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There are so many options for paddling adventures around Eureka Springs! This was taken on Table Rock Lake, about 15 minutes north of downtown.

Hi, I’m Kristal Kuykendall; some of my friends call me Kstar. (And some of my friends’ kids call me Sparkles, hence the birth of this website name.)

A lot of folks say they enjoy “going on adventures” and perhaps you do, too. I love to explore new places and familiar terrain, too, especially when I can take along #GusTheDogo, who I adopted on New Year’s Eve 2021. He’s helped me see every inch of this earth with a renewed sense of wonder – and he’s made me love playing outdoors more than I have since childhood! 

I have learned a lot since moving back to Eureka Springs in 2019, and I’ve been told so many times when sharing my experiences — overcoming Lyme, dealing with chronic illnesses and our broken healthcare system, healing from decades of family trauma and domestic violence, using my voice, and protecting my peace — that they wish I had a blog, or they’ll start jotting down what I’ve shared with them. So I decided to start sharing it all more publicly. 

I’m just a Southern woman who refuses to suffer without a lesson or a silver lining I can take away. (Got any more of those lemons? I’m the queen of making lemonade, haha.) And I am done playing by the patriarchal rules governing what “polite society” should talk about. I say, the more we talk about all the uncomfortable things, the less we stumble along blindly on this journey called Life.

I’ve survived some of the most horrific *and most common* traumas that a woman in our world experiences – and I’ve found ways to thrive anyway. is my open discussion of the lessons that have helped me overcome and grow into the best version of myself:
~ Healing from (and learning from) domestic violence
~ Finding joy and re-establishing that childhood sense of wonder
~ Travel adventures for women (including #solowomentravel)
~ #TravelingWithDogs and still having “me time”
~ The quirky Community of #EurekaSprings (and how to build your own #Community)
~ Practicing self-care and managing #chronicillness & #chronicpain
~ Raising an energetic and athletic #DogoArgentino mix rescue dog 
… and more! 

If you prefer the “lite” version, follow me on Instagram, @kstarsparkles, or on YouTube, @kstarsparkles, for photos and videos about live music, #solofemaletravel, #dogfriendlytravel #GusTheFrisbeeDog, and #EurekaSprings – with original content going back almost 15 years! 

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