Dec 21, 2015

My Favorite Things (That You Will Also Love) -- Gift Guide 2015


YO. I guess this is the year I admit I am turning into my mother. Definitely not a bad thing, it's just a surprise, that's all. Mom and I are very close, but we have many differences as well. (Not as many as I thought, though!) As a kid, my family would always bet on the fact that my mom was going cry at one point during a family gathering — out of happiness or when she was overcome with emotion. And lately, the holidays have made me super emo. Case and point? I opted to say the Thanksgiving blessing in an effort to keep Mom from crying this year; I didn't get through one sentence before I broke down and cried myself. Great job, Kirbie!

But this post isn't about my hormonal outbursts. (I'm not pregnant, don't worry — I know many would be concerned if I were to bear a child at this point in my life. I digress.) Since I've always wanted to be like Oprah, I'm bringing back my holiday gift guide. If you want some major LOLs, go watch my old school holiday gift guides, which I filmed in my room with possibly the worst lighting of all time.

Sure, it's late. But who actually plans ahead?! And I'm starting to think I'm turning into Gwyneth Paltrow (a $42 water bottle?!) but they're actually good gifts, so spare me. Here are a few of my favorite things! 



My philosophy on personalized jewelry is akin to that one woman on Intervention, who constantly sucked on crack lollipops and had half of her teeth rot out of her head: what’s one more going to hurt? Miansai’s Thin Hudson Cuff is gold-plated and is the sexiest piece of hardware I've ever seen. (I own three different styles and everyone always asks who makes them!) This cuff has a large enough plate so that you can get it monogramed with whatever you want: a significant date, a mantra, or in my case, MY NAME, BIOTCH! 

To be honest, I was never a beauty personalization fan — I always think of Carrie Bradshaw’s version with the hideous font — even though finding my name on something is literally rarer than bumping into Jay Leno at Whole Foods on 3rd street, but the tide has turned. Maybe that makes me a narcissist? But who cares. Basically, I’m doing men at the bar a favor by wearing my name on my actual sleeve. 


Giant Capri Blue Volcano Candle,  $62 (marked down from $88!)
Nothing says first-world privilege than a $100 giant candle from a store that sells $50 door knobs and $350 pillows. Once you get over the fact that this candle is, in fact, as big as a tire, you'll fall in love. This is the best-smelling (and most accessible) candle out there. Trust me. I usually buy a ton of tiny versions to give away for the holidays, and I love the room freshener as well. It's like you're actually living in an Anthropologie, which might drive me insane from time to time, but it still sounds lovely.

Brevity Custom Signature Necklace, $295
See the Miansai bracelet, but change to "necklace." This is pretty cool because it takes something as personal as your own signature and makes it into jewelry. Once you place your order, you'll send in your signature to the Brevity team. What you get back is a 24K gold-dipped signature with stainless steel chain.
Admittedly, this has to be a hard gift to give without ruining the surprise — "HEY, SIGN THIS, I NEED YOUR AUTOGRAPH!!!" — because unless you're going through someone's wallet or trash, when in the world are you going to have their signature? So it might be smarter to get them a gift card for this one, unless you love sleuthing through your loved one's personal property. Another option is to get this for a superfan since many celebrity signatures are online (like Harry Styles.... what?), but I can't imagine spending $300 on something like that, unless you're in the cast of Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. 


Rebecca Minkoff Charging Wristlet, $120
Apparently Apple realizes the iPhone’s battery is temperamental, so they’re coming out with a case that Mashable compares to a "Dr. Scholl’s for your foot," that charges your battery all the live-long day.

Sorry if this sounds snobby, but I don’t want some whack “cushion for my phone” displayed to the general public. I have a presh Sonix case with cacti on it, and I plan to keep it. (Unless they have the option to personalize a case.) The cooler way to charge your phone on-the-go is with Rebecca Minkoff’s Charging Wristlet. Wrap your phone up like it’s getting ready to hit a Rolling Stones concert in genuine leather, and protect it from shattering to smithereens while it rests gently inside, taking a nap and recharging.


