End of Year Sales 2020


 Some of my favorite retailors are having some great sales! I have them listed below with some items I'm loving.

Anthropologie
Extra 40% off sale items
Athleta
Tons of new items added to sale
JCrew
Extra 50% off sale
Tory Burch
Extra 25% off sale
Nordstrom
Tons of new items added to sale
Kara Krittenbrink
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My Favorite Dessert to Make for the Holidays: Christmas Crack


A dessert that is easy, quick and a crowd pleaser... Christmas Crack is the ticket! I have been making it for a few years and it now has become a request from my friends and family! I think the combo of sweet & salty is what makes it so irresistible. It doesn't take very long and it is easy to make in large quantities. Perfect for a get together or as a great gift. Since we can't get together this year, Christmas Crack would make a great gift you can drop off on your friends and families doorstep. Who doesn't love food?



Kara Krittenbrink
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Fall Wishlist: Shoes


Today is the last day of Summer and I'm more than ready to say goodbye to it. We have had a taste of Fall over the last few weeks with a bit of cooler temps. This inspired me to transition my closet from Summer to Fall last week. I got out my sweaters, boots and other Fall and Winter items that I don't have room for in my closet year round. I also packed away my sandals, sundresses and swimsuits. Anything else in my closet I believe can be worn year round with the right layers and transitional pieces.

Fall Wishlist

Like every other season, I always have a few items on my wishlist. When online browsing all the new items that have come out, the first I noticed is combat boots. The style isn't anything knew but I think they will be a big trend this Fall and Winter. Everyone is currently dressing way more casual so it makes sense that combat boots would become a big trend. 

Personally I"m loving the embellished combat points. The feminine details create a contrast with the tough look of the boots. I especially love the pearl and plaid embellishments. The juxtaposition of the soft and hard features also allows the boots to go with more outfits. 

A popular way to wear combat boots is with feminine dresses. I definitely see myself styling them this way. I also think they will look great with my leather leggings and distressed denim. 

Combat Boots

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Mules

Another shoe that I'm falling hard for is the open back mule. These are not new and also not necessarily just a Fall/Winter shoe but I'm dying to get a pair this season. I see them as the perfect every day shoe for the transitional weather we are about to have. Even when it is colder the mule will be a dressier option than the tennis shoes I've been living in but still easier to wear than heels. 

For work, the mules will go perfect with my dark denim and favorites sweaters. For less dressy moments, these shoes will add some style to my favorite leggings and oversized shirts or sweaters. Even a henley and distressed denim could use a pair of mules!

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Kara Krittenbrink
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Tips on dealing with Anxiety & Grief


The stockings are hung, Christmas lights are up and it's supposed to be the best time of the year, right? Well for everyone it may not be. As someone with anxiety, I know I am not the only one that can be triggered or have difficulty during this time of year. If you are grieving any type of loss, this time of year can feel particularly difficult as well. I thought I would share what I've learned to do to help myself deal with my own anxiety and grief. 

Tips on dealing with Anxiety & Grief 

This list is by no means the only way to help, it is just what has worked for me in the past. Both anxiety and grief can come and go and we all have different triggers. I hope this can help and maybe inspire some other ideas for you. 

Let Yourself Feel

First and foremost give yourself the room to feel however you feel. Just because it is a happy and fun time of year doesn't mean you have to feel happiness and joy all of the time (or any of the time). While this may sound like a simple concept but it is something that can be a really big struggle for many this time of year. Try to push aside what the expectations of how this season should go and allow time and space to feel whatever may come. Many, like myself, don't want to bring others down or create any heaviness with our feelings. 

I find that when I would force myself to be happy or push down the sorrowful feelings, it actually made it worse. It took me years to learn to not suppress them. I wouldn't allow myself to have a "bad" day because I felt that it wasn't ok during the holidays. During many Christmas celebrations I would really struggle because doing many of my family traditions after my mom passed felt wrong. It would make me miss her so much more and I hid that. Now when I let myself grieve or feel anxiety, I actually find that my low-spirits don't last as long as when I try to ignore them. Concealing my feelings also sometimes sparked an uptick in my anxiety.

