Monthly Archives: November 2014

My top Korean Textbooks!

lwa photo tag

Recently I did a piece on my top Japanese books and that went down a treat with you all. Well, I also own a LOT of Korean books too, and so put together another list of learning materials that have really helped my learning!

 

Teach Yourself: Complete Korean

This book is fantastic and the first (good) Korean book I bought. It is informative and challenging, without being too much. The wide vocabulary that the book teaches is useful and encouraging. It isn’t simply a phrase book, it teaches a WIDE range of words and phrases as part of the lessons.The book starts off by teaching you Hangul and doesn’t really rely on Romanizations. It’s fantastic for teaching and reinforcing the information so it REALLY STICKS!

 

Korean From Zero!

From the same makers as Japanese from Zero, this book is just as satisfying as the Japanese original! Full of helpful exercises, from vocabulary, to grammar and handwriting, the exercises are fun and challenging to help you remember each topic as you study!

This book also comes with access to free MP3 downloads to aid your study!

 

Mastering Conversational Korean: Korean For Beginners

Funny, clever, informational and supportive, this book is a must have for a Korean learner. With a handy Hangul chart inside the front page, a free audio CD as well as fantastic materials, this book is one of my favourites. It is well written with humour and great insight that makes it so easy to take in. It also teaches you the valuable information of what NOT to do in Korean and some of the aspects of the language that can catch you out. The book is very well organised, with well laid out chapters, illustrations and relaxed and relatable language, you feel very supported – the author even uses emoticons and references Korean personalities!

Korean books 2

These are my 3 favourite Korean learning books. If I buy more (Which I most definitely will) I will share them on here so keep checking in!

Are there any books you’ve been considering buying? What are your favourite learning materials?

 

Join us over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (where I post a ridiculous number of selfies!) and join in the conversation there! Xx

 

Reclaiming your space: Beating messiness

I’ve promised to always be honest on here and, in all painful honesty, I am a messy person. I have a habit of being rather lazy and also to pass up tidying and cleaning in favour of more “productive” jobs. It isn’t good, it isn’t fun and it’s got to change.

I am slowly starting to change this (on my days off work) and I wanted to share my ways of clearing some space.

Ask yourself what you want from your space.
Do you want your space to be a bedroom, an office, a dressing room, a wardrobe, a guest room? begin by asking yourself what kind of room you want it to be and think hard about what features that kind of room has.
Do you want it to have a lot of open space and clear walls? Then maybe you don’t want lots of stuff and shelves all over the walls.

Tough love
This may be the worst part of the whole experience. Where you have to bite the bullet and be painfully honest with yourself about the stuff you need to throw out.
Do you need the big prop sword you never use? Do you need ALL those bottles of perfume you never wear? Is it actually possible that you own too many storage boxes?!
It’s not easy to be 100% straight with yourself at this point, but force yourself through it. Gather up a load of your stuff and put it into two piles, being totally honest. One pile is for stuff you need and actually use, the other is for the charity or junk shop.

Spend a little money
it doesn’t have to be a lot of money, just invest a little into some good cleaning products, the right kind of storage for yourself and maybe a couple DVD folders for the thousands of movies you own.

One of the best things I bought for organising my space was this storage ottoman:

 

It can be folded flat, but when set up (and with some stuff inside) it also makes a fantastic seat! When I got it, I filled it with stuff and jumped on top of it to see if it would break and (while I WOULD NOT RECOMMENT doing this) it didn’t give way!

Make a list
For messy folks like me, we sometimes need a challenge to make sure we stick to our guns. Maybe keep a list of jobs you have to do, or keep a record of the jobs you to each day.
I own a little red notebook called my ‘task book’ in which I write all the jobs I did that day and how much money I earned that day.

Don’t get mad, get even
You wanted this. You want a tidy room/house and it’ll be worth it in the end. Chores and cleaning can be a pain, but suck it up and make your room perfect, one step at a time.

Slaying the beast
The biggest challenge we’ll face in this process is most likely the “sentimental monster” that creeps up behind you as you look at that Cow Keyring in your hand and whispers “That was an awesome day when you bought that. If you throw that away, you throw the memories away with it”
This voice is a liar and sentimentality should, one, be saved for REALLY special memories, and shouldn’t be on stuff like a cow keyring, unless it holds a LOT of emotional value to you.

Stay on top of it
Like with any war, it’s not just about the one battle. You have to keep winning each battle, and that means staying on top of things and not winning one and then just stepping down. If you do that, your space will go back to just as bad as before. Control your space, keep your stuff in check and don’t just let it slide.

To get my idea, here are a list of Keepers Vs Leavers

Staying                                                                                Going

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This keyring has very strong personal value    VS.        A cow keyring that won’t actually clip

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A box I made myself by hand                               VS.  Some random jewellery boxes I collected

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A scarf my best friend bought in Italy                VS.  A random brown square I knitted

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My favourite perfumes                                            VS. Perfumes I never use (Check out that dust!)

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My precious Batman and Maneki Neko             VS.    Some random “cool looking” bottles

I’m staying true to my word and the “Goers” are going in the recycling or the charity shop.

Good luck! X

Korean Phrase of the Day! 무서워(요)

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Today’s KPotD was inspired by my favourite internet cutie Yebin, in this video where her Mom teaches her how to say when she is frightened

This is a useful phrase for anyone travelling to Korea, as you can seek help from natives in dangerous or frightening situations, even if you don’t know enough Korean to describe the problem!

I’ll be back with another Korean Phrase of the Day very soon! Meanwhile, come connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Xx

 

Making 호박죽 (Korean butternut squash rice porridge) and Discovering Maangchi!

butternutIn Korea, 죽 ‘juk’ dishes are savoury porridges made from rice. Some are the same consistency of porridge or oatmeal, while others are more like soup with dumplings of rice. Juk is a popular comfort food in Korea and is commonly eaten when ill as it is simple and easy on the stomach, but tasty and good for the body.

While Juk is usually homemade, you can easily buy instant mix in Korea – however, it is incredibly salty!! It is best served warm, but most dishes can be enjoyed cold.

 

My first experiences of ‘juk’ were packets of instant 소고기죽 (Beef porridge) and, while saltier than a mouthful of seawater, was really nice! I’d never had any experience of savoury porridge before, so it was very new to me. When I started making it, I was dubious that the mix would even work. It seemed too small a quantity and too fine to expand into anything substantial, but sure enough it worked! This made me curious about how hard it could be to make it myself.

Being a big fan of butternut squash, I was so happy when I saw a recipe online for 호박죽. But this rice porridge was different from the one I tried. Instead of being an oatmeal-y mix, it seemed to be a kind of soup with dumplings. But, instead of suit, wheat flour and herbs, these dumplings were made of just sweet rice flour, water and a pinch of salt!

It’s so simple, but SO good

The recipe I used came from a lovely website and Youtube channel called Maangchi, which teaches a wide array of Korean recipes.

©Maangchi
©Maangchi

Maangchi is funny, cute, an incredibly talented cook and beautiful (inside and out). Her videos and articles sharing her recipes are clear and fun to make – and all delivered with charisma and a unique sparkle!

 

After one try, the 호박죽 turned out perfectly. And I can see why it is considered such a good comfort food! It’s so wholesome, yet simple! It’s not too rich, yet it’s so satisfying.

And Maangchi has literally hundreds of other fantastic recipes to try, including:

Roast Seaweed snacks

Korean style fried chicken

And Jjajangmyeon (짜장면)

After the brilliant success of the 호박죽, I will definitely be trying as many of her recipes as I can!

Make sure to subscribe to Maangchi, as well as follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

Have you tried any of Maangchi’s dishes? Share photos with us on the Learn With Amy Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and make sure to tag Maangchi so she can see your handiwork!

Good luck!

Meet Yerin and Yeseo! Does Yebin have competition?!

 

©Youtube/Drama Fever

 

It seems like the whole internet is going mad for the gorgeous little cutie Yebin, who’s character and innocent charm keeps us hooked video after video. But it seems like little ‘baby Yebin’ may have some competition on her hands!

Thanks to the brilliance that is Youtube’s ‘suggested videos’ bar, I stumbled across a channel for two little Korean girls Yerin and Yeseo, run by their adoring father.                                                 ©Youtube/Drama Fever

The first video I saw was from 3 years ago of the elder girl, Yerin, battling between the joy of looking at her mother and her sleepiness.

The two sisters are so adorable and are absolute rays of light, clearly cherished by their parents. Their parents said that the aim of the channel was to “share the joy that my little girls brought to my life”. Mission accomplished!

One particular video had me near tears with cuteness, was this one:

(The older sister, Yerin, is saying “고맙습니다”/“Thank you” to her parents for the ice cream. However, the younger, Yeseo, is still very young and has difficulty saying it, so just chimes in at “다” with her sister.)

So, Yebin isn’t the only cutie on the block!

 

There is also a cute meaning to the name ‘Bobaepapa’, as ‘Bobae’ (보배) means ‘treasure’ in Korean. So cute!

Be sure to follow ‘Bobaepapa’ on Youtube, Twitter and Instagram as well as joining their fan club on Facebook and follow their blog!

