11/13/2014

A Little Heart to Heart





Okay, let's have a little heart to hear here: from blogger to readers. 

[ Warning :: a super long, emotional teenage girl rant that is probably too personal for the internet ] 

From the bottom of my heart I am so sorry about my absence on my little corner of the internet. My sophomore year of high school is absolutely kicking me in the butt. I do so much on the internet everyday, that when I come home all I want to do is cuddle in my bed and throw my computer out the window. Relatable? I am taking several challenging courses this year and on top of keeping my grades up, staying active, modeling, attempting to eat healthy, lack of inspiration etc. etc. blogging just has absolutely not been the number one on my list, not even like number five, it's been wayy down there if at all. I mean there have been days where I think to myself I should blog. The only problem? It's 9:30 before an AP European History test, I'm absolutely drained and I still have half of my massive stack of notecards to fish through. Ok blah blah blah … enough with talk of school, I can't wait to get my sanity back over Thanksgiving Break.

October.

October 2014 was hands down the best month of 2014 thus far. I don't know if you know this, but around April to May last year, I was at a super low point in my life. The people I were going to school with or the past four years started to not be the same people that I had known and I don't know. For some reason I found myself just to be plain sad all of the time! I don't even know why. Modeling was great, I was making awesome grades and the school year was winding to a close - I could practically smell summer every singe day. But for some reason, I was sad. Not like depressed or anything just sad. I fell into a deep hole where I didn't want to talk to anyone and I just wanted to go home and sleep. No particular reason, but that is what I would rather be doing. But towards the end of the school year, I had some problems with some of my friends (I'm getting way too personal here) and then I just practically reached my breaking point. The last day of school I practically ran home!

I passed the summer recovering from this emotional point in my life. I was working out like crazy and eating like crazy (mostly healthy, but lots of ice cream and bread #noshame) - I think I put on like five to seven pounds during that time but what the hell I was starting to become myself again. Over the summer I was super productive, I took two classes online and even signed with a modeling agency! I travelled to Ecuador with my family and my best friend and her family. I explored, but most importantly I started to practice yoga again. You guys, yoga has completely changed my life. I have become so much happier, so much more centered, so much more grounded, so much more loving and so much more alive. I wake up every day so excited to be here on this Earth and I go to bed thankful for each day and its challenges and blessings that it has brought to me. okay, reader's digest version, yoga and the teachings of yoga have changed my life. I will write a post about yoga because it is something I completely believe in it's power of change. ( mostly because I still have lots to cover in this post )

Anywho, October. October was the month that I truly became super happy and super zen and super smily. I am finally finding my place at my new school and I am finally finding my niche in life. I finally realized that I am a happy happy person and I have learned a lot in the past year of my life, read this. Let's see what else. I don't know I just cannot stop smiling okay? I explored my home city, Charleston, more. My personal style has grown up so much. I even went to the school I went to last year's "homecoming" (remember from last year? times are certainly very different. wow I can't even believe that was a year ago). It was pretty symbolic for me: saying hello to the people who I saw every day last year, but most of all forgiving those who I thought had hurt me. It was just a time and place to say goodbye to that chapter of my life and open the page to the new one. I mean me and one of my very best friends both left that school and both took certain separate paths, but decided to dress up and go to this dance together. It was sooo awkward to be there. The people that I and once known, their circles had closed and they had already moved on. It was just nice to be there to say goodbye to something that had made me sad for so long. Closure.

I modeled.

I celebrated my 16th birthday on October 16th - it had to be the happiest day of my life. I started a new year (my golden year ooohh ahhh) being super happy and doing what I loved most - modeling. I had a dinner to celebrate my birthday with some of the people who have really been there for me during my super weird year. Nothing too crazy, super simple.

But yeah. I think I am back in the blogging groove now, but who knows. So bear with me beautiful readers … good things will come don't you worry.

Namaste.


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10/02/2014

autumn 2014

[ link ]

With this new season, I have found myself leaning towards more of the black, grays and whites. Click the link under the picture to discover where the items on my autumn 2014 wish list are. 

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10/01/2014

hello

Wow, it certainly had been a long time since we have talked. And for my month of absence, I am so sorry. As it is the first day of October today, I realized that I was time for me to let you know where I have been. 

School started. And as you know I started at new school this year, so far I am having lots of fun meeting new people and navigating myself around a school where 4,000 other students study at. 4,000, and its only high school! But as I was getting adjusted to having classes every day and twice the amount of workload, blogging just has not been able to fit into my schedule until now. Crazy right? I missed it so much and I miss interacting with all of you and posting even twice a day!

Other than school, nothing much is happening, literally all of my time has been eaten up doing homework. Some modeling things did happen, like I auditioned and got into Charleston Fashion Week for the third year. I am so excited to see all of my modeling friends again, and I am so thankful for another opportunity to pursue my dream. What else? hmmm … I fell in love with yoga all over again. Because my workout routine also took a major hit with the start of school, yoga on Saturday mornings has really been the only kind of exercise that I can fit in my workload. This you time on Saturday is really what gets me through the week, the thought of having an hour where I can center myself and connect with what I have lost. Deep, I know I know. 

