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January 2017

dreamkatchers initiative

DKI Playlist: Get Up and Move

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DKI Playlist: Get Up and Move

Written by Ji | 29 January 2017

It’s hasn’t even been a month since we celebrated the New Year’s and I’m already struggling on my healthier lifestyle diet.  I’ve been thinking of ways to keep myself motivated at the gym, so it doesn’t become a chore but habit.  I tried watching my kdrama shows but I ended up falling off the treadmill.  What else could motivate me?   As I sat there thinking about how I could be more dedicated to my goal, I heard “Fantastic Baby” by Big Bang.  Whenever I here that song, I just want to get up and dance.  I decided to asked my fellow DreamKatcher Initiative co-workers for songs that were upbeat and danceable.  Songs to get you up and moving.

Cross Gene- Noona, You

CROSS GENE – 나하고 놀자 (Play With Me)

K.A.R.D. – Oh NaNa

Blackpink – BOOMBAYAH

Big Bang- Bang Bang Bang

Big Bang- Fantastic Baby

G- Dragon- Crooked

G-Dragon- Crayon

4Minute- Crazy

Sistar- Shake It

Sistar- Shady Girl

2NE1- I Am The Best

MonstaX- Hero

Rapmonster – Do You

Jonghyun- Beautiful Lady

Jonghyun – Dress Up

B.A.P – That’s My Jam

BIGSTAR – Run & Run

Block B- Very Good

Block B – HER

Amber- SHAKE THAT BRASS

SM STATION (HYOYEON X MIN X JO KWON) – Born To Be Wild

J-Hope – 1Verse

NCT 127

We hope this playlist motivates you to get up and move.  What songs would you add to our playlist?

Snack Sunday: Tteokguk 떡국 (Rice Cake Soup)

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Snack Sunday: Tteokguk 떡국 (Rice Cake Soup)

Written by Ji | 29 January 2017

Tteokguk 떡국 (Rice Cake Soup)

 

Happy Seollal!  Seollal is the Korean Lunar New Year, celebrated over three days with family and friends.  On today’s special edition of Snack Sunday, I will be trying out Tteokguk 떡국 (rice cake soup).  This soup is traditionally made during Seollal.  The clear both symbolizes a fresh clean start and the rice cake symbolizes best wishes for luck and health.  I will be trying out 2 store bought ones and I will also make my own Tteokguk to compare a homemade version versus store bought.

My first Tteokguk is from Surasang.  This soup was simple to make; first you open the package, take out the contents, open and pour the rice cakes and seasoning back into the bowl, add hot water and wait for 1-2 minutes.  I do like the flavor and spices of this rice cake soup.  This soup is heavily seasoned with garlic, onion and black pepper.  It has a nice mild heat to it, unlike most traditional soups.  But flavor wise, this one is very similar to the traditional rice cake soups I am familiar with.

My next Tteokguk is from Ottogi.  This one was also easy to make and similar to prepping like the previous soup, except this one had a liquid soup base and a seasoning packet.  The soup broth wasn’t as clear as the first soup due to the liquid soup base but the flavors of this soup was impressive.  For this soup, it had a meatier taste and taste of seaweed was prominent.

The last soup was made using a recipe from Maangchi website.  http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/ddukguk  This soup was surprisingly easy to make.  Even though it wasn’t as easy as boiling water and waiting a couple of minutes, it was worth the extra time.  This was a simple both that offered a ton of flavor.  While I did like the spices from the Surasang brand, this one had a more traditional feel.  But home cooked food usually has the advantage.  Like the Ottogi brand, this soup had a meatier taste, but since I used a nice cut of beef, the soup base was amazing.  For a broth that was only boiled around 30 minutes, it was already boosting with flavor.

 

Would I buy this again?

