IKEA Living Room - Storage and Cleaning Tips.

Hi! Selamat Menyambut Bulan Ramadhan. Let's be moderate this time and not to overdo things especially for Bazaar Ramadhan. Buy with care gitu. Still have separuh jalan lagi untuk jadi berhemah hehe.

Anyway, I decided not to take any cookies order for the first two weeks of June, mainly due to school holidays and Ramadhan. First week ok, it was full of activities including a short vacation to Penang, then balik Kampung and later Ramadhan came in. But came second week, I dah mati kutu taktau nak buat apa dekat rumah. Day in day out tengok tv je, isk tak boleh jadi ni - so I told myself.

Tiba-tiba terfikir, sementara tengah free why not I clean up the house and not to drag it until the end of Ramadhan which as always, tak sempat haha. After all I realized yeahhh it has been a while since I last "care" about every corner of this house, I pun mulalah browse IKEA online catalog and cari ilham because IKEA always has great ideas for organizing and storage (especially when working with such a limited space).

Shelving system and boxes are important here, especially when you have just too many things in a small space. We lived in a condo of 1250 sq ft sahaja, but the number of stuff has increased rapidly and started taking over the living room -- toys that are always in the living room, books and things I collected from our overseas trips.

Toys; easy to buy hard to go. Most of the time is the emotional battles about throwing/giving up the toys. Macam mana kalau Aiman nak main lagi? Macam mana kalau Adam sayang toys ni? Sayang nak buang, memory semua ni, those kind of questions popping out. But when looking at the amount of toys piles and clutter, aihhh terus rasa nak pengsan.

Books? Lagilah sayang. Ini pun dah let go like 100 over novels (blame all the TV dramas haha) and magazines but still quite a lot remained.

Things collected abroad, no way I'm going to throw it haha.

So, after 12 hours of cleaning and re-organizing I did that day (and a visit to IKEA store hehe), this is the final result. Well still full loads of stuff hahaha even after major throwing-stuff-selling-on-internet. But in fresher look, raya ready mood macam tu :P

From day-1 when we moved in here, I memang dah decide I nak the shelving units and storage system from IKEA. Sebab easy to play around later and if rosak, senang cari replacement. BILLY bookcase, BESTA tv Storage, KALLAX shelving units and MALM chest drawers are among the major furnitures in the this house. Puas hati beli hehe. They always have good sense in understanding customers especially at keeping the price reasonable and fair (even after GST being implemented). 

BESTA tv storage combination ni paling I suka. This is where I placed all the boxes that store things and toys that we used on regular basis. Box pun boleh tukar-tukar ikut mood hehe. DRONA, TJENA and LEKMAN tu yang I biasa guna. Sturdy boxes.

Drawers pulak untuk simpan all the crap hahaha terutamanya letters and bills. The same unit boleh letak decor items. 2 in 1 lah macam tu hehe. For example, this BRIMNES chest of 2 drawes, rasanya this unit is meant for bedroom kot, but it looks all good here in the living room. So instead of placing the usual side table to place the lamp and frame, I pilih chest drawers. Boleh juga simpan barangkan?

As for the coffee table (baru beli ehemmm, senang nak hidang kuih raya hahaha) I picked VITTSJO  nest tables (set of 2). Jimat space this one, boleh expand when needed. Beli sebab price dah lower than before from RM239 to RM199 now hehe. Redeem voucher RM40 from IKEA Family Card tu so dapatlah beli table ni from RM159 only. One happy customer here :)

Cushions dah pakai 'baju' baru, in the mood of Hari Raya already hehe. Tho we are not going to celebrate our first day of raya in this house (nangislah kalau kena raya dekat condo KL ni), tapi rumah mestilah dah kemas siap-siap, kilat-kilat, cantik-cantik. So the only thing left after pulang dari kampung is to unpack the bags and laundry haha. Not unpack-the-bag-laundry-kemas-rumah lagi, bunyi macam kerja berat sangat. :P

The cushion covers yang corak-corak ala Moroccan tu, it's from DOFTRIK series. Yang square RM14.90, yang rectangle white tu RM19.90. See? Harga mampu milik heheh. They have more actually, siap ada quilt cover and alas kaki semua in DOFTRIK. Kira satu raya boleh letak mood raya.

Hand painted poster konon-konon mahal sangat haha padahal guna paper from artblock Adam. Frame from IKEA - VIRSERUM white frame.

