Midnight Raven Studios: Meaning in Fashion REVIEW!

Hey guys! I’m so excited to finally be sharing my recent collaboration with The Midnight Raven, AKA Sarah Rombough (IG: midnight_raven_studios)!

Let me tell you, from the very first reaction, this girl was already cool in my book. Her style, her feed, her blog.. everything spoke to me. She is such a kindhearted soul, her energy is just so very lovely! Never a bad interaction whatsoever.

On her shoppe website, it is written, “Midnight Raven Studios is a fashion company aiming to create stunning accessories to truly allow you to express yourself.”, and this couldn’t be more accurate.
(ALSO!! Be sure to take The Spirit Stones Quiz here to find your archetype!)

She handcrafts BEAUTIFUL pieces of jewelry from crystals and stones, meant for healing and balance your overall well being. These pieces are one of a kind, no two are exactly alike, and they will immediately speak to you once you’ve found your match.
Her jewelry ranges from bracelets to earrings, amethyst to rose quartz, etc. Each piece has a purpose, and will soon hold a story!
Quite honestly, there is nothing more I love more than small business when it comes to my jewelry. The pieces are handmade, and that instantly makes them SOOO much more special than a manufactured piece., and you KNOW you will be getting something that will last, as she (as well as the majority of small business owners!) takes pride in her work, making it something that she would want for herself.

Luckily for us, she decided to expand beyond herself and give us the opportunity to be able to wear her beautiful jewelry ourselves. *heart eyes*

Sarah was kind enough to send me a few pieces of her jewelry (thank you again, Sarah!!), and I would LOVE to share with you all what I received.

First, a Green Aventurine Pendant
Described, “Green aventurine is loving and motherly stone promoting connection with nature, soothing and gentle love as well as a very strong luck stone. It’s the perfect pick me up when life just has not been going your way.”

I absolutely ADORE this piece, especially being able to wear it close to my heart. Immediately, I felt at peace, and actually got to see my parents the same day, which helped me with what I’ve been going through. I felt that the shorter I wore it, the more my energy danced with it, and it was so lovely.

Second, an Amethyst Minimalist Bracelet
Described, “Simple, modern and calming. Amethyst is a very strong multi purpose stone, great for it’s anti anxiety properties and it’s ability to help the wearer think more clearly. It’s also create for increasing intuition. As a whole it is a very good everyday wear, particularly for people with anxiety problems as it can help both get ride of that anxiety and get you thinking more logically.”, and I could not agree more.

This bracelet is my savior. Having dealt with anxiety for quite sometime now, this bracelet helps me tremendously. Right away, I held my hand over it, took some deep breaths, and felt so very calm. No pills, no artificial methods, just a natural, beautiful stone with me. Not only does it help the mind, but it complemented my outfit so nicely!! 🙂 Amethyst is a favorite of mine, and this piece was just done so beautifully.

Last, but not least, I received a pair of Lunar Goddess Basic Earrings
Described, “Made for the modern feminine woman. For strength, Independence and inner beauty.”

Now, I have not yet worn these out, but let me tell you, they are SO. GORGEOUS. I did, however, try them on, and they can easily pull a look together.
On her site it also states that, “Opalite helps you tap into goddess energy for feminine strength while white howlite helps to calm anxieties and irrational worries.”. I cannot wait to feel on top of the world in these beauties.

I am extremely grateful having been given this opportunity to work with such a talented woman! Talk about Boss Babe!
I am in love with her creations, and I cannot wait for my collection of her work to grow! I know you all will love her work, too! There are so many pieces that you can relate to, and cherish in your lives, for the peace they will bring is an incredible thing.

Being Wiccan, I have a very strong connection to stones/crystals, but you can bring this same love for them no matter what your beliefs, I promise. ❤

Please, give her a follow, a look, and send love! She is one of the friendliest people you will ever come across, so don’t be afraid to make a new friend! 🙂 Let me know what you guys think! ❤

 

xoxo, kikis

Recovery: Ups, Downs and What-the-Fucks

Happy Monday, guys! I hope you all had a good weekend.

