August 31, 2012

Ayia Napa Clubbing Holidays 2013: The Essentials

Are clubbing holidays 2013 set to be your first ever taste of clubbing in the sun? Never fear, wee one, we’ve all been there – and there’s plenty of photos on Facey to prove it.

Holidays to Ayia Napa are some of the most epic in Europe; you’ll definitely not be disappointed. But despite what your mates say, your mum is right (as always); getting this planned now will guarantee you’re sorted next summer.

Speak to your mates about booking your Ayia Napa clubbing holidays 2013 now. They’ll probably tell you it’s too soon, but the web-exclusive advanced booking discounts are on clubbing holiday sites – it’s definitely worth it.

When you know the exact price of your break, paying it off seems so much easier. Gone is the stress of wondering whether you’ll end up busking by the underground - just pay bits of week by week and you’ll be away before you know it.

Before you fly, check: your passport (you’ll need at least six months on it from the date of your return), travel insurance (protecting you should your watersports stunt go terribly wrong), EHIC card, and travel documents. It’s also wise to leave your holiday deets with your parents. You know, just in case.

When you do land on the shores of Ayia Napa, the first thing that will hit you is the amazing heats. Cyprus has sensational summers, of well over 30 degrees C. Pack plenty of sun lotion for days spent on Nissi Beach and at WaterWorld waterpark.

As the night falls, The Square is going to blow you away. Some of the best clubs in the world are here including The Castle, Starskys and the iconic Ice Club, where tons of international events are held. If you know your stuff you’ll probably recognise it.

Let’s get this party started! Holidays to Ayia Napa are just sitting online waiting for you to do a quick Google. Get on it, my friend.

August 30, 2012

Yoku Moku Cigare

I received a gift from a Japanese friend. She said it's a Japanese cookie. I didn't think much of it because I have successfully avoided cookies for almost a year now.  Well, I still eat sometimes but unlike before where I just gobble everything up. LOL!

Anyway, I opened the gift one afternoon. I was thinking of pairing it with my tea. I love the packaging! Look how each cookie is wrapped individually.




Yoku Moku Cigare

It looks like the Philippines' barquillos but more buttery and more delicate but still very crunchy. I love it. EJ loves it too.

Since it's my first time to have tasted this cookie, I googled it. I've learned that Yoku Moku is a world famous Japanese confectioner. And Yoku Moku Cigare is one of their world's best seller.

Wow! I still have probably 10 more pieces. I'll make sure it will last a little bit longer. LOL!

Thank you so much Yuki for this gift. And see you soon in Tokyo! :)

August 28, 2012

MBA and Losing Weight

My husband is planning on enrolling in a MBA course. If he has a choice, he'd prefer going to a regular MBA class but it is not just possible right now to do that.

He would have to take at least six months off from work and he would have to take gmat classes, go through rigorous application process, etc. I heard though that Veritas Prep is a big help to incoming MBA students but like I said, hubby cannot afford to take off that long from work.

So, he's looking at an alternative - an online MBA course. He said, there are short courses available and it is perfect for him because he doesn't need go on leave from work. I told him, I'd help him research about it. But so far, I haven't started looking yet. Bad wife!

