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SOCIAL MEDIA

One | Clay Earrings

My friend Tiffany makes gorgeous clay earrings! I've been admiring her work on social media since she started, but I finally ordered a few pairs for myself. They are so cute and fun! Plus, I love that it's a statement, but the clay material makes them light as a feather. 



Two | New Comforter Set

I had my eye on this set a few month ago when I bought some sheets from Walmart that we ended up really liking. When I was shopping online for my groceries, I noticed this ended up on clearance! King bedding can be so pricey, so I was all about a $30 comforter. It's from the Gap Home line, and is extraordinarily soft. We've been sleeping SO good, and I have no idea if it's the Whole 30 or being so cozy and warm. (Plus if you have Walmart+ it's free shipping!)

I'm still playing around with throw pillows. I grabbed this one from the living room and felt like it matched really well - so we are going with that for now. Also looking at this photo makes me think I need a blank at the foot of the bed or something like that to complete the look.


Three | The Cutest Keychain

Just had to share this little project. I am thinking of offering this style of key chain in my Etsy shop, so I made one for myself to test it out. It's just so cute and I love looking at it! I ended up liking this saying a lot, so I added a similar vibe decal to my shop already. 


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-Kristen

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Just 3 Things

Thursday, January 26, 2023


Meal planning has just become absolutely critical to our lives! It's always been an important element of a successful week - but now that we are in the middle of doing Whole 30, it's integral. You cannot just fly by the seat of your pants on Whole 30. (If you are interested, I've been documenting all our Whole 30 meals over on Tik Tok!)

So, come along with me as I plan this week's meals and then subsequently prepare each dish! 

To begin with, let me tell you about my secret weapon. Plan to Eat! Plan to Eat is a really cool tool. Not only does it have a calendar for you to plan your meals, but it also stores all your recipes. My favorite part is the 'import' tool. All you have to do is input the URL of the recipe you want and it imports all the details and ingredients for you. Once you have your week planned it even generates a shopping list for you. 

I already have a bunch of our favorite go-to recipes in Plan To Eat, but I am also using a few cookbooks here and there as we do Whole 30. If you are eating out, having leftovers, or using a cookbook you can make a 'note' on your schedule to remind you what the plan is. You can also use this tool to remind yourself to take food out of the freezer or something like that. 



For this week, I'm going to do a mix of favorites and new recipes. I can't wait to remake these Burger Bowls we had recently! I can't stop thinking them. In general, I like to think about what we have going on during the week before choosing what meal goes where. For example, Wednesday evenings are really tight, so I like to do something in the crockpot or something really simple. Additionally, I think about what ingredients we already have or need to use up.

After I've got everything where I want it on the calendar, I generate a grocery list. Simultaneously, I have another window in my browser open to Walmart. We have Walmart + subscription for free grocery delivery. #game changer. (I have a referral link for you too!) I'll add what I need to my cart and plan my delivery time. I usually like to get groceries on Sundays, but I feel like I've been doing a lot more shopping lately as I figure out our Whole30 routine. (and spending soooo much more on food...!!)

Here's my plan:

Sunday - Burger Bowls
Monday - Defined Dish Meatballs and Marinara with Zucchini Noodles 
Tuesday - Santa Fe Salads (I'm going to adapt this recipe to make it Whole30, but we love the original)
Wednesday - I have some Defined Dish Tortilla-less Soup in the freezer I'm going to take out. 
Thursday - Chili Lime Chicken Wings and I'm going to make sweet potato fries. This is a new recipe! 
Friday - Taco Salads! We do these once a week anyways. I just need to decide which protein. 

And here's how it went:

Sunday 

Burgers are truly one of the only things I crave, and these bowls totally scratch the itch! SO, so delicious. 

Monday

I've gotta get better at zucchini noodles, but these meatballs are very yummy! The noodles absorb the sauce really well so it's an easy way to add veggies to our plates. 

Tuesday

Change of plans! My mom had us over for dinner. She said she was cooking extra, and boy I am not going to turn down some one else doing the cooking. My parents are also doing their own version of Whole30 right now so it was no problem to eat with them. I'll save the Santa Fe Salads for this weekend! The chicken was in the freezer anyway so it won't be a problem to be flexible here.

Wednesday

Before Whole 30 I had a go-to tortilla soup recipe that I almost always had on the meal plan because it was so easy. Most of the ingredients don't fit in with Whole 30- so I was happy to find this version! It's a great soup and very easy to make. The toppings make it more interesting too.