Over-the-Ear Headphones
I had a great pair of over-the-ear Bose headphones when I was in 5th grade. They were a gift along with a portable DVD player, on which I'd watch Cast Away (with subsequent nightmares) and Holiday in the Sun. They were grand.

But I haven't had a pair since. When working out, I like my wireless Beats or my new in-ear Bose headphones, but ever since I landed a job in digital TV production, I've realized nothing compares to the surround-sound of a good OTE headphone sitch. Sorry to my producer, Nicole, for stealing hers any time I can.

These are pretty AND I like the sound quality, too!

FRENDS Taylor Headphones, $200

Molami Plica Headphones, $100

Molami Pleat Collapsable Headphones, $300


Ringly Daydream Rainbow Moonstone Smart Ring, $195
Embarrassing moment: I actually owned this ring and now it's nowhere to be found. I also threw out the case, which was, as I recently learned, THE CHARGER. For the love. Ringly's Smart Ring is functional, polite jewelry. You can program it so it lights up, based on the alerts you want to get: your Uber is arriving, Mr. Wonderful just called, etc. In a society where everyone's nose is shoved in their phones, this at least gives people the option to have some manners. It comes in a variety of shades and finishes, but I think the gold with the moonstone is a classic.

I have an obsession with sunglasses. Blame my mother, Janet – the woman should consider investing stock in solar protection eyewear.  And one of my dreams is that, someday, I’ll have a luxurious closet where I can artfully (and neatly) display my bags, shoes and jewelry. If I’m investing my hard earned money in something, I want to display it every chance I can. This sunglass display from OYOBox will be put to great use – especially if it’s filled with a bunch of gorgeous sunnies from IllestevaTom Ford and Ray-Ban. The box includes a see-through lid and velvet lining to nest up to eight pairs.


This needs no description. It is the best.

I figure I'll drink the recommended amount of water each day if it ends up in this chic gold water bottle. Swell bottles are built to last, and since it looks this good, there's a 100% chance I won't lose it, either. Bonus: you're saving the environment!


Crosley X UO AV Room White Portable USB Vinyl Record Player, $169
According to know-it-all Susan Miller, because I am a Capricorn, I like refined, luxe or vintage gifts — the latter of which is where this gift comes in. I know this isn't an old-school record player. You go antiquing to find those! But I love that this record player from Crosley incorporates a classic turntable along with modern technology of a USB input. I would collect records if I had a turntable! 

Just to clarify, it does play records. It's legit. But it also includes the ability to play mp3s, too. It also includes built-in speakers. 

Records:


Nov 11, 2015

The Story Behind Feed the Streets

It's been awhile, guys!



I want to share a story with you that means so much to me. It is hands-down one of my favorite memories in Los Angeles; it's heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time, and for me, put all my blessings into perspective.

Two years ago, my friend Kristen came over to my apartment and we exchanged Christmas gifts. Kristen is so generous, and I was overwhelmed with all the goodies she brought me — including One Direction notepads. (She knows me too well.) After she left (it was around 9:45 PM), she called me.

"Kirb. I have these kits I made for the homeless. They have a blanket, a gift card, food and water — do you want to come with me to deliver them?"

It warmed my heart that she thought to do this by herself, and that she was going to do this all alone, without anyone knowing about it. Of course I wanted to join.

We spent the next three hours driving around Los Angeles, looking for people who looked like they could use some help, some hope and some blessings. It was such an eye-opening experience; homeless men and women are everywhere in LA, but getting to talk to them and hear their stories are forever imprinted on my heart. And since it was just the two of us, we were able to bond together and deepen our friendship, talking about all kinds of things from Christianity to finding people to date. (Ha.)

The experience made me empathetic and grateful. I hate that people walk by the homeless and won't speak to them, or won't look them in the eye. Some of them have made bad decisions, sure. Some of them are deceitful, but I have to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. At the end of the day, no person deserves live on the streets. 

