I Did a Full Glossier Makeup Routine For Two Weeks—Here’s How it Went

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I have been in an absolute makeup rut. With staying at home and living through the bitter winter months, I haven’t had much motivation to cake products on my face. This is where Glossier comes in. For years, I have been a fan of the millennial-focused, pink-packaged brand, and with the recent release of their Lash Slick film, I am back to being totally obsessed. In my time of need, I knew I could rely on this brand to get me out of my makeup rut. 

I went into my Glossier-testing challenge saying I would wear a full face of makeup every day for two weeks, which I found a bit unattainable. However, I definitely have rediscovered my old appreciation for a medium to full face of makeup and am back to glamming it up at least four days a week.  

 

The Routine:

 

During my first week of getting back into wearing makeup, I went all-in with my tried-and-trues. Here’s what my most “glam” routine looked like during this experiment:

 





 

1. Skin Tint

The Perfecting Skin Tint is one of my go-to repurchases. As I said, I am not a huge fan of caking on makeup, and I like to let my natural skin shine through. This product allows me to do just that. A few drops of the liquid lightly cover imperfections and even out your skin tone overall. Since this product is so light, you won’t see much transfer onto your mask, as you might see with a heavier foundation. Every day I wore this product, my skin looked glowy and even!





Glossier

Perfecting Skin Tint

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2. Cream Blush

Cloud Paint is definitely one of the cult-classic products Glossier fans always talk about—and for good reason. The liquid blush adds a perfectly natural flush and comes in several shades to compliment your skin tone. I used the deep berry rose-tone called Storm on my cheekbones and across my nose. This added color made me look like I had been a bit sunkissed, which I am definitely not!





Glossier

Cloud Paint Blush

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3. Eyeliner

In doing this experiment, I discovered Glossier had discontinued their Play line, which featured funkier, more glam products like glitter and the Colorslide eyeliner (my favorite item). I have the eyeliner in the neon orange, hot pink, and minty-blue shades. During my experiment, I alternated between the three and loved them all. They are all creamy, pigmented, and user-friendly. This simple step made my eyes and overall makeup look really pop and I definitely stood out on all of my Zoom calls. If you are looking for a way to elevate your beauty routine for spring, a funky-colored eyeliner is perfect! Since Colorslide is no longer available, NYX’s Epicwear Liner sticks are a great alternative and come in a ton of different colors from teal to purple. Glossier also has Skywash, a liquid eyeshadow that provides a light wash of color if you are looking for a more toned-down look.





NYX Professional Make Up

Epic Wear Liner Stick

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Glossier

Sky Wash – Sheer Matte Lid Tint

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4. Highlighter

Haloscope is a lovely mix of dew and shimmery highlight. I dab it on my cheekbones with my fingers for the perfect glow. This also stands alone well on its own if you aren’t wearing any other makeup but want to liven up your face.





Glossier

Haloscope Highlighter Stick

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5. Brow Gel

With naturally bushy, crazy eyebrows, I always need a bit of help shaping and evening out the shade. Boy Brow is the perfect brow gel that you can easily swipe over your brow hairs for a natural but better look. Glossier’s product comes in several shades to match your brow hairs, and the tube lasts forever!





Glossier

Boy Brow Eyebrow Gel

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6. Mascara

You may have seen Instagram ads and commercials for Glossier’s Lash Slick promotional film, and you won’t be disappointed. Lash Slick mascara coats your lashes for a longer, lifted look without being over the top. P.S. I’ve never met a mascara that is so clump-free!





Glossier

Lash Stick Mascara

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7. Lip Balm

Now for my favorite product that I could never live without: Glossier’s Balm Dot Com! I’m a bit of a Balm Dot Com hoarder and have several flavors, including coconut, berry, mango, and fig. These lightly-scented balms glide over your lips to add a glossy tint, delicious scent, and added moisture! I promise if you try it, you will never leave the house without it.





Glossier

Balm Dotcom Lip Balm

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How I Felt

To be honest, I really needed a boost—and just by adding a bit of makeup into my routine, I was able to freshen up my life. By changing up my routine slightly, my mornings were automatically more exciting. I woke up looking forward to lining my eyes with neon colors and popping on my yummy, coconut lip balm. 

 





 

I definitely noticed a confidence boost, especially on my Zoom calls. Sometimes it’s hard to notice any makeup on Zoom, but you could really see the Glossier highlight and neon eyeliner! And anytime I caught a glance of myself in the mirror I thought, ‘Dang girl, you look good!’ 

On another note, I realized I don’t need makeup every day to feel good too. It really is just a way to elevate your daily life when you want to. And with these Glossier products, I have a wide range of options. I can add one product like Haloscope for a bit of a glow or go all-in with colorful eyes and vibrant cheeks for an amped-up look. I love makeup and it’s so fun to use, but sometimes letting your skin breathe is just as exhilarating as a vibrant eye shadow. 

 





The Courage to Stay

A picture of a person standing by the waves

What does it look like to stay when things are hard?

I have come up against this question a lot in the last 365 days. With a pandemic that changed the way we live, how we communicate and where we are able to travel in one fell swoop, life has been difficult.

Difficult doesn’t seem to suffice. At times, it has been gut-wrenching.

Living in Los Angeles, this jarring heaviness has been impossible to escape. When people asked about visiting my beloved City of Angels in 2020, I discouraged it. The last 12 months have looked a lot like waving goodbye to another friend as they pack up and move away, watching owners board up their businesses for the last time, and walking deserted streets at sunset dodging another masked passerby.

L.A. has lost a lot of the freedom, spontaneity and joy that makes her L.A. It hasn’t been the same.

L.A. has lost a lot of the freedom, spontaneity and joy that makes her L.A.

