Since we needed a short break over the weekend, I thought that Archery was a great thing to do for the whole family. Plus, it’s one of those things I have always wanted to do but never had a chance till we did it a few weeks ago.
So, I called the reception at the Cambodian Country Club. When I learned that CCC wasn’t busy on that day, I immediately decided to book an archery range for us (just for me and my family).
We were the only visitors there at that time. It was quiet and calm. Before we started shooting, the assistant showed us how to do it. Then, we held our bow, got the arrow, and started firing. After firing all 5 arrows, the assistant collected the arrows back to us and we fired again.
We certainly had a blast and everyone had fun shooting arrows using a bow. It was satisfying. My family and I really enjoyed it.
Little Lilly travel tips:
We paid $30 per person per hour.
The range was clean, but the bows were not in good condition.
The assistant didn’t speak English, but he tried to help and made sure we were having a good time.
Since the beginning of this year 2020, we haven’t traveled anywhere far as we’ve cancelled all our scheduled trips and adventures due to this deadly invisible enemy that we are all facing right now – the Covid19 pandemic that none of us has ever imagined, not even in our wildest dreams. But no matter what, we didn’t want to let this year just go sideways.
One a weekend, it was my turn to choose an activity for me and my family to do, and I chose picnic on the boat along the Tonle Sap River at sunset. So, we rented a private boat for 3. We opted to go at 5pm, so that we could watch the sun setting down the horizon while munching some fresh food. But suddenly, it rained. So instead of a sunset, we had got a chilly boat trip.
The nightfall came early. It was windy and wintry. We sailed along the Tonle Sap River up to the Mekong River and back to the pier. We love being on the boat and enjoyed spending time on the sailboat – it was breezy, breathtaking, tranquil and relaxing.
What I love about boat picnics, is they are meant to be simple, but full of flavors. I spent most of the day (before we went on a picnic) prepping the food we were going to have on the boat. I made a simple but tasty homemade guacamole with fresh and organic avocado from the Province of Mondulkiri, and I prepared a huge platter of charcuterie with healthy goodies – a selection of cheeses, fruits, vegetables, crackers, ham and saucisson. I paired the meal with a good bottle of sparkling white wine and a soda for Pete. Very little was needed. Nothing was complicated and it wasn’t intended to be.
I also packed the food and dishware, glasses for the wine as well as necessary serving pieces. I also brought a few extra napkins, and I made sure we had bottle opener for the wine.
My husband, my son and I have fallen in love with the rhythm and the feeling of the water when boating. A simple late afternoon/early evening felt pretty darn special and romantic. We certainly didn’t need a fancy restaurant to make an ordinary day turn special, all we just need is a great selection of good food and some great wine with a gorgeous view of the water.
One quiet weekend, my family and I decided to take a road less traveled through lush countryside and communities, including a visit to the rice paddy field.
So on a bright and wonderful afternoon, we hopped on an ATV (automatic Polaris 330cc bikes) which were well maintained by the Village Quad Bike Trails, and were safe. Then, off we went to experience the calming and peaceful ride through the rural villages outside Phnom Penh during sunset. However, all of a sudden, a dark stormy sky hovered above us. And in no time it poured down cats and dogs. So, we decided to stop in one of the shops to put on our raincoats and for shelter as it was quite tricky to continue since we couldn’t see the road.
We rode through the main roads, muddy roads, small villages, by traditional Cambodian houses, rice paddies, temple of countryside, kids playing, cows grazing, birds chirping, and we got a real insight into this beautiful country and its friendly people. It took us to the authentic beauty of Cambodia, unexposed to the world. The freshness and greenery of remote and undisturbed countryside and the stunning sunset at the paddy fields was just awesome.
The entire sunset quad bike tour lasted for 2 hours. Indeed, quad biking is really a fun way to get the scenic views of the countryside and a perfect way to spend a weekend with family and friends.
Little Lilly travel tips:
There were two professional guides accompanying during the trip, who made the tour easy, fun and safe.
You are going to cross the main roads, so if you haven’t driven before, I suggest to do it with someone who knows how to drive since the main road is very busy.
This blog post is based on our personal experience.We just had a very good time with this company. If you wish quad biking in Phnom Penh, here’s the company’s website: http://www.quadbiketrails.com or call 099-952-255.
Have you been quad biking in Phnom Penh? What was your experience like?
