Saturday, December 17, 2011

Our Christmas Tree

Since we are living in South Korea we are not able to have a real Christmas tree this year. There are fake trees available but we didn't want to pay for one that we won't be using next year. At first, I was pretty bummed but then I decided to just make my own!

I used an old cardboard box that the previous teachers left in our apartment. It was for a keyboard stand so it was long and thin. First, I drew the basic cone shape on it (so I wouldn't make one side too fat) and then just started cutting out triangles to get the points. Once I had one tree cut out, I traced it on the other piece of cardboard and cut that out, too. It took a long time and I had to take breaks because the scissors were hurting my hand.

Then I cut a line down the center of one of then and slid it down on the other one. It wasn't really staying together that well because it was so long and flimsy at the top. The top pieces kept drooping off to the sides. If I was back home, I would have used a glue gun and just glued it together, but I don't have a glue gun here. I improvised and used a needle and thread that we found in a little sewing kit in one of the junk drawers. I used the green thread and sewed the very top first and then again about half way down. It wasn't the best solution but it was the best I could do with what I had at the time. Plus, you can't even tell I sewed it after it was painted.

Spencer brought home some green paint on his way home from work but it was reallly dark, like almost black-dark. The color was lost in translation to him, as sometimes happens when you don't speak Korean in Korea.  I still painted the whole thing but after it dried, it was way too dark. The next day, I bought some lighter paint and mixed them to get the colors I wanted.

I painted three sides dark green and one side (the front) a lighter green to get a shadow effect. I'm happy with the outcome and I think it looks really great with the paper chain and little star. It's amazing how much happier I am now that we have a tree. Before, it didn't even feel like Christmas and now I feel like Buddy the elf I'm so excited!   

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Poem

I thought of this very short poem while singing in the shower. I didn't know the lyrics to the song I was singing so I made this up to sing to the tune. I quite like it so I thought I would share it with you.

What do you think? Do you like it, too?

Friday, November 25, 2011

House Plants

I've been really inspired to buy more house plants by Justina's new tumblr, Welcome to the Jungalow. The jungle vibes are pulsing through me and I'm looking to add a little jungalow into our Korean apartment!

I think the easiest way to get my jungalow on, would be to add some more house plants to the mix. We do have one teeny one, but I think we need some more. I don't think you can never have enough plants in a junglalow!

These are all easy to care for house plants that will add a bit of jungle to any space.

1. Croton - I love the bright multicolor leaves.
2. Boston Fern - adds great texture
3. Madagascar Palm - cheeky and fun
4. Grape Ivy - heaping and beautiful, it really has oomph!
5. Aloe - tried and true and good for you
6. Peperomia - pretty textured leaves

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Two Broke Girls and Dutch Doors

I love the new show, 2 Broke Girls. It's a hilarious account of two girls living in Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn and working at a diner. One was always poor growing up and the other was grossly rich before her father got in trouble scamming people and she lost all her money.

They manage to steal back a few of the rich girl's things including a horse, named Chestnut, which lives in their backyard. Chestnut likes to stick his head through the windows or the back door. Every time I see him standing in the door way I think, "They should get a Dutch door!" I know this is a ridiculous thought, but I think it - every. time!

Dutch doors are so charming! I love them.  

Seoul: A Crafter's Paradise

Seoul, South Korea is a crafter's paradise. You might not have known this before, but I can assure you, it's true. You can find everything to make anything in Seoul. I saw endless amounts of beads, elastics, thread, fabrics, fur, zippers, cords, feathers, rhinestones, string, yarn, and so much more! You name it; they have it. I was so overwhelmed I could hardly buy anything but I did manage to buy some embroidery floss and a few needles. :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Trip to a Bamboo Forest

I love the Fall. After the agony of sweltering, humid days and typhoons, I am so happy the cool weather and sunshine is here. It's glorious! And I know it's not going to stick around for very long so I am set on enjoying every moment of it.

