July 31, 2014

sujebi - hand torn noodle soup. just like how mama used to make.

this is one of my favorite comfort foods.

sujebi, which literally is hand torn noodle soup. i like the non-spicy version and it's so easy to make. on days when i need something warm in my tummy or on nights when there is nothing to cook, i turn to this recipe. it uses ingredients that i always have on hand - flour, salt, vegetable oil {i use sunflower seed oil}, dried anchovies, green onions, potatoes, onions, garlic cloves, fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and water. you're also supposed to use kelp as well to make the soup base along with the dried anchovies but i usually go without it. i think that makes my soup base blander but i make up for it by adding a bit more soy sauce and fish sauce. i also like to add zucchini to the mix. adds more texture and color. serve it with kimchi and i'm all set. 

cooking korean food revives a lot of childhood memories for me and i end up missing my mother dearly. she was looking forward to seeing me and yangkyu this fall. when we told her we weren't going to make it this year, she sounded disappointed but happy for us that we bought our new home. i felt so bad because a couple of months ago she told yangkyu, in her excited voice over the phone, how she bought a big rice cooker so that she can make lots of meals for us. 

there is a saying in korea that food always tastes better because it has the taste of your mother's hands. perhaps that's why all dishes, even though it goes by similar recipes, all taste a little different. 

what are some of your favorite comfort foods? 

get the sujebi recipe here

July 30, 2014

there is no place like home.

i am not sure how i feel about this piece. actually just the color blue. i had wanted yellow but i wasn't sure if the letters would show clearly. for now it's resting on top of our mantle. i love that i have a mantle to put things on. and i can't wait until the holidays to hang our stockings and use our fireplace. speaking of fireplaces, i can't stand that green marble funk that is going on there and we've put "fireplace update" as one of the things we'd like to tackle in the future... and that folks is how you go off on a tangent. 

for the art piece, i picked up the vinyl letters, canvas, paint brush and paint over at michaelsthe diy is from a beautiful mess

July 29, 2014

a girl and her dog: cherring + tiara.

hello. you didn't think i'd pass by july without featuring "a girl and her dog" did you? 

today i'm delighted to have cherring and tiara from singapore with us here on the blog. i have been following this duo for a while on instagram, but for the past few months i have been enjoying cherring share some her amazing yoga practices and seeing tiara support her human. well as it turns out, tiara has been supporting her human unconditionally since the day they met. 

here is their story. it's a beautiful one. 
the girl: cherring 
the dog: tiara, she is a siberian husky. 
cherring's favorite snack: japanese rice crackers 
tiara's favorite snack: boiled egg yolk 
from: sunny singapore
find them on instagram: @mscherr

approximately 11 years ago, tiara came into my life when she was just 7 months of age. before i had her, something indescribable happened in my family. it was life changing and i never felt so shitty in my entire life. puberty made it worse i guess. i spent most of adolescent days to myself locked in my room. 

i remembered the first day she got dropped off from the pet delivery van. she was so curious with the nose, sprinty at the paws. she was sooo happpyyyyy! we played a lot together that day. so when that day ended, i went back to my room and i thought to myself for a good while and cried. i remembered crying a big deal. it was the first time since a long while that i left my room happy. 

so... that was how she became my happy pill, my furry crocodile, my lady luck, my angel. she was there before i got my first boyfriend, she kept my feet warm and cozy when i studied like crazy to get into the university i wanted, and i did. she is always around. 

today she is old, battling many health problems, but i vow to make sure that my furry angel is in the pink of health, living comfortably and happy. i will forever be in debt to this four-legged dame because: always remember cherr, she is the reason why you come out to breathe the fresh air. 
thank you so much cherring + tiara. 
you can see more of the life their share on instagram @mscherr


photos via cherring. 

read more "a girl and her dog" stories here

July 28, 2014

awesomely delightful. that was our weekend.

we did some yard work over the weekend. it was loads fun. so many people warned us of the downsides of buying a home, especially a home with lots of grass. it was hard work but we enjoyed it and we look forward to more weekends where we can mow, trim and water. it's our first time so we're learning as we're going. i'm still getting used to the bugs that are outside though and yangkyu is getting bit mercilessly by mosquitos. he even thought about buying mosquito net clothing (!), but i said why not just stick to off? an acquaintance of ours bought some citronella candles and plants, which i think we'll try as well. 

piri wasn't too impressed with the doggy pool we got him and instead hung out on the deck overseeing the yard work like a boss. 

we had cold soba noodles and baked white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies. we have less cabinet space in the kitchen than we did at our rental so i have to do a lot of maneuvering to get to my pots and pans and dishes and bowls, but that's ok. i've been enjoying my time in there. 

the weekday is now upon us. that means it's back to our routine of getting up at 5:30 in the morning to start our day. 

this week i'll be hopefully getting in some reading time {currently reading where'd you go, bernadette} and doing some more research on sewing machines. i want one but not sure if i'll be handy with it. i haven't used one since 7th grade home economics class. and that was a long time ago. 

have a good week ahead! 

