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, 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 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, 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, 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, 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, warriors!! Challenging, hard, and unbelievable — these are some words that come to mind when I think of our current situation now. Who would have thought we will be going through a pandemic like this? Something that could affect everyone in the world so rapidly. I am not here to repeat everything that we’ve been seeing on the news about COVID-19, but merely reminding everyone that we as humans will always be stronger if we just do things right — don’t panic!
Having two lovely kids that I would do anything for, you might think my anxiety level is through the roof. In some ways, I am concerned about facing our temporary reality. If it was just me trying to adjust to this lifestyle, I would be okay — but I have kids, and they don’t understand any of this. My toddler does not understand why we don’t go out on weekends to go about our leisurely activities. When we do go out, only to buy what we need for the week, I am extra careful with everything he touches — and he can’t understand why I have this look of horror whenever he does it.
I had to alter our routine especially since Little A is out of school (which means I have to be his teacher for a while — but this story is for a later time 😛 ). Every day is a different story and just like everyone else, I can only hope we can get out of this dark hole soon. We are all trying to combat this virus in our own ways, and for that, we are all warriors.
Hello, dolls! Hello, labor day weekend!! <3 Anyone else excited about this long weekend? My little family is going to keep it simple this time since we are busy introducing a new routine to Little A. He is going to start school in 3 days!! Can you believe it?? We went to two parent meetings this week and I am just all about being a Mom to a preschooler now!
I remember wrapping my books with plastic covers and buying school supplies with my Mom when I was younger. Was it just me or did anyone smell their notebooks/pads before? LMAO! The “smell” totally made me feel excited for the first day of school! I want Little A to have wonderful memories like me so I am determined to make it super fun for him in my own little ways — like sending him cutesy snacks and having our own tradition on Fridays to welcome the weekend!
Anyway, it is starting to feel like fall now (well, some days!) and I am getting excited about all of the outfits I have planned for myself and my two babies! Aside from our wardrobe, I am also looking forward to all of the warm weather food we will be eating! I say…ramen every weekend! 😛
Hello, dolls!! Hello, Amelia Caroline <3 She’s here!!! My baby girl is here <3 The past week felt surreal, are we really a family of 4 now? Everything has been pretty smooth (so far). Believe it or not, I’ve been getting enough sleep, long enough for me to not feel like a zombie and look forward to shopping 😛 Although I have to admit, I am kind of scared once A goes back to work. This “new world” that I live in now has been pretty serene and I know it’s because of the help I’ve been getting from A and my Mom. Hopefully, week 2 will be just as good, or at least bearable.
Let me officially introduce you to the newest member of my tiny tribe — baby C! <3 My pregnancy with her was not easy. From food aversion to physical pain, I think I’ve experienced them all! I dodged the severity of pregnancy symptoms with Little A and had a looooong labor and delivery. With baby C, it was painful but short! It’s amazing how different both experiences were, I feel like a new woman each time!
I shared my birthing story with little Aa couple of years ago and it’s one of my most favorite entries so far! I love sharing my story — especially if I can make a Mom-to-be know that childbirth is not so bad at all!
Hello, dolls! Hello, Throwback Tuesday! I am now 2 days away from my due date and feeling every symptom that I could be in labor soon except for my water breaking. I have never felt this restless after 2 weeks of relaxing — how is this even possible? There is no doubt that I am in full on pregnancy brain mode now and just 1 million percent nesting! I have been trying to get our house organized and I find it really….soothing.
Our trip to the Philippines is still 7 months away but it feels like it’s going to happen tomorrow. It’s going to be a big trip for me since I will be traveling with both kids so I guess that’s why I started planning everything as early as January of this year lol. I started a list of restaurants I miss and would love to try and I just hope I have the time to go to all of them!
Hello, dolls! Hello, Monday!! <3 Who else is braving this long week? I know it’s just Monday but I already feel like I’ve been hit by a truck — welcome to third trimester! Spring is right around the corner and I am truly excited for all of the great happenings lined up for me and my tiny tribe. First off, I have 2 great collaborations that I am thrilled to share with all of you soon (if you follow me on Instagram you probably know about this already). Second, A and I are going on a weekend trip in less than 2 weeks!! It’s bittersweet because it will be my first weekend away from little A but I know we will have our well-deserved time 24/7 shortly after that so I hope I won’t cry at the airport this time lol (otherwise A will start thinking I am being “extra” again). Third, spring is going to be extra beautiful starting this year because of my baby girl!! I am almost 31 weeks pregnant, can you believe it?
