July + August

We are three weeks into our last term and have been here over ten months. The last couple have been quiet, our days full of reading and board games.

In July, we went to the Seoul Zoo with Alex + Joey.

In August, we spent three days at a lovely AirBnB by Naksan Beach on the East Coast.

We had another round of intensives in August, which was a brutally long three weeks, so we focused on taking deep breaths and finding goodness in the little things like:
fresh, juicy farmer’s market peaches
gorillas wearing backpacks in random neighborhoods
endless amounts of watermelon
time spent with joyful little souls
finding a taco shop in biking distance
experimenting with homemade kimbap
& going on dates to Korean barbecue

Sending light and love to our people all around the world!
xo, A+B


**Trying something new and intermingling our text and pictures, so keep scrolling for the whole recap.
As usual, click the pictures for a slideshow or scroll over them for captions. :)**

Hey hey!

June had us soaking up summertime. We went on three awesome and shenanigan-filled hikes with friends, took weekly trips to the farmer’s market for (amazing and super cheap) fruits and veggies (including watermelon),  taught yoga on the roof of our apartment, made lots of homemade popsicles, aaaaaannd took up badminton.

Our first hike was to Namsan Tower which is in the middle of the city, the tallest point in Seoul. It is a tourist attraction, so there were quite a few people and the top has a look-out and restaurants. We ate burgers and celebrated a friend’s birthday with wine at sunset.


Korean Memorial Day just so happened to coincide with our 3rd anniversary and we got the day off! We biked about 2 hours from home to the “Anyang Art Park” which was really a river walk with a few sculptures. We ate delicious Korean BBQ, ventured on to IKEA (where we walked around for over an hour and left with $2 kitchen towels ;)), went to the roof of a mall to hit the birdie (professionally named Shuttle Cock??) watched X-Men at the theatre, and then missed the train home and biked back 2 hours… plus 30 minutes because we got lost. Ha! Aside from being a little cranky wandering around on bicycle at 1:00am, it was absolutely perfect.

Our hardest hike was the tallest around Seoul, Bukhansan. It was steep and breathtaking. Totally worth the four days of soreness. Mt. Bukhansan has many peaks, but we climbed the tallest one, Baegundae Peak. The first half of the 3.4km (2 mi) trail was already steep, but the second half was unreal. We even scrambled at the end as the last 1/4 of the trail consisted of cables, stairs, and steps hewn into rocks. It was awesome!

Afterwards, we went to the Han River to watch a concert, but it was over (wahhhh wahh). So, we naturally got ourselves into shenanigans. It all started with the 63 building… a very tall, 63 story building. We tried to go to the top, but we could only make it to the 59th…which was pretty impressive considering it was a VERY nice establishment and we were four dirty, stinky foreigners. When we left, we were closer to the subway station we wanted than the one we came from, so we decided to walk towards it. One thing led to another and (an hour later) we were stuck–on foot–on a six lane highway. We finally hitched a ride to the station (our first experience “thumbin’ it”) and laughed all the way home. One for the books!

The third hike was with just three other people. We find we do most of our outings with Alex + Joey. They both teach at the middle school with Austin and also enjoy board games, Indian food, and goofing around at all times of day. We feel so grateful for the incredible people we’ve met here!

Thanks for reading along on our adventures! We hope this summer is filled with adventures of your own with people that make you laugh.

xo, A + B


P.S. shout out to Jack Allen for his clever going away gift of wine + cheese! From Jack to the Hawks. Nice.

P.P.S. Thoughts on three years of marriage…
We have changed and grown in countless ways since we got married and are somehow, magically more in love than ever. We have faced hard battles, both personally and vicariously. We have made a lot of mistakes; we have had a lot of wins. It’s been easy and arduous,  light and heavy, vulnerable and intimate. Marriage is not for the faint of heart, but we are grateful every day that we said “yes” to life-long partnership, collaboration, and adventure. We have someone to call us on our crap and graciously help us out of the mess… we are mirrors for the other to grow and love more deeply and freely–one day at a time.


more in love than ever

April + May

It is summer time!!!! Since our guests left, we have had a quiet couple of months. We have been biking and playing the guitar with every spare moment and are always chasing sunshine.

