Dick Bruna Huis

My dad traveled often to Japan when we were young, so we grew up with all these Japanese toys and stationery.
You could say my love for anything Japanese probably started with the toys.
One of the things my dad used to bring back were Miffy items, long before I came to know Hello Kitty.
The Japanese are gaga over Miffy. I myself haven’t outgrown them.


Created in 1955 by Dutch illustrator Dick Bruna, the cute little rabbit is called “Nijntje” (pronounced nein-che) in Holland. Dick Bruna, now in his 80s, continues to live and work in Utrecht with his wife.
A few years ago, Jeroen had even seen him on a bike. To me, he looks as adorable as Nijntje.

For me, it was a must to visit the Dick Bruna Huis while we were in Utrecht.
Jeroen knew the way and held my hand as we walked from our apartment in Plompetorengracht to the museum center.

This way!

Dick Bruna Huis

This gilded Nijntje will greet you at the entrance

Dick Bruna Huis

I love the cute little details against the high ceiling

Dick Bruna Huis entrance

Cuteness everywhere

Dick Bruna Huis

The space is really more for little children, not adults on their second childhood (like me).
It has a library of all the Nijntje books to read and listen to

Dick Bruna Huis

Many interactive activities for the young ones


Dick Bruna Huis

Dick Bruna Huis

Cute TV stand

all incorporated within great Dutch design

Dick Bruna huis

Of course my favorite kind of display is the kind you can buy and take home. I cannot leave a museum without stopping by the store.

awesome shop at the dick bruna huis

I got my eye on the Miffy lamps next time, for Christian’s room

miffy lamp!

Miffy lamps

I also wanted the Rietveld Junior chair, but it was bordering on the heavy

Rietveld child's chair

Rietveld child's chair

Comes in other colors

Rietveld child's chair

We bought Christian the cutest little T-shirts, and for me, just a postcard which reminded me of me—until friends pointed out it looks like a girl in a coffin, when I thought it looked like a girl in a greenhouse.
What’s your interpretation: girl in a glass coffin or girl in a greenhouse?
I wish I could ask Dick Bruna himself.
Dick Bruna
To know more about the Dick Bruna Huis, click HERE.

The most delightful people

Bob: The most terrifying day of your life is the day the first one is born.
Charlotte: Nobody ever tells you that.
Bob: Your life, as you know it… is gone, never to return. But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you will ever meet in your life.
—Lost In Translation

Jeroen bought the wrong goggles

It’s a blessing that your children do not see you the way others do, or even the way you see yourself.
For them, I can wear a pink dress with yellow shoes. They associate me with flowers and butterflies and pink and purple rooms. They leave me notes and flowers.

Christian gave me a flower

They do not see a person weighed down by fears, phobias, pains, and constant battles with myself and the outside world. For no matter how others see me, there will always be the boys at home who think I am an angel and a loving mom.


Thank you for all your well wishes. :)

Y-3 opens at Bonifacio High Street

The tough go shopping.
Yesterday after my meeting, I headed over to visit Jappy Gonzalez in the new Y-3 standalone store he’s opening at the new Bonifacio High Street extension.
Y-3 is the retail first store to open in the building, along with Fred Perry. To find it, go to Jamba Juice and look for the entrance to the new building on the right.
We were lucky to get a sneak peek—and first dibs—on the store and merchandise.


The Japanese were busy working when we arrived.


There’s Miyami Ise, Y-3 Retail Supervisor, Global Fashion Group


Nobuyoshi Mizuhaya, Architect for Y-3


Tina Ong, Assistant Buyer of H&F Retail Concepts, is the person to look for. She knows all the pieces and wears them well.


