I’m Lucie Fink and this is Five Days Of
Learning New Skills. Hey fam, welcome back to Refinery29’s YouTube channel. If you are new here be sure to click on the little subscribe box in the corner, and if you are interested in following my personal YouTube channel, check me out at youtube.com/LucieBFink. I was listening to a podcast recently where I learned that focusing your attention on learning a new skill, or trying a new activity– something that maybe doesn’t come all that naturally to you or is a little bit challenging– actually trains your body to be able to deal with stress over time. So this week I choose five skills that I can each dedicate just one day to. And I intentionally choose skills that I can learn very easily at home because I wanted you all to be able to learn alongside me. So let’s get into Monday. I wanted to start the week off with something that’s been frequently requested by my audience and something that I always wanted to try. My friends over at Fender, challenged me to try learning how to play the ukulele, and they even sent me this beautiful ukulele in the mail. And they even gave me access to Fender Play, which is their digital learning platform where you can learn chords, basic finger placements, and you can take courses online. Nice! I once learned from a YouTube video that when you are tuning a ukulele and you play the strings from top to bottom, it should sound like this: So I made sure that each string was tuned up with the online tuner and then I just practiced some chords. Up, down, up, down. Great, I did that successfully. A standard guitar has six strings, whereas a ukelele only has four and compared to the standard guitar, a ukelele has a much smaller fretboard which is a lot easier for people that have small hands like I do. Because this video is for Refinery29, we just didn’t have the copyrights to play real songs in the video. So you better believe I would’ve been jamming out to Jason Mraz and Ingrid Michaelson, and I would have liked to play some real songs for you, but I wasn’t allowed to play any of those songs on camera. So instead I practiced singing a song written
by one of my favorite YouTubers. We are the moon, the stars, the water and the sun. And then I tried writing my own songs. I wrote a song about playing music. I’m sitting at home, having some fun, just making some music, talking to no one. A song about tofu. Do you like tofu, cause I don’t really. One about pizza. As long as there’s sauce, and there’s bread, and there’s cheese, it’s a pizza to me alright. Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. After just a couple of hours, my comfort level with the ukulele improved immensely. My fingers hurt, when I strum like this, so maybe I will strum like that anymore. Right now I’m almost bleeding on this finger. It hurts. And the best part about this skill is that it’s now been about a week since Monday, and I’ve continued to practice on my own. I even shared a little clip on my Instagram story of me singing Ingrid Michaelson’s song, You and I. And Ingrid Michaelson reposted it on her Instagram story. And if you want to follow my growth and progression with the ukulele be sure to follow me on Instagram, @luciebfink and check out my stories. If you are bored, with no coffee left to brew, try learning something new, ’cause it’s the right thing to do. More so than ever in this past year, I’ve been hugely invested in my physical health. Especially after having my gallbladder taken out last year, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome has become a major priority of mine. Kombucha is a fermented tea that’s a great source of probiotics. It gives your gut that healthy bacteria that can aid in digestion, reduce inflammation, boost your energy and so much more. So I thought a fun skill for Tuesday would be learning how to make this drink at home. But first in order to make a fresh batch of kombucha you need a Scoby. So what’s a Scoby? It stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria
and Yeast, Scoby. It’s essentially a living slimy blob that kind of looks like a mushroom, and it’s floating inside this liquid that’s a starter liquid for making kombucha. These Scobies grow, and they multiply, and they make little baby Scobies So if you have a friend that makes kombucha at home you can just take a baby Scoby and some starter liquid from them. I wanted to challenge myself to do this from scratch, which meant I needed to grow my own Scoby, and create my own starter liquid so that probably in two months down the line I’ll be able to make my own kombucha. First I boiled water and then I dissolved white sugar in it, and then I drop some teabags in it, and I basically made a giant batch of sweet tea. I used organic black tea. Once it’s cool to you pour that tea into a large jar, and you add kombucha. It’s very important to use raw, organic, and unflavored kombucha for this, and what you’ll notice is that those store-bought bottles typically already have some filmy floating stuff in them. So you want to make sure that when you pour the kombucha into the tea, that you’re transferring over those floating guys. And then you cover