Category: Life

April 25 2018

5 Life-Changing Lessons I Learned From My A Book A Day Challenge

Well, I lasted about a week. Yesterday, I was reading Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last while my husband was enjoying a late night snack. Suddenly he remarked, “Can we please talk? I’m leaving on a trip, I’ll be gone for a few days, we hardly saw each yesterday and it seems like all you’re doing these days is reading.” Then, it hit me. This 365 day challenge of reading a book a day was not only stressing the f*** out of me, I had neglected other parts of my life. So, even though I feel embarrassed to say it, I am quitting.

My friend Kat always reminds me that can we learn lessons from every experience, especially the ones that don’t go right. So what did this challenge teach me?

1. When you commit to a challenge, make sure it’s something reasonable, attainable. I didn’t give it enough thought before I proclaimed to the world that I could do this. Only once I was knee deep into it, did I realize that it takes a good 3-6 hours to complete one book. I even bought a book on speed reading but who was I kidding? I couldn’t be a speed reader overnight. Why rush through a book? Isn’t reading about enjoying every page? Every word?

2. If your challenge is going to stress you out, it’s not the right challenge for you. Instead of enjoying reading, I instead saw it as “homework.” Throw in the fact that I Instagrammed my favorite quote and wrote a full blog post about each one and you can add a few hours on top of just reading.

3. You can’t let a challenge make you neglect important parts of your life. Reading totally consumed my life, I played less with the kids, I hardly talked to my husband and forget about jumping on my Peloton for an hour of exercise. I miss my Cody Rigsby! (He’s a spinning instructor on Peloton.)

4. Pat yourself on the back for even trying. A lot of my friends, including my husband, were shocked that I even wanted to take on a challenge like this. I honestly believed I could do it. I should be proud of the fact that I even tried.

5. Something good can come out of even a short challenge. Every night I would summarize to Sam the things I learned from each book. When I told him about Thich Nhat Hanh’s philosophy on how our parents didn’t have the opportunity (or even the luxury) to be mindful, that their actions are mostly the result of what they experienced from their parents, it made him understand his parents more. At least something good came out of reading these books!

So, there. I am officially stopping my A Book A Day Challenge. (I hate the words quitting or failing.) I learned a sh** ton, I’m still going to read but I will go back to regular programming here at Adventures of Yoo. What does that mean? Every once in a while I’ll sprinkle in a book review, but mostly I’ll update you on my journey on becoming a better entrepreneur, mom, wife, sister and person. Thanks for sticking with me.

April 23 2018

A Book A Day #5: The One Thing by Gary Keller

I’m always looking for books that will help me live a simpler but more meaningful life. How can I increase my productivity while minimizing my stress?

Gary Keller is an American entrepreneur, he’s the founder of Keller Williams Realty International, which is the largest real estate company in the world by agent count. His books include The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, The Real Estate Investor, and The ONE Thing.

The ONE Thing has been on more than 400 national bestseller lists, including #1 Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today. It has won 12 book awards and has been translated into 30 languages. It’s been voted as one of the Top 100 Business Books of All Time on Goodreads.

Brief Synopsis: The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results helps you focus on what matters most in your personal and professional life. It’s a simple lesson, focus on the one thing that is going to help you the most. It asks you to zero in on your most important priority and focus in on that. Then, it gives you tips on how to boost your productivity.

Top 5 Quotes:

“Achievers operate differently. They have an eye for the essential. They pause long enough to decide what matters and then allow what matters to drive their day. Achievers do sooner what others plan to do later and defer, perhaps indefinitely, what others do sooner. The difference isn’t in intent, but in right of way. Achievers always work from a clear sense of priority.”

“Instead of a to-do list, you need a success list – a list that is purposefully created around extraordinary results.”

“Success is actually a short race – a sprint fueled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in and take over. When we know something that needs to be done but isn’t currently getting done, we often say, ‘I just need more discipline.’ Actually, we need the habit of doing it. And we need just enough discipline to build the habit.”

“The surest path to achieving lasting happiness happens when you make your life about something bigger, when you bring meaning and purpose to your everyday actions.”

