Monday, October 10, 2016

My Bento Journey

I am an avid follower of several Bento stylists for sometime now and I cannot help but be in awe of their Kawaii creations.  I love their creativity and eye for detail.  They are so meticulously done that a lot of times you would wonder how they did that.  One day, it struck me, I should try my hand on this!  Luckily, one of the Bento moms that I have been religiously following in IG, @nikkimbento was going to have a Bento styling workshop.    My BFF and I signed up and it was also a great bonding time for us!  The  workshop lasted for around 3 hours and it came with the basic bento tools, giveaways and snack from Les bagels!   
Some of the basic bento tools included a tweezer, a puncher, paring knife, mini scissors, cutting board and bento picks. 
The process of making it does needs some creativity.  Thank God for IG and Pinterest where we can get inspiration from.
My Bento box with my prize!  A succulent was given to the most creative bento box from each table.  
My BFF and I with our Bento boxes for our boys.

I was so pumped up and inspired after the workshop and it does take time to master everything.  Practice makes perfect as they say.  Now, at first my son got freaked out when I brought home the Bento box that I did that he did not eat it.  I felt all my effort fell into pieces, but persevere as they say.  He did not want see animal faces, did not want vegetables and even nori.  So, even if I wanted to get more creative I had to hold myself and start slow, until one day, he was the one that told me he is fine seeing 'seaweed' in his food.  He started to get excited about his daily 'baon' and in the long run volunteered to help me decorate his Bento box.  He is also a picky eater, have I forgotten to tell you?  With our Bento journey, it also slowly helped him explore outside his usual menu of Spaghetti, Ginning, Chicken Nuggets and Fish fillet.  

The very first Bento Baon after the workshop.
Giniling with Plain rice.  No decoration whatsoever, just Car picks , coloured silicon cupcake moulds and make believe grass.  There are online sellers and some bento tools are available in Daiso.
Creamy Spaghetti with BBQ Cheese sandwhich.
Nuggets with Larry the dog.  
This was supposed to be a bunny that somehow looked like a Cat.  He loved it anyway.
Monster series.
Let's play ball!
Daiso now a days is a haven for me since that is where I got most of my Bento tools and accessories.  I also use cookie and fondant moulds.  Cling wrap will also be your best friend to make different shapes for the rice.  

Bento making is one of my love languages for my son.  I really try to set aside time for this.  It used to be everyday, but due to some constraints, I make it a point to have a Bento box for him every Monday.  I love doing it and I'm happy that it is something that he looks forward to.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Last days of Summer 2016

A couple of days before Mother's day,  my BFFs and our families went to Subic for our annual Summer outing. This is the second year that we have done this, last year was in Canyon Cove.  As usual, we decided pretty late mainly because we had to make sure all our schedules jived.  We ended up booking in Kamana Sanctuary in Subic.  Browsing through reviews, the resort does not really garner a lot of praises.  Majority of the reviews would be that the place is a little run down and not well maintained.  I was preparing myself or the worst,  preparing to see monkeys all over and expecting that the room would have a musky smell, triggering my allergies.

Sometimes, the best is not to set your expectations too much.  I would not say that the resort would earn 5 stars.  It is a beautiful place, if I may say.   One thing that I loved about it is that they did not scrimp on space in terms of the room.  The food was not even bad and priced reasonably.  I would think this place is one of the nicest ones that I have been to in Subic.  What I am sad about is that the place needs more attention and love.  There were signs of wear and tear all over the place and I hope the owners would come to their senses and do some remodeling and painting. That aside, we still enjoyed our stay, especially the kids.  If you ask me if we would come back, I would say, "maybe."

Top: This is what greets you once you enter the resort.  Bottom: Facade of the resort.

Everything about the room is spacious, from the bedroom to the bathroom.  The bed was ultra comfortable and the air conditioner was functioning properly, contrary to my friend's room wherein the air conditioner was making a lot of noise.  The mini bar in our room also had a lot of ants that I have keep on wiping the counter.
The bathroom had the basic toiletries.  In case you need a blow dry though, you would have to call the receptionist for one and they will bring it to your room. The bathroom though had signs of not being well maintained with stains on the faucet.

