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5 Things to be Happy About: September

Posted in Lifestyle
on September 4, 2017

Is it fall yet?

Kidding. Well sort of. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for the change in season. It’s something I look forward to every single year when summer comes to an end. Let me know what you’re looking forward to now that it’s September because I can tell you that I have a lot to be happy about

1| Goals on Goals

I have a lot of goals to finish out the remainder of the third quarter, and I’m determined to get things done. I’ve been able to get rid of more things from my closet, which I didn’t know was possible. And I’m learning more about appreciating the simple things that make life enjoyable. My goals may not necessarily be the standard or conventional goals I’ve shared, but I am excited to accomplish these goals this month.

2| Passion Projects

I’m finally working on some passion projects that have been manifesting in my mind and in my dreams for years. Although I can’t quite share these yet (stay tuned!) I am excited to dive in on projects that I love and truly enjoy. One of the amazing things about minimalism is that it allows me more time in my day to focus on what I’m passionate about. I cannot wait to share this passion with you all soon.

3| A Change in Season

Fall isn’t here, but it will be soon. I know there are so many bloggers out there who love fall, and you all know I’m right there with you. I think I feel more productive during this change in the year because I’m still in that back-to-school mindset even though I’m no loner a student. My productivity naturally spikes back in September.

4| My Vision Board Coming to Life

Did you happen to see what’s on my vision board for the next three years? Well, let’s just say that several of those things on my vision board will be happening within three months of me sharing my goals with you. Yes, really. I am incredibly thankful for all the blessings in my life, and being able to reach these goals was not planned for 2017. But I am a big believer in what’s meant to be, will be.

5| Slow Living

Life moves so quickly. And it’s very easy to get lost in the busyness of our day-to-day lives. This month, I plan to focus on the art of slow living. With a busy season at work ahead, I’m determined to focus on work-life balance and living more slowly. I’ll have more on this topic coming on the blog later this month, however if you have any posts or videos you love on this topic—please leave a link below!

What are you looking forward to this month? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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Why You NEED to do Things That Scare You

Posted in Lifestyle
on August 16, 2017

I did something that scared me the other day.

I’m sitting in my room and shaking a little more than I should as I’m trying to give myself a pep talk. “Kiara, the video will only last for 24 hours. It’s NOT  a big deal,” I kept trying to  convince myself. But it WAS a big deal and it truly felt like a big deal in the moment. When you have anxiety, your mind can play a lot of tricks on you and make you believe things that aren’t true. Your mind is clouded with negative thoughts and it prevents you from stepping outside of your comfort zone.

But I didn’t want my mind to control the things I want to do, so I made several videos on Instagram Stories, and I was proud of myself.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Kiara, you’re a blogger and you LOVE talking. How could you be afraid to make a video?”

Well, it had nothing to do with making the video at all or talking because you’re right…I could talk for hours about anything and everything. (Just ask ANYONE who knows me.) The truth is, I let fear hold me back from doing something I wanted to do. I realized that I didn’t want to live that way anymore. So, I took a deep breath and began recording and posting. The sky didn’t fall and there were no horrible comments made. It was refreshing. I did something despite feeling afraid.

Why you NEED to do things that scare you:

1| You may discover a new passion 

If you read the last post in my vision board series, I share a HUGE goal I hope to achieve in the next three years. For me, that’s sharing more video content and beginning a YouTube channel. TBH I’ve always been passionate about creating videos, but I’ve been TERRIFIED to even make one because I feared the negativity from it. But I’ve learned that you will never know if you don’t try. Making the Instagram Stories videos solidified that I want to make more videos whether it’s on Instagram, for my blog, or for YouTube.

2| You gain confidence

I can’t tell how good it felt to do something I was afraid to do. To put it simply, you gain confidence when you do things that scare you. At one point in time, you thought you couldn’t do something—and then you prove yourself wrong! Let’s just say it’s such a wonderful feeling, and it’s worth the few seconds of fear you may have in the beginning.

3| You grow & gain a new perspective

Think about how much fear actually controls us. It’s the reason we don’t do SO MANY THINGS in life. You’re afraid of skydiving because you’re afraid of heights, but the second you begin falling—those fears go away. The highest point of fear is the second before you jump from the plane. Think of all the things you can learn and experience from removing fear from your life. By removing fear, you will naturally grow as a person and gain new perspectives.

