Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Travel Inspiration - Netherlands

     The Netherlands is a small (as are most European countries!) but fascinating country, and my time spent there was all too short. I was there for a brief couple of days a few years ago, during my big European trip, but as with most places on that trip, I hope to return there one day, to experience it a bit more thoroughly, once I'm living in the UK again. Amsterdam is, of course, the most famous place in the country, known for its pretty canals and beautiful architecture, and historically, was home to Anne Frank. There's more to the Netherlands outside the capital too though, and I got to spend an afternoon in the countryside, around the village of Edam (where the cheese comes from!). This part of Europe is called the "Low Countries" for a reason, as the country is very flat, and some areas actually sit below sea level!

Windmill in the Dutch countryside around Edam | Netherlands, Europe

Monday, 28 November 2016

Outfit - Beanie & Boots

     The temperature is definitely dropping now! It's pretty chilly when I walk to work in the mornings, so I've had to start adding this beanie hat most days - and black is easy to add to any outfit, especially when my leather jacket is black too! I'm actually wearing a cardigan under the jacket too, but you can't really see it in these photos, since the green and black top is short sleeved (I've previously styled the same top like this, with my old boots). Even when it's cold, I'll still wear skirts or dresses with tights, but there are also plenty of days when I just want to throw on some jeans; these grey ones are particular favourites of mine, and I like the charcoal tones of this whole look with the grey and black together. Finally, the boots are a recent purchase, as my old black boots were starting to get full of holes! They're fake suede, which is nice and warm actually, and they feel like they'll be sturdy enough for walking about in winter.

Beanie & Boots | outfit of black leather jacket, green print top, grey jeans, tall black suede boots & beanie hat

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Taejongdae Park | Busan

     Back when I lived in Hong Kong, I went hiking fairly regularly - I'm not the fittest person, so I'm not scaling mountains or anything, but long-ish easy to medium country walks with some hills suit me fine. I haven't really been out doing anything like that yet here in Korea (apart from some beach wandering), but last weekend I finally ventured into the countryside again. Some of the hills and mountains around Busan are on the larger side, so I opted to ease myself back in again with a visit to Taejongdae Park. Walking around the circuit here takes a couple of hours, but is all paved and only has slight inclines and declines, so it's more of a country walk than a hike, but it was still nice to be outside for a while.

Autumn foliage in Taejongdae Park, Busan, South Korea

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Exploring Seomyeon | Busan

     Seomyeon is one of the busiest parts of Busan, known for its huge range of places to shop and eat. It's also located on the intersection of two of the busiest subway lines, and is fairly central to the city anyway. I'm finding it to be a common place to agree to meet people, for dinner or coffee or drinks, whatever, since it's so central. It also has plenty of bars and clubs, so it's easy to find yourself here in the wee hours of the morning. However, I do feel like it lacks much else to do; where Nampo has Busan Tower and Jagalchi Market, and Haeundae has the beach and aquarium, Seomyeon is just shop after restaurant after bar after shop. I'd been in the area many times, mostly for dinner or drinks, but hadn't really explored it much more than that, so the other week I decided to take a couple of hours to roam around and see what I could find and photograph.

Street in Seomyeon, Busan, South Korea

Monday, 21 November 2016

Outfit - Purple Plum Patterns

     I think the colours in this dress are just perfect for the autumn season, when deeper, richer tones are all around us. Darker colours are typically what I lean towards anyway, like purples and black, but I like the addition of the brown belt that came with this dress, which feels very appropriate for autumn by adding in some warmer tones. I decided to play that up more with the brown boots too. I've previously used the dress in this outfit post, where I kept the whole look very light for summer heat, but now that it's cooler, I've added layers. Tights are great in the cooler month, but since this is a shorter dress, I've played it safe (and warmer!) by wearing leggings with it this time, and of course, adding a long, cosy cardigan for extra warmth. I sort of wanted a warm colour, to match the overall tones of the outfit, but as it's not a palette I typically wear, my options were limited, so I stuck to the muted tones of the grey. I've been wearing less jewellery lately (a phase I go through every so often), so sleeper hoop earrings are easy, along with the rings and watch I always wear.

Purple Plum Patterns | outfit of short black dress with purple pattern and brown belt, worn with black leggings and brown ankle boots

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Review - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

     It's back. Five years since the Harry Potter films were completed, but now the magic that filled my childhood is back, and it's wonderful. Having grown up with the original series, I was both excited and apprehensive of this new film. I was sure the magic would be amazing, as always, but I was nervous about new characters and settings and stories being brought into this world I love so much - what if I didn't like them? Fortunately, I enjoyed Fantastic Beasts so, so much, from the moment 'Hedwig's Theme' was played over the opening titles. (Mild spoilers ahead).

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie poster

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The Queen's Banquet | Busan

     When living in another country, there's a whole host of new things to experience, and as well as adapting to day-to-day life, I like to try to see different parts of the country and learn a little about the culture. I had another chance to do that last week, when I went to watch a traditional Korean dance show, called 'The Queen's Banquet'. It takes place every night at 8pm - so if you're ever in Busan, it's easy to catch a performance - at the Haeundae Grand Hotel. Photography is permitted, but no flash, but I had assumed it wouldn't be so these are only phone quality photos today, no big camera. Anyway, it tells the story of the King and Queen hosting a Court Banquet, with special emphasis on the Queen's rituals, and then of the People's Feast, and the common people entertaining the royals in return.

