Writing Letters and More

Posted by Arvi on Sunday, October 04, 2015
In my previous posts, I have shared some of our favorite montessori-inspired toddler activities as well as some of our favorite books for reading. I am big on the fun approach when it comes to teaching your child. And it has proven us that Ava responds to fun learning very well. 

I tried introducing writing to Ava earlier this year but she didn't seem to be interested, not a bit.  We have been enjoying reading, counting and playing (of course!) so I think it's about time we give writing another chance. Two weeks into these sheets/activities and we've made little progress! Lol. Progress is still progress right?

Earlier this year, I was able to get these worksheets from Powerbooks. The overall layout and colors look fun and the size variations are perfect for little tots who are just starting to trace/learn writing. Definitely something I would love to work on if I were a kid, that's why I assumed Ava would love it too. Lol.

Baguio in September

Posted by Arvi on Monday, September 07, 2015
This year is probably the busiest so far, for both my work and our tiny family. And just before it gets even busier come Christmas season, our little family was gifted with two overnight stays at Baguio Country Club. It's a perfect break after all the crayyy and definitely an awesome down time before another wave of busy that is coming before the year ends.

Since it's been raining cats and dogs lately, going to Baguio - the summer capital of the Philippines, might seem like a crazy idea. A lot of the touristy activities here are mostly outdoors which are best enjoyed when it's bright and sunny. Thinking about it, not a lot of things we can do really.

Sounding like a boring trip already? Nope. While the things to do were very limited in the rainy season, Baguio offers a lot of nice places to eat that are equally worth your time. 

This is a lengthy and photo-heavy post so I hope you'll enjoy reading. Here are some of the places we visited and the yummy eats we had from this trip!

Our Little Book Club

Posted by Arvi on Monday, August 03, 2015
If there's one thing I want to push for Ava to love and enjoy, hands down, it's gonna be reading. But since we allow her to enjoy things at her own phase, I cannot really force her. So what I did was to set her up by collecting books! And it worked! Lol.

I started buying books by popularity. Checked online which books were highly recommended and bought some of them. Before I got fixated on completing Google's most popular books, I realized that I don't have a guarantee if Ava will love them. It's important that you understand your child's interests and see how he/she responds to things, in this case of choosing books, observe how they respond to the visuals and the contents. By doing this, we ended up with a small library of books that we all enjoy reading. Our setting allows Ava to reach the first and second (using a chair) that's why we see to it that we rotate our books.

We love reading together. Ava loves it when we read with her, instead of just reading for her. Notice the difference. As parents, we need to be expressive, intentional and entertaining all at the same time. The rewards come in giggles, hugs and kisses.

After much reading and searching, we're finally able to fill our very own library that we love, like really, really love. See below which ones are our favorites, authors and books!

Toddler Fun and Play

Posted by Arvi on Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Ava is currently 2 years and 8 months old.

A couple of months ago we started noticing how her curiosity and interest in a lot of things were developing rapidly. She communicates very well now and she's very interested in interactive and creative play. With the rate she was learning, she eventually outgrew her toys, about 70% of them - most of which were made of plastic and battery-operated.

When Ava was still a newborn, we used to go to Numa along E. Rodriguez to get some of our nursing stuff. That's where and when I actually noticed how cute wooden toys are. But at that time Ava was still too young and I haven't understood its advantages. At the same time, we received a lot of gifts from our families and friends and they were all wonderful which Ava loved playing with. But as I've mentioned earlier, she outgrew most of these toys and playtime has turn into chaos. Something needs to be done

It was only a month ago when we finally decided to ditch most of her toys. We knew that changing our play environment as well as our materials will definitely catch up and hopefully sustain the needs of our ever-growing tot. I researched about toddler activities that are fun but will be a great learning experience at the same time. That’s when I stumbled upon the How We Montessori website. The simplicity of the Montessori approach was interesting and are very similar to the activities that homeschooling families do. I am totally open to the idea of homeschooling Ava if our family’s setup will allow it when it’s time for her to start school. We'll where we'll be in the next years to come.

For the meantime, let me share some of the activities that we are currently doing in rotation. 

Creative Building

Having a set of wooden blocks is definitely a must-have for every curious toddler, even babies. We have an Ikea set and a basic block set which I’ve had (actually a Jenga set) since college. These pieces in different geometric shapes and forms highly encourage imagination and creativity.

Mula Building Blocks with Wagon, Ikea

Keep Calm and Write On

Posted by Arvi on Thursday, June 04, 2015
So I've been MIA, what's new? :)

It has been crazy busy the last couple of months, with my work mostly but I'm grateful that we were still able to keep our work-life balanced. And since it's summer, we made sure we'll have some family fun. There was one weekend when we visited Kidzoona and then for Mother's Day, we went on a road trip to Bataan. I'll save the details for my next posts because what I'll be sharing now is what I was doing in between.

