Holiyay Giveaway Day 4 - Sephora Play! Beauty Box

Thursday, December 14, 2017
It's Day 4 of our giveaway! If you missed out on Days 1-3, check out the giveaway page here.

Today's prize is for our beauty lovers out there. We have a beautiful Play by Sephora beauty box featuring 6 deluxe minis. It's a previous box (September 2017) that contains head-turning hues and fall (& winter) ready beauty. We're keeping the items a mystery but it features 6 deluxe minis of beauty, skincare and haircare from well-coveted brands. Keep them in the chic, satin bag for holiday travels or stash in a clutch for a holiday night out on the town. We'd actually love to win this for ourselves! Check out deets below.



HOW TO ENTER:
  • Like this photo on Instagram
  • Follow us on Instagram
  • For TWO extra entries, repost on Instagram tagging @theubeway and #beautygiveaway
We are selecting one winner on Tuesday, December 19 via a random draw picker.

Good luck!



__________________
Terms & Conditions: The Ube Way is offering a prize to 5 randomly drawn individuals who enter during the giveaway. See blog and social media announcements for prize details. Winners will be notified within 1-2 days after the drawing via e-mail. Prizes will be fulfilled by The Ube Way, and will be shipped within 1 week.

The odds of being selected as a winner depend on the number of entries received. An individual can win only 1 of the 5 prizes. You must be 18 years or older to enter and be a US resident. The Ube Way reserves the right to cancel or modify this promotion at any time.

By entering the promotion you agree that The Ube Way, and each of their respective affiliates, will have no liability, and will be held harmless from and against any liability or loss.


Holiyay Giveaway Day 3 - Tumbler & Tea Set

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
It's Day 3 of our giveaway! If you missed out on Day 1 & Day 2, check out the giveaway page here. Today's prize is a tumbler & tea set from 2 of Mestelle's favorite brands: Ban.do and David's Tea. Ban.do's thermal tumbler "But, First Coffee" is cute and fun to tote around at work or on the go. Get ready for the compliments! David's Tea Holiday Classics will lift your holiday spirits up with 9 sachets of festive flavors: Sleigh Ride (rosy herbal w/ cinnamon, apple, almond, hibiscus notes), Santa's Secret (peppermint black tea) and Candy Cane Crush (black tea w/ chocolate drops & candy canes). Great little duo to keep your last hump days of 2017 merry & bright :)



HOW TO ENTER:
We are selecting one winner on Tuesday, December 19 via a random draw picker.

Good luck!



__________________
Terms & Conditions: The Ube Way is offering a prize to 5 randomly drawn individuals who enter during the giveaway. See blog and social media announcements for prize details. Winners will be notified within 1-2 days after the drawing via e-mail. Prizes will be fulfilled by The Ube Way, and will be shipped within 1 week.

The odds of being selected as a winner depend on the number of entries received. An individual can win only 1 of the 5 prizes. You must be 18 years or older to enter and be a US resident. The Ube Way reserves the right to cancel or modify this promotion at any time.

By entering the promotion you agree that The Ube Way, and each of their respective affiliates, will have no liability, and will be held harmless from and against any liability or loss.


San Francisco Weekend Series: Holiday Sweets and Lights in Union Square & SOMA


Neiman Marcus Christmas Tree in San Francisco
Neiman Marcus Christmas Tree

The holiday spirit was in full swing on Saturday in San Francisco. It was a like a maze trying to avoid all the crowds at 1pm but Mestelle and I finally made it to Neiman Marcus at Union Square for the "Sanrio and Sugarfina Holiday Celebration" on the 5th floor. Upon entrance, we were greeted by an enormous Christmas tree. It was adorned with golden baubles and lights and towered up towards the elegant stained glass dome.

On the 5th floor, Hello Kitty was busy taking photos with fans. I luckily was able to snap a shot of her adorable pose. There were two displays of the Sanrio Loves Sugarfina collection candy which we checked out. Each of the featured Sanrio character had their own type of candy and came in the Sugarfina box container but with an image of the character on the front. You could buy them individually or buy the Hello Kitty Bento Box that came with a set of Hello Kitty gummies or the Design Your Own Bento Box where you could mix and match candies and had a picture of each character on the top of the box. They were giving out samples of some of the candy so we were able to try an assortment. I tried the Hello Kitty apple pie gummies, Chococat chocolate caramels, Badtz-Maru chocolate covered pops (think of pop rocks but way better), My Melody sweet pearls, and Keroppi key lime flavored jelly beans. They were all delicious but the one the stood out for both of us were the chocolate covered caramels which were nice and soft when I bit into them. Before we left, we both snapped a small square of the Chococat chocolate caramels and I also got Hello Kitty apple pie gummies. 