Going on trips with our son – either on a staycation, a day trip, a weekend getaway, a short out-of-town trip, a long travel or an adventure trip – is a no brainer question for me and my husband. We believe travel is a magical tool that helps providing a solid grounding in our own home and provides an enormous learning opportunity in a myriad of ways. Thus, we make sure that wherever we go we turn every trip into an organic lesson in history, culture, gratitude, etc.
Here are 6 reasons why we believe traveling with our son works wonders and beats learning in any classroom:
1.Traveling with our son strengthens our family as we share a range of experiences together. It makes our son feel that he is important to us. It is a wonderful opportunity for us as a family to collect memories, not things. And it provides us with one of the best ways to take a break from the hustle and bustle of life. Indeed, traveling together makes every crazy, exhausting trip totally worth it.
2.Traveling promotes excellent personal growth to our son and broadens his mind through complete immersion. It is inevitably a huge eye-opening experience for him that helps widens his understanding of the way things are. It introduces him to new things that stoke up his sense of curiosity and wonder to learn. It teaches him the value of learning how to get along with various kinds of people. It teaches him to be adaptable to new situations. It encourages him to express himself more. It teaches him to be patient – to wait out a little bit more until he is/we are allowed to explore and just enjoy the sights. Through traveling, he has practiced tolerance, met different challenges and became more flexible. Travel empowers him to be self-reliant and makes him more social as he gets to meet and interact with people in all walks of life from all age groups – people who can enrich his life even further. And most importantly, it allows him to develop skills on decision making, problem solving and trip planning which he can use in the future.
3. Traveling provides a break from the digital world not only for our son but for us too. Our favorite is when we explore off-the-beaten-path places for a couple of days where there is no internet connection. This way, we talk more, our son gets to have more time with us and we have all our attention to him.
4. Traveling teaches him the ways of the world. We noticed that our son becomes more excited when we start him getting involved – even at the planning stage. Where is our next destination on the map? Who designed that amazing building? Why it was built? How do we get there? What activities we can do? Husband and I read information and show some pictures of the places we will visit before we get there. Learning easily becomes a part of the traveling lifestyle. Plus, it teaches him to experience the world for himself.
5. Traveling brings our son closer to nature. He gets to see different plants and animals much closer and even get to touch them. Indeed, traveling is a great way to introduce him to Mother Nature’s beautiful creations and masterpieces.
6. Traveling boosts our son’s school grades. Through travels, real-life learning experiences adds tangibility to what he is reading, creates a richer context about what he is learning in school, widens his vocabulary and eventually boosts those school grades.
Life on the road is certainly very different and that is part of its charm. Traveling triggers all our senses, and the benefits are absolutely endless – promotes outstanding personal growth, tightened family bonds, cultural awareness, culinary diversity, discovery of nature, indulging in breathtaking landscapes, experiencing new adventures, and it forces us to break away from those daily routines. Since we know that these influences are extremely important, my husband and I settled for spending less money for toys and invest more in traveling and discovering every nooks and crannies around the world with our son.
My family and I wanted to incorporate a more sustainable approach into our daily lifestyle. We make sure that we are eating healthy and our going “green and healthy” diet is not just good for our body but also for our environment.
So, we opted to invest on new sets of eco-friendly cutleries and drinking straws from Multiply that we can use when we travel – for work, for school or for leisure. By incorporating biodegradable or reusable techniques, these eco-friendly utensils are sure to make munching on a healthy meal a much more enlightening and meaningful experience.
These eco-friendly utensils show that helping out the environment doesn’t have to be something tricky or difficult. They are reusable as you just simply wash and wipe and they’re already good to use again. I like them because they last a lifetime, they are safe, plastic-free and they come in various gorgeous shapes and colours.
The stainless steel straws are dish-washer safe and it comes with a handy pouch and a natural wool cleaner. Also because of the Covid-19 outbreak, we carry our own stainless steel straws every time we go out.
Luckily, I found this stainless steel cutlery set for my son’s lunch box which I had been looking for quite some time. I can’t really wait to prepare home-packed meal with a scribbled lunch-box note for my son. The box set contains a spoon, a fork and a pair of chopsticks. It is a reusable alternative to disposable cutlery. I like it because it is light and compact – it’s very convenient to carry it at all times especially when we enjoy a meal or snacks on-the-go.
This fashionable and collapsible water bottle is eco-friendly. It’s a BPA free, non-toxic, light, fall and drop proof, resizable, travel friendly and a space saver.
