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.

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.

Sacral Says

It’s that feeling in your gut telling you to make that right turn.

It’s the voice urging you to stay home from the party right when you’re ready to leave, to get out of bed and start writing at 3AM, and to make that cross-country move on a whim.

You know the feeling telling you “yes” or “no,” the little “mmhmm” or “uh uh” urging you to make a big decision- a decision that doesn’t make sense to anyone but you?

That’s your sacral response– and, if you’re a Manifesting Generator (or Generator) like me, you have a sacral authority that has been guiding you whether you’ve realize it or not.

Before I learned about Human Design, I had no idea my inner guide, or intuition, had an official name, leading my every move throughout my life. Those times when I followed the crowd, listened to negative feedback, or allowed naysayers to sway my decisions were the times I ignored my inner authority: my Sacral Center.

Friends and family have often thought my decisions were irrational; crazy, even. However, my moves to San Francisco, Boston, and even home to Michigan were based on feelings in my gut that I couldn’t ignore.

People often write to me and ask how I knew when it was right for me to make that next move or to quit a job that wasn’t a good fit. Lately, I’ve told them my own experiences- but also about how it relates to my Human Design. We all have an inner authority- one that won’t lead us in the wrong direction.

During this pandemic and uncertainty, our society has been forced to slow down. It’s not comfortable for many, but it’s a gift in disguise- one we may not receive again.

It’s the gift of pause and reflection.

Not only do I recommend taking this time for self-discovery, it’s also a perfect opportunity to re-assess the life you’ve been living.

How many of your decisions were impacted by society’s expectations? What choices did you make because of what other people said? If you could stop and do something over, what would you go back and accomplish?

With idle time, we can see our lives more clearly. What is your gut telling you? If you have a blank slate in front of you, what direction do you want to go in?

When you stop and listen to your gut- or whatever your inner authority may be- it’s amazing what doors begin to open for you.

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. 🌿

Soul Connection or Nah? Recognizing the Difference Between Bonds

It’s happened to the best of us. We meet someone and are instantly drawn to them- but why?

Sometimes you have a deep and undeniable spiritual connection with another person, while other times your intuition can play tricks on you, making you think there’s a higher connection when it’s really a lesson in disguise.

If you feel a strong bond with someone who is trying to change you, guilt you, or make you feel you’re not enough, that’s not a soul connection. From my own experience, it was always a narcissist looking to feed from my spirit.

Has anyone else experienced this? Have you met someone you were instantly drawn to, only to realize later the outcome wasn’t what you expected? Did you keep trying to find ways for them to accept you? Did you constantly feel you weren’t worthy?

Oh yeah, me too.

As I reflect on the past four or five years, it’s clear to me how I’ve met people I’ll forever share a bond with, people I’ll keep from a distance, and people I will never talk to again, but will always value the lesson they taught me.

Whether it’s a business, family, or a personal connection, it’s important to recognize the role people play in our lives- and that it isn’t our job to change them or the nature of the relationship.

It is what it is.

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.

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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