NEW Blog Series: Launching A PRODUCT LINE #entrepreneurship #candles #makeup #boss

Hey there!

Everywhere we turn nowadays, it seems, that everyone is promoting self branding, affiliate marketing, direct sales and I think I know at least 6 people that are about that crazy wrap thing. There’s nothing wrong with any of that but I know there are still some of you, who are like me, you really want a tangible product that has your own company name on it.  In your heart of hearts, you know you want total control of your business and its longevity. You want your own line of makeup, t-shirts, planners, or is coffee your thing?

square layout of 4 products

You’ve seen the vision of owning your own products but you have no idea where to start, who to call, and what it takes. There are a lot of hidden secrets to building a product line but I’ve tapped into it.

When I started my line of Kissed By KC Pure Soy candles, I knew ABSOLUTELY nothing. I have created a gorgeous line of candles that celebrities swoon over. Whether you want to launch a makeup line, bath and body products, purses, mugs, whatever it is, the blueprint is the same. I have done the work and I’m here to help you.

tips to launch products

I’ve decided to launch a series right here and on Periscope that will take your vision from a dream into reality. I’ll walk you thru the  process and have you ready to launch a product line that you will be proud of and so will YOUR customers!

Follow me now on Instagram  @kristi_shanks and on Periscope @KissedByKC to stay updated when we go live. Go ahead and get your notebooks ready. I’m about to change your life.

Congratulations and welcome to true entrepreneurship!


#Oprah on the cover of #FastCompany Magazine

Oprah graces the cover of @FastCompany mag and overs some insight into how she gets things done. The article was a quick read. Here’s a snippet but I suggest you read the entire article to get the big picture of how this mogul bounced back when OWN was not doing so well….



\\  one of her big productivity secrets: being “fully present.” “I have learned that your full-on attention for any activity you choose to experience comes with a level of intensity and truth,” she says. “It’s about living a present life, moment to moment—not worrying about what’s going to happen at 3 o’clock and what’s going to happen at 7 o’clock.” In other words: focus. “That whole thing about multitasking? That’s a joke for me. When I try to do that, I don’t do anything well.” //


What’s your style of getting things done? I’m like O, give me one thing and I rock it out. Too much and I’m a mess.



Distractions could be costing you your destiny


Are you easily distracted? Over and over this week, I’ve heard someone mention distraction and how it can impede your personal growth and can delay your destiny.

Because I think giving in to constant switch and distraction is a way to run away from our obligations. It feels busy and productive, but it’s an avoidance. Not just an avoidance of important tasks, but of whatever boredom or bad feelings I might be having in the moment.

So here are the rules I’m going to try to follow:

  • One browser tab open. I want to focus on reading one thing, responding to one email at a time, doing one task in my browser at a time. I realize that I might have to open multiple tabs to work on something, and that’s fine, but if I have tabs open that don’t have anything to do with my current task, I’ll bookmark them for later, add to Instapaper, or add the task to my to-do list.
  • Know what I’m focusing on. When I open a tab, I have to consciously pause and think about what I’m trying to accomplish. That might be looking up some info, or writing something, or answering an email … whatever it is, I have to try to pause and make sure I’m being conscious about it.
  • Read to completion. Unless there’s an urgent interruption, if I open an article to read, I have to decide whether I want to invest the time to read it right now. That means giving it my full attention, and reading to the end (if possible — unexpected interruptions are fine). If I don’t really want to read this article to completion, I’ll save it for later or just close it.
  • One app on my phone at a time. Just like browser tabs, I often have multiple apps open on my phone, and I switch between them often. I’m going to try to close my phone except when I consciously want to do something on it — send a message, reply to emails, read something. And I’ll only have one app open whenever possible.
  • Be mindful of interruptions & switching. I think my mind is easily distracted, so I’m going to try to practice noticing when I’m about to switch, and make a conscious decision to either follow or not follow that urge to switch. It’s OK to switch, if I’m ready to leave what I’m doing and focus on this new thing instead. And it’s OK to be interrupted (by a call, my kids, my husband, etc.), but
    imageI’d like to try to make a conscious note that I’m switching my attention, leave behind what I’m doing, and give my full attention to whoever is calling for it (without resentment that they’re interrupting me). Now, I realize I’m not going to be perfect at this (I was interrupted as I was writing this paragraph, btw), but I’ll try to practice is when I remember.
  • Consciously close my computer & phone. I don’t need to always be working, always be distracted, always be checking. Sometimes, I can consciously close things for awhile, read a book, go for a walk (without headphones), do something with a loved one. I’ll try to consciously tell myself, “OK, digital-free time for the next 30 minutes” (or hour, or two hours, or whatever).

