Pilates vs. Yoga: What's the Difference?

    “What’s the difference between Pilates and yoga?” When I inform people that I am a Pilates teacher, this question almost always follows. With our society’s growing interest in mind-body exercise and self-care, now is a great time to address this question. I used to have some very concrete answers that I believed to be true.  Before I actually practiced yoga as part of my lifestyle, I had some ideas I formulated based on a handful of yoga classes I had either just tried out or was coerced to take for some reason. I also knew that the cultural and historical context of the origins of Pilates and yoga differ greatly. Since deepening both my yoga and my Pilates practice, I realized that personal experience is more helpful to inform about the differences than just comparing histories.

IMG_20171012_213004_502.jpg

    Having more extensive experience in both Pilates and yoga now, I see that there can be lots of overlap, depending on the type of Pilates or the type of yoga. First, let me make sure I state that by saying “yoga” I am referring to the various physical exercise forms associated with yoga. At just surface level, with Pilates and yoga you may find similar positions, poses, or exercises. “Boat pose” in yoga is similar to Pilates “Teaser”.  “Downward facing dog” is similar to Pilates “Upstretch”… and so on and so forth. The physical goals are similar for both… healthy, functional strength.

    “Isn’t yoga more about holding poses and finding stillness, and Pilates is about moving?” Yes. No wait… no. Wait. Not Necessarily! Final answer. Let me explain. Finding stillness is a major part of yoga. The ability to hold those poses, settle into them, and deepen them requires your ability to be “still”, quieting the mind and committing to the physical task at hand. However, there are times during your practice when you want to create a flow, which is exactly what it sounds like. You move fluidly from one pose to the next in a way that is as natural as possible. You are very mindful and present but a physical “stillness” for extended periods of time isn’t happening much. During a flow, one may take a moment during a certain pose to settle into it if they feel their body needs it, but for the most part you continue to move in some way.

IMG_20170807_090621_898.jpg

    In Pilates, generally you move through an exercise. An exercise is commonly described as a movement or set of movements to be repeated in a flowing sequence that will benefit a certain aspect of physical well-being. Finding stillness can actually be applied to these exercises too. Most exercises require stabilization in certain areas of the body while other parts are moving, and within that stabilization there should be stillness. Also, if you are in a class the teacher may have you hold a certain position before you start moving to either deepen it or correct it.  Some teachers may get you in a position and keep you there for many breath cycles (yikes!), while they give you some tips to get deeper into it, or correct others in class. This requires mindfulness and stillness.

    Now for the difference. In my personal experience, yoga has had more deeply spiritual consequences. The best way for me to describe what I think the difference is would be to compare it to the “What comes first, the chicken or the egg?” question. Yoga (in the exercise form) employs physical means to get to spiritual results, and the physical changes were more of an added bonus. Pilates requires lots of mental focus to get physical results.  With Pilates, you will most likely get the added bonus of a better sense of mental, emotional, or even spiritual well-being. I would absolutely encourage everyone who is interested to gain at least a little experience in both and decide which, if not both, suits your life best.

Leilani Miller @leilanifit_pa

Back Like I Never Left

I read a cover story interview ages ago of Kerry Washington, from the September '16 issue of "Self" Magazine. Her words resonated with me then, they still do, and I wanted to share:

"A few weeks ago, my manager asked: 'Do you feel like you're back? I feel like you're back.' She meant it as a total compliment, but we had this great conversation where I was like, 'You know what? I try really hard not to use that language, because it's not about going backward in life.' I think it comes from this culture of anti-aging, which is so not loving to ourselves."

"I've been really focused on not being 'back' to anything, but being the best version of myself right now."

This resonated with me so deeply, and it really challenged me to the way I've been taught to think, and the societal pressures women face, in literally every aspect of our lives.

I've always been a pretty adaptable person. Having grown up all over the country, I've had no choice but to adapt to new environments, the closing of chapters, saying ‘goodbye,’etc. I've never been stuck to one place, person, or thing. I've always taken things for what they were, and moved forward, unconcerned about the past.

 

Now, with that said-- I didn't realize that wasn't common-thinking until I was in college, when old friends would 'reminisce' about high school, and wish they could do it all over again, or wish they could go back to prom, or that they were the same weight they were in 2012, etc. etc. I never understood that type of thinking,  and to be honest, I find it to be pretty problematic, especially for women.

