September 29, 2016

4 Birthday Party Theme for Boys

September used to be my busy month because I need to prepare for my son’s birthday. Our family is not into big birthday parties, the only party that we had more than 50 guests is when he celebrated his first birthday party. 

On his 2nd and 3rd birthday, we just travel. Things change when he started going to school so we planned to have a small birthday party in his school. It was an intimate party because he has more or less 15 classmates. DIY party is not a problem. 



Sharing with you the 4 DIY birthday party themes that we had during his 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th birthday. 



My son likes Lightning McQueen so we had Car birthday party theme for his 4th birthday party. I don’t know any boys who don't like cars. 

Read: Car Birthday Party Theme



He enjoyed our trip at Hongkong Disneyland so for his 5th birthday party, he wanted a Mickey Mouse birthday party. I love Mickey Mouse too! 

Read: Mickey Mouse Birthday Party
          DIY Mickey Mouse Birthday Party
          DIY Mickey Mouse Invitation



When we transferred to a new school, birthday parties are not allowed, so we have no choice but to celebrate it at home. We live in a small house so we only invited my in-laws. I was expecting that he will ask for Lego birthday party theme but he wanted a Mario birthday party

Read: DIY Mario Birthday Party



Lastly, we had Little Chef Party for his 7th birthday party. 

Read: Little Chef Party
          7 Things for 7th Birthday

Now, I suddenly miss planning DIY party. This year no more theme party and my son just wanted to have a staycation. He said, mommy, I want a hotel with play house. 

Honestly, as of this writing, we haven’t booked any hotel yet and we only have few days left. I’m hesitant because he has classes on the day of his birthday and it’s been raining every day so I’m not sure if we will enjoy our staycation. Good luck to us! 

Care to share your birthday party themes.

September 27, 2016

Day 3 Singapore: Singapore Zoo

The initial plan is Jurong Bird Park but since we left at past 10AM, I told my son that we will go to Singapore Zoo instead. He agreed with me and off we went to the zoo. 

The direction is still the same since 3 zoos are located at the same place. For directions, we used gothere.sg, travel time is 67 minutes via train and bus. Fare is SGD1.76 each. 




Directions: 

1. Walk to Newton Station. 

2. Board the train towards Jurong East Station and alight at Ang Mo Kio Station. 5 stations later. 
3. Take Exit C and walk to bus stop at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 
4. Board Bus 138 and alight at Singapore Zoological Gardens, 30 stops later. 
5. Walk to Singapore Zoological Gardens. 

While riding the bus, I was checking the map and I whispered to my son that we will go to Elephants at Work and Play Show first at 11:30AM so we need to walk and run once we alighted so we won’t be late. 




It was a loooong walk, we’re all sweating by the time we reached the venue at Elephants of Asia near Tram Station 4. No more vacant seats so we were standing all throughout the show but at least it did not rain. 9 years ago, my husband and I weren’t able to watch the full show because of rain. You can feed the elephants at SGD5 but my son was so scared so he did not try it. Click here for the video.



After the show, we went straight to Shaw Foundation Amphitheatre to watch the Rainforest Fights Back Show at 12:30NN. My son did not agree with me because he wanted to ride Carousel. I told him that he can do that after the show. He asked, why you always like to watch shows? I want Carousel. Nagrereklamo na, puro show na lang daw ako. Hehehe! 


I explained to him that shows have specific times that we need to follow, other attractions like carousel ay pwede namin puntahan anytime. Trust me, I know how to manage the time. So we just agree to disagree. Lol 




We don’t want to walk anymore so we rode the tram to reach Tram Station 2. You need to pay SGD5 adult and SGD3 for kid. We just showed our ticket because it includes unlimited tram ride. 



As I promised, after the show we went to Rainforest Kidzworld so he can ride Wild Animal Carousel. The ride is not free, you need to pay additional SGD4 but since we have the Park Hopper Plus ticket, my son has one free ride. Solo niya tuloy ang ride, mag-isa lang siya sumakay. Hehehe! 




