Hello, dolls! Hello weekend!! What a beautiful week we had here in Maryland. The weather was so friendly so I was a bit more productive — anyone else go in full relax mode when it’s a hundred degrees out? Because I do! Thank goodness we got a little break from the summer heat this week because I needed to get a lot of things done (in fact, I am still working on it!).
After almost two weeks of going back and forth with everyone at home being sick (cold + flu only and nothing major thankfully), I am finally able to get back in the rhythm of my routine. To tell you the truth, life seems to be a little overwhelming lately between my day job, blogging, and growing food business. One year ago, I never anticipated reaching this kind of momentum. I could not be more grateful to be given the opportunity to see my financial goals take off sooner than I planned.
Hello, dolls! Hello, June 2021! It has been almost a week since I came back from Nashville and I am still on a traveling high. After 17 months of making sure my family stays safe, I finally mustered up the courage to get on a plane — vaccinated and masked up of course! I am happy to report I did not bring anything unwanted back home and the trip was successfully safe.
Anyway, getting the break that I needed made me realize how Moms find it difficult to seek time for themselves. Mom guilt is real and there will always be a part of me that will say “maybe I do not need this appointment right now because I just worked 40 hours this week, the kids need me”. Moms tend to put themselves last and unfortunately, it can spiral back to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Hello dolls, Hello, Mother’s Day! Whenever I hear people talk about THE perfect Mother’s Day gift, I giggle inside and say “to relax and have quiet time”. You have no idea how much Moms crave for that perfect cup of tea that we can enjoy in peace. To sit and just take a moment with our thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and all that but if you are to ask me what the perfect Mother’s Day weekend is, I would say experience because it comes with different scenery and peace.
After a year of living in our bubble and safely going about our work-school-home routine, I knew it was time for us to go on a family adventure again…safely. I wouldn’t be so confident in doing a hotel staycation with my kids if not for Royal Sonesta.
A and I have been wanting to do a Washington DC staycation to eat in some of the restaurants on our list. This was 9 years in the making so you can imagine how much our list has grown over the years.
I love to watch A and the kid’s faces whenever we walk into a rental/hotel room. I spend a lot of time researching and looking at pictures on social media to make sure our stay is pleasant so seeing them wide-eyed and smiling means so much to me. The first thing A said when he stepped foot in our room was “are you sure this is not a suite? this room is huge!” and it was! I can’t believe how much space we had that weekend. We could have asked for a cot for Baby C and we would still have enough room for a bed or two 😛
I get in full guard mode during our first 5 minutes in the room. Aside from documenting the beautiful room, I also make sure I sanitize e v e r y t h i n g that the kids would possibly touch — and this also includes unplugging the phone because Baby C, unfortunately, loves to call room service! 😛
It was so comforting to see all the safety measures Royal Sonesta Washington DC does to keep their guests feel safe. Such as remote control plastic covers, coffee maker by request, and a guaranteed sanitized room.
The bathroom was equipped with everything that we would possibly need. I could have left our toiletries and would have been fine with the stuff from Royal Sonesta Washington DC.
The double doors of the closet just gave me ultimate “#goals vibe”!
The view from our room brought so much excitement for our family! The kids loved looking out and Little A asked me a couple of times how far away we are from home and requested to extend our staycation like a million times! I know we are doing something right when Little A makes a comment about his own experience/feelings about it.
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD:
Royal Sonesta Washington DC is conveniently located in Dupont Circle. There are a lot of cafes to try as soon as you walk out of the hotel so there is no need to settle for Starbucks.
A picked up breakfast from a local bagel place across the street and the kids LOVED the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich! Next door is a grocery store which was really helpful for us because having kids mean always needing little things to make everyone comfortable.
I picked up tea from Valley Brook Tea which was literally 20 steps away from the hotel. There are a lot of great restaurants offering outdoor dining within 500 feet from the hotel so it truly is the perfect spot for a foodie weekend especially for families because there will be no complaining about walking!
One of the things I look forward to whenever we are away for the weekend is to try quaint cafes or bakeries. Firehook Bakery is a MUST TRY when in Washington DC and it is pretty close from Royal Sonesta Washington DC.
