Make up free suits me

So today marks the end of day three sans makeup and I have to say, so far so good. I did feel self-conscious when I first left the house but too be honest once I got to work and no one ran screaming from me I totally forgot about my bare face. I thought I would quickly let you all know how it is going, the good and bad.


The good….

1)      I never realized how much time during the day I spend fixing my face! It is so nice having those extra few minutes in the morning when I am tired and dragging my sorry self around the house. Not having to apply a bunch of products has made my mornings nice and easy.

2)      At work I no longer catch my face in a mirror and cringe about how my makeup is smudging or fading a bit. Instead I am finding myself looking and thinking ‘my skin looks so nice!’ It is great.

3)      I usually work out when I come home and it is such a load off not having to remove my makeup but being able to get straight into it. Particularly when I go to zumba straight from work and I am not able to remove it. Usually I worry about how my skin is sweating and probably absorbing all that makeup, instead I rocked zumba last night not thinking at all about having a breakout the next day.


who needs that makeup for a run?


The bad….

1)      Too be honest I can’t think of much!! If I look super close at my skin I start to think, oh crap I look tired and need some concealer under these eyes. But lets face it, who other then myself starts that intensely at my face (I hope no one).

2)      I guess I do like the girly side of wearing makeup, putting on an eye shadow that matches my outfit. But that’s seriously it. I was speaking to one friend who doesn’t wear makeup that much and she made the comment that by not wearing it every day it is all the more special when she does. So a night out has that little extra something when your all dolled up for the first time in awhile. I do like this mindset.


Other than all this it has been a normal week. I have been doing the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred as well as zumba and running so I am feeling very proud of myself. The workout is hard!! She really kicks your butt and makes you sweat like a mo fo, but I am already feeling stronger and better for it.


To leave you with something funny, check out this 6 year old’s summary of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. She has a good point (and excellent grammar for a kid who is writing in her second language).



This is just me

Today, for the first time in eight years, I went outside and completed my day with no makeup on. Laugh if you must, but this took a lot of courage and I am sure that there are other women out there who can relate. You see I have been conditioned to think that I need makeup, that I don’t look beautiful without it and I am a face full of flaws. At the moment with the heat what it is I am starting to get frustrated with the amount of time and thought I spend on fixing my face. Each morning I lather my skin in primer, foundation and powder only to have it run down my face and smudge several times during the day so I am often checking my little mirror and having a touch up. It is annoying, and I am starting to wonder if putting all this product on my face is actually doing more harm then good.


it looks good, but you don’t wanna know how long this took!


I don’t know where this mindset came from. My mother have never worn makeup in her life – not an exaggeration. Even when attending fancy events she doesn’t wear a lick of makeup, and you know what she looks beautiful and I have never thought that she would look better with a bit of a face on. Despite this upbringing, when I was 15 I purchased an eyeliner and some powder just because I thought I should wear it. I quickly became addicted to makeup and soon I was wearing foundation, mascara, the works to school every single day. Since then I have always headed out the door with a face full of makeup, I can honestly say that there hasn’t been a day that I didn’t wear makeup. Shamefully enough I ev dot on some eyeliner when I am home sick – that is embarrassing to admit.


yup, even got my face all done up for the relaxing beach holiday. Who needs eyes like this to sit around and drink coconuts?


As I have been getting frustrated over my makeup ridden face I started to think back to why I started wearing makeup and I can honestly say that it came down to one thing – I thought I needed to. My friends bought foundation and wore it to school and that honestly was why I went out and bought it. I just assumed that all girls should wear it and I also enjoyed the whole getting pretty and being girly thing. Right now though it is a pain waking up and doing my face, it is annoying touching it up and thinking about how my makeup is going a bit greasy in the humidity. So, inspired by the naked face project, I am going makeup free for 2 weeks.

That may not seem like long, but I do feel naked and self-conscious without makeup on, for me this is a big deal. I have a few goals in this….

1)      See if not wearing foundation and powder improves my skin. I keep going on about the heat and it is really bad here, my pores and gross and my skin is super oily. I think that makeup is making this worse and want to see if it will clear up a little if I just leave things natural.

2)      Do people treat me differently? Korea is all about beauty and appearance (I will write a post about this for later in the week as it is a huge issue) and women are always immaculately put together. I want to see if this society will comment on my lack of makeup and treat me any differently for it.

3)      Find more worth in myself. I am so much more then the face that I show the world, I have awesome inner qualities which I should focus on rather than how well I apply liquid eyeliner.


other then letting my hair dry, this is how I will be rocking today.


