Our Different Coffee Breaks for the last Couple of Months

Check out our coffee breaks for the last few months.

Ah, yes! We are definitely coffee lovers! (*wink*)(*wink*)

This is by far one of the highlights of our day lately...COFFEE!

And now, I'm off to have another cup.

How about you? What adds value to your life these days?

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. New ebooks! YEY!
2. Celebrating Hubby's Birthday
3. Soccer Tournament
4. Movie Date with the Whole Family
5. Mlik Tea and Popcorn
6. Rest
7. Helpers
8. Freshly Brewed Coffee
9. Blogging
10. Project Life App

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

Coffee TIME.

My favorite time of the day is the start of the work day. WHY?

Because of this...

C.O.F.F.E.E. T.I.M.E.!

I just love smelling the freshly brewed coffee in my coffee mug. The feeling of excitement and the feeling after drinking it. Yes, it is definitely my favorite time of the day!

How about you? What's your favorite time of the day?

The Most Beautiful Things in Life...

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: It's Good to be Alive by Benji Jackson feat Pinkzebra

REPOSTING: You Deserve it! Easy Ideas for Quick Me-time Moments for Moms by Michelene Lagdameo of MomCenter.PH

Itching for a Me time, Moms? You don't have to go somewhere, check out these tips grabbed from MomCenter.PH...

You Deserve it! Easy Ideas for Quick Me-time Moments for Moms by Michelene Lagdameo

Ask any mama and she will tell you that a whole day (or weekend, even!) to herself to do absolutely everything she wants is all she wants for her birthday, Mother’s Day, and Christmas! Free time is a concept that most moms crave the most, and the truth it, we honestly deserve it. However, any mama will also tell you that a whole day free of responsibilities is entirely too unfeasible (which is why it’s often reserved for the aforementioned birthday, Mother’s Day, and other special holidays!)

There’s no need to neglect your self-care, though. You can carve out some me-time daily—even just 30 minutes of time for yourself can work wonders in restoring your sanity and giving you time to decompress. Here are inexpensive and easy ideas for busy moms who need to catch a break.

DIY Spa in The Bathroom

Take 30 minutes to light a nice scented candle or two, stream some soothing music on Spotify, and apply a calming sheet mask in the comfort of your bathroom. You can easily buy facial masks from beauty stores, or you can make your own organic mask with simple pantry ingredients!

YouTube Workout
Whether you want soothing yoga or high-intensity dance, there are quick and detailed workout videos easily searchable online. Prop up your phone or iPad and follow along, no equipment or gym membership required! Also, you can download several free apps like NTC or Sworkit, so you next “gym session” is waiting for you right on your phone.

Daily Devotional

Invest in a daily devotional book or download guides off the internet. You can set aside time in a quiet space to read a passage or two, reflect on the daily lesson, and note a few points (or pour out a few feelings) on a journal. It can be as spiritual as you want—check out The Power of A Praying Wife—or even something as simple as The Happiness Project.

Coffee, Tea, and Me

Brew yourself a cup of coffee or tea and just breathe for a bit! If you have a favorite spot at home, or like to hang out in your kitchen, allow yourself a few uninterrupted moments of peace while the smell of coffee or tea wafts all around you. The smell is known to energize you as you go through the rest of your day!

Color Therapy

The adult coloring book craze may be a little over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the calming benefits of letting your artistic side show. Half an hour is enough time to completely color a simple illustration, and you’ll love the sense of accomplishment it will give you.

Regardless of how you spend your “break time,” the important thing is never to feel guilty about it—mamas need to look out for themselves too! So invest time in what makes you smile, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day. You’ll be a happier and healthier mom for it, and you family will feel the difference.


Kidzania for the Kid's 2016 Birthday Celebration

How did we celebrate a kids' birthday last year? We went to Kidzania!

And, since this is already their third time, they already have their favorite booths!

Made deliveries for parcels...

Someone's dreaming of being a Pet Doctor someday!

And look the Dad is enjoying too.

