Chocolate Breakfast Bowl with Nuts, Seeds and Coconut Flakes
The Sprout Seoul breakfasts are definitely dense and heavy. The light chocolate flavour chia seeds were filling I ate half and took the rest to work! I liked the texture straight out of the fridge, but preferred the taste after having brought it to work (so an hour and a half of thawing). The chia seeds are pretty chewy, the coconut adds nice flavour and texture, and the sunflower seeds give a little surprise change in flavour. The chocolate is pretty subtle, but what I would expect from vegan food.
Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Brown Rice, Savoury and Spicy Lentil Meat, Fresh Salsa, Mixed Greens and Mixed Bell Peppers
By lunchtime I was still feeling very full from breakfast. This bowl didn’t really look like much when I cracked it open, but by the halfway mark I was feeling pretty satisfied. I put about a third away and had it as a mid-afternoon snack. I counted kale, lettuce, yellow pepper, green pepper, red pepper, cherry tomato, pico de gallo (tomato, cilantro, red onion), lentils, and rice. The lentils are the perfect texture (squishy, but not overcooked) and well-seasoned, but not too salty. The mix of tastes is fresh and satisfying on this hot day! I could probably even do with more veggies and less rice as it’s very filling and getting heavy!
Butter Chickpea Curry over Brown Rice
Beyond the chickpeas and brown rice I think I counted celery, carrot, and spinach? I could eat this everyday with some pepper and chili flakes and never get bored. If I were making it for myself I’d go easier on the brown rice opting for more veggies like mixed peppers. It’s super good, though! The curry is quite rich without having overwhelming curry flavour. My breath won’t stink, but my taste-buds are happy. This was a perfect Monday night dinner. Sprout Seoul uses a lot of herbs and spices which definitely hit the spot for me!
Raw Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Pie
I ate the whole thing. I’m not ashamed because it was for journalism (and because it was melting pretty quickly). I tasted coconut ice cream on top. The bottom was the closest thing to a fudgy, rich, decadent brownie I’ve had in Korea. I don’t really eat brownies with ice cream usually. I could eat the fudgy base on its own or the ice cream on its own. It was pretty heavy. Like breakfast and dinner I could have halfed the portions, but I didn’t. I wonder if eating these as prescribed will have me gaining or losing weight? If you have sugary cravings then this is the snack for you. If you’re normally a very strict eater then Sprout Seoul desserts will make you feel all kinds of cheat meal guilt! Order them with caution, as they’re delicious enough to devour in one go!
Sprout Seoul + Fitness
I’m not exactly the best runner, but I got in 3.5 km on the treadmill before hitting the free weights, weight machines, and floor for abs. Switching up your diet is always a good idea when trying to make a change, but I’ve had plenty more and haven’t had to rely on coffee.
Be sure to pin this on Pinterest and mention *That Girl Cartier* when you order to get a free snack!
Pick up is available on Sunday and Monday from 3pm-8pm. We took the plunge and walked up HBC hill on a hot and sunny Sunday afternoon. Sprout Seoul wasn’t too hard to find. You can take the #2 little, green shuttle bus or you can walk! If you’re taking the subway to Sprout Seoul, take Exit 2 of Noksapyeong Station and walk straight veering left at the kimchi pots and up the hill. Stay on that main HBC street (Sinheung-ro) following as it continues to veer left. At the plateau, turn left and walk down about half a block until you see their storefront on the main floor.
Want to know exactly what I ate? Stay tuned for more links to diary entries and reviews of each Sprout Seoul dish I ordered! Thanks to Sprout Natural Healthy Whole Food Service for keeping The Toronto Seoulcialite fit, nourished, and healthy! While this article has been written in partnership, all reviews are honest and opinions are my own.
Saturday June 10th Britney Spears played a show in Korea. She was actually in Tokyo when I went with Co-P, but we didn’t go to the show. We actually began the break up process at Haneda Airport, but that’s a story for another time. Oops…I did it again. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d see her live, and I certainly didn’t think it’d be in Korea of all places! Even cooler? With G Dragon playing a show and Ultra Music Festival this weekend we got our KRW 99,000 tickets (just over $100 Canadian) upgraded TWICE. I was sent to 3 different windows and had to wait a long time while they got their act together, but I walked away with VVIP tickets which had a value closer to $400 Canadian…each! I got all gussied up with fabulous fellow blogger “A Fat Girl’s Food Guide“. We had all kinds of laughs I really needed outside the venue, and went inside just before the show.
There was no opening act. Britney got straight into it and didn’t stop for an hour and a half. She was strictly business, purely professional, and an enchanting entertainer. The fan favourites were all a blur, fading into one another in a medley that got me in the zone! Last night was a reminder that if Britney can make it through 2007, I can make it through the day, too. When you breakdown you can go further into the madness or take the opportunity to rebuild. There’s a blessing and a beauty in the breakdown. Others may have torn you down, but only you can truly rebuild from the wreckage.
