Summer Diaries 2: Moving, Long Talks, and Reading for Fun

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We are already halfway through 2017! I have finished the first batch of summer classes, and although final projects and exams were quite overwhelming, I have been trying to remind myself that tests and school are not the only things in life. The weather has been pretty nice these days, but I can’t decide which is better: a super sunny day that makes me sweat like a waterfall or rainy weather that literally feels like a waterfall.

I spent the first several weeks of class living with my younger sister Lisa. Not only was she a tremendous help when I was in the process of moving out of my apartment that I had lived in for over two years, she really supported me emotionally through all the changes and the tough times I was having recently. Being just two years apart, I feel like she has been kind of like my best friend. Yes, we fight nonstop, especially when we are physically together. But we spend way more time laughing at stupid things and having each other’s back. That’s just how siblings work, right?

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Lisa and me in our kindergarten years, cheesing with Grandma at a resort back in Korea. I remember those dresses were custom-made to match.

 

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Summer Diaries 1: Graduation Week!

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I’ve always strived to be good – to ace that test, run the race, to find the answer. But I had never really thought about my life as a whole. Who am I, and where am I going?

In May 2017, I was officially finished with my undergraduate education! I was especially excited to have my family here to celebrate this joyous occasion with me. But having my parents and my sister stay in my measly midtown apartment wasn’t so easy. ‘This week was supposed to be about me’, I thought. I had successfully completed four painstakingly arduous years of college education away from home, and now it was time to honor that. But as the week went by, I was starting become tired down by the constant need to satisfy my parents’ jetlagged, awkwardly-timed hunger, both for food and visiting attractions in New York City. On top of that, I was in the process of moving out of my apartment, so I couldn’t even find where anything was amongst the storm that was the disarray of suitcases and clothes. Disoriented and stressed out from having to play the tour guide… There I was, kindling a love-hate relationship with my family all inside my own head.

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The night before my all-university commencement day, I suddenly realized that this week wasn’t about celebrating my achievements. In fact, this was all thanks to my mom and dad. They had poured their support and resources into my education and to helping me study what I wanted to pursue in life. I had been so preoccupied with getting the attention that I did not even deserve that I’d totally been ignorant of how thankful I should be for my parents. Truthfully, sometimes it’s the people who are the closest and most precious to you that you find the hardest to be grateful for.

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Ancolie: Jars Galore!

I am back with a cafรฉ discovery! I occasionally walk by this spot on my way to class and decided to give it a try with a friend. The cafe has two to three small tables, nicely decorated with succulent pots and bright lighting. The overarching theme of the cafe seemed to be the reusable jars that they sell their food items in (even the wifi password had a witty touch related to jars!). Soy and coconut milk options are available for coffee drinks – kind of sad that they didn’t have almond milk, but the coffee tasted good nonetheless. Plus, the service was amazing – the staff was very kind.

 

I loved the idea of the food and beverage items being in glass jars. On my visit one morning to grab a quick breakfast and coffee, I picked up a matcha chia pudding, of course in a jar! I actually got to bring the jar home with me, and I’m planning on making my own little parfaits in the little glass container.

The cafe is located just off of Washington Square west on 8th street. If you want to find a spot to chat with a friend or just someplace to get some work done without having to fight for a table at Starbucks or Think Coffee, this is the spot for you.

Ancolie

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58 W 8th St New York, NY 10011

 

Spring Break in Cancun!

Last week during spring break, I went on my very first tropical vacation to Mexico with my friends! It was truly one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever had. I was able to escape the major snowstorm that hit New York and enjoy beautiful summer weather instead… I’m already missing the ocean breeze and the unlimited pina coladas!

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Banter (Sullivan Street) – Aussie Cafe near NYU

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Fancy brunch spots are nice when you get the change, but nothing is more relaxing and satisfying than sipping on some coffee at a cozy, quiet cafe. Last week, I had the pleasure of discovering this new Austrailian cafe super close to school! My friend and I walked in on a Thursday evening, and we were immediately greeted by a coffee counter with a giant espresso machine – and some nice Austrailian baristas/waiters who guided us to a table.

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February Catch-Up

Hello! It’s been about a month since I last blogged. Every time I go on a mini hiatus like this one, it means that I’ve just been crazy busy either too caught up in work/school. But I always make sure to try and document daily moments as best as I can. Here are some highlights from February that I want to share with you:

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This month, I went to a retreat with my church family. I also happen to be on the planning team, so the whole process of coming up with the schedule and the recreational events was quite a challenge. But with the grace of God, we were able to pull off a great afternoon filled with fun and meaningful activities! We stayed at a Christian Academy, with all the girls in cozy little bunk beds (although I probably got around six hours of sleep over these two days). But most importantly, the seminars were quite eye-opening, and they really made me think about what kind of Christian I want to be.