 

Why are we so focused on a time, that literally will never come back? Why not accept the place you're at now, and love on yourself as hard as ever? I know it's easier said than done, but ladies, YOU ARE ENOUGH. Lemme say that again-- YOU, ARE, ENOUGH. Your complexion is enough, your hips are enough, your heart is enough, your hair is enough. You existing is enough, and it is VERY powerful, while also VERY detrimental to a lot of these boxes and social structures that have been created to limit and contain us.

 

Now, I want to be honest and open up to you as to WHY I stopped blogging. When I got into blogging, it was purely on the intent of creative expression. I started my blog at a time when I graduated and couldn't find a job because, the market crashed. I was living at home, working as a waitress, and just living my unfulfilled life (smh lol). I created the blog for myself, to continue writing, as I had in college, and to talk about things I was interested in! I always wanted my readers to leave with something fulfilling, as I had seen loads of bloggers solely talk about their outfits with a Starbucks latte in their hand (hey, if that's your brand, then I ain't mad... But that ain't me).

A couple years back, our political climate started to shift majorly, and as tensions heightened between the police and the Black & Brown people being targeted (being more exposed by the media and social media/online avenues each day), I wanted to use my platform to express my anger, my concern, my disappointment, and engage with my readers and fellow bloggers on how they felt. Things were happening at an increasing rate, and I didn't even have the photo stock to post as frequently as events were happening. Because of this, I took to twitter. I feel like twitter is the place you can go tf awf and I was expressing, projecting, engaging... I even took to my personal FB account to do the same as well. And in that time, I was seeing my fellow bloggers (POC's & NON-POC’s) continue to post about their lattes, and their outfits, and their basic days (no tea no shade), without a whisper as to what was happening in the world that they were living in!

 

I found this hella confusing and disappointing, and it really turned me off to blogging. I found it to be such a fake world of women and men thirsty for clicks, endorsements, and followers, without a consciousness of humanity and lack of responsibility to use their platform to actually engage their readers, outside of their need to selfishly project the perfect imagine of themselves, omit of what makes them human- their emotions, their beliefs, their concerns…

 

I unofficially left blogging because I didn't want to be associated with these people, and this online world that we've collectively created... I do believe language matters and words matter, and to have a platform online, I think it is vital to have intention when writing; seeing that the bigger bloggers literally had nothing to say, turned me all the way off.

KB_151017_SJ_Edits-48.jpg

 

I still don't see that voice in blogging, and I actually unfollowed a lot of people in the blogsphere because of this. I'm back to be a voice, as I have been on my twitter and Instagram, and will not bite my tongue any longer on this platform, that I originally fell in love with, those years ago. I've had some amazing things happen since my last post, at the end of 2014. I've gone on a world-tour with Sam Smith and Stevie Wonder. I've performed on nearly every major day and evening show in the US (multiple times, with various artists), performed at the Grammys, sung with some of my favorite artists, including John Legend and Mary J. Blige. I've seen parts of the world that I prayed about visiting, and met people and had experiences I will never forget!

 

KB_151017_SJ_Edits-30.jpg

I've also had some lows, like terrible money management, having to go back into the hustle of being a server at a restaurant (because I wasn't able to sustain myself solely on music work). I would ask my self everyday how much longer was I gonna allow myself to stay in this place (working in a restaurant will take you out, even if it's one where you're making great money like I was), and just feeling the sense that I was losing myself creatively and getting lost in the concrete jungle. I also feared that I was gonna look up and three years  have passed me by, and I'm still here slanging chicken parm and pasta pomodoro. Getting off of a world-tour and assimilating into the more traditional work-force was hard. Hard for my ego, hard for my emotions… I at first, was able to sustain myself for awhile off tour-earned money, but then it got too hard to do-so. Working in the music industry, gigs come and go. There are also dry seasons and really popping seasons, as there are months that I was trying to figure out how to juggle all these gigs, and months I had to make sure my phone was working, because it was as dry as a tumbleweed!

 

Fortunately, I’ve been able to find a bit more balance over much trial & error, and when I left the service industry (for the second time), I told myself, it was for good.

