Fall Bucket List - Cider, Doughnuts, and Apples

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Taste an apple cider doughnut and the universe will immediately open to tell you all its secrets. That's the exact impression that I remember from childhood so I like bringing a piece of that to my own children . . . plus a trip to Oak Glen is about as "fall" as you can get in Southern California.

Apple season in Oak Glen starts in September, but who is thinking about apples when school just got back in session and I'm trying to get my life back in order from the lazy days of summer? By October I'm usually thinking about how can I knock out pumpkin patchin' and apple picking so a trip to Oak Glen knocks everything out at once. 

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Pro Tip: You may think you will get the perfect fall photo while you are our there, but it's still very Cali which means unpredictable weather! It may be cool and crisp or hot AF, so I bring an extra pair of shorts as well as hoodies for the kids because it can go from really warm to cool between midday and sunset. 

Now let's get back to what to expect while you've ventured almost two hours away from Los Angeles. Pick an orchard you want to start at Snowline Orchard and plug it in because I always lose service once I get there and just kind of drive around after we hit up the first place. The places I've gone to are all off Oak Glen Road which is a scenic loop of apple orchards and farms. I try and stop at the one that also has a wine tasting rooms because it makes the rest of the day more enjoyable. You can't actually pick apples here, but you could always just grab apples pre-bagged and hang around for food, doughnuts, and u-pick raspberries. 

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The next three places are a toss up of where to go next. The first place I had ever looked up in Oak Glen was Riley's, but it's a little confusing as they own more than one property. Last time we went to Riley's Apple Farm without knowing to check out Riley's Los Rios Rancho across the street. This year we hung out at Riley's Los Rios Rancho for the better part of the day and it could have been the whole trip because there is that much for the kids to do.

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The activity the kids liked the most was the U-Press Cider activity, but I will say it was exhausting since I didn't go with my husband this year. Somehow we got lucky because we did this at the end of the day, but at one point there was a huge line and almost gave up on doing this. This place had nature trails the kids "hiked", had a petting zoo with wagon rides, and all the BBQ and hot dogs you could eat with plenty of space for the kids to run around and get out all their cider sugar energy out. I heard there was also a corn maze, but I just watched a horror story on Netflix about one the night before so we skipped this one!

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To actually pick apples, you may have to go across to Riley's Apple Farm depending on the day, but they were available when we went on Sunday. The one place we didn't get to go to this year was this place another mom today me about while we were in line for doughnuts at Snowline Orchard. Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard has apple picking, but also kids crafts and gemstone panning. Both kids have really been into gemstone books so I really wanted to do that activity, but I couldn't find it since I didn't have a signal once I was out on the Oak Glen Road loop. I guess this will be the first stop on the agenda next trip and I'll just BYOB wine in case I can't find my way back to Snowline's Wine Tasting room!

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5 tips to help you transition to working out of office

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Most of my career before children was in sales so I never really worked from an office in a traditional sense outside of corporate internships. I’ve pretty much always had a home office even though I still had to take outside meetings daily, and I think a few key habits that started early for me made it an easy switch when I started working on my own projects full time. When I first took the leap to start a company of my own in 2009, there weren’t a lot of people to look at and there were really only two other people I knew who didn’t work a traditional Corporate America job at a Fortune 500 type of company that I could talk too about what to expect. Now it almost seems to be in fashion to be an entrepreneur. I was only working from home for a few months before I got scared of being 100% on my own and went back into sales while continuing to work weekends and evenings on my own company and didn’t transition until fully stopping working in sales another 2 years later after needing more flexibility in when I was working as a mother. If you are working for yourself of freelancing in any capacity there are five things I think can help you transition into being more productive when working on your own.

Set Up An Office Or Work Area

I feel like I always see these glamorized posts of people working from their bed or the beach, but it’s important to create a designated work space in your home where you can not only remove distractions (hellooooo pile of laundry), but also be able to shut a door and walk away from work at the end of the day to focus on your family or anything that isn’t your business around the clock. I am guilty of being the person who would get in the zone of a project and not come out of my hole until I was done which would make these vicious cycles of non-stop work, burnout, and recovery. Once I had kids, I had no choice but to try and learn how to set a time to stop (even if it meant I would pick back up for an hour or two in the evening) because it’s not like you can just skip picking your kids up from school because you are on a roll!

If there isn’t a spare room that you can use for an office, finding a designated space you can set up and make enjoyable to work in away from tv or your bed will help you get more done in a day. For anyone that has to take Skype calls or any type of video calls often, keep the background for calls in mind as you set your space up.

Schedules Are Life

In sales I would have to have my ‘routing’ planned for the week. This was a list of who I was going to see for the week written out by day and I would have to spend time before each meeting looking up my notes from the last meeting so I could plan out what my objective was going to be for going in. This set up a mentality where I would look at my week and figure out what I needed to do to drive objectives in my business forward and I’d time-block what needed to get done in a day to meet that objective so I never spent too much wasted time on things that didn’t matter. There were very few days for me from jump where I would look up and it would be the end of the day, but I hadn’t actually gotten anything accomplished.

