June 30, 2012

Dairy Queen is in Town!

I have been wondering when they are going to bring Dairy Queen in town. We could only eat the blizzard at the airport before. But finally, it's here in the city!

We were dining at BBQ Chicken yesterday when I saw a brochure that says DQ is now open at the Riverside area, just beside The Pizza Company.

I wanted to go there right away but my son had better things to do. So we postponed our trip for today.


Dairy Queen is just beside Pizza Company in Sisowath Quay (Riverside)

Inside DQ


The original blizzard - Oreo


For every order of medium sized blizzard, you get a free ice cream in a cone


Happy


Pretty happy too


They have al fresco setting which we moved to after I got cold inside. 

I am not really an ice cream person but I ate most of what we ordered today. No kidding! EJ and hubby ate so little that I ended up eating their blizzards. With all the sugar in it, no wonder I got dizzy afterwards. LOL!

I've probably gained a kilo already but it's worth it. I love it!

June 28, 2012

Worrywart

It is a slow week for me but thank God it's Friday tomorrow. I feel like I haven't been productive this week.

I have been thinking a lot about going on another vacation to the Philippines end of July or early August. I know we just got back but EJ is on a summer break. He still goes to summer program until next week but he is really getting bored and he doesn't want to finish the summer program anymore. 

We made a compromise, he will just finish 1 more week of summer class (summer program ends July 27) and then he'll be free until the start of the next school year. The next school year will only commence on September 3. That's about two months of vacation time for him. 

It's good that he gets to rest but I am also worried he'll just become a couch potato or a gadget-toting kid the rest of the summer. 

If we go home, I plan for us to stay in the province. There will be lots of things for him to do there. He could go swimming in the beach everyday if he likes, he could finally learn to bike without the training wheels, he could catch spiders with the other kids and make it fight or anything he desires. 

And I am sure I could find something useful to do while we are there. 

The only problem is that we are saving hubby's vacation leave for December. We are planning to spend our Christmas in the Philippines, for a change.

Hubby could use his VL and join us for a week or two in the province or he could just stay here in Phnom Penh.

But either way, it doesn't really sit well with us. And besides we have an upcoming travel to Tokyo this October. We need to tighten our belts. Tokyo is not cheap.

Sigh.

But I am sure we'll find a way to combat boredom for our almost 6-year old kid (he's turning 6 on August!) without spending too much.

I think I am just really a worrywart. 


June 27, 2012

Exit Your Office

EJ is a proficient reader at the age of 5 years old. His writing skills though is still trying to catch up with his reading skills. But he is getting there.

He can now write a sentence without asking me to spell the words for him! If he's in the mood, he'd even write a short story. It makes me hope he'll write a bestselling book one day. LOL!

Anyway, he sometimes borrows my phone to send a text message to my husband. This was their last text messages to each other.


The last sentence made me laugh! LOL!

I posted this in facebook and my brother commented "that's what EJ learned from playing with gadget all the time."

Well, EJ spends considerable time playing on his iPad (especially during our vacation) and on his daddy's laptop. But he doesn't have free reign on everything. We still control his time and we impose limits on everything.

His last sentence in the above text was I think, meant to be funny, hence the "hehehehe". But I also wonder, does he ever learn something of value from playing with gadgets?

June 22, 2012

Bargain Family Breaks: All Inclusive Holidays in Crete

As the most southern of the Greek Islands, spring and summer family holidays in Crete guarantee stunning sunshine. Put aside financial reservations once you reach your destination and book all inclusive holidays online.

Travelling with young tots is likely to enable you to travel out of season. Not only visiting Rhodes in parts of May and June ideal financially, the temperatures will also be more manageable for younger, delicate skin.

During peak season, in the height of summer, temperatures in Crete can be sweltering. Records show highs have hit over 40 degrees C, with averages hovering around 30 degrees C. Ensure you pack plenty of high factor sunscreen as well as protective clothing for children and adults alike.

