Fall Colors

A month into school and we’re starting to settle into a groove.  Granted, it’s kind of a hectic groove but usually a happy one…at least that’s what I tell myself as we’re hurtling from one thing to another after school 😉

On Wednesday afternoon Mimi and I decided on the spur of the moment to drive up the canyon and check out the fall leaves…and we took her Korean hanbok with us!  It’s already a little too short on her and I wanted to get some pics before she completely outgrows it.

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I’m glad we made the effort to go up in the canyon because the first big storm of fall blew in and most of those leaves are probably gone now.  Just one more instance of the universe bonking me on the head with the message that time is fleeting.

I love this girl and these mountains  ♥





Happy Newish Year

Happy belated Lunar New Year! I’ve been making some progress on my new year’s resolutions: exercising (I’ve been going to spin class on Mondays and a weight-lifting class two days a week); learning Spanish (using Duolingo on my phone), and writing in my 5-year diary.

I haven’t made much progress on decluttering my house, though.  I bought Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and put it on my coffee table a few months ago but not much has happen yet.  Weird, right?

I wanted to share this video of the Korean pop group Stellar performing the choreography of their song “Sting” wearing their hanbok for Lunar New Year.  It’s just something they taped at their studio but it’s cute.

N and the kids are off on Monday and I’m really looking forward to having a day off from our weekday routine.  And maybe getting caught up on laundry–dare to dream!

I hope you have a great weekend.

Happy New Year!

My mom brought the kids new hanbok back from Korea a few months ago and so we took a few pictures of them for New Year’s day.

Mimi loves wearing her hanbok and says she is a Korean princess (the whitest one-quarter-Korean princess ever :P)

I may have described E’s hanbok as a “ninja outfit” to him to enlist his cooperation  🙂

2014 had its ups and downs for us and I’m looking forward to a fresh new year…and part of that is blogging!  I’ll be posting 2-3 times a week so get ready to dust off your RSS reader like it’s 2008.

Two Koreas

Loved this flow-motion video of the North Korean capital.  It’s fascinating but I’m still not convinced it would be a good idea to visit.  (Three Americans are being detained in North Korea right now.)


And now for something very different, here’s a fun mashup of some of the top Kpop hits of 2014 so far.

Some of my favorite Kpop groups have new songs coming out in the next few months–so excited!

My Korean Perm

I’ve heard good things about Korean digital or setting perms but there are no salons in Salt Lake City that offer them.  So when I was up in WA I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and get one.

Uploading my consciousness to the hive mind

Crazy looking, right?  This machine is imported from Korea and uses heat and ceramic rollers to set the curls.

My mom took me to the Korean stylist she frequents. I was scared of ending up with an ajumma hair style, worries that were not assuaged when the stylist was sporting a very ajumma-ish hairstyle herself and didn’t speak much English.

But I showed her photos of what I wanted and she said that a setting perm and a cut with lots of layers would give me the style I wanted.  I think she could tell I was a little nervous so she admonished me to trust her, so I did.  Don’t mess with an ajumma!

I’m really happy with how it turned out.

The curls/waves are supposed to last for 6-12 months and are really low maintenance.  My stylist said if I want more pronounced curls to twist my hair into ringlets as I blow-dry it or that I could just towel-dry my hair for looser waves which is what I usually do (and what I did in the photo above).   If I feel like getting fancy I’ll put my hair up in two buns overnight and in the morning I have a ton of curls.

This is the first time I’ve done anything major to my hair and happy (and relived!) with how it turned out.

The whole process (cut-perm-style) took about 3 hours.  I don’t remember all the different steps but Karen Cheng, an Australian blogger I follow, has a good post about her experience getting a similar perm.

TV: Korean Food Made Simple

Our family has started watching a new cooking show which N’s mom recommended to us, Korean Food Made Simple with by Judy Joo.  N and I both grew up with Korean food and our kids love it too so we all enjoy the show.

Photo via cookingchanneltv.com

Each episode features a segment of Joo touring Korea exploring a native ingredient or dish and then cuts back to Joo cooking a few dishes in her kitchen.

