Monthly Archives: April 2014

Jeepers Peepers

So after three years of Mr. B talking me into getting LASIK we finally took the plunge! I cannot express the felling I have being able to wake up each morning post surgery and instantly be able to focus of things around our bedroom and not straining to see very fuzzy objects. The sun light pouring in is just amazing! Buh-bye twenty some years of wearing corrective lenses!

South Korea is known for medical tourism as well as having state of the art medical technology. The icing on the cake is, for the most part is that, procedures in Korea are also significantly inexpensive when comparing to that of the states. For example, in the states LASIK can cost anywhere from $2,500-$3,000 per eye. Also if you have poor vision, you could be subject to paying additional costs. In Korea the average cost for both eyes regardless of your prescription, ranges from 1.2-1.5 million won ($1,200-$1,500 USD).

So now you have a bit of the background. What happens next? Well mr. B and I wore our glasses for two weeks. Reality, you only need to wear glasses for a week, however we wanted to give our eyes a break from the contacts we constantly wear.

We made our appointment with Seoul Eye Clinic, Glory eyes in Gangnam. That was quite the experience in itself. When I called I was told that someone would call me right back to set up an appointment. Just as the secretary said, I received a call back 5-10 minutes later. I spoke with a gentleman, he spoke very well and was clearly understood. The only thing was that after speaking for a few moments he proceeded to tell me he was drunk. I was a bit shocked but in the same breath I thought to myself, well this is Korea the land of one-off. He eventually told me he was going to need to call me back tomorrow and apologized because his mother was very ill.

The next morning I waited until mid-afternoon for a call back. It didn’t happen, so I took matters into my own hands and called back. This time I spoke with a more coherent voice on the other end of the line. I was able to set up an appointment and hotel. Get this, the hotel was free! Score! We thought even if it was basic Korean rooms we were up for whatever because we were both getting the surgery done the same day.

Two weeks flew by and the next thing you know it was the morning of our appointment. We hopped on the train and sought out for Gangnam. The building was very easy to locate and is conveniently right near the subway line / exit.

We were immediately greeted by the receptionist. We only sat for about 10-15 minutes (we were early). Then we were individually taken for a standard series of vision tests and examinations. Seoul Eye Clinic is pretty busy, but is fairly large enough to accommodate the constant flow of foot traffic. Korean style, the entire process is set up like an assembly line and waiting queue. We each finished different portions of our test at various set up stations, then take an eye examination with the standard cover this eye read that letter, etc. then sit back down and wait to be seen by the doctor.

We were called into our doctors office and he is the one to tell you whether or not you’re a good fit for LASEK or LASIK and then proceeds to explain how the procedures is done for each. Thankfully we both were candidates for both procedures because of the decent amount of eye cornea thickness. We both decided on LASIK because of a shorter recovery time and significantly less discomfort post-surgery recovery. The doctor said excellent, let’s get prepped. Just like that we were on our way up the elevator to another floor in the building for surgery.

We waited about 10 minutes, there were three others in front of us. We could hear the laser machine buzzing as we waited and you could also watch the procedures as there were going on. At this point my stomach was in knots. The anticipation leading up to this crazy decision was eating me alive. Could I really do this?!

Just then, Mr. B was then called and taken into the surgery room. The staff cheerfully said you can join him to me. I don’t know what I was thinking, I followed along behind him. The automatic doors closed behind us and Mr. B was directed to lay down and they assisted him with putting on a silly medical cap on. Then they proceeded to scrubbing his face and placing a very sticky mask over your entire face (later to rip out some of my eyelashes and hair on my head), letting your eyes still peep through for the surgery. They then numb/dilate his eyes. Next was the most awkward feeling for the both of us, they suction cup your eyes open so you’re not able to close them during the procedure. Honestly the suction cups were about the only part that feels the worst…but you really cannot feel it, if that makes sense?