The past year has not exactly been my easiest. I came to Korea to give myself a break from a stressful job and a toxic work environment. After ahealthy, comfortable, calm year in Busan, I decided to take on the capital city: Seoul. I was right back in a difficult work environment with longer hours and less time to dedicate to fitness and finding friends. Sprinkle in a couple of dating disasters and Itaewon drama, and voila! You’ve got yourself a pretty shit sundae. It’s getting tougher and tougher to pick myself up. I truly believe that you should take as many lessons as you can from a negative situation. Reflecting on our actions, reactions, and the ones from the people around us is crucial to personal development. While I often feel like I take one step forward and 3 steps back, I want to move forward and enter my 30’s with joy and energy.
On Mondays I aim to ease into the week. I get to work with the youngest kids on Mondays. While conversation is tougher, the cuddles tend to be plentiful. My gym doesn’t open until 8 AM on Mondays, so I take it easy. I talk to my parents on Skype every Monday and always look forward to our weekly ritual. I’ve partnered with Sprout Seoul (Natural Healthy Whole Food Service in Korea), so I skipped out on my weekly meal prep in favour of flavour. I’ll have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack or dessert free of over-processed ingredients, chemicals and additives. I’ll be sharing pictures and honest thoughts on the menu here daily, too. Last time I ordered from Sprout I was down 3 kg within days. I’m thrilled to be on the 5 day plan. If you order from Sprout Seoul, make sure to mention The Toronto Seoulcialite or That Girl Cartier to get a free snack!
…One More Time
I’ve read that we should start now rather than waiting for a special occasions. I say, take what you can get. New Year’s Eve, a birthday, a new job, a break-up or even a Monday is an opportunity. I’ve got a recent break-up, a birthday on the horizon (August 6th if you’re keeping track), and the Monday trap tomorrow. I want to take these opportunities as spring boards to a better me. As cheesy as it all sounds, a fresh start is exactly what I think I need. With a new gym membership, SproutSeoul, a little Restylane c/o Eunogo, some rad new friends, the love of more than a couple drag queens, and Britney in my Seoul, I’m Stronger. Now get to work, b*tch!
Seoul is the mecca of Korean beauty products. There are tons of amazing cosmetics with boldly pigmented, long-lasting colours in adorable packaging. In Korea you can find sheet masks with every bizarre essence or oil humans have dared apply to their skin. Koreans are known to have exceptionally rigorous skin care regimes in the morning and before going to sleep. Korea, and Sinsa in particular, is known to have the best plastic surgeons in the world. Plastic surgery and cosmetic enhancements are as common as colonics have come to be in the West. I was congratulated by my Korean colleagues the first time I got botox, so whenEunogo approached me about partnering I considered Lip Fillers.
** Scroll all the way to the bottom for promo code + details! **
How Does Eunogo Work?
Eunogo is an award-winning medical tourism concierge service dedicated to foreigners in or traveling to Korea. They are licensed by the Korea Ministry of Health, only work with the best certified doctors, and they personalize your experience at no extra cost. Actually, you’ll often get services at a reduced rate as clinics open up to the foreigner market. First, you’ll be assigned a personal co-ordinator responsible for handling any requests or questions you may have. One-on-one consultations can take place with multi-lingual medical co-ordinators fluent in Korean, English, Mandarin, and Bahasa. Your co-ordinator is responsible for pick-up arrangement to recovery care, and every detail in between.
Why Lip Fillers?
I’ve been asked a few times why I would ever consider getting lip fillers or lip injections in Seoul. When I was 8 or 9 I was playing soccer and a wasp found its way into my juice. I took a big gulp right as I was getting off of the field and the wasp stung my lip. Once I recovered from my fat lip, I noticed my right upper lip was a little droopy. Looks like it had been depressed permanently.
McDonald’s French Fry Lips
Years later, I was on a date and the guy thought it would be cute to ask me to kiss him with my “sweet little McDonald’s Frency fry lips”. I nearly threw up right then and there. Needless to say I didn’t see him again, but years later I can still hear his neg ringing in my ears. I’m generally pretty secure in my looks, but feel I can always upgrade and refresh! Turning 30 in August certainly makes me want to take care of myself more. I’m tuning into ways I can feel happier and more confident. Why not get this little lip filler issue fixed while living in the beauty capital of the world?
After Work Lip Fillers at MH Clinic (MH 크리닉) with Eunogo
There are a variety of different kinds of lip fillers and lip injections in Korea. I went for the basic package as I didn’t want a full Kylie Jenner overboard look. For more information on the types of lip fillers available with Eunogo, visit their site!
