Happiness Day 54

Hey there

I am trying really hard to be happy today but too be honest my ankle is messed up :S It was feeling better yesterday so I did a small workout where I modified all the heavy cardio. Instead of doing things like frog jumps and pedal lunges I did some old school boxing and core work. But it was still throbbing so I quickly applied ice afterwards while I sat down to eat dinner.

It was here I made a total rookie mistake. I didn’t realize how important it is to place something between your skin and the ice, and that there is a 20 minute rule for icing. Instead, I simply put it on my ankle and left it for about half an hour.

Somehow I didn’t really notice that it was stinging but when I eventually took the ice off I had a massive ice-burn. It stung all evening and it particularly nasty and blistered. I was a little worried but this morning it seems to be better and isn’t a major burn. Let this be a lesson to you all! First of all, rest your damn injuries (I am such a hypocrite here but am seriously regretting working out last night), and second, wrap a towel around the ice and only have it on your skin for 20 minutes max. Ice-burn is not something you want to mess around with and can get out of hand quickly.

Okay with the bad part of the day over, there are a few things making me happy lately.IMG_0507
– We hit 35 degrees this week and while it is hot, after a long winter I am grateful for it. Bring on summer dresses, cold smoothies and icy mojitos!

 I turned up to one class yesterday o find that all the bad kids were absent. The only two that had attended were the best one and we had a relaxing class just playing games and talking.
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– I know you are probably sick of my harping on about ice-cream, but I just can’t help it! Yesterday just before the final class for the day a boy turned up with ice-cream for the ENTIRE school! That’s about 100 kids and 10 staff. So we just got to sit in the hot classroom eating ice-cream until the end of the week. I am sure he made some new friends.

This poem by Maya Angelou is something all women should read.

 

 

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– And in the spirit of self-love, check out these images of paintings which have been re-touched to confirm to todays beauty standards. They don’t look nearly as good as the originals!
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-I managed to do a little online wedding shopping the other day and purchased these cutlery holders. The funny thing is, I saw them on pinterest awhile ago (before I was engaged, ahem) and loved them. When they popped up for sale online I just had to buy them. There is something so satisfying about actually purchasing or making what you pinned.

I am feeling a little happier now and promise not to move for the rest of the weekend. I want this ankle healed! Have a lovely weekend.

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Good and Bad Beauty Habits

 Like most people, since coming to Korea I have been swept up by their skincare products. This country is a tad obsessed with different products and having great skin so it is kind of hard not to get caught up. I also love that items like toner and exfoliator are much cheaper then in NZ so I can actually afford to use them. The other day I stumbled across this post on The Wanderlust Project about our own beauty habits and thought I would do my own version. While I don’t have the best beauty habits I do have some good ones, and it’s always nice to give our self credit every now and then. Lord knows I spend too much time focusing on what I am not good at.

So here goes
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The good

– I always, always take my make up of and wash my face at night.  Even if I am sick or stumbling home from drinking I will make sure to remove my makeup and use a cleaner at least. I hate waking up with makeup on my face and know that it is terrible for me.

– Same goes for brushing my teeth! I can’t sleep without cleaning them, it makes me feel gross.

– On the subject of teeth I am super good at flossing twice a day – no  fooling! I even use mouthwash every night. I think it is a result of having braces for several years and finally having a mouth to be proud of.

– I moisturize a lot. Daegu is hot in summer and dry in winter. I always make sure that my skin in nice and soft. I use a foot cream, hand cream, body lotion and face cream.

– I have a different face cream for the evening and morning, because that does make a difference!

– When I buy foundation and primer I make sure it has sunscreen in it. Gotta keep that skin protected (and try to hold off the wrinkles for awhile).

– My diet is mostly healthy and I drink a ton of water. It makes such a difference with my skin.

– I try not to wear too much makeup. Honestly I apply foundation, eye shadow, eye liner and mascara at most. Even when I have a special night out I don’t like to have too much gunk on my face.

– And finally I always take off makeup before exercising, may seem obvious but it is easy to forget.


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The Bad

– My nails are in terrible condition. I keep putting on nail polish then chipping it off and using cheap acetone. As a result the nails look really unhealthy and aren’t all smooth and pretty.

– I get stuck in a rut with makeup colors. I will find an eye shadow and stick with it for months.

– Overall I know very little about how to apply makeup. I always wish I knew how to do something amazing – or even just knew how to blend it – but it doesn’t happen.

– I pick at my face. It’s gross and bad but I just can’t help it! Probably my worst habit ever.

