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Massage: From Bali to your Living Room

13 Jul

Bali is the spa capital of the world.

A beautiful, serene, tropical atmosphere. Warm air and soothing music. Massage, facials, aromatherapy, body wraps- you name it, they do it. 

But during the weeks that you’re not relaxing on a beach in Bali, how can you bring that serenity into your own life? How can you experience that kind of bliss in your own home?

JUARA products are inspired by the spa rituals and botanicals of Indonesia. We’ve combined luscious ingredients like candlenut oil and illipe butter with super foods like turmeric and goji berry to bring you efficacious treatments that can be used at home. As luxurious as our creams and masks are, however, there’s one aspect of the spa experience that we can’t bottle up:

Massage

Did you know that over 50% of Americans get massages regularly? With the blossoming of homeopathy and alternative medicine, massage is becoming a staple in our lives. Massage offers a vast array of benefits including:

  • stress reduction
  • anxiety relief
  • muscle relaxation
  • increase in circulation
  • enhanced immune system
  • lower blood pressure
  • better mood

The best part of massage is that it can be done at home! Because this week is “Everybody Deserves a Massage Week”, we’ll be posting our favorite massage tips daily.

Today’s Tip: Setting the Mood

Whether massaging yourself or trading off massages with a loved one, mood is key. Designate a quiet time when you won’t be interrupted (30 minutes or more is ideal) and create an inviting atmosphere. Here are a few of our favorite ways to create a stress-free space:

  • Turn down the lights and ensure that the room is a comfortable temperature
  • Turn your cell phone off (or, better yet, put it in another room)
  • Light candles or put out a diffuser in your favorite scent. Aromatherapy specialists recommend lavender, eucalyptus, rose, chamomile, and vanilla for stress relief.
  • Put on a bathrobe and slippers (it will make you feel like you’re at a spa!)
  • Put your favorite body cream in the microwave for 5 seconds to heat it up. Warm cream is definitely better than shockingly cold cream on sore muscles.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for another massage tip!

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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 🙂

New Year, New Me, New We! – Jill Sung

1 Jan
I got married this fall, and all I can say is, “It’s wonderful!” I got lucky – my husband is kind, caring, generous, and always thinks of what I want. Well, he tries to, and definitely does more than I have ever expected.

But in being married, I’m learning that it is not just me getting married and being me with someone else. And although I’ve grown up with siblings and roommates pretty communally, and know all about sharing, compromising, and living with others, it’s not quite the same as marriage and equality with another human being who hasn’t grown up with you.

So for my first new year as a married woman, I plan to shape up on a few things:

  • Patience – because husbands claim they can’t always read your mind
  • Communication – but not during a sports game
  • Be Positive – because being negative ruins my day, but not his! and it’s always nice to hear compliments
  • Be Fair – sometimes the small things don’t matter, except the way the toilet paper rolls…
  • Be Supportive – when he has a bad day, I should give him a break if he’s a little negative and doesn’t notice my new haircut

Besides these outlook changes, I plan to be more ritualistic. I’ve read that having little rituals with your mate, can help build bonds. I had friends that would have a monthly date night, but even something small like washing and drying dishes together every night, can help build communication and positive feelings toward each other.  And it’s important to have some fun husband wife activities…my husband has chosen bird-watching to be one of our new hobbies. I’ll keep you updated, but  I did try it out in Florida – and wading birds are beautiful up close! And finally, I’m looking forward to problem solving our problems…whether by reading books on conflict resolution, or by looking for a relationship counselor. I figure all relationships have problems – it’s good to findthe tools to maintain and improve good relationships before they become bad.

So wish me luck, and let me know your thoughts about your relationships!

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!

New Year Resolutions – Jill Sung

3 Jan

This year, I started off the new year with friends, and we decided to share a few of our New Year resolutions. We actually made a game of it by writing up a few personal resolutions, throwing them in a pot, and went around the circle with each person picking out 2 resolutions that they hadn’t thought of or made themselves. Of course the pot resolutions were in addition to our own, but relatively easy to do with regards to money, ability, and interest, and you had the option to “go fishing” for more, if you were dissatisfied with your luck of the draw.

I’m sure my friends would agree, but this was a fun new year’s game! Not only did it keep each person ACCOUNTABLE because the resolution was public, but it introduced people to some NEW IDEAS they had not previously thought of!

Some examples:

  • DO STUFF!
  • I will bake a pie once a month – for friends or loved ones.
  • Change the battery in my smoke detector. (always necessary, rarely done)
  • Run/Walk a half-marathon. (The smoker in our group got this, but she was resolute to follow it!)
  • Visit 1 new location this year.
  • Eat more vegetables by joining a CSA (community supported agriculture – great option for fresh, often organic produce, at a fair cost, and help the small farmers)
  • Visit a museum once a month, with a friend. (a great list of museums – by state or type)
  • Volunteer for something you believe in, at least once every 2 months. (Giving back is so important – even if it’s just randomly when you’re free – try serve.gov)
  • Buy small gifts for friends….if this isn’t self-serving?!?! actually, friends really appreciated this one!
  • Look for a new job or learn to enjoy this job better. (the receiver of this was working on it January 1! talk about getting a head start)

Hope this helped to cheer up your entry into 2011! And if you haven’t gotten a chance yet to write your resolutions, feel free to borrow, or give me some extra tips. What were your resolutions??

Meet Vanessa, Indonesia’s JUARA Ambassador – Metta Murdaya

28 May

Meet Vanessa, who has been a JUARA fan and advocate in Indonesia and loves spreading the word. When I was just in Indonesia this last month, I took a few minutes with her to share why people across the world like it, especially from where our line is inspired from. Different cultures, different climates, different seasons – but it looks like we all have some things in common, ladies!

If you are or have friends who are from a different country, what skincare products or treatments do you/they like? Do share, we love learning new things!

PS – We have a FREE SHIPPING on ALL ORDERS Special this Memorial Day Weekend. Friday, May 28 through Monday, May 31, 2010. Happy Shopping at JUARA!

Mother’s Day Contest Winner!

18 May

We at JUARA would like to offer a big congratulations to Donna Kraft and her mother Jewell Blanken for winning the JUARA Mother’s Day contest! We had customers fill out a survey to tell why their mothers are the best. We got a ton of beautiful stories–there are some incredible mothers out there! Donna’s mom was one of our very favorite entries to the contest, and we wanted to share it with you today. Check out what she has to say about her mother!

Donna Kraft with her mother Jewell Blanken

I have the greatest MOM in the world. I am the youngest of 4 daughters. So needless to say we have definitely kept her busy over the years. She just turned 72 in March, and doesnt let anything get in her way. My father just passed away in November 2009 and my oldest sister 1 year prior, in October 2008. Winning this would be a nice little pick me up for her.

My mom is always taking care of other people. She very rarely treats herself. She was the sole caregiver for my dad for many years while he was sick. This allowed him to stay at home and be with his family until the very end. She was always thinking about what would be best for him.

Donna, Jewell and their entire family

Donna, Jewell and their entire family

About 4 years ago she went through a surgery for a double knee replacement. Even this couldnt keep her down. She was up and going as soon as possible.

She still mows her own 1 acre yard, keeps a large garden and takes care of ALL of us. She still has me and my two older sisters, 6 grand children, and 3 great-grand children.

She is a wonderful woman and deserves the best!

Donna and her mother have each received a $50 gift certificate redeemable at the JUARA Online Boutique. Thanks to everybody for participating, and we hope you all had a fantastic Mother’s Day!

How did you celebrate this year?