Love Chic

Cool Change

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Quick shoot at the airport before my trip to Seoul yesterday afternoon. It’s 8 degrees here when we arrived at night, but of course I couldn’t wear my jacket yet in the sweltering heat of Manila, heh. 

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A lot of firsts come with this, like the first time to (finally!) visit a favorite city, first time to travel with the whole family including cousins, and my first time out of the country on Holy Week.

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They say Lent comes in tandem with conversion—a change in attitudes, mindset, or principles. Sometimes, the change is temporary, like not eating meat or going on Facebook. Other times, the change is as profound as forming a new habit or subscribing to a different way of doing things. 

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Whichever the case, it’s a season usually associated with a somber and sobering kind of change. “Repent,” “penitence,” and “metanoia” become almost like buzzwords. As Christians, I realize that we’re supposed to spend this season reflecting on the Son of God made fully human, and the passion and death He had to suffer for our sins. But, whether or not one believes in His divinity, it’s hard to argue that Jesus was a highly intelligent, progressive, open-minded, and all-around cool person. As we journey towards becoming better persons, I’d like to believe He would rather we find happiness and delight in our hearts with the thought that we are so loved by God we were given His only Son, rather than guilt and anxiety and fear for all the wrongs we’ve committed and the punishment they deserve.

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I mentioned that there are many firsts about this Holy Week trip. I guess the most important of all is that for the first time, instead of the sadness Catholics seem “obligated” (for lack of a better word) to feel, I would rather we feel honored for the grace we’ve been receiving. Instead of a sacrifice borne out of penance or self-flagellation or self-deprivation, I would rather a commitment to give back and pay forward, all the love and kindness we experience. 

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Lent is all about change, but I’d like to think the things we do around it don’t have to be glum, compulsory, and consequently, unsustainable. We can be reflective and contrite and be doing them not out of obligation but with sincere and peaceful joy. ♥ 

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What I wore on the flight—laidback summery. Lemon yellow, grey and white colorblocking dress, Cole Vintage

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Even my suitcase was a fruity avocado green, subdued by an injection of white here and there. 

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Different shades. Grey shoulder bag, SM Accessories. 

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My two Pandora bracelets and Titan Raga watch, my go-to combination for when I don’t have a particular arm party in mind.

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Kitten-heeled pumps in grey and floral pastels, Forever 21. Hype this on Lookbook here, vote on Chictopia here. Let me know what you think of this post by commenting below. :) Korea series coming soon—hope you have an equally delightful week ahead!

And You’re Gonna Hear Me Roar.

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I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath. Scared to rock the boat and make a mess. 

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So I sat quietly. Agreed politely. I guess that I forgot I had a choice.

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I let you push me past the breaking point. I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything.

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You held me down.

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But I got up. Already brushing off the dust. Get ready ‘cause I’ve had enough.

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You hear my voice, you hear that sound. Like thunder, gonna shake the ground. I see it all, I see it now.

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I’ve got the eye of the tiger, a fighter dancing through the fire.

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'Cause I am a champion and you're gonna hear me roar.

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Now I’m floating like a butterfly. Stinging like a bee. I earned my stripes. 

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I went from zero…

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To my own hero.

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It’s an anthem everyone can claim for their own. But for those of you who know me and my story—the real one, not the one passed on through a friend of a friend of a friend embellished with amnesiac truths, then you’d know exactly why I wrote in Katy Perry’s lyrics instead of my own words. “Roar” is the life story of this (girl born in the year of the) tiger, and there is very little need for elaboration.

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Forever21 tiger shirt, Miss Sixty shorts. Special thanksJoanne Pecson (pictured above) and ETC Channel for inviting me to be the inspirational speaker on personal style during the ETC Campus Tour in UP Diliman a few weeks back.

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Antler Accessories necklace to go with the shirt’s studs.

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Forever21 nude stockings with cross prints, Skechers +3 wedge sneakers.

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Gel nails by St. Nails Spa.

Hype this on Lookbook above, favorite on Chictopia below.

Night’s Watch: Titan contest

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Unplanned shoot on a clear night. Filled in my brows, slapped on eyeliner and headed out with my mom for a few snaps, just as the sun had set. 

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I just bought this camo dress and remembered the awesome coincidence that I have a New Era cap and sneakers to go with it, so what the heck if we had nothing but lamp posts and a camera flash. Hype this outfit on Lookbook here, vote on Chictopia here.

