Date night: Post partum edition

How was your weekend? After getting way too jealous about all the fun happening at The Hive, I tore myself away from Twitter and Instagram for a Date Night with my husband. Just him and me, for the first time in 11 months. No baby bump, no baby!

We left Tala at home with a babysitter, although Marlon is pulling a Tala face here because I said I missed her on the tram ride to the cinema. Yes, I’ve turned into a cliche. I consider it an achievement that I didn’t check up on her once, trusting the babysitter would contact me if something went wrong.

Date night The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is officially the most expensive movie we have ever seen, babysitting fees included. Hiring a babysitter is expensive! I love our life here, but this was one of those times I really felt the impact of living away from home. Back home, we wouldn’t have had a second thought about leaving Tala with my mom for Date Night. Being thousands of miles away from family, we don’t have that luxury.

It took a few conversations before we made the decision to hire a babysitter. I tried to forget that the cost of a babysitter for one evening can cover half a month’s pay for a full-time, live-in nanny in Manila. Instead, I tried to see it as an investment—literally, with a measurable monetary value—in our marriage. We’ve spent money investing in things. Why not in our relationship?

So, Marlon and I were determined to make the most of our four baby-free hours. We enjoyed the loud music and cramped cozy interiors of Los Pilones, the best Mexican restaurant in town and a personal favorite, definitely a place we couldn’t have gone with our baby. We enjoyed a long conversation over dinner, even though we talked about Tala half the time.

Mojito y margarita

And I enjoyed my first post-pregnancy mojito and margarita! Eleven months is a long time to wait for a margarita, and the ones at Los Pilones are worth it. Not only are they big, but they also come with a little refill jug for margarita-hungry mamas like me.

At the end of the evening, we came home to Tala feeling refreshed and lighthearted, knowing that we had made the right decision. We might even make Date Night a monthly affair, unless it’s one of those months when we’re crawling to payday (admit it, you’ve been there).

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Date Night? And, on a more serious note: I’m still thinking about the idea of making “investments” in a relationship. Any thoughts or advice?

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Eye Film Institute

Today I’m sharing some unpublished pictures that I found in my laptop. Last summer, Marlon and I went to see a movie at the recently built Eye Film Institute, which opened in April this year. It’s a gorgeous new piece of architecture along the IJ, just a five-minute free ferry ride from Centraal Station.

Eye Film Institute

Ladies and gentlemen, a warm summer evening in Amsterdam. Not kidding. This was back in August, when Little Mango was but a blob in my still (relatively) flat tummy. I think the Clockwork Orange guy was trying to warn me of the imminent disappearance of my waist.

Movie outfit

After the Art Deco splendor of the Tuschinski, the bright and shiny Eye is my new favorite place to watch a movie. The ferry ride makes it feel like an excursion, being on the other side of the IJ gives you a different view of the city, and inside it’s all clean whites, dynamic lines and modern geometry.

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