I have made it past one of the most stressful months in my life. September, you presented a lot of challenges, but I am ready to move forward. October, after all, is my birth month. I'm so excited to celebrate and eat lots and lots of cake - my sweet sixteen is on the sixteenth!

Thank you for sticking through this way super annoying month, but trust me things will get better around here. :) 


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8/26/2014

TRAVEL TUESDAY : ECUADORIAN HIGHLANDS [ PART II ]



I've been back from Ecuador for more than a month now, but every time that I see my pictures that I snapped with both my iPhone and DSLR camera I am filled with joy and awe. This was truly an adventure of a lifetime, and I still cannot believe I really went to Ecuador and saw everything that I did. It almost seems like a total dream now. 

My second day in the highlands was a very relaxing one. We started off with a little painting activity and Kevin [ peacock ] watching  in our hacienda (No pictures from the painting because it was too darn cold at 8:00 am in the Andes!). After a short bus trip up the mountain, we came to a plateau where the wind streams in the Andes mountains were absolutely perfect for flying kites. 


#soconfused

I haven't flown a kite in at least ten years, so naturally I was a little bit rusty. After I caught the perfect gust of wind my kite went soaring up into the air, at least 50 feet up!! Yeah, I felt pretty damn accomplished. Do you see that wall behind me? Don't let it fool you, it is at least three times my hight at the highest point to the left and about to my waist on the lowest point on my right. But if you climbed up that wall and came to the grassy field above it, you had the most beautiful view of the entire valley we were overlooking and if you turned away from the mountain all you saw were fields of quinoa for miles and miles. 


The mountain behind me was just so majestic. All around the valley there were nothing but clear skies. However, at the summit of the mountain, it created its own weather systems. I loved watching the clouds swirl around the peaks. And every so often, if you were patient and you glanced at the mountain at the right time, you could get a peek of the summit before the clouds covered it again. 




The Ecuadorians practice the Catholic faith primarily, and we visited this part of Ecuador on a Sunday. So naturally when a local sees a big group of Americans flying kites, they are bound to be quite curious. So after this adorable church finished their mass, about a dozen Ecuadorian children climbed a hill to reach the plateau where the kites were being flown. Some of them were dressed in sweatshirts from the Gap and Jeans, others were dressed in their traditional Ecuadorian attire. This little girl was so adorable wearing her Ecuadorian dress and with the braid cascading down her back and some hair pieces blowing in the Andean wind, you could tell that she was so excited to explore what the Americans were up to. As she was climbing the small hill, I pointed at my camera asking if I could take her picture, she stood up proudly and put the biggest smile on her face. 




Another aspect of Ecuadorian life was the fact that they can grow anything anywhere. On top of the mountain, the air is quite dry and winds have a tremendous amount of strength. Quinoa, a local protein delicacy, is gown atop of this mountain. I loved all of the different colored quinoa agains the pale blue sky. 




More and more Ecuadorian children came up the hill because they were so curious to see what was going on. So after we Americans were finished flying our kites, we gave them to the children of the village. They were so happy and grateful to receive this small and simple gift. I loved watching the children run with their kites in attempt to get them to take flight. 



After frolicking around the side of a mountain for two hours, we went to a local bird refuge. Here, volunteers have taken in birds from the wild that have either been lost or injured and have trained them and given them a good home. There are two South American condors residing there! Condors are the largest birds in the world with a wing span around 10 feet! At the refuge, we even saw a flying demonstration of an owl, a bald eagle and many different types of birds. I even got to hold this super tiny, super adorable hawk. The smallest Ecuadorian bird of prey. The grounds at the refuge were so gorgeous, it was like a tropical escape int he center of the mountain range. 




After a vigorous morning, lunch is necessary. On this day I sampled the fresh green salad, grilled chicken and raspberry and vanilla sorbet. Everything that I tasted was so delicious, you could tell that the salad was just picked that morning from the ground and the sorbet was just churned. The restaurant that we had lunch in was right on the water. No, in the picture below I am not standing on a dock, I am standing in the restaurant looking out the window. The restaurant was right on the water and if you looked down you could see the waves crashing into the side of the building. 




Oh, hey alpacas! 


So after a long, long day of exploring the Ecuadorian highlands and market places, I took to a beautiful handmade hammock in the gardens of the hacienda to be rocked to sleep with the winds of the Andes mountains. Later that night we had a cookout complete with learning the methods of traditional Ecuadorain cuisine including fabulous empanadas and sorbet. 


Well, you have now experienced Quito and the Ecuadorian highlands through my eyes. Come back next week for a peek at the Galapagos!

