Sunday, October 6, 2013


After some time away, I've decided to quit blogging here and move to another URL. This space has served its purpose and I am ready to move somewhere new. Somewhere with an easier (and catchier) URL. I hope you'll come with me.
xoxo KT
The Barbella

Sunday, February 17, 2013

6 years ago...

My head is filled with a steady flow of thoughts and emotions, they've been dancing around waiting for me to eject them onto this blog, yet I still sit here unsure of what to say. Or more importantly, where to start. So I guess I'll start at the beginning, or maybe even a little before.

Fall of 2006, I was only 20. I was living in Provo, Utah which is somewhere I had never expected to live. I had jut graduated from Paul Mitchell The School and was itching to get out and see the world. The question was, "where?" While in school I had tried to work my connections so that I would leave school with a job but ended up working for a salon distributor and my job was a joke. That I don't regret, because that mind numbing job kept me in the industry while easing me into only working 40 hours a week, instead of the 50 I worked before on top of another 20 of school. With time to kill I built what would turn into one of the most important relationships of my life, because that is when Peri and I became best friends. Eventually I took a job at a salon in Colorado and somehow I convinced Peri to come with me. And that's where this journey really began.

February 17th, 2007. Six years ago today. Peri and I pulled into the Mile High to have an adventure, and an adventure it's been. I have never felt so sure about something as I did coming to Denver. The truth is, I left a boy in Utah, and assumed I was coming here to find "the one." When Peri met someone right away, it was hard for me. I was alone in a new city where I hadn't made any friends yet. She was always off doing fun things with her boyfriend, and I was at home. That was one of the loneliest times of my life, but I am grateful for that time now. That's when I joined a gym, got serious about working out, and forced myself to be social. Eventually they got married, and although it was a really hard time for me, it opened room for a new roommate who we all know turned out to be my "soul mate" Victoria.

I came to Denver for a handful of reasons. I wanted to get out of Utah, I wanted an adventure, I wanted to be independent, I wanted to work in a fancy salon, and I wanted to fall in love. And here I am six years later and I can honestly say, that is exactly what happened. After all of this time being away and then spending a week on a cruise where the majority of our group came from Utah, I realize how glad I am I got away. The culture just wasn't for me, and laid back Colorado seems to suit me much better. Exploring this state and traveling all over since I have moved, what an adventure. I have proved that I can do just about anything on my own. I love working for Salon Foushee from my coworkers to my clients. And I am here to tell you that I have fallen head-over-heels, madly, deeply, in love.

Don't worry, you didn't miss anything. I'm just as single, if not more, than the day I moved here. But indeed I am in love with this city. I'm in love with the mountains, even though they are far in the distance and don't actually help me when I'm lost. I'm in love with the trees that are everywhere and change from green, to fiery shades or orange and gold, to branchy silhouettes. I'm in love with the parks in the morning that are still and calm, yet always filled with runners or people walking their dogs. I am in love with the fact that it is socially acceptable to wear my workout clothes almost anywhere. I am in love with sunny Denver skies, even after the greyest winter storm. I am in love with the hippies that make it easy for me to eat clean at local restaurants. I'm in love with roads full of Suburu's and too many bumper stickers. I am in love with Colfax Ave studded with bums, dive bars, and concert venues. I'm in love with Red Rocks Amphitheater, that takes my breath away every time I visit. But most importantly, I'm in love with who I have become a mile high in the sky.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


One day I will dust off my broken lap top so I can figure out how to resize photos and update about the magical week which was spent on a Caribbean cruise. Amazing people met, new places discovered, lessons learned, stories told, and complete and udder relaxation that never knew the time of day. Bliss.

While I'm a procrastinator, I am also a worrier, which takes away the fun of not doing what you should be doing. I couldn't have predicted how much I would need a week like that when I booked the trip, a week to clear my head and put off coming back to so many changes. I hate change. It's so unpredictable and it makes me feel vulnerable. One of my clients told me that when you are having a hard time with change, you should eat a lot of "wilty and pliable" foods like lettuce. Bring on the salad.

When did I grow into such a routine stick in the mud? What happened to the days when I used to work 8 hrs a day, go to school 4 hours a night, and still manage to hit 80's with Jacq or Adam? Watch movies at the Barnacle with Kryle and Cameron? Or hit Chili's with my managers after working weekends at my extra job?

February 2007, I was 20 years old and boy was I naive. Thank goodness. Without a care or a clue, I loaded up my car and moved to Denver. Looking back I can't believe no one tried to talk me out of it, but I have always been stubborn so I don't really blame them. A new city was exciting but scary. I had a job, and by April I had my BFF, Peri, to join me in my new venture. We worked together, lived together, played together, and everything in between. But she instantly met a boy, fell in love, got married, and down the road had Nolan. In pursuit of finding a new roommate, I browsed Craigslist and that's where I met Victoria.

How scary can a stranger from a Craigslist ad be? I was broke and desperate, so I decided to be risky (rare for me) and live with this stranger who hailed from a tiny town in Idaho settled by my own ancestors. From the beginning living together just worked. I'm sure I'm not easy to live with, but it worked for us. We shared a love for make-up, mushrooms and olives, and music. She felt like a sister that I had never met, someone that I just needed in my life. When our lease was up we found a new apartment, and three years later I'm sitting in the same living room that we could actually both agree upon. I think it's in this place that I have learned to love routine.

Next week I'll celebrate 6 years here in the Mile High. Most days are similar from my gym schedule to what I eat for breakfast(mmmm....bacon). Why routine? My question is, why change? I like my gym with familiar faces. I love my job where I get to work alongside amazing coworkers and more importantly, Peri. I love my apartment with tons of closets, a pool, a handful of parks within running distance, and Victoria. How lucky I have been to see two of my best friends on an almost daily basis for so long. But I guess there are new things on the horizon, because although I'm still sitting on a couch that I bought with Peri, in an apartment that I've lived in all these years with my "soul mate", everything is different.

Shortly after Christmas, Peri told me that her husband had accepted a job promotion that would move them back to Utah. I begged her to stay. And I cried. I've never needed my best friend more than I do right now, and now she's gone. Dramatic? Yes, but so true.

Back in September just as I was so excited to be leaving my 25th year of life behind, Victoria sat me down and broke some news that meant everything would change. "Do you have any idea what's going on?", she asked.. Silence. Tears. Then the news. "I'm pregnant." Shit.

What happened between then and now isn't really important anymore but there were some rough days. Although I'm not the one growing a baby inside me, or in any way responsible for it getting there, it still had a pretty big effect on me. The relationship, the morning sickness, the possibility of living with the baby.. Everything always just so up in the air. And finally, the proposal. And one month later, the wedding.

And now I'm alone.

From here, there's so much room for change. Trying to remember that my best adventures were sparked by change.

"Growth means change and change involves risks, stepping from the known to the unknown."

Monday, January 14, 2013


It's 5 degrees outside. Brrr! I have 4.5 days of work and I am outta here! In the midst of some stress going on, I decided to go on a cruise to the Caribbean. 7 days at sea, plus a little time in Miami. Can't wait to see some sunshine and new faces. Here's what the weather was like this afternoon.

As much as I am looking forward to vacation, I will be coming home to some pretty major changes. One of them is that 4 days after I come home, these kids are getting married.

Victoria and I have lived together for over 4 years and now this handsome guy is taking her away. Rude, huh? I guess I just can't compete with a face like that.

It is going to be hard to say goodbye to my apartment, that has been my home for 3 years. I've been frantically searching for an apartment, while trying to get rid of as much stuff as possible since I will likely be living somewhere much smaller. Last night I sorted through my shoes and created this nice little pile.

I was impressed that I was able to figure out which shoes belonged together, since I have 4 pair that are identical. To think of the places these have been, the memories created, the tears cried, the conversations shared, the races completed. Each pair of these shoes holds much more meaning than my medals.. But they also take up MUCH more space. And so, I am donating them to be recycled. Bittersweet.

Friday, January 4, 2013

An award

This is a little late, but I have some catching up to do. Last month we had our Salon Foushee Christmas party. Now that we have two locations that are both full service salon and spas, there are a lot of us. We now have 67 employees! With dates we had 92 people in attendance. Holy cow! We are incredibly blessed to have an amazing place to work with amazing support from one another. We are about making people not just look beautiful, but FEEL beautiful,

Next month I will have been at SF for 6 years. That completely blows my mind. The first few years were tough, which is normal in our industry. But honestly, I would say that my career really picked up when I found running. All of a sudden I had a new confidence, drive, and an overall better attitude that I know showed when I was with guests. 2012 had some really rough moments at first, and then I finally got a grip on things and once again, it showed at work. I've come to really find the passion in my career and love making my guests feel their best. I've been working my buns off, my schedule is packed, and I am happy behind the chair.

At our Christmas party, I was extremely honored (and surprised) to be awarded Hairstylist Of The Year. What a perfect way to close 2012. One thing that I thought was neat is that the Facebook photo I uploaded got over 200 likes! When I ran my marathon in 2011 I did not get anywhere near that kind of support. It was a good reminder of what is actually important in this life, and a great reiteration that I am doing what's right for me, where it's right for me.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals for 2013

Where does the time go? I feel like I was just summarizing 2011. This past year has less "mile markers" than the previous, but I feel like the year was productive in most areas of my life. Some highlights were visiting London, my best friend having sweet Nolan, my youngest brother getting married, and being awarded Hairdresser of the Year at Salon Foushee. I didn't run a lot of races, but I did fall in love with running outside. My strength has increased immensely, and so has my flexibility.

I've been thinking of a few things I would like to work onion the upcoming 12 months, although I am pretty good about setting and reaching goals throughout the year. Lately I feel like my life is lacking some direction, so while I would love to just take things as they come, I personally do better when I pave my own path. The common denominator with most of what I thought about is "less."

Swear less- ten years ago I never would have dreamt that this would be something I would feel needed working on. It's not that I swear a lot, but more than I would like. I blame it on road rage mostly, I probably say a majority of these words while behind the wheel. But times are changing and I feel like we're all a lot more accepting of "foul" language which has led to me dropping too many of these words In casual conversation.

Shop less- I like shopping, and I probably like it even more than having what I buy. There's thrill in getting a good deal. Luckily, I don't have many bills, no debt, and make more money than I have to spend every month. But lately I find that I use shopping to remedy loneliness which is obviously not healthy. I don't need "stuff", so I need to quit buying it.

Have less- I have too many clothes. And shoes. And too much shampoo and hair product. Too many cords and boxes full of things I don't know what to do with. I'm not talking hoarder status, just more than I need for myself in my small apartment. I'm going to dedicate some time at least once a week to minimize.

Focus on health and fitness vs. diet and exercise- of course, we all have one of these, right? This year I want to focus on the good instead of the bad. Eating nutrient dense food because it's good for me. Eating when I'm hungry. Establishing a healthy relationship with food for the first time in my life. Working out with purpose to increase strength and agility, to protect my bones, to build muscle definition instead of just worrying about burning calories. Maybe this is the norm for some people, but it's a whole new approach for me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lifting Heavy + Rest Days

For awhile now, my coach has been trying to get me to do the box's weightlifting program. I went back and forth for awhile. I was race training. But I wanted to be stronger. I wanted to look sculpted. I didn't want to get bulky. No cardio? How was I ever going to lose weight on that regimen? After wrestling with myself for awhile, I decided to trust my coach and go for it. Because I didn't want to increase my CrossFit membership days, I've been doing his program at my regular gym. It turns out there's this whole other part of my gym that I never even knew about. It's where the people with muscles hang out, the free weights area.

Really, it's simple. Which is surprising, because for years I never really lifted weights because I didn't know what to do. Turns out you don't have to know how to do a lot of different stuff, just some stuff that uses more than one muscle group. Tuesdays is back squat, dead lift, and bench press. Or in Internet language, #getlow #pickthatshitup #pushitrealgood. Thursdays is front squat, press(sometimes into push press), and power cleans. I do warm up sets (especially for squats because my flexibility is terrible) find my working weight for a set of 5, then do it 3 times. Sometimes on sets two and three, it gets too heavy and I can only do two or even one. That's okay, because that means I am lifting HEAVY. Plus, even though I won't do this circuit for an entire week, I can ALWAYS go heavier the next week. That's progress folks. What's crazy, is I am lifting heavy weights, doing very little cardio, and not only am I not gaining weight but I am getting stronger.. not bulkier. Plus I get to hang out with the boys instead of watching the waifs peddle away on the elliptical. So good.

Since I started this program my schedule has been something like this. CrossFit on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. Weightlifting Tuesday and Thursday. Rest day on Saturday. Sundays I run what ever distance I want at whatever pace I want. I usually run 1-2 miles every day just to keep up my conditioning and loosen up my body before lifting. No watch to keep my pace, just through my neighborhood enjoying the run. I love that. No pressure, just sheer running goodness. However, it turns out that my body actually needs to repair after all of this stuff. When I was running I was good with just a rest day and even then would do more of an "active recovery day." A couple of weeks ago I was pretty beat up and my coach pointed out that I wasn't "over training" but "under recovering." So I got some more sleep and actually rested. World of a difference.

One of my favorite pages to follow on the bookface is Lift Big Eat Big. Recently they posted a Q&A:

Q. What do you guys do for active recovery on rest days?

A. We don't do active recovery on our rest days. We rest, eat, sleep, hang out with family and friends on our rest days. If you are lifting 4-5 times a week and doing 2 active recovery days on top of that, that means you are working out 6-7 times a week. Active recovery is not resting, it is just an excuse to feed your exercise addiction."


Because of the nature of their followers, this didn't seem to upset very many people. It didn't upset me at all either, although I am sure that if it was posted on other pages would really raise some hell. But the thing is, I finally freaking get it. More isn't always more. And I loved the part about hanging out with friends and family. How often do we turn down plans because we "need" to work out? Get out and play, sleep in, stretch, go for a walk, eat, and relax. Now that is advice worth taking.