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A huge thank you to JORD watches for sending me my very own wooden watch, and for sponsoring the giveaway at the end of this post! 

JORD Wooden Watches -- Frankie in Zebrawood & Navy

It's hard to say, but I think watches are my favorite accessory. Which speaks volumes about my personality, actually. Something decorative, that actually serves a purpose is totally my jam! I wear a watch everyday and if I forget to put one on my wrist feels naked.

What are those wooden watches really like?! & GIVEAWAY with JORD watches!

Monday, January 29, 2018

So, I love to make salads. Mostly, because I like to eat salads. In fact, when asked to make something for a dinner party, funeral or some other function, I can almost guarantee that I'm going to be asked to make a salad. Hey, no complaints here! Salads are one of the easiest things to make for a party! No heat involved.

Just to keep myself from getting bored, I decided I would make a different kind of salad for a get-together a few months ago. I ended up borrowing this recipe from a friend, and then sorta tweaked it with another recipe I found. 

This asian slaw is SO delicious, and such a crowd pleaser. I'm just saying, people go back for seconds of this salad. We love it so much, sometimes we will just eat this for dinner. Leave a comment below if you plan on trying this recipe out! 

Crunchy Asian Slaw Recipe // Pugs & Pearls Blog

Crunchy Asian Slaw Recipe

For the salad you'll need:

1 16 oz package of broccoli slaw

1 3 oz package of chicken flavored Ramen noodles
1 cup slivered or sliced almonds
1/4 chopped scallions

For the dressing you'll need:

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
the seasoning packet from the Ramen.

Preheat your oven to 350*.

Crush the Ramen noodles in a ziploc bag until they are crumbled. Place noodles and almond slivers on a baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes until toasted.  

Assemble the salad by adding the broccoli slaw, scallions, toasted noodles and almonds.  

To make the dressing add the olive oil, sugar, rice vinegar and Ramen seasoning to a mason jar. Shake vigorously. Add the salad if serving right away, or set aside until ready to serve. (Do not refrigerate dressing!)

Crunchy Asian Slaw Recipe

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

one// Konmari Sock Drawer
I used the Konmari folding technique on our t-shirts ages ago. Seriously it's amazing and our shirts stay perfectly filed. I hadn't tried to fold any other clothing that way, since it didn't really see a need to. (I only own like 2 pairs of jeans so they never get disorganized...etc) 

Well, I bought Blake a bunch of new dress socks. Did you know Walmart now carries a line of Happy Socks?! I couldn't resist. When I went to put away the freshly laundered ones, I was sort of appalled at his sock drawer. Even the Ikea organizers I had in there weren't really doing anything. So I watched a tutorial on Youtube and the results are so great! He LOVED it. They've stayed nice and neat even after pulling out socks and putting clean ones back in. 

two// My First Sleepover
Well, not mine. But the first time I had both my older niece and nephew sleepover here. Carter has stayed with me before, but Gia hasn't. Gia spent the whole day with us, and Carter came over later and sweet talked his mom into letting him stay too.

We let Blake have our room to himself, and I slept with the kids in our guest room. There was a lot of "he's touching me!!" and things like that but we settled in and both kids did fine. They were up at the crack of dawn but I figured that was coming. We had a blast. Carter flung waffle mix all over me when we were making breakfast. He got in trouble for it but I couldn't stop laughing. #I'd Be A Terrible Parent. When they went home Blake and I definitely took a nap.

three// Another Failed Outfit Chronicle
I did so great documenting my outfits in November. After taking basically all of December off of blogging, I wanted to start up again in January with outfit pictures. Well, I only have one, haha. So here ya go. I actually really love this one.

four// Apps You Need To Download
  HQ Trivia (Unreleased)- screenshot thumbnail
I love me some trivia! Both Blake and I have been obsessed with this game. It's 12 questions, and you have to get them all correct to win the money, which is then split up between the winners. We've only made it to question 6 or 7, but it's still fun to try!

  Think Dirty- screenshot thumbnail

This is a product scanner that helps you determine the toxicity of what you want to buy. It rates items up to 10, 10 being the most toxic. Yeah, the shampoo I've been using is a 10. I'm actively looking for a new one! It's incredibly eye opening. There are many baby products, and products that say they are for sensitive skin that rate very badly.

If you want a good laugh download the Google Arts & Culture app. You can upload a selfie and it will find a famous painting with your doppleganger. My results were pretty unremarkable, but SO many of my friends are getting hysterical results!! 

   1 Second Everyday: Video Diary- screenshot

I tried this a few years ago and didn't finish my project. I'm very happy to say I'm doing much better with it this time! The push notifications really help. Basically you add a 1 second video or photo to each day, and at the end of the year (or years) you make a compilation video. I'm so excited to see my year! I did a memory jar in 2015 which we loved, but I didn't like the physical clutter it made. So this is the perfect alternative to momentos. 

