2020 Resolution Check-In

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

I chose the quote above because this year so far has been all about change for me so the quote has deeper meaning than just the simple words you see on your screen. Over the holidays I had a lot of time off which I spent mostly at home alone being lazy so after a few days of having that ‘I feel depressed but I don’t know why’ feeling I decided to change things up a bit. Blogging is still new to me so I’m trying to make it more of a priority to share things here but since I never did a 2020 Resolutions post highlighting my goals for the new year I’m going to talk about some of the changes I consider my resolutions and explain how I’m going about these changes, how they have impacted my life and weather or not I’ve been good about keeping up with them.

This year I’ll be turning twenty-five (quarter of a century, I know..I’m getting old). Naturally with aging, our skin and bodies change. Over the past few years my skin hasn’t been at its best. I always look for quick fix treatment but had to come to terms with the fact that it was going to take hard work and perseverance to get my skin looking more healthy. So drinking more water became one of my resolutions because I hardly drink water at all. Water is practically the elixir of life, our bodies need water to survive and thrive so I decided to stop withholding my body of something it really needed. So far I’ve definitely been drinking more than I usually do but not nearly as much as I should. My body will become more used to the higher amount of water intake so I foresee this being a positive change for a healthier lifestyle and physical appearance. I also took some time to research skin care products for specific issues that I personally deal with (Check out my blog post here about those issues and what I’m doing to improve them). In short, I’m trying to make a better habit of sticking to a skin care routine like taking my makeup off at the end of the day, applying the correct products that will actually improve my issues and hydrating my body with more water.

One of the biggest things that puts me in a negative mood is having a living space I’m unhappy with. Don’t get me wrong, I love having my own space, but I’ve allowed it to become cluttered with random things and haven’t put much effort in to updating the house (built in the 80s with 5 different kinds of wall paper) so this became one of my main focuses. Things wont change unless you do something about it. As far as the wall paper and renovation updates the house needed I wasn’t able to do much there because stuff like that costs money, and sometimes a lot of it but what didn’t cost money was cleaning and decluttering. Every other week or so I’ll spend some time going room to room and just looking at the items I have, if it has no future purpose or has just become obsolete I put it in a box for Good Will. Doing this has helped me create so much space, I feel like I have more room to breathe and the openness gives me sort of a satisfying feeling. I am most definitely one to let laundry and dishes pile up but so far I have managed to keep up with both- washing then drying laundry, separating and immediately putting it up and dishes have been making their smooth cycle from the sink to the dishwasher and back to their home in the cabinet. I have to say I am so proud of the effort I have been making in my home because I do feel better in so many ways reminding myself that the change starts with me.

One of the biggest stessers of life is money. I chose to be an entrepreneur so I put a lot of money (most of it personal) in to purchasing things I needed to run my business over the last few years. For the most part the investment has been worth it but there is always something that needed to be bought or paid for. I was focused on adding and updating things to my company so much so that I was okay with ‘scraping by’ paying for personal bills and normal life things like my car note, gas and groceries without having any extra money for cushion. In the moment I didn’t think much of it but looking back I am kind of glad I made the purchases I did, even though I would classify my financial state in that situation as struggling, moving forward in to this new year any money the company makes will be able to stay with the company and saved, I’ll also be saving a lot of personal money too. My goal this year is to really think about purchases before I make them asking myself “Do I really need this?” and “Do I need this right now or can this purchase wait?”. I’ll have more money to put towards things like personal care and home updates, it’s almost like a chain reaction that will lead to self improvement!

My final goal going in to this new year is to spend more time with people I care about, including myself. I used to feel guilty for taking an extra long bath or deciding to do something I enjoy over doing work on my computer because it made me feel anxious that I wasn’t paying attention to my workload, this is because I’m a notorious procrastinator. I would put off work for any reason and when the deadline approached I’d worry and work myself in a rush until it was done. I’ve recently been good about getting work done early so I can not only relax my body during me time but also my mind. My former bad procrastinating habit also did not allow me to spend time with my best friends or even time with my close family because I was either working or had something I needed to work on. So far I have been able to go out for drinks and girl time with my friends and I have been able to spend more time focusing on the people in my life without being side tracked about work related things. The people you surround yourself with can be inspiring and can also have an impact on your personal attitude so if you’re feeling sad or down hang out with an up-beat friend, if you need a little inspiration visit with a friend who might talk about some of their achievements or ways they find success which can grow your desire to work on whatever it is you may feel needs attention.

A lot of the things I discussed in this blog I have mentioned or elaborated on in previous posts so I encourage you to take a look at some of those if you’d like to read more on these subjects. I hope you found inspiration in my words and I hope your year is filled with positive thoughts and an abundance of success!

Have suggestions for a topic you’d like me to cover in my next blog? Send me an email or leave a comment!

