Finally...

That's what most people say when they heard the news. And what news is that you may ask? Well, I'm engaged. :D I never thought I'll ever say that phrase, yes we talk about getting married, we're even building a house together for crying out loud, but I don't know, maybe I'm just not the smoochy type, or I'm not expecting any grand gesture. But it felt so surreal the moment it finally did happen. I was bawling my eyes out! hahaha...

Disclaimer: If you're looking for house-related subject matter, then just wait for my next post. This is just me sharing that OMG moment, and even for just a day, be a girly girl. Haha

Okay. Here goes... As you may remember from my last post, I mentioned going to Boracay for the labor day weekend. I was with the bf (now fiance..WOW.. haha), friends, brothers, cousins, and the bf's brother and cousin as well. And all their respective partners. Everyone was there actually, people everywhere! But that's not the point.

On our last night, he suggested we have dinner alone since all the other nights were spent with the group mentioned above. Okay then. He ordered prawns and I ordered pizza. haha.. He was at first hesitant about the pizza and told me we won't be able to finish it. I was all puzzled since he CAN ALWAYS finish food and we can always bring the left-overs with us. We ordered anyway. After eating, he suggested we went to the restroom. Again, puzzled since we're heading to the hotel, why pee now? He told me we might go somewhere else. Okay then.

But we went to the hotel anyway. I didn't have a clue. AT ALL. I just thought it was just a change of plan since he was on the phone majority of the time, texting / calling.

As we reached the hotel, he let me went in first since he had to "buy" something. I went in the gate hearing a faint guitar playing. I didn't mind it at all. As I turn the corner, I saw a lot of people and for a split second, I thought they are just other hotel guests. Then I realized I knew everyone of them.

The guitar was being played by my brother. And everyone I knew in Boracay was there, in front of me, pointing cameras at me. "Oh my God, this is it." I didn't know where to go so I look back and saw the bf right behind me. He hugged me so tight and began singing.


Yes he made a song, just the day before. I was in tears, and he is too. :) (I learned later on that almost everyone were as well. hehe) After the song, he then delivered the best speech there is. HAHA.. Okay, it's not a speech, it's a very sweet heart-felt message. He'll hate me for using the word "sweet" but it seriously is. 

He then got me a bouquet, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. You all knew what I said. 


As it turns out, he didn't plan on doing it there. It was just a very spontaneous decision a few nights before. He just suddenly felt it's the right time. So he presented me with the guitar my brother was playing, with a diamond ring drawn on it and promised to get me a proper ring.

It was perfect. I had imagined being proposed to, but what did actually happen was so much better. It was sweet, personal, intimate, us surrounded by friends and family. And he did all that carrying a plastic bag of left-over pizzas! Yes, check the photos above, white plastic filled with pizza. Hahaha... Now I knew why he didn't want to order those. :)

I felt so blessed and loved. So much gratitude to this group of people for helping Yuseff out, and for being there that night. :)

And thank you so much Yuseff for that amazing night. I never imagine it to happen that way, and it was perfect. :) :) :) Yes, he already gave me the ring a few days after we got back in Manila, in front of both our families. :)

Okay so I'll stop being a girly-girl now... we then all went out, celebrated, and got drunk. I will, of course, NOT share those photos with you. HAHA...

So that's the story of our one sweet day. We'll get married on our 11th year anniversary this September. Yes, less than four months of planning! That's why I haven't posted in a while. That is another story. I'll probably do share some of our wedding planning here and let you know of  my thoughts. I even did a moodboard for the ceremony and reception! HAHA...

As for the Tiny House, we're probably a week away from completion. A WEEK!!! I'll be sharing all the progress with you sometime very soon.

Tiny House Kitchen: Semi-DIY Wall Light Fixture

Let's take a break from the Happy Lulu update and go back to the Tiny House. So we're not pushing with the new target date of Pacquiao-Mayweather fight for finishing the house since we won't be watching it at home, we'll be at Boracay that time. Yep, this oldie is braving the Boracay crowd this Labor day weekend. Oh my gawd I'm excited yet scared. HAHA... I'm a homebody even when I was younger, so crowded place scares me. But I just want to experience that chaos once in my life so goodluck. hehehe...

