DIY Deity, a.k.a ME

I haven’t been blogging for the past 8 months, and I’d apologise, but I don’t really see any reason to. I’ve always written for myself, and whenever the mood strikes, and with exchange leaving me far too busy enjoying life (a rarity), blogging was the furthest thing from my mind, naturally. I think I might do a couple of throwback posts just to have a dumping ground for the hundreds of pictures I’ve taken overseas, but till then, I probably won’t be blogging as regularly as I used to do.

Since my return in late July, I’ve mostly been busy with school and assignments as well as settling internship matters. And now that it’s the holidays, I’ve taken up DIY projects, busying myself making cards and care packages for the people I care about. I recently got inspiration from a craft website that Rachel introduced to me called Oh Happy Day, and it’s absolutely brimming with ideas, I love it! It’s got great suggestions for designing your own envelopes, gift cards and other party ideas that are perfect, especially for this gift-giving season. I ended up creating watermelon care packages filled with sweet goodies for friends I’ll meet this December, and painting watermelon cards for those overseas. I think I’ve made about 30 of these in total and if I never pick up another paintbrush, that would be too soon.

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On a somewhat related note, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve suddenly realised just how fulfilling it can be to make your own creations, but I made dinner today! When it comes to cooking… I almost never do it, and when I do randomly get bitten by the cooking bug, it’s usually at 2 or 3 in the morning when everyone’s asleep. What I normally do is google “easy recipes + whatever ingredients I have in my fridge” and then see what pops up, and then I’ll just adapt the recipe according to what I’ve got. Today, I was on my own for dinner and I really wanted to do something with the kimchi my mum had bought and so… I decided to make kimchi pasta! After a quick google, this was the closest thing to what I wanted to do.

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It was super easy to make, and turned out so much better than I thought it would! I actually didn’t follow the recipe all that closely. I boiled my spaghetti separately and while that cooked, in another pan, I added some butter, kimchi and milk and let it cook on low. I wish I could give you the exact measurements, but I was cooking for 1 portion and went purely by instinct. I added just a little pinch of chicken stock and pepper, adding more milk, butter and kimchi along the way as I saw fit. I added some pepper too when I needed to offset a bit of the saltiness. And when my spaghetti was about done, I sprinkled some pizza cheese in to thicken the sauce and then finally, mixed in my spaghetti. I topped it with two slices of smoked duck just because I had it in the fridge, but sausages or bacon would probably do the job too (though that would definitely be better cooked together with the sauce)! I undercooked my spaghetti because my sauce was already starting to boil so I’ll definitely do this again perfectly – this time, probably a bigger portion to share with the family!

Ingredients:

  • Kimchi
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Chicken stock
  • Spaghetti
  • Dash of pepper
  • Pizza topping cheese
  • Smoked duck

I hope this inspires somebody to get a little crafty this holiday season. Also, hope everyone’s having an enjoyable time this December so far! I can’t believe we’re only 11 days away from 2015. I’ll be celebrating my birthday as well as ringing in the new year overseas because I’ll be on a cruise with my family, yay!

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Time for change

The delightful combination of strawberries and nutella is a recent discovery that kinda makes me feel dumb for missing out on it for the past 20 years of my life. It’s so yummy, and it’s the perfect mix of sinful and sweet. Besides the usual past-midnight snacking, I spent the last hour tweaking my blog just so because I stupidly changed the theme without meaning to. Well, good thing I never really liked my previous one anyway, so hello new theme! I’m not a big fan of it but change is good, right?

I haven’t been blogging or writing or…doing much of anything, really, these days, but I did drag my butt to dance a few days back and it really made me remember how much I actually love dancing (despite, yes, not being very good at it). It was a back-to-back 2-hour class and we danced to Jojo’s self-choreography of BIGSTAR‘s ‘Run & Run’ and wow, how much do I love the song? I’ve had it on repeat since Thursday and also downloaded two other BIGSTAR mini albums promptly after. I don’t know them all that well but they seem like the sort of group I could really end up liking because they remind me of VIXX somehow with the way they’re constantly proclaiming their love for their fans. I mean, they made individual placards to cheer on their fans during Idol Sports Championships. WHO DOES THAT?! I’m a little partial towards Feel Dog and Raehwan (and Sunghak too ehehe) at the moment because /dumb 92-liners/ and their friendship is adorable. Here’s the group’s interview with Pops in Seoul in the infamous yellow post-it box (C’MON, RAEHWAN IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL).