These aren’t hard and fast rules, but things to shoot for. I will fail at them often, but I’m going to try to follow them for at least a week, and hopefully longer.

I’m not doing this to be more productive, more focused, more disciplined, more perfect. I just want to explore mindfulness and consciousness, and not avoiding by distraction. Wish me luck!



How to jumpstart or ReStart a Fitness journey

I’ve received great questions about my weight loss journey. I’m addressing the comment shown below because it or some variation is my most frequently asked:

“Any pointers or tips on what you did? I’m on yet another fitness journey. I did awesome on my first one but I’ve gained it all back and I look like my before pic again. I should be ashamed but I now have a chance to help another group of people get fit with me again.”

PLEASE do not be ashamed, we are humans and not expected to do everything right. Enjoying The Journeys is a no judgement zone. After you read my little story to here, you will see, I am you and there are several us’ who will read this and relate to what we’ve been through.

4 quick tips to get fit now

Several years ago,  I was in the gym at least twice a day with my personal trainer. I ate all the “right foods”, I knew my body fat %, and I lifted weights. I was determined to look a certain way and be as thin as possible. Healthy was not at the forefront, I wanted to be teeny tiny. When life events happened and I could no longer afford the trainer, I stopped abruptly with my workouts and stopped eating foods that were good for me. Slowly, I picked up weight and became heavier than I’d  ever been. Looking back, I started that journey for the wrong reason; I started because someone told me I was chunky. I thought, I’ll show them that I am not chunky. The trainer became a crutch. I relied on him to tell me what to eat, when to eat, and how hard to push when training. I gave him control. It was not for nor about me.

Tip 1: Make sure you are doing this because you want to and not to please those around you.  

I spoke about changing my life and getting fit again for many, many months. I did crash diets, fasts, juicing, and some rather odd quick fix things. Nothing worked….. long-term. I finally made up my mind to do it in my own way and not rush the results.  The best thing for me was to ease into it. I didn’t stop eating my favorite foods and  begin working out at the same time. That would have overwhelmed me or made it feel too much like “work”. I started working out first and developed a routine of going to the gym on a schedule.PhotoGrid_1405045927776

Tip 2: Start slowly. Do not alter your eating and start working out all in the same day if it makes you feel like you are depriving yourself or dieting. Incorporate one or the other and pick up better habits along the way.

I started on the treadmill, the bike, and the elliptical…..after a few weeks, it became, blah blah blah blah.. it was boring. Lucky for me, I was invited to try a Zumba class. I went to one class in mid August 2013 and I’ve been hooked ever since. I LOVE IT. I was excited to go, so much so, that I did 5 nights a week, sometimes for 2 hours. The fat was burning off of me and I saw the changes take place in my body. Talk about elation, I was over the moon. Doing something I love and loosing weight?!? YES! Give me more and It’s still my favorite!

TIP 3 : Find something that excites you.  Give several things a try; you will know what sparks you. When it does, keep doing that.


After I was consistently working out, the transition to make healthier food choices was natural. It also peaked my interest to try other fitness options…HIIT training, weight lifting, boot camps, PiYO. I switched it up but my main staple is Zumba. I do not see my passion for it diminishing. It’s turned into a complete healthy lifestyle change.  I’m doing this for me, not for a personal trainer or anyone else. That is the absolute best feeling.  Also, it is key to understand this,  You have to love your body at your current weight/shape in order to change it.

