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I think that your twenties are a slightly confusing, yet fun time when you get to find out who you are. My mom has always said that your 30's are you best years because you know for sure who you are. So, I've got 5 more years of learning! 
One thing I have learned about myself is that I have a social threshold. I have really benefitted from knowing that. I love being with people, but I know that after a certain amount of time I need to recuperate from that social interaction. Very few exceptions to that-I can be with my husband 24/7 and have no problem. I think that's because I think of him as an extension of myself. (that may sound way weirder than it actually is) This is why I almost always go on a run when I'm on vacation with others. I need that alone time. 
The downside to that is when I'm alone too long, I start thinking. I enjoy my commutes to work because I end up doing a lot of planning. But, when you run out of things to think about...well, my brain kind of never shuts down. It starts bringing up memories I've completely forgotten about! My mind has a mind of it's own! Today, while driving, my brain randomly brought up this time in Kindergarten when I tied my shoelaces to the table leg and got stuck. Seriously. A horribly embarrassing moment from literally 20 years ago. 
I find myself literally groaning out loud when my brain brings up that random dumb thing I said when I was 16. It's tormenting. I don't think it's healthy either! These memories are making me annoyed with myself. I'm constantly thinking "Ugh, why did you do that?!" I know I am typically hard on myself, but these thoughts take me to a whole new level of criticism. 
My recent strategy has been to reason with myself. No one remembers that... It wasn't that bad....You'd do it differently now... I have to be hard on myself for being hard on myself! I wouldn't be as critical of someone else if they did the same thing, I keep telling myself. 
Mostly I just have to kind of silence the thoughts by shaking my head and forcing my brain to focus on something else. Why can't my brain bring up good things I've done, instead of that one weird thing, ya know?

Leave me a comment: Does you brain like to remind you of embarrassing moments? How do you deal with being self critical? 

When Your Brain Brings Up Something Embarrassing From 1995

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

2 Kings 23:32
"He began to do what was bad in Jehovah's eyes, according to all that his forefathers had done."

2 Kings 23:32 tells us that despite Josiah's' good example, his son Jehoahaz began to do what was bad when he became king. Although parents have a big effect on their child's spirituality, we all have to make a stand for Jehovah personally. We cannot rely on our parent's faithful record of service. 

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Bible Highlights: 2 Kings 23-25

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Friday night we headed to the coast to attend a wedding of one of my husband's closest long time friends, Cameron. The wedding was on Saturday in St. Augustine. Blake's aunt and uncle just bought a beach house in Ponte Vedra and they so graciously let us stay there! It's the cutest place, and I loved waking up at the beach! 
Friday night we met up with friends at A1A Ale Works, and sat outside on their balcony. It was a cool evening, for Florida anyway, so it was super great to sit outside. We had so much fun laughing over our dinners. We were even able to see some other friends, all in town for the wedding, eating nearby. I do love that weddings bring people together! 

Saturday morning I got to go on a run! I have been trying to make running more of a priority because of the 5k's I've signed up for this year. I ran around the neighborhood and ended up at the beach. The sunrise was gorgeous! The tide was so high, so I wasn't able to run on the actual beach like I'd hoped. My legs are killing me, which I think is a good sign! Sore means I did something good.
I was so curious to see how this wedding turned out. It was a bit unconventional! The reception was at the beach. Not the actual wedding, but the reception!

Because it was so unique I know a lot of people were skeptical. I wasn't even sure what to wear! The couple rented a tent and gazebo for the guests off the beach. But everyone was welcome to do as they pleased. Some brought surfboards and footballs. Some wore bathing suits, some wore linen pants. That was the whole point-everyone could do whatever they wanted! It was just a fun afternoon on the beach! This style really fit the couple. They wanted a fun afternoon with their friends.

