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Boredom: Let’s Fight it for July!

10 Jul

July is National Anti-Boredom Month

Wait… what? Why is there a month for that?

Well, did you know that chronic boredom is a relatively recent diagnosable phenomenon? Yup. While boredom is a common emotion for children, it generally occurs less in adulthood… until now.


Many studies show that with the rise of portable technology and social media (aka the society of ‘now’), adults’ attention spans are growing shorter and shorter. This decrease in attention results in an increase in boredom!


While being bored once in a while is okay, and can even lead to greater creativity, chronic boredom is a gateway for a slew of other negatives, including:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • anger/frustration
  • disengagement/ disinterest in personal relationships
  • over-eating


So why are we bored? And what can we do to get un-bored?

Because we are constantly stimulated by texts, tweets, emails, instagrams, status updates, pins, etc. more than a few minutes of quiet work or ‘nothingness’ makes us feel bored. We have so many easy ways to keep ourselves occupied (but very few of those options include leaving our computers or phones) that when faced with free time we’ve forgotten what to do!

But Do Not Fear!

This month’s collection of JUARA Fit Summer Fun tips will get you off the couch, away from the phone, and back to being excited about sunshine and fresh air! Check in with us every Thursday for a new idea to try out on your next day off 🙂

Around the World in 24 Hours – Metta Murdaya

11 Jun
My Frequent Flights...

USA to Indonesia, my bi-monthly route.

Those of you who like long airplane flights, raise your hands. My guess is yours probably isn’t raised. Over the last year, I’ve been doing the global commute from New York to Jakarta up to 6x a year for not just JUARA research, but also preparing to bring JUARA back to its motherland. So those of you in Indonesia or around, we’re finally available at for regional shipping. Unfortunately, with the growth and expansion of business also comes the stress and weary-eyed look of frequent travel. These long-haul flights are no joke – 24 hours, including transit, which means 24 hours of movies, limited legroom, and more recirculated air than I’d care to breathe. Exit flight, and enter jet lag and very confused skin. (All you flight attendants who do this all year round, I admire thee!) All in all, in Indonesia, I’ve gotten dengue, typhoid, and numerous fatigue induced aches and pains. In New York, I go from tropical wonderland to allergies, city pollution, and wildly different weather. Sounds exhausting? It is. But do I love it? Absolutely. And my skin and health? Let’s just say people keep asking if I’m in my 20’s. And If that’s the case, then 40 must be the new 30. How I manage? Here are some habits I’ve developed that I recommend to anyone who has a heavy travel or run-around schedule – whether it’s commuting 10,000 miles, or just 10 miles.

1. For international travel, you may have heard it’s best to arrive in the daytime and stay busy/out until the local bedtime to faster adjust to local time. This is true. In addition, and this is a little unorthodox perhaps, since there is a 12 hour time difference from Indonesia to NY, I stay up the night before so I sleep soundly on the plane (if you can,) and secretly I feel I’ve outran jet lag w/ a 24 hour head start. This also makes a 24 trip feel shorter.

2. Water – inside and out. Stay hydrated before, during, and after the flight. Drink water, but also stay moisturized on the plane ride – recirculated air is not thy friend. If you don’t like to wash your face on the plane or put a cream on, take our oil-free Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner (in our travel kit) and splash on frequently. It’s like that Evian water spray on your face – but better since it contains hyaluronic acid and natural tamarind seed extracts to bind moisture to your face and triple tea extracts that act like antioxidants.

3.Make plans – I try to have something scheduled that’s fun to do after I arrive to the destination; the psychological motivation to do something enjoyable does wonders to motivating you to stay awake when jet lag creeps in.

4. Use masks to speed up skin recovery – My skin revolts after a long, exhausted trip, and sometimes it takes days for it to return to normalcy. I speed up that process by double-dosing on my treatment masks. After I cleanse, I use the Rose & Willowbark Blemish-Free mask to exfoliate and clarify skin. Then I follow with the Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Maskto purify further, detox. Together, my skin returns to a healthy, soft, smooth, even-toned state. Follow with moisturizer, or if you’re really dry, alternate days with the Avocado Banana Moisture mask. Do this combo 2-3x a week for a week. Trust me, it works.

