Browsing Tag


Well Being

Being Happy Every Morning

December 30, 2016

When Jan 1, 2017 rolls around and I open my eyes, I want to wake up happy. My goal of being happy every morning is an elusive one but one I think I can reign in if I try hard enough. I don’t even want 6-pack abs or to fit into my super skinny jeans. I used to have a trillion resolutions but now that I’m nearing 40, all I want to be is happy. I’ve definitely Googled the following: How can I be happy? How to wake up happy? How to stay happy? Am I happy enough? What is happy? Is happy real?

It’s not as easy as telling yourself “hey, be happy” and then you go on being happy. It’s a lot of hard work to be happy, to maintain that happy feeling in the midst of life. As I age, my “happy” feelings, unfortunately, seem to coincide with the hormonal party that ensues in my body. A party that I didn’t get invited to, one I didn’t want to go to, but one I’m forced to go to. You know how fun those are.

So, I did a search on the web to see what people have said about being happy. It’s far more than thinking about things you’re grateful for. It actually starts the second you start waking up. I’ve always suspected that I walked into class in grad school cranky as hell and cold because I’d wake up in a panic. Then, I’d panic all the way to class while suffering a walk from the parking lot with a wind chill of -20F. After the feeling returned to my limbs and my blood slowly came out of its frozen state, I was pretty content being at school and seeing my 2 friends.

It can be as simple when you’re not ungrateful like me to just be happy to wake up another morning. I generally don’t feel like I get enough sleep. But, what parent does? I ruminate and fester sometimes and wake up utterly irritated. Call it future-led-anxiety or overthinking, but I’m not a morning person and never have been. Maybe, this can be something to add to my resolutions: make friends with early mornings.

Anyway, here’s what I wrote and my boss, Teri, let me put it up on our site because she thought it was hilarity. Take a peek and hopefully, you’ll like it, too. How do you wake up happy and stay happy? I don’t want the cheesy answer of “I am so grateful to have my kids drop kick me in the face at 545am every morning.” Just stop.

Photo Credit:


Why I love Coffee

April 4, 2016

Why I love coffee. It’s like asking why do you love your dog. It’s basically like that.


I’ve been asked, “Um, how much coffee do you drink?” or “What’s a good coffee?”. I like these types of questions, so don’t ever hesitate to ask me! The more unflattering comments are, “Are you dependent, like crack dependent?” or “I don’t drink coffee, it’s gross, but tea is better for you anyway.” *insert side eye*

Anyway, I remember so vividly my dad drinking coffee. He would dip his toast in it and I would wonder what was so good about it. So, I remember asking, then begging, then pestering as professional children do so well, for a sip. The following discussion ensued and slowly but surely, I broke the man down and he let me have some coffee.

*Everyday for 4 months in like 1987*
Me: Can I try?
Dad: This is medicine, it’s not for kids.
Me: But, I’m sick, can I try?
Dad: Ask your mom.
Me: I did already, she said ask you.
Dad: NO.
Me: WHY?
Me: But, I’m 7, I’m not a kid. I’m a big kid.
Dad: Go do your algebra.
Me: But, let me have that medicine first.
Dad: $%@#$%#&* HERE!
Me: *takes a sip and almost dies instantly*
Dad: *silently does a parental “I win” dance*

This poop water then made me sick every time I saw him drink it. Then, I wondered why people drank it and drank so much of it. I went through college and grad school without so much drinking more than a cup total. I remember some professors with that stale coffee smell that wafted across the room. *Gag* I would try to drink it. I even got a coffee machine and tried to be cool by bringing a cup to class. But, I never drank it. It just tasted like burnt onions. I would meet up with friends to do work at Panera Bread, order coffee, and just stare at it. One day, I met my demise. We were working on Multilevel Modeling, some fancy stats stuff, so I thought I needed to drink coffee to understand the material. I drank it, went home, and ended up lying on my bathroom floor, dizzy and unable to move for about an hour. *Curse the poop water!*

Side story: I sat next to a girl who brought 2 VENTI sized Starbucks coffee for our 9am stats class. She’d sit there next to me, legs shaking, spazzing out, sweating, and then saying over and over: “I’m so tired”. I would just quietly smile and then text my BFF under my desk, “OMG, this girl is going to explode! She’s drinking so much poop water!”

