Liam Meets Aki

Oh yes!! At long last, we were able to meet Familia Kiki during the holidays when we were in Manila (yeah, this is another late post.  Sowee).  Leah, my SIL, was the one who introduced me to their blog, and  I got hooked to their site ever since.  I even wished that we’re neighbors. Hehe

With only a few days in Manila, I was glad that they are also available on the date we set.  I’ve let Maqui do the planning (Thanks Maqui! :)) as this was the first time Liam (we) will have a playdate.  We agreed to meet in Book Sale MCS, since it was books that made us bond on the first place.

Am doubly glad that Leah is also available and offered to be the photographer that day (Thanks Ninang!!). hehe  I will not make this text heavy and will let the photos tell the story. 🙂

Liam and Aki exchanging Christmas Gifts
Liam and Aki exchanging gifts..(Thanks again for the wonderful gift – wish come true – will have another post for it) 
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Photo Opt before starting our night.

 

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Inside the store, Aki showing Liam his Bey Blades (Bem Bem as per Liam, hehe)

 

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Feeling at home in Book Sale, the kids played while the moms chika and the dads chika too (outside). Not sure what we’re talking about, why is my face like that?!!? hehe

 

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Kuya Aki is really sweet, lending and teaching Liam how to use the Bem Bem. 🙂

After the staffs shooed us out of the store (nakahalata na tambay lang kame, hehe) – this is a joke, we walked across the street and had Dinner in Amizi.  It’s an Italian resto beside Don Bosco Makati that have super nice Gelato and oh! their pizza and pasta were also so great. YUM!

 

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Liam tasting the Parmesan Cheese.. (Gutom na ata!)

 

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Aki’s turn to try it. (gutom na nga ata sila)

 

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While waiting for our orders and to divert their attention from the cheese, the kids busied themselves with an episode of Power Rangers (which Franco also loved, shhh.. I hope he’s not reading this.. hehe)
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Funny little boys, posing for Ninang Tita.. 🙂
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Since they are good boys who finished their meals, they had Gelato for dessert. Here, they are choosing what flavors they will get.
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Cheers to new friends…
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Group pic after dinner

After our filling dinner, we all walked to Waltermart where we dropped by Japan Homes and let the kids play in TimeZone.  We don’t have that much photos anymore, as Leah has to do some wifely duties.  hehehe  Liam and Aki don’t play the same games, but there is one game they loved – Go Go Balls!

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Having fun with Go Go Balls – not only the kids enjoyed it.. Mommies and Yaya too.. hehe

Liam and I really had fun that night.  Liam was still talking about Aki and Bem bem til now (mental note: buy Liam Bey blades.. hehe) Enjoyed good company, new friends and the chit chats!

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Maqui, Aki and Franco

To Familia Kiki, thank you so much for taking time out to meet us and for the dinner too.  Hope to see you guys again soon.  Wish ko makasama kame sa mga playdates nyo. 🙂

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thank you kuya Aki., ’til we meet again..  😉

 

 

 

 

 

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Co Family Reunion 2013

I have a lot of things that I look forward to during our Christmas breaks and here’s another one from my long list – family reunion with my side of the family. I know after 2 years of blogging, it’s just now that am sharing photos of them. As you may have known by now, am really not a good a lazy photographer. I would rather absorb and enjoy the moment than taking pictures. heheh… I always leave that job – taking picture – to Dino or to my nieces (when it come to my side of the family). But my niece lost our files twice! First, her bag was snatched then 2nd time her memory card was corrupted. Talk about luck! Oh well, this time around I really did not stop texting her (read: everyday!) to upload our pics in FB. 🙂

So last December, we all agreed to do it in my 2nd brother’s house again. His house kasi is nearer to de Leon’s abode and they are the one who always cooks, I got it from them actually.  I always bother help them in cooking as early as 8 years old.   Anyway, sayang lang, 3 of my brothers were not able to go.  2 of them works abroad and the eldest have a late shift that day. Same goes with his kids (except his youngest son) and his wife, they were also not able to come.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s they are – My Family

