Archive for ‘Chatter’

February 13th, 2014

Vancouver Trip + Black Hair

Look, I have something to show for my absence! T_T

topik level 5kinat level 5, korean social integration program

I’ve been studying Korean for the past year for these language tests, TOPIK, an internationally recognized Korean language proficiency test, and KINAT, a local Korean government language program. Both are to help me get a different job in the future. Once I get to that, I’ll share with you guys!

 

Vancouver, Summer 2013

In fact, all I’ve been doing since January of 2013 was lock myself up at home and study all day. Even when I went back home to Vancouver in the summer, I was still studying and taking mandatory online Korean lessons.

Despite my studies, I still enjoyed being with my family, and took my camera around to take pictures of the beautiful Vancouver scenery and chill city life. I always love being back because the people and pace of life is so slow and casual. Unlike in Seoul, no one is rushing and pushing you out of their way. You rarely see girls dressed up limping in heels, with a full face of makeup and curls in their hair. Instead, you are usually looking at people in sweats, runners, and a backpack or riding their bicycle around the city.

My brother, Gary, and I took a few trips to Granville Island. He recently got me into longboarding, so we rode around the area, shopping local products, sitting down on the grass to watch an outdoor high school play, and just enjoying the view. Vancouver life!

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

The story with the longboard (not skateboard!) is, on the first day back in Vancouver, my brother asked me if I wanted to try out his longboard, which he had been riding for a while. I had just gotten home after about 30 hours busing, flying, transferring, and waiting for a flight delay. Naturally, I said no.

He insisted that I try it out quickly anyways. In the 10 minutes on the board, we were both surprised that I was actually pretty quick to learn. I also had a lot of fun. After about a week on his board, I decided to buy my own. I’ve had a really bad fall on it once, limped about for 2 weeks, but I still love being on my board.

 

Here’s the rest of my stay in Vancouver.

frostedsnow, Vancouver
Family dimsum

frostedsnow, Vancouver

frostedsnow, Vancouver
Volunteering with my friend at Rabbitat

frostedsnow, Vancouver
I swept up all that rabbit poop! It slightly killed my dream of having a rabbit >.<

frostedsnow, Vancouver
Buttercup, the friendliest and most loving rabbit ever.

frostedsnow, Vancouver
A sesame seed leaf from our garden the size of my face!

frostedsnow, Vancouver
Early birthday celebration with my family. The Sephora bag is actually Starcraft 2, which I asked Gary for.

 

 

Where’s the blondie?

Lots of people ask, why did you dye your hair back?

When I was blonde, purple, pink, blue, or whatever color I was, I felt that it reflected me. I felt like blonde was the color that belonged to my hair. I felt that black hair misrepresented me.

Then one day, I just didn’t feel that way anymore. I felt like, my hair should be black. So, I had it dyed back. Pretty simple.

Actually, there is really no way an Asian with black hair can stay light blonde forever, especially if they redo their roots frequently. My scalp was feeling more sensitive each time the bleach touched it, and even though it didn’t look it, my hair was getting super damaged and I didn’t feel like cutting it off anymore.

I’m very happy having black hair now. My next goal is to grow it long and gradient bleach and color the tips. I will share that journey with you guys, too!

frostedsnow, black hair

June 20th, 2012

Family Visit to Korea with Special Guest Gary — Soraksan (part 1)

Just last week, my mum and younger brother came to visit me in Korea.

It was the first time for my brother, Gary. He always refused to come because he “hated everything Korean just because I liked it so much.” Well, he says I was always playing those Korean videos when he was trying to study. -_-

I have been telling him to visit for the longest time, that his sister has really built a life here and would like for him to see how it’s like. He always challenged me, “what is there to do in Korea but shopping?”

I’m not sure what moved his sails, but he finally decided to visit, so I’ll show you what there is to do in Korea besides just shopping!

 

 

Soraksan

The only kinds of exercise I am willing to do are dance, badminton, and martial arts. Anything else that falls under the exercise category, I prefer to keep to a minimum. Including walking.

Gary is exactly the opposite. He’s a pretty active little boy, so his lazy elderly sister had to make a compromise. I agreed to take the family to Soraksan, but we would do the easier trails with him and can turn back anytime we are too tired to go on. Also, lots of sleep time for me.