Understand Your Limits

This time of year in particular can bring up lots of obligations. Beyond the typical responsibilities in our life, many new things come up with the Holidays. It is very important to know how much you can handle and to say no when you have reached it. Your limit may change throughout the season or even daily. Holding strong to what you can or can't handle is of the utmost importance. There are many times that I have to say no to things on my schedule because I know that I won't be up for it. 

This year is a little different, because many events with our families and friends aren't happening. But in other years, I learned that sometimes it is okay to leave events early. It doesn't change how much I love or care about everyone, it is just that a social event may be more than I can handle if I'm struggling with anxiety. 

Schedule Time for Yourself

While we schedule everything else in our lives, it is just as important to set aside time specifically for yourself. And most importantly make this time something for you. Whether it is alone time or doing something with someone, it should be a non-stressful activity that replenishes you.

Reach out to Friends & Family

Find a few friends or family members that you can reach out to on your bad moments. However you contact them, having a few people that you can count on is important. Knowing ahead of time who "your people" are is crucial. It has helped me in the past to already identify who I should reach out to when I'm feeling low. Then I don't feel as though I am unloading on someone and am more likely to reach out. 

Create & Utilize A list of Items/Activities that Help

This idea came from my therapist. I have created a list of activities or things that help calm my mind or distract me during anxiety and grief. Many times when you are in the middle of the tough moments, it is hard to remember what can help. This is when you'll be thankful for a list, I keep mine as a note on my phone. Your list may seem random and that doesn't matter. All you have to focus is on finding things that make you feel better and/or less overwhelmed. Some items on my list are: Reread a book, Spend time alone & watch Grey's Anatomy.

Take Care of Yourself

This is something we all know and doesn't need much of an explanation but it is true: When you take care of yourself, you are better able to battle grief and anxiety when it comes up. Eating well, exercising and resting all are crucial components in helping towards your mental health. This is one of the best preventative measures. 

As I said before, this is by no means an inclusive list. If you have any other ideas on how you combat anxiety and grief this time of year, please share in the comments. 


Kara Krittenbrink
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What We All Really Need this Winter: Matching Sets


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Normally around this time I would be putting together ideas for Holiday party outfits. Like the rest of this year, the Holidays will look very different for most of us. Some may be able to have small gatherings but even those will be much more casual than usual. I won't have a need for any party outfits this year. Something I'll be wearing way more than sparkles and heels is loungewear. And like many people, I've been really into matching sets. Think of them as something as comfortable as pajamas but can be worn out of the house! 

These sets are made for cozy weekends at home or running some errands! When its really cold, you can layer a denim or leather jacket over it for an extra layer. If you aren't into the matching look each item can be paired with plenty of pieces you already have in you closet. 

Kara Krittenbrink
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Small Businesses I Love


Yesterday was Small Business Saturday and I shared a few that I love on stories. I love these businesses so much I wanted a full post on them. Each of these businesses has their own unique ideas and items.  They not only have great gifts for the Holidays but are places I love to shop year round!



William & Lauren is a custom suit company. The brand has made it more affordable to have the suit of your dreams. Beyond being cut to your exact measurements, you get to pick out everything: fabric, lining, buttons and thread. Many times an off the rack suit can feel stuffy and cookie cutter but when you have control of the design you can create something unique. If you don't need a full suit, you can order jackets and pants individually.

If the idea of picking out everything yourself is a little overwhelming you have help! The owner, Lauren, can give suggestions and lead in you in the right direction. Outside of a Christmas gift, the suits are a great gift for birthdays, graduation or groomsmen gifts! Or better yet, treat yourself!

Suits aren't just for the men, William & Lauren just came out with Women's suits. I have ordered one and once it is in, I'll be sharing the whole process with you. 



While there are many online boutiques, Shop Lawson has quickly become a favorite of mine. This new shop carries an array of cute women's clothing and accessories. They lend themselves to a more casual, everyday vibe. Every few months they come out with more items so I am always checking to see what they have. Lately I've been eyeing a few of the sweaters and cardigans. 



Stoney Clover Lane has amazing customizable products. The pouches, bags and other accessories can all be customized with the patches they have. I love getting on the site and using the customizer tool to create new pouches. For anyone that likes to travel or stay organized the pouches are the ultimate gift. I've actually purchased a few of these as a Christmas gift to myself.