4| You feel BLISSFUL

Point blank, PERIOD. You feel unbelievably blissful when you overcome a fear regardless of what that fear is. If you’re afraid to begin writing a book, start doing it anyway! The more you practice and work at that passion, the more you can feel confident (see point 1) and eventually publish that book despite the fear. Once you get over that initial feeling of fear, you can do anything and everything you want to do.

And that is the most blissful thing about doing something that scares you.

What is something YOU’RE afraid of but you WANT to do anyway? What fear have you conquered recently? Make sure to share your stories and thoughts in the comments below!

 

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How I Really Feel About Being Engaged & How He Proposed

Posted in Lifestyle
on August 9, 2017

If you aren’t following me on social media, you might not know that I got engaged in July. Of course, I’m going to share all the details on how he proposed, but I also plan to share my REAL THOUGHTS on being engaged. I would also LOVE to hear your engagement stories in the comments below, so make sure to tell me all those love stories because I am a sucker for love and romance.

How he proposed:

It was Saturday, July 15th—four years to the day that Josh and I had first “met.” I use that term loosely because we met while working for our university as Orientation Leaders in July, 2013. We got to know each other well because the team was a small group of 15 people, so there were many long nights of talking with everyone and hanging out as college students.

Fast forward four years later, and we found ourselves back at university for a day trip. Orientation sessions were going on since it was July, so everything felt extremely sentimental to us and our relationship. As avid planners, Josh and I had talked about this as early as fall of last year because I had not been back to school since I graduated in 2015, so it was long overdue for a visit. Nothing seemed strange about the plan, but Josh knew all along that’s where he would propose.

We got in the car and drove off for the short hour and a half car ride. We jammed out to Bruno Mars (P.S. Can’t WAIT to see him in concert on the 15th!) and drove to our favorite restaurant for a late breakfast. Our meal couldn’t have been more perfect and delicious.

We stopped over to visit one of Josh’s roommates from college who works for the university. We caught up on life and talked for an hour before he had to go to work. Then Josh and I headed to campus to walk the trail along the river, and visit some of the buildings that had been remolded since I graduated.

After walking for awhile, we visited our favorite spot on campus. When we had first met and throughout our first year of dating, we spent a lot of time on this hill that overlooked the mountains on campus. It’s without a doubt, the most beautiful view at school. Josh told me he had to grab something from the car, and from the trunk he pulls out a cooler, which I thought was perfect since I really needed water.

I find a plastic bag in the cooler and in it is a picnic with two PB&J sandwiches and Reese’s peanut butter cups. And I’m pumped thinking, “Awe, he knows me so well. He brought more food.”

But, boy, can that man plan a surprise. 

He says, “So, I thought this was special because on our first date you packed my favorite food and took me on picnic to one of your favorite places in Buffalo to begin our relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend. So, I thought we could have the same picnic with the same foods at our favorite place on campus to end our relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend.” He goes on to telling me some wonderful, amazing things about us and our relationship before officially asking to marry me. We cried and hugged each other before I even thought about putting the ring on. It was the most beautifully romantic moment of my life.

I had NO IDEA it was coming, and you can clearly see that from the photos as I was sobbing my eyes out from his proposal. It was so personal and significant to our relationship. Then I see Josh wave to someone, and out comes his friend we met with earlier holding a camera. He got photos of the proposal, which also meant the entire world to me, and it still makes me cry to think about Josh planning this with his friends.

After calling our family and close friends, we got changed and we were able to get some photos that day of our engagement.

The next day, My parents came down to Pennsylvania to visit with Josh’s parents, and we celebrated with champagne, dinner and dessert. The weekend was simply magical, and I couldn’t ask for a better way to begin my engagement with the love of my life.


So, now we can get on to the details on how I REALLY feel about being engaged.

1| I’m excited to begin this new chapter

I love my fiancé, and I can’t wait to begin this journey of planning our wedding together because HELLO, we are both disturbingly organized. Planning and organizing makes us happy, so of course wedding planning will be so much fun for both of us.

