You Do You

I didn’t know this most of my life. I didn’t know! How did I not know? The laws I thought were written in ink were imaginary. The rules I pressed so deep in my mind were nonsense.

No one told me!

Though, I’m not sure I would have listened anyway. Someone could have shouted, “You can do whatever you want!” “Stop caring so much.” “No one really should care…”

But confidence.

I’ve only realized in the last few years that no one (should) care what you’re wearing. You should just do what makes you happy. You should wear what makes your heart sing. You should go where your dreams seem to explode into bigger. Better.

“Life is too short to wear boring clothes.” That was a line I saw printed on Lularoe marketing once or twice. And it’s true. I wish I had known. It’s too short to spend three more seconds caring what other people think about your new shoes or dress or the new thing you want to do with your hair.

I cared entirely too much about other’s opinions as a kid, adolescent, young adult. Too much. I wore a jacket to cover my arms. There was so much shame. So much concern for others stupid opinions that were not my concern. Who cares what 15 year old boys think anyway? Gosh… life is too short.

I hope I can teach my girls and help other people feel confident in themselves to not give one ounce of concern next time that small awful voice creeps up to tell you others may laugh or judge you. That small voice is a lie giving credit to someone who has not part in the conversation of YOUR LIFE.

Oh, tangents. Confidence.

I’m convinced when I boldly wear anything with confidence, when I feel good, I know I can rock whatever I want. When I’m complete as I am, I can do impossible things. In case no one has said it to you, and you’re ready to listen… You do you, boo.

lularoe, Motherhood, travel

First trip of the decade

Well that sounds dramatic. As it should. Every first of the decade is significant. You better believe my first donut will be documented.

As I generally do, I bought a ticket for the event I wanted to attend, a flight, and hotel reservations just four days prior to departure. Is anything else even a thing? 🤪 I usually take nonstop flights, but this time I had a layover in Phoenix. No complaints. It was easy to navigate and I was able to grab coffee inconvenience-free.

My adventure started with me leaving the house at 200 am to trek to Houston for my flight at 550. It was exhausting so I slept on all subsequent flights. I got to LAX around 1100 am. Phew!

Palms from below. Shot by Beckie

California doesn’t disappoint. It’s usually the company I keep that sets the tone of the trip and this trip was no different. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with friends this trip and eating good food and working on some self-development.

I’m headed home to my people! It’s been a long few days without my kiddos. Can’t wait to see them! Travel is so enjoyable but also pairs with guilt and an anxiousness to return to the normalcies and spontaneity of life at home.

Where’s your first trip of the decade to and when?

Motherhood, travel

To Raleigh, With Love

My oldest turned ten in August. I told him we could take a solo trip where ever he wanted to go to celebrate. He chose to visit his best friend who moved away last December. So this weekend, we flew to North Carolina. We’re here for a few days.

It took a good few weeks to decide whether he’d like to go to California (for LEGO Land), Oregon (because Gravity Falls), or Washington DC (because history)… and then we debated Harry Potter World in Orlando, FL because we are Kerleys. We appreciate all things Harry Potter, you should know. Elijah ended up prioritizing “relationships”, he said. He prioritized his friend and his own heart. He missed his friend. I feel that, brother. In. My. Soul. I feel that.

We headed to Houston, flew out for a nonstop to Raleigh. I had never flown into RDU, so that was a little adventure to enjoy with E. He did great. He was so excited at takeoff and the descent. It was really cute to see his amazement to this mode of accelerated travel.

I love being able to treat E to this. He had a really hard time when his friend moved and he is so appreciative. I hope this trip sticks with him until next time. Relating to him on that oldest child level, I can see how he serves others and could greatly benefit from unwinding, being a kid and having less on his plate for a minute. When I sit and reflect on parenting this kid, I know God has put him in my life for so many reasons. I’m in awe that children have such forgiving, loving, adoring hearts that can be shaped and molded by those charged with their care. I’m full of gratitude for my child’s unique skills and personality traits that encourage and serve others. I am so humbled by motherhood and opportunity… I know I’m messing things up. But all I know do is apologize when I see it and pray God can cover that misstep. I feel like I won the lottery with the Kerley kids.

