Friday, February 27, 2015

5th Anniversary

Today marks Blake and I's 5th wedding anniversary! I know they say time flies, and as cliche as that is, it is so true. While every year has had it's highlights, we've decided that this was our best year yet! We are closer than ever and feel very settled in our roles as husband and wife. One thing that we have done every year is look through our wedding cards-yes, I saved every single one! This is bittersweet, because we received a few cards from people who are no longer with us. I can't help but think of that freezing day in 2010! Looking back on the pictures makes me realize how 'little' we look, and I'm so happy we are closer as a couple than even on our wedding day. I wanted to share a few of my favorite pictures from our wedding! Oh, and shout out to those of us who planned their weddings without Pinterest!! Although theknot.com was vital to me, they have an amazing checklist. 














We got married in Tallahassee, Fl on 2/27/10. We had our reception at the Tallahassee Women's Club. Espisitos did our flowers (hydrangeas) and Publix did our cake. My dress is from David's Bridal (on sale!) with borrowed tiara and veil. My bridesmaids picked their dresses in Navy. We spent the most money on our caterer-and it was so worth it! People are still raving about our mashed potato bar! 

Leave me a comment: How did you celebrate 5 years? Did you plan our wedding without Pinterest? 


xoxo Kristen

This Week: February 27th


I'm Watching: Still watching and loving Heroes. Started on Season 3 this week. In my defense season 2 was only like 10 episodes! Ok, also came arcoss this clip from Jimmy Fallon! I am always amazed at people who can do impressions! I can barely do I british accent.




I'm Reading: Lots of Pins like this one on how to paint laminate furniture. I showed you Blake's office at work earlier this week and it's transformation. All that is left is painting that desk! I'm really happy to learn that you don't need to sand it first if you use the proper primer. 

I'm Listening To: I haven't really listened to Imagine Dragons new cd yet, but I did add I'm So Sorry to my work out playlist. I like Polaroid also.

I'm Wishing For: So I really want to learn to sew. I've said this 1000 times, but I really do. I bought a set of curtains at Ikea last weekend, and I love them-but they are like way too long. If I didn't have a house built in the 50s, maybe my ceilings would be high enough. If I could sew I could shorten them! I don't think it would be that hard, and the curtains were cheap-so I think it would be a good starter project. 

I Need To: I'm giving myself a free pass on the to-do list this weekend! We are spending the weekend celebrating our anniversary, and that is all I want to focus on.

I'm Looking Forward To: I'm starting a new work schedule on Monday, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how that works out. Hopefully it will be a smooth change - but I do feel a little anxious about change. 

I'm Making: I am going to try this nail mask, which is supposed to make your nails stronger. My nails suck! So brittle, and I know it has to do with hand washing dishes. 

xoxo Kristen

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Favorite Kitchen Tip: Shredding Chicken


One of my favorite recipes to make is Chicken Enchilada Soup. We eat it all the time, and it is so easy. One of the reasons it is so easy to put together is because of this tip that I came across regarding shredding chicken. Most recipes tell you to shred with two forks, which is awkward and can be exhausting for your wrists. I can't believe it took me so long to learn that all you have to do is throw the cooked chicken in your stand mixer on low for a few minutes. You get perfectly shredded chicken with zero effort. If you don't have a stand mixer, it would be just as easy to throw in a bowl and use a hand mixer. 

Leave me a comment: What is your favorite kitchen tip? Do you have another way of shredding chicken? 

xoxo Kristen

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bible Highlights: Judges 19-21

Judges 19:15
"So they stopped there and went in to stay overnight in Gibeah. Once inside, they sat down in the public square of the city, but nobody took them into his house to stay overnight."

In ancient Israel it was common for travelers to stop for the night in the public square. At Judges 19:15 the people had an opportunity to offer hospitality to the travelers, but they selfishly didn't show kindness. Because love is the foundation of our worship, we want to make sure we show kindness and hospitality whenever possible even if we don't have much to offer. And when hospitality is extended to us we should accept it appreciatively.

xoxo Kristen
Read the Bible online for free at JW.org

Monday, February 23, 2015

Currently Loving

I just wanted to share a few things that I've really been loving lately! Maybe even obsessed with...



