Friday, 28 November 2014

High Five (2?) for Friday

This week has flown by so I struggled to find five different things for this post. However, it is a great excuse to share photos of my rapidly growing and beautiful niece, so I'll go with that.

Last Sunday marked her dedication day so it was an early start for my brother. Matt and I as we jumped in the car at 7.30am to drive up to Buckinghamshire for the 10am Church service. I know it sounds silly but I was disappointed that our McDonalds breakfast stop was thwarted by the fact that McDonalds was closed. Starbucks sold me a cinnamon swirl bun for an extortionate price which didn't make me feel much better. The guys went for a Subway breakfast which looked yummy so I know what to do next time. But back to the week:

*Blurry photos now she's moving around lots and knows to smile at a phone. These photos were taken at the lunch after the service.




* We went to see Mockingjay Part 1 on Tuesday night and it was pretty great! I know this film has had a bad press in the UK but I found it entertaining enough and not being a film critic, that's enough for me.

Maybe next week I'll remember to take more photographs! 

Friday, 21 November 2014

How to wreck a date 101

Seriously, when will I learn? It's simple: you have PMS, you stay at home. Don't go inflicting that on your poor, unsuspecting boyfriend. I did and it turned out badly. So if you want to wreck a date, follow these easy steps. You're welcome.

  1. Dress nicely but know that you'll feel fat, bloated, spotty and ugly in anything you wear so be prepared for that. He'll tell you you're beautiful, tell him he's wrong.
  2. When he asks how your week has been tell him about the things you've cried over. This can include but is not limited to: homeless animals, wars, starving children, being too poor to shop, feeling unloved and feeling fat. 
  3. Scour the menu for the least appealing item which is also the cheapest. You're poor and you're punishing yourself for being such a failure at life. Don't you dare eat anything nice. If you've been dating a while he'll know you don't want what you order and question you. "I'll eat what I like thank you very much!" is an appropriate answer.
  4. Spend long periods of time staring off into the middle distance with a hopeless look in your eyes. In your head you've got Imogen Heap playing, he can't know that, but he should.
  5. Don't finish your food, he'd think you were a chubby who loves her food too much. No matter how much you want to finish, don't. 
  6. When he offers you ice-cream say no with a dramatic flick of your hand. (Even if you love ice cream)
  7. When walking, you'll always be 3 steps behind because you wore those stupid heels you thought would make your legs look thinner. He'll be mad at you by now, so he won't slow down. Hands in pockets girl, your hands are sad hands and shouldn't be held.
  8. In the car do lots of window gazing. You're cold but don't ask for the heat to be turned up.No conversation for you.
  9. When saying goodbye he'll attempt to rectify the evening, You're close to tears. Just say you're fine and go inside. You want to go back out and explain why you've been such a bitch but you don't know how so you just hope the morning will be better.
  10. Take all your nice make-up and clothes off and put your pyjamas on. Wrap your quilt around you and lol about on the couch. Have the crashing realisation you've wrecked a date and he probably hates you by now. Switch on Netflix and give up. 
Congratulations, you've ruined a date and annoyed your boyfriend. In the morning you'll realise you're not ugly/fat/unloved and have to admit to PMS and hope he understands. He won't. No man does. Let this fact go and move on, just stay in until you're through the worst of it next time. 

(Disclaimer: Obviously this is a comic post - please don't actually do this to any man).

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Cosy up this November

All images for this post were taken from and are not my own

I'm a sucker for mail. I still have friends who I write to and love receiving reply letters and surprise packages from in return. So when I heard about Birchbox I had to give it a go as the thought of receiving make-up and beauty products through my letterbox was too tempting to ignore!

My first box was the October breast cancer awareness box though I didn't get around to writing about that one so I'll start with the November box I received this week.

Birchbox send you a text message when they dispatch your box so right away I got excited and knew it would be waiting for me one day this week when I stumbled in from a long day at work. I loved my October box and I certainly wasn't disappointed with the box for November either.

