Holy week 2014

As part of our 2014 resolutions, Dino and I promised to travel with Liam more this year.  Last holy week,(yeah I know, suuuper late post again)  Our original plan was to go to CDO and let Liam experience the white water rafting then spend the rest of the holy week in Malai Balai (It’s soo nice there, promise! It’s like you’re in New Zealand).  But our good friend, suggested that we do it some other time as there are many tourist and travelers during holy week.  So instead of staying at home, I decided to book ourselves in a resort hotel nearby.

We booked ourselves in Best Western Sandbar Resort at Cordova Mactan Cebu (check out their official website).  It wasn’t that pricey and they are the only hotel that did not increase so much during peak season (1K additional only).  Swak na swak sa budget! 🙂

We also decided to go yaya-less this trip.  Asked Ate Donna to do a general cleaning instead.  Unfortunately, Dino was not feeling very well during the trip, so most of the photos you’ll see below are of me and Liam.

Liam entertaining himself while waiting to be allowed to hit the pool (the sun was scorching hot then, so decided to wait til late afternoon before we hit the pool)
Liam entertaining himself while waiting to be allowed to hit the pool (the sun was scorching hot then, so decided to wait til late afternoon before we hit the pool)
All geared up!
All geared up!
He insisted on wearing his shades (no not as goggles( saying the sun in hot and he wants to keep it on so he can see properly :)
He insisted on wearing his shades (no not as goggles( saying the sun in hot and he wants to keep it on so he can see properly 🙂
Running to his dad relaxing on the beach chair
Running to his dad relaxing on the beach chair
Thanks dad for the refreshing drink
Thanks dad for the refreshing drink
play time at the pool (eating our fresh catch, haha)
play time at the pool (eating our fresh catch, haha)
relaxing..
relaxing..
now with mommy...
now with mommy…
Buffet breakfast the following day..
Buffet breakfast the following day..
We hit the pool again after our breakfast..
We hit the pool again after our breakfast..Liam decided he don’t want to wear his rash guard anymore.. 
on the way home...
on the way home…He tried hard to stay awake but failed.. hehe

It wasn’t as grand as the Shangri-La Hotel, but it was cozy and we had a fun time together.  As they say, it’s not important how expensive or how grand the place is, as long as we are all together, that’s what matters!

Til our next Trip! :)
Til our next Trip! 🙂

 

 

 

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Vacation at Boracay

Suuuper duuuuper delayed post.  This has been sitting on my drafts for more than 6 months now. It’s about time I post this. hehehe

As mentioned before, we were able to book cheap flights going to Boracay mid of last year. We weren’t that lucky as the place was experiencing rain showers but lucky enough as we weren’t stranded there. Kow! I don’t even want to think about the what if’s. hehe

Waiting for our flight at Mactan Airport
Waiting for our flight at Mactan Airport
Liam just woke up and was able to ride the service bus going to our designated plane
Liam just woke up and was able to ride the service bus going to our designated aircraft 

We arrived Friday afternoon,  it was already late and weather is not that good so we decided to stay in the room, play and fool around.  Then we had dinner in the nearby restaurant.  I really did not push walking around, as it will be harder if one of us will get sick. For me, it’s always easier to go back than have a bad experience while we’re there.  The following day, we had breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant and had a walk at the beach.

I think the waves scared Liam as he let us carry him all through out our walk.  We tried to let him feel the sand but to no avail.  Instead he shouted: “My feet! My feet!”  He doesn’t like his feet getting dirty and he doesn’t like walking with wet slippers/shoes.  I tried putting him down again, so he can enjoy the sand and the water.  This time he said: “It’s not funny anymore, Mommy!”  hahaha.. What he meant then was that it’s not fun anymore.  Oh my, the waves were really strong then, Dino and I did not dare swim and walk further either.  Feeling ko aanudin kame ng dagat. hehe..

our first morning in Bora
our first morning in Bora

Later that morning, weather was tamer.  Dino talked to a man who offered island hopping services (fish feeding and a little snorkeling) for a very reasonable price.  We did swam and saw the fishes, Liam tried going down too. But due to the strong waves, he got scared and was not in the mood the whole ride back.  We did not finish the agreed tour, since Liam is not enjoying anymore.  He is not having tantrum naman, but we don’t feel like pushing through na rin, since the little boy is not in the mood na.  He enjoyed feeding the fishes though. 🙂