This candle is so nice! The jar is a recycled wine bottle which makes it really special. The scent is cabernet sauvignon which is one of my favorite wines. It isn't too strong, which I like because often candles are way too strong for me and I get headaches. I have it on my bedside table, and I love how my bedroom looks in candlelight. 

Two//Organix Moroccan Argan Oil


My hair is usually very oily, but this winter has made it pretty dry and flat. Instant static! I originally bought this for Blake because he has very dry hair, but I've been loving it on my own hair recently. I just run a droplet through my wet hair after showering. It smells so good too!



You know when you go into Target for one thing and come out with 10? That is how I wound up with this polish. Essie polishes just rock! They go on so easy. I have really been loving mint lately too, so I'm not surprised this is the color I chose. 



Sometimes you just don't want to use regular old blue soap! This girl doesn't have a dishwasher, so new dish soap makes me happy. I love this stuff! The lemon scent is incredible and the all purpose spray works so nicely on my countertops. 

Leave me a comment: Have you guys tried any of my favorites? What are you currently obsessed with?

xoxo Kristen

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ikea Adventures

Ever since Blake got a new office at work it has been my personal mission to make it awesome! It isn't the easiest space to work with. And by that I mean teal carpet. He works for a non-profit, so office renos are not on the top of the budget list. In fact all the furniture in there has been donated over the years. 
Once we found out what we were allowed to do to the space, I racked my brain to figure out what paint colors would work with teal carpet. Not many, by the way. 
Here is a before and after paint photo:


We went with the same color we have in our office at home. I want to say its Valspar Stormy Skies, but I can't find that color anywhere online. Also, we were not allowed to paint the trim, so it had to stay natural wood (boo!). The best part of this project was the art! Blake ordered several of his favorite movie posters and we framed them up. They really changed the whole space, and are major conversation pieces. Especially the one for Attack of the 50 Foot Woman! Over time we have been able to add cool accessories to his office. I love his stormtrooper piggy bank, and hand pen holder.

This weekend we took a trip down to Ikea in Orlando to get a few more things for the office. I love Ikea!! It is crazy in there. So much fun stuff to look at, and so many ideas!! We did walk out with a few more things than planned, but hey its really cheap!! We went with small couch and 2 lak tables for the one wall of his office. The two of us carried it all the way back to IT and put it together. I was actually surprised with how easy it was! Just a few screws, and no fights! We also picked up 2 chairs from Target for the front of the desk, and those look really cool! Since we painted Blake got a "new" desk. While the one pictured does match that trim nicely, it just wasn't a very functional desk.
So, all that's left is painting the new desk. Again it was donated, so its a little beat up. I think a glossy black would make it look new again. Next I will be learning how to paint laminate furniture! 


The drive home had the most beautiful sunset! It helped make up for the fact that we had to ride with our seats all the way up to make the couch fit.

What is your favorite Ikea purchase? Do you know how to paint laminate furniture?

xoxo Kristen

Friday, February 20, 2015

This Week: February 20th

I'm Watching: By accident Blake and I discovered the show Heroes. We wanted to watch a show while eating dinner one night and decided to try it. Heroes came out around the same time as Lost-which we both were really into. I think thats why we never watched Heroes when it was on TV. But, its realllllly good. A little gorey in some episodes. I'll put it this way: We watched 8 episodes the first night. The first episode is a 2 hour show, meaning we watched 9 hours!! 

I'm Reading: Tips on avoiding small talk. I dread small talk, but this had a good tip for avoiding it! Basically, ask questions! 

I'm Listening To: Mess Is Mine by Vance Joy 

I'm Wishing For: This week I saw a review for Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick, 008. It is a gorgeous shade! I'm not really a big lipstick person, but I thought this was a really nice subtle color.  Next time we buy something from Amazon, I'm going to add this to the shipment. 