Check out the dress that turns into a skirt


Some of the pieces we loved: the shoes



The shorts x pleated skirt


The black dresses


The men’s pieces—I wish they had in girls’ sizes, like the shorts and track pants in one


The thoughtful shorts, where Yohji Yamamoto thinks of the jogger who needs a place for some essentials


The pants with the removable pouch



The pants with four functional pockets: two in front


Two in the back


The good news is: Yohji Yamamoto is back on track with clothes that are comfortable, practical, architectural, sporty, and doesn’t scream the Y-3 logo. Check out the new looks for Spring-Summer 2012:

Y-3 SS12

Some of it reminds me of me!

Y-3 SS12

Y-3 SS12

I bought the shoes and stretch pants. I love the platformness of the shoes and the comfy pants—I need two* of these!

Y-3 SS12

Loads of cool pieces for the guys

Y-3 SS12

And oooh….is that a half-jacket?

Y-3 SS12

*Warning: Jappy’s favorite number seems to be 2. So go before the 2nd piece gets sold out.
Visit Y-3 at the Bonifacio High Street Extension, next to Jamba Juice.

Amsterdam with kids

On our last full day in the Netherlands, I asked Jeroen if we could take the kids to Amsterdam.
It was a nice day for a walk.

The boys in Utrecht

Took the train at Utrecht Centraal and arrived at Amsterdam Centraal 20 minutes later.

Utrecht Centraal

Our first stop was probably the best souvenir shop in the city. I forget the name, bu we bought loads of cute stuff.
I was too busy to take photos, except for this cute Vincent van Gogh bike

van Gogh Bike

Before anything else, we were starving. Luckily the kids agreed to eat in this shoarma place next door.
Meet Jeroen’s shoarma plate

Jeroen's turkey shoarma plate

and Marky’s chicken shoarma with rice. This was so good, Marky was slightly annoyed that everyone was picking off his plate.

Marky's Chicken shoarma with rice

We were tricked into entering this dumb Medieval Torture Museum, which should be shut down by the Dutch department of tourism. Please do NOT make the mistake of stopping here.

Medieval Torture Museum, Amsterdam

We spent about 50 euro to look at boring wax figures in various situations of torture.

Medieval Torture Museum, Amsterdam


Medieval Torture Museum, Amsterdam

Thank God that was short. We proceeded to Madame Tussaud’s wax museum in the heart of the Dam Square.
The building looked promising and exciting, which was the opposite of what’s actually inside

Madame Tussaud in Amsterdam

I suppose it’s one of those things you want to experience once and never again. What else can you do but look at wax figures, pose with them, and decide if it looks like the real thing or not.

I have no idea

I have no idea who this lame figure is, but the one on the left is my son


Kate Middleton looked real enough

Kate, William, Ben

With Bond. James Bond.

The boys and Sean Connery


Ben and Obama

Jeroen with Freddy Heineken

Jeroen with Freddy Heineken

Ben wanted this picture for Tita Grace

Ben wanted to take this photo for TIta Grace

With Bieber

Marky, Justin, Ben

Van Gogh

Ben and van Gogh

Lance Armstrong, and more.

Lance Armstrong and Ben

Tiring, but the kids loved it. (As for me, been there, done that.)
After the museum we searched for special Dutch chocolate for my dad at Pucci Bomboni.

Puccini Bomboni in Amsterdam

It smelled really good, Markus couldn’t help but get his own bag of pure milk chocolate, which he ate in the store.

Puccini Bomboni in Amsterdam

Right across is an old cheese shop where we bought more pasalubong

Old cheese shop, Amsterdam

Old cheese shop, Amsterdam

Mission accomplished and our bags full, it was time to head back to Utrecht for some home-cooked sinigang.

I finally heard from McDo!

And here’s their response:

McDonald's letter

My note:

Dear Dorothy,
I will continue to patronize McDonald’s all over the world, but I will probably never use your unreliable online delivery service. I am better off sending the driver, eating at home, or buying Jollibee. :)
Hope that my blog entry will push McDonald’s to improve their online delivery service for the sake of many hungry people in the Philippines.
Thanks for your reply,

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