The Adults (L to R) BIL, Ronel (sis' hubs); "favorite' sister, Judz; 2nd Bro, Mao; our beloved Mother; me and Dino, SIL2 (2nd bro's wifey), Beth; and SIL3 (3rd bro's wifey), Irene
The Adults (L to R)
BIL – Ronel (sis’ hubs); ‘favorite’ sister – Judz; 2nd Bro – Mao; our beloved Mother; me and Dino, SIL2 – Beth (2nd bro’s wifey); and SIL3 – Irene (3rd bro’s wifey)
the kids
The kids (L to R; T to B)
Karen, Liam, DineDine, Caloy, Yanyan, Guia, D’An, AJ, John and Kristine

Hopefully, next time all the other Apo’s will be able to join us.  Anyway, Liam loves going to his diku’s (that’s what he calls my 2nd bro) house.  He’s the youngest kasi among his cousins kaya super baby nila si Liam.  Ako naman, pag andito ako, relax ako, since I can leave Liam with all her achi’s and ahya’s. hehehe.. So while the bagets are playing, the oldies naman kanya kanyang kwentuhan.  We usually play exchange gifts but this year, nobody remembered to initiate! hahaha..

'attitude' My sis is laughing so hard, my mom and ate irene can't help but joined her
the girls with ‘attitude’
My sis is laughing so hard, my mom and ate irene can’t help but joined her
Boys chatting while drinking outside the kulambo. hehe
Boys chatting while drinking outside the kulambo. hehe
My mom's version of 'Attitude' hehehe.. kenkoy kenkoy din pag may time..
My mom’s version of ‘Attitude’ hehehe.. kenkoy kenkoy din pag may time..

One of my favorite gifts that Liam got last Christmas came from my sister.  She gave me all the Chinese paraphernalia (books, flash cards and writing papers) that yanyan used since she was in preschool. Cool no? My sis kasi is Ms. keep it all.  Walang tapon sa kanya. hehe

Liam 'scaring' his cousins with the Chinese flash cards.
Liam ‘scaring’ his cousins with the Chinese flash cards.
Selfie with Dichi and Sachi
Selfie with Dichi and Sachi

Oh yeah! there are 2 more reasons why Liam loves visiting his Diku’s house.  First is to see Kong kong (my 2nd SIL’s nephew), his playmate and also because, I let him indulge whenever we are here. Since I know he’ll be given candies and junk food there, I made sure that he had his dinner first before we left Kumati.

Huli! Someone gave him 'spicy' drink.
Huli! Someone gave him ‘spicy’ drink.
Introducing Kong kong
Introducing Kong kong

Sorry this is the only foto he has that night.  A little boy made him cry. hehehe…  Kong kong’s current Favorite toy is his ‘plane’ made of blocks.  He doesn’t want anyone to touch or borrow it, not even Liam.  He is not madamot naman, he lends everything to Liam except for the plane.  While playing, kong kong put the toy at his back so Liam can’t reach it. After a while, Liam saw it and get it from his back.
Kongkong:  WAAAAAAH!!! Mama Beth! Mama Beth!!
Liam:  What happened?? (patay malisya ang loko)
Everyone burst into laughter.. hahahaha

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See how they love my son, they allow him to use their cam. Me at the back, scared that he might drop it. kow!

I saw a post in FB before – what makes holidays (Christmas) special. For me, this definitely is it! 🙂

Holiday 2013 Pictorial

It has now become a de Leon tradition to have a pictorial while we wait for the New Year to come in.  We started doing this last 2011 when Liam was only 1.  I bought red Angry Bird shirts for the 3 of us and since we are in red na, my MIL decided that we all wear red for the night to bring in luck and para maganda din ang pics. Last year, we decided to wear green, since this is the feng sui color for 2013. (see our 2011 and 2013 year end pictorials here)

This year,  feng sui color is still green, and we want it to be different from last year, so I checked the net what  the color trend for 2014 is and that decided what our motif  will be.  Am glad naman that everyone was so game and even bought their shirts just for the pictorial.

We always start with the family portrait
de Leon family portrait
Liam with Ninang Tita and Tito AJ
Liam with Ninang Tita and Tito AJ (and yes, my SIL is Leah of the Bright Spot! ahem ahem!)
Liam with Lolo and Lola
Liam with Lolo and Lola
and here's our family portrait this year.
and here’s our family portrait this year.

and some bonus shots….

de Leon girls...
de Leon girls…
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Liam is asking when will his turn to take pictures be..
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Now it’s my turn.. 🙂

Liam’s now starting to get interested in taking shots.  Sana matuto and maging magaling like his dad.  Yun lang, sayang ang kagwapuhan if he’ll always be behind the cam lang. hehehehe.. just saying..