Trike ride going to the port
Trike ride going to the port
Looking for our boat..  Liam not sure if he will like it.. haha
Looking for our boat..
Liam not sure if he will like it.. haha
on the boat with our vests
on the boat with our vests

That night, we went to D’mall to walk around and have our dinner.  I also bought myself a dress, since I brought few clothing lang, not expecting that I will always get wet by the rain.  hehe.  The following day, we initially planned to have breakfast at the Real Coffee & Tea Cafe, where the famous Calamansi muffin is, but due to time and weather constraints, I have to settle with the hotel’s breakfast again. Due to my frustrations with the cafe, I ended up baking Calamansi cupcakes myself. hehe (see the recipe here)

lunch at Andok's
lunch at Andok’s

I really don’t like to end without Liam really enjoying the trip. So before we get ready for our flight back to Cebu, I let Liam enjoy the hotel’s pool first.  I specifically looked for a hotel with a pool (kahit maliit na pool pa yan, basta may pool), to be sure, as I have foreseen that Liam might not like the beach.  So even if it’s a little cold, I asked the caretaker to clean the pool so we can have a dip.

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Swimming in the pool.
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YEY! Swimming time for Liam! 

Though we weren’t able to maximize our trip in Boracay, I would still say it’s a trip worth remembering.  It’s really not about if we were able to swim or go around, it’s all about our time together and the memories we create together as a family.

Til our next trip! 🙂

Chocolate Crinkles

Am so sorry, this blog have been neglected for more than a month now.  This morning, I got a comment that gave my blogging mojo back. Well, am not sharing it muna until we finalize it.  But I hope it will push through (fingers crossed).

Anyway, just to get back in the rhythm, sharing new recipe I’ve tried.  Been wanting to bake the perfect Chocolate Crinkles and I found the recipe already courtesy of KrisTV.  hehe.. It’s the episode where Piolo and Toni Gonzaga guessed and cooked for the show. Liam and I enjoyed preparing this as well as eating them.

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CHOCOLATE CRINKLES

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 kg.  bittersweet baking chocolate
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • powdered sugar for coating

How to:

  • melt the chocolate and butter together in a double broiler
  • set aside to cool down
  • on a separate bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder and set aside
  • beat the eggs until frothy and light
  • gradually beat in the sugar
  • add the vanilla
  • add the melted chocolate and butter (mix well)
  • then gradually beat in the dry ingredients
  • put inside the ref for about 2 hours or until hard enough to roll
  • Scoop, roll and cover the dough with powdered sugar (used ice cream scoop)
  • make sure to cover it generously as it will still expand and crack
  • set on a lined cookie sheet
  • bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 180 degrees celcius

As Dino have described it in his FB, it is warm and moist. Well, we devoured it as soon as it was baked, that’s why it’s still warm. I really enjoyed making these as Liam was able to help me from start to end.  It’s a bit messy having him as an assistant but it was all worth it. 🙂  ENJOY!! 🙂

from Dino's FB:  Liam making sure that the powdered sugar for the Chocolate Crinkles is of the right taste. ;-)
from Dino’s FB: Liam making sure that the powdered sugar for the Chocolate Crinkles is of the right taste. 😉

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! 🙂

Kumati (Makati) Trip

Ever since the hubs handled Columbia Sportswear brand, he goes to the US for sales meeting twice a year.  One of which always falls on my birthday.  2010 was an exception (not the meeting date, but Dino did not attend since I just gave birth to Liam then.  This year, Dino was able to fix his schedule so he can fly back to Manila night of my special day.  At least for 2 hrs he will be able to celebrate it with me.  Unfortunately, his flight was delayed and he was home few hours after midnight.  Talk about irony.

