inspiration, My Life

My “Top 5” Favorite Instagram Influencers

To be honest I spend way too much time on the internet and social media platforms. I absolutely love it and hate it at the same time. There are so many people and accounts out there that hype up unrealistic lifestyles for the everyday person like myself. The number of times I have gotten down on myself over what someone else was doing on social media is crazy.  I can’t believe that I let fake ideas and unattainable looks discourage me.

Recently I have cleaned up my Instagram feed and removed accounts that weren’t serving me in a positive and encouraging way. There is absolutely no reason why I should voluntarily allow myself to be put down by people when I have the power to not associate myself with it. After reviewing my newly cleaned out Instagram, I decided to share with my current top five favorite ladies I follow who inspire me and lift me up daily.


5. @chelsvaccariello // Chelsea Vaccariello

42.8k followers on Instagram

Chelsea (CV Fitness) is the REAL DEAL. She is not like other fitness influencers who just promote products and show off their rockin’ bodies. Chelsea is genuine and creditable. She provides her audience with informative and educational videos to perform target workouts properly and effectively. She shares her personal experiences to inspire others and encourages a healthy balanced life. Chelsea is really great at connecting with her followers through her stories. She constantly is answering questions and showcasing her favorite things, which shows her friendly and perky personality.

The crazy thing about Chelsea is that when I moved to Chicago and started working at a new lululemon store, I found out she was employed there too. I fan-girl hard and Chelsea just blushes and smiles. She even let me do a school video project on her and let me say she was just beyond grateful that I looked up to her the way I do. Now that I personally know Chelsea and her background in the health and wellness field, I have to say she knows what she is talking about.  She truly is one of the sweetest humans I have ever met.

On and off social media Chelsea is a kind-hearted soul who is always open to helping others and inspiring them to live to their highest potential. I love saving her videos and doing her exercises in the gym. Thanks to Chelsea’s recommendations I found a protein  and supplement brand (1Up Nutrition) that works for me and is actually delicious.

4. @wearesoulsparks // Kristin Lohr

41.8k followers on Instagram

We Are Soul Sparks is another Chicago based influencer. Kristin is a life coach and writer who posts daily inspiration quotes. Sometimes they are written by herself, famous names, or names I have never heard of. What I love about her page is how aesthetically pleasing it is to the eye. She keeps a consistent look to her page, so the quotes always pop out in my crazy, cluttered, all over the place feed. Whenever I am in need of a pick me up, I can always count on the most recent post from Kristin to inspire me.

Kristin also has a weekly newsletter that is SERIOUSLY THE BEST. She writes about topics that are so relatable. Kristin’s vulnerability contributes to the authenticity of her words. She really knows how to open her heart, remove judgement, and problem solve. I actually had the chance to sit down with Kristin at her first ever “Soul Sparks Hangout” and it was so uplifting to hear her speak in person. She really lives by her words and practices self-love every single day. To be in a small group setting with her talking about life and enjoying wine was something I will never forget. She is a great person to follow on your good days and bad days.

3. @leefromamerica // Lee Tilghman

291k followers on Instagram

Lee from America is a real fun and educational account to follow. She is the cutest Cali girl who talks about all things self-care, holistic living, hormone balancing, and plant loving. I have only been following Lee for a few months now but she has opened my eyes to a whole new world of opportunities. She provides so many educational tips and tricks to make more conscious life choices that are better for your mental, physical, and emotional health.

I started to write my monthly intentions and post them in a place I look at daily because of Lee. She really inspires me to tune into my body and listen to my heart. That I should live my life for me and not society. I love reading her blog articles because they always teach me about new food choices, lifestyle products, and ways of thinking. I even have a list going in my phone of things from Lee that I gotta try.

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2. @chickpeainthecity // Addie Martanovic

55.5k followers on Instagram

Chickpea in the City is the gal to follow if you want to know where the best spots for sweating, eating, and grocery shopping are in Chicago. Addie has a passion for health and wellness, music and celebrating the little things daily.  Addie has all the connections with local businesses and she shares some of the best new music finds. She documents her travels to other cities like New York City and Los Angeles and shares her favorite sports there too! She is the go to guide of finding the hot spots in the health and wellness field.