There are so many planners on the market and I have used many of them. As someone that loves to create lists and write things down, I'll never completely go to electronic planners. Once I made my first Golden Coil planner, I knew I wouldn't use any other. The planners are completely customizable with tons of options for pages. You can upload schedules and significant dates to be included as well. I've created a planner for the blog where I have pages to plan out my posts, social media schedules and an area for lists of ideas. I've used it for the past year and actually just ordered a new one for 2021.



Lush is one of my favorite local stops for trendy or seasonal fashions. I can count on them to always have cute sweaters and great trendy t-shirts. Their clothing items and accessories would all make great gifts. For the sports fan, they make great spirit wear too! For almost every holiday or season they come out with new items, check out the sparkly items for the holidays! What I've been loving the most lately, is their lounge wear.


I've always loved classic gold jewelry pieces. Besides the beautiful designs, Sahira Jewelry is meant to be lived in. You can sweat, swim and shower in the pieces! As someone that works out on the regular, I appreciate having a necklace or earrings that I don't have to take off when I sweat!


Kara Krittenbrink
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Holiday Sales 2020


We are all aware that this year looks very different than any other. 2020 just keeps adding surprise after surprise! Even Holiday shopping is changing. I'm sure most of you will be like me and order most of your gifts this year. With possible shipping delays and even more people online shopping it is always a good idea to order sooner than later. 

Ordering early doesn't mean you have to worry about missing any sales this year! So many retailers are doing Black Friday preview sales. I will keep all of the sales I've found on this list and will keeping adding as new ones come up.

photo via: www.goodhousekeeping.com

HOLIDAY SALES 2020

Ann Taylor - 50% off plus free shipping

ASOS - up to 70% 7000 items

Away - Bundle up Sale, save on sets

Baublebar - 30% off sitewide 

Beyond Yoga - 20% off sitewide, they give 10% to charity

Cole Haan - Up to 70% off sitewide

Elemis30% off sitewide

Express - 50% off sitewide & Free shipping

JCrew - 50% off sitewide with code CYBER

Kate Spade - 50% off sitewide with code TGIBDF

Loft - 50% off with code CYBER

Lush Fashion Lounge - specials sitewide

Macy's - Specials sitewide

Madewell - 40% off with code THXINTERNET

Mark & Graham up to 50% off & free shipiing

Nordstrom - Cyber Deals up to 50% off

Old Navy - 60% off sitewide

Pottery Barn - 20% off sitewide

Spanx - 20% off sitewide and free shipping

Sur La Table - up to 55% off 

T3 - 25% off sitewide with code HOLIDAY25

Target - Black Friday all Month Long - new deals each week

The Container Store - Cyber deals all week

Ulta - Weekly deals up to 50% off

Wayfair - Up to 80% off plus free shipping

West Elm - up to 70% off

Williams Sonoma - up to 50% off
 
Kara Krittenbrink
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Gift Guide: Under $50


 

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This may have been my favorite Gift Guide to put together! Finding a great gift doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend a lot of money and I think this Gift Guide shows that. A few of my favorite purchases this year are on the list too.

This massager will absolutely be on my top 5 purchases of 2020! I bought one for myself and after I used it for the first time I immediately bought two more: one for my dad and one for me to have at the office. 

I think gifts that pamper are especially good ideas this year. This body scrubber is a new discovery and I wrote a full post on it here. It leaves my skin so soft. A moisturizing mask is perfect to combat dry, winter skin. I also love this ice roller. It's great for headaches, inflammation and puffiness. It also just feels really great! 

Male or female, if you know someone that wants to start a skincare routine or up the one they already have this kit has some great products!

I put this in my Men's Gift Guide but I also wanted to mention it here. This breakfast sandwich maker is a favorite at my house. It's easy to use but feels like an indulgence! You can even make a bunch ahead of time and freeze them.

For the cold brew or tea lovers on your gift list, get them their own brewer. The personal brewer not only brews but has a to go lid so you can brew and go!

Kara Krittenbrink
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Gift Guide: For the Ladies


 

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This Gift Guides is pretty simple but it is filled with some of my absolute favorite things! I believe when you really like something and use it yourself, it will make a great gift. 

