The JASSA Collection at IKEA

 

Have you seen this collection yet?!

It’s like IKEA read my blog post about my recent design realization. Yeah, right. Boho is having its moment in the sun and IKEA latched onto its momentum and did such an amazing job! I have to say, I’ve been so impressed with IKEA over the past few years. They went from being known as the place you buy furniture when you’re a struggling up-and-comer to a real design crackerjack. I mean, they even sell velvet green sofas now! Below are a few of my favorites from this limited edition collection…

JASSA Room divider IKEA Treated with clear varnish which gives natural color variations and allows the furniture to age beautifully over time.

JASSA Sofa IKEA Handmade by a skilled craftsman. The furniture looks just as good in the living room as on a patio.

JASSA Rug, flatwoven IKEA Jute is a durable and recyclable material with natural color variations.

JASSA Chaise lounge IKEA Handmade by skilled craftspeople, which makes every product unique.

JASSA Chair IKEA Handmade by skilled craftspeople, which makes every product unique.

JASSA Basket IKEA Handmade by skilled craftspeople, which makes every product unique.

JASSA Chaise lounge IKEA Handmade by skilled craftspeople, which makes every product unique.

JASSA Cushion cover IKEA Embroidery adds texture and luster to the cushion.

JASSA Coffee table IKEA Foldable, which makes it easy to store. The included plastic feet protect the floor from scratches.

SO. GOOD. And, yes, I’ve been to IKEA twice since this collection debuted. I had to buy at least one item and I decided on the room divider. I replaced my very old headboard with it and it looks perfect. I have a full/queen bed and it has just the right dimensions to be used as a headboard. Coincidence? I think not. I also picked up a new duvet cover from the SOMMAR 2017 collection which looks heavenly against my new room divider. They have a few more collections coming out that look awesome and that I’m excited to see fully revealed. I love the look of the new STOCKHOLM 2017 sofa; it’s so wide and deep and looks dreamy and comfy! If only I had an endless supply of cash, amirite? What do you think of the new collection? Anything catch your eye in particular?

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My Copper IUD Insertion Story

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That little beauty up there? That’s a Paragard Copper IUD. Who got one a week ago? THIS! GIRL! And I am SO proud of myself at the moment. I feel like everyone who’s had an IUD feels obligated to tell their story because it’s such a mysterious, potentially scary thing. I’m the only person out of my group of friends who decided to go the IUD route so I didn’t know anyone who had one. Did you know that while most U.S. women opt for the pill (25.9%), more and more of them are turning to the IUD (11.6%)? That’s 4.4 million women! (More Women Opt for IUD, Contraceptive Implant for Birth Control)

Why an IUD?

I’ve actually wanted an IUD for over a year months now but was too afraid to get one. What if it hurt a lot? Is it really worth the pain? Can’t I just stick to pills and be more diligent? Here’s the thing with birth control pills; I was so horrible at taking them at the same time each day and some days I even forgot to take them and would just double my intake the next day. This happened too often. And the feeling of, WHAT IF I’M PREGNANT?! would plague my mind until the date of my next period (and yes, even on the pill I would make sure to have my period each month although some of my friends only have theirs a few times a year–paranoia). I’m sure most women have had the same thoughts, which are never, ever fun. So, in short, it wasn’t that hormonal birth control pills affected me negatively–it was my negligence that made an IUD the smarter choice. Oh, and it bears mentioning, I wasn’t sure how long I’d have to get an IUD free-of-charge what with Trump in office at the moment, which is why I was determined to get it done this year.

Why Paragard?

This is another reason it took me longer than it should’ve to get one. I wasn’t sure which IUD I should get. I decided on Paragard for a few reasons. The first is that I went off the pill around 3 months ago because my partner is in the military and left for his final 6-month deployment EVER (unreal). I do this every time he’s deployed to give my body a “break” from the hormones (note: there’s no scientific evidence this does anything at all but a crazy part of my brain says to do it anyway even if it sounds like woowoo). I figured I should keep this no hormones thing going with Paragard which uses copper and is hormone-free. Here’s an article from the NY Times that discusses why I ultimately chose this in more detail. Now, there are downsides to a copper IUD versus, say, Mirena which is a hormonal IUD. First, it doesn’t decrease menstruation and it may make periods heavier and cramping worse (Mirena often completely diminishes periods, which believe me you was very tempting to consider). Post-adolescence, my periods have always been on the shorter side (5ish days) and I would rarely get cramps even before taking birth control pills. In fact, I can remember every period I did get cramps because it wasn’t something that happened frequently. Again, though, I like to get my period every month (as confirmation) so it isn’t a big deal that I will continue to get it each month. This would be a huge downside for a friend of mine who only gets hers three times a year, for example. One other negative, at least for insertion, is that it’s bigger than the Skyla IUD (another hormonal IUD). The size of Skyla makes it easier to insert (e.g., less painful) for women who’ve never been pregnant and may have a tighter cervical opening (me) but it also only lasts for 3 years (more about this below). Another major plus of Paragard besides being hormone-free? It lasts 10 years! Enough to get through this administration and then some. Here’s a good website that compares all the top IUDs.

