Archive | July, 2011

This Month I Liked…

30 Jul

(1) Gorgeous rustic doors at Osteria Matinee at Cheongdam (Jayla this is for you)

(2) Cooling off with the perfect raspberry lemon iced tea.  Yes, it cost $7.00, and truth, I was too hot to care.

(3)  Bright flowers outside the National Museum of Korea

(4) Balderdash game night with friends-  the perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday night.

(5) I WIN!!!! For the first time in the history of G & A, I get #1st place at game night.  G was legitimately shocked by my triumph & to rub it in, I made him photograph my YEAY celebrations.

(6) Spotted and hearted – golden silverware at a cafe.  Wanted to pick up that mason jar and run

(7) A splash of color on an otherwise grey day

(8) I’m obsessed with M’s painting – made entirely out of makeup & feathers.

These are some of my favorite July finds. Once the rain stops and I’m able to leave the house, I’m thinking of making this post a weekly thing…Thoughts?

P.S. I do LOVE complaining about the rain, but don’t feel too bad for me because behind the scenes, I’m not so secretly reveling in luxurious laziness on my couch with wine & a book… facebook (just keeping it real).

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Can You Help Me Find 2 Zebras? It’s Time To Build The Arc

27 Jul

I guess I’m scared of Thunderstorms.

Last night, I didn’t sleep a wink because I was too fascinated/freaked by the lightning & water show raging outside my window.  It was beautiful, scary, but mostly just depressing.  It’s hard for me to stay cooped-up in a small apartment for so many days in a row.  I get moody, restless, and a touch more cuckoo than I already am.

G lovingly waiting for a cab, while getting drenched in the rain (typhoons don't photograph well, but please believe, they are present in these photos)

The nasty weather propels me to continuously say to G, “This is the Summer of Our Discontent.”  Which he really doesn’t appreciate because it is totally false (we are quite content & feel very lucky to live this experience 98% of the time), but I think it’s funny.  So, I’ll keep on saying it.

Anyway, the reason I have time to tell you all this por la mañana, is because G & I are skipping Korean class today.  Rebels?  Not quite. We definitely attempted to go to class (or at least G did…which counts for both of us), but we actually can’t leave our apartment because our neighborhood is completely flooded.  There is about a foot & a half of running water surrounding our building.

Wonder if G will find a way to get to work…

The street outside our building is now a river

Or can I convince him to take a Rain Day?

Wish me luck!

What I Eat – A Taste of Life in Korea

25 Jul

Hi. My name is Ayelet.  And I’m a fruit-aholic.

I am mad for summer fruits.

Nectarines, peaches, watermelons- OH MY -I just can’t get enough.  Problem is, I really should just get enough because buying fruit in Korea is like buying a Chanel bag-  it’s always good, but never worth the exorbitant price.  Hello, $10 for 4 apricots!

But guess who buys those darn apricots regardless?!  I have a problem.

Okay, okay, I know I am a spoiled California girl who loves to buy her fresh organic produce from local farmers’ markets at a fair price (cliché, yet so true)… I should really stop complaining.

And to be perfectly honest, there isn’t much to complain about when it comes to food in Seoul.  There is ample fresh produce (although, I’m not sure that I can identify 1/2 of the vegetables at the supermarket) and a tremendous array of delicious restaurants in Korea, which is quite surprising for a country that prides itself on fermenting any and everything.

Now, seriously, would you know what this was if it showed up in your supermarket?

 Oh and how the Koreans love their fermented cabbage, otherwise known as Kimchi.  I had never tasted kimchi before living in Seoul, but it definitely tastes like it looks: some good, some bad, some ugly.

But we can dive into the glory of Kimchi in another post… now I want to tell you guys what I really eat in Korea.

The past few weeks, in particular, have been a fooding frenzy, causing me to buckle my belt 1 notch in the wrong direction.  I’ve really eaten a lot… and instead of going to the gym, I’ve decided to just picture-blog away the shame/pride of all that I’ve consumed.

(1) Drool-worthy panino from La Bocca restaurant. Fresh mozzarella in Seoul? I almost cried.

(2) Sushi at California restaurant in Gangnam.  Frankly, I liked the name of the place more than the rolls.

(3) M & I took a picture at a restaurant that we couldn’t dine at because of a 2 hour line winding out the door!

(4) That bright orange snack is Tteokbokki, a popular street food that G & I sometimes comfort ourselves with.

(5) A group of friends at our favorite Korean BBQ place.  It’s a once-a-week delight.

*K invited all of the Samsung GSG’s better halves (yes, that’s what we call ourselves) to a chocolate party at her house. I had to seriously stop myself from sticking my head straight into the chocolate fountain.  (You can’t even imagine how hard it is to find good chocolate in Seoul! And K found & bought 2 kilos of it!)

*Noryangjin Fish Market – absolutely the BEST place for sashimi, scallops and abalone.  I always eat my heart out here.

*G & I went to this divey Korean restaurant to follow the Korean tradition of eating Samgyetang, a ginseng chicken soup, on 3 specific summer days.  These 3 days are pre-assigned & pre-determined by Koreans as the hottest days of the year, and the soup is eaten on these days to infuse you with enough nutrients to survive the hot summers.