MH Clinic is located near ritzy Apgujeong Rodeo and situated directly above a Rolls Royce dealership. When I arrived at the clinic, I was ushered in and invited to take a seat with my personal co-ordinator, Joy Kang. Ms. Kang is the Co-Founder and CEO of Eunogo, and could not have made my experience more personal or relaxed. When you’re about to get needles to your face, it’s nice to have someone who is very attentive, but also keeps her composure completely. I felt at ease in her care.
Once we were settled, we filled out the paperwork together. Joy made sure to go through each line-item thoroughly so that I understood everything and, more importantly, the Doctor would understand me. Once the (fairly standard) paperwork was complete, we had a meeting with a very professional, friendly, and beautiful consultant at the clinic. She actually held my hand once the procedure began! We discussed the steps clearly and ensured that I was ready and a good candidate for lip fillers.
The images above are so that you can see some more natural lip filler “before” pictures. As you can see, I had a pretty mixed bag of emotions as the preparations, procedure, and down time were explained!
After the consultation, we went up to the 4th floor. They removed my make-up and took some “before” pictures. It’s nice to have some pictures directly before and after lip fillers, but the before pictures do look like mugshots!
The clinician applied numbing cream to my lips. It had to sit covered in plastic for 30 minutes before we would be able to proceed. My lips felt like they were bubbling (around the 30 minute mark I started to feel some heat). It was really weird to have plastic wrap on my lips. I wondered what I would do for the next 30 minutes when I was told I’d be getting a hydrating facial, as well. Bonus! Once that was applied, I actually fell asleep for a while.
While my Doctor spoke English, she wanted to convey everything very clearly in Korean to Joy, who then translated to me. I understood some of what the staff were saying, but would have been helpless without Eunogo. The Doctor explained that, for lips, the top to bottom ratio should be 1 to 1.5. Mine were 1 to almost 2, so my “French Fry Lips” nickname may actually have been well-earned.
I had many thoughts before the procedure actually began. The Doctor wanted to know if I had any celebrity aim-to-look-alikes. I completely drew a blank and told her I wanted a natural enhancement. I also didn’t want to my lip fillers look like Kylie Jenner or a Real Housewife after lip injections!
The actual procedure did hurt quite a bit eventually. The first 3 needles were nothing – very easy. The top hurt much more than the bottom. I had a plush toy and someone to hold my hand. I think I was more nervous than I needed to be in all honesty and it made the pain worse cause I was tense. Even though I got the basic lip fillers (1 cc of Restylane Vital – the smallest particle for lip fillers) there were still about 16 (maybe more) injections overall.
As you can see, the difference is pretty significant! I think the results still appear natural, but my lower lip is a tad more plump. My upper lips have the definition and fullness I wanted to achieve from lip fillers. After the procedure I felt tired, my stomach hurt, and I wondered how it was possible for people to get this on their lunch break. I took a taxi home and upon arrival couldn’t figure out if I was ravenous or nauseated. I couldn’t eat or drink for 2 hours after my procedure, so I settled in for a little Rn’R. The next morning I felt extremely tired. I had some mild bruising which became more pronounced by evening. They looked very even and smooth already even though they still felt a bit lumpy. I felt kind of like I was a toddler or a puppy growing into these new lips.
By day 3 my lips felt much more full in certain areas, but not unnaturally so. My face appears thinner (to myself and others) post lip fillers. The men at work asked if I did something to make my face “glowier”. By day 4 I felt like I had fully recovered, save for a bit of dryness. I like that my cupid’s bow is more even and defined. My upper and lower lip now have a sense of symetry. I can’t imagine anyone will refer to mine as “French Fry lips” ever again!
Thanks so much again to Eunogo (@euno.go) and MH Clinic (@mhskin) for making me look as young as my maturity level! While this article has been written in partnership, all reviews are honest and opinions are my own.
* EUNOGO PROMO-CODE **
Get an additional US$10 OFF all lip filler programs (already discounted through Eunogo)! In the Eunogo Shop, input : thatgirlcartier (limited to one use per customer, promo-code valid until August 31 2017 [purchase by August 31 but you can do the procedure after August 31]).
I was recently invited to Whoo Spa in ritzy Sinsa right across the street from Garosugil by a company called Eastasy. They partner with brands and experiences across Asia and offer massive discounts. After a whirlwind weekend in Taipei, I was definitely due for a massage. The experience I had at Whoo Spa was very thorough, as is my breakdown! Leave any questions in the comments and I’ll get back to you shortly…
Whoo Spa Atmosphere
Whoo Spa (formerly O Hui Spa) in Sinsa dominates the VVIP spa service space in Korea. They are very popular because they use the most up to date technology to stay current for their clients. They have a variety of K-Pop Stars and famous American and Korean actors (Kim Tae-Hee and Shin Min-A use O Hui) who visit due to the great service and tucked away location. They also sell a vast array of high-quality, exceptional skincare products made from South Korean natural medicinal herbs, from luxurious brands such as O HUI, Whoo, and SU:M 37. Clients get 25% off products the same day as their service. Make sure to check out Eastasyfor a wicked deal on packages!
