Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bible Highlights: 1 Samuel 14-15

1 Samuel 15:22 
"...To obey is better than a sacrifice, and to pay attention than the fat of rams."

Saul earned the council he received at 1 Samuel 15:22 when he allowed animals that were devoted to destruction to live and even tried to justify his disobedience by saying it was for a good cause. We also have to be careful that we aren't trying to compensate for bad behavior by doing extra good things. Jehovah would rather our heartfelt obedience than service done with the wrong motive. 

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

Monday, March 30, 2015

You should be watching: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Have you been watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? If not, you need to. I randomly saw the show in our Netflix suggestions, and decided to watch because I recognized Ellie Kemper from The Office.
Basically all I can say is a show has not made me laugh so hard, ever
Kimmy was in an underground bunker because she was kidnapped into a doomsday cult. In the first episode you see her freed from the bunker and the show is about her starting life over again in NYC. 
I'm sure it is a combo of Tina Fey's writing, Kimmy's innocence and the amazingly outrageous characters like Titus Andromedan that make it so hysterical. We had to pause the tv several times while watching to compose ourselves from laughing. 
While it seems like a simple lighthearted story, and it is, it is also brilliantly satirical. Also, I can't get the theme song out of my head!! 
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt            Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt <3

Side note: I had a panic attack during an episode involving a dolphin. For those who don't know I have a mild phobia of dolphins (don't laugh!) The attack was induced partly because of the freakish dolphin, and partly because I couldn't breathe from laughing so hard at the scene!
Prepare to binge-watch! 

xoxo Kristen

Sunday, March 29, 2015

OOTD: Feeling Blue

Blue Blazer: American Eagle (ebay)
Blue Pencil Dress: Calvin Klein (hand-me-down) {similar} {similar}
Heels: (hand-me-down)
Gold Chain Bracelet: Target
Gold Leaf Necklace: Overstock

I have been sick all week. I'm not sure if it is just allergies or like germy sick. All I wanted to do today was feel pretty because I have felt basically dead all week! So I curled my hair and put this outfit together. I never would have thought to put a blazer with a dress like this before, but I think it really worked. Also I haven't worn this dress in a long time and I remembered why as soon as I sat down-it wrinkles so fast! 
Overall, I really liked this outfit and will probably pull it out again on another Sunday. Hopefully it won't be so long in between outfit posts again. I realized I hadn't posted one in a while. (Just assume my outfits are adorable everyday, ha!) 
Does anyone else find it harder to put together outfits in the warmer weather? The winter just gives you more layering options. Thankfully it was a little chilly this morning or I'd be sweating through this blazer. 

xoxo Kristen


Friday, March 27, 2015

This Week: March 27th

I'm Watching: I can't help but love Dancing with the Stars! When I was little I was fascinated with ice skating during the olympics, and dwts gives me the same feelings. The choreography is captivating. 

I'm Reading: We decided to remodel our guest bathroom (finally!!) So I have been reading everything I can get my hands on for ideas. Kind of leaning towards this.

I'm Listening To: Black Sun by Death Cab for Cutie  

I'm Wishing For: I would love to get this set of Kate Spade acrylic desk supplies. I'm basically obsessed with office supplies and Kate Spade....
 

I Need To: Oh so much. We are going to be spending a lot of time this weekend working around the house. We've been neglecting a lot of things. 

I'm Looking Forward To: I bought a Groupon for an online photography class with the New York Photography Institute, so I am hoping to have some time this weekend to use it! 

