July 29, 2016

Adult braces


For years, my dentist(s) have been telling me to get braces, especially on my bottom teeth because I have severe overcrowding. Every time they told me of how when I grow old and grey my teeth will start to rot and I'll have to pull them out and get implants. Each time they told me this, I got scared, but maybe, just maybe, I thought they were exaggerating. Because that's what dentists do, right? 

Ha. 

Then about a year ago, while skyping with my parents, I learned that they both were undergoing very expensive, very painful, treatments on their teeth. They had to have multiple teeth pulled because their roots have rotted. They have implants, the ones where you literally screw it on to your gums. 

That freaked me out. I needed to get braces done stat.

But braces are expensive and we, well more Yangkyu, is the kind of person who don't like to live with credit card debt. And so, this year Yangkyu was able to allocate enough money into our FSA (Federal Spending Account) and I went on a search for an orthodontist. 

Yangkyu wanted me to get at least 2 or 3 consultations before settling on one, but I'm the type that can't drag on a process and ask for a second or third opinion. And so I settled on the first one I saw. She was nice, competent, trustworthy. She was compassionate and understanding {of my fears}, which was A+ for me and while her appointments were running slightly behind, she never rushed or cut me off and gave me {and her patient before me} plenty of room to ask all my questions and made herself available via phone as well. And she didn't push. She wasn't all up in my face asking for my business. And her reviews are great.

But, and there is always a but, I would have to extract three teeth. Three perfectly functioning teeth in order to get braces. 

My worst nightmare, really. 

I had three wisdom teeth pulled out several years ago and I thought my world was going to end. I will never forget my dentist tugging and yanking at my teeth. Sure I didn't actually feel the pain but I felt the rough tugging and yanking. I had my eyes closed the entire time but you know I have the world's most imaginative mind. 

I have to go through that again? 

See, the reason why it's three teeth is that there is no room on my bottom teeth to straighten out. And so extraction needs to happen - either on the left side or right side of my mouth {this is needed for practical reasons in order to ensure that my teeth align straight and I no longer have difficult cleaning problems which can lead to roots rotting and gum disease}. 

But if I extract a tooth from one side, I need to extract a tooth from the other side as well to balance everything out so that my teeth aligns in the middle as well. This is what I assume is purely cosmetic. To ensure perfectly aligned teeth. 

So why the third tooth? 

I had braces as a kid and I only got my top teeth done because it was just really really bad. I extracted one tooth from my left side. And that one only. For a long time, I didn't know why the middle of my top teeth never aligned with the middle of my bottom teeth. I just thought my upper teeth had shifted all these years, but it was explained to me during my consultation session that in order to balance my teeth, a second tooth from the right side should have also been extracted. 

Sigh. 

She left the upper tooth extraction up to me as it is purely cosmetic and not something absolutely needed to ensure that my teeth and gums will be straight for the purposes of having healthy teeth and gums. If I don't pull a tooth out from up top then I will just end up with mis-aligned teeth where the middle don't match. 

My orthodontist would probably like to have all three extracted so that she can produce a perfect outcome. I wasn't too sure, but the more I think about it, if I'm going to have to pull two teeth out anyway and spend thousands of dollars on braces and have them on for two years {and metal ones!!! I can do invisalign but I am not really an ideal candidate for it} then why not just go all the way. 

And so, it's been decided. 

I get records and x-rays done next week. From there I'll find out when my extraction date will be. 

I'm super nervous and I keep going back and forth on whether to cancel because anything to do with my teeth I just cry and turn into a 5 year old. 

Since my consultation day, Yangkyu's been encouraging and lending a helpful ear.

Last night in bed, I randomly asked a half asleep Yangkyu, "Do you think they'll let me take a big stuffed animal with me? I can squeeze it when I'm getting my teeth pulled." 

The night before it was, "Should I just grow old and become a toothless grandma? Will you still love me then?"

A friend posted on Facebook about a service dog that calms kids during dental visits. I told her I would need 10 of those dogs. 

I Googled "How to get over the fear of having teeth extracted" and reading people's suggestions that said, "You will be ok," definitely did not help. 

I told Yangkyu that maybe someone spared me the pain of delivering babies and that's why we are infertile. But since not experiencing that pain wouldn't really be fair, that someone instead gave me a lifetime worth of teeth trouble. 

At this point, Yangkyu is just hearing my nonsense through one year and letting it flow out the other.

Sigh. 

I know me -- I'll be a complete wreck until the very moment when I get that anesthetic shot and then finally tell myself, just suck it up, and I'll just go through the ordeal like a grown adult and then go back to being a baby afterwards before growing up again. It's always like this -- dreading something until that moment where I really can't turn back and then just sucking it up. But man, getting to that moment is just so darn excruciating.

This weekend is going to be a long and painful one. 

July 28, 2016

New In: Skin Care Essentials


A few posts back, I talked about adding a few things to my skin care items to continue and improve my skin care routine - or actually to develop one because all I was really doing was washing my face and slapping on lotion afterwards, and doing masks here and there.

After a trip to Sephora and ordering a couple of things on Amazon, I've found a few items to my liking and a routine that I am actually sticking to.

