Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy birthday Meagan!

Happy Birthday Meagan!  Welcome to 27! 

Last Tuesday night, 10 of us got together at 7:45pm to celebrate Meagan's birthday at a shabu shabu restaurant in Seomyeon!  We all huddled around a little table and chowed down on the most delicious veggies...

... and meat (which I didn't eat, because I'm 90% vegetarian now! lol) It was really nice to get together with friends on a school night, since most of us wait till the weekends to get together, and of course to celebrate a birthday!  Who doesn't love birthdays?!

Love these kids!
Ash and Adam

Chris and Stella

This picture makes me laugh!  It's awesome on so many levels... 
Meagan, Grace and Jeff.

Cilla and JuHye

Me and Ashley

... and one of our tables, packed to the brim with deliciousness! 

 Hope 27 is a great year for you Meagan... Happy, happy birthday!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bookworm Bookmarks!

I'm always looking for creative things to teach about, our create, during my Wednesday morning English broadcast TV show at my school!  It's important that it be a topic that first through 6th graders are interested in!  What's that you ask?  Well, there aren't many topics and this is my 2nd year doing the show and repeating a lesson would just plain be lazy!  So, this week, I got online and found this adorable bookworm bookmark and explained the phrase "bookworm".  Turned out to be a big hit and so easy to make!

I spy with my little eyes, three little baby bookworms!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Home sweet home...

Busan has been having abnormally beautiful weather this year, which I am VERY thankful for!  Today being one of those days!

When I think back over the last 3 1/2 years, I don't remember seeing beautiful blue skies like these, or feeling cool breezes more than just a couple days out of the year! I recall it being either REALLY hot and humid with a thick layer of white sheet clouds, or really freezing and gray.  Today though, it looks and feels just like the weather back home in Orange County, California.  

As I was teaching today, I walked over to my wall of windows and opened every single one, took a deep breath, closed my eyes, took in the cool breeze and dreamed I was driving down PCH with my windows down and then walking from my car to South Coast Plaza (weird, I know, but I dreamt it)... Needless to say, it made me euphorically happy, and then instantly sad and home sick. Living in Korea has it's perks, don't get me wrong, but I am soooo ready to be back home in America...

Thanks for reminding me how much I miss it, Korea! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

This week!

This weekend was an abnormally early morning weekend!  Aaron and I had scheduled 2 sunrise photo shoots, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday, both of which happened to be on the other end of Busan!  I'm not sure we truly knew what we were getting ourselves into with scheduling sunrise shoots until our alarms began buzzing at 4:ooam!  Wow, that is EARLY!  But we made it through and have some really beautiful photos to prove it!  (You'll have to wait though, sorry!)

Some new news for us... we're transitioning into being vegetarians!  After watching the movie Forks over Knives, I think we both just realized the benefits of sticking to a plant based diet, and are gonna try our best to cook vegetarian meals at home.  I may slip in a little meat at the school cafeteria, or some Korean BBQ if we're out to dinner with friends, but for the most part, we're gonna try to steer clear of meat!

Chuseok is coming up this weekend and with it, we're given a 5 day vacation from work!  Our KTX train tickets have been purchased and we're planning to spend 3 days up in Seoul with Jess and Carlos!  We are soooo looking forward to getting some quality time in with them, seeing some new scenery, 
cooking with Jess, shopping at H&M and Forever21 (aaaahhhhh American sizes!), sipping tea in cute coffee shops, eating delicious food in trendy Seoul restaurants and even fitting in a photo shoot of the two of them!  It's just what the doctor ordered!

Tomorrow, I'm off to a birthday dinner for Meagan and Wednesday's a teaching dinner with the teacher's in my hallway at work!

Should be a nice, relaxing week!   

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My fetching kitty!

Some cats boast of their beauty, other boast of their long and soft hair, others of their stunning eyes, or of their cute little button noses...

But mine boasts for reasons that top all the rest!
My little Maverick can FETCH!

That's right people, I've got myself a fetching cat!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Kickball tournament!

Remember elementary school, or middle for me, when you would play kickball during PE class?!  I was always pretty coordinated sports-wise, but gymnastics was my sport of choice.  So, when kickball was on the PE schedule, I would always get so nervous! My heart would beat out of my chest when it was MY TURN up at bat kick!  What if I kick and miss?  What if I kick too hard and fall backwards?  What if I trip when I'm running to first base?  Ahh, the silly anxieties of a junior higher!

Well, today, the kickball tournament began at my school; one 6th grade class against another.  It was actually pretty funny to watch my studious students attempting to be sporty!  There are about 4 semi-athletically gifted kids in each class, and the rest fumble about!  I'm pretty sure I only saw a few catch a fly ball!  Sports obviously aren't a priority in Korea! :)

Here are some random photos of the tournament.
(*** I accidentally shot low quality resolution photos and was shooting manual with a 2.8 aperture in the sun! UGH, stupid Jillers!  I obviously wasn't thinking! I think I was just excited to get outside and enjoy the game.)  

