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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Carving oranges for Halloween!!

There are a lot of things you have to give up when you live outside of the US!  For me, carving pumpkins at Halloween is one of those things!  There just simply ARE NOT pumpkin patches, or pumpkin carts at every intersection!  In fact, I've only ever seen big American style orange pumpkins in Korea ONCE, and that was 3 years ago!  Sooo... This year, I decided I was going to put my resourceful cap on and carve something - the closest thing I could think of was an orange!  Turns out, it was actually really simple to do, much cheaper, and just as much fun! 

Step 1:
Find an orange that can sit up on it's own and cut the top off, just like you would a pumpkin.

Step 2:
Take a spoon and dig between the orange's peel and the orange inside.  This is actually easier than you'd think.  It separates pretty easily and then you can scoop the orange out!  When you're finished, run your orange peel under the kitchen faucet to get all the sticky juice out! 

Step 3:
Carve your orange peel with a regular kitchen knife.  The sharper the better.  Then, throw a candle in, light it up, and enjoy your mini jack-orange-o'lantern!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Grading Papers - Korean style!

I got to my desk this morning and was promptly told that my 3rd and 4th period classes were cancelled. Then, my 2nd period class never showed up! AWESOME! Just when I thought I was free and clear to have the whole day to play around, I was handed a GIANT pile of tests to grade!  7 classes worth to be exact, with between 30-40 questions each.  That's 245 questions to check if you do the math! This wouldn't be such a big deal, except for the fact that Korean's don't just check the wrong answers, they circle the right answers too!  (Grading tests this way literally takes about 10 times longer!) Oh, and it has to be done with a red crayon,  Nothing else will do!

After grading for a couple hours, I said to one of my co-workers, "In America, we only check the wrong answers.  Circling all the right answers like this is taking me forever!"  Her response was, "Oh, I never thought about that.  It does save time, doesn't it?"  How has that never crossed anyone's mind around here?!  Seriously!

Ah, Korea!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I'm an HTML writer!

Saturday morning, I woke up with an itch to update our photography blog. It was looking pieced together and needed a nice cohesive feel throughout - not to mention a bit more professionalism too! Luckily for me, blogging and crafting are two of my favorite hobbies, and I just so happened to need both of them for this job! What I didn't know was that writing HTML would become such a huge part of this project, or that it could be so fun (and frustrating at times!) to work with all of it's intricacies.  HTML is the mother of all puzzles.  At 9:00am, I opened my laptop and go to work!  By 11:00pm, it was complete! I'm a little proud of what I've come up with and wanted to share a couple screenshots of it here with you guys!

Introducing the new and improved.... 

I made the new logo/title in Adobe Illustrator and the running photo slideshow with photoshop, photobucket,  illustrator, blogger, and a bit of HTML writing.  It was a labor of love to say the least! 

I made the "Our story" title in illustrator! (Photo credit to Briana Moore Photography)

I made everything on this page in Adobe Illustrator and have each photo linked to 
that couple's entire photo shoot.  Pretty nifty, huh?!

We've learned that personability is key with having a photography business, so I made this "social" page with links to my and Aaron's personal facebook pages (They're private, but still), Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, and my blog.  I think it's really important for our future clients to be given the chance to get to know us!  Each gray ribbon is linked to the website written on it. This whole page was made in Adobe Illustrator too!  It's my new favorite program! ** I think this page is my favorite! 

   Here's a link to the actual site, in case this lil' preview just wasn't enough!  LOL

*** I fell so in love with Adobe Illustrator and blogging tricks that I 
made this signature for my own blog!  Fun, huh?!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rushbrook Halloween!

After work on Friday night, Aaron and I jumped on the subway and headed 50 minutes over to Centum City for a lil' Halloween Movie Party at Meg and Dave's!  Meg is a lover of themes and she DID NOT miss a beat when it came to decorating for tonight's get together!  Look how cute all of her decorations / food are!

BTW: The veggie guy's head is a delicious vegan hummus dip that was amazing!  YUM!   

What's this you ask??

Oh, you know... Just some Deadman's Fingers! :)

Meg had made a "HAPPY HALLOWEEN" banner out of tiny oranges (standing in as mini pumpkins!)

Where pumpkin patches are no where to be found, you make allowances! :)


Meg teaches at a Korean pre-school academy and had her students paint these bottles!   
I love how she put those kids to work!

These signs sat in front of the juice concoctions that Meg created!  Her and Dave are huge juicers!    

