19 September 2017

September has always been one of the busiest months for us, what with the first few weeks of school and all.  This year, though, seems to be even more crammed with to-do's and various activities. Z is having netball three times a week; sometimes even four, if there is a tournament on Sunday.  Both of them still have Scouts activities --on different days, in different locations.  She insists on still doing Drama.  She's joined Battle of the Books again, as well as the Elite Recorder Club. J has his Math Club and he's also learning wing chun.  On top of all that, there's piano for both of them, too. Oh, there's also Cathechism classes on Sundays.  I get exhausted just thinking about all this.

We've asked if they were willing to give up one or two of the activities and they both gave an an adamant No.  At the end of the day, if they are enjoying the activities they've signed up for and can manage with the rest of what they need to do, we are fine with it (even though we are the ones who get really tired shuttling them around!).

Last Saturday, both their troops had a joint Scout activity.  They had their Open Water Test and did various water-related activities at Hebe Haven.  J had a dragonboat race.  Z and the other Cubs were taught how to scull a dinghy, how to heave a lifeline, and learned eight different knots.  It was hot and humid as could be, but everyone had great fun. 

12 September 2017

We took a short trip to Manila last week.  It was what my soul needed.  Not the notorious Manila traffic, mind you --never that!  Don't even get me started on how bad it gets.  What made this trip special was that I got to reconnect with friends from high school, many of whom I hadn't seen in 30 years!  Everyone looked pretty much the same, albeit with a few lines here and there.  Laugh lines, I'd like to think, because the laughter came just as easily as it did back then.  Maybe even more abundantly now as we mocked how silly we were back in the days.  The humor dry, wry, and a bit sly at times, but always in good fun.  

As we reminisced, we also caught up with what each is doing now, swapped stories of our children and spouses, gossiped about those who were not present (not going to lie!).  I am smiling as I am writing this... and dreaming of halo-halo and maíz con hielo and palabok.

Singwa - Wed, 13 Sep 2017
View from the plane as we were descending into Hong Kong

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06 September 2017

w e d n e s d a y

Confession:  I'm struggling to find inspiration for posts of late.  Weird, because I've been reading more (than usual) and generally I find plenty of things to reflect on and write about from the books that I read. Not happening. Yet. I'm still waiting... 


Where do you draw inspiration for your posts?

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29 August 2017

...or am I?  I've started on a post a few times the last couple of weeks since we've come back from our summer holiday and couldn't get past the first few sentences.  Blame it on jet lag, blame it on the back-to-school prep, blame it on trying to get back to a routine now that the kids are back in school.

Anyway, we had a lovely summer.  J & Z attended their first-ever wedding and were part of the wedding party.  Had their first ride in a limo bus (my first, too!).  We went on our annual blueberry-picking trip and had yummy, yummy fresh berry shakes and scrumptious berry waffles to reward ourselves after the pick.  We didn't go on any road trip this year, what with the wedding and all, but we had fun nonetheless.  

The kids, as always, had an absolute blast with the cousins.  What's more, the cousins brought their 6-month old bernedoodle with them for the summer and everyone was kept busy fussing over the dog, taking her for walks, and just plain spoiling her.

How was your summer?

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27 June 2017

This little creature below was one of the highlights of our trip to Australia last Christmas. Even before we left for the trip, the kids were all about 'cuddling a koala.'  We just had to make sure that that was part of our itinerary.  

What I love about how this experience was handled is that at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, they take care to educate the public about koalas, their care, their habitat, etc. It's not just a money-making photo op scheme.  The children came away with some basic knowledge about koalas beyond simply an experience of having cuddled one.

Singwa - Wed, 28 Jun 2017

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21 June 2017

Hurray for one-pot meals!  Josh and Zoe have been taking turns to make one meal for the family each week.  So far, we've been sticking with one-pot meals, which are easier for them to do. Josh did a fantastic job the week before with his cilantro lime chicken rice. We've modified the recipe a bit to use chicken thighs instead of breasts and added in way more cilantro than was called for.  This was so, so good, believe me!  The cilantro and lime combo was so refreshing and the avocado lime sauce was simply divine.  For sure, this dish is going to be part of our regular go-to menu.

Zoe's turn last week saw her make something similar --one-pot lemon herb chicken rice. Just very slightly different from what Josh made, but oh, just as yummy!  The aroma from the kitchen, as she was making it, was just heavenly.  The Italian seasoning and the lemony tang ...oooh. We all had second helpings (well, in Josh's case, thirds!); it was that good! 

Singwa - Wed, 21 Jun 2017

We got both recipes from Le Creme de la Crumb and it's fast becoming our go-to site for easy-to-make, super delicious dishes!

{Also linking up with The Good.  The Random.  The Fun;

12 June 2017

I have a ton -- a TON! --of photos to go through dating back from last summer.  These ones here were from our trip to Australia over Christmas last year.  We went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (Brisbane) and it was one of the highlights of the trip.  Especially for our kids. 

Apart from koalas, which we could pet and cuddle (under supervision), we also got up close and personal with kangaroos and other wildlife in a natural setting.  

This was my second visit to the sanctuary and I remembered that the last time I was there, an emu chased me around!  Although the ones this visit seemed to be less aggressive, I made sure to steer clear of them.  I was perfectly fine hanging out with these little pretty birds instead!

Singwa - Wed, 14 Jun 2017
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07 June 2017

Summer is really here!  I can feel it.   It's been unbearably hot, hot, hot these last few days. School is winding down, yet there's still so much going on, so much to do.

I watched "Screenagers" with both kids last night.  If you have children who love screens and you are looking for insights and good talking points with them about responsible usage, this is a good place to start.  We had a good discussion with the kids after the screening and it's going to be a continuing dialogue as we navigate through this interesting, interesting area. We didn't have as much (or any!) access to screens as our kids do these days, but this is the new reality; we are living in the electronic age. The trick is to find that balance between knowing your way around tech and using tech responsibly.

Singwa - Wed, 7 Jun 2017

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