Finally I want to mention another deciding factor in this. I was wearing light purple eyeshadow one day with mascara and eyeliner, not too heavy but I suppose on my pale white foreign face it stood out. One of my students who is 8 and very cute turned to me and said ‘you look like a monster.’ Now once I got over the initial ‘ouch!’ I started to think about this, maybe I don’t look good with crap plastered on me, maybe people will think I look much healthier and prettier with just my natural face. When it comes down to it there is only one way to find out, it’s going to be an interesting week.


Be Happy

As I wrote the last post about being careful when sick and listening to your body I had no idea what I was in for. I was so proud of myself for running on Monday and not overdoing it but unfortunately on Monday afternoon I got the mother of all migraines. Now I used to get them back when I was a teenager so it probably is completely unrelated to my run in the morning, especially as they tend to begin a day or two before the headache actually sets in. It still seemed a little coincidental though.


So last week was not fun, when I say migraine I don’t just mean a bad headache, although I know that most people just dismiss them as one. I am talking blurry vision (great for a teacher), trouble walking, my face going numb and then the awful headache. The worst thing is that being sick in Korea kind of isn’t something you can do. They don’t take sick days like we do and are much more likely to leave work to go to the doctor, get a shot in the ass and then return to get back into it. One of my co-teachers recently had her wisdom teeth out one morning and came back to work in the afternoon, so you can imagine how explaining a headache to them would go down. I don’t know how I managed to make my way through the week but let’s just say that Monday afternoon and all of Tuesday I was a pretty bad teacher. It thankfully went away in time for Saturday which was open day at work when the parents turn up to watch one class and have a morning tea with the teachers. I had been super nervous about that but after being so unwell I was just thankful to have my health on the day and didn’t stress about it. I think all went well, I made these super cool 3-D glasses with the kindergarteners for the open class, when in doubt give the parents something to take photos of!


The week was busy with work, but I thought I would quickly mention some things that I am loving right now.

-It is insanely muggy and hot in Daegu right now, gone are the days of wearing makeup and worrying about my appearance because the heat is too much for me. While I am not loving this I am digging the ice-cream Korea has to offer, particularly patbingsu!


This is a really popular Korean ‘dessert’ (this word does not mean what it would back home) of shaved ice with red beans, fruit, rice cake and other various toppings (see, not dessert when there is no chocolate or syrup involved).  It is actually really yummy and refreshing, and because of the fruit and beans I feel that I can eat it and it is a healthy meal. You can buy giant ones in all the cafes which have things like mango chunks, ice-cream or sherbet on top. Sadly they are probably enough for 4 people and I am not game enough to order one to myself.

-Podcasts! I am so slow on the podcast train but I finally downloaded a bunch during the week and am totally addicted. Some awesome ones, ‘The History Chicks’ which tells the lives of interesting women in a really cool down to earth way. I love these as it really is just like listening to good stories but with a couple of people there talking about it.


– Peanut Butter blondies from PPK, make them!! So yummy, I had to restrain myself from eating the tray.


smoothies never look as good as they taste


– I finally bought a blender the other day and have been making smoothies like it is going out of business. I really love spinach (if you haven’t added spinach to a smoothie yet then get with the times, you can’t taste it, honestly) half a banana, berries and some protein powder. Even better, I make them the night before so that in the morning I can be lazy and I don’t have to worry about waking up the other person living in my tiny apartment.


– This book, ‘three cups of tea’ is really inspiring read about a man who built a school for a small underprivileged in Pakistan. As an English teacher in a country where parents spend so much money on exclusive schools with laptops and all the latest resources, I love reading about a place where the children just want to learn. It is making me think about teaching overseas and I could be doing this job in a place where it would mean so much more. Hmmmmm……


I love lists like this, they make me stop and realize that  it is the simple pleasures that make my days good. Not so fun, the Jillian Michaels workout which I just did, I am sure it was really good for my body but it was super hard and she is ruthless – bad words were said. I am going to try and think of something to cook for dinner, really hard when it is so hot outside and I don’t want to turn on the oven, then relax for the rest of the evening. Happy Sunday 😀

Running When Sick

Did I manage to drag myself out of bed this morning for a run?

Why yes I did!


I wish I could record the internal monologue I have every time my alarm goes off and I force myself to get up. Today it was along the lines of ‘alarm, run, wait am I sick? Checking… glands don’t hurt today…. throat is fine… no stuffy nose… damn I can run.’ I am happy that I feel better enough to run, but I was very aware this morning that I have been unwell and I took things a bit easier. It got me thinking about the whole listening to our bodies and being aware of how they feel, not just in the moment, but have been over the past few days. So I thought I would write a little today about running when sick.


running clothes left out the night before, silently mocking me.


