Shoe Makeover: How To Turn Old Flat Shoes Into New

I had flat shoes that apparently, after just one use, the synthetic fabric of the shoe started to flake and deteriorate. But I didn’t want to let it go because it was soooo comfortable. So after rummaging through my DIY stash, I found an old fabric that I thought I could use to upcycle my flats. Here’s what happened…

flat shoes makeover

In this picture, I already had the fabric glued to the shoes, but the inner layer still needed some work. You can choose to just sew the sides or seal it with fabric glue. In this case, I didn’t have any fabric glue in hand so I just used the good old trusty rugby.

glue fabric materials

I’ve seen a lot of different shoe makeover videos and online and they all look so pretty. Here’s one thing I’ve learned – it’s not that easy. I had to cut the fabric several times in different sizes in order to spread and paste it in the shoe following its curves. And don’t expect it to look as perfect as those Pinterest photos the first time you make one. Mine doesn’t look as pretty as is but looks a whole lot better when it is worn. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up and learned :

  • Choose your fabric/material wisely. Use soft fabrics on flats and ballet shoes. You may use paper, board and thicker fabrics on wedges and heeled shoes.
  • Prepare large and small sharp scissors or cutters. There will be excess fabric/materials that you may need to snip away.
  • Seal the edges. If you have frays on the fabric, you may try sealing it using a fabric glue, liquid seam sealant, burning it (haven’t tried this but others say it works), or use your good old trusty clear nail polish

Don’t throw away your old shoes especially if the inner cushions are still fresh and intact. If you don’t feel like doing a DIY but still want to keep your shoe, commission a shoemaker to do it for you. Let’s help reduce garbage and conserve energy by extending the life of our personal belongings instead of buying new ones.


Review: Human Nature Kids Chocolate Adventure Natural Bath Soap

My 3-year old loves chocolates! So it was no surprise that bath time was made more fun when I told him that the little brown flakes dotting his soap were bits of chocolates. He found the whole idea so interesting, he even playfully composed a song that he now sings every time he bathes with his “chocolate sabon”.


The first thing I did when I opened the package was smell it. I was as curious as a toddler to find out whether there really is chocolate bits in the bar. It smelled a little bit like coconut oil with a mild scent of cocoa. It was delightful! But it is not a fragranced soap and the scent won’t stick to the skin.

Friendly mommy warning: Do not leave your child unattended while using the soap. The first time my son learned that it was chocolate, he tried to scrape off the brown bits with his fingers. I was afraid he was going to put it in his mouth to taste it. Fortunately, he is already fully aware that soaps are inedible, and was apparently just curious. Other toddlers however, might be too adventurous and can be tempted to taste it.

Usage suggestion: Most all-natural soaps I have tried does not foam as well as commercial soap. This is due to the absence of the foaming agent sodium laureth sulfate which has been linked allegedly to cancer. Surprisingly though, this soap easily foams and bubbles. It melts a wee bit faster, so I suggest cutting the soap in 2 or 3 parts before using it to maximize the product.

So, still, the hanging question is, does it really contain chocolate? The answer is in the ingredients:

Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, aqua (water), sodium hydroxide, decyl glucoside (plant-derived), fragrance (all-natural), sodium lactate (sugarcane derived), iron oxide (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499) (mineral derived)

The answer – it doesn’t. The “fragrance (all-natural)” may be giving off the chocolatey scent and the brown bits are made by the iron oxides. The latter is an iron-based inorganic colorant. CI 77491 is color red, -92 for yellow and -99 for black. Basic color combination knowledge would tell us that when you mix them all together, it would turn brown, making up the flakes that looks like chocolate bits on the soap. Sssshhh….don’t tell the kids!

The verdict – it leaves the skin feeling squeaky clean without stripping it of moisture. This is very much the trademark of every Human Nature soap I have tried. The “chocolate” packaging is very effective in keeping toddlers and kids entertained in the bath. Perfect for kids who are difficult to cajole into taking baths. Enjoy!

The Gift of Perfect Health

There are so many babies out in the world struggling to live, fighting off diseases. If God gave you the gift of a perfect child with perfect health, then why stain it by giving your baby junk. Be thankful by providing your child only the best nutritious food, and help other mothers who pray every day for the health and life of their sick child.

I am one of those blessed to have a relatively healthy baby. In my own definition, this means all newborn tests being normal, child is physically complete, and no health issues upon delivery. But other parents are given much bigger life trials.

It is not their fault. I don’t know how God chooses who to give trials to and who to spare from it. It all seems so random. Other reasons are hereditary, but most cases seem truly random to me. That’s why every time I see little angels in pain, posted on social media, my heart bleeds and instantly whisper a small thank you prayer that, as a mother, I am not in that situation, for I don’t know how I will be able to bear it. I have so much respect for these parents who are fighters.

But in reality, simply thanking the Lord and moving on with my life, off to raise a good and healthy child, does not seem right to me. I feel that my being blessed with a healthy child only means that I am given a much bigger responsibility and capacity to help other parents in need. It is my duty as a human being, a repayment for being spared from the heartaches that other parents have to suffer.

I hope to help make them feel a little lighter. So I try to help, in my own very little way. I don’t have much, but I try to help in whatever way I can. When stuck in a storm, drenched and half drowning in the flood, it can be uplifting to have someone, even a stranger, there with you to share an umbrella with.