I don’t care if I’m opening up a planner to write on paper or opening up a note application in my phone, but the first thing I’m doing for the day is create some kind of to-do list so that even if I get sucked down the rabbit hole (ugh. . . Instagram), I can always take a peek at my list to get back on track. I try and set timers to go off on my phone if I know I want to devote a solid chunk of time on something that requires deep thinking, but I’ve heard of friends who swear using productivity cubes like this to help them stay on track for the day. Schedule your day how you need to around your lifestyle and best times for productivity, but get that ish scheduled!

Limit Yourself From Constantly Checking Your Email

I started working before everyone had a Blackberry so at one point in my life, you couldn’t check your email unless it was early in the morning or late in the evening because you were expected to be in the field between 8am - 5pm. While on internship at Pfizer I remember hearing a few executives talk about the Blackberry they were all getting and everyone questioning if this was going to mean they had to answer emails around the clock now. Fast forward to now and it’s so hard to get out of the mentality of constantly scanning my email to see if I’m out of the loop about something as if I’m not working unless I’m responding back as fast as someone sent an email. While it’s important to stay connected, spending too much time on e-mail might distract you from more important tasks to drive your business forward.

Being A Founder/ Freelancer/ Entrepreneur Can Be Lonely So Find Your Circle

I’ve always been used to just talking to people on the phone during long car rides because I was pretty much always working on my own. That’s actually probably one reason why I jumped to get an iPhone when it first came out because I could check-in on Facebook and talk to my friends who were online at their desk all day. For anyone who came from more of a traditional office environment, they always talk about life as an entrepreneur being more of a major adjustment because they are used to being able to interact with their co-workers more often to bounce ideas off of or just to chat about whatever was on tv the night before. I missed out on that boat, but joining groups for entrepreneurs and setting out to attend events where I could also connect with other people in my industry were where I’ve met some of the people who really helped push me forward as my ‘business BFFs’ as they became people I could bounce ideas off of even though we may not have been working together. You may notice that you may start to hire, refer, and partner heavily based on the company you keep in your entrepreneurship circle.

 Self-Care is Healthcare

I used to think if you had time for self care, it was because you weren’t working enough. I thrived on a project I was working on being all-consuming and losing track of time because of whatever I was working on. I still do this sometimes, but the last piece of the puzzle that is sometimes the easiest for others is carving out time for self care. For me it means not working through lunch so I set an alarm at 1pm to make sure it’s not 3pm and I am starving. I’ve been working on it being more of a priority to stop to walk or even take a fitness class or else I’ll always say that’s an hour I’ll put off because ‘I don’t have time’. Rest was also one of the last things I would do and have finally started putting boundaries on how late I stay up working on things so I have time to reset to start again the next day without feeling like I’m at the brink of burn out. Some weeks I’m better at this then others, but I do attempt to make these three things priority that I will even schedule into my calendar. My husband may laugh when my iPhone does the lullaby ring so I know it’s getting close to when I need to lay down to get at least 7 hours of sleep, but I need that reminder to tell myself to slow down.

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Working at home can be lonely, require a lot more time than you expect, and it may not provide the stability or resources that comes with working for someone else in an office setting. While it may appear glamorous on Instagram, many of the people I know who go off to start something on their own are working far more hours than they even did from an office, so know there may be sacrifices you make to be able to have the flexibility of working from home. I hope these tips are helpful if you are exploring becoming an entrepreneur in any capacity. There will be ups and down, but remember to enjoy the ride!

Is there a tip you think I missed? DM it to me on Instagram @JasminePennamma. I’d love to hear it!

5 Quick ideas For Summer Picnics With Kids

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One of the best parts of summer is eating outside. We'll do picnics at home and traded park picnics for the beach now that it’s finally warm enough. I’ll pack up a few toys and we’ll just snack and play for hours. I've been getting bored with the same sandwiches and snacks I've been packing in the cooler months, so I've switched it up for summer.

As a quick hot day hack, once your food is all packed up, my kids will usually drink more water if it's cold so I bring their thermos with water and ice so it stays cool. If you don't have one, you can also bring partially frozen water bottles since they will melt a little in the heat. I'll also toss the sunscreen next to the cold bottles so it's cool and refreshing when we are reapplying it if we are hanging out for a while.

Enjoy! Tag me @jasminepennamma on Instagram if you end up trying any of these on your next beach trip. 

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1. Strawberry Mango Salsa I haven’t been to Underwood Farms yet this season to pick strawberries because they were ripe late with the cool spring, but I’m already feeling the strawberry overload in my family. After a trip to Underwood, the farmers market, or Cosco, we always come back with way too many strawberries. Just add chips! I’ll also play around with adding a spoonful of honey some days because this salsa is mainly for the kids!

