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Welcome to My Blog!

From personal stories, product reviews, and parading around the globe: soak it all up right here with me and my blog :)

Hi, I'm Kaylista, and that's pronounced like KAY-list (like a grocery or to-do list) - UH.

I was born and raised in Ohio for the first 24 years of my life, and then in the spring of 2022, I packed my 2012 Jeep Liberty up with only what could fit, and started life all over in Denver, Colorado.

I feel like chatting about yourself to strangers is such a silly concept and while I want to just jump headfirst into a bunch of crazy topics on the blog, I feel like I should tell you more about myself, my career, my lifestyle, and whatever else is deemed creatively necessary.

But First...

It's important to chat about how I got here.

As I mentioned before, I was born and raised in Ohio. The very top right corner of Ohio to be exact, in a small town called West Unity.

My town had a population of like 5,000, one stoplight, and my graduating class had 50 kids in total to put things into perspective.

While growing up in a super small town sounds like a Hallmark movie of close knit-community, it wasn't entirely that way. Growing up in a rural farm town usually coincides with almost everyone having the same conservative mindsets. Thus, making being myself really freaking hard because I have never fit into the box that those norms created, nor did I ever intend to.

I enjoyed where I grew up, and I was thankful for most of the people who surrounded and supported me during such developmental years. My family was and always has been so close, not just geographically ( we were all about 15 minutes apart) but realationally too. The friends I had were lifelong friends, and I've managed to carry them with me into adulthood, but I've always valued my close knit circle and I have that to thank for the retention of those friendships.

You know those old 2000's movies of the superficial popular blonde girl that nobody liked but was the head of everything and won all the things? That was literally my life. When I won Homecoming queen, nobody clapped. When I was elected class president senior year, people rolled their eyes.

Through high school, I was involved in pageants; competing locally and then at state levels. By the time my pageant career ended, I was 22 and had been a 6x title winner from Miss. West Unity to Teen Miss Ohio State.

I was on student council, served as class president sophomore and senior years, and I was actively a part of the volleyball and softball teams until junior year when I decided that work was more important than sports I wouldn't play in college.

I'm not obnoxious or loud, but my personality is surely bold and big and therefore it left me rather unlike by most. I just wasn't afraid to be me, which was outgoing and eclectic. But in a school full of students who all marched relatively to the same beat, I wasn't particularly liked.

Some said it's because I was a b!tch, but I say it's just because I wasn't willing to be caged. People mistook my honesty and authenticity for being a pretentious or rude, and honestly looking back I could see that stereotype but had people taken the time to really look beyond that, they would've seen that I was just trying to be free.

Graduation came, I gave my speech in front of the community, tossed my cap in the air like the cliche movies, and said caio.

College & Compromising...

Fall of 2016 I packed my bags and moved to Athens, Ohio to attend Ohio University - my dream school!

I loved Athens. The campus was beautiful with its brick roads and old architecture. The students came from all over and the cultural diversity was a breath of fresh air. I loved that everyone was free to just live and be.

I was in a new place with new opportunities and possibilities and I did not take that for granted.

By the end of the first semester, I was a tutor for the Bobcats' football team, making a lot of my new friends' giant linebackers and kickers. Talk about having backup when a boy broke my heart >:).

Then I rushed for Greek Life and became a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, which we can chat about at a later date, can't 100% say that being a "guys-girl" makes for a fun time when you're affiliated with 150 other women. I'm not knocking Greek Life... entirely. It just wasn't the right fit for me.

My real friends that I made were like family, and we all were just really accepting of our differences.

I changed a lot in my first semester, leaving that "mean girl" status far far behind me.

I really just started shredding old skin, and growing into the next version of myself.

I struggled with a career path to choose in my studies, resulting in me changing my major over 5x in my undergraduate career. From Undecided to English Pre-Law to English Education, and then to Business and Marketing, I finally settled on Marketing Communications. However, life took a turn and I met a boy back home, my mom got diagnosed with not only one but two auto-immune diseases, and OU was telling me I'd be in school for another 3 years.

So, I transferred from my dream school to The University of Toledo without telling my mom or boyfriend about my decision. I moved closer to home to be helpful, and of course, because I was 19 and smitten by a boy, to be closer to him too.

I wasn't entirely happy about my decision, but it felt like the right one. To this day, I still think it was the right one even though I have some regrets.

Fall of 2018 I went to my academic advisor at UT and told them I wanted out as soon as possible.

Thanks to my tenacity, I had never had a semester with less than 18 credit hours, so we fast-tracked my academic career at UT to finish in one single year.

