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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Best of February

10 Best things in February
1. Birthdays; there are 4 birthdays and 1 anniversary in February, so there were dinner or lunch every now and then. It’s a good way to spend quality times with your loved ones.
2. Wishlist; I popped up the wishlist widget on my sidebar this month. To be honest, it’s not 100% fixed, there might be a change here and there, but I hope it can help me keeping on track with my spending
3. Decorating my room; I had some storages haul earlier this month with my mom. Now I finally have proper basket for my hair styling products, and emptied a shelf by storing my books away. Less clutter is always better!
4. Creative writings; I have a creative writing outlet somewhere in the internet, and I've been crunching up words after words this month. I think I wrote up to 50k words this month alone.
5. Trying new products; I didn't use the things I bought in Korea until this month began, and so far, they've been doing well, I will come later with proper review/impressions
6. Using up old products; FINALLY; some bottles and tubes have been emptied this month! I think it's time for another round of 'product empties'
7. Planoly; social media planner apps are something I couldn't try before due to my phone's limitation, but this month, I started using Planoly for my instagram. It makes posting everyday such a breeze to do with the schedule function.
8. Picking up reading; I'm guilty as charged when it comes to reading. I bought Quiet by Susan Cain last year but never got around read it. I'm planning to finish it this March.
9. Slow morning; due to work related reason, I suspend my gym membership this month. While it means lack of exercise, it also means more time to enjoy rainy morning of February while sipping on ice coffee and interacting with the lovely baristas before facing my high-paced day.
10. New photo props; I started investing on some photo props more seriously this year. If in 2016, I'm stuck with hair pins (which will still make appearance since they're so lovely), I've been getting some other pieces which you'll hopefully see next month in my photographs.

10 Best things of February
 What are the best things that happened to you in February?
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Friday, February 24, 2017

5 Helpful Organizing Tools for Blogger

5 Helpful Organizing Tools for Blogger
When I started blogging, there was no organizing involved at all. This resulted in many wasted ideas that cannot be done just because I left it in the corner of my head. I started editorial calendar last summer, and it did such dramatic change to my blogging process; I feel like I’m more in my control of my blog. Here are a couple of helpful tools I use to organize my blog.

Editorial Calendar | ASANA
5 Helpful Organizing Tools for Blogger
My first editorial calendar was in excel spreadsheet which was simple and fuss-free. But as visual-driven person, I want even something as trivial as editorial calendar to be pleasing to the eyes. Asana was introduced to me at work, and last December, I tried importing my editorial calendar to it. It gives me more freedom and flexibility to work, plus enables me to go into details without making my calendar messy or too cluttered. Below is my January calendar and despite how empty it looks like, when you click on every single task, I have all things such as what products to photograph, and post structure, written out.They also allow you to tick off tasks that you’ve done, which is a marmite thing, but if you’re lover of to do list like me, it gives you immense pleasure.

To do List | Rifle Paper & Co
I’m a Riffle Paper & Co convert, thanks to how many bloggers are in love with this dainty-looking stationery brands. Their Let’s Do This! Notepad is, like their other products, made from high quality paper that doesn’t bleed even if I use color gel pens, and makes writing enjoyable. Plus, it comes with box to check once you’re done with your task. I usually mix tasks that I write here with non-blogging things (cleaning up room, groom brows, use clay mask, etc), and only write the task outline; photographs for 2 post, check bloglovin, reply comments, to keep things simple.

Weekly to do List | Rifle Paper & Co
This versatile weekly notepad can be used for everything from planning meals and even outfit. For blogging, I utilize this to write down the details from my previous notepad. It’s practically ASANA but in paper form, of course I leave out some details like post draft that I can store on ASANA. Since I usually blog 2 weeks ahead, the supposed Monday ~ Thursday sections are filled with 4 posts worthy of post outline and photography plans. Friday ~ Weekend is for non-blogging photography plans or blog organizing tasks.