Cushion cover - AKERKULLA

Standing lamp tengah promo masa beli ni. Benda-benda ni bagus untuk mencantikkan corner living room tapi tak costly sangat. ARSTID floor lamp - RM129. That grey side table, sebenarnya bukan side table living room haha. It's a pedestal table from bathroom section - GUNNERN. But well, tak kisahlah, kat mana nampak cantik, dekat situ you will be wahai meja. You may jokingly ask, "ha tu pokok pun IKEA jugak ke??". Hahahaha yes lah tuan puan. I'm not good with pokok, even cactus can mati in no time with me. So pokok ni esok kalau tak berapa panjang umur, kita beli lain dekat IKEA hehe.

Answering to all the questions on how to keep the area clean (working with white furniture and two boys around), here are the five main things that I do on daily and weekly basis:

1. BUKA TINGKAP. Obviously to let in some fresh air into the house. Many house odor problems are from bad ventilation system; the smell becomes airborne sebab tu jadi bau tak best. So hari-hari I mesti akan buka sliding door and window luas-luas, for about 1-2 hours macam tu baru rasa suasana fresh dalam rumah. Jangan buka pintu rumah pulak sampai sejam dua. Tu memang ada harapan bersih terus, kena angkut dengan pencuri haha.

2. KEMAS TERUS. Don't wait. Don't ever say later, nantilah and what not. Do it now. Contoh, once dah habis lepak tergolek tengok tv dekat sofa, then fluff the cushions again, susun balik elok-elok. Nak minum air dekat depan? Ok boleh. Dah minum sila bawa mug kembali ke dapur. Those kind of things. 

3. SIMPAN BALIK. Ini memang dah ajar the kids sejak dari dulu. You just have to put everything back to where it belongs. But kids being kids, kadang-kadang tak buat, so kena suruh jugak. I don't mind if it takes 10 years for them to turn it into habit, asalkan jangan membesar jadi lelaki pemalas. 

"Kemas Terus" and "Simpan Balik" are like two things yang Adam and Aiman tau Mummy akan bising haha.

4. LAP HABUK. My two most important cleaning tools after vacuum ialah kitchen roll and METHOD All Purpose Surface Cleaner spray. Gila tak boleh kalau dua barang ni habis. With this two, I can do the quick dusting work everyday. For the dust on visible surface. Spray and wipe, done.

5. VACUUM. Or sapu sampah. Ini mesti everyday. Every night to be exact. Lepas semua orang dah tidur. A clean floor always make a room cleaner. Kemas semua tapi lantai tak sapu, dia macam tak sempurna rasa hehe.

Item 4 and 5 memang buat every night, even kalau tak larat sangat nak tidur, pagi esok mesti buat. 15-30 minutes dah siap. 

May the tips be helpful. Kalau hendak seribu daya, kalau tak hendak biar je lah sepah ehehehe. To all husbands out there, please help your wife. The very least with point number 2, contohnya dirty clothes into the laundry basket hehe.

Kalau semua point pun tak boleh tolong, then tolong bawa isteri kesayangan pergi IKEA, dia nak shopping barang decor rumah nak raya tu :P

Paris with Kids - Day 2

Ok sambung.

 Sun rise in Paris.

Started the day early. 8.30am macam tu baru cerah sebab winter kan. So kira bangun tidur terus siap-siap nak keluarlah. All refreshed, puas tidur semalam hehe. Tapi sebab perut ikut time Malaysia, which morning in Paris sama dengan tengah hari dekat Malaysia, bangun tidur terus cari nasik haha. Tak cari toast and milk dah, semua lapar nasi lauk.

Being a genius Mummy I am, zassss breakfast (ke lunch?) ready in 10 minutes. See? Berguna semua lauk frozen tu. Peace of mind. Aiman pulak bangun tidur je terus cakap, "Mummy bangun, cepat hari dah siang. Boleh makan nasik". Haha. Sebab tengah malam semalam dia terjaga mintak nasi, tapi Mummy bagi roti and hot choc je hehe.

From the house kita jalan sikit pergi pekan Bastille and from there kita nak naik cab to Paris City Centre. Dalam 10 minutes walking tapi tak rasa pun, sebab sejuk and kawasan aman damai. Kalau Jalan TAR lain hahah, keluar SOGO tu kalau boleh depan tu jugak nak cari cab, memang tak ingin nak jalan jauh-jauh cari cab hehe. 