Royal Sonesta Washington DC offer valet service with in and out privileges for a fee. We drove from Baltimore and knew that we will be driving to the restaurants we picked all weekend. It was so convenient to not worry about parking space once we get back to the hotel and more importantly, saving money on metered parking!
All the valets that we encountered wore a mask and sanitized before going in the car.
The best part about our whole experience with Royal Sonesta Washington DC is the service. Every hotel staff member that we met during our stay had a smile on their face and asked us if there is anything that can do for us. Dannyboy was the sweetest and gave us the most positive energy that weekend.
Between the immaculately clean hotel and great service, saying our experience with Royal Sonesta Washington DC was full of joy is an understatement.
Little A had a big smile like this all weekend and even asked me a couple of times when we’re going back to Royal Sonesta Washington DC again! This can be a monthly thing and I wouldn’t mind at all. This has got to be our best and safest trip to date yet since the pandemic.
Hello, dolls! Hello, snowy February! It’s been snowing a lot here in Maryland and for the first time, I am not complaining about it. Having kids made me look forward to the fun and beauty snow brings as we watch it fall from our window. A and I were driving home the other day and everything just looked beautiful with snow piled up on every tree branch that day — what used to be an uneventful view for us set up the mood and me look forward to traveling somewhere again (whenever that may be). Lately I’ve been asking A “how crazy would it be if we travel to (insert country/city/place/town)?”.
I love being on a plane and the adrenaline I feel when I know I am about to see somewhere beautiful. It’s been more than a year since our last plane ride and as much as I want to continue my little travel traditions, I just could muster up the courage to book a flight and feel comfortable about it.. not just yet. Any tips from people who have traveled in the past year?
So for now, I will just enjoying this freezing weather and think about spring time. When things seem to fall right back in its place, feelings get stronger, and my inspiration becomes bigger.
Hello, dolls! Hello love month! <3 It’s been almost a year since our lives were altered because of COVID19. If you asked me how I think my February 2021 was going to look like, I would probably say “busy talking about our second family vacation in a country A and I have always wanted to visit”. However, life took an unexpected turn for all of us. A year after I have never yearned for the simplest adventures that we can safely do outside the comfort of our home.
12 months of being cooped with our kids, you bet A and I were in need of time away from home. We love our kids but we needed a change of scenery, to recharge, and just let go of the anxiety we’ve been holding in for a while now.
Hello,dolls!Hello, positivity! 17 days into 2021, how are you feeling about this year so far? For some gratifying reason, I am starting to feel hopeful. I know things started pretty heavy this year with everything goin on, but I know there’s always something beautiful ahead of us..always.
Hello, dolls! Hello, 2021! The first week of the new year was pretty heavy for most of us with everything going on but I hope you are still able to find little joys that could turn life around positively for you. The holidays may be over, but I know a lot of us are still dealing with the heaviness of every meal that we ate between Christmas shopping and embracing the New Year.
If you are like me who goes through phases of physical guilt, self-loathing, and a promising diet plan that will only last a month (tops), then your head is probably spinning now too. My body is experiencing some grown-up changes now that I am 30. I get it, 30 is not old but definitely I definitely do not function like when I was 18. Dealing with cheat days and especially overeating during the holidays used to be unbearable but with my healthy helpers, I am able to get some quick relief whenever I need it.
Hello, dolls! Hello, Christmas season! 2020 may have changed a lot of things for us but I am glad to see the Christmas spirit stronger more than anything else. Seeing the rising number of positive cases go up again is alarming. As much as I would love to spend time with some of our close friends here in Baltimore, I know the smartest thing to do right now is to lay low and wait until things get a little better in the “outside world” again. I am in full precautionary mode again because in the past 8 months, some people close to my heart got the virus and had their lives altered so drastically. I felt so helpless knowing I cannot do much aside from letting them know how much I care about them through text message.
The holidays are around the corner and I know one of the ways we can feel normal is through Christmas presents. Now that we are staying home more than ever, here are some gift ideas that will surely help calm our minds and remind us that it’s okay to relax and enjoy the little things.
