Seoul in 5 days - {girl friend's trip}

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

This is Ehwa woman's university main gate and interection

I finally made a point I shall at least start to update my blog for every few months as I am not able to do it for every few days or few weeks (laughing pathetically). That is a terrible excuse, I feel sorry for my blog :). I was planing to write about my last family travel post after we came back from Japan, and it was happened like.... last November 2014. It was long overdue until I have no more desire to journal it. So recently when I came back from Seoul for girl friend's trip (or to be exact fansgirl trip..), I decided to blog about it before my desire die off again.

For the past three years, I have been traveling  with the same group of girl friends for attending our idol concert. We have the same interest, obviously! and our traveling style are rhymes. We are slow traveler, we do everything in slow tempo. Meaning, we do not rush in doing things, we love to hang out in coffee shop for few hours and we love to visit one or two places only  in a day. Our Seoul trip has the same style of tempo, but unfortunately due to individual commitment, we could not stay longer than a week. This is my first time visiting Seoul, I would love to return to Seoul for a longer trip. Our short itinerary was focusing on shopping and exploring local foods!  So the next time I visited again, I shall at least go to some mainstream tourist attraction (even I do not really fancy them, but at least I would like to visit the palace or Jeju island :p).  

During the short stay, I conclude my 5 fave spot that fun for a short girl trip holiday (not in the particular order).

1. EHWA Woman's University - for affordable clothing, cosmetic and street snacks  

This egg bun seem to be famous in Ehwa street, recommended by my friend

My friend from Singapore advise us to visit Ehwa Woman's University. The university is the first university for women, founded by an American missionary in 1886. I read about it and as an Educator my self, I feel so inspired to have a university that dedicated for woman and encourage gender equality. And obviously, when there is a woman, there must be a shopping places.. haha!

In surrounding of the university, there are so many small shops (not to mentioned shops in small lanes too) selling more affordable yet fashionable clothing (mainly for ladies) compare to other shopping area. The cosmetic's pricing somehow is cheaper too. And there are few stalls that selling cheaper Americano compares to other area, what a steal for a coffee drinker like me :). I guess the prices are adjusted accordingly toward the university students affordability. Nice!

Verdict: A must for those who love to buy Korean brand cosmetic (mask, lipstick, etc) and seasonal fashion (more toward youngster style).

2. Garosugil {the neighborhood of Sinsadong and Gangnam Gu} - for upscale eatery and Indie boutique 

We had lunch at Cola Mercato in Sinsa dong and then we explored the rest of the day in Garosugil before heading for a dinner appointment. I really like Sinsadong and Garosugil area (they are side by side road) . There are so many hips eatery and cafes that worth to explore. Because it is an upscale are, there are more diversity in food choices. We spent 3 hours for our lunch in Cola Mercato, our lunch cost could be spent equally for our breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Gwangjang market area for 2 days :p. I heard during Autumn the Gingo tree around Garosugil street is beautiful. When we were there, the Autumn had not really kick off.

The Indie boutique in Garosugil area are along the main roads where the Gingo tree are. The fashion suits me better than shops in Ehwa street, The styles are more for working adult, but comes with the more expensive price tags :p. I skipped mainstream brand store and explore those smaller boutique that has character of  Korean fashion identity, such as simple stripe, basic colors and smaller in sizes :).

Verdict: For those who enjoy life style and diversity of dining options and sense of simple fashion style. I would like to go back with my husband for dinner date in this area :)

3. Bukchon hanok village - Home for 900 hanok  (Korean traditional house) 

Pic 1,2,3 are shop in between the Bukchon village

pic 4,5,6 are shops and area in Samcheongdong

If I would like to choose my most fave places among these five areas that I listed, it would be Bukchon Hanouk village. I am falling in love with the traditional charms and the juxtaposition of old and new Korea in one location. Bukchon means north village, it hosts the largest hanouk village (around 900 plus) in the city. There are few other smaller village in the area, but due to the limited time, we only visited Bukchon area. We spent about half day at there because we had to meet with another friends for dinner. To explore Bukchon and Samcheongdong shopping area (a walking steps from Bukchon. I said steps because we really has to go to stiffs steps to the area :p), we definitely need a full day itinerary.

