Adrian: I am four!

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Adrian turns Four today! We did not throw him a party this year but we planned a weekend for him that we think he would enjoy. We celebrated his birthday the weekend before until his actual birthday which was a total of 4 days. Four days of spoiling Adrian.

Our plan was to bring the boys to Ferrari World and stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at YAS Island. We were all set to go but on Thursday Arnie wasn’t feeling well, so taking the boys to Ferrari World seemed to taxing for him, thinking of a low-key activity, we decided to take the boys to a movie. We watched Despicable Me 2 and I was happy that Adrian didn’t seem to mind the cancelled trip to Ferrari World. After the movie we went straight to YAS Island to check in at the hotel for some R&R (whatever that means with two kids in tow).


In my efforts to make him feel special that weekend, I brought some gifts to the hotel with us and hid them around the room while he was sleeping, so when he woke up, we told him his presents were hiding and he had to look for it! It was so much fun watching Adrian go on his treasure hunt. He even wanted to look for all his presents before he opened them all up and started playing for his loooong time overdue presents.

must explain: @2 years old Adrian had a party in Manila where he got some presents that were not “age appropriate” for him at that time (judged by the mother – me!) so i brought them with me here in Dubai and waited till the time was right.

He is soooo much into Toy Story lately that all his presents were in that theme.


opening his presents at the hotel


on our way home from Abu Dhabi

Today because it’s his actual birthday, we ordered a Toy Story cake from Park and Shop (Sponsored by ninang Xyn – Thank You!)


We planned ahead to have dinner at Hard Rock Cafe, keeping the cake in mind, I emailed their establishment to ask if it was allowed for me to bring my cake, they replied promptly and told me that although the cake was welcome, they would have to charge 30 aed as corkage fee. Not willing to pay for corkage and order onion rings instead (priorities) I decided to leave the cake at home and just have it at home for dessert. I did ask the staff of HRC to sing a birthday song for Adrian and he enjoyed the extra extra extra attention it brought.

After dinner we promised Adrian a trip to Toys R us to give him free range on what toy he wanted to get for himself. And boy! It took him awhile to decide! It was so funny to watch him go through all the toys with matching comments like

“wow mommy look at that!”

“This is nice!”

“Mommy, mommy look! There is sound”

It was so precious watching him at the toy store that I wish I could bottle up that moment and keep it forever. (This blog helps in keeping those moments locked up … and shared-of course!)

After Toys R us he was more than excited to go home and start playing with his new toys.


He insisted to open his Play-Doh first before we start to eat the cake.


His last but not the least surprise present! Thank you ninang Janice!


All in all his 4 day birthday celebration was to quote Adrian directly “So much fun!”. We may not have given him the same birthday party that Aden had last June but it was as special nevertheless.

Happy birthday my sweet sweet boy! Don’t grow up too fast mommy still needs to catch up! I love you!

Some sweet messages from family:


Special greeting from Ate Erin


another sweet message from Ate Julia


My side of the woods had a dinner for my cousin Tan and family and decided to add us to the festivities by singing a happy birthday song to Adrian via FaceTime.





Stranded at Home

We are in no shape and form what you call “home body” people. Every weekend we try to go out anywhere to do anything, sometimes we go out just to do nothing at all. But last thursday a pipe burst along Ibn Batutta blocking our main exit/entrance to our residence area (here’s the news piece on that§ion=nationgeneral) leaving us stranded at home during the weekend. There is another way in/out of our place but since this is a smaller one there is a lot of traffic. We tried to go out last friday night for some ice cream for dessert but as soon as we saw the long line of cars we decided it was not worth it. This incident and The holy month of Ramadan does not exactly present an ideal 6 year wedding anniversary celebration but as we always do, we make the best out of the situation.

and this is how we did it…

My morning was greeted with a sweet surprise anniversary gift from Arnie. Waiting for me at the kitchen counter was this Nescafé Dolce Gusto machine. Props to Arnie, you think he doesn’t listen when I give hints on what I want but in the end he always shines through.


I only had one cup today but I’m looking forward to more great cups of coffee and will definitely share with you my thoughts.


For lunch, because we couldn’t eat out (for more than one reason, can you believe it?), we called in for delivery. Arnie suggested we call Oregano it’s an italian restaurant close to his office (they do have other branches) and he only has nice things to say about the place. If you know my husband, this is totally out of his character. He prefers to eat his sinigang over and above anything else. This may seem insignificant to the normal person but I appreciated this small gesture.  I have to say I was impressed with the food from Oregano plus the boys loved the Spaghetti Gamberetti and I loved my Risotto con Salmone as well. Everything we ordered was a home run delicious. Would highly recommend this place if you are looking for a change in pace once in a while. Husband did say it does take a bit of a wait to receive your order when dining in, make sure you are not super hungry when you arrive.

Good coffee, with an even cooler coffee maker, good food that I didn’t have to cook, wearing our PJs and staying in bed the whole day definitely constitutes to making the best out of a bad situation wouldn’t you say?

Capping up our weekend anniversary are these sweet macaroons from Ladurée. (Need I say more? They’re the best!)20130721-091253.jpg

If all our future anniversaries will be as sweet as this one, I have to say I am looking forward to many many more.

Julianna Gabrielle


the birthday girl

This sweet little 4-year-old is the daughter of our friends Julios and Jenette. We lovingly call her Ate Gabbie because she’s the eldest of the 2009 batch babies (there are 4 in our circle of friends who had babies that year and I love them all like they were my own).

It amazes me how grown up she is greeting guests at her party and being the gracious host in the absence of her parents, saying hi, taking our gift, saying thank you and pulling Adrian to join them at their game with her friends. It seemed so natural to her that it reminded me of one time we visited her on a weekday afternoon at their house and she started preparing a plate of milk and cookies for Adrian without any instructions from her mother.

It made me realize that children definitely inherit their social skills from their parents. Take for example Gabbie, her parents are very active in many organizations here in Dubai that leads them to interact with different people. It wouldn’t surprise me if this little girl grows up to be the President of the Philippines.

Happy Birthday ate Gabbie! All the best wishes to you our sweet baby girl. We love you!

-Ninong Arnie, Ninang Nix, Adrian and Aden



the spread


the early birds


prayer before meals


blowing the candles


GAMES! Which Adrian enjoyed so much it was a joy for us to watch him participate and win.


Red velvet cake from Magnolia Bakery, it was so good I’m still getting goosebumps from it 2 days after

Thanks for inviting us! We had sooo much fun!

The Noodle House

We welcomed the weekend to a sumptuous feast to celebrate my little one for being 9 months old. We had dinner at The Noodle House in Madinat Jumeirah, the food was great, as always and most importantly FREE you heard me right FREE.

my baby is 9 months old!

my baby is 9 months old!

We got this free meal from our SIRIUS card. Sirius is Jumeirah group of hotels’ privilege card. I was pleasantly surprised that the reward was very generous and more than enough for the two of us. No other reward card has ever treated us this nicely. Thank you Sirius for this delightful treat.

Our appetizers:


Duck with Watermelon Salad


Prawn Fritters with Lime sauce

Main courses:


Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng

Kung Pao Chicken Noodles

Desserts: (pictures borrowed from


Sticky Plum Doughnuts with Mango Cream


Baked Cheesecake with sweet asian compote

Shane Alliyah


Thank you cards from the celebrant (made by mommy Doris – of course!)


“WANTED” posters displayed on all the walls channelling Tangled the movie

To this day, I can still remember the evening that Doris (Alliyah’s mom) shared with me that she was pregnant with this cute little girl. Doris was my first housemate in Dubai and in the beginning we were both living alone so we would often share our happenings of the day with each other while we cook dinner in our shared kitchen. She’s also my first housemate since I started living alone, so to me that makes us practically family! To see and celebrate her second daughter Shane Alliyah’s 7th birthday makes it all the more special to me.


