Tag Archives: friends


I speculate that while on vacation, you are the best possible version of yourself…especially  when you are vacationing in Guam.

I can’t entirely chalk it up being away from work, because let be candid…when are you ever truly “away” and completely disconnected?

I don’t know about you, but for me being on vacation puts me in this at peace vacation state of mind that refreshes my mind and body and reminds me little by little about the things I’ve put on the back-burner but really do love. Thanks Blakley’s!


Moody Weather

This weekend was damp, foggy and moody. You know the kind, absolutely perfect for snuggling in and watching movies while playing games.

We watched The Office (currently re-watching the seasons together), lit candles all the while beautiful golden-yellow and fire-red leaves gracefully drop outside as the fog rolled by our floor to ceiling length living room windows.

We drove around the countryside with friends looking at the fall color, it was breathtaking. The colors and the views, ah! It reminded us of fall in Pennsylvania, I get the sneaking suspicion that’s part of the reason why we love our little home in South Korea so much.

There is just something about admiring God’s wonderful work that makes my little heart sing.

We stopped off at a coffee shop, Cafe Terra, nestled high up on the mountainside. We ordered and sipped on caramel macchiatos, enjoyed sweet chocolaty honey bread (I had a bite…you know not a fan of chocolate) took turns oogling the sweetest baby ever and enjoyed one another’s stories and friendly conversations. Did I mention this cafe had three charming pups, some song birds, and a tepee just outback? Yep, it was definitely our jam.

Here’s hoping you had an equally moody November weekend.

^^What happens when you give Mr. B the camera….


Cafe Terra: 가평읍 (산유리 725-1), Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do #010-5419-8789


What I love about Seoul is that I never know day-to-day, week to week, what I am going to get myself into, or who I am going to meet. The adventures are always endless and the choices are so grandiose. Do I hike? bike? head to a coffee shop? be a tourist? head to the east coast beaches? shop? Or, do I decide to hop on a train and just explore a random train stop?

This weekend I decided to get myself back down to Seoul, specifically the Itaewon area and pick up freshly baked bread, as well as stop by and see my friend Mipa at her newly opened bake shop PLANT. Again, big surprise decisions made around food. I don’t care, I am not ashamed to admit that… my belly and my soul truly needed it.

The bakery of choice was Maybell 메이벨 베이커리오월의종. Maybell has been listed as one of the top 7 must get to bakeries if you ever find yourself in Seoul. What I love about Maybell is that you are not going to bite into a scrumptious crusty piece of bread to find chunks of corn or a crazy hot dog. Yes, I am serious.. it happens more than I’d like to admit here. I pick dainty little wonderfully looking creations from places like Paris Baguette, example a strawberry harmonica…and then there is a hotdog hiding in there! You think I’d learn too? No, I am almost always startled and find myself saying, “What in the world is this doing in here?” Oh Korea, ha-ha!

Maybell is the real deal, it’s true to form European-style bread. I knew that I had to get there quickly because they sell out rather early in the day. Well, I guess I wasn’t the only one with bread on the brain this afternoon, I got there and stood in a line that looped around the tiny bakery. Not to worry, there still was plenty of choices and I still was able to snag my favorites; cranberry rye, a loaf of rye, and ciabatta.

When leaving Maybell to head to PLANT, every time I’d moved my bag or bump it, the aroma of the bread would just swirl right out and up into my nostrils. Mmmmm… I could live in bakery if I could smell that all day everyday.

Prices: Baguettes ₩3,000; sourdough loaf ₩5,000

Hours: Monday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m., closed on Sundays

Address: 737-2 Hannam 2-dong, Yongsan-gu (용산구 한남2동 737-2);+82 02 792 5561

Conveniently Maybell isn’t that far from PLANT. I arrived at PLANT at the right time because there were only two woman sipping drinks and sharing conversation, eventually each seat at the three tables would become filled, as well as people waiting to grab a seat. This bit of lull gave me the chance to talk with Mipa for a few minutes. I asked about how she was doing and how business was, I was pleased to hear that she had been really busy and the business was going well. I then asked if I could snap a few photos for the blog because I wanted to help get the word out about her and her partners bake shop. She of course permitted and went back into her glass baking sanctuary to start on my lunch order.

Mipa is incredibly sweet and incredibly talented. She is very passionate about being vegan and loves to share her ideals and values through her food and blog. I knew that I had to grab lunch after seeing her post’s earlier in the week. The lunch menu for this afternoon was a tuna and chickpea salad or a teriyaki Tofu Sandwich. I wanted both! The decision was way to hard! In that moment I really wished Mr. B was with me so that he could get one option and I could get the other. I decided to ask the expert, Mipa. I explained that I needed to save room for a delicious treat afterwards, naturally. Mipa suggested the sandwich then, so the sandwich is what I ordered. Right away I decided that my treat afterwards would be a slice of red velvet cake with cashew cream frosting. All I can say is that both my belly and my soul are filled and oh so happy. The food was out of this world.