Anyway, since we gave up on setting a target date for the Tiny House, we're not focusing on the house hence it's taking much more longer since we're not on top of purchasing materials etc. Was so busy with helping out at Happy Lulu the past weeks, but I'm again shifting my priorities to the house, so tomorrow would be bathroom tiles purchasing day! :) We're really really close to completion, they're now finishing the 1st and 2nd level, and final retouch for 3rd level. It's insane how close we are to finally having a house!


Anyways, kitchen.

As you can see in my moodboard, we wanted a vintage looking copper wall light. Of course, that won't be easy to find as we needed three. Plus I'm sure it will be expensive if we found three identical light. So we semi-DIYed it. Why "semi" you ask?

Well, we purchased this wall light from Wilcon for P400. It's cute, it's functional, but it's too short for what we wanted. The bf to the rescue! Haha.. He disassembled the light fixture and used plastic pipe to lengthen the light.

He then spray painted them copper, and here's our new kitchen task light!

I'm aware it doesn't look vintage at all, but it's cheap and the look works with what we want. 

It gives just the right amount of light that illuminate the shelf AND the counter as well. That's actually the reason why I wanted it longer, I wanted the counters to be lighted too. 

Here's our basically finished kitchen, just imagine food instead of power tools.

Can't wait to use this space. We're already planning what food we'll store in the fridge, what things to stock up on, etc. But that's just crazy talk 'coz the bf will probably use that counter as a workshop. Haha.. We'll wait and see.

Happy Lulu: The Chalkboard Wall

About a week ago, it's all about Happy Lulu. If you have no idea what that is, read here. Well, I was not informed that they'll be doing a soft opening and I still have so much to do!! The first week was in chaos, for my mind at least. I have to finish the menu design (they're using temporary ones for the first week), banner design, final decorating, and so much more. One of those is this chalkboard wall.

I know from the start that I wanted a chalkboard wall. I've been practicing my chalk skills on small signage for party carts, and I thought, well, that's easy.  I'm sure it's not a big deal to tackle one wall.

Boy was I wrong. At first I was planning on putting the chalkboard on a much bigger prominent wall, thank goodness I changed my mind. Though that would be so much nicer so we'll probably still do that in the future. But for now, this will do.

We placed it on one wall at the counter area. And since my brother took some photos of me-at-work, well I'm sharing them.

I have zero exercise so this wall killed my arm. Haha... 

The bf taking his own action shots.

Me climbing up the sink to reach the corners.

And here's the finish product taken by my trusty but very old and laggy S3!! Haha

At first, I have no idea of what to draw in here. Of course the first thing I did was the "Happy Lulu". And I added from there. 19 is in reference to our street number. Since Lulu is actually my dad's nickname, I added the speech bubble with "cheers" since that's the entirety of his speech at my brothers wedding. Hehe... Included the items we have on the menu, and for the corner, I thought it would be cute to have a "shelf".

The bf has his contribution as well at the very bottom... TADA!
Haha... But that actually inspired me to add the plants above the sink. The plants are actually one of my favorite part. I love greens, but since we haven't had the chance to have actual living plants in here, those drawing will do for now.

So that's our chalkboard wall. I'm so sooo proud of that wall... But I have no intention of tackling another one very soon. HAHA... 

I'll be sharing my tipid decorating strategy for the space next. For now, check out Happy Lulu at facebook.


Did that logo too.. :) Oh and yeah, that's my dad. Haha.... See you there!



Old House to Happy Lulu (Part 1)

If you haven't been reading this blog since the beginning, then you probably haven't heard of our family house. That's the reason I started this blog, it badly needed a renovation back then and I decided to document the process, and all the DIYs I did to improve the look of the house. You can read all about it here

Anyway, that very same house is now Happy Lulu. What in the world is Happy Lulu? Well it's the resto my Dad and Uncle recently opened here at our very same house. No, they didn't took up the entire space, it's actually a big house, they just took a portion of the front part, as seen in this diagram below...
Obviously that's not to scale. But that's the gist of it.  The main living area is now so tiny but it's fine, we have a resto right here! :) Of course, I presented myself to do the interiors, I can not let them do it by themselves.. Hehehe. The catch is the budget for the decorating / kaartehan part is really small since the renovation / equipments cost them a lot. I can't just purchase or do whatever I want. But I took it as a challenge, that space needs to be cozy, and welcoming. I'm not going for grand or high-end, I wanted it to be comfortable and homey.

Before I share the decorating part, let me show you the space towards the end of the renovation. I don't have much photo of the process as it's basically just a mess. Hehe.. 

