Being a Landlord or Selling Your Home


It’s been almost 9 months since my last post.  2013 was a roller coaster year because we were considering selling our home and moving on.  We had to renovate portions of our house and repaint it to prepare it for a new buyer.

A 1950s bathroom was transformed into….


….a more modern bathroom…DSC01813

Colored walls were toned down to give a more neutral feel.


Before by the stairs.


After by the stairs in cream.


Before living area in yellow.

Before living area in yellow.


After living area in cream.

In less then 2 months we found an interested buyer.   At first my husband and I were thrilled about selling, but as the paperwork was drawn out we realized that we would not be able to sell the house for the price that we initially agreed upon.  This gave us a moment to think about the next step that would change our lives.  We decided to keep our home and make it an income making property instead.

We used a realtor to help us with the paperwork, but my husband and I were the ones who found the tenant in the end.  We used the following free websites to post our rental property.  I have listed them by the order of which sites garnered the most leads.




4. by far gave us the most leads, but ultimately our tenant found us from our Craigslist advertisement.  I know many people who have been successful finding tenants on their own, versus using a realtor, but we do not regret using our realtor as she helped guide us in our first venture of being a landlord.

Our realtor could not provide us with a standard lease so we procured one from our attorney.  You can also find some standard leases online, but I would suggest to use an attorney so you can make sure it covers your city and state.

For homeowners who want to have a home as a rental property, but do not want the hassles of being a landlord, you can refer to a property management company in your area.  These companies have many roles like home maintenance to even finding you a tenant.

Some people include landscaping and water for their home rentals, but other landlords do not include it.  Some landlords allow pets, but others do not.  All leases and expectations from landlords and tenants are varied so there is not one set rule.   In other words, if one rental provides landscaping you do not have to automatically include this in your lease for a single family home (this could be different by State or if your home is a condo or multifamily, so check it out with a lawyer).

It’s been less than a year since we rented our home out.   So far there have been only a few solvable hiccups playing the landlord role, but as long as you have an open communication with your tenant things should run smoothly.

If you have a home that you are considering selling you may consider renting it out instead.  A rental home is a good investment and often gives you a better return than what banks are giving in interest rates.

Have a great day and good luck!







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Return to Blogging and Reupholstering an Antique Chair


In the last couple of months I have been a stranger to blogging. I have retreated in to my own private world.

During my absence I have begun to fix our home with do it yourself projects.

My latest creation was completed recently. I reupholstered an American antique chair from the early 1900s. I repurposed hand woven ikat fabricate from the Philippines by using it as my upholstery fabric.

I then made an ottoman/step stool to match my newly created “masterpiece”.





In the next post I will show how my husband and I transformed one of our home’s vintage 1950′s bathroom to a cool and modern space.

Before picture:

Our home is part of our family and makes us happy! Till next time…


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Buy A Christmas Ebook by Me for $0.99 at Amazon


I believe in dreaming and pursuing one’s dreams. I am an aspiring writer and illustrator.

I hope to one day fill this page with books, articles and illustrations that I have published.

Last year I self-published a book called, “Christmas without Chimneys as Told by Ted the Elf Who Can’t Keep Secrects”. It is exclusively being sold at

Please check it out and support an aspiring writer!



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Ebates…A Way to Make Money While Doing Your Holiday Shopping


Thanksgiving just came and left.  There were so many things to be grateful for, especially my wonderful family. 

Even my sister from San Diego ( and my cousin from the Philippines were able to celebrate the festivities with us.

During the visit my cousin told me about a wonderful site called  It is a shopping portal that gives you cash back for shopping at major retailers like Toys R Us, Macys, Dell Computer, Target to name a few.

Since this is now the gift giving season of Christmas and Hanukkah, discovering this site was such a blessing.  I am planning to buy gifts for those I love, so why not make and save a few extra bucks while buying the items I was already going to purchase?

