I’m standing on the edge of the Joseon dynasty palace driveway taking a picture of the intricate overhang details. Many of the palace buildings (including this one) were burned down by the Japanese in the early 1900s. The reconstruction of this one included space for a car requested by the last king and queen who lived here in the 1920s.

  We have about 30 minutes before our tour starts, so we’re walking around weaving in and out of the gated courtyards. 

Sangbin and I discuss our differences in exploring paces: he enjoys going through everything with detail and I prefer to go through everything quickly to get an overview and then revisit what I found most interesting.   We’ve found a good compromise where I wander and take photos while he takes his time reading signs.

 A group of about 30 of us in the English tour group are standing under an intricately decorated gate  looking straight up. Our guide tells us that the net under the gate’s roof have been used since the palace was created to prevent snakes from coming to eat bird’s eggs. 

Most of the other architecture decisions shared during the tour are based off of myths and hold a lot of symbolism. The gargoyles on the roof prevent evil spirits from entering, the queen’s residence has two large pots of water to scare off a fire demon from burning down the palace. 

 I’m interested in these stories, but my attention is starting to fade. 

The pain in my feet is starting to grow. I’m wearing heeled boots and notice how almost everyone else opted for tennis shoes. This tour is an hour long and then we have another hour tour of the gardens immediately after. 

I sit on the edge of a wall at the back of the tour to give my feet a break. The guide is explaining how traditional Korean houses heated their floors with a diagram. She then turns around and points to a rock right next to me to share its symbolism and importance with the group. 

I’m no longer at the back of the group and slide off of the wall.

 We’re at the second to last stop of our first tour and we decide to skip the last spot and explore on our own.




 It’s 4am and I’m laying on a mat in a room somewhere in Seoul, South Korea. Sangbin is sleepying soundly next to me, which is no surprise. He’s been awake for almost two days straight.    

Last night, I was in the back seat of a taxi holding onto the seat belt, eyes fixated on the lights illuminating a mix of the familiar  Dunkin Donuts and the slightly bizarre. There’s a KFC in Korea? And they sell fried chicken pizza?? 

It’s a chilly night (in the mid 50s), but there’s plenty of people walking on the sidewalks. I’m curious where those who turn into dark alleys are going, but I don’t get much of a chance to look because our taxi is weaving in and out of lanes. The alleys don’t look nearly as scary as those in New York. They remind me of crowded antique stores in the Midwest.  

Occasionally our taxi slams on the breaks, another car honks and Sangbin tells me why a monument out the window is significant. 

Suddenly, our taxi makes a u-turn and we’re on the edge of the road. I’m worried that our driver has given up on finding our address. There was some initial confusion when we got into the car and there’s a man waiting outside our car door. Oh no. Are we we being booted for this other guy? I’ve heard stories about this happening in New York.   

It turns out the man, in his mid 40s with salt and peppered hair, is there to greet us. He helps us with our luggage and leads us down one of those twisty ally ways I saw earlier. My luggage gets caught on the cobble stone road and I’m lagging behind Sangbin and our host. They’re speaking in Korean and all I can think about is how badly I hope our place has a decent shower.   

It’s 4am the previous day and I’m laying on a queen sized bed surrounded by golden blankets and pillows. I can hear Sangbin zipping a suitcase and then the door opens, bringing a flood of light into the room. “It’s time to get up!” 


We had gone out the night before our flight to play board games with a few friends. Sangbin said he would stay up the rest of the night and finish packing. 

Our host opens a traditionally styled gate and leads us into a court yard. Sangbin tells me that we were upgraded to a larger room for the same price when our host learned we were on our honeymoon. A woman comes to greet us, a young girl yells something in Korean and slides a paper door closed. 


Sangbin slides our door open. “So, the shower is actually in the bathroom,” he says.  How could that be? When I opened the door, all I saw was a pink toilet and a tiny sink. We walk back to the bathroom together and sure enough in the corner between the door and the sink is a removable showerhead. 

We’ll be leaving for dinner with Sangbin’s aunt in 10 minutes and there’s no way I’m greeting her without bathing first. 


10 minutes pass and I’ve only managed to wash my hair. Sangbin is dressed and I’m brushing my wet hair. We’re out the door. 

Sangbin and his aunt chat in Korean and remove their shoes at the entrance to our restaurant. That’s when I’m hit by a wave of realization that comes too late in situations like these.   Why didn’t I put on socks??   

There’s not much of a choice, so I slip off my shoes and walk tip toe across the cold floor where everyone else (except  for me and Sangbin) is wearing socks. 

I’m sitting at the table with my feet crossed attempting to cover my bare toes, my hair is dripping onto my jeans, and people are staring. 


The food arrives, the conversation switches between Korean and English, and I’m happy. This is what travel should be. A cultural immersion where you make mistakes that remind you how much you don’t know and how much more there is to explore.   