If you know of an online MBA course, please let me know so I can check. Thank you!

~~~
Still on my husband..

Determination, discipline, constancy and of course a little inspiration go a long way when you are trying to lose weight. You may not get the reward right away but when you do, it will be really sweet.

Hubby is now 70kgs. His goal is 68kgs, so that's a couple more of kilos to go. 

Slim shoulders now, eh? LOL!

We used to make jokes about discipline. We used to say, if only we could buy discipline in a bottle, life wouldn't be too hard.

But you know what, discipline is just a matter of practice. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

Hon, congrats on the weight loss! Let's be healthy the rest of our lives. Cheers!

August 25, 2012

Konichiwa Tokyo!

Japan is no longer a dream. We got our visa yesterday and we will be flying there on October. Yay, we're coming Tokyo!

I was surprised how fast the visa processing was. I will write about the whole application process in my travel blog. But let me just say here that it was one of the fastest visa application we've done and the visa was free!

I have made temporary itinerary for our travel but I need to research more. It's not going to be a long vacation so I need to make sure that we will visit all the must-visit places in Tokyo.

I have already penned Tokyo Disneyland (for EJ), Tokyo Skytree (recently opened, the tallest tower in the world),  the electronic/gadget area, and a side trip to Hakone to see Mount Fuji. My friend also asked me to source Plastic Printers for her business.

It's going to be a full packed trip but I am getting excited.  Japan is one of my must-visit country before I die. I am happy I'll be crossing off that in my list soon.

My 34th

Mid thirties, here I come!

Oh yeah, I am not one to shy away from mentioning my real age. For me, it's just a number. What's important is that those numbers are well-lived and enjoyed to the fullest.

I turned 34yo last Wednesday, almost two weeks after EJ's birthday. My birthday, after I gave birth to EJ, is almost a non-event now. I don't mind. I just want to have a quiet time with my family anyway.

But hubby insisted we have lunch with friends. So I invited Ate Elms and hubby's friends for lunch. We went to Trasak Paem, one of my favorite local restaurant.

Then, for dinner the three of us just went to Bistro Lorenzo. I was craving for their pork BBQ.

 Dinner at Bistro Lorenzo

Before the day ended, I asked hubby to take pictures of us as souvenir of my 34th. Hahaha! We were all in a playful mood so here's the result of the after dinner pictorial at home. LOL!

Spell happy

We asked EJ to take a picture of hubby and I.

My boys. I love them so much!

This one is funny. I wanted a solo picture, but EJ ran and stuck this paper on my arms. Oh well :)

As you get older, birthday celebrations aren't as big as when you were younger. These days I am just content to have a nice time with my boys and a couple of friends. 

Hubby gave me dumbbells as present. He said it was a temporary gift. He'll buy the real gift when we are in Bangkok next week. Oh I can't wait! :)

So there you have it. My 34th.

I thank God for everything that I am and that I have. I am so blessed to have reached this age, to have a wonderful husband and a son who's a constant source of joy and pride. If I may be allowed to wish for more, it's good health for the three of us.

August 21, 2012

The Joy of Sharing

My friend, Ate Elma, invited us to join her in gift-giving. She said she met a family with six young children during one of her walks in the outskirts of Phnom Penh near her home. The family, she said, looks like they could use additional clothes for the kids and some food.

Without hesitation I said yes.

So, the day after EJ's birthday we trooped to the said place. I brought some of EJ's clothes and toys to share. I also brought some foods. Ate Elma brought a lot of goodies to share.

When we reached the place, I was not prepared for what I saw. The house that they are renting is almost bare with only a few old and tattered things.

There were five small children, two were not wearing any shirts on. The eldest, was with the father picking lotus seed to sell.


Photos courtesy of Ate Elma

EJ, sharing some of his clothes and toys. It was definitely one of the poignant moment in our lives.

I noticed that the kids ignored the food momentarily when EJ started giving the toys. They were caught up with the toys and immediately played with it. Ahh, kids. Such simple needs and priorities.

In as much as it was about making them happy, we also got something in return. EJ got an instant lesson in life, about poverty and generosity. He will never learn that in school.

We left with a smile and a promise to come back again.

August 19, 2012

Weekend at Cambodian Country Club

We wanted a weekend that doesn't involve any gadget so hubby and I decided to book an overnight stay at Cambodian Country Club.


