Browsing Category Seoul

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Hey everyone!

I’m back from Tokyo and I had an amazing time. I can’t wait to share everything with you. I spent way too much money, but let me tell you, Hello Kitty and cute socks are totally worth it.

Sooo, I have a bunch of exciting news that I have to tell you. Good times ahead for the blog and for me!

sheryllhellokittyPreview of me trying not to lose my mind at Kiddyland in Tokyo

  • I’m currently featured in Flare Magazine’s October issue. If you’re in Canada, please pick up a copy! It’s the article about Korean skincare. I’m also in a feature for the K Herald, a Korean-American newspaper distributed in the Atlanta area. I’m so excited and so pumped to be featured in these two publications. Korean skincare is changing lives out here!
  • I’m working on a ton of new cosmetic reviews. Things have been really slow on that front because this summer completely and utterly wrecked havoc on my skin. It was a hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, mess. I had terrible acne, a random patch of clogged pores on my chin, heat bumps on my forehead. It was terrible. I bought a lot of new things to try but didn’t want to switch up my routine too much for fear of making my skin worse. Now that summer is basically over (and thanks to my best friend, the Clarisonic Mia 2), my skin is back to normal. I’ve finally started testing things out again, and I am working on a big review of the Clarisonic (preview: everyone NEEDS one).
  • I’ve had my blog for almost three years (eeeek!) and I’ve had the same blog design for the entire time. Redesigning my blog is something I’ve been wanting to do for ages. I feel like I’ve outgrown this design, and in some ways, it reminds me of the past (and not in a good way). I want something new, something that represents me and the growth that I have experienced in the past three years. I’ve been using Pinterest to create mood boards, and the recurring theme that seems to be coming up is lots of pink, white, black, and gold, minimal, clean lines, with a touch of glamour. I’m a bit obsessed with graphic design and typography, but I’ve never actually tried to do either of them myself. So, I’m teaching myself! I’m working on a blog re-design that will hopefully launch by the end of the year. I’m working from the ground up, and teaching myself in the process, so it may take longer than that, but I’d like to see it up by the 3rd year anniversary. It’s definitely been a challenge, and sometimes I want to throw my computer out of the window, but the satisfaction I’m getting from learning how to do something new is really rewarding. If anything, attempting to re-design my blog is making me much more productive and really excited to start posting regularly again.
  • I started a ketogenic diet (high fat, low carb), and I’ve lost about 6 pounds. I’ve been struggling with my weight for about 4 years now, and nothing has really worked, except the keto diet. I’m so excited to finally, once and for all, get the extra weight off. Shopping for clothes used to be an enjoyable experience, and I can’t wait for it to be that way again. For more info on the keto diet, check this out.
  • I’m setting up an editorial calendar that will have me posting 3 times a week. Right now I’m aiming for one cosmetics review/tutorial, one random (life, Korea, new cafes, etc) post, and a link love type thing on Friday. Hooray for a schedule!
  • And speaking of learning new things, I’m teaching myself how to use Photoshop. I usually edit my pictures with the Mac app CameraBag2, but I’m trying to challenge myself and learn how to use Photoshop. My post on Singapore was supposed to be up this week, but it’s taking me longer than normal to edit the photos. Here is an example of something I’m working on:

singapore collage 2

The weather is finally changing in Korea, and the leaves are just starting to turn colors. Fall is by far my favorite season in Korea. There are about 3 to *maybe* 4 more weeks of decent weather before winter starts. Sigh. I’m trying to take advantage of all the daylight and sunlight while I can. This weekend will be spent in a nice, outdoor cafe with iced coffees and Photoshop. I’m hoping to finally make it to see the Banpo bridge in Seoul at some point, and I definitely want to go shopping for some fall clothes.

Hope things are going well with all of you! Let me know if there is anything in particular you’d like to see coming up on the blog.


Labels, Perfectionism, and OMG it’s almost time for vacation (but my skin hates me)!!!!!!

So after weeks of trying to figure out why I just couldn’t muster up the motivation to blog consistently, I think I have it figured out.

For so long, I considered myself a travel blogger. I was desperate to fit the mold of a travel blogger…constantly traveling, taking instagram pictures of my food, seeking out press trips. But since my move to Korea, I definitely haven’t traveled (except small trips), nor was it my priority to do so when I moved here. I knew that when I moved to Korea, I would take random trips here and there, but Johnny and I were saving the heavy duty stuff for after our jaunt in Korea. That’s still the case. And I still love sharing all of my travels with you. But I feel like my blog has expanded since I first started writing. It’s become much more than a travel blog.

