Monday, May 22, 2017

Must-Haves for Your Kids at Home


Having kids at home is not easy. You need to get up early, prepare food and the things they need, and make sure they are well-taken care. More than that, you got to keep your condo in Manila or wherever you live, a child-friendly place. With all the furniture and things you have at home, can you honestly say your kids are safe and can be their happy place?

To help you in making your condo unit or house and rooms kid-friendly, here are some of the things you might want to consider having or doing:

 

Faucet Extender


You cannot carry your kids all the time, nor they can drag a chair and stand on it for them to reach the sink (which is not quite safe to do) so it’s better for you to have a faucet extender. What’s fun with this product is that it comes in different colors and designs too! Might appear to be nonsense since they can’t see it much yet. Nevertheless, having an extender on your main sink's faucet is a good step in making your home kid-friendly, especially if they are still small.

 

 

 

Rounded Furniture

Instead of having the usual rectangular or square-shaped tables and other furniture, you can try purchasing rounded or oval-shaped ones especially if your kids are just starting to crawl and walk.

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

Have Your TV Mounted

If your television is very easy to reach, you may want to consider having it mounted. We can see kids and adults tumbling down from TVs on tables, and we may find it entertaining, but it’s 0% safe. Aside from it’s harder to reach for kids, having your TVs mounted may be more comfortable when you are watching.

 

 

 

 

 

Fixed-cushion Sofa

Most of us own a removable couch cushion since it’s easier to clean. But since kids move a lot and there’s a tendency they can fall or slip thru the cushion, it’s better to have these cushions fixed. If you can’t afford to buy a new fixed-cushion sofa and still believe that removable cushions are still good, there are some ways on how to make the pillows more sturdy or fixed, but still removable. You can search online for different ways on how to prevent these cushions from sagging and slipping.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electrical Outlets and Stove Knobs Cover


Electrical outlets cover can be easily bought in hardware and even in supermarket stores. Even though your kids’ fingers may not fit into the outlets' holes, due to curiosity and playfulness, they may stick metal conductors to those holes and may get electric shocks. Make sure that the covers that you would be buying are hard to remove for kids, but still easy for adults to adjust when needed.

Some kids can already reach your stove knobs. Aside from making sure you turn the gas tank off, you should also protect your oven. Most stove knobs are removable but replacing it then and now is quite a hassle so you can have it covered instead.

 

Cushion or Corner Guards

Edge and corner guards are a must-have especially if your furniture at home are mostly with sharp edges and corners, and your children are practicing to crawl and walk. Your little babies are prone to bumping so keep them safe by sticking or putting some cushion guards. You can also do your very own cushion guards using soft materials. Just be careful in using your materials because if it’s too mushy and squishy, the impact on bumping would still be the same. If it’s too hard, the kids will still get hurt just similar to when there are no cushion guards.






 

Box for Their Toys and Trinkets

More than making your house cleaner and better arranged, you are teaching kids to be responsible for their things. After playing with their toys, you can ask them to keep it properly and have their storage boxes secured.












(Credits to the rightful photo owners)



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Are You Ready to Buy a Condo?


You might be so interested in buying one of Manila properties, or if not, you are considering that condo for rent Bonifacio Global City. You are probably thinking of living on your own, settling down with your better half or contemplating on the thought of investing. We have different reasons and stories why we are tempted to buy or rent a condo unit. Whatever your rationale is, you should ask yourself: “Am I ready to buy a condo?”

Just like any other big things you do, buying a condo unit needs to be thoroughly reviewed. In this article, let us focus on your financial readiness. Time to review your bank accounts and assets, and see if you can afford to buy a condominium unit.

How much can I afford?

We can't give you a definite answer on that big question as different factors or variables affect individual capacity on buying a condo unit.

According to real estate experts, you can use the “2.5 rule” to estimate how much you can afford. How does it work? Note your net monthly income, and multiply it by 12. After getting the product, multiply it by 2.5, and the answer will be the maximum amount of condo unit you may afford to pay or buy.