This is their standard room. I booked our accommodation thru Agoda for $45/night. The rate already includes breakfast for two adults and the use of their amenities like swimming pool, tennis courts, badminton court, volleyball and gym. Horse back riding is chargeable for $18/hour (this is 50% off for inhouse guests only).


The boys checked the TV channels right away. Uh-oh! Not a good idea boys. After resting for a few minutes, we went to the airport to pick up a friend. On the way out, we saw a mini soccer field and made a mental note to play there the following day.

Our friend's flight was delayed so it was late when we went back to the hotel. Since we already had snacks at the airport, we only had a light dinner at their restaurant. EJ said he liked the fish and chips. 

The pool at night


{The restaurant}


This was the free breakfast - slices of bread with jam and butter, two eggs any style, two sausage, strips of bacon, grilled tomato and a coffee or juice. Not bad actually. 


At 8AM, the pool was still empty so we had the pool all to ourselves. 


Horse back riding area. Hubby said he wants EJ to try this but EJ vehemently said no. LOL!



We had a fun and relaxing weekend but we did not get to try the other activities. I actually wanted to do roller skating but we ran out of time. We also didn't even play in the mini soccer field like we promised ourselves.

But then again, that's something to look forward to the next time we visit. Yes, we will definitely come back.

August 16, 2012

EJ's 6th part 2

Like I said in my previous post, EJ is still on vacation. His school starts next month so I don't have his classmates to invite. He only has a couple of friends who's here in Phnom Penh (others are still on holiday) so we invited them over for a small celebration at home.

EJ said: Today I am 5 years and 12 months old :)

We decided to be all in yellow that day. 

EJ with his friends. He looks super excited and happy.

The food we served our guests: assorted bread, nachos, hotdog on sticks, sticky rice with cheese toppings, bread roll, pork BBQ and bam-i (ordered from Bistro Lorenzo)m spring roll, chicken nuggets and the blueberry cheesecake was from Blue Pumpkin.

I prepared a piñata with the usual candies and chocolates. The kids had a field day! 

The adult visitors

Later on the night, we went to Himawari Hotel together with one of EJ's godfather - Romeo. Ninong Romeo just arrived last month here in Cambodia and is working with another telecoms company, hubby's company's competitor. LOL! Small world.

It was supposed to be either red or blue for all of us but we all don't have clothes in one color so EJ was in red while hubby and I are in blue.

With Ninong Romeo who coincidentally is wearing shirt with blue color

EJ said he had a lovely day. I thought he really did, especially with his friends. It's so nice to make a kid happy especially on his birthday.

August 15, 2012

The Handsomest

This is EJ's latest ID picture. We had another ID picture taken last Monday for our Japan visa application.


EJ simply looks happy and handsome in his ID picture, doesn't he? :)

Hubby and I are both ecstatic that EJ seems to finally have conquered his fear of having his picture taken inside a studio. Well, he was actually scared of those two big square thing that flash.

Before we went to a studio, I talked to him all morning. Yup, all morning. And even before that I have been talking to him about our upcoming studio trip.

But as always, he seems fine days before the actual picture taking. The only problem occurs when we are on the way to the studio.

So that day, I talked to him calmly and patiently. I explained that there is nothing to worry or fear. I just kept on repeating myself. I want to drive the point home.

When hubby arrived for lunch at home, I also told him to talk to EJ. The kiddo seemed okay all throughout and on the way to the studio.

I was really expecting he'd cry again like the previous ones. But thankfully he sat down on the chair calmly. I hold his hands and asked hubby to hold EJ's hands on the other side.

The photographer told him to smile, and he did! What a miracle!

I hope his fear or phobia is really gone. I am just so happy and so proud of my son.

August 11, 2012

EJ's 6th

Our boy turned 6 years old last Friday. Oh, where did the time go? He is growing up so fast and I there's nothing I can do about that.


EJ woke up early on his birthday. I think he was really excited to open his present. And just like we expected, he loves the books we gave him.

Hubby and I wrote a short note on the homemade card which I attached to his present. When he read it, he got teary eyed and then he hugged us both tightly. I think he got the message.

We had a little party at home for him and a couple of his friends. He is still on summer break so I wasn't able to invite his classmates. But he said it was just perfect.

And later on that day, we just had a quite dinner at Himawari Hotel with his Ninong Romeo.

EJ said he had the best party that day and he wants to have another one. LOL!