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This giant toy soldier behind me is one of two that stands guard day in and day out at the entrance of this village. I think they were supposed to only serve as decorations last Christmas, but nobody had the heart to take them off-duty, and their post became permanent.

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There’s something quite liberating about gung-ho guerrilla shoots such as this one.

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Zero makeup save for the eyes, unkempt hair, sneakers. For the more glamorous fare, there’s almost that pressure to aim for the prettiest look and the best poses. 

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With this one, you can’t really try for more than a few shots per area. Everything has to be done quickly, so you have to take whatever you get and work with it.

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If you’re familiar with “Game of Thrones” then the title requires no explanations. The Night’s Watch is a military order sworn to protect The Wall, a massive structure made of ice, stone and magic that separates them humans from the wildings—nomadic folk and supernatural creatures that pose a threat to their kingdoms. 

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Majority of its members are former criminals, bastards and disgraced noblemen who were given the choice between condemnation or redemption by serving in the Night’s Watch, and chose the latter. Redemption themes hit close to home as you may know, thus this title.

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May we all be to ourselves and our loved ones as the Night’s Watch are to their kingdoms: flawed, yet redeemed by a commitment to defend and protect our own from external forces that attempt to break in.  

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Forever 21 camouflage cutout flare dress, Japanese Candy contact lenses.

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SM Accessories silver cuff and ring

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Adidas camouflage sneakers with pink stripes and laces. 

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And this beautiful Raga wristwatch from Titan. I just love elegant sparkly watches that are just as beautiful as bracelets so I can wear them in contrast to more streetwear-type outfits. Titan’s Raga collection has a lot of these.

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Pretty, yes? Here’s a little something for you, too: get a chance to win this Titan watch by giving the best answer to one simple question.

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Solstice

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Where I’m from, summer was ages ago, and so was the CloseUp music festival “Summer Solstice” where I wore this outfit to. It’s still summer in the Northern Hemisphere though, so technically I’m not off-season. Haha.

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I didn’t really feel like writing this just another event post so I shelved it for a while; the afternoon heat today got me thinking of it again.

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In a nutshell, CloseUp Summer Solstice was a 12-hour music festival that featured local and foreign artists of varying genres. It was held April 27 at the MOA concert grounds. 

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More details of the event here, my fellow ambassadors and the artists lineup here.

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I went with one of my good friends, Chris Everingham. 

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Of course, as soon as we got there we saw a lot of other friends. It was like everyone congregated there that night. 

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I’ve never gone on a night out of partying and clubbing before this (and I say this with only mild embarrassment, heh), so to say that it wasn’t bad for a first timer would be an understatement. The music was amazing and the crowd was awesome.

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Familiar faces were everywhere, too, so you never ran out of people to enjoy with.

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When things wound down, we hit the nearby Army Navy to chat and chow with friends.

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Popples, Martin, Lana, my cousin Jeru, Shaoi and Robbie. They’re friends from different points in my life, some way back and others more recent, but one thing they all share in common is the feeling of ease being around them brings. In all honesty, it was the company of these guys that made it more worthwhile to go to Summer Solstice. 

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I think back to when I first encountered the term in high school. It was the title Filipino National Artist Nick Joaquin’s short story, set in the Philippines in the 1850s. It revolved around the “Tatarin,” a three-day pagan fertility ritual held during summer and ending in a festival. Drawn to mystical-sounding titles, I pounced on the story, and my thirteen-year-old mind was entranced by the delicious images conjured by Joaquin’s prose. Thus began my fascination for solstices and equinoxes, seasons and transitions.

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Perhaps owing more to my penchant for finding connections than anything, I noticed how both the story and the event involved dancing, a festival, and the merging of divergent cultures. Both, too, are rife with symbolism—then again, maybe the use of “summer solstice” in itself evokes it. A solstice (literally, “sun standing stlll”) is when the sun comes to a stop before reversing its direction, marking the beginning of a season. Around the time of the event, an experiential solstice was upon me as well: days were long, everything was at a standstill, and I was wondering when the wait for change anew would be over.

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Of course, seasons never fail. At the precise and perfect timing, the change occurred. And here things are, more vibrant and alive with possibilities than ever before. :)

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Event photos by Jeru Paguntalan and Martin Adelantar of Illustrato. Outfit details: Forever21 corset top and maxi skirt, CMG platform sandals, SM Accessories clutch bag, headband and bracelet. Hype this on Lookbook here, vote on Chictopia here

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Your thoughts are most welcome! Feel free to leave a comment or a question below. If you haven’t yet, follow me on Twitter/Instagram @shailagarde for updates! 