This place has always been a hard city to make it in, but in this past year, that feeling of “hard” has only been amplified. There have been moments when I’ve wanted to quit too—pack my bags and leave SoCal in my dust. To be honest, I’ve wanted to quit a lot of things. It’s been a mood I’ve been in lately. Quit. Run away. Pack up and leave.

And then I was confronted with this notion: What does it look like to stay when things are hard?

Stay.

This not only applies to a physical location, but also in relationships. What does it look like to stay in a friendship, at a job or in a romantic relationship when things are hard? Oftentimes, when things get hard, the easiest and most opportune choice seems to be to cut your losses and leave.

A common form of this in our culture today is “ghosting” or “deading” people in communication. We get angry or uncomfortable in conflict, and we simply stop responding. It’s easy. It’s safe. It requires the least amount of effort.

But what would it look like to stay in these moments? What would it look like to sit in uncomfortable places, to have hard conversations with people, to weather the storms of life and resolve to stay put until it passes? (This does not apply to abusive, toxic or manipulative relationships. You should never stay in a place or relationship where you are unsafe.)

What would it look like to sit in uncomfortable places, to have hard conversations with people, to weather the storms of life and resolve to stay put until it passes?

I want to be the type of person who knows how to weather the storm. I want to be a friend who shows up to the table when I’ve hurt a friend or when someone has hurt me to have the hard conversations necessary for reconciliation. I want to be the team player who, instead of putting her two weeks’ notice in at the first sign of trouble, pursues clarifying conversations and commits to continued open dialogue. I want to be the daughter and sister who is willing to dig her heels in and work through the really messy and sometimes painful parts of family.

What I have been finding lately is that the more I stay in these tough moments, the more I mature and grow. It is difficult. It is humbling. It is hard, but it is also worth it.

I want to be the woman who knows how to stay. The reward—growth in communication, in patience, in listening, in forgiveness, in perseverance—is worth the long and sometimes painful journey. As I continue to learn to stay in hard moments, I notice myself growing in gentleness and graciousness toward myself and others.

I want to be the woman who knows how to stay.

As I looked out at another Los Angeles sunset on my drive home today, soft hues of coral and amber painted the sky. I thought to myself, “OK, L.A. I’ll hold on a little longer. I’ll stay.”

Have you ever walked away from a relationship because you were afraid of conflict? What does it mean to show up and sit in uncomfortable places?

Image via Judith Pavón Sayrach

Women in History Whose Names You May Not Have Learned in Grade School

A little girl's backpack

Abolitionist and suffragist Lucy Stone said, “I believe that the influence of woman will save the country before every other power.” In honor of Women’s History Month, here are five female activists who fought for equal rights and who are not often found in school history books. 

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper was a poet, activist and abolitionist. She was raised by her abolitionist uncle in Baltimore, Maryland, a “slave state,” where she lived as a free Black woman. Harper authored “Forest Leaves,” her first collection of poetry, in 1846.

Harper was known for weaving writing and advocacy together. Harper’s “Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects” depicted the brutality of slavery and conveyed the deep suffering of Black people in works such as, “Eliza Harris,” “The Slave Auction” and “The Slave Mother.” Harper’s “The Two Offers,” was the first short story published by a Black woman in America. 

In her famous speech “We Are All Bound Up Together” at the 1866 National Women’s Rights Convention, Harper spoke of the “double burden of racism and sexism” Black women endured and advocated for the importance of intersectionality. In her speech she said, “We are all bound up together in one great bundle of humanity, and society cannot trample on the weakest and feeblest of its members without receiving the curse in its own soul.” 

We are all bound up together in one great bundle of humanity, and society cannot trample on the weakest and feeblest of its members without receiving the curse in its own soul.” — Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Mabel Ping-Hua Lee

Born in Guangzhou, China, Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee immigrated with her family to New York City in 1905. Lee quickly became involved in the women’s suffrage movement. By 1912, she led 10,000 people in a suffragist parade atop a horse. 

The same year, Lee matriculated to Barnard College, where she penned many feminist essays, including “The Meaning of Woman Suffrage,” which argued women’s rights were central to a functioning democracy. She also spoke at the Women’s Political Union’s Suffrage Shop in support of equal opportunities for Chinese women. Though the 19th amendment was passed in 1917, the Chinese Exclusion Act prevented Chinese women from becoming citizens and from voting until 1943. 

Lee would go on to become the first Chinese woman to obtain a doctoral degree in the United States. She also earned a Master’s in Educational Administration and a PhD in Economics from Columbia University. She spent her life fighting for equity for the Chinese American community. 

Betty Friedan 

Often referred to as the “mother” of “second wave feminism, Betty Friedan graduated from Smith College. She later went on to become a journalist and then a freelance writer after marrying and having children. Friedan polled more than 200 Smith alumnae in 1957 to learn about their experiences as mothers and housewives, eventually identifying “the problem that has no name:” the unhappiness of housewives.

Friedan’s research determined that while culture told women they should find immeasurable happiness in housework, marriage and childcare, many women were actually deeply dissatisfied. In 1960, Friedan wrote “Women Are People Too!” for Good Housekeeping. In it, Friedan asked, “Who knows what women can be when they finally are free to become themselves?” This article was the precursor to “The Feminine Mystique,” released in 1963

Friedan founded several feminist organizations, including the National Organization of Women and NARAL Pro-Choice. Though Friedan undoubtedly advanced feminism, she was criticized for not being inclusive and intersectional enough. 

Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer was one of the most impactful civil rights leaders in American history. In 1961, while in the hospital for a minor procedure, a white doctor gave Hamer a nonconsensual hysterectomy.  The very common “forced sterilization” of women of color—without their permission or knowledge—were termed “Mississippi appendectomies,” a clear indicator of the prevalence and violent extent of racist eugenics in America. 

