April 22 2018

One Book A Day #3: Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh

I decided that day three would be dedicated to mindfulness. It’s a topic that I’m interested in learning more about, to really live in the present and not worry about the past or future. It sounds so easy to do but I know it takes a tremendous amount of practice.

I was introduced to the Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh by my father-in-law, who practices his walking meditation. Nhat Hanh coined the term “Engaged Buddhism” which refers to Buddhists who are seeking ways to apply the insights from meditation practice and dharma teachings to situations of social, political, environmental, and economic suffering and injustice. When he was just a teenager, he left home to become a Zen monk. He’s taught at Columbia University and was nominated by Martin Luther King Jr. for the Nobel Peace Prize. Can you believe how many books this monk has written? Over 100 with more than 40 in English! I could go on and on about Nhat Hanh, he’s established schools, built healthcare clinics, and helped rebuild villages, but it’s time to get down to business.

Brief Synopsis: Peace is Every Step reminds us that we can find peace in any available moment. To him, a ringing bell can be a gentle reminder to call us back to our true selves. He’s a firm believer in practicing mindfulness, truly experiencing the present moment, everywhere we can, in the kitchen, driving a car or even walking in a park. He provides exercises to increase awareness of our own mind through conscious breathing and he shares beautiful poems that you can’t help but want to remember. His thought-provoking, beautiful stories will captivate you and will really make you see how we’re all interconnected.

Top 5 Quotes:

“Breathing in and out is very important, and it is enjoyable. Our breathing is the link between our body and our mind. Sometimes our mind is thinking of one thing and our body is doing another, and mind and body are not unified. By concentrating on our breathing, ‘In’ and ‘Out,’ we bring body and mind back together, and become whole again. Conscious breathing is an important bridge.”

“While we practice conscious breathing, our thinking will slow down, and we can give ourselves a real rest. Most of the time, we think too much, and mindful breathing helps us to be calm, relaxed, and peaceful. It helps us stop thinking so much and stop being possessed by sorrows of the past and worries about the future. It enables us to be in touch with life, which is wonderful in the present moment.”

“We usually think that parents have to nourish their children, but sometimes the children can bring enlightenment to the parents and help transform them.”

“One word, one action, or one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring him joy. One word can give comfort and confidence, destroy doubt, help someone avoid a mistake, reconcile conflict, or open a door to liberation. One action can save a person’s life or help him take advantage of a rare opportunity. One thought can do the same, because thoughts always lead to words and actions. If love is in our heart, every thought, word, and deed can bring about a miracle.”

“The secret to happiness is happiness itself. Wherever we are, any time, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, the wonder of our breathing. We don’t have to travel anywhere else to do so. We can in touch with these things right now.”

A Good Story: Nhat Hanh has a friend who is an artist. Forty years ago, before he left Vietnam, his mother held his hand and told him, “Whenever you miss me, look into your hand, and you will see me immediately.” Over the years, his friend would look into his hand many times. He feels her spirit and her hopes. When he looks into his hand, he sees thousands of generations before him and thousands of generations after him. He never feels lonely.

Takeaway Tips:

We have the ability to transform our lives right now. Practicing mindfulness can be something we incorporate into our daily lives.

When we look at our parents with compassion, we can see that they were only victims who never had a chance to practice mindfulness. They could not transform the suffering in themselves. If we can see them with compassionate eyes, we can forgive them.

The essence of love and compassion is understanding, the ability to recognize the suffering of others and put ourselves in their shoes. We can meditate about a person who is suffering and not just say “I love him very much” but instead “I will do something so that he will suffer less.”

My Biggest Takeaway:

I recently had a fight with my husband Sam and both of us had been stewing over seemingly nothing for a few days. There’s this chapter in the book called Living Together that talks about, how when we live together, happiness is no longer an individual matter. “If the other person is not happy, we will not be happy either.” He suggests saying to your partner, early on, “Darling, I think we’d better discuss a conflict I see growing.” The root cause of most problems is a lack of understanding. If we can stop a fight before it gets worse, and recognize the misunderstanding, we can easily untie the knot.

Who is This Book For?: Anyone who is open to studying mindfulness. If you feel overwhelmed with life and need to find ways to enjoy it more, read this book.

