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 💛

Dream Big: Turning Blog Posts Into A Solid Foundation

Along the path of life, people may misunderstand your journey or doubt your dreams.

When I decided to move to San Francisco in 2008, months before the stock market crashed and prior to a publicly traded Facebook, an acquaintance scoffed at me saying, “well, that will be cheap.”

Within two weeks of this comment, I got a job at a popular tech startup downtown SF and was living in a rent-controlled apartment in Laurel Heights- even less than what some friends in Metro Detroit were paying- because for me, it’s always about thinker smarter, not harder.

What would have happened if I would have taken his comment to heart?

What would have happened in the course of my life had I held back from my cross- country moves, calling off a wedding, quitting jobs I was selling my soul for, or walking away from people who didn’t value me-

all because of what someone who barely knows me had to say?

Had I not moved to SF, I never would have gotten homesick the next year and moved to Austin. I wouldn’t have met some amazing people in Texas who I’m still in touch with today, and I probably wouldn’t have decided to move back to San Francisco had I not lived such a great life the first time around.

But in 2010, I was different. I had discovered blogging, sharing my stories online, and documenting my daily activities. I realized how powerful connection is- and how you don’t have to be involved in a local community to feel a sense of home; home is wherever you feel understood. 

People doubted the San Francisco Giants that year, too. But we all know how that turned out. Fall of 2010, I drove back to the city after a work trip in Lake Tahoe, high on life after quitting an office manager job in data security. With my rental car windows down and the music on, I felt free- but I didn’t know what the rocky road of creative freedom would bring months and years into this journey.


The same person who mocked my California move asked to meet with me years later about marketing his company, as he saw my work and experience from San Francisco.

I couldn’t work with someone who once doubted me.

Over the years, I learned an important lesson the hard way: You don’t need to try to explain or justify anything to anyone when you make choices in life! Those who resonate with your path will find you- but it’s not your job to explain. 

You can simply show them.

For now, try to ignore the negative or fear-based distractions and keep aiming high- the only limitation you have is what others try to project onto you- and what you believe. ✨ You have your own foundation to build upon.


The “Dream Big, Darling” rock was created from a post I wrote back in 2017, inspired by a Primark sweatshirt and a day planner from the Harvard Coop.

Living In the Flow- This Weekend’s Lesson, As Told By A Rock


I’ve had a blast writing in the sun over the weekend, biking throughout town, and leaving little messages in secret spots.

Earlier in the week I was feeling manic- I was finding myself roaming from one room to another, starting one project but never finishing another. I was bouncing off other people’s energy, encouragement, and feedback, and forgetting to focus on what I was doing. Even for someone who writes about living in the moment, I can lose my sense of grounding, too!

I spent the weekend on my bike, exploring the city, and snapping shots of the beauty around me. Like magic, my sense of balance was restored and I felt like I had my wings of flow once again.

At last.

I sat by the Boardman River, aligning my rocks and accessories while I gazed into the water. As the river flowed, I felt my body loosen and my spirit light up. At last, the mania had begun to pass.

I can also thank my meditation teacher, Nilcee, a wonderful soul who I met back in my NYC days. She leads a Tuesday night meditation in Astoria, but has moved over to Zoom during the pandemic. Although we met four years ago, I’ve felt her energy with me ever since- and unlike other teachers in the past, she assures me she is a guide; I already have all the power within. I may have a difficult time listening to others who tell me what to do (my sacral tells me everything I need to know), but I feel extremely empowered when I’m guided along my path- or river, if you will.

She reminds me of my natural flow and rhythm, and to tune out distractions with tuning into myself. On Friday night, I even called in to a virtual Happy Hour to chat with the Astoria friends along the Grand Traverse Bay!

Near and far, it’s wonderful to feel connection, and it’s even easier to do so when you tune into yourself and live in the flow.

I’ll be leaving these around town throughout the next week, so keep your eye out for a few little golden words in Traverse City (and soon Boston + NYC!).


You Don’t Have to Contribute to the Negative Conversations

In our lifetime, we have never seen an event such as the Coronavirus pandemic.

In my 35 years on this planet, never have I walked down city streets in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon to find everything closed with barely a person on sight. As I safely left my home to lay rocks outside of businesses and in hidden spots downtown, I stopped to think about how others are feeling.

