Category: general

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2018 & New Beginnings


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We may only be 14 days into the New Year, but I feel more determined and motivated than I ever have before. Maybe it’s because turning 30 in December brought so many things into perspective in my own life. For the first time in a long time, I want to put myself first and immerse myself in something I’ve always loved: culture.

With friends, I have decided to travel to Toronto, Canada this year for a whole week. My goal is either in the spring or the fall. I plan to visit many places, but the area I want to explore the most is Koreatown. I don’t know if I have any Canadian readers out there, but if I do and you’re local to the Toronto area, I would love your guidance and recommendations.

I’m excited to try the Korean restaurants and there’s even a grocery store in the area. I plan to document my trip and share it with all of you. From my research, there is a lot of culture in Toronto, so I’m excited and feeling blessed that I get the opportunity to travel there. It may not be South Korea, but it’s one step closer.

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Under Construction: Don’t Mind The Mess

Hi readers!

Please don’t mind the mess, but the blog is currently under construction. I’ve upgraded to a premium account, dropped the wordpress from the website link, and I’m currently working on a theme/redesign once I find something I like. I’m also tidying up things around the blog, so if something looks a little wonky or empty, that’s probably why. Everything is still 100% accessible.

I hope to have everything in order by the time the new year starts.

Some goals for the new year so far:

  • Posting content regularly.
  • Doing product reviews for Korean and/or other Asian products. (i.e. make up, clothing, etc)

I’m hoping 2018 will be a good year and that all of you will stick around with me. More details will be coming later.

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What I’m Watching, Real Life Updates, & More!

The past three months, I’ve been noticeable absent because I’ve been using all of my time to raise money for the local community at work. It was a very successful effort and we’ll be able to help 5 needy families in our school district this Christmas. Also, November marked my 3 year anniversary at my job that actually came with a raise and a bonus, so I’m feeling very inspired to regularly bring k-drama (also Thai!!) back into my life. While I’m busier than ever at work, I want to make note that my drama watching has been very sporadic up until recently, so I haven’t had much to blog about.

Recently, I finished watching Because This is my First Life, which I loved to pieces. Has anyone else watched this one yet? I think this will easily fit into my top ten dramas of the year. There’s just something that draws me to the dramas where the characters pretend to be in a romantic relationship and are living together. Plus, Nam See Hee was a far cry from the usual male leads in drama land, so he he was an immense joy to watch.

Next k-drama on my list is Just Between Lovers.

As far as Thai dramas go, I’m currently working through an older backlog and watching The Cupids series. I’ve recently finished Kammathep Hunsa, so I will be doing a brief overview of that drama. I also finished up the Thai drama Slamdance and I’m also watching My Dear Loser: Monster Romance.

I’m currently planning a total site redesign. My current theme/layout, is my favorite of the free offerings from WP, and I’ve certainly used it the longest, but I’m ready to change things up a bit. I’m not sure when those changes will roll out, but it will hopefully come with the new year.

Also, I’m going to attempt to branch out my blog a bit. My local CVS added a k-beauty section and I’m anxious to give some of these products a try. I also ordered from Rosegal tonight, so I can’t wait to get the clothing, try it on, and talk Asian fashion. As a plus size woman, this will be an interesting experience, so hopefully the sizes I ordered will work. Fingers crossed!

As you can tell, I have a lot going on right now, so I do apologize for the lack of content lately. My twitter account was hacked and suspended among all of this, but thankfully twitter support reversed that decision, so I can finally access my account and tweet again. Hooray! On top of that, it’s been hectic at work as Christmas approaches and then my birthday is a few days after Christmas, so it’s going to be a bit chaotic going into the new year.

Before I go, let’s add a quick question.

What was your favorite k-drama of 2017 and why?

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All The New Things

Hi guys!

It’s been quite a month and k-dramas had to be pushed to the back burner for a bit. I was still watching, but I was unable to blog for a bit. But I’m back and ready to start blogging again.

Right now, the only k-drama I’m currently watching is Suspicious Partner, which I hope to touch base on soon. I like it, think it’s well written, and both Nam Ji Hyun and Ji Chang Wook are fantastic, but it feels like it’s missing a little something. It was the perplexing feeling I had while I watched Legend of the Blue Sea. I still can’t place what was off there, either. Nonetheless, I do thoroughly enjoy Suspicious Partner and can’t wait to talk about it as there’s a lot to love and chat about.

I’m not the biggest Taiwanese drama fan. I have a lot more misses than hits, but if a summary catches my eye, I’ll usually give it a shot. Recently, I started The Perfect Match and I’m completely addicted. T-dramas are not my favorite style of dramas, so when I fall in love with one, it’s pretty special. The Perfect Match only has two more episodes to air before it’s over, so it’s a great time to jump on in. This is top T-drama material and it’s easily the best Asian drama I’m currently watching. Two big thumbs up. Stay tuned as I plan to do a review on this drama when it wraps in two weeks.