And the highlight for this trip to kidzania...

The Hall of Justice. Wow. It was indeed a fun day for all of us!

Would we ever come back again? Yes and hopefully soon!

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Relaxing Weekend
2. Long Naps!
3. eBooks and hard to put down stories!
4. Freshly Brewed Coffee on a Wednesday
5. Households
6. Prayers
7. Never ending Blessings ♥♥♥
8. Plans for the year
9. Workouts
10. Bright Future

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

One Foggy Weekend in Tagaytay

A couple of months ago, Hubby and I went to Tagaytay to attend a Marriage Encounter Retreat. It was the month of October so we were excited that the weather would turn cold.


Well, it was foggy and the weather was just RIGHT.

Here's a nice welcome treat from the hotel...

And then the highlight of our retreat - The Renewal of Vows.

Happy to get married again with this guy! (*wink*)

It was a fun weekend. Hopefully we can attend again this year!

It may Hurt to LET GO, But...

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: The One by The Chainsmokers ♥

Came across this beautiful song that I thought be best to share here...

Have a blessed Sunday, everyone!

REPOSTING: 5 Simple Tips on How to Make the Most out of Your Long Weekends by MomCenter.PH

Here's another nice article from MomCenter.PH about how to make the most out of long weekends. Because YES! there are a lot of long weekends coming really, really soon. WOOT!

Read on...

5 Simple Tips on How to Make the Most out of Your Long Weekends by MomCenter.PH

Whether you’re a working mom or a stay at home mom, the long weekend is a reason for celebration because it always means that the entire family is complete, for one extra day in the week.

Long weekends are a wonderful opportunity to spend focused and quality time with our loved ones, and thus must not be taken for granted. The last thing any of us want is to wake up the day after the long weekend wishing we had spent it better.

Here are some tips from momcenter on how to make the most out of your long weekends:

Do something different. If the idea of escaping city life appeals to you, then drive out to a nearby province and spend some time in nature. You will find your entire family refreshed and re-energized for the week ahead. The one thing that you will be risking by doing this however is getting stuck in traffic. Thus, be strategic about your departure times, and bring plenty of food and entertainment for the kids in case you spend a lot of time in the car.

Plan well.
The long weekends scheduled for the next year are usually released during the last quarter of the current year. Plot them out on your calendars so that you can schedule leaves, book tickets for your trips and activities, and plan your itineraries in advance. You won’t just save time, but money as well!

Disconnect. If you can, put away your laptop, tablet, and mobile phone. Use your extra day of rest to take a break from everything that might trigger any feelings of anxiety or stress. Be intentional about avoiding any distractions that could potentially take your focus off the ones who matter most to you.

Choose your battles. As the mom, you can set the tone and mood for your family’s trip. Even if your kids are cranky and your husband is impatient, if you can…let the small stuff slide because if you allow yourself to be provoked, you will only add to whatever tension might be building in your family. Make the trip one that is memorable in a good way, by keeping spirits positive and high. The only way you can do this is by setting the best example.

Be flexible. While making plans might be key to achieving what you set out to do during the long weekend, they can also backfire if we become too rigid about our goals. If all of a sudden a child gets sick, or a storm hits, let go of of what you can’t control with a smile and choose to make the most of the weekend by being fun and spontaneous instead. At the end of the day, it is not so much what you do, but who you are with that makes a long weekend worthwhile.


Attended a Starwars Birthday Party!

...and the kids were ecstatic. LOOK!

Can you believe this?


Wow the feeling that she got to study sword fighting with Princess Lea!


And look, even if they got home, they still couldn't moved on. They played with the giveaways and costumes provided...

Surreal! But yes, it was a real party and one of the best! Thank you Migo for having us! ♥♥♥

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Relaxing Weekend
2. Sister Act!
3. Family ♥
4. Freshly Brewed Coffee on a Monday morning
5. Back to School
6. Jobs and Online Tasks
7. New eBooks
8. Free Time
9. Nice and helpful Articles
10. Level 4 Happiness ♥♥♥

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.