In April:

  • We found a delicious Texas barbecue joint called “Austin’s”! How fitting.
  • Brianna could not get enough of the gorgeous flowers. It was the first real spring we have ever experienced.
  • As Brianna’s tummy troubles came back with a vengance, we took the opportunity to experiement with lots of new recipes and enjoyed cooking in our micro-kitchen.
  • Brianna got a Korean manicure with a co-worker and made the technician laugh as she picked blue, yellow, and red to match her bicycle.
  • We rode our bikes all around the surrounding neighborhoods and spent lots of time reading, playing guitar, and practicing yoga.
  • We went to a baseball game with friends and had a blast cheering for the Doosan Bears (pronounced “deuce on bears” Face With Tears of Joy on Apple Face With Tears of Joy on Apple Face With Tears of Joy on Apple )
  • Annnnnd we took lots of walks in the lush green.

In May:

  • We took a 17 mile bike ride to the Han River in Seoul and then (instead of hopping the subway like our friends) decided to ride back. Not the best decision for our first long ride of the season, but we made it! The ride was gorgeous with bike paths along rivers the entire journey.
  • We celebrated Children’s Day at school with fun activities and decorations. Brianna’s campus went ham. Then we got a day off!
  • We took a trip to Daegu, a town 4 hours south by bus to check out another school. The campus was beautiful and the city felt more Denver-sized than two NYCs. We ended up staying overnight in a Jjimjilbang which was a wierd experience. We found some delicious Korean soup and hopped the train home. We are excited to go back when we have a bit more time to explore.
  • We officially made it half way through our contract on May 31!!! We started our third of 4 semesters. Can’t believe it!
  • Brianna’s baby sister graduated which sent B into a strong bout of homesickness and a lot of tearful skype calls. But also made her feel overwhelmed with gratitude for such an awesome family that makes being away so hard. In the words of Winnie the Pooh, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
  • We’ve continued to fall in love with biking, reading, guitar, and yoga… and the pretty trees.
  • We also tried making Vegan Tikka Masala and it turned out DELICIOUS. We have been experimenting with East India Spices to make our own Chai Tea Concentrate. Yum.
    We love playing together in our micro-kitchen.

The Beauty of Habits

Habit-forming has become a major focus of our time here. We have learned–over the past three years–that we thrive best as individuals when we can find flow in our day-to-day life. We’ve been reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and it’s been a deep well of information and inspiration. We recently integrated the Habit Bull app and it’s allowed us track our successes and identify our weak spots and triggers. I (Brianna) have a long track-record of getting impatient with these types of things and expect results without putting in the long, hard work. I usually give up quickly and proceed to hate myself for giving up.

But, this time is different. With our tiny community of two, the right tools, and a written plan, I am actually changing the things I’ve tried and failed at for YEARS. Eating, sleeping, and hydration habits. Time management skills. Exercise, reading, and music. Everyday, I feel stronger. Mind and body. And somehow, working on all these things has freed up so much space in our life for communication and adventure. We spend less conscious thought on the little things and can be truly conscious of the best things.

Of course, some days are awesome and complete successes while others are shit. But we are learning to lean into both. To realize that the failures of today do not effect the possibility of success tomorrow. And more than that, the success or failure of each day is not an indicator of our loveliness.

A wise friend once told me that, “Life is an ebb and flow. The sooner you accept it, the easier it will be to ride the waves.” And she was so right.

Happy April, party people! May a thousand red poppies bloom in your hearts.
xo, B

P.S. I have been having a ball biking around in Korean Spring. Here’s some of the deliciousness I have found!

