About Me · Personal

A baby blessing, a wedding and the cities of my childhood and youth

My family and I are currently visiting my parents in Munich, Germany and how quickly time went by as tomorrow we will be flying back to England again.

Last Sunday my family had the honour to witness and be part of the baby blessing of my nephew Kai Kristian Magpantay. There’s something very special about newborns. They’re such little angels that instantly bring joy into your heart and they smell like heaven too! It was such a wonderful family affair and we feel truly blessed. As me, my siblings and our families are scattered between Germany and the UK, reunions like this only happen once every blue moon and therefore we cherish every moment and memory we make together even more so. Here’s the Magpantay clan to date:

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Here’s Joseph with his cousins. It’s such a delight to see that they all play so well together.

My siblings and I on a lunch date with a very good friend in Munich at the rustic elegant “Kuffler Spatenhaus an der Oper” – they serve the very best organic ice cream!

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Last Thursday we embarked on a five hour roadtrip from Munich to Vienna, Austria to attend my cousin’s wedding. However, this was not your ordinary wedding, this was also the long awaited family reunion of my father’s side of the family. Aunts, uncles and cousins flew in from the USA, Canada and the UK to witness the Filipino-Austrian wedding of the year. My cousin and her groom looked absolutely happy, gorgeous and so in love with each other. From the bottom of my heart, I  wish them all the happiness and success. Also I love the fact that even though my family are scattered on every corner of the world (so it seems to me anyways) we all feel so happy and at home with each other. It was all about loud chats and laughter, selfies and pictures galore as it is typical of a big fat Filipino family reunion. And of course let us not forget the good food too! Oh how I love my family.

Whilst we were visiting Austria we also made sure to visit some of it’s famous landmarks and places. I am most especially happy that I was able to once again show and share my boys the beautiful city of Vienna. Whilst walking around the city centre childhood memories came flooding back. Funny how you appreciate and love a place even more after you’ve already left it and life’s destiny has taken you somewhere else….

Here are some of our few Viennese impressions. It is such an elegant and classy city:

Hallstatt, Austria – the absolute Austrian alpine paradise. This little town is not just beautiful but also so full of history that it is considered as a world heritage site by the UNESCO.

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After a week of nostalgic, heart warming adventures with families and friends and being able to speak German again in the cities of my childhood and youth, we are once again homebound to good old Bristol, England.

Munich and Vienna you will always have special places in my heart. You will be missed. Auf Wiedersehen for now und bis Bald!

 

 

Hallway · Home · House remodel

It’s time to tackle the hallway…yes work never stops

As mentioned in my previous post the living areas and kitchen are pretty much done so Christopher and I have been gradually prepping the hallway to ready  the sealing for re-plaster and eventually for decorating.

One afternoon when I was brainstorming for ideas of how we can maximise/utilise the spaces in our house in a very practical manner without sacrificing style, I came up with the idea of keeping the under stairs area open and convert it into Christopher’s work station (similar to the pictures below) . In that way the hallway will be airier and will seem bigger too (providing Chris keeps it all clean and tidy 😲). The area where it becomes  narrow at the bottom of the stairs I suggested that we build an “under stairs pull out shoe rack”. With that idea we will not have use the third bedroom as an office but instead use it as a spare bedroom (…and nursery in the future).

Chris was happy to implement the idea however, we had to call in the electrician again to install another double socket and lighting (yup, another additional expense!). We had the electrical wirings run into the wall and Chris had to plaster the wall to cover up the bare wirings.

There is a loooooot to do and part of me is not looking forward to peeling the wallpaper off the walls (the whole hallway is currently painted in this horrid blue colour with 2 LAYERS of wallpaper underneath! 😲) …..and then there’s the dirty job of plastering and sanding it down before the fun part of painting, YIKES! But hey it needs to be done.

These past few weeks has been Mediterranean weather here in England which is absolutely delightful but Christopher and I had to roll our sleeves up and get on with the work. Chris installed plasterboards in the cupboard opposite the under stairs area and also did a bit of plastering  while I removed the wallpaper off the walls. It was awfully tedious and it took ages to free the walls from those horrid paint and wallpaper! (And there’s still the landing to go! 😒)

I know some people love the feeling when the wallpaper is getting steamed and peeled off the walls but unfortunately it’s not been a fun experience for me…..and I have super valid reasons:

1. My hands and nails cracked and dried up again! I couldn’t wear gloves as I had to peel off the first layer of wallpaper before I could steam off the second layer.

