Why I stopped blogging (and why I’m starting again)

On one of my posts, there was one comment I remember clearly:

“Why do you write on topics like this? Nobody cares. Stop blogging.”

It stung. It stung hard.

It was one comment but the words were sharp. I sat with my laptop on the floor and cried all of that Thursday night. And the next day, I decided to not write on my blog again. It’s taken me 56 days to get back to my site again, and I’m still nervous when I think back to how I felt that one day.

Since then, a lot of things have changed. The sidewalks are now filled with winter parkas, and coffee shops smell like pumpkin spice lattes. Instead of ‘Hot Girl Summer’ we are singing carols and waiting patiently for those Black Friday deals to drop.

But in my personal life, I feel almost lifeless. Even with all the changes around me, I felt – and still feel – stuck in that moment to when I read that.

Not too long after that time, news broke in Korea of a famous k-pop singer, Sulli, who committed suicide. There is high suspicion that Sulli, a former member of the group f(x), who was suffering from severe depression at that time committed suicide because of the antagonistic comments online. This news came as a shock to everyone as she portrayed a very strong, positive person through her social media sites.

Now, I am putting a huge disclaimer that I know I am nothing close to a k-pop star and I have no understanding about the extent of the comments she was getting. I also can’t imagine the hate that she received after defying societal norms in Korea because even my one comment made me rethink my purpose.


I want this post to be a reminder to you reading this that you are worthy of love and life – even with the hate. It may not be hate through an anonymous comment. It may be hate from your coworker or boss, your ex-boyfriend or current girlfriend, and especially yourself.

You are worthy of living the purpose you were given to live and breathe for.

I am still struggling to find my own and get back to the core of myself, as this bump was a really tough one to come back from. But I will come back to spread hope and love and even to finish my Korean show reviews on the side!

I just want to put a special thank you to one reader for reaching out. I got this email about a month ago, and although I haven’t replied, I remember to go back to it every week.

I want to thank you for some of your blogs.  I have some image issues myself and I was inspired by some of your comments and enthusiasm.
I note you haven’t posted for a few weeks now?
Just want to check and see if things are ok, and let you know that you have friends everywhere.
Best

Every time I read it, it fills in the emptiness that was created from the hate comment from before, and it reminds me that even with the hate all around me and us, there is love.

Thank YOU for reading this and I hope that you and I can build on this journey together.


If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, check out the resources below.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Here is a list of international suicide hotlines.
Text TALK to 741741 for 24/7, anonymous, free counseling.
Call the SAMHSA Treatment Referral Hotline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), for free, confidential support for substance abuse treatment.
Call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), for confidential crisis support.
Call Trevor Lifeline, 1-866-488-7386, a free and confidential suicide hotline for LGBT youth.
7 Cups and IMAlive are free, anonymous online text chat services with trained listeners, online therapists, and counselors.

Love Catcher S2 E5: Knocking on the wrong door

Before you get into episode 3, remember to read about episode 1 here and episode 2 here and episode 3 here and episode 4 here!

So to recap from last episode, the love triangle is now a love square with Ga Bin in the middle, Chae Rang is being oddly sneaky, and Jung Jin and Sae Ra are still hinting at their interest in each other.

The episode starts off with tension between Yeon Woo and In Ook. Now if you remember Yeon Woo went on a date with Ga Bin the day before. But if I’m going to be honest here, the celebrity cast was only focused on how Yeon Woo was shirtless (again).

Then it quickly jumps to the kitchen where there are hearts flying around Jung Jin and Sae Ra. As the only ones awake, they cook breakfast together – feeding each other, staring at each other. These two are a definite couple, whether money or love.

There’s another palpable tension in the girls’ room. Chae Rang, going into the secret room the day before, now knows that In Ook (the guy she is interested in) picked Ga Bin. Site note, as much as Chae Rang isn’t my favorite, I think her fashion and makeup style is very cute. I saw her using an eye shadow palette similar to these: here and here2!

Ga Bin then goes into the kitchen, only to find Chan Woo sitting on the couch not looking the best – he’s actually sick. He says “hi” when she comes in, and she smirks in his direction – unsure if he saw this. But what I am sure he saw is how Yeon Woo and Ga Bin start talking, go into the dining room together, and sit next to each other. C’mon guys, give him a break!

So if I could highlight a moment from this episode, not only is this guy super sick but when he goes to the dining table and sees another love connection forming, he proclaims to the whole group that he will be a good partner/team with someone if that other person is willing to be too. When he says this, the WHOLE TABLE looks at Ga Bin. The way that Chan Woo looked at her here is the most real. And if you don’t know this guy likes Ga Bin, you live under a rock.


The date for this episode is a garden party. First, I would hire Yeon Woo as my hairdresser. This guy looks great and goes to do Min Seok’s hair too- why doesn’t he do this hairstyle more often? When you zoom in closely, you can see he uses the Unix hairdryer.

In the cars on the way to their date, Jung Jin reveals that all the guys think that Chae Rang is a Money Catcher. Hm, foreshadowing?

Their date and challenge is a cooking class led by a famous chef, Kim So Bong. Inside their surprise box is a live squid. If you have a fear of tentacles or hate the killing of seafood, do NOT watch this part. And as the only ones who have cooked live squid before, the day quickly becomes In Ook versus Chan Woo.

A couple things to note in this cooking challenge:

  1. In Ook is sweet to Chae Rang and dare I say, even flirts with her. I know he showed his interest in Ga Bin before but her sneaky ways must have gotten through to him. She takes his watch off for him and cleans it with her apron. And rest assured, he is now opening up to this girl.
  2. These squids are grossly gigantic. I love seafood but how they kill these creatures is absolutely brutal to watch that. And for once, I was not focused on the couples.
  3. Chan Woo can’t stop staring at Ga Bin. Dude, are you cooking or not?
  4. All those final dishes made me so hungry! Why does no restaurant deliver seafood paella?!
  5. How does the couple who made fried rice with three ingredients win this challenge?

After the winner is announced, all the couples eat each other’s dishes. Except Chan Woo, who revealed he cannot eat seafood … until he eats it? He felt left out because everyone was eating Ga Bin’s dish and complimenting it. So this guy – this guy eats it! Everyone is floored.

Is he going to have an allergic reaction? Is he going to choke and die? These are literally the thoughts of everyone at that table.

And just when we think something bad is going to happen, he gets up to most likely spit it out. And then comes back and compliments the dish. Yes, you saw that right. He spits out the dish he probably chewed four bites, and just to make Ga Bin happy, he says how good the dish is.


To conclude, Ga Bin shows no affection towards Chan Woo. Yes, she was previously interested in him and she would probably be going after him in real life but hello, they are on a money versus love reality TV show. Of course she’s going to have suspicions! I think in some parts, she is over-analyzing each person (which may not be a bad thing at times) but it leads her to be closed off. And Chan Woo is left knocking on a potential door in which Ga Bin won’t open. I’m still rooting for them, as well as the Jung Jin-Sae Ra couple and hopefully things go in a good direction next week!

Here is next week’s episode:

*All photo, video, and content credit to Mnet and the show Love Catcher. Disclaimer: tallkoreangirl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

Love Catcher S2 E4: The love triangle becomes a love square

Spoiler alert: never underestimate the youngest of the group.

Before you get into episode 3, remember to read about episode 1 here and episode 2 here and episode 3 here!

Chae Rang and In Ook scheduled a breakfast-making date the day before, making this the first time these two are alone together. Chae Rang gets ready at 8:30 am, and I mean this girl is full makeup ready with some fancy dangle earrings. The thing is, In Ook forgets and goes jogging with two other guys.

Disappointed, she comes back to the girls’ side of the house and then Sae Ra with the cute save “How can people go running this early?” Again, my new girl crush. To our surprise (or not), when In Ook comes back he doesn’t even remember he made such plans. Lol.

Maximum Resolution

Leave it to the sweet guys Jung Jin and Chan Woo to the rescue with helping Chae Rang for breakfast. Is there a theme that people follow every day? I mean, these guys are head to toe identical in their outfits. But hey, we ain’t complaining! (And neither is sneaky Chae Rang…)

In Ook comes down to the kitchen and she gives the cold shoulder to him at least 4 times. As much as I am not the biggest fan of this girl, I feel for her. Who likes a guy who doesn’t keep a simple promise?

But then later, she uses this to her advantage and starts flirting with In Ook at the dining table. Go figure.

A zoom of the table and we note that there are a couple people missing – Chan Woo is clearly stalling in the kitchen and making tomato caprese (what?!) but clearly, he’s waiting for someone, you know the girl he literally confessed his heart out to last night at the pool.

And here’s the highlight of this episode: Chan Woo pulls out a chair for Ga Bin without her knowing. What a guy.

Chan Woo follows her to the kitchen and asks if she wants to eat breakfast – and then cooks an entire meal just for her. Again what a guy.

Before you get too smitten with Chan Woo, their main TV turns on and lets everyone know of their dates for the day: Jung Jin-So Young, Min Seok-Yeong Seo, Chan Woo-Chae Rang, In Ook-Sae Ra, Yeon Woo-Ga Bin.

These couples are actually surprising, considering no one saw any romantic feelings with any of them.

In the car, Chan Woo confesses to Chae Rang that he has his eyes only on one person. We all know who that is, dude. You are the king of expressing yourself. Ironically, In Ook confesses to Sae Ra that he is not great at expressing himself. You sure about that man?

Maximum Resolution

They arrive at the site and the couples challenge is “girlfriend makeup” (or “여친메이크업” in Korean). I don’t know what’s surprising for the girls – they the guys are doing their makeup or they have to take their makeup off. But to be real, these girls look fab with no makeup on.

Yeon Woo stands out from the other guys. He’s a hairstylist but has done makeup before. Evidence A: he did swatches on his hand! Evidence B: he has a powder puff pad on his pinky finger so he can rest his hand on her face!

Min Seok is no joke either though. He pulls So Young in between his knees (literally) to get up close and personal for her makeup session and they start feeling each other out in a good way (until things go south later when he calls her the wrong name). Jung Jun tries to go in bold with the glitter liquid eye shadow, and although the judges say this is way too overboard, I have to admit I wore this to work today. All the guys start using the eye curler (which that reminds me I need one), and let’s just say they get closer with the curler!

Chan Woo is funny because as much as he was focused on Chae Rang in the beginning, his focus drifts to his one and only Ga Bin. Chae Rang hits her arm on something, Chan Woo completely doesn’t notice (or cares), and then whispers something (probably a big f you) under his breath when he sees Yeon Woo and Ga Bin together. Unfortunately, this was all caught on camera.

But you can feel the tension as Yeon Woo calls him pretty, and Chan Woo goes to Ga Bin’s table to get a Kleenex. When he sees Ga Bin, he can’t help but smile his ‘I like you’ smile, and when he overhears Ga Bin ask Yeon Woo cutely if she can get her makeup done by him every morning, Chan Woo’s face goes cold.

This date really turned things around for Yeon Woo as multiple times throughout the date, you can hear him say how pretty Ga Bin is and this makes her blush.

I know I shouldn’t be, but I could ship Yeon Woo-Ga Bin too. Something about their walk – they just seem comfortable and like a young Romeo and Juliet.

Now for the dinner date:

Chan Woo can’t eat seafood so he is going to cook beef. But not just this, he is actually a little sick (possible fever the day before with chills). Ga Bin hesitates at first but gives Chan Woo medicine from her closet. Chan Woo can’t help but smile his classic smile – and all of a sudden, he is magically healed.

People know Chan Woo likes Ga Bin. He makes two dishes of the Spam on rice dish and the food literally travels across the table to Ga Bin.

And damn, Chae Rang with the punch afterwards: “Did it taste good?” Girl is not about hiding feelings!

As the winners of the couples challenge, Chae Rang and Chan Woo get to go into the secret room. This time, they get to reveal who one person picked as their interest the night before. Chae Rang picks In Ook but completely regrets this decision as she now knows he picked Ga Bin.

Chan Woo with his fancy trench coat can now be at peace knowing that Ga Bin chose him.

Next week’s preview gets a little messayyy. The love triangle has now gone into a love square with three guys (Chan Woo, In Ook, and Yeon Woo) all having interests in Ga Bin.