Sincerely, Kat

Shop my outfit!
Top: Forever 21 https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/f21/top_blouses/2000391634?_br_psugg_q=self+tie+peasant+top
Jeans: H&M https://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.0448509014.html
Belt: Good Will, similar https://www.freepeople.com/shop/wildwood-suede-belt/?adpos=&color=020&countryCode=US&creative=272539405896&device=c&gclid=CjwKCAiA98TxBRBtEiwAVRLqu7N6wGimW5bWLfjZZnsz6N6ETg_PDPg8xjOU3L_ymbaKyzGsnIUIDBoCdVcQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&inventoryCountry=US&matchtype=&mrkgadid=3207383194&mrkgcl=720&network=g&product_id=46083309&size=S%2FM&utm_content=NB%20Accessories&utm_term=46083309
Watch: Apple, 3 Series

Disney World Tips & Tricks

“To all who come to this happy place, Welcome.”

-Walt Disney

As a Disney World Annual Passholder you begin to pick up a thing or two that help you enjoy your experience in the parks a little more for the next time you visit. I actually just recently became an AP but I made it my mission to visit the parks at least once or twice a year with friends before going once (sometimes twice) a month now to simply to enjoy the magic within the Happiest Place on Earth with some of the best people in my life. I began to learn interesting facts and information about the parks and what they each hold from friends who frequented the parks as well as other resources like podcasts and online forums. For the most part when I take another trip to WDW with other people I’m the designated tour guide and travel agent since I have been able to pick up on so many things during my time visiting and I’d like to share some of those tips and fun facts with you!

Maximizing Time
One thing I have found to take up the most time is bathroom breaks. If you’re with a group of people try to visit the bathrooms as a group, even if you don’t feel like you have to go just try! Group restroom trips will help minimize the times your entire group stops at the bathrooms that way you can spend more time visiting the attractions. For the most part you’ll want to keep your group together because navigating a busy park is a nightmare and regardless your group will have to wait on you if they’d like to get in line somewhere because you wont be able to skip lines to get to them.
Speaking of attractions and lines sometimes wait times can become very long. There’s a few ways I like to decide what I’ll be riding and in what order. Rides like Flight of Passage and Slinky Dog Dash can get up to a 2+hour wait easily. I’ve waited 4 hours for Flight of Passage before but I will say it was totally worth it. Regarding FoP I like to ride this attraction first and at the earliest time I can so I can get it out of the way before peak time hits which is normally around noon. Peak time is typically around this time because you have a lot of people in the parks who haven’t park hopped somewhere else yet and people who have park hopped already to that park. Slinky Dog Dash on the other hand can be a pretty short wait at any given time but there’s really no telling when that can happen so when I see the wait is anything shorter than an hour I’ll hop in line for it. One strategy I like to do is to visit the attractions with the shortest wait times first. You’ll get so much done in such a short amount of time that you’ll feel so accomplished and you have the rest of the day to wait in those longer lines without feeling like you’re wasting your time on that one popular ride.
Another way I like to maximize my time in the parks is to decide when and what I’m going to eat. Eating any meal earlier or later than the ‘usual’ time for lunch or dinner means shorter lines and almost guaranteed seating. If you don’t have an ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation) your options are to either try and walk up at those nicer restaurants for a table or go to a quick dining spot where you go up to the registers then find your own place to sit. I always like going somewhere that serves items I can take with me and eat as I’m walking to my next destination. Disney has created a magical way of being able to order food while you aren’t even at the restaurant too! Using the MDE (My Disney Experience) app you can use their mobile order option at select restaurants to go ahead and purchase your meal so that it’s ready upon your arrival- no waiting in line! For guests like me who are always on the go this is the option for you.
Another great time maximizing tip is to use the MDE app! You can view wait times to help you decide where to go and this is where you can make your dining reservations as well. When you think about it, the MDE app can save you hours of time just by showing you things like wait times you would normally only know if you physically walked to the attraction. Imagine wanting to ride FoP only to learn it’s over a 2 hour wait and you could have went to Dinosaur or Kali River Rapids instead which usually have a shorter wait time. Walking from attraction to attraction is normally only 5-9 minutes so I would prefer to go to the attractions with the shortest wait first even if they are on opposite sides of the park just to go ahead and get them done.
Utilizing FastPass+ privileges can also help you save some time by skipping the line. There’s almost a science to booking fast passes though. Depending on how soon you book your trip you’re able to reserve fast passes up to 60 days in advance but if you book a last minute trip go ahead and book fast passes for whatever rides they have available. Some rides you shouldn’t waste a fast pass on, like Small World or those that are considered ‘walk ons’ that normally don’t ever have a long wait. Even if you don’t prefer the FastPass+ options that are available go ahead and book them then use the modify option because sometimes better opportunities will pop up and you’ll be able to alter the plans you’ve already made. Visiting the FastPass+ kiosks you are able to refresh your plans and more often than not a better option will show up so sometimes I’ll pass by a few times just to check if I’m able to update my plans to something that works better for me and almost every time I’m able to do it. The Disney DNA podcast has a whole episode dedicated to explaining FastPass+ and they also give some great tips when booking and using them as well.
For my final time maximizing tip I highly suggest to ‘rope drop’ those rides that typically have a longer wait. This means to be at the park before the official open so that you can speed walk and hop in line before the morning rush does. As a quick example, if a park opens at 9 I like to be at the gate by 8:30 so I can be in that first mini rush to scan in and go straight to the high profile attraction. This is a sub-tip to the main tip but also look up which parks have EMH (Extra Magic Hours) and avoid them if you aren’t a resort guest. Resort guests get the opportunity to gain entry to the parks at least one hour earlier than the normal opening time. Most of the time it’s only one park so the majority of the resort guests will most likely plan to go to that park on that day. EMH schedules can be found on the official Disney website.
One of my favorite Disney Podcasts called Disney DNA has episodes dedicated to making your Disney experience more magical with simple ways to maximize time. For more time saving tips give them a listen!

