Friday, November 21, 2014

Traveling on a Budget

In case you haven't already heard the Christmas music playing in every store imaginable... it's HOLIDAY SEASON!  The shopping crowds are hitting the streets to stock up on turkeys, stuffing and everything inbetween.  Nutty people are gearing up for Black Friday sales to get the best deals and rushing to the malls for pictures with Santa.  As families pack up the car and hit the airport with bags full of food and gifts, they often forget to watch their bank accounts that plummet on careless spending.  Here are a few tips to save money while traveling this holiday season!

  • Yapta:  If you're flying back home or to Aunt Milly's this year be sure to track the cheapest flights on yapta.com  Set up a free account to receive notifications when flights drop.  Yapta allows you to choose any airline going to your destination and guarantees the cheapest flights.  I caught a flight from Honolulu to JFK for $250!   
  • Airbnb: If your entire family is planning on staying at grandmas for the week you might want to check into your own spot close by.  Hotels can be extremely pricey, especially during the holidays.  Book a nice quiet place using Airbnb.  The prices are always cheaper and you'll get a clean, hospitable room with breakfast every morning.  My mom and I stayed at a lovely B&B in Wilmington, NC.   We enjoyed homemade muffins, fruit, coffee and tea every morning and wine with biscotti every evening to kick off our night!  After a hectic day of traveling and visiting family, a cozy B&B is just what you'll need!
  • RetailMeNot:  Be sure to check for coupon codes and discounts on all of your traveling expenses.  You can often add discounts to Airbnb or flights on Yapta.  A little extra savings goes a long way!
  • Homemade Snacks:  Airport and Rest Area food can be super pricey and unhealthy.  There is nothing worse than spending a small fortune for a stomach ache only to be hungry 20 minutes later.  Pack snacks and sandwiches at home to cut cost and keep you full on those long drives or layovers at the airport.  Granola Bars, trail mix & peanut butter and banana sandwiches are my favorites!
  • Hydroflask:  All too often, kids drink half a bottle of water and then want a new one because it gets warm.  Invest in the Hyrdoflask to keep drinks cold all day long.  Mine still had ice cubes in it after a long hot day at the beach in Hawaii so I guarantee you will not be dissapointed!   Purchase a gallon of water for 99 cents and fill up a bottle for everyone!
  • AroundMe:  This is the absolute best app to have throughout your travels.  AroundMe allows you to locate literally anything you're looking for with a direct link to googlemaps for easy directions.  Find hours of operation, lowest gas prices, pharmacies, banks, restaurants, coffee shops, hospitals and anything else you might need.  This has been a life saver especially on long road trips.  This app saves you time, money and gets you where you need to be!
I hope you all find these tips helpful as you embark on your holiday travels.  May you all have a Happy and blessed Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!


xoxo Kat

Friday, November 14, 2014

Kickin the Common Cold

The first snow of the season fell last night which only means one thing.  Cold and flu season is officially upon us.  Sneezing, sore throats, ear aches, achy bodies, fevers, coughs and runny noses are just a few of the annoying symptoms of the common cold and flu.  I started feeling under the weather earlier this week and decided to try some natural home remedies to speed up my recovery.  Here's a few tricks to kick the common cold!

  • Plenty of Sleep and Rest: As soon as you feel achy or start the sniffles get yourself to bed as soon as possible!  The body does most of its repairs while asleep so getting 8+ hours is essential for a speedy recovery.  If possible take an entire day to stay in bed and rest up.  The earlier you rest the quicker you get back to feeling healthy!
  • Drink Plenty of Fluids: Staying hydrated is key to kicking the cold/flu.  Drinking plenty of water and hot tea with lemon and honey will give you energy and flush out toxins and potential viruses that are trying to build up in the body.  Fresh squeezed orange juice is the perfect one two punch for hydration and a boost of Vitamin C!
  • Avoid Caffeine: I know I know…what about your morning cup of coffee?  Unfortunately coffee and other caffeinated drinks are on the no list when trying to get rid of the cold.  Caffeine dehydrates the body which makes fighting off a virus or infection that much harder.  All of the fluids you consume become compromised when you drink caffeinated beverages.  Try your best to skip the coffee and have a hot tea instead.
  • Starve a Fever Feed a Cold: I will always remember this saying from my mom when I was very little.  I always seemed to catch the flu when I was a little girl and would be so hungry when I had a high fever.  Although eating would make me sick or dry heave I would beg my mom to make me grilled cheese anyway.  She always would say once the fever goes down you'll be able to keep food down.  Fluids is the only way to hydrate enough and lower a fever.  On the contrary, when I had a cold she would remind me to eat as much as I wanted as long as I had an appetite.  Nourishing the body while drinking lots of fluids will work together to beat a cold.  This little saying is a true helper to feeling better!
  • Hot Shower: Often when sick it becomes more and more difficult to get out of bed.  The importance of taking a hot shower either before bed or in the morning is essential if you want to get better quick.  The steam from a hot shower relaxes achy muscles and breaks up sinus congestion.  I can assure you a hot shower will help you sleep better and breathe better during the day!
* Always remember to wash your hands!*


xoxo Kat

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Road Trip: Wilmginton, NC bound!