Who do you think she will pick? And do you think she is Money Catcher or Love Catcher? Comment below!

And see next week’s preview here:

*All photo, video, and content credit to Mnet and the show Love Catcher. Disclaimer: tallkoreangirl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

X1 Flash Part 2: TMI news and the debut stage

The boys have officially made their debut! But before we get to that, the members did something called ‘TMI News’ where they revealed some of the behind the scenes moments from their pre-debut days. Here are the 11 moments you missed:

1. The members were first afraid of Han Gyul. The jean jacket and the up do hair (when he initially arrived for Produce X 101) might have given the bad boy vibe initially but the other boys quickly learned that in fact, he was the sweetest of them all!

2. The cuteness battle between Dong Pyo and Hyunh Jun begins. They are deemed as ‘rivals’ for the member with the most aegyo. In the Korean culture, aegyo or 애교 refers to a cute display of affection. Who do you think is the winner?

3. He may cute but is he clean? The other members reveal some news that may be surprising to ONE ITs – Dong Pyo does not like to shower! He tells Yo Han that he washes after him and that’s why Yo Han can never catch him – but is this true…? Only Dong Pyo will know!

4. We knew Jun Ho was meticulous but the other members think he may be borderline obsessed with cleanliness. It takes him at least an hour to shower and as he puts on a face mask to demonstrate how his skin routine, it took so long the screen had to be cut into three columns. Beauty doesn’t come easy, am I right!

5. Eun Sang is sensitive to smell, and there’s nothing wrong with that. He even has a favorite perfume called ‘Cotton’ (found here) that he sprays all over his clothes first thing in the morning, during practice, at home, everywhere. He admits that people might think he’s spraying it because he’s worried about how he smells but this is not true – he sprays it because the smell actually gives him a sense of comfort.

6. The center of the group has his own sense of comfort, and no it’s not from perfume. It’s from his teddy bear pajamas. If any of you know, Kakao friends is very popular in Korea and Yo Han is no exception. He loves Ryan and you can see him sleeping in it almost every night! Also, secret has it that along with this pair of pajamas, he wears socks to bed every night!

7. Song Hyung Jun has a nickname around the house; it is “song alarm.” Word has it, no matter if he’s tired or if it’s too early for the birds to be awake in the morning, he goes around the house to wake up the members every morning with his cute voice. I mean, who wouldn’t wanted to be woken to that face and voice?!

8. He may be the youngest but he does not back down in front of food. Nicknamed the ‘eating machine’ the members admit that Do Hyun LOVES to eat. And he eats anything – sandwiches, cookies, late night food, anything. He doesn’t talk while he eats and focuses solely on the food. We don’t blame you Do Hyun, you’re still a growing boy!

9. Chicken feet is a huge late night snack in Korea (believe it or not). And Wook Seok’s obsession has led Min Hee to eat it for the first time ever. Min Hee goes to say that he now likes it!

10. The debut concert was on August 27th and it was rumored that whole Gocheok Sky Dome was full. Korean and international fans flew from all across the world to be a part of their big day and it did not disappoint. As worried as the members were in the morning, as soon as the concert started, all their nervousness started to disappear as they saw all their fans in front of them.

I even had chills with their stage presence. It’s like they were idols all along. Fans were crying left and right and as they went about the first song, “Move,” you just can’t help but be proud of them. They have gone through a lot to get to where they are right now and instead of all the heat and the hate, they deserve the utmost love.

11. The concert ended with the song I’m here for you and this is by far my favorite. I ended up tearing up when Seung Woo cried on stage. I could really feel for him. He is the leader, and I know his role is to be a strong leader and mentor for the other members, but he is also human and I’m sure he’s affected by the recent controversy surrounding all the Mnet groups.

ONE ITs, stay strong and X1, 꽃길만 걷자!

The new album can be found here! And all their gear can be found here: calendar, shirts, and banners! Get yours today!