It was actually my second time to Soraksan. Personally, I think it is the most beautiful mountain and hiking trail in Korea. The last time I went, it was in autumn. Even though the leaves had all fallen and most of the greens were covered with snow, there was still this solemn eerie beauty to the land. For the first time in my life, I saw that rocks, simply just rocks, could be so beautiful.

Soraksan (설악산) is located in the city Sokcho (속초). It takes around 3 hours to get there from Seoul. For directions, you can always call the Seoul Foreigner Helpline (02)-1330. Very nice, helpful, and speaks English.

 

 

The Hotel

We stayed at the same hotel I was at the first time, Sorak Tourist Hotel. Prices are very reasonable, the view is amazing, and rooms very decent. For 3 people, our room was just 65,000 won ($55USD) per night (80,000 won [$70USD] on weekends).

The owner, Charlie, is very nice and helpful. If there is anything you want to see, do, or eat, just ask him.

Also, the hotel is literally right at the base of the mountain. This is especially good if you go with hikers of different levels. You can turn back anytime you want and take a nap!

 

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, traveling in korea

Yep. I think Gary likes the room.

 

 

Temples and Minor Trails

The great thing about Soraksan is there are many different trails of different levels. If you are not a big hiker, but just want to get away for a weekend, you can go for the cable car, temples, and minor trails (and the low priced raw fish and seafood coming up!).

 

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, traveling in korea

Do you notice that the orange pipe has nothing visible holding it?

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, traveling in korea

If you see rocks stacked on top of each other in Korea, it’s usually placed there as a wish token. Place your own rock and make a wish!

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, traveling in korea

 

 

The Actual Climb

The first time I visited Soraksan, I had seen 금강글 the cave from afar, but we didn’t have time to hike there. My friends and I all agreed that it was something we’d like to come back to do, so I made this the goal of our trip. However, the cave turned out to be really small and made into a tiny temple. It was honestly pretty disappointing. The climb up was pretty challenging though, and just being up there became the reward.

The hike up was 3.1 km, as Gary points out below ^^

 

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, traveling in korea

The trail has a lot of variety and the scene keeps changing — bridges, rivers, mini waterfalls, lakes, forest trails, trees, mountains and rocks just everywhere. Up until here is what I would consider the easy part and where most people would turn around.

 

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, traveling in korea

This is where it gets real. I was literally using all fours!

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, traveling in korea

The climb got so steep and rocky to a point where we were literally taking breaks every two minutes. I hate doing that because once I’m sitting down, I don’t want to get up, but my mom kept calling break -_- So, to entertain ourselves, we kept playing with her ‘ajumma hat’ XD

 

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, traveling in korea

From 3.1 km… to 02. km to go, and the hardest and scariest part >.<

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, traveling in korea

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, traveling in korea

To be honest, I was mostly just holding on for dear life. Yep.

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, traveling in korea

Finally! Made it to the top to drink the spring water that makes you younger the more you drink, except the climb up probably knocked a year off my life span, so I’m not sure how that will work out T_T

The water definitely tasted a lot like… rock so it was real interesting. Don’t be put off my the pot there. Gary pointed it out and wondered if the spring water was real, but the lady uses it to heat up the spring water to make coffee for people who buy something or make a donation.

Now, all we have to do is spend another 2 hours going back down…

Who’s idea was this again????

 

 

Nearby Food and Raw Fish and Seafood

If a 5 hour hike at the risk of falling into a bottomless pit for a sip of water is not exactly your cup of tea, most people go there for the fresh and low priced raw fish at DaePoHang (대포항), the Raw Fish Port. You won’t find prices like these in Seoul.

 

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, traveling in korea

There are lots of places to eat at the foot of Soraksan, most of them selling SanChae Bibimbap (산채 비빔밥), or rice mixed with mountain vegetables, and PaJeon (파전), or Korean style pancake. The best one to go to is the little restaurant attached to a souvenir store right outside the Sorak Tourist Hotel. We tried all the other places and kept wanting to return to this one because they have the best Seafood PaJeon!

 

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, daepohang, daepohang port, soraksan raw fish

Our first meal at DaePoHang Port.

With great directions from our hotel owner, Charlie, we arrived after a 10-15 minute bus ride.

The last time I was here, all I remembered was that our meal costed 30,000 won ($27 USD) or so for 3 people to have a whole plate of raw fish and spicy fish soup (매운탕), which is an extreme bargain. We walked down the seafood restaurants and they all quoted prices of 60,000 won ($52) — twice the price!

Finally, we got to the end of the street where there is a little path that turns into a parking lot like area. I almost missed it if not for my mom pointing out that all the people were walking there, and we hit jackpot! The ajummas there all held out a basket variety of fish for 30,000 won.

Note, though, that veggies (5,000 won), soup (6,000-10,000 won), and everything else is charged separately. We ordered the plain instead of spicy soup.

 

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, daepohang, daepohang port, soraksan raw fish

To be honest, one meal of raw fish and soup was hearty and filling enough, but my mom thought it was such a great deal she wanted to go once more before we left Sokcho.

This time, we did an upgrade and got 도미 (bream?), which itself costed 30,000 ($27 USD), plus a variety of other fish for 30,000. We got about twice the amount of raw fish, which really works out to the price.

With the veggies, soup, and rice, our meal came out to around 75,000 won ($65 USD), which is still pretty darn good for all that raw fish. Imagine the price of eating it at a Japanese restaurant!

 

 

Favorite Photos — Kungfu Fighting

I saw this open space between two temple buildings with the foggy mountain background. In my mind, I could picture an absolute scene from an olden time Kungfu movie, so I suggested we make that picture XD

My mum took the picture, and we didn’t have much time, so she didn’t get the temples around us, but I thought these turned out pretty well ㅋ I claim total artistic rights on these! haha!

soraksan, sorak mountain, hiking in korea, traveling in korea

 

Thank you to Gary for agreeing to being in this post ^^

 

Part two will be in Seoul!

 

 

January 22nd, 2012

New Tumblr Page

Page One of One Pagehttp://frostedsnow.tumblr.com
One Page Scrapbook extension of frostedsnow.com
Fashion & Beauty Photography + Poetry + Quotes

The very first post writes:

Open your eyes and see the world
Look through the mirror into yourself
Walk over the bridge to the other side
Look past time into the future
Close your eyes and see my dream

Flip the page and
Close your eyes

         —frostedsnow.tumblr

If this scrapbook had a front cover, rather than a picture or title, these instructions would be written.

Now, make your click, close your eyes, open your heart, and see my dream…

 

frostedsnow tumblr sharon kwan

http://frostedsnow.tumblr.com

 

 

I had so much fun making this! It really felt like I was putting a real scrapbook together.

I actually really love reading and writing, especially poetry, and have always wanted to share them online, but felt it was a little out of place here.

Out of the blue, I suddenly remembered how I’ve always been wanting to make a tumblr page. Their themes are sooo pretty. I haven’t felt this inspired since long ago when I made layouts for Aheeyah.

I really felt like I was putting a real scrapbook together!

Asides from my writing, I will also try to include some photos you have not already seen on this blog as well.

Hope you guys like ^^

November 29th, 2011

Kpop Fan Interview (My Kpop History part 2)

I am watching MAMA at this very moment as I am updating this post.

It’s been hyped up here in Korea for the past 2 weeks or so, showing highlights of past MAMA performances. Seeing all those old popular Kpop performances has gotten me all Kpop-y lately. I thought now would be the best time to post this interview.

 

These are the questions a Kpop fan from Germany asked me for her Korean studies paper. She wanted to write about how Kpop came to be the way it is today, with a special focus on the 90’s (gosh, I feel old!).

 

1. How did you get interested (in Kpop)?

I went over to my Korean best friend’s house in elementary school, and she showed me a video of H.O.T performing Candy. Kpop was new to me at the time, but I thought their outfit and dance was so cute, and honestly, the boys were just plain good looking!

2. When did you start to be a fan?

I had been listening to H.O.T’s 1st album (recorded on cassette tape!) for 3 whole years without finding out more about them. I had no Internet to access more information, no money or knowledge of where to buy their albums, and very little knowledge about the music industry.

So, I don’t really consider myself becoming a true ‘fan’ of Kpop until I finally got Internet and found out more and more about Korean music — I joined and participated very actively in forums, followed websites, read fanfics, and saved pictures of my favorite Kpop singers.

3. What was your fandom? Of whom your started to be a fan at first?

I’m not sure exactly what you mean by ‘my fandom’, but I spent most of my energies as an early Kpop fan indulging in their information, pictures, and videos online. I also started and ran a Korean lyrics website, Aheeyah.com, for about 10 years.

I started as a H.O.T fan, but once I touched the online wealth of Kpop, I quickly began following other artists as well, particularly SM Town artists.