My favorite clip so far will be from this day: It snowed in Florida!! It only lasted a few minutes, but it was real snow. 

five// Mother Daughter Girl's Day
My mom and her 2 bffs got a little girl's day together for all of us. First we went to see Wonder. Hilariously my mom had bought tickets for the day before....but thankfully the nice man at AMC helped us get in. We had to sit in the front row, but hey it was a good movie. Then we all went to get pedicures. I rarely go to get my nails done, so that was a treat. Then we went out for sushi! After dinner we went back to Heidi's house for wine and a few rounds of Heads Up. My chest was burning with laughter, and it even hurt the next day!

Huge LOL that my mom and I both showed up in pink button downs with navy sweaters over them...Totally turning into her. 

bonus #6 // Victoria
Victoria, season 2, arrived Stateside this week! I love this show. It's so sweet, and so far nothing objectionable has popped up in it-so I feel good about recommending it. I got my mom hooked on it. You can watch all of season 1 on Amazon Prime. It's a super interesting time in history! 

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five+

Friday, January 19, 2018

Cooking for my husband was one of the things I was most excited to do when we got married! In fact, it's how I got started blogging. Cooking for 2 was challenging, and new! Looking for fresh recipes and trying out different cuisines is truly one of my favorite memories from our first year of marriage. 

After a few years, I feel like an established cook. I'm definitely no Julia Child, and you will never see me cooking an entire duck- but I feel quite comfortable in the kitchen. And it's one of my favorite ways to show hospitality! Having music playing, talking with Blake after he gets home from work, and chopping vegetables together is one of the best parts of the day for me.

There have been those nights when we've both had stressful days at work, we don't feel like doing anything but sitting on the couch and then I realize I didn't plan anything for dinner. The most irritating question, when you don't have an answer for it, is "What's for dinner?" 

The best solution for budgeting, dieting and stress free week nights is meal planning. Having a plan for what to cook will solve so many problems at once. I thought I'd share my top five tips for meal planning that have worked well for my family!

My Top 5 Meal Planning Tips :: Plus a sample meal plan!

1. Don't Get Fancy.
Story time: Once I found a recipe for a beautiful seafood stew. It had about 45 ingredients. One of which was a particular rice noodle, that my grocery store didn't have. I picked up something that looked similar. Well, after cooking for an hour, adding in my substitute noodles and letting it simmer for a few minutes, I came back to what can only be described as a gelatinous soup cube. It was a complete fail. We ended up at Burger King that night. Such a waste of time and food! 

When you are planning out your meals for the week, be reasonable. Are you really going to feel like cooking an elaborate dinner after your longest work day? For example, Blake and I both work long days on Monday and Friday, so those are the perfect days for easy no brainer meals. 

Also, it can be tempting to try a fancy recipe because it looks so good in the pictures. But, be realistic. Can you use those ingredients more than once? Will your family even like it? My tip is to go with a 30 minute meal with minimal ingredients. Save the fancy stuff for a special occasion. 

One more thing! I don't suggest planning out 7 meals for your week. More often than not, you will end up with a ton of leftovers that cannot be eaten. I usually stick with 5 meals, plan for leftovers and eat out once a week. 

2. Make It A Family Affiar
I don't think meal planning or cooking should fall on one person. Blake and I usually meal plan together. It's a great way to find out what your family might be interested in eating that week. Blake will usually mention something I've forgotten about, or something that he really liked in the past. It's also a perfect time to discuss your plans for the week. For example, maybe you have to work late one night, your husband gets a heads up and he knows he has to start dinner that day. Then he has the opportunity to suggest what he wants to cook that night. 

You'll have to pick a day that works for you, but we do our meal planning and grocery shopping on Sunday (typically). It's so nice to have that sorted out and done for the week. 

3. Try Themed Days
This something I've read about, but haven't implemented myself. But, I think it's SUCH a good idea and maybe it will work for you. Try having each day of the week with a specific theme. For example, Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, or Crockpot Thursdays. That way you will always have an easy outline to follow when planning. There is so much freedom for variation in that kind of schedule too. Taco Tuesdays could be: fajitas, fish tacos, shrimp tacos, black bean tacos, chicken tacos...breakfast tacos..seriously I could go on. 

4. Shop Your Pantry
I think this takes a little practice. Once in awhile I like to skip grocery shopping for a week and really try to make meals from things we already have in the pantry or fridge. This is SO good on the budget and it makes me feel good not to be wasteful.

It takes a little creativity, but you can do it! Just a few weeks ago I spent $30 at the grocery store. I was only buying supplemental ingredients to the things I already had. For example, for some reason we ended up with 2 cartons of eggs in the fridge. I decided one night we'd use the eggs and leftover tortillas for breakfast tacos. All I needed to buy was one avocado, and I'd use some leftover homemade salsa to top them off. They were delicious and it was so satisfying to know we used what we had.

5. Stash The Recipes You Like
Sometimes it's hard to be creative and try new things. I love to have a few solid recipes in my back pocket that I know 100% we both love to eat and are easy to make. A recipe binder or Pinterest are great for this purpose. Honestly, if you collected 30 recipes, you could shuffle them each month and have the easiest meal plan ever. 