Strawberry Mango Salsa:
2 cups of chopped strawberries
1 cup of chopped mango
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
3 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 lime, juiced 


2. Salmon Tacos Never thought of bringing fish to a picnic? Great, me either. Fish tacos were the weirdest thing I ever heard of once I moved to Los Angeles, but I changed my mind after a friend introduced me to Malibu Seafood. It's hit or miss if the kids will eat salmon, but this is an easy meal for me to do if I'm in the middle of Keto and trying to cut down on carbs because I can sub the taco shell for a Jicama wrap or lettuce wrap. I cook my salmon in the oven and then cut into pieces to take with me. I keep the dressing simple with a little bit of avo and lime juice right before I eat it. 

Salmon:
1 1/2 lbs boneless salmon 
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp ancho chili powder
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper


3. Ginger Chicken Salad Bowl I'm semi-keto again this summer so I've been trying to mix up my meals so I'm not as bored as I was eating chicken and leaves all last summer. I still usually don't meal prep as I should so this recipe is totally easy for when I know I don't want to snack on all of my kid's chips or crackers while at the park or beach. It doesn't take me too long to cook up the chicken and red onions, and then everything else is tossed together with the baby kale as a dressing.  I'll put the hot chicken in a separate container and add on top of the bowl of salad once I'm ready to dig in.

Ginger Chicken Salad Bowl
2 ish cups of baby kale
1/4 cup red onion
2 chicken breast cutlets
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
¼ cup olive oil


4. Fruity Lemonade Everything is better in a mason jar including lemonade for the kids. I'll buy lemonade and toss in a few slices of lemon and strawberries or watermelon because the kids get a kick out of it even though it's so simple. 

5. Fruit Salad Cones If my kids eat nothing else, they will always eat a ton of fruit on a warm day so a fruit salad with whatever fruit I have at the time like grapes, blueberries, and raspberries are easy. I'll pack a waffle cone or bowl to serve it in and they are good to go. 

If you have a few kids hanging out, my daughter taught me this trick from a cooking class she took at camp. For fresh whipped cream to add to the top of your fruit salad cones, bring a mason jar filled halfway with whipping cream, a dash of vanilla, and sugar to taste. While you are scooping out the fruit salad, have the kids shake up the mason jar with the lid on. In 2 minutes of shaking, you'll have fluffy whipped cream!

Tag me in your IG Story so I can see if you have the kids make this one! It makes the Cutest video!

Summer Road tripping with the littles

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This wasn't the first and won't be the last time I take the kids out of town solo. It's never easy, but it's always worth it. A lot of times we just call it sleepovers because it centers around me picking a nice hotel where we swim, make s’mores, and stay up late playing games with room service. Our trips haven't been particularly adventurous until this past year now that they are getting bigger. They've mostly been a way for us to really bond. I'm not on a crazy schedule so we take our time, we color, someone else cleans up after us and brings dinner to the room, and I just really use that time to give them my total undivided attention. It's usually around when my husband is already out of town so it ends up being easier for us both to be in a new environment.

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Our trip to South Lake Tahoe was super spontaneous. I talked myself out of driving out of town with the kids on my own at least 3x in 24 hours because I do spend the night out of town with just us, but more like pick an easy resort and two hours or so away and go swimming. At most, we maybe leave the place once or twice and just hang out on the property. It’s also never been a destination that felt so “very middle of nowhere” on my own.

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I would have loved to rent a kayak or boat because the water is so beautiful and crystal clear, but I stuck to activities this round that I thought I could manage on my own easily. We stuck to hiking and exploring the lake. I picked out hiking trails and beaches that were pretty popular so there was pretty much always a lot of people around even if the areas we were at looked desolate in photographs. I didn't geotag where we were while I was gone because as much as I love chatting online, there are still too many people out there that could use that information to target a woman who is traveling on her own. Actually, I exercise that same bit of caution online as I never mention my kid's school or camps or post a photo with them wearing any school tees.

I thought I was going to chat more about what we did while we were gone (Mostly Eagle Falls, Sand Harbor Beach, and exploring the city to eat), but I got so many DMs and questions from friends about traveling on my own with the kids that I decided to make this post about that.

Here are a few of my tips if you are going to attempt a few nights away like this yourself before the summer is out:

Be Alert: I'm an optimistic person, but my father has instilled street smarts into me from day one. I'm never going to be the person who just leaves their purse on a chair during a birthday party, and when traveling, I'm always going to remain on high alert especially if I'm traveling solo without my husband because there are crazy people out there who target women and women who may be alone with children. I make it very clear to my children that not all people are good people and I'm here to protect them, but I need their help sticking close to me and listening so I can keep us all safe.

Let Someone Know Where You Are: We planned really last minute, but my husband had our hotel information and we just got our daughter a Gizmo which also acts as a location tracker so we had that with us and activated so he could stay on top of where we were in case we had any issues.

Hotels/Resorts > Airbnb: So everyone may not agree with me here, but I felt 110% more secure staying in a hotel with multiple other guests, kid-friendly, with and someone we could check in with more than I did trying to be in contact with a homeowner and then being off in the woods somewhere on our own. For all that we may as well went camping somewhere on our own. . . . which wasn't something I felt comfortable doing on my own.

