What a Stolen Wallet Means to Me

Hi friends,

So on Saturday I decided to go out with my friends in Hongdae. For the uninitiated, Hongdae is quite the initiation. It’s the trendy university area of Seoul and at night it gets grungy and messy and overrun with both Korean and foreign night owls alike. Considering it takes me an hour to get there, I don’t tend to prioritise visits to Hongdae in my life (I much prefer putting my obsession with food, tasty drinks and internet bludging first). But when I do go, it’s a bit of an occasion. Let’s party, wooo, yeahhh (it goes a little something like that)!

But this time, my wallet got stolen. Ay carumba!

When I first realised my bag had been taken from the table we were literally dancing right next to, I sort of felt disbelief. It’s an odd thing to experience the worminess of a thief and it doesn’t quite feel real. However, at this point in my life, I’m trying to make it a priority to detach myself from my physical possessions, because you can’t take them with you when you die and all that. Considering I am in a foreign country, this already frustrating occasion is amplified by the fact that without your Alien Registration Card (yes, that’s its official name), there are certain things which may become more difficult. Like, oh I don’t know, proving your identity and visa status when you have to go to the airport the following weekend (Thailand!!! wheeee!).

Relaxing on da beach :)

Relaxing on da beach :)

In all honesty, I didn’t really care about the crap that was taken. There is just something sickening and disturbing about someone feeling like they have a right to take what doesn’t belong to them, in any form. Like when people are greedy at buffets, it’s just so disgusting to me (lol), because I feel like we should just take what we need and not freak out over FREE FOOD (okay, I’m still learning on that one). But honestly, I just feel sorry for the person and if he/she (pretty sure it was a he – my bag was thankfully rediscovered in the men’s bathroom) really needed my 30,000won then he can have it. Also, my old pen-stained camera with photos of makeup products and children. But for some strange reason, he didn’t take my phone. I am eternally grateful that this happened to be a rather thick thief. I love my phone and it’s the most expensive thing I had in there, so I don’t understand this reasoning – but I’m not complaining!

So, right now I’m relying on getting money from my bank book, which I tried to use at the ATM yesterday and it didn’t work… about 10 times. I actually feel like how old people must feel when they use debit cards for the first time. ‘How does this thing work?! Do I put it in like this, or like this… why is it beeping at me?!’ were all thoughts running through my head as random Korean people came to withdraw cash. I was actually too embarrassed to ask for help, so I just gave up and left in a bit of a huff. I should add that Gav has lent me his credit card, but I’m actually quite enjoying having no money on me. I really don’t need it here (really), and combined with the fact that I have gone over my phone data limit and currently have no mobile internet on my phone (and it’s wifi connectivity is patchy – I’m glad I still have it but the poor thing needs a reset), I feel like I’m living in the past. Otherwise known as freedom. And I love it.

Gav was telling me Tim Ferriss calls our need for online connectivity AT ALL TIMES the “digital leash” and I completely agree with him. I don’t want this to be taken as complaining, because there’s so many good things that come from these amazing technological advances of humankind, such as the fact that you can read this right now. It’s incredible. But it does need to be managed, and that is where we slip into some murky areas. I always try not to check my phone at dinner, and I never leave it out on the table when I’m with friends. I actually am pretty “terrible” with my phone (much to my brother’s chagrin) and constantly miss calls and messages – because I’m so engrossed in the real world. Call me crazy, but I like life.

Just ridin' mah bike :)

Just ridin’ mah bike :)

So I’ve started to go off on a bit of a tangent, but the main point of this post is that a stolen wallet really means nothing to me. I actually find it freeing and don’t really want to purchase a new one. Instead, I want to hunt in my cupboards and find a replacement from the millions of bags and holder-thingies that I have in my possession. I had an amazing time on my birthday, and was so spoilt, but the physical presents I received have just hit home to me the fact that I actually DON’T NEED ANYTHING. I have too much, and instead I want to spend my energy giving to other people. People who perhaps haven’t been as fortunate as me and who would really get a kick out of certain things that I now find mundane.

It’s an interesting way to feel, because I am in no way the richest person in the world. Far from it. However, I am lucky insofar as I am living in Korea and living a life that makes me feel like the 1%. I have too much money for my life here and can afford to buy anything I want. And it’s boring. Again, I don’t want to be seen as ungrateful because I feel lucky that I have the opportunity to feel this way. I would much rather be in this position than struggling and feeling despondent about life. I feel great – but I don’t need any more. In fact, I need less. It is then, ironically, that I know I will feel more fulfilled.