Fast forward to 2014, my husband noticed I would hide my k-cups because I didn’t want to share and was like “Kate, really?” So, he signed me up for a coffee tasting class in Seattle at Cafe Vita and my whole life changed. I tasted bad coffee and really, really good coffee. The difference was night and day. Let me tell you right now that GOOD coffee does NOT need sugar, random flavoring, whip cream, cream, or milk. Good coffee can be enjoyed black as it could be as delicate as your black or oolong tea.

I realized I never had good coffee. This whole time I was drinking k-cups and Starbucks! Sorry Starbucks fans, I cannot. I will drink it if I’m in a questionable town. But with choices like Matchstick, Slate, and Blue Bottle, I just can’t. SB is just too strong, too bitter, too burnt, and I just think you can do better! I still gave SB a chance and went to their grand opening of the Starbucks Roastery. I waited in the rain with my kids, I was dedicated, and I’ll say the coffee there is much, much better!

Anyway, what coffee means to me? Besides keeping me awake, helping me LIVE when I’ve had only a few hours of sleep, and basically being my life line- I love coffee because it brings good people together!!

With all people: Drinking coffee is a way to catch up or talk about hard stuff, like if you want to break up or something. Coffee is such a mediator. You can stare at your coffee when you don’t have much to say and it isn’t as awkward as staring at your hands. Coffee is a way to connect and it helps people to open up. Coffee helps you talk about your family or share your passions. Coffee helps you get to know the person and see if you want them in your life. Coffee also has a way of helping you linger with that hot date if you want to linger. *Would like to linger with you Josh Groban*

Another side story: I have a thing for Josh Groban. This thing is widely known and happily accepted for anyone who knows me. My husband is strangely ok with this. I have Josh Groban mugs from his concerts that are not allowed to be used-they are only for show. But, sometimes he gets used and I’m sweating watching the person use this mug. How dare your lips touch the Groban mug! My dad visited recently and was looking through my cupboard and said “Oh it’s Josh, guess I’m not supposed to use this one. How about Harry Potter?” See, even my dad knows.


With family: I’m that big kid who gets to make coffee for her dad now and drink it with him. My mom only sort of drinks coffee only because it keeps her awake for days like my husband. I think those two are like weird unicorns. It is special to me to make my dad coffee because the thing is, I am not the best dutiful Asian daughter. I can’t be the good kid who repays their parents back for all the years of sacrifice like most good, Asian kids do. I also don’t cook very well, he gets scared if I make him a meal. So, I make him good coffee. He watches me use the Aeropress and wonders why I am doing it versus a coffee brewer to make 8 cups in one fell swoop. My dad hates inefficiency. I do, too. For him, it must be like me watching my kid eat his dinner…takes 350 years But, being a good dad, he’ll happily wait 350 years because he sees my literal joy at making coffee in the slowest possible manner on earth.

With friends who I’ve forced into my family: This is the only way I get them to come over. Otherwise, they’re too busy and no one wants to hang out with someone who has a family because they think they’re getting in the way. No guys! So, I have to lure them like a creeper and say like “I have new coffee, wanna come by??” And it always works!! *Fist pump!* This is my time to catch up with the special friends and it’s exciting to share my good coffee with them. I generally am unwilling to share my good coffee with just anyone. My husband finds this absurd but coffee is a precious commodity!

I’d love to hear why you love coffee and what brings you joy from drinking it. Is it the warmth that drizzles down your throat in the morning…or that scalding hot burn when you drink too fast? Or the promise of a good caffeine fueled level of happiness that awaits you? Is it the time with friends, family, or the thank-you-baby-Jesus-for-coffee when you’re in an awkward place? Or, is it just purely a ritual all your own- your personal me time where you can indulge in this life’s pleasure? If you don’t drink coffee, then I’m sure it’s because you’re sensitive to it. I accept that. My mom, husband, and BFF Darth Vadar are like this and I love them a lot still. Share with me anyway what brings you joy!

Thanks for reading!

Beauty Cosmetics

Five Minute Makeup Look

March 14, 2016

My good friend who has twins requested that I discuss a “Five minute makeup look”. There are a ton of these out there and mine may not be any different, but I feel it could be achieved in probably 3.75 minutes once you get the hang of it!

Five Minute Makeup Look

Step 1: Clean and prep your skin with your choice of skin care products. I like to use oil cleansers and then I follow a 78-step Korean skincare regimen that I will go into length in another post.

