Hello September – Goals, Dreams, and a Rant

It’s finally September! This just so happens to be my favourite month (and not only because it’s my birthday month). It’s the month where the weather turns around and it finally gets a little cooler. If you happen to live in Korea you’ll know why that’s such a relief. It’s now also only 4 months till Christmas, and it is now ‘acceptable’ to begin to get excited. OR maybe it’s not and I’m just weird. This coming month is going to be a busy one. It’s back to school again, time to get organised and start adulting after a long break. Usually, most people set themselves new goals and such at the start of the new year, for me, however, that is almost always in September.  For some reason, this month just feels like a new start every year. A new start nine months into the already ongoing year. Yep.

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Already more than half-full but it’s now that the goal making starts.

As September always seems to become a new start for me, there are things I hope to accomplish this month. For one, I need to stop drinking so much coke. Yes, you see, I’m a Coca-Cola addict. Horrible, truly horrible. First world problems. Like every other millennial in this day and age, I too am influenced by the health craze that seems to have swept a majority of us off our feet. But come on, who doesn’t wanna look like an Instagram celeb? As ashamed as I am to admit to such a weakness (cause that’s what it’s considered when you’re following the ideals of Hollywood, Instagram and fashion mags), I do wish I could be one of those fit motivated girls who just make it look so easy to have your shit together. I mean obviously they put in an endless amount of work into looking like they do, it doesn’t come for free. But still.

Now I’m not saying that I want to be super skinny and what not, but I’m not buying into the whole “be happy as you are” crap if you are in fact unhappy with something. Of course, we should appreciate and love ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have things that we want to improve upon. I’ll never understand why some people seem to find that so wrong? It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re weak or impressionable if you want to slim down and get fit, or otherwise, improve something on your own body, so why do some people always act like you’re on your way to becoming anorexic if you’re not necessarily overweight but start on a diet or lose a bit of weight? Now anorexia is a horrible disease and I feel for anyone who deals with it, but I also feel that it’s incredibly inconsiderate for some people to use that as a way to talk down to people who want to lose a couple of kilos. Likewise, I also feel that it’s wrong for people to hate on those who go for plastic surgery; if it doesn’t affect you personally why would you hate on someone for changing something about themselves? Like what’s it got to do with You? Can they then hate on you for colouring your hair or buying expensive clothes, or otherwise following trends and what not to try and fit in?

Wow, it seems I’ve gone off on a tangent again. To get back to the goals I’ve set myself, yes, stop drinking sugar and start exercising. I happen to be one of those people who hate going to the gym so my exercise will be at home on a yoga mat using my own body as a tool. Pinterest is a great source for at-home workouts you can do on your own. Although, as with all exercise, you also need to change your diet if you want to make a difference. I’m also stocking up on and experimenting with minerals and vitamins that I lack in my food intake. For now, I’ve ordered a couple from iHerb such as MSM, magnesium, and omega 3 to name a few. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it works out in the end. But it’s not only the body that needs looking after, it’s the face too. I have a couple of Korean skin care favourites that really gives the skin a boost. The most important ones containing acids for exfoliation.

 

 

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Cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturising are three key components for healthy skin. These are some of my current favourites, all from various Korean brands. (Korean skin care really is in a leauge of its own.)

 

 

Lastly, the final goal is, as it is every year, to be more organised. Although I feel like I’m improving year by year, however, that might just be me getting older. Organising and planning have never been my strong suits. Nor has self-discipline. But this year, this year, I’m gonna do it! You see, my goal in life is to become an author, or self-employed, or both, but for that one needs to be organised and disciplined. So that’s what I’m working on. Discipline. Anyone who knows me knows that I and discipline don’t go hand in hand, or even in the same sentence, but I’ll be damned if I can’t live up to my own dreams due to a fault in character I’m aware of and capable of fixing. So, therefore, I’m working on DISCIPLINE. I hate that word, I feel like it’s an ugly word, but oh so necessary in the end.  And that’s what this is, the end of this post. I hope you’ve been entertained or perhaps inspired by my rantings! Let me know what you think, thoughts, ideas, rants, they’re all both welcome and appreciated.

I hope I’ll see you again!