I'm Making: This week I did some experimenting in the kitchen and made some really good bruschetta! I will have to make it again and share the recipe. It's addictive. But, man does it give you garlic breath. 
What are you guys up to this week??

xoxo Kristen
This post contains affiliate links. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Currently Loving: March

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..I wish I was in some way musically talented, so I could make a song about all the things I love. Here are a few things that I've been loving in March:

One// Alex and Ani

I mentioned way back in this post that I had gotten my very first Alex and Ani bracelet. These bracelets were obviously meant for collecting and stacking, so mine looked a little lonely. My sister in law got me 2 more (Initial Bracelet) for our anniversary at the end of February, and my sweet husband got me another disney bracelet around the same time.(Cinderella Castle Bracelet) He proposed to me in front of Cinderella Castle, so that was extra special. I love these things, and its so nice that they go with everything! 

Two// 

Spring has sprung! One thing that I just hate about winter is how our yard ends up looking: dead! Well we've been flirting with spring on and off since February around here, but I think its safe to put up the winter stuff! Our yard is going crazy with all the blooms. Our house is lined with Azalea bushes, and they look so pretty right now! Also our Japanese Magnolia was one of the first things to brighten up our back yard. This weekend is dedicated to spring cleaning the yard! So many oak tree leaves to rake up...they are literally the worst. 

This bathing suit was actually a gift from my sister! I honestly probably would not have picked it out for myself, but I cannot tell you how much I love this suit. The color, the style...everything about it is super flattering and adorable. I cannot wait to plan a beach trip so I can wear it. 

I have the most brittle nails. I think it comes from handwashing dishes every night. Even vitamins don't seem to help. What has helped is Hard as Nails by Sally Hansen. It is basically a base coat that makes your nails so strong. It has made a huge difference! Also my nail polish stays on much longer when I use it. It is only a couple bucks too, which is a plus. 

Leave me a comment: What are you currently loving? Anything I should try?


xoxo Kristen
This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Making Extra Money With Ebay

I'm basically always looking for easy ways to make extra money. And if I can combine making money with getting rid of clutter-it's a perfect fit for me. Hilariously, I only recently discovered Ebay. It's been around for ages, but I only thought about using it when I was hoping to find some cheap Brooks Brothers Polos my husband loves so much. Which I did, by the way! 
After a little bit of research I decided to finally try my hand at selling. I started with selling clothes. Usually I like to give away clothes to friends who are similar sizes. But, I noticed that I would give a whole bag of clothes to someone and never see them wear a single thing. I would much rather make a few bucks on things like that then to just give them to someone who doesn't want them either. 
Well, I've actually gotten pretty good at this Ebay thing. Just since the beginning of this month I've made an extra 150 bucks on things that we don't even miss. 

Hover to Pin!
Here are a few things I've learned along the way: 

one// Pictures Matter
This is something that I've learned from buying on Ebay. The more pictures of your item the better. Nothing looks sketchier than a blurry cell phone pic from far away. Clearly photograph the item with good lighting. Take pictures at different angles: front, back, pictures of tags, close up of the fabric. Also be sure to clearly photograph any stains or imperfections of your item.

two//Use the App
I have discovered that using the Ebay app is much easier than using the computer. Start by selecting 'Sell an item', and simply follow the directions. Answer as many questions as you can about the item. The app makes is so much easier to upload pictures of your items as well. 

three//Price Right
Remember that Ebay is basically an online yard sale. You aren't going to get top dollar for your stuff. Compare prices of similar listings, and price accordingly. I like to do a fixed price on my items. In my first selling attempt, I sold a very expensive Bridesmaid's dress for 99 cents in an auction. So not worth it. I do a fixed price, and accept best offers. So far this has worked really well for me. 

four//Buy stamps through Ebay
When selling an item you can have Ebay estimate shipping costs. I love this feature! They do all the calculating for you, and when you sell the item you can buy postage through Ebay. Print the label off your computer and slap it on your envelope! You can schedule a pick up from your mailman, or just drop it in a blue box around town. When you buy postage through Ebay they automatically mark your package shipped and give the customer tracking information. It's so easy. 

Leave me a comment: Have you had any success with Ebay? What have you scored? How do you make extra money? 