Fun Fact & Things To Do
Disney World has so many fun facts especially about rides which I could literally write a book on so I wont get to go in to too much detail about the history itself but I do want to encourage you to look up some of the rich information about the different rides and lands because it will make you appreciate them so much more. What a lot of people don’t know is that most of the rides tell a story that you don’t really realize until you hear the story. There are rides that I enjoyed but when I learned more information about them I had a whole new love for them. To be honest Animal Kingdom was never my favorite park, I enjoyed it but if I had 3 days to spend in the parks I would skip it all together. I listened to podcast about what the park is based on and the story behind the different parts of it and I was amazed at the detail put in to these stories so much that when I went back to visit I started to notice things I never had before and was excited to see them for myself. So my tip here is to take some time before your trip and listen to some podcasts about ride and land history because the lands have just as much rich information as the rides do. I’ve mentioned a few but here are my top suggestions for Disney podcasts: The Backside of Water, Disney Discussions and Disney DNA all found on Spotify.
Disney Bounding is one of my favorite things to do in the parks because cast members as well as other guests love it and who doesn’t love a compliment! I like to think of a character or something within the park I’m visiting and style an outfit around that. Once Disney bounding as Pocahontas I got to meet her and she gave me a little extra attention during our visit. The same has happened while bounding as and visiting other characters like Jasmine and Russel from Up. Once my husband and I got to skip the entire line on Peter Pan’s Flight dressed as Peter and Wendy- the wait was over 90 minutes! While on my recent visit a group of friends and I did a Star Wars theme group bound and a guest caught us in one of the Hollywood Studio shops and was physically screaming while taking our photo she was enjoying our effort a lot! Before going on my trips i’ll research specific character and park Disney bounds then I’ll look in my closet or visit shops to try and put something together. I have two trips coming up in the next few months and I’m already exploring my bound options.
If you know anything about Disney than you’re more than familiar with the famous mouse that started it all, Mickey Mouse. For years Disney has been notorious for having hidden mickey’s sprinkled throughout the parks which are basically the Mickey head silhouette strategically placed anywhere and everywhere in the entire park. There have actually been books written about these and you can find most of them online but it’s fun to just glance around while waiting in line to see if you can find them on your own. Hidden Mickey’s are literally everywhere; Rockin’ Rollercoaster, Kilimanjaro Safari, Toy Story Mania…everywhere! My favorite, and the largest hidden Mickey on property I actually came across accidentally. It can be seen on your GPS when taking the exit for Epcot- it’s made of solar panels! Another favorite of mine a friend showed me; When leaving Ariel’s Grotto in the Magic Kingdom if you stand in the perfect spot you can see the rocks of the exterior from the grotto form Steamboat Willy. Disney really goes above and beyond in every aspect.
The cast members are just as awesome as the park attractions are. Cast members who work in certain lands or parts of each park sometimes spend a full day or more during their training to come up with a backstory on themselves as if they are actually living in that area. For example, in Pandora and Galaxy’s Edge if you ask the cast members “How did you get here” they will tell you some elaborate story on how and/or why they came to that planet. Some even have ‘alien’ names. In Pandora I met a young lady who was in nursing school on Earth but she was given the opportunity to come to Pandora to further her knowledge in the medical field on the planet and learn more about the Avatars. Another cast member said that when Pandora was discovered he joined a program to visit the planet to research Banshees in their habitat. They even thanked us for asking them about their story because they work so hard on it and not everyone knows that it’s a thing. During the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party you’ll notice the female cast members in their special MNSSHP uniforms complete with bat headbands. My favorite thing to do is to go around and ask them what their bat’s names are and decide my favorite of the night. I’ve heard names like Batty McFly, Sad Bat Hours and so many others. You might find a cast member who’s bat hasn’t been named yet so I’m sure they wouldn’t mind a little help from you!
While you’re in the parks weather you’re on Main Street USA or waiting in an attraction queue make sure to pay attention to the smells. Disney uses what’s called Smellitizers in different places of the parks, not everywhere but in most places especially on rides. FoP is filled with delicious smells, most of the same smells can be smelled on Soarin’. Main Street has it’s own smell and even some of the countries in Epcot! You can actually find candles, wax melts, room sprays and car air fresheners of the different scents from the Magic Candle Company so you can have a little Disney magic at home with you. After riding FoP for the first time I immediately bought the wood wick candle of the ride’s smell “Banshee” before even leaving Pandora. My car currently smells like the Haunted Mansion. They also do subscription boxes if you just can’t get enough!
My last tip about the parks in general is something I do every time I visit. Asking for something you want. Disney cast members strive to make every guest experience magical so if you want to sit in the back of a ride or on the front row just ask kindly or if you’re looking for a particular item in the shops they’d be happy to look up the item and tell you where you can find it. I’m not saying to ask for free food or to skip the lines but if there is something they can do within their power to make you enjoy your time in the parks a little more just simply ask. Disney Photo Pass is an incredible thing the parks offer so you can have photos from your trip and not worry about hauling around a giant camera but if all you have is your camera or phone ask them to take a photo with your device, even if you do the photo pass picture but don’t have the memory maker add on to where you can have your photos watermark free you’ll still be able to capture those memories.