4. What fascinated and touched you the most about your fandom?

The fact that even though fans may all be from different parts of the world, speak different languages, and come from totally different cultures, we can become one through a common interest and passion. I met many friends online as a Kpop fan, and even consider a few of them as some of my closest friends.

5. How did your fan-being develope? First year…second year…etc. How active were you? Did you only consume information or did you create content for other fans as well?

At first, I was only listening to H.O.T’s music for 3 full years. When I finally had Internet, I started browsing their fansites, fanfics, and pictures. Back then we didn’t have Youtube or online videos yet! I began joining forums and interacting with other fans. After being on the Internet for a little less than a year, I made my own H.O.T fansite. This site didn’t last too long as my interest for other artists was quickly expanding, so I made a new website where I could incorporate my love for all Kpop artists, which became the Korean lyrics website, Aheeyah.com. I romanized and translated lyrics while learning Korean at the same time from scratch, developed and managed a staff team of other eager and generous Kpop fans, and eventually opened up an active forums as well. However, about 6 or 7 years after opening Aheeyah, although I still liked Kpop, I was not as passionate about it as before and eventually closed down Aheeyah at about my 10 year mark.

Outside of my online activity as a Kpop fan, I also eventually realized my dream to work in Korea, and went to many Kpop concerts as well. In one year, I went to about 20 or more concerts. Sometimes, I would even go to two consecutively on each day of the weekend. It was a dream come true!

6. If the answer’s “yes” what content?

Asides from the Korean lyrics I romanized and translated for Aheeyah, I also developed an interest for graphics as well. I made graphic fan art based on my favorite singers and even ran graphic battles on Aheeyah’s forums. I also started (but never finished) a H.O.T fanfic, based on the members of H.O.T.

7. Was or is your fandom still a great part of your life? Did it change you and your interests? Did it even influence your future plans?

Kpop is still a big part of my life because even if I fall in and out of certain singers and groups, I will still always love music. Music is the food of my soul and I never go a single day without listening to it — while walking to school, sitting on the bus, doing the dishes, or putting myself to bed.

Consequently, because I love music, and because Kpop tends to be the only music I enjoy listening to, I always go back to the artists. It can be just the way a singer sang a certain line that is so mesmerizing, the lyrics of the song, or the choreography that pulls me to find out more about the artist or watch performances online. This is why I am always inevitably going back to being a fangirl, even if I pull out of it for some time.

Kpop definitely changed my life greatly — it decided my current profession and location. If it were not for Kpop, I would not have dreamt of living in Korea. If I had not dreamt of living in Korea, I would not have become an English teacher. I am currently on my 4th year of living and working in Korea, and will probably continue to do so for at least the next few years of my life.

I remember a kind of funny episode with just how much I give my life to Kpop, and that is after my first year of working in Korea, I had decided that I needed to find a job back home in Vancouver. However, shortly after leaving Korea, Big Bang, my favorite group at that time, announced their very first concert in Seoul. I had spent about a year in Vancouver and still couldn’t find a job that satisfied me, so I quickly decided that I must go back to Korea and see Big Bang in concert, and so signed another year contract of teaching with the first school that hired me and left the country in 2 week’s time! A bit of a mindless act, but I don’t regret it one bit. I actually cried when I got to see them in concert! I had already seen tons of concert before them, but at the time, I was so deeply into BigBang, having followed and watched their progress since debut, that I was so touched to watch them perform live. Also, I just loved Seungri like crazy!

Kpop also lead me to learn a new language — Korean. Over the 10 and more years of being a Kpop fan, I had been constantly pursuing the learning of the language. I am currently able to speak Korean quite well, and am able to hang out with Korean friends who speak absolutely no English at all.

 

Your opinion:

1. From what point is a fan a fan?

When you want to do more for the artist than just gloat over their music, pictures, and videos. When you want to give back to the music community, make a fan out of others, and find some kind of release for your fandom. When you are drawing pictures of your favorite idol, uploading fan videos you made on Youtube, or translating their videos into your own language for others to understand. When you think it is important to support the artists and show your appreciation by purchasing their music rather than stealing it by downloading it for free off the Internet.

When the things you do are about the artists and other fans rather than just yourself.

2. What is being a fan about?

Support the artist you love and other fans who love them. Give back to the music community in the same way the artists give your own life meaning, interest, and fulfilment.

