Saturday, 5 July 2014

Lazy day.

A tiny update. It's a slow day here and I'm not feeling too well so I have taken my old approach to feeling better and donned my corset, pin curled my hair and watched every classic on Netflix. I'm feeling better already. 

Friday, 20 June 2014

The head and the heart

Hello hello..It has been a while little blog.
Things here have been a bit busy of late. I'm in the middle of a few big projects but I found this fantastic band that I wanted to share with you. Its the perfect music for a lazy sunny friday so enjoy .
Have a great weekend lovely people xxx

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Post Modern Jukebox

I just love old music from the 1930's all the way to the 1960's and this band makes my heart sing.
They are a cover band that bring in different singers and musicians for the songs.
Their name is Post Modern JukeBox and they are the kings (and queens) of swing.

I love it! I hope you do too.

Post Modern Jukebox

It would be my dream to sing in a band like this...I might have to start bugging people out here in Korea to give it a go.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

So long 27!

Today I am 28. It seems crazy to me that it's been a year since I wrote a post on my 27th birthday. I had just arrived here in Korea and it was all new and crazy. Its been a whirlwind of a year that some how has become normal. I've traveled lots and met many people I now call close friends.
I am not scared of 28. I find there are certain ages that don't scare you. You are just in them as if you are prepared. 22 and 24 were like this and they were some good years so hopefully 28 will be the same. I like being in my late twenties. You aren't old enough to be expected to have responsibilities but you aren't young enough to feel lost. Obviously its scary as 30 is fast approaching but I am happy and surrounded by fantastic people so I am just enjoying the moments as they come.
I do have to slap 27th year old Tania on the wrists as the normality of life has let me become lazy with the blog so I will get back into writing.
But here are some of the things I got up to as a Travelling 27 year old:

. Experienced one of the hottest Summers I've ever known
. Met even more fantastic people
. Made lasting friendships
. Visited Busan
. Wrote for 3 different magazines
. Had Photo's published
. Went to a rave
. Visited Pohang
. Went to a mud festival
. Lost all our money in Bangkok
. Washed and played with Elephants
. Trekked through the jungle.
. Visited Koh Samui
. Ate the worlds best Pad Thai
. Tried PatBingSu (Korean Dessert)
. Visted three of the best temples in Korea
. Visted Tokyo
. Ate the worlds best Mando
.Stood on the busiest traffic crossing in the world
. Visited Tokyo Disney
. Tried Sake for the first time
. Ate Ox Tail for the first time
. Got to use my camera A LOT
. Learnt a lot more Korean
. Went on 14 planes
. Met the worlds smartest robot
. Went to a Sumo tournament.
. Visited Scotland.
. My brother got Engaged.
. My sister passed her music exam and wrote some incredible music
. Had my first Wendy's
. Went to my first baseball match
. Had a lot of girl's nights
. Ate bugs
. Ate fried arsehole (?)
. Had a food weekend in Seoul
. Taught elementary students
. Had my best friend visit me in Korea
. Made Clamato Juice and tried a Ceaser
. Learnt some of the best recipes I've ever tasted.
. Climbed 30 feet off the ground in the tree tops
. Had my first Christmas with Lee
. Had my first Christmas with friends
. Had a house party.
. Tried Yoga for the first time.
. Ran a 10k
. Spent a weekend in London with my girls
. Visited Wales
. Tried Snowboarding
. Walked on a frozen lake
. Went to the DMZ
. Made a human pyramid.
. Said a lot of hard goodbyes
. Went Blonde
. Moved house
. Owned 4 mac lipsticks
. Started teaching Art
. Celebrated my first Saint Paddy's day
. Celebrated Holi Hai
. Shot a gun
. Watched my best friend get married.

These lists feel silly and self indulgent but when you write the things you have achieved down like this. You realise how many first you can still have at 28 , it does make you smile. The world has been kind to me this year and I have made friends I will treasure for a lifetime, I miss my family every minute of the day but I've also found my own little family and my own home.
I can't imagine what the next year will bring.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Eyelash Extensions

Eyelash extensions are something I read about before I came to Korea. I have always been intrigued by them but also they are a bit scary. I assumed that the second they were glued to me i'd look like a crazy drag queen which wouldn't be a bad thing if I wasn't a teacher to teenager boys.
So since I had a big event to go to and didn't want to look a state  I decided to take the plunge.
All I knew about eyelash extensions was they were invented in Korea so I started researching to find out a little more. Here are some of the questions I wanted to find the answers to and maybe they can help you guys too:

. How long do they last?
I always assumed they would last about a week. After some research I discovered they can last up to 90 days but the average you can hope for before they start to look un-even is about a month.