July 25, 2014

settling in.

with everything that was going on, i forgot to thank everyone for your well wishes on our new home. we're settling in nicely. it's a wonderful space and we're going to make a lot of memories here.

piri already has several windows he likes to look out from to see the neighborhood kids play and watch the lawnmower dudes do their thing. we also met a handful of our neighbors who were all so warm and welcoming. it's really nice to hear the words "welcome to the neighborhood". 

a few months ago i thought we would be moving out to washington dc to enjoy urban life and pedestrian culture again, but we're still out in the burbs. well, it's not as bad as i had thought. 

it's been a roller coaster ride of emotions lately - ups and downs. but i guess that's just the ebb and flow of life. 

hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. 

July 24, 2014

thank you.

your messages and emails from my last post meant so much to me. i read them all and felt comforted. it may take me a couple more days but i would like to respond back to your emails. thank you for keeping us in your thoughts. through joyful times and sad times, it's good to know that i'm surrounded by such wonderful people in this virtual community. 

July 23, 2014

the day we lost basil.

i found out i was pregnant on june 28th... then on july 20, the day we were moving to our new home, i had a miscarriage.

i don't know how to tell this story yet. it's still so early and raw. but i feel like i have to say something in order to move on. move on from what i am not so sure, but i feel as though if i'll burst if i don't get at least a few words out. 

some may recall the couple of times i mentioned on the blog our infertility issues. yangkyu and i have been trying for over two years and so when we finally found out that we were pregnant we were overjoyed. we hugged and danced and hugged some more not believing the positive pregnancy test. i must've taken it three times just to make sure. when i was finally convinced, we hung our smile from ear to ear and every morning and night we shared our hopes and dreams for this baby. we wondered who she would look like, what name would fit her best and if she would have yangkyu's mild temperament or my impatient one. 

we called her basil. because a couple of days before i found out i was pregnant, i had a dream of a fresh green potted basil plant. just so piri could be part of the exciting news we called him parsley and russian dog, cilantro. yangkyu and i became "basil papa" and "basil mama". we read up about her every week. the last time we did, she was the size of a blueberry. 

the hours spent at the er seems like a blur. tears came out but i couldn't make a sound. i kept it all inside. after i was discharged and when yangkyu and i stepped outside, i wept. once we made it inside our car, i wailed.

by the time we came home it was only 7 am. i began to pack up the last minute things in our rental. i lifted heavy boxes, got on my hands and knees to scrub and clean and disinfect. i did this for three days straight. i think i was angry, hurt and sad. i just didn't know how to process everything and so i kept busy. yangkyu had off from work so i built us a bubble and we stayed inside it with piri for a couple of days. and from inside, they consoled me. i consoled them. we consoled each other. 

we never got to see her or hear her heartbeat. i never really knew exactly how far along i was until i read my discharge papers and it said that i was approximately 7 weeks and 6 days. yesterday i was supposed to have my first prenatal visit, but instead later on this week i will have a follow up to see if my body is healing properly from the miscarriage. 

i plan on staying inside this bubble for a little bit longer. i don't feel quite ready to come out just yet. to be honest, i'm afraid of people's best intentions.. because while they are good sometimes what they say is hurtful. i don't want to hear things like "at least you weren't too far along" or "it just wasn't meant to be, you can always try again. you're still young." and there are also few people who like to tell these kind of stories as part of their brunch time gossip. i can't bare the thought of my story being shared that way. 

but i feel safe here. talking about this with the people i have come to know and become friends with on the blog. 

i'm still not ok. but i will be. we all will be ok. 

July 18, 2014

hey! we found a place! we found a place!

i had said on monday how we are in the midst of packing for a move without a place really confirmed. well yesterday we finally confirmed one! we closed on a pretty little corner lot we had set our eyes on for over a month now. we're homeowners! 

this was all a little unexpected in that we weren't really in the market to buy a home, but after our realtor friend discussed some things with us, we decided it wouldn't hurt to look. 

we took a day in june to look at a bunch of homes and the day ended with lots of notes and particulars on each place and my heart was semi-sold on one that had pretty white walls, a beautiful updated kitchen and painted stairs. but then right as we were about to call it a day we noticed a new listing that came out that exact day and lucked out when we were able to take a look inside. from that moment both yangkyu and i were sold, and every day for a month we hoped and crossed our fingers {and everything else that we could cross} that it would become ours. 

we took piri there yesterday and i was elated seeing him explore the backyard. we're going to have some fun times out there {with the mosquitos}. 

not everything is perfect with the little home but we plan on taking our time to fix and update, decorate and fill it with some new furniture. 

if there is a downside to all this is that we are no longer going on our trip to korea and japan in the fall. we used money we had saved up for part of our closing cost and will also use it for some immediate needs for our new place. but we're totally not bummed out. there will always be a time to head out there once we start saving again {and we must go because mariko and damaris gave us some really great tips}. 

today we're going to paint part of a wall with chalkboard paint. eeee {i make random sounds when i'm excited}. 

have a wonderful weekend. and thank you everyone for all your wonderful messages on instagram yesterday. 


