Numbness +

A year ago I was crumbling. If you asked me at the time I probably would have brushed it under the rug and said it’s fine. I’m fine.

What I didn’t realize was how poorly I was dealing with things. My dad’s death (among other things) were buried so deep inside I couldn’t even recognize them, and eventually I couldn’t recognize myself either. The hollow smiles and unspilled tears that settled at the bottom of bottles were feelings I had become comfortable with.

Emptiness and sadness weren’t unfamiliar to me, but I’d be damned if I let myself dwell in them. I was so afraid of falling back into the black hole I had clawed myself out of plenty of times before in my life, that I refused to let myself slip into any emotions I couldn’t control. Instead of working through my pain and being patient with myself, I felt that as long I held it together outwardly- I was making progress.

I was so wrong. Pain has a way of becoming warped when you hold it in. It’s subtle and powerful and will often allow you to think you’re in control.

And then you find yourself warped too. Unrecognizable. Questioning who exactly you are.

There’s a quote I like:

“Unexpressed emotions never die, they just come forth in uglier ways”

Which I was unfortunately finding to be true. I was doing things out of character. I was working for the weekend. Blacking out every single Saturday night and pushing through Sunday Fundays. Week after week.

My energy was so low and eventually it turned into self hatred. I hated how I looked, how I felt. I had no clarity. I was totally disconnected from my true self.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened, but I was subconsciously building a wall around me. To keep my emotions in, or to keep others out? I’m not sure.

I didn’t want to be hard to the world. I desperately wanted to feel normal again. Or to feel again, but it just felt like a concept that was so far away. I was numb.

In a way, icy coldness or fiery anger are both easier to deal with than numbness.

They are outer directed and you might actually have some control over them.

Being numb just is. When you are numb you lack empathy. You lack heartfelt reasoning. People become collateral damage because your indifference is more hurtful than flames or frost.

It took months before I could come to terms with this. It took months of working on myself. Releasing old pain. Forgiving myself. Forgiving others. But mostly just focusing on who I knew I wanted to be and aligning myself to that.

Self development has always been a big part of who I am, but I learned (yet again) that the strongest lessons we take home with us are the ones we walk ourselves through and out of. We can read page after page of someone else’s life, but the lessons don’t truly resonate until we’re the ones putting out our own internal fires.

I had dog eared a page titled Numbness in a Rupi Kuar book. I found it today and reread it.

Reading it was so sad. Not because I could relate, but because at one point I did. There was a moment in time where I was so broken… I read this poem and identified with it so strongly that I marked it.

I had to read it twice before the memory of when I bookmarked it came back to me. Then it all flooded back in…

More than anything I feel relieved. To stand in a moment of time and feel the distance between who I was and who I am is powerful and humbling.

As days pass we don’t see change.

As months pass we feel change in what we see as microscopic increments.

But in the space of a year, the difference feels monumental.

Never doubt yourself when working towards anything. Ever. Those microscopic decisions pile up and eventually they’ll take you where you need to be. Just don’t stop. Be patient with yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Seek growth.

Current Book Recommendations+

I want to share some of my recent reads through 2018. These are some of my favorites- they are relatable, honest and encouraging. I highly recommend every twentysomething pick some of these up- they contain guidance from specialists, professionals and intuitives in ways most people don’t have access to.

There are many things I wish I knew a long time ago, but I feel the best way to open doors to personal and external transformation is through learning from more experienced people- who are relatable.

I listed these in order of recommendation. So if you’re not sure where to start, begin at the top and work your way down the list! Click the titles to purchase and comment your thoughts on any of these! I’d love your feedack!

The Defining Decade

Girl Wash Your Face

The One Thing

the one thing book

The Universe Has Your Back

Living in the Light

Best Home Air Purifier +

Being the Virgo I am, I’m overly conscious of random health issues. I’ve had an air purifier in my room for years + I highly recommend everyone have one in their home- or at the very least in their bedroom.

Air purifiers help remove dust, allergens and other gunk from the air- so that means if you have any type of allergies this will help you!

I’ve carried my air purifier from place to place as I’ve moved and changed the filter regularly (as needed). Mine comes with two filters – the main one inside that removes at least 99.97% of common household particles, which lasts 2+ years and the prefilter which traps large air particles, lasts a few months.

After moving into my current (and terribly old) apartment, I put in brand new filters. Granted, I allow mine to run 24/7 and keep it on the “allergen” setting to minimize dustiness and also since I have two cats running around.

This is what I pulled out of my purifier after 8 MONTHS in our new place!!!!

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Left – old

Right – unused

This filter is supposed to last TWO years and it’s clearly disgusting & needed replacing after 8 months!!! Lol.

You never know what’s in the air you’re breathing and what kind of dust your home collects- especially if your home is older!

This is the air purifier I use!

I’ve had this Honeywell one for 5+ years and it still works great. (if you can’t tell by the photo!)

Here’s the correct pre filter and here’s the correct HEPA filter.

Let me know how this air purifier works for you!!

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The Lollapalooza 2018 Experience +

ABOUT LOLLA:

Lollapalooza is a huge festival held in various countries around the world. It was created in America 1991, running yearly until 1997, and then later on revived in 2003. The tickets sell out extremely fast- the festival hosts almost half a million people over the span of 4 days. We attended this year where it was held at Grant Park in Chicago.

The venue is large and beautiful, CLEAN, and relatively easy to navigate once you memorize the rectangular layout.

THE VIBE:

Lollapalooza- Lolla for short- is known for being a multi-genre fest. With everything from alternative rock + heavy metal, to hip-hop and EDM, there’s truly something for everyone. Here’s the 2018 lineup:

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Lolla is an ALL age event. This is something to be noted for people who are used to raving or are regular festival attendees. Although it’s jam-packed with college kids and at times felt like a massive frat party, I’d still say it maintained a PG13 vibe. If your college days are over, consider upgrading to VIP to stay away from the younger crowd.

ATTIRE: 

Think less boho than Coachella and less ravey than EDC. 95% of people kept simple and comfy in a crop top with denim shorts. Don’t forget festival safe footwear (i.e. boots so your toes don’t get stepped on, broken in converse you don’t mind getting dirty) and a hat. Cute but practical. Chicago is surprisingly hot during the day. It didn’t get too cool at night, so I wasn’t worried about carrying a jacket. Regardless, be sure to check the weather in advance. Camelbacks + Vibedration bags are welcome- I highly recommend carrying one at any festival!

Use this link to buy my favorite hydration bags! Or use code KRIS at checkout.

DAY 1.

top- east n west label purchased from dolls kill

shorts- forever 21

kimono- dolls kill

shoes- converse high tops

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DAY 2.

top- dolls kill

bottoms- club exx

fanny pack- vibedration

boots- steve madden

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DAY 3.

top and shorts- club exx

bra- dolls kill

boots- forever 21

belt- missguided

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DAY 4.

top- windsor

shorts- vintage

belt- asos

boots- steve madden

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I hope some of my outfits inspire you to have fun dressing up if you’re a festival goer! Most of my gently used festival items can be found for resale on my Poshmark account here. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!

Until our next fest!

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2 Hacks That Changed The Curly Hair Game +

When I was little my hair was unmanageable. It was a nightmare…even my parents had no clue how to style my curls. It was through a lot of trial and error I have discovered some great products, (find my favorites here.) techniques, but most importantly these

two hair hacks.

 

1. Use a microfiber towel.

DevaCurl makes one I love because of how big it is. Most I’ve seen are relatively small, and let’s be real- most of us curly girls have a ton of hair. It completely twists around your head and tucks in for when you hop out of the shower!

Click to purchase: DevaCurl Microfiber Towel

 

2. Swap your cotton pillowcases for SILK.

Silk is a much softer material to lay your head on, which helps with hair tangling at night. It also helps to minimize frizz! I also personally feel like these are more comfy than any material I’ve previously had for pillowcases.

Click to purchase: 100% Silk Pillowcase

 

Once you try these two new hair hacks, you’ll wonder why you never tried them out sooner! Let me know in the comments how these work for you!

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Shaky Beats Music Festival+

Shaky Beats is an EDM music festival held yearly in Atlanta, GA. The second I saw Kygo on the lineup I didn’t blink twice before I purchased my ticket. He is my all-time favorite DJ/artist and was doing a tour for his recent album. Lucky for me, he made a stop at Shaky.

This was my first time attending this festival & I was anticipating it for months! The best part for me (ok well other than the experience itself as a whole) is planning outfits and seeing what I can bring together. Hope you enjoy! Xx

day 1.

outfit details:

black bikini – Windsor

star bodysuit – Dolls Kill

sunnies – Forever 21

boots – Steve Madden

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day 2.

outfit details:

face jewels – The Gypsy Shrine

chain bra – Claudia Pink IG: @claudiapink

sequin shorts – Elsie & Fred

boots – Forever 21

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day 3.

outfit details:

choker – Topshop

nude bikini – Asos

mesh crop – For Love and Lemons

kimono – Pacsun

boots – Agaci’

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I hope some of my outfits inspire you to have fun dressing up if you’re a festival goer! Most of my festival items can be found for resale on my Poshmark account here. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!

Until next fest!

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Me vs The Keto Diet +

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve probably seen me post various foods and drinks that have been sustaining me through The Keto Era.

