Sunday, 30 September 2012

Woody Allen and Angry Cherokees

 Here's me looking wistfully off to the left for the obligatory blog shot. 
I must confess I'm not the most natural or comfortable in front of the lens but I feel I should put my face on here every once in a while ^^

Yesterday was full of good things. 
It was a Dallas and Lou day (my favorite kind of day) which started with some lite DIY for some picture frames we're preparing to hang up, a late afternoon walk through Hongdae hand in hand and big beefy cheese & bacon burgers at Shamrock pub overseen by a very angry looking Cherokee
(I don't think he was happy about being hung on the wall of a bar that clearly clashed with his heritage >.<)

We ran in to a Korean friend while we were eating and the three of us headed over to the art cinema in Sangsangmadang to watch the Woody Allen documentary. Woody is one of my favorite directors and the documentary was interesting and hilarious- can you believe he still types all of his movie scripts out on a typewriter? Incredible!

We followed the movie with drinks, classical music and film discussions at the underground stereo bar where I had a lovely surprise when i checked my iPhone and saw I had a shout out from the delightful fellow ex-pat blogger Our Dear Lady Expatriate....clickety click and read about her wonderful adventures in the beautiful land of Cambodia. 
Thank you for the love dear lady!
A fine Sunday if you ask me! How was your Sunday sailors?

Stay tuned for a crafty DIY coming up later today plus I'll introduce you to your new favorite band 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

3 Little Things

Sometime life just aint a sweet bowl of cherries.
Sometimes it's a big ol' bag of sour lemons instead.
You all of course know what they say...
Make lemonade.
Why stop at that? Make it pink lemonade.
On those days when the lemons are at their most bitter,
 just take a look around you and find three little things that make you sweet.

This week mine are:

1. Matryoshka Mama

This sweet Mama and her myriad of daughters was procured on a recent photo walk organized by my friend Angelo to the Seoul Flea Market. My Diana Lomo failed me completely and I walked away with not a single decent photograph but I did have this lovely lady to take the sting off.

2. Navajo jewellery

Turquoise, triangles, colorful beads and geometrics! Native American design is colorful, contemporary and timeless and always make me feel a bit more festive when I'm wearing it ^^

3. Wolves- Phosphorescent

This song is my morning soundtrack on the walk between the bus stop and my school. Just me and my earphones, the Seoul mountains, and the wolves.

What 3 things are making your days sweet?

Monday, 24 September 2012

A date with myself


 This Saturday I found myself flying solo as Dallas was down with a touch of something which kept him duvet-covered for most of the weekend. The weather was calm and clement and I didn't feel like staying caged up inside so I snuck out on a little date with myself.  Hongdae Freemarket was the first stop~ I had had my eye on those ladies who take your photo and make a pencilled illustration of you for 10,000 won. Here is how mine turned out...I actually had my legs crossed when I posed but the picture looks like I have em spread open wide! Oh dear! A nice little memento, but I may be back for a second shot at one of these!


My second stop was the Hongik University Art store. It was my first visit and I think I have found my safe haven. This place is huge and packed to the rafters with every craft supply imaginable- from stamps to jewellery making, canvas totes and fabric pens. I was like Lou- Lou in Wonderland, I had a basket filled within about 5 minutes which means...plenty of DIY's coming up so stay tuned ^^

It was a great morning out. Just me, myself and I, moseying around, touching trinkets at the freemarket, breathing in deep and connecting with my thoughts. I think some quality alone time is definately good for the soul...

....but then I get home to this guy and want to put my pajamas back on and koala bear hug him the rest of the evening ^^

We watched 'Moonrise Kingdom' finally. Beautiful Wes Anderson filmography as ever, but our favourite yet? Hmm, the juries out. What did you think?

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Iced & Spiced~ Indian Chai Tea Latte

This is a love story.

