After Raymond and I visited my friend in Tokyo, Japan, we popped over to South Korea to visit another friend of mine. Neither of us had been to Korea before, so we were excited to experience a new culture and country!
It was really hot while we were in Korea—especially compared to the North Pole—but we just ignored the heat and ventured out to explore. The Korean Peninsula is so full of history, so we made sure to take in plenty of historical sites. The first of which was the Jongmyo Shrine, a Confucian shrine located in Seoul. This shrine is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and houses memorial tablets for the kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty.
At the entrance to Jongmyo Shrine
Outside Yeongnyeongjeon [Hall of Eternal Comfort] where the memorial tablets are stored
Checking out the different architecture in Jongmyo Shrine
While walking around another afternoon, Raymond & I happened upon Jogyesa Temple, the headquarters for the Jogye Buddhist Order. With its vibrant lanterns and colourful architecture, this temple really caught our eye.
Raymond about to enter Jogyesa Temple
Raymond especially loved the colourful lanterns
Another afternoon, Raymond and I emerged from the subway in Seoul to see a martial arts performance happening right in Gwanghwamun Square—how neat! After watching the amazing performance, we saw a statue of Sejong the Great, one of the most important kings in Korean history.
“Annyeonghaseyo, King Sejong!”
The statue of King Sejong is located near Gwanghwamun Gate, the main and largest gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Unfortunately we did not have time to visit this palace, but we at least took a photo near the gate
Raymond smiling, despite how hot it was. We shared a Mango Fruit Pudding Blended Juice at Starbucks [mmm!] to cool down.
While we didn’t have time to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace during this trip, we did make it to Changgyeonggung Palace where we enjoyed looking at the architecture and learning about the history of the palace.
Raymond taking a gander at Myeongjeongjeon [main hall]
Before Raymond & I went to Korea, I was a little concerned about finding vegetarian dishes for us to eat since most Korean food isn’t veg-friendly, but we were pleasantly surprised! From time to time, it was still a little difficult to find vegetarian food, but when we would find something, it was usually pretty darn yummy.
One of my favourite new dishes is bibimbap, which is white rice topped with julienned vegetables, sprouts, tofu, greens, sesame seeds, and an egg. Mix all that together with gochujang [hot pepper paste], and you have a super tasty meal! Bibimbap can also be served with meat, but of course Raymond & I would never want that
Raymond eyeing my bibimbap in the 63 Building in Seoul
Another yummy treat we had was patbingsu, a shaved ice dessert that was perfect for the hot and humid summer weather. It definitely helped us cool down!
“Yummm!” says Raymond.
Raymond and I had a lot of fun on our adventures this year! Where do you think Raymond should go next year? Let us know in the comments!
Today I present to you a fast festive photo frame for your fridge. (Phew, say that 3 times fast!) Glittery with snowflake accents, this is a pretty simple magnetic frame for posting Christmas cards, photos, or a child’s artwork on your fridge. Make it smaller or larger to fit your preference, and of course, you can use whatever paper you like. I used chipboard to make the frame sturdy, but you could use cardboard, too.
If you’re in a pinch trying to find the perfect gift for your aunt, friends, or co-workers, check out the wide variety of gifts at Uncommon Goods. We like this online shop because you can always find unique, one-of-a-kind things there. Customized jewelry for Mom? They have it (and more). Gadgets and wares for the foodie/chef/entertainer? Mm-hmm. How about the sports nut, business associates, or kids? Yep, yep, yep! There’s still time to get your goods delivered by Christmas, so go ahead and check them out.
An example of the many handmade things made exclusively for Uncommon Goods is this Trinity Wooden Cuff. The bands are made of real hardwood, and the rich colors are naturally occurring.
What do you get when you combine an aquarium with plants? An Aquafarm. The plants benefit from the nutrient-rich water, and they purify the water for the fish living below. It’s great for the office, a classroom, or the home.
Give the Cheese BBQ Utensil to someone who has a soft spot for cheese. Use it to melt or grill cheese to your liking!
Get It Delivered By Christmas!
To get your stuff by Christmas, here are the shipping cutoffs for Uncommon Goods:
December 19th 5pm ET – Standard Shipping & Preferred Shipping
I am particularly fond of mistletoe—it seems to convey the feeling of warmth and love. This mistletoe is hand-beaded from glass beads and finished with a golden yellow bow. Hang it wherever you like, but I bet the beads will glisten beautifully when placed near a light source.
After attending a class on thread sketching with Nicole Blum, I wanted to give this technique a whirl. (I also bought her bookand got it signed! ) What’s thread sketching? It is like drawing with your sewing machine, or free form sewing. My sewing machine wasn’t cooperating very well when I tried thread sketching at home, so I sewed a simple straight stitch, rotating the material to make the wavy lines. Maybe with practice and more experimentation, I can make some free motion designs. Despite the misbehaving sewing machine, I still came up with a fun design for a stocking; find out more after the jump.
Can you believe Christmas is only 9 days away? I’m sure you may still have lots of things to do—whether it is shopping, baking, and preparing for the big day. If you’re a little swamped with your To Do list, the elves are here to help. If you are looking for gifts or munchies for Christmas day, check out these snacks (and more) at Stonewall Kitchen. There’s still time to get your goods delivered by Christmas.
Want a delicious accompaniment to you food? Try one of these aiolis! Dip your French fries in it, spread it on a sandwich (use those turkey leftovers!), spoon it over veggies, or pair it with the meat of your main course.
Simply heat Chili Con Queso dip and serve with tortilla chips or veggies. If you don’t want to munch on this on Christmas, pop it open for your New Year’s fiesta.
If you haven’t already heard about washi tape yet, hold onto your seat! This decorative Japanese drafting tape comes in a variety of colors and designs, it’s repositionable, and it’s great for embellishing. Washi tape can be used for a plethora of things: packaging, scrapbooking, decorating, or whatever else you can think of. This tape is pretty hot stuff in the crafting world right now; give it a try!
Today, I’m showing you a few different ideas on things to do with washi tape. All you need are some plain gift bags, washi tape, and scissors. If you want to crank things up a bit, then you can use a little bit of embroidery floss. There’s no wrong way to decorate a bag—make it as simple or elaborate as you want.
Phew! I really worked up an appetite after making those North Pole Jam Pies this morning. As I fumbled through the kitchen trying to decide what to eat, I went for the—you guessed it—jam! We really appreciate a good jam because not just any ol’ jam will do. Here are some of our favorites that would make a tasty gift or stocking stuffing for anyone on your list.
Yum, yum, yum… fresh baked crafted goodness! The idea for these little pies popped into my head while making the Linzer Sable cookies. One of my favorite details is the jam oozing out of the sides of these pies. Make ‘em for yourself or for anyone who loves to bake! No kitchen required.