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Joyce Reyes-Aguila

Bathroom call

Is the bathroom your sanctuary at home? People can spend hours in it from answering Nature’s call, or even reading books or browsing their social networks. More spacious ones have become extensions of our bedroom – a place to pamper ourselves and relax in. Truly, when kept clutter-free, the bathroom can be a restful haven from the hustle and bustle of the world, according to The Organized Life author Stephanie Denton. “Just because others don’t see (it), doesn’t mean it’s okay to neglect (your bathroom). In a sense, (it) is more important to organize well because (it is one of the) first places you see in the morning and last you see at night.” Denton continues that some simple actions to maintain its orderliness include putting away clothes or returning the …

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Viva La Evolution

Would you like to travel in time to peek inside houses? Old family photos are infinitely fascinating in part because we see how homes from yesteryear looked like, and how our elders lived.We begin asking our grandparents if the printed table cloth in the picture is still around (and if we can have it). At the same time, movies and magazines divine and suggest how tomorrow’s homes will look. If you could walk into bedrooms, dining areas, and bathrooms of houses of the past, present, and future, would you? What do think you’d find? Well, the graduating students of the Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID) hazard educated guesses in an exhibit called Evolution. Twenty-four different “rooms” are housed at the Greenfield District in Mandaluyong until October 31 – each affording …

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Cook up some color and class for your kitchen

Yes, you should realize a better-looking kitchen! When we think of ways to reward ourselves at home, we almost never think of this busy part of our home. We want a bigger television for the den, or a new mattress to sleep on. The couch can look livelier with a new set of pillows.  It usually takes years (and some chipping and major scratching) to make us contemplate a kitchen update. Different factors contribute to this neglect. Renovating the kitchen is not easy on the pocket and, unlike purchasing new throw pillows, it takes longer to accomplish. Having new cabinets or flooring installed can sound costly; but what about paint?  Or how about a dash of color for a makeover? Choosing the right hues for your kitchen will change its overall …

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Chores that can wait

When it comes to the home, most of us have become expert multitaskers. Parents are able to help their kids with homework while they wait for the beef cubes to marinate. Some can clean the kitchen counter as the washing machine finishes a load of clothes. Our busy schedules have made us masters at maximizing time – accomplishing a lot of things simultaneously. While busy with chores, we often wish we could set all of it aside to spend more time with our loved ones. It is often hard to balance doing what is necessary for our home and spending time with family. By the time all the to-dos are done, everyone is likely getting ready for bed. Along with our chores, the day is done as well. But what if we …

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Do more with less

We are all fans of home makeovers. Something about the process of improving a space and seeing the results never fail to interest us. Bettering the look and purpose of every corner and nook is a constant goal of homeowners. For an empty wall, a painting or frame has to be installed. The entire couch should be showered with throw pillows. And every available surface should have figurines, photos, and a lampshade to match. Still, it can be possible to do more harm than good when it comes to our home interiors. Spaces should be able to breathe – not overwhelm our sight or limit movement. Assess your home like your car’s dashboard. Does it really need one more stuffed toy? Give your wardrobe a second look to see if you …

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Think before you move out

Moving out can be overrated. This giant step that anyone takes towards self-sufficiency promises excitement and new discoveries, but also the pitfalls and difficulties that can make anyone move right back in with their folks. After all, the big move slowly reveals an array of responsibilities – tasks that cause one to question what on earth they were thinking. You might say to yourself, “Why did I move out? Nobody ever told me about all the to-do ‘adult’ things in the‘real world.’“ Author Kelly Williams Brown opines in her book Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps that the word “adult” is actually not a noun but a verb. “It’s the act of making correctly those small decisions that fill our day,” she writes. And just what have …

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Kitchen lovin’ habits

While not all of us are destined to become master chefs, it is still possible to become experts in the kitchen. Growing up, we were asked to slice vegetables, set the dining table while taking care to wash our hands and clean after ourselves. “Good habits formed at youth makes all the difference,” the great Aristotle reminded us. And those who listened to Mom or Dad as they conjured all sorts of yummy stuff in the kitchen are surely grateful for knowing basic things that help them manage their own kitchens today. Those who paid less attention are now ruing the lessons they missed. The simplest kitchen habits enable us to prepare clean, healthy meals while maintaining an organized environment for one of the busiest rooms in our homes. Do you practice …

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#HubbyChores for the Weekend

Stories about husbands taking over the kitchen to prepare Sunday lunch are heartwarming. There is a sense of surprise and appreciation when the man of the house assumes house roles not traditionally associated with them. Over the years, men in our lives truly have redefined the male home role. They do their share. It can be as simple as serving the best brewed coffee for breakfast or developing special skills like braiding their daughter’s hair. Weekends offer a good window for males to do more than their usual share at home. Generally free from work and traffic-related stress, they can go above and beyond to get some chores done. Here are some suggested Saturday-Sunday tasks. 1. Give the pets a bath. We need not even consider this a chore. We see husbands …

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10 practical gift ideas for newlyweds

Upon receiving a wedding invite, we ask ourselves: What do I wear? Who do I go with? What can I give? For not only do we want to look good for a couple’s special day, we also want to be able to send them off into married life with something memorable. Practicality is a major consideration of soon-to-be married couples. Getting monetary gifts in lieu of five rice cookers are surely preferred. Funds for a honeymoon, living space, or long-term savings are always welcome. Having said that, tangible gifts are also a sign of thoughtfulness and effort. Here are 10 items to consider the next time you get an invite. Always remember that, again, if gifts are well thought of, money is never wasted.   • Lights all around. Lampshades or night lights …

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Safe from shock

Accidents are unexpected events that can place us in stressful situations. No place is completely safe – even our homes. We face the possibility of mishaps daily, despite the safety precautions we all take. Electrical safety is an area every home owner should prioritize. As it stands, electric shock is a cause of 30,000 non-fatal accidents in the United States annually, according to the National Safety Council. In the same study, at least 600 people are said to die from electrocution each year. We are familiar with the basics of preventing electrocution such as unplugging appliances when not in use, and child-proofing electrical sockets. But experts say we can do more. • Think twice before you purchase appliances. You may appear to be paying 80 percent less for an unknown brand, but …

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