For more money saving tips: look here!

xoxo Kristen

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bible Highlights: 1 Samuel 10-13

1 Samuel 12:2 
"...As for me, I have grown old and gray, and my sons are here with you, and I have led you from my youth until this day." 

We can see from 1 Samuel 12:2 that Samuel had a faithful record of service from his youth until he was 'old and gray'. He started his service as a child originally because of a promise his mother made. But, he continued this lifestyle because of his own faith. Similarly many children start learning about Jehovah because of their parents. To follow Samuel's example everyone needs to develop their own faith by developing a personal relationship with Jehovah.  

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

Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekend Round-Up: Carter's First Trip to Disney!

Everytime we go to Disney, I can't help but imagine taking our kids there one day. Seeing all the excitement and wonder through your child has to be pretty cool. No kids for us yet, but we do have nieces and nephews to spoil Disney style. It wasn't hard to talk my sister and brother in law into taking a trip with us. Carter is about 10 months old, so he won't remember a thing about this trip, but we still had a blast with him! 
We have been to the parks with older kids, but never a baby. So this was quite a learning experience. But, of course Disney thinks of everything, and they have so many provisions for people with babies. 
Two things we took full advantage of were: Rider Switch and the Baby Care Centers
Rider Switch is such a good idea! Part of your group goes through the line of a ride that kids can't go on. You ask the first Cast Member you see for a Rider Switch and they will give you a card. Ride the ride normally, and when you get off you give the card to the others in your group who waited with the baby. They get to go through the Fastpass line! Up to 3 people can go with the card, so that meant some in our group got to ride twice. It's really simple, and useful! 
I have never been in the Baby Care Center either, but I was really impressed. Inside there is a little store where you can buy any emergency baby items, tons of changing tables, and rocking chairs. It also seemed really quiet in the centers, which is a nice break from the chaos of the parks. 
This time we stayed at the Art of Animation resort. Love! We stayed in the Cars themed suite. Wow, it was an awesome room. We fit 6 adults and 1 baby in there super comfortably. Each suite has a bedroom with a bathroom, a living room, dining room and an additional bathroom. The couch and the dining room table all fold out into beds. I'm not sure we could have done it without that 2nd bathroom.
All in all, I'd say it was a success! Carter got to ride several rides, which I think he liked. Basically the rule is: babies can ride if there is no lap bar. And there are even some exceptions to that as he got to ride Toy Story Mania. Like I said, I know he won't remember it, but we will. We love being Aunts and Uncles, and spending time with these kids is so great.
Okay, get ready for picture overload.
Day One// Hollywood Studios (without the hat!!) 







 







Day Two// Animal Kingdom






I am so crazy about my Preppy Park Ears!

xoxo Kristen

Friday, March 20, 2015

This Week: March 20th

I'm Watching: You guys are so going to make fun of me for this one. I am secretly a little nerdy, and I found this video hilarious. Watch it if you love Star Trek TNG, and if you don't pretend I'm still cool. Blake talked me into watching all of TNG when we first got married. I'll admit, I think it's great.





I'm Reading: I'm so excited that I found this tutorial for making tassel garland! I am planning to make some for the baby shower I am planning next month. They have this things on etsy, but they are seriously overpriced in my opinion. 

I'm Listening To: I posted my spring playlist earlier this week, and these songs are definitely on repeat!  

I'm Wishing For: It is time that I get a new pair of tennis shoes. Doing Turbofire really wears out your shoes. What stinks is that the pair I have right now have only ever been worn inside, so they look brand new-but they are very worn in all the spots I need support for all that jumping. I have my eye on these. Well I really have my eye on these but I can't stand the price. 

I Need To: Tonight is all about getting ready for our Disney trip! Lots to pack and things to get organized. 

I'm Looking Forward To: Disney!! I'm just so excited about this trip. It will be my nephew's first trip, so you know I will be taking pictures the whole time. I also feel so much better about leaving Delly for the weekend now that we have found a great house-sitter. 

