How Mindfulness Reconnected Me With Fashion

When I started my personal style blog “K on the Bay” in 2012, I snapped shots of my hometown, sunsets, and my shoes.

If I could tie in a few local brands or thrifty finds, great! As a simple Tumblr site, my vision was to show how classic style and nature go hand-in-hand. As the years went on, I became more conscious of my content. I began taking photos to get the post out quickly, ignoring my initial creative vision and love for the process.

When it was authentic for me to put on an outfit, head into work, and snap shots along Grand Traverse Bay, great! Yet once I moved to New York City, it became a chore. I started to shift my focus from creative endeavors to relationships, which also served a good purpose- for the time.

Not only did I never wear heels unless absolutely necessary, I barely wore color, either.

NYFW 2014 with Dallas and Jacey


Then, I realized I was wearing clothes to make other people happy: not me.

The brands, the designers, the ad agencies- I was leaving behind my own vision to adapt to someone else’s.

I had to take a step back and think- what clothes do I feel good in no matter what?

What do I grab first out of my closet?

Although it wasn’t organic or natural for me to snap daily outfit shots in a busy city like New York- especially when I was single with a self-timer- I still had a lot of thoughts. I started writing for my friend Ashley’s website, Kinda Kind, two months after I mysteriously hit “delete” on my blog New Year’s Eve 2016. Leaving behind four years of photos, collaborations, and memories may have been hard, but I was ready to leave behind my materialistic past and figure out what truly made me happy.

My last few months in NYC were challenging- it was pure survival mode. Trump was running for President, the #MeToo movement was a year and a half away, and my own mental health needed a serious break.

I found peace in the park and spent hours writing by the reservoir. I pondered the meaning of life, wondering if I would ever find any sort of fulfillment.

I spent the next few years writing about my journey, what makes me happy, and learned who I am as a woman- without any distractions. Being conscious of what brings me joy- not what commercials, “influencers,” or Cosmopolitan Magazine tells me- was the first step in finding inner peace.

Instead of spending Saturday morning in bed, I would get up and take a walk across the Charles River Esplanade. I began noticing the patterns in nature, the animals at the park, and the familiar faces at my Cambridge Starbucks.

As I documented my path in Boston, I realized how tied I still was to fashion- at least, the creative process.

I had a different style than the other fashion bloggers- simple photos with little to no written content- no ads or frills, and no promises of a brighter tomorrow if you buy a new lipstick shade. This didn’t make me popular. That wasn’t the point- the point was authenticity.

As I shot a photo of my new bracelet alongside my notes for the day and coffee cup, I realized how fashion, technology, AND mindfulness can merge- but not in the way you may think.

I’ve been creating my own style for some time now, a style that hasn’t changed much since I was a high school junior in a black turtleneck and gray Express mini skirt. It’s always been basic, classic, and chic- with a few added surprises.

Fashion doesn’t have to be complicated to be beautiful, and neither do our lives. My time spent away from working in fashion made me realize how what I’ve learned can add to the industry once again- and never to change the style that is mine.

When I used to work or consult for others, my soul would be crushed when they didn’t like my content. After spending hours coming up with ideas, it could be a challenge to integrate my vision with someone else’s.

As an independent person, this also made me realize- stop working with people who don’t share your vision.

Although some women on the outside may judge me for choosing a bike over a Lexus, renting a townhouse instead of having a mortgage, and choosing a cat over a husband and kids- I chose this lifestyle for a reason.

I’m free.

I am free from obsession with “things,” the need for more, and the warped view that I’m not enough.

Now, I can simply enjoy the creative process- mindfully.

The Mindful in Style inspiration board 💛

Full Flower Moon: Healing and Letting Go

It’s hard to believe 2020 is almost half over, but I’ve begun to see even more clearly; and this moon, it’s time to say goodbye to that first half.

The Scorpio Flower Moon is a time for healing, letting go, and beginning a new chapter. have reflected on the opportunities I once accepted, realizing how undervalued and misunderstood I was.

The thing is, we aren’t aligned for every opportunity- and we don’t have to explain ourselves to those who don’t understand our journey.

The articles I wrote for publications that weren’t used? Now they’re relevant.

The businesses who didn’t want to pay me for my work? Farewell.

The people I confided in who turned around and talked about others behind their back to me? Those aren’t the kind of friends I need.

Creative work isn’t free.

Sometimes it can be difficult to see people trying to mask taking advantage of you as friendship- but I could never represent a brand, publication, or business who didn’t value people’s individuality, talents, or journey.


Henri Bendel “Align Astrology” launch event, 2016. A great brand I used to work with and will forever miss.

Now that I’ve seen the light, I know what my purpose is right now- and moving backward toward low energy isn’t in my cards.

This the perfect time to focus on my art, connect with others I met along the way, and use what I’ve learned to help others through my writing.


I’ve healed to the point where I now know my own worth, and this next half of 2020, I’ll no longer dim my light or reduce myself to what others want me to be.

Who knows what the future has in store, but I can tell you one thing: I’m not going back to the old normal.

