Latest Posts

LIFE IN KOREA Q&A (SUMMER PASTA MUKBANG)

Hey friends!

Grab some food, and maybe some yummy sangria, and eat lunch with me!

In my latest video I answer your questions and give sub-par advice on summer fashion staples, negative feedback, life goals, etc etc etc.

Also.

I LEAVE FOR NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA IN ONE WEEK! AHH! CAN’T WAIT TO CUDDLE WIF ALL DA KOALA BEARSSS!

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BOSEONG GREEN TEA FIELDS

TGIF!!!

Hello all. I’m currently at work, desk warming.

Desk warming – expectations: Me sitting in front of the computer, working hard, planning activities and gathering reading materials for summer camp, which commences Monday.

I’m finished planning summer camp, so..

Desk warming – reality: Me scrolling through Instagram, eating snacks, and researching how long it would take to travel to each country, in case of a mid-life crisis. If you’re wondering, if you spend 5 days in each of the 196 countries, and assuming it would take a day to travel to each of them, it would (apparently) take 3 years, 2 months, and 3 weeks.

And probably a bajillion dollars.

Anyway, I haven’t made a life update blog post in awhile and quite frankly, it’s Friday and I’m feeling lazy. So, I will show you pictures of what I’ve been up to and explain them all in a Haiku.

*ahem*

On top of a roof.
Bridge lifts up at 2 P.M.
Decent view, I guess.

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What are these trees called?
They’re pretty and I like them.
Want to take one home.

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I love wine and cheese.
Especially on a date.
He took this picture.

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This is Dadaepo.
My favorite beach in Busan.
Go for the sunsets.

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Boseong green tea fields.
I frolicked with no shame here.
Lost my umbrella.

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It was so humid.
Green tea ice cream was the fix.
Prefer mint chocolate

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This pic is grainy.
Sorry for bad quality.
I like my outfit

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French fries on the side.
With extra sauce because, duh.
Ketchup and mayo.

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New vlog is now live.
Sorry it’s been awhile.
I hope you like it.

Have an awesome weekend everyone! ūüôā

 

THE CURE FOR LONELINESS

Hello all!

I’ve been M.I.A for nearly a month.¬†Perhaps it’s because the summer season arrived and my body was like, “give the internet a rest for a bit.”

Whether the humidity has gotten to me or not, I haven’t been feeling motivated, and understanding how I felt and what I could do to help myself was (and still is) a rocky road. So,¬†I unplugged.¬†Looking back, I think that was the right thing to do. Sometimes we need time¬†to nurture our bodies and take care of our souls, and we can’t authentically do that with an audience watching.

When I knew the funk was lingering a little too long,¬†I forced myself to grab my camera and express how I was feeling though my latest video on Get Up & Go Girl. It’s a different style than what I usually do but I hope you like it.

THE KOREAN BEAUTY SECRET FOR DEWY SKIN

Korean women are notorious for having perfectly radiant skin. Are they hiding a cupboard full of holy grail beauty products? Good genes? Vitamins? Diet? As a skincare fanatic, I needed to know how to achieve their level of luminosity.

If you have dry skin, like myself, you know how hard it is to make your skin (in the words of Bad Gal RiRi) shine bright like a diamond. In my latest video on¬†Get Up & Go Girl¬†I think I’ve nailed the solution for supple, envy-inducing skin. If you’ve never heard of¬†Neogen, they’re a Korean skincare company making waves in the beauty industry and their¬†latest launch, Code 9 Gold Black Caviar Essence & Gold Tox Tightening Pack Kit¬†($48) is the glimmering golden ticket for the natural glow-from-within.

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Want to know the power of this essence? Benefits of gold flakes (I know, so bougie)? How to properly apply the product? Check it all out in the video below!

TOP 5 ICE CREAMS FOUND AT KOREAN CONVENIENCE STORES

After¬†I go out¬†for dinner, there’s a¬†likely¬†chance I’ll be making a¬†B-line toward the nearest CU or 7/11 for¬†a frozen sugar fix. In South Korea, ice cream is found at every corner shop and typically under ‚ā©2,000. Options are bountiful, from exotic red bean to addicting classics of chocolate and vanilla.¬†To give you the inside scoop (no pun intended), I’ve rounded my top five South Korean¬†convenience store confectionery treats.