Addie has introduced me to some favorite products like Simple Mills crackers and baking mixes and Kite Hill dairy free cream “cheese” spread. I have also tried places I’d never think of trying like Kitchfix and Real Good Juice. I can’t tell you the number of times I have screen shot her story because she was talking about an amazing place or food item. One time Addie was riding behind me in Soulcycle and I freaked out and ran up to her after classes. She is so funny and sweet.

1. @carly_bergman // Carly Bergman

19.6k followers on Instagram

Carly Bergman is the most down to earth, loving, and caring soul I have ever come across. We are from the same hometown and to see someone you’ve crossed paths with growing up transform their life into something bigger than themselves is truly beautiful and inspiring. Carly is an advocate for sustainability and promotes a conscious lifestyle. She has so much love for the earth and everything it offers to us. She educates her followers on a vegan lifestyle and how to create a more judgement free wholesome life.

On top of that she apart of the dream team couple (@sustainable_duo) with her boyfriend Brendan Fitzgerald (@the_sustainable_ceo), the creator of @planet_protein. Together they travel across the country promoting plant-based nutrition, conscious eating, and zero waste lifestyle tips. They share a such a strong connection and real love that I’ve never seen before. They make me want to grow my own garden (which I will one day) and explore options that are more eco-friendly.  

Carly is the reason why I first bought kombucha, she’s the reason I had my first acai bowl, she’s the reason why I decided to eat a plant-based diet in 2018. She just radiates a positive vibration that makes me want to evolve into a better version of myself. She really stays true to herself regardless of what people say and that itself really speaks to me.


Each of these ladies contribute to my positive attitude and encourage me to live my #bestlife. They have taught me to follow my dreams and just go for my goals. Seeing them share what they love in their lives is part of the reason why I share what matters to me. You never know who might read and who it might affect in a positive way. It’s an endless chain reaction that could change people’s lives and make the world a more loving and happy place.


Kasey Elizabeth


Health & Fitness, inspiration, My Life

I Face To Be My Strongest Self

I turned “there’s no way” into “I freaking did it.”

Here’s to my year of being my strongest self.  

Stop making excuses, quit holding back. You are the only person that limits you from being the best version of yourself.

That is exactly what I am working on.I am learning that the ONLY thing pushing my back in life is my own thoughts, perceptions, and beliefs. Yeah, there are many outside influencers but the way I internalize and process the world around me is my own personal choice. 


The winter blues have been real throughout the start of 2018. I’ve struggled to stay motivated in the midst of the bipolar Chicago winter. The dark days and cold temperatures are not my favorite, but I have been finding ways to help me through it.

This past month I decided to channel all my stress, anxiety, uncertainty, and basically every emotion I feel, into physical energy. Meaning that instead of sitting in my bed analyzing each aspect of my life as ups and downs approach (which many did), I pushed myself to break a sweat and get active.

I didn’t ignore my worries and stresses, but I choose to stop letting them define me in that very moment. I am aware of how my body feels mentally, physically, and emotionally after an intense workout. My energy is high, my mind is clear, and my heart is open. I am more productive, happy, and motivated throughout my day when I make time to release everything and just let my body do work.

Now I can lie and say I was motivated to make working out a priority for my mental health all on my own, but truth be told I wasn’t.  One of my favorite workout places in Chicago, Barry’s Bootcamp is what pushed me to face myself.


Barry’s Bootcamp has challenging workouts that push you mentally and physically. The hour-long workout is designed to efficiently lean and tone the body. BUT IT IS ALSO FUN. The “red room” is constantly packed with high energy people working towards their goals, a dim red lighting to take away “comparing yourself to others”, and exciting and upbeat party music. It is honestly the best workout I have ever done. I always leave feeling sore, but also refreshed because every workout is different and certain days focus on certain muscle groups.  

So what exactly did I do? I pushed myself to complete 16 classes in 30 days. I signed up for their #faceyourself challenge and crushed 16 hours in the red room throughout February. That is a countless number of all-out-effort sprints at 10mph as well as numerous maximum repetitions of push ups and chest press. It was extremely difficult, but totally worth it.


There were times where I snoozed my alarm because I wanted to sleep in and skip class, but I didn’t. I dragged myself out of bed and by the time I physically showed up for class, I was mentally ready to do my best and create a change within me. I was determined to always run faster, to lift heavier, and to stretch deeper. 

