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9.21.2018

Top 5 Sports to Accelerate the Weight Loss Process.

Other than healthy eating, increased physical activity is another great way to lose weight. While most people like going to the gym, it can often get repetitive and boring, causing you top lose morale. So, why not engage in something you'll actually enjoy doing like sports?

Sports provide a fat-shedding stimulus that will keep you fit and healthy as well. Since you'll like what you are doing, you are more likely to stick to it. And we all know how important consistency and patience is when looking to lose weight. Here are a few sports to help you accelerate your weight loss process:
Seo Ji Sub in Always (2011).
Boxing
Boxing utilizes most of your body muscles, offering a fully toned body. Workouts are so intense that you can burn up to 800 calories in an hour, which makes it among the most effective sport to accelerate your weight loss process. In addition, boxing improves your muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness, which is essential for a long-term weight loss process.

Squash
Squash is a racquet sport that requires a lot of movement of your whole body to be able to hit the ball. The rallies in squash tend to be longer and the breaks between points are shorter compared to other racquet sports, making it the most cardio-demanding sport you can engage in. An hour of playing squash will melt over 700 calories. The constant running also builds up your muscle strength and endurance in the lower body.
Lee Soo Hyuk in Lucky Romance (2016).
Tennis
Whether as a sport or a recreational activity, playing tennis is another great way to lose weight. This sport combines several intense actions that help you to strengthen your muscles and improve your cardiovascular system. Tennis helps you achieve a fully toned body by working your legs, belly, arms, buttocks, and back. If you still need convincing, look at all the tennis players, they are mostly thin with toned bodies. To begin your weight loss journey with this sport, you need the best tennis shoes, a Racquet, tennis clothes, tennis balls, and useful accessories such as sunglasses and a sweatband.

Swimming
Swimming is a great sport for weight loss for a number of reasons. First, it challenges your entire body, working both your lower and upper muscles. With the many swimming strokes available this sport provides different types of aerobic exercises, offering a new challenge to master each time. If you are looking for a fun activity during the summer that will help you continue your weight loss journey then start looking for a pool near you. You'll be amazed at the level of fitness you can achieve with a few daily laps in the pool.
BTS playing beach volleyball.
Volleyball
Playing volleyball involves physical activities like running and doing squats. These activities will require you to use most parts of your body, including the arms, legs, thighs, buttocks, and hands. It goes without saying that playing volleyball tones and shapes your entire body. An hour-long game of volleyball can help you burn over 300 calories, and this number goes up when you play on a much less stable ground of sand.


9.20.2018

How to Make the Perfect Espresso at Home.

Espresso making is both a science and art that requires experimentation and creativity to achieve the perfect cup at home. Although every espress-ionado will have their own secret methods for the perfect coffee, we've made it easy for you with some simple homemade tips. From choosing a nice coffee bean to grinding it just right, every step requires both precision and space for your own artistic flair.
Photo credit: Starbucks.
1. The Coffee
A good cup of coffee, whether it is an espresso, drip, press or sweeter concoction, always starts with a fresh coffee roast. Everybody has their own preferences and it will take some experimentation. Just look for a coffee bean with a dark roast as these tend to be more complex, deep chocolatey flavors. Darker roasts are the signature of espressos. However, if you prefer fruity and floral espresso aromas, by all means choose a lighter roast.

2. The Extraction and Grind
Once you've found your ideal coffee bean, it's time to grind them to perfection. Fine grinding is one of the most important and signature aspects of an espresso. In sum, it allows for a fuller flavor and aroma. The standard extraction time is 30 seconds of water flowing per cup. Too much will weaken a coffee and too little will give your espresso little room to sing.

However, this extraction timing has everything to do with the grind. A finer grind of coffee will need a shorter water extraction time. We recommend using a burr grinder when making your fine espresso powder, as this tends to allow for a much more even grind that won't heat and overcook your coffee before it has even met the machine.
Gong Yoo for Maxim Kanu.
 3. The Dose
The dose and recipe depends entirely on your machine setup, grind consistency and water temperature. Nevertheless, getting the proper dose of coffee should align more or less with the traditional Italian method of a 30ml double espresso which is made from a 14g dose of ground coffee. You can up the dosage to 18g or even as far as your machine basket will allow. Experiment and record your results for the perfect cup every time.

