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Spotlight | To PH With Love.

Unlike other couples, my husband and I really don't celebrate Valentine's Day. Aside from the fact that we've been physically apart for the past six Valentine's (this year will be the seventh), we just don't like the thought of 'joining the Valentine bandwagon' - you know, flowers and chocolates and all that mushy stuff.

Surprisingly, however, this year is an exception. My husband sent an early present that's actually within the norm of Valentine's Day gifts! (Three years ago I got a cookware set for Valentines, how cool is that?!) But they're not for me, though. They're for Yue, which made this present extra special.
A surprise from Daddy!
Apparently, the husband tapped the services of To:PH With Love, a newly-established company that aims to help OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) around the world to send gifts to their families here in the Philippines. Gifts can be in the form of flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals, even surprise parties for your loved ones.
Made possible by To:PH with Love.
Pre-packaged gift sets are also available, such as the one the husband sent. This gift set in particular contains an assortment of chocolates and a teddy bear keyring housed in a cute ice cream cone.
Sweet treats inside!
Yue was thrilled to discover that the ice cream cone is actually a coin bank. He asked my grandmother for coins and deposited them inside the cone right away.
Saving for a rainy day. :)
This gift arrived at our place last weekend, and could not have come at a better time. You see, we had a bit of mishap at the barbers last Saturday, which led to the skinhead cut. Yue didn't like the thought of having his precious hair hacked off (he really loved his high fade pompadour), and cried a river while sitting in the barbers chair. When we got home, this package was practically waiting at the doorstep and it was more than enough to cheer Yue up and make him forget about the barbershop brouhaha. Whew! :)
Thanks, Daddy!
And thank you, To PH With Love!
Still on the lookout for Valentine's gifts? Let To PH With Love help you in selecting the perfect gift for your loved ones!

To PH with Love
Manila, Philippines


Seoul Searching | Gyeongbokgung Palace.

After enjoying the sights and sounds of Bukchon Hanok Village, Yue and I took a leisurely stroll down the streets of Samcheongdong as we made our way to nearby Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Lost in Seoul? Ask these ladies for directions.
They'd be more than glad to help you!
Quirky displays are a familiar sight at Samcheongdong.

Polar Bear and Yue Bear.
Jinsun Book Cafe.
'Nearby' is actually an understatement because it took us about fifteen minutes or so before we reached Sinmumun Gate, the north gate that's right across Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House) where the President of Korea resides. And mind you, we were walking in the dead of winter! 
Daehan Minguk! 
Sinmumun Gate used to be closed to the public for a long time because of its proximity to Cheong Wa Dae, but it was finally made accessible in 2006, at the insistence of then president Roh Moo-hyun.
The pathway leading to Sinmumun Gate.
Cheong Wa Dae.
Yue was starting to get whiny from all that walking, but I just kept on telling him, 'We're almost there, just a few more steps'. Took us probably a thousand to get there. Haha!
Sinmumun Gate, finally!
He heaved a sigh of relief after we reached the north gate, but his relief turned to worry after realizing how huge the palace grounds were.

The grandeur of Gyeongbokgung after the jump!


Seoul Searching | Bukchon Hanok Village.

Don't you just love long weekends?
I, for one, love it because I can stay up late and catch up on my Kdramas. I don't have to wake up early the next day, and instead of fixing breakfast, we can just head over to the nearest McD's and have brunch. Oh, and long weekends also give me the chance to update my blog and catch up on my writing backlogs. Just like what I'm doing right now. :)

Let me continue with my Seoul Searching series (because you know, we're not even halfway through) on the day we visited Bukchon Hanok Village. In an old blog post from 2014, I listed this as one of the must-see places in Korea. Little did I know that one year later - on Christmas Eve, to be exact - we would actually be setting foot in this picturesque neighborhood.

'Twas pretty cold that day, so I made sure Yue and I were all bundled up. And because I didn't want Yue to be out in the cold for too long while waiting for the next bus to arrive, we decided to take a cab all the way to Jongno, where the Bukchon Hanok Village is located.
Oh yes, it was freezing that day.
If I remember correctly, our cab fare was around 8000 won. Riding a bus and using the subway would be much cheaper, but it's a tad difficult when you're not very familiar with the subway lines AND you have a kid in tow. (If you're taking the subway, get off at Anguk Station Line 3 Exit 2.)
Three layers of clothing was the minimum. For me, at least.
But at least we got there in no time.
Hello, Hanok! 
The beauty of Bukchon after the jump!