I'm Making: I'm feeling really inspired to make a giant framed chalkboard. There are so many tutorials on Pinterest, and lots of ideas for cool quotes to write out. I just need to find a cheap frame at a yard sale and get to work! 

What are you guys up to this week??

xoxo Kristen
This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Baked Parmesan Shrimp & Pasta

I find myself drawn to pasta recipes lately. This was a really good recipe for making lots of leftovers! I guess I didn't look to closely at the recipe because we could have halved it. Oh well, we both had nice big helpings to take to work the next day! Anything that keeps me away from Chipotle...I would seriously eat there everyday and order the same thing. 

Here's what you do:

Preheat oven to 450*

In a medium sauce pan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and 1/2 lb peeled/deveined shrimp. Stir together, then place in a casserole dish. 
Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. 

Turn down temperature to 350*.

In a sauce pan (use the same one!) add 1 pint heavy cream. Heat for 5 minutes, and add 1 cup Parmesan cheese. Stir until melted. 

Meanwhile cook a box of Penne pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Add pasta to cream, and stir. Add in shrimp, and then transfer back into casserole dish. Top with 1 diced Roma tomato, torn basil leaves and 2 tablespoons bread crumbs. Bake for 10 minutes. 
Enjoy!


Leave me a comment: What is your favorite pasta recipe? White sauce or red?
xoxo Kristen

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring 2015 Playlist

I love it when it get warm and you can drive around town with your windows down. There is nothing like it. I always imagine those ladies in old movies who have headscarves on in a convertible when my hair is flying around. Naturally you have to have the music up really loud too. Here is my playlist for that windows-down kind of day! 





Enjoy! And leave me a comment with what you're listening to!

xoxo Kristen

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bible Highlights: 1 Samuel 5-9

1 Samuel 8:3
"But his sons did not walk in his ways; they were inclined to pursue dishonest profit, they accepted bribes and they perverted justice."

Although Samuel entrusted his sons to help him judge, 1 Samuel 8:3 tells us that his sons did not follow his good example. This shows us that even a very faithful person can do their best and be a great parent, but their children can still decide to follow a different course. Samuel set a good example in that he didn't allow his sons bad ways to alter his own course. 

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

Monday, March 16, 2015

Girl's Night!

I really think it is important to have good strong female friendships. Ironically as a teenager, I was mostly friends with the guys. Now I really value friendships that I have cultivated with some very special ladies. You know the friend I'm talking about, the one who you see rarely but you can pick up right where you left off. We have been so busy lately, and I know everyone else is too. That's why I have to give it to my friend Megan for getting us all together! She sent out a text months ago to reserve the date on everyone's calendar. 

The date we picked was this past Saturday! Our group was impressive! Some old friends, and some I just met. We went to a hibachi restaurant and probably spent 3 hours there. I loved getting to catch up. That is a really cool part about being away for awhile-there is lots to tell when you get together again. And, all of these girls are doing amazing things with their lives which makes for great stories! 

Our beautiful group! That's me in the center-standing up. 
Ok, and all hibachi places seem to do the same jokes! Somewhere out there is a slow motion video of Megan catching the shrimp in her mouth...(Remind me to tell the story about Bucha Tingling the Jamaican hibachi guy from our honeymoon!) We were going to go out for drinks afterward, but the place we wanted to go was packed. Also I'm getting super old because I was totally ready for bed after dinner. 

Leave me a comment: How was your weekend!? Do you do like to do Girl's Night Out? Anybody else go to bed at 9 o'clock?

xoxo Kristen

Friday, March 13, 2015

This Week: March 13th

I'm Watching: So, we have to talk Bachelor finale. I'm so happy that he chose Whitney. She was like made for him. Somehow I ended up watching the finale with my 12 year old boy cousin. You really don't realize how ridiculous this show is, until you have to explain it to a kid! We had fun watching it together. He had some pretty funny opinions about the girl's makeup choices. 