Step 2: Once your skin is prepped, I urge you to apply sunscreen. I don’t care if you’re inside all day or if it’s cloudy. At least, SPF 15 of whatever sunscreen you like to use. My skin care is a combination of Japanese and Korean products, so my sunscreen is also from these lines.

Gressa Foundation

Step 3: Apply your choice tinted moisturizer/foundation. I’ve selected the Gressa Skin Foundation. I like this step to be EASY as possible! I don’t want to sit there and blend for five days, but I also don’t want to go bare face. Yikes, no one wants that, trust me. I have 4-5 I rotate between and for no particular reason other than “I just feel like this one today.” This step really takes about 45 seconds because I like a light coverage that just evens out the skin. Going to Target doesn’t need my face to be full coverage.

Step 4: I like to apply a little under eye concealer because I have two little children. I also use the Gressa Skin foundation to add a little more coverage here.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Happy

Step 5: BLUSH. Don’t ever forget blush in my opinion. I would even skip the tinted moisturizer because I can’t go outside my bedroom without blush. Cream or powder, it doesn’t matter, just get that blush on there.

Step 6: Eye brows. Here I use the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil. If you have good browns, groom them a bit and you’re done. If you need more brow power, then apply your brows but only fill them in where the hair is sparse. Think Trader Joe’s face, not Oscar night.

Step 7: Curl the lashes and apply mascara. This should take 5 seconds and honestly, some days, if I wear my glasses, I don’t do anything to my eyes.

Zabana Essentials deoderant

Step 8: Deodorant, always deodorant. I loooove Zabana Essentials for all my personal odor care.

Hope this was helpful!!

What’s  your 5 minute look?

Beauty Cosmetics

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Happy Review

January 13, 2016

Here is another rave about Kjaer Weis’s Cream Blush in the shade: Happy. In my previous review on the shade: Embrace here, all my thoughts are still applicable so I will not inundate you with repetitiveness. So, let’s just look at all the pictures and get the happy feels!

PRODUCT: Blush in Happy. Made in Italy. Net wt. 0.12 oz./ 3.5g. $56/$32 (refill only)

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Happy

PACKAGING: Shiny, good-weight-in-my-hands goodness from basically, heaven.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Happy up close















SHADE: As described on their site: “Everyone who’s seen this pink just smiles, so we had to name it Happy. Gorgeous on all skin colors, exceptional on darker complexions.” This is the stand out blush I was speaking to in my other post. This is type of color I am drawn to! Look at it! Doesn’t it look happy?! Perfect shade for everyday, every look. It even looks gorgeous on the lips!

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Happy

INITIAL SWATCH: It looks bright in the pan and for some, scary bright. But it can be worn sheerly or layered for that intensity. If it was acceptable to apply blush all day and end up looking like a happy clown, I’d do it! The top swatch is obviously lighter and blended so this is what it would most likely look like on your cheeks or lips. The bottom is a heavier swatch to show the opaqueness of the shade and how bright it can get. This level of application would be so stunning in the summer on the ..lips (you almost thought I’d say cheeks, huh?)

APPLICATION: Six words: Kerry Gold Butter on warm toast.

EFFICACY: Again, like with ALL cream blushes, the lasting power is a bit less compared to powder blushes.KW does not make any claims about how long this product will last, but she does claim exuberant, creamy, velvety, and a natural finish. I say she hit all the nails on the head with these descriptors.

IS IT WORTH SHARING OVER COFEE?: Short answer: Yes. Long answer: One of the best cream blushes I have ever tried. I’ve tried many and this one just feels good on the skin all day. It is moisturizing and my face actually feels refreshed at the end of the day. That’s a big claim because many things dry my skin out, even “cream” products. Definitely one of the shades to have in this collection if you are a lover of bright, bold colors! How much I love this blush can be measured by the fact that I carry this with me in my bag, I don’t even carry anything more than my wallet, lip balm, and eye drops. If I met up with a friend for coffee who wasn’t wearing blush (and I believe we ALL need some level of blush- it’s just so pretty and fun!), I’d probably reach across the table and dab-dab-blend-blend this cream blush on their face for them! Run, don’t walk, to procure this blush!

Rating Scale:



WHERE TO PURCHASE: Directly at their website, or Beautylish, Spirit Beauty Lounge, BeautyBar, The Detox Market, and Citrine Natural Beauty Bar.