Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Baby of the Month Contest

We will be announcing the Baby of the Month on Thursday. If you haven't entered the drawing, you still have 1 day left! The winner will receive a traditional podaegi.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking for great Dol Invitations?

Recently someone asked if we did custom dol invitations which got me thinking...that is not a bad idea. Little Seouls just added custom invitations!! Prices start at $32.99 for 25 cards and envelopes.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Korean Food Court

Recently we went to the Koreatown Plaza in Los Angeles. We love going there for their food court. It's kid-friendly and you have an array of different Korean foods, even non-Korean such as Sushi and Pho. We also like the fact that it's relatively affordable.

Usually any city with a big Korean population will have some type of Korean food court. It's a great way to try different Korean foods without breaking the bank. The hard part is figuring out which one to order.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Little Seouls Blog on vacation!

As of Monday, we will be on vacation till the 26th. Till then, have a Merry Christmas! Little Seouls store will be OPEN.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Korean Baby Comedy

Baby and I, "A gi wa na" was released in Korea late this summer. It is a comedy of a rebellious, troublemaker teen, who discovers a baby left abandoned in need of his care. The movie shares his journey of looking for breast milk and "fathering" him. Cast includes Jang Guen-seok, Moon Mason and Kim Byeol. Film directed by Kim Jin-Yeong.

If anyone has seen the movie, tell us what you think! I have yet to see the movie.

Photo taken from

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Check out Made Easier at Little Seouls

Now you can pay directly by credit card instead of going through paypal or google checkout at Little Seouls. We received your suggestions to make the checkout process more user friendly, so we just added this new option. You can still checkout using paypal and google checkout for those who prefer purchasing that way.

And we also have added a contact phone number in case you want to talk with us. If you leave a message, we try our best to call you back as soon as possible.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gifts of Fruit?

With Christmas and New Year's coming up, it is very common to bear gifts when visiting relatives. Probably the most common gift is the fruit box. Most fruit is very expensive in Korea so they are thought of as a great gift who doesn't like to eat fruit? Here are some pictures of how they are displayed in Korea. Did you notice the prices?? 59,000 won at one point was equivalent to $60!

These fruit boxes are also available at most Korean Supermarkets in the US. So next time you visit your friends or relatives, bring them a fruit box!

Photos from The Daily Kimchi blog.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Don't forget to ask for Eggi Kook Bap!

I don't know about you, but I just LOVE that most Korean restaurants will provide soup and rice "eggi kook bap" for your baby for free. :) For those of you that don't know, most Korean restaurants will provide some type of mild broth soup for babies, usually its seaweed soup or white radish soup. But you have to ask them for this as most waitresses won't provide it unless requested. Its like an unspoken understanding that Korean restaurants provide this as a service. Its great because it allows us, parents, to order spicy dishes, without having to worry about what our babies will eat.

If you go to a Soon-Du-Bu (Tofu soup) House , the baby soup will likely be a non-spicy bowl of soon-du-bu which is perfect for babies since its soft and easy to eat, as well as nutritious!

Monday, December 15, 2008

In South Korea, the good life is a full-service bathhouse

SEOUL: When Koreans evoke the good life, they often talk of a "warm back and full stomach."

Nowhere has the Korean penchant for finding a hot floor to lie on (a feature of every traditional house) and eating one's fill found fuller expression than in the jjimjilbang, the 24-hour-a-day public bathhouse.

But calling the jjimjilbang a bathhouse hardly begins to describe its attractions.

"Here, you take a bath and a sauna. But you can also eat, sleep, date, watch television, read, play computer games. It's one-stop total service in the Korean way of relaxing," said Kim Eun Yeong, 40, who teaches Japanese at Hanyang University in Seoul.

On this day, Kim was relaxing at World Cup Spaland, one of the city's largest jjimjilbang. She had just crawled out of an igloo-shaped room. Inside, on a pile of snow-white rock salt huddled a dozen men and women, all clad in identical yellow T-shirts and shorts. The temperature inside the room, appropriately called a kiln, was 100 degrees Celsius (212 Fahrenheit).

Before moving on to other forms of jjimjil, or saunas, Kim was taking a breather in a large common area with a heated floor. Beads of sweat rolled down her face.

Sprawled about her were men, women and children, some asleep, their heads resting on wooden block pillows. Others were watching a soap opera on a wall-hung TV. Kim's 9-year-old son, Cho Yoon Geun, was reading a comic book.

"My family comes here at least once a month," Kim said. "When my friends and I want to get together, we say, 'Let's meet at a jjimjilbang.' We even held our school reunion here."

