Review: Knorr Baby Voletto Combi Set

A stroller is definitely a MUST if you already have a baby. It makes your life easier especially when it comes to walking, going out, or traveling.

There are different stroller brands out there that are economical, but I suggest that you always go for quality. Yes, you read it right. QUALITY.

This is very important when you are choosing a stroller to use for your beloved baby. You need a quality stroller that will give your baby safety and comfort. The style or fashion is only secondary.

Before we had our first bundle of joy, my husband started to search for a quality stroller on Amazon. It was in the first quarter of 2017 when he found the Knorr Baby Voletto Combi set on Amazon.de.

Knorr Baby Voletto Combi set. Photo credits to Amazon.de

He asked me which color I wanted for our baby and I picked the black and white Voletto combi set. Then he immediately ordered it and after two days, the stroller set arrived in my parents-in-law’s house and they shipped it to Hong Kong afterwards.

Actually, I did not know Knorr Baby until my husband ordered it through Amazon. At first, I was a little bit skeptic about it, but hey, when I saw the stroller set in person, OMG, it’s beautiful. When I used it the first time, gosh, it was sturdy and stable.

The current price of Knorr Baby stroller. Photo credits to Amazon.de.

Knorr Baby Voletto Limited Edition is really worth our money.

PROs:

Good quality. Because it’s a quality stroller, it lasts longer. In fact, our 2nd baby is already using it and by the looks of it, our bunny is enjoying the quality of her stroller.

Stable. Like what I’ve observed from day 1 of having the Voletto set, it is undeniably a stable one. The wheels are bigger and stable. Its lightweight aluminum frame makes it more stable and sturdy.

Safe. Because of its stability, the parents are assured that their babies or kids are safe inside the stroller. One key safety measure of the Voletto stroller is its lock, so as to avoid unforeseen accident on the road or uphill. It also has cover for sunny days and rain cover for rainy days.

Comfortable. The stroller is comfy especially inside. There are foams to protect your child and make him/her comfortable while lying down or sitting.

Stylish. Knorr Baby Voletto Limited Edition stroller is not just a quality, sturdy, stable, and comfy stroller, but also very stylish. It comes with different styles that cater the needs and ages of your children. Another thing is its height-adjustable push handle that I find cool. Lastly, a fashionable diaper bag is included in your purchase.

CONs:

Big and Heavy. The stroller is indeed of good quality, but the problem is its size and weight. It takes a lot of space in the house or apartmen. If you have less than 50 sqm house or apartment, you’ll have a hard time finding a big space for it.

Aside from being big, Knorr Baby stroller is heavy to carry in terms of traveling. Moreover, you have to dissemble it once you ride a car or taxi. In terms of riding a train (like in Hong Kong), Voletto stroller undeniably takes a huge space inside and in case of a crowded train, it is difficult to get in.

Expensive. As of this writing, it costs 507,32 € on Amazon. I know that it’s expensive but honestly, it’s better to buy a little bit expensive stroller than to buy twice. You get what I mean? Like what I’ve said, Knorr Baby Voletto Limited Edition stroller is worth the money.

P.S. The car seat is optional to order through Amazon.

Overall, I rate the Knorr Baby Voletto Combi Set (limited edition) four stars. Despite its cons, I still strongly recommend this baby stroller to all parents out there.

If you have extra budget and you don’t mind the space for the stroller, try it now. Just be ready for the attention of other people. For sure, there will be some curious audience who will ask you about your baby’s stroller (or should I say car hahaha). Mind you, there will also be a few who will take a photo of it (like what other people did in Hong Kong when they saw this Voletto combi set).

Thanks for reading. Until my next post. Ciao.

With best regards,

JL

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How is it like to be an Expat?

Expatriates. Abroad. Different Culture. New Language. Away from home. Far from family and/or friends.

These are just some of the issues that expats around the globe are currently experiencing.

I know it because I am an expat myself. Actually, I have been an expat since 2016. Kinda long now and to tell you the truth, my journey has not been so smooth and easy.

The beginning of my expat life was difficult, especially in terms of language barrier and socialization. When I was still in Hong Kong, I found Cantonese and Mandarin so difficult, that I gave up the thought of learning them someday. Going to local restaurants and buying some stuffs in the wet market, dispensaries or some local shops gave me a hard time because of the language barrier.

I tried to buy fresh goods from two Hong Kong wet markets, but talking to the salespersons there was not that easy for me. They seldom spoke English and for me, that’s one hard thing to deal with. I ended buying a bulk, instead of only pieces because of the language barrier. It also happened to me in some dispensaries and supermarkets in Hong Kong. There were a few times that my fellowmen would save me from talking to the locals and explained to me what the salespersons wanted to tell me.