I Need To: Figure out why my plants are dying. I have two plants in the dining room that seem all wilty. I'm either over or under watering. Maybe they need some sunshine. 

I'm Looking Forward To: I couldn't stand it and gave Blake his anniversary presents early! Now I can't wait to get mine. 

I'm Making: This week we made Lobster pasta! I saw the recipe on one of the blogs that I follow and wanted to try it. Publix had lobster tails on sale this week, so I basically had to make it. It was delicious and really easy to make. I pinned the recipe so we can make it again. 


xoxo Kristen

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mason Jar Salads

So Mason Jar Salads are probably so Pinterest 2014, but I just got around to trying them out! I'm always looking for ways to make my life easier and organized. Weekly lunches are so hard. I usually am out of the house so early that lunch is the last thing I'm thinking about. In fact I'm a Chipotle and Jimmy Johns regular. I'm pretty sure they know my name and my order by heart now. Bringing your own lunch accomplishes both my goals of staying healthy and saving money, so it only makes sense for me to get into better habits about packing lunch. 
I had a bunch of Mason Jars leftover from an old project, so it was only natural that we'd try jarred salads. It took about an hour on a Sunday afternoon to get these all set for the week. 


Here are the recipes for our 2 favorite salads that we plan to make again! 

Taco Salad:
Layer in the following order: 
-1/4 cup salsa
-halved cherry tomatoes
-diced red onion
-black beans
-corn
-diced avocado
-chopped romaine
-cilantro
-shredded cheddar

Greek Salad:
Layer in the following order: 
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
-2 tablespoon white wine vinegar 
-salt and pepper
-halved cherry tomatoes
-chopped red onion
-halved cucumber
-chick peas
-kalamata olives
-pepperoni
-spinach
-feta cheese


Amounts vary by taste and size of jar. Both of these salads keep for 3-5 days in the fridge. It is so great to just grab one before work. When ready to eat, shake the jar to spread the dressing, and pour out onto a plate. I suppose you could eat straight from the jar, but I found it much easier to use a plate. My brother challenged me on these jars, he said why don't you just use a rubbermaid container like everyone else. I honestly believe the glass container keeps everything fresh and crunchy because of the layering. My avocado didn't even turn brown! 
Overall these salads were a big hit. I made 2 other salads that I didn't just love, so I will keep searching for more recipes. As much as I loved these, I really need to develop the habit of meal prepping on Sundays. Everything would just go so much smoother during the week!

Leave me a comment: Have you tried jarred salads? What are your favorite recipes?

xoxo Kristen

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My Favorite Engagement Party Gift

It wasn't until I was engaged myself that I learned all of the etiquette that goes along with weddings. Technically, you should bring a gift to the engagement party, a bridal shower, and the wedding. That is a lot of gifts! Times have changed along with the economy and what is expected has too. Most brides and grooms only expect gifts at showers, and receive gifts at the actual wedding from out of town guests. 

I still like to bring a little something to an engagement party. One gift that I loved at my own engagement party was a beautiful clock and a card that said "The countdown has begun!" It was so clever, and we have that clock hung in our kitchen. I'm not that clever! (But may totally steal that idea one day!)



My favorite gift to give an newly engaged couple is a bit more practical. I love to give a big box of Thank You cards. Our friends were so generous and we went through at least 6 boxes of cards! Not only is it a practical gift, but who doesn't love picking out stationary! Etsy has great customizable options, and this would be a perfect chance to use the couple's new monogram. Target and Walmart also have great options for more of a budget.

Leave me a comment: So how about you? What is your go-to engagement gift? 

xoxo Kristen

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bible Highlights: Judges 15-18

Judges 16:16
"Because day after day she kept nagging him and pressuring him, he was weary to the point of dying."

