Monday, April 30, 2012

Congratulations Viele!

The only entry we got from the Royal Anniversary Kids Giveaway was from Viele!!! :)

Viele is one of Fif's friends.
She's 3 years old and her favorites from the blog are the teddy bear, mug and paperbook.

Congratulations Viele and Mommy Vice!

You win a London School Kit for Viele and a Will and Kate Mug for Mommy Vice!

Happy 1st Anniversary Will and Kate!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Paris Teaser

Waking up at 4am to spend the weekend in Paris is truly worth it!

Our day in Paris on Instagram:

Sofia infront of Opera Garnier • Sofia loving our home for the weekend at Hyatt Regency Madeleine • Rue du Fauborg St. Honore and the GUCCI flagship store on Rue Royale is walking distance • Mtg Jay, Lia and Jillie in St Michel • Stopping for pastries at PAUL • Lunch at Le Souffle • The kids had yogurt as their Main • Me and my Foie Gras and Prunes Souffle • The kids started the picnic at the hotel • JJEB napped • we picked up La Duree from Rue Royale • Cloudy day at Trocadero • Picnic near the Eiffel Tower

Sorry all our pictures are jumbled and tiny. This post was fully written and edited on the blogger ap (which needs improvement on many fronts).

You can always play find the picture that matches the caption. Just saying.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Shopping for Sustainability

I make it a rule never to write about my work. I won't break that rule... but I attended an inspiring session a few days ago about the initiatives that the company I work for is doing for SUSTAINABILITY and I think that's something worth writing about.

Actually, I'll just let you watch it:

What I love about the session I attended was that they did not give us a lot of print outs or literature to read about the company's Sustainability Plan which would have been a waste of paper. They gave us sustainable products to try... which make a difference in this world. 

Try it. Love it. Share it.

FLORA Cuisine
It has 45% less saturated fat than Olive Oil.
Visit their website for more information and recipes.

TRESemmé Fresh Start (Dry Shampoo)
It gives you a customized solution for clean hair without water.
Salon-quality full line to revive beautiful style between washes for your hair type. Formulated to absorb excess oil and remove odor, the full line of dry shampoos rejuvenates hair without a drop of water. And with a renewing burst of citrus extracts infused into every product, you can leave hair with a clean, fresh scent. 
Visit their website for more information.

PG Tips
The tea inside PG tips boxes is grown using sustainable farming methods, the people who pick it earn a better living and their families have access to education and medical care.
Visit their website for more information.

Knorr Soups
Helps farmers grow vegetables more sustainably.
Visit their website for more information and recipes.

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly
Uses 3% less plastic in the packaging, saving 133 tonnes of resin a year!

Persil Concentrated Detergent
Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions per wash by upto 50%.
You can visit their website here.

I love working for Unilever! 
Since this will probably be the only time I will write about it, I want to end with this video. Sofia loves watching it.

Disclaimer: All the videos posted (and more) are available for viewing on YouTube. Links provided will direct you to publicly available brand websites. No confidential information has been shared in this post. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Off to Paris this weekend

I prepared an Introduction to Paris 101 for Sofia

We had coloring sheets of the famous landmarks in Paris
Fif coloring La Tour Eiffel
Can you guess which one I colored?
Sadly, they don't look too different. Hahaha

You can actually cut out the landmarks to create your own mini-city. Thanks to a cool guy called Joel who created it and shared it online for free. You can visit his website here and download your own Petit Paris.

Public Service Announcement:
Posts may be erratic over the weekend because we are only in Paris for 36 hours.
Our schedule is packed!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shrek the Musical

We watched Shrek at the Royal Drury Lane Theater in London's West End last night and I think it was really good. It was light and funny and it manages to keep the kids entertained for two and a half hours. Sofia stayed awake for the entire show, which is more than I can say for Wicked, which she claims is her favorite musical.

Little Miss Smarty-Pants said S is for Sofia, mom!
Inside Drury Lane Theater before the show.

Here is a taste of how good the production was.

If I am not mistaken, Royal Drury Lane Theater was where Miss Saigon used to play, so this was the same theater where I watched my very first West End play sadly many, many, years ago.

I found this picture online. The same theater taken in 1996.
Photo credit:

 Outside the theater after the show.
Taken in 2012.
Thanks Auntie C! It was great seeing you in London!

Shrek The Musical
Royal Drury Lane Theater
Catherine St, London, WC2B 5JF 
Tube: Covent Garden 
Tel: +44 844 412 2955
You can buy tickets from the box office 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Royal Wedding Anniversary KIDS Giveaway

Last year, I wasn't able to make it to London for the Royal Wedding. Good thing Will and Kate did not invite me so I did not have to send them my regrets. Hahaha. Feelingera much.

Anyway, I was shopping at the Petticoat Lane Market last Sunday (it's a Sunday morning market) and with the crowds and Sofia in the stroller, the only stall I was able to buy from was the £1 souvenir stall.

When I saw the Will and Kate mug,  I knew I had to have it.
I bought three of them and a Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee magnet.
I loved this magnet, but not enough to buy it.
It made me crave for a full British Breakfast though.

Sofia's favorite stall was the one selling soft toys.

She bought a Royal Guard teddy bear for £3 (SG$6 or Php 210).
Then on our way out I left her buy the little Beef-eater and the other Guard and a pink beanie bear.
Sofia also bought a London School Set which she was excited to use.
Sofia also bought presents with her own money for Lukey, Taima, Auntie Chi and all her yayas.

I just recently found out that my youngest blog reader is 4 years old!!!
I want to do a blog giveaway for all the kids who read (look at the pictures on my blog).


Just ask your mom, dad (or any adult) to help you leave a comment on this post (if you're too young to do it yourself) about the favorite thing that you've read on my blog (past posts included), leave your name and age (and parent's email address if I don't personally know you).

Instead of putting an age limit, I will open the contest to all the young and the young at heart! Just remember to put your age...and be ready to withstand the embarrassment of competing against my 4 year old readers.

Sofia will be picking her favorite answer. You can leave as many comments as you want for more chances to win.

The contest ends on 29th April 2012 (at 11amUK time - the time Will and Kate got married one year ago).

The winner will get this London School Kit and the adult that helps  you join the contest will get a Will and Kate mug.
So Join Now and  Good Luck!
The good thing about this contest is that it will end while we are still in London, so if we have a hard time deciding who the winner is, we can always go back to Petticoat Lane to get more prizes... 

It's not as good as I remembered but I was still able to find something to buy.
There are still a lot of clothes stalls selling high street brands at lower prices,
but with Primark so accessible and affordable - it's no longer as attractive.
There used to be a lot of food stalls, including one selling mussels and fries.
Now there's only this fried seafood stall. It still smelled good, but Sofia wanted McDonald's.

Petticoat Lane Market is only open on Sunday mornings. You can get there by tube or bus. It starts from one of the side streets across Liverpool Street Station.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sofia's Post: After Legoland

Mom bought this from Legoland because she could not leave without buying anything.
Safari Set SGP7.99 (SG$16 or Php550)
Fif wanted to build her newest Lego set right after breakfast the next day.
The bowls we bought from Primark came in handy for sorting the Lego.
Set of 4 bowls GBP2 (SG$4 or Php275)
Step 1: look at the booklet
Step 2: look for the correct parts
Fif loves putting the people together.
We thought the safari set would make a good Legoland Souvenir because we saw safari animals there. 
Do you think all Lego giraffes look the same?
From the animals point of view.
Sofia enjoyed Legoland so much she got her new soft toys to sit down with her.
They pretended to participate in the L-Drivers tutorial before she went running around the room pretending to drive.

A few words from my guest blogger:
i love legoland

That's all. Except now we want to buy Annual Passes to the yet to open Legoland in Malaysia. Discounts are available for the Annual Pass if you buy it online before the park opens.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Legoland Windsor may be our happiest place on earth

We went to Legoland in Windsor last Saturday and Sofia absolutely loved every minute of it. A good friend of mine (we used to work together), who lives in London, gamely came along with us. He even rented a kid for the day, his godson, so he had an excuse to come. Hahaha.