Do you have any tips on surviving frequent travel? I’d love to hear them and learn!

JUARA Girl Tami gets Hitched! And on Looking Back – Metta Murdaya

10 May
Tami the Bride & Bridesmaids Metta, Jill & Yoshiko

JUARA Girls: Tami the Bride, with Maid of Honor Metta, and Bridesmaids Jill & Yoshiko. Woohoo!!

On April 23, 2011, JUARA Girl Tami married Louis-Simon Ferland, an extraordinary and handsome French-Canadian gentleman who considers himself one of the luckiest guys in the world. Well he should – he’s with our JUARA Girl Tami. And she, by the way, is just as ecstatic. I recall back in 2004 when we first started working in our tiny apartments on this idea called “JUARA” and our journey began. 2004 we were all in our late 20’s, single, hunched over double boilers with skincare formulations and researching Indonesian beauty treatments by day, going out together as friends in the evening, chatting about our latest obsession (a.k.a. JUARA), and of course, the male species.  It was only less than 7 years ago, but it feels like a decade.

We launched our first 5 products in 2005, followed by a series of team bonding trips to Puerto Rico, work trips to Indonesia, and late-night drives to QVC and other work related locations… let’s just say we have spent a LOT of time with each other. I’ve spent the night in the back of a car in a parking lot in Las Vegas with Jill due to an unfortunate scheduling mishap, and missed flights going over presentations with Yoshiko…while waiting at the boarding gate. We’ve moved offices about 4 times together, lifted more boxes than I can ever count, tied ribbons till we couldn’t feel our fingers, debated over spreadsheets, bonded over disappointments,  commiserated over breakups,  rejoiced over engagements and births, and survived global separation when Tami moved to London to be with her beau. Where many partners could have buckled under all the work stress, we were committed to our relationship to each other and continued to make it stronger. Before someone coined the term “The JUARA Girls” for us, believe me, we didn’t create it, we used to be referred to as the ‘Sex and the City’ girls, but even more – as legal business partners, we are technically in bed with each other too in many other ways than the literal.

What a lot of people don’t know is how much JUARA is infused with our personal lives. In trainings, we talk about how the Candlenut Body Creme is inspired by an ancient body scrub made from candlenuts, or how the oil is so gentle it can be used on babies to aid with cradle cap. But I remember making the scrub from fresh candlenuts and all of us crammed in a tiny NY bathtub one afternoon, experimenting with it – adult women giggling like girls. Or in creating our JUARA signature packaging, we talk about the inspiration being the Indonesian batik (wax dye-resist technique) patterns on fabric, but we don’t always mention how we got the idea:  Tami and I were in Bali wracking our brains for what our packaging should be when I woke up at 2:30 in the morning after a long day with a jolt. Like a good friend, I shook her awake immediately screaming “EUREKA, I GOT IT! BATIK AROUND BOTTLES! WE HAVE TO GET UP AND DRAW!!!… YES, NOW!!!” So Tami being a trooper got up and we drew through the night. We emailed the preliminary designs to Jill and Yoshiko in the US in the AM, and with everyone’s input and ideas, JUARA’s packaging concept was born. So jump 7 years later and where are we now? Yoshiko is happily married with the cutest daughter, Asami, (We don’t test on animals, only on Asami, JUST KIDDING!) and I’m on her hubby’s football team. Jill is happy, I won’t say anything to jinx it, let’s just say, 🙂 And Tami just got married. We have a few products in the pipeline, products absolutely relevant to our own skin’s needs today, and are excited to be launching them soon… To us, looking at JUARA is not just looking at the product of a labor of love and an awesome skin solution, but also a nice walk down memory lane.

We’ve come a long way, and plan to go a long way more. Congratulations, Tami, and here’s to all you women who have your own story to tell!

