Our wedding photoshoot
I do realize that I’ve been horribly bad at updating my blog lately, and I will promise to do something about that! I actually started writing this post about 2-3 weeks ago but never finished it. So now I will~!
Obviously, we haven’t had our wedding yet (not until later this month!), but we had our so-called wedding photos taken about two month ago. Pretty much every korean couple getting married, usually get this done in good time before the actual wedding, since the photos are supposed to be shown to the guests at the actual wedding ceremony. It’s becoming more and more popular in other asian countries as well, and I heard from our photographer that especially a lot of chinese couples travel to korea for the purpose of getting their wedding photos taken in a nice studio like this one. There are many many different studios in Seoul where you can get this done, and you can either contact them yourself, or get some discount by contacting them through the wedding hall where you’ll be getting married. Most wedding halls cooperate with at least 4-5 different studios that you can choose from based on some sample albums.
Anyways, the day we went to take our wedding photos was apparently the coldest day in about 30 years or so. We were litterally shaking when walking to find the studio, and it didn’t help that the directions we were given were really bad so we had to spend a lot of time just wandering around in the cold.. In the end we had to call the makeup-lady (who was waiting for us at the studio) to have her explain again how to get there, but she had some kind of accent making it difficult for me to understand her. She was also speaking really really fast, I’m not sure she was aware that I’m a foreigner haha. So it ended with us giving the phone a random girl passing by us, who spoke to the makeup-lady and then explained to us where we had to go. When we finally got there, it was a bit after 8am.
The actual photoshoot was not until 10am, we were gonna get our hair and makeup done and get dressed before that. It was really cold inside the studio as well, so I remember thinking I didn’t want to change into a dress haha. At 10am we got to meet the photographer, he was so nice to us and kept making jokes to get us in a good mood. He obviously knew what he was doing, cause every pose that we did (down to the position of my little finger) was directed by him. It was my first time doing this kind of thing, so I had no idea what to do - but it was actually super easy because he always told me what angle to turn my head, how to put my legs, how I should place my fingers etc. Literally anyone can take great pictures if they have a photographer like the one we had~! In between the shoots we had some small breaks, and used them to heat up a little by drinking hot tea and coffee.
Then when we were almost done, came a big surprise.. The photographer told us we were gonna take the last couple of photos OUTSIDE in -20 degrees celsius…! I had pretty much just gotten over a cold and didn’t feel like freezing in just a dress outside, but since I’d only get this chance once I thought I’d regret it if I didn’t do it.. So all of us went out, the whole crew wearing thick winter jackets, B wearing his suit of course, and me wearing my uggs-like boots under the wedding dress (haha) and a thick blanket around me that I briefly gave to the helper-ahjumma every time we were gonna take pictures. I was so relieved when we got back inside!!
The helper-ahjumma (elderly lady) was there from beginning to end, almost never leaving our side, giving us hot drinks, running everywhere to get things for us, fixing my hair once in a while and helping me change every time I had to etc. I changed dresses about 5 times I think, plus changing into a hanbok at the end. Anyways, she was so kind and nice to us, and both her and the photographer really made the whole experience great. We were at the studio from 8am to around 3pm, so it was quite tiring. I think in all he took around 500 pictures of us. When we were finished we chose a date to come back and choose the 100 best pictures, and amongst those we had to choose another 25 to be inside our wedding album. We got a CD to take home with all 500 of the pictures on, but the album won’t be ready until after our wedding I think. I had been looking forwards to doing this for a long time, and it was indeed a really interesting experience!
It’s been a long time since I wrote anything here on my blog, and a lot has happened since then!! B and I were actually busy planning our wedding, which will take place in Korea in March. We also used a lot of time getting the paperwork (for getting married) done, since we want to get it done in good time before the wedding. We went to get our “wedding photos” taken in a professional studio - these pictures will be made into an album for us and will also be shown at our wedding etc. The photoshoot was really fun, and I will write more about this as well as the process of getting married in Korea later! Also we will be having a baby this summer, and we’re so excited about it! For this reason, I’m now back in Norway (and have been for about a week). Because if you are pregnant in Norway and work for 6 months before the birth of the baby, you’ll be able to keep getting your working salary for about 11 months while staying at home with the baby. I think it would have been stupid of me to not take advantage of this haha. So right now I’m back in the apartment living by myself (not for long though, since my parents are on a vacation but will be living together with me once they get back). B is still in Korea, studying and preparing to apply for some schools in Norway. Hopefully he’ll be able to come here to study in August. I’m crossing my fingers!!
