Collectively Kristin

explore the valley - sip coffee & beer house

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i started the explore the valley series at the beginning of the year and it ended rather quickly. since traveling the valley and finding the best places for locals is a huge goal of mine, i figured why not start the series up again?! 

when the idea of restarting the series came to mind, i knew immediately that i wanted to feature sip coffee & beer house first. if you know me at all, then you know that i love good beer and i love good coffee. i also appreciate a business who supports local companies so right off the bat, sip has major appeal. not only are they all of those things, but their brand is inviting and you can't help but want to support their business. their mission is to bring people together. whether it's bringing together friends, new or old, or complete strangers, sip provides a welcoming atmosphere for just that. 

located right in old town scottsdale, sip offers more than just beer and coffee. they offer open mic's every wednesday night, live music on friday nights, and also live music on saturday's. 

i'm a sucker for cute coffee shops and i have to say, sip's set up is my favorite. with the cutest outdoor patio, colorful walls, and rustic/industrial interiors, it fulfills all my decor dreams. aside from their incredible coffee, that's my favorite part about sip. it's such a comfortable and cute area to meet for coffee dates, creative meetings with fellow bloggers, or just catching up on life with your friends. 

of course their coffee is incredible. they have perfected the vanilla latte, let me just tell you. they use coffee from a local coffee shop, cartel coffee lab and that in itself makes the coffee drinking experience much more enjoyable. like i mentioned, i love a business who supports other local businesses so to have that connection between both coffee shops is amazing. the same goes with their beer, they have 19 rotating crafts beers on tap, some of which are from local breweries. they also offer food and with their food, they are buying from local farmers markets. i just adore them for all of that because i think it's so important to support local businesses and the fact that they incorporate local businesses into their own, as much as possible, is inspiring. 

i'm so inspired by their business and i absolutely LOVE their coffee. do yourself a favor, if you're local to AZ or are just visiting arizona, PLEASE stop by sip and experience them for yourself! 

instagram | website


monthly favorites - june & july

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it's been TOO long since i've shared any beauty related posts, let alone my friday five favorites. if we're being honest, i haven't been wearing much makeup lately. aside from date nights, my face has been rocking that no makeup look for a few months now. it's actually been a really nice break not wearing makeup, but that's also eliminated a bit of my beauty posts. i decided to compile a few products that i have been rotating in my everyday beauty routine, when there actually is one, and share them as my monthly favorites for both june and july! 

clinique - take the day off facial balm:
this face cleanser is definitely an oldie, but a goodie for me. i think that from the very first time i used it, i haven't used any other cleansers since. it breaks down all the stubborn makeup, even waterproof mascara, and moisturizes my face in the mean time. it is unique in the sense that it is a balm and you apply it to a dry face, but it simply does the best job at cleansing my face and really removing all the dirt and makeup. 

l'oreal paris - infallible pro glow foundation:
another oldie, but a goodie. this foundation has been my go to all summer long. it gives an excellent coverage and leaves the skin feeling soft and looking dewy. it is simply the best drug store foundation in my opinion and it really stands out over some of my high end foundations. if you like more of a matte look, this foundation might not be something you'd like, but for my readers who love that dewy look, this is one foundation you need to try.

l'oreal paris - voluminous lash paradise:
i've heard a lot of talk about this mascara and how it was copying the too faced better than sex mascara. i am not a fan of the too faced mascara, in fact, it's probably one of my least favorite mascaras on the market. i know that it's a bold statement, but it did nothing for me. still being the curious makeup lover that i am, i decided to give the lash paradise a try and oh. em. gee. you guys, this mascara is incredible! it really lifts and lengthens the lashes and does not smudge out under the eye, which is something i tend to have a problem with. my lashes always look long and voluminous and i think i have officially replaced my ride or die covergirl supersizer with the lash paradise. another bold statement, but i'm not kidding when i say this mascara is fantastic! 

becca cosmetics - backlight primer:
another oldie, but a goodie, there seems to be a theme going on here. becca primers are probably one of my favorites. they smell incredible, feel amazing on the skin, and really help lock in my foundation. i particularly like the backlight primer because it really gives my face that glow that it can sometimes be lacking. i love to use this during the summer for optimal glowing skin, but also on days where i'm not feeling too cute. this primer really helps give that boost to my skin when i need it the most! 

