Holiday Gift Guides for the Hostess, Cook + Girl Boss

I’m back with two more gift guides to get you into the holiday spirit and (hopefully!) not waiting until the last minute to start your shopping. Whether it be gifts for your family, friends (or maybe just for you!) I hope these gift guides help give you some ideas!

Up first is my gift ideas for the hostess, entertainer, cook in your life! Some of these items I use myself (and love!) + others are going on my own wishlist. Keep reading for more info!

  1. Le Creuset 5.5 qt. Dutch Oven This is one of those items you most certainly need but will tell yourself you don’t because it’s a bit on the pricier side. But I have to say, this pretty little thing pays you back in dividends. You can make almost anything in it (think chili’s, stews, sauces, soups, etc.) it can go straight from the stovetop into the oven and is worth it’s weight in gold...and it’s mighty heavy I might add. PLUS, you can interchange the knobs. We’re in the middle of redoing my house + I can’t wait to get my hands on a white dutch oven with a gold knob 😍 It’s the little things in life, no?!

  2. Black Playing Cards I don’t know about you, but a wild Saturday night with my friends consists of drinking wine + playing games. These all black playing cards make you feel super chic + cool and would be the perfect stocking stuffer or hostess gift!

  3. Stacking Cacti Glasses I don’t even know if these need any explanation. They are so fun + casual yet they’re glass and will hold up well. I can already taste the delicious margarita’s they will soon hold. Perfect for the girl who loves tequila, a solid fiesta (+ siesta, of course) and observes Taco Tuesday each week.🌵

  4. Jo Malone London Lime Basil & Mandarin Scent Surround Diffuser GUYS. This. This is the smell of all smells. Literally, they put it in the lobby of the Bloomingdale’s by my house + I will stand there and breathe it allll in for ten minutes. It’s super fresh, but still smells like something, ya know what I mean?! Perfect for the friend who just moved + looking for a signature scent for her new digs. (Pick yourself up one too, once you smell it you’ll be hard pressed to actually give it away!)

  5. Bodum Chambord Copper 34 Ounce French Press I. Love. French pressed coffee. In my opinion, aside from an espresso machine, there is no better way to make coffee. You can adjust it to exactly how you like your coffee, strong, mild, weak...you name it! It gives it such a good flavor, if you haven’t tried it, treat yourself to a French Press this year and if you know how great it is, gift one to spread the coffee love. This copper one is eye catching + makes enough coffee for everyone!

  6. Marble + Brass Inlay Cheese Board I love anything with writing on it so it’s no question this cute cheese board gets on the list. I have a similar one from West Elm + its super durable and will keep the cheese nice + cold, not soggy + gross like wood does after a while. An inexpensive way to throw something cheeky + whimsical into a gift!

  7. Ullo Filter + Decanter I came across this wine filter on a Facebook ad one day + immediately bought it. It’s the only wine filter that removes sulfites without changing the taste of the wine! That means no more stuffy noses, wacky hangovers or wine headaches. Sulfites are responsible for all of that + more. But this filter does it’s job + now comes with an awesome decanter. Any wine lover will be thanking you for years to come for this!

  8. Polaroid Original Ok, so I know everyone’s all about the Instax (and I love it too!) but I was recently reintroduced to the goodness of an OG polaroid camera. It’s amazing. Takes the best pictures (with the greatest filter ever invented) and makes any moment way more fun. Think of a holiday party you’re attending this year, how much fun would it be to take pictures that actually get developed!? Take it old school this year.

  9. Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender Clearly I’m having a copper moment but hear me out. This blender is the blender of all blenders. If you have a serious cook, wellness junkie, protein shake maker-extraordinaire, you best believe a Vitamix is at the top of their list. It can make soups, smoothies and sauces, has a quieter motor (so no more waking up the whole house in the morning) plus it can chop vegetables + doubles as a food processor. It does all the things. It’s a big ticket item but will win you big brownie points. Or smoothie points?

  10. Crosley Radio Cruiser Deluxe Turntable The last few months Tim + I have been going through my dad’s house that we’re redoing and had so much fun going through his record collection. We must’ve saved at least 50 records we deemed “ungiveawayable” to keep for ourselves. This item is at the top of our list, maybe juuuust behind a fridge, washer/dryer, stovetop, oven + dishwasher but we can’t wait to get our hands on one. We love that it looks super retro + creates a super cool vibe. Any music lover will appreciate an eclectic item like this!
  11. Cuisinart Commercial Wine Opener My mom literally gets this wine opener any time she has to bring a gift somewhere. It’s always a hit, relatively inexpensive + works great if you pair it with a nice bottle of wine! We’ve had ours for years + it has yet to let us down. No more fussing with a corkscrew or breaking the cork + ruining the wine, this is a game changer!

 

 

 

I could easily make this list 50 items long but I tried to contain myself. There’s just so much any entreprenuer, soloprenuer, girl boss, mom boss, your boss’ boss needs to make her day easier.

These are a few of the items I thought would make amazing gifts for the woman on a mission in your life!

  1. The Future is Female What better way to show her you support her + her dreams than slappin’ it on a pillow?! This cute, empowering throw pillow is the perfect gift (and reminder!) to show the girl boss in your life how much you believe in her + her dreams.

  2. The Day Designer This is the bible for any female hustlin’ to do #allthethings. I’ve purchased this planner three times already + have no plans on changing. It gives you one full page for each day (yes, it’s enormous but you’ll love it) and all the space to write your to do list + keep everything organized. It’s a quality planner + will not break or budge getting thrown around a bag.

  3. U Brands White Board Calendars I have four of these guys hanging over my desk to help me plan content, events + ideas and be able to look ahead a few months at a time. They’ve got a gold frame so they’re office chic. The white board allows you to plan, re-plan and then plan some more. The blogger/side hustler will love this!

  4. bkr 1L Bottle I’m not a fan of drinking out of plastic and your girl’s gotta stay hydrated. These glass bottle from bkr are overly instagrammable yet functional at the same time. No tough mouth pieces to clean, just simple glass. The silicone outer layer makes them easy to carry! Perfect for the girl on the go!

  5. Laptop Stand If you spend hours at the computer and wind up with an achy neck and knots in your back, this might be the answer. This laptop stand raises the height of your screen to eye level so you put less strain looking down. It’s a game changer. Your chiropractor will thank you!

  6. Mophie Case I’ve been putting off getting myself one of these forever. My phone is always dying (I’m sure you know someone in the same situation) and currently has zero case on it. Between checking emails, posting to instagram, and handling all things social, I’m rarely in the same place long enough to charge my phone so this would be perfect! Think I’ll be treating myself to one of these as soon as I get my hands on the new iPhone!

  7. Sony Alpha a6000 For the budding blogger in your life, this gift will likely be a Christmas, birthday, anniversary gift all rolled into one. Though not the most expensive camera, it’s definitely on the pricier side. The beauty of this one is that it’s compact, it’s lens is interchangebale, it connects to your phone via wifi + has a flip out screen. I currently have a Canon Eos Rebel which is one of the smallest DSLRs out there. I definitely don’t need a new camera at the moment but when I do, this is my first purchase! It’s small enough to take with you everyone so you don’t miss a moment!

  8. Go Getter Mug Like I said before, I love a good saying plastered across a shirt, a pillow or cheese platter. This mug is part of a series from West Elm and the other sayings are just as cute. Every girl boss needs her go-to coffee mug, this could be it!

  9. All Day Tote 26L This tote is perfect for taking you from the gym to work and out for drinks. It has a laptop sleeve to keep your computer safe on the go, has all the compartments for #allthethings, plus it black, looks super chic and doubles as a purse! It will be the “it” bag for the girl boss on your list.

  10. Sony Premium Noise Canceling Headphones These headphones might be pricey but the noise canceling feature allows you to work anywhere without distractions. Whether it be at a noisy coffee shop or trying to focus in your home office, the right playlist and noise canceling headphones will get the job done!

 

Hope these gift ideas were helpful + you find the perfect gift for those on your list this year! Remember, as always, it’s the thought that counts! Taking the time to think of the recipients interests will go a really long way!

 

 

 

Happy Holidays + happy shopping!

 

 


Xx Kendall

 

Holiday Gift Guides for Wellness + Fitness Junkies

I”m SO pumped the holiday season is in full swing + I can finally listening to Christmas music without people telling me to turn it off. Ha!

So in the midst of my food coma + on the heels of Black Friday, I felt like putting together some holiday gift guides for the babe on your list ths year just in time for some Cyber Monday deals.

From budget friendly to bigger ticket items, I know there is something on here for the go-getter in your life! Most of these items I use myself or I’ve added to my own wish list this year (*hint hint*).😂

If gift-giving is your favorite thing to do, you’ve come to the right place!

Up first we have the Holiday Gift Guide for the wellness obsessed in your life! Keep reading to find out why I love these items + how I use them in my life!

 

  1. The Five-Minute Journal This item is #1 on my list becuase I truly believe an attitude of gratitude changes your whole life. I use this system in the app version on my phone (because I’m a gypsy child + remembering to bring yet another book around with me isn’t happening lol!). The app follows the same formula for writing down things you’re grateful for + a daily affirmation. I do believe, however, that putting pen to paper makes it even more powerful. Once I can park myself in one place for a while I’ll definitely be switching over the hard copy!

  2. Moon Juice Shop Moon Dust Sampler These adaptogenic superherbs + mushrooms help support your brain, skin + the overall nourishment of your body. Think beauty dust, sleep dust, brain dust...you name it! By using the sampler pack you can find your favorite! I love the brain dust but am excited to try the others!

  3. HImlayan Sea Salt Plug-in Lamp I recently experienced my first salt therapy session and let me tell you, it’s the real deal. More than a handful of people commented on how amazing my skin looked in the days following, I could breathe more clearly + honestly felt my body vibrate at a higher frequency. (I shit you not my friend…). SO if you don’t live near a salt spa (but I’m sure you do, just google...I live near 3 and had no clue!) filling your home with salt lamps is the next best bet. I love this one because it’s small + doubles as a night light. The salt changes the ionic composition of the air around + has tons of positive effects on your body!

  4. Slip Sleep Set THIS. This is it my friends. Think of how long you sleep on your pillow each night?! Sleeping on a silk pillowcase is less abrasive than sleeping on a regular cotton or synthetic fabric. It’s slippery nature ensures you won’t wake up with pillow lines on your face (aiding in the production of more wrinkles 🙄 + an embarrassing commute) and helps prevents hair breakage. Plus, the eye mask is perfect for a quick power nap + is equally soft around your eyes! Win-win!

  5. Mario Bedescu Facial Spray The facial spray to end all facial sprays and did I mention its $7!? Perfect stocking stuffer or add-on to any gift you you give this season! This spray is super hydrating, smells divine + leaves skin feeling dewy (not oily!) all day long. With rosewater + aloe this is a must have beauty cabinet product.

  6. RMS Living Luminizer A friend of mine told me about RMS Beauty in my search for clean beauty products. So far RMS is as clean as I can find + have used. They use food-grade organic ingredients + nothing synthetic or chemical. Their products are meant to be blended + used together. This is the first product of theirs I’ve used + I LOVE it. I use it as highlighter, eye shadow + even a little bit on my lips. Check out their other products + you won’t be disappointed.

  7. Meditation Set I’ve been meditating pretty consistently for the last four months + have noticed such a shift in my mental clarity + stress, it’s amazing! I saw this cute little set + now it’s on my list. It comes with a pillow + eye mask perfect to travel with or set up somewhere in your home to make daily meditation something to look forward to! Whenever I get my hands on this thing I’m setting it up in the sunniest spot in the house (my favorite place to do any meditation).

  8. OIl Diffuser This has been one of the favorite additions I’ve made to my wellness routine this year. I use it all day when I’m home + every night before bed. It’s one of those things you didn’t know you *needed* until you got one + now you’ll never be without it.

  9. Liquid Sunshine, Well Being, Immune These are just a few of my favorite essential oils. Liquid sunshine smells like just that...sunshine. I use this during the day + to help focus when I’m doing work. It’s invigorating + energizing (and helps winter feel less wintery). Well being (with a couple of drops of lavender!) is my go to for relaxing. It has neroli in it which I love + helps me fall asleep quickly! Immune is another favorite that has eucalyptus + helps with stuffy winter days and congestion.

  10. Ritz Carlton Robe If you care about anyone in your life, get them this. This robe is IT! I got this for my birthday after falling in love with it after staying at the hotel. Each time, I would find myself sleeping in it and never wanting to taking it off. Now I SO look forward to my night time routine when I shower + lounge around in it for a couple of hours. It’s a little pricey but so SO so worth every penny!

 

Up next is the Holiday Gift Guide for Fitness Junkies! There are endddddless fitness gifts to get the workout warrior in your life, these are just a few of the staples everyone with an exercise routine should have.

  1. Athleta Gym Bag I love anything camo + Athleta has this awesome blue + white camo print that I love! This bag has tons of pockets + places to organize all the things you need to get from workout to going out!

  2. Foam Roller The love/hate relationship I have with my foam roller is REAL. As a spin instructor, my hamstrings + calves are always tight. Foam rolling is extremely important for anyone that works out a lot or does a lot of repetitive motions (read: spinning) as it works out tight muscles, moves lactic acid build up + leaves you feeling like a ball of mush.

  3. Hydro Flask 40 oz. This is the best water bottle for workouts + daily life. It keeps any liquid cold for up to 24 hrs and hot beverages hot up to 6 hrs. Its extra large (this option is jsut over a liter) so you’ll have more than enough water for before during + after your workout. Plus it has a flip top straw (makes it super easy to drink from one handed) + hook for easy carrying.

  4. Beats X Beats by Dre For those who opt for solo workouts, these headphones are perfect. They’re wireless (but like not those silly buds you’ll lose in two seconds) AND they’re matte gold. I mean, I wouldn’t even care if the quality wasn’t that good because they’re just so damn cute, but to top it off they’re Beats! And, the reviews on Amazon are great!

  5. Nutri Bullet Rx For any fitness, wellness, food lover, the Nutri Bullet is a must have for smoothies, protein shakes, dressings + sauces. It can literally do all the things. This version is more powerful + has sturdier cups that come with handles! My nutri bullet is rounding almost 10 years old + I’m itching for an upgrade. Plus, this one is on a serious sale!

  6. Spiritual Gangster Warrior Hoodie This is the perfect top to throw on before or after the gym. It completes that whole “athleisure” look. I’m a sucker for any kind of graphic tee and I love how this one says ‘Warrior’, it feels fierce + I love it!

  7. Lululemon Namastay Mat I’ve been in the market for a great new yoga mat + just stumbled upon this new one from Lulu. They seriously do make the best mats + I’ve been eyeing up their “the Big Mat” for while (since I’m tall + my legs usually need more room 😂) but I think I might like this one better. It’s made from natural rubber, Luvea, and is sustainably sourced!

  8. Dynaflyte 2 by Asics Finally Asics offers a black + white sneaker. Lol. Asics have been my favorite sneakers for a while for comfort + performance but hated how I could never find a neutral style. I think these may be it! Great for running, training and all around life on the go. These are going on my list too!

