Etsy Shop: shopgraceyourself

It's been a minute since my last post and I have something completely different for you today. I started an Etsy Shop! A lot of people have been cooking, baking, etc during this quarantine but I've been crocheting some dish scrubbies (and baking cookies hehe). At first, I was crocheting them as a hobby and to pass time being at home all day. But with some encouragement and ideas from people around me, I decided to turn it into a small business!

Crocheted dish scrubbies have been very popular in Korea. A lot of people make various kinds of scrubbies, from simple ones such as mine to ones with designs and different shapes. I have seen some of the crocheted scrubbies you can buy out there in stores or markets around town and they weren't cute. But this round one is super cute! I use Korean scrubby yarn and the quality is different from the ones you can find at JoAnns. (I'm telling you, these pictures do not do justice to its actual beauty!)
Lighting isn't very good at my house so it's a little difficult to take pictures that show the exact color of the product. I don't filter my photos in the hopes of bringing out the truest color. But I do white out the background of my photos when I take it against my white wall because it's kind of dim.๐Ÿ˜› If you want to see all the color options I have, you can go to my "shopgraceyourself" Instagram page. You can also go to my Etsy Shop to see pictures as well as the colors that are actually in stock.
Other than the simple round scrubbies, I also make these egg scrubbies. Aren't they super cute?! I found the mini frying pan at Daiso, and it was the perfect size for my egg scrubby. My mom is obsessed with all my scrubbies but especially with this one. She says they are her favorite. You can also see more pictures of this on my IG as well as my Etsy Shop.

And before I go, I wanted to do a shoutout for all my friends that have been very encouraging and supportive throughout this time. Thank you for purchasing, sharing and liking my posts and all of that good stuff! It's exciting to be able to use my talents to bring cute scrubbies to your guys' kitchens. They look cute in your kitchen, and they look cute in your guys' friends&families' kitchens. So if you need a little cute gift, you know where to find them.๐Ÿ˜‰

Mermade Hair Waver Tutorial/Review

My hair has been getting pretty long during this quarantine as I'm sure is the case for almost everyone else. I've been a huge fan of my short short hair for the past year or so, and this might be the record length ever since I started cutting my hair short. Although I'm dying to cut my hair again, this works out because of the new hair tool I get to play around with.
 I got the Mermade Hair Waver tool as a birthday present from my friends Jane and Allan. It's a very intimidating looking tool at first, kind of big and heavy. Definitely nothing like any other hair tools I've used or even seen! It's supposed to create this wavy look which is termed "mermaid hair" instead of the curls that we're used to.
It took a couple of tries to get the hang of it, and I think that's pretty good for a new hair tool! And you can click here to see me in action. ๐Ÿ˜Š
- don't start too high up (Thanks Jane for the tip!)
- use the tool with the back side up (press the clamp with your thumb)
- make sure to wear the glove to avoid burning your skin
- use heat protectant spray if you have one
- rest in between hair sections if needed, the tool is quite heavy and it can hurt your wrist
- trust the process (my first clump of hair usually doesn't turn out to my satisfaction but once the whole head is done, it ends up looking fine)

If you like this wavy look, I would definitely recommend this tool. It's different from your typical curls, and it's also different from crimping your hair. It works for medium length hair and long hair, you can go to their website or their Instagram page to check out how it looks on all kinds of hair lengths/colors. Although I've been really enjoying this look, I am planning on cutting my hair once my hair stylist is able to open and take me in. I'm hoping that even after I cut my hair, that I'd be able to use this tool to give me some waves. And I will give an update over on my Instagram when the time comes!

My Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

COVID-19 has been quite the experience for all of us. Such unprecedented times requiring us to stay home all day, for weeks and months. And then came baking.

I was really craving some chocolate chip cookies. Not the store bought cookies but some home baked, gourmet chocolate chip cookies. I was actually really craving the cookies that my friend Hedgie baked over Christmas, which had chocolate chips and walnuts. I'm not the biggest fan of nuts but I genuinely think those may have been THE BEST cookies I have ever had in my life. I knew I couldn't even get close to recreating what she baked, especially when I always considered myself more of a cooking kind of a gal and I like to just eyeball ingredients. Nonetheless, I felt an urge to want to bake so I tried 2 recipes I found online using the least amount of ingredients (I didn't want to have to spend money just to bake cookies) and found this easy to follow recipe. From this recipe, I made one batch after another, adjusting the sugar levels. To my surprise, I think I mastered my version of chocolate chip cookies. More than 15 people have tasted my cookies and everyone really enjoyed them!