The Big Question: Did It Hurt?!?!?!

I’m not going to sugarcoat this: It. Hurt.

I prepared myself by reading other women’s IUD stories online, which I think did help but also made me a bit more anxious because there were a few horror stories I came across. I knew the chances of it hurting were going to be in the 90% range from everything I’d read, especially since I’ve never been had a baby. A part of me hoped the bulk of people who told their negative tales only bothered to because they had a bad experience.

Some background on me. I’ve never been pregnant (which means my cervix has never dilated). I’ve never broken a bone or had kidney stones or experienced a debilitating pain of any sort. With that said, I don’t think my pain tolerance is low. I know this because I’ve done multiple back-to-back days of “wet cupping” or Chinese bloodletting therapy in South Korea, which is illegal in many countries including the United States and is utterly painful. There are tons of reasons why I did wet cupping and why I don’t regret it, but they’re irrelevant to this post. Maybe another day?

On a pain scale of 1-10, I’d say wet cupping was a solid 7 (mostly because the pain was prolonged). Getting my IUD, I’d rate a 5. Here’s the low-down…

Before heading to the hospital, I took 800mg of ibuprofen and ate a hearty meal like the advice I’d read online suggested. When I got to the hospital, I learned that my OBGYN makes everyone take a pregnancy test no matter what, so I had to pee in a cup first. Then the nurse checked the regular things like my weight, height, and blood pressure. I had to sign a consent form. The nurse then led me into a room to wait and instructed me to undress from the waist down just as if I was getting a pap. I waited 10 minutes in that room (which felt like much, much longer) and read everything on the walls (I learned a newborn will typically breastfeed 8 times in 24 hours–dang mommas!) To be honest, waiting was probably the worst part. I was so nervous…

My OBGYN came in and reaffirmed that I wanted the Paragard IUD. She told me the cons about it like potentially heavier periods and cramping. She showed me how big it was with a sample and explained how the strings would hang out of my cervix and told me to feel the strings and that I should check to see if I could feel them after each period to make sure the IUD hadn’t fallen out, etc. The IUD was bigger than an inch, which surprised me because I thought it’d be smaller. So seeing that actually made me more nervous. Then, she told me to lay back and put my feet up in the stirrups, just like with a pap smear. She inserted a speculum so she could see my cervix which was fine and didn’t hurt and let me know what she was doing with each step. The next thing she had to do was measure my cervix as well as insert the clamp to keep it straight for the IUD insertion. This was my first taste of pain. She inserted another tube-like thing called a tenaculum (the clamp, which actually pierces the cervix to hold it in place, hence the pain) and told me it might be uncomfortable and to take a deep breath in. It clamped onto my cervix and immediately I felt the sensation of a really, really bad cramp intermixed with being pinched in a highly, never-before-felt sensitive area. It was such a weird, painful sensation that I actually moaned in pain and said things like, “Ouch,” “This hurts–owww,” etc., which I didn’t think I’d do at all. You suddenly become completely aware of just exactly where in your body your cervix is and that it hates to be touched. The next thing she did was swab my cervix with a long q-tip dipped in Betadine to sterilize it for the procedure, which didn’t hurt, thankfully. I had a mini break there while she and the nurse prepared the other tube which held the IUD in it, which is called a sound. This was the most painful part of the whole procedure. The sound pushes the IUD (which has had its “wings” bent for easy insertion) up past your cervix into your womb where the wings then pop out. My doctor guided me through some deep breathing exercises; a big breath in as the sound was pushed to the tip of my cervix and a big breath out while it went through my cervix and released the IUD into my womb. The part where it was going through my cervix was super painful but I think the breathing helped (again, I mumbled “Owwwwwwwww” and such). It felt like the worst cramping I’d ever had on my period combined with this much more acute pinching pain. But! The good thing was after it was over and done with the pain immediately receded. And! The entire procedure starting with the speculum to the sound was less than five minutes. The most painful part lasted less than a minute.

