Self Care

Top 10 Podcasts….for when you’re stuck inside.

Okay I listen to podcasts no matter what. Inside or outside. Upside down. Whatever. Some of us, however, only listen to podcasts when they’re out and about. I’m assuming many of you are probably busting through your regular podcasts. If that’s the case, here’s a list of 10 to help keep you occupied while you’re Marie Condo-ing your apartment.

True Crime

1. Morbid Podcast
Ash and Alana are two goofy, thoughtful and all around down to earth chicks who discuss not only classic murderers but also pay a lot of respect to the victims. I found this podcast by searching for best true crime podcasts into Spotify. They are able to tell these stories with a lot of heart while making me laugh at the same time. If you’re looking for a refreshing and lighthearted murder podcast, this one is it.

2. True Crime Obsessed
Okay, I’m going to be honest. I did not think I was going to like this podcast. I love Patrick Hinds from when I used to listen to Broadway Backstory and Theatre People Podcast but that was a completely different fascet of podcast…Patrick has a TON of energy and the same goes for his cohost Gillian. They’re both really hyper, loud and honestly really funny. So putting that into the world of true crime…talking about the worst things that could ever happen to a person? That’s hard to pull off. I decided to give it a shot though. To my surprise, I loved it. Their main bread and butter is watching true crime documentaries like “Making a Murderer” or “Mommy Dead and Dearest” and discussing it in a crazy, upbeat, somewhat ridiculous way. They make me laugh a lot and a lot of the time they completely rip these docs apart! It’s so great. Highly recommend.

Productivity

3. Power Hour
OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS PODCAST. It’s hosted by Adrienne Herbert. She is a motivational speaker, fitness influencer and all around cool gal from the UK. She interviews really inspiring people and they discuss their “power hour” which is the time you spend in the morning (or night) that is just for you that helps you set yourself up for a productive and positive day. I always finish every episode feeling so motivated and it’s even inspired me to create my own power hour every day.

4. The Whiskey and Work Podcast
Okay I have to admit that I’ve only just started listening to this podcast but it’s already made a great impact on my life. Most episodes are really short, which, for me is always better because I can only listen to self motivating conversations for so long. I love them, but too much of it kind of makes me crazy. It’s hard to explain….This podcast is hosted by Kelsey Murphy. She’s a business and life coach. I love her energy and her positive affirmations. This is a great listen when you first wake up and need something to fire you up for a successful day.

Fitness

5. The Jillian Michaels Show
Before you punch me in the face, I know Jillian Michaels has said some really shitty and unnecessary things. I should say that I do not agree with many things she has sad as well as some of her choices. (See: Jillian Michaels and Lizzo) I don’t agree with her! Okay…can we move on now? However….since I was a teenager her tips and tricks have helped me lose weight and get healthy. She has worked with many physicians, fitness instructors and certified nutritionists and I do trust her opinion on several things. Also, her complete candor and lack of a filter…can sometimes be entertaining…okay I’m done now.

6. Well Far
This is a running podcast hosted by Amy Lane. She interviews marathon and ultramarathon runners and well as many various athletes. She’s usually on a run with them which is kind of fun, while she podcasts. I’ve learned so much about not only running, but physical fitness as a whole. I definitely would recommend this if you need some motivation to get moving.

Comedy

7. Conan Obrien Needs a Friend
I love me some Conan. He’s always been my favorite late night host. In his podcast, he interviews various celebrities. It’s just a casual conversation though, really. It’s nice to listen to celebrities talk freely without the cover up of perfectly structured talk show questions. He’s brought so many hilarious comedians onto the show and I always find myself falling over with laughter. I’ve also learned a lot about the non glamorous side of being a celebrity through this podcast. Definitely eye opening. Listen to the Martin Short episode first and you’ll be hooked.

8. My Dad Wrote a Porno
I’ve only just begun listening to this podcast. It’s CRAZY. It’s hosted by British podcaster Jamie Morton along with his friends Alice Levine and James Cooper. Basically, Jamie’s dad wrote a porno(s) some odd years ago and each week they read a new chapter from his collection. It’s cringe but amazing.