  9. Alo Yoga Moto Leggings These are the super popular, not-just-for-yoga pants that everyone needs. They come in a ton of colors (obv I just like black) + can be dressed up or down. Athleisure closet staple.

Hope these ideas helped you get started on your holiday shopping for the season! Remember, when shopping for gifts, the thought always counts. Taking time to think of what the person really enjoys + showing interest in their hobbies means more than any price tag.

Do yourself a favor + don't wait until the last minute this year. No one needs the added stress!

Take some time this week + write down who you want to buy for this year, what your budget is + their areas of interest. Then, as you go about your days, you'll find gifts that will stand out from the crowd + help you with your shopping! 

Check back on the blog tomorrow for two more holiday gift guides: one for the girl-boss in your life + one for the hostess/entertainer/cook extraordinaire! 

Happy shopping!

Xx Kendall 

 

 

 

 

3 Steps to Knowing What Your Worth

Working for yourself might be your ultimate dream, but with that comes alot of loose ends you may never have thought about. One being: knowing how much you are worth. 

As we continue the conversation around the women wage gap I can’t help but want to interject a little piece of perspective. 

Did you ever think the wage gap might be so large because women generally have under priced themselves for quite awhile? They are usually conditioned to not speak up about issues related to pay (for fear of seeming “greedy” or "pushy") or flexible work time. 

In the corporate world, this is a borderline epidemic. I heard a staggering statistic from a speaker at Create & Cultivate earlier this year that struck a chord with me...

Out of all of the people this woman hired in the past year, an almost equal men to woman ration, every single one of the men counter offered the company’s initial offer. The craziest part…not a single woman did. 

Not one. 

Not one woman counter offered! HOW EVEN?! 😤

To me that says two things: woman are unsure of how to speak up in this regard AND they also unsure of how much they’re actually worth.

And you know who determines that? YOU do.

So this past weekend with this last full moon in Taurus (which asks us to dig deep into self-worth) I go to thinking a little bit more on this topic. 

One of the things I love working on with coaching clients is self-worth. Part of that has to do with pricing their services/products but the other part is aligning the value they place on themselves with their income. 

Time = money and money = energy, right?!

Why do you think we feel so beaten down and uninspired when we go to a job where we feel we’re under paid? Do we perform at our best? Do we put our best effort forward? Are we a better team player?

....it’s gonna be a no from me dawg. 

We exchange the energy relative to what we are being paid.

If you were paid what you believe you are worth, do you think you’d do a better job? Exceed expectations? Become a valued member of the team? 

Uh, duh.

So, if you’ve been struggling with knowing how much you are worth, how much to charge clients or ask for in salary meetings…let’s walk through a little exercise, shall we?!

This is an exercise I went through with my coach and now I use it with my own clients. It works whether you are salary based, freelance, or project based—stick with me.

Step #1
How much, in your life right now, would you want to earn per hour to feel adequately compensated for what you bring to the table?

Now, don’t worry about how much money a company has in their budget to pay you or how “tough” it may be to find a job. This is about you and you only. 

Got a number?

My guess is it’s too low. How does it feel when you say that number? Do you feel excited or just ehh? 

If you don’t feel excited (and slightly scared!) the number is too low. Say a few different numbers until your body and mind have a pleasant reaction (that's your intuition telling you you’re right!).

Step #2
Now add 30%. This is for tax. 

Remember, we already decided on the number that feels the best, so how would it feel when 30% is taken out of that to pay taxes?! Not so great.

Factor that in and now you have your new number.

Step #3
To find your salary amount, multiply that number by 40 hours. If it’s project based, multiple it by how many hours each project takes.

With projects make sure you add buffer time to cover anything that should come up unannounced.


So, how does that feel? Does that number excite you? Does it make you feel in control? Do you feel lit up thinking about getting paid that amount?

If you don’t feel excited, try the exercise again until you do!

When we flip the script and decide WE are the ones that dictate our worth, our whole world changes. We start recognizing the value in others and graciously paying handsomely for services because we understand that time = money = energy. And I don’t know about you but I don’t want anyone with bad energy working for me!

Talking money can feel uncomfortable but the more we open up the conversation the easier it gets.

Between my time in corporate, freelancing and taking on coaching clients, I’ve had a lot of practice at valuing myself. I’ve had a great teacher in my mother who is a master negotiator and someone who preaches to monetize YOUR assets. Now I’m able to confidently command what I’m worth (note: not demand. there’s a difference) and feel integrity around what I charge. 

I challenge you to feel the same! Step out of your comfort zone and explore what is like to be compensated for your skills, your personality and the light you bring to the table. It is valuable.

Don’t worry about pricing yourself out of a job (because you may!) another one is right around the corner will to pay you what you’re worth. If you are self-employed or freelance, be sure to reevaluate your rate every few months. What new things have you learned? Skills you’ve picked up? That all adds up. 

If this is something that you've been struggling with and you'd love to gain some clarity on I'd be happy to hop on a call together to figure it out. Sometimes there's more to it then a number. Sometimes it's feeling you deserve what your worth. Money blocks are real. But they can be removed! 🙌🏽.

Shoot me an email or leave a comment and let me know what you feel you’re worth! Put it out into the universe, you deserve it!

 

 

All the hug + high vibes 🙌🏽

Xx Kendall 

 

My 3 Go-To Morning Smoothie Recipes

Hey guys! I’ve been taking it easy this last week spending time offline to reset, reflect + refocus. I’m feeling a *bigger* digital detox here on the horizon. Some people I know have been raving about it’s benefits! (Couldn't we all use a break?!)

So, in the meantime, I thought I would talk about something simple I get asked about ALOT. Whether it be at Cycler, friends or people I meet throughout my day, everyone always wants to know what each other eat’s for breakfast. 

I think we’ve all become aware of how fueling up in the morning impacts our whole day. And for me, I’ve come along way from eating everything bagels with cream cheese and a diet coke in high school. (You can find out a little bit more of my food journey here.)

Once I got into college I was introduced to Isagenix through the family I babysat for. This was like the OG Isagenix, before instagram, before fit models and all that jazz. I started drinking protein shakes in the morning (mainly out of laziness) and found my energy levels change, my body change, I was stronger and had real muscle tone for the first time in my life.

Ever since then protein shakes and smoothies have been my go-to morning fuel. 

For me, something easily digestible that packed a nutrient punch feels good in my stomach. Big heavy breakfasts I save for later in the morning or for lunch (or obv, brunch).

So today I thought I'd share some of my favorite, good-for-you recipes that will turn your mornings around. From brain fog + groggy by mid-morning to full + happy until lunchtime.

These recipes get me through teaching one (sometimes two) 50 minute Cyclebar classes and are jam packed with nutrient-dense superfoods. 

What are superfoods?! I’m so glad you asked!

They are foods that have higher concentrations of antioxidants (you know, those things we can’t get enough of) vitamins + minerals. They are foods that have been around forever + have proven track records to be good for your overall health + well being.

The beauty with these recipes is that they are EASY! The base is always the same, but the flavors are all different. When you get the base of the smoothie down it’s easy to play around with different add-ins! And I use my tried + true Nutri Bullet blender for it all. 🙌🏽


You know I eye ball the ish out of this so I’m using my best guesses at the measurements. The brands I love (+ trust) are linked below.

It goes a little something like this:

SUPER SMOOTHIE BASE

-Enough unsweetened Almond milk, Coconut Milk, Coconut Water, Alkaline water (whatever floats your boat)
-15g plant-based protein or collagen protein (depending on the smoothie I’ll use chocolate or vanilla)
-2tbsp chia seeds
-3tbsp hemp seeds
-1tbsp MCT oil
-1tsp Maca powder
-5 or 6 ice cubes
-1tsp local bee pollen (optional)

There’s your base.

Right off the bat you’re talking about nearly 30 grams of protein (chia seeds + hemp seeds both are great sources of fat AND protein). If that seems too much, drink half before your workout + the other half after. Or drink half + put the rest in the fridge for a quick snack later in the day. The MCT oil contains tons of good-for-you fats that keep you full and your brain functioning at high frequency all morning. 

Bee pollen is something new I’ve added to my smoothies after one of my best friends bought me some for my birthday (she knows me too well 😂). According to Dr. Axe, who I refer to as my primary care physician, these are the benefits of bee pollen

“Bee pollen is wonderful for natural allergy relief and is responsible for the many health benefits of raw honey. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, lipids and fatty acids, enzymes, carotenoids and bioflavonoids — making it an antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agent that strengthens the capillaries, reduces inflammation, stimulates the immune system and lowers cholesterol levels naturally.”
 

Sounds pretty good to me, right?!

So now for the fun stuff.

GREEN GODDESS

(because, how cliche?! + it really does make you feel like a goddess)

This smoothie recipe is adapted from one fo my favorites that I was introduced to at my old gym Lifetime FItness (though it shouldn’t be referred to a gym so much as it should be called a “compound”, “country club”, “fortress” maybe? Anyone have one by them!? They are bananas.)

Anywho, this smoothie was my first experience with kale (like, whaaaa?!) and it showed me that greens can taste BOMB! I love it because unlike juicing, you get all the fiber + goodness that comes from the whole leaf/fruit. 

Add to a vanilla protein smoothie base the following:
-1 big handful of kale
-1 big handful of spinach
-½ avocado (or a whole one if they're teeny)
-5 or 6 frozen mango chunks (probably half of a fresh mango)

This smoothie has packed nutrients from the kale + spinach, extra fats from the avocado (my body does better on a high fat diet, maybe yours does too!), plus a little carbs + sweetness from the mango. It tastes amazing and you’re starting your day with a full serving of greens! What could be easier?!

For the chocolate lovers out there like myself, this next one squashes your chocolate craving like nothing else! Its packed with superfoods like cacao + cherries and also sneaks in a serving of greens without you even knowing it.

Cherries + chocolate go to together like peanut butter + jelly. You’ll feel totally indulgent with this smoothie but you’ll be happy knowing you’ve gotten in a full serving of greens plus tons of antioxidants. 

Now notice in the recipe below I wrote CACAO (ca-cow) and not COCOA. There’s a major difference. One is processed + full of sugar and the other is the superfood that you want. Raw cacao is full of iron, magnesium AND calcium plus it’s a natural mood lifter + contains neurotransmitters that chemically (naturally) help lift your mood. Pretty cool shit, right?!

If that wasn’t enough, cherries are also filled with antioxidants + are also anti-inflammatory and help in muscle recovery (great shake for post workout!). They also contain melatonin + helps with sleep! (but it doesn’t make you sleepy, you know what I mean?!)

If you’re a chocolate fiend like me, check this out:

CHERRY CHOCOLATE + CHOC FULL OF GREENNESS

Add the following to a chocolate-protein smoothie base:
-1 big handful of spinach
-2 tbsp of raw cacao powder (makes it super chocolatey)
-1 tbsp of cacao nibs
-Enough frozen pitted cherries (again, here, eyeball it. 1 cup usually does the trick)
-Cinnamon to cover the top 

This next one is my favorite for its brain boosting goodness. It’s packed with blueberries which are good for you eyes + brain (they look like eyes don’t they?! Coincidence? I think not🤔) plus its one of the most antioxidant dense foods (clearly can’t get enough)!

Make sure on your next trip to Whole Foods or TJ’s you pick up a big ol’ pack of blueberries. They’re all great to grab a handful on the go!

For this smoothie, you can add the following to either a vanilla or chocolate protein base:

-1 handful spinach
-1 handful kale
-1 cup of blueberries (or a handful)
-1 banana
-1 tsp manuka honey (optional -- but another great superfood!)

Depending on the ripeness of the berries and banana, this smoothie comes out bright purple! SO fun. 

SO! There you have it.

Three simple superfood smoothie recipes to start your mornings on the right foot + keep you full until lunch! No more hangry outbursts (your coworkers will thank you) + you’ll feel so energized and proud you took time to fuel + nourish your body the right way!

If you are subscribed to my newsletter, I sent out a few additional recipes! If you're not signed up yet, pop your email in below (I promise, always content...no spam) and I'll make sure you get the others!

I’m always looking for new smoothie recipes so if you have any you love, let me know! Comment below with your favorite smoothie combo + I'll definitely give it a try!

 

Hugs + High Vibes ✌🏼

xo Kendall 

What I Learned From Competing at Miss New Jersey USA

This past weekend, I competed in my fifth, yes FIFTH, Miss New Jersey USA pageant. This is the preliminary round before going to the Miss USA stage. 

If you would've told me years ago that I'd be competing in a pageant (let alone competing 5 times) I would've laughed at you so hard.

It was so not me or anything like anything I'd ever done. But at the time the pageant was owned and run by NBC and as a recent broadcasting graduate, it seemed like a good way to get my foot in the door. 

Fast forward four years and I can honestly say it was one of the greatest decisions I've ever made in my life. Through it all I learned so much about myself, what I was capable of and discovered my passion for coaching!

The first order of business once I signed up for the pageant in 2013 was to hire a pageant coach, a trainer and an interview coach. I embarked on an amazing journey of personal growth and development. If only everyone took this opportunity!

Yes, the goal was to win at Miss NJ USA but who I became in the process is entirely more valuable and important than any sash or crown. 

So, since this year marked my final year of eligibility (aka I'm too old to compete anymore🙄) I thought I'd reflect on what I learned over the years and my biggest takeaways from the whole experience. 

SELF-AWARENESS

Probably the biggest life lesson I’ve learned from competing at Miss New Jersey USA for the past four years (five competitions!) has to be self-awareness. Very few jobs or experiences in life force us to look at our lives as objectively than having someone give you unbiased feedback about who you perceive yourself to be and who you actually SHOW UP as. 

Body language, mannerisms, realizing you say “like” every third word or that you cut people off mid-sentence...we all have a perception of who we think we are, but unfortunately without some deep work, what you believe you are putting out there may be the opposite of what’s being received on the other end. 

You may believe you’re outgoing and friendly but what’s coming across is inauthentic and obnoxious. Now, your family, friends or coworkers may never dare tell you this, but a pageant coach certainly will. (And your family and friends alike are eternally grateful.)

But there's a fine line between objective, honest FEEDBACK and ill-intended, subjective criticism.

You’ve got to be vulnerable enough to know there is always room for improving, but sure of yourself enough to know when something is simply just not true. 

Body language in pageants (and life!) is HUGE.

From the way you sit to the way you stand and the way you walk down a runway. Yes, in the big scheme of things, this seems trivial, but it’s taught me how to carry myself in a way that makes me feel confident and sure of myself walking into any situation.

Whether it be an interview, a meeting or a networking event, I’m always aware of my body language and what my body is saying on my behalf before I even open my mouth. 

Self-awareness is probably the hardest and most uncomfortable thing to attain but THE MOST necessary tool for success in life. Between the pageant itself and the coaching in preparation for it, I’m in a constant feedback loop. I'm always asking "how could I have handled that better?", "what about me drives you crazy?", "what can I do to be better?".

Some of these questions are hard to hear the answers to, but the twinge you get in your stomach when you hear an brutally honest response is just your ego being bruised…it won’t kill you and likely you’ll be better for it! 

Fear.

Getting on stage in front of hundreds of people you don’t know, to strut around in a bikini (while balancing on 6in. platform heels), can be someone’s worst nightmare. The funny thing is, for most of the girls that sign up, that IS their worst nightmare…yet they showed up anyway to tackle their fears head-on. 

Now, being a Leo and an only child, you give me a stage, spotlight and a microphone and I couldn’t be happier.

But the funny thing about it, though, is that everyone up there is nervous. It’s human nature when you're front and center for ridicule and judgement (whether you’re in a pageant or not!) that you wanna shit your pants. People fear public speaking more than death, and I'm not surprised. 

That being said, if everyone’s nervous, then everyone’s nervous. You’re not alone. Some people hide it better than others. I tend to trick myself into believing I’m totally calm, cool and collected. 

But that’s what’s awesome about fear. You can trick your mind out of it. Someone once said to me fear stands for False Experiences Appearing Real and I love that. I’ve used it ever since. 

Any job I do requires me to stand in front of a crowd of people and talk or perform, so had a lot of trial and error and practice at this but you can totally hack fear with the right mindset.

When I’m new at something, I convince myself I’ve been doing it forever, I start acting like a veteran, almost putting on a different and more experienced persona (a la Beyonce's Sasha Fierce) You know, the whole “fake it till ya make it” thing…it actually works. 

Tips for managing fear and calming nerves:

    1.    Meditation. You knew this was coming, right?! Meditation helps you retake the reins of your brain. Without it, it’s hard to understand just how much of your mind you have control over.
    2.    Affirmations. Like I mentioned above, telling yourself you are not nervous, or scared or fearful has a much bigger effect than you might think. Little phrases like “I’m cool, I’m confident, I know what I’m doing, I’ve got this!” and just repeating it over and over reaffirms your mind and relaxes your nervous system.
    3.    Public speakers all over use a little something-something called Lemon Balm Extract to help calm nerves before big presentations. Whether it’s psychosomatic or not is up to what you believe. A few drops under the tongue does wonders to take the edge off!
    4.    No caffeine. Nothing compounds nerves like caffeine. For anything particularly nerve-wracking, your body’s adrenaline will produce plenty of energy for you to carry out whatever you are setting out to do. You do not need caffeine. Ok, one more time, YOU DO NOT NEED CAFFEINE. It will make you jittery and you won’t know why you are feeling all weird and like you wanna throw up, etc. And yes, tea is still caffeine (unless it's herbal!). Stick to hot water and lemon before anything like a pageant, interview or any major life event where you need to keep your shit together.

WOMEN

Women are tricky, tricky beings. But, since competing in this pageant I feel like I’ve developed a better understanding of different kinds of women, especially young women. We speak about empowerment and sticking up for one another, yet when you pit one woman against another, it’s nothing but fire. 

The first few years competing I couldn’t understand why everyone wasn’t friendly (read: why wasn't everyone just like me). Some girls were outgoing and some girls wanted nothing to do with me. I used to think they must just be bitches and rude. Um, no, Kendall...they might just be shy and trying not to lose their cool. 

Women are funny (aren’t we though?! 💁🏼) we make assumptions of each other without taking the time to get to know one another. What I’ve learned is to practice some compassion.

Every girl processes things differently and just because she doesn’t want to talk doesn’t mean she’s mean or cold. It could be that she’s actually an introvert and this whole experience is terrifying or she could have really solid boundaries and wants to focus and maintain her energy. And then other times, yes she could just be rude butttt she deserves some empathy too!

Moral of the story, don’t judge a queen by her resting bitch face. 

ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS

One of the more interesting things I discovered along this journey of rhinestones and butt glue is that digging deep gets you where you wanna go. What I mean by digging deep is asking yourself some open ended, tough, big picture questions. 

I use this technique with coaching clients because I believe it cracks open the door to your best life. And not just answering them in your head, but having to articulate them in complete sentences that someone else will eventually read. It’s scary as hell but oh so gratifying.

Answer these following questions in complete sentences:

What’s you biggest ambition in life?

What are three words you’d use to describe yourself?

What would it mean to achieve your biggest goal?

How would this change your life?

What was the best advice you’ve ever been given?

These are just a few examples of questions that get you thinking. We rarely ask ourselves reflective questions and I promise you there is a lot to learn from yourself!
 

HOW TO LOSE

If there's one thing I'm good at, it's being told "NO."

For as long as I can remember, I've been told "no" when pursuing a dream. Whether it was when I was 13 years old at my first modeling open call and told I was too tall for their "girls" division or later when I was given a chance to test for a *major* modeling agency at 16 just to be shown the door yet again.

I subsequently went on 50 other open calls/auditions/call backs for countless other things just to be snuffed at and told denied once again. I was relentless. The ratio of No's to Yes's I've been given in my life are 500 to 5. 

I've perfected being rejected. I've become resilient in the face of opposition as a survival mechanism. Otherwise I'd be curled up in hopeless, self-loathing ball otherwise. It's like a muscle you keep flexing. And if you throw enough shit against the wall something will stick. But nothing taught me how to lose quite like almost winning. 

Two years ago at this very pageant I placed 2nd runner up. 

And nothing was harder than that moment. Getting so close you could taste it then being crushed when you hear it's not actually yours. 

That year I learned about the art of losing. It helped me understand the attachment I had toward that particular goal, it taught me how to save face when all you want to do is cry and it showed me that life goes on even if the worst case scenario plays out. 

So for all the years I competed and placed in the semi-finals, nothing pushed me to grow more than coming in...third. 

And in all the trials in life, we have to understand the universe is always working with our greatest good in mind. For me, my greatest good wasn't to become Miss New Jersey. It wasn't to become a model and apparently it wasn't to become the new host of Good Morning America (the no's I got from TV somehow out weigh them all!).

I've learned to release my white knuckle grip on my dreams and let the universe do it's thang.

It's, like, way funner that way anyway. 💁🏼

Ultimately I've come to appreciate how pageants have taught me the importance of coaching and seeking help from those who have been where I want to go. It opened my eyes to a career I didn’t even know existed. 

I know now that my purpose of competing at Miss NJ USA wasn’t to win but to find my true path and passion in life. It opened me up to a world of self-development, pushing past my comfort zones and the discipline it takes to work towards a goal. 

I am forever grateful for the young women I met along the way, my coach who helped me step into and own my power as a woman and the entire space the pageant system holds for you to rise up and be your best self.

Although I won't be wearing platform, see-thru six-inch heels anytime (unless my career takes a very sharp turn 😳) I can honestly hang up my hat (or crown) with pride knowing that I just closed a chapter of the most transformative experience of my life. 

I'm so happy I stepped out of my comfort zone all those years ago and grew into the woman I am today. All the ups and downs, roadblocks and obstacles have helped me develop a unique set of skills that help me daily as a coach, daughter, partner and friend. 

I'd say that looks like a WIN to me!

Now it's your turn. What is something you've always wanted to do? Is it a pageant!? A fitness competition? Auditioning for a dance team? 

Answer yourself this: what's stopping you? Write a list of what you think is holding you back. From that list, find support where you feel unsure. Do you need a trainer? A coach? What will help you jump the hurdle of resistance? 

Everything you want to become stands on the other side of whatever scares the shit out of you. 

Go do it.

Become Mind-less with Meditation

Well, HELLO THERE! Welcome to #WellnessWednesday where every Wednesday I'll be dishing out some wellness goodness to help us live out our best lives! You in?! This week I'm talking meditation and how I finally realized it's importance + necessity in my life!

I’ve barely scratched the surface of the first module of Institute of Integrative Nurtirion (IIN) and I’ve already learned so effing much. What I’ve been loving so far is the background they give on the importance of health not only in the sense of the food you eat but how it connects to the job you have, the relationships you are in and the overall “wellness” of your life. From there food is almost secondary. Makes total sense when you think about it. Right?! Like, duh 🙄.

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In some of the first videos, the instructors (who are amazingly talented doctors, physicians + holistic health practitioners) talk a lot about "breathe work" and the significant meditation has on your overall health.

So, I wanted to start this #WellnessWednesday post with something  a little more fundamental to wellness. Do you meditate? If so, how do you think it's helped you life?! Or, have you tried meditating, but you're almost positive it's just not for you?!  I wanted to talk about this because I meet people all the time who tell me how much they want to give it a try but already “know” they won’t be good at it. 

Well, I’m here to tell you...you won’t be. At least at first. No one is (just like a spin class 😂). Depending on which way you look at it, I suck at meditating too. But THAT is the point. The fact you are in it to know you’re not all that good at it means you’re doing it right. 

After all, it’s a practice. You weren’t good at putting on eyeliner the first time but you kept at it! You were a terrible kisser in high school but you honed those skills and now look at you! You never once said, “yea, this is just not for me”. The point is, no one is just *good* at anything the first time. You have to keep trying. 

I realize when people hear the word “mediation” many varying thoughts come to mind. Some think of sitting on the floor chanting to some Yogi Bhajan led Kundalini meditation or some think of sitting in silence for hours on end. And while technically both of these types are considered meditation, that would be like going from the little leagues to the world series overnight; you’d be vastly unprepared and completely overwhelmed. You’d pee in your pinstripes. 

Now, for me, I’ve chanted, I’ve swayed, I’ve stretched my hands up to the sky white singing in sanskrit (did I mention I was a #spiritjunkie?!) and I have to say...don’t knock it till you try it. As most of us we’re raised with some type of formal religion, there is absolutely no difference between singing in church and “chanting” in meditation. You might feel a little uncomfortable but that’s only because we don’t call it chanting at church and singing in meditation, but anyway you slice it, the shit’s still the same. 

But if all that isn’t for you just yet (or ever!) you can still reap the massive benefits of meditation right in your own room/home/car/closet. For less than five minutes a day you can be on your way to laser focus, exponential productivity and overall calmer outlook for the days ahead. 

Thoughts will come in and out of your mind and that’s ok! The idea of shutting off your mind is the end goal. It takes quite a while to get there so have patience and compassion for yourself, damnit!

When clients are interested in meditation, the best way I show them how to start goes like this:

  1. Take one week and start with 1 minute.
  2. Add 1 minute to each day until you reach five minutes. By the end of that week the benefits of meditating can already be felt and they’re excited to see where this keeps going. 
  3. From here, meditate for only five minutes each day for the following week.
  4. By the third week, begin to add 1 minute to each day until you reach 10 minutes

That's it! Simple but effective.

You can meditate for as long as you damn well please! I recommend at least 10 minutes a day once you get comfortable, using a guided meditation app like Headspace!

I’ve been using this app recently and love how they have an option for nearly everything! Themed guided meditations for love, relationships and goals, all the way to complete silence. Every time increment you could want is available and it allows you to set goals to keep track of your meditations!

If you struggle with patience, lack of focus, overwhelming stress or anxieties, or just wanna feel like a bright fucking light everyday...meditation is for you!

So what do you think!? Open to proving yourself wrong and that you CAN actually do it?! I bet you’ll shock yourself. Remember, it’s called a meditation ‘practice’ for a reason.

Download Headspace right now and after reading this post try out your first minute!

DM over on insta or comment below if you + let me know what you think!

 

 

Hugs + High Vibes, 

Xo Kendall

 

 

 

Nutrition School + Listening to the Universe ✨

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Over the past few years on this journey to entrepreneurship, I've learned to rely heavily on signs + gut feelings.

When you don't have a boss guiding you or directing your next steps, you get to a point where you're almost willing to listen to a monkey's suggestion than have to make yet another decision on your own. 🙄

Where our food comes from + nutrition has been an interest of mine since I was 19, ever since I watched an episode of the Oprah show (remember those, everyday at 4:00pm?! 🙄😩😍) where she interviewed Robert Kenner of the documentary Food Inc.

I don't know what it was, but after watching that episode (without even seeing the whole documentary😳) my life was forever changed. Since then, I've been on a road to uncovering all that we've been taught to know about food and how we can do better.

But, I never consider nutrition a "passion" of mine. I thought I had a general interest much like everyone else does about food + what they eat, but as I worked with other young woman + helped them uncover their passions...I quickly realized I was not acknowledging my own.

So I started listening + decided to set a goal for my life that at some point I would pursue nutrition if not as a career, for my own health and well-being. 

Little did I know what I was welcoming into my life now that I had opened up to the idea. It was as if I had become a magnet for IIN. Meeting with potential clients who had gone through the program, to coworkers who I had known for months + learned they, too, were graduates of the program, to even someone sharing with me that she had gotten this message to tell me I'm supposed to go back to school for nutrition.

It was like I was stuck in the twilight zone. Has that ever happened to you?! And you start to look around for the camera crew + big lights?!! Yea?! So with a lot of surrendering, meditating + asking the universe to guide me, the stars aligned + hereeee I am!

What drew me to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition was their belief that life is wayyyyy more than just "you are what you eat". Yes, that's a pretty big part of it, but it doesn't tell the whole story. This is what I felt was lacking with the traditional route of becoming a Nutritionist. Most nutrition programs in colleges and universities offer the science behind nutrition and explain how calories work and what a carbohydrate is. For some people, that's exactly what they're looking for!

For me, my experience with life, food + relationships has helped me understand there is a much bigger picture at play. Your total health is effected by the state of your mind, body AND spirit and it's something I speak about often and feel extremely passionate about sharing!

In a year from now I will be a certified Holistic Health Coach! I'm so excited for this program to start and to learn + share with you as I go! I can't wait to learn more techniques to grow as a coach, a woman + a human. 

With that, starting next week, I will be bringing you #WELLNESSWEDNESDAY as my way of sharing more of my love of wellness + what I've been learning! Each Wednesday will be a blog post on a different wellness topic + little ways to help improve the state of your mind, body + spirit. I can't wait!


So now, tell me, is there something you've been going back + forth on? Something you've wanted to pursue but was uneasy about making a big decision?! Whatever it is, here is your final sign.

You have permission to go do it.

You have all that you need, exactly where you are. Now...how amazing does that feel?!

The universe is weird, huh...

Top 3 Favorite Podcasts + Books of the Summer

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HAPPY SEPTEMBER! WOW. I can't believe we're here again. Every year it seems like the summer's come and go just as we get into the swing of things. I can't lie though, this summer was an amazing one. The laughs, the tears, the growth, the memories, the beach, the heat, everything was perfect. So here's to hoping summer sticks around until Halloween, yea?

I've said this before in a post but I'll say it again, September is the real new year. This is when change happens. I've got a lot that's changing, growing + evolving this month and I can't wait to share it all with you! 

In the meantime, I thought I'd try something a little different and give you a round up of what I've been listening to and reading over these past few months. Some of my favorite podcasts + books that have helped me grow and learn (and entertain) all throughout summer.

Let me know what you've been listening to and reading below! This community is amazing and I get so many good recommendations from you through instagram that I thought I'd return the favor!

Here we go!

TOP 3 CURRENT FAVE PODCASTS:

1.    Mind Body Green
These podcasts are usually pretty concise in length and cover topics from all sorts of industry leaders like the CEO of Whole Foods to Melissa Hartwig of Whole30. They are the perfect length to listen to on a short car ride or to have on while you’re cleaning/running errands. Jason Wachob, founder + CEO of MBG, author of “Wellth” (have you read it!?) and host of the podcast, does an excellent job of asking interesting and thought provoking questions. Everything from astrology to women’s health to fashion, you name it, they’ve got it. 

