That time of the year

Summer has whizzed past us too quick, and now we are back into the pre-winter blues (at least for me). Waking up when it is 5 degrees outside is not enticing for a hibernating momma with little cubs to look after. I am already coming up with indoor friendly and cozy winter activities to do with the little ones and/or the hubby. Here are the ones I have come up with so far:

1. Arts and crafts - This is always popular with my girls. I just have to come up with the materials in advance. It is a big plus if the art does not involve messy materials (such as little confetti bits or pudgy glue). And of course a bigger plus if it takes the kids about half an hour to do (and not those easy 5 minute craft things).

2. Play house - This is a great one for the kids to play in their cubby house. Blankets and pillows are alternatives if an actual play house is not available. Sometimes the blankets and pillows make playing even more fun! (Until the pillow topples over too often leaving the younger ones frustrated). Perhaps adding unbreakable items and utensils from the kitchen could add fun to the play! (Having real food to eat with the tea set is a plus!)

3. Make use of technology - This one is good in limited screen time amounts (both for adults and kids). The tablet for watching those funny and entertaining youtube videos. Then for hubby and I we are always on the lookout for adventure movies watch online. As much as I admit I loved going to the local dvd store, this online streaming craze is so convenient! This website is quite handy : https://1movies.online/genre/Adventure

4. Old fashioned indoor games and board games- chess (my 7 year old is currently into this!), snakes & ladders, dominoes, Cluedo, Scrabble, etc.

5. Paper based games such as "hangman", dot to dot, word search, origami folding, etc.

That ONE big trip 2020 : Hong Kong for 3 nights


Planning and brainstorming our family's ONE big trip

Credit: Discover Hong Kong website

DESTINATION # 1 : Hong Kong ~ 4 Days / 3 Nights
WHY DO I CHOOSE TO VISIT HONG KONG?
Hong Kong is an exciting hub in Asia. I remember visiting Hong Kong a few decades ago and it was my first time to visit a non-English speaking city. I was excited, a bit scared (I got lost in Causeway Bay on my own back when there were no cellphones or handheld GPS! And I was a teenager!) and I would love to re-visit this city and have the same excited feeling.

> Love Hong Kong's fast pace. To me, it is Asia's "New York"
> Would love to immerse myself in the vibrant Hongkonger's culture
> I have yet to visit Victoria Peak


TOURISM WEBSITE/S 
Discover Hong Kong

USEFUL WEBSITES
TRANSPORT in Hong Kong
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS in Hong Kong

MY DREAM ITINERARY

Day 1
On arrival, it is a must to walk a few blocks around the hotel and explore the local area, have lunch. I intend to stay in the Kowloon side and so a visit to the Avenue of the Stars will happen late afternoon. I do love lovely harbour views and this is a good vantage point! Then dinner in the Tsim Sha Tsui area. After dinner, head to view the Symphony of Lights which starts at 8PM and goes on for about 13 minutes.

Day 2
After an early breakfast, head to Hong Kong Island and ride the HK Tram and get off at Victoria Peak. Have lunch at Causeway Bay or Central then catch the Star Ferry back to Tsim Sha Tsui. A stop at the Clock Tower is good if there is time. And a visit to one of the Chinese temples in the city. Spend the afternoon at the Ladies Market and / or then head to the Temple Street Night Market. Or choose from the other specialty markets the city has to offer. Dinner would be at a place along Temple Street or in the Jordan area.

Day 3
A full day tour is in order for this whole day. Either doing the New Lantau island tour or the Lamma Island Hopping cruise. Dinner is somewhere near the hotel area, if not at the hotel!

Day 4
Easy day spent re-visiting a place or heading off to one of the places not visited yet!

Credit: Discover Hong Kong website
HOTEL OPTIONS
> Marco Polo Hong Kong
> Intercontinental Hong Kong
> Holiday Inn Golden Mile
> Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui
> Intercontinental Grand Stanford HK





MUST SEE ATTRACTION/S
> Avenue of the Stars
> Symphony of Lights
> Victoria Peak

MUST DO/S
> Visit an island outside of Hong Kong!



MUST EAT/S
TBA

MUST BRING
TBA

OTHER TIPS
TBA

School holidays countdown

Finally we are in the last week of the two-week long school holidays! It has been a long week so far and thus the countdown starts now. Luckily we have had an okay weather (some days cloudy - at least not raining!) so we had a few days of park playing. Sometimes I try to keep the kids busy by doing some crafts, playing some music (inspired by musicians friend drums), and other times just letting them be bored. I read an article before that boredom is good for kids because it exercises their imagination. And so I let them be bored once in a while!

Off to get some sleep now, as we have a play date activity tomorrow! Counting down to 5 more days of no school!

Free fruit for kids at Woolies

It's only this year that I discovered that Woolworths gives free fruit for kids accompanying while grocery shopping! So, now whenever we are at Woolies, the kids get their choice of fruit from the allotted baskets (usually it's a choice of either a banana or an apple). I commend them for doing this incentive. It is a healthy snack option - we all know how kids are always (as in always!) hungry. We all know how impatient kids can get while grocery shopping! Offering this healthy treat is a good thing I cannot stress enough. I wish they have this in Manila too!
Ironic the healthy treat stand beside the chocolate treat one! At Macquarie Centre

Me Time

The past couple of weeks, I've had my much needed (and wanted) me time. The most I've had since a very long time - I don't even remember when the last 'real' one was.

Hopefully I get more of these times so I can refresh myself from my mummy duties and just be me. I have been wanting to tidy up my office space, clean up my clutter, research on  https://www.guitarcenter.com/ as well as just catch up on sleep! I know this special time is important, even if I don't want to (yeah right!). Lately I have been feeling that I am not worth more than the other members of the family - and that what I want is not important. It feels like my waking (and even sleeping!) time is consumed by following my little family's whim. This may sound harsh, but coming from a mum that is on call 24 hours every day - for a long time now - I guess it is pretty real. I am just thankful that now I am able to reclaim a bit of me back.

Papple at the shops

Last week while shopping, I came across the "Papple" fruit - which I've never seen or heard of prior to this time. I was so curious about it, and with my family being into anything quirky - I took and sent them a photo of this.
Papple at the shops
It was a pricey fruit - so I didn't think of buying it. But after a few days, I was just itching to get them. So I did! I did a bit of research too - apparently this hybrid fruit was first grown in New Zealand in 2012. I guess, now they have it locally in Australia! It's a cross of Nashi Pear and an Apple (my fruit lady said Pink Lady was used-hmmm)

I am waiting a few more days because I like my fruits on the more ripe side. But here are the photos I took of it at home. Looks and feels like an apple, but with the freckles of pear. They say it tastes juicier, more apple-y but softer like pear. 
The Papple

Looks like a freckled apple to me

School prerequisites

The school year has begun and although we haven't been back to Sydney yet I am now collating the requirements for B. I am hoping to buy everything by next week (I am stressing out because she needs a descant recorder! I am hoping that it is available at the same store with the bx13 at Guitar Center). I cannot even imagine how my mom managed buying all these school stuff when there were six of us studying! I have one in school now and I am stressing already. Anyway, I guess I could start buying the easy stuff then look for that recorder when I am back in Sydney.