a blog by jennifer cho salaff

Friday, January 30, 2015

Breakfast serial

I'm a little late to the party but I'm sure glad I made it nonetheless. Have you listened to the true-crime podcast Serial? I downloaded the first episode last week and I'm halfway through the first season (12 episodes total).

It's so good!!

If you've been living under a rock for the past three months, here's what Serial (a spin-off of This American Life) is all about. This is the synopsis of the first episode:

It's gripping, irresistible and can't-put-my-iPhone-down good. I have mad respect for co-creator and host Sarah Koenig. Her reporting is top-notch. For her, Serial was never about entertainment but journalism. 

I'm hooked and I've integrated this into my morning routine. 

Serial with my breakfast.    

Will there be a Serial season two? (Hollywood Reporter)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ice, ice baby

Look at these magnificent ice formations my friend Hilary captured while visiting Lake Erie a few weeks ago. Mother Nature's frozen sculptures are absolutely mesmerizing.

The form below looks like a thin old man with a long white beard, sitting hunched over with his bony knees pointing toward the sky. The next sculpture reminds me of funnel cake. Can you see it? 

And I have to point out Hilary's chic winter attire. The woven oatmeal scarf, fitted parka, those mustard yellow gloves and that adorable knit cap with pom pom. You are a stylish adventurer, my friend! 


Photos courtesy Hilary Bovay.
Star Wars' wampa isn't on Hoth. It's here in Cleveland!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Links jan28


  • Three brothers brilliantly recreated childhood photos to make a wonderfully nostalgic calendar for mom. (Sunny Skyz)
  • A bad (but hilarious) lip-reading of the NFL. (247 Sports)
  • Making amends with those who trespass against you is good for your health. (The Atlantic)
  • And you probably had no idea that the world's largest vacuum chamber is here in Cleveland. (BBC)

Photo via Sunny Skyz.

Morning coffee

Am I right or am I right? :)

Best cold brew coffee in Cleveland.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

This week's obsession: oil of oregano

Last year, I was sick more times than what is normal. "Normal" for me is coming down with a cold once or twice a year. But getting blasted five or six times, then closing out the year with the flu? 2014 was rough.

A few months ago, I told my cousin Shana how puzzled I was by my seemingly suppressed immune system. "Has anything changed?" she asked me. "Are you eating anything different? Are you exercising? Getting enough sleep?"

"Nothing significant has changed in terms of my diet or lifestyle," I told her. "I'm eating everything I normally eat. Trying to drink lots of water. I'm getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night. Exercising -- not very consistently but what mother of young children does?"

I was frustrated. I couldn't nail down one particular thing that was making me sick all the time. Sure, the kids brought home germs from school. And living on Hoth for six months certainly didn't help.

When Shana visited us over the holidays, she came armed with all kinds of natural and homeopathic remedies. Oil of oregano, oscillococcinum, an immune support herbal supplement, zinc throat lozenges. She was my one-woman immune support angel!

For the past month, I've been incorporating a new regimen into my routine: 

  • I put two drops of oregano oil and 2 mL of this herbal immune support elixir in a glass of water and drink
  • I do this every morning and every evening

Apparently, oil of oregano is a powerful antioxidant and has strong antibacterial properties. Hippocrates used oregano oil as an antiseptic. Scientists and natural health enthusiasts claim it fights colds and flu, keeps the digestive tract healthy and soothes problem skin. Even Lena Dunham swears by it ("It's literally life-changing for me," she gushes in the February issue of Elle).

I use this brand of oregano oil.
You can find it at Whole Foods for $30.

I'm also using oil of oregano for trouble spots on my face (read: those pesky zits!). I mix equal parts oregano oil and water in a small amber glass vial with dropper. I squeeze one or two drops on a cotton swab and apply directly to my skin. The downside: you go to bed smelling like a pizzeria. The upside: the swollen red bumps shrink by morning. (Warning: pure, undiluted oil of oregano is powerful stuff. If you don't mix with water or another carrier oil, like jojoba or grapeseed oil, it will burn! Take extra care NOT to get any of it in your eyes.)

Of course, consult with your doctor or wellness expert if you have any questions or concerns about the uses of oregano oil. I personally love it because it's all natural. The stuff has existed here on God's green earth since the beginning of time. Good enough for me.    

Photo from Urban Farm Hub.