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Just popping in today to tell you to go buy this dress from J Crew Factory! It's perfection. A blue and white dress in my closet is not exactly groundbreaking news, but this one is really great. I wore it right away and it got multiple compliments. Perfect for summer, and easy to dress up or down for so many occasions. AKA the perfect dress! 

A note on sizing - I got my normal size. It's got a side zipper, but the back is smocked so it fits really well. Also to note, it's got a lining so that's a huge plus for me. And pockets of course! 

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P.S. J. Crew Factory does cash back with Rakuten! I always love earning money back on purchases I would have made anyways. If you sign up with my link you get a free $30!


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PSA: Go buy this dress!

Monday, May 30, 2022

It's been 2 years since my last update! My Etsy shop officially opened in 2018 with some digital downloads, but I really started putting effort into it in 2020 shortly after the pandemic began. It was sort of easy to put a lot of time into my shop during the pandemic, because we all had a little extra time on our hands. I've learned so so much during the past two years though! 

Recently, it's been sort of strange to get back to a 'normal' schedule and include Etsy in that.  I have always wanted to set office hours for my shop, but I have not been able to implement that so far. But, I have started waiting until I have several orders and then working on them in batches to be the most time efficient. I used to get so excited when an order would come in, I'd go and do it right away! Work smarter not harder, ya know?

A few things I feel great about:

Instagram - While I don't have that many followers, I've noticed that I get an order or two with each post. Posting regularly is hard, and I sometimes blank on what to share. I want it to be interesting or helpful, and not repetitive. Instagram is also a really great way to get friend and family support. It seems like a lot people in my day to day life don't know I even have an Etsy shop, or understand what I sell - so Instagram is a great way to show and tell! 

Color Chart - One thing I had been putting off for literally 2 years was making a color chart for my vinyl decals. I have SO many colors so this was a daunting task. I basically decided just to bite the bullet, and make a small chart of my most popular colors. Officially got it done, and it's up in every listing now. My vinyl collection is quite extensive and it could never fit on a graphic - so just showing off the most popular colors felt much more approachable. 

Packaging - I set up a great rolling cart with all my packing essentials next to my desk. Since my last update, I started including an alcohol wipe and a plastic scraper with each decal order. Obviously, it's not necessary to do that, but I've gotten great feed back and people seem to like the little touch. 

My Favorite Packaging Materials:

Made to Order - Originally, I would make a sample of every color to photograph and list. I thought this would be a great strategy, and I could just send out these precut decals when they were ordered. Having an inventory just didn't work for me. I'd forget I already had something cut all the time! So, now I do totally made to order. I do have to cut a design for a new listing occasionally though. Because of that, I end up with a few precut decals in my drawer. So, I created a Ready To Ship section in the shop just to get rid of that inventory. Plus, sometimes I accidentally cut the wrong color, so this is a great way not to waste materials and for people to get a discount! 

I'm Planning a Giveaway! - This will be my first solo giveaway. I'm approaching 1,000 sales on Etsy (there have been many more sales from personal friends and over on Instagram, but I'm going with the official count on my Etsy shop header.) so I really want to do a giveaway to celebrate! You'll have to follow along on Instagram for those details. To speed things up I activated a sale on the site and there is a super special promo code just for blog friends in the Coupons For You tab above! 

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How It's Going With My Etsy Shop

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Since moving into our new home last August, we've had to do very little! That's such a change for us, because the home we owned for a decade was SUCH a money pit when it came to updates and maintenance. That's the difference between a house built in the 1950s and one that's just a year old. It's been a blessing for sure. We did put in a backsplash, but that's about it! 

One thing though that we did want to eventually do is our boardwalk. We live in a row house, so we park in the back and use a boardwalk to the side door. (Our front door faces greenspace.) This boardwalk was pretty basic, but it really bothered us that it didn't have railings. So we had a contractor build a great railing and some privacy slats, and then this weekend we were able to stain it finally! 

