Happy Hearts Day with The Rebel Heart Tour in Bangkok, Thailand

Do you guys remember this post last year wherein the hubby surprised me the most awesome anniversary gift that I needed to top — https://startupbabies.com/2015/09/20/happy-7th-anniversary-with-maroonvtour-hong-kong/ Well, this is it! I got him tickets to The Rebel Heart Tour in Bangkok, Thailand! Another one-off the concert bucket list! =) This is one of those to-die-for concerts and one that we really needed to watch now especially since Madonna is already 57 years old! But man, she has got the moves and she has such a young-looking, active body — I hope to have her energy when I reach that age.

rebel heart tour, bangkok

rebel heart tour, bangkok

To be frank, I didn’t know much of her new songs as I am an oldie by heart. I tune in to Friday Magic Madness and I don’t know if it’s just me, being older and “set on my ways”, but I now have the tendency of tuning out new music and hearing them as “noise”. Despite not knowing her Rebel Heart album songs, I was still blown away. This is really pure performance and the production is second-to-none. I have had my production stints during my corporate brand marketing days… but the concert produced was simply one for the books.

I have held out about writing about the concert even though I’ve seen the concert 2 weeks ago. I didn’t want my post to be a spoiler for anyone watching here in Manila. I had such a great time and didn’t want to leak that much and I had to resist the urge to post on my Instagram. I just had 2 teaser posts and that was it.

The most unexpected part for me was the acrobatic circus theatrics. My favorite parts were still the oldie songs “True blue, baby I love you…” and surprise, surprise, who knew “Take A Bow” would take me back to my high school days. She sang this song LIVE for the third time only ever — in Bangkok. The first was during the American Music Awards in 1995 and the second was during the The Rebel Heart Tour in Taipei this month.

It’s my second time to watch a concert abroad and might I say, it’s truly an experience. It’s an adventure in itself, an excuse to travel abroad and take a short “honeymoon” break and a nice way to bond with the hubby. As I mentioned in my earlier concert post – https://startupbabies.com/2015/09/20/happy-7th-anniversary-with-maroonvtour-hong-kong/, watching concerts abroad is worth it. First, the tickets are way cheaper! The prices here in Manila are overpriced. I paid a third for the seats that I got. Venue is clean, the acoustics were perfect, entrance and exit was orderly, people are behaved — no pushing, no shoving, no fear of stampedes!

this was how near we were

this was how near we were

 

We are already excited and planning our next concert. Maybe Coldplay or U2? Who or what band is on your concert bucket list? =) Anybody else has seen concerts abroad? Let’s compare notes! =)

 

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Happy 7th Anniversary with MaroonVTour in Hong Kong

It’s the end of our anniversary week and the start of our 7th year. We started our celebration by catching Maroon V in Hong Kong. It started with me, trying to get tickets here in Manila but the concert was sold out as early as June 2015. I thought I didn’t have any chance of catching Adam Levine anymore but my very resourceful knight in shining armor got me concert tickets in HK. WOW!!! Best.Anniversary.Surprise.Gift.Ever!!! I don’t think any anniversary gift could ever top that. I actually still owe him an anniversary gift but none of my ideas come close to what he got for me.

The icing on the cake was that the concert tickets in HK cost less than the ones being sold here in Manila! Unfair, right? 🙂 It was my first time to catch a concert abroad and I am hooked. First, everything was so orderly. Concert tickets were shipped to us via snail mail. We went to the concert venue and lines were orderly, no worries of a stampede or mad-adam-fan-club-crushing-us-to-death scene either. Seats were as promised, crowd was orderly, no pushing and shoving. I am officially concert-spoiled.

Here are some highlights from our Maroon V concert. One off of my concert bucket list.

all-time favorite band

he really does moves like jagger

he really does move like jagger

adam, i almost named gummy bear after you

adam, i almost named my baby gummy bear after you

For more maroon V videos and HK trip pics, check out my instagram 🙂

We are also thinking of catching Madonna in HK or Taipei next year… no need to pay for 57k here in Manila! Not to mention catching a concert abroad is definitely an adventure in itself, a “honeymoon” trip again and an excuse to visit another (new) country.

To my honeychiwa, I don’t normally do cheesy posts but you deserve this one. Thanks for thinking-out-of-the-box! I would never have thought of watching a concert in another country. Only you could think of weird solutions to my problems. That is one of the things that I’ve learned being married to you for 7 years. Thanks for the persistent efforts in trying to make me happy. Thanks for helping me tick things off my bucket list even if you aren’t necessarily “game” to do the things on my list. That might have just been another concert night for you but to me, it meant the world to me that you would watch Maroon V for the second time just to make me happy. The effort you put into this anniversary gift is humbling. You are my Adam… you are my rock star!

