Category: Life

March 7 2023

The One Important Question to Ask for a Happy Marriage

Sam and I have been married since 2007, that’s 15 years! Though we’ve had our share of ups and downs, I still consider him my best friend and the love of my life. I think one of the keys to our happy marriage is that we’re always thinking about the other person. Whether that means getting each other Starbucks in the morning or bringing up water at night, we’re always trying to make the other person’s life easier.

Every day I ask Sam, “What can I do today to make your life easier?” Asking such a simple yet powerful question to your spouse acknowledges the effort and emotion each partner contributes to their relationship.

It also shows a genuine interest in your spouse’s well-being, which can help build trust and understanding between partners. Taking time to ask this one simple yet meaningful question can help couples reflect on their relationship, appreciate each other more, and have a happier marriage overall.

Now go try it!

March 7 2023

My Motivating Morning Brain Hack to Exercise More

Today I wanted to share with you guys a hack I use to motivate myself to exercise in the morning. You know I love my morning routine which consists of actions such as morning prayer, meditation, and writing in my gratitude journal. I always end the routine with writing in my main journal. I believe in talking to yourself in an encouraging way so I also do this in my main journal. After I’ve dumped my brain onto the page, I end with writing affirmative statements like, “You can slay the workout! You’re fierce and fabulous. Let’s do a :30 minute ride with our favorite instructor Cody Rigsby.”

Then, after my ride is finished, I come back to the journal and write something like, “Great job, girl! I knew you could do it.”

Try it and see if it doesn’t encourage you to jump on your bike and ride!

March 7 2023

Hello, I’m Back! Welcome to the New and Improved Adventures of Yoo.

Hello everyone, it has been a hot second. After lying dormant for awhile, I decided that it’s finally time to bring back the blog. So how will this be new and improved? Though I’ll still sprinkle in some personal stories, I want this blog to now be more about YOU.

This means I’ll include things that I hope will inspire you like quotes, art, books, fashion and what’s trending.

As you may or may not know, I made the jump to becoming a YouTuber about a year ago. I recently surpassed 100 subscribers but I’m trying NOT to look at the numbers. More so than the number of subscribers or the number of likes, I’d like to build a community, kind of like Joanna Goddard at one of my favorite blogs, Cup of Jo. For those of you who are unfamiliar with my YouTube channel, you can check it out here.

Instead of having only one niche, the channel is about four of my favorite topics – habits, happiness, health and what’s hot. Of course, I go off topic too, just to mix it up and keep it interesting.

One of my recent posts was about my favorite Amazon finds. (Psst…the Summer Fridays’ jet lag mask is worth every penny!)

Now…onward and upward!

March 6 2023

3 Powerful Viktor Frankl Quotes about Life, Suffering and Success

Viktor Frankl is a holocaust survivor and one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century. His reflections on human suffering, life and success have inspired many people all over the world. Today we will be taking a look at three powerful quotes from him.

Quote 1: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
This quote by Viktor Frankl is an essential reminder that although situations in life may be difficult and out of our control, we always have the freedom to choose how we react to them. We can choose our attitude, adjust our mindset and ultimately gain control over ourselves.

Quote 2: “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”
This quote speaks volumes about our ability as humans to adapt and grow within challenging circumstances. When faced with an unchangeable situation, it gives us an opportunity to develop resilience and strength by changing ourselves first – something that only adds more value to our lives in the long run!

Quote 3: “Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue…as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
This quote reminds us that true success come from dedicating oneself towards something meaningful or bigger than yourself – such as achieving your goals or helping others around you reach theirs. It cannot be pursued directly but will naturally follow when there is commitment and purpose behind your actions.

March 6 2023

5 best kindness quotes that feel like a warm hug

Here are five of the best quotes on kindness. These quotes are sure to warm your heart and inspire you to be kinder to others. I’ll explain the meaning of each quote and how it can help you in your everyday life.

1) “Kindness is like snow – it beautifies everything it touches,” by Khalil Gibran. This quote means that just like snow makes the world around it more beautiful, acts of kindness can make the world a more beautiful place.

2) “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see,” by Mark Twain. This quote means that even if someone can’t hear or see, they can still understand kindness. It’s a universal language that everyone can understand.

3) “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention,” by Oscar Wilde. This quote means that it’s not our intentions that matter most, but rather our actions. Even the smallest act of kindness can have a big impact on someone’s life.

4) “Kindness is an inner desire that makes us want to do good things even if we do not get anything in return,” by Albert Schweitzer. This quote means that being kind isn’t about getting something in return. It’s about wanting to make someone else’s life better.

5) “In a gentle way, you can shake the world,” by Gandhi. This quote means that even though we might not think our actions will have a big impact, they actually can. By being kind and doing good deeds, we can change the world for the better. So never underestimate your ability to make a difference in the world.

December 10 2022

Oprah’s Daily Inspiration Cards: A Must-Have for Quote Lovers

Recently, Oprah came out with a limited edition product! It’s a box of 365 inspiration cards, each with a quote from either herself or one of the world’s greatest thinkers. The beautiful linen box houses the cards which each has a quote in front and then an action step like a breathing exercise in back. The point is to pull out one card each day and then spend 5 minutes thinking about the meaning of the quote and then completing the prompt. If you’re an Oprah fan, you’ll fall in love with this box of wisdom. I went through all 365 cards (for research purposes, of course!) and found 50 that really resonated with me. I guarantee that there will be some quotes you’ve heard before but many will be new to you. My favorites are the ones where you need to take a moment to really let the wise words sink in.

I chose these 10 because they are related to my number one goal this year and next year (2023), that’s getting healthier and more fit.

Why wait till January 1 to start a new healthy habit? Make a small change now and you’ll feel extra proud of yourself.