~~~

Happy birthday my baby! I wish you nothing but the best of health and the best attitude towards life. Daddy and I will always be here for you, to guide you and to love you always.

August 10, 2012

A Brief Guide to the P&O Aurora

If you really want to know what it's like to spend time aboard the P&O Aurora then the truth is that you'll have to book yourself a trip and set sail at some point. But we can offer you some idea of just what the ship might have in store if you manage to do so in the not too distant future.

First of all, you might well notice on approaching that the elegant and some might say extravagantly designed Aurora has a quite striking tiered feature at its stern. Another of the design elements that you wont fail to notice once you're on-board is the waterfall that sits in the central atrium and is a sight to behold in its own right. Thereafter you'll have chance to check out some of the ship's impressive facilities, from a cinema, to a casino, its range of bars and restaurants, its three swimming pools and spa and gym areas.

The range of restaurants certainly bears greater inspection, with the al fresco Pennant Grill and Marco Pierre White's Café Bordeaux undoubtedly among the highlights. In terms of bars as well you'll find some great options, not least the Crow's Nest lounge that sits high up on the Aurora and offers some incredible views out to sea.

You can choose from a remarkably long list of prospective destinations if you're planning your next P&O cruise and the Aurora sets sail for many of the foremost hotspots around the Mediterranean and beyond. It is a mid-size family-oriented ship offering excellent value for money and, while they can't quite be promised as standard, very often she delivers quite unforgettably wonderful holidays for family groups of all sizes. There are a broad range of P&O cruise deals available at any given time and it is well worth carrying out the necessary research to figure out just which package suits your requirements most precisely.

August 8, 2012

EJ Gets Books

EJ's 6th birthday is in two days. We have already bought books as present for him. It's wrapped and it's just sitting nicely in one corner.

EJ asked what's inside it. We told him he would have to find out on his birthday. Like I said so many times, the good thing about EJ is he can wait.

Anyway, I am thinking of buying him another present. Maybe a guitar or drums. He's been showing a lot of interest in music.

He actually said he wants to be a rockstar one day. But then again his choice changes every single day. LOL!

If I can find some music related instrument that's not heavy on the pocket, I might consider buying it. But for now, the books are the best present we could give him.

August 6, 2012

Biko With Cheese Toppings

I was craving for biko (sticky rice) the other day after I saw a friend from facebook post her version of biko. I actually wanted to try her recipe again but she uses purple glutinous rice which I couldn't find here. Or maybe I am not looking hard enough.

Anyway, I still made the biko using the white glutinous rice but I added a little twist. Instead of wrapping the sticky rice in banana leaf (like in my province), I just put the sticky rice (mixed with coconut milk and sugar) on a banana leaf.

I put it in a pan and cooked it again over low fire. Then I grated a kraft eden cheese and put it on top of the sticky rice. Here's the result.


{My biko with cheese toppings}

It does look like a bibingka, right? Well, I am glad I made my biko like this because it tasted good. The cheese complements the sweet coconut and the banana leaf lends its aroma to the dish.

I am going to make another one this week and see if it wasn't just a fluke. LOL! 

August 2, 2012

Wat Botum Park: Kids Haven

I know EJ was getting bored watching the same TV show all morning because he keeps on changing the channel. Speaking of, I need to buy a new corner tv stands for the bedroom.

Anyway, I promised him we'd get some fresh open air and stretch our muscles a bit in the afternoon. That got him excited.

So after I finished my work yesterday, we went to Wat Bottom (Botum) Park. It's the park before Silver Pagoda. It's parallel to Sothearos Blvd.

The weather was really nice for outdoor activity yesterday - cloudy and windy.


At 4:30pm, the place is just starting to get crowded. 


Rides and swing for the younger ones.

EJ, warming up..


He loves this! Looking pro, babe. Hehe!


I told him not to run, but in a place like this, I think my caution was just thrown into the wind. 


What a cutie!


Spider web attraction


Hold on tightly!


EJ, playing with local kids.

It was our first time there yesterday. And EJ had a blast. He was so tired from running, climbing and getting himself tangled in the ropes. I think we'll go there again soon.

August 1, 2012

My Amazon Order Is Here

EJ is turning 6 on August 10. And I thought of books as our birthday present for him. He loves books and he loves trivia.

He has a "Weird but True 2" book from National Geographic which we bought here in Phnom Penh. He loves it so much that he wants to buy the first edition. Unfortunately, it's not available here.

When we went on a vacation in Philippines last April and May, we looked at the bookstores in Manila but it was also out of stock.

Then I remembered to check Amazon. The "Weird but True" first edition is on stock plus they have the "Weird but True 3" already. I immediately ordered both books and added 1 more book entitled "The Big Book of Why".  I am sure EJ would love these books.

I ordered it last Wednesday and it arrived yesterday. That was a quick shipment!


{The box, from Amazon}


{Three books, check}


{Weird But True (1 and 3): 300 Outrageous Facts (National Geographic Kids) Paperback $7.95 each}


{TIME for Kids BIG Book of Why: 1,001 Facts Kids Want to Know (Time for Kids Magazine) Hardcover $10.62}

The shipping and handling cost $47.96. It's a little bit pricey but I believe it is worth it. I can already imagine EJ's eyes growing big as he opens the box.

I have already gift-wrapped the box and EJ saw it already. I told him it's our present for him on his birthday and he can only open it on his birthday. He only said "Hmmm..I wonder what's inside."

The great thing about EJ is he can wait. If it was me, I'd have ripped the box open already. LOL!

Now that my first Amazon order is successful, I can't wait to shop for more. Hahaha!