4. The Machine and Equipment
For the uninitiated, The Coffee Maven's guide to espresso machines outlines the pros and cons of each variety of machine. Stove-top machines like mochas can be a quick solution for strong cups of coffee, but they can't get the depths of an espresso machine. If you're using stove-top pots, be sure to use filtered water and freshly ground coffee, and be doubly sure to clean your pot well. Likewise, if you are using a press style setup, use 60g of coffee per liter of boiled water with an extraction time of 2 minutes.
Gong Yoo for Maxim Kanu.
5. Basket Care
Looking after the basket which holds your ground coffee is important. Be sure to clean them rigorously to prevent any residue from tainting your coffee or pouring unevenly. Likewise, you need to keep your ground coffee evenly contained and uniform within the basket. Always give your coffee a firm packing down to ensure an even extraction.

9.19.2018

5 Things You Should Know about Motorcycle Travel.

Travel is a wonderful experience and there are many ways to do it, including on a motorcycle. It's a minimalist approach to seeing the world and makes for some great memories. However, there are a variety of things to keep in mind before you hop on your bike and hit the road. By being well prepared, you can enjoy what your trip has to offer without concern that something will go wrong. Here are the most important things to know about motorcycle travel, especially if it's your first trip.
Hong Jong Hyun for Arena Magazine (2015).
Choose the Right Bike
If you're going a long distance on your motorcycle, you want to be sure you choose one that is reliable, but that is also comfortable. After all, you're facing hours on the bike, so it should have an ergonomic seat and handles that don't make your arms too tired to hold onto. You should also choose a bike that is safe and that you know won't break down along the way. You must also insure your motorcycle and One Sure Insurance is a great resource for getting you covered.

Get the Right Accessories
Of course, you should never ride your motorcycle without a helmet because it's unsafe and can easily ruin your trip if you get into an accident. Not to mention the risk of major injury or even death in some cases. But if you're out on the open road, you might also consider getting a sidecar or large storage compartment, so you have a place for snacks, your smartphone, clothes and other necessities.
Kim Woo Bin in Heirs (2013).
Prepare Your Bike for the Long Journey
There's nothing worse than breaking down in the middle of nowhere so it pays to inspect your bike to be sure it's up for the trip. Have the oil changed, the tires checked and replaced if necessary, and the lights and speedometer looked over to be sure they are in proper working order. Your local mechanic can help you determine if your bike needs work before you leave.

Follow Traffic Rules
It's no fun getting stopped and given a ticket or fine for not obeying the rules of the road. Not only can it be costly, but you may have to return to the place you were pulled over to go to court and that could be pretty far from home depending on where you are in your journey. Be sure you pay close attention to the speed limit, the weight limits and the other rules you need to follow so that you can comply.
Ahn Hyo Seop and Shin Hye Sun in Thirty But Seventeen (2018).
Ensure Proper Rest in Between
Before you leave, it's a good idea to map your route and include places to stop and take a rest as often as you need to, at least a few times per day. This way you won't be so tired and road weary that you risk an accident or falling asleep behind the wheel. Plan to take a bathroom and food break every couple of hours and be sure you leave enough time to get a full night's rest at the end of each day.


9.18.2018

What to Expect When Your Husband Gets His Vasectomy.

Birth control is a decision that couples make during their marriage to avoid having an unplanned baby. To achieve a permanent method of birth control, couples have to decide who must undergo an operation. The choice lies between female tube ligation and a male vasectomy. The vasectomy provides the safest and most cost-effective permanent option.
Yoon Kyun Sang in Doctors (2016).
During the procedure
The vasectomy is a minor procedure which can be done in the doctor’s rooms. It requires a local anaesthetic and takes about 15 minutes to be performed. It can be done in two ways, the one method involving the making of two minor incisions and the other so-called non-scalpel option. The latter option makes use of a needle to puncture a hole through which the sperm ducts or vas deferens are pulled to be cut and sealed off. Urology Georgia are experts in the non-scalpel option vasectomy and offers advanced treatment ensuring their patients gets the best care.

