Monday, June 17, 2019

Currently Loving # 16

Recent Favorites on

Who doesn't love a good tote bag? I recently got rid of almost all of my bags, and downsized to a small crossbody. I noticed that I really needed a tote to take to work for all the extra stuff I usually lug with me there. LL Bean was having a pretty solid sale, and I was able to pick up the medium sized boat and tote for a great price! (Plus Ebates!) I love this thing more than I ever expected. The material is very stiff, so it stands upright and I know it will last forever. There is a reason these bags are so famous. 
LL Bean Boat and Tote Medium on

Burt's Bees Makeup 
I was nervous to try this makeup, because I wasn't sure if it would be any good. It's hard to tick all the boxes of being a more natural product, budget friendly and a good product. I'm really happy with what I've tried so far! The eyeshadow and blush have great pigment and last all day. The mascara is way better than I expected. It is good with one coat, but even better with two. It lasts all day- and the best part is it doesn't take a miracle to remove! 

I got mine from Grove Collaborative, but they are on Amazon too: Eyeshadow, Blush & Mascara
I'm a die-hard liquid liner person, so I don't think I will try their pencil liner.

Burt's Bees Makeup Review on

My Steve Madden Cache sandals have been well loved. I have worn them hard! (You've seen them here!) I went to buy the exact same pair again, and saw that they are completely sold out in my size. I've looked on Poshmark, name it. I was getting desperate, and I found this great dupe from Target! They've got the right look, and they are actually way more comfortable than my previous sandals. And half the price! I'm calling that a win. 

Can you tell I loved those shoes?
The best brown sandals on

I'm not sure if this falls under TMI, but I love this underwear! Basically, it's period underwear. It works fantastically, and I have been very impressed. I love that it helps reduce waste! Size up if you are going with a traditional underwear style, go with your regular size for a thong. The return/exchange process is the most painless I've ever experienced too. My suggestion is to get the 3 pair pack to save 10% and use my $10 referral code

I don't think you need a picture on this one, haha!

This one is for all you dog people! Lots of dogs suffer from skin issues due to allergies. Pugs are definitely one of them. We've specifically had a problem with Bailey. She gets an allergy shot, and the vet was even talking about getting her on a 2nd medication. I wasn't really thrilled with that. I found this excellent skin soother for dogs and I can't recommend it enough if your dog has similar issues! 
Skin Soother Review on

Skin Soother Review on kristenwoolsey.comSkin Soother Review on
I'm not sure if this picture helps you see the difference. On the left, her little armpits were scabbed over- hence the darker color. On the right, it's so much better! Still a bit red, but every day it's better!

Pug Life on

I've also been applying the skin soother to her belly and she loves it. Her belly used to have little scabs all over it from her constant itching and dry skin. It's now healthy and normal looking! She literally rolls over on her back so I can put it on, she loves it so much. 

This might be one of the most expensive beauty products I've ever shared! I received this as a gift, otherwise I may not have ever tried it, despite the stellar reviews. It smells fantastic, and works wonders. I use it about once a week to remove dry, dead skin from my face. It's worth every penny, and I've barely used 1/4 of the bottle. 

Dr Brandt Microdermabrasion Review on

I will admit to totally impulse buying this a TJ Maxx the other week, but it quickly became a favorite! You apply your face wash as normal, and then rub it in with these silicone tools. The tool helps really get the product in and gives you a much deeper clean. I seriously saw a difference within one use! Here is a similar one on Amazon. 

Recent Favorites on

Let's Chat! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think of my recent favorites! Do you have a pair of shoes that worn in your closet? What is the most expensive beauty product you've tried? Would you try period underwear?

This post contains affiliate and referral links at no cost to you!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Cricut Creations

I hope you guys find this interesting. My Cricut has quickly become one of my favorite things! It's rare if I go two days without whipping up a little something. The possibilities with this machine are literally endless, so it's been really fun and interesting to try out different projects. I thought I'd share a few recent creations with you today!

Matching Shampoo and Conditioner Bottles
This is one of those things that is totally unnecessary, but I am in absolute love with. I made two sets of matching shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bottles for both of our bathrooms. The bottles are from Amazon. The bottles are 32 oz, which is huge! It was basically a bottle and a half of my favorite shampoo, and that should last months and months.  

I've gotten so many compliments from guests, and a friend actually ordered a set from me for her airbnb! 

Side note: I started using this body wash and I could not love it more. It's got fairly clean ingredients and it smells so stinkin' good. 