Sweater: Banana Republic | Pants: Under Armour | Boots: Sperry

Normally I look forward to sleeping in on Saturday mornings, but today I woke up around 6am and couldn’t go back to sleep. So, after browsing my phone (for longer than I’d like to admit) I got up and made breakfast bowls for Sangbin and myself. They were mostly leftovers from dinner earlier this week (rice, beans, corn) as well as an egg and bacon.

After breakfast, we went for a walk around the park to admire the leaves. Every week they get more and more beautiful. Soon the park will be covered in snow and will have a different type of charm to it.

I think there must have been some kind of dog costume contest this morning because while we were out we saw so many dogs in halloween outfits. Incredibly adorable.

I bought these pants a few weeks ago before we went on our first backpacking trips. I love them because they’re so loose and comfortable. They were excellent for hiking and also work well as house and weekend pants. I think the band around the waist is very cool. The crop sweater is a favorite that I bought last season. It has a really nice zipper detail in the back, but unfortunately my hair is covering it in these photos. I like this look because I feel very comfortable in it and still think it looks fairly put together. I like wearing all one color because I think it looks like a uniform.

Question for you: What’s a staple in your weekend wardrobe?



Since my hair has gotten longer, I’ve been trying different braid styles (I’m inspired by Amber Fillerup Clark’s tutorials!!) 

This look was actually very simple:  I parted my hair in the center, and braided the hair closest to my face, then took those two braids and secured them with a clear elastic like you would in a half up/half down pony tail. Then I took the remaining hair and did a simple three stand braid! 



Blazer: Goodwill | Shirt: Madewell | Denim: Madewell | Boots: Madewell

October has been a busy month, but I’ve been finding time to relax and enjoy fall. Below are a few photos we’ve taken this month of our adventures. :)


After work we like to walk through the park and enjoy the changing leaves. This is my favorite bench in the park because it overlooks the pond and is tucked away from the walking path.

Neighborhood Halloween Decorations



Shirt: J.Crew | Purse: Coach

The neighborhood has some of the nicest victorian houses in the city and I love taking walks around to admire the architecture, and now, the Halloween decorations!

Halloween Drive-In Theater 


While Sangbin and I were out running errands, we drove past this retro Drive-In Theatre. We decided to go to the 7:30pm showing of the classic horror film, Alien.


We brought three giant blankets and two pillows to keep us warm in the car.  I have to admit, it was a little hard for me to stay awake near the end…must have been the sugar crash from the sweets we got and being bundled in blankets. :)


When I was younger, I walked into the room while my dad was watching this film at one of the scariest scenes in the movie and burst out laughing. Watching it on the big screen in my car at night…was a different experience. :)

Staying InIMG_3517

Over the weekend, we spent way more time inside than usual  because the weather has gotten so cold. 

Shirt: Banana Republic | Lipstick: Nars | Blanket: West Elm

We’re trying to save on our energy bill (68 degrees doesn’t sound so cold..but it is!) so I’ve been walking around with long socks and blankets to stay comfortable. I also started a new show on Netflix (Jane the Virgin) that has been taking up every idle moment. It’s so hilarious – if you liked Arrested Development or the Korean drama Fated to Love You, you will like this show. :)

On Friday, we received a call from our landlord saying that the apartment below us had water leaking from their ceiling, so they came to check out our place and discovered that our hot water heater was broken and leaking…so we won’t have hot water until Tuesday. :( :( :(

We had to move our shoes out of the closet that leads to the water heater. At first I was honestly a little frustrated that we had to reorganize all the stuff that was in that closet, but I actually like how the shoe rack looks in our bedroom now.

Question For You: What have you been up to this month?


Sweater: Madewell | Skirt: American Apparel | Camera: Fuji

I started the Capsule Wardrobe project over the summer and had packed away this skirt for the fall/winter already, but decided to pull it out today.

It reminds me of the skirt Velma Dinkley from Scooby Doo wore.  When I was younger, one of my favorite movies was the live action Scooby Doo movie featuring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddy Prince Jr. from 2002. I haven’t watched that movie since it came out…not sure if I’ll still like it, but I might watch it for nostalgic reasons later this week. :)

Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of my favorite music from high school. I think I get a little reflective in the fall time because it makes me think about the start of school and those memories.

High School Playlist (all four years):

No Cars Go – Arcade Fire (this one… many feels)

First Breath After Coma – Explosions in the Sky

Satellite – Guster

Cold Hands – Brendan Benson

I Love the Unknown – Clem Snide

Single Ladies – Beyonce (first heard this remix in Chicago and still love it)

Just Dance – Lady Gaga

Nothin’ On You – B.o.B

Question for you: What were your favorite songs from high school?