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We've had our Our Place Always Pan and Perfect Pot for a few months now, and we are still LOVING them. They are such great pieces of cookware and absolutely live up to the hype. I reviewed both of those a few months ago when we got them. Since then, we've added two more pieces to our collection! 

The Mini Perfect Pot

When we got our Perfect Pot and Always Pan, I literally cleaned out the entire cabinet and got rid of every other pot and pan we owned. I never missed any of those pots again, but I did sort of feel like a smaller sauce pan would be nice to have. The Always Pan worked just fine for pasta sauce and what not - but when Our Place released the new Mini Perfect Pot last month, I immediately added it to my cart. 

It's great for single serve cans of soup, or something like Kraft mac and cheese. Plus, it comes with the cutest mini wooden spoon I've ever seen. 

The Cast Iron

Such a beauty! This pan is great because it's so easy to care for! The cast iron has a coating on it that makes it pretty non stick. You'll love it because it's also really easy to throw in the oven. I absolutely adore the silicone pot holders it comes with as well! 

At this point not only have I purchased all of these pans for ourselves, but I've also bought several Always Pans as gifts for family! It's just such a practical, but also fun gift. Plus, Our Place has a pretty great rewards points system, so I'm almost always getting a really great coupon that I like to stack on top of sales. 

Anyways, 10/10 from me! We love these pieces and are thrilled with them all! Here's my referral link for $20 off your first Our Place purchase! 


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Our Collection of Our Place Pans | Mini Perfect Pot and Cast Iron Review

Monday, September 26, 2022

Happy mail day! It's the day I got my Grove Collaborative order! If cleaning supplies make you happy, this post is for you.

If you are new to Grove Collaborative, you can get a bunch of free stuff with your first order when you use my link to sign up. AND p.s. Rakuten has a really good cash back perk for Grove! If you don't have a Rakuten account, I also have a referral link for that which gets you $30 right off the bat. I'm always looking for free money! 

Method Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Ah, a tried and true toilet bowl cleaner! I really enjoy the scent of this, and I appreciate the bottle shape. It does a great job on our toilets.

Method AntiBac Spray

While I use the bowl cleaner on the inside of the toilet, I use this spray around the seat and other parts of the toilet. They work great together, and Grove even offers them as as set for a discount.

Method Squirt and Mop

This is a floor cleaner I keep coming back to. I really like the Grove concentrate, but both Blake and I love the scent of the Method Almond squirt and mop! Our downstairs are constantly needing a mop, so I'm happy to use whatever is easiest. 

Grove Co Power Clean Laundry Pods

I think this is a product I will just keep coming back to! It's so easy to throw a laundry pod into the washer. The packing on this is so great, and they work really well. The scent is minimal however. So depending on who you are that might be a pro or a con. Personally I like using this detergent on towels and other linens, but save my delicious smelling Buff City Soap detergent for my clothes. 

Grove Co Hand & Dish Soap - Mulled Apple

I purchased the spiced pumpkin soaps last month and loved them so just I thought I'd try the mulled apple scent this fall too. 

Grove Co Sponges

I actually used to get these every single month when we didn't have a dishwasher! But, now that we do, I just get them occasionally. They are just great sponges and get the job done well! I definitely use them on our Our Place pan and pot

Grove Co Tub+Tile Cleaner Concentrate 

Easily one of Grove's best products! All the scents are great, but I'm partial to the lavender thyme smell. You just fill up a spray bottle with water and top it off with one of these concentrates. It works really well on showers and tubs that don't need the deepest cleaning in the world. So, perfect for maintenance cleaning. 

Murphy's Bug Bite Balm

You guys, this is a holy grail product. It's just fantastic to have on hand. I keep this in my purse because I'm often getting bit at work. However, I've had to order several of these because my friends keep needing it, loving it and stealing it! 

EarthRated Pet Waste Bags

Just a staple in our house with 3 pugs! 

Stone Works Laundry Pod Sample

I love that Grove offers free samples! It's a great way to try new products. I haven't tried these yet, but if you love a woodsy scent this might be for you.