They really are such dorks and they’ve put out some great songs too but I guess in K-pop, looks will always trump talent and sadly, they’re a little um, lacking in the former department (just a little!). I really gotta applaud labels that sub their artistes’ videos like Jellyfish Entertainment and Brave Entertainment do because it really helps make the groups more accessible to international fans like us and after watching a few of the BIGSTAR Show eps, I’m just liking them more and more (they’re all so squishy and small and adorable!!!).

Something else that’s been on repeat for me is The Tragic Thrills’ newly-released self-titled EP. I have so so so much love for this album, I cannot even put into words <3 <3 <3 I pre-ordered the album a year and a half ago when Allstar Weekend started a Kickstarter project to help fund their next album but somewhere in between, they grew up and changed their musical direction completely and The Tragic Thrills were born. I’m a huge ASW fan because they made such great happy music that’s impossible to hate so I was understandably wary about the change but this album surprised me in so many ways. Zach‘s voice suits the new style of music like a glove and the honesty that hangs onto his every word is captivating. I can’t even pick a favourite track because every song on there is incredibly-crafted and perfect with such lovely, poignant lyrics and I won’t hesitate recommending the album to anyone in the hopes that they’ll feel changed in the same way I do after a listen from beginning to end. It’s definitely making it into my list of top few albums well, ever.

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I also belatedly celebrated Amelia’s 21st birthday yesterday and just a few hours before I was supposed to leave the house, I baked a brownie in record time (thank you, Betty Crocker) and smothered it in M&Ms to make it look prettier than it is. We met at Clarke Quay and then headed to Chili’s, where we proceeded to eat our weight in expensive food. I swear to god we didn’t order all that much but how did the total come up to $116???!??!? One of life’s greatest mysteries, indeed. But it was nice catching up with one of my oldest and most refreshingly honest friends. Can you believe we’ve known each other for 15 years – 10 of which were spent in the same class? We’ve changed so much along the way that I think that if we were to meet one another now, we actually probably wouldn’t even be friends. But our childhood connects us so deeply, I can’t imagine otherwise.

Ying Xin, Amelia and I then migrated to the riverside to attempt to digest the massive meal we had and pondered life and shit. At one point, I think I might have posed the question, “When are you at your ultimate happiest?” and it got me thinking a little. Amelia’s idea of happiness involves being far away at some nice holiday resort but to be honest, I’m perfectly happy at home. I don’t need to be surrounded by a ton of people either and in fact, the lesser, the better. I think a happy day for me would be a really rainy one where my whole family’s home and I’m curled under the covers and reading a book or using my computer, and I can hear the strains of the chattering of my family from my room. And then maybe somewhere in between, I’ll crawl out of my cave and join them in the living room for a movie. It honestly doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. Pfft… And people say I’m high-maintenance.

And finally, I’m a little late but congratulations to Team A for becoming WINNER! I’ve long come to terms with the fact that Team B was fighting a losing battle and anyway, I do have a lot of love for all the Team A boys so I can’t complain…much. The only thing that makes me a little sad is the possible disbandment of Team B when they function so well as a group together. They’re so dependent on one another that I’m not sure splitting them up would be such a wise idea but I’m sure YG will come up with the best way to deal with them. He’s said too that he’ll be keeping the fans’ opinions in mind when he makes his decision so I’m a little hopeful even, that we’ll be seeing the guys again pretty soon. (And here, have some gifs of WINNER’s Mino because he’s painfully good-looking and him + glasses + smiling = my panties on the floor tbh)

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(GIF credits: taehyunsong)

Fun with food: Ramen burger

I’m not some cook by any means, but sometimes I do get this sudden inspiration to whip up something in the kitchen. The other day, I happened to stumble across this recipe for ramen burgers, and I thought it looked both delicious and simple enough to recreate. I mean I love ramen and I love burgers but who would think of actually combining them both? On hindsight, I guess it shouldn’t be all that surprising, what with the existence of rice burgers and all.

I won’t do a step-by-step since I pretty much followed the recipe I linked above to a T, just with some slight modifications since I’m missing a few ingredients. Basically, I replaced the meat patty with chopped hot dogs that I seasoned with Japanese Teriyaki sauce before stir frying. I topped it with grated Parmesan and popped the open-faced burger into the oven for a few minutes until the cheese had melted. Then I added a slice of lettuce and doused the thing with mayo and I’m done!

It’s pretty delicious but the ramen could have done with a little more salt. Other than that, I’d highly recommend trying this one out. It’s easy to do and fun too!

