Where to find your Favorite Characters

In Korea, it’s very common for popular cosmetic brands to have collaborations with famous characters. Below I have provided some of the latest collabs with your favorite cartoon characters. Most of these are still available for purchase in store, and if you are not in Korea, you can always search for these online and order.

Note: These collection comes with more items than shown in the photo below, I am just featuring a few of the items in the collections.

#1

Character: Frozen

Where to buy: Artbox, Olive Young

Brand: Peripera

Note: I have tried the Olaf pride up pressed powder and I do recommend it! It’s very soft and fine milled powder.

peripera-frozen-3

#2

Character: Disney (Mickey Mouse, Monsters INC., Winnie the Pooh)

Where to buy: The Face Shop, LAP (Mickey and Minnie Mouse only)

Brand: The Face Shop, LAPCOS

224

the-face-shop-disney-collection

Photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/ecom0920/

#3

Character: Pokemon:

Where to buy: Tony Moly

Brand: Tony Moly

Note: Each hand cream has a different scent: Pickachu: Vanilla, Jiggly puff: peach, Squirtle: Water Lily, Bulbasaur: Green Tea, Snore Lax: Lavendar, Eevie: Baby Powder, Charmander: Citrus, Togepi: Lemon. This collection is pretty huge, there are also facemasks, body butters, BB cushions, and nail polishes.

 

pokemontonymoly

#4

Character: Astro Boy

Where to Buy: Tony Moly

Brand: Tony Moly

Note: I have tried the Mighty Atom (AKA Astro Boy) cushion blusher ‘Christmas edition’ and it smelled delicious, like strawberries. It was great.

tonymoly-mightyatom

#5

Kakao Friends: The Face Shop

Where to buy: The Kakao Friends Store, The Face Shop

Brand: The Face Shop

14657929117681

 

#6

Character: Moomins:

Brand: Code, Demeter

Where to Buy: Olive Young

Note: I have tried one of the lip balms from this collection, not featured below in the photo (this collection is huge!) The lip balm was tinted, smelled beautiful and fruity and came adorably packaged. I recommend this if you want something from this collection but don’t want to splurge on it.

 

code-x-moomin-2nd-edition_shop1_165628demeter-fragrance-perfume-nordic-limited-edition-moomin-eau-de-toilette-15ml-30ml-1

#7

Character: barba papa

Where to Buy: The Style Nanda

Brand: 3CE

batch_160705-barbapapa6

#8

Character: Rilikkuma

Where to Buy: Watsons and Apeau

Brand: Apeau

Note: I have tried the cushion foundation in the yellow packaging. I don’t recommend it, It dried out my skin and did not look natural. If you want something from this collection, I recommend you get the eye shadows (which I have swatched in store) or lip products instead.

mugc

#9

Character: Adventure Time

Where to Buy: Watsons

Brand: LaF

Note: I have the number 03 and 07 ampoules. Each ampoule is for a different problem area. I recommend these. However, only the disposable outer packaging is Adventure Time themed, and the actual ampoule eyedropper container is not themed.

160707_laf_3

#10

Character: Alice in Wonderland

Where to Buy: Beyond

Brand: Beyond

kg010915_01_zpsfes83z2b

#11

Character: Shrek, Kungfu Panda and other Dream Works characters:

Where to Buy: Olive Young

Brand: Olive Young

Note: I have used many masks and the How to be Lovely scrub from this collection. everything I have used from this collection is great and I do recommend. The scrub feels refreshing and isn’t too harsh for your skin.

screen-shot-2016-01-17-at-2-13-05-pm

#12

Character: Finding Dory

Where to Buy: Etude House

Brand: Etude House

Note: This is just a re-package of Etudes House permanent line Moistful collagen collection. I have tried this collection before and it’s really great. I believe it’s now hard to  find this Dory collab in stores but you can find it online.

dory-x-nemo-etude-house-moistfull-water-jelly-cream

#13

Character: Dumbo

Where to Buy: Etude House

Brand: Etude House

Note: This is also a re-package of the moistful collagen collection.

etudehouse-dumbo

#14

Character: Missha

Where to Buy: Missha

Brand: Missha

15234page

#15

Character: Sailor Moon

Where to Buy: Watsons, Olive Young

Brand: Miracle Romance

Note: This collection is quite pricey, I recommend to buy these when they are on sale. When I swatched the eyeliner in stores, it was really good and tried so quickly. It also did not smudge whatsoever.

1430305624-2-o

Photo Credit: https://jupjip.wordpress.com

#16

Character: Gudetama

Where to Buy: Holika Holika

Brand: Holika Holika

holikaholika-gudetama

I really hope you enjoy this post. Although I did not try everything that I have featured, I can tell you that if you are a fan of any of these characters, then I recommend you at least buy something from these collections, even if it’s the cheapest thing in the collection. It’s worth it just as a collector.