Even though I’ll be in Norway for a while, I will keep blogging. However from now on, my blog will mostly be about this new chapter in my life - being a wife, having a baby, and after a while becoming a student again. I will be back in Korea in march, and many many times after that since B’s family lives there, and during those times of course I will blog about Korea. Anyways, I hope everyone will continue to read my blog and follow my journey in this new chapter of my life!
Here’s a picture post from my short Japan-trip! I stayed for 4 days, and came back to Korea just in time for my chinese classes to start. My cousin, her husband and their three kids are staying in Japan till the middle of December, so I went to visit them and had a really nice time there! I kind of regret not staying a few days longer so that I could see more of Tokyo, but I must admit that it was so great to get back to Korea again where everything is familiar and I can communicate with everyone without any problems!
A flower shop down the street.
Upon arriving in Japan, I felt the exact same way as the first time I came to Korea without knowing any korean.. So lost and so foreign! I pretty much only know “thank you” in japanese, and that doesn’t get me very far. I was gonna take the subway from the airport and to the place where my cousin lives, which seemed easy enough, but was very very complicated. I didn’t have any japanese cash on me to even buy a regular subway ticket after getting off the airport line (I paid with my visa card for the first ticket), and the ticket machines did not accept my visa card, and neither did the only ATM nearby.. At that moment I was very lost and frustrated, and every japanese person I asked for help either knew no english or just one or two words. Finally a japanese girl approached me to help; at first she offered to pay the ticket for me (but I declined, cause I’d feel bad), then she helped me find an ATM that accepted my visa card, and then helped me buy the ticket for the right place. I had probably been wandering around there for 40 minutes or so by then, and was very relieved to finally have a subway ticket! I got off at the right stop and my cousin met me there.
I don’t remember what this place was called (was it Shinjuku maybe??), but there was this huge building with several floors selling everything related to sewing and knitting - so we spent a few hours looking around in there!
Tokyo by night.
We went to Harajuku one day!
A busy street in Harajuku. I was hoping to see lots of crazily dressed people (like you’d typically see in pictures from Japan - people dressed weirdly in all kinds of strong colors who are either super scary looking or overly cute with twenty-five different pastel-colored hairpins only in their bangs), but I think we only saw two or three of them during my whole stay there.
We saw a few of these kind of waffle stores before we decided to try one (this was at a point where at least I was super hungry, and would eat just about anything). I ordered the pancake with cream, banana and chocolate sauce - and even just by looking at the picture I could tell this would be way too sweet for me.. So if I could speak japanese, I’d tell the guy to go easy on the cream haha.
What I ordered. Basically a thin pancake (which tasted nice), with A LOT of cream and three slices of banana. The cream made me feel quite nauseous actually, it was just too much!
The weather was a lot milder than in Korea!! Recently Korea has been around -7 or so.
The entrance of some kind of subway stop.
Picture taken from the subway train.
Saw these two little girls in their school (kindergarten?) uniform probably on their way home, thought they were quite cute!
A donut shop close to my cousin’s place. We tried to go there one time and arrived one minute after closing time (8pm..!) so they wouldn’t let us come in. The night before I went home we went there again, but we came a little late, so they didn’t have much to choose from. The donuts were delicious though!
It has gotten so cold outside lately. Autumn can’t have lasted more than a few weeks at the most, which is a little sad as I love Autumn.. Some trees still have a few leaves hanging on, but most of them have fallen to the ground. They’re beautiful and colorful on the ground as well, but I’d really wish they’d stay on the trees a little while longer!
Nowadays whenever I go outside, I’m freezing cold even though I’m wearing my thick winter coat from last year. I was planning on going shopping to find a new one, but I just didn’t bother yet. I think my first priority should be to buy a pair of warm boots for the winter - cause I can’t feel my toes after just five minutes outside when I’m wearing my TOMS shoes (as seen in the first picture).