The Aftermath

It’s been over a week now since I’ve had the IUD and things are going great. The first day was not bad at all, thanks in large part to the ibuprofen I took ahead of time. In fact, I felt so okay that first day I went to my kickboxing class a few hours after the procedure. One thing that was uncomfortable that night was that I could feel the strings poking my cervix. The strings feel like dental floss, so they’re tough, and my doctor did say that they would…moisten…after a while, which they thankfully did by the next day. I did re-up on my ibuprofen because of that. The next few days I actually relied on ibuprofen a lot, especially because I kept my exercise routine going. Probably would’ve saved me some pain to skip a week, but it wasn’t so bad. I took about 600mg of ibuprofen before exercise and used a heating pad as well. The pain always appeared in the afternoon. This lasted for maybe 4-5 days. Currently, I’m on my period which came early. I did have spotting and it took me a minute to figure out I was on my period this week since technically I’ve been bleeding since last Thursday. I know it takes a few months (typically 3-6 months) for your body to get used to the IUD and periods to get regular. My period is definitely heavier than before but the cramping is non-existent as of right now. From the looks of it, it does seem like my periods will be longer and heavier, at least for the time being. Overall, though, I am so, so happy I finally got my IUD! The peace of mind is worth the minute of pain. I’ll more than likely update in 3 or so months to report on how everything’s going, but right now I’m so proud I went through with this!

P.S. If you yourself are planning on getting an IUD, pump this when you’re driving home or some similar anthem because you did it!

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My Interior Design Style

I’ve noticed that my interior design tastes have been shifting from mid-century to bohemian and I figured what better way to save all of the recent boho inspo I’ve been seeing other than Pinterest? I officially think my style might be an eclectic mishmash of mid-century bohemian (with a healthy dose of all-out nerd–still figuring out how to balance all three). Below are a few beautiful examples of what I’m finding myself gravitating towards minus the nerdy accessories.

Such a relaxed, warm dining area, you feel like you could sit and talk with friends for hours here.:

We've hooked up with our friends over at @worldmarket to design this boho chic…:

Rug, chair on left (but you aren't wanting rattan and those aren't that comfy), chair on right looks good, love the coffee table:

Bohemian Decor bedroom style:

Warm, Eclectic One Bedroom | A Cup of Jo (NOTE: kurdish rug via this ebay site: http://www.ebay.com/usr/lordhalifaxthe3rrd ):

Wall of hanging planters | Growing Spaces:

3 FFF's. Nashville. Brice. Mostly cat pictures. Hair guru at Parlour & Juke. Stitchin' shit. @shagthreads:

Boho Küche mit grünen Fliesen und frischen Zimmerpflanzen. #pflanzenfreude #living:

The Jungalow takeover is in full effect over at @housebeautiful !! Be sure to follow along! This is our Bluhemia room-- (photo by @davidtsay )…:

P.S. You can take a fun (though I found not entirely accurate in my case) home style quiz here. Emily Henderson is also one of my favorite interior designers who pretty much nails any style, although I think mid-century is where she excels.

P.P.S. Give me all the plants!

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Podcast: My Brother, My Brother and Me

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This past weekend I was introduced to the wonderfully strange and hilarious podcast called My Brother, My Brother and Me. I am a podcast junkie in that I listen to at least one podcast a day. I have over 50 different podcasts on my phone and I’ve probably downloaded over 1,000 episodes over the past few years. And yet–I had never heard of this podcast before this weekend.

Why is it so great? Well, it’s basically a show about what you often do with your closest people. Or at least what I do–discuss, in great detail, your opinions on the mundanest topics. This isn’t always the case, but more often than not it’s just three brothers talking in fervent seriousness about their opinions on things like people who unwrap gifts carefully versus tearing wrapping paper to shreds. Speaking of which, I would recommend starting with the episode where they talk about all things Christmas. It left me in tears I was laughing so hard.

The basic platform is pure genius: Giving advice to people who post questions on Yahoo Answers. Now, if you’ve ever been on the Internet for more than a few minutes, you’ve probably come across this gem of a web page. The questions range from normal to pure insanity. I’m mad for not thinking of this idea myself. They also talk about more serious topics and random things like the new Naked Chicken Chalupa Taco Bell recently introduced (this episode also had me dying). The brothers are so, so funny and they can get super, super weird. It’s a perfect show in my opinion and if you haven’t heard of it yet, I’d definitely recommend giving it a listen.

