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Pucker Up! | Ever Bilena Matte Lipstick in Vivid Violet.

Just recently, Ever Bilena introduced a new shade to their Matte Lipstick collection. If you're following Ever Bilena on their social media sites, then you've probably seen photos and teasers of this new shade. And boy, I sure am glad to be able to get first dibs of this new product, all the more because it comes in my favorite color - violet!
Thank you, Ever Bilena! :)
Aptly named Vivid Violet, it's a warm purple color with subtle pink-red undertones. It's the kind of lipstick that you'll love to wear all throughout autumn.
Shade is indicated on the box flap, and can be seen on the lipstick cap.
True to its name, this lipstick has very vivid color, and is highly pigmented, too. This shade has a bit of resemblance to MAC Strong Woman, at least from my point of view. Some say it's a dupe for yet another purple MAC lipstick - Heroine.
Vivid Violet.
 I love its creamy texture, which allows for easy application. It doesn't pull or tug at the lips, unlike some of the Ever Bilena Matte Lipsticks that I've tried.
Violet is love!
Staying power is pretty good, too - four or five hours at the most, with a bit of eating and drinking.
Vivid Violet, swatched.
Vivid Violet on my lips.
What I love:

- The color!
- Creamy texture.
- Easy to apply.
- Doesn't pull or tug.
- Decent staying power.
- Affordable price.

What you might not like:
- The bullet does not seem to be very sturdy, 
which runs the risk of knocking the lipstick off its base.

Ever Bilena Matte Lipstick in Vivid Violet retails for Php 165 a pop and is available at department stores, drug stores, and even supermarkets nationwide.


Foodie Goodie | Cusina de Sabang.

Every so often, my mommy friends (ergo, the moms at my son's school that I'm friends with) and I would come together and do something fun. And by something fun, it would mean either shopping or eating. Well, for us, it's mostly eating. Haha.

Last week, we decided to try Cusina de Sabang, a local restaurant that's slowly gaining popularity among the people of San Pablo City and those living in nearby towns.
Cusina de Sabang.
Located along Sabang Road in Brgy. Concepcion, Cusina de Sabang has a picnic setting that's perfect for family meals, group dates with friends and coworkers, and even romantic dinner dates with your significant other. The restaurant is nestled along Bunot Lake, and you get a good view of it and Mount Mabilog as you enjoy your food.
Picnic tables.
Enjoy the view! :)
Now as for the food, here's what they have on the menu.
Cusina de Sabang menu. Click to enlarge.
I like that they have a variety of main dishes to choose from, but I wish they'd offer more dessert options. The dishes are fairly-priced, and are good for sharing.
Garlic Rice, Php 160.
It took awhile for the food to arrive, though. I even forgot to take a photo of the Sinigang na Ulo ng Salmon (Php 214) that we ordered because it was the last dish to be served, and we were already halfway through the other dishes by that time. To think we even requested that the Sinigang be served first, because we wanted soup for starters.
Crispy Pata, Php 385.
The Kare-Kare was pretty good - very flavorful, the meat was tender, and the vegetables were cooked just right. My only gripe was its consistency - too oily!
Kare-kare, Php 451. 
Their Special Canton is indeed special. I'd say it's one of the best pancit canton you can find here in San Pablo. Oh, and their Crispy Pata is to die for! The skin is crunchy and cooked to perfection, while the meat is juicy, flaky, and well-seasoned. 
Special Canton, Php 173.
If you're planning to visit Cusina de Sabang, I suggest you make a reservation first and inform them of your orders beforehand. That way, you won't have to wait a long time for your food to be served. Cusina de Sabang is open daily, from 8am to 10pm. 

602 Sabang Road, Brgy. Concepcion, San Pablo City
Tel. No. (049) 573 0462


Review | Converting Video to DVD with the Movavi Video Converter.

While more and more people nowadays watch videos on their PCs, smartphones, tablets and other devices – DVDs are still just as widely used too. Being able to keep a hardcopy of your videos that you can watch using any DVD player even in locations such as presentation halls is definitely helpful – but in order to do that you need to know how to convert your videos into a DVD-compatible format.

Even assuming you aren’t quite sure what sort of format DVDs utilize, or where to begin when it comes to video conversion – the Movavi Video Converter will make it easy. With its support for over 180 file formats, you should be able to convert your video files into DVD-compatible formats for sure – and the best part is that it is so intuitive that you probably won’t break a sweat while you do so.

It may seem surprising, but converting your video to DVD will simply consist of adding it to the software, selecting a DVD format from the list that is available, and clicking ‘Convert’. The Movavi Video Converter’s list of DVD formats supports both PAL and NTSC – and if you aren’t sure which to use you shouldn’t worry because modern DVD players support both anyway.

That really is all that it takes to convert videos with the Movavi Video Converter – and if you’d like to convert your videos into any other format you can do so too. In fact, even if you don’t know what format or settings you should use you could select a device or platform from the presets available and it will automatically set up the conversion accordingly.

Before you do finalize your DVD video, you may want to also explore the other features of the Movavi Video Converter – some of which will provide attractive and intriguing options such as: Splitting your video into segments and removing unwanted parts of merging clips together. Inserting customizable text directly to your video to create subtitles, captions, watermarks, and more. Cropping the video frame or rotating its orientation. Improving the quality of your videos and correcting common issues such as blurry, shaky, or pixelated footage. Extracting audio tracks from videos (or segments of videos). Creating animated GIFs out of short video clips. Taking screenshots directly from video frames. Converting both image and audio files.

