Housekeeping Reference Materials

Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Basa ng basa, hindi naman marunong mag-walis. Isosoli ka ng asawa mo dahil hindi ka marunong sa bahay." - Lola
If only she could see me now. God, bless her soul.

What I did not learn at home when I was growing up, I made up for by reading how-to books. (Yes, Lola, all that reading worked out for me.)

Here is a list of my books on household management:

1. The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger

I bought this thinking it was a cookbook. I'm still happy I got it. I love Dr. Laura's no-holds-barred way of dishing out advise. She can, however, be a bit sexist so you have to keep an open mind.
(W)omen get married thinking largely about what their marriage and their man can do for them, and not what they can do for their men. And when there is so little emphasis on the giving, the nitpicking and pettiness chews up and spits out what could have been a good marriage.
2. KIT: Keep It Together by Frannie S. Daez

Mrs. Daez is an angel. Her book inspired me to develop my own household manual and I credit her for most of what's in it today. Thank you Mrs. Daez. (Note: This is a perfect wedding shower gift.)
KIT is a home management manual to help women keep it together. Frannie Daez introduces a corporate approach to managing the home... The author shares how she manages her home based on personal experiences.
Apartment Therapy by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan

I discovered their website -- -- a few months after my husband and I moved in our apartment. Maxwell's EIGHT STEP HOME CURE made me buy the book. It's not you regular run-of-the-mill interior design book.
A top interior-design guru shows you how to create a home that works for you -- physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
4. I Love You, Yaya Handbook by Maricel Laxa Pangilinan

Even those without children can learn a lot from this book. It comes with a CD containing the lectures in the hand book.
It is a two-part reference book containing informative articles on hiring, training, and nurturing caregivers, as well as practical guides for children, common illnesses, developmental milestones, and even fighting stress.
5. The Home Organizing Workbook by Meryl Starr

The book contains clutter-busting tips and wonderful photos. The pictures will inspire you to organize your home.
Finally, an accessible and utterly practical handbook that offers lasting results for anyone looking to clear the clutter.
6. Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook by Martha Stewart

This is my housekeeping bible! A must-have for every household. If expectant mothers read "What to Expect When Your Expecting," brides should read this before moving into their own homes.
Martha's indispensible handbook for creating comfortable and beautiful home and caring for everything in it.
7. Real Simple Solutions

Most of what's in the book is also in their website -- -- but I like browsing through the pages and looking at the pictures when I need inspiration.
Real Simples' indispensible household-hint book. Features more than 300 fast, practical, and affordable solutions to make your busy life easier. Includes inspiring ideas for cooking, cleaning, decorating, entertaining, and more.
8. Good Housekeeping:The Complete Household Handbook

Very comprehensive. It is a nice complement to the Martha Stewart Handbook. But if I have to choose between the two, I will choose Martha's.
This is the ultimate comprehensive, authoritative, and easy-to-use source of practical information for organizing, cleaning, and managing your home.
9. Better Homes and Gardens: Clutter Cutters

I got this from Book Sale. It gives you practical advice on how to stay organized. This was the book that helped me develop my own system of storing things.
Cut the clutter and reclaim your space and your life. Clutter Cutters offers advice and encouragement for clearing out the clutter in every room of the house.


Holiday Planning: Planning Week (Week 1)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Holiday Tasks for the Week (31 August to 6 September):

1. Master Gift List
2. Holiday Gift Budget

I'm making a list, and checking it twice. Were you naughty or nice this year?

Note: I'm following the holiday planning schedule of Cynthia Townley Ewer. Check out her website -- Organized Christmas


Jollibee Yum Burgrrrr...

Friday, August 29, 2008

28 August 2008

I placed my ordered at 3:36 PM.

The delivery guy arrived in our condo in less than 30 minutes. Good.

He spilled the drinks and had to go back. He also did not leave the fries I ordered. Bad.

The delivery guy was back in less than 15 mins. Good.

I discovered that my Yum Burgrrr had no beef patty. Bad.

The replacement burger arrived at 5:15 PM. Very bad.

They refused to honor their 30 minute guarantee. Very, very bad.

They picked the wrong customer to mess with. Not today. Not me.