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With February also came Valentine’s Day. My boyfriend and I spent the day with a nice dinner and a movie – all with flowers and a fluffy teddy bear ๐Ÿ™‚ I gifted him a box of handmade chocolates.

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One night, we were just having dinner in Koreatown – and as I was walking out of the restaurant, I saw Claire Marshall, one of my favorite Youtube beauty bloggers! She had flown from LA for New York Fashion Week, and it just felt so surreal to see her in real life. I felt really nervous about approaching her because it wasn’t a meet & greet or anything, just me literally walking up to her. But she was incrediblyย nice and cool about taking a picture by stepping outside of the restaurant as well.

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(Still can’t believe this happened.)

I told myself that I would continue to try new things and challenge myself in 2017, and I think this next item definitely falls in that category. I signed up for a week’s worth of aerial yoga classes this month, and I really liked it! I was actually really scared that I would fall off the silk and embarrass myself, but like any other yoga class, everyone was very considerate and the instructors were very encouraging. The one thing I like about yoga classes is that you can always take the class at your own pace and do what makes your body happy. After just a week, I can already tell that these classes really strengthen my muscles – I am strongly considering going back! Plus, who doesn’t like swinging on a floating hammock?

I’m still walking to and back from school, but with preparing for the CPA exams and all, I feel like I haven’t been living on the healthiest diet & exercise schedule. I’m really hoping to get in shape before spring break. I should probably start drinking more water (since I drink A LOT of coffee as well) and really work on developing those toned muscles.

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That wraps up my February catch-up, and I leave you with the unbelievable fact that we only have two days til March. Time really flies…

Korea Haul | Winter 2017

Since I will probably have to move later this year, I didn’t want to buy and bring back a lot of stuff with me from Korea this winter break. Nevertheless, there were some essentials and cool items that I could not help but purchase… and here they are! This year, my purchases seem to be heavily leaning towards products from Innisfree (understandably because there are no store in New York and it happens to be one of my favorite brands). Anyway, let’s dive in!

[SKINCARE]

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1.Innisfree Green Tea Mineral Mist. This is a frequent repurchase item for me, and Innisfree stores often have great deals for these facial mists. I got two bottles for the price of one, and these travel-sized bottles are great to carry around in my purse as well. It has a very refreshing scent, and with the heater on when the weather is cold outside, this is a must-have item to keep your face moisturized. One thing to remember is to NOT shake the bottle – otherwise it will spray in little blotches.

2.Innisfree Green Barley Multi-cleansing Tissue. I had just run out of makeup removing wipes when I arrived in Seoul, so this was one of the first items I bought in Korea. I remember one of my high school friends telling me that Innisfree’s facial wipes were famous, so I decided to try them out! Indeed, these wipes make my skin feel super clean and effectively removes all of my face makeup. However, it’s not so good at taking down that waterproof mascara… I would suggest going in with an eye makeup remover beforehand. I rather like the slightly oily feeling the wipes leave on my skin, because I often hang around the house for a good while after using one of these wipes to take off most of my makeup. That lotion-y effect keeps my skin hydrated before I cleanse further right before bed.

3.Missha Super Aqua PORE-Kling Toner. This one takes the cake for the most surprisingly great skincare purchase this winter. Originally around $11-12, I found this toner on sale for just around $3.ย I had for some reason only brought a travel-sized bottle of toner, so this seemed like a good purchase. I figured that must be a reason for the sale, but this toner is actually pretty good! It contains sparkling water from Napoli, Italy that has fine bubbles rich in potassium. It’s supposed to tighten and purify the pores, and I think it does a good job. The bottle carries 180 ml of product, which was more than a generous amount for me to douse my face in this freshly-scented toner water day and night for an entire month (I’ve used up less than a quarter so far). I like the minimal design and the lightness of the bottle, and overall, highly recommend this toner!

4.Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Blackhead Out Balm. Did you know that pore strips are actually worse for your pores in the long run? I might still go for one (just to feel that satisfaction of pulling out the gunk and seeing it happen) from time to time, but I was looking for a milder alternative for getting rid of white/blackheads when I found this balm. Before cleansing, I just take a dime-sized amount and massage it onto my nose and chin area, and the product draws out all the sebum and melts away the blackhead. It’s somewhat less satisfying than a pore strip, but I think it’s healthier for my pores.

[MAKEUP]

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