Ida Gabriella xx

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Sommaren når sitt slut – Tillbaka till verkligheten

Slutet på denna sommar är nu smärtsamt nära, och snart är det dags att gå tillbaka till skola och jobb. Är du som jag så är det förmodligen med blandade känslor som denna visshet infinner sig. Å ena sida förfasas jag över att påbörja en ny termin, för jag avskyr tidiga morgnar som pesten. Jag är med andra ord INTE en morgonmänniska. Jag ojar mig även över all examsstress som jag vet kommer komma intågande i rasande fart. Å andra sidan så känns det skönt att få tillbaka lite rutin i livet. Efter en sommar fylld av inga planer överhuvudtaget så blir man lite rastlös.

Missförstå mig inte nu, jag älskar verkligen att såsa runt utan någonting att göra, vända på dygnet, och bara vara lat i största allmänhet. Däremot så har ordspråket “för mycket av det goda” visat sig stämma lite för bra. Nu har dock oron över hur jag ska hålla mig motiverad inför den kommande terminen infunnit sig. För ni förstår, jag är en extraordinär mästare på att prokrastinera. Jag är fruktansvärt dålig på att ta tag i och få saker gjorda. (Så länge det inte rör om jobb och jag får betalt). Att få jobbet gjort på arbetet är långt ifrån samma sak som att ta tag i saker hemma. Som skolarbeten eller städning.

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Hitta motivationen i saker du gillar att göra!

Så hur motiverar man då sig själv inför något som det är svårt att se fram emot? För mig så ligger det mest i alla förberedande aspekter. Då menar jag inte att sitta och skriva upp alla grejer man måste komma ihåg i kalendern osv. Nu pratar jag ju såklart om alla nya saker man måste inhandla. Vad skulle det annars vara? Att köpa nya en ny kalender och skrivblock (dom här från Anthropologie är sjukt snygga) som man ser fram emot att börja använda är ett smart sätt att bli lite exalterad på i alla fall. Eller är det bara jag? En ny väska verkar också som en bra idé, är det kanske dags för mig att investera i den här skönheten från Julia Kays som jag haft ögonen på så länge? En uppdatering av garderoben inför den nya säsongen är också något jag skulle kunna tänka mig att slösa pengar på. Tyvärr så passar det sig inte som en fattig universitetsstudent. (Om jag däremot hade kunnat det så är några av sakerna nedan grejer jag skulle investera i.) Men men, vad vore en bal på slottet.

Top Shop – Moto Black Joni Jeans, River Island – Brown Tan Faux Suede Biker Jacket– H&M – Applique Sweater, H&M – Brown Boots, H&M – Faux Fur Leopard Print Coat.

En annan positiv sak är att hösten är en så vacker årstid (och min favorit). Vädret blir kallare och allt blir bara så mysigt, något som hjälper till att motarbeta tanken på den annalkande undergången, skolan. Kan du inte bara känna den krispiga luften en kylig morgon i oktober eller november om du sluter ögonen en stund? Känna de rödgula löven som prasslar när man går, och imman av din andedräkt i luften när du andas ut? Drömmen. Det är visionen om höstens alla ljuvligheter som gör att det känns lite bättre när tanken på alltför tidiga morgnar gör sin entreé. För även om jag måste stiga upp klockan 7 för att gå till skolan, så får jag i alla fall promenera genom ett lugnt höstparadis på vägen dit. Med musik i öronen och kanske en kopp med en ångande het Chai Latte som värmer händerna. Se där, nu ser jag ju nästan fram emot dom där tidiga morgnarna. Nu känns det inte lika jobbigt längre. Fantasi. Är det inte underbart?

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Ett att bra sätt att höja motivationen lite är med en bra bok. Tisdagarna med Morrie, skriven av Mitch Albom, är en av mina favoriter! Jag rekommenderar den starkt till alla som vill läsa en riktig “feel good” bok. Lättläst men ändå intressant, trots att den även handlar om lite tyngre ämnen så kommer den ända att sätta ett leende på läsarens läppar. 