Hamer subsequently became centrally involved in civil rights work. The following year, Hamer attempted to register to vote. Though she was allowed to take a highly unethical literary test, she did not pass. On the ride home with other organizers, police stopped the group and arrested the driver because the “bus was too yellow.” Her boss (a white plantation owner) fired and evicted her for attempting to register to vote. Following a lunch counter sit-in, police beat Hamer so violently that her eyes, limbs and organs were permanently damaged

Though President Lyndon Johnson tried to silence her, Hamer courageously testified about the brutality of racism at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Her speech aired to massive national audience. In her speech, Hamer asked, “Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where we have to sleep with our telephones off the hooks because our lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings, in America?” The fight for racial equality and equality became Fannie Lou’s lifelong mission.

In her famous speech [at the Democratic National Convention], Hamer asked, “Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

Dolores Huerta 

Dolores Huerta experienced racial violence at an early age. In her 20s, Huerta became a labor activist registering voters and advocating for economic equity. She went on to found the Agricultural Workers Association where she continued to help push voter registration.

Huerta collaborated with César Chávez to form the National Farm Workers Association (which later became the United Farm Workers’ Union) to improve the wages and conditions for farm workers in the United States. Huerta originate the phrase “Sí se puede!” meaning “Yes, we can.” President Barack Obama later used the slogan as his presidential campaign slogan. 

Huerta worked tirelessly for the rights of farm workers leading boycotts, advocating for legislation on behalf of agricultural workers and lobbying for representation and women’s rights. In 2012, Huerta received the Presidential Medal of Freedom

What women in history inspires you the most? What are some traits she possesses that you would like to embody?

Image via Chaunté Vaughn, Darling Issue 15

How To Be There for a Friend When You Can’t Be There in Person





For pretty much all of my adult life, most (if not all) of my closest friends and I lived far apart from each other. Some of us were going to school, others were starting jobs, and some were getting engaged and planning weddings. We had to adapt our friendships to be long-distance (which I say is totally a skill) and found that there were tons of pain points. We lived in different time zones, worked at different hours, and had different things on our plates. We missed happy hours and nights out and getting to cheer each other on or cheer each other up.

And while all of that was hard, by far the worst was the inability to just immediately be there if someone was going through a hard time. I couldn’t just knock on their bedroom doors, walk to their nearby apartments, or hop in the car for a short drive to get to them. Now, getting to someone when we needed each other would’ve meant hours-long drives or plane rides across the country—not exactly doable at the last minute if the situation wasn’t a full-on 10 (and not necessarily then either). Now, everyone is dealing with that reality as we hit the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, which, as we know all too well, has kept friends and family far away.

Luckily, you can absolutely be there for your friends even when you can’t actually physically be there. A little creativity and plenty of communication will help your friends feel supported and loved—no matter how far away you have to be.

 

Ask them what you can do

It might seem like taking the easy way out to just straight-up ask your friend what they need from you, but it’s the best way to cut to the chase and allow you to give support in a way that will actually really help. 

“There is often a tendency for us to feel the need to assist others in the way we want to. So the best way to support our friends in this time is the way they need to be supported,” Nikita Banks, LCSW, a therapist and host of the Black Therapist podcast, said. “The easiest way to help our friends now is to ask them, ‘how can I support you?’ When asked at first, most people don’t know how to answer that question. For many, it is the first time they have been asked. But when people come to you with things they are struggling with, it is very intimate.”

Even just asking the question can be a small way to show up for them and show your support, Brooke Sprowl, LCSW, therapist and founder of My LA Therapy, said.

If they’re not sure how to answer the question or aren’t sure they even want to answer the question, you can then follow up with some specific suggestions that might be helpful and then they can tell you what would be best, Sprowl explained. Maybe it’d help if you kept your phone close so they could text or call if they felt like they needed to talk, maybe they really need you to send dinner or share their news with a mutual friend so that they don’t have to. Offering suggestions means they can do a little less if they’re overwhelmed.

Asking is a good start.

 





Source: Charles Deluvio | Unsplash

 

Pick up the phone

It might sound extremely obvious, but Sprowl pointed out that calling, texting, and FaceTiming are all really good ways to show your friends you’re there for them, even if you can’t be, you know, actually there for them. Send them support without asking too many questions in case they’re not in a place where they can do a deep-dive into the ins and outs of what happened. Maybe there’s a funny story or wild memory that’s relevant to what’s going on or how they’re feeling that will make them smile. 

And don’t be afraid to call if you normally text or FaceTime rather than a regular voice call—think outside the usual routine and switch things up.

“Sure, you can call and check in on someone, but does a video call make you feel more connected? Does your loved one feel more connected that way? When’s the last time you saw the bottom half of your loved one’s face? Maybe change up the routine and video chat instead of texting,” Erin Parisi, LMHC, a licensed mental health counselor, said. “What about sharing funny memes or videos that make you think of your loved one? Sharing a laugh can make us feel connected. It can be an easy way to tell someone they’re on your mind.”

 

Check in even when they aren’t asking for help

Yes, plenty of friends reach out when they need someone’s support, but lots of people also don’t feel especially comfortable doing that, as Parisi noted. Checking in with your friends to see how they’re doing and letting them know that you’re there for them if they need you can be a game-changer if they’ve been struggling, but didn’t want to reach out and ask for support.

It can be as simple as a quick text, but just making it clear that you’re there for them and care about them can mean a lot.

 

Get creative

“Maybe being there for your loved one means running their errands for them when they don’t feel up to it, or if your loved one is at higher risk,” Parisi suggested. “Can you do their grocery shopping? Fill up their gas tank? Pick up prescriptions? Get their glasses fixed, dry cleaning done, oil changed, their dog groomed… would your loved one appreciate having something crossed off of their to-do list?”