The conditions surrounding all inclusive holidays in Crete vary depending on your choice of accommodation. Typically all inclusive guests can make the most of all day snack bars, local and soft drinks as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Family friendly complexes often have swimming facilities as well as in house kids clubs run by tour operators and your hotel. Choose accommodation with myriad activities including evening parties and discos if you want to spend an evening together without the brood.

Outside of the hotel area, Crete offers sensational beaches in many resorts. Hersonissos is a lively area on the north coast but a stay just outside will put you within easy reach of the many bars and tavernas as well as the local water parks, Aqua Plus and Star Beach.

If you prefer a quieter break, children will be in there element exploring the shores near to the quaint harbour of Agios Nikolaos. Alternatively Elounda has excellent beaches for building sandcastles and digging for treasure. Treat the children to a trip on a glass bottomed boat to view the local marinelife.

Secure the very best price for your budget break abroad and look online to book all inclusive holidays in Crete.

June 21, 2012

Sofitel's Chinese Restaurant: Fu Lu Zu

We have been planning to eat at Sofitel Phnom Penh's chinese restaurant, Fu Lu Zu. But everytime we find ourselves in Sofitel we head to their buffet restaurant, La Coupole right away. It's either we're very hungry and cannot wait to order anymore or we just want to eat big. But if I have to be honest about it, I think we're just big eaters. LOL!

So anyway, on Father's Day, I let hubby choose where he wants to eat for dinner. Since we were staying at Sofitel that night, hubby was almost tempted to just go straight to La Coupole. LOL! In the end though, he chose Fu Lu Zu, much to the disappoint of the kiddo.

Fu Lu Zu at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra

Hungry and ready to order.

Just trying to be cute. LOL!

We wanted to order a portion of their suckling roasted pig but it was not available that night. So we got a mixed pork barbeque (below). Price: $10


Deep fried shrimps with fried garlic $14. Lately, EJ's been fond of fried garlic. Everytime I cook fried tilapia, I always make sure to include fried garlic. He likes to eat it on its own or sprinkle it on his rice.


Steamed seabass fish in soya sauce $28. This was huge. We always order garoupa fish when dining in a chinese resto but I am glad we tried this one. It's so meaty and the soya sauce complements the meat so well.


We also ordered one yang zhou fried rice and it was enough for the three of us.  Our bill amounted to $75+ with green tea and apple juice only for drinks.

I would say, I enjoyed the experience (nice place, great service) but it was definitely one of the expensive chinese dinners we had.  But I noticed that dimsums which are only available during lunch time are pretty affordable. One order of dimsum ranges from $2.50-$3.50.

It was an enjoyable dinner indeed but given the choice, I would rather eat in La Coupole. You guessed it. We're gluttons! LOL!


June 19, 2012

Father's Day Surprise for the Hubby

Firstly, belated Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful Dads out there! I hope you feel the love from your family on that day and everyday of course.

On Father's Day, I surprised hubby with an overnight stay at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra. He really had no idea I was cooking up a surprise treat for him.

I went to Sofitel, booked an overnight accommodation and also ordered lunch and cake in the room. I wanted the food to be in the room when we arrive.

Thanks to Sofitel they really did a wonderful job. They even put some balloons in the room.

Complimentary fruit basket and the cheesecake I ordered

Hubby, surprised and happy

The lunch I ordered: crab fried rice, clubhouse sandwich, salmon steak

There were candles beside the cake, so hubby put it on the cake, lit it up and blew the candles LOL!

Balloons were everywhere! 

Balloons even in the bathroom area. Thanks Sofitel!

We did nothing but goof around, play hide and seek, watch TV, play Wii and of course eat non-stop! It was a wonderful day and I am glad I made hubby and EJ happy.

To my husband who's a great, responsible and loving dad to EJ: I hope you know how much EJ and I appreciate everything you do for us. I couldn't have asked for a better dad to EJ. You're someone EJ looks up to. I remember EJ once said: I want to be like my daddy when I grow up! That says a lot! Thank you for everything. We love you so much!