– My hair is really thin and sits very flat so I wash it a lot. Like every day :S I know that is really bad for me but when I try to stop it just goes all limp and oily and I look terrible. One day I didn’t wash it and a boy told me that I looked like Smeagol from Lord of the Rings.

– I can’t do eyebrows. I always over pluck them and manage to miss some strays. There is zero shape to them and I just can’t ever seem to get them right.

– Even though I am super sensitive to caffeine and have trouble sleeping, I just can’t stop drinking coffee. It probably dries out my skin too, but I love it. We all have our vices.
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Chances are there are more bad habits, but lets not dwell on them too much. What about you? Any things you are terrible with or fantastic at?

Happiness Day 54

Hey there, happy Friday!

Yesterday was a crazy hot one. I think it reached 35 degrees which is troublesome when you consider that it is still just Spring. On Thursdays I have to do this drama type class with the kindergartners which involves singing, dancing and (yesterday) sweating. By the time 3pm rolled around I was a disgusting beast. I went downstairs to grab a drink from the corner shop and was met with a wonderful surprise.

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Daegu has coconut water!!

My favorite drink of the summer is coconut water. It is so refreshing, tasty, healthy and actually manages to cool me down. It was a bit pricey ($3 for the bottle), but I decided to treat myself and just grab one. Totally worth it.

I must have forgotten about it later on though when I spent $4 on a mango with the justification that it was a treat – my bad! But still the best damn mango ever. If it is going to continue to be this hot then I foresee many treats in my future.

This morning is shaping up well. I am resting my ankle but did some core work in which I did not put any weight on my foot at all. It is hard but I need it. Right now I am enjoying oats and an iced coffee served in my pretty new glass.

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My blender came with these so you can just make a drink, pop in a straw and start drinking. I love it.

Have a fantastic Friday!

Happiness Day 53

Hey there, happy Thursday!

The weeks just seem to be creeping by don’t they? Not to sound like a cliché, but I can’t believe it is nearly June. My time is Korea is really going by fast, only 9 more months now.

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Yesterday was an average day, nothing too special happened. After work I came home to bust out my Insanity workout for the day and then had some pasta for dinner. I am not really a fan of pasta and always add a ton of veggies to bulk it up a bit. I roasted some sweet potato, carrot and zucchini, mixed it in with pasta sauce and topped it with a fried egg for protein. Okay perhaps my dinner was more pasta sauce then the carb itself. But still delicious.

Afterwards I had the genius idea to go and eat – what else – ice cream! It is getting so hot and I have been working out hard to this is a totally acceptable thing to be eating all the time. I had a lovely date sitting in the University eating Baskin Robbins Luna Cheesecake and strawberry ice-cream. A fantastic way to end the evening!

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(excuse the recycled photo, it was too dark to take a new picture. Just imagine this ice-cream, but with one more scoop…)
On a side note, I have really messed up my ankle. It is a little swollen and pretty damn painful to be honest. I guess Shaun T is just too insane for me? As hard as it is for me to do when I am so close to finishing the program, I may have to take a few days rest.
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I am the worst person at taking my own advice but I know that if it was anyone else I would be ordering them to rest. Exercising on an injury is only going to make it much worse, and a few skipped days will not reverse all your hard work, you are still going to look fabulous and healthy. Okay I think I have convinced myself now.

What made you happy today?

 

Happiness Day 52

It is funny the things you start to miss when you move overseas. When I first came to Korea three years ago, I thought that I would be pining for cheese for the entire year. Surprisingly, I found that I didn’t miss it that much. Instead I had a hankering for fresh fruit which I devoured when I returned home.

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Now I have been living away from home for a solid 14 months and I think it is starting to take its toll. While I’m still not fantasizing about cheese, I have been having some odd food cravings. More specifically for a good two months I have really wanted a Griffin’s shrewsbury biscuit. God knows why, I don’t think I have eaten one since I was about 12. But for some reason I feel like there is a void I my life which only a crunchy biscuit and jam can fill.

So it made me happy when a package from home arrived yesterday with some biscuits!

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In a recent skype conversation I casually mentioned to my Mother-in-Law to be that I had been thinking about these so she sent through a giant packet, and some 100s and 1000s too! I have been like a little kid eating these. You know, scraping the pink icing off the biscuit before eating the rest… And trying every different shrewsbury because when I was younger I seriously believed that each shape tasted differently :S

Korea does have biscuits, but they are usually just plain flavored type things that are average at best. From someone who has spent many years dunking biscuits into cups of tea they just don’t cut it.

And with that it is Wednesday – weekend is in sight people!