Pitching in and helping out can show support during a global pandemic, sure, but it can also be exactly what your friend who just had a baby or who has been spending long nights at work needs. Showing your support doesn’t have to just mean directly telling them you’re there for them, it can also be doing something that needs doing. They’ll appreciate it.

 





Source: Yunah, PA-C | @yunah.lee

 

Meet them where they are

People are tired, stressed, and burnt out. They’re trying new things, realizing they actually have different priorities than they may have thought, and are just trying to make it through the day. One of the best ways you can be there for your friends right now is to make it clear that however they’re feeling, it’s more than OK.

“Allow your loved ones to express how they feel, even if you don’t feel the same,” Parisi said. “We’re all just doing the best we can. Be kind.”

You might be coping really well, but they might be struggling with something. You can have your feelings while still allowing them to feel theirs. Offer to just listen while they vent without jumping in with suggestions on how to make things better (but totally feel free to give advice if they give the OK). Sometimes that’s really what someone needs most.

 

Spend time together, apart

Listen, I know that we’re all sick of even the idea of a Zoom happy hour with your close friends, but we are now a year into this and finding ways to spend time together even when we can’t actually be together in person is a must. Consider something other than a never-ending Zoom call if that’s just not what’s helpful today—there are truly so many options.

“There are also a lot of apps and websites that have evolved so that we can spend time together while staying physically apart,” Parisi noted. “If you or your loved one are craving a distraction, schedule a time to watch a Netflix movie or show together, and comment to each other in the chat feature. Or do the same with any other platform and text as you watch. Video games or online gaming with friends offers another way to hang out while staying socially distant.”

Maybe you’re watching the new show everyone’s talking about or maybe you pressed play on an old favorite that you’ve watched together a thousand times before. Watching together is what matters most. Plus, as an added bonus, it gives you a ready-made topic of conversation, which means that if talking about what’s hard feels overwhelming, you still have an easy way to feel connected and chat without focusing on something that’s causing pain.

 





Source: Chrissy Rutherford | @chrissyford

 

Be clear about your boundaries

When it comes to the pandemic, maybe your boundary is that you really don’t feel comfortable being there in person right now, even if you otherwise could be. But your boundaries could also be emotional ones. Maybe you’re also dealing with things that are really difficult or challenging right now. In that case, you might not be able to be there for your friend in the way that you want to be.

“ … [K]nowing what your limits are, what you have to give, and what you don’t have to give is really important,” Sprowl said. “I think that it’s possible to let someone know, ‘hey, I’d really like to be there for you and to support you and I’m really sorry that I can’t. I’m really sorry that I’m going through this stuff and I don’t have that to give right now and when I do, I will. At this moment, I’m going through my own stuff and I’m sorry that I can’t be there for you.’ So you can be really transparent about the conflict or the mixed feelings and it’s really OK to say you’re sorry that you don’t have more to give.”

It might sound harsh, but being honest with your friends about what you’re able to take on is absolutely OK. They should do that with you too!

 

Send them something to lift their spirits

One of my close friends used to have an annual busy period at work, like so many of us do. It meant long days and late nights and not a lot of free time for her. So I’d try my best to remember to send her a coffee or another treat to make one of those days a little easier. It was just a small thing, but it was a reminder that I’m here for her and care about her, even if calls or texts were few and far between for a while.

Parisi said that those kinds of things are a great way to show support to a loved one when you can’t be there in person. Maybe it’s a full-blown care package or maybe it’s just something small like a postcard, which, she noted, is both inexpensive and super thoughtful. Either way, your friend will know you’re thinking of them, which is what really counts.

 





Source: Shaheen Khan | @lowstoluxe

 

Don’t forget to take care of yourself first

It’s only natural that you want to be there for your friends when they’re going through a hard time, but you first have to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself.

“It is OK to just be compassionate, but not take on other people’s problems,” Banks said. “Even the task of asking ‘how can I support you.’ You can’t ask this question if you aren’t prepared to show up for them in whatever way they need. So just make sure you are able to stabilize yourself before you overextend yourself.”

Being there for yourself—moving, sleeping, taking breaks to rest, processing what needs processing, etc—means that you’ll be able to show up and be there for your friend more effectively, even if you have to do so from afar.

 

Must-Have Items You Can’t Buy At Trader Joe’s





While I was in college, the three main food groups that dominated my diet included pizza rolls, ranch, and coffee. I know what you’re thinking. She was a beacon of health and wellness. I probably cooked a real meal only once (buttered noodles count, right?) and I don’t think that I consumed anything green for an entire year.

It was during this “less than nutritious” time of my existence that I was introduced to Trader Joe’s and, at first, I didn’t get the hype. Sure the prices were to die for and the cheeky packaging caught my eye but something was missing. I couldn’t find my beloved Totino’s pizza rolls. At the time, cheating on a Totino’s by opting for an off-brand pizza roll was an actual sin. So no, I wouldn’t call my affair with TJ’s a “love at first sight” situation.

When I was ready to face the fact that I couldn’t live solely off of pizza rolls, my relationship with Trader Joe’s grew stronger. We flirted, we dated, and now, we’re in a full-blown committed relationship. But, as with all relationships, I’ll acknowledge that our partnership is far from perfect. In an ideal world, Trader Joe’s would be a one-stop shop for all of the groceries I could ever possibly need. But the reality is that if I want, say, pizza rolls, I have to make a second trip somewhere else.