Jollibee guarantees that you will get your order within 30 minutes. If they fail to deliver on time, they will give you a P200 gift certificate. In my case, since their delivery guy arrived at the lobby of our condo within the prescribed time, the manager said that I am not entitled to the P200 gift certificate. She offered me two peach mango pies instead.


The guarantee is for THE ORDER and not the driver.

I can forgive the spilled drinks but I really insisted on the gift certificate when I found out that they delivered other orders first before bringing me my replacement burger. They thought the 30-minute time limit no longer applies in my case since their rider was on time the first time.

My position was that they were already in default when the delivery guy failed to deliver the drinks and the fries. They just aggravated the situation by delaying the delivery of the replacement burger.

To cut a long story short, I got the gift certificates and 2 peach mango pies.

Want a Jollibee treat?


Cleaning: New Lysol

I recently switched to homemade cleaning products but Ate S, the germophobe, threatened to throw a coup if I don't buy her Domex. For world peace, I went to the grocery to get her anti-bacterial all-purpose cleaner.

At there it was
! The Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner for only P59.00.

I immediately bought 4 bottles.

I'm not sure I like it. The smell takes some getting used to.


Wall*E: Hoarder or Collector?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wall*E is a hoarder! He developed very human traits and hoarding was unfortunately one of them.

I can't blame him. He can have anything on this earth! It may all be earthling garbage but as they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure.

Sort and Store

He's so cute. He chooses his "finds" carefully and brings them home in his cooler. At home, he sorts them and keeps them in his hi-tech rotating cabinet. He obviously has a system because he can find anything in an instant. It only took him a few seconds to find that Rubik's Cube for Eve.

Hmmm... I take it back. Wall*E is a collector not a hoarder. He collects the stuff he likes and enjoys them. Just like me. *ehem, ehem*

Now, when my husband complains that I hoard stuff I can always tell him, "Correction. I collect not hoard."

Here is a list of some of the things I hoard:

  • Hotel Toiletries
  • Plastic and Paper Bags
  • Tea Lights
  • Notebooks
  • Ballpens
These are considered consumables, things used everyday, but I end up hoarding them instead of using them. Some I use every now and then but very reluctantly.

Am I a collector or a hoarder? Do I need help?

What do you hoard?


I Love You, Yaya Handbook

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I was late discovering the I Love You, Yaya Handbook. Good thing they had one copy left in Fullybooked, Powerplant.

I initially had second thoughts about buying the book because it looked like the browsing copy. (I hate wrinkly/crumpled book covers.) When I
opened it, I even saw scribbles in the title page. WTF?!?

"Oh, wait! That's Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan's authograph. SOLD!"

I bought it for P499. Since I am childless and don't need a yaya, I got it purely for research. This review is for you my dear readers.

The book comes with 2 CDs. They contain the same subjects discussed during the I Love You, Yaya Training Seminars. You can use it to train your yayas at home.

I listened to Disc 1 and all I can say is that I love Maricel's voice. She sounds so soothing and pleasant.

Here are some of the topics I liked:

  • Common Mistakes We Make in Feeding Our Children (can be applied to husbands)
  • Teach Your Yaya the Value of Disease Prevention
  • Yaya: Your Organization Buddy
  • Love Your Kasambahay
  • Letting Go
It's a handbook for you and your yaya!

If you want to see it first before investing your P499, you can borrow my copy.


Honeymoon Suites: The Bare Minimum

Monday, August 25, 2008

I just came home from a 3-day Palawan vacation.

We stayed in a resort known to be a honeymoon destination but I honestly don't know how it got that reputation because the place is definitely not honeymooner-friendly.

[Warning: Mature material ahead. No curse words.]

What You Want in a Honeymoon Suite

Please use your imagination. I don't want my blog to be banned for posting pornographic materials.)

Bed: A broken back is never romantic.

Demand at the minimum a queen-sized bed. Two single-beds that are pushed together do not count. When you start rolling around from one side to the other, you don't want to feel the break in your back. Worse, you don't want to fall right in the middle! All the action will definitely cause the bed to separate. This happened to my friend, I swear!

Bed sheets:
Knee burns and chafed elbows!

I am not asking for 1,000 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets from Frette. Just don't give me bed linens with the texture of a sackcloth. Some may think this is not important but if you are planning to stay in bed most of the day, you will notice.