Then we ate late lunch at KFC at Kidzworld Pavilion. There is Wet Play Area where your kids can play but we did not plan to spend our time here so we continue exploring the zoo. My son enjoyed feeding the goat here.



From station 2, we just walked to check different attractions till we reach the Frozen Tundra





We saw the Polar Bear and we enjoyed watching him, ang galing niya magswim. Hehehe! Click here for the video.



We rode tram again so we can rest from walking. I really appreciate the tram ride because Singapore Zoo is so huge and you will really get tired easily if you will just walk and walk. This is a 26-hectare zoo. Waah!


This is the biggest LIZARD that I've seen, it is called Komodo Dragon
We did not watch the Animal Friends Show because my son was not interested, so pinagbigyan ko na, hehehe



We just finished everything on the map then we went to the last show (5PM) which is Splash Safari Show at Shaw Foundation Amphitheatre, we're a little bit late because of the tram. (tagal dumating)



Then after the show, we rode tram again back to tram station 1 and off we went home at 5:30PM. It was a long day but we’re happy that we finished everything. We really took our time in exploring the zoo because there was Fire Alarm Testing at the hotel from 2-5PM. 

Singapore Zoo has over 2,800 animals, that was really a lot so I did not take a lot of pictures. hehehe! What nice about this zoo is they have open-concept, you don't see animals inside the cages. Some animals are so free that you can see them swinging, lounging or playing around like the orangutans. 




Our favorites in Singapore Zoo are Elephants Show, Carousel Ride, Goat Feeding and Polar Bear.

Read: 5 Days in Singapore 


Singapore Zoo Admission Fee


Park Hopper Plus Ticket


SGD79 adult

SGD59 kid

Regular Ticket


SGD33 adult

SGD22 kid

Tram Ride


SGD5 adult

SGD3 kid

Carousel 


SGD 4

September 26, 2016

Swiss Delice Chocolate

My husband just came back from Malaysia and while waiting at the airport, he kept on taking photos of different chocolates that I might like, so I can choose.



There are times that he will not buy anything because I always say, “ang mahal naman, meron naman niyan sa Pinas” hehehe! So when he showed me this Swiss Delice Collection Selection. I said yes, para maiba naman. 

We haven’t tried this brand of chocolate from Switzerland. Swiss Delice Collection Selection is a collection of selected chocolate coated biscuits. There are 8 flavors inside the box. 




1. Truffino Classic - crisp milk chocolate wafer biscuit with hazelnut filling.
2. Truffino Noir - crisp chocolate wafer biscuit with hazelnut filling. 
3. Pralino - cocoa meringue with tenderly melting chocolate filling. 
4. Rocher - delicately crisp biscuit with milk chocolate and hazelnuts. 
5. Medaillon Classic - crisp meringue biscuit with tenderly melting hazelnut filling and milk chocolate. 
6. Cremetti - light, airy meringue biscuit with chocolate filling. 
7. Amandelle - crisp almond biscuit on milk chocolate. 
8. Choc Japonais - tender sandwich meringue with chocolate filling. 

So we’re been eating this last weekend and trying each flavor. Well, in my opinion, the taste is just ok, I still prefer Ferrero Rocher Chocolate compared to this. I even said, parang mas type ko pa KitKat, then my husband said, grabe naman masarap naman ito. Hehehe!

RM48 is not cheap so maybe I expected much but my son likes it and kung di ko pinigilan, he can finish the box of chocolate in one sitting. Well, kanya-kanya lang talaga ng panlasa.

September 22, 2016

Day 2 Singapore: River Safari

Even we only have few hours of sleep, we still wake up early because we’re excited to start our Singapore Tour. We ate breakfast and left at 9AM. According to gothere.sg, travel time is 67 minutes via train and bus. Fare is SGD1.76 each. 



Directions: 

1. Walk to Newton Station. 

2. Board the train towards Jurong East Station and alight at Ang Mo Kio Station. 5 stations later. 
3. Take Exit C and walk to bus stop at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 
4. Board Bus 138 and alight at Singapore Zoological Gardens, 30 stops later. 
5. Walk to Singapore Zoological Gardens. 