The Whoo Spa Treatments
I opted for the Aroma Resfresh Care package (100 minutes). This package includes a basic facial accompanied by an aromatherapy body massage. The facial was anything but basic! It started with a soft, peeling cleansing. Then, was followed by an exfoliating, deep cleansing, bubbling facial. I got a face slimming massage, too, which included a decolletage massage.
I was upgraded to the ICE care, which is good for brightening and moisturizing. This is very similar to a Vitamin C procedure I’ve had previously. They also offer hot care (for anti-aging), pore tightening, and aqua peeling (generally for patients with acne). Once my ICE treatment was over, a facial ampoule and an essence was applied, then secured with a molding facial mask pack. After that, there was revitalizing care before I went on my way. My back and shoulders were massaged using products from the Gongjinhyang line. It containes ingredients such as ginseng and cordyceps (a popular fungus used in ancient Chinese medicine). Throughout the majority of the facial, they places electronic leg and foot boots on and I was treated to a full body experience for the entire two hours.
Usually I’m pretty tense when I go for a massage. I work out quite a bit and lift heavy weights (and all kinds of children daily!). When I was in Thailand I found that when I asked for medium pressure it just wasn’t enough to get the knots out. On my questionnaire I still put medium, but the pressure was a lot stronger than I expected. My masseuse was not shy at all, and whenever she neared my lower back or decolletage I could tell there was certainly no modesty in this treatment. I would have preferred not to be on a plastic sheet, but I totally understand their hygenic needs.
Whoo Spa Seoul Massage
There were several areas of my body that could have used very strong pressure: my calves, ankles, and lower back. I felt like she kind of skimmed those areas focusing primarily on the upper back, middle back, shoulders, and traps. They needed a lot of attention, but I was much more sensitive in those areas. I also got a hand massage. I didn’t realise that I needed one, but it was heaven!
Whoo Spa Seoul Aromatherapy
The aromatherapy aspect of the treatment is not what I expected, and I was glad. Usually the scents are fairly strong and irritate my allergies. The earthy, yet still sweet smells were pretty mild. I got whiffs of honey, lemon, and oaky notes. If you’ve read my Vineworks Korea article you’ll notice my nose isn’t always spot on, but these pleasant fragrances were neither sickly sweet, nor heavy on the Chinese medicine. I would likely use them at home, too.
My masseuse used plenty of warm towels (bordering on hot) at the beginning and end of the treatment. I always want to roll around in warm laundry fresh out of the dryer (I miss dryers living in Korea!) so they felt amazing. They were also the perfect way to get any remaining oils off before changing and heading home.
Whoo Spa Seoul Facial
My facial was longer than I expected because of the facial massage and surprise upgrade (thank you!). In terms of the steps, they were pretty similar to what I’ve experienced in the past. My bubbling, cleansing facial was very effective, however it wasn’t as itchy as I normally find they can be. I normally have to stay very still or risk 15 minutes of agony wanting to scratch my face. This was fine. The ICE facial was a lot colder than I expected. They placed a cream on my face. They then pressed a flat, cold, metal plate in circular motions across my whole face. At some points I questioned the necessity of the low temperature. They told me this particular one was good for moisture. They recommended it to me as apparently my skin is quite dry and sensitive.
Whoo Spa Aftercare
After my 2 hour treatment whizzed by (I totally fell asleep throughout the molding facial), I was taken to a reception area where tea and a small pastry was waiting for me. The Whoo Spa manager explained that it was very important to rehydrate the skin within a couple of days. She presented me with 2 samples of Su:m37 ampoule, and a sheet mask from their “white awards” brightening series.
Directions to Whoo Spa (formerly O Hui Spa)
The Spa itself is tucked away across from Hak-dong Park. It took me a little while to find, so allow yourself plenty of time if you’re not taking a taxi. They’re open 10:00am-10:00pm, Monday to Sunday.
From Sinsa Station (Seoul Subway Line 3)
Take Exit 1. Walk straight and turn right before you reach Yeongdong Tourist Hotel.
Continue walking and look for the spa on your left.
From Hak-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 7)
Take Exit 6 Walk straight and turn right on the second street.
Continue swalking straight and you’ll find the spa on your right-hand side.
Big thanks to Eastasy for inviting me to relax my body and revive my skin at Whoo Spa in Sinsa, Seoul, Korea. This article is in partnership with Eastasy, but all opinions shared with regards to Whoo Spa are my own. Explore Asia through Eastasy: click here for all kinds of deals on experiences and accomodations in Korea and beyond!
The Eternal Expat is one of the most likely men you’ll meet from my list of the 7 Worst Guys an Expat Can Date. Flitting from city to city and country to country “sampling the local fare”, this guy has found a good life. Probably considered to be generically attractive from a North American perspective, he’s got an even more charming personality. Somewhere down the line he was likely a varsity athlete, fraternity brother, or both. He’s got natural game and women everywhere seem to swoon. He’s never settling down in one place, and for him you’ll never been enough. He might make a grand gesture. He might make it seem like he’d have you join his nomadic lifestyle and travel the world together (#travelcouple, #instaromance, the whole nine yards). When it comes down to the actual plan, he’s a lone wolf and you’re just dead weight.
The main goal of the Eternal Expat is to carve as many notches on his bedpost as is humanly possible. He loves to have the girlfriend experience. He loves it so much that he’s collecting as many as he can manage and in as many countries as his passport will allow. Let’s be clear: this guy does notwant a girlfriend. He wants adventure between the sheets and on the open road. He has 1 priority, and darling as lovely as you are, it’s never going to be you alone. Tucked between expensive dinners out, museum trips, and spa experiences, the eternal expat must be a master scheduler. He can juggle multiple languages and even more women. Remember “marinated cherries“? He was juggling THREE of my friends all at once and one more he brought on vacation! I wonder just how many other rolodex members he had on rotation…
The Eternal Expat won’t ever let you see his phone because he’s sending the same messages to you and half a dozen other girls. He will make it seem like he wants to date you exclusively right off the bat. He will tell you how amazing and beautiful you are. Far too early for heartwarming discussion, he’ll tell you straight up how much he likes you. He’ll tell you exactly what he thinks you want to hear in an effort to avoid having “the talk“. Try to see through the bullshit. He probably does like you a lot. I bet you are beautiful and amazing, too. Just take it all with a grain of salt since all these lovely things roll off his tongue easily.
Long Gone Silver: Emotional Pirate and Booty Chaser
If you encounter someone you think might be an “eternal expat” communicate your expectations and desires immediately. Don’t let yourself get surprised or hurt down the line thinking you’re in an exclusive relationship when he’s on a completely different page. If he’s not where you are, move on. You won’t change him. Why would you want to waste your time trying? It’s unlikely he’ll wake up one morning and realize what an idiot he’s beenand what a loss you are. If he does, it won’t happen until he’s Long Gone Silver and you’ve moved the eff on. If all you want is a good time then that’s totally fine, too. Be adults and talk about the kind of relationship you want to have. He’s got plenty of experience and you’ll hopefully be more than satisfied. If you want emotional satisfaction, however, don’t walk that plank.
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Have you encountered any Eternal Expats throughout your travels? Leave me your story in the comments!
I read every Korean blog Google populated in the first few pages and happened upon the concept of “riding the white horse in Korea”. What this meant was that there were certain locals in Korea who preferred socializing with foreigners, but only as a novelty. In less politically correct terms, this typically referred to a Korean man wanting to have sex with an All-American-looking woman. There are many Koreans (male and female) who do not subscribe to the homogeneous ideologies of this small nation. There are many Koreans who don’t make fetishes of particular races. I have several North American friends who are dating or who are married to wonderful Korean men. This article is part of the 7 Worst Guys an Expat Can Date, and is not about those people.
A Horseless Carriage
In my year in Busan, I met and socialized with a ton of Koreans in our little neighbourhood of Hwamyeong. On Friday nights we played guitar, a friend from a more central location brought a cajon, and we sang outside the local convenience store while eating instant ramyeon and drinking soju and/or beer. There was never a time I felt like I was singled out as a caucasian North-American. We were friends who enjoyed playing music together. On the other hand, there were plenty of caucasian males who would mess around with anyone they could, but would exclusively date Korean women. This is the North-American equivalent/opposite of what we’ll call “the local” from this point on. Seoul was a different dating story…
“The local” is chasing the white horse in Korea. He just wants to screw date someone foreign he can show off to his friends. As a caucasian woman with blue eyes and blonde hair I’ve found that, more often than not, this type of local’s intentions are pretty transparent. I don’t believe a significant other should be a status symbol.
Where (not) to meet The Local
Korean men frequently try to pick up at events called “language exchanges”. This goes both ways, but I often hear about foreign women who want to improve their Korean skills and are instead propositioned. Most people who have been here longer than a couple of months will scoff, roll their eyes, and dive into their own personal anecdote about a language exchange situation gone wrong. They often involve the suggestion they “practice” Korean and English in a DVD Bang (a room with a tv, dvd player, couch, and a box o’ tissues), a love motel, or her apartment (as many Koreans in their 20’s still live with parents). This is definitely a consideration when thinking about why many foreigners give up on learning Hangeul. Language exchanges are great places to meet women who are new to Korea. Guys chasing the white horse in Korea tend to lurk here.