Elijah had the best time reuniting with his bestie. So did I! We beached. In November. Weird, I know, but the kiddo had yet to experience the ocean and it was great. We ate. We drank. We were merry.

Where is your favorite beach? If yo’ momma offered to take you on a solo trip, where would you choose? My mom and I took a solo trip earlier this year. We went to Italy and it took me months to blog it, but I did. 🤣


Hustle Week

The last week of the month is always crunch time. I’m always pushing myself to reach a goal and this month is no different. I’m a little behind where I’d like to be for sales, so this week has been put my head down and hustle. I got put in the Facebook jail of sorts during my Colorado Takeover Tour. Which is excellent, you know, because most of my income and sales are generated using Facebook. And I was on a work trip. Trying to make money. It’s fine.

So I’m in jail. And I can’t post from my personal account to groups until afternoon on the 31st. That’s all just to say, I’ve been looking past some obstacles this week. I’m thankful for creative avenues to continue working. But it makes the hustle a little more difficult. I’m doing the dang thing though… so I’ve got major movement to do.

Next on the hardcore hustle list is that my house is not on the market, but feelers are out there. And my husband agreed to show our house Friday. And did I say I haven’t had a house cleaner since March? I haven’t. I’m not the best homemaker anymore (in this scenario, I’m pretending I once was). It’s more than that though… we have so many home projects that we’ve had in the works that we’re now looking square in the face and rushing. An exclamatory, “AHHHH!”, seems fitting.

Let’s not forget the four kids, dance and piano lessons, school event, and a “holiday” this week. AHHHHH!

Guess what I’m doing instead of putting my makeup on and selling clothes?… procrastinating and writing this. Come visit for some madness in your week. 🤪 Wish me luck!

lularoe, travel

Time for the recharge.

Colorado Edition.

I love to travel. I almost typed “I usually anticipate the trip more than this time”, but that’s not true. I bought my ticket more than a week ago. I packed, 10 minutes before we were slotted to leave town, and showered after that. This was a totally normal trip in the making. Thankfully, I’m traveling with a “late person” like myself. She arrived 36 minutes after our decided departure, and I was almost ready. How about that!

Today, Tuesday, I’m heading to Denver from Tyler on my first Frontier flight. We arrived to the very quaint airport two hours before departure, so who dis? We got to security just as TSA was opening before the flight. Because it’s such a tiny airport, security is not open all the time. 🤷🏻‍♀️ We boarded early, took off early, too! What a good start to this trip. Oh, and the flight was about 40% full on the way there, so all the room was had to spread out!

This week we head to Colorado Springs for work and some down time squished between all the work. I’m looking forward to selling out of several boutiques while traveling. I am so thankful for the opportunity to work and play in a state I haven’t visited in over fifteen years. This is one of my favorite things about my business: flexibility and the sisterhood of welcoming others to benefit each other. It is the best.

Post trip edit:

Frontier was good. I’m super stoked for all the trips I intend to take and how inexpensive it can be! I booked seven flights within twelve hours a few weeks ago and it was less than $400 I do believe.

Back to CO. It snowed. Twice. The first snow, Wednesday, was several inches. But it warmed right up within a couple days, so warm that Brittany, my travel companion and guide, put that Porsche top down Friday. It was beautiful!

Saturday we be-bopped up to Denver for a day at one guest boutique. She was hospitable and we ended the night shipping and getting late dinner and Margs at a restaurant perfectly named: Las Margs. The food was great. The double Marg in the fishbowl was perfection during their late night happy hour.

Sunday, we woke up to new and continuous snow. Our flight was delayed an hour but we arrived home by 10 pm. No complaints. I’m already looking forward to the next trip to CO with my friend. Next on the travel radar is my trip with my oldest. We head to NC for a few days to visit our best friends. We’re stoked! See you soon!