I'm Reading: I loved this post by Cupcakes and Cashmere. It was an interview with a nail expert. She gives some really good tips on at-home manicures. I need all the help I can get.

I'm Listening To: You will have to stay tuned until next week! I have my spring playlist all ready to share with you! There is a lot of really good music out right now. 

I'm Wishing For: Right now I'm on a "let's get another pug" kick. Pretty please??

I Need To: Spring Clean!! I've started my spring cleaning, but I still feel like I have a long way to go.

I'm Looking Forward To: Girls night out tomorrow night! I'm so excited. I love a good excuse to get dressed up. Also really looking forward to seeing friends that I rarely get to be with. We are going to be trying out a wine bar that I've been wanting to go to for what feels like years. 

I'm Making: It's taco night!! Which is at least once a week over here.

Have a great weekend everybody!

xoxo Kristen

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Workin' On That Beach Body

You know that feeling when your pants just feel a bit tighter than they used to...but you don't even want to know what the scale says? That has been me for a month or two. I have found that the winter really gets me into a fitness rut! I just can't be as active as usual when it's freezing outside.  
I've already talked about my past weight loss, where I lost about 20 pounds using a Beachbody program. It was awesome, and I really got into the best shape I probably had ever been in. I was able to maintain that number for at least a year after doing the 90 day program. But, life gets in the way!
One reason (excuse) is the weather. Blake and I got into a great habit of walking a mile or two together a couple times a week when it was warm, but it's basically miserable to do in the cold. In the summer, I do yard work and go swimming- all things that cease when the weather changes. 
Another excuse is that I just don't know how to "work out". I know how to use machines at the gym-but I don't know which ones to use which days. That's why I loved Turbofire so much. It came with a schedule, and I felt guided. 
Well, I couldn't stand it and finally stepped on the scale after avoiding it for so long. Up 4 pounds. Not a huge deal, but it still made it's impact on my ego! I mean swimsuit season is basically here! More than that I want my jeans to fit. 
In my first post about Turbofire, I mentioned that when I did the program the first time I had a workout buddy. Nicole and I faithfully did the workouts every day for 90 days. We may have missed 2 workouts the whole time. She was great and motivating. They were also her dvds, and she moved away (all of a hour away, but I still miss my buddy!). 
I've been wanting to buy my own set for awhile, and was kind of watching prices online. I thought that they would go down a little with Chalene's new workout Piyo being released, but they didn't seem to. To my surprise, Blake bought me a set for one of my anniversary presents this year! I was so excited!! 


I have the schedule on the fridge, and have officially started. I'm about 1 week in. I took before photos and measurements, which will stay secret for the moment. I'm already feeling really good! The moves are coming back to me, and I honestly look forward to working out again. This time around I am using weighted gloves, which really make it challenging! 
Additionally my mom and I are walking 3 days a week. If it gets chilly again, and lets face it Florida is unpredictable, we will walk on the treadmill! My goal is to record everything using my Fitbit Flex. I'd like to hit 10,000 steps a day and record all of my food intake with their app. 
I'm mostly sharing this for accountability, but also to share my love for an awesome workout program. I love that in the videos all the ladies are in amazing shape, but all have completely different bodies. I'm just so ready to be proud(er) of mine! So, we will see in 90 days! I'm sure I will do some sort of check-in between now and then.

Leave me a comment: Have you tried Turbofire? Are you really passionate about a workout? 

xoxo Kristen

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Roasted Tomato and Lobster Pasta

I used to be so good with coming up with meal plans. It is so hard to find easy, affordable recipes, and even harder trying not to make the same things all the time! As much as I love having tacos...we can't eat them every night! I came across this recipe through Bloglovin'.  It looked really yummy, so I saved it. To be honest, I saved it knowing that I'd probably never make it. Well we went grocery shopping that night, and Publix just so happened to have lobster tails on sale that week! So basically we had to try!
Lobster is something people usually save for special occasions, so I wasn't even sure how to cook it. The recipe kind of tells you, but I'm such a novice that I had to Google it just to be sure. 
So, while this may seem to be a super fancy-shmancy dinner, it was super easy to put together! And, does anything smell better than sauteed garlic?? 