Example:

Your net monthly income is ₱ 30, 000.
₱ 30, 000 x 12 = ₱ 360, 000
₱ 360, 000 x 2.5 = ₱ 900, 000
Maximum amount of condo you may afford: ₱ 900, 000

This is just a rough estimation on the amount of condo unit you may purchase.

Not all people can buy a condo unit with one-time-big-time payment (you must be really lucky!), so most of us go to our banks and see how can they finance our condominium. But don't forget how banks love to know the exact figures and calculations. They will carefully compute your income against your expenses. More than the computations and numbers, the banks also love rules. One of which is that only 25% of your net monthly income should be devoted to housing.

Using our previous example, given that your net monthly income is ₱ 30, 000, you can save ₱ 7, 500 for your condo unit. Unfortunately, if you are earning ₱ 30, 000, you might want to think of other ways of earning to afford your dream condo unit since the computed ₱ 7, 500 should cover not only the amortization but also the other costs of living and owning in a condominium.

You should also remember that we can quickly know your net income but not your expenses. Our spending practices vary from time to time. There are a lot of factors that may affect your budgeting – emergency needs, needs and wants, and other priorities.

Along the way of getting your dream condo unit, sacrifices are inevitable. If buying a condo unit is your top priority, you might postpone your expensive vacation or delay your plan of purchasing a new car, or other pricey liabilities.

Another thing for you to note is what will happen if you suddenly lose your primary source of income? Even though this may be out of your control, you should be able to keep your commitment to pay no matter what happens. That is why you should also have a generous amount of savings allocated for your condo unit expenses. You should have saved at least six months worth of your monthly amortization just in case you will be losing your job or have a drastic change in your monthly spending.

For example, your monthly allocation for your condo is ₱ 20, 000, you should have at least ₱ 120, 000 in your savings account.


After knowing all these things and thinking about your current situation, can you confidently say “yes” if you're asked, “are you ready to buy a condo?” No worries if you can't answer that yet. You got enough time to start looking for more cost-effective condo units or have other sources of income to finance your goal of owning a condominium.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Philippines as an Avian Archipelago

The Philippines is one among the very few countries that is considered to have mega-diversity, from flora and fauna specifically when it comes to birds and mammals. Birdwatching in the Philippines is the current trend among the birders worldwide. Let’s discover further what these birders love about the avian diversity in the country.

A look at the statistics

In the Philippines, the avifauna totals to about 657 species, 214 species of which are endemic. Of these endemic species, 68 are globally threatened, 52 are accidental or rare, and 5 are introduced by humans. Specifically, there are 48 non-passerines and 35 passerines.
According to a Science Daily article, biologists worldwide already considers the Philippines as a ‘biodiversity hotspot.’ They also claim that the country might have a unique bird species than what is already known. About 31% of all bird species found in the Philippines are regarded as Philippine-only (or can be found in the Philippines exclusively).

Where to bird watch

Further, there are more than 200 bird-watching sites in the country in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with special mention in Palawan and Batanes.
The top bird-watching sites in the country are found in: Ilocos Norte, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan, Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Pampanga, Laguna, Manila, Quezon, Bicol, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Batanes, Cebu, Bohol, Samar, Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur and Zamboanga.
For those who occupy Manila properties, the closest bird watching paradises are in Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve in Laguna, Mt. Palay-Palay National Park in Cavite and Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Zone. Another avifauna haven is in Wildlife and Bird Watching Sanctuary in Nuvali where you can see hundreds of bird species including herons and otters.

When to bird watch


Birding is possible all-year-round. However, it is best to visit the Philippines between December and July (dry season). During the wet season, it is tough to spot the majority of the birds though you can still watch or observe some species like pittas. Not to mention, terrains can get muddy, traveling to and fro the site will be more of a challenge.
Some local bird clubs also conduct bird festivals from time to time. Birders can contact these bird clubs to determine schedules.
The best time to bird watch is during the morning when they start to search for food. You should be up before 5 am.

