Monday, September 30, 2013

Learn, Laugh, Love with Hobbes and Landes

Everytime I mention the store Hobbes and Landes to my family or to some of my friends, I would either get a question-mark look, a blank stare or these kind of remarks like:

"Huh? What's that?"
"Ah, they are selling lands, real estate?"
"Calvin and Hobbes?"
"Ah that toy store?"

Apart from those comments, some would get the name incorrectly such as "hobbies and lanes". What a foreign sounding store it is. Way back in 2008, it was my hubby who first introduced and brought me to this store. He loves to window-shop at novelty stores where hard-to-find items can be found. As a family when I was a child, we don't used to shop in high end malls because it's so far from our place and my mom had a notion that everything is so expensive. That's why when I was growing up, I am not familiar with the malls. I only learned to shop through the influence of my friends and on the few occasions that somebody would invite me to hang-out or dine-out.

Anyway, I want to give you a walk through of Hobbes and Landes because I find it so extraordinary. First of all, the store name is pronounced as "hubbs and lands". It is not just an ordinary toy store for kids but a specialty lifestyle store for the whole family. If you are looking for unique finds, rare novelty items, imported and quality products, wholesome and educational toys, Hobbes and Landes is the place to go. The store is subdivided into different departments to cater to different interests.

The different pavilions or departments of Hobbes and Landes as seen from the street-like post by the hall way.

They have:
1. Build City - for constructing or building toys, puzzles
2. Journeys - for novelty items, home & living, souvenir items
3. Noah - for babies, toddlers, kids toys and childcare necessities
4. Handworks - for arts & crafts
5. Petropolis - for your pet needs particularly dog food, toys, necessities
6. Exploratorium - for science, experiments, learning products
7. Boardwalk - for board games, card games, classic games
8. Wishbone - for pet grooming and veterinary service
9. Collectibles - for collectors

To give you a better appreciation of Hobbes and Landes, here's a walk through on the different products they offer.

They have a wide array of LEGO themed sets and products.

They have various Playmobil themed sets and miniature dioramas.

They have jigsaw puzzles such as Educa, Heye. Here you can find the World's largest 24000-pc Educa puzzle! Wow!


Schleich collectible figures that look realistic. Meet the Giant Panda here!
Some of their baby products are Combi, Bugaboo, TOLO.

They have Janod kids puzzles, Djeco wall stickers, Sculpey clays and many others.

They have Fred & Friends and Artori quirky gift items. These products are so interesting to look at.

Sugarpova candies for kids and young at heart. There's a Hello Kitty too!

They have various globes, Dunecraft plant kits, science experiment kits and 4D body parts to enhance one's learning.

For astronomy enthusiasts, you can easily grab a hold of authentic meteorites here. Cool!

For fashion trendsetters, try these cute bracelet charms. They have lots of interesting designs to choose from.

They have Mimobot USBs in famous character designs that you can collect.

They have educational games and strategy board games for all ages.

They have a big selection for dog owners. Aside from dog leashes,
they even have dog diapers, dog water dispenser, dog boots and more.

They also have shampoo and cologne branded after their grooming station Wishbone.

This is their flagship store, located in Bonifacio High Street, Taguig.

How did you find the store? Full of interesting and never-been-heard products right? Yes, that's what they are known for. Famous brands from different parts of the world are showcased inside one big roof. If you can't easily fly out of the country, you may just opt to visit Hobbes and Landes. It would surely make your shopping experience exciting and memorable.

I would like to share with you my own experience with Hobbes and Landes through the series of photos below.


My nieces enjoyed building their tallest tower with the use of LEGO Duplo.
It encourages interaction and cooperation with each other.


My friends and I had a good laugh playing board games such as Taboo.
It's one way to bond, socialize and sharpen our minds through play.


Baby's first encounter with a Playmobil mascot.

My small Playmobil collection. I find the figures so cute and visually appealing.
It has round corners and smooth edges so it's really safe. Can't wait for baby to play with this when she's big enough.
Great for storytelling and role-playing.

Here's our Schleich collection. I bought these as a surprise to hubby because he loves everything about dinosaurs.