Whether you want to use these additional features is up to you – but suffice to say, they’ll put even more options on the table. Whatever the case, you should now be able to convert your videos to DVD with no problem – and once the file is converted you should be able to burn it onto a DVD and finish the job.


Seoul Searching | Mouse Rabbit Cafe.

"Mommy, are we done looking at the palace? I want to go home!" Yue kept on asking halfway through our Gyeongbokgung Palace tour. "Almost done, just a few more pictures!" I kept on telling him.

My seven-year-old was getting impatient and cranky, and I could not blame him. We've been walking all morning, starting from that uphill tour of the Bukchon Hanok Village. I was feeling pretty tired myself, and cold, too. It was winter, after all, and the temperature that day was at 4 degrees Celsius.

Yue was all smiles when we exited Gwanghwamun Gate, very much excited at the thought of going home. We could have gone straight to nearby Dongdaemun, but I chose not to because Yue gets very impatient whenever I go shopping.

"Yue, let's have cake before we go home," I told him with a bright smile. He gave me a tired look, but agreed with me anyway. And so we hailed a cab, and headed straight for Mouse Rabbit Cafe. Yes, it's the coffee shop owned by Yesung of Super Junior. And that's exactly the main reason why we went all the way to Hwayangdong for cake (and coffee, too).
Mouse Rabbit, finally!
Traffic was a bit heavy that day (maybe because it was Christmas Eve?), and it took us about twenty minutes or so to get to the cafe. Yue slept in the backseat the entire time; it took me forever to wake him up. Good thing the cab driver was very kind. "Aga, ireona... ireona..." (Wake up, son) he said, while tapping Yue lightly on the knee. After a few minutes of coaxing, Yue was awake and managed to alight from the cab.
The Mouse and the Rabbit.
"We're here?" he asked while yawning. "Yes, we just walk a few steps down this alley, and look! There it is!" I said, pointing towards the logo of the mouse and rabbit. Yue gamely posed for photos outside the cafe.
Welcome to Mouse Rabbit!
We made a beeline for the restroom before we placed our orders. Sorry, I didn't take pictures inside the restroom. Haha! But I did take photos - lots of photos - inside the cafe.

Welcome to Mouse Rabbit!


Pucker Up! | Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick.

What do you usually do when you're killing time at the mall?
Hang out at coffee shops? Watch people? Window shop? Me, I like hanging out at makeup counters and swatching products - more specifically, lipsticks.

I was at the Maybelline counter some two weeks ago and that's when I first fell in love with the Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick. I swatched several shades of different lipstick variants but these Creamy Matte ones really piqued my interest. I was able to resist buying them at that time, but only because I kept telling myself that I have yet to use the lipsticks that I bought in Korea.

One week later (last Friday, to be exact) I was back at the Maybelline counter, not swatching, but actually purchasing them lipsticks. I just could not resist any longer, especially after Maybelline announced on their Facebook page that these Creamy Matte lippies are on sale for Valentine's weekend.
Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipsticks.
From Php 299, the Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick went on sale at just Php 199 each. Good enough reason to buy them, right? :)
Original price Php 299. Sale price Php 199.
There are 20 shades in the Creamy Matte line, but only 10 shades were on display at the Maybelline counter. All of the shades were gorgeous, but I had to limit myself to just two. And because most of the lip products in my stash are either pink or red, I went for the 'darker' shades in the selection - Touch of Spice and Divine Wine.
Finally gave in to the temptation!
Because a girl can never have too many lipsticks, lol.
Divine Wine and Touch of Spice.
Touch of Spice on the left, Divine Wine on the right.
Divine Wine, the darkest shade in the collection, is a deep shade of red wine with brown undertones. This shade has amazing pigmentation and is incredibly long-wearing. I ate a full meal, drank water, had coffee, but the color on my lips still looked perfect - as if I had not eaten or anything.
Divine Wine.
Touch of Spice, on the other hand, is a muted shade of plum with brown undertones. The shade is perfect for daily wear and is neither too brown to look like something my grandma would wear, nor is it too purple to look vampy in the daytime.
Touch of Spice.
I love, love, love, the texture of these lipsticks. They're creamy and buttery at the same time, and they leave your lips with a lovely, matte finish. They're very easy to apply, they smell nice, they don't tug, and they glide on your lips like a dream. Most important of all, these lipsticks don't feel dry or heavy on the lips.
Touch of Spice on my lips.
Divine Wine on my lips.
What I love:
- Highly pigmented.
- Easy to apply.
- Non-drying, creamy formula.
- Lovely matte finish.
- Awesome staying power.
- Great shade selection.
- Affordable price.

What you might not like:
- Divine Wine's color transfers a bit (ergo, it leaves a stain on your coffee cup, on straws, anything that comes in contact with your lips).
- Touch of Spice tends to accentuate the lines on the lips after a few hours of wearing.
Other shades available from L-R: Mesmerizing Magenta, Siren in Scarlet, Craving Coral, Divine Wine, Touch of Spice.
Have you tried Maybelline's Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick? Which shades have you tried and which ones are your favorite/s? :)


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!