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Hello, my loves!

I wanted to start off by saying that, for me, Valentine’s Day has never been the day that it is for most people. In high school, I had a rose gram sent to me by the guy who eventually ended up breaking my heart for the first time lol. Also in high school, I received a phone call from a juvenile detention center from a guy who made a habit out of stealing cars with his friends, but, to this day, treated ME better than anyone else had. At the time, I thought to myself, “Omg, this guy likes me that much that he’ll call me from juvi to wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day!” You know, instead of, like, not stealing cars and being with me in person?? Haha.

When my niece was born and started school, she used to make me the cutest little Valentine’s likes this one & it made my day better than anyone else’s in the world, I guarantee it.

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I always thought that if I did have a special man in my life, I’d be more appreciative of little gestures throughout the year as opposed to one day of the year where everyone thinks it’s necessary to do so. Maybe that’s my singleness showing haha. Either way, I don’t knock it for those who take it seriously, but it does kind of shine a light on those of us who haven’t had much luck in that department over the years. So, now that my niece is in high school and no longer makes me those adorable Valentines, I choose to do something special for myself. Even if it’s just buying myself some chocolate!

This Valentine’s Day, we were blessed with a new cover and music video from one of my favorite duos – SUPERFRUIT. Superfruit is composed of Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi from Pentatonix and they’re phenomenal. Their voices are SO good and their vibe is contagious. I posted yesterday about their announcement for the cover track that would be released today because they posted a picture teasing that they’d be joined by a special guest. Lo and behold, my guess on who that person was (Spoiler Alert: Adam Rippon) correct and I AM HERE FOR IT. If ever we needed a legendary trio, it’s now and it’s this one!

Side note: I had the pleasure of meeting Adam last year in South Florida for my 34th birthday and he was an absolute sweetheart!

I feel like a was tricked a bit because I thought Adam would be singing with them on the the cover of When In Rome’s “The Promise,” but he’s not. Adam skates beautifully on the ice while Scott & Mitch give off some serious 80’s vibes and incredible vocals!

So, for Valentine’s Day, I wanted to show some love and appreciation for anyone reading this and supporting my journey on the blog. Since I can’t send you all teddy bears and chocolate, my gift to you is my new favorite music video covering a song that was released in the decade I was born.

ENJOY your Valentine’s Day, whether it be with a loved one, with family or with YOURSELF! You’re not alone!

Excuse me while I go watch this video repeatedly for the rest of the day!

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Weekend Vibes | My Music Recommendations for the Weekend: Peter Manos, PRETTYMUCH and Backstreet Boys

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Hello there, music lovers! 💚

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably sick of every third song on the radio being an Ariana Grande song. Nothing against her, I think she’s great, BUT I need some variety!

So here I am, offering my weekend music recommendations. Does my opinion count? Probably not, but here’s to hoping I can spread the music love and offer some variety to your music-loving ears.

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First up, I stumbled across a video on IG last night where three dancers were dancing to a song I’d never heard before. I couldn’t get the song out of my head, so I ended up adding it to my playlist on Apple Music.

The song is aptly titled “In My Head” by Peter Manos. While I don’t know much about him, I do know that he has three songs available to stream on Apple Music and you should definitely check them out. Those other songs are new releases (2019), titled “Out of Love” and “You Don’t Know Me.” He has this mellow, calming voice that makes you want to just light some candles and let all the stress of the day melt away. His songs are a mix of R&B with an acoustic vibe to it. Just trust me. Listen to them!

 


 

Another recommendation is from a band my niece introduced me to. PRETTYMUCH just wrapped up their FUNKTION TOUR, which I had the pleasure of going to with the niece last October here in Ft. Lauderdale. They recently released a song titled “Jello,” but my weekend recommendation is for a track they released at midnight last night/this morning called “Blind.” I mean, let me be honest, you should be listening to ALL of their songs, but I digress. These guys are hard working, talented and extremely underestimated (for now). They remind me of the old school boy bands, which is why I would even call myself a fan in my thirties lol. Their songs are so catchy, they’re incredible dancers and they put on a great show. Plus, I’ve seen first hand how much they love and appreciate their fans. Check out the new track, then check out all their other tracks and then you can catch some of the videos I recorded for my niece at their show here in Ft. Lauderdale (link below the video). 2019 better be their year!

 

Are you watching the video again?? You should be lol!

Here’s a link to my YouTube Channel, where you can find the videos I took from their show in October 2019.

 


 

My last recommendation for the weekend hurts my heart a little. Anyone who knows me knows that Justin Timberlake is my No. 1 and has been since I was 14 (that’s 20 years, people). I was that person who had NSYNC posters and articles plastered on my walls — like it was literally my wallpaper. With that being said, I feel the need to inform you that I was not that person who cried whenever I saw them or stalked their bus lol. Back then, you had to make a choice . . . NSYNC or Backstreet Boys. You already know what my choice was, which is why this recommendation hurts so bad haha. Backstreet Boys released their latest album, DNA, at midnight and it is fan-fucking-tastic! Excuse my French. I’ve been listening to it all morning and I haven’t found a song I didn’t like. I even texted my BSB-loving bestie and told her I might have to go with her to see them live for once in my NSYNC-loving life! All you Howie and Kevin lovers out there, hold onto your hats because they seem to have way more parts on this album than they ever have before. Don’t fact check me on that because if you’ve read this paragraph, you know that BSB was not my choice! I have to give credit where credit is due, and BSB definitely deserve it on this one. Congrats, boys men Backstreet Boys! (See what I did there?)

Check out the album DNA on Apple Music and Spotify, and you can check dates for their upcoming DNA World Tour HERE.

 

If there’s something you want me to check out, let me know in the comments! I’m always eager to hear new music, so feel free to send me YOUR recommendations!

 

Hope Vista Releases Autobiography, “PREVAIL: Finding Normal”

img_5787Hope Vista, lead vocalist of alternative rock band VISTA, has released her new autobiography, “PREVAIL: Finding Normal,” out exclusively on Amazon NOW, and readable through the free Kindle app.

Hope Vista is the diet Dr. Pepper drinking, Backstreet Boys loving, vintage-gaming lead vocalist of American alternative rock band VISTA, Also a writer, publicist, and dancer, “PREVAIL: Finding Normal,” is Vista’s first full-length novel, after having earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing Arts at Rowan University in 2015. The autobiography, which she began writing in August 2017, chronologically highlights her life’s most clear-cut events, only to realize that many memories were tainted by a young diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder. As Vista navigates through the pages for each phase of her life, she increasingly works to rediscover and recall moments in time that were once lost in trauma.

Initially a solo artist, Hope Vista’s final EP “PREVAIL,” produced by ZK Productions (Mayday Parade, Set It Off, Cartel), was released in November 2015. Immediately following the release, she founded VISTA, releasing their debut EP shortly after, and garnering praise from publications such as Rock Sound and Alternative Press. Since 2017, VISTA has completed 3 national tours, earned 250,000+ Spotify streams, and opened for Set It Off, Against The Current, and more. Known for her electrifying stage presence, unconventional style, and colorful writing, “PREVAIL: Finding Normal” is nothing short of stimulating, and at many points harrowing. Amidst the bouts of memory loss, Vista successfully pieces together a raw, assertive, and thrilling recollection of her first 25 years of life.

“PREVAIL: Finding Normal” is available through Amazon NOW.

 

HOPE VISTA | Official Channels

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | Apple Music

VISTA | Official Channels

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Website

 

 

 

Merry Christmas (Happy Holidays) from According to Kristin!

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Wishing all of you a truly fantastic holiday to spend time with your family, friends, fur babies and yourself! Eat lots of cookies, drink tons of wine and smile until your face hurts.

I can’t even begin to describe my appreciation for all of the support I’ve received on According to Kristin this year and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store!

From my family to yours, have a wonderful Christmas!

 

 

Addictive New App: DOLLIFY

I’ve been following an artist, David Alvarez, on IG (dave.xp) for quite some time and I absolutely love his work. He basically uses Photoshop to draw doll versions of celebrities and some of his followers. Sometimes he holds contests on Fridays where he randomly chooses one of his followers to draw.

There were so many times where I hoped my name would be announced, but alas, it was not. Imagine my excitement when he announced that he was developing an app (iOS: Dollify) where we could make our own! You can choose skin tone, eye color, hair color, clothing, jewelry, freckles/no freckles, etc. I wish I could say the possibilities are endless, but the app was just released this week, so things might be added in the future.

With the app’s free version, you can create a maximum of TWO dolls, but you can continue to edit them infinite times. OR, you can contribute to David’s hard work and pay the $6.99 in order to gain access to more options and an endless number of dolls.

Here are some of the ones I made for myself (I told you it was a addictive):

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Check it out for yourself and tag me in your posts so I can see what you came up with! Now excuse me while I go make moreeeeeeeeeee lol.

Freelance Artist to Watch: ELLEY BURCH | [Interview]

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Good morning, loves!

I recently stumbled upon a freelance artist (Elley Burch) on Instagram that was shared by an account I follow. After seeing some of her work, I decided to reach out in regards to a pet portrait of my little fur babies & I am so glad I did!

Elley is extremely professional & an absolute joy to work with. Not to mention that her work is exceptional & I am so in love with this new piece that I get to display.

 

I got to have a chat with Elley about herself & her art, so keep reading to learn more:

1. Could you please introduce yourself for those who might be unfamiliar with your work (for now)?   😉

Hello! My name is Elley Burch and I am a freelance artist. My amazing husband and I recently got married and we are now living in Auburn, AL while he attends medical school. We often joke that there couldn’t be two people who are more different when it comes to interests and talents than we are. My husband is athletic and crazy smart (hence the medical school) while I love every area of the arts especially painting. If I could just create all day, I would.

 

2. When did you first realize you had a talent for drawing?

Since I was a little girl, my mom said I always was trying to color or make something. I just always had a love for art so my mom decided that I needed to be put into art classes to have a place for this love to grow and to transform. My teachers and family would always tell me that I had a talent but I didn’t really begin to believe it until I was in high school. Then from there everything began to take off. People would begin to hire me for small things and I would paint lots of banners and things for my cheer squad. Then and into college I made backdrops for various events and things of that sort. Slowly but surely business began to pick up and now here I am growing my skills and taking steps towards a career as an artist.

 

3. What made you decide to actually become an artist?

In some ways I always knew it was something I wanted to pursue. But it didn’t fully click until I realized that God gave me a talent for a purpose for something greater than myself. Ever since then, I have pursued every open door and am continually refining my skills.

 

4. It’s so important to support independent/new artists. It can be a fickle business.  What message do you have for other artists who are looking to make their mark?

Every aspiring artist or creative mind will always feel these two dreaded words in most conversations “starving artist”. This implies not only the lack of income but the lack of talent. Yes, at first you may not be at the skill level you desire or know that you can achieve. But that is where practice and passion come in. No matter what influences you, you must believe in yourself and continue to do what makes you happy. Paint and create things that give you joy and also stretch you! And most importantly, be open to the direction that your clients/inspiration takes you. You never know, it may have you unlock something special that you would of never found otherwise.

 

5. Do you have any upcoming projects we should keep our eyes open for?

Yes! I am working on a few ideas for brides! Without giving much away, this could be a special gift or even a special touch to any wedding. It is something very new to me and I am so excited to give it a try.

 

6. What is the best part about being an artist?

I simply have no limits to what I can create. There is no box to be put in and I am allowed to let my imagination come to life.

 

7. What are your aspirations for Elley Burch for 2019?

For 2019, I plan to expand my portfolio and gain a larger following. My desire is to not only to make beautiful and custom work for any and everybody but to provide each season and celebration with something creatively meaningful.

 

Here is a picture of the piece Elley made for me:

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To contact Elley, or to simply find out more, visit elleyburch.com

 

 

 

Kristin’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

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Hello there, my fellow holiday shoppers!

With tomorrow being Thanksgiving (seriously, where the heck did the year go??) and Black Friday looming, I thought I’d gather some of my favorite ideas for holiday gifts. Why does my opinion matter? It doesn’t, but I’ll share my favs with you anyway!