“I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” – screenwriter Leo Rosten

A Good Story: As an example of a CEO who believed in “going small” or saying no a lot was Steve Jobs. In the two years after his return from Apple, in 1997, he took the company from 350 products to ten. He explained, “When you think about focusing, you think, ‘Well, focusing is saying yes.’ No! Focusing is about saying no.”

Statistics or Research:

Individuals with written goals are 39.5% more likely to succeed. Individuals ho wrote their goals and sent progress reports to friends are 76.7% more likely to achieve them.

Takeaway Tips:

Do what matters most first each day, when your willpower is the strongest.

Think BIG, aim high and act bold. “Avoid incremental thinking that simply asks, ‘What do I do next?’..Ask bigger questions. Set a goal so far above what you want that you’ll be building a plan that practically guarantees your original goal.”

Rest and recharge. Take that time off. Block out long weekends and long vacations. “You’ll be more rested, more relaxed, and more productive afterward.”

Find time to reflect on where you are and where you want to go. Block an hour each week to review your annual and monthly goals.

My Biggest Takeaway: Find your purpose in life. For me, that means inspiring and empowering women to be bold as well as helping to erase the stigma of mental illness. “When you have a definite purpose for your life, clarity comes faster, which leads to more conviction in your direction, which usually leads to faster decisions. When you make faster decisions, you’ll often be the one who makes the first decisions and winds up with the best choices. And when you have the best choices, you have the opportunity for the best experiences.” It’s taught me to write down my goals and keep them close.

Who is This Book For?: Anyone who’s interested in simplifying their life while still achieving a high level of productivity.

Why Do I Recommend This Book?: This book taught me that life comes down to finding your purpose and setting your priorities. “Purpose without priority is powerless.” Work on the one thing that matters most to you. “Tap into your purpose and allow that clarity to dictate your priorities.” It’s all about purpose and priorities!

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!

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! 🙂

January 30 2018

14 Products I’m Crazy About

One of the best things about writing on a blog is that I get to share some of my favorite products. As you know, I’m an Amazon junkie – Sam and I buy almost all of our goods there. We’re Prime Members so we love their fast two day delivery. Full disclosure, I’ve sprinkled in some affiliate links in. However, I’d never, in a million years, share with you something that I don’t love myself. These products are tried and testing, they’re stuff I can’t live without. My favorite things to share are fashion and beauty products. So here goes!

1. Neiman Marcus Classic Cashmere Duster Cardigan – Right now, this is a steal! I love the feel of cashmere but I always wrote it off to because I thought it was too expensive. Well, Neiman Marcus has got a sale going on right now where this duster jacket is more than half off! It’s $160 versus $325. I wear my statement Skylar Yoo tee and jeans with it or put on a white button down and black leggings and layer it on top. I love how soft and indulgent it feels! I have it in red.

2. Comme des Garçons® for Converse low-top sneakers – These are my go-to sneakers. I love the playfulness of the logo – the heart with the cute eyes. You can dress this up or down, with a dress or with jeans.

3. Radha Beauty USDA Certified Organic 100% Pure Oil – 4 oz. (Rosehip) – I’ve always suffered from acne. In high school it was bad, I would have these massive volcano eruptions on my face and as I got older there would be little bumps everywhere. I went to the dermatologist and he recommended Epiduo Forte which helps me from getting those big bumps. BUT THEN! I found Rosehip oil on Amazon and starting reading all of the reviews on how it cleared up people’s skin. I decided to give it a try and, I swear to God, my skin has never looked better! I hardly have any small bumps now and my old acne scars have gotten lighter. The combination of Epiduo and Rosehip oil might be the trick or it could just be one or the other.

4. Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag – Though I love to follow fashion trends, I’m more into classic pieces. Louis Vuitton’s iconic bag, the Neverfull, recently got a nice makeover with the option of a red interior. It’s the perfect size to carry all of your goods in – I fill it with books, my planner, my wallet and my make-up bag. It’s definitely an investment, but I know I’ll have this purse forever.

5. 2-1 Glitter Release Eyeliner by Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty – At first, I was hesitant to buy this liquid liner. I like my eyeliner a bit smudged. However! Rub this liquid eyeliner to see a surprising glitter effect. It’s not too obvious, it’s just subtle enough that you’ll notice the sparkling change.