Meg and Dave have a gorgeous apartment, about 5 times the size of mine and Aaron's.  It felt like we were back in America, as we all huddled around the kitchen island, eating finger foods, and chatting.  Usually when we go to friend's places in Korea, everyone is sitting on the floor, propped up against a wall, and huddled in a small circle around the room! 

Sweet baby Marion!

Dave had gone to a costume shop to get some stuff for his own halloween costume later in the weekend and grabbed a couple things to share with the rest of us - mustaches, crazy masks and funky glasses... but my favorite is Aaron's Cool Aid man hat!  

Meg and Dave, thanks for hosting such a fun night with delicious food and adorable decorations!  
Felt like home a little! :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Revenge Party!

Back when I was in High School, my best friend Ryan Breska would have 90210 parties at his place every Wednesday night!  I was always late, because I was at church youth group, but I tried to never miss a 90210 night!  There was just something about coming together with 10-15 of our closest friends, all huddled around the TV with popcorn and a quality show to watch that made Wednesday nights something to look forward to every week!

So, when my good friend Ashley told me about how she LOVES Revenge, which I'm also completely hooked on, it was a no-brainer, as far as I was concerned, that we should needed to get together every Monday night to watch the new episodes together!  ... and thus our Monday night Revenge parties were born!

Last Monday night was our 3rd Monday in a row, watching the new season together!  We switch off apartments each Monday night and this Monday was at my place, so Aaron and I decided to cook a vegetarian dinner and invite Chris and Stella over for a little triple date / Revenge viewing party! 
So glad we did too!   

Aaron and I made corn tortillas from scratch, stuffed bell peppers, Mexican rice, homemade salsa and lentil tacos!  mmmmm  

It was a big hit! 

No Revenge night is complete without pajamas Ajuma (old Korean lady) pants! 

Aaron is such a workhorse in the kitchen! He stood here, warming each corn tortilla before our friends filled it!  Love his helpfulness!

 When we told Stella that we were making corn tortillas from scratch the night before, she requested, as a joke, for a heart shaped tortilla!  My response to her was, "When you ask for it, we deliver!"  Nice to know my cookie cutters come in handy sometimes! 

During dinner, we had told Chris and Stella about our ghetto street and how our area of the island is known to be a bit shady!  So, it was no surprise when we were watching Revenge that we were interrupted by the screams of an old drunk man on the front steps of the Love Motel across the street!    

 This guy wasn't just drunk... he was WASTED!  The boys were enthralled with this him and how he was staggering out of the motel, falling into the planters, screaming at the top of his lungs, and then passing out with his head between his legs!   

Aaron and I usually get a kick out of messing with drunk people on our street!  It usually involves Maverick's laser pointer, which we shine down in front of them as their walking and laugh as they become obsessed with the bright red dot and try to figure out where it's coming from as they topple over their equally wasted friends!  Tonight though, us girls took it to another level!  We got the potato gun out and loaded it with tiny potato pellets and shot them over at the man!  Don't worry, they're tiny, they don't hurt, and our aim was horrible!  Not sure we ever even made contact! ... and our drunk target never even flinched!  lol  ** There may or may not have been a few cherry tomatoes that leaped out the window as well. :)  

Revenge night #3 group shot!  
From left to right: Chris, Stella, cool guy #1, Ashley, cool guy #2, me and Maverick!  

As Ashley was walking out the door at 11:45pm, she made my heart happy by saying, "I look forward to Monday nights every week now!  I'm so glad we're doing this"  I couldn't agree more Ash!  
Thanks for a great night you 5!

Monday, October 22, 2012

R.I.P. Scoot #2

Scoot #2's warranty expired last week and we were told that his electric box needed to be replaced, and the cost would be on our shoulders.  This was the 10th time in 6 months that we had brought him in for repairs and we knew he wasn't very reliable, so we asked the shop if they would buy him from us.  After about 10 minutes, they agreed, and we were offered more $$$ than we thought we would get, shook hands and left Scoot there.... never to be rode again. 

It's a sad night around the Osteen home without Scoot. We'll miss riding you to Home Plus for Sunday groceries, to Lotte for dinner, to school in the mornings, and on trips around town.  We'll miss you, period.   

RIP Scoot #2

"Chelsey! You have a package!"