Hello, dolls! Hello, beautiful fall! <3 October is the month when I start feeling the craziness (and excitement) of the Holidays. As soon as A’s birthday rolls in, I get into this celebratory mood which turns out to be a lot of weekend activities and trips until we are ready to kiss the year goodbye. We’ve been very busy enjoying this beautiful season and I can’t wait to share all our adventures here…someday 😛
Anyway, one of the things I look forward to every weekend is to dress up my kids. I love planning our outfits and I am extra happy when our OOTDs compliment each other. Fall is the perfect time to explore the style you want to go for when dressing up your kids as there are so many inspirations everywhere — especially on social media!
Hello, dolls! hello, fall!! <3 Aaaah don’t you just love the crisp weather that greets your face when you walk out the door? The beautiful leaves starting to turn to orange/brown and the positive aura the people around you exude because it is finally, fall. I loved fall even more when I became a Mom. The fun activities we get to do and the joy of planning their outfits is just enough to make my Mama heart full the entire season.
For some reason, this cuddle weather makes me want to relax at home more. I am always on the go during summer because I feel like the season is not long enough for us to enjoy the outdoors so our weeks are filled with activities almost everyday. Once the weather starts getting a little cool, I am more drawn to relaxing which means I can also plan some “me time” throughout the week — and what better way to welcome fall than to enjoy my Therabox beauty subscription box?
Hello, dolls! Hello, NFL Season! As much as I want to say I am very excited to see the Ravens play again, I can’t help but feel indifferent about my husband planning life around the games again — I say this with love but we are not going to tell him that 😛 Now that Little A is bigger, game days seem to be more relaxing for us. I love seeing my boys in the basement hanging out together whether Little A is busy playing with legos or jump up and down as he yells “Ravens” when someone scores a touchdown.
It’s the simple moments like this that make me more motivated to stay safe and healthy for our kids. I know one day, Little A will say “Dad, remember when this happened during the game?”.
Hello, dolls! Hello, labor day weekend <3 After a very hectic week, I am so glad to be out of town and safely spend the long weekend with family. I’ve been really busy as a working Mom this week and felt guilty for not being present as much as I wanted to for the kids. After four months, I am back to working in-person and not just behind my computer so I feel like I am back in college again navigating my way around the campus. Little A went back to school and I still can’t believe he is now in Pre-K 4! So many changes to our quarantine routine this week but I am so glad to have more normality around the house.
One of my favorite “tasks” this week was redecorating Baby C’s reading nook. I am having so much fun making her room look pretty (shopping the main reason of course lol). When we had her closet remodeled earlier this year and saw this little corner, I knew instantly that it would be a reading nook. My main goal was to transform this space into a more relaxing and book friendly hangout spot for my girl, and I am very satisfied with the outcome.
Hello,dolls!! Hello, summer heat! I know it’s challenging to fully enjoy summer this year with everything going on but I hope there are more positive experiences in your life to look back to from this season. I would be lying if I said I wake up every morning with the confidence I had four months ago. I feel like as we get closer to the new school year and holidays, my anxiety gets heavier. With the uncertainty ahead of us, it’s hard to not feel worried about the upcoming changes in our lives. One of the biggest things that breaks my heart is the thought of not seeing our family for a very long time — cousins from New York, my siblings and my Dad in Manila, and friends that we love as family. This brings me back to all the parties I hosted over the years when everyone was able to attend. I had to cancel two parties I planned this year because of covid and though the kids don’t realize it yet, I feel bad that they don’t get to physically experience the love that a lot of people share with them.
It wasn’t easy deciding to cancel Baby C’s first birthday party. For weeks I would follow the news about coronavirus and hope that there is a way for me to gather everyone that we love and celebrate my girl. After two months of feeling concerned about the safety of our loved ones, I knew that hosting a party right now is not the best thing to do.
I am the kind of Mom who loves to plan everything ahead of time. I write down every idea and see where my mind takes me. I wanted something different for our loved ones to enjoy in the summer, so I thought what better way to celebrate a birthday in Baltimore than to have Maryland crabs?
Planning a crab-themed or nautical birthday party? I am attaching links to products that will make it easy for you!
Hello, dolls!! Hello, weekend! <3 The best part of my week was going to Nordstrom for their anniversary sale. One of the perks of being a card member is the early access to the awesome Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. A and I have been in the influencer level for the past 3 (or 4?) years now and I am very very happy with all the little “gifts” that come with the status.