While I love a great formal reception-in all honesty it's a huge expense with very little pay off. Blake and I barely remember all of the details of our wedding and reception-even after planning it for months. You are just as married at the end of the day! 
We chose to to bring our swimsuits and do a real deal beach day. We took a long walk down the beach, played football, flew kites and just hung out with our friends. 
On our walk we even came across a beached whale!! It was a dwarf sperm whale, and it had beached itself because it was really sick. Several people from Marineland and even the Georgia Aquarium had come out to try to help it. They were so great, and addressed the crowd so politely. I really learned a lot! Apparently there is a temporary hold on rehabilitating dolphins and some whales because of a very contagious virus that is going around. They told us that particular whale really had no hope of being rehabilitated, because they historically never do well in captivity. Ultimately they put the whale down, which was sad. It was so cool to see it so close! And it's virus was not contagious to humans. 

We had an awesome afternoon! No sunburns either! We ended our afternoon with a trip to Rita's, which is an amazing custard-italian ice place on A1A. I have such mixed feelings about the seasons changing! After such a great warm afternoon on the beach, I was so ready to stay there the whole week! Yet, I am also really anxious for the cooler Autumn weather!! So conflicted! 

Leave me a comment: What was the most unconventional wedding you've ever been to? 

Scenes from the Weekend

Monday, September 28, 2015

one// Currently loving Pugs & Pearls new layout and theme! I am still considering having a professional, one day, redesign and give me a custom look. I just haven't found a reasonable priced person I feel comfortable with entrusting that job to, yet. So for now I found a great theme on Etsy and have worked to make it more my own. I also made a little puggy signature, which I think is so cute. 

two// Happy Fall Ya'll! Wednesday was the first day of Autumn, which in Florida means we still have 90 degree weather and are going to the beach this weekend! 

three// I have signed up for 2 5k's in the next few months, which I am woefully unprepared for!! Signing up makes me feel much more accountable and will really pressure me to get back to running. I've updated my playlist, and am hoping to get a run in today! 

four// I had the best time building a cushion fort with my Nephew this week! He is at such a fun age, but boy does he get bored easy. 
five// Delly made a new friend this week! This is Titus, the French Bulldog. He is 3 months old, and Delly simply did not care for his company. He was so playful and rough-she had no idea what to do with herself. It struck me that she has always been the youngest dog around our friend's dogs, so this was quite a shock to her I'm sure. Just look at that face!!

Happy Friday!

Friday Five {9/25/15}

Friday, September 25, 2015

2 Kings 22:19, 20
"Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before Jehovah on hearing what I have spoken against this place...your eyes will not see all the calamity that I will bring on this place."

Josiah was blessed at 2 Kings 22:19, 20 because he was humble. They had found the Book of the Law and Josiah's heart responded to the changes that needed to be made humbly. Humility is a vital  for us because it makes us teachable and it also helps us to accept counsel and correction. 

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Bible Highlights: 2 Kings 19-22

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Words simply can't describe just how much my husband Blake loves sports! He is a reservoir of statistics and player's names. Subtly or not he is constantly keeping up with every game simultaneously! It's really quite impressive. Personally, I really enjoy watching college football! But, only if it's my team! I just can't invest myself into any other game. I know the rules, and can follow along just fine. However, unlike my sweet husband, I cannot watch 3 back to back games every single day.
We've really worked out a great compromise regarding the amount of ESPN watching that goes on in our house. In case you're curious, Blake can completely guilt free watch as much football as he wants as long as he does all the laundry & ironing while he's watching. It's pretty ideal for me! 
So if you're counting he is watching like at least 6 hours of football on Sundays, not including College games and Monday nights...crazy, no?
That leaves me pretty much to myself on Sundays. That would have bothered me a lot more if we had not struck our compromise. I can totally live with it if he accomplishes something I so dread doing. 
Here is a list of 20 things you can do while your man is watching football that I so intend to do this fall!

one// Watch with him. 
While it's super hard for me to get interested in teams I'm not rooting for, I know Blake loves it when I watch with him. So, every once in awhile I'll plop down on the couch next to him and fake it till I make it. 

two// Blog! 
It's the perfect time to write up a post or respond to comments! Or, rewrite your About Me page...add a new widget...there are so many things!

three// Call your Mom
She'll love it! It's a great time to catch up with your Mom or even your Grandma. I know my dad is just as busy watching football too, so my mom probably appreciates the entertainment.

