Sunday, December 7, 2014

What We Think We Become -Buddha

Life has a funny way of placing you in scenarios at just the right time.  I have crossed paths with various people this week and engaged in conversations with co-workers, friends, family and even a lady in the grocery store.  As I listened to stories of people vent about not making enough money, car troubles, relationship issues, hating a job, feeling stressed, etc. it struck me how often people tend to focus on the negatives.  I began to reflect back on times I, myself, would be in a rut and feel as if my life was in complete shambles.  The first thing everyone seems to do is feel that life has dealt them an unfair hand.  I can undoubtedly remember myself, even recently dwelling on what was going wrong in my life instead of all that was wonderful.  It sometimes takes running into a complete stranger with a happy positive attitude, or a person who once used to look at the bad side but who now is an inspiration on how to live life and view the past, present and future through a positive lens.

The mind is such a beautiful and powerful gift from God that we need to nourish, cherish and work on everyday.  The power of our thoughts truly becomes our identity.  Fueling our minds with positive thoughts, meditation, honesty, plenty of rest, hope and encouragement is essential in living a fulfilling happy life.  One thing is for certain, life will throw you a fair share of curveballs.  They will be happy, sad, tragic, miraculous and surprising.  The goal is not to prepare yourself for the curve but to prepare the mind on how to handle each one individually and filter the energy in a way that allows you to find peace.  

Life is not meant to be easy or difficult.  It is a journey we are all lucky enough to be on together. Learning what the journey is all about and who you were born to be is what life is all about.  The reward is finding pure happiness, true love, honesty, freeing your mind and soul of negativity and ultimately spreading peace and hope to those who need it most.

To those of you feeling frustrated, lost or discouraged I challenge you to briefly focus on what life has blessed you with.  Hold these close to your heart and dwell on the feeling you have when you think of these cherished treasures.  Allow this peaceful feeling to overpower whatever troubles you may be facing.  Be honest with yourself and accountable for your actions.  Start each day with a fresh outlook and hope that things will get better.  I promise each of you that looking on the bright side, no matter how small it may seem, physically working hard to achieve your dreams, taking care of yourself and others and spreading the contagious gift of optimism will place you on the road to a happy fulfilling life and the beautiful person you were born to be!

"What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow.  Our life is the creation of our mind." - Buddha

Lots of Love,

Monday, December 1, 2014

Homemade Body Scrubs

The holiday season is such a festive and exciting time of year.  Winter time is filled with holiday parties, Christmas tree lightings, ice skating, sleigh riding, snowball fights and endless family & friend time in-between!  As the weather takes a turn toward the snowy side and temperatures dip to those brutal unbearable freezing numbers, our skin is the first thing to take a harsh beating.  Here are a few of my favorite body scrub recipes to keep your skin looking and smelling beautiful all season long!

Cinnamon Vanilla Body Scrub:
  • 4 cups of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
Oatmeal & Brown Sugar Body Scrub
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
Coffee Sugar Scrub
  • 1 cup freshly ground coffee
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond oil
  • 10 drops essential oil: orange
  • 1/4 tsp vitamin e oil
* Mix ingredients for each recipe in a bowl and store in glass mason jars for fresh scrubs all winter long!

Lots of Love,

Monday, November 24, 2014

The True Meaning of Thanksgiving: Give Back & Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is a joyous day to reflect on what we are thankful for while spending quality time with family and friends.  Spending the day cooking an extravagant meal to feed an army is often the case in many households across the country.  Turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, broccoli, turnips, green bean casserole, pumpkin, coconut & apple pie are just a few of the delicious dishes many of us serve year after year.  Family traditions of grandpa carving the turkey and grandmas homemade pies are what we all look forward to and enjoy in the comfort of our cozy homes.    I, myself look forward to Thanksgiving with my family every year.  I am so grateful to have a loving family, the comfort of my parents home and amazing food to enjoy with everyone. Reflecting on how blessed I am, reminds me of the countless number of people all across America who are alone, without a home and not sure of when they will have their next meal.  The empty feeling this leaves is one that makes me even more appreciative of what I have and reminds me of what Thanksgiving is all about.

Thanksgiving is not about the turkey and all of the trimmings, the early Black Friday specials at stores or frankly anything materialistic.  Thanksgiving is about being thankful for having loved ones and not being alone, for having a clean, safe roof over your head and for having a hot meal to enjoy around a table with family.  It's important for each of us to take a moment this week and reflect on how we have been preparing to give thanks this year.  There are plenty of people in your community who could use a  friendly smile, warm hug or simple Happy Thanksgiving.   Local churches, food pantries and kitchens are always in need volunteers.  Serving your fellow neighbors in a time of need is the true meaning of Thanksgiving.  I challenge each of you to donate a small portion of your day to spread a little hope, laughter and comfort this Thursday.  Through your volunteering, many in need will feel a little less alone, much safer & enjoy a delicious hot meal cooked by people who love and support them.

I hope each and every one of you has a blessed Thanksgiving and a truly peaceful day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

xoxo Kat

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  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,