Must-watch birds in the country

In the city, the most commonly observed birds are Eurasian tree sparrow, Yellow-vented bulbul, Olive-backed sunbird, zebra dove, black-naped oriole, golden-bellied flyeater and Philippine pygmy woodpecker.
However, there are must-see birds as well. Top of the list is the Philippine eagle. Others are Palawan peacock pheasant, steere’s pitta, Philippine cockatoo, scale-feathered malkoha, rufous hornbill, green racquet-tail, spotted wood kingfisher, Apo myna and Bukidnon woodcock.

What to bring when bird watching

When you embark on bird watching in any of the sites mentioned above, make sure to bring binoculars and camera with you. You should also bring a guide and journal where you can document the experience.
Also, bird watching is a hobby that is not for everybody. Patience is a virtue, and it holds true for this hobby. If you cannot stand long hours of silence, you might as well give it up. Respect for the birds and their natural habitat are also necessary.


The Philippines is a home to hundreds of bird species, each one of which has its own distinct beauty. Our avian bionetwork is legendary, making the entire archipelago as the latest bird watching hotspot. There are many choices for bird watching sites even in and around the metro. While bird watching is a worthwhile activity, this is not for everybody. It takes drive patience and passion to be a bird watcher!  

Friday, April 7, 2017

Home Improvement Hacks: How To Remove Stubborn Gum From A Table



Hands up of you have kids at home! I bet, there are a lot of parents here who have playful and cheerful kids. And of the most all-time favorite snacks for most kids is the chewing gum. Who would not be amazed how you can make some bubble out from the snack, right? However, this is also one thing that worries most parents – putting gum anywhere, especially on the table. And removing gum from a table is one of the most daunting tasks at home. Agree?

It doesn't matter if you are a resident of Solstice or any other real estate properties in the Philippines, you will experience this kind of situation especially if you have kids at home. But fret not, although this might be a daunting and frustrating task for some parents, there are already tricks or hacks where you can effectively remove the gum without any hassles at all.

Scrape gum off using a blade


On this method, you have to be careful not to leave a mark on your table since you are going to do some scraping on the gummed surface. Well, you have to carefully press the blade between the gum and the table's surface, and push the blade gently across the table. A dull edge is advisable for you to use. However, if you don't have such, then a sharper blade should be used with caution. But before you scrape the gum off, try to put a little vegetable oil for easier removal of the gum.

Rub with vegetable oil


The use of vegetable oil is not just for cooking your favorite meal. This is also a helpful and effective element that helps remove gum from a table. Well, just soak the paper towel in the vegetable oil, and then rub the area vigorously. Since oil is greasy, the gum should release from the table. And the good thing is, any vegetable oil will work on this method.

Apply ice cubes


Whether you realize it or not, ice cubes are an effective thing that can remove gum. Ice cubes can freeze the gum into a more solid element. Just put a dozen ice cubes into a plastic bag and put it again the gummed surface. Wait for minutes until the gum is completely chill. And once the gum is chilled or frozen, it would be much easier for you to remove the gum through the use of a dull knife. But make sure to use the knife carefully for as not to leave any marks on the table.


Dab with peanut butter


Who would think that a peanut butter is an effective tool to remove gum? Yes, you heard it right! All you have to do is put a small amount of peanut butter on the gummed surface, and let it sit for 15 minutes until the gum can be easily removed by a knife. Wonder how? Since peanut butter has some oil in it, it will help dissolved the gum and release it from the table. If you don't have any peanut butter at home, then try to refer to number 2, or any oily substance such as mayonnaise, make-up remover wipes or even facial moisturizer. These products will help you remove the gum.