Other than dramas, I recently fell down the rabbit hole and found myself swept up in Lularoe. I’ve already met a lot of great people through this company, and it’s inspired me to be more pro-active with my own dreams. It hasn’t been particularly kind to my bank account, so I’m practicing self-control and restraint this month.

I’ve also been on the road to rebuilding my credit. Long story short, there were a period in my life where I wasn’t working and also didn’t have health insurance. It resulted in some medical bills going to collections and majorly damaging my credit. Not my finest hour, but I’ve been spending a lot of time clearing things up and getting my credit back to tip-top shape. I’ll get there eventually, but working through this and other real life drama unfortunately has left me emotionally exhausted and too “meh” too blog.

But back to dramas and blogging. I’m working on a few posts to hopefully finish in the coming week.  I’m also trying to decide on another k-drama to watch, but I haven’t been wowed by any of the current dramas. If you have suggestions, I’m happy to listen. Once Suspicious Partner ends it’s either work on my “to watch drama watch” or take on a new show and hope for the best.

I also want to do a major overhaul of this blog – in terms of the layout theme. I’ve had this current theme for three years and I feel it’s more than time for a change. I do swap out header images that I design, but I feel in need of a larger change to breathe fresh life into ISWAKD. This probably won’t happen this month, but it’s on my list of things to do in the near future.

So, a brief overview:

  1. New content coming to the blog this week. (1-2 posts at least.) Yay!
  2. In need of k-drama suggestions. (Leaning towards new dramas, please!)
  3. Working on a new blog design for the distant future.

 

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Review: ‘K Love’ By Devon Atwood & Alice Cornwall

“I just hit the lotto.”

If any phrase could accurately demonstrate how I feel about the collaborative effort between Devon and Cornwall, this would be the one. The beauty of K Love is that you don’t even have to be a k-drama (Korean Drama) fan to understand the story, the culture and the context. If you’re already a fan of these dramas, then be prepared for a special treat.

If you’re looking for a slow-burn, clean romance and an engaging story that weaves two cultures into one, you’ve found your book.

***WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVE NOT READ K LOVE, PLEASE PROCEED WITH CAUTION.*** 

Read More

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NerdCon: ‘Devon, Cornwall, & K Love’

Hi guys!

On Saturday, with my real life BFF and occasional guest blogger, Tiff, in tow, we made the hour and twenty minute drive to check out NerdCon for K Love. It’s not every day that you get to meet k-drama fans who wrote a book replicating the feelings and style of k-dramas. It’s also not everyday that all of this happens in Pennsylvania — the place I’ve called home for twenty-nine years.

So, how was NerdCon?

It was a very neat experience held at a library. Throughout the first floor, there were various tables set up with vendors selling stuff. This is not on a comic con size scale, but it was a nice experience. Tiff and I walked around for a while to admire the library itself and to see what the vendors were selling.

As we did another round of the library around 10:45, we spied the sign for K Love and then I saw Devon and Cornwall. Of course, I knew what they looked like thanks to pictures they’ve shared on their blog and from reaction videos like Goblin.

They had a few books and some bookmarks available. There was even a TV screen set up where they were playing some videos from youtube of k-dramas, which was a nice touch to lure in the passerby’s. Although, as we chatted, the videos suddenly deviated to a series of The Heirs fan videos. Cue Lee Min Hottness, ugly sweaters, couple sweaters and sneakers, California coastal scenes, and some Park Shin Hye awkwardness.

We spoke about a whole slew of dramas — from recent ones such as Strong Woman Do Bong Soon and Goblin to Secret Garden and Queen In Hyun’s Man. Because, hey, we’re all k-drama fans and how can you not talk dramas for hours on end? I assure you, it’s much easier than it looks!

Recap:

They spoke a lot about their book and the challenges they’ve encountered. Some of these have been mentioned on their blog previously, but I’m just going to reiterate some of that information as I’m sure they’ll be telling you all about it.

Incorporating Korean (as in the romanization of Korean) into the book posed a few challenges. Luckily, they had the help of a South Korean college student, (who is currently in school to become an English teacher) to help with some of the phrases. So, yes, we do see romanized Korean in the book, but only sporadically. Nonetheless, it’s really fun to read. But as I’m not an expert, I did google some phrases for help.

Originally, Devon and Cornwall wanted to go the published route instead of the self-published route. Unfortunately, trying to explain k-dramas and what they were trying to do just left publishers confused. What genre did K Love fit into? Was it similar to a Telenovela? Maybe they could make it New Adult and spice up the content? (No, no, and more no. What blasphemy!) What exactly is a K-Drama?