If I was going to commit my time and money by signing up for the #faceyourself challenge, you best believe I was going all in. I crushed it. I am so proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone, showing up, and committing to something to benefit me me mentally, physically, and emotionally.

The #FACEYOURSELF challenge was the kick-start I needed to start breaking down the mental barriers I put up against myself. I am capable. I am strong. I am enough. It is up to me to create the life I want to live.

I can achieve anything and everything I truly desire if I am willing to:
Approach with an open mind
Commit & hold myself accountable
Appreciate and accept the ups and downs for what they are
Focus on the here and now but visualize the end result
Smile and breathe cause I am alive and capable

Thank you Barry’s Bootcamp for teaching me a lesson in personal responsibility and self-appreciation. I am motivated, inspired, and feeling like a badass. I worked hard to face myself and become my strongest self. 

I recommend to everyone and anyone to find what works for you. You are aware of your interest and passions so put the work in. Stop waiting. Stop avoiding it. Put yourself out there and start working towards what you truly want out of life. If I can achieve greatness, so can you.

inspiration, My Life

New Year, Even Stronger Me!

2018, I am ready for you! Here’s to a year of personal strengthening: mentally, physically and emotionally. Each of my goals for this year are working towards expanding my knowledge, improving my weaknesses, and creating something new and empowering for myself.

I’m really excited about another revolution around the sun because each year brings new experiences and opportunities that fuel my soul and ignite the fire inside me. I know this year will also bring challenges and obstacles, but I am making a promise to myself to conquer them head on with an open mind and loving heart.

To be completely honest my goals for 2018 are inspired by some really amazing and influential people in my life as well as the subconscious fears I’ve been avoided committing to in the past. I wanted to share my goals with the public to inspire others and myself. There is nothing better than putting your wants and desires out into the universe and watching them blossom.


Kasey’s Personal Goals For 2018: The Year of Strengthening

Take A Yoga Class Once Per Week!

Yoga really helped me from junior year of high school to my freshman year of college as I was constantly fighting a battle within myself. I was not in control of my emotional state of mind; I was a being filled with constant high anxiety and depression and through yoga I discovered how to breathe and take control over the way my body feels. I fell in love with the way yoga makes me feel and in the past couple years I’ve been putting my practice on the back burner due to other responsibilities I have. Lately I’ve been letting myself fall back into the weak state of mind I once had, and I know yoga helps me through it so I am committing myself to make time for my mat once a week. One class, one hour, one moment just for me. Even if it has to be a Yoga With Adriane video on YouTube! Yoga heals.

Read 2 Books Per Month!

I have never been much of a reader. I don’t know the reason why but I have never gotten into books, like ever. One of my professors I had this fall (shout out to Bruce Boyer at RU) ended the semester by informing my class on the importance of reading and writing as integrated marketing communications major. I’ve always known that reading improves your vocabulary and challenges your mind, yet I haven’t pushed myself to get into it. After my professors lecture and conversation with my class, I realized that at 21 years old, it is crucial for me to spend more of my time with my face in my book and not my phone. How am I going to successfully write for a living if I don’t take the time to read other people’s writing? It’s like the lightbulb just clicked on and it’s time for me to catch up on what I’ve been missing out on. Thanks Boyer for inspiring me to read anything and everything!

Run Kasey, Run!

Running used to be the death of me until this past October. I decided to run a 15k on a whim with my roommate and actually enjoyed it. I’m already pretty physically active, but never ever have I been a runner. Though the 15k was extremely difficult (realistically I wasn’t prepared), the feeling I had after completing the race was something I have never felt before. It was so rewarding and I felt so proud of myself for facing my fears and just going for it. So for 2018 I have signed myself up for a 10k race and a half marathon! I’m not about do any sort of race on a whim again so here’s to running weekly in order to prepare myself for completing races! I know I am physically capable of running, but it’s time to strengthen my mental ability.

Eat A More Plant Based Diet!

This goal I started a little before the new year, but I am proud to say that I’ve finally committed myself to be a ovo-vegetarian for a year. This decision was a difficult one to commit too since I already have such a limiting diet. (celiac disease, which eliminates gluten and anaphylactic allergies to tree nuts and shelled fished). In 2017 I gave up dairy because it was making me feel quite sickly. Though I am not diagnosed by a doctor with lactose intolerance, it is quite a common thing for people with celiac disease to develop. I know my body and ever since I’ve eliminated dairy I have felt less bloated and food flows through my digestive system without physical pain. YAHOO! I decided to take my diet one step further in a more clean and healthy way by eating more fruits and vegetables and natural foods. My journey has just begun and there is a lot more I plan to learn throughout 2018, but thanks to my friend and vegan activist, Carly Bergman for being educator and influencer for me to make this choice. YOU ROCK!