We introduced baby to dinosaurs and glad that she is not afraid of them. Haha! :)

And lastly, I bought baby a TOLO monkey to go along with the Five Little Monkeys story book that we always read to her.
I love the quality and features of this monkey toy because it not only makes a clicking sound when the arms/head/tail are turned but also a squeaking sound when the feet are pressed just like jumping. :)

Buying at Hobbes and Landes makes every cents of your money worth it because you are assured of the quality. The value of money is there because you know that the items you bought would last long where you could pass them to your succeeding kids or even the next generation. Although I haven't tried it yet but I believe in their products.

Let's get back to the basics - the real toys, actual board games because it's where learning is at its best. Many skills can be honed such as social skills, hand-eye coordination, motor skills, analytical & problem solving skills, personal interaction and more.

I hope you are able to get a good glimpse of what Hobbes and Landes is all about. And guess what, they have an ongoing pre-holiday sale until October 20, 2013 only so better hurry and do your early Christmas shopping now! :)

Let's learn, laugh, and love with Hobbes and Landes here:
Facebook: Hobbes and Landes
Twitter: @hobbesandlandes
Instagram: @hobbesandlandes

How's your experience with Hobbes and Landes? What part of the store do you find interesting? Share with me in the comments below.

Mommy Sally

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sentro 1771: Unveiling of New Menu

If I would be asked what cuisine I loved most, my answer would be Italian or anything cheesy. I grew up from a family where common Filipino food was not the usual meal served that's why I didn't really get to appreciate those all-time favorite crispy pata, sisig, kare-kare, bulalo, and the likes. But my hubby loved those sinful food so much that he slowly introduced each of them to me whenever we dine out. We have an opposing attitude when it comes to food. My food-connoisseur hubby would usually order something that he had tried and tasted while I try to order the house's specialty or something unusual just to quench my thirst for adventure.

I am very grateful and honored to be enlisted, together with other bloggers, and be among the first to taste Sentro 1771's latest food offerings. To those who are not familiar with this restaurant, let me share with you a brief background.

Sentro 1771 Serendra Fort Bonifacio branch.

First of all, Sentro 1771 is a member of the 1771 Group of Restaurants that includes Chateau 1771 in Greenbelt 5, Café 1771WineBar 1771 and Sidebar in El Pueblo Real de Manila Ortigas. I haven't tried any of them yet so this would be my very first time. Just a little trivia: What's with the number 1771, you might ask? 1771 was the street number where their very first restaurant was originally located. Sentro 1771 was born on year 2002, serving local Filipino dishes the Swiss-French style. It is headed by Executive Chef Vicky-Rose Pacheco who invented the famous Corned Beef Sinigang and became the specialty of the house. Until now, Chef Vicky continues to innovate with Sentro 1771's new menu which is what I will be sharing here with you.

From their previous menu where items were classified under appetizers, seafood, meat, etc., Sentro 1771's new improved menu is now classified according to their customer's needs. The next four images below are their new menu.

For first-time diners, their Sentro Signature Dishes is a must-try.
New additions under Pica-Pica: Duck Pancakes and B2B Sticks.

For foodies looking for something new and exciting, try their A La Sentro selections.
New addition under Spring Rolls: Macau Chorizo and Cheese Tidbits.

For people with hectic schedule, get your comfort food from their Home Cooking and Filipino Favorites.
New addition under Inihaw: Fish of the Day Pandan.
New addition under Iba't Ibang Adobo: Chicken Adobo sa Gata

For those health conscious and vegetarians, Vegetables and Salads section is for you.
New additions: Camote Cups and Two-Egg Ampalaya Crepe.
One of the new additions in the Rice section is Seafood Bagoong Rice.

Let's see if you won't drool over these innovative creations of Chef Vicky.


B2B Sticks (P150): Skewered and grilled organic chicken gizzards cooked adobo-style.

In Tagalog, it's called Balunbalunan served in four barbeque sticks. Oops, I am not used to eating internal organs but the idea is so unique. A great match for beer-drinkers or as a finger food.


Duck Pancakes (P170): Peking pancakes filled with strips of native duck slow-cooked in beer, rhum vinegar, soy sauce and muscovado sugar, served in four scoops.

For duck-lovers, you must try this. The first thing that comes to my mind is that it's like the famous Chinese dish Peking Duck served in 3 Ways.


