The Satisfaction of Planning

What is it about the start of a new year or school year where the planners are displayed at every endcap in target that makes you lose track of the reason you are actually there? For me, I always buy a planner that is supposed to last two years, but once the new school year comes around I’m drawn to Home Goods’ “Back to School” collection where the desk organization supplies are all pretty and neat. Maybe it is just me, but the planners take up a whole side of the store; big ones that are monthly, small ones that are monthly/daily, and a whole shelf and a half more of endless patterned options that you didn’t know you needed. Seriously though, I can’t say no to a new planner for back to school.

This years’ choice of planner is a simple, perfect bind (an actual type of book bind), navy blue, planner that says “stay the course” with a boat wheel above it in metallic gold. It even has one of those stretchy pieces of fabric to keep it closed and the pages protected. Despite the cute design, I picked it because of the monthly overview and each week is broken down so that I can see each, individual day.

Planning is something I usually do 110% or not at all. The beginning of a busy school year is where I’m at my full force of planning. I don’t know why I end up losing my so-called planning spirit because there is something to be said about opening it up and seeing exactly what you have planned for each day. Even on my busiest days where it looks like I have time for nothing but work or schoolwork I am able to see that there is time that I can spend doing something for myself. I like to see my homework all written out so that I can check it off when I finish an assignment, and once I’m done seeing an empty list on my day is so satisfying.

I think that a lot of people either don’t want to plan because it can seem like a lot of work and overwhelming. Also, it can feel like you aren’t enjoying the moments that life has to offer. Some people might say that they have nothing to put on a calendar so why even bother. Don’t get me wrong, planning can feel like you’re wishing time away when you open it up to months down the road to add a vacation or appointment to the schedule, but for me, having a plan lets me get things done which opens up more time for myself, friends, and family later on.

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The famous Phoebe Buffay “pla” quote

Now, I wish I had the actual time and the money to create my own planner or buy a massive one with countless stickers to use as a key for what I’m doing each day but I just don’t. I wish that I had that much in me to plan, but the satisfaction for me is lost when I overdo it. The number one reason that I plan is to make sure that I’m on some sort of track for my goals. If I want to reach some type of goal or be successful I try to plan and make goals in my planner which keeps me a little bit accountable because when I open up my planner each day I see that note to myself to keep going.

If you don’t have a planner or you don’t even know where to start, take a trip to your local Target and buy one that fits your personality, or simply search Pinterest for easy ideas. There is no right or wrong way for planning, so go crazy or simply write down a goal. Whatever you do, make it your own.

Sincerely,

Krystal, With a K

 

 

 

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The Coffee Shop Hop

Wow! I simply cannot believe that I have been home for two months now. The time sure does fly by quickly. Since my last post I have been trying to be more of a “doer” and less of a watcher. The easiest way for me to be this doer type was to look to the things that inspired me in life. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I have quite the obsession with coffee, and now that I have been working at my local Starbucks for about a month I have become even more of a “coffee connoisseur.”

With that in mind, I decided that one way for me to get to know the city that is just 20 minutes away from my house was to spend more time there. The best way I knew to do this was look at all the attractions it offered. With one google search I noticed the numerous coffee shops in and surround Grand Rapids. It was then that I got the idea to try as many of these coffee shops as I possibly could this summer.

After buying a cheap journal, writing a list of coffee shops on the west side of the state, and telling my closest friends about my idea, I was ready to go. Since creating this journal I have been to a handful of the coffee shops on my list and I still have so many left. At each coffee shop I give the journal to the friend that accompanies me (I’ve yet to go alone yet) and they fill out an entry describing what they like or dislike about the visit.

So far, I’ve had a ton of fun going on these mini adventures that are within driving distance from my house. This has been a good way to stregthen some relationships with old friends and new ones, as well as giving me a space to work on homework for my summer classes. In reality, I know that I won’t be able to finish my list, but the idea of trying new places and different kinds of coffee is so fun.

If you want to be a doer for the rest of your summer, look to your favorite things for inspiration. Below are some pictures of or at the coffee shops that I’ve tried. Here’s to a summer filled with good coffee and better friends!

Sincerely,

Krystal, With a K

**Disclaimer: I have seen other people do this in my area, so when I thought of the idea I did look back to some of the places they went**

 

Sweet Summertime

The trees are full, the sun is out, and the bees are buzzing. The air is warm, the flowers are blooming, and everyone seems to have an extra “pep in their step”. It’s summer!

This seems to be the time of the year that everyone dreams of. Warm nights spent by the lake, the nightly routine of roasting marshmellows over campfires, weekend festivals, concerts, and so much more. As we say hello to the summer sun there is so much to do, for instance, hanging out with friends, cleaning up the yard, attending graduation parties, and working that dreaded summer job to pay for school.

With all the crazy excitement of seeing the friends I’ve missed, making money once again, trying to regain my summer “glow”, and soon start my summer classes it can feel like I have no time for anything and that I can slowly see my summer passing before my eyes. Now, I know what you may be thinking: “Krystal, you’ve had extra time off becasue you’ve been out of school for almost a month and what do you do anyway??.” Well, let me tell you that summer isn’t all fun and games anymore, and I am sure that every adult to read this would laugh and say “Welcome to the rest of your life!”

As of now I have been working two jobs, cleaning my aunt’s house along with random babysitting on the side, and trying to hangout with my family and friends as often as I can. I won’t lie and say that I haven’t been overwhelmed, because I have. With two jobs that don’t give me a consistent schedule (which is not their faults), friends who also work and have their own lives, and family who seem to hangout whenever you work, my life can sometimes seem like it is all over the place.

All these thoughts have been constantly running through my mind this past week, so I have completely decided to take my life day by day. This doesn’t mean that I don’t look to the future because this girl needs to have some things planned out; it’s just who I am. I decided that each full day off from work I will try to catch up with a friend or my family or maybe I will hide out and watch Netflix all day. My life is way to short to drown in something that doesn’t make me even the slightest bit happy and a teeny bit sane. I’ve also decided to try new things, places, and adventures to enjoy the free time that I do have this summer.

Even when life can seem like an endless, repetative movie where you seem to work the same job every day, for me, it is important to make the most of it all. You never know when your last day will come, and although that seems super morbid, we often see too many who leave us unexpectedly. So, let’s make the most of every “bad” day, every great day, and all the in betweens. Don’t be afraid to drop something or someone who doens’t make or bring you a little bit of happiness each day, and don’t be afraid to be utterly and completely yourself. Do something for yourself and someone else every day. Overall, just find your happy and follow it.

Here’s to a summer full of love, happiness, adventure, and the people who help you achieve all three!

“Nights when we kept dancing, changing all our plans, and making every day a holiday” -Onerepublic

Sincerely,

Krystal, with a K

Dear College Friends

Dear College Friends,

At this time last year I had no idea you even existed. I had no idea that you living just a few doors down from me would be a lifesaver. I had no idea that we would become friends over the mutual hate of a class, and that even though we don’t see eachother in class every single day doesn’t mean we aren’t friends. I had no idea that you would push me out of my comfort zone to meet new people and try new things.

This isn’t high school anymore, and you guys quickly helped me realize that we need to grow up a little, meet new people, and learn something new about ourselves.

I won’t lie, some of my best friends here at college probably have no clue that they mean so much to me and others didn’t necessarily like me at first. Being placed on the floor that I was in the dorms and the class sections I got into full-heartedly reinforces my belief in the fact that everything happens for a reason. I truly believe that the people I have meet and bonded so well with were put into my life each for a different, but very specific reason.

The people on my floor have taught me so much about myself, the person I strive to be, they’ve challenged me to think outside myself, and more. The people who have lived with me or right next to me have pushed me to be myself because there isn’t anything better than being comfortable with the things you do and the person you are. Each personality on my floor is just that; a big personality. I feel lucky to know people who are so unique and who unwillingly deal with me every day. It is crazy to me how everyone on my floor is so different from me in the facts of where we came from and how we were raised, yet we are all so similar that it just kind of works. I know that we will never have another “Dungeon” like this again, but I feel overwhelmingly blessed to have been put in this room, with the roommates that put up with me, and the neighbors that became my best friends. I never knew that the first time I meet them, less than a year later my heart would ache at the thought of leaving them for the summer.

The people who I consider friends in my classes have helped me to branch out in different ways. Before college, I thought I was such a people person because I could talk to anyone about almost everything. Once I started to attend college classes I felt like a voice lost in the a sea of other voices, so I talked way less in classes and kind of thought that I wasn’t as good at making friends as I thought I was. This all changed when I was put into groups in certain classes (thank you professors) or I sat next to the same person everyday in certain lectures. I am so thankful for the implied “unassigned assigned seats” rule because without that I don’t think I would have made some of the friends that I have. It’s funny that just by sitting in the same seat everyday I found people who have so much in common with me. The people in my classes may not know that they had such an impact on my first year but I think that the only reason I can remeber certain classes is because of these people.

To all the others who happened to stumble into my life; whether it be through a mutual friend or by my pure luck, thank you for the endless laughs and adventures. I feel sad knowing that I have to part with the people I meet and came to love in the past couple of weeks, but I have faith that we will stay connected. I am lucky to live near so many of my new friends, and I hope we can hangout at some point this summer.

I really am sad to leave all these people I once called strangers, and I don’t know what it will be like not seeing them everyday. I do know that we live in a generation where those who are important to you can and have the abilities to keep in touch, and I am confident in the fact that I will stay in touch with the ones who took the time to get to know me and love me during this first year.

Thanks for everything,

Krystal, With a K

 

 

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Spring Break 2017- Texas!

Although I have been back from my spring break for almost a month now, one of my goals was to share my love for the state of Texas with all of you, so here it is!

My dad’s brother lives about an hour outside of Houston in The Woodlands, Texas. My aunt and my cousin, who is in between my sister and I, also live there. It just so happens that all three of us ended up having the same exact spring break for the first time ever, so we definitely wanted to see eachother.

When I describe The Woodlands to people I usually describe it as a bubble. This is mostly because there is a clear difference when you cross over the town’s lines into another. I have visited Texas multiple times now, so I love to go and see what has changed since the previous time that I have been there, hangout with my family, and find new things to like about Texas.

When I went to Texas last year we road tripped to a gas station in Madisonville called Buc-ee’s. Now, you are problably wondering why we would make the drive to a gas station but this is not your regular gas station. They make their own foods there, have a lot of tourist shopping, as well as the gas station pumps. The trip to Buc-ee’s includes stomping to see the Sam Houston statue and shopping at an upscale retro feeling flea market type of store called Annette’s Touch of Class. Since we made this trip without my sister last year we wanted my sister to experience more of Texas, so we took a morning to show her the infamous gas station everyone talks about.

One opportunity that I took advantage of this year was attending the Houston Rodeo at NRG stadium. I may be from a small town in Michigan  where we go to the fair, have too many corn fields, and other things people consider to be country, but nothing could have ever prepared me for the Houston Rodeo. This was an all-day affair. We started around 11:30 with shopping the vendors that sold anything and everything from hand-made jewlery to official cowboy hats. We also walked around to see the animals and got to see chickens hatch. After that, we ventured outside to the food area where there were various tents full of any kind of fair food you could think of. I ate a funnel cake and a footlong corn dog, so you could say I was in heaven. After eating we went to the carnival, and this wasn’t just any old carnival. There where four ferris wheels, a section dedicated to games, and more carnival rides in one place than I had ever seen in my whole life. We spent a good three to four hours there before making our way to the actual rodeo part inside the stadium. This was legit; bull riding, cattle roping, and way more. The opening ceremonies were so extravagent that they took about 15 minutes. After the official rodeo there is always a concert which we did not stay for because Old Dominion, who was supposed to play, was replaced because they had a family emergency to attend to. Overall, we did not leave until almost 9:30, which would have been later if we went to the concert too. I 100% recommend the Houston Rodeo for anyone who has nothing to do and money to blow in the beginning of March.

Other than the main event of the Houston Rodeo, we spent a lot of time relaxing in the hottub, eating good food, and enjoying eachothers’ company. We did spend some time shopping because there are some shops, like Alex and Ani, that my sister and I don’t have up north, and because who doesn’t love shopping?

One thing that we usually do when I visit is drive around looking at the different styles of homes. They are all very upscale looking and have a large amount of character, in my opinion. Anyone who knows me knows that I love houses, and although my life’s goal doesn’t include the biggest, coolest house (although what would be wrong with putting that on the dream  list?) I do love to get ideas for when I can even think about a home (so I’m talking many years need to go by, like I need to pay for college first).