 

 

As Kerry said, "...Trying to be my best right here right now... Looking to the present and the future, and looking forward to changing and growing and becoming, instead of how I was in the past." I am committing to myself, committing to using my platform to spread love, my music to express my passions and interests, to highlight amazing women creatives of color who don’t get the recognition they should, to talk beauty, skincare, self-care, and wellness… Talk politics and current events, and everything in between! Our interests lie in many avenues, as we’re multi-dimensional women, ok! We can spill ALL the tea! Ha!

 
KB_151017_SJ_Edits-8.jpg

 The truth is, I miss connecting with you all here, and I am making the commitment to be open and honest, talking here about real things, real life, and providing this site as a safe environment for you to feel comfortable in doing so as well! I hope that you will stay on this journey with me, as I share my life as a professional musician, a woman, a Black woman, and most important of all, a human being!

 

Best,

The Kris Bliss

 

Photos by: Stefan Jakubowski @stefanoboski

How To Combat The Dryness of Winter

I’ve struggled with eczema my whole damn life.

When I was a kid, it was brutal. It didn’t matter how much lotion mom applied, I’d still go to school with flaky skin on my face, my hands, and my elbows… It was so embarrassing, and I’ve won and lost the battle with eczema flares for as long as I can remember.

I’ve tried EVERYTHING - olive oil from head to toe, taking oatmeal baths, even slathering my body up like a raw chicken in Crisco (yes, you read that right), and it still didn’t help). The eczema just leaves and comes whenever it wants—and when you also suffer from environmental allergies, it’s a double whammy, and you feel like the world is against you—literally. 

But since I’ve literally tried everything in life to face ‘dry skin,’ I figure I’d share what works for me and some of my favorite products-—I feel like (on the verge of 30) I’ve finally figured it out!

 

FOR THE FACE:

1. Kiehl’s Creme D’Elegance Repairateur facial moisturizer

This is my all-time favorite moisturizer. My bandmate got me hip to this product, and although I swear by Origins, this product takes the cake! It’s very thick, and it actually seeps into my skin, while a lot of other moisturizers just coat the topical layer of the skin, and my skin ends up just as dry as before I applied product. This is guaranteed to moisturize the skin, and keep it moisturized! For anyone who suffers from dry skin, I highly recommend this to you, and to anyone looking for a  winter or nightly moisturizer.

 

 2. Simple ‘sensitive skin’ facial wipes wipes 

These wipes are great to keep in your bag or your bathroom, whenever you need to freshen up your face. Whether you just got home from riding the subway on the evening commute, or if your office space is dry from the heating system, or if you’re looking to take off your makeup at the end of the night. I love these because they don’t disrupt my very sensitive skin, they’re gentle, and they’re not too expensive (if you shop at places like Rite Aid or Walgreens, they’re usually on sale). 

 

 3. Exfoliate: Origins’s Modern Friction ‘Nature’s Gentle Dermabrasion”  

As I’ve already mentioned, I love me some Origins and have been using it consistently since high school (thanks Mom)! We tend not to notice how much build-up is producing on our faces from the products we use, as well as the environmental elements that negatively affect our skin. I like to use this exfoliant a couple times a week to get that really good clean, and I instantly notice how bright my skin is. It keeps the blackheads around my nose at bay too.  Amen!

 

  4. Kiehl’s Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Mist Hydrating Mist

This is a new fav that I discovered at Kiehl’s (I feel like I’m cheating on Origins). I do so much flight travel, and the recycled air on the planes (eww) are so damn drying, it’s almost impossible to keep your skin hydrated. This baby is only 4.2fl oz, so you can store it in your carry on, in your bag/purse, and use it whenever you need a boost- on the plane, at work at your desk when you feel like you’ve hit the wall, or when you had an unexpected ‘sleepover’ at someone’s house, and need to exit not looking like college vibes ‘walk of shame’ headed for your nearest subway station. This mist is specifically created to hydrate the skin, as it contains Cactus Flower, which thrives in dry & high altitude conditions, while maintaining it’s moisture levels. You see why I love this product?!

 

5. Oils: Vitamin E, Tea Tree, Olive Oil

I honestly didn’t start using oils religiously until I had a really severe eczema breakout last year that took over my whole body. Not only did I go into a state of depression from it, but I just felt like a pariah, and that I was never going to be able to control it. After the use of ointments and steroid creams failed, I turned to natural oils. The way that my skin has literally TRANSFORMED has me really thanking mother nature for her homeopathic solutions! I’m really taking it back to the basics with this one! Vitamin E oil has many great benefits, including helping diminish the appearance of scarring, moisturizing the skin, and an overall skin protectant. Tea tree oil is what I would call a ‘healing oil.’ It literally fixes everything lol. I use it on pimples or skin flares due to allergies or on my eczema. It also is a great oil to use in a diffuser to clean the air and can help settle anxiety and allergies.

 

for the body

 1. Eucerin

This is the lotion my parents used on me for as long as I can remember.  It can be pretty pricey for lotion, but if you suffer from dry skin, this is as good as it’s going to get imo. Over the years, Eucerin has expanded their line to accommodate all types of dryness, and I really find their line of products great for skin in winter climates!

 

 2. The Body Shop exfoliator

Exfoliating is more important than we realize. Exfoliation essentially removes dead/dry skin cells off of the surface of the skin. It improves the clarity and brightness of the skin, increases flow of blood circulation,  and leaves your skin soft and shiny! I love brands like The Body Shop, a completely vegan brand, and all of their products smell ridiculously good! I exfoliate on my face a few times a week, and exfoliate my body (not as often as I should),  a few times a month.  Every time I do, I feel like I have renewed skin. Not to mention, it’s as soft as a baby’s bottom. Get into this glow y’all!

 

3. Epson Salt/Bathing salts

I recently got hip to how amazing epsom salt is. When I started working out with my trainer regularly, I had to start soaking in salt baths because my muscles were so sore (my trainer goes in on me lol). Muscle pain relief, an anti-inflammatory, aids in relieving bronchia asthma, cures headaches, neutralizes foot odor, and softening skin are some of the healing benefits of epsom salt! It’s also aromatherapeutic, especially scents like lavender and eucalyptus, which helps with anxiety and stress relief.

 

 4. Aloe Vera (plant or gel)

This natural plant can benefit your body topically or internally. Aloe vera is what I use for burns, bites, and itchy skin patches. Sometimes I even put it in my smoothies! The gel is great for natural hairstyles, and is a base in a lot of cosmetic products! Aloe vera plants are pretty inexpensive, and once you cut a piece of it off, it seals itself and will grow back pretty quickly. Super low-maintenance! Plants also help purify the air, so just having one can be beneficial to your life!

 

 5. Non-soap, soap

This one was a game-changer- when I stopped using ‘soap,’ all those years ago. Soap can contain chemicals that are also found in kitchen cleaning supplies, plastic toys, and host ingredients that are harmful to your hormones and women’s pH balance. Now, I’m not saying all soap is bad, cuz guys, we need to be bathing (if we can), but it’s definitely something to be mindful of, if you feel like your skin is dull, always dry, or if your skin has a weird film/texture. I noticed how much softer my skin was after I started using better soap, and noticed improved moisture retention in my skin!

 

 

How do y’all keep your skin moisturized? Hip me to some of your favorite products (your girl is low-key a product junkie)!

 
The Kris Bliss
 
On the Road Again...

WOW! Where do I even begin?! From my last post, I was just leaving for my first tour with Sam Smith. I did not know what to expect, but I was enthusiastic anyway! It ended up being such a fun tour, and it was cool to travel, meet new people, see old friends, and of course siiiiiing! We hit cities I had never been to, and on our days off, I explored as much as I could! I was tired by the time I got back to NYC, but a good tired, of course!

Back from tour in the second week of October, I decided to sublet my apartment from November until the lease ends in March, since I'll be on the road for the majority of the time! Saving that coint, ok?? I moved out all my clothes and traveled right back home to PA with the 'rents, expecting to just "chill" for the time I had off before the tour picked back up full-time in December. Boy was I wrong about that!

Some of you know via my

twitter

or

IG

that I've also been singing as a background singer for Stevie Wonder's current "Songs in the Key of Life" tour. I heard the news while I was having lunch, and could hardly eat I was so excited! I was able to do five shows in five cities (my last show next week in Vegas) and each show was unique and incredible! I can't even put into the words the level of energy and spirituality I felt onstage! It's an experience I will never ever forget! I am so grateful to have been chosen to be a part of such a great show with the incomparable, Stevie Wonder. I could go on and on about his music, but he is just that amazing! And his incredible band has been so warm, humble, and welcoming to myself and the other singers that joined the tour! It's great to know musicians of such a high caliber can still hold on to their faith and humanness in such a tough, competitive industry (which is infamous for being not-so-nice).