My #1 favorites Fall and Winter wardrobe item are my Spanx faux leather leggings! I am working on a full post on them to share all the details on why I love them. But basically they combine comfort and style and everyone could use a pair in their wardrobe. The quality is amazing too. I wear them at least once a week during the Fall and Weather and have had mine for years. 

Beauty items always make for a great gift. This Charlotte Tilbury lipstick set is in one of the most "flattering on everyone" colors! I am yet so see someone that doesn't find this neutral color flattering on them. I have used these exfoliating pads for years, they work really well but aren't too strong. They would be a fun gift on their own or paired with my absolute favorite skincare item, this Vitamin C oil. (See a full post on it here)

This year, loungewear may be the most worn items for almost everyone. At the beginning of the year, I ordered this Lou & Grey sweatshirt and sweatpants set and it is by far become my favorite. It is ultra soft and comfortable but still looks put together. I even wear each item separately as well. What I like best about the set is that it is elevated enough to wear out of the house and feel still put together. 

Every woman needs at least one beautiful classic cashmere sweater that will never go out of style. Classic pieces like this sweater are ageless as well! Any woman on  your list will treasure a soft beautiful sweater. 

One of the best purchases I've made for myself this year is this Away leather tote. While a leather tote is nothing new or revolutionary, I have been on the hunt for one for years. I need something that I could both use every day but also would be a great travel tote. This Away leather tote is large enough to carry everything I need for work but isn't too large to overwhelm me. It also fits perfectly onto my Away luggage and has as strap to secure. Once I can travel again soon, I know it will be going with me everywhere. 

Kara Krittenbrink
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Gift Guide: For the Men


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Brothers, Father, Boyfriends, Husbands etc., I'm always in need of inspiration for gift ideas for the men in my life. 

We are all very aware of disinfecting everything and I just found this Iphone sanitizer. It has great reviews and you can even use it for other items too! 

This vest actually is heated! There is a battery that you charge and depending on the heat level can last up to 8 hours. Perfect for anyone that spends a lot of time outdoors! My brother hunts and this is high on his wishlist.

Some gifts we can all benefit from! My roommates and I love this breakfast sandwich maker! It is really easy to use and you can even make them ahead and freeze them. This massaging gun really has some power to it. With all the attachments and speeds, you can find the perfect combination for every knotted or sore muscle. 
Kara Krittenbrink
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Gift Guide: For the Home


 

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Since we are all spending so much more time at home now, gifts that make the home better are great for many on your list! 

I recently stayed with someone that had this Nespresso coffee maker and I am hooked. There are so many types of coffees and espresso pods to choose from. If the one on your list already has a coffee maker, this milk frother makes any cup of coffee special!

Game night has become the new going out and my roommates and I love Codenames! Another one that I love is this large jenga game. We like to pull it out anytime we are spending some time in our backyard. Another outdoor activity we've loved is this projector! We have played movies and concerts with it and it makes any night feel more special!

We are all missing loved ones and time together! This digital frame is different from other because you add photos by emailing the frame! You can share the email with friends and family and everyone can send in their photos.

Kara Krittenbrink
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Gift Guide: Experiences & Subscriptions



I'm starting off my holiday Gift Guides a little different this year. This one is all about ideas for the hard to buy for person. We all have those on our list, I know I definitely have a few! Some people are just harder to find the perfect gift. These are the ones in my life that don't like a lot of "stuff" and buy themselves things that they like so I have nothing to buy them! I have to get creative with these people and many times that requires a little out of the box thinking. Most of the time, I end up coming up with an experience, subscription or gift certificate as the right gift option. I have been brainstorming and sharing below all the ideas I can think of.

Subscriptions

Gift Certificates
Experiences
  • Cooking Class (Sur La Table has great classes)
  • "Hobby" Class (crochet lesson, art class etc)
  • Dance Class - possibly something you could do with the person
Kara Krittenbrink
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Comfortable & Stylish Masks I Recommend


Since we are all wearing masks to keep each other and ourselves safe, I have been looking for some cute ones that I don't mind wearing! I'm sure I'm not the only one keeping a spare mask in my purse at all times. And since masks should be washed after every use I like to have a collection of cute masks. Every brand is coming out with their version so they aren't hard to find right now. They trick is finding cute ones that fit well. 