One thing I really hate about the winter in Korea, is that basically any building you enter is a sauna. The bank is the worst, in my opinion. It’s ridiculously hot, as in 30+ degrees of “dry” heat that makes your eyes dry, your head ache and makes you really really tired. I just don’t understand how koreans are comfortable with it..! And I’m not entirely sure that they’re aware about the fact that it’s not good for ones health when the difference of the inside and outside temperature is too big - supposedly you’ll catch a cold much easier.
On another note; I’m leaving for Japan at the end of this month. I’m gonna visit my cousin and her family who are going back to Norway in the middle of December. I’m really excited to go to Japan since I’ve never been there before, and this was just the perfect opportunity to go. And most likely, I’ll be going to China again in a few months to see Yijing - I’m really really looking forwards to it! By then it’ll be almost a year since we met the last time. I’ve been practicing some basic chinese with B, and I’ll be attending chinese class starting from the beginning of December. Since chinese basically is B’s whole family’s mother tongue (even though they are korean by blood), it’s quite important for me to learn it. Most of them do speak korean very well, so it’s not about me needing it for communicating with them or anything, it’s just expected of me to learn it. And that’s more than fine with me, as I’ve been wanting to learn chinese for a few years already!
knitting in Korea
Knitting is not really a “common” hobby in Korea (neither is sewing, but that’s another story), but it’s increasingly becoming more and more popular. Especially a lot of korean girls learn to knit for the purpose of making a scarf/sweater for their boyfriend etc. There are some places where you can buy yarn in Korea, and the shop/café I’m gonna write about here is probably the best place to go for that. It’s called needle story (바늘 이야기), and is located in Edae. I think there are several needle story stores around Seoul, but as far as I’ve heard, this is the biggest one. Recently, a lot of small knitting cafés (a small room with some tables/chairs for when they have knitting classes, and a wall or two with yarns) have popped up everywhere, so if you don’t live in Seoul it’d be a good idea to try to find one in your area! Also, there are some yarn markets - I’ve only heard about the one in Dongdaemun, but I’m not gonna write about that in this post.
What the knitting shop/café looks like from the outside! from Edae subway station exit 6, you just continue down the street until you see it on the left.
The front part of the place is a two-floor coffeeshop where people can sit and knit/crochet on their projects (either alone or together with their friends). I’ve heard rumors that there sometimes are gatherings for foreign knitters/korean knitters etc in the coffeeshop, but I’m not entirely sure about this.
They have lots of colors to choose from, though they don’t have much of a variety when it comes to the type.. Most of the yarns are in merino, mohair and cotton blends etc, but they hardly have any alpacca..! I love using alpacca for my knit projects, so that was a little disappointing to me. So these days I’ve been using a mix of mohair and merino wool - it comes out quite nice if you mix them (in very similar colors of course) - makes a soft and warm fabric~
This section has all the tools you’ll need for both knitting and crocheting. You can find everything from very cheap korean made knitting supplies, to japanese imported things, to the KnitPro brand. Right by this area is a hallway with some rooms for knitting/crocheting classes that you can sign up for! It’s not super expensive and they welcome anyone from beginner level to advanced.
And they have so many pattern books!! most of them are in japanese, but they also have many in korean, some in english and some in french. I usually find my patterns online, but I really want to buy some pattern books from here!
I tried ordering from their online site as well - it’s really easy and the delivery is quite fast. The site is called banul.co.kr. I liked doing it this way because it seemed like there were more yarns to choose from (and I found some alpacca ones as well). The colors might look a little different in real life than what it looks like on their website though; for example some of the colors I ordered were a lot darker than what they seemed like on the website picture.
Knitting lots of pretty things with these nice colors (and more). I love knitting nice mug-warmers, beret hats etc. My next projects will be mittens for me and my first attempt at socks (for B)!