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2. Working when it’s 30 degrees Celsius outside with the wallpaper stripper inside was like being in a sauna minus the part of feeling refreshed afterwards…..no, for me it felt like my skin was melting off my face.😲

3. Wallpaper stripper + super hot steam + 3 year old boy = lethal combo. I had to make sure my son was safe at all times. And yet the more I warned him the more curious he got!

Before:

 

Hallway – prepping stage:

 

Now we just need to get the ceiling plastered and the whole hallway decorated but before we can start with that circus my family and I are off to Munich and Vienna this Friday and I can’t wait for a nice break with my family.

I also plan to gather lots of inspirations and ideas from the beautiful cities of my childhood.

Wish me luck!😘

 

 

 

 

Home · House remodel

So this is what we have been up to….

I have been meaning to write this post sooner however, lately it seems that time is against me and there’s so much to do! Living in our house now while trying to continue with the remodel does not make it easier.  It’s juggling parenthood, establishing new routines, office work, house work, oh dear, the list can go on and on….

Despite being busy, I must admit that I absolutely love that my family and I are now living in our very own house. I love how we can see the progress we are making and how things are becoming more of how Christopher and I have envisioned it. Plus my heart melts when people come by and my little man tells them proudly and full of enthusiasm that it’s his new house.

So what have we been up to these last three weeks!?

1. Front and back porch roofs update:

We finally had the front and back porch roofs repaired! Christopher striped them back and removed all the rotten parts, Christopher’s dad installed the fascia boards and we called in a roofer for re-lining and water proofing. Good bye to those rotten roofs. Spot the difference!?

The front porch roof was the one that was rotting away so it definitely needed some serious repair work.

 

The back porch roof slightly dropped so it had to be lifted up and supported.

 

2. Hemming the living room curtains:

When I bought our curtains for the living/dining areas they were way too long. There was definitely no getting away of having to shorten them. I didn’t really want to use my sewing machine and so I did my research and found the perfect solution of how to  hem our living room curtains without using a sewing machine! I found an iron-on hemming strip at IKEA for just £2 and it was an absolute lifesaver. It was so easy to use and all I needed were scissors, pins, 2x clips (to hold the end of the curtains) and the hemming strips and I am super happy with the result:

 

 

 

3. The epic journey of acquiring my IKEA white Vittsjo shelving units – “I came, I saw, I conquered”! It was tough but I was Victorious!

The living areas are pretty much done except for some small finishing touches…ahhhhhhh all those little things that take up so much time when all I really want is to finally do my living area reveal post!

As the living areas open planned I wanted to put shelving units in the room that will connect the living and dining areas. (To see my initial mood boards check out: Interiors and Mood boards )

However, the shelving units need to be light, fresh and airy; cohesive to the theme I want to establish throughout the rest of the house. And so I decided to go for the  IKEA Vittsjo shelving units in white. They are exactly what I need to bind the areas together. (Plus unlike other shelving units similar to Vittsjo, they are actually quite affordable and yet looking very “designer” at the same time)

 

 

I decided to go for the double and single rather than just a double as grouping things in 3’s are more pleasing to the eye. Keep in mind the rule of 3’s is one of the golden rules of style and interior design! 😉

However, acquiring those shelves was an absolute roller coaster ride for my nerves. 😵 I thought I will just be able to waltz into IKEA and purchase my “must-have” shelving units but instead my excitement was shattered into pieces when the information personell told me that only the white single ones are available in Bristol and the white double ones are out of stock and is unlikely to get restocked as the line is being discontinued! 😱 (why the heck would IKEA discontinue such a popular  line!? Je ne comprend pas est pourquoi?) Imagine the panic I have felt when I heard those words! As I was so determined to have those shelves in white, out of desperation I was so close to just buying the double ones in Black-brown and spray paint them white. But then I ended up not buying anything as Christopher said that the packagings are too long they wouldn’t fit in the car anyways!

