Friday, December 22, 2017

What's your family christmas tradition? :)

I can't believe it's 2 winks to go and it's Christmas! :) Growing up in Manila, we have the longest celebration of Christmas. You'll start hearing Christmas songs as early as September and there's this warm feeling that will make you start to count the days. Growing up in a small family, we don't have that much family tradition like other families. We go to the mass on Christmas Eve and have our Noche Buena -- and true to my maternal grandmother's Spanish roots, we have hot chocolate :) hot, frothy and creamy... it's a family recipe that we can't fully replicate since Mama (my maternal grandmother) passed away. I can almost see her in front of the stove, stirring and pouring slowly the milk in the pot. Bittersweet memories.

My childhood best friend and I used to lived next door to each other and we usually buy our gifts together and we exchange gifts after dinner of the 24th. She moved abroad 10 years ago and I miss her more on Christmas Eve. My then boyfriend (now husband) and I used to have dinner and a starbucks date on the 25th. Christmas also means our annual outreach day at St. Rita Orphanage. When Mr. Panda and I tied the knot, we decided to start our own mini Christmas tradition. We handpicked our Christmas dรฉcor with love. We want each of them to have a meaning and tied with happy memories. Baby and Breakfast created a list of family Christmas traditions and ours is included. Please click this link for more family traditions! I hope you'll love them and probably encourage you start your own family tradition.

Ever since we expatriated, we have this formula for our belongings. Keep or Lose. Whenever we purchase something, we have this mental  note if we will keep it or not when we move to another country. And our Christmas tree ornaments are on the Keep list! Here's our 2017 Christmas tree, apologies for the imbalance of the decors. My toddler loves to "harvest" every day since we put up the tree.

I ordered this personalised ornament this year in Manila. I love that it's acrylic!

This Christmas ball is from Bullarum, handpainted and personalised with my son's name. I bought this last year because it's his first Christmas.

I purchased these two star wars ornaments because we're big fans and our family big baby is hooked to star wars right now! New recruit! lol!

I purchased Tsum Tsum Christmas Balls because it's my son's first birthday party theme :)

If you look closely at the picture of our tree, we have Starbucks ornaments :) this one is the DIY ornament just in time for our first wedding anniversary.

This little wooden sign was purchased last year at Tatty Marsh at Tanglin Mall, perfect for my chopsuey tree haha!

Santa mail box is purchased this year when I was in Manila, we started to introduce Santa to our little dumpling this year and we hope he'll enjoy Santa's little notes if he's naughty or nice :)
Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed holiday season! :) and May you start and enjoy your own family Christmas traditions!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Loved at Aruga Rockwell

I have more than a dozen draft for my blog but I decided to post this first, because this is too good not to share! :)

If you read my old posts, you'll see that I love staycations! We always have staycations at hotels preferably with 8/10 reviews or the ones that are highly recommended by friends. I read a lovely review at Ma'm Manila (a facebook group for expats based in Manila PH) and one of the factors that made me want to stay at Aruga - they have a dryer! We're planning to invest in a dryer and we want to test it first. Lol! We stayed there for a few days and we felt right at home. I love how they maximize the space and it still feels very spacious. There's a nicely not so hidden closet near the bathroom (which i failed to take a photo) and we stored there my things and the luggage too.

We got a 1 bedroom suite because Thirdy and I decided to "camp out" at the living room.

Here's my little dumpling inspecting the phone :)

Love the soft close closets!

Our big baby getting cozy at the couch

I love this kitchen! My mom and I can move freely when we prepare meals/do the laundry. This kitchen is complete! From coffee maker to rice cooker to serving platters! :) and they even washed and cleaned everything after we used them!

The buffet console is ready for your coffee and tea. They also provided UCC coffee and tea :)  The huge mirror at the wall made the space looks classy and spacious.