Vintage

leather Vest (via Mom's closet),

H&M

turtleneck and faux leather shorts,

Zara

 coat and shoes

I'm really excited to get back on the road with Sam and the boys! We have the AMA's this weekend, y'all should tune in Sunday night!! I'm headed to Los Angeles today to start rehearsing! I will mention that I am looking forward to this LA weather! 'Cuz it's cold out here in the Northeast, and I'm not here for it!! #byeFelicia

akaPennsylvania

But let me tell you about my new glasses right quick (LOL)! These are my new

aviator-style

Mykita

frames! They are eyeglasses, but transitional lenses, so they turn into olive-lens colored sunnies when I'm outside. If you're ever in NYC on the lower east side, go visit their boutique! They have loads of unique frames, definitely worth the visit for all you four eyes imo! The pair I have sold out, apparently myself and Sarah Jessica Parker got the last two pair. And they don't remake them once they're sold out! So that means SJP and I are twinning! *cue emoji praise hands + crying face emoji*

This is my update for now! I'm gonna try my best to update y'all one more time before the year is out! I need a 2014 recap post because this year has been incredible, and all I can do is thank God for everything He's doing for me! He's really showing me his grace and mercy. I am truly thankful! 

Hope all is well with whomever is reading! Shoot me a message, post a comment! Let's chat!

Best,

-Kris

Photography by Mom, aka

Stephanie Brooks

Stay With Me

Hi guys! How y'all doin? 

I've had quite a busy month, lots of working and lots of performing, and I've loved every second of it (well, the music work, not so much the traditional working lol...)! I also have some exciting news!! I'm happy to announce that I'm going on US tour with artist Sam Smith! 

I'm so elated and blessed, and thankful for this opportunity. Without friends in my corner and support from them and my family, none of this would have come into fruition. And God, I prayed that I wanted an opportunity to travel, I didn't know how, but a way, and He made a way. Thank you!

Topshop

top,

Uniqlo

pants,

Zara

heels,

Co-lab

via

TJ

Maxx

 leather backpack

I leave NYC Sunday, and the first stop of the tour is Boston, at the House of Blues. I feel like I'm coming full-circle, as I went to college in Boston, and I know that venue very well, from attending many times, even having thrown an event there my senior year! I'm hoping to see some professors and friends when I get into town! I've posted the dates so far on

my website

so check it out! 

Coming to a city near you :) 

I really am going to try to document the tour and take photos, and share my experiences with you all! I'm bringing my camera!

Hope you all are doing well, and thanks for all the support via my blog, instagram, emails... No comment goes unnoticed! Stay with me on this journey!

-Kris

photography by:

KeVain

What A Difference A Year Makes

Scrolling back to my last posts on my blog, I remember the exact mindset I was in.

I was still very excited to have finally made the big move to NYC, but I was also starting to feel more settled in my move. I was more comfortable venturing around (while still hopping on the wrong train going in the wrong direction

all the time

, lol), and simultaneously growing confidently into my womanhood. Just having complete independence and learning about myself was the experience that I was fully embracing.

I was also very inspired by the city (as I still am every day). Walking inspiration, from the people I would see, to the architecture, to the street art and graffiti in my neighborhood, to my musician friends in their element when I would attend their shows.

 I was feeling a bit anxious, as I knew I had moved to NYC for a specific reason, which was to pursue my career in music, and I was trying to figure out my first step in doing just that.

Who knew what God had planned!

The new year broke and I was recovering from a very busy work season (working as a server in Times Square is NO JOKE), and I really didn't have much else going on. I eventually got connected with my now good friend and bandmate,

Bobby Generic

(I'm the featured vocalist in his band), and we started performing together, which has been amazing! Music was picking up and it felt good to be on stage. I also started singing background vocals for my lovely friend

Nicky Egan

, which inspired me even more to continue singing, and pursuing my personal music.

I got to talking with my close friend,

Sir Shawna Corso

, about how I was interested in breaking into the background vocal scene, as she has been very successful in doing so for herself, and she encouraged me to keep putting myself out there, and gave me advice on how to do so. Not long after, she reached out to me specifically about my availability to singing backgrounds for an up-and-coming artist (who turned out to be top Billboard charting artist

Sam Smith

) who was to perform on Saturday Night Live! as his official US debut. Of course I made myself available! Through Corso, I was able to do a couple of gigs with Billboard charting artist Iggy Azalea as well. And this is how I was able to tap into the professional background vocal scene. She is a great friend and only has my best interests in her heart, and for that I thank you Shawna. Words can only say so much of my appreciation I feel for you, and the love I have for you. God has blessed me with such a great friend and sister!

H&M

top,

Zara

shorts,

Topshop

sandals

Thanks to her and another mentor I have been blessed to know,

Marlon Saunders

, I was able to perform with Sam Smith on Good Morning America, The View, David Letterman, with our group (tentatively named "Marlon's Chil'ren" lol), who is family now. I was also asked to be a background vocalist for his show at The Apollo, in which Mary J. Blige shared the stage for his last song, a duet performed of his hit single, "

Stay With Me

." 

The Apollo show was both surreal and pivotal for me. Growing up, I used to watch The Apollo, and understood how much of an important cultural institution it was- not just for Black people, but the weight it held as a music venue in the United States, and even internationally. So many greats have graced that stage, and I had not even been there to attend a concert, but I was on that stage, PERFORMING. That experience, is something I will never forget. I am grateful to have had friends on stage with me, and friends in the audience to share that experience with.

----------------

In other news, I am

SUPER

excited to announce the launch of my new website:

KrisMBrooks

This site encompasses everything that IS Kris. From music, to personal style, from blogging to vlogging! I encourage you to please take the time to navigate my site, and subscribe because there you will find updates on my life, via this blog, dates for upcoming performances (I have quite a few lined up this coming fall ;)), and an opportunity to find out more about who I am, and to see me on this journey called my life!

This is a kicking off point, and the site will continue to GROW, as I

GROW! 

Thank you for all of your continued support, patience, and love.

-Kris

Photography by:

Neat Shiny Owl

Beyond the Rainbow

H&M

scarf and tee,

Nine West

booties,

Gap

cropped jean jacket,

Smoke Rise

faux leather jogging pants

The past month or so has been a month of growth. I'm growing into my adulthood and my womanhood and I'm accepting it with open arms. It's very comforting and exciting to see yourself mature seamlessly. Of course we all have our "moments," but I'm proud of the woman I'm becoming, and it inspires me to keep growing and living!

 I also know I'm getting older because all I want to do on the weekends is catch up on sleep lol. #old

Recently I went home for my Pop Pop's funeral. I never talk about any personal things on social media, but people who know me personally know how much my Pop Pop meant to me, and it's only natural that I share a little bit of him with you. 

He lived 91 years- 91 years! And he was a man of few words, wise in his old age, with strong opinions (we bumped heads sometimes because we were the same in that way), but he always provided me with anything I needed. ANYTHING. All I had to do was ask. He helped me get my first car, pay off college loans, and get my first NYC apartment. I wouldn't be where I am without that man! He was a lover of music, like I, and he was always playing music on his radio (always on the top 40's station) lol. I would always tweet about how I would come home and hear Katy Perry blasting from his room!

We'd also talk about hot topics like Kanye West or Beyonce lol. We would have a LOT to discuss with this new Beyonce album. Yes Lord! (I've been

tweeting

non-stop about Beyonce if you're interested to know my thoughts on the album lol)

Anyway, I miss him a lot, but I know he's resting in peace with my grandmother.

Gap

denim jacket,

H&M

scarf, earrings and tee,

Nine West

booties

On another note, I'm still working on my music, and it's coming along! It's such a lengthy process because I am a songwriter, so some of the songs I write aren't necessarily ones I'd sing... Anywho, I'm hoping to start performing around NYC early next year. I'm going to invite you to shows, so ya'll better come! Ha!

Speaking of shows, my co-worker convinced me to go to see Beyonce at Barclay's on Sunday. It's her last US date, and I'm pretty sure Jay-Z is going to be there. I saw her with my cousin this past July on the same tour, and it was pretty great. I'm ecstatic this time around because I just know she is going to perform some of her new material. I'll probably faint, but someone will record it just incase LMAO.