If you’ve heard of Keto but don’t know what it entails, or if you’ve never heard of it at all, here’s a quick run through (minus all the sciencey stuff):

  • There are many purposes for this diet, depending on your goals or dietary needs
  • Keto forces your body into burning and breaking down fats instead of carbs
  • The diet “formula” is low carb / high fat (LCHF)

Facts about my specific diet:

  • I started Keto to help regulate my body’s insulin sensitivity
  • My daily macros were 5% Carbohydrates, 65% fats, 30% protein
  • My calorie intake ranged anywhere from 1300-1800
  • I workout (lifting and mild cardio) 4-6 times a week
  • I started at 116 lbs with a moderate goal to shed weight (5’2″)

So when I first heard my best friend was doing Keto at the direction of her husband who is a personal trainer, I literally laughed because I never in my life thought I would be capable of that kind of monumental self-discipline. After asking 6572680 questions like I tend to do with anything that sparks my interest, I found out it was a lot easier to do than I had thought.

That’s why I’m here- to bring awareness to this temporary lifestyle so you can make the decision if it’s the right option for you.

anyways, sign me up!

I was set to do Keto for two weeks. No ice cream for twooooooo weeeks?! Yeah trust me, I complained every single day. I

Starting off day 1- I was LIT. Honestly, it felt like I drank 8 shots of espresso and took an Adderall at once. I was weirdly hyper and energetic and distinctly remember saying “OMG THIS IS GREAT I feel fine Keto isn’t even bad” In reality, my survival instincts had probably kicked in since I hadn’t had one gram of sugar all day, & I was likely just running off adrenaline.

Day 2/3- Worst headache everrrrr. My brain was foggy. My whole body was exhausted. I felt like I had run around Disney World all day long, then finished the night by fighting Mike Tyson. Seriously, all I did was have a normal day at work.

Day 4/5/6/7- My brain is foggy, but no one’s hair is getting messed up at work… So that’s a good sign. I am a functioning human being again. I’m also an emotional zombie. The only things I can react to normally are humorous and lighthearted- anything with emotional depth I am completely unresponsive to. Also to note, I’m feeling wildly depressed for these few days. (carbs/sugar produce serotonin in your brain.) GIVE ME THE DAMN ICE CREAM. I can’t even eat my feelings if I wanted to!!!!!

Day 8 & up – I am feeling kind of energetically normal again! Wooooo. I am definitely drinking lots of coffee throughout the day and I’m making it to the gym. I did feel like I wasn’t completely able to give 100% during all of my workouts, mainly because of slight fogginess and lack of focus. But I’m there and that’s half the battle!

After I got off the diet – I have SO. MUCH. ENERGY. I stayed around 50 carbs for the first few days so my body can re-adjust, but my mental clarity is peaking. My body is using carbs for energy again and I’m definitely feeling electrified (or hyper, whatever you wanna call it) the first thing I did was go to Whole Food and get some Enlightened birthday cake ice cream. Nom nom. It has 15g carbs per half cup and my heart was honestly melting as fast as the ice cream I was eating, so I’m not sure how I even managed to regulate myself lol.

Doing Keto was nowhere near as difficult as I had imagined. It was energetically draining as my body got adjusted to such a huge diet change, but there are so many brands and foods available so you’re not binging on cheese and regretting it later, like me.

I’d like to share with you guys some companies I really love that can help you achieve your Keto goals!

Keep reading for the yums.

Jetpack Nutrition made it MASSIVELY easy for me to survive during The Keto Era. If you’re in Jacksonville, Fl they’re a meal prep company that is able to deliver you fresh & delicious food- they customized my plan to meet my macros. Their Instagram is @JetpackNutrition. If you’re not in Jax, just google search meal prep companies and see what’s available near you!

No Cow is a glutenfreesoyfreenondairynonGMOno sugaraddedvegan company who make protein cookies! I tried out some of the peanut butter and the double chocolate cookies and they’re delish!

Perfect Keto creates quite a variety of products that are specifically targeted to help you meet your macros on Keto. Their MCT oil powder is innovative and NECESSARY to help maintain energy levels throughout your day. They also carry softgels + pure MCT oil. One of their items I like specifically though is the Matcha Latte MCT Oil Powder. It’s perfect to mix in your morning coffee (or smoothie!) Shop with them HERE.

Legendary Foods makes lots of yummy peanut and almond butters- but not in the traditional boring flavors. They have everything from Chocolate PB to Pecan Pie flavored! Those are the two I chose because they have the lowest carb content for Keto. When you’re not counting macros, they have so many other mouthwatering options to try out!!

Daily Harvest BLEW MY MIND! Seriously, every flavor or food I purchased was so delicious. The company has a lot of options tailored to dietary needs including Keto, low carb, low fat, low calorie, vegan, gluten free etc. so even when you’re not dieting you can enjoy these! I very highly recommend this company. You can use my link to try them out yourself + they’ll give you THREE free cups. Click here for your life to change.

