Though I’m married to a dietitian, who is excellent at practicing what he preaches, he so sweet to indulge my sweet tooth desires. It’s all about moderation, right?! Well, one of my birthday requests was to try the dessert place Snow Monster in Orange County, so we made the trek out to Westminster (there is also one in Huntington Beach). My friend had shared a picture on instagram of this place a few weeks back, and it looked so good! I immediately texted Ben the picture and added it to my birthday request.
We ordered the taro and green tea shaved ice in a large (with strawberries and mochi as sides), and a pistachio macaron ice cream sandwich with Thai tea ice cream. Oh goodness, they were all so yummy. The girls loved the taro shaved ice, but they weren’t quite as fond of the green tea and said it looked like boogers. HA! True couldn’t have the macaron because she’s allergic, but the other girls loved that too. Heck, even Ben liked the shaved ice, and he rarely gets wowed by desserts. My favorite was the macaron ice cream sandwich; that was bomb diggity bomb. One of the coolest things to them were the plastic spoons that changed color when dipped in the cold desserts. The girls were all, “Oooooh! Magic!!!”
I’d like to go back and try some other flavors, so maybe we will just have to plan more trips to Orange County soon. If you find yourself in the area, I highly recommend a stop to try it!
Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and apple picking, it’s the must-do list of the fall season, right?! If you’re in SoCal, I think the Cal Poly Pomona corn maze is the best one I’ve seen in a couple years. Their pumpkin patch is usually pretty awesome, but we went just a week after they opened, and they were already sold out. Bummer for us because their pumpkins are reasonable and the whole field is a nice spot for family pictures. We noticed they had a corn maze, so we decided to still stick around. We went to one in Temecula a couple times, but this one just felt much more legit. Just like at the apple orchard, once in, the girls took off running. Of course, they asked first, and we gave permission with a few restrictions to abide by. We didn’t want to risk losing one on the patch, oh what a nightmare that would be.
Anyway, the girls just loved roaming (and running) through the rows and rows of cornstalks. We could have spent a much longer time in there, but the sun was going down, and some of the girls started complaining about needing to use the restroom. After they wore themselves out running through the rows, we headed out. We never found the end of the maze, so we ended up sneaking through rows to get out. Oh well!
It’s feeling much more fall-like here, so the sweaters are (finally!) coming out. This weekend it’s even predicted to be in the mid-60s and rain, so I’m really hoping the SoCal weather sticks to that forecast. We coincidentally all matched that day, but I guess I’ve just been into blues lately. True’s dress looks denim, but isn’t, and I appreciate when a dress doesn’t need to be ironed. If it were in my size, I’d wear it. True and Brave are both wearing sweaters from the boy section of Old Navy, even Glow’s high-tops are from the boy section too. Their boy stuff have lots of things that girls could totally rock! I’ve always loved grandpa sweaters for myself, so it’s cute to see teeny versions on my girls. Keep it cool California, we wanna bundle up a bit!
on me: dress, handmade (see here). boots, swedish hasbeens. necklace, gift from my sister-in-law. on true: faux-denim dress, grandpa cardigan, and leopard sneakers, c/o old navy. necklace, made by true. on brave: patchwork denim and marled cardigan, c/o old navy. slip-ons, shoebuy. necklace, made by brave (see here). on soul: denim skirt, denim jacket, and leopard flats c/o old navy. shirt, holt and lulu. on glow: dress and high-tops, old navy.
This post is sponsored by Old Navy. I’m thankful for your continuous support of this space and the brands I partner with.
The Marina Bay Sands Hotel deserves its own post. It’s an impressive building and currently the most expensive in the world. You get near it and your jaw drops at how expansive it is. There are three (tall!) towers and what looks like a ship on the top. On our last day, Ben, Abby, and I ventured all the way up. When I say venture, it means we paid a nice fee to have an elevator quickly take us to their Sky Park.
Once you get to the top, you have to pause to catch your breath, especially if you’re afraid of heights. You’re just in awe of the gorgeous view and how extremely high up you are. Then you get close to the glass ledge, and you get a little freaked out when you look down. If your imagination starts going wild, like mine was, you slowly inch your way back to the center. Ben couldn’t even get himself to the ledge, and I needed to coax him for the pictures. We planned our trip to the top right around sunset, so we could we enjoy our last evening in Singapore by having a bird’s eye view of this special country. The view was absolutely breathtaking and it was the best way to spend our last evening there. We didn’t ride the Singapore Flyer in favor of spending our money to go to the top of the MBS, and I’m glad we made that decision.
One thing we really wanted to do was to go to the infinity pool of the hotel, but you have to be a guest at the hotel to go. We looked up what one night might be, and yeah… not in the budget. We didn’t want to go that badly.
The hotel also puts on an impressive light show in the evenings. While we were on the Sky Park deck, people were just waiting on the around for it. I’m sure the view from the top would have been beautiful, but we wanted to spend our last few hours in the city eating, so we skipped out watching the light show. Plus, we already saw it a few days prior from the Esplanade Plaza. I’m sure the view from the top was better, but we were still awed by the spectacular light show from where we were.
If your local, or visiting Southern California, spend an afternoon apple picking in small town, Julian, about an hour east of San Diego, and two hours south of Riverside. There are plenty of apple orchards for apple picking, but you will want to make sure and check their sites online or call ahead because some might already be out of apples and closed for the season. We went to Volcan Valley Apple Farm because they are an organic apple farm and their apple trees are all trellised, so Ben wanted to check that out. They charge $10 for a 5lb. bag.
