Monday, July 10, 2017

Family Staycation at Oasia Hotel

We had an awesome experience the last time we had a staycation at a boutique hotel. So now, for my birthday, we chose to stay in another of Far East Hospitality’s hotels. This time, it’s Oasia Hotel in Novena.

Jane booked a Club Room. It has a bath tub (which the kids love and one of our main criteria in choosing a hotel room) and Club Lounge privileges. We stayed on the 23rd floor which is just a storey above The Living Room (the Club Lounge). We were there on a weekday, Thursday to be exact.

Although it’s a birthday staycation, it’s actually more of a surprise for the kids. They knew about it just that morning. We packed early, had brunch and prepared for our trip. We had 2 pieces of luggage, one medium-sized for all of our things and a Trunki for Lia’s soft toys and Ate’s books.

We arrived just in time for the 2 pm check-in and was immediately led to our room. Let me take you on a little tour.

THE LOCATION. Situated in the heart of the city, Oasia is easily accessible from Novena MRT, and even connected to Novena Square by a link bridge. And being adjacent to the shopping malls means being near to restaurants, and basically, everything you need.

THE LOBBY. The main lobby was simple but the wood cladding and natural stone face for the lift lobby are both very impressive. The lifts were fast, silent and steady.

THE ROOM. The hotel room is small but packed with everything one will need and more. Light-colored wood panels cover most of the walls and above is a drop ceiling along the perimeter of the room. The floor is not carpeted but there is an area rug around the bed. The window has a full panoramic view of the cityscape and can be covered with either sheer blinds and/or blackout shades for privacy and glare control and each may be operated via switches near the bed. The only artwork is a mosaic of upcycled, probably old or “made-to-look-old” wooden cornices and wood scraps. There is a built-in desk, and a rickety swivel chair (that needs replacement, by the way.) The wall sconce for the desk light may look cool when new but at this point needs an update as well.

And as a birthday celebrant, I was presented with a complimentary cake. It was delicious!

There was also a Nespresso machine, complimentary TWG tea bags, Perrier bottles, mineral water, and even coconut water. So the drinks were fairly covered. 

THE TOILET. Covering almost a third of the room's floor space, the toilet and bath is masculine and modern. Granite tiles clad the area wall to wall, and the floors have the same surface treatment. There is a tub and a separate rain shower. The toilet seat is sadly cramped in a corner and usually blocked by the swing door. A sliding door would be a better option, to say the least. The bed can be viewed from the shower and vice versa while a roller blind may be manually drawn for privacy. The vanity is huge with adequate counter space. A speaker on the ceiling is also provided for music or if you don't want to miss the audio of what you're watching (or in my case, what my kids are watching) on TV. 

THE LOUNGE. "The Living Room" as they call it is located on the 22nd floor. The lift lobby is more beautiful than the rest of the lobbies for obvious reasons. It is where cocktails and refreshments are served for patrons occupying the Club Rooms and Suites. It is decorated casually with drinking glass chandeliers, wood flooring, exposed beams, and glass shelves as dividers.

Further onward is the swimming pool area. We were fortunate that when we visited, there are no other visitors using the area so we enjoyed the pool all by ourselves. What a delightful bonus treat indeed!

The downside, however, is that the place has only one exit, and one has to go through the lounge before you can reach the lift lobby to your room so we made sure we had fresh and dry clothes before we came there and definitely before we exit.

By the way, there is also a swimming pool area and gym on the 8th floor and a cafeteria near the main lobby.

THE SERVICE. Whatever little details the hotel failed to notice was overshadowed by the hospitality shown to us by The Living Room staff. A special shoutout to Ms. Letitia for her excellent service for going beyond the call of duty to make us feel important and welcomed. Even the cleaners were courteous and well-mannered.

Overall, we had a great time at Oasia Hotel Novena. It can be a place for families to stay, unwind, and enjoy the what the hotel and the city have to offer.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

My ?0th Birthday

I turned 40 last week and to celebrate my four decades of life on earth, and while Ate is still on a school break, I took a  two-and-a-half-day leave from work which when added to the weekend and a holiday became a 5-day break. Not bad eh!

When I came home from work before my leave, the eve of my birthday,  MyGirls surprised me (again) with a "sweets and treats buffet".