TO celebrate the cooler weather, Spencer and I took a day trip to Damyang to see a bamboo forest. It was a beautiful Fall day (have I mentioned I love Fall?!) and many people were out enjoying the forest with us. September in South Korea is prime hiking time so everyone and their mother was out enjoying the cool air and sunshine.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Flower: Tiny Orange Morning Glory

This is, with out a doubt, the smallest morning glory in the land. I love the bright orange color and the fact that this adorable little life form was growing on quite possibly the ugliest man made fence on the planet. It caught my eye as we were walking to the bamboo forest in Damyang.

Get excited, folks! I've decided to add a little something extra to the Friday Flower posts--fun links! I've seen other bloggers do it and, well frankly, I'm jumping on that bandwagon. I think it's a fun way to showcase other blogs and cool things I find while browsing internet.

I hope you enjoy them and have a fabulous weekend!

A woven picture through time

Joanna's beautifully planned guide to New York City

Welcome to the Jungalow, a new Tumblr by Justina from Compai

I didn't know you had a dog!

I'm in love with this powder room

Friday Flower: This series is meant to insert as much beauty and joy as possible into my life and the lives of my readers. It's a small reminder to stop and smell the roses and to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. I hope you enjoy the beauty!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Kara's Cupcakes Branding

One of my friends from high school recently got a job working for the newest branch of Kara's Cupcakes. She posted a picture on Facebook of her new business card and I instantly loved their branding. It's cute, classy, and eco-friendly (all of their boxes are compostable!).

What do you think? Love it, hate it, or meh?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fall Trend: The Cape

I have been dreaming of capes for Fall this year. I think they would be so fun to play in! I would love to wear one while swinging on swings, strolling through bamboo forests, or solving mysteries. Plus, it's almost my birthday so someone really should...

Sherlock, Red, Granny

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Flower: Hydrangeas

These flowers are the brightest, most bubble gum pink hydrangeas I have ever seen! I remember positively gawking at them when I first sighted them. 

I took these pictures back in 2006 so I can't be entirely sure, but I believe these were growing in a courtyard somewhere near the Bayeux Tapestry museum in Bayeux, Normandy, France.

Friday Flower: This series is meant to insert as much beauty and joy as possible into my life and the lives of my readers. It's a small reminder to stop and smell the roses and to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. I hope you enjoy the beauty!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wanderlust Wednesday: The Philippines

Don't you wish you could teleport right now??!

Spencer and I get a week vacation in December and are dreaming of beaches to escape to. The Philippines has over seven thousand islands to explore and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world to frolic on. How could we say no to that?!

photo sources, 1, 2, 3

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Apple Galette

I love this simple and fun cooking tutorial video. That galette looks delicious and oh, so easy!

This video was made by Rachel of Elephantine. Visit her Vimeo page here.

via Abby Goes Design Scouting

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Flower: Purple Explosions

These tiny purple explosions are amazing. I love the way they burst open like fireworks but are so delicate and feminine at the same time. They're stunning!

I took this photo while visiting Monet's house in Giverny, France. I don't know what this little beauty is called and if you do, please let me know in the comments!

Friday Flower: This series is meant to insert as much beauty and joy as possible into my life and the lives of my readers. It's a small reminder to stop and smell the roses and to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. I hope you enjoy the beauty!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wanderlust Wednesday: Reims, France

Champagne always brings a fun, celebratory smile to my face and lately, I've been feeling like celebrating all the time! Not only am I really enjoying living and teaching English in South Korea, but I was also just interviewed by Anne over at Prêt à Voyager! It was such an honor for me to be featured on Prêt à Voyager, a site that I regard highly, and I thought the final product turned out really nicely.

Anne is currently living in Paris which got me thinking about this week I've been dreaming of champagne tasting and practicing my French in Reims, known as the champagne capital of France. I want to sip delicious, bubbly champagne and enjoy all the beautiful sights and delectable treats Reims has to offer, like pastries, chocolates, warm, fresh bread with cheese, and of course, champagne! 