First of all this article by Runners World is a really good fallback if you are ever unsure. I go by the rule they advocate of symptoms from the neck up are okay to run with, while anything neck down (chest, aches, stomach issues) you should be resting in bed). In saying that you need to focus on what is particular to you at the time, for example if you glands are swollen and hurt, it may be better to take a rest. Even though this falls into the next up category, it is a big warning sign that running will make whatever you have worse. Likewise for any changes in body temp such as a fever or shaking, you really shouldn’t be considering running and maybe would be better off getting yourself to a doctor!

I always want to point out that if you are getting over an illness or have been unwell the past few days but now feel better you should still keep in mind that your body isn’t 100%. It is still recovering and pushing yourself too much can make hinder this, it is a good idea to run like you are still sick even if you may not think you are.


-Before you head out the door determined to run your usual 5km, set yourself a realistic goal. In fact take what you usually run and half that. The point of running right now is not to get ahead in your training or burn a bunch of calories, but just to get some exercise and keep your muscles moving. Think of a distance  that you would be happy with today, remember anything you can run when you are unwell is a huge accomplishment!

-Don’t stress about pace. Seriously just don’t. Try to take running back to its basics and run for the sake of running, enjoy the time outdoors and be proud of your strong wee legs for what they are doing.


-Ten minutes in reconsider how you feel. The first ten minutes of a run always suck and it can be hard to tell if you don’t feel good from being sick, or if it is just your body getting used to running. If after ten minutes you really do feel like crap then head home for a rest.

-Aint no shame in walking! If things are a bit hard, take a short walking break of a few minutes and then start up again.

-Be aware of how you are feeling. If you are feeling pretty good, don’t push yourself to do more, just stick with the goal in mind. If you are starting to feel dizzy just crap then it may be your body telling yourself to stop.


-Finally, hydrate!! Always important when you run be even more so if you are sick. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, keep drinking throughout the day. Food is always a great way to get liquids in, especially in fruits such as watermelon which is pretty much just water. Today I came home and had a lot of papaya melon (not too sure what it is, a cross between watermelon and honeydew I think, but it is delicious).

With all this in mind I ran just over 3km today which is under my training plan but who cares I did what I could.
As you can see from the picture, I was a big sweaty tomato and couldn’t have run what was in my training plan – but I am proud for managing anything. If you are running when you are sick or recovering from an illness, be safe! Try to run for enjoyment 😀

Sicky Sick

Would you rather be sick on the weekends when you have the time to rest, or sick during the weekend so you can do fun things on your days off? I am more of a sick during the week person, even though it does suck I like my weekends a lot. I also think that just getting on with things can help you get better faster (we are talking about standard sickness such as a cold here, obviously nothing major).


the weather is always beautiful when you are feeling like crap


I ask because after 3 months of avoiding anything too bad I was sick this weekend, on my nice long 4 day weekend of course! I tried to ignore it, going for the hike and doing normal things like cleaning the house. But yesterday I woke up for my run all excited as I had a good night sleep and set off, only to feel like I was going to pass out 1km in. I walked for a bit then kept running but man it was hard! I managed 4k in total, having to take another walking break after 3. I get so frustrated when this happens! I know that my body is unwell and is telling me to take it easy and that there is a legit reason for it, but it really does make me feel like I am a crappy runner making little progress. I have been resting today (the run may have pushed me over the edge as I felt like crap this morning) and am planning on running tomorrow morning, but I really need to watch it I know. I have written about exercise guilt before and how we need to listen to our bodies, perhaps I should take my own advice.


Anyway the weekend was spend mostly relaxing, I read a couple of books and watched a few movies and went for a walk or too. Can’t ask for much more! Yesterday we found this park in the middle of town and sat there just talking and soaking up the sun, it was very romantical.


Peppermint tea, I must be unwell if my body doesn’t want coffee!


Today I sat in a café and read a really good Agatha Christie novel, ‘Evil Under the Sun’, I only just got into her books this year and I love them. I never manage to work out the killer though, she is sneaky. Lately I have been reading a lot of John Steinbeck, he is by far one of my favorite authors ever, but sometimes I need a break from all the depressing stories.

Lately I have been trying really hard to eat different things and the other day I stumbled across a killer seasoning.

¼ tsp chilli powder

¼ ginger

¼ tsp cumon

1/8tsp turmeric

I have been mixing this up and using it to roast chickpeas, eggplant and sweet potato, amazing! Today I mixed it up with some corn, eggplant and onion with a tiny bit of nutritionally yeast to make it a little cheesy, not too shabby if I do say so.


every time I photograph my food it looks terrible. It always tastes so good but I really do eat the most unappealing meals.