Money can’t buy us happiness, we’ve all heard before. Of course, everyone needs sufficient housing, clothing, food, etc. in order to life a comfortable life. But the amount of STUFF we consume is horrendous. Even just thinking about what was in my stolen wallet weighs me down. Nothing of too much important – receipts, coffee cards, a voucher from a student (which I wasn’t sure how to spend – and anyway, what would I buy?), a whole lotta coins and my pilates membership. All replaceable and, more importantly, all pretty inconsequential. I don’t have my wallet, or any of this stuff, and it’s fine. In fact, I think for the first time in my life I might forgo the temptation of coffee cards and perhaps other loyalty cards. I don’t want to be in the position where I actually gain some value from these jacked up “rewards point systems”. They are generally pretty terrible, and only give you the feeling of value, when really, you need to put down a lot of cash to get even a measly amount back.

I feel so light without this extra stuff, I’m actually sort of happy about it. Of course, I got upset on the evening it happened – because I thought I couldn’t go to Thailand and that my friends and Gav would be really upset. I also didn’t want them spending all my holiday money, ’cause I do need to pay for some things over there. Like accommodation and food. I haven’t broken the bonds entirely, but I’m trying. But the camera, the other stuff, I don’t care about. It’s a mean thing to do, but it’s something that someone sadder than me would do. So I can feel grateful for that.

All of this has been swirling around in my head for a while, well before my wallet was nicked. You will see in coming weeks more posts on organising, clearing out and minimalising. In fact, I have a ‘makeup cleanout’ post coming to you very soon, as well as an empties video. I’ve always found it hard to cut down on owning things, but I think now more than ever I have the ability and the inclination to. And I’m really excited about it!

If you’ve made it this far in this epic post, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this topic and hopefully gained some insights (at least into my busy mind). I’d love to hear your thoughts on minimalising – and any tips for organising and decluttering would be appreciated! I’m still learning, and I’m really excited about it :)

Until next time,

Steph x

The Liebster Award!

Hi friends,

So a little while ago I was kindly nominated for a Liebster Award by the lovely Rose. She runs a super cute blog which features a lot of Korean cosmetics (to my utmost delight). For any of you that don’t know (including me, until I received Rose’s message), the Liebster Award is basically a way to promote smaller, up-and-coming blogs with a following of less than 200. It’s a nice way to learn more about the blogger and also to link and find new blogs, as every nominee then nominates a further 11 blogs. It’s like a chain letter! (Remember those? So annoying lol).

However, the plot thickens… as I recently found out that I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Sakura Fujiko! She has a lovely fashion blog and is a sweet person in general. Rose had commented a while ago and  to be fair I had taken my sweet time to get onto it, so now I have 22 questions to answer! I will try to keep it short and snappy (near impossible for me) and will only nominate 11 blogs as per usual. Get ready for double the trouble!

So Rose has 11 questions that I will now proceed to answer, followed by Sakura’s :) Let’s go!

  1. How long is your daily cosmetic routine?
    Hmm, if by cosmetics routine you mean skincare routine, probably about 10 minutes (I’m pretty speedier). If you’re referring to makeup, probably about 6 minutes (even speedier). I don’t have no time to mess ’round!
  2. What is your favorite moisturizer?
    Oh, I would have to give this to Nature Republic’s Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream. Apart from owning the world’s longest product name, this moisturiser is the perfect blend of gel and cream, it is a pure hybrid and a wondrous one at that. I haven’t actually used it for ages (because I decided to go crazy and buy 340983940 other moisturisers instead), but this one holds my heart.
  3. What is your favorite movie ?
    Oh gosh… I’m really not a movie kinda girl. I never used to watch films (as I like to refer to them… not) and used to be so out of touch. In fact, I used to hate going to the cinema! I think it’s because I got really bored with the big Hollywood blockbusters which were never as good as their trailers alluded. However, all this being said, I really enjoyed the new X-Men movie! I know that sounds ridiculous, but I think it’s a great ensemble cast, it’s thoughtful and poignant and it’s funny!
  4. Favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
    Sit inside and listen to the rain. Eating. With my computer and music playing. #social
  5. Breakfast or Lunch?
    Breakfast at lunchtime ;)

    #sexybacon

    #sexybacon

  6. What do you prefer pencil,liquid,or gel liner?
    Ummm pencil, because it’s just easier and less high maintenance. Haven’t really used gel but liquid liner just brings a lot of unnecessary stress into my life… ain’t nobody need that.
  7. Summer or winter ?
    Winter!
  8. Early bird or night owl?
    Definitely night owl… I keep trying to become an early bird, and sometimes I do for a bit, but I always revert back to my true calling.
  9. Sweet or salty?
    100% sweet. I used to order pancakes and french toast for breakfast all day, err day. If I could right now in Korea, I would.
  10. Favorite cosmetic brand?
    Nature Republic! For Australian brands, I love Australis, Natio and Sukin. I especially love that these three don’t test on animals, something that I am going to be cracking down on following my current self-imposed spending ban.
  11. Favorite music group?
    Oh gosh… I tend to listen to solo artists (for no particular reason… maybe they are more emotional? I like that sort of thing), and I just recently bought Allday and Sia’s albums and I am obsessed. Also, I love Illy and Lauryn Hill and I realise I’m still talking about solo artists but I guess I’m just going to cheat on this question!

