With Gratitude

For Dog’s Best Friend | WHOWAGWEAR™

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to post anything on this blog, and I’ve missed you all terribly!

The truth is, I’ve been working really hard on creating something extremely personal and very special to me, my business partner, and maybe to many of you…I have launched a new apparel company called WHOWAGWEAR™ whose mission is to make spirits smile, spread love + awareness, and transform lives in a positive way. In short, we provide stylish, customized apparel for the dog-loving community. We stand for #apparelwithpurpose and #consciouscommerce, supporting charitable + socially responsible initiatives. Please have a look at our shopable online lookbook to see what we’re all about…. (more…)

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Summertime | A Look Back

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Beachin

I always hesitate to see summer bid adieu. But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end?  At least we have the next one to look forward to!!!

I indefinitely took more photos this summer than I have in an entire year span – no joke – which says a lot because my friends and colleagues know that I’m always taking photos no matter the season. It’s either they want me to “put the camera down” lol, or “take a picture.” But being able to look back at all these moments makes me very happy.  Photography is literally physical therapy for me and it makes me open my eyes and heart that much more, it makes me better.  Not in the sense that I get better and better at taking pics, as in it is a vehicle for allowing me to experience (I know others would assume the opposite), but it’s how I see and feel the moment; it’s visceral, playful, creative, expressive, internal, external, eternal, it’s one of my favorite hobbies no matter how crap or non-crap I am at it?  Anyways, there is no way to share every single moment, nor would I subject you to THAT many pics, so I picked 20 at random  to share. I find it fitting, as that is the perfect word to round up my summer, R A N D O M – and I loved it.  So here’s my arbitrary look back, and enthusiastic cheers to what’s ahead…

THANK YOU to those who let me be weird and do my own thing. And THANK YOU to those who find it interesting enough to look at.

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Cotton Candy Dream

Cotton Candy Dream.

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Curly Hair Don't Care

Curly Hair Don’t Care.

Kristin Aytona Summer Boogie

Say up jump the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat.

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Bling Ring

A summer night glass of wine is a girl’s best friend (and accessory lol).

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Shrimp Roll

Charleston, Charleston Made in South Carolina.

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Mirror Shopping

Creeping at the Paul Smith store.  Sunnies on my mind.

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Cadillac

No caption necessary.

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Beach Dog

🙂

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Street Fair

Gotta love the NYC Street Fairs…and #TRUTH.  This is a perfect segue into the following…

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Flagging

Trust me, it got weirder.

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Water Balloons

That day I discovered my dog LOVES water balloons.

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap No Filter

#Nofilter.

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Beachside Bball

Again, #Nofilter.

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Charleston She Bangs

Stylin’.

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Calienteness

Calienteness.

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Maid Of Honor

Late night Maid of Honor duties.

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Palm Trees

🙂

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Skype Write

Empire Summer State of Mind (with Manuela Rana).

Kristin Aytona Summer Recap Shoefie Painting

Dearest Christian.

All imagery © Kristin Aytona

The Simple Things

Kristin Aytona Rainbow copy

 

I woke up this morning and found the teeny teeny teeny tiniest rainbow bouncing off a vase that sits next to my window sill.  I must have spent ages staring at it.  And then taking pictures of it (of course).  My friend got so bored of watching me that she literally left the building (I kid I kid – she did have to run and do work stuff, although she knows how silent I get when I’m in this bubble).  Anyways, I stared some more.  And then some more.  The little things.  The simple things.  They stop me in my tracks and time stands still.  We tend to overlook these things especially living in NYC, but I’ll tell you what — the secret to staying sane amidst all the activity in this city is to stop and enjoy the little things (whatever that personally means to you).  I’m constantly reminded of this by my dog.  There are 2 types of walks I can have with him.  One where I am in a rush and I have to take him out and we have just a window of time and my mind is already on the next thing I/we have to do.  And there is the kind where I am completely present with him, observing his every move, watching the wheels turn in his head as he wags his tail with every bounce in his step.  He is such a curious little dog, he loves to stop, discover, and take his time with every inch and corner, finding “little rainbows” every where he looks.  Even when we’re just chilling at home the littlest things get him excited or keep him completely content, it’s adorable and makes my heart melt.

 

Kristin Aytona Ninja 1

Kristin Aytona Ninja 2a

Kristin Aytona Ninja 3

Kristin Aytona Ninja 4

I’m not really sure there is a ground breaking point to this blog post at all.  It’s a simple post, really.  Maybe that’s why I felt compelled to stop and share it.