3. What do you think about South Korean fans? Are they different?

The beauty of music is that it can create fans who can become one because of their common interest. If someone loves H.O.T, they will love them in the same way. It doesn’t matter whether this fan is from Korea, Thailand, or Canada, they will love H.O.T in the same way as all other H.O.T fans, and in doing so can become one with a fan from another culture who speaks a totally different language and grew up in a completely different culture.

4. What do you think about Kpop fans? Do they act different from other fans?

I think that in general, fans are fans. Whether it is a kpop fan, jrock fan, or English country music fan, all fans essentially want the same thing — to listen to their artist’s music, share it with others, and express their passion.

 

 

Kpop fanart

Kpop in my Ears

In the likeness of the ramyun’s bubbling broth, vibrant sauce, and spicy hotness,
Kpop, I will continue to <3 you with the same vivre, brightness, and color.

As long as the ramyun continues to boil, and I have a need to eat,
As long as you continue to sound, I will hungerly hear

Ramyun in my stomach, and
Kpop in my ears

 

Haha I wrote that corny poem and took the picture for a ‘Show your material love for Kpop’ contest held at Aheeyah long ago, where you had to show some physical form of your love for Kpop. Some ppl took a picture of all the posters in their room, another folded cranes and put them into the world Kpop, etc.

Now that I’m mentioning it, it seems like a good idea to hold this contest again for some Kpop CDs as prizes…

 

PS. Sorry it’s been such a long time since updates! My parents came over to visit me last weekend in Korea for a few days, and I’ve just been busy cleaning my house and enjoying my time with them when they were here.

After having 3 people in my tiny studio apartment, when I go back to being alone, it feels so much more empty and quiet T__T

I know lots of ppl call me ‘lucky’ and say I’m living their dream to be teaching/living in Korea. It was my dream too, and I am very thankful I was able to finally achieve it. However, this is the downside — being away from my family, friends, and home.

Anyways, I will shoot some Lookbook looks for sure this weekend! ^^

October 31st, 2011

My Kpop History: Fan Art (part 1)

A while ago, a German Kpop fan in university asked whether I’d be willing to answer some questions for her Korean studies paper.

I thought I’d share the answers I gave her, because lots of people knew me as a Kpop fan first from Aheeyah and I have lots of Kpop fan readers as well.

I’ll also share some of my old fan graphics ^^

Because this post is becoming longer and longer (cuz I’m a chatty old granny), I’ll post the fanart first and the Q&A in part two ^^

 

 

Fan Art

In my ‘Kpop career’, I actually didn’t make that many fanart. Most of the graphics I did were for more ‘technical’ reasons for Aheeyah — layout, banners, avatar, etc. I really prized Aheeyah’s layouts for always being very pretty and unique, and always using a different header graphic on each page.

I didn’t make fanart often for the sake of fanart itself, but here were the few that I did make.

 

All single pieces are original artwork by frostedsnow. Do not repost.
All compilation pieces were created by various artists (listed below) for Aheeyah’s graphic battle. Do not repost.

Click to enlarge in new window.

 

Vector Art

Kpop fanart

Kpop fanart

Kpop fanart

This was my first time trying out vector art. I had always admired it and wondered how ppl did it, and finally went to find a tutorial to do it myself.

Basically, to create vector art, you trace with your mouse all the portions of the picture that are of the same color, and fill it in, usually starting with the lightest color of the skin and then working out.

The more shades of color you use, the more detailed your picture (and of course, the longer it takes).

It’s basically drawing out and filling in the gradations of the picture. Actually, a lot of times when I do my makeup, I think in terms of photoshop — except in real life on my face. When I apply BB cream before liquid concealer, and liquid concealer before spot concealer, I am creating gradation, exactly like vector art =p

 

‘Battle of the Artists’

Aheeyah forums ran a graphic battle contest — except in elimination rounds with one artist eliminated and a new theme for each round. I ran the contest, created the themes for each round, and took part myself as well.

Kpop fanart

Theme: pink

 

Kpop fanart

Theme: stock images

I couldn’t find an open fantasy story book, so I found stock images of an open book and placed fantasy story images and wrote lines in an olden day fairy-tale type font to make it!

I usually like to let graphics speak for itself, but since this is not an artwork blog, I’ll explain: it’s basically a scene from a fairy tale coming to reality — prince YoungSaeng stepping out into real life! The girl vs dragon is a reflection of the left page of the storybook (the girl on the horse is the exact same image of the girl in the storybook, flipped).