The public sale for Nordstrom’s Anniversary sale is on August 19th and I know there are a lot of you who are wondering if it’s even worth waiting for. I honestly think that it is because their anniversary sale is just insanely good! Most of the items are discounted at at least 50% off and for Moms like me, this is a great way to stock up on clothes for the kids! Here are a few of my favorites from this year’s sale. 90% of the items below are already in our closet so I can attest to the quality and style.
Hello, dolls! Hello, July! Beach season is here and here I am looking at every possible place I can take my family BUT too scared to push through with anything due to safety reasons. Two weeks ago we went to New Jersey to spend time with my in-laws and it felt really great to be out of state again! Not to mention see the kids spend time with their grandparents and auntie after so long. So I’ve decided to keep myself busy with a big project to keep my mind off escaping. However, the exhaustion is making me miss going away even more. I like to reward myself (and now my family) a little getaway whenever I work on something big like this but there are so many concerns right now.
So if you are like me who prefers to stay out of the crowd and relax at home, here’s an easy recipe for you to try! A’s Cheddar and Jalapeno Chicken Burgers — so easy to make and almost guilt-free! 😛
Hello, dolls!! Hello, June! One of the things that devastated me during this pandemic is Baby C’s birthday party getting “rescheduled until further notice”. Look, there are plenty of big issues that we are facing now but as a Mom, this my story today. When I found out I was having a girl, I knew what theme her birthday was going to be. It was easy to plan because I had a clear vision. I jotted down every idea and collected anything that could make the party successful. Just like everyone else, when each country announced the lock down, I thought it was only going to last two weeks. or a month tops. As we learned more about the virus, I started feeling nervous for all the things that “might not happen” — Little A not going back to school, our trips, and Baby C’s first birthday.
There are many things that we adapted to since the first day of quarantine that we love doing now. I still can’t help but feel a bit of longing for the things that I wish we can do. One of many is having our friends and family around when celebrating special moments. Every week I would read articles about the virus and intently listened to the Governor’s announcements wondering when I can send Baby C’s birthday invitations. When April rolled around and there was no clear sky in sight, I knew had to hold off on the invitation and wait for the right time.
Hello, dolls!! Hello, June! So my greatest fear during this lock down has happened, I am starting to feel like this is normal. This life where my sole responsibility each day is to make sure we are okay, no servicing other people but us. Waking up to my kids fully energized hoping a cup of coffee would magically appear in front of me to get me off my bed. “It’s another day” I like to say — another day of never missing another moment with my children. So this is what it feels like, to fully submit myself to Motherhood and be home all day.
When I found out I was pregnant with Little A, I shopped for books I could read to him. I had no idea which ones to look for but somehow I bought The Little Prince because the title seemed fitting. A and I did not have an idea what kind of parents we were going to be, but we knew we wanted our children to grow up loving books just as much as we do.
Hello, dolls!! Hello, Mother’s Day weekend! <3 May is blooming beautifully like the flowers as we are starting to see some normal changes. Things are not going to be the way it used to be, and it’s okay. I have learned to accept this new reality after 8 weeks of being trained to take a step back from my aggressive go-getter self to a more conscious individual. When this is all over, I know that the stronger and better version of me is going to be ready to face the world again.
One of the things I realized as a Mom is the pressure Moms go through on a daily basis. I hate seeing Mom-shamers on social media because I know that everyone’s situation is different, I have come to fully understand this after having my second baby. Little A and Baby C might have similarities when it comes to their physique and some tiny details but the way Baby C’s growing habits are very different from Little A. I guess where I am going to is, A and I have to adapt to Baby C’s system so our parenting style is contrasting. Same parents and lifestyle, different kid and behavior.
Hello, dolls! Hello, #QuarantineLife! Does anyone else feel like this lockdown is starting to feel like our new normal now? Like going back to how life was before this virus is a far reach since there will be many changes. I have so many questions in my head that I dread because I know things will transition differently after this. As humans, we are trained to adapt, and though I know we are going to be okay, it just makes me sad to think our lives before mid-March of 2020 is going to be a thing of the past.
Just like everyone else, our kitchen has become the busiest room in our house during this quarantine. We’ve been cooking and baking a lot which makes me feel like I’ve gained at least 20 pounds. But hey! Who is counting at this point?