Oct 20, 2015  •  In Asian, Beauty, Korean, Personal

Announcing Jini Beauty

Remember when I imagined curating my own Asian beauty box?

Well, that dream has become a reality!

Shortly after publishing that post, my friend Sunny reached out to me with a proposal: why not form a Korean beauty subscription box service?

At first, I wanted to laugh. This had to be a joke, right?

But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. With our collective passion for Korean beauty products, my technical skills and her business acumen, we would make one heckuva team. Besides, Korean beauty is everywhere these days…we might as well strike while the iron’s hot, right?

After mulling over the idea with some friends to gauge interest, we even had a way to set our company apart from the rest — by offering boxes by skin types!

And so Jini Beauty was born.


We are still in the pre-launch phase, with plans to release our first box in early 2016. If you are interested, please stop by the site and sign up for email updates!

Oct 1, 2015  •  In Depression, Geek, Personal, Relationships

The Evolution of Happiness (And an Announcement)

We all know that what made us happy as children may no longer apply. But is it just a matter of our tastes changing?

Social psychologist Jennifer Aaker, PhD, theorizes that your happiness is not based on your likes and dislikes, but rather, the motivating forces that drive you. Our definition of happiness tends to shift every 5 or 10 years, evolving through 5 basic “chapters” throughout our lives.

The first chapter lasts through your childhood and teen years, where happiness is found through discovery and excitement. You gain happiness by understanding the world around you.

Most people go through the second and third chapters through their 20s and 30s, where pursuit and balance become the primary motivators in their lives. For example, success in your career may help fill your bucket in your 20s, while settling down and maintaining your health is what makes you the happiest in your 30s.

Then our sources of happiness make a selfless turn. The fourth chapter revolves around meaning — caring for others, and finding contentment in what you already have. I know that this is certainly the case with my own parents, who are continually thankful for their blessings despite the hardships they endure, and seem to be the happiest when they are able to help out their family and friends.

The last and final chapter is a tranquil stage, where most people derive joy from feeling fulfilled and connected. From savoring their life experiences, memories, and relationships. From feeling calm, lucky, and blessed.

You can watch a video where Dr. Aaker describes each chapter below. In it, she and her colleague argue that we cannot always choose to be happy, but we can change the meaning of happiness.

Personally, I believe am firmly planted in the third chapter of the happiness journey right now — balance — because I’m all about stability these days! Anything out of the norm shakes me up a bit, and new endeavors downright scare me.


I am happy to announce that I am currently working on a new project. A business venture. I won’t go into details right now, but it has to do with Korean Beauty and I’m pretty confident it will be successful. It’s a risk, to be sure, but a worthwhile one.

And just as Dr. Aaker states, I am changing my meaning of happiness. I am adjusting the rewriting my chapters in an effort to become the author of my own story. I am scared, but happy.

Via Refinery29.

Sep 30, 2015  •  In Claire, Personal

Happy 5th Birthday, Claire!

My Claire Bear turns five years old today. FIVE.

…I still can’t believe I’ve kept a human being alive for this long.


Happy birthday, my dear Claire. I wish for you a fun, memorable birthday filled with love and excitement. May you never lose your curiosity, sense of wonder, and zest for life. Umma loves you very much and will always be here for you, through thick and thin.

Sep 21, 2015  •  In Art/Design, Christianity, Korean

If Jesus Had Been Korean

During the Korean War, Korean artist Woonbo Kim Ki-chang began a series of ink paintings depicting the life of Jesus using his own country as the backdrop. “I was praying for the quick end of the Korean War and a unified peace, and soothed my painful mind with a paintbrush,” he later said.

Kim passed away in 2001, but his work was featured at a museum in Seoul in 2013. The paintings are by no means historically or Biblically accurate, but are meant to symbolize the fact that Jesus came for all cultures and ethnicities. Some have called these painting “shameless,” but I love the transcultural depiction of God in them. What do you think?

The Annunciation:

The Nativity:

The Adoration of the Magi:

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