Self Care

9. The Skinny Confidential (Him and Her Podcast)
This one is a hit or miss. Lauryn Evarts Bostick and her husband Michael Bostick are the hosts. They interview self care, health and wellness experts in the industry. I’ve received a lot of great tips from listening to the various people they interview. Sometimes I do find the hosts to be a little….umm annoying? How do I put this….they’re very L.A…..does that cover it? Sometimes their white privilege is screaming into my ears….now does that cover it? Otherwise though, I do find myself wanting to treat myself after and take really good care of my skin…and maybe have a green juice…so there are definitely some pro’s. If you need help with your self care routine, this is the podcast for you.

10. Unlocking Us (Brene Brown Podcast)
ALERT ALERT! BRENE BROWN HAS A PODCAST. I REPEAT, BRENE BROWN HAS A PODCAST. This podcast came out only a little over a week ago. I’m buzzing. I love Brene Brown. I don’t know any one who doesn’t. She is a shame and vulnerability researcher, a story teller, a teacher and a motivational speaker. I absolutely adore her. She has taught me so much about my life and the world. She interviews other inspirational people: (see the episode with Tarena Burke, founder of the #metoo movement.) Sometimes I do need to listen in short spurts because she is going into some really deep topics, but I’m always engaged and amazed every time I listen.

So that’s it folks. I hope this helps you all stay sane and pass the time. We’re all just doing our best right now. I find distractions like books, good TV and podcasts to be really helpful. Do you have any great podcast suggestions? Comment below! I could always use more.

Stay safe, wash your hands. Hide ya kids, Hide ya wife. (If you don’t get that reference let me know…I have an amazing YouTube video for you.)

Self care, self flare.

xoxo

Kelz

Self Care

Book Suggestions! for when you're stuck inside….

If you’re anything like me, being told to stay indoors is not exactly the worst news in the world. I’m quite the home body. It’s become more and more of a regularity for me the older I get. I love a good Friday night in. (Wine and cats babay!) For some people though, this is a nightmare. Some people are social butterflies and need to be out and about. So how do we keep our brains occupied and engaged as we practice social distancing? Well there are several ways, but I’m going to tell you about my favorite way…READING.

As you already know if you read my blog or follow my YouTube, I am a huge book nerd. I admit it. I lerrrrve to read. In my opinion, the best books to read when you’re stuck inside are really gripping novels, fictional stories filled with rich character arcs…..and murder mysteries. So those will be the bread and butter of books I suggest. Let’s get into it.

Welcome to Lagos

Image result for welcome to lagos
A heartwarming/heartbreaking story about survival, escape and taking care of each other, even if you’re strangers.

The Silent Patient

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A really quick read about a woman whose husband is murdered prompting her to fall silent. The book follows a psychiatrist who is determined to find out why.

The Immortalists

Hardcover The Immortalists Book
Four siblings as children go to a fortune teller
who has the ability to tell them when
they are going to die. We spend the
remainder of the novel following them
each through their lives and finding out
whether or not the fortune teller was right.

Girl on the Train

Image result for Girl on the train book cover
A newly divorced woman spends every day taking the train to work, and always passing the home of a seemingly perfect couple…until one day…the woman in the
couple goes missing.

An American Marriage

Image result for An American Marriage
A young newlywed couple are settling down into married life. It’s all torn apart when the husband, Roy, is charged with a crime he did not commit…

Visible Empire

Image result for visible empire
This book surrounds several lives that were
Impacted by the Air France 007 flight crash. All stories
are fictionalized but based on real events. I could not
put this book down!

Neverworld Wake

Image result for neverworld wake
This is a young adult novel that I absolutely loved.
Four friends in High School have just lost one of their
own, Jim to suicide. They’re all connected to his actions
in different ways. Not long after, they find themselves
in similar circumstances when they find themselves in a
deathly car accident. Before they know it, they’re in purgatory
and only one of them can be sent back to Earth…

The Ghost Notebooks

Image result for the ghost notebooks
A married couple move from NYC to a tiny town upstate. Hannah, the wife, takes a job at a historic museum that is dedicated to an obscure nineteenth century philosopher. Soon, Hannah begins to act….strangely.

The Wife Between Us

Image result for the wife between us
This story is about a love triangle. Mystery and twists are involved. Need I say more?

Call Me by Your Name

Image result for call me by your name book
While Elio spends a beautiful summer in Italy with his parents. A college student named Oliver joins to study under his father, a well known history professor. Their develop a beautiful friendship that, to their surprise, blossoms into much more.

Happy reading!

Self care, self flare.

xoxo

Kelz


Self Care

Homemade Pad Thai (Easiest Recipe Evvvva)

Look, I love Thai food. I’m pretty basic though. #LongIslandSon. So, I am guilty of my usual order being the one and only…Pad Thai…usually with Chicken.

You don’t need meat for this dish to make it delicious a f***. Add some extra veggies and crunchy peanut toppings and you are good to go, sista.

Without further ado, here is my recipe for delicious homemade Pad Thai:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 package of Rice Noodles (I use Thai Kitchen brand!)
  • 2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (Low Sodium)
  • Crushed Peanuts (for garnish)
  • Lime (for garnish)
  • 5 stalks Green Onions
  • 2 Eggs (over medium)
  • Onion salt (to taste)
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 Celery stalk

Instructions:

Bring water to a boil in a medium pot
Once water is at a boil, pour in the Rice Noodles, stirring occasionally
Take a medium pan and put it to medium heat
Use any type of oil or butter to prep the pan
Chop all veggies to your liking
Once pan is hot, sautee veggies until soft
In a small pan, crack two eggs and cook over medium (a little runny)

For the peanut sauce:
In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice and sriracha until it turns a golden brown color.

Drain the Rice Noodles and transfer to a plate
Sprinkle the veggies on top (or mix in)
Poor the on the noodles and veggies
Eggs on top or chopped up and mixed in
Garnish with lime and chopped peanuts

I normally serve this with steamed or roasted kale on the side as well…because I love a gigantic meal.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Do you have a Thai inspired recipe you love? Get at me in the comments please! I would like to eat that, yes.

Self care, self flare.

xoxo

Kelz

Self Care

My Winter Survival Kit

Has anyone ever told you that Chicago is freezing? Oh, millions of times? Got it. Yes, Chicago can get really cold. -40 degrees, prying open the train doors, kind of cold. So, I know winter very well.

In both 2018 and 2019 I had my first serious cases of seasonal depression. I always thought it was a myth to be honest. I was a weirdo like that. I didn’t realize how much sunshine/vitamin D played a role in our mental health. It creeps up slowly too, it didn’t hit me out of nowhere. I slowly got more and more depressed. In 2018, I didn’t realize I had it until it was over, because once the sunshine came out in May (yes sometimes it takes until May) I was like “Oh shit….I’m in SUCH a good mood! This is foreign to me!”

This year, 2020, if you didn’t know that and are still stuck writing 2019 in your journals…I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to get me through a cold, miserable winter.

Some of these tips might sound silly, but they won’t sound silly when you’re dealing with frozen nose hairs okurrrrr?

1. Invest in fluffy slippers
Okay this sounds simple but let me tell you. Cold feet is the enemy. When I wake up in the morning to feed my cats at 5am, I sure as hell am looking for my slippers first. If I don’t have slippers readily available, I’m going to take it out on my cats. Because they’e meowing at me, and I’m mad and look just buy slippers okay? Promise? When I say “invest” I don’t mean go off and buy the most expensive ugg slippers you can find. I mean go find fuzzy slippers at any price and put them next to your bed. What’s even better? Get a pair for each room. I maybe have that…..

2. Who’s got the tea? You do.
Look I have a strange relationship with tea. As in, I’m very picky. I love coffee more than anything in the world. I may love coffee more than my family….However, tea has an incredible amount of antioxidants and while black tea has some caffeine it doesn’t have nearly as much as coffee, so you can drink it all day long. Tea keeps me so warm. Also when I drink tea I feel super zen. Could it be a placebo effect, but hey I’ll take it. My favorite tea is Oolong. I have fond memories of chugging Oolong tea as a child every time we went out for Chinese. Find your favorite tea and soak in that warm goodness.

3. Vitamin D Supplements
We all know the sun gives us Vitamin D. If you didn’t know, now you do. It helps us maintain strong, healthy bones and has even shown to ward off depression. When I pop a Vitamin D supplement before I head off in the morning, I just feel good knowing I did something good for myself that day. Seriously, 42% of people in the United States are Vitamin D deficient. When we’re not getting that sunshine every day, it can really hurt us. So get your ass to CVS and pick yourself up a bottle of good ol Vitamin D.

4. Lotion
In Chicago, it’ not only cold but it’s windy as well. AKA the windy city. Mainly that term is in regards to our Politics, but having Lake Michigan take up the entire east side of our city, creates a pretty powerful wind. Needless to say, our skin gets as dry as Nick Offerman’s sense of humor. I have a blog post on my favorite skin care products that you can find under the self care tab!

But for winter, I switch it up a bit when it comes to body lotion. I use Cetophil. I don’t know what it is about it, but it’s one of the only lotions that has done the trick for my entire body. Dryness is no joke. If I don’t do it every day, I’m itchy and miserable. Which is really awkward if you’re in a meeting, itching your lower back, legs and hips, trying to not look loco. So if you’re like me, get yourself a good lotion that works for your skin. Experiment!

5. Books on books on books.
You know how much I love books right? If you need some suggestions on what to read, you can find a whole YouTube about it here:

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am a true home body. I love hanging at home, with a blanket and my cats, reading a book from cover to cover. Literally, that is my ideal Saturday night okay?

I suggest finding a good romance or murder mystery book or anything that grabs your attention for a long time. The best book is the kind you can’t wait to get home to at the end of the day and it has definitely helped me through some long winters. Books have helped me escape any stress that is going on in my life. The romantic nature of flipping a page brings a smile to my face that will make you think “Ha, look at that chick. She must be surviving winter.” You can be that chick too.

Well folks, you know how much I love to leave it at 5. We all know the obvious necessities like boots, hats, gloves and alcohol.

So I hope these little extras help.

Stay warm chikidees.

Self care, self flare.

xoxo

Kelz

Self Care

My 5 Favorite Skincare Products

My skin is a lot like Chicago weather. Beautiful one day. A crime scene the next. Basically, I need a lot to keep my skin looking and feeling fly. Here are 5 skincare products I use every week, some every day!

Intelligent Nutrients Refining Micro Polish

This is the best face wash I have ever used. EVER. Is it expensive? A bit…BUT you only need a little bit for your whole face. So while it might cost you about $50.00, that will last you 2 months if not more. I pop this on while I’m in the shower and my face is super soft once I dry off. Give it a whirl.

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizer

https://www.katesomerville.com/skin-care-products-goat-milk-facial-moisturizer

After washing my face I still need to moisturize. Why? I don’t know why! I’m a blogger, not a scientist or a dermatologist or a world class spa facial expert. All I know is, I always need to re moisturize my face. I put a little bit of this Kate Somerville moisturizer on and I’m set. This is another pricey item but if you do a little digging you can find discount codes or you can find it cheaper on amazon, other retail outlets. This stuff is the real deal. It keeps my face moisturized all day and just like the face wash above, you only need a little!

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter

https://www.amazon.com/Palmers-Cocoa-Butter-Vitamin-7-25/dp/B000RGBWPO/ref=sr_1_5?crid=2EWVKHR7BINR5&keywords=palmers+cocoa+butter&qid=1577225121&s=beauty&sprefix=palmer%2Cbeauty%2C173&sr=1-5

This one is an oldie but a goodie. You can get it for under $5.00 at any drug store. In Chicago the cold weather can make you seriously itchy. I will literally rub this all over. ALL OVER. So, if you’re dealing with super dry skin. Cocoa butter will usually do the trick! At least for me.

Wander Beauty Dive In Moisturizer

https://www.wanderbeauty.com/dive-in-moisturizer?gclid=Cj0KCQiA0ZHwBRCRARIsAK0Tr-r2jn01hb1xaxwF4jCm1eBUCiXdTPtG-3bVvqw6YIH_mtw6EyekBakaArBAEALw_wcB

This is the perfect moisturizer to take with you every day. It fits in your purse, pocket, backpack, fanny pack, anything. This is mainly for your face. Especially for tough spots like the crease of your nose or under your eyebrows. The easy spots to miss. It also smells really REALLY good.

Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Eye Mask

https://www.wanderbeauty.com/baggage-claim-eye-masks?gclid=Cj0KCQiA0ZHwBRCRARIsAK0Tr-oA1DfHHBjBKzPFbnXEstXVPwT9uT9LhHuR8C8dZ3UmI0jO_vgiKh8aAmJpEALw_wcB

I pop these babies on every Sunday. I don’t know about you but at the very end of the week my undereyes look like they’ve witnessed a murder. I need something to perk them up and make me feel like a human again before another long week ahead. You can get these pretty cheap from Wander Beauty. Also – if you’re only using once a week they can last a pretty long time!

Well, that’s it friends. These are my favorite skincare products….of 2019 at least. Maybe next year I’ll have 5 more to share but until then….take care of yoself queens.