Macau Chorizo and Cheese Tidbits (P240): Mini spring rolls filled with Macau chorizo, shallots and keso de bola.

I enjoyed this one because I am a fan of everything cheesy. It's like a new version of Lumpiang Shanghai.


Seafood Bagoong Rice (P530): Topped with grilled squid, garlic shrimps and hito flakes.
This dish is actually part of their rice choices but for me it's a complete meal in itself already. Full of flavors and so mouth-watering!


Sinigang na Corned Beef (P595): Corned beef short plate and boneless beef shanks in tamarind broth with native vegetables.

Wow it's my first time to encounter corned beef in sinigang soup. The beef is so soft and succulent!


Two-Egg Ampalaya Crepe (P150): Sautéed bitter melon on an egg crepe, topped with salted duck egg.

Wow, the bitterness of ampalaya was almost non-existent when you eat it altogether with salted egg and crepe. What an ingenious combination!


Lamb Caldereta (P480): Boneless lamb shoulder stewed with carrots, bell peppers, tomato sauce, and spices.

It's my first time to eat caldereta in lamb and not beef. Its spicy and saucy tomato taste makes it appetizing to eat with your plain rice.


Chicken Adobo sa Gata (P250): Still retains the vinegar-garlic-peppercorn balance but thickened with coconut milk.

Anything in gata or coconut milk makes the dish delectable and feels homey. In this dish, adobo plus gata results to double yumminess.


Fish of the Day Pandan (P220 per 100g): Whole fish stuffed with sautéed onions, tomatoes, miso and malunggay, tied with pandan.

It's a Pompano fish. It might not look appealing at first sight, but when you dig into its stuffing, you'll surely finish it in no time.

Camote Cups (P240): Carved sweet potato filled with stir-fried cabbage, Baguio beans and carrots, with 4pcs.

Here's another complete meal. This time with a serving of vegetables and sweet potato as energy booster. Because of its pocket-sized presentation, picky-eaters would be enticed to try this.


Keso Flan (P220): a baked but light, no crust cheesecake served with queso de bola and red egg.

Oh, did you see that? A cheesecake with no crust! Try eating it together with the cheese and salted egg and see for yourself.


Fried Suman & Mangoes (P180): rolled out suman fried to a light crisp & topped with ripe mangoes and served with sweet coco jam.

I loved the way the sticky rice was prepared wherein I can feel the crispiness in every bite. Coating it with coco jam, it's so Filipino! I would really recommend this!


Banana Tart (P150): puff pastry with a light custard topped with caramelized saba banana slices.

It's my first time to see this kind of dessert. It's like a pancake but in a croissant-like base, topped with creamy custard and slightly-toasted saba.


Dalanghita Juice (P110)

Lastly, if you will be ordering your drinks, go for Dalanghita Juice. It's so refreshing and natural as you can see the pulp.

After the food tasting done at Sentro 1771, I am now slowly learning to appreciate Filipino dishes. I would have more cuisines to choose from whenever we would dine outside. I would definitely invite my family to try this place because I learned that their ingredients are always bought fresh and dishes are cooked to order. Aside from that, they offer dishes that are healthy and diet-friendly wherein the pork is naturally raised and you have an option of either brown or red rice. Whatever Filipino dish that you are craving for, Sentro 1771 surely has something for you to enjoy.

A photo op with Executive Chef Vicky-Rose Pacheco.

So what are you waiting for? Come on over and let's rediscover a Filipino First - first in Modern Filipino cuisine, and first in delivering the fine dining experience that you are so looking for. Invite your overseas Filipino friends, expats, foreign business partners and family members to try Sentro 1771: a house that serves local dishes in a chic and elegant setting. Congratulations and big thanks to Executive Chef Vicky Pacheco for bringing Filipino cuisine to the next level!
If you are a fan of their Corned Beef Sinigang, I noticed that they have a T-shirt with that print, selling for P400.

I would also like to share with you some of my findings when I looked closely on their overall set-up, ambiance, and decors. As you enter, you would spot a bouquet of flower arrangement. But there's more to that, to my surprise, it is composed of different real vegetables such as baby eggplants, string beans, carrots, kamatis, chili pepper and many others. It's a good place to bring your kids as you introduce to them local vegetables on the tip of their hands.

