Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween

I hope everybody's having a great time! Because of my lack of Halloween parties to attend this year I decided to treat myself to a sugar skull makeover on Picmonkey. Give it a try if you have some time to kill! Here is mine. I really want to try the zombie makeover too. The original photo I used was a sulky face I was pulling from our mountain hike at the weekend. I did feel like death on the way down.
Sugar Skull face

Also, because of my lack of party going, I decided to paint my nails, which the kids at school have been going crazy for.
Jack O Lantern Nails

What really put me in the Halloween spirit was the parcel I received with lots of sweet treats in it from my Mum. She's very sneaky and hadn't told me about it, but it really put a smile on my face. I can't wait to eat the Galaxy chocolate, all in one go!

Goodies From Home

We're off to a halloween themed quiz tonight. Because I refuse to watch horror films most of the time, I'm presuming that I have no chance of winning, but wish me luck!

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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Korean Make up Trash, Treat or Stash: Etude House's Proof 10 Auto Pencil Eyeliner

Trash, Treat or Stash. The Korean make-up products I've discovered are better off in the bin, the ones you should treat yourself to every now and again, and the ones that are so good that you should definitely make sure you have a stash of them.

Proof 10 Auto Pencil Etude House

Well it's the night before Halloween and sadly I don't have any witchiness planned for the weekend! Boo! Halloween used to be my absolute favourite holiday of the year. I remember being in primary school and deciding on Halloween that I loved the day so much that I was going to have a party. I invited all of my friends and told them to be at my house that night. It was only when my mum picked me up from the childminder's about 20 minutes before the party was due to start that I announced my plans. I don't think she was best happy, but we still had a great time! It's bizarre in Korea as it's obviously not as big a thing here, and when I tell the children it's Halloween this week they're really blase and like 'Oh Really. And?'. I'm way more excited than them! Because of the day it's fallen on this year, people have sort of spread out there plans, celebrating a bit last week and a little this week, but I seem to have missed out on it all. Oh well! There are lots more to come!

So incase anyone is planning on dressing up this weekend, I thought I would share one of Etude House's products which is perfect for creating witchy eyes. It's the proof 10 Auto Pencil.

Cost: This costs 6,000 which is just over 2.50. I think that's a fine price to pay for an eyeliner.
Usability: The product is really creamy so is really easy to draw neat lines on your eyelid. Just screw the top to get more of the product out, and there is a tiny sharpener on the bottom of the pencil, if you really need a precise line. It's not so great as some liquid eyeliners if precision is the sole thing you're looking for, but this does give a really dense colour just by easily applying.
Durability: This product is waterproof, so it can stand up to big fat raindrops that try and take your make up away. It also doesn't really tend to smudge too easily, or leave the black ring on your socket or brow bone which I sometimes get from an ordinary pencil. I wouldn't say it lasts all day, but it will last the majority of the day.


Overall: This is a great, cheap eyeliner that can do the job of a pencil and a liquid liner. It's not perfect, but for the price I think it's pretty spiffing! It's easy to adjust if you go wrong, and you don't have the annoying drying time that you sometimes get with liquid liners. It's waterproof so can last throughout the drizzly Autumn days and is even specially designed for sensitive peepers. I would recommend that if you're looking for an all in one, daily eyeliner then give this one a go!

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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Hunt for a Perfect Travel Bag

As I have lesson plans for open classes and test papers to write coming out of my ears for my final weeks at school, I also have lots of thoughts buzzing around my head about the things I need to prepare for Argentina.

I've pretty much narrowed down my shopping list to a day rucksack, a coat, hiking boots and some sandals. I started looking last night and was overwhelmed by the amount of bags to pick from. Then I started getting ridiculously paranoid that I'm not going to pick the right one, and I will be lacking a vitally important pocket that I will only realise my life depended on when it's too late. It's a surprise I'm sleeping at night!

But here were 8 of my favourite that I found, and I realistically accept that I probably won't settle for any of them. Maybe I should save my money and use a bin liner instead?!


1. This Roxy one was my favourite until I read the detailed description. It looks big enough and has a strap that goes around your waist/chest which Nick recommended, but then it's tailored for snowboarding and has lots of things specially designed for boarding, so it might not be the bag for me.

