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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! 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 |

My Favorite Posts of 2019

Monday, December 30, 2019

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! 

A Few Facts:
Paradise Beach has a great pool and about 1,000 lounge chairs on the palm tree lined beach. The water is crystal clear, and they've got tons of water sports and inflatables. There are several bars, a taco truck, a mojito cart, and spotless bathrooms. 

They have an all-inclusive option now, something they didn't have last year when we visited. Pull up at the front door and decide on what you want. It's only $3 to get in if you don't want to do all-inclusive. We did the all-inclusive option! It's $63, or $72 if you want to do the inflatables (you do!) 

Someone helps you pick out seats and gets you all set up. (I love that.) A waiter, or two, immediately introduces themselves and you will end up with a drink in your hand really fast. Our waiters came by our chairs literally every 15 minutes to make sure we were good, and they were easy to spot if we needed something. 

The drinks are great, and I ate my weight in chips and salsa! Totally burned off all the calories doing the inflatable water toys though! It's one of the most fun things I've ever done in my life. Also the most exhausting.

There are also kayaks, snorkel gear, paddle boards...all available to you if you did the water sport package. I didn't snorkel personally, but our friends said they saw a variety of fish and a few starfish under the pier. They also provide life jackets, which was awesome when I took my nephew Carter out on a kayak. 

We love it there!! It's perfect for a family, a couple, or a group of friends. There is something for everyone to do at all times. You can relax, or you can be active. There is plenty of shade, and plenty of chairs in the sun too. It's very clean and everyone on the staff is so friendly. Top notch service. 

Taxis are also a breeze to grab when you are ready to head back to the ship. We were lamenting that Paradise Beach isn't a resort with hotel rooms, because we'd totally skip the cruise and just go back there next time. 

But, we did enjoy our cruise as well! It's always just nice to be together. Having several course meals and your bed made for you everyday is pretty sweet too. As much fun as we had, I'm happy to be home with the pugs. December is already flying by and we are so excited for 2020! We probably won't be taking a cruise next year, as we already have several other trips planned, so we really relished this one. 

I didn't take a ton of photos, but here are a few from the cruise!

Leave a comment below and tell me where your favorite place on earth is! Also tell me what you think of our overly airbrushed cruise portrait! I think it's so funny that they go crazy with the photoshop, but I still bought it.

Our Favorite Place: Paradise Beach in Cozumel Mexico

Monday, December 23, 2019

Life Lately | North Florida Lifestyle Blog |

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 maybe you can see why I am thinking so far ahead.

Life Lately #8

Thursday, December 19, 2019

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 |

Recent Reads #5

Monday, December 16, 2019

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. 

Must Have Cricut Accessories

Monday, December 9, 2019

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 |

Best Home Purchases of 2019

Monday, December 2, 2019


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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