I like to stick to my favorites, and maybe try one new recipe each week. Sometimes it's a miss, but I love it when I see Blake go back for seconds! 

So would you like to see how I plan, and what we have planned for this week? 

First, we write a list. I'll pull up a few browsers with Pins and think about what we already have a lot of. I use my Erin Condren notebook that I make my daily to-do lists in. 

My 5 top tips for meal planning! Plus a sample week.

Then I transfer the final list to our fridge dry erase board. I LOVE this board. It's easy to change if necessary and we can see at a glance what we have planned. It also helps me remember what to take out of the freezer in the morning. When I was transfering my meal plan to the dry erase board this week, I reconfigured the days a little so that they made more sense with our schedule for the week. 

My 5 top tips for meal planning! Plus a sample week.

This week I went with:
Monday - Tacos (usually we do black bean tacos)
Tuesday - Pasta using my homemade sauce
Wednesday - Sushi Bowls (a fav!) using this recipe, adapted. 
Thursday - Chickpea Taco Salad using this recipe
Friday - Vegetarian Gyros using this recipe
We plan to eat leftovers on Saturday and eat out on Sunday. Although that's completely flexible, because someone may invite us out on Saturday, and in that case we'd just do leftovers Sunday. 

I make our grocery list in Wunderlist, and Blake and I will go to the store together. Fun fact. We definitely spend more money when he goes to the store with me, but I enjoy his company so I will deal with it. 

Don't forget to check Ibotta for rebates! 

So there you have it! Leave a comment below if you have a different strategy for meal planning. Is this something you'd like to work on, or do you have a pretty good system? I'd love a link to your favorite recipes! You can find more of the recipes I've shared: HERE. Even though sharing recipes got me started in blogging, I don't post very many anymore. Let me know if that's something you'd like to see more of! 
This post may contain affiliate or referral links! 

My Top Five Tips for Meal Planning & A Sample Week

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

We've had Disney passes essentially our entire marriage, but we decided about 2 years ago to hold off on renewing until all of the new construction at the parks was finished. You can pay monthly for a pass, but with hotel expenses and food - our trips were really adding up. We figured we'd wait a few years and then all the new stuff would be open and it would be worth the wait! Last year my parents bought us the 4 day Florida resident ticket for our anniversary, and we happily used that

When my sister in law invited us to go with her, we were really stuck between a rock and a hard place! I've been wanting to go with our niece and nephew since they were born, but we really had no intention of getting passes for awhile. Well peer pressure won out, and we decided to go. Amazingly, the Florida resident special ticket went on sale 2 days before we were going! It's such a good deal. You have to use your days before June, but it's about half the price. Total score! 

Disney is such a special place to us, and we have lots of great memories there. We made quite a few more this trip! On to a few highlights:




My favorite moments:

The Star Wars VR experience at Disney Springs
By far one of the coolest things we've ever done. Teams of 4 gear up with a backpack and virtual reality helmet and go on a secret mission together! It's so amazing. It's a bit disorienting at first, but super super fun once you get the hang of it. 

Riding Thunder Mountain just as the fireworks started
We could not have timed this even if we tried. Our goal was to stay until the firework show started, even though it was getting pretty cold. We had about an hour to kill, so we decided to ride Thunder Mountain. Even though the wait time said 35 minutes we knew it was much longer than that as soon as we got into the queue. We boarded the roller coaster, and just as we were going over the first hill the fireworks started going. It was such an epic moment. Turns out the fireworks are shot off toward the back of the park, and when we got off the ride we could see the whole show perfectly from there. Thankfully they started piping in the music throughout the park, so we didn't miss anything! Warming up with hot chocolate and churros right after the show was a perfect end to the day. 

Watching my niece enjoy Soarin'
Gia is actually the perfect age for Disney. Everything was amazing to her, and she is such a ham anyway. She reacted to everything just like the designers hope. Yelling for Prince Phillip to get Maleficent during the parade was a close second to how she responded to Soarin. She was mesmerized, said wow about a thousand times, and even pulled her feet up when she thought she was really going to hit the top of a mountain. So precious! Exactly why I wanted to go with them so bad. (Although, my nephew Zane was completely traumatized by all the characters, so that did put a damper on things, haha)

Dying of laughter at all of our ride photos
The Memory Maker package is expensive, but totally worth all of the amazing ride photos we got! I sprinkled a few in this post. I have never laughed so hard in my life! The best one is our group riding Frozen. Blake and I went to go get a beer while everybody else rode. When we got back everyone was soaked! We've ridden before and I swear we never even got a droplet of water on us. The picture is worth 1,000 words.

Finally, I'd like to give a shout out to my amazing blogger husband. He snuck over to a stranger's stroller to rotate their $20 balloons so that we could get a shot of the carousel and castle. Real MVP right there. 

You Might Like:
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Disney Highlight Reel

Friday, January 12, 2018


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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