Talk Through What Happens If You Get Separated: I just got my daughter a Gizmo which is like an Apple Watch for kids that you can program up to 10 numbers of people they can contact by calling or texting. I felt much more at ease knowing she could call me if we got separated (when we weren't in areas with no cell service while hiking!). For both children, I've always told them to look for a mommy and yell out my full name instead of "mommy" if they ever got lost. In a mommy and me class, they explained that teaching this to young children can help so you can identify them in a crowd where there may be a ton of other kids saying mommy and to specifically tell them to look for a woman for help because women will most likely commit to helping a young child while a man may be hesitant of looking like he was trying to run off with them. My kids are of an age that they can remember my phone number, but there are companies who make tattoos of your name and number you can put on a child's wrist for the day that I've ordered for things like days at Disneyland when they were too young for basic conversation.

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Are you heading anywhere with the littles this summer? DM me @jasminepennamma and let me know. I’d love to hear!

3 Tips To Get The Most Out of Your Next Conference or Tradeshow

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I've always loved conferences and tradeshows so I was dumbfounded to see how many people hated them at a woman in biz meet up the other week. I've always asked to be sent to conferences as part of the corporate companies I've been a part of in the past, but as an entrepreneur, I still go even though the only one footing that bill is me. I love attending workshops to stay on top of trends of my industry as much as I love speaking at them. Getting away to conferences is harder now between having to coordinate care and pickups for the kids and having work still need to be done even though I'm away since I’m not in sales anymore when it was easy to be ‘out of territory’ for a few days. On top of all of that, entry can be expensive and since I don’t have a corporation to sponsor my pass. I paid almost $2,500 just to get IN to one of these conferences last year alone, I need to be sure I am making the most of these meetings!

1. Have a plan of action. I look at two things when looking at what conference to spend my time at; what could I possibly learn and who could I possibly meet? The sessions may be something where I'm trying to master a new skill or it could be that there is a speaker presenting that I want to get connected with. In both cases, I'm researching the panels ahead of time before committing to taking time out of my day for any conference. With more digital tickets being available, sometimes I can also save on the price of the ticket plus travel by purchasing a digital ticket instead and watching sessions on my own time in the evening. Especially for industry meetings where it is great for me to get caught up on the information, but everyone in attendance is mainly another marketer like myself, I may not feel the need to network with people to collaborate with in person.

2. Give a compliment and start conversations. I hate talking to people out of the blue in 97% of life situations, but if I am attending something in person, I try and make an effort to meet some of the other people who view their business as important enough to be there too. I am not always the best at this because sometimes I get anxious about the emails I'm missing and spend the break typing up my notes from the last session or checking emails and social channels, but never once has anyone attempted to start a conversation with me with my head down over my laptop or phone. Unless I'm running late because I'm trying to chat with a presenter from the last session, I usually try and sit down early and strike up a presentation with someone sitting near me. I'm the worst at accepting compliments because I usually shrug them off and downplay my 'positive' with a negative. I'm trying to get better at that, but I'm great at finding something to give someone a compliment on and then ask what they do. After that being my ice breaker, I usually ask them if they've been to this conference before or what other conferences they recommend in relationship to what they do. At the end of the day, I'll try and do the same thing 'virtually' on social media by seeing who posted stories or photos with the event hashtags and geotags to see if there is anyone I may want to try and meet up with over one of the breaks.

Pro Tip: I don't post personally on Twitter much, but it can be a great platform to jump into these conversations in real time even more than Instagram.

3. Write it down and share the knowledge! I am an avid note taker, but notes don't do you any good if they are stuck in your 200th gold notebook that gets placed who knows where. I try and add each session on my phone in Google Docs. You are now more organized to be able to actually revisit those notes and take action from the meeting, use part of those notes as content later if you want to summarize what you are learning on social media or your blog, and if you work with multiple people it is great to be able to have a short summary prepared of your key takeaways to everyone can benefit from you being away while also showing the advantage of your company paying for you to go back again the next year.

What about you? Do you have any conference tips to share? I’d love to hear them or what industry you are in and your favorite conferences or tradeshows to attend. DM me on Instagram @JasminePennamma. The next one I’ll be at is VidCon, will you be there?

Summer School - Learning A New Skill For The Summer

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School is out this week and although both kids will be enrolled in camps while my husband and I are working, it still feels like we will have some downtime because we will be light of the sports and extra activities. With my oldest being an early reader and my youngest starting, I’m going to do my best to go to the library each week so they can pick a new book for us to read together. I remember being part of summer book clubs like Book It (free pizza at Pizza Hut!) and 600 Minutes (Free ticket to six flags!) which I loved, but while I think these programs helped me start an early love of devouring books, I wanted to try my own twist to it.

In college, I never really had a summer “off”, but whether I was taking summer classes or working at an internship, while it felt great to have a break from the demands of the school year, that didn’t mean I needed to take a break from learning. For me, the best part about the slow days of summer is that you have a chance to learn on your own terms. So while in school I would pick a class I was really interested in that had nothing to do with my major, and even while away on internship I would enroll in something that excited me like a commercial acting class or art class.