I struggled for weeks thinking of what I should “label” my blog. A lifestyle blog? A beauty blog? A “regular” blog (I don’t even know what that means, but work with me here)? With the recent and AWESOME boom blogging about cosmetics has brought me, I seriously thought about switching to writing about beauty all of the time, as it is one of my passions. But then I realized that I’d miss sharing all of the other things about my life.

I’ve realized that I don’t need to label my blog. My blog doesn’t have to fit into a category. It doesn’t have to fit a perfect, cookie cutter mold. I can write about whatever the hell I want to write about. I can write reviews. I can talk about makeup. I can post pictures of my vacations. I can write stories about the ridiculous things my students do. I can post a picture of a delicious scoop of Baskin Robbins ice cream. And it that’s all okay! I think I just get caught up sometimes in trying to be a perfect blogger; that I have to write amazing, thought provoking posts 3 times a week. Some of my favorite blogs rarely have anything earth shattering or mind-blowing to talk about, so why do I feel like I should have to have something important to write about? I don’t have to be scaling mountains or eating out everyday or shopping all the time or doing every exciting thing ever.  Seriously, some of my favorite types of posts are the one where someone just posts a picture of their tea, computer and some books and is like “look at my life!” Sigh. Perfectionism is really crippling. But writing all of this out, as well as in my journal has helped me get it together. I’m working on actually setting up a blogging schedule, and sharing much more with you, like I used to do!

In other exciting news, the home stretch to vacation is here. It’s so close I can feel it. This week, I started teaching summer camp. I have a unique schedule, in that I teach a split 3rd grade class for 2 days, a split 4th grade class for 2 days and 5/6th grade for 1 day. For two weeks. The theme for this camp is Harry Potter, and the kids are ALL about it. One of the activities is making a magic wand and I was reminded that giving glitter to a group of 3rd graders was probably not the smartest idea. I am definitely not used to teaching younger kids. Going from middle school to 6th grade wasn’t that big of a leap, but 3rd grade is definitely out of my realm of expertise. I’m going to be cleaning glitter out of my hair for 2 weeks. I do admit that they are super adorable…makes it hard to get mad at them!

My skin has been driving me infuckingsane lately. Summer has been killer. Last summer, it hardly rained, but it was a million degrees. This summer has definitely been way more rainy. Even though rain typically means cooler weather, the humidity levels have been through the roof. Humidity, coupled with a school that is stingy with the electricity (the air conditioner is turned on for 3 hours a day………………..), means that my skin has started rebelling against me. I’ve got clogged pores out the wazoo, especially on my chin. CRY. After reading a bunch of reviews, I went out and bought the Hado Labo Tamagohada AHA+BHA cleanser. The AHA and BHA are supposed to be fantastic for clearing out the pores for fantastic, clear skin. It’s been a few days and the bumps aren’t as…bumpy, but I want results NOW! Sagittarius girls are definitely impatient. If any of you have any recommendations, please, please share them in the comments. I’m trying to look fantastic in my vacation photos!

…. On a completely random note, I’ve also been writing this post in my local Starbucks and this girl has been slowly applying her makeup for the last 45 minutes. I am mesmerized.


So I finally got around to taking pictures again

So, I finally picked up my camera and decided to start taking pictures of my life again. I’ve had so much fun editing and choosing which pictures to share. I’m so glad I’m slowly, but surely, starting to feel better. Johnny and I have been taking advantage of the hot, but not super gross weather. The worst of summer is definitely yet to come, and I’m trying to take advantage before I am reduced to standing in front of the air conditioner during all of my free time.

These pictures are from the time Johnny and I went to the Han River and rode bikes, when I went wandering around Seoul trying to find the Bangsan Baking Market (amazing), when we went to Caribbean Bay, and another  random day when Johnny and I went on a hike near my house and then played in some fountains afterwards.
sherylljohnny6 apartuh hiking viewofmyhood sheryllriver1
wetfeet cruisingalongtheriver seoulshops caribbeanbay

firefighter tentshavriver waterrparkfun bikehanriver johnnyhanriver1 johnnyriver riverhan sheryllhanriver1 streamseoul skyscapersseoul johnnyhanriver


Hope you enjoyed the photos! How is everything going in your world? Let me know in the comments!


Cherry Blossoms, Delicious Burgers, and Twix Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s been about a month at my new school and apartment, and I can finally say that I’m somewhat adjusted. I know where the local grocery stores are. I know the bus routes to my apartment. AND a subway stop just opened up near my house! I’m also finding a routine within my classes and getting used to making lesson plans from a book. Sometimes I get a little frustrated because I feel like there’s just not enough time to cover everything we need to in a 40 minute class, but what can you do? If you go too fast, the students that are behind just keep getting left behind. I know there has to be a balance in there somewhere. It’s only been a month, so I’m giving myself a bit of time to figure it all out.

