Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm still here!

It's been a while since I last posted but I'm still around.  Just trying to get little things done before my baby's arrival.  My DD started kindergarten and that got me a little busy for quite some time.  Although having my daughter in school did give me plenty of time to sit around the house shopping online and driving out for stuff that I can't seem to find online.  I bought this lunch box for DD to match the backpack she already owns.
Crocodile Creek butterfly lunch box and back pack
Then there's the situation with my dog...which will with no doubt run me out of my money.  He was just diagnosed with Bladder stones and now he is scheduled for a surgery.  Who would have thought Canine cystotomy would cost about $1700?!Holy cow. 

He looks so sad...Don't worry Troy, you will get anesthesia!
So just to update, I am finally posting my hospital gown to have baby#2 in.  I was tempted to order something blue but decided against anything pastel or light'll never know when it's time to get it all messy. 
Zoe Gownie by Baby Be Mine
Recently, I have had trouble sleeping at night and started getting cramps because I keep sleeping in the wrong position.  I already pile up 3 pillows underneath me but it wasn't working, I decided to get a body pillow.  I was thinking of getting those maternity pillows but with 5 weeks to go, why bother? At least this one, I can still use post pregnancy.

Tommy Hilfiger Body Pillow Lounger
While I was at it, I decided to get some new bedding sets as well.  I love anything that has embroidery so I can't help it.
California King size bedding sets, one in cream and and another in dark purple
I have plenty of explaining to do to my hubby when he sees my credit card bill this month.  I started buying more baby clothes, room decor and storage organizers, custom crib bedding but they are not shipped yet so I am starting to panic.  I still have five more weeks to go but I am stressing out that my little boy's nursery is not ready!  I did find some cute eco-friendly toys while I was out shopping today.  I know my baby won't need this until another year or so...but...I am very impulsive. I just thought they were really cute.  And of course, it helps that they are made of recycled materials.

Eco friendly dump truck and front loader by Sprig made of recycled sprigwood
And a dinosaur bank! It's never too early for my kid to start saving some money!:)
Dino bank by Sprig
I had to drive to the Filipino bakery because I just suddenly had a craving for this.
 Oh yum!  Anyway, I gotta go pick up my DD from school.  Until next time! :P

Friday, August 17, 2012

French Holiday Part IV: Paris

Hello everyone.
Finally, here is the fourth and final installment of our French Holiday and apology if it took me a week to finish it. Was just busy with things lately.
But please be warned that this is going to be a very lengthy one.
Anyway, what better way to conclude a French Holiday than in its very beautiful capital, the city of romance- Paris?!
Both Dearest Husband and I had already visited  this captivating city in the past on our own, respectively. (He, with friends on several occasions for  a rugby match and I, once on a business trip.)
But this one, is our first time together as a family and it was just wonderful.

Before I share some of our pictures, let me tell you about our  experience with Best Western Hotel.

When Dearest Husband  booked us at the said hotel  I did not object because of the following reasons:
1st: I had a pleasant stay at a Best Western Hotel  on 2 separate business trips  in the past  - 1 in Las Vegas and 1 in Amsterdam so naturally I expected the same quality ; 2nd, it was near Disneyland and there is a shopping mall nearby; 3rd, with a car with us we naturally wanted a hotel car park and the train station in the area is just perfect for us going to the city and 4th, convenient for us to go to Versailles without enduring the city's traffic jam.

So bearing all of these in mind, we were anticipating for a gratifying stay only to be disappointed.
It was smelly and dirty. Very poor decor and there was no air conditioning unit.
It was such a struggle especially as the weather was just so humid.
And lastly, the bar and restaurant are close at weekends, how inconvenient!
It was such a poor value and we don't think this is good representation of a Best Western in general.
Nevertheless, we tried our best to abide with this situation especially us our stay was already fully paid in advance and  is non refundable.
But in the end we were forced to cut short our stay by 3 days and moved to another hotel  in the city centre at an additional expense of course.
We have contacted Best Western and lodged our discontent but we were told the said hotel is no longer part of their chain since 1998.
We were of course surprise because it didn't say anything when we booked it and the logos and literatures of the said hotel chain is still being used during our stay.
But when probed further, they came back to us saying it is still part of their chain. Just how confusing this is!
But anyway, we've had enough of them now and we enjoyed our Paris escapades anyway especially as the new hotel we stayed at was far more suitable for us.

No Paris trip would be complete without the sight and seeing of its famous landmarks:

Below picture I believe does not require any introduction at all as obviously it is a very famous world structure -the Eiffel Tower! Although I have already seen this landmark before, it is still very mesmerizing.