Am hoping to have more pictorials this year.  Am planning to have an outdoor pictorial.  Sana matuloy.

Stay tuned pala for our Picture company experience.  (I have yet to go back and choose which pics to buy – oh my!!)

2013 Noche Buena

Merry Christmas everybody! 🙂 Hope you all had a nice one together with your loved ones.  We had a simple celebration here in Cebu. Dino and I decided to spend Christmas here in Cebu for a change.  We invited my in-laws to come over but air fare was too high already (since we decided to stay here the last minute na din)  so everyone decided to stay put in our own cities.  This is the first time we will spend it na kame lang.  A bit nervous at first that Liam might not enjoy it, he might not have gifts to open and what I’ll prepare for Noche Buena. Pero everything turned out well naman.

So for the first time in my 34 years of year of life, I prepared Noche Buena all by myself.  Sorry, did not do it by myself pala, I had Donna and Ate Lilia to help me pa din.  When I was younger, I do help my sis in law (bro’s wifey) in preparing, but it’s always her who has the final say on what we’ll have. This past years naman, we always spend it with Dino’s family, so it’s my in-laws who takes care of the Noche Buena. 🙂

Anyway, here’s what we had for Noche Buena…

I baked Flan cake for the occasion, after all, it’s Baby Jesus’ birthday we are celebrating, right? and what’s a birthday celebration without a cake!? 🙂  (see the recipe here)

Flan Cake for Papa Jesus
Flan Cake for Papa Jesus

For our appetizer, I prepared my SIL’s bacon wrapped asparagus, she prepared this for everyone last year (see her post here).  This is sooo yummy that I don’t want to share these with them, pero it’s Christmas and it’s the season if sharing.  hehehe..

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus for appetizer
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus for appetizer

For our main course, I cooked Chicken and Seafood Paella paired with Lumpiang Shanghai.  If there’s one thing I don’t like here in Cebu, that’s the salty lumpia warpper.. 😦  I think they do it to make the wrappers last longer.  Pero we still finished everything. hehehe..

Chicken and Seafood Paella
Chicken and Seafood Paella (photo here was taken half way of cooking the paella)
As requested by Dino - Lumpiang Shanghai
As requested by Dino – Lumpiang Shanghai

For dessert, I asked Donna to prepare Buko Lychee Salad.  She’s been preparing this quite a number times this year already.  That’s why I called this her specialty na.  She knows the timpla already, not too sweet, not too bland and not too creamy din! 🙂

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Buko Lychee Salad

We had a blast.  They all loved the food prepared.  Liam opened a lot of gifts too (will have a separate post for this).  Of course, we won’t forget to blow a candle for Jesus. 🙂

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Here we are, Singing happy birthday to Papa Jesus
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Happy Birthday Jesus!
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Liam blowing the candle.. 🙂

A Blessed Christmas to all!! 🙂

Liam’s Many Firsts – Holy Week

Our holy week vacation in Makati marked Liam’s many firsts.

First Mega block Building…

It's not his first time to play with blocks, but it is his first time to really build and stack them up.. :)
It’s not his first time to play with blocks, but it was his first time to really build and stack them up.. 🙂 Thanks Ahya Sean and Ahya Matt for the Mega Blocks!! 🙂

First Antipolo trip.  It’s a de Leon tradition to go to Antipolo every Maundy Thursday.  Before, Dino used to walk from Makati to Antipolo and meet his parents there then he will ride back with them going home.

First time to go to Antipolo which is his first long ride too since it took us 2hours to arrive.. :)
First time to go to Antipolo which is his first long ride too since it took us 2hours to arrive.. 🙂

First Laguna Trip with my side of the family.  Dino and I were really happy that Liam is not shy anymore. As soon as we reach the resort, he let my brother carry him and said hi to all his cousins, blessed his Ahma (Grandma, my mom) and played with everyone.  He even played with the other kids that night, forgetting all about me (another first – Ouch!!)

