FAB #1 – Outfit & Make-up from YesStyle

FAB = Fashion and Beauty ;)

I recently ordered a few things from YesStyle for the first time. I took advantage of some coupons during Black Friday and I’m pretty happy with what I got!

SONY DSC

First are these cute panda tights. I love pandas! The tights fit well — I sometimes found Korean hosiery too small (although this is a Japanese brand, mind you). I also like that they give the illusion of knee highs, but I don’t have to pull them all the time like knee highs.

SONY DSC

I also got this oversized, warm knit sweater. Oversized sweaters/tops seem to be a “thing” with Korean girls (from what I saw). I grew to like the style. It’s not as pink as I thought — more of a very pale pink. I love it though!

SONY DSC

I also got this t-shirt and suspender skirt set. When I opened the package I was worried it wouldn’t fit because it looked very small. Although the shirt is snug on me, it’s not uncomfortable. The skirt is just the right length too. I found, in Korea, that I had to really check out skirts/dresses because most Korean girls don’t have as much going on in the back. That meant dresses could go from being cute to somewhat obscene on me lol.

Although I do have some qualms with how it’s constructed. Honestly, the zipper wasn’t put in well (as in, it shows more than it should), but it’s not that terrible.

The make-up is from Tony Moly. Totally cute packaging, and I really like the products. The are, unfortunately, not available on YesStyle anymore so I’m not sure if that means they are out of stock, or if Tony Moly no longer sells them.

[edit] I found both products at Jolse.com!

Petite Bunny Gloss Bar

Panda’s Dream So Cool Eye Stick

Here’s another look at the outfit:

SONY DSC   SONY DSC

Overall I’m pretty happy with YesStyle, and I’d order from there again. Have you guys ever ordered from there?

Thanks for reading!

(P.S. I now have a Facebook page – Oh My Happy Dae!)

December Kpop Giveaway

Hello!

I’m back again with a December giveaway. I’ve been waiting to do this one for about a year, since I had already done a giveaway last December.

I have an copy of EXO’s “Miracles in December” and also 2 posters — which unfortunately got a little beaten up on the edge because they came back with me from Korea.

Anyway! Here’s how you can enter:

- Comment below on the YouTube video or here in the blog post.
– Tell me your favorite thing about winter & if you have a favorite winter Kpop song

- Giveaway closes Dec 19 11:59 PM (US Central time)
– 3 names will be picked via name generator
– Open to anyone, anywhere :)
– Make sure your YT/email notifications are on, because I’ll contact the winners either thru reply or message.

Good luck!

(btw here’s one of my favorite winter songs by Urban Zakapa)

먹자! Let’s Eat – Dakgalbi (닭갈비)

Hiya!

Staying warm? It’s getting colder out these days. So why not cook a warm, spicy Korean dish to warm up? :)

I love dakgalbi. It’s a delicious and comforting dish. Of course, if you have dakgalbi, you gotta go to Chuncheon. It’s their specialty! But if you’re ever up in my city of Daejeon, I say head over to Gung-dong. In Gung-dong there’s a great place called Mat-jeon (막존 – which I think is supposed to be “Taste Zone”). They serve up the best dakgalbi in town. Not just that, but I have a friend who was a part-timer there, and she said they don’t even make the sauce on-site. It’s that secret! Plus they serve up pineapple makkeolli (막걸리) which is pretty darn good.

But being so far from me second home, I can’t just pop over when I want. So I looked around for a couple recipes and found some good ones from Beyond Kimchee and Maangchi. I pretty much did a mix of the two (so all credit goes to them for this!)

Ingredients:

- 1 lb of boneless chicken (thigh or breast), diced

- 1/2 lb of Korean rice cake sticks (떡볶이 – ddeokbokki)

- 1/2 small head of cabbed, diced

- 1/2 onion, sliced

- 1 sweet potato, chopped into bite sized pieces

- 1 carrot

- 1 tbsp of ginger, minced

- 2 tsp curry powder

- 2 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce

- 2-10 gloves of peeled garlic, minced (amount is to taste)

- 2 tbsp rice wine (mirin/mirim)

- 1 tbsp sugar

- tbsp sesame oil

- 3 tbsp Korean chili paste (고추장 – gochujang)

- 2 tbsp Korean chili flakes (고추가루 – gochugaru)

- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

- 2 tbsp canola oil

- 2-4 tbsp water

Directions:

- Set your rice cakes to soak in hot water (if they’re fresh you don’t need to do this step).

- Cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces. Put in a bowl with soy sauce (1 tbsp) and black pepper, mix, and set aside.

- Prepare the sauce by mixing: garlic, ginger, hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, soy sauce (2 tbssp) and mirin/mirim in a bowl.

- Place cabbage in a large, shallow pan. Put in onion, carrot, sweet potato, and rice cakes. (You can also add perilla leaves – I didn’t because I couldn’t find any anywhere!)

- Add chicken on top. Pour sauce over that.

- Cover and cook over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir.

