Teaching my expat kid her correct identity

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I married a Filipino guy not knowing that he has some Chinese roots, I only learned later on that his dad’s mom is Chinese. That’s why he has this “chinito” eyes which attracted me to him in the first place. lols

In many occasions people confused my kids and their dad as another nationality because of their looks. My daughter grew curious about her roots because of these encounters. We explained to her that her great grandmother is Chinese that’s why she has the Chinese features but the rest of her grandparents and great grandparents are of Filipino origin.

In the recent children’s birthday party that we have attended, the host asks Mica where is she from and she eagerly answered “from the Philippines.” The host joked that he thought she was from China and then Mica without hesitation said “I am half Chinese” and everybody accepted the child's' answer as it is.

Ferald and I are smiling at each other about our daughters answer. Later on I explained to her that she can tell people that she has Chinese roots instead of saying she is half Chinese because her dad and I are both Filipinos by birth and origin and so is she and also even if she was born in the UAE. 

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Guest Blog: Apps for the Foodie

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Hi guys thanks for visiting My Yellow Bells!

Today's blog is an article written by my guest blogger Antonia. She is an enthusiastic writer from the north of Germany, living and studying in London to pursue her dream of becoming a journalist.

Be passionate about food: share it with the world wherever you are

If you’re as passionate about food as I am, you might be looking for ways to share your culinary experiences with others. Whether you have just mastered a tasty new recipe or dined out at an excellent restaurant, your mobile device will allow you to provide real-time updates about food you’re craving, creating, or currently consuming. Let’s take a closer look at the smartphone features and apps built with the foodie in mind:

Bon APP├ętit!

Smartphone apps are a wonderful tool for the modern-day foodie, as they allow you keep apprised of new recipes and restaurant recommendations and share your culinary adventures with others. The SnapDish Food Camera app for iOS and Android-powered devices has got to be one of the best food apps on the market. The app acts as its own social network for foodies, allowing you to take stunning photos of your own culinary creations to share with the world or search out dishes made or enjoyed by others. Another social networking app for foodies is Platter for iOS and Android, which even allows its users to search for recipes and tag photos according to their ingredient lists.

Looking for a great place to eat in an unfamiliar city, or just want to try something new with the family close to home? No problem. Apps like Foursquare and UrbanSpoon allow you to browse reviews to find great food no matter where in the world you happen to be. Want a visual as to what your fare will look like? Browse the photos on FoodSpotting to find mouth-watering dishes near you.

Juicy Reads and Mouth-Watering Views

Smartphones make it possible to have food-related content and photos available at your fingertips at all times. Instead of subscribing to print-based magazines, you can get expert advice about where to dine and what to cook delivered straight to your mobile device. Web-based subscriptions to food-based publications run the gamut from high-end magazines like Saveur and Food & Wine to cookbooks like Jamie Oliver’s 20-Minute Meals and Mario Batali Cooks.

Of course, you can also stream cooking videos straight to your mobile device to prepare meals alongside expert chefs in real-time. Whether you’re a fan of The Food Network or the BBC’s Good Food, you’ll find plenty of great recipes and videos available from these food networks and many others online. YouTube channels like Food Wishes and Vahchef are also excellent resources for cooks looking to follow full cooking demonstrations when preparing new dishes for their family and friends. It can be a little overwhelming to
browse the millions of videos available to modern-day cooks, so look to family and friends for suggestions about videos they've found useful in the past to narrow down your search.

No matter what kind of food you’re in the mood for, make sure you have the tools you need to help you prepare or find a great meal near you. Shop top-of-the-line smartphones from Lenovo, iPhone or Blackberry to start finding new recipes, streaming cooking videos, or sharing your favorite dishes with your networks today! 

I will also be posting this in my other blog Mommy's Cookbook

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Da Vinci's Wine and Dine Part 2: Red White and Blue Meets Italy

I was honored and pleased to be invited by one of the most influential lifestyle bloggers in Dubai for a night of gastronomic indulgence and tasting luxurious wines from America at Da Vinci's Wine and Dine Part 2 at Millennium Airport Hotel last Thursday. I am completely elated to meet Grace of Sandier Pastures and Ms. Farah - the Hotel Marketing Director. It was a night of fun interaction with remarkable people.

Grace and I were an hour early from the expected time of the dinner and I am really glad because we had enough time to chat and get to know each other. We were offered Cook's Sparking Brut, NV for a welcome drink paired with a variety of canapes while waiting for the dinner to start. I had two glasses and became a little tipsy already (not a heavy drinker here), already thought SMS-ing hubby to come and get me later on. 