  Hello Kitty the cutie pie at Neiman Marcus
Hello Kitty the cutie pie at Neiman Marcus 


Sanrio Loves Sugarfina Collection at Neiman Marcus    Macarons at Neiman Marcus


 Sanrio Loves Sugarfina Collection at Neiman Marcus  


Sanrio Loves Sugarfina Collection at Neiman Marcus   Sanrio Loves Sugarfina Collection at Neiman Marcus


Union Square stores were decked out in festive decorations and the streets were filled with Santa clad pub crawlers for the annual SantaCon event. We braved the crowded streets once again to line up for some Boba Guys before we headed to our next destination. I snapped a few photos of the Union Square with the masses of holiday shoppers and Santas.


SantaCon pub crawlers at Union Square
SantaCon pub crawlers at Union Square 

Christmas Tree at Union Square
Christmas Tree at Union Square  


Parol lit up at Jessie Square in SOMA
Parol lit up at Jessie Square in SOMA

We headed a few blocks south of Union Square to St. Patrick's Church next to Yerba Buena Gardens to check out the free activities for the 15th Annual Parol Lantern Festival And Parade organized by Bayanihan Community Center and Kularts. At St. Patrick's Church Social Hall, they had the "Taste of Christmas" event where you could sample various Filipino foods and especially desserts, parol making at the center and cultural entertainment at the front. First, we had to fill our stomachs with more food so we sampled a bit of everything. They had puto, suman, ube halaya, puto-bumbong, etc as well having arroz caldo, champorado with tuyo and Kapampangan tamales.

Next, we grabbed a spot at the parol making table filled with various materials to decorate a parol. A volunteer showed us the steps and had us first cut out the paper star parol from a template that came in various colors. After cutting, we folded it up based on the dotted lines of the guide and then glued them together. We then continued to decorate our parols in any way that we wanted. Colored wrapping tissue, colorful patterned tape, strings, and spiral paper were provided. It was fun to make and took up a good chunk of our time there since we were busy trying to beautiful our creations. Now I can have something to hang in front of my apartment door.

The Bayanihan Community Center actually hosts Parol-Making Workshops where you can buy a kit to make a bamboo and cellophane parol. On their website, it looks like they had a few Friday night workshops in October, November and December leading up to the Parol Lantern Parade. I'll remember to sign up for one of these workshops next year since I really enjoyed making my mini lantern. 


Bahay kubo display with a parol at the entrance of St. Patrick's Social Hall
Bahay kubo display with a parol at the entrance of St. Patrick's Social Hall  


 Filipino Tamales  Puto Bumbong


Parol making table at St. Patrick's Church in SF
Various materials for parol making.


Parol template guide at St. Patrick's Church
Parol Template


Parols on Display at St. Patrick's Church's Social Hall
The parols that we created! 

Various Parols on Display at Jessie Square in SOMA San Francisco
Various Parols on Display

 Various Parols on Display at Jessie Square in SOMA San Francisco


Various Parols on Display at Jessie Square in SOMA San Francisco


After we made our parols, we went outside to Jessie Square to take a look at the parol gallery and wait for the parade to start. There were all sorts of colorful parols in different shapes and sizes on display. They were beautiful and really added to the festive atmosphere of the day. Free empanadas, senorita bread and hot tea were also given out for everyone to enjoy.

When the parade started, we could see the huge parols being paraded across the street from Yerba Buena Gardens to Jessie Square. Several Filipino organizations participated such as Veteran's Equity Center, Canon Kip Senior Center and Little Manila After School Program to name a few. Each participant was announced when they reached the stage and did some sort of presentation such as singing or dancing. The various groups were also competing for a prize of $500, if I remember correctly. A panel of judges would make the decision based on how the parol designs matched the year's theme of "Let Tradition Be Our Light". Unfortunately, we had to leave the event before the winners were announced.

Below are a few photos of the event which also includes the parols that were in the competition. 