Although Korean villagers had long bathed in streams, the first public bathhouse was not built until 1925, mostly to cater to Japanese colonialists. The institution quickly became part of Korean social life. Most neighborhoods had one. Inside, patrons sat in or around large, sex-segregated baths filled with scalding water, gossiping and scooping water with gourds. Scrubbing other bathers' backs, even strangers', was common practice.

Being taken to a public bath for a no-nonsense scrub by their mothers until skin turned pink and eyes welled with tears is every Korean adult's childhood memory. (Sometimes arguments broke out in the women's tub if a boy was considered too old to be there.)

But the bathhouse's fortunes declined in recent decades as Koreans began outfitting their homes with showers. So they evolved, adding steam rooms and hiring professional body scrubbers. Then they added barbers and hair salons, and eventually sleeping rooms, where harried salary-earners could shower and nap during the day.

By the late 1990s, many of them had turned into jjimjilbang recreation complexes, as much a part of Korean social life as going to the movies. In 2006, there were more than 13,400 in the country, including 2,779 in Seoul. Some can accommodate thousands of people at once.

Because they are open around the clock, and relatively inexpensive, they have attracted budget-minded travelers. Some have long-term guests. Recently the government banned minors from jjimjilbang without an adult escort between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. after it was reported that they were becoming havens for runaways.

At the front counter, customers pay about 8,000 won, or $7, pick up their top and shorts and a towel and enter the sex-segregated bath halls. There, for an extra fee, they can be scrubbed. The customer lies on a table clad in nothing but soapsuds, as a scrubber with exfoliating mitts scrapes down his or her body, flipping it over with the dexterity of a fishmonger.

From the bathing halls, patrons of both sexes step out into what looks like a hotel lobby, giant living room and shopping mall combined. Here, people dressed in the identical top and shorts are sitting or lying on the communal heated floor or roaming about.

Mothers indulge themselves at the beauty salon. Fathers huff on treadmills or nap in the "oxygen room." Young couples lie side by side on the floor watching movies in the video room. Teenage boys bang away at keyboards in the Internet game room. Some jjimjilbang have karaoke rooms, concert halls, swimming pools, even indoor golf ranges. When hunger strikes, patrons go to the cafeteria, where, again, they sit on a heated floor as they eat.

But a jjimjilbang's reputation owes much to its sauna theme rooms.

In heated huts permeated with the aroma of mugwort (important in traditional medicine), patrons sit in silence, concentrating on the act of sweating. Sometimes the walls are studded with stones - jade, amethyst - that many Koreans believe emit healing rays when heated.

Koreans often say they are drawn to a jjimjilbang because they miss the ondol, the heated floor Korean families slept on until they began moving to high-rise apartments and Western-style beds.

"The first thing we Koreans think of when we're feeling stiff and sore is lying on a hot floor," said Lee Jae Seong, 35, who works for a TV station.

Lee and other patrons at World Cup Spaland were lying on a row of heated "massage cots." Under a heat-trapping hood, the cots' knobby surface undulated like a slow wave, kneading tight muscles.

Chun Byung Soo, who opened World Cup Spaland five years ago at Seoul's World Cup soccer stadium, said the pioneers of jjimjilbang were inspired by the ancient Korean custom of crawling into charcoal or pottery kilns for heat therapy.

The busiest time is winter. But Koreans huddle inside jjimjilbang furnaces in summer as well, in the name of "fighting heat with heat."

Not everything is hot. World Cup Spaland has a cold room that looks like a meat locker, with frosted pipes lining its walls. Jjimjilbang fanatics say there is nothing better for the metabolism than alternating between a kiln and a cold room.

The communal nature of the jjimjilbang comes naturally to Koreans, who until recently lived as extended families.

Traditionally, Korean fathers liked to take their sons, and mothers their daughters, to bathhouses. Rubbing each other's backs has been a time-honored way of building parent-child bonds. Unlike the old bathhouses, which had no common area for men and women, jjimjilbang bring the whole family together.

"We don't consider someone a real friend until we take a bath together," said Han Jae Kwan, 25, a college student.

His girlfriend, Yang Eun Jeong, agreed: "We women also believe we become closer when we get naked and bathe together."

The two were playing the board game Go after emerging from the sauna. Since most young Koreans live with their parents until they marry, jjimjilbang have become popular places for couples to spend time together.

"We often come here on a date," Han said. "At a café, the owner gives you an unwelcome look after a few hours if you don't order more. But here, you can stay as long as you want."

Yang winces at some scenes in the jjimjilbang: young couples kissing, or the girl sleeping with her head on her boyfriend's arm, in a room full of strangers.

Snoring is another problem, when people doze off on the heated floor. So are the potential complications of so many people sleeping together.

"At night, many different families sleep on the same large floor," said Kim, the Japanese instructor. "Sometimes, they get mixed up while they're sleeping. It can be embarrassing."

