Category Archives: Around The House

crochet by Mrs C

Amigurumi Easter Eggs

Fact: Amigurumi is a term that covers the beautiful and fun trend of crocheting and knitting stuffed animals, people or even inanimate objects. (Thank you, Craftsy, for the definition!)

crochet by mrsc
This Super Mario Mushroom was one of my first amigurumi projects, and is still one of my favorites. Too cute for words!

 

Our house is minimalist in design. We are taking it slow, as far as decorating is concerned. Our walls are still bare, and, at the moment, we only have a few photos and mementos displayed.

To make our home feel more homey, I’ve been doing my best to display little handmade pieces here and there. I love these little accents because (1) they aren’t permanent, and (2) they give me the opportunity to experiment with colors, textures and designs around the house.

Crochet by MrsC
A lot of my sample coasters are put to good use at home, for instance. 

 

I started doing this last Christmas when I put up the cutest little reindeer ornament from Ants Pocket on our tree. I have handmade felt ornaments of my own, too, but they’re still tucked away in one of my boxes. For sure, those will be up on on our tree this year along with whatever new things I can find the time to make.

I also recently placed a crocheted table runner in the dining room. Our table isn’t so big so this project didn’t take very long to make. It was easy, too. I saw the diagram for the motif in one of the Instagram accounts I follow, and worked on the piece using yarn I bought in Baguio years ago.

Truth: MrC is happy that some of the yarn he had to carry up Session Road has finally seen some action! 

crochet by mrsc
Please focus your attention on my table runner, and not on our dirty glass tabletop. Lol!

 

My most recent project is a super fun one, just in time for Easter. Over the last few days, I finished working on a few crocheted eggs for our home. 

The plain eggs were made using scrap Caron One Pound yarn I had left over from a bag project. For the multicolored ones, I used the tiny bit of Red Heart Super Saver I had left from a beanie that a friend ordered. I love that I’ve found a good way to make use of the little bits of yarn I have stashed away.

In case you are interested in the pattern, I used this free one by Lion Brand Yarns.

crochet by Mrs C
Colorful amigurumi eggs, crocheted by MrsC!

 

Last year, my friend Mish gave me a really pretty glass candle holder, which I have yet to use for its intended purpose. I’ve found that it works well as a display jar of sorts for my little ornaments, and it fits perfectly in my living room, on the end-table next to my couch. Over the holidays it was used for loose Christmas balls. It now holds my colorful, handmade Easter eggs.

I’m already thinking about what ornaments to make for summer, and also for the rest of the year. I can’t wait to fill up my glass jar with all sorts of things. I love working on these small amigurumi projects, and I’m so glad that I now have a nice way to display them at home, too. 

I know I’ll be making more runners for our home to match the different occasions and seasons. I already have plans for a brightly colored one for summer, which I’ll be making using my new cake of Sugarfree Yarn. 

 

Shameless plug: If you have something in mind that you’d like me to make for you, send me an email! I love making stuff for friends! 🙂

How are you decorating your home this Easter?

Laundry cycles and life cycles

In case you missed it, this blog no longer goes by the name “Mrs C’s Sugarcoated Life.” As of some time last week (OMG momnesia, I can’t even remember when I made the change,) we are now known as “At Home with MrsC.”

Why the change? Well, in case you were wondering (and even if you weren’t haha,) it’s simply because it was time for a change. It’s time to start on a new cycle.

 

It may be that I’ve been spending so much time at the laundromat that I’m now thinking in cycles, but I really believe that life works that way. Just as our dirty clothes go through wash cycles to become fresh, clean and nice-smelling again, our lives go through periods of change between good, weird, bad, and then better, until we fall into a place that works.

After a while, no matter how smooth-sailing things may be, something inevitable comes up and things get complicated or confusing, or even messy again. When that happens, it’s time to go for a quick clean (aka change,) and the cycle starts up again. Now please tell me that this made sense to you guys, and that it isn’t just my new-found desperate housewives status in life getting the better of me.

So, what changes are happening exactly? As far as the blog is concerned, nothing much, except that I am determined to set aside time to write more often. The last few months have been quiet here, and I feel a little sad about that. Oh that, and the new name. It’s kind of symbolic actually, in the sense that my focus now is really on making this house into a home. I want to be more than just a housewife. I want to be a homemaker.

As for real life, I obviously have to dedicate more time to my homemaking, wifely and mommy duties, basically because no one else can do that but me, and because it’s in line with what I want for myself and my family. This means that I’m putting my WAHM-self on the back burner, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Yes, I am slightly panicking over the fact that we now have bills to pay for real, but I know things will work out.