.How do they apply them?
This process was particularly important to me since I knew that it would be a non-English speaking person applying them. I was asked to lie on the bed and the lady put tape under my eyes and on top of my eyelids. She also put tape on my eyebrows to stop glue getting on them.
It is odd to be forced to keep your eyes closed but as long as you relax it is fine. It is not even slightly painful and it didn't seem like a long time, even if it was 45 minutes. The oddest part of the process was when she put a ball of cotton up one of my nostrils. This, i'm guessing , is to stop you smelling the glue but it felt odd since I had my eyes closed and couldn't ask her in English why she'd done it.

.How long does it take?
As mentioned above , it took about 45 minutes but can be up to an hour. Next time I get it done, as long as I go before they all fall out, it should only be about 35 minutes.

.What do you ask for?
So this is the complicated bit. There are a few different types of lashes you can have.
The main difference is material and length.
Acrylic - which is the most common. It is the ones I have and they feel plastic but look great.

Mink - The softest and most expensive type.Weirdly you still have to add mascara and curl them.

A lot of stores will only specialise in one or two materials so if you do have specific ones you want ask first.

The two important decisions are the curl:
J-curl or C-curl.

J-curl is a straight lash that you curl yourself. It looks more natural as it grows out but takes a little bit of work and is very subtle. It is the most common for Asian people.

C-curl is a pre-curled lash and the one I went with. It  requires no work but I have heard that the curl can be quite extreme as your own lashes start to grow. I think next time I would go for the C-curl but a bit shorter so it seems a little more natural.

I went for 11mm but the lady was desperate to give me 12mm. A mm difference doesn't sound like a lot but it makes a huge difference when it comes to something as small as your lashes. Next time I will definitely be going for a shorter length but i'm still glad I went for the 11mm C-curl. I read on 'Eat Your Kimchi' another fantastic blog about Korea that its better to go big so you have something to compare and I definitely agree.

I was told once to always wear extra eye make up if you wear glasses. This is very true and also apply's for your lashes. Like I mentioned before, the 11mm C-curls are quite big but behind my glasses they are much less noticeable.If you don't wear glasses then maybe a j-curl would be a better fit.

Don't get them wet for a few hours after application. They will come un-stuck if you do.

Don't get oil on them. If you use make up wipes just be careful around them. You won't need eyeliner or mascara with them so it shouldn't be such a problem.

Since having them I have actually stopped wearing make-up all together. They eyes make up for everything else i'm not wearing. I put lipstick on if I go out but its a relief to not have to worry so much. I should make more of an effort but with the lashes i'm becoming really lazy.

How much do they cost?
I paid 40,000 won which is about 20 pound and it is really great value.

I am a complete convert and I think while i'm in Korea I will treat myself to it anytime I have an event coming up.
I just walked into a place that had eyelash before and after pictures on the outside and she layed me down straight away without questioning. Because it is a long process if might be good to book but I wasn't in a rush so I just chanced it.

It's a easy process with great results. Now I just have to see how they grow out.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

A quick realisation ...

Tomorrow is the wedding of one of my oldest and closest friends. She is getting married to a great guy and it's all amazingly overwhelming. I have no idea how she has the patience and strength to organise a wedding. As an outsider It seems like chaos , but she has taken it all in her stride. 
Tomorrow she will look beautiful, my whole family, including my mum who's sickness is so much better thanks to her amazing ability to be stronger than anyone I know, will send their love and we , the maid of honor and myself will stand and watch as a moment we have talked about for years happens in front of our eyes. 
Our little Steph, all grown up and becoming a wife.
He is a lucky man and we are even luckier friends that Steph picked us to share this day.
So here is an appropriate song and a beautiful picture of the pearls she gave us.
Congratulations mrs Hindes 
Going to the chapel ....