Peach Charcoal Soap

This was my free gift with purchase this month. The peach line is really nice and I think this soap would be great for the guy in your life. 

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September Grove Collaborative Haul

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Peloton Barre Classes
I'm a firm believer that you need to enjoy your workouts! Exercise should not be torture. Recently, I've been doing the barre classes on the Peloton app, and LOVING them. I've done a few Pure barre classes in the past so I knew it was a tough workout. These Peloton classes are so great. I actually love all of the Peloton classes. The bike rides are awesome of course, but we actually use the strength category far more often. 

We have a workout space upstairs, but because barre requires little or no equipment (not even shoes!) I've been enjoying doing these workouts in the living room. Making myself workout hasn't been a problem since I started doing these classes - so I think that speaks volumes with how much I like them!

Ireland and England Trip
The countdown to our Europe trip is on! It'll be here before we know it, so I've been hyper focusing on what I need to pack! The weather is going to be so different than what we are going to be experiencing here at home, so I can't even wrap my mind around it yet. I think I've purchased everything I need (future post about that soon!) and now all that's left is to pull out our fall clothing to see what's what. 

Our plans are almost all finalized - which is so exciting! Admittedly, I'm not sure what it will be like over there now that the Queen has passed away. In terms of tourism I mean. Like, will some of the places we had in mind to visit be extra crowded or closed, etc.

I'm anxious and excited! 

The Pugs
One of the reasons I am anxious about our trip is that we will be leaving the pugs for so long! My mom will be keeping them for the first time, so I feel a lot of pressure to have everything explained adequately for her to be prepared for a few weeks with them! 3 dogs is a lot of dogs. Plus they are each unique with their needs. 😂 I haven't talked about the pugs much here on the blog in the last year or so, but we've definitely had some changes with them. Bailey and Delly are now senior dogs. Delly especially has been showing her age. Her arthritis is very apparent, and to top it off she has a pinched nerve or something in her back, so it's affected her walking and 'bathroom' usage. She's on daily medication which helps a ton and over all she's made a lot of improvement since we figured out what was going on. But that's just it, I feel sort of bad leaving my mom with 3 dogs who need medicine for such a long time. Is this just me overthinking? Yep! They will totally be fine and my parents will love having a dog in the house again. 

I feel like this is a lame post. Ha! But, honestly, if we were buddies and we talked on the phone this week, this is what you'd hear me talk about. So thanks for listening 😊


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What's On My Mind Lately - Just 3 Things

Friday, September 16, 2022

Have I given up on my Bookstagram? Maybe. Eek, it's been so long since I've made a post there or here on the blog with a book review! It all started because I sort of got into a reading slump with a bunch of super lame reads. So I'm trying to catch up a little bit here, but I have to say I still only have just a handful of 'good' books to recommend. 

Legend, Prodigy, and Champion by Marie Lu

Basically: In this futuristic United States - the western half is now it's own Republic and at war. June is a teenaged prodigy in training to be part of the elite military. Day is from the slums and the country's most wanted criminal. When their path's cross, everything changes! 

My Thoughts: Over all I really enjoyed this YA trilogy. The first book was definitely the strongest. There is solid world building and it wasn't trying too hard to be just like all the other YA dystopian trilogies out there. I will say I kept expecting a twist or some bigger surprises, but it was all very straight forward. The characters were also really young, and I kept having to remind myself of that because it was affecting my view of their actions. So I actually really liked the ending with the flash forward because of that. 

Rating: 3.5 Stars I thought the 1st book was a 4 star read, but the 2nd and 3rd were 3's - so we meet in the middle. ⭐⭐⭐✨

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Basically: A coming of age story of a girl named Francie living in Brooklyn with her family in the early 1900s. 

My Thoughts: For some reason I didn't read this in High School like everyone else! But, my mom recently read it and told me she knew I'd love it. And, I really did. It's such a simple story, it's just about a girl and her family as she grows up from little girl to a young woman. It's sweet, it's sad, it's funny. What's most amazing is how humans are very much the same so many generations later.