Here's what we were working with:

And here's what we were able to do:

We only have a small flower bed, and no yard to speak of. Which has been such a treat! Our old house was high maintenance with almost an acre of daunting yard work, so this is bliss! I did miss a little bit of it though, so I'm thrilled to have found these flower boxes to add a little life into our place. They were easy to put together and I might add another down the line for some herbs. 

The color of stain is just right too! It matches our front door and another accent on the house perfectly. Plus it had a sealer built in, so it will really keep the deck nice! We also added a few solar lights to the railing, and that's been such a nice touch at night. 

The side door was so plain, so I just had to add some vinyl! I loved this design so much, I added it to my Etsy shop. I hope it will help the door more look more inviting to our guests. It is a little bit weird that our front door isn't the main door we use, I've never lived in a house like that before.

I originally bought a wreath for the side door, and ended up loving it on the front door, so I had to buy a second one. 😂

In addition to the boardwalk project, we were able to get some scrubbing done - and I officially feel like I got my spring cleaning checked off the list!

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A Weekend Project | Our Boardwalk

Monday, May 23, 2022

Well, I'm officially over the one month mark of doing WW (aka Weight Watchers)! I should add, this is my 2nd time doing it. I was super successful with the program in 2019, but after I got my wisdom teeth out I fell off the wagon so to speak. My surgery was difficult and I had a very long recovery due to a fluke infection. I found myself just trying to eat as much as possible because the medicine was making me so sick! And, 2019 rolled into 2020 and we all know how that went.

The pandemic brought on a lot of boredom eating and drinking for us! Irritatingly, Blake used the pandemic to lose 25ish pounds and I gained a good amount of his loss. Now, 2 years later I find myself mad that none of my clothes fit. 🙄 

I know I've matured when it comes to body image because I don't feel ugly or whatever - I just want to wear the great clothes I have in my closet! 😂 And, on top of that I got a 'well that isn't good' from my doctor when we did bloodwork earlier this year in regards to my cholesterol. Rude. 

Might I add that I've been running 3 times a week or more this whole time, but haven't lost an ounce. I've always had to lose weight in the kitchen!

I tried MyFitnessPal because that's what Blake has done well with - he's on a 600 day streak!! But, I just wasn't motivated and would forget to track. WW works for me because I feel very aligned with the fundamentals. No deprivation, no entire food groups cut out, and flexibility for fun nights out with friends. 

There has been a few program changes since I did it in 2019 and I am IN LOVE with them! You get points back for eating non starchy vegetables, drinking all your water, and of course exercise. 

So here I am 4 weeks in and...drumroll!....I've lost 8 pounds. That's 2 pounds a week, and for me that's crazy good! My goal is to lose 10 more. Or maybe 12 just so I can say I lost 20 pounds, haha. 

I've got a vacation coming up in 3 weeks, so I'm hoping to get closer to the goal before that, but if not, I'm still happy with any progress! 

This time I'm joined by 2 friends, and I think that's going to help so much! It'll be easy to go out to eat or have people over who are also counting points, ya know. I've always done better when I had a buddy! 

Speaking of which: the more the merrier! I have a referral link  that get's you a whole month free. Think about it, if you lose 8 pounds your first month too, that'll be 8 free pounds! 

Here's a few recipe ideas, that are delish whether you are doing WW or not.

Fake Out Take Out
I made some delicious cauliflower rice like you do traditional fried rice. I added peas, carrots, scallions, and a scrambled egg. Plus, I found this fried rice seasoning packet that really took it to the next level! Then I made some shrimp, and a peanut sauce. The peanut sauce is made with PB2 powder and a low point sweet chili sauce. Plus points back for broccoli! This meal was just 4 points. (I get 21 or 23 a day, I can't remember) 

Greek Salad
This is a favorite lunch! I grill up some chicken in my cast iron skillet, and place it on a salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and a few Kalamata olives. To make the dressing you use non fat Greek yogurt and a bit of feta mashed up. So yummy and fresh! Should be about 4 points. 