four// Give Yourself a Manicure or Pedicure. 
I think Sunday is the best time to paint your nails anyway! You'll always have a fresh color for the week. Plus if he's wrapped up in a game you'll have plenty of time to let your nails dry. 

five// Read a Book
I love to read and often get swept up in the story so much so that I don't want to put the book down. It's the perfect opportunity to hang out on the couch and read with no guilt! 

six// Clean Out a Junk Drawer
Everyone has one. or two! We have a junk drawer in the kitchen that I've been avoiding, and you probably do too! 

seven// Plan Your Week
I love my Lilly agenda and getting everything organized by using it! What better day than Sunday to plan out your week? I like to write down our meal plan, my exercise goals and even my blog posts. Color code for bonus points! 

eight// Clean Out your Purse
Our purses become a junk drawer of their own. Cleaning it out on the regular prevents a disaster of a bag! You know you've got a bunch of gum wrappers and receipts in there. 

nine// Watch Pug Videos on Youtube

Here is one to get you started!
ten// Do Your Eyebrows 
I don't wax my eyebrows very often, so I always need to tweeze! 

eleven// Work Out!
Probably the hardest one to feel motivated to do...but the one you'll feel the best about! 

twelve// Take Your Dog for a Walk
Exercise for both you and your sweet doggy. He or She will love the attention! Although if you have a pug like me you won't be walking very far before they are over it. 

thirteen// Knit or Crochet
One thing I constantly give up learning to do is crochet! It would be the perfect thing to do while your husband is watching football because you can still be with him while entertaining yourself. 

fourteen// Watch a Really Girly Show
Assuming you have another tv, or can watch on your phone/tablet. This a perfect opportunity to watch something he has no interest in! Think Gilmore Girls or something like that.

fifteen// Play The Sims
Ok guilty pleasure here. I love playing The Sims and designing houses on there. I can literally play for hours and time escapes me every time. 

sixteen// Pinterest Project
You know you have a Pinterest board full of DIY's that you've never done! I know I do. I've even posted about a few DIYs. Here is a great opportunity to accomplish one of the projects you pinned! 

seventeen// Unfollow
Take your free time to go through your phone contacts, Facebook friends, or Instagram roll to see who you don't mind purging. It's also a good time to go through your pictures too and delete duplicates or random food pictures you've already posted. 

eighteen// Bubble Bath
I didn't even know how much I loved baths until recently. Bonus points if you use bath bombs, salts or bubbles. Throw on a face mask too! 

nineteen// Make a New Playlist
I've shared several of my playlists! Spend some time browsing your own music library or listen to something new! Looks like I need to make my Fall playlist so that's something I will definitely work on next Sunday. 

twenty// Invite Your Friend Over!
I love to invite another couple or two over for a game! We let the guys bond watching the game, while the girls hang out on the back porch drinking wine. It's really the perfect compromise. 

Leave me a comment: How much football does your hubby watch? How do you feel about it? What do you usually do if you don't like watching with him? 

20 Things to Do While Your Husband Is Watching Football

Monday, September 21, 2015

one// I enter blog giveaways all the time, and have never won before. For the first time ever I actually was chosen as the winner! Thanks so much to Kelly from for my AmEx gift card! Reason tells me I should use it to buy groceries or something-but that is not fun at all.

two// I got my September Ipsy bag this week! So far I really like the products they've sent me. Perfect timing too because I needed a new brown eye-shadow pallet, and I got one this month! I also got a eyebrow pallet, and I really need to watch some Youtube videos on how to properly fill your brows. 
three// I also got a new bag this week! I've been sporting a bright pink one that I love, but I didn't feel it was appropriate as the season changes. Although it tends to stay summery in Florida until November-I'm in the autumn spirit anyway! This bag is from Target, and boy did I have a hard time choosing the color I wanted. I wanted one of each to be honest, but in the end decided for the practical choice. 
four// I have done so good this week with cooking all of our dinners! I am super proud of my meal plan and how I kept it pretty simple. My favorite dinner was something I always make in the crock pot but decided to make in my new Dutch oven. I think it turned out better than ever. My crockpot always seems to overcook-I think it gets too hot even on warm. Now I'm obsessed with my Dutch oven. Got it at Ikea by the way! I had been searching for one for ages, and I felt like even TJ Maxx had them way too expensive. Ikea does it again! 
five// Does anyone else start thinking in a different accent after they watch a show or movie with that accent? Everytime I watch Downton Abbey I start thinking in a British accent! I am so scared I'm going to speak aloud in that accent...mostly because I'm absolutely terrible at accents. 

xoxo Kristen

Five on Friday {9/9/15}

Friday, September 18, 2015

I always complain about how quickly time goes by, but it really did stun me that Pugs and Pearls is 1 year old! It started out as Pugs, Pearls and Positivity-which was a mouth full. Picking a name is the hardest part of starting a blog! I made the change in late December and have been Pugs and Pearls dot com since. I love this name and I think it fits me very nicely! 
Fun Facts: 
This was my very first post. Not terrible, not great either! 
My most popular posts are: Funeral SandwichesLilly Pulitzer DIY Hairbow Holder, and this one about the Myers Briggs Personality Test
But without a doubt my most popular post is The Good, The Bad and The Pugly of Owning a Pug, and I know that's what brought a lot of you to me! I am not surprised at all that a pug post takes the cake. Coincidentally that was also my favorite post to write. 

Blogging has been a lot of fun, and I have definitely learned a ton. Blogging has forced me to get better photos, and also made me use my imagination a lot more. It's a great creative outlet, as well as a cool scrapbook. My thoughts on blogging have really evolved too. I don't feel pressured anymore to post just to post. I'm now concerned with quality over quantity and trying to share things I'd like to read myself! At the same time, I've balanced that with blogging for myself-and not just because I think it will be popular. 

A few things I've picked up along the way:
one// Don't Center Your Text
This is one thing that irritates me so much! I started out centering my posts because I thought it looked nice. That may be, but it's incredibly difficult to read. I didn't realize that for several months. I changed it after I saw how difficult to read it was on other blogs.

two// Picture Are Everything
It's really daunting to look at a giant text post and think about how long it will take you to read it. Pictures are awesome to break up text and also to add to your story. I love looking at other people's pictures, so I can assume my readers do too! Make them big and high res! 

three// Niche-Shmeesh
Every blogging advice article you will read says to find your niche, find your audience. The reality for me is I have such a variety of interests that I want to post about. I simply will not limit this blog in that way. I accept that might mean my subscribers aren't at a peak. Doesn't matter to me, I want to write about what I want to write about! I'm doing this blog thing for me, ya know?

four// Tell Your Friends You Blog!
I was like super quiet about starting this thing. Several of my good real life friends are such loyal readers and that makes me so happy! It also helps for your friends to know why you are suddenly picture happy and it will make them more patient with you as you document everything. 

I look forward to another year of blogging! I hope I only get better at writing and sharing my life. And my main goal going forward is to post more things I'm really proud of, and passionate about. That includes way more pug posts! Which is what I know you guys want anyways! Another goal is to get a custom blog theme too! If you have a designer you recommend, let me know!

Leave me a comment: How long have you been reading Pugs and Pearls? If you are a blogger, what are somethings you've learned along the way?

xoxo Kristen

One Year of Blogging!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

2 Kings 16:19
"As for the rest of the history of Ahaz, what he did, is it not written in the book of the history of the times of the kings of Judah?"

Jeremiah mentions another book at 2 Kings 16:19 called the Book of the History of the Times of the Kings of Judah. This book was probably just a historical book written around the same time. Bible writers often refer to other books that were not inspired to be included in the Bible. So, while we may never know the full history of Ahaz, we can be confident that what Jehovah did include in His word is complete, in that it's got everything we need to know. 

xoxo Kristen
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Bible Highlights: 2 Kings 16-18

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

one// I have a serious obsession with Honest Tea! I like the Honey Green Tea. It's like subtly sweet, which is just enough for me! I think it is so refreshing! I've had like a bottle a day for a week and it's a borderline addiction. I heard Wendy's sells Honest Tea too, so I had to try their flavors as well. The tropical green tea is also to die for. 