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Daily Prompt: Criticize

Image result for criticize clip art

via Daily Prompt: Criticize

I see the word criticize and I immediately recoil. I usually hear the word criticize used negatively, which is why it puts such a bad taste in my mouth. However…

My feelings about the word are a bit all over the place. Like my opinions on near everything, it depends on the situation. Constructive criticism is great. Personally, I’m always open to constructive criticism. I think the trick in being the giver of such criticism is to wait and have it asked of you. People are too quick to give their opinions about others’ choices and, well, there’s also the issue of people who give unhelpful advice. Again, for me, I don’t mind constructive criticism with or without my consent; I can easily weed out what’s actually constructive and what’s not.

With all that said and done, I feel like human beings generally love to criticize things. I know I do it more than I’d like over the littlest things (e.g., the food at restaurants). It’s akin to gossip in a lot of ways. It often suggests hints of superiority (or inferiority) complex hidden behind dialogue. In a lot of ways, I see criticism as part of human nature–not the best part either–but nonetheless human. Most of us do it.

Someone I know majored in film and is, naturally, a big movie buff. He can never criticize a movie. He knows how many people it took to put a film together; the time and hard work spent editing, casting, etc. I, on the other hand, have no issue grilling a movie and giving it a “rotten tomato.” Just another perspective I thought of.

In the end, I’m not sure how this word makes me feel, which means I can’t properly criticize it. The irony.

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Daily Prompt: Ten

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via Daily Prompt: Ten

Here is a list of the Top 10 songs I’ve been listening to lately, in no particular order:

“Me and Your Mama” by Childish Gambino

“Deadwater” by Wet

“So Sad, So Sad” by VARSITY

“Oceans” by Seafret

“TT” by TWICE

“Genghis Khan” by Miike Snow

“Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance)” by Silversun Pickups

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston

“Here Comes The Rain Again” by Eurythmics

“I Don’t Wanna be Funny Anymore” by Lucy Dacus

 

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1 Second Everyday | 2016

As part of my New Year’s resolutions for 2016, I set out to record one second of every day. I definitely wasn’t able to do so, but looking back at the nearly two minutes of 2016 I did capture has inspired me to keep doing this project in following years. I think it’s such a great way to do memory-keeping. I experienced so much in 2016, including personal loss, personal growth, traveling to South Korea for the first time in my life, and progressing in my education. Of course not all that is shown. In fact, a lot of the footage may seem boring. However, I remember each day in detail from a simple snippet. Whereas the photos I take are more thought out and deliberate, these clips give a greater sense of how my life was in 2016 and that’s why I love this project so much.

I chose to add music to my video, although it’s been argued to not do that in order to preserve what is truly happening in the clips. I totally agree and kept a copy of the original without music for my own safe keeping. For some reason, it’s a lot more personal than I thought I’d like to share. Plus I did want to make a video that had music in it, too. So there’s that.

My thought on next year’s project is to film at least one clip each week. You can see in my 2016 video that I tried filming every day and eventually started filming sporadically. Filming every day started to become more of a chore than fun, which is why I’ve decided to focus on once a week. The good thing is that I did manage to film a clip for each month of 2016, which is great. One thing I regret is editing in Sony Vegas Pro instead of iMovie. The quality would look so much better in iMovie because I still have no clue what I’m doing in Sony Vegas. I’m simply too lazy to edit it on my Mac after doing it on my PC though. Ah, well.

I highly recommend this project to anyone who likes memory-keeping. It is so easy to do and so powerful to look back on your year in moving pictures.

Without further ado…

1 Second Everyday | 2016 from Grace G. on Vimeo.

**Everything was filmed using my Samsung Galaxy S7. I edited it in Sony Vegas Pro 13 but had issues with it whitening the clips which are why they look a bit washed out at times. It’s a learning process.
**Music is “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” by Tame Impala.

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2016 Best Nine

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From left to right:

  1. Visiting dad’s grave Christmas week
  2. Voting November 8th
  3. Celebrating four years with G
  4. G and I’s Rick and Morty Halloween costumes
  5. My favorite family photo of us dressed in hanbok
  6. Turkey Day spread ft. this incredible sweet potato casserole (I added a whole stick of butter instead of 1/4 cup–no regrets)
  7. A market during off hours in Jejudo
  8. A throwback of my dad and I
  9. My mom and I’s trip to Mount San Jacinto for my 26th birthday weekend
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2017, leggo!