Keep Sentro 1771 on top of your mind when you visit Serendra. Connect with them here:
Facebook: Sentro 1771
Twitter: @Sentro1771
Instagram: @sentro1771
Remember to use the hashtag: #firstinmodernfilipinocuisine when you post your pictures.

Sentro 1771 has two branches:
Greenbelt 3
Store Hours: 11:00am to 11:00pm (Monday to Sunday)
Contact: (02) 757-3941

Serendra Piazza
Store Hours: 7:00am to 10:00pm (Sunday to Thursday) / 7:00am to 11:00pm (Friday to Saturday)
Contact: (02) 856-0581


Thank you to Ms. Cha Sy and Vannah Santiago for this blogging opportunity.

Dear readers, which dish would you like to try? Feel free to comment below. :)

Mommy Sally

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Twenty Nine Things About Myself

For Bebengisms Birthday Cyber Party

It's quite challenging for me to start a conversation with people because I find it difficult to introduce myself but I love to meet new friends. I want to be sociable. I can better express myself through writing than speaking impromptu. So when I saw a blog post from Bebengisms, calling the participants to write 29 things about ourselves, I've thought that this would be a good chance to take time to re-think about myself and how I want people to know about me. And also just right in time, The Binondo Mommy blog just turned 3 months old last Sunday so I'm qualified to join. Yey!

But why 29 things not 30 or 28? Because Ms. Denise Rayala, the "queen" behind the mommy blog Bebengisms just turned 29 years old last week. Wow I didn't know she's almost just my age, only one year ahead of me. Happy Birthday Mommy Denise! Hope you could also join my two ongoing giveaways. Hehe. :)

So let's start the ball rolling.

1. I am a mom to my 9 months old exclusively breastfed baby.
2. I pump 3x a day and can yield 10-15oz a day because I direct feed my baby at night.
3. I stand 5'2" tall, weigh around 120lbs. and still with lots of stretch marks and flubby belly.
4. I hated my thin hair or falling hair because I can't do any styling, perming or hair dyeing and it comes in expensive prices just to style the hair.
5. I rarely wear a make-up or be on the fashion sense because it's time-consuming or maybe as my self-defense. I would rather wear simply because I'm used to commuting.
6. I love Italian dishes, ice creams, chocolates, cakes, mangoes, Thai tamarind. I love eating junk food such as chips, peanuts, sweets. A total opposite to my hubby.
7. I am the youngest among four siblings with an age gap of 12 years with my brother, 11 with my sister and 7 with my other sister. I can say that we have a generation gap that's why we can't relate to each other well. Therefore, I don't have a sibling who I can consider as super buddy. I was their baby but I'm not spoiled.
8. I am always different from my three siblings. They are bookworms and I am not. If I am slim, they are not.
9. I didn't have a father-figure while I was growing up because our dad passed away when I was 14 years old (Grade 6), 14 years ago.
10. I started commuting by myself at age 14 just when I stepped into high school because no one would drive me. Most of the time, I would hitch a ride from my friends just so I could attend a gathering.
11. I was a CAT officer for two years in high school. And because I went to a 6-week Taiwan study tour before my graduating year, I wasn't able to attend the CAT summer training thus I graduated just a member.
12. I graduated from DLSU-M with a course on Entrepreneurship but I haven't used it yet but hoping soon.
13. I loved and got addicted in watching Chinese series when I was in high school and Korean series when I was in college especially if it's heavy drama. I could even watch straight until the sun is up. But now, I never had any time to watch TV or movie series since the time I got married or had a baby. It was difficult managing a household/family. I missed being single when all I need to do is work, eat and sleep without anything to worry about. That's how a mom's life is.
14. My hubby was my first and last boyfriend. I just met him in a choir group in Liberty Hall 6 years ago and we got married 2 years ago. He spent 9 long months courting me.
15. I don't know how to cook or bake but I want to learn if there's an opportunity. But we were able to survive cooking or preparing simple meals for 11 months after we got married. From the time we got a maid just 2 month before I gave birth, I wasn't able to practice my cooking skills anymore.
16. I took driving lessons twice since 10 years ago but until now I am not yet driving because we don't have a reliable car, only second hand. I really want to drive!
17. I took photography classes, twice from FPPF and once from Jo Avila, 4-5 years ago. I'm still using my outdated Canon 450D from 4 years ago because I haven't had the budget to upgrade. I can't even buy a new digital camera since the time my 4-year old Canon 950IS was broken last year during my baby shower. I'm using my hubby's bulky Canon Power Shot D10 for the moment.
18. I love attending seminars and work on improving myself and my skills but because of budget-constraint I can't attend all of them. I was a PSI (Purposeful Stewardship Institute) Basic and Starshooters graduate and a CC in Toastmasters International. Now I am working on becoming a breastfeeding peer counselor to help other mommies out there.
19. I have a dream to tour around the world. So far I have only gone to the following few countries: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand. And the last time was still 2 years ago when I was still single. I can't wait to go out. Out of country or out of town, even just a trip to Tagaytay, I would be happy already. I really want to breathe some fresh air and unwind.
20. I am always busy, cramming and doing so many things that I don't have the time to rest and have a quiet moment for myself.
21. I would always bring my camera with me because I don't have a high tech phone. And I enjoy documenting and organizing things.
22. I love to take pictures with celebrities, big-time and accomplished people. I am easily star-struck.
23. I am a peace-loving person. I don't usually get angry or start an argument because I don't want people to hate me. I just keep it to myself and cry it out at home or to my hubby.
24. I am almost always the last to have the latest gadget that everyone had been crazing about. I still don't have a smart phone or even a touch screen phone. And I am still using my Nokia E63 from 4 years ago. I am very careful with my things.
25. My mobile number is still the same ever since I got a mobile phone, around some 12 years ago, without replicating it.
26. I am very keen to details, can be considered as OC or perfectionist at times. I can easily spot typographical errors or grammatically incorrect sentences. But if you found some errors on my writing, please feel free to message me. I would really appreciate it.
27. I am good at hunting bargain items, negotiating in Divisoria, going to sale events especially the first 2-hour on a 3-day SM sale. I always see to it that a certain item is worth my money before I buy. I am leaning towards practicality.
28. I am currently a work-at-home mom and loving it because I can always check on baby anytime.
29. And lastly, I like to join credible online giveaways and contests because I love gifts and surprises which my hubby can't provide that's why I need to get it my own way.