Judy Joo has an interesting and impressive résumé (Bachelor’s in engineering! Gordan Ramsay protégé! Legit restaurant experience! The only female Iron Chef UK!) and she’s an engaging host and talented chef.

I have a few minor quibbles with Joo’s tv chef persona.  Sometimes she speaks in a British accent which seems a bit affected (she moved to the UK in 2007 after being born and raised in the states)  If you grow up calling popsicles “popsicles” do you really start calling them “ice lollies” after living in the UK for 7 years?  Meh.

The other thing is that sometimes she acts really flirty, lots of little sidelong glances and suggestive smiles.  But she is the executive chef at the Playboy Club so maybe it’s just part of her professional persona?  I dunno. I don’t want it to seem like I don’t enjoy the flirting BECAUSE I DO, it just seems a little odd.  

Korean Food Made Simple with Judy Joo airs on Cooking Channel and you can find some of the recipes here.

For Your Friday: Random Korean Videos

2NE1’s new single

You’ve probably seen this but just in case you haven’t 

Incredible skills + the han

I think I enjoyed watching this number much more than the bride did. Poor girl looks stunned.

I hope you have a great weekend! We’re trying to muster the courage to take both kids to a movie tomorrow. It will be Mimi’s first time going to a theater. She’ll do fine…right?  Gulp.

We were on Korean TV

Way back in 1999, before we were dating or even very good friends N and I went on a study abroad trip to Korea with our professor Mark Peterson…and a Korean film crew followed us around and made a documentary!

I have a VHS tape of it somewhere, but our professor just uploaded the whole thing to Youtube so N and I just watched it again for the first time in over a decade.

I’m not in the documentary that much, the narrative focuses on my friend Carol who was on the trip with her fiancé Doug (romance!) and on an adopted Korean-American girl, Mischa, who got appendicitis and had to have emergency surgery (drama!)  Ironically, the crew actually missed the whole appendicitis incident so they later took Mischa back to the hospital and had her reenact lying listlessly in bed wearing a gown so they could get some footage (!)

The scenes I’m in include 

  • 19:15 – I am separated from the group and get lost at a Buddhist temple on Buddha’s birthday and stumble over “rocks and stuff”
  • 21:15 – Me praying at a Buddhist temple
  • 27:30 – We take a traditional music class (this was one of my favorite parts of the trip)
  • 37:15 – I summarize my feelings about the trip and then N talks for a bit. We’re sitting next to each other so that must have been filmed during the few weeks of the trip when I started to get an hunch that this N guy might be kind of awesome 🙂

I’m so thankful that this documentary exists. I am fascinated to see how very young we all were–I was only 18 at the time and in the process of figuring out who I wanted to be and what I wanted out of life.  Our trip changed my life: it helped me figure those things out and connect more with my Korean heritage.

And it also introduced me to the charms of a certain wonderful guy.  🙂

Mimi’s Hanbok

When I was pregnant with Mimi we visited Korea and my cousin gave us a hanbok (a traditional Korean dress) for the baby. If I had been on the ball about things when Mimi turned one I would have dressed her in it and taken pictures and had a little dol for her.

Mimi recently found her hanbok in her closet and now, being a lover of all things frilly, she begs to put it on whenever she gets the chance. It’s sized for a one-year-old but she can juuust squeeze into it.

My aunt is coming to visit this summer; maybe I’ll see if she can pick up another hanbok for our little blue-eyed, quarter-Korean girly-girl.

K-Pop Friday: I Like That

N made me another K-pop mix cd last night and I’ve been enjoying it as I’ve been driving around with the kids today. This song by Glam is on a previous mix cd but it’s a favorite of mine and one the kids request often.

I looked up the lyrics online. They’re kind of sassy.  My favorite part is the first verse:

When I’m sitting alone at a BBQ restaurant
And ordering a 2 person meal and cooking the meat by myself
I’m alright – I like that, I like that
I’m alright even when I’m alone

Eating way too much at a kogi buffet is something that I can, embarrassingly enough, relate to. Now I just need another girl group to write a song about shame-eating too many Girl Scout cookies and I can make a themed playlist  ^_^