After his eyes were suctioned open, the doctor tells him to look at a flashing green dot and then proceeds to peel back a thin membrane off of his eye (Mind you I only know this from the random squeamish peeks and the doctor talking while doing the procedure). The intense part was that You can actually see your membrane being peeled off. Eek! Then the craziest and indescribable feeling follows when they wash out your eye with cold water after peeling back the eye membrane. Don’t worry, none of this experience was painful or hurt, it’s more psychological. The other part that messes with you is that you can smell the eye burning in the air during the procedure.

Bamb 10-15 minutes later Mr. B was done and I was next. A protective contact was put into each eye to protect the recent surgery for the day/night. Mr. B held my hand during the entire procedure and next thing you know I was done. I found it was easier to focus on the opposite eye each time they were working on the one. I also wiggled my thumb to try to take the focus off of my eyes too. Whatever gets you through it.

The doctor then said let’s get a photo! Of course, only in Korea ha ha! We were escorted up to the pharmacy to pick up three sets of drops (Antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and re-wetting drops) . Then back down to the waiting room again, where we sat with hazy vision for the next twenty minutes, putting in eyes drops every ten minutes.

Luckily Kelsey met us at the doctor’s office before hand and volunteered to escort us afterwards. We left the office and the sun was shining so brightly outside, we were instructed to bring sunglasses before the appointment so we thought we were prepared. Then as we walked, in between drops here and there, I just couldn’t shake that feeling of wanting to just close my eyes? We grabbed a very quick-lunch at a Twosome Cafe, then my eyes started to feel slightly better, however Mr. B’s eyes started to feel very irritated. We both decided it was best to just get to the hotel, get checked in and rest our eyes.

The Provista hotel wasn’t that far away from Seoul Eye Clinic. At that point I had some dryness but it wasn’t too bad. We both experienced a soft halo glow. We checked in and immediately went to sleep. We slept for four hours with our super awesome protective goggles on (check out Instagram). We woke up and decided to grab dinner at Outback Steakhouse, conveniently located in the lower level of the hotel. We then even felt good enough to venture out for a walk around Gangnam.

The next morning, Sunday, we checked out and headed to our post-op appointment. Our eyes felt much better. Still slightly sensitive to light but absolutely bearable. The doctor examined our eyes and removed the protective lens from our eyes. He said everything looked great. Hugh sigh of relief!

What an experience! After everything, I’d still recommend getting LASIK done at Seoul Eye Group in Korea! The care was excellent, very foreigner friendly and at an excellent price too! What is stopping you from going?

Now I’m researching where we can donate all of the miscellaneous glasses, contacts and contact solutions to.



Glory Seoul Eye Group / Seoul Eye Clinic

822-4 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Or subway: Exit 12 from Gangnam Station (Line 2/Sinbundang Line) and walk straight about 30 ~50 meters. Artbox and Daiso will be on your left. Seoul Eye Group clinic is located in the building right next to the Daiso on the left. Take the stairs up to the second floor, you’ve made it!

Tel: 010-7191-9769

Provista Hotel

1677-8 Seocho-1dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

Tel : +82-2-597-1140,1141
Fax : +82-2-597-1170

Or subway: line 2 or 3 Exit 1 Seoul nat’l univ. of education 3 minute walk to hotel.

Easter Sunday & Herb Island

What A big, beautiful weekend! Strawberry picking, tIme shared with Kelsey, dyeing Easter eggs with the twinkies, an Armenian Easter feast, celebration of new beginnings for dear friends and a trip to Herb Island. I hope you all had a fantastic, laughter filled, delicious weekend too (just check out the food below)! Happy Easter, Happy Weekend friends!

Silly Herb Island fun….



Herb Island
35, Cheongsin-ro 947beon-gil, Sinbuk-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 포천시 신북면 청신로947번길 35

Picking Strawberries 딸기

There’s nothing quite as sweet and springlike as eating freshly picked strawberries right off the vine. Somehow last year I missed out on strawberry picking season. So I did my research and made sure to know when the strawberry season would occur for the new year. It just so happens that April is peak strawberry season here in Korea.

Back in the states, I absolutely loved to go strawberry picking. I mean what’s not to love about eating your own body weight in berry goodness? Plus, I cannot think of anything more peaceful than wandering down rows of bright berry beds and carefully selecting the perfect gem to come home with me.

