Monday, October 20, 2014

Seoul Travelogue: Day Two

Continuing off from my trip !

Greeted by this beautiful pastel sky at 5 am in the morning. 

Goodnight! (just got back from dongdaemun, thats why we're up at 5am HAHA)

Woke up awhile later at 9 am to resume our adventure!

Our initial plan was to have breakfast at Paris Baguette, which actually originated from Korea
None of the pastries and breads attracted us though, and it was kinda pricey. 
Wandered around tired and hungry for awhile and we spotted this place called Isaac.
It was actually around the corner from our hotel.

Levon excitedly picked this for breakfast cause she heard about it and its nice.

Basically they serve toast with different ingredients, prepared freshly on a griddle.

Sneaked a photo of the shop. :B
See the baskets at the edge?
You pay using those; by simply putting the correct amount of won in each basket!
Help yourself to the change too. LOL.

Looks like a simple sandwich but it really is very good !
The magic is in the thin slice of egg omelette, which has corn inside for sweetness.
Plus the cabbage is not plain, tastes really fresh and crunchy and has a sweet taste. 
Sweetest cabbage ever, really.

The bacon and cheese were the supporting actors for once. 

We love to stand in the middle of nowhere and eat. hahahah.

As well as take ootds. HAHA! 
Day Two ootd. 
Love the autumn weather, can layer and wear shorts :D

Some trees are starting to celebrate autumn!

Photographer Sok.
This is my first time travelling together with sok!
Quite surprised to know she's actually into photography,
and she also has a bad habit initally; she'd stop to snap pics without warning.
吓死我, turn around and eh where ah sok. :x

She's now changed for the better. LOL

Group photo! 

The Subway ticket vending machines are quite easy to use and have multiple language options.

The T-money cards are dispensed in a packaged box! 
Contains instructions and some coupons for cheaper stuff around Seoul. 
Quite tourist friendly ah Subway Company.

Each subway station is ginormous, and there are shops like The Face Shop inside.
They have convenience stores (like mama shop) too.

What amused me was one of the LCD screens, which showed where the incoming train is!
So cute hahahah. 

I was excited silly over this beautiful blue sky.. 
until Levon told me it was the colored filter in the train.

Visited Express Bus Terminal, which is an underground shopping mall !
Take the subway to Express Bus Terminal station and follow the signs. 

Actually almost all the major stations like MyeongDong have such underground malls,
but EBT is known as the biggest and cheapest ones.

No need to haggle the prices, cause everything is very cheap liao :x
And in contrast to the feedback I saw online, most shopowners are quite friendly.

underground bugis street.

Towards the end there is a central area with lots of shops selling food.
There are street snacks and proper meals alike, so you can really spend a whole afternoon here.

Chanced upon this Korean Croquette stall!
The crust is not too thick and is more like bread, dusted with breadcrumbs on the outside.
Ordered the spicy chicken, which was really spicy with chili padi inside. Shiok!

Flavours available:
Curry, Potato, Vegetable, Spicy Chicken, Cream cheese, Egg, Pumpkin, Red Bean

The two caffeine addicts. 
Ediya Coffee is much like their starbucks, and both of them said its pretty good.
Definitely cheaper than Starbucks too. hahaha.

Made our way back to the hotel to drop off our freaking huge bag of clothes.
I followed my experience from BKK last year and brought along the super useful TTR bag.
Buy and throw everything inside :D

Levon and Sok's fav word to the shopowners: New?

Golden Hour. 

Literal garage sale; they draped the clothes over the car as display!

Changed into my new glitter plimsoles.
Korea is another good place to buy shoes ! All so comfy.

The must-have food on the go, Onigiri
Every single convenience store has this, in different flavours.
Er and we only knew the correct way of opening it after we got back . HAHAHAH 

Introducing another one of the must try street foods: Fried chicken in spicy sauce!
The sauce is a mix of sweet and spicy.
Damn yums and it was located near the Isaac stall too. 
Opens only at late evening/ night

There is also a cut chicken chop version, and another kind of sweet sauce. 
It reminded me of sweet lemon/plum chicken.
Nice also.

Levon loves this, despite how her unglam face shows LOL.

They weirdly only serve one potato wedge amongst so many chicken pieces. 