While each soup had a different taste, I was impressed with all three rice cake soups.  I would buy or make this soup again.  My favorite of the three was the Surasang brand.  Even though it was heavy on spices, the flavor was amazing.  I believe Maangchi recipe could have won this round, if I had a little more time and experience with adding more spices to the soup.  I tend to gravitate to soups with a little bit of heat, but that’s a personal preference.  If you can’t make it home to enjoy a home cooked meal or don’t feel like making this New Year’s traditional soup, Surasang or Ottogi is a perfectly good substitute to enjoy the traditional treat.

 

 

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beautiFRIDAY: Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

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beautiFRIDAY: Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Written by Ji | 27 January 2017

On today’s BeautiFriday adventure, I try out the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask.  A sleeping mask is the last product you apply to your face at night.  It will help seal in all the serums you have used during your nighttime regime.  I first received this product from my local Aritaum store.  When you purchase a product, they normally give you a few samples, and this was one of the best samples I have ever received.  For over 2 weeks, I have been using the sample product, and I still haven’t reached the bottom of my container.  Just like most products, a little goes a long way.

I always apply the product, like most of my serums, on my ring finger.  I then carefully apply the product by lightly dabbing my ring finger to my face.  Since this is the last step, you want to be careful and not wipe away the prior products you have applied onto your face.  After each product, you should wait until your skin has absorb the product before adding the next layer.

I love the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask.  I love the way it seals in all my serums at night and the way it feels on my face.  A lot of night mask will leave your skin super sticky to the point where my eyelids feels like are being glued open. This product is lightweight and perfect for any skin combination.  After two weeks of use, I did not experience any break outs or any side effects with my oily skin.

 

Would I buy this again?

Yes, I would.  The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask is one of the best sleeping mask I have used.  The lightweight product keeps all your nighttime regime products sealed without your facing feeling too oily or sticky.

Snack Sunday: Nongshim Onion Flavored Rings

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Snack Sunday: Nongshim Onion Flavored Rings

Written by Ji | 22 January 2017

 

It’s a beautiful, rainy Sunday morning and I have two things on my mind, my snack and watching the last three episodes of Goblin.  Currently I am drinking my Maxim Gold Coffee and debating on what snack I should try out today.  I don’t want a healthy snack of this cold morning, I want something crunchy, salty… I want junk food.  I know, it’s still January and I’m struggling on my New Year’s Resolution.  But to be fair, this is the longest I have ever lasted.  For today’s Snack Sunday adventure, I decided to try Nongshim Onion Flavored Rings.  I am a big fan of Nongshim products, so when I saw this at the store, I knew I had to try it.  At the same time, I knew my new healthier lifestyle wouldn’t be able to accommodate this snack.  I remembered putting this bag back on the shelves but when I came home, it was magically appeared in my bag.  I put the chips on the high shelf of my cupboard.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  Wrong!  It only lasted a few days up there before I took the bag back down.

As I plopped myself down on the couch with my coffee and chips in hand.  I turned on my laptop, set up my show, and opened the bag of chips.  The chips had a lightly onion scent that wasn’t really noticeable until I moved the bag closer to my face.  The scent does remind me of Funyuns.  Which made me happy because Funyuns happens to be one of my favorite chips, especially on long drives.  I took out one ring and noticed that it had a different texture then my favorite snack.  The Nongshim Onion Flavored Rings had a smooth texture.  I popped one into mouth, and I did enjoy the nice crunch of the product.  But that was the only thing I loved about this product.  The chips were bland and lack any flavor.  I took a hand full of the rings and stuffed them into my mouth, hoping that I didn’t just cheat on my healthier lifestyle for nothing.  Sadly, it only boosted the flavor by a little.  I could taste the onion powder now, but it doesn’t seem to be evenly distributed.

I want to take a moment to talk about the after taste.  For something that has little flavor, it leaves a strong after taste after you stop eating it.  I have no idea where this after taste is coming from, but I am glad I made coffee to drown out that taste.

 

 

Would I buy this again?