One man told us about how he had lost his job. He went bankrupt; his wife divorced him, and he hasn't seen his children in a few years. He was smart, and seemed to have a great personality, too. He was sleeping under an awning with a sleeping bag and little else.

Most everyone was so gracious to get the kits; some passed, understandably. Some didn't know we left them — they were sleeping. 

That's why we created Feed the Streets. We loved doing this so much that we want to make sure that everyone we come across is able to be provided for, and we are expanding our troop (aka myself and Kristen) to a little army of people! That's where we need your help: donations. We paid for all the supplies in past years; they amount to about $20-$30 per kit. We give each person a bag filled with a blanket, water, nonperishable food and a gift card to K-Mart for $10 to pick up water or anything else they desire. UPDATE: instead of a gift card, we're going to supply them with Kleenex, Chapstick, cough drops, Band Aids and a toothbrush/toothpaste. 

Please help us spread God's love and help feed the streets! Every little amount helps. Any money not used for kits will be donated directly to the LA Mission, but I think we'll be able to use every penny we can get! 


Happy holidays,





Aug 25, 2015

To the Person Who Called Me "The Ugliest Person They've Ever Seen"

UPDATE: Thank you all for the kind words, but please know this wasn't a ploy to get compliments. I truly want everyone to start thinking about what they'e saying online, whether it's to someone they know or about Kim Kardashian. I felt petty that my emotions took over, given the comment is superficial. It shouldn't have affected me like that. But it did! #WorkHardBeKind -- KJ



The comment section is essentially the joke of the internet, where many say the uneducated, ridiculous people of the world go to sound-off about a myriad of topics. (Usually including the incorrect use of "your/you're" and "there/their.") And yes, I know: "Don't read the comments." Sounds easy, but my interaction with people online helps me to develop a relationship with the viewers. Every digital content creator or host does this. So avoiding the comment section isn't something I can do. And usually, commenters are spunky, fun and offer their own tricks, so it's sad when people take a turn. 

The unfortunate part of my job is that people will have an opinion of me without actually knowing me. That's okay. This isn't the first comment I've received about my looks — I have a Rolodex in my brain where all these mean-spirited opinions are stored and hidden (for the most part). And you know what? I never really cared. Beauty is subjective, that's my motto. While I might not be attracted to someone, that doesn't mean they aren't beautiful. (And vice versa.) Who cares if I don't look good to someone? 

But Sunday was different. I got online to follow up on comments and came across this on one of our Youtube channels. 


And you know what? I cried. A lot. 

I'm annoyed and embarrassed to admit that, even though I shouldn't be. I'm human.  But I'm 28-years-old, and the last thing I should be doing is letting an unknown troll on the internet affect my emotions like that, like I've gone retrograde and am responding to getting called "Moose Lady" in elementary school. 

I don't know if it's because it was essentially the "last straw" comment, the one that threw me over the edge and made me burst into tears, or if I was just hormonal, or needed more sleep. And I can't decide if the comment itself is what hurts, or the 10 likes it has, or the additional comment made: "I thought I was the only one." 

But what I do know is this: it's not right. You wouldn't walk up to a stranger on the street and say that. You wouldn't say it to an acquaintance. Hell, you wouldn't say it to someone you know. So why am I expected to turn a blind eye to these comments and pretend they aren't there? 

I take the Chrissy Teigen approach to social media in that I address everything, including my own shortcomings and missteps. I don't take myself (too) seriously and use it as a way to connect with people. So in the past, when I've received rude comments, I've called people out on them. Cool, you think I'm ugly, but did you learn something from the video? I slaved away on delivering useful information to help you. Did it? It did? Great. 

That's the whole point.

After reading this comment a few hundred more times, I pulled myself together and went to that user's Google+ profile and found out, apparently, it's their life's work to ridicule others, deliver backhanded compliments and generally terrorize people like myself. 

I called my mom to talk to her about it and she actually laughed out loud — not at me, but at the fact that I was taking this comment so seriously. She also told me not to respond to it. (Too late.) "But it's not right. Why should they get away with it?" And what she told me is why I will stop responding to rude Youtube comments moving forward:

Calling somebody out isn't a reflection on them, it's a reflection of myself. 