  1. Apple Products
  2. Ok, so one of my favorite Apple products are the AirPods. I was skeptical at first because I thought FOR SURE I would lose at least one, or both, or the charging case they rest in, but I’m happy to report that they’re all still in my possession! These things are compact, they sound great and they’re very inconspicuous. I haven’t seen any deals for Black Friday, so you’re looking at a $159.99 price tag unless some deals pop up. I promise you they’re worth it.
  3. I also saw that the iPad Mini 4 Wi-Fi 128GB will be on sale at Best Buy for $249.99 on Black Friday and the 9.7″ Wi-Fi iPads will be $249.99 at Target (these are also compatible with the Apple Pencil, which is also an amazing buy).
  4. The Giving Keys
  5. The Giving Keys are my go-to for thoughtful gifts. They’re basically necklaces, bracelets & earrings that contain stamped keys with your choice of a word on it. For example, I have anxiety on occasion, so I have a silver Classic Key Necklace with the word ‘BREATHE’ on it. Their mission is to help those affected by homelessness. You wear the item and then have the option to pass it on to someone who might need that message as well. I’m not sure if there are any Black Friday deals, but there are black key necklaces that are BOGO, there is free shipping on orders $75+ and there’s a little bar at the top of the website that states, “Spend $50, get $10 off.”
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  7. Alex and Ani
  8. I only just starting buying Alex and Ani bracelets, but they’re excellent gifts to give! Right now they have their Black Friday sale going on with 25% off of (mostly) everything on the site in addition to free shipping.
  9. alexandani.com
  10. PuraVida
  11. Pura Vida Bracelets are threaded bracelets that you can get in almost any variety of colors. There are some with charms on them, some are braided, some support charities and all help support artisans in Costa Rica. They’re durable and extremely light-weight. Their Black Friday sale includes 50% off all bracelets, plus free shipping on orders $30+. If you’re reading this after Black Friday, you can use my ambassador code – According2Kristin – to get 20% off your order. These are great unisex little stocking stuffers that come in their own individual bags!
  12. puravidabracelets.comPura-Vida-Bracelets-Intro[1]
  13. Sand Cloud
  14. Sand Cloud is an organization that has been featured on Shark Tank. Their mission is to support marine life and to #SavetheFishies. With their convenient and trendy towels, t-shirts (for both men and women) and accessories, by helping their cause 10% of all profits are donated to several organizations that help preserve marine life. Their Black Friday sale includes 50% off all products and free shipping on orders $100+. If you miss their Black Friday sale, you can use my ambassador code – KristinTru25 – for 25% off your order. These towels come rolled up in a compact little bundle of greatness.
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  16. Subscription BoxesThere are a ton of subscription boxes out there that are great to give as gifts. Here are some of my favorites: Ipsy, BirchBox, Book of the Month, Harry’s Shave Club, and more. You can just Google subscription boxes and find just about anything you’re looking for. One of my ultimate favorites is FabFitFun. They offer seasonal boxes with full-size products that you can even customize if you become a select member. You can sign up for a FabFitFun box by using my affiliate link HERE and make sure to enter the code WINTERFUN at checkout to receive $10 off your first box.
  17. Metal MarvelsMetal Marvels is a new find for me. They have everything from jewelry to wine cups to tumblrs to profanity pillows. The majority of their products contain sarcastic, profanity-laced sayings that are hilarious and trendy. Their Black Friday sale will launch on Friday at 10am PST, but if you sign up for their email, text, or VIB list before Friday, you’ll get an even bigger discount. Also, the first 200 orders over $150 (after discounts) will receive a gift set worth $150 for free!
  18. metalmarvels.comWhen all else fails, you can buy your favorites some vinyl records for the music lover and sneakers for the sneaker head. Last year, I stuffed a box with all of my niece’s favorite movies, so that’s always an option. Best Buy and Target have fantastic deals on movies for Black Friday, so check their ads for details.
  19. Some of my favorite stores for odd gifts are Francesca’s and Urban Outfitters.
  20. You can also check stores like Hollister that are offering a 50% discount. Kohl’s also has very good discounts available for Black Friday, along with their signature $15 for every $50 spent!

I hope this list helped out even just a little bit! If it did, then I have done my job! I hope ya’ll have a fantastic time shopping for your loved ones, and I hope my suggestions help in saving you some money while doing so!