Friday, December 22, 2017

See how my family loved our New World Hotel staycation

I just got back, mamas, from a quick getaway at New World Makati! We stayed there for just one night. We needed a break but we didn't have the energy or the time to go somewhere far so we took advantage of New World Hotel's Yuletide Getaway promo and stayed in the city for a truly wonderful time. No kidding—we had so much fun!

There's New World towering behind my little boys. We got the Deluxe Room package. That's a room with two twin beds and it includes breakfast buffet at the Café 1228 for two adults and two kids below 7 years old. You also get a bottle of wine and two movie passes to Ayala cinemas. All that for just P6,700! That's so affordable considering New World is a 5-star hotel!

Okay, mamas, sit tight. Lotsa photos coming up!

Here are the kids and you can tell they're really happy about our room! It's a good-sized room. We've stayed at trendy boutique hotels which we found out soon enough is a bad idea for a family of 5. We need space! So we now like staying at big hotels. Traditional, yes, but hotels have centuries of knowing how to take care of people.

Staking their claim on the beds. Soft, fluffy everything! Look at them—they look like angels surrounded by heavenly clouds. Looks like only haha in reality they are little balls of naughty energy!

Exhibit A: Piero. Blurry because he's jumping up and down the extra cot we got even though they know little monkeys shouldn't be jumping on the bed because they might fall down and bump their heads. Since we have three kids, we needed an extra bed. It was just as comfy!

There's a small seating area which made the room feel cozy. We also got a platter of fresh fruits, which the kids snacked on while watching TV.

Oh, and very important info for bloggers, traveling businesspeople, and work-from-everywhere people like me: There's complimentary WiFi and it is fast! Hotel-wide, too, so even when I was booking an Uber at the lobby, posting Instagram photos by the pool, and checking my mail at the restaurant, I could do it using the hotel WiFi. Plus, I like the compact way they put all the universal sockets together by the desk. So convenient, whatever plug you happen to have!

Now let's check out the bathroom!

The bathroom is great! Big, clean. It doesn't have a TV, which is ubiquitous in many hotels these days. I like that there's no TV actually. I never understood that!

I like the separate shower stall. I also like that kid that squeezed himself beside the toilet.

The bathtub is a little low, which made it a bit hard to get out of. The kids, meanwhile, loved it and said it's built for kids so, "Mama and Papa, don't get in the bathtub!"

Here's the view outside our big window:
New World is just across the upscale mall Greenbelt 3, so it's very convenient if you like shopping and eating. That's what we did. We still needed to buy Christmas gifts so we went shop, shop, shopping! 

The pools are big and we love that there's a kiddie pool! Lots of hotels these days are just business hotels so they either have a lap pool, a jacuzzi and/or a deep pool. Some hotels say they have a kiddie pool but it's so small, it's ridiculous. If you're a family with small kids, you'd be happy to know that New World has a real kiddie pool. Big enough so that if other kids are there, your kids have space to wade or swim.

Now, if you're around the area and you want to buy festive pasalubong or gorgeous edible gifts, stop by The Shop at the lobby of New World and choose from yummy delights like fruit mince pies, rich fruit cake, yule logs, stollen bread, lotsa holiday cookies, and gingerbread confections like our Christmas tree! We gobbled that all up!

Oh, what a lovely time we had at New World Hotel! The holidays have been, as always, stressful not because I hate Christmas (it's my favorite time of the year!) but because of the kids' school stuff, the terrible traffic, and the difficulty of getting around whether it's in an Uber or on a bus or jeep. But because it's my favorite time of the year, I always enjoy the hustle and bustle because the streets are gaily decorated, the people are actually in a better mood than usual haha, everyone's giving gifts, and there's so much food!

Speaking of food, let me tell you about the amazing meals we had at New World's Jasmine and Café 1228 in my next post!

Meanwhile, if you want to book New World Hotel's Yuletide Getaway Package, click here. Highly recommended by me and my family!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Review: OMRON Compair Nebulizer System NE-C801

There are some things you never want to need to review. These are usually medication, medical equipment, hospitals (unless you're there to give birth), and funeral homes. But the time has come for me to use our latest medical machine because every December, my family comes down with a bad cold and cough and this year is no different. Everyone, except Iñigo, came down with a nasty cough and cold. Vito, Piero and I had a really horrible time breathing.

Thankfully, our new machine is amazing and really helped ease the breathing of Vito, Piero and myself. Thanks so much to the OMRON Compair Nebulizer System NE-C801!

A couple of months ago, I went to the press launch of this nebulizer (I wrote about the event and details of the machine in this post). We already have a Devilbiss nebulizer at home so I wasn't really supposed to buy a new one.

But the more I thought about the new OMRON nebulizer, the more I wanted it. So we got one!

It's really the smallest thing. It fits in my hand. It's also so light so when Kuya Vito needed to nebulize, I can ask toddler Piero to get the OMRON nebulizer because it's so magaan.

It's also really quiet, so if you have kids who are scared of the loud noise nebulizers make, try the OMRON. Of course, may ingay pa rin yung compressor pero it's really more of a hum. You can even use it on one kid while their siblings are sleeping and the sound won't disturb the other kids.

