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BossBabe

When I started this blog it was for the purpose of creating a platform of empowerment to tell the real life stories of women for women from all walks of life. Not just for fancy pants entrepreneurs or stay at home moms, but for all of us fighting the good fight, falling on our butts, and picking ourselves up each day. Initially I didn’t want to do anonymous guest blogs because I wanted you to see the real faces of the real people bravely sharing their stories. However, that was before I was inundated with real life stories from some of you that told the reality of working poverty, dating younger men, and incurable sexually transmitted diseases. The bravery it takes to even put pen to paper to tell this story blows me away and it is the least I can do to share it with you. If there is one thing I am sure of in this life it is that you never know until it happens to you. Kudos to this brave leading lady for sharing her story and please pass it on to every sexually active woman you know or to young women who are considering becoming sexually active, in the hopes that they, too, may not have to experience the lesson first hand.  

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It was December 26th. Unfortunately, I had not spent the holidays with my family as I was traveling for work. You could have said I was in paradise. However, it had been a rough Fall/Winter for me, from losing a family member to cancer to struggling with health issues. The only thing I had wanted on December 25th, when my family called, was to have been there with them. I didn’t think this work trip could have got much worse. Until I noticed a voicemail from my doctor that urged me to call them back as soon as possible. I excused myself from the group and went for a walk.

I know what you are thinking, and no, the diagnosis wasn’t fatal. However, as a 22 year old, it sure felt like things couldn’t get much worse. The diagnosis: genital herpes. The details aren’t as important, although I can replay them in exact detail. Long story short, I was with someone who wasn’t faithful to me. My outbreaks started within a couple of weeks of losing my family member. And when I went to the doctor, we both thought it was a skin rash, as it did not appear as herpes normally does. After a few months and three outbreaks, I was sent to a dermatologist. Within seconds of examining me, he said it looked like genital herpes. I called my doctor, who was sure that wasn’t what it was. 

Let me just say, it had already been a stressful, painful few months. If you haven’t experienced it, you have NO idea! And the over-the-counter remedies do pretty much nothing to ease symptoms. When the diagnosis was confirmed, I felt like my earth shattered. I felt dirty. I felt slutty. I knew what society’s perception of STDs were. I knew what my perception was. However, I also knew that I didn’t fit that stereotype. When I was finally home over a week (and an outbreak) later, I was able to seek treatment through my doctor as well as research and find support. The statistics were startling.  1 in 6 people in the United States suffer from genital herpes. I had no idea how common it was. Nor did I realize all of the support that was out there. It took me almost a year to even be in a place where I was ready to date again. And that came after spending a lot of time processing my emotions, speaking with a therapist, and finding support in online forums. It also took me almost three months of simply being friends with a man to figure out how to take the first step in talking about my issue.

My ex took a bit of my freedom through his choices. I have to take medication every day in order to prevent outbreaks. And I will not be able to have a natural childbirth, as I run the risk of passing on the disease. What I have learned through all of this is that I am strong. That not every story is the same. And the stereotypes of society cannot hold you back from living your life. I have learned that a lot of people won’t judge you as harshly as you will judge yourself. That being prepared is important because people fear what they do not know. But more importantly, they often just want to be as educated as you are. People will still care for you, love you, and want to be with you. Most importantly, your circumstances do not define you; how you handle them, does.


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BossBabe

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When you grow up in a small town in rural Washington state there are a lot of things you only read about in magazines or see on television. Versace was pronounced “VER-SAY-SEE”, Hermes rhymed with herpes, and White Castle was something we saw in movies when stoners Harold and Kumar took us on their wild adventure to this mythical cheeseburger castle. So, what do you do when the first White Castle location opens on the fabulous Las Vegas strip? Why, you head on down for some tourist people watching and to stand in line for two solid hours while you wait to try the greasy goodness that is White Castle’s legend. 

Step one: White Castle Las Vegas opened yesterday with 24/7 hours, which means that when you arrive at 1:30PM on day two they will be (que dramatic music) CLOSED. Yup, timing for us was epic because we arrived at the very moment they closed down due to the high volume they experienced in the first 24 hours. Well, it’s all good because that just gave Angela and I more time to inhale the marijuana fumes from the lovely lady in front of us in line. By the time we were close to the door, we were pretty sure we WERE Harold and Kumar. What do you discuss while in line for almost two hours for cheeseburgers? Ah, enter:

Step two: Tourists on the Las Vegas strip are one of a kind. No where else in the world can you see a nice Nebraskan pre school teacher who normally dons khakis and a polo buttoned up sauntering around mid day on a Wednesday afternoon in the world’s tiniest skirt, a push up bra that 80’s Madonna would be proud of, and heels in a height that makes her look like a toddler wearing her mama’s shoes. Oh, and did I mention that she is rocking a yard long drink and slurring her words? Or how about the idiots completely ignoring the cross walks in favor of jumping a fence and braving Las Vegas strip traffic? Listen folks, I will jay walk in New York City all day, but you couldn’t pay me to do it in Las Vegas. It’s a sure fire way to get run right the hell over my a cabbie who doesn’t care that it’s your first time in Sin City. But, the Las Vegas strip can be a dangerous place! Time for:

