Daejeon International Food Exhibition

Another throwback vlog! I think these things need an acronym or something — TBVs? TVs?

Anyway, this is another one from 2012. In May there was an exhibition at Expo Park featuring international food. Actually, I didn’t get to see much of it because a) I went on the last day and b) I went only a few hours before it was closing. Oops…

Still, I managed to see some interesting things. There was a part that had beautiful displays of food eaten at the Buddhist temples. They also had information about how you can do a temple stay. I always wanted to do one, but never made plans for it. Next time I’m in Korea I want to give it a try.

There were also lovely table and food displays around the hall. In another part, they had a mock-up of a traditional Korean house with a display of food, and you could dress up in (costume) traditional clothes and take pics. I did give that one a go. ^^

There was even a place where they let you try, and, in the case of foreigners, you could make your own kimchi. It pretty much just involved applying the sauce and garlic to the cabbage, but after that they put it in a pot and let you keep it. How fun it that? I still have the pot with me, but I use it for my spare change now.

There was also a women at the Buddhist temple area doing a traditional tea ceremony (which I’ll put a video up for later). It’s very formal, but relaxing in a way. The way the people who do the ceremony are so precise about everything is kind of impressive. I’m not sure I could be so controlled. Oh, and the tea was tasty as well. :)

All in all, a pretty interesting way to spend on afternoon.

Thanks for reading!

Korean College Festival

Time for a throwback vlog!

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When I lived in Daejeon, I lived just 2 bus stops away from Chungnam University. It was really convenient because the area around the university is a popular place for twenty-somethings to hang out (seeing as many students live in the area). At least once a year, the university holds a festival. Actually, many Korean universities have festivals.

The main activities of these festivals are eating and drinking.

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Clubs or departments will set up tents and sell food and refreshments, namely alcohol like beer, soju, and makkeoli. One tent we went in had a 노래방/karaoke machine set up. And I loves me some karaoke!

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There will usually be a performance too. Sometimes students will perform a bit, and after a professional singer will perform as well. When I went this time, it was in 2012 and Geeks and 4Minute performed. Pretty lucky! Though I remember Gayoon was out sick, but it was still fun to see an idol group that close.

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Hip hop duo – Geeks

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It’s a nice chance to walk around with friends and relax.

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I haven’t seen anything quite like this in the States. If we did, they probably wouldn’t sell alcohol. **Note: It was all students running things so it’s not like anyone was carding people. They assumed everyone is of age.

It’s a fun! I went to one or two other festivals during my time in Korea. One time they event set up a giant closed-off tent as a club. College kids sure know how to party.

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Does your university/college do festivals or big events like this? Lemme know! I’m curious how people’s university life differs. :)

Thanks for reading!

How & Why I Went to Korea

Hey, all!

Fall has finally arrived. The weather is getting cooler, there’s pumpkin flavored everything all over the place, and I finally get to wear sweaters (yay!). I was thinking back to fall a few years back, when I was applying for the EPIK program. So, I decided to make a video about how and why I decided to go to Korea.

In winter 2009 I graduated from college with a BFA in Painting & Drawing. I didn’t have a plan for right after graduation. I thought maybe I’d go to graduate school or possibly travel. I’d taken courses in Japanese during my undergrad, and I had heard about the JET program. So in the midst of my final semester in school I was also applying for JET. I read blogs and watched videos by people like myargonauts. I thought at least, with my language experience, I’d get an interview. But, when the list of successful applicants went up in January, my name wasn’t on the list. I was crushed!

But I continued on. I looked at different graduate schools, but I didn’t have much in my savings. At the time, I wanted to go to art school for animation. I had no idea how I could possibly afford it, though, since grad school/art school isn’t cheap. Around summer 2010 my friend suggested I give EPIK a try. I hadn’t heard of it, and did a bit of research. Korea, eh? Well, I did like Korean pop culture. And Korea seemed like an interesting place… so why not?

By fall I was looking into how to apply. I ended up going through the recruiting agency Canadian Connection. I filled out an application and waited for a response. I don’t think I had to wait very long. I had a successful interview and began gathering my documents. In December, I got an e-mail asking me about my city preferences. Cities like Seoul, Incheon, and Busan are popular, and it was harder (and now moreso since GEPIK is cutting jobs) to get a job there. How about my other choices? I had no problem with them, and very soon after I was told I was going to Daejeon. Wow, just like that? I’m going? Holy cow!