Room service: Dressing up and walking to the clubhouse just to get something to eat will kill the mood and break the momentum.

You will eventually get hungry but moving your ass out of that bed will be the farthest thing from your mind. Without room service, you will have to dress up and go out to eat. The horror! By the time you finish eating, it will be very hard to get the groove back.

Privacy: If you can hear your neighbors they can hear you too.

Res ipsa loquitur (The thing itself speaks).

There! Good luck on your first, second or nth honeymoon.


Ultimate Yaya Accessory: Cash Card

Saturday, August 23, 2008

"Yaya, can you buy 5 kilos of Wagyu beef on your way home? Just use your card."

I wake up. End of dream sequence.
Seriously, a yaya (nanny) cash card may prove to be heaven sent to busy moms.

My very pregnant friend almost passed out in the supermarket a few weeks ago. She did not feel well but needed to buy some things for her kids. She had to use her credit card and therefore could not delegate the grocery shopping to her maid.

Why not give yaya her own card so she can do the shopping for you? She and the driver can even gas up on the way home. Wouldn't that be lovely?

I'm not kidding. You just load the card an amount enough for emergency shopping trips. Enroll it in your online account so you can easily keep track of how it is being used. You can reload it online too.

Easy, right?


Chocolatiest Test

Friday, August 22, 2008

My husband believes in rapid nutrient replacement after a workout. I have no problem with this since studies show that a person must consume carbohydrates within 15 minutes after a workout to help restore glycogen. My problem is his choice of carbohydrates, KRISPY KREMES.

© BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons

I have to give him another option! But where will I find a healthy alternative to Krispy Kremes? It must be as yummy as doughnuts.

Compared to children, husbands are harder to feed healthy meals. You can't just give them "the mommy look of terror".
Fortunately, after some research, I found the perfect after workout snack...


According to WebMD:

In the study, nine male cyclists rode until their muscles were depleted of energy, then rested four hours and biked again until exhaustion. During the rest period, the cyclists drank low-fat chocolate milk, Gatorade, or Endurox R4. During a second round of exercise, the cyclists who drank the chocolate milk were able to bike about 50% longer than those who drank Endurox, and about as long as those who drank the Gatorade.
Problem solved? Not really.

My husband would only drink CHOCO-VIM but that drink was discontinued decades ago. The only trace the good ol' drink is this bottle being sold on eBay.

If there's a will, there's a way.

I hope one of these tastes like Choco-Vim.

Anyone out there who can still remember how that chocolate drink tastes like? Please send me your suggestions.


Super Olympic Mom

Thursday, August 21, 2008

She is a middle-school principal.
She is a mom of three, two girls and one very special boy.
She went through a divorce when her son was 9 yrs. old.
She found out soon after that her son had ADHD.
She found time to bring her son to swim practice 2x a day.
She is the mom of the world's greatest swimmer.

She is...


Picture from Good Morning America

She shared her secret in Good Morning America. "I'm the parent not the coach or the agent or whatever there is to be." She will always be MOM.


Very Dirty City Air

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Manila Air is sooo DIRTY! Here's the proof...

I had our air conditioners cleaned last 6 August 2008. On the same day, I placed in it special filters that are designed to turn any air conditioner into an air filter. It comes with an indicator that you stick on the air conditioner's grill. Once it turns black, after around 1-2 months of normal use as the packaging claimed, it's time to change the filter.

On the 8th day...

The indicator was barely a week old when it started turning black. We had to replace the filter after only 8 days!

See the dirt trapped in the filter? Gross!

Alas! The price we have to pay for living in the city.


"C" Sees: Her True Value Finds

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Two weeks ago, I dragged "C" to True Value in Power Plant, Rockwell. I, while shopping for lights, was blissfully unaware that "C" was dying of boredom in the CFL section. When I asked her if it's okay for us to go around and browse the tools section, she gave me an emphatic NO.

Yesterday was different. As I aimlessly browsed the True Value aisles, "C" entertained herself with some of the "interesting" items near the counter. Inspecting her finds, we were giggling like school girls as we read the labels. *hihihi*


This was "C"'s first find. I saw her laughing her ass off while holding this jar with a cow label. I first thought it was underarm cream. Upon closer inspection, I realized that it was an UDDER CREAM! The intense giggling then started. "Cream for you significant UDDER!" "Not only for the lips but also for the nips." "Oh! AAP (our breastfeeding friend) will love this!"