I didn't have any moodboards, or showed them any plans for this. I just spoke with the contractor and instructed him directly on what to do. So basically, I did what I want. Haha.. But of course I didn't went crazy, I would love it if they love the space too. The very big wall in the middle of it all is actually a post, the left part used to be our front yard, and the right part used to be part of our living area. We removed both sides of the wall and kept the post for structural reasons, and even not for that, I love the look of it.


I went with a very neutral white, black and wood for all the main elements. I was actually hesitant about the black part since you know, chinese. Haha.. But I love black walls, and thank goodness I didn't heard a word about it. But infairness, I didn't do it all out, just the lower portion of the walls. Actually, even before starting the Tiny House, I have pegs of this type of wall treatment and I was thinking of doing that for our own house. But the bf's not sold on the idea, plus we did had the loft, so half of the living area has high ceiling which will be weird to have two-tone on the walls. I don't know if I'm making sense, but trust, it will be weird. So instead, I use that wall treatment here which I love.


Anyway, we have existing ceiling beams and upon renovation, had exposed some, so we just kept it and I asked them to keep them / bring them back to wood. They we're even asking me to have ceilings, and I was NO. Haha.. Keep the ceiling as high as possible, embrace the beams as those quirky crooked beams will give the space architecture and personality. 


Since half part of the restaurant was our living room, it of course have windows. Windows to our personal garage. What do we do with it? I don't want to lose the light coming from the window, but our garage is very unsightly. Hehe... So I asked them to build display shelves in that niche and install a smoked glass behind it.

Oh and the floors. As you can see above, we have two different floors. The weird yellow / black one is original to the house, think 1950s. I used to hate it, but now that I know a little better, I love it! I appreciate the history, and the weirdness of it all. I would love to see this house in it's former glory. Anyway, they wanted to cover it up with new tiles, and I insisted on keeping it. I can understand their apprehension since its old and is already showing wear and tear, as expected. But that's what I love about it. The other side are new since the original flooring there were not great, at all. Just did a stripe pattern because I still wanted a pattern, but something simple that wouldn't compete with the crazy yellow one. :)

Hallway going to the restroom. We carved a small restroom for diner's use at end of the space. 

This is the restroom. Chose a simple white tile for the walls. It's classic and clean. But that's not it, I did a little something to make this bathroom special. Small doesn't need to be boring. 

I know it's weird to end a restaurant post with a toilet shot, haha, but that's about it for now. For the next post, I'll show you all the decorating I did. I know, such a tease!

But if you want to see the decorating for yourself, visit us. See for yourself. Happy Lulu is already open. :) There's some sneak peek at the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/happylulukitchen

And while you're at it, like the page as well. Haha..  Check out the menu, the food is really amazing, and I'm not just saying that because it's my dad's. They server really great comfort food. Anyway, I'll share part 2 of this post soon.

The TIny House Kitchen is Almost Done!

I wish I could say the same thing about the house though. It's been clear now for weeks that we won't make the bf's birthday house deadline which is in a week. I'm really hoping that we'll have a house for my birthday... in 4 months! Haha... But for now, our next mental deadline is Pacquiao-Mayweather fight (May 2). We're hoping to have pay-per-view and have friends over. But we all know how our deadline is like, it's just a wish. 

But we're looking at the bright side which is the kitchen. It's almost done! We can now see the light at the end of this very very very long tunnel that we lovingly call The Tiny House Renovation.

Here's where I left you in the last kitchen update post. The cabinets are in place but that's about it. 

Tada! Tiles!!!

As cliche as subway tiles is, I love it!!  The counters (which is just tile with tile trim, I'll share details in another post), and the shelf are installed. That shelf will house majority of our dinner ware which is not a lot so it will do.

Next up is painting the cabinets. As I've said in my last post, we wanted a grayish green color based on our inspiration photo. Here we are trying on different colors, we added a bit more yellow to the right most swatch to achieve a greener hue.

Tada! Paint!! Haha... 

Here they are with our copper handles. As seen on previous photos, our free cabinet doors already got a nickel finish handles, which are fine. But we wanted copper so one night, after they finished all the painting, we did a painting of our own. Well the bf did. He spray painted all the hardware copper and we installed new ones for the smaller cabinet. I did the measuring and he did the drilling. 

We're actually unsure of the copper color the first night we installed them as they looked too red with the few bulbs we had at that time, but morning came and we love them! It's just the right color. We also spray painted the new handles for the smaller cabinet so they'll all match.