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1. Papico

I’m a chocolate fanatic, and this one perfectly satisfies my sweet tooth. Take the¬†squishy bottle out of the wrapper and warm it up¬†in your hands¬†to easily eat while¬†on the go. Also, my students can’t get enough of this stuff and I can always catch them¬†devouring¬†it at lunchtime.

RATING: 8/10

2. Big Beads Ice – Peach & Kiwi

If you’ve ever had Dippin’ Dots, this is essentially the same thing but the dots are bigger, and tastier. The refreshing¬†circle shaped treats¬†melt in your mouth and flavours of peach and kiwi¬†are the perfect¬†tang for your taste buds.

RATING: 9/10

3. Vanilla Milkshake

If you¬†appreciate a¬†McDonald’s vanilla soft serve, then you’ll LOVE this milkshake. I’m not a huge vanilla ice cream person, but this is a classic.¬†Similar to¬†Papico, you warm the packaging with your hands and drink the milkshake through the top. It’s a good option if you’re looking for a no-mess kind of¬†dessert.

RATING: 8/10

4. Melona Ice Bar

Melona is by far my favourite of the bunch.¬†If you’re a fan of honeydew melon, then beware because once you start you’ll constantly crave¬†the taste of this ice bar.¬†It’s¬†creamy, sweet,¬†and the perfect after-dinner palette cleanser.

RATING: 10/10

5. Bungeo-ppang

This fish-shaped pastry contains red bean and pastry cream in the middle. It’s a common street food in South Korea, but you can also pick it up at your local convenience store. It’s not my go-to, but if¬†I want to try something different, this one is a good one¬†to grab.

RATING: 7/10

This post was created for EPIK e-Press.

BIKE RIDING THROUGH SAMNAK RIVERSIDE

‘Tis the season of getting outside and enjoying the heat, and what better way to ring in the sweet summertime than going for a riverside bike ride. My friend Jake and I made our way to Samnak Ecological Park¬†in Busan and rented a bike for¬†‚ā©3,000 each.¬†We had to give the rental place a piece of ID, which was returned once we gave back the bikes.¬†I read online that foreigners can rent these bikes for free, but turns out it wasn’t true. No biggie though, ONWARDS WE WENT FOR OUR RIVERSIDE ADVENTURE!

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We had one hour to ride around the area, which is the largest of the four parks located along the Nakdonggang River.

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We rode pass a plethora of soccer and baseball fields, camp grounds, and even an inline skating rink. The boys in the picture below enthusiastically said hello as I was passing by and couldn’t help but snap a photo, they were just so darn cute!

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Peddling along the riverside, I forgot I was still in a city. The leisurely ride was a great escape from the regular bustle and filled with scenic marshes, tall grasslands, willow trees, wildflowers, and all types of birds flying up and around us.

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The only complaint is that a one hour rental wasn’t long enough. The park is ginormous, and you could easily ride around for an entire afternoon.

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After the hour was up we broke quite a sweat, and an appetite. Jake asked what I was in the mood for and my immediate answer was¬†mul naengmyeon (Ž¨ľŽÉČŽ©ī).¬†It’s¬†a refreshing South Korean summer dish served cold and made with radish water, meat, noodles, veggies, and a red spicy sauce.

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We also ordered a platter of homemade¬†mandu¬†(ŽßĆŽĎź), which I crave constantly no matter the season.

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This post was created for EPIK e-Press.

LIFE GOES IN CHAPTERS

“Life goes in chapters. Sometimes you feel stuck or lost or heartbroken, but things always change. I‚Äôve been a bookish little girl; a ballet-loving teenager; a college student in love; a brokenhearted new grad; a miserable law student; an anxious twentysomething searching for a path; an intern, an assistant, an editor, a boss; a happy friend; a blissed-out newlywed; an exhausted new mother; a thirtysomething woman writing this post. Hard times can feel endless, but they always always end. Who knows what lies ahead?”

– Joanna Goddard

Must-read: How Old Are You?

SHOE DOG – PHIL KNIGHT

Have you ever finished reading a book, closed the cover, held it close to you, and sat still. Reflecting on words you read and how they have forever affected your thoughts on the world, entrepreneurship, yourself, etc. If you love a good coming-of-age story, then I highly recommend the memoir by Phil Knight (the inventor of Nike) called Shoe Dog.

Knight’s memoir is one of the best reads of the year.. scratch that.. OF MY LIFE!¬†Am I¬†being too dramatic? Probably, but I sincerely mean it.