You receive a hand-picked selection from a range of products based on your online beauty profile. Make sure you complete this profile to ensure you receive the best products suited for you. Below is the full product collection which my items were selected from.

I received the following in my November box and can't wait to test them all:

  1. Full sized OPI nail polish from the Coca-Cola collection shade Turn On The Haute
  2. Beauty Protector protect and detangle spray
  3. Full sized Dr. Jart+ V7 Balancing Toner 
  4. Drinkwell vitamin capsules 
  5. English Laundry Signature for Her EDT perfume 
All products can be found at the Birchbox store. The theme was "Cosy At Home" and I can definitely see how these products both pamper your skin and body for the long cold Winter. I especially love the OPI nail polish as nail polish is my beauty weakness!

Check out the pictures of my products below. If you would like to sign up to Birchbox and receive your November box they're currently offering a £5 off deal when you enter the code NOV5 at the checkout. I'm just gonna whack my referral link here and see what happens: 


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Are you happy?

Last weekend my boyfriend asked me the question I knew he'd been wanting to ask for a long time. No, not that question. This one: Are you sure you don't want to go back to Korea?

I had my answer ready. I've had plenty of time to think about it over the past two years.


And here's the thing, there is a lot of me that misses Seoul terribly so that wasn't an easy answer to come to. However, I'm certain God has me where he wants me right now and if I were to go back to Seoul then I would be doing it for myself and not for Him. I also have a massive love for my man so I wouldn't dream of leaving unless he came too and that not going to happen.

What do I miss? Well, here's a few ideas:

*The hustle and bustle, the bright lights and the delicious smell of street food as I walk around the city. Seoul comes alive after dark and it truly is a city that never sleeps. The photo is of the Galleria shopping mall in Apgujeong and the lights show pictures which flicker across the side of the building. And the Christmas lights, don't even get me started in those! Fancy a snack? Yup, that's covered on just about every street corner too.

* The transport system and the funny signs. The picture below was taken at Deagu Station on a weekend away and I laughed and laughed. This isn't a case of poor translation, it's simply their humour. The thing is, the sign probably works because I found Korean people to be more honest in their nature. My apartment was right around the corner from a subway station which would whisk me away to anywhere my heart desired. England just doesn't have that convenience in every city. If they do, you'll be lucky to be able to afford to travel on it regularly. 

* The beauty of the surroundings and the country in general. I have to admit, this picture was taken at the beginning of a teacher's day hike and I wasn't in the best of spirits. I turned up to work, was given a "survival pack" (that's when i knew something wasn't quite right) and a t-shirt which matched the other staff members. I tentatively asked a colleague what was going on and she told me we were going to "hike all day" and then "eat delicious food". I was torn - I disliked hiking but I loved eating. Turns out the hike was beautiful yet a little boring as I didn't have anybody to speak to and the food at the end of the day was well worth waiting for. 

* My friends! Silly photobooth pictures (below is an example taken on Valentines Day), food (I'm such a foodie), weekends away, excuses for parties, people to laugh and cry with and people who became my family when my real family were on the other side of the world and time zones made it so hard to speak.

* Cute kids! Okay, I know English kids are cute too but Seoul has a special place in her heart for children and families. Children are so treasured and swooned over. This is my co-worker's little boy in his Halloween costume and in his little trailer he's pushing he has my shopping bags. He was so much fun as his Korean and my English seemed to blend into one sentence.

* I admit, celeb spotting was a way to while away cold winter's evenings. This one was taken in Sinsa whilst looking for Kim Bum. It was also a great place to just watch people whilst you ate and there was nothing better than people watching in a different culture.

* Care packages! This needs no explanation and would be a reason to go back if any. This one was a special one because my (unnamed) family member put in a Christmas cracker which was classed as an explosive by customs. Cue an awkward phone call from Korean customs about why I'm being sent explosives.