I had about 6-7 weeks to get everything in order. I was still waiting on documents and my contract so I could get my visa from the consulate in Chicago. I researched on-line all about living in Korea, teaching Korea, what I should pack, etc. I was so nervous and excited. My mother was probably more nervous than me. My family was probably confused as to why I was even going to a country where I knew no one and couldn’t even speak the language.

Except for a slight snafu at the consulate regarding my contract, I was able to get my visa just a couple days before my flight. I stayed up all night the day before packing, repacking, and probably freaking out a bit.

It all ended up fine though! I went to Korea, I met so many great people, and learned lots of things while teaching.

If you’re thinking about applying to EPIK (or just teaching in general in Korea), I say “go for it!”. I’m glad I applied through a recruiter. They were kind and informative, and helped me through the whole process. I feel like I probably saved myself a lot of stress this way.

As it’s now October, it’s probably a bit late to be applying for Spring 2015 intake. Don’t worry if it’s late in the game. If you don’t mind a hagwon job, they’re always taking applicants throughout the year. Otherwise just wait for Fall 2015 intake for EPIK. You can always use that time to get a certificate like TEFL to boost your resume a bit.

If you have any questions about applying or teaching in Korea in general, I’ll do my best to answer them. I believe EPIK has changed a few requirements in terms of applying, so I’d have to read up on that.

Thanks for reading!

Etude House Make-up Review

 

It’s make-up time again!

A friend of my mom’s friend went to Korea recently, and was very kind to pick up some items I wanted from Etude House. I’m a sucker for Etude House. Everything’s so cute! So I decided to show what I got and review a few items I haven’t shown you yet.

I Need You, Green Tea! Mask Sheet 

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I really fell in love with the mask sheets at Korean make-up stores. They range from about 950 won to about 2,000 won depending on which kind you get. These particular ones are 950 won a piece, but they sometimes sell them in packs of 5 or 10 for a slight discount.

Green tea is supposed to “provid[e] moist and comforting relief to sooth out rough and irritated skin”. I generally go for masks that have moisture, vitamins, or are supposed to sooth skin. Other masks may have whitening properties or other such things.

*You can get them here at YesStyle

 

Collagen Moistfull Enriched Cream Set

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I love this cream. I used it daily as my moisturizer after showers or washing my face. The pot may seem smallish but a little goes a long way. It goes on easy and I feel like my skin is smoother/softer when I use it.

The bottle of essence it an extra that comes with it. There’s other parts of the Moistfull line like toner, night mask, eye cream, etc. I usually keep it simple with just the cream and essence though.

*Get it here at YesStyle

 

Princess Happy Ending Precious Mineral BB Cream

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Oh, BB cream, where would I be without you? I didn’t really know about it until I moved to Korea and now I don’t want to live without it!

I was a little wary of buying this one because I didn’t like the previous BB cream I had gotten from Etude House, but also because I couldn’t see this in person. I was buying it for the heck of it. But all turned out well! First off, the consistency is nice — it’s not too stiff or too watery. There is a bit of a scent, but I didn’t notice it once I was applying it. Although this cream boasts brightening I didn’t feel like it made me too white. Another great thing about this BB cream is that it also is SPF30 so I don’t worry about sun lotion unless I’m at the beach or something.

This particular shade is W13 Natural Beige (내추롤 베이지) and costs 15,000 won on Etude’s website. You can also find it on Gmarket.

Princess Happy Ending Rose Cheek Blusher

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Yes! They had my favorite Disney princess! (Even though she’s not pictured on any of the stuff but whatever!) Again, I’m a sucker for cute packaging. Plus I kinda needed/wanted a new blush anyway since I’ve had the same one forever.

Anyway ~ this was another pleasing purchase. The color turned out nice — not too bright, but it does give my skin a nice glow. It’s small enough to fit nicely in my bag, make-up pouch, or even pocket if I wanted to.

This shade is #2 Coral Rose. You can find it on Gmarket.

Miss Tangerine Gloss/Apricot Stick Lip Gloss

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These are products I already had, but wanted to show. I originally wanted to get one of the Princess lipsticks, but the store was sold out.

First, I have the Miss Tangerine Sweet Shower Lip Gloss. This is, unfortunately, now a retired item (sorry!). This was a product that Dara from 2NE1 endorsed some time ago. I picked it up because I trusted the sales person, but I don’t really think this is the right color for me. It’s a very bold orange color which is not something I normally use. If I dab off a bit it’s not too bad, but it’s rare that I use it.