Fast i verkligheten så vet jag att jag kommer vara på gränsen till tårar utav frustrationen av att höra väckarklockan ringa varje morgon. Men nu finns det i alla fall en balans mellan lycka och misär. Gråta lite av frustration när man vaknar, för att sedan njuta av klara men kyliga höstmorgnar. Underbart. Om det inte regnar såklart. Lyckligtvis så har jag mitt favorit paraply redo för strid om så skulle vara fallet. Är det något min mamma har lärt mig, så är det att man aktivt måste leta efter positiviteten i situationer där tanken på positivitet känns löjligt långt borta. Det känns som att jag börjat bli rätt bra på det nu, visst?

Eller kanske inte, jag får skolstarten att låta som slutet på all lycka. För att återgå till mer motiverande saker, att få träffa alla vänner igen efter ett långt sommarlov är något att se fram emot. Det är lite löjligt egentligen, för vi har alla befunnit oss i samma stad, men vi har ändå inte lyckats träffas en enda gång på 2 månader. Det är nog till en del lite mitt fel. Normala människor går inte och lägger sig på morgonen för att vakna på sena eftermiddagen. Mina vänner är normala. Det är tydligen inte jag. Tur som är verkar min pojkvän vara precis lika onormal, så jag slipper åtminstone vara ensam om den saken. För vi har nämligen vänt på dygnet tillsammans, så nu är vi onormala ihop. Det du älskling. Visst är det tur att jag inte behöver vara konstig på egen hand?

Jag hoppas verkligen att du har gillat att läsa min lilla utläggning om slutet på sommaren och att behöva ta tag i verkligheten igen. Kanske fann du lite inspiration eller bara fick dig ett gott skratt? (Lämna mig gärna en liten kommentar om så var fallet!)

Vänliga hälsningar,

Ida Gabriella xx

 

Ginger Cat
Här är en bild på Hans Kungliga Höghet Sir Cronk den Krokige där han avnjuter en stund i solen som en liten uppmuntring!

End of Summer – Back to School

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The end of summer is drawing awfully near and soon it will be back to school or work. If you’re anything like me you’re probably caught in-between dread and relief. On the one hand, I dread going back to school as I hate early mornings. I am NOT a morning person. I’m also a bit weary of the coming exam madness. On the other hand, it will be nice to get back into a routine again. After an exciting summer full of no plans whatsoever you get kind of restless.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love lounging about with nothing to do, turning my hours completely around, and just being generally lazy. Unfortunately, the phrase ‘too much of a good thing’ has proven itself to be spot on. The worry now is how to motivate myself for the upcoming semester. You see, I’m a procrastinator extraordinaire. So staying on top of things is usually not my strong suit. (Unless I get paid or my professional integrity is on the line.) Staying on top of work is a wholly different thing than keeping up with personal duties. Like school work or cleaning the house. 

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Find motivation through things you enoy!

So how does one get motivated for something that you have to work to be excited for? Honestly, for me, it lies in the preparation. I don’t mean marking up the calendar with important dates or such things. I’m talking more about buying new stuff. Obviously. Buying new stationary (this notebook and calendar from Anthropologie are gorgeous) that you like and enjoy using is a surprisingly simple way to get at least a little bit excited. Or is it just me? A new bag seems like a good idea, is it finally time for me to spend on this beauty from Julia Kays that I’ve had my eye on for so long? Updating the wardrobe for the new season is another source of childish happiness I’d love to indulge in. Sadly, going on a shopping spree is not a top priority as a poor college student. (If I could, however, these are some of the things I have my eye on). Oh well, a girl can dream.

 

 

Top Shop- Moto Black Joni Jeans, River Island – Brown Tan Faux Suede Biker Jacket, H&M – Applique Sweater, H&M – Brown Boots, H&M – Faux Fur Leopard Print Coat.

Another plus is that autumn is a beautiful season: the weather gets cooler and everything in general just becomes kind of cosy. Which helps combat the thoughts of the impending doom we call School. If you close your eyes can’t you almost feel the crisp morning air on a chilly October or November morning? See and feel the yellow leaves that have fallen on the ground crunching under your feet? Your breath fogging in the air? I can. And it’s that single thought that makes me feel like maybe it’s okay to wake up at 7 am to go to class. At least I get to walk through a calm autumn paradise on my way there. Alone with my own thoughts, with music in my ears, and perhaps a steaming cup of chai latte to warm my hands. See, now I’ve got myself looking forward to those early mornings. They don’t seem so bad anymore. Imagination. It’s a powerful thing, isn’t it?