So yeah, that’s life lately. Moving on to my Pampanga Food Guide, let me talk about Aling Lucing again — my all-time favorite restaurant in Pampanga.
Hello, dolls! Hello, first weekend of 2019!! <3 How’s your 2019 so far? Mine has been pleasant. Aside from welcoming 2019 with family and friends, I had a short work week so I was able to give myself time to rejuvenate and plan things for this month (and some things throughout this pregnancy). Needless to say, I feel productive and inspired…until I start to feel and look like an elephant then I’ll be MIA again lol.
Before I announce the winner of my giveaway, let me share with you some things I am dealing with during this pregnancy with baby #2 — so what’s been making me nervous and excited at the same time?
Hello, dolls! Hello, Sunday!! <3 Life lately has been different. I started the year with high hopes that I can commit to blogging regularly for a full year. My efforts paid off with new connections and brands that I now love. However, life took a beautiful turn in October when A and I found out that we are expecting baby # 2! What a way to end 2018 and welcome 2019, right? It’s pretty difficult to be in front of my computer without feeling like I’m on a roller coaster. I have to minimize screentime for myself to be able to rest and feel better…unfortunately.
This pregnancy is different from baby A’s. My morning sickness is through the roof and I can hardly eat anything. It hasn’t been easy, not even at 16 weeks. I keep on motivating myself by saying “a couple of months of misery is nothing compared to a lifetime of happiness”. Whatever I am feeling right now is nothing compared to the feeling I will get once I hold my baby! <3
I’ve been thinking about the changes in our lives next year. How I can prepare baby A with his new sibling and most importantly maximize my time with him before the baby comes. Continue reading “Pregnant with Baby # 2”→
Hello, dolls! Hello, hump day!! <3 Fall is upon us meaning we only have a couple of weeks to enjoy the Farmer’s Market here in Baltimore. I always feel like a kid in a candy store whenever we go to the Farmer’s Market. There are so many delicious foods for me to try. Between the delicious comfort food surrounding me and the mouthwatering desserts, I can say that my eyes are always full and my heart feels like I should try everything.
Hello, dolls!! Hello, labor day, USA!! <3 How was everyone’s long weekend?? Ironically enough mine was pretty short. I had to start my weekend at work to cover a co-workers shift. Not an ideal way to start my busy weekend definitely. Anyway, I had the best reward though — shopping!
I spent the rest of my day in Annapolis. We hardly go there unless we have to OR I want to go shopping. I have never been to Annapolis Harbour Center so when I got the invitation for Gap’s Grand Opening I said yes with a million exclamation points!
Hello, dolls!! Hello, weekend!! <3 I am going to take a little break from Chicago posts and share with you something that filled my heart and tummy with so much joy this past Friday. I mostly share my food adventures here on my blog. Though I really intend for this to be a lifestyle blog it’s really hard to separate myself from food because it’s the core of my being. So if you can notice, whenever I post an entry, there’s always food involved. I’ve been going through my previous posts (like from 7 years ago) and it makes me laugh how brutally honest I was. I was a single girl who will not take anything less than what I paid for. Then A came along, we went to the best restaurants so my food posts became more positive. — still honest, but much lighter since I was writing about better restaurants 😛 Just like Urban Plates
A and I are always on the hunt for restaurants that we can take our family to when visiting us. The downside of taking my entire family to a restaurant is having to deal with 7 people trying to figure out what they want. I get stressed out whenever it’s time for us to order because I feel like half of us are always struggling to decide what to eat. When I learned about the concept of Urban Plates I knew it was going to be perfect not only for my tiny tribe but also to the rest of our family when we are complete in December.
I am so excited to share an experience that only happened 2 days ago! I am still trying to keep up with my adventures from 2 years ago so taking a break and sharing something current is like a dream to me! lol Continue reading “Urban Plates, Columbia MD”→
Hello, dolls! Hello, busy month. In my previous post, I mentioned that August is such a busy month for me because of all the parties I got invited to. I forgot to remind myself that I also have to start getting things settled for our big trip this year. Two months and I can officially take a break! It’s a much-needed one especially with everything that’s been happening lately. I feel like every time I solve one problem, two more come up so yeah…it’s been pretty heavy for me lately, emotionally.