I hope I didn’t lose you in my blabbering on about Disney World but I just returned from a trip and was inspired to share some of the things that I enjoy while on my vacations. I can’t suggest enough to explore some of the podcasts that are dedicated to these types of things. While on my 7 hour drives to and from Disney World I like to scroll through the different podcasts listed above and put in queue the episodes I’m most interested in hearing and I have learned so much that way. Share your favorite Disney tips with me, i’d love to learn more and hear what you most enjoy about visiting the parks!

Sincerely, Kat

In a Funk? How to get out of it; A 3 Part Series, Part 3: A Funk State of Mind

A Funk State of Mind

“The more you feed your mind with positive thoughts, the more you can attract great things into your life.” 
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Welcome back to my 3 part series of “In a Funk? How to get out of it”. We’re about to dive deep into the conclusion of this series with Part 3: A Funk State of Mind. Let me start off by saying this was tough! This was probably the most challenging blog to write so far because I spent days trying to make sure I was able to get my thoughts out there in a way that made sense. It’s tough to be vulnerable enough to share my own personal thoughts and feelings to people that know me in person as well as to an internet full of strangers. I want to share the way I feel sometimes and what I do to overcome those negative feelings because, as I’ve previously stated, the purpose of my blog is to hopefully inspire people in some way or another whether it be opening up about your own thoughts on the topics I cover or that you take something from these writings that might can help you in your personal struggles.

A Funk State of Mind
I’ll admit that the worst type of funk to be in for me is a mind funk where i’m constantly overthinking or having negative thoughts, I’m sure I’m not alone on this. Here’s one thing that puts me in a..not great mood; Running multiple businesses and devoting my time and efforts to a million other things, I tend to wear myself thin which really takes a toll on my mental state. Not in a detrimental way but I begin to shut down and stop taking care of my responsibilities which can then skyrocket anxiety which I fortunately don’t regularly deal with. It’s a pattern: I take on a fun new job or task, I don’t think about how much time and attention it would require and with my other current activities I realize I can’t devote myself to this new thing as needed, I try to make it work anyways, I start to feel the pressure weighing in, I have a breakdown which causes me to not put much effort in to my other obligations so I end up letting people as well as myself down, everything is calm for a while then the cycle restarts. It was this way for a long time and I still allow myself to fall back into the cycle occasionally but I’ve learned ways that allow me to make better decisions when it comes to what needs to be done to be efficient.

Having the feeling that I’ve disappointed someone by letting them down in some way is not a great feeling at all [@ all my people pleasers out there, you know what I mean] so I’ve learned to ask myself when I’m approached with something new “Do I have the time and availability to devote to this as necessary?” or “Is this something I will be able to accomplish without it interfering with everything else I have going on?” When I decide that it’s not the right time to take on another project the initial rejection sucks but the self reminder that it’s for the best and that hopefully another opportunity will come my way in the future give me peace of mind. This also tends to motivate me to work towards being able to do whatever it is I was contemplating taking on.

Learning how to say “no” is a big one and a hard thing to do. It’s tough to say no to things that sound fun or might could help me in my career but I have to remind myself that there will come another opportunity if I continue to work hard. Though, I don’t just outright say no to opportunities that come my way- I also had to learn to ask for what I want if I really feel like I could benefit from the experience. So if someone does give me what sounds like a great opportunity but I might not be available to take it on I’ll think about what I could do to make it work or see if it’s a standing offer that I could revisit when the time is right. Sometimes I might be able to sacrifice something I’m already doing but I again have to thing about how important my current obligations are and weather or not I could take time away from them.

