athens, again

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europe / greece / on the road

Visiting Greece had always been in my travel bucket list — the culture! the history! the chance to actually touch the white marble of the Parthenon! It was a bonus to have my two sisters with me when I went to Athens in September 2012.

It was the year of Grexit. I recall expecting protests in front of the Parliament, which was very near our hotel, the Electra Palace in Plaka district, and being a little worried.

The evzones or Greek soldiers in traditional attire, complete with red pompomed shoes.

Whenever possible we try to visit a McDonald’s when we travel. It usually has a menu item unique to the city — I remember the McD in Paris had a burger with blue cheese instead of the usual processed slices, Singapore used to have a gula melaka-flavored McFlurry. Our hotel was near one which had a ‘Greek Mac’: two beef patties, lettuce and tomatoes sandwiched in pita bread. Read More

A Cars-Themed First Birthday Party (with links to free printables!)

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on motherhood

Importing a post from my other blog! – NtN

We’re back from a marathon trip to the Philippines where we celebrated not one, but two first birthday parties for Peanut! *whew*

We had a lot of help from family and friends for both events. One was a Jollibee kiddie party (of course!) complete with a dance number from Jollibee and the crew and a lot of fun and noisy games for kids and grown-ups (a.k.a. not-so-small kids).

We discovered that Peanut wasn’t a fan of loud noises — he literally started bawling every time people clapped or shouted or laughed heartily all of a sudden — you know, like what usually happens in birthday parties. Ha! It didn’t help that the Jollibee function room was in an enclosed space, where the loud music was extra fun and extra loud. :)

We enjoyed the festivities at a safe distance — that is, we spent most of the party outside, looking in through the glass door. Oh, kids.

Squishy on one of his outside-the-party walkabouts. He had on a "cape" in the spirit of the superhero theme.

Peanut on one of his outside-the-party walkabouts. He had on a “cape” in the spirit of the superhero theme.

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Peanut’s Baptism – A Supplier Review

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on motherhood

A long overdue review. Peanut was three months old when we had him baptized… and he just turned one!

I intended to churn out the review within a week MAX of the event, complete with photos and rating stars and all that. Mom-hood and work stomped all over such well-intentioned plans. Plans are for wimps, it scoffed.

Better late than never.

For the uninitiated / non-Filipinos: baptism is practically required in the Philippines (come to think of it, if one wants to get married in a church in the Philippines one HAS to be baptized to do so). It’s a token rite of passage of early childhood in the country, like baby girls getting their ears pierced or babies (whose parents are so inclined) wearing black and red corales bracelets and pouches pinned to their sandos.

Baptismal gatherings are an opportunity for families to get together and coo all over your little chubby cherub, and in our case at least, a debut of sorts for Peanut, since it was his first time in the Philippines and most of our extended family hadn’t met him before. Read More