Newton MRT Station is just 3 minutes walk away from Sheraton Towers, I brought my son’s EZ Link Card (child) but I was informed that it was expired already. My son is 7 years old so he needs to use the regular EZ Link Card. I purchased two EZ Link Card, SGD12 (SGD5 card cost and SGD7 value) + SGD10 load x 2 = SGD 44. 




This is already my third visit in Singapore but I was a bit nervous because I haven’t ridden public buses during my previous visits. But I was glad that riding bus is not difficult, all you need to know is the bus stop, bus number and destination. We rode Bus 138 and the last stop is the Singapore Zoo. 




At last, I was back in Singapore Zoo after 9 years,  we went to the ticket counter first and the line was very long. I bought Park Hopper Plus Tickets SGD79 for adult and SGD59 for kid. The staff asked me, what date are we going to Night Safari? I have no idea that I need to reserve for Night Safari, my initial plan is we will go to Night Safari kung hindi pa kami pagod after River Safari or Singapore Zoo. Anyway, I need to give a date so I just chose Friday, our last night in SG. 




The Park Hopper Plus Ticket allows you to visit River Safari, Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo within one week. The only zoo that is not located in Madai Lake Road is the Jurong Bird Park. 



We can visit Singapore Zoo or River Safari but we decided to start our tour in River Safari because we’re already late for the first show of Singapore Zoo. From the ticket counter, we just walked to River Safari Entrance. 


The Rive is Calling...
River Safari is the first and only river-themed wildlife park in Asia. There are two zones in the park. The first zone is Rivers of the World which is divided in different rivers such as Mekong River, Mary River, Mississippi River, Yantze River, Giant Panda Forest and Ganges River. The second zone is Wild Amazonia where you can find the Amazon Flooded Forest, Squirrel Monkey Forest, Amazon River Quest and River Safari Cruise. 



There are Guided River Trails and Animal Encounters but we just explored the park at our own pace and time. I’ve read before that the line in Amazon River Quest is always long so we passed by the different attractions and went straight to Amazon River Quest and River Safari Cruise



We enjoyed the Amazon River Quest and we rode it three times. We took advantage the unlimited ride that was included in our Park Hopper Plus Ticket. If you want to ride this, the fee is SGD5 for adult and SGD3 for kid (one time ride only). 


On our third ride, wala si Jaguar nakatago. Nadisappoint yung mga kasakay namin sa boat. 
Each ride is a different experience because there are times that the animals are hiding, too far to see and some are sleeping. For the first two rides, solo namin ang boat. Hehehe! 


Click here for video


The River Safari Cruise was a different experience too, the only downside of this is there is no assurance that you will see all the animals. But it was a good 15 minutes boat ride.




After our ride, we started exploring the different rivers. 




There is a Touch Pool where you can feel the sea stars, horseshoe crab and sea cucumbers. Washing areas are everywhere so no need to worry. 



The Amazon Flooded Forest is so relaxing, I can just sit there and watch the different species. I don’t need to dive in the ocean or sea because I can see the largest species such as manatee and arapaima. They are so HUGE! They were eating veggies that time. 



Then we went to Giant Panda Forest, it was our first time to see Giant Panda, unfortunately, we only saw Kai Kai, nakatalikod pa. Jia Jia was hiding, we only saw her at CCTV. So my tip is, visit the Giant Panda Forest first thing in the morning. (we went back twice but same fate, she is hiding).



And because of that, I bought a souvenir picture and we ate Panda Pau at Mama Panda Kitchen. It was cute and yummy pau. 



Our last stop is Squirrel Monkey Forest then we went home. We were done in less than 4 hours. 