The recovery period
The person can normally be back at work after about 2 days and fully recovered after 5 days. There can be a little bit of blood still oozing from the holes, some tenderness, swelling and a general feeling of discomfort in the scrotum region. The symptoms will disappear in about 24hours. The doctor will prescribe some painkillers and instructions on how to recuperate. Any strenuous activities must be avoided and no heavy objects should be lifted for at least 3 days. The couple should abstain from sexual intercourse for about a week.
Ji Chang Wook in Healer (2014).
The time it takes to be effective
The object with the vasectomy is to sterilize the male and it also does so in almost 100% of all the cases, in some very rare cases the tubes can re-join. For the first six months after the vasectomy, there might still be some sperm present in the semen and another type of contraceptive must be used. The urologist will require that semen be brought for microscopic testing until sterility is confirmed. No unprotected intercourse must take place until this confirmation is given.

Risks associated with vasectomy
The risk involved with a vasectomy lies in the fact that it doesn’t always sterilize a male permanently and the tubes can re-join in rare instances. Studies conducted to establish if there is any health risk involved with vasectomies didn’t identify any real issues. A large number of men develop a type of allergy to the proteins in their sperm after a vasectomy although these antibodies have not been shown to produce any negative effect in any organ.
Ji Sung and Han Ji Min in Familiar Wife (2018).
What you should consider prior to vasectomy
Consider the risk that in rare cases the procedure is not 100% effective and might not be a permanent birth control procedure. The couple must be 100% sure that they don’t want to have any children in the future or they just want to allay the fear of having an unwanted pregnancy. The vasectomy is not a method to improve sexual performance or to change a partner’s attitude to sexual intercourse. Consider the possibility of the husband developing psychological issues about being sterilized.


9.17.2018

Seoul Searching | The Great Gangnam Adventure.

Located in the south of Han River is the area known as the 'Beverly Hills of Seoul' - Gangnam.
It's a notoriously ritzy district, with neighborhoods full of luxury houses, high-end real estate, and the homes of many Korean celebrities and other crazy rich Asians (Koreans, to be more specific). This affluent and upscale part of Seoul is also home to some of the biggest entertainment companies, which is one of the main reasons why we frequent this place whenever we're in town.

On our most recent trip to Seoul, I took a chance at finding Namoo Actors, the talent agency of my ultimate favorite Korean actor, Lee Joon Gi. Finding the Namoo Actors building was quite tricky. There were very few directions that I could find on the internet, and the only popular landmark within its vicinity was Dosan Park. Nonetheless, Yue and I tried to search for the place on two separate occasions, and as we went along, we discovered some really interesting things (more like buildings) in Gangnam.
Gangnam-gu Office Station, Exit 4.
On our first attempt to get to the Namoo Actors building, we took the subway to Gangnam-gu Office, which is just two subway stops away from where we live. According to this map that I found on the internet, Namoo Actors is within the vicinity of Yeongdong High School, and you can walk your way towards it via Exit 4.
Namoo Actors vicinity map.
What I thought would be a simple ten-minute walk felt like an eternity, and Yue and I somehow got lost along the way. We ended up in front of the Tree J Company headquarters instead. It's the talent agency owned and established by Hallyu star Jang Geun Suk.
Tree J Company headquarters.
The office isn't open to the public, but the cafe on the first floor of the building is. Jang Geun Suk also owns Cafe Pleno, and if you're lucky, you might chance upon him while enjoying your coffee.
Cafe Pleno.
We walked for a bit more, took a left turn at one of the alleyways, and chanced upon yet another talent agency - though not the one that we were looking for.
Vine Entertainment.
I'm not familiar with Vine Entertainment, but I did look it up on the internet and found out that it currently manages three artists. The company is also on the look-out for fresh talents, and are open for auditions to aspiring singers.
Gallivanting in Gangnam, haha!
Tired from all the seemingly pointless walking, Yue and I decided to find the nearest bus stop and take the bus to Yeongdong High School. We managed to get a ride on the 4412 Bus, but by some stroke of bad luck (again, lol), we missed our stop because the LED display board inside the bus wasn't working and the recorded announcement for each stop did not have an English translation.

Yue was on the verge of crying, thinking that we were lost - well, technically we were. But as the bus slowly approached the entrance of COEX Mall - a place that even Yue was familiar with - I assured him that we weren't lost and we'll go to the mall instead. 