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8/18/2014

MONDA MANTRA

via 

Well today is the day that I begin a whole new chapter in my life. I start my sophomore year of high school, a new school and a whole new mind set for the course of my life. While I am super excited, I start to doubt my decisions about making such a drastic change. But once I look into myself and realize my intentions, I tell myself that I am worth every effort. And while I may be stressed and scared about these changes, it will all work out in the end.

So on this beautiful Monday, realize that you are an amazing person and that you are worthy of all of the greatness in the world. Have an amazing day, and today, choose to be happy! 

xo

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8/13/2014

TRIFLE


As much as I love eating healthy foods, I love desserts. Ice cream, cake, macarons, pies and cupcakes will always have a special place in my heart. This trifle dessert looks decadent and very sugary; however, with a few twists it is a healthier alternative to ice cream and cake. 


You will need: 

- Angel food cake
- a variety of fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, just to name a few)
- tub of nonfat Greek yogurt
- lemon curd (I got mine at Trader Joe's, but I know you can find it at Whole Foods or any other gourmet grocery store)
- trifle bowl 



[Fold lemon curd into the Greek yogurt using the ratio of three parts yogurt to one part lemon curd.]


[ Begin layering. Start off with a layer of the lemon curd.]


[Then, create a layer of the bite sized angel food cake pieces.]


[Finally create a heavy layer of fruit.]


[Repeat.]


[Chill the trifle until you are ready to serve. The coldness allows the cake to absorb the fruit juice creating a natural sweetness in every bite.] 



[Trifle is not exactly the prettiest dessert, in fact it is kind of messy. I loved serving it in these adorable martini glasses that I got for a deal of just $1. Oh, don't forget the whipped cream!] 


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8/12/2014

BEHIND LE GRAM

I'm actually obsessed with these posts. You think from seeing so many beautiful pictures on Instagram, that people live the picture perfect lives that they are trying to portray. In reality, people are not perfect. I love reading the stories behind the pictures that are worthy of the 'Gram.

You should follow my adventures on Instagram
 Warning: do not visit my Instagram if you are hungry.


What it looks like: Charleston home to many quiet, secluded bakeries on every corner. And naturally, a trip downtown is not complete without a croissant and coffee break. 

What actually happened: This road is super busy because it is right off the main road. I swear I had to doge so many cars just to get one picture - actually standing in the middle of the road. When I got the right angle - another car goes by - I realize that the wind isn't blowing so the flag just looks like blah. So after almost getting hit by several cars, I got a fabulous picture with a good angle and the flag swelling the breeze. Ha, I dint even buy croissants. We had family in town so raspberry tartlets were a goo d option for a lazy dessert - cut up, put on whipped cream. 


What it looks like: No Friday night is complete without a visit to a new restaurant. And on this particular date, we decided to explore the new French spot. Our table is always clean, and our silverware is always lined up. Oh and we don't do carbs, so our bread basket is barely touched. 

What is actually happening: My father is snacking on pomme frites and my mother has eyes only for her fish. I spent at least five minutes styling the picture before dinner was served. Even after the dishes arrived, the a basket of bread was not there, so naturally I made my parents wait for the bread basket  (number three) to complete the picture. Famous quote: "Kira hurry up before it gets cold!!"


What it looks like: I'm an sea lion whisperer.

What is actually happening: In the Galapagos, you are really not supposed to waltz right up to an animal. But I thought it would make fore a great picture if my feet were just inches away from a sleeping sea lion. So, I carefully, ever so slightly moved toward the two sleeping sea lions, held my breath, leaned over and took a burst on my phone of about 100 photos in all different angles. I'm such a rebellious person.


What it looks like: Nothing says late summer like an ice cold Izze am I right? And this tall vine I saw on the side of a brick building was just the perfect background for a snap before I start to drink this cold deliciousness.

What is actually happening: Well to start off with, I started to gulp down the Izze, but the I thought "Wait!!!!! This is would be an amazing subject for Instagram!!!" So like a quarter of the Izze has already been consumed. Casual, I know. First, I tried to take one of those low-profile selfies, but the shadow from the trunk of my car wasn't really doing it and well my hand look really awkward. I was just about to give up and drink the rest until I saw this beautiful bush. The only problem with this bush: it comes to maybe my waist. So in the middle of the Whole Foods parking lot, I sat on the ground and took as many pictures as possible to get this perfect shot.  I got a lot of super crazy looks, but hey it was worth it. 


What it looks like: I had a long day wandering aimlessly around the streets of New York City. So instead of a fancy dinner at a restaurant, I opted for a personal pizza and a view of the city from my hotel window.

What actually happened: I actually went to an event in NYC earlier that day and well the event kind of lasted all day. It was only like six o'clock but I was exhausted and craving pizza. I showered and put on one of those fluffy hotel robes and the pizza had arrived -- I ATE THE WHOLE THING. But that still wasn't cutting it for me, a whole pizza later and I was still starving. So not pictured was the herb roasted chicken and French Fries that arrived about thirty minutes later. My parents went out to dinner in the city, but I stayed back stuffing my face and watching a movie on my iPad in bed. Quality last night in the city? I think yes.

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