Plan asal kita nak guna Metro (train) but due to extra cold weather (-1 to 2 like that) where kids can easily get cranky from hunger and exhaustion, kita scrapped the plan. So no Metro but cab for a week plus there. EUR 10-15 for one taxi ride in Paris (within city areas), so do the Math kalau nak buat budget hehe. But considering the boys, we felt so much more at ease as we wouldn't need to scramble about getting into the right Metro.

So we started the morning by going on the giant wheel - PARIS EYE. Definitely one of the best ways to view the city from above (of course tak boleh lawan Eiffel Tower) but this one will do with the 360 view from above. Place de la Concorde, Champ-Elysees (shopping district), Jardin des Tuileries (public park), Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe all can be seen from above. No lines at all, probably weekdays and still too early haha so we had the pod all to ourselves. EUR 10 for adults, EUR 5 for kids for 4 spins which long enough for them to had nasi on air (yes again, nasi ehehe).

Done with that, terjebak dengan ni. Carousels were everywhere that time, Christmas season kan. Some free some kena bayar. This one next to Paris Eye, free. Tak sure memang free or sebab takda orang that time, but the guy let my kids rode for free. Otherwise it will be EUR2-4 for one ride for one kid. MENTAL NOTE: spare extra budget for this. 

Then this. Super Car Joyride. Bahasa mudah dia sewa kereta canggih ni bawak pusing Paris. Exciting and unique opportunity to drive Ferrari or Lamborghini and thrill enough as you will drive on the main road of Paris. EUR 89 for 20 minutes drive. 

Next, Christmas market; stretched as far from Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde. Arts, crafts, foods, toys, jewelries and macam-macam lah ada situ. 

We wanted to make another visit to Champs-Elysees (straight je sebenarnya from the market) but somehow we took a wrong turn and ended up walking up to Galeries Lafayette. About 1km distance jugak haha. Ok lah, the kind of sesat that you definitely don't mind haha, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, why not? Heavenly spots for every shopper! 

Very big, very busy and designer brands everywhere. Rasa nak pegang bag itu ini boleh lah, sebab dekat Malaysia boutiques tak friendly kan, nak masuk pun seram orang tengok atas bawah kalau tak kena gaya hehehe.

 Paying for the toys. What elseeee. That guy boleh cakap Bahasa Melayu ok haha. Sebab dia pernah kerja dekat Indonesia.

Jaw-dropping Christmas tree. Very stunning! Trademark Galeries Lafayette lah macam tu.

Took the opportunity to solat here too. Dekat sini kita solat dekat mana yang rasa logik la haha. Fitting room and park most often. Either cari washroom untuk ambil wudhu or beli je mineral water besar. EUR2 per bottle hehe.

Done helping to generate France economic growth haha kita sambung jalan. Not sure which turn we took but passed by this. Opera Paris. About 2 blocks away from Lafayette. This Opera House is like a symbol of luxury and place of richness. Memandangkan tak sampai level tu hahahaha so kita layak sekadar snap photo dekat luar lah. Berehat pun level mencangkung tepi dinding je :P

Next, Eiffel Tower. Ok ni kita naik cab. Kids dah tunjuk tanda-tanda nak bad mood. So no more walking. 

Eiffel Tower. I don't think I need to say much about this. Symbol of love. But in my opinion, tempat ni buruk je hahaha. Beautiful from afar but up close like a pile of iron, plus the beggars, pick-pockets, gypsies and aggressive vendors. Avoid eye contact or a firm no to keep them at bay. One more, please avoid anyone that approach and ask you to sign a petition or survey whatsoever. That's how the pickpocket works. One guy talking to you, the other doing the "work" with your personal belongings. Hati-hati okies?

NOTE: book your tickets online. Unfortunately we didn't and the lines were long. Crazy longgggggg -- long ques to the elevator, even the stairs were too packed with people. So we didn't get to go up and finally decided to let the kids play in the park for a little while. Cheap entertainment. senang haha. Tapi kesian Adam wish item tak kesampaian, maybe next time bila dah besar. Dah dua kali sampai Paris, tapi tak dapat naik lagi tower. 

That's the end of today. Made another quick visit to the Franprix before heading back home. Franprix, Monoprix tu supermarkets la kat sana. :) 

Summary for today's trip:
Paris Eye (giant ferries wheel) - Christmas Market - Galleries Lafayette - Opera Paris - Eiffel Tower.

Foods all tapau from home. Cuma beli bottled drinks and coffees masa jalan-jalan.

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