WITH KOREAN AUTHOR
Sangmi Ha is the mother of two beautiful boys, Chanyul Kim (8 years old) and Teayun Kim (10 years old). Her husband, Sunjung Kim, teaches Mathematics, and together they live in Pyeongchon, Anyang-si, South Korea. Sangmi Ha has always been interested in fashion and lifestyle and published her first book ‘Tae Bro’s House’ a few years ago.
We caught up with Sangmi Ha about her life in Pyeongchon, her book and her lifestyle tips, including a delicious Galette crepe recipe you can try at home with your little ones.
What made you want to publish a lifestyle book?
I think as I started to share my life and stories through social media, it resonated with a lot of people and got a lot of attention. This made me realise that as mothers, we have so much to say to one another. I wanted to put my stories in a book and add more details, from decorating the breakfast table, styling your kids, creating a cosy space at home etc. ‘Tae Bro’s House’ is like an album of memories for my boys, they love that it will always be recorded. Even though it’s been three years since it launched, I still get a lot of love from people for it. This is my first book, and I tried to be as honest as I could be. I love it.
Your boys have a great sense of style and you seem to be really interested in art and fashion. When did this passion start?
I think ever since I was little I had a natural sense of dexterity of hand. In my school days, my teacher recommended me to major in Art as I loved the subject, and although I didn’t end up going in that route, I feel that I live with my natural aesthetic sense in my daily life. Every weekend, I choose my children’s outfit and match with the colour that goes with them. Whilst plating the breakfast table, consider harmony and the colour as well. I think I’m pursuing an artistic lifestyle in every aspect of my life.
I think as I started to share my life and stories through social media, it resonated with a lot of people and got a lot of attention. This made me realise that as mothers, we have so much to say to one another.
Can you tell us more about where you live and how you usually choose to spend your weekend?
We live in Pyeongchon, Anyang, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. There is a lovely park near our house where we love to go and do outdoor activities with the kids. On the weekends, we love to go to nearby art galleries and neighbourhoods. The boys love art, they’ve grown up with it. From the time they toddled, I would take them to galleries often, whether they were nearby or others in various outside areas. I think it’s important to take the kids out and let them experience different local characteristics. Since we live in the city, it’s great to go out to the suburbs and experience nature and the countryside together. We can feel the change in seasons and all the beautiful differences between the city and country through these trips.
What is the one thing that you think is most important for kids to experience?
I think travelling is the most important experience kids can have.
My eldest son, Taeyun, has travelled to a lot of countries, and it opens up their mind to what is out there, I can see how this has affected him. I’ve travelled to Europe, London and Paris with him.
How was travelling alone with Taeyun?
I felt really daring and bold, I’ll never forget it! The two of us spending two weeks in an unknown place and being dependent on each other made us realise that we really have a great understanding and bond. I also saw him in a new light. A young seven-year-old boy is now mature enough to shoulder a big burden and be mummy’s partner on this trip.
We’ll always remember the numerous museums we visited, the historical arts we got to see in person and the beautiful skies of the places we went to. All lifelong treasures we’ll carry forever.
After coming back from my trip, I also had more energy in my daily life. I wanted to ensure that every day could be as special as travelling, which is why I try to be more creative in how my kids spend their time on weekdays too.
I think travelling is the most important experience kids can have.
What is the most important thing to you when educating your children?
My educational philosophy for my children is making them experience art and music activities to improve their creativity and sensitivity, making them read various types of books, making them play around and exercise rather than too much studying as normal Korean young students do these days, I want to make sure they learn as much about culture as possible. These are the thing that is the basis of my lifestyle I pursue.
What other things do you think have positive aspects of children’s growth?
I think reading various books is the most important thing for children who are growing up. As children grow up, it’s normal that they’ll be interested in toys and games, but I think reading books is something that needs to be continued throughout.
Exercise and play are also important to help kids release their energy, so I try to include as many sports as possible, like tennis, football and swimming.
I also think it’s important as parents to communicate effectively with their children and build up their confidence by telling them when they’re doing a great job, doing something together, and always being there for them.
You have a lot of delicious recipes in your book. What is your favourite weekend brunch menu?
Brunch is one of my favourite time to cook, as I get a little busy on weekdays. If I don’t have any special menu in mind, I make Mini gimbap (a Korean rice snack that is wrapped in seaweed). I’ve made it quite often that now I can do it in a really short time. I make it with carrots, spinach and bacon or rinse kimchi in water a little and add ham, cucumber and carrot. It is my kids’ go-to menu now. When the weather gets cold, I make pumpkin soup or broccoli soup with bread. Not long ago, I made a “Galette” which is a French dessert that I first tasted at a cafe, which was so delicious! I try to introduce my kids to new food and new flavours whenever I can.
What else do you like to do on weekends?
When the relaxed brunch is over, the boys like to play board games or Baduk(Go). Sometimes we also watch the premier league football games or Charlie Brown, which is funny enough even though we have seen it together several times
Then, they go to ride a bike or play football near the house. Now that they are big enough to play football together, I can have my own time on the grass with mat whilst kids play football. When the evening comes, we just make dinner together at home or go to our favourite Korean snack bars.
And finally, what’s the most important thing for you as a mother?
Of course, as parents, there are going to be times when we feel exhausted. But I am just so happy to see them grow up each day, watch the decisions they make and realise that they are becoming clever, cool, independent little people. I don’t expect them to ever be like other people. I love that they’re such individuals, and I am so happy to wake up to another day to be with my little ones. There is so much I haven’t shown or taught them about this big and wonderful world.
Recipe for Galette:
Crepes, Eggs, Butter, Sliced Bacon, Cheese (whatever cheese such as Emmental, Gruyère, Parmigiano-Reggiano will be good)
How to make:
Heat the pan and spread butter and lightly bake a crepe in low heat
Sprinkle as much cheese as you’d like and spread the sliced bacon. Add the beaten egg in the middle.
Fold crepes four times. Both sides up and down twice.
Finish with pepper and parmesan.
Eat with fruit or salad
With thanks to Sangmi Ha X