Let’s Live Kinder

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Dress: Gap (here’s a similar style I love!) Chambray shirt: Forever 21 (had it for ages, but this one is a good comparison!) Bralette: Urban Outfitters Bar Necklace: c/o A-List Greek  Sandals (old from Ross, but these are under $25!) Silver Birch Crossbody: c/o Starling & Ivy

Happy Monday everyone!

I definitely enjoyed having a relaxing weekend going to the Astros game and celebrating my Dad on Father’s day. I think I appreciated the time with loved ones even more so than I thought possible.

Like I said on snapchat, I had a post planned for this past Friday (it’s now moved to Wednesday!) but things had been kinda crazy on my end. On Thursday, my sister and I got into a bad car accident.

Disclaimer: I don’t mean for this story to scare anyone or for it to put a damper on your day! If you keep reading you’ll see what I really want to get at, but I gotta tell the story first or it won’t really make sense 🙂

So my sister Caroline is 17 and she lives with my mom. We only live about 5 minutes apart from each other, but we still don’t get a chance to see each other every day since I work during the day and she works in the evenings. On Thursday, I was getting a little tired of sitting at my desk, so I asked if she wanted to go with me to Target.

Now, Caroline and I have twin cars except mine is a gray 2012 Mazda 3 and hers is a black 2015 Mazda 3.

I had grabbed my keys to take my car, but Caroline offered to drive. I always gladly accept when someone else offers to drive, because I’m a very nervous driver. I hate driving in the dark or the rain, on the highway, or down busy roads. (Yeah…moving downtown is going to be a challenge.)

We’re driving down the street and it’s not a totally busy road. It’s actually next to some neighborhoods and the speed limit is 45. It’s just a straight shot for a while to get to Target.

It’s the cliche, “it happened so fast”. Both of us had our eyes on the road, Caroline’s music was down low so we could carry a conversation about the movies. I see the front of a tan truck in the median start to pull into our lane, the impact makes the loudest noise I’ve ever heard, and then we are spinning.

I don’t know if this lasted 5, 15, or 50 seconds. I believe we spun a few times, had our wheels touch the curb, and then we flipped.


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We didn’t cry or yell. We just were shocked and tried to catch our breath. Both our phones had fallen to the “floor” which was now the roof of the car since we had flipped, and we couldn’t reach them being buckled in. Caroline unbuckled herself first and dropped to the floor (roof) to grab her phone to call 911.

Just as the thought crossed my mind, “Is someone going to get us?” my door opened. Someone reached through and pulled me and Caroline out and then we were standing right side up, looking at the car and the traffic stopped all around us. There were probably about 7 people standing with us asking us if we were ok and checking for scratches on us. Several of the people standing around said it looked really bad and they were shocked we were ok.

And that’s when it hit me. How are we ok? This was really bad. I should call my dad. I should call my mom. I should call Cam. I looked down at myself, expecting to be all cut up and bloody, and I prepared myself for that sight. But when I looked down, I only had a small cut on my wrist, a small cut on my pinky toe, and my right elbow was banged up.

Caroline had similar scratches and the seatbelt left a good mark on her since she’s a little smaller than me and was wearing a tank top. She asked me if I was ok, and that was one of the first things she said. I just couldn’t believe how brave she was and I thought to myself I was so glad we were in there together.

I’m not going to talk much about the kid who hit us. He was very nice and I’m not mad at him. We were ok and so was he, so that’s really all that matters.

We had to talk to a lot of people for the next hour standing out there in the heat. In talking to all those people, we would remember things in chunks. It’s kind of like when you’re doing a puzzle and you can only get the outside pieces at first and then slowly you’re able to piece things together.

Thankfully, when the car pulled out into our lane, Caroline thought quickly and was able to move the car over a bit, so he hit towards the backseat rather than directly where she was sitting on the driver’s side. Things could have been a lot worse if she wasn’t so calm and reacted well.

After about an hour or so, everything was said and done. Caroline’s totaled car was loaded onto the tow truck, the police officer had all the necessary info, the insurance company had been called, some people had brought us water bottles, and we got everything out of Caroline’s car that we needed.

Caroline didn’t care about her car. She didn’t mind that if it wasn’t for me wanting to go to Target, we wouldn’t have gotten in a wreck. She was just thankful we were ok, as was everyone else.

My sister and I have always been close. When we were little, we used to pretend we were Mary Kate and Ashley and perform their songs for our family. With me away for the past two years, we haven’t gotten to see each other that much, but we always have fun together. We have so many little inside jokes and we quote movies 24 hours a day.

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(Psst…all crossbody bags are 10% off through 6/24 with code “TREATYOSELF”)

I reached out to Starling and Ivy last week because we had followed each other on Instagram and I loved their vegan leather bags. I had a post drafted up to talk about “How to be a Better You”. I wanted to touch on practicing compassion, and explain how one way you can be more compassionate is to switch some of your animal products to products that are either not animal byproducts or not tested on animals. After this whole accident and after my sister saved our lives, I felt like I needed to go into a new direction with the post.

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I’ve given this purse to my sister as a thank you gift. She has a good heart, she cares about people – even when people can be difficult. She is careful with her words because she understands their impact. I know that we’ll always be best friends and that she’ll always be the Mary Kate to my Ashley.

Speaking of best friends, college pals Sapna O’Connell and Alana Bossen started Starling & Ivy last November when they found that the hardest part of living a cruelty-free lifestyle was giving up leather goods. They now have a beautiful online store that helps promote animal protection and a cleaner planet while helping others express themselves through fashion! They are some of the sweetest people I’ve worked with here on Cristina Was Here and I’m so thankful for them working with me to give this bag to Caroline. Caroline has been practicing a vegan lifestyle for a few months now, so I knew this would make a perfect gift for her! For more information about Starling & Ivy and cruelty-free fashion, visit their site here.

This bag is made from waxed canvas so it’ll wear in over time like leather and it is so roomy! You can fit plenty of study essentials for a trip to the coffee shop or the library. It’s also waterproof!

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I’m so grateful that Caroline and I are ok, and that we have such amazing friends and family that love us so much! Thanks Caroline for being the best sister and I hope you enjoy your bag!



P.S. Always wear your seatbelt – it will save your life! And also, highly recommend Mazda 3’s if you’re looking for a safe car.