Saturday, February 28, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

Husband & I aren't really big on Valentine's Day.  Well, we used to until we had kids.  Not that we are no longer romantic individuals because we still very much are.  It's just that we have become more closer and more loving to one another after we traveled together last year, and we do not need Valentine's day to re-validate our relationship's status.  I must say that the trip did us a lot of good and helped us re-explore our relationship.

Anyhoo, so even though we didn't do the usual stuff most couples do on V-Day, we did make an effort to celebrate in our own little way.  Last year, we did a cheesy, quiet dinner at home after the kids were tucked in bed.  This time, we went malling to find presents for our little ones from Baby A and had dinner Bollywood style at Gazebo.  

We ordered our usual fare, and of course, the Garlic Nan and the Buttered Chicken hit the spot! Super yummy!

yummers!

dating, hehe!
I also had cream-based Caramel Frappucino from Starbucks while we were moving from one shop to another.  I wish I stuck with my favorite coffee-based favorite because it tasted really blah and I hated it.  Eeeww.

at 31 weeks :)

I managed to convince my hubby that I needed a present this year because I was feeling low lately with all the stress at work and at home.  He obliged and got me this:

sweet medium Robin egg blue :)

I don't normally ask for presents because I'm the one who's used to giving surprises to my family.  But I do welcome small treats from time to time, and this bracelet is surely one of those I particularly appreciated receiving from dear husband.

lovely piece

Capped the day by getting two dozens of doughnuts for the kids.  Here's my firstborn with his heart-shaped Boston Creme.

cutie boy

How was your V-Day celebration?  Hope it was fun and memorable, too.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

BFF’s Surprise Bridal Shower

Last weekend, my cousin and I hosted my bestie Beth’s surprise intimate bridal shower at NStyle DIFC.  We thought it would be nice to do a nail spa-themed shower since the bride-to-be is fond of having her nails done on a regular basis.  Yes, she is more kikay than I am!

We had two weeks to prepare for the shower.  I booked the nail spa for 8 girls for a mani/pedi session.  The preparation for the simple decors was done in less than a day (banner & cupcake toppers).  Sugar cookies were made by dear husband, and balloons and bride-to-be fancy props including helium balloons were sourced from Party Centre.  Cupcakes decided the last minute so I rang Sweet Indulgence who I know can pull it off.  Sarj also got Beth an ube cake which is her ultimate favorite.  Everything was matchy-matchy to the nail spa, thankfully!

props & decors

sweets corner

It was a fun surprise but before we could all start the celebration, Beth was literally 50 minutes late, lol!  We were supposed to meet her at 4:00 pm but she had a not-so-nice day dealing with errands and client meet ups that she totally lost her cool around 3:45 pm and almost turned around to go home.  Thankfully, she had come to her senses and decided to still come despite her annoyance & frustration over her very tiring day.  When she arrived, we were already being pampered while two were actually done and just waiting for her to arrive. The nail spa treat was just perfect to end a very stressful day!

the Queen's majestic seat

fancy schmancy bling

We ordered a Shellac French Mani/Pedi for Beth plus a voucher for an aromatherapy massage for when she returns from their Scandinavian Trip for the wedding & honeymoon. 





We did two games during the shower.  First off was the “Advice Game” where guests had to write down their advice for the bride-to-be, and the other is “Down The Memory Lane Game” where the bride-to-be had to explain the relevance of certain phrases, names or words that remind her of her colorful love life.  Some friends had chipped in because I forgot 3 important names that were part of her love life story, haha!

She blew the candle on her birthday cake and then started opening her presents.  That was the most fun part of the evening, hahaha!!

the birthday girl


ultra fun day for our dear friend







We capped the day off by having dinner at Dome CafĂ© where we were treated to a 50% discount, too.  How awesome is that!

happy, pampered girls

When we were bidding Beth goodbye by her car with all her goodies and balloons, she started crying and I guess that’s when everything had finally sunk in.  I’m glad she was happy with her surprise, and that she was touched by our little treat :)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Perfect Lunchbox

Since my son started schooling, I have been on the look-out for the perfect lunchbox for him to use.  I want a straightforward container that has partitions for his food but sadly, the search has been very difficult.

As much as possible, I would like my son to eat a balanced meal even in school.  Fortunately for us, our son is not a picky eater.  He eats everything we serve on the table.  He sometimes asks for sausages or fried egg but would ALWAYS eat the available viand with his cupful of rice.  I guess we have trained him rather well because he is the kind of kid who eats any vegetable and is a fruit monster in the making.  This works to our advantage because his little sister looks up to him as a role model, and that means that whatever Dade eats, Lexie eats, too! :)

During Dade's FS1 year, we would frequently get notes from his teacher advising us to pack healthy snacks for him. We were told that he would often ask for snacks from his classmates and teacher, especially when they are eating apples or other food that he fancies.  At that time, we were only packing biscuits or crackers which he probably never really enjoyed.  It was rather embarrassing getting these notes from the teacher so we decided to send him proper, nutritional snacks to school for recess thereafter.

Now that he is in first grade and his day is longer compared to his pre-school years, I've decided to send him rice in school for him to eat during his 40-minute break.  The rice meal would also be accompanied by crackers, veggie slices or fruit.  I had him use a Lock and Lock lunch kit meant for adults but I didn't like it that much because he had to open two containers and the plastic on the partition was flimsy looking.  With the limited choices we have here, I made do with what was available.

Until a few weeks ago, I saw my friend, Shelly post in IG her son's new lunchbox that he is using in the States (they have moved there just last year).  I was quickly drawn to the lunchbox's design -- it is exactly what I needed for Dade!  And cutely enough, it is appropriately called Yumbox.

It is sadly not available in Dubai so I had to order one from Amazon.  I had asked my son's godfather who was at that time on a holiday in the US to bring it home, and after a few weeks since I placed my order, I got my hands on this super cute bento lunchbox in Myrtille Blue.  

so excited to use it! 

It is a 6-compartment leakproof lunchbox that I have tried and tested myself.  It includes a tray insert with Pirate and Mermaid themed illustrations.  The 6 compartments are equivalent to 1/2 cup portions each of the following food groups: dairy, protein, fruit, veggies, grains and a small dip well.  This made things very easy for me to plan my son's baon for school because I now have a guide on what I should throw in his lunchbox.  It guarantees a balanced meal with healthy portions which makes it quite attractive for an OC Mom like me, hee hee!

uber cute illustrations

One of the major selling points of this lunchbox is that it is made with food-safe materials.  It is bpa-free and phthalates-free.  Bpa and Phthalates are two things I watch out for in every container that touches my kids' food.  

first Yumbox bento for Dade
wiped out! hooray!! 
the next day's meal.  yep, my boy eats ampalaya!

This lunchbox is designed by Moms and its patent is currently pending.  Yumbox is recommended for picky eater kids because it gives variety and a parent can be creative in terms of putting things together to make the meal more attractive and fun.  Whereas I don't think it is lightweight enough, it is handy to bring to picnics, travel or camping.  I have ordered for the original Yumbox but there is a version called Panino which has 4 compartments and is more apt for kids 8 and above.  It has a bigger section which can take on a full sandwich, salad or pasta serving meant for older kids.  

I plan on ordering another Yumbox for Lexie when she is ready to go to school.  This Spring, Yumbox will release their pastel line with slightly bigger compartments.  I will definitely get one for our princess, and I am already eyeing the pink one!