Advertisements

My DIY Valentines Day

Valentines Day is over. But I still wanted to make this post because if you are living in Korea or have a Korean partner, you may know that White Day is coming this March 14. It’s basically the same as Valentines Day. I hope this post can give you some ideas! ^^

First Concept: Romantic Canopy for two

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This was super cheap and easy to make and so so so romantic!

All you need is: A hula hoop, curtains, I used 4 (I recommend you use white sheer ones to make it more romantic but it’s up to you), pillows, a blanket, and string lights.

First I cut the hula hoop in half with a knife. Then I put hula hoop through the opening space at the top of the curtains (the part you normally put the rod through). Then I taped the hula hoop together. If you want to completely cover the color of the hula hoop, you can spray paint it first or wrap ribbon around it.

Then to hang it, you just need to tie 4 wide pieces of ribbon or string (all the same length) around the hula hoop in four even sections and gather them together and tie them together. Then, attach another piece of string and tie a loop for hanging.

I attached a hook to the ceiling and hung it from that.

Then I strung the lights around the top, there was no method to this, just arrange it around the top of the hoop so it looks nice.

Then to decorate it, I got twine and clothes-pinned Polaroids of me and my boyfriend to make a cute banner. You can just use regular sized photos and cut them into Polaroid shapes. I also attached a separate banner that you can make by cutting letters out of felt and threading a string through slits made in the letters.

Finally, make the inside cozy. Put a lot of cute pillows and arrange a thick blanket into a circular shape to make the floor of your canopy.

Second Concept: Romantic dessert arrangement:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This romantic dessert was a lot easier to make than it looks and is sure to impress your sweetheart!

To make the strawberry flower arrangement, you need: Strawberries, some form of chocolate, white and dark, shredded coconut (or crushed nuts), grapes or other fruits such as pineapple, melon, etc., barbecue skewers, lettuce, flower pot or vase, Styrofoam ball or floral foam (used for making flower arrangements).

First, cut the foam so it fits inside your vase or flower pot. Stick the skewers through the fruit and arrange it in the foam the way you like it. I would do this before dipping them into the chocolate because it could get messy if you don’t know what you are doing before hand. Now it’s time to melt the chocolate. I did by microwaving it in 40 second intervals until it was completely melted. Dip your fruit in the chocolate however you want. You could also skip this step if you don’t want to cover them in chocolate. Then sprinkle the nuts or coconut or drizzle the the opposite kind of chocolate over it. Repeat until your arrangement is done. Use lettuce to hide the skewers and make it look more like a flower arrangement.

For the cake, it was actually a made a ombre pink cake (you cant tell by the photo) that I stacked to look like pancakes. I used 3 separate cake pans, adding a little more pink die to each  pan to give them an ombre look. In the middle of each layer, I put a white chocolate ganache (white chocolate + heavy cream), but you could also use strawberry jam. Then I just garnished with strawberry and dusted powdered sugar over it. You can make the lovely cake bunting decoration by using 2 paper straws, and felt hearts and letters cut out to say Love You (using a stencil).

I put everything on a wooden tray with fake rose petals and lit tea candles. I didn’t have a coffee table, or a small table, so I put everything on top of a storage tub that I had lying around.

Third Concept: Simple. Traditional. Classic… But with a Twist.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Okay so White Day and Valentines day is centered around chocolate. The most typical present to give your Love would be a box of chocolates. In my case though, my boyfriend doesn’t like eating a lot of chocolate and instead, he prefers eating fruit. Since it was Valentines day though, I couldn’t forget about the chocolate, so I combined both!

This DIY is pretty self-explanatory and is far from a unique gift, but still more special and thoughtful than just buying a box of chocolates. And looks super cute too! ^^ I just bought a gift box and mini muffin baking cups to put the strawberries in. First I chose what strawberries I would be using and arranged them in the box to make sure everything fit. Then I just got super messy and wallah!

Fourth Concept: Handmade fruit tea preserves

10960052_10155390693345413_5207312350109010764_o

What you need: You only need 5 things to make this tea!

Oranges, or Lemons (I used 3 large oranges to fill this one 200 ml jar), Jar, sugar (use as many cups of sugar as you use cups of fruit), honey (use as much as you prefer. I just kept doing a taste test and stopped when I was satisfied with the taste), baking soda.

First I boiled hot water and poured in my jar to sterilize the inside.