2. Trusted old Jansport. I love the colour of this bag and it's nice and big with plenty of pockets, plus the low price makes it a high contender!

3. This Roxy one has pink flamingos on it! Enough said!

4. Another Jansport one. I like that it's canvas and the colour makes me feel a bit more grown up, although I can't see canvas being very good in the rainy season, no-one likes wearing soggy clothes! Yuck!

5. This is one of the first bags I spotted. I love that it's bright and has fish printed all over it, however, because of the same reason as number 4, I've decided against it.

6. The final Jansport one that I picked out. I like the pockets and it's a nice, big, size. It would also match the print of my hair dryer, but i'm not sure whether this is absolutely vital when looking for a travel bag, so maybe not!

7. Look! It has a unicorn hood and a fluffy pink tail! It's so cute, but I think that Nick would refuse to walk with me if I got this. I have to decide whether to be a lonesome wanderer in a unicorn hood, or good companionship...decisions.

8. The last one, which is my real favourite. I love that it has maps on it, but it is a tad too small, I don't know how to pack lightly, so despite loving it very much, this is a no!

I know that I just have to keep looking for the right bag, and I will discover it when I'm least expecting it!

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Monday, 28 October 2013

Our Weekend: Hunting for Moon Bears on Jirisan

I'm giving myself a congratulatory pat on the back as we speak! I managed to get up the highest mountain in Korea, and back down again without tears or seriously hurting myself! Hurray!

The trip started out not so great. We just stepped through the door of Nick's apartment late on Friday night when I realised I'd left my trainers at mine, across the other side of the city. It took me about 50 minutes to get home on the metro, just to pick them up. I was trying not to see it as a bad omen as i crawled into bed after 12, with the alarm set for 4:45am. Ouch.

After arriving at the village next to the mountain and sorting out the hotel we got started a little later than we had planned, so by the end of the hike it looked like we were going to be wandering around the mountainside in darkness, but with a couple of minutes to spare we found the path down to the main gate which was well lit! My main worry was the 'Beware of the bear' signs that were dotted around the mountain, and the information provided in Korean on what to do in the event of a bear attack. From the diagrams I guessed that we shouldn't hit the bear with sticks, but I wasn't so sure about the rest!

The views from the top were amazing, every way we looked there were rolling mountains peeping out from the clouds, we even managed to make a few friends on the way. Autumn really has arrived at Jirisan so the leaves were amazing colours. It was so pretty. A drunk, retired CEO (It's funny how many people claim to be CEOs in Korea) took a liking to us and took our picture when we were half way up the mountain. He then traded numbers with Nick and tried to send us the photo. He was swaying this way and that, to the point I realised I should be ahead of him incase he fell and take us all out like pins. He ended up sending us a picture of the floor, but it was a pretty floor covered in lots of red and orange leaves.

I always find the way down the hardest, we've reached our goal and the excitement's gone. Plus you really have to watch your footing and I bust my knee playing roller derby a long time ago, and my knee likes to remind me of this when I'm on my way down. Boo!

Unlike Seoraksan, we took lots of food and snacks and enjoyed a lunch at the top of sushi rolls and sugary coffee. We accidentally queue jumped at the very peak, as lots of Koreans waited to get their photo taken with the stone at the highest point, so rather than infuriate everyone by pushing in, or wait our turn, we had a photo from the back of the stone! I think we get top marks for fashionable hiking attire, what do you think?

We finished our hike and went down for some well deserved food and makeolli and fell asleep watching Ratatouille, it was the perfect day!

Jang San Ri Hotel

Beware of the bears

Bear Friends

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Oreo Face

Oreo Face

Jirisan Mountain

Jirisan Mountain

Mountain Top Lunch

Queue Jumping at the top of Jirisan

Dead Trees at the top of Jirisan

Rock Piles on Jirisan

Rock Piles on Jirisan

Finished just before it got dark

Post Mountain Food

Extreme Ball Games
Our Hotel// Beware of the moon bear signs// Ranger Nick// Autumn Leaves//Bridge Troll//
Jirisan Spring// Oreo faces// Half way up the mountain glee// Rock piles//
Lunch at the top// Victors!// Dead Mountain Top trees// Rocks and more rocks//
Arriving back in the dusk// Feast// Waiting for the bus shenanigans

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Friday, 25 October 2013

Danger Mammal

I'm just making some last minute changes to the things I've packed ready for our climb tomorrow. Although I can't help but notice I'm going to be wearing exactly what I wore when we went to Seoroksan, I looked like a garden gnome playing football!