amika - perk up the day dry shampoo:
who hates doing their hair? raises hand. who hates doing their hair in the summer because it's so dang hot and basically pointless because you're just going to sweat and get it all gross anyways? raises hand. basically the amika dry shampoo is a daily essential in my day to day life and i don't know what my hair would do without it. it's the best dry shampoo and i am willing to battle it out with anyone who disagrees. kidding. but seriously, the smell of this dry shampoo is heavenly and it really absorbs all that dang oil my hair produces. 


what products have you been loving this summer? comment below and let me know! also, as always, comment below and let me know if there are any products you'd like to recommend or maybe like to see me review. 



let's vacation | san diego

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oh man, i've been back from san diego for almost three weeks and am just now getting around to typing up this post! life's been busy, but it's also been awesome so i can't complain. a few of weeks ago i was lucky enough to help celebrate my beautiful friend, jackie, for her bachelorette party in san diego! there was countless hours at the beach, a little too much booze, and a whole lot of fun. i am so happy that jackie allowed me to spend a few days celebrating her in San Diego and having such an amazing time! 

first of all, if you know me like at all, then you know that i LOVE succulents, or plants in general. no one told me that there are succulents all over san diego. i was in a constant state of excitement because they were everywhere! 

and also just for a moment, can we talk about how cute the houses were? these people are living my plant lady dream! snake plants, endless amount of succulents, and cacti? COUNT ME IN, GUYS!

we spent our days by the beach and our nights at dueling piano bars and bars that looked like a scene from alice and wonderland. we filled the in between with brunch, beers by the beach, bike rides, sandy toes, iced coffee, and at least for me, a lot of sunscreen. 

i'm a desert girl at heart, but i definitely fell in the love with the beach this past trip. the ocean is beautiful and beach side sunsets are unlike anything i've ever seen. 

i had the best time with some of my closest friends and i can't wait to go back! san diego is beautiful and i left a little bit of my heart there after that trip. also, everyday that goes by and i don't have a best drink ever from better buzzed coffee, it makes my heart so, so sad. 

whole30 | signed, sealed, delivered!

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i am officially done with whole30 and it's been one of the hardest and best months of my life. in short, whole30 was hard, but overall it was an amazing experience and i cant wait to do it again. well, maybe i can wait a little, but i definitely think a round of whole30 three or four times a year is in the cards, but i wont get to ahead of myself. 

i said i was going to post a before and after picture, but i don't know that i'm ready for that just yet, but i can definitely see progress. i've dropped a whole pant size and although i didn't weigh myself before or now, i can tell that i lost a lot. my face is showing the most changes and next to that, my stomach and upper body. i have a more defined jaw line and my shoulders are poppin'.

it's exciting and reassuring to see the progress. i never once felt over stuffed, i was eating regularly, but was left feeling full in between meals. i was eating a normal amount of food and never once felt deprived. i think that is huge especially because when it comes to "dieting" people just assume eating less is the right way to lose the weight. 

another thing that is amazing is how my overall mental health has improved. i'm someone who has struggled with anxiety since high school and although whole30 didn't cure it completely, it really did improve it. my head feels clearer, i'm hardly ever anxious, and i just feel like a weights been lifted off my chest, it's incredible. that in itself made this month so worth it for me! 

so what's next? that's a great question. my goal is to keep eating paleo and introduce a cheat meal here and there, but for the most part, keep up with the paleo lifestyle. i'm not a health expert and definitely not a whole30/paleo expert, but i do know that it works for me and i'm excited to keep up with it!

comment below if you're interested in doing a round of whole30 and have any questions for me! 

new hair, who dis?

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up until last year, i was a product of habit and wore the exact same hair color for almost ten years. i would often switch up between applying straight coppers, to reds, to red violets, but i always had my hair some shade of red and i was finally ready for a change. i am super particular about my hair and was always nervous to do anything different to it in fear of frying the crap out of it, or ruining my soft and healthy hair. after a few botched hair jobs within the past ten years, i was really nervous and apprehensive to get it done and quite frankly, i didn't trust anyone but myself to color it. i knew that the style and color i wanted couldn't be done by myself, so i ventured out to a professional and am i so glad that i did. 

through mutual friends, i've know pam for awhile now. i've been following her on social media for years and admiring her work not only online, but in person on the looks she's done on our mutual friends. she's nothing less than amazing and i knew that i could trust her and her expertise. like i said, i have had the same red/copper color for almost ten years so the goal for my hair was a big job, but i had no doubt in my mind that she couldn't do it! (you'll see for yourself)

my hair before had a lot of red pigment in it. in fact, this picture really isn't doing it any justice. the first picture was in the beginning of october of 2016. i think the last time i had colored my hair was in august and i used the shade 7C, which was a light copper blonde. 

the second picture was right after we colored it the first time. as you can see, there is still a lot of red, but our goal was to lift and lighten and if you ask me, i thought it looked amazing and was absolutely in love. the third picture was actually taken a couple months ago and that was after i saw pam again in february. we were able to lift out more of the red and we even got some pieces of my hair super blonde, especially around the face. 

the thing about hair coloring is that sometimes what idea you have in your head, or what hair color you'd like to have, may not be achievable on the first try. in fact, it may take a few processes to get you to your end goal. for me, we were lucky enough to get my desired color with just three processes, but it may sometimes take longer than that and patience and trust in your stylist is huge. i knew pam knew what she was doing so i let her take the lead and trusted the process the entire way. 

i saw pam again this past wednesday and we were both fairly confident that the look that i've had in mind since the beginning was something we were going to be able to achieve this time. like i said, i trusted pam and knew that regardless of what she was going to do, it was going to look amazing. we spent about four hours together that day and after a head full of foils, patience, and a much needed hair cut, we were done and i was SO excited to see the final product. 

can we talk about how BEAUTIFUL my hair is?! i mean, with each time we did it, i was amazed with how great it looked, but after she revealed my hair to me this time, i instantly lit up with excitement. it was everything i wanted and i owe it all to pam. for the first time in almost ten years i not only have a different hair color, but my hair is blonde and that is so crazy and wonderful to me. i am so excited that i allowed pam to work her magic on me and applied 100% of my trust in her along the way. 

pam is truly a hair wizard and there is no one else that i'd trust to do my hair. not only is she an amazing stylist, but she is extremely kind, and makes it a point to form a lasting friendship and bond with her clients. pam is also extremely generous and is offering any client who is referred from this post, 20% off their first visit with her! how amazing is that!? your hair is an investment and why not take this opportunity and try something new, maybe step outside your comfort zone, or even transform your hair to something you've always wanted, just like i did. i am going to link all of pam's information below and trust me when i say this, she is amazing and 100% worth making an appointment with to acheive the hair of your dreams! 

pam love | instagram - @pamlovehair | with love, hair studio


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this is a bit of a different post for me and i'm not even sure how i got to this point, but i am excited for the change that is about to come. i've been doing a lot of research on minimalism and what it means to live life with less and to ultimately live with more. i've watched a few documentaries, read countless articles, and have decided that it's time for a change. to feel fulfilled without consuming products that we has humans think we need to feel happy.

i sit here and look at all the things around me. piles of clothes, books upon books, dvd's that i don't watch, too many pairs of shoes, and just a lot of stuff. i have a chunk of credit card debit and an abundance of things and all i can think about is how none of what i have, adds any sort of value to my life. i have loads of makeup, yet hardly ever wear it. a dresser full of clothes, yet i wear the same stuff everyday. i have all these things and nothing brings me joy like i had initially thought it would. so you see, we are programed or lead to believe that consuming more, or having lots of things is supposed make us happy. that working in a job that you make a lot of money in, to buy more, to have more, is the ultimate dream. we buy items to fulfill this void that a lot of us have in our lives. i am absolutely guilty of this and although some of you reading may disagree, there is a huge group of us who can relate. like i said, i have a chunk of credit card debit and quite honestly, nothing to show for it.

i watched the documentary, minimalism: a documentary about the important things and it really struck a match for me. it was about these two guys, joshua fields millburn & ryan nicodemus who went from climbing the corporate ladder, to living a minimalist lifestyle and have never been happier. they talk about their lives before and after and truly live this life of fulfillment and share their secrets to that life with the act of minimalism. 

i decided that if i'm living a life where i have all this stuff and it's not brining me any joy, then why not get rid of a lot of it and see where that feeling leads me. if the only thing that comes from this project, is that i get to declutter a chuck of my life, then awesome. hopefully i gain a little more than that and i am fairly confident i will. 

comment below and let me know your thoughts on minimalism or if you live a minimalist lifestyle! i'd love to get your idea on this project.