Please open your hearts to them…

1. Fight With Nathan

Diagnosis: Extreme short bowel syndrome

Help baby Nathan live with only a 13cm gut. Support him by liking his page, sharing his story or by sharing funds to cover hospitalization costs. #fightwithnathan

Go Feed Nathan website

Fight with Nathan Facebook page

Hello! My name is Nathan Riva and I was born on February 10, 2015.

When I was 23 days old, my dad and mom rushed me to the hospital because I had intense abdominal pain and I vomited a huge amount of milk. My skin turned yellower as the hours passed and my stool got darker until blood came out.

I didn’t know that I was already experiencing an acute intestinal malrotation and severe infection in the blood (sepsis).

The good news is that the doctors were able to save my life! The bad news is that I went through 3 major surgeries within 2 weeks of confinement, leaving me with just 13cm of small intestines. Because of this, I am now suffering from extreme short bowel syndrome. I cannot absorb all the nutrients required for me to grow.

But I am doing my best to fight and live on! I will wait until my intestines adapt and become mature to absorb more nutrients. However, my recovery will take a long time and my family and I cannot do this alone. Our expenses are estimated to be at Php250,000 (USD 7,450) a month, depending on how stable I am.

I am humbly knocking on your generous hearts. If you can help by pledging any amount, my dad and mom will be able to buy the special nutrition and provide the facilities that I need to grow. My parents’ bank account details are below:

BPI Account Number: 2979-1105-13
Account Type: Savings
Name: Francis Archie Riva

BdO Account Number: 3000-3240-91
Account Type: Savings
Name: Francis Archie Riva

Please continue to pray for my miraculous recovery. Thank you very much for helping me. I cannot wait to see you all when I grow bigger and I get better! May God bless you and your family a thousand fold!

Baby Nathan


2. Baby Miguel, Brain Surgery and Liver Transplant Survivor

Diagnosis: Biliary Atresia

Our 8month old baby has been diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, a rare and life threatening liver disease. Liver transplant is his only chance of long term survival. #biliaryatresia

Update as of June 2016: Baby Miguel has already gone liver transplant but continues to fight, with check-ups every 2 weeks and a number of medications needed to sustain him.

Baby Miguel’s Facebook page




How Being A Girl Scout Molded My Love For Nature

Pondering on what I should write for my first post, all thoughts bring back images of my lanky, awkward self in a green Girl Scout uniform. I don’t see that many children wearing the green dress and yellow scarf these days. It made me wonder what’s been happening to this wonderful organization. So I googled their website : Girl Scouts of the Philippines

It is wonderful to see that they still actively hold activities, but a bit bothered that the most recent calendar of activities is still dated 2014 on their website.

Back during the 80’s in my Elementary education days, wearing a girl scout uniform can be a big deal. As a child, it gives you a sense of pride and exclusivity from other students. It is probably because of the unique green uniform that you get to wear once a week and the various outdoor activities you get exclusive involvement in.

I can still recall our Girl Scout Hymn.

We are the Girl Scouts, the RP Girl Scouts
Members of the worldwide band
Youth consecrated, youth dedicated
To serve with heart and soul and hands.
We’re ready ever to rise together to every GSP command
No task too lowly, no cause too lofty
When it’s our God and motherland.

Yes! The girls in green are we
Proud and honored so to be
The Girl Scouts of the Philippines
Girl Scout of the Philippines.

We are the Girl Scouts, the RP Girl Scouts
And wherever we may be
In farthest barrios, in town or pueblo
We’ll do our duty full and free.
At home and leisure, outdoors with nature,
On native soil and overseas
Whether the rank is star or senior miss
We’ll rally to the GSP.

I asked my niece,  Nadia, who is currently studying 5th grade level at The Learning Tree Child Growth Center in Sikatuna Village, Quezon City if she is a Girl Scout . I was a bit disappointed to learn they do not offer Girl Scout as an extra curricular activity. Her words: “No Tita, we do not have it. But if we did, I would love to join.”

So I emailed the info I found on their website for membership assistance for my niece. I will give updates here once they respond.

Membership Division
901 Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila
Contact Person: Quesha May T. Suaco, Membership Director
Tel. Nos. : 526-5194 or 523-8331 to 42 local 229

In case you are wondering what the big fuzz over membership is about, it is because I want to encourage parents to let their children join. It is a wonderful organization that will open up their child’s eyes to issues on current events and environmental causes. In this world of gadgets, computers and television, they need something to ground them back to nature.

When I was a member, here are the things I got to experience:

  • overnight camping (within the school grounds)
  • jungle survival techniques
  • joining marches and social campaigns
  • cleanliness drive

I cannot recall every single activity we did but I do attribute good aspects of my personality to it such as:

  • proudly stopping any activity and putting my right hand to my chest whenever I hear the national anthem
  • I never throw garbage on the street (credits to my mom too)
  • deep love for animals
  • deep sense of awareness on environmental protection
  • no doubt about my ability to survive in the wilderness (if presented in such situation)
  • leadership skills (when I became a troop leader)
  • self-confidence, self-belonging, enhanced social skills, recognizing my rights and abilities as a woman

Here’s also another helpful online article in Manila Bulletin entitled Proud To Be A Girl Scout by Sara Fojas.

It would have to say that being a Girl Scout and everything that I learned from it eventually created this blog. I hope that someday, there will be more Ecomama girls like me, who are all for natural things, considerate of the environment, and will always stand for things that will do no harm to nature and all living things.