Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The best things in life aren't things.

 Me and Cara, age 9

But rather friends.

I am fortunate enough to have one of my best friends in the whole world, Cara, visiting me in Los Angeles for a whole week! She hasn't been out here since 2006, and this time around, I know a bit more of the city so it's probably more fun for the both of us. (Side note: I've been in LA almost 9 years now--crazy!)

From wearing baby Gap and Converse kicks, to now college graduates living the dream in the "working world," we've been friends for almost 2 decades. Which, I'm not going to lie, makes me feel pretty old. I feel blessed to have such a long-term friend, because I know not everyone is lucky enough to have friends like that. When I needed help in elementary school, she took it upon herself to tutor me in math class (I hate math...that's why I'm a Sociology major). I had a bit of a rough time in highschool, and she was there then too. After we graduated highschool, she'd send me cards via snail mail--which we all know I love--and she came out to visit me once I moved out to LA and attended UCLA. And now, she's here again, yay!

In short, Cara Ann, I adore you, and appreciate you more than I could ever tell you.


Monday, March 25, 2013

All's quiet on the blog front.

I know I've been more quiet than usual--which if you know me, is pretty unusual--but I think I've just had one of those weeks where you sit and just take life in. Nothing particularly good nor bad has happened; I think I just needed some Krista time, is all. And I feel like I should do it more often! That said, here are "55 gentle ways to take care of yourself," which I will be more proactive in doing moving forward.

Here are some of my favorites:
  • Say no to anything that is not important to you

    Laundry, phone calls with your mom, demanding girlfriends – this is not the time to be nice and “responsible”. Give yourself the permission to focus on what’s important. Getting the unessential responsibilites off your schedule will not only create som extra time and space, it will also lighten the burden you’re feeling to keep up with it. 
  • Ask for help
    There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, and you’ll quickly learn that most people around you actually love to be asked! It makes them feel useful and important. What usually helps the most is to get help to do the normal things; cooking, shopping and regular every-day tasks.  
  • Get enough sleep
    An oldie, but a goodie. This old advice is not only essential when it comes to self-care, it is also absolutely essential when it comes to being able to do your best. 
  • Drink tea Coffee will only get you that far, before it sends you down into tiredness again. While still being hot and comforting, tea (and especially the herbal kind) won’t make you dehydrated and shaky. If you’re feeling tired and think you need a coffeine boost, go for cold water (or iced tea) instead. Cold water will help wake you up!
  • Listen to your favorite music Calm music will help you calm down and upbeat music will help you up your game.
  • Eat healthy and green food
    I know it’s tempting to order pizza, but it really pays off to take your time to cook and eat nutritious and healthy food. Not only will it help you achieve better, it will also boost your mood! 
  • Take 5 minutes in the morning to just stretch and breathe If you start your day in a stressful way, you’ll probably feel stressed for the rest of the day as well. Make sure your morning starts with 5 minutes of silence and ease. Stand up and stretch your body to make you as tall as you can be. Then bend over and touch the ground. Stretch again. 
  • Walk everywhere You might be busy and think that every minute is valuable time to put into your work, but some extra minutes of walking might be a better way to spend some time.The extra minutes of fresh air will save you lots of time when you start working and feel more focused.
  • Make sure you keep in touch with your friends Just a few text messages, tweets or the occasional coffee will make sure your friendships don’t suffer. You will feel much better when you focus on something else entirely, and it will prevent you form becoming a workaholic hermit. You don’t have to keep in touch with everybody, most people will understand that you’re having a busy period. Just make sure you stay in touch with the people that make you happy and inspired.
  • Make room for rest This one’s important. Make sure that whenever you plan to rest – really rest. That means that you will have to make a conscious effort to push all work-related thoughts and worries away. It’s also important that you rest your mind as well as your body. 5 minutes of stillness is better than 30 minutes in front of the TV!
  • Surround yourself with inspiring photos Put up some of your favorite photos where you can see them when you work. Whenever you get unfocused, you will feel much better if you can rest your eyes on something pretty, rather than everything that reminds you of how busy you are. If you can’t put up photos at work or in a study hall, bring a scrapbook or use Pinterest on your computer.
  • Write a daily gratitude list A daily gratitude list is really helpful to shift your focus and help you appreciate the situation. It doesn’t have to be long, a few sentences will do. If you keep a gratitude journal, you can also look back on your previous entries whenever you need a little boost of happiness and motivation. 
  • Wear your pretty clothes
    … and be busy with style! If you dress nicely, chances are you’ll feel better too. All it takes is 5 minutes in the morning, and with your most powerful, wonderful and pretty clothes on, you’ll feel like a million for the rest of the day.
  • Go to a yoga class …Or do some yoga at home. Even ten minutes of savasana is better than nothing, and will recharge your batteries (and your mind).
  • Take a hot bath Nothing helps you relax like a hot bath. Use your favourite bubbles, turn off the light, light some candles and you’re good to go. One hour in the bath in the evening may be the best way to relax because of this simple fact – you can’t take your work and your computer with you.
  • Light candles Candles have a relaxing effect, especially gently scented ones. If you can’t light candles in your workplace, make sure you light them when you get home. Lavender and cedarwood are scents that can help you relax.
  • Breathe Do I need to say more? When stress builds up, take five seconds off and just breathe. Deep.
  • Do something silly Don’t forget to have fun! Who said you can’t laugh, even though you’re busy! Make jokes, engage with you co-workers, read comics and just allow yourself to be silly for a little while. I promise it will boost your mood, your co-workers’ moods and a little laughter every day will help you through a really challenging time.
  • Accept a little clutter and mess Just let it be. Some dust and a little dirt has never hurt anyone. Focus on what’s important to you, you can always clean up the mess later. Just don’t go around and feel bad about it on top of everything else!
  • Resist the urge to be productive all the time You can’t be equally productive every single waking moment, so you might as well schedule some off time right away. Be nice to yourself and don’t expect to accomplish as much in the late evening as you do in the morning.
  • Reward yourself Maybe not the best overall habit to get used to, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If you need it to get through – reward yourself with gifts, chocolate and breaks whenever you finish a task. Just don’t make it a habit to kick yourself if you don’t make it. Maybe you need the treat anyways?
  • Accept yourself as you are Let yourself off the hook and accept that you are only human. You are doing your absolute best, and you are doing exactly what you need to do. Trust your instincts and keep doing whatever you’re doing. You don’t need to change anything about yourself – trust that you are perfect just the way you are.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A life & love balance.


