BRK Digest: wok wednesdays, skincare, girl’s night out, books, snacks

When my Ma calls she asks me what I’ve been up to, and what is new in my life. “Not much,” I tell her, “you know, feeding kids, driving kids, grocery shopping, cooking, blogging, going to the gym, the same ole, same ole.” Thank goodness! I love what I do and feel so blessed to be able to do it. Now other than all of that there are some things that I do that are interesting, experimental, adventurous, and fun. For instance, my friend Rob of countrysidefoodrides (remember we did the Nacho Posts together) asked me to join along with him on  Wok Wednesdays  where we will be making a wok dish biweekly from the book Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge by Grace Young. There’s me up there with my brand new wok. I never wok’d a day in my life, so this is what I would consider an adventure. What? Fire. I’m there. Join us or look for my first Wokin Robin post next Wednesday.

I made this photo small because I hate my skin. You could click on the photo to make it bigger, but I wouldn’t do that if you want to keep your breakfast down.  All my adult life I have dealt with zits. I was the dork with zits, braces, glasses, AND a flat chest in high school. Not much has changed except I got my braces off in college. The paleo lifestyle has greatly reduced the breakouts, as well as my skin care products from Mychelle especially the Perfect C Serum for just my type of skin issues- aging, sun damaged, and blemished, but alas, I still have a few blemishes. My friend Angela told me about OCM or oil cleansing method and how I could be washing my face with oils like jojoba, olive, avocado, and Castor oil- add a little vinegar and I’m a walking head salad. The idea is that like dissolves like and as a science geek I understood.  Oil removes oil. Got it. On May 1 I took that photo of my zits with a side of chin, and so far so good with the OCM. The Castor was too drying for me, so I am using a 1:1 of jojoba and avocado oils that I found in the beauty section of my Whole Foods. I moisturize my face with organic 100% argan oil, also from WF.  I’ll do a follow up post after 6/1 and let you know what I think and if I’ll go back to Mychelle or not. Have you ever OCM’d? If you want to learn more, read these sites…

Simple Mom
Cave Girl Eats
Crunchy Betty

OK, much better. All dressed up and with cosmetics too. Working from home I am rarely dressed up, dressed yes, but not up.  I live in gym clothes.  This is me with my SIL Tonya and my niece Mia, along with my little daughter Daelyn doing a bit of step and repeat.  We spent our Girl’s Night Out at the Macy’s Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration in DC. We enjoyed tastings from three local Asian Restaurants:  Cafe Asia, Bangkok Noodles, and Super Pho, all delicious.  We mixed and mingled with the chefs and some folks from the National Association of Asian American Professionals DC, a group designed to enhance the leadership of Asian Americans in the work place and community.   It’s was all well and good until I realized later that I did most of the chatting up with a big chunk of cupcake on my chin. Go BRK!   That’ll teach me for going off paleo for 2 seconds.

My friend Holly loaned me one of her favorite books, Under the Tuscan Sun. It makes me want to jump on the next plane to Italy. Mayes’ words and descriptions of her life at Bramasole flow from the pages, allowing me to smell, taste, feel, touch, and hear Italy.  The book has made Holly want to learn how to make pasta. Oh oh pick me, I can do that! I promised her we would soon. Have you read Under the Tuscan Sun yet? What are you reading now? Another food related book that I enjoyed was The School of Essential Ingredients. Nice little story with each chapter highlighting a different character woven into a magical reality novel. Magical in that everything fits in a tidy  box and real in that one wishes this type of cooking class and instructor really existed.  The only rub was that the author used more simlies than I have mason jars.


My friend Joyce put out a plea on FB the other day that said that she needed an intervention to stop eating. Yeah, I have had days like that, especially on my weight lifting days. So I texted her a link to Rawnola. It is super crispy raw granola made with activated nuts. I had to look that one up because back  when I was a nurse teaching sex ed, activated nuts were an entirely different undertaking than something that should be on the ingredient list of my new favorite snack. Now the paleo elitists would probably poo poo this stuff because of the agave syrup which, yes, is still sugar- bad, bad, bad.  Meh, I think it is a delicious alternative to junk food. A handful of this and my sweet tooth, crunchy tooth, and hungry tooth were all taken care of at one time.  If I’m not eating this stuff, then I’m usually plowing through a pile of chicken.

Have a wonderful weekend, and please remember those who have given everything so that you may have something.

 In remembrance of our fallen heroes, have a blessed Memorial Day.


  1. indira
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    love oils and the fact is these oils are not that oily.. I use 100% argan oil, Pure Maracuja oil and jojoba oil .. for acne and dandruff try using tea tree oil..

  2. Posted May 25, 2012 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

    Can’t wait to read more about your “Wok Wednesdays”! I got a chance to meet Grace at a private event this past January — she is so wonderful in person, and really makes the dishes seem so easy. I’ve never cooked with a wok before either, but now I’m hooked 🙂

  3. Posted May 25, 2012 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    I miss woking! I had a wok a long time ago – not sure what happened to it – lost after a move and I’ve never gotten another one.

    Looking forward to those posts. My skin has changed, I used to have great skin, but now I’ve got a few age spots on my cheeks – YUCK! Can’t seem to cover them up with make up either!

  4. sharon
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    I like you more and more with each and every post! Thank you for being so totally transparent and REAL! Skin blemishes are so frustrating! My skin “freaks out” and I feel like I eat clean, clean green, and exercise like a fiend. (Like my little stab at poetry?) Anyway, I am going to go to an allergist and have myself tested for food allergies as a potential cause to flares. Have you ever been tested?

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 26, 2012 at 6:57 PM | Permalink

      Thank you Sharon! So far the OCM seems to be helping, although still a few zits here and there. I have never been allergy tested but am thinking it’s more hormonal?? Let me know how your allergy testing goes. Robin Sue

  5. Posted June 2, 2012 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

    I have been using the OCM for three years now. I use olive oil and castor oil.
    Before I started my skin was ALWAYS broken out and shiny. It was awful!!
    Now, a pimple is a very rare occurence-every few months maybe?-and it’s not shiny.
    I wish I had known about this when I was younger!!
    (I will happily answer any questions!) 🙂

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 2, 2012 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

      Thanks Kimberly!
      Perfect timing as I jut wrote up the follow-up post to this to go live tomorrow. I included my first and second photos to compare the before and after. I like OCM very much and yes I am no longer shiny or greasy! My skin is so soft. I still break out a bit, but now like before. I must give olive oli a try and see hw that goes.
      Thank you!
      Robin Sue

  6. Posted March 26, 2017 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

    Hi Robin,

    I love your blog and I can’t wait for you to post your wok recipes. I used to have a very nice skin but after three pregnancies, everything’s changed. I will have a go with the oil treatments and will let you know what worked best for my skin. Thank you and keep posting great stuff!

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