Step three: Shit gets real when you are spending two hours waiting in line for tiny cheeseburgers and White Castle clearly knows this because they employed armed guards. Yup, armed guards. Guarding the line, the doors, you would have had better luck robbing a bank than sneaking your shady self into White Castle for a slider. If you finally make it through the line, past the armed guards, and through the second line just to order, you will find:

Step four: Ordering tiny burgers can get complicated. Do you want the beef sliders? Double cheese sliders? Chicken sliders? Fries? Loaded fries? Onion chips? So many options, but Angela and I went for the four slider cheeseburger meal with loaded fries that were topped with nacho cheese, ranch sauce, and fresh bacon bits. Finishing off with a brownie dipped in fudge. Because I must have a deep desire to feel like the Stay Puffed marshmallow man from Ghostbusters, I went all in. And what did it taste like? Alas:

Step five: The food is smaller than it looks on the big screen. And greasier. The cheeseburgers are good, though the buns end up soaked in 50% grease and, if you don’t like grilled onions, you should know there are ample amounts of onions on each burger. The loaded fries are divine. The fudge dipped brownie on a stick is the perfect finish to your celebration of gluttony. After all that would I stand in line another 2 hours? Nah. Would I stumble in at 2AM after a night out on the strip? Hell yes. The Las Vegas strip has a new hot spot for after club hours and with that, I welcome White Castle to the fabulous Las Vegas community. Enjoy! 


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BossBabe

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“I’ve got bi polar disorder, my shit’s not in order, I’m overweight, I’m always late, I’ve got too many things to say…” Mary Lambert’s hit song “Secrets” is one of my daughter’s favorite songs and, as I was listening to it for the millionth time yesterday it got me thinking: “when did we get so scared?” As children we live our truth. My girls rock mismatched clothing, color outside the lines, and sing too loud without apologizing for who they are. As we grow older, we make mistakes. We date the wrong guy, we drive too fast, we get into business with the wrong people, we eat too much junk food and get fat, and somewhere- somewhere in this process- hiding all of our flaws becomes the order of the day rather than coming clean and celebrating them. 

Recently Hello Fearless founder Sara Davidson asked me to participate in her #Fearlessin15 challenge, helping women to lead a fearless life. I had to pause before I agreed because initially I thought, “Fearless?! Me? Maybe she sent it to the wrong person.” Until I realized that by sharing with all of you the truths of my life, my fall down flat on my face moments, the “what the hell was I thinking moments” where I held my breath before I posted it for the world to see, I was living a fearless life. You see, fearless doesn’t mean living without fear. The reality is that we all have fear. Fear of rejection from a guy we are meeting for a first date. Fear of rejection from that client that we want to land. Fear of judgement from our closest friends and family if we let them down. To me, being fearless means facing those fears and doing it anyway. Embracing the fear, owning that shifty bitch that is self doubt, and putting her in her rightful place. 

Are you ready to live your most fearless life? Join me this year by taking the #Fearlessin15 challenge and let’s live our best lives, with fear in it’s rightful place. 

*full disclosure: Hello Fearless didn’t pay me for this post, but they did make me the neato photo. Love them!


I am thrilled to introduce you to one of my good friends and a fellow serial entrepreneur, Danica Speer. Danica is the co-founder of Five Star Sitters, a unique quality care company specializing in babysitting, nannies, pet sitting, and house sitting. Yes, watching anything you love when you can’t be there. To say that the Five Star Sitters team does an excellent job is under selling it. Frankly, my life as a sane single mommy is due in large part to the excellent care their team provides to Bella and Mia, so I can get business done, have a dating life, and escape for the rare mommy me time. In this episode we ventured out on a Tuesday evening to the busy El Sombrero Mexican restaurant to chat about great locations for date nights for parents, delicious traditional platter, and the best sangria either of us had ever tasted. GREAT NEWS!  If you mention that Keepin Up With Krista or Five Star Sitters brought you into El Sombrero you will receive a free glass of bubbly for the next 30 days. Make sure you pop in, try this amazing venue, and grab your free glass of bubbly to celebrate YOU in the New Year!  

The New Year is prime time for goal setting and resolutions, but my friend, Don Cote, has a new challenge that could be the way for you to get the support, resources, and connections that you need to live your best life by accomplishing all of the goals you have set for yourself. In addition to accomplishing all of the things that you want to accomplish for yourself, you have a shot at winning $100,000! Talk about a happy New Year! The LifeWorks Challenge is the culmination of years of research and development by Don and his entire team at LifeWorks. As always, El Sombrero Mexican restaurant was the venue for our #TheDish interview and between the incredible customer service and delicious authentic cuisine, it was the perfect intimate venue based in the heart of Las Vegas’ growing arts district for Don to share this incredible opportunity. Happy New Year everyone!