There are no shows here but we enjoyed the Amazon River Quest, River Safari Cruise, Amazon Flooded Forest and Giant Panda Forest. Among the four zoos, this is our favorite because of the ride. :)



You can also see the Polar Bear here but it is too far so you better visit Singapore Zoo. I will share our SG Zoo experience on my next post

Click here for video

Read: 5 Days in Singapore 

River Safari Admission Fee


Park Hopper Plus Tickets


SGD79 adult

SGD59 kid

Regular Tickets


SGD30 adult

SGD20 kid

Amazon River Cruise


SGD5 adult

SGD3 kid

September 19, 2016

Food Trip at IKEA Alexandra

IKEA is not only known for affordable stuff and easy to assemble furniture. It is also famous because of the Swedish Meatballs so it is also on my list to taste this popular meatball.



I was disappointed when the Swedish meatballs were not available in IKEA Tachikawa so I was really looking forward to our Singapore trip. 



So for our third night, we went to IKEA Alexandra to eat our dinner. At the first floor, we only saw few tables and counter. I immediately checked the menu and I was sad because I only see, chicken wings, ice cream and hotdog, hmmm same fate in Japan. I was excited to eat swedish meatballs then wala pala. So we just ate chicken wings, hotdog sandwiches and ice cream. 



Again, self-service for the drinks and condiments. I was surprised when the cashier gave me IKEA tokens, so I need to use this for my ice cream pala. We did not experience this in Japan. We just followed the instructions.



When we went to the second floor, we saw the restaurant and nandun pala ang heavy meals so I told my husband that we will go back again. So before we went to the airport, we had late lunch at IKEA Alexandra.

It was not easy to find a vacant table and the lines were very long so patience is a virtue. Pero deadma na because I really want to taste the meatballs. We ordered Swedish Meatballs, Salmon, Blueberry Cheesecake, Almond Cake and drinks. I can’t remember the exact price of each meal but the bill is less than SGD30. 



Finally, natikman ko na rin swedish meatballs, well the taste is just ok for me. It is good naman but my favorite is the salmon + hollandaise sauce. This dish made me remembered my summer in Norway where salmon is just an ordinary dish. 



The Blueberry Cheesecake is good too. I think the Almond Cake is really yummy because it was gone in 60 seconds. We were surprised when my son finished everything and di man lang kami nakatikim. We wanted to order again pero ang haba talaga ng pila.




Well, I really hope that we will have IKEA Philippines soon. 

Read: Shopping Haul at IKEA Alexandra 
              5 Days in Singapore

September 18, 2016

6 Must-Pack Items for Your Family Safari Trip


A family safari is a once in a lifetime experience and careful packing can ensure that it's a positive and memorable one. What you haul with you is of extreme importance, especially if traveling with children. For adventurers traveling to distant, exotic lands, here are five items a safari tripper can't do without.

Outerwear

A lightweight down jacket is ideal for the extreme weather shifts one is likely to encounter in the African bush. Though the days can be sweltering, the nights are often chilly. A lightweight jacket that is amply warm and compressible will keep you warm in the evening and early morning but will shed easily and can be compacted down enough to fit into you day-pack. 

A Hat

A sturdy, wide-brimmed hat is essential for long days in the sun. A simple baseball cap will not suffice in these conditions. You will need something that provides coverage for your neck and ears, as well as eyes, so an actual canvas safari hat is best. The material allows it to be crushed and stuffed into a bag or back pocket when it's not needed, the brim extends over the ears providing optimal shade and many safari hats come with a cord that you can secure under your chin in windy climates to ensure it stays atop your head. After all, it's not called a safari hat for no reason. 

Socks 

There is no substitute for wool socks on safari. Tromping through foreign terrain can wear on your extremities, but wool provides both the padding and warmth required to keep those tootsies in working order. Be sure that your socks and the rest of your clothing items are beige and nude colors. Not only do you want to blend into the environment while trying to spy the wildlife, but bright colors may attract unwanted attention. Blue, in particular, will garner the attention of tsetse flies that are wont to nibbling on tourists. 

A Smartphone

A smartphone with a good camera should be at the top of your list (or at least immediately under "passports"). Lugging around an additional item like a camera is unnecessary if you find a phone that comes equipped with a good one. The LG G5 has a 16MP dual camera with both normal and ultra wide-angle lens ideal for capturing the wild game and picturesque landscapes you'll find on safari. 