July 16, 2014

when the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie, it's amore.

piri, you are my fave. 


July 15, 2014

where did you go on your honeymoon?

we weren't able to get away for our honeymoon until after a year of being married, but it was well worth the wait. we chose maui as our destination and stayed at pretty resort. the thing is, we hardly spent time there. we were always out and about. one of the best parts about our honeymoon was venturing into more of the local areas and speaking with locals. we came across a children's store that was hard hit by the economic downturn and was kept open by the help of volunteers who donated their time to help keep it running. yangkyu and i also came across a man who ran a fruit stand while on our way to road to hana. he told us that he came to maui on a business trip in the 1980s, fell in love, sent in his resignation letter via mail and never looked back. that was a story that made our day. maui was truly an amazing experience. the beach towns were so laid back and breezy, kodoma store & bakery was so delicious and all the sights from lahaina to haleakala mountain were breathtakingly beautiful. but i have to say the people were even more. 

today i'm so very excited to have yasumi, kizzy and lisa share their memorable honeymoon adventures for this month's blogger story session. here is what they had to say: 

living in london means that we are disconnected from most of our loved ones. choosing to go to japan for our honeymoon meant that we were sure to get a good mix of private time, family time and time with our friends and our disregard for traditions set the wheels in motion for a honeymoon filled with celebration, tenderness and adventure. our alone time was spent in a beautiful  subtropical okinawan island called kumejima. okinawa has a special place in our hearts because this is where hiro proposed 2 years before. our time in kumjima was a mixture of clear water beaches, starlight, delicious food, starlight and unforgettable memories. as wonderful as our alone time was, one of my most precious memories of our honeymoon was our short trip into to the japanese countryside with our 2 best friends. we stayed in an old traditional house amid a vivid patchwork of rice fields and somehow we became children again. together we chased the sounds of frogs, climbed trees and looked for totoro. that evening we played with fireworks then drank sake and enjoyed a meal of delicacies collected from the mountains and local farms. then something magical happened. we followed an old lady who led the way into the nearby forest. when she came to a halt, she asked us to look up and when we did we realised that the sky was filled with a myriad floating blinking lights. these were not stars, for stars are never so warm, but fireflies. and we danced and marveled and laughed beneath a canopy of fireflies till we grew tired.  -- yasumi from worshipblues, married 4 years but been together for nearly 11 now, london, england. 

gavin and i spent our honeymoon in stunning edinburgh. it is the capitol of scotland, we chose it because we had both never been there. we had only been in scotland a short time after moving up from england. and we really wanted to see around scotland. edinburgh is an historic city full of museums, cobble stone streets, performers, theatres, a stunning castle upon the hill, clubs, gardens, plenty places to eat too.  it was absolutely amazing, we watched the canon being fired at the castle, posed with a man dressed as ‘braveheart’, went to many museums, and did lots of shopping too *wink*  i loved it as it was the first proper time spent in scotland & the people are so warm and friendly and every time we go back, we become filled with these memories and now tell them to our children too.  edinburgh really made the honeymoon more like a fairy tale than anything and it always feels that way when i visit every now and again. both my husband and i love it. -- kizzy from the dainty dolls house, married 12 years {13 years on july 21}, glasgow, scotland. 

for our honeymoon, we decided to go to an all-inclusive resort in jamaica. i admit that i had my reservations because i'm not a beach/sand person. well, to my pleasant surprise, i loved every minute of it. when we arrived at the resort, the hubs was being very "east coast" and wanted to check-in asap. the concierge handed us fresh fruit and pina coladas and told us "chill, sit back and relax". it was wonderful to be pampered! my husband must have drank his weight in pina coladas! we chose an all-inclusive because we didn't want to worry about a single thing, and not having to tip every single person was a also great relief. there were two memorable parts of the honeymoon. one, i really enjoyed climbing dunn's river falls and getting photos of us being drenched by the falls. two, i didn't enjoy riding horses bareback into water that came up to the horses' necks. i seriously thought i was going to fall in the water and drown. (still glad we did it though, honey!) we'd love to go back for a future wedding anniversary! -- lisa from expandng, married 6 years, germantown, maryland. 

looking up to see a brightly lit sky filled with fireflies, watching canons being fired from a castle and riding horses bareback into water? these stories were just such a delight to read.  

now, how about you? please tell us in the comment section below some of the memorable moments of your honeymoon? or if you haven't gone yet, where would you like to go? i would love to know. 


 // a very special thank you to yasumi, kizzy & lisa for sharing your stories. and happy early anniversary kizzy! 

this is part of a story series counting down to our 5 year wedding anniversary in august.  


July 14, 2014

all is better with fresh flowers inside a messy apartment.

our rental has been a bit of chaos these past few days. we're actually moving soon {to where hasn't exactly been confirmed yet} and so the books have come off the shelves, decorations taken down and clothes purged and donated. it's been easier packing for a move this time around because over the past two years we have gotten rid of a lot of things, still packing for a move seems always so chaotic. so i bought fresh flowers and placed it right in the middle of it all. 

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