Loola (my part time co-teacher) came out with me to watch the game!  Isn't she cute!?

The scoreboard girls!

And the tournament begins...

Most of the girls rigged it somehow to where it was never their turn up at bat kick!  
Clever girls.

The dugout!

I think they preferred being here over the field!

 After 45 minutes, class 6-2 was declared the big winner!

Good job kiddies!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dongnae Eupseong Fortress

About 3 months ago, our friends Adam, Ashley, Stella and Chris posted a photo online of them sitting on a giant hill of grass (which is EXTREMELY uncommon in Busan) overlooking the city!  It was gorgeous and all I wanted to do was go and lay in the grass!  Sadly, it took Aaron and I three months to get our butts in gear and find it!  On Tuesday night, we jumped on the subway after work and had ourselves a little sunset picnic at the fortress!  It was sssoooo nice to get out and enjoy the fresh air together!

*** Take subway line 1 to Dongnae, exit 2. Then jump in a taxi and say: 
"Dongnae Eupseong- Jee"
...or, put your walking shoes on and follow this path!


*** photo editing credit goes to my awesome husband for this post!

Instagram Update

Ever since Instagram (an iphone/android photo app) came around, I've neglected carrying around my big Nikon camera and have resigned to "instagraming" instead with my iphone camera!  I realize that this leaves a few of you out of the loop, since you either don't have a smart phone, or don't have instagram...  
So, I'll call this the Instagram Update blog!  

Two weekends ago, Aaron and I went to Ashley and Adam's apartment to celebrate Adam's 25th birthday, fiesta style!  Ashley made everyone sport the fiesta hats and little maracas for a photo!  Aaron loved it!  lol

Last week, some of my 6th graders asked if they could interview me for a class project. "Sure!" I said, and the next day I got to work and this list of "Expected Questions" were sitting on my desk!   My favorite is #5! I kinda wish there was a comma after Baby.  :)

Last Thursday, Aaron and I met up with Meg and Dave for about 3 hours at Arun Thai in Nampodong!  They had e-mailed us last week asking if they could take us out for a welcome to married life dinner!  
How sweet and thoughtful are they?! :)

Last Monday was one of my best friend's birthday's (Gilly bean)!  We celebrated with about 15 friends at a hole in the wall beef restaurant in Kyunsung and then moved over to Thursday Party, on the beach, for some drinks and a ridiculously yummy brownie cake (custom made by the bakery owner at the bottom of Gill's apartment building!  She loves Gill.)
Sam, Gill and Me.

I love, love, love playing cards.  I had asked Aaron if he would play cards with me a couple times when we were dating and he always said, "Ehhh, I really don't like playing cards."  Come to find out, he didn't know any card games because he'd never played any!  Silly Aaron!  He didn't know what he was missing... To cheer me up from a frustrating day at work, he reluctantly agreed to learn SPADES and played a whole game with me.  Guess who won his first game of cards!  And guess who asked if we could play the next night!  I'll give you one guess... yep, AARON!   I'm pretty excited about our new (old people) hobby!

I snapped this picture on my walk home from work.  I'm so used to walking this street that it never really phases me anymore.  For some reason though, after I took this picture I realized just how cool it is that I live where I do, that I walk to work, and that I get to experience an Asia culture everyday! 

On Monday morning, I got a text from my co-teacher telling me that school was cancelled because of the Typhoon (Typhoon Sanba), but that all of the teachers had to come to work!  THIS IS KOREA!  Doesn't matter what's happening (There could be a serious N Korean threat) and school would be cancelled and the teachers would still be required to report.  It doesn't make sense to me, but I go with it because I have to.  The three of us spent the day drinking tea, reading books, playing on the internet and enjoying the Typhoon going on outside our wall of windows in our classroom (to the left of this picture)  

Luckily, by the afternoon, the winds had died down and I was able to check out early and head to the bank with Aaron.  The exchange rate is the best it's been since February, so we took advantage of it and exchanged all of our savings!  I'm more-so including this picture so I can look back 10 years from now and see what the exchange rate was when I lived here.

Last night, Aaron and I had a little picnic at a park that our friend Stella, Chris, Ashley and Adam found a little while back!  How awesome is this place? (A full blog is coming)

So, there you go... consider yourselves updated! :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

School uniforms!

Some of my 4th grade girls were wearing these uniforms for their choir concert today! How funny are they? I love the giant plaid bow ties and fluffy skirts and kinda wish they were our school uniforms!   Maybe next year!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sam and Al - photoshoot!

Last Saturday, Aaron and I did a photo shoot of a darling married couple named Al and Samantha.  We are still loving building our photography business portfolio and getting all this experience (and meeting great people - a HUGE PERK!)!  Also, I'm proud to say that I've moved from primary photo director (which I thought would be my strength) to the PD/assistant photographer! :) Aaron's been teaching me a lot as we figure out where our strengths are and what our roles will be when we move back to the US and now I'll be behind the camera just as much as him, which I think I love!   All that to say, we just posted our photo shoot of Al and Samantha to our photography blog!