I think we've all been here before: someone of interest comes along--which if you're like me, isn't that often--and because of that, your daily life is shaken up a bit. Most of your time once dedicated to your friends, family, and/or yourself is now dedicated to you new partner--probably without you even consciously knowing it. You are, however, consciously aware of how annoying it can be when you talk only about your partner to friends, so you try super, super hard not to...but still kind of can't help it because you're too excited.

So, this begs the question of how to maintain a good life balance with someone new in your life, and more importantly, how to maintain a sense of self? Well, here is a list of tips I found on how to not lose yourself when you begin dating someone you really like:

  1. Spend time with friends -- without your partner. It's great when your significant other and your friends like one another, but your friends don't always want your other half around when they are trying to spend time with you
  2. Identify hobbies and interests that you don't share -- and keep doing them. You and your significant other are not going to enjoy all the same activities. Don't stop nurturing your pottery skills just because your partner doesn't especially love ceramics. It's important to support each other's interests -- even and maybe especially when they aren't shared. 
  3. Speak up for yourself. While committing to another being is a great thing, giving up your needs and feelings up for that person isn't. Don't compromise or undermine your own desires just because a) you want to give the other person everything they want or b) you're scared that you'll lose him or her if you need something different.
  4. Map out plans for your future irrespective of your significant other. It's fine to make plans with your partner and even discuss a possible future together, but it's just as important to establish for yourself what you want out of your career and work toward the things you want in your personal life.
  5. Disconnect electronically. Spending time "apart" while constantly chatting and texting with your partner isn't really taking time for yourself. To retain your sense of who you are, you need to set aside time to do your thing -- work, exercise, read, journal, pursue personal projects, whatever -- without checking in with your partner every five minutes.
  6. Remember that you don't have to experience everything with him or her.
    That movie you've been looking forward to is finally coming out? A friend in another city invited you to visit for a weekend? Have a chance to go skydiving for the first time? It's tempting to invite your partner to come along, but realize that you don't need to experience these things with him or her, especially if it's something you've been wanting to do since long before you met. It's okay to enjoy them by yourself or with friends -- you're not required to share.
  7. Get inspired. If your partner doesn't motivate you to be the best version of you, it's worth asking whether this is the right relationship for you. If you're well matched, both of you feel free -- and encouraged -- to reach your full potential.
  8. Be open to new things. Part of maintaining your sense of self is knowing you can try something new without sacrificing your core values and tastes. Give your partner's hobbies and interests a shot at least once. If you enjoy them, great. If not, don't do them again, and be confident in that choice.       
Do you have any other suggestions?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

LBS (long black skirt).