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Man oh man, it is already Spring! April has Korea’s cherry blossoms in full bloom and new flowers are popping up all around us. Things are turning green and the sun is not hiding nearly as often. March was full of awesomeness. Our dear friend, Kimberly, came for six days. We ate lots of Korean Barbecue, went on a beautiful hike, found her some delicious craft coffee and beer, went to a palace, and had much needed downtime together. We also ventured to try Bundaegi–aka silk worm larvae–which Kimberly thought was decent, Austin thought was disgusting and I threw it up in the gutter. As in vomited in public. Ew. Ew. Ew. Never again. Bundaegi aside, it was so so good to have K here.

A few days later, THE Bailey Ann Brown, came for a week… my baby sis, bff, and inspiration. She turned eighteen (15 hours early😉 ) and we inducted her into adulthood with style… and soju. Home came to us and it was perfect. We devoured two dozen of my mom’s delicious (mostly)paleo cookies.. “except the chocolate chips”.. and every bite was comforting in a way only your mom’s cookies can be. We shopped, ate squid on a stick, and laughed and danced and hammocked on the roof. It was blissful.

We discovered Jjimjebang–aka Korean bath houses–which are AMAZING. If you ever get the opportunity to be naked with a bunch of strangers, do it! It is so liberating. I found myself in awe of all the shapes and sizes surrounding me with a total lack of self-consciousness and instead, a focus on self-care. We need these in the U.S. It was beautiful. (**genders separate, of course! This IS Korea after all.)

And our day-to-day is filled with habit-forming, reading, listening to music and podcasts, doing yoga, riding our bikes, learning guitar, and cooking in our micro kitchen.

We are loving life and we hope you are too!

xo, A+B

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Heyo! I cannot believe February is already past.

We started off with a 5 day weekend for Seollal and went to a cool neighborhood called Myeongdong to get fish pedicures (pictures below!) with our best Irish friend, Jack. After the fishies stopped feasting on our toes, we were wandering around and a random Korean guy came up to us and asked us to hang out. So of course, we went shopping and out to Korean Barbecue with him. It was a really fun and comical experience. The next day, we did an Escape Room with a bunch of co-workers and made it out with 2 minutes to spare. (If you don’t know what an escape room is, google it and go try one!)

The morning of day three we got up nice and early for the Super Bowl which was at 8:30am here. But totally worth it! Unfortunately, Brianna was taken down by the flu. So, we stayed in for the next three days. Wah waaaaah.

Brianna made a wonderful new Korean friend. HaeIn took B and another friend to Gwanghwamun Palace. She then introduced them to B’s new favorite Korean food: Ginseng Soup or Samgyetang. Yum!

There were lot’s of changes at work with old teachers finishing their contracts and new teachers arriving to take their places. Austin was moved from Middle School to Elementary school with a day’s notice and Brianna was promoted to Head Teacher at her campus. So we are busy busy busy learning new routines and expectations.

Other than that, we’ve been keepin’ it cozy at home experimenting with new recipes, reading books, and drinking Korean Ginger Yuja Cha (유자차 | fruit tea). And freaking out at the Bronco’s win.

I think that about covers it. Until next time!

xo, B + A

P.S. Fun Korean fact… Spam is a super nice gift here and everyone loves it. For the Seollal holiday, they gave all the foreign teachers a $30 gift card to a local superstore and gave all the Korean teachers a gift set of Spam and shampoo. No kidding. Spam.

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Hello world! We have finally caught our breath as the calendar turned. January was crazy. Our jobs went into what they call the “Intensives.” This is when public school is on winter break for one month and academies (hagweon | 학원) offer extra classes. Since we teach at a hagweon, this meant that we were teaching more classes with less time to plan and no breaks. This also meant a schedule change for Austin from working evenings to working 9-6. So, for every working day of January, Austin left at 8:30am and I got home at 8:30pm. To cap it all off, we had to take an hour bus ride to a four hour work conference on Saturday which zapped our weekend.

We are exhausted. It was intense.

All that to say, it’s over now and we will resume our weekend outings and blogs should come more frequently. This weekend is the big Lunar New Year or Seollal. We get a perfectly timed five day weekend to celebrate and have a staycation planned! So, more on that next week.