Check out my second grader's sweet poem.

Yes, I'm one proud Mama!

Minimalism Removes Excess...

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Love on Me by Galantis & Hook N Sling

Ever feel like dancing today?

Let's do it!

REPOSTING: 7 Ways to Build Stronger Connections with Your Kids (Even When You’re Busy) By Kathryn Trudeau

Here's another nice article to read this weekend. Read on, parents!

7 Ways to Build Stronger Connections with Your Kids (Even When You’re Busy) By Kathryn Trudeau

Dr. Harley Rotbart, author of No Regrets Parenting, reminds us that there are only a mere 940 Saturdays from your child’s birth day until the day he or she turns 18 years old. Nine hundred and forty. That’s it. The statistic is enough to make you start planning family outings and picnics from now until 2026.

But… I have a complaint. Nine hundred and forty days is not nearly enough to bond and create enough memories to last a lifetime. As parents, we are blessed with 6,570 days from birth until the age of 18, why not take advantage of each and every one of those days? Sure, the weekdays are busy, crazy, messy, and loud, but that’s no reason to relegate all the bonding to just Saturdays.

Here are seven ways to build stronger connections with your kids, even when you’re crazy busy:
Reading together.

Studies consistently show that reading to children promotes healthy brain development and improves literacy skills. Reading, however, can be as much of a bonding experience as a learning experience.

Try to carve out at least 10 minutes a day to read together. Even reading a short bedtime story can do wonders for reconnecting with your child during a busy workweek. Have a pre-teen or teen? Let them choose a chapter book and read it together, even if it’s just a few pages per night.

Connect at bedtime.

With babies and young toddlers, parents often fuss over finding the perfect bedtime routine to get baby to sleep, but bedtime is just as important for older children too. Bedtime is a great opportunity to reconnect with your kids, especially after a busy day.

As you tuck your child into bed, give him or her an extra hug or cuddle. Hum a lullaby that reminds your child of when he or she was a baby. Listen if your child has any last minute stories or questions.

It’s all too easy to rush bedtime in order to have a few minutes of peace to ourselves – believe me, I know. But some of the best moments of the day are hidden in the soft, sweet moments between awake and slumber.

Both parent-instincts and science tell us that loving touch is important. From building self-esteem and boosting brain development, gentle caressing or loving touches can also help build connections with our kids. Touch is extremely easy to sneak into busy schedules.

Exchange a secret handshake as you pass each other in the hallway.
A hug first thing in the morning, before departing each other, upon reuniting, before bed.
A kiss on the forehead as you serve dinner
Cuddling together on the couch as you unwind with a show at night (or… a book).
A pat on the back for a job well done.

Turn dinner into a sacred family space

It’s easy to let technology sneak onto the family dinner table, but in an effort to fully focus on each other, make it a point to make dinner a tech-free zone. Instead, use the time to connect with each other.

Growing up, my parents started a tradition called “Best Thing, Worst Thing.” We would go around the table and say what the best and worst part of our day was. It’s truly amazing what we can learn about each other when we actively listen.
Play a game, even if it’s just for a few minutes

Between homework, extracurricular activities, and household responsibilities, fun activities like family game night sometimes get pushed to the back burner. But, there are ways to play games, even on the busiest of days.

One of the favorites in my house is called “I’m Thinking Of,” a spinoff of “I Spy” except the object doesn’t have to be physically present. We usually play this game while driving. It entertains the boys during the drive, but also gives us a chance to reconnect. Win, win!

Make eye contact

This might seem silly or obvious, but making eye contact with your child is the easiest way to reconnect when you’re short on time. Eye contact reinforces the idea that “I’m taking the time to really look at you.” Looking into each others eyes is a soulful way to communicate an I love you without speaking.

When my older son is in the midst of a meltdown and struggling to manage his emotions, I always remind him to look into my eyes. He usually does and when his bright eyes look into mine, we connect and he’s able to find peace.