Sometimes it’s OK to lose… – Metta Murdaya

19 Apr

I usually consider myself, being a frequent flyer across the world, a successful non-victim of Jet Lag because frankly, I don’t have time for it with my schedule. I have my bag of tricks – stay up the night before, plan to arrive in the daytime, stay hydrated, schedule meetings/activities the first day there so no passing out, (ok, so I lean on adrenaline as a crutch,) sleep intermittently on the plane

Sometimes you just can't beat it... and it's OK.

Sometimes you just can’t beat it… and it’s OK.

to start the timezone adjustment, and hope for the best. Most of the time it works. But this time, something was different. Jet lag came at me with a vengeance – like that mad unstoppable truck you see slamming into a crowded intersection in a blockbuster movie, or that dam that finally burst to the raging water who just got fed up with being held back. I’m not sure why now – not staying up the night before? Not having a meeting to roll into right from the airport? (Although that can’t be it since I did have a wedding I rushed to straight from the airport, including a quick superman change from Grungy Plane-Wear to Heels & Satin in a bathroom stall… Elegant? No. Effective? Why yes…) But still, I was out like a light by 6pm, with a cancelled a meeting and another appointment I totally slept through in the wake of my napping destruction, while still ending up wide awake at midnight. (Doh!) Perhaps this time it’s the human tendency to not be immune to what should be a natural occurrence (like resting when tired, duh) getting to me. Yes, constant work and not allowing yourself to take some time off – ah, the common crimes I see entrepreneurs commit against themselves… So instead of fighting it this time, I am going with it. I just bought a novel, calculated that I could take 2 days off of work with no major repercussions (I think it’s called a weekend…), and so far, it’s been wonderful – the forced leisure since well, my body won’t have it any other way. I like to look at it as concentrated me-time. This time, my family is out of town and my friends all conveniently are out too, so like it or not, I have to embrace my calendar-free days with reckless (and frightening) abandon. Eat when I want to. Sleep when it calls. Watch episodes of South Park at 3am. Nap at 3pm. Read a book in between when the brain is awake but the body is not. Get a facial at 2pm. Try not to fall asleep during it. Write this blog entry at 5am and trust it will all be ok… I feel naughty breaking all the “Don’t Let Jet Lag Beat You!” rules, but I think I’m liking it so far, and I can feel my body naturally adjusting to the time zone here. But now sadly, now that I’m used to it, I only have about 24 hours left of this grand let’s-not-be-so-hard-on-yourself spree, but I’m enjoying the ride. So what’s next? A JUARA event in Jakarta with amazing designer Ardistia Dwiasri ( and a series of other meetings on the horizon. Am I ready for it? Absolutely. Probably more so than I would have been had I not taken my unchosen break. Here’s to being human and giving yourself some TLC!

Extra: There is a lot advice online on how to beat jet lag, but the one post that summarizes what I have found to be the most effective is here. Do you have tips of your own?

Up in the Air and Behind the Brand – Metta Murdaya

19 Mar

I just came back from a trip to Indonesia, one of many I take every year. The stay there is the focal point of my trip, but I think getting there alone is a trip of its own. It’s a 24 flight EACH WAY from NY, I have to strategize on how to keep myself amused and when I sleep so I don’t walk out of the plane like a lost zombie. So, here are some key highlights of my frequent flights…

– I save about $40 watching at least 4 movies each way that I missed in the theatres and think “Oh, I’ll catch that on the plane for free.”  And then I do. Woohoo!

– I practice a little yoga in the hallway to keep me limber, to the amusement of the stewardesses. Note: This always challenges my balancing poses. Especially when there’s turbulence.

– I have threatened jet lag to keep me at bay by sleeping on and off to adjust to the time change. Futile are its efforts to get me, “We try her every time but she just won’t pass out at 2pm!”

– I sashay radiantly out of the plane each time, since I take a Travel-Size of the Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner to keep my dry, recycled-air exposed skin refreshed and faboo. And faboo is good.