- 7 tbsp of butter (salted or unsalted)
- 1 tbsp of brown sugar (= 3 tsp)
- 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar (=25 tsp)
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp of baking soda
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- chocolate

1. melt the butter in the oven as it's heating up (melt only 1/3-1/2 of the butter while preheating the oven to 350 degrees)
2. turn off the oven after you take the butter out (you can leave the oven on if you'd like, but i just felt more comfortable turning it off while i was waiting for the butter)
3. crush the rest of the butter so the whole thing is the same consistency (i use a rubber spatula)
4. put it in the freezer for a little bit (i didn't time this so i just check up on it to get the consistency i want) and it should not be solid but it should not be liquid
5. while waiting for the butter to cool down in the freezer, measure out the sugars (i use tsp for measurement because i lost my tbsp measuring spoon)
6. once the butter is ready, turn on the the oven so that it can preheat to 350 degrees then mix the butter with the sugar 
7. once butter and sugar is thoroughly mixed in, add the egg and mix in evenly
8. add the measured out flour, baking soda and salt into the mix
9. mix, mix, mix! it should look something like the photo below
10. time to add the chocolate of your choice
- semi sweet chocolate chips (my boyfriend liked this option better)
- bark thins (my family and other friends liked this option a lot)
-other toppings like nuts, if you want (i tried chocolate chips+walnuts and that was really good too)

*after the first few batches, i ran out of chocolate chips and i didn't want to buy more chocolate. we had these bark thins and i gave it a try. to be honest, it was excellent. and because this has sea salt in it, you don't have to add the salt. the dark chocolate is less sweet than the semi sweet milk chocolate chips, and the bits of almond also gives the cookie great taste.
11. break the pieces of bark and fold it into the cookie dough
12. place small balls of cookie dough on top of the cookie sheets on a baking pan
13. place in the oven let it cook for 10 minutes or until the tops and edges are slightly brown
14. let it sit and cool down (i like to move it to a different pan/rack to let it sit and cool off, since the pan itself is also hot from being in the oven and this was a tip i got from my friend Tao)
15. ready to eat!

I tried eating it with a scoop of ice cream when it was still soft and warm and my goodness, it was delicious. I also packed some cookies to give to my friends and family to try. They all loved it! I didn't know I could bake. Well, I can only bake cookies at this point but I guess I did impress quite a bit of people with them because some people actually said they would pay for these cookies. ๐Ÿคญ

I would love to know if you try this recipe, and how it turns out!

Mother's Day Quarantine Style

Celebrating Mother's Day in the midst of COVID-19 is definitely a whole new experience for all of us. Normally, my brother and I like to take our mom out for a nice meal but that was definitely not an option. I also didn't have money to get my mom a nice gift this time so I had to get creative. The moment I saw strawberries and the chocolate dipping kits at Ralphs, there was my answer. Affordable, delicious, beautiful and sentimental. It was the perfect idea and even more perfect was the idea of doing it with my boyfriend Patrick, and making one for his mom as well!

What you need:
- strawberries (we all know where you can get some)
- chocolate (my go to chocolate for dipping is the Dolci Frutta Hard Chocolate Shell, which I get from my local Ralphs)
- packaging (I looked around Daiso and found ribbon, heart shaped aluminum baking pans, clear vinyl gift bags, paper cups as well as baking paper)

1. wash the strawberries then dry them off with a paper towel
2. melt the chocolate following directions on packaging
3. lay out baking paper (you can alternatively use cooking foil as well)
4. dip the strawberry in the chocolate one by one and lay it on the baking paper
5. melt the drizzle chocolate packaging (this is the first time using this, but I cut the hole too big so I transferred it to a small ziplock bag and cut a smaller hole at one corner)
6. drizzle over the chocolate coat
7. let it sit!
8. start packaging however you want once the chocolate hardens

We put each strawberry in paper cups before placing it inside the aluminum baking pan, then slanted it in the pan so that I can fit as many strawberries as possible. Lastly, we placed 3 strawberries on top before tying the bag. Voila! This is a nice gift idea that can be done for any special occasion, especially if you're on a budget. Plus, it's so easy that anyone can do it! It was Patrick's first time doing this and he did a great job and we had fun putting this together. We even taste tested and it was delicious ๐Ÿ˜‹ I finished off with a little calligraphy note saying "Happy Mother's Day" to hook on the ribbon and we were ready to deliver it to our mothers.
I hope everyone has a great Mother's Day and for those who are unable to visit their mothers, don't forget to call/text them to remind them that you miss them and that you love them!

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