How to Fill that Hole ‘Big Little Lies’ Left in My Heart - https://itsjoulife.com/2017/04/12/big-little-lies/

How to Fill that Hole ‘Big Little Lies’ Left in My Heart

How to Fill that Hole ‘Big Little Lies’ Left in My Heart - https://itsjoulife.com/2017/04/12/big-little-lies/

Courtesy of HBO.com

You know that feeling when a dang good show ends?

Two Sundays ago the spellbinding HBO hit limited series, Big Little Lies, aired its much anticipated season finale. It surely delivered in resolution and clarity (as a well as heartbreak) since it strung us along in suspense and intrigue for the past seven weeks. Wayne and I were captivated and mesmerized from the start. We watched from the first airdate of the premiere and it was agony having to wait a week in between episodes, let alone almost two months for all our questions to be answered. It was well worth it though.

For those unfamiliar with “Big Little Lies” a disclaimer: highly provocative and intensely addictive–you may never put the remote down! Based on Liane Moriarty’s novel, this murder-mystery dark dramedy revolves around the seemingly perfect lives of three women (Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley) and their families in Monterey. There’s a murder and the storytelling is told through the police interrogation of other community residents. With a show that is created and written by David E. Kelley (The Practice, Ally McBeal), directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Wild, Dallas Buyers Club), and starring an all-star cast, it’s everything you crave from compelling storytelling and brilliant acting. Yes, it’s THAT riveting and irresistible.

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How to be a #GirlBoss by NastyGal founder Sophia Amoruso // Reads

How to be a #GirlBoss // itsjoulife.com

#GirlBoss is much more than a self-help business book

NastyGal is not your mother’s taste (in fashion) and neither is Sophia Amoruso’s cheeky, self-help business memoir, #GirlBoss. I absolutely savored every piece of advice Amoruso dishes. I appreciate her self-awareness, ability to blaze her own path (on her own terms and with her unique style), streets smarts, sassy humor, and practical advice for those who want to be their own #GirlBoss. The illustrations drew me in as much as her inspirational bite-size quotes. She writes with a truthful vulnerability and shares her fair share of lessons learned.

For those who aren’t familiar with Amoruso, she went from a hitchhiking, dumpster-diving, community college dropout to creating a mega fashion brand, Nasty Gal, that has sold over $300 million in vintage and new clothing and accessories. Her humble beginnings started with an eBay store and she was a one-woman enterprise–mastering the skills of thrift store shopping, bargaining, photographing, copywriting, marketing, and shipping logistics. Talk about wearing multiple hats! She was her own start-up company. Her business may have seemed to grow overnight like a rags to riches story, but she worked her tail off because she finally found her passion and a clear purpose of who she wanted to become and what she wanted to accomplish in life. I finished this book in a day and furiously took notes.

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DIY / lifestyle blog got a makeover!

It’s Jou Life | a DIY / lifestyle blog—musing about natural, healthy, artisanal living, and everything in between.

Join our mailing list by entering your email (top right column section) and receive an email each time we post!

Friends of Ours.

Hello, and welcome to It’s Jou Life! We’re Wayne and Jennifer, a (relatively) newly wed couple who found love in the most unexpecting place. This is our DIY / lifestyle blog—musing about natural, healthy, artisanal living, and everything in between.

We started this blog because our family and friends always ask us how we grow our own organic vegetables, what is Wayne woodworking on now, to send over our miso black cod recipe, what snacks stock our pantry, a tutorial on that cute zippered pouch, tips for marathon running, where do we worship, what to bring for a camping trip, what’s Jennifer’s skincare regimen… you get the idea. This is our way to share life’s loves.

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What to watch: Stranger Things

watch // Stranger Things // Babies of the 80s, rejoice!

Friday Favorites // Stranger Things via It's Jou Life // https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2016/08/18/friday-favorites-stranger-things-happy-centennial-bday-nps-stamps-lynda-com

As a child of the 80s, this Netflix-original series, Stranger Things, was not only incredible in storytelling and acting, but nostalgic for me. It’s as if The Goonies, E.T. and Goosebumps all made out and Stranger Things would be their supernatural thriller baby. It’s about a little boy who goes missing in a small Indiana town in 1983. And as the town looks for answers, they unravel extraordinary secrets and confront mystical forces. It always kept me huddled, on edge with my fuzzy reindeer socks and left me begging my husband to binge watch the series.

What I love most is the bond between four young boys and a special girl, and their adventurous shenanigans. Do yourself a favor. Watch the first episode and before you know it, you’ll be hooked and your science-fiction world will be enhanced for the better.

On a side note: Well done, Netflix! Netflix is definitely changing the landscape and proving to be a power player on a platform that was once dominated by cable and broadcast TV. Love this show. What do you think is going to happen in season 2?

How to be yelp elite + stay elite // tips

Yelp2

 

My Motto: Camera Eats First. I consistently stuff food photos in my honest Yelp reviews and on the growl for eclectic events and delectable dishes. I Yelp to give back, to try the hippest or hole-in-the wall establishment and to meet vibrant people.

When I started Yelping back in the end of 2010 it was to give back to the Yelp community since I always referenced the app for new discoveries. It wasn’t until my good friends became Yelp Elite and told me about this secret society (but totally accessible for influencers willing to put in the effort!). I continued to be diligent with my reviews and received my first Elite badge within three months.

Now going six years strong as an Elite (and Elite Gold), being Yelp Elite goes beyond fancy invitations to exclusive free events at restaurants and complimentary tickets to the hottest shows in town—it’s the sense of community and deeper love for the city I live in. I’ve met one of my good friends at an Elite event, discovered favorite dining establishments and opportunities to explore beautiful Los Angeles.