Tip 4:  If you do not love yourself before you start a fitness journey, nothing you do will seem satisfying. Enjoy the entire process and have fun. You have a lifetime; there is no rush.

Thank you for following me and asking about my journey. I am happy to give you tips and pointers that helped me drop 30 pounds. I hope this has helped you in some way. I will be happy to share more. Feel free to send more questions.


Please note: I am not a personal trainer nor a physician, the advise and tips worked for me but before you begin this or any weight loss journey, please consult your doctor first. 🙂

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Transformation Tuesday:: My weight loss..size 12 to a size 4

I was a little embarrassed to post this because I’m still in shock that I let myself get that heavy…although I know I was eating whatever fatty foods I wanted and had zero exercise program …


😳 April 2013 to June 2014 :mrgreen:

It just goes to show that adding physical activity and  healthy eating, naturally, the weight came off.

I get asked a lot about pills and wraps, I’ve not tried any of that…just hard work and eating smarter. ..and I’m not finished..this is a lifestyle for me and I love it!!! If I can do this, so can you. 👍💖 let’s keep going!! 🙂

To begin a journey like weight loss, it’s important to do it for yourself. I love me some me regardless of my size, I just knew a healthier me was more of who I truly was/am.



The Calming Effects of Candlelight

The Calming Effects of Candlelight

A simple flame can soothe and center you—learn how to use candlelight as part of a relaxation ritual
We tend to associate candles with festive occasions—gathering around a birthday cake, or enjoying a meal with someone special—but there are many calming effects of candlelight. One of the more powerful ways to enjoy the beauty of candlelight is during a moment of stillness and solitude, when you turn off the world and tune into yourself. There’s a reason candles are integral to religious and spiritual ceremonies the world over—the flame’s soft illumination touches the soul. Some people even find they can achieve a meditative state more easily by focusing on candlelight than on a mantra or a mandala. “I don’t know anyone who is not mesmerized by a flickering flame,” says April Amstutz, Massage Manager of Canyon Ranch in Tucson. The calming effect of candlelight can be a simple yet sacred tool to help reduce stress and increase self-awareness. Bring the tranquil and restorative light of candles into your daily life.

Choosing Your Candles

Here are a few things to keep in mind to create the ideal safe, healthy and tranquil atmosphere:

  • Opt for soy or beeswax. Long-term exposure to emissions from petroleum-based paraffin wax candles may pose a health hazard, according to a South Carolina State University study. Not only do paraffin candles release such unhealthy chemicals as alkenes and toluene (linked to the development of cancer and known to aggravate allergies and asthma), petroleum products are not a renewable resource. Instead, choose soy or beeswax candles, which are renewable, free of toxins and biodegradable.
  • Add your own aromatherapy. A pleasing scent can be extremely soothing, but skip artificially scented candles (which contain petroleum-based synthetic compounds) and go for those infused with natural essential oils. “Studies show that the molecules of essential oils [in candles] are small enough to penetrate through the olfactory system,” says Amstutz, meaning you’ll get the soothing benefits from a whiff of essential oils, with none of the chemicals you’d find in an artificially-scented candle, with none of the chemicals. Since different essential oils trigger specific reactions, pick those that have been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, such as ylang-ylang, bergamot and lavender.
  • Consider color. Candles come in a rainbow of hues, which are perfect for dressing up a dinner party or backyard barbecue, but when it comes to using them to help calm and center you, stay neutral. Pastel or plain white candles can help you to remain relaxed and to focus on the flame itself.
  • Take care. You certainly won’t benefit from the calming effects of candlelight if you’re worried about starting a house fire. Accidental candle fires cause hundreds of millions of dollars in direct property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. To stay safe, keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable, use sturdy, tip-proof holders, and avoid burning candles all the way down.

