Monday, March 30, 2015

From AZ to SF: Spring Break 2015 + Tips for Road Trips

Last week was my last college spring break, and as always, I spent it on choir tour rather than getting to have a traditional spring break. Last year, we went to Northern California, Oregon, and Washington, and this year we spent it going to Arizona then all the way through California up to San Francisco. 
This year's tour was the most relaxing out of all of them due to a couple concerts being cancelled and with the way that scheduling worked out. We had tons of free time to shop and do some exploring. The top 2 touristy spots we went to were Sedona, Arizona and San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. We didn't have tons of time in SF so we were restricted to pretty much just one tiny area of the city. 
Sedona, Arizona

Regardless, I had an amazing time with the girls and singing for the different groups of people we encountered. (The children were the best!) This trip, like last year's trip had tons of long hours on the bus almost every day of tour, which meant that we spent lots of hours cramped up in a bus seat with our bus partners (if we had one) and our carry-on things. 

Here is what I learned about road trips:

+ Don't expect to get tons of work done, especially with a full itinerary!
We had wifi on the bus, and we also spent a lot of time on the bus so I thought that it would be a great place for me to get things done (aka blog stuff). I was totally wrong. Every time I took out my laptop I felt like I was going to throw up (I get car sick if I read something for too long) and I never felt comfortable in my sitting position. Even if I did, my butt fell asleep which was uncomfortable for me later. If none of that, I just wanted to sleep. 

So basically, a bus' conditions are not ideal. I knew that because of last year's trip to Oregon & Washington, but I thought that with my blog having so much going for it that I'd be more motivated to work on the bus this year. NOT. Some people were able to get stuff done but I've noticed that's definitely not me. 

+ Take advantage of reclining seats (and all free space)!
Our seats reclined, so whenever possible I reclined it back (with permission from my friend behind me of course) to get as close to a lying down position as I could. With long periods of time on these buses making most people feel claustrophobic, using any space you can is highly recommended. 

Other examples of using free space: taking up a whole row if spacing of your group allows or sleeping on the floor! I slept on the floor a lot on last year's PNW trip and it was the most comfortable sleep I ever got on those nice charter buses. (Plus, the floors were heated which was great for the weather we were in last year). 

I know that most of the time when you do road trips you'll be in cars rather than buses, but sometimes these tips can still apply if your car is big enough. Hey, you can get creative.

+ Bring travel sanitary products (soap, wipes, toilet paper) just in case.
I only had to do this once at a place that didn't have soap at their sinks. Luckily, I brought these portable soap bomb-type "candies" by Bon Bliss Beauty and was able to wash my hands without worrying about feeling nasty. You want to stay prepared. 


So those are all my tips for road trips that I have for now. I'm hoping to go on a more relaxing road trip with some friends soon, maybe before Darell leaves for Australia. Until then, have any other tips I missed? Share them with me so I can keep them in mind!
Chau for now

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Workout Story and What I Learned About Myself Through Class Pass

I usually HATE working out. I don't mind being physically active, as I used to be a dancer when I was younger and loved it. What I hate is the conditioning aspect of it--most of which includes some type of running. 

From my dancing days, circa 2007--I want to get this flexible again one day!
A little known fact about me: I actually have exercise-induced asthma, but it really only flares up when I do some intense running or any kind of exercise that involves a form of it, like suicides. I always run at the same pace (even though it's slow) like all my coaches recommend, but my asthma still flares up pretty badly. Because of this, I dreaded tennis practices in high school because the first half of practices included conditioning. 

Because I hated the feeling like I was dying every time I tried to work out, I completely stopped doing any kind of regular physical workout after tennis season ended my junior year. 

I remember when I did drill team (a type of dance and not the ROTC kind) and tennis, my coaches would say the same things: "If you can't run a mile, then you can't [do a 3 minute dance routine/play a full match]." However, when it came to doing those very things, it came pretty easily to me and I didn't get tired nearly as quickly. 

Now fast forward to me in college: I don't go to the gym at all. I eat a lot of crappy (but delicious) food, and I only do physical movement if someone is making me (ie: walking somewhere or I'm being forced to help move something). 

I know that this type of lifestyle is not healthy. I may not be overweight by any means, but I know that if I don't do anything soon these habits will catch up to me. It's just that I get so lazy and because most people's idea of working out usually involves running, I am never motivated because I hate the feeling of not being able to breathe. 
Enter ClassPass.

When I found out it was coming to LA/Orange County and learned about the basic concept of it, I was beyond excited! The idea of getting to take a bunch of classes in a bunch of studios in the area sounded great. I love variety and the types of workouts being offered in the classes (dance, barre, yoga, pilates, etc) so I just had to give it a try!

ClassPass contacted me about trying it out for a month and I could not turn down that offer! Free workouts that aren't running? How could I ever turn that down? 

So through ClassPass, I was able to try out a few different types of classes at different studios. I tried barre, pilates, cycling, zumba, and aerial silks. 

I liked barre and aerial silks the most because they both incorporated dance and flexibility while doing things to help build some strength in my body. Barre is basically ballet exercises done at a fast pace to do cardio workouts. Aerial silks are where you are hanging in cool poses from the ceiling, but trust me, it's much harder than it looks because of the upper body strength it requires to lift yourself off the ground. 

So with all of that being said, here is what I learned about myself through ClassPass: 

+ I prefer workout classes compared to working out at my own pace. 
Even though most people work out on their own time and at their own pace, that isn't enough to motivate me. I like taking classes for school, so of course I am the same way with being physical. 

Taking classes forces me to set aside time for it because I have to sacrifice gas to drive to the studio and usually money in order to take these classes. I know you have to sacrifice money to have a gym membership too but with these classes I am also accountable to the instructor to make sure that I show up and don't have to pay a cancellation fee. 

+ Workout classes are just more fun for me in general.
Sometimes classes at these kinds of studios can add up to be more expensive than a gym membership depending on how often you go, but honestly they are just more enjoyable for me than running on the treadmill or lifting weights. I mean who doesn't want to learn how to hang out from the ceiling? 

+ I would have to make a lot of changes to my diet if I really want to see results.
I'm not necessarily trying to lose weight, but I do want to flatten my resting pregnant tummy (I know I am small and I'm not calling myself fat--but trust me my stomach looks pregnant all the time!) and gain some muscle in my upper body because my lower body is still pretty good. 

When I played tennis, even at my most fit self, my stomach was still so big it looked (and felt like) there was a balloon inside of it. Darell told me not too long after I started ClassPass that my diet was the reason that I didn't see results in my core. Not only would I have to limit the junk food I ate, but I would also have to track what I'm eating and what is in it and how often I am eating (my metabolism lets me get away with eating so crappy but staying small that's why). 


ClassPass has really made me excited and have hope for myself as far as workouts go. If you are interested in trying out Class Pass, it's $99 a month to try out as many classes as you'd like! And with some of these classes costing between $20-$30 for just one, you've already gotten your money's worth after 4 classes (although I recommend taking much more than that)!

I'm actually very excited to get more active in my lifestyle thanks to ClassPass. It sounds cheesy, I know, but I swear this is all genuine! If you have any more questions or want more info you can ask me or just head on over to the ClassPass website. 


Disclaimer: ClassPass provided me a complimentary month-long membership but I was not financially compensated nor was I asked to write this post. I just really love ClassPass and what they have to offer!
Chau for now

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Perfect Study Outfit [Guest Post]

HI! I can't believe I didn't write AT ALL last week. I really intended to and had some great posts lined up for you, but tour was way too busy and uncomfortable on the bus for me to be able to get anything done. And even when I had downtime at night, I was so exhausted I knocked out early. Regardless, I had tons of fun and will be sharing my experience with you soon :]

Anyway, I am still recuperating from choir tour/spring break so today I have a guest post from Erin of Erinfinity. Since it's midterms and finals season for many people, she's sharing her perfect study outfit! 


Hello, finals season. We meet again.
It’s that time of year when assignments are piling up and you’re trying to get everything done while staying healthy and exercising and eating right and sleeping enough and having a (miniscule) social life, so who even has time for fashion anymore?
Normally, studying attire is sweatpants and the baggiest sweater I can find, but over the years I have realized that this outfit motivates me to get into bed and nap for the entire day, rather than finish my school work. It’s also embarrassing to go out in public and there’s a fine line between what’s acceptable and what is not – and so, in an attempt to increase productivity, this chic perfect-for-studying outfit was born!

A blouse under a denim shirt is the perfect mix of classy and casual. This outfit is super comfortable, so you can focus on studying AND show off your style at the same time. And don’t forget study breaks – throw on some rain boots and get outside! (Yes, that is what Canada looks like right now. Spring has definitely not sprung, and shows no signs of springing anytime soon…)

Happy studying and good luck to all of you with exams!
Denim shirt: Garage Clothing // Blouse: Le Chateau // Leggings: Aerie for American Eagle // Necklace: Dynamite Clothing // Rubber boots: TSC Stores // Watch: Relic // Knot Bangle: Metal Marvels Store // Socks: made by my grandma!
Chau for now

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Growing Blog = Reader Survey!

So I have a BUNCH of collaborations and great things coming up for this blog! I am excited to share some new things with you in the coming weeks. I am also excited to share the collaborations I am currently working on! I am working with some really awesome brands and cannot wait to show them off to you!

Not only that, I am working on expanding my blog very soon with different things. I just want some opinions before I actually get it done! So I have a quick survey for you that shouldn't take more than 3 minutes! It asks about what you would like to see more of on the blog as far as blog posts and ways that I can serve you. So please, take the survey and help me out please! Click here for the survey link.

Local LA/Orange County bloggers: I am also working on planning a few events for all of us to connect and meet up in the coming months! So keep an eye out for that as well! If you are a brand, restaurant, or any other kind of event space that would like to work with me or host a blogger event for bloggers and myself to promote the heck out of you, please email me at kriselle [at] livinandlovin [dot] com.

I'm heading off to spring break so stay connected with me on Instagram and Twitter as I take on Arizona and Northern California!

Chau for now

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Let Women Be. by Sister India

Every now and then I come across an organization that I learn about their mission statement and what they're all about and I realize that I fully support them. 

Sister India is an organization that brings hope to women in India through education. The organization is also run by Christian volunteers. 

I know International Women's Day just passed, but I still think that it is important to acknowledge the importance of helping women succeed around the world. One day a year isn't enough to be thinking about these things; they should be happening year round! 

So here is Charlotte from Sister India talking a little bit about her story and what Sister India is all about! (Btw they're hosting a giveaway that ends within the next day or so so you should enter for a $200 Visa gift card!)


I don’t know her yet, but I love her.

After 10 months of peeing on sticks to no avail, in November I saw the tiny double line I’d been longing for. I soon learned Baby likes pancakes and Dad shows his love by coming home with 8 kinds of crackers to keep the nausea at bay. And in the grab bag of first trimester surprises, something unexpected happened.

Baby was still the size of an olive and we had months to go before learning our little creature’s gender. I was watching a documentary I’d already seen twice--- about the dangers girls face all over the world. And three quarters of the way through, I lost it. I ugly-cried in a way I’ve never done so abruptly. 

All it took was one thought: “It’s a terrifying thing to bring a girl into this world.”

Terrifying to love a treasure so full of promise in a world that’s primed to break her spirit and beat her body.

As the 8 inch baby girl inside me grows, I can’t wait to meet her, to celebrate her. And more than ever, I’m passionate about creating a world that prizes her innocence, creativity, compassion and dreams.

In honor of International Women’s Day, here’s one way we can celebrate and protect the daughters of the world...

14 million girls were child brides last year.

Childbirth is the leading cause of death of girls aged 15-19.

70 million girls aged 6-12 do not attend school, often because they are forced to provide for their families.

50 million girls are missing in India--- that’s as if every girl in America were to disappear.

47% of all girls in India are married as children

India is home to more illiterate moms than any other nation. They are strong-armed into aborting their girls, selling them or sending them to work in order for the family to survive.

When we educate a mom, we break the cycle of poverty and abuse for generations! We give her the power to give her daughters the safety and opportunity that she’s always been denied.

One amazing way we can help is by sponsoring a student through Sister India. Just $30 sends an illiterate woman to school for an entire year--- where she’ll learn reading, writing, math, business skills, family health and how to make right choices for her children.

After one year 80% of students graduate with a 5th grade level of reading, writing and math! Before the class only 59% of students oppose child marriage, and by the end 95% oppose it! And by the end of the class 96% of students send their sons and daughters to school.

This literacy program, taught by caring, Indian Christian volunteers has already educated over 500,000 students in the last 30 years. Just $5,000 more would complete the funding for this year’s classes in Delhi and Haryana--- two of the most dangerous regions to be a woman.

By skipping out on 1 blouse or one shellac mani, you can transform an entire family in India. You can stand with your sister in India and give her something others said she wasn’t worthy of: an education.

A world without girls is utterly incomplete. Let’s celebrate everything we love about them--- their laughter, their ideas, their heart--- by creating a safer world for girls everywhere! Please be a voice for girls by sharing this post with the hashtag #letgirlsbe.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Chau for now

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Feelin' Fresh with Evian Facial Spray

The weather is getting warmer (at least in California), so you want to stay cool and refreshed. And as fun as it is to get in the water at the pool or the beach, let's face it--you can't always do that at places like work or church. 

That's when I found out about Evian Facial Spray. It's a spray that is meant to set makeup, cool and refresh your skin, and so much more. It's made up of Evian water and is sealed in a canister so that it cannot be contaminated by outside sources. It's basically your own personal mister, and you can use it at the gym, at the work, or at the beach. 

I tried it out for myself and misted myself to see how it would be with my makeup. I already had my makeup on for a few hours and wanted to see if it could help it last longer and keep me looking and feeling fresh. 

After eating Korean bbq where I had smoke from the grill coming at my face on top of the hot weather and a total of 10 hours later, my makeup looked pretty fresh still. I didn't have my eye makeup on due to rubbing my eyes a few minutes earlier but my foundation was still in tact, which does not happen often with me. 

My only thing with the Evian Facial Spray was that a few minutes after it dried there was a weird feeling on my face, almost as if I was wearing a facial mask. The feeling didn't last long, however, which was good. 

As I was trying this out for myself, the boyfriend was also trying it out for himself as well... as well as all of our other friends. He definitely loves it! And I like it too and recommend it for keeping cool but also helping set your makeup. I'll try it again soon and replace my setting powder and see how it does on its own. 

Would you use a personal mister like this? Do you use mists instead of setting powder for your makeup? 

Disclosure: I was provided this Evian Facial Spray courtesy of Evian and Brandbacker. All opinions are my own.

Chau for now

Thursday, March 5, 2015

How to Use Networking to Your Advantage and Land the Job

As you may know, I work with Knotty, an accessories company known for their simple, yet stylish and versatile jewelry and hair accessories. It's a job that I love because I get to run their social media (even though it's not my primary job) and I love the products. 

What I love about this company so much is that it's a tiny company. And with that, there is tons of room for me to grow in my job. Even though I mainly do one thing, my bosses allow tons of room for me to do other things, like helping out with photoshoots. And since I am helping out with social media, many things that I'm learning to do for Knotty also overlap with this blog.

So how did I get this job? 



Here's the story of how I connected with Knotty and later used that connection to land this job: 

I met the founders of Knotty through a really good friend of mine who met them through a professor. She ended up interning for them, doing social media for them last year and helping to ramp up their following especially on Instagram. She told me that they would be a great fit to work with for my blog, so I contacted them and they sent me a few of their cute hair ties around this time last year. 

I worked with them and enjoyed working with them so much that I wanted to have an ongoing partnership with them for the sake of this blog. I tried meeting up with them a few times to actually talk in person about this partnership, but there were always conflicts and it never worked out. 

Fast forward from last summer until December. I'm looking to take on another job, but I didn't want a job in retail... at least not clothing because I already had a job like that and hated folding clothes and how long it would take when I closed. So after looking on Craigslist and applying to a few non-clothing retail jobs, I decided to think about connections I may have had with any brands I have worked with through the blog in the past. 

Knotty was the first brand that came to mind. 

They were local and they were a brand that I would actually shop from, and since they were a smaller brand without a brick and mortar store, I knew that I wouldn't be working in retail in the typical sense. 

On their website, I tried looking for something regarding careers, and I found a page. They said they weren't hiring but to email them with a resume if interested. I emailed them saying I had worked with them before as a blogger to promote them but I wanted them to consider me for actually working for them if they had any positions open. 

A few days later, Lynn, one of the owners of Knotty, emailed me asking if I was interested in doing sales and if I had any experience. I told her I didn't have much experience but have worked in retail and have had to pitch myself to tons of people as a blogger. She invited me to come in for an interview and the rest is history. 


I never expected to work for a company like Knotty before, and I didn't realize that this blog would be such a huge factor in helping me get a job. Even though my blog is like a job in itself, I was able to use who I knew through this to help me get a job in an industry that I would like to get into. 

+ My biggest tips: Don't ever leave out any connections! And try as hard as you can not to burn bridges with brands, unless they treat you horribly. But other than that, be nice to brands you work with or get into contact with. Especially if you're a blogger, just because you may not work with a brand, that person may still have a connection for you one day. 

Whether it is someone you met at church or at school or at another job or while on vacation sometimes, you never know when that connection is going to help you out in the long run. Nowadays, many jobs and industries are about who you know, so connect wisely, and connect well. 

Well that's all I got for networking tips for now! How did you get your current job? Have you ever connected with someone in such a random way that has helped you career-wise?
Chau for now

P.S. We are having a deal through Knotty that isn't advertised yet on social media so you're the first to know! Use the code CLASSIC20 at checkout to get 20% off your purchase! (I say to use this code on any of our classic chain products--they're our best sellers!)

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by Knotty, although I do have affiliate links listed. but still, all opinions are my own, duh. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Gamer Girlfriend Probs: Meeting a Professional Gaming Team

So your boyfriend may be a gamer. He may be into playing a variety of games, whether on his PC or his Xbox, and he probably dedicates a lot of time to it. Chances are, he also probably plays live with other gamers online. He probably talks to you about it a lot and you probably hate when the gaming interferes with your quality time (see gamer gf prob #1). 

However, I don't think it's all too bad until he takes you to meet a real professional gaming team. Yeah, I don't think you are truly addicted until your significant other is following gamers who make their living off of it and then take you to meet them. 
A couple weeks ago, we did just that. 

As I've mentioned before, Darell is a huge fan of the game League of Legends. He has achieved a "gold" status in the game (which apparently is good but not that good), he has watched pro-gamer teams play in live matches (they are actual competitions like how cheer has championships), and I have even purchased a jersey of his favorite player on his favorite pro team. 

So of course, when his favorite team is in town doing a meet-and-greet, he has to take advantage! (I mean I have done the same when it came to meeting my favorite Youtubers in the past so I understand). 

Us with Counter Logic Gaming-Darell's favorite team! (His idol is the guy in the middle, 3rd from the right)
We went to the Microsoft store near my school and got to meet Counter Logic Gaming (or CLG for short) and take photos with them and get their autographs! We also got cool swag bags from Razer, a gaming accessories brand (none of which I kept because I'm not a gamer #gamergfprobs), and got to just hang out for a bit. 

I think my favorite part of the whole night was watching Darell meet his idol, Doublelift (that's his gamer name). He was so happy in a cute way! He was definitely fangirling but not outwardly freaking out as much as other people would. I love seeing him that way. 

If you ever get dragged to an event such as this for a game that you may or may not care for, I have this tip for you: Make the most out of it.

I don't necessarily hate the game like I used to because I understand it better. That makes it easier for me to watch Darell play and talk about the game because I understand it. The game is pretty cool, but still not my first choice of entertainment. When he took me to this, he and our other friends actually surprised me by telling me an hour before they were coming that they were coming to get me. Darell asked if I wanted to go and I said yes because why not? 

You may or may not have a choice like me but just stick it out and go for them. I'm sure that you appreciate when your boyfriend goes out of his way to do something you enjoy that he may not, so do the same for him. Sacrifice a little, and it will be worth it. 

The meet up wasn't so bad. I had fun watching how dedicated the League of Legends world is and seeing my boyfriend so happy from meeting his favorite player. It was worth ditching my homework for a few hours.

Oh, the life that I live as the girlfriend of a gamer. 

Any other gamer girlfriends/spouses out there? What are your gamer girlfriend problems? What do you want to see for this series? Tell me & I'll probably write about them!

Chau for now