Travel Diary: Boboli Gardens

After spending a few days in Florence, my little family felt like we needed a break from all the touristy spots (with extra long lines) and busy restaurants. We wanted to go to a place where we can relax but at the same time allow space for Tristan to run and play. I am so glad we found Boboli Gardens–it offered a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the city center. And wow, it was just so grand and beautiful, we really enjoyed our day here.

These gorgeous gardens belongs to the Boboli/Medici family (one of the wealthiest families in Italy) and has remained completely private until the late 18th century. The size of the estate is impressive, and the gardens alone, along with the numerous sculptures and fountains, are just breathtaking. Naturally, we took plenty of photos and stayed until sunset (tip: before you reach the exit there is an amazing view of the city you shouldn’t miss). I think it is a great place for young families to visit as it is not at all busy or touristy. Admission is 7 euros per person, but entry fees are reduced if you visit after 4 p.m.

            

Sage Bespoke Grill at Makati Shangri-la

What a wonderful treat! The Baby Barangay was invited to dine at Sage Bespoke Grill at Shangri-la Makati, a restaurant with a new dining concept that showcases premium superior steaks, seafood and comfort food. I absolutely love steak, so yes, I was super excited about this invitation–I could not wait to sample their bestselling dishes. And oh my, I have to say, they did not disappoint. Actually, they far exceeded my expectations and set the bar high for what constitutes a good steak.  If you love steak and are looking to treat yourself to the best, well, look no further than Sage.

Sage’s very own Chef Eric Weidmann has created an a la carte menu of innovative dishes with flavours and textures that surprise the palate. You can start with their refreshing appetizers, such as Ceviche Scallops, Oysters and Wagyu Beef Carpaccio. The chef’s specials include pork short ribs, slow-cooked for 3 hours in the Josper grill, and the lobster roll with Boston lobster meat. And for the meat lovers, well, don’t forget to order the Josper-grilled mains – chateaubriand (Australian wagyu), bone-in ribeye (CAB certified Angus beef), and dry-aged bone-in strip loin. The dessert highlights include the traditional warm tarte tatin, caramelized pineapple, and chocolate sphere – brownies, 70% whipped ganache, poached pear, warm chocolate sauce.

6 Oysters. Shallot. Fresh Sea Grapes. P1,230.

Ceviche Scallops. Lemon and Sundry Tomato. Basil Oil. P920.

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio. Pesto. Parmesan. P670.

Sea Bass Tartar. Lime. Chive. Pink Pepper. P620.

Gravlax Salmon. Avocado. Grapefruit. Horseradish Sauce. P550.

 

The secret behind their perfectly cooked steaks is the Josper Grill. It combines a grill and an oven in a single machine, so your chosen dish can be grilled to perfection without the risk of overcooking. Also, it preserves the juiciness and texture to make it gastronomically balanced for the palate.

Australian Wagyu. Jacks Creek MB 5 Prime Rib Eye. 250gr P2,200 / 400gr P3,420 / 800gr P6,350.

Australian Wagyu. Jacks Creek MB 5 Tomahawk. 1300gr P8,200.

USDA Shortloin T-Bone Steak. 900gr P6,100.

We enjoyed the food so much, we went on a food coma after all that glorious steak!

Caramelized Pineapple Crumble. P315.

Floating Island. Caramelized Hazelnuts. Vanilla Creme Anglaise. P315.

Banana Sticky Toffee Pudding. Louisiana Pecan Nuts. Salted Caramel Ice Cream. P315.

Traditional Warm Tarte Tatin. Vanilla Ice Cream. P315.

Chocolate Sphere. Brownies. 70% Whipped Ganache. Poached Pear. Warm Chocolate Sauce. P315.

My Baby Planet

I have to say, motherhood has taught me so many life lessons. It sounds crazy, especially since my son is only a year and nine months old haha, but seriously, taking care of a baby has been quite the challenge for this new mom. The learning curve is steep, especially during the first three months after the baby is born. There are so many little trials, triumphs and defeats that happen on a daily basis, that one is just left amazingly overwhelmed. And it doesn’t end–the cycle continues each day, until I guess your baby becomes more independent (I’m assuming this is when he is in college haha).

I know, I am still in the beginning stages of motherhood, so I cant look that far ahead. But boy, was it a crazy first year. It’s like from being pregnant, you’re supposed to instinctively know what to do and become this perfect caregiver (weirdly enough, I imposed this on myself which was really unnecessary). Of course, we all know the ending to this story–we moms make mistakes and are far from perfect. It is actually our babies who do most of the work (nope, they don’t just eat, sleep, poop, repeat). They are our most patient teachers, who try to mold us into the parents we are meant to be. It is really a give and take, and the relationship relies mostly on trust and instinct.