Although Samson was a strong man, he could not hold up against the pressure from Delilah's nagging mentioned at Judges 16:16. Nagging is destructive to a relationship, and often has the opposite effect on the person that you want. Instead, husbands and wives want to be supportive of each other. Being appreciative and giving encouragement builds up your relationship and is much more effective than nagging.


xoxo Kristen
Read the Bible online for free at JW.org

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mental Health Days

When I was in Elementary school, so my mom tells me, if I stayed up late one night I would not being going to school the next day. I would feel sick if I didn't get enough sleep. This has been somewhat carried over to adulthood. Not necessarily the very next day, but if I don't get enough rest eventually my body says nope, can't do it anymore.

I am very good about going to bed early, so I usually get enough sleep. The problem is I'm not good at resting. Our schedule has been so packed lately, and I'm starting to feel it. In order to prevent a total body shut down, which I know is in the future, I've instituted Mental Health Days. 


Mental Health Days are a chance for me to take a day off without feeling guilty! It is a scheduled day for me to do whatever I feel like. Usually on these days I try to sleep in as long as possible. I like snuggle on the couch with the pug and watch a movie. I have to fight the urge to get up and 'do things'. I want to just chill out, but it is hard to ignore the dishes in the sink that need to be washed. I do give myself permission to fold laundry or something else I can do from the couch. Mental Health Days are also great days to take a long walk or do some other exercise. 

Leave me a comment: How do you stay rested? How often do you take Mental Health Days?

xoxo Kristen

Sunday, February 15, 2015

OOTD: Sunday Best

Sundays are my favorite days! I love getting dressed up, and I love even more when dressy clothes are comfortable! I think the true test of comfort is how quickly you are dying to change clothes when you get home! I feel like I could wear this outfit all day. Although the in the picture my purples look a little off - in person they are the same color. 

Floral Skirt: Express (consignment) (similar) (similar) (similar)
Purple Tee: Old Navy
Bib Necklace: via Ebay
Black Peeptoes: Famous Footwear (exact: Amazon)
Nails: Essie Mint Candy Apple

xoxo Kristen

Friday, February 13, 2015

This Week: February 13th

I'm Watching: 3 more episodes of Gilmore Girls to goooo!

I'm Reading: Okay, so my husband introduced me to dealnews.com. Big mistake! I've been on there everyday looking for good deals. Right now I'm looking for a deal on a cruise! We've been dying to go, and looking at cruises online has just made it worse. 

I'm Listening To: I loved listening to this podcast of The Chalene Show about how to "Date Your Mate". My favorite tip was how to properly compliment your spouse. You need to pick something specific you like about how they look and tell them. It means so much more than "Oh you look nice." 

I'm Wishing For: I'm really in need of some black ballet flats. Mine old ones got ruined several months ago, and I have just been getting by with other shoes. Oh, and I feel like its time for some new nail polish...

I Need To: I feel like I need to spend time with my niece and nephew! I've been missing them. A trip to the park is in order.

I'm Looking Forward To: Our anniversary is coming up, and it has been so hard to keep a secret from Blake. I'm dying to give him his gifts!! And get mine...hehe.

I'm Making: Right now I am working on invitations for a baby shower, and getting lots of ideas for said baby shower. I had to make a secret pinterest board so the guest of honor couldn't see what I'm planning!

What are you guys up to this week? What do you think of my new theme?! I'm in love.
xoxo Kristen

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad Recipe

Growing up my family ate dinner at the table together every night. My mom always made a salad to go with dinner, and now looking back I think that she only made them for me. I love salad! Mom came across this salad recipe in a magazine and she knew I would love it. In fact she made it for me, and I probably ate half the bowl myself. I couldn't wait to make it at home! The flavors are just so good together! 


Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with Goat Cheese

In a large bowl combine:

5 cups Spring Mix 
2 cups segmented grapefruit 
1 medium ripe avocado, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1 cup steamed (& cooled) edamame

For the dressing combine:

5 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp grapefruit juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Whisk dressing to mix, and pour over salad and toss together. 