A great family photo on our very first Parisian holiday


Despite the scorching heat, my little girl is without a doubt enjoying the scenery.

And mummy must have a solo picture of course!

My little girl when she first laid eyes on the famous structure. This would make a very good souvenir picture.

I wanted to capture in my camera the beauty of Eiffel Tower at night.
It is such a sight to behold. Like a rotating giant Christmas Tree sharing its splendid lights to the rest of the city.
Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity this time. Next time perhaps.

Another famous landmark - the Notre Dame de Paris.

All good attempts to have a good picture together by the Arc de Triomphe

We also took part in the River Seine Cruise. It was a very informative experience.

Of course Little Girl must not be left out although Dearest Husband said he put hers on the Chinese Audio.
Still,  it appears she is listening to it attentively!

Madsaboutu requested for me to take plenty of pictures.
I tried my best juggling my camera with either a very active toddler or pushing her stroller.
Here are some I managed:

River Seine

Paris Plage or Paris Beach. Temporary artificial beach along the stretches of River Seine every July-August

Paris on a busy Summer day

Just some of the great Parisian architecture

I just love how this hotel adorned itself with beautiful flowers

Cafes everywhere. A typical Parisian street with a long stretch of an array of cafes.

And speaking of cafes, what best way to also enjoy Paris than through its food.
Paris is famous for its bistros and cafes. And we did have a good time with them.
 Dearest Husband and I would be having a drink in one cafe and moved to another one after a few minutes just to have varied experiences especially as the cafes have different themes. 

Mummy and Little Girl one rainy Sunday afternoon just outside our hotel at La Cafe Pierre.
They serve delicious food and the cafe is decorated with ballet pictures.

The cafe interior

Just one of the many ballet pictures that adorned the walls of Le Cafe Pierre. 
The names of the model and the photographer is in a sign by the door.

Another cafe, another drink on the same area. At Le Bastille Bar.

Another day, another cafe with a Venetian theme. Et Etoile Venetienne Cafe.

In one of Dearest Husbands favourite Restaurant- Au Chien Qui Fume Seafood Restaurant. 
It is a dog theme restaurant with pictures and figurines all over the place although they don't serve dog meat of course!
The food is just heavenly! I had the Fisherman's Hotpot all to myself!

Another evening, another lovely cafe. Soufflot Cafe in the Latin Quartier.

The interiors of Soufflot Cafe graced with book cases and framed pictures of itself.
I can go on with the cafes and restaurants that we went to but I think that would be over the top.
And there are just too many to mention.

Lastly, we also went to Le Puces (Paris Flea Market).
I had a great time although Dearest Husband wasn't particularly feeling well.
The antiques shops were abundant and most of the prices were just out of  our reach.
The antiques part of this flea market is off limits to camera so I have no pictures to share.
There was also another side to Le Puces that is within the masses reach. Hundreds of stalls of different merchandise. From clothing, shoes, perfumes and a lot more.
I managed to buy some dresses and tops for myself.
Some may not be suitable as a going out outfit but for a stay at home mum they are definitely perfect for me when Little Girl and I are just cuddling/playing inside our humble abode.

There we go, I've finally shared our Paris antics. I hope you find it interesting. Have a very good weekend everyone and Good night!

Monday, August 13, 2012

French Holiday Part III: Versailles

Hello everyone.
I'm just wondering if anybody had  seen last night's Olympic's Closing Ceremony? Spectacular isn't it?
Were you also excited to see the Spice Girls just like me? And did you find them good or in fact better than their younger days?
I have to comment on the supermodels - Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss participation though. Their reputation don't seem fitting in the Olympic spirit.

As much as I still want to go on with my thoughts on the splendid show last night, I'm afraid I have to carry on with the subject  of this post, our French Holiday of course.
Part of our itinerary is visiting the Palace of Versailles. It is situated outside Central Paris.
History says it was the centre of political power during Louis IV reign  until he was forced back to return to Paris during the French Revolution.
When you set foot in this grand place, you could not help but to think, people before had all the right to revolt. What with all the grandeur and the blatant excessiveness, a very sharp contrast to the real plight of the masses. Isn't it  just such an insult?

Here are our pictures I would like to share:

Front view of Chateau de Versailles. It is so massive the whole view won't fit in my camera, lol! Kidding aside, people were already flocking in as early as 10am.

The Chateau on a closer look from the garden

The 800 hectare garden of Versailles.
Because the queue to the Chateau was so long we decided to check the garden first.
We were not prepared for this breath taking sight.