Not only Cantonese and Mandarin were difficult, but also German language, however, unlike the first two languages, I had the guts and time to study the latter. I spent hours at home and in school just to learn it. (Why? Because my husband is a German-speaker! Hahaha)

Aside from the language problem, I also had an issue with socializaton. I longed for moments like bonding with my dearest family, going out with friends, and spending time with colleagues and former students.

Most of the time, I was only with my husband and two Pinoy friends. Very seldom that I socialized with my husbands’ colleagues. Well, drinking and going to bars were not really my cup of tea; so, I declined the invitation. Not to mention my pregnancy which made me vulnerable during those times.

I also experienced some down and difficult moments like homesickness, boredom, and culture shock. Every time I saw photos of my friends’ families on Facebook and other social media, and whenever I saw families at the park or in the mall in Hong Kong, I got sad and felt the dreaded homesickness. Truly, it’s sad and a little boring to be away from home, but the fact that me having my own family gave me hope and happiness as well.

Facing a new set of rules, a different lifestyle, and a totally divergent culture almost made me rather weary and a bit shocked. I could still remember my first two months in Hong Kong and first month in Central Europe. Encountering some people who looked down on me, or scrutinized me just because I’ve got different color and nationality. Waaah, this I hated!

But I did not give up. It’s not because I had no other choices. It’s because I began to realize that I was actually blessed to be in different countries in the span of three years. I started to be positive, embraced the fact that I was not alone, and of course, adapted to changes around me.

Yes, expat life is difficult, but if I start thinking of those people wanting to be in my shoes, I just feel blessed. I have traveled and experienced a lot since 2016–going to Europe twice a year, visiting my family three or four times a year, having some Macau trips, and living in Hong Kong for three years to name a few. Wew! Not bragging though.

Here I am now, enjoying my life as an expat and a stay-at-home wife and mom. Thanks to my very supportive and loving husband. He and our kids serve as my inspiration for defying the challenges and solving the issues in my expat life.

And of course, thank you to Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp and Twitter for connecting me to my loved ones and friends in the Philippines.

Above all, thank You, dearest Lord, for giving me this one great chance of traveling some parts of the world, and for entrusting me this expat life I have now.

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Five Tourist Spots in Hong Kong with no Entrance Fee

You want to add Hong Kong in your bucket list of countries to visit this year, but hotel and accommodation plus the ticket are obviously expensive. Not to mention the tourist spot fees, and food and transportation allowances. Indeed, Hong kong is never cheap and a trip there means getting a huge amount of money from your pocket.

But to tell you honestly, you don’t have to shell out all your money just for the sake of your dream destination. You can actually travel to Hong Kong on a budget, and have fun visiting some famous places without even paying any cent.

To help you with your budget-friendly trip to Fragrant Harbour of Asia, I have compiled a list of five tourist spots in Hong Kong with no entrance fee.

1. Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Sha Tin, New Territories)

This is definitely a must-visit spot in New Territories, Hong Kong, plus the fact that this costs nothing. You just have to hike the 431-steep steps and presto, you will get to see the magnificent Buddhist monastery which houses more than ten thousand Buddha statues.

Aside from those Buddha statues, there are also other statues in the pavillion which you can visit and pay respect. In addition to that, the breathtaking nine-storey Pagoda outside the Temple is a sight to behold for local and international tourists. Lastly, the galleries and chambers for burial urns, offering and worship are also worth your visit.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is indeed a tourist spot in Hong Kong that you should not miss. Just remember that taking photos inside the Main Temple is strictly prohibited, and wearing shorts and sexy top while visiting the temple is discouraged.

2. Symphony of Lights at the harbour (Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon)

Strolling along the waterfront is free and watching the spectacular multimedia show called Symphony of Lights is surely a good choice for you and your friends.

Symphony of Lights captures the hearts of the tourists by showing vibrant lights and playing wonderful soundtrack every night. This fantastic extravaganza is performed near the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Clock Tower (other tourist spots) in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon at 8 o’clock in the evening .

If you want to watch such great spectacle, make sure that you are there early enough, because a huge crowd is already waiting for the elaborate light show. Also, bring your patience with you, aside from a bottle of water, some crackers and umbrella (just in case it rains).

3. Lion Rock (Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon)

If you are into hiking, then Lion Rock is for you. You don’t need entrance fee there; only your strength, stamina and determination are necessary to reach the famous peak.