Went over to Myeong Dong !
A shopping and street food haven, but it isnt open till late. 
Most shops open till 9 pm, so be sure to go there early.

One station, one selfie, one newsstand. :D

Having said that, I do have a word of caution regarding shopping at Myeong Dong.

Many of the popular cosmetics stores are here, and most of them speak English and Chinese.
However, it is also a tourist sinkhole.
Many of the promotions seem very worth the buy, but do not buy your cosmetics there.
Other branches we visited in areas like Ewha Uni and Hongdae had even cheaper discounts!

For example, The Face Shop in Myeong Dong sold their masks in packs of 20 for 50k won.
That's already cheap compared to Singapore.
But when we visited Ewha Uni's branch, the masks were selling as buy 1 get 1 free. 
Which meant 20 packs for 24k won!
All of us were damn pissed, hahaha.
So visit Myeong Dong for the clothes, accessories, and food, but not the cosmetics okay?

Had our first traditional meal in Korea, and perhaps my favourite dish!
Korean Army Stew (Budaejjigae) at Nolboo, Myeong Dong

To get there, walk along the main street, till you see Red Mango and The Body Shop on the right.
Approximately around the second junction.
There should be an Etude House on the left, turn right into a small lane.
Nolboo is a small shophouse entrance on the left, with a sign above the stairs.

*Followed directions given online and got lost.
wtf, where got giant signboard la. so small!!

Nolboo ahpek.

There are many Nolboo branches in Korea, and interestingly, each branch has a different specialty.
Based on reviews and recommendation from Bimb's friend,
there were praises for Nolboo's army stew, so we picked that.

Ordered the collagen soup base! 
There were tons of stuff inside:
hotdogs, salami slices, bacon, cheese, thinly sliced luncheon meat, beans and potatoes.
We also dumped a serving of ramyeon noodles.

All for 30k won I think? 

Tools for war: 
Standard issue flat metal chopsticks, long handled spoon and bib for protection

Before you start thinking its just like a normal steamboat, with such common ingredients,

The soup was rich and warm and superrrrr addictive. Just can't stop slurping it up.
And I never ever knew how luncheon meat could taste so good in soup!
Erm me and levon were also fighting over the bacon, but that's understandable ;p.

The ramyeon was also not just any maggi mee, though we thought it looked like.
Very springy and chewy, it absorbed the soup well too.

I saw Nolboo Ramyeon for sale at Korea Mart in Bedok Mall! 
So gonna buy and try if it is like the real deal, or at least similar.

Definitely will go back for this if I visit Seoul again.

The kimchi was also one of the best I tasted in Seoul!

Behind the scenes: where everyone got up to take a table shot.

Rushed a little to do shopping cause every shop was preparing to close.
But still had time to buy street food. hahaha!

The soft serve and its cone looked a little gross, but Levon assures you its really nice.
Don't believe her sceptical face!!

If you havent noticed, von is featured in most of my food photos.
That's because when she's overseas, she transforms into a glutton!
In fact, I think she ate more than me LOL.

Its a grilled flour pancake with sweet red beans and a bit of syrup in the middle.
Surprisingly, I liked it!
I usually dont love red beans, but the texture reminded me of pulut hitam and I love that.
Its not too sweet either.

See the N-Seoul Tower in the distance? (:

Till the next update!
I'm enjoying these updates cause it's allowing me to renew the trip in my mind.
Happy memories :D

Sunday, October 19, 2014

BornPrettyStore 4th Anniversary Nail Art Contest!

BornPrettyStore is celebrating their 4th anniversary!

The 4th anniversary celebrations are held from 17th October to 10th November,
and there are different awesome promos for different periods.

Here's a summary of the promotions:

Up to 80% off site-wide from 17th Oct to 31st Oct

20% off site-wide from 10th Nov to 11th Nov

For those with flying fingers, from 19th to 22nd Oct,
there are selected items in limited quantities going for only USD$0.01
These items include stamping plates, studs, decals and rings.
Click here for the items and their respective days!

I'm a nice person, so here is the link to the summary page of promotions for easy reference:

If you're interested in nail art, BPS is also holding a contest!

From 11th Oct to 10th Nov, submit your entry for the nail contest and stand a chance to win!