On our second night, we invited my mom's bestfriends who are also my wedding Ninong and Ninang. Rockwell Powerplant Mall is right across and there's an exclusive short cut in the basement parking. I bought some flowers for center piece and placed it in the pitcher, chic looking paper plates and cups from Celebrations Party Central , chicken teriyaki, salad and relleno bangus from Rustan's Marketplace and pan fried steak, calamares and rice from Chili's. Chili's also deliver at Aruga for a small fee. And I also bought my all time favorite caramel cake from Costa Brava,  We placed the food at the buffet console and it looked really nice and neat.

Rockwell have their famous Christmas decors up and you can actually feel the Christmas cheer once you stepped inside. Our big baby had fun having his picture taken with the set up.

Would I go back? YES! Jatty fell sick during our stay and the front desk helped us to look for a doctor nearby. The fridge stopped working at past 11pm and they immediately replaced it within 15 mins and even took care of removing and returning our food and drinks inside. We felt loved and well taken care of  at Aruga especially the housekeeping staff named Emman at 8th floor. There's sincerity when they smile and assist you. :)
T: +632 818 0000 | E:

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Preschool and Playschool in BGC 2017

I came across this very useful info about preschool and playschool in BGC. I know it can be quite time consuming to research, compare and do site visit especially for moms! I hope the comparison table of the preschool and playschool, 9th avenue primer and Cambridge fees for SY 2017-2018 will be helpful to you. Thanks to Jenille of DSP for sharing this info!!!

Credits for shared info:
Jenille Angelica C. Muรฑoz
International Assignment Manager
DSP Relocations Asia - Philippines

Thursday, August 31, 2017

GSS 2017!

I used to hear GSS or great singapore sale from my sister from another mother (and father) when we were still both working at slmc-gc. She raved how cheap the items were and how people go to SG for that particular sale. Fast forward, 6 years later I experienced my first GSS as a trailing wife in SG. To say that I enjoyed it is an understatement! I still have some of my shopping loot from my first GSS untouched. My second GSS was all about my sioplet, we just got back at SG that time and we were building his wardrobe that time and some necessities too.

Sharing with you some of my loot! Most items are 50-70% off!

For my sioplet! ๐Ÿ˜„ and of course he should have panda socks!

Loot from Zara ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‰

This is a very unusual choice for me, but my son laughed when he saw me wearing it. I realized after purchasing it, that i look like a cupcake or a pink chicken flapping.


The ribbons got me.

Again, the ribbons.

Yes, the ribbons and the pink tweed with subtle gold thread.

Love that I can put this on, and look like a decent mom to a toddler.

This is my favorite! from the collar to the dainty silver buttons ❤

 Classic white shirt with a twist, reminds me of  COS.

Retail therapy while pushing the stroller of my sleeping toddler while waiting for Mr. Panda during weekdays ๐Ÿ˜

Please share your GSS loot too! 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Does that make me a bad mom?

I’m a mom for 1 year, 4 months and 14 days. There was never a day I didn’t feel blessed that I’m a mom. But there are also days, I want to escape for a couple of minutes and look for my sanity. My little one is an active and fearless toddler. Every day is a new adventure for him and a new series of mini heart attack for me. I want to tell you I’m one cool easy going mom who rarely yells and panics over single things. But no, I’m a paranoid and panicky mom! I always hear the comment “Oh, because you’re a first time mom!” I don’t know if that’s a logical explanation on how I feel or shall I feel offended.  Whenever I’m asked when will we have a second child, there’s a huge bubble thought on top of my messy hair with “@#Y%RDD$%#!#@#!!#”.  Because honestly, a second child is still a far far dream right now. Does that make me a bad mom? No. If we will be blessed with a second child, I want to give him/her the same love and care we give to our firstborn. I know this will raise eyebrows, but seriously, I want to be fair and honest to myself. I used to feel affected with the mom – bashing, but my husband reassured me I’m doing a great job and that he’s very proud of me. I rarely ask myself "Does that make me a bad mom?"


