Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It's been a while


I can't remember the last time I opened up Blogger and posted.  After a very long break, I've decided to jump back in again and start blogging about all the new changes that will be happening over the next few months.

For starters, my fiancé and I will be moving back to New Jersey!  After 5.5 years residing in Korea, it is time to pack our bags, head back home, meet new challenges and begin a whole other kind of adventure.  I'm two-thirds excited and one-third nervous.  Even though the States is my home country and NJ is where I grew up, I feel as though everything will be all new and foreign to me.  Of course I've lived on my own before coming to Korea, but at that time I was an irresponsible just-out-of-college grad and this time around it feels like I have to be a real adult.  The kind that files taxes (on time), pays for car insurance and contributes to an IRA.  Yea... I know, I'm far, far behind to be JUST starting these things, hence the nerves.

But I'm ready to slip on my big-girl-pants and start tackling all the scary/exciting things to come.  In the next few months I foresee:  moving across an ocean, beginning a new job, finding a new place to call live (hopefully near NYC), making it a home, making and maintaining a budget (!), planning a wedding and all the little things in between.



Friday, April 11, 2014

Korean Fabric on Etsy

Wow, life has been very busy lately.  One thing that had been keeping me busy, which I am so, SO grateful for is the business of my Etsy shop.  Since coming back to Korea, I reopened my shop but decided to solely sell my handmade cake buntings.  

In February and March I got so many orders (thank you!!!) that I actually had to put the shop on hold, so I could keep up and keep my head on straight ;)  I suppose wedding season is upon us!

The Lovely Nest Shop is still currently on vacation until the end of April; however, I have just began a new shop on Etsy that is solely dedicated to selling fabric.  

It's no secret that Korea is land of the cute and the fabric here is just that- cute!  I've found so many unique, fun, playful and whimsical prints here in Korea and I want to get them into the hands of all the talented diy-ers out there.

The shop's name is "Love, Korea"  The idea behind it is the sentiment as "From, Korea". 

I posted about buying fabric in Korea before, however I know some of you may not be actually in Korea and/or have a difficult time navigating the Korean websites.  So Love, Korea will have a smaller selection, curated by me, that is primarily composed of fun, playful, unique and cute printed fabrics.  

Since it is still so new, the selection is rather small now; but I intend to grow it day by day.  All of the fabrics are perfect for crafting so many things.  Curtains, kid's play room interiors, clothing, table linens, tote bags, the list is endless...  

So, if you have an interest in Korean fabrics, check out my new shop!  We ship internationally :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Easy way to hang a pendant light

When I decided that my little kitchen space needed light, I knew a pendant light would look best; however when I shopped around for lights, I found that the majority had a base that mounted to the ceiling and required some sort of electric work (I assume?).

Since I have no electric work experience and know that even getting into that here would be way more of a hassle than it's worth, I found a way around it.  Sure, I'd love to be able to turn my light on with a flick of a switch, but I am not one to mess around with wires.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Small Kitchen Addition

I finally got around to posting pictures of my little kitchen project I had been working on.  The purpose of this table was to make use of wasted space and give us an area for eating/working etc.  

Ever since the table went up, my boyfriend frequently comments, "how did we live without this?"  It really is just so convenient to have a landing spot for your things when walking in the door.  It really is one of those things that you just don't realize how good it is until you actually have it.

Additionally, I added two cord holders to the left end and now we have a small charging station.  This small addition has made such a difference; so convenient and wayy more neater than what we had going on before.  (cords and plugs lying on the floor)
One issue I ran into while constructing was that I could only find one stud.  And being that the table isn't very long, I had no choice but to use just one stud and put dry wall anchors in the other holes.  It is sturdy, though.  I just won't be banging my fists on it.  (not that I do that anyway)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Wanted: Lighting

I've recently completed my little kitchen project but to finish it completely, the small space is summoning some bright light.  I'm thinking a single pendant light will do the trick.

