Family Day Out

Monday 30 April 2012

Papa E took the day off today (& tomorrow) for an extended Ina's birthday celebration. And since the weather is still the same today as it has been for all the days this month, it again rained pretty much the whole day. Hence why we decided to go swimming instead.

We went to this waterpark that one of my colleagues suggested that  we try out, the Splashdown waterpark in Poole. It was an hour drive away and we headed out there right after lunch. According to their website they are open today from 2 to 9pm. We were early so we decided to check out the area. The waterpark was within this commercial centre called Tower Park. There are a lot on offer such us kids play area, bowling, bingo, gym, amusement centre, 16 screen cinema and plenty of places to eat. And as a bonus, free parking for all their customers!  

The waterpark was bigger than I expected. They have a basic kiddie pool which was about 2 meters deep which Poj enjoyed a lot. Then there was another toddler pool which has a beginner flume and a small slide and water pistons that kids could play with. The water on this one was less than 1 meter deep. They have outdoor and indoor pools as they are open for the whole year and has 12 different flume rides for all the thrill seekers out there. But we stayed mostly on the surprisingly big jacuzzi which they call spa pool. It was big enough for Poj to swim about!   We were there til almost 6pm, an indication that Poj had a wonderful time.    

We also tried one of the restaurants in the area before our drive home.   All in all it was a fantastic family day =) And we have David to thank for suggesting this place to us, thanks David!

Coffee and Cake

Sunday 29 April 2012

I'm not a rain person, and now that it has been raining every single day of this month, we are very limited to what we can do. And today is no exception. It has rained non-stop, wet-cold-grey! It was a perfect representation of how I felt today.

To end the day I'm having two slices of cakes and a cup of coffee with the hope it'll warm me up a little.  It would've worked if I didn't check the forecast which was rain and showers and more rain! Oh no, that could only mean one thing, longer hibernation!


Saturday 28 April 2012

This photo was taken when we were having brunch. It's my birthday but it's raining so we were limited to what we could do.  I wished to dine in a Japanese restaurant in town but there was a BIG Southampton game earlier which meant going to town was a no no. My second choice was Italian but I didn't want to plan my own birthday. I usually plan what happens daily at home and at work. I didn't really want to plan my own birthday =(

But it's still my birthday and I'm grateful. Grateful to everyone around me and my family who loves me & to all of my friends who remembered my day. A lot of people told me that I have to be in Facebook to make it easier to get in touch. And I believe that is correct, but now that I am not, the ones who made an effort to text, call and sent me cards - I am specially touched and grateful. Thank you =)

Flowers and Card

Friday 27 April 2012

Thank God it's Friday! This week has not been particularly good. But we are lifting our troubles to God coz we know He would not abandon us...

And today when I came in to work, my manager surprised me with a birthday card signed by everyone on  our team. And my partner at work, Danielle gave me this gorgeous bouquet of flowers. She said she bought it for my birthday and to cheer me up, which it did!

I am also delighted that everyone loved the cake that I made for them. I made the same cake that I did for Poj's friend. I only had Thursday evening to do it so I decided to go for one that is simple to make and is tried and tested. I even got a text when I got home from my colleague who said that it was amazing. =)

Now I am looking forward to the weekend to celebrate my birthday with my boys! Thank goodness for the flowers, card and the weekend =)

Noddy Party Invite

Thursday 26 April 2012

It's true when I said that Poj's social life is more active than ours! He received another party invite today. =)

This is his first party invite for next month.  I love taking him to these parties because it helps develop his social skills. It makes my heart swell with pride whenever he is able to hold a proper conversation with adults and play well with other kids.

I am also excited to attend this party because I am good friends with the family. I am really looking forward to catching up with them and our common friends =)

Roll on May and for party time!


Books Again?!

Wednesday 25 April 2012

I ordered these from the BookPeople.  It is a company that sells books at discounted prices. They usually come to the hospital to leave book samples and order sheet. The idea is that you put in your order & someone in the department would help collect the payment before the delivery date. We are lucky that they come to us coz I usually order books for Poj's from them. They also have a website but they charge for delivery for small orders.

This is an eight book set which is packed with activities that help boost a pre-schoolers literacy and numeracy skills. Poj is at a stage of wanting to learn more and sometimes I ran out of ideas. And I believe that these books would be a big help. I love the idea of being able to do stuff with Poj to keep him busy while he is learning. 
And another great thing about this book set is that I bought it for £6 when the RRP is £31.92! 

