27 Things in My 27 Years

Hi friends!

So I started writing this post a while ago and then left it “to sit for a while” (which is a bit of a habit of mine). Twenty-seven is one of life’s big milestones (not), and I thought, what better way to commemorate it than by telling y’all some useless pieces of information about myself? Woohoo!

Here’s me celebrating My Big Day:

Me at mah parteh

Me at mah parteh

So, in the spirit of happiness and fun and also perhaps embarrassment, I thought I’d share 27 things about myself. I know I already did the Liebster Award quizzes, but hey, you can never learn too much about lil ol’ me, right…?! So without further ado…

  1. I have recently discovered I’m practically lactose intolerant. I’m in the midst of cutting out dairy and it makes me want to cry
  2. I have two cats at home in Melbourne, Buckley and Missy (now under my parents’ foothold).
  3. I like big butts and I cannot lie?!
  4. I think the man who discovered a cure for polio and then gave it away for free was a real-life angel.
  5. I love Korea more than I ever thought I would or could
  6. I have started doing pilates 2-3 times a week and it slowly killing me/extending my life.
  7. Speaking of killing, all of my plants (with very few exceptions) seem to die here. I’m hoping it’s a Korea thing, but I think I need to take a good, hard look in the mirror on that one.
  8. love writing letters and receiving mail (obvs).
  9.  I believe in karma.
  10. I also believe in star signs (decants and all).
  11. I have recently decided I need to declutter my life and I’m really excited about it.
  12. I am a homebody
  13. … but I also love travelling.
  14. I once stumbled upon Nicolas Cage shooting a movie at my university, and sneakily sat with the extras watching him until I get bored (this took an embarrassingly long time).
  15. I am obsessed with eating kimchi jiggae. It has now surpassed sundubu as the most delectable Korean stew of them all (imho).
  16. I am a recovering beauty product hoarder.
  17. … and also a recovering book hoarder.
  18. I (and possibly Gav, wink wink) have my sights set on Europe… in the rather near future.
  19. loooove teaching kindergarten and I also love correcting and checking work… is that weird?!
  20. We have a lovely cafe in the next building who we call before going down to pick up our coffees (iced Americanos these days). Convenience win.
  21. When I was younger, I used to try and convince myself I was an extrovert because I thought introverts meant you didn’t like people. Thankfully, I now know that is far from the case.
  22. I recently dyed my hair black (not shown).
  23. I am absolutely addicted to Orange is the New Black. It’s art.
  24. The innocence of a child is one of the greatest, most beautiful gifts in life.
  25. … and so is goat’s cheese.
  26. I’m starting to feel incredibly self-involved writing this post.
  27. … and now I’m glad we’re done!

And that’s a wrap ^^ I hope you enjoyed reading all of this random information about myself. If not, that’s cool too. Whatever, man, whatever.

Until next time,

Steph x


7 Things No One Tells You About Working Full Time

Hi friends!

As you know, I am currently teaching the world’s cutest kindergarteners, and it’s great. So many funny moments happen every day and I feel really lucky to have my job, and the perks that come with living in Korea as an expat. I feel really lucky in general. But… sometimes, the whole full time thing gets a bit much. I don’t know if anybody is made to thrive in a full time setting (certainly not in an open-plan office, yuck) but I do know that it kills me a little bit every day. And it hurts!

So in honour of all this pain and suffering I thought I would bring you a few truths about working fulltime that no one really tells you. Ever. Enjoy!

1. Your lunch break becomes sacred.

Before I ever worked full time (which was the whole rest of my life), I was interested in food, sure, but never clung to my breaktimes the way I do now. Seriously, those little morsels of downtime in the workplace are sacred. Of course, I work in a Korean kindergarten, so there is no real down time per se, but there is time when I am able to leave that tinny, terribly acoustic-ed building and sit myself down in the nearest cafe/enclosed area serving food. If I don’t have these breaks, I will possibly die. If I have to talk to someone on my break, I will, also, die.

2. Your interest in your appearance at work decreases as time goes on...

Or is that just me? I know for sure that when I started work at my hagwon, I was interested in maintaining a professional appearance that one would expect of a teacher. I was quickly wisened up to the fact that Korean teachers are less about dressing “professional” and more about dressing “perfectly”. So, last year I would wear dresses and bows and it was fun, etc etc. But these days, or at least recently in my current crazy state, I just don’t have the time/effort/wherewithal to rustle up an outfit containing more than 4 separate pieces. It’s just not gonna happen. If I have to add tights into the mix? You’re joking, mate!