His journey started when he was fresh out of business school, having this¬†Crazy Idea.¬†At 23¬†he embarked on a backpacking trip around the world. It was a dream of his to experience, “what the Chinese call Tao, the Greeks call Logos, the Hindus call Jnana, the Buddhists call Dharma.” He emphasized throughout his memoir how his travels enhanced his Crazy Idea¬†and intertwined his experiences with the names of his designs, fabrics, and how it helped him cater to athletes and customers around the globe.

There were quirky stories of his trials and tribulations that made me laugh out loud, hardships and setbacks that made me shed a tear or two, and most importantly, I now feel inspired x100 to keep passion alive and pursue the crap out of my goals.

I cannot recommend this memoir enough. It reads like a novel and every single page is extraordinary. Definetly have to give it a solid 10/10.

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Here are a few of my favourite quotes:

“The cowards never started and the weak died along the way – that leaves us.”

“Of course I wanted to taste other foods, hear other languages, dive into other cultures, but what I really craved was connection with a capital C…Before setting out on my own personal voyage, I thought, let me first understand the greater voyage of humankind.”

“How can I leave my mark on the world, I thought, unless I get out there first and see it.”

“The junk merchant doesn’t sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product.”

“The man who moves a mountain begin by carrying away small stones.”

“The single easiest way to find out how you feel about someone. Say goodbye.”

“Fear of failure, I thought, will never be our downfall as a company. Not that any of us thought we wouldn’t fail; we had faith that we’d do it fast, learn from it, and be better for it.”

“Somebody may beat me – but they’re going to have to bleed to do it.”

“Economists, sociologists, not to mention our own hearts, tell us that, in many societies, young girls are the most economically vulnerable, and vital, demographic. So helping them helps all. Whether striving to end child marriage in Ethiopia, or building safe spaces for teenage girls in Nigeria, or launching a magazine and radio show that deliver powerful, inspiring messages to young Rwandans the Girl Effect is changing millions of lives, and the best days of my week, month, year, are those when I receive the glowing reports from its front lines.”

“Mothers are our first coaches.”

“Have faith in yourself, but also have faith in faith. Not faith as others define it. Faith as you define it. Faith as faith defines itself in your heart.”

ULTRA KOREA

Earlier this year I bought tickets to Ultra in Seoul because I wanted to experience the vibe of an EDM festival. It was totally out of my element but, decided to give it a shot. I attended the festival solo but if I learned anything while there, it’s that music brings people together (so cheesy, but so true). I met lovely ladies while in line and we danced all night to beats of Alesso, Pendulum, and Steve Angello.

Don’t be afraid to tip-toe your way out of your comfort zone and try new experiences, open your arms to new people, and create memories you can look back on and think, “wow, what an unbelievable night.”¬†

Watch all the craziness go down in my Ultra Korea vlog below!

This post was created for EPIK e-Press.

BUSAN ALLEYWAY FESTIVAL

Hello all!

The official days of summer are fast approaching (ONE WEEK AWAY!). I can already smell the scent of sunscreen, chlorine, and freshly cut grass *SNIFF SNIFF* ahhh. But, let’s be real, I live in Korea so it’s more like the smell of seafood, kimchi, and cigarette smoke. Take what you can get..

Summer means getting outside A LOT more, and what better way to spend an afternoon than exploring the Busan Alleyway Festival. Two weeks ago the city celebrated four popular alleyways, each showered with artwork and history. Honestly, I would not have known about these fascinating little side streets if it were not for the weekend celebration.

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I was fascinated to learn that there’s a monorail in one of the alleyways since older citizens live higher in the mountains. The monorail makes it easier for them to access their homes instead of busting their knee caps while climbing hundreds of steps. But if you do brave the steps, there are beautiful lookout points where you can gaze upon staggered city rooftops, the deep blue sea, and luscious green mountains.

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Oh look, a video for you! Take a gander at the Busan Alleyway Festival in my vlog below, plus I show you how to make¬†chocolate cheesecake bars. Yup, you read that right.. and it’s SUPER easy!

This will be the last summer living in the beach capital of SoKo and I plan to lay out and listen to the crashing waves any chance I get.. every weekend, if possible. Last week I went to Haeundae Beach to meet up with some friends and had time to take a tour of sand sculptures that were recently built there. Pretty rad, huh?

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During the summer months the city will sometimes provide lawn chairs and umbrellas on the beach. I kicked my feet up and took advantage of it all, and it was glorious.¬†When I finally met up with friends, we made out way to¬†Songjeong Beach¬†(surfer’s paradise) and walked along an abandoned railway. It had great views of the coast, and an ideal Instagram shot location.