I leave you with a Korean fun fact: modesty here is completely backwards. V-neck tshirts are inappropriate in the workplace and restaurants… even if they are just showing the collar bone. However, short skirts are totally okay. One of my Korean co-workers came to work in a short, tight, black leather dress that seemed more suited for a club. And I mean SHORT and TIGHT. But it was totally fine. Ha. Things are always opposite of what you’d think.

We think about home every day and are missing Colorado and all our people. Especially now with that beautiful blizzard. Enjoy it extra for us!

xo, A + B

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Happy New Year!

We got off work last Thursday with three full days left to our own devices. We were planning to go into the city to watch some fireworks but did not make it in time. So, we threw on our coats, made some hot chocolate, and went up to the roof of our building to dance in the New Year.

We woke up late Friday morning and wandered to our new favorite brunch spot, Pen + Paper. But, they were closed. So, we went home and made lunch and went to a coffee shop to talk about the past year and look forward to the new. We stocked up on food and beer and headed home to watch Argo.

Saturday was spent realizing that our favorite spots were closed for the whole weekend and trying new things. We headed back to Itaewon and found Wang Thai where we had delicious red curry. We found an english bookstore, went to the foreign food market, and headed home.

Sunday was full of exploring. We started in Beomgye and went to a DVD room. In Korea, it is common for adults to live with their parents until they are married… even if they are in their late 20s. Needless to say, they do not bring dates home to watch a movie with mom and dad sitting on the other end of the couch.😉 So, there are places young people can go to hang out. They are called “bang”(방) meaning “room.” DVD bang is a DVD room, a norebang is a singing room (karaoke), and so on. We decided to give it a try. We watched the movie Once, which was excellent. I think we will stick to watching movies in our apartment but it was a fun experience–once Brianna stopped thinking about what some couples might do in a private DVD bang.😉

Next, we decided to look for Imsil N Cheese Pizza, a 100% rice crust pizza joint. We successfully navigated the subway with two transfers and found it on our first try! It was delicious and greasy and everything you want in a pizza–gluten free or not. We paid our check, wandered the neighborhood and stumbled upon the Gwangmyeong Sageori Traditional Market. There was so much fun strange food, and the locals enjoyed watching a pale, curly blonde and a man with a pony tail staring with wide eyes at the pig heads and raw octopus.

Funniest moment of the weekend? Seeing a young mom holding her daughter’s hand wearing a blue sweatshirt with a heart around the words “hugs AND drugs” … this takes #closebutnocigar to a whole new place. It is hugs NOT drugs, my friends.

I would call it a perfect start to 2016. Maybe it will be the best year yet, who knows?

새해 복 많이 받으세요 | We wish you good blessings for the New Year.

xo, A + B

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Christmas in Korea

We had a really fun Christmas in our new city. Missed our family and friends, but celebrated our hearts out. We hope yours was exceptional!

xo, A+B

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Dear Colorado, we miss you. Your snow, your Christmas lights, and your lovely people. Take care of them and do not worry, we will be back.
Dear Korea, you are weird. Everything is opposite of what we expect and for all the English teachers you ship in, you sure do lose a lot in translation. Thanks for keeping us laughing.
Dear teaching, you are challenging and fun and scary. Christmas is fun with kids and crafts, but managing fifteen sugared-up seven year olds is hard work. And getting 8 bored teenagers to write another English essay can be like playing chess with a teddy bear. Thanks for keeping us on our toes.
Dear weekends, you are so fun. We get to explore cool places like Insadong and Korean Costco. It also brings extra sleep and Star Wars in 3D.
Dear Spotify, thanks for giving us the gift of Christmas music by way of the 1920s Christmas: Rhythm & Booze album. It is the best.
Dear Santa, I want to see the sun on Christmas day and have my Apple Pork Tenderloin turn out perfect. Is that too much to ask?
Dear Christmas, we love you and we plan to enjoy you thoroughly. The presents are under the tree, the potatoes are ready to be mashed, and we are ready to see our family through the google machine.
Dear friends and family, may this season be full of love, joy, peace, and belly laughter! We love and miss you all!

메리 크리스마스 | Merry Christmas!! xo, A + B

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