Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Want a home project? Change your room dramatically with wallpaper! Here's mine

Since everyone's home because of the coronavirus quarantine, lots of articles about DIY home projects are proliferating online. My husband and I had the same plan for our summer—even before the community quarantine—because Vince was tired of the silver accent wall I painted 6 years ago and wanted something nicer on that wall. Like a really fabulous wallpaper. And that's how we discovered Photowall!


Photowall is based in Sweden. So why did I get my wallpaper from across the world? Well, I've checked out a few wallpaper shops in Manila and, while there are lovely designs available here, we were looking for something bolder. Something that will stand out when you enter the room versus a discreet design that fades into the, er, wallpaper.

With Photowall, we saw soooooo many wonderful and fantastic designs! Super overwhelming! Bold and colorful! Dynamic and stimulating! They drew your attention instead of fading into the background. It took Vince and me a few weeks just going through all the gorgeous choices until we both finally settled on one amazing artwork. I'll show you in a bit!


You can tell from my pictures how happy I am to get our wallpaper! I super loved Photowall—from their beautiful and user-friendly website that showcased all their designs in various real room settings, the ease of ordering on their online store to the super quick production and delivery. I ordered our wallpaper March 9 and it was printed out that same day. It left Sweden March 10 and we got it March 13! Four days!

We were actually supposed to get it on March 12—so it would've just taken 3 days!—but the COVID-19 panic was already starting that week so delivery was delayed. I'm just so glad our wallpaper got to us before the lockdown! So let me do a little unboxing!


The wallpaper is rolled up into this small box. It comes with the receipt, instructions, and the glue.


And this is what it will look like! I haven't been able to put up the wallpaper. Lockdown started March 14 so we weren't able to buy the necessary tools from the hardware shop. So our plan to install it while on quarantine didn't pan out. But, mamas, just look at how absolutely gorgeous it's going to be!!!




That is ART. That's just so "LOOK AT ME!" I can't wait to see that wallpaper up on our wall!

Okay, I'm so happy with it that I created a My Favorites list on Photowall. Let me share with you a few wallpapers and posters that I love. I am totally covering my whole house with Photowall products!


The foxes are for Iñigo. He's really into foxes now.


I highly recommend Photowall, mamas! Check out their website now. We may not be able to get shipments right now because of the quarantine but browse the designs anyway and make a Favorites album like I did. It took me and my husband a month just to go through all the designs and narrow down what we liked. So you now have something to do this month!

If you order, use my code "topazhorizon2021" at checkout to get 25% off! That's a huge discount! PLUS: You can use that code several times from now till May 1, 2020! No, this isn't a sponsored post but Photowall very kindly offered that discount so that Filipinos—my Loyal Readers especially!—can get beautiful wallpaper straight from Sweden, too!


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

A little love letter to my dear Loyal Readers


Hey everyone!

How are you all? I hope you are doing okay. 

Where I live, it's Day 10 of our community quarantine. The last day my kids went out was March 11 so they've been locked inside for 13 days. While they aren't that bored (my husband and I are introverts so we fully equipped our home to be an entertainment haven), they haven't had much sun and physical activity and that worries me. So this week we'll rev up our indoor exercises.

Anyway, I have a lot of drafts lined up to be published here on the blog. I have nothing to do since all my writing and PR work is now currently on hold, save for this recent and sadly personally relevant article I wrote for ANCx ["10 tough lessons freelancers have learned amidst the community quarantine"]. So I finally found the time to take photos of products to be reviewed, made a video of my daytime skincare, write on the blog... But I can't seem to publish them yet.  

I understand that these are strange times we're living in. This time last month, my family was planning a beach trip and summer classes. We were shopping for tropical-themed outfits and tools for building sandcastles. And now we're indoors 'til we don't know when. Just when the weather is so gloriously beautiful, we can't go outside to enjoy it. I am so profoundly grateful our problems are just that. Everywhere else in the world, people are trying to get to work, trying to pay the bills when there's suddenly no work, trying not to get sick, trying not to die. 

So I feel a bit strange to publish blog posts that are now so trivial in the face of this COVID-19 pandemic the whole world is facing. Part of me says this is the best time to write about silly things, to take our mind off from the horror of the sickness and how our government is responding to it. I'm not a medical expert, nor a political commentator, an economist, or a spiritual guide. So maybe I won't be very useful at this time, but please know that I want to share with you the stuff I've been doing, watching and reading when I'm not freaking out about our politicians. I need the mental break from all the shit that's happening in the world. If you feel the same way, I hope this is a place you can go to.

Life may be chaotic now but I cling to the hope that things will get better. I don't know when that better time will be but for now, I am grateful I have my family around me, safe and healthy. I wish every single one of us can say the same thing but I am bleakly aware this is not the case. So, dearest Loyal Readers, please pray with me for our doctors, nurses, hospital staff and crew, scientists, delivery people, guards, janitors, supermarket personnel, the people who work in food and service establishments, policemen, soldiers, the people who live on a daily wage, and yes, even for our government. We need to support all of them through donations and prayer.

From all of us in my family, we hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.

Frances

P.S. Here are links to old blog posts that may be relevant at this time:





Exercises we can do at home to get sexier! (I'm using a free exercise app now, though)


My kids' vitamins is now Fern-C kidz. Here's why. (although now it's Enervon C kasi ubos na ang Fern-C kidz last time I bought vitamins)



Since we have 3 more weeks to go (fingers crossed!) in this lockdown, I'll try to come up with fresh content that you may still find useful but won't be health-related. Things like tips on working from home, for example! If you have any requests for topics, please leave a comment below or send an email to frances@topazhorizon.com. Thanks, everyone!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Do good recklessly

Photo by Kat Yukawa for Unsplash

I know Facebook can be pretty toxic right now with all the sobering Covid-19 updates and then the political disasters happening in real-time. But it's also an inspiring place where we can see our fellow Filipinos rising (yet again) to meet the challenge of helping each other.

Anyway, this is a quick post, just to tell you I'm still alive and that I think of all of you! And to share with you these old screencaps I found on my phone (because I now have time to organize my things!). They're stories on doing good things—even if you don't know the person, even if that person may be scamming you, even if you can't afford to help. They made me day last year, that's why I saved these stories. And when I saw them again today, they made me happy again. I hope they also inspire you.







I have a story, too. When I was in college and in an abusive relationship, I once didn't know how to go home after a big fight with my then-boyfriend that ended with me holding on to my bloody lip. He had driven off with my bag still in his car. It was late at night and I had no money. So I was walking down the street, crying, asking for help. And everyone quickly walked away from me. Except for this security guard who handed me P20 and told me to calm down. Let's be honest here—guard siya so I'm sure he didn't have a lot of money. And P20 in the early 90s is not a small amount (for reference, daily baon ko was P50). In the jeepney ride home, the man beside me gave me his jacket and said I was shaking so much. He thought I was cold. I was actually shivering in shock.

But I got home. And I never forgot Manong Guard. That's why if anyone approaches me on the street asking for pamasahe pauwi, I give. Dinadagdagan ko pa ng pang-merienda. Sometimes my gut tells me it's a scam but I really can't walk away. I keep thinking of those people who must've thought I was scamming them when I was asking for change all those years ago. So bahala na! Basta bigay lang ako. Because as our last story above said, "Whether he was lying or not says something about his character, but hearing someone in need and choosing not to help when I have the means to says something about mine."

Let's do good recklessly, mamas. Especially now. God bless us all!