it with a cloth, or as I used some coffee filters, you tie it off with rubber bands make sure it’s really secure and basically you just put it away from direct sunlight. I tucked it into the back of my cabinet and in about 20 days or so I should have my own Scoby. One thing that’s very important here is cleanliness so you want to make sure you’re not getting any bad bacteria in the jars. So I made sure to wash my hands really well, and I also boiled the jar in boiling water before I did any of this. Just trying out this skill for one day really opened my eyes to the giant world out there of Kombucha, and fermentation, and Scobies. And in the meantime be sure to follow my Instagram stories for some Scoby updates alongside my ukulele videos. Thursday’s skill is something that I’ve been wanting to learn for a while now: It’s an extremely important topic, and there’s so much to cover here, so Thursday was really just a brief intro to it. Luckily my best friend’s fiancee, Stan is a martial arts and fitness coach. So on Thursday he came over and taught me the basics of self-defense. We started off with some boxing just as a warm-up, so I could practice throwing some punches and kicks. Give me a fighting stance. Left straight jab. Yep, don’t lift your elbow first. I want you to extend and twist at the last second. Yeah exactly. You got it. But of course as Stan quickly taught me, when it comes to self-defense, it’s not about throwing punches and kicks, and fighting, it’s about quickly debilitating your attacker, so that you can run away and get out of there. You should look for a couple of kind of weak points. Okay. And that’s the nose. That’s the throat, the groin. You’re trying to create enough of a chance, of an opportunity for you to get out of there. He taught me the best way to get out of an attackers grip if they come at you from different angles. I’m so scared to hurt you. I appreciate that. Yeah if they grab you from the front by the arm. Grabbing you by the arm, I am getting close. See ya! From the side over the shoulder. You’re grabbing, yes exactly. It’s the force of your entire body that’s putting my arm in this position, not just your arm pulling me there. Or if they come around you from the back. I am grabbing you here. Elbow. Good. I learned how to spin someone around and put pressure on their shoulder to take them down. Grabbing your opposite arm, yep. I also learned how to make some space between myself and the attacker by pushing my arms together like this, and actually making myself smaller. Gonna create that space. Good and exacly. So that I have that room to kick them in the groin, or just slip free from their grasp. By the end of our session I honestly had a moment where I thought to myself, how have I been walking around in the world for 26 years without knowing this information. So now that I know the basics I’m definitely going to explore this topic more and take a bunch of classes. When I woke up on Friday I was feeling a little bit sore from Thursday’s twists and kicks. So I wanted to take on a more relaxing skill. Did you know that I come from a long line of bread makers? The Fink bakery was started by my great great-grandfather in 1888. It was basically a giant commercial bakery in Long Island City, that provided fresh bread and rolls to local restaurants, delis, schools, hospitals, sports stadiums, and more. And I realized on Friday that I myself have never actually made a loaf of bread, but it turned out to be pretty simple. I dissolved yeast in warm water, I added sugar, salt, oil, and flour. I mixed it all together. Then I cleaned off my countertop, put flour on the surface, and kneaded the dough. Once I was done I put it in a bowl, I covered it, set it in a warm spot, and I just let it rise for an hour and a half. When it was done I came back to it, I punched it down, cut it in half, and then put each half in a loaf pan. I covered that again and let each of those loaves pans rise for another 30 minutes and then I baked them for about a half an hour at 375. The smell in my apartment immediately transported me back to childhood. And as soon as I took the pans out of the oven, I was shocked at how perfect they came out. Perfect. Yes. Truly can’t believe I did this. I immediately popped on my jacket that has Fink embroidered into it, and I facetimed my dad to show him what I had made. Hey dad! So I’m in my Fink shirt and I just made this whole loaf of bread. With your Fink baking shirt on? Look at that white bread. Yeah, that looks good. This week of trying new skills reminded me just how much you can learn, and absorb when you just give yourself the space and time to do so. Even if you just give yourself 30 minutes a day to learn something new, you’ll become a more well-rounded person with so much more to offer the world. Comment below to let me know if any of you have tried these five skills before, and also let me know what you want to see me try next time for five days at a time. Bye! Hey, YouTube, thanks for watching. Click here to watch another five-day challenge video, here to subscribe to Refinery29 on YouTube, and right here for my personal YouTube channel. Bye.