I’ve started to figure out which classes will be my problem classes, and which classes I’m going to adore. My 6-4 class is full of pre-pubescent, sulky, pre-teens who just stare at me, while my 6-5 and 6-1 classes are super energetic and SO excited to see me. Thankfully, I’m used to the students who aren’t that energetic (coughmyfirstyear9thgraderscough). I’ll win them over soon enough.

It’s actually, finally, spring here in Korea. I know I said that earlier, but then it just ended up being super freezing everyday since then. Now, it’s actually in the mid to upper 60s in the day. I’m just hoping we have just a tiny bit of a real spring before it jumps into SUMMERHUMIDITYDEATHMOSQUITOES.

About 2 weeks ago, Johnny and I hit up the cherry blossom festival in Yeouido. Sadly, the blossoms weren’t in full bloom, but we still had a great time…until it was too cold, so we went shopping at IFC mall instead.

cherryblossoms2 chucks hanriver2

The cherry blossoms by my house were a different story. GORGEOUS! Sadly, they’re all gone now, but they were so beautiful while they lasted.

cherryblossomsgangnamuni cherryblossomsuni2 cherryblossom

And I’ve found one of my new favorite restaurants, Salt and Butter in Apgujeong. It is INCREDIBLE. How incredible? I’ll show you.

spinachdip dallasburger saltandbutter saltandbuttermenu

Spinach and artichoke dip?!?!?! An amazingly juicy, bacon, bbq sauce and onion ring burger? With a fresh, buttered bun?! A delicious mojito?! TRUFFLE FRIES?!  A honey sriracha aioli?!?!?! It is heaven. The owner is Korean-American and seriously one of the nicest people I’ve met in Korea. It’s so good, I made the trek into Seoul two weekends in a row. They also have a great wrap around, 2nd level patio that’s just perfect for hanging out during the spring and summer. Check out their website here for directions!

And in VERY exciting news, I finally decided to buy an oven. Now I’m wondering why I waited so long! I’ve been baking up a storm since I’ve gotten it. I also got a tiny hand mixer, vanilla extract, parchment paper, yeast, and dark chocolate chips…all from Tonight, I decided to make Twix chocolate chip cookies. Johnny is a bit in love with Twix candy bars, and homemade chocolate chip cookies are my favorite things in the world, so I decided to combine them.

twix cookies

They were DELICIOUS. Once I really start baking, I’ll work on my food photography to make everything look a little more beautiful. Baking is one of my passions, and I’m SO glad I finally have an oven. Cupcakes for everyone!

I have a ton of beauty reviews in the works, but obviously I like to test things out for a few weeks to give you a real, honest opinion. I broke down and got some Aesop products. The packaging is just so beautiful!

Also, how is it already MAY?! I swear, the time is flying by. I’m planning summer vacation now, and I think it’s pretty settled that Johnny and I are going to go to Malaysia and Singapore. I’m SO excited to go and relax on a beach. Let the countdown begin!


I’m Obsessed with Korean Cosmetics: The Spring Haul – Part 2

Soooo let’s just dig in to part 2 of my spring skincare/makeup haul, shall we? innisfreelipcheektintThe Innisfree Vivid Color Cheek and Lip Tint is WONDERFUL…for my cheeks. My lips are not really feeling it. I got it in a bright orange color which is just perfect for spring (it looks a tad bit more red in the picture, but I promise it’s orange). I’ve been wearing it on my cheeks almost daily since I’ve gotten it, and my co-teachers have all commented on how nice my makeup looks. I’ve found that putting it on my lips is a bit drying, even after liberally applying lip balm. It doesn’t really go on smooth either. I’ll stick to the stick and wand tints for my lips for now.

nowomanlikeshavingporesFaith in Face Pore Tighening Mask: A while back, I did a post about Korean face masks and how much I love them, despite looking like a crazy person when I wear them. I saw the Faith in Face brand in Olive Young, and just couldn’t resist buying a mask, based on the packaging alone. Packaging is so important to me. It’s part of the reason why SkinFood stresses me out sometimes. Why do they still use Comic Sans as their font?!?!?! The world many never know. Anyways, besides the cute packaging that promises to give me crystal clear skin, I’ve fallen in looooove with these face masks. They are hydrogel face masks, which somehow seem to work so much better for me than the cotton ones. I just love the way they feel, and you can see the results almost immediately. The brightening one is another one of my favorites. It made my skin glow. I also love the moisturizing one too. Basically I’ve tried and loved them all. If you find yourself near an Olive Young, they are in the section with all of the face masks.