SOMA Pilipinas Info Desk
SOMA Pilipinas Info Desk  

Parol Lantern Festival Start at Jessie Square
Parol Lantern Festival Start at Jessie Square

 Parol at the San Francisco Parol Lantern Festival    Parol at the San Francisco Parol Lantern Festival


Parol at the San Francisco Parol Lantern Festival     Parol at the San Francisco Parol Lantern Festival


Parol at the San Francisco Parol Lantern Festival


Bahay Kubo at the San Francisco Parol Lantern Festival     Parol at the San Francisco Parol Lantern Festival


I would definitely attend the event again next year as I really had fun making my own parol and viewing the colorful lanterns at night. The event has been going on for 15 years and I hadn't even known about it until last year. I missed out those other times but now I know and wish others would also come and join in and make this event bigger than what it is today. 


Parols at the San Francisco Parol Lantern Festival


-Jamie

Holiyay Giveaway Day 2 - MunchPak Mini Snack Box

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Welcome to Day 2 of our giveaway! If you missed out on Day 1, it's all good because you can still go back and enter here. Today's prize is a mini box from MunchPak. If you're not familiar, they're a subscription box that delivers a monthly variety of the best and most popular candy and snacks from around the world. The box contains a mix of salty, sweet, chewy, and crunchy treats. It's the holidays, so TREAT YO'SELF! This is definitely a fun way to try new snacks and maybe find a new favorite.



HOW TO ENTER:
We are selecting one winner on Tuesday, December 19 via a random draw picker.

Good luck!



__________________
Terms & Conditions: The Ube Way is offering a prize to 5 randomly drawn individuals who enter during the giveaway. See blog and social media announcements for prize details. Winners will be notified within 1-2 days after the drawing via e-mail. Prizes will be fulfilled by The Ube Way, and will be shipped within 1 week.

The odds of being selected as a winner depend on the number of entries received. An individual can win only 1 of the 5 prizes. You must be 18 years or older to enter and be a US resident. The Ube Way reserves the right to cancel or modify this promotion at any time.

By entering the promotion you agree that The Ube Way, and each of their respective affiliates, will have no liability, and will be held harmless from and against any liability or loss.




Holiyay Giveaway Day 1 - West Elm Warmest Throw

Monday, December 11, 2017
Happy Monday, folks! What better way to start the week than with our Holiyay Giveaway! Because the weather outside is frightful, our Day 1 prize is this cozy, classic West Elm Warmest Throw yarn dyed in a beautiful fuchsia color. It's 100% acrylic and woven with fun, fringed edges. The dimensions are 44"l x 56"w, perfect size for snuggling up on the couch or bed while you Netflix & chill. Win it for yourself, your mom, tita, lola, or whoever!



HOW TO ENTER:
  • Leave a comment on any of our blog posts
  • CLICK HERE --> Subscribe to The Ube Way by Email
  • Check your e-mail and activate your FeedBurner subscription
  • THAT'S IT! YOU'RE ENTERED! 

We are selecting one winner on Tuesday, December 19 via a random draw picker.

Good luck!



__________________
Terms & Conditions: The Ube Way is offering a prize to 5 randomly drawn individuals who enter during the giveaway. See blog and social media announcements for prize details. Winners will be notified within 1-2 days after the drawing via e-mail. Prizes will be fulfilled by The Ube Way, and will be shipped within 1 week.

The odds of being selected as a winner depend on the number of entries received. An individual can win only 1 of the 5 prizes. You must be 18 years or older to enter and be a US resident. The Ube Way reserves the right to cancel or modify this promotion at any time.

By entering the promotion you agree that The Ube Way, and each of their respective affiliates, will have no liability, and will be held harmless from and against any liability or loss.



The Ube Way's First Christmas Holiyay Giveaway!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Who's excited for presents?! WE ARE! We're more excited to be hosting our first ever giveaway on our blog to sprinkle some cheer to your holiday :) It's just our way to say thanks and we appreciate you for welcoming us into the blogosphere and taking time out to read, like, share, follow, comment and all that good shtuff!

So starting tomorrow, December 11, we’re going to reveal a new prize each day for 5 days. Feel free to enter everyday once the new prize is revealed. It's simple to enter. Complete one activity described here and our Instagram page with just a click of a button and you're done. YASS!! The giveaway ends on December 19 so run and tell people or do whatever you gotta do to win! As we are a lifestyle blog, prizes will consist of anything from home to travel, to food, or beauty items. They're all really great prizes that we wish we could have all for ourselves! It is the season of giving, and we're happy to gift them to YOU :) Win something for yourself or a family member/friend/loved one! Feel free to share this blog post in your social media feeds.

