Life Happening 10.28.19: Happy Anniversary

This week I had a short work trip to Bohol, our first family trip in the Philippines in 2017 so I have found memory of this place.

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Morning view from my room was lovely

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I visited chocolate hills again and learned that they receive 1 million visitor per year

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as well as the Tarsier Santuary

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to be honest, without the kids Bohol is not so fun, especially the second time around.

Last friday was Halloween party in our building

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Sofia was actively participating the games while Lizzy stayed behind and ate all the sweets

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then we did the trick and treat together with me losing Sofia for a while

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Saturday I went to get my glasses and bought one for Sofia for TV/gadgets. She looks so funny/adult with glasses.

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Sunday was our 4th anniversary. Unlike previous years, I finally planned something for the couple. Our day started super early, 2am! Got the pillows to sleep in the car

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we arrived an hour earlier and by 5:45am we got ready

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first there was 1 hour ride on the 4×4. I first thought it was just for fun but not really needed.. I was wrong. The road was impossible to go with a normal car nor walk, so many rivers to cross and rocks! Quite a bumpy ride.

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then we started our 5km trek at this moon like place

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we crossed many rivers. The path was beautiful and quiet in the early morning.

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we were the first to arrive the Pinatubo Crater Lake. This place is a volcano with a major eruption not so long ago, now one of the popular destination for easy hike

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The view is stunning but the facility is very basic, just like many places in the Philippines, amazing nature beauty with minimum if any maintenance. The potential to develop tourism in the country is huge.

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after a short break where we had our packed breakfast, we headed back.

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a local mom with her baby joined our ride

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We got home around 3pm, really happy to see the girls who stayed with the helper. I know it was not the most romantic celebration we could have, and we didn’t really talk that much on the road either since Tony pace is much slower than mine. Still I loved the experience of doing something together, especially something that I love -being in the nature- and I am grateful Tony tagged along. 🙂 I hope we keep up with the new tradition going forward, maybe a mini trip next year?

This past week was stressful at home. I had to fire our two-year live in helper. I felt so bad to realize how blind I was. I thought she was a reliable and kind lady that I could trust my most precious people to her. It turned out she’s mean, calculated and a liar. So I made the hard decision to fire her (or let her go as she was complaining and threaten to quit) since we rely on her a lot. But sometimes we need to endure the painful transition process for a greater future. So I’ve been going through many interviews, so far no luck yet, but we are finding another solution that might work even better. Finger crossed.

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Life Happening 10.21.19

This week has been relaxing. My new mantra is more life-work balance. hahaha… not that I haven’t before but now that I am not too busy at work, I try to leave office by 5pm so I get to spend more time with the girls and just chill out.

Lizzy finally embraced painting at school. When she started, she refused to draw saying she doesn’t know how. Then we started to practice more at home with Sofia leading her. I find that when sister shows her how to do things, she’s more willing to try than if adults ask her to.

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I’m in post-marathon recovery mode so I got a two weeks unlimited yoga class pass this week. I went there on Thursday and Saturday. Vinsaya 1 and 2. I think I prefer to do it at home. I don’t physically feel I need recovery, at least not evidently as I felt recovered the day after the race. But everywhere I read says our bodies need 10-14 days to repair muscle damages,  so I try to not do anything intense. What I need is a mental break of having to follow a schedule. I love schedules and routines, I need them, but it’s nice to break them once in a while so I enjoy them even more when they are back. Other than yoga, I jogged twice with Sofia (3-4km) as part of our new routine, and joined our sunday run (10km). I did feel more effort on Sunday, mainly on my chest and HR, not so much my legs. Other than that, I’ve tried to walk more as I found it so calming and allows me to listen to podcast.

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I took Friday off on Friday and welcomed Lizzy when she got home. She loves making funny faces and I snap it whenever I can 🙂

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Saturday was the usual: Sofia activities, me doing groceries, and Lizzy playing at home with Daddy.

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Sunday: Sofia had a playdate in the morning while I spent the whole morning in the kitchen. After the nap, Sofia did some crafting while I did my reading. Lizzy is wandered around. Tony was out for golf for most of the day.