Happy Friday, everyone.

 

{Dedicated to my cousin Kathleen.}

 

 

#SisterSister

How fitting.  It just so happens to be Sister’s Day today, and without knowing it, my older sister and I have been texting each other all morning these ridiculous pictures of ourselves when we were younger for a good laugh (her being in Maryland, me in NYC).

They are going to kill me for posting these pics, but whatevs.  Little sisters do adorably annoying things like that to show their love, right?!

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Clearly by the look on my face I have no clue what’s going on.  Kinda how my dog looks at me sometimes.

 

At Our Aunts

At our aunt’s house (that’s my cousin far left – she will hate this too ;))

 

Philippines

In the Philippines on a sabbatical with the whole fam.  I’m talking grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

 

Anyways lol,  here is a quick list of ten reasons why my older sisters are THE BEST!

1) We are completely different and encourage each other to be, yet they are still my best friends.

2) They know I’m seriously ridiculous and but they think me and my girlfriends are the coolest regardless.

3) I can call them any time, day or night, and they are always there to listen.

4) My mom used to dress us in matchy match outfits, looking back at least I’m not the only one saying, “WHAT AM I WEARING?!”

5)  April is meticulously responsible and organized.  I can always gauge whether an impulse purchase is or isn’t worth it by the look on her face when we’re shopping.  I totally appreciate that, my pockets appreciate that! She is also extremely extremely thoughtful and sweet as pie. Speaking of pie, she bakes delicious pies from scratch.

6) Dianedra marches to the beat of her own drum.  It’s inspired me to carve my own path. Having owned her own restaurant, girl can COOK!  And she can make anyone feel right at home in her presence.

7) Both extremely smart and business savvy, they are also two of the most versatilely creative and artistic people I know.  So they pretty much rock!

8) Laughter is the best medicine and they make me LAUGH!

9) Some of my best memories in life have been shared with them, with many more to come.

10) They are the epitome of what a “big sis” is, and I am forever grateful.

Happy Sister’s Day.  I LOVE YOU!

“Prince” By Manuela Rana

prince_22bw_LR

Last week I posted this (AMAZING!) pic on instagram in honor of “National Nude Day” (yes, that’s a real holiday, I can’t make this stuff up).  I begged my friend Manuela Rana, who happens to be the photog behind this gorgeous shot, to send me more pics…which I am so happy to be able to share with you!

prince_15bw_LR

These flicks — taken in La Romana, Dominican Republic — feature Prince Riley, a dance choreographer who has been in music videos for John Legend, Jazmine Sullivan, and Fergie to name a few and has graced the stage with artists like Rihanna and Thalia.

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Stunning.

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These colors are gorgeous.  Wishing I could go back to the Dominican Republic right about now.

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Above images courtesy © Manuela Rana

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The above image, courtesy © Dilia Jelen, is of Manuela and Prince taking a break during their recent volunteer trip with Arteamor & The Orphaned Starfish Foundation.  Both INCREDIBLE organizations are dedicated to changing the lives of children by either helping them develop vocational skills or providing quality arts workshops.  Manuela and Prince spent time teaching their craft to a wonderful group of children in La Romana.  If you are interested in volunteering check out the Arteamor Teaching Artist Application and How To Become a Starfish Advocate.

If I have anything to do with it, you’ll be seeing A LOT more of Insolita Manu (as we like to call her).  I promised not to say too much, but Manuela is also working on an exhibition, which I may or may not be helping her art direct 😉  Aside from being a freelance NYC Photographer (by way of Italy), assisting the well respected Antoine Verglas, and volunteering for Arteamor & The Orphaned Starfish Foundation, she is also the Creative Director and Photographer for Feminine Weapon, an incredible community that is beyond worth watching, supporting, and being a part of!!  And most of all, she is a creative spirit who embodies the best balance of laser focus drive and carefree energy.  An infectious combination.  Oh, and she’s fluent in like 4 different languages……..just sayin.

 

 

Poolside

Poolside 8

Nothing says summertime like laying by the poolside with not a care in the world.  Throw in some good cocktails, even better company, and bright colorful floaties, and it’s like being kid in a candy store…

So after a few long (BUT FUN!) days of working in the heat on a special photoshoot project, I had to take a minute to kick back and relax. But I still couldn’t resist grabbing my camera and capturing a few snapshots to remember that little slice of heaven I like to call “Poolside”…why not, right??!  Seriously, why can’t every day be like this???

Poolside 1

Poolside 7

Poolside 4

Poolside 10

Poolside 9

Poolside 2