Okay, onto my next set of questions… you still with me? Good! Let’s go:

  1. What means “happiness” for you?
    Being comfortable in my own skin… and also eating a delicious, high-cal meal with Gav in our comfortable home.
  2. What gives you the most inspiration?
    My bizarre and wonderful life! ^^
  3. Why did you start blogging?
    Because there is waaay too much crazy going on in my head for it to stay locked up. This stuff just has a mind of its own!
  4. What is your favorite quote (if you have one)?
    “It’s better to regret what you have done than what you haven’t.” – Paul Arden
  5. What makes you instantly fall in love with a blog?
    If the blogger is real, quirky and most of all, kind. If they are snarky or negative, especially about other people… I just don’t have time for that! :)
  6. What is the hardest thing you have ever done, or the biggest obstacle you have faced in your life?
    Ummm hardest/most exciting thing would be leaving all of my friends and family to go to Korea. Biggest obstacle would be my mind (at times – still working on this one).
  7. What is your favorite piece in your closet?
    My new Korean-style hat! It’s a bit ridiculous and it’s great (picture coming soon).
  8. What are your 3 must have beauty products?
    Hmm… This is a really hard one for me! I always need my Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment nearby, which is the most amazing lip balm/dry skin healer/all round remedy. In terms of makeup products, I really love the IOPE Air Cushion (so light! so creamy!) and my Stila Dare to Bare eyeshadow palette. I have started wearing pretty much just these on the weekend (sometimes even going without the cushion) and it feels grrrreat.
  9. Have you ever lived abroad (if not, did you consider)?
    Yes! #guri #now #smartass

    Guri by night <3

    Guri by night <3

  10. What is your favorite food?
    Oh don’t make me choose! Please! A few favourites: cheeseburgers, goat’s cheese, chocolate, apples, bananas, muesli, pancakes, mochas. Yep.
  11. If you could trade lives for one day with a celebrity, whose life would you choose?
    Oh wow… Another hard one. My initial reaction is to say Beyonce, because she just seems perfect and amazing, but I wouldn’t want all that pressure and nosiness. Although a private jet would be nice. Someone cool I think would be… MIA? She seems pretty badass.

And that’s a wrap! So now, onto my nominees:

— at this point these are the only blogs I can think of with the acceptable amount of followers… if I come across more I will nominate them soon! ^^

Thanks for reading everyone! I hope you enjoyed perusing these 22 questions, and I shall speak to you soon!

Steph x

 

Sample Sundays: Nature Republic Super Origin Tinted CC Cream (Review)

Hello stranger!

I know I’ve been away from these parts for a while… and I’ve missed it. To be honest, I’ve been experiencing a bit of a profound transformation regarding my hoarding ways. It finally hit me that the amount of stuff I have is not only ridiculous (I have no problem with that) but actually makes my life more difficult. This is insane! I know I have been trying to use up my products for a while (hence this Sample Sundays series), but it’s finally gotten to the point where I am 100% committed to not buying anything unless I really need it… which U pretty much don’t at this moment.

Needless to say, I’ve been saving a lot of money! Always a nice byproduct. Also, I’m emptying products, freeing up room in my tiny house and just generally being less stressed. Since when were beauty products supposed to stress you out?! Or any product for that matter. It’s insane. I’ve been the same way with books in the past, so now I’m not buying any until I read/am done with mine and swap them for something new (a marvellous idea). Also, I’m a member of the Guri library (obvs), which is actually pretty well-stocked with English books, so I really have no shortage. Also #2, there is this wonderful thing called the internet which works remarkably quickly in this lovely land of Korea.

So that’s my brief intro for today!

As you may have noticed, Sample Sundays have been on an unintended hiatus, which stops today. Because of this fasination with not buying anything, I’ve now developed an obsession with watching people clear out their own makeup hoards. it is surprisingly addictive and wonderful and inspires me much more than watching haul videos (which just make me want to buy stuff). To be fair, I’ve thrown in a few ‘monthly favourites’ type videos, but at the moment I’m on lockdown til I get my situation under control. Once I’ve reached an acceptable level of physical products under my ownership, I will let myself loose a little bit more. It’s all about moderation and balance… which, it would seem, is my biggest lesson in life.

