The Secret to Clear Skin


Junior year of high school, I had awful acne. My forehead was red, bumpy and irritated. Going from a point of having more pimples than clear skin on my forehead to having it completely clear involved the quickest, easiest fix possible! As it turned out, I was allergic to an ingredient in Nestle chocolate chips that is also found in other chocolate and diary products, but not all of them. I still have no idea what the ingredient is, but I have established a list of “safe” and “unsafe” chocolates that I can and cannot have. While I was struggling with my acne, I could’ve sworn that it was genetic and that I would need hardcore medicinal ointment and a miracle to clear my skin. I wish I could go back and tell myself to eat organic chocolate instead and all my (skin) problems would vanish!

If you’re struggling with acne, I would first recommend that you follow a clean diet for a week or two to see if your face clears up. Strictly eat fruits, vegetables and healthy meats such as chicken prepared with no oil or butter. Then, start gradually reintroducing “normal” food to see what exactly makes you break out, wether it be oil, dairy, sweets or something else. It may be a preservative found in certain brands of foods but not others. I, for example, am fine with eating almond butter but the moment I eat peanut butter, breakouts start popping up all over my face.

Keeping your skin clean is also imperative to keeping it clear of blemishes. Although cutting out my allergen cleared most of my acne, I was still getting the occasional pimple. I attributed it to not removing all of my makeup and my mom recommended I try using a toner every night. The white cotton pads used to apply the toner don’t lie and will show you just how much grime and old foundation stays on your skin every night even after washing!

Now, after getting my nightly skin care routine down, my face is clear. I start by wiping the makeup off my face with a makeup removing towelette before using an acne fighting facial cleanser.  I then pat my face dry with a clean towel before applying some toner with a cotton pad and finish with some of what has to be the world’s best moisturizer.

Acne is an struggle that everyone faces and is often difficult to understand. Back in high school when the skin on my forehead was bumpy, irritated and broken out, even my dermatologist didn’t know that often times, acne is caused by a food allergy. Instead of suggesting that I find the root of my problem, she prescribed me a topical treatment that left me with painful chemical burns on the skin covering my acne. While a prescription treatment might serve as a short term solution (or just make everything worse), it will do no good in the long term if your acne is caused by an artificial ingredient you are ingesting. You are what you eat and if you choose to eat something unnaturally toxic or with multiple additives, your skin will reflect it; it’s trying to tell you something! The first step in clearing up your skin is listening to your body. The second is taking care of your skin by keeping it clean, moisturized and refreshed.

Summer Essentials For Your Car

As the season of Summer rolls on, I have found myself reaching for the same essentials every day before climbing into my car and heading out for the day.  No matter my destination, my car is always stocked with these necessities. Summer brings my spontaneity to a whole new level and I tend to live by the motto “you never know where you’re going until you go there.” Here are the things that I never leave the house without in the hot summer months.


