We moved

I just want to thank everyone who visited and followed this blog for the past 3 years… now that we moved to our new home… I’d like to invite you to visit us there, follow and witness our trying hard moments towards a minimalist lifestyle. 🙂

TRYINGHARDMINIMALIST.COM

Minimalist-Logo-web

I will migrate and update most of my posts here and put it on our new family blog so we’ll not miss our favorite stories and we’ll try to write new posts to document our precious Memories and Everyday Life.

Thank you once again and Merry Christmas! 🙂

Mel

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Efforts of a Minimalist: Gift Certificates

If there’s one thing that I will truly miss honey… it will be this, only this. 🙂

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That’s my favorite incentive from hubby, not only because he gives it all to me (well he practically gives me everything he earns – yes! I’m a very lucky girl) but because it is not taxed and I don’t get the guilty feeling spending it – what else can I do with those GCs right? 😉

Well, we all know that GCs are meant to be spent but since I’m a minimalist… I don’t splurge, it’s not my thing. I only buy staples – food, groceries and sometimes clothes, in tranches using those stubs. I divide them equally, so we can spend it monthly for the entire year.

Where do I usually spend our GCs?

1. Food – the fast-food chain that serves my son’s favorite breakfast and my husband’s favorite chicken combo gladly accepts GCs… Yehey! We always get a double treat!

2. Groceries – our monthly groceries are usually charged to our GCs. Either we buy at SM, Robinsons or Shopwise, it doesn’t matter – I always pay less than 200 pesos.

3. Clothes – on rare occasion, I buy clothes in stores that accepts GCs. I’m not only talking about department stores, but stand alone shops like Uniqlo. Sweet isn’t it?

Efforts of a Minimalist – Board game

Since my husband started wearing lenses, I started collecting the covers of his lens container.

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Because I have a project in mind…. and I’m so happy that I was able to finally collect enough covers and find time to make this board (Dama Board). Now the there are more “quiet” moments and less idle things at home. 😉

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Martie is seriously thinking of his next move. 🙂

By the way, this board game is now the official game of my boys. Yey! My first upcycling project is such a winner! 🙂

Welcome to our family Anna!

After years of impeding, we have finally sponsored a child through World Vision. Her name is Anna and I would like to welcome her to our family. 🙂 You are now Martie’s “far-away-sister” and our “instant-daughter”. We hope that through our small monthly sacrifice, you will have a better and brighter future ahead of you and your own family. 🙂

I learned about World Vision through a radio program of Karen Davila years ago. I mean years years ago, I think I was still single then and haven’t been introduced to my husband… yes that long ago. I got interested immediately but I did not took any actions until few months ago and I am so thankful I did it (with my boys’ consent of course).

anna

Oh! She’s not Anna. 😉

You know, it’s so easy to be a World Vision sponsor like us, you just have to visit their site (http://www.worldvision.org.ph/) and click the sponsor a child tab and fill-up some important personal information/details.

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In less than six (6) minutes you can finish the whole registration process and it will only cost you six hundred pesos (600Php) monthly for every child that you will sponsor.
You see, even with minimal cost and minimal efforts, you can give a child a great chance to a better life… right Anna?! 🙂

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Latest photo of their Football Day in Anna’s community.

Why do I love GE Water System

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I always keep a spare. 🙂

For almost 2 years now, safe drinking water has been out of our household worries, since we purchased and installed our own GE Water System. This system suites our lifestyle and I love every drop of it… why? Let me tell you…

  • Under the sink – My number one reason for choosing GE Water System is that it is designed to be placed under the sink. It will not consume even a tiny space of your kitchen counter. Totally cool for household with small kitchen counters like ours.
  • Easy to Install – The system comes with an instruction CD guide that you can just follow. Very easy and complete. Even the materials that you will need for installing is provided there, all you have to do is play and follow. By the way, my son loved the instruction CD very much that he usually play it over and over, while of course copying the installation procedure. Haha!
  • Fit for every need – they have different filters for different water impurities. I had our water tested first before deciding what kind of filter to get. It doesn’t actually need a lot of chemistry to do that… most likely if your water source is Manila Water; all you need is to remove the Chlorine, its after taste and odor plus occasional sediments present in the water – then, the GE 1500R-Health (shown in the picture above) is a good choice for you and me too.
  • Easy to Maintain – Actually it doesn’t require maintenance and cleaning… all you have to do is mark your cartridge and your calendar of the day of the cartridge replacement (cartridge usually last up to 6 months). Replacement can be done in a couple of easy steps… quarter turn the old cartridge and pull out of the system (no need to turn off the water main source) and put the new cartridge by doing the exact opposite – you have safe, fresh and clean water in no time.
  • Cost efficient – It is not the cheapest water system in the market, but I’m telling you, the simplicity and efficiency of this system is beyond comparison… so worthy that you wouldn’t mind its cost. Take it from me.

Minimalist Version – Emergency Kit

As promised, I am now sharing what I made out of my dad’s luggage and its contents.

luggage dad

Our Emergency Luggage

I made it into an emergency luggage, which contains basic survival kit – a minimalist version of Red Cross’ Family Survival Kit which I copy from its Facebook Page sometime last year. Feel free to copy and prepare your very own emergency kit/box/bag/luggage… whatever you want to call it and put those containers to a very good use. Here’s another updated list from Red Cross which you can refer to, Red Cross Lifeline Kit.

If you think you will not need any of it soon… well that’s really very good for you, but at least you already have something to give away to the needy, right?