Today I roped my two counterparts into checking out a local berry farm. I wasn’t sure of the actual address, the hours, or if it even really existed. All I had was a hunch and a belly growling for berries, so off we went.

We were able to easily find the place, but when we pulled up and did some investigating the place looked sort of empty. Unsure, I walked around the backside of the building and took a look. Peaking into the greenhouses from the road I could see long lush rows of strawberry plants. Okay, perfect! This was the place! Hmmm….but where were the people? It was noon-ish, on a Saturday. I called the number on the sign posted out front. A sweet Korean man who barely spoke English answered. Between my limited Korean and his English, he arrived 3 minutes later!

For 10,000W, think $10.00 USD, the farmer handed us three plastic containers for our strawberries, led us into the greenhouse and proceeded to show us how to pick and enjoy the berries. He proudly emphasized eating the berries as we picked. Of course we could absolutely get on board with that!

The strawberry picking experience was slightly different from in the states for me. In Korea the strawberry plants are lifted off the ground on these 4FT planters, making the entire picking experience much more enjoyable!

As we picked down through the greenhouse we came upon a bee hive. Strawberry flowers need to be pollinated, without pollination berries usually result in misshapen fruit. I learned that a recommended bee hive size for greenhouse strawberry is one with 6,000 to 8,000 bees per 11,000 sq feet per small hive. Buzz, Buzz……



Located in Yangju off of highway Three. Coming from Dongducheon, turn left when at Yanju City Hall. The greenhouse is Located right on your left, after you make your left turn.

10,000 W per container, all you can eat

Yeouido Hangang Riverside Park 여의도 한강공원

I feel like TOMS and potbingsu pretty much sums up a spring or summertime dream here in Korea.

You know, I’ve been thinking about friendships again lately. With life, friendships come and go. In an expat community this is rather typical and pretty much the norm. One of the best parts about being an expat with a new-found friendship is that you have another connection to a different world. A world that you might not be familiar with and luckily you get to experience that little piece of the world through your friend.

What about you, do you think that each of our friendships with individuals represents a world in us, a world still forming or possibly not even born until they arrive?

This past weekend I met Kelsey at Namdamun Market. Unfortunately it was Sunday and I failed to realize that the buildings where we really wanted to go were closed. Oops… sorry Kelsey.

It wasn’t a total bust, we picked up some kumquat, watermelon and Ya-chae Ho-tteok stuffed full of jap-chae noodles. After walking around the market a bit, we headed to Myeongdong because it was so close to walk to. Kelsey showed me a few little boutiques that she visited the week prior and wanted to share, and then I shared the Artbox store with Kelsey. The Artbox is a cute little store with all sorts of stationary and wacky little gifts. Kelsey was on the hunt for a hot water tea kettle and she was able to pick one up in the Artbox for only 11,000W practically $11US Dollars. Score!

After visiting the markets, Kelsey asked if I wanted to check out a park that she also went to the prior week with a friend. The sun was shining and the day was absolutely gorgeous, so of course we went! We ended up at Yeouido Hangang Riverside Park 여의도 한강공원. Also known as Korea’s Manhattan, or the financial district. A very clean well-groomed part of Seoul. It was very easy to see why this area is so popular with its lush parks and attractive riverfront area.

We grabbed drinks and a potbingsu to go at a local convenience store/cafe. We found a nice quiet spot where we kicked back, slipped of our TOMS, dipped our feet in the cool water, took photos, talked and people watched (prime people watching territory… check out all of the couples wearing matching outfits, or riding tandem bikes!). All ranking high on my top list of things to do! We’ve made plans for a near future picnic too, now all I need is to locate a good picnic basket. Guess you will have to stay tuned in until next time.



Namdaemun Market
49, Namchang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Subway Line 4 at Seoul Station → Exit No. 5 in Hoehyeon Station
Closes every Sunday/Open 09:00 ~ 19:00
Namdaemun Market Tourist Information ☎ 02-752-1913

Myeongdong Market
Transfer to Subway Line 4 at Seoul Station → Exit No. 2 in Myeongdong Station
Myeongdong Tourist Information ☎ 02-774-3238

Yeouido Hangang Park
330, Yeouidong-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 영등포구 여의동로 330 (여의도동)
Yeouinaru Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 2 or 3.