We were joined by the very bubbly Ms. Farah and the chatting is unstoppable. It is so overwhelming to meet such lovely people.

Moments later, the host introduced us to the entree of rich asparagus timbale with parmesan cheese cream sauce (Flan d' asparagi con cream di parmigiano) perfectly paired with fresh and citrussy Blossom Hill, Sauvignon Blanc. Asparagus is a veg that is hard to pair with wine due to its asparagusic acid which is an organosulfur carboxylic acid that makes the wine taste metallic and harsh. To counter that, Chef Maurizio Pisoni slathers the asparagus timbale with parmesan cheese cream sauce which makes the asparagus entree a wine friendly dish, a commendable daring act. 

The night is young and Da Vinci is buzzing, tables occupied mostly by families who probably favor a quiet dining experience than a Halloween party.

Our second course is an indulging Lobster risotto blended with herbs and extra virgin olive oil (Risotto all'aragosta mantecato alle erbe e olio extra vergine d'oliva) paired with Cook's Sparking Brut, NV. Grace, on the other hand, is allergic to prawn and another crustacean, instead she opted for the risotto sans the seafood. I find the risotto a little salty for my palate but the wine balanced it well and my plate was empty even before I know it.


A medium rare Filetto di manzo al pepe nero con purea di patate e carote pan fried beef fillet coated in black pepper with brown gravy, mashed potatoes and carrots matched with Stonehedge, Merlot. The main course was my favorite, the meat is succulent, juicy and tender and cooked just the way I like it, the freshly cracked pepper and mashed potatoes and carrots just simply compliment it further. Stonehedge, Merlot is rich and deeply flavored, the aroma and flavors of black plums and dark berries are so enticing. I can still smell the scent of it while I am writing this.

Chef Maurizio has designed and created Delizia al cioccolato con gelato alla nocciola chocolate mouse served with hazelnut ice-cream especially for Da Vinci's Wine and Dine: America meets Italy. Our sweet ending was paired with Elysium, Black Muscat. 

It was a wonderful evening spent with good company, good food, good wine from America. This trilogy started with Chile meets Italy and the last leg will be on November 28 when Australia meets Italy, something you don't want to miss so mark your calendars.

My overall experience of that night was engaging. It was a perfect night and I left the Da Vinci with a happy heart. Of course, I wouldn't leave without having a photo with Grace.

Millennium Airport Hotel
Airport Road, Casablanca Street,
Al Garhoud, PO Box 13018 Dubai, 13018
The United Arab Emirates
T. +971 4 702 8888

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A glimpse of nature in my kitchen window

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"Even the tiniest glimpse of nature deliver a psychological boost"

Three months ago we had a surprise at home when a pair of birds started nesting in our kitchen window. They have chosen to build their nest in the plant pot I have placed there. Since then, we only open the kitchen window to water the plant and only when it is not in the nest. Don't want to disturb and nesting bird. From time to time the daddy bird comes to bring dried twigs to put in the nest or comes to get mama bird probably to eat. 

Three months passed and still the nest is egg-less. Can't wait to see eggs in it. For now we are contented to see the bird still in its nest and we stay as protector and observers of natures process. Just recently, the nest was threatened by pests that attack the plant in the adjacent pot and the birds did not come to its nest for three days. When I noticed the problem, I prune the part of the plant that has the pest and wash it in running water to completely remove the remaining pest in it. Later on the pests are gone and the birds are back. 
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What to do and where to go during the Eid Al Adha holiday

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Today is the start of the nine day long public holiday in the UAE in celebration of the Eid Al Adha or Feast of the Sacrifice while those working in the private sector will have three days off during the weekday (Mon-Wed) some are lucky to have Thurs added to their vacation.