Must-listen list: John Mackey, Whole Foods CEO; Melissa Hartwig, Founder of Whole30; Dr. Aviva Romm on thyroid health + midwifery (veryyyyy interesting I tell ya…)

2.    The Skinny Confidential

I’ve been following along with Lauryn Evarts and her blog for a few years now. She’s probably the only real “blogger” I follow on a regular basis. She’s super smart + knows her shit. I also had the pleasure of hearing her speak this past May at the Create + Cultivate conference in NYC, and let me tell you...this girl is just getting started. She was the only blogger/speaker that offered *real*, concrete advice.

Don’t let her California cool vibe throw you off, she’s in this for the long game. From business tips to wellness hacks to dating advice, she’s got a pulse on it all. Some of her stuff may be a little out there but I appreciate her volunteering to be the guinea pig for the rest of us. This podcast is recorded with her now husband, Michael, who adds really good business insights and humor to the show.

Must-listen list: Be Well By Kelly on Nutrition; Tony Robbins on having an extraordinary quality of Life; Ali Webb, founder + creator of Dry Bar. 

3. The Melissa Abrosini Show
Melissa is the best-selling author of “Mastering your Mean Girl” and started her podcast at the beginning of this year. Her topics range from everything including gut health + nutrition to money, sex + habits of happiness. She has amazing thought leaders on her show regularly, like Jack Canfield (who created Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Danielle LaPorte. I’ve learned so much about my health and overall well-being from listening to her podcasts. They’re usually just over an hour and make a long car ride go by pretty quickly!

Must-listen list: How to Succeed at Life with Jack Canfield; The Pill, Periods and Fertility with Dr. Nat Kringoudis; Daily Habits to Make You Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

These are my first “go-to” podcasts when I hop in the car, clean or fold laundry, or do any other mindless task. I love to read but there’s just something about listening that makes the information stick to your brain like white rice.

A few more podcasts I have in rotation are:

  • Bulletproof Radio with Dave Asprey; founder, creator of the Bulletproof diet, hello bulletproof coffee). Must listen: On Women’s Health with Dr. Jolene Brighten.
  • Pursue with Purpose with Melyssa Griffin; online marketing maven + business guru, she shares tips + tricks on how to grow and scale any business. Must listen: What if its DOES work out? How to create a successful side hustle and life.
  • The Influencer Podcast with Juls Solomon on all things marketing, blogging, influence and entrepreneurship. How to Market Yourself for free and Defining the Micro Influencer with Kirbie Johnson.
  • The Marie Forleo Podcast; these are GREAT because she has turned her award winning online show into this format so you can listen to all her content via podcasts now! Must listen: Seth Godin Thinks You Should Stop Waiting for the Right Moment.
  • The Joe Rogan Experience; my love for Joe Rogan runs deep. His viewpoints on things are just so damn practical and the delivery of it is just so freggin’ funny. Warning, these podcasts average about three hours long! Must listen: #968 Kelly Brogan.

Honorable mentions: The Tim Ferriss Show, Ask GaryVee, GirlBoss Radio

WOW! I didn’t even realize I listened to this many podcasts. I tried to narrow them down but I really do feel like each one brings something else to the table. What are some of you fav podcasts? Let me know on insta or in the comments below!

Now, for my first love: Books! 

TOP 3 CURRENT FAVE BOOKS:

I recently just finished Kelly Brogan’s book, “A Mind of Your Own”, Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing Kennedy” (LOVE conspiracy theories + JFK) and Mark Manson’s, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”.

First, let me say, if there ever was a book that I believe is currently changing my life in the biggest way I’ve ever experienced, it’s Kelly Brogan’s book. There’s definitely a bigger blog post here for this but this book should be REQUIRED reading for all women. Guys, errr girls?!, let me tell you, if you were/are/am anything like me, a birth control taking twenty-something, we know nothing, nothing, about our bodies and how they should function.

This book made me feel like I was in health class in fifth grade all over again. We’re all pretty much walking around like zombies and I could talk about this for another four hours (my friends can vouch for it so I will spare you) but if diving into this book doesn’t sound enticing just yet, start with either Joe Rogan’s Podcast I mentioned above with her as a guest or Marie Forleo’s MarieTV episode, in podcast format (much shorter than the Joe Rogan interview) and see what you think. I can almost nearly 110% guarantee that your mind will. Be. Blown. We can chat for hours about it after if you want! HA!


On another note, the “Killing” series by Bill O’Reilly is really interesting if you love American History (hi! Yes, me!) you’ll love how easy this book is to digest. I read “Killing Lincoln” first and now after finishing “Killing Kennedy” it’s amazing how the two held such parallel lives (and deaths!). Now, I know this book doesn’t fall into my usual wheelhouse of self-development/wellness reading, but sometimes the mind needs to think in different ways, explore different stories. If you’re a lover of Kennedy and/or a good conspiracy theory, this book gives you the best foundation to rest your conspiring little mind. 

Then, finally, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” was perfect. To be completely honest, I didn’t LOVE this book like most others did. I’m not sure why really but I did love the message. The book is funny, well-written and definitely worth a read. I think I read it too soon after another self-development book and I was getting redundant in my reading. HA!

Either way, this book reiterates how ridiculous it is that we care what people think. We give wayyy too many fucks about the wrong things, like looking like an idiot (um, we’re all idiots), pissing someone off for not people pleasing and not living our truth because of what people will say. This book is why I no longer care about looking like a fool in my instastories (btw, thank you to everyone who says they get a kick out of watching them because it makes me feel like I’m not actually THAT alone talking to my phone, by myself. LOVE YOU, MEAN IT!). Not only that but it’s helped in my coaching, both on and off the bike, helped me see the bigger picture in every situation and influences every decision I now make. Zero fucks given. 

So, now I need to know what you’re reading!? I’m still working on rotating fiction into my library and even started a book club with a couple of friends (who have convinced me to read “My Husband’s Secret”, ah!). I really do think it’s important to read a bit of both. Many of us cater to one side, either loving or hating one or the other so I’m gonna learn to love me some fiction!

Maybe we should start a book club too?! Thoughts?! Leave a comment under this post on my instagram if you’re in!


Big hug + so much love!


Xo Kendall 

27 Things I Learned in 27 Years

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! This past week I celebrated my 27th birthday and I couldn't have had a more incredible day. 

Best. Birthday. Ever.

In light of this momentous occasion, I decided I'd take a little time to reflect on my life and the lessons I've learned over the years. Your birthday is always a good time to check in with yourself and see how far you've come.

This year has been amazing and when I look back, everything has played out so perfectly. So, I sat down and wrote a rough list of things I've learned so far. I could go on and on, but figured 27 was a good place to stop. 

Have you ever written a list like this? It's a really cool exercise to do and helps you re-identify with who you are.

Let me know some of your life lessons in the comments below!

Here we go......