Next, I thoroughly washed my oranges with hot water and scrubbed the peels. Next, I covered the outside (peel) of my oranges with baking soda and let it sit there for 5 minutes. This is supposed to further sterilize the peels. Next, I cut the oranges in half and scooped out the insides and put in a measuring cup (this was to determine how much sugar I would need).

Then I cute the peel into narrow rectangular shaped slivers and I put the inside part of the oranges, equal amount of sugar, and slivers of peel into a pot and turned on the heat to let it boil. Keep stirring. The juice should release and the mixture should be a little liquidy, but make sure it maintains a thick consistency similar to marmalade. Add honey to taste. I also added cinnamon, but this is optional.

Finally, put this mixture in the jar. I decorated this jar with a clear sticker that said “Home made” and I tied some twine and string around the jar. I also glued a round paper doily to the top to make it look cute.

To enjoy this tea, take out a generous scoop of the mixture and put in your cup then add boiled water and stir. It’s so delicious!!

Final concept: Rustic Handmade card.

This one is rustic and made from scraps found in my home!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This card is also self-explanatory~ It’s very simple and I just made it from some materials I found lying around my house. Things I used: cardboard, paper doily, ribbon, 2 stickers, twine and lace. Don’t forget to write a sweet message inside! ^^

Happy Valentines Day & Happy White Day!

 

Reviewing: Lioele Pop Cherry Tint

If your looking to purchase this product but can’t seem to justify the price, keep reading! 🙂
Benefit-Benetint-Allık

As I said, if you’re looking for a cheap dupe for Benefits ‘benetint’ then look no further, I have just the product you are looking for. The brand ‘Lioele’ has an amazing cherry red lip tint called, “Pop Cherry Tint” and you can easily get it for under $10 on ebay. This product not only looks like Benefit’s benetint, but performs just as well in my opinion.

lioelepopcherrytint_2

This lip stain looks as if it were a bottle of nail polish, it’s about the same size as a nail polish of this shape would typically be, and the brush applicator is the same as a nail polish applicator. Actually, I really like this applicator, it allows me to apply the product more evenly across my lips. The stain itself is also completely liquid.

received_10153912480085413

The staining itself can be pretty sheer at first, so if you want a fuller coverage, you can apply this product in several coats once the first coat has dried.

Now let’s talk about the Pros:

This product is long lasting, as a tint should be. It smells like roses, actually this could be good or bad, depending on your preference but the scent IS subtle. Like the benetint, it can be used as a lip OR cheek stain. It adds a beautiful color to the lips and cheeks.

Cons: This product tastes pretty awful, it’s extremely bitter and leaves a floral perfume taste in your mouth. However I can only notice this if I happen to lick my lips immediately after I first apply it, after it has time to dry, it’s not as strong.

IMG_20141228_184354

Overall I highly recommend this product, I’m addicted to the color it gives my cheeks and lips and lasting power of the stain is really good!

The best Circle Lens for Green eyes

People wear circle lenses for different reasons, whether it be for cosplay, to achieve the ulzzang/dolly look or to just have bigger eyes. I have always been a fan of achieving the dolly look so I have been constantly on the hunt for circle lenses to wear casually in my day-to-day life.

1f0ee8b64adedc7ce4b1add7e756c5a3

At that time, I was really obsessed with the Dakota Rose look

The problem with this though is that I feel circle lenses are made by Asians for Asians, and being a Caucasian with green eyes, it’s difficult to find the right color that will look natural. For reference, here is what my natural eye color looks like:

IMG_20141122_171053 (2)

My natural eye color

Wanting to keep the color as close to my natural eye color as possible, I picked up G&G Shinny Green (known as Puffy 3 tone). Since there was 3 tones mixed together in the lens, I was hoping it would look very natural… Bad mistake on my part!! This lens was SO bright and made me look like an alien or a reptile. The color was also not a human eye color, I would NOT recommend this to light eyed people who are looking to wear these for everyday (natural) use. Sorry that I have no photo to show of me wearing these, at the time I was not planning to make a review, so by now they have dried up completely and I’ve tossed them away.

B4-ShinnyGRN-2

Not giving up, I then decided to go brown. I really wanted to enhance and embrace my green eyes, but after my bad experience with the puffy 3 tone lens that I was CONVINCED would look natural, I decided maybe I would be better off with brown lenses. There seems to be a lot more brown/black lenses on the market that are natural so I figured it’s hard to go wrong with a dark colored lens. So I next ordered the Hana SPC Barbie Circle Brown Circle Lenses.

G4-Hana-SPC-Barbie-Circle-BR-2

It's not the best photo, but it's the only photo I have of me wearing these lenses.

It’s not the best photo, but it’s the only photo I have of me wearing these lenses.

This lens is big and brown but at the same time, natural looking. It looked a little creepy at first and a little bug-like, but that was mostly because I naturally have light eyes and I was not used to seeing these big black circles whenever I looked in the mirror. However, no one else seemed to notice when I would wear them and I figured I could get away with wearing these lenses for everyday use.

Regardless, there was something about this look that I just couldn’t get out of my mind:

Model Dakota Rose

Model Dakota Rose

Model Taylor R

Model Taylor R

Model Audrey M

Model Audrey M

Those big green/blue saucers. I really wanted to achieve this look. If I were Asian, or just had a dark eye color naturally, I would be completely content with my Barbie brown circle lenses, but I didn’t, and I still really wanted to complement my green eyes. So, I went on the hunt again. I was hoping I wouldn’t be broke by the time I finally found the right lenses for my eye color. That’s when I found “the one:” Vassen Rainbow Eyes Grayish Blue.

E14-Grey-2

When I tried on these lenses for the first time I was SO completely happy with the result, they gave me the exact look I was trying to achieve. Here I am with the lenses:

1413639304520

This whole time I was focusing on a ‘green’ colored lens, however, these lens’ were in the color: “grayish blue” but the strangest thing is that when I wear these, the colors mix with my natural eye color and give me that gorgeous pale green look that I really wanted. I have gotten soooo many compliments on my eyes since I have been wearing them. What I have noticed is that girls can usually tell that I’m wearing lenses, but guys never notice that I’m wearing them, they just notice that I have big green eyes. In fact, I have been told many times that I look so young and pure when I wear these, SCORE!

1426485101435 (2)

Wearing the lenses

I highly recommend buying these lenses if you have light colored eyes (grey, blue, hazel or green)., although the Rainbow Eyes series comes in many other colors too – so if your not interested in the green eyed look, or if you have darker eyes than me, I’d recommend you check them out! Actually I was a little torn between getting them in Grayish Blue, or Greenish Blue, but I’m so happy I went with the grey, because I think the greener one would be too bright and give me the dreaded reptile look that I despise.

Just to let you know, I bought all my lenses from Pinky Paradise, and I really recommend them! The shipping was cheap, my order came quickly and it came with a cute animal case. To give you a better idea of how these look, I will include more photos of me with and without the lenses.

Without the lens

Without the lens

With The lens

With The lens

IMG_20141219_233110

No Lens

With the Lens

With the Lens

Sorry that my photos are not the clearest quality, I didn’t plan to make a post about these lenses so I never took photos especially for this post, Anyways, one last thing I want to say is that as far as comfort goes, these Vassen Rainbow Eyes lenses are comfortable enough for me to wear all day long. Even though it’s not encouraged to wear circle lenses for long periods of time, when I was living in Korea, they were the only lenses I wore (and they were prescription, so without them, I was blind).

Thank you for reading 🙂

Reviewing: Tony Moly Magic Food Banana

2015-05-19-16-14-11_deco

Okay so I am the LAST person who is in need of a hand cream! I have a massive collection of hand creams, and it’s not even because my hands are THAT dry that I need to have dozens of hand creams on hand, no, it’s because I feel the urge to buy every hand cream that has a nice smell or has cute packaging on the market. Actually, come to think it, my ‘habit’ is not limited to hand creams… I feel the need to buy ANYTHING with a cute package design, and i’m sure if your reading this post, you can relate as well. This habit of mine is especially bad when living in Korea and trying to save money. I mean it’s like a kid in the candy store if that kid is me and the candy store is AS BIG AS AN ENTIRE COUNTRY! I digress…

Anyways, buying these little suckers was completely unintentional for me. I was just walking home one day after my Korean class finished and I decided to take the ‘scenic route’ (aka, the route that allows me to pass by all the makeup stores…) when suddenly, through the large glass window of a Tony Moly shop a yellow thing caught my eye. In fact, I even had to backtrack to see this… anyways, long story short, I saw the cute little banana shaped tubes (of what ever this was- heck I didn’t care, it was about the outer package after all, not the actual product inside) I fell in love, and the rest we can say was history.

Sorry for the ramble guys, I’m in a silly mood today. Let’s just get right into the products hehe. Ok, actually I have 2 products to review today, because I couldn’t just get one. SO I have the Tonly Moly banana sleeping pack and the Tony Moly banana ‘hand milk’.

FIRST lets talk about the hand cream (hand milk).

2015-05-19-16-21-46_deco

Pros:

1. CUTE PACKAGING, duh 😛 I mean it’s pretty small and in a cute squishy banana shaped tube. To get the product out of the tube, you simply squeeze. The lid or cover of the banana is made of hard plastic, so you simply twist or unscrew the top. Then you will see a little narrow nozzle(?) and the product will come out from there. The banana tube itself that holds the product seems to be made out of a slightly different material from the hard plastic lid. This tube is squeezable and has an almost rubber-like finish. The lid is a slightly different color from the tube, it’s a little strange, but not exactly a deal-breaker for me.

Sorry, couldn't resist the eye thing :P

Sorry, couldn’t resist the eye thing 😛

2. SMELL: Has a slight floral scent, maybe slightly rosey with a hint of Jasmine – NAH, it smells like bananas of course 😛 If you have ever drinken? drunkin ? drank? drunk? Um.. if you ever tried banana milk in Korea, it basically smells exactly like that, kind of a creamy banana smell.

This is my favorite thing to drink EVER!

3. Okay so maybe your not fickle like me, and maybe your actually considering this hand cream because of what it does, you know, moisturize your hands. Well, your in luck because it actually does the job pretty well! The consistency is thick and not at all greasy, it sinks into the skin pretty well and the banana smell is not sickly or over-powering.

CONS: I can’t really think of anything to put here. I mean it is what is it. I guess the only thing I can say is that if you are only looking for a decent hand cream to get the job done, you can save your money and just buy a cheaper one that costs less. I don’t remember the exact price I spent at the store, but most of you may be considering to buy it online anyways.

NEXT UP:

2015-05-19-16-45-52_deco

Tony Moly Banana Sleeping Pack. This needs little introduction, and I will save you the time since I made an unnecessarily long introduction spiel to this post. I will just say that this tube is larger than the hand cream tube. Sorry that I did not include exactly how much product you get in each tube, it’s been awhile since I bought them and I have thrown away the box. However, I just hope you can get a feeling of the size by viewing my photos 🙂2015-05-19-16-31-53_deco

PROS: Everything about this product is almost the same as the hand cream. Same scent, same tube, (except larger) same applicator. This however is meant to be worn before bed as a sleeping pack. The consistency is thick, but not oily or greasy. It sinks down into my skin and my skin just drinks it all up. Keep in mind that I have a normal to dry skin type, so I cannot account for how oily skin users find this product. However, since you just wear it to bed, I don’t see an issue here. When I wake up in the morning, it just leaves my face feeling soft and hydrated. The scent is light so it should not bother you while you try to sleep.

This product is so good for me, that sometimes I will even wear it during the day, under my foundation. I think normal to dry skin users will also find that it just does a great job at hydrating the skin.

CONS: Again, not sure what to put here. The consistency is kind of thick and creamy, so if you like more liquid consistency products on your skin, maybe this isn’t for you. Like I said before though, since it’s meant to be worn before bed, it’s not an issue for me. But if you don’t like a heavy-ish cream on your face during bedtime, maybe you will have a problem with this.

2015-05-19-16-51-08_deco

Both products are great buys for me, and for some reason, I just felt I couldn’t buy one without the other. Both work great and perform the task they are meant to perform. However, if your only buying this product because you want to collect cute looking products and you like this cute design, I would recommend just buying the hand cream, it’s small and cute and you will get compliments on it when you carry it in you purse or backpack 🙂

Diary: Not-so-brief Life Update

Okay, so last time I updated this blog was a little over a year ago when I was heading off to Korea for my year of teaching. I had the intention to update daily and include reviews, diary posts, and other posts… but it did not happen. I am back home in Canada now, kind of back to where I started. It’s kind of unfortunate that I did not keep updating this blog, but in my defence I never had a laptop during my entire stay, and, I don’t think it would be easy to keep making updates using my mobile phone of tablet. Also during my stay, I was purely living in the moment, I had no time for reflection. It’s kind of sad really, but you will notice that about your life in Korea, if you go there for one year… There is no time for self-reflection, no time for anything. Sadly, one year was just long enough to feel home-sick, but too short to settle and feel a sense of belonging there.

As for me, no matter what I choose to do in my life, there has to be growth. Before I went to Korea, I had so many goals and things I hoped to accomplish in that one year. Sadly, I quickly lost sight of my goals, and looking back I didn’t really accomplish many things in that one year. I would encourage anyone who has a plan to go abroad to teach, or do anything for one or more years, to write down a list of things they hope to accomplish, look at your list often, and don’t loose sight of those things. Don’t get distracted away from bettering yourself. When one goes abroad for a significant amount of time, time doesn’t stop. People back at home still live their lives without you. A lot of things can happen in one year: people die, get sick, get married, have babies, graduate, etc.. So remember: while you are away, time does not stop back at home.

Sorry for being negative, but it’s very easy to waste years of your life away in play. I knew that I could easily stay in Korea longer by re-signing my contract, and just continuing to float by, going with the flow, ignoring my goals and things going on back at home. However, during my time there, I suddenly and unexpectedly got hit really hard by those realizations. I guess you could say I had a quarter-life crisis, although at the time it felt like full on depression. Suddenly I realized that time is precious and is passing by quickly. Beyond teaching ESL in Korea, I had no other backup plan. I kept thinking, how long can I really get by doing this job? It’s not a secure or sustainable future. Then I started to look at my lack of skills and abilities for the ‘real’ job market and felt like I was only wasting my time. Part of the reason for this was because I was not passionate about teaching at all. Those thoughts are just some of the reasons why I decided to come home and get my crap together. While I do plan to go back there in a few months to start another teaching job, (you’ll find out why later) I am also thinking about the long term future.

My time here; in my home and in my boring but peaceful home town will be spent bettering myself, working toward my goals and preparing for my long-term future. Overall would I recommend working abroad for a year? Yes, you will learn a lot about yourself and despite the internal struggle I went through, it was totally worth it.

On a happier and less serious note, I met a wonderful guy in Korea, and we will soon celebrate our 1 year anniversary (not marriage anniversary kkk). I think he was part of the reasons why I took a serious look at my life, so I guess I should be thankful for that. He is the biggest reason why I have decided to go back there and teach again soon. Meeting someone and falling in love was actually one of my goals, so congrats to me on accomplishing that 🙂

Anyways, I plan to work on my blog more, I will definitely make a post summarizing my past year in Korea, and include photos too! I will also talk in detail about the job I had and if I would recommend it to others, the location I was living in, the story of how I met my lovely boyfriend, and also just random things I did and places I went to. Don’t worry, it will be light and airy from here on out 🙂 I hope if I update frequently, and keep doing my product reviews, I will achieve more followers  – and if I get more followers, I will be encouraged to do more with this blog!

Thank you for listening

Stephaniexox

Diary: Something tells me that today is going to be the longest day of my life…

So I had a bit of a rude awakening this morning when I woke up. My morning routine started as usual, me rolling around in bed for about a half hour not wanting to actually wake up, saying a morning prayer (I really needed it today), taking my ‘One-a-day’ gummy vitamins which are conveniently next to my bed and then, once my brain is fully alert and my eyes well-adjusted to the sunlight shining in through my window, I checked my email. I was already expecting an email from the manager of my school in Korea answering a few of my questions that I had sent her 2 days ago. However there were 3 emails from her and the one that immediately caught my eye was the one whose subject line read: “It is urgent (From YBM ECC) Your flight schedule is changed!!!” And as you would expect from reading that, my original flight, which was scheduled for March 21st, is now changed for March 20th at 5:30am! So basically, I have to be ready to go to the airport tonight! And while it may not seem like a big deal to most people, for me, someone who leaves EVERYTHING to the last minute and likes to procrastinate, this is extremely unsettling news. I have been forced into PANIC-MODE!

So basically, my anxiety level is through the roof, and I feel like i’m not mentally prepared for this long journey. It’s seriously going to take every bit of good out of me. Honestly, I don’t even have time to be writing this, why am I writing this?? Seriously! I have no time to be sitting around. Here’s whats going on in my head right now: I know I am going to end up forgetting something, I know that tonight I’m going to be crying my heart out as I leave my family behind for a year, I know I am going to be overtired from not sleeping on the plane, I know I’ll be stressed out running from flight to flight (Deer Lake -> Toronto -> Vancouver -> Tokyo -> Incheon) and also, I know I’ll be so nervous about the crazy week (of orientation) I’m going to have once I actually arrive in Korea. Just thinking about all of this makes me want to run and hide under my bed until it’s all over. I mean, I love travelling, airports don’t bother me, airplanes for the most part don’t bother me, unlike most people, I enjoy plane food, and I’m totally cool and experienced with travelling alone… but for some reason, right here, right now, all of this stuff seems overwhelming and impossible.

My life here at home as of late has been me lazing around all day and eating whatever I want whenever I want and hanging out with my family. My stress level is non-existent. So being exposed to all of this at once is going to be really hard on me since I’m not used to it but I’m sure I’ll make it.

As far as whats left to do: Finish packing, shower, visit my Nan (who is 92 years old ㅠㅠ) give her the cookies I made her and have a cup of tea with her, briefly meet up with one of my friends, buy some last minute things at the drugstore, charge up all of my things, and get my Dad to finish fixing my glasses. I think that’s all. I hope that’s all!

I’m not sure when I’ll update this again, maybe when I arrive in Korea. Wish me luck on my travels, I’ll seriously need it!

Stephanie xox

Diary: There’s nothing a new city can’t cure

That’s right, the day I have been waiting for since 2008 has finally come. I received my E2 visa in the mail today and I’m finally ready to leave Canada and start a new life in South Korea. Tomorrow is the last day of my crappy part-time job as a housekeeper at the holiday inn and then, a week from tomorrow I will finally embark on my journey.