Western Status Symbol
You shouldn’t date someone or even befriend someone because you think she’ll impress your friends (or teach them English). My old school asked me to help a young CEO of a Private Equity firm. I think he wanted to introduce his employees to someone who looked different to the women with whom they would typically interact. Meeting these men who couldn’t look me in the eye for the first two meetings was insightful. I wasn’t introduced for my teaching abilities, but for the way that I looked. Fortunately, these guys realized that I could discuss the Financial Times and other such publications. Within a few meetings I was taken more seriously and some of my suggestions for their business were put into place. I stopped wearing makeup or particularly fashionable attire. I definitely don’t think I was brought in as a white horse in Korea, but it was pretty close.
Dating Korean Men
I can’t speak from firsthand experience as I haven’t dated a Korean man while living here. I’ve been asked out on dates, but the way the question was posed didn’t really feel like it was a date. Dating conventions tend to be quite different from back home, and I just haven’t had the time for the runaround. I find Korean men to be quite beautiful. They often dress very well and have their own style. The #1 sales of cosmetics for men come out of Korea. While I enjoy getting dolled up, I don’t spend too much time on it. If my man takes longer to get ready than I do I’ll get antsy and peace out. Men in Korea tend to be more in touch with what we call their “feminine side”. I think I’m a bit aggressive and outspoken for them (and the aforementioned North-American counterparts).
A friend of mine went on one date with a local Korean guy. After that one date they were exclusive (from his perspective). She went along with it even though she was still dating other men. This is why communication is important. He would bring her around his friends and show her off, but there was no way he was introducing her to any family members, including his cousin who was his best friend. He wanted to meet more of her caucasian (only) friends. This “white horse in Korea” is a woman with some serious sexual prowess. No matter how she tried to entice him, he couldn’t keep up. Their relationship ended when she popped into the shower with him to spice things up. Things didn’t perk up – she never saw an erection from him again. Guess the white horse in Korea isn’t for everyone.
Letters from the Ex-Boyfriend: An Expat’s Guide to Man’s 6th Sense
Getting “that message” from an ex both incredibly gratifying and infuriating. It seems like it’s the new vogue to write an apology letter to your ex-girlfriend. It’s like it just sits there waiting and waiting for the exact moment she’s over you. The moment she’s moved on and might just finally be happy, he clicks ‘send’. Is this man’s 6th sense? Has Google created a new alert? Am I the last to know that they’ve created the latest algorithm in social media f*ckery?
He Hurt You
In this letter, he finally takes responsibility for all the things he did wrong. All the times he lied (and the corresponding gaslighting), all the times he perpetuated gender stereotypes, all the times he just wouldn’t listen. How did he come to the realization that this was the perfect moment to bare it all? Why is right now the perfect time for him to come to his senses? How does man’s 6th sense determine the right time to connect?
I have no doubt that a recent post encouraging communication between partners is the most recent source for “the apology letter”. What about the other times, though? My rebound after H got his friend to message me on Facebook to see if I was going to Busan for an event. This friend owns a travel company and it was pretty clear that there was no way in hell I was getting on the bus for this sold out trip. How do these people know that you’re off the market? Most of these messages come from men with whom I’m no longer even connected through social media. Even if they are able to look on Facebook or instagram, the messages are sent before there’s any sort of public trail of the relationship. It’s like how dogs can sniff out fear. These douche-canoes can sniff out happiness and want to stifle that shit immediately.
Tell Me Sweet Little Lies
I went out with a military man who was just dying to make the blog. He was, indeed, a Tinder failstory. He lied to me about his location for no reason with the full knowledge that Tinder shows you the distance between you both. We lived pretty close to one another already. When he said he was out in the bush running drills, he was actually cursing the high cost of a side of guac at Lotte World Mall. I wouldn’t have cared if he was too busy to hang, but don’t tell me you’re being eaten alive by mosquitoes out in the peninsula. The night before H came to Korea, I got a lengthy message from MM apologising for it all. He even told me he had gone deaf in one ear and had nearly lost his job. We had only been out maybe 3 or 4 times. He owed me nothing. Some cosmic force in the universe (or man’s 6th sense) must have whispered that Cartier might be happy so it was the perfect moment to insert his thinly-veiled attempt at roping me back in.
What does it all mean? Well, man’s 6th sense seems to hit him like a pile of bricks once he realizes there’s a chance you won’t agree to another shot. It’s not that he wants you back, he wants you to want him back. Toxic relationships are less partnership, more power struggle. He wants to have the upper hand back and he can feel that it’s gone. The best part? By this point you really should no longer care.
Gentleman, what you must realise is that your messages contain several of the same phrases. When you all write the same thing, it doesn’t sound genuine. Here are some of the canned phrases in each message I’ve received:
“I just want you to be happy.”
“You’re an incredible woman.”
“You deserve the best in life.”
“Even if we don’t get back together, I hope we can at least be friends down the road.”
It is well.
