Hump day cuteness: Boong-uh-bbang (SBS show)

Meet 6 year old(Korean age) Jang Joon-seo!

Joon-seo and his actor dad

He appears on this show called Boong Uh Bbang where celebrities and their kids will play games and hang out(talk show) - it's pretty addicting and super cute!

The grandpa (actor) appears with his 2 grand sons.  He adores his grand kids and they adore him back - they call him "hal-bu" :)

It's also one of the top shows on Sunday night (SBS, 6pm). 

Here's Joon-seo and his "talent" - dancing! 

can your resist his cuteness?!!!

My ovaries are tingling!!!


Sol-Nal (Korean New Year) gift from hubby's work..

In Sol-nal, most people will get a "gift" from their company and relatives.  Employers must(etiquette more like) give gifts to employees as a thank you gesture, and relatives(per household) exchange gifts with each other.

This is much more different from Christmas in Korea where gift exchanges are rare except for children and between young couples.  It's a surprise 25th is still a holiday despite the scarcity of Christmas spirit - yes, you just got get one day off.

You can guess what gifts are the most popular - necessities, like food, shampoo, oil, tuna cans..etc.    Korean traditional goods are also highly prized like Korean beef called, Hanwoo to specially dried fish called Jo-gi.

This year, my husband received this gift from his company - a delivery of iced package of different cuts of Hanwoo.  As you might know, I love a freebies!  Hanwoo is also "not cheap" - where US and Australian beef is readily available and more affordable. 

iced packed bag of Hanwoo

I'll definitely be making bulgogi and galbi with these meat for sol-nal! :)

for Bulgogi


Renewing apartment contract in Seoul & concerns

There's a lot of things to consider in 2013 for us - one of them is,

decide whether to 

Renew our apartment contract(2 year contract) or Move...

where most Seoulers live - apartments

we're waiting on our landlord to inform us whether they want to raise the rent (two months before contract ends) and we also have to let them know whether we want to move (one month before our contract ends).  If they want to raise the price - we're not likely going to renew.   And if I find a "good value" apartment (to be able to save more), we will move.

It's like a little silent game we're both playing...  But I can say that, living in Seoul is getting expensive - in many ways.  Rent(wolse/jeonse) is rising when apartment prices are falling in Seoul.  It's expensive to buy a "house"(apartments) - so people often rent for 2 years.  It's a vicious cycle of moving/saving/hoping to get your own home one day.  It's the reality in Seoul (Korea).

Grocery prices are also rising.  I haven't seen such a steep increase in price like this since 1000won kimbap became 1500won couple years ago.  Things aren't getting cheaper. 

Electricity is also rising about 4% this year.  It's tough, even for us, and we call ourselves very fortunate...

That's my two cents about "reality" here in Seoul.  

There's the glamourous life of the neon lights, fancy cafes and coffee shops... but there's also the hard reality that Seoul is getting to be a tougher place to live... more Seoulers moved out of the city last year - while the neighboring Kyunggi saw an increase in residents - you can guess where they moved to...not a bad idea really.

It's also a concern of mine when "luxury items" (bags, cars..etc) are supposedly the "it" items sought after many young Korean professionals here.  It's a concern.  I hope more people will see that "trying to fit in" with everyone is going to catch up eventually.   Korea grew up fast, I think it's time to slow down a bit and smell the kimchi.

I hope Koreans will realize that having a certain bag or car doesn't define them.. at least I won't be judging them and hope they won't judge me by my DIY haircut and "free" canvas bag. 

photo credit: perZpective via photopin cc 
photo credit: Wen Cheng Liu via photopin cc
photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc


Emart's salmon sushi

My husband often picks up this salmon sushi platter from Emart.
신랑이 가끔 이마트에 스시를 사 먹는다.

eating at the food court on upper floor (Emart - Gongdeok)

It's around 9000won(can't remember the exact price)...tastes.. okay..
9000원 정도 되는데.. 맛은 뭐... 그냥 그렇다..그다지 맛있지도 맛없는건 아니지만..

What more can you expect from a grocery sushi?!  :P
마트 스시니까 그렇겠지!

Paris Baguette - Cheesecake & Black Forest Cake

I'm quite lazy nowadays.  I haven't baked a cake in a while and often - very often - opt out to buy cake pieces to satisfy my cravings.