For myself and my kids, I want us to each pick a skill that we want to learn and use books that we check out at the library, YouTube videos, and a lot of trial and error to work on it to continuously get better over the summer. For me it will probably center around shooting and editing video and for my daughter around art. I’m not sure what my son will pick, but I know he’s always been into helping in the kitchen so I may start him out with snacks and smoothies he can make after school. We haven’t picked it out exactly, but we have a few days together at a hotel when school is out to try and figure it out!

Starting A Brand By Creating Your Muse

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Sometimes you’ve had an idea in the back of your head for a while but creating a brand from scratch can feel just as exhausting as  thrilling.

Where do you even start?

You may have had a few ideas (and 20 website domains) brewing in the back of your head for a while, but once you figure out which one to run with, the step I love the most is the creation of the brand identity. . While for some, figuring out the pretty things like colors will be first, to me, it’s even more important to start with who the target market is and what problem will my brand solve for them because the more you understand your customer, the easier it is to speak their language when trying to communicate with them.

Once the target market has been identified, it’s easier to think more about creating the brand identity and what kind of personality your brand would have. Now it may sound a little silly to create a “muse” that embodies your brand, but when you identify the who and what your brand represents, it’s also easier to easily knock out what does NOT work for that person either. This can now make the process of selecting your packaging design, branding, and even brand ambassadors easier. You may have several, but working with a muse forces you to keep that person in mind instead of getting distracted by what competitors are doing or losing site of your brand values.

The muse that was created to develop The Things We Do Beauty is Amhalise Cree. She’s 31, single, completed college, and lives in Siverlake. She doesn’t have kids yet, but as an interior designer and boutique owner. She’s a busy slash-y just like us.She values quality over quantity and her time because she is on the move. Her biggest fear? Losing herself in her business and letting life pass her by without truly enjoying it. Sitting down to create the marketing strategy to reach her will now become easier because we’ll sit and figure out the answers to questions like “where does she get her information from?”.

One thing to keep in mind is that the vision you started off with in the beginning might start to change as these questions get answered. The photos we are looking at was part of ours in the beginning, but clearly these early mood boards are vastly different for the final outcome. 

Are you in the middle of creating something? Who would your brand muse be?

Morning Glow

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With the kids, sometimes I’m left with more time in the mornings than I’d care for because someone woke me up on their time. The one good thing about that is I have a little extra time on my hands for a skincare step some people only reserve for the evening. Are you a fan of morning masking? If not, you will be soon.

One of the masks I helped create for The Things We Do is called Liquid Lift Sleeping Mask. It is a lightweight gel sleeping mask that will infuse your skin with Organic Oats, Vitamin B5, and plant-based Hyaluronic Acid to nourish, tighten, and plump your skin.  I go through a lot of stress in life on the daily, but our skin has it’s own set of drama as well. Ever hear of the term beauty sleep? It’s a real thing. Our skin uses nighttime to repair itself from all the damage that was caused by sun exposure, stress, and pollution during the day so having a PM skincare routine that looks different from your AM skincare routine means you are incorporating products that are helping you take advantage of that natural repair process. (Retinol is one of those PM only products I’ve sworn by since my 20s because it helps encourage skin cell turnover.)  

Now since our skin also loses moisture at night, I love Liquid Lift Sleeping Mask as a hydrating treatment as the last step in my routine to draw moisture into the skin. What I didn’t expect when we were formulating it was how often I would reach for Liquid Lift Sleeping Mask during the day. There’s a lot to do developing a skincare brand. I’m working from home most days talking to everyone via email or video calls on Zoom so I don’t usually wear foundation on those days or much makeup at all. Some of our early product testers for The Things We Do’s skincare line were makeup artists.  When I was talking to them about when they incorporated this mask compared to a group of women using it in their evening routines, they would use it as a 15 minute treatment by putting on a generous amount to boost hydration before doing their client’s makeup which helped make their client’s skin look look dewy instead of potentially cakey with their foundation so the makeup application looked it’s best.

So now if I’ve been woken extra early from a kid with a bad dream and can’t get back to sleep on a day that I have in person meetings, I’ll just go ahead and wake up and start my day before the kids wake up to get a head start on my day, including my skincare routine. I’ll reach for Gly Glow Exfoliating Scrub and leave it on my skin 5-10 minutes like an exfoliating mask and follow with Liquid Lift Sleeping Mask while I’m making lunches then rinse and do my quickie AM skin routine and 5 minute workday makeup sesh that’s half done at home.... and half done in the car. If I’m working from home, I’ll wait until drop off to start masking and then throw in a red light treatment with my Light Stim for Wrinkles while the mask is on and I’m drinking my morning matcha or checking emails. (Pro Tip: While at a trade show, the Light Stim education trainer leading a session explained that it’s okay to use it in conjunction with a clear mask, but using something that wasn’t transparent would be pointless to use while trying to get the benefits of the light)

So while I love using this mask as the last step in my skincare routine in the evenings, I love being able to integrate it into my mornings or before an event if I have an extra moment to indulge. Do you ever do a morning masking routine? 