  • Sunscreen!!!  Before I apply my makeup, I make sure I am wearing at least SPF 40 on my skin but my protection doesn’t stop there. I always have a bottle of spray on sunscreen in my car to wear if I decide to go into the sun. It’s good to make sure you have it at all times. “I forgot it” is a lame excuse, especially once you’ve been burned and proceed to waddle around your living room because your skin is crimson and burnt to a crisp!
  • Sunglasses!!! All day, every day, 365/365, I wear my sunglasses. Especially in the summer, I make sure I have them in my car and my bag, incase someone else happens to be driving.
  • Water!!! Before I leave my house, I always fill one of my Lilly Pulitzer tumbler cups half full of ice before pouring in my water. It’s very important to stay hydrated in the summer and is easy to drink while you’re driving.
  • A Beach Blanket!!! Whenever I go to the beach, I almost always forget a towel which is why the emergency blanket in the back of my car is such a lifesaver!
  • A Floppy Hat: These are perfect for summer. They’re adorable and add the perfect touch to any outfit. They are also perfect for shading your face from the sun and are light enough to keep you cool.
  • An Extra Swimsuit/Towel!!! You never know if you’ll end up at a beach, pond or a friends pool. Better to have it than to only be able to dip your feet in! Plus, you’ll never know when you’re going to drive by a fun looking sprinkler… kidding!
  • A Change of Clothes!!! I always keep a loose sun-dress or comfortable shorts and a top in my car, especially on days I’m going to the barn and know I’ll feel sweaty and gross after. It’s better to drive around with extra clothes and never use them than to wish you had something fresh to change into and not have it!
  • A Sweatshirt/Sweater!!! Summer nights can get pretty chilly, always be prepared!
  • Flip Flops/Sandals!!! Let’s face it: sometimes your feet just want to breathe. Keeping a couple of extra pairs of shoes in the car is always a good idea. I always have a pair of white Keds and flip-flops somewhere in the back of my car so I’m never forced to have inadequate or uncomfortable footwear.
  • Phone Charger!!! Because phones die and nobody wants to be stranded with a dead phone.
  • Camera!!! Especially since I started blogging, I have implemented an “always bring camera” rule. You never know where you’re going to go or what you’re going to see! All too many time’s I’ve said “I wish I had my camera” yet never once have I complained about having it.
  • Snacks!!! I like to bring fruit daily but also keep gum and KIND Bars stashed in my car for when I’m hungry and miserable.
  • Makeup Wipes!!!Keeping old, sweaty makeup on your face feels gross and can lead to breakouts. Throwing some makeup removing towelettes in your console is a fool-proof choice.
  • Wet Wipes!!! As a proud germophobe, I always have these in my car or bag. They allow you to scrub your hands clean in a way that hand sanitizer just can’t match.

Well, now you can probably understand why I say I live out of my car… because I really could! What are your summer essentials?

Maine 2017

Every July, for as long as I can remember, my family has packed up the car and driven up to our hunting cabin in Temple, Maine to spend a week relaxing, hiking, shooting and exploring. This year’s trip was just as fun as the past ones, if not more. In this post, I will be sharing what we did and where we went!


Sunday: We packed up the car and hit the road, listening to Delila chomp out the window all the way. A couple of hours in, we made a pit stop in Kittery to pick up some cupcakes. After buying the cupcakes, I followed my mom to the rest room and watched as she, very confused, looked around before speed walking out. She’d led me into the men’s room and didn’t realize for a few moments. The worst part is, it took us way too long to find the women’s room (right next door). Maybe they should’ve opened the doors to both bathrooms to avoid confusion, and maybe we should’ve actually looked at the sign on the door. Oh well!


Eventually, we made it to the camp and, before going to bed, saw a beautiful rainbow outside.


Monday: This was our first full day up north. We started the day with breakfast at Homestead Bakery before driving out to Rome to hike up French Mountain. The hike was easy and the views were gorgeous! As we were climbing down, we ran into a woman who remarked that her husband and kids were behind her and that she was continuing up all alone because “they just couldn’t make it.” When we ran into them moments after, we figured out exactly why they couldn’t make it. As it turned out, her children were three and five years old, much smaller than the large rocks that the difficult end of the trail mandated them to climb!


After we left French Mountain, we drove down the road and took a left towards the Blueberry Hill Scenic Area (it’s on the same side of the road as French Mountain). It provided nearly the same view but didn’t require us to do any hiking; we could just drive right up! After we paused to snap a family photo, we headed into town to pick up some essentials from Hannaford’s. While inside, we asked the employees behind the seafood counter about fresh lobsters. Their response: “They’re all fresh until they’re dead!” I think they misunderstood the question, too funny!


That evening, we lit a fire to cook burgers and marshmallows over. We ended the night by polishing off an entire quart of Maine Deer Tracks from Gifford’s!


Tuesday: We started the day with breakfast sandwiches from Java Joes before hitting the road and heading to Saddleback in search of some lupines and a hike. We were delayed on the way there, thanks to no other than Siri, who insisted on trying to send us down several washed out dirt roads and instructing us to “continue for 20 miles.” No thanks!!


