Hello everyone! Welcome to Happy Hearty Home and thank you for dropping by!
I am Julai, a happy stay-at-home-mama of 2 wonderful, healthy, and super active boys: JP born in 2017 (I also refer to as #1 here), and J (#2) born in 2019.
I am a cradle Catholic (from the Philippines) who got into the marriage and motherhood train @35. I am married to a Spanish/Catalan beekeeper.
We speak in a mixture of Catalan, Spanish, English, and Visayan on a daily basis and this is because I am not fluent in speaking Catalan or Spanish.:( So, I have to mix everything up to have a good conversation.:)
I worked taking care of kids, preparing foods, cleaning and organizing houses for a total of 12 years (4 years in Denmark & Norway as an Au pair, and 8 years in Spain as a househelp).
How I Got Into All These.
3 months into my first pregnancy in 2017, my sense of smell started to act up. I couldn’t take the smell of the store-bought cleaning products we had at home. It made me sick!
So, I started to research (a.k.a. Google, YouTube, and books) about natural alternatives to store-bought cleaning products and the research led me to the world of natural alternatives to lessen toxins in the home and a lot of DIY (do-it-yourself) tutorials on how to make and do it.
Then upon more readings and video watching, I came across the real food movement, then it led me to low waste movement, homemade stuff, and reusable/washable products, then it led me to homesteading and sustainable living, and then it led me to minimalism/ simple living.
And I discovered and learned a lot more interesting things after that. It was like finding a treasure that led me to more.
Simplifying Our Family Life & Home
All those discoveries made me passionate about learning more about how to simplify our family life and home.
Though our home is not very full of stuff, it definitely needs decluttering and organizing. I brought a lot of my things when I was still single before we went home to the Philippines for our wedding.
One of the rooms downstairs was full of my things. They were left unattended until my husband commented (few months before I give birth to #1) on where we should put the baby after I give birth.
It pushed me to get into all my things and sort them out. There were a lot of papers of old tickets, brochures, magazine clippings; old clothes that I didn’t wear and didn’t fit anymore; a lot of accessories, etc (I became a shopaholic when I started working in Denmark and more so when I moved to Spain because things are way cheaper).
I still held on to several things (luckily, they fit into the extra closet), so the room already looked uncluttered. But as years go by, I continue decluttering our home, including my closet, my husband’s closet (with his permission), and our kids.
I find decluttering and organizing very soothing and calming. And the clean space as a result inspires me to declutter even more. It also inspires me to learn and read more about minimalism and its related topics like the joy of owning less and mindfulness.
The Birth Of Happy Hearty Home
I created Happy Hearty Home as my little, happy space on the web where I document and share with you all my personal experiences, lessons learned, and those that I will still learn along the way in my journey of simplifying our family life and home together with my husband and our 2 lovely boys as we strive to attain a happier, simpler, & God-centered family life, one little step at a time.
To keep things organize and simple, I have divided my blog into four categories that are all interrelated, and at the same time also the 4 key areas of our family life that we want to focus on as we simplify our family life and home:
Our Catholic faith is very important to us. We want to put God in the center of our married life and in our home, and we want to make God our highest priority, at all times.
We also want our kids to learn about our faith and about God as early as possible.
But we are human and we fail most of the time. I’ll be sharing here all our “faith experiences” in the hope that they can be of help in your faith journey, as well.
Family life with small kids is beautiful, but definitely tiring, especially if you are older parents like us. 🙂
Being older parents is definitely one of the reasons why we want to simplify our family life as much as possible. The aim here is not to stuff our schedules with a lot of commitments and events; not enroll our kids in a lot of activities, etc. We want to be as slow-paced as much as possible.
I’ll share all about marriage & relationships, kids & toys, sahm life, gift ideas & product reviews, and more.
My 12 years of experience working in different homes and the clutter we have at home have definitely influenced me to seek simplicity in my own family life and home.
I worked in various families with houses of different settings. Some are very tidy with minimal decorations and stuff, while others were messy and with a lot of small stuff that made cleaning difficult.
I can still remember secretly telling myself that if given the chance to have my own family and house, I would definitely want my house to be of less stuff for easy cleaning and maintenance; and that I will never iron bedsheets.
With God’s grace and mercy, I have now my own family and we live in a house (that my beloved husband has built when he was still single) that is a work in progress as we slowly finish it.
My husband said that he built the house, but I made it into a home by coming into his life and filling it with love and kids. 🙂
Sorry for digressing, but the goal here is to simplify our home by adapting the less is more mentality. Less stuff means less time cleaning and maintaining, and more time to spend with the family.
This section also includes easy recipes and things related to healthy eating.
I grew up knowing nothing about cooking. I remember feeling stressed when my parents tell me to cook rice.
And when I was single, I boiled eggs that didn’t turn out well and made an omelet that was very salty. My girl friends I shared an apartment with would happily confirm these stories.
Now that I’m married, my cooking has definitely improved as my husband has confirmed. 🙂 But definitely, it still needs a lot of hard work to be way better.
The goal here is to simplify food by finding easy, simple recipes to make cooking easier and faster, without making it less delicious. The fewer ingredients, and fewer instructions, the better.
And also to practice healthy eating as much as possible and to make healthier, homemade versions of what we are usually buying from the store. So far, I am already successful in making homemade natillas, homemade petit suisse, and homemade lemon marmalade.
I love to go on adventures through travel and I want to continue traveling even with small kids. However, my husband doesn’t want to leave home as much as possible. He used to travel a lot when he was single, but now that we’re married, he finds it tiring to travel with small kids.
But we need to go out of the house once in a while! And we can’t visit the Philippines every year, so I made a deal with him: it’s ok if we can’t visit the Philippines more often, but we have to explore Spain even when kids are still small. He made a deep breath and said ok.:)
The goal here is to simplify our family trips with our small kids to avoid stress as much as possible by embracing slow-paced travel.
BUILDING A GOD-CENTERED, HAPPIER, SIMPLER FAMILY LIFE & HOME IS A JOURNEY
We still have a very longggg way to go, but we are SLOWLY making progress.
I am putting emphasis on SLOWLY because I believe that a tiny bit of progress is still progress.
Come and join my family and together, let’s work on our goal of building a God-centered, happier, simpler family life and home.
If you ever need a hand or have questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
To God-centered, Happier, Healthier & Simpler Family Life & Home,
Owner, Happy Hearty Home