We’ll also be continuing our regularly scheduled program of blogging with some festive content coming your way. Subscribe, bookmark us or keep us open on your browser tab because it's just going to be so much fun 'round these parts for the rest of the month.


xo,
Jamie & Mestelle



P.S. Comment "HOLIYAYS" below for a bonus entry!

Personal Story: 80° is the Perfect Temperature

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

"Why is it so hot here?" my husband complained. While wiping a bit of sweat off of his forehead, he walked over to the thermostat.

"It's 80°!" he exclaimed once he saw the thermostat reading.

"What are you talking about? 80° is the perfect temperature," I said. "Just lower it to 75° or something."

"I'm lowering it to 70°."

"Fine," I relented and then took a sweater from the closet and reluctantly wore it.

Winters in San Francisco can get chilly going down into the 40s. This may not seem that cold to people who live in the East Coast of the US or other places where it snows. However, the wind chill makes up for that. There's nothing like waiting for the Muni bus in downtown SF, wearing a thick long coat, with hands in my pockets, scarf wrapped around my neck while the wind blasts it's cold breathe onto me. As my mother says "ang lamig nang hangin, pumumunta sa buto," or in English, the wind is so cold that it gets into your bones, is the closest thing to describing it. The temperature dropped significantly in the past few days so the last thing I would want is to go home to a freezing apartment.

Growing up, my family would rarely turn on the central heating in order to save money. To combat the cold at home, my brother and I would dress in layers wearing fleece sweaters and sweats and socks. My mother wore a puff jacket over her vest, on top of her sweater, on top of her shirt along with long pants with socks. And to complete the outfit, a yellow beanie with a pompom at the top. My father would wear the same thick black jacket everywhere around the house. You would think that we were spending a weekend skiing at Lake Tahoe if you saw us.

Although we wore layer upon layer upon layer just to feel comfortable at home, it wasn't enough. Thankfully, we could use space heaters so my mother, brother and I each had our own. My mother had the Presto Heat Dish Plus brand bought from Costco that resembled a fan but without the rotating blades. It would change colors from a dim orange to a bright glowing orange to indicate each setting from low to high. The high setting would be too hot that it felt like it was burning your face so it would have to be adjusted to the medium setting. But, the medium setting wasn't hot enough so it had to be readjusted back to the high setting. It was a viscous cycle since there was no comfortable in between. However, it was good enough for her so she would transport it around the house to each room that she would be occupying. My brother, on the other hand, would just keep it in his room. My father didn't have one but would on occasion share the Presto when his thick black jacket wouldn't suffice.

For me, my space heater was like a loyal pet that was always at my side. Just like my mother, whether I would be eating dinner at the kitchen, watching tv in the living room or taking a shower, I would take it with me, constantly plugging and unplugging it at each destination. I would even pre-heat my room a good 15-minutes before I slept so it would be nice and cozy and only turn it off right before going to bed. In the mornings, I would hold up the clothes I would wear for the day in front of the space heater so that they would be warm and toasty when I put them on. Yes, that's going a bit too far but I tend to always be cold. You know that friend who always wears a jacket indoors and is always shivering when they step outside, well that's me. 

The moment I moved out of my parents home, I proclaimed, just like Like Vivien Leigh in "Gone With The Wind" when she said those famous words, "as God is my witness," I vowed to never be cold in my own home ever again. But, I guess I'll compromise with 70°.

-Jamie




Cookie Crawl in Trendy Valencia Corridor

Monday, December 4, 2017
Cookie jars at Paxton Gate Curiosities where we started our cookie crawl.
Cookie jars at Paxton Gate Curiosities where we started our cookie crawl. 

Another Saturday in San Francisco's Mission District but this time for the 3rd Annual Holiday Cookie Crawl. The event was brought to us by the Valencia Corridor Merchants Association to benefit the local nonprofit Raphael House of San Francisco which helps at risk San Francisco families with stable housing and financial independence.

Mestelle and I arrived at 10:30 in the morning. The event started at 12:00pm so we had time to try out a local favorite, Tartine Bakery & Cafe, for some freshly made baked goods. The constant line whenever I pass by is telling of how popular this place is. Their more famous pastries can sell out in the afternoon so we decided to come early. We waited about 20 minutes in line. Once we got to the display cases, it was a matter of self control as everything looked tempting. I had to get the banana cream pie, which was sold out the last time I came, a coconut cream pie and a few other of their pastries. It can get crowded inside and you have to be quick in order to snag an open table. Thankfully, they have outside seating and it wasn't too cold outside to take a few bites of our dessert haul.

