How We Meal Plan

Aside from saving us lots of time and money, we are able to choose our ingredients well so we can create healthy and tasty meals. Our staples include tofu, sweet potato, veggie meat and grains. We season them with spices, herbs and broth.

Housekeeping 101: Basic Cleaning Materials to Buy Before You Move Into Your Home

jeshoots-com-__ZMnefoI3k-unsplashSince I became a wife, one of the things I enjoy doing is keeping the house clean and orderly. When my husband and I started living together after our wedding, we had to adjust to each other’s habits and learn to make our own household management system. I had to constantly remind myself that I shouldn’t expect my husband to immediately pick up my ways. Like our marriage mentors have taught us, we need to establish our own in everything, because the home we’re building is different from those we grew up in. It can be quite daunting to make a list of must-have cleaning equipment when you first step into your shared home. I admit these were things I took for granted because I knew that when I needed to sweep the floor at my parents’ house, there were several brooms I could use. If I needed to get rid of dust, we had a vacuum ready to plug and play. While my husband and I bought basic cleaning stuff before we moved in, it was only when we REALLY LIVED in the house that we came across certain items we missed out. Here are some of the essential cleaning things you must buy when you move into a new home (whether you’re single and living solo or starting life as newly-weds):

THE BASICS

  • A broom or walis tambo – One of the most basic cleaning things to sweep dirt off the floor.
  • A broomstick or walis tingting – I find this very flexible because it can pick up hairs and can be used on both wet and dry surfaces. It is recommended that you have one for the outside and one for the inside.
  • A dustpan – A temporary reservoir for dirt and dust-bunnies before you chuck them in the trash
  • A pail designated for cleaning – You wouldn’t want to use the same pail for bathing and the same pail for rinsing your cleaning rags
  • Spinning mop kit – I know I can just put in “mop” but this version makes the whole rinsing and mopping task quicker. You don’t need to touch the mop, just dunk it the pail with water and cleaning solution, spin it to get rid of excess water and mop away.
  • Cleaning rags – buy several and if you can choose colors (for color coding), so much better. Assign a color for each area or surface. You don’t want to be using your kitchen countertop rags for your toilet and vice versa.
  • Domex or concentrated Zonrox bleach – this is a must-have for disinfecting and sanitizing surfaces. I mix two capfuls into a bucket of water and also use this for our DIY disinfectant cleaning spray.
  • Lysol Disinfectant Spray – For surfaces that need a quick sanitation.
  • Dehumidifier- We didn’t know it was a must until we had a mold and mildew infestation. Sobrang hassle! Mold spreads really fast, especially during the rainy season. Aside from getting the dehumidifying kits from hardware stores, it is worth investing in a dehumidifying machine. We bought ours from Lazada.
  • Insect & roach repellent – One thing my husband and I discovered, even if you keep your house clean, if roaches know they have a water source in there, they will be around. We haven’t perfected the insect repellent system, but for starters, aside from keeping your home clean and your trash covered and secure, you may need the help of repellents to keep them away. Mosquitoes don’t like citronella and eucalyptus oils, while roaches I’ve read, do not like peppermint and lavender. I’ll let you know our progress when it comes to combating roaches but GAH, we still encounter them.
  • Garbage cans (with cover) and liners

For bathroom cleaning:

  • Toilet brush with it’s own bucket/container
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  • Heavy duty cleaning gloves – The ones we use are Scotch Brite. Since they have many variants, make sure that you pick the right size and thickness. Some are meant to be used for dishwashing, some for laundry and then there are the gloves for heavy-duty cleaning which have thicker rubber material.

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  • Mr. Muscle Mold and Mildew Cleaner – this really makes bathroom cleaning so quick, specially when mold and soap scum begin to form on your tiles. This is so easy to use, just spray it on the areas with mold and mildew growth, leave for 15 minutes and then rinse with water and a rag. Make sure however, to wear a mask when you’re spraying this on surfaces to avoid accidental inhalation.

MR-MUSCLE

  • Mr. Muscle Limescale Destroyer – You know those unsightly yellow stains under your toiletbowl rim? Those are limescale stains. I looked for this product when I noticed that my regular thick bleach couldn’t clean off the stains. So far, the ones under the rim are gone. I have yet to try another solution that will remove the heavier (and grittier) limescale stains at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Sponge/scouring pad
  • Toilet rags

I hope this list has been helpful for you. I wish I came across something like this before Dave and I moved in but we learned along the way. Sharing this with you so you’ll have an easier time having all your cleaning essentials ready and not stalling your cleaning time because you forgot to buy something. 😀

 

God bless you!

