It’s been three months since we officially moved to our home here in Dubai. It’s memorable because it was our wedding anniversary and instead of our usual dinner date we were busy moving in. It’s definitely one to remember.
Initially we were planning to lease a bigger (than our apartment in Manila) condominium unit in either Marina or Downtown Dubai but eventually we decided to go for a townhouse in a gated community because we wanted our kids to experience this way of living. We want to take advantage of being outdoor more so our kids can enjoy biking around, playing at the park and the like.
We’ve been regularly going to the park and the court. And by regular I mean at least twice a week, often thrice pa. We’ve never spent this much time outdoors when we were in Manila. Though we enjoy hanging out at Ahma’s house to bike and play basketball on weekends, it’s nice to see how my kids prefer outdoor time than screen time since we moved here.
Home Away From Home
I posted this on my Instagram a month after moving in but this was actually taken a few days before we moved as we were waiting for some installation and deliveries. It’s our first time renting and thankfully we’re the first tenants of the villa we chose. This made me all the more OC about keeping it clean and making sure we treat it its ours with utmost care.
On the left is the second floor living room pre-filled with balikbayan boxes while on the right was a snap I took of the marble stairs. First time for our kids to live in a home with stairs so this got them excited though at first lang, because eventually they got tired going up and down hahaha. I on the other hand have been frequently going up and down the stairs to clock in more steps and stairs climbed on my fitness watch. Heehee.
Our things arrived the day after we moved. I love how we were on schedule. Though we miss hotel living, we were pretty excited to turn this house into our home.
About 10 boxes solely for kitchen items. When I think about it I’m amazed on how these fit in our tiny kitchen back home?! Our kitchen here now is twice as big and has thrice as much storage.
I prioritized organizing and fixing the kitchen first because this is the room I frequent to since I prepare food for my family four times a day. It’s so satisfying to have a kitchen that’s spacious. I hope I can keep it neat and clean. Three months in and I’m happy to report its still spic and span. ☺️
I can’t believe we brought a lot of boxes coming from our tiny apartment in Manila. And to think we didn’t even bring any big ticket items nor furniture (save for our treadmill). These are mostly clothes & shoes. Personal items from our childhood/younger years we didn’t even bring na (save for some photos) and most of my books are in my parents-in-law’s house plus our winter clothes too! Heehee. I gotta admit, I was pretty excited to unbox it all. Initially, Jago wanted the movers to unbox it so that there would’t be any boxes left but I told him seeing all of our things scattered on the second floor living area would only stress me and I won’t be able to put them all in their respective areas in a day or two (since he’s busy with work and I have to shuffle checking the kids’ online distance learning while doing other chores).
Eventually I managed to unbox everything. If you saw my Instagram stories you know how OC I can get with organizing and keeping things in order. It was a struggle to pace unboxing because I want it done right away but at the same time I want to purposely put things where it should be. So after nearly two weeks, slowly but surely each item in our home is put in its proper place.
The maids room turned into our gym which eventually we had to move to the guest room because this room feels too cramped for a gym. So we converted this to our utility room where our shoes and house items such as ladder, broom, mop, laundry basket are stored.
Here’s the guest room on the first floor which we made into our gym. Treadmill, reformer Pilates machine and other paraphernalia fits perfectly here with a space to do mat workouts.
I’m learning how to let go of being OC when it comes to keeping our home clean. The thing about me as a homemaker is that I’m used to cleaning our entire apartment floor every. single. day. I try to do it here as well but I always end up being stressed because let’s be honest, I can’t keep up knowing the floor area of our home here is more than double of what I used to clean. The challenge really is resisting the urge to clean every nook and cranny daily. Four rooms and four bathrooms require a lot of time and energy to clean especially if you’re like me who needs double floor scrubbing and vacuuming pre-mopping and post-mopping. Hahahay. 😅
Our living room is the first area that has been made up. Though it still needs an artwork, I’m very happy how it turned out. The moroccan poufs are from Funnest PH which I got when we were still in Manila. I love how it matches well with our living room.
So I asked a question on my stories if you’d be interested to see a house tour. It was a 100% YES also a few of my close friends wanted a peek too. Honestly, I’m delaying it because I feel like our home needs a few more things pa? Though it feels like home, there are a few key elements we haven’t had time to get or haven’t found the perfect piece (like adding artwork and plants). I also haven’t scheduled a day to shoot because quite frankly its only recent that I’ve gotten my groove back. After finally establishing our daily routine, managing chores and spending quality time with my family, pressuring myself to create content is throwing me off. So I’m really taking my time to enjoy the whole process. Hopefully I get to produce content regularly because I’ve got a handful of ideas from you guys when I did my Ask Me Anything on Instagram. For now, while the house tour video is still on hold, please enjoy these snippets of our home here in Dubai.