These were just a few of the questions Devon and Cornwall faced. Ultimately, as we all know, they chose to go down the self-publishing road. And while that’s harder and poses more challenges, I believe they are helping pave the way for future writers who are interested in writing the same kind of content. Much like new adult didn’t exist until self-publishers such as Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover, Jessica Sorensen and Abbi Glines arrived on scene, it eventually exploded and books started to come out of the woodwork in that genre.

My sincere hope for the K-Rom genre is that we see a similar explosion.

Word of mouth is really going to be key here. The k-drama community is quite large and we’re a passionate group. I think we can do it together. What do you say, k fans?

Verdict:

Devon and Cornwall are great and very humble people in real life. Their passion for dramas mirrors my own, and it’s great to share something you’re passionate about with others. It is something that helps break me out of by shell and they have no idea just how exciting it was to meet them. You kind of get starstruck there for a while. What was really cool and unexpected was being recognized by mentioning this blog. (For those of you who don’t know, I actually started this blog three years ago as a personal effort to keep track of the dramas I was watching. Slowly, over the years, it’s morphed into what it is now. And a huge part of that is thanks to my loyal and growing group of followers. I adore each and every one of you. And ISWAKD wouldn’t be half as special without all of you.)

Anyway, back the story. I think we talked about K Love and k-dramas for almost two hours. We’ve watched and enjoyed a lot of the same k-dramas, so that kept conversation flowing. I felt a bit guilty for spending so much time with them, but we were just so excited to gush over K Love. Yes, that was my main reason for attending NerdCon.

In an effort not to take up all of their time, we left at 12:30 to get some much needed lunch. I’m sure if time permitted, we could have talked dramas even longer, but alas, we needed to let these ladies promote their book and hand out bookmarks. I wish we could have stayed longer and chatted some more about their book and k-dramas, but who knows where the future may lead? If they ever have book events or signings somewhere in PA, I may just pop up and cheer them on.

By the way, I binge-read K Love this weekend. I am currently doing some re-reading and jotting down a few additional notes. I hope to have my review up by 5/4/17 when the book officially releases. There will be two styles of reviews I’m doing: one for the k-drama fan and another for the general public. I figure that’s the best way to review K Love. The k-drama-centric version will be posted exclusively here at my blog where I will delve deeper into tropes and all of the little Korean bits and bobs I picked up on. The more standard review (that doesn’t break into too much k-drama fanfare) will be posted on the likes of Amazon and possibly Goodreads.

Teaser: I stopped reading many, many times to have little fangirl moments at the beginning. Oh the sweet, sweet anticipation I felt reading this book. Stay tuned! 

P.S. I may have missed a few things, so there could possibly be a part 2 post. 

P.P.S. Here’s a little teaser of the book and the bookmark I received. FYI, like the dork that I am, I got excited and hung up on the dedication for at least five minutes. That’s when the nerves kicked in… (Sorry for the poorly lit and low quality pics. Nicer ones will be in the review, I promise!)

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NerdCon!

Guess what? The day has almost arrived!

I have a date with NerdCon tomorrow at 10:00 AM sharp.

I will be sure to tweet throughout the day on my k-drama twitter. If you want to stay up to the date on the latest, that’s the place to check. My twitter is also on the sidebar of this blog, which you can find if you scroll down and look to the right. It will show some of my recent tweets. I will be posting about my day at NerdCon in general and, of course, sharing details related to my experience with Devon, Cornwall, and K Love!

And a random gif spam because TGIF! (P.S., I just started getting into EXO, so you might notice a bit of a theme here.)

Seeing how the event runs until 10 P.M tomorrow, and judging that I do stay that entire time, it will be nearing midnight until I get home. My hope is that I can do a nice little recap of my day and experience, so please stay tuned. I have an early and long day on Sunday, but either way, I will bring you something this weekend. Thanks guys for all of your support and interest in my blog. I promise to do my best to keep it interesting and current.

As for K Love, if you have any requests, please let me know by filling in the form below and I will do my best to ask a few things if they don’t mind me asking. I want to show these ladies that they have a strong following of readers that support them and wish their book nothing more than every success. (And even that sequel they’re working on … *wink wink*)

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You Know You Might Be Obsessed With K-Dramas When…

Check it out, this just arrived in the mail this evening! This is my latest splurge. I always carry a ton of crap with me. And with taking a lunch to work every day, it can be hard juggling my lunch bag, my drink, my keys, and my ID badge to get in the building. It’s usually an awkward shuffle where I drop my badge, spill something, or trip over myself. Really, that’s just my kind of luck.

