February 15 2019

The Best 1.5 Hours I’ve Ever Spent With My Husband

Last night, after the boys went to sleep, Sam and I started talking about the mental health podcast I’ve been wanting to create. This idea of starting one, which would be about successful people who have/had to deal with a mental illness, has been on my mind for months. I’ve been daunted by the task because of several reasons; having to learn the technical aspects of starting up a podcast, finding guests to interview, and the natural fear of being judged by my family and friends. I’ve always been open in sharing that I have bipolar, I’m not ashamed by it, in fact, I think it’s kind of cool. 🙂 Truth be told, I’m probably in a hypomanic stage right now, I only slept about three hours last night yet I’m full of energy and excitement about what the future holds.

I’m now in week 2 of my altMBA course yet I have to say that I’ve been changed. I’ve received so much helpful feedback from my fellow cohorts that it’s given me some clarity as to how I would structure the podcast. The first episode will be about sharing my personal story – starting from when I was young and having to deal with social anxiety to the present day, living with and managing being bipolar. When I look back at my life, now being almost 43-years-old, I can say that I’ve experienced social anxiety, PTSD, depression, and bipolar. Crazy, right?

The second episode would be hearing Sam’s side of the story about how I ended up in a mental hospital. He would talk about what life is like in a supporting role and how we somehow manage to live a life we love. (On a side note, that’s how I’d define success. It’s not about money or power, it’s about living a happy and fulfilling life.)

This got me thinking that I’d like to write a memoir, sharing my difficult life experiences and what lessons I’ve learned along the way. My hope would be that it would give others a glimpse into the life of someone who has dealt with several mental illnesses yet how a person can turn those experiences into something positive. If I can live through my mother’s suicide and being locked up in a mental hospital for six weeks, what can’t I overcome? I’ve learned how to be resilient, how to be the best mom I can be, and that having a mental illness doesn’t have to stop you from pursuing your dreams.

So back to last night. Sam and I were sitting on the couch when we decided to tape our conversation. We just started talking about my first psychotic break and how scary it was both for me and him. I told him what I last remembered, and he filled in all the details. At one point, I started to cry (ok, I cry easily), because I had no idea how much he did for me. Not only did he drive up every day from Temecula to the UCLA psych hospital to visit me (a 1.5 to 2 hr drive, one way), but he also checked in with the doctors, constantly asking for updates. I had family and friends who wanted to visit, so he created a schedule and gave everyone advice on what they should or should not say. He also had to deal with my loving but sometimes crazy sister who couldn’t understand what I was going through. In the hospital, she said, “Why can’t you just snap out of it?” Oh, if only I could.

It has now been five years since that hospital stay and I’ve gone into mania about once or twice a year. Depending on my level of stress, I can easily slip into hypomania, which my therapist correctly describes as “seductive.” In hypomania, you feel on top of the world, you hardly need any sleep, you feel more creative and less inhibited. But it’s a slippery slope, if I don’t increase my medication I fall off the cliff and my brain goes into overdrive. I start seeing patterns everywhere, ones that don’t make any sense, and I’m easily overstimulated. Even the sound of my boys raising their voices makes me extremely anxious so it’s hard to be present and be their mom.

I’m more motivated than ever to start this podcast. Inspired by Tim Ferriss, I’ll create six episodes and then see if this is something I really want to pursue. In the meantime, I’ll start jotting notes down about my life experiences and maybe they’ll end up in a book. One last thought we had was starting a YouTube channel where Sam and I discuss things like parenting, love, gratefulness, self-improvement and entrepreneurship. That one may be hidden for a while. Stay tuned…and thanks for taking this journey with me.

January 18 2019

Where Has Alice Gone?

As much I’d love to keep this blog updated, it’s been a huge challenge. I’ve been working full-time on making Skylar Yoo grow and, I’m proud to say, that she has! October was our first birthday. Sales were great in 4Q, especially in December when everyone was buying our women empowerment tees for their fierce female friends.

I’m starting a new chapter in my life soon. You may have heard of Seth Godin, he’s this marketing guru who has written 18 books, has one of the most popular blogs on the Internet and hosts an enlightening podcast called Akimbo. I took his Bootstrappers Workshop a few months ago, I’m in his Marketing Seminar and Podcasting Fellowship right now and on February 4th, I’ll be taking his intensive, 4-week online workshop called altMBA. Now, let me just tell you people that I was thrilled to have been picked as one of the 100 in this program – but I also had a huge case of anxiety! I started to go hypomanic just last week as I thought about how I’m going to manage my family, Skylar Yoo and altMBA all at once.