For some reason I have had a craving for eggs lately as well. I am vegan 98% of the time in Korea and have a weird relationship with eggs in that sometimes the thought of them disgust me. I went the past 5 months without an egg, no clue as to why they have made an appearance but recently a fried egg on nice bread is the ultimate meal for me.


New week = new goals! This week I want to stop snacking at night so much, stick to a budget of $10 a day and be in bed before 10:30pm. Fingers crossed.

Gatbawi Temple, you so pretty

Having a long weekend always makes me feel like I need to do something productive and interesting. Rather than just sitting around reading and drinking coffee then being amazed that the weekend is over, I knew that I was lucky to get four days off this week and had to make the most of it. Originally we were going to take a day trip to Gwangju, but then realized it is over three hours away by bus and I really couldn’t be bothered with that much traveling in one day. I had a snoop around and found a nice sounding park/temple/walk in Daegu called Palgongsan Park that was less than an hour away so no excuses!


Sometimes I find it hard to go places when I am living overseas, it is just all so intimidating. I always think, ‘what if the directions are wrong?’ ‘what if the bus stops at 4pm and I get stuck out there?’ I am a worrier like that. But this trip was surprisingly easy. The bus to the park only took half an hour and from there is was a short walk up a crazy steep hill (the steepest walk I have ever encountered) and at the top hidden in the hills and mist was this beauty.





There are two or three temples at this park but we visit Gatbawi as it was only a 2km walk and the other was 8km, I hadn’t prepared for a hike so opted for the easier one. The temple is absolutely beautiful, I have visit many temples throughout Asia but this was my favorite by far. It seemed so peaceful and relaxing, and walking up that big ass hill made it a little extra special.


There were Koreans praying and lighting candles but I didn’t snap any pictures as that felt a little rude.


All in all we weren’t there for long, there were a few nice looking restaurants where you could sit outside amongst the trees – but it was a little too early for my lunch. We took the bus home and I am now feeling much more relaxed then if I had taken a big trip to Gwangju. Today was a good reminder that we need to be brave and step outside our comfort levels at times, because the things you can see are so worth it.


If you are heading out to the park, I only know how to get ti the Gatbawi entrance, but the other temples are only a walk away.

From inside dongdaegu station take the number 7 exit (it is tucked away next to the bathroom and the 6th exit), walk through the carpark and you can see the bus stop right on the street. The 401 bus goes directly to the park and is the end of the line so you don’t need to watch out for the stop. On the way back just hang around the same area as they clean the bus and then hope back on when it is ready. It only costs the usual 1200won to ride the bus. Super cheap day trip!

Checking In

Hello blog.

Don’t give me that look blog, I know it has been a few days since we last talked. But too be honest, I have had nothing exciting to share with you.

Last weekend was spent at zumba, reading and baking. I did finally go and see The Great Gatsby and was really disappointed. I think the movie focused too much on the extravagant parties and the chick-flick relationship between Gatsby and Daisy. It didn’t have the same sadness as the book – and Toby Maguire isn’t that great in my books so he annoyed me a little. Haha what a complainer!

Then it was back to work, the weekends go way too fast for me now that I am settled in here. In the most recent ‘wtf’ thing a kid has done I had this story handed in this week and couldn’t get over the picture. It looks like the bear is flipping everyone off as it strolls away.


And while we are on the subject of funny Korea let me be really immature for a second and show you this picture of condoms I saw when we were in the pharmacy the other day…


Yeah pussy condoms. I may be 24 but you wouldn’t know it. Strange names for condoms though, wouldn’t you feel a little embarrassed buying ‘butterfly condoms.’

I am starting to eat cleaner and exercise a little more in an attempt to lose that last few kilos. I know that people roll their eyes at this statement, and that I should be happy with my body, but personally I feel like I have come far in weight loss and it seems a shame to stop when I am so close to a goal weight. Plus I have been snacking on some crazy treats lately, like these ice-creams.


Crazy good, being in a couple is awesome sometimes because you don’t have to choose which flavor to try. We split them but snickers was the winner as you would expect.


And I have been eating way too many of these cracker things that come with a side of nutulla to dip a cracker/your finger into. They say on the pack that they have ‘fun words inside!’


Not that fun. I bought a blender the other day which has changed my life as I can finally make smoothies and hummus! I have love affairs with blenders, definitely the most useful kitchen appliance.  

So that’s all that’s been going on, not too exciting as you can see. But this is a four day weekend in Korea as today is memorial day and most schools got tomorrow off as a vacation day. We plan on going to Gwangju where we used to live to eat at old favorite restaurants and just wander around. Hope the rest of your week goes nicely 😀