I look forward to doing a round up of all my favorite posts each year! It's a fun excuse to go back and read through the things I've written. Sometimes I'm surprised to see a photo and realize it happened this year, when it feels like a lifetime ago. 

2019 was filled with great trips, fun crafts and plenty of pug pictures! It was also the year of my rebrand from Pugs and Pearls to kristenwoolsey.com! Super exciting and I feel like that little makeover re-inspired me. Blogging under my own name just feels right.

What's interesting though, is when I started selecting favorite posts to share in this round up, I noticed they were all on the same theme. I've never been a niche blogger, but I really talked about simple living a lot this year. That's so reflective of how I felt personally. After a few crazy years, I truly enjoyed getting back to basics and uncomplicated living. What makes me happy is being at home, spending time with friends, and being productive. Not hustling. 

If you are struggling with 'the hustle' I think this round up of posts will truly help you get started on simplifying. Although it's an ongoing journey, the benefits begin right away. 

My Favorite Posts of 2019 | www.kristenwoolsey.com

I've been sharing our family cruises on the blog for years now! We go almost every year, and most often in late November or early December. We love cruising, and this trip was just as great as always. The past two years we've gone to Cozumel, Mexico and I wanted to share the amazing beach club we are now obsessed with! 

Paradise Beach is an all inclusive beach club located just 10 minutes away from the cruise port. We decided not to do a cruise sponsored excursion last year and found Paradise Beach on Tripadvisor. It had good reviews so we gave it a shot. We loved it so much that we came back this year! 

Life Lately | North Florida Lifestyle Blog | www.kristenwoolsey.com

Practicing Hiking Outfits
I'm sure it's no surprise to you that I am Type A enough to practice outfits months in advance, right? For our tenth anniversary early next year, we are doing an amazing trip to see the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, and other really cool stops. We've already mapped out several hikes and even a horseback tour. It's going to be fairly cold when we go, so we've been stocking up on cool weather hiking gear. I'm obsessed with my LL Bean hiking boots! Our trip includes something like 6 hikes, and we are going to attempt to only bring carry-ons...so maybe you can see why I am thinking so far ahead.
Whoops! Haven't done one of these in awhile! After reading a ton of books at the beginning of the year (you can read all my book reviews here!), I took a reading hiatus over the summer. Partly because of being generally more busy, and partly because I rely on the library for 99% of my books and for some reason they didn't add a whole lot of new books to the Libby app over the summer. 

That being said, I made a goal to read 12 books this year, and I'm on no. 24!

Recent Reads | www.kristenwoolsey.com
Must Have Cricut Accessories

When I first started using my Cricut machine I was so overwhelmed with all of the possibilities! There were so many projects I could do, and SO many products to buy. I wasn't sure what accessories I absolutely needed, and I wasted a whole lotta vinyl because of buying the wrong thing. I thought I would compile the must haves and my favorite products here, in case you are in the market for a Cricut machine. I have a Cricut Explore, so if you have or are getting a Maker keep in mind you have more options for materials to use. 
This post is going to make me seem like an old lady, but this is the kind of stuff that gets me excited! Clothes and makeup don't do it for me quite like home improvement does. None of this is super glamorous, but I wanted to share a few things we've purchased this year that have made our lives easier and better!

This post contains affiliate links!
Best Home Purchases of 2019 | www.kristenwoolsey.com
One | Fancy Cups!
I shared one cup that my friend Dana made for me recently, but I had already asked her to make two more! She can take a cup you already have (which is what we did) and make it completely over. I chose a Disney themed cup for myself. We love Disney, but the fireworks are especially special to me because that's where Blake proposed to me! Blake's cup turned out so sick. Guys are hard to design for, but she knocked it out of the park. Dana is awesome to work with, and I know she'd love it if I sent you her way.


I don't think I need to tell you that I'm obsessed with my Cricut! I lurk in a Cricut Facebook group for people with these machines, and it's absolutely incredible what some people are making! Some women (and a few guys) are entering craft shows, selling on Etsy and making some serious money! It's so inspiring. I'm not quite ready to dive into a real side hustle, but it's so fun to feel creative and whip up a project. 

Here are a few things I've been crafting lately!
This post contains affiliate and referral links.
Cricut Craft -Homebody Sweatshirt | www.kristenwoolsey.com
New Products I'm Loving | www.kristenwoolsey.com

By no means am I a beauty guru, but I do love trying out new products and finding great stuff! With so many 'misses' when it comes to beauty products, I thought I'd share a few products that I've tried recently that I love! 
Since I'm on a self imposed buying freeze, one thing that has helped me limit my spending has been adding things to my Amazon Wish List-instead of just adding it to the cart. In fact, I've noticed that I previously added a few items to my wish list and later decided I didn't want them after all. It's a great strategy to prevent impulse purchases! 