 

Today’s #letteritoctober prompt fits right in with where I am right now in life. #brushlettering #handlettering

A photo posted by MrsC | Patricia Cuyugan (@mrspcuyugan) on

 

Ultimately, in order for me to continue to make this place a happy home (and by this place I mean our actual home, and this blog, which is my virtual home,) I need to be happier too. Happiness means being less stressed out, having more energy to do the things that I love, and having more free time, as in physical free time and a mind that is free from worry and distractions, to spend with my loved ones.

If you ask me, less stress > more money. 

Between MrC and I, I know that we will find a way to make everything work for us, not just in terms of finances, but also in terms of keeping our little family happy, comfortable, and satisfied. We do make a great tag team partner, something that has been tried, tested and proven again and again over many years. Plus, as my dear friend Tina always says, God will provide. I have faith.

So now I need to ask, how do you guys feel about my new blog name? 

mrspcuyugan

Learning how to be a housewife

Fact: I had absolutely no idea how truly tiring being a housewife could be, until I actually became one.

Over the last few years, after I decided that I was done working full time, I’ve been sort of a housewife. I say sort of because we were living with my parents then, meaning I wasn’t the head housewife of the household. My mom was.

As junior housewife, I had far less tasks and chores to complete. I had nothing to do with the household budget. I could afford not to cook or shop for groceries when I didn’t feel like it, since I had my mom to count on when laziness (or busy-ness) would strike.

Home is where the weirdos are. #athomewithmrsc #OhanaMeansFamily

A photo posted by MrsC | Patricia Cuyugan (@mrspcuyugan) on

Obviously, since we moved to a home of our own, I’ve started wearing a bigger crown on my pretty little head (yes, I just called myself pretty,) as I now assume the role of lead housewife. Actually, make that, the only housewife in our household.

I now understand why, when we were being difficult growing up, my mom would sometimes break down and angrily tell us that she is our mother and not our maid.

I get it because I now also notice every bit of dust on the wall, every water stain on the flatware, and every splatter of oil on the stove.

I know now how frustrating it feels to want to do so many things in a day, but not be able to because you simply lack time or energy, or both. As a former office mate of mine used to say, hindi kaya ng katawang-lupa ko! (Translation: My earthly body cannot handle it.)

Housewifing ain’t easy! The trick, I have come to realize, is to be smart about things, to find a strategy that works, and to stick with it. You also have to be adaptable, though, able to think on your feet and come up with plans B to G as fast as possible, whenever necessary.

I’m certainly no expert, but I’ve been able to find a few things that have worked for me over my first few weeks of being the queen of this (messy but happy) house. And here they are.

Mrs C’s practical tips for the newbie housewife

1. When in doubt, throw it out.

I believe that this is a very, very, very important rule. This goes for:

  • Questionable food in the fridge and in the pantry
  • Storage containers that have seen better days (meaning those that are stained or already smell funky)
  • Old toys that no longer work
  • Old bills and receipts, and other random pieces of paper you may have lying around
  • Housewarming gifts that you do not absolutely love (you can re-gift or re-purpose these)
  • Ratty underwear (I’m serious, and I am speaking from experience)

In other words, de-clutter. It can be so tempting to hold on to everything, especially if your current space is bigger than your old one. Believe me when I say that the last thing you want is to start building meaningless piles of random things. I think my husband would be truly proud of me for saying that.

2. Choose to clean a little at a time or all at once

Some people prefer to go on all-out cleaning sprees, while some find it is better to clean a little at a time. The point is to make it a point to clean. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it.

I am lucky that I have a husband who likes cleaning. I recently got him hooked on the wonderful smell of Pine-Sol Lavender, and this has encouraged him even more to keep our house spic and span. Since he works, he only gets to go on cleaning sprees on weekends. This means that I am responsible for our space for the rest of the week.

I try to help out by throwing wrappers and scratch paper I see lying around, doing dishes, and sweeping the floors once in a while. At times, it really doesn’t feel like much. But I tried not sweeping for a week (yes, gross, I know), and now I know for sure that doing it every other day does make a difference, and that my small efforts are worth something.

3. Plan your meals

Fortunately for me (and for the two boys I need to feed) this is a task that I actually enjoy. I find that meal planning is so relaxing. I love knowing exactly what I need when I go to the store. I like the predictability of having a set plan for dinner. At the same time, I’m not afraid to mix things up and experiment every once in a while.