To our 2 babies, please look for future partners who will care enough to want to make you happy and may you both put in the same effort for them also. It’s not the value of the gift but the thought behind the gift that makes it memorable. Putting extra time and the element of surprise in gift-giving should never stop just because you are way past the courting stage. I think the married stage needs more of these spurts of excitement, since we tend to get into this familiarity rut. Speaking of… I still owe the hubby an anniversary gift. The perfectionist in me is trying to top what he gave me or at least try to “equal” the value in sweetness. Any ideas??? 🙂

StartUp Book: French Kids Eat Everything

Hello 6 months! Well, Gummy Bear is 7 months already and has a voracious appetite for solid foods. My only problem is he is a bit of a picky eater. So far he doesn’t like bland cooked baby food so we always have to put in a little baby jar food mixed in just so that there is a bit of taste. Any body else with this kind of problem? I didn’t have any issues before with Baby Bear as she willingly gobbled up the cooked baby food.

I have had this book for awhile now on my bookshelf but I was waiting for the 6 month mark to really read this book. Wanted to time it as we start Food Training 101 for Gummy Bear.

french kids eat everything

french kids eat everything

I highly recommend this book. This is a book, not just for picky eaters but everyone who eats in general. Here are the highlights of the book:

french food rules

french food rules

I learned a lot from this book but what I want to harp on is MY biggest takeaway from this book. We have all been hearing about GRIT and how it is the key to raising good kids. Forming GRIT is something that is not easy to do. The book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character laments the fact that these days, kids have a strong sense of entitlement. We live in a very fast-paced world and since everything is within reach or literally at tip of our fingers, we are so used to having and getting everything that we want in just a snap. Our kids also have it lucky because our generation of parenting is quite different from the way our parents used to do it  before. We try to fill in the gaps of our parents who didn’t spend that much time with us since they were so busy working hard in order for us to have the luxurious life we have right now so we can afford more time to spend with our kids and have more money to splurge on them. In the book, How Children Succeed, Paul Tough states that the success of a kid has to do more with qualities that have something to do with developing skills like patience, perseverance, curiosity, self-control, and optimism. Going back to the book French Kids Eat Everything, kids are trained to sit through long dinners with adult conversations. We all know the adage that goes: a family that eats together, stays together. We may eat together but sometimes it’s either we are in a rush, looking at our cellphones, or nagging the kids to hurry up and eat. Dinner time should be a pleasant experience, a long affair (hello 3 course meals), and a time to bond over food and conversation. It also gives us the chance to bond together with the family and teach “life lessons”.

How does one teach life lessons over dinner:

Scenario: We are actually guilty of leaving Baby Bear to eat with the nanny because we feel that she eats more when we are not there. Typical girl, she loves chatting while eating – and when she chats, food is stuck on her mouth for a long time (read: babad) and it takes a longer time to swallow.

Life Lessons:

– Don’t talk when your mouth is full!

– The value of being patient and waiting for the all of the members to finish eating – While the essence of dinner time should be talking and catching up, this hasn’t worked for us since dinner becomes way longer and we are actually the ones without the patience to sit through it. 😦 I am learning to stop saying “hurry up and finish eating” and now, spend more time enjoying dessert and teaching stuff to Baby Bear over dinner.

– No one left behind and no gadgets should be used during the course of dinner –  – The few times that Baby Bear finishes eating before we do, she is itching to go down at once to play,  so this is quite a daunting task for me now. Especially when we are outside and the orders haven’t arrived yet, the default before was to let her play the iPad. We are training not just Baby Bear, but also ourselves to sit through our restaurant dinners without any distractions. We don’t allow iPhones or iPads during meals. We used to allow other distractions such as coloring, reading a book, stickers, toys, etc. but it was just the same as the iPad.We just substituted the distraction with another distraction, which just takes away the fun and interaction that supposedly came with dinner time as being the time to catch up on what is going on in each others’ lives. Consistent with another book that I read, Bringing Up Bebe, making them sit-through these dinners harps on the importance of letting kids sit down and develop patience by learning how to wait. I make Baby Bear sit through our dinners, let her listen to our work or household discussions. She doesn’t need to actively participate but she has to sit through them. In the long run, kids are supposed to learn from these adult conversations. This is where they get a chance to pick up “life lessons”. They can also simply be quiet and bored with the adult conversation. When they are bored they tend to daydream which sparks the creativity wheel in their brains.

– In line with our no gadgets policy, we have a strict no gadgets rule during weekdays. While Baby Bear constantly whines “unfair” because all her cousins can iPad anytime, we want her to have lots of free time to read books, play with her toys, spend time with Gummy Bear, go down to the park and play with her friends. She can also opt for alone time where she chooses what she wants to do by herself. The French believe that it is important that kids can play alone.

I think the French are really on to something when it comes to parenting their kids. Theirs may not be the perfect system but it is a good support to their belief in the importance of raising foodies and good children. To them, raising good kids start with teaching them to have good table manners. Having good table manners is a practice of good habits. Not only that, perfecting the art of eating and the habit of eating together, allows you to spend more time with your family members to bond over stories and life lessons. At the end of the day, it’s all about quality family time… it doesn’t hurt if our tummies are also happily satisfied in the process. Happy tummy, happy life! 🙂