Firefly ☆ Beautiful Holiday Villa in Alibaug

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Our good friends in Mumbai, Kati and JP, booked a vacation home called Firefly in Alibag on Airbnb for a weekend in April and invited us to join them. Alibag is a small coastal town located approximately 108 km south of Mumbai. By the way, isn’t Airbnb an amazing concept? It was founded in 2008, only 7 years ago, and Airbnb seems to have become a huge trend for travelers these days. Just in case if you are wondering, this post is neither requested or sponsored. It just happened that my husband was traveling during the weekend when our friends booked to go to Firefly, so he could not join us. It’s always a bit intimidating to travel with three kids by myself (not really as I went there with my friends, but you know what I mean), but I decided to make this weekend at Firefly happen because Alibag […]

Friday Finds ☆ Sanjay Gandhi National Park Mumbai India

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Who would’ve known that Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai, India would look like another part of India and nothing like the urban areas of Mumbai? It was quite a pleasant surprise to see the lush landscape and lovely nature at Sanjay Gandhi National Park which is about an average of 30 to 50 minute drive from many city areas in Mumbai on any given day (except for when there is traffic on a highway). Elephanta Island vs. Kanheri Caves at Sanjay Gandhi National Park ☆ Please understand that I’m writing this from a perspective of a mother with a toddler. I am sure that I would have had different perspectives, had I been at a different stage of my life. My friend and her family came to visit us in Mumbai from another part of the world. They showed an interest in going to Elephanta Island during their stay. […]

Ccaza Ccomodore Alibag

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Some of my friends in Mumbai have stayed at Ccaza Ccomodore Alibag. Alibag is a great quick vacation destination from Mumbai which is only a 3-hour drive. In addition to Alibag, another good destination from Mumbai for a long weekend without a hassle of flying is Pune. My friends who stayed at Ccaza Ccomodore Alibag always spoke highly of the Ccaza Ccomodore bungalow, but I never thought to go there with my family. After staying at Ccasa Ccomodore in Alibag for my yoga teacher training retreat, my experience was much like “a picture is worth thousand words”. Now I would love to bring my family to Alibag. Ccaza Ccomodore is known among expats. It has 3 bedrooms and one additional guest room in a small building. When you book, you would have to book the whole house. During the yoga teacher training retreat, there were 13 of us adults staying […]

Qin Wei Guan ☆ Shaanxi Cuisine Restaurant In Taipei

Qin Wei Guan

Qin Wei Guan is one of our friend’s favorite restaurants in Taipei. We purposely did not eat much for lunch to prepare for our dinner at Qin Wei Guan since they warned us that we would eat so much. Qin Wei Guan serves dishes from the Shaanxi Province of China. Shaanxi cuisine is influenced by the numerous Muslims living in the area called Shaanxi Province (陝西). To accommodate local palettes in Taiwan, the owner Lin Hui-lin (林惠玲) has added fish, pork, and tofu to the menu. (via Taipei Times) To learn more about Chin Wei Guan, I recommend reading two articles. One is this blog post by iEATTAIWAN. The other is a restaurant review of Qin Wei Guan on Taipei Times. There were surprisingly more vegetarian dishes that I thought. I especially loved the dish made with tofu skin. I could have it everyday! Other fried vegetable and noodle dishes […]

Yilan Taiwan Part 3 ☆ Spring Onion Farm

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On the same day we traveled to Yilan, Taiwan from Taipei on a fast train, our friends, Josh and Kara, took us to a spring onion farm because Yilan is famous for spring onions. (Please give me a few more days to check the name of this place.) Kids got to wear boots and go pick spring onions. As you can see in the photos below, after picking some spring onions, they washed them and then made spring onion/scallion pancakes. Those pancakes were delicious!!! The crispy outside layer has a lovely texture and an accent flavor of scallions spreads in your mouth with each bite. We all scarfed them down. My son who was 2 at the time was too young to go. Thus, I stayed behind with him. Can you tell he was envious? The spring onion picking only took about 10 minutes. It was really quick. I’ve got […]