When I was still pregnant, I ate Cheetos and hotdog (but in moderation!).

When a good friend was still pregnant, she shopped for baby things right after she saw two lines at her pregnancy test. While I waited for 6 months before I can shop! (Superstitious beliefJ).

When I was still pregnant, I asked my OB if I can drink coffee and she gave me her approval. My after doctor appointment afternoons are spent at Starbucks or UCC while waiting for father-to-be finish to get off from the office.

A super close friend had her birth plan - all natural! Kudos to her!!!! The first thing I told my OBs  - both in Manila and in SG ---- Please give me a pain free delivery! Whether I’m awake or asleep during the delivery, it’s perfectly fine with me! Epidural is my ally during the big day.

Another friend had a mini welcome party for her baby in their hospital room, her room was filled with balloons and flowers and have a mini buffet treat table in the corner, she even have a mini program during dinner time and her visitors all left with a souvenir.  My visitors brought us food (but I offered them drinks! Lol!) and I even told one friend who came early compared to out other friends my birth story so HE will be the one to tell our other friends.

I swaddled my son like a lumpia and his cheeks looked like two mantou overflow from the swaddle.

Jatty's Ninang Doc co-sleep with her baby from the start while I waited for 4-5 months before we co-sleep with our son.

I give formula milk to my son while my mommy friends give breastmilk and even swapped with each other whenever need arises.

A good friend uses all natural toiletries and even her baby wipes are organic! While I used mustela, aveeno, Cetaphil, j&j and pigeon! Any brand that I can get my hands on and that will be suitable for my son.

I’m a stay at home mom while my childhood best friend is an accomplished healthcare administrator and one of the best moms I know. Mommy peg!

My mommy friends prepared their kids’ meals from scratch while I, sometimes, give my son home cooked baby food c/o his dad and organic store bought baby food.

A fellow expat friend gave her daughter evian while I give my son boiled and filtered tap water.

A mommy friend uses cloth diapers for her kids while one of our closets is stocked with disposable diapers from tape to pants.

A mommy friend designed their playroom for Montessori learning (which made me go Ooh and Aah how beautiful it is!) while our non-existing living room is filled with wooden and plastic toys. Before there were exersaucer, jumperoo, rocker, playhouse, swing and snug seat. Now, there’s still the playhouse but with his wiggly scooter, Ferrari ride on, blocks table, train ride on and talking basketball stand. Thanks to our kind friends and to my supportive husband.

A mommy friend carried her son with a wrap carrier because it feels more secure for her. While I went through with 7 strollers and 2 carriers.  My son now happily push his pram around, thinking it’s one of his toy ride on.

My friends had big first birthday party for their kids that can match a big wedding budget too. We had two small parties (a pool side party with pinoy friends in Sg and a playdate for my godchildren in Manila) and went to Disneyland on his exact birthday. Because my then 11 months old son TOLD me he wants to see Mickey Mouse on his birthday.

I got comments how my son will enjoy his designer clothes (I got them on sale). I’m sure he does, he enjoys sitting on the floor and making his bottoms his makeshift cleaning tool. He smiles back at me while the pasta sauce dripped on his Boss polo shirt. I don’t mind. I will just hope and wish that the laundry will do it’s magic.

I spend the whole day with my son while a good mommy friend goes to work Monday to Friday and juggles her time with her two beautiful kids. Do homework with her daughter and still read story books to her toddler. She went to SG for work when she was still actively breastfeeding but she pumped and brought home breast milk to her son.

One of my best friends had coffee too when she was still pregnant, my goddaughter now 3 years old, is one of the smartest kid I know.

My gorgeous mommy friend allows her children to gadgets and now her eldest is an academic achiever and her two younger kids are advance for their age. I try to bribe my son with my phone with kiddie movies during take off and landing, but I ended up holding on to him while he wiggles like a piglet.