Don’t Be An Actor in Your Own Life

Two years ago, after a magical and inspiring trip back to NYC, I realized working at my desk job wasn’t for me.

I went to work that Monday feeling discontent- my internal voice was telling me to create, especially after spending the day at the “Heavenly Bodies” exhibit at The Met. Full of life, beauty, and wonder, I felt more myself than I had in years- and it was apparent I needed to find a new path.

I had dinner with my landlord that evening, who told me “life is a stage, we are all actors.” Of course, the nature of our relationship made it clear he wanted me to continue with my stable job so I could afford rent- as would my father or any patriarchal figure in my life- yet my sacral authority was screaming, “create!

I didn’t know how I would afford rent, but like always, I knew I’d find a way.


Authenticity has always been crucial in my life. If it doesn’t feel natural, it’s a challenge- which is why I stopped fashion blogging and styling items I wouldn’t actually wear back in 2016.

My heart and soul knew my creative talents were being wasted at a place that wasn’t appreciated, at a firm full of people who didn’t understand me- and I physically and mentally couldn’t produce work any longer. That’s the true 5-15 Channel in me.

Even before learning about my Human Design, I knew my intuition was strong- so for the past 12 years, my impulsive life choices were made by my sacral authority without even realizing it! The missed trains, those impulsive moves, and the gut feelings- they were all for a purpose.


So, the next day I called in to reflect. By the end of the afternoon, I had written my resignation letter.

I had no idea where my path would lead, but I knew it wasn’t at a Downtown Boston law firm.

Who had I been trying to prove? My father? My ex-boyfriend? The people I went to school with?

The only person I needed to prove anything to was myself.


I bought a sketch book and arranged all my inspiration on my bedroom floor. The following day, I quit my job after seeing a new set of angel wings by Hot Swat in Harvard Square along Church Street after taking the wrong way home. Pretty powerful.

If it weren’t for those wings I saw in Harvard Square as soon as I walked out of the unusual exit at the train station after work, I never would have called in that Tuesday.


There are many other events that happened in 2018 that inspired me to quit my job and start sketching, too.

Kate’s Spade’s death shook me- and her impact on my life was so apparent that even male friends I knew in passing over the years texted me about the news. Unaware of her battle with mental health, her passing inspired me to share the truth behind the clothes and my looks.


Had I not relapsed after my new art project didn’t manifest as soon as I wanted it to, I wouldn’t have been forced to take a pause to heal and dig deeper into my own story. Unlike summer of 2018, today I understand it’s not about the end product, but it’s about the joy in the journey.

Similar Kate Spade, I wanted to bring joy to others, but forgot to find the joy in my own life. I began being an actor once again- working jobs that weren’t aligned with my purpose, sipping alcohol again, and pretending I was “fixed” when I still had a long road ahead.

My personal struggles wouldn’t have inspired me to purge what no longer served in my closet, and my life. Through sharing who we really are- whether it’s at work or in our personal relationships- we are able to align with opportunities and people who are truly meant for us.

Sure, a colorful or shiny facade is pretty, but what happens when the colors fade? What is underneath?

Is the foundation strong like a rock, or will it float away in the breeze like a feather?


Hence, why I decided to start painting on rocks- and my three and a half years of life lessons are reflected on the messages I share throughout town.

I may not be an actor in my own life, but I have decided to write my own future- and thanks to a simple sign and a few twists and turns along my path, I gained the confidence to do so.

You never know the power of a few little golden words.


After passing the angel wings, this sign was along Church Street in Cambridge. I knew I could do anything- if I just set my mind to it and let go of distractions.


Lessons I Would Teach My Younger Self

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As I write this evening, I wonder, “What did I need at 14, 15, or 16 years old? What didn’t people tell me that I would have told my younger self?”

Back then, I didn’t know I wouldn’t marry the guy I met at the Cherry Festival or that it didn’t matter that I chose to sit in the library at lunch instead of with kids I didn’t want to have surface conversations with.

I didn’t know I could go to school for art or writing and actually make a living doing it.  I had no idea the internet would create opportunities to connect, learn, and share, and I certainly didn’t expect myself to document my journey living in seven different states this past decade online.

I didn’t know I would become an alcoholic who would ruin a lot of opportunities, only to realize those opportunities weren’t meant for me anyway.  I had to mess up a lot of things to return to the person I always was- the writer who liked sitting in the library.

So, as I write, I just simplified my process.  A lot.  This book has been daunting, like a project I will never complete, yet now it makes perfect sense.

~

As I write with purpose, the words seem to flow and I can feel my energetic vibration raise as I type.  I can envision girls who had similar dreams as me feeling hopeful.  I have no doubt the power of others benefiting from my mistakes, closing the book with more confidence than when they opened it.

I may have taken a lot of wrong turns and detours, yet each twist lead me to exactly where I needed to be- and that is to continue to write.

Intuitively, I knew at an early age I wasn’t meant to conform or play by someone else’s rules.  It didn’t feel natural to “fit in;” yet living in places like San Francisco and New York made me feel “normal” for the first time in my life.