Counter to prognostication, it was mild and rainy on the day we went for our Samgyetang.

*This photo collage is framed by Kash’s baked ziti, that had me going for seconds…and thirds…and fourths

*I also wanted to show you the individually wrapped Starbucks bananas.  Because it’s Korea.

*The center shot is of M’s blueberry goodness.  This week I also got my dessert on with M’s amazing apple crisp and perfect m&m brownies.  She is the best, and the worst!

So you see, loving mother and foodie friends, I am not starving in Seoul.  In fact, I’m not ashamed to admit that after writing about food for WAY too many hours, I’ve really built up an appetite.  Don’t judge.

Bon Appétit!

The Sexy iPhone Bunny

21 Jul

Welcome the newest member of the Konroover family-

it’s a boy.

I’ll Follow the Sun – A Day Tour of Seoul

21 Jul

Unfortunately, I think I took the title of this post (& song) a little too literally…  Indeed, I followed the sun, and now my body is burnt to a crisp – lobster style.  Everything hurts, especially my pride in taking care of my skin.

Let me explain.  After a month+ of insane rains, grey skies and levels of humidity that made my hair poof into a frizz-helmet, the sun has FINALLY come out to play summer in Seoul.

This delightful change in weather magically coincided with M’s visit to Korea (G’s step-brother), and we spent the last few sizzling days running around the city, bathing in the sunlight.

Unfortunately, I over-bathed.

Lucky for you – I’m taking you on a day tour of Seoul through the interwebs, where you can see all the sights safely in the shade.

We started off our Seoul tour by visiting my absolute favorite place in Korea, Paris Croissant, home to the most delicious croissants in the world (French friends, don’t frown at the computer, it’s true).

We then hopped on the subway to the Northern part of the city to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, the oldest & largest of Seoul’s palaces.

Gwanghwamun Gate

Pretty impressive, isn’t it?  Too bad the Palace was closed!  Woops.  For those of you who are interested, below are a few pics of the Palace from visits past:

Kami's visit to Seoul

We then crossed the street to Gwanghwamun Square and admired the statues of King Sejong & Admiral Yi-Sun Shin.

A quick walk to the east brought us to the Bukchon neighborhood, one of the only places in Seoul where you can get lost in the winding alleys of traditional Korean Hanok homes.  I absolutely love walking through this (elite) residential neighborhood and imagining what Seoul was like before its insane 20th century modernization.

The heat was out-of-control by the time we finished our hanok walkabout, so we dashed into a cafe, where I introduced M to Bingsu – an elaborate Korean version of the snow-cone.  Except it costs $8.00.

The Bingsu ice bucket hit the spot and gave us the strength we needed to venture back into the heat. We finished off the day tour-de-Seoul at N Tower, the city’s landmark building atop Mt. Namsan.

{Photo}

It was a gorgeous day and a beautiful way to introduce M to Seoul and reintroduce myself to summer.

Hope you enjoyed the quick tour!

Things I Do When G Is Away

17 Jul

I’m not exactly sure what happens when G leaves for the weekend, but somehow I find myself reverting  to the worst kind of teenage behavior:

  1. I base most of my meals on bread and chocolate.  And it tastes goooood.
  2. I stay up WAY past my bedtime – yes, I did post last night’s blog note at 3:00 am. Why?
  3. I watch far too much bad T.V. and then try to compensate by watching classic books-gone-movies like, Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility.
  4. I become the messiest human being on the planet…for 10 hours…and then my OCD-like tendencies take over and I clean the apartment with a vengance

Our humble home

I think it’s pretty obvious that my bachlorette weekends sans G are not exactly healthy.  He is definitely the Ying to my Yang.  COME HOME!

Summer Love

17 Jul

Did  you hear?  Two of the loveliest people in the world are getting married!

I woke up this morning to a sliver of sunlight poking through the ever-cloudy sky, and thought to myself, “This is going to be a great day.”  Little did I know how unbelievably great it was going to be…

After eating a pack of saltines to calm my stomach, which was still burning from last night’s tequila (Why did anyone think that was a good idea?!), I sat down at my computer to read the news (and by news, I mean facebook).  A few minutes into news-feeding myself, I get a call from P & J on Skype video, which I answer quite casually, paying no heed to the fact that I was still in (ugly) PJs with saltine crumbs all over & my hair looked like it had just taken a whirl in the dryer on a roller coaster in outer-space (just a little visual for you).  It’s just P & J, that’s how we roll.

WELL, P & J were definitely not in PJs, in fact, they had two champagne glasses and HUGE smiles on their faces when they told me that they were engaged!!! And then, I lost it.  Totally lost it.  Did a Tasmanian devil dance (you know, when you run around in a circle in super-sonic speed), jumped around the apartment, and then sat back down and cried.  That’s how I show my love on Skype.  And I love.

Speaking of love, guess who was the little matchmaking yenta that introduced P to J?  G, of course!  The boy loves a good shidduch. Doesn’t he get some points for that?

Happy Engagement Day!