The amount of money a woman spends on makeup and beauty products a year sometimes astounds me. It’s the type of thing that gets me a little anxious. For that reason alone, I’m that girl that will use up every last drop even when it looks like there is nothing left. I feel so guilty tossing something out even if I know I’m not going to get any more benefit out of it. I received an email from bareMinerals this week announcing that they were launching a recycling program.
Bring in your empty empty makeup and skincare containers to any bareMinerals boutique and receive points towards your next bareMinerals purchase. They don’t need to be a product of bareMinerals and can come from anywhere as they are accepting all brands. If you’ve finished up an entire product, you might as well get something for it in return, right? I love the idea of makeup and beauty recycling programs and am excited to share the news! For a list of other brands that are doing similar programs with other benefits, click here.
Are you guys ready for something random? I recently just got back from Vegas about a month ago and while we were there, Tommy, Leslie and I caught Mashmello at a daytime pool party. The following night we found ourselves at a local dive bar watching non-stop American Ninja Warrior. To see these two things combined into one could not be more perfect.
Also do we think that that is really Marshmello or someone else wearing his costume? I’ve been wondering this the entire time.
- The Guide to Every Wedding Dress Code (for men) [Esquire]
- Second Life Podcast: Linda Wells on Founding Allure, Being Fired and Moving On [My Domaine]
- 30 Days Inside Chinese Livestreaming [Beme News]
- America’s Best New Restaurants of 2018 [Bon Appétit]
- How the 1 Percent Do Burning Man [NY Post]
- 50 Things Every Guy Should Know How to Cook [Cool Material]
- How Heath Ledger’s Joker Was Born
I know this video won’t sit well with people so full disclosure now, if this makes you feel uncomfortable, you don’t need to watch it. I watched this short doc this week and found it fascinating. The New York Times does a good job with these. This viewpoint and world could not be farther from my own views and beliefs, but Kevin and I often watch these docs so that we can have a better understanding and a more well-informed awareness. Things like this remind me that these viewpoints exist in more than just documentaries and profiles of individuals. They live deeply in social media, in jabs that masked as jokes, and in those that are in our close circles. I remain curious just to understand where these views stem from.
There are certain moments in life where you hear something that you’re never gonna forget. I just recently re-introduced Kevin to music and had played Maggie’s “Give a Little” to him in the car. As much as I love this song, I’ll never forget watching the moment that Pharrell discovered Maggie, essentially leading the world to discover Maggie. It’s somewhat of a lengthy clip, but it’s worth watching. You can see the exact moments where he is absolutely stunned by her in different parts of the song. Not long after this, Maggie released more songs and then did the festival circuit. She was becoming a fan favorite, but this is where she started. I love moments like these.
I want to start this post by getting something out of the way. A year ago, I wrote a piece on Yow Yow! sharing a difficult childhood moment that I faced that had to do with my identity – my ethnicity. It was challenging for me to write to begin with. After it was posted, I received backlash (from an individual), which resulted in me having a panic attack on my way to work. It was yet another moment in my life where I felt isolated and even having this platform for nearly nine years at the time, I was made to feel like I had done something wrong.
In the last few years, I’ve started to share more about my life when I can muster up the courage. It is never my intention to offend anyone. With every sensitive post I consider writing, I send a first draft and sometimes a second draft to Veronica before posting. I want to make something clear. I’m not a journalist. No one currently writes on Yow Yow! except for me. I’m not trying to push my opinions onto anyone else. You can choose to not read Yow Yow! ever if something I say upsets you. I never come in expecting my experiences to resonate with anyone. I consider myself lucky if I get just one person that can relate, but it is okay to walk away from this and not feel anything. We all process experiences and feel emotions differently towards a variety of things and that is fine.
That one day of backlash from one person wasn’t great. I was only able to get over it after receiving messages from people that thanked me for sharing my story because it is often stories from Asian Americans that get overlooked because we don’t fit in. At its core, Yow Yow is here to share the stories of others, which we’ve done so many times and mine when I feel brave.