Breakfast for Dinner
Who doesn't love breakfast for dinner?! We've been making scrambled eggs, fruit, shredded hash browns and avocado toast. Avocado is one of my zero point foods, so you better believe I'm eating it all the time! Also only about 4 points. But, I have to add ketchup to my hash browns so it's a little more for me. 

My Go-To Wrap
For lunch, this is a really easy thing to make at home or take on the go. It's an Extreme Wellness tortilla wrap. I spread a Laughing Cow cheese wedge and mashed avocado on it. Then add lettuce, deli turkey, and the bacon pieces you can find in the salad section of the grocery store. Then it's a bacon avocado turkey wrap! SO good and filling. 3 points!

Queso Quesadilla
I love finding the accidentally low point foods. The Tostito queso blanco dip is just 1 point per serving which I'm pretty sure is 2 tablespoons. So again, I use an Extreme Wellness wrap for the tortilla. I cook some chicken in the crockpot with a jar of salsa all day and then shred it. Then avocado, cilantro, and that queso dip and you've got yourself a delish quesadilla! 2 points, but more if you want sour cream. Which I do.


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Weight Watchers One Month Check In | Some WW Recipe Ideas

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Are you really even a grown up if getting a new vacuum cleaner wasn't the highlight of your entire month?! It might be lame, but it's me. We recently bought a new vacuum cleaner after our Dyson literally fell apart in my hands. I'll be honest we are really hard on our vacuums. #PugLife. After it fell apart, Blake admitted the Dyson was making this shrill noise for months that he couldn't stand and I apparently couldn't hear. 

We went with this Samsung stick vacuum and it's a dream. The canister is infinitely easier to empty and it has a + and - power situation that makes it so much easier to suck up pug hair. Plus, it's rose gold sooo I'm in love obviously. 

There are even varieties of vacuums these days that are self emptying? Did you guys know we are living in the future?! 

We recently had some friends over for dinner and when we were cleaning up the kitchen my friend Alice took a picture of my counter top spray because she was in love with the scent and wanted to know where to get some! This made me feel 100% better about buying this unnecessarily expensive counter top spray. 😂 I've loved the Caldrea room sprays and soaps in the past, but this was my first time trying out the counter spray. It's great and leaves the kitchen smelling fantastic! Sea Salt Neroli all the way. (We also got a great laugh reading the scent description on the bottle! Whoever writes for Caldrea needs a raise.) 

File this under RANDOM, but I saw this bento style container on Williams Sonoma and thought it'd be perfect for Blake's work lunches. I think it's designed for salads, but it works so well for a sandwich and a few snacks. And then you only have to wash one dish! It's just so cute, and I've even had fun packing a few lunches for him since we got it. (He packs his own lunch most days, but I try to do it for him if he's running short on time.) Plus William Sonoma quality is just great. 

If you struggle with bloating, this might be a great option for you! Bye Bye Bloat is a supplement of fennel, dandelion, and fenugreek to help with digestion and get rid of bloat. You take two at night or after a big meal. It has definitely made a difference for me! I don't struggle with digestion so much as water weight - so I think if you do have bathroom trouble this would be really helpful.

A few clothing purchases:

Stay Sunny Old Navy Tee - this shirt is SO comfortable and I love the color. It's long on me, but I have a short torso. If you have a long torso, I think this would be the holy grail tee! I can't find the link online, and I found it in the physical store. This is a similar shirt, but no graphic.

Rifle Paper Phone Case - I actually had to get a new phone, because I busted my screen pretty badly a few months ago. Funnily enough, I wanted a smaller phone - which is probably the opposite of most people. But, I'm loving that this one fits in my pocket. I went with this Rifle Paper Co phone case and it's gorgeous! (And totally invested in a better screen protector this time too.) I don't have an iphone, but if you do there are tons more Rifle Paper patterns to choose from.

Target Ballet Dress - Oh this dress! It's perfect! Dress it up or down. I want every color but they can't seem to keep it in stock. 

