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leerenah

Life Journal

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leerenah

21 weeks

See you soon, my son ♥️

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2017 Travels in Photos

I know I’ve been slacking again on this journal over the past months. But I’ve been really busy. I’ve been travelling all over, attend to work, and take care of, send and fetch, and tutor my child since I’m yaya-less since August. I’m not at all complaining, I’ve been given a very abundant life, and though there were drawbacks too, my life is not all bed of roses I am very eternally thankful for everything.

I mentioned I’ve been travelling all over, almost every month, for leisure and with my family, fortunately. And for this post I would like to share some of my favorite photos from each of my travel this year, 2017. The purpose is personal and not to brag, but to humble myself and count all my blessings. I wish I could post these monthly as soon as they happen, but oh well, maybe I could just post my photo travels again in annual basis in the future.

 

January

Hongkong SAR

For this trip the 3 of us went with Roxy and Gerry (hubs’ cousin). It was our first time staying in Causeway Bay area, where we did Ikea shooping and just basically food trip the whole 3 days.

 

 

Ready for Oddies Night Wolf!
IMG_0182.jpg
Dream play kitchen at Ikea
Street foods!
Just chillin’ in our hotel room

 

Hotel:

Hotel Pennington by Rhombus

 

February

Osaka, Japan

Oh, I love this trip! We’ve been to Osaka several times, but this is probably the most laidback. We stayed in Dotonbori area unlike our usual Swissotel Nankai and this meant a looot of food tripping! Weather was really nice and not too cold. Did a USJ daytrip and Sophie enjoyed it too.

 

Onboard the Rapi:t going to the city
Sophie was thrilled to meet Hello Kitty!

 

The Hogwarts castle
Posing like Glico Man

 

Sophie took this photo with our yakiniku

Hotel:

Cross Hotel Osaka

 

March

London, UK

We went with hubs’ family, and London is as gorgeous as the first time. It was his family’s first time here, so we went with the usual tours. It was also a perfect twinning moment for Sophie and I with Big Ben, since she was sleeping the last time we went in 2015, and haven’t got a decent shot. I just wished we were able to see a musical play in this trip. Looking forward to another London trip next year, crossing my fingers!

 

The Stonehenge
Our twinning moment with Big Ben!
Sophie with the Grans at St. George Chapel, Windsor
On board the London Eye
The Tower of London

Hotels:

Premier Inn Leicester Square

Z Hotel Picadilly

 

Scotland, UK

It was our first time in Scotland, and I wasn’t too prepared for the cold! The tourist spots were far, but it has gorgeous landscapes everywhere.

When in Scotland, wear Scottish hat!
With Nhessie, the Loch Ness monster
Overlooking the Loch Ness
Sophie and the Grans at Edinburgh Castle

 

Hotel:

 Premier Inn Princes Street Edinburgh

 

Hongkong, SAR

Almost immediately after we returned from UK, we jetsetted off to HK again! It was hubs’ birthday, and the little one wanted to spend it in Disneyland. And my in-laws wanted to go shopping, so its a win-win trip for all of us!

All of Sophie’s favorite colors
Princess Belle and Princess Sophie
The birthday boy!
Twinning with our PJs
My not so little baby girl!

Hotels:

Marco Polo Gateway

Hongkong Disneyland Hotel

 

Cebu, Ph

Yearly since 2010, I make it a point for my own family to travel, be it foreign or local. My parents are getting old, and I want them to go see places while they still can. This year we went to Cebu. The last time we were here I was only about 6 years old, and they were not able to tour around. It was a nice bonding trip with their grandchild. Our last day was Tatay’s birthday, so this trip was also a treat for him.

Family shot at Magellan’s Cross
Enjoying the pool! Its summer time!
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Celebrating Tatay’s 74th birthday in Seafood Island

Hotel:

Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan Cebu

 

April

Jeju, Korea

We had a guided tour from our travel partner who arranged the whole trip. Jeju was a complete opposite of Seoul, very laidback and had few interesting places to see, but all equally beautiful in their own ways.