Laugh together

Psychology Today reports that laughing with another person helps to form a strong connection because “laughter establishes – or restores – a positive emotional climate and a sense of connection between two people.” Even if you’re stressed from a day at work, or tired from a day of chores, fitting in a laugh is a good way to reconnect with your kids.

Tell a funny story while you wash dinner dishes. Make silly faces at each other. Tell your kids a family inside joke.

Not every day is perfect. Sometimes we let the stresses of the day rule us, but our children will appreciate our efforts to connect with them – whether they realize it yet or not. Try to incorporate these tips into your daily routines, and you’ll be sure to feel a stronger connection with your children.


June 2017 Monthly Roundup

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- We are Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman
- All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terill
- Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
- Visions Series Book 1: Crash by Lisa McMann
- Visions Series Book 2: Bang by Lisa McMann
- Snow like Ashes by Sara Raasch
- Currently Reading: You are Here by Jennifer E. Smith

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?
- Harry Potter Movies
- The Mummy (Woot! Tom Cruise!)
- Beauty and the Beast
- A Dog's Purpose
- Bad Neighbors

What special days did I celebrate and how?
- Father's Day

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- Thank you Lord I had very good health this month ♥

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
- Quick Getaway to Zambales
- Went to Baguio with the whole family
- Movie Date

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
- Olongapo's famous pizza
- Baguio Vegetables
- Ben Cab Museum Hot Chocolate
- Gloria Maris for Father's Day
- Starbucks Breakfast and Cafe Latte
- Mama Lou's in Ayala 30th

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- No Shopping this month! Woot!

What have you learned this month?

Reminiscing the ANNIE Play at Resorts World Manila. ♥

I miss watching plays so I decided to reminisce on the last play we watched last 2016. It was Annie. ♥♥♥

The kids are so, so, so excited for this! And us adults, looked forward to this for months too!

It was a great play and I can't wait to watch another one soon! (*wink*)

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Long Weekend ♥
2. Movie Night
3. Soccer Time (this time we got to play!)
4. PL App to Capture Memories
5. Planning Trips and Getaways
6. Blogging
7. More Online Tasks
8. Online Chats and Viber
9. Freshly Brewed Coffee
10. Bonding over Breakfasts on Weekends ♥♥♥

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

First Time at Ramen Nagi and We're Definitely Going Back!

A couple of months ago we were invited by my BIL to try his favorite Ramen in the Metro -- Ramen Nagi!

It was his treat so off we went...

And we were so lucky because he was right, it was one of the BEST indeed!

The thing is, this Ramen is VERY TASTY yet NOT SALTY. I love, love it!

Plus this Bailey's ice cream dessert, our meal at Ramen Nagi was PEFECT!

Will we ever go back? Oh yes, DEFINITELY!

For reservations, you can check out the following information...
Address: 12 ADB Ave, San Antonio, Mandaluyong, 1605 Metro Manila, Philippines
Hours: Opens from 10AM to 10PM
Phone: +63 2 696 5875

Why you Need to Keep your Thoughts Positive...

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Runaway (U & I)....

REPOSTING: Jumpstart your kid’s saving skills by MomCenter.com.ph

Here's another article worth posting for us parents. Saving skills are skills that our kids will benefit for the rest of their lives. It's nice to stumble upon an article that will help us teach them how to do it. ♥♥♥

Jumpstart your kid’s saving skills by MomCenter.com.ph

Parents, when do you start teaching your kids the value of money? At what age do you begin giving them allowances? When they want to buy something high-value, do you buy it for them or let them save up?

Among many important values, I think being money-wise is something parents should teach their kids early.

With our kids returning to school in a few days, allowances and budgeting are some of the concerns we and our kids will be dealing with. Here are some tips on how to help your kids learn the value of saving.

1. Teach them the concept of saving early on with piggy banks. What my kids and I do is start a piggy bank account at the beginning of the year and use the savings for something they want for themselves during Christmas. This way, they will learn in a tangible way that saving money has its rewards.

