#WorldMentalHealthDay

Creativity. The most fruitful part of healing throughout my life. Whether the medium is photography, styling looks, writing or crafts... I channel my intentions, honest feelings and experiences into everything I get my hands on. Being able to express myself in this capacity is as refreshing as opening a window in a stuffy tight room, and finally taking in that first fresh breath of air. It’s a home to my vulnerable emotions and allows me to let go of what no longer serves me, while also bringing me closer to souls who mirror my own.

 creative direction: Maica Sta Ana x @msnerriss

creative direction: Maica Sta Ana x @msnerriss

I’ve grown up pretty aware of mental illness, both learning how to be a supportive ally to those struggling in my family, and figuring out how to navigate my own feelings of depression and anxiety. I held onto demons for far too long, and as an empath had a tendency to hold onto others’ too. Art in all it’s forms has been the release.

At least for me, content creation has always been about storytelling and creation itself. Not recognition nor reputation. It’s a personal ritual. It’s medicine. All the toxic tendencies that I encounter in the influencer/blogging world are discouraging and I always have to ground myself with why I began in the first place. To create. Sometimes you can’t escape the mud that grows around the lotus, but you can continue to grow through it.

I struggle with the ebbs and flows constantly, whether it shows publically or not. The first sign I’m going through it is when I’m introspective and extra quiet in the virtual world. Sometimes, I feel like I have to be a lover and fighter all at once.

I guess my lesson to share and note to self is this. Grow through the mud, even past the days when self-doubt, hopelessness, or anxiety start to peak through. Catch yourself before you spiral and step back. And on the same note, take your time and cherish the present. Don’t rush the process, just give your personal best. Sometimes you’ll feel like you can take the world while other days, your best is just putting one foot in front of the other and it’s absolutely okay.

No matter what it is that brings you down, I hope you always stay rooted in what makes you feel whole. Sending you so much love.

Kindly, Kimiko

Get to Know Me

Let me keep it real, this post took me so long to write. Sure, I'm open sharing all the best things about my blog topics and willing to answer hard questions. However, even as a blogger, writing a post directly about me gives me a little anxiety.

When I'm going through a big transition in life (like my recent career change), I get reclusive and take a step back from everything else. Now that I've regained my flow with work and life, I'll be posting weekly again. Kindly Kimiko community, welcome back!

Take a moment to get caught up by reading my about page, and a few fun FAQ's below. 

sightglass coffee soma san francisco lifestyle blog

How would you best describe yourself in a few words?

bay area bred, with a mindful earthy heart and always on the move, getting things done.

Guilty Pleasures

My guilty pleasure is listening to my inner couch potato. I love being lazy with my other half, T, and our two pups, Yoshi and Socks.

Things I Love

3-wick candles, sunsets and views, iced vanilla lattes, fluffy pups, bullet journals, plants, and national parks

Things I  dislike

brussel sprouts, eating ginger, salty attitudes, and shallow topic conversations

Can you describe your personal style uniform?

My go-to uniform is a black leather jacket, bold Quay Australia sunnies, high waisted skinny jeans and chunky heeled booties. 

Why do you talk about self-care so much?

We're raised in a society that has made us believe self-care is indulgent, but truly it's an essential need to prevent us from burn out!

In 2013, I thought being healthy was all tight abs and a skinny waist. After seeing solid results for the first time, I fell in love with fitness...no matter the cost. While on a strict diet plan with a coach, I pushed myself too hard until I could barely function and was dragging every day. Though my body new looked better, I felt so broken internally and began a vicious cycle of binge eating. Though it was an ultimate low, it was a defining moment for how I perceived health and wellness.  From then on, I realized that health was so much more than looking fit, it was a holistic and balanced approach to life. Emotional and mental health are equally important as physical health is. I'm a firm believer that you cannot sustainably have one without the others. Now, I use my platform to inspire and encourage others to adopt self-care into their daily lives.

What do you love most about San Francisco?

There's always something new to find and the city has so many unique layers to experience. It's got beautiful parks and views mixed in with the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolitan city. But my favorite? The fact that San Francisco has many micro-cultures which translates into it's communities, food and people. I truly never run out of inspiration or things to write about here.

Describe your food philosophy.

I really enjoy eating, especially growing up in a Filipino-American household. Being raised in that culture meant food is an expression of love and hospitality. The more food, the merrier. If you've been to a filipino party, you know exactly what I mean.

Influenced by my culture growing up, my current approach to food is balanced between enjoying food with the company of others, while being mindful of making healthy food choices that are flavorful but also fuel my body. To this day, I'm still practicing finding that sweet spot. It's seriously an ongoing challenge!

Favorite Ways to Treat Yo' Self?

Let's call out a few guilty pleasures! First and foremost, I have a weakness for shopping binges at Target, starchy carbs, or a new pairs of boots. If I'm feeling really low, I lift my spirits with a whole day of quiet self-care solitude and watch Ali Wong's Baby Cobra on Netflix with my dogs. 

Describe your friendship with your childhood best friend, Abbie.

Chances are you have already seen Abbie in at least half of my posts, and will continue to do so forever.  Our moms were friends before we were born, so we were family friends since we were buns in the oven. At 18, we coincidentally committed to the same college, and decided to move into our first apartment together. We grew together every step of the way of our crazy college lives, and became sorority sisters, business partners and best friends. I mean, she still lives 2 miles away, and she's the only person I facetime consistently. lol. 

What inspires you to blog?

This creative outlet is a sanctuary to me. I have had a blog on several platforms over the years.. since I was an early teen: from xanga, myspace, tumblr, wordpress, now my own domain as of 2016. It's continues to grow and expand as time goes by. It's a creative medium I've kept close all this time.

While it is a self-care practice for me, I'm glad this platform connects me with others. Being here gives me a chance to be transparent about the highs and lows, and relate to others who go through similar experiences. So to each of you, thanks for being here. I hope you find something on the blog that encourages you to seek adventure. 

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san francisco sightglass coffee soma lifestyle

Coffee Shop: Sightglass Coffee in SOMA, San Francisco
Photographer: Rachel Radcliffe

Top: Express
Bottom: H&M
Quartz Crystal Necklace: H&M
Shoes: Forever 21
Sunglasses: Sunglass Spot

Get it from my momma.

"Every child needs one person in their life that is crazy about them." 

...Well, that was her. My mother, mentor, and best friend. A single mother that did everything in her power to give me the world.

Thank you to her for supporting the little girl with wild dreams, even if my dreams are crazy sometimes. She has given me the gift to follow my heart, and the confidence to trust in my passions, and for that I can't thank her enough for allowing me to be free. 

 

This photo diary is dedicated to her, and all the passions and milestones we've shared together over the years.

 Every summer, my mom would take me the Presidio for the Aloha Festival. She enrolled me in my first hula class when I was 5-6 years old, and I danced for several years. We have been to Hawaii several times, and she still goes just about every year.

Every summer, my mom would take me the Presidio for the Aloha Festival. She enrolled me in my first hula class when I was 5-6 years old, and I danced for several years. We have been to Hawaii several times, and she still goes just about every year.

 In 2013, my mom came to SFSU, and invited me to attend a documentary showing about the International Hotel demolition in San Francisco. It is a historic story about a building that housed many filipino immigrants, and the fight to prevent it's demolition. It hit close to home for us, because my grandfather called that place home for some time. She is holding a letter he received at that address, and I'm holding a photo of him. 

In 2013, my mom came to SFSU, and invited me to attend a documentary showing about the International Hotel demolition in San Francisco. It is a historic story about a building that housed many filipino immigrants, and the fight to prevent it's demolition. It hit close to home for us, because my grandfather called that place home for some time. She is holding a letter he received at that address, and I'm holding a photo of him. 

 Coincidently, I chose to attend San Francisco State University, the same college she had graduated from in 1990. I am a second generation Gator Alumnae, class of 2014!  Fun fact: my college ring is actually her college ring passed down to me.

Coincidently, I chose to attend San Francisco State University, the same college she had graduated from in 1990. I am a second generation Gator Alumnae, class of 2014!

Fun fact: my college ring is actually her college ring passed down to me.

 I've had Sanrio a part of my life since I practically came out of the womb. To this day, kawaii finds and anything Hello Kitty still bonds us! Not only did we attend the Hello Kitty Con in LA, but also went to the Hello Kitty Supercute Friendship Festival when it toured to the Bay Area. 

I've had Sanrio a part of my life since I practically came out of the womb. To this day, kawaii finds and anything Hello Kitty still bonds us! Not only did we attend the Hello Kitty Con in LA, but also went to the Hello Kitty Supercute Friendship Festival when it toured to the Bay Area. 

 My mom and I both love stationary, markers and crafty activities of any variety! Most recently, we attended the release of the Laurel Burch coloring book, at FLAX Art and Design. While there, we ate Jelly Beans and colored. She even won a raffle, and came home with a huge tote bag stuffed with Laurel Burch goods. Here we are pictured with Laurel Burch's daughter.

My mom and I both love stationary, markers and crafty activities of any variety! Most recently, we attended the release of the Laurel Burch coloring book, at FLAX Art and Design. While there, we ate Jelly Beans and colored. She even won a raffle, and came home with a huge tote bag stuffed with Laurel Burch goods. Here we are pictured with Laurel Burch's daughter.