The question is where will you be during Eid? Have you made plans already? MYB have few suggestions on where you can spend your most coveted time off if you are not travelling to another country and will be staying in Dubai or the UAE

1. Go out of Dubai and visit UAEs oasis Things to do in Al Ain, take your family and get up close with nature in Green Mubazzarah and Al Ain Oasis, the kids will enjoy the animals in Al Ain Zoo and get some fresh air at the top of Jebel Hafeet
2. Things to do in Fujairah -Another Emirate to visit, I have good memories in this place. It is a must see for its majestics Hajar Mountians, secret water falls at Wadi Wuraya, the oldest mosque in UAE, and I recomment Le Meridien Al Aqah for a night or two
3. Visit Dubai Creek tourist style and experience riding the abra
4. Invade Ski Dubai and have a chance to play with penguins
5. Enjoy at Wild Wadi Water Rides
6. Go and see the Old Souk for some Arabian treasures
7. Go to the parks nearest you and fire up that barbie
8. Dubai Dolphinarium is a stone throw away kids would love to see the dolphins show their skills and after they can go inside Children's City for some science exploration
9. Watch fireworks in the Jumeirah beach Umm Suqueim or at Dubai Festival City.
10. Global Village is now open, good place to see the world come together
11. Fancy long drive and astounding sand dunes - Tilal Liwa is your destination, try sand boarding if you feel a little sporty
12. There is a new Catholic church in RAK-this I want to see.
13. Stay at Rotana Yas Island
14. Try the fastest roller coaster in the world at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
15. Pay respect to UAEs founding father and visit the biggest mosque at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

These are few things you can do during the holiday. What ever it is you chose to do, have fun and be safe.

Eid Mubarak to all of you in advance.

Eid Mubrak to my brother Dinoh and all our Muslim brothers in the UAE! May Allah bless you more.

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Prince Basketball Prowess :)

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Prince loves basketball. His dad plays basketball and this helps Prince to be interested in the sport. He started playing ball when he was two and a half years old and his interest in it is growing. His dads dream is to see him become a professional basketball player someday. It is too early for us to say what he will become when he grow up but whatever it is he chose to be in the future, we will always be behind him supporting all his endevours.

Prince used to be a chubby kid but with his new found skill in basketball, he has lost weight and now is physically fit. We even bought him his own MJ ball and a ring to use at home and he does use it daily.

I am glad that he has got something else to do at home apart from watching TV amd playing games in the computer. Kids nowadays are into so much gadgets which is not good. We should always balance their activity, it is also for their own benefit. 

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Dinner Buffet at Lamesa Restaurant

Lamesa restaurant is one of the famous restaurants in Dubai now among our Filipino compatriots for celebrating special occasions or hanging out with friends over dinner. Located at the 5th floor of Asiana Hotel in Deira, it is spacious with many tables although it tends to be over crowded as told by one of my friend who celebrated her birthday over there. We had dinner there on a Friday so it is expected to be full Dinner service starts at 6 pm and lasts till 10:30 pm and it is best if you come early. The place was well lit and AC was working just fine even it’s full of diners.

The table given to us was under the AC vent and it was too cold to the point that it wasn’t comfortable to eat because we are cold and the food on our plate easily gets cold. We requested them to move us to the next available table and our request was granted promptly with the help of the kind wait staff assisting us.
We started our dinner with crab and corn soup, it wasn’t hot enough to calm our growling tummies. We quickly drank our soup and started helping ourselves with the food on the spread

My first plate had some pad thai noodles, pancit canton, three pieces of vegetable maki and siomai dumplings, there are no sushis and sashimis to go with it and I didn’t touch the salads, I wanted to come back for the macaroni salad but already forgot about it. They also have pizzas in this selection if you fancy some cheese.

My second plate includes chef’s special fried rice, fried fish fillet, mixed seafood and kare-kare with bagoong. The main dish also had plain steamed rice, kungpao chicken and grilled chicken.
The pork station is my best bet, they got sisig, lechon kawali, crispy pata, boiled pork that looks like sliced lechon, menudo and spare ribs adobo, all mouth watering; all you need is a bottle of beer. Yes they do serve alcohol since the restaurant is in a hotel and hotels are allowed to serve alcohol here in UAE except of course during Ramadan. If not with our kids, hubby and I would have ordered a bottle for each.

You see my plate of pulutan, I mean pork dishes, I didn't eat it with rice as I like it that way with loads of pickled cucumber.

Since Lamesa is a Filipino restaurant; they have buko pandan for dessert and what's unique is their a create-your-own halo-halo station. Apart from that tropical fresh fruits are available and different variations of cheese cakes and brownies.

They have an ample selection of drinks - hot and cold, juices, sodas, beer, whines, etc.

At 89 AED / person without drinks it’s not that bad because of the wide variety of dishes available. They also have Friday brunch for AED 79 and weekday daily lunch of AED 49.

Our total bill was AED 392 for three adults and two kids but Prince eats for free because he is just 3. :)

For reservations call 04238 7777

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