Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tiny Home // News Interview

A few days ago Brandon and I did an interview for Fox 26 news about our tiny home! I've been planning on doing another 
tiny home video tour but I guess this is just as good! So without further ado, here it is. Our tiny home: 
FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

IMG_5162 copy

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Joy

My life has been so strange lately. I guess a lot is up in the air at the moment and the uncertainty makes me anxious. But I'm learning how to embrace it and just go with the flow. But it's hard to walk along blindly without a destination, you know? It's kind of like being in limbo. 

But I wanted to get out of my funk for the day! So a little joy post is in order. Here are some things bringing joy to my life today:

JOY copy

> It's my birthday week! My birthday is this Sunday. It feels pretty weird, I'm still not really ready for it. But I've got a jam packed weekend which should be pretty entertaining. I'm turning 24. Nothing significant, just another year under my belt. 

> It's *spring* and absolutely beautiful here. Not to mention, it's Earth Day! I guess I've got some serious Earth appreciating to do on this fine day! 

> It's almost summer and I can. not. wait. to do some traveling and satisfy my inner gypsy. Counting down the days. 

> Sam Wish has been doing beautifully lately. I've gotten my products into two more store in the last few weeks and am pretty excited about it! I've also got plans for some big shows this summer which is always a fun time. 

> I've been taking things pretty easy the past couple of weeks. Which is a nice change of pace. Spending more time working on my personal life than anything else. And just spending a lot of time with myself. It is much needed. 

> Still keeping up with my workout routine even when it feels like a drag. I've been doing a lot of yoga lately too. I find that when my life starts getting emotionally rough, I always go back to yoga. I'm not sure if it's the "feeling in control" aspect of it or the fact that it's just so calming and grounding that helps so much. Regardless, it's been really really helpful. I love it. 

> Meeting beautiful people and making great new friends. Have you ever met someone that you instantly connect with and they just like..... get you? I met a person like that recently and it's so nice to talk to someone that you don't have to fully explain yourself to because they already know. I'm not the biggest talker (ironically enough, since I have this blog and all) but it's nice to have a friend that you can talk to that understands you almost as much as you understand yourself. It makes life easier.

> My friends and family have been amazingly supportive and just overall caring lately. I so sincerely love all of the people around me, they truly make life worth living. Over the years I've tried to surround myself with only the best people and it's times like these that make it apparent how important that is. 

> My days have been filled with hard but insightful conversations lately. Lots of heart to hearts, lots of emotions, lots of life's tribulations but lot's of really important talks and realizations. The wind is blowing, things are changing. 

> Life is crazy and blows me away every single day. I am constantly surprised at what it throws at me. Sometimes I get so caught up in the current of it that it gets hard to deal with but then sometimes I'm just like floating above, watching it all unfold. It's so strange. Life. What a crazy, beautiful thing. 


Hope you guys are doing well. Much love. 

IMG_5162 copy

Friday, April 3, 2015

Sam Wish // New Thingzzz

We've listed a few new things for Sam Wish since the last time I posted about it. And here they are! 

Healing Salve // Organic Aluminum-Free Deodorant // Organic // Large  

Healing Salve // An all-in-one healing salve to help treat any skin condition you might have! It can help heal psoriasis, eczema, acne, or help to heal cuts, scrapes, burns, bites, bruises, scars, rashes, and more!

Aluminum-FREE Deodorant // Did you know that antiperspirants on the market today use aluminum to clog your pores, keep you from sweating, and inhibit your body's natural process of releasing toxins? Well, getting tired of lathering aluminum all up in my own armpits, I created this deodorant that is free from harmful chemicals to avoid putting my health at risk anymore! And now I've put it out into the world for you to try out too!

Face Serum // OrganicSpa Gift Set // Small // Organic Bath // Bath Set // For Her

> Face Serum // Skin care can be tough and the face is no exception. So at Sam Wish, we have formulated 3 blends of face serums for an array of issues and sensitivities to suit your specific skin type. These blends collaborate with your own oil production to promote a balanced and smooth complexion. They go on light and did I mention, they're non toxic?!

Small Spa Gift Set // This gift set has a little bit of everything, a luxuriously healing bath soak to carry away the stresses of your day, a moisturizing sugar scrub to exfoliate that beautiful skin and make it glow, as well as a tube of our lip balm to sooth those luscious lips!

