Monday, December 29, 2014

Seda Nuvali: Where to Stay for A Nuvali Staycation

Sometimes, the busyness of the holidays can get to us. For the days leading up to Christmas,  I was busy meeting with friends for holiday lunches during the day, then off to do the school rounds right after, then prep dinner for the family as soon as I get home.  To make matters worse, I was tensed because I was also in a rush to finish buying, wrapping and tagging all the gifts for the teachers ,classmates, school staff, etc. Whew! All that did not make me a pleasant mama in any way! :(

That is why when I got an invitation to have a staycation with my entire family at Seda Nuvali on the weekend before Christmas, I quickly accepted.  I knew I needed the quick break to shake off the stress and the grumpies.

Just look at our room in Seda Nuvali! Nakaka-tanggal stress, di ba? :) When I got the confirmation of our stay with them, I checked online how the rooms look like, I just knew this would be a perfect staycation!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

Merriest CHRISTmas to you all!  So how was your celebration like?

My in-laws usually take a trip out of the country during the holidays. We usually go with them since my husband's business allows us to go out of the country only during the long Christmas break.  But for this year we decided to not go with my in-laws to HK.

Everytime that we are home to celebrate the holidays, I prepare the food for Christmas Eve dinner, just like this one right here. Holiday cooking always gets me excited! I woke up extra early to prepare our holiday cookies... to make sure there's something sweet to munch on the entire day while we are busy in the kitchen and for when we are opening our presents.

One by one, my kids started joining me in the kitchen for our whole morning bake fest!  With songs in the background while we were baking, it seemed like there was a party going on in our kitchen!

These Lemon Meltaways literally melt in the mouth!
These are the kids' favorite!  They are really shortbread cookies, but I've altered the recipe to use cornstarch to take the place of part the flour to make them melt in the mouth.

Monday, December 15, 2014

TPM Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Are you done with your Christmas shopping? I am almost done, with just a few names left on my list. When I shop for presents, I try to make the gift match the recipient. I want them to find the gift useful and practical.  Having said that, let me share with you some of the items that I have discovered while I was doing my Christmas shopping.  Hoping this will help you finish your own shopping list.

Mommy Mundo's Mom 24/7 Planner is what all multi-tasking mommy need...  This is what we all need to organize our multiple roles. There's space for mom's sked and kids' sked, even party planning pages, travel packing list, and discount coupons.

You can order yours for only P395. Order here.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Candy Corner Kingdom

Oh my! Stuff that cotton candy dreams are made of.... Castle made of candies, jelly beans and gummy bears, chocolate bridge held by licorice ropes... Candy Corner, the leading confectionery retail outlet in the Philippines, is giving all moms the sweetest and most rewarding treat this December!  Be a Queen for a day in the Candy Corner Kingdom!

The Candy Corner Kingdom is a grand Christmas event, filled with a bunch of fun stuff like games, creative, hands-on activities, interactive booth displays, and, of course, lots and lots of candy! It will be held from December 12-14 2014, Friday-Sunday, at the Glorietta Activity Center

Whenever we see a Candy Corner in the malls, my kids ask to stop so they can get their fave candies. They love that they get to choose their own candy combinations in goodie bags that they handpick and fill themselves.  I indulge them from time to time since Candy Corner offers a quality candies to choose from. So, if you and your kids are as crazy over candies as my kids are, we will see you at the Candy Corner Kingdom this weekend!

To get updates:
Instagram: @ilovecandycorner


Monday, December 8, 2014

{Weekend Footnotes } CO/OP + Chef Jessie Rockwell Club

And just like that, the first week of December just flew by.  Are the holiday lunches, dinner parties, reunions and get-togethers in full swing already for you? Mine are paced just right, BUT I feel overwhelmed because the kids have been having swim meets  for the  three straight weekends!  Whew, can anyone spell "tired mama"?

Mommy duties have been taking up much more time than usual, so a get-together with some friends is always a welcome break during the weekends.  Last Friday, I had lunch at CO/OP.

CO/OP is a hip coffee shop and retail store located in San Juan.  The place is tucked in a quiet spot along A. Mabini that if you drive by too fast, you will miss it.  I've always wanted to go in everytime we pass by, so when some of my mommy friends invited me to have lunch, I knew I have to say yes.

One side of the place is a retail store that sells unique items such as the one shown in the photos below:

Friday, December 5, 2014

Japan Day 5: {Southern Kyoto} Fushimi Inari

Fushimi Inari Shrine is a great Kyoto attraction to visit with kids. This temple is the shrine of Inari, the god of rice. The place is most famous for the thousands of red toriis (Japanese gates) that curl up around the mountain. My kids enjoyed seeing all the fox statues here. The foxes are regarded as messengers and they often hold a key to the rice barn in their mouth.

From Nishiki Market in downtown Kyoto, we traveled south to Fushimi. Fushimi Inari Shrine is located just outside JR Inari Station. For help with how to plan your commuting itinerary, read my post here.

A short stroll from the train station and we are faced with this view. The giant posts signal the entrance to Fushimi Inari 
at the gate of the shrine

the approach to the shrine

The Li'l Man wanted to take some photos using the DSLR, he took his job as photographer seriously and took some decent photos during the trip.

 There were quite a few pocket gardens along the way before you actually reach the torii gates.

Hahaha! Do not ask why we posed for photos here.  I don't know why also.  I think we were just waiting for C so we can all go in the shrine together.

Just one of the numerous fox statues in the shrine.

There were literally thousands of red-orange torii gates that starts with two parallel row of gates that line the pathway up to the top of Mt.Inari. These torii gates are actually donations from individuals and companies who are firm believers of Inari.
this is the starting point of the trails, these two parallel rows eventually merge
If you look at the back, you can find writings indicating the name and the date of donation. The cost of every gate varies depending on its size.

My kids are naturally very inquisitive, especially B.  We take frequent stops almost everywhere because they want to take a closer look at something... well, most of the time, they want to look at everything.:)  I do not remember what caught their interest here.

The walk up the mountain is gradual at first but eventually becomes steeper and with several stairs. When you get higher, the number of torii also gradually lessens. The walk can take 1-2 hours depending on your pace. They say, climbing upto the top can take half-day, but that is a task for the brave.:)

We only made it upto the restaurant which offer locally themed dishes such as Inari Sushi and Kitsune Udon ("Fox Udon"), as B was adamant that she wanted to try the Kitsune Udon, feauturing pieces of aburaage (fried tofu), said to be a favorite food of foxes. She already researched and printed out long list of food to try in Japan, and we did not want to disappoint her.

The menu is hand-made, and English menu is provided since there are a lot of tourists here.
Prices are quite reasonable and the servings are medium-sized.

Everyone had the Kitsune-udon becasue after B swayed everyone to walk up an hour (or two) for it,
kailangan ma-try din namin! hahaha!

Some Inari Sushi, too.  This sweetened sushi rice wrapped in fried tofu is said to be the favorite food of the fox.
And because everyone got so hungry after the trek up, another round!

We just stayed a few more minutes after eating to enjoy the view and to rest our tired legs.  We still had one more destination for the day - Nara.

I've updated this post to provide a link to ALL MY JAPAN POSTS!











Click here to read ALL my JAPAN posts.