I think it’s high time now to ditch plastic utensils. Let’s opt to go for the environmental approach and utilize products that are sustainable and eco-friendly. So, grab your eco-friendly utensils from Multiply and don’t forget to carry a set with you in your bag or in your car.
If you are interested, you can shop and order here: Instagram: mxtiplycambodia website: x-multiplyshop.com
Disclosure: I am not involved in any way with Multiply Company. I just like their products.
My family and I were all excited for Father’s Day 2020 (June 21) as we could celebrate it outside our home. Plus, it was our first time to get out of our home for leisure (after a few months of staying at home) due to Covid-19 outbreak.
The day started when our son offered his dad a very nice drawing of him on his fancy and gigantic bike. My husband was so touched, he was proud and he liked it very much. He took a photo of it and showed it to our families and friends.
Afterwards, we headed to Patio Hotel and Resort hidden down a little alleyway for a relaxing Father’s Day getaway. When we got there, we were all over the moon as the place was very cozy and we had the entire awesome rooftop pool all for ourselves. We loved it there – it was quiet, it had a romantic atmosphere with a gorgeous view overlooking the city, and it was just a beautiful place where to sit, chill and relax. The food and the customer service was good – the staff was polite and helpful.
We lazed the whole day long by the poolside and let the good stuff happen by simply doing nothing at all – gave our brain a rest, dug up insightful ideas, plotted future plans, practiced swimming strokes, read a book, enjoyed a drink or two, etc. We had a wonderful stay there and would definitely return again. Certainly, this great little boutique resort is an absolute gem and a calm oasis in the heart of the city. We couldn’t recommend it more.
As soon as we got home, we had a virtual family gathering with our families in France and in the Philippines to greet our dads, my brother and uncles, brother-in-law a Happy Father’s Day. Although, nothing compares to seeing our dads in person, but a virtual celebration using a video conferencing platform was the best way to bring everyone far and wide together and got a bit of intimacy despite the physical distance.
Subsequently, I stole my husband’s heart with homemade savory bread I made for him since he is not fond of cakes or sweets. I made sure I baked the ones that matched his flavor preferences and suited his interests, so I turned beloved cinnamon rolls into Savory Dinner Rolls! I stuffed them with savory cream cheese, fresh ham from the butcher, homemade tomato sauce prepared by hubby and hand-grated Emmental cheese.
After dinner, we laughed our night away through Netflix’s comedy specials – JOKOY! He is one of hubby’s today’s top comics, plus his comedic styling absolutely gave us a good chuckle!
Overall, it was a great family day – simple, fun and meaningful Father’s Day celebration!
Have you ever roasted a leg of lamb? It may sound intimidating, but roasting a leg of lamb is actually really, really simple – quick to prepare and quick to cook.
I love roasted lamb. I love its tenderness and it’s packed full of flavors. Perfect for your weekend lunch or any celebrations.
When roasting leg of lamb,
I opted for using a bone-in lamb leg because bones hold so much flavor, and I am getting all that flavor in the meat itself.
I prefer not marinating it, since lamb leg is already a tender cut. I just season it with tons of herbs – thyme, rosemary, parsley, oregano, pepper, garlic, ginger and some fresh lemon juice and mustard.
My family and I prefer it well done, so I roasted the lamb leg for an hour and 45 minutes. The question of how long you cook it will depend on your personal preference of desired doneness – rare, medium, medium-rare or well-done.
I roasted it on the bed of potatoes and we have ourselves a very easy and very delectable and succulent roast lunch classic!
Here’s my simple and fuss-free recipe of roasting a leg of lamb. It always turns perfect every time I cook it.
What you will need:
1 leg of lamb
3 white potatoes, peeled, and sliced about 1mm thick, rounds
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, grated
fresh lemon juice of half a lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 tsp black pepper, freshly crashed
How to roast lamb:
Preheat oven to 250⁰C.
Prepare the potatoes – wash and peel the potatoes. Slice them into 1 mm thick rounds. Then arrange them into the roasting dish.
Prepare lamb – wash and clean the lamb leg. Use a pointed sharp knife to make shallow cuts all over the lamb meat. Pat lamb dry with paper towels. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper on both sides. Then, place lamb into the prepared roasting pan.