Tuesdays with Morrie
Another nice pick me up is to read a good book. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is one of my absolute favourites! I really recommend it to anyone who wants to read a true feel good book. It’s an easy yet interesting read and, although it touches upon some heavy themes, leaves you with a smile still. 

Of course, in reality, I’m going to be almost crying in frustration whenever my alarm clock rings. But at least now there is a balance between misery and joy. Cry in frustration when waking up, and then revel in the wonders of crisp autumn mornings. That is if it doesn’t rain of course. Luckily, if it does, I have a favourite umbrella ready to be whipped out for battle. If there is one thing my mother taught me, it’s that you have to remind yourself to look for the positive in situations where positivity seems like a ridiculously remote and foreign thought. I feel like I’m getting quite proficient at it, yes?

My oh my, I’m making it sound like the end of all happiness, aren’t I? Well, to get back to the motivational parts, meeting up with friends that I haven’t seen all summer is one thing I’m really looking forward to. It’s funny, cause none of us travelled, we all stayed in the same city, yet still didn’t meet up. Part of it is probably my fault, cause normal people don’t go to sleep in the morning and wake up late in the afternoon. My friends are normal people. I am apparently not. Well, at least my boyfriend can’t be classified as normal then either, cause we flipped our hours around together. Yes, babe, that means you’re weird too. It’s a good thing I don’t have to be unusual on my own no?

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed reading my little going back to school rant, and that maybe you found some inspiration, or it made you chuckle at least a little bit. (If it did why don’t you drop me a line!)

All the best,
Ida Gabriella xx

 

Ginger Cat
Here is a picture of His Royal Highness Sir Cronk the Crooked enjoying the sun to cheer you up!

Sir Cronk the Crooked

Meet Sir Cronk the Crooked. This little ball of fluff is a 3 and half months old Korean Short-hair. His mummy was a street cat who was taken in by a kind lady, who discovered that the mummy cat was pregnant. So in early August, 4 little fluffs came into the world. 3 girls and one boy, a.k.a Cronk. At 8 weeks old he came to command us as his personal humans.

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First night with the new humans was spent snuggling in his own bed after a day of exploring the new territory. 

However it was not long before the Cronk had made himself King of the Castle, and his people. His favourite activity is meowing at the top of his lungs for no reason in particular, biting the humans hands and feet, and just causing general mayhem on the domains.

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Observing the humans in his lair.
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After coming out of his lair, the Crooked Mr Cronk is contemplating the days chaos, and the possible havoc to be wreaked. (Don’t be fooled by the innocent expression or you will be subjected to Crooked Shenanigans!)
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Stretching a bit before chaos ensues. 
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After the pandemonium concludes, it is important to act cute so the humans won’t be angry.

Furthermore, Sir Cronk will give out snuggles to make up for the chaos, and his favourite place in the whole house is the human bed.

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In the early days of the beds discovery.
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After commanding said bed and making himself comfy.

One of the things Sir Cronk the Crooked does best when he is done causing mayhem is relaxing. Preferably on top of a human.

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Of course sprawling on someones lap is one of the best things there is!
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It makes for a great cuddle.
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Mister Cronk is pleasured to meet you all and hopes he will see you again soon! For now he is content with going back to his nap.

Oh and before I forget, Sir Cronk the Crooked is named so, due to a little crook at the end of his tail.

Thank you for reading!

Ida Gabriella

xxx

 

A Trip to a Traditional Korean Village

A while back I visited a quaint traditional little village in Bukchon here in Seoul. Located between the Gyeongbok and Changdeok palaces, it’s full of small traditional houses, street food, and cute little shops selling traditional Korean goods mixed with the usual tourist items. It took a lot longer to get there than what I originally thought, although that might have been due to the fact that we walked in circles for a little while. As it took us some time to arrive we ended up feeling a bit peckish, so the first thing we did when we got to the village was to buy some street food!

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One of my absolute favourite street foods in Korea! Tteok (떡) is a Korean rice cake used in soups, stews, sold as street food like pictured, or in dessert (another favourite of mine).