Day before our trip, knowing that we’ll be out of town for my birthday, our Cebu staffs sent me a cake for my birthday.  To Liam delight.. 🙂 As usual, my little helped blow the candle and he helped himself with a slice. 🙂  Ever since we came here to Cebu, our staffs never failed to make our day more special. I feel loved. 🙂

grabbed from my IG.. Thanks again to my Cebu family. :)
grabbed from my IG.. Thanks again to my Cebu family. 🙂

Morning of our flight, we decided to bake Calamansi cupcakes and Carrot cupcakes as pasalubong.  I was so organized then, preparing one after the other.  That’s why when the oven decided to break down on me, both recipes were half baked. GRRR!!!  Anywya, Liam had fun doing it naman.  Will just bake some more for Christmas. 🙂

Baking for Lola, Lolo, Ninang Tita and Tito AJ
Baking for Lola, Lolo, Ninang Tita and Tito AJ

Liam, Donna and I flew to Manila 31st of October for my MIL’s birthday.  We were picked up by Lolo and Lola and dinner was waiting for us at home.  My SIL, Leah, and his hubby, AJ prepared their famous Yogurt Chicken, Pesto Pasta and their luscious Chocolate Cake for Lola.  To my son’s delight, he loved the Chocolate Ganache!

My little boy now wants his own seat...
My little boy now wants his own seat…
Loving his pork bbq. :)
Loving his pork bbq. 🙂 – photo by Leah de Leon
Happy birthday LOLA!! :)
Happy birthday LOLA!! 🙂 – photo by Leah de Leon
hmmm.. yummy!! :)
hmmm.. yummy!! 🙂 – photo by Leah de Leon
Liam scraping the choco ganache.  He got all the ones at the top, now scraping from the sides)
Liam scraping chocolate Ganache from lola’s birthday cake… – photo by Leah de Leon

Every all saint’s day, I always help my mom out with the offering and all the rituals.  But since I moved to Cebu and had Liam, I wasn’t able to this anymore.  Even now that we are in Manila, I begged off since we don’t like bringing kids to such places.  I’ll wait for Liam to grow a little more older before introducing him to that.

So what do we do on a free day. Leah and I decided to go to Ace Water Spa in Pasig.  It was really nice and fun there.  Liam loved it so much that he is still asking me if we can go back there until now. the water is warm so it’s ok to stay there for hours without worrying that the little one is getting cold na.   There are so many babies there, even saw a new born in the kiddie pool with the yaya of course.  We had a great time but not much pics since they don’t allow picture taking from time you get into the shower area until you are done.  I appreciate this policy though.  🙂

Waiting for our lunch after our relaxing swim
Waiting for our lunch after our relaxing swim – Photo by Leah de Leon
A glimpse in the facility
A glimpse in the facility (taken from the restaurant) – photo by Leah de Leon
Wonderful time at Ace Spa
Souvenir shot para may proof na pumunta kame.. 🙂 – photo by Leah de Leon

On my birthday, we only stayed home to prepare for dinner.  Liam, on the other hand, played and make himself busy.  Since we are only staying for 4 nights, the in laws decided not to take all the toys out.  This made me realize one thing, it’s true when other mommies say that imagination and creativity comes out naturally with kids when they have only few toys.

Lolo brought out the toy gun Liam got last Christmas, after playing with the gun (as a gun), it then became a horse, which later became an iron.  hehe  Liam loves (understatement) playing cars – REAL cars.  He likes the steering wheel, the gear and now he met the pedals.  Anyway, we were not able to bring any of his driving toys, so made use of the drawer handles.  He said it’s his steering wheel and he has an imaginary kambyo (gear).  Oh, by the way, there are 3 drawers on Lolo’s bed, one drawer is Hi Ace, the other is Pajeyow and the last one is Starrex.  Funny little boy. 🙂

Aw Aw and Raf Raf galloping away.  See the drawer with round knob at his back!??! That's his Pajeyow.. hehehe.. :)
Aw Aw and Raf Raf galloping away.  See the drawer with round knob at his back?  That’s his Pajeyow.. 🙂
His turn to ride the "horse"
His turn to ride the “horse”

Before lunchtime, Ninang came down and do the stamp project with Liam, which later became their Tattoo.  At the end of the session, Liam looked like a battered child with all the purple ink on his arms and legs.  Ninang and I were not spared and have a lot of “tattoo’ on our arms as well.