Today’s post, by having already read the title, is going to be different than my other ones. I’ve been writing, deleting, and re-writing posts like this for the past month or two, but I think I’m just gonna go with it, since I’m feeling rather well today. I figure if I can help or inspire one person to take the next step to recovery, I will be extremely happy with that.

**Please note that if you are dealing with relapse/recovery, this is a TW before I begin. I won’t go into extreme detail of my self destructive behaviors, but still.

Eating disorders.. Recovery, relapse and everything else along the way.

Growing up, I was always bigger than the other kids, ALWAYS. I was always over fed as child, because I was “cute” when I was chubby. Now, while I was pretty happy, I knew that I shouldn’t have been as big as I was. Going into 4th grade (when my family moved back to California from Japan), I was getting bullied for my weight. I was about 15 pounds overweight for my age.. at the time.

SCHOOL:
In middle school it wasn’t so bad, just a few people said anything, so I kind of just let my mind rest for the time being. It was horrible, though. Grade 6 I was an adult US size 5/6, in 7th a size 9, and by 8th a size 11.

My freshman year of high school was a scary year, for obvious reasons. I remember missing my first two days for a Jonas Brothers concert, and freaking out because I looked AWFUL. I thought I had a chance of running into Nick Jonas (LMAO) and I was like “Oh my god, he won’t even bother saying ‘Hi’ because I’m way too fat.”.. To me, that’s extremely sad. But, I just loved eating so much.. it was how I was brought up. Over snacking (sweets and cakes were my favorite), seconds on meals, full fat ingredients in everything.. just terrible.
Because I had already hit a size 12, I wanted to lose weight, but I didn’t even know how much I weighed.
I had a routine doctor appointment, and that day I not only found out that I suffered from BED, but I weighed 192 pounds (mind you, I was 14 and 5’2/5’3), my blood pressure was up there, and I was pre diabetic. This really made me change how much I was eating, WHAT I was eating, and I began exercising regularly.
Sophomore year (aged 15/16), I had gone from 192 to 165 and a size 9 jeans again. I was extremely happy about it.. but I just wanted to lose more.
I started following crash diets, but I’d gain even more back until I just gave up.
It was already my junior year, and my depression/anxiety had worsened and my weight had ballooned to 217 pounds because I had began overeating when I gave up, and I was then wearing a size 14/16. I felt disgusting, and I knew I had to make myself happy again.
Senior year of high school rolls around, and I had spent the summer before restricting my calories, and changing the types of foods I ate again. Full fat to nonfat, sugar free options, etc. I was even looking at “thinspo” to motivate me further. By Spring of 2013, I had already lost 74 pounds. I started going out with my friends more, I was off of my antidepressants, I was in my first relationship, etc.. I told my mind everything was okay again. Little did I know I had already replaced one destructive behavior for a handful more.

That year, I was binge drinking, binge eating, binge shopping?!? EVERYTHING. I ended up gaining 44 pounds back, and then another 9. I was extremely unhappy.. with all aspects of my life. With college, with my relationship, with my body.. the list just kept going on. I decided to go vegan (again.. I had gone my junior/half of my senior year..then was pescetarian all after), and I convinced myself it was for the animals. And honestly, it was. But it was also for me. It was my way of restricting again without anyone telling me what I was eating was wrong, because no one really knew what vegan was.
I was on again with the thinspo, with low cal options of mylks, portion sizes, etc. I didn’t even realize that what I was doing was so fucked up, and that it was destroying my body. Before I knew it, I was starting work at my first job, trying to juggle my third semester of school, and just naturally not having enough time to eat.. which I took advantage of. January/February of 2015 I hit the scales at 107 (and ended up losing about 3 more pounds), and this is when people started to worry, and of course I told them that they were being silly and that I was fine. I had already been diagnosed the year before with Bulimia, then shortly after Atypical Anorexia Nervosa, binge/purge subtype. This didn’t do much for me in ways of changing, because I didn’t feel like anything was wrong with me.
Within the next couple of months, I got my tattoo (shown below), my relationship ended, and I had convinced everyone that I was going to be alright.

18579174_208952972950255_799030708_n                                         My tattoo, right after he was finished with it.

Now, the summer was full of more self destruction, trauma (that I am not willing to go into at this time), and, yes, OVEREATING. I had started eating meat, dairy, fish.. everything. In huge portions. Fast food, alcohol, etc. Great, right? No.

October 7th that year, I had made contact with my old friend again. This was immediately after the storm had died out. It felt so nice to connect with someone I trusted, as I hadn’t felt that in months. Eventually (more like a week later), we finally hung out after not seeing each other for almost a year, and started dating just days later (Oh, did I mention I had a crush on him since we were 14? Well.. there you go LOL).
Of course, everything was perfect. Life was amazing, I was working.. all good. But, I started worrying about my weight, yet again. And, yes, me trying to hide my sickness and habits caused tension, problems, etc. It’s not something I would wish on my worst enemy.
Fast forward, we move to Phoenix, I start working, and my weight drops 22 pounds. Again. I’m now 118 and working as a barista.. again. XD with my diet being mostly bagels in the morning and liquids all day, you can only imagine how quickly that happened.. Just within 2 months.

The disaster:

Now, I don’t have a photo of my highest, but these are at 196, 189, and high 170s/low180s.
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I also don’t have photos of my lowest weight (both highest and lowest, I never really took photos because I was so disgusted with myself), but these photos are all ranging from 109-116.
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These are really when my bones became extremely noticeable.. I had no ass, no boobs, my ribs showed in my chest, and as you can see in the third, my size 0 pants were already baggy and my torso was almost nonexistent.. Not cute.

Today, I am STILL struggling with my thoughts and how I see my body. I am constantly catching myself slip up and needing to set timers throughout the day to remind myself to eat, or that being full is okay and the feeling will go away shortly. I did fuck my body up to the point where I have an iron deficiency and stomach ulcers. My FAVORITE things in life are coffee and spicy foods, which can fuck up my stomach even more because of it. I am, however, slowly but surely getting better. FOR ME. Because *I* WANT!! a great life (as if I didn’t already have the components). I want to go out and not worry about how many calories is in a scoop of ice cream or in my coffee. I want my mind at ease when it comes to food, drinks, etc. I want to fall in love with myself.
Luckily, I have THEE most supportive husband by my side. Although it’s hard to get constant reality checks from someone other than myself, it helps because I know I’m not alone, especially if I start getting bad again.

Me (below), just a few days ago. I’m 22, 23 in December, and currently. I don’t want to focus on numbers, or food, etc., I just want to be able to feel good in my own skin, because it is one of the most rare feelings I get to experience.
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Although I don’t hate my body anymore, I don’t love it. But it’s a process. Yes, the weight changes, but the thoughts are constantly the same. My good days do outweigh the bad, though (even with severe anxiety and depression, not medicated), and that in itself is something I’m proud of myself for.

Going through an eating disorder and then, when it happens, recovery, is. fucking. scary. You completely lose yourself and you lose the only control that you had tried to gain. It isn’t glamorous, it isn’t beautiful. It’s a fucked up hell that you HAVE to be willing to pull yourself out of. You don’t have to be alone, though. Please, NEVER feel like you have to be alone, it will only make everything that much harder.
There are so many different kinds of help you can get, but you need to make sure it’s the right option for you. Just know that it can get so much better.. I promise.

Well.. that was only the hardest thing to write.. ever. Haha.

I really hope that anyone reading this knows that they can reach out to anyone, even myself. Whether it’s an eating disorder, or any other mental disorder that you are going through.. you’re really not alone. Once you can realize that, things aren’t as scary as they were.

Take care and love yourselves and your body.. it’s the only one you have. ❤
xoxo, kikis

NORDSTROM HAUL

SO! I finally fixed whatever bug was messing with my account (I couldn’t log in through the website or my PC app, only on my phone.. weird) BUT! Here is the Nordstrom haul that I’ve been talking about on my Instagram (which you should totally follow me on… @/kikisconleche).

My brother actually sent all of this to me (THANK YOU I LOVE YOU B) and I am beyond grateful, because all of it is super gorgeous (I do have to iron some things, once I find my iron..).

Not too big of a post at all, but I just wanted to share this with you guys, as I was so excited to have received it. ❤

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NORDSTROM4 (1)NORDSTROM3 (1)

My back tattoo is on display for the first time in almost 3 years.. but I’ll save that for another day.

For an idea of how they fit, I’m 5’3 and:

  • TOPS/DRESSES: small, 1 medium
  • BOTTOMS: 26 & 27 (adjusted in back to fit a 25)

I’ve already worn the jacket countless times… it’s my favorite at the moment hahah. I can’t wait to share OOTDs with these. ❤

 

xoxo kikis

Museum Day!

HAPPY TUESDAY!

So, as I mentioned yesterday in my little update, I went to the Heard Museum in Phoenix on Saturday! My friend Alexis, who I’ve known since?? 2001? Haha jeeze, crazy how our dads ended up retiring in the same city after being active duty for forever.

ANYWHO. She invited me to said museum for the Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera Exhibit! I hadn’t seen her since my birthday I think? And I adore Frida Kahlo, so of course I was down to take an adventure!

A little thing about this exhibit, it was in Europe and on its way to Mexico, but for some reason (comment below if you have any idea why!) it made its only stop in North America– PHOENIX, ARIZONA. How insane is that? ALL of the art work is ORIGINAL. Like… The fucking canvas’ that they used. I was in awe the whole time. There were also original photos taken of them, which was fantastic. It was as if you were being sucked into their time period. Have you ever had a better feeling while looking at art? A HUGE chunk of art history every single direction I looked in.. absolutely incredible.

Of course, having taken art classes throughout high school and college, I have seen many pieces of work from the two, but in person.. oh my god, the experience was so surreal you guys! I can’t even properly express how intense of a feeling that was! ❤

I’ll post a few photos below:

HEARD3_HEARD4_

This is just a small portion of the exhibit.. I tried to restrain myself from taking a photo of EVERYTHING, and to just let myself enjoy it all. I am so incredibly happy that Heard Museum was able to be apart of this exhibit’s journey, and even more so that I am right around the corner. Grateful to have been given the opportunity to take a trip through history.

Apart from this, I also was able to explore the rest of the museum with Alexis, which was pretty cool. I enjoyed myself so, so much.

Here are more photo collages:

The inspiration from our history as human beings was a fucking roller coaster of emotions, mostly good and terrifying ones LOL.

When given the chance, PLEASE go check out some museums/etc. EXPAND YOUR MIND! It is the best thing that I have ever taken from the bullshit that constantly spewed from my high school art teacher’s mouth. It is some damn good advice, trust me.

 

xoxo kikis

Hey? Hi? Hello? // QUICK UPDATE

So… I’m not dead HAHA. I am SOOOO SORRY that I have been completely silent for?? I don’t even know how long! 😦

A little summary of what I’ve been up to:

  • job hunting
  • expanding ‘family’ for Kikis Photography & Co.
  • exploring and branding my photography (in LOVE)
  • growing with this amazing social media family, I love talking with you guys!!
  • QUITTING SMOKING! (today, May 15th, is officially day 1 since I smoked half yesterday morning.. but HEY!)
  • ADVENTURES!

Alright, I have a post showing my trip to the Heard Museum in Phoenix when I got to experience the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibit! OH MY GOD, what an AMAZING experience! Thanks again to my wonderful friend Alexis (friends since ’01 AYEE).

Here’s a shot of me in front of the best background EVER:

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(Thanks, Alexis <3)

And here are some photos that I’ve taken at this beautiful park that I discovered recently:

That’s just a little update on life, I’ll have the museum post up tomorrow! I can’t wait to share it.

As for projects I’ve been working on, be sure to look out for those in the next week or two! ❤

 

xoxo kikis

Happy Easter!

Hey guys! Happy Easter! 🙂 Today, I’m home alone with the pup and Ben is at work. 😦 Like always haha. I’ve been rather busy in my personal life lately, and I won’t get into it too much, but sorry that I’ve been kind of quiet! So, I just have a couple of mini posts crammed into one, I hope you don’t mind!

Anyway, I just wanted to share a few makeup products that I created Spring inspired looks with this week!!

SOOO I’ve been loving the Roller Lash from Benefit Cosmetics lately, especially with my Subversion (UD) Lash Primer! Super quick way to brighten up your eyes. 🙂 Mine, anyway!

Of course the usuals, but I’ve been using the Urban Decay Smoky Palette more and more! A natural smoky eye is one of my favorite looks, and this helps me achieve it sooo well! And my Tarte Lip Paint? TO. DIE. FOR.

Quite honestly, it is BY FAR my favorite liquid lipstick formula! Quick drying (obv), doesn’t smudge, it is light weight and comfortable, AND it hardly wears off with food! AMAZING?!? Like, I feel like most LLs wear easily with foods? Especially more oily ones. But this one hangs pretty well!

ANDDD a little Easter OOTD for you guys! I love this dress soooososososo much, I wish I has more occasions to wear it! I got it at H&M about 2 years ago and have worn it maybe 5 times? Oi. Same with the booties! I got them in December and have worn them ONCE! Gah, I seriously need to stop spending. But we all know that it’s not going to happen AHAH shit.

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Just a little snap I wanted to share. 😉

So, another WISH purchase came in!

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It’s a knock off of a God Saves Queens bikini, but it’s still cute as fuck and it was $2 with $1 shipping. UHM. YES PLEASE? Seriously, how could I pass that up? Now, I got a small, when I should have purchase both small AND medium, because I don’t have a butt, but these bottoms are TINY. The top on the other hand fits perfectly! So ya girl has to start working out and busting her ass to fit into this for summer. LOL. But I seriously love it.

SOME FUN STUFF

So, I’ve been working on some really amazing (to me) content and I CANNOT wait to share it with you guys!! I’m having a lot of fun with this, so I hope you guys will love seeing it! Stay tuned. 😉

xoxo, kikis

 

IPSY GLAM BAG REVIEW! And a Surprise!

YOU GUYSSSSSSSSSSSS I FINALLY GOT MY FIRST IPSY GLAM BAG! I am sooo excited, I’ve already swatched what I could (shown below!) and I just <3_<3 omg!

It’s the cutest bag ever! I’m in love!  In my bag I received:

  • OFRA Cosmetics Rendezvous Blush
  • Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in Delish
  • Elizabeth Mott Show Me Your Glow Shimmer Shadow/Highlighter
  • THEORIE Marula Oil Transforming Hair Serum (excited to try this!!!)
  • PS Cosmeceutical Infused Nail Lacquer in Southern Sand (putting this on tonight!)

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO here are the pretty ones. 😉

And, of course, the swatches (a little difficult to see from the lighting, I’m so sorry!)

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NOW FOR THE SURPRISE!!!

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WHAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTT? IS THAT ALL MY HAIR? No, but that’s the start to my short length. And now that you mention it, I probably shouldn’t have cut it over the sink. Opps.

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

Okay, The front looks funky because I didn’t style it correctly (easy fix) BUT I found my way back to a pixie cut after about a year. I got my first one at 17 and now I’m 22, and have cut it short about 6 times? I don’t know why I do, I fucking hate it HAHA. But I needed all of the dead hair gone (thanks to my love of hair bleach), so HOPEFULLY I GROW IT OUT THIS YEAR (I always say that bullshit.. hahahah)

OKAY!!! Those things happened today and I really wanted to share with you guys! ^_^

xoxo, kikis