone so it took him  over a week to finish it.
We moved  in on June 25 and the day after that, we waited late at night  here at the new house waiting for the guy to  finish but he ended up staying just to be able to  put the grout and make it dry.  Pn the day of our move, he was just cleaning the floor  from all the grout  so it was chaotic.  With the movers coming in and out  of the house, the floor was nasty because it was wet, oh it was a total nightmare.
If I have to do it all over again, I would have convinced my husband  to do it ourselves because it ended up having it done for a  long period of time.  The reason we hire them was that they said they can  do the job for two days.  
So fast forward that nightmare, we are now living at our new home for  7 weeks and one thing I found out about this tile that we chose is the difficulty of cleaning it.  The tile is not smooth so it is hard to clean it.  I have to really scrub it to clean.  With two dogs and two kids, I find it so difficult to  maintain it clean.  It takes  me about 4 hours to really clean those dang floors!  Mind you, I have to  scrub it twice a weeks and   sweep it everyday.
We still need some  furniture with our family room but we will get there as soon as we  sold the  other house.  Paying two mortgages a month is so stiff in our budget .  I hope and pray that someone will buy the other house  soon.
I thought wood floors is easier to clean than carpet but I was wrong.  I have to mop it everyday because if I don't, the socks of our kids gets very dirty.
Kitchen cabinets and   counters need to be replaced as well as they are old but for now, I  just put  lining inside the cabinets before I put all our  kitchen wares and tools.
Since I am the only one that cleans the house, I laid out rules to my other lovelies for them to follow or else, they will need to help me with cleaning.  I told them that they have to removed  the shoes upon entering the house and wear slippers  inside the house.  I got my husband this yoga flip flops from Aurorae . I know that it is designed for for women's feet  but my husband's feet are so skinny that these fits perfectly. It also helped his feet which has been hurting.  What I love about these product is the fact that   the foot bed is made from real EVA-Foam yoga mats offering a lightweight, cushy and comfortable feel while you walk.  I know that for a fact because I have a pair also which  I have been using for  few months now.  Having hardwood floors and tiles, it is really hard on your feet if you don't wear something comfy so these flip flops are perfect for us.  
If you guys are looking for something to wear to relieve  tired feet, I highly recommend Aurorae's Yoga FlipFlop
We bought  our  children  house slippers as well so that they can walk around comfortably on the floors and it keeps their feet  clean.  I wish that I can find something that the dogs can wear so they are not tracking dirts from outside.  It's so hard when you have dogs especially when they shed as you have to constantly clean.  I clean everyday and there's always a clamp of hair.
Since I clean everyday, buying the  mop cloth  from the store  is costly so I  gather up some old shirts and cut them up.  This is what I use after  scrubbing  the floors with the wet  wipes or rugs.  
Disclosure: The owner of this blog was NOT financially compensated to write this review. I was provided with the product/s mentioned to help me facilitate this review but opinions are my own.

5 Tips for Redesigning a Boring Bedroom

When you walk into your bedroom you should feel comfortable, at home, and welcomed in an environment that is set up perfectly to your liking. Sadly, many people throw in a bed, a dresser, a night stand, and a few other basic components without paying much attention to visual appeal and functionality along the way. If you've been wanting to add some flair to your bland and boring bedroom, consider the following five tips:

1. Use 3D Bedding

Perhaps the most dominant visual feature that everyone immediately notices upon entering a bedroom is the bed. Conventional bedding simply is not as impressive as the new 3D designs that are available, which serve to make the most comfortable part of your room stand out even more. Sites like offer a variety of bedding designs that are suitable for anyone's preferences.

2. Incorporate Cushions and Throw Pillows

A bed without cushions is like an office chair without back support – yeah you can sit in it, but is it going to be enjoyable? Probably not. Plus, how exactly are you going have a pillow fight with your bestie or significant other, when there are no extra pillows to be found? Another reason to have plenty of cushioning on hand is to serve as support on those days when you decide to sit up in bed and watch TV or read a book, which bring us to our next tip...

3. Mount a Television and/or Book Shelf

Who wants to sit in their bed and stare at the wall? Mounting a TV and/or hanging a book shelf can give you reliable sources of entertainment and edification without taking up too much floor space. This one tip alone can transform your bedroom from the equivalent of a padded cell to a place where you can actually enjoy your free time. Plus, with a smart TV you'll be able to cast internet to the screen via Wi-Fi or thorough your mobile device's data connection, so you can browse the web from the comfort of your bed.

4. Revamp the Lighting

Studies have proven that lighting affects mood in so many ways. Consider replacing or complementing the regular lamps and bulbs that you're already using with more elegant fixtures that offer enhanced luminescence. Adjustable lamps with multi-coloured bulbs are a particularly interesting option, as are hanging lamps and chandeliers. Other notable ideas to consider would be lava lamps, strobe lights, night lights, and glow-in-the-dark star ceilings.

5. Add Plants, Paintings, and Posters

Indoor plants not only give you an extra hobby to take care of, they're also known to reduce depression. Likewise, paintings and posters make excellent aesthetic additions, especially compared to the alternative of a blank wall, and they add a level of uniqueness to your bedroom that other furniture and accessories simply can't achieve.

Finally, once you've heeded all of the tips above, don't forget to add some personal touch to the room as well. Consider adding family portraits, a custom mural, an exotic rug, and maybe even some arcade or board games as the icing on the cake. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Workspace Solutions by 3M @shoplet

I am relieved that I finally  finished organizing our home office.  I couldn't work in my desk with so much  stuff piled up around me.  I just can't concentrate working whenever  my table is unorganized.  When it's chaotic,  my brain does not function well.  I am excited  for the new Office supplies I got from Shoplet.

They sent me this office bundle from  3M which includes mousepad with gel wrist rest, keyboard with gel wrist rest, and the adjustable monitor stand.  I am super stoked because these are really what  I needed to make my daily online job a lot  comfortable.  

I love that this precise  mouse pad has a battery saving design that draw less current than darker mousing surfaces, which results to longer and extended battery life. I used to use  the rolling gadget to put my wrist on but even that makes my wrist  sore so I am glad that this is super soft.  It is super sleek, stylish and functional.  If you are planning to invest in a good mouse pad, I highly recommend this.  You can get this at Shoplet for $23.65

During the first two weeks of our move, my office was full of unopened boxes and my desk are just piled with  frames and what-nots.  This adjustable monitor stand was a great thing to have, it arrived at a perfect timing as I got to use it.  I set up my work station  for a while at the dining room which was one of the rooms I have cleared out first from boxes.  I borrowed my husband's iPad just so I can  work on stuff.  You can get the monitor stand for $40.40 at Shoplet.   What great about this monitor stand is that you can adjust them accordingly.  If you don't want to sit and you want to stand upo while working, this is a perfect stand to put your gadget in.  
But now, I am back to normal, I got to  put  my new office supplies at the right places where it needs to be.  The keyboard with the gel wrist rest is  also awesome.  I removed the  piece of wood  in my keyboard  drawer and  replaced it with this one.  As Shoplet described it, this keyboard with gel wrist rest is like a satin pillow for my wrist.   It stay in the zone with good form and comfort with wrist rests containing 3M Gel Technology.  With it's sleek profile, it  uses minimal desk space and is easy to pick up and move around wherever you want it to.   I really love this.  For $23.76, you won't ever experience having a pain in your rest.  
I still have a lot of unboxing to do but I Have to  finish  things I need to write  before this month ends.  I am running out of time in finishing my goal.   One thing at a time, I will get to finish all of these including unboxing.  I would probably be unboxing until the end of this year but hey, at least it is getting done, slowly but surely.
One thing I wish  with this office  space is a window.  I have no idea why they did not put a window  on the wall because it would have been a great source of natural lighting  plus I would have enjoyed the beautiful bamboo sigh outside.  But since I can't see that, I decided to put  nature-inspired  wall decor on that part of the wall so that I would see  nature  when I am working even just on pictures.  Those pictures by the way are the puzzles that my family put-together  at the old house.  I decided to frame them  to preserve memories and now I got to use it as a decor in my office.  
On the other side of the office is another office desk.  My husband did not want to take this one and wanted to leave it at the other house but I disagree because  I love that one more than the desk I am using as it has a lot of  storage space.  So I forced him to take this desk here and set it up so the kids can use it and they don't have to bother me while I am working on something.  
I love organizing especially when I have  a space to put things to.
Hubby wanted to ditch this cabinet but I again opposed because I have so many things to put there so now it is holding most of our office supplies which he later commented, "It' looks great there".  
I wish I could unpack all the boxes in one day but I am dreaming when I think of that.  At least, I am getting things done everyday.  Office is now  cleaned, organized, and ready for some  action.  Shoplet have some awesome office supplies, they even have great selection of Office Furniture, I want some of them lol.
They also have Cleaning supplies , Medical supplies  and a lot more.  Check Shoplet out for their back-to-school sale.  