Whew! That was one long list! It squeezed my brain out. Hope these were enough to start a conversation with you, my readers.

Don't hesitate to leave me a comment below if you want to chat with me. Okay let's make it this way, introduce yourself by writing 5 things about yourself so I can get to know you too. Have fun! :)

Mommy Sally

Sunday, September 8, 2013

SimpleLine Binondo + Giveaway

Have you read my post on Binondo's Hidden Finest? This post is an expounded version of one of the food establishments in my list, SimpleLine Binondo. If it weren't for that challenge, I might not be able to discover this tea house.
One of the things that I love about SimpleLine is that their drinks are priced way lower than other famous tea place. To be honest, I'm not a milk tea fanatic and I seldom order drinks when I dine outside. I'd rather spend the few bucks for food. Because of that, I don't have the credibility to compare in terms of their taste, flavors offered and service. I just drink just for the sake of trying out on what is being crazed about. The few times that I would order is maybe if there's a meet-up or I just want to reward myself. Do you find me weird? I'm just being practical. Haha! :)  
Anyway, when I tried their drink for the first time, it was simply refreshing especially because I was tired and thirsty coming from a long walk. It made me easily full as well that's why it's not advisable to drink before meal time. The best time to drink is during a hot weather, or you just want a boost of energy or get back to your alertness or simply as a dessert alternative.
So if you happen to be in Binondo area, drop by SimpleLine Tytana and enjoy a cup of milk tea while strolling around. The place is very accessible as it is just few steps away from Binondo Church, or from Ongpin if ever you will visit Eng Bee Tin for the giant mooncake or do your food tripping.
Just to give you a short background about SimpleLine Tytana branch. First of all they are a franchised store. They started operation last Dec. 2011. SimpleLine is a local brand owned by a Taiwanese and a local Chinese couple who envisioned bringing Taiwan's tea-drinking lifestyle to the Philippines because of its health benefits. Their goal is to provide quality and healthy drinks at affordable prices. They don't use artificial ingredients. They try to provide the best customer service through quick service and consistency.
To help you decide on what to order, below is a list of their Best Sellers.

