birthday sparklers

After feeling much anxiety about getting older this year, I decided to embrace it. So I decided that I wanted sparklers.  Yes, sparklers because they have an element of danger and fun all at once. Thank you dear friends for bringing more than enough sparklers (over 200???). It was a pretty beautiful sight at East Coast Park with the ocean behind us.

My lovely and introspective friends kept asking me what my goals/wishes are for this new year. And each time I said I don’t know because deep down I wasn’t really ready to get older. But after a week and half, I finally came up with 5 hopefully easy goals and sharing them will make me more likely to achieve them.

1. Get my scuba diving certification.

2. Travel to new places: Beijing (run a race on the great wall), Myanmar (ride a hot air balloon), and New Zealand (climb glaciers or something cool….).

3. Cook more at home and invite people to actually eat my food.

4. Become better at photography. Maybe take a class or just buy a nicer lens… 😉

5. Do something that scares me. (Hopefully, if I achieve #1, then I can cross this one off too.)

I took the first and last photo on my iphone 5s. The rest of the amazing photos are thanks to our resident photo experts: James K. & Tim Ng! TY!

*Check out James’s photos that are selling on visual trooper! You can buy different sizes, and they are all pretty incredible photos of Singapore.

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{happy birthday melody}

When I first met Melody, we were both lost at Yongsan base, trying to find the Jubilee picnic and I had not idea that our lives would become so interconnected through my time in Korea, after this chance meeting. A few months later, I met Melody again at a Jerusalem Ministry prayer meeting.  As our friendship grew, I found out that she was a certified teacher and told her to apply to my school.  She of course got the job, and I quickly found out how enthusiastic and talented she was as a teacher.

The next few years, we got to work together, hang out a lot as neighbors, and serve together. We went to the orphanage together on Monday nights and even went to Nepal on a missions trip to train teachers there. Now, we have our teaching blog, two apples a day and are in the midst of starting a non profit organization with two other amazing friends, Dyanne and Tammi.

Cheers to a friendship that continues to grow and challenge one another! Cheers to a fabulous blogging partner! Cheers to celebrating your beautiful life!

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Celebrating a Birthday Vatos Style

It’s always a treat when I get to go to Vatos in Itaewon. I remember the first time I went on a cold December evening, where my friend Joebo, who was visiting, introduced me to the place. He was friends with one of the owners which is no surprise since most Korean-Americans are connected to each other in one way or another. That was when I first tried their kimchi carnitas fries. This is probably the best thing on their menu. Make sure to get the nutella nachos for dessert!

Last Friday, we went there to celebrate our favorite French-Canadian friend Joelle’s birthday. It was a night full of loud laughter, good food and drinks. I’m glad that we could get a reservation for a Friday night! Their kimchi carnitas fries never disappoint! Their tacos are delicious and filling, plus the complementary salsa and chips are an extra bonus. They leave you wanting more. After a lot of eating and celebrating, we left pretty full and satisfied. Make sure to make reservations before if you are going during dinner and on the weekend!

For directions, go to the website: