Alien's Day Out

2013 Year in Review!


Today is the last day of 2013! I’m taking New Year’s Eve & Day off so that I can have some time away from the shop to relax, get things in order, and reflect on the past year. I came back from a quick trip to Cheonan yesterday, and then spent the rest of the night cleaning and organizing my room… you know, get things in order before the new year. And now I’m at a random cafe, blogging, and looking back on 2013.

This year was completely amazing, and I’m in awe of and so grateful for all experiences I’ve had. I’ve changed so much, I can’t even remember what my life was like last year! Some lasting impressions of 2013 will include all the people I met, all the ways my baking skills have improved, the business lessons I have learned, and also the way my Korean has improved. Although I still have a weird fear of speaking in Korean, I’m much more comfortable than before. My spiritual walk has also become more solidified, and I’m really grateful for the community I have at my church. Overall, this was a big year of growth for me. There’s still a lot of uncertainty about my future, but I’m not as fearful about the unknown as I was before. I’m just really grateful for all the life lessons from this year, the new, old, and rekindled friendships, the veg community in Seoul Korea that has been so incredibly supportive of ADO, and I’m also so thankful for being a part of something that feels bigger than myself.

Everything that happened in 2013 just seems like one massive blur, especially the second half. Looking back, I don’t really know what I did… I can’t remember individual days, it’s all just one big vague memory of working at the shop 24-7. This may sound ridiculous, but even though I did something huge like opening up a cafe/shop, a part of me still feels like I didn’t do much this year. Remember the 101 things I wanted to accomplish this year? During the first half of the year, I was doing pretty well with keeping on pace and working through the list… and then I accomplished #27 ‘Get A Studio,’ and that kind of changed my life. A lot of the other goals on my list got abandoned after I became too busy. It just goes to show that you gotta be careful what you wish for. It just may come true. :)

While I remember 2012 as being emotionally difficult, I think 2013 was more physically draining. In a year, I feel like I’ve aged about 5 years. Not being able to stay physically active has been one of the hardest things~ I’ve always felt pretty good about my level of fitness, but lately that has gone completely out the window. I’ve even been finding more white hairs on my head! Maybe it’s the stress and lack of sleep….

As for 2014, I haven’t had much time to think about new goals to shoot for, and I don’t even know  if I can handle another 101 list. I just want to continue growing and becoming a better, whole person. I’m still trying to figure out what is the next step for me. There are still so many areas for improvement, and I know that in order for my work schedule to become sustainable, I have to make some changes and sacrifices. If I could sum up my New Year’s Resolutions in one word, I think it would be ‘Balance’. To work hard, but also enjoy time off, take care of myself, and find joy in my other hobbies, besides baking. Things like drawing, boxing/mma, running, volunteering, and ofcourse, blogging.

So with all that said, here are some Highlights of 2013.

The Mellowsong candle workshop in January. I remember this night well, not so much because of the fun we had making candles, but more because it was when Yona and I first starting to think of collaborating. We barely knew each other at that point, but we somehow started talking about possibly-maybe looking for a studio space together! And the rest, as they say, is history. Where would we be if neither of us attended the workshop?

Being featured in VogueGirl magazine. This year Alien’s Day Out & PLANT were fortunate to be reviewed in various magazines, but this was maybe my favorite piece of press. I really enjoyed the interview, and also getting to select my own photos to share was most enjoyable.

Attending Marche@ Seocho. When Marche@ was having a one-time event at Seocho, somehow everything came together and I was able to participate that one day. It was pretty grand.

Catering desserts for the Mashil Cafe book release event.

yona mipa
Botton Cafe’s first Market Day. This was maybe a month or two before PLANT opened…. back when Yona and I had time to participate in outside events. lol.

jeju beach
Going to Jeju Island. 2013 was the first year in 7 years, that I did not travel abroad once. I always try to make it a point to go outside of Korea once a year, to take a break, get some perspective, and become re-inspired. This year, that didn’t happen. But I did go on a short trip to Jeju Island, which was pretty great. Still the same country, but ‘over seas’? :)

Got really into boxing/kickboxing and mma this year. Sadly, I haven’t been able to go to my gym for several months now and I miss it more than anything.

