What's your Valentine's Day budget?

As February approaches, the general public's attention turns to the month's main event. And although you'd be forgiven for immediately thinking 'Pancake Day', for those in relationships, it should really be Valentine's - that one day each year that we set aside to make sure our partners feel appreciated. 

It's unfortunate that the 14th February always seems to arrive so soon after Christmas, however - especially when the country's collective purse has taken a walloping thanks to the January sales splurge. Financial strain, combined with the pressure of finding the perfect gift for your partner, can often take some of the shine off Valentine's - but just how much of our hard-earned cash should we earmark for our V-Day budget?

According to a recent survey of UK-based men and women carried out by online retailer isme.com, your partner may actually be spending a lot more (or a lot less, if you're a man!) than you originally thought. Surprisingly, nearly half of the women questioned were looking to spend just £15 or less on a Valentine's Day gift, compared to around a quarter of men. Blokes were far more likely than women to pay up to £50 for a present, and nearly 1 in 10 were willing to splash out over £100. 

Of course, a hefty present budget doesn't necessarily mean a good present, and a meaningful expression of love isn't limited to the big spenders. In fact, there are loads of great value Valentine's Day gift ideas out there for those who take the time to look. One money-saving idea may be to stick to one key present rather than spreading your budget across a number of items, like the traditional card, bouquet of flowers and box of chocolates. This advice may be especially useful for the men, given that almost half of women said they would prefer an item of jewellery over anything else!

And even if you do blow your budget on a present for your other half, this doesn't mean that you can't still have the perfect Valentine's Day date together. There's no need to stretch to paying for a meal at a swanky restaurant, as over a third of men and women surveyed said that a cosy homemade meal would be their perfect way to spend the evening.

Whatever your budget for Valentine's Day, perhaps it's best to remember the old Beatles lyric: 'money can't buy me love'. In the end, there's no better present than letting your loved one know exactly how much they mean to you.

♪What are you doing, new year's eve?♫

Happy new year everyone! I hope you had a blast welcoming the new year! There's always a new year for us to be thankful for the blessings in the previous year, forget problems in the past, have a fresh start and have an opportunity to look forward to the positive things that will come. 

To say goodbye to the past and say hello to new experiences, we celebrated the new year at Eastwood City, a city within a city. I must say, celebrating the new year in Manila is a lot of fun! It was fun celebrating it with a big crowd full of strangers (or friends you haven't met) and a great concert with great artists.

Sam YG, Slick Rick and Joyce Pring hosted the Eastwood New Year countdown event! They got mad hosting skills! There was never a dull moment. 

Performances by Ely Buendia, Up Dharma Down, General Luna, Urban Nation, Mark Mabasa and international singer Iyaz were there to keep the new year vibe alive.

I loved Ely's whole performance. I know almost all of the songs. It was really wonderful because the crowd got excited for each song and even sang along. His last performance, Huling El Bimbo was the best! Everyone really sang 'til the end of the song and waved their had while singing.

It was really crazy because there were a lot of people. But it was fun nonetheless because having a great crowd with you to celebrate the new year gives a positive and fun-filled vibe.

The event was really magical. This is the kind of new year celebration I was looking for. It's also an annual tradition at Eastwood to have a Star Drop. It's the Philippine counterpart of New York's ball drop. Everyone shouted the countdown to 2013 as it went down. 

And when the clock hit 12, beautiful fireworks colored the sky, confetti showered on the people and couples started kissing while party-vibe songs played in the background. Words are not enough to describe how wonderful the experience was. The picture above doesn't even sum up the experience. It was fun but tear-jerking at the same time.

After the countdown concert, we went back to our condo unit. Inside the mall, we saw that they were giving out free M&M's! We got loads of this. Haha! 

Before heading up, we took the time to take pictures at the lobby. Nothing beats a great new year celebration with your loved ones. 

That's it for my first post in 2013! A celebration with your family is a celebration like no other. I'm looking forward to great things this year. I'm also thankful for all the blessings, new friends and other highlights of 2012. Cheers to an awesome year! How about you? How was the start of your new year? :)
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