My Favourite Things: March 2015

My Favourite Things

Has it been a month since I’ve last posted? Oiiii. I blame work for it, what with me being in charge of organising another photography contest. That really occupied me as I helped the kids to pick photos, printed the photos, delivered it to the place to get them matted, picked them up, displayed them, found the judges, got the prizes, made the video and slideshow, created and printed the programme, hosted the actual event with my 4-H club officers . . . er, yeah. Let’s just say I’m glad that’s over! Now I feel like I can breathe a bit, and I’ve even remembered to do this post! “My Favourite Things” is a blog link-up hosted by the lovely Raisa and Eirene. Like last month, there’s no particular theme, so enjoy my favourites for this month :)

Crosley CR31-WA Companion Retro Radio

This radio is amazing. I requested my bosses to purchase this so I could have it in my lab to show kids what old technology devices look like. This radio looks vintage, but works like a modern device, and I love it. Even better that I found a classical music station — yay for 93.1 FM! But anyway, at work, this is my steadfast companion, and with all the hours I’ve spent with that photography event, this radio kept my sanity. I’m really tempted to get me one for my house now . . .

Speaking of classical music, I bought ticket to go see the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 and 7 in April. I cannot wait! I’ve always wanted to hear the seventh symphony (my favourite Beethoven’s symphony) performed live, so this is a great opportunity for me. I only wished the tickets weren’t so expensive. Buuuuut, I’m fairly certain that the performance will be worth the price.

The Biker from the Silence of the Lamb

I’ve grown fond of brunch meals. One of my good elementary/high school buddies is back in Seoul, and he’s a foodie like me, so we’ve been meeting up whenever we can, mostly for brunch. We met up in my area, which has a lot of delicious brunch restaurants. Our first “real” brunch (we’d met multiple times before and ended up doing things not very “brunchy”) occurred at Silence of the Lamb. Despite its gruesome name, I enjoyed their brunch. Good quality food and generous portion sizes at a reasonable price. I got the Biker, which comes with eggs, potato wedges, toast, bratwurst, and bacon. YUM.

English breakfast and mimosa from Phillies

Our second brunch adventure occurred at Phillies. I had the English breakfast and mimosa. Their potatoes were great, and so was their home-made sausage patty.

Holiday Waffles with Bacon from Phillies

My third brunch adventure happened at Phillies again. I got their holiday waffles with bacon. The bacon is inside the pumpkin spice waffles. It came with candied walnuts, pears, and Amaretto whipped cream. OM, NOM, NOM. It was a bizarre combination, but it worked and tasted delicious!

Earl Grey Tea and Carrot Cake at Chloris Tea & Coffee

I discovered a tea cafe called Chloris in Sinchon area that serves tea in English style. They use real China cups and teapots, and their interior design does look like something from the Edwardian era. I love this place! I have a place to relax at now when I have to go Severance Hospital nearby, so this is great. There are two branches in Sinchon, and I went to their first one. My first order consisted of Earl Grey tea and carrot cake.

Royal milk tea at Chloris Tea & Coffee

My second order was royal milk tea . . . which also came in a teapot. I wasn’t expecting that to come in a teapot, to be honest, so I was a bit surprised. I loved it, though! The whole concept was just refreshing for me, and I felt so posh and so . . . Edwardian-like despite not even wearing Edwardian fashion, haha! Definitely my new favourite cafe in Seoul!

Thirty-One Gifts

And my last favourites are what I promised to show from last month — my Thirty-One Gifts stash. The first photo is my Zip-Top Organising Utility in Grey Parisian Pop print. That’s my new work bag because it’s big enough for me to stash my shoes, umbrella, planner, and other junk I need at work. I also love that this thing comes with so many pockets. It definitely helps keep me organised!

Thirty-One Gifts

This here is my new overnight bag, the City Weekender in Brown Woodblock Floral print. This is the bag I got in the flash sale — got this baby for $20 as opposed to something that’s $60+! I got this fully intending to take it on my Japan trip. Unfortunately, it didn’t arrive on time. If anything, it came like the day after I came back from Japan ~_~; Still, though, I love how this is so sturdy! Plus, it comes with a longer shoulder strap. Win-win!