Secret Garden

You know, spring really is magical.

Everything is finally cheerfully waking up from their long winter hibernation. Even on my grayest of days, I still find myself feeling happy inside when admiring the beauty that surrounds me. It takes my mind off the reality of adulthood and the complexity of pressures and stress, much like a self fulfilled mini-vacation since I haven’t done much traveling as of late.

This past week every day on the way to work I continued to admire from afar this one magnificent tree that pokes out from behind an abandoned restaurant very close to our complex. Each morning I would think I need to see this tree up close. It was practically begging to be photographed. Today was Friday so after work with no time schedule or plans I finally walked over to admire it up close and of course snap some photos to share with the rest of you. I cannot help but to feel like Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden.



Quiche. Baked.

Google describes a quiche as a savory, open-faced pastry crust with a filling of savory custard with cheese, meat, seafood, or vegetables. Google hit the nail on the head with its description! A quiche is just so versatile!

I’m finding comfort in these delicious days where the sun is shining a little longer than the past winter months. Firing up the oven baking a quiche is just the thing you need to showcase the springtime vegetable abundance. Think fresh tomatoes, asparagus, artichokes and garlic. Mmmhmmmm…

I’m such a sucker for a savory quiche, let’s be honest the topic of brunch in general. What’s not to love? This quiche is snap to make, impressive to serve, plus isn’t it a delight to eat? Think about serving at your next brunch with your girlfriends, or eat for dinner like I did. Couldn’t resist. To reach that full springtime nirvana why not try serving with a side of fresh spring greens. Enjoy!

Zucchini Quiche


1 large zucchini, grated
1 large onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup shredded carrots
Handful of cherry tomatoes
Ham or bacon, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup of oil
5 eggs
salt/pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Combine zucchini, onion, bacon, flour and cheese in a large bowl. Add oil and lightly beaten eggs and mix. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste . Pour mixture into baking dish.

Bake for 35-40 mins until golden and set. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Vegetables options are endless with your imagination! If you are worried about vegetarian guest simply leave out the meat.

Do you have a favorite brunch recipe? Go ahead and share!


What’s in the Box

Today I skipped down to the gate guard to pick up our last package, before we decide to renew again or not. Part of me was really sad that this was the end of our first run that we tried with the CSA. Okay, maybe all of me was sad…that being said, we’ve got to renew!

The CSA box contents changed and restructured a bit from the past boxes we’ve received. We knew it was coming, WWOOF made sure they let all box recipients last week know, as well as it being emailed and posted on social outlets. Now instead of getting breads and snacks in your box, WWOOF is focusing more on the emphasis of the produce. More green for your green! If you still want to get the breads and snacks, they are add on items. In addition to that there are also going to be more add-on items in the future as well. Talk of organic meats, jams, etc. How awesome is that?

This week we got our standard delicious strawberries, eggs (two unfortunate little guys didn’t make it and were cracked and oozing on the others), potatoes, sweet potatoes, a carrot, spinach, mallow, assorted salad vegetables, perilla leaves, and an onion. Then there was the show stopper, its last but certainly not least and is a new item, bean sprouts!

Let’s talk about the bean sprouts shall we? Bean Sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrients! You get vitamins B, C, B1, B6, K and A all from that teeny little bean sprout. Plus, sprouts are a wonderful source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and manganese, and omega 3 fatty acids. Whew! See, powerhouse! Low on energy? Forget that power bar or shake, reach for some sprouts! The sprouts help by giving our bodies a great source of enzymes that increase our overall energy.

I’m not even close to being done with the topic of these bean sprouts. Did you know that these sprouts help prevent cancer, heart attack or stroke, osteoporosis, boost fertility, are great for skin, help aid in losing weight and acne and prevent menstrual disorders and menopause.