Coffeeshops are everywhere in Korea (unlike in Norway were you only once in a while can manage to come across one), and they’re wonderful places for friends to sit down and talk together, for two people to have a romantic date, for coworkers/classmates to discuss projects/work/class over a cup of coffee, and last but not least for people to sit and study by themselves. It’s very common for coffeeshops in the areas around universities to be packed with students the week they all have their midterms or finals. Basically, korea loves coffeeshops. There are many of the bigger chains like Holly’s coffee, Starbucks, Tom’n Toms, and caffé bene, but if you’re looking for a better coffeeshop experience - try to find some of the little korean coffeeshops with the cute interior and lovely atmosphere. I have to say I think the drinks taste a lot better in those kind of coffeeshops, and in addition they usually have a far more interesting menu than the big chains.
A place I came across about a week ago; the inside was really nice too. See what I mean?It just has a whole different feel to it than let’s say Holly’s or Starbucks.
Another coffeeshop I walked past last week - quite cute, isn’t it? I really like the little drawings on the windows of the glass door, and the text on the actual window that says “I feel like a coffee.” haha
A nice place close to where we live. We came here a few times, and sat down right there by the windows so that we could do some people-watching when being bored of studying/knitting. people-watching is quite interesting; I love looking out the window and just observe everything that’s going on outside~
The inside of the place. It’s small though, and somehow every time we’ve been there, there haven’t been many others there (actually, it’s usually empty).
I caught myself looking at this little coffeeshop (the green door) every time we’d pass it (since we go that way when going to the subway etc). So one day we went there to study, and it’s as nice on the inside as it is on the outside. It’s super small (about 10 seats or so), but I like how they took advantage of the space and made a small level above as well (you can see it in the picture - an additional 4 seats I think? they’re floor seats so you have to take off your shoes before going up).
So cute. It was a bit too expensive though, and we were the only ones there except the owner and her boyfriend, so I kind of almost felt like we were invading their space, silly as that sounds haha. I mean, the place is so small that whatever you say can be heard by everyone in there.
Pretty, hot chocolate. It did taste really good.
Another coffeeshop that I’ve written about before; Paul Pauls.
The interior is really simple, and it’s wide and open, but still I came to like this place a lot. I wonder if it hasn’t been that long since they opened? it seems so. Anyways, the people working there are so nice, and they make really good drinks! I especially love their milk tea.
Vanilla latte and milk tea, a typical order for B and I. As mentioned before, I’m trying to stay away from caffeine these days, so I’m trying out some other nice options on the menus whenever we go to a coffeeshop. my favorites would have to be milk tea and hot chocolate. Other nice caffeine-free options are green tea latte, sweet potato latte, various types of ordinary tea, lots of smoothies, juice, and so on. Some coffeeshops even have the option of adding “bubbles” (tapioca pearls - it’s what they put in the bubble tea) in your drink. Other than that, most coffeeshops also usually have a wide selection of other things to order, like brownies, cookies, cakes, bagels, sandwiches, salads, honeybread (the big chunk of sweet bread with lots of syrup/cream/fruits etc etc) and so on. Not every coffeeshop has all of these options though, and they’re almost always a little over priced if you’d ask me.
B and I ordered this berry yoghurt a few days ago - I think it cost about 4,500won and the amount was maybe the same as the yoghurts you can buy for 700won in the grocery store. expensive, but delicious.
I’m also gonna add two pictures from the last time I was in korea; the first one is a hot chocolate and a delicious chocolate chip muffin from a random place I went to. The second one is from a coffeeshop I used to go to a lot, where they do some really nice coffee art! Doesn’t it look nice?
Most coffeeshops have an “unwritten rule”; it’s expected that everyone order one drink each (although ordering a piece of cake or something is ok too) - this especially goes for the smaller coffeeshops with limited seating. I don’t think this rule goes for adults who bring children though. In the bigger chains it would probably be ok to order one thing and share it with a friend who didn’t order anything. Oh, on an important note; if you order take-out, you usually get a discount. Many of the small coffeeshops have 1000won discount when ordering take-out. And another thing; always remember to ask for a stamp card if you see yourself coming back many times!! they’ll give you a stamp for each drink you order, and once you reach 8 (or 9 or 10, depending on what coffeeshop it is), they’ll give you a free drink of choice! pretty great if you ask me :)
Studying at Paul Paul coffeeshop. I love going to coffeeshops with him - it’s a nice shift of environment (even though I don’t mind staying at home for a whole day, I’d go crazy if I didn’t step foot outside for several days in a row). We just sit mainly in silence (unless he’s asking me for help about his english assignments), while he’s concentrating on his studies and I either do some knitting, or read a book. And then we take small breaks once in a while to play games on our phones haha.