What is microinfusion and why my skin is obsessed

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I was first introduced to microinfusions close to two years ago through a plastic surgeon I was friends with. It was starting to pop up in offices in Los Angeles my agency Aesthetic Influencer worked with, but there are so many treatments that I come in contact with that new ones don’t always hold my attention especially since I’m cautious of many peels and lasers as a women of color. Before Vanessa Lee, RN was my partner in The Things We Do Beauty, she also did these treatments and was excited it was something that could be done one women of color.

So WTF is microinfusion and why is my skin obsessed? It’s a combination of microneedling by stamping and infusing the skin with serums simultaneously. In a clinic, a microinfusion facial may include a cocktail of what a provider may typically inject into a client’s face like Botox and Filler, but microinfusions are not meant to erase wrinkles, only soften them. It’s usually a treatment done as an addition to injectables to concentrate on the skin because it leads to instant gratification with the least amount of downtime. The typical results are eliminating fine lines and tightening of the skin for a “Glass Skin” effect. Here in Los Angeles, it’s usually a treatment recommended to Hollywood clients before a major event because it leaves a radiant glow with minimal downtime. I had one professional treatment from a dermatologist that was a client at the time and was hooked! Naturally I told all of my friends about it.

Like most treatments, you should be going in for a series, but being anywhere from $600 - $900 per treatment, most of us didn’t seek out a professional treatment as often as was recommended.

So let’s fast forward a bit. Knowing this was a treatment that I loved and Vanessa loved too, you can see why we knew this was going to be our first beauty tool. We knew at-home therapies can never replace the multitude of benefits professional services have, but just like you still need to brush your teeth everyday after going to see the dentist, we wanted to offer a microinfusion device that can help enhance the results you get in a professional setting for home use. The response to making this more accessible for people as part of The Ritual Kit from The Things We Do Beauty has been incredible!

The Ritual Kit retails for $225 and contains one Dew & Go Microneedling Infusion Stamp and four Hydrate Skin Brew ampules. The treatment is recommended to do every 2 - 4 weeks so there’s enough to complete 4 treatments before needing another kit. Keeping your treatments on this schedule means the kit will last you 2 - 4 months. While some aestheticians are now doing a microinfusion facial with a mix of different serums, most microinfusion facials are done by medical professionals because they mix Botox and Filler into the vile. Our device comes with Skin Brew and none of those formulations will ever have Botox of Filler in it since that needs to be administered by a professional. The first Skin Brew we debuted is Hydrate. I worked with a formulator in Korea to do a blend of snail mucin and moringa to leave skin event ready or just ready to glow. 49 tiny gold needles puncture your skin every time you stamp your face with the Dew & Go, but it only feels like deep exfoliation. This treatment yields smoother, brighter, and healthier skin within days - with minimal downtime.

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Does it hurt?! You ARE poking your face with needles, but these are tiny needles thinner than a strand of hair. Everyone has a different threshold for pain, but this should just be a tiny prick. As a tip, remember you are going to tap lightly. The needles do all the work for you so you don’t have to press hard.

So what should you expect after using the Dew & Go at home? We recommend this as an evening ritual so after you’ve cleaned your face and then started stamping in the Skin Brew, you will leave the Skin Brew on your skin without rinsing off and not use any other skincare items that evening including your PM retinol. In the morning, you’'ll rinse your face off with a gentle cleanser. Your skin will be more sensitive to stronger ingredients so ease into them on day 3 after using the Dew & Go. You can jump off your retinol the week before and for a week after your treatment. For the first 24 hours after the treatment, don’t use any makeup on your freshly stamped skin. Since using the Dew & Go can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, while we recommend sun protection EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE, be sure not to “forget” in the days following this treatment.

We’ve been having requests to purchase additional ampules of Skin Brew for those who want to stamp more areas like their neck, chest, and hands so look out for that in the upcoming weeks.

So what do you think of this treatment? Would you give this a try at home?













5 Mother's Day Gifts You'll Want To Add To Cart And Send To Yourself

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For 99% of moms, we spend the majority of the year trying to figure out how to take care of everyone else.so we should be sure to remember to treat ourselves a little too! When I was a new mom, the one thing I wanted for Mother’s Day was a day away. My favorite places to stay were at The Ritz Carlton Bacarra or Monarch Beach which were both close enough we could pack up everything I needed and throw in the car while being outside of Los Angeles enough to be a resort with grounds to walk on and play with the kids instead of being stuck inside a hotel. I just wanted to spend the weekend in a fluffy robe where I had no dishes to do and someone else picked up after us so the room was totally clean when I walked through the doors. It’s totally a bonus that these places also have Mother’s Day brunch because why wouldn’t I like a brunch in my honor?!

Now that the kids are older and life has gotten even more hectic with sports games or activities on the weekend, we’ve been keeping it local. A champagne brunch is always a great idea, but there are a few things on my radar that I think would make a great gift for any mom on the go or to gift yourself later if you wake up with a coffee mug for the 8th year in a row. Time to treat yourself for all those butts you’ve had to wipe, mama. You deserve it!