Why Do I Recommend This Book?: I decided that from now on, I’ll only write about books I love. I started reading a book today and had to stop a quarter of the way in because it didn’t speak to me. That’s why I’m changing “Do I Recommend This Book” to “Why Do I Recommend This Book?”

I recommend this book because the simple stories make you smile. It’s light but deep.

April 20 2018

One Book A Day #2: High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard

I came across this book from listening to a “girl boss” podcast. Brendon Burchard is a #1 New York Times best-selling author and “the world’s leading high performance coach.” His latest book, High Performance Habits, was a Wall Street Journal best-seller and named by Amazon as one of its top three best business and leadership books of 2017. So was it good? Well, I can tell you that it was long! I actually started reading this a few weeks ago, I was halfway through it so I only had to read the other half in one day. Still that took me a few solid hours. However, because it was so motivational, it felt like the time just flew by.

Brief Synopsis: High Performance Habits is the culmination of Brendon Burchard’s two decades of studying extraordinary people. “What made them succeed?,” he wondered. He dug deep and decided to write a book about six habits you need to become a high performer. Here it is: you must seek clarity, generate energy, raise necessity, increase productivity, develop influence, and demonstrate courage. (There, now you don’t need to buy the book. Kidding!)

Top 5 Quotes:

“You simply can’t beat the norms if you’ve driven yourself into the ground. As it turns out, high performers’ sustained success is due in large part to their healthy approach to living. It’s not just about achievement in a profession or in just one area of interest. It’a about creating a high performance life, in which you experience an ongoing feeling of full engagement, joy, and confidence that comes from being your best self.”

“High performers love challenges and are more confident that they will achieve their goals despite adversity.”

“Demonstrate courage by expressing your ideas, taking bold action, and standing up for yourself and others, even in the face of fear, uncertainty, threat or changing conditions. Courage is not an occasional act, but a trait of choice and will.”

“Clarity on who you are is associated with overall self-esteem. This means that how positive you feel about yourself is tied to how well you know yourself…That’s why self-awareness is so key to initial success. You have to know who you are, what you value, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and where you want to go. This kind of knowledge makes you feel better about yourself and about life.”

“Next, you need to have unambiguous and challenging goals. Decades of research show that having specific and difficult goals increases performance, whether those goals are created by you or assigned to you. Clear ‘stretch’ goals energize us and lead to great enjoyment, productivity, profitability, and satisfaction in our work.”

Adding a 6th Quote (because it’s just that good):

“The fundamentals of becoming more productive are setting goals, and maintaining energy and focus. No goals, no focus, no energy – and you’re dead in the water.”

A Good Story: Backstage at a conference that gathered 15,000 people, a girl named Aurora, an Olympics medal winner, asked Burchard,” Are you always this on?” She meant energized and happy. He asked, “Why?” She went on, “But aren’t you nervous? I feel like I’m going to be sick. I can’t keep my thoughts in order. You look so relaxed. How do you get so confident?” To which Burchard replied,”I definitely wouldn’t say I’m calm! I feel plenty of nerves, too, but I’m not really thinking about it. I’ll worry about the 15,000 when I get to them. I was just enjoying my conversation with you.” He coaches her, “You’re a champion. Now, how does this champion sitting right here in front of me want to connect with her people today?” She says, “I want to love on them. I want them to know I got a medal because of their support.” Finally, he says, “Then go love on them. Let that be your emotion. Let that be your message.” She kisses him on the cheek. “You’re right, Brendon” she says, “I’m a hundred pounds of love. Let’s go love up on these people.”

Statistics or Research:

People who set goals and regularly self-monitor them are almost two and a half times more likely to attain their goals!

Studies have shows that having a specific plan to your goal can more than double the likelihood of achieving it. (Got to plan, baby!)

We spend over 28% of our workweek managing emails and on other worthless activities, things that have nothing to do with real productivity.

Did you know that the average American watches four to five hours of television a day!?

Takeaway Tips:

Burchard talks about honoring the struggle. He sees struggle as part of growing our character. Struggles will either destroy us or develop us and ultimately that’s our choice. View struggles as stepping-stones to strength and high performance.

Live a life that’s yours. Don’t seek the approval of doubters. Express your own truth and pursue your own dreams.

Slow down, say no often and be more strategic.

Who is This Book For?:

People who are want to be the best person they can be whether that means being an Olympic athlete or a CEO.

Entrepreneurs who are trying to figure out what can make them successful.

My Biggest Takeaway: After having clarity on who you are, you must think about what you want or what your specific goals are. Then, you create a clear plan. As I was eating dinner with a friend and telling her about my business, Skylar Yoo, she asked me, “So, what’s your goal?” I was dumbstruck. Why didn’t I have goals written down? With no goals, I had no plans, which meant I just aimlessly went about my day, answering emails and trying to manage advertising campaigns. This book and that conversation made me realize that it all starts with goals. Write them down, share them with your employees, and then create plans to achieve them. As Burchard writes, “Productivity starts with goals.”

Do I Recommend This Book?: Absolutely! A lot of this book is common sense but the author makes you believe that anyone can be a high performer, you don’t have to be superhuman. You just have to develop strong habits like thinking more before acting and planning everything out, from your workouts and your meetings to your vacation time. If anything, you’ll be inspired to be the best version of yourself!

April 19 2018

One Book A Day #1: Essentialism by Greg McKeown

I did it! Despite the fact that it was the day of my kindergarten son’s first play, I managed to squeeze in enough time to read a book cover to cover. (This is a big feat because it’s a frickin’ jam packed work day!) First book up is Essentialism by Greg McKeown!

I bought this book years ago (it came out in 2014) but all of the content that’s in there is very relevant for anyone who’s leading a busy life. I’m going to follow a specific format for these 365 book reviews so it’s easy for you to skip to your favorite parts.

Brief Synopsis: Once we know our purpose in a project and we do our work well, this leads to success. What happens then? New opportunities arise. You think this is a good thing but these options unintentionally distract us and steal our time. We lose clarity and we start spreading ourselves too thin. Instead of really contributing to a project or, in a larger sense, this world, we’re pulled in a million different directions. The only way out? To live as an Essentialist. What does that mean? It means living a simpler life where you explore and evaluate all the options, eliminate most of them and then execute only on what’s truly important. This leads us to a life of meaning and purpose.

Top 5 Quotes:

“Ask three questions: ‘What do I feel deeply inspired by?’ and ‘What am I particularly talented at?’ and ‘What meets a significant need in this world?’…We are looking for the highest level of contribution: the right thing the right way at the right time.”

“What if society stopped telling us to buy more stuff and instead allowed us to create more space to breathe and think?”…What if instead of we celebrated how much time we had spent listening, pondering, meditating, and enjoying time with the most important people in our lives?”

“Working hard is important. But more effort does not necessarily yield more results. ‘Less but better’ does.”

“To discern what is truly essential we need space to think, time to look and listen, permission to play, wisdom to sleep, and the discipline to apply highly selective criteria to the choices we make.”

“It’s official. Sleep, that rare commodity in stressed-out America, is the new status symbol.”

A Good Story: When a woman named Cynthia was a little, 12-year-old girl, she made plans with her father to have a “date night.” They planned the whole itinerary down to the last minute – everything from attending the last hour of his presentation, taking a trolley, eating Chinese food, watching a movie, taking a nighttime swim and then ordering a hot fudge sundae from room service. That day was all going according to plan until the father ran into an old college friend and business associate after his speech. His friend wanted to invite the two of them to a seafood dinner at the wharf. Cynthia’s father responded: “Bob, it’s so great to see you. Dinner at the wharf sounds great!” The little girl was crestfallen, her daydreams dashed. But then the dad said, “But not tonight, Cynthia and I have a special date planned, don’t we?” He winked at her, grabbed her by the hand and they spent an unforgettable night in San Francisco. Who was this man? None other than Stephen R. Covey of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People! What a dad. Here’s how Cynthia remembers this day: His simple decision “Bonded him to me forever because I knew what mattered most to him was me!”

Statistics or Research:

Warren Buffet and his firm make relatively few investments but keep them for a long time. He only invents in businesses that he’s absolutely sure of and then bets heavily on them. He owes 90% of his wealth to just ten investments.

In regards to sleep, pulling an all-nighter or having a week of sleeping just 4-5 hours a night “induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.1%”

Nearly 40 percent of our choices are deeply unconscious.

Takeaway Tips:

Read something from classic literature for the first 20 minutes of the day. Don’t check your email as soon as you wake up. This practice centers you and broadens your perspective. Recommended books include: Zen, the Reason of the Unreason and Tao: To Know and Not Be Knowing.

Keep a journal. Write less than you feel like writing, that way it’s not a chore. Once every 90 days, take an hour to read your journal entries from that period. Focus on the broader patterns and trends. Notice the changes you made in your life.

Continually ask yourself “What’s important right now?” Pare your list down to the essentials.

Take some time to think before you make a commitment and say yes to something.

Set aside some time out of your day to just think.

Prepare everything you can ahead of time so you don’t stress yourself out later.

Who is This Book For?:

Busy, working moms who are trying to juggle it all.

CEOs and managers who need to lead and motivate a team.

Entrepreneurs who are trying to figure out what to prioritize.

My Biggest Takeaway: In this book, I learned about “constraints” or the obstacles holding the whole system back. Even if you improve everything else, if you don’t address the constraint, your project can’t improve. You need to ask the question, “What is the obstacle that is keeping you back from achieving what really matters to you?” Instead of looking for the most obvious obstacles, look for the ones slowing down progress. What is the bottleneck?

I applied this to getting my sons dressed in the mornings. My husband relies on me to pick out the children’s clothes. He’s always asking me to give him their clothes so that he can dress them. This causes both of us to stress out. We’re all rushed to get out the door. So what did I do? I realized that I was the “obstacle” and decided to pick out the clothes the night before and leave them at the top of the stairs. Now, Sam can get them dressed while I get ready. I did this for the past two days and OMG! There’s no more yelling, no more stress. Mr. McKeown, you have drastically improved my home life!

Do I Recommend It?: Absolutely! This book makes you want to live a simpler yet more meaningful life. I love how the author believes family (or relationships) should be at the top of your priority list. At the end of the day, isn’t it all about priorities?

April 18 2018

My 365 Day Challenge: Read One Book a Day!

I love books. The knowledge you can absorb from a good book is mind-blowing, it can literally change your life. Books make you see things from a different perspective, they open up whole new worlds for you. It’s because of my love for them that I’m starting a new challenge…to read one book every single day for one whole year or 365 days! I firmly believe that the universe has brought me to this idea:

1. My friend Kat just completed a 44 words of expression day challenge on Instagram. (I loved this one.) That got me thinking, I want to challenge myself, too!

2. In one of his 5-bullet Friday email newsletters, author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss wrote this:

“What I’m reading —
Andy Goldsworthy: A Collaboration with Nature — This book was introduced to me under unusual circumstances that I might write about another time. For now, I can offer this context: I ordered it in response to a therapist saying to me, ‘I suggest you explore art, music, and so on. The problem with most books is that there are too many words!’ If this exact book sells out, nearly all of Andy’s books appear gorgeous, and his Twitter account shares many examples of his art.”

Now I’ve been a land art fanatic since my days at My Modern Met. I firmly believe that no one does it better than Andy Goldsworthy. Here’s an article dated back to 2013 that shows some of his breathtaking art.

While reading Tim’s blurb, I wondered to myself, do I have that exact book he recommended? Hell yes, I did! I went home and saw it sitting right on my bookshelf. Now, what Tim’s therapist told him is absolutely true, instead of just reading book with lots of words, we should also appreciate books with breathtaking pictures. We should learn about different fields and expand our knowledge. That’s why with this 365 day challenge I’ll cover topics that I’m passionate about as well as ones where I’m interested in learning more.

(On a side note, if you’re not doing it already, I highly suggest signing up for Tim’s email newsletter. This man has experienced so much in life and talked to so many thought leaders, his suggestions on what to read, watch or even buy is always super cool.)

3. I had this epic, life-changing talk with my sister Grace on Sunday. I asked her to “life coach” me because I’m feeling a bit stuck as to where to take Skylar Yoo next. She gave me some solid advice and then told me about a “Tony Robbins”-type guy that she thought I’d love. Jay Shetty. Have you heard of him? He’s a former monk who calls himself a “host, storyteller, and viral content creator.” He’s got over 8.8 million followers on Facebook which is astounding given that he only started growing his own, personal brand two years ago. His tagline? “Make wisdom go viral.” Catchy, isn’t it?

Last night, I watched this video he created called “How I Read A Book A Day.” Jay gave some great tips on how to speed read and soak in knowledge.

So now that I’ve explained to you the inspiration behind this crazy challenge, here’s what you can expect to find.

1. Topics will include:

What I’m passionate about:
Entrepreneurship
Business
Marketing/Advertising
Art
Photography
Fashion
Mindfulness
Mental Health
Parenting

What I’d like to learn more about:
Feminism
Biographies
Fiction
History
Marriage
Cooking

The photo you see here consists of books I’ve already read (and plan on rereading) as well as books I’ve bought but haven’t had the time to read. They’re a small sample of the 365 books I plan on diving into.

Update: After thinking about it some more, I’ll include a few of the books pictured here in this challenge but, for the most part, I’m going to try to read new, life-changing or thought-provoking books instead.

2. How I’ll share what I learn:

Instagram: Here you’ll see which book I read the day prior and some of my favorite quotes from that book.

Adventures of Yoo blog: I’ll go into further detail as to what I learned. I’ll share a story that inspired me, a statistic, and my favorite quotes.

If you want to recommend a book to me, I’d absolutely love that! Please leave it as a comment either on my Instagram or my Adventures of Yoo Facebook page.

Wish me luck!

March 23 2018

A Heartfelt Letter from a Mother to Her Daughter

God has blessed me with two amazing young boys but I often think about what life would be like if I had had a daughter. As you know, Skylar is the name I would have chosen for her. I wrote this letter to this fictitious daughter. One day it will come alive as a video. Until then, here it is. For all you mothers out there with daughters, I hope it inspires you to want to write a letter to your daughter (or son), as well.

My Daughter,

If there’s just one thing you take away from this letter, may it be that you you are deserving of love. You are loved for the the little baby that you are and for the grown woman you will one day be. You are worthy.

It may be hard to imagine it but because you are born a girl you still do not have equal rights as men. Strong and determined women worked hard for the rights you currently have. Remember, we stand on the shoulders of those women who came before us.

I write to you during a time of turmoil. In this given moment, the country is divided and we even question our leader’s morality. Yet, out of this darkness is a growing movement, a revolution, of women rising, their silenced voices are now finally being heard.

What do I wish for you, my sweet darling? What words do I want to impart? Dream big and then dream even bigger. Never apologize for being who you are. Stand tall, believe in yourself, and trust your gut. Take risks. Enjoy the journey. Be your own best friend. Embrace lifelong learning. Don’t be afraid to be smart or to speak your mind or to be too ambitious. Have grit – value both passion and perseverance. When you face tough times, remember, that experience is teaching you resilience. Be kind to yourself and celebrate who you are. And finally, be bold. Find out what makes you happy and then relentlessly pursue it.

You, my dear, will be unstoppable. Oh, fearless girl, may you create a life you love.

I love you forever,
Mom

Pic by RoseHillDesignStudio

March 15 2018

My Very Personal Struggle With Weight

On my Instagram, you’ll find this recent picture of me and my older sister. (We’re in downtown LA having a girls’/sisters’ night out.) Scroll through my feed and you’ll notice that it’s completely filled with pics of my dogs and my kiddos. I have a few pics scattered here and there of me. (And even less of Sam.) Why? Well, first, I hate how I look in pictures. As they say, we are our own worst critic. Second, I’m ashamed of my weight.

For most of my life I was a size six or a medium. It was only after I had kids that I ballooned up to a size 10 or a large. I was one of those women who packed on the pounds during pregnancy (we’re talking whale-style, 70 lbs), I had a “fourth meal” every night that consisted of something incredibly unhealthy like ramen. (Who doesn’t love Sapporo Ichiban?) It didn’t help that soon after I gave birth to Logan, I would be diagnosed with bipolar and put on two medications, one that would make me gain weight! (Yes, there is such a thing!) My appetite increased and I could no longer feel full.

Slowly I crept up to a size 12 and I started noticing all the cellulite accumulating on my thighs. I didn’t want to look in the mirror, my face felt pudgy, my stomach had extra rolls. I only wore two outfits – black leggings with long shirts that completely hid my shape. Although I appreciated fashion, I couldn’t buy anything, I felt too scared to put on a dress and not have it zip up.

Then, I had this major, breakthrough therapy session. (Thank you, Dr. G.) Why couldn’t I love and accept myself just the way I was? How come I couldn’t buy clothes that were larger and feel good in them? And so I did. I swallowed my pride and started buying everything in a size large. I started eating less and whittled my way to a size 10 (which I am right now). Suddenly, I started getting random compliments about my fashion sense. “Gorgeous sweater,” they’d say, or “Beautiful jacket.” My confidence grew. I fell in love with fashion.