Once you have that clear sky and a nice weather, please do the Lion Rock hike from Wong Tain Sin or Kowloon Tong and experience a great view of Hong Kong skyline during the day.

The said hike is moderately difficult, because the terrain is not always smooth and flat. There are steps that are really steep and that makes the hiking taxing and longer, to be honest. You might be exhausted and thirsty, but it’s ok, just take your time and hike slowly. Promise, the view on and from the top is totally astounding.

Hiking on the Lion Rock is undeniably a must-do for hiker-travelers. Just don’t forget to bring your hydration pack or bottled water, some snacks, a cap, shades and sunscreen for protection.

4. Victoria Peak (The Peak, Hong Kong Island)

Going to Victoria Peak is always included in the list of many travelers. Why not? This is anyway the most famous peak in Hong Kong where you can marvel at the beautiful panoramic view of Hong Kong skyscrapers during the day or in the night.

Either you go there via the Peak Tram, the most popular and most scenic way of getting into Victoria Peak, or via Bus No. 15 which is not expensive compared to Urban Taxi around the area.

The stunning view of the harbour and the city entices the people at the Peak. Truly, your Hong Kong trip is never complete without visiting the ever famous tourist spot in the metropolis. Make sure to take that epic photo on top, but be aware of the crowd. You have to wait a little longer before you can find the perfect spot for your Instagrammable photo, without photobombers of course.

5. Hong Kong Park (Central, Hong Kong Island)

Considered as one of the most prominent parks in the metropolis, Hong Kong Park enthralls the local and international visitors through its huge aviary, beautiful waterfall, nice playground, and its awesome landscape. In addition to these, you can also see the famous Cotton Tree Drive Marriage Registry and the classic Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware at Hong Kong Park.

You can sit and relax on the benches while enjoying the serenity of the place. For sure, it’s a pleasant feeling to be in one of the city’s well-loved park. No stress bothering you and most of all, no single penny to shell out for this city spot.

Only a friendly reminder: Please keep the park clean and peaceful.

Now that you have this short list of Hong Kong tourist spots with no entrance fee, I am sure that you can enjoy your stay in the Asia’s World City even with limited budget on hand. Remember, visiting Hong Kong does not need to be very expensive and luxurious, so better plan your trip now before it’s too late.

Have a happy trip!

-JL

Together Again

Hello, friends and readers!

After a few days of being silent on social media and WordPress, here I am now, making a short update about the happenings in my life.

My husband is finally back in Europe as his work contract in Hongkong has just ended. We are together again. No more long distance. No more timezone problem. No more worries. Thank God!

My parents-and-law and I fetched him from Switzerland because we’re near the Swiss airport. We did not have to wait for him longer because he’s already at the arrival area 10 minutes after we had arrived. Then, exchanges of kisses and hugs. Indeed, a happy wife. 😁

Now, we are a little busy having family bonding because next week will be the start of his work here in Europe. We are now making the most of our time because it is so fleeting, right? The day after tomorrow is already June. OMG!

Anyway, I am definitely happy and thankful that hubby is with us now. I can’t wait to make beautiful moments with him in his home country. More beautiful than what we have had in Hongkong. Hopefully.

That's it. Just a short update. Hope you'll continue supporting my blog despite my not-so-frequent posting.

Have a nice weekend ahead. God bless!

Regards,

JL

From The PEAK: What a sight to behold!

My dearest husband took this photo of Hongkong’s spectacular skyline from the Sky Terrace 428 on Victoria Peak.

Beautiful, isn’t it? What a wonderful photo to look at! Thanks to my baby blue eyes.

If you want to see the amazing panoramic view of Hongkong in the night, go to Victoria Peak via the Peak Tram, urban taxi, Bus 15 or 15B, mini bus 1, or your own private car. Once you’re at the Peak, you can try the Sky Terrace 428, the 360 degree-viewing deck of the Peak Tower where you can marvel at the impressive sea of Hongkong’s skyscrapers and the wonderful Victoria Harbour.

I suggest that you go there around late afternoon, have some coffee moments at Pacific Coffee or eat some burgers and fries at Burger King, or spend an hour shopping at different stores like Crocs, Giordano, Swarovski, Swatch, and others.

After having some coffee, you can approach the Sky Terrace 428 receptionist to buy the entrance ticket which costs 52.00 hkd for Adults and 26.00 hkd for Children aged 3-11, Seniors and PWD.