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LOCAL WELLNESS FOODIE BOX | FLOWERS

I’m a sucker for beautiful flowers, but flowers, supplements, and sage?! Sign me up for this gift box from Valley Brink Road! There is nothing in this set that’d I’d want to re-gift. This is such an LA gift, but I LOVE it! If you’ve ever seen my IG Stories you know how obsessed I am with Moringa. (It’s also an ingredient in our new Skin Brew hydration ampule for our Dew & Go microneedling infusion stamp!) It also has one of my favorite brands, Foursigmatic (mushroom coffee is not as scary as it sounds) and a few things I haven’t tried yet that I’m curious to taste. For the most part, I just love flowers so ordering a delivery from Urbanstems or something similar is my go-to, but I’ve had my eye on these boxes long enough to want to splurge on one finally.


MASSAGE AT THE NOW

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It’s so cliche to say you have to give in to some form of self-care, but I learned the hard way that you truly do need to give yourself some space. It’s a lot easier for me to say this now, but for the longest time, I thought self-care was so selfish once I entered #momlife. There was SO MUCH TO DO, always. Who had time to do things for themselves’? I also had terrible anxiety so I often convinced myself something terrible was going to happen at any moment so I didn’t even want to leave them with anyone else to be able to catch a break. Seriously. I was that mom that would wake up a sleeping baby to see if they were still breathing.

As you probably guessed, at some point after my second child, I hit a point of burnout so now I make it a point to set aside some downtime for things like a massage or facial. I don’t do either as often as I should because a) expensive and b) life, but I love the casual-chic massage boutiques popping up her around Los Angeles. My favorite is The Now because they have a few locations, incorporate CBD for when I’m going in because of pain vs just a random massage and I love that there’s a dose of woo with the crystals and palo santo. As a bonus, if you go in person to purchase the gift card, they have a boutique to include little things in a gift box and there is literally nothing that they’ve curated that you would go wrong with purchasing.

SMITH & MARA 14K Gold Topaz Suspender

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For the first few years of motherhood all I wanted was mom jewelry. I asked for initials, something that spelled mom, my kid’s birthstones. . basic things like that. In my mind I thought that mom jewelry signaled to the rest of the world that if I was out in public looking disheveled and somehow without a child. . . it was because I was a mom. Now that I’m out of the newborn and toddler phase and able to put myself together again, I’m ready to get back to getting beautiful pieces of jewelry. Before kids, my style was really bold statement pieces, but after getting out of the habit of wearing that with babies that like to tug at shiny things, I’ve switched to more delicate pieces. This piece from Smith & Mara is the perfect mix of being delicate and fine while still making a bold statement.

CATERED FIT MEAL DELIVERY SERVICE

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I’ve saved the best gift for last! When I was living in NYC, I always thought meal delivery services were for Hollywood stars. Over the past few years there have been several companies that have popped up that have been affordable, but it wasn’t until life with kids that I started considering it again. I’ll do a full review on Catered Fit because I’ve tried several services like Blue Apron and Plated, but this is my first time getting a delivery that is fully cooked already. Now that I’ve tried this, I don’t know if I could ever go back. to having to prep everything because for me, the reason why I’m ordering these meals is a convenience during really busy, hectic weeks. I also appreciate that Catered Fit has an emphasis on calories and meal plan type (vegetarian, paleo, etc) because summer is around the corner and my other subscriptions were pretty heavy on carbs and calories. I also usually do a juice cleanse from Pressed Juicery over the summer, but love that I can order it from here with the rest of my meals and save myself a trip.

The big advantage this company has for me is that they have KID MEALS!! Since they are individually portioned, I can order something specific to each kid in the same way I can order paleo for me and vegetarian for my husband. Last week I was in the middle of a launch which was SO HECTIC with late evenings and mornings that were busier than usual. Mornings are usually crazy between trying to make breakfast and lunch to send to school on top of getting everyone ready so having those meals already ready left me with so much time. I actually got to even enjoy my matcha while it was still warm. PRICELESS. This delivery service is the gift that keeps on giving.

If you have time to meal prep for everyone in your family, more power to you, but for anyone on the go like me, this will be your lifesaver! Jasmine Pennamma readers can get $25 off their first order of $145+ off Catered Fit meals using code AESTHETICINFLUENCER. Have you ever used a meal delivery service? What did you think?

Four Face Oil Hacks

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Wait did I just say face oil? As in putting oil on my face?

Yup sure did.

If you are looking at me like I lost my mind right now because you’ve always heard to avoid oil, same girl, same. I was traveling to Paris for a skincare brand I was working with and they included a gift of a face oil from one of their French brands. I picked it up, and instantly thought. . . WTF am I supposed to do with this? Not put it on my face right?!?