It is not surprising that a brand with fun printed headbands, like Lele Sadoughi, makes some of the best printed masks! This brand  was one of the first brands I noticed making masks. They use some of their most popular headband prints to make masks. I'm loving these for everyday wear and have bought a couple of their packs. They are affordable enough to buy a few so I can coordinate to my outfits. 

For times when I'm working out or want a sleeker mask, I love these masks from Athleta. The have a metal piece at the nose that helps the mask to fit well. If you need a basic black mask, this etsy shop has great soft ones!


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Kara Krittenbrink
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Fall Trends: Cardigans and Corduroy


 A cold front came in on Sunday and brought a drop in temps with drizzle. Now I can actually start wearing the sweaters, leggings and boots I've transitioned into my closet. It may be a broken record to talk about how much I love Fall but it really is my favorites season. This season, I've been really excited for two trends: corduroy and cardigans. While neither of them are new trends, they are especially popular this season. I think it is partly because they both lend themselves to the more casual wardrobe we all seem to be wearing now. 

Cardigans and Sweaters


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Corduroy

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Kara Krittenbrink
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Beauty RX: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution


In my constant search for the best beauty products for my skin, I have recently started trying some products from the brand The Ordinary. When I started researching the brand, I learned their mission is to "raise pricing and communication integrity in skincare." They want to bring high quality, science backed ingredients to customers. Because of their commitment to transparency they don't hike up the prices of their products. 

The brand focuses on ingredient driven products. Each product is named after the ingredients and not the results, so the names can be a little intimidating. But after reading a little about each product, which the company's site has, you can find what products you  should use based on your skin's needs. All of the products are under $20 and most of them are under $10!

Once of the most hyped products is the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. This solution is a mask/peel and is meant to be washed off and not a serum. The mask's blood red color is equal parts intimidating and instagrammable. When applied, it looks like the expensive vampire facials so many celebrities rave about. The peel combines multiple ingredients to help exfoliate your skin. The AHA's & BHA's are two types of acids that will exfoliate off dead skin cells, oils and other things that are clogging your pores. 

The acids are at a very high concentration so it is very important to use the peel as directed. Wash your face and then completely dry it. Apply a full dropper of the mask to your face and let it sit. Immediately wash your hands so you don't irritate them. While the peel is on my face I felt a small tingly sensation. It doesn't hurt and stops after a few minutes. I actually liked the sensation because it made me think the mask is working. Don't use it more than twice a week and don't leave it on for more than 10 minutes. If you have sensitive skin, I highly recommend doing a spot treatment the first time you use it. Also the first time you use it on your full face, I would start with just a few minutes and eventually build up to 10 minutes. This can help avoid too much irritation. Once the time is up, completely rinse it off with lukewarm water. Because it is so strong, you don't want to use any retinoids, other acids or strong products on your skin after. I apply a thick layer of moisturizer (this is my current fav) on my face and that is it!


RESULTS

Immediately after using the peel my skin was softer and smoother. I had a lit from within glow that lasted a few days.  I can see how, overtime, this peel can help with textural issues and discoloration. This product seems so much more high end than the $10 price tag!

Since the peel is getting rid of the dead skin on my face, I know my other skincare products are penetrating and working better too. My nose, mouth and chin area are always trouble spots for me when it comes to break outs. This area has become even more congested now that mask wearing has become a thing. This product has helped immensely to cleanse and decongest the area and prevent "maskne". After using for over a month I have found a routine that works for me. I use it twice a week, once on my entire face and then once on just my chin, around my mouth and my nose area. If my skin is particularly irritated or red, I will only use it once a week or every other week. 

I've had a few of my friends try this product as well. They all reported softer and smoother skin too! One of them really didn't like the tingly feeling while the mask is on but she didn't have any irritation to her skin afterwards. 

Kara Krittenbrink
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My Anxiety Story: How I Began to Recognize I have Anxiety


I’ve mentioned a few times here that I suffer from anxiety. Back in May, during Mental Health Awareness Month, I shared a little more about my struggle on Instagram. Every since that post I’ve wanted to share more, so I'm getting personal today! My hopes in this is to not only get a little deeper but to also connect to more people.