Prepare the paste mixture – toss in garlic, ginger, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, paprika, turmeric, salt and black pepper. Whisk together until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
Spread the paste mixture evenly over the lamb. Then rub the paste evenly into the scored cuts.
Cover the baking dish with foil.
Place into the preheated oven for an hour. Remove the foil. Then roast it again (uncover) for 30 minutes or until how done your meat want it to be. In short, how long you cook the lamb leg, depends on your personal preference.
Serve it with potatoes and your favorite vegetables.
I have always loved to travel. I love to see new places, experience the beauty of every nooks and crannies of the world, food, and people from different regions. Through the years, while traveling with my family, I’ve learned that comfort is everything and I’ve learned to travel light in a cozy, sanguine and stylish way.
All these years, my hubby has been my travel buddy and at the same time my fashion critique – he taught me to dress up gorgeously and elegantly without being flashy, embrace comfort and practicality, be happy with my own style and be confident about it. Before I met my hubby, I never really understood about fashion, it was only since 2009 that I’ve started to allow myself to enjoy my style in whatever I do and wherever I go. I have realized that fashion is so empowering – it’s something that makes me feel empowered, makes me feel good and positive, and fashion is a form of art that I can use to express myself and allow my personality to show through.
So, whether I am traveling for work or for leisure or for day-to-day errands, I’ll make sure I’m in for a chic stylish treat without getting broke. Since to some, packing is kind of tricky, here’s how I minimally pack my suitcase while looking my best when traveling:
Plan before you pack – First, I check the luggage policy of the airline carrier. Next, I make a list of every item I need to bring, so that I would never forget to bring something important and reduces that panic of last-minute packing. Then, I set aside a little extra time to pick out the clothing I want to bring. Afterwards, I organize what I want to take and eliminate the items that I don’t need in order to avoid over packing as extra luggage will weigh me down on my trip.
Consider the destination – My knowledge of the destination – like what’s the weather like, etc. – helps me to narrow down what I need to bring and helps me pack some appropriate clothes. Then, I map out the tourist attractions I want to visit.
Pack the essentials and the basics – First, I pack the documents I need, such as passport, etc. and check it twice. Next, I pack my gadgets – smartphone, portable chargers, a power bank, a camera, a laptop/iPad, and a kindle (even though I’m more like of a paper book lover, to save a significant amount of space and weight). Depending on the purpose of the trip, generally, I pack 3 pairs of shoes – a pair of sneakers, a pair of sandals and a pair of high heel shoes, and for my bags, I usually pack 2 bags – a cross-body bag I bring on the plane and a clutch for a night. Then, I pack my medicine kit, toiletry bag and make-up kit (that consists only of a lip balm, a lipstick and a face powder). I can go out without wearing make-up but I can’t go out without wearing perfume.
Pack Accessories that have multiple functions – I love scarves and jewelries studded with gold, diamonds and pearls. For me, they are enduring and made with stories. It’s a way to express who I am and they help me stand out. For my jewelries, I always take a few pieces with me wherever I go, because I feel incomplete if I do not wear them. Also, I always bring scarves – it’s lightweight, comfortable, stylish, and bring a splash of colour. It’s a timeless piece that will always looks good, never gets old, and I can wear all the time.
Decide what my go-to “plane outfit” is – My plane outfit depends on what type of trip I am into. If, upon arrival, I go directly straight from the airport to the venue, then I wear a casual dress and high heels. But usually if we go on holidays and for long flights, I wear something light – like leggings, a tee-shirt, a cardigan and a pair of sneakers or flat boots.
Finally, I keep in mind to pack what’s pretty and practical because they always go together. Also, I pack what I wish to happen – like we might be attending someone’s birthday aperitif, etc. Then, I organize everything I’m taking with me and fold and store it all in my luggage neatly so that I won’t end up with a wad of wrinkled clothes at our destination.
One day, I wanted to sneak up on my husband and my son with something simple, so I opted to bring Ratatouille to our dinner table for a thankful Tuesday! Does the name have a familiar ring to you?
Ratatouille is a classic French dish with colorful layers of basic fresh vegetables – zucchini, eggplant, yellow squash, carrot, white radish, tomatoes, shallots on a bed of garlicky peppery tomato sauce. On top of the luscious flavor, we love the simplicity of this quintessential vegetarian dish as it turns basic veggies into magic. Plus, this comforting thick and silky vegetarian stew celebrates so much of the bounty of the summer produce, and it’s even excellent the next day.