I’m a self-proclaimed Trader Joe’s groupie but here are 11 items I have to shop elsewhere for:

 

1. Chobani Vanilla Oat Milk





Trader Joe’s came so close to fulfilling my need for flavored oat milk in the fall when they released their maple-infused oat milk and, I’ll tell you, it was absolutely divine. But unfortunately, their Maple Oat Milk is a seasonal item that you can only snag when PSLs roam freely and the leaves boast a warm, rust-red color. Now, all that remains in its place is unflavored oat milk which does a job but not the job that I need it to do. I use this Chobani Vanilla Oat Milk every morning to make vanilla lattes and, until TJ’s brings back some flavored version of their unexciting oat milk, this is my go-to oat milk situation. 

 

2. Rao’s Vodka Sauce





I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I would do illegal things for Rao’s. Their all-natural sauces taste so close to my Italian grandmother’s homemade sauce that it’s worth the extra trip on my way home from Trader Joe’s. Don’t come for me, I’m not saying TJ’s sauces are bad. But Rao’s just hits exponentially different. At my local grocery store (s/o Jewel Osco), Rao’s is always on sale, which makes it comparable in price to any of Trader Joe’s sauce options.

 

3. High Noon Hard Seltzer






True Life: I’m a High Noon snob. I’ve tried hard seltzer after hard seltzer and, to be frank, most of them are just too flavorless for me. High Noons, on the other hand, are just right. They’re blended with vodka—not malt liquor—which helps to accentuate all of the fruity flavors your heart could desire. As of right now, Trader Joe’s just doesn’t have anything that compares so making a second trip for these (especially in the summer) is so worth it.

 

5. Buffalo Sauce






“Why does Trader Joe’s have hot sauce but not buffalo sauce?” is the recurring question that keeps me up in the late hours of the night. I just adore buffalo sauce. I put it on my eggs, avocado toast, buffalo chicken wraps, and salads. I simply can’t live without it. The day that Trader Joe’s releases one of their own is a day that I dream of often.

 

6. Vans Protein Waffles






Van’s protein waffles are my favorite waffles in the game for so many reasons. These ones are gluten-free, high in protein, and sans artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. That makes them an absolute win in my book. Trader Joe’s has waffles in their frozen breakfast section but until they release a higher-protein option, I’ll opt for these bad boys.

 

7. Banza Chickpea Pasta






Banza noodles are my love language. I’m always trying to sneak in extra protein wherever I can so when I found out that this chickpea pasta tasted just like traditional pasta, they became a tried and true staple in my pantry. Past me has tried the Trader Joe’s Red Lentil Pasta in search of a pasta alternative that packed in more protein and, while they passed the protein check, the texture was just too suspicious for me to stomach.

 

8. Cauliflower Pizza 






With Trader Joe’s success with cauliflower alternatives (cauliflower gnocchi, riced cauliflower, mashed cauliflower, cauliflower pancakes, etc.) I am shocked that they don’t have a good cauliflower pizza option but, alas, they do not. They do have a cauliflower pizza crust which is great if you want to assemble the pizza yourself but for public record, if I’m getting a frozen pizza, I already want it dolled up. I rave about this Open Nature Cauliflower Pizza to anyone and everyone who will listen. It’s the closest taste I’ve ever experienced to regular pizza sans the guilt and is packed with more protein and fewer carbs. Sign me up, baby.

 

9. Dijon Honey Mustard Dressing





While Trader Joe’s has a decent selection of salad dressings and sauces, traditional grocery stores typically have more. Like this Brianna’s Home Style Dijon Honey Mustard Dressing that I have basically been drinking with a straw this past week, for instance. It’s perfect on salads and avocados and Trader Joe’s has nothing like it. 

 

10. Nature Valley Protein Granola





In this house, we stan sneaky protein options—like this Nature Valley Oats & Honey Protein Granola. I’m waiting for Trader Joe’s to come up with something similar but, right now, the only protein granola they carry (that I know of) is peanut butter flavored, which isn’t super versatile. Don’t get me wrong—I love PB. But I definitely have to be in the mood for it. I love eating this Nature Valley granola straight out of the bag, in my greek yogurt with fresh fruit, or on a pita wrap with almond butter, chia seeds, and bananas. And I think I’ll go have some right now. Nom, nom, nom.

 

11. Mini Naan Rounds





Trader Joe’s carries naan options in their bread aisle and in the frozen foods section but the actual pieces of bread are large and in charge. I prefer my naan to be toaster-size for making sandwiches or even smaller for dipping in hummus. These Stonefire Naan rounds are so good with hummus, balsamic, red pepper flakes, and turkey and I truly can’t get enough of them.

 

12. Deli Meats

There is something about pre-packaged deli meats that just makes me a little woozy so even though Trader Joe’s carries traditional deli meats, they’re preservative-packed and that is just not my thing. If I’m looking to make fresh sub sandwiches, I head to my local grocery store, bob and weave over to the deli counter, pull my number, and wait my turn—the old-fashioned way. 

 

Darling Letters: The Beauty of the Ordinary

A picture of its in glassware

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

I found a coffee ring hidden beneath a stack of books on my end table today. A blurry-edged circle left behind by my mug from this morning or maybe the one before. The simplest of stains, hinting at an unremarkable moment when coffee slipped silently down the cup’s edge and settled on the surface beneath.

The surprise of it made me smile, like I’d found my own footprint in the soils of such a simple morning spent alone. It looked for a moment like the rings of a treetelling of all the years the tree has survived and the strength of its roots deepening day-by-day in tiny, imperceptible ways. It was just a ring of coffee, but in that moment, I saw the faintest fossil of my beautifully ordinary life. 

It was just a ring of coffee, but in that moment, I saw the faintest fossil of my beautifully ordinary life. 

I want to see everything in this way—to hold up all the familiar, unexceptional pieces of my days and view them in light of such astoundingly simple grace. I want to stop measuring my life by bullet points when all the matter in the middle holds such clear evidence of its beauty.