No.  I tried to keep on open mind regarding this product.  But I couldn’t get over the lack of flavor and heavy after taste.  I know this product is very popular and I’ve seen idols eat these during fan meets and on their shows but for me… I would pass on these chips.

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Once Upon a Drama with Thumbalynda: Top 3 of 2016

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Once Upon a Drama with Thumbalynda: Top 3 K-Drama Picks of 2016

And just like that, 2016 has come to an end.  Before I dive into my Top 3 of 2016, let me get the disclaimers out of the way. I am NOT a professional critic. My picks are merely my opinion; I didn’t pick the dramas based on any sort of rating or recognition received.  I went with how the drama made me feel. The dramas also had to have started in 2016; so shows like Oh My Venus and Reply 1988, that started in 2015, but ended in 2016, were taken out of consideration.  Here we go!

 

Honorable Mention: Page Turner

Total Number of Episodes: 3

Where to watch: Dramafever, Viki

Main Cast: Kim So Hyun, Ji Soo, Shin Jae Ha, Ye Ji Won, Hwang Young Hee

OST: N/A

Brief synopsis: Kim So Hyun plays Yoo Seul, a talented pianist, who becomes blind after an accident.  With help from unexpected friends, Yoo Seul discovers a new lease on life.

 

Comments: If this drama had been a full length drama, I feel like it could have made it into my Top 3.  Ji Soo made this drama for me.  Unsurprisingly, he was so full of charm and energy, I couldn’t help but fall for it.  Kim So Hyun also played her character well, but we’ve come to expect that from her.  KSH’s talent shines brighter than ever.  The storyline was simple enough, but even so, after every episode I was craving more, wondering what would happen next.  In my opinion, that’s what makes a good drama, its ability to draw you in and leave you craving for more.  I was really sad when this drama ended after only 3 episodes, because I sure would have loved to see the romance blossom between Kim So Hyun and Ji Soo’s characters.

 

  1. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

Total Number of Episodes: 16

Where to watch: Viki

Main Cast: Lee Sung Kyung, Nam Joo Hyuk, Kyung Soo Jin, Lee Jae Yoon

OST: https://youtu.be/jnwkp6kwDVA

Brief synopsis: A coming-of-age story about a group of college athletes who are fighting for their dreams, experiencing and finding love in the process, and growing every step of the way

 

Comments: From the start, this drama was always the underdog, competing with the likes of Legend of the Blue Sea and Oh My Geum Bi.  Of those three dramas, I’ve only kept up with Weightlifting Fairy. Why? Because I absolutely fell for the storyline.  I loved the fact that it was the handsome athlete that falls for the heroine first.  I loved that he played her daddy long legs and allowed her to love and grieve the loss of her first love, without pushing her to love him.  I loved the progression of their relationship from friendship to love, and how genuine it felt.

 

  1. Descendants of the Sun

Total Number of Episodes: 18, plus 1 bonus behind-the-scenes episode

Where to watch: Dramafever, Viki

Main Cast: Song Joong Ki, Song Hye Gyo, Jin Goo, Kim Ji Won

OST: https://youtu.be/YmC53o2_gWk

Brief synopsis: This story tells of doctors stationed in the fictional war zone of Urk (Uruk), and follows the love story that develops between a surgeon (Kang Mo-yeon) and a special forces officer (Yoo Shi-jin), both elite in their respective fields. The story will track both their personal and professional struggles while exploring issues about the value of life (Dramabeans).

 

Comments: I’ve gotten mixed reviews on this drama, and funny enough, people either really loved it or really hated it. I was a fool for this drama.  Prior to Goblin, I was 100% sure DOTS would be my #1 drama of 2016.  I fell so hard for Song Joong Ki in this drama – the way his sad eyes just pierced your soul, the way he romanced Song Hye Kyo’s character, his bromance with Jin Goo, I LOVED it all. Looking back, the storyline was extremely lacking, but it didn’t matter, I was sold. The OST was amazing. Song Joong Ki was amazing. Song Joong Ki was amazing. Oh wait, did I say that already? If you’re not too concerned with storyline, please give DOTS a watch! Song Joong Ki deserves the love.