Written by Choe Sang-Hun for the International Herald Tribune

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Korean baths

Being raised in the states, I've never had the opportunity to go to a real Korean bath house called jjimjilbang. But growing up my mom would give my sister and I a deep scrub bath once a week. She would basically use her thumbs or a special bath towel to scrub all our dead skin cells. When we were done, the bath looked so filthy! The dead skin cells are called Ddeh.

The Koreans believe that this scrubbing enables toxins to be eliminated. They also say that it makes your skin softer and that you have better circulation.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bok Joomoni (Money Bag)

After a recent customer request for the money bags, we thought it would be great to offer these at Little Seouls. Great little item for New Year's! These are the money bags kids would use to put their sebae money into (See previous post about sebae).

They're only $2.50 each and would make a great stocking stuffer! If you order more than 10, they're only $1.99 each.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our hearts go out to the Yoon family

If you have not heard, there was a tragic plane crash in San Diego that killed a Korean family. The plane malfunctioned and crashed into the home of the Yoon family, where the wife, newborn, 15 month old, and grandmother all died. The father/husband was out working.

Our prayers go out to him and his family.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


What is Taeglish, you ask? It's Korea's newest craze of learning English while learning Tae Kwon Do. It's becoming quite popular among Korean children as parents will try anything for education. Basically, the Tae Kwon Do master will shout a command in English and the students will respond back in English. What a fun way to combine education with physical activity! Wouldn't it be great if there was "Taeorean?" It would be a great alternative for children to learn Korean instead of the traditional method of a boring classroom setting. I know I would sign up my kids in a heartbeat!

Here's a clip from New Tang Dynasty TV that I found on the website

Monday, December 8, 2008

Rain singing Christmas Song

Here is Korea's mega super-star Rain ("Bi") singing "Last Christmas." Thought we include this to bring in some Christmas cheer.

Christmas in Korea

Christmas, although celebrated, is not a big holiday, compared to Chuseok and Lunar New Years, in Korea. Most Koreans will keep it simple by giving a few gifts and attending church service on Christmas morning. Amusement Parks and shopping centers will have Christmas decor and celebrations but most families do not get into decorating trees and filling their home with holiday cheer like we do in the U.S. Remember Christmas is a relatively "new" holiday compared to Chuseok and New Year's.

(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Great stocking stuffers under $6.99!

These fit perfectly into a stocking. These Pororo chopsticks are so user friendly that even my 2 year old likes to eat with them. They are priced at $6.99. And these children's house slippers are so adorable and come with matching adult sizes as well. The chidren's size is only $5.99.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Korean New Year's Day "Seollal" Sebae

On New Year's Day, Korean's do a formal greeting bow to their elders called sebae. In return the elders hand out crisp new bills to the children. It is also customary for adults and children to wear hanboks.
To learn how to sebae, please click here.
To learn more about the Seollal, click here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baby of the Month Contest

We are now taking entries for next month's Baby of the Month Contest. Just email us at and let us know that you want to enter your child for the Baby of the Month Contest. Please include your baby's name, age and permission to post your child's picture on the website for the contest. You can re-enter the contest as many times as you like, just email us and let us know that you would like to be included in the next month's drawing. However, if you have won before, we ask that you wait 12 months before re-entering to give others a chance at winning.

The prize for January will be a traditional Korean baby carrier, otherwise known as a podaegi.

Traditional Korean Baby Carrier - Podaegi

Koreans have a long history of carrying babies on their backs. If I close my eyes and think of an image of a Korean "halmoni" (grandma) carrying a baby, I visualize her carrying the baby on her back with a podaegi. Many Korean children are cared for by their grandmothers during the day while their parents are working....and I'm guessing that is why the podaegi is still in use despite the emergence of new updated designs.
Or maybe its because its economical to have one in addition to the having the more pricier chunei brands. I know for me, podaegis bring back feelings of comfort and tradition.

The traditional Korean podaegi is great to have as your second carrier for around the house. Its very comfortable for the baby as it is basically a blanket with straps. Its a great time to buy one right now at Little Seouls as we are having 20% OFF SALE on ALL Traditional Korean Podaegis at Litte Seouls!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Yute, a traditional Korean game

Yute or Yute No Ri is a popular traditional Korean game usually played on New Years Day (or Lunar New Years). Everyone sits on the floor on top of a mat or towel. There are four sticks, called "yute karak." You throw them in the air and depending on how they land is how you score. An easy and fun game for the whole family! Available now at Little Seouls!

Monday, December 1, 2008

December Baby of the Month Winner

Here is our winner Eun Hae wearing a traditional Korean hanbok. We would like to thank all of those who entered this month's drawing. It is always a joy to see all the beautiful children! You can enter or re-submit your child for next month's drawing by emailing us at