Have you ever been to Reims before?? I would love to hear what you thought of it in the comments!

 photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
"now we sip champagne when we thirsty" --The Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Inspirational India

Lately I've been inspired by anything from India. The fun, bright colors make me so happy and the pretty henna patterns are so intricate and beautiful. It's the overwhelming amount of details that catches my eye and keeps me looking. I love the curling paisleys, long flower petals, dots, and swirls. Nothing is understated and everything is bohemian and spiritual. India is so different from anywhere else in the world and that's what makes it so interesting and exciting for me.

photo sources: elephant, cookies, powder, hands

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Flower: Fuchsia

Monet's house, Giverny, France | Summer 2008

Friday Flower: This series is meant to insert as much beauty and joy as possible into my life and the lives of my readers. It's a small reminder to stop and smell the roses and to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. I hope you enjoy the beauty!

Monday, September 12, 2011


I'm loving this Australian clothing company, Gorman! The backgammon print is gorgeous and I love the high-waisted swimmie. They are having a $5000 giveaway at the moment. How awesome would it be to win?! What would you get? I would definitely get this dress.

First seen on Black*Eiffel

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Yanko Design

I've been looking for design publications recently, either on the web or in print, and I stumbled upon Yanko Design. I especially love their tagline, "Form Beyond Function" and it suits them well. Yanko Design is an online magazine filled to the brim with innovative and beautiful things. From their website:
"Yanko Design is a web magazine dedicated to introducing the best modern international design, covering from industrial design, concepts, technology, interior design, architecture, exhibition and fashion. It’s about the cutting edge and the classic, the new and the rediscovered. It’s all about the best."
Here are a few of my favorite things I've found on Yanko.


You fill one half with tea leaves and water, set the steep time, and turn it over. After the allotted time runs out the water pours into the bottom half like an hourglass. Always a perfect cup! I love that you can see the tea through the glass too. It would be really pretty with rose or jasmine tea. See more photos here.

Eaux Eaux

Inspired by a wave in the sea, these beautiful sinks are striking! I would love to see these paired with this scalloped tile (I call it mermaid tile!) and warm, soft textures. Wouldn't that be divine? See more pictures of Eaux Eaux here.

Rose Lamp

I've always loved the intricate and elegant details of Victorian ceiling ornaments, so it's no wonder that I love this Rose Lamp! I really like that the rod holding up the bulb isn't perfectly straight, as well. It really gives it that upside-down look and adds loads of character. The only thing that I don't like about it, is that naked light bulb. I would either add a shade or paint the bulb so it's not poking you in the eye all the time! See more pictures here.

What do you think, my lovelies? Do you enjoy innovative housewares? Or are you a more classic consumer? I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wanderlust Wednesday: Gold Coast, Australia

sources: map, photo, hat, swimmie, earrings, sandals

I always hear such good things about Australia. The beaches are beautiful, the people are friendly, and there are plenty of places to explore. One good place to visit is the Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast is a good size city (about 540,000 people) along the east coast of Australia in the state of Queensland. There is plenty to do in and around Gold Coast including surfing, sunbathing, or swimming at a beautiful beach, heading out on a whale watching expedition, or exploring the nearby rainforest or vineyards. Whatever you choose, it's sure to be a good time with all that beautiful weather!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunny Saturday in Suncheon

On Saturday afternoon Spencer and I left our apartment to find a beautiful sunny day outside. The sky was so blue, probably the bluest I've seen in Korea so far, and there were pretty white fluffy clouds gliding along. The air was fresh and the heavy, sticky, smoggy, awful humidity had let up a bit. It was a welcome change to the terrible weather we'd had during the week. We walked to a main road to catch a cab to get haircuts. While waiting for a cab, I snapped this picture of some vines growing on a brick wall.

Have you ever seen a brick wall made this way?? I thought it was pretty clever.

We had to wait about an hour since we were walk-ins so we walked around the shops nearby.

Isn't this clock shop cool? Look at those cuckoos!

A smiling horse! :)

We bought this little guy from the florist shop behind the horse. It says on the card that it's called "Snow White Park."

