Hong Kong, March 2014

A few weeks ago, I had to fly to Hong Kong for work.  It was supposed to be just one quick meeting, so I was thinking of taking an early morning flight there then flying home the same day.  But then, my mom suddenly said she wanted to go with me, and we decided to stay a few days.

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I haven’t traveled with my mom in years!  It’s funny how she doesn’t seem to realize I’m in my late 30s now and still makes me pose for solo pictures at every corner.

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Seriously, Mom? ;)

We mostly shopped for toys and other stuff for the kids… had to get a balikbayan box for all our purchases from Wise Kids!

One thing we did differently was to take the Star Ferry instead of the MTR to go back and forth from Central and TST.  The harbor views were really refreshing, and it was sooooo cold!

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Aside from the shopping, we also enjoyed all the eating we did.  Nothing fancy, just walked into a bunch of places with our shopping bags in hand and no reservations required.

Our first stop was the Crystal Jade just across the street from our hotel, where had a quick snack before I rushed off to my meeting.

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Crispy eel, xiao long bao, and my favorite veggies at Crystal Jade

I love Crystal Jade’s xiao long bao!  I was so excited when they opened in Manila, but sayang that it’s not the same.

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Modern China’s spicy eggplant appetizer

For dinner, Mom and I decided on Modern China in Times Square.  The minced pork is really good.  I always enjoy wrapping food and eating with my hands, but I would have preferred having lettuce cups instead of the sesame pockets, which were a bit oily.

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Roasted King fish

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Minced pork and pickled vegetables in sesame pockets

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Vegetables in lobster bisque with shredded ham

For dessert, we walked to my favorite Cong Sao Star, which used to be located on the ground floor of Holiday Inn Express just across Times Square.  They relocated to a new location just a stone’s throw away, and even if it’s not as easy to find, there’s always a line.

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We decided to get our desserts to go.

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Cong Sao Star’s cold mango sweet tofu and hot almond cream, both so yummy!

The next day we had breakfast in our hotel.  Meh.

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Far better to take the Star Ferry to Kowloon for yum cha at Ye Shanghai!

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The dimsum selections are delicious, but I also love Ye Shanghai for the XO sauce on every table.  I’m addicted to XO sauce!!

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After shopping at Harbor City, we headed over to the Ikea on Causeway Bay where I wanted to check out the high chairs.

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I considered getting one of these for Naomi, but it wouldn’t be able to fit into our balikbayan box, and I didn’t want to have to carry a chair to the airport

We stocked up on small kitchen and picnic stuff instead, and after shopping, grabbed some quick snacks at the Ikea bistro.

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And then after hauling back our loot to the hotel, we decided to a quick and cheap dinner at Tai Hing before calling it a night.

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Tai Hing is well known for their iced milk tea, but to me it’s just all right.  I really like their sweet and sour pork, though.

 

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The next day, we had our last lunch together at Cafe Landmark.  The lines can get really long during lunch time, so it’s best to go early.

32Cafe Landmark is so sundrenched and airy that you’re pretty much guaranteed a nice lunch in this place.  My mom loved it, too.

 

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Mom and I decided to spit one pasta and one sandwich between the two of us.  The lobster linguine is so delicious and portion size is generous.  They also have a daily set lunch, but that day it was chicken curry and we weren’t in the mood for that.

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My mom loved Cafe Landmark despite having to line up for a bit

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Gorgeous and colorful innards of my Cafe Landmark club sandwich with avocado

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My favorite lobster linguine!

My mom had to catch an earlier flight back to flight due to a last minute embassy interview early the next day.  I took her to the airport soon after lunch, then took a long nap back at the hotel.

Later that night, I did some last minute shopping at Muji, and ended up having dinner at Muji Cafe&Meal right inside the store.

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Muji Cafe is set up canteen-style, where you line up and point to your choices. They have set meals that come with rice and miso soup.

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Roast squash, seaweed salad, and sesame salad with Japanese rice and soup

I chose 3 different salads and ate them with yummy Japanese rice.  Who knew salads with rice would actually be good?  This was my last meal before flying back home.

