Tuesday, April 30, 2019

My 9-step bedtime beauty routine

Wednesday, April 24, 2019


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Why conflict is good

I was sitting at the kitchen table with Izzy recently. It was one of those calm, contemplative afternoons. All was quiet in the house. We simply enjoyed each other's company. She ate her after school snack while I dotingly watched her like the mama bear I am.

While chomping on her cheesy quesadilla, Izzy's eyes traveled to a book she had recently checked out from the library. "How's the book?" I asked.

"Hmmm... it's kind of boring," she replied.

"Really? The cover makes it look good," I observed. "A cute cat who makes really cute crafts? Seems fun!"

Izzy paused.

"Yeah, but there's nothing interesting going on in the cat's life. Everything goes her way. There's no conflict. It's boring."

Wow. From the mouth of babes.

Just when you think you have all this wisdom to pass along, wisdom from life experience and from being a grown-up, you're reminded - Nope! - often kids are our teachers.

You know what, Izzy? You're absolutely right! Challenges are what make life interesting. Conflict in a storyline makes characters come to life. Conflict is relevant. Who doesn't love a juicy bad guy? Who doesn't jump for joy when the protagonist triumphs despite adversity? How we handle conflict reveals our character. Just like resistance in a good workout makes our muscles grow, conflicts are opportunities for soul growth.

"The hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life."

Needless to say, Izzy returned that cat book to the library and is now reading about the adventures of a young girl who must try to rescue her kidnapped mother with the assistance of a mysterious amulet.  

The powerful bond between mother and daughter.

Monday, April 22, 2019

All-natural zit zapper

Do you have problem skin, like I do? 

I've probably spent most of my adult "beauty life" thinking about my complexion - specifically how to keep the zits at bay. In my teens I chalked it up to puberty. In my 20s, I tried everything I could get my hands on from dermatologist-prescribed pills and topical medications to drugstore finds and painful chemical peels. The 30s arrived and I experienced the best skin of my life during pregnancy and some of the worst thanks to what the doctor called "hormonal acne."

Eventually, my face got sick of it. The poking, the prodding, the scrubbing and fussing. The pharmaceuticals sitting on top of my skin and coursing through my veins. Enough. 

Now that I'm in my 40s, something has shifted in my skincare and I've recently started transitioning to clean, non-toxic, earth-friendly beauty products.

I swear by this nourishing face oil. I double wash, starting with this amazing rosehip cleansing oil. I love this vitamin E eye cream and this gorgeous-smelling and super emollient night creamAnd my latest discovery for sure-fire zit zapping is this all-natural and super effective serum with zinc and copaiba. It's a bit pricey at $78 a bottle. But if you use a pea-size amount nightly, I predict it'll last a pretty long time.

What zit zappers have been effective for you?

(p.s. This is not a sponsored post. Just a good old-fashioned recommend from one beauty seeker to another.)  

Another great zit zapper

Sunday, April 14, 2019

It's time for an Asian president

Ronny Chieng on why we need more Asians in America: Asians could successfully mediate racial tensions; there would be no government shutdown if Asians were in charge; and how we would benefit with an Asian president in the White House. 

"Get that Asian president in the White House, we will fix this place in a week," he argues. "Give us a solid eight days, you will see results!"

I can't quite put my finger on it, but I like this guy. He makes a lot of sense. ;)

Why Bill Gates wants to reinvent the toilet. (The Daily Show)

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Better living at 432 Hz / love, -j. podcast S1E1

I experienced a sound bath for the first time when I attended the Dreamtopia workshop in LA last month. As I shared in an earlier post, it changed my life.

For the inaugural episode of the love, -j. podcast I'm thrilled to  bring you an interview with scientist and sound alchemist Shanila Sattar, the fearless woman who guided me through that first sound bath.   

Founder of AlwaysPlay, an LA-based meditation and wellness studio, Shanila applies powerful sound healing modalities, breath work and neurolinguistic programming to help us open our hearts, release our anxieties, and reconnect with our playful selves. It may sound a little weird at first, but believe the skeptic in me. Grounded in science and research, there is something truly special that happens in our bodies at 432 Hz.  

From metaphysical to mainstream. (The New York Times)