At COEX Mall, we finally got to marvel at the massive collection of books at the Starfield Library. This huge athenaeum spans over 2800 square meters, has a seating capacity of around 200, and has over 50,000 books stacked in its shelves. 
Starfield Library at COEX Mall.
The library is open to the public, and anyone can take a book and read to their heart's content. The books, however, can't be brought home, and majority of them are written in Korean.
"Mommy, how do we get the books at the top shelf?"
After flipping through some books and magazines, Yue and I headed for SMTown, one of the places that we never fail to visit whenever we're at COEX Mall. We took this chance to check out SMTown Museum, a cultural space dedicated to the artists of SM Entertainment and all things K-Pop.
SMTown Museum!
Admission fee is 18000 won per individual (around Php 865 or $18), but you can get a discount if your purchase your tickets online or book them through Trazy.
At the SMTown Museum Ticket Counter.
Through this museum, guests can learn more about the history of KPop and get a closer look at the successful careers of SMTown artists such as TVXQ, Super Junior, Girls' Generation, SHINee, and EXO. You'll get to see their albums on display, as well as their music video costumes and other promotional materials. If you're into K-Pop, or if your favorite group belongs to SM Entertainment, then this museum is definitely worth the visit.
All things Mamacita - costumes, promotional posters, etc.
Super Junior, the complete discography.
Yue enjoyed the experience as much as I did, but there's one other thing that he enjoyed even more at COEX - the virtual test drive at Hyundai Motor Studio.
Test driving at the Hyundai Motorstudio.
Unlike the traditional showroom, the Hyundai Motor Studio at COEX showcases their cars and models by allowing guests to interact with them virtually. With state-of-the-art technology, guests can explore cars of different models, colors, and specifications in a blink, just with the use of their fingertips. Even the showroom walls are lined with video cubes to illustrate the cars' exteriors, interiors, and operations on a 1:1 scale. The best part? You can test drive the car of your choice without even leaving the establishment!

Stay tuned for part two of The Great Gangnam Adventure!
Were we able to find the building that we were looking for? Did we get lost again?
Find out on the next blog post! :)

9.16.2018

5 Reasons Why You Always Feel Sick.

Sometimes when you’re feeling sick, it means your body is fighting a virus or infection. At these times, you should of course consult with your medical doctor. However, there are instances when you may be surprised to find there is nothing wrong with you from a clinical standpoint!

A lingering feeing of sickness without any relevant medical causes could simply mean that you’re spreading yourself too thin – by making poor lifestyle choices coupled with having too much on your proverbial plate. Here are some typical issues that might be building to corrode your well-being. If you’re guilty of several of these sins, aim to make adjustments in your routine and your experience will quickly change.
Screencap from the 2015 KDrama Hyde, Jekyll, and Me.
Chronic Stress and Anxiety
We live in increasingly fast-paced societies that put us through all kinds of stress-inducing situations on a regular basis. Many of us are forced into a persistent state of anxiety that keeps us on our edge and as productive as possible. While chronic stress and anxiety are just a part of or modern lives, truth is our bodies and minds just aren’t meant to deal with it naturally! If you have been feeling off and you keep holding hands with stress and anxiety from dawn till dusk… there could be a connection, there.
Story of my life, lol.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep deprivation is another unfortunate but needed staple in the modern lifestyle. Do you often spend your day rushing around crazily trying to get things done and make ends meet? Then you will sooner or later find yourself in a position where the unrest sets in so chronically that you have trouble sleeping even when you have the time available. If you consistently fail to get your 7-8 hours of sleep and you feel tired all day long, it could be that lack of sleep is holding you back and making things even harder for you.
Wait 'til you see this guy transform.
Yang Se Jong in Thirty but Seventeen. :)
Poor Hygiene
There’s a clear correlation between your hygiene levels and your health, and it’s stronger than you imagine. While skipping a shower won’t instantly get you in danger, you must keep in mind that a poor hygiene will make your entire body a suitable breeding ground for all kind of bacteria, viruses, and even parasites. This means that carrying around excessive grime it will open the doors to all kinds of problems from a simple skin infection to all kinds of life-threatening diseases. And it’s not just about your personal hygiene... it's the entirety of your environment that can potentially pose a health risk! That’s why you may want to consider getting a local mold inspection, as well as taking measured to ensure your home remains as hygienic as possible.