Thirty-One Gifts

Lastly, this is the stash I got recently. I got the Zip-Top Organising Utility in Bubble Bloom print, True Beauty Bag in Bubble Bloom print, and the All About the Benjamins in Putty Snake print for my best friend’s birthday this month.

As for me, I got the Handle-It Cosmetic Bag in Black Parisian Pop, Perfect Cents Wallet in Navy Playful Parade print, and Frog Icon Coin Purse. The wallet and the coin purse are a great combo because I can now separate my American and Korean change! Whee! I love the cosmetic bag because it’s easily wipeable, and it’ll be something I’ll take with me when I travel and can put my shampoo, soap, and other stuff.

All in all, I am glad I got all these stuff at an amazing deal, and I do hope my best friend in Guam loves her new stuff, too! And thus ends my post for this monthly link-up. Until the next one!

Kansai Trip 2015

Incheon Airport

For my 30th birthday, I decided on a trip to Osaka and Kyoto. It all started with my boss and I talking about visiting Japan, with her wanting to go to Universal Studios Japan, and me wanting to go to Tokyo. However, I’d no idea USJ was in Osaka, but once I knew that, I figured visiting Osaka and Kyoto would be a good opportunity and it’d satisfy the Hakuouki/Shinsengumi fan in me, haha! My boss left most of the planning to me, and after much researching, our itinerary consisted of:

January 16: Arrive in Osaka and explore Universal City Walk.
January 17: Go to Kyoto to check out Nishi Hongang-ji, Nishiki Market, Shosei-en Garden, and Pontocho.
January 18: Go to USJ, Animate Tennoji, and Namba area.
January 19: Fly back home.

That was our basic itinerary. The following below was what really happened :D

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My Favourite Things: December 2014

My Favourite Things

I’ve decided to do this “My Favourite Things”, a monthly meme that focuses on what I’ve been obsessed with for the past four weeks. This meme is hosted by Raisa and Eirene.

Kindle Paperwhite and Coffee

For the past month or so, I’ve been obsessed with reading The Lord of the Rings and/or The Hobbit fanfics on my first generation Kindle Paperwhite. These are epically long fics (majority of them are 100,000+ words long), and they are addicting. Super addicting. I’ve stayed up until 3:00am one day reading a fic I just couldn’t put down. Thorin Oakenshield and Bilbo Baggins are the two culprits who wouldn’t leave me alone. I don’t know what it is about these two, but they need to shut up, haha! Seriously, though, fanfics own me. And there is nothing better than getting in my cosy bed after a long day of work with a cup of coffee while I escape into the wonderful world of Middle-earth with drama, humour, and angst through well-written fanfics by fans like me.

Speaking of coffee, I also discovered coffee I actually LIKE that’s not espresso-based. I got my dad a Keurig machine for his birthday in August. Since then, he and I’ve been trying out different K-Cups brands to see which are good. I discovered that my favourite is the Green Mountain Blueberry Coffee and Newman’s Own Special Blend. The latter is really great in that it’s so flavourful to where I can drink it without adding any sweetener. I’ve got other flavour/brand to kill, but once they are gone, I’m only going to buy these two.

And that’s my two-cents for this meme! Hopefully I’ll be able to do this regularly, so I hope to see you guys next month for the January edition!

Slow Cooker Experience

A couple of years ago, I nagged my dad for a slow cooker. It took me a while to convince him to get us one because he didn’t think it’d be a useful appliance. However, I wore him down, telling him that this is something I could utilise, saying that I wanted to cook more, but it’s hard to do so when I’ve got an evil split shift which really means working twelve-hour straight. So he got us one, and I used it twice since then to make beef stew.

Beef Stew

This was my first attempt. This attempt was a major learning experience for me. I kept envisioning my first attempt ending up with stew exploding all over the countertop, and I was even alarmed when it started “spitting” at me, but I ended that by placing a heavy coffee mug to keep the lid on tight. Regardless, the stew turned out well. This one was more savory and more clearer because I added too much liquid and I used Korean daikon because turnips were nowhere near me. For seasonings I used thyme, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and coarsely ground black pepper. This was a hit with my parents and me.

Beef Stew

Couple of days ago, I made the beef stew again, but I changed things up. Instead of Korean daikon, I substituted it with sweet potatoes. For the seasoning, I added a bit of rosemary and bay leaf. This stew turned out to be much sweeter — I blame the sweet potatoes — but it was still good. So much better than my first attempt! Just, nom.

