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 d├ęcor 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 http://babyandbreakfast.ph/2017/12/18/9-moms-share-the-family-christmas-tradition-that-theyre-looking-forward-to-the-most/ 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. :)


https://www.aruga.com.ph/
T: +632 818 0000 | E: reservations@aruga.com.ph