First time to swim in Laguna's hot spring, which also is his first time to sleep over night with my side of the family.
First time to swim in Laguna’s hot spring, which also is his first time to sleep over night with my side of the family. Oh how he loved those slides.. 🙂

First time to let another girl ride with him.. (another OUCH for mommy.. hehe)

This is not his first to ride this car but it's his first to let others ride with him..
This is not his first to ride this car but it’s his first to let others ride with him… Look at that naughty grin on his face.. haaay..

First time to let Ninang Jane carry him with matching photo opt, kiss, hug and gigil pa.. 🙂 Every time we go home (Makati) Ninong Rene and Ninang Jane (together with Ahya Sean and Ahya Matt) never failed to come and visit Liam, not just once but at least 3x in each visit. 🙂

First time to let Ninang Jane carry him.. hahahaha..
First time to let Ninang Jane carry him.. hahahaha..

My SIL also blogged about our vacation. First about our Antipolo trip and Liam’s 2 weeks vacation where there are more pics than my post.  (yeah, yeah, I know, am bad in documenting events.. This mommy will get there soon.. hehehe…)

All excited to eat the pastillas, Liam got comfy on the ground.. I love this shot.  (got this from my SIL's post.. thanks for the pic!)
All excited to eat the pastillas, Liam got comfy on the ground.. I love this shot. (got this from my SIL’s post.. thanks for the pic ate Pen!)

CNY Pictorial

Last but not the least for our Chinese New Year celebration.  This is one thing I made kulit and made sure to happen.  hehehehe..   Initially, I wanted us all to wear Tiong Sams, but it’s so hard to find one for Dino! KOW! Liam and I have ours na. Since Liam turned 1, my cousin bought him a set already (Kaya medyo bitin na ang pants ni Liam, mukhang maksaaska tuloy. haha).  I, on the other hand had to buy one last united nations celebration for Liam’s school program.

Since I can’t find one for Dino, we just wore red shirts and let Liam wear his Tiong Sam.

Liam playing with our Chinese Lanterns..
Liam playing with our Chinese Lanterns..
How many Chinese Lanterns do you have?  Liam:  Three!!! :)
How many Chinese Lanterns do you have?
Liam: Three!!! 🙂
Since his not yet in the mood to do our pictorial.. eto muna..
Since his not yet in the mood to do our pictorial.. eto muna..
Wag kayo loloko loko!! hehehehehe..
Wag kayo loloko loko!! hehehehehe..
Liam playing the drums.. Dragon Dance daw.. :)
Liam playing the drums.. Dragon Dance daw.. 🙂
Of course a running shot of Liam will not be missed!!
Of course a running shot of Liam will not be missed!!
ALAS!! our Family portrait! :)
ALAS!! our Family portrait! 🙂

Happy Chinese New Year!! May we all be prosperous and healthy this year of the Sanke! 🙂

CNY Traditions

Aside from the Chinese Lantern Project, I also wanted to start a family tradition for the season.  So, days before Chinese New Year, I researched about Chinese Traditions during CNY.  I learnt that in Chinese countries like China and Taiwan, they celebrate CNY for 15 days!  Imagine!? 15 days of holiday!! WOW!!!  We don’t even celebrate Christmas this long here in the Philippines.  Anyways, aside from this great fact there are many things they do to drive away evil and to lure in good fortune like giving kids Ang Pao with money to make them prosperous, eating noodles for long life and a lot more, I also called my sister and cousin to ask what they usually prepare for the occasion.

Oh well, since it will take too much time and too much food to prepare (and there’s only 4 of us to eat), I opt to make it simpler for us.   I asked Ate Aya (Lilia) to prepare Bam-I for long life and cook Shrimp (something red) for dinner.  I also put a bowl of rice and used chocolate gold coins instead of putting real coins (I just can’t do it, knowing that the coins are dirty, hehe). Also prepared few fruits that we can actually consume. Of course to keep our family close and sweet, I also have yummy tikoy on the table! 🙂

Fruits - I counter those Kiat Kiat and made sure that they are in pairs..
Fruits – I counter those Kiat Kiat and made sure that they are in pairs..
Bowl of rice with chocolate gold coins to Liam's delight! he loved those coins..
Bowl of rice with chocolate gold coins to Liam’s delight! he loved those coins..
Our CNY feast! :) simple yet meaningful.. :)
Our CNY feast! 🙂 simple yet meaningful.. 🙂

Oh well, I know Liam is too young pa to remember and understand this celebration, pero nakakatuwa lng cause until now, he still remembers that eating noodles is for Long Life!! Hmm.. not a bad start right!?