2. Give older children allowances. My two daughters started receiving a weekly allowance when they got to Grade 3. Hub and I decided to give the allowance weekly instead of daily to teach them how to budget. If they used up the allowance before the week was over, sorry – they’ll have to do better next time.

I also encourage my kids to set aside a small amount from their allowances – a few coins each day will do. Last Christmas, Patch told me she wanted to give gifts to her classmates. I told her I only had little budget for that, and if she wanted to spend more, she will have to save for it. And so she saved from her allowances.

An allowance gives kids some feeling of empowerment, as well as a sense of responsibility. As they master their spending and budgeting skills, they become more confident.

3. Live by example. The kids must see how you yourselves as their parents are saving and budgeting. We can’t tell them “no, that’s too expensive” when they see us splurging on unnecessary luxuries, can we? When I buy groceries, I compare prices and stick to the ones I know are cheaper but with comparable quality. My kids have seen me whip out the calculator in the supermarket and compare, say, toilet paper prices per roll. LOL. I think my kids have absorbed the price-conscious attitude.

4. Let them spend their money. On the opposite end of saving is spending. I think it is not good to be too stingy to the point of Scrooge-ness. It’s good to let your kids enjoy the fruits of their savings once in a while. Spend and save in moderation – I think that’s a good guide. (My Chinese Hub would say “always save more than what you spend.”)

Guide your child as he/she decides on the purchase. Sometimes, letting your child make a mistake is a good learning experience that he/she will remember for a long time. This is something I learned from Hub – don’t be afraid to let the kids make mistakes because that’s how they learn.

5. Open a savings account. Again, a good time to do this would be after Christmas and New Year when they have gotten ang paos (red envelop) or money gifts from angkong and ama, titos and titas, or ninongs and ninangs.


Quick Dinner at Maginhawa St.

We had dinner at Maginhawa Street a couple of months ago, but unfortunately I couldn't remember the name of the restaurant. ACK!

The place was a bit small though but, the food was cheap and good.

Any ideas what is the name of this restaurant?

I would love to go back here again!

Our First Breakfast at Denny's. YUM!

My favorite breakfast place just opened a couple of months ago in BGC and of course, I made sure to try it as soon as possible! I couldn't wait for the Husband to try it too!

First things first, coffee...

Unfortunately the coffee was not THAT GOOD. I'm hoping they have better coffee next time!

But, the omelette! They are unforgettable!

And the husband was pretty happy with their big breakfast.

Now, I miss the States! Hope I could go back there one of these days. (*wink*)

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Happy and Relaxing Weekend
2. Father's Day
3. Lunch at Gloria Maris
4. Dimsum
5. Blogging and Saving Memories
6. Project Life
7. Soccer
8. School
9. Friends
10. Households

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

2016 Bonding in Beijing: Quick Breakfast + Wangfujing Catholic Church + Saying Goodbye to Beijing

It is our last day in Beijing and what we decided to do was have a quick breakfast, visit the Church and thank the Lord for all these blessings, including being able to visit China.

So first, breakfast. It was really quick. Won't blog about it that much anymore since the food was just ok. We didn't even get the dimsum that we've been craving for days. LOL!

Next stop, the Wangfujing Catholic Church.

Located at Wangfujing Street in Beijing, the East Church (also known as Wangfujing Catholic Church) is the most conspicuous cathedral in Beijing. It was the second Catholic Church which was built only after the South Cathedral. It was originally named after Joseph, the father of Jesus Christ, as ‘Saint Joseph’s Church’. After several restorations in recent years, it has become not only an important venue of Catholics, but also a cultural site with unique features in the Wangfujing Area. SOURCE.

Its architectural style is Romanesque with Chinese architectural features. The whole building is of gray brick and wood structure. It is a typical model of the fusion of Chinese and western architecture style.

After the original surrounding walls were removed, the European-gray-spire building takes off its mysterious coat and comes into the sight of tourists. SOURCE.