I want to celebrate the coffee rings of quiet mornings. I want to be grateful for every tiny, imperceptible moment that deepens my roots and strengthens my soul for survival and celebration.

I want to be grateful for every tiny, imperceptible moment that deepens my roots and strengthens my soul for survival and celebration.

Let’s embrace the subtle beauty that saturates the simple things.

With love,

Bailey Price, the Darling family

What’s one ordinary habit or practice you follow during the week? How could you see it with fresh eyes?

Image via Anna Williams, Darling Issue No. 13

The Best Air Fryer Recipes We Just Can’t Live Without





Up until this past December, my most used Christmas present of all time was my trusty Bop It Extreme circa 2002. I had dabbled with the occasional run on the original Bop It, but it wasn’t until I unboxed the Extreme version that I developed what I now can pretty confidently label as a fetish. I took it everywhere, ready to show off my self-declared Olympic skills to any and all who crossed my path. My hands were calloused from incessant attempts to beat my high score and I sat on the edge of my seat for hours on end as I bopped, flicked, pulled, twisted, and spun my way to success. 

It was only a few months ago that I was gifted an item that proved to be even more functional than my beloved Bop It. Despite my long-winded love affair with the Hasbro classic, my brand-spanking-new air fryer absolutely stole the show and secured a permanent spot on my countertop. I use it to make crispy, delightful masterpieces out of otherwise sad veggies, to create mouth-watering entrees, and to reheat just about everything.

Whether you have an air fryer that you haven’t touched since that one impulse Amazon purchase or are looking for some new staple recipes to throw into your air fryer rotation, you’re in luck. These 20 air fryer recipes are so delicious, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them:





Instant Pot

Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer

Shop it now

 

1. Crispy Chicken Tenders





Source: Lexi’s Clean Living

 

2. Honey Garlic Tofu





Source: Hello Spoonful

 

3. Chicken Taquitos





Source: Show Me The Yummy

 

4. Zucchini Chips





Source: The Movement Menu

 

5. Buffalo Cauliflower Bites





Source: Grandbaby Cakes

 

6. Chicken Parmesan





Source: Fit Foodie Finds

 

7. Crispy Potatoes





Source: Detoxinista

 

8. Grill-Free Hamburger





Source: Plated Cravings

 

9. Bagel Bites





Source: Show Me The Yummy

 

10. Dijon Chicken Thighs





Source: Family Food On The Table

 

11. Grilled Cheese





Source: Basil & Bubbly

 

12. Sour Cream and Onion Chicken





Source: Whisk It Real Gud

 

13. Coconut Tofu Tenders





Source: Simply Quinoa

 

14. Maple Soy Glaze Salmon





Source: Skinnytaste

 

15. Fried Oreos





Source: Show Me The Yummy

 

16. Shrimp with Comeback Sauce





Source: 40 Aprons

 

17. Cinnamon French Toast Sticks





Source: Hello Spoonful

 

18. Garlic Parmesan Brussel Sprouts





Source: Well Plated

 

19. Honey Balsamic Chicken Thighs





Source: Cookin’ Canuck

 

20. Crispy Tilapia





Source: Show Me The Yummy

 






 








A Personal Trainer’s Tips For Getting The Most from Your Workouts





I’m pretty good at fitting a workout into my routine. Whether it’s 10 minutes of pilates on my lunch break or a 35-minute strength-training class after work, I can find time on even the busiest of days. But is finding time enough? Whether you find random pockets of time to squeeze it in like me or rely on 60-minute training sessions six days a week, we can all agree that if we’re going to spend the time to work out, we better get the most from it. 

So what does it take to turn any exercise into an effective workout that will help us reach health goals? Just ask Danyele Wilson, a NASM certified trainer, HIIT master trainer, Tone & Sculpt coach, and all-around badass. After obsessing over her at-home workouts (and envy-worthy abs) on Instagram, I knew I had to pick her brain. Here are her secrets to get the most out of every single workout and reach your fitness goals (hint: work smarter, not longer).

 

1. Define your “why”

As with any health or wellness goal, find a reason to achieve that goal that will motivate you. No matter how much you think you want to work out every day and eat a clean diet, if the reason is that you’re “supposed to” or because it will help you look a certain way, you probably won’t stay motivated through the toughest workouts and busiest days. Instead, think about why you really want to exercise. Is it to feel more confident, be more connected to your body, or to live a longer life? Now that’s what will get you through the tough times. “It’s important to set the tone and intention for your workout, so when it gets hard, you have a clearly defined reason to carry you through,” Wilson explained. 

 

2. Never skip a dynamic warm-up

It goes for new relationships, and it goes for exercise: when you go from 0-100 way too quickly, it can cause some serious damage. As Wilson said, “a warm body is ready to perform; a cold body will put you at risk for injury.” Next time you’re thinking of going straight into a sprint or a HITT circuit, stop and take a few minutes to make sure your body is ready so that it can perform its best and to decrease your risk for injuries. You want to warm up the body to ensure the muscles have enough oxygen and increase flexibility to reduce injuries. Wilson recommends fitting in at least five minutes for a warmup. Try active stretching and low-heart rate cardio like walking on the treadmill.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Danyele Wilson (@danyelewilson)

 

3. When weight training, start with compound lifts

Compound lifts are any strengthening exercise where you’re using more than one muscle group at a time (like squats or deadlifts, rather than bicep curls). Wilson said that knowing this is key to getting the most from your workouts. “Compound lifts demand the most energy, so it’s important to get those big lifts out of the way before you start to fatigue,” she explained. If a phrase like “compound lifts” sounds a little too out of your league or weight training is not your thing, Wilson’s tip works as a framework to make the most of any workout. Start with whatever exercise, movement, or part of the body feels the most challenging for you and will require the most energy (instead of putting off the hard stuff until the end). At the beginning of the workout, you’ll have more endurance for tougher movements.