I think about the girl who fearlessly flew out to Tuscon to visit her boyfriend at 17, who graduated high school a semester early, and who skipped out on her senior year events to follow her own dreams- not anyone else’s.  The guy from the Cherry Festival would eventually meet his future wife the following year, and I would make an entirely new group of friends at a college where I knew no one.  I wouldn’t end up with a college sweetheart and I wouldn’t go through with a wedding I almost had, but I learned more about myself living in seven different cities than I ever could by playing it safe.

I had a blank journal with endless pages to fill- so I did.

Since going on my own journey, I haven’t looked back.  Although it feels as if I’ve come full circle, I’ve returned with a newfound love and appreciation for myself- and what the next chapter of my story has around the corner.

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Enjoying a Quiet Life

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As I sipped my morning coffee and watched the rain fall, an article from Elephant Journal appeared in my news feed:

It’s Okay to Want to Live a Slow & Quiet Life.

How often do you question if the life you are currently living is the life that feels most authentic to you?

One of the biggest questions I’ve mulled over the last eight months is, “What kind of life do I really want?”

As I pick through the versions of the lives I’ve lived over the last 15 years, what I keep coming back to is a life founded on simplicity. The life that resonates the most with me was a time I lived on a 50-acre vineyard and farm. My days felt like molasses—a slow, steady, and sweet flow.

It was a life of less in many ways but full of so much more richness because I was away from the busyness of life that is easy to get caught up in. I had time to experience the slow beauty of what was around me, the warm, summer breeze weaving between the apple trees, the distance cries from my flock of sheep, and green grass as it tickled my feet when I walked in it.

Amanda Whitworth

As I read the author’s experiences and journey to simplicity, I resonated with each word.  Being present is a beautiful thing, and could never be beat by bright lights or fast-paced glamour.

The reaction I usually get when people hear I moved back to Michigan is usually “wow, what a change” or “you must be bored.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Even in Boston I spent a lot of time to myself and in quiet reflection.  I enjoyed days in the park writing and walked thousands of miles, just snapping photos and listening to music.  My life didn’t have any of the luxuries I was taught would make me feel “complete.”

I embraced what was right in front of me.

Although I used to spend my time going out, dating, and finding chaos, I couldn’t imagine living my life that way anymore.  There’s nothing I enjoy more than going home to a quiet apartment, reading a good book, or finding solace in nature.

Simplicity has become a big part of my life, and taking on the “less is more” mentality has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

It doesn’t take much to be happy when you’re happy within.  That’s the best gift of all.

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A Mindful Weekend

Every Monday morning, people ask, “did you do anything fun this weekend?”

They usually expect a grand answer.  With the exception of my old party days, my weekends are always pretty quiet.  I wake up early to explore the city, take pictures, write, and do a little shopping.  I indulge in coffee, see a few new spots, and do a lot of walking (Saturday alone was 12 miles!).  

My weekends are sacred to me; they’re my time to recharge, reset, and do the things I love.

I’m the rare breed of human who loves solo dining, going to a movie by myself, and exploring alone- not only because I am comfortable in my own company, but because I can truly be in the moment and enjoy the beauty around me.

I used to think I had to change to fit into other people’s lives, but I have finally realized that they’re the ones who need to be able to fit into mine.

I’m grateful to have wonderful people in my life who do fit- and these days, I don’t have to go to a major event or fill my time with activities just so I don’t feel alone.

I am already home within myself.

A Few Good Friends

I’ve always been the type of person who kept her circle small.

Growing up, I had one best friend- we were both artists who shied away from the more rambunctious children.  We didn’t participate in the gossip, nor did we play rough.  We spent time drawing, chatting on the swing set, and using our imagination to create a magical world around us.

As I got older, my habits stayed the same.  I wasn’t invited to parties and I didn’t sit with the popular group at lunch- nor did I try to.

I’ve always done my own thing- but I have been fortunate to always have a few good friends.

Friends who always “get” me.  Friends who have my best interest at heart.  Friends who encourage me to be my best self- and who see the beauty within that I may not recognize on my own.

As an adult, I realize that I won’t be liked by everyone.  I wouldn’t want to be!  Not everyone is on the same path- and that is okay.  We are all on our own journey.

Today, I don’t have to take other people’s criticism personal, and I don’t have to engage or acknowledge their drama- because I know that the people who do matter to me are all I need.

A Woman’s Intuition is Always Right

You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you first meet someone?

That little sign that says, “stay away,” or even, “he seems a little douchey?”

I try not to generalize or stereotype (keyword: try), so I often used to ignore that gut feeling.

I give the poor chap the benefit of the doubt, despite his obvious attempts at overselling himself. Over the past 15 years or so I’ve seen the same patterns, over and over, and as soon as I do, I shake my head and think “damn it, Kristin, you already had this one pinned.”

Within the first few exchanges, if a man suggests going on vacation with you, talks about your future, wants to introduce you to his family, or takes you somewhere elaborate, run. Fun fast.

Listen to your intuition.

It won’t oversell itself to you.