As always, I shopped online.  I wanted something simple and modern, so I checked out 10x10.  Whatever site you may look at, if you're looking for lighting, here are some helpful search terms:

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Korean Online Shopping

I think the most commonly used online shop, especially among expats here, is gmarket.  Virtually anything you need to buy, you can purchase through gmarket.  Gmarket is especially convenient because it is one Korean online site that offers English navigation.  

However, gmarket doesn't have everything and they may also not offer the best prices.  When shopping online, I use gmarket for most general things I need to buy (trash can, towels etc.), but when I'm looking for something more particular, I like to search other specialty online shops that have a smaller, more curated collection of things.  For example: 10x10 sells modern, unique and well designed products.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Quick Trip to Gapyeong

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I took a quick break from life and made our way outside of Seoul to Gapyeong.  I honestly don't realize the poor air quality of Seoul until I'm actually out of it.  The air really is fresher!

Sure I love staying in hotels, but staying in a nice pension is a very, very close second.  It's like being in a little home away from home.  Bonus when that little home is extra pretty like the one we stayed in.  Plus, when you stay at a Korean pension, you can grill your own food :)  

I looked online for pensions and came across 눈깔사탕.  Its modern aesthetic is what caught my eye.  I've stayed in pensions before but nothing of this style.  The modern and clean interior is really refreshing.    

눈깔사탕 has 6 separate rooms (which are actually like cute mini houses).  The room itself is open and spacious.  The first thing I notice when I walk in a pension is cleanliness.  I'm sortof a freak about those things, and I was extremely happy to see that everything was so clean and fresh, it looked brand new.  

My favorite part of the room is the lofted bed.  It really does make such a big difference in how the room looks and feels. 
Between the lofted bed and window is the jet spa.  I'm always a little weird about getting into tubs others have been in before but this one was sparkly clean!  Another thing I loved was how the tub was not already filled when we arrived.  Being the germ freak that I am, I appreciated being able to fill the tub with fresh water whenever we wanted.  
Near the window is the grilling area.  A pension experience is not complete without grilling.  We bought meat, sausage and vegetables the night before and brought it with us.  Booze, too, of course! The grill in the room is gas, which is quite nice because you don't have to bother the owner for charcoal and you can grill any time you want!  Or even multiple times :) 

The kitchen is equipped with dishes and cooking utensils, and if there is something else you need, the owners graciously help you.  The kitchen has a fridge, microwave, stove top, rice cooker and hot water kettle.  Basically, everything you would ever need.  
I was really, really pleased with my stay here.  My boyfriend and I agreed that this pension really is a unique find.  Also, it looked like a new pool was going in to the deck just outside the rooms.  That will be really nice in the summer time.  

If you're in Gapyeong area, I really recommend this pension.  Plus, the owners are so kind and speak English well :) 
To reserve a room:
1.  Visit their website 눈깔사탕http://www.gceye.net/?
2.  Click on "Reserv"예약하기
3.  At the top, look for 실시간예약
4.  A calendar will pop up and in each date you'll see a selection for each of their 6 rooms.
5.  Find the date you're looking for and select a room (blue예- you can reserve, red완- room is taken, green대- someone is in the process of booking it)
6.  You'll enter your name and phone number and you can pay via bank transfer.  The account information is listed and you can easily transfer at any ATM machine.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

iHerb

If you're looking to buy any health food products, vitamins, supplements, bath and beauty supplies, pantry items, cleaning products, stuff for babies, stuff for pets or even just imported goodies (at good prices), you should definitely check out iherb.com.  

Not only do they offer an immense array of products, their prices are good, shipping is cheap ($4! or free!), and fast.  Like, at your door within 5 days fast.  I've been ordering from iherb for years now and it has only been getting better in terms of product lines and shipping logistics.  

Here are some of my favorites, currently.  