We had the niche shelves stained the same the same color as our window. We wanted touches of wood here and there to warm up the space. Obviously there's still masking tape around the shelves, but I can already imagine cute cooking condiments bottle placed in there. Also a nice basket that will hold garlic (I love garlic!!), onions, and such. I don't cook so that's the only ingredients I know. Haha... 

I love how the tiles and the cabinet look against all the navy. And speaking of the color, how do you see our cabinets? Greenish gray, or grayish green? The bf and I are debating, he sees it as gray, and I see it more as green. We've had argued about color more than just a few times and I always tease him that he's colorblind. So green? Gray? Black and blue? White and gold? Haha.. And for the record, I see that dress as black and blue, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, google it. Mind-boggling.
Oh and I totally forgot about the dining table we bought, it has storage! 6 small drawers, which means additional pantry space. Yay! I'll show you when we unpacked it, can't risk having paint dripping all over it so it will stay in plastic until we're totally done with this level. 

So that's our small kitchen, and I absolutely adore it. We're still missing a few details, the three wall lights, and the countertop of the small cabinet. We had a tile breaking incident so we have to buy another one. But overall, I love the direction we went with and I know this little corner will serve as well.

Next, we're shopping for a fridge, a retro-looking fridge that is, wish us luck!

Tiny House Renovation: The Kitchen (Plans and Progress)

Let me start this post by saying this... I don't cook. This is in no way the best kitchen set up out there, on the contrary, our kitchen is so minimal I'm not sure how functional it will be. Haha.. Before even starting the Tiny House, I had drawn kitchen designs and cabinet layout for what I think will be best for us in terms of storage. But, we got free kitchen cabinet doors and drawers so we use those instead and I threw all my drawings away.

And that's not the only changes we had along the way. As you see in the floor plan below, we're supposed to have the fridge beside the stairs, and build a floor to ceiling shallow pantry cabinet, hiding the fridge from the rest of the space.

LAYOUT

So this is the layout of the original plan. Plus I thought of having a full cabinet beside the counter to house microwave, convection oven, and a whole lot more of storage. But then the bf was not sold to this layout since it would make our small space, smaller, blocking the stair wall and the crystal chandelier we're planning to install there.

He actually got a point. I was only thinking of maximizing storage since the space is small, but I'd love to have a full view of the chandelier and the gallery wall we'll install on the stair wall. Plus the space will feel so much larger without the big pantry storage blocking the view. So here's the revised plan...
Instead of placing the fridge and pantry beside the stairs, we're just putting another counter with drawers on the left, and a hidden side compartment for the microwave and oven. The fridge will go beside the long counter. Even with just the line drawings, you can see how much more spacious the kitchen feels.

Obviously, we loss tons of storage with this changes, and yes I'm planning to learn to cook eventually, but for now, I guess this will be enough. The bf does cook and he said this is enough so I believe him. Haha.. We'll have 6 drawers for pantry needs. One very long open shelf for plates. bowls, glasses, cups, sugar, coffee, tea, and other bottled stuff. 2 drawers for cooking pots / pans. Plan to have rod to hang cooking utensils and such. Also 3 other big drawers for misc items that I still have no idea what to fill with. Under the sink will be the trash, and the other half will house a water filter system. For now that's the plan, hoping that's more than enough for two people. Oh in case you're wondering where our stove will be, we'll be using induction stove. Originally, we're planning to have the counter built-in induction stove but apparently, those are VERY expensive.  So we'll just buy the induction cooker you place on top of the counter, much cheaper. Hehe.. Plus we can keep it in the drawer when not in use. I'll let you know how that we'll work out for us.



DESIGN

As far as the design, the only thing I knew from the start is that I wanted white subway tile. Ooohh subway tiles.... I know, too predictable. It's all the rage in kitchen design this days. But it has a certain charm. It's trendy now, yes. But it's also classic and vintage as well. I wanted something that I would like in the next 5 years, and a simple white subway tile is my best bet.

Since we've got one big element down, the other decision to make is the cabinet color. What color would the bf and I agree on? He doesn't like black for those, and both of us doesn't like white. We like green in relation to our navy walls, but what kind of green? Then I saw this image and knew it would be perfect. 
I'm talking about the wall color below the subway tile. It's a subtle green, and we both like it, so sold.