It's about a girl travelling in India all alone, carrying her world on her back, adventure in her spirit... and leaving a little piece of her heart there when she returned home.
At first it wasn't an easy love. India didn't always seem to love her back. She could be harsh and crushing and cruel. Her streets swarmed, her heat suffocated, her people seemed broken and unsmiling. There were times when she took and she took and she took until the girl felt she had nothing more to give. 

 But then.

A time came when India began to give. She spoke to the girls soul and opened her arms up to her, showed her stars that were bigger than she'd ever seen before, purple skies, bustling bazzars and crumbling temples, eventual smiles from her people, not all broken but beautifully spiritual and inspiring.
It was in these moments the girl knew she had lost that small part of her heart there forever. 

The backdrop to this love story is tea.


 I cannot think of  India without my mind conjuring the heady and intoxicating scent of hot bubbling chai that infused every street corner, every train journey, every chai wallah's canteen. 
Sweet and spicy, lip-burningly hot and buffalo-milky. It came in plastic cups, small glasses, clay pots and china. 
Instead of footprints I left discarded tea vessels in my map across India.

My heart squealed when this pin showed me how to make my own authentic chai tea. 
All of the ingredients can be found right here in Korea's Homeplus and the cardamom in Itaewon's International food mart,

1. Honey
2. sugar
3. Cinnamon stick
4. Cardamom pods
5. Ginger
6. Black tea bag
7. Black peppercorns
8. Cloves

Go ahead and give yourself a special treat this week and follow this recipe.
One sip of this delicious infusion of sweets and spices and it will transport you to India by proxy.

Thank you sweet chai for letting my Indian love story continue!

edit: I've been informed that adding a Bay Leaf in with the above ingredients which will add a little more dimension to the flavour. Thanks Darren for the tip!!

Friday, 21 September 2012

3 little things

Life seems to have moved at a snails pace around here these past few and certain things have come to all but a stand-still. Maybe it's the drizzly grizzly outdoors and the nights drawing in quicker each day.
 Half-finished craft projects are lying around our apartment and getting underfoot. 
A sad and lonely pair of running shoes have laid unworn by the door for a week 2 weeks. 
A bunch of browning bananas have yielded not  the delicious bread I was supposed to conjure with them, rather a family of fruit flies intent on squatting in our kitchen. 

Time for a new season shake-up I think and for ringing in the Autumn with a side of productivity.
I'll start by un-focusing on the un-finished and un-done and rather up-rooting and re-planting my good intentions for the coming months.

These 3 little things right here are a great start.

1. Snail mail/Pen-pals 

I adore snail mail. Giving it, recieving it. I have a whole box of old letters from my old school friends at home. Yes, school friends, as in we would write letters to eachother at home and give them to each other the next day at school! These were so much fun because we would slip little doo dads into the envelopes along with the letters such as photobooth pictures, cute stickers and pretty notepapers.
 I'm pushing 30 and I still haven't grown out of this tradition!
2 letters from dear sweet friends at home arrived in the last week and I'm having the best time putting together cute handwritten replies that they will enjoy opening when they land on their doormats.

2. 'A Beautiful Mess' Blogging e-course

Myself and my friend Whit have had our eye on Elsie's Blog Love e-course. With us both being relatively new to the blogging game we felt a little advice from a seasoned blogging pro could go a long way. I promised Whit I woud  gift her the course for her birthday and I decided to throw another in the cart for myself. These nights I'm having the best time reading through her chapters, pen in hand, and journaling all the great tips she has for a little baby blog such as mine!

3. Making things grow!

No one, and I mean no one was a surprised as me when my potted basil and coriander seeds up and sprouted one week after I planted them! 
These are two of my favourite herbs and sorely hard to find here in South K so I decided to bring a couple of packets of seeds over with me this year with little hope I could ever succesfully grow something as fine as a herb by myself. 
Prest-o chang-o and whadya know...two pots of healthily sprouting..... something. I forgot which pot I planted the basil and the coriander in and it's impossible to tell them apart right now.
Any clues fellow herb growers?