The Catholic Church is situated in the middle of the East Church, facing the west. The church sits on a bluestone base. There are three crosses on the top, among which the middle one is bigger than the side ones. The hall is supported by 18 round brick columns. The diameter of each column is 65 cm (2 feet) and the base of each column is square. On both sides of the hall hang many oil paintings like Crucifixion of Jesus or Passion of the Christ. Besides, many precious religious paintings drawn by Giuseppe Castiglione are preserved.

The square in front of the church, covering over 8,000 square meters ( 8,6000 square feet), is now completed. The square is surrounded by trees and on both sides there are benches for pedestrians. Now, it is not only a convenient mass center for the catholic, but also a place for visitors to explore the religious culture and even a popular scene for some youths in Beijing to take wedding photos.

1.Take Bus 103, 102, 104, 803, 814, 808 and get off at Dong’anmen Market, then head north about 300yd (270m).
2. Take Subway Line 5 and get down at the Dengshikou, then head toward Cypress Hutong for about 300yd (270m) SOURCE.

Visit this Church! It is a must!

Our trip to Beijing was indeed interesting. A bit challenging to move from one place to another, but still, it was memorable and an experience that we will never forget. (*wink*)

Mind my own Business...

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: We Could be Amazing by Andy Grammer

Such a cool song by Andy Grammer. Love it!

Have a blessed Sunday, peeps!

REPOSTING: 7 Habits for Money Smart Mamas from MomCenter.PH

Most of our kids are back to school by now. We enjoyed summer immensely but whew! I could say that with all our getaways and trips to the malls during the hot season, we somehow didn't expect all the expenses we made.

So, I'm starting all over again when it comes to finances and here are great tips from MomCenter.ph that we parents need to be a "Smart Mama".

Read on...

7 Habits for Money Smart Mamas

By traditional standards, men are the primary providers of the family while women are responsible for the home. In these modern times however, most households now have 2 wage earners, because more women are now opting to work…hence the birth of the working mama.

Interestingly enough, the jurisdiction over household matters still falls under the job description of the wife…and this includes the domestic finances. Why is that? One may surmise that it is the woman’s attention to detail that make her more skilled at managing the nitty gritties of household finances. And this is true, but women are also the more emotional gender, which makes the fairer sex more likely to make impulsive decisions.

Women, moms in particular, have a lot to juggle in their lives and adding one more thing: money matters…can be a little overwhelming. But the need to prioritize the family’s financial health is no small matter. If left to neglect, the consequences could be severe. Thus, the importance of developing money smart habits cannot be emphasized enough.

1. Set goals and create guidelines to achieve them. Always begin with the end in mind. Before you set guidelines for saving and spending, put the numbers down and work towards them. Saving for a house? Starting a tuition fund? Looking into buying insurance? Identify your goals and create actionable plans to work towards them.

2. Live within your means. Avoid debt by consciously living within your means. For example, if you earn 30,000 a month, try to create buffer for planning your monthly budget so that you can put a percentage of this into savings.

3. Identify the difference between wants and needs. Did you really need to eat out tonight, or would you have saved money by enjoying a simple meal at home? Do you really need another car, or can you work around commuting? Do you really need that new iPhone? Or will the one you are using last a few more years?

4. Avoid borrowing money, even on credit. Everybody knows this, but old habits die hard. Credit cards create the illusion of having more money than you actually have. Here’s a tip. Withdraw the amount of money you have set aside for your monthly budget and pay for everything in cash. This will help you to become more disciplined and discerning about your expenses, because you no longer have a seemingly “unlimited” spending power.

5. Learn to say no. As moms, we are often pulled in many directions when it comes to the pressures of spending vs. saving but the best thing we can do for ourselves and for our families is to learn how to say no. Remember that when you say no to something you want buy may not need, you are saying yes to taking one step closer to kind of life that you and your husband are working towards for your family.

6. Track your expenses. Know where your money goes! Between grocery receipts, utility bills, and tuition invoices, knowing exactly where every peso goes can be tedious, but these tracking tools will be your best friend at the end of the month when you do your check and balance.