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Going home - a brief interlude

Tomorrow I will be heading off on my first long haul trip across the world. Its extremely daunting and its taken a huge amount of time for me to get this trip on the road but now that its happening I am a little dazed and confused.
I will be leaving Korea for 7 days to go to the UK. It will take 3 days to travel back and forth so I have 5 lovely days at home to see my family and to see my friends.

I have traveled a lot in the past but the longest flight I've taken on my own is an hour so this 12 hour flight is a little scary. I never use to be scared of flying but the older I get the more crazy it seems. understanding physics makes physics seem more impossible some how.

I am sure everything will be grand. I will get my complimentary drinks, watch great movies and eat lovely food (yes I love airplane food). I will get off the plane, get a bus home and hug my family. It will be amazing to see them all and I can't wait to make memories with them.

I have been lucky enough to receive and early birthday present from the lovely Lee so I will be able to take Polaroids of my friends ad family and share their beautiful faces with you very soon.
I was trying to describe to someone why I love Polaroids.
I think its a bit like travel. Its a individual item that is a second of memory. Only you have it and it helps you remember the experience. Its real and although I love my digital SLR I love watching a photo develop.

I think on such a short trip like this keeping hold of the memories will be extremely important.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Run Fat Girl Run..

Today a horrifying event occurred. I got signed up for a 10k run.
I am not a runner. A runner is a special type of person of which I am definitely not.
To be a runner you must posses 3 characteristics:

.You must be healthy
.You must be fit
.You must be determined

Unfortunately I barely scrape by on one out of three requirements and even that is questionable.
I am un-healthy. It is true. I don’t like it and I am aiming to get out of the rut I’m in but at the moment its so busy here that its just easier to grab fast food and much cheaper. Vegetables in Korea are so expensive . You get them in bulk that you could never eat before the expiration date and you can only afford one type. I don’t know about you but eating 18 carrots and nothing else isn’t my idea diet. There are ways around this which I’m researching. It is a poor excuse but this year I have just relaxed and enjoyed my time, and burgers.  This has to change.

I am un-fit. Fitness is something that has always just been out of my grasp. In my mind I’m a fit person but in practice I push myself too far. I love fitness which is the ironic thing. If I find a fitness I like then I can work at it no problem. A few years ago I became obsessed with boxing. It was the first time training felt easy. I did it twice a week and I was an addict. My brilliant trainer was a girl named Randi from Norway and she whipped me into shape but when I left the uk I let myself fall into old patterns, namely the pattern on my sofa.
I try to do sit ups as much as possible (when I remember) and have just started a few monthly challenges but as always something got in the way, such as pizza and I got so busy that they fell by the way side. I am planning to pick them back up on Monday. The newest craze for me though is yoga. I’m in love. If I could do boxing and yoga every week I’d be a fitness freak. Unfortunately time, distance, my lazy behind and money are factors but factors I’m going to have to step over.

This brings me to the last point. Determination. I did write above that I almost had one point covered and this would be this. I really do want to be fit and achieve something like a run but I barley run for the bus let alone 10k so I don’t know how I will cope. I am hoping that signing up and training with friends will be the push I need to get me moving and motivated. The annoying thing is once you start its easy. You just need to stick with it until its routine. Of course this is easier said than done but fingers crossed I can put a 10k on my list of achievements.

6 weeks is long enough to train for a 10k right ?!?!?
Excuse me while I buy every piece of known running gear, read every fitness blog and hide in the house until my friends drag me onto a running track.
Here goes nothing.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014