With a smile on my face, feeling full of purpose, I paused to considered those who haven’t quite seen the light at the end of the tunnel.

My heart goes out to the restaurant owners, retailers, and businesses who have halted their daily routine to flatten the curve. That’s why I am focusing my energy on doing what I can to help- even if it’s small.

You are stronger than you realize.


I thought about what we can control in terms of our media consumption and the conversations we have with family or friends (check out a post I wrote a couple of years ago about how you’re lowering your energetic vibration without even realizing it).

What are we focusing on? Fear? Financial insecurity? Health concerns?

Many of us feel compelled to join the negative conversations and will embrace some of their fear- much of which isn’t your own.

That’s why we need to focus on the helpers, not the problem.

I read an amazing article by author Steve Pavlina, who shared his views on the importance of lightworkers in today’s society:

“The lightworker’s duty is to serve the health of the body. Lightworkers strive for a healthy, sane humanity. They’re like white blood cells fighting diseases such as cruelty, apathy, depression, disempowerment, dishonesty, and cowardice. Such diseases damage the health of the body. The #1 disease lightworkers battle is fear. Wherever there is fear in the body of humanity, lightworkers are driven to respond.”


Yesterday I chatted with a few friends who are visibly concerned about their health and safety. I am, too. However, my focus isn’t on the news and the negativity. It’s about focusing on what I can do in the now.

We all have a choice of what messages we want to send- do we want to spread the fear, or send light?

Do you want to look at the problem or the solution?

Even though we have to stay home, there is so much we can do both online and within our own homes to raise the overall vibration- and choosing what conversations you partake in is a part of this.

I am doing my best to be mindful of the energy I am putting out- and instead of fear, I have faith.

Quarantine Activities to Find Your Center

I have an incredible network of talented friends who are offering virtual classes and workouts for everyone at home.

From yoga to meditation, there’s something for both kids and adults. Enjoy!

Virtual Yoga Classes with Brooke

Ampersand Lettering Lab Printable Coloring Sheet

Meditate with Rodasi

Grow Fit- Work Outs for Kids

Modus45 At-Home Barre Kit

Have something to add? Send me an email!

A Time to Reflect and Create

Traverse City may be a ghost town, but it’s no different than the rest of the world right now.

I’m so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place, full of inspiration and serenity, especially during this time. There’s no need for entertainment when you have the peace inside yourself and the beauty all around you.

My heart goes out to everyone who is out of work or experiencing loss due to this pandemic. Please continue to take care of yourself, because there will be brighter days ahead.

Continue to create, inspire, learn, and grow. We can all take this time as the collective to look within and determine how we want to move forward with our lives. 🌿

Gossip is a Form of Connection… and I Don’t Want a Part of It

A couple of years ago I heard a group of people making fun of me after I left the room. In a fury, I started writing a short and not-that-sweet blog post about it- a post titled “Gossip: It’s Low Vibe Energy.”

I often write about the things in life that irritate me, and almost immediately felt better afterward. I’ve written about the things in life that are painful- heartbreak, my experience in treatment, depression, and trauma. I’ve revisited stories of high school bullies and people who pushed me out of their life. I’ve talked about my alcoholism before people could start whispering about where I had been for a month or my poor behavior in the past. I’ve tried to own my side of the street, and took back my narrative before others tried to construe the truth- or think their words would break me.

I’ve noticed how gossip isn’t necessarily meant to be malicious or cruel toward other people, though. As a person who used to have a habit of taking everything personally, I was deeply hurt when people gossiped about me. Whether it was a flat out lie or laughing at my misfortune, I withdrew from connecting with people out of fear. For years I kept to myself and avoided interaction whenever possible.

This all began to change when I moved to the city. In San Francisco, being quirky was widely accepted. In New York, it was encouraged to drink during the day. In Boston, well, people were more concerned with themselves than even giving you a second glance, let alone gossip.

Now back in my hometown of 14,000 people in the city proper, of course gossip runs wild. Whether it’s school board scandal or frowning on changes in the community, people thrive on the dirt. They feed off of it.

I’ve learned an important lesson though- one even more pertinent than owning my narrative:

A lot of people use gossip to connect.

They talk about others to feel heard. They whisper about people behind their backs to gain some sort of validation from their peers.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Connection is a powerful thing, but a lot of people aren’t comfortable with sharing their own truth. They connect based on other people, shallow aspects of life, and material gain. They judge other people by what they have or what they’ve accomplished, but not what’s inside their soul.