I started a new job a couple of weeks ago, which is never easy. The other night, I was invited to dinner with my coworkers and a question that was thrown out to the table was “what were your lunches like growing up?” In this moment, I was appreciative that my coworkers expressed curiosity because what that time represented for me was shame. In my first few days of Kindergarten my parents sent me off with leftovers from dinner the night before – a standard of rice with marinated beef or chicken prepared by my mother. Delicious, but what some may consider “potent smelling”. My attempt to blend in wasn’t working. I needed a meal that smelled more like a bologna sandwich.
I often times wonder to this day if my parents were hurt by me asking, “Can I please just have a Lunchables every day?” “Can I have a Capri-Sun?” “Can my peanut butter jelly sandwiches be cut into 4’s or at the very least halves?”
A lot of “Can I’s” in an attempt to feel like everyone else. I’m certain that it wasn’t much more work for my parents to adhere to my requests, but likely more expensive. They wanted me to be happy and we all wanted to fit in, right?
For the longest time, I used to say that I grew up mostly never having Asian friends or identifying with that part of my life. But I wasn’t really trying, was I? I wanted the things that everyone else had: A normal lunch, to run for student government, to be decent in school, but nowhere near an overachiever because that would put me in a stereotype. I longed to be good at sports, but that was never going to happen.
At the same time I was confused. I didn’t have the idols that everyone else had. I loved the Spice Girls and Britney Spears, but I couldn’t relate to them ever. For me, there was Lucy Liu, Mulan, Julie from The Puzzle Place, the yellow Power Ranger, and Kimi from Rugrats. As I got older, I admired Lisa Ling and Suchin Pak. I sometimes get annoyed at the articles that are saying that we are having a moment now, but the truth is, everyone has been hustling. We’ve always been here, but never truly seen.
This chapter in my life is called embracing. Leslie, Tommy and I got tickets for Crazy Rich Asians the night that it opened and I had been looking forward to it all week. I laughed at the jokes that I knew my family could relate to. I smiled from my nearly front row seat looking up at Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) because she was a heroine in this film. By the last quarter of the film, my entire face was wet and the tears were flowing. I couldn’t articulate why, but I knew it meant something powerful to me. It was this idea that even though Nick’s family looked like Rachel, she was a stranger and could never be seen as anything close to family. It’s so hard to talk about the film without giving spoilers away, but there are many themes within that resonated with my upbringing – the standards that are held for us, the shame and disgrace that you can bring upon your family, and the pursuit of happiness vs. expectations.
For weeks, I continued to hear this phrase, “representation matters”. I couldn’t say it myself because I didn’t know what it meant until I felt it. This past week has been overwhelming for me, full of emotions, a sense of accomplishment and solidarity. For those of you that connected with Crazy Rich Asians and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Asian or not, it meant the world to me to hear your praises and how much it resonated with you. Please continue to be curious and to seek these stories. The ones below are some of my favorites and paint an even clearer picture than I am able to.
- [Crying in H Mart]
- [Kelly Marie Tran – I Won’t Be Marginalized By Online Harassment]
- [The Stakes Are High for ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and That’s the Point]
- [Jon M. Chu Wrote a Heartfelt Letter to Coldplay asking to use ‘Yellow’]
- [An Asian-American Teen Idol Onscreen, Finally by Jenny Han ]
- [Why ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Could Be a Watershed Moment for Asian Representation in Hollywood]
- [The Story Behind USC Sophomore’s Recording of “Yellow” from Crazy Rich Asians]
Awkwafina talking about her “type” is exactly how I talk about my type.
I might be known for being someone that often makes big decisions without thinking them through entirely. Isn’t that what keeps things exciting though? I recently decided to leave my job and as I was figuring out my next move, I knew one thing for sure. I wanted some time off for funemployment. It wasn’t quite clear to me yet if I had enough “rainy day” money saved up, but I just knew that I would be okay. The other thing that I had wanted as part of my time off was to take a mini vacation. It would have been so easy to go back home to Seattle, but I wanted to use this time to explore an area that I hadn’t been before and get out of the city.