There’s really no one ‘cure’ for having a funk state of mind because there are so many ways you could categorize the funk you’re in. Some choose to consult counselors and therapists for different reasons, which I have considered in the past to just have an unbiased opinion and point of view to help me come to better understandings in tough situations. Others with diagnosed disorders such as anxiety and depression might be on medication, which could very well help in their situation but I’ve personally never felt the need to have something more than just a change of mind. What I have found that works best for me is to just practice having a more positive state of mind, and not only that but to actually give things more thought than just making decisions and coming to conclusions on a whim. Even if I can’t change something coming to peace with the fact that I can’t and deciding to let my negative emotions go to exchange them with a positive outlook gives me a sense of power. Changing up my routine has also helped me. I’ve picked up working out a few days a week and knowing I’m doing something good for myself as well as physically helping my body stay in a healthy shape gives me great motivation. I choose to listen to inspirational and comedic podcasts which fills me with spirit to pursue things I’m interested in. The most effective thing for changing my mood is actually thinking about those things in my life that I have or things I can look forward to.

We all deal with different things and I am in no way trying to tell you what to do with your own personal struggles. As I continue to mention, because I want to make it clear, I just want to share what I go through and how I decide to handle my situations to maybe get others to think about things that can be done in their situation. So I’ll leave you with some brief pieces of advice for different things that I actually struggle with from time to time. Feeling bad because you’re broke? Put in the effort to start money saving tactics. My bank offers a $1-$4 transfer based on how much I swipe my card and I’ve managed to save more than $300 over time. There are tons of easy money saving tactics for every financial situation you can check out on Pinterest! Feeling bad because you aren’t living the lifestyle you see on social media? First of all, you shouldn’t compare yourself to Instagram models, but if you want to give your self positive motivation start working out or get your hair done! Do something that gives you a boost of confidence. Refer to parts 1 & 2 of this series for a more in depth view of my responses to being in a funk because of skin issues and being in a fashion funk due to an outdated or overused wardrobe. Feeling down in general? Go for a walk. Get some fresh air and sunshine. Ask a friend to join you but don’t rely on others to create your own happiness, creating your own happiness starts with YOU. Feeling stressed because you’ve got a lot on your plate? Take a step back and consider what you could do to give yourself a break and relieve some stress. If you really feel like you can’t get out of your head with negative thoughts visit with a professional that might could help in your particular situation because therapy is okay. At this point I’m babbling, but I hope I provided some topics to get you thinking about ways you can naturally get yourself out of that funk state of mind without allowing yourself to get too deep in to those nasty negative thoughts we all hate.

I appreciate that you’ve made it this far on this particular blog post because re-reading it I do tend to jump around a bit and there is so much more I could say. I encourage you to change your mindset when you’re approached with a tough situation and perhaps to try something new like changing up your routine or doing something for yourself to help you live a more mentally positive life. You only have one life, don’t waste it dwelling on the negative.

Sincerely, Kat

In a Funk? How to get out of it; A 3 Part Series, Part 2: Facial Funk

Facial Funk; Skin Issues

“Skin care is like dieting. You have to invest time and effort. There is no instant miracle cure.” -Karen Grant

In my last blog we covered being in a fashion funk. Feeling like you have nothing to wear can really put you in a negative state of mind but I hope the things I’ve learned to do for myself inspired some of you to do the same or find your own ways to get out of that fashion funk. Continuing with my # part series, in this blog I want to talk about skin [dun dun duuunnn]. I want to share my personal struggles with skin issues and the things I do to get out of this particular funk.

Introducing Part 2: Facial Funk

People deal with all kinds of skin issues like acne, rosacea/skin discoloring, psoriasis etc. and this can really put you in a funk because not only are you constantly worrying with trying to fix it but you’re also worrying about other people seeing your skin imperfections [bless those with perfect skin, I envy you]. Personally I have really oily skin and a pimple or two pop up every few weeks, I’m also constantly on the hunt for ways to reduce my acne scarring from years of messing with my face during high school. A few years ago I started working as an Independent Consultant for Arbonne in hopes I could learn about and find products to help my skin issues but I found I didn’t have the time to sell products while also doing a million other things in life, but that’s another story. I struggled with finding good face washes, moisturizers and foundations that worked with my skin issues but with a little bit of research and trial and error I’ve managed to find products that work for me. This isn’t necessarily a product review, although I will share the products I use down below, but I want to share how I went about finding these products and the process it took to find what worked for me.