Seriously, check out the website of UDDERLY SMOOTH. I think it's a great product once you get past the UDDER.

NO. 2: "PERSONAL" Massager

We just couldn't resist taking a picture of this contraption. It claims to be a personal massager. With that shape, I'm sure it will really be a "personal" experience. Grab it now! It's 20% off.

Check it out in the Walgreen website -- HEALTH O METER Personal Massager. Read the reviews of the customers. See the udder other uses for the massager.



Sunday, August 17, 2008

I am talking about ORGANIZING BY COLOR, not the MMDA "number coding scheme".

Do you color-code at home? It's a great way to arrange stuff around the house. I have to warn you though that it can be addicting.

Here are some examples of my color-coding efforts:

1. Books: The bookshelf doesn't look as cluttered, right? It's very pleasing to the eyes. However, make sure you ask your significant other first before color-coding your conjugal books. I decided to surprise my husband and he almost had a heart attack when he saw his Henry Kissinger books separated. (They were 4 different colors!)

Click here to see larger picture
(Pictures by B.Q.)

That is MM's bookshelf in the picture. I arranged it while she was in the shower but this time I asked her permission first (
friends may not be as forgiving as husbands). She was happy with the results but it took awhile before she got used to the fact that her books are no longer arranged by genre.

2. Clothes: When there is nothing good on cable and you don't want to go to yoga class, I suggest you try color-coding your clothes. It makes your cabinet look so neat. Just remember to use the same type of hangers for maximum neatness effect.

(Sorry. No pictures. My husband is in the room. I can't sneak in to take a pic.)

3. Dinnerware: I'm not really color-coding here because everything is white. I deliberately chose an all white scheme for our dinnerware because I am bad at matching colors.

Click here to see larger picture
(Pictures by BagLove)

Share your color-coding stories. Again, no Bayani or MMDA related stories please :)


Holiday Preparations: Gift Wrapping Station

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Too early? It's never too early. Martha Stewart is already telling her viewers to prepare for the holidays! She has started making cards, decoration and other trinkets.

I think I will start with organizing my GIFT WRAPPING STATION.

Do you know where your gift wrappers from last year are? Where do you keep them?

Photo courtesy of Real Simple

If you are like Candy Spelling (wife of Aaron Spelling and mother of Tori Spelling), they are probably in your own GIFT WRAPPING ROOM. Yes, a room just for wrapping gifts.

Photo courtesy of Babble

I, a mere mortal, will have to make do with my own portable gift wrapping station. It's just a bag that holds my wrappers and tools. Perfect for our small apartment.

I bought this for P995 in MakeRoom, Rockwell (Dec. 2006). I saw the exact same bag in True Value last week for less than P700.

Here are some helpful links:
1. From REAL SIMPLE, Creat a Gift Wrapping Station
2. From UNCLUTTERER, Organizing Gift Wrapping Supplies

The organizer featured in Unclutterer is available in MakeRoom.


Julia Child's a SPY!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Julia Child was the Martha Stewart of the 60s. She was a famous American cook, author, and television personality, who introduced French cuisine and cooking techniques to the American mainstream, through her many cookbooks and television programs. (See Wikipedia)

She looked so motherly. This woman inspired so many cooks around the world. Who would have thought that she was a spy? A SPY! (See Yahoo News)

This is so exciting. Where do I apply? 


Cord Cover-Up

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Picture from Fire Iron Design

What's wrong with this picture?

Where is the electric cord? How will they light up that lamp?

Many interior design magazines do this. They hide the cords in the meticulously styled pictures so you start imagining the table looking oh so elegant and perfect in your living room. You buy it, place your lamp and iPod dock on top and then EGAD! Unsightly cords under the table!

Here is a tip on how to hide those ugly cords.

Photo from Cord Coverup (A&M Designs, Inc.). See more pictures in their site.

I'm planning on having something like this made in Kamuning next week. Want to go with me?


Tip: Rust Remover Magic Formula

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Problem with rusty pans and tools?