It’s not even one week fully into 2018, but I am pumped up and already working to live my life to fullest! I am really excited about my goals because they are concrete, tangible, and measurable! They all works to growing my personal strength; mentally, physically, and emotionally. Life is so beautiful and offers so many amazing things and to realize that I can create whatever I desire out of it is so exciting!’s to you, me, and 2018. Write your goals down, share them with those who love and support you, and accomplish them head on with love and gratitude for all experiences! You are loved and capable of doing whatever your heart desires! Cheers to the new year and even better version of you!


Image courtesy of Spiritual Gangster
Image courtesy of lululemon
Image courtesy of Kristin Lohr
My Life

Workin’ on my Photography Skills!

My life has been beyond busy lately. My days are constantly filled with a full-time school schedule and two jobs; yet I am still making time for my passions and fun! 

A few weeks ago, I explored the West Loop, in Chicago with a few of my friends to work on my photography skills. My focus was capturing exciting and effective photos. 

All these photos are taken on my Canon Rebel T6 and edited in generic apple iPhoto Macbook application. (still saving up my money to purchase a professional photo editing system) I find it really important to showcase my skills, whether they are perfect or not. It helps hold myself accountable to constantly work harder as well as it provides an outlet to showcase my growth over time. 

Enjoy my photos and reach out if you’d like to help me work on my skills by doing a shoot of you or one of your events!



Click Me to view the Full Gallery!

My Life

I am a #bossbabe

Recently, I attended a really cool #bossbabe event that left me feeling empowered, strong, and worthy of greatness.

If you are wondering what exactly a #bossbabe is….. get your head in the game! It’s just the new age term given to the “go getter” type of woman (like myself). Another term commonly used is passionista. (good old Urban Dictionary gives fantastic definitions)

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Soo, a #bossbabe event is when a group of like-minded women come together to learn from one another and find new ways to get inspired. It is quite emotional and thrilling experience that gives you a natural high! I always leave #bossbabe events feeling like a total BAD ASS.

The event I attended was Dare To Be Fearless by Fit Fearless Happy. It was a one day event in Chicago that featured #bossbabe speakers who took control of their lives and transformed them into something bigger and better. The day focused in on four topics that are beneficial for every woman: healthy lifestyle, personal development, business skills, and mindfulness.

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The woman who put this event together, was also a #bossbabe; Melissa Kolb. Her goal was to unite the community of #bossbabes together and get us all in the same room discussing topics we love. Shout out to you Melissa!

Dare To Be Fearless was an amazing day where I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of. Each speaker opened up and shared their stories. All of their’s were so different, yet had a similar theme of overcoming some form of a struggle. It reminded me that we all experience pain and suffering, but how we chose to overcome it is our personal responsibility.

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Each speaker brought different concepts and ideas to the table. The lessons and messages were all so strong and moving. If you could picture a kid walking into a candy store for the first time, that was me taking notes as I was listening and internalizing what they had to say.

Now, I don’t want to “spoil” all the greatness these speakers have to offer. (just in case you want to experience them yourself) BUT….  I DO want to share with my biggest take always from each of them. I want to introduce them to YOU and inspire YOU to consider learning from each of these amazing women the things they offer.

Rosie Guagliardo

Her presentation focused on “achieving results with ease and joy.”  When you focus on your desires, the REAL you starts to show up. Often people strive for perfection instead of progress. Which results in a feeling that life is just happening to you instead of through you.

It all starts with our choices. Choices are made based off beliefs. Beliefs are thoughts we hear repeatedly (that we then internalize). Our thoughts create our desires. To make better choices, we need to increase our awareness of what we really want not what we “should” or “have to”. Awareness increased through observing, understanding, and accepting our desires.

Rosie’s lead us through a simple three stop process that teaches us to make choices create positive and happy results for our lives. It is all about shifting your perspective on the situations that appear our lives.