Whenever I want to get lost in time, I look at my previous adventures, especially the ones with A. Our trips remind me of all the things we have accomplished. People close to us know that ever since we decided to start our own family, we have been really serious about investing in our future. So that involved making wise decisions and choosing the right time for vacations. My husband A and I know that all these will pay off — and we are already seeing the fruits of our labor with baby A!
Hello, dolls! Hello, Monday. I wanted to post this entry sooner but my soul was somewhere else this past week that I couldn’t really get myself to type more than hello. Emotionally, it was a very exhausting weekend. It “might” be PMS, or maybe, just the reality that I should let go of certain things in my life to remove this heavy block that’s been weighing me down. I wasn’t in my element and honestly, as I type these words, I am starting to feel guilty for not being 100% for my son. My husband was amazing throughout this weekend before I even uttered a word, his arms were already wrapped around me assuring that everything will be okay — cause it will be.
Emporiyum just announced their next event in DC. I am so excited because it’s one of the events A and I look forward to every year. There’s so much creativity to see each year and lots of inspiration for us to take home. One of my favorites to see are the small business owners, learning about how they started is very encouraging.
Had the happiest baby belly that weekend <3
Emporiyum is a food event that features artisan vendors from all over the country. Most vendors that I’ve seen are from Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, and New York. It’s a very cool event with a lot of one-of-a-kind treats, foodies from all over town, and a great atmosphere. There are more or less 100 vendors every year, so there is surely something for everyone. Continue reading “EMPORIYUM BALTIMORE”→
Hello, dolls!! Hello, July!! <3 I’ve been focusing on cleaning up my blog lately so it has been a while since I last posted an entry. I have so many thoughts in my head that I need to let go of — one of which is work. I have been pretty vocal about my work life here on my blog and I’ve expressed how many times I had to sacrifice time for family because of it. Time is the trade you have to give if you want to succeed in the kitchen.
I may not have 30 years of experience leading a kitchen but over the years I was able to get a good grasp of what being a Chef is all about — and no, it’s not just about putting an Instagrammable dish on the table or knowing how to cook the perfect steak!
This entry is pretty heavy for me because for the first time, I am opening up about a part of my life that I am heavily deliberating on now. I will be sharing some photos of the dishes I made in between points so please do not hesitate to ask me for recipes or tips! 🙂
Being A Chef is Mentally and Physically Exhausting
Like many other jobs, working in the kitchen can be very exhausting. Imagine being on a time crunch every minute of every day. The biggest enemy that you have to deal with on the regular is pressure and it’s in every corner of the restaurant. Over time I have learned how to live with it, and it still doesn’t make it any easier. Not even sleep can relieve us from the exhaustion … because really, do we even get to sleep?
That rush…the adrenaline that runs through our veins when we cook especially during a busy dinner service, that’s what keeps us going — red bull, monster, or 5-hour energy drink for most cooks. When we hit our ticket times and no plate comes back from the dining room, that is when our nerves calm down. It’s like we were never exhausted at all. Continue reading “Why Chefs Quit The Kitchen”→
Hello, dolls!! Hello, WEEKEND! Aaah yes…finally!! <3 This week is extra special because my baby A turned 2. I’ve been in this exact spot on my blog for almost a week now. I can’t seem to find the right words to describe how breathtaking the past two years have been. Two years of learning about Motherhood and appreciating life even more. Needless to say, I spent the past week wishing I am able to freeze time… I mean really, where does time go?? So as I sit here trying not to choke up as I stare at my boy, let me share with you one of the best moments during my pregnancy.
One of the challenges I faced when I was pregnant with baby A was the “art of relaxing”. It was difficult to not think about work even during my days off because well…that’s pretty much where my life revolved here in Baltimore — my husband and the kitchen. So welcoming baby A into our lives 2 years ago was a great reminder of things that I was starting to miss out on.
This is one of my favorite moments during my pregnancy because finally….after weeks of trying to find time to go on an adventure we were finally able to spend quality time without doing projects for our new home. Continue reading “Spring in Washington DC”→