At Legoland Windsor with Sofia, my mom, my giant friend Kweku and Brian

Our day started really with a jet lagged Sofia waking us up at 630am for breakfast. Since we had loads of time to spare, we thought it was a good idea to walk to Waterloo Station. It was a nice walk but in hindsight, we should just have conserved our energy.

It was a nice day for a walk. We crossed Blackfriars bridge.
That prominent building at the back is our office here.
Me and Fi on Blackfriars Bridge with 100VE in the background.
Kweku MISSED the 1028 train so we had to wait for him at the Windsor and Eton Riverside Station
Using the gorillapod.
Kweku brought his godson Brian who's also 4. Sofia was very happy to have a playmate!
You need to take the shuttle bus from the Train Station to Legoland.
The kids could not wait to go in!
Legoland is quite organized.
You label your kids with your phone number, so you can get them back if you lose them.
They loved everything they saw, like this F1 Lego Car.
Then it started to rain, good thing Uncle Kweku had a big umbrella!
We jumped into the train to keep dry.
Brian was reading the warning signs and said the first one means Boys and Girls cannot sit together.
Hahaha.It actually means no standing.
Here's a rundown of the activities we did. Keep in mind, we had 2 four year old kids.

We started at the Traffic Section.

We ended up in MiniLand so we decided to do the Fire Academy First.
You get to help the firemen save the day.
It's a race between four teams
To go to the building on fire, put it out, then head back.
The kids excited to go and Kweku listening to the briefing.
Sofia took care of the wheel.
Uncle Kweku provided the power.
The kids helped put out the fire.
We were the team that came in last. Hahaha. My contribution are the great pictures.

Driving School for kids aged 3-5.
The kids need to sit through a driving tutorial. Here they're practicing how to steer.
The kids line up so they can choose their cars.
Sofia was a really good driver!
Go Fifi Go!
Whoa! Four car collission!!!
and as soon as Sofia's untangled, off she goes again!
After the ride, they ask the kids to raise their hand if they think they're a good driver.
Then after, to raise to hands, if they think they drive better than their parents.
Sofia did... Bilib sa sarili much!
Sofia and Brian with the Legoland Driver's License that kids get after the ride.
It's energy efficient too. Hahaha.
Which is a good thing since this ride is so popular the kids just go again and again.
Second time in line. All the kids were announcing they wanted to go for a blue car.
Fif was quick enough to get a blue car this time.
Shot with color accent blue on my Canon S95.
Sofia collecting her second Legoland driver's licence.

Fly your own hot air balloon.
It goes up quite high.
Looks like it's about to rain again.
The kids were excited to ride kids while waiting in line.
I opted to stay on ground and took their picture.
Photo op after the ride.
The kids were only willing to stop for lunch when it started raining again.
We just got a Family Bucket of Fried Chicken Take-away and we found a spot to picnic at the Duplo Theater.
Sofia sat on the Lego Storyteller's lap.
Once upon a time...
Toilet Break before the play resumes.

The kids started with the Duplo Train. The managed to secure the front seat.
My daughter loves playgrounds!
Duplo Playtown can keep younger kids entertained for hours.
Sofia has no fear climbing up...
There's always Uncle Kweku to the rescue if Fif has trouble going down.
On a dancing teacup.
Fif looking for cool rides.
Running after Brian.
The kids wanted to ride the Chopper Squadron.
This lame ride was quite difficult for me with my fear of heights!
Our chopper barely left the ground. Hahaha.
There is also a Waterworks area.
It was very cold but I guess some kids are just crazy.

Fairy Tale Brook
This boat ride took us through all the popular Fairy Tales including some I didn't even know.
The kids abandoned Uncle Kweku so he didn't get to go on the ride because he didn't want to ride the boat alone.
There were signs that warned you of tales to come.
Strong cross winds warning...
iSpy the Three Little Pigs
Strong Cross Winds = Huffing and Puffing till the wolf blows the house down
The wolf even has his cookbook ready.
Approaching the sleeping castle.
The Prince Charming is about to wake up sleeping beauty.
Hmmm... looks like there are lost kids.
It's Hansel and Gretel!
I have no idea who the troll is.
But I guess it's a tale that has to do with them.
Approaching a cave now.
It's filled with not so hidden treasures.
LSS time: I'm a genie in a bottle...
These may be the guys guarding the treasure.
The cave even has stalactites.
Grandma's here!