I also wanted to have a female heroine riding a white horse saving the prince — it doesn’t always have to be the other way around!

 

Kpop fanart

theme: drawing on paper

 

Kpop fanart

theme: create your own graphic that will be combined with your team’s as a ‘mural’

Kpop fanart

artist credits (left to right): chibibaka, debbii, Hikaru Shidou, Ama-Chan, frostedsnow

My team’s mural was a horizontal one.

 

Kpop fanart

artist credits (top to bottom): kahel, JustINtroverted, thesnowcrane, yoohoo84, Rai

The other team we were up against had to do a vertical mural (which I think was much more difficult as there’s more of the picture to combine!)

 

 

It’s moments like these, as I flip through old Aheeyah forum pages, reading and looking through all the activities we held, the staff who helped me out, the interactions, that makes me feel really nostalgic and kind of sad T_T

Those were really some good ol’ days.

Nowadays, I don’t make fan art much anymore, but I still really admire the arts and creation side of Kpop. It’s basically a fan’s expression of their love and passion for Kpop.

 

 

September 4th, 2011

Vancouver Trip + Sept 4th Bday

I’m back in Korea from my Vancouver trip. All I did was literally eat, sleep, and just spend time with family and friends, which was all exactly what I wanted to do.

I didn’t go anywhere special this time around, because last year when I went back I spent way too much money, so this year’s trip was very low budget. I actually spent LESS than I brought back and had extra cash left over — it’s literally a miracle!

 

I spent my high school and university years — around 10 years — in Vancouver. To be honest, I always really hated it and only wanted to be in Asia, especially Korea. I thought it was so boring and dull, and didn’t have any of the things I enjoyed doing and loved. I just never felt like I fit in. It just wasn’t me.

Only this time going back did I come to appreciate a lot of the things Vancouver has to offer — the multiculturalism, the relaxed pace of life, the variety of cuisines and restaurants, the feeling of grass under my feet, the beautiful and clear skies, and strangers smiling and saying hi to you on the streets.

I still haven’t changed my mind that Vancouver is not the place for me to spend my 20s in, but it’d be a great place to raise a family or retire in though! Vancouver also has great post-retirement senior financial support — there were so many seniors going to dimsum and hanging out w/ other elderlies! It’s not uncommon to see seniors selling stuff on the streets or subway stations in Korea, and picking up tin cans and cardboard paper in Hong Kong. In this sense, I’m really glad to be a Canadian ^^

 

And yes, it is my birthday today — Sept 4th. One year older! Eeek ㅠ.ㅠ

And yes, I appreciate all the virtual birthday hugs and kisses I can get, please and thank you! XDDD

 

 

Here and There

frostedsnow Vancouver trip

I went shopping at the mall with my brother, visited Chapters, and decided on some new books I was going to buy after returning to Korea. I bought some drugstore bleach and hairdye and bleached my hair just two days ago. You guys will see the color later! I also went to Waterfront Station for the first time and realized I liked it a lot more than the Granville or Burrard Stn areas, even though it’s all in downtown.

The rest of the time, I literally just stayed at home, ate out, or went to my friend’s house. Nothing too adventurous!

 

Eating at Home

frostedsnow Vancouver trip

Fruits are really expensive in Korea, so I loaded up in Vancouver. The strawberries were from our own little garden! My parents really spoiled me since I don’t go back often and saved all the nice, ripe and red ones for me XD

I ate so much my mom actually told me to watch out for my bulging stomach. Thanks mom for always being so… honest -_-

That’s why I started going back to the gym, hopefully more often T_T Even as I write this post, I am doing some pseudo chair crunches T__T

And yes, that is my birthday cake there with my Chinese name wiped out. Maxim Bakery in Vancouver makes the best Asian cakes!

 

frostedsnow Vancouver trip

We had a BBQ in our own little back yard. My mom kept buying lobster cuz she knew a store that sold it cheap and I kept complaining when I saw pictures of them eating it in Van. without me.

 

Eating Out

frostedsnow Vancouver trip

As you can see, I absolutely love dimsum and Chinese food!

My close friend took me to an Indian/Afghan restaurant as a coming-back treat. The food and service were absolutely splendid. I really recommend this place. My brother also took me out to a Greek restaurant for my bday. The food was great and plentiful. I wrote a quick review below!