6. VIV Collection Updated Best Selling Popular Printed Brushed Buttery Soft Leggings Regular and Plus 40+ Designs List 4 – On my search for the perfect, most comfortable legging, all signs pointed to LuLaRoe. Being an introvert, I decided I would never go to one of their parties to buy their leggings so I hopped onto eBay and bought their leggings…for more than retail! To me, it was worth it, though. No uncomfortable chit chat. Then, I discovered VIV Collection leggings. Like LuLaRoe they have some God awful patterns so I stick to just black but I can attest to the fact that they’re buttery soft like LuLaRoe and they’re hella cheap at $12.99.

7. Confetti sequins dress – I spotted this dress on LiketoKnow.it on an Instagrammer with the handle @andeelayne. Being a big fan of that rainbow confetti look, I knew I had to have this for one of my upcoming trips – either Alt Summit or Create & Cultivate. I still need to lose about 10 pounds so I don’t look like I’m having a baby but I’m determined to wear this beauty!

8. Casper bed – I love Sleep Number beds but recently I switched to a Casper. It’s the perfect firmness and I am now getting great sleep! There’s a reason why so many people rave about this company.

9. Incase City Backpack – Black – CL55450 – If you’re looking for the perfect laptop bag for your boyfriend or husband, check this one out. It has tons of places for cords and it’s big enough to fit a 17 inch MacBook Pro. I like the little details like how there’s faux fur lining in the laptop compartment so it protects the computer. Sam used to carry around a beat up North Face bag, this one is much sleeker and he really loves the minimalist design.

10. The Perfect White Button Down Shirt by Ann Taylor – I’m always looking for the perfect, crisp white button down shirt that I can wear with jeans, black pants or a skirt. This one’s sizes go from 00 to 12, meaning they just don’t use the common small, medium, and large. It makes for a more perfect fit. The length is just right, I own three!

11. PureSteam XL – High-Powered Standing Fabric Steamer with Garment Hanger and Fabric Brush – This steamer completely changed the way I take care of my clothes. I used to be an “ironing” girl, but after I found this steamer, I can take out all the wrinkles in my favorite shirts in a quick few minutes. This is great for those of you who’ve purchased Skylar Yoo tees.

12. Kate Spade Small Square Multi-Stud Earrings – Again, I’m a big fan of confetti so when I saw these earrings, I knew I had to have them. They’re the perfect size, not too big or too small and they liven up any outfit. They’re a bit bigger than your average studs. They’re more like a statement piece.

13. Apple iPad mini 4 (128GB, Wi-Fi, Silver) – For Christmas this year, my two boys got their own Apple iPad minis. We try to limit screen time since they’re semi-addicted to the game Minecraft. It’s amazing what they can build, though! Sometimes our whole family jumps on and we “virtually” say “hi” to each other. I like how this iPad is small enough for the boys to carry around, our old ones, that we passed down to them were too bulky and slow.

14. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action – Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why, really made me think about why I wanted to start Skylar Yoo. What was my purpose? If you’re starting your own business, this is a great book to read.

That’s it for now!

January 9 2018

To Kick off 2018: Top 20 Quotes from Tribe of Mentors

I’m always looking for some good advice on how to live a more fulfilling life. Sometimes I got stressed out about making Skylar Yoo succeed or I get in a silly fight with Sam and I feel like the whole world is crashing down on me. How do I feel more centered? I found some good advice in this book by Timothy Ferriss called “Tribe of Mentors.” Here are 20 of my favorite quotes.

1. “Instead, Dani declared that courage was more important than confidence. When you are operating out of courage, you are saying that no matter how you feel about yourself or your opportunities or the outcome, you are going to take a risk and take a step toward what you want. You are not waiting for the confidence to mysteriously arrive. I now believe that confidence is achieved through repeated success at any endeavor. The more you practice doing something, the better you will get at it, and your confidence will grow over time.” – Debbie Millman

2. “All of us come with baggage and wounds and pain; all of us. But recognizing that common, human bond is what helps us transcend that pain.” – Soman Chainani

3. “Though most people will typically blame other people or circumstances in their life when they are unhappy, Buddhists believe that we are the cause of our own suffering. We can’t control the fact that bad things are going to happen, but it’s how we react to them that really matters, and that we can learn to control.” – Dustin Moskovitz

4. “‘The difference between winning and losing is most often not quitting.’ This famous line from Walt Disney on willpower cannot be more true when it comes to entrepreneurship. The only predictable thing about startups is their unpredictability, and powering through the lows of the startup roller coaster ultimately just takes grit – yours and your team’s.” – Max Levchin

5. Q: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
A: “Daily meditation, twice a day. Just giving my brain a chance to power the fuck down and refresh. Makes all the difference.” – Patton Oswalt

6. “If you are struggling to figure out where you are headed in life or what you are passionate about, pay attention to activities ideas and areas where you love the process, not just the results or the outcome. We are drawn to tasks where we can receive validation through results, but I’ve learned that true fulfillment comes from love of the process. Look for something where you love the process, and the results will follow.” – Amelia Boone

7. “‘BE HERE NOW’ (something I am constantly trying to do, though not always successfully). Because life is short, and we only have the current moment. Our memories are precious because they are the past, and future is not here now. As I get older, I am trying to life fully in moments with the people I love and care about.” – Ben Stiller

8. “When I was younger, it’s not like I was ‘ungrateful,’ but I never stopped to take the time to reflect on everything I had going for me. Now I do a gratitude practice every morning.” – Turia Pitt

9. “Every smart person and stable person I know both walks and meditates. The app Headspace is a fun way to start. Try and do it every day.” – Jimmy Fallon

10. “‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.’ – Henry Ford. That’s hands down my favorite quote of all time. My core values in life are positive mindset, focusing on your priorities, and being passionate and determined to reach your goals.” – Fedor Holz

11. “You are a person worthy of love. You don’t have to do anything to prove that. You do not have to earn love. You simply have to exist.” – Sharon Salzberg

12. “Embrace lifelong learning. Do something new. Physical exercise is repetitive; mental exercise is eclectic.” – Steve Jurvetson

13. “Studies tell us that spending that yields the greatest happiness is the kind that buys you time or experiences, not things.” – Sarah Elizabeth Lewis

14. “And it turns out there are some pretty simply buttons you can press to give yourself a great day. Start by waking up from a good sleep, eating good food, leaving your phone/newspaper/computer behind, and simply writing down your plan for what will make the day great. Several hours of physical activity, some hard work, a chance to laugh with and help out other people – and you’re pretty much there.” – Mr. Money Mustache

15. “I try to live in a space of bravery in every aspect of my life: creative, professional, familial, and in my friendships. Being brave means being present and willing to give of yourself regardless of result.” – Aisha Tyler

16. “Life is not designed to hand us success or satisfaction, but rather to present us with challenges that make us grow.” – Terry Laughlin

17. “Love the plateau. All worthwhile progress occurs through brief, thrilling leaps forward followed by long stretches during which you feel you’re going nowhere. Though it seems as if we’re making no progress, we are turning new behavior into habits.” – Terry Laughlin

18. Q: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
A: “Asking myself this question, ‘ When I’m old, how much would I be wiling to pay to travel back in time and relive the moment that I’m experiencing right now?’ If that moment is something like rocking my six-month-old daughter to sleep when she hugs me, then the answer is anything; I’d literally pay all the money I’d have in the bank at, say, age 70 to get a chance to relive that moment. This simple question just puts things in perspective and makes you grateful for the experience you’re having right now versus being lost in thoughts about the past or the future.” – Muneeb Ali

19. “Chances are, if you’re reaching books like this, you will succeed, but I’ve found that it all feels pretty meaningless if you’re not in some way helping people or improving humanity in some way. Instead of striving to be a CEO or an entrepreneur, strive to be a hero. We need more of those.” – Whitney Cummings

20. “Fear is a friend of exceptional people.” – Cus D’Amato

Read this book! It’s filled with incredibly inspirational quotes.

December 27 2017

Calling All Female Entrepreneurs – Here’s Your Best $5 Investment

When I was in 5th grade, I was taught the word “entrepreneur” and it immediately intrigued me. What? You could start your own business and be your own boss? Something lit up inside of me and I knew that, one day, I would fulfill that dream of becoming an entrepreneur. I started the art blog My Modern Met back in 2007 and ran it with my business partner/brother Eugene. Within a year, we started making money from sponsorships and ad banners and by the fourth or fifth year we had hit our stride, with 3 million visitors a month and news sites like The Today Show and Huffington Post coming to us for content ideas. Our sponsors included Intel, Honda, Cadillac and Saab.

After a mental meltdown, in the seventh year, I sold my share of the company to my brother and decided to start anew. It took me three years to figure out what would come next. I dabbled in becoming a lifestyle blogger (looking up to A Cup of Jo and Oh Joy!) and even thought about becoming a photographer. None of it stuck. Then, the new women’s movement began, and I felt I had a bigger calling. Skylar Yoo is dedicated to inspiring and empowering women to be bold. We just so happen to sell art, apparel and accessories. What comes next? I have a million ideas swirling around in my head but I’m trying to slow down and let the Universe (God) lead me down the right path.

I’m part of a mastermind that guides entrepreneurs. We went through a six week course and by the end of it, all ten of us were crying about how much each person had impacted our lives (and our businesses). The mentors gave us guidance, and more importantly, confidence to pursue our passion.

This leads me to watching this inspirational documentary video. I heard about Dream, Girl a year ago but never had a chance to go to a screening of it. Today, an email popped up that stated that for the next 48 hours, you could pay $5 and watch it online. Your time commitment? 62 minutes. I paid the money, set aside some time this morning and clicked “play.”

An all-female crew created this documentary, which premiered in May 2016 at the White House. (Yes, it’s that good.) Watch as ambitious female entrepreneurs tell us about their unique journey. I got weepy at certain parts and I rejoiced in others. If you do one thing in the next two days, make time for this. Here is your 48-hour digital pass.

December 21 2017

What’s Your Morning Routine?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve adopted a whole new morning routine. Every night, I set my alarm for 5am. (Yes, that frickin’ early!) It takes me a few minutes to get out of bed (ok, sometimes 30) but then I head to my downstair’s guest bedroom and get ready to start my day. I bust out my EarPods (hear that nice little “ching” when it connects to my iPhone) and then click on the Headspace app. I spend the next twenty minutes in a guided meditation. I’ve tried meditating in silence but that just bores the shit out of me (sorry for the profane language but we don’t have sponsors here so let’s just go with it). Instead, I let Andy Puddicombe, one of the founders of Headspace, help me find that sweet spot between focus and relaxation. I must admit that in the beginning I thought Headspace wouldn’t work for me. This busy mind? Who can tame it? But Puddicombe’s wise words and soothing voice calm me. My favorite part? When he tells you to stop focusing on your breathe and then let your mind just wander. Each time I finish a session, I feel like I’m returning from an enlightened journey.

Part I done. Part II. I read for about 30 minutes. Pure, uninterrupted reading. I just finished Today Matters by John C. Maxwell and I’m looking forward to getting Tribe of Mentors and reading it next.

Part III. Journaling. I do this for about the next 20 minutes. I’ll write about what I’m grateful for (not just friends and family, something new), what my major goals are for the day and any unsettling feelings I’m going through. It’s nice to take pen and paper and let your mind freely write whatever it wants to. It’s cathartic.

Ok, so now the sun has come up and I’m ready for my jog. I choose my playlist “Let’s Run” and let the music of Imagine Dragons, Rita Ora, The Weeknd, P!nk and Lady Gaga bump in my ears. It’s exhilarating. I use this trick that Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo taught me, I just try to run (or jog) to certain markers like a stop sign or a fire hydrant. That way it doesn’t feel too overwhelming. 30-35 minutes and I’m back home. I wake up the boys and help prepare breakfast.

News Flash! I was just asked to be a speaker at Alt Summit this year which means I have almost exactly two months left to get in shape and be mentally and physically ready for it. This is both exciting news and terrifying news…you get me?! Time to be bold and step up!

December 12 2017

10 of My Favorite Things Right Now – Beauty, Books and More

Hello, all! Yes, I’m back after a long hiatus. I’ve been busy working on Skylar Yoo, it take a lot to start up a whole new company. Sorry if I’ve been neglecting this blog, I feel like I have so much to write about now. I’ll start out with just sharing ten of my favorite things – from books to beauty products.