I know it's another set of books, but as they say - kids can't have too many of books! =)

Disney 365 Bedtime Stories

Tuesday 24 April 2012

We attended a birthday party last Saturday and the theme was Disney. And after going home they gave Poj a wrapped parcel with a big Mickey Mouse sticker and his name lovingly written beside it. It was late when we got home so I kept it to be opened another day. 

I took it out today and Poj opened it and was happy with it's contents. There was a Disney 365 Bedtime Stories and Cars colouring book. He love books and is now starting to get to know the other Disney characters so you can imagine how wide eyed and happy he was with these pressies =)

Now I have a ready story every night that I could read to him before going to bed =)

Thanks Kuya Cayden & Kian! 

Perfect Fit!

Monday 23 April 2012

One of the things we bought from Gunwharf Quays yesterday was this Gap polo shirt. Poj was in no mood to try any clothes yesterday as he was busy playing with his friend, Cayden. But I couldn't resist buying this cute shirt especially since it was 75% off. We needed to buy new shirts for him coz the ones that he's got at home are all being worn for nursery. Ito ang hirap sa walang uniform diba, nauubos ang mga damit!

I'm glad he was more cooperative today and agreed to try it out (we only have 14 days to return it kasi eh) and I'm delighted that it was a perfect fit. Good job! Ayan may shirt na sya for his birthday at pang-gala, haha! =)

L'Occitane Cherry Blossom Gift Set

Sunday 22 April 2012

Hello, hello! Somehow for the past two weeks it was extremely difficult to be on top of my 365 blog. I have the photos but getting to a wifi area was a challenge when we were away and when we got back we had commitments to attend to. But I think that's it now for a while.. No more birthday parties lined up for ourselves or for Poj.

Today we went to Gunwharf Quays with our friends who live at Hertfordshire (106 miles/ 2 hours drive away). They all spent the night at our friends'(Cheche and Tantan) so we were able to enjoy their company for one more day. This place is a shopping outlet and they had good bargains to be had. 
One of them is this L'Occitane Cherry Blossom gift set which was more than half price cheaper than if bought from their usual shops. This is for my sister who would be celebrating her birthday on the 22nd May. She is the best sister anyone could wish for. She's always there for us and looks after the whole family. Kaya naman kapag may gusto yun, we try our best to get it for her kasi bihira yun magsabi ng gusto nya. She loves these stuff kaya I'm so excited for her to get it!

I just need to get gifts for my parents and I could send my gift box for my family. Hay, ang hirap ng malayo, gustuhin ko mang personally iabot ang mga gifts namin, I'm afraid Mr Postman would have to do it for us....

Kit Kat Cake

Saturday 21 April 2012

We attended a triple birthday celebration today =)  It was our friend, Tantan's birthday as well as his 2 boys. Kian, our inaanak turned ONE and their first born Cayden is now THREE.

The original plan was to have lunch at the Bella Italia Restaurant and a dessert picnic at one of the beautiful gardens in Romsey. But the weather was the same as it was for the whole of April, so we proceeded to their house for dessert and dinner. It was the best decision as it was still too cold to stay outdoors and not to mention the on & off rain.

We made a cake for the boys, and since I didn't have much time I decided to make one which was similar to my Easter Sunday cake (click here for the pic and recipe). But instead of using Cadbury chocolate fingers I used Kitkat chocolates as the fence and a combination of Smarties and generic coated chocolates. And since I know that the boys love Disney Cars, I added three Cars designed chocolate lollipops as decors. I finished it off by recycling the ribbon that I used last time.

It was perfect for the Cars designed candles they had ready. And as you can see ont he picture, Cayden couldn't keep his eyes off his cake!

It was a lovely day with lots of food, stories and laughter. It's hard to imagine that we were just together last week for Papa E's birthday party and yet we still had lots to talk about! Great time indeed! =)

Happy Birthday once again to Tantan, Cayden and Kian. xoxo

Kings Cross and the Platform 9 ¾

Friday 20 April 2012

We are on our way home from Paris and on our when we arrived at St Pancras International, we passed by the Kings Cross tube (underground) station. From here we caught our tube to Waterloo where we transfer to the overground train to Southampton.

If you're a Harry Potter fan this station would be familiar to you as this was mentioned in the mythology a couple of times. 
It was used as the departure station for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardly students.  The Hogwarts express departs from Platform 9¾ in September. 
The Kings Cross is also the title of Chapter 35 in the Harry Potter final book, the Deathly Hollows. It was also used as the final setting of the Harry Potter series.

As a big HP fan, I love coming here and never miss a chance for a photo op with the trolley through the wall. The whole thing is enough to make any fan feel that they're on their way to Hogwarts =)

Papa E's birthday!