Perfume Sample Pack // Organic Small Bath Soak // Organic

Perfume Sample Pack // This adorable little box is filled with 4 of our healing scents, including our newest, Enchant! Perfect for sampling our oil perfumes or to give as a gift this holiday season. 

> Small Bath Soaks // Instead of investing in a larger bottle, choose one of our bath soaks in a 4 oz size to give it a whirl!

Sam Wish has been bringing me so much joy lately, I finally feel like it's picking up and going places. Pretty much the best feeling ever (: 
Hard work = paying off! 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tiny Home Building // Tips For Saving $$

Side siding 
I think affordability is one of the first things people think of when Tiny Homes come to mind. And yes, they can be quite cheap but they can also get pretty expensive! It all just depends on how you do it. I think we did ours on the more affordable side and thought I'd share how we managed to build our own tiny home for under $10,000. 

1. Become a Craigslist troll. This was a huge resource for us. We got a lot of awesome things and saved a lot of money by utilizing Craigslist. Almost all of our windows, which are in mint condition, are from Craigslist as well as all of our siding (it was so cheap!) and a few other pricy items like our white, ceramic, farmhouse sink which I looooove. So when you have something in mind but it seems out of your price range, get on Craigslist and see what you can find!  

2. Shop around for the best deals. I think this goes without saying. Sometimes you need something quick, but if you can be patient and shop around, you can save quite a bit of money! Amazon is a great place to find deals, as well as Wal-Mart and just the internet in general. You can find places that offer free shipping or even sites that ship to the store for free like Home Depot and Lowes. Don't limit yourself to one place! 

3. Reach out to the people around you for help, equipment, and supplies.  *Most* of our equipment came from my Dad. I got really lucky to have a person close to me that loves his toys. And whatever he didn't have, we were able to ask around and easily find another generous friend that had the tool we needed. You can also rent from Home Depot but it's much cheaper to ask your friends, most people don't mind at all! Also, we found that people were more than willing to help when asked! My Dad happens to be an electrician and we had a plumber friend that donated their time to help us with those things that we were a little uncomfortable accomplishing ourselves. And a handful of our friends came out to help us on random days with whatever we were doing. I think getting the community involved was one of the best parts about this adventure! We could not have made this dream possible without the support of the beautiful people around us. 

4. Plan on diy-ing a lot. I mean, obviously if you're going to build a house, you're going to do a lot of it yourself. But let me tell you, the internet... is your best friend!! People ask me all the time how I learned how to do so many things, and it's simple. The internet. I literally learned how to build a house online. I tried borrowing a few books from the library but I found that they were outdated and not specific enough for my needs. And especially now with the whole "tiny home movement" craze, there are so many more resources out there to gather knowledge from. You can learn to do just about anything via the web which makes diy-ing all the easier to do! 

5. Create a budget and stick to it! This is something we were not so great at but luckily I'm really good at finding used/pre-owned things and diy-ing so it wasn't a huge issue. But like the old saying goes, "If there's a will, there's a way". We splurged on a few things in my house but even those weren't even a huge amount of money because everything in our house in tiny! So I would say, choose your battles. Decide what you absolutely need new and try to find the rest used. Or make it yourself. You know, whatever works for you. 

While we are still adding on to this little home of ours, I can safely say that we definitely spent under $10,000 to make it livable. Which is amazing considering the prices of houses these days. But to achieve that, we utilized our resources to the fullest! We proudly took advantage of hand-me-downs, reclaimed and used items, and any donations/free items thrown our way. It absolutely took more effort than just going to the local hardware store but that's what makes our house so special! It was all so worth it. I love that I can look around my house and remember where we got random little pieces. So many people and so many adventures are a part of this home already, and in a way, it's like a blessing to our house. I love it. Every single bit of it. 

IMG_5162 copy

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Vegan Calzone

photo (11)
I made this a while ago and it was so good, we had it two (possibly even three!) nights in a row. It was super easy and absolutely delicious. Also, I highly recommend the dip to go with it! It's just not the same without!  

