Beauty Secrets

It’s really your duty to reveal them.  At least to your friends.  Like, if I were suddenly a glowing, poreless wonder, for instance, I would immediately share with you precisely what I was doing/using/chanting.  (I would not merely say I was getting more sleep or eating more veg or something).

I think previously I shared the inexpensive yet potently magical healing cure (vitamin E oil) and also the beautiful memory of when my 21-yr-old self discovered a true miracle cream— the sadly discontinued Estée Lauder Fruition (the BEST skin of my LIFE!)

I totally meant to share w/you (then completely forgot) the very effective—not quite “miracle” but definitely amazing—Nourish All in One Facial Cleanser from Trader Joe’s. . .

Only $5.99, and it’s a time-saving triple threat: makeup remover, cleanser, and exfoliant !   My aunt told me about this one.  She stocks up in her fridge.

But this time I’m passing on a so far secondhand beauty miracle.  [I just ordered it,  and I only feel a *little* bit guilty at the indulgence.]  I gleaned this skin secret from a work colleague who I pestered when I saw her (even more) beautiful, glowy perfect skin—ok, I pounced.  And she generously told me—it’s a magic “essence” from sk-ii.   I got it at—for about $40 less than Sephora.  


I’ll report back when/if it works!

Anybody have any miracle potions to share? Please please do.  (And—thanks for reading).

How to Shed the Past

I’m doing a long overdue closet/life overhaul.  Can’t quite commit to becoming a strict minimalist—though that fanciful image of sitting calmly in a completely Zen-like empty apartment is SO appealing—but I’ve let things get out of hand for awhile.  And I just heard of this great new alternative to getting organized. It’s called discarding.  And, man, is it freeing.

I’m also near the end of this AMAZING little book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by a popular Japanese de-cluttering consultant named Marie Kondo.  Maybe you’ve heard of it, or her (she has a three-month waiting list for her services!), or maybe you have a hoard of things in your home you’re constantly trying to put out of your mind. 

Well, no doubt the hardest part of de-cluttering is getting rid of things you feel emotionally attached to, those things of “sentimental value.”  

Apparently this is a rough part of the process for everyone—deciding what things of your past to keep keeping, or what to let go of for good.  

I found a viewpoint from Marie Kondo that is truly liberating — a way of thinking that releases the guilt, lets you let go, and while still paying respect to treasured moments/memories of your life.  I had to share it here (on my ever-clutterfree, always beautifully intangible BLOG).  Maybe it will help you!

Life is now; cherish your life [that is] now.

Marie Kondo:  

“It is not our memories but the person we have become because of those past experiences that we should treasure. . . The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.”

I highly recommend this book.  Very inspiring + motivating.

I Love the Unattainable

This quote below.  (Today’s Happiness Project quote// Gretchen Rubin.)   What do you think?

“The greatest of all human delusions is that there is a tangible goal, and not just direction towards an ideal aim.  The idea that a goal can be attained perpetually frustrates human beings, who are disappointed at never getting there, never being able to stop.”

— Stephen Spender

 →  →  DO YOU AGREE ?
(Cuz I don’t!)   I personally love the never-ending  s t r e t c h  of goals that are impossible, or near-impossible.  At least, I like it—the concept—mentally.  For some reason, I feel as if it’s wrapped up in a childish concept of fairness, or justice.  Like, when we were younger, all us violin kids would get to, say, the Bruch g-minor concerto.   Of course we all wanted/strived for that magical goal of both technical flawlessness + musicality like no one  had ever heard before.   But would anyone get there? Has it already been reached? Who cares, there’s that perfect performance hanging in the air that you keep grasping for.

A simpler way to put it:  I had been plugging away at excerpts before several auditions + losing some major inspiration.  Everything felt confining + practicing seemed fruitless.  My friend Jeehoon stumbled by my practice room (we were in school then) + said this: 

Who is your favorite violinist? Or…Who do you think is the best violinist that ever lived?  Is it Heifetz? Do you think Heifetz is the best violinist EVER, as in, no one will ever play better? Isn’t there at least a small possibility that you could be “better” than Heifetz? What stops you from reaching that high?   