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this week I took more pics of my food.

Breakfast was the same old same old. Pumpkin oatmeal with PB2 and chocolate granola. Love this combo so much!!!

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similarly combo using cacao nips

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Lunches: avocado toast (brought from Melbourne) with tomato soup

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massive salad. This one had lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, roasted cauliflower, avocado and hummus tahini dressing and nutrition yeast

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another one with lettuce, tomato. cucumber, roasted pumpkin, avocado, hummus sauce, and a vegan tuna salad made with pulp of soy milk, seaweed, mirin, soy sauce and shredded carrot. It tastes amazing!!!

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I am very happy to report that Tony is finally venturing out to vegan meals. The change has been gradual in the last couple of months, from cutting out almost all meat from his diet except fish, to cut fish consumption to 3-4 days a week to now 1-2 times a week. I’ve been cooking more vegan meals for him to try and he’s accepting them! YAY!!! That’s the prefect combo, he gets to eat healthy and yummy vegan meals, and I get to try new recipes!!! It makes me so happy! 🙂

I made this vegan corn chowder and it tastes quite good

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I also made vegan mac n cheese for the girls. They were not impressed 😦

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Snacks:

homemade soy yogurt with cereals

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fig bars (my fav bar)

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more avocado toast

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Heading to Bohol for work now 🙂

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Travel: Melbourne part 2

Day 3: I didn’t plan much for the day as I wanted to give my legs a good rest before the race the next day but still ended up doing quite much. I started with the Victoria Market, a local farmer’s market very popular among locals and tourists

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the produces are sooooo fresh and beautiful

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not so happy about this though

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there are many food stands too

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then I wanted to explore Fitzroy, a lively suburb with a bohemian reputation, Fitzroy’s eclectic bars and restaurants are popular with students, weekenders and young professionals. I came across many parks where families play

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Saturday market

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very hippie

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more graffitis

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the neighbourhood lives up to the fame, very hippie, young population and many bars and restaurants

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then I went home just on time to witness the miracle. Eliud broke the 2 hrs mark!!!! I cried when he crossed the finish line. This guy is soooo inspiring! It was perfect timing and inspiration I needed for the race

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have a good dinner

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Went to bed around 7:30pm trying to get as much sleep I could.

Day 4 (race day): I set up 3 alarms just in case but didn’t needed it.

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I woke up around 3am and got up at 4. Had coffee, small bowl of oatmeal with PB2 and headed off. The starting line was one metro stop away and many other runners on the train that day.

Finished strong and happy!!!

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post race meal… so yum!

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Day 5: I signed up for the great ocean road and it was magnificent!

We started the tour at 8am and stopped at many sites. The views are spectacular

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and we saw wild koala on the road!!! 😯

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she/he looked at us as surprised as we were

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visited a national park

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the twelve apostoles

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before heading back to Melbourne we stopped for dinner. Found a Vietnamese place with vegan option (vermicelli, veggies, tofu and simple soy ginger dressing with friend onion

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Day 6: my flight was 6pm but needed to check out by 10am. After a quick stop by the groceries store to buy some avocado to bring home, I ate my fav breakfast. Multigrain oatmeal with strawberries and PB2

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I dropped my luggage at the skybus stop and went to explore the city

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visited the treasury building museum

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that showed exhibit and history of the gold rush

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then the victoria library

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took the bus to the airport, arrived 3 hrs earlier, had vegan Pho before boarding

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That concluded my first ever solo trip to Melbourne. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed. It gave me time to reflect, be my own company, without having to worry how to entertain the family (all their needs), without having a structure schedule for meal/sleep/rest. During these few days, I slept whenever I wanted, ate whenever I was hungry, and walked as much as I wanted without worrying someone else might be tired. It allowed me to be more in tune with my body and mind needs.

Yet, it did feel like an indulgence. I guess because it was my first time. Now, I think I need to do this at least once a year… solo trip to connect with myself 🙂

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