Ate Gabee saying the opening prayer – so sweet almost brought tears to my eyes

As our little families grew, we have always kept in touch with each other. It’s just a shame that our children do not belong to the same age group so that they would’ve grown together and be best friends.

They had the party at Chowking in Al Ghurair, a favorite venue for Filipino parties here in Dubai and I can understand why. The place is large, it’s easy to get to, parking is a breeze, food is familiar to us Filipinos not to mention the prices are practical when you are throwing a large party for lots of people. Even the balloons that made the hall look festive was included in the package so all in all not bad in my book, not bad AT ALL!

Although the hall was already decorated with balloons (included in the package) they still made DIY projects just to make the place more personalized. The banners were made with a sun sign in the center (it was too high to take a picture) but at first look I thought it was the UST sun because they are both alums, then I realized it was the sun from the movie Tangled. The tarpaulin I think needs a special mention too because I have it on good authority that Doris had it made in Manila and brought it all the way here from her trip last 2012 (talk about a mother’s commitment). The center pieces were made by a friend at first I thought it was just there for display until I found out that there was a candle in the middle so I think the intent was for it to be translucent so the light glows through the paper but all in all i give it an A for the effort, Hey! if I had a friend willing to give up their time to make center pieces for my kid’s party, I say – Thank you!!


Handmade lanterns that served as table center pieces


Tarpaulin made from Manila


banners handmade by Doris with a “little” help from Daniel


kids group picture


For entertainment, they hired Party Clowns which were very entertaining to say the least. There was a clown on the first part of the party to play the games and sing happy birthday, he was very festive and got the kids and the adults in the mood to partéy! Before the food was served the clown said that his job was over and a magician “salamangkero” (I love saying the word) will be coming after the food to replace him. The salamangkero was more serious I thought that it was really two different people but Arnie said he saw him in the bathroom removing his make up (he would’ve fooled me) Talk about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I will get their contact numbers and post them here so I can help anyone who is interested in hiring them for their events.


time for games with the clown


magic time with the salamangkero













The day ended with a high note because I got to watch my eldest Adrian get out of his shell. No more is the shy little guy who always sat beside mommy in birthday parties and out comes this social butterfly that just kept flapping his wings all around the party hall.

Happy Birthday Dear Alliyah! You’ve done such a great job in growing up that we are truly very proud of you sweet little girl! May you have glowing years ahead! We love you very much! and Thank you for a wonderful party!


Bella’s 2two party

Sweet little girl Isabella is the daughter of my friend Ate Dinky (my unofficial event party designer). She is the luckiest little girl I know because her mom is as excited as her when it comes to her birthday parties. I even think her mom already has plans for her future birthdays too!
On her 2nd birthday, last 23 November 2012 we celebrated it at  Zabeel Park. The theme of the party was a “2two party” (See the play of words?) Girls were asked to wear a tutu and boys were to wear bow ties. I secretly wished I had a baby girl to dress up in a tutu, but looking for and seeing the boys wearing bow ties made me a happy mommy too.
Our little family with Tita Doris
i love this table setting
Cake toppers
Ate Dinx and her supportive team did all the decors themselves. I really love the attention to detail they’ve put into everything.
a closer look at the beautiful table
Carrot Cake with Walnuts
The Cake was made by Fadge Cake which of course looked and tasted really good!!! Check out their FB page (link) if you are interested to order.
handmade invitations made by Ate Dinx (of course)

At the end of the day, We were tired from all the activities but there was a certain kind of high that I felt leaving the party, the kind that made me want to keep talking about it because there was sooo much love and effort put into everything. Now isn’t that the best way to leave a party?

P.S. Now you understand why I’m excited that Ate Dinx is helping me with Aden’s party.IMG_3519 IMG_1788