At the bottom of the garden is a big canal. People can rent a boat and have fun under the sun.

One of the many water sculptures in this magnificent garden

Row, row, row  your boat gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream. Oh what a dream indeed!

Little Girl enjoying the very well manicured lawn although it's off limits - of which a few minutes after we were asked to step out.

Just simply impressive, isn't it?

So impressive Mummy and Little Girl could not resist having a picture together!

The garden is said to have about 200,000 number of trees!

Just one of the many parterres of flowers the garden has

We were so exhausted afterwards. 800 hectares of exploring under the 26C of sunshine.
 But still, we decided to check on the queue. No chance. It was still very long and we were just so tired. Although I really wanted to go inside and see the famous Hall of Mirrors.
I believe it's  been featured  in several films or as an inspiration I think.
 I was also intrigued in the flamboyant lifestyle of Louis IV  and it would have been a good opportunity to see this and most of all I just want to see  those antique furnitures. Well, there is always a next time.

So what better way channelling this frustration than go shopping?
The very good thing about my husband is he knows me very well.
Every new place we go, he would always set aside a shopping day for me - whether I would actually shop or just window shop, it doesn't matter really.
So the day before this Versailles trip,  was my shopping day in Val d' Europe.
Since we were  in France, I told myself I would only be shopping for French brands so here goes my very few shopping finds:

A dress from Promod I bought the day before which I wore to our Versailles visit.

Another dress from Promod

And the sole reason why I insisted on going back to Val d' Europe (after the Versailles visit).
This handbag gave me the sleepless night. 
And I finally gave in to the Longchamp craze. Although not the Pliage one.
This is Longchamp Planettes tote in sable colour.
A very good alternate with my Michael Kors tote for everyday use. Easy clean as well.

I also fancied a denim jacket from Naf Naf but not so convincing enough to give me a sleepless night.
 I also wanted to buy something for Little Girl but just could not find any.
So in the end, I bought her 3 pairs of Hello Kitty shoes in bigger sizes at Auchan because they were just 10 euros/pair.

It is now about 1 am and have to call it a night now. I will try my very best to finish this French Holiday chronicles tomorrow.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

French Holiday Part II: Disneyland

Bonsoir, hope everyone's having a lovely Saturday.
We just did. A barbeque (the first actually and hopefully not the last for this year, weather permitting) at my parents-in-law's house together with the rest of the family. Just lovely food and good company.
Anyway, as promised here is the 2nd part of our French adventure.

Obviously as the above title says, Disneyland was part of our agenda.
Just bear with us as we were all first timers. And first timers that we were, there were things that we were not able to plan/do properly.
Tickets for example. We bought a 1 day ticket for 2 parks.
Little did we know that 1 day is not even enough for 1 park and add to that we also started our day quite late and we haven't had a clue where or what to do first.
We ended up only going to the 1st park and little girl missed half of the Disney Parade as she was asleep.
We've decided to return the next day to experience both parks although it costed us more.
Tickets would be cheaper if purchased for 2 days for 2 parks.
But then we cannot do anything about that anymore but instead we can  make the most of what we can.
And sure we did!  Little girl enjoyed all the rides.
We saw not just the Disney Parade but also the Disney Stars N' Cars, front row.  
And  most of all we got to see their 20th anniversary celebration.
We were just so glad we decided to come back again.

Day 1, Disneyland Park

Mummy just wanted a souvenir picture but Little Girl wasn't not up for it.

The excitement is just so obvious in my Little Girl's face!

Mummy and Little Girl having a go on her most favourite ride.
Since the queue was so long, we decided to make the most of it by having more than 1 go when our turn came

Day 2, Walt Disney Studio

Another day and my little girl was having another go on her most favourite ride - the carousel!

Little Girl in one of the several rides she had

10.30pm and the Disney Dream hasn't started yet.
Little Girl was getting so impatient and tired.
Mummy was feeling cold for the obvious absence of a jacket especially as the weather turned chilly because of the sudden rain in the afternoon.

But when Fantaillusion started, Little Girl's mood changed abruptly. I could not blame her.
The floats in all its splendid lights were just truly magical especially in the eyes of a child.

The spectacular Disney Dreams show as part of Disneyland Paris' 20th anniversary.
Truly, worth the wait.

Until we see you again Disneyland.

Little Girl is already talking about missing Mickey Mouse and at 1 point gave her money to Mummy to buy tickets. Bless her. But we need thousands of her 1p to be able to go back to this magical place.

I have to call it a night now especially as I had a couple of drinks earlier.
I wish everyone a very good Sunday.
 Bonne Nuit.