J Crew Shorts and Cropped Tank - I got these shorts last year off season, so I'm was really happy to find them in my summer clothes when I changed out my closet! They are high waisted and so stretchy. I also picked up this black tank, didn't realize it was cropped, but am totally fine with it. You'll be seeing me in this all summer long.

Talbots Ruffle Trim Top - This picture is from book club a few weeks ago, but I also wanted to share how much I love this top from Talbots! Blue and white stripes...should surprise no one that I love this top! It's another one that can easily be dressed up a little or worn with shorts in the summer. 

One more random thing to share! This was a gift, but we love it so much I had to share! My parents and brother got us a Yeti cooler for our anniversary. You might remember from this post that I lost my cooler last summer. I think it was stolen after if fell off our golf sad! Especially because it had our sticker collection on it. So, we were able to start up our collection again and it's just so fun to look at! 

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Random Things We've Bought Recently and Loved!

Monday, May 16, 2022

As a Floridan, I can tell you we can never have too many swimsuits! Between our neighborhood pool, our proximity to the beach, annual vacations, and friends who live near the river - we are always putting some wear and tear on our bathing suits! I try, but I can never get more than 2-3 years out of a suit. This year, I definitely needed a few new swimsuits, and I'm really happy with what I got!

I'm always in the market for cute, but still practical and secure swimsuits! I loved this suit so much, that I went back and ordered another color! It fits great and you will find me in the suit 9 times out of 10 this summer.

See above! I loved it so much, I bought this colorway too! 

I could NOT resist when I saw this all over Instagram and on other blogger's websites this year. It was definitely a popular seller because it was sold out all the time! As soon as I got the notification it was back in stock, I purchased right away. It's gorgeous and something I will always feel comfortable in. 

Obviously feeling florals this year, because I was instantly drawn to this suit as well. I love the white, and haven't had a white suit in...forever? maybe! Completely lined though, so it's not something you have to worry about. This suit fits well and and the top has a tie back for some flexibility in sizing. 

Admittedly, I did not buy this one! I probably never would have, actually. My sister picked this one up, and didn't realize how orange it would be. Orange suits my skin tone much better, so she thought I should give it a go. I am not a huge fan of high waist swimsuits, but for some reason this one works for me. It's a little out of my comfort zone, but I admit it's really fun! 

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Swimsuits I Bought This Year

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Ok, but are you even a blogger if you don't have an Always Pan?! This might one of the most influencer promoted items on my social media feeds! And, well, call me influenced. 😂 Actually, I first purchased an Always pan last May - except it wasn't for me. I bought it for my brother and sister in law as an anniversary gift. I really wanted one myself, but for some reason it was easier to buy one for someone else. 

Fast forward to this past month, and I saw that Our Place came out with a matching pot to go with the pan and really started contemplating buying a set for us. I asked my husband to scrutinize this cookware to see if I was just being influenced, or if they were really that great. He was sold just as easily as I was, and we bought a set. They were on sale, and I actually had some reward points from the one I bought my brother, so we got a really good price. 

The hardest part was choosing the color!! Gosh, the fun side of me really wanted the neon green. But, as I  am more practical than fun, we went with the Stone color. I was really torn between the green, blue, and black color options though. Stone just spoke to me, and I felt like that neutral will always look good in our kitchen. 

A Few Favorite Features:

- The non-stick surface is BEYOND great. We've always struggled with messy clean ups and I cannot believe how easily everything just washes off.

- They are gorgeous. If you care about home décor or aesthetics at all, you will adore the way these look. I think you'll want to keep these out and not hidden away in a cabinet. 

- The minimalism. I really really love that these two pieces replace our entire cabinet of pots and pans. Admittedly, I haven't gotten rid of my other pans yet, but I put them in 'purgatory' to wait and see if these truly are all we need. But so far, yeah - I think I would always reach for these over anything else. I do have a cast iron skillet that will not be leaving our kitchen, but 3 pots and pans over a whole cabinet full is awesome. (Our Place does have a cast iron skillet, but it's sold out!) 

- The accessories are so cool! Both pieces come with a wooden spoon or spatula and another accessory for cooking. 