Leave me a comment: What is your favorite salad recipe? Did you try mine?


xoxo Kristen

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Pug Essentials: The Puppia Harness

One thing I never knew about pugs, before I got one, is that they can't wear traditional collars when taking walks. It has to do with their neck and their breathing problems. But, this is easily solved by wearing a harness instead! 

Since having Delly, we have discovered the best harness and totally swear by it! She wears the Puppia Ritefit harness in lime green. We did a lot of research ahead of time and found that Puppia has rave reviews from lots of dog owners. Pug owners especially. 

We are seriously stopped on the street all the time with people asking where to get one. And our vet raves about our choice in collar! Actually the ladies at the vet call it her 'bra'. 

Puppia harnesses are super adjustable-which is a must if you have a pug. They have such odd shapes and it can be so hard to find things that fit them. Delly wears a size large, and you can adjust the tightness around her neck and waist for the perfect fit. 
They are washable! Also a must, because of the sheer amount of dog hair that ends up on this thing. 
They last forever. We bought Delly's puppia when she was still growing 3 years ago, and the thing still looks brand new. 
Colors! The ritefit harness comes in 8 colors. We picked lime green, one because Delly's fur is glossy black and the green really flatters her coat. Also, she can be very hard to see when we take walks at night, and the bright color makes her much more noticeable. I sometimes wish that we would have gotten the pink one, just because she gets mistaken for a boy dog-but I do have a pink bow I attach to her harness which helps. 

Don't laugh but Delly totally didn't cooperate with me during our photoshoot:





Delly has her own instagram! Click here to follow her adventures and see her Puppia in action.

Oh, by the way, I didn't get paid at all do tell you about this harness. 

Leave me a comment: What is your favorite pug accessory? What do you think of Delly's Puppia Harness?

xoxo Kristen

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bible Highlights: Judges 11-14

Judges 13:8
"Manoah pleaded with Jehovah and said....'instruct us about what we should do with the child who will be born."

When Manoah and his wife found out they were going to have Samson at Judges 13:8, he prayed for help with knowing how to raise Samson. He wanted to be prepared to teach his son God's laws before he was even born. It is also wise for Christian parents to pray for guidance and wisdom so that they can be ready to train their kids from day one. 

xoxo Kristen
Read the Bible online for free at JW.org

Monday, February 9, 2015

Weekend Round Up: Bradley and Ariana's Wedding

I have been looking forward to this wedding for forever! I knew it was going to be so fun, and that the bride and groom would look amazing. Because I somehow feel the need to get involved with everything, I'm usually pretty busy around weddings. I love to help! I like to feel useful. In fact even at parties where I'm not involved in the planning at all, I still manage to find something to help with in the back. So, this was kind of a nice change! I had nothing to do, except enjoy the wedding. And we so did.

The wedding took place at The Club Continental in Orange Park, Fl. I had no idea that place even existed! It is right on the St. Johns River, and has beautiful towering oak trees everywhere. Absolutely the perfect place to get married. The ceremony was outside, and they were very blessed with the temperature being 75 degrees in February. It was beautiful. And we all got a kick out of a  particularly noisy racing speed boat. The person performing the ceremony made a beautiful point, he said: Being willing to die for someone isn't the ultimate act of true love. Living for someone is. Dying is easy, living for someone is day in and day out is hard, and that is what marriage is. 

The bride was stunning. All I could think of was that I wanted a wedding dress do-over. Her gown was amazing! My favorite part of the whole night was the father-daughter dance. It started as a sweet dance to Tim Mcgraw, and turned into a hilarious choreographed dance to various songs. If you can get your dad to do the stanky-leg, he's awesome. Another note on the dancing-there were like 3 new line dances I have never seen before! I will be youtubeing them for the next wedding. 
Overall, I think I burned off the calories from the cake and open bar while dancing. Which is what I'm telling myself anyway. My cousins even got my husband out on the dancefloor. He never dances to fast songs-ever!! A moment for the history books.