So far I have made $41 cash back from items that I bought in the last couple of days.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

 There are still a few people on my Christmas list so I know I will be going back to Ebates again!

Soon there will be presents under our Christmas tree from Santa Claus and the family!

Happy Holidays!

(Note: Ebates did not ask me to mention them in my blog.  I added them on because I think it’s great to get cash back!)

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back




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A Farewell to Grandpa


Yesterday Michael’s 89-year-old Grandpa died peacefully.

Even with his rising age, we were surprised that Grandpa’s earthly life was over as he faced death earlier in the year and it passed him!

On January 2012 Grandpa was in the brink of death. A priest came and gave him the final prayers that prepares one for death.

Miraculously Grandpa lived and he was given 10 months more.

In our family we do not believe that death is final as each of us has a soul.

When one dies their physical body is left behind and their soul will eventually reach heaven.

Filipinos believe that a soul has 40 days to roam our physical plane before they journey to heaven.

Often, during the 40 days family members and friends are “visited” by their dearly departed. Visits can come in the form of a ghost or signs.

I feel my sign came yesterday while I was retrieving an almost empty plastic container in my basement.

In the container I found souvenir viewers from the 1980s.

When I peeked in the viewer I saw Grandpa with his one true love Grandma.


I got goose bumps because I didn’t realize that we had these viewers. Also, the next day Rocco, my 3-year-old, who has never met Grandma said, “I want to visit Grandma who is with Grandpa.”

Rest in peace Grandpa! We love you!



Filed under Life and Death

My Love Hate Relationship with Daylight Savings Times


Daylight savings time (DST) is defined by as: “The practice of turning the clock ahead as warmer weather approaches and back as it becomes colder again so that people will have one more hour of daylight in the afternoon and evening during the warmer season of the year.”

Before having kids I use to look forward to the Daylight Savings Time change that happened in the fall.  I savored the thought of having an extra hour of sleep.  Instead of my usual wake up time of 8:00 a.m., it would be 7:00 a.m. (DST) so I would technically have one more hour to just relax and linger in bed!

Fast forward to Daylight Savings Time in the Fall when you have kids who already wake up so early.  When my sons ran into my room at 6:00 a.m. it was officially 5:00 a.m. in the morning.  I felt like I lost an hour that I could be in bed even if I technically was still waking up at the usual time.

Daylight Savings Time changes can really play tricks to your mind and body if you allow it to.

I am not a morning person by nature so I really have to concentrate on being a happy early riser.  Daylight savings time got me of kilter and I was temporarily not myself.


Fast forward to bed time this evening.   At 6:30 p.m. (DST) my boys  wanted to go to sleep since it was technically 7:30 p.m. if the time had not changed.  Suddenly my spirits were up and I had a deeper appreciation for Daylight Savings Time once again because I now had an extra hour just for myself.

I have a love hate relationship with Daylight Savings Time.  I abhor it in the morning, but by night time I adore it.

I hope you were affected positively by Daylight Savings Time.  Have a great day!



Filed under Cup of Joy, Illustrations, Random Stuff

Frankenstorm is Knocking on Our Door


History is repeating itself…A storm is brewing and coming to Connecticut.  Almost a year ago, on October 30, 2011, we were bracing ourselves for a Nor’easter.  When it hit we were left with a lot of fallen foliage, branches, and fun snow for the kids.



Many people outside of the East Coast are unfamiliar with the Nor’easter term.  It basically is a very bad storm like a hurricane, and tropical storm where snow may occur.

This year’s storm has been named “Frankenstorm” in lieu of Halloween and bad weather.

Many people take Nor’easters very seriously.  In the last couple of days supermarkets have run out of candles, batteries, water and some canned goods.  A couple of gas stations have run out of gas.

Power outages are expected so I sent my husband out for our storm essentials.  This is what Michael brought me….


I am sure you agree that my significant other is a keeper!


I hope that everyone who is in the eye of the storm keeps safe and warm.

Have a great day!


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