Since my other bag ripped, I thought it would be fun to bring a little more k-drama in my day-to-day life. This is a large white canvas bag with black handles. It measures in at a whopping 18″ by 18″ and has plenty of room for everything I could ever imagine lol. I’m sure it’ll spark some interesting conversations and I plan to take it out with me when I don’t want to lug my purse to movies or events I’m attending. I actually ordered this canvas bag from Red Bubble. I do possess decent skills in photoshop, but this wasn’t my work. (I’m thinking if I do design something for a bag it will probably be W – Two Worlds as I still love that drama to infinity and beyond.) There is a k-pop variant of this bag, but seeing as I’m only starting to get into the genre, I thought I’d hold off on that one for now.

So, there you have it. I’m falling deeper down the k-drama rabbit hole, but that’s a-okay. I’m happy, having fun, and learning a new language. Three cheers for three years of drama watching under my belt!

P.S. I’m going to do my best to get back to posting on a weekly basis again. It’s time to bust out a strict schedule and keep to it. 

Also, I will also be posting about my experience at NerdCon on Saturday, so all you K-Love fans can experience my excitement first hand. My best friend, Tiff, who has done a drama review on this blog a while back, will also be along. So, I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with all of you. For the record, I have attended New York Comic Con once before, so NerdCon is right up my alley. I can’t wait. 

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It’s Official, I’m Certified!

Hi guys!

Remember how I took a training course of first aid and CPR last Wednesday?

Well, my certificate of completion has officially arrived and I’m certified for 2 years. I know that most of you come to my blog for k-drama related posts, but I just wanted to take the time to talk about this a little bit.

I’ve always been very backwards and shy. Even around family to some degree. Thanks to my current job, I’ve been able to do a lot of things I was always too scared to do before. Talking on the phone? Oh yeah, that used to paralyze me in fear. I still get anxious, but now I don’t mind it as much. I’ve trained a lot of the girls in my department, and I’m actually training a girl who will ultimately be the boss of my group. I’m more of the following type, so being in charge isn’t something I necessarily aspire to do. And now, my job offered free first aid classes. Only one person got chosen from each department in our building. There were multiple people in my department, but I won. Yes, cue the anxiety. I was riddled with anxiety for a whole month thinking about it, but I was determined to do it, and I wasn’t going to let it stop me.

And guess what? I did it. Maybe I fumbled around a bit, but my instructor never had to correct me on anything, so gold stars to me!

The point of this post is to not let fear rule your life. You want something? Go and get it. It’s helped boost my confidence that I’m doing things I never would’ve dreamed before. Heck, who knew I’d actually start a k-drama blog and actually maintain it for three years? These are pretty big accomplishments for me. So, go and reach for the stars. You are capable of much more than you know. Now, my next task is finding a Korean restaurant within driveable distance until I master some simple Korean dishes. #MotivationMonday

 gif credit: http://inpinitaize.tumblr.com/post/142467873422 ←

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Spring Updates

Hello readers!

April has been an usually busy month for me all around. Sadly, I had to push k-dramas to the side for a little bit. Things are only going to get busier for me as I’ll soon be entering the busiest time of the year at my job, but nonetheless, I’ll still find the time to squeeze in my drama watching!

Here are a few of the things I’m working on right now — including some things that are not drama related.

  • A 10 reasons post about Strong Woman Do Bong Soon. I hope to do an overview of the series as well.
  • I have five more episodes to go of My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and then I will be doing an overview/review of this drama.
  • I’m ready to go with my new exercise regime, but I’m taking things up a notch and joining Weight Watchers as well, so that will be a part of my goals starting May 1st. It shouldn’t disrupt my drama watching too much, but I’ll need to cut back a bit. I will probably watch no more than 1-2 k-dramas at a time. But while I’m on the treadmill, I’ll try to get in some k-drama watching! 🙂
  • I will be certified in CPR and first aid! I just took a class at work yesterday that was taught by a member of the American Red Cross. All I’m waiting for is my certificate and my actual card and then it will be official. So excited! I’m so shy and timid and am definitely adverse to change or trying new things, so this was a test of strength and courage for me.
  • My internet service is terrible, so I’m working on switching over to a new provider by the end of May. It’s made drama watching a real hassle so it’s time to upgrade to cable internet. Maybe I can get back to posting a bit more consistently again.
  • Also, the most exciting part… If you follow Devon and Cornwall (They now have their own website and it looks so good, guys!), I live close enough to meet them at NerdCon. Who knew? Being a voracious reader, there is nothing more exciting than reading a book that has many of the elements of my second love: k-dramas. I daresay it’s a perfection combination for me. And thankfully, it’s on the weekend, so I can make the hour and a half drive. Daebak! I’m loving Pennsylvania a little bit more this week.