Tattoo time with Ninang Tita
Tired of stamping. Better daw to use it as “tattoo”

That night, my in laws prepared some ‘handa’ for my birthday.  noodles, chicken and pork spring rolls.  My cousin dropped by to see Liam and of course celebrate my birthday with us. 🙂

Thanks cuz for my yummy cake. :)
Thanks cuz for my yummy cake. 🙂
My cousin, Jane and her lovely family celebrating my birthday
My cousin, Jane and her lovely family celebrating my birthday

The following day, we drove to Tagaytay and visited Leah’s friend’s farm to see the horses and the piggies. Liam just got up but he had fun seeing the plants and the animals there.  We then had lunch at The Dining Room, Gourmet Farms.  (see Leah’s post about it here).  We then visited Lola Sexy’s (Ate Caro, Leah’s officemate) house and check out her Christmas decors.

A visit to the farm...
A visit to the farm…
Reason why we now have our own Christmas tree
Reason why we now have our own Christmas tree

After his afternoon nap, we went to see my side of the family.  We went to Pandacan (my second brother, Jerry’s house) where my mom agreed to meet with us.  You see my mom lived in very Farview (Fairview) and she usually stays with my bro.  (hehe disclaimer agad).  He enjoyed our stay there since he have a new playmate – Kongkong (my SIL’s – Jerry’s wife – nephew).  They played from the time we stepped foot there til before we said our goodbyes.  Sayang lang, since am not very good at taking pics, wala nanaman kameng pictures.  Haist!!

Oh forgot to mention, Liam was so happy when he saw the tree being set up at Lola sexy’s home,  Dino then agreed to buy one here in Cebu.  This was already part of my plan, but was pushed back with all the happening here. But again, as my new matra goes, I refuse to live in fear, there are indeed a lot of reasons to love and life to the fullest.

All in all it was another well spent vacation in Manila. Til our next trip. 🙂

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)

 

 

Sunday! Fun Day!

If there’s one more thing am thankful about MCWD aside from the water provision, is them operating Family park!  It’s a park here in Talamban, Cebu that has a big fish pond, a swimmimg pool, a big field complete with seesaws, swings and slides and Liam’s favorite part –   the mini zoo. Though animals here are nothing comapred to Manila Zoo or Tagaytay Mini Zoo but it’s still better than nothing.  With only 10 pesos entrance fee for adults additional 10 for parking. San ka pa!?  Oh, mind you, entrance fee is for free every first Sunday of the Month!! O diba!? nakakatuwa!!??

This is not the first time we visited Family Park.  But this time around, we went there prepared.  We brought with us a mat, some food and drinks and a lots of toys…

We brought his bubble maker to play with..
Bubble Time!! 🙂
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Liam’s having a hard time with his bike, di kasi pantay ang grounds.. Photo opt nlng.. 🙂

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PAGOD!
PAGOD!
Off to the mini zoo..
Off to the mini zoo..
Liam feeding the rabbits
Liam feeding the rabbits
then the deer.. Liam:  " Ey Deer! you had yours already, this is for her)
then the deer..
Liam: ” Ey Deer! you had yours already, this is for her)
Liam:  "Mommy! Yuck!"
“Mommy! Yuck!”
Liam: "Mommy! There's the bird!"
“Mommy! There’s the bird!”
"Where's the monkey?"
“Where’s the monkey?”
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Back to the field.. Oh yes, there are little tykes play houses and slides beside the zoo, but not that clean, kaya pang photo opt nlng.. 🙂
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Dancing “Let it snow!” .. but if you really hold me tight.. la la la la…
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Seesaw naman…
Dad, for you..
Dad, for you..
okay, ako na lang ahm ahm.. yummy...
okay, ako na lang ahm ahm.. yummy…

But if you’ll ask what Liam enjoyed the most…

R U N N I N G
R U N N I N G   (I so love this shot!! :))

It’s so nice to spend weekends like this.  Family time at the greater outdoors! (ehem! plugging yan.. )  Oh yeah, Liam’s wearing his Columbia Sportswear Anti Mosquito Pants. 🙂 Ang galing no!?

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