In Bukchon, the hanouks are actually people residents, so we have to talk quietly when exploring the area. To explore the village, please wears the walking shoes as the roads are stiffs and ups and downs. My traveling buddy was wearing 3 inch of wedges shoes, I could imagine the suffering :).

There are art galleries, souvenir shops and Hanbok studio in between the hanouk village, very enjoyable to explore those small traditional shops. Then we can go down to the stiffs steps toward Samcheongdong to shop clothing and grab a meal or coffee in more modern set up.

For an easy reference, please visit the Bukchon Tourist information center before heading to the area. It is huge area so the chances of getting lost is very high :0.

Verdict: For those who loves arts, traditional culture and hips fashion and cafe equally, Bukchon is the place. 

4. Hongdae (Near Hongik university) - for urban arts and Indie music culture

Hongdae is one station away from Ehwa Woman's university, where the Hongik university resides. Unlike Ehwa where the essence of femininity is dominant, in Hongdae I feel the freedom of expression is prominent. There are many Indie music/art performance along the street and there are many urban art display along the roads. Hongdae reminds me of Harajuku in Japan. Or I guess Hongdae is the Korean's Harajuku :).

Personally I can't find any clothes to shop in Hongdae haha... I guess I am too old for Hongdae fashion style. But I enjoy the street performance very much. Viewing Hongdae from my perspective, I feel that the youngster nowadays are much more energetic and creative in many ways.

Verdict: I may skip this place for shopping but I will have a cup of coffee and enjoy the street performance . There is Tricky 3D eye museum that fun to visit ( according to my friend, as I skipped the museum). 

5. Narrow lane of Myeong Dong

We stayed in Myeong Dong, therefore we visited Myeong Dong shopping area many times. I personally feel the area is the most touristy shopping area, the shop seller are very aggressive to pursue visitor to enter their shop. I guess businesses are very competitive in that area. Myeong Dong area is my least fave as I dislike too much crowds. But the narrow lanes are worth to explore, it is often forgotten and businesses are quieter in this area, indeed, that is the better part , so we could walk freely and more enjoyable to view things. There are many small eatery places in the narrow lane that  I feel more locals.It reminds me pretty much like Yokoco in Japan.

Verdict: Stay in Myeong Dong area is advantages for location wise, especially when you commute a lot using subway. Myeong Dong cathedral is nice to visit too.

The next time I visited Seoul again, I would love to explore Insadong and Itaewon :). And I seriously does not favor Dongdaemun :). This is merely my personal opinion and hope it gives you a decent guidance when you plan to visit Seoul just for shopping and exploring Seoul city.

{Images credit : some images are courtesy of my sister} 

Overnight oats + Chia seed recipes {cooking for one #7}

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I stopped from breastfeeding nearly two months ago and I started to go to the gym for 30 minutes exercise whenever I have extra free time. And I started to have a healthy breakfast habit and consume less carbo and more fiber such as vegetable salad or steam pumpkin for dinner. My target is to lose 10 kgs in a year, to go back to my ideal weight before I pregnant with my second one.

Breakfast is an important meal of the day for me, I consider my self as an active working mom, I travel to client places and I need energy throughout the day. I searched for a low calorie but a filling breakfast recipe, then my encounter with over night oats begun...
Overnight oats is a very fast and easy recipe, suitable for those who doesn't has time to prepare breakfast in the morning, because you could prepare them at night and keep it in the fridge to consume in the morning. That is why it calls overnight oat in the first place :).

The basic ingredients are as picture below.  I incorporate chia seeds in my overnight oat recipes as  there are a lot of benefit n this tiny seed, one of them is for weight loss.

Most of the overnight oat recipes are using mason jar to store/mix the oats and the other ingredient. But I use square Tupperware (as picture above) instead of mason jar. You can use any of them, doesn't matter.

I have tried many recipe combination and I have come out with my own overnight oat combination. The following are my three faves:

Basic ingredient:
1 cup roll oat (or instant oat or old fashioned oat or organic oat)
1 tbsp Chia seed
1 cup of milk (I use skim milk, but you can use low fat, soy, almond, etc milk)

Banana and Cinnamon sugar
1 ripe banana, cut small
1/2tsp cinnamon sugar powder
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (optional*)

Manggo and Matcha
1/2 ripe manggo, cut small
1tsp  matcha cappuccino powder (if not available, substitute with cocoa powder)
a handful of toasted almond slice (optional*)

Very Berries and Honey
1/2 cup of berries (Raspberry, Strawberry, Blueberry, or combination of any berries ;p)
1tbsp organic honey

*You can substitute with any nuts or granola or muesli or corn flake, whatever available in your kitchen.