- Lower heat a bit and cover. Let it cook for 20 minutes or until it’s done.

Packing for Korea

Happy December to all!

Soon, those of you who applied for the EPIK program will be finding out where you’re going to be placed. Exciting, right? But here’s one slightly less exciting part of the process – packing.

I mean, how do you fit what you’ll need for (minimum) 1 year in 2 suitcases? Well, having done that move, I have some input.

Clothes

Bras/underwear – Ladies, I say bring as much as you can. For those of you that are smaller sizes it shouldn’t be too bad, but I’m a bit curvier so I never tried. I brought all my underthings with me. I will say, though, that when I was in Tokyo for vacation I found bras that fit me in American Eagle in Harajuku.

Jeans – Again, if you’re pretty small then if shouldn’t be too terrible. I’m roughly a size 8 US, with a bit of a badonk, so it’s not always easy. It seems like Korea fashion does not account for said badonks. Plus, it’s pretty much a lot of skinny jeans. If you like different styles or are a larger size then bring 2-3 pairs with. However, there are stores like Uniqlo, H&M, and Forever21, so it’s not impossible.

Shoes – I’m a size 8, so I didn’t have lots of trouble getting shoes. I am, though, on the larger side for ladies shoes over there. You’ll sometimes find less styles than you’d like. Also, I noticed that things like sneakers are a bit narrower. So bring a pair of sneakers, maybe a few flats, and a pair or two of dress shoes.

Professional/work clothes – It’s something you’re going to need right away, and don’t wanna have to search for. Plus, style and sizing can be an issue. Things like nice slacks and skirts are always good. Also dress shirts and nice sweaters.

Just in general bring a few of your favorite things. I never really found casual/every day clothes to be a probably to buy. Things like dresses or party clothes, you may wanna bring a couple of your favs. I found plenty of dresses I liked in Korea (especially in Seoul), but sometimes ones I’d see would be way too short on me.

Toiletries

Deodorant – Bring a 3-pack or whatever with.

Razors/shaving gel – If you don’t mind the cheap throwaway kind, it’s not a problem. Also I remember seeing shaving gel for guys, but not for ladies.

Tampons – Your call, honestly. I don’t use them, but I feel like it’s not impossible to get them. It’s just that pads are more favored it seems.

Vitamins/medication – Of course bring your meds with you! Also the prescription (this goes for glasses too). Things like Tylenol, Advil, ibuprofen, Midol, and stomach medicine are extremely useful.

Toothpaste – I don’t like Korean tooth paste, honestly. Also I hear it doesn’t have fluoride. Anyway, just bring a few tubes of your fav.

Make-up – Korean make-up is awesome! But if you’re a darker skin color then bring your favorite concealer/foundation/BB cream/etc with you. You’re just not going to find it over there.

Snacks/food:

Bring a few of your favorite snacks if you have room. It can help combat homesickness. I suggest Reese’s!

Also if you love Ranch dressing (Heeeey, Simon), then you can buy Hidden Valley Ranch packets at the store. Saves a lot of room and you can make it whenever you want.

Home

Bath towel – Get a big, fluffy one. The towels in Korea are small in comparison, and it’s so annoying!

Pics – Bring some to decorate your home or classroom. Speaking of classroom, anything you can bring to decorate it great. I brought a poster of my college campus, pictures of my home, etc.

Camera – You can buy one over there too, but no matter what get one! You’re going to be overseas for a year and you should document as much as you can.

Adapter/convertor – Definitely bring a couple adapters. If you want to plug in more than one thing at a time then you’ll want a few. Convertors are only needed if you bring something heavy duty like a game system.

Laptop – A lot of people wait to buy one in Korea. For me personally, it seemed like getting a PC was troublesome (having to change the language and other things). I ended up buying a new MacBook in my 2nd year cuz my old one was dying a slow death. Apple products are more expensive there, unfortunately, but I never had trouble with it. Actually, it was nice having the hangul written on the keys.

The biggest problem with Macs, though, is Korea’s outdated obsession with Internet Explorer. It just doesn’t work on them! There will be many times, especially with your bank, where you simply won’t be able to do anything on your Mac. In those cases I used my school computer or went to a PC bang. Annoying, but it works.

Etc

Pics and videos – Buy an external hard drive and load it up. Take videos before you leave: of your family, friends, workplace, old schools, whatever. The kids will like it, and it can be nice when you’re missing home.

Books – Don’t bother. I love books, but they take up way too much room. Download the Kindle app and get e-books. If you ever want a real book, though, you can always order from WhatTheBook in Seoul.

Movies – Meh, a toss-up. Bring a few of your favs if you like. Korea’s internet is amazingly fast though so it’s not hard to download things.

I hope that was useful! There’s probably a few things I forgot, so if you have questions leave them down below.

Thanks for reading. Stay warm!

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!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

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.

SONY DSC

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!

SONY DSC

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.

SONY DSC

Hip hop duo – Geeks

SONY DSC

4minute

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

SONY DSC

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.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

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!