It’s lovely for you to admit that you were wrong. It’s validating to have all those worries and frustrations confirmed as your own f*ck ups. I’m glad you’ve managed to clear your conscience. Next time, don’t bother drudging up the past. The notion that I’ll ever see a travel romance again is ridiculous. We didn’t work out. I’ve released your ghost. It is well.
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I’ve been seeing tons of click-bait headlines making their way through the travel, expat, and lifestyle communities. Figured I’d give this one a shot, too. So sue me, right? Not quite – read on to see how you too can get him to commit with this one amazing tool.
Breaking the Rules
I’ve already gone back on my word by entering into a relationship with a) someone I met through Tinder, and b) on my list of the 7 Worst Guys an Expat Can Date. If you’ve read Expat Dating Diaries: The Military Man you’ll know that there are some dirty dawgs out there especially in and around Itaewon. I met my new Co-Pilot at Souva, which has quickly become the latest hot spot for my coupled-up pals. In our first week and a half we had been to at least 7 restaurants together, watched 4 movies, made dinner twice, and climbed a freaking mountain. He mentioned me to his parents and mine got the Skype update 2 weeks in. I know you’re still wondering how to get him to commit, but I’m sure you’re also wondering if good ol’ Cartier’s going to get boring with a boyfriend.
No More Drama
It wouldn’t be the Seoul expat dating community without a little bit of drama (I know this is what you came for :P). This wouldn’t be the Expat Dating Diaries without unnecessary drama, right? Well, shocker! My new beau went out on dates before he met me! There are a few women with whom he’s been out who are friends of friends of mine. One in particular was pretty pissed when he let her down easy (via text – party foul, I know). After she screamed at me, I told him straight out that if we were going to do this we wouldn’t be with anyone else. If either of us change our minds down the line that’s fine. That said, acertain conversation needs to happen if either of us want to start seeing other people. This leads me to the most important tool you can have in your arsenal if you want to know how to get him to commit. Time and time again girls lose their minds over men who choose someone else. How do you get him on the same page? This one’s simple…
The One Amazing Tool
What’s this one elusive tool to use when wanting to know how to get him to commit to you? COMMUNICATION. There’s no big secret. He’s not a f*cking mind-reader.TALK with your Seoulmate! Communication is a tool we all have within our big ol’ bag o’ tricks, but when it comes down to it we rarely feel confident enough to share our feelings effectively. The biggest flaw in my last relationship is that I felt powerless what it came to expressing my wants and needs. When I tried to initiate a conversation about things which bothered me, he “was bored” and didn’t want to hear it. In my mind, my last relationship was just a silly little travel romance in the beginning. Never in a million years did I think he’d skip out on an epic SEA adventure to come live with me in South Korea. I didn’t tell him what I needed and wanted right from the start. When he started weaving dreams of a real future beyond Asia, somewhere we might settle down, I scoffed and moved on. When I started to believe the fantasy, he pulled away. We weren’t on the same page at all.
For someone who “hated social media” as much as he did, he sure checked his instagram likes regularly. It blew my mind that he thought I was demanding he give up the “opportunity of a lifetime” to come live with me. It drove me mental that he wrote his younger female travel companion a love letter on Facebook when he took off from Cambodia to come to Korea. When he left Korea to head home, he shared: “too many people to name. It’s been emotional.” I was proud to be with him, yet he tried to hide me. He was always pleased to be tagged in cool hipster photos at the palace or beachy pics with the lads. Unfortunately, he refused to acknowledge our life together publicly. Looking back that should have been a HUGE red flag. I wanted to shout from the top of every mountain in Korea that I was happy with him, but he couldn’t bring himself to tell his own network he had a girlfriend. It’s such a night and day difference to have an intelligent, accomplished, handsome gent tell me he’s happy to be with me at the top of a mountain we climbed together.
Maybe this relationship will crash and burn tomorrow. Maybe it’ll withstand the tests of all the small town (ahem HBC) murmurings. If you don’t have the exclusivity conversation with your desired partner, then you can’t be angry with him (or her) for continuing to date. If this person meets someone else with whom they have more in common, you can’t fault them for wanting to pursue a relationship. You didn’t communicate your desires. If you’re not getting the answer for which you’ve been searching, then move along. He’s not going to fall in love with you just because you’ve been hanging around. It doesn’t matter if you have beer-flavoured nipples. No matter how much you pretend to love Star Wars, if he doesn’t love what you’re actually into then what kind of foundation are you building?
SkinFood has quickly become a favourite brand of mine lately. The quality of the products paired with their subtle, fun scents, adorable packaging, and affordable price range has got my collection growing quickly. Imagine my surprise to have found the SkinFood Cafe Seoul!