While sitting there reading my book and enjoying each bite of my sandwich, I ended up shared my table with another woman who looked to be the same age as me. We ended up exchanged a few stories, laughing together, and eventually chatting through our entire lunch while sitting there. It’s incredible when you meet a stranger that you are so comfortable with that you feel you knew practically your entire life. Again, I chalk the experience up to the unknown magic and endless possibility of Seoul. We made sure to exchange contacts and hope to get together again soon. Perhaps even at PLANT where it all began?

Directions to PLANT: ( Straight from Mipa, herself)

Itaewon Station, Line 6, exit 4. Come out the exit and walk straight, down Itaewon road. There will be a Converse store on your left. Immediately after Converse, turn left into the narrow alleyway with steps. Walk down the steps and cross the next intersection. Continue walking straight and go down an alleyway, passing a pasta restaurant on your left. Keep walking a little further and PLANT will be on your right. 5-7 minute walk from the station.

서울시 용산구 이태원동 63-15
Phone: 070-4115-8388
Hours: Tues-Sun 11am-7pm. Lunch service starts at noon.
Closed on Mondays.


Color On A Colorless Day

We awoke this morning to such tragic news headlines. Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston marathon, killing at least three people and seriously injuring hundreds. . . REALLY? Do we REALLY live in this kind of world? The kind of world where we have to be afraid to go outside of our own homes? The kind of world where we can never truly let our guard down? It makes me cringe and makes my heart ache. Unfortunately, it’s never going to get better or go back to the way it was years ago. All states could ban guns, weapons, you name it… it wont ever change what our society has become. There isn’t any turning back. Ever. Incredibly scary!

There isn’t a week that goes by where we don’t have family or close friends telling us to come back to the states. To be completely frank, we know that there is no true safe place in the world. No place that a person can ever escape harms way. However, days like today make our dinner conversations surround topics such as, how we feel safer with our neighbors to the North threatening nuclear war than the US where you have to worry about little Timmy shanking his kindergarten teachers and classroom classmates. Who knows, maybe those neighbors to the North will have us eating our words in a few hours, days, weeks, months, or even years. But in this moment, this is how we feel.

In honor of such a colorless day, I decided we needed something for dinner that had life and color to it. I knew just what to use for inspiration! My Cambodian cookbook that I purchased in Phnom Penh from an NGO, called Friends that I fell in love with while there.

The recipe, Green Mango Slaw. If you find yourself in the same boat as us, without access to green mango, no worries! The recipe still will work out just fine with a regular not too ripe mangoes.

Green Mango Slaw
Recipe slightly adapted from Phnom Penh Friends restaurant.
Serves four
2 Mangoes, not too ripe, peeled and shredded
1 Bag of brocoli slaw, use the kind with carrots and red cabbage
1 Medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
1/2 Medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp fresh basil, thinly chopped
1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
1 Tbsp white sesame seeds
Ingredients for dressing:
1 Cup Thai sweet chili sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
Pour all of the dressing ingredients in a  jar with lid and shake well. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all the slaw ingredients except sesame seeds. Toss slaw with the dressing, divide between four plates and sprinkle with the seeds.
You can eat this dish completely on its own, or serve with a nice piece of chicken or fish. We opted for a side of Mahi-Mahi fish. Perfect pairing to the slaw.
Hope a little color has been added back into your colorless day too.


Saying Buh-Bye not Goodbye

“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.” LOL! That song reminds me of when I was a little girl and in Brownies, the younger aged little ladies of the Girl Scouts. Yup, I was a cookie working sales professional with my sash and all.

I don’t know why, but these photos jogged some suppressed memory of my childhood. Hence the song. These were taken at dinner tonight. While the dinner was certainly delicious and the company was excellent, my heart and head were on overload. Our dear friends, the P family, currently in the military are leaving Korea very shortly. They will move onto their next duty station and this was one of our last buh-byes.

I know that no one said it would be easy. Actually, sometimes it’s quite hard. Yes, I admit it…living abroad can be hard! It’s not like when you were a brownie, or in grade school. You are an adult, meeting people, getting to know them, let them into your life, trust them…It takes time.
All the while, you pack up, you move, you unpack, you live, you make friends, they pack up, they move, and so on. So, when you meet other foreigners or couples, in the back of your mind you know it’s not a permanent state, but you try not to let it get to you. You try to think positively and be grateful that your paths crossed in both of your lifetimes. However, you are human. Being human means that you have those days or moments where it does get to you.

People are going to move in and out of your life. Often times it is very quickly, depending on when the timeframe you meet them was. It’s such a bittersweet feeling. The one thing that I find myself clinging onto for comfort is, knowing that we have friends that are spread out across the entire world. When we find ourselves in their parts, or them in ours, we know we will always have local tour guides to navigate the area with.

P family, Best wishes! May this new beginning bring your family success in everything that you do! Until we meet again! We miss you dearly already!