Yup I came home heart broken because of shelving units I couldn’t buy, it’s ridiculous right!? But I didn’t give up just yet. I did further research and found out that the double white ones are luckily still available in IKEA Reading which is an hour away from Bristol. Chris’ dad was kind enough to accompany me with his van to pick up the single one from the Bristol shop and last Saturday he accompanied Chris to pick up the double ones from the Reading shop. My husband and father-in-law indeed made me very happy as they definitely helped me complete my “work of art”.

Some people did some really cool IKEA hacks with their Vittsjo shelving units, like for instance spray painting them in gold and applying marble contact paper at the bottom shelves, giving it the glam look:

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But I think I will likely leave it in classy white with a touch of marble. Uhhhhh how I can’t wait to style my shelving vignettes! (And of course let us hope that Joseph does not use the shelves as ladders!)

On that note as Caesar once said when conquered Carthage: Veni, Vedi, Vici!

Until next time peeps! 😘

 

 

Home · House remodel

We have finally moved in!

After 8 weeks of waiting and hard work, I can now officially say that we have finally moved into our new house! YEY! We managed to move in officially on Saturday, 17th June. Of course, there is still a lot to be done, but that is ok. There is no better feeling than my family and I being in our own home.

Remember my blog post about my rug dilemma!? (read: Which one, which one? Major RUG distress!) Well, I have finally decided and ordered at the beginning of last week! It was also such a bonus to get it on a 60% off sale. CHACHING definitely saved a bit of money there! To my surprise, it was delivered swiftly and the rug arrived by Friday. The courier was DHL and I was able to track the delivery online too.  When I opened the package I knew that I have made the right choice. Rolling out the rug into the sun-soaked living area while the marvellous pattern and colours unfolded before my eyes and also seeing the difference it brings to the room was just absolute magic! I do not think I will ever get tired of it. It feels really soft too. When Joseph saw it, he quickly laid on it and said with a long sigh: “Ahhhhh reeellaax!” I am glad that my little monkey likes it too.

By the way, I have decided to ditch the coffee table. As much as I wanted to keep it, I wanted to make sure I was maximising the use of every space we have while keeping every sense of comfort suitable for my family. So instead I bought a footstool from IKEA which will also serve as a coffee table and storage. It is from IKEA’s “Ektorp” range which I absolutely love as it is timeless and yet at the same time super practical as the slipcovers are machine washable. Perfect for a household with little children and I can get away with having a white settee. YEY!

To ensure I can use it as a coffee table too when entertaining I bought a large white tray with grey laurel leaf pattern on the side which gives it a “French Provence” vintagey look. For a bit of texture on the whole ensemble, I have added a faux sheep fur throw which I have also purchased from IKEA for a bargain price.

However, as the room is not complete yet you will have to wait for the “Room Reveal” post.

We are soooo close to finishing the Living/ Dining and Kitchen area, so it should not be long anymore. But here’s a little teaser…..:)

 

Here’s one with the footstool and tray:

 

I know it is 3 months overdue but this is the welcome package and the house keys which we have received from the estate agent shortly after the exchange of contracts:

 

And because we have worked hard and the sun is smiling down on Bristol this week again, I decided to take it easy and explore a bit of Yate.

Here’s Joseph enjoying the giant sandpit in the middle of the town centre:

Until next time my lovelies! 🙂

Fashion & Style · Personal

Sunday best – dress up

I love fashion! I love how you can express your creativity and style in how you dress and present yourself. Plus it is super fun! Sometimes as a mum I feel that throughout the week I do not have enough chance, time or opportunity to put a nice outfit together and wear it without getting any stain on them. Yup! The joys of being a mummy! And I will not sugar coat the fact that there are days where I am an ultimate hot mess and actually feel like one of the “Walking dead” zombies! 😱 Scary right!? But that’s reality!

And so it is a massive treat for me when I get the chance to dress up and be girly on Sundays for church.

I am not good with selfies and pictures and oftentimes I just always end up looking awkward in them. 😲

However, I have decided to “Style my heart out” in this “Sunday best – dress up” blog post in which I am hoping to share with you my OOTDs on some Sundays (…where I look halfway at presentable!? 😅)

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IMG_20170611_100028032Ha! Do forgive me but I just can’t pose. Looking at these pictures makes me laugh!