Sunday Meal Prep

I’m definitely one that needs to celebrate victories. I don’t care if it’s that I didn’t oversleep all week or if I sold $20k. I need to celebrate. So yesterday, I conquered my kitchen and slayed the meat… err the ground turkey and the chicken thighs and the kids lunch and dinner. And… that’s all. I prepped enough that Luke and I won’t walk into the kitchen mid-day and throw the whole Keto adventure overboard.

I cooked up some ground turkey (because Walmart substituted my ground chicken for turkey). We intent to do taco/nacho/burrito Tuesday eve for dinner, so CHECK. My kids are fiends for tacos and they love nacho cheese, so you can basically give me MOTY (Mom of the Year) crown now. I win.

I made chicken thigh variety of a MS roast with riced cauliflower in the instant pot. This will be Luke and my quick warm up meal for lunches. It is so easy. I threw chicken thighs and some avocado oil in bottom of the pot, topped with pepperoncini peppers and its juices, some butter and riced cauliflower on top. A traditional slow cooker recipe for Mississippi Roast would also have a ranch packet and an jus packet, too.

I still have a pork tenderloin to cook this week. And some organic beef patties. My second oldest loves hamburgers and prefers them to most foods, so… another mom win for the week. Swish!

So here I am, celebrating that I took some time to set us up for success in the kitchen and with our health this week! What’s on your menu? Do you meal plan or prep?


My Favorite Soup

I think, if the goal wasn’t to be eating “Keto”, I could eat a good brothy soup and a grilled cheese every single day and never get sick of it. Legit. Every. Day. I know, I could make some fancy keto bread… but. Lazy. Let me tell you, the Five Day Soup Diet shindig is my favorite. Even after the Keto choices stopped over the past 18 months, I still used this soup as a base to make all the soups I needed.

I always double it because one person is designed to be able to eat this for five days. My husband is always a willing participant in my shenanigans, so x2, I do. I start by scissoring up a package of the best for you bacon I can find. Then I toss in the onion (and I have sometimes forgotten it). Then I get to chopping all the Magic vegetables that go into this soup. Green beans, yellow squash, turnip root things or rutabagas (both of which I’d never had before this soup, nor had I cooked with… I majorly approve), collards, sun-dried tomatoes. All that gets chopped and put in with a good amount of organic stock and water over time. And I’ve lately been instant potting (for about 12 min) my organic chicken breasts or thighs while I get my soup going. Excellent use of time to voila some cooked chicken.

When all this is done, I have a huge amount of soup. Enough to fill like 10,000 plastic ware containers for leftovers. This time I rationed all the smaller containers I had in advance. Single servings, baby, means heat and eat is even simpler.

Recipe from I Breathe I’m Hungry:

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups celery root, peeled and chopped into ½ inch cubes (or cauliflower, jicama, radish, turnip)
  • 4 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 2 cups yellow squash, sliced and quartered
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cups swiss chard, chopped (or collards – NOT KALE)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions from IBIH:

  1. In a large soup pot, cook the bacon and olive oil over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, sundried tomatoes, and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the chicken stock and water, then add the celery root and chicken. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the squash, green beans, and swiss chard and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Stir in the fresh basil just before serving.

No kidding the best soup and the smartest start for me getting my eating habits back to a healthy balance. In one week, I have lost 6-7 pounds. I had gotten so blah feeling leading up to the choice to start back on the Keto path. For me the weight loss matters, but most importantly, it helps balance my blood sugar that causes me to almost uncontrollably crash after I eat almost any amounts of sugar/carbs. My body responds abnormally and Keto seems to help. So here we are. I’m here for it all! Let me know if you try the soup and what you think of it.

Check out the link to IBIH for comments with results and substitutes for specific ingredients.


The Last 90 of the Decade

It’s here. The final stretch of 2019. I’m not sure it was pivotal on the 90th day (I think it was yesterday… or is it today?)… I had started or re-started my healthier eating habits last week. I intend to keep those. It took some serious BLAH last week to get me motivated to make those healthy choices, I will say. I kept wanting to cut down my sugar intake but I kept spiraling and feeling like I had no control when cravings hit. It took a real rock-bottom feeling to sort of force my hand. But I’m back. I’m already feeling better and the ball is rolling!