The time off was a rollercoaster. It flew by incredibly fast, but it taught me so much in so little time. I can’t wait to share with you below just what those lessons were. One thing I will say though is that this felt like a true vacation versus being employed and having a vacation which are two very different things. In my career, the work never stops and I’ve been known to respond to emails and take urgent calls at all hours of the day even while on vacation. I’m happy to report that some of my biggest decisions that I had to make during my time off were mainly around what I was going to have for lunch or dinner.
1. Back Pocket Money
Let’s revisit that money thing again, shall we? When I was working, I roughly knew about how much I was spending a day for my daily latte, commute, and lunch. On my time off, I thought I could save more because I would be eliminating the commute, but naturally, that budget got rerouted to other things… like clothes, snacks, random things I thought I needed. Since I wouldn’t be working, I also thought I could eliminate coffee, but that proved to be more challenging than I thought. My body was so used to it every day that not having caffeine gave me a slower start to the day or required an afternoon nap. I had to keep a close watch on my budget which meant no excessive spending and being weary of the bills I still had to pay without a check coming in. Even with that in mind, there are some things you can’t predict! That thing was dropping my phone and shattering the screen even WITH the glass screen protector I had on it. It happened right before I was about to leave for my trip and I knew I couldn’t go on it without a phone, but as you can imagine, it was not cheap. My heart sunk having to go through with this, but what other choice did I have?
2. Thinking about nothing is relieving
Every day was a new day for me and not every day came with a challenge. Each morning I woke up with somewhat of a plan of what I wanted to tackle, but I wasn’t on a deadline for it. For the first time in my life, I felt very much in control of my own decision making. My brain felt relaxed and that was a relief. In the moment, it may have felt like mindless activity for the duration, but I knew that this time off was actually preparing me to start work again. If I had left my position and jumped into something immediately, I wouldn’t have had the time I needed to decompress. This may be the recruiter in me saying this, but I do think it’s important to have some space between jobs so that you can properly close the chapter on one story before opening another. On my list of favorite decisions to make: deciding on lunch or dinner, picking out floral arrangements for my vase, and deciding which series I wanted to binge watch on Netflix.
3. Yow Yow! got to have its moment
For years, I always said that Yow Yow! had to take a backseat to the rest of my life because it always came in second to my education and career. It made me wonder for the longest time if I could ever cut it out as a full time writer/blogger. Now that I had this time, I wanted to give it a shot. I wanted to wake up every day and have the space and time to come up with the content I wanted to share. I wrote more posts in this span of time than I ever have during a normal vacation or winter break. The most important part for me was that I never felt rushed. I could spend time with my words and if I could have this all the time while juggling a career, I would be perfectly content. It was incredibly fun to do, but it led me a bigger revelation I had for myself.
4. When it was time to go back to work
One discovery that I had was that as much as I loved working on Yow Yow! I wasn’t having the same impact with writing that I had had in my career with recruiting. Yow Yow! was peaceful, but isolating. It also led me to more creative blocks; something that I don’t face in my career. I started to miss the hustle and bustle of being back in the office, juggling a dozen things at once and having a day that was completely unpredictable. I needed the break sure, but I knew I wasn’t ready for retirement any time soon. Funemployment showed me that there was more growth to be had in my career and new challenges that I wanted to hit.
Tomorrow is day one again and it feels exactly like the first day of school. I know I won’t be able to sleep tonight. I’ve got “eagles” in my stomach (virtual high five if you can nail that reference) and of course, I feel unprepared! One of my biggest worries is that even though it was a short amount of time in some people’s eyes, that I’ll feel rusty going back. Here’s hoping that I can pick up my LinkedIn Recruiter again like a bicycle!
When it comes to home improvement shows, I often feel like I missed the boat on the HGTV craze. I’m the kind of person who wants to make my home feel comfortable for everyone and myself, but I don’t often have the resources or know-how to do it. Airbnb’s fascinate me, especially as someone that grew up loving hotels. When I first saw this trailer for “Stay Here,” I thought it was for another Netflix original film. To my surprise, it’s all about working with property owners to make their short term rentals a place people actually want to stay at. “Stay Here” premieres on Netflix starting August 17th for those of you who are interested!