After finishing up our snacks we walked around the village for a bit, and it was absolutely beautiful! The lady selling tteok told us that it is an old village with quite a long history of several hundred years. Now despite living in Korea for a couple of years and studying Korean, I’m ashamed to say that lately my skills in the language have slipped dramatically (definitely need to work on that!), so I didn’t really understand when she was talking about the history of the village and the relation with the palaces it’s located in between. Even so, she managed to get the message across that it was once an important area where nobility from the Joseon dynasty used to live. Although I’m not the best photographer around, I took some pictures to share with you here!

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The village is located right in the middle of the city surrounded by modern buildings and the bustling city life.

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As we went in the middle of the week, there were not as many tourists as there would be on a weekend.

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Old Korean architecture is so beautiful!

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This was on the side of an adorable little shop, and though it’s not very traditional I found it to be quite cute so I’ve included it here as well.

Bukchon is one of those places that I would love to visit again! It’s so quaint and cute, and the people running the shops in the area are really nice. It would make a perfect date spot if you want to experience some of the culture at the same time. Seoul is a big city that is always full of life, but if you want to get away to some place quieter yet still stay in the city, this is the place for you. I had a wonderful time visiting and would definitely recommend it!

It is located close to the Jongno district, with the closest subway station being Anguk Station on the Orange line (Line 3), exit 2.

Till next time!

Ida Gabriella

xxx

Home away from home

At 23 years old, I decided to move halfway across the world from Stockholm, Sweden, to Seoul, South Korea. I did this all by myself after being told by friends and colleagues that it was all just talk. Perhaps it was their disbelief that spurred me on to actually take the leap, and for whatever reason I’m so happy that I dared.  When I was younger I used to be extremely shy, to the point that I couldn’t even go to the store by myself, and would bother my mum or younger brother endlessly for them to come with me if I needed something. I think I even bribed my brother with sweets and soda a couple of times so that I wouldn’t have to go alone. I felt so incredibly awkward with zero confidence, I didn’t believe in myself.

I have been meaning to start a blog since I first moved to Korea, but as I still struggle with confidence even to this day, I just never got around to it. Always looking at other people’s blogs and thinking that I would like to do that too, but second guessing myself and wondering why anyone would want to read my blog. In the end it was my boyfriends encouragement that got me to finally do it, he believes in me. Hearing him say that made me feel so loved, and I decided that it doesn’t matter if anyone thinks it’s silly, I’ll make this blog because I want to, for myself. So now, 3 years later sitting in a coffee shop munching on cheesecake, I’m finally taking the plunge! I welcome whoever drops by, to my little blog about the things I love!

Korea has some amazing coffee shops, many of which are open 24/7, so you will be able to satisfy your sweet tooth at any time!

Moving abroad, especially to the other side of the world, can be a very scary thing. There is the obvious fears, such as not knowing anyone, not speaking the language, and what if you get sick(?), but also such things as where do you get your hair done and how are you supposed to get hold of your favourite skin care products when you run out? Seems irrelevant I know, but what is a girl to do? Trying to navigate through all of this in the last couple of years have given me so much insight in who I am as a person and how I deal in certain situations. Like the time I lost my credit card, or when I got lost by myself on the other side of town with no phone battery. It has made me more secure in myself and I don’t spend as much time wondering if I am doing things right, or thinking about how others see me.

From working three years with makeup and skin care, and 6 almost 7 years with fashion, I’ve developed a huge obsession with these things! One of the most difficult obstacles for me moving abroad, was how in the world I was supposed to bring all my things that I absolutely need with me, i.e my entire closet and of course, my makeup and skin care items. Now after many trips back and forth and my mum sending several boxes, I have most of my precious items here in Korea. I also happen to be a big book nerd (to the point that I’m doing a bachelors in English Language and Literature), but my mother drew the line at sending clothes and makeup, so my book collection is sadly still back in Sweden. Though luckily, I have my trusty Kindle with me.

 

I hope you want to come along on my journey as I explore Korea, dive deeper in my beauty and skin care obsession, become an even bigger book nerd, and improve my writing skills to name a few!

Ida Gabriella

xxx