Looks like Red Riding Hood is visiting Grandma.

What big teeth you have... The better to eat you my dear!
Take note. Grandma wolf even has a TV with a big antenna so she can get a signal in the woods.
And they all lived Happily Ever After.
Coloring Coloraw El Kwento Kabao.

We just quickly went through the Kingdom of the Pharaohs.
It was raining in the desert!
The kids rode Desert Chase (also known as the good old Carousel).

This way to Lego City.
The kids spotted the Orient Expedition so that's what we went on next.
Taking the planning into their hands.
Who wants to sit beside the Giraffe?
Uncle Kweku weaseled out of this one again.
Not so fat controller says it's ok to Go now.
Sofifi's signature fake smile.
We had a view of the Boating Academy.
We refused to do it because the wait time was 45minutes.
We spotted Zebras...

and Giraffes! This totally reminded me of the Safari in South Africa.
But this was more fun!
There was even a monkey at the back of our train.

Do you want to have tea with Mona Lisa?
The Police are here.
Sofia with the Mayor.
Sofia driving a London Taxi.
I want to drive too.
Someone snorkeling in the fountain. 
Mr Green brick came out for pictures.
In color accent green.
A city is not complete without a Travel Shop
Careful, some work on going.
The kids also did the Digger Challenge.
You need to listen to the instructional video.
and put as much balls in the container as you can.
Oops, we were only able to do two scoops.

We went to Adventure Land next to ride the submarine.
Oh no! Fif has been eaten by a shark!!!
We found Atlantis!
It's a Submarine Voyage.
Inside the submarine.
You see Lego fish.
and real fish with Lego divers taking pictures.
They even had sting rays and sharks and just like in Maldives, I was too slow in taking the pics.
Lego god of Atlantis with more real fish. 
Lego goddess with more real fish.
The next generation of Atlantis gods.
It was nearing 6:00pm, closing time, so we had to literally run through the rest of the park.

Land of the Vikings
Kweku convinced the kids to go on the Spinning Spider because he needed to go on the scarier rides.
I think the kids were really dizzy after this ride.
We did NOT do this Vikings' River Splash.

Pirates Landing
Kweku and Brian went on the Jolly Rocker.
This ride made Brian cry :(
Kweku can be a bit of a bully. Hahaha. Kidding.
Sofia found the Pirate Training Camp so we waited for them there.
Punch punch punch.
The only castle in Windsor we saw up close was this one.
Photo Op with the castle in the background.
Sofia goes: Mom, don't be scared. I'll hold your hand. 
Climbing up and down the ships.
We used to pan for gold at the Pirate's Gold Wash when we went with Jacob.

Knights Kingdom
We went to the castle only to take pictures.
Prince and Princess of Legoland.

We only saw Miniland from afar, on the hill train when we arrived, and from the StarWars store.
This minature land has scenes from London and the US.

Star Wars
We ran out of time to go through the Star Wars exhibit but we made it to the store in time.
I ran uphill to check out the Lego Sale Store but there was nothing nice. 

The kids who I left with Kweku were able to get their picture taken with R2D2.

I had higher hopes for the BIG LEGO SHOP. This closes at 7:00pm so there's actually no need to rush if you want to shop after the park closes.
We have more 10series (collector's edition) lego sets at home than they had in store.
What a missed opportunity to sell.
There was a whole bay of Lego Friends, but it was OUT OF STOCK.
Again, we have almost all the sets that were first released at home.
They just had a mock-up of Olivia's House.
I forced myself to buy a few small things. Then we were good to go.

This is the only part of Windsor Castle that I always see.
It's the view you get from the train station.
This little girl bought a Girl Pirate Teddy.
Thanks so much for coming with us and bringing Brian, K!
repeated failed attempts to nap.
We took a bus back because we were too tired to walk.
No playmate = Asleep in two seconds

Sofia had so much fun in Legoland, I am now stressed that Euro Disney might not measure up. My little girl has always been into Lego more than into Disney Princesses. Hahaha. Just Saying.