Finally, here's the hair cut!

I'm thankful the hairdresser spoke some English but I was still really nervous! I showed her how short I wanted it and told her to cut it all one length. I was too scared to get an actual style or layers or anything like that. It's a lot shorter than before but still long enough. I'm really happy with it!

Here's how long it was before, if you're interested. She cut a good 4-5 inches! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Turkish Towels

I love these Turkish towels! I think they are beautiful and so practical. They can be towels, a picnic/beach blanket, a dress or skirt, a table cloth, a window covering...

I love this Etsy shop ran by a retired couple in Turkey. The husband hand makes them on a traditional Turkish loom! How cool is that? I wonder if he would teach me how to make them if I traveled to Turkey? I would love that! I've wanted to learn how to use a loom. 

Photo Sources (clockwise): 1, 2, 3, 4
Inspired by: More Design Please

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Meditation Challenge

 Meditation is a wonderful way to clear your head and relax. There are many benefits from mediation, including reducing stress, increasing blood flow while slowing the heart, and more self-confidence. However, anyone who has ever meditated will tell you, it's hard. It seems like it's easy but it can be incredibly hard to sit, breathe, and just be.

I've dabbled in meditation off and on for well over a year now but I can't seem to get in the habit of meditating everyday. Seriously, it's so spontaneous I hardly count it as true meditation experience. I always say that I am going to get up 10 minutes earlier and do it....and then I just hit the snooze button again!

We went to Boemeosa temple in Busan last Sunday. It's the most famous temple in Busan and it's comprised of many buildings, all beautifully painted. There is a mediation area with cushions to sit on and a big gold Buddha against one wall. There are prayers hanging from the ceiling and incense burning. Sometimes there is chanting or singing too. It's a very relaxing and spiritual place.

We sat there for about 10 minutes and I meditated.  

It was the best meditation experience I have ever had. 

I felt such peace and love. It was a level of relaxation and comfort I'd yet to feel since moving to South Korea. I know this is a bit strange, but I felt like I was connecting with my soul. I was whole and one with myself. I was so happy and completely in the moment. I felt that natural high throughout the whole rest of the day!

While we were walking down the mountain away from the temple, I thought to myself, "I need to stop making excuses and meditate more. I am the only one holding me back." I figured what better way to hold myself accountable than to blog about it. Instead of just keeping it to myself like I had always done before, I decided to tell everyone I know of my plan.

So here it is:
My very own meditation challenge!

I've read up on meditation and it's not something you can see results from right away. Meditation takes patience (which I need to work on!) and dedication. Just meditating for a week won't be worth it. That's why I've decided to make this a three month challenge. Then I will re-assess myself -- see how I feel and if I want to continue with the practice. 

Here are the deets:

meditate every day for 10 minutes a day for one week (August 17-24)
increase to 15 minutes for two weeks (August 25-September 8)
increase to 20 minutes for two weeks (September 9-23)
increase to 25 minutes for two weeks (September 24-October 8)

change to twice a day, 15 minutes each for two weeks (October 9-23)
increase to 20 minutes, twice a day, for two weeks (October 24-November 7)
increase to 25 minutes, twice a day, for two weeks (November 8-22)

I will be blogging throughout the challenge on my various experiences. I hope to write about difficulties and challenges as well as accomplishments. I know there will be days that I just don't want to meditate or think I just don't have time and I'll write about that too (and hopefully still meditate!). I'm serious about starting a practice of meditation but I know meditation doesn't always have to be serious so I hope to find some humor in this experience too!

If you've always wanted to start meditating and need a sign, THIS is it! Do this challenge with me! 

I would really love to have some buddies to share experiences with so if you're interested, please email me at maggieehigh (at) gmail (dot) com

much love and namaste,


p.s. If you are very new to meditating, here are some links to guide you through the basics: Meditation 101 from Yoga Journal, How to Start Meditating from Big Happy Buddha, new to meditation...some basic questions from Reddit