That’s one of my final 90 days goal of this decade! Do you have any goals? Any new habits, better habits you’re striving to create now instead of waiting until 2020? I find myself waiting, day after day until the next Monday, you know the perfect start day… or week after week because next month is perfect! Or for January 1st, because what’s fresher than the new year, only to forget by that next perfect day to start, or to abandon it four days in when I lose the motivation or focus.

Do you also struggle with committing to goals your set for yourself? I’ve discovered I am REBEL. I’m a rebel by nature, only following through, committing to, and pursuing goals and ideals that suit the identity I have for myself. So if I’m determined that I’m a healthy person, by God, I’m a healthy person. But if I’m still a person that eats whatever the hell I want to while trying to make healthy choices, I’m going to derail reeeeeally fast. Do you do better with accountability?

What’s something you can improve on by 2020? Let’s brainstorm.

  • Healthy food choices
  • Sticking to a budget/pay off plan
  • Start a fitness routine
  • Read one book a month
  • Consistently go to bed before midnight (that’s so hard for me)
  • Make dinner at home 5-6 times a week.
  • Commit a new verse to memory every week.

That’s my brain dump. Share yours.

life, styling

Connections and chit chat

There’s a big difference between a genuine connection with real conversation and chit chat. However, chit chat can lead to a nice connection. A moment of humanity linking two people. I am all for that.

Today, I reached out to a couple people via messenger though I could have easily commented on their content on social media. The comments seem to lack connection and intentionality in communicating. Do you feel that way? I went to reply to a post and found myself tearing up because I was touched that person had that kind of impact on me. I couldn’t do the injustice on connection of dropping that one liner in a comment and walking away. I engaged. This person and I needed to connect on this. It was a serious matter, end of life stuff for family, that’s not always quick comment stuff… right?

I’m not saying I need to personally message everyone on social and start conversing about their lunch selections, but when friends are hurting, when they’re asking for prayers for a loved one, when they’re sharing personal battles, I chose to connect today, and I’m glad I did. I could use that virtual hug sometimes. The pause that someone intentionally opened the door to hug me and wait. Instead of side hug and run on the interwebs. Is it all the same to you?

In terms of chit chat… today a barista complimented my earrings. I appreciated it. I love these rainbow dangles. She asked where she could find them. I told her I sold them. I needed to hurry up and post them! I did. But we ended up connecting over quirky, fun accessories because the interaction didn’t need to be rushed.


Hi, I’m Kayla, and…

Grief is odd. It’s weird and uncomfortable but also probably one of the most natural processes humans go through. There’s no right path, wading the waters of loss. That’s all to say that grief is something I was never prepared to walk in. Is anyone? There’s no book warning people what they’re about to step into when they lose a person. (False: I’m sure there are a number of books… but I sure as hell didn’t touch one prior to loss.)

I think when I meet someone new, there’s a subconscious desire to be known and know them, like not just the surface stuff. I mean, I feel that way anyway. I genuinely like getting to know WHO people are and where they came from and how they turned out this way… (I’m generally that chatty uber passenger, too.)

So when I meet people, I think the inner me, not showing her true cards, wants the new person to know Kelsey, my sister, the one who has been gone for almost three years, the one who it’s physically impossible to meet now… that’s who I’d love to introduce most people to when we’ve just met. Is that odd?

Or no? I don’t know. Someone who was so part of my personal history, my memories, and admirations, that’s who I’d like to introduce people to when they meet me… and it stings that my heart and mind work this way.

We all have our Scarlett letters, curses set on us by outside forces, or badges of honor, the things we proudly display with our chest puffed up. Right? Some battle inside demons and Evil would love for these letters to consume your identity and cripple you with fear. I don’t want to live that way.

So I genuinely try not to, and I wade through the sometimes muddy waters of grief. I talk about Kelsey when it seems fitting. That part of me and our story isn’t shelved. The icky parts of life can often be used to help others in their muddy waters, too. So I hope you’ll keep “speaking your truth.” That’s what all the cool kids say… but I see it… don’t hold part of you back because you’re sad or scared or… or… or… that’s what I’d tell myself anyway.