2| I’m nervous because TBH a lot of people judge YOUR wedding

It has only been a month, so I don’t even have a full wedding planned yet. I don’t even have much of the wedding planned altogether. But, people have made so many comments about why I should never choose *that* venue or why my colors should definitely be *mint green and coral.* Everyone is so quick to throw shade at the plans for your big day and that’s wrong. Don’t ever judge what someone wants to do for their day because it’s personal to the bride and groom…not you.

3| I can’t get over the love we received on our engagement 

That weekend alone, I had calls, texts, Instagram messages telling me how thrilled and excited people were for our engagement—you name it, I had it. The amount of love Josh and I received that weekend was insurmountable to anything I’ve felt from family and friends. It was beautiful, and it reminded me how truly blessed I am to have the family and friends I have in my life.

4| Everyone randomly tells you about THEIR wedding…

And your girl is NOT here for it because to be honest, it’s a little awkward. Several people had asked me something related to my wedding, and not even 10 seconds into me answering their question is when they would tell me something about their wedding more than 10 years ago. “Well, back in the day, we didn’t have wedding websites, so why would you have one now?” Or, they will make snide comments about your decisions for your wedding (see number 2) and then proceed to tell you why you should do what THEY did for THEIR wedding. It’s weird and rude, especially when it comes off condescending. Please don’t look down on someone for whatever their wedding decisions are, and don’t try to convince them to change their mind by telling them what you did for your wedding.


So tell me, how did your husband/fiancé propose? Do you have any tips or blog posts related to wedding planning that you can share? Please send me links in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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2017 Goals: 6-Month Update

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on June 21, 2017

We’re halfway through the year, and I don’t even know what to say. Is this what being old feels like? Feeling continuously shocked by how quickly the year is going?

For 2017, I decided that I was going to take my goals a little more seriously. To keep myself more accountable of these goals I set for myself, I decided to do check-in periods every quarter where I would review my progress with my goals for the year. I knew that when I set these goals, I wanted to take them seriously, so writing these posts are helpful because I am reminded of what I want to achieve this year. You can read my 3-month update on my 2017 goals.

Personal Goals:

1| Read 8-10 books throughout 2017

I’m up to seven books this year and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve been focusing on this goal for 2017. In my 3-month update, I said I was thinking about hitting this goal by summer, which is today, so I don’t think that is going to happen.

2| Plan 2-3 trips for 2017

So far, we went to Boston. Instead of focusing only on “big” travel plans, I want this to be more about traveling and experiencing new places I’ve never been before even if they’re weekend trips. I’m also considering a trip to visit my friend in San Francisco this winter. I’ll be sure to keep you guys up-to-date on my travel plans!

3| Achieve my career goals for 2017

I can officially cross this one off my list because I have been working so hard for the last six months at work to achieve all my goals for the year and I’m happy to say this is one I don’t have to keep stressing about for the second half of the year. Now it’s time to focus on my other goals.

4| Focus on my vision board

I said in my 3-month update that I want to write a series of posts on how to make a vision board, what I’ve learned from using this method to achieve my goals, etc. If you’re interested in seeing a post on this, leave a comment below! I am planning this for my July/August content calendar but it went on hold for spring because a lot of my time and energy was focused on work.

Blogging Goals:

1| Focus on my blog direction

This can officially be crossed off my list because after six months of content being put out, I feel that my blog direction and theme has truly changed for the better. I feel better writing the content I’ve been putting on the blog since I decided to write more about self care, lifestyle, minimalism and overall wellness and living a life of bliss.

2| Increase blog social media engagement by 20 percent

Although I can say that my engagement has definitely increased a ton of Twitter and Instagram, I can’t say the same for Facebook. But it’s all a work in progress, right?

3| Take more risks

Well, I took one amazing risk thanks to my lovely friend Erin! We did a collab on a monthly challenge where we gave challenges to help you relax and refresh your mind for February. The challenges focused on mental clarity and self-care, which are two topics I’m passionate about. I’m hoping to collab with bloggers more throughout the year and take more blogging risks overall. Stay tuned to read more on this!

Financial Goals:

1| Put an extra $8-10,000 into savings

I’m still on track to achieve this goal a several months earlier than anticipated, which makes me incredibly happy. I know saving in your 20s is so important, and it’s something I want to keep focusing on for the remainder of 2017. If you want to read posts on how I save money, let me know in the comments!