Thursday 

Next time I'm going to make double the sauce! These were great and very sticky. If I make double the sauce I can dunk them in it after they come out of the oven. We also really enjoyed air frying some sweet potato fries, and pairing both things with this homemade Whole 30 friendly ranch dressing

Friday

Tacos are a staple over here, and taco salads are a fav! We are enjoying the Siete taco seasoning a lot. Add some fresh salsa and you've got a great dish! Nutritional yeast was something I used a lot when I was a vegetarian, but I'm using it a lot now for making dishes more cheesy. 


Hopefully this look behind the scenes is helpful to you! Meal planning is so important, but can be overwhelming sometimes. At least with this post, you've got a week's worth of yummy meals to inspire you! 

Here's my referral links to Plan to Eat and Walmart+. (Hint hint, you can use Rakuten when you shop at Walmart for free cash back!)  Don't forget there is a whole tab at the top of this page with other coupons for you! 

Shop My Kitchen and Tools Used For These Recipes:

-Kristen

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Meal Plan With Me

Monday, January 23, 2023


The Defined Dish Cookbook

I already owned The Comfortable Kitchen and knew I wanted to get her first cookbook. When we started Whole30 I finally ordered it! Not only are most of the recipes Whole30, but every single one is DELICIOUS. Highly recommend any of her recipes, and if you need a suggestion let me know!


Our schedule rapidly started to look like 2019 again, and with so many events on the horizon I needed to physically see what was coming up. This acrylic calendar is so attractive, and I love the more minimal look on the side of our fridge. It comes with markers, and there is one option to receive a blank acrylic board that would be great for grocery lists. Sorry for the crude blurring on the above photo - I wanted to show you how it looks but didn't feel like erasing and rewriting January's schedule! 


Blake and I have been really good about packing our lunches in recent months. I had bought him a glass version of this bento box and the lid broke. We tried to get by without it, but we quickly realized how much easier it is to pack a lunch with one of these. So I ordered him one in blue, and one for me in light green. They are great for any kind of lunch. You can pack a salad and keep the toppings and dressing separate. Or we normally pack a sandwich and fill the top part with nuts and fruit or other snacks. 


Our glass pitcher broke! I can't even remember how I did it, but it was destroyed. Again, I tried to get by without it, but really missed making a pitcher of tea for dinner. I love the size of this one! It's perfect for serving 2-4 people. Plus, the lid makes it great for infusing drinks with fruit too.


A milk frother is one of those extra things that make making coffee at home a bit more fun. I also have enjoyed using this for mixing up coconut milk that tends to separate. This works exceptionally well! Also, we get Torani syrups on subscribe and save. I like the vanilla and Blake likes the caramel. 


If you missed the dedicated post for this project you can find it here! It wasn't easy to install, but we love the look so much! 


Our pugs Bailey and Winston are very prone to ear infections. Our vet prescribed this to help us keep them at bay, and I found out I can get it cheaper on Amazon without a prescription. It really does help them and saves us a little money. #IFYKYK Dogs (or pets in general) are soooo expensive. 


Being regular at taking vitamins is such a struggle! I've done the best I ever have taking these gummies! I keep them in the bathroom next to my toothbrush and have had a much easier time taking them. Blake love's the men's version and he even takes them on an empty stomach. 

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-Kristen

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Recent Amazon Purchases

Thursday, January 19, 2023



I'm not sure if I've ever done a Top-Book-Of-The-Year style post before. But, my mom always asks me what my top 5 or so books were from the year before. She knows that I read a lot, so they can't all be good. In fact, they are not. I read a lot of duds last year! But I do have several favorites that I'd love to recommend to you!

The Maid - by Nita Prose
This may have been the first book I read in 2022! And what a start! I LOVED this book. It's about a neurodivergent woman named Molly, who works in a fancy hotel as a maid. She takes her job very seriously! One day she happens to walk in on a murder scene in on of the suites. Even though this is a murder mystery, it's still incredibly heartwarming and sweet. The characters are so great! I really loved this and recommend it to anyone really. 