And you know what? It's been about 3 weeks of using some products here, I am actually seeing a difference {Wonder Pore, Rice Water Cleanser and Collagen eye packs are actually all recent purchases and so I have only been able to use them only a couple of times}.

My skin is definitely smoother and looks more clear and bright (not dull and coarse). And that was really my goal - to get my skin to look fresh again and not battered, bruised and dry with age. During colder months, my skin looked as if it got windburn.

I am definitely still trying to figure out what type of skin I really am (how do you guys figure that out? My skin completely dries out when I use products for oily skin and I do sometimes break out and get hives when using certain products - does that make me combination? Sensitive? I'll have to get to the bottom of this...) and possibly my goals for my skin may change as I learn new things, but I am very much satisfied with what I have going right now. 

Here is the low down: 

1 // Algenist SPLASH Absolute Hydration Replenishing Sleeping Pack -- This product I actually wasn't so sure the first week. It gave me a weird tingling feeling that wasn't soothing but I stuck with it and have grown to really love it. I use it 4 times a week at night after washing my face and using a toner. I don't use any other moisturizer, just this. And I also make sure to cover my neck in an upward motion.

2 // Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster -- I have been in the hunt for a Vitamin C serum for my skin for a while and finally settled on this one. But like the Algenist Sleeping Pack, I wasn't too sure about this! The first few times I used it, the area around my mouth felt like it was so dry and so I wasn't sure if both products were for me. But I stuck to it and now I don't think I can ever take it out of my skin care routine. I use it in the morning after washing my face and going over it with a toner. I let it sit on my skin for a few minutes before applying moisturizer. I also make sure to use it on my neck in an upward motion. 

3 // Erborian Ginseng Milk -- Part of the reason I bought this as my moisturizer was because of the amazing milkiness. It goes on so easily. I actually share my skin care routine with Yangkyu and he really has sensitive skin and can't take heavy lotions, moisturizers and creams. We have both been liking the way Gingseng Milk goes on to our skin but we are keeping our eyes open to other moisturizers in the future {just because we aren't completely over the moon in love with this and also because we're curious too to see what else is out there}. 

4 // The Face Shop Rice Water Bright -- We still have our cleanser from IOPE but I decided to purchase this as well to see how it would fair. It's ok. It's only been a couple of days since we started using it and while I don't dislike it, I am not sure how and what about it I actually like. I think it's mostly the scent that isn't my thing - it seems a bit too strong for my liking. Otherwise it lathers up pretty well and is foamy {and we love foamy!}. We currently use IOPE in the morning and Rice Water Bright in the evening.

5 // Etude Skin Toner Wonder Pore -- I started to use a toner back in college and once I started it was one of those things that I just could not have in my routine. But then this past year or two, I stopped using toners thinking maybe it was a bit too harsh on my skin. I've brought it back though. And like the Rice Water Bright cleanser, it's only been a couple of days so I am not sure how amazing and wonderful it is, but I do like the way it gets applied to the cotton by pumping it {50 cotton pads are also included in a box along with the toner}. I have been using this morning and night after washing my face.

6 // G & S Cosmetic Medicos-v Face Masks (Collagen Intensive Nourishing) -- So I think everyone and their grandmothers know that collagen is amazing, but for someone like me who has been living under a rock when it comes to everything skin care, I am just getting it now. I have always used masks {and man they were cheap 10+ years ago!} and I've mostly always used ones from the Tony Moly line. But I picked up a new brand a couple of weeks ago from a local Korean stationary store near my house and tried it out. I picked up different types - Collagen, Aqua Blue, Snow White - and when I tried the Collagen one and woke up the next morning I was completely blown away. Skin was so smooth and bright and clear. Masks from Medicos-v is by far my best mask experience. A bit pricy as the local store sold them for $3.99 for a single pack. I use masks in the evening after washing my face and going over it with a toner. I use the Algenist sleeping mask 4 times a week and the rest of the nights I use a face mask for 20-25 minutes, and pat the serum on my face and go to sleep. I don't add additional serums or creams or moisturizers.

7 // Etude House Collagen Eye Patch -- This is sort of an impulse buy after being so amazed by the collagen face mask. I have been avoiding any routines and treatments around my eyes because whenever I apply creams, white bumps would form around my eyes. But I'll have to see if these help in any way - I have always had dark circles under my eyes and they get puffy sometimes. I haven't used these yet! Today will be my first day.


What is your tried and true skin care product?


I am thinking about trying a couple of things from the SkinFood line next {although the brand model on their homepage is a young actress in Korea which makes me think, maybe this product isn't for someone in my age group?} and going back to our kitchen to see if there are some things that may also help {my mom always used fresh cucumbers on her face and also milk! now she uses beer for her hair and has told me to try it as it adds volume. I love moms and their wisdom}. 

July 27, 2016

Oakenshield!


While we were away in Scotland, Maryland, this goofball came running with a big ole washed up piece of wood and said, "Oakenshield!" And I laughed so hard!

And then he found a bunch of pine cones around our vacation rental and pretended to blow on them to make them catch on fire and throw them at a make believe enemy. 