Rating: 5 Stars. Absolutely read it. 

Opposite of Always by Justin A Reynolds

Basically: Jack and Kate meet at a party and have an instant connection. They start a relationship and everything is going great...but then, Kate dies. But, instead of that being the end, Jack wakes up right back in the moment they met and it might just be a 2nd chance to save her life. 

My Thoughts: Several things to love about this! I really love the diverse characters and the premise! It could have been very groundhog day, but the author did a great job at making each redo different! However, I still felt anxious to skip through all the redundancies and get to the last shot. I sort of wonder if this would make a better movie than a book.

Rating: 3.5 stars from me! ⭐⭐⭐✨

Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Basically: Hannah feels like she needs to figure out what to do with her life at 29, and is heading back to LA to try to start over. She's going to stay with her long time best friend Gabby, and they go out together one night. She runs into her ex at the bar, and at the end of the night has to decide if she is going to go home with him, or go back home with Gabby. Two different choices can lead to very different futures - so you get to see what happens with both decisions in parallel universes. 

My Thoughts: TJR is such a great author and it's just so easy to read her books. I was FLOORED in the chapter where she goes home with Gabby. Blown away, not expecting what happened at all. It was fun to see how it all would play out. This was not a 5 star book for me because I have an issue with a certain plot point that is a big spoiler so send me a DM if you want to discuss.   I did like One True Loves more than this book, but you should definitely read this if you like a good old fashioned happy ending. 

Rating: 4 Stars from me!  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Death on The Nile by Agatha Christie 

Basically: Detective Hercule Poirot is on vacation on a Nile river cruise when one of the passengers, Linnet Ridgeway, ends up murdered in her cabin.

My Thoughts: I hit a bit of a reading slump last month after reading a few duds in a row. I decided to try out some older classics to mix it up. Death On The Nile was such an adventure and there are so many great characters. I have to say, I saw the movie first, so there wasn't a huge shock when the killer was revealed - but I still enjoyed the ride. Dare I say that I liked the movie better...but this was still a great read! Mostly because I think the movie scenery really added something to this for me, and I feel like the book didn't have sweeping descriptions of the setting, it was mostly character driven.

Rating: 4 Solid Stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Office BFFS by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey 

Basically: This is Jenna and Angela's memoir about filming The Office and the story of their friendship.

My Thoughts: If you love The Office, you are going to love this book. Lots of behind the scenes details and stories. Their friendship is so sweet and it made me so happy to read about! Highly recommend the audiobook as it is narrated by the authors. 

Rating: 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Meant To Be by Emily Giffin

Basically: The Kingsley family is American royalty, much like the real life Kennedys this story is clearly fanfiction of. Joe Kingsley and super model Cate (a beauty who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks) have an instant connection, but aren't sure their relationship can survive the media attention and the tragedies that seem to befall this family. 

My Thoughts: Ugh, did not care for this at all. The ending was exciting so I guess that's why I stuck with it. Some parts were really interesting, but mostly it felt repetitive - and I almost just wish I would have read a non fiction about JFK Jr and Carolyn Bessette. 

Rating: 2ish Stars ⭐⭐

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel

Basically: Here we've got intersecting stories that play across timelines. First, we have Edwin St Andrew in the early 1900s, then Olive on a book tour in the near future, and then Gaspery Jacques Roberts, a detective, two hundred years into the future. 
All the stories interconnect and you jump back and forth through the book and make some stops, including 2020. 

My Thoughts: Whoa. So, I absolutely love Emily St John Mandel's writing style and I could read her words all day long. Be prepared to be confused with this one, but it does pay off and does all connect beautifully. I will say, I do think you need to read The Glass Hotel before this because Vincent and other side characters pop and up - and I think it will be confusing if you don't know who they are. (And that Vincent is a woman!) That being said, I didn't really end up liking TGH, so maybe just look up a synopsis. 