B got a vanilla latte, I got a milk tea - which by the way is the best milk tea I’ve ever had.. I’m trying out a lot of caffeine free options these days whenever we go to a coffeeshop, since I think I’m a little weak for caffeine.. Luckily korean coffeeshops have lots of other options in addition to coffee! I’ll write an individual post on korean coffeeshops soon btw.
A few days ago while B was studying, I was writing a letter to Yijing - my close friend who isn’t in Korea anymore. I’ve been preparing a little box to send to her, including a hand knitted beret hat, a coffee sleeve (warmer for the takeout coffee cups), two kinds of her favorite hand cream, and some small cute korean things. since her birthday is coming up in a few weeks, I need to send it soon!
We also took some long nice walks in random areas we both haven’t been to yet. I like the idea of getting on a random bus, getting off whenever you feel like it, and then exploring that area. It’s kind of a little adventure, almost.
This little cutie was sitting in the window of a pet-shop we passed by the other day. Koreans are very fond of coloring the hair of their pets (and so are people in Japan, I’ve heard), and what’s being done the most is probably coloring the “cheeks” of the cats. It is quite cute, but I’m not sure I’d do that to my pet..
And I’ve discovered the joy of internet shopping!! It’s always so exciting to open a package with some things I’ve ordered~ My favorite site for shopping korean clothes is Cherrykoko - I’ve bought a lot of my clothes from there. It’s really simple to order, you basically just need to have an address in Korea and a bank account of course. They do shipping to other asian countries as well.
Recently the weather has became a lot colder - it’s definitely autumn here now! Another week or two and the trees will have strong beautiful colors. I soon need to look for a thicker jacket and some warmer shoes, and I’m planning a knitting project for a pair of mittens that I hopefully can get done before winter is here!
Now B and I are gonna go have some pizza for dinner at the little pizza place down the street, they make delicious pizzas!!
Our new place!
The entrance, and the bathroom. We bought some genius hooks that we can just hang on the door (instead of making a hole in the wall, cause I don’t think we’re allowed to do that). So now we have plenty of options for hanging our jackets and such~
We bought this for hanging all our clothes since the little closet is way too little for all of our clothes.. and the bottom half of the closet is for shoes, so there’s not that much space in there anyways.
Our little table and the floor pillows that we sit on. Our place is pretty much korean style, since we sit on the floor and sleep on the floor. I actually have come to prefer sleeping on the floor - I think it’s really comfortable and very convenient (I don’t have to make room for a huge bed, we just lay out the folded mattress at night before we sleep). Sleeping on the floor is also supposed to be good for your back.
Our little kitchen!! I love it~ lots of storing place and just enough space for cooking. In the corner you can see our new wonderful pink rice cooker!
Our washing machine in a little corner next to the fridge. The window over it is huge, so it’s good for drying the clothes after hanging them.
It’s not a big apartment, but I like it! I think we made it so cozy. And not to mention I really love the area we live in ^^
I usually hate taking the subway because most of the time it\s underground and the lightning inside is super strong (meaning I’ll easily get a headache and get tired), but it’s really fascinating looking out when it goes on ground level!
A bubble tea store they have pretty much everywhere now, we’ve gone there quite a lot and they have a lot of interesting tastes. Especially the ones with honeydew or coffee flavor are really nice, I think.
This, however, is by far my favorite bubble tea!! I want to go there every day!
B’s father had been on a short business trip with his boss and some other people from work, and came back with a big gift-box full of delicious ddeok (떡) treats. These are quite expensive, and look really cute~!
I like taking random pictures - this one because I thought the little boy in grey’s pants were super cute! not everyone has this on their butt..
What we see when we look out our kitchen window. A big tree with lots of orange fruits that I’m not sure what are.. persimmons, maybe? either way it’s a nice view.
I thought the little shop with the squid was kind of interesting. I’m not a big fan of squid though, so I’m not intending on going there any time soon haha.
