Tuesday, 27 September 2011

After the Atlantis ride...

 Because it was summer and the sun sets just after 9pm, we still had a lot of time to enjoy Legoland.  We had lunch after the Atlantis Submarine Voyage, then Poj and Papa E decided to try the Dino Safari ride. Poj waved goodbye to me as he honked his horn... he loves these trucks coz he feels that he's driving it himself. 
Orient Expedition

The next stop is the Oriental Expedition. We never miss this ride whenever we visit Legoland. It's a long train that goes around the park, it's a great way to see the lovely landscape full of Lego wild animals. But watch out, there are a lot of displays that squirts water, so you may get wet! Poj thinks it's hilarious! 

Duplo Land
This ride is Poj's favorite, the Duplo train. He's back in the queue as soon as they open the door when the ride has finished. We have to convinced him to try the other rides, lol =)
Duplo train
 My favorite is the Fairy tale brook. It is a gentle boat trip where they have a Lego display of different Fairy tales such as Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and Aladdin to name a few. 
Fairy tale Brook

Feel na feel ni Poj & he's even wearing a LCPD cap =)

Bless him, he didn't think they were treasures, he thought they were sweets!
 I'm really surprised that he agreed to get on this ride, Aero Nomad. It's a kiddy ferris wheel which gives you a birds-eye view of the park. We were lucky that there was a Lego-adventurer in our gondola, Poj was totally amazed by it that he didn't notice how high from the ground we were. 

And here he is giving us the approve sign that he enjoyed that ride!  
The Lego Mt Rushmore National Memorial was truly impressive

And on the way out of the park, just outside one of their stores is this Lego racing car. Poj gasp a big "wow" and jumped in. He thought it was awesome! 

The park is massive and you simply cannot visit all of it in one day. So whenever we go we try to explore a different section each time as well as return to Poj's favorites.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Atlantis Submarine Voyage

A full sized submarine made of Lego bricks

Legoland Windsor recently opened a new attraction, the Atlantis Submarine Voyage. Guests board a special submarine for a trip through marine exhibits and a Lego recreation of the lost city of Atlantis which is guarded by live sharks.                                                                                                                                                          This little cutie greeted us on our way in =)
We didn't plan on coming today kaya late na kaming dumating (advantages of having an annual pass are we could visit as often as we could & enjoy free parking). We arrived around lunchtime and went straight to Atlantis. Funnily enough, everyone was having lunch so we avoided the long wait and enjoyed a crowd free submarine. 

It was dark inside the submarine and little Poj was afraid to begin with. But he calmed down after seeing different fish and colorful Lego corals. 

It was a short ride but I'd say it was enough for small kids.

There's even a dedicated area for photo op as you come out...

We were surprised to learn that the park was open till 8pm instead of 6pm. So Poj had a full day of rides and fun. I'll share the pics on my next post =)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Coffee and Walnut Cake

To lovely Spanish Pinay who requested this recipe, here you go!

  • 125g butter , at room temperature
  • 125g caster sugar
  • eggs
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 heaped tbsp coffee , dissolved in 100ml water
  • 100g walnut halves

      200g butter 
       2-300g icing sugar


  1. Heat the oven to 170C/fan 150C/fan 3. Line a deep 18cm loose-based or springform cake tin. Beat the butter and sugar together with electric beaters and then beat in the eggs, flour and baking powder.
  2. Beat in 1 tbsp of the coffee mixture and then add up to another tbsp little by little until the mixture drops easily off the spoon. Keep the rest of the coffee mixture for the icing.
  3. Stir in half the walnuts, snapping them in half as you drop them into the bowl. Spoon into the tin, level the top and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly. Cool.
  4. To make the icing, beat the butter until soft and then beat in 200g icing sugar followed by the remaining coffee mixture, little by little. Stop when you have a depth of colour and flavour that you like. If the icing looks a little soft, beat in extra icing sugar.
   5. Cut the cake into 3 slices horizontally and then sandwich the layers together with some    of the icing, you need a reasonably thick layer. Ice the top of the cake with the rest of the icing and decorate with the rest of the walnuts.

I got this recipe from BBC Good Food.  It's so easy to make (I made it while Poj was having his afternoon nap & iced it just before dinner - it's that easy). 

I don't own a deep 18cm spring form cake tin, so I used my 2 ever so reliable 20cm loose-based cake tin instead. So I ended up with a 2-layer cake instead of 3 which worked just as well. But if you're going to make just 2 layers I'd suggest using only half of the icing mixture, as using too much could be really sickly. 

Have fun baking =)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

One Lovely Blog

I would like to thank sweet Anney of Blog ni Ako for this tag. I'm sorry if it took a while, but here it is.
Random things about me:

1) I have a sweet tooth & i don't mind laboring in the kitchen for it.
homemade Coffee and Walnut cake
homemade Pavlova
2) I am a sucker for romantic comedy films. And my favorite is My Best Friend's Wedding. 
Another random fact: i've seen this movie so many times that i know almost every line! (Sad i know!)

