It’s been so long since my last post! :( I can’t believe October is over and we’re already well-into November…. which means the holiday season is coming FAST and the rest of this year will be a complete blur. October was packed with a bunch of awesomeness and great weather, I’m kind of sad to see it pass. Anyway, without further ado, here are some things I’ve been up to. If you follow me on Instagram (aliensdayout), you might notice that a lot of these pics are pretty old… bear with me! :)
Last month I made a super impromptu trip down to Cheonan to see the ‘rents. Whenever I feel that pang of homesickness and start craving good Korean home-cookin’, I just need to get out of Seoul and make my way home. hehe. My parents are also pretty close to the Independence Hall in Cheonan, so we went for a stroll around there which was so peaceful and relaxing. Fall is without a doubt the BEST season in Korea, albeit way too short.
October seemed to be the month of reunions. So many good old friends came through Korea and some also got to see the shop and how my life has changed since the last time I saw them. I love how with true friends, it doesn’t matter how long it’s been, or what you’re up to now– when you get together, it’s back to just hanging out like usual. From top left to bottom right: Diane, Sylvia, Yunseo and baby, Hyun, Andy, and Hanjoo. :) Love all you guys… these are friends that have supported me from the beginning, and always believed in me. And for them to now see what I’m doing and see how far I’ve come. Seeing them again was a reminder of how blessed I am and how much I have to be grateful for. LOVE.
Y’all know who this is? :) Sam Okyere came into the shop with his vegan girlfriend for the first time last year (before he got completely famous) and we hit it off cuz he’s from Ghana and I lived there for like 10 years of my childhood. Since then, he’s become a bit of a regular~ :) He’s super nice and I’m just thrilled that he’s so loved by his Korean fans. And ofcourse I’m grateful for his support of PLANT, and it’s so cute how he also supports his vegan girlfriend. Adorbs.
Last month PLANT also got invited by the PTO at Yongsan International School of Seoul (YISS) to particiapte in their annual Fun Fest. It’s basically like a carnival/fair for the students and faculty. Ever since I opened the shop, I haven’t been able to participate in as many outside events as I used to… I remember all the bakesales and marches that I used to be a part of and it makes me a little sad. So this was a really nice opportunity and a good break away from the routine. It was a lot of fun and we saw a lot of regular customers and also met some new ones. Grateful to be a part of the foreign community here, and to do something outside of the shop’s regular routine.
Ye (my assistant) was great as always, charming customers and helping to get everything set up. Here she is looking pretty. :) We didn’t prep that much since we didn’t know what to expect at the Fun Fest, but we took a few cakes, cupcakes, brownies, and cookies. Overall it went well and the response to our vegan booth was great! :)
I’ve also been eating out a lot lately. Living in HBC makes it so much easier and tempting to eat out all the time… So much good vegan food options.
Veggie skewers at Yakitori By tucked away in one of the alleyways along Kyungridan. It’s a small yakitori grill/bar and you can choose from a variety of veggies like mushrooms, garlic, gingko fruit, eggplant, asparagus, etc, etc. Each is around 2,000won and up. It’s cheap, but in the end it kind of adds up cuz you just want to try it all and it’s not exactly filling.
Dinner at Bao in Noksapyeong. It has been YEARS since I went there but now that I’m living so close, it’s quickly turning into one of my regular spots for dinner. I have a pretty serious addiction for stir fry noodles and curry these days. The one I got here is the malay style thin rice noodles with veggies and tofu (no egg). I believe this was 9,000won for the regular size.
Speaking of rituals… There’s this one bakery in Noksapyeong up the alleyway where that darn ridiculous churro shop is, and it’s nothing amazing, but there’s one item that I get cravings for. It’s like a twisted breadstick but its loaded with all kinds of nuts and dried fruit. It’s super chewy and also filling, for only 2,000won. I haven’t tried any of their other stuff so I can’t say a whole lot about this bakery, except that this one breadstick thingy is becoming a Sunday morning ritual…
And now onto some PLANT eats:
PLANT’s new fall drink: Pumpkin Spice Latte. Everyone and their mom is talking about how Starbucks here in Korea doesn’t sell pumpkin spice lattes. Well fear not because PLANT’s is maybe better because it has REAL pumpkin in it, unlike Starbucks’, which only has the spice mix and orange food coloring. And we make sure ours has plenty of pumpkin pie spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. It may be a little intense for the average Korean palate, but as one expat customer called it, it’s “the wind beneath my wings.”
One of our best selling items lately has been these vegan, gluten free banana muffins. The texture is what makes these so awesome. Chewy, fairly light and fluffy, and not overly sweet (although the chocolate chips add some extra sweetness). They’re especially yummy when they’re still warm, so come early in the morning to get them as fresh as possible.
Another new gluten free item…. the Chocolate Berry Cake. Super moist (I know, I hate that word too, but it must be used in this case). I’m happy to say that I think I’ve perfected my gluten free chocolate cake, and it might even be better than my regular chocolate cake. lol.
Last but not least, a blog post about October wouldn’t be complete without some pics from Halloween!! It’s been about 2 years since I last dressed up for Halloween. But this year I was encouraged to go all out, so I went as Little Dead Riding Hood. I’m proud to say I did my own skeleton makeup! Go big or go home, right?
Me with some gal friends Audrey (Gamora from guardians of the galaxy) and Ye (a ninja). It was a lot of fun and Itaewon was complete NUTS that night… cars could barely move because people were just walking on the streets. haha. I’ve never seen Itaewon like that before….. overall, a pretty decent halloween! :)
And now what’s November gonna bring….