7. Always be learning. There are numerous books that written to make financial literacy accessible to the average woman. Why not pick one up to get tips from the experts to further refine your household’s financial management.

While developing smart money habits are a good place to start, like the experience of every student, moms must be patient with themselves. There’s no need to expect to get every habit down perfectly right away. It will truly be the small changes we make in our habits every day that will make all the difference.


2016 Bonding in Beijing: Summer Palace is Love.

And, we finally arrived the Summer Palace. ♥

The construction started in 1750 as a luxurious royal garden for royal families to rest and entertain. It later became the main residence of royal members in the end of the Qing Dynasty. However, like most of the gardens of Beijing, it could not elude the rampages of the Anglo-French Allied Force and was destroyed by fire. According to historical documents, with original name as 'Qingyi Garden' (Garden of Clear Ripples), the Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) was renamed after its first reconstruction in 1888. It was also recorded that Empress Dowager Cixi embezzled navy funds to reconstruct it as a resort in which to spend the rest of her life. In 1900, Yiheyuan suffered another hit by the Eight-Power Allied Force and was repaired in the next two years. In 1924, it was open to the public. It ranked amongst the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1998, as well as one of the first national AAAAA tourist spots in China. SOURCE.

With so many sights to see, I didn't know where to look!

The court area. It is located in the northeast of the Summer Palace, and it spreads from East Palace Gate to the northeast coast of Kunming Lake. This was a substitute where Empress Dowager Cixi and Emperor Guangxu met officials and conducted state affairs. With the same pattern of the imperial palace of China-'Palace in front and garden behind', the Court Area consists of sections for both court affairs and living. East Palace Gate and Hall of Benevolence and Longevity served as office of the Emperor. The Hall of Jade Ripples was for Guangxu to live in and the Hall of Joyful Longevity for Cixi. There are also the Garden of Virtue and Harmony where Cixi was entertained and Yiyun Hall where once lived the Empress Longyu. Moreover, this area is an integrated transport hub and the first best stop for visitors to enjoy attractive view of Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill.SOURCE.

Took a quick break and decided to try this... YUM!

Rear Hill Area. It is quiet as compared to Front Hill Area. Most constructions were never able to be repaired after wars, only a few ruins are left. In the axis of Rear Hill Area, there used to be a religious building group-Houda Temple, a composite structure with both Han and Tibetan characters. Although the constructions are fewer here, it has a unique landscape with dense green trees and winding paths. Strolling here, visitors can feel a rare tranquility and elegance. Famous scenic spots include Garden of Harmonious Interests, Hall of Increasing Longevity, Four Great Regions, Presence of Virtue Temple and Hall of Serenity, etc. SOURCE.

Planning to go there as well? Here are the steps on how to get there...

Tourists can enter the palace from the North Palace Gate, the East Palace Gate, the New Palace Gate and the West Palace Gate.

By Bus:
Take bus 330, 331, 332, 346, 508, 579, 584, 601, 608 or 696, get off at Yiheyuan Station and then walk west to the East Palace Gate.
Take bus 469 or 539 and get off at Yiheyuan West Palace Gate Station.
Take bus 331, 332, 333(内), 333(外), 375, 432, 438, 498, 508, 579, 584, 594, 601, 664, 697, Te 18, Te 19, Te 6, Yuntong 106, Yuntong 114 or Yuntong 118, get off at Yiheyuanlu Dongkou Station (The Eastern End of Yiheyuan Road) and then walk west to the East Palace Gate.
Take bus 303, 330, 331, 346, 375, 563, 584 or 594, and get off at Yiheyuan North Palace Gate Station.
Take bus 74, 374, 437 or 952 and get off at Xin Jian Gong Men (Yiheyuan New Palace Gate) Station.

By Subway:
1. Subway Line 4: get off at Beigongmen, take exit D and walk to the North Palace Gate; or get off at Xiyuan to reach the East Palace Gate from exit C2.
2. Subway Line 16: get off at Xiyuan and leave from exit C2. Walk west to the East Palace Gate.