The Sunrise Peak at Jeju
Our Korean pose!
Touching a Dal Hareubang’s nose for fertility
Sophie enjoying the Hello Kitty World Jeju

 

For Jeju tour arrangements, contact:

RJCZ Travel and Tours

+632.855.2724 / +632.855.2764

 

Baguio, Ph

We go up to Baguio every now and then to chill, have a massage at North Haven and buy tasty breads from The Manor. And thats exactly what we did. And yeah, we also “break-in” the 2 Porsches.

Lunchtime at Hillstop, Baguio
Pine trees and fresh air in Baguio

Hotel:

Le Monet Hotel

 

May

Anvaya Cove, Ph

I think we missed Anvaya Cove, hence the trip. Since my in-laws are lot owners and members of this exclusive resort, we can drop by anytime we needed a little getaway from Manila.

Enjoying the beach before sunset
Pool time at Anvaya Cove
Selfie while tending to Sophie at the kiiddie pool
Sophie enjoying a sunblock lather from daddy

Hotel:

Anvaya Cove

 

Amanpulo, Ph

WOW. When I was younger, it was my absolute dream to go here. And that dream was realized this year. What a beautiful island! No wonder not anyone can go here. Exclusivity sure comes with a hefty tag but, it was definitely worth every cent.

Sophie enjoying the Amapulo sands
Pristine waters and beach at Amanpulo
The perfect beach!

Hotel:

Amanpulo

 

Sepang, Malaysia

I mentioned before that my hubs and his sister bought their Porsche Macans, and were invited to Porsche Driving Experience in Sepang. It was a whole day driving and racing experience for them, learning how to use their cars to their maximum potential. While I, on the other hand, lounged at the trackside and had outlet shopping while waiting for them. Win-win trip!

I was so hungry before this and thought everything Papa Rich was delicious!
These 2 are ready to race them all!
Hubs loved this awesome car!

Hotel:

Sama Sama Hotel

 

August

Hongkong, SAR

We took a break from travelling by June and July, as the little one started her school. Come August, we’re on a roll again! It was my birthday month, and I’d like to treat the little girl again to her favorite, Disneyland. It was also our first time checking in to the Disney Explorers Hotel, the newest hotel there.

First timer in Disney Explorers Lodge
Sophie’s happiest place!
Ready for the pool!
Sophie trying not to look scared onboard the cable car
Pool time!

Hotel:

Disney Explorers Lodge

 

September

Guam, USA

We spent our anniversary here this year! This was our first time and had the lowest expectation for this trip. But looking back, I miss Guam. We stayed for 4 full days, waking up late, swim, shop, drive around and just food trip all the way. It was so laid back I wanna do it all over again.

We love Jamaican Grill!
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13 years and counting with my ❤️
Enjoying our time at Outrigger Resort
Enjoying the sun and sand
Window shopping in Guam
Sweet tooth fix!

 

Hotel:

Outrigger Resort Guam

 

October

California, USA

I’ve been looking forward to this trip! We toured San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and a sidetrip to Grand Canyon in Arizona and San Diego. We were able to spend time again with our Ninong Noel, who lives in SFO. It was our first time in Vegas and hubs drove going to and from LA. Sophie also spent her 4th birthday while touring.

The three of us at the Golden Gate Bridge
With my favorite girl at the Golden Gate Bridge
Hubs and I with the Yosemite Falls
What a big broken rock! in Yosemite Valley
Having fun at Yosemite Valley
The hubs missed the Pampas Grill!
The Hollywood sign from Griffith Observatory
Universal Studios Hollywood
The whole gang in Las Vegas
The Grand Canyon in Arizona
San Diego Zoo
My birthday girl!
Sophie having a blast on her birthday!