So – back to Indonesia.  I go back home to Jakarta and Bali to see family, friends, and of course, live, breathe, and research for JUARA. After all, it’s the ancient Indonesian herbal tradition and beauty rituals I grew up with that inspired me to create the line. I wish I could take everyone who asks “What’s it like over there,”  but that’s a little tough. Ok, I can do carry on luggage, so for all you JUARA fans 40lbs and under – you must be this small to ride this ride – jump on in, and we can watch the movies together.

For the rest of you over 40lbs, I give you this video. Enjoy!

(Do you have travel tips to make long flights easier? I’m always looking for suggestions!)

Happy Valentine’s President’s Chinese New Year (Rowr!)! – Metta Murdaya

16 Feb

2010: Year of the White Tiger – it’s just the beginning…

So… if this weekend could have a logo, it would be the big white tiger dancing with a cupid around the White House. And how did one spend their holiday weekend with so many options to choose from? My close friends all met for a Chinese New Year party to celebrate well, the Chinese New Year, and the first appearance of Asami, JUARA Girl Yoshiko’s new daughter – born on a recent Jan. 27, 2010. I went to the Berkshires in Massachusettes for a Valentine weekend where I FROZE my feet off, (note I have cold feet all the time – if you read previous articles, you’d know…) but had a beautiful time at  Mt. Greylock Inn Bed & Breakfast and the Mass MoCa museum where my beau and I were pretty impressed by the works of Sol Lewitt. We also hiked near the Clark Museum where Boldini’s impressionist art in particular took my breath away. (How do you DO that with a paintbrush?) While other friends had the day off today to celebrate President’s day, I was at the office catching up work as I’ve had my holiday already. (Oh, but the post office being closed is baadd…. been waiting for my delivery from DSW for nice, warm shoes!!!) Over the last 2 weeks, we’ve had 3 fashion week events and an in-store event at the awesome ABC Home in NYC where JUARA is also carried, and between the clients, press, follow-up, packing/unpacking – it’s been quite the intro to this upcoming year of the White Tiger. Being born in the year of the tiger myself – this triple-holiday weekend following an onslaught of Fashion week heyday (even fashion junkies need beautiful skin!) is supposed to prep me for this upcoming year.

According to my sign on the Chinese calendar, this year is supposed to be…eventful. (I’m also a Wood Tiger, with signs of Dog, Monkey, and Tiger in my luck sign is Fire, at least according to this website (ok, I just looked around.) This is going to be a year of luck, given hard work. Opportunity shall come – along with pitfalls, but supposedly avoidable. But I look at all of this with a grain of salt – all is fun to read, but there’s nothing to substitute, good ol’ honest work and passion about your work. I realize my luck and inspiration comes from the love of running my own business, appreciation of the products we create, and excitement from seeing how it affects people’s lives, complexion, and confidence.

Given that the last year was filled with woeful financial news, stories of stock market doom and gloom (and some doubt it’s really over now,) this year, (or starting this Chinese New Year,) is going to be different. Time to think positively, not just think of resolutions to follow through on, but that the forecast for this year is “Yes, It Will Happen.” I’m thinking positive thoughts and it is happening – new business, new perspective, new opportunities, I hope that the white tiger shall serve me well, but that’s not without challenges I smile to take on. Here’s to a new year of opportunity and success for all! I hope you all stay tuned. 🙂

JUARA Deal of the Month!

3 Feb


People always ask us to recommend ‘packages’ for their skincare regimen or for gifting. So over time, we’ve come up with a bunch of ‘bundles of goodness,’ so to speak, and it makes for easy one-stop-shopping if you’re wanting skincare solutions or if you want to try something new – at a value price!

Check out our site for the JUARA Deal of the Month, aka JUARA Monthly Specials! They change every month, check back often and see what tgoodies the next month has to offer! (Btw – add the link as a favorite, since it’ll be the same URL month after month…)

You can always get products a la carte, that’s the beauty of JUARA; you can use our botanicals based products as a set (works wonders!) or mix and match with your fave products, but we thought we’d give you some options, and also a great deal. Enjoy!

The JUARA Girls,

Metta, Yoshiko, Jill & Tami