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Etsy Item of the Day: Vermont Maple Syrup Candle

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I love maple syrup—the taste (of course!) and the scent. This candle caught my eye when I saw that it smells like maple syrup. These candles are hand made in small batches using soy wax. Did you know that soy wax burns cleaner, longer, and brighter than paraffin candles? Plus, when you’re done burning the candle, you can reuse the container (simply wash it with soap and water).

Etsy Seller: The Little Candle Co.

Etsy Item of the Day: Dachshunds Christmas Card

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This sweet Christmas card features an original illustration of two adorable dachshunds celebrating the holidays under a wreath. I love the three-dimensional details like the bow on the wreath and the dogs’ ears. The Etsy shop also has cute Christmas cards featuring other dog breeds, such as English bulldog, French bulldog, and Welsh corgi.
Dachshunds Christmas Card

Etsy Seller: Cuore

Etsy Item of the Day: Winter Snowflake Mug

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The closer Christmas gets, the more I look forward to partaking in my family’s yearly traditions. One of them is sipping hot cocoa and nibbling on panettone on Christmas Eve. I’m convinced that cocoa (or tea) tastes better in a pretty mug. ;) This ceramic mug is hand painted in a lovely navy blue. The variations in the paint makes it look bright blue in some areas and brown near the edges. I especially like the contrast of the stark white snowflakes against the dark blue background.

Etsy Seller: Sylwia Glass Art

Etsy Item of the Day: Reindeer Dog Snood

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This reindeer dog snood is too cute and hilarious! “What in the world is a snood?” you ask. Well, a snood is a funny little dog hat that keeps the dog’s ears tucked away so that long ears stay clean while eating or prior to a dog show. If you want to keep your dog’s ears clean and are in a festive mood, then this is the snood for you!
Reindeer Dog Snood

Etsy Seller: Dog Day Designs

Raymond Around the World: South Korea

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After Raymond and I visited my friend in Tokyo, Japan, we popped over to South Korea to visit another friend of mine. Neither of us had been to Korea before, so we were excited to experience a new culture and country!

It was really hot while we were in Korea—especially compared to the North Pole—but we just ignored the heat and ventured out to explore. The Korean Peninsula is so full of history, so we made sure to take in plenty of historical sites. The first of which was the Jongmyo Shrine, a Confucian shrine located in Seoul. This shrine is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and houses memorial tablets for the kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty.

Raymond in KoreaAt the entrance to Jongmyo Shrine
Raymond in KoreaOutside Yeongnyeongjeon [Hall of Eternal Comfort] where the memorial tablets are stored
Raymond in KoreaChecking out the different architecture in Jongmyo Shrine

While walking around another afternoon, Raymond & I happened upon Jogyesa Temple, the headquarters for the Jogye Buddhist Order. With its vibrant lanterns and colourful architecture, this temple really caught our eye.

Raymond in KoreaRaymond about to enter Jogyesa Temple
Raymond in KoreaRaymond especially loved the colourful lanterns

Another afternoon, Raymond and I emerged from the subway in Seoul to see a martial arts performance happening right in Gwanghwamun Square—how neat! After watching the amazing performance, we saw a statue of Sejong the Great, one of the most important kings in Korean history.

Raymond in Korea“Annyeonghaseyo, King Sejong!”

The statue of King Sejong is located near Gwanghwamun Gate, the main and largest gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Unfortunately we did not have time to visit this palace, but we at least took a photo near the gate :)

Raymond in KoreaRaymond smiling, despite how hot it was. We shared a Mango Fruit Pudding Blended Juice at Starbucks [mmm!] to cool down.

While we didn’t have time to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace during this trip, we did make it to Changgyeonggung Palace where we enjoyed looking at the architecture and learning about the history of the palace.

Raymond in KoreaRaymond taking a gander at Myeongjeongjeon [main hall]

Before Raymond & I went to Korea, I was a little concerned about finding vegetarian dishes for us to eat since most Korean food isn’t veg-friendly, but we were pleasantly surprised! From time to time, it was still a little difficult to find vegetarian food, but when we would find something, it was usually pretty darn yummy.

One of my favourite new dishes is bibimbap, which is white rice topped with julienned vegetables, sprouts, tofu, greens, sesame seeds, and an egg. Mix all that together with gochujang [hot pepper paste], and you have a super tasty meal! Bibimbap can also be served with meat, but of course Raymond & I would never want that ;)

Raymond & BibimbapRaymond eyeing my bibimbap in the 63 Building in Seoul

Another yummy treat we had was patbingsu, a shaved ice dessert that was perfect for the hot and humid summer weather. It definitely helped us cool down!

Raymond & Patbingsu“Yummm!” says Raymond.

Raymond and I had a lot of fun on our adventures this year! Where do you think Raymond should go next year? Let us know in the comments!

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