Hotels:

SFO – The Wharf Inn

LA – Residence Inn Beverly Hills

Las Vegas – Bellagio

 

November

Tokyo, Japan

We wanted to make the most of Sophie’s mid year break, but we’re on a budget, so we gathered all our miles for this Tokyo trip. We stayed in a budget hotel in Shibuya. We just stayed a lot in Shibuya area and food trip a bit there and in Tsukiji market. On our last night we stayed in Disneyland and spent the day in Disney Sea.

We arrived in Shibuya on Hachiko’s birthday, coincidentally.
Sophie posing in Ginza street
Spent some time in the beautiful Yoyogi Park
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Yummiest yakiniku in Kanteki restaurant, Shibuya
Hubs getting his giant oyster fix
We’re in Disney Sea!
Our little princess in her alcove bed

Hotels:

Shibuya Tobu Tokyo Hotel

Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

 

December

Singapore

Okay. So this overnight trip is totally unplanned. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to spend anymore since I’m basicaly broke but we only need a few thousand miles and we’re Elite members already. Weighing the benefits of Elite member for a whole year versus our overnight expenses, plus I imagined Sophie swimming in MBS infinity pool, we then went for it.

Marina Bay Sands at night
The Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay
Sophie enjoying the kiddie pool!
MBS infinity pool

 

Hotel:

Marina Bay Sands

 

To follow:

Amanpulo in December

 

 

My travel agent:

RJCZ Travel and Tours

+632.855.2724 / +632.855.2764

 

 

No goodbyes

So thankful to be a part of your short life, and a selfish part of me wants to bring back the past, so I could see you healthy and happy, one last time.

I will miss you and I will be thinking of you. No goodbyes Chin. Just until we meet again. For now, run free over the rainbow bridge. 💔

Didn’t see that one coming

So.. Sophie's yaya was evicted from the house due to situations I have no control of.

She took care of Sophie since she was a baby.

Funny how I never really did liked her from the start.

But when she left,

there's a twinge in my heart that wouldn't go away. 💔

Dangerously Addictive Chips

I know it was so last year, but recently I just tasted a local salted egg potato chips and I was blown away, that I started looking for ways to get hold of the original, the Irvin’s from Singapore. 

Then hubby decided to join a Porsche racing lesson in Sepang, Malaysia and I wanted to come along solely because I wanted to go to SG for the Irvin’s. So anyway, after our trip in Sepang, we stayed for a night in Concorde Hotel near Plaza Singapura, where an Irvin’s and Sephora are located. They were my targeted to-go places on this trip, aside from a lunch at Marché Somerset. 

Irvin’s Plaza Singapura

I was disappointed with Irvin’s. It was just a little past lunch time and they ran out of potato chips already. There were only about 20 big packs of salted fish skins left. The big packs cost SGD16, and the small packs were sold at SGD8. I’ve tried the fish skins before and I loved it so I bought a couple of packs. The guy from the Irvin’s said that even the other outlets had ran out of stocks, and I’m guessing after just a few more customers he will closed down too. How I wish they produce more potato skins. I personally think that they limit the production so the fad won’t go away soon.

Luckily that day, I browsed thru their IG and found out they just opened a #dangerouslymasarap box deliveries to the PH! The minimum order is 1 box, consists of 30 small packs however you mix them, or 15 big packs. A 35 SGD delivery fee is added straight to any PH address. 

I immediately ordered mine and received the box 10 days later. I finally got to have my first taste of THE Irvin’s salted egg potato chips after great lengths of finding it!


Now my feedback: I know they are the original, but those that say they are the best definitely hasn’t tasted Tamagochips before. It is for me, still the holy grail of the salted egg chips. It is locally produced and sorry to say that Irvin’s doesn’t even come close to its taste. 😛

Tamagochips still rules!

I brought Tamagochips in my Amanpulo trip!