 

4. Focus on mind-muscle connection

If you’re like me and move through workout classes thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner later, new’s flash: we’re missing out on a key piece of the exercise. “Focusing on the mind-muscle connection is important to ensure you are never just going through the motions and are working out as efficiently as possible,” Wilson said. In other words, focusing on the targeted muscle can engage it more, making it work harder and more efficiently. When you’re more mindful of each movement, you’ll be better with your form (more on that below), and you’ll focus on the working muscle, making it work more effectively.

 

5. When you feel tired, focus on form

If you haven’t already perfected your form, you need to. Proper form helps you maximize a workout by using your energy for the extra push, meaning that no movement goes to waste. If you have improper form, you might be targeting unintended muscles and setting yourself up for injury. Plus, good form means you can run faster, jump higher, and push harder (yes, you will feel like Superman). Wilson especially recommends focusing on form when you get tired during a workout. It’s so much easier to slack on form when your body feels exhausted, so being extra conscious can not only help you push through the rest of the workout, but Wilson also relies on this trick to prevent injuries.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Danyele Wilson (@danyelewilson)

 

6. At the end of the workout, try something that will empty the tank

Whether you’re looking to maximize a 10-minute, 30-minute, or 60-minute workout, you should end feeling like you gave it your all. Not only is this good for your confidence, but it’s good for your body and ensures that you’re challenging yourself. Wilson recommended ending each workout with a burst of movement that will empty the tank. “This will allow you to surprise yourself with how far you’re able to go,” she said. “Tie meaning to those final movements, dig deep, and finish strong.” Try a rep with a heavier weight or a cardio burst of jumping jacks, and don’t forget to crank up the workout playlist.

 

7. Remember that how you do one thing is how you do everything

Exercise is not only beneficial because you know it’s good for your health. Exercise is an opportunity to boost your confidence, challenge yourself, and learn what you’re capable of. Wilson sees exercise as an opportunity to practice the skills she wants to incorporate in her entire life, believing that the way she does one thing is the way she’ll do everything. “If you’re willing to take shortcuts during a workout, you’ll be willing to take shortcuts in other areas of your life,” she explained. “Decide not to settle, so the power you feel after finishing a tough workout will spill into other areas of your life.” BRB, going to go crush a HITT circuit after that motivation.

 

What has helped you maximize your workouts?

What It’s Like to Have Conflicting Thoughts About Your Own Race

This post was originally published on June 23, 2020.

I tend to have a lot of conflicting thoughts about being Asian. I think thats how my personal identity has always been. Conflicting.

Not Asian enough.” Not American enough.”

(I’ve had to learn to completely throw out the word enough” because I now know that I lack nothing. I am wonderfully made.)

Dont get me wrong. Ive had an absolutely incredible life. I am eternally grateful for the two pairs of hands and hearts that brought me here from China and have loved me unconditionally since I was born. My adoption was symbolic in a way. Apart from China being my birth country, Ive never felt deep connections with my Chinese heritage. The truth is, I’m not sure I was meant to or that I ever wanted to.

I am conflicted.

Apart from China being my birth country, Ive never felt deep connections with my Chinese heritage.

Its hard speaking with my friends and family who are predominantly white as they’ll never understand my experience. Yet, I dont feel like I need to talk about it because other people struggle much more. I understand I haven’t experienced discrimination like other minorities, but I’ve had more than my white counterparts.

Yet, in time, Ive learned that pain has no hierarchy, nor does fear or discrimination. As I unsubscribe from the comparison game, the fact I have experienced racism alone is when I will use the term enough.”

Ive learned that pain has no hierarchy, nor does fear or discrimination.

Discrimination for me as an Asian American is on a pendulum with two opposing sides. On one hand, I’m made fun of for squinty” eyes. While on the other, I am complimented for my stereotypical and often yearned-for hairless skin. On one hand, I am called smart and intelligent because I’m Asian. On the other hand, I am called a math nerd because I’m Asian.

I am conflicted.

In my experience with friends of color, some are racially ambiguous. Others are deeply connected and proud of their ethnicity. Their ethnic pride both inspires me and makes me jealous because, truthfully, I dont connect with the Asian community. This reality often leaves me feeling guilty. Add being adopted to the equation, which puts a whole different lens on being a person of color. It’s left me stuck somewhere in the middle.

I am conflicted.

I remember one time a friend who was born in China and raised there until she was 16 told me she could tell right off the bat I was Asian American. But wasnt I? She went on to clarify that I had been “westernized,” meaning my look fit in with American culture. Here, my clothes and makeup would be considered normal. I was proud of my style, for fitting in. Yet, as a native Chinese woman, which I also am, I have a sense of shame for straying away.

I am conflicted.

The best advice Ive received about the struggle of identity as a person of color adopted into this country was this: Theres no right answer. You can think one thing in the morning and one thing at night. You are entirely enough just as you are, every single piece of you uniquely and perfectly as it should be. You have your whole life to learn and search. Take the journey one step at a time. 

You are entirely enough just as you are.

For the first time in my life, this year I started to acknowledge and even celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I will continue to work on my own shame, but today, in our world there is a fear and stigma associated with the Asian community that must be addressed. We must stand in solidarity and speak out against hostile behavior and inappropriate jokes related to COVID-19. Supporting Asian-owned businesses—and minorities at large—does not apply for one month. It applies for eternity.

I’m striving to lift the Asian community how I can, even when it feels uncomfortable and conflicting at times to do so. Sometimes, I have a lot to say. Then, other times, I dont, but I realize if you want the world to change, you have to use your voice and be willing to speak up.

