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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I Know What You're Thinking..

You're probably sitting at home desperately wondering, "Kiera, where have you been the last few months; your life details are vital to my existence!" I know, and I apologize sincerely. 

Here I present to you: the major details

I left my job at Philly PR Girl, and proceeded to watch a lot of Food Network. I'm now a revered food critic.
At the end of September I went to Alaska for the first time!

Instagram: GirlAroundPhilly

  Where I learned they don't keep wildlife behind abundant fencing...

Instagram: GirlAroundPhilly

I visited the Iditarod training site and may or may not have tried to take home one of the baby pups. They shouldn't make them so cute if they don't want people to take them...

Instagram: GirlAroundPhilly

Oh and I rode a dog sled (not this one, I let the training pups carry around my fat butt outside on a giant metal cart with wheels. They're in great shape because of me)


Then I celebrated my 24th birthday, complete with the best brunch I've EVER had at Hawthorne's Biercafe. Instead of drooling over my picture of chicken and waffles, go get some for yourself..seriously, do it! (I'll have an entire post on the fondue pot Patrick got me, there's some good food porn coming from that)

Instagram: GirlAroundPhilly

Speaking of best birthday presents ever, part 2 of my gift was tickets to see Jimmy Fallon!!
We sat front row, the opening comedian snuggled his face against Patrick's, and Jimmy gave us high fives. We became lifelong friends (I'm taking suggestions as to what Christmas gift I should get him this year) 

Note the Snapchat caption. They don't allow any pictures at the taping, so without a bathroom selfie (and numerous on-screen cameos) I would have no proof of going.

But don't fret, friends! I won't neglect the blog ever again; I'm here to stay and fill your lives with nonsense trivia about mine.

xoxo


Monday, November 21, 2016

7 Times I Couldn't Take a Good Photo

Fun Fact about me: I LOVE photography. When I was little I would climb on my mom's computer chair, reach up to the highest shelf, past the Harry Potter video games, and grab her square, black Polaroid camera (you know, the ones that cool people are trying to imitate these days?...the real version). I would take pictures of myself (HAY selfie), my brother Nick, my brother Nick in a Ninja Turtle costume, myself in a Power Rangers costume (the pink one exclusively), you get the picture. 

I loved the process of taking a picture and waiting for it to come out of that big square camera, slowing changing from a blurry white fog to a clear photo.

Now it's more likely that you'll see me scrolling through the Instagram discover feature or on Pinterest. Seriously I could spend hours doing this (hint: I do, a lot). But weirdly I'm not a person who takes a lot of pictures, especially of myself. 

I wish I was one of those people on Instagram who takes beautiful pictures, but I'm working on stepping up my game. In the mean time for your enjoyment, here are 7 times (I'll spare you from the hundreds) that I was unable to take a good picture. 

In pictures of Patrick and me, you'll find that if one of us looks good, the other isn't looking at the camera. Or has our mouth open. Or eyes closed. It's one of those things where we take 20 to get one where we both time it perfectly. And it makes me laugh every single time. I keep all of them because I like watching us laugh through all of it :)

So without further ado, I present to you:

The Time I Tried to Be a Blogger But Wasn't Paying Attention

The Time We Got Distracted by an Appetizer Tray

The Time I Was Laughing at a Cardboard Cutout of the Pope

The Time "I Don't Even Care if My Eyes Are Closed"

The Time I Couldn't Be Bothered by the Paparazzi 

The Time I Got Drunk

The Time I Didn't Remember How to Eat a Cupcake

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Eating Healthy on a Budget (and other important oven cleaning tips)


By now it's probably no secret that I love eating healthy (and balancing it out with pizza at the end of the week). I'm all about finding balance in my life, and even though my life feels hectic right now, I feel like food is the one thing I can control all the time.

That being said, I'm also not in a position where I can buy tubs of hummus and expensive organic ingredients every week. So these past few months I've been trying to find creative ways to cook at home without spending a fortune and keeping it healthy. (I'm stressed just typing all of that!)

Let me start by saying I'm one of those people who will buy something and justify the price of it by saying "well if I use this 3 times a week it's really paying for itself. It'd be silly not to buy it."

This is the first time in my entire life that I have genuinely gotten the value out of a product in. one. week...

A couple weeks ago I bought a spiralizer off Amazon that doubles as a vegetable peeler, and you guys, I've never felt so alive. The day it arrived I went out and bought one zucchini (to test it out, I wasn't going to make a ton of zoodles just to throw them out if I didn't like them). BUT THEY ARE THE GREATEST. Everyone has been raving about "zoodles" this year and I am officially on that bandwagon.

I'm not event exaggerating when I say I had them 4 times in 2 days. They're that good. I even made them for Patrick and he liked them too! (And even if he was lying I'm okay with it)

Now that I've sufficiently ranted long enough (sorry, I haven't even had caffeine yet), I want to show you the amazing dinner I made last night with my spiralizer, zucchini and sweet potato! 

Ingredients:
-1 zucchini
-1 sweet potato, washed and peeled
-1 Tbs pesto
-1 big handful of kale (precise. I don't really measure)
-1 tsp of crushed red pepper to taste

Instructions:
Set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Using spriralizer, peel your sweet potato and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. (I sprayed mine with a bit of cooking spray and sprinkled with kosher salt and pepper)


When your oven starts smoking and the fire alarm goes off, transfer the sweet potato to a nonstick pan and cook until slightly softened.

Next, set a reminder on your phone to clean the oven tomorrow.

Here comes the lazy step. Put kale in a microwave safe bowl, drizzle with olive oil and heat until wilted (about 45 seconds)

Peel your zucchini with the spiralizer and add them to the pan.

Add kale, pesto, and toss together. Top with crushed red pepper and THAT'S LITERALLY IT.


So simple. This is my favorite meal when I want something fast and healthy, but you can add meat if you'd like, a fried egg on top. Get creative! Buying zucchini and a sweet potato cost me a whopping $1 (I had the other ingredients already). 

Let me know what your easy go-to recipes are! I know I'll be posting more!

xoxo,
Kiera


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Happy National Pancake Day!


I'm not sure where these little holidays come from, or if they're real, but your girl is all about the pancake life! So today I took my pencil skirt wearing self over to IHOP and got a fairly tall short stack and left with a very happy belly.

Of all holidays,  real or fake, this one takes the (pan) cake.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Every Question I Had at My First PR Event

This event was actually on February 25, but I've been crazy busy and wanted to post it when I felt it was complete.

I've been working for Philly PR Girl for almost three months now, but last night was a first for me. I helped set up and run my first event at Distrito in University City, and it...was...amazing.

photo: good food flats

I received a text from my boss at 8:45 am informing me to wear a dress that night. First question of the day: "Oh god, I thought it was just happy hour. How fancy do I have to be? Like wearing spanx fancy?"

I wore spanx. 


The entire day I had a continuing argument in my head whether I should drive to the restaurant or take an Uber. My bank account told me to just skip the event altogether since I had to get gas, pay for parking, etc.. Finally at 3 pm I made the game-time decision to call an Uber, and true to character I arrived 10 minutes early. As it turns out I was excessively early and sat there nervous sweating for about 30 minutes until the rest of my team arrived (copious amounts of coffee also contributed to the nervous sweats).

Once my team arrived and we unloaded the gift bags and other decorations we would need for our selfie booth, I was much more relaxed and started to figure out my game plan for the night. I would be checking people in on an iPad (so bougie) and giving out wristbands (not that necessary).

It was almost six o'clock and people were about to start arriving!

Question #2: "Should I go to the bathroom before I have to stand in this same spot for 3 hours?"

I should have.

I took my spot at my little table at the front of the restaurant and was so ready to check people in. I was going to check them in better than anyone has ever done!

photo: good food flats

It was the most fabulously average job.

Question #3: "Can I eat?"

Nope. And let me tell you, I've never witnessed more self control than when the waiters brought around tray after tray of tacos, flatbreads, some sort of corn dish (I didn't care what it was, but I knew that I wanted it), guacamole, and nachos. And I had to turn them down every time. It was a never-ending stream of jealousy as I watched people eating those tacos, MY TACOS.


But finally around 8:00 pm my boss said I was allowed to eat since everybody was settled in and we weren't very busy anymore.

Question #4: "Can I swan dive into that bowl of guacamole?"

photo: good food flats

I did, chip first.

Now that I had some chips, guac, and a margarita (on the rocks, no salt. duh), I was entirely stress-free and saw just how smoothly the event was going! (Yes, that's the CEO holding a taco pinata)

photo: good food flats

I even took the time to go over and introduce myself to food bloggers that I stalk on Instagram.

Question #5: "Hi I'm about to fan girl so hard, you don't mind right?"

photo: goof food flats

(Thank god they didn't, I'm embarrassing) 

Did I ever tell you how much I love food porn on social media? My top two searches are constantly 'puppies' and 'food porn.' Nothing else on Instagram captures my attention quite as well. I digress.

By the end of the night I changed into flip flops that I stashed in my purse (BEST. DECISION. EVER). After about 4 hours of being there, I was exhausted, exhilarated, and ready to go bed. And oddly craving dessert.

We packed up, I called my Uber, and I went home to crawl under my covers. Bed never felt so great after standing in heels for so long. Then I got a text from my boss saying "Great job tonight! For the first time in a long time I was completely relaxed at an event. You guys rocked it!"

Best moment of the night.

xoxo,
Kiera

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Where Did February Go?!

Is it just me or did February fly by?? Actually every month in 2016 so far. This year needs to take a chill pill and slow down. Between work and...well, more work...every day I look forward to going to bed, and I've hardly had the time to workout (eek!).

Since this month completely had me flustered, my main goal is to calm down and take each week one day at a time, and to enjoy every moment (and St Patrick's Day. And March Madness).

Last month I absolutely loved using this format from A Balancing Peach (THE cutest blog), so this might become my routine monthly round up! Let me know what you think in the comments!


Wanting: time to slow down. I think that goes without saying
Reading: The Soul Searcher's Handbook by Emma Mildon (I swear it's actually amazing)

Watching: Fuller House!! The original will always be better though
Listening: "The Bassoon King" by Rainn Wilson. Nothing is better than listening to him coo awkward childhood stories in my ear on Audible
Hoping: one day I'll break the habit of biting my nails (prob won't..)
Waiting: for my imminent doom, aka spring allergies
Getting: excited for mine and Patrick's two year anniversary dinner :)
Wishing: I could eat cheesecake everyday but still be skinny
Working: on exploring more in the nice weather
Dreaming: of taking a trip to the beach
Munching: those Chobani flip cups things? They're really not even that good tbh (stick with good ol' granola and fruit)
Sipping: Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea from Starbucks (seriously who came up with this name..)
Finishing: the odd combinations of food I have remaining in my fridge (butternut squash and an apple with peanut butter, anyone?)
Saving: myself for the season finale of the Bachelor. I'm trying SO hard to avoid spoilers (also why am I so invested?)
Looking: forward to my first Barre class on Saturday! Also slightly terrified
Wearing: the coach perfume Patrick got me for Christmas (actually that's an everyday thing)
Buying: more coconut oil. I use that stuff like it's going out of style
Refusing: to leave my bed for the gym in the morning
Organizing: my entire life in my Lilly Pulitzer planner. We're talking scheduling dinner with my parents...that's how hectic
Loving: that my boss keeps a continuously filled candy jar at my table 
Bookmarking: every chocolate lab puppy instagram account

This month I...Ate tacos at my first PR event! Watched a lot of Flyers games, tried jumping back on the health train. What were your favorite moments in February?

xoxo
Kiera


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Best Thing I Ever Bought at LuluLemon


Anyone who knows me understands my love of activewear. If I'm not in "work clothes" you'll most definitely find me sporting a pair of (usually) Fabletics capris, a brightly-colored sports bra, and my coveted "froodie" (basically a cowlneck sweatshirt, or front hoodie. Thank you, Patrick, for coining the term). It's rare that I go clothes shopping anymore, but when I do you can bet I'm on Instagram finding workout clothes inspiration.

I take pride in my friends asking me where I get my activewear, and I've become increasingly picky about the kinds of things I pick out. I try to experiment with different brands and price ranges, but I have to admit I'm usually turned off from LuluLemon. 

Maybe it's because the Lulu wearers seems like a cult, where people can spot your tiny logo'd see-through pants a mile away. Maybe it's because it's entirely out of my budget... Actually, that's the only reason #BrokeGirlProbs.

But this past fall I found myself applying to LuluLemon for a part-time job. I've heard everyone has great experiences working there, and bonus, they pay really well! So before my interview you bet your bum I wanted to look the part. I picked out the cutest workout leggings I have (a sky blue and white floral pattern) and my go-to J.Crew froodie. But I felt like I needed a little something from LuluLemon to make myself feel like I could be part of their world. 

One Saturday morning I drove over to Suburban Square, and after some coffee and window shopping, I stopped in LuluLemon and decided I would take the leap and purchase something. Keeping in mind I was unemployed at this point, I couldn't exactly spring for a jacket or outerwear. I was thinking maybe more along the lines of sale items or a sports bra if I was lucky.

After 20 minutes of browsing and cringing at price tags, I found the perfect purchase. Minutes more of debating the color and pattern (I'm picky, okay?), I walked out of the store the proud new owner of a wide-band floral headband!


However, that's not what this story's about. The best thing I ever got at LuluLemon was the free red bag they put my headband in. No I'm not joking.


Why it's so great:
-I can carry it on my shoulder and it won't hurt
-It's a waterproof material outside
-It makes it look like I just bought awesome workout clothes
-When I'm dressed down I look like I'm off to a yoga class
-It's been serving as my lunchbox for over a month
-I can carry alcohol in it and it looks less ratchet than a grocery bag

Does anyone else use this bag as much as I do?? Never. Throw. It. Out!!

xoxo,
Kiera

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Balancing Peach

I'm saying adios to January, and the craziness that came along with it! I'm not a huge believer in astrology, but this Mercury in retrograde thing really effed me up this month. It may just be an excuse for my life being hectic, but hey anything I can blame it on.

This past month I was on Instagram and found an account and developed a major blog crush. This post is going to be a January round-up, but rather than me ranting about only 3 or 4 things, I'm taking inspiration from A Balancing Peach blog and summing up everything I was doing, liking, or thinking in January.


Wanting: Sunday's off. Working two jobs is exhausting sometimes (a girl just wants to brunch, gosh).
Reading:  Listening: Coffee With Chrachel. The most nuanced podcast and I'm obsessed. Look it up! (You won't regret it)
Watching: The Office (again!). Patrick just started watching the series from the beginning and my heart is so happy. 
Hoping: One day I have a kitchen with enough natural light to take amazing photos of my food.
Waiting: For the Gilmore Girls Netflix new series to arrive BYE. I can't contain my joy.
Getting: Pumped to try out yoga classes (and hopefully good at it?).
Wishing: I could stop hitting snooze and actually workout in the morning.
Working: At my PR firm envying the workout ball my coworker sits on instead of a chair.
Dreaming: Of snow. OH WAIT. Snowstorm Jonas buried my car. I take it back...
Munching: Lemon garlic chicken, kale, black beans, brown rice, and sriracha. BEST. BOWL. EVER.
Sipping: Flip Flop Pino Grigio
Finishing: My laundry. LOL JK there's a never-ending pile.
Saving: WAY too many coins in my change purse because I keep forgetting to go to a Coin Star machine.
Looking: At Instagram accounts of chocolate lab puppies (how many is too many?). See: the limit does not exist.
Wearing: A messy bun with a braid underneath. See: inspiration from A Balancing Peach

Buying: Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Face Wash (works better than anything I've ever tried) See: selfie with ZERO makeup 

Refusing: To accept it's already February...why does time go so fast??
Organizing:  Literally every thought I have in a never-ending list in my Lilly Pulitzer planner.
Loving: Tone it up Beach Clay Face Mask

Bookmarking: Katie Reyes' Advice for Blogging

Let me know your January favorites or things you're dying to try in February!

xoxo,
Kiera

Monday, January 25, 2016

#Currently

Happy Friday my loves! I hope you all had a spectacular week, and for those of you who had a less than stellar week, take comfort in knowing that bed, Netflix, and wine await you.

I've sort of fallen off the face of the blogging earth lately so I apologize for that. BUT I want to welcome you to a weekly blog series I'm calling "Hashtag Currently." Just to clarify, I'm often that annoying friend who says the word 'hashtag' IRL.

Every Friday I'll be posting things from the week that make me laugh, feel inspired, feel like I need an IV of coffee, etc. It'll be a round-up of eclectic nonsense, just like the stream of thoughts constantly running through my head. 


 Currently: WISHING I WAS THE GUY NEXT TO ADELE

Sadly my schedule doesn't currently inclue a karaoke sesh with Adele while driving around London, but apparently James Corden is more #blessed than all of us. If you don't already have a MASSIVE girl crush on Adele, you will after watching this video. Not only does she jam to Spice Girls, but she also uses the phrase "I ain't got time for that!" SLAY, my queen. Keep doing you. (And also I'm free this weekend if you want to drive around singing with me. Have your people call my people.)


Currently: ADULTING IS HARD

So while I am currently working two jobs (one technically being an internship), I find myself wondering how people get their sh** together in the real world. Is flip cup is a marketable skill to add to my resume? 


Currently: CHANNING TATUM AS BEYONCE

In a word, is everything. That is all.

In the busy life of Kiera, this about sums up my feelings week. I hope you all have the BEST weekend! 

xoxo,
Kiera

Apartment Spruce: DIY Lilly Pulitzer Pattern

As any unemployed post-grad would, I've been a tad nostalgic about college lately. One thing I miss more than usual is crafting (sorority girls you have my back on this right?).  One winter break I genuinely spent 3 full days crafting for the little that I didn't even have yet. Needless to say there's been a void in my life without the need to whip out a fresh bottle of Mod Podge and throw some glitter at someone.



I was sitting in the bathroom scrolling through Instagram (like every other normal human, don't deny it) when I realized the walls are so bare. It was horrifying; how did my roommate and I not decorate this yet? Sure, we have a lovely shade of seafoam green on the walls, but it still needed something. Kind of the way your nails need a manicure when they're looking...meh, ratchet, etc.

I decided to paint a Lilly Pulitzer pattern on a canvas to brighten the space and I'm here to share the steps with you! Lilly patterns look so complicated, but when you can break them down anyone can paint them.

(Fun fact: did you know all of the Lilly Pulitzer patterns are hand-painted? Yeah. So when you think every part of the painting needs to be perfect, take comfort in the wiggle room you have)

Step 1 : Pour a glass of wine.

Step 2 : Turn on Pitch Perfect 

Step 3: (okay but really)


Start with a darker shade of pink and begin making a few half moon brushstrokes, just to get an outline of the flower shape. I like to keep the paint a little thicker to make it easier for blending in the lighter colors.

Taking a lighter shade of pink paint, begin making the same half moon strokes to fill in areas in the flower outline. Slightly overlap with the darker pink to blend the two, that way you're not just painting lines next to each other.  

TIP : Don't wash your painbrush in between colors, it gave my flowers more depth when I was able to blend and create different shades of pink. 

Finally, take the slightest amount of white paint on your brush and make small rounded strokes where you think you need to break up the pink. If I thought there was too much of the same shade in one spot, I ran my brush ober that area with white and it completely changed the look of the flower.

TIP : You don't need to create full flowers each time. As you can see on my canvas, some of my flowers are only partial and stick over the edge. This gives the illusion that the painting continues off the canvas.

Step 4 : 


Fill in the background with a teal colored paint. When you get close to the edge of the flower, switch to a smaller brush to get the color as close as possible without overlapping the pink paint.

Step 5 : 


Take white paint and make a thin layer of the shape you want your leaves to be; this will make the green a bit more vibrant. 

Take a bright (almost lime) green paint and go over the layer of white paint. Then taking a darker (slight hunter) green you can outline the leaves or make thin lines to mimick the veins of a leaf. Get creative! I actually liked that mine aren't perfect or entirely uniform. 

Step 6 : 


 Hang it up, step back, and enjoy!

xoxo
Kiera