two// Today is September 11th, which will always stand out as an incredibly tragic day in history. I think we all remember where we were that day 14 years ago. Personally I was in 6th grade. I remember hearing an announcement over the intercom in my Health class, but not fully understanding it all until later in the day. I remember every house on our street had a new American flag hanging on their house after that. Seeing videos of the plane crashes hits me so differently now than when I was 11. As you get older you realize how fragile life really is. 

three// Anybody been watching Bachelor in Paradise this season? The season finale was on Monday and boy was it dramatic. The best part about watching it, was that Blake was watching with me. We had so much fun making fun of it! The drama! I did love that it ended with an engagement-one which actually seems pretty genuine and real. We'll see...

four// Monday starts a brand new 30 day challenge with me and my girls! We've done a challenge every month since June. My best month was the first one with the squat challenge! Last month was an arm challenge and I have to say I didn't really stick with it. Our texting group is super motivational, so it was really totally my fault for falling off the wagon. This new challenge is a whole body challenge which is going to be perfect, and just what I need! My goal is to also include several Turbofire videos during the week. 

five// I have my first Fantasy Football game this weekend! My team is obviously named The Pugs. I won our leauge a few years ago, and I'm so ready to take back the title! We pass around a trophy, and it needs to make it's way back to our house. My team is actually pretty decent, and I'm proud of my drafting skills! My first game is against my brother in law and he didn't make it to our draft party-so he kind of got stuck with some bad players. If I don't win...well it would be really sad. 

Happy Friday!

xoxo Kristen

Five On Friday {9/11/15}

Friday, September 11, 2015

It wasn't until my friend Neena made me two new bangles that I noticed just how tarnished my Alex and Ani bracelets had gotten. They looked so dingy compared with my shiny new gold wire. I tried soap and water but it didn't seem to do anything. Then I remembered I once had a rusted necklace I was able to restore by putting it in Coke. We don't really keep soda in the house, so I thought I'd try the similar trick of using Ketchup! I was really nervous to try this because Alex and Ani bracelets aren't cheap, and I didn't want to ruin them! 

But, it worked! I put my bracelets on a paper plate, covered them in ketchup, and let them sit for 5 minutes. I could already see a difference before I even rinsed off the ketchup. Next, I rinsed them in the sink and used a scrub brush to wipe off all of the ketchup. They shined up beautifully! 
Hover to Pin!
Here is all you need: A paper plate, ketchup and your bracelets.
 Here is my bracelet before:
 Cover in ketchup and let sit for 5 minutes. 

Hover to Pin!
Leave me a comment: Did it work for you? What other methods have you tried? 

xoxo Kristen

How to Clean Your Tarnished Alex and Ani Bracelets

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I'm such a Florida girl at heart, but if Blake and I ever move out of state, I think it would have to be to North Carolina! Over Labor Day weekend we went up to NC to visit Blake's parents, who live just outside of Charlotte. The past few years we've visited in December, and it's really been too cold to go out exploring. I was very excited for this trip because I knew we would have the opportunity to see what the area had to offer. 
One of the highlights was going to Uptown Charlotte and visiting The Mint museum and also The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. We love art and really enjoyed both museums. As a bonus any Bank of America Card holder gets in free! That was a pleasant surprise, as we both have BOA cards.(Bank of America seems to own everything in Charlotte) 
The Bechtler was much smaller than the mint, but it still had quite a few pieces to see. Both museums boasted art from very famous artists like Andy Warhol, Picasso, and Chihuly. The really famous stuff you couldn't take photos of, but I think that keeps people coming to see them in person. 

One thing I just did not understand was this display which includes a Dyson vacuum... 

