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Every once in awhile I will come across a quote and it really syncs with how I feel. Like I couldn't have said it better myself! That's how I felt when I read this quote from Chuck Palahniuk: "People don't really listen, they just wait for their turn to talk." I've also seen a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that says basically the same thing. It's so hard to figure out if a quote is authentic! 

No matter who said it, I couldn't agree more. Actively listening is something I am personally working on. When you've got a brain like mine, it's going a mile a minute already so listening attentively is a challenge. 

Being the friend I'd like to have really weighs on me. I constantly think about what I would value, and try to give that to other people. Can you imagine what the world would be like, if everyone did that?

I had this one experience recently that has been inspirational. In that I was inspired to do the exact opposite of what happened. A friend and I were having a conversation, and about 2 minutes in I realized that no matter what I said, as soon as I paused to take a breath she was going to take back over. Now, because I'm the type of person who always moves out of your way on the sidewalk, I let her do it. But, I felt completely uninterested in continuing the conversation after that. After all, I wasn't really part of it anyway. I'm not saying I had anything particularly precious and valuable to contribute to that conversation, but it doesn't feel good to feel like what you have to say isn't important. 

Or when you get the "That's crazy." reply. It's the tell-tale sign they weren't listening to anything you just said.

Here are a few things that I am personally trying, in an attempt to be that great listening friend we all value:
one// Put Down The Phone
Because, basically it's rude. If you pull out your phone during a conversation the other person will feel less important. It will appear that you are bored with whatever they are saying. 
I know personally, it's incredibly difficult for my mind to multitask on both listening and reading something else. If you have to do it, always say something like "I'm so sorry, I have to reply to this. But, I want to hear what happens next!" 

two// Ask Questions
Asking a genuine question is the number one way to show someone you are interested in what they have to say. It's such a great way to get to know someone too! Be careful with how many questions you ask, because you don't want it to seem like you are interrogating them or being nosy. 

three// Eye Contact
Another friend of mine is an expert at this. She focuses in on your face and completely blocks out anything else happening in the room. It's not creepy or anything, but suddenly you feel like the most fascinating person alive! I want others to get that same feeling when talking to me. 

four// Restrain Your Reply
This is the most challenging for me. Something you said may remind me of a story, or something similar that happened to me. Or when you are talking about a problem, I might think of a solution that I want to help you with. This is where the waiting for your turn to talk comes in. Instead of thinking about what I want to interject, I am really working on listening to everything you've said first. It's one of those be-in-the-moment things, which is so difficult! 

Leave me a comment: Do you struggle with being a good listener? Tell me what makes you feel important during a conversation, and what makes you feel like the person isn't listening!
Oh! And tell me your favorite quote.

My Favorite Quote: "People don't really listen, they just wait for their turn to talk."

Monday, November 23, 2015

one// The November Ipsy bag did not disappoint! The actual bag is this crazy galaxy bag, which is not something I plan to keep. I usually keep the pouches because you can always find a use for a good zippered bag. I keep my hair ties in one, I use another to store my lipsticks..etc. But, this one is probably going in the yard sale pile. 
As for the products, I seriously haven't gotten a product I don't like yet! My favorite is the eyeshadow primer. I've been using it this past week and it's awesome. My eyeshadow has been lasting all day. 

two// Last weekend Blake and I had the sweetest date night! Ironically, when you don't have kids, anytime you go out it's date, but anyways! We grabbed dinner, saw a movie and had frozen yogurt (which is my very favorite thing). We saw Spectre. Going out the movies is one of my favorite things to do. I love movies, and popcorn and all that goes with it. However. I've noticed my anxiety gets really bad now! It's probably a combination of the suspenseful movie, loud sound and in-your-face screen. I don't know, but it definitely makes going to the movies less appealing.  
Also, Spectre was just okay. There were some cool parts, but I'm kind of over the same ole' womanizing character. 