Eventually we made it and went for our hike. The lupines and view were absolutely stunning but the hike itself was not-so stellar. It was literally hiking straight up a black diamond ski slope which made for awful footing. We didn’t even finish the hike; it was so bad!


Finally, after what felt like ages, we got back to the car and before we knew it, had arrived back in town. We picked up dinner: 3 Bean BBQ Chicken Chilli Soup from Soup For You. If you ever find yourself in Farmington, you absolutely must eat here. It’s consistently delicous and is always an excellent choice!!! We ended the night again with Gifford’s Ice Cream, this time in the flavors Maple Walnut and Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip. Yum!!


Wednesday: I started my morning with a one mile hike up the road with Delila before heading out for breakfast sandwiches. Afterwards, we didn’t really know what to do. We had planned to go to the coast but were all tired and not in the mood to spend upwards of four hours in the car. While we decided plans, we ran some errands in ‘The Wal-Mart’ and had way too much fun doing it. Maine Wal-Marts are just better. They have more stuff and are so much more amusing. I found stick on war-paint stickers and a black spiked helmet and thought they were the greatest things.


Finally, we decided on taking a day trip to Smalls Falls. It was so beautiful! After exploring the falls, we headed back and picked up some lobsters for dinner. The day ended in typical Koski Vacation fashion: with Gifford’s Ice Cream. We had Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip and Caramel Caribou. Yum!


Thursday: We woke up to a rainy day with predicted highs of 54°. We took this as an excuse to sleep in before heading out to breakfast and picking up some brownies. After, we went to some antique shops. In one, we found a fun cleaver, some deer legs and a creepy, large doll. The kind and friendly shop owner took some time to talk to us about the past and share a beautiful song with us that his friend who had passed sang.

We then returned to the camp and I started to knock a couple of items off my Summer Reading List. Later that evening, we feasted on Soup for You and several amazing fudgey brownies stuffed with chunks of toffee and walnuts.

Friday: The forecast had predicted today to be a complete washout, which is why when the sunshine woke me up, I was so pleasantly surprised. The weather turned out to be beautiful: sunny, clear and in the low 70s. We grabbed some bagels for breakfast and headed down to Wilton. Delila and I played on the playground, specifically the merry-go-round (I nicknamed her the Merry-Go-Hound) while Dad inflated our flamingo floatie! I then took it for a dip in the lake and was thrilled when I found the water to actually be quite warm despite my expectations of a frigid ice bath! I splashed and floated before my mom and I explored a nearby dock. On our way out-of-town, we checked out a local bakery just to see what they had; you can never have too many dessert options!!


That night we ate, well, a lot. We grabbed a quart of ice cream from Gifford’s before returning to the camp and by 3pm had already devoured a half quart of their newest flavor, “Moo Slide,” a coffee liquor ice cream with chocolate chips and a fudge swirl. For dinner, we had lobsters (again) before moving on to our next round of dessert, toffee packed fudge brownies which were followed by some more ice cream, this time Maine Deer Tracks!


Saturday: We debated going home a day early since today’s forecast was again predicted to be rainy and miserable, but, because we got a late start, decided to stay in Maine. We got brunch and by the time we finished eating, the skies were clear and the sun was shining. However, we were all completely exhausted so we decided to spend the day at the camp, relaxing, reading, shooting, and roasting marshmallows.


We demolished some beer cans with our gun before having our favorite Three Bean BBQ Soup from Soup For You for dinner. When we went in to pick it up, the usual people weren’t there but two humorous employees were. While we were waiting to order, we heard one say to the other “Well, this is the best interpretation of this that I can do!” as they were making sandwiches. They kept glancing up at the description on the menu boards to figure out how to make it! Fortunately, the food was fantastic as ever. We ended the night visiting with family and eating 5 brownies.


Our final night at the Camp in Maine ended the same way the first one began, with a rainbow.