Actually, you can also avail a combo ticket of Peak Tram and Sky Terrace 428 which costs 99.00 hkd for Adults and 47.00 hkd for Children aged 3-11, Seniors and PWD (roundtrip); or 84.00 for Adults and 38.00 hkd for Children, Seniors and PWD (one-way only).

Spending an hour or two at the Sky Terrace 428 while gazing at the stunning view of Hongkong is definitely an enjoyable experience for locals and international tourists.

When you’re done admiring the scenic view from above, you can check out some restaurants to dine in the lower levels (e.g. Wildfire, Fujiyama Mama, Mimi Desserts, and Hongkong Day).

Wildfire Pizzabar and Grill is our top choice for dine-in restaurant at the Peak. It offers Western cuisine, so if you’re a fan of Western food, go there and enjoy their sumptuous dishes.

My favorite food to order there is the Supreme Pizza, but of course, they have various options to choose from. Their mini sliders, fish taco, caesar salad, chicken kebab, and banana split are also delicious. Ohh, I’m getting hungry while writing this blog entry haha.

If you’re a seafood lover, they also have many seafood dishes there. Now, if you’re a steak afficionado like my hubby, why not order the Wildfire’s U.S. T-bone Steak or U.S. Beef Hanger Steak? “Mouthwatering!” My husband says.

Waaah, enough of these free advertisements hahaha I wonder if Wildfire and Sky Terrace 428 will give me some freebies with all the recommendations and praises I’ve given them. Uh oh, just kidding!

Whatever you want to do at the Peak, it’s your choice, but please, please, please.. Try to experience what we have experienced before and that is to see the outstanding Hongkong skyline, whether it’s in the morning, afternoon or evening. It’s worth the price and the waiting time. Promise.

I miss you, Hongkong. See you in the future.

Gute Nacht. Ciao.

J.L.

Visit Macau!

Living in Hongkong SAR (Special Administrative Region of China) for three years gave me a few chances to visit Macau as well. Yes. I did visit Macau in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

My husband and I went to China Ferry Terminal to board the TurboJet Ferry. We bought two Super Class ferry tickets before boarding. It cost between 330-360 hkd, depending on your travel time. The Super Class cabin was not crowded; that’s why we chose that over the Economy Class down. There was free merienda or dinner on board via the Super Class. It took us an hour before we reached the Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal.

Macau, a former Portuguese colony and another SAR, has lots of magnificent hotels and casinos. The architectural designs of the hotels like The Venetian Macau, The Parisian Macau, City of Dreams, Conrad Hotel, MGM Macau, Wynn Hotel and others are truly breathtaking.

We went to Venetian and Parisian Hotels in 2016 and 2018 and to City of Dreams in 2017 and 2018. These hotels were really elegantly constructed. The facades and interior designs were different from one another, and the smell.. ohhh! The smell inside the hotels and casinos enthralled us. The distinct fragrance in every corner was so appealing to our senses.

I could not forget the ceiling of The Venetian Hotel. I was in awe to be honest! I’ve never seen such a lovely ceiling. Good thing I had my Samsung Note 8 and Sony camera haha. Capturing the beauty of its ceiling was mission accomplished for me.

And yes, the totally striking water-based stage production called The House of Dancing Water in the City of Dreams gave us goosebumps. It was a superb show showcasing great talents, lovely water effects, and powerful acts and/or stunts. Really. It’s a one-of-a-kind performance that gave us a lot to remember.

Another tourist spot we visited in Macau was the Ruins of St. Paul’s , one of Macau’s famous landmarks and once acclaimed as the ‘Vatican of the Far East’. The old beautiful church was full of tourists when we went there. Many came from Asia but there were also plenty of Western people coming to see the said landmark.

I was lucky to visit the church and the little museum down the ruins twice, in winter and in autumn. What a historical place to see and visit!

Macau Museum, adjacent to Ruins of St. Paul’s, was also a must-see in Santo Antonio, Macau. I went there with my parents-in-law and our helper last year. We were fascinated with the cool items we saw in there. As usual, a lot of photos were again taken for the sake of souvenir lol.

Aside from the hotels, musuem, and the Ruins of St. Paul’s, we also had a nice time unwinding at Guia Fortress. There we saw the Guia Chapel and Guia Lighthouse. We also walked around the area, and took some photos there when I was still pregnant with our first born.

By the way, most of the signs in Macau were written in Portuguese and Cantonese, whereas in Hongkong, it’s more of English and Cantonese. The taxi fare was also cheaper than in Hongkong. You could see a lot of motorbikes along and on the roads.