See? Removing of gum is not that hard as you think it is. Well, you just have to make sure that you think before removing the gum with your hands – it's a no-no. You need to follow some tricks for an effective and successful removal of the gum on your table. Moreover, as a parent, tell your kids not to put gum on the table anymore. At least with that, it would be lesser hassles in life at home.


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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Top 6 Secrets Spot At Home to Hide Your Valuables From Thieves



Whether you realize it or not, we humans are good at hiding. Not just hiding secrets from our family and friends, but also with our valuables. Perhaps, you want to hide something because they might get mad or jealous over a simple thing; or from the potential thieves with some good sense of sight.  Whatever the reasons may be, it is undeniable that you want to hide something. That's it! However, even if you live in any condo in Manila, there are limited spots you know. And I'm sure it is not a good spot to hide something, right?

However, if you are desperate enough to hide your things yet you don't have any idea at all on what and where you should put those valuables, then let me help you by giving you these six secret spots at home you probably don't know you can safely put your valuables.

1. Wall art


Just like your bedroom mirror, you can also choose to hide your valuables behind your wall art. With a flat wall surface, who would notice that there are some things hidden behind it. Well, just make sure that your wall art is not suspicious enough for a person to be curious to look what's behind it. Moreover, the flatter it is, the more it is convincing it is.

2. Air vents


Air vents are not just used for bathroom or any other rooms for the circulation of air. If you are wise enough, you can install a faux air vent storage units in hallways or even in your bathroom. With that, burglars or any other sensitive eyes will notice it. They will assume that it is one of the real vents you install for the room. Of course, who would not teach that air vents are also a good place to keep your valuables at home.


3. Closet light


If you have a closet light at home, then this is also one of the places where it can be safe to hide your valuables. Any person will not notice the things hidden inside especially when the light is on. Well, if you are willing to pay an amount of money, then you can also purchase a closet lighting without any need for wiring. With this, it will not be that obvious to any other person that you are hiding something in there.

4. Books


Yes, books. Some books are made for storages. There are shops such as Etsy shops that sell secret safe books. This kind of storage is fancy enough that it gives us an illusion that it is a real book. Of course, its feature is almost the same as the real book. Its texture, design, size, shape is a book. But you also have to make sure that it is hidden in a place where it can't be reached by anybody in the house.

5. Pantry items and cleaning supplies


Household cleaning supplies and other cleaner products are one of the safe places where you can hide your valuables. Well, if you plan to put your things inside, then make sure that it is clean enough for you to use. Moreover, choose a cleaner that it is not that useful at home. With that, it is still safe whenever someone wants to use a particular cleaner.

6. Bedroom mirror


It is not just your ordinary mirror. If you choose to place your valuables in this storage, you better have a good idea on how you can properly put the things behind it. Perhaps, you can install a bigger mirror where no one will notice that it has a back portion for storage use. If not, then you might as well willing to pay a good price to purchase a secret storage mirror where even large things can easily fit inside.


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Friday, March 31, 2017

5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Utility Bills Down


For some homeowners, utility bills are not a problem at all. Perhaps, they have some devices that help lower down the electricity. However, paying the bills more than what you earn is going to be a pain on your wallets. And I'm sure you don't want to experience such all over again and again. Right?

If you are one of those homeowners who is still struggling with it, you can put a stop on it. It doesn't matter if you live in a condo BGC, or any other real estate properties, you can keep your utility bills down by considering these tips below.


1. Compare what they are charging you with now with the bill from last year


The payment of your bills will change from time to time, depending on how you used your appliances or electricity. However, here are just times that you don't know why or how you have high bills to pay. That means you have to be keen on the things you do. If you think there is something wrong with the meter, then you might as well ask some help to fix that problem. Perhaps, that particular problem is one of the reasons why you are paying too much for it.