Milk Tea:
1. Caramel Tapioca Black Milk Tea
2. Winter Melon Oolong Milk Tea
3. Caramel Coffee Konjac Oolong Milk Tea
4. Coconut Jelly Oolong Milk Tea
5. Herbal Jelly Green Milk Tea

Fruit Flavored Tea:
1. Blueberry Black/Green Tea
2. Honey Lemon Black/Green Tea
3. Lychee Black/Green Tea
4. Yogurt Black/Green Tea
5. Passion Fruit Black/Green Tea

Menu on the wall.
Additional signages by the counter: Add-ons and Sweetness Level.

I was actually confused with so many versions of their menu or I'm just not used to ordering milk tea. But below is a more structured and easy-to-understand list of their menu where it is categorized by the kind of tea and also the add-ons are separated. Do remember to choose your sweetness level.

More structured and easy-to-understand SimpleLine Menu.

SimpleLine staffs and counter. The place is neat and clean.
I would like to thank friend A, the owner of this franchised store, for allowing me to have complimentary drinks to further appreciate their line of milk tea. They gave me not just one cup but three so I called friend K to help me with the taste test. I took them home so my hubby could also taste them. I even poured a little for my helpers to have a taste. Of course, share my blessing. :)
The three drinks were as follows:
1. Caremel Black Milk Tea with Herbal Jelly + Coconut Jelly + Aloe Vera medium size (costs P70)
2. Winter Melon Oolong Milk Tea with Coffee Konjac + Red Beans medium size (costs P90)
3. Melon Black Milk Tea large size (costs P70)
Those add-ons where just my preference because I wanted to try all of them as I never had the chance to try them from other tea places because of the additional fee. The usual add-on is the Tapioca (black sago) so I didn't include it anymore.
The Verdict:
In terms of the add-ons, I preferred the Herbal Jelly better because it tastes like grass jelly pudding.
In terms of the overall drink, I preferred the Melon Black Milk Tea even without any add-ons because I just love melon drinks. It's fruity and smells sweet. It satisfied my sweet tooth. :)
My friend K preferred the first drink because it's not that sweet and she said maybe because of the unusual combination of add-ons. She is a milk tea lover so she had tried majority of the tea places.
If you are a coffee-lover, I suggest you add Coffee Konjac. The second drink had a strong taste of coffee that's why it's not my type. My hubby and the helpers loved it because they are coffee-drinkers.
In the end, my only comment is that different people have a different taste preference. And also the add-ons can affect the overall taste and smell of the tea. So follow your taste buds and mood of the day. Brand doesn't matter as long as you know that the ingredients and preparation is of quality. :)

Try their newest flavor: Melon Black Milk Tea. So yummy sweet!
100% freshly brewed tea leaves from Taiwan. Health benefits of Tea.
SimpleLine tables and chairs for sit-down customers. Can accommodate around 15 pax.

SimpleLine Tytana branch in Binondo

They offer free delivery service around Binondo for orders of 5 cups and more.
Here's a map to SimpleLine Tytana. It's located in the heart of Chinatown. It's very near to Lucky Chinatown Mall.

I left a note on their message board: "The Binondo Mommy was here."

I know you have been waiting for the giveaway part. Friend A is very generous to give away three (3) P100 SimpleLine gift certificates and I have decided to share it to three (3) lucky winners. The mechanics is very simple. You just need to follow the Rafflecopter widget below by reading and clicking.

This contest will run for a short period of one week, from Sept. 8 to Sept. 14, 2013 so you can still visit Binondo just before Moon Cake Day. Just a reminder that the gift certificates can be claimed and redeemed only at SimpleLine Tytana Binondo branch. I will announce the winners within the day of September 15, 2013. Good luck and have fun!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Updated 09-15-13 6pm: Congratulations to my SimpleLine Giveaway Winners! Kindly message me at The Binondo Mommy's fan page and comments section below to confirm that you have read this. I will pick another winner if you won't be able to reply within 24 hours. Thank you for joining everyone! :)

611 V. Tytana St., Plaza Lorenzo, Binondo, Manila
Contact number: 0923-6134235 or 354-5272
Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 8pm

Mommy Sally

P.S. Happy Birthday Mama Mary! Happy 9th Monthsary to my Baby A! :)