It's also really easy to assemble. I also like how deep the cup is. My kids and I sometimes lean back on pillows kasi when we're nebulizing (see first photo). Dun sa dati naming nebulizer, because maliit yung cup, you tilt back a little and the medication spills out. With the OMRON one, my kids can rest on pillows while nebulizing na. Hooray!

And at just P3,280, the OMRON Compair Nebulizer System NE-C801 is not an expensive nebulizer at all. It's available at leading drugstores. Buy na, mommies! Sulit ito. I highly recommend it!

Mr P agrees!

P.S. Vito and Piero are feeling much better. Me na lang. Alam niyo naman, nanay kasi, laging pagod at walang pahinga. Please pray I find a kasambahay soon! Thanks so very much!

Monday, December 18, 2017

5 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

For many Filipino families, the holidays means loved ones visiting home from abroad. In my case, I’ve been seeing (or plan to see) a few friends based in the US or the UK, and it’s been wonderful. If you have family or friends coming over for get-togethers at your home or if some of them are actually staying for a weekend or for their whole vacation, here are a few ways to make their stay special.

1. Fill the guest room with love. 
Love not mess! An extra room, if you’re lucky to have one, is usually our tambakan. If your guests are staying there, please move all the musty boxes and old appliances to the garage, vacuum the floor, wipe down the walls, change the sheets, bring in the pillows, open the windows and air out the room (and change the curtains while you’re at it). If you want to be extra, get a few scented candles, bring in a potted plant, add a rug by the bed. You don’t need to buy these—I’m sure you have some lying around your house. Just move them to your guest room to make your visitors feel special.

2. Make the beddings super soft.
There is nothing so amazing after a long day than sinking into a bed that’s clean and the sheets are fragrant and buttery soft. Now, really nice bed linens are expensive. I’m lucky to have a few sets—check out old photos of my babies enjoying our luxe sheets!—but those are for my own bed (queen-sized). For our guest bed (a.k.a. the sofa haha), we have bedsheets that are twin size. They’re just normal thread count but I make them feel extra special by using fabric conditioner. Super simple tip, right?

3. Put a throw on the sofa.
If you don’t have an extra room and your guests will have to stay on your sofa, clean the sofa! People always forget to do this! Vacuum it to death, wipe it down with watered down bleach (if sofa is white) or fabric conditioner, and let it dry under the sun. In a condo like me? Turn the fan on full blast so your sofa will dry faster and it won’t smell kulob. I like to use the Parfum Collection of Downy, particularly the one in the gold bottle, Daring. I actually like Sweetheart better (pink bottle) but my kids like Daring so what can I do? Anyway, all of the variants smell fantastic so whatever you choose is a winner. 

If there are stains on your sofa that just can’t be removed, discover the magic of throws. A throw is a small blanket in a decorative design. It’s not a bed sheet or a comforter. You can drape this on your sofa (over the stains!) to make your living room cozy. 

4. Make the bathroom an experience.
This goes without saying—scrub that bathroom down! Don’t forget the mirror. Wipe the doorknob and light switch with alcohol. Move your toiletries to your bedroom (this is my own quirk because I don’t like other people sniffing my stuff or dipping their fingers in my creams hehe). Wipe down the shower stall or wash the shower curtains. Replace the bath mats with something that feels great on bare feet. Light up a scented candle. Make your towels fluffy. Very important! My pet peeve when I visit other people’s homes is rough towels!

When Vince and I were choosing items for our bridal registry more than a decade ago, we carefully picked the softest white towels we could find. When several guests gave us the same gift of towels, we didn’t exchange them at the store. Extra towels are always a must to a home! For a growing family, for a home that welcomes guests, an abundance of towels is amazing. When you have guests, make towels (face, hand and bath!) extra luxurious by washing them in bleach (if yours are white like ours) then rinsing them with your best-smelling fabric conditioner. I’m a Downy Antibac user but for special occasions, I bust out the Parfum Collection for sweet-smelling and super soft towels. 

Note: If your towels are colored, you can just use Downy Antibac! It kills germs, makes towels nice and soft, plus the Color Protection Technology will keep your towels looking new!

5. Prepare munchies.
When I’m a guest at other people’s houses, I always bring my own snacks. Two reasons: first, so that my host isn’t inconvenienced forever trying to feed me, and second, so that I won’t be a bad guest and rummage around my host’s kitchen when I get hungry in the middle of the night. Set aside a basket of snacks in your guest room or a jar of cookies on the dining room table or just a special cupboard in the kitchen for snacks. Tell your guest, “This is for you. Feel free to eat anytime!” 

You must’ve noticed that I’m really into making things super soft (this post was actually inspired by me doing the laundry—I get a lot of blogging ideas when I’m doing the laundry!). I’m a very tactile and sensual person and by sensual I mean my senses like to be stimulated. I touch things. I smell things. When a home smells clean and fragrant, when what I touch is soft, I feel happy. Special. That’s what I want my guests to feel when they’re at my home. If you have any tips on how you make your home special for your guests, please share in the comments! Happy holidays!

*This post is brought to you by Downy.