Down the street - Paris Baguette is conveniently located.  We can pick up cakes in individual pieces.  Thank goodness I don't give in the urge to buy a whole cake...^^

paris baguette korea seoul cake cafe

Their cheese cake is a good staple.

paris baguette korea seoul cake cafe

Their black forest cake is also pretty good!  It's not bad for a "chain" bakery~ ^^ 

paris baguette korea seoul cake cafe blackforest

 Paris Baguette I approve of your cakes!

paris baguette korea seoul cake cafe blackforest


Gwanghwamoon - the new "it" place?!

At least for me that is...

my "comfort" hood(?) - there's just something about this area that makes me feel at ease.

Maybe it's the cleaner, safer look of the area - or maybe because it's 10 minutes away from home.  It's just easier for me to hop into the area for a "change of pace".

I often go(Stop over) to Gwanghwamoon to:

,go to Kyobo bookstore (exit 3?)
,Seoul Finance Center Mall (for eateries)

For now, that is all! :D

Focaccia! Second time is better

Our second try! 

Most of the "work" was done my husband - I did the measuring and making sure he was doing things correctly~^^


The Face Shop - Arsainte Eco-Therapy Ultra Cream

I recently discovered this must have item from The Face Shop..

banana mini cake

mini banana cake for a gift. 

we're very fortunate to have some great people around us here in this country..
.. thank you~*


Pork galbi & pig's skin at "Choi-deh-po" restaurant (Gongdeok, Mapo)

It's been a very cold winter in Korea.  It's not such a bad thing because it gives you a very good reason to sit in front of a hot grill as you warm yourself - a mini fireplace right in front of your face - while meat grills away~ the sound, smell, and warmth...  sounds pretty perfect for a -15 C or 5 F night.

pork grill bbq restaurant gongdeok mapo seoul korea

Scheduled closed days & hours for Emart (Gongdeok)

I hope you haven't been unlucky to have visited Emart on a closed day because I have and it was on a Wednesday!  Such a random day..


Ashley Buffet Restaurant (Gongdeok) - NEW food, brunch & RULES?

How things change... Our visit to our favorite buffet , Ashley, was a mixed feeling of good and bad - pleasant and disappointing.. in so many ways!
gongdeok ashley buffet restaurant seoul
an emptier "window" side dining area that were filling up


What to eat on a day when you're not in the mood to eat anything in particular - jajangmyun

What do you do on a day when you don't know what to eat (cook)?

JA JANG MYUN.   ring ring ring~~ Yes, delivery to APT 000-000.

Set #2 please (2 bowls of jajangmyun & Tangsooyook for 14,000won)

20 minutes later on our table.  Pretty pink plates & food!

The jajangmyun was a bit disappointing this time, but their Tangsooyook was much better than the last time we had it.

We have about 10+ coupons worth 300won each - but supposedly we can't use them for "set menus" (cheapos) - but for regular dishes that costs 20,000won for one plate.

Although after eating jajangmyun, we always end up brewing ourselves coffee almost immediately after finishing up... you can't help but feel a little guilty and oily with this meal, but so worth it.

The Face Shop SALE - January 2013

The first sale of the year for The Face Shop.

From 1/4 - 1/7!

Up to 30% off :)

However, be aware that certain "tourist" areas - like MyungDong - will not advertise this!  I had to give them my "phone number" to confirm my membership at a store in MyungDong as supposed to other stores that won't even check for "membership", but allow it to all customers.

**Membership is free! Just requires a little paperwork~^^


Mapo-Naru - traditional Korean food & makgeoli restaurant

We headed to MAPO-NARU in Mapo for our adieu 2012 dinner.

This restaurant serves traditional Korean food from "jeon" to "spicy Korean chicken stew".  It was my first time there and I've only heard good things about this place from my hubs who frequent this place with his buddies for makgeoli.

We ordered the "hong-uh" (skate fish) and "bossam" set and "gool-jeon"(oyster-pancakes). 

They served the basic side dishes and "dwen-jang" soup for each of us.

mapo naru restaurant seoul korea bossam skate
a richer "dwenjang" side soup - a tad bit on the salty side

We got their "house" makgeoli - I can't recall what it was called.. 

mapo naru restaurant seoul korea bossam skate
makgeoli - sweet and rich


Gwanghwamoon - KT store(Olleh Square) & iPhone5

My husband has been talking about wanting to get the iPhone 5 for a while now.

last day of 2012 in Gwanghwamoon

He's lucky - I guess he's been good this year - we somehow ended up in Gwanghwamoon - where the KT store has iPhone 5 and the staff speaks really good English.

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