I'm about to head to meet Nick for dinner. It reminded me about last night when I was waiting for him at the train station and the fountain show started. This drunk old guy in a suit and trilby kept thrusting his hands towards the fountain as in going 'TA DAAAA' expecting the water or the lights to change and making it look as if he was magically gifted to change the lights. Unfortunately it didn't work for him, so he decided to climb onto the stage, but missed the stage and fell in a crumpled heap! The last thing I saw of him he was straddling a wall and having a cigarette! I'll miss the old, reckless drunks in Korea!

Finally, because the kids had tests all this week, I decided to have a bit of fun with my after school. They had to draw an animal that was a mixture of other animals and then write a couple of sentences about what it liked or didn't like. Danger mammal came first, followed by cat bee! So cute!

Cat Bee
Danger Mammal
Parrot Bear

Well I hope you all have a good weekend and wish me good luck on the hike!

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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Autumn Days

Things have been ridiculously hectic since my mum left Busan and I feel like I've been a bit neglectful on here, not reading the blogs I used to everyday and hardly having any time to comment. But, it's all in aid of our new, exciting adventure. Argentina in 54 days.

I have a Korea bucketlist as long as my elbow of everything I want to see before I leave. We've been busy bees, crossing things of. The next one is climbing Mount Jirisan at the weekend. I'm not too sure if I actually want to climb it, but I know once I get to the top I'll be really proud. Last year Seorak was the best place to go in Autumn as the leaves were all bright reds, and oranges, so I'm hoping that this climb will be the same. The climb also means that we won't get to see the fireworks this year, or celebrate Halloween as most of the parties are being held this weekend. I will break my habit of avoiding scary films at all costs and make Nick watch one on Halloween night.

Autumn has definitely arrived here with a grey, drizzly day. There's no way I can forget my cardigan when I leave the house in the morning anymore, as it's always so chilly. So far from the Summer when you'd leave the house and instantly want to have a cold shower it was just so hot!

The poor kids at school have had tests all of this week, and we've just finished the last couple of tests. To entertain the class while we've been doing the individual speaking tests we've been playing Tom and Jerry, which weirdly they call 'Tong and Jerry'. I used to be obsessed with this cartoon when I was younger. It reminds me of those pre packaged mini cake mixes that my mum used to buy that had strawberry icing and sugar paper pictures to stick on top! They always tasted amazing when I was little, I wonder if they're still the same now?! Or perhaps it was because I could appreciate all the hard graft that had gone into them!

Finally, the last piece of exciting news is that last night we had a meeting with all of the girls who had shown interest in playing roller derby in Busan. We got together at Sharky's and it was so nice to be surrounded by so many people who are enthusiastic about it! Exciting times lay ahead in Busan, it's just a shame that I won't be here to share the fun!

Busan Roller Derby Flyer

Busan Roller Derby Team First Ever Meeting
The flyer that the talented Rosh designed quick sticks for last night//
I love this photo a. because of Rosh's pose and her swanky reversible jacket, and it has the cutest
dog in it, if you look close enough you can see him!

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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Korean Make up Trash, Treat or Stash: Etude House's Rosy Tint Lips

Trash, Treat or Stash. The Korean make-up products I've discovered are better off in the bin, the ones you should treat yourself to every now and again, and the ones that are so good that you should definitely make sure you have a stash of them.

Etude House Rosy Tint Lips

It feels like the old days at school today. It's a test day so I have time to blog at my desk so I thought I'd admit that I'm a little bit obsessed with Etude House, if you hadn't noticed. My days are numbered, soon I won't be able to walk into Nampo and browse what the shop bedecked in ornate candy pink mirrors and stands has to offer. Making the most of it being in my neighborhood and having a sale on, I decided to have a look the other day and walked out with two red lip products. One of them being the Rosy Tint Lips in Before Blossom.