- The Perfect Pot has a lid that strains. Goodbye colanders! 

Here's my referral link for $20 off your first Our Place purchase! 

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Our Place Always Pan and Perfect Pot First Impressions

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Forever a fan of drugstore (and affordable!) beauty products, I wanted to try something new as I saw my makeup bag dwindling in product. When it came time to replenish some of my makeup, I wanted to replace them with some 'cleaner' options. It's a little embarrassing how much research I did on this stuff, but after some time, I settled on trying Honest Beauty!

Honest Beauty actually fits my needs like a glove! I was looking for a cleaner brand, with a more natural 'no makeup, makeup' look. I really loved the color options when it came to my skin tone. (more on that later.)

There were two other things that were important to me when choosing some new makeup. Price and accessibility. I'm budget conscience and rarely splurge on myself. (Speaking as someone who has actively needed a massage for 2 months for some unbearable tension, but won't schedule it because I hate spending the money.) It didn't need to be the cheapest product on the shelf, but I did not want to break the bank. And then, if I ran out of something unexpectedly, I wanted to be able to go grab it at Target last minute if necessary. 

Plus, if I'm being honest (LOL see what I did there!?) the packaging is killer and it looks so great all together!! 

So here's what I got and my thoughts on each product:

CC Tinted Moisturizer 

Shade: Dune
I'm not a full coverage foundation person, so a CC cream is my preference. This just blurs any imperfections and also has SPF. Perfect for the summer! 

Bright Eyes Tinted Eye Cream

Shade: Sandstone
Maybe my most important makeup look awake! Plus this has hyaluronic acid. So it brightens and hydrates. 

Luminizing Glow Powder

Shades: Dusk Reflection and Midnight Reflection
A standout product! I use Dusk for bronzer and Midnight for highlighter. Super pretty and just ups the glow so much. 

Crème Cheek and Lip Color

Shade: Rose Pink
This is actually the first crème blush I've ever tried and it's so nice! I use my makeup sponge to apply, but there might be a better way. Still new to it, but really enjoying this one.

Get It Together Eye Shadow Palette 

Wow, wow these colors. I love them so much. They are ideal for my skin tone, but I'm not sure how'd they'd look on someone fair? It seems like they should develop some more shades. The palette is split in half - one side for more day time looks and the other for night. 

Honestly Healthy Brow Gel

Shade: Taupe
I can't believe there was a time when I didn't do anything to my brows. I really love this because it's not heavy, and it really just ever so slightly darkens and grooms my eyebrows. Taupe is my color, but I think I could go darker for something more bold. 

Liquid Eyeliner

Liquid eyeliner for ever! I love love love this eyeliner. It's got a great brush and stays put. Note that I am not wearing it in the photo above. I usually do not include eyeliner in my everyday look, just when I go out with friends or something like that. 

Honestly Healthy Lash Tint Serum

Shade: Black
YES to this! This is a lash tint but with a serum to promote healthy lashes. Think of it as the lightest mascara you'll ever use. Skinny wand, and just enough product to make your eyelashes darker. I use this on days when I'm not wearing makeup at all, but want to have a little something on my lashes to look more awake.

Lengthening Mascara and Primer

If you don't try any other Honest Beauty products - make your one purchase this one! It's STELLAR. The primer is everything, and the mascara itself does not flake and gives you lashes for days. My mom noticed the very first time I wore this mascara and she never comments on things like that. 

Tinted Lip Balm

Shade: Summer Melon
Oooh, this stuff is the bomb. It's like 'my lips, but better'. Moisturizing and just enough to make you feel great. I want every color. I just ordered their liquid lipstick, but haven't gotten it yet, so I will have to report back! 

I grabbed some fresh makeup brushes too, how fun are these rose gold ones from Elf

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BTW, don't forget to activate your cash back with Rakuten if you shop these links! There is cash back both on Honest's website and Target. Gotta get your free money!


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Summer Make Up | Full Face Honest Beauty

Tuesday, May 3, 2022


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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