Does anyone get the reference?

July 26, 2016

July 26th


This is kind of an embarrassing story but one I want to tell. 

A few days ago when I was cleaning and decluttering every nook and cranny of our house, I stumbled across a small old notebook. You know, the ones you find at the fancy stationary section at Barnes & Noble. With a hard cover and a picture of the Eiffel Tower or a magical heavenly forest. Well, this one was of NYC. And it wasn't from Barnes & Nobel but from a Korean shop. But I digress.

The point is - I immediately knew what it was. 

You see, a long long long time ago when Yangkyu and I were still maybe kinda "something" but not the official kind of "something," he asked me, "Jane, what kind of gift do you like?" 

Back then, I loved handmade gifts {I still do, but now I love getting flowers as gifts}.

I thought, anything a guy would make and give to a girl was worth more than any expensive bag or perfume. But apparently I was in the minority. Let me digress one more time.

One time a good guy friend asked me what he should get his girlfriend on their 100th day anniversary and I said "Make her something! She would love it!" And together we went to pick out this swam origami that gets completed only after folding and putting together 1000.. let me say that again, 1000 pieces of really small origami paper (mostly white, which can be blinding after awhile). He actually bought two, you know, to represent a pair. He had many a sleepless nights and the help of a couple of friends to finish it. Only, he only got to finish one swan and not two. But still, I thought, "Who wouldn't be touched by this gesture?"

A lot. 

A lot of girls wouldn't be touched by this gesture, I would learn.

Needless to say, they broke up afterwards. I felt so terrible! After some time passed, it became a joke and people said that they broke up because he never finished the second swan to complete a pair. 

Anyway, the point is - I loved handmade things. And so I told Yangkyu, "Oh it would be really touching to receive a notebook filled with a year's worth of letters." 

This was when Yangkyu and I were still living in different cities. 

6 months after this conversation we reunited back in NYC. And he gave me a notebook.

Inside was 6 months (with a lot of days skipped) worth of handwritten letters. I remember feeling so touched and shocked as I had forgotten about our conversation. 

Well, the other day I found this notebook again in our bookshelf and I decided to take a break from cleaning and decluttering and read it again. 

I laughed. I cried. I bawled. 

The title of his entries, the way he signed off, the things he wrote got me so emotional. He was so young then! We were so young!

He wrote about his day, our future dates - the casual ones, the glamorous ones - and how he would save up money so we can go and see different things together. He wrote about my facial expressions, my mannerisms, little details about me that get lost in the day to day happenings. He remembered them. And wrote them down.

And then I started to feel terrible.  For all the times I snapped, got angry and talked in a mean way. We look so happy and giddy in our pictures, but there are definitely moments when I snap. Too often sometimes. 

In one of the entries, Yangkyu writes about July 26th and asks if I remember what that date is. 

He said, "It is the day when we both found out we liked each other."

Do you have chicken skin yet? Like is this stuff giving you heebie jeebies? 

If you could just bear with me for just a bit longer. It's almost over. 

Because today is July 26th.

And exactly 11 years ago today, Yangky and I said "Hey! I kinda like you!" 

I forgot about this day {you know, too many dates to remember - birthdays and anniversaries}, but starting from today, I shall remember July 26th forever and ever.

July 25, 2016

I like this life with you // 009

























 






"Don't you know that everybody's got a Fairyland of their own?"

 -- Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

July 24, 2016

Now Listening: Sunshine


Sunshine by Look and Listen
pop punk
simple, straightforward and cute


July 23, 2016

Cheese


Thanks for the pictures, Yoel & Rara!

July 22, 2016

Getaway to Scotland, Maryland

This past Saturday, we packed up our little hatchback and drove 2 hours to a place called Scotland, Maryland {which is near California, Maryland - ha!} for some rest and relaxation. We rented a little house with our friends, Yoel and Rara, and our dogs, Piri and Mini, and stayed for a few days hanging out by the water, taking in the sun and enjoying each other company's and food. The water had some jellyfish swimming about, which made it dangerous for people and dogs to actually go in and swim {which was ok since both Piri and Mini aren't too into swimming and getting wet, and people got to still enjoy the water via kayaks}.

Speaking of kayaks, Piri went on it for the first time! I guess you are never too old to do try something new, eh? Getting on a boat/kayaking with Piri has been on our bucket list for a long long time and so we're glad to have crossed that off during this getaway.  

All the things I got for Piri became super useful - his travel bed, which turned out to be bigger and plushier than I expected, his cooling jacket and paw protector. It made the purchase all the worthwhile.

Other highlights from our 4 day trip include steamed crabs at Kellams, catching the sunrise, which is extra pretty on the waterfront, lunch at Courtney's, ice cream at Solomons Island, scary movie nights {although Yangkyu and I ended up falling asleep both times} and eating comfort food from Rara's Kitchen {this is what we like to call meals prepared by our friend Rara - she temporarily transported her "kitchen" to our vacation home and fed us until we almost popped at the seams}.

Here is a little glimpse of our time away, if you'd like to see. 

















































Nearby attractions: 

Eateries & seafood markets: 

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