Bullet Journal February Update Watercolor Prima Marketing Pastel Dreams Self Care

Bullet Journal: February Update

February is here and I am so excited! I have a lot of events lined up, including my Galentine’s dates, supporting my friends and our first trip to Florida for Diagon Alley and Disneyworld. It is our four year anniversary this month as well. Just looking at the “Important Dates” on my monthly spread gives me butterflies!

But if I learned anything from my burnout in December, it is that my ability to have a social life and a creative life in addition to working in customer service is very dependent on taking care of myself and carving out time to reset. So in order to make sure I can genuinely enjoy the month of February, I incorporated gratitude, water intake, journaling and meditation into my bullet journal.

I need my daily gratitude tracker (you can see what it looks like in my October spread). Some days I feel like I can go on and on about what I am thankful for. But on the days where I struggle to find anything at all is when I need the perspective change the most. It reminds me of how fortunate I am on good and bad days, which is important for self-awareness.

Since I am using WaterMinder to track how much water I drink, I can see the percentage of my water intake goal of 60 ounces. I record it into my bullet journal before I go to sleep or when I wake up in the morning, which holds me accountable and gets me motivated for the next day.

I am also passively tracking the last two habits: Journaling and using Headspace, a meditation app. Instead of having an indicator on each day for these habits, I am going to mark the days when I have done either. At the end of the month, I will see how well I did and if I really do need a daily tracker for it in March. This is my first time passively tracking a habit, so I am intrigued to know if it will be helpful or if I will forget to do it completely.

If you are incorporating anything new into your bullet journal this month or have any tried-and-true trackers, please share with me! I love hearing and trying out how other people organize and motivate themselves (I usually tweak it to match my lifestyle). Even if it’s not with a bullet journal, I would love to hear how you plan on organizing the month of February!

Paints: Prima Marketing 590253 Watercolor Confections: Pastel Dreams
Journal: Moleskine Watercolor Album Sketchbook – 5″x8″ (Spanish Edition)


Five Steps to Better Skin Care

One thing I find so common when I talk to my friends is our struggle with our skin. In 2013, I experienced hormonal cystic acne when I was going through a lot of major life changes.  There was a concentration underneath my right eye, which made me extremely uncomfortable to make eye contact while talking to anyone.  Eventually as my life seemed to settle down, my cystic acne did, too.

However, my acne still flares up, usually due to stress or my cycle. I still feel self-conscious of my skin because of the scarring. I don’t feel comfortable leaving the house without makeup on even if it is just to run errands. I need to say as a disclaimer that I love makeup and believe it is very empowering. However, there is something about not feeling 100% confident in the skin on your face that can really dampen how you feel about yourself. I’m not trying to quit makeup because I love learning about it and I find it fun. Instead, my goal is to feel better about the skin I am using as a canvas.

Until recently, I have not really put skin care to the forefront of my mind aside from which cleansers and moisturizers I use. I want to share what changes I’ve made to improve my skin and I plan on writing an update in the next couple of weeks.

  1. Hydration
    I do not like drinking water at all, but I do love the feeling of checking something off a to-do list. I started using an app called WaterMinder which satiates that feeling of completing a task and also forces me to stay hydrated. It gives you a daily goal and you log in what you drink. My personal goal is to get 100% at least twice a week.
  2. Exercise
    Since the beginning of January I have started to train for a 10K and have honestly dreaded doing so. However, I have felt a noticeable difference in my acne. While the scarring is still there, the bumps have gone down and my skin feels smoother. I feel less stressed throughout the day and sweating seems to do my skin some good as long as I cleanse and exfoliate my face after.
  3. Nightly Routine
    A quick google search on skin care and the words “retinoids” (aka Vitamin A) and “hyaluronic acid” (HA) will give you the most positive feedback. Hyaluronic acid is an intense moisturizer, while retinoids encourages skin cell turnover, leading to improvements in acne, scarring, fine lines and wrinkles. You should definitely talk to a dermatologist to find out what the best strategy is for your skin. I incorporated both into my night routine with The Ordinary’s The No-Brainer Set. Again, it takes a while to find out if a new product really gels with your skin, so I’ll write an update post. So far, I love the product. Plus, I just really enjoy having a nightly routine to help me wind down for bed.
  4. Exfoliating
    My cousin gave me Frank Body Peppermint Coffee Scrubfor Christmas last year and I have been obsessed ever since. Exfoliating every other day is great and definitely after you exercise to make sure all that sweat doesn’t clog your pores. It leaves your skin feeling unbelievably soft. Plus, if you love liquid lipsticks as much as I do, it is a great way to keep your lips looking healthy as well.
  5. Face Masks
    This is a double whammy that barely needs any explanation at all. Not only are you hydrating your skin, but it is calming. I’ve written about how to use masks as a mindfulness tool. Decreasing your mental stress is so helpful for your physical body.