Sunday: We got an early start, packed up the car and hit the road, stopping for breakfast sandwiches along the way, of course. We decided to take a long, scenic route home along the coast through Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, York, and finally Kittery, for more cupcakes. My dog Delila had her first ever beach trip on the rocky shores of Kennebunkport and was fascinated by the smells of the salt, seaweed, rocks and roses. We took some time to explore before getting back in the car and continuing south. We were not impressed by either Ogunquit or York, which was quite frankly, a total dumb.


Finally, after eight nearly consecutive hours in the car and a quick stop for groceries, we arrived home. With yet another Maine trip under our belt, we’re already planning next years adventures!


Flamingo Floatation


When I saw this floatie online a couple of weeks ago, I knew I had to have it. I may have a slight addiction to cute floats. I already own a seven-foot white swan and a four-foot pink donut so obviously when I saw this pink flamingo, I just had to order it. I can’t get over how cute it is. The tube is just wide enough to comfortably recline but still be able to move around and adjust positions. Even my dog loved it!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time relaxing in it at Wilson Lake in Wilton, Maine. The water was just warm enough to not be freezing, but still cool enough to be refreshing. The stunning backdrop of mountains coupled with the adorable “FLamingOATIE,” as I’ve nicknamed it, made for the perfect afternoon float.

Endless Lupine

DSC08428DSC08380DSC08295DSC08378DSC08671DSC08148DSC07967DSC08381DSC08109DSC08581DSC08754DSC07880DSC07858For years I’ve been trying to time our annual Maine trip just right to line up with the Lupine’s peak bloom. This year, by chance, I finally got it right. On the second day of our trip, we headed to hike up Saddleback Mountain, hoping that we’d encounter some lupines along the way. Along the road, we were disappointed to see that the lupines had past and that their petals had already shriveled. However, as we approached the mountain, we found that they were less and less dead and when we arrived, we were greeted by a sea of purple blooms. We couldn’t have timed it any better! Even as we climbed the mountain, the lupines continued to amaze us. They really did go on forever! Running through the endless lupines felt like something straight from a dream, I can’t get over how stunning they were!

French Mountain


Today my family (Mom, Dad and Delila) and I went for a hike up French Mountain located in Rome, Maine! Of course, I conquered the mountain in a dress. It was a fairly easy hike, fashioned into a 0.8mi loop. If you do decide to go, take the path to the left. While the trail loops, I do not recommend finishing the loop and going down the way you came (the trail on the left) instead because the remainder of the loop is steep and rocky. Once we got to the top, we were shocked at the beautiful view of Belgrade Lakes and beyond. Even Delila paused to take in the view! Mom and I decided to twin in our Lilly Pulitzer which called for photos and the beautiful scenery ensured that they turned out great. Our hike up French Mountain was the perfect start to our trip!

Happy Father’s Day


Growing up, everyone always said I looked exactly like my Dad but I never saw it until today. It’s insane how similar we look in every single one of these Father Daughter Dance photos. I’m fortunate to have inherited more than good looks from my Dad. Without him, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Through his example, I know the value of hard work, and more importantly, honest work as it is never worth it to cheat or lie to get ahead. Without my Gary, I would not love big cars, black Dobermans or the middle of nowhere as much as I do today.

We had so much fun at every single one of these father daughter dances. Although the themes in third and fifth grade were unclear, we always had fun dressing to the themes of the other dances, such as Hollywood in first grade, Hawaii in second, and The Wild West in fourth. Because I went to a Catholic middle school, our annual tradition of attending the Ladies Choice event didn’t have to end until eighth grade. I would share those photos as well, however, middle school was such an awkward stage, I couldn’t bring myself to publish the evidence on the internet… too cringe worthy.

I’m so glad my Dad and I got to have fun nights out every year for eight consecutive years. I’m so lucky to have the supportive father that I do, one that willingly moves me in and out of college and shows up to trailer my friends and I out of a show; one that supports me in my education and in my hobbies. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I got you a hammock for me to lay in, it’s on the way!!!