What one home accessory do you splurge on? Is it throw pillow covers? Vase? Painting? Lamps or lights? For me the only home accessory I’ve been splurging on is candles. Well this plus good quality bed sheets (but I haven’t really found good ones here so reco please if you know where I can purchase). Anyhow, back to candles. I love me a good smelling, long burning ones like Le Labo and Diptyque. I’ve tested these two brands for years and I love how they burn slow yet give the scent off nicely (not too strong) even after I’ve blown it off. Also discovered Spruce Up reed diffusers which I regret not getting more before we left. Their Hotel Scent 01 reminds me so much of Shangri-La Hotel in BGC Fort, Manila. Smells so so so good and it brings back memories of our stay at the hotel (we celebrated Juro’s birthday weekend there, dinner dates, holiday feasts and even blogging events). I believe aside from the furniture styled personally, it’s the scent of one’s home that makes it even more special.
The guest bathroom gives a very diffused light. The window is tinted so we didn’t bother put blinds or curtain for it.
I get OC on how to keep the floor white and spot-free! Anyhow, spot the Perfect Pieces wall mirror. We got it months before leaving as we haven’t had any place in our apartment to put it. Look at it now so perfect in our dinning area.
I’m not a plantita (plants literally die on me even cactus) but this fresh eucalyptus is giving me so much joy. I bought this at Waitrose in Dubai Mall. I placed it in my Uashmama pouch and instantly makes a difference.
We’ve always leaned towards modern, sleek pieces of furniture. But we also like some classic/vintage pieces that we can mix and match. If you notice we opted for velvet texture for our living room furniture and played around the style by mixing metal.
Our second floor living room now has furniture! Hahaha. It took a while because we couldn’t decided on what couch to get but eventually went for this lovely leather seat– I super love the whiff of leather everytime I pass by or sit on it. Then we got this IKEA area rug on sale for AED 99! Brought up the morrocan poufs and it instantly spruced up the space. This has now become our movie, family and hangout place. Hopefully we can complete this area soon.
Here’s a peek at our bedroom. My side of the bed is right beside our massage chair. I got this for Jago for Christmas. I think it’s such a good thing to get since we haven’t gotten a massage in a year! Though spas are open here in Dubai, we’ll settle for massage chair at the comfort of our home up until Covid cases have plummeted.
Here’s a peek at Juro’s room. Can you spot the his Funko Pop collection? He obviously likes blue and so he was involved in deciding on what bed frame to get and what curtain color to install. Does the bed sheet look familiar? Yes, that’s our Dwell Studio duvet & pillow covers I bought from Milk & Honey. This used to be our covers of our be in Manila. Now that it no longer fits our own bed, we passed it down to our kids. Juro says he loves how soft and cold his duvet cover is! He’s also using bamboo sheets I purchased from Linen and Homes they’re breathable and hypoallergenic! I wish they have it in our weird-sized king bed huhu.
Our kids room is very basic. Just their bed, side tables and their own study table & chair (thank goodness for IKEA!). They also brought their Funnest personalized bean bags.
Now my little lady’s room has almost the similar palette with the master’s bedroom but it’s leaning towards the mocha side. She also decided on her bed frame and asked me to choose the curtain shade close to it. Again the Dwell Studio duvet & pillow cover used to be ours. Same feedback as Juro, she love how comfy the covers are. Also using bamboo linen from Linen and Homes. I need to buy another set of both duvet cover and bamboo sheet because the find cotton ones we bought here aren’t as soft and cozy daw. Hahahay.
My baby’s girls side table has books on one side and this on the other– Young Living owl diffuser and here box light display. I caught her doing post-school doodle. She loves watching paper squishy videos and have been making a lot as well. Her room is the only one with an area carpet because we haven’t found a nice one for us and for Juro’s.
As a homemaker, I’d love to design and decorate but since we’re just renting and we’ll be here for a year or two, I’m practical and think about sustainability– if a piece we buy is something we can bring with us back in Manila. Still I’d like to add some paintings and more plants to really make this villa our home. For now, I’m really okay with how our home is.
The open space of our home. We got an outdoor table because we discovered winter season is cool and crisp–perfect for dining al fresco. I got this cute teepee over on Amazon. I felt really sad we weren’t able to bring our kids’ Funnest Fort (it’s twice as big as this teepee) because we forgot to pick to up at my parents’ place to include in our cargo. Anyhow, it’s such a shift for us from condo living for 9 years to now living in a bigger home in another country. But happy to report we’ve adjusted well and have really appreciate the luxury of having a bigger space and being able to go out in our community park.
Ending this post with a photo of the sky I took at our garden. So much to be grateful for as each day we get to wake up on this side of the world. What a beauty.