Annie's mac and cheese; because every now and then you really just need some instant mac and cheese in your life.  Chocolove's chocolate bars; this almond and sea salt one is amazing but so are all the other flavors.  They're pretty too, and of nice size- perfect for a little gift.  Wholesome organic light brown sugar; because I still have yet to find light brown sugar in Korea (looking in Itaewon requires too much effort for me), which is so necessary for baking chocolate chip cookies!  Mrs. Meyer's Basil handsoap; not only do I love this bottle, its cheap and its fragrance is delicious.  Tea of all sorts; iherb has so many great tea brands, st. dalfours, yogi, stash, tazo, etc.  
Designer Whey protein powder; when I get into "health kicks," especially once the weather starts warming up, I make smoothies with this strawberry protein powder, a spoon of strawberry jam, half a frozen banana, ice, milk and it's delicious.  Alba facial toner; so many great beauty products and brands I used to find at Whole foods are offered at iherb.  Nutrition Now's Rhino gummy vitamins; because I just won't eat a vitamin that is not in gummy form.  Method's hand soap; mostly because I just like all their bottles and pretty colors and it's cheap.  Lastly, Simply Organic's spices; because finding specific spices here can be difficult and iherb makes it easy and pretty.

And most of all, iherb has a great rewards program.  All first time purchasers can $10 off their first order with promo code: SUV211.  Then, once you're a member, you receive your own promo code in which you can continue to share with others.  The more you share, the more rewards credit you'll earn towards your next iherb purchase.  That reward credit keeps me coming back and ordering more.  iherb, you have one great marketing scheme.  

If you're in the States, you're really lucky because shipping is always free with orders over $20.  Prices are comparable and sometimes cheaper than what you'd pay at health food and grocery stores in the States.  Even when I move back home, I'll still be a faithful iherb customer :)

iherb.com; $10 off first purchase with promo code: SUV211

Monday, March 3, 2014

Prints and Posters

I have yet to find a reasonably priced and convenient (online) shop for art and prints.  I did, however, find that allposters.com ships to Korea and even offers free international shipping from time to time (hooray!)  And even if you don't catch a "free shipping moment," you'll almost always catch a sale. They are always offering promo codes for 20-50% off.  

Allposters.com has a huge assortment of posters and prints.  You can buy it framed, canvased or just the print itself.  I purchased my Ikea frame separately (Ribba 40cm x 50cm here)  And instead of hanging it, it's now sitting atop my wall shelving unit, making friends with the ampersand :)
I ordered a photograph print of the Brooklyn Bridge.  I love nyc, and every time I look at the picture I'm reminded of the time I walked over the bridge for the first time with my favorite person, this past fall.  
Wanna go back to this moment..... and put my face back into that amazingness that is Grimaldis pizza. yum! 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Eats: Cafe Able

After drooling over countless photos on instagram of Cafe Able's food, my foodie friend Taya and I finally set a date to head out to Garosugil and indulge our taste buds.

I say "set a date" and "head out" because since living at the west end of Ilsan, "trips" to east Seoul, complete with sardines-in-a-can-like subway rides, just seem oh-so-tiresome.

But we set a date, and a good date it was.  It felt like spring!  60 degrees and sunny.  Even warm enough to take off my coat.

Able offers a variety of sandwiches, salads, brunch items, pizza and pasta.  The infamous frittata comes in a cast iron skillet; so naturally we ordered one of those.
Also, a chicken panini to share.  Grilled chicken, cheese, sun dried tomatoes and my favorite, arugula.
Able's food is equal parts pretty and delicious.  There's nothing worse than buying something that looks so darn pretty but then to only underwhelm your taste buds.  Able does not underwhelm.  It's yum.

Great food coupled with a nice setting makes this place a gem.

A big thanks to Taya Walk, the queen of matjips, for the wonderful photos she took.  Standing on chairs and all! :)

To get there:
Subway line 3 (orange)- Get off at Apgujeong Station- Exit through Exit 5- walk straight for approximately 7 minutes.  Make a left onto the side street before the main street - Garosugil.  Once you see CU convenience store, look across on the second floor. 
Look for this sign: