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One | I'm at 365 days on Duolingo! Learning Spanish has been something I've wanted to do for a very long time. I do not feel like even after 365 days on Duolingo I know Spanish. It has helped a great deal and I will say I definitely feel like I know more than I did in an entire year of High School Spanish. After a few months I ended up paying for the full version of the App and I feel that was 100% worth it for me. Also a few weeks ago they revamped the learning path and it's way better for me. So anyway, I'm going to keep it going!

Just Three Things

Friday, December 30, 2022

Just wanted to share another fun house update! We had the whole house painted recently, and we decided to take advantage of taking everything down. If you are going to go through all the effort of putting things back up, you may as well fix old issues along the way. One of those issues was our gallery wall. It was neatly (and meticulously) measured out before, but we didn't love the angle of all the photos - so since we had to re-hang them, we fixed the decent of the frames and love the outcome.

Additionally, since we were just painting everything bright white, I wanted to add something fun to the area. I found some pretty cool stair riser wallpaper strips on Amazon and we love how they look. 10/10 on the look, but these were an absolute nightmare to install. Don't zoom in too closely, or you'll see all the imperfections. Regardless, we love the look and hopefully these removable strips stay up for a decent amount of time. I really think it would have been easier just to make a stencil and paint the risers, but lesson learned. 

Just a reminder of the space 'before'...


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Wallpapering Our Stairs

Friday, December 23, 2022

If you missed part one, I'll sum it up real fast: We swapped our guest room and home office! It was a lot of work to undo two rooms, but it was totally worth it. I've been walking by this room and just gazing in all week. It just makes so much more sense and feels right! 

Basically, all we brought over to this room from the former guestroom was the bed and bench. I donated the night stands, and brought in a floor lamp and some fake greenery from downstairs. The bookshelves were already in this room, so I just culled the décor that was on them and swapped out a few things. 

The only thing I bought: the prints above the bed. They are sweet floral sketches that I found at Hobby Lobby. I thought the frame color was perfect, and added just the right thing to balance out the weird asymmetry that's happening with the window. (There really was no other way to arrange this room! It's obviously designed for a kid with a twin or maybe a double bed.) 

The closest is totally empty, except for our air mattress and extra sheets. I'd like to add a luggage rack to the closet and maybe some kind of extra surface for our guests to set their things on. 

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Part Two of Our Guest Room Redo

Thursday, December 15, 2022

When we first moved into our home, Blake and I split up our home work spaces. I had a desk in our guest room, and then he had the second upstairs bedroom for his desk and all our workout equipment. I'll make this long story short, but we had some friends staying with us for a semi-lengthy amount of time a few weeks ago. Because I wanted them to have the guest room to themselves, I pulled all my stuff out and set up a temporary space in Blake's office. 

I had been quietly discontent with my office space for awhile. With Etsy, and all that comes with running a small shop, my desk was just not cutting it anymore. I was constantly running out of room and would just use the guest bed as a secondary workspace. Once we were working in one room again, we both admitted we liked it better that way. But, that bedroom is much smaller than our guest room so it was cramped. Anyway...I said I'd make a long story short, but I can't! Haha. Basically we decided to keep a joint office but switch the bedrooms to be most efficient. 

Just to remind you what we were working with, you can see what this room looked like in this post

It took some planning, but we came up with a great concept using this image as the inspo. I wanted one really long desk. Blake already had one that we loved from Ikea. The problem was, Ikea doesn't sell the butcher block topper anymore. But, if I could find something similar, all we would need is one more set of the Alex drawers. Low and behold, I found an almost identical piece of butcher block already cut to the perfect size on! It wasn't exactly cheap, but the quality is insane and it's incredibly smooth. The two table tops are slightly different shades at the moment because I oiled up our original one so it's quite dark. That will fade and I think they will be a really close match. 

So one quick trip over to Ikea, and I got our missing base piece. Plus, a few fun décor items like these wall shelves! I always felt that this wall was strange because it's got the roof line to deal with and the world's tiniest window. I really feel that the shelves help it make sense! We had the room painted as well, and I could not love the navy wall more! We went with Sherwin Williams Naval

As soon as we got the desk set up, I knew it was the best decision ever. And then, when I fulfilled my first Etsy order sitting at it, I was thrilled! It's just so much more functional and I love having twice the desk space to work on. And twice the drawer space too! I really need to sit down and organize those but, that's a project for another day.

The other side of the room is still in progress. The alcove I had my desk in is perfect for our exercise bike and all our free weights. But we still need to install a TV, and maybe figure out a way to organize our equipment better. Stay tuned for that! Plus, up next will be our new guest room reveal! I'm very excited to have this space set up for friends and family to stay in and I think it will be so much more functional. 

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Joint Home Office Update

Monday, December 12, 2022

When Blake and I were flying back home from