I love being in the kitchen, from conceptualizing our dinners, to preparing and serving them. Cleanup, well, I leave that to MrC. Which leads me to…

4. Work out a system with the people in your household

If you are crazy enough to brave it without house help, make sure that you enlist the participation of the people at home so that you don’t go nuts trying to do everything yourself. Like I said, MrC is in charge of keeping things clean. He is also iron man. I take care of laundry, food, shopping and driver duties.

Little MrC is slowly being encouraged to help out. He sets the table, brings used plates and utensils to the kitchen sink, puts away his laundry, and fixes his room (sometimes.)

5. Make the most out of your time

I usually organize my tasks and chores weekly. I set blocks of time for me to accomplish each, and I move things around as needed.

There are weeks when I am unable to complete all of my laundry loads. There are days when, instead of the four hours I’ve set, I end up working on an article for almost an entire day. It happens. It’s okay. You just have to learn to adjust whenever necessary.

Also, find time for yourself. Yes, it makes me feel a little guilty when I choose to sit and enjoy a glass of homemade iced tea and a TV show for 30 minutes when I know that I have a basket of laundry waiting to be washed. But I need the me-time, otherwise I will burn out.

You need the me-time to. Yes, you. So go get some.

6. Sleep

I. Cannot. Stress. This. Enough. Sleep is gold. It is so tempting to forego sleep, especially when you are a multitasking momma, but really, we all need to get enough rest if we want to stay healthy and alert.

I am so used to getting 8-9 hours of sleep a day, so now that I’ve had to cut down to 6-7 hours, I find myself on mombie mode more often. That’s where coffee comes in. I make up for it on weekends, though. On Sundays, in particular, I allow myself to sleep in as much as I can. So please don’t bother me on Sunday mornings.

And finally…

7. Make like Elsa and let it go

Of course we dream of having it all – The immaculately clean, perfectly decorated house. The almost-gourmet home cooked meals. The shiny happy family relaxing at home. The perfect hair and manicured nails. Hey, a girl can dream.

But seriously, if you wanna stay happy, you have to let go of some of these things. I’ve learned to accept the fact that our house will always be a little bit dusty. On some days, it’s a lot dusty. But we are happy here. We are building memories together in this house. So I don’t mind the dust.

I’ve also given up on getting a manicure and having my hair done. I’m saving that for a special occasion. It doesn’t matter anyway, as long as I know that my husband still thinks I’m pretty. Which I know he does. And on days when he doesn’t, I know my son still thinks I look lovely. Yes, I just called myself pretty again.

Whenever you feel like something isn’t going the way you want it to, step back, let go, and enjoy the things that are going right. You’ll feel more content, and a lot happier. Trust me.

So there you go. That’s where I’ve been these past two months, trying to figure all of this out. Now that I kind of have my groove back, I think I’m ready to start writing again. Yay! More stories soon!

What are your practical tips for surviving the housewife life?

mrspcuyugan

#LipatBahayChronicles

Fact: I’m running on pocket wifi, 80% of our things are still in boxes, we’re surrounded by dust, and Pine Sol is my new best friend. Still, nothing beats that happy feeling of waking up in your new home, even though waking up must now happen between 4:30 and 5:00 am.

Yep, yep, yep, it has finally happened. We have moved! Casa Cuyugan is now ready to accept visitors (who are not sensitive about dust and grime, will not judge us for living in a still-dirty house, and come bearing food)! *Happy dance*

My IG and Facebook posts as of late have been all about our #LipatBahayChronicles, often with bad image quality because we packed away my camera, and I’m not sure which bin it went to. Lol. Should’ve just put it in my purse.

Over the next few weeks, I know I’ll be writing about the house – How we are lucky to have hardly spent for anything that we have right now because our families are so generous (and just happened to have two of everything), who’s come over and the goodies they’ve shared, and my ever-so-useful survival checklist for our first week in this new home.

 

Off the top of my head, I can tell you that you will need a microwave, a coffee maker, a refrigerator, a bed, soap, toilet paper, water dispenser, instant ulam (our day one lifesaver was Deep Dips by Chef Arnold), and zip-top bags in all shapes and sizes (I have Glad Philippines to thank for all of mine.)

Dust and excitement aside, I’m happy to report that we are settling in nicely. Last night, the boys and I had our first home cooked meal for dinner. Of course it was sinigang because that’s my family’s idea of happy food. I’m so excited about all the wonderful meals I will now get to prepare in my very own kitchen. And of course, I can’t wait to share all the kwento here.

mrspcuyugan
If I look dirty in this photo it’s because I AM dirty in this photo!

 

For now, it’s back to regular programming for me in my new space. Time to catch up on my writing backlog. Smart Bro, don’t fail me now!

Curious question: What are your best tips to survive the first week in a new home?