Poor Diet and Dehydration
Many people who feel sick on a regular basis without any justifiable medical cause are simply just failing to get proper nutrition and hydration. You must think of food and water as the fuel your body uses to more around! By failing to get the needed amounts of fuel in the right proportions, you will be setting yourself up for health problems that may sometimes take years to manifest. Start paying more attention to these aspects, and you may find your health levels quickly improve.
But coffee is life!
Alcohol, Caffeine, Drugs, or Medications
There are many substances we consume casually which have immediate and negative healthy repercussions, which often go by unnoticed in favor of their attractive effects. This includes obvious recreational substances of abuse like alcohol and illicit drugs, as well as less obvious food related items such as coffee. Even the medications you have been prescribed by your doctor to improve some aspects of your health could be degrading other departments!


9.14.2018

Spotlight | Holika Holika x Peko Collection.

After months of sitting in my dresser drawer, I've finally opened these two items from the Holika Holika x Peko Collection - the Hard Cover Glow Cushion and the Water Drop Tint Bomb. Bought these at one of the Holika Holika stores in Myeongdong during my last trip to Seoul, but it took me awhile to open them because I wanted to use up all of my 'previously opened' cushions before moving on to another one.
My mini haul from Holika Holika. :)
Hard Cover Glow Cushion, 20000 won,
Water Drop Tint Bomb, 8500 won.
And now that I've pretty hit the pan with most of my cushions, it's time to unbox and finally use my Holika Holika x Peko Hard Cover Glow Cushion - yay! The cushion is housed in a super cute milk carton. It's a shame that I have to 'desecrate' it just so I can get the products inside. 
English text on one side of the carton. The other side has text written in Hangul.
Contents include the red cushion case with a picture of Peko, a cushion puff also designed with Peko's picture, and the cushion itself. The last two items are sealed inside the red plastic packaging, as seen on the photo below.
Unboxing my Holika Holika x Peko Hard Cover Glow Cushion.
(Tint balm bought separately.)
Here's a closer look at the cushion puff. 
Peko Air Cushion Puff.
This one is the 'beige type', which soaks up a good amount of product and gives the cushion a nice satin finish.
Peko Air Cushion Puff.
Now here's the cushion itself. It's embossed with tiny floral prints, which I find pretty cute, and has a subtle, soapy scent which I find quite nice.
The cushion, still sealed.
Holika Holika describes this product as 'a cushion with brightening benefits and a dewy moisturizing finish'. Made with aloe leaf water and enriched with double moist serum, 'this cushion leaves the skin moisturized and glowing'. And with the help of Holika Holika's Full Barrier technology, the skin 'gets SPF50 protection from fine dust and free radical damage, and ensures that the skin's barrier stays intact.'
The cushion, with tiny flower prints.
The Holika Holika x Peko Hard Cover Glow Cushion comes in four different shades. I got number 03 Honey, which was the shade nearest to my skin tone. (I usually go for shade number 23 with other cushion brands.)

Shade #03 Honey.
I like how the cushion is super soaked from the get-go. You get a good amount of product with just a light tap on the cushion. I also like its light and sheer formula, though I find it a bit sticky if worn without a primer. It's a good thing that I decided to use this cushion now that the temperature has gradually become cooler and less humid. 
Bare face.
With the Holika Holika x Peko Hard Cover Glow Cushion.
This cushion also has good, buildable coverage - a solid medium at the most - enough to even out my skin tone and cover the fine lines on my face. It gives my skin a nice, dewy finish, which is what I usually look for in a cushion. Wear time is quite good, too. It stays on for five to six hours before it starts to crease on the corners of my eyes and the sides of my nose.