I started by recognizing the issues I dealt with and researched what could be causing them. My oily skin seemed to just be hereditary. My dad and I have similar skin types and he’s always had that shiny look to him. Natural body oils are actually good for your skin in a sense that it acts as a natural moisturizer and can long term help with minimizing the appearance of wrinkles. Rather than trying to get rid of my oily skin I searched and tried makeup products, moisturizers and face washes that worked well with the oily skin type I have. My routine begins with washing my face so we’ll start with that. I’m a very frugal person so I shop at Walmart, Target and in the clearance section everywhere I go. I’ve tried just about everything from Clearasil and Burt’s Bees to Proactiv+. Proactiv+ was pretty good at getting rid of the pimples but when I would run out of the products before getting my next subscription box in the mail it seemed like double the pimples would pop up. I also was not a fan of the three step system. I wanted just a basic, single step face wash that could do it’s job. I began using the Neutrogena grapefruit foaming face scrub. My skin would glow from the natural grapefruit extract and gentle exfoliating properties while the salicylic acid worked on healing and preventing breakouts- and the best part about this product is that it’s oil free! So far this is the best face wash I have found for my skin type.

The next step in my routine is moisturizer. There’s a common misconception that using moisturizer makes your skin oily but if you find the right product it can help prevent oil breakthrough. Still steering clear of those high dollar name brand products I tested out a few drug store products with the bold ‘oil free’ label. I have two favorites, Cetaphil Pro which is an oil absorbing moisturizer and Acure oil control facial moisturizer. Cetaphil has up to SPF 30 which protects your skin from harmful UV rays from the sun. I like a good sunkissed look like anyone else but UV rays can be very harmful and damaging to our epidermis and can cause premature aging leading to the desire to purchase anti-aging products. Acure is a mattifying moisturizer with natural extracts and when i use it there is absolutely no shine- it literally gives my face that matte look and acts as a perfect primer for foundation. Using just enough moisturizer to cover your face before applying foundation can actually act as a primer to block your pores from soaking in your foundation causing an uneven look. Apply your moisturizer and give it a few minutes to work its way in to your skin before beginning your makeup routine.

Foundation was the trickiest part of this whole trial and error process. In this case I’ve tried name brand and drug store foundations. Most look flawless after first applied but after as little as thirty minutes my face would already become shiny. Doing research on my own is hard especially because I can’t afford to just purchase all these products and toss them out if they don’t work- so I thought, who could I ask that does have the opportunity to work with different products and has seen first hand how they work with different skin types? A makeup artist! I consulted with an artist I had worked with modelling for a bridal magazine. She has done my makeup on multiple occasions and every time I’m floored by the results not only after the initial application of a full face of makeup but also after a full day of shooting different looks. She informed me of a low end product found on Amazon that not only was an oil free product but also provided a decent full coverage look and didn’t use harsh chemicals. Phoera is a liquid foundation that comes in roughly 12 shades. You can find this product for less than $12, crazy right? At first I was shocked at how small the bottle is but I quickly realized the super light foundation went a long way when using their recommended amount for initial application. I’ve recommended this product more times than I can count and anyone who takes the chance to try it has come back to me with raving reviews.

I feel like the most important thing to get your skin in a state that makes you happy and confident is not only what you put on your skin but also what you put in your body. Eating healthy and drinking plenty of water might just be what you’re missing on this journey to better skin. It’s one thing to hear this and agree but when you make a dietary change and experience the results for yourself you’ll be astonished at what healthy eating and increased water intake can do for your skin. I never really grew up knowing the importance of drinking water. When I was thirsty I chose a soda or coffee. It takes a breakout to remind me that I’m not drinking as much water as I should so I would start to drink more throughout the day and my breakouts seemed to clear up quicker. Increasing your water intake can also just make you feel better overall. Our bodies need water to function! I’ve also been blessed with having a petite figure my entire life so I used that as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted but going through these skin issues I decided to make a change in what types of food I was eating. I traded out the dollar menu cheeseburger for a plate of colorful vegetables- doing this also saved me some money and at the same time eating healthier helped my hair look and feel healthier too! Eating healthy and drinking water is not only a short term fix but it can also help reduce the threat of health problems as you grow older, so do your body, skin and future a solid and change up your diet a bit! Talk with a nutritionist or consult the web for reliable sources that offer suggestions and explanations to what you could be changing or adding to your diet to accomplish your goals!