This quote reminds me of Lizzo. She’s proud of her body and isn’t ashamed to show it off. Be confident with the way you look right now, appreciate your body always.

I’m always striving to be the most authentic person possible so I liked this quote. Be open, be honest, be vulnerable.

They say it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Remember to pause often and just enjoy being in the moment.

Don’t think losing weight or accomplishing a goal is going to be easy. It’s going to require a hell of a lot of effort and hard work. Buckle up, baby, you’re in for a ride.

This one hit me hard. You may have every intention to get in shape but without the reps at the gym or the salad instead of the steak you’ll never make progress.

Turn your dreams into reality, make bold moves and then watch the magic happen.

The mind and body are inextricably linked. You must work on both.

Your life is in your hands. Take responsibility of your life, you’re in charge.

I love this one because it’s so simple but powerful. This is one of Oprah’s classic quotes. Believe in yourself and watch your life transform.

You can buy these on Oprah’s website or on Amazon.

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.

July 26 2018

What’s Next For Skylar Yoo? (Hint: Colors! Lots of Colors!)

So lately I’ve been asking myself the question, “What’s next for Skylar Yoo?” Over the last 8 months or so, our customers have resoundingly favored our feminist graphic tees. Aside from “Grit” which has that cool retro vibe, “Girls to the Front,” “Yes, She Can,” and “Fearless Girl,” have been our top selling tees. I don’t want to pigeonhole us to be just a “feminist” t-shirt company, I have bigger dreams!

So what’s my two year plan? Well, right now I’m taking inspiration from the designer Missoni who created this stunning rainbow fringe dress that Mandy Moore recently wore for her guest appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. (You know I have this thing for rainbows right?! I’m like a five-year-old girl, I know.)

In line with Skylar Yoo’s motto, which is “Be Bold,” I want to create colorful, ultra-stylish clothes that make your heard turn…at affordable prices. Though I love what companies like Everlane and DSTLD are doing with their paired down basics, my heart skips a beat when I see anything in bold colors, color blocked, or in rainbow. If these Gucci sneakers weren’t $980 and this Burberry rainbow puffer jacket wasn’t $1350, I’d snatch them up in a second! Ok, and how pretty is this Oscar de la Renta rainbow choker? I bought this Mara Hoffman rainbow swimsuit last year but my butt is so big I can’t wear it. (Motivation to work out! Goooo Peloton!) Oh, and who can forget Cate Blanchett’s ombre Givenchy gown? I die! I’ve been eyeing these Vans rainbow checkerboard sneakers for myself but they’re sold out everywhere. (Next best thing? I got a pair for Logan.)

My goal? To launch the raddest line of bold, colorful clothes, shoes and accessories on Skylar Yoo. More to come…

July 11 2018

How My Peloton Bicycle (and Their Kick Ass Instructors) Completely Changed My Life

Have you ever heard of a keystone habit? It’s one of the most important habits you can have, it has the power to transform your life. A keystone habit sparks a chain reaction that helps you develop other good habits. In my case, it took me getting a Peloton and riding it every day to get me to stop smoking, eat healthier, wake up earlier, meditate, and write in my journal (regular journal + 5 minute gratitude one). In essence, it has changed my life!

So, peeps, I told you we bought a Peloton bicycle awhile back. For months, I’d just get on and off it, taking a class here and there. I was devoted to Cody Rigsby, he’s this awesome instructor that is as hilarious as he is gorgeous! His classes made exercising fun…yes, fun! So everything was just hunky dory, I was happy I had the bike but wasn’t getting anywhere with losing weight. (This is him on his bike.)

BUT THEN! I decided to challenge myself by riding 30 times in 30 days. What sparked it was the All for One ride, Peloton took 11 instructors and had each of them teach a segment of a 45 minute ride (every instructor got to cover one song). I didn’t ride it when it was playing live but apparently, it broke a Peloton record as a 18,488 riders jammed to the beat of the music in the studio or in their homes, all at the same time. Personally, I’ve taken the class (on demand) two times and time just flies by because you’re having so much fun. Best yet is that I discovered a bunch of new instructors like Ally Love and Alex Toussaint. Now, I’ve been a member of LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness in the past and have taken cycling rides by their various instructors but none of them have come close to the ones at Peloton! “How so?,” you might ask!

Peloton instructors are super fit, they have dynamic personalities, they push you to your limit, they’re encouraging and they don’t just want you to get in shape, they want you to be the best person you can be. (As Ally says, “You’re a boss!”) Lately, I’ve been doing two rides a day – one with Cody Rigsby and the other with Ally Love. (See Ally, below.)

So back to the keystone habit. Riding on a Peloton every day makes me want to eat healthier because I don’t want those burned calories to go to waste. Bye bye, late night ramen and and juicy ribeye! I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve been a smoker on and off for years now but I’m committed to quitting. Why? Because exercising and smoking just don’t go hand in hand! This morning, I woke up at 5:10am and, by the time the family started stirring, at 7:30am, I had meditated, read a few pages of a book (Thinking, Fast and Slow), journaled, gotten breakfast and taken a :45 minute Ally Love class.

So, do I love my Peloton!? You better believe it! I’m on my 10th straight day and I feel great. Can’t wait to hit the “century” mark or the 100th ride and get my free tee! (I’m at 25, quarter of the way there!) In essence, when I’m riding my Peloton I feel like it’s “my time.” I come off the bike sweaty and exhausted but accomplished and exhilarated. I was pushing a size 12 but now I’m a solid size 10. Can’t wait to get my pre-baby weight off and whittle myself down to a healthy and fit size six one day.

For now, I just want to say, I love you Peloton! I love clipping into my bike and just riding, hills and all! And to all the awesome instructors out there, thank you for the “Sorry, not sorry” quips. They crack me up!

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.

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