 

Let me know what you think of this post. Send me a message using the contact form below, or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! X

 

Lack of performance: What’s blocking you?  

So that title wasn’t intended to sound so sexual. Anyway, it’s there now!  But, that is genuinely the topic of today’s post: What areas of your life are you failing to perform in and why? (That still sounds so dirty….)

key4I suppose the title could have been ‘how to succeed’ or ‘how to get everything you want in life’, but the purpose of this isn’t to just hand you advice for what to do to get what you want, but to also teach you what to look out for so you know when you aren’t quite on track. Otherwise it would be like giving you a fishing rod when you’re at a river with no fish – pointless and not very helpful.

Hopefully this information will help you to avoid reaching standstills in your life that consume your time and waste your precious energy. This is all stuff that I am currently having to do in my life and so we are all in this together. And remember that there is no shame in your life being a little out of order. There was never an instruction manual for life, so there’s no need for you to feel bad for not having it all worked out.

 

Together, we can work out what’s in our way and collectively work together to break those blocks like we’re an 80s gamer!

 

1. Begin first by having a think about what it is that you want. Make a list and try to be as specific and clear as you can be. Write down as much as you can about that particular subject or area, everything about it that you want to do or learn.

Clearly knowing what you want helps you to lock onto the paths to attaining or achieving it by putting into words that your problem-solving mind is best at working out.

 

2. Look at other people succeeding in that area. Now, don’t look at them and think “Why are they so great, while I suck?!” as that will just set you back. Look at what they do which helps them succeed. What habits do they have? Are there any special behaviours they have that help them get what they want?

If you can, try to talk to these people so you can get first-hand advice from the people in the positions you want to be in. Some people may not necessarily want to help someone to become successful in the same area as them (some people feel easily threatened) so ask around until you find someone willing to honestly share what they know – there’ll be someone!

 

3. Take a day or two to examine yourself. Don’t do anything any differently to usual, except pay attention to what you are doing and take note.

What are you doing when you should be doing ‘X’? What side-tracks you? Are there any blatant causes of distraction or procrastination?

Don’t do anything at this point to ‘fix’ it. Just observe and take note.

 

4. What are the biggest blocks? Tiredness? Work? Absentmindedness? Socialising? The internet? Commitments?

Look at all the things that stop you or steer you off course for your goals?

 

5 How do these affect your progress? Currently, my bedroom is an absolute mess. There are boxes everywhere, laundry on the floor, bags of clothes I keep forgetting to donate, half finished organising jobs to do and too much random garbage surrounding me. That means that I cannot sit down at my desk (or even see my desk) to do any work. Thus I have to work in a different room where there are other sounds to distract me, I’m not in my office space and I feel more idle than I would if I had my office space (and bedroom) in a tidy manner.

I also want to film Youtube videos for Learn With Amy, but my bedroom is waaaay to messy to film in.

I also work a LOT, so that means I am out of the house most of the day and come home late at night. After a long day at work, I am too tired to tidy, so that is left until my days off, which means they can’t be spent working—it’s a vicious cycle!

Be honest with yourself about your progress is being affected. Don’t shy away from admitting it – embrace it and turn it around on itself!

 

6. Think about simple and realistic ways that you can solve your problem. Try to avoid intricate and detailed MacGyver solutions. Just stay simple and find out what you need to do. You may even need to try a few solutions before you find the right one(s) for you.

For example, tomorrow I am going to give myself the morning, and not a minute past 12, to get my room and office space sorted and ready for me to work so that I can use all of the rest of my day to get my work done.

 

7. Remember why you are here. Don’t let yourself forget your goal. The worst thing is when you forget that you are supposed to be focusing on a goal and you just trail off. That’s when the work gets forgotten and how you end up staring at your screen like ‘How did I get here?!’

Stay sharp and keep your eye on the prize!

 

8. Be strict but fair. Like a good leader, be understanding and kind to yourself, but don’t coddle yourself.

In life, we don’t get the luxury of being lead, so we have to lead ourselves. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need leadership skills. You can’t just treat yourself badly and expect good results. Respect breeds respect, especially with the self!

 

9. It’s okay to ask for help. Asking for help can be so powerful. It can instantly unlock key answers that you didn’t know were right there, simply by putting out that request for help.

Whether you are asking help from a friend, a co-worker, someone in the industry of your choice, a family member, me, a teacher or even just the universe, asking for help very clearly says “I could use a hand here” and can be exactly the key to getting you rolling again.

What pursuits have you felt blocked in recently? Let us know in the comments, or send me a message using the message box below, or connect on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. X