These handmade artisan Chinese cloth shoes, bù xié, are a 3,000 year old tradition. They're typically made of 100% natural fibres such as cotton, wool, hemp, silk, and linen. They are sturdy, lightweight, and comfortable. Intended for outdoor use, they also make great home slippers.
While I'm always a big proponent for drinking loose leaf tea, even I love the convenience of a tea bag when I'm feeling too lazy to pour out my tea leaves and wash my tea pot after I've had my tea. But, did you know that tea bags contain plastic? That means, when you toss them, they don't completely decompose. Not only that, but Canadian researchers published a study which found that steeping a single plastic tea bag at brewing temperature releases about 11.6 billion minuscule particles of microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics into each cup 🤯. Whoa! Yeah, I know, suddenly my stomach doesn't feel too good. I'm glad there are now convenient tumblers that make drinking loose leaf teas easy and stylish.
The good news is that not all brands use tea bags that contain plastic, so it's a good idea to look up the brands you like or reach out to them to find out if their bags contain plastic.
And that's the tea!
If you've talked to me recently at all, you'll know I'm currently obsessed with BTS. When they first started popping up on the radar in the U.S., I just thought...okay, another boy band. No biggie. Then maybe a couple years ago, I started hearing about how they were supporting certain social issues and that really impressed me. What was more impressive than their support for issues though, was how their ARMY rallied around various issues, like registering for a Trump rally so that the rally would be mostly empty and raising $1 million to match BTS's donation for Black Lives Matter. But it wasn't until this spring that I started listening to their music and I haven't stopped. So, I thought I'd share a few reasons I've become a total fangirl...fanmama?
I know I'm not the only one that cries watching the Olympics. This year, I wasn't even that excited to watch, but as soon as I turned on the Opening Ceremony, my heart fluttered like a sappy old-fashioned Asian mom who gets excited when her overgrown children finally get married. I love world sporting events like this, because they really do just bring us all together. It doesn't even matter who wins, when I watch someone win, I get emotional for them, because I know how much this means to some of them and their countries, and how hard they worked to get there. So, in case you need a mood lift or just want to relish in some positivity, here are ten happy stories from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Some will make you teary and some will make you laugh.
I have a major obsession with Korean dramas right now. I guess you could say, when I fall, I fall hard. While I'm still a rookie, I've watched a good handful in a short amount of time and here's what I've learned so far:
I have finally been sucked into the world of K-drama and color me obsessed. I literally broke all the mom rules and spent all of Saturday binge watching this until 3am. Netflix's Crash Landing On You is a perfect romantic comedy series full of laughter, heart, tears (omg lots of tears in the last couple episodes), and romance (duh). The logline reads: "A paragliding mishap drops a South Korean heiress in North Korea - and into the life of an army officer, who decides he will help her hide." It's 16 episodes and most are between 70-90 minutes. I think the last episode was even almost two hours, so basically a movie. Here are a few of there reasons I loved this series and recommend watching it.
(Originally posted on Love, Justine in 2019)
Singapore is once again the most expensive city in the world, but don't worry. If you want to live your Crazy Rich Asian dreams, but don't have the trust fund to support it, I've got tips on how you can live your best Crazy Rich Asian life in the best Crazy Middle Class Asian style...even if you're not Asian. You can budget travel and still enjoy the finer things in life!
We had our first incident with baby sending something down the toilet without us realizing it. That something was the silver metal toilet paper rod. He has dropped other items in the toilet and I've always fetched them out. How I missed the rod, I do not know. Anyhow, this fun incident brought to light one of the cultural differences in my marriage.
If you missed it on Telemundo, the entire series is available on Netflix and it is a MUST watch. If you don't know who Jenni Rivera was, she was simply put...a warrior. She was La Reina de la Banda, the Queen of Mexican Regional music, and she was from Long Beach. The series was based on her autobiography Unbreakable: My Story, My Way, and this is more than a story about a great singer. This is the story of a woman who put herself through school, built a successful career in real estate before becoming the Queen that she was, always put her family and her kids first, and was simply unstoppable even as life threw one nightmare after another at her. If you know her story, you know. If you don't know, it's unimaginable until you know. Through everything, she always rose, and stuck to her values. Calling her an inspiration feels inadequate, but that's the best way I can describe her.
Warning: watching this series may be triggering for some, because there is A LOT of abuse that Jenni endured. But a friend said something really smart to me about watching film or TV that can be triggering, and that is to remember to observe and not absorb. It is worth the watch for all though, also in terms of seeing how abuse affects us and those around us. Jenni is also a great example of someone who is not the "stereotype" of an abused woman. She's strong, comes from a loving family who would literally fight for one another. There's a lot to learn from Jenni and the way she lived her life--full of love, integrity, and a relentless will to rise.
Moreover, as much as this series is about Jenni's life, it also feels very much about her family's, too. I have so much respect for the Riveras and love the love they have for one another.
Next year will be the 10th anniversary of when Jenni was killed in a plane crash, but she lives on through her music and her family.
Have you watched the series? What did you think?
(Originally posted on Love, Justine)
Twinings is a must visit for any visitor (or anyone for that matter...in my humble opinion) in London Town, and especially for any tea lover. On my last trip to London, I discovered that at Twinings, you can take a masterclass and learn all about the history of tea while tasting fine and varied teas. You can book a private class for a minimum of two people, or a regular class for a minimum of six people, and you can also book a bespoke blending experience for a maximum of six people. So for Londoners, I recommend this as a fun company outing or outing with friends and family. Call ahead or email to reserve your spot! You can check out the details here.