Spotlight | Ever Bilena Eyeshadow Palette.

When I came home from my Korea trip a few weeks ago, a bunch of packages was literally waiting for me at my doorstep. And inside one of those packages were these Eyeshadow Palettes from Ever Bilena. These palettes were launched sometime last December, and it's always a thrill for me to get first dibs on Ever Bilena's new products.
Ever Bilena Eyeshadow Palettes.
Ingredients and other product info at the back.
The Ever Bilena Eyeshadow Palettes come in a sleek and compact packaging with a transparent plastic lid. Underneath the lid is a mirror, which comes in handy when you're travelling, and the usual sponge tip applicator. Both palettes contain six eyeshadow pans.
Ever Bilena Eyeshadow Palette in Pink.
The shades in the Pink Eyeshadow Palette are warm, vivid, and shimmery, which makes this palette more suitable for parties and nights-out. 
Six shimmery shades.
The first two shades in this palette can be used as a highlighter, while the right-most shade can be used as an eyeliner. Shade #3 is a lovely frosted pink shade, while shades #4 and #5 are gorgeous hues of rose gold.
Shades 1-4 at the top, shades 5-6 at the bottom.
On the other hand, the Brown Eyeshadow Palette contains cool and muted earth colors that are perfect for daily wear. 
Ever Bilena Eyeshadow Palette in Brown.
The leftmost shade in this palette can be used as a highlighter, while the last shade on the right can double as an eyeliner. Shades #2 and #3 have a matte finish, while shade #4 has a pearlescent finish with a hint of shimmer.
Gotta love them earth colors!
I love how all the shades in both palettes are nicely pigmented, and how the colors stay on for hours. I also love the soft, buttery texture of these eyeshadows, which makes them easy to apply and blend. They do have a bit of fall-out so I suggest you use a primer to lessen the fall-out and to extend the product's wear time as well.
Shades 1-4 on top, shades 5 and 6 at the bottom.
The best part? These eyeshadow palettes cost only Php 150 each! Not only are they very affordable, they can also be easily bought at department stores, supermarkets, and even drugstores nationwide. 

If you're on the lookout for quality eyeshadow without having to bust your budget, I would highly recommend these palettes from Ever Bilena. :)


Big Necklaces Can Make a Statement.

Among the biggest trends in fashion today is the "statement" necklace. These necklaces are given that name because they tend to be large, eye-catching, and make a true statement about the wearer's fashion choices and personality.

There are several different varieties of statement necklaces that are available for purchase in most stores and boutiques today. One of the more expensive options may be a necklace that includes actual gemstones. With these necklaces, a single, large gem hanging as a pendant can make a bold statement alone. Other options in this style can include necklaces made up of a great many smaller stones. These necklaces may feature stones arranged in an elaborate pattern.
Photo credit: Glamour.
A second bold option comes in the form of large, elaborate necklaces that feature natural-looking items. Some popular statement necklaces are made with glass, plastic, or other materials that are formed into the shape of flowers, butterflies, or other types of plants or animals. These necklaces are geared toward being worn with both formal and informal clothing, and tend to be a little less expensive than gemstone necklaces.

Tribal necklaces can also make a huge statement for the wearer, and are available for both women and men. These necklaces range in style vastly, depending on where you buy them and what type of necklace you may be looking for. Some feature long, oval-shaped stones surrounded by beading. Others mimic the style of regular statement necklaces, with large and small stones scattered throughout in a big pattern. While other statement necklaces are elaborate, they are not generally as brightly colored as those patterned after the jewelry worn by members of native tribes.

Finally, statement necklaces can come in the form of plentiful beads. These necklaces are available in a wide range of colors, and they consist of many different strands of beads fused together to form one large necklace. This style is popular in many different parts of the country among women from all walks of life due to its modern, yet classic look.

Making a statement is not hard, especially if you find the right type of jewelry. The catch with statement necklaces is to choose pieces individually. Don't overwhelm your body with too many large jewelry pieces, or with clothing featuring too many patterns. Keep it simple and let your chosen jewelry truly shine.

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