Thursday 19 April 2012

Today is Papa E's real birthday. I'm glad he still feels it is special coz we are on holiday (& celebrating it together) even though it rained for the most part of our stay here.

And I can't let the day end without even just a slice of cake. And the restaurant is serving their brownies with a scoop of ice cream even when it's freezing! But I have to say it was rich and moist and very chocolatey!

Today is also our last day here in Paris. So we enjoyed a quiet stroll in the morning and a bit of window shopping. It's sad to say goodbye but we are also glad to be heading home. Namimiss na namin ang mga Pinoy food, hehe.

Happy Birthday again Papa E. We love you! =)

Wasted Day, Not!

Hindi talaga nakisama si Mr Sun sa amin at sa aming bakasyon =( So we have to change our plan and so for today we decided to make the most of the day by enjoying our beautiful hotel. The original plan was to spend the whole day in Paris. We've been there before and I absolutely love the place.  We didn't want to risk it baka magkasakit pa si Poj, mahirap na lalo na asa ibang lugar kami at di marunong magFrench! 

Going to Paris is more for us than for Poj. We know that he is much too young to appreciate it & would just get tired & bored, not to mention soaked wet. And since it's only a few hours away via train from London, we promised to go back when Poj is a bit older.

So what did we do today? We enjoyed the indoor pool & jacuzzi in the morning & went back to Disneyland Park in the afternoon. Poj also had fun in the slides in the garden of the hotel whilst I had a lovely me time by the pond which was a few minutes away from the hotel. Thank goodness the weather here was a tad better than in main Paris, kundi talagang asa loob lang kami ng hotel.

Not bad I think for what I originally thought would be a wasted day =)

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Disneyland Day!

Tuesday 17 April 2012

A couple of months ago we received an email from Sky TV that they are giving away 2 adult Disneyland Paris tickets to all their customers. This is a special year for Disney Paris as they are celebrating their 20th anniversary. Syempre mega excited kami to go back to Disneyland, lalo na kung free yung tickets. Not to mention that we know it'll be even more special because of Poj =)

We decided to book our tickets in time for Papa E's big birthday. He loves Disney (sino ba ang hindi) kaya nga we are hoping to be able to visit the one in Florida when Poj is big enough to appreciate & remember it. 

But for now, we are here in Paris & today's the Disneyland day!!!

Here's a pic of our ticket & we can't wait to experience the Disney magic again. And I know a little someone who is mega excited to go in!

More photos soon, folks!

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Tara Na!

Monday 16 April 2012

We were too busy with a lot of other things plus the party (& worrying about the weather grrr) that we forgot about our trip to Paris, kaloka! We kept thinking that we still have a lot of time & kept on delaying packing. This is so unlike me as I usually am very organised whenever we are going away. I put it down to the rainy forecast which has made me unenthusiastic about it all. 

Kaya kanina asa panic mode ang lola as I packed our stuff at 1am today, the day of our departure! Now as we are waiting to board I am worried that we may have forgotten something! Hay, never mind... I suppose as long as we have our passports, cards and Sky Disney voucher we should be okay.

Mr Sun sana naman po makisama ka sa bakasyon namin po.... As I'm typing this the forecast is still rainy for the whole week, huhu. 

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Birthday Party

Sunday 15 April 2012

Papa E's birthday is on the 19th but we are celebrating it with our friends today. I think we finished everything that we needed to do and was able to prepare a simple spread even if we were pressed for time.  The weather was cold but sunny and everyone was in good spirits. And if we knew that it won't rain today we could've had barbeque in the garden. Pero ok na rin, we had enough food and kwentuhan for the day. Food and good company always goes well together =)

The party started at lunch and ended at around 9pm. By this time the kids are tired (Poj was already in bed!) and everyone's full up & laughed out! It was a perfect ending to a busy week.
This post is short coz it's late and I'm mega tired, but I'll blog about his party on KP blog with photos of course =)
Thanks to our friends for coming and for the fab gifts! Super touched si Papa E.

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Papa E's Birthday Cake

Saturday 14 April 2012

I've only one word to describe this day - kaloka! Because we moved Papa E's birthday party to our house instead of picnic/bbq at the trout farm, it means we have to cook more food and clean the house para naman hindi matakot pumasok ang mga friends namin sa aming bodega house, lol. Cooking is fine coz we love that, issue lang is the lack of time. I also had to clear out Poj's play area para naman may magalawan kami (dahil sinakop na ni Poj ang aming munting tahanan!)

I won't go into details but I'll just say that at around midnight I'm still wrapping our lumpiang togue! At this point ay gusto ko nang mag-panic, buti na lang mga friends lang namin ang guests kaya we know they'll understand kung hindi kami matapos.