Before coming to South Korea, I cannot say that we honestly ever ate bean sprouts. Now that Korean culture and eating habits have rocked our world, we couldn’t imagine a future without them. Almost any Korean restaurant serves bean sprouts often in a sauce or accompanying meat. They are a perfect side addition to a meal, on a salad, or even in soup.

What are you waiting for? Go out and grab some organic bean sprouts NOW!


Showers of pink petals

I don’t know where it came from…but the flowers seemed to explode on all the trees this past weekend. Just walking in the wind and shower of delicate pink petals painted this picture to me that everything was right with the world in that very moment.

I met up with Miss Kelsey again this past weekend to get my mop cut. Seriously folks it was getting a bit out of control. I don’t want to go there but I will. Can we say business in the front party in the back?? HA-HA. Kelsey wanted to get a trim and manicure too, so it was a perfect excuse for a girls day.

Before heading off to our salon appointment we strolled all around Itaewon. The weather was a bit brisk but it was perfect for walking. You know the kind right? Not to hot, not to terribly cold. Besides, studies show that because walking is a repetitive activity, it helps trigger the body’s relaxation mode that helps reduce stress (we both needed that after the week we had) plus, at the same time, a ten minute walk provides an immediate energy booster and improves your mood. It’s proven to snap you out of your funk (again needed). Research also suggest that you should aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps a day (equivalent to approximately 5 miles), the magic number that keeps most from gaining weight. Here’s what my Fitbit tracked while strolling around the Itaewon area with Kelsey. Not to shabby right? Okay, I will hop off my soapbox now.


Perhaps all those steps made up for the lunch we had? Softree for a magic lamp. It’s magical all right! Organic vanilla soft-serve with caramel swirls and a fine crushed nut topping. I took notes from my late great-grandmother and do cover the important parts of meals first. Dessert. We then followed up with a chicken pita and greek salad from Greek on the Grill. Delicious and cheap too.

Check them out and let me know what you think.

Greek on the Grill Restaurant

마포구 와우산로 66 (본점), Seoul, 121-837
소프트리 SOFTREE Ice Cream Shop
용산구 이태원로 208 (이태원점), Seoul, 140-893


What’s In The Box?

One of the best parts about our weekly CSA box is the excitement that surrounds opening it and not knowing quite what to expect. Each week the contents change slightly with whatever the harvest seasons is offering. We wonder what little surprises will there be? Are there going to be unrecognizable items that we need to do a little research on? Endless questions and anticipation answered every Tuesday afternoon when we make our way down to our gate guard building to pick the box up.

Take last week for example, we received mallow greens. What in the world? This was a green that was not familiar to us. I am curious, is it a green you are familiar with? The younger leaves and shoots of the green contain vitamins A, B1, B2, C and can be enjoyed raw like adding to salads or cooked. We ended up sautéing the greens with our organic garlic that also was included in the CSA box. Nice pairing slightly bitter and the taste reminding us of spinach.

This week we received crown daisy. Another new green to Mr. B and I. Are you familiar with this green? In doing research I was able to find that crown daisy, often called “ssukgat” in Korean, is an edible chrysanthemum. Who knew! I was really surprised to see how much power is packed in these little greens, it helps prevent insomnia, it’s rich in iron to prevent anemia, it may help reduce the risk of strokes, rich in carotenoid antioxidants and promotes digestion. Whew! I was pretty pumped so I continued researching to see what recipes we might be able to use the greens in. My ending results surrounds soups, Korean pancakes, stir fry and noodle dishes. I will keep you posted on the taste once we decide how we will use it.

I’ve included the rest of the contents in the box via photos below to share with you all. Doesn’t it all look so delicious?

These days I am really striving to live by the advice of Julia Child. Eventually I want to get my hands on her Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook. “This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” ― Julia Child, My Life in France

In other food news….

Costco dumping $2.6m of peanut butter in New Mexico landfill. Read more here.

“Hunger makes animals alert and irritable, which explains why couples always fight about where to eat dinner.” Now this explains a lot…. Read more here.

Is drinking Coca-Cola really worth it? You might want to read this before reaching for another cold on.

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them!