 

  1. The Lonely, Shining Goblin

Total Number of Episodes: 16

Where to watch: Dramafever

Main Cast: Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook, Yoo In Na

OST: https://youtu.be/J_XCbHgTg5I

Brief synopsis: Kim Shin is a goblin who is also a protector of souls. He lives together with Wang Yeo, an amnesiac grim reaper who is in charge of taking deceased souls. Shin doesn’t want to be immortal anymore and seeks a human bride in order to end his immortality. Meanwhile, Ji Eun Tak is a high school student who despite her painful reality, remains optimistic, ends up falling in love with the goblin. Kim Sun is an owner of a chicken shop, she is a bright and attractive girl who is loved by all men. However, while encountering hardship in her reckless life, she’ll meet the reaper and begin to change…

 

Comments: I was really hesitant to start Goblin because I’m more into realistic storylines as opposed to fantasy ones, and I couldn’t get behind a drama about a goblin and a grim reaper.  It was too weird for me.  However, I got bored one day during my winter break from classes, and decided to give it a go.  My life hasn’t been the same since.  There are so many reasons why I love the drama and I don’t know where to begin.  Is it bad that I favor the bromance between Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook more than any other relationship in the drama?  Kim Go Eun’s eye smile melts my heart.  The way Lee Dong Wook’s naturally red lips quiver when he’s about to cry. Ughh my heart can’t handle it! Even the teasers at the end of the episode probably give me more excitement than the episodes themselves. The drama hasn’t even ended yet, but I feel like it has been so well thought out,  and I’m claiming it as my favorite drama of 2016 because it is just THAT GOOD. Nevermind the OST that is just absolutely epic.  Most of the songs have a melancholic theme that just haunts you, and they are so fitting to the drama.  I could carry on, but that would take away from my drama watching time, and we don’t want that =)

 

Until next time!

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Snack Sunday: Darda Honey Popcorn

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Snack Sunday: Darda Honey Popcorn

Written by Ji | 15 January 2016

Snack Sunday: Darda Honey PopcornOn today’s Snack Sunday adventure, I tryout Darda Honey Popcorn.  As I was perusing the snack aisle, I found these cute ramen size containers filled with popcorn.  I love fresh popcorn and can never pass by a vendor without buying some.  Although popcorn isn’t the healthiest snack, I convinced myself it was within my calorie range and not a bad snack to have.  Plus, I needed to have something to snack on while watching the last episode of Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo

I can’t express how happy this snack makes me.  When I opened the container, you can instantly smell the sweetness of the popcorn.  If I could buy this scent as a perfume, I would. This was better than some of the fresh popcorns you can obtain from a farmer’s market.  The savory and sweet popcorn melts in your mouth leaving behind a light after taste of the kettle corn.  For the cup, it’s 205 calories, which is a perfect size snack.  I actually finished the container before I finished writing the article.  I couldn’t help but eat this delicious treat by the handful.

 

Would I buy this again?

Yes!  Not only will I buy this again, but my house will always have Darda Honey Poporn in stock.  I just wish this was more portable.  This would never fit in my bag.  So that leaves me two options; either buy a new bag or a more suitable container for the popcorn.  There’s no other option, I need my new favorite snack near me at all times.  It’s highly addicting and worth the calories.