Happy mid-week Sailors ^^

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Recipe box~ Chocolate Chip Coconut Banana Bread

So here is my basic little apartment kitchen.
 It's more of an after-thought than a kitchen really ... like the builders finished up the rest of  the apartment, were left with a small nook they didn't know what to do with so they inserted a few cabinets and a hot plate and voila! Here is your kitchen!
Sometimes when I bake in this bite size corner I feel like a Barbie doll using one of those kiddo role-play kitchens!
But I digress. Last night I put my toy oven, whoops, toaster oven to good baking use and baked the banana bread I've been promising myself for weeks.
It turned out pretty good for my first time-even if it was a little dumpy and crispy looking.
 It still had a sweet, gooey, coconut-y inside that went down a dream with an ice-cold glass of milk.

Squint your eyes here or follow the link for this recipe

Here is my terrible attempt at food photography, however it was midnight and I couldn't turn the big light on because of a certain sleeping boyfriend ^^

Something about baking up sweet things in an oven is good for the soul- even if it turns out looking lumpy-dumpy and not something Martha Stewart would produce. If they're made with love..who cares, right??

Happy Friday loves!!

Monday, 17 September 2012

cinnamon & spice

 At some point in the last week Fall was no longer just in the air and it literally fell upon us. I officially realized this yesterday morning when I happened upon this enormous beautiful burnt orange leaf on the sidewalk on my way to school. My secret dreams for a long Indian summer have now been brushed aside in the wake of burnt & crispy tree trinkets raining down on the streets outside.
Nature's color palette is informing me we are no longer in the in-betweeny stage of the two,  vivid greens and olives have given way to vibrant oranges, brown sugars and honey yellows.

 Tomato soup and long sleeved cardigan weather is upon us and I say it's about time I embraced it!

 Saturday offered a warm but brief sanctuary from the crispy autumn air and the sun stayed out long enough for me to enjoy a morning break in Itaewon. I managed to find the High Street Market store which has been on my go-to list for the longest time and it didn't disappoint in the least. Imagine every comfort food from home you'd given up ever expecting to find in Korea. It's all here. Deli meat, sour cream, hummus, red velvet cake, sun dried tomatoes. The (Western) girl behind the counter was so warm and frendly and even told me to suggest to her anything I can't find and they will try to get it in (hello dark chocolate with sea salt).
I ordered a latte and I finally managed to try a vegan muffin made by Mipa from the Alien's Day Out blog. Simply delicious! 
I left with a bottle of almond milk and hopped over to the international food mart to pick up some spices for an extra special recipe I will be posting very soon. Let the title of this post be your clue, haha!

After Itaewon I hopped, skipped and jumped (I took the subway will just never sound as fun) to Hongdae for lunch with the boy and a trip to the Homi Art Shop for some craft supplies. I have several projects up my sleeve which I'm looking forward to sharing with you.

& finally, speaking of sleeves, Dallas very sweetly put together a CD compilation for my Pop's birthday and here I designed a sleeve for the CD case. Here it is, it's called 'Howling at the Moon' and the teepee sketch has me ten shades of itching to get one tattooed somewhere on my person.

                                                                    Happy Fall friends!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

party pants

This weekend was the birthday celebration of my sweetest friend Whitney. She hit the big three-oh and so we got festive in Jungnang on Saturday night and did it up right for her. There was beer and cake and darts, hip-hop dance offs and arcade games. The night culminated in group photo booth silliness of which you can see the evidence above. 
Now that's my kinda birthday party!

Whit's a creative soul and she hand-made me a beautiful birthday card back in April with a matryoshka doll on the front. I decided to go ahead and kick-off a little tradition in nesting-doll cards and fashioned one of my own to give her. Inside it I tucked a string letter with birthday messages and some of my favorite inspirational quotes. Whitney posted a tutorial on how to make these lovely little alternatives to letters and notes a few weeks back and I had such a fun time creating this one so I thought I'd share the love!

                                                        Happy Monday to one and all!