Good Foundations

Friday, August 22, 2014

Still on the MY HOME series! (For a history, click this: Budget for My Home)

MY HOME

Get a copy of MY HOME, August issue, to see the rest of my humble abode!

Today, let me talk about foundations. I once blogged about my unfortunate experience with a “fake plumber,” who left terrible plumbing problems in our bathroom and sink tubes and pipes. (Clcik this for the post: LEAKS AND BOUNDS.) That one really cost me so much time, money, and energy. Bad jobs and inefficient workers really don’t make life any easier! And building a home means a whole lot of workers and jobs. Especially when you are starting from scratch. So today, let me list some things you may need to know before doing anything at all.

I. GET TRUSTED WORKERS. Look for records, word of mouth testimonials, do background check before hiring. As much as possible, get people who are traceable and amenable to back jobs.

II. KNOW THE SCOPE OF WORK FOR EACH WORKER AND EXPECT ACCORDING TO THEIR EXPERTISE. An architect is different from an interior designer and both are different from a contractor. I didn’t need an architect because I wasn’t building walls and placing roofs and things as laborious as that. Looking back though, I could have hired a contractor for the foundational areas like bathrooms, where a contract could have protected me more with the resulting poor job.

III. FIRST AND FOREMOST: MIND YOUR FOUNDATIONS. To my untrained eye, everything looked alright. Until we realized the heater isn’t working, and that some pipes deep into the wall, under the cement, were leaking. We had to tear it open and close it up all over again just to fix problems. It was too much work for a small thing, and a whole lot of inconvenience. So before closing things up, like placing cement on top of open walls, or rendering the tiles, or finishing the flooring, or sealing the ceiling, make sure everything above and underneath’s working just fine! You don’t wanna be sleeping soundly until you hear a crack or two in the middle of the night that tells you something is wrong 3 inches above the roof or under the ground.

IV. PREPARE FOR BACK JOBS. I was too idealistic in thinking that soon as I settle back into our unit, everything would be just alright. Until I found a leak here…and there…and everywhere! Ugh! Some things really are unavoidable, I guess. And so it is best that your prepare your heart. Give yourself a month or 2 after being settled in. Actual people living in the home will betray loopholes in the entire construction. Give it some time and patience, and pray for grace! :)

I am almost done with this series and next Friday is when we get to the fun-nest part!!! It will be all about furnishing, and also giveaway time!!! Can’t wait to tell you all about it. But I gotta stop myself here and wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Nursing with Elin and Rica

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

In light of August as the breastfeeding awareness month, I blogged about some thoughts on breastfeeding in public last week. You may check it out over here: FEED YOUR LOVE ANYTIME, ANYWHERE

Well today, I have more for you. One would be my photos in different locations and situations that hadn’t stopped me from feeding my baby! Also, it includes the first ever time that Philip fed from my breast. I am so grateful to my hubby for documenting that moment. :)

“First Latch”

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I have a photo where my darling Philip was latched onto me, but I felt like it would be too graphic to post.

So I picked this one instead, which was right before he latched onto me for the first time.

“Colostrum Feeding”

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My first few moments of feeding in the hospital.

Still groggy with medicine and exhaustion, swollen with water and fats from pregnancy, but heart full of love!

“First “Public” Feeding”

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Took me a while before I could feed in public because I was an “oversupplier.”

It wasn’t easy for us to find the right position whenever we are out, so we always opt to feed at home. But when my milk supply was starting to normalize, I also slowly gained the confidence to take breastfeeding outside of the house.

This was at a parking lot, in our car, outside of my friend’s wedding in February!

“Feeding All Over the World”

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At 3 months we began traveling out of the country again, taking Philip with us everywhere.

And so I have experienced feeding almost about everywhere- trains, cars, cabs, restaurants, cafes, airports, and the list goes on and on!

“Comfort Nursing”

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One of the most wonderful benefits of breastfeeding for me is that it has an amazing effect of comfort whenever babies get stressed.

I was at this wedding when Philip began to be stressed with all the noise and people passing him around. For the rest of the night then, I found him never wanting to leave my breast, perhaps to keep himself off the noise and people. It also appears to have soothed him effectively, chasing the stress away!

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I am such a believer of breastfeeding and so today I want to share something with the nursing (or expecting!) mommas out there! Let me treat you to gift certificates from ELIN, where you can join the contest simply by doing the following:

1) Answer the question: “For you, what makes breastfeeding/breastmilk best for your baby?” Then send to realricaworks@gmail.com with the subject: Nursing with Elin and Rica!

2) Like Elin on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/www.elin.ph and follow @elin_ph on Instagram and take screen caps for proof and attach to your mail.

3) Like this post and share it, too, on your timelines without forgetting to tag @ricaperalejobonifacio (instagram) and @elin_ph (instagram), and also adding the hashtag #nursingwithelinandrica

Then by August 27, we will be choosing 3 winners of gift certificates from Elin, which will be worth P1,500 each. :) We shall notify winners by email.

Just wanna thank Elin for being so generous to my readers. They really are one of my faves when it comes to nursing wear. (Embedded photo from Instagram is me in my favorite Elin nursing dress!!! <3) And I am so excited for other nursing mommas to be able to wear my fave, too. :)

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Hope you are all having a wonderful Wednesday!

We’ve been gone for the most of July, yet we got to catch its last week. And though half of my mind was still in the recently turned over to Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time from Pacific Daylight Time, I went ahead to meet my ladies from our club called “For the Love of Books, Breakfast, and Coffee”! (For the history, check this out: FLBBC #1)

It was worth it since we had such an interesting discussion, so rich and full of insights. It is always amazing to come together at the end of one material and learn that all of us have seen different things!

BOOK

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Reading this, starting from the chapters on Eve and Sarah. If you wanna read with us, you can find a copy in either Fully Booked or on Amazon and have it on your iBook or Kindle Apps. If you want to take it to the next level, feel free to send us your insights, too! Email me at realricaworks@gmail.com!

The time we met before the last we agreed to reading the first 2 chapters and answering study guide in the back. Now those chapters were about the Bible characters Eve and Sarah.

Eve is a pretty popular character, although I’d have to say also often misunderstood or misrepresented. And even if I had read Genesis many times already, it does not cease to amaze me that I still learn so much from it- to be specific, about Creation and The Fall.

The last time I encountered the stories again through the exposition of John MacArthur, what made a dent in my mind would be his point about making Eve while Adam was deep asleep and here are the thoughts I wrote about it, “This shows me that a woman in God’s original design does not need help from a man in defining who she is…that man had no hand in making us and it must always be that way; that only God should shape us and not to be beautified and made attractive according to mere man’s standards.” (Of course a husband shapes his wife somehow, but generally, we should only be fashioned by them if it is under God’s will and direction.)

I also took note of my other friends’ revelations! Darlene said that while reading it dawned on her that Eve was the only woman who came “unfallen” into the world, and yeah that is right! What a great insight.

Then Melanie compares Adam’s emotional reaction to Eve as the bones of his bones, flesh of his flesh, to a mother and her child. She then went on to ask, “Is this the unfathomable feeling a man experiences whenever he sees the woman he is supposed to marry?” And now we all wonder!

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Almost everyone came with their notebooks and of course, with the notes on the chapters we were assigned to read! I had mine on my iPad, since we were traveling and decided it would be less heavy to just bring one device that fits all. But since I am home now, going back to physical paper and pen for the next.

April had a good point that in Eve’s redemption, even after having fallen and sinned, and later on redeemed, “[It comforts me] that my daughter won’t see my past but the legacy of walking with God…” and perfectly ended by Carla Mariano’s point that even though Eve committed something so grave, her life shows that by God’s mercy it is still “Not the end for you.”

Then we all agreed that the married people in our group were able to relate with Eve’s character more, and the singles were more inclined to identify with Sarah. Although I also had such a profound understanding of Sarah as I read her another time through MacArthur’s exposition, and it was all about having that “key role” in God’s big, big plans, but also subject to our fallen nature and so, the probability of messing it up is there as we give in to its trappings!

BREAKFAST

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Loved their fries, too!