At ang second star of the day, next to the celebrant of course is this cake that I ordered from a colleague. I'm so jealous of her coz she 
is so clever. I think the "Erick" on the cake looks a lot like the real one (although he doesn't think so, lol). She did a great job and I hope it tastes as good as it looks.

Hay, mega excited na kami for tomorrow! Can't wait to see everyone again =)

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Friday 13 April 2012

It's Friday, yay! But for this week, this day spells B.U.S.Y!

We went straight to the supermarket to buy groceries after getting off from work. We then collected Papa E's birthday cake and started finalizing our plans for next week.

Buti na lang Little Poj is cooperative kaya we were able to accomplish everything that we have set for today.

These birthday candles that I found at the supermarket would be perfect for the cake! I just hope Papa E likes these and of course the cake that I ordered for him =) Excited much =)

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Last Slice

Thursday 12 April 2012

It's the eve before the last day of work before our week off. Poj is in bed and I'm enjoying the last slice of my chocolate cake with a lovely cup of coffee =) I'm just chilling out after a busy day at work. 

Work has been crazy this week, I've been covering an extra ward which I don't mind. 

I'm trying to get myself excited for Papa E's birthday and our leave but it's just so hard because of the weather. It has been really miserable specially today - we had rain, thunder, lightning and hail! I'm still praying though that nature would be so kind and allow us to have a lovely time away. 

We've also decided to resched Papa E's party to Sunday and we're not going fishing and having barbaque, but just have a simple lunch and dinner at home. We're delighted that our friends could still make it even if the change of date was done last minute. Thanks everyone!

Kaya Mr Sun, we hope you could grace us with your sunshine on Sunday and for our week off next week, teyn chu =)

Red & White Appeal

Wednesday 11 April 2012

There was another Red & White Appeal cake sale outside the hospital today =)

Red & White Appeal of the Southampton Hospital Charity aims to raise £1.76million to create a specialist treatment centre for patients with leukaemia and other blood disorders from across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight. Wiltshire, Dorset, West Sussex and the Channel Islands. 

From the 9th March there have been a lot of fund raising activities here in the South to help raise the said amount. There have been lots of different activities such as Zumbathons, Spinnathons, Coffee mornings, football tournament etc. One of my colleagues painted his moustache RED for the whole day and raised £124! And there have been a lot of cake sales around the hospital and schools too.

The Red & White Appeal has reached the £1 million milestone and are still counting and accepting donations. I do hope they reach the target in no time, it is such a good cause =)

Movie Premier, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Sky TV usually gives out movie premier tickets to their customers but I always give it a miss because we don't have anyone that could look after Poj for us. But when I received an email about this movie, I logged into my Sky account to check if they are showing it in any cinema within our area. I booked tickets for two straight away when I saw one in Eastleigh which is 6 miles (17 minutes) away from us that would start at 6pm.  I thought that was early enough that we could ask one of our friends which Poj knows if they could look after him for 2 hours. But I didn't realised that it would be the day after the long weekend so we decided against it coz we know our friends have just come back from an out of town trip for the Easter weekend.

Luckily one of my friends was available at the last minute and I didn't have to cancel the tickets after all. We didn't know anything about the movie but was just excited to go out.

The title of the movie is Salmon Fishing in the Yemen starring Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas. It was a simple movie about a wealthy Sheikh who brought salmon fishing to Yemen by employing a fisheries expert (McGregor), with a little love story on the side. I like the actors and the fact that this movie just flows, light, very predictable but still enjoyable. 

Nice movie and great company. Thanks Rach and thanks Sky TV for our free movie premier tickets =)

Bank Holiday Monday

Today is a Bank Holiday Monday and the last day of the Easter weekend. We celebrated it by going to a nearby indoor fun pool for a swim. The place is called Romsey Rapids, it was suggested to us by my colleague who frequents this place with his two boys. It is a gym/spa/with fun swimming pools that are open not just to it's members but also to the public for a reasonable fee. My colleague raves about it a lot so we decided to give it a go coz we don't want to go anywhere because of the crappy weather (cold, grey & to top it off, non-stop rain!). But there was a long queue at the lobby when we got there and we were informed that they operate a colour-wrist band system during busy times such as today. It means you are guaranteed an hour of play/swim time and they regulate this from the colour of your wrist band. At this point we were contemplating on just turning around and giving up on the idea - but thought we give it a try coz we haven't gort a plan B today!