2. Get familiar with how to measure your home's energy usage


Whether you realize it or not, each home has its different energy measurement. And if you are not familiar with yours, then you might not know if it eats a lot of energy in one usage. That is why, before moving in or buying a particular appliance, you better make sure that it can save more energy than any other appliances you have. Also, it is also a plus factor when you know how to read the fine print for you to have an idea of how much energy you used.

3. Keep track of which season tends to be the most expensive for your household


This is one of the most common reasons why you usually pay high bills. Sometimes, we tend to use more electricity especially when we have visitors in our home. Of course, you don't tell your visitors not to use that particular thing to save energy. Right? It is ok. However, it is your responsibility to keep track on those times for you to know why you have pay that particular amount on your bills.

4. Unplug all the appliances if not in use


If you think that it is ok not to unplug your appliances even you turn it off, then you better think again. And whether you realize it or not, that particular appliance is still working since it is still connected with the electricity. However, you can save big time if you immediately that particular appliance every after you used it. Don't forget to make it as your habit to avoid unnecessary add-ons to your utility bills.

5. Turn all the lights off always when not using them


Ok, let's admit! There are just times that we tend to forget to turn off the lights every time. Perhaps, we are just so engrossed with the things we do, or we just merely forget to turn it off. This is one of the basic things you need to remember. Yes, even if turning your lights off is as simple as 123, but it gives a great impact to your bills. We recommend the use of LED lights. You can save more if you use LED lights in your home.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Home Decorator's Checklist: Top 5 Things You Need When Renovating

"I work on adrenaline. I find it exciting to work fast. I lose inspiration and interest if it takes too long. I can't imagine ever being one of those decorators who takes years and years to finish a house." - Muriel Brandolini

Undoubtedly, you cannot decorate your home when you do not have any materials to use. Right? When you decorate, you often need tools for you to get started. And for one to achieve the desired outcome, a homeowner should have a good toolkit – but of course, you do not need to buy a kit all at once lavishly. However, if you want to have a better result, it is best for you to invest in well-made items that will last a lifetime. Even if you are still planning to invest in property such as Makati condo for rent, a home decorator must have their own toolkit.

Perhaps, it may be understandable that most homeowners cannot have the right tools since they do not have enough budget for it. But if you do not have any of these necessary tools mentioned below, then you cannot achieve the result you want to have for your home.

1. Measuring tape



One reason why the decorations are not correctly installed is that it is not properly regulated on where and what spot should you put the things you want to display. Perhaps, for some, "eyeballing" may be useful. However, that may not always be the case. You need to have a measuring tape for you to make sure that you will have the right measurement for each corner or space for you to have a better result.

2. Drill or screwdriver



Drill or screwdriver is necessary tools especially when you want to hang something on your wall. Of course, this would help you hold whatever things you want to display. Moreover, screws are great when you need to tighten up some things to make it more durable enough on the wall or any corner of your home.

3. Hammer



Hammer is one of essential tools you need to have at home. Of course, you do not want to make the work difficult for you, right? That is why you need to have a hammer included in your toolkit to make sure that you can use it anytime whenever you want to do some renovations at home. And if you are still planning to buy a hammer, you have to make sure that the handle of the hammer is comfy enough for you to use.

4. Pliers



Aside from the fact that pliers are one of the most essential tools you need to have at home, pliers are also good for cables and other things that you need to do. There are different kinds of pliers, for crosscutting electrical cable, you need to have the side-cutting electrician pliers. For reaching into electrical boxes to trim away the cable's sheath and paper, you need to have the diagonal pliers. And for cutting old rusty nails, screws, staples and clips, you need the ironworker's pliers for it. This only means, you need to make sure that you know which pliers are best for you to make sure that you will have a better outcome of the decorations at home.

5. Ladders


If you think ladders are not important when it comes to home renovations, then you better think again. Of course, there will be times that you need the ladder especially when you need to reach for your ceiling. Ladders are also important when cleaning your ceiling. There are just cobwebs that are stubborn enough for you to get. That is why you need to have ladders to make sure that everything will be included in the cleaning.