While at home a major mission for me was to buy some bras. This isnt glamorous or fancy but unfortunately in Korea where I live my bra size isunavailable! In the UK Im below average. Im a 34B and that in my mind isnt something to shout about.
When arriving in Korea I walked into a shop and asked for my size only to get a blank look and an angry instruction to leave the shop.
Korean woman really do have small bra sizes. I have found one shop that does sell my size but I always have to blow the dust off them and sneak behind the counter to actually see whats on offer. It doesnt make you feel like a superstar.
Then you are also faced with the padding problem. Korean bras are padded like you are going to be training a police dog with it. I could rest a bowl of cereal on them with ease.
Anyway this all meant that I spent a misguided year wear two bras, neither of which was I happy or comfy in.
This brings us to my Cardiff visit to Ann Summers, I didnt visit the shop to buy something fancy and adventurous. I have just found that bras there are comfier and last a lot longer. Since it was January I could actually afford them too which was a plus.
The lady saw me browsing and asked if I wanted a fitting. I dont know if it was the year spent wearing a ugly ill fitting monstrosity or the crazy high I had from UK shopping but I said yes.
A bra fitting is a one off experience for everyone. You stand in a booth while a stranger throws a measuring tape all over your naked self. Ive found that these ladies are always kind and lovely (and have surprisingly warm hands) but its still odd.
This time was no less odd but a lot more rewarding. I discovered Ive been wearing the wrong bra size for about 4 years. I didnt realize how quickly your bras change. I stupidly thought that like shoes you get a size and thats it.
The new bras I tried on after that were like dreams. I felt amazing and not like a saggy aging weirdo anymore.(I still can't pass the pencil test though so there is still hope)
After a spree that means I have good fitting bras for the next 3 years I was ready to head back to the Korean lands and not go near a bra shop again while I live here. 
So Korea you can keep those dusty bottom shelf crazy sizes and I shall keep my slinky new (maybe cartoon character themed) bras. 

La Vie En Rose

Today I watched the 16th episode of 'How I met your Mother' and at the end of the episode they played the song my boyfriend and  I have danced and listened to many times.
Years ago it was featured in Wall.e and I worried it would be taken by everyone so my instant thought when I heard it start in this TV show was OH NO OUR SONG! I invisioned thousands of couples grabbing it and it losing all meaning but then I listened to the ukulele version and I fell in love. Its silly really to hold a song dear. Surely there are thousands of people ,even millions who share it with us but I think sometimes a song can capture such a special feeling that to share it feels wrong. I've realised that this is crazy talk.Lee and I have known each other for a long time and had bumps along the way where we have both gone off and found ourselves and amazing other people but we somehow always find each other and this song will always be ours.
Its always a song i've wanted to sing to my kids so it was a lovely thing to watch. It might mean its more mainstream but if anything it just means i'll now here one of my favourite songs over and over.

So for those of you having a down day and in need of some cheering is:
La Vie En Rose on Ukulele

19 years ago (aged 7)

Us 12 years ago (15)
Us 7 years ago (aged 21) Somwhere Inbetween these two bottom pics it became our song.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

A Vintage Resolution

Well its 2014 already. I realize its been 2014 for most of you for quite a few weeks now but I took my Christmas vacation on the 1st of January and have only arrived back to my house in Korea so I am starting my resolutions and changes a little later than usual.
2013 was a year of change and adventure. I was whizzing around the world and turning my life upside down. Unfortunately when you are packing for a year, vintage clothing is quite heavy and I was scared to take a lot of it half way across the world. This didnt completely stop me and I did take a lot with me. The other thing I discovered when I arrived in Korea was that the extreme heat/cold means vintage clothing isnt that practical. (Trying to wear a corset and waist train in 100% humidity and 40 degree heat wasnt that enjoyable either)
So 2014 will be my vintage year. I have brought a lot of my favourite pieces over with me, lots of hair accessories, pin curl clips, rollers and holding spray. I know the weather now so I think I can master it a little better the second time around.
So my vintage mission for 2014:

. Stockings Stocking have fallen off my radar. I brought a few with me but they were all torn before the first month was through. Now I have a full supply. 

.Corset the waist training is back on. I loved it when I was doing it before so I am excited to get back into it. Ive also read that it goes hand in hand with my next number.

.Yoga I realize this isnt vintage inspired but its my new addiction and I cant get enough of it. I love how it makes me feel (and hopefully how it will make me look.) Im hoping to take some progression shots to see if I can actually improve over the next few months. 
Very very early progression shot.

. Hair Come what may THIS year I will master pin curls and a victory roll. I normally end up as a frizz ball so I really would love to master the skills of the 40
This magazine will send me in the right direction

. Heels I never wear them anymore and I use to love the feeling of getting dressed up so Im hoping to capture that again this year.

.Teeth some pearly white this year will make me feel classy in every era.

Lets do this 2014!
I need to get nice teeth so I don't have to pout like a fool in my friends pictures