"Chelsey! You have a package" is my favorite thing to hear!  Man, I love getting mail!  Today though was EXTRA special, because I had 4 things waiting for me in the office! When it rains, it pours! :)

Package #1 was from my friend Ashley in Busan! She and I both love getting mail, so we decided that we're gonna send each other random stuff that we see throughout the week... Just so the other person gets to open some mail once in a while!  This was my 1st package from her!  Woot woot!
(iphone pic)

Package #2 was from Jess, in Seoul!  She taught me how to make homemade ricotta cheese while I was there!  I loved it so much and wanted to make some here in Busan, but couldn't find a cheesecloth, so she mailed me hers!  What a great friend, huh? Thank you Jeshi!

Package #3 was from my awesome Aunt Barb in Colorado!  She's a Mary Kay consultant
and has been for years!  She drives the pink car and has all the beautiful MK jewelry, and a storeroom full of cosmetics! Aaahhh!  I asked her if I could purchase some bronzer and if she could mail it over to me in Korea for an added charge... (I accidentally broke mine and there's no such thing as bronzer in the land of "the whiter your skin, the better!") And she said it was on her!  What a complete gem, huh?  She even threw in some anti-aging eye cream for me. Lord knows I need it!  Thank you Barb!!!  LOL

This package didn't come in the mail, but it did show up on my desk!  The school maintenance lady went back behind the school and picked up all of the Gingko beans that had fallen from the trees and divided them evenly amongst the staff here!  I'm gonna cook these suckers up and watch my memory increase with every bite! :) 

Thank you Ashley, Jess, Barb and maintenance lady!  You totally made this girl smile and feel uber special carrying all her packages through the hallways this afternoon! :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy Wedding Day YooMe and GeunYung!

Earlier today, I headed to one of my co-worker's weddings at a wedding hall in Seomyeon, filled with brides! There were 4 "wedding halls" in this building and a new wedding ceremony was scheduled every hour, from 11:30am - 5:30pm! WOW! 

While Korean weddings have some similarities to their American counterparts, there are some traditional Korean things that happen as well.  For instance...YooMe and her dad come into the ceremony and stood in the back while her fiance walked down the aisle ahead of her.  There are no bridesmaids or groomsmen in Korea and the bride and her dad don't link arms like in America, but rather he holds her hand up in the air the way a king would direct his queen down an aisle.

Her dress was GIANT and beautifully detailed with a long white train and veil. Only difference between this and America is, in Korea, they rent the dress and veil!  But believe it or not, it still costs bride's between $600-$1000 to RENT IT!  

YooMe and GeunYung stood in the back of the wedding hall, facing the speaker while he shpeeled off who knows what.  There is no reciting of vows or exchanging of rings in Korean ceremonies, which is always a bummer to me because that's my favorite part about western weddings!

GeunYung is also a teacher, so his school's recorder choir came, in matching uniforms, to perform a special song for them!   

But one song wasn't gonna do for this Korean wedding... Not in a culture where most nights end in a trip to the karaoke bar!  So, GeunYung grabbed the microphone and sang one of Korea's most popular love songs to his bride!

Did I mention that all of the flowers are FAKE at Korean weddings? ... Because they are!  There are 4 "wedding halls" in this building, each decorated with a different theme that never changes... You pick the room depending on your personal tastes.  Fake flowers are included!

I've been to a couple other Korean weddings, but I had never seen a "cutting of the cake" ceremony!  They literally rolled this table over, had them cut a piece (no eat it, just slice it) and then rolled it back over to the side of the room.  It's funny how Korean's attempt at becoming more western is always just a little off.  I actually think they just cut the cake and then reuse the same cake for the next wedding, which is a shame, because who doesn't love a piece of wedding cake?!

Most of the wedding guests stand around and talk while the ceremony takes places, but the mother and father of the bride and groom are always sat in the front row, in fancy armchairs, fit for royalty, and dressed in their traditional hanbok attire!

A Korean wedding is never complete without a deep bow to the parents.  I actually really love the symbolism of this moment!  It's a huge sign of appreciation for someone to do a deep bow like that.

And just like that, YooMe and GeunYung are married!  

Here's me, Hana (6th grade teacher) and Jeudee (her daughter and my student) after the wedding. 

Sadly, there are no receptions in Korea.  Instead, YooMe and GeunYung gave my Principal a credit card and told us (my school's teacher's) to go eat wherever we wanted, ON THEM!  Sooo weird!  So, about 10 of my co-workers and I all went out to lunch and spent the next couple hours enjoying each other's company! :)  Gotta love Korean weddings!