My preferred method is in fact rolling out of bed, into the bathroom, onto a chair to eat breakfast (how does that even work? Wouldn’t you like to know!), then over to my tiny wardrobe and, eventually, out the door. All rolling. It’s a nice routine.

3. You spend your weekends recovering from the week that was.

I know recently I have been a bit poorly, but my job is very tiring and requires a 2-day period of recovery. Conveniently, I am given but 2 days each week to myself, and this is what I spend it on. You will often find me sitting on my couch in my pyjamas, drinking a caffeinated beverage, watching Youtube videos or reading a psychology book, or trying in vain to cultivate my poorly plant collection. It’s pretty riveting stuff. Except you won’t find me because I never leave the house (it’s my weekend “thing”).

4. Doing anything after work is practically impossible.

It always starts out well, and then it turns sour real quick. I don’t know about you, but after a full day of demanding, fun, ridiculous work, I don’t really wanna do anything in the evening. Granted, I have been making some concessions and dragging my butt to pilates class a few times a week, but that has ended in week-long recoveries and now visits to the studio are few and far between. In general, even if it’s not what I end up doing, I just want to stay home and relaaaax.

5. You put on weight. 

This is something that I have found consistently through my various incarnations in the working world. If I am at the workplace from 9-6 (or whatever it is), or especially if I am commuting (thank goodness there is none of that now), it is a pretty sure bet that I will put on weight. It just happens so easily! How exactly does this happen? Generally if I am working every day, I feel “entitled” to indulge in a snack or three. This includes, but is not limited to: iced cafe mochas (although I am now milk-free!), muesli bars, green tea iced lattes, McDonald’s, pizza… you get the gist. Please note that these aren’t consumed at the same time – well, not always, anyway.

6. You get sick a lot.

This might just be a “shout-out” to anyone who works in a school/kindergarten/hagwon, but ever since starting full time I have been getting sick at a rather increased rate. Of course, if you work around kids, you become aware that they are, in fact, snot factories with no real idea of personal hygiene. That’s fine (well, not really), but it does take its toll on you. Namely by passing these viruses onto your poor, unsuspecting, overworked immune system. Kids, hey?!

7. Basically, you have no time for yourself.

This is my main gripe with the whole full time “thang” and something I have struggled with for the past 18 months. As a self-confessed introvert, being surrounded by screaming children all day isn’t always the easiest thing to deal with. Don’t get me wrong, when I arrive at work early and then get accosted by excitable children who are really happy to see me – it ain’t the worst thing in the world. In fact, they are ridiculously cute and I really am trying to appreciate it all before it’s gone. In four and a bit months, I know I am gonna be reeeally sad not to see those munchkins every day.

However, sometimes I just need a liiiittle bit of time, and in the life of a hagwon you don’t really get that. It’s nothing about the kids, it’s the whole system and that’s just how it is when you work full time. I’ve really appreciated my time here, and everything that it has afforded me (*cough* my amazing Korean life *cough*)… but I am really excited for the next chapter in March. Details soon!

With all that being said, the kids also give me notes like this:

Turning my heart to mush <3

Turning my heart to mush <3

… which makes it all worth it and everything okay. Bless their tiny hearts!

And that’s it for today. I hope this wasn’t too whingy because I do appreciate all of the good to have come for working a full time job: money, security, socialising, free lunch (not necessarily in that order). I am so glad I’ve done it, but there are definitely some things that “society” doesn’t let on when it comes to full time work. Either way, I hope you enjoyed it and if you can relate, I’d love to hear about your FT experience in the comments!

Until next time,

Steph x

[VIDEO] Throwback to Summer – My July Favourites!

Hi friends!

Okay, I know what you’re thinking with this one: seriously Steph, July favourites? Well, yes. It just so happens that I have a whole bunch of videos tucked away on my harddrive that have never seen the light of day… until now. I wasn’t going to bother uploading it, but I figured that it contained some products I really enjoyed – plus I talked about my Thailand holiday (again) which always makes me happy! Soooo, I thought I would throw it back in the name of summer.

I really need to start getting more punctual with these monthly favourites, so rest assured that I have been taking notes for October and this video should be on time! But for now, let’s go back to when my hair wasn’t dyed black (oh, did I mention that happened?) and think about summer… and July… and favourites!

Until next time,

Steph x