She was right. I'm not feeling 100% about myself these days. (We've all been there.) I need to pull it together. She also expressed that I couldn't change that person. And truth be told? I don't like that piece of advice one bit — I'd like to think that maybe I am going to help change how a person acts moving forward. But the truth is, I'm not. I can't. I won't. People who comment in that manner don't have empathy for others, and they're not going to stop. They can get away with it because they can't be tracked and they can hide behind a computer. I'm not saying that for sympathy, I'm saying that because it's the truth. 

Wouldn't it be awesome if when you applied for a job, they were able to pull up you entire comment history? I'm sure many people would think twice about what they said to others on the internet if they knew their future employer wouldn't hire them, based on their comment history. 

Granted, I am not in Taylor Swift territory and don't have millions of people projecting their opinions of me in the headlines on a daily basis, but it still hurts. Maybe I'm weak for admitting that, but I'm only human! I can't imagine that celebrities see terrible comments about themselves and manage not to feel anything about it. 

So I say all this not because my feelings got hurt (update: I'm just fine now), but because we have to do something about the way we treat people online. It's not okay. The courtesy we give people in real life should be extended into our online life. Not everything you say or think needs to come out of your mouth, or in this case, be typed into the comments. And if you'll let me, I'll quote Tina Fey by posting this:



Different context, but same message. Stop criticizing others just because you can. And next time you go to make a rude comment on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube, take a minute and think: this could be someone's child, sister, brother, wife, husband, etc. How would you feel if it were yours?

PS: I need to re-read this one again, apparently. 


Apr 11, 2015

"I'm a Dude... What the Hell Do I Wear to Coachella?" 2015



Coachella weekend 1 is currently underway, and since my original post from 2011 decided to stop showcasing the mood boards I created, I figured I'd dust off the ol' blog and come up with some fresh outfits.  YAY FASHION. You know, Coachella is basically becoming NYFW. Music? What music?

Let's start with...

Preppy
If you're going for a preppy vibe, plaid needs to be a major part of your weekend uniform. Plaid shirts, shorts, shoes — not altogether, though. White lace-ups are clean and crisp, but don't expect them to go without a little dirt by the end of the festival. If you're worried, buy a cheap pair you can toss after the weekend ends. And don't forgo socks! You'll end up with blisters, and that ain't cute. (Especially if you plan on wearing sandals at some point.) Also, on the grooming front, moisturize your damn feet before you gallivant around the fair grounds. You can thank me later.

The shirts showing up on this widget are black and red, but the ones I had originally picked were blue. They matched the Ray-Bans. 


Chill
If you want the "IDGAF" look, pack 1000 muscle tees and you'll be fine. Please don't pair them with gym shorts, though — this isn't the pre-season, okay? Go with cutoff jean shorts and slides. Dress up the look with boots if you prefer. Graphic tanks and tees will also be your friend!

For the night

Jackets are key, because while you could possibly undergo a heat stroke during the day, it gets cold at night. So swap your shorts for jeans, put on some boots, and add a beanie and jacket or hoodie to your look. 

Sporty



This is for the guy who wants comfort over anything else. Pack v-necks with moisture-wicking material (think Adidas and UnderArmour). I'm still telling you "no" to basketball shorts, but at least you'll feel normal and won't be a sweaty mess.



Rocker

Bust out your fake vintage rocker shirts and rip a bunch of holes in them — you should be fine. Bonus points if they have cigarette burns. Pair with black, shredded-knee jeans and a leather jacket at night. If you want, throw on a beanie during the day. It will be 1000 degrees, but it will complete the look — and you won't have to shower! If you're concerned about your skin, because let's get real, any guy who goes to Coachella is 90% vain and there for photo-ops, try this giant fedora to protect yourself from the sun. Combat or Chelsea boots are your best shoe options.

Jay-Z/Beyoncé
Can someone please buy and wear this? Entertainment value = priceless.



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