 

 

Vancouver Restaurant Recommendations

Someone asked before for me to recommend places to go and eat out in Vancouver. I don’t have the names and addresses of all the restaurants I went to (especially the local Chinese ones I often went to for dimsum and dinner), but here are a few good places:

Congee Noodle King — Hong Kong Tea House — best wonton noodles ever with large wonton made with real shrimp, shrimp egg noodles where you can actually taste the shrimp eggs. The ‘yau ja gwai’ or ‘salty Chinese donut’ is fresh and great. Most of the stuff on their menu is quite good, although I find their congee a bit too salty for my tastes. Very popular with local Chinese.

East is East — Indian / Afghanistan — great food and service. I especially recommend the all-you-can-eat ‘feast’ for $20 per person. You get a salad, soup, 2 kinds of rice, 2 kinds of bread, and a dozen side dishes to choose from. You can refill any and all of these things until you are full. The waitresses are very nice and very ready to refill your dishes without making you feel bad for asking and asking for more. The interior is also very interesting, with tiny chairs and tables (though it may be a bit uncomfortable for taller guys). There are also live performances if you go during peak hours.

Aristos Greek Taverna — Greek — big portions, good food. The Souvlaki menu — choice of meat/seafood, rice, salad, potato, and bread — serves very generous portions for $17 and is two meals worth of food for me! The calamari appetizer was good and my favorite was their awesome sauce with the calamari and Souvlaki and the bread (with a coating of honey and garlic? not sure). My brother’s coworker’s husband is a butcher and said the store uses really good quality fresh meat and especially recommended the roasted lamb Souvlaki. My brother said it was a bit too tough/chewy for him, but it was pretty tender and good to me — the strange thing being my brother likes lamb and I don’t. I ordered the shrimp/scallop Souvlaki and enjoyed it.

Pho Hoa — Vietnamese — best pho I’ve had at reasonable price. The broth is good, soup is hot, and meat and is plenty. I like the sides of bean sprouts, basil, pepper, and lime. Service is poor but I go there for the pho. The special menu of large pho + spring roll for under $10 is a great deal. A few of my friends also prefer this place for pho.

 

 

PS. Lately, I’ve kinda gotten into Taeyang from BigBang. He’s not usually my style of boy, but I’ve been listening to my old music and heard his 나만 바라봐 again and realized how great it was. I really like the intro of this performance (after performance interview available as well).

His eyes are just absolutely shooting sexy lasers at me! I love the lyrics too — just so simply bad boy mixed with good — a lot like Taeyang’s gentle personality mixed with his black hip-hop style and dance. And he has such a cute, adorable, puppy-melt-me smile… *faints*

If you are a fan, I also recommend this 4 part special feature of his comeback — Real Sound by Taeyang! I know I’m a bit behind, but I’m always re-discovering and re-loving Kpop =p That’s what I love about it!

April 15th, 2011

Finally, the deed is done!

After having spent my whole life as a webmaster featuring faces of Kpop artists and never showing anyone my own (and for the longest time, even my own staff!), I must say it is extremely weird to have my own face all over a site. I spent the last year contemplating whether I really wanted to make myself public like this. It really took a lot of courage and while to get used to, but here it finally is!!

I already wrote about three essays on Aheeyah T_T, so I will keep it short here. My plans for this blog and my other accounts/sites are:

  • Sharing my own beauty, fashion, and health tips
  • Product Reviews from high to low end with a large focus on Korean products (ex: Skin79, Etude House, Missha, Innisfree, It’s Skin, Skinfood, Banila co., etc)
  • Cosmetic, clothing, and accessory haul photos, prices, and stores I purchased from
  • Taking pictures of and giving directions to both popular shopping areas and hidden gems in Seoul, South Korea, including less well known or easy to find stores such as: wholesale priced nail art and jewelry making supplies, good piercing/tattoo stores, places to go and avoid for the popular Korean circle/color lenses, etc.
  • Shopping tips specific to Korea: duty free shopping, translating, registering, buying, collecting points on Korean online shopping websites (ex:  Gmarket, Interpark, 11st, etc.)
  • Occasional travel, eating, and accommodation guide and recommendations in South Korea.
  • Youtube tutorials. I put this at the end because I want to focus on my Lookbook and blog first, but mostly because I have yet to play around with my new DSLR camera and find an appropriate video editing program because iSight and iMovie just doesn’t offer the quality that I want.
  • Anything that tickles my fancy, and maybe yours!