Opening PLANT, home of Alien’s Day Out & Yona’s Kitchen. The second half of 2013 was pretty much spent within these walls.

My Aviary-Edited Photo
Ah yes, and I turned 30 this year. Sigh.

Last but not least, this past weekend, I went to Cheonan for a delayed Christmas celebration. Even my sister was visiting from HongKong, so it was the first time in many many years that our whole family was together for the holiday season.

So there you have it. A short recap of my past year. It seriously went by in the blink of an eye. I’m really looking forward to starting 2014, continuing to work on old goals as well as setting some new ones. Oh, and I only have a few days of work this week and then PLANT is taking 2 weeks vacation! I will be visiting my sister in HongKong for a whole week!!! Can’t wait to finally explore somewhere new and try some new vegan foods. Any readers in HK, hit me up with where I need to go! :)

Alas, it’s time to say farewell to 2013, and I wish every one of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! <3


  1. I just got back to HK and now sitting in my apartment again…cant believe the holidays went by so fast!! What a crazy year its been for you…hopefully in 2014 you can get more sleep and do some more things outside of the bake shop. I know its been a tough year for you but I also know its been rewarding and also a huge blessing. Its pretty amazing what God is doing in your life. Cheers to a new yr and see you next wk!!

  2. You should really be proud of your year Mip! You’ve defs done well!
    I definitely agree though that balance sounds like something you should do in 2014.

    And ur going to HK! Please post loads of photos! There are so many places on happycow for Hk!

  3. I’m a long time blog stalker, but wanted to come out of the woodworks to say, although I’m not vegan or even live in Korea, I continue to read your blog because it is amazing to see everything you’ve created and accomplished. It is inspirational to see you pursue your passions and make it happen. Wishing you all the best for 2014. Happy New Years!

  4. Hey Mipa! :)
    Yes you are my inspiration as well!

    Happy new year!! <3

  5. Just wanted to thank you for all your hard work in supplying vegan cuisine for your city! It is hard work and long hours and your business is so appreciated by my son and daughter-in-law who live in Seoul. I am very far away from them in the U.S. but they tell me how wonderful your place is and they feel so lucky to have found it! I can say my city needs an all-vegan bakery as we haven’t one and I don’t know of ANY all-vegan bakeries anywhere in our state of Washington. Thanks again for making my “kids” so happy! P.S. Your cakes look gorgeous!

  6. This was a lovely read and a great retrospective on your fantastic year. I’m so happy that you opened your shop this year! Such an amazing accomplishment, M! Happy new year!

  7. Happy New Year! Just wanted to wish you and Yona a healthy, wealthy and prosperous 2014! And continued success with Plant.

    In HK, check out Three Virtues 395 Kings Road (I think…google it) No English sign, must find from street numbers. One level upstairs. It is worth finding. Vegetarian not vegan. Food was good and reasonably priced. Menu is easy to understand, but staff really does not speak English. Staff is friendly and try to be helpful.. Can be really crowded at lunch time.
    Almost forgot, no napkins. Bring a packet of tissues as some of the food is greasy. I am from NYC, not sure if this is a Chinese custom, but I went to a few other places and saw woman using napkins from their purses.

    Have Fun!

  8. Happy new year, hope 2014 will be a balanced year for you. having a job that you love is something nice and important however enjoying your outside life is important and as equal too. finding a balance between those 2 will bring you a true happiness. also your body is the only thing you truly own. Make it your greatest achievement so you need to take more of yourself and limit stress from your life <3

    oh btw: i just discovered this song yesterday and i think the title/intro of the song fits you, treat it as a belated gift for your 30th birthday, hehe :)

  9. more time for yourself **

  10. Hi Mipa~

    I’m a vegan living in Korea and was wondering if you do any meetup events.

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