In my recipe, I topped the traditional ratatouille with a bit of cheese to make into an aromatic winner dinner. The real magic of ratatouille happens when the vegetables melt into each other, turning completely tender, while the herbs – thyme, garlic, basil, parsley and pepper infuse every corner of the baking dish. You can serve it with steamed rice, pasta or you can serve it as-is with a side of chicken (or any meat of your choice) and a bread to scoop up delicious slowly cooked tomato sauce.
So when your kitchen is packed with fresh produce, cook Disney inspired Ratatouille, and enjoy a perfectly tasty and fresh meal!
What you will need:
1 pc zucchini, sliced into about 1-mm rounds
1 pc eggplant, sliced into about 1-mm rounds
1 pc carrot, sliced into about 1-mm rounds
1 pc white radish, sliced into about 1-mm rounds
4 pcs shallots, sliced into about 1-mm rounds
4 pcs tomatoes, sliced into about 1-mm rounds
1 pc yellow squash, sliced into about 1-mm rounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 pc red bell pepper, diced
1 pc yellow bell pepper, diced
4 pcs big tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 tsp oregano
Himalayan salt, to taste
black pepper, freshly crashed, to taste
5 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme
Himalayan salt, to taste
black pepper, freshly crashed, to taste
How to cook it:
Pre-heat oven to 200˚C.
Prepare the vegetables. Wash and slice the veggies – eggplant, zucchini, radish, yellow squash, onion, tomatoes, carrot – into approximately 1-mm round rounds. Then, set aside.
Prepare the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic and bell peppers for 10 minutes or until they become soft. Add tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and basil. Stir until the ingredients are well combined. Remove from heat. Blend the vegetables using a blender. Then smooth the surface of the sauce with a spatula as you pour it into a baking dish.
Arrange the sliced veggies in alternating patterns (for example: eggplant, tomato, squash, zucchini) on top of the sauce from the outer edge to the middle of the pan.
Prepare the herb seasoning. In a small bowl, mix together the basil, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Stir in until the mixture is fully incorporated. Spoon the herb seasoning over the vegetables.
Cover the baking pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover, the baking pan and bake for another 20 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.
Serve while it is hot – as a main dish or side. Sprinkle some grated Emmental cheese (or any cheese of your choice) above the Ratatouille. Share and enjoy!
Did you know that muffins fit as part of a healthy breakfast? Some people I know of don’t think that muffins fit as part of a healthy breakfast. I will agree provided the muffins are filled with saturated fat, sugar and refined flours.
These perfectly portioned wholemeal banana muffins with wholesome ingredients – wholemeal flour, fruit, honey, olive oil and almond milk – make you feel good in the morning.They are super moist and flavorful. They make a great grab-and-go breakfast or a great afternoon snack.
Bananas and honey are key for this recipe because it helps retain moisture and their natural sweetness cuts back on added sugar. Plus, adding bananas gives this recipe a boost in nutrition with Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, potassium and manganese.
These wholemeal banana muffins will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days or in a refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Here’s my simple recipe:
What you will need:
2 ½ cups of wholemeal flour
2 medium-sized chicken eggs, washed and at room temperature
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup maple syrup of honey
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 to 3 bananas)
½ cup almond milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius and put paper muffin cups into the muffin tray.
Combine the dry ingredients. Put 2 ½ cups of wholemeal flour, baking soda, baking powder, Himalayan salt, nutmeg. If you would like to add any additional mix-ins like nuts, chocolate or dried fruit, fold them in now. Mix them well with a large spoon, just until combined.
In a separate bowl, prepare the wet ingredients. Put the bananas and mashed them up with a fork. Add freshly cracked eggs. Put in almond milk, olive oil and honey. Whisk them up together to combine.
Pour in the wet ingredients into the mixture of dry ingredients. Mix the ingredients with a spatula to combine well.
Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full.
Bake muffins for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
Put the muffins in a cooling rack, and let it cool for about 30 minutes before serving.
Serve, share and enjoy.
Little Lilly baking tips:
Use ripe bananas. The browner the bananas the sweeter they are.
Freshly cracked the eggs in a small bowl. Don’t crack the eggs into the mixture right away because sometimes the eggs are not good, if it happens, the whole mixture will be ruined and wasted.
I use Himalayan salt because it has less sodium than the original table salt, and it contains about 84 trace elements.