Atomic Habits - by James Clear
This is not a new book, but I read it for the first time last year. Atomic Habits examines how to add new habits into your routine most effectively. I picked out a lot of useful tips from this book! Mostly, if you want to form a new habit, you should add it to something you already do without thinking. For example, we all brush our teeth every morning without thinking about it - so if you wanted to add something like doing 50 squats to your daily routine, you could do it along with your teeth brushing habit to form the new habit. 

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn - by Betty Smith
Also not a new book, but I had never read it before. In short, this is a coming of age story of a young girl who grows up in Brooklyn. Her family is quite the cast of characters and are all easy to root for. 
While nothing 'major' happens in this book plot wise, it's just a pleasure to read and become immersed in. 

All The Lonely People - Mike Gayle
This was an audiobook for me, and I highly recommend that experience. The narrator has a great accent that really adds to the story telling. This is about a man named Hubert. When he calls his daughter in Australia each week, he tells her all about his friends and all the fun things he's been up to. But he's lying. He's really lonely with no friends at all. So when his daughter plans a visit, he scrambles to cover up his the fake life he's concocted. 

All Good People Here - by Ashley Flowers
For fans of true crime or the Jean Bennet Ramsey case, this book is about a journalist who grew up next door to a little girl who was found in a ditch. She's been haunted by this case. When another crime takes place all these years later, she can't help but think they are connected and returns to Indiana to try to solve the mystery. Some twists I saw coming, others I didn't. And to be honest, the ending still has my mind mixed up. 

The Things We Cannot Say - by Kelly Rimmer 
Historical fiction always has my heart, but I really can only do so many WWII novels in a year. At first I thought this one would be just like all the others, but it's ended up not feeling like it! It's fairly straight forward, dual perspective past and present. The big 'twist' wasn't even surprising - but for me I just loved the characters and the writing style. It was just engrossing. I especially loved Alice's point of view, and her relationship with her son, who is on the spectrum. 

Read With Me:


-Kristen

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Top Books I Read in 2022

Monday, January 16, 2023

I'm finally trying out something I've been eyeing for probably a year! Book of the Month is a monthly subscription service that sends you a brand new hardback book every month. You get to pick from a selection of a few different genres which is nice. And if none of the titles interest you, you can skip that month. 

I signed up in December, but none of the books tickled my fancy - so I skipped, and waited for January's selection. When I got the box in the mail I was so excited! I haven't really read a physical book in a long time, and was so surprised with how good it felt (and smelled!) in my hands! 

I haven't started my book yet, so I can't speak to whether I recommend it yet - but it sounds extremely exciting! In addition to your book of the month, you can add on other titles that they keep 'in stock'. There were a lot of great titles there!





Want to give Book Of The Month a shot? If you sign up using my link, you get your first book for $5!! Can't beat that.
And, oh, P.S. did you notice that there is a whole tab at the top of my blog that has a dozen coupons and referral codes for you?! 

-Kristen

This post contains affiliate and referral links! | Blog Disclosure

Book Of The Month First Impressions

Thursday, January 12, 2023

I'm a week into my Whole30 diet and I have a lot of thoughts! To recap, I decided to give this a try after getting back some interesting blood work at the end of 2022. An anti inflammation diet sounded like it could help and if anything, it wouldn't hurt. I deep dived into research in December and gave myself a weeks head start with practice recipes. So, while I'm only officially a few days into Whole30, I've been eating *almost* Whole30 for almost 2. 



Side effects: 
During my practice week, I also had COVID. So, honestly, I can't say that I've experienced any of the detox symptoms that most every else does. I had no idea if my headache was virus related or sugar detox related, etc. This also helped me give everything up slowly. First, I gave up soda and alcohol, and then I did Whole30 breakfasts and lunches while using up my regular food on dinners. So, I think this approach probably saved me some major side effects. Also, I already felt like crap, so it wouldn't matter if I did.

Label Reading:
If anything, I am forever changed when it comes to reading labels. To make sure something is Whole30 compliant you must read the ingredient lists. It is SHOCKING to acknowledge what's in our food. There is sugar in almost everything. Things that shouldn't have sugar! There is a long list of ingredients that are not acceptable for Whole30, so you have to be diligent. It's no wonder so many have trouble with their weight when you see what's actually in our food. 

Breakfasts:
I'm sick of eggs already. Breakfast is definitely something I will struggle with as this month goes on. I'm doing my best to get creative with breakfast, but I'm going to tire of eggs really quickly. I've been mixing it up with smoothies, but those aren't encouraged. 

