Coffee Table

One quiet afternoon in Naga City, I took my girls out for meryenda. We ventured into a place called Coffee Table in the lifestyle center of the city. It was nice haunt for meetings and quiet conversations. Located in the same building as a hotel, it fairly attracts students, professionals and anyone in the neighborhood looking for a place to unwind.

I was actually gunning for their specialty Bicol Express Pasta, but too bad that it was not available. So I settled for the seafood pasta and the super hot sili affogato. I almost didn’t make it the next day. lol. It was soooo spicy! I must have drunk 2 gallons of water in one sitting.

Sili Affogato

Matcha green tea

Seafood Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes

Tuna pasta

Cookies and cream crepe

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Tween reading

Mischa loved books when she was little. However, as any normal kid nowadays, she got hooked on gadgets and of course, toys. So we’ve been kind of struggling between lessening screen time and pushing for more book time. And finally, finally, she seems to be getting the habit back, and I’ve found her nose in books more and more frequently now. I’m glad she’s into novels now, and I’m trying to read alongside her and checking out her books. Still want some parental authority and looking at appropriateness of materials hehe.

Keep it up, anak! Hooray for books!

Essen

To continue my German saga…after that whirlwind few days in Berlin, off we went to the city of Essen. The main purpose of our trip, which is to participate in a gathering of Filipinos, took place in Essen. We took the train from the central station, and the trip took about five hours. We enjoyed the scenic ride as Germany offers a picturesque countryside, but I have no great pictures to show because it was too fast for my phone to capture. It was not so bad at all that the train had wifi, yay!

We mostly kept to the city center, and then at the venue of the conference, which is uphill and kind of isolated, but very gorgeous. While the city is known as an industrial center of Germany, given the limited places I’ve been to, I could only describe it as quaint and charming. And autumn gave everything a burst of colors that, for somebody who comes from a tropical country, is a sight to behold. Fall is becoming a favorite season of mine.

In Deutschland

I got lucky again because, despite the constant stress brought about by my work, I get to see travel and see the world. This time to Germany. More than ten years ago, I was able to set foot in the United Kingdom, but this is my first time to be in mainland Europe. Yay!

The weather was quite good the whole time we were there. It was smack in the middle of fall, and it wasn’t too cold. It rained for a couple of days in Essen but it was okay overall. I loved the crisp air, and savored the feeling of not sweating, which Manila does to me all the time. It was very nice walking the streets of Berlin and Essen mainly because of this. As always, my heart jumped at the new sights and smells of a foreign country. Thank goodness for some free time in between official duties.

Did all the touristy things in the capital, such as visits to the Berlin Wall, Holocaust Memorial, the Bundestag, Tiergarten, Branderburg Gate. Met up with a friend and his family, took the subway, took the bus, had curryworst, name it.

Quickest planning

My mommy duties beckoned as soon as I got off the plane. Aside from the usual and unusual household stuff I had to contend with, I didn’t know I had a party to plan! Maxine’s birthday is coming up, and we were supposed to just have spaghetti and cake in school for her and four classmates (plus two teachers). Well, it turned out I had to make an event of it. lol. Kidding aside, I just love doing these kinds of parties. I have always thought of changing careers and doing these things. Who knows, if God willing…

So for this party, I had to choose from among several of Maxine’s favourite characters. Pink would just not do it. Her recent obsessions are PJ Masks, Paw Patrol and Puppy Dog Pals. After some thought, I decided on PJ Masks.

I quickly scoured the net for invitation templates, order some loot bags and giveaways from a trusted printer/supplier, talked to a baker friend for the cake, bought other items online, drew up a menu, and so on. So I’m quite excited for next Wednesday.

Sundrops

Having our tired feet and legs pampered is slowly becoming a bonding activity for us girls. Especially now that Mischa is becoming a tweener, we often bring her with us to salons and spas. Recently, we got to try Sundrops, a day spa inside a mall we frequent during weekends. As we (Mischa and I) are suckers for anything girly, its feminine decor and vibe beckoned us in. Thumbs up for their clean interior, nice couches and warm lighting. I’ll tell you that I’ve been getting quite particular with couches since there is one day spa I used to go to regularly, but haven’t been to lately because I got turned off by the ever darkening couches. It seems that while their service is great (their pedicurists are good with in-grown nails and dry skin in the deep recesses of my toe nails), they haven’t been paying attention to the stains and grime accumulating in their sofas. So I’ve been on the market for a better place.

Sundrops offer a wide range of nail, hand, foot, arm and leg care, including nail art, however, we just opted for their Mint Mademoiselle package, which includes footspa with massage, pedicure and basic polish. And since we were early, we had fresh hands who took care of our feet and nails. I like that they have “light” hands, and were careful with the nails and cuticles. In general though, the service was just okay. Not a place I would go back to in the near future.

Cheesecake Fairy

Coffee is a always a good, especially when you’re with family on a perfect afternoon, and drinking it over cheesecake.

OMG, I totally dig those cups actually more than the coffee. Hehe. They’re so Martha Stewart or Cath Kidston. I also love the feminine interiors with the chic couches of the Cheesecake Fairy. But the Vietnamese latte and the Nutella cheesecake are really to die for. And chocolate ice cream is always a winner with the big little girl. The cafe, located at the Evia Lifestyle Center, is a perfect spot to wind down after going around the mall. It gives one the opportunity to catch his breath after moving about.

I love lazy afternoons like these.