There was a multi-flavored cheesecake. It's when you can't decide on a flavor so you take one slice of every flavor. It was awesome! There were also chips, cupcakes, Ferrero Rocher chocolates, and Root Beer! Thank you girls. :)

Ashrie and Lia made birthday cards. Ate gave me a Teddy Bear Snow Globe and Jane gave me a new mailbag.

We also attended an after church Pinoy gathering. It was a Boodle Fight! The dining table was amazing, take a look!

And we actually did a staycation in one of the boutique hotels in the city (my hotel review will be in a separate post).

So, that's it for now. Until the next one!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Father's Day 2017

Happy Father's Day to me and to all awesome dads!

MyGirls surprised me last Saturday afternoon (after work) with an early Father's Day greeting. They say Sunday mornings will be very busy because we will be preparing for church. And that's so true, so I really appreciate the gesture that they did to kinda slip this greeting into our busy schedule.

Thank you my dearest girls. I love you very much!

Sunday was church time in the morning. Evangel gave each dad present a jar of Janice Wong's cookies and the kids made a Father's Day craft. We had quick lunch at McDonald's Causeway Point. We bought Ate new pairs of shoes and a new Peppa Pig scooter for Lia.

When we reached home, it was cleaning day. And of all days, I thoroughly clean the vacuum cleaner! It was a day well spent, to say the least, because hen I have a productive day, I am happy and contented.

To all dads, a Happy Father's day from Me&MyGirls.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Carton Playhouse DIY

Kids love the latest toys (and they can be a source of most of the clutter at home. It creeps from the Kid's Rooms to every inch of your floor space if not contained well. They can even be very expensive. They say the best toys are free. And it's really true as we all know from experience.

Here's a very easy DIY (blogged by Ashrie), completely free and I'm sure your kids will surely enjoy playing.

We had a big, old carton box  that Mom creatively turned into a playhouse. Mom did all the cutting and designing while Lia and I did the decorating. Just take a look at how it turned out!
If you want to make a house like this, you will need:
A big-sized carton box
Markers (optional)
Plate (if you want circle windows)
Cutter or scissors
A pencil
A long ruler
A smaller box (optional, for the chimney)

Lia and I really like our playhouse. Especially when we get to draw inside. We drew many things inside our house like pretend food, jewelry, clothes, some scribbles and even ourselves!


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lia Turns Three!

We celebrated Lia's birthday a day in advance because her birthday fell on a Sunday. We hosted a simple dinner for a bunch of friends and decked the halls with decorations. I took a leave from the office that day to provide a little help in the kitchen.

We set the entire living room as the entertainment area and the old dining room as the play area. We set a buffet table with sumptuous dishes from Jane's Kitchen (that's basically our kitchen with Jane as the chef, cook, and everything else). Here's the spread.

Special Balisungsong Rice. Fragrant rice that is lightly seasoned and wrapped in banana leaves. It is then cooked for a minimum of 2 hours.

Menudo. A pork stew with bell peppers, peas, carrots, potatoes, and raisins in a rich tomato-based sauce.

Kare-Kare. Jane's version is a thick, peanut-based gravy, topped with crispy pork belly, eggplant, pechay, and string beans---all perfectly paired with bagoong.

Veggies in Cream Sauce. Sautéed carrots, corn, peas, and jicamas with prawns and quail eggs.

Dessert was Leche Flan topped either with macapuno or kaong (palm nut). And for refreshments we served Arizona Sunset cocktails.

The birthday girl wore a white blouse and green shorts but refused to wear her silver sandals. Her mood was really down once she tried the new pair on, so when her mom changed it to her pick, which was her pink rabbit shoes, she was thrilled.

She requested specifically for this Strawberry Cheese Cake. We just added the colorful flower topper for it to look more festive. It looks good and tastes really nice! Even our guests approved!

She really had a blast playing with her Ate and the two other little girls, Danah and Ayah. She fell asleep after her milk time but woke up after a few minutes and played with them again.

The ladies chatted through the night over good food, a good cup of coffees (or tea) and sweets. And played the 5-Second Rule Game to spice things up.

It was indeed a lovely (and noisy) and laughter-filled evening.

Happy Birthday to our little darling Lia! You are bringing so much joy to our lives every day. May you grow healthy, strong, wise and blessed. We love you dearly.

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