The last thing I want to leave you with is a brief experience with a dermatologist and esthetician. Some people have skin issues that require dermatological care and attention but for the more simple skin issues such as the things I’ve dealt with something as simple as using the right OTC products and switching up your diet can be the cure you were looking for. At one point not too long ago I began dealing with cystic acne just below my jawline, something I never had to deal with before. I was horrified at the tough knots forming under my skin that just wouldn’t seem to go away. I wasn’t covered on insurance so I couldn’t just visit a dermatologist and I had other things to pay for than a $100+ visit for the doctor to then write me prescriptions that would cost even more. I struggled with this new issue I didn’t know how to deal with for weeks before I finally just saved up some money to visit a local reputable dermatologist. She gave me ideas on what could be causing it and then turned around and wrote me a prescription for two different medications [not covered on insurance these prescriptions were going to cost me over $300]. Actually discussing concerns and asking questions with a professional right in front of you rather than just researching online might help you take care of your issues in a more effective way. I listened to what she had to say used that as research for the quest for a cure. I used to drink a lot of coffee, turns out the high caffeine levels in coffee can cause inflammation especially when it comes to breakouts including cystic acne so I cut out coffee and switched to a lighter form of caffeine like green tea. I also looked at the ingredients for the prescriptions she wrote me and found natural remedies that offered the same assistance. After making an effort to include more water in my daily diet, adding healthier food like vegetables, cutting out coffee and doing a natural facial here and there my cystic acne stopped. I thought it was a miracle but I realized that it was just the effort and care I had put in to figuring out my skin and what I could be doing to make it better. I’m still struggling with finding ways to minimize the scarring but I’ve had a dermaplaning facial once before and I think I’d like to continue doing these every other month as the first one seemed to make my skin look fresh and new, and I’ve seen positive results with those who have acne scarring like I do.

Healthy skin is an investment, not necessarily of money but of time and effort. Take the time to use your resources like the internet to research your problems and what others have done in that situation. Make the effort to implement changes in your diet or routine to get the results your looking for. Things like this don’t happen overnight. It might be a lengthy trial and error process but when you find what works for you, you’ll be thankful for what you put in to achieve your goal.

Sincerely, Kat

In a Funk? How to get out of it; A 3 Part Series, Part 1: Fashion Funk

Fashion Funk; Overused Wardrobe

“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.” —Gianni Versace

Welcome to my 3 part series of self discovered ways to get out of a funk. I’m sure we’ve all been in a ‘funk’. A period of time where you just feel..not so great for whatever reason. I know I’ve been there more than a few times, all for different reasons. I want to share some of those reasons I might get in to a funk and the things I’ve done to overcome them because I’m sure there are hundreds of people out there who have dealt with some of the things I’ve experienced. First thing’s first- you have to recognize what it is that is putting you in this funk.

Introducing Part 1: Fashion Funk

Sometimes I feel like I wear the same things over and over again. My closet is mostly made up of clothes I’ve hoarded over the past several years, some pieces I’ve had for 10 years [and I’m only 24…yikes!]. Part of me has kept so many of these clothes because I have the mindset that I *might* could wear it again one day but the other part of me has kept these clothes because I can’t always just go out and buy new things whenever I want to so I keep these clothes thinking that I can pull something out of the back on my closet and have that ‘feeling new’ sensation because I haven’t worn it in a while, but when I actually do I feel like I’m just overusing old clothes. I don’t have that satisfying feeling of wearing something new and different. I’ve found that doing this just brings me back to that funky feeling that I don’t like, but I think I’ve found a good solution for myself.

Working in a boutique with an employee discount my wardrobe outgrew the small closet that comes attached to the bedroom so when my boyfriend [now husband] and I moved in together I managed to convince him to let me use one of the spare rooms as a large walk-in closet. It is the largest bedroom in the house and it is filled with color coordinated racks of clothing, a shoe cubby mostly double stacked with different style shoes, racks of jewelry both on a dresser and hanging from the wall and a shelf full of handbags and purses. Once every so often I’ll go through my entire closet piece by piece and decide what I can part with. Sometimes I’ll post for sale the items I feel have value and put the profit towards purchasing new items and the other items I’ll toss in a box and drop it off at the Salvation Army. I’m sure you’re wondering how I can have a closet full of things yet still feel like I’m overusing my wardrobe. After wondering this same thing I realized that with the changing trends and my own personal style developing in different ways the things I had hoarded from years past had become obsolete.

So here I am, ready to get something that makes me feel new. Everyone struggles with their own insecurities and one of mine is having shorter legs so I tend to not like myself in certain clothing. I veer more toward skirts, high-waisted pants, dresses and other things that give me the illusion of having longer legs. From my experience working in a boutique we would have women coming in having the same insecurities. Some dealt with size, big and small, and others it was height, both short and tall. The awesome thing about fashion is that there is a style that suits everyone, you just have to try some things out to find it. When high-waisted pants made a come back I remember calling them long butt pants and thinking they would look so funny on but now they’re my best friend because they give the illusion that my legs are longer than what they are. I’m on the shorter side so paired with a cute pair of booties I looked a bit taller too. I love the way I look and feel in them! It actually took a bit of searching on Pinterest for ‘short leg fashion’ and I even went to a few stores to try on what they had to offer to find what I felt good in. What you should take from this is think about your personal insecurity if you’re dealing with a wardrobe crisis and research what others like you are wearing that empowers them. Take some time to visit a few places and actually try some things on, you may be surprised what can pull you out of that fashion funk! I can’t always afford to go out and purchase a new outfit [some of these boutiques are expensive] but I recommend checking out the sale racks first. Most of the items might be out of season but you might get lucky and find some things for a few dollars. I always find things at H&M, Forever21 and even Target. As a final tip: I would recommend trying on things as a full outfit so you can be assured you wont get home and want to return what you purchased. Trying on high-waisted pants with the type of shoes and blouse I’ll be wearing it with help me make a more assertive decision to purchase the item or put it down and keep shopping.