Veggie Stuffing: 
> Onion 
> Bell Pepper 
> Garlic 
> Spinach 
> Olives
>Fake Cheese (optional)

Topped With: 
> Tomatoes 
> Rosemary 
> Thyme 
> Oregano 
> Salt 

Crust You Can Use: 
> Homemade dough (yet to perfect one)
> Puff pastry (probably my favorite)
> Crescent roll dough (pretty rich but yummy if that's what you're into)
> Pizza dough (not my fav)

Directions: 
1. Roll out dough 
2. Stuff with yumminess 
3. Close dough 
4. Top with more yumminess 
5. Bake. Either follow directions for dough 
Or Bake at 450 for ~10 minutes, until top of dough browns. 

Super Yummy Delicious Dip: 
3/4 cup Cashew (soaked, preferably overnight but if not, an hour will do)
5 Cloves Garlic
3/4 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes (soaked in water for 15-30 minutes, slightly drained)
2 Tomatoes 
1/2 cup (packed) Basil 
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder 
1/2 tsp Black Pepper 
A little salt
A little olive oil (optional)

Directions: 
1. Soak cashews and sun dried tomatoes. Not totally necessary but better if you do. 
2. Process all ingredients in food processor until pureed and well blended. 

Inspiration: 1, 2, 3

IMG_5162 copy

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BBG: Week 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

I'm super proud of myself for actually sticking to this thing, however I can't say I've been sticking to it 110%. My grandpa died and that kind of bummed me out and got me super behind starting at week 6. But I've been slowly catching up and improving from there. I'm not perfect but I've been trying and that's what matters, right?! So here is my account of week 6-9 of the bikini body guide, trying to play catch up! Also, my results and thoughts on it so far are towards the bottom. 

To check out my weeks 2-5, go here. Or you can check out my original post here about why I started in the first place (and my first week on the workout)! 

source. 

Week 6: 

Monday // Nothing. Found out my Grandpa died, soooo ya. 

Tuesday // Nothing

Wednesday // Nothing  

Thursday (LISS) // Power walked to the grocery store, about 35 minutes. 

Friday (Arms and Abs) // Since I spent last week at the gym, I didn't get to do my week 5 stuff. So this week, that's where I'm starting. Did the week 5 arms and abs. Then spent the rest of the day in the car (to New Orleans for the funeral). 
 
Saturday (Legs and Abs) // Did half of the week 5 leg circuits (both of the circuits done once) with two ab circuits in between. I was at my Grandma's house, upstairs, so I didn't really want to do all of the jumping and annoy everyone. 

Sunday (LISS) // 2 hour walk in the park. Twas pretty warm, 

Week 7: 

Monday  // Funeral and then drove home the rest of the day. Obviously I didn't get any working out in that day. 

Tuesday // Nothing, rested and caught up with emails. 

Wednesday (Whole Body) // Week 5 whole body workout. IT WAS SO GOOD. It was pretty much all abs but it felt awesome. I felt so strong, I can definitely tell I've gained some strength (and you can see it in my abs too :)) 

Thursday (LISS) // Learned this dance (Ariana Grande- Problem) for my LISS, it took me the whole 45 minutes to learn and perfect it. It was a great whole body LISS, shaking everything and all. 

Friday (LISS) // Learned this dance (Fifth Harmony- Boss 

Saturday (Whole Body) // Valentine's Day Workout with Brandon. Was pretty intense but fun to do with a partner. Still using 5 lb weights and 10 lb medicine ball. 

Sunday // Nothing. 

Week 8: 

Catching back up! 

Monday (Legs and Cardio) // I did week 6 legs and cardio workout. Trying to catch up. Hmm I really dislike tuck jumps, nice one Kayla. Just when I think I'm getting stronger, it gets super intense again and she throws in a few curve-balls that have me gasping for breath! Holy cow. No wonder she sees results from all of her clients, this shit is hard! I didn't have the room for the broad jump burpees so I left them out.... woops ;) But I did it and I'm glad that is over with. I always dread leg and cardio day, it is by far the hardest for me. 

Tuesday (Arms and Abs) //  Half of week 6 arms and abs, didn't get to finish because I had to cut it short and go to a birthday dinner. But I plan on picking it up tomorrow! 

Wednesday (LISS)/ Rode my bike for about 1 hour and 40 minutes. 

Thursday (LISS, Arms and Abs) // Finished week 6 arms and abs, then week 6 Abs and Cardio. I actually kind of liked the abs and cardio. Definitely a lot of cardio and legs. Could have done with a bit more abs but I was worn out by the end! Also squeezed in about 35-40 minutes of bike riding. Sweet. 

Friday (LISS) // Walked downtown to a music festival, does that count? 

Saturday // Break

Sunday (Arms and Abs, Yoga/Restoration)// I did week 7 Arms and Abs, I was already exhausted but I made it through! Then finished off with a bit of yoga to stretch out my body. If I wasn't so tired, I would have loved to do more but I was just too tired. Long weekend ya'll. 

Week 9: 

Monday (Legs and Cardio + Yoga) //  Did week 7 legs and cardio with Brandon. the second circuit was killer but I can do jump lunges now! Pretty proud of that. I'm ready to get back on my bike but it's been raining! Maybe tomorrow?

Tuesday //  Nothing. Found mold in my bathroom and went into panic/fix mode. I spent all day doing that. So sore today though

Wednesday (LISS) //  Rode my bike, about 8 miles. Helped so much with the soreness. I woke up even more stiff than yesterday but biking always works it out. 

Thursday (LISS) // Rode my bike in the rain, about 10 miles. That was interesting. But not as bad as I thought it would be. Luckily though it was just a drizzle and not an all out pour. 

Friday (LISS, Full Body, 1/2 Arms and Abs) // Rode bike to E's school and found out that the event I was going to had been cancelled....The lady at the front desk said they emailed everyone but she lies!!! Did week 7 full body as well as 1/2 week 8 arms and abs. 

Saturday (LISS) // Walked around quite a bit downtown, went to a free music festival and did some sanding, that counts right? 

Sunday // Worked all day (market for Sam Wish), too exhausted to workout. 

source

So Results? 

Back: Back appears a bit more muscular than just skinny. I appear to have leaned up on the sides, a little around the bra area. And maybe a little bit around the hips although I think I am a bit bloated today. I see a little more definition in my bottom, not really a whole lot of difference in my back. It’s slightly disappointing.

Side (no flexing): definitely lost some roundness and a bit of blubber. My butt is definitely getting rounder, lifting, and just taking on a better shape. I always thought I had a cute butt but man! Now it's getting serious! My legs are leaning out a bit, I can definitely see some definition as they are getting more muscular. I think I lost some fat on my back like right above my butt. Love handles I guess? There is a definite flatness coming to my tummy, I guess it’s tightening up and I feel like lately I have been losing some fat in that area as well. I can see my obliques (!!!) and six pack coming in. There is definitely flattening out happening of my stomach although that stubborn pooch fat is still lingering.

Front: Definitely starting to lean up on the sides of my tummy. I can see some ab definition even though I’m not flexing! Even though I feel totally bloated today I still see a difference so that’s nice. I like that my shape is starting to change, my stomach is starting to shave in a bit. I can’t wait for my legs to be nice and lean, and get rid of those love handles once and for all! But definitely losing some love handle fat so woohoo! Now to get rid of that pooch.... 
Legs side: My thighs are definitely getting bigger, my butt is popping out more. I’m starting to lose some of the cellulite as I gain definition. I sees it! Still some cellulite but definitely less this week! 

Overall progress: It's so fun to learn that I can do more advanced moves which is one of the best and most motivating parts about this workout plan. In the beginning, I could not do jump lunges to save my life. Now, I can! Also, burpees have become one of my favorite things to do (if you can believe that!). I'm still not able to do regular pushups but I'm getting there! I have more arm muscle than I have ever had in my whole life. So that's pretty cool. And just little thing like being able to lift heavier weights or medicine balls. There's nothing like feeling strong on the outside to make you feel strong on the inside too. It's so uplifting and encouraging. Working out is great. 

At the end of the 12 (well it's probably going to be more like 13) weeks, I'll post a progress picture. But you know, I'm not totally excited about posting half naked pictures of me not looking like a super model on the internet. So I'm holding out for those results! And they are a comin'!