Just to give you an idea of the work involved, there are live, mandatory team meetings three days per week. These team meetings will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays for three hours a night and Sunday for eight hours!

So, basically, in February, I’m screwed. I’ll be a sad hermit with a hot laptop.

On a lighter note, I’ve found a new love for social media, namely Skylar Yoo’s Facebook page, my personal Twitter account, and my Instagram posts and stories. Here’s how I use them:

Skylar Yoo’s Facebook page: Inspiring and empowering articles and photos about girls and women.
My personal Twitter account: Latest news including topics on art, design, politics and female empowerment.
My Instagram posts and stories: IG posts are where I plan to write more about my personal life. IG stories is the fun place where I walk you through my day showing you my latest purchase (usually from Amazon), what I’ve been eating, books I’ve been reading, etc. It’s been fun showing you a peek inside my gratitude journal. (I suggest everyone get this one. It’s a great way to start the day!) I’m getting more daring these days and experimenting with videos of myself, which is HUGE for a shy, introvert like me. (Hey, gotta get out of your comfort zone to grow…can I get a hell yeah?!)

On top of all of this are two more things on the horizon. The first is something I’m experimenting with just for fun. I created a new Instagram account called @styledbyyoo which gives you a peek inside my closet. About two years ago, I fell in love with fashion and I thought it would be fun to see what it feels like to be in front of the camera. Ok, let me just lay it out there people, that shit is hard. Posing like a model is totally new and foreign to me and finding the perfect background is a huge challenge! I probably won’t be able to keep it up every day but I hope to get better and better at it. One side benefit to all of this is that my kids will finally have some photos of their mother. I’ve been in hiding during their whole childhood because I felt too insecure (ok, let’s just say it…fat) to be photographed. I want them to see me as a confident, strong, stylish mom. So boys, I’m doing this for you!

Lastly, I have a BIG project I’m going to tackle this year, 2019. I’m going to start a podcast about mentally ill people who are successful despite of or even because of it. I want to interview business leaders, athletes, and celebrities who have or had depression or anxiety and a person who has bipolar disorder (like me). What prompted this idea were articles I read recently that stated that 49% of entrepreneurs say they have struggled with some form of mental illness in the past and 32% say they have a lifetime illness. Aren’t those some wild statistics?

Mostly, I want to open up the discussion about mental health. I will openly share my own story in hopes that others will find the courage to share theirs. We need to make mental health a priority, people! We need to “Smash the Stigma.” (That’s what my podcast will be called.) Not only do I want people who have a mental illness to find hope in other people’s stories, I’d like those who know someone who has a mental illness learn how they can help. I believe, in my heart of hearts, that this is my calling.

Now, let’s save some lives and change the world!

December 7 2018

Awesome Emperor Penguin Lamp

As a person who’s obsessed with lighting (see balloon lamp below), I knew I had to have this when I first spotted it on my favorite art blog, Colossal. (Shout out to Christopher Jobson for keeping Colossal so fresh and exciting.) I can’t wait to build this baby with my husband, name him, and then greet him every day and night.

December 7 2018

Beautiful Balloon Lamp Lights Up My Life

I spotted this beautiful balloon lamp on Instagram and I immediately knew I had to have it. Sammy assembled it a few nights ago and set it up in our living room. Let me just tell you, people, that this thing is even more beautiful in person. It gives off the perfect amount of light! It’s playful and perfect. (The pictures don’t do it justice.)

December 3 2018

The Must-Have Item at Skylar Yoo

If I had to choose just one item that I love THE MOST at our shop, Skylar Yoo, it would be this…the pink faux fur coat. I’ve given out six of them out to my friends. (Our model loved it so much, we gave her one!) I wear this coat almost every day. (It gets chilly in our office and the mornings…brrrrr!) Gals, let me tell you that this will be the softest thing in your closet…and it keeps you extra warm and toasty! I wear it dolled up with a dress or down with a black tee and jeans. It feels like you’re being hugged by a teddy bear. Right now it’s on sale for $99 (from $149). We only have a limited supply so when they’re gone, they’re gone! (Not to sound sales pitchy but I’m telling you I swear by this coat!)