What you need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Pure White Vinegar
  • Aliminum Foil
  1. Mix baking soda and white vinegar. (go for pasty consistency)
  2. Crumple the aluminum foil with the shiny side showing.
  3. Dip the aluminum foil the baking soda and vinegar mix.
  4. Scrub the rust out of your pan/tools.
Shortcut: Take out your cleaning kit. Liberally dust the pan with baking soda. Spray Pure White Vinegar. Scrub with the aluminum foil.

You can also try this with your chrome fixtures. See the rust magically disappear.

Warning:Test-scrub in a small area first to make sure that it won't scratch the metal. If you don't mind it being scratched, like with my stove pan, scrub away.)


Before and After: Electric Stove

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I kept on reminding myself to buy a single-burner electric stove but I never got around it. (We need it as an emergency stove in case we run out of LPG.)

One day, my friend "MM" gave me this green National electric stove. Perfect! I instantly saw its potential. It's a well-built stove, better than what's available in the market nowadays.


After... The stove looks like this now. Tada!

Here is how I did it:

I had the cord changed. See the chewed up cord in the before picture? I brought the stove to our neighborhood repair shop and they replaced the cords for P220 ($5).

I cleaned the pan and the center of the coils. It only took 10 minutes to turn the pan from grimy to shiny. I will post the secret formula tomorrow.

3. I polished the body with MC All-Purpose Cleaner. MC can clean almost anything.


Note: SAVE THE EARTH! Recycle. Try to save appliances by having them repaired. Don't just throw them away.


A Tip from May Poppins

Monday, August 11, 2008

Photo courtesy of Freewebs (Disney Classics)

“In every job that must be done,
there is an element of fun.
You find the fun and ‘snap’,

the job’s a game.”

I watched Mary Poppins on the Disney Channel last week. She's right. Find the fun and turn the job into a game.

Here is an example of how one mom turned the job of preparing packed lunches into a game/hobby.

Check out Kitchen Cow! She makes the cutest Bento Boxes. See how she turns regular pinoy food (ex. tapa and adobo) into a work of art. I'm going to try her Tonkatsu recipe this week.


Bag Clips

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"Crruun...... phew... phew... THIS IS NO LONGER CRUNCHY!!!
"Tsk... tsk... tsk... Somebody forgot to put the clips on the bag of chips again.
I hoard bag clips. My friends and I can't get enough of the cute pastel-colored clips from Ikea.

My friend "B" bought 1 bag of clips in Mayflower 1620 for P350.

I still have 1 unopened bag of clips so I really don't need to buy another one. Even so, I had to muster the little self-control left in me (most already left with the plastic containers) when I was saw the bag clips in Mayflower 1620.

Not a believer in bag clips? Okay. See here how you can magically reseal bags without a clip.

It's magic! Tried it?


Internet Finds: Craiglist Manila and Delivery.Ph

Saturday, August 9, 2008

1. Craiglist MANILA, Philippines

It's here! Check-out Craiglist Manila.

Shopping! Shopping! Shopping! (and selling too)


This site promises speed and accuracy in delivering food orders.

Hooray! Finally, an all-in-one on-line food delivery service in Metro Manila. Too bad the choice of restaurants are limited at the moment. (Thanks KitchenCow for sharing this food delivery tip with us.)

Tried this? Share your experience. Post a comment.


Health: Granite Countertops

Friday, August 8, 2008

I Need a Geiger Counter! Now!

I just found out that my jet black granite countertop releases RADON.

RADON: This odorless, tasteless gas occurs naturally when uranium in rocks and soil decays. Recent studies indicate that exposure to high levels of radon over extended periods is linked to lung cancer. Both the U.S. Surgeon General and the EPA recommend that every home be tested for radon. [Good Housekeeping: The Complete Household Handbook, p. 379 (2005)]

Good Housekeeping not a good enough source for you?

Okay, here is an article from the New York Times -- What's Lurking in Your Countertop?

The E.P.A. recommends taking action if radon gas levels in the home exceeds 4 picocuries per liter of air (a measure of radioactive emission); about the same risk for cancer as smoking a half a pack of cigarettes per day.

I don't smoke but now there's a possibility that I have the same risk for cancer as my friend who smokes half a pack of Dunhills a day. Argh!

What's your kitchen countertop made of?

ss_blog_claim=67018f3de1a8852768510c0d42841a05 ss_blog_claim=67018f3de1a8852768510c0d42841a05