We requested to transfer to a lower room because we had kids in tow.  The buildings are 3 storeys high and there is no elevator, which might be a challenge for senior citizens.  Nevertheless, the view was amazing.  There were couches in every balcony where you could enjoy the sunrise and sunset.

Upper left picture would be the Villas on stilts.  There are around eight Villas in the resort with balconies overlooking the sea.  There is a small parcel of sand where my son spent most of his time in, building sand castles and playing with his excavator.  The rest hung out at the poolside.
R&K playing in the sand.

The breakfast buffet was pretty satisfying.  For the main course, it was mostly Filipino food like tapa, longganisa, garlic rice,  adobo flakes.  They also had chicken fingers, scrambled egg, an omelette station, bread, cereals, and fruits.  We also had dinner in the restaurant that night and though the service was pretty slow, the food also did not disappoint. 

Both the adults and the kids enjoyed some Kayaking.  It was R's first time and am glad he was brave to join us.

Here are the rates for your reference

Monday, February 15, 2016

Honkgkong trip Part 2 : Where did we stay?

We have never stayed in Causeway bay.  Every time we would go to Hong Kong, TST would always be the default area that we would stay in.  Probably it's due to familiarity.  This time around, we decided to book in Causeway bay for a change and because that's the area where IKEA is at.  We just booked our hotel via Agoda and also reviewed Trip advisor for tips and feedback.  We ended up choosing Regal Hong Kong Hotel because it is one of the stops of the Airport Express Shuttle, it's a few minutes away from the MTR, Times Square and (of course) IKEA.   Another plus is that Din Tai Fung is just at the ground floor of the hotel. 

When we arrived in the hotel, there were a lot of luggage in the lobby lined up for check in.  Hong Kong just never runs out of tourists.  Considering that it was Thursday, there was just a swarm of people everywhere! 

We were so happy with our room!  It was pretty big compared to Hong Kong standards.  A plus was that there was a tub that my son really enjoyed.  For breakfast, we usually just went to Mc Donald's and 711 which were just a couple of minutes away from the hotel.  There is also a Money exchange store across Regal HK hotel that offered competitive exchange rates.


The King sized bed was very comfortable, especially after a long day walking!

My boys at the receiving area of the room.

Basic toiletries were provided for.

Separate shower and tub.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hongkong trip Part 1

Our recent family trip will be one for the books and I think will be one of the most unforgettable.  It was our first time to go out of the country as a family and with my parents.  It was also R's very first plane ride.  All of us were on a high as the day approached for this adventure. All of us were anticipating R's reaction.  We  did have a lot a fun though we may have encountered a few challenges, but it was all worth it!

We left Manila at 8am via PAL on a Thursday.  We just left our car at Park and Fly and was hanging out at the airport as early as 4am to avoid traffic.  Believe me it was a good move since there was already a lot of traffic build up on our way to the airport.  What I loved about traveling with a kid is that you get priority check-in and boarding and that makes things a little easier. Since it was our first OOTC with R, we did not know that we can bring his stroller all the way through boarding.  It was not a huge issue though since Terminal 2 is manage able.
Keeping him busy while waiting.  We did not know that there was a play area at the end of the far end of the airport.  We should take note of that for our next travel.

Our first Family trip!
R was very excited for this trip that he never slept before departure and during the plane ride.  During take off,  I had him drink water.  I thought we nailed it.  But when we started descending, that was when we had a little nightmare.  He could not bear his ears popping.  The descent took quite a long time that we ran out of chocolate milk which should have helped ease the discomfort.  Literally, for five-minutes (which felt like forever) he was crying and shouting, "Bring me home" and "Get me out of here."    I give myself a pat on the back for hanging on and composing myself.  I tried so hard to be very calm so as not to aggravate the situation.  I think what stressed me more was not really him throwing a fit, but it was knowing what the people around us were thinking.  But, that's life and I am thankful that no one gave a smirk or made any side comments. 
The flight back home was great.  I knew better and bought a huge chocolate milk from the grocery and bought 3 boxes of Egg surprise which kept his mind off from his ears popping.  Now, time to think of more activities and strategies for a long haul!