Ace Water Spa Buffet

If you’ve been to Kapitolyo, then you’ve probably noticed the Ace Hotel & Suites building, all lit up at night.  My family had dinner at the hotel buffet a while back, and it’s pretty good value for money.  Jacob enjoyed the view of the pools, too.

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Here are some food shots, in case you’d like to see…

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Sushi (but no sashimi)

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Dimsum

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Tempura

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Make your own rice toppings

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Make your own pasta

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A modest selection of hot dishes

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Roast pork ribs

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Make your own tacos

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Grilled-on-the-spot seafood

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Make your own shabu-shabu bowl

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Not bad!  Some of the dishes are definitely skippable, but I wouldn’t mind going back for the grilled seafood and shabu shabu.  If I remember correctly, I think we paid around P500 per person.

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ACE WATER SPA, United cor. Brixton StS., Pasig City

Bag Raid!

I’ve been doing a few bag raids on my Instagram, and it’s so much fun that I’ve decided to start posting them on the blog as well.  The contents of someone’s bag reveal so much about a person’s life, don’t you think?

But before shamelessly asking other people for a look into their bags, it’s only fair that I first share what’s in mine:

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Wallet.  The leather smells good and looks even better as it ages, and I prefer wallets that zip all the way closed.  Love the color too — somewhere in between orange and tan.

Powerocks powerbank.  Extra battery for my phone when I’m out and about.  My friend Van gave this to me.

Reusable tote.  I have lots, and always pop one into my bag before leaving the house.  This particular one is from Spoiled, my cousin Funfy’s mom-and-baby store, and Funfy had it personalized with my name.

RuMe baggie.  This ultra-lightweight baggie is great for stashing random things such as bills, receipts, GC’s, post-its, whatever I need to carry around for the day.

Mustela baby wipes.  I always keep baby wipes on hand for myself and my kids.  Mustela makes the best ones because like most Mustela products, they make you smell like a newborn baby.  Gentle enough to wipe off makeup too.

Cosmetic kit.  In it, I keep my Mac blot powder, some lip color, Carmex, Peppermint Fields inhaler, and spray alcohol.

Bullet journal.  I just started this a few weeks ago, and I love it!  Bullet journaling has really helped me get organized.  Check out the bullet journal website or my friend Kris’s super helpful blog post if you’re interested in starting your own.

Coin purse.  This has sentimental value because it was my grandfather’s.

Keys.  For home and the office.

Phone.  Not in photo because I used it to take the photo.

Stay tuned for more bag raids, coming soon!

How to raise a happy, successful, and cooperative child

My friend Ross sent me this by email, and I’m posting it here so I can refer to it anytime.  If you’ve got kids, you might find this helpful too!  Thanks for sharing, Rosing! xx

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via The Child Whisperer

Congratulations, Lactacyd Gift Pack Winners!

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Thank you so much to all those who joined my Lactacyd giveaway!  Here are the winners:

lactacyd winners

I’ll be emailing you to ask for your shipping information so that the peeps over at Sanofi-Aventis can send you your prizes.  Thanks again for joining and have a happy weekend!

D-I-Y Shoebox Playhouse

Don’t you just love D-I-Y cardboard play houses?  I know I do!  Jacob and I crafted one together a few years back.  We had a lot of fun with that house, even if it’s not in the same league as THIS shoebox playhouse Jacob brought home from preschool…

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In case you’re wondering, yes the kids really worked on this playhouse themselves!  With help from their super crafty and super creative Teacher She, of course.  Jacob’s teacher worked on and prepared all the little furniture and appliances on her own, and the kids basically did all the pasting and gluing.  They all worked hard on this play house for over a week.

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The bedroom, complete with handsewn pillow on the tiny bed.

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Bathroom stocked with toilet paper and Johnsons baby bath products.  I know, right?!!

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May bath tub pa!!!

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TV/living room.

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Dining room with a bag of my favorite Lays barbecue flavored potato chips on the table.

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The kitchen is really nice!

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And when I peeked into the fridge, surprise!  It was stocked with ice cream and sodas!

So yeah, I think it’s safe to say this house trumps the one Jacob and I built together years ago, lol.  Don’t you just love it?  It’s the perfect size for Jacob’s Playmobil people.