Leaflet featuring poster design for The Queen's Banquet, traditional dance show, in Busan, South Korea

Monday, 14 November 2016

Outfit - Gossamer Dreams

     I'm in love with how floaty and delicate this skirt is! The fabric is so light and airy, which is only emphasised further by being semi-transparent, with those darker stripes breaking it up. There's a silk underskirt of course, though it is a little short so you do have to be careful sometimes! The longer length of the outer layer is different for me though, as I typically stick to above the knee since I think it suits my height, but I'm liking this one a lot! The black tights keep it more formal though, and I like the contrast of the delicate skirt with the chunkier and more grown-up ankle boots. I've stuck with dark colours for this look, as is my typical palette, and it feels appropriate on moody, overcast days like this one. I matched my earrings to my top, and I thought the Tree of Life necklace had the same ethereal, earthy quality as the skirt.

Gossamer Dreams | outfit of plain purple t-shirt, black cardigan, black semi-transparent floaty skirt and black heeled ankle boots

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Exploring Markets & Memorials | Seoul

     Last weekend I hopped on the train and zoomed up north to Seoul again (read about my last trip there in this post). The reason that brought about this trip was a friend of my parents was over in Korea for work, so I was going to meet up with her. And she'd brought over some goodies from home for me, mostly skincare and makeup products that I couldn't find here - ridiculous, given how big Korea's skincare industry is, but it's hard to know what to buy when you can't read the labels! - and some foodstuffs, because all I really need in life is decent tea, coffee and chocolate! Anyway, I figured I may as well make a whole weekend out of it, so I caught a train up early on Saturday morning and stayed until Sunday evening. I do like that Korea is small enough that it's easy to explore outside of Busan even in just a regular two day weekend, although I've yet to go anywhere besides Seoul so far.

Jogyesa Temple Autumn Chrysanthemum Festival

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Wanderlust Tag

     Even though I've seen so many new countries in the past few years, I'm always dreaming of the next destination. There's still so much of the world I want to see, beautiful sights to see, foreign cultures to experiences, and adventures to enjoy. Due to my current job, it will be many months before I can go somewhere new - though I can, of course, still explore the rest of Korea in the mean time - so for now, I'm filling in some tag questions about my wanderlust.

Wanderlust definition on background of snowy scene out an airplane window

Monday, 7 November 2016

Outfit - Autumnal

     Oh I do love autumn, and autumn in Korea suits me ever so well. It's cool, but still dry and sunny - excuse my squinting in the photos though, the only good lighting angle for the clothes meant the sun was in my eye - and the colours of the leaves in the sunlight are just stunning (I love Scotland, but our autumns tend to be in the wet, grey end of the spectrum). And I love that autumn is the perfect season for most of my favourite clothes and style choices, like light dresses, layers, and boots, all of which are in today's outfit, as you see. I've been wanting a white dress like this for a while, something delicate and girly, but which I can pair with pieces that roughen it up a bit, like this checked shirt, to be more in line with my style and personality. And it fits in perfectly with the season, especially when worn with my brown, very autumnal, boots. I don't know how often I'll trust myself to wear this dress, because you know, WHITE (it won't be going near my kindergarteners at any rate!) but I'm very glad I bought it anyway.

Autumnal | outfit of short, white lacy dress, blue and whited checked shirt, and brown suede ankle boots

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Haeundae Beach | Busan

     Being a coastal city, Busan has several beaches to choose from, if you want to spend some time in the sand by the ocean. I arrived here at the end of the summer, and the official "swimming season", when there are lifeguards around, ends then too, though you can still swim if you want, so I missed the properly sunny beach weather. That doesn't mean I can't still enjoy the beaches though! I've yet to visit most of them, and some are more difficult to get to, involving long bus or taxi rides. Gwangalli, where the Fireworks Festival is held, is an easily accessible one, with lots of popular expat bars on the waterfront too, and I've spent a few evenings there. Haeundae is the biggest and most popular, as far as I know though. It's a bit further out on the subway (Line 2), depending where you start from, but then it's a short walk down to the sand. I went once by myself a few weeks ago, then again last weekend with a friend.

Haeundae beach, Busan, South Korea

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

South Korea | 2 Month Update

     I've been in Korea for just over two months now, and I thought it was about time to write an update about how everything is going here. I was going to write this last week, until I got sick over the weekend - read my last post about the school Halloween party for more on that... I've written a few times about places around Busan, like the Nampo area where I live, and what my work days are like. I've been lucky enough to have attended a couple of festivals, and got to go up to Seoul during the 5 day Chuseok holiday back in September. However, all of these things make life sound really fun, which it obviously isn't every single day! So in this post I'll be covering more about what day-to-day life is like. Also, can you believe a year ago I was writing this same update about my first couple of months in Hong Kong? Life has been crazy this year!

Gwangan Bridge seen from Gwangalli beach in the evening, Busan, South Korea

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