WATER
✓ 3 bottles of DRINKING WATER (5 gallons/bottle)

FOOD ITEMS
✓ 10 kilos RICE
✓ 10 cans CANNED GOODS (2 cans meatloaf, 2 cans corned beef, 6 cans sardines)
✓ 7 pouches INSTANT NOODLESs
✓ 1 kilo SUGAR
✓ 1/2 kilo SALT
✓ 1 liter VEGETABLE OIL
✓ 1 pack ASSORTED BISCUITS
✓ 1 pack CANDIES or CHOCOLATES

Mel’s Note: I make sure that we have most of this on our pantry, specially bottled water, rice and easy open canned goods ready to be packed at all times.

NON-FOOD ITEMS
✓ 2 pieces FLASHLIGHTS with extra batteries
✓ 1 piece AM/FM RADIO TRANSISTOR with extra batteries
✓ 5 pieces WHISTLE (or 1 whistle/person)
✓ 1 piece POCKET KNIFE/MULTI-PURPOSE TOOL with can opener
✓ 1 piece LIGHTER or 1 BOX OF MATCHES
✓ 1 roll PLASTIC OR GARBAGE BAG WITH TIE (medium)
✓ 1 set EXTRA CLOTHING FOR EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY
✓ 5 pieces RAIN GEAR
✓ 1 piece WATERPROOF ENVELOPE (containing copies of personal documents, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, etc.)
✓ 1 piece DUCT TAPE
✓ 1 pair SCISSORS
✓ 1 set of GAMES AND ACTIVITIES for children
✓ 5 pieces FAMILY EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION CARD

HYGIENE KIT ITEMS
✓ 2 bars SOAP
✓ 5 pieces TOOTHBRUSHES
✓ 1 tube TOOTHPASTE (225 grams)
✓ 2 pieces SANITARY NAPKIN
✓ 5 pieces PERSONAL TOWEL (14″ x 27″)
✓ 5 sets CLEAN CLOTHES (long-sleeved shirt/long pants/underwear)
✓ 2 rolls TOILET PAPER
✓ 1 pack COTTON BUDS (100 pieces)
✓ 1 bar DETERGENT SOAP

FIRST AID KIT
✓ 20 pieces STERILE GAUZE PADS (4×4)
✓ 4 pieces SANITARY NAPKIN
✓ 6 pieces ROLLER GAUZE BANDAGE (4″)
✓ 6 pieces ROLLER ELASTIC BANDAGE (4″)
✓ 4 pieces TRIANGULAR BANDAGE
✓ 3 pieces PLASTER/ADHESIVE TAPE (1″ width)
✓ 30 pieces BAND-AID ADHESIVE STRIPS (assorted sizes)
✓ 1 piece BANDAGE SCISSOR
✓ 1 piece TWEEZER (plastic)
✓ 3 pairs STERILE GLOVES (medium)
✓ 2 pieces PERSONAL FACE MASKS
✓ 5 pieces TONGUE DEPRESSORS
✓ 10 pieces COTTON APPLICATORS
✓ 1 bottle POVIDONE IODINE (100ml)
✓ 1 bottle HAND SANITIZER (100ml)
✓ 1 bottle CALAMINE LOTION (50ml)
✓ 1 tube BURN OINTMENT (25g)
✓ 1 piece PENLIGHT
✓ 1 piece THERMOMETER
✓ 1 piece CPR ONE-WAY VALVE FACE SHIELD
✓ 1 piece INSTANT COLD COMPRESS
✓ 2 bottles DISTILLED WATER (500ml)
✓ 1 piece EMERGENCY CALL CARD
✓ 1 booklet FIRST AID/EMERGENCY GUIDE
✓ 2 pieces EMERGENCY THERMAL BLANKET
✓ 1 piece CLEAR PLASTIC CONTAINER BOX (Water Proof)

COMMON MEDICATION
✓ 15 tablets PARACETAMOL (500mg)
✓ 15 tablets IBUPROFEN (200mg)
✓ 15 tablets LOPERAMIDE HYDROCHLORIDE (2mg)
✓ 15 tablets ANTIHISTAMINE (10mg)
✓ 10 pieces ORESOL PACK

Mel’s Note: Just make it a point to have the basic family necessities ready and available at all times. Your family might need something else that is not here, fell free to adjust based on your family’s immediate needs.

Keep Safe Everyone. 🙂

Mel

Minimalist Counter – Luggage

Despite my love for travelling, I didn’t get to feel the need of owning a piece of luggage until we’re set to travel with our 2 year-old son, more than 2 years ago. So, we bought this.

 luggage correct

It is a 15-kilogram capacity trolley from Delsey which we got on-sale at Travel Club in Gateway Mall and it has become our family luggage. We bring them whenever and wherever we go and I’m very pleased that it has withstand the stress of being loaded and off-loaded of more than 20 trips. And yes it is up to now the only luggage that we bought. 😉

Though, we still have two other luggages in the house -one is with an obvious-Burberry-knockoff-fabric-design that was given by a supplier in our office as Christmas raffle gifts. We only use this when going to and from condo since we don’t wash our clothes there. So this one is basically the busiest trolley we own.

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Another is my dad’s luggage. He used this for all his travels until the very last. We kept his personal stuff here for one year before deciding to give most of them away. We know that our dad is too generous to feel bad over his unused stuff being given away and I am too impervious to let this trolley sit under the bed and collect dust so I assigned this as our emergency luggage. 🙂

luggage dad

Wait for my next post to see the details.
There you have it, our three useful trolleys.