Have you ever been in a ‘fashion funk’? I’d love to hear what you do to give you that fresh new feeling!

Sincerely, Kat

Clothing and jewelry pictured: U&I BTQ
Instagram: @uandibtq
Website: http://www.uandibtq.com/

An “About Me” Saga: Who I Was, Who I Am & Who I Hope To Be

“Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken”
-Oscar Wilde

So you’ve come here to find out who I am, and I’m prepared let you in- but I need to warn you, my story jumps around from adventure to adventure but stay with me and you might learn a thing or two of why I am who I am today. I’ve made a lot of choices in my life, and those choices have brought me to where I am. They have helped in creating the person I’m proud to be. I have a lot of growing and learning to do, but I’m appreciative for the experiences I’ve had and especially those around me who support me in my daily and new escapades.

I want to start before I began my journey of ‘self discovery’- in high school. This is not going to be an exploitation of gossip but more so who I was as a person and who I thought I was going to be. I began my Freshman year at a school with almost 3,000 students coming from a very small, Christian based school with 500 students or less. This was a big step for me because at the time I was very introverted knowing the same 40 kids in my grade who had grown up with me since pre-k. I joined the cheerleading team which gave me an opportunity to create friendships with other individuals throughout the school. As a typical high schooler, or in my case at least, I attended a few parties, kept my grades at a decent level, and continued to make friends in different places. I graduated and moved on to college where I continued to cheer. In college I decided to pursue a degree in Business- the interest mostly came from having an entrepreneur as a dad. I knew I wanted to own my own business one day, I just wasn’t clear on what I wanted to do exactly, but college is for figuring that out right? Not long after I began my college journey I was injured in a cheerleading accident that required surgery so I decided to take time off from school to heal and recover. An issue with financial aid barred me from returning to college at that time so instead of waiting I began a new adventure.

Fast forward a bit to what I consider my turning point, events that sparked my passion of creating. I had been invited to do avant-garde makeup at a fashion show for a local magazine where I was able to let my imagination run wild and the experience was exhilarating. I met a makeup artist who I continued to work with occasionally for the magazine, created a friendship and working partnership with an experienced photographer who began to mentor me and continued to do so for the next few years and I also became a part of the magazine family providing makeup and photography services for the many photoshoots and fashion shows that came with working for them. I was able to experience a life I thought I would never get a taste of in what seemed like such a small town you could consider ‘behind the times’. I had the opportunity to visit different cities along the southern coast, had my work published and recognized by individuals worldwide and I was even able to travel to places like New York to work and model with a designer I met working for the magazine. This gave me a look in to a city that circulated around what I was doing in my hometown and it skyrocketed my passion to continue to be a creator.

As Geoffery Chaucer once said, “all good things must come to an end.” I quickly began to realize that I couldn’t pursue my dreams without having financial backup. I had been working in the magazine headquarters paying rent to be able to use the studio space as my own personal photography studio, I was donating countless hours towards the different jobs working for the magazine called for all while picking up part time jobs that would provide me a steady source of [some] income. I just wasn’t where I wanted to be in life. I chose to leave the magazine to figure out a more solid plan of what I wanted to do moving forward. I continued to work small part time jobs but each job, including the magazine, gave me experience that I will be able to use in my future.

Jumping forward to today- I can look back on my choices and have no regrets. Since taking control of my own destiny I have been able to work with bloggers, have my work published in other magazines, modeled for larger companies, even traveled to different places in the world to work for people who believe in me and my dream too. I’ve met and worked with some incredible people and without my past choices and decisions I’m not sure I would be where and who I am now. I’m not one to regret past choices, I find that very negative, rather I think of how it could have been different and use it as a learning experience to make a better decision in the future. We only have so much time to live and if we live every day regretting a decision of the past we can’t move forward to what tomorrow can bring.

Moving forward, I want to continue to share my thoughts and adventures with the world in hopes that it can inspire someone to pursue their dreams and adventures too. I have personal struggles just like everyone else, so with this blog I also hope to share my own findings that might could help my readers as well. I once was a disorganized young girl not knowing who I wanted to be, then I turned in to a slightly more organized young woman with a passion to be the boss of my creative dreams no matter what they are and to serve myself with pride throughout my endeavors.

So there you have it, a synopsis of me. Stay tuned for more…

Sincerely, Kat