homemade toner: Rose Vinegar & green tea

I've been waiting to post on my homemade toner until I made sure it was good enough for actual use^^  I've been using it for a month now and it's made my skin much happier.  I ditched my old toner and am sticking with this one.

Here's my homemade Rose Vinegar & Green Tea toner:

  • 1 TB of rose vinegar (homemade - I got "rose tea" and seeped it with vinegar for a week).
  • 1 cup of organic green tea (brewed and cooled)

homemade rose vinegar

That's all of the ingredients.  You can mix and add them into a clean glass bottle.  I washed and reused an old glass bottle. 

You can more or less vinegar depending on your skin sensitivity.

If you're not too sure how much vinegar you can handle, you can experiment with making a trial toner with distilled water & 1 tsp~(more or less).  You can mix however you want to make sure its right for your skin.  I add enough vinegar so it doesn't sting and smell like one.

Again, experiment...and experiment :)

I'm glad I'm finally getting the hang of this slowly.  I am enjoying not needing to feel "slaved" to believe a "new-it" cosmetic item to save my skin.  If feels like a huge relief.. I can't wait to experiment with more.

I'm thinking of an olive oil & vinegar face oil for my next experiment..^^


Bread & Co (JungGye station)

at JungGye station.  For a coffee picker upper.

at Emart (Gongdeok) food court

food coma....

food from School Food

successful apartment contract renewal!

We were handed down the ultimatum(?) from our landlord.  They wanted 100,000won increase in rent - and we wanted 50,000won and no more.  Our 2 yr contract is ending on the end of March.  We had to make the decision by the end of this month. 

So to cut the story short, they came over last weekend to check up on the apartment, but we were confident that they would be impressed.  It's a 2yr old apartment - us being the first tenants.  We kept it very clean and they were pretty happy.

It was a nerve racking day.  I've never had to do this 2 yr contract renewal for apartments and it was a serious matter.

Thankfully, my husband's good friend came over to help us.  We call him our "lawyer" (he's not a lawyer) friend.  He wanted to make sure we got what we wanted - an increase of 50,000won and no more for 2 yr renewal on the apartment.

We all sat down to negotiate the deal on the apartment and price - it was very intense.  I can speak enough Korean - but not enough to make negotiations.

We can't still believe our friend came to help us that day.

We can't thank him enough~~ because he made his moves and talks and we got what we wanted!  A 50,000won increase in rent each month for 2 year renewal!

We still can't believe we got what we wanted!  Moving is painful - and being the only tenant in our apartment is hard to give up... we are so very very thankful for our friend....  We would never be able to make such a deal without him!

And to actually think that, our apartment runs  for 200,000won more in rent (than what we pay now) - as priced by the realtors.  I still can't believe he got us to just 50,000won..  We joked that he should make it a part time side job to make deals happen ;P 

So to congratulate the successful deal - we ordered jajangmyun that day.  I heard it's a common meal to eat on moving days (too tired to cook?).

our delivery meal

We got a small "tang-soo-yook", "gan jajang", and "gochu japchae bap".  All delivered in less than 30 minutes with a free fried mandoo!  

my husband's "gan-jajang" - a heavier sauce

I got "gochu japchae" meal

 My meal above was very good!

If you are in Gongdeok area - you can call 02-702-1007 for this chinese delivery place.

we got a complimentary "mandoo"


volunteering at an orphanage: healing times

This was our second time volunteering at JungGye orphanage.

We spent 1 hour teaching children English and another hour to hangout and play with them outside. 

During snack time, a boy I taught last month (kindergartener) remembered me and sat next to me to eat his snacks.  He made me feel special. 

I asked him if his liked bananas as he scrumptiously devoured a half sliced banana, he said, "Yes, I do.  We don't have fruit here.  I like bananas and watermelons.  In summer, we have watermelons sometimes, but it's rare."

he melts me heart!

It must have been my lucky day.

I also got the privilege to hangout with the cutest little girl - she was the youngest out of the bunch.  Here we are playing making her own version of snowman.  

snow bear!