 

beautiFRIDAY: IOPE Water Fit Tint Lip Balm

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BeautiFriday: IOPE Water Fit Tint Lip Balm

Written by Ji | 13 January 2016

 

 

On today’s BeautiFriday adventure, I try out IOPE Water Fit Tint Lip Balm.  This purchase wasn’t planned or a product I was interested in.  It was fate that brought us together.  I had a busy morning running errands and I still had to make dish for a dinner party.  Normally, on my busiest days I just apply my Sulwhasoo Cushion and my Dior Lip Glow to protect my face from the sun.  But today, in the middle of my hectic morning, I forgot my lip balm at home and my lips were getting chapped from the wind.  Since I was not heading towards the mall or my local Sephora store, I decided to visit the Aritaum store inside HMART since I was heading that way to get my ingredients.  I spoke to the lady at the counter, and told her I was looking for something like my lip glow and she happily told me about IOPE Water Fit Tint Lip Balm.  I was impressed by the color and consistency of the product and was instantly sold by her pitch.  The best thing about the Artiaum store is the samples they give you when you purchase a product.  They give out decent size samples that gives you the ability to really try out the product to give it a fair and solid chance.

The IOPE Water Fit Tint Lip Balm packaging is simple and sleek.  The scent is very light and per IOPE website, the scent is a “sweet floral orchid scent”.  I was not able to pick up on those floral notes, because the scent was very light, and hardly noticeable.  Which for me, is a good thing.  I don’t normally like heavily scented make up products.  What I loved about this product was how nicely it glides on your lips.  It does leave a waxy texture that is heavier than the Dior Lip Glow.  But when it comes to color, the IOPE Water Fit Tint Lip Balm wins.  This product had a more natural color versus the Dior Lip Glow.  The Lip Glow is brighter and leaves a pinkish color while the IOPE Water Fit Tint Lip Balm showcases the natural color of my lips.

If I had to choose between the two, it would be a tossup. These two lip balms are comparable but at the same time it was honestly two different products.  They both produced two different results on my lips.  IOPE had a more natural finish, was heavy on the lips but left a nice subtle glossy finish.  While the Dior Lip Glow, left a more pinkish color, was a lighter weight on my lips, and a more balm like finish.  I would use the IOPE daily, while running errands and use the Dior on outings or on days when I want a little more color to my lips.

 

Would I buy this again?

Yes, I would.  Normally, I don’t like heavy lip balms, but I would make an exception for this product.  It lasted a long time before the next application, it was lightly scented and tasteless.  I also loved how it brought out my natural color and wasn’t just a glossy finish.  For me, that was a biggest selling point for this lip moisturizing product.

 

 

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Snack Sunday: GFriend Drink (Golden Apple)

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Snack Sunday: Golden Apple Drink

Written by Ji | 08 January 2017

Snack Sunday: GFriend Drink (Golden Apple)

On today’s Snack Sunday adventure, I tried out Goodgn Golden Apple drink.  I have been looking for something sweet to help curb my sweet tooth and this product saved me from cheating on my New Year’s goal of a healthier lifestyle.  I know, it would be better to eat an apple but baby steps.  I’ll get there eventually.  As for now, I’m looking for something to curb my sweet tooth without exceeding my calories and this product did the trick.

Snack Sunday: GFriend Drink (Golden Apple)

The packaging for the product is adorable.  But that’s no surprise since GFriend is on the outer box and on the juice box itself.  On the Goodgn website, it states they make two additional flavors, peach and grape.   Sadly, my store only carried the apple flavor.  The outer box said to keep the product refrigerated, so I left it in the fridge overnight and I’m glad I did.  I was pleasantly surprised by the sweet, crisp, refreshing apple taste.  It leaves a cool and refreshing sensation after you drink it.  It does have a medium after taste that does linger after drinking the product.  The sweetness and apple after taste remained for a few minutes, it was slightly bothersome because I didn’t realize how sweet this drink was until I finished it.  I did enjoy this delicious treat, but it’s not something I could drink on a daily basis.

 

 

Would I buy this again?

Yes, I would.  I wouldn’t drink this every day but whenever I am craving something sweet, this would be my choice.  The overly sweet drink helped curb my sweet tooth and I did not want to eat anything sweet the rest of the day.  It was a win-win situation for my New Year’s resolution and only cost me 70 calories to fulfill my craving.

 

 

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