I love these kinds of stores! This one is called 10x10.
I’ll post some pictures of our new place tomorrow!! We’ve moved in properly and I think it looks quite nice now. It’s not very big at all, but it’s more than enough for the two of us - and most importantly it’s clean and convenient.
Oh and, for those who want to follow me on Instagram, my username is: marimari512. I post pictures there daily!! :)
Here are some pictures from around the place we moved to a few days ago! I’ll post pictures of the new place as soon as we’ve moved in properly~
A tiny milk shop. This morning the little milk truck was parked right outside, but the driver parked it so close to the shop that he had to struggle a lot to actually get back into the truck again haha.
A little coffeeshop a few minutes walk from where we live. Yijing used to live in this area before, so we went to this coffeeshop a lot to study together when we were in the KLI.
A korean supermarket down the street.
Another little coffeeshop that looks really nice! I haven’t actually been there but I’ve walked past it many times thinking “next time I wanna go here”
That’s it for now, now I’m gonna make myself a cup of hot chocolate and watch a korean drama! B is out for a few hours, but when he comes back we’re gonna go to the supermarket to buy everything we need for cooking etc. We need rice for our new pink rice-cooker, and ingredients for the korean soup I’m making for dinner!
Preview of tomorrow’s blog post when I finally can use internet on my computer. Apparently I can only post one picture when using my phone.. anyways, we found a cozy little place and have been busy moving and such. This picture was taken right down the street from our new place~
I’m in Korea! my flight went well, and the plane food was really nice this time, but as before I didn’t sleep at all. I had a window seat with two buff russian men (I think?) on my left side - needless to say I was a little skeptical at first, but they were so nice helping me lift up my heavy bag to the overhead cabinet thing, and they were both out of their seats at least half of the time so I was really quite comfortable. I spent most of the time watching a few movies and series, listening to music etc. It was so nice meeting B again! He came to meet me at the gate, all handsomely dressed up.. My heart was beating so fast upon seeing him again, I was so excited!! That day when we got home, I slept for 3 hours or so, and then we went to buy some things that I needed (like shampoo and conditioner, hairbrush etc, things I didn’t bring from Norway).
We had so many plans for the next day, but that morning I woke up with what seemed like a mix of a cold and a flu - I really wasn’t feeling well. So we ended up staying inside the whole day, me just laying down most of the time, half sleeping, and eating medicine for both my cold and flu. I hardly ate anything that whole day, but last night I woke up in the middle of the night and realized my appetite was back.. so B, being the wonderful boyfriend that he is, went to the market at 4am in the morning to buy yoghurt and some bananas for his super-hungry girlfriend to eat! I was quite touched~ I’m still not feeling that great today, so I’m not gonna go anywhere until tomorrow.. so basically I’ve been bored staying inside for two days straight while really really wanting to go out and have fun and explore a little now that I’m finally back. Today I comforted myself with some internet shopping though hehe. Hopefully I’ll be feeling well enough to go outside tomorrow!
I’m leaving for Korea tomorrow!! I’m super excited to finally go back to the country I’ve so much fallen in love with, and I promise to blog quite often from now on! Actually I’m looking forwards to the flight a little - because even though it’s a really long and tiring flight, I’ll be sitting there with butterflies in my stomach (just like the two other times I went there), counting down the hours to arrival, and imagining how amazing it will be this time around. It’s quite interesting how I’m just as much (if not more) excited to go to Korea this time, as I was the first time I was gonna go there at 18 years old with barely any experience traveling outside of Scandinavia. I guess it has something to do with the fact that now I really know what Korea has to offer, how much I enjoy living there, how much I like the friendly and helpful people, and how much I’ve grown to like korean food (including some very spicy dishes!). In other words, I know exactly what to expect, which somehow gives me a kind of comfort. I guess the first time (even though I was really really excited to go) there were a lot of insecurities - I didn’t know whether I’d like the food or not, whether I’d make any good friends or not while I was there, whether I’d really feel like I “fit in” as a blonde blue-eyed foreigner in Korea or not. After a few months I realized there was nothing to worry about; I just liked it all.
My next post will be from Korea! stay tuned~
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