I recently shared a road trip post with you guys & how fun and essential it is for all of us to take little trips throughout the year.  I am super excited to be going on one with my momma this Monday to beautiful Wilmington, North Carolina.  I have always wanted to visit, partially because my all time favorite tv shows; Dawson's Creek & One Tree Hill were filmed there  =] but also because of my love for the beach & country all mixed into one.  I'm excited to check out the area, downtown atmosphere, restaurants, bars, historic sites, beaches, schools & we're lucky enough to be in town for the start of the Cucalorus Film Festival!

While my post college life has been a mix of working in sports television production, traveling, auditioning in NYC, waitressing, taking hosting classes and moving every 6-12 months I am excited to continue my journey and scope out a new city.  Throughout my post grad travels I have realized a lot of what I don't like…which I have found to be an important element in getting closer to finding the career that fits my personality the most.  I have met a number of people who are also in this predicament, which can be frustrating but exciting as we are all in search of what we truly love rather than settling for a comfortable routine.  I was once asked by my mentor to keep track of what I love to do in my spare time and find a way to mix that into my career.  This hands down may have been the best piece of advice I have ever received.  


While discovering my long time love for tv production wasn't exactly as I had envisioned, I came to realize I had been working in areas that I simply wasn't passionate about.  After taking a step back, I listed the things that really interest me.  Helping others, health & wellness, holistic nutrition, cooking, traveling & making a difference in the world.  Feeling optimistic about the future I started to think about the next step.  Combining the two…how hard could that be?  


Which brings me to the ROAD TRIP!  The exciting feeling of having a clearer idea of what you want to do with your life is such a relief,  especially after the long process of narrowing and eliminating previous career ideas.  Anyone who is going through a similar journey also knows that it can be scary to "start over" after investing years of college, work, hours, money and energy only to change course.  While this is certainly true, it is better to realize this now than at 45 right?  Moving back home with Mom and Dad in your mid twenties without a doubt semi kills your social/dating life but as my own Dad says: "you have the rest of your life to be stuck with the same person."  Touché Dad, touché!  Figuring out what you love and how you are going to spend the rest of your life is a struggle but one we should embrace and discover now while we have the freedom to change our minds, travel and move around the country/globe.  I may not know exactly where I'm going but I do know the type of person I want to be and what makes me happy….if it means going back to school, taking certification courses and changing course a bit than so be it!  I hope anyone reading this who has thought of doing the same but is torn between leaving a steady job and benefits or a nice apartment they just feel content with is inspired to take a leap of faith.  While I am no expert on life, I feel pretty confident that we all will be happy with the way our lives turned out when we look back years from now!


A quote by Jodi Hills that fits perfectly:


"She wasn't where she had been. She wasn't where she was going…but she was on her way. And on her way she enjoyed food that wasn't fast, friendships that held, hearts glowing, hearts breaking, smiles that caught tears, paths trudged and alleys skipped. And on her way she no longer looked for the answers, but held close the two things she knew for sure. One, if a day carried strength in the morning, peace in the evening, and a little joy in between, it was a good one…and two, you can live completely without complete understanding." 



xoxo Kat

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Little More No & A Lot Less Sorry

This post is for men and women of all ages but especially for women in their teens and twenties who are struggling with self confidence and assertiveness.  I have caught myself on numerous occasions apologizing when I shouldn't have or saying No too timidly.  As I think back to my childhood, although I was shy I never thought twice about how I felt.  If I said No, I meant it and I never apologized unless I did something wrong.  Women today feel the need to be overly nice even if the people we're being nice to are rude, bossy or intimidating.  Being the nice girl may eliminate arguments or drama but it certainly opens the door for being walked all over and used.

While saying sorry one too many times out of habit…I believe I snagged the computer to type in an order before a fellow waitress…I know definitely not a reason to say sorry... my fellow co-worker surprised me by saying, "don't be."  While simple and subtle it really stuck with me.  I started to catch myself more often and limit the amount of unnecessary apologies from one week to the next.  I started thinking, the more you say sorry the less meaning it has thus becoming a bad habit.  I also realized that my genetic makeup is not a fan of confrontations or arguments.  My laid back personality yet emotional side causes me to constantly try to keep the peace and be nice to everyone.  What's so bad about that you might ask….it can become very draining!

