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Make Your Own Havaianas 2016 is turning Japanese!

There are many things to look forward to in April. Sure, it may be one of the hottest months of the year but it is when summer activities are in full swing. In Japan, cherry blossoms are in bloom, and this year, it is when the biggest flip-flops customization event in the country, Make Your Own Havaianas, will happen. 

This year’s Make Your Own Havaianas goes back to its roots.  We all know that our favorite flip flop brand was born in Brazil in 1962 but what most people do not know is that the very first flip flop was inspired by the Zori – flat, thonged Japanese Sandals made of fabric straps and rice straw soles.  Havaianas flip-flops as we know now still show marks of these iconic rice patterns!—which truly makes it a child of eastern Zen and western joy. 


The Giving Journal 2016 and Holiday Flavors of CBTL

Toffee Nut Flavor and Winter Dream Tea: CBTL's holiday flavors
Now that the spirit of the Christmas season is upon our midst, the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL) aims to bring joy in all forms, giving flavor, one cup at a time. For the holidays, CBTL launched its new offering to its avid customers  with these two special holiday flavors that make the perfect companions for celebrating the season. Each drink comes in two variations: an iced drink, and a warm latte.

Those with sweet tooth will be happy to try the Toffee Nut Flavor, which is a new addition to the menu. It is nspired by traditional holiday confections having buttery caramelized sugar with a hint of nut, paired with the richness of espresso and a sprinkle of toffee bits. In the Winter Dream Tea,  rooibos and black tea are blended with sweet spices and hints of Vanilla. Each drink was lovingly crafted to capture the spirit of Christmas in a cup, to be savored and enjoyed amidst the chaos of all holiday preparations.


Starbucks Presents Christmas 2015 Food Treats

Now that Christmas is just around the corner, let's spark the spirit with Starbucks! Let's celebrate the season with new food items you can enjoy with your favorite coffee.

Together with my other blogger friends, we were treated to sample these awesome holiday treats. Try them for yourselves and I bet you have to agree with me that they definitely add cheer to the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. Grab a bite of any of these goodies with your choice of Starbucks beverage in between your holiday shopping, then you're good to go!

These are available from November 2 until January 7, 2016.

Let your mouth drool with these five returning favorites:

Moist and decadent chocolate loaf topped with chocolate and toffee
₱ 70 (slice) ₱ 595 (whole)

Moist and chewy chocolate brownie with peppermint cheese filling topped with chocolate ganache. ₱75/slice

A penguin gingerbread cookie decorated with sugar icing
₱ 55

A tortilla filled with mouth-watering Mexican flavored chicken breast fillet. 
₱ 120

Seventeen layers of crepe filled with Belgian chocolate cream. 
₱ 130 (slice) ₱ 1,150 (whole)


My Unforgettable Trip to Nami Island, South Korea

Nami Island was one  of the best attractions I’ve been to in Korea last January. It is a popular tourist destination with almost 3 million tourists visiting the island annually in the recent years.

It was still winter in Seoul that time. Coming from a country which experiences summer practically all year round, boy, was it freezing cold!! Brrrr to the max! It was my first time to experience up to negative 5 degrees temperature. When we were in Nami Island, it was even MUCH COLDER. Forget your idea of a tropical sunny beach experience. A Nami Island experience is not one of those.

Nami is also called Naminara Republic or Namiseom, it is a little half-moon shaped island in Chuncheon, South Korea.

Our group got there by train starting at Sangbong station using the Gyeongchun Line and arrived at the Gapyeong station after about an hour of travel.

At this time of the year, snow is no longer visible in downtown Seoul so you could just imagine our happy faces when we had our first sight of snow (FIRST in our lifetime!) along the streets of Gapyeong. Of course, we stopped for a few minutes of ‘selfies' and 'groufies'  before anything else.


My Favorite Places in Baguio City

Ever since I was a kid it has been my dream to go to Baguio.  However, it was not until I was in my 30s that I was finally able to go to Baguio.

I have been to Baguio twice : in 2010 and in 2013. The first was with a group of friends while the 2013 trip was with my family: my kids, my sister, and my nephews.

my fambam!
My daughter Mikaela and her cousin Viem
I have fallen in love with Baguio's cool climate even though it has not been as cold as it was years ago. We enjoyed a chilly weather of 15 degrees Celsius temperature on October 2013. The kids loved it and there was no need to use the aircon unit at night!