The reason why I said I have been waiting for this moment since 2008 is because looking at my high school twelfth grade yearbook, I wrote “Teach English in South Korea” as my ‘probable fate.’ And finally, I am fulfilling that prophecy. 18 year old Stephanie would be so proud :’)

My life here in Canada as of late is completely dull and there is no longer any thing here to fulfill me and help me grow as a person.  It’s time to move on and I finally feel ready. My family however, are my everything and I will miss them like crazy. I made sure that I made the most of every moment I spent with them this past year and we have gotten so much closer and our love for each other has grown too much. It’s going to be hard, especially since I have spent every day with them since April 2013, when I moved out of my dormitory and moved back home. However, they are supportive of my choice and know that there is no life for me here. I guess I just have mixed feelings because it will be my first time being so far away from home for such a long period of time. I feel like the bird who is finally leaving the nest… and like I’m finally becoming an adult and moving out of my home where I spent 23 years of my life.

On a positive note, I absolutely cannot wait to move to Korea!! There is never going to be a dull moment there and it will help to clear the cobwebs from my brain. I’ve been so jaded here at times so this fresh start is exactly what I need to get out of this rut i’m in! I can’t wait to drink banana milk again and get photo stickers, eat patbingsoo, go to my favorite stationary store ‘Artbox’ and just totally immerse myself into a new environment that is so different from my ordinary life here.

The city I will be living for the next year or so is called ‘Songdo’ – actually, it’s considered a city within a city because Songdo is in Incheon, the third largest city in South Korea. Songdo is a fairly new city which did not exist about a decade ago because it was built from scratch from land reclaimed from the sea. Pretty cool right? This means that this city was planned and built from a well organized and designed blueprint so it’s pretty logical, environmentally-friendly and is known as a ‘smart city’. This city will not be complete until 2015 and is technically not even officially open to the public. Therefore, there is very limited information about the place online. However, from what I have seen, it looks very beautiful and modern unlike many parts of Seoul. There are huge sky scrapers and high riser apartment buildings (I will be living in one), and there are also many parks and shopping areas. The downside though, is that I may at times feel lonely or isolated because there are not many people living there yet and not a whole lot to do outside of parks, but – it is connected to Seoul via subway so I should be fine. I’ll tell you more about it once I actually get there.

Anyways, I’ll keep this post shortish. I just wanted to update anyone who may follow my blog and also, keep it as a record for myself.

I’ll probably make a packing related post if I get around to it and put it in the ‘Adventure’ category, so look out for that one!

-Stephanie xox

Diary: Please leave me alone

I’m sure we have all experienced the torturous feeling of trying to get over someone who has hurt you.For me, it seems that ever since I lost all my weight in 2011, I find myself doing that more than not. Before I get into this I wan’t to apologize to anyone who may be reading my blog posts lately. It seems that I am always writing about boys. Well I guess it is true, but your going to have to get used to it because being a single girl in her early twenties, It’s inevitable to have some ‘love issues.’ It may be pathetic to have my mood constantly affected by boys, but it’s empowering to write about it here in the open instead of suffering in silence. So here is my story about love and loss. It’s one of many stories that I can share on the subject as it seems to be a re-occurring theme in my life. However, this particular situation is one that is currently plaguing me.

I have been on and off with this guy since December 2012. When I first met him though, I never in a million years thought we would ever be anything other than friends; but then as it so often happens, one thing led to another and then “BAM” things just got complicated. Actually, he was staying at my home with my family and I during Christmas. I felt bad because he was a billion miles away from his home in Korea and had no place to stay (beside his dorm room). Because I didn’t want my good friend to be alone during the holidays, I offered for him to stay with us. At that time my heart belonged to another guy I had met in Korea during the summer, who had just moved to Vancouver. I had my money saved and I was planning to buy a ticket to visit him on boxing day (December 26), but as usual, things changed and I had ended up having to cancel. However, I was somewhat glad because that meant my friend could stay at my house with me and my family longer. One night we were watching a movie on the couch in my room, as we did every night during his stay. But this night something was different. Usually, I would leave my room (where he was staying) early-ish to go to bed (in the living room). I did this for different reasons: 1. because I was afraid that something could happen and I didn’t want to encourage it especially since he wasn’t my type AND I already loved someone else, and 2. I have already been down that road before, my room late at night + an attractive guy + a movie… we all know where this is going, been there done that. However, this particular night I did not leave early like I was supposed too… we ended up watching more than one movie and it was getting later and later, my parents were already downstairs asleep. The movie I chose this time was not the usual ‘safe’ movie that we would watch, it was the movie ‘The Ugly Truth”. The sexual tension in the air was building and was thicker than fog.