Wish List | www.kristenwoolsey.com

After glancing through my list, I thought it'd be fun to share these random items! Click on the photo to take you to the product link. Affiliate links are present.
(A few things aren't on Amazon, but I'm including them as well.)
There are 65 days until 2020! It seems like as I get older, the faster time flies, and it's kind of jarring. We have so many exciting things planned for 2020 that I have been thinking of 2019 as a prologue. The prologue of a novel really sets up the story, and so, I'd really like the rest of this year to set up the next in the best way possible.  In fact, the post I shared on January 1, 2018 was all about doing something today, that you will thank yourself for tomorrow. 

I still feel very strongly about that life strategy. What better way to set up next year, than starting right now? There are 3 areas of my life that I am going to focus on, and doing so will really help me finish the year strong. Those areas are Health, Wealth and Self.

fourth quarter goals | www.kristenwoolsey.com
Contentment Challenges and Tips | www.kristenwoolsey.com

con·tent·ment
/kənˈtentmənt/
noun
a state of happiness and satisfaction.
Contentment is a struggle for me. I'm a goal getter, an obsessive thinker, and someone who is constantly looking for ways to improve. While none of those things are truly negative traits, discontment usually follows. 

I never want to give up pursuing a better way. My need to improve is actually something that works to my advantage most days. However, when Blake and I started battening down the hatches on our budget, I realized just how often I was adding things to the wish list. 

Contentment is something that I want to work on in all areas of my life and personality, but today I specifically want to talk about contentment with material things. 
One | West Palm!
We go to West Palm every year, with Blake's family. The group has been different everytime, but we have so many wonderful memories there. Usually we go the last week of July or the first week of August - but this year we were in Europe! So, it was a real bonus for us to fit in a long weekend in October. The weather there is perfect this time of year- still hot, but the sand doesn't burn the bottom of your feet like it does in July.

It was all too short. I felt like I had just started to relax and it was time to go. 


Often I feel like what I write in a blog post would be what I would share if I were on a coffee date with a friend-whatever has been on my mind lately. That's exactly what I want to do right now. I don't drink coffee, but I do drink hot tea, so I'm going to sip on some while I catch you up on a few things I've been obsessing over lately. (Because I don't just think about things, I obsess.)

Running
I'm so so thrilled to be a runner again. On the blog over the years, (5 by the way! I completely forgot about my blogiversary.) I've recapped various races and fitness goals. In fact, in my office I have all of my race bibs displayed, and I think there are at least 30. So, I guess I've always been a runner. But it's been a very long time since I've felt like one! 

It all started with finding my 30 Before 30 list. I wrote it when I was like 24, and now that I'm 29 I realize how ridiculous my aspirations were! So, I rewrote it. Some of the things on the list remained the same, one of them being running a half marathon. After almost spending over $200 on a Disney race, I found a half marathon in my home town for $40 and decided to sign up. It's in the beginning of February, which gives me plenty of time to prepare. 

I also signed up my reluctant sister and mom. We found a half marathon training schedule and have stuck with it for 4 weeks. I'm super proud. The mileage has been low so far, so we've been working on endurance and speed. It's SO exciting to see progress from run to run. 


One// New Cup
My friend Dana started a business making epoxy tumblers, and I had her make one for me! I was inspired by the Happy Stripe pattern from Simplified, and Dana knocked it out of the park. A cup this size is only $30. Thought I'd mention it in case you are on the hunt for a great gift! Here's her page.

https://www.facebook.com/pettreytumblers/

Two// New Recipes 
Have I mentioned that I purchased an air fryer? If not, I have to tell you how much I love it. It's been a complete game changer in the kitchen! We use it almost everyday. It makes vegetables taste so much better. I recently tried a recipe for 2 ingredient bagels in the air fryer, and they turned out so good! 

The recipe is just 1/2 cup self rising flour and 1/2 cup low fat greek yogurt. Mix it until you have a dough ball, then divide into 4. Shape into a bagel shape, and coat with a beaten egg. Top with whatever seasoning you want. I went with everything seasoning. 350 degrees for 10 mins! These end up being about 150 calories a piece, which is about half of a traditional bagel. 

2 Ingredient WW bagels in the air fryer

2 Ingredient WW bagels in the air fryer

The second recipe I made in the oven, but you can certainly make a smaller batch in the air fryer. This recipe is for a healthy pumpkin muffin! They are only 65 calories per muffin. Or about 100 if you add chocolate chips, which I did. 