And check out their debut stage on M Countdown:

And check out how cute Seung Woo can be:

*All photo, video, and content credit to Mnet and the show X1 Flash.
Disclaimer: tallkoreangirl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

Feeling stuck? How to get started in loving yourself

Declaring love for someone is probably one of the most courageous things to do. It encompasses not only the present but also the future – you love them now but you’re inevitably telling them you’ll love them in the next minute as well.

It seems like we go through a cycle of saying we are ‘in love’ with multiple people. We declare love for someone who we might have dated for a couple of months (or days). We even declare love after a couple of good dates. But as humans, we make mistakes. We realize that as time ticks, people grow. And as seasons change, we understand that some of those “loves” are mere ‘loving experiences.’

But then, why do we go back to the people who’ve hurt us the most? Is it because the euphoria that comes with such connections clouds the reasons why we broke up in the first place? Or is it because when we are in a time of vulnerability, we turn to those who we have been vulnerable to?

When we’re in a tough period of our lives, we are cultured to cope – some people with food or drugs or alcohol but some people with other people. We want to reach out to those past relationships – whether friends or romantic – because for one reason or another, we have somehow exposed our deepest darkest secrets to them.

And it’s this called trust that brings us back.

Trust and love are not interchangeable but instead, I believe love is dependent on trust. This means that without trust, you cannot love.

Think about it. How can you go about marrying your partner if you don’t trust him or her to go out in the middle of the night to have an affair? How can you date someone who knows your Venmo password but at the same time, you’re constantly worried about him or her hacking into your bank account (also may be a bad idea in the first place).

Initially, I thought that this was always with a relationship with someone else (aka my exes) that I struggled to trust. I always blamed it on my past with guys cheating on me and letting me down. But in fact, I missed what was right in front of me.

To love others, I needed to love myself. And to love myself, I needed to trust myself – a trust that things would be okay, and that I could love myself.

It’s no secret that love exists. The thing is, you are never able fully love anyone because no one can fill your heart other than yourself.

It is only when your heart is filled that you can start to fill others.

If you want to start somewhere, and don’t know why you’re reading all these self-help and self-improvement articles but are not getting anywhere, start by trusting yourself. Trust the process that you are taking. Trust that you do have the ability to love yourself and others. Trust that someone out there will love you just as much as you do. Trust yourself so much that in times of need, instead of resorting to an ex or a current fling, you look at yourself, and say, “Hey, I’m going to be okay.”

Saying ‘no’ to self-hate

I am saying ‘no’ because you have ruined my relationships and have halted my progress in the current one. I am saying ‘no’ because too many times I have cried on the floor holding my chest, thinking that my heart would shatter if I didn’t. I am saying ‘no’ because there is more to life than you. 

I am saying ‘no’ to self-hate.


My name is Carol.

I am not a fitness guru or a social media influencer. I am your average Joe who has believed for most of her life that being skinny, rich and insta-famous were the ways to happiness – so that is exactly what I always strived to be.

Until yesterday. 

I was done. Fed up. Sick of the way my recent vacation ended. I could not look at my boyfriend’s face and tell him that I wanted to be there with him because the only thing I was focused on was how bad I felt about myself. All I wanted to do was to hole up and pity myself. I indeed indulged on one too many desserts and possibly a late-night cup ramen here and there but that was no excuse for treating him like I did.

It was disgusting; I was disgusted with myself.

But this was not the only time. There were many, many, many (^1000) times when I would feel this way and it would take an arm and a leg (and maybe another limb) to raise me back up to an ‘okay’ state.

This has to stop – and not just with me, but for everyone out there. For you, my future babies, your future (and current) babies but especially for you.

This blog is not to detail the perfect journey from how I came from a self-loathing grinch to a self-loving angel within a couple of weeks. It’s not a cheat sheet on answers to curing body-shaming or the pathway to happiness. It’s far from it.

It’s the raw truth of me – a 20-something-year-old girl still trying to find my identity and figure out who I am, what I’m doing, where I’m going and all the while trying to love myself in the process.


I encourage you this week to mark the number of times when you think the words “I look ugly” or “I look ______” (with a negative adjective there). Total them up. 

If it’s more than 0, start right here. Start with this blog. Join me every Monday, Thursday and Saturday (yes, three times in one week!) to discover (and love) a little more of you. Let’s go on this journey together.