Love is all you need

EXAMS ARE OVER!!!!!! Which means I can finally get back to what I’ve been doing before studying and all-nighters at Starbucks took over my life — nothing. Or rather, catch up on TV shows and dramas, K-pop, spend time on Tumblr, as well as get back into the writing groove for Dinoseoul.

Today not only marked the day of my last paper but also the day B.A.P took LA by storm during their Live on Earth concert. My Twitter feed was filled with live updates and stream after stream of fancams and I think I must have downloaded at least 50 fancams, some of which are really decent. Of course, I wasn’t there since I’m stuck all the way on the wrong side of the world (please will someone release the ticketing details for LOE SG already T_T)… I haven’t watched most of the fancams yet, except for a really good ‘One Shot’ one that I swear to god almost made me tear up in public because ~first ever~ live OT6 performance. I’ve also watched the special stages and I’ll admit I have BangHim’s ‘Sexy Clap’ performance on repeat because… well look.

Yongguk‘s got mooooves and Himchan… I don’t know what he was doing patting his crotch and wiggling his butt in the middle of the song but, I’ll take it. DaeJae’s ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ was sadly boring and was totally the wrong choice for Daehyun‘s voice and suited Youngjae‘s so so much better. And then you have maknae line doing the dougie (which wasn’t terribly exciting since they did it in Seoul too) but then the music cuts off and Jongup falls dramatically to the floor AND THEN the school bell from ‘Never Give Up’ plays and everyone’s screaming because holy crap are we getting Moon & Zelo for this??????? Jongup’s totally working the red hair. Come to think of it, red seems to be a k-pop hair trend that can’t really go wrong. Hmm.

Wasn’t it the cutest?! They have so much chemistry onstage and they’re pretty much BFFs in real life and I love the dance break and their high five exchange during the ‘clap your hands’ part towards the end. I-just ugh Moon & Zelo sub-unit please, TS.

I have to say that US-BABYs are totally awesome and quick with their fancams though. With LOE Seoul, it took a few days before fancams started being released properly and even so, they were all at most 1-minute cuts but here, so many of them are in full and 1080p. So, so thankful. I’ll definitely try and return the favour, that is, if LOE SG goes according to plan (FML). Sometimes I want to cry because I love B.A.P so much… and then I think to myself, “Justine, just what are you doing with your life?”

And then I feel thankful that at least I have people who will always love me unconditionally – no matter what happens. It’s a little late since Parent’s Day in Korea literally just passed (it’s on 8 May) but sometimes it’ll strike me randomly, just how grateful I am to have my mum and dad in my life so I just wanted to write a little something to express that.

Since young, family has always been the most important thing in my life and growing up, what with peer pressure and puberty, I’m really glad that I never grew apart from them and that we still manage daily homecooked meals as best as we can as well as frequent family holidays/gatherings. And my mum made kimchi friend rice for the first time (in honour of me, she says lol) for dinner today to celebrate the end of my exams and it was so good!

Perhaps its the hellish exam period that’s made me realise this more than ever, but my parents really are so supportive. Like my mum forwent going to the gym this morning just so she could come home on time and make sure I woke up and wouldn’t miss my paper (since I was late the week before when she did go). Or how my dad would ask every single time whether my paper went okay and I’d snap back that it was terrible ~as usual~ and he’d be all understanding. It’s the little things like these that make me look back and feel so loved. And they deal with my shit every single day and so, I’m just really glad for them. I love you both so much!!!

Fun with food: Waffle ice cream sandwiches

I just love Tumblr. And one of the reasons is because it’s a place that’s brimming with new ideas – and sometimes they’re so simple, yet genius, they make you go, “Well why didn’t I think of that?!” Recently, I came across someone’s picture post of her making waffle ice cream sandwiches. How good does that sound, seriously?! They’re supremely easy to make, but for those who have a little trouble in the kitchen, here are step-by-step pictures of mine. So yumz.

What you’ll need:

  • Box of frozen waffles
  • Ice cream

1. Stick two waffles in a toaster and toast till they’re brownish at the edges.
2. Remove from toaster and slap on a whole lot of ice cream.
3. Squeeze.
4. Cut in half and ta-dah!

This is literally idiot-proof and they’re so good. I think it would have been even better if I’d slap on some toppings like Nutella or peanut butter but I was halfway through devouring it when it occurred to me. Oh well, gives me an excuse to make these again. ;)