Cave Fat Packs are awesome because they also help you meet your macros by helping you add more fat into or in between your meals. Whether you eat it straight from the pouch, or add to your coffee/smoothie, these are really convenient and a great option for busy people!!

Keto Kookie makes cookies (obviously LOL) that will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. Although there is 16-21g carbs per 2 cookies, one definitely won’t throw your macros off. Double chocolate is my favorite flavor!

Welp that wraps up my experience from doing Keto. I will definitely be doing this diet again in the near future + also incorporating a weekly low carb day. Now knowing how many foods and options are available to assist you in meeting macros and help stay away from eating the same foods over and over and over, Keto will definitely be easier to conquer!

I’m so glad so many people had so many questions & some even joined me on this journey! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out by commenting or through DM on Instagram!

My Favorite Way to Save Money +

So random topic but I had multiple people message me about the expenses for my 3 week long trip + straight up even ask me how I afforded it LOL. I am usually a pretty open book, so no I don’t think that’s rude in any way. (We all work our asses off + we all should want to aim higher for ourselves!)

I’m not rich guys, but I’m pretty decent with money management. So I just wanted to share an app I use that has intrigued me from the get-go!

It’s called Acorns.

Click here to get started!!

There’s a million apps out there to help you save money but I highly recommend this one first and foremost.

I’ve been using it since October 2016 + started it by simply linking my credit & debit cards to save roundups. Eventually I multiplied my roundups x2 (so doubling the amount) and then started automatically transferring $5 a week. The funds being moved are so small you literally don’t even notice, and it’s nice to check it every month or so and see your account grow.

What separates this app from most others is that instead of your hard earned money just lingering in an account, it actually turns around and invests it- aka the hard work is done for ya. All through the app. You also have the choice on how risky you wanna get with your money. The longer you use the app, the more money you’re building + sitting on, which means the more you have a chance to earn!

They have a $5 referral bonus, (for you and the new investor) so when you get your friends to save their first few dollars, you’re winning too! 💸

Use my link to download the app and sign up! And if you guys have any questions about how to do it I’m happy to help as much as possible! 😋

I back this app 100% and this is my personal experience using it. Start investing with Acorns today! Get $5 when you use my invite code:

Click here to save us both $$!

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Balayage and Pricing+

As many of you know, balayage is the hair trend that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. You may have realized that these services cost more than your average traditional foils. I get asked so many questions about this topic, so I’d like to fully explain why a balayage is an investment worth making.

one.

Balayage (for me at least) was not taught in my beauty school. I took it upon myself to spend hours watching videos, reading and understanding techniques, and MOSTLY learning through trial and error. Lots of trial. Many errors. It’s a special service that takes more practice and time to perfect than any other. We as stylists put in the hard work and it’s nice to be rewarded.

two.

Many stylists do not offer balayage because they aren’t trained! Therefore, the more limited number of artists who are offering this special service means a higher demand of our time. Essentially, this means our time is even more valuable.

three.

Balayage is a service that takes a bit longer. From start to finish, we are hand painting section after section of your hair, working to perfect it. It processes slower since it’s an “open air” service as opposed to going under heat to speed things up. The more time being invested in the service = the more costly.

four.

Traditional foils (patterned foils all the way up to the scalp) usually grow out with a harsh line of demarcation. They need to be redone every 4-6 weeks for maintenance. So every 4-6 weeks you’re visiting the salon for about a 2 hour sesh to get your hair done, and every time you come in you’re paying for the full or partial highlight price (+ haircut // blowout // etc). With balayage, you’re getting a low maintenance service that only needs to be touched up anywhere from 2-10 months. In the long run, you’re actually saving yourself money!

 

Balayage pricing is on average 15-30% more than traditional foils, and for a good reason! People often don’t realize that they’re getting so much out of the appointment! Expertise, time investment, and a beautiful low maintenance color. We’re giving you our best!

Bottom line, if it’s important to you it should be worth investing in!

 

 

The 2017 Okeechobee Music Festival Experience +

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I can confidently tell you that Okeechobee Music Festival was the best weekend of my life.

Music festivals, in general, are great for being surrounded by close friends while having the opportunity to meet new ones who share so many common interests. Although nothing is as liberating as being completely worry-free from our usual mundane reality, the power of the music comes close.

Jam packed with art exhibits, food trucks, and hidden stages, it’s easy to see that OMF crew knows what they’re doing, and they do it well. Overall, the festival is extremely organized, and there’s never a shortage of things to do. Not to mention, they cater to vegan and vegetarian lifestyles!

There’s a strong sense of humanity and unity at music festivals that seems rare to experience in daily life, but I especially felt it at Okeechobee. It’s a heart warming feeling that really opens your eyes!

If you’re comfortable camping out, then I highly recommend this festival- especially if it’s your first time attending one (it was mine).

Tickets are currently on sale for OMF 2018 – will I see you there?!