Cost: This costs ₩8,500 for a 7g bottle, which is about £4.50. But with the current sale it took the price down to just under £3.00 at ₩5,600, I think this is a really good price for the product.
Prettiness: I love the packaging for the whole & Rose range, it's smothered in roses and is really bright and colourful. The smell is also pretty nice. I usually find rose smelling things quite offensive but this isn't too strong. The colour is a really bright mars red, with an orange tint to it. I like it as it looks really bright on your face too.
Usability: It's really easy to use, just squeeze the tube and dab onto the lips with the sponge applicator. The product is quite thick and creamy but comes out smooth. It's suggested on the packaging that you can wear the product in 2 ways, full coverage like a lipstick or slightly faded, more like an normal tint. I have to say that I don't really like the graded look so would only wear it as a lipstick. It leave a really nice matte, bright colour.
Effectiveness: Because of how thick the product is and the fact it's matte, I found that it felt like my lips had dried out, although when I checked in a mirror I was surprised to see that everything looked fine. The colour does eventually fade, but because it's a tint as well it doesn't fade like a normal lipstick, which was reassuring.


Overall: i love the colour of Before Blossom, I love the sponge applicator and how the product wears off my lips to a tint. I definitely want to try another shade in the range, especially while the sales are on, so in that case I would say get a stash of these tints while you can!

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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Korean Cooking: How to make Kimchi


Kimchi is seasoned fermented cabbage dish. It's Korea's national dish and now is the season to prepare your kimchi for the next year (I think it's supposed to improve with age). So here is the recipe that we were given at the temple on Sunday incase you're not in Korea and want to try it for yourself at home, and I've tempted you with my sumptuous looking leaves...or not!

Koreans eat kimchi for nearly every meal. They eat it as a side dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It took some getting used to. I started eating it out of politeness. It feels like if you say you don't like kimchi in Korea, you are telling the Koreans that you hate all of their food. My first culture shock came at the hands of kimchi. My first school lunch I was hungry after a long flight the day before, and a breakfast that my coteacher had bought me, which was a shrimp burger from Lotteria. Not exactly what you want when you're jet lagged and disorientated. So when I walked in at lunch break to the teacher's canteen, I was happy to see what I thought was tomato pasta, I loaded it onto my tray and when I'd eventually managed to get the hang of the chopsticks, shovelled some in my mouth, only to realise that it was icy cold pickled cabbage. I was not a happy bunny. I did try to avoid it at all costs for a long time, but it would hang around the outskirts of every meal. I am warming to kimchi now, especially when it's in other things, like soup or pancakes, but I still don't miss it when I haven't eaten it for a few days. I blame school's terrible kimchi for that!

How to make it:

Kimchi Ingredients
Koreans normally use the huge Chinese cabbages to make their kimchi. They soften it by soaking it in cold water for several hours before they start to season it.

While waiting for the cabbages to soften, they prepare the seasoning paste. This is a mix of red pepper powder, salt, garlic, fish sauce, rice paste, sesame oil, a touch of sugar and chopped radish. Other ingredients can be added such as pears, apples, shrimp sauce and ginger. I guess things could be substituted if you wanted to make a vegetarian or vegan option. Mix all of this together to make a thick paste that you can man handle!
Kimchi Ingredients
After the paste is made, chop some spring onions and chives which are the final additions to the kimchi paste and this is where the fun starts.
Kimchi Ingredients
Having cut the core of the cabbage away so that you can move the leaves around, start to spread the paste over each leaf, on the inside and outside using your hands. It reminded me of my first proper Saturday job at the local hair dressers and I was being taught how to colour people's hair, trying to make sure every tiny strand was coated!
Kimchi Making Competition at Hongbeopsa Temple

Once you've finished covering the leaves, you should masterfully wrap the cabbage up in the outer leaf to make a kimchi cocoon. This way, the seasoning is tucked inside and can work its fermenting magic.

My finished Kimchi
Pop the kimchi into an air tight container and apparently this can last for up to a year! I'm yet to try out the kimchi that I made at the temple on Sunday but I'm looking forward to having a go at making kimchi-jeon.

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