My dear friend and eventually my co-founder of Aesthetic Influencer, Nicole, was on that trip with me and assured me that it was a fantastic product and that I basically had everything I thought I knew about oil for my face wrong. Imagine the look on my face when she told me that oil they gave me wouldn’t break me out, but instead change my life and my skin because even people with oily skin can use oil. Adding the oil on my face would tell my body to overproducing sebum which could help controlling oily skin. Mind Blown. However, as fast as that oil absorbed into my skin, she told me it wasn’t a replacement to my moisturizer because it oil kind of coats my skin so I still needed to layer something that pulls water into my skin and hydrates it. The oil is just the last step and seals it all it to keep moisture from escaping. Here’s a little brand secret for you too . . . Nicole is also an aesthetician, biochemist, and skincare guru who formulates skincare in her “spare” time who we pulled in to help us source the perfect blend.

Ok, now that we cleared that up and your at least curious if not already a fan, let’s go over a few hacks for your newfound love, Face Oil.

#1 Use Face Oil For A Dewy Look

I’ve been using this highlighter in Golden Bronze from Mac for the past 10 years if not longer…..shhh. So many products I’ve loved have been discontinued, but this one has stood the test of time. Now that highlighting is having it’s 15 minutes of fame, and has taken over the beauty scene, everyone wants that coveted dewy look.  One of the best ways to get it, is to start with a dewy base. Enter: face oil!

You can either apply it to your skin before your makeup as a primer (being sure to let it soak in) or mix it in with your foundation. You can also use the face oil to highlight key areas like your cheekbones or apply it to your beauty blender or brush before blending in your foundation. Either way the results are a beautiful, healthy glow.

#2 Use Face Oil To Remove Makeup

The same oil you mixed in with your foundation can also help take it all off later! Are you double cleansing? Using an oil as your first cleanse uses the theory that ‘like attracts like.’ Using an oil based cleanser will melt off your makeup, and remove all oil based dirt from the skin. You should then rinse the oil off with lukewarm water, and follow with your normal cleanser. 

#3 Use Face Oil To On Your Cuticles

A lightweight oil that absorbs fast is perfect for your cuticles, especially in the winter months! I’m always washing my hands between being in and out of medical buildings to see clients or my kid’s schools which are overrun with germs. Between the constant washing and drier, cool air, they can get pretty dehydrated since cuticles have less oil glands to keep them moisturized. If mine stay dry too long, they peel and crack . . . and my nail girl starts cracking jokes. A little goes a long way so I try to rub a few drops in after using it on my face.


Here’s the one I use from The Things We Do Beauty since my skin is oily.

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Pretty Little Things: Catbird

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Considering I had a jewelry line of statement pieces, it’s crazy that my go to pieces today are the tiny little pieces like this thin ring from Catbird. After kids I never really got back into wearing jewelry. I remember this beautiful tiny diamond star pendant I got as a gift after Alaia was born that I loved, but was so hard to wear because she would tug at it all the time when she we were breastfeeding. Both of my littles would grab at my earrings which I would be afraid would get tugged out of my ears so eventually it just became easier to not bother at all. With everyone being bigger, I’ve been eyeing a few new delicate pieces to start building my jewelry collection again.

Mermaid Off Duty

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Orange County. The OC. Whatever you call it, it’s pretty far from me so i don’t find myself talking adventures there often, but when my friend mentioned there was a place we could take the kids where the girls could be mermaids, it was worth exploring. Alaia and her best friend were getting ready to graduate and we were looking for something special to do for the girls. Having a son I was kind of worried there wouldn’t be anything fun for him to do, but they also had a pirate experience so he could join in the fun. Since we had littles, we did the cheapest package for them in case they weren’t actually that interested and opted for the full package for our 5 year olds.

Honestly, everyone was entertained. I actually thought my son was entertained the most once he was transformed into a pirate and got to run around with a sword after the pirate from Once Upon An Island. While everyone loved the experience inside and getting transformed, getting to go outside and into the ocean with a fish tail. . . . yeah. They are both still talking about this one!

Dirty 30

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30th birthdays are known to be huge milestones, but I couldn’t exactly put my finger on WHAT this milestone was because the closer I got to 30, the less of a milestone it looked like. I still have friends who are in the Dirty Thirty Club who are out every night, drinking until the dawn breaks, or running out of town for every excuse of a college reunion type party. So I can’t really say that 30 feels ‘old‘ like it did when I was younger. Everyone is still out and about living their life! So for me, thirty became a time to cherish my loved ones and to learn to age well instead of a year to be afraid of.

My 20's were met with exciting firsts like my first NY apartment (29th and 5th), my first paid ‘corporate internship’ (Neiman Marcus), my first helicopter ride (and engagement!), and of course the first day of the rest of my married life (in Hawaii). With the 20's behind me, I look forward to the 30's and other firsts like first born, first word, and family first. And what better way to start that off than my last day of my 20's in Vegas with my friends, and the first day of my 30th in Maui at the Four Seasons with my husband? I could get used to 30!

And I’ll leave you with that sunscreen speech from ’99. From NY to LA, can you tell I was paying attention?! (Minus the part about not reading beauty magazines. The nerve!). Not planning a move from Cali anytime soon though, I’m starting to really dig my soft side.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live inCalifornia once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.