Buy it here: Pink Faux Fur Coat at Skylar Yoo

November 16 2018

Gorgeous New Dresses and Bold New Jackets at Skylar Yoo

I’m excited to announce to that we just launched a whole new set of clothes for you die-hard Skylar Yoo fans. Five new women empowerment tees with designs such as Woman Power and Wild Woman are now available in our shop but that’s not the exciting part. I’M SUPER THRILLED TO SHOW YOU OUR NEW JACKETS AND DRESSES! They are beyond beautiful.

Above: In pastel rainbow stripes, this head-turner is aptly named the Unicorn dress.


Our blush pink version worn with our white fringe jacket is a stunner.


This rainbow sequins dress is perfect for your next holiday party. It’s paired with the most comfiest coat you’ll ever wear. I promise. It’s like hugging a teddy bear! (In fact, I have it on right now.)


If you prefer the straight up colors of the rainbow, look no further. This fabulous flowly dress is for you.


Finally, add some omph to your everyday outfit by throwing on this bold fuchsia jacket. This piece makes a bold statement.

Shop all our new arrivals at Skylar Yoo!

September 17 2018

Favorite Fun Stuff

You’ll have to excuse my long absence. Kat (now our Creative Director) and I have been so busy taking care of Skylar Yoo that I haven’t had a moment to catch my breath and blog here. But I’m back! I’ll still share some personal stories but, for now, I thought I’d just show you some fun products popping up on my radar. Some are fashion related while others are just fun things that I’ve bought, received or seen this past month.

Favorite home item: This flower vase comes to life when you put in a leaf! How clever and cute. Not available for sale on Ha’s website. Darn! (Above)

Favorite kitchen item: These adorable cardinal glasses just got back in stock. In love with their design.

Favorite fashion item: I like fashion that’s funky or shiny. This New Balance vest is both “cool” and warm. Wish the zipper zipped all the way down but it’s still a fun staple.

Favorite jewelry: My sister-in-law and brother-in-law bought me this super gorgeous rainbow choker for my birthday! How lucky am I? It’s made of rainbow Swarovski crystals. So stunning. I’m going to pass this down to my niece one day. Every little girl who has seen me wearing it comments on how much she likes it. I LOVE IT!

Favorite purse: You know how much I love Gucci and how much I love rainbows, so it should come as no surprise that I fell in love with this. It’s made for younger girls but I’m going to rock it anyway.

Favorite shoes: Speaking of Gucci, I bought these beauties, justifying it that they’re now my classic, go-to shoes. They’re super comfortable and they go with practically everything. I like how you wouldn’t know it was Gucci unless you knew their colors.

Also loving these new Tom’s glitter flats. Bought a pair for me and my niece.

Favorite art: Recently stumbled across this artsy shop, Tictail. Loved this message.

Favorite drinks: I can’t find the link for this online. You’ll have to visit your nearest Trader Joe’s to find it. (It’ll be worth it!) It’s Trader Joe’s own organic cold pressed fuji apple spiced cider with cinnamon and clove. Delicious and refreshing!

OMG, I’m addicted to this. Thank you Amazon for carrying it, and for the easy one-click shopping button.

Favorite new toys: Because I had a crappy childhood, I decided that I’d recreate it by buying myself some toys. Hence, I’ve ordered or have: This My Little Pony, a Princess tent (that has stars!), Moana Maui’s magical fish hook and this Frozen Elsa doll that sings and lights up.

Favorite books: I’m currently reading The Happiness Advantage and Braving the Wilderness.

Best investment I made recently: Joining Seth Godin’s The Bootstrapper’s Workshop. Fantastic forum for budding entrepreneurs. Everyone is so caring and smart!

Best talks that have changed the way I see life: Rita Pierson’s, Brene Brown’s
and Amy Cuddy’s.

See you soon!

July 27 2018

Kindness Unexpected: A New Blog and Private Facebook Group

You know I’m a big fan of blogs and starting up new businesses. In fact, I have this idea right now brewing in my head that could disrupt a whole industry! For now, I’ll share with you a brand new blog and private Facebook group that’s all about random acts of kindness. You can read about why I started it here. The Facebook group is private so you don’t have to worry about all your friends seeing your posts or comments. Each person is vetted by three questions. I hope it’ll be a safe, cool place to share ideas on how to make someone’s day. Let’s make the world a better place!

You can apply to become a part of the private Facebook group, here. Hope you’ll join!

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