Category: Art & Design

November 26 2020

SkyhugsShop on Etsy: Just Crossed the 100 Products Mark!

Each time I start a new company, I go into laser-focus mode or what some call flow. Inevitably, this leads to burnout and going hypomanic which starts off GREAT and then fizzles into feeling like I’m trapped inside a dark prison. Over the course of about a week, I busted my ass, getting 100 products up on the new Skyhugs site on Etsy. Talk about a labor of love! I feel like I’ve just given birth (contractions and all…mamas, you get me). I’m talking 3-4 hours of sleep a night. Night night at 8:30p and wake up at 11:30p. WTF?!?!

What’s cool this time around is that not only are we repurposing some of our most popular designs from Skylar Yoo to be on more affordable base tees, which means a 50% drop in prices, I get to create some totally new t-shirt designs. Now, I’ve never thought of myself as creative but creating Skyhugs has made me say loud and proud, “I’m actually creative!” Even the boys have called me creative, which, of course, is one of the greatest compliments.

The 10 to 12 characters that will be coming to Skyhugs (three of which have already been released – Grace the Grateful Rainbow, Keith the Kindness Cloud, and Alice the Amazing Unicorn) have all been designed by me. Since my digital skills are lacking, I’ve been closely working with an illustrator from Spain named Ana to bring my crayon drawings to life in digital form. It’s been an exhilarating experience seeing them come out all cute and adorable.

So what’s next? Since I hit 100 products in 1 week, now I’m going to try to get to 150 products. I’m going to give myself plenty of time now, though, so I don’t burn myself out. I love that the most popular selling tee right now (sold and added to cart) is this retro looking/sweet one:

Till next time. Peace out!

November 13 2020

Skyhugs: The New Company I Just Launched on Etsy


Well, I’m back people! It’s been nine months since I’ve been on this thing and, man, has a lot transpired. We barely won the election, COVID, homeschooling, social distancing, no toilet paper…the list goes on and on. It seems all doom and gloom but guess what?! I think it’s the perfect time to come out with a positive company that was created to bring us all back together and unite as one.

After countless prayers, asking God what he wanted me to do with Skyhugs, he set me up with an artist and we finally cranked out our first character, Grace the Grateful Rainbow. She’s there to remind you of all of the good things that you’ve got going in your life. Here’s my short list:

1. Healthy family
2. Two amazingly sweet dogs who follow me all around the house
3. A finished Skyhugs character
4. Solid girlfriends – Kat, Grace Lee, Jay, Grace sis – I’m looking at you!
5. Chilly weather in CA
6. The Queen’s Gambit – was soooo good!
7. Biking with the boys
8. Benjamin Hardy’s free 30 day course – was transformational and informative
9. That I found a way back into this blog. I thought I had locked myself out, I used so many different types of usernames and passwords.
10. That I’m still alive and breathing

So the big news is that I finally got around to launching my new Etsy shop for Skyhugs. We only have 22 products listed, so far, but I plan on growing that number to 200 by year’s end. My goal is to gain some traction on Etsy and then create a separate Shopify site for Skyhugs so she has her own nice, warm home.

Instead of reading it here, you can check out this Instagram post where I describe what Skyhugs means to me. Can it really be the next Hello Kitty? More than anything, I want to spread love in this world. After the election, we saw just how divided our country really is. Biden should have blown Trump out of the water, instead it took us 5 days to get the news that Biden had won. (Thank you, Pennsylvania.) From election night, Tuesday, till Saturday, I was glued to CNN and MSNBC, watching anxiously but optimistically that we would pull out a win.

Can we just take a moment to acknowledge the fact that we will soon have a female 1/2 Black, 1/2 Asian VP?! Kamala Harris is a force to be reckoned with! I love watching her speak, she has such poise, confidence and grace. I’m so happy that young girls everywhere can see that glass ceilings can be shattered.

Signing off for now. I’ll try to be back more often. In the meantime, if you get a moment, check out Skyhugs on Etsy. Thanks!

February 15 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 7 2018

Awesome Emperor Penguin Lamp

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

December 7 2018

Beautiful Balloon Lamp Lights Up My Life

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

September 17 2018

Favorite Fun Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you soon!

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

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?

Older posts