***Sorry the photos look silly with the funny faces - privacy privacy...^^ 

We started volunteering thinking that we were doing a "good deed".   After the physical presence of being there... having these kids make you smile, giggle, grin and laugh... it becomes a rather strange experience.  It feels like the opposite side is getting healed (me)..


Super food: Chlorella

Here's a super food I'm trying for the first time, Chlorella.  

chlorella vitamin house korea seoul

What is it?!

(NaturalNews) A single-celled, water-grown micro-algae, chlorella is widely known as a powerful "superfood" supplement with extraordinary nutrient density. It is believed to have been around for eons. One of the few edible species of water-grown algae, chlorella is full of chlorophyll. It contains all of the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, amino acids, magnesium, iron, trace minerals, carbohydrates and a higher amount of protein (more than 50%) than meat, per grams of weight (http://www.naturalnews.com). It also has a unique set of phytonutrients (http://www.naturalnews.com/034109_chlorella_superfood.html). It binds to toxins and carries them out of the body. It's high amount of protein makes it a staple for many people who do not eat meat. Phyllis Balch, CNC, says it is virtually a complete food.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/036086_chlorella_superfood_algae.html#ixzz2L2m0ZBoS

I got these bottles on sale online. 

chlorella vitamin house korea seoul
arrives 2 days later! 

chlorella vitamin house korea seoul

Good nutrition is important to us.  We try to go by the rule of 80/20.  Eat 80% pure whole foods(no instant/convenience food) and 20% what we want (dessert, coffee, ramen..etc) - because there's nothing as perfection - it will drive our lives mad.

To a good health~^^

Why take it?

One of the main uses of chlorella is to detoxify, or cleanse, the body. It has been found to chelate, or remove, heavy metals from the body according to a Russian study (http://www.naturalnews.com/035177_chlorella_cilantro_detox.html). A study involving rats demonstrated the effectiveness of using chlorella as a counteragent for heavy metal poisoning ( http://www.naturalnews.com). Chlorella-treated rats also had less tissue damage than the control group.

Heavy metals are typically very difficult to get out of your tissues. If you have mercury fillings in your teeth, work in certain industries, have received vaccinations, or have been exposed to radiation, you have heavy metals. Most people have at least some, from our environment and food supply, such as the mercury found in fish. NaturalNews' Paul Fassa reports on a Japanese study which found that all cancer cells contain mercury (http://www.naturalnews.com/035177_chlorella_cilantro_detox.html). Additionally, heavy metal toxicity has been associated with mental decline illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer's.

chlorella vitamin house korea seoul

Additional Benefits

Chlorella cleanses the blood and optimizes oxygen into the blood. It alkalizes the body, correcting a state of acidosis, in which most disease thrives. By definition, then, it also relieves inflammation, which is the root of much disease. It follows that chlorella is a pain reliever, reduces hypertension and enhances the immune system (http://www.naturalnews.com).

In this NaturalNews report, Donna Earnest Pravel says a study on fibromyalgia patients showed a significant reduction in pain and tenderness. In a similar study, hypertension patients were able to go off of their prescriptions upon taking chlorella (http://www.naturalnews.com).

In addition, Pravel also cites a study done on patients receiving flu shots. They took chlorella before receiving their vaccine for a few weeks. They were found to have 2 - 4 times more antibodies when tested, a few weeks after being vaccinated.

Chlorella has also been proven effective for:

• Balancing hormones (relieving PMS, regulating cycles, etc.)

• Treatment of ulcers

• Balancing the digestive system (improving digestion, relieving constipation)

• Increasing the white blood cell count (helps with infections, warding off of illness)

• Reduces or eliminates body odors

• Balances blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar (fighting/preventing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity)

• Reduces occurrence of asthma attacks and allergies

• Treats fatigue

• Helps boost immune response

• Protects the brain and nervous system

• Supports elimination of many kinds of pollutants, from heavy metals to molds

• Boosts tissue growth, healing and repair

• Detoxifies harmful radiation, protects organs

(http://www.naturalnews.com/034109_chlorella_superfood.html, http://www.naturalnews.com/031779_spirulina_radiation.html, http://www.squidoo.com/what-is-chlorella-good-for?)