For both health’s sake and because I enjoy a good challenge, I’m going to try to get back to a size 6. What does that mean? No late night eating. Smaller portions. Cutting back on desserts. No more soda. I need to stop eating when I’m satisfied, not full. (That was a nugget of wisdom from my therapist. That man’s a genius.)

And exercise! I’m super pumped because we ordered a Peloton. It comes next week. I already joined their private Facebook group, which consists of over 78K members. (Lots of activity in there.) I’m excited to chime in and be a part of that community. In the past, when I would work out at my local gym, I’d only really go for the spin classes. Afterwards, I would always be drenched in sweat. Guess what? I looooooved it! I promise to share with you my Peloton experience. (A full review will come in a few weeks.)

So…here goes! Let’s see if I have the discipline to achieve my weight loss goal. Drop 60 lbs by December 31st.

P.S. You’ll now see more pics of me on my Instagram. Some day, I may even talk to you in an Instagram story! Also, I vow to take more pics of me with my kids. What happens if I suddenly die? (Sorry for the morbid thought.) Time to get courageous! Come along on the ride with me. Hop on board the weight loss train. I need your support! If you’re trying to lose weight too, let’s do it together. We can do this!

March 12 2018

A Quick Interview About the Start of Skylar Yoo

A little while ago, I got hit up for an interview by social media strategist, calligrapher and blogger Anamarie Francisco (@craftedbyanamarie). You all know that I’m the super shy-type but, pushing my fears aside, I figured, “Why not? Let’s live our mantra and be bold!” This would be a great opportunity for people to be introduced to the brand Skylar Yoo. Anamarie asked some thoughtful questions like, “When did you know that this job/career was for you or realized a past job wasn’t working for you?” and “Word of advice for anyone looking to pursue a similar career?”

You can read the whole interview here. (It’s not too long.)

Thanks for the feature, Anamarie!

March 10 2018

Gucci is Killing It!

While fashion itself seems to be in a slumber (how many brick and mortar retail stores can they really close?!), one brand is out there KILLING IT! You may have run across some articles about millennials’ love affair with Gucci. Being a wannabe millennial myself (I swear I was born in the wrong decade!), I can totally see why. I just read this article over on Fast Company about the company’s vision and culture. Now I’m even more impressed! I love how Gucci’s head honcho, Marco Bizzarri, works with his creative director in taking risks. Sure they’re over-the-top but that’s what makes them unique!

Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

“Gucci, you may have noticed, is blowing up.”

“In January 2015, Gucci appointed a new CEO, Marco Bizzarri, who had previously led Stella McCartney and Bottega Veneta. Bizzarri immediately brought on a new creative director, Alessandro Michele, who earned his design chops apprenticing under Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi, and is known for his eccentric maximalist taste. In three short years, the pair have transformed Gucci into an exciting, modern brand that has won over the under-35 set–an achievement that recently earned the company a place on Fast Company’s list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2018.”

“Bizzarri approached the 96-year-old fashion house with a critical eye. When he joined the company, the brand’s enormous double G logo seemed like a status symbol of a bygone era; Gucci bags and belts languished in dark corners of people’s closets. ‘The company was really losing speed and was a little bit dusty,” Bizzarri says. “There was too much emphasis on heritage. I wanted to move the company to be more inclusive, more joyful, full of more energy.’”

“At luxury fashion houses, especially, there is a great deal of pressure to protect the brand’s image and heritage. Bizzarri’s message to his employees was to relax. “This creates a shift in people’s minds,” he explains. ‘If you don’t take the work too seriously, you can experiment with things that people are not expecting. On the other hand, by taking it too seriously, you tend to replicate things you have already done, trying to be safe rather than innovative.’”

“I wanted to have a company culture to be one where emotion and creativity were at the front and business followed,” Bizzarri says. “A place where creativity is foster by joy, by happiness. This is a perspective that I shared with Alessandro.”

“If people enter our shop, they enter our house and we need to be hosts to them,” Bizzarri says. “Changing people’s mentalities and behavior, that is the most difficult thing to do. The approach should be welcoming and smiling in a genuine way that is not forced, because this is the way to be inclusive in the end.”