* 80's disco night at the ice-rink. I'm not sure why I miss this, maybe it's the hilarity of it or maybe it's having the confidence to get to the rink on the other side of the city looking like this (complete with neon pink dress and leg warmers out of the shot) because people stared at me anyway and after a couple of weeks I just didn't care about it anymore. My self-confidence has dwindled since being home, so maybe the freedom is what I miss most. 

* English teaching. This was obviously a drama class and not a regular teaching method. I tried teaching in the UK and hated it but teaching ESL was great and so rewarding. 

* Cheap sports games. Many an evening was spent eating take out with friends whilst watching baseball.

*The historical culture surrounding you everyday. I know England has this too, but in my opinion the Korean architecture is more beautiful and the customs, particularly respecting your elders and those you don't know, are brilliant.

*The Christmas lights! The freedom to be stupid in public too (obviously).

*Concerts. K-pop was fun, quirky and made me want to dance. So I did, in many an audience. It was like being in a sweaty club with a live band - amazing nights!

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Getting soaked in Bath

Those road trips to meet up with friends you haven't seen for months, to explore somewhere you don't usually go which are planned months in advance...only to be hampered by the British weather? Still love them!

I hadn't been to Bath for years and some of the girls hadn't been at all so it was the obvious choice for a city to meet up in. It's also roughly halfway between Southampton and Cardiff so Sophie didn't have to do all of the driving to meet up with us. Bath is one of those cities you have to visit in the UK as it's rich in historical culture and is beautiful to wander around. The rain stopped after lunch and we enjoyed the gorgeous sunset whilst walking around the Royal Crescent giving stunning light for photos.

Being young professionals and not flushed with cash we decided not to do the Roman Baths tour (arguably what Bath is most famous for) and instead walked around the cobbled streets, had lunch at Giraffe and chatted not stop to catch up with each other. It was a perfect day!

(The photos are dark and many had rain drops on my lense so I couldn't use them, they're still memories though!)

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Christmas Spirit

Let me just start by saying how much I love Christmas! The weather gets colder, the mornings are sunny and frosty, the food is better and of course, we celebrate Jesus' birth on the 25th December. All of these things are exciting and the excitement builds every year from about November 1st for me.

How can we bless others this Christmas season though? Granted, not everybody celebrates the holiday due to religious beliefs, but I want to give to others this holiday season because of Christ's message to us as Christians. To give our time and whatever else is needed of us to those in need. If I'm enjoying myself, that joy can be given to others too regardless of their background. This obviously can (and should) be done year round not just at the holiday season, however there are many easy ways to give to others at this time of year. In essence, fundraising and charitable giving opportunities are dropped in our laps during the holidays and it's our choice whether we make the effort to get involved. 

Three of the opportunities I'm going with this year are:

1. Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day 2014

This is such a fun way to raise money and awareness for those in need around the world. Register your office, company, friends or simply yourself online before Friday 12th December and wear a Christmas jumper for the day. Donate £2 and the UK Government will match that donation (that's £4 per person who gets involved, amazingly easy right?). Information can be found here on Save the Children's website.

2. CRY (Care and Relief for the Young) Ladies' Christmas Pamper Evening

Nails? Skin treatments? Stocking fillers? Yes please! This is an evening for all ladies who would love to shop and receive treatments from local stockists and therapists in the Hampshire area. Not only are you benefiting the work of CRY who fund awesome projects for children across the work, you're supporting your local community. Information found on the Facebook page for the CRY charity.

3. Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child

Perhaps my favourite of all is this mission to give a child a gift for Christmas. I've been doing this since primary school and really enjoy picking out small gifts to put in a brightly wrapped shoebox, hoping and praying for joy and smiles on the face of a child. Find your nearest collection point on the Samaritan's Purse website. 

Just look at that excitement on his face! 

I've cajoled my co-workers into two of the above, can I move you to try something to bless others this year?