This is how I became Yelp Elite within three months and stayed Elite for six years.

Create a Yelp profile with accurate information. To qualify to become a Yelp Elite, you must post a clear face photo of yourself and use your real first and last name (it’ll display as your first name and last name initial). You’ll be asked fun questions about yourself, so be real and genuine.

Download the Yelp app to your smart phone. This is for convenience so you can browse easily, check-in at places, write tips and directly upload photos from your phone to the business. Convenience helps me interact and I even write reviews directly in the Yelp app! Check-in at places also has its perks. Some establishments offer discounts and free items when you check-in. Also you can become the Duke or Duchess when you’re the top person checked in at that place.

Write honest and candid reviews you’d want to read.

What do you look for when reading other people’s reviews? This will help structure and focus your review to be useful for others.

Be descriptive, but not lengthy. Choose your words wisely. I’m sometimes guilty of writing lengthy reviews (such a hassle to scroll down forever to read on the phone), but lately I’ve been more mindful to include the most important information in the first couple paragraphs and then go into detail. Readers can decide to read further if they want more information.

Build credibility with your readers. If you make a bold statement, be prepared to back it up. Take writing reviews seriously. Sometimes a 1 star review and description of “parking was hard to find” doesn’t validate the rating. If you give a low rating, provide a valid reason.

Take photos of your food and ambience of the business. I love taking photos. Camera eats first! Photos help people make better decisions that align with their expectations. I’m a visual person and prefer to know what I’m getting, especially if it’s something I haven’t tried or someplace I haven’t been before. (Eg. Taking photos of the buffet selection or inside of a gym and its equipment)

Avoid using a Yelp review to hide behind your complaining words. If you aren’t satisfied with service or food, take the time to talk to your server or the manager, in person. This is always the best way to resolve issues. It helps improve the business, and in turn, provide a better experience for others.

Quantity vs Quality. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think it’s about how many reviews or how many friends you have on Yelp that makes you Elite. I became Yelp Elite with around 60 reviews, but I spent time and effort on each of them. I was descriptive and honest with my reviews, posted photos of what I ate, got creative with some of them (wrote a haiku about a favorite ramen shop) and added bonus tips like best places to park, whether the gym had towel service, etc.

Be active within the Yelp Community. Show some love to others! Whenever I enjoy reading a helpful or funny review, I always click the “Useful, Funny or Cool” buttons below the review and send a Compliment to the reviewer.

Keep in mind every year status is up for review, so no slacking! If you found this helpful, please comment below and add me as a friend on Yelp, referencing this post!

My Yelp page // http://msjennifer.yelp.com

 

Growing trends of the natural and organic products industry // Natural Products Expo West 2016

IMG_6632The US-market of natural and organic products is a $153 billion industry and showing no signs of a slow down. Mainly driven by the consistent growth of consumers demanding natural, healthy and eco-conscious products, it’s no surprise that this mega industry has a plethora of new companies emerging every year.

Last month I had the delightful opportunity to attend the 36th annual Natural Products Expo West, the the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event. It was like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. As a healthy lifestyle enthusiast, I grasped all the natural product consumer trends, channeled my inner Augustus Gloop meets Michelle Phan–indulging in food samples while swatching beauty products. It was a weekend filled with tastings, education and meeting wonderful brands. I was among 77,000 attendees perusing more than 3,000 exhibitors at the Anaheim Convention Center. I didn’t have my Fitbit on me, but I’m sure I logged some serious miles that weekend.

NewHope

Photo courtesy of NewHope.com

Below is an overview of some consumer trends surrounding the healthy lifestyle products industry.

Back to Our Roots: Quinoa, chia, acai, Kombucha, raw, sprouted, coconut oil–superfood ingredients and preparation techniques that date back to the days of pre-industrialized foods. Brands are focusing on natural, whole and nutrient-dense ingredients. The skincare industry mirrors this trend with using pure ingredients like argan and coconut oil. I met a brand, Cocokind, an organic skincare line centered around using virgin coconut oil and superfoods. Consumers are conscientious with ingredients they eat and use on their body. They are staying away from genetically modified foods, artificial colors, preservatives, parabens and products tested on animals.

The Busy Individual: The always on-the-go individual lacks time, but craves smart and nutritious fuel in-between meals. Think hand-held snacks and drinks that are convenient, delicious and healthy. I like to kick-off my morning with drinking my greens with a Suja Juice cold-pressed juice. On a side note: I’m thinking of doing a juice cleanse to reset my body. Any advice or recommendations for which juice brand to try? A new product I’ve discovered are meat and veggie bars from Wild Zora and Wilde Snacks. It’s healthier than conventional jerkies because they are free from nitrites, nitrates, MSG, not too salty, contain vegetables, use grass-fed, free-range and hormone-free meats. I’m a big snacker and sometimes crave a meaty snack high in protein and low in sodium. Read my favorite snack discovery last year here.

The Socially Conscious Shopper: The today consumers have conscious living woven into the fabric of their lives and making informed decisions by keeping the environment and mission-backed products in mind. They choose purposeful brands with ethical practices and sustainable packaging over its conventional counterparts. I met a brand, This Bar Saves Lives, that donates a life-saving food packet with every snack bar purchased. It’s the “buy one, give one” philosophy, fair trade practices and donating proceeds to non-profits that allow consumers to make an impact with each purchase.

Over the next several weeks I’ll be sharing with you my tried and true favorite products from the expo.