Happiness Day 51

I always wish I could be one of those people with beautiful feet. You know the ones. Their toes are always nicely manicured and the skin is always so soft and perfectly exfoliated. I really don’t know how they do it, my feet go through so much during the average day. Just with walking around and exercising alone they are not in the best of shape. But summer is here and with it brings sandal season so the other day I purchased the Food Moisturizer from the Body Shop.

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The price was a little high, but I decided to treat myself and knew I could rest easy in the fact that this wasn’t testing on animals and is all natural. This is something I will buy again! My feet feel so soft and pretty, plus it has an amazing peppermint smell. Each time I use it I feel like it is the holiday season and love walking around all day knowing my feet smell like xmas.

So a little random, but this is making my happy right now. Actually yesterday was pretty damn good for a Monday, maybe this week wont be too bad (famous last words). Have a good one!

 

Happiness Day 50

Somehow I seem to have started a Sunday tradition of ice-cream. I am not complaining but enjoying it immensely. I know that not that long ago I would have stressed about eating ice-cream and tried to count the calories before working it off. Now I feel happy to just eat the damn ice-cream and enjoy myself, it’s a fantastic feeling.

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I spent yesterday afternoon reading the park eating Baskin Robbins Strawberry Latte. Because we don’t have ice-cream shops like that in NZ I a strong desire to try every flavor before going home. Oh life is hard!

Side note, I just finished ‘Into the Wild’ by John Krakauer, and loved it! I love his style and the story itself is also really intriguing and interesting. It is about a young man who, a few years ago, wandered off into the woods to live off the land and be with nature. I thought Krakauer told the story perfectly as he used true facts (he is a journalist by profession) and turned them into a great narrative.

The park was a little cloudy but there were a ton of families out enjoying the day having picnics and even playing Badminton.

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But all good things must come to an end, it’s Monday and I am sitting enjoying my usual oats breakfast trying to remember what I have to do today. Oh well, only 6 more days until the next ice-cream Sunday!

 

 

Happiness Day 49

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Bike riding through the country on a beautiful day, does it get much better then this?

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Yesterday we decided to take advantage of the sunny weather and head out of Daegu for a day trip. Gyeoungju is a city less then an hour away by bus so it seemed lazy not to go. We had been once before and loved the city as it is very small but packed with scenery and the remaining tombs and temples of an ancient dynasty. You can easily walk around Gyeoungju but one of the big draws is that you can rent bikes for the day and explore it that way.

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This is definitely the way to see the city. The bike rental place was right outside the bus terminal so we walked outside, grabbed two from a couple that spoke English, and only paid $7 each for 8 hours. This really could not be easier.

Gyeoungju has something to see everywhere and a ton of maps and signs plastered around the city. We just biked around and quickly came across a lotus pond  and this beautiful garden.

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Seriously this could not have been more picturesque of a day.

We biked along a country road through the rice paddies which felt like something out of a travel documentary. One of the best things about the day was how quiet it was, there were hardly any people around and the ones we did see were just lazing around and enjoying the sun. After being in a busy city all week it was good to have the peacefulness and not get bothered.

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Last time we were in Gyeoungju we had trouble finding a restaurant as everything was just kimbap naras selling quick and cheap Korean food. It is delicious, but with the heat and all the biking we had done the idea of hot rice was not very appealing. Luckily I spotted a new falafel food stand that had opened just opposite the bus terminal so we checked it out hesitantly.

I saw hesitantly because often Korea will adopt a food and give it their own twist, such as kimchi tacos. I absolutely love falafel and did not want to get my hopes up but oh I was so mistaken!

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The women running the stand spoke English and told us that she had lived in New Zealand and Israel. After she mentioned that I felt bad for being skeptical, if she has been in Israel then she would know her falafel.

She cooked up falafel, gace us a giant pita and pointed to all the salads before saying ‘just fill your own, stuff as much as you want in there.’ Best women ever! In a weird coincidence she had only opened her shop the day before and gave us each a little packet of fresh dates as a thank you for being some of her first customers. Such a lovely women, I really hope her business does well!

Overall a damn happy day! One of the best I have had in Korea. If you are in Daegu going to Gyeoungju is crazy easy, just go to the bus terminal right opposite the Dong Daegu station. Tickets are about 5,000won and buses leave every half hour. Once you arrive in Gyeoungju everything is outside the bus terminal including a very good information stand. Couldn’t be easier!

 

In defense of sandwiches.