Today, I connect based on truth.

I’ve been invited to meet old friends and I’ve received messages from acquaintances who are merely curious about my personal life. I’m aware not all of these people truly care about me as a person, but they do care about what sort of drama or problems I may have.

It’s okay, though- I’ve beat them to it.

I’ve already shared what’s really going on with me throughout the web, and I hope to have more opportunities to share my story with the world. Whether it’s public speaking or writing, I know my experiences have helped people learn they’re not alone in their struggles.

My own struggles have brought me strength, for I have overcome them. Gossip may still be low vibe energy, and it’s not something I will participate in today. I wish the best for those who have snickered behind my back or tried to watch me fall; because today, I continue to rise. I hope they find their own way of doing so, too.

The Day I Found My Freedom

I’ll never forget the feeling I had that March afternoon in San Francisco.

I was just dropped off at SFO, heading to my gate for my return flight to Michigan.  Tears in my eyes, I got out my phone to call my parents.

“I don’t want to go back,” I declared. “I’m going to call off the wedding.”

It was 2008, and I had been engaged for exactly seven months.  Although the engagement was quick, and I thought I was happy at the time, it didn’t take long for me to see the reality before my very eyes.

The day in, the day out.  The daily traffic into my corporate job.  Coming home to the same routine, every day, to the same person- at 23 years old.

I knew it wasn’t the life for me.  Two years earlier I had plans to move to New York City as soon as I graduated.  I didn’t expect to meet someone later that year, on my 22nd birthday on December 22nd, who would swoop me off to Kauai for Valentine’s Day and move me into their beautiful suburban house once I finished college.  I’ve always been a big believer in signs, so I thought, “maybe I’m not supposed to go to New York after all.”  There had to be a bigger reason for meeting this person on such a significant day to me.

Back in 2006, my partying was getting out of control despite my grand plans for finishing school and heading to the city.  At the time, it seemed like he was an angel saving me from myself.

I would later learn no one could save me but me.

When I told my father, he thought I was insane.  Of course, any father wants their daughter be taken care of and to have a good life.  A good life to me looked a bit different than my parents’ view, though.

The day before my flight, my half sister (who worked in SF at the time) and I talked about my relationship and my goals for life.  Before I even realized it, she knew the marriage wouldn’t work.  She challenged my views and helped me realize I should take some time to reconsider.  She helped me think differently about what I really wanted- because for over a year, someone else was trying to make all my decisions for me.

Little Italy, 2008

As the plane took off, I thought about how I would wait a couple of weeks before telling my fiancé I didn’t want to get married.  I thought about what types of jobs I could apply to in San Francisco, where I would live, and who I could become.  I daydreamed of freedom, making new friends, and exploring the magical, quirky sights of the city.  My gut told me moving was the right thing to do- and from the moment my fiancé greeted me at the gate, I knew it was over.

I didn’t wait two weeks.

I told him right away.

Of course, he tried to convince me it was a phase and how my sister was envious of me. He attempted to tell me I didn’t know what I was doing and how I was meant to be with him. All of his efforts to control me- from my diet to physical activities to what I wore- filled my brain, and I no longer felt sorry for him.

I began to have a deeper compassion for myself.

For the next week I stayed on a friend’s couch, who took a day off work with me to pack up my things.  I left my princess cut diamond on the dresser, leaving behind all the furniture I helped buy with my graduation money.  No physical object was worth sacrificing my dreams- or my future.

Who knows what would have happened had I not taken that trip to see my sister in 2008. Perhaps the wedding would have happened, and maybe I would be divorced now.  We will never know.  However, despite the judgment I received from others, I knew deep in my heart that I was making the right choice.  I knew, at 23, that I didn’t want to take the easy way out and allow the wrong man to take care of me.  I simply refused to do that.

I would have to spread my wings and fly.

I would have to make mistakes on my own.

I would somehow, someway, succeed- and despite the failures, I would learn from them- because I finally had my freedom.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but I do know I will never have to mourn the chances I didn’t take.  It’s been nearly 12 years since I took the leap, quit my job, and blindly moved to an apartment on California and Commonwealth Avenue.  Over the course of those 12 years, I’ve lived in a dozen more apartments, several other cities, and did eventually move to New York…

All because I chose freedom.