Now, though, I need to branch out and try other recipes in the slow cooker. Never mind that I like stew and I like how it’s so easy to throw it in and let it cook for hours. Maybe I’ll try chili next time . . . Anyway, if you guys have a favourite slow cooker recipe, point me in that direction! I never say no to good recipes :D

Veterans Day Weekend

I was able to get a bit of a reprieve this Veterans Day by taking Monday off, thus giving me a four-day weekend. I’ve enjoyed this much needed break that was full of many good things and a couple not-so-good things :) Here’s my adventure!

Iced Latte at Chansbros

My weekend started with me going to exchange some money and then stopping by the new branch of Chansbros. Chansbros #1 is my favourite coffee shop, but I found out Chansbros #2 opened, so I finally checked it out. The coffee is different here (but still good!), there are more selection of drinks here, and it gives a great view of the Itaewon’s entrance . . . all in all, it’s nice place, but I still prefer Chansbros #1! I much prefer their iced latte over the new place’s.

Butter Chicken and Vegetable Biryani from Taj Palace

Later I utilised Ynot Takeout to order some butter chicken and vegetable biryani from Taj Palace in Itaewon. This was the first time I used Ynot Takeout, and I’m glad I did. Normally, I wouldn’t want to pay an extra 4,000 won ($4 USD) delivery fee, but work had got me to be so mentally and physically drained, that I decided to use them this once. My food arrived within 30 minutes, and it was all warm and delicious! I’ve had Taj Palace before, but it’s been years since I’ve eaten there. I’m glad their quality hasn’t shrank since! Their butter chicken was one of the best ones I’ve had since Tiger Masala had closed. All the other ones I’ve tried in various Indian restaurant tasted nothing like this. Plus, the portion was huge! It was enough to last me four meals. :D

Sangdangsan Fortress Sangdangsan Fortress Sangdangsan Fortress Sangdangsan Fortress

I went down to Cheongju on Saturday to visit a friend. We went to Sangdangsan Fortress, and it was an amazing trip. We didn’t walk around the entire fortress — for one, I was wearing the wrong pair of shoes! — but what we did view was amazing. The autumn foliage was gorgeous, it was fascinating to see a fortress that was intact, and we even saw squirrels! I was even momentarily struck with a vivid scene where I imagined to be a warrior in the 1600s, standing in front of the fortress, and watch an arrow come straight at me from one of the archer’s holes. This is a place I’d like to come back again and walk around the entire fortress. Just gotta remind myself to wear the right shoes! All in all, I had a great time in Cheongju, but coming back to Seoul, I encountered traffic jam hell on the expressway. I was not pleased that my 1.5-hour ride turned into a 3-hour one! I swear, Gyeongbu Expressway HATES me.

Chicken Avocado Panini and Iced Vanilla Latte at Kafe Nordic

Sunday found me going back to Kafe Nordic, one of the other cafes I like in Itaewon/Hannam area. There, I bought me an iced vanilla latte, and I tried their chicken avocado panini meal. The panini wasn’t bad — I really liked the bread and the cheese, but the flavouring of the chicken and avocado was bland. Not a meal I’d get again, but I still like their coffee and their cosy cafe!

Then I went to my hair salon and got my fringe trimmed and had them chop off about 3-4 inches of my hair. The bottoms were so damaged and kept getting tangled, so I knew it was time to cut my foxtail off. The foxtail being the bleached tips from when I dyed them blue/purple.

Curries and Bread at Taj Mahal in Ansan

I went back to Ansan on Monday. I met my friend whom I went there with last time, and this time we decided to try a South Asian restaurant. We decided to try Taj Mahal, a Pakistani/Indian/Nepalese/etcetera restaurant. We got the chicken curry, mutton palak, roti, paratha, and mango lassi (which isn’t pictured), all for 24,000 won ($24 USD). This meal was so much better than our Indonesian restaurant experience from the previous visit. The chicken curry was different, yet tasty, but I was sore that they didn’t have makhani! There are quite a number of other South Asian restaurant there, so we’ll try those next time.

And that’s pretty much it! Tuesday (today) is my bum day, so I’m just relaxing at home. I hope everyone else had a good weekend. And remember to thank a veteran in honour of Veterans and Remembrance Day!