Yeah, you read that right. I finished my 4-year degree a year early even after changing my major a handful of times.

But the hard work didn't stop there.

In hindsight, I compromised a lot from 2017 - 2022.

I moved back to my hometown which I swore I wouldn't go back to, and I started building a life there with the boy I'd fallen in love with.

Right out of college, in spring of 2019, I received a really great position at a local non-profit where I'd been positioned as the Director of Marketing, but unfortunately, that work environment was toxic and unhealthy. It possessed a lot of those conservative ideas that I hated and I ended up quitting after 3 months because I was having literal panic attacks in the bathroom.

When I quit that job, I was making more money on the side doing photography anyway, so I pursued it full force.

I was 20 and had no clue what I was doing but I registered an LLC and began to run a small business, all while simultaneously renovating an old farmhouse with my boyfriend of 3 years, and I was running myself straight into unhappiness but I was too naive and ignorant to notice let alone acknowledge it.


I've always loved love, and I've let it dictate a lot of my decisions throughout my life. Sometimes, love led me to be really stupid, and other times it led me to be insanely brave.

I remember sitting cross-legged on the counter in January of 2021, perched in my mom's kitchen sobbing to her telling her how angry I was at myself for trying to fit myself in a box to be accepted by the community, my partner, and even sometimes my family and friends. It took over 3 years to acknowledge how far I'd fallen from the path I wanted to pursue, and by then I felt like it was too late to become who I once dreamt of being.

I knew that I'd compromised everything I'd ever wanted for a life that seemed great on paper.

When I was 18 I wanted to be a journalist who lived in a big city on the west coast.

I was 22 almost 23 living in my same small town working weird jobs because what I wanted to do wasn't an option in a town with one stoplight. It also was never even an option to ask my partner to move away from the county we grew up in. It was settled, that house was our forever home and we'd build our lives around that.

I was decisions away from an engagement, marriage, and children and I knew that if I continued to compromise I'd be 30 and divorced with children and insane amounts of resentment towards everyone, but primarly myself.

So, by the grace of God, my boyfriend at the time was in the same boat. We ended our four year relationship a few weeks later and it was the most brutally bittersweet thing to ever happen to me. We left with a lot of love and respect for one another, but we knew we weren't the right fit.

To this day I respect the hell out of that guy, and even though we didn't know how to love each other right I am so excited to watch us find the people who can and will because we both deserve that.

(and I'm pretty sure I found it but that's a secret for another day ;) )

I cried a lot, and for a long time. I missed him and us and the life we dreamt about, but it was just because I was scared of the uncomfortability I was feeling in that season of singleness. I didn't catch onto that until I went through a lot of therapy and just allowed time to do its thang.

I spent the next 15 months mourning the loss of my 18 year old self and her dreams, just as much as I mourned the 22 year old version of myself too. By the time I turned 24 in January of 2022, I was healed from my heartbreak and more sure of myself than I'd ever been.

And Now...

After I took my time grieving, accepting, and healing I packed my car and moved across the country.

I left my family, my clients, my business, and my past behind me, taking what only fit in my jeep and my best friend of 20 years, Malorie.

We moved into a 2 bedroom apartment in downtown Denver, and life got even crazier, but we will touch on that at a later date.

For now, life's alright. It's not great, it's not bad, it just is.

And I'm thankful for the "is" and the people in it with me.

I am even more thankful for the story behind how I got here because it's a lot more than a stingy conservative hometown or a failed relationship. I mean, I don't see my therapist bi-weekly just because I wasn't well liked in high school or because a relationship cracked my heart.

I've been through a lot, some battles I brought onto myself and some I never asked for; I have been fighting for decades.

The biggest take away I want you to have from reading my backstory is just to embrace the change.

Allow yourself to grieve old versions of yourself, and be kind enough to acknowledge that if you're still unhappy with your life that you have the freedom to change it if you try.

My life now isn't about attaining a picture perfect plan.

There's no steps in place, no procedures to follow, it's just merely being present and persistent.

In this next chapter of my life, I'm shedding more skin than I've ever before and more importantly, I'm hell bent on breaking cycles, breaking norms, and breaking the chains that once tried to tie me down to something never meant for me to begin with.

If you made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read and be here with me. I'm excited to share more stories about bravery, courage, authenticity, and gentleness with you as we navigate a world that so viciously wants us to be repressed.

Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on the tea, and send me emails from time to time if something resonates within you.

Until then, xx.



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