These were some of the differences of Macau, dubbed as the Las Vegas of Asia, from Hongkong, the Fragrant Harbour of Asia

Did I enjoy my Macau trip? Of course I did. It was a memorable experience for me especially the time when I was with my beloved husband.

I wish to go there again after a few years, with our whole family. Who knows, right? Everything is possible. All I have to do is to wait and be patient.

Anyway, it’s kinda late here. Bye for now. Till my next blog entry, ok? Thanks a lot.

P.S. The above photo was taken by my dear mother-in-law. Credits to her.

Ciao.

JL

Craving for Milk Tea

One thing I miss about Hongkong is the authentic milk tea which you can buy anywhere in the city. This delicious drink is really a must-try once you set your feet in the Fragrant Harbour of Asia. Its fragrant aroma, distinct taste and smooth, creamy texture will definitely make you crave for it more and more (like what happened to me lol).

Milk tea is already part of Hongkong’s cuisine and culture. Like what Bernice Chan, a senior writer of South China Morning Post, has said–“Milk tea is uniquely Hongkong.” Indeed. The Asia’s World City is undeniably famous not only because of its sprawling skyscrapers, huge business hubs and the magical Disneyland, but also because of MILK TEA.

Hmmm, sorry, coffeeholics, you have to admit that milk tea is getting more attention now than ever before. Thanks to Hongkongers and the milk tea lovers out there (I’m raising my hand as well!) It’s the number one competitor of coffee in Asia, I guess. Nevertheless, milk tea is still as popular as Jackie Chan, the international superstar who happens to be a Hongkonger himself.

Ah………. missing Hongkong so much and craving for milk tea hahhahha. Anyway, this shall pass. I mean the craving. Why? Because I am going to make my own version of Hongkong milk tea soon. Thanks to this great site . I have finally found the simple recipe of my favorite drink (uh oh caramel macchiato, please don’t be jealous haha). To all my readers and followers, please do check it and you’ll be happy to know that wherever you are at the moment, you can actually make your own milk tea. Nice, isn’t it?

Enough of the cravings. I have to sleep soon, so I will have the energy tomorrow to do household chores, to run some errands, and yeah, to make my very first Hongkong style MILK TEA. I will update you about the success or (fail) of my first attempt soon. Please stay tuned.

P.S. The above photo was taken by yours truly. If you want to use it in your website or blog, kindly put some credits. Thanks!

xoxo

JL

Missing HongKong

It’s been almost a month since we moved to another country, but it seemed as if it were just yesterday.

Waaaaah, I miss Hongkong very much– the beautiful skyscrapers, the tall buildings and towers, the long yet fascinating Victoria harbour, the ever fast MTR, the effective and efficient medical system, the delectable HK and Chinese cuisines, and the rich HK culture……. ahhhh, I indeed miss it (especially our humble abode).

My last day in the Fragrant Harbour of Asia was very emotional. I had almost the whole day crying. Only the thought of leaving our place made me cry like a river. What the heck! Such emotion was so strong that I felt as though my heart was literally squeezed.

While looking outside our apartment’s glass window, my tears began rolling down my cheeks. Leaving that apartment (which of course I called home for three years) was tough.

My husband knew that it’s a sad day for me, but he was still a bit surprised to see me weeping like that. He even asked me this while holding my hands: “Is it really hard, Babe?” I could not even answer his simple question because a big lump on my throat prevented me to do so.

To tell you honestly, I also did not expect that leaving Hongkong would be as painful as moving away from my home country for the first time. But my three years in HK gave me freedom, new learnings, and awesome experiences. I fell in love with the place, so to speak. And when I fell, I really fell, so departing from the Harbour made it hard for me.

When we were at the Hongkong International Airport, my eyes were swollen. Couldn’t think of the right word to describe my facial expression and emotion then. I was silent and contemplating.

After 12 hours of flight, we arrived at our destination. Sadly, we’re totally far from Asia. New timezone. New culture. New language. New residence. Everything new.

But there’s something a little older and will not change, however sad or happy I am– That’s my love for my baby blue eyes.

He’s the main reason behind my frequent travels for the past few years. Like what I’ve told him before, I would be with him whichever country he resides in.

Having my own family has helped me to cope with my new life here in Europe. Thanks to them! And yes, thanks to my husband’s family for welcoming me wholeheartedly. Couldn’t ask for more. Really.

Anyway, enough of sad moments and homesickness. Time to move forward for tomorrow is another day. Yes, it is!

P.S.

I will surely see Hongkong in the future. That’s a promise.

-J.L.