Since I leave the 2 notepads at home, I need another tool for just in case situation when I’m hit with idea while I’m out of the house. I might be the only one, but I just cannot write on my phone; it has to be either on my laptop or a book. I envy bloggers who can write draft to their posts while on the move on their gadget, because I always find my head blank when I’m faced with the situation. This beautiful marble notebook is gift from equally beautiful friend, and I really enjoy filling the empty pages with my ideas which is not limited to blogging only, but also my other creative writing outlets.

Journal | Moleskin
I wasn’t big on scheduling or journal until I lived in Japan and everyone, men to women, are using it. In my opinion, Japan has the best journals in the market, and when I came home, I’m faced with difficulties of finding the right journal with the right flexibility and space. In the end, I settled with Moleskin. I love the quality of their paper and the compactness of their journal. I’m currently using 18 months planner Le Petit Prince to plan everything, including blogging. In here, I also try not to include too many details and keep things in bigger picture, but it’s enough marker to show me which day I should/can work on blogging and when I cannot.

5 Helpful Organizing Tools for Blogger
What are your favorite tools to keep your blog organized?
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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

5 Favorite Jill Stuart Nail Polishes

5 Favorite Jill Stuart Nail Polishes
If there's any Jill Stuart product I'd recommend to everyone, it's their nail polish. Nail polish is not something that I wear regularly, so despite the tempting call of those beautiful, dainty bottles, I consciously try to keep my collection to minimum. In my effort, I decided to commit myself to only 1 nail polish brand, so I can limit the amount of polishes I have, plus keeping my said ‘nail aesthetic’ to be consistent. I’ve introduced you to Jill Stuart’s Base & Top Coats, so this time I’m going to share you their beautiful nail polishes.

Nail Lacquer | 44 Sweet Actress; Released as part of their 2015 a/w collection, this polish is my take for the classic red nails. Leaning more toward burgundy, deep crimson with cool undertone, I’m surprised it flatters my yellow-tanned skin nicely. The formula, like the other Jill Stuart’s non-pearl polishes, is so easy to work with; it’s creamy, spreads nicely, and gives opaque, glossy finish in one coat.
Nail Lacquer | 04 Pink Drop
I’ve mentioned this polish before over here, and it’s really perfect color for summer nails. Creamy pink, with hint of peach and blue under-tone, this color is mature enough to be worn on formal event. I always receive compliments from my professional peers when I wear this. Pink Drop has the same formulation with the one mentioned above, and they’re such a joy to wear; fuss-free, streak-free, and easy to remove.

Nail Lacquer | 11 Sweet Notes
Sweet Notes is part of their pearl formula. It has fine, silver and gold glitter running through it, and is meant to be sheer or applied on top of other polishes as finishing touch. I love to combine it with Pink Drop to  achieve not only glossy, but festive peachy-pink nails. Formula wise, it’s thinner than the rest, added with its sheerness, it’s perfect when you want understated yet put-together manicure.

Horoscope Nails | Observant Virgo
Jill Stuart released Horoscope Nails series from 2015-2016, and Virgo was the first one released on the line. As a Virgo girl, of course I feel compelled to have it, plus sapphire blue nail polish is something I’ve always hunted high and low for. It’s hard to find the perfect shade of blue; it’s either too green, too grey-blue, or too violet. Virgo gives me the exact shade, so it’s an absolute dream for me. The only gripe I have is the chunky silver glitter. Sure it makes my nails mimic the starry sky perfectly, but they can be frustrating to remove.

Horoscope Nails | Justice Libra
This peachy pink polish with green, silver, and red glitters in it is more forgiving in term of removal than Virgo. Still, both nails are so long-wearing and budge-proof, so it can be a plus as well. I remember there was a moment when I ‘accidentally’ wear them for almost a month and they hardly chipped (not good for your nails, so, don’t do it). When I want sparkly nails but not as bold, I’d go for Justice Libra.
Jill Stuart Nail Polish Swatches
 What is your favorite nail polish brand?
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Friday, February 17, 2017