Happy Heart’s Month

Happy Heart’s Month guys!

Before I start writing about how we celebrated our hearts’ month, I just want to share a little something about Dino and me.  Well, we are not the usual couple who give gifts and make reservations for dates during special occasions.  We don’t wait for occasions to do these.  We give each other gifts anytime we can, and we make sure that we go out on a date once a week.  Especially now that Liam is hoarding all our time, not that we are complaining.  🙂  Fancy restaurants are not our thing either.  Though we still do this once in a blue moon.

It’s always nice to reminisce how we used to date before.  We usually go back to our cheapest yet sweet and memorable date spending only 120 for our dinner.  I wanted to eat lugaw that night and with Manila’s hustle and bustle, we opt to go to SM and eat at the food stands beside the supermarket.  We ordered lugaw, shawarma rice and 2 sago’t gulaman.  Eating while standing, talking and laughing all the same time.  Saya lang to be carefree.

We also have this habit, when we still use to commute, to stop by manang’s place where we have tuhog tuhog.   This is not the usual fish ball cart, Manang has a store and she sells fish balls, kwek kwek, hotdogs, fried tofu and squidballs outside.  We never fail to stop by her store to buy and eat some before Dino would walk me home. One of the things we look forward to when Dino is on color coding.   Haaay, those were the days.

Anyway, this year, Dino made our Valentine’s a little extra special and hmm.. a bit long. 🙂

A week before V-Day,  he asked me on a date (ehem!! yes, he did in his not-so-sweet ways, hehehe. Pero for me, it was kilig! haha). He made reservations in La Maison Rose, a french restaurant here in Lahug.   Lunch was okay.  What amazes me was their menu book.  They use iPad’s where you can browse their menus and place your orders at the same time.  You can even add remarks for your special requests.  Cool no!?  For food photos and comments, do check out Dino’s blog.

Parang bridal photo shoot lang no!?  I love the fresh flowers.. so nice! :)
Parang bridal photo shoot lang no!? I love the fresh flowers.. so nice! 🙂
while waiting for our lunch...
while waiting for our lunch…

 

Feb. 14, 2013, V-Day!!  Knowing that all couples will be crowding the road, we opt to celebrate it at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  Aside from the great food, it’s just walking distance away from our home. 🙂 Yes, we walked to and from La Lagrima.  Had a little chit chat while we are walking.  Looking back at 11 years of togetherness. 🙂 We weren’t able to take photos na, but you may check what Dino have to say about this authentic Mexican food in his blog.

Just the other day, before February totally says goodbye, Dino asked me out again! Knowing that I wanted to go back to David’s Steak House, he invited for a dinner date.  We tried this first with our boss, where I shared an eat-all-you-can cowboy steak with our boss.  Dino on the other hand ate a Steak Sandwich that was also ohhh so good!

This time around, since it was just me and Dino, we did not get the eat-all-you-can.  Dino ordered the same sandwich and I had a rib eye steak.  Sarap!

For our drinks, Dino had a Dalandan Slush and I got Strawberry Shake
For our drinks, Dino had a Dalandan Slush and I got Strawberry Shake
Dino's Steak Sandwich with Fries..
Dino’s Steak Sandwich with Fries..
My 500gram Rib Eye Steak! (before you all say am matakaw, I shared this with Dino, hahaha)
My 500gram Rib Eye Steak! (before you all say am matakaw, I shared this with Dino, hahaha)
Photo Opt while waiting for our dinner
Photo Opt while waiting for our dinner

 

There!! We had 3 dates this month to celebrate our love. 🙂 If you will ask me which of the 3 is the best, I would say (and I bet Dino would agree with me) it was the Mexican date where we were able to walk to and from our home holding hands and talk about some sweet and not so sweet stuffs. (but if it’s the food, David’s hands down! hahahaha)