June 17, 2012

Our New Place

I probably have lost a kilo or so yesterday! No kidding!

We moved to our new apartment yesterday. And hubby and I did not stop working until everything was put in its place. Well, not everything is in its proper place yet but at least there are no more boxes or bags on the floor.

I like our new place because it's bright. There's plenty of natural light coming in. And of course, I like that everything is new.


The curtains are not bad either. At least that's one less trip to the curtain stores. Also glad that we were able to hang EJ and hubby's painting right away because there was already a provision for that above the TV.

EJ loves the terrace. It's big. He can even play his scooter and bike. And yes, we do have a nice view of the city unlike our last apartment which has no view at all. LOL!

I hope and pray we'll have a blissful stay in this apartment.

June 14, 2012

Skiing Holiday

Our son has been bugging us a trip to a place "with lots of snow" so he could go skiing. The Ski Dubai experience last year has left him wanting for more. It was only a fake snow but he totally loved it!

Interested in a luxury skiing holiday? Visit Supertravel ski today! I just did! I am sure my son would be happy to know that mom and dad have already taken the first step in planning about that future skiing trip.

Our son loves the cold, he cherishes it. Our autumn trip to Europe last year proved it. I am now beginning to think he is not our son!

Seriously though, my husband and I are already  planning that skiing trip. But we want to do it when our son is a little bit older. It gives us time to save up on this trip because this trip certainly does not come cheap.

Personally I also do not want to scrimp on clothing and our accommodation. I want fashionably warm clothes and nice accommodation too. When I go on this particular holiday, I want to make sure it is one I will never forget.

There are so many places to go on a skiing trip but my son has two particular places in mind. He wants either in Switzerland or in France!

I don't know where he learned of those places but I am guessing he learned from his classmate who is from there. I remember I saw a picture attached to their world map, a boy skiing with his family.

Anyway, I think a perfect time to go on this holiday is December. The only question is which year? Let's see.

June 13, 2012

Hotel Review: Manila Marriott Hotel

I totally enjoyed our stay at Manila Marriott Hotel. It's a great hotel with great staff! Everything was smooth from arrival to check-in to the lovely rooms. I would recommend this hotel without any hesitation.

Marriott Hotel Manila


Marriott Hotel Manila
Our room

Marriott Hotel Manila
 We were given complimentary wifi in the room during check-in.

DSC_0164


Marriott Hotel Manila


Marriott Hotel Manila
I love the bathroom!

Selling point for this hotel:
1) Great location. It's very near the airports.
2) For shopaholics, the hotel is connected with Newport Mall.
3) Lovely rooms.
4) Great staff. Worth mentioning are the front office people and the waiters at the breakfast buffet.
5) Great breakfast selection.

School Search (Elementary) in Phnom Penh

Hubby and I just came back from checking East West International School for EJ. This is the third school we've checked.

The other two schools we visited were iCan British International School and British International School Phnom Penh.

Our first choice for EJ's school is iCan. We've heard of good feedback from parents and even from kids themselves (older siblings of EJ's classmates who attend the school). The kids say they love the school and are happy with the school. The school only accepts limited students. And unfortunately for EJ, the school is already full for his class.

The second school we checked was British International School Phnom Penh (BISPP). EJ took an exam as part of their admittance requirement. It was a two-hour exam of English and Math. We thought it wasn't age appropriate but since we were also curious to see how EJ would fare, we let him take the exam. Exam fee was $100.

EJ got 63%. Considering the difficulty of the exam, we were really proud of how well he's done. Imagine a 2-digit math exam, proper punctuations and essay writing for a 5-year old?

EJ, as expected did very well in English. In the essay part, they were asked to write something about his family and what he wrote brought tears to my eyes. This is what he wrote:

"My mom likes to kiss me. Me and my dad likes to play Mario Cart on Wii. My favorite game is Angry birds. (He wrote two more sentences here but I couldn't remember what it was)...I love my mom." 

Awww.......I love you, too baby! So much!!!