A post shared by Kate 👧 Lifestyle Blogger (@thatgirlcartier) on
According to SkinFood, it “is the first cosmetic brand to root itself in food. (Their) food philosophy drives (their) product development to ensure that only the highest quality food ingredients are used to create a more beautiful, healthier lifestyle.” I’ve used products with avocado, tomato, apple, vanilla, and even salmon of all things! If you’ve seen my 4 Minute makeup routine you’ll recognize a few of those products. “Food components (like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants) deliver targeted nourishment and care. The key to maximizing beauty can be found in the food around us.”
The decor of the cafe is just like their skincare and cosmetics shops. There’s bright yellow everywhere! They have tons of books and motivational quotations framed and selectively placed. There’s a variety of seating options for the individual guest, group of diners, or cute couple. There was an adorable couple snacking away sitting on the couch near the photo opp area. This is a super sweet date spot if you’re looking for all things cutesy without making him uncomfortable.
THE BEST FOOD
The SkinFood Cafe Seoul is, of course, part of the SkinFood cosmetics and skin care brand. Their attitude towards food isn’t just part of the branding, it’s their core belief.
“Nutritive, wholesome food has the power and the ability to keep skin radiantly beautiful.
SKINFOOD is always searching for the best ingredients to utilize in product development.
The SKINFOOD initiative for the best food ingredients is a journey across the world.
Method matters. As a result, SKINFOOD upholds eco-friendly and
sustainable growing methods as a pillar to our philosophy.
We meet with farmers across the country to ensure that the best food is grown under the best methods.
The journey to discover the best food never ends.
Come with SKINFOOD and discover how food can transform beauty.”
According to the SkinFood Cafe Seoul, “You are what you eat.” and “Healthy skin starts with food.” I ordered what I remember being named something like the Yummy Yummy Platter which was KRW 12,000 (about $12 Canadian, $10 USD). There were three slices of baguette. One was topped with half an avocado, some cherry tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. Another was topped with grainy mustard pulled chicken and topped with parmesan and a little bit of honey. Another was topped with rich, clotted cream, blueberries, and mint sprigs. The baguette was a little crusty and stale, but the toppings were full of flavour. You can’t go wrong with half an avocado in any meal in my opinion! The two slider buns were topped with iceberg lettuce, ham, and a Kraft single. This is a poor girl’s afternoon tea, and I loved it!
Even the bathrooms at the SkinFood Cafe Seoul are cute, clean, and full of SkinFood soaps and lotions to sample before heading on your way!
It has come to my attention that I’ve become known around Seoul as “the girl who goes on dates and then writes about them”. Cool. Let’s go ahead and clarify that, shall we? ThatGirlCartier has been around since 2009 (on Twitter). If you want the roots of the name itself, go check out one of my first posts on this site. On instagram? You can creep me back to 2012 there. You’ll see pictures of food, fashion, fitness, culture, travels, a variety of weights and hairstyles, and oh yes – a couple of ex boyfriends. That’s life, ladies and gentlemen. Expat dating is tough! Seoul dating is a minefield. Just like Juicy Couture sweats and UGG boots, some things don’t last. If Juicy is any indication, some things might just return (you know who you are and yes, you’re welcome back – just say the word).
xoxo Gossip Girl
The idea that I’m some sort of “Land of Morning Chaos – xoxo Gossip Girl of Seoul Dating” is ludicrous. That said, if any of the show’s designers want to dress me I would not put up a fight. Also, wasn’t Gossip Girl a dude in the end? Writing bits and bobs about my silly Seoul dating life seems to be a bigger deal to men than it is to women. Men seem to either really appreciate my writing from an outside perspective, or take what’s written too personally. To those who understand this to be entertainment and defend me and my right to write, thank you! To those guys who “would never go on a date with a dating blogger”, well this one’s for you.
If an expat dating experience ends up on That Girl Cartier it’s because express permission has been granted to share whatever has occurred on the date. Tinder often initiates Seoul dating. I’ve mostly got stories in the vault which aren’t all that interesting. A lot of people ask to be featured on The Toronto Seoulcialite. One guy even snatched my phone for a couple’s selfie just in case he “made the article” I was thinking about writing on Olympic Park. This is not new. Expats constantly ASK to be featured on the site. The marketing men, military men, locals, teachers, or anyone else from the listwant to be here. It is astoundingly easy to get material, because people love having our experiences shared anonymously online. Sometimes they’re exaggerated. Most of the time they’re not.
I recently shared a tidbit on my personal Facebook page from a comically bad first date. My personal profile is just that: personal. Venting and sharing anecdotes on my personal page should not be grounds for an attack. I feel that everyone’s entitled to share personal opinions on Facebook. November 8th and 9th, January 20th, and the past month have been great indicators of just how many personal opinions people share on Facebook. I’m a writer. Your antics won’t get published to my site without permission. Please continue to be ridiculous and make me push my own boundaries, too.
Remember friends, readers, and trolls, this right here? This is what you came for.
I wouldn’t have 3 times more views on this silly little website than its informative sister site if it wasn’t.