Gosh, I remember how crazy I felt during those days. I could not leave the house because I was still getting used to taking care of another human. At the same time, my body was healing and getting over postpartum depression. It was a crazy time–I depended mainly on my husband to run the house and replenish anything we consumed like food, toiletries, house supplies and diapers. I remember wishing there were a site I could go to for all my baby needs; a service that will deliver what I need straight to my home. There were so many things that needed to be done and there was not enough time to do them. Having this convenience would’ve made my life so much easier. (It’s a good thing I had a great support group of positive moms, like the Baby Barangay and Maricel and Beng of The Parenting Emporium.)

That’s why I was all smiles when I found out there is actually an all-in-one baby shopping website that delivers. Finally, a site where you can buy anything from diapers, baby bath products, detergent, toys, things for the nursery–you can get them all from http://www.mybabyplanet.ph! They are the same people behind SNR, so you can be assured of their quality and service. And seriously, they are so complete. Anything a mom needs for her baby and herself is there! ❤

I attended the opening of their first store: it is located in Puregold Qi Central along Araneta corner E. Rodriguez Ave in Quezon City, and I have to say, I was impressed. They had the essentials, and they have all the best-selling products we moms would usually have to purchase abroad. I couldn’t help but do a little shopping while I was there as I knew these would sell-out right away. They assured me though that they had more than enough stock and there is more to come. Happiness!

Scroll down to see some of the available products in the store. And be sure to click on to the website to find a slew of baby products–I swear, they have so many amazing brands available at a click of a button.

                  

Stay fresh this summer with Belo Baby cologne

While the rest of the world is transitioning into spring, Manila is officially experiencing summer! Yes, it has been blazing hot over here in the Philippines, and everyone I know has been trying to find ways to stay cool. Over here at Casa Fernandez, the struggle is definitely real, which is why we’ve pulled on all the stops–we’ve stocked up on ice cream (and ice), switched on the A/C, fan and all cooling devices at home, and we’re heading to the beach soon!

Our little boy Tristan has been feeling the heat the most, which prompted us to find more creative ways to beat the heat. As you know, kids are the most vulnerable to hot weather conditions, and are prone to heatstroke or getting sick. Keeping them cool is a must; which is why I’m sharing with you the little tricks that have so far helped our energetic toddler stay cool.

Buy summer-friendly clothes. I actually had to do this out of necessity. Tristan went on a full-on clothing strike as soon as it got hotter, and he just refused to wear any clothes whether we were at home or outside. At first I thought it was something we could get over if I let him cry it out. But oh my, he was just so uncomfortable I knew it was just too hot. He did not stop crying until we removed his clothes!! I knew his old clothes had to go, so I went out and bought him loose, breathable clothes–sandos, soft cotton t-shirts and loose shorts. After that, problem solved–he’s been wearing clothes ever since!

Stay hydrated. This goes for both momma (especially if you’re breastfeeding) and baby. Drinking water constantly throughout the day makes a world of difference and just protects you both from heat-stroke or dehydration. Also, try to avoid salty food, like chips and instead serve fruits and vegetables as snacks.

Time outdoor activities wisely. Tristan’s pedia advised that he stay indoors from 10am to 4pm, because these are the hottest hours of the day. So we try to take our toddler out for a walk in the morning and go to the park or go for a quick dip in the pool in the afternoon. Watch out for mosquitos though–always apply baby-friendly bug repellant when you go out of the house!

Hide in the shade. When you’re out, try to stay in the shade to keep cool. If this means having to wear a hat and sunglasses, then do it. P.S. There are so many adorable sun gear that are made for babies. They are super cute!

Keep skin cool. When it gets really hot, I give Tristan a bath and skip the heater. He usually enjoys this, and stays a little longer than usual so I bring in his favorite toys and make it a playtime experience. If we are out, I apply Belo Baby cologne on him and it instantly cools him down. Plus, the yummy scents (my favorite is Cool Drizzle but Happy Tickle and Sweet Snuggle are just as bango) refresh my little guy and make him super huggable. The best part: all three are gentle, non-irritating, hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested. That’s why I use it on Tristan and recommend it to you mommas. Oh, and it is actually my favorite as well, because when I use it, I’m immediately put in a better mood. It smells so good! ❤

Travel Diary: Firenze

Our trip to Florence was truly a memorable one. My little family spent one week here, and enjoyed every minute of it. Not only is Florence a gorgeous city, it is filled with history, art, culture and amazing, glorious food. We never ate so well in a trip–seriously, I am still dreaming of the wonderful pasta, pizza and gelato we had!

So, it definitely helped that Florence is a walking city. Because we basically just walked to wherever we needed to go. All the museums, parks, shops and restaurants were close by and our place (we found it thru Airbnb) was right in the center of everything. We didn’t really spend so much time in museums since we brought Tristan with us (we pretty much avoided any site that had a long line), which ultimately worked to our advantage because we ended up having a very relaxing vacation in this amazing city. Most days were spent exploring the city and trying out highly rated (but family-friendly) restaurants. We also spent most of our time in parks and food markets. This trip was filled with so many happy memories, I cannot wait to go back again soon! ❤