I know that these five tips are not revolutionary, but it has been a step in the right direction for me. I can’t wait to write my follow up post on this topic. I might even write a couple more updates throughout the year. If you have any skin care tips or products that you love, please share them with me!

three lessons from the common cold fellow lemon ginger tea home remedies recipes

Three Lessons from the Common Cold

If you read my previous post on my holiday burnout, you’ll understand that I was over the moon to have a real weekend off with Dennis for the first time since November.  Of course, my body had other plans. I had pushed myself too hard during the holidays and it all caught up with me. I spent half of the weekend bundled up, congested and passed out on the couch.

If you know me in person, you will know that I am a complete baby when it comes to being sick. I don’t want to do anything at all, have no appetite whatsoever and will lug around a mini pharmacy with me wherever I go. Now that my head is feeling a little less cloudy, I am going to share what I learned about myself.

  • I need to rest. While a huge thanks goes to Nyquil, I have to force myself to rest and let my body heal itself. Lying in bed on my phone for hours or binge watching some of my favorite shows doesn’t help my body replenish. It simply needs rest.
  • I need to take a look at my habits. What am I eating? What am I drinking? How much water or tea have I had? When did I go to bed last night? In order to get myself back to 100%, I have to really watch how I treat my body. I’ll be completely honest, this is not something I do normally yet. I jokingly complained to Dennis that I was tired of drinking so many fluids and realized I probably drank more water in the past three days than I have in the past month. And that can’t be good.
  • I need to disconnect temporarily. Mainly because I get dizzy if I am on my phone for too long and feel achey at my computer when I have a cold. It was nice because I got to read through a good chunk of The Fellowship of the Ring, one of my favorite books, and felt happy. Reading is so nourishing for me and this was a reminder of how I need to carve out more time in my day for it.

I started this post as a written journal entry because, as I mentioned previously, I get a little dizzy with screens for too long. But after I finished, I realized that this was something that I should share because catching a cold sucks, but it is probably the ultimate reminder that you really do need to take care of yourself. I’ll end my post with my lemon and ginger tea, which I have had too many cups to count. I like it so much I think I should drink it even when I am not sick!

Lemon & Ginger Tea
(Single Serving)

1″ of ginger, thinly sliced (I used a peeler) placed in a metal tea ball or mesh tea bag
3-4 thin slices of lemon
1-2 tbsp of honey

In a mug, pour boiling water over the ginger tea ball and lemon slices. Steep for at least 5 minutes. Muddle the lemon slices. Add honey and stir. Optional: I like to steep a peppermint tea bag with it for the extra health benefits.


Face Masks Mindfulness Tool - Lush Soo Ae Pure Body Natural

Face Masks: A Mindfulness Tool

Imagine cool mud painted on your face with sliced cucumbers on your eyes as you are snuggled comfortably in a white robe with a glass of white wine in hand. The pinnacle of relaxation.

I used to think that face masks were something you could only get done at a resort spa while you were on vacation, which meant it was an activity completely out of my fingertips 99% of the year. But then I moved to Korea.  While I was learning about this new culture, I was introduced to daily moisturizing face masks. A friend showed me a face mask made of egg whites. It was a white circle with holes cut out for your eyes, nose and mouth and it looked frighteningly close to the Scream mask from the horror films. I tried it on, felt silly and even laughed a bit. But after I got used to the feeling, I enjoyed relaxing. In those 10 minutes, I really tried to feel calm and stay present. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised that I had such a calming experience in my apartment.

Since then, K-Beauty has spread everywhere and face masks are readily accessible. You can find them in whatever price range you can afford at beauty shops, general stores or online. There are even recipes to make your own face masks at home!

Here are some tips for using face masks as a self-care tool:

  1. Schedule it into your routine. Face masks only take 10-15 minutes. My #1 excuse for not practicing self-care is that I am too busy or too tired. But if I can squeeze 10 minutes into my night routine after a rough day at work or in the morning before I get ready for the day, I feel grateful for doing so.
  2. Be still. Try not to get distracted while you have your face mask on. It is easy to try and do other tasks around the house. Instead, have a seat or lie down and focus on how you feel in the moment. What sensations do you feel? What are the sounds going on around you? Take the 10 minutes to wind down and calm any distracting thoughts. If meditation is not your thing, try journaling about your experience for 10 minutes.
  3. Change it up. Once you get into the habit of using your face masks mindfully, try to change up the types of masks. I love trying out new masks with different ingredients and functions. I stay excited to use my face masks, which means I am less likely to push it off “until next time.”
  4. Share the love. Part of my own self-care is relational self-care, which includes maintaining my close relationships. I discovered this practice through a friend and now I love giving them as gifts or even doing face masks as bonding time with my sisters. The Birth of Venus mask by Lush in the photo was a present from a friend and I appreciated it as reminder to take some time for myself!

Face masks were my first form of physical self-care and has found its way into my weekly routine. It changed my first impression of self-care. Instead of pampering yourself as a shallow luxury, I now think of face masks as a way to take care of myself as an enriching experience for mindfulness.

Products in Featured Photo:

Pure Body Naturals’ Pure Body Naturals Purifying Dead Sea Mud Mask Facial Treatment, 8.8 Ounce

Lush’s Birth of Venus $13.95

Soo Ae’s Donkey Milk Skin Gel Mask $2.50