Here's what you do:

Preheat your oven to 375*
Place 2 cartons cherry tomatoes on a baking tray. Splash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, until tomatoes are soft. 

Cook 1 package of spaghetti according to box directions. 

To cook your lobster tails: bring about 6 cups of salted water to a boil. Simmer for about 8 minutes, until shells are bright red and the meat is tender when poked with a fork. Drain. When cool, slice meat into small pieces. 

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute 2 tablespoons of minced garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil. Simmer. 
Add chopped lobster, roasted tomatoes, freshly chopped basil leaves, 1 cup white wine, and salt & pepper. Break up roasted tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

Toss the spaghetti and tomato mixture together. Enjoy!


Leave me a comment: Are you afraid of making lobster? Do you have an fancy dish that is actually really easy?

xoxo Kristen

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bible Highlights: 1 Samuel 1-4

1 Samuel 1:10
"Hannah was extremely bitter, and she began to pray to Jehovah and to weep uncontrollably." 

Hannah had was in two difficult situations she could do nothing about. She had problems with her rival wife, and she was barren. At 1 Samuel 1:10 she did the only thing she could do and prayed to Jehovah about her situation. In verse 18 we read that she felt relieved after she prayed. When we feel overwhelmed we can follow Hannah's example and pray about it. We may not see an immediate answer to our problem, but he can give us peace of mind to help us cope in the meantime. 

xoxo Kristen

Friday, March 6, 2015

This Week: March 6th

I'm Watching: How sweet was the Downton Abbey season finale this week?? I loved the proposal, and loved even more Ms. Hughes' response. I don't know why but this season seemed so short. Okay, and dying for the Bachelor finale this week! 

I'm Reading: I came across this list http://theblogstylist.com/glossary/ this week. It's basically A-Z of blogging, and it is very helpful! I'm always trying to figure out what I'm doing blogging wise, and will take all the help I can get. 

I'm Listening To: Really liking: Geronimo by Sheppard. Fun summer song!

I'm Wishing For: Okay, this is a really lame want: but I'm dying to have a tan again! The weather was in the 80s this week, and I got to pull out a pair of shorts. Feeling a little pale now. I did get to lay out in the sun a little bit on Tuesday, and it was glorious.

I Need To: My to-do list is super adult and boring! I need to change the oil in my car and do the ironing. Lame and more lame. 

I'm Looking Forward To: Right now I'm counting the days until our next Disney trip! Not many days left. I'm hoping it will be nice weather wise, but you really never know.

I'm Making: Tonight we're having burgers and fries, as we get ready for a yard sale tomorrow! Something else to add to the to-do list.


xoxo Kristen
This post contains affiliate links. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Citrus Infused Water

One of my goals lately has been to drink more water. I can so see a difference in how I feel and look when I get enough water. I'm not even sure if 8 glasses a day is possible. Who made that rule anyway?? 
In the summer it is so easy to guzzle down a glass of plain water. I find it much harder to drink when I'm not dying of thirst. I know only ordering water at restaurants helps. But, at home I think its much easier to drink when it is flavored. This is also so great to make for a party!


Here is what you do: 

Makes 1 gallon:
Slice 1 large orange, 2 limes, and 2 lemons thinly. 
Layer a pitcher, or drink dispenser with citrus. Use a wooden spoon to muddle the fruit, just enough to release some juice. Add a layer of crushed ice, and then top off with cold water. Stir to mix. Stick it in the fridge! 
Enjoy! This will keep for about 3 days, but the goal is to drink it all before then!
Leave me a comment: What do you do to drink more water? Have you tried infusing water with other flavors? 

xoxo Kristen