3) i love Christmas. I love the smell of real Christmas trees, i enjoy the gift giving, family reunion & the whole magical feeling that comes with it.
Christmas 2010

4) don't ask me why but I am fascinated with bridges.
Cambridge, England

5) i love watching fireworks.
Isle of Wight, England

Cowes week, Isle of Wight

6) i love picnics. Spending an afternoon with family and friends at the park on a fine day, sharing lovely food makes me really happy. *

7) i love Pinas and i'm feeling a bit homesick at the mo ...
Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

(Number 6) *photo from pic search

And now I would like to extend this award to these amazing gals

Sey of 14th Street
Mayen of Clicks and Cuts
Marjorie of Coffeehan
Michi of Michi Photostory
Lhot of Spanish Pinay 

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Too Many Questions...

Im asking these questions because two people who are close to me recently separated with their partners. I won't go into details as they are private, and I'm sure they won't appreciate me sharing it here.

I wonder what makes a person so in love one day, fall out of it the next? Do you just wake up one day and realise that love is no longer there?

How do you know that you've made the right decision? How do you know you're not confused? How do you really know that you won't regret breaking up? How can one be sure?

I guess for me, the most important question is what I could do to make them feel a little bit better? I don't even know what to say....  Buy I want them to know that you're in my thoughts & I'm wishing for the pain to go away.....

Why does it take a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Birthday Greetings!

homemade Victoria sponge cake

This post is for two special men in my life who are celebrating their birthdays. They funnily enough both share the same nickname, Bong. 

To my best friend: Happy birthday Oliver! Another year older and wiser! =)

Bong is my oldest friend. We've been best buds since we were in high school. We have shared many memories together. Apart from Papa E, no one knows me as much as he does. And though we don't see or talk to each other everyday - when we do, we're always able to pick up where we've left off. We always have great laughs, a lot of stories to tell and future plans to share.   

And for his birthday I wish nothing more but good health and happiness. God bless you always. 
Happy birthday Ninong Bong! 
"A friend is the man  who knows all about you, and still like you"
- Elbert Hubard

The other birthday celebrant is my brother, Bong. I miss him so much as I didn't get to see much of him when we went home last year. And I know he's been busy with a lot of things going on in his life. To my little brother, I wish for happiness, peace, good health and many more blessings to come your way. We love you lots and lots! Big big hugs from all of us =)

with the birthday boy & sis

"A brother is a friend given by Nature"                        
  ~Jean Baptiste Legouve
 We miss you both & hope we are home to celebrate with you....

Monday, 5 September 2011

Development Check

Health care here in the UK is free. Everyone must be registered to a GP surgery (clinic) in their  catchment area and assigned to a General Practitioner. Hospitalization and any take home meds are also free (you will have to pay for your usual meds of course, unless you're exempted). And if a woman becomes pregnant she will be assigned a midwife who would be looking after you throughout your pregnancy (unless it is a complicated pregnancy, then the GP would be more involved). Once you have given birth, your baby will be under the care of your own GP plus a Health visitor. One of the health visitors will visit you at home to check on how you are getting on. They will also check the baby to see if he is gaining weight and that everything is ok. They are there to give you advice on breastfeeding, nappies, sleeping or anything about looking after your new baby. They will come to visit you as long as you need them or as long as they feel it is necessary. Apart from this they also have clinics that you could visit weekly, again to have your baby weighed and if you have any questions. I found this really useful, coz being away from home, I needed all the support that I could get.

All newborn babies are given this red book
They did a development check when Poj was under a year old and we recently went for his 2-year check. It was really relaxed and informal, they just checked if he is up to date with his vaccines, if he had a hearing test done when he was born and if we have any concerns with his hearing and eyesight, they asked about his sleeping patterns, discussed his diet and they also asked if he goes to nursery & where. They also asked if he was already talking and how much. They did the usual weight & height measurement, observed his behaviour, checked how he solves puzzles, name the characters in each set (animals, cars, fruits etc )  and what he'll do with the little blocks given to him. They also asked him to draw lines and circles. 
I have raised my only concern which is his lack of appetite and they've advised me what to do (which I'm happy to say has worked, yay!) After writing her report and signing Poj's (red) record book,  the lady gave me leaflets about iron, what the recommended iron intake should be and a list of food with their corresponding iron content. She also gave me leaflets and talked me through potty training (we've just started this and again he's been an absolute star!  But we still a long way to go, so wish us luck).  All in all it was a good consultation, it was great to have a confirmation that he is on the right track and we are doing the right things.

And before going home, like they did on his previous check, they again gave Poj a bag of goodies... We went home a happy pair!

Bag filled with Books, crayons, sketch pad etc
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