Self Care, Self Flare.

xoxo

Kelz

Self Care

New Chapters

A few weeks ago Andrew and I  moved to a new apartment. My 7th in Chicago. Commitment issues? I’ll save that for another blog. It has us really excited and equally emotional. The place before this one was our first apartment together and it served us so well. The last 2 years living together have taught us a lot and we’re just now realizing how much it has strengthened our relationship.

 

 

We moved in together after a year and a half of dating which – if you’re thinking about moving in with your significant other – is in my opinion, a good amount of time before making that leap. We also were friends for several years before dating so, that helped the transition I’m sure.

 

When I reflect on these last two years, I see that the majority of my time has been devoted to my career and my relationship. I’ve felt a little guilty about some of that….I know I haven’t contributed a lot of time to my friendships and honestly, to myself. However, I don’t regret the time I’ve contributed to the either. I needed to give time to my career to fully realize what parts of it bring me joy and what parts I need to take a step back from.  I needed to give time to my relationship because I truly believe that the time we have spent living together for the first couple of years have been incredibly crucial to the survival of our relationship. We both have many household needs that are….incredibly opposite from each other. He needs things to be super organized and tip top shape where as I’m a little more laid back (not a slob okay? I know what you’re thinking….jerk.) I need to have my own space, some me time…while he is someone who really loves company and enjoys when we’re in the same room (I know, I’m such a dick when you really think about it, but I like my alone time betch!)

 

 

All this to say – we needed these two years to see how we jive. Now 3 and 1/2 years into our relationship, we know each other to a T. Seriously. We finish each others sentences. It’s fuggin gross. So as we moved to this new apartment, we found ourself talking about what we’ve learned and what has changed for us together as well as individuals.

 

I have taken a big step back from acting/performing being the forefront of my mind. Which, if you don’t know me is huge. Since I was eleven years old I have never put anything before it. It’s been a breath of fresh air. I don’t consider myself just an actor anymore. I consider myself a creative. I’m never going back to defining myself as one thing in my career ever again.

 

Andrew, a creative as well formerly known as just “actor” has also taken a huge step back. We’re both creators however he likes to create just for himself and I need to create and share it with the world. Both completely adequate ways of creating. So as we make more discoveries about ourselves – it only seems right that we would move into this brand new apartment and begin the next chapter which is….completely unknown.

 

 

All I know is, I hope for three things. I hope to find my place in the world as a creator and giver. I hope my relationship grows even stronger and we can continue to do things on our terms, not how other people think we should do them. Lastly, I hope to develop an even better relationship with myself and give the best version of me to my friends and family.

 

My 20’s have been honestly, pretty rough so far but I’ve learned so much. I’m excited for the last couple of years and to go into my thirties feeling fabulous.

 

 

What will be your next chapter? Turn the page.

 

Self care, Self flare.

 

xoxo

Kelz

Mental Health, Self Care

Find Joy in the Little Things

Stress is……hell. Seems pretty ridiculous for my life to be so stressful. I’m young, living in a great city, eating well, employed and have a great partner. Life should be breezy AF. In a lot of ways it is. I think everyone has that one thing (or three or eight) that really stresses them out. For me, it’s finances. Oooo shocker. I’m an actor. Like, duh. I’m lucky to make some of my income from Acting, but not nearly enough to get by. In general, I’m not making enough for the lifestyle I want and honestly…it keeps me up at night. I’m constantly focused on what I can fix and it makes me spiral out of control. I wish it were more like this:

But alas, I am not sweet Sam from “Holes.” I do, however, take the time every day to point out the joy.  The little joys. Joys you don’t normally take stock of.

My Little Joys:

  • Coming home to my partner after a long day
  • My cat purring on my lap, fast asleep
  • A dance party at my office with my awesome coworkers
  • When my brother texts me with a cat gif he just had to show me
  • Playing my guitar, just for myself
  • Improvising with 4 of my greatest friends and acting RIDICULOUS

 

The list goes on and on. Whenever one of these moments happen – I take a few seconds to notice it and take it in.

Honestly…it calms me down so fast and I believe it tells the universe to send more goodness to my life. I know, so hippy dippy, but it works.

So, the next time you feel stressed, try to stay present. Take stock of the moments that you smile. Think about what you’re grateful for. Stay golden pony boy.

Life is too short to get as stressed as we do. Find the joy.

 

Self care, self flare.

 

xoxo

Kelz