We had over an hour before our turn so we went for lunch at their cafe and waited for our colour (yellow) to be called. At this point we were not impressed at all as there were a lot of people everywhere and the crowd was growing. Also Poj didn't like the WC and said they were smelly =( 
But when we got in there were a lot of lockers and shower rooms and the pools were not overly crowded. It was obviously a lot smaller than the one we usually we go to (which is a 4 hour drive away) but this one is cheaper and closer. We noticed that the water was not heated enough but Poj had a lot of fun nonetheless. He also liked the flume and even asked to go at it twice. The hour was up before we knew it so Poj was bitin but there is no way I'm paying for another session, not when I saw that there are still a lot of people waiting for their turn, not to mention the people at the lobby! 
Verdict? I'm glad we tried it and we'll certainly come again but next time on a week day and probably early in the morning =)

After the swim, we went to town centre to buy some stuff for our trip next week and to have dinner. On the way home Poj asked to ride on this coin-op 4x4. This is new coz the last time we were here they had a Thomas train which Poj always plays with. The special thing with this car is that it was made in the Philippines, look at the website on the car ( Kakatuwa naman & it makes me proud whenever I see Philippine products making it to the UK at hindi na lang puro galing China. =)

All in all we had a fab day. We are now keeping our fingers crossed that the weather brightens up for Papa E's birthday party and more importantly for our holiday.

Easter Cake

Sunday 8 April 2012

I know that Simnel Cake is the traditional cake served on Easter Sunday, but since we are not a big fan of fruit cakes, I decided to go for the safe option - Chocolate cake decorated with Easter eggs.

Here's the recipe for this ultra easy Chocolate cake. I used Cadbury fingers as picket fences. The chicken are not edible but the chocolate eggs are. 

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake


2 cups Sugar
1¾ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup Hershey's cocoa
1½ teaspoon baking powder
1½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Chocolate frosting


1. Heat oven to 350℉. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together all the dry ingredients. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla& beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. stir in boiling water ( batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake for 30-35minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool completely, remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

Hershey Chocolate Frosting
½ cup butter
⅔ cup Hershey's cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
⅓ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter
Stir in cocoa
Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. 
Stir in vanilla.

Wedding Invite

Saturday 7 April 2012

I am delighted with what came in the post today. A wedding reception invite from a lovely colleague. Theirs is a love story that is truly special and I am honoured that they invited me to celebrate with them. The wedding is not till mid-August and we are all excited for them! a wonderful celebration to look forward to for summer =)

Uwi sa Pinipinas

Friday 6 April 2012

My siblings and niece went home to my folks so we had the chance to video chat with them via Skype. Poj had a lot of fun talking to them and showing off his antics. When Lolo asked him to come home to the Philippines, we said we can't afford to go home this year not unless it's via the balik-bayan box that we plan to send later on in the year. So Poj took an empty box, climbed in with his toys and send "I'm going home to Pinipinas!" Hay, you can just imagine the laughter that erupted after that.  (We've told him many times that it's Pilipinas pero Pinipinas pa rin ang nasasabi nya! In the same way that he says he's a Pinipino!)

We do miss home especially at times like these when families get together and celebrate. These are the times when we feel more homesick than ever. We also feel that Poj is missing out on a lot of things that Papa E and I experienced when we were growing up. Hayz, the prize you pay when you live away from home.....

A Drink or Two

Thursday 5 April 2012

Thank goodness it's the end of the week. The Easter week is the busiest week at work because of the long weekend. One of my colleagues suggested that we head to the pub after work to unwind for a couple of hours. We all thought it was a fab idea and it gave us something to look forward to at the end of the day.  

We had a new member of staff and we were glad that she came, it was a nice way to welcome her to the team & to get to know her a bit more. Our manager was also able to join us, as well as our other colleagues that were on annual leave. It was lovely to chat with everyone, had a good laugh & enjoyed a drink or two. A chilled way to end a busy week. 

Have a blessed Easter everyone!

Poj's Easter Cake

Wednesday 4 April 2012

It's Wednesday once again and it means Poj is back to nursery. And since it's the Easter half term, there are only few kids at nursery and they have a relaxed schedule. 

And to celebrate Easter they have made this chocolate cornflakes cake with chocolate eggs and a cute chicken on top. It's great that baking is part of their activities, no wonder he's so keen to help me out when I bake at home =)

We're both delighted that Poj is having a great time at pre-school. Because everything that we're doing is for him. Work is crazy and some days you question if you are at the right place and doing the right thing. But we plod along coz we know that it's so hard to get a job at the moment. But even if there are doubts, knowing that Poj is happy, healthy and well provided for makes it all worthwhile...