1. The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea: This short story gives you some heartfelt lessons on business and life in general. It outlines five laws for stratospheric success. I love the concept of giving without asking for anything in return. Here’s a good quote: “Watch out for the other guy. Watch out for his interests. Watch his back. Forget about fifty-fifty, son. Fifty-fifty’s a losing proposition. The only winning proposition is one hundred percent. Make your win about the other person, go after what he wants. Forget win-win – focus on the other person’s win.”

This, too: “You give, give, give. Why?…Because you love to. It’s not a strategy, it’s a way of life.”

2. Rihanna’s Red Lip Paint, “Stunna“: I’ve always admired a woman who can carry off bold red lips. It’s hard to find the perfect shade, you get me, girls?! That’s why when I finally tried Rihanna’s brand Fenty Beauty’s “Uncensored” I was extremely happy! Unlike a lot of glosses and lipsticks these days that are totally drying, this one is less so. It stays on for hours and it’s a universally great shade of red. (See Rihanna in it, above.) Give it a go! You won’t regret it. (I’m now onto trying her metallic hot pink lipstick and her glitter eyeliner in blue.

3. Thick Classic Notebook with Pen Loop – Lemome A5 Wide Ruled Hardcover Writing Notebook with Pocket + Page Dividers Gifts, Banded, Large, 180 Pages, 8.4 x 5.7 in – Lately, I’ve been waking up early to journal. It’s a great, refreshing way to start the day (or end it). There’s tons of notebooks out there but this one spoke to me because it’s timeless, it’s not too bulky or too thin, and it has this handy pen loop so you’ll never lose your pen again. I’ll still collect my notebooks, but for my journals, I think I’ll stick to this one.

4. iPhone X: I recently received my iPhone X and can’t say enough how much I love it. I used to have the iPhone 6+ and that was a giant compared to this. The X is the perfect size, it’s not too heavy and I can use it with one hand. I love the the edge to edge OLED screen, how fast it is and, most importantly, Face ID. It’s weird not having a real, touchable home button but you get used to it. Good job, Apple, on making me fall in love with Apple again! (Speaking of which, I love my AirPods, too!)

5. Bandolino ballet flats in gold: I try to avoid heels whenever I can so when I see a good pair of flats I snatch them up. These gold ones, by Bandolino, are shimmery and cute. They don’t have a lot of support at the bottom, but they’re not for hiking a hill, they’re more for casual work wear. Lord & Taylor’s having a good sale on them right now!

6. Pentel EnerGel Deluxe RTX Retractable Liquid Gel Pen,0.7mm, Fine Line, Metal Tip, Blue Ink-Value set of 5 (With Our Shop Original Product Description): This is by far the best pen I’ve ever used. It’s just so smooth and the the way it grips makes it feel so natural. I want 1000 of these. Speaking of pens, I use Kyinflose Pens, Smooth Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens, Fine Point, Black, 12-Pack (0.5mm) this black one for my journaling. Love it, too.

7. Baebody Eye Gel for Dark Circles, Puffiness, Wrinkles and Bags – The Most Effective Anti-Aging Eye Gel for Under and Around Eyes – 1.7 fl. oz.: Now that I’m past 40, I need me some eye cream. I checked Amazon and this one was far and away the best seller. Tried it on and loved it! It feels gel-like at first but then quickly absorbs into the skin. I used to suffer from dryness around my eyes but that’s all been cured.

8. Iconic Eyelashes at House of Lashes: These are my go-to eyelashes. They’re super full, I wear them daily, but you may want to save them for a special night out. House of Lashes has good eyelash glue, too.

9. Pink faux fur coat from Zara: This is one of my favorite coats right now. (I’ve started a small collection.) It’s super fluffy and warm. Who doesn’t love this color, too? It’s not too baby pink or too bright pink.

10. Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow’s Success (Maxwell, John C.) – This is kind of an older book (2005) but it still has a lot of valuable life lessons. Maxwell is a pastor so there are some references to God but overall you can learn a lot of what you can do today to be successful tomorrow. He includes a ton of quotes in this book so if that’s your jam, you’re going to love this. He narrows down the areas for critical success to 12 or what he calls the “”Daily Dozen.” This includes having a positive attitude, sticking to priorities and investing in good relationships. Solid.

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