Here's the recipe:
1 15 oz canned pumpkin
1 cup egg whites
1 cup flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp clove
3 tbsp stevia
1 tbsp baking powder 
(chocolate chips are optional)
Mix and pour in a muffin tin. Makes 12 muffins. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. 

Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

Three// Closet Clean Out
I am on a mission to continue decluttering, and my closet is one place I can always find things to get rid of. I did a massive clean out, and even said goodbye to some pieces I had been holding on to. It was encouraging too, because I found some shorts I had set aside because they had become too tight. Now they fit like a glove! 

I ended up with an entire rubbermaid and a TJ Maxx bag full of clothes. My sister got several pieces, but, I also posted quite a bit in my Poshmark closet. Head on over to take a look! 

If you aren't already on Poshmark, you can use my code KESWOOLSEY for $10 to use towards clothes. I also do big discounts if you purchase more than one item. 


Let's Chat! Leave me a comment below with something you've got to share! Buy anything new lately? What about new recipes you've tried? Do you have an air fryer?! Tell me what you think!
With our annual passes expiring at the beginning of October, we wanted to go out with a bang and do one last big Disney trip! We are not renewing our passes this time. 2020 has a lot in store travel wise, and we needed to make some adjustments in the budget. Florida Residents can pay monthly for their passes, and even though that's helpful, you still spend so much money on hotels and food. 

Before our passes expire we wanted to make sure that we got to see the new Star Wars land area and visit each of the parks one last time. We had an awesome long weekend and definitely got our money's worth. That being said, I think I've got Disney out of my system for a long time. 
It might be the back to school season, but I have been in such a mood to reevaluate my little home office and make some changes! We shared our office makeover about a year ago when I started working from home. Previously, my husband and I shared a desktop computer and I didn't really use our home office all that often. Things have certainly changed, because the office has become the room we are in most frequently! In addition to work, Blake and I also do some volunteer construction work, and the majority of what we do is clerical, so a functional office is critical. 

When I shared our mini makeover, I had not purchased my Cricut yet. My Cricut has got to be one of the best purchases I've ever made! It's quickly become my favorite thing. Crafts...gifts...I'm always using it. With the Cricut comes a certain...mess. I have accumulated quite a stash of vinyl and other supplies. But, this space still needs to function for actual work-so I had to do a little more organizing. 

I wanted to share a real life look at what my work space looks like. I did not fluff it up for these photos! (I did flip a few papers around and cover up some private information.) Maybe it'll inspire you a little bit, or maybe you are like me and just nosey. =] 

Affiliate links present!

Home Office Organization Ideas

Here's my space! I have an Ikea desk and shelving system, and the drawer cabinet is also from Ikea. I couldn't recommend this set more. It's durable and easy to reconfigure. Additionally I have a rolling cart that I found at TJ Maxx. (Similar) Under the desk is our Fireproof box.

Home Office Organization Ideas

Told you I didn't stage these! Look at all of those cords under the desk...yikes!

I adore this self! I love that when I'm sitting at my desk, I can easily reach over for scissors or a different pen. It was also perfect to clip my work light onto. I try to keep these shelves decluttered, but because our office wears so many different hats, I've got a lot of stuff!

Home Office Organization Ideas

One of our newest office organizers are these paper storage boxes. I found these at Walmart (similar on Amazon) and used my label maker to distinguish the drawers. I'm using these 4 drawers for paper, cardstock, photo paper, and then the last drawer for random things like sheet protectors and page dividers. Super easy to set up and they really hide the clutter. On this shelf I keep an acrylic sorter to organize my notecards. (I have another one on Blake's desk to organize bills.)

Above the other paper organizer, I have an acrylic tray where we keep random cords and chargers. I'd love to find a prettier solution but, my husband is an IT guy-there will forever be cords everywhere. 

Home Office Organization Ideas

This tray came from Walmart, in the bathroom section. (Similar on Amazon)

Home Office Organization Ideas

These are my most used shelves! The top has two sets of acrylic organizers for my pens and Cricut tools. Again, I found the acrylic cups in the bathroom section at Walmart and labeled them with my Cricut. (Similar on Amazon

If you are a pen person...I love the Stablio pens, Papermate Flair pens, and the Erin Condren dual tip pens. If you are new to Erin Condren, you can sign up for an account with my link and receive a $10 gift certificate! (Don't forget to use Ebates too!)

The second shelf contains three packs of colorful cardstock that I have yet to use! I bought it for making greeting cards with my Cricut, and I have failed everytime. Making that a goal to get right! 
I also have a 3 ring binder with sheet protectors to store my vinyl scraps. It's really fun to make something using only scraps. It's like it was free!