Reverse Canvas
I think this is my favorite project to date! A reverse canvas is just what it sounds like. You buy a traditional canvas from a place like Walmart or Michaels. This one was about $8 for a pack of two canvases. You remove the canvas fabric from the frame, paint or stain the frame, iron on a heat transfer vinyl (that you cut with your Cricut) and then reattach the canvas.

I made this one for my in-laws anniversary this year. It's a few verses from their wedding song, and their wedding date at the bottom. It turned out really beautifully and they loved it. It's such an inexpensive project, but it looks SO swanky. 

My brother's wedding is next month, so I'm going to attempt a much bigger reverse canvas for their reception. 

Cups Galore
The first thing I mastered on my machine were vinyl decals! I'm having so much fun making them and trying out different designs. Holographic vinyl is so cool looking! 

If you have a machine, I could not recommend more! They have the best prices, and they ship super fast. 

Print and Cut
This took me hours to master, but it's been life changing. I am helping a friend make buttons (pins? I'm not sure what to call them) with my button maker. I've been hand cutting circles all this time, and then it dawned on me that I have a cutting machine! Duh.

It took some trial and error to figure out the settings, but now I know what I'm doing! You can print directly from the Cricut design software and it can read the image to cut it for you. My production has gone through the roof. 

Again, the possibilities are endless here. Print and cut is how all of those Etsy people make stickers! I definitely what to try that next.

Easy Gifting
The best thing, by far, about owning this machine is easy gifting! We've had several things come up recently that I wanted to have a gift for and I've literally been able to whip something up on the fly. I am keeping a small stash of things like cups, tea towels, and T shirts. It's been so easy to put something together and everyone loves a personalized gift. 

This was something my mom commissioned. She has been working in disaster relief in the Panama City area after hurricane Michael. She made some friends helping out in a kitchen and she wanted to get them something. All she told me was that this lady loves purple and she is always saying "Butter makes me happy." 

I bought this pack of blank tea towels on Amazon for less than $15 and have been able to make 4 separate gifts with it. Still plenty more to use too!

Talk to me! Leave a comment below and tell me which project is your favorite! What have you been DIYing lately? 
This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Only Non-Navy Blue Outfit I've Ever Shared!

Dress (They ship!) | Bag (Thrifted - Exact on Ebay) | ShoesNecklace

Okay, maybe not ever- but this is the first outfit I've shared in YEARS that does not contain some kind of blue and/or white! This is one for the history books! 

I'm so in love with this dress it's not even funny. A local boutique posted it on their Instagram page, and I immediately messaged my sister asking if she wanted to go look at it with me. We made a little lunch date out of it. I could have ordered it through their Instagram, but I wasn't sure what size to get since it in was in S-M-L. I was so pleased when I slipped it on in the dressing room, and it fit like a glove! Plus my sister let me have her 20% off punch card-and I took this baby home for $30! You all know I love a good deal.

It's a linen dress, so it's perfect for our soaring temperatures. I am hoping to wear this to my little brother's outdoor wedding later this month. And two other occasions after that. And with boots and a cardigan in the fall! 

Let's Chat! Leave a comment below and tell me what your signature colors are? Are you like me and always gravitate towards certain colors? For me, its navy, marigold, or some kind of navy and white stripe. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Blake's Work Office Makeover - Nerdy Office Inspiration

Guy's Nerdy Office Inspiration (Valspar Academy Gray) -

Because I am a huge fan of a before and after, I just had to share the makeover we did at Blake's work office! If you are a long time reader you might remember when we redid his office in 2015. Recently, he moved into the office across the hall. Let's just say it needed some attention. 

Mainly, it needed a good coat of paint. We went with Valspar's Academy Gray- which I keep accidentally calling Academy Blue, because it has such a great blue tint. I love this color and it quickly rose to the top of my all time favorite paint colors. It's amazing what paint can do! 


Guy's Nerdy Office Inspiration (Valspar Academy Gray) -



Guy's Nerdy Office Inspiration (Valspar Academy Gray) -

Guy's Nerdy Office Inspiration (Valspar Academy Gray) -

Guy's Nerdy Office Inspiration (Valspar Academy Gray) -

Guy's Nerdy Office Inspiration (Valspar Academy Gray) -

Guy's Nerdy Office Inspiration (Valspar Academy Gray) -

Guy's Nerdy Office Inspiration (Valspar Academy Gray) -

Guy's Nerdy Office Inspiration (Valspar Academy Gray) -

Talk to me! Leave a comment below and tell me what you think of this paint color! It really is the perfect blue gray color. Are you allowed to paint or decorate your work office? 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Best White Sangria Recipe

My sister and brother in law just finished building their dream house, and I was happy to throw them a little Open House style housewarming. It was a lot of fun, so I only managed to take a few pictures during the party. Mainly, I wanted to share my new sangria recipe! It's fantastic! We served it for the first time at the housewarming, and got so many compliments on it. Plus it looks so beautiful and festive. 