Today, I want to share the beginning of my anxiety and how it started to shape my life. In the future I want to share more on my journey with it and eventually get into how I cope with it and the steps I’ve taken in my life. Everyone’s anxiety is very different. I don’t expect anyone else to have the same exact same struggles that I have but maybe you can see a connection in parts of my story.

Although I didn’t always know what it was, I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember. As I was growing up I would stress at new changes. I loved school but I would worry failing, not having friends or not keeping up with my homework. I could find a hundred things to worry about and it would keep me on edge. My feelings went beyond the typical stress one feels and when I was a teenager started becoming much more intense. On my bad days, the typical social stresses we all have at that age could cause me to have a complete meltdown.

Many times my anxiety wasn’t triggered by something that was happening in my life but by something that could happen. My mind is constantly creating a ton of different scenarios of how things could turn out and what could happen. I would worry and fixate on the "what if’s" in life. Once I had these ideas, I couldn’t get rid of them. I had racing thoughts, feelings of dread and a lot of fear. I would even worry about how much I was worrying! This is when my anxiety changed from situational to more of a constant in my life. Many days I would have this “keyed up” feeling all day.

Like many, my anxiety shows itself in physical ways too. It typically starts with a heaviness in my chest that can move throughout my body. When it is really bad, my heart can race and I can feel short of breath. In High School I had my first panic attack which I can only describe as a mini heart attack with a feeling of a complete loss of control. Obviously a panic attack can be very scary, especially if you don’t know what it is. When I had my first one, my mom was with me and I was lucky that she knew what was happening and could calm me down. Then the worry of having another one added to my anxiety, which creates a vicious cycle. 

Obviously the changes that come with going to college can cause stress and a little anxiety for anybody. While exciting, all the “new” in the life of a college freshman can be a bit overwhelming. I loved my new life and being at OU was so much fun but of course it added many challenges for me. Making new friends, trying to feel comfortable, managing school and trying to have a social life pretty much consumed me. Add to that the unhealthy eating and lack of sleep that is a signature of college life and I had primed myself for more anxiety and panic attacks.

What some people don’t quite understand about anxiety is how people live with it. While I had a high level of anxiety, I could still go about my day, study, have fun and kind of hide the struggles I was having. Not that this is healthy, but I learned to separate the different “boxes” of my life and shut off what I wasn’t focused on in the moment. I would put difficult emotions or what I was dealing with in these boxes and not deal with them. This doesn’t mean the anxiety wasn’t there, it was more that I was ignoring and not working thru it. And in the long run this increased my anxiety. 

Because I was hiding most of my feelings and worries from myself, I was also keeping them from my family and friends. I am lucky to have incredible people in my life but I am naturally someone that doesn't easily share things. So never did I even think that I should be sharing about my anxiety with anyone. I didn't see how sharing could help me, so why would I burden those I loved with this? People in my life could probably see that I was stressed but I think I did a pretty good job at hiding the level at which I was struggling. Having some anxiety herself, my mom could recognize that I did too. She was the only one that I felt even slightly comfortable in being open with my struggle. Her and I always had a close relationship and talked daily so I would give her some details about my anxiety level. But most of the time this only happened when she asked about it several times or when it was so high I was about to burst. 

I really thought my level of anxiety and the constant heavy feeling I had was normal. And honestly it had basically become my new normal. When you have this same consistent feeling most days, it is hard to remember a time without it. Because I didn't really think I could help this feeling, I wasn't doing any work to make it better. I also thought that since I was doing well in school and making friends at college that I must be ok. And since I wasn't sharing with really anyone, no one could tell me that I shouldn't have to live with this intense level of anxiety. One of the biggest symptoms I struggle with is difficulty sleeping. I could lay in bed for hours and not fall asleep, even though I was exhausted. Then on nights when I could fall asleep, I would wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall back asleep. 

Only in hindsight did I realize I was boxing up my feelings. It was a subconscious way my mind taught me to cope so that I could live my life. I still had plenty of joy and fun in my life so I didn't see the problem in what I was doing. Not until I started therapy in my mid 20’s would I learn how to break this habit and that dealing with my anxiety, and all the emotions that come with it, was the only way that I could actually alleviate it.

Like I stated before, this is the just the beginning of my struggle. For me, anxiety will be a lifelong struggle and I am thankful that I have the opportunity and platform to share with you. Later this month, I’ll be sharing the next part of my story and how 2 major life events affected it.   

Kara Krittenbrink
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Beauty RX: Texture Spray


One question I seem to get quite often is what products I use in my hair. I'm relatively low maintenance when it comes to hair products. While styling my hair I typically only use one maybe two products. Unless I have freshly washed hair, I will use dry shampoo. This has been a staple in my hair arsenal for over a decade. My super thick hair is incredibly time consuming to blow dry so I love anything that can keep me from washing it a day or two more!

Since I don't use many, a hair product has to be pretty incredible for me to consider it a must. A few years ago I received a sample of this texture spray.  After experimenting with it I realized this is the hair product I've been missing! It creates the perfectly un-perfect style I'm always trying to achieve.

Texture spray is a dry spray that does exactly what the name sounds like, it adds texture. Unlike dry shampoo, texture spray isn't just applied to the roots. Texture spray can be sprayed all along your hair, from root to ends. It sprays in a fine mist and doesn't leave any residue or weight to your hair. It works well on about any hair texture or length. Since it doesn't have any weight, texture spray is great for adding volume and movement to your hair. Unlike most hair sprays, you can still run your fingers thru your hair after you use it. I've listed it on almost every hair tutorial that I've done.

How To Use Texture Spray

You are probably now asking when you should use texture spray. With its versatility you can use it for tons of styles. For curls that last, it helps to know how to use texture spray when curling hair. Before you curl your hair, spray a light mist. This will add roughness to your strands which will help them curl. It also helps create the messy, beachy waves look. (See how I curl my hair with it here). It also helps revive second or third day curls. Spray it all over by lifting large sections and spraying throughout your whole head. Spraying it lightly will add some volume. The more concentrated you apply it the more defined your look will be. This works on straight hair as well! It is important to start with a small amount the first time you use it. If you use too much, it may weigh down your hair instead of adding volume.

Braids can also benefit from texture spray (see here). Before braiding spray a bit of texture spray on the strands. Your braid will be thicker! The grip the spray adds to your hair will also help the braid stay in place. Smaller pieces won't slip out. Once your hair is braided and tied off spray it again with the texture spray. Then pull on the individual strands to thicken the look of the braid (this is called pancaking). 

Texture spray will also add interest to a ponytail. There really is a ton of versatility with this product so take some time and experiment with your hair and see what it can do. 

My Favorite Texture Sprays

Texture sprays have become more common lately and there seems to be one at every price point! The Rusk texture spray is my favorite. The cost is middle of the road but worth every penny! Oribe makes incredible hair products and I've heard great things about their dry texturizing spray. This OUAI Texturizing Spray also absorbs oil so I think it would be like a hybrid of a texturizing spray and a dry shampoo!

Let me know if you use texture spray an what other hair products you consider a must have!
Kara Krittenbrink
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Dress + Sneaker Pairing


The last few weeks I shared some of my favorites dresses (here) and sneakers (here). Both can be worn with countless other things, I have been combining the two. If you follow me on instagram you've seen evidence in a lot of my recent OOTDs. I have had some questions about how I pair dresses with sneakers so today I'm posting a few of my favorite combinations to provide some inspiration using mainly items from the precious posts!

There really are no rules with how to put together dresses and sneakers. If it's out of your comfort zone (like it originally was for me) then sometimes a little inspiration can help. 

This is my favorite board because both dresses look good with either sneaker. A denim dress will look great with almost any pair of sneakers. Prints, textures, bright colors and neutrals look equally chic with denim. For an impact, I love the combination of this hot pink dress and tie dye sneakers. This look is dressy enough for nicer events. I think it would be especially cute for brunch or a shower. 

An easy way to coordinate is sticking within the same color palette. For example, if a dress has warm colors, like coral, then find sneakers with warm colors like the pink and red in these. It's okay that the colors don't match exactly, the fact that they are in the same color family means they'll coordinate. I also love the contract of the athletic shoes with the dressy outfit.

These glitter sneakers do make a statement but I've been wearing them with everything! I would wear them with any of the dress in this post

Print mixing can sometimes be intimidating. One combo I will always love is leopard and basic stripes. Both prints are classics but when combined become a fashion forward look. 
Kara Krittenbrink
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