We're published online!

After smoothing things over with Busan Haps Magazine, Aaron and I were asked if we would be interested in putting together a "photo essay" to be featured on their website.  We quickly threw together some of our favorite photos of the tribeswomen and children living in Sapa, Vietnam and sent it over to the photo editor.  Our submission was accepted, and today, the article went live!  Pretty darn exciting! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Can I have s'more cookies please?!

Last Thursday, our friend Adam turned 24 (Yes, that means he was in 6th grade when Aaron and I were graduating high school) WOW!!!  But, age means nothing when you're awesome, and we think he's awesome!  That's beside the point though.  On Saturday night, he and Ashley had a big fiesta themed birthday party at their apartment.  Everyone brought a little something to share, so this time I decided to try a new rendition of my oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies and went with this genius recipe for s'more stuffed chocolate chip cookies instead!  Heeellloooo!  

I know that these aren't necessarily at all fiesta themed, but who cares, right?!  S'mores in chocolate chip cookies?!  I only wish I had thought of it first!

I will say that I tweaked the recipe a bit, just because I didn't have all the right ingredients and knew I wouldn't be able to get some of them (considering I live in Korea), but the cookies still turned out to die for and a teensy bit more healthy than the original recipe, too!

2 cups plus 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour (I actually used Wheat Flour, because it's what I had in the fridge.)
½ tsp baking soda
6 tbsp of I can't Believe It's Not Butter spread
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 chopped up Ghana Chocolate Bar (as a chocolate chip substitute) 
1 chocolate bar (for the s'more layering)
8 Korean Lotus brand caramelised biscuits (as the graham cracker substitute)
7 marshmallows (snipped in 1/2)

  1. To make the cookie dough: Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl mix the margarine and sugars until thoroughly combined.  Beat in the egg, single yolk, and vanilla until combined.  Add the dry ingredients and mix it until it's thuroughly combined – the batter should look a little lumpy.  Stir in the chopped up chocolate bar.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. To assemble and bake: scoop a spoon full of cookie dough onto the parchment paper. Put 1/2 of a caramelised cracker on top of it, pressing down slightly. Then put one piece of chocolate and 1/2 of a marshmallow on top. Then take another spoon full of the cookie dough and place it on top. Do your best to close the gap between the cookie dough on the top and bottom, resembling a cookie dough brick! :) 
  4. Space the cookies at least 4 inches apart on the two baking sheets.  Bake for 20-24 minutes or until the tops and edges are lightly browned and the edges just lift off the pan with a spatula.  Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and cool the cookies on the sheets for at least 5 minutes.  
  5. The cookies won't look beautiful... mine actually looked kind of ugly, so I cut them into 1/4's (also known as bite size). I personally like how you can see the inside of the cookie this way and people always love them because they don't feel like they're eating a WHOLE calorie filled cookie, even though they usually do end up eating the equivalent! :)
So, here you go!  This too could be yours, with the just the right ingredients and about 45 free minutes to play in the kitchen!   BTW: This is about 1/2 of the finished batch.

I'm sorry, did I hear you say you wanted a closer look?!  
I understand... you can almost taste them can't you?!

Sad news for me, or good news, depending on how you look at it, is that every last cookie bite got scooped up at the party last night and none made it home in my bag.  Just might have to make another batch for my co-workers this week... :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Foam mustaches and friends!

Last year, (or was it the year before - geez, time goes by fast) I would get together every Wednesday night after work and have tea or coffee with my two girlfriends Gill and Truchen.  We cleverly named it Tea For Three! Truchen has since moved back to South Africa and Gill's long time friend Sam has moved to Busan and taken her place in the Tea for Three outings! 

This weekend, Gill, Sam and I all met up in Nampodong and had cheese bi bim bap (YUMMMY) for lunch, did a little shopping through the market and then loaded up on foamy coffee at our favorite little coffee shop!

We were all good girls and bypassed the bakery section this time... We're not always so health conscious though!

Foam mustache portraits! 

It's hard to get a foam mustache to stay when you have little bird lips like me!  

But don't think we didn't give it our best shot though! 

Close girlfriends, yummy coffee, and the kind of laughter that makes you almost tinkle your pants are three of God's greatest blessings!  When they're all mushed into one fun afternoon, it's pretty darn awesome! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Baby Trip

The photo's of our inagural newborn baby photo shoot are up on the blog!  
You don't wanna miss this one!

Friday, September 7, 2012


Yesterday, Loola asked me to take some pictures of our 4th grade students making funny faces for a power point she's creating, to use in our open class next week.  I tried my hardest to get them to do something really funny, but Korean kids are sssoooo darn shy and NEVER want to take pictures doing anything remotely embarrassing... So this was the best I could get!  Since I haven't done any school related posts for a while, I figured I'd post these little schmooches! :)