Disclosure: The owner of this blog was NOT financially compensated to write this review.  I was provided with the product/s mentioned  to help me  facilitate this review but  opinions are my own.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Piano Lessons at Our HOme

I am so grateful of my children's piano teacher because she  volunteered to come to our house for the piano lessons this summer.  I still have a lot of  boxes to unpack so while they are having  their lessons, I can  organize and put stuff away.   We don't have orchestra software but  we do have  two instruments they can use.  On the first week, when we just newly moved, we haven't  moved our  traditional piano yet so they used the electric one.  My son is kind of falling behind because he lacks practice so  she encouraged him to practice more.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Geometric Design and Color Scheme Patterns Plus a Cool Looking Fan

In the past couple of years, our daughter have  changed a lot.  It is not much on the physical aspect as she is tiny  like me but  emotionally and mentally, she has grown a lot.   Before,  she never liked her hair  being brushed  so I  had to  tell her that I will cut it if she doesn't take care of  it, that is when she would brush  it.  From that scenario, she is now  become so  conscious of her looks, always  looking at the mirror and  fixing her own hair.  She also gotten into the mood of organizing, cleaning , and now that she has her new bedroom, she became so much interested in interior designing.  
 I mentioned that she painted the bottom of her walk-in closet with the geometric pattern where she used  painters tape to form the  shapes.  She did all that by herself.  At 11, you would think she would be interested in  other things but not her.  I always think that she is so mature  for her age.
 She did all the organizing herself which I am very proud of because she  wasn't like that a couple of years ago.  She was the messiest girl I knew but now, she has evolved into this little organizer  like her Mom lol.
This is the  pattern that inspired her to   go for a geometric theme on her bedroom.  
 When she told me that she wanted to use French gray to paint her bedroom, I was hesitant. I thought, that wouldn't be girly and would look boring for a girl bedroom but when she showed me  the  colors and designs of  things that she want  to design her room, I gave it a go.
  She painted  this owl on a canvas  when she had her first  field trip   with her  gifted class.  We hanged it above her laundry basket to give this corner of her room some pop of colors.
Now, her dresser is always organized and  tidy.  She is really becoming a little lady.
She does  DIY projects on her spare time this summer.  She did this cute jewelry  hanger/holder which I thought was very chic and unique.  She used the  rocks that our  neighbor gave her  and glued  them on the frame.  
The alarm clock that  our family friend sent her for her birthday matches perfectly with the bamboo accent we bought for her room.  
 The bright colors of furniture and other things  she got  really made the  bedroom look alive and girly.  She drew these geometric dinosaurs and framed it.  We hanged it  on top of her  newly painted desk.

  This is the  desk I had in our bedroom at our old house and she wanted to  give it a new look so my husband sanded it and we helped her paint it. She did most of the work  on the desk, I only helped her paint  with the white.
 She also gave the  book  shelf a new look.  She sanded and  painted it by herself to match the  desk.
I find it amusing to see how our kids are just like mini version of ourselves.  She constantly changes the arrangement of her desk, every time I go on her bedroom, the  arrangement is different and that is  just like me.  This is how she arranged it before.
Our former  neighbor, invited them for a movie night yesterday and gave her a  gift card for her birthday.  So today, we took her to  Target for a little shopping trip and she bought the lamp and the  pencil organizer.  Now that she  bought some accessories like the lamp and pencil organizer, she changed it again into this.  
She also bought this geometric design planes on a frame to hang above her beds. This year, I started  the Good Point chart for them where in   if they help with the chores  around the house, they get good points and those points can be converted into cash.  Not only it is working great for me but  it is also teaching them the value of hard work.  
I was laughing when she was paying for her merchandise today because she looked  sick, she looked like she was going to throw up as she was handing the cashier of her money lol.  I also found it very effective to let them manage their own  "little money" while shopping as they   get the understanding of how  hard earned money works.  They don't really want to spend it  to something that  isn't valuable lol.
So now her bedroom is almost complete.  The only thing missing is the  desk chair that she wanted from Office Depot.  We were not able to get it because we ran out of time today and the space  of of our CRV's trunk won't accommodate her  chair.  
 I was giggling when she saw this white tower fan that Ozeri sent us for review  because she wanted to trade her  fan with this.  I told her that there is no geometric design to it but she said that  the circle matches her wall clock.  She got it all figured out lol.  Our bedrooms upstairs have  window AC's installed  but we only used them during  night time so we can sleep comfortable so during the day, we uses  electric fan.
Not having air condition at the  first floor of our  new house is so unbearable for my husband as he is not used to  hot weather.  It doesn't really bother me as I am used to this kind of weather back home and besides, we have  Ozeri fans in most of our rooms downstairs so it is comfortable.  His plan is to get a big AC unit for downstairs but for now that we can't afford it yet, these fans are life savers.  
  So glad Ozeri really do have great selection of cool, modern, and high tech fans that is space savers and has  noise reduction technology. It really help us cool down  with the hot  and humid temperature we have been getting lately.   You can buy them  through amazon for $99.95 with free shipping.
Disclosure: The owner of this blog was NOT financially compensated to write this review.  I was provided with the product/s mentioned  to help me  facilitate this review but  opinions are my own.

About Me

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A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.

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