Knowing me, this will be my last post of 2013, and I will say that overall, 2013 has been a fantastic year. I was able to do everything I wanted to do this year. I saved money, moved to NYC, got a job, started working on my own music... It's been exciting and humbling, and I'm very grateful to have received all these great opportunities. I'm looking forward to 2014, and I know it's going to be an even better year!

What are you looking forward to in the new year?

-Kris 

Photography by 

Anthony Lewis

Fall Again.

H&M

sweater and earrings,

Anthropologie

wide-leg pants

My favorite season is back once again! But let's hurry up and talk about these pants. Every once in awhile, I go on to anthropologie's website and look at their "sale" items. I stumbled upon these pants and gasped as they were still in stock with my size! I got them on extra EXTRA sale too! Hallelujah! lol

I love the Chevron/Aztec print vibe they have, and the colors scream 70's and I love me a wide-legged pant! They are super comfy and I feel "superfly" walking in them. Don't catch me with my shades on though! I'm on a whole 'notha level! Ha!

I'm also obsessed with my new earrings! 

These photos were taken back home in PA (I'll admit to you that I've visited home twice already) and it's always nice coming back to the quiet, laid-back suburbs

for a very short period of time

Recently my lovely friend

Alex Elle

had a big hair and and brunch event at

Elberta

in Brooklyn. It was an event celebrating women with natural hair, coming together to talk about hair, protective styling, personal hair journeys! But it was also just us getting together as women, fellowshipping, networking, and eating really delicious food! I had so much fun! I met a lot of great women that day! To see more pictures/info from the event,

click here :)

Alex Elle

(middle),

Katrina Bello

(left) <3

I'm still loving every waking moment of NYC, and all the great people I'm connecting with here. I'm still focusing most of my energy on my music and working to release a project next year! Stay tuned! Oh! And make sure to "like" me on Facebook. That's where I post my updates and my music will soon be there as well! :)

-Kris

Twitter

//

Facebook

//

IG

photography by

Sasha Phyars-Burgess

brunch photography by Joshua "Lucky" Peters

It's The Brooklyn Way.

Topshop

 Denim & Army jacket (

similar

), 

Urban Outfitters

high-waisted black pants

Lookmatic 

eyeglasses

Zara

 fringe booties, personal turquoise necklace

Living in Brooklyn has been very fun thus far. Little by little I've been exploring this city; hitting great bars, great restaurants, cool artsy events... Not gonna lie, I've enjoyed every minute of it! I've started packing my camera with me when I go out to document these cool outings so I can post pictures for you to see!

The Barclays Center

is only a 15 minute drive from my apartment, and most of my friends live in Brooklyn too! I'm reeeeallllyyyy trying to see Kanye at Barclays this fall (and Beyonce, again). #butiaintgotnomoney #canienteracontest #isanyonedoingagiveaway

Minus my lack of funds, I still feel extremely humbled in my first month and some change of this independency! Lord knows it ain't easy! *sobs over low funds in bank account* LOL I'm dramatic yes, but I really did have to stop myself from buying these cute pair of boots the other day because I have to be a responsible adult and pay my bills on time! #honesty Mom, seeee, I can say no! lol

Let's talk about this necklace. If you don't know, turquoise is my favorite stone. I have many turquoise rings, and necklaces, it's a beautiful stone, and it looks great on everyone. I can't remember where I picked up this statement necklace years ago, but it's one of my favorite pieces, and always a conversation starter! Take a simple outfit (like the one I'm wearing in this post), and throw on that bad boy, and it takes it to the next level! 

Can I just mention that I'm still in love with my haircut?! Although it's growing back! Starting to get a little cushion again haha! 

Can't believe fall weather has already kicked in. Although I am excited to layer up and wear oversized sweaters and boots and scarves! My favorite season! And a pumpkin spice latte never hurt either!

Heading to a natural hair brunch event hosted by my lovely friend

Alex Elle

today! But first, meeting up with my girl

Katrina

for mani/pedis, then spending my afternoon around lovely natural haired ladies and good food and mimosas! I'm so looking forward to it! 

Happy Saturday!

-Kris

Twitter

//

Facebook

//

IG

photography by

Manny Fresco