Unlearning Diet Behavior:
I feel like I'm getting away with so much. There is no calorie counting, no artificial sweeteners, and you aren't even supposed to weigh yourself until the end. It's the opposite of every diet I know. You can eat as much as you want, just as long as it's compliant. Raisins, nuts, avocados, potatoes...all things that are encouraged on Whole30, but not on other diets.  

Free Program:
I really really love that Whole30 is free to join. Their website is full of resources, and there is a very active and helpful facebook group. 

I'm documenting my meals over on TikTok! 
@kristen_woolsey Whole 30 Day 1 B: Banana Blueberry Smoothies L: Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps with homemade Mayo D: @thedefineddish Creamy Tortillaless Soup #whole30 ♬ Love Yourself - Jasmine Thompson
I know I will have a lot more to share as the month goes on, including results! I took some before pictures that I'm all too eager to have a dramatic after photo for. 

-Kristen

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Thoughts on 1 Week of Whole30

Monday, January 9, 2023

Starting 2023 off with a big Grove Collab box! There are some things we get almost every month, and then a few fun things that I splurged on this month. Being an adult is so funny right? I'm excited about getting cleaning supplies in the mail once again.


If you are new to Grove, I have a referral link for you! Here's $10 for you to use, plus you get free products with your first order. PLUS if you are new to Grove you can use Rakuten for cash back on your order!


Here's What I Got:

Method Wood Cleaner

Method was having a sale so I stocked up on a few things! Normally I use an all purpose spray for dusting, but thought I'd give this a go since I love the Almond floor cleaner scent. 

Method Foaming Shower Spray

I prefer the regular Method bathroom cleaner, but it was out of stock. This is a great cleaner, I just find that it gets used up really fast.

Method Anti Bac Toilet Cleaner

I get this almost every order. It works great and the scent isn't to overwhelming.

Method Stainless Cleaner 

This is a new to me product! I am almost out of stainless cleaner, and because this one was on sale I thought I'd give it a try.

Earth Rated Dog Bags

Again, this is in every order and self explanatory. 😂

Caldrea Sea Salt Neroli Lotion

A splurge item! I absolutely love the Sea Salt Neroli scent. My skin has been so dry from extra hand washing and the weather. I wanted to have an easy to access lotion at the kitchen sink, and thought it'd be fun to have a special one.

Method Men Shave Cream

Another new to me item. I got this for Blake since it was on sale and I hope he likes it. 

Method Men Shave Balm

And this one too. He uses a facial lotion after shaving and I thought it might be nice to have a matching scent to the shave cream. 

Grove Co Sponges

These sponges are just so nice and I put them in almost every order. I really like using them with our Always pans. 

Grove Co Dish Towels

These were a free gift with purchase. I already own half a dozen of these so I was very happy to get some fresh ones. They are a great size and match our kitchen really nicely. 

Grove Co Pumpkin Spice Candle

I tried this scent in one of my orders a few months ago when Fall was just beginning. I really liked both the hand and dish soap in this scent, so I thought I might like the candle too. It smells just like I thought it would and I really love the vessel. 

Grove Co Stargazing Candle 

This was another free gift with purchase. Eh, I don't love the scent, but I do love these candles in general. I'm going to save this one to keep on hand for a hostess gift. 

Thrive SPF and Face Wash Samples

I always love with Grove offers samples. Haven't tried these two yet, but I'm sure they are great.

Grove Co Essential Oils - Orange, Lemon, and Lavender 

If you've been a reader for any length of time you know I love Revive for essential oils - but these were on sale and I needed to stock up on some basic scents. These are a great size, and the packaging is lovely. 

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-Kristen

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January Grove Haul

Thursday, January 5, 2023


One | I'm at 365 days on Duolingo! Learning Spanish has been something I've wanted to do for a very long time. I do not feel like even after 365 days on Duolingo I know Spanish. It has helped a great deal and I will say I definitely feel like I know more than I did in an entire year of High School Spanish. After a few months I ended up paying for the full version of the App and I feel that was 100% worth it for me. Also a few weeks ago they revamped the learning path and it's way better for me. So anyway, I'm going to keep it going!

Just Three Things

Friday, December 30, 2022


Hello!

Hi friends! I'm Kristen, and this is the Life and Style of an early 30's Floridian living the Best Life Ever, with her husband and three pugs. Runner | Avid Reader | Small Shop Owner

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