Rating: 4.5 Stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Basically: Elizabeth Zott is a Chemist in the 1960's. She's brilliant, but obviously has a hard time in that field in her time. Just a few years later, and Elizabeth finds herself as a single mom and the host of a famous cooking television show. 

My Thoughts: Highly recommend the audiobook of this, because the narrator has the most beautiful voice! I was not expecting this story based on the cover! The characters and the plot of this are exceptional. I really enjoyed it and watching how it all came together. The only reason it's not a 5 star read for me, is because there were SO many preachy moments. I skimmed over those parts and just enjoyed the story. 

Rating: 4.5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨

I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Basically: Jennette McCurdy was a child star on Nickelodeon in the early 2000s. This is her memoir of her life in the industry, but mainly she recounts the abuse from her late mother.

My Thoughts: I'll be honest, I was too old to watch Nickelodeon by the time Jennette was on TV, so I only picked this up based on the title and the press it got. It's brutal and I was not in a good mental state when I finished the book. It's just sad and I really wish the entertainment industry would change. The 'messed up' child star is just too common. 

Rating: I don't feel like I can rate this one. While I was engrossed, it's not something I'd tell people to read.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Basically: Brene Brown talks about her research on vulnerability, courage, and shame - and then how to live a 'wholehearted life'.

My Thoughts: There are some valuable gems in this book! I didn't enjoy how this book was laid out- it sort of felt repetitive in a lot of places. Maybe it didn't need to be a whole book? 

Rating: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake

Basically: Nora was taken in by a doctor when she was orphaned in the mid 1800s. She was raised in his practice, and she became an extremely knowledgeable "assistant". This of course was at a time when women could not practice medicine and she could have gotten in real trouble. 

My Thoughts: Such a great story and great characters - it was just PAINFULLY drawn out! Overall I enjoyed it, I just couldn't wait for it to be over 😂

Rating: 3 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Basically: The final book in The Inheritance Games trilogy! Avery is about to inherit billions from the Hawthorne estate - she just has to make it to her birthday. But of course the mystery isn't over, and she and Hawthorne brothers work to solve the last puzzle.

My Thoughts: This trilogy started off super strong, and I enjoyed it! This book was just okay. Of course it ended the whole series nicely and wrapped up in a big bow. But, I just found that there were wayyy to many characters to keep track of. And literally every few pages was her going off with another one trying to solve clues. Just got old. 

Rating: 3 stars. ⭐⭐⭐

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Recent Reads #20 | What I've Read This Summer

Monday, September 12, 2022

If it's one thing I love, it's a great BIG salad! Especially in the summer. There is nothing better than some fresh veggies and not heating up your kitchen this time of year. We have a few go to recipes - but we tried two new salad recipes this past week and they are worth a share!
This salad is unique because the whole salad is grilled. Even the lettuce. It's just so delicious! We don't own a grill, but I found that the vegetables grilled up well on our gas stove griddle. I think you can get a similar effect in a cast iron pan as well. 

This was a salad we loved so much that we made it twice in one week. So yummy! I will say, you have to be a fan of gorgonzola because it's got a ton in the salad and the dressing is made with the cheese as well. Loved the roasted corn and the marinated red onion! 😋

Surprise, surprise, both of these recipes are from The Defined Dish. You can't go wrong with any of Alex's recipes. They always turn out divine! I really enjoy The Comfortable Kitchen cookbook, and would like to get the original Defined Dish cookbook too. 

We've been getting a Gobble box pretty much every week this summer, but I skipped it the past two weeks because the recipes just looked so-so. So that made me reach into my Plan to Eat recipes and get a full meal plan sorted out. It's always fun to try new recipes, but I do love my old faithfuls in Plan to Eat. (Here's a link to a free trial of Plan to Eat if you want to try it! Worth every penny and an absolute game changer for meal planning!)

P.S. I have a whole tab of coupons for you in the header! 

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Two Yummy Salad Recipes

Tuesday, September 6, 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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