Carrying the nice, polite and happy attitude from work, to home, out socializing and everywhere in-between can do more harm than good.  Self respect and empowerment should never be compromised.  These two traits are vital to surviving and growing into the confident individual we were born to be!

To anyone out there feeling the same exhaustion,  I am here to tell you to stick with your gut feeling and not with what seems appropriate or likable.  If you aren't fond of someone trust your intuition.  If someone is being a bitch stand up for yourself.  If you are not okay with something or someone tell them No and never feel like you owe an explanation.  Everyone deserves respect and genuinely good friendships and relationships.  If those around you truly love and respect you they will stick around no matter what!


Lots of Love,
Kat

Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat Sugar Detox

Happy Halloween!  I hope everyone had a fun day dressing up & trick or treating!  If you spent the day like me you ate lots of nourishing pizza, pasta fagioli, calzone, peanut butter blossoms, donuts & every piece of candy under the sun. 
The night ended watching movies while the family took a sugar coma. Perfect Halloween if you ask me but my stomach will surely be begging for help tomorrow morning. Here's a simple detox to kick off November 1!

Hot water with lemon
Green smoothie
Herbal cleansing tea 
Green smoothie
Quinoa dish
Cabbage/homemade sauerkraut 
Lots of water (60 oz)
Herbal tea

*drink plenty of water to rehydrate & renourish your sugar crazed Halloween!

xoxo Kat

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Halloween!


Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat. If you don't, I won't care, I'll pull down my underwear!  Yay!  The spookiest day of the year is this week!  I can still remember singing that genious rhyme door to door as a little girl dressed up as Pebbles from the Flinstones.

Halloween is such a fun day/night to spend time with family & friends, eat lots of candy....side note: save all of your twix for me... spook trick or treaters, dress up & watch scary movies!  Here are a few fun ideas to add to your Halloween list!

Add orange or black food coloring to milk  in the morning to kick the day off to a festive start

Group costumes for the whole family.... The Adams Family or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

At least 1 frightening decoration to spook visitors... or go old school and dress up like a zombie and pop out of the bushes... or a coffin, yes we totally have one in our front yard

End the night snacking on your favorite treats & watching a classic Halloween movie such as: Hocus Pocus or The Amityville Horror!

Happy Halloween!

xoxo Kat




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Road Trip of Life

Sometimes we all just need a slight change of scenery.  A weekend getaway, a vacation, relocating for a few months, traveling around the world.  The type of change certainly depends on you personally.  Many of us can use a small escape with a loved one or friends to de-stress and put things into perspective.  A spa day or hiking adventure is perfect for this!  Others may need a slightly longer and further away escape from a monotonous routine.  Packing up the family and heading to Disney might be the happiest place you can possibly go to laugh your 9-5 schedule away….at least for the week.  Then we have those of us…including myself, who have the itch to travel.  My love for adventure, learning new cultures, tasting new foods, seeing beautiful sights and conversing with interesting people is what I continue to yearn for throughout my mid twenties.  Many of us also may be pursuing careers that we feel need to be slightly altered.  While I pursue a career in journalism and on-air hosting, my goal is to develop an expertise in nutrition, lifestyle and wellness.  My dream to incorporate these fields is the ultimate goal but deciding which path needs more work often places me at a crossroad.  Travel the world, go back to school to further educate myself, continue to go on audition after audition in a big city or move to a smaller location and re-focus to build knowledge, confidence and truly dive into what I love to do in a more organized fashion.  That my friends is what leads me to the road trip!

I am certainly not an expert on life but I do try my darndest to be my truest self, continually figure out who that really is, never settle or be told what is best for me, help others and give back to the community, discover my passion & ultimately love the career that I'm now learning is finding me.  In having a minor meltdown, organizing a pros and cons list and having a calmer glimpse of which route looks best for me and makes me most happy I've decided that sometimes all it takes is a road trip to help connect the dots.

Adventuring to a new place enables you to literally and physically place yourself in a setting that you "think you might love."  The old saying, ya never know til ya try…..totally fits this experience.  Scoping out the town, potential jobs, colleges or programs available, the atmosphere, resources, hobbies and interests within close proximity & most of all the initial vibe.  You can tell a lot by the feeling you get when you go somewhere new.  Often immediately, your gut tells you this is exactly what you thought it would be like or this is not for me at all.  Listen to this!  While you may be disappointed, it will often save you time, money and did I mention time in the long run.  On the contrary, if you absolutely fall in love, take a chance and trust living in the moment.  Make the most of this self- discovery, cherish the valuable lessons ahead and the opportunities that will arise.  It takes a brave person to back-track but sometimes re-grouping and going off course is exactly what we all need to get back on course.

Embrace each day, breathe and smile at the confusion.  We're all in this crazy thing called life together!

Lots of Love,
Kat