Moving on to the Water Drop Tint Bomb, Holika Holika describes this product as 'a lip tint which adheres to lips lightly to create moisturizing luster without stickiness. Creates juicy lips with vivid color.'
Holika Holika x Peko Water Drop Tint Bomb.
It comes in an adorable tube packaging, also with a photo of Peko-chan.
And here's the other side of the tube.
There are five different shades in the Holika Holika x Peko Water Drop Tint Bomb line, and I chose number 04, a muted shade of cherry red. Later on, I discovered that its shade name is actually 'Cherry Coke'.
04 Cherry Coke.
This Water Drop Tint Bomb is one of, if not the quirkiest lip products I have ever tried. Aside from the product's teardrop shape (which is actually great since it helps in applying the product more precisely on the lips), this tint bomb has a tingling, cooling sensation and feels wet upon application. It glides on smoothly on the lips, feels soft and light at first swipe, then dries down to a velvety, matte finish.
Teardrop shaped Tint Bomb.
Surprisingly, this product is highly-pigmented and has a transfer-proof formula. Color stays on the lips for at least five hours with a bit of eating, and no, it doesn't leave stains on your coffee cup or eating utensils.
Swatched, indoor lighting.
However, this Tint Bomb is not as moisturizing as I expected them to be, and it tends to emphasize the lines on my lips the longer I wear it. I still love this product nonetheless; I just make sure that my lips have been exfoliated prior to application.
Swatched, under natural light.
Overall, I'm glad I was lured by the adorable packaging of this collaboration collection (because you know I'm a sucker for such things), and was able to discover some really good products from Holika Holika in the process. Prior to this, the only Holika Holika product I owned was the Aloe Soothing Gel, which my Mum and my siblings absolutely love. Now, I'm keeping tabs on the brand's new product releases and I'm actually looking forward to their next collaboration collection. I hope they'll be just as eye-catching as the Peko collection!
Products used:
FACE: Innisfree Cushion Primer,
Nature Republic Botanical Stick Concealer,
Holika Holika x Peko Hard Cover Glow Cushion.
EYES: Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil in Brown,
Clio Kill Black Waterproof Brush Liner,
Nature Republic Pure Shine Mascara.
CHEEKS: Sleek Makeup Blush in Mirrored Pink.
LIPS: Holika Holika Water Drop Tint Bomb in 04 Cherry Coke.

9.09.2018

Sneak Peek | Tony Moly x Samyang Collection.

I may have been on point with my prediction from a few months back that the K-beauty industry would be banking on collaborations with food brands. There's the Peko Collection from Holika Holika (which I am currently testing as I write and will be doing a review of real soon), and the Coca-Cola Collection from The Face Shop which started the trend this year.

And just when I thought I have seen it all, here comes Tony Moly with a collection that's bound to be hot, hot, hot! That's because they're collaborating with Samyang, makers of the buldak bokkeum-myeon (aka Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen) which gave rise to the world-famous Fire Noodle Challenge.
Tony Moly x Samyang Collection.
The star of this collection would have to be the Hot Edition Hot Coverdak Cushion, which comes in a quirky cup noodle packaging.
Hot Edition Hot Coverdak Cushion, 12000 won.
The packet that comes with the cushion is actually the refill. Once the original cushion runs out, simply squeeze out the contents of the packet, the way you'd squeeze out the buldak spicy sauce.
Squeeze out the 'sauce'!
There's also the Hot Edition Noodle Blusher, which comes in two shades - Bad Red, a bright red blush that screams for attention, and Carborator, a soft, shimmery shade of pink that you can also use as a highlighter.
Hot Edition Noodle Blusher, 7000 won.
This collection also includes the Hot Edition Lip Care Stick, a colorless lip balm to moisturize your lips and keep them from chapping.
Hot Edition Lip Care Stick, 6000 won.
To give your lips a pop of color, there's the Hot Edition Lip Sauce Tint which comes in two shades - Chicken Red and Cheese Chicken. Not sure if these lip tints have the same scent as the real thing; if that's the case, then this collection would be taking quirkiness to the next level, lol.
Hot Edition Lip Sauce Tint, 8000 won.
Finally, there's the Hot Lucky Box, which comes in an even bigger cup noodle packaging. Like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates (you'll never know what you're gonna get), the Hot Lucky Box contains five or six items selected at random.
Hot Lucky Box, 25000 won.
If you're really lucky, you might get the box that contains the Perfect Eyes Mood Eye Palette which originally sells for 22000 won.
What's inside the Hot Lucky Box?
The Tony Moly x Samyang Collection was officially launched last Friday, September 7, and is now available at all Tony Moly stores across South Korea.