Shelf number two also contains my main notebooks. I swear by the Erin Condren spiral notebooks. The paper quality is great and you get to customize your cover. I have a dedicated notebook for several different things. For example, one for work, one for our volunteer work, etc. (Use my referral link and that gift certificate makes those custom notebooks $10!)

I also have yet another acrylic organizer for more pens, highlighters, dry erase markers, sharpies and my washi tape. I believe that organizer came from Target. See it better in this post.

Oh! And that colorful box is where I keep the decals I sell in my Etsy shop! The box comes free when you buy some custom stationary from Erin Condren. (Also something I love! Those note cards are fantastic!)

Home Office Organization Ideas

My biggest suggestion for staying organized is to give everything a home! I'm sure you've heard "everything in its place." It really works. I've saved so many random containers and small boxes to use in my office! The little bowl holding all of my memory cards and flash drives? A tealight holder. The bigger one next to it, holding my giant paper clips? The ceramic bowl that came with my dish brush

Home Office Organization Ideas

On top of the shelf is where I keep our letterboard. I shared how I organize all of those little letters in this post! I love the letterboard, because it's an easy way to change things up. I also store our paper cutter and my button maker on the top. They don't fit anywhere else! 

Home Office Organization Ideas

Isn't it beautiful!? Haha, I really do love that thing. I started a tag on my website so that you can follow along with my Cricut creations. I make use of the vertical space and hang my sticky mats on either side of the bookshelf. 

Home Office Organization Ideas


Command hooks are my best friend!

Home Office Organization Ideas

January?! Nope, it's still September, I just hid my current calendar so you can't be extra nosey. This is what I look at the most, besides my screen. I have the glass dry erase board from Ikea, two cork boards and a few photos I love. In addition to my monthly calendar

Laptop is an Asus, which has been great. Mouse pad and notebook are Erin Condren. The notebook is sitting on an acrylic stand, also from EC.

Home Office Organization Ideas

I recently added my Disney pins to my corkboard and it always makes me smile! Previously, I had them on my backpack that I took the the parks. Last time we were there 2 of my pins popped off and I decided I didn't want to risk it anymore. This is a fun way to see them everyday! I kind of started a dog collection. 

Home Office Organization Ideas

On top of the drawer system from Ikea, I have another lamp. It's best feature is that it has a USB port at the base, so it's so convenient to charge my tablet and my wireless headphones. Another new addition to this area is this black file box. It was a super easy and cheap way to organize a few things that just floated around before.

I also love diffusing calming essential oils while I work. This diffuser was really inexpensive, but works really well. (Here are some of my favorite diffuser blends!)

Wanna look inside my drawers?
Home Office Organization Ideas

Home Office Organization Ideas

Home Office Organization Ideas

The absolute key to keeping drawers organized is using sorters!! These drawers always look like this. It's because everything has a spot. The top drawer has an Ikea organizer that was meant to go with this piece. It fits perfectly! The next two drawers are a combination of old boxes I've kept and drawer sorters from Walmart. You do not need to go out and buy drawer organizers! (Although the Dollar Tree has a great selection for $1.) Save packaging and use that! All of my button making parts are stored in a gift box from one of Blake's anniversary presents last year. 

Home Office Organization Ideas

Alright, here is further proof I did not clean up! This rolling cart is home to all of my Vinyl. The top has my HTV (for fabric), my stencil paper, and transfer paper rolls. The middle shelf holds all of my traditional vinyl. There is a lot. It used to be in cute little rolls, but my stash got too big. I have just about every color they make. 

The bottom shelf holds some blanks. A few tea towels, t-shirts, some plain water bottles...just stuff that I can use to whip together a quick gift. I also have a few canvases tucked away for my next reverse canvas projects

Okay guys, your turn! Let's talk in the comments below. Tell me what you think! Could you work in this space? How do you stay organized? Do you even have a home office? 

You may like: Our Home Tour
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This will sort of be a continuation of what we've been up to this summer! Our summers are so full, and sometimes I crave the fall season so things slow down a bit. Then I realize we have been having so much fun this summer! Minus my wisdom tooth fiasco, anyway.

Enjoying the Water! 
We've been able to go out on my sister's boat several times this summer and it has been a blast. There is nothing like the wind in your face.


Also had a beach day with my cousin Anna, who lives in St. Augustine. Genuinely would love to do this weekly. The beach is so perfect there, and my sister and I love to stop at the outlet mall before we hit the beach. Here's a no-make-up-just-happy-faces selfie:


And enjoying the pool at my mom's place! I've really been enjoying the Alba Botanicals Sunscreen this summer. However, I'm still on the hunt for the perfect mineral sunscreen that doesn't make me white as a ghost. 