1. Mix oat, chia seed and above ingredient (above recipe that you would like to try) together in the mason jar or square container.

2. Pour in milk until it covers the oat and the ingredients.

3. close the lid and store in the fridge overnight.

4. The next day before consume, if you feel that the oats looks drier, you can add a dash of milk and mix it. You also can add in the chocolate chips, toast nuts, granola, muesli, etc in the morning before you consume it.

Overnight oats can be stored in the fridge within 3 days and Consume within 3 days.

You can try many combination as you wish, there is no right or wrong recipe, just try it out depend on your liking.

Enjoy and have a healthy breakfast :)

I am back with four :)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I was on blogging hiatus for almost exactly a year. My last post was not inspirational, gloomy and lethargic, I thought something completely wrong with me, but it turned up I was pregnant :).

Life has been chaotic as always, with the new edition it is more hectic. The sleepless night was over, my little one is now 4 months, thanks God she started to sleep through the night in her 3rd month. However, It does not mean getting easier, it is just getting better as we are adapted with our new life journey.

Slowly, I am back in tune, busy being working mother and will start my night part time teaching two weeks from now, so  thought of starting to blog again, it will keep my sanity by writing here. Furthermore I miss this space, my personal space that I am free to share inspirational, fun and interesting lots with all of you.. so here I am, I will be back with frequent posts (hopefully). For now, I'd like to share these adorable photos of bundle of our joy

Big sister...

Latest edition (full stop).

Photo credit: Samantha Yong Photography

Happy weekend + {strive for quality times}

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hello all, lately, I have been unwell physically and a little bit burden mentally. I hope I will have at least a good sleep during the weekend. The only thing that I am so blessed during the down time is my wonderful family which often I take them for granted. I've been spending plenty of quality time with my daughter, more than usually. I am so happy for the fact I am doing it better than I expected.

Usually, she will follow me and help me to do house chores. Doing laundry or helping in the kitchen is part of the quality time with her. Being a working mom, I only able to do house chores in the evening and my daughter seem has a little option to spend time with me unless she is being a helper in the chores. Now, that I decided to put some portion of my time to just do nothing but cuddle and talk with her every night, it is actually makes me feel happier. I wish I did it earlier, but it's better late than never.
Happy weekend :)

Local Travel : Penang - Armenian st + {3 tops fave of family holidays}

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hello friends, I have a good three days break over the weekend. We had a short trip to Penang. It is school holiday, so we thought of bringing our daughter for a short break too. She had a great time of playing in the beach behind our hotel. For two days we just stayed in our hotel, swimming and lounging in the beach, then the third day, we decided to have a little bit of detour in George town (Penang old town). I've been to Penang many times but never really explore George Town before, we decided to park our car in Armenian street and rented bicycle. We explored the street, took a picture of unexpected mural arts around the heritage areas, shopped at the street vendors and enjoyed the 70's ice shaves in the hot day. 

Also, there are many ways to spend a family holiday beyond just visiting a theme park. Personally my top three are:

1. Family road trip 
I love our Western Australia road trip last year. I think we spent so much of quality time during the trip. We had so much freedom to decide on our itinerary as well, especially when we have children below 7 years old, flexible itinerary is the key to enjoy family holidays. Takes a scenic driving routes is another plus point, my favorite is l the ocean view.

2. Historical/educational detours
Another great idea to spend my family holiday will be self-program historical/educational detours to museum, educational park and historical trails. My daughter enjoyed the bicycle ride along the Armenian street, we explain to them about the street mural arts and some other art pieces that we found along the street corner. 
(click this link  for a walking tour map of the Armenian st, bicycle rent is RM10/bike).
Last year when we visited North Bridge in Perth, she had fun with musical instrument which displays in the park nearby museum.

3. Farm stay/country stay
I just love to bring my family to stay for few days in the farm or country side. Staying near natures is nothing but rejuvenate experience for us adult and children as well, especially urban people like us where natures is no longer widely available nearby.   

I hope you enjoy your the pictures that I shared, next post I will share a few favorite pictures and moment of Ipoh, a town that we visited on the way back to KL.
Have a great day!