Here's the recipe for 3.5 Gallons (the size of my drink dispenser):

2 Cups Apricot Brandy
1 Cup Peach Schnapps
4 bottles of dry White Wine (such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc)
6 Oranges, sliced
6 Limes, sliced
6 Peaches, sliced
5 cups Strawberries, sliced
2 liters of Ginger Ale
First mix the alcohol, then top with ginger ale and fruit. 

Gosh, this sangria was so good. Because our grocery store did not have peaches or any strawberries, I ended up using frozen fruit-and that was turned out so nice! I think the cold fruit really made this drink refreshing. 

As the dispenser emptied, we tasted the orange slices that had been soaking in the sangria and they were delicious. Someone asked for a ladle so they could scoop out the fruit! 

Let's Chat! Leave a comment below if you would totally take a glass of this sangria! 

Monday, May 20, 2019

3 More Favorite Diffuser Recipes

I can't believe it was 2017 when I shared my favorite essential oil diffuser blends! When I did some decluttering earlier this year I pared down my essential oil collection. I was warned when I first started getting into them that they were addicting! Every time I was at the health food store I'd grab a new one to try. It became really obvious which ones were favorites and which ones I didn't really care for. 

Because my collection got smaller, I decided to try to find new combinations of what I already had. This has been a fun experiment! And in doing so I actually have found 3 new favorite recipes that are my new go-tos! 

Essential Oil Diffuser Recipes!

Essential Oil Diffuser Blends!

Fresh and Spicy:
This is one of my favorite to diffuse first thing in the morning. It makes the whole house smell fresh and clean, but warm too. 
4 drops Rosemary, 4 drops Peppermint, and 1 drop Cinnamon
Click here to purchase: Rosemary...Peppermint....Cinnamon
I love this one at bedtime or in the evenings. There is something about tangerine that really sets off the lavender. Tangerine has become my citrus oil of choice! I prefer it over plain ole orange any day. 
4 drops Lavender, 4 drops Cedarwood or Frankincense, 2 drops Tangerine 
Click here to purchase: Lavender...Cedarwood...Frankincense...Tangerine

Stress Away Copycat:
Young Living is a bit out of my current price range, but I really love their Stress Away blend. It does just what it says and makes you feel like you are in a tropical hotel somewhere. 
4 drops Copaiba, 4 drops Lime, 4 drop Cedarwood, 4 drops Vanilla (not an EO but you can get a blend) and 4 drops Lavender, and 1 drop Cinnamon 
Click here to purchase: Copaiba...Lime...Vanilla...Lavender...Cinnamon

Essential Oil Diffuser Blends!

I don't have a dedication to any particular oil brand, but I know lots of people have strong opinions about it. I have had a really good experience with the NOW brand. I love that I can shop local and pick some up in our health food store. I think the price is right and I think you get a decent amount for the price as well! Plus, don't they look good lined up like that? 

Let's Talk! In the comments below tell me your all time favorite diffuser blend! Are you into essential oils? One thing I really love about them is that you can get so many different scent combinations out of just a few oils. Tell me which oil you can't live without! For me, it's lavender hands down. But a close second is frankincense! 
Affiliate links present at no cost to you!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Ways To Survive A Busy Season

When I was in Kindergarten, my mom has told me that if we went to our Thursday night meeting for worship, I would wake up throwing up on Friday morning. It happened every week! If I didn't get proper rest, I would end up sick. My body has always been like that. If I don't slow down, it'll make me slow down. 

She likes to remind me of that everytime we are on the phone and I go over the crazy to-do lists I have. I've worked really hard to pare down that list-but sometimes busy can't be helped. Spring has historically been our busy season. I work in Real Estate, and as I'm sure most of you know the market is poppin' and we've been all hands on deck at work. (I did just get a raise so that makes it so much better.) Additionally, Blake and I do construction volunteer work and that has turned into basically a part time job. (Loving it and it's absolutely a priority.) We've thrown training days once a month since January and those are 13 hour days, plus all the prep that goes on the week before.