three// I want to talk about the laziest thing I think I've ever done. I was sitting in our office on the computer this week, and I look over to see that Delly made herself a little bed under the side table on the other side of the room. She looked SO cute. I immediately reached for my phone to take a picture, but I realized it was in the other room. Instead of getting up to go and get it, I spent the next 10 minutes googling how to work our webcam so I could point the computer at her to take a picture. In the meantime she got up and went into the living room. Sigh. I will justify myself in that she may have gotten up to follow me when I went to retrieve my phone. However, nothing makes up for the fact that my DSLR was in my camera bag, right under the desk I was sitting at.

four// Sunday night I came down with this killer flu-cold thing. I've been stuck at home all week! At least I have Delly to keep me company. She is great for cuddling. Although she has a real knack for making herself comfortable in the most uncomfortable positions for me. As if I wasn't having a hard time breathing anyway, she found herself quite content laying all 20lbs on my chest. She tries to snatch up my cough drops any chance she gets too. =]

five// This time next week we will be on our cruise!! I'm so excited, and also a little stressed thinking of all the packing I have yet to start. Expect lots of pictures when we get back!

Happy Friday!

Friday Five

Friday, November 20, 2015

This is a non-fiction book with 2 stories in one. It's the story of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and also the story of H.H. Holmes, a serial killer who was active around the time of the fair. The fair was nicknamed the White City, and while that amazing thing was going on, a very dark thing was happening in a hotel nearby. 

What I Didn't Like:
This book has amazing reviews, so my expectations were pretty high. I also didn't know that it was a non-fiction. Erik Larson does an amazing job of telling a true story in the most accurate way possible. Anytime there is dialogue in the book, it came from a diary or some other first hand account. That being said he does seem to take liberties with describing body language and opinions, inconsistently. That was a little frustrating.
There are SO many facts in this book. SOO many. I honestly think half of them were unnecessary. For example, I was really hooked on one chapter, hanging on every word-and then in the next chapter he starts telling a completely random story about the Mayor of Chicago.
I also expected the two stories to intersect more than the fact that they happened at the same time. 

What I Liked: 
I learned so much reading this book! From architecture in the 1880/90s, to the invention of the Ferris Wheel. There are some really cool cameos from people like Edison, Tesla and Buffalo Bill. It was just a really interesting time in the world! There hadn't really been any serial killers yet, other than Jack the Ripper. This book really takes you back in time and paints a very vivid picture of the world. I love books that teach me something.
They truly don't know how many people this man murdered. The description of the evidence found was very chilling because of that.

Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5 Stars (1: hated it, 2: didn't like it, 3: liked it, 4:liked it, 5: loved it)
Overall I did like this book, but I was incredibly bogged down with the details about dates and facts and names. 

Have you read Devil in the White City?
What are you reading??

Book Club: The Devil in the White City

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

one// So I don't need this address stencil but, I kind of NEED it! How awesome is this!? Perfect and even handwriting every time. Handlettering is such an art.

two// This video cracked me up! Alanis Morissette updates Ironic lyrics with a few modern references. Have fun getting this out of your head!

three// Any Buzzfeed article with pugs in it is an instant favorite! Including this one with some hilarious pics of pugs who look like they've forgotten something. Enjoy! I love number 11!

four// OBSESSED with this room challenge reveal. I love love love the bathroom wallpaper. I have a vision for my own guest bath and it is so neutral. Now i'm seriously considering a great wallpaper...Blake will never go for it. Tell me what you think!

five// I might be really late to the party on this one, but I recently watched a bunch of Disney Shorts on Netflix. I remember seeing Paperman before and it was so great, but I had never see Feast. So cute!! Here's the Youtube video, but I'm super surprised Disney hasn't made them take it down.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I will leave you with a few pictures I found on my phone! My niece insisted she get to take a few 'selfies', with my help. When I picked her up to give her a hug goodbye, my nephew wanted to get in on it, so we had a sweet group hug. They are both a gazillion pounds now and my arms were shaking after that! Love them! 

Happy Friday!

Friday Five

Friday, November 13, 2015

Black Tee: Loft
Striped Midi Skirt: Modestly Dressed Boutique
Peeptoes: Amazon
Necklace: Target (old) {similar}

I haven't done an outfit post in so long! Truly most of that is because I end up forgetting to take a picture. Not really an excuse because I have a tripod, so I don't even really need someone else to take it. Anyways. This is what I wore last Saturday! We got to stay at Blake's aunt & uncle's beach house, which made for a beautiful backdrop. hashtag not my house. 

Striped Midi

Monday, November 9, 2015

one// My week has been rather boring, yet pretty productive! Blake and I both weren't feeling that great on Tuesday so we both took a sick day. Instead of watching tv all day, which sounded so good, we wanted to be productive. And I have to say that was one of the best days ever! We basically spring cleaned our entire house, but to the tenth degree! We moved furniture and accumulated quite the pile for our yard sale. *pride*

two// Remember when I said I finally won a blog giveaway?! That was a month ago and I finally decided what I wanted to spend my gift card on. This is such a lame grown up thing, but I have wanted a new microwave since we got married. Blake had one, so I didn't feel the need to register for one. Regret! The one he had was amazing. It cooked anything you wanted in basically 3 seconds. But, it was ugly and ginormous. We have a super tiny kitchen and it didn't fit on the counter. We ended up buying a cabinet for it and sticking it in the dining room. Not ideal... So anyway, Blake did his whole consumer reports thing and we picked one that fits our kitchen much better! And of course the best part, it was free! Oh and I still have $4 left on my gift card, hehe.

three// I mentioned going through my books in my post yesterday. I haven't read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up like the rest of the bloggerverse yet, but I have been reading a bit about the philosophy. I love the idea of getting rid of things that don't bring you joy. If something doesn't make you happy, why do you have it? It hit me last week that my books, while I love how they look on the shelf, don't really bring me joy anymore. I love reading. And these books did make me happy while I was reading them, but the fact that they take up space and collect dust does not bring me joy. 
So, I came home and started pulling them off the shelf! Not going to lie, it did make me feel very anxious and my stomach started hurting! I texted about 7 pictures like the ones below to a book loving friend to see if she wanted to add to her collection. Fortunately she took home at least half of my pile, which made me happy they were going to a good home. 
After thinking about it, I haven't bought an actual paper book in like 2 years. I kept a few of my very favorites, but I know if I want to read any of these again I can always run up to the library or download the ebook. No regrets!

four// Here are a few blog posts that I saved on Bloglovin recently that I thought I'd share:
- This gorgeous fall outfit from Lofty Closet
- Mermaid Plush Dolls DIY from A Beautiful Mess
- DSLR Basics from Jade and Oak
- Preppy/Floridian Apartment tour from Lucky Day
- Foxy Flats from College Prepster
- Why I Don't Keep Up With Celebrity Gossip from Simplicity Relished 

five// T Minus TWENTY days until our cruise! I'm so excited! I am so feeling the pressure to get my fitness act together. Probably too late, but I'm trying! Such torment waiting for fall weather here, and I bet it will finally be gorgeous right when I'm pulling out my bathing suits to pack for the cruise.

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five

Friday, November 6, 2015

Quote, unquote. That is what I overheard my husband telling his mom on the phone last weekend. I guess that's an accurate description of what I was doing...although the doubt in his voice was not reassuring!

The crafty thing he was referring to was a little DIY I was attempting. I had enlisted my friend Laura to help me with a project that was long overdue. {true friends do chores with you!!} Let me tell you the story of a particular dresser. I got a call from a long time family friend whose elderly mother had to move in with them. They had to make some room in the house for all of their mother's things, and so she thought of me when deciding to get rid of a few antique pieces. I'm not a huge antique person, although I do really appreciate things with charm! Because I was alway complimentary of their pieces, she thought I just loved antiques. 

Face to face with this dresser, I had to take it home. I knew I had no where to put it. I knew I would have to fix it up. But, hearing all these sweet things about how our friend just knew I would take such good care of it, and how we are like family...I couldn't say no. {character flaw I'm working on}

So, fortunately we have a pretty large storage shed. And that's where this dresser sat, for over a year.
I felt such guilt about it! Do I sell it at a yard sale? Do I give it to someone? Do I cram it in my house somewhere? 

Well, just last week I had an epiphany. I impulsively decided to get rid of 80% of my books. It was crazy and my stomach hurt while I packed them up. But, I knew I'd never read them again, and they were just collecting dust. I found most of them a good home and that makes me happy! Because of getting rid of so many books, I was able to downsize from our 3 book shelves, to less than 2. Coincidentally, Blake was also in the mood to purge things and our teamwork resulting in a complete rearranging of our house! It was glorious! 

Am I making this a really long story? Anyway. Our 3 bookshelves used to live in our dining room. Now that they were gone, I had a nice empty wall that would perfectly fit that dresser and it's mirror!
The shed was not too nice to it either. It was really dirty, but after a good wipe down, it was ready for a little DIY. Laura and I went to Lowes, she picked the color and we left with a few brushes and a quart of paint.

*A note on the color. Pinterest is amazing, this we know. I was really inspired by so many pins- particularly this one and this one. I knew I wanted to paint it blue, because it was just the right splash of color without gettin' crazy. We picked Valspar Moon Shade with a satin finish. *

Chores are so much better with a friend to talk to! It took us a few hours and several coats of paint to get it just right. We even kept the old pulls, but they needed a little elbow grease to go from gross to patinaed. The hardest part was waiting for it to dry before I started decorating! I have such a problem with patience. When I want something done, I wanted it done yesterday.

Here are our before and afters:

Yes, Delly had to be right underfoot the whole time. She ended up with quite a bit of blue paint on her little tail. I just know all of her tennis balls are going to end up under this dresser! She makes another appearance in the photos below. She can't help but be involved in photoshoots.

My favorite part of this little project was that it cost next to nothing. I spent around $20 for the paint and brushes, and I shopped my house for the vignette. I'm also so happy to be able to display my great-grandmother's Blue Willow china too! Also the dried Hydrangeas in the pitcher are from my bridal bouquet, which makes it pretty special. 

Leave me a comment: What do you think of the color? Does your husband support your DIYing? Does your pug have to be next to you at all times??

"Kris is doing..uh crafty? things..."

Thursday, November 5, 2015

As a pug lover, I am always looking for cute little pug trinkets and treasures! Etsy has always been a really fun marketplace for my pug wishlist. So far I have only purchased one of these items, the Pug and Pug Brewing Co poster. It is completely customizable, so I had one designed for my in-laws. They loved it, and it was something I really considered keeping for myself! 
Other than that, everything else is on my wishlist! How cute is the Pug Life decal? Such a pug pose. And I adore the Black Pug painting print-mostly 'cause it looks just like Delly! My first purchase will probably be the address stamp, as that combines my love of pug and stationary. 

Pug Dog Expandable Bangle br...

FRAMED Pug Silhouette - Hand...

Pug Dog Cookie Cutter With B...

Pug Life funny car or laptop...

Pug Dog Embroidered Felt Nec...

Custom Address Stamp - Pug C...

Black Pug Art print - signe...

Pug necklace, tiny sterling ...

PERSONALIZED -- Pug & Pug B...

Choose One, Pug Art, Gift fo...

New Made to Order Pug silhou...

pug pencil case funny black ...

DICTIONARY Art Print, Pug Do...

Boot Socks Women Socks Leg W...

Black Pug Greeting Card, Cut...

Lilly Pulitzer inspired pug ...

Leave me a comment: What is your favorite Pug find? What's on your wishlist?
- Follow Me on Etsy -

Favorite Pug Finds on Etsy

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


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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