“Our approach, both in terms of product and visual campaigns, is to do something that is unique,” he says. “The point is that if you are able to spontaneously and genuinely talk to millennials in a way that they can see really comes from the heart, you are talking their language.”

“These social media gambits are timely and speak directly to millennials, but Bizzarri wants to make sure that the driving force behind everything that Gucci does is about being authentic, creative, and inclusive, because this is what will allow the brand to stand the test of time.”

“This genuine passion is something that can keep us ahead of the competition,” Bizzarri says. “I’ve read many things about millennials these days saying they are not loyal and switch from one brand to the text. This may be true, but it doesn’t apply to us.”

Bizzarri is a genius!

February 14 2018

What I Bought My Husband for Valentine’s Day

For as long as I can remember, Sam (my husband) has been making these small side comments about how he gets terrible sleep. The reason? The four of us each has his/her own blanket but Sam’s is the worst. (Poor guy!) He uses this rough blue and white blanket that’s shabby on one side and semi-soft on the other. You can barely call it a blanket. So! I decided that for Valentine’s Day I would surprise him with a gift…da da da da….a brand new comforter!

It couldn’t be any old comforter, it had to be the best. (Or at least the best bang for the buck.) Now I’m not sure how Mark Zuckerberg pulled it off but what popped up on my Facebook feed but an ad from a company called Buffy. What did they claim? They have “the fluffiest, softest, lightest comforter ever made.” And what did they compare it to? Sleeping in clouds! Yes, clouds! Ok, now that’s some good marketing.

You can test out the comforter in your own home or just buy it. Being the “all-in” type, I just hit buy. It came in a few days, we unpackaged it last night. So how is it? It’s freakin’ amazing! The comforter is huge (well, we got the King size), and it has just the perfect amount of lightness/heaviness. Sam runs hot but when I asked him how he slept last night with “Buffy” he exclaimed, “Great!” He wasn’t too hot or too cold. He actually got a restful night’s sleep!

Here’s the duvet cover I chose. I wanted something classic, clean-looking and soft. It was perfect.

My gift was a huge hit! Thanks, Buffy, for creating a five star product!

(This is not a paid sponsorship…I just really dig their product.)

February 7 2018

The Four Little Words That Haunted Me for a Decade

After writing post after post about products, I thought I’d open up a bit and tell you about the hardest decade of my life. It was around the time my mother committed suicide but that event didn’t trigger it. (Oddly enough.) It was one person (who name shall not be named) that once said to me four little words that completely shattered me. Mind you, I didn’t have much going in – my mother was very tough on us growing up so I never felt that confident, loved or secure. It was only after my success with My Modern Met that I started to feel a modicum of self-worth. Ok, so now you’re asking…what four words?!

One person, someone close to me, simply said: “You are not worthy.” Well, it was more like “You are not worthy of Sam.” (Sam, who is now my husband and who was, back then, my boyfriend.) Now, a person who had a little bit of self-esteem would have roared back, “F— you and your opinion! First of all, I don’t care what you think, and secondly, I know who I am and Sam and I are both lucky to have found each other.” Well, unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately…for my therapist), those words haunted me…for a full decade! Suddenly, an evil devil appeared on my shoulder telling me how terrible, stupid, and unworthy I was as a human being. How could I ever live up to “perfect” Sam? Why would anyone love me? It was a dark time, my friends, a dark, dark time. I had major social anxiety – I couldn’t be around people, especially big groups, for fear of being judged. I avoided people like the plague. To this day, I still don’t have a huge group of girlfriends, you could say I have major trust issues.

So, why am I telling you this? Because somewhere after 40, I decided it’s not my accomplishments in life that define who I am and how I’m going to feel about myself. And, I can’t look to others to make me feel special, that all comes from within me. Don’t give anyone else the power to make you feel unworthy. Let’s give ourselves a break. Hell, let’s be our own best friends and show kindness and compassion to ourselves. I’ve taught my own kids that everyone makes mistakes in life (everyone!), and those mistakes don’t define who you are. You make a mistake, you learn from it. You hurt someone, you say sorry. You fall down, you get back up. Love yourself, goddammit! There’s only one YOU.

That’s my rant for today. Love yourself, you got that? It’s so simple yet I wish someone would have told me that in my twenties! 🙂

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