Current Mood

Happy New Year everyone!  May we take the lessons of 2020 with us while leaving behind all the agony. Very few of us made it through the past year without any significant losses. If you're one of the lucky ones, be sure to count your blessings and be grateful. My heartfelt condolences go out to anyone who had to contend with the loss of a loved one, job, home or their health. I sincerely hope you've found a way to cope and that things get better. I'm trying to be optimistic about this new year that lies ahead but it's not like January 1st arrives and a switch goes off which magically erases everything terrible in the world. The past two weeks were restful and productive. It's good to be back.

You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters
With all the noise in the world, this book illuminates the power of listening and how it benefits individuals and society as a whole in a way that is both informative and thought provoking. Particularly interesting is the role listening plays in different career paths. As a writer, I know I could definitely benefit from improving my listening skills but really it's something that everyone could do better at.

Favorite quote: “Listening is about the experience of being experienced. It’s when someone takes an interest in who you are and what you are doing.”

Jenna Lyons was once dubbed by “The Woman Who Dressed America" during her tenure as president and creative director at J. Crew. She had been relatively quiet after stepping down but she is back and this docuseries follows Lyons as she embarks on her next venture branching out beyond fashion into the realm of interior design and fashion. It's a light, breezy watch that I've been indulging in during my daily stationary bike workouts. A good deal of the show was filmed pre-pandemic and it's made me nostalgic for the NYC I knew before. I've always admired her fashion aesthetic and she brings that same quirky coolness to the interiors she styles as well. This show has given me some fab ideas and inspiration to make changes to our home design.

Ji Chang Wook Lovestruck in the City, Lovestruck in the City

Also Watching...
Lovestruck In The City
Lovestruck In The City follows six characters as they navigate love and life. The show is shot in a mockumentary format that alternates between them answering questions about dating and relationships and their experiences. This is a fresh take that is unique to K-dramas though 4 episodes in, So far it lacks depth and I'm not feeling particularly invested in any of the characters. It is beautifully filmed though and Ji Chang Wook is always a prime visual and we get to hear his gorgeous singing voice.

Home Cooking
With the weather getting colder, I've been cooking more. Keeping it simple with Asian dishes served with rice or noodles and stews. A standby has been pork belly with kimchi and tofu which my husband adores. It's a delicious combination of flavors that is also very comforting. We can't have it too often but it's always good when we do.

Sprucing up...
Our Kitchen
This is a project we actually wanted to do early last year but with both of us dealing with shoulder pain we had to put it off. With the recent holidays being different, it seemed like a good a time as any to tackle it. We refreshed our backsplash with this marble herringbone tile wallpaper and put up a textured wallpaper on the wall next to the stove. We also changed out our light fixtures for something more sleek. The updates make it seem like we have a new kitchen and the details really elevate the entire space. So happy with how well it turned out. This gives us confidence to do some more DIY home improvement projects in the future.

We've been into various board games during the past year. ColorKu is one we really enjoy since we're both fans of sudoku. This uses brightly colored wooden balls instead of using numbers to solve the puzzles. It's a fun and challenging way to keep our brains sharp.

Bathing with..
I already enjoy my baths immensely but this colorful rainbow bath pillow has actually made them even better. It always puts a smile on my face when I see it, not to mention it lets me rest my head and read comfortably. My husband started drawing my baths last Spring when I struggled with leaning forward and he still insists on doing it to pamper me. I'm certainly not complaining.

This was such a compelling and resonating read which I recommend to everyone. Positive emotions can be a means of coping but when people keep up their own spirits by actively ignoring reality and try to prevent others from voicing their concerns or feeling anxiety or worry, this action can be both repressive and/or invalidating to others and yourself.

Key takeaway: “During times of adversity, we rely on whatever we can to cope. But ‘looking on the bright side’ in the face of tragedy or dire situations like illness, food insecurity, unemployment, or racial injustice is a privilege not all of us have. Spreading messages of positivity denies their genuine sense of despair and hopelessness, and may only serve to alienate and isolate those who are struggling.”

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Lovely said...

Colorku sounds fun! Great post!

Jackie Harrison said...

Happy 2021 I had been spending time in focusing on work, pets, cooking, and family awesome way to spend your time.

Sakuranko said...

Hi dear! Happy New Year 2021 My best wishes to you
I want to start to watch Lovestruck in the City but I need to finish Bridgerton first
Thank you so much for sharing that article about the Toxic Negativity

Express Yourself by Paola Lauretano said...

I hope this new year gives us the necessary strength and wisdom to be able to face all the challenges it brings, the year 2020 was a year of many changes and learnings, we had to live moments of sadness, isolation, and concern, however, from each of those moments, we have become stronger and learned to be better. Let us have the faith that 2021 will be a year of recovery, and the certainty that we have the capacity and intelligence to overcome the challenges ahead. A hug and my best wishes to you, my lovely friend!
Kisses, Paola.


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Ivana Split said...

That article about Toxic Positivity is wonderful. I didn't read it before but I read a few similar articles in the past and they really resonated with me. I remember how when I was a student, we read some studies about how self-help books actually made people more depressed because they make you feel guilty for feeling sad or down. Sometimes sadness is a normal reaction, for example in case of a loss of a close person, sadness is an unavoidable part of a grieving process. I understand people trying to be generally cheerful and positive in a workplace or some every day situations. However, sometimes it seems to me that some people use positivity as an excuse for not being there for others or doing their part in a relationship. If one's friend or family member is going through something difficult, one should listen to him, not tell him to snap out of it. I'm also interested in that book about listening and I agree that listening is an important skill. I wish you all the best in new 2021.

Hena Tayeb said...

ColorKu looks like a great addition to our ever growing pile of games.

The Exclusive Beauty Diary said...

Thank you so much for sugesting these shows. I didn't watch them. I need to check them.

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I love doing sodoku, I have a whole book of them, so I think I'd like that game. I hope in 2021 more people will open their eyes and ears to see, hear, and listen; to have compassion and understanding as well as awareness of salient bias and systemic effects. Wish you a healthy, safe and happy 2021, Rowena. :)

Corinne said...

Toxic positivity sounds so interesting. We are in a world now where you are almost shamed for not being motivated/positive about everything. It is okay to be sad!

Corinne x

Emmylou said...

Happy New Year, chingu! Here's to a much better year ahead....fingers crossed....:) And thanks for the heads up on You're Not Listening. Will add that to my to-check out list. And I'm such a huge fan of Jenna Lyons. I've always loved her style as well, and her recent apartment tour had me drooling. Really love her aesthetic. Will check out this docuseries as well!
Hope you're having a lovely Tuesday so far:) XOXO

Midnight Cowgirl said...

You're Not Listening sounds really interesting! Happy 2021 :)

Pilar said...

Happy New Year Rowena! I like to be positive, but I'm also realistic. Being sad sometimes is apart of life. When I feel sad I acknowledge my feelings, and focus on healthy and helpful ways to feel better.

Doctor Anne said...

No magical switch indeed - it will take a long time to recover from what 2020 put us through and the first part of 2021 will add to that.