Once the girls set foot in the orchard, they just wanted to take off running. We found an aisle that was free from other pickers and we let them run wild. Soul loved it the most and kept running up and down the aisles. The workers at the farm told us we were free to eat apples as we pick, and boy we made sure to get our fill. I think each of us ate about 4 apples! The kids were loving that so much. You can see True above doing her best impression of Apple Jack (one of the My Little Ponies). The varieties found at this particular orchid were Pippin, Empire, Jonathan, and Golden Delicious. They had other varieties (Gravensteins) that weren’t available yet, but they should be now, and some other varieties (Gala and Fuji) were already done for the season.
We picked a lot of apples. A LOT! Another wonderful thing about this particular apple farm is that since they have dwarf apple trees, there are plenty of low branches for the little ones to pick from. Glow was initially hogging the apple bag, but once it got too heavy for her to carry, she gladly passed it off to us. People were in awe of how many apples we picked! I think we came home with 15 lbs. We put them in the fridge and they have all kept pretty well. It’s been two weeks, and they all still taste absolutely delicious.
After we went apple picking, we went into town and strolled Main Street for a bit. I really wanted to go to the Julian Pie Company because of the reviews on yelp, but they had already closed for the day. I read that their cinnamon ice cream is amazing, so we may have to make another trip back one day. We did end up getting a slice of apple crumb pie from Mom’s Pies (they had pretty good reviews on yelp too), with a side of cinnamon ice cream. Here’s a tip, the pie shops on Main Street have really long lines, but if you go to the ones on the way out of town, you’ll likely avoid the lines.
I would have loved to check out more of the historical sites in Julian, but we were running out of time. This means we will just have to go back again someday.
I’m a little late in sharing this, but if you were in the D.C. area this summer, they had this cool BIG maze exhibit at the National Building Museum. It was a little pricey, especially since most D.C.museum things are free, but it looked like a lot of fun, so in we went. Ben did put up a slight hissy fit about how expensive it was, though I think the fun was well worth it. We got a little lost inside, and it feels a bit dizzying and claustrophobic to be lost in there. Ben was the first to spot the way out, so we let him lead the way. The girls were loving it so much they went through it again, but I stayed out and went up to try and get an aerial view of them going through it. If you live near there or were visiting this past summer, did any of you get a chance to go through it?
Warning: this is the longest food post of life. Seriously. When we went to Singapore, we wanted to dive into as much of the culture as possible, and one of the best ways is through food, right?! So we tried everything and anything! Stingray, cockles, mutton (you’re probably saying, “Say what?!”), and the list goes on and on. I’m going to share with you what we tried and some of what we thought. I couldn’t remember what I thought exactly about every dish, but if I didn’t like it, it sticks out, and I mention it below. Otherwise, I liked it! If you ever happen to find yourself on that sunny little island, this should help you navigate what to fill your tummy with, but like we tell our girls, don’t ever knock it until you’ve tried it.
Chendol Cupcake from 40 Hands Cafe. It was different, not moist, but still tasty. There aren’t many desserts I don’t like though.
Carrot Cake from People’s Park Food Centre. It’s not your American carrot cake, this is a vegetable dish, not a dessert. Ben and I both liked it and I’d like to try and recreate it at home, probably with a little less oil though.
Durian Ice Kachang, Cheng Tng, and Bo Bo Cha Cha from People’s Park Food Centre. They all tasted good, but my favorite might have been the durian one. Durian is strong, but after the initial taste, you get used to it. The burps that ensue afterwards isn’t as nice though, fair warning.
Otak Otak from Katong Laksa. Yes, this was delicious! It has a little bit of spice, and yes it looks a bit like spam; it is made from fish (a sort of fish cake) and has a totally different flavor from spam.
Laksa from Katong Laksa. We actually had this twice, so I can’t remember if this was from the first place or second, but both were so good. This was by far my favorite dish in Singapore. Well, it was tied with the Singaporean Ramen from Noodle Story. I have a couple packets of boxed laksa, so I can try to recreate it at home.
Ondeh Ondeh from Maxwell Centre. I wish I could have brought boxes of this dessert home with me! It’s type of a rice flour cake (I think) covered in coconut flakes. I just love how Asian desserts aren’t overwhelmingly sweet like American desserts tend to be.
Ah Balling Soup from Golden Mile Food Centre. This was so good! I loved it so much that I now go to the local Asian market to stock up on frozen peanut balls to have it when I get the craving. My friend Abby shared a recipe here and I want to try it!
Singaporean Ramen from A Noodle Story at the Amoy Food Centre. The presentation and the flavors totally won me. I really miss this dish so much. If I ever find myself in Singapore again, I would head to the Amoy Centre as soon as I was able and get another bowl of this delicious dish. We wanted to go back on our last day there, but they were closed that day.
Dim Sum from Tim Ho Wan. We went to Tim Ho Wan for lunch this day after walking all over the place, and we were starving. I texted my friend Abby our location to see what would be the best place to eat, and this is what she suggested. I love dim sum and this did not disappoint!
Obviously, we ate a lot. Looking at the pictures again, I notice there were some other dishes we ate that I didn’t get pictures of. We had 7 full days in Singapore and we enjoyed every bit of it. Ben, who is really picky with food because he likes to make sure he eats healthy (all the time), was totally game for anything, and he tried everything too! There’s only one dish above that we really didn’t like, but everything else was pretty good. We came home craving some of the food, so I immediately started recreating some of the dishes (with a healthier slant of course).
We were lucky enough to have the Bloesem team to get us started on our food quests, and our friend, Abby, was our personal tour guide 90% of the time, and she took us all over the place. When we did venture off on our own, we used this blog helped guide us (along with some tips a few of you shared too!). Oh Singapore, how we miss your diverse and delicious dishes!
Dear Singaporean friends,
If I got any of the dishes wrong (or spelled wrong), please correct me.