Spring also tends to bring graduation parties, baby showers and weddings too! My sister and brother in law just moved into their new house and I'm hosting a housewarming for them...after taking 3 days out of my regular schedule to help her move and get organized. (Not complaining! That stuff is my jam.) 

My point in sharing all that is not for pity, after all I've done this to myself. Life can be crazy, but I think it's SO important to thrive in life and not just survive. I want to share a few suggestions today about how to reset, recharge and find happiness while you are swimming up the current. 

Tips for Thriving During A Busy Season

Remember Your Non Negotiables
I suggest spending a few minutes on this with a pen and paper. You have to nail down what is non negotiable in your life. Identifying these things will help you navigate your day and a busy season. These are things that you must do, but things that also fill your tank.

For me, it's: daily Bible Reading, some kind of physical activity, having a tidy house in the evenings and communication with my husband. These things keep me grounded and are things I find vital for feeling good about my day. If nothing else goes right, I don't feel terrible if I've done these things.

Saying No
Mark this one down as the hardest thing to do in life. The reality of a busy season is that you don't have much room for extras. This is especially hard for people like me because I like to have it all! Learning to say no is an ongoing challenge, but it has helped me more than anything else.

One thing I've been saying no to lately is week night invitations. As much fun as I might be missing out on, it throws my schedule off so much if I do something on a weeknight. I simply reply: Thank you so much for thinking of me, but I can't this time. Have fun! 

I was also recently asked to make some gifts for about 50 people, and as much as I LOVE an opportunity to use my Cricut, I had to say no this time. Again: Thank you so much for thinking of me, but I can't this time!

Meal Plan and Instacart
Although it's not a non negotiable, I try to make it a priority to cook at home. A busy season makes it incredibly tempting to eat out. It might be easier, but I never feel as good after a restaurant meal as I do when we cook at home. Being busy shouldn't impact your budget either.

We've been keeping meals incredibly simple. Cooking is one of my favorite things, but right now it's just not feasible to do a complicated recipe. Additionally I've been having my groceries delivered with Instacart. (Use my link to sign up and you can get $10 toward groceries and free delivery!) They deliver all the time so it's really convenient to shop. Having one less errand to run has been a game changer!

Mental Health Day
Taking a mental health day is something I've been doing for a decade. When I start feeling run down, I know I need to rest or else I will be forced into it at an inconvenient time. It's as simple as taking a day to do nothing. The hardest part is giving yourself permission not to accomplish anything. 

On mental health days I usually hang out on the couch and catch up on tv shows or movies. That's it if I'm feeling particularly drained. If I've got some energy I will try to do some laundry or other easy chores. These days are great opportunities for face masks and an at home pedicure. 

Reset Your House
Since one of my non negotiables is having a tidy house before I go to bed, our house rarely gets into that disaster mode. But, a busy season means I have less time for deep cleanings. It feels SO good to take an afternoon and totally reset the house. I go room by room, top to bottom. You can't tell me going to sleep in clean sheets doesn't make you happy! 

Master Making A To Do List
My best to do list making happens the night before. I try to think of what I have on the schedule for the following day and what absolutely needs to happen. Be realistic. Do not give yourself 45 boxes to check. You won't feel good when you don't accomplish all 45. Instead, pick the most necessary and feel great when you accomplish it. 

To do lists have become critical to my current lifestyle. If I don't write it down, I will not remember it. My Simplified Planner has a great to-do list section, but I also really love using Erin Condren notebooks for longer lists. (Use my Erin Condren referral link and get a $10 gift certificate which would make these notebooks half price!)

As mentioned before, it's not possible to do it all. If you are in a busy season, something will have to be sacrificed. (Remember it's not forever!) Take inventory of what takes up a lot of time and that isn't necessary. For me it's social media. I gave my tips a few months ago on how to do a social media free weekend

Don't want to give up social media completely? Try uninstalling the apps from your phone, and only checking your socials from a computer. Or just turn off notifications to reduce the time you spend scrolling. 

For you it might be watching tv in the evenings. Most of the time, when I sit down on the couch, that's it for productivity that day. Technology can be such a great tool, but it's also time consuming. If you are busy, it might be something you can take a break from.

Let's Talk! Leave me a comment below and tell me what's going on in your life! Is it a busy season for you too? What are some ways that you recharge and unwind? How do you thrive and not just survive a busy season?
This post contains referral links at no cost to you!