  1.  Notice It.
  2.  Name It.
  3.  Reframe it. 

Rosie is a life and career coach. If you want to learn more from her and all her great steps to living a happier life, check out Inner Brilliance Coaching.


Kelly Uchima

Kelly’s presentation stood out to me because I could directly relate to my own life and my personal struggles. She is only 24 years old (only a few years older than me) and she is standing up and speaking out about breaking the stigma on mental health. (something I am also oh so very passionate about). Her main points jabbed me in gut and had me saying, “AMEN SISTA” in my head. Some of her one liners that stuck with me include:

  • Self-love is unconditional
  • Sexy means confidence
  • Embrace your light. Embrace Your Darkness.
  • Vulnerability helps you become comfortable with love

Kelly inspires me because she is publicly documenting her recovery with mental health issues. She is breaking the barriers, opening the doors, and making sure it is being talked about. On top of that she has a bad ass bracelet collection with Peas & Love. Check on Kelly on Instagram and see what I am talking about.

Kelley Porter-Turner

Kelley Porter Turner is the definition of a bad b*tch. Her fiery passion and insane confidence grabbed the attention of the room faster than anything I’ve EVER seen before. She really is powerful soul that grabs at your heart. When you hear her personal story of pain, you are left speechless because you wouldn’t believe a powerful woman like her as experienced such awful things.

BUT her whole message is about finding our purpose through our pain. She teaches through the metaphysical aspect which leaves you deep in thought. It really pulled me out of my comfort zone and opened up a whole new world of thinking about my environment. She really emphasized recapitulation.  We have two choices on how to internalize and learn from situations in life. You can either choose the path of pain or power.

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Kelley is a personal development and transformation coach who has written five books that share her story and inspire you to think different about handling situations in life. Consider Kelley and her work and I promise you, you’ll change your perspective. She is Coach Kelley on every social media.

Laura Folkes

Laura Folkes is a certified holistic health coach and her presentation was all about finding a proper balance in life. She told her story about struggling with diet, exercise, and weight since the age of 12. CRAZZY!! She tried everything in the book and nothing seemed to work for. Through her experience, she became inspired to help others with their diet and nutrition goals.

Laura led the group through a very hands-on activity that organized the essentials to success in personal health into five categories: Sleep, social life, career, eating habits, and exercise. She helped me realize that starting with small changes makes a difference. She challenged each of us to walk away with a small goal to guide us in making a change in our lifestyle choices.

The category I set my goal in was sleep. I am the type of person who either sleeps for days on end with 50 million naps or I am the type of person who doesn’t sleep at all. The goal I set for myself was to regulate my sleep schedule by going to bed around the same time each night and waking up around the same time each morning. I am committing myself to improve my sleep schedule in order to make my days more productive.



Staci Boyer

Staci is the real deal. She is cut-throat and powerful. Her high energy was contagious. She has an insane amount of experience in the health and wellness industry, as well as experience in the Navy. Her presentation was called, “It’s time to show up for you!” She led the group through a process of self-discovery and realizing each of us have a great worth. She shared with us her very own inspiring quotes and asked us questions that got each of us thinking about ourselves and our own personal journeys.

She helped each of us realize the amazing qualities we all have that make us special. I want to share with you a few of the questions she asked as well as my own answers! Some of them were hard for me to answer but they really helped me think more positively about myself.

  • What about me is beautiful?
    • My big heart! I truly am an emotional young woman. I feel all my emotions so deeply and express them actively. My heart is constantly filled with love for everything around me.
  • One word that describes your version of excellence
    • Happiness! At the end of the day, nothing really matters if you aren’t happy with your life. I believe that I am at my best self when I am happiest
  • What makes you fierce?
    • My fiery honest responses to everything! I have no filter and I embrace it. You want the truth, I am the girl who will give it you.


If you are still following, great! I know it is A TON of information to take in at once.

But trust me, the quality of these woman’s stories, their experience, and their advice will help transform your thoughts on yourself and the world around you. LET IT SINK IN. Explore their words deeper and let them create something for yourself. Follow these woman on social media and hear what they have to say. Sometimes you just need someone else to wake you up and push you in the right direction.

Thank you Dare To Be Fearless for giving me such a fun-filled experience with my friends to learn and grow from these women! I had such a wonderful time and I can’t wait for the next event!

Dare To Be Fearless Recap Video