What Jeehoon said completely freed me.  My mind was set free! I no longer felt like I had to just play better than most people who would show up at the audition; I could set a much higher, even unattainable goal than just “getting all the notes right” —  it was one of those moments in life that you don’t forget.  

The unattainability of perfection can be both equalizing + freeing.  Who cares about what big shot will show up + kill it? All that matters are your own higher aims, your personal ideals for beauty, your sincere attempts at great beauty.  

There may in fact be NO cause/effect at play here.  But in my memory, I had never felt so free to play the way *I* wanted to—perhaps for the first time I wasn’t trying to second-guess what others wanted me to do (which I used to think was a skill).  And unbelievably, magic started to happen in my life:  the next two auditions I actually won.  

So.  Jeehoon: 1; Stephen Spender: 0.

Oh Hi

Saw this today (not my pic; it’s from Pinterest) and had to share. . .

Look also at the shiny new baby boy my friend (from grad school & now we work together!) just had —

Is that too much or WHAT?!?

Time Stoppers Club


E V E R Y O N E   S H O U L D   W R I T E. 

There are obviously others of you out there who, like me, also feel compelled to write.  You see life, the world, passing, and you grab the moment by writing, and you write before it passes beyond your grasp.  So you can proceed with living.  It makes me feel better to know there are others of you.  I used to feel like writing was this domain of the fancy, or the intellectual.  I never want to call myself a writer, in that I don’t necessarily write to show others what I’ve written, or need/want to prove myself (no way).  Now I think it’s too bad that more people don’t pick up the pen for themselves, just for themselves.  You don’t have to write “properly”, who cares about grammar, and no one is grading you.  What is the big deal? You don’t have to show anyone.  I’m not saying blog publicly or anything.  I’m just saying writing helps you figure out and get perspective in ways that talking sometimes doesn’t, and sooooooooooo many people miss out on that. Sometimes you just need your own company, your own inner guidance/wisdom.  And you need that vehicle through which to talk to yourself on that deeper level ー sounds funny, but it’s true:  writing is there just waiting for you to use.  The pen, symbolically, is that vehicle.  Am I making sense?  I guess many would say that vehicle ought to be meditation, something non-verbal.  But for me I find that the answers from “somewhere” (not me) usually come when I’m writing.  I haven’t been left hanging yet. 

Ok, the writing propaganda part is over.   

T I  M E   S  T  O  P  P  E  R S   C L  U B .  

Time stoppage was also sort of propaganda, because actually I guess writers can’t stop time ー though it does feel like it, doesn’t it?  You sit here at the computer, or at the page with the pen, and any recorder of history or even creator of fiction, gets to feel like they control time for a minute.  And that’s crazy good.  It’s not only comforting and perspective-gaining, but gives one a little milestone in one’s morning, day, week, month, year ー however often you write.  I honestly don’t think I’m giving writing too much of a pedastal.  I even remember certain moments of writing when I was very young ー and they were when I was all alone, in unremarkable locations like my bedroom (the physical appearance of which I mostly forget), scribbling in [ok, very cute pink Hello Kitty or similar] notebooks, in escape mode from elementary school life ー when I detailed very insignificant moments really, in the playground, or more significantly, ideas of what Mozart was really like as a kid.  I clearly remember that this certain moment was second grade, but honestly in general I don’t have much of a memory of the rest of my early youth.  I’m thinking maybe it’ll be like that for me later as well.  I won’t remember much of my thirties, (scary), but I’ll remember a post I did on a certain pair of shoes that I really wanted. . . (sad). . . Who knows?  But it’s interesting to use writing to record things going on, and see what sticks, help yourself see what is really important to you.  (At least that is what I am hoping will happen for me.) Ok, back to packing/practicing combo.  My flight is at 4.  Maybe Time Pausers Club ー give us writers a bit more credit.  And since Time Slowers Club just sounds dumb.