As the sun is shining down on Bristol today I decided to wear a plain white tee from H&M, nude tassel earrings from Topshop and a blue striped maxi skirt similar to a Mark D. Sikes skirt. I love the big ruffles of the skirt and how it’s so flowy! Definitely one of my summer favourites!

Happy Sunday everyone! 😘

 

 

Design Ideas · Home

Which one, which one? Major RUG distress!

Now that we have finished decorating the living areas down stairs, it is time to design and accessorise! WOAHO!!! Exciting times! (I am so excited and I just can’t hide it! lalalala! )

In order for a room to have that “WOW” effect, you need to have a focal point right!? And you can use that focal point in working your way around accessorising and decorating your room. As we do not have a focal wall I have decided to place the focal point on the floor to anchor everything together. That’s when the big “RUG” comes in. Choosing the right rug is not easy, it is either you “make it” or “break it”. Plus I do not want to get this wrong as rugs can be ridiculously expensive.

As I can’t quite decide which pattern I like the most, YOU my dear readers might be able to help me out.

Below are mood boards I have created depicting how the rug will look like with pieces of furniture we have at home.

Rug A:

 

 

 

Rug B:

 

 

 

Rug C:

 

 

 

Rug D:

 

 

 

Rug E:

 

 

 

Let me know your thoughts, ideas and opinion!

The rug I will choose will of course be featured in a special “ROOM REVEAL” blog post.

So help me out dear friends by commenting down below. 🙂

Dining · Home · House remodel · Kitchen · Living

Small details matter…

When we purchased our house and started this remodel/update project, Christopher promised that he will ensure that we finish and decorate each rooms and make sure they are presented nicely. And he is true to his words and quite a perfectionist too even down to the absolute smallest of details. But of course even those little things take time to install and sometimes they take the longest (and yes I do get really impatient as I just want it all to finish 😵). These past two weeks we decided to focus on installing and fitting those little details.

1. Adding Scotia trims to the skirting boards

Again we made are usual trip to our local DIY shop and purchased primed white Scotia trims to cover the gaps between the laminate flooring and the existing skirting boards. I think with the Scotia trims you can either choose and match it with the colour of your flooring or that of your skirting boards. We chose to match it with our white painted skirting boards as they are quite small and plain and the Scotia trim gives it a more polished look.

Before cutting them to size I first painted them white, and as soon as the paint dried, Chris cut the trim to the right sizes and finally fitted them using “no nails” glue.

Pictures below, with and without the Scotia trim (sorry for the bad photograph):

2. Lighting install

When the electricians did the electrical re-wirings they just installed standard, plain, boring pendant lightings for the living areas except for the kitchen and bathroom where we had spotlights installed. The pendant lightings definitely did not flatter the living/dining room 😲 and I was just keen to have them replaced ASAP. It was not easy to choose the right lighting, as yes the space is open plan but it it is not necessarily the biggest of rooms where you can just install grand statement chandeliers/lightings like what you see they do in Pinterest. It needs to be the type of lighting that can balance and pull the room together

In the end I decided to go with this (and Christopher did not disagree! Yey! 😆):

A 3 lamp spotlight in soft matt white finish and satin brushed gold fixtures…

…and I love it! 😊 The matt white colour blend perfectly in our living/dining area, but the satin brush gold finish detail gives it a little twist so it’s not just your average white spotlights.

3. Adding decorative kitchen plinths and panels

The kitchen​ took us the longest to install and we are not fully finished yet….ahhhhhhh it is just never ending. Thank goodness when Chris was about to  install the decorative plinths and panels his dad once again came to the rescue! So the install went much quicker thanks to the know how and carpentry skills of my father-in-law.

Here’s how the kitchen looks at the moment. We still need to cover the pipes underneath the boiler and tile the kitchen walls with white subway tiles. So this is unfortunately not the final look yet….. 😒 But we will get there somehow, for sure.

Christopher’s dad also bricked up the outside walls underneath our living room and kitchen windows. He also added steps to the front and back doors! He’s an absolute superstar! 😆🎉🎊

Spot the difference!?

Front:

Back: (sorry couldn’t find a before picture of the back of house without Joseph 😄, he is cute though!)

There’s more work to tackle but we will prevail! Ha!😝