Let the awkwardness continue! Ha. I bought this skirt from--surprise--I Love Fashion boutique, and have worn it probably too many times already. But I can't help it. It's kind of perfect. It's just long enough (and it kind of makes me look tall, which is always good when you're standing at just over 5 feet), the lace adds fun detail and it allows breathing room (which is perfect on these 80 degree SoCal days). And you can't really go wrong with pairing a top; anything will match...including my vest from Costa Rica which I'm still obsessing over, months later.


PS, I totally wore this skirt to brunch.

*Thank you to the photographer Andrew Herrold!

Monday, March 11, 2013

28 Places to see.

Pompeii
The phrase "before you die" can kind of creep me out, so I'll just make note of the Smithsonian's cool places one should see in their lifetime--because that sounds so much better. And, I'll credit my friend Caitlin for sending me this (thank you)!

As you know, I'm mildly obsessed with traveling. I'll go anywhere (if it's safe), and the more rare the place is, the more likely you'll find me there. Some places on my "to see" list are Dubai, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Egypt, Peru, the Maldives...I mean, the list goes on and on. (Carli, pick one!) I think after losing some close friends the last couple of years, I've really made it a point to live life; I think we can take it for granted sometimes... simply living life. It's unfortunate to learn things like that by means of tragedy--but I guess it'd be more unfortunately to not learn at all. So, I chose to live life to the fullest, and see as much of the world as possible.

Easter Island
The Great Wall, China
Machu Picchu, Peru

Where are some of your "must see" places? I'm open to more suggestions!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

2Chains.


By now we all know my obsession with my big, gold chain. Well, what could be better than one big, gold chain, you ask? Two - duh! A shoutout goes to Ingrid for chain number 2, and again, her lovely photog boyfriend Andrew for the photography skills.

Layering anything is A-OK in my book. Whether it be clothing, a la Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's "homeless chic" trends, or just stacking on the jewelry, layering is where it's at.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Streetwriting.


This is so simple, but I love it. I spotted this little phrase as I was walking from brunch at Alcove Cafe to my car this past weekend, and had to snap a photo. And then upload it to Instagram, respectively. Los Angeles....I adore you.

That's it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Leopard.

I never used to be super into leopard, but recently that's changed. I have leopard scarves, flats--two pairs--cardigans, and these recent faux fur which I'm obsessed with. (Almost more than this one!) I've worn it pretty much every chance I can, and I even appreciate this chilly LA weather for allowing me to do so. (And yes, my Massachusetts people...it is chilly here. Not chilly like there, but chilly for here.)



And per usual, there's nothing like my trusty gold chain, boots, and a fedora to complete the look. And allow for a Michael Jackson moment.

*Thanks again, Andrew Herrold, for the photos!

Thank you!


I am blessed to have good friends, and good friends who blog and feature my blog on theirs! A huge shoutout and thank you goes to Christian and VibeWithMe for this amazing plug. I appreciate you! :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Weekend Brunch (with a Side of Men's Fashion).

This past weekend, I had a great Saturday brunch with my friend Christian at Alcove Cafe. Remember my post about online friendships? Well, funny enough, I e-met Christian through Instagram, when I was stalking Costa Rica hashtags! I guess I had a bit of traveler's depression upon my return to the states, and I wanted to see Costa Rica in any way I could. But back to the point...Christian had photos on a canopy tour that were similar to mine, and then I stalked looked through his Instagram feed and noticed he too lived in LA! Even more noticeable though, the man can dress.

 
 I'll nominate him for my blog's "best dressed" superlative.  

Be sure to check out Christian's new blog, Vibe With me! Congrats to my best-dressed friend, Christian! (Instagram/Twitter: @cliquigan)