Anyway, he's accepted at BISPP for "Year 1" (equivalent to Kindergarten), which is age appropriate for him. But we thought it is better to check some other schools within our budget before committing.

As I have said above, we checked East West International School. We like the school for several reasons: good facilities (library is big), teacher's accreditations, tuition fee and EJ will be admitted in Grade 1 (ahead of his age). My only concern is that the school year 2012-13 starts on September 3 which is about a month late compared to the other schools here. In short, EJ won't have anything to do for about 5 weeks because his current summer program ends third week of July.

When you look at it, there's really no problem. But knowing EJ, he will be bored without anything to do for that long.

Sigh. I never thought it was this hard choosing a school for your child.

For reference purposes here are the school's tuition fee of the above mentioned schools:

iCan British International School
Tuition fee - $6,500 (can be paid in 4 payments)
Enrolment fee - $1,000
Capital fee - $1,000

British International School of Phnom Penh
Tuition fee - $4080 (can be paid in 3 payments)
Entrance fee - $1000
Registration fee - $100

East West International School
Tuition fee - $3,150 (can be paid in 2 payments)
Material fee - $300

We did not bother checking International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP) because the tuition alone is way beyond our budget ($12,000 ++).

For now, our only options are BISPP and East West. But we're leaning towards East West.

Let's see.

June 8, 2012

The Elephant Graduate

Congratulations to our little Elephant who finished the school year in high spirits! LOL!
 

Today is EJ's last day in school for this school year. But the short ceremony was done last Wednesday. The kids performed the classic nursery rhyme story, The Three Little Pig. It was so cute!


EJ was the second little pig. Here he is building his house of stick. He really got into the groove. LOL!


The big bad wolf is waiting to blow the second little pig's house away! LOL! After the short performance the kids received their "diploma" from their teachers.

Here are EJ's pictures with some of his friends.

With Luca

With Jack

With Ondai

With Vilgot

Tonight, we will celebrate EJ's accomplishment. We let him choose where he wants to eat and he said Sofitel. Expensive taste, baby. But hey, you deserve the treat!

Congratulations little big boy. We are so proud of you and your achievements. Keep it up. We love you so much.

June 5, 2012

Moving Again

Next week, we will be moving to another apartment. We just got settled back into our routine after our Philippine vacation and now I am busy packing our stuff again.

We decided to move to another apartment because our current apartment which has 4 bedrooms is too big for the three of us. It's really difficult to make the place clean all the time. But I do try. I guess it's one of the reason why I have lost so much weight also. Imagine the exercise I get from just cleaning everyday!

We're moving a to a 1-bedroom apartment that's in the city center. It's actually just beside Boeng Keng Kang market and will be walking distance to EJ's summer class school.

I like the new apartment because it's new and of course the furnitures and appliances are new. This will save us trips to appliance parts store in the future.

Hubby likes the dining area the most. The apartment has just one bedroom but it's big and has a big terrace. We are on the sixth floor so we have a pretty good view of the city. The apartment's rental also comes with a free house cleaning three times a week so that's big help to me.

Moving can be tiring and stressful but I guess I am used to it. I am actually excited to move!

June 2, 2012

Waiting

I am never good at waiting. It's one of those things I have to improve on.

Right now, I am here in a coffee shop with hubby. We're waiting anxiously for our son to finish his assessment exam. It's funny how it feels like I am the one who's taking the exam.

EJ is taking the exam as part of the school's requirement for admittance. We're actually not decided yet if we're going to send him to this school but we thought an assessment exam will also help us determine if he's advanced for his age (like most parents want to believe of their kids, lol!).

Seriously, I am concerned and nervous because it is EJ's first time to have a real exam. In his current school, they do have some activities that tests their progress and stuff but not the like those strict exam style.

I have been nervous since yesterday. I have trying to listen to music on my iPhone but it's not effective. My heart is beating faster, my hands are shaking a little and I feel like I wanna throw up. I haven't felt like this for a very long time! LOL!

Tick tock tick tock.

One more hour and my ordeal will be over.