Thursday, October 05, 2017

The big 4-0

Turning 40 soon has had me thinking about a few things lately. One, major one is whether to have another baby. Hmm. I guess this is partly not really entirely just up to me.. So many considerations. But that topic is for another day! For now, I have finally just booked our flights for my BIG (40th) birthday getaway to Melbourne!! I've been contemplating, delaying booking it for many months now but the inevitable date came and Jetstar won't extend my voucher expiry!! It was a choice between the Gold Coast (or Queensland in general) or Melbourne..... And at the very last minute I decided to go Melbourne! Super last minute my voucher was expiring in 10 minutes when I pressed the book and pay button!

So, this has got me excited now. The travel agent in me took out my Victoria (Melbourne) brochure and using my mini lamp browsed through the pages - at half past midnight!! I haven't been this excited in such a long time! I think I made a good decision of choosing Melbourne. The last time I was there was in 2004. Way too long ago!!! Gold Coast we visited a few years ago. And as much as I was imagining a nice beach getaway for my summer birthday.... I didn't just want my birthday to be another beach getaway. We have some good friends and some family to meet up with in Melbourne - which we haven't seen in a super long time! And since we are celebrating "me" I thought might as well do what I want to (as a mum, I always end up sacrificing what I want over what the hubby or the kids want - to do, to eat, to visit, etc). So anyway, prior kids I was a pretty sociable person - I enjoy going out and socialising. I enjoy catching up with friends and family.. I also enjoy a good adventure. So this Melbourne trip will be just that. A bit of both activities which I love. 💖 nbsp="" p="">
Image from Google

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

School break

I'm super delighted that hubby has taken some time off during this school break so that I can (have 'me' time) do some work (and more research on wampler, check it out at among other things). So far I have ticked a few from my to do list and hopefully this momentum continues for the next 10 days! I have picked up a new racket from home and I am super excited to get more work from this new supplier. 

On the other hand, I have also scheduled a jam packed couple of weeks for the kids. Some of the ones that excite me are: treasure hunt at the park, winter wonderland festival, pajama party, robotics class, a couple of playdates and a few trips to the library! I am also hoping to spend some time with hubby. It has been a long time since we have gone out on a date. Although nowadays our date means movie nights on the couch - that's pretty much it. Sad. Haha. But really, I guess just to spend time with each other and talk about everything else other than kids is the bonding time we need.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Researcher by nature

All of us have our own quirks and interests and mine is researching. I am in love with the fact that at this day and age I no longer need to head down to the library just to find out about a particular topic. Everything is on the net now! It is scary too in some ways because nowadays anyone can claim they know about a topic (for example shure microphone at is not something everyone knows about- at least not me!). Hubby still gets surprised at how much trivia I can come up with. Although we are all for the great things on technology, we are still teaching our kids to visit the library and borrow some books! We are proud library card owners here - something that might be obsolete in the future. So for tonight, I am off to more researching some more. And of course, it is about travel!

Iceberg Alley in Newfoundland

As much as I don't think I can ever be a "cold" loving person, I could see myself visiting Newfoundland (in Canada) for it's Iceberg Alley! (How cool is this Iceberg Map)

So, Iceberg Alley is this place where one can go iceberg watching during the Canadian spring time. It could be interesting or scary at the same time - imagine seeing this big boulders or buildings of ice blocks heading so close.

Photo seen here

Chilly weather

Chilly weather makes me want to sip bottomless hot chocolate under the blanket, while watching my chic flicks (imagining hubby is taking care of the kids, that is!). In reality though, I am researching the trips my clients are going on. At the moment the current 'scheduled' trip is to the USA! So my head space is filled with daydreaming about Waikiki Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Atlanta! So far I have already come up with proposed activities for them to do in Hawaii and California. I am currently working on New York - which is super easy since I love New York. Meanwhile, Atlanta is a little bit more of a challenge. I have been to Atlanta more than a decade ago so I need to do a refresher on the city guide. The family that I am organising the holiday for has teenage kids so I am thinking maybe a visit to a quest room could be an option. I read that quest room Atlanta is pretty popular spot. Nowadays there are mystery or escape rooms propping up in the major cities, but I haven't experienced it first hand so I cannot fully suggest it to clients yet. I have heard that it can get really exciting and engaging so it's a fun activity for a group of friends or family (even colleagues!). I guess there is no other way to find out for myself but try. So I would suggest this to my friends the next time I have someone come over to Sydney!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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 :

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.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

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
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

Discover Hong Kong

TRANSPORT in Hong Kong


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
> Marco Polo Hong Kong
> Intercontinental Hong Kong
> Holiday Inn Golden Mile
> Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui
> Intercontinental Grand Stanford HK

> Avenue of the Stars
> Symphony of Lights
> Victoria Peak

> Visit an island outside of Hong Kong!




Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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

Saturday, March 25, 2017

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 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

Monday, February 06, 2017

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.

Selling Sydney

Ok, I don't own Sydney - not even one bit of it. However, I am trying to sell Sydney as a travel destination. So, my first client (who is a big fan of Sydney ever since- is my dad) is visiting Sydney in two weeks. I am coming up with different ideas, activities, etc for us to do on weekends and weekdays when the little girl is in school. Here are a few things I have listed so far: (will add on as I go)

Park Feast @ Bella Vista Farm - 25 and 26 February, 2017 
We haven't been to the Park Feast celebration last year, but hoping to make it this time around. They have at least 30 food trucks available to choose from, lots of amusements and stalls. The celebration goes from 11AM to 10PM on both days. Not sure if there are fireworks, but I am guessing there would be! The venue is very pretty with heritage buildings, lots of greens, and some shade too - if it gets too hot!

Shark Island Picnic
One school day, we might go to Shark Island for a little picnic. I have been there only once and have enjoyed it so much. It is very easy to go around the island in about half an hour. The harbour view is super and surely with dad and the little one, it will be a nice day out. Hopefully on a good sunny day!

Photo from Google

Rozelle Market
The market is only open on weekends..... But I just read now that they have terminated operation at the Rozelle usual spot!!! So I am now on the hunt for another market we can go to on the weekend!!!
Sad :( Mom really loved Rozelle Market - and dad too!

Photo from

My parents love seafood and love visiting the Fish Market. So, almost each time they visit Sydney - we head to the exciting Sydney Fish Market for lunch, together with the seagulls, and many other tourists. This is a must visit for us in two weeks!

Friday, February 03, 2017

Thing of the past

So much has happened in the past month that I don't even know where to begin. I've gone back home again to Manila, to spend less than 2 days with mom before she passed. Super sad and at the same time I am relieved that she is no longer in pain. Sometimes these life changing events can be so rattling that life stops. Everything is 're-calibrated' and plans tweaked. One thing that I am trying to find right now is this old fashioned handheld recorder and player because the day after I arrived, my dad handed me a cassette tape and asked if I knew what that was about. I shouted excited a big yes!! I have been missing this tape for at least 15 years. It had recordings of when I was probably a year old, babbling with mom and dad, talking about our cat among other things.I really wish I could get hold of this type of player so I can re-live the past.

The big 4-0

Turning 40 soon has had me thinking about a few things lately. One, major one is whether to have another baby. Hmm. I guess this is partly n...