One of my best friends left her toddler child to go back to work as a crew purser for a certain period of time. Her child is turning 7 now, an academic achiever and a very sweet little lady. All credits go to the mom.

I know how to bake since I was in grade school but I ordered cakes for my son’s baptismal reception, monthly celebrations and birthday parties. While one of my best friends is studying to bake for her kids.

My most intellectual friend raised her three kids differently from each other. She can make a mini presentation of how her kids were raised like a science experiment. But all the results will be wonderful as she have three beautiful and smart kids!

My sister from another mother (and father) is a wonderful single mom. She raised her son to respect women and honor his family.

A family friend loves to travel with her kids (take a break from her corporate life) and expose them to culture and art. She also diy all her kids parties and prepare bento lunchboxes for school.

My house is a mess and sometimes I can’t remember when the last time we properly mopped or swept the floor. I post photos of my child which are probably not pinterest worthy. Does that make me a bad mom? No. Are either of us are better mom than the others? No.

I’m annoyed when people romanticize the labels of a stay at home and a working mom. Can’t we all be MOMS? Moms who strive to become a better person for their families. Moms who will do everything for their kids, whether it’s giving up a dream job or sing hi-5 songs in public with matching dance moves. Moms who will wipe their kid’s butts and will cradle their sick kids with puke-y hair. Moms who will sneak to the nearest 7-11 and buy a beer (hoping to unwind in the sidewalk) and will toss the unopened beer to the trashcan because childcare called and toddler just threw a can of paint to her classmate. Moms who will laugh and cry when her son climbed the headboard like a monkey (milestones). Moms who will eat lunch at the floor to watch her sleeping son (never mind, she have angel board monitor and cleverdog switched on). Moms who will think of their own mother and will think how did their moms did it during the pre-hi tech days. 

Moms who blog not to be bashed or be praised but because this is their tiny space to write their feelings.

Please, let’s all be kind to each other and give each other a boost of confidence. No judgments and just pure concern and support.

I will never trade my adventures and misadventures as a mom. My son is my most beautiful adventure. I know we all share the same sentiment. :) Kudos to you, moms! 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Weekdate at Buono Trattoria

This draft have been sitting in my folders for so long but I'm pretty sure we ate here a couple of months ago only. :) 

I passed by this new quaint looking resto a couple of times already. That's why when Mr.Panda asked me where I want to eat during one of our weekdates, I suggested to try Buono Trattoria. Weekdates = waiting for Mr. Panda after office hours. 

(grabbed from their Facebook page)

Spaghetti Carbonara
12.00 sgd
Bacon, onion, parmesan, egg yolk and parley cream

Margherita Pizza
13.00sgd (8 inches)

Linguine Chicken Pesto
12.00 sgd

Frittura Di Calamari
12.00 sgd

- serving size is average
- carbonara is too creamy, all I tasted was full cream
- pesto is so-so
- pizza is bland enough for my toddler
- calamari is the saving grace for this dinner. well seasoned and crunchy.
- the place is quaint and cute. could be perfect for after office dates.
- serving is great! crew were very attentive and always smiling
- choices are kinda limited
- price is ok :)

would i go back? probably when there are more choices :)

Buono Trattoria
#B2-27 VivoCity
10am - 10pm
6358 2582

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Let's Celebrate! Birthday & Christening Party Packages for Fast Food & Restaurants 2017!

I started to compile party packages since 2014, but last year I was not able to make one because it was third trimester already! And we were starting to prepare for the arrival (baby stuff shopping!) of Luke Jatrick aka "sioplet". This year's compilation will start with my mommy friends' research :)

1. Plana's Pantry

2. Ibarra's Garden

3. Vanilla Cupcakes

4. Stacy's

5. Playland Party Place

6. Bobby's Catering

7. The Beef Barn

8, Cabalen

9, Pixie Forest

and last but not the least,

10. Active Fun EVIA