These are just some of the benefits of taking chlorella. These statements have not been validated by the FDA, but have been validated by centuries of use across many cultures.

How to get it in your diet

Chlorella requires processing due to a strong cell wall that makes it otherwise impossible to gain access to its nutrients. Be sure the products you buy do not use heat or chemicals in their processing. Fassa says a special milling process or rapid pressure change method is necessary to break down the cell wall and make the nutrients bioavailable. You can find chlorella in pill form or powder form, to add to smoothies.

The herb cilantro is also known for its ability to leech mercury out of the body. It combines nicely with chlorella as a superfood and detoxifying combo (http://www.naturalnews.com/035177_chlorella_cilantro_detox.html).

Other things you should know

According to Michelle Bosmier, because of the toxic load the average person carries, sometimes when people start a regime of chlorella they think they are experiencing side-effects. In reality, they are experiencing the effects of detoxification. The cleansing of toxins from the body may give you gas, nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea, etc. For this reason, its good to start taking chlorella on a weekend, when you can stay close to home. If the side-effects of detoxing are too much for you, ease up on your consumption, adding it in slowly. The symptoms will pass in a couple of days.

Chlorella has a high amount of vitamin K, so it could interfere with blood thinning medications (http://www.naturalnews.com/028017_chlorella_diabetes.html). It also contains iodine, so if you are allergic, avoid it.

Chlorella is inexpensive partially because it is one of the fastest growing plants on Earth. It is the most potent source of pure chlorophyll available (http://www.naturalnews.com/034109_chlorella_superfood.html). Chlorophyll is identical to human blood except for the center element - blood's is iron; chlorophyll's is magnesium. For this reason it is uniquely wonderful for our health. It is a good addition to most diets and disaster kits. It is readily available and stores well, so stock up!

***I know stuff like this is new to most people..^^ I thought the same, too.  

Think about it, would the drug companies make their $$$ if everyone knew that good health can be achieved through good nutrition, moderate exercise, a positive mind, and getting 30 minutes of sunshine a day? ^^


Sol-nal &


I reflect on how lucky that we are that we don't have to do the rather "overwhelming" duty of Korean family gatherings.  To Koreans, it's really rather stressful.  Really is an understatement.  I think even kids (I used to myself) - dread these gatherings despite the "se-bet-don"($$$) involved.  But I do remember enjoying the food and looking forward to the feast... :)

I hope everyone had a great sol-nal holiday!

You can bet we had a non traditional Korean sol-nal... which means - staying in and just doing quite nothing.   We both enjoy nothing-ness. 

To a great second month of 2013!  How time goes by...

photo credit: adamgn via photopin cc


Emart (Gongdeok) closed days - February 2013

Emart (Gongdeok, Mapo-gu, Seoul) will be closed on the second and fourth Sundays for February 2013 (10th and 24th).

I hope I'm not the only one noticing that Emart prices have been steadily increasing... A mushroom would be 500won more expensive than the week before and 1000won more expensive for a bag of onions compared to Lotte Super (Gongdeok).  I don't even look at the fruit there.  The prices are getting quite ridiculous.  It changes too much...

Please be aware of the prices in Emart - it's not cheap like it really should be.  Our much smaller grocery store(in our apartment complex) actually has better prices for veggies - where we get most of it from. 

Emart is also being investigated right now by the government - I can't tell you the details much... most likely for corruption etc etc... so please stay smart and shop smart.  Also try to support the smaller guys - smaller stores/markets and vendors.

I used to love Emart - but these big guys are slowly getting too big...I don't appreciate the price anymore (it's not cheap)! 


How to store garlic - Korean style

I buy a whole bag of peeled garlic cloves and mash them with a bit of oil (olive or grape oil) - I store this in the refrigerator and when I have enough leftover (before it starts to get "old") - I take the rest and make little "scoopables" for easy access.  I freeze them and store them in a bag.

smaller and big scoops

Garlic - Korean staple!

Snow in February

It feels and looks like Christmas again~*

butt imprints?

Yes, this is snow in February!

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