We always eat so well when we visit Blake's parents! I know I've gained like 20 pounds and need to get back to eating right now that we are home. If you need any recommendations for restaurants to visit when in Charlotte, I highly recommend either Ri Ra or The Olde Meclenburg Brewery. Ri Ra was an awesome little Irish pub with great service and great food & beer! I got the Top Chop salad, which was to die for, and the Fish and Chips was amazingly huge. The Olde Meclenburg Brewery was so much fun! It had a really cool beer garden and also lots of room on the inside. It was packed, yet comfortable! We all got beer and shared yummy pretzels. The service there was great too! 
I can't believe how much we packed into one weekend! We also hit up the Charlotte Premium Outlets and spent probably way too much on new clothes. I am still on budget though! These outlets are brand new, and they had lots of good Labor Day deals going. 
Delly had a blast too! I love it when we can take her on vacation with us! I hate leaving her behind. She was spoiled rotten, but behaved pretty well. I loved taking her on walks in the morning. They live in the cutest neighborhood with lots of sidewalks. Plus the weather was lovely! So much different than when we got home and it was pushing 95 degrees. 

We are back home again and I am anxious to get back to a routine. We love going out of town, but there is just something about being back home that is so refreshing. Minus all of the laundry, of course!

Leave me a comment: How was your long weekend?? I am keeping a list of things to do in Charlotte when we visit-any recommendations?

xoxo Kristen

Labor Day Weekend 2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Blogging has really affected the way I look at clothes. There are so many great fashion blogs out there, and I am constantly inspired by some really cute looks. People have talked before about the pressure blogging puts on you to have everything picture perfect, and I think that's been true for me and clothes. I feel almost obligated to have cute and new outfits planned, especially for special events that I know I will blog about later. I don't want to say that I have an addiction to shopping per se, but I do admit to being totally obsessed with having a complete closet and blog worthy looks at all times. 
This has made shopping trips real temptations for me! I do not like the feeling in a store where I feel like I have to buy something. & With online shopping being so convenient that makes it extra difficult to avoid needless spending. The problem is, even with buying new clothes all the time, I still stand in my closet thinking I have nothing to wear. 
I want to challenge myself to a new way of looking at shopping. Instead of just something to do, I want to learn to shop only for something specific I need. I know that mental state is a long way away for me, so I am starting with baby steps! 
First I'm starting with a monthly budget for clothes. My next challenge will be buying only consigned items. I also love the idea of the closets with a certain hanger number limit-but I will worry about that later. 
To begin with, I made a budget printable! I am giving myself a dollar limit for spending on the essentials. I do need to buy a cardigan or two for the fall, so I'm working that into the budget. The cool thing about this printable is that it's blank-so you can fill it out according to your budget! My budget will be changing each month. My goal is to slowly decrease this number each month. You can use this printable for your personal style budget or your whole family's. 
I've included a column for money earned with selling old clothes. I've done pretty good selling clothes on Poshmark and Ebay, as well as in consignment shops, so it will be good to see how much I earn each month for that in comparison to what I'm spending on new stuff. 
This may be a huge reality check for me, and I'm kind of nervous for that. My goal with this budget worksheet is to have a big number leftover that I can put right into our saving account. No rollovers! I do not need to buy anything big in the near future, so that should work out fine. 
Hover to Pin and Click Here to Download! 
Leave me a comment: How do you budget your shopping? Do you feel blogging pressure? Have you tried any closet makeover methods like the capsule wardrobes or limited hanger method? 

xoxo Kristen

Shopping Woes and Better Budgeting (Plus Free Printable!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

2 Kings 11:2, 3
"However Jehosheba the daughter of King Jehoram, Ahaziah's sister, took Jehoash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the sons of the king who were to be put to death keeping him and his nurse in an inner bedroom. They managed to keep him concealed from Athaliah so he was not put to death. He remained with her for six years, hidden at the house of Jehovah, while Athaliah was ruling over the land." 

I was struck by the bravery of Princess Jehosheba at 2 Kings 11:2 when she risked her own life by saving her nephew from being murdered. She dangerously kept him hidden for 6 years and raised him to be a good king. By saving his life she was able to preserve the family line that would lead to the Messiah. I hope that I can imitate Jehosheba's example in being a good influence on my niece and nephews and that I could also be brave enough to stand up for Jehovah when I need to. 

xoxo Kristen
Read the Bible online for free at

Bible Highlights: 2 Kings 9-11

Tuesday, September 1, 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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