Trying to master the half-tuck:
I am trying desperately to get the half-tuck right. Some people make it look so effortless! With my body style, I think it helps my proportions if I do it. Here was a day that I felt like I got it right, haha: 


Breweries Galore
Since returning from Europe Blake has been on a quest to find this Belgium beer he fell in love with. We can't find it anywhere, and to ship it over is like $50 just for 4 bottles. So, we've been trying to fill the void with some craft beers. We actually love going to breweries, and boy, there are so many now!

We finally made it to Halpatters, which is the most local brewery to us. We had a really fun triple date night there, and had a blast! To be honest, Blake and I didn't love the beer we tried (there were a lot of choices though, and we haven't tried everything yet!) but, the atmosphere was great. You can't beat live music and hanging out with friends. They also have ping pong and foosball, which is what we were playing in the bottom picture. The lighting in that room was next to nothing, so Blake held up his flashlight which only added to the fun.



We also tried DEEP in Tallahassee, which was GREAT! Their beer is so good, and we bought some to take home. It's kind of in a neighborhood, and not the biggest brewery in town, so it wasn't busy at all. We really enjoyed hanging out with my mom and dad and dreaming of opening our own brewery one day. (4 people who have no idea how to brew beer...we just like to drink it...haha.)



Enjoying Our Own Home
We had some weird down time last week, because of the hurricane. All the projections in the beginning had it coming right up the State, and then we didn't even get a drop of rain. We spent some time prepping-which included buying a new grill. I don't think ours has worked since Irma in 2017, so it was time for an upgrade. 

There was the very slightest hint of fall in the air as well! We know it won't cool down for real here until November or December, but I was really enjoying being outside without feeling oppressed by the heat. In fact, we even sat out on the front porch for a few hours doing work and it was so nice. 



I love our new little fire feature! It was super easy to install, and adds so much ambiance. The grill works perfectly, and I was surprised that even though it's technically a big griddle, you still get grill marks. 

Since this meal, we have since done some pressure washing and bought a little canopy as a grill station. It looks really nice! I'll have to snap a picture to share. We also decluttered and rearranged some of our outdoor decor and furniture. As soon as the temperatures decrease a little, I'd really like to have a dinner party on our back porch


More Boats! 
A big group rented 2 pontoons to take out on the St Marks River and into the Gulf. Oh my gosh, it was the perfect day! It was equal parts fun and relaxing. Plus we got to hang out with friends we rarely get to see. 



I picked up this Columbia Tidal Tee and it is a gamechanger for the sun! It's perfect for covering up, but also dries quickly too. 




Wisdom Teeth Saga Continues
Unfortunately, just as I thought my life was back to normal after having my wisdom teeth removed, I got an infection. My doctor said it was super rare, and not my fault. Apparently a tiny little hole in my gums got some bacteria in it and got infected. 

I was working, and thought I was coming down with a cold. My sinuses were hurting, I had a low grade fever, aches and chills...so I went home early. That evening, it turned into brutal tooth pain. The next morning I woke up and my cheek was the size of a tennis ball. It was so painful. I went in to the doctor right away and he was able to help me out. 

Essentially, they had to cut a hole in my cheek and put in a drain. It was so uncomfortable, but I was thrilled to get some relief. I will spare you all the details, but what came out of my cheek was pretty disgusting. That drain, plus 2 weeks worth of the strongest antibiotics have me feeling much better. Within 4 days the swelling was gone, which was the worst part. 

This was me on the way to the doctor: 


It hurts just looking a that cheek! Super interestingly, my doctor said that was the side that was the most straightforward as far as the removal went. In fact, when he figured out what the problem was, he started numbing the wrong area, because it's so rare to have a top tooth get infected like that. I'm glad I spoke up! It was such a rare reaction that several people in the office wanted to look. Great, right? Glad I could provide some entertainment! (No, but seriously, this office is great and I would recommend them to anyone.) 

I still have a pretty big hole in my cheek, but I can eat fairly normally again and life goes on!

Desperate to eat something other than oatmeal, I tried the Chick Fil A Mac and Cheese! I've been wanting to try it, but probably wouldn't have ordered it normally. It's really tasty! Not healthy in the slightest, but really good! 


Pupdate!
I always try to end these posts with some pug pics! You know my camera roll has dozens of pictures of these crazy dogs. They've been glued to my side as I convoless. 



 Told you there has been a lot of oatmeal in my life lately. 





Let's Chat! Glad we could catch up! Leave a comment below and tell me how the end of your summer is going. 
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