Liam Hemsworth for Bench/ Summer 2013

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As I write this, the A/C and fan are on full throttle and bright sunlight gashes through the window despite the blinds being drawn. Seems like summer doesn’t just want its presence felt; it wants us to be looking it in the eye. Lol.

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No complaints there, though. It’s the best time to be donning breezy outfits, few accessories and barely-there makeup. Forever21 dress, SM Accessories, Parisian shoes.

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Hype this on Lookbook here and Chictopia here.

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Coinciding with the coming of summer is the coming here of one of today’s hottest actors, “Hunger Games” star and newest Bench endorser Liam Hemsworth. This is what I wore his lunch tête-à-tête with the media a few weeks back. 

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Here’s what went down with the hottie from Down Under as he talked “Hunger Games,” action films, beating up Thor and men’s fashion.

   
Shot with my DSLR on my right hand while my left hand was shooting with my iPhone (just to be sure). Haha! Just think of the shakiness and un-enhanced audio as your way of feeling like you were actually in the room—it was utter and enjoyable chaos.

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Do it yourself: Life lessons from ombré hair

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Guess who just dyed their own hair ombré?

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The term is a French word which means “gradiation” or “shade.” Instead of one color throughout, you’ve got a darker shade on top that gradually goes lighter down the tips, usually ending in blonde.

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We didn’t find any salons that offered this, so we thought we’d do it ourselves.

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We’re glad we did; not only were we able to save money, we were also able to pick up a few self-reminders from the experience.

shai lagarde seph cham lovechic tumblr ombre hair color strawberry blonde forever21 sm bangs topman bench haircut couple fashion beauty philippines manila

shai lagarde seph cham lovechic tumblr ombre hair color strawberry blonde forever21 sm bangs topman bench haircut couple fashion beauty philippines manila

Lesson 1: Stand on your own two feet. We’re firm believers that nobody is self-made; whatever form of success we currently enjoy, people along the way helped us get to where we are. However, being dependent on others is a different story. If you always need people to do certain things for you, what happens when they leave, turn their back on you, or worse, demand repayment and rub in your face all the good they’ve done when things go sour? Do things yourself. If it works, you’ll have leveled up and won’t have to drown in debts of gratitude. If it doesn’t, you’ll still have learned and have no one to blame.

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shai lagarde seph cham lovechic tumblr ombre hair color strawberry blonde forever21 sm bangs topman bench haircut couple fashion beauty philippines manila

Lesson 2: Dare to be different. Just because everybody’s doing this or wearing that or getting hooked with this app or going to that hip-happening place doesn’t make it imperative that you should, too. Au contraire. Dare to be a starter, not a follower—and dare to stand by your own choices and preferences.

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shai lagarde seph cham lovechic tumblr ombre hair color strawberry blonde forever21 sm bangs topman bench haircut couple fashion beauty philippines manila

Lesson 3: Experiment. Take risks. Whenever hesitation or fear strikes, ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen. What have you got to lose? Will it matter in the greater scheme of things? Will it matter three, five, ten years from now? And even if the answers to these are bleak, well, sometimes the best way we can truly learn and grow is through our mistakes and failures.

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shai lagarde seph cham lovechic tumblr ombre hair color strawberry blonde forever21 sm bangs topman bench haircut couple fashion beauty philippines manila

Lesson 4: Be yourself, always. In this day and age more than ever, this seems to be one of the simplest yet most challenging things to practice. With everyone so inevitably connected and perennially updated, it seems to have become so important to be who we are expected to be: edited, curated, censor-approved versions of ourselves, rather than who we are happy to be: just ourselves! How can we be true to other people if the person we see everyday in the mirror is fake?

shai lagarde seph cham lovechic tumblr ombre hair color strawberry blonde forever21 sm bangs topman bench haircut couple fashion beauty philippines manila

shai lagarde seph cham lovechic tumblr ombre hair color strawberry blonde forever21 sm bangs topman bench haircut couple fashion beauty philippines manila

On Shai: Forever21 embroidered dress, Parisian at SM Department Store booties, SM Accessories bangle, Fidelity necklace and rings. Hype on Lookbook here.

On Seph: Forever21 blazer, Topman shirt, Bench jeans, Aldo socks, Adidas shoes, SM Accessories necklace and wristband, Timex watch. Hype on Lookbook here.

   
…All this from three tubs of hair color. Who knew? Haha. Tutorial, anyone? Tell us what you think—use that Reply button on your Tumblr dashboard or leave a Disqus comment :) Hope y’all had a good start for the new year!

