Saturday, April 20, 2013

Phenomenal Tip: An Organized Kitchen

Meal planning and food prepping are two very important areas in my life as a homemaker. The Phenomenal Papa and the kids are big eaters, and so meal times are events which they look forward to with great anticipation. I always try to make an effort to prepare delicious and nutritious meals for breakfast, school lunch baon, merienda/after-school snacks, and dinner. But I am also a busy with other duties such as bringing the kids to and from their activities, helping my youngest with homework (on school days), and other things that domestic engineers attend to. Having said that, an organized kitchen makes my meal planning and preparation run as efficiently and smoothly as possible.

One of the areas in my house that I intentionally maintain to keep organized is my kitchen, specifically my pantry and refrigerator.

I like to keep a lot of things in my refrigerator; not necessarily leftovers, mine is more like a depository of the numerous condiments that I use in cooking. To keep everything in order, here are some of the things that I observe:


The single most important thing that I have implemented to maintain the order inside my ref is the use of plastic baskets that I buy from Saizen or SM Megamall. I like to organize like items in one basket. Vitamins in one container, condiments in another one, jams and salad dressing in yet another.

Similarly, each type of freezer item gets its own basket: beef, pork, fish, frozen vegetables and fruits for the kids' smoothies, etc.

This system works for me because it makes it very simple for me to see which items are running low and need replenishment. It also cuts in half the amount of time I search for items in the ref and freezer. I just pull out a bin, get the item, and return.


 To get the most out of the freezer space, I freeze items flat (such as ground beef and pork, etc) and then, once they are completely frozen I stand them up in the individual plastic baskets. I usually buy meat by the kilo and ask the butcher to pass them through the grinder twice; then I ask him to pack them individually in 200-gram pouches.   


I also follow the FIFO rule. I make sure that the newly bought item is placed behind the item that has already been there. Essentially what that means is I use things up in the order that I purchase them.

4. Label everything. 

I usually marinate a portion of newly-purchased meat right after I get home, and I label every container so I don't have to double guess the contents. My schedule is always crazy since I bring the kids around to their different activities. More so when it's a school day, since my kids also bring lunch baon to school. If I don't prepare in advance, I don't think I could afford to wake up at the time I do, and have time to prepare their lunch. Since I already marinated most of the meat in advance, all the maid has to do is look at the menu the night before and move the corresponding container to the ref to let it defrost in the ref overnight.

In a few days, I will be flying out to chaperone my eldest for the biggest sporting event in the country, Palarong Pambansa. So even if I won't personally cook food for the other members of my family, they won't feel it that much as I have already prepared meals for them, all just ready to be cooked.

Another area that I pay close attention to is my pantry. The pantry is one small space that has to function big. So it is important that it is organized in a way that keeps it easy to search for items on a daily basis. I love to visit my pantry, and I admit to intentionally leaving the door open a few times just to look at it. An organized pantry does make me smile!

Like what I do to my refrigerator, my pantry items are also organized to type. Similar items are placed together.

My pantry is sized generously that I also have an area for all my baking ingredients, and even a space for the Phenomenal Papa's fave drinks.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Phenomenal Tip: DIY Light Switch Dress-Up with Washi Tape

There’s something about simple projects that makes me really happy! I have purchased several rolls of washi tapes the past month, and they've all just been sitting idly.  I intend to do some crafts with the kiddos using washi tape, but since we have not gotten around to agreeing on what to do yet, I just went on ahead and got crafty yesterday afternoon - by myself!  

Oh how fun it was to just have some time to do crafts by myself!  When it comes to crafting, I usually supervise the 2 younger kids, so I do not technically do crafts, instead I watch over them as they do the project.  This is one fun project to do when you're one crafty momma who doesn't have a lot of free time on your hands.

Doing this lightswitch dress-up with washi tape took me less than 5 minutes, from taking off the switch plate to finally putting it back up.  Really!  It is that easy.  The only materials you need are:  washi tape and scissors.