First Prize (1 winner)
Lifetime VIP, enjoy 50% OFF each time shopping at
USD $200 Voucher.
USD $100 worth of selected popular nail art products.

Second Prize (2 winners)
USD $80 Voucher.
USD $50 worth of selected selected popular nail art products..

Third Prize (3 winners)
USD $30 Voucher
10 BORN PRETTY stamp plates OR 10 BornPretty nail water decals of your choice

Participation Award (5 winners)
A set of 10 BORN PRETTY stamp plates.

Award for Voters (100 winners per day)
One pc of BORN PRETTY stamp plate.

Good luck !

As always, you can use my code JNJX31 for 10% discount at BPS!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My #31dc2 .. so far :D

Have you guys heard of the 31 day nail art challenge? :D

Actually no one really remembers when or where it originated from, 
but this year, two of my favourite nail bloggers were involved in organizing #31dc version 2.0.
It's a classic case of same same but different, but I picked 2.0 because I love the prompts more.
Could imagine some ideas already, heheh.

Here's the two challenges if I've piqued your interest!
Usually the challenge is renewed in the month of September every year.

Version 2.0

Version 1.0

Moving on to the nail art I've done for the challenges!
I always try to think out of the box for my ideas, and I appreciate a good challenge for nail art.
Dont want to be conventional. hahah.

Day 1: Red or Orange.

So I thought around the word Red, and invariably I thought of red hair. :D
Fun fact: I've had red hair since the moment I could dye it.
And who other than Ariel, the little mermaid to represent red hair?
Out of the sea, wish I could be, part of your world ~

Day 2: Yellow or Green

Inspired by my NIVEA moisturiser packaging.
I love the contrast of the bright yellow and cobalt blue. :D
Day 3: Blue or Violet

Wanted to play around with textures!
And its hard to pick either color so I incorporated both.

Day 4: Primary or Secondary

I loved this one! 
The basis of all colors is based on primary colors: blue, red and yellow.
Without them we wouldnt have so many colors, 
so I thought of using this to represent their fundamentality.
I took them as paints on canvas, and I'm pretty proud of the effect.

I used nail polish for this one, and it really worked! 
Its able to blend like paints. 

Day 5: Black and White

Used the saran wrap method for this.
Wanted to create a marblized look, and I was quite happy with the effect!
Goes well with my cardigan right? :D

I have this habit to go matchy with my outfits.
Shopaholic x Nailaholic

Day 6: Monochromatic

Monochrome actually means shades of the same color, not exclusively to B&W.
For example, cotton candy pink, light pink, pink, hot pink, dark pink, etc.
So of course I'd honor my favourite color: Blue!

Love love love this set of nails.
I tried a different method to do roses, and I discovered it worked well for large ones.
Smaller roses, not so much.  

Day 7: Metallic

Now this was a fail.
I'd wanted to literally have metal on my nails, in the form of a embossed design.
I chose the Singapore coins, and tried to come up with my own method of embossed nails.
However, the effect was not obvious enough, and didnt photograph very well too.
I was also kinda rushed for time, lol.

This is the one decent shot.
But le bf says it doesnt really resemble the coins.

So this was my submission, which I felt a bit meh about.
Maybe I'll try the metallic embossing technique again next time.

Day 8: Dotticure

Dots are one of the most basic decorations on nails, almost a classic.
I however, didnt want classic.

I used to take freehand drawing as a module during poly,
and one of the lessons was the use of dots as a shading method.

I re-created one of my drawings on my nails. :D

Close-up views of the dotticure and the actual drawing.

Thought I'd also share this ! 
Same concept but shading with spaced stripes.

Day 9: Stripes

Another one where I felt the concept was better than the final product.
Functional Stripes, aka Barcodes!
I need to work more on the spacing and width of the lines,
but hey, I did this on my right hand so I think it was not bad already. :B

And um my colleague asked me why I didnt try scanning them with our scanners. LOL.

Day 10: Animal


I've already done a few kinds of penguin nails, 
so I decided to increase difficulty level.

These penguins are from Maplestory, and I really do own xiiaowaddles as a pet in game!
Good times.

/xiiaowaddles poop
and hungry xiiaowaddles!

Just for reminescence's sake I'm showing my past penguin nails

End of nail art updates for now!
Cant wait for the next 21 designs, heheh.
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