Banana Cream Pie (left) and Coconut Cream Pie (right) at Tartine Bakery
Banana Cream Pie (left) and Coconut Cream Pie (right)


Pain Au Chocolat, Mexican Wedding Cookie,  Chocolate Chunk Cookie and a Morning Bun at Tartine Bakery
Pain Au Chocolat, Mexican Wedding Cookie,
Chocolate Chunk Cookie and a Morning Bun


Large 826 Valencia Address in San Francisco's Mission District
Large 826 Valencia Address in San Francisco's Mission District  

Valencia Corridor Merchant's Association Cookie Crawl Flyer          Valencia Corridor Merchant's Association Cookie Crawl Map


After lunch, we walked a block to Valencia St. to start the cookie crawl. Merchants that took part in the event had red balloons outside their shops. The first shop we saw with the red balloons was Paxton Gate's Curiosities For Kids, which has a selection of puzzles, costumes, wooden toys and other unique gifts for children. At the register, our $10 donations snagged us each a bag for the cookies, a map that listed the various participating businesses and also our first cookies.

We headed south and kept our eye out for the red balloons. Between 16th and 21st streets, there were a cluster of shops listed on the map so it wasn't such a far walk between places at our start. Valencia St is known for being a great neighborhood for dining, boutiques and eccentric shops. While I've been to a few places that were listed on the map, there were also many that I hadn't even known about. It was such a treat to walk into a store, previously unknown to me, and be pleasantly surprised by what's inside. 

We walked into 826 Valencia Pirate Supply Store. The front section of the store is small but packed with all the essentials for your next Jack Sparrow themed party. A quick view of their website reveals that they are also a non-profit that helps kids with writing skills. A few more stores that stood out were Serendipity and Little Paper Planes with their assortment of stationery items, cards and other quirky gifts. Probably my favorite discovery of the day was Paxton Gate, which had various items from crystal stones, succulents, terrariums, taxidermy, and many more nature related goods. My husband has recently been getting into making his own shrimp ecosphere. Maybe a terrarium will go nicely with it? 

Succulent Wall Frame at Paxton Gate Curiosities For Kids in SF's Mission District
Succulent Wall Frame at Paxton Gate Curiosities For Kids


826 Valencia Pirate Supply Store in SF Mission District
826 Valencia Pirate Supply Store


Xanath Ice Cream in SF's Mission District
Xanath Ice Cream Display Case.
I will definitely come back to try their saffron ice cream.

   
Little Paper Planes in SF's Mission District
Little Paper Planes
  

Purple Christmas Tree at Serendipity in SF's Mission District
Purple Christmas Tree at Serendipity


Cookie Crawl map after the event in SF's Mission Distrcit
Post Cookie Crawl Map


Walking around for an hour made us hungry so we took a break and had lunch at Mission Cheese. Mestelle ordered the California Gold Sandwich which had chevre, prosciutto and fig reserves while I had the Farmer's Plate of 2 cheese items and 1 meat and we shared the mac & cheese. It was a nice light and savory lunch and afterwards we went next door to Dandelion Chocolate for some hot chocolate.  

Mac & Cheese (left), California Gold Sandwich (right),
and a 2 Cheese and 1 Meat Farmer's Plate (bottom), 


Sign Board Outside Mission Cheese


European Drinking Chocolate at Dandelion Chocolate
European Drinking Chocolate at Dandelion Chocolate
  

Back home, I surveyed the loot and counted 16 cookies. As you can see, what each shop handed out was different. They're another 16 sugary additions to the morning's Tartine Bakery pastries. It looks like I'll have to brush my teeth twice as long tonight. We also couldn't help but buy some empanada's at Venga Empanada since they were also handing out cookies for the event.

Cookie Haul from the Various Shops on Valencia Corridor
Cookie Haul from the Various Shops on Valencia Corridor.   


Extra nice of Xanath Ice Cream to include these measuring spoons
with the cookies that they gave away. 


Argenine Beef Empanada at Venga Empanada in SF's Mission District
Argenine Beef Empanada at Venga Empanada


The Cookie Crawl was not only a cookie collecting activity but also a great way to discover the many unique shops that line Valencia St. The next time I go back to the Mission, I'll remember to check out the new stores that I visited and maybe even pick up a few succulents.

  
- Jamie