Leopards can’t change their spots

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Animal print on animal print, plus that peek-a-boo paw print.

Top, Divisoria. Cover-up, SM Department Store. Shorts, Terranova. Socks, SM Accessories. Boots, Forever21. Necklace and bird ring from Bangkok. Studded bag, Susto. Hype this on Lookbook.

Just thought we’d go for a “wild” look for the opening of Privado, the luxury sale by SM Accessories. Details here.

Another cute pair we “spotted” (ooh pun, heh) was David Guison and Lissa Kahayon

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Tracy Ayson of Fashion Fangirl and Tin Iglesias of Fashion Ate the World. Seems everyone grabbed themselves some Timex watches!

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With June, Noy and Diane of SM Accessories. Thanks for having us! We had a great “time” (heh, another pun). Privado is until this Sunday, so scoot over to the SMDC showroom in Mall of Asia and shop your heart out!

Oh, and speaking of shopping, tomorrow is the much-awaited Bloggers United Bazaar and we’ve got a booth. Details here. We’ll be selling not just accessories, but some of the clothes you see us wearing in our previous posts. See you there!

A Face Affair

This video is up on the Nivea Philippines Fan Page! Watch, comment and share on your Facebook wall to win awesome prizes.

Our pretty media savvy Shai Lagarde of Love Chic reveals what she does, what she’s most passionate about and her secret to how she sparkles all day, everyday! Comment here HOW she sparkles and share the video for another goody bag!

Skin care by Nivea Sparkling White and makeup by Majolica Majorca.

Three looks from Forever21 using four pieces. Mixing and matching is always fun.
Hype this on Lookbook
. If you want your own beauty booty, have a face affair with us! A sparkling you up close can also start here. Get a makeover and a chance to win P30k worth of NIVEA, Forever 21 and Majolica Majorca products. Click here to join.

Bangkok-bound: Day 1

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Hi from Bangkok! I’m here with my mom to do a little bit of touring and a whole lot of shopping. 

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Food. It might seem like a silly joke (“We came all the way from Manila to eat KFC”), but a country’s fast food says a lot about their culture as well—we found out for example that Thai fast food chains offer yummy chocolatey drinks like Milo, and seldom have anything on the menu that isn’t spicy or doesn’t taste like curry. Like these shicken strips.

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Instead of gravy, this is what they have, other than ketchup (which they call tomato sauce). After dinner, we took a walk outside looking for dessert, because Bangkok’s street food has a strong reputation for being truly awesome. Alas, there weren’t any stalls open nearby and we ended up here.

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The sandbags are for protection against unexpected flooding, as areas surrounding the city have been experiencing the past few days before we got there. Getting inside McDonald’s became an adventure in itself.

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A tall glass of Ovaltine Swiss. Why don’t we have this here? If we did, we wouldn’t need to go to our coffee and tea places for our frap fix.

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A seriously delicious drink that we ended up gulping down before we could take more decent pictures.

We’re glad we brought our Sperrys to this trip. Pretty handy and stylish for traveling, as we found out the next day.

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Blue Forever21 shirt with puffy cuffs, Landmark button-fly shorts, Charles & Keith purse, Topshop stockings, Sperry Topsiders. Hype this on Lookbook!

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We spent our first day in Bangkok on a tour to different Buddhist temples. This is the temple of the Reclining Buddha, a 200-year-old giant statue. Which we found pretty awesome, considering we’re only used to seeing Buddha images seated like this.

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As if being a massive statue wasn’t enough, the Reclining Buddha even has intricate designs on its feet.

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These must make amazing footprints on the beach.

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View from behind: Buddha’s got spiky hair

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Souvenirs were being sold outside the temple.

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We went back to the hotel for brunch after a tiring and fulfilling morning.

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Chili-filled rice meal with chicken, veggies, peanuts and special sauce for Seph.

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Chicken fillet with crunchy bits of we don’t know what, and cucumbers in some sweet and spicy vinegar sauce

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In their food courts, you exchange your baht with coupons and use these to pay. We had some extra coupons left, and bought these.

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And then it was back to the city for round two of the temple tour.

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Spotted: Reclining Buddha, now standing tall. Whoa.

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Oh hi, how’s the weather up there? On another note, we couldn’t help but marvel at the elaborately designed roofs and buildings on the temple grounds.

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Other than taking pictures and goofing around, we spent some time reflecting and being thankful for our blessings inside one of the smaller temples. Day 1 has been wonderful so far, and we have a feeling it will keep getting better.