Yilan Taiwan Part 2 ☆ Forte Dong-Shan Villa

Forte Dong-shang Villa-2

Hotel Forte Dong-Shan Villa was great for our small trip to Yilan, an hour train ride from Taipei. It is located in the same premises as the National Center For Traditional Arts which made our trip so much easier to access the National Center For Traditional Arts. For those who stayed there get some free coupons to do the arts and crafts which was a big bonus for our kids. As for the location, the hotel was about 15-minute taxi ride from Luodong Railway Station and the fare was inexpensive. On the second day we checked out of our rooms on the second day after having a breakfast and then walked to the National Center For Traditional Arts for the day filled with fun arts and craft. Our friends, Kara & Josh, who live in Taipei arranged everything for us for this Yilan Trip. We were so lucky. The room […]

Yilan, Taiwan Part 1 ☆ National Center For Traditional Arts

National Center For Traditional Arts Yilan Taiwan-9

National Center For Traditional Arts in Yilan was nothing short of an amazing and entertaining place for our kids. Thanks to Kara and Josh, we made a quick two-day trip to Yilan from Taipei. We got on a fast train from Songshan Station in Taipei and it only took us an hour to get to our destination, Loudong Station. The tickets were reserved and purchased by our friends in advance. Pretty amazing. From Loudong Station, a taxi ride to National Center For Traditional Arts, where our hotel was also located, took about 15 minutes and it was inexpensive. There were many activities for kids to do and our kids had a blast. When you explore their website, I don’t think you can tell how entertaining it is for young kids to be at National Center for Traditional Arts to do arts and craft. I find the photos on Tripadvisor explain […]

Throwback Thursday ☆ Taipei In Instagram & 6 Impressions of Taiwan

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These photos pretty much summarize our trip to Taiwan during this past winter break in 2014 and New Year’s of 2015. I have posted those same images of our family trip in Taiwan on my Instagram account as well as my blog’s Facebook Fan Page. I have taken some other photos with my DSLR in order to write our travel recommendations of Taipei, Yilan, a town an hour-train ride from Taipei and Pingxi, an hour-drive or two-and-a-half-hour train ride from Taipei in the near future. If you plan on going to Taipei, I hope you will come back to my blog to get some of the recommendations. I can’t take credit for them, though. They were researched by our friends, Kara and Josh, who have lived there as expats and they know the best places to visit for visitors. Six Impressions of Taipei 1. Clean The city looked super clean […]

Thursday Thoughts ☆ Welcome 2015 ☆ Being an Expat & Taipei Trip

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Beautiful guest bedroom at Josh & Kara’s. During this past winter break my family and I went to Taipei to see our 4 good friends, Josh, Kara, Sijen & Bryan, and their kids. Josh and Kara graciously hosted us in Taipei. They moved to Taipei at the same time as when we moved to Mumbai in 2013. We all lived in Jakarta for 3 years at the same time and spent a lot of time together during our posting there. They are the ones who offered to take care of my first daughter when my husband and I flew to Singapore from Jakarta to take our second daughter for her surgery to have a swollen gland removed in 2011. I traveled with Kara to Siem Reep, Cambodia and Ubud, Bali during our time in Jakarta, Indonesia. As expats it’s lovely that we get to meet many wonderful people, but it […]

Monday Mode ☆ Yellow Rhino Shirt & Advantages Of A Third Child ☆ Le Petit Society

My son got this cool rhino shirt from Le Petit Society which I love. I often put this shirt on him because both my son and I love it, but also it’s very soft and cute! Who said boy clothes are not cute? After 5 years of dressing my oldest and younger girls in pink, pink and more pink and frills (thank goodness they grew out of that phase), it was very refreshing to see other earthy colors displayed in my son’s wardrobe. Le Petit Society does a great job with boy clothes designs. By the way, if you meet the minimum order of HK$1,200 (about US$155), the standard shipping becomes free for the selected countries. Please check here for more details. I spend a lot of time with my son especially since this past June. From my own experience, I see many advantages for kids who grow up as […]