My Seoul Diary #3

Third day in Seoul was my last day since we have to catch up with plane the next morning. Today is quiet jam-packed with visiting many tourists spots in Seoul and the weather was freezing -13, once again, I pulled another stunt of wearing thin clothes, but I survived. Sometimes I don’t understand myself. I’d like to apologize first that due to my low camera battery, I didn’t take much photo that day. We started by visiting King Sejong statue, and then moved to Gyeongbok Palace. Despite the bright sun shining down on us, the snow started fluttering down and it got really cold around then. The snowfall lasted around 20 minutes, and despite the cold, I thoroughly enjoy how the white snow flake danced all around us; just made the experience even more special.
Around 10 AM, we watched the Change of Guard Ceremony (which I recorded in my phone because my camera nearly died). Then we moved in to look around the palace; the queen’s garden, the main hall, despite its beauty, Gyeongbeok Palace has quite a dark history, it was somewhat ‘refreshing’ in a sense, gave it element of surprise.

We went to Itaewon after that because mom wanted to shop for souvenirs. The main path of Itaewon is lined up by stores that sell affordable trinkets you can bring home for your loved ones. I bought a set of nail clippers because despite how marmite it sounds, it’s something that comes in handy when you thought you least needed it. We also had a lunch there. I ate octopus bibimpab which spiciness really helped warming me up. Oh! We bought hot pack there as well, it’s life-saver for surviving through the cold as it keeps you fingers and even toes warm for 8 hours and more.

Myeongdong is our next destination. We took hanbok family photo at Goguan Photo Studio, it’s literally the first place that turned up on search engine if you look for ‘Hanbok Photo’. I had prior booking, and since I can speak Japanese, the female manager attended to me easier. We eventually managed to conclude the photo session safely and left with pictures that’re now hanging on our living room wall. I tried the infamous banana milk as well, it's good but as expected, I'm all for deep, bitter green-tea.

After that, we had our dinner at Yoogane, again, because apparently my parents were smitten with that place. I had to take quick solo journey to Lotte Young Mart because there’re things that I gotta buy for my friends, thankfully I didn’t lost my way and managed to reunite with my family who’s browsing through the makeup stores at Myeongdong. They’re literally everywhere so it’s impossible to miss them, I found that even though different brand have different stores, they offer the same thing with the same deal anyways so just popped in inside the first one you see and go wild. We shopped for food souvenirs here as well, I picked up honey butter almonds and green tea choco pies for friends. In our way back to Subway, I bought myself a warm and toasty egg bread as well.

The last destination was Chonggyechon stream. My camera was pretty much dead by the moment so I recorded it on Instagram. Things that I like to do the most during traveling is spending my time doing nothing, just gazing at scenery, and truthfully, that was what I wanted to do as well, except my parents were tired so I only had around 10 minutes there to take blurry photos and threw coins; hoping that 2017 will bring a better me.

We want back to the hotel, I spent another hour packing (because I love packing), and went to sleep so I can wake up early for morning flight. That concluded my last day in Seoul. You can see some videos I posted while I was there on instagram under tag #tukiseoulstory
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Seoul Diary #2

It was snowing all over the country on 20th morning, so when we woke up, everything was covered in snow! I haven’t experienced snow in two years, so it was rather nostalgic than anything. I booked travel to Nami Island and they’re late for the heavy snow. It could have taken more than 2 hours long if I go by subway, but with travel bus, it only took around 1 hour and a half (I fell asleep through the ride by the way, typical of me). When we arrived at Nami Island, the snow was very thick already, but it wasn’t falling anymore. We’re taken to ride ferry to cross the lake and got to the actual island.

We’re given an hour and a half free time to explore the island! Nami Island is pretty small, and it probably wouldn’t take an hour if you didn’t stop every now and then. Which we obviously did, by the way. The island is famous for being shooting place of Winter Sonata, one of the most iconic Korean drama of all time. Regardless, you can easily enjoy the beauty of this island, even more so in winter season, and the piling up, thick, warm snow, just made it even more breathtaking. I will just let these photos speak to you about its beauty.