Last year the internet was blazing with criticism towards Stephanie Smith and her blog 300sandwiches.com. If you haven’t stumbled across it by now, this follows Smith who made a sandwich so delicious that her boyfriend exclaimed, ‘honey you’re just 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring.’ She took this to heart and began constructing crazy delicious looking sandwiches and sharing the recipes online. A few days ago Smith received the engagement ring after making sandwich 257, I guess those sandwiches were so good that he couldn’t wait any longer.
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On the outside, this may seem a little strange and, if you go off what most people have been saying, a bit anti-feminist and down right offensive. However, if you actually bother to read the blog you will see that this couple are any but. In fact there are many ways that they represent an equal partnership. Their engagement wasn’t hanging in the fate of her sandwich making skills, and their story isn’t just about a women in the kitchen. 

It is easy to see how some have misinterpreted the idea, particularly when Smith includes comments from her boyfriend such as “You’ve been up for 15 minutes and you haven’t made me a sandwich?” I may sound rude, but lets take a step back and remind ourselves that this is a committed couple who live together- not too strangers that just met. This wasn’t a ‘300 sandwiches or never!’ threat, but just a fun challenge that couples do with on another.Teasing and playing around are a big part of most relationships. If we took all the jokes our significant other made seriously then most of us would be dating horrible people.
The idea of making food for someone we love is a strong theme in 300sandwiches with cooking hardly being one sided. Smith reminds us that her boyfriend is a gourmet chef and often comments on the delicious meals he whips up. To me this makes her sandwiches all that more special and reminds us how food is such an expression of love. I am sure that the boyfriend in question could make some fantastic sandwiches, but they are made by Stephanie because she cares about him. Taking the time to preparing food for the people you are close to isn’t a chore, it is what we do to show someone we care. Maybe if Smith hated the task of whipping up a sandwich then his remarks might be eyebrow raising worthy.
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As the sandwiches were posted we have also been given a chance to get to know Smith herself, and after following the story for awhile she hardly seems like a women ordered to the kitchen. For one Smith is in her 30s and talking about marriage. Maybe if she was 22 and after that ring this would be a little concerning, but she has obviously meet a few other men before chosing Mr Right. While for other the pressure to get married can lead to women ‘settling’ for the wrong one, it is clear that Smith waited until she meet her man and made her own decision that he was the one. Aside from the relationship she has her own career, and a damn good one at that. Smith is a writer for Page 6 and often talks about attending parties and coming home late – while her boyfriend is asleep in bed. I hardly think that a women who was tied to the kitchen and always trying to please her man (as some internet bloggers have suggested) would have such an independent life. I feel it is also important to add that Smith eats the sandwiches herself. Sometimes these involve ice-cream, other times butter and fried chicken. But no mention of the calories or fat is ever given. Instead this girl will eat a sandwich made with real food and enjoy herself.

how can you knock a girl who makes (and eats) a waffle sandwich!

how can you knock a girl who makes (and eats) a waffle sandwich!


When she began sandwich making, Smith was already into her 30s and aware that she wanted to settle down sometime soon. In more recent posts she has began to share that the need for a ring isn’t what it used to be. Regardless of if she completed the sandwiches, Smith and her boyfriend were eventually going to settle down and get married. The past two years have, however, given her a chance to appreciate their relationship and enjoy the time together before they do live in a house full of dishes and kids. As Smith mentioned herself, the ring isn’t actually important – if it was I am sure she would have quickly whipped up 300 peanut butter sandwiches in the first week – but what is important is having someone to share them with.
Let’s face it, if you post something on the internet you are probably going to get some negative feedback to go with the good. But I felt like some of the comments directed towards 300sandwiches were just a bit too harsh and ignorant to what the website is really about. I think the overall message can be summed up by Smith in a recent pre-engagement post on if she will stop after sandwich 300.
“But after that, I will still make E sandwiches. Because they make him happy. And I’ll still post them on 300sandwiches.com. Because it makes me happy.”

Happiness Day 48 – where have you been all my life!

One of the benefits of living in KOrea is that I get to try western things that we don’t have in NZ like Dunkin Donuts, Taco Bell and Krispy Kreme. I don’t know what we will do when we return home and don’t have all these things at our disposal – especially the Krispiy Kreme! It isn’t all donuts though, the other day I came across Sriracha Chili Sauce and grabbed bottle after hearing my favorite food bloggers talk about it.

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It did not disappoint. I have been dousing this sh*t on everything! Eggs, stir fry, roasted pumpkin – ahhhhh!!!

I think I can find it back home at Koscos. If not I may have to order online. Now that I have tasted this sauce I don’t think I can be without it.

Happy weekend!