We tried The Wholesome table at the Fort. It is Bianca Araneta-Elizalde’s new baby restaurant where they serve healthy and organic food. Although I really am sad to say I cannot say much since I was “on a diet” when we went there! Hahaha! I recently just came from the U.S. and noticed I packed on a few pounds I was so desperate to lose- right away. So I only ordered their salad, which was good, though I honestly thought I would have been happier if I got their veggie burger which Melanie said was really delicious! Well I guess some thing for next time?

COFFEE

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I got the regular brewed and was very happy with it. It is hard to go wrong with brewed, unless it has been left sitting out there for hours. The other thing I appreciated about my coffee, and well, the whole place, was the presentation. Everything was done with deep regard for customers’ eyes. I loved their interiors and felt like we were far removed from the city for a few hours. The windows were amazing, and I loved the effect of natural light to our energy and in our photographs!

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Just so you have faces for this club, you’ve got 3 Carlas here, from left to right: Carla Lei Mercado, Carla Peralejo Bonofacio, and Carla Mariano!

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Then you have April Tolentino, Melanie Rada, Darlene Unson, and Voica Romauldo

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Meeting the girls again this August, and I’d surely be blogging about the book convos, our breakfast and my cup of coffee. Hope you can also join with us on that one! And while we wait for that next one, let me just wish a wonderful Monday for now. :)

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Our special thanks to the dads and their friends for helping us out by taking care of our babies while we were at the breakfast meeting!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Paper Creations and Imaginings

Friday, August 15, 2014

Last Friday I said I will let you in on a secret. This is something that Ella taught me when we were renovating our unit. :)

First of all, get a floor plan of your place.

This is NOT OUR floor plan. Grabbed it from the net, with the link where it came from. I just wanted to show those who aren't familiar yet, that this is what a floor plan looks like.

This is NOT OUR floor plan. Grabbed it from the net, with the link where it came from. I just wanted to show those who aren’t familiar yet, that this is what a floor plan looks like.

Basically, a floor plan shows you the top view of your home’s basic lay out. Now having said that the plan is only a view from top, the following instructions are important. Ella did this for me, by coming over to our unit and measuring every dimension- height, width, length -that was important in the process of filling up the spaces.

So what you need to do is to measure your unit from top to bottom, side to side, and all else that you feel is important.

I believe that by doing this alone Ella already saw much uneven space that she created ways to even them out and make them look seamless by adding a board in the same paint, here and there.

Then my homework from Ella was to do some sort of an “inventory.” Which was to take note (and pictures, actually) of all of the furniture pieces I wish to keep and use upon renovation. Similarly, I had to measure them, too, in length, width, and depth.

Each and every item on this list, I measured. Quite a task, but worth it. Also, my 2 cents on buying pieces...go for ones that will last. Many of these survived 3 major renovations already!

Each and every item on this list, I measured. Quite a task, but worth it. Also, my 2 cents on buying pieces…go for ones that will last. Many of these survived 3 major renovations already!

And then Ella plots them on the floor plan that has notes of its measurements for space. So the revised floor plan will now be filled with furnitures projected on paper.

Why I like this plan is because:

1) Saves you money. Existing furnitures do that. If you know they’ll fit, then there would be no need to buy new furnitures!

2) Saves effort. And if they don’t, then you  can easily discard what is useless. No need to let it occupy space, or unnecessarily haul it back and forth.

3) Encourages imagination and creativity! Even if furnitures fit by the measure, sometimes the design won’t with your new theme. So it calls for some rehashing, repainting, reupholstering. Also, to imagine your furnitures alone means summoning imagination. You have to “see it before” they actually come to life. And that is quite hard when all you have is blank space and projections on paper.

I still have 2 more Fridays to go for this series. (For a history click this: MY HOME) And by the end of it I have an exciting giveaway for Ikea lovers like me! Stay tuned!

Taal Vista: Diamond Anniversary Special!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Let me revise the Diamond Celebration buffet special of Taal Vista with this!

“Taal Vista Hotel continues its Diamond Anniversary celebration with the official opening of Culinary Gems: A Festival of Filipino Flavors at Café Veranda on September 6, 2014 (Saturday), 11:30am featuring Chef Fernando Aracama.”

You may refer to the invitation below for the updated schedule of personal appearances of the celebrity chefs.

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