Reasons why I'm STILL loving BBG: 
People keep asking me what I think about the bbg and if I've seen any results. Well results ^^ and here is why I am still doing it and looooooving it!

> The structured-ness of it. I have a crazy creative mind and without a plan or guide, I would just get totally lost and give up. I love that it keeps me accountable and sane. It's already there for me, all I have to do is pull it up and go. Plus, I already know what is required of me in regards to time and energy so I can fit it into my day/life accordingly. Easy peasy!

> The challenge! The workouts get harder and harder each week. I hate it and love it at the same time. But I know they're making me stronger and I am always down for a challenge. Without it, I would get bored and just move on to something else! So in that sense, it keeps me on my toes (quite literally sometimes) and motivated to see what she's planned for me next!

> The community. It's so fun to see how everyone else is doing and they're awesome results. The community on Instagram does so much for my motivation. When I'm feeling out of it, I'll just hop on Instagram, search #bbgprogress, and spend like 30 minutes just browsing through the pictures while working up the motivation to get my workout on! Feeling like you're a part of something as great as being healthy and getting fit, just feels really awesome. And seeing everyone's results after sticking with it is insanely inspiring. 

> The results. This is a no brainer. I know I'm getting stronger and although the aesthetic results always seem to come a little bit slower than I'd like, they're there and I appreciate them. Plus, it's really taught me that I am in total control of my body. Which brings me to my second point. 

The powerrrrr. When I eat bad, I know I'm going to get bloated and look not as great as when I eat good. I'll probably also feel like crap and maybe even have some adverse side effect like a stuffy nose or break out. But I know the power is mine to control that sort of thing. Sometimes, eating some junk is inevitable (I'm not a total hermit, I can't cook ever single meal of mine and control what goes into all of my food) but I just make sure to keep it sparing, and only for special occasions (you know, when it's absolutely, 100% worth it). There are times when I get a little out of control but eventually I start feeling gross and all I have to do is hop back on the bandwagon. And it's ok. I have to be ok with not being perfect and living a little. But I think it's important to realize that you do have the control. If you want to get healthy, you have to do that. No one else can do it for you. It can be scary, sometimes downright terrifying. But once you give yourself the tools to improve your body, the knowledge you need to keep yourself healthy, it gets easier. 

> Self LOVE. Sometimes I absolutely dread working out. Especially leg days, they're so hard! But one of the things I've been working on this year is self love. And I think working out goes a long way to help me love myself and my body more. I know that getting up and completing a workout is going to do wonders for my body. And I love that. I know that working out is going to make me more fit and comfortable in my own skin. And I love that too. I know that working out is going to improve my health. And that's how I prove to myself everyday that I really do love myself. There are very few things that are more important to me than bodily health. Sometimes it's hard, I get busy, I have a million things to do, but making that time is so so soooo important. And I always feel so great after I manage to squeeze it into my schedule. Because honestly, you wouldn't have ANY time if you didn't take care of your body. You would be dead. And I think we can all agree that that is not what we want. 


So that's that! I've been loving (and sometimes hating) the bikini body guide. But I'm still doing it and I'm excited to finish and.... start it all over again! Am I crazy?! Haha, anyways I highly recommend this workout plan. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. I know I've gotten a lot in person and would love to answer inquiries you have (: 
IMG_5162 copy

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lately

I feel like I'm constantly trying to get my sh*t together (pardon my French). But I guess that's how life goes. Always, knocking down the old to build the new and improved. Always trying to make things better, and like this guy says "exploiting chaos" to make something progressive and remarkable but tangible and manageable. That's a good thing, right? But it's a lot easier said than done. I guess that's why so many people fail when it comes to business. I came across this speech that was just speaking to me. It came at the perfect time, as I'm building my business (it seems I'm always doing that) and figuring out how it fits into this whole scheme that is my life. I hope you get something out of it too, I think he's got some wonderful ideas: 
This is our first week back from Spring Break. And by Spring Break, I mean Eliza's Spring Break. Brandon and I still had to work during the week but that didn't stop us from enjoying a few extra activities to celebrate. The first weekend, we went to one of the best (and free!) music festivals in Houston. It was a very community centered gathering and I loved every bit of it. There are some really beautiful people in Houston and these events are a great reminder of that. I also got to participate in a market that was pretty successful so two thumbs up for that weekend!