  1. You can’t and WONT please everyone. Stop trying. Like, right now.
  2. The power of recieving. This is a lesson I just learned the day before my birthday. At times we tend to block things from coming into our lives and we can’t figure out why. My coach opened up about what have I been blocking, what story am I continuing to tell myself. It opened my eyes to alot. So, the next day I practiced being open to all the praise and cheers for my birthday and then attention surrounding the whole day. It wound up being my most favorite birthday yet!
  3. Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is self-respect. If that means ditching something you have no interest in doing, to do something you want to do, then so be it. Do whatever you damn well please. We’d all be happier + less resentful if we all were a little bit more selfish.
  4. And selfish isn’t a bad word. Its your right as a human on this planet to protect yourself, your mind, your body in whatever way you know how. Permission granted.
  5. To own who you are and what you like. The biggest thing I love about getting older is that you’re okay with not being just like everyone else, your taste + what interests you is different. Owning that is so freeing + fun. From the simplest things like knowing the type of environment you like to be in, the type of home decor your like, your design style, the clothes you wear. Claiming it as your own and not apologizing for it.
  6. Boundaries are PARAMOUNT. Having boundaries is something we all need to work on (and I don’t mean like closing the bathroom door when you pee kind of boundary).
  7. Just say no. Again with the boundaries. A great philosopher once said, “Excuses are like assholes, everyone has them,”...but no one wants to hear them. Just say no and move on.
  8. Priorities. Knowing your priorities helps influence every decision you make. My priorities are 1) relationships, 2) health and then 3) career. Not one before the other. WIthout my relationships +health there ain’t no career that could make me happy.
  9. Treat your body like the temple it is. When you’re young, you live everyday to the fullest, burning the candle at both ends, eating chemicals + drinking more straight vodka than you’d ever care to admit. But as you get older, time catches up with you and the hazy shade of yesteryear starts to fade. And then you feel like shit, wind up with adult acne and hair that keeps falling out. No? Just me? Ok, well anyway. It cycles through the wash pretty well and it’ll all come out eventually. Treating my body the with respect it deserves is definitely something that took sometime to learn.
  10. Pursue your passions at all costs. Because nothing is more expensive than a life half-lived. Find what you’re good at, what you love to do + fight like hell to make it work. Don’t let anyone’s snide comments or judgemental looks get to you, there will be plenty of those. That’s their shit.
  11. Patience. With the girl at H&M with a serious attitude at check out or the bank teller taking her sweet time counting out a hundred dollars. Patience, patience, patience. This has taken some time but seriously one of the best things I’ve learned. They’re there to teach you something and the longer you don’t pick up what the universe is throwing down, the longer your lesson lives on.
  12. Fear vs your Gut. This is the hardest to learn + I’m still practicing this everyday. Fear and the Ego are very convincing. They’re able to mask themselves as “gut feelings”...you know, intuition. Whenever you find yourself saying, “it just doesn’t feel right”, take a step back. Dig a bit deeper. What doesn’t feel right? Why doesn’t it feel right? What is the resistance? Often times it’s not our intuition, it’s our Ego mind (our fear) protecting us from anything big + scary. That’s its job, it’s in our DNA. However, since we’re not worried so much about being mauled by bears on the daily, fear has taken on a less important role. Fear now acts as a compass. Whatever we fear, anytime we’re at a crossroads, ALWAYS go in the direction of fear* (*with general exceptions, like jumping off a bridge). I was so lucky to have someone point this out to me earlier this year and I cannot tell you how much it’s changed my life.
  13. Forgiveness is literally magic. Forgive everyone for anything. NO. MATTER. WHAT. I mean it. The book “Radical Forgiveness” was recommended to me by a friend earlier this year and the lesson it teaches is one I’ll take with me forever. Everything that happens to you is for your greatest good, when you learn to forgive you release yourself from stagnant energy and open yourself to receiving the beauty in that lesson. If you can’t understand what I mean, pick up the book, it will change your mind.
  14. Be conscious. About everything. I’ve learned to “wake up”. I don’t live under a rock so I shouldn’t act like it. As you get older you understand the power of your dollar and where you can make an impact. Making conscious choices as much, and as frequently as possible, makes me feel like a grown ass woman. We can’t always get it right but knowing the money I spend is going to either a small business, local charitable grocery store or to make-up that won’t destroy the planet or harm animals makes me feel pretty fucking powerful.
  15. Experiences vs. Materials. I’ve realized over the last couple of years that spending money on experiences gives you a far greater ROI than buying (almost) anything. The beauty is if you get to do both. After I left my corporate job and took a serious pay cut, I realized how much you can actually live without. In those moments when I’d *splurge* and, say, buy a new shirt or pair of shoes...the buyers high lasted only a few hours, maybe even a day. But time and money spent on travel, dinners with friends, concerts and adventures last years. Invest wisely.
  16. You are what you eat, drink, think + do. Plain and simple.
  17. Releasing and letting go of outcomes. THIS was a real struggle of mine up until about 9 months ago. After leaving my corporate job to pursue what I really loved to do, the road became a bit more winding and the answers and directions were a bit more blurred. Because of this I felt like I had to fill in the blanks. I would tell myself “OK, so I’m gonna do this and then next year I’m gonna do this because of this and then it’ll all work out perfectly!” HA! This never works. And the tighter your grip on the outcome the more resistance you create to it actually coming true. My dream was to be on Good Morning America. I thought I’d do that by getting a job at ABC and then meet this person and this person, get a couple of promotions and BAM! Move over Lara Spencer. Did that happen? Not a chance. I couldn’t even get a job at any network. I went on a minimum of 100+ interviews meeting with anyone + everyone who would spare me twenty minutes, but it never worked out. Why? Because it wasn’t supposed to. If I had done that I wouldn’t be where I am today, living out my purpose. I have no doubt I will be on GMA at some point in the near future but it’s gonna be because I’m living my best + truest life.
  18. Accept your flaws, leverage your strengths. Instead of wasting time trying to strengthen my weaknesses, I’ve learned to work the shit out of my strengths. I’ve found jobs that use my skills to the best of their ability and continue to push me to grow + strengthen them. What I’m not great at is someone else’s strength. I’ll leave that to them.
  19. Invest in yourself. The only investment you can ever BANK on is the one you make in YOU. This is hard at first. We’re quick to throw down for an expensive pair of shoes, a new jacket + a trip to the moon but how many of us have never spent money on making ourselves better, smarter, stronger? You wanna lose weight, start eating right + you know you need help? Get a trainer + nutritionist. You wanna start a business? Hire someone to show you how. You wanna go back to school to learn a new language or skill? Sign up for that course. These are the things worth investing in. (Ok, and mayyyybe a chanel bag or two, too). The point is YOU ARE WORTH IT.
  20. Invest in Rest. Take time off to do nothing, be nowhere and see noone. We’re running at a million miles a minute and the only time we rest is when we’re asleep. We’re not even awake to enjoy it! Taking time to reset yourself saves you big time on the back end. Burnout is not a joke and shouldn’t be taken lightly. This I had to learn the hard way. And it goes back to knowing + having your boundaries clear.
  21. Spend time with people older than you. Prioritize time with grandparents, your elderly neighbor, even your aging dog. Their time is a bit more limited and when they leave us it feels good to know you have no regrets. They have a lot of wisdom left to teach.
  22. The importance of love languages. Knowing someone's love language is like having a secret code to the safe. Learn ‘em.
  23. Make your bed. It just makes you feel good and it’s the first thing you accomplish all day.
  24. Take care of your teeth + your health. Let me tell you, it is expensive to be sick and have busted teeth. You learn this quick when you have to find your own insurance and realize you made a mistake and bought the wrong dental insurance and now you’d have to pay out of pocket for cleanings and x-rays. Ho-ly shit. I’ve never flossed so much until this year.
  25. Things have to fall apart to make room for better things to come together. The universe is always conspiring in our favor. This is hard to remember in the moment but all the dots will eventually connect.
  26. To trust the timing of your life. This over everything. It wont make sense to alot of people and it’ll look like you’re just letting life happen to you but you know what’s up. You don’t have to force a thing.
  27. “27” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as nicely as “26” but I imagine I’ll get used to it.

I'm so excited to see what this next year brings. I can't believe where I'm at now, compared to a year ago. I'm so grateful for this life!

 

Xo Kendall Marie