Since English was not his first language, he kept asking me what certain words used in the movie meant, words I felt uncomfortable explaining to him. I could feel it so strongly – the tension and I could tell he was feeling it too. I knew very well why I wasn’t leaving and going to bed as I usually would around this time. I also knew why I chose to watch this kind of movie with very sexual undertones. Because to me he just seemed too innocent. It was probably only because he wasn’t using his native language with me and he didn’t know enough English to show me other sides of himself but I think I was doing this because I felt that it was  risqué to try and provoke him to see if a wild side existed. Well it did. The first thing he did was grab my hand during our conversation after the movie. I could feel what was coming next and I kind of froze. I wasn’t really sure how to react as I really didn’t expect him to like me in that way, in fact that is why I was being so bold, because I didn’t think it was possible. Then, in mid conversation he started kissing me… and I’m not going to go into any more details from that night or any of the nights that followed. But lets just say this kind of thing happened a lot. That Christmas was so special, I felt like I had a boyfriend because we would hold hands in public, have cute pet names for each other and other cute things exclusive to couples. However, after Christmas, he went back to living in his dorm at his University (which is 8 hours away) but we would talk on the phone every night for hours and we both made an effort to visit each others town whenever we had the chance. I went to stay with him for about a week during New Years, and he came back to stay with my during our break in February. It was his first time driving to my house. The last time he took a 10 hour bus ride but this time he decided to drive. He was so nervous because he never drove that long of a distance before. He didn’t know how his car would hold up and he was fairly new to Canada so he was unfamiliar with the roads. However, I decided to meet him half way and we drove back together, it was so sweet, and I felt so special that he went through all that trouble just to see me. At that time I was living on campus of my Uni instead of with my parents. Since it was our break, my roommates all left and went back to their home towns to see their families, so it was just me and him there. It felt like we were a married couple. I would cook for him, we would go grocery shopping together and we would watch tv together every night before we would fall asleep. It was so cute.

However, he made sure to come up with every excuse in the book as to why we could never become more than that. And by ‘that’ I actually don’t even understand what ‘that’ was… But still somehow managed to string me along by filling my mind with hope. He had me right where he wanted me.

All I knew was that I was falling in love with him fast and I quickly forgot all about the ‘Vancouver guy’. At that time though, I didn’t understand that to him it was more of a game: Korean guy comes to Canada for the first time and eventually meets a hopelessly romantic white girl who is open-minded toward Asian guys. After months of being lonely, the desperation starts to build more and more inside of him. Me being the easy target, seemed like a good place to fulfill that growing need inside of him. Sure he is a good person, a great person actually but I remember he told me that the main reason why we couldn’t be together was because I had my path all laid out for me, I knew what I wanted to do and that was to go to Korea to teach, but he wasn’t sure what he wanted and he didn’t want his uncertainty to get in the way of my dreams. Seems selfless right? Well if that is the case why does he now have a girlfriend who is a Chinese exchange still living here in Canada, while he is now living back in Korea? What about me? He didn’t even officially end whatever it was that we had, he just cut me off randomly and I didn’t even get any closure. I had to find out about his girlfriend the hard way during one of our conversations and the news cut through my heart like a knife. I guess he figured since we were nothing all along, it would be a clean break. He got all the benefits of a relationship while with me but didn’t have to face any of the consequences because ‘technically’ we were nothing.

I just can’t help but ask myself, what is wrong with me? Why did he choose her instead? Why did he use me over and over and drop me suddenly for her when he knew I was in love with him? Why did he make me believe that he felt the same way but was just being sincere and selfless and that’s why we couldn’t be together?

I know he values our friendship, I’m just not so sure that I’m ready to be his friend because I still have feelings that I’m trying to make disappear. I also know he thinks highly of me and only wants the best for me but why did he toy with me over and over and not even once consider my feelings?

Anyways, next month I will be moving to South Korea, where he is living now. The last time I saw him we were doing things couples do, I wonder what will happen this time. It seems as though he can’t wait for me to go there because he keeps asking me all the time when is the exact day I will be going there because he want’s to see me. He even offered me to stay at his house with his family for a couple weeks. I don’t feel comfortable talking to him though and I feel so mad that he can just talk to me so easily as though nothing at all happened between us. I want to avoid him and ignore him so I never write him first, but he always seems to write me a message and I feel that I can’t NOT talk to him. It’s so hard – I want to get over him, I want to punish him for using me, I want to hate him and I want to move on to not feel the pain anymore. But he just wont leave me alone!

Stephanie xox