normadermtotalmatVichy Normaderm Total Mat Moisturizer: Now, I know that this isn’t a Korean product, but I got it from a Korean store (Olive Young), so it almost counts. One of my favorite things about Olive Young is that they have a fairly large section of French cosmetics, stuff I’d never, ever be able to find in the States, including the Bioderm Sensibio H2O makeup remover…holy grail product! I’ve been on the hunt for a lightweight daytime moisturizer now that it’s getting warmer. By this time in the next few months, makeup will barely be an option as the humidity in Korea is so high. BUT. I have found something that may help all of us. I’ve been using this moisturizer consistently for 2 weeks and I am in LOVE with the results. For a little background, the Total Mat moisturizer is a paraben-free, anti-shine and ANTI-HUMIDITY moisturizer. Let me repeat that for you, ANTI-HUMIDITY! It’s infused with some stuff that mimics the effects of blotting paper (a must have for summer), and it contains something called Perlite which can absorb 3x it’s weight in water. The end result is clear, less shiny skin, and no makeup running down your face because it’s 100% humidity outside. Since I’ve been using it, I’ve noticed that my makeup stays on much longer, and my face definitely isn’t as shiny as it used to be at the end of the day. The real test will come in a few months, but based on what I’ve noticed so far and read from a couple of other reviews, I think we have a winner!

revedemiel2NUXE Rêve de Miel Lip Balm: Again, not a Korean product, but it’s so good that I had to share! Confession time: Raise your hand if you are a chapstick addict. You know, the type of person who applies chapstick/lip balm at least 20 times a day? That used to be me. Until I learned about how TERRIBLE chapstick is for you and how we’re all addicted to the stuff. I found myself applying chapstick almost constantly. That is, until I found Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm at my local Olive Young. Rêve de Miel is a very rich and thick lip balm that helps repair dry, chapped lips, and for me, helped break my chapstick addiction. I can apply it in the morning, and I won’t even need to put on anymore until late afternoon/evening. It’s an amazing product. It is absolutely perfect under lipstick, as it doesn’t leave you with any glossiness or shine, and it makes your lips extra soft. I read about it being a holy grail product on my favorite beauty site, Into the Gloss, and I couldn’t agree more.

cliogelspressoeyelinerClio Gelpresso Waterproof Pencil Gel Liner: I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but Clio eyeliners are THE ABSOLUTE BEST. EVER. OF ALL TIME. I use the black liquid eyeliner pen and I constantly get asked how I get my liner so perfect. It’s Clio! Every single liner I’ve tried by Clio has wonderful pigmentation, and it does not budge. I’ve been to Mudfest, Caribbean Bay, dealt with rain, humidity, snow, wind, and it just doesn’t budge. It’s made out of miracles, apparently.

The gelpresso liners go on smooth, and they come in a variety of colors. I have 2, one in a dark, army green color, and the other in a cranberry color. They’re really great for adding that extra pop for color, or for smudging a bit for a sultry smokey eye. If you live in Korea, you can find Clio products at Olive Young.

innisfreestuffInnisfree Olive Real Moisture Hand Cream: My awesome reader Jane recommended this hand cream to me months ago, and I haven’t looked back. It’s thick, but it absorbs into the skin quickly with no residue. One of my biggest hand cream pet peeves is when it feels like my hands just have a weird, oily, mask on them, but this stuff is the real deal! Love love!

Innisfree Green Tea Pure Sleeping Mask: I finally ran out of my Etude House shea butter sleeping mask, so I decided to try something new. It’s a slightly watery, gel like consistency that is a tad bit overwhelming in the fragrance department. It makes my skin look super fabulous in the morning, but it’s irritating to my eyes (and I’m not even using it around my eyes). I don’t know if it’s the fragrance or what, but it’s a shame since my skin seems to love it!

Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Primer: I’m a firm believer in primers. I use them every day. My makeup just doesn’t have the same smoothness and dewiness without one. Plus, once summer really hits, it’s a necessity so your makeup isn’t running down your face. My awesome friend Kelly raved to me the no-sebum mineral primer, and since I live 6 minutes from an Innisfree now, I just had to pop in and get it. And it’s WONDERFUL. It’s full of silicone, so if you’re ‘cone sensitive, stay away. It has such a silky texture, and it makes my makeup look flawless. I’ve also noticed that it makes my makeup color stay on much longer than the primer from the Face Shop. If I had to do a ranking, I’d still say the Etude House primer is my favorite, followed by Innisfree, then The Face Shop.

WHEW! And that’s it (so far). My friend Kelly and I hit up the Mac Pro store and the NARS counter in Apgujeong this weekend, and got some really amazing goodies. I FINALLY got Taj Mahal blush. If you’re dark skinned, you need that blush in your life. Trust me. Stay looking out on my instagram for the rest of my makeup haul!

I’ve received a ton of emails about what products I use in my hair and my hair routine. Is that something you’d be interested in seeing? Let me know in the comments!