2017

It’s been a few days since ringing in the New Year and I’m here to review last year’s resolutions before I completely forget. Looking back on the resolutions I made last year…Phew, were they ambitious! Let’s go ahead and break down how each one went:

Goal #1

So, basically, I wanted to become a morning person. How did that go? Well, even though I got a good morning routine going for a while the truth is…I’m still battling with being a night owl. In fact, I would say my night owl tendencies got a lot worse over the last few months. It really sucks because I truly do think waking up early is amazing and yet…my brain cannot quiet down before 2 AM. I do think that this goal is achievable but that it’s going to take a lot longer than I thought it would and that it’s a lot harder than I thought it’d be. One thing that has helped immensely with getting my brain to shut off is a “wind down routine” which is basically watching ASMR videos. ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. The best way I can describe it is pleasant sensory overload (ex. the tingling feeling on your scalp when someone plays with your hair). The first time I heard of ASMR was through a react video and I was just as weirded out as most of the people who reacted to it. To be honest, I even thought it might be some type of fetish at first (I am laughing while I type this because I love ASMR now). The thing is, that react video came to mind one night when I was having a really, really hard time getting to sleep. In my desperation, I went on YouTube and typed in ASMR. I watched a video. I fell asleep. I had the best sleep I had had in a long, long time. From then on, I’ve been hooked. They certainly aren’t a fix-all (again, still struggling with being a night owl), but the videos have become a staple in my wind down routine for sure. I can’t deny it. While I do sometimes experience “tingles” the videos mostly relax me, some even put me in a type of trance. The one video I recommend to everyone who has no clue about ASMR and would most likely benefit from it is by an “ASMRtist” named Heather Feather (you can watch it here). It basically sums up what ASMR is all about in my opinion. I think these videos really help me because I am a naturally anxious person. I deal with my anxiety in a lot of different ways (I can write about that in a separate post if anyone is interested in that) and ASMR is now in my arsenal of tools. If you have trouble sleeping or need to relax, give it a go.

Goal #2

Cut out added sugar. HA. HA. HA. This did not happen. There, I said it. Moving on…

Goal #3

Exercise 3-4x a week. So, I was doing really, really well at this the first half of 2016. Until August. I just fell off. I don’t even know why. I crossed off the days I worked out on a huge calendar that I taped onto my closet and did a great job keeping track. I worked out a total of 111 days out of 365 days. I didn’t include the days I was in South Korea (even though I walked over 20,000 steps every other day). To qualify as a workout, it had to be deliberate (and at least 30 minutes-1 hour). If I had worked out 3x a week every week, I would have worked out 144 days. So I fell short 33 days. Even though I didn’t reach my goal, I’m super proud I was so close. This year I plan on getting to 144. One exercise I fell in love with this year was cycling. I try to go to a cycling class once a week at least. One interesting and unfortunate thing also coincided with working out: I gained weight. Not muscle weight either. I think I have been justifying eating more because I was working out and was not checking my weight (barely). Just goes to show that exercise and a bad diet won’t fix anything (unless you’re 18 and have an amazing metabolism because I for sure used to get away with it).

Goal #4

I would say I’ve kept up so-so on my skin care routine. I ran out of one of my products (it’s been a few months) and it’s hard to track down, but way more money on Amazon. Still on the look-out. Overall, I’ve been taking better care of my skin than in the past, both on the inside and out (more about this in another post).

Goal #5

Investing did not happen! More like I invested in traveling.

Goal #6

As far as doing things that scare me, I think I did that for sure. But in a way that wasn’t really “extreme.” And I wouldn’t describe it as “scary” but scary in a way a new thing can be scary. I conquered student teaching and built up confidence over 6 months. It was scary but also exciting, challenging, and fun all at the same time. To add, I decided to use my savings (and the SkyMiles I had saved up) to take a trip to South Korea with my mom for three weeks (September-October). I will definitely write an entire blog post about the experience because it has been one of the best experiences of my entire life and something I have always dreamed of doing. I’ve been editing a video of the trip to share as well. So I’d say I accomplished this goal. Success!

Goal #7

Filmed a second of every day using the 1 Second Everyday app. Now I still to this day think this is an amazing, cool, ingenious app. But it was pretty hard to remember to film each day (even with the timer) and I completely fell off after a while. However, I do have a compiled video of quite a few days (some videos overlap with my South Korea video, too) so I plan on uploading that soon to share. I still think I’ll use this app, though. Even if I don’t film every day, I think filming even just a bit is such a meaningful way to look back on everything. It’s crazy how much we don’t remember, even after a few weeks!

Well, there it is! A look back at the goals I set last year. I plan on writing another post about what I’ve been thinking about for my goals this year, too. Happy goal setting (or not) and Happy New Year!

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A favorite that always puts a pep in my step…

Really wanting Ginger Rogers’ dress.

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