A Different Kind of Baby

Late post: We brought Tigger home on April 12

This is not the baby we expected but, we are very thankful nonetheless! Sometimes we think this is still so surreal, owning and driving our very own Porsche. Congratulations to my hubby for finally having your dream car! And to Tigger, welcome home! Lets have safe travels all the time, okie? ❤️

The Porsche Macan
Driving this badass home
Welcome home!

School girl, soon

I hate to admit that Sophie is growing up faster than I expected. In 6 months time she will become four, and though I still have my reservations if she’s ready for school, I know in one way or the other she has to go. 

I have finally chosen Southville to be her first school. We had a 2-day trial and it was good, so far. The problem I have with Sophie is that, even though she loves posing for pictures, she is extremely shy and doesn’t socialize with kids. I hope I won’t encounter any separation anxieties from her during the first weeks.

Anyway, from the 2-day trial I had a glimpse of their learning method. Southville has a progressive method of teaching. The kinder class has only 6 students, a teacher and a teacher aid. They have singing, dancing, lots of educational activities, story telling. They have computer lab and library periods. The kids also know how to read a little, which I think is very advanced for their age. 

The tuition fee is around 124k for a year for the kinder class, excluding the books, school supplies and uniforms. Its actually more expensive than other schools, but since its an international school, I know it will be worth it. And the best part is that, its just a kilometer away from the house. Its so conducive and very apt for us!

Here is Sophie enjoying the playgrounds of her future school. 


 

Website:

Southville International School and Colleges

2017 #lifegoals

Since its still January, I guess I can still post some of my goals for the year. I hope I can tick off all by the end of the year, since most of these are feasible, sort of. So here goes, in no particular order:

  • Finish at least 6 books
  • Finish at least 6 kdramas
  • Finish at least 10 blu-ray movies
  • Lose at least 5kg more
  • Eat at least 1 veggie or 1 fruit a day
  • Do yoga again or pilates 
  • Buy my dream bag, Chanel Le Boy or Coco Handle
  • Go on a European holiday, or at least go back to California
  • Create a new hobby (baking or sewing or anything!)
  • Sell some of my unwanted stuff, have a garage sale
  • Create passive income or side business
  • At least quarterly facial maintenance at either Belo or Aivee 
  • Back up all my 26,000+ (as of to date) photos and videos 
  • Enroll Sophie in ballet
  • Enroll Sophie in a good big school
  • Cook more (esp. when Sophie goes to school)
  • Start looking for a house of our own
  • Conceive another child
  • Have a tattoo

There you go. Some of it are silly I know, but I like this list, and I look forward to seeing them materialize this year. Aja 2017!!! 💪🏼

So long 2016!

2016 for me, went by like a blur. It was probably not the best year for my liking, but I’m thankful for it just the same. I accomplished one of my fervent dreams this year, and then some. 

1. The highlight of my year is definitely getting approved for my US Visa and travelled twice to the US, in California and NYC. Dreams do come true!

2. I have fulfilled my parents dream of going to Holy Land, in Israel and Jordan. We also travelled to Korea first half of this year, where they experienced real snow for the first time. I also started my housing loan for them, so they could move in next year.

3. Sophie is growing healthier and smarter by the day. I continuously enrolled her to The Little Gym, to further improve her communication and social skills. She has since finished 3 terms of the playgym, and hopefully more, to ready her for big school next year. She has also gotten more charming and kikay over the year, and I loved dressing her up for OOTDs.

4. I started baby steps (again) to eat healthier. For over 3 mos now, we had our food portioned and delivered by Chef Gourmade. We do not follow the meals entirely but at least we control our eating habits now.

5. Since our allowances become bigger, I had somehow accomplished financial freedom. But I spent so much this year from all the travelling and material things, and hopefully get back on track of my savings for next year.

6. I guess my most downlow this year is being diagnosed by Adenomyosis. My wish for next year is to have another child again despite my disease.

Thank you for the memories, 2016! So much more to look forward to for 2017, my year! The year of the Rooster. Lets get it on! 🎉🎊

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