Theres a lot of fear going on in the world right now. As fear builds, it gives way to shame, mostly about ourselves, but our shame must be named and replaced with vulnerability and honesty. I am so proud of being 100 percent Chinese, and I sit deeply in gratitude for who I am (including how I look).

One day when I have kids, I want them to be proud of who they are too. For them to do so, I have to start with myself. I’m learning to hold both of my identities, being Asian and American, in my hands at once with gratitude. That is true harmony.

Have you ever felt shame related to your culture or ethnicity? How can we better engage in conversations on race in America?

Image via Gabby Hall 

Why Women Experienced More Burnout Than Men In 2020





You would be hard-pressed to find someone who’s life hasn’t been massively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. No matter where you live or what your job is, chances are you’ve had to learn to adapt to this new reality that’s not feeling all that new anymore. Of course, our lives haven’t all changed to the same degree, but on a fairly broad level, it’s coming to light that women in particular are feeling more burnt out than men in 2020. 

There are a lot of things going on right now that are out of our control, and accepting that is a wellness tool in and of itself. That being said, there are some steps women can take to help stave off burnout, and we have the expert insight to back us up. 

 

What is going on at home?

Research from LeanIn.Org found that in 2020, women have taken on way more housework and caregiving than men have during the pandemic. The outcome of this extra work? Women are showing signs of anxiety and burnout—signs we should take seriously. Women are twice as likely as men to experience physical symptoms of anxiety such as having a racing heartbeat or struggling to sleep right now. This is especially true for women who work full-time and who have a partner and children. They’re more than twice as likely as men in similar situations to feel that they have more on their plate than they can possibly handle.

So exactly how much more work have women taken on in 2020 to keep everything afloat? That group of women that have full-time jobs, partners, and children reported on average spending significantly more time each week on the following responsibilities than men do. 

  • 7.4 more hours on childcare
  • 5.3 more hours caring for elderly or sick relatives
  • At least 7 more hours on housework

If you crunch those numbers, that means women are doing close to 20 hours more work per week than men, which is the equivalent of taking on a part-time job after already working 40 hours a week. 

Casandra Townsel, a licensed social worker, explained that sometimes we have to cut ourselves a little slack to help avoid burnout. She suggested that we, “Recognize when we are overwhelmed and ‘burned out’ because we are carrying a load we are not meant to carry alone,” Townsel said. She expressed that it’s OK to leave the dishes in the sink. “Women can do many great things, but doing everything is not healthy or necessary.  Doing our best is good enough. It is important for women to give ourselves permission to not have to do everything,” she said.  

Townsel believes in setting clear boundaries when you’re starting to feel burned out at home, “Developing and implementing boundaries is one of the greatest tools to alleviate stress and anxiety. Boundaries are a necessity for not just our mental and physical health, but also the health of our relationships. It is important to establish boundaries within all our relationships, that includes family, which can be very difficult for some to do,” she explained. 

 

What is going on at work?

Home isn’t the only place where women are doubling down on work and stress. Despite the fact that we’re living in extremely stressful and difficult times, only 41 percent of employees reported their employer changed policies to allow more flexibility during the pandemic. While these numbers aren’t exclusive to women, you can see how they can affect the previously mentioned working women who are feeling burnt out. Women balancing childcare or eldercare in particular may find a lack of flexibility to really impede their ability to balance their work and personal life. Just 31 percent of workers said their manager or someone from HR checked in on their well-being. Friendly reminder to any employers reading this: ask how your employees are doing and how you can help them get through this challenging time. 

 





Source: Colorjoy Stock

 

Say what you need

When it comes to the workplace, Krista Williams and Lindsey Simcik, the co-hosts of the Almost 30 podcast, recommended taking charge of the situation by openly communicating with your boss or company about your needs. They suggest setting aside time to acknowledge what will help you cope right now and on an ongoing basis. Put on soothing music or anything that helps create a sacred space, then simply put pen to paper and write down what you need. Don’t judge what comes up. Is there anything on the list that you can clearly communicate with your boss or company? Perhaps you need different hours to accommodate childcare, want set hours where you do and don’t take meetings, or need a mental health day. They emphasized that you shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to express when you need support. Townsel agreed with this advice, “Let go of the assumptions that you are expected to do everything. Give yourself permission to ask for help. Be assertive and request to collaborate with others. This helps to eliminate stress, while adhering to personal and professional outcomes,” she noted. 

The same rules apply at home. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by family and household responsibilities, do the same exercise. Then sit down with your partner to discuss your needs and how they can step up to help. If you’re tackling eldercare, you may need to have this conversation with siblings or other family members who should be sharing those responsibilities with you. 

 

Express gratitude

According to Williams and Simcik, when they feel anxious or out of control, they always come back to gratitude. 

They recommend trying this gratitude practice: close your eyes and put your hands on the part of your body where you feel the most tension. Start to notice your breath and lengthen it to ground you. Say something you are grateful for in the present moment out loud. It can be as simple as, “I am grateful for the breath in my lungs.” They encourage you to follow your gratitude with a “why.” With everything going on around us, what we can control are our thoughts in the present moment. When you choose to focus those thoughts on gratitude, it will shift your perspective and help you feel lighter and more peaceful. 

 

Avoid the internet

Williams and Simcik have one major piece of advice for sending burnout packing. Scale back the time you spend online. They feel there is a lot of negative energy online, on social media, and in the news, and as a result you need to protect your energy as much as you can. You get to decide what you take in. They like to do a digital detox for a day or a weekend to unplug from social media and TV. They recommend taking walks in nature, reading, journaling, meditating, and spending time reconnecting with yourself. 

Also, please note that we are living in an unprecedented time right now and you’re not alone. You’re doing your best and that’s more than enough. 

 

Keep Reading: How to Prevent Burnout at Work (and What to Do If You’re Already in the Throes) >>