Why Skincare?

sheet mask heaven

I…kinda have a thing for sheet masks.

Throughout the last year-and-change, I’ve been cultivating a dedicated skincare routine.

Gone are the days when I would wash my face with a single cleanser once a day, use astringent haphazardly, hardly ever moisturize, and (forgive me) fall asleep with a full face of makeup.

Now I’m all about double cleansing, toning, moisturizing, serum…ing?, and (my favorite) sheet masking. I’m proud to declare that not a single smudge of makeup has hit my pillows in quite a long time.

After much trial-and-error, I’ve found a system that works for my skin. Save for very minor flare-ups, my face has been in the clear.

Then it happened.

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Hello, it’s me.


(via GIPHY)

A whopping 623 days after my most recent blog post, I have returned. 

We’re barely a month into the new year, so I suppose this could be considered a resolutionary move. But I miss writing, and I’m tired of letting projects fall by the wayside, even when life does all that it can to get in the way of doing what I want (or be as boring as possible so that I’ve no impetus to do anything creative).

What’s happened in the 623 days since my last post?

  • I earned my first-degree black belt in tang soo do in June 2016! On top of that, I also successfully trained for my first-degree black belt in hapkido in December 2017. This June, should cards fall as they may, I’ll be testing for my second-degree black belt in tang soo do.
  • In September 2017, I did something I never thought I would: get a tattoo. This is all thanks to my mother and her new book, Conscious Ink, which was edited by yours truly. It sincerely opened me up to a world of body art of which I was unaware. I highly recommend Conscious Ink to anyone who has an appreciation or curiosity for tattoos. (By the way, I was inked again just three weeks ago.)
  • Skincare has become a passion of mine, specifically, Korean beauty (or K-beauty). It started with sheetmasks — the ones with the cartoon faces on them — and  have not looked back since. I’m hardly a year into my new-and-improved skincare routine and there is so, so much more I must (and am willing to) learn about the Ways of K-beauty. I will say this, though: My skin is much better off for it. Even if I am not as intense as those who use 25 products before bedtime, I’m still a long ways from the days when I’d fall asleep with makeup on my face. (Oops.)
  • I’m still traveling. Just returned from Ireland. A piece of my heart is still there. ♥
  • You know BTS? They’re kind of my favorite group right now, I’ve no shame in admitting this. And don’t get me started on the cuteness that is BT21. How old am I again? Does it matter?
  • A myriad of little victories, small defeats, and everything else that has made my life, in one way or another, uniquely mine. This is a poetic way of saying, “I don’t really know what else I can say here.”

So! Will I keep up with this aul blog? I’d really like to blow off the dust, dismantle the cobwebs, and try again. Let’s consider this Monday Diaries 2.0. I hope those of you who were with me before the long hiatus are ready and willing to join me once again…and bring a few of your friends with you, too, if you’d like.

The Monday Question

How much has your life changed in 623 days?

‘Til (hopefully!) next Monday!

Motivation Monday: Getting Back Into That Groove

Monday Diaries doodle sketch anime Micron Pens

I drew this.

This is my first update in about three weeks. Am I proud of this? Nope. But ’tis what it is.

I can blame several things for this seemingly sudden drought of posts: laziness, busyness, boredom, frustration.

But I’m back, and in more ways than one.

The topic of this post isn’t merely referring to my writing, but rather, one of my first-ever loves: art.

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Motivation Monday: The Proper Response is to Keep Going

pablo (2)

Just keep going, just keep going…

I’ve already lamented over the fact that not all blog posts can be winners.

The sad truth is that it’s not limited to blog posts. Not all classes can be winners. Not all meetings can be winners. Not all meals can be winners. Not all days can be winners.

No matter how good we are at what we do, how confident we act, that “clunker” is inevitable. We’re bound to stumble at some point. It’s one of those things that comes with being human.

Yes, I experienced a moment like that today.

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It’s Okay to be Mean (in the Dojang)

Cobra Kai Karate Kid

But don’t sweep the leg. (Columbia Pictures)

Preface: Yes, I know it’s Tuesday. No, I don’t care. This weekend has largely been devoted to training for my black belt in tang soo do (and recovering from said training). I should also let you know that in the coming weeks, there may be an uptick in martial arts-related posts as I approach testing day in June.

Oh, and this post is one such example.

Generally speaking, I’m a nice, polite person. At least, I try to be. 

“Please” and “thank you” are words I say often, along with “sorry,” which I know I should curb big time. I habitually say “bless you” when someone sneezes. I’ll hold doors open for people and wait patiently in queues (most of the time).

But when I train? I can get mean.

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6 Observations from a Casual Fan’s First WrestleMania


Over the last year, I’ve become interested in pro wrestling, or “sports entertainment,” if you will.

Yes, I know it’s fake. The athleticism, however, is not, and frankly that’s what impresses me most about it. Plus, despite the storylines being fake, it doesn’t mean most of them aren’t fun to watch. Also, gimmicks.

This weekend was WrestleMania, the WWE’s version of the Super Bowl. After missing the first 31 WrestleMania shows, I decided it was time for me to make the 32nd installment my very first one.

As someone who is a relative newbie / casual WWE fan, here are some of my super casual observations from wrestling’s big night:

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5 Things Tang Soo Do Has Given Me

RWMAF Martial Arts Great Things Happen Here

Sign in front of my school. When I first saw it, I asked what that even meant. Now? I GET IT.

In the three years I’ve been doing tang soo do, I’ve learned many forms, strikes, blocks, self-defense techniques, and sparring principles. (Oh, and I’ve become a little more fit.)

To say that I’ve mastered everything I’ve been taught up to this point would be a big fat lie. I learn something new each time I train, and I always find ways in which I can improve.

But what else has tang soo do given me, aside from the aforementioned (and rather obvious) points above:

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