1.  Remove plates from the wall  using a metal spatula or scissors.

2.  Choose washi tape to match the theme of the room.  The girls' room is painted a combination of citron and aquamarine.  So I chose my teal colored washi tape for this project.

3.   Make sure to apply tapes in straight line.
4.  In addition, make sure the patterns are lined up against each other.
5.  Cut tape with scissors when you reach the ends and tuck it under the back of the plate.

6.  When you reach the corners, simply cut along the edge.

7.  Then tuck one part in.

8.  The other remaining part, you cut diagonally before you tuck in. 
9.  Makes for a clean finish!
10.  Put back plates.  Step back and admire your handiwork!  

You can view more washi-taped light switches right here

Monday, April 1, 2013

BYS Make-up 101

As a mom to three active kids, I rarely have time for long beauty treatments, nor a daily full-on beauty regimen. My daily make-up routine usually lasts all of 10 minutes: tinted moisturizer with SPF, powder, blush, gloss! I normally just tie my long hair up in a bun to get things moving along faster. 

But coming from a recent make-up 101class, I realized that taking an effort to fix myself up offers me an extra dose of happy in an otherwise regular day.
A few weeks ago, I was invited for a make-up training session hosted by BYS Cosmetics. I was daunted to find myself face to face with this huge box full of make-up. I am not a make-up junkie, so seeing all these beauty products in one place really overwhelmed me.
I came out of the session feeling more confident of my newly-found make-up skills.   Here is a step by step on how to put on make-up that will surely get you compliments. 

1. PRIMER. Apply primer to entire face, and let set for 1 minute.
2. LIQUID FOUNDATION. The BYS matte liquid foundation is perfect for oily skin as it offers coverage without the extra moisture. An extra thirty seconds is well-spent to make sure that you blend the foundation carefully.
3. LOOSE POWDER. To make sure that make-up stays on longer, set it by sweeping some powder with a kabuki brush.
4. EYEBROWS. Fill in brows with an angled brush and some powder. Personally, this step is so important for me as they bring my face out
4. BRONZER. Bronzer is used to contour the face and gives it a radiant, luminous glow.  Apply on the side of the face; on the forehead, near the hairline; sides of the bridge of the nose to give illusion of height.
5. BLUSHER. Apply on the cheeks to provide a natural, long-lasting highlight to cheekbones.
6. EYELINER. Use a shade of warm brown as it is less harsh looking than black. Line upper lid, and finish by curling the eyelashes.
7. EYESHADOW and MASCARA. Using soft, gentle strokes, add neutral colored eyeshadow first to act as the base; follow with a darker shade on the crease; finish by adding a very light eyeshadow (or some loose powder will do) on the browbone.  This will serve to clean-up theyour eyes and give the illusion of .  If you have time to spare, swipe mascara one or two times on upper lashes.
8. LIPS. Apply a tinted lip balm for the day, or a long-wearing lipstick for special events.
And now, anytime I feel lazy and pressed for time, all I just have to do is look at my before and after pics to convince myself that a few added minutes to my morning routine can spell the difference between frumpy and fabulous.:)

The BYS swag bag.  Complete with all the essentials!
BYS Cosmetics is an Australian cosmetics brand which has recently made its way into the Philippine market. I love the BYS Minerals Naturale line. Their mineral make-up is formulated with all-natural ingredients free of chemicals, dyes, preservatives and talc.  BYS mineral products are quick and easy to apply, and provide a complete, smooth, natural coverage in just one step.

Another standout from BYS is its line of Baked Cosmetics . The Baked Bronzers and Blushers are made with a formula that keeps oiliness and moisture at bay and hides impurities. Texture is ultra silky and may be used wet for thicker coverage and dry for a more natural, lighter effect. 

BYS is a new affordable cosmetic line in the Philippines now available in 26 selected SM and Watson’s outlets in Metro Manila and a few key cities like Cebu. 
Like BYS Cosmetics on Facebook to get updates on products.

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