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! 🙂

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 28 2017

My New Mantra: Four Words I Will Live By

I just finished the book Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss and came away from it feeling inspired. In the book, Ferriss asks the same eleven questions to some of the most accomplished people in the world. The recipients choose their favorite three to five to answer, “or more, if the spirit moves you,” he states. My next blog post will be about 20 of my favorite quotes from the book but today I’d like to expand on one particular quote that spoke to my heart. It was so simple yet so deeply personal. When asked, “If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere, what would it say, and why?”

Raabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, a religious leader, philosopher and award-winning author stated: “Live, Give. Forgive.” I changed this to “Live, Love, Give, Forgive.”

Let’s break it down.

“Live”: Live in the present moment. Be here now. Practice mindfulness. Meditate. Celebrate each and every day.
“Love”: Connect with others. Trust people. Show compassion to yourself. Be grateful for the loved ones in your life – your family and your friends.
“Give”: Give generously of your time and money. Give but don’t expect anything in return.
“Forgive”: Let go of the pain in the past. Forgive others so that you can move on and be happier.

On the subject of “love”: I listened to the Perfect Duet by Ed Sheeran and Beyonce today. I started tearing up when Beyonce sang. It reminded me of my husband.

“Well, I found a man
Stronger than anyone I know
He shares my dreams
I hope that someday we’ll share a home
I found a love
To carry more than just my secrets
To carry love, to carry children
Of our own
We are still kids, but we’re so in love
Fightin’ against all odds
I know we’ll be alright this time
Darling, just hold my hand
Be your girl, you’ll be my man
And I see my future in your eyes.”

Beautiful, isn’t it?

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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