For the month of May, I started a new hobby which is lettering and calligraphy. I've been stalking The Fozzy Book and other calligraphers online but I just couldn't find the right timing to start. Meanwhile on Instagram, I started seeing posts of different people writing the same phrases or quotes in their own styles. Each post was tagged #letteritapril, I got curious and found out later that it's called the Letter It challenge being hosted by @jennymaiedae. For May, I finally decided to join. :)

Of Nappies and Potties

Posted by Arvi on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Two years of exclusive cloth diapering for Ava.

While it has not come to a close yet, I felt the huge change that came with our potty training. From 6-8 diapers a day, we are now down to one. Looking back, using cloth is one of those decision that we are glad we pursued. It may not be a lot, but it's nice to know that in our own little ways, our little fambam is helping the environment. It's definitely a good feeling.

Ergo Sport or Tula Toddler?

Posted by Arvi on Monday, February 23, 2015
27 months of babywearing and still counting.

As a matter of fact, we just recently got a Toddler Tula because Ava already outgrew our much-loved Ergo Sport.

Finally, after much thought, we have come down to our final stash of baby carriers. And I will save that topic for another post. Let me first share with you the differences I have observed between a Toddler Tula and an Ergo Sport. These are definitely noteworthy.

For reference, Ava is 27 months old, approximately weighs 30lbs. with a height of 90cm.


Ergo carriers are available in stores like SM's Baby Company as well as Rustan's, making it more convenient to buy. Tula carriers, on the other hand is not yet available in the local market except for online shops or mommy groups that buys, sells or trades Tula carriers. The only trusted seller I know is CEO Emporium* which I highly recommend because Candy (owner) is very accommodating especially to an eager Mama like me. ;)


An Ergo Sport costs 115USD (5,000Php+) while the Toddler Tula is 169USD (7,500Php+).

A Family-Friendly Hong Kong Itinerary

Posted by Arvi on Wednesday, February 18, 2015
I thought of just picking up where I left off and share our travel itinerary during our Hong Kong trip.

This itinerary worked great for us. Mr. T and I love exploring so we really don't mind the commute, long walks and those stuff. Please also take note that I am a breastfeeding Mama (27 months and still counting) and Mr. T and I are both all out for babywearing. Those two things were big factors I guess because we were able to move around easily.

The beginning of our travel was a bit different though since I went ahead while Mr. T and Ava just followed two days later. But Mr. T just winged it and both husband and daughter arrived safely in Hong Kong. Lol.

Your hotel location is the best basis you can use in planning your itinerary. We stayed at Casa Deluxe along Nathan Road, just less than a five-minute walk from the Yau Ma Tei station. The MTR system of Hong Kong is very efficient so this was a big plus for us.

Day 1 | October 30

Arrived Hong Kong
Travel to Hotel
Lunch at Din Tai Fung
Walk around Avenue of Stars
Explored the Night Market

Our first day was pretty relaxed as we took a leisurely walk along Nathan Road, passing by Kowloon Park before we went to the Mira Mall for a sumptuous lunch at Din Tai Fung. We then walked some more and proceeded at the Avenue of Stars while we munched on some grilled squid and enjoyed people watching and sunset viewing. We stayed there until a little after dark before we went to the Ladies' Night Market where we saw the ongoing Occupy Central rally. If I were to ask, you can opt to skip this night market if you don't have plans shopping there. While it's true that there are a lot of stuff to see, it's just not kid-friendly. You can find other shops in less-crowded areas like Nathan or at Citygate Mall. After an hour of walking around, we decided to grab a quick takeout dinner and took the train back to the hotel.

Holiday Hangover

Posted by Arvi on Monday, January 26, 2015
Looks like there's a trend going on here. I don't think I can manage this whole blogging thing and the holiday season ever. So let me put it out there to make myself feel less guilty. November and December means no updates here. Lol. Blaming it on the whole holiday feels. Hah!

Like everybody else, we got busy with work, making sure that everything's set and fine before everybody goes off for the long holiday. Dinners with family and friends, not your usual get togethers if you have parents and friends who came home from overseas. We wanted as much time as we can have with them.

And of course, we made sure that we will enjoy the longest vacation of the year with our darling daughter. This is probably the best one yet, now that she's bigger, she enjoyed Christmas more. Gift-giving, playing with our friends' tots, cousins and more. We had a quick family getaway with the in-laws in Tagaytay, where she enjoyed running around barefoot (Taal Vista lobby included. :P). Right after our Tagaytay trip, we then had a quiet double celebration of my 30th birthday and our 3rd wedding anniversary. We enjoyed it the most because it was her first time to swim in a real swimming pool. It was a delight watching her, she was fearless but still cautious. Then New Year, all those fireworks made her a little scared but she handled it very well. Holidays are always the busiest but definitely the most wonderful time of the year, don't you think?

Next thing we knew, it was time to go back to work. But with our hearts filled with so much joy, I think we have enough to get us through till the next. ;)

So I may or may not post some backlogs but there will be posts coming again. I'm excited again.

Happy New Year! :)