Goofing around before take-off, crossing my fingers that it would be a peaceful journey.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Kitchen fun with a preschooler

I had to take an unexpected leave last November since I (once again) miscarried.  Not the best way to prepare for the holidays.  Although we lost yet abother battle, like a fighter, we stand up and fight and face another day.  I am still blessed to be alive and be with my family. 

After four weeks of resting, I took the opportunity to do some kitchen activities with my preschooler. I confess, I have not had the energy to do these as much because I of work.  But I know that should not be an excuse. This 2016, I commit to have more time for activities and travels with our little man.  The excitement in his eyes is priceless.

Making his first chocolate chip cookies.

For Christmas, he received an Ice cream maker from his godmother.  This was one of the highlights of our Holiday activities.  You know how kids LOVE ice cream.

R is a picky eater.  One of the food that he loves is pizza.  I have ready made pizza crust in the freezer almost all the time.  It is so easy to prepare and he can also make it on his own.  We like Delmonte Italian Pizza sauce with lots of mozzarella cheese.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving back and giving hope

I have heard of World Vision for the longest time and even attended a concert sponsored by them when Hubby and I were still dating.  That has been more than five years ago!  I also have cousins who have sponsored kids via WV.  Despite that and knowing what this organization stands for, it was only now that I joined and sponsored a child to school.  At around 4:30am, while browsing my FB newsfeed, I came across the World Vision link and checked it out.  I am someone who HATES filling out forms and was delighted when I saw that I can sponsor a child in the comforts of my bedroom and pay online. How cool and efficient is that!  

Convinience aside, what drove me to act today was because of what we had to undergo lately - having a miscarriage for the second time. Honestly, I haven't cried a bit after finding out we lost again.  To this point, I am not sure why.  Have I gotten numb, am I still in denial, or probably I just learned to surrender everything to the Him and hold on to faith that one day, R will have a sibling?  Life is challenging and tricky.  But still, I try to look at the bright side of things.  I am still blessed with a happy and healthy family.  And with that I am very greatful.  The yearning to have another child is so great, but maybe in God's time. For now, I want to share what we have in memory  of Vito and our other angel.  There are alot of  kids in our own country that deserve good education and this is one avenue that we can lend a helping hand one child at a time.  It's the holidays and this may be one of the best gifts that we can ever give someone. It is time to give back and give hope.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Time to cleanse

A few weeks ago, one of my High school friends posted a photo of her colon cleansing regimen.  I took it as a sign to kick off my desire to get rid of all the toxins in my system.
I quickly sent her a message inquiring about it and immediate placed an order.  The price may be a little steep, but considering its benefits I think it is worth it.  The Clearstart package will last you a good full month.  Ideally, you should cleanse once every quarter.  

The Clearstart.

It's a 30-day process and I am already on my 20th day. The first day I would say was quite memorable because I was stuck in traffic and my stomach began to rumble.  TMI, but I did make it to the office with sheer will power (and self control).  Lesson learned, I shall never drink coffee during breakfast.  That was the culprit for me.  During the first few days, I had headaches and I was a bit hot tempered, which is not my usual self. It was part of the precautions so I expected it.  I also battled some acne issues for about two weeks and going on my third week, I noticed that my face started clearing up. Indeed that was a relief!  To add to my cleansing process, I also enlisted myself to a low calorie meal plan.  This is not a requirement, but I just feel I need to do myself some favor this time around and be nicer to my body. 

My daily food supply from Yummy Diet + LiFiber.

I did not expect that I will lose weight in the process since that is not the real purpose.  Others did whille some did not.    On my end, while the weighing scale did not change one bit, I felt that my clothes became loser and people noticed that my face got slimmer.  That was a plus, who would  not want that!  What I also love is that my bowel movement has become regular compared to when I started.  Probably that's why  I also feel so much lighter and energetic!  

I'm mid way in this program and I would honestly recommend this to anyone who wants to do their  body some favor.  I am not an agent of this product but I am so glad that I found it.  The Clearstart package by Unicity contains a bottle of Paraway Plus, which you drink first thing after waking up, the Li Fiber which you drink half an hour after drinking Paraway Plus, and  Natures Way.

Happy cleansing!


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