2| Track my spending regularly

It’s a lot of work to continuously update your spendings. I’m not someone who wants to track everything I spend because I realize it causes more stress than happiness. I’m more than comfortable with what I’m spending and saving since I don’t spend much to begin with. You feel? I’m realizing this isn’t the “goal” I originally set out to do in 2017, so I’m updating it to reflect my lifestyle. Instead, I want to make sure I’m spending the majority of my money on necessities: food, bills; and a small portion of my money each month is spending money for a pedicure, haircut or treating myself to happy hour.

Health Goals:

1| Increase my weekly running distance

I’ve realized this is something we’re still not focusing on because we have been focusing more of our workouts to high intensity interval training where we will run hard for one minute and then walk for two minutes. We repeat this cycle 8-10 times before finishing off with a cool down of walking for 15 minutes and stretching. Once we get more into running for distance, I’ll be sure to update you on this goal.

2| Don’t focus on numbers

I truly stopped caring about numbers I have found that it has done wonders for my self-esteem and happiness altogether. I said it once, and I’ll say it again: NUMBERS. DO. NOT. MATTER. Once you stop focusing on the numbers and more on how you feel, you will see a huge difference in how you feel about working out and your body image altogether.

3| Focus on workouts I enjoy

I’e been loving my Tuesday and Thursday workouts, which have been a combination of different abdominal, leg and arm strength-training exercises that I do in sets of 2 or 3. It usually takes about 45 minutes of working out and I’ll finish with stretching for 15 minutes. It’s wonderful to spend time working out when you love the workouts you’re doing.

How have you been doing on your goals for 2017? Check your list you made a few months ago and start working on how you can work on them for the next few months! Make sure to leave a comment below saying what goals you have been working on/already have achieved this year!

Ki Signature

 

 

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5 Things to be Happy About: May Edition

Posted in Lifestyle
on May 1, 2017

Throw your hands up if you tweeted/shared/posted anything yesterday regarding today being May 1st! I don’t know about you, but I was singing, “It’s gon’ be May” ALL. DAY. LONG. without any shame. And I spent most of the day sending some pretty ridiculous snaps to my friends as well.

It’s safe to say that I’m looking forward to a new month. April was a whirlwind of adventures and lovely things between turning 23, traveling to Boston for a week and planning some exciting surprises here on the blog. I promise I’ll be sharing more on that soon!

In the meantime, I’m sharing what I’m looking forward to now that it’s May. Be sure to leave a comment sharing what you’re looking forward to this month!

1| One-Year Work Anniversary 

I don’t know how a year already flew by, but it has been one year since I began my first marketing job. Needless to say, I couldn’t be happier with where I’m at in my career after one year. I feel so blessed to wake up and go to a job that I love, and where I’m constantly growing and learning about the field I’m in. P.S. I’m thinking about writing a post on what I’ve learned so far in the marketing field for those who are interested. Let me know if this is something you would want to read.

2|  Cinco de Mayo

Because who doesn’t want a reason to grab some margaritas with your best friends and celebrate? Or, if you would rather have a girls night in, check out some of these awesome recipes to make while you’re watching Netflix.

3| Spring Flowers, ya’ll

I promised myself I would be treating myself to the things I enjoy. And if you know anything about me, you’ll know that I love some fresh cut flowers. Peonies and Tulips are two of my favorite flowers, but I’m not discriminating on any other beautiful blooms. So I’m encouraging you all to treat yourself in some way this month, even if it’s a bouquet of flowers. Because it’s all about the little things in life that can make a day better. #amiright?

4| Unexpected Visitors

I’m learning more and more that last-minute plans turn out to be the best type of plans. I’m thankful for my friends who are always encouraging me to be spontaneous. Two of my best friends from college are driving down to visit me this month, and I’m so excited. The last time all three of us were together was more than two years ago, so this is going to be a great time to catch up and spend time together.

5| Memorial Day Weekend

Cooking on the grill, playing backyard games and relaxing for a long weekend is something I’m definitely looking forward to. May is going to be a very busy and productive month, so it will be nice to enjoy the end of the month with family, friends and a little bit of fun as we move on into June!

What are you looking forward to this month? Make sure to share any exciting plans (blogging related or personal) in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

 

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