Incorporating Candlelight Into a Relaxation Ritual

Once you’ve chosen your candles, add them to various aspects of your daily routine to create a moment of peace and calm whenever and wherever you need it.

  • In the morning or evening. Create your own altar using a shelf, table or other surface in a well-ventilated area. In addition to one or two candles, you may want to include objects of relevance that inspire or relax you—crystals, seashells, figurines, flowers and/or plants, personal mementos, photos or other images, written affirmations. Spend a few moments each day, either as soon as you wake up, or just before bed time, sitting quietly in this space. As you sit, focus on the flames: Notice their beauty as you relax and breathe through your nose. Inhale for six counts, hold for three and exhale for six. If your thoughts begin to stray, gently return your attention to the candle. For stress release, turn your attention to the melting wax and imagine it as tension melting and dripping away.
  • In the bathroom. The next time you are preparing to soak in the tub or take a shower, turn out the lights and rely on candles instead. By combining the known stress-relieving activity of soothing yourself with warm water with calming candlelight, you give yourself a double dose of relaxation.
  • At work. Consider lighting a candle on your desk at work, and spending a few minutes focusing on its flame when you need to take a quick break from the stressors of your job. Just be sure to never leave it unattended and don’t place it too close to paperwork, plants or anything else that could be a fire hazard. Check with your employer to see if lit candles are allowed in your office.
  • While exercising. If you practice yoga, tai chi or qi gong at home, try adding a few candles to your routine. The calming effects can help you relax both your mind and your body, allowing for deeper stretches and better concentration. You may also find that sitting quietly or lying down in a candle-lit room is a great way to unwind after an intense workout.


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this post was written by:
Canyon Ranch,
Mayo Clinic
National Fire Protection Association
National Institutes of Health

Daily To-Do List of what’s really important

Hey Friends!!

I hope this day finds you all happy and in a great state of well-being. It was a snow day here in the DC area so I took advantage of the time to make this handy little to-do list to remind myself of what’s really important in life.

Feel free to download and share it if you like.

Daily To Do Lists

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“No Matter Where You’re From, Your Dreams are Valid”

Heey Friends!!

It should come to no surprise what this post will entail. I, along with the rest of the free world, watched as Lupita Nyong’o received her well deserved Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in ” 12 Years A Slave” last night. Her stunning beauty and poise captivated us all. I wanted to post the replay of her acceptance speech for you to enjoy again but it’s not available any longer on youtube ( the transcript can be found below ). She has motivated the masses and sparked a renewal in pride of being yourself and just as important, to believe in yourself, no matter where you are from.  How can we take this historic moment and apply it to our lives to keep this momentum going?

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o Best Supporting Actress Oscar Speech 

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No Matter where you're from, your dreams are valid.

No Matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.

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Soul Kiss:: Is it really a Secret?

Hey Friends,

Its hard to believe but we are already into month Number 2 of this year. Sadly, by now, most folks who made new years resolutions have given up and quit. If you are one of those people, let me tell you that its not too late to get back on track! If jumping in feet first was too much, ease into the new habit you want to create. Begin by reading a new book on goal setting or studying the works of a successful person you admire. Currently, I’m reading and listening to audio stuff from one of my favorite people, Earl Nightingale. Here is a snippet from one of his works, The Strangest Secret.

“Well, it’s pretty apparent, isn’t it? We become what we think about. A person who is
thinking about a concrete and worthwhile goal is going to reach it, because that’s what
he’s thinking about. Conversely, the person who has no goal, who doesn’t know
where he’s going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion,
anxiety, fear, and worry will thereby create a life of frustration, fear, anxiety and
worry. And if he thinks about nothing … he becomes nothing.”


This book is a short read but a little treasure. I found this copy from and  downloaded it for free >>>>   The_Strangest_Secret <<<<< Feel free to download it, too.

You can change your life when you want to… it doesn’t take a new year and the Auld Lang Syne song to make adjustments! You got it!!

Comment and Let me know your thoughts on the book!

As always,

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