The Apricot Stick Lip Gloss, however, is quite nice! It’s a nice shade of pink with a dab of red. It doesn’t go on too dark, and the size and weight is nice for carrying around. This shade is #3 Fresh Apple (3호 상금 사과).

Get it on Gmarket!

Oh, Etude House, how I love thee! Granted, shipping overseas is going to bring up the prices quite a bit, but I really do like a lot of their products. I got lucky that someone was able to pick them up for me.

I hope you found my review useful. Feel free to send me any questions you may have about these products or Korean make-up in general. I’ll do my best to find the answers.

Ciao!

Collabing with Talk To Me In Korean

Hey, guys! Hope you’re beating the summer heat.

I wanted to post about a couple of videos that I did in March with the folks at Talk To Me In Korean. I met most of the TTMIK crew about 3 years ago at Seoul Tube. I was pretty shy about going to the event seeing as I was just starting about blogging/vlogging and so many people there had successful channels already. But I gotta say everyone was super nice! I’m so glad I went because I met many great friends there. Among them were the TTMIK peeps.

Jumping ahead to March of this year, I invited them to my going-away party in Seoul. They were kind enough to attend, and before Hyunwoo left he invited me to help out with a few of their videos. I was honored! Even before I moved to Korea I had been using TTMIK’s site and videos to study Korean. I was more than happy to take part.

Luckily I finished my job at that point so I was able to come up on a weekday to Seoul. I had the privilege of going to the TTMIK office, which I hadn’t visited before. It’s quite nice!

I was a bit nervous about filming because they’re pros, but it was really fun. :) I’m so happy I did it!

First, here’s an “Ask Hyojin” vid where we talk about living outside of Seoul.

Then I did one with Hyunwoo for the Talk To Me In English channel. This was the hardest one! It was difficult thinking up example sentences on the fly.

And the last one was for “If Korean Idioms Were Real”. I was a bit worried about my pronunciation (and acting lol), but it turned out fine — probably cuz Seokjin is good at editing.

 

I really hope I have the chance to do collabs with them again. It was so fun and I made some nice memories too. TTMIK친구들~고마워요!

Let’s Cook – Ddeokbokki (떡볶이)

Cooking time again! This time I went for ddeokbokki (also spelled tteokbokki).

Ddeokbokki is a dish of spicy rice cakes. Sometimes people will add hard boiled eggs or odeng (fish cakes) too.

I actually used a couple websites as references, but I most used the one on Maangchi.com (check it here)

I also followed Martina of EYK’s video for making anchovy broth. I did not have fun taking out the innards of the anchovies. First, I’ve never done that for any fish much less these itty bitty ones that are hard to handle. Also, the ones I had were not fresh. The broth wasn’t too hard to make, but the fish smell is really strong. You end up with a lot of broth so unless you do a lot of Korean cooking you’re going to have to store it or toss the rest.

Once the broth was finished the rest was pretty easy. Just involves throwing stuff in a pot and waiting. My sauce probably could’ve been thicker in the end. Someone commented that I need sugar and corn syrup which I did add (it wasn’t in the video), but I may have needed more. The taste was pretty spot on though!

I ended up taking the dish to the high school my mom works at for their international culture day. Only a few kids tried it and they thought it was too spicy. ^_^; The one Korean student liked it though haha. So I didn’t do too badly.

I need to find more recipes to cook! Hope I can bring more tasty treats to you guys.

K-pop Exercise Playlist

Hi ho, my lovelies!

Now that the weather is finally nice here I’m going out for runs more and more. I also go to the gym, but I prefer being outside. :)

So I’m bringing my Top 10 K-pop songs on my workout playlist. I have English songs and J-pop on my playlist too, but K-pop takes up the most space. Here are some of my favs:

1. 2pm – Electricity (220 v mix)

2. GD & TOP – High High

3. SHINee – Lucifer

4. f(x) – Hot Summer

5. Mighty Mouth – La La La (feat. Soyu)

6. Epik High – 따라해 (Wannabe)

7. ZE:A – Watch Out!!

8. Brown Eyed Girls – Sixth Sense

9. 2NE1 – Crush

10. DJ Masa – 2NE1/C&C Music Factory – Gonna Make You THE BEST

 

I think in terms of groups SHINee, Big Bang, and 2NE1 have a lot of really good songs for working out. SHINee especially! I like stuff with a powerful beat to get me going. Since making this video though I added some more songs. 15&’s “Sugar” works surprising well!

What are your favorite songs to work out to? I love hearing new music, so recommend some to me. :)