So what am I reviewing today?

This is none other than Nature Republic’s Super Origin Tinted CC Cream :)

Nature Republic Super Origin Tinted CC Cream

Nature Republic Super Origin Tinted CC Cream

As y’all well know, I am a bit of a Nature Republic obsessive. As a result of my heavy levels of shopping and my rather attached level of friendship with the sales assistants, I have kindly received a number of samples in my time. Many of which, recently at least, have been of this CC cream. Now, when I first got to Korea, I thought CC cream was the most ridiculous thing and such a ripoff of the success of BB creams (I still think this). However, I have also changed my tune a bit and come to realise that they can be marvellous things too. The thing with Korea is, if something works, they will milk it to the end. And why not? There’s a lot of money to be made in the behemoth that is the Korean beauty industry, and it’s actually smart business sense. Korea wins again!

So, what exactly is CC cream? For the uninitiated, CC cream stands for Colour Control Cream (well, at least it did initially). These days, you might see variations on the CC theme, such as Colour Correct, the same way that BB Creams (initially standing for Blemish Balms) morphed into Beauty Balms and more. To be honest, I’m not that well-versed in all these variations so I’m going to leave the examples there. If you have any more to throw into the mix, please tell me!

All this yabbering and I just realised I haven’t actually said anything about the product yet. This is why I need to blog daily!

Firstly, have a look at this CC cream in action here:

Nature Republic Super Origin Tinted CC Cream swatched onto me hand, innit? ;)

Nature Republic Super Origin Tinted CC Cream swatched onto me hand, innit? ;)

Basically, a CC cream provides you with sheer coverage and is meant to gently even out skin tone while looking very natural. In true Korean style, this CC cream is very light and sort of beige toned. This works quite well for me, having the World’s Lightest Skin with pink undertones, but could be tricky for anyone even slightly darker. Korean beauty stores seem to favour this ridiculously limited, light colour “range” for their face makeup, however I am happy to see that this is changing, slowly but surely. Makeup for everyone, I say!

As I said, I am now quite the fan of CC creams as they provide light, evening coverage without feeling heavy or sticky on your skin. I really don’t enjoy the feeling of makeup… but you wouldn’t know it by the amount of crap stuff I’ve bought! Which is why I am now on my self-imposed spending ban… hoarding knows no logic!

So, what did I actually think of this CC cream? I really liked it! It was light and dewy and felt fresh on my skin. Of course, if you’re looking for a heavier-coverage foundation to go out to ‘da club’, this ain’t the one for you. Not least of all because it features SPF 30 PA++, which is excellent to protect yourself from the Death Ray that is the sun, but is also the culprit that will leave you looking like a ghost in nighttime photos with a flash (learned from experience. Seriously, ghost). This one is definitely for sunny, light breezy days where you want to feel like a Korean doll (or something).

For reference, the below picture shows my hand (saucy) with CC cream on the right side and bare (!!!) on the left:

The CC Effect :)

The CC Effect :)

As you can see (I think), the CC cream lightly evens out the skin and provides a nice dewy glow. Koreans are all about The Glow, and this product is no exception. There are a few creams in this range: Colour Change, Brightening, and this one, Tinted. The Colour Change one is especially fun, because it literally changes colour on your hand. Always satisfying. I’m not sure about the Brightening one, but this Tinted one gives you the tiniest healthy glow, I guess. As I said, Korean face products are ridiculously light and limited, so perhaps this product with its yellow undertones is considered a ‘warm glow’ here. Not sure, but I quite enjoyed it!

And that wraps it up for today’s Sample Sunday! Thank you all for being so patient with me, I joined up July’s NaBloPoMo and even though it is now the 13th of the month, I am going to try to post every day! Let’s see how I go… but you gotta dream big!

Next week, Sample Sundays will be back with… Tony Moly’s Dr. Tony AC Control Acne Cleansing Foam. I haven’t shopped in Tony Moly (or anywhere) for a while, but the last time I did, it was a bit of a haul and I received a few samples of this cleanser. At the time, my skin wasn’t the greatest and I thought the guy may have been making a small insinuation, but maybe not (#hsp). Either way, the quest for perfect skin is endless so I’m going to see how this one fares!

I hope you enjoyed this review and ramble about Nature Republic’s Super Origin Tinted CC Cream, and I will see y’all tomorrow! :)

Steph x