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KRISTEN WALKER

Awesome mom and wife and passionate about random things in life (yes I just rhymed :)

5 (ok 7!) Things I'm Asking for Christmas

October 13, 2016

Here we go people... Christmas is exactly 73 days away, which may sound like a lot, but then when you put it into the perspective of weeks, that's only about 10 WEEKS! And if you've got family members like I do, they ALWAYS ask for a wish list. Now, I never used to like wish lists. I think they can be presumptuous and really, shouldn't we all just be happy and accept the gifts that our loved ones wanted to give us?? Yes ... I used to think like this, until every year I ended up with soaps and bath washes. Not to discount the awesomeness of soaps and bath washes, however as I looked around me every year at everyone else relishing in the gifts that they had specifically ASKED for, I realized there might be something to this so-called "wish list."

So my people, dare to dream big, because I plan to do just that this holiday season. Here's what I'm asking for this year (because these goodies look A-MAZING!!):

1. Mr. Coffee Café Barista Premium Espresso/Cappuccino Machine So I can stop my $5 Starbucks addiction habit (and I KNOW I'm not alone in this). Plus, this one does the milk frothing for you, which is great, 'cuz I have no clue how to froth milk. 

2. Silicone Food Storage Containers A while ago we bought all glass storage containers to avoid plastic (all those leaching chemicals are no bueno). But then we bought a house with PORCELAIN tile and juuuust about dropped and shattered every single one of those glass containers. So the next best, non-toxic alternative? Silicone! 

3. All-Clad Griddle Pan I love All-Clad and my husband and I got the full set of pots and pans when we got married. Now that we have a toddler, pancakes are a staple in our household and it's high-time we got a griddle pan to make them. 

4. Teva Mush Sandals "Sandals in winter?!" you may ask, but listen here: everyone needs a pair of quick, flip flop sandals to throw on all year around ... to take the garbage out, to put on when you've dropped and shattered your glass food containers everywhere, and so on. I always used to buy just a cheap pair of flip flops, yet secretly envied my husband's Teva Mush sandals that he's had since God-knows-how-long (and I'm not quite sure why it's taken me this long to ask for them). 

5. Essential Oils Oh yes, these are like Pringles, once you pop you can't stop and I tell ya, once you buy just one essential oil, you have to buy them all. But DANG Gina, these puppies can be expensive! That's why they're going on the Christmas list. ;)

6. Essential Oil Diffuser I have a handful of diffusers around my house, but none of them last as long as I would like and none of them are as pretty as this one. This one can also hold up to 300ml and says it can run up to 10 hours of continuous output. Sold!

7. Sony RX100 Camera Now for the Pièce De Résistance! I feel like nowadays we rely so much on using our cell phones to take photos, but the quality just doesn't hit the mark like some of the professional point-and-shoot cameras out there (as you can likely tell by some of my blog photos taken with said cell phone). I want to feel like a legitimate illegitimate photographer. So I'm asking Santa (:::cough::: husband:::cough) for this one. ;)

What's on your Christmas wish list? 

 

 

 

 

Why I Blog

June 11, 2016

Ok, before I became a blogger ... well actually, I've always blogged/journaled, but before I put my blog out there for others to see, I used to do Corporate Communications for tech companies in the Bay Area. I did that for 12 years until just recently. (The photo above is me in London on a business trip back in 2011).

Life changed. I met my husband in 2012, got married in 2014, had a baby in 2015 and then WHOA, priorities shifted. I didn't want to travel for work anymore and leave my precious little one and that kind of sealed the deal on my relationship with my last company. And now I sit here pondering where to focus all my drive and business knowledge onto next. It occurred to me that if I could be uber successful doing something that I really didn't have that much passion for (Tech PR), then what would happen if I applied all of my skills to something that really got me excited?

And then I thought ... well, I'm kind of excited about a lot of random things, not just one. I love writing, I love cooking, baby stuff, home decor, reading, financial planning, hiking, wine ... I mean, the list could go on. So how do I choose!!?? And then I thought, "wait, why do I have to choose just one?" Ah ... wisdom.

I've been following a couple of inspirational women for a handful of years now that really give me a good kick in the pants when I start to get lazy ... Marie Forleo. Gosh I love her (and really wish my body looked like hers, but that's another topic for another day). She embodies what success can look like for someone who doesn't want to just hang their hat on one thing. 

So, long story short ... I launched this blog. Why? Because it's giving me an outlet to explore and express ALL the things that excite and interest me. I actually wake up EXCITED to figure out what I want to write about next. And maybe along the way, my posts will inspire the next person to go out there and CREATE something that excites them too. 

Will this become a money-making business for me? Not sure. Do I need to find "normal" work to help fill in the financial gaps here and there? Probably (ugh). But the important thing here is that I'm doing something that I love to do.

Now, if blogging is something that you think you want to do, thank God for the internet because there are some AMAZING resources out there that can help you get started:

1. SarahTitus.com The woman is a blogging genius and has done everything in her power to equip wannabe bloggers with everything they need to know to get up and started. 

2. Another Sarah over at My Joy-Filled Life. She created this handy-dandy blog planner  that you see below. So easy! I just printed it out at home and now I have something to help me organize all my thoughts (and well, I love things like this because I'm a PR person, planning is in my blood). 

So ... what tickles your fancy? What gets your imagination going and your creative juices flowing? Drop me a line!

 

 

The Art of Life

October 5, 2012

 

Whoa - so I'm cleaning out my files on my computer and stumble upon a writing project I had for a class in college in 2002. Amazing insight from my younger self ... the following is what I wrote back then:

"I am a firm believer that life is what you make of it.  I have a quote taped to my computer at home that reads: “This is life, and it is passing. What are we waiting for"? Every time I see those words I am reminded of my responsibility to fulfill my dreams. Oftentimes, dreams are directly tied to success, and success is one of our main fears in life. Why success, you ask? Because success is directly tied to responsibility and we hate responsibility, even if it is to our own dreams.
 
I remember the moment vividly. I was flying back from the Christmas holidays on a late night, Southwest flight. Another season spent with family, good food, presents, and that warm feeling of winter. I was eager to come home and get back into the swing of things. I yearned to see friends, start my studying back up, and fall back into my usual college life routine. Although, something was different. I felt an unknown anxiousness, as if I was living a life going nowhere and my dreams were speeding by, laughing at me as I let my chances slip. I had felt this before, but never with such intensity. I excused myself from my cramped seat on the plane and ran to the bathroom.

I felt like throwing up, and instead I started crying. As I was standing in that coat-closet of a bathroom, those words kept creeping back to me: What was I waiting for? What was I waiting for? My life spent dreaming of the stage, the music, the audience, the success, the luminescence of it all was never to be, unless I challenged myself to actually go for it all. But I was so scared! Was I scared of rejection? Scared of how I might do? No, those weren’t the issues. 

I was scared of actually being good. I knew I had it in me, but the task of it all was too huge for me to picture at the time. I hated singing lessons and practicing everyday. I wanted to be free from the responsibility to improve upon the gift I had, but at the same time, I felt like I would die if I didn’t. So, I chose the fear.

My goal today is to inspire success. I’d like to share 4 key actions that helped me jump start the fulfillment of my dreams. 

The first is: Pinpoint a dream you want to see come true.

If your dreams are no longer in the forefront of your mind, think back to your childhood. Grab at what you always wanted to be or do, and think of it as a possibility. Remember that magical feeling of believing that anything is possible? Well good news: It still is, only our outlook has changed, and that is something you can fix.

When I was a kid, I used to bring my tape player into the garage and set it on top of the washing machine. I loved Janet Jackson, and “Nasty Boys” was my song. I thought for sure that no one could hear me if I was in there. I was so afraid, even in front of my parents to reveal my voice. 

The garage was a safe haven; my own personal arena where I danced and sang, dreaming of crowds clapping and yelling my name. As a kid, you’re expected to dream, but who said those dreams had to remain fictional?

Second: Feel the fear and do it anyway.

After that horrible plane flight, I went to the bookstore for some soul inspiration. I picked up a book called Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers. This book opened my eyes to just how silly fear makes us all. It could be fear of many things, but the most surprising fear of all was that of responsibility to one’s own success. Why are we so afraid to be great?

One of the quotes that touched me the most was that every great leader felt fear. The only difference between them and the common man was that they didn’t let it stop them. All of us feel fear. Join the entire human race, and then learn to get over it!

I knew from then on that my fear of rejection, of messing up or forgetting words to songs were all fears experienced by all of the great performers of my past. It was time to not let that be an excuse for me any longer.

Third: Go in head first and deal with the consequences later.

Just yesterday, I learned that you should never try to edit yourself while writing. If you did this, you wouldn’t get anywhere because you’d always be stopping to correct yourself. The same goes for fulfilling your dreams.

Forget about the actual day or event in which your dream will come into fruition, and just sign yourself up for whatever it is you want to do. Deal with the later, later!

I used to never sign up for auditions or competitions because at the time, I didn’t feel like I was prepared. I started making it a rule for myself to not even think twice, and just go for it. I knew that I’d be able to handle the situation when it came around, and because I already had signed up, there was little room for me to back out. 

Lastly: Rejoice in every accomplishment, big or small.

No matter if whatever you went for went horribly bad, you’ve just accomplished something you never thought you could! Delight in the fact that instead of backing down, you’ve just stood up.

After I started signing up for multiple competitions, I found the confidence in me growing, and I’d congratulate myself on every thing I did. There’s always room for errors, and I made and will continue to make many more, but the accomplishment lies in the fact that I stood up against my own odds. 

After I got home from that flight, my life changed forever. I went on to perform with some of the most well-respected conductors and coaches. I won first place in a few competitions, joined the opera and got to perform every night and meet the most amazing people who only inspired me even more. After years of learning how to sing multiple foreign arias and art songs, I held my own hour-long recital and made a CD out of it. I was a soloist for the symphony and was featured on a CD sold in my school’s bookstore. I even auditioned for the Metropolitan Opera and won an encouragement award and received an invitation to audition again. All these things used to seem so intangible to me, and yet now I can call them my own reality.

I have been having the time of my life realizing the dream that I started creating so many years ago. I had it all right when I was five years old in my parent’s garage; it just took some time to realize it. Instead of living in fear of fear itself, I am able now to enjoy and delight in the things that I’ve always wanted to do. I can only hope that these small, but powerful tips will do the same for you." 

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