Here's the design element board for our kitchen. 
Since our third level is mostly dark with the brick and navy walls, we wanted this area to be bright and the white tile would do the trick. We're loving copper these days, so we'd love to incorporate it throughout the house. We'll try to paint the existing handle that came with our free cabinet doors (I'll share the "free" story some other time) a copper shade, and we'll install three copper lights above the floating shelf.

As for the fridge, originally, we're planning to just purchase any fridge since it will be hidden from view, but with the changes in layout plans, the fridge will be front and center so we wanted something special. We both love a retro looking fridge, and if budget weren't a factor, we'll probably go with a smeg. But the cost of that fridge is the cost of our entire third level so we'll have to find another option. We saw a nice looking vintage fridge but we have no idea how to make it work and oh my old fridge doesn't have much storage. They don't even have shelves on the door. So we'll try to look for any nice fridge that's not stainless, white or black. A great color would be nice but we'll see what we'll find.

This is the kitchen last week. All the cabinets are in place but still not painted and finish. Oh and we have floors! Yay! We'll of course, have a half-wall around the small cabinet on the left because obviously, it's weird to have a floating cabinet beside the stairs.

See how small our kitchen is? I'm now doubting our storage capacities.. haha.. We decided against upper cabinets just because we wanted the tiles to go up to the ceiling and we wanted a very open and airy feel. Down the road, maybe we'll install one, or we'll add some sort of storage beside the fridge, but for now we'll just try to enjoy the minimalism of this space. Ooh, we also had a niche shelves installed, as you can see on upper right of the counter. That would be where our cooking stuff will be (oils, spices, etc) so yeah I though about this a little.
So that is our kitchen. That's where I'll learn how to make food, that's where I'll learn to bake in our small convection oven, that's where I'll make smoothies and salads on days that I feel fat. Haha.. 

And because we're talking about kitchens, I'll leave you with a very non-related photo, the Tiny House at night.
Sometime soon, I'll be curling up on the sofa in that corner, either watching tv or staring at our subway tiles.



Tiny House Decoration: Turning a Shelf into our Office Light Fixture

Haven't been posting so much DIYs lately, and by lately I mean years, except for a few here and there. I started this blog full of DIYs, I'm very eager to see transformation, add that to the fact that I have so much free time. When I started having real projects, my time for those dwindled, and let's just say I found the bliss in hiring people to execute my ideas. Haha.. 

But for the Tiny House (and this post officially starts the #tinyhousedecoration segment), we're planning to do a little DIY here and there. And since we already have workers doing the house, some parts of the projects we're (will be) allocated to them. Gotta work with what you have right? ;)

Let me introduce you to our light fixture for the office.
Tada! HAHA...

But seriously, that's what our fixture is made of. The bf's family discarded one of their metal shelf during their renovation (forgot to take photo of the actual item but it's just like that only taller), and as the hoarder that we are, we kept it. The Bf is the mastermind of all this, he's the genius in making something out of scrap. Remember this post? Well those are not scrap, but still. I also posted this and this on instagram, he made those as well. Anyway, we'll be doing a lot repurposing for the Tiny House, and this one is first on the list. 

No process photos, but he used the shelf part, cut it in sections, and had our welder welded them together. It really is simple to do but I won't be able to have thought about this, really. I love love the end result.


It's perfect for the space since we wanted a visually light chandelier. Something modern, but not too modern. Geometric and interesting that would pop against the white ceiling, and something that can hold more than 1 bulb since this will be our main office light, it needed to be bright.


It can hold 4 bulbs, yey! Obviously we don't have bulbs yet, that will be next on our shopping list, we'll be going for LEDs, mostly in warm-white. But for the office we're doing this main light in cool-white. I love warm bulbs, but the bf finds them too dark and not condusive to work, in short, nakaantok. Haha

We painted them in gold, because well, we love gold, and it looks great with both our white and black paint colors. Sooo thankful for the bf's wild imagination, now we have a nice light fixture for almost nothing. It cost us a can of spray paint, 4 bulb socket, wires, and an hour of welder labor. Not bad for a very unique piece.

Now that you've seen our very clean looking ceiling, here's the reality of the loft.
Hoards. Lots of them. That's just 2% of what we have. Haha.. See those back to back wood furniture in the middle? Those are old bedside tables that we'll repurpose into our shared desk. But that's still down the road, we have so much more to do, and by we, I mean our workers. So goodluck to us, and them.

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