Nearing the end, you’ll find stores and restaurants lining the main street before eventually leading to a three-way with souvenir store that also sells hotteok. Hotteok is Korean Sweet Pancake and my friend recommended to eat hotteok at Nami Island because they’re one of the most delicious she’s tasted. Couple with cold weather, the piping hot, sweet hotteok was heavenly! Since the time was up, we waddled quick through the snowy path back to the ferry. We were taken to eat in this delicious grilled chicken restaurant, and I think I had the best meal in this trip; EVER! If you tried Korean grilled chicken, I really recommend you to wrap them in lettuce because it really makes it 100 times more delicious and healthy.

Mom wanted to ski for whatever reason, so Elysian Ski Resort that is. I’ve never done any winter sport at all before living in tropical country with eternal summer and all, and I’m bad at sports in general. Surprise, surprise! I actually did it better than the rest of my family! Well, ‘better’ since I’m the only one who can properly slide albeit only short, nevertheless, it made me proud because I’m NEVER good at sport, this was the moment that made me realize that; hey, maybe I’m actually made for winter? Because I had little difficulty when trying to skate for the first time too, and the clothes I wore when visiting Nami Island was the least warm compared to my family. A sign that I should move soon? Hmm.

We went back to hotel after that where I spent a long time under hot shower and laze around under the duvet after a long day. That concluded my 2nd day at Seoul. You can see some videos I posted while I was there on instagram under tag #tukiseoulstory
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Friday, February 10, 2017

My Seoul Diary #1

Welcome to my first installment of Seoul Diary! As you might have known, I went to Seoul for a quick 3 days trip 2 weeks ago. After 7 hours trip, we arrived at Incheon around 8 AM. The temperature was reported to be -4, yet I surprised myself by being completely fine despite my fairly light clothing. After buying T-Money for 3 days trip, we took cabs to Hotel and checked in immediately with no fuss (thankfully). After getting all our things settled, we headed for Myeongdong with N Seoul Tower being our main destination, but we spent about 30 mins getting lost in subway because I’m not used to their system yet and the others weren’t so helpful.

We reached Myeongdong and I could feel are the road-store makeups calling for me, but I resisted and ended up eating piping hot Chicken Galbi at Yoogane. With our stomach (too) full, we climbed all the way to Namsan cable car station for quick ride to N Seoul Tower. The view from up there was absolutely breath-taking, the chilly weather didn’t stop me from energetically snapping photos here and there.

The hanging locks were obviously my target of photo for the day, I took so many of them but here I shared you some of my favorite. I have an unexplainable love for sightseeing from high places, and even if I didn’t get to enter the tower this time, the view from top of the mountain was absolutely breath-taking. Our fatigues were immediately blown away by the stunning scenery and colorful arrays of locks

I would stay longer if it wasn’t for an appointment with my friend at SM Coex Artium, which honestly was the trip’s main high-light for me (typical). We parted with my parent (they went ahead to rest and some shopping) and headed straight to SM Artium where I took picture with SHINee rocky horror show display outside. I literally went oohs and aahs because the whole 5 stories were literal heaven for me and my poor fangirl heart. There were so many photos and displays of SM idols, of course I’d always spot SHINee first. I picked up an album and goodies to décor my phone case at SUM Store, then SHINee Ade & Ice Cream, NCT Ade at SUM Café. The ades were incredibly refreshing with the right kind of sweetness. The ice cream was green-tea flavored with white chocolate icing but I, a green-tea enthusiast, concluded it could be better if the deepen the green-tea taste and unsweetened the white chocolate a little more.

We left around 6, mom went to Laneige so I picked up their eye cream there. We didn’t go straight to hotel but to Dongdaemun Fish Market for dinner (though I didn’t for I was so full). My dad, who’s a lover of fish and fish, absolutely loved that place even though it’s small and cramped. We returned to hotel around 9 pm and although my family went to bed immediately, I didn’t until around 1 am, making quick recaps of the day on my phone and reading some blog posts or watching videos that I missed.

That concluded my 1st day at Seoul. You can see some videos I posted while I was there on instagram under tag #tukiseoulstory
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