 

Wardobe Mishaps That Make You Look Unpolished and Unprofessional | INGRID NIETO Vlogs

Looking polished and professional doesn’t mean you always have to be decked in designer goods from head to toe. Sometimes, it’s the simple things like making sure your clothes are pressed, there are no loose threads and you wear styles that are apt for your body type and proportions. See what little habits you may be guilty of that give off the impression of being unkempt and unprofessional.

Ingrid Cooks: Tofu and Eggplant Steak

Hey everyone! A lot of you have been asking about the #meatless & #plantbased recipes my husband & I prepare at home, so here’s another cooking video. I got this recipe from one of the vegan groups I follow on Facebook and gave it a try. Here are the ingredients: -Half a block of tofu -2 eggplants -Garlic and onion -Toyo (soy sauce) -Kalamansi Please let me know if you get to try this for yourself! I love that the ingredients can be found in the market or grocery store and that it’s so easy to cook.

BUILDING A PRACTICAL WARDROBE

Having a practical wardrobe doesn’t mean that you compromise your style. While it may seem like a tough thing to do at first, you will realize that dressing will become easy and you won’t have to spend excess money on things that are not right for your body and lifestyle. When I started working and earning my own keep, I was often tempted to splurge on clothes and shoes because I somewhat felt empowered that I was making my own money and I could decide where to spend it. Of course, that didn’t last for long. I made purchasing mistakes, learned to manage my money better and here I am after a decade from then, talking about these lessons so you don’t commit the same mistakes I made.

I don’t talk about #KonMari in the video, although I admire Marie Kondo’s method of decluttering and letting go of things that no longer spark joy in a person’s life. Still, there may be things in your closet that may appear to spark joy in you but is no longer functional for your current lifestyle and season. Check out the 5 Steps I talk about in the video and tell me how it goes for you in the comment section below.

My Husband, the Financial Advisor

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Look at my husband’s big, wide smile after finishing his training and starting his new career. This is something he’s so passionate about–helping people with their finances by teaching them, walking with them and providing them with solutions so they can reach their financial goals.
One of the things the Lord amazingly considered when He brought me & my husband together is the value of proper financial management & stewardship. Having experienced how poor financial decisions and bad spending habits can affect a family, I remember praying to God for a job that would pay me well enough so I wouldn’t have to resort to taking loans. If that meant that I’d skip eating out and just make my own baon everyday, so be it. If that meant that I couldn’t buy my wants immediately, then I was willing to wait it out. It was important that my basic needs were covered and that I didn’t have to go into debt just because I overspent. Hearing Dave talk about similar financial viewpoints while we were dating admittedly caught my attention (aside from our shared interest in Biblical exegesis). He didn’t brag about cars, gadgets or a luxurious lifestyle. I remember trying to hide my kilig when we were talking about life insurance and investments during our dinner date at The Happy Garden Cafe. In my head I was screaming “SHOOOOCKS. A GUY WHO TOTALLY GETS IT AND DOES NOT FIND ME WEIRD FOR BRINGING THESE UP!” He actually had a lot to say about the topics too and I knew that he wasn’t faking it. It was something that he believed in and was in his system.

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We’ve been doing budgeting and financial tracking since we started planning our wedding. Our spreadsheets are certainly different now that we’re married and living on our own but we find that recording our income, expenses, investments, savings and bills (although tedious) helps us plan, project and adjust our finances better.

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Hindi ba nakakaloka na na-eexcite siyang gawin to? “Na-challenge yung brain ko, sandali.” Tapos uupuan niya yan, magcocompute just to show what’s more practical.

Since we got married, we have long been praying for God to give him a new job opportunity. He’s certainly learned a lot and has gone through massive character building while he was working in the government but he eventually reached his threshold. He’s been sending out applications since last year, some got back to him, some invited him for interviews but things just did not move forward. Though it did make us sad, we continued to pray and trust God that He knew better. When the opportunity finally came this year, we were both taken aback by the order of circumstances. No amount of human manipulation could make the timing so smooth. Clearly, God was on it.
We know that this job won’t be 100% stress free. It does come with it’s own set of challenges and areas of growth. I’m just happy to see my husband do something he is so passionate about and flourish in the midst of a motivating team. I’m happy that his job allows him to help people plan and protect their finances (and loved-ones), prepare for the future and unforeseen circumstances.
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If you are interested to talk about finances, capital/wealth protection, retirement planning and investments, you may get in touch with my husband via email: davidingridpagulayan@gmail.com or send him a PM on Facebook. 😀