Texas is not a normal destination for college spring breakers, but I am so glad that I made the trip. I love seeing my family, and I love a relaxing week I hope that you guys can make it to Houston during the Rodeo at some point; it is a must see!

-Krystal, With a K


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Drop Everything and Go

The kind of person that I strive to be is the kind that can have a fixed schedule and follow their daily routines, yet if given the chance I would drop everything and find that next adventure. A couple of weeks ago, I was this person.

As I am sure many of you have been annoyed by or noticed, I am obsessed with not only country music, but also singer/songwriter Thomas Rhett. I had the chance to see him when he performed alongside another favorite of mine, Brett Eldrege, in 2015 for the Suits and Boots Tour. It was from then on that I decided I love country music and especially Thomas Rhett.

When Rhett announced his first ever headline tour in September I decided that I had to go. My roommate and I joked about it for months saying even though we have no money and the tickets are way out of our price range we will make it work. We continued to blast our favorite songs by him in my car and live like we were about to go to Thomas Rhett when he finally came back to Michigan.

When February (the month of the concert) rolled around we still had no tickets and whenever we looked at the prices they got more and more expensive. Our dreams of jamming in person to his new album were slowly being derailed, but never the less, I kept looking. For some reason I knew that this would happen, I just had to figure out how.

Fast forward to the night before the concert. My best friend knows me so well that when someone posted on his university facebook page about selling tickets he sent the post to me. When I told him to ask this girl about the tickets he thought I was crazy but he still contacted the girl. As it turns out, my roommate and I got the tickets, and we bought them about $100 less than they were being sold for online!

Excited doesn’t even begin to describe what we felt that day. We went to all our classes that Thursday in anticipation of the concert at night. After my last class we quickly grabbed what we needed and made our way to Saginaw for the first night of the Home Team Tour.

Once we got to the venue, we still couldn’t believe we had gotten the tickets and that we were actually there. After we found our seats at the very back of the floor in the small arena, our hearts were racing. A little bit into the concert the people sitting around us got up, left, and never came back, so my roommate and I were alone in a row that should have been filled with people.

The opening acts were great, but from the moment Thomas Rhett came out on that stage we were jumping up and down, dancing all around, and breathless from screaming the lyrics to our favorite songs. We were having a blast, and I really kept thinking that my life couldn’t get better than this. Oh boy, how I was wrong!

Not even 45 minutes into a night filled with pure joy, Thomas Rhett moved from the stage to a small square stage at end of the arena. We were literally less than 2 feet from him. These seats that were originally out of our price range, then were considered to be “bad” floor seats, eventually turning into front row tickets. My heart was so full, and I realized that life is all about the moments that ignite a fire in your soul.

The moral of this long, drawn out story is that sometimes it’s okay to be crazy and drop everything for something that makes your heart beat so fast you feel like you might die of happiness. Take chances and go see your favorite artist in concert, or drop everything to go visit the people you love. No matter what makes you happy, it’s okay to forget your worries and responsibilites for a while and fill your heart to the brim.

Sincerely,

Krystal, With a K

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Where I Am

I feel like I should let anyone who reads my blog know where I am at in case they wonder why I haven’t posted too frequently lately.

I am currently going into my fifth week of my second semester as a college freshman. I have made a step towards where I want to go in this crazy life by choosing a major that I believe will suit me best throughout all that I want to do. The major I chose is called Integrative Public Relations or IPR. It is a big fancy title for someone who doesn’t want to spend their life as strictly a journalist or someone in only public relations. The degree requires a lot of communication, broadcasting, journalism types of classes and more. I am not sure if I will minor in anything, yet their is always a possibility to minor in something to aid with my major.

The classes that I am taking this semester are still mostly classes that the univeristy requires I have to graduate. Although it may sound as though the required classes are still easier, you are wrong. I got to choose some of them in hopes that they were a double wammy and count towards my major. My current class schedule is a lot of writing. I have an English class where we write a lot of research type papers, a writing for the mass media which is exactly what it sounds like, a journalism class where we discuss controversial issues then write, and a class about enviornmental science that shouldn’t need writing but my luck we have papers due. My only saving grace is that my macroeconomics class is a boring, regular, lecture based class where you take notes then quizzes.

Basically, I am writing a lot. Aside from my classes I write for my university’s online magazine, called Grand Central Magazine, where I write for the Student Lifestyle section. The stories are about what is going on around campus, and is out of my comfort zone of writing. I interview people, and my writing is like a regular feature story you would read online.

Along with Grand Central, I just applied to write for the Odyssey at Central Michigan University. The Odyssey is something that I am sure most people have read, and it is more like a blog. My first post has just been uploaded, and the stories I have started writing are my style and I am enjoying it a lot. I really hope it works out.

So, that is where I am at mostly. My spring break is coming up in the next month so I really hope I have time to write before then beause I do have some great ideas. I am sorry if I don’t update more, not that too many people read this. If you want, check out my articles on the other sites, they are different than what I write here, but I know that they will be great to help me get to where I am going in life.

-Krystal, With a K

P.s. It would mean so much to me if ya’ll checked out my first post on the Odyssey!

 

For the Love of Football

If any of you know me personally or have seen any of my posts on any form of social media then you would know that I love football. Not only do I love football, I love the Green Bay Packers. I had already enjoyed college football with my mom and grandpa, but when my stepdad moved in he introduced me to a whole other culture of football.

Now, most people will argue that college football is where it’s at. They will say that students play for the love and not for the fortune and fame like professional football players do. I don’t think that they are wrong, and I am not saying that I love one more than the other. What I will say is that I get really into watching NFL because of the longer seasons and the excitment of the playoffs.

As playoffs are upon us, the Packers have made it to another NFC title game following their nail biting win over Dallas. I had the opportunity to visit the home of the Packers for their first playoff game of the season against the New York Giants in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

My first visit to Lambeu field was an experience I will never forget. I learned so much about the team I love, where they come from, and more about my stepdad. I feel so lucky to have gotten to experience this with him. He used to live there so we spent the evening prior to the game cruising around the cool little town and exploring Lambeu field. I learned so much from him about the people that live there through his memories and our excursion around the Bay. To me, one of the best parts of the trip was doing the exploring and seeing what makes this city more than just football.

One thing I will suggest to anyone who visits the city of Green Bay, whether you are a fan or not, is to go on the tour at Lambeu. I learned so much from a tour guide who solely was there to help people learn more about one of the oldest teams in the franchise. Not only doy you learn facts about the Packers, you also learn more about the NFL in genreal and the original teams. Aside from that, you get to see a box seat and even go onto the field! I was even lucky enough to see Mike McCarthy (head coach) in person while we were about to go out onto the field, and that is something I will never forget.

I have to say that it was just insane to learn more about the history of a team I love so much. I don’t live in Wisconsin, so I get a lot of crap for being a Packers fan. This trip solidified my love for this team. No matter who you root for in the NFL I will tell you to make the trip to Green Bay even if for a day. Personally, I hope to go visit some other historical stadiums in the future and learn more about the sport I love to watch.

Here is a small list of things I recommend you do if you ever visit:

  1. Eat at Krolls across from the stadium
  2. Take a tour of the stadium
  3. Go into the Packers pro shop (even if you just look)
  4. Drive into the city part of Green Bay
  5. Drive around Titletown district
  6. Take lots of pictures!

 

-Krystal, With a K

New Year, New Goals!

Every New Year my goals tend to be the same whether that includes losing some weight, trying to overall be healthier, be a better friend/sibling/daughter, or any other New Year’s resolution that most people have. This year I have found myself in the same list of resolutions. Since going to college I have put on a little bit of the so-called “Freshman 15”, so of course being healhtier and losing weight is on my list. Also, since I will return to school I want to be a better person to those I love or maybe don’t even know.

I know that it is already January 4th, but resolutions can begin at any time as long as you start them and consciously try to make a change.

I am sick of looking at the same list and feeling trapped in the couple things I don’t always feel are easy to change. When I looked at the items on my list this year, I decided that I need some new goals. Of course I took to Pinterest where there are so many resolution ideas that I am above overwhelmed.

Instead of following one blogger’s specific list or taking a pin and trying to copy it completely, I decided to take goals that seemed to fit into my lifestyle. The goals that I found and put into a single list will, for the most part, confuse you, so let me explain.

In the end my list sounds a little like this:

  1. Get more sleep
  2. Drink more water (preferably amount needed in a day)
  3. Excersize more regularly
  4. Don’t always say the first thing that comes to your mind when talking to others
  5. Be conscious in what you put in your body
  6. Take more time to get to know myself
  7. Be more open-minded
  8. Spread more love
  9. Study more consistenly
  10. Choose happiness

Okay, so that was a lengthy list, and the thought of me finishing them all 100% isn’t completely likely. What is great about all of the goals I have are that they fit into what my previous goals were. By sleeping more, excercising more regularly, thinking about what I eat, and drinking more water I will get closer to the weight I want and being overall healthier. The remainding goals fit into becoming a better person.

Now, you may be thinking that I contradicted my whole entry because my goals are broken down versions of my original goals. I’m telling you, THAT IS THE POINT. By breaking down my goals into more in depth ways to make myself better, I have a place to start!

I hope that this entry helps you to break down your goals that seem impossible. Remember that you have 365 days (okay a little less than that now) to try and make some changes. You will fail, and thats the beauty of New Year’s goals or any goals: you have a fresh start every day that you wake up.

Go kick butt, and prove to the world and the year 2017 that your goals weren’t useless! Goodluck!

-Krystal, With a K

 

 

 

(My) 2016 in Review

Hello all! I hope that everybody enjoyed their holidays, and that they got everything they wished for! As for me, I got my wisdom teeth out three days before Christmas, so I spent the holiday in pain although I was surrouned by my favorite people; my family.

As with every year, once you make it to Christmas, the rest of the days fly by and it isn’t too long before everyone is boasting about how 2017 will be their year. I like to take the last few days of the year to chill out, enjoy my family and friends, and reflect on the year I had. Originally, I planned to get this out before the end of the year, but my procrastination got the better half of me.

I have been through and done a lot this past year, so I thought I would write an entry about things I have learned and where I hope the lessons will lead me.

I want to first say that I went into 2016 feeling better than ever because I knew I was only a couple months away from finishing high school. It was a little bittersweet for me at the time and looking back on it because everything I did was most likely the last of it. I tried not to wish away the year, but honestly the last months of highschool flew by. By the time May hit (graduation month) I had such a busy schedule. I went to my cousin’s wedding out of town, watched my dad retire from 30 years of military service (it’s a huge deal), and then attend my own graduation, and my graduation party. I had a really busy last month of high school. I was sad to see it go, yet I was hopeful for what my future held.

Once June hit I was working 2 jobs, planning vacations and beach days, and trying to spend every last waking moment with the people I love. It was a busy summer to say the least. I blogged about most of my trips, so I won’t bore you with those details again. I loved summer. I really had to manage time between my family, friends, and work while gearinng up for college. As the last days of summer began to wind down, I started to get emotional. It was the first time that I was going to have to work for the relationships that I wanted to keep, and it was very difficult for me at some points to even say goodbye. In the end, I had to leave no mater what, so I had to say my goodbyes while trying my best to stay in touch.

By the end of August I was moved into Central Michigan University. The first week before classes began I attended CMU’s “Leadership Safari”. It was a great way for me to meet many new people, learn a lot of leadership skills, and get aquainted with my new home. It began with early mornings, long days, and even later nights. My first semster was all about new beginnigs while learning the “ways” of college. Let me tell you, it was not the easiest thing that I’ve ever done, but I met some awesome people who helped me along the way. At the end of the semester, it was weird to say goodbye to people that I had spent almost everyday with to come home to old friends.

Christams vacation was the end to my year. I think that I have spent most of my time on the couch, doing nothing. I stayed in touch with some friends but not all. I definitley made some mistakes this year that I am not proud of, yet there is a new beginning after each new day to make things right and make a change. As with each new day there are new years to make new mistakes and chances to grow from them.

2016 was a really big year for me. It was filled with ups and downs like most years. I am confident entering 2017, and I am hopeful for what the year will hold for me and my loved ones. Cheers to 2016; hello 2017!

-Krystal, With a K