Sanitation 

For on the spot sanitary needs, antibacterial baby wipes reign supreme. Germ-fighting and disposable, you will find 101 uses for these while on the trail and a whole host of things that you never realized would need cleaning. Saline solution is another multipurpose item you may overlook as you pack. Not only is it good for rinsing your hands and eyes, it's perfect for flushing your nasal passages after a long and dusty tour of the bush. You would be surprised what can get stuck in there, and trying to keep up with clogged sinuses can be miserable. 

Though a family safari is the chance of a lifetime, if you don't pack smart, it can also be a disaster. Pack for comfort, sanitation and mobility and you and your family are sure to make the most of your trip.

September 16, 2016

Singapore: Shopping at IKEA Alexandra

Whenever we travel overseas, I don’t usually include shopping in my itinerary because I have a limited budget and I prefer to visit interesting places than waste my time in shopping malls tapos wala din ko mabibili. Hahaha!



But things change when you are married, you find joy in visiting Home stores even you don’t have shopping money. When I learned that there is IKEA in Singapore, I included this in my itinerary but unfortunately I was not able to visit it two years ago. First reason, I could not find the shuttle bus going to IKEA Tampines and lastly, I don’t want to take taxi kasi namamahalan ko. Boo! But I regret that kasi sayang naman effort namin and we were in SG na that time.

So I promised myself, by hook or by crook I will go to IKEA. I added this on my itinerary when we visited Singapore last month. It was my birthday celebration so I will visit my happy place.There are two IKEA in Singapore and the nearest branch from our hotel is IKEA Alexandra

Read: Sheraton Towers Singapore

Day 3: IKEA Alexandra

I did not have second thoughts, we took taxi on our way to IKEA Alexandra. We had dinner first and I was sad because I only saw chicken wings and hotdog on the menu, hmmm same fate in Japan. I was excited to eat Swedish meatballs then wala pala. So we just ate chicken wings, hotdog sandwiches and ice cream. 

Read: IKEA Tachikawa



So after dinner, we started shopping na, I already have the list of the things that I wanted to buy and I was happy that most of them are available in IKEA Alexandra. When we reach the second floor, I was surprised because there is another restaurant pala, grrr! Nandun ang meatballs, Waah! So I told my husband, we will go back again next time. I just bought some stuff that will fit our luggage. 





Note: Always BYOB, Bring Your Own Bag Always or else you will buy extra bag or carry your own stuff. 

No bagger, pack your own stuff. 

Day 5: IKEA Alexandra 

Initial plan is to visit Gardens by the Bay but we canceled it and visited my son’s Ninong in Singapore and after that we had late lunch in IKEA Alexandra. Like I said to my husband, we will not go back to Manila ng hindi ko natitikman ang swedish meatballs. Lol 

It was not easy to find a vacant table and the lines were very long so patience is a virtue. We ordered Swedish Meatballs, Salmon, Blueberry Cheesecake, Almond Cake and drinks. I can’t remember the exact price of each meal but the bill is less than SGD30.

Read: Food Trip at IKEA Alexandra



After lunch, we checked the store again. I was really contemplating whether to buy Raskog or not. If you remember my post few months ago, my husband was not able to buy this because he doesn’t want to pay for excess baggage.



Read: IKEA Bangna

I have extra kilos but the problem is I don’t have extra luggage but thank God, I saw this Eco Bag in IKEA and it fits the Raskog box. Ang because of that, nakapamili pa ko ulit. Yehey! 



Then we went back to hotel to get our luggage and off we went to airport. After check-in, I said to myself, sayang sana binili ko pa yung bookshelves may 30 kilos pa pala ko. Lol Anyway, I was so happy with my shopping Haul at IKEA.


Not in the photo is IKEA Timer (Stam), nagamit ko kasi agad. hehehe!


My husband immediately assembled my Raskog and I’m now using it for our school supplies. :)



Read: 5 Days in Singapore