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On Memorial Day (June 6) I had the day off work and decided to go¬†Beomeosa Temple.¬†HOW HAVE I NEVER BEEN HERE BEFORE? It’s stunning! The temple was built over a thousand years ago. However, the original building was destroyed by a Japanese invasion in 1592 but was rebuilt a hundred or so years later.

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If you ever wanted to live like a monk for the day, you can do a one night “Temple Stay” at Beomeosa. More information on that (PLUS MORE!) in my vlog below!

 

MY EXPERIENCE: MICROBLADED EYEBROWS

I let someone tattoo my face.

And it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

Having your eyebrows microbladed (semi-permanent tattoo) is a SUPER popular procedure in South Korea. Some of us (like myself) are not blessed with beautiful, symmetrical brows. Mine are naturally thin and sparse and I’ve always been a little self-conscious about them.

Waking up with brows already on fleek, as the kids would say, is a total game-changer. I don’t have to spend 10 minutes in the morning trying to match my left brow to the right, which was honestly a daily struggle.¬†In my latest video on Get Up & Go Girl, I show you the ENTIRE process. From the consultation, the procedure, all the way to a one month update.

This post was created for EPIK e-Press.

CUPCAKES, COW BLOOD, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

Another week, another life update.

Even though I haven’t had a true life update in three weeks.. oy.

It’s currently Sunday evening and I will be going to bed in about an hour, but I wanted to get this up so you know that I’m still alive and well.

Vlogging every week can be difficult, sometimes. Especially when you’re going through life’s adversities¬†or feel exhausted, then no part of me wants to shove a camera in front of my face and forced to be entertaining. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE filming and editing videos of my daily life, it’s a hobby. I do it because it allows me to release creative energy and keeps me occupied. But some weeks, like the last couple weeks, it can be strenuous¬†to film a side of me¬†that’s a bit¬†more vulnerable.

But no need to worry, all is well.¬†I’m happy and revitalized so, let’s talk about Sport’s Day.

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Last year I filmed Sport’s Day at my school in a little more depth, which you can watch by clicking, HERE. This year was a good ol’ time, watching my students transform into athletes and compete in tug-of-war or jump rope competitions. Unfortunately I could only stay for half of the events since I currently mentor 3 EPIK teachers and had to go to one of their school’s during the afternoon¬†to do some evaluating. It was at an all boys’ middle school, which is SO different than what I’m used to, my students are angels in comparison. I walked the hallways and the boys were rambunctious, rowdy, and rarely followed orders from their disciplinarians.

I sat in the back of one of their classes and during the lesson the teacher asked, “what do you parents not allow you to do?” One student, who was sitting beside me, raised his hand and said without hesitation, “they don’t allow me to watch porn.”

The teacher gave him a stern warning, and I tried to hide my laughter. At least he said it in perfect English. Boys will be boys, I suppose.

When the week came to an end I visited my friend Dev in Seoul! Oh how wonderful it was to be back in the big city.

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While I was in Seoul, I filmed and edited a style video on Get Up & Go Girl which you can watch, HERE. As per tradition, I had Mexican food (burritos and guacamole, always a classic) as soon as I arrived and also indulged in some mango sorbet on a stick. My stomach was content.

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When I go to¬†Seoul, I don’t stop eating. The city has WAY more options and diversity when it comes to food compared to Busan. Dev took me to his favourite cupcake place in Incheon called, Veranda. It was a cute cafe filled with old records, wooden tables, and baked goods¬†galore. I’m not quite sure of the exact flavour I got, but apple pie is what it tasted like, with a cream cheese, caramel frosting. Mmm.

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Now from the title of this blog post we covered the cupcake aspect so, onto to the cow blood. Coagulated cow blood soup is a delicacy in South Korea traditionally called haejangguk (Ūēīžě•ÍĶ≠). You’ll see my reaction to the taste of it in my vlog below, plus I enter a dance contest at a drag show (yes, again!). Enjoy!

SATURDAY STYLE (SEOUL) FEAT. FIRMOO OPTICAL

All dolled up and everywhere to go!

Check out my latest style video I filmed in Seoul on Get Up & Go Girl! It includes a few of my favourite wardrobe pieces right now including a dress from Mary Young, killer Dr. Marten cheetah shoes (killer because they gave me blisters after an entire day of walking but, I still love them so), and chic glasses from Firmoo optical.