And then this past weekend I had been thinking about going to Austin/San Marcos for SXSW and a friend's birthday and it took me until the very last minute to decide to go for it! And it was so funny, everything just kept working out almost perfectly. The first night, we arrived, somehow found a great parking spot downtown and managed to get into (for free!) a Chance The Rapper show. And I swear, not even a few days before, I had seen a friend's video on Instagram of a Chance show he saw and my thoughts were, "Oh man, I missed Chance The Rapper. What a bummer, I would have loved to see him". And what do you know! The next day, we met up with a few friends and ate a delicious vegan lunch at a place I can't remember the name of now. I posted it on Instagram and another friend contacted me and told me about another free show of a band that I love, OM. We weren't sure we were going to stay until they played because we were due in San Marcos but we did and I ended up getting to the very front, and seriously enjoyed their show. I even saw a guy get punched in the face for almost lighting the stage on fire! Score! So then we made our way to San Marcos, met up with another friend I wanted to see and ate some vegan (I think?) chinese food. It was totally fattening but just what I needed to carry me through the next 24 hours. We went to my friend's birthday party and a few hours in, ran into anoooother friend I had kind of hoped to see but hadn't contacted. So many happy accidents! I should probably not talk about the rest of the night/morning/day (not blog appropriate) but it was beautiful and crazy and perfect. I didn't think I was going to make it home the next day because I had not slept a wink that night but we did. And it took me about 3 days to recover/fix my sleeping schedule! Hahah, I guess I don't bounce back quite as quick as I used to any more. 

Both of them were such great weekends. I am so grateful for everything that just.... happened. It was surprisingly unsurprising if that makes sense? Like I was kind of taken aback but at the same time it was like, of course. Of course all of that happened. It was just the way things were meant to be. I was merely there for the ride. To enjoy and experience. 

I guess that's the way I've been looking at life lately. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my emotions. (Emotions are insanity. Seriously.) But then I take a step back and just appreciate the beauty of it all, all of my experiences, the craziness that is life. I mean, I chose this after all. I'd rather feel everything than nothing. I'd rather be passionate than empty. I would rather live and love fully, with my heart, than force myself to live a life devoid of meaning or joy or hope. And no matter how much I wish I wasn't feeling what I'm feeling, or that I was doing or being something else, this is where I need to be right now. This is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. Or feeling. Or being. And that is perfection in itself. Because I can never be anything other than myself. In this moment, everything is exactly where it should be and I guess my struggle is accepting that. I am always striving to improve myself and make my life better. And while I try to be grateful and appreciate where I'm at, I think the missing piece all along was to accept it. I need to accept that it's ok to be where I am while I dream of the future. I can't just keep walking (or running? I think I run) forward without paying attention to where I am, I'll trip and fall on my face or run straight into something without warning! And I've definitely done those a few times. I have been fighting a lot of things in my life lately, but I think the key is just to let them be what they are. And be completely and totally ok with that. Because that's the only way I can move forward from here. That's the only way to truly move on. 

These past two weeks, the universe has been very kind to me. And I appreciate it massively. It's made me realize that my life is so full. Even when I can break it down and obsess over the things that could still use improving, my life is beautiful as it is right now. And I better enjoy it before it's gone, because I will never been here again. I keep hearing about, enjoying the journey, but I never really got it until now. If you don't enjoy the journey, you're just going to be miserable and in the end, the goal probably won't make you happy anyways because you'll always have your sights set on improving, you will never be good enough. But you are good enough. I am good enough! 

Well..... I had intended on keeping that short. But I always have too much to say! AND THAT'S OK. 

But in all seriousness, I have a few more beautiful articles that have been enlightening to read. Annnnnnnd here they are: 
> What Self-Loving People Do Differently 
> What The Divine Feminine Means To Me (this is everything) 

Also, a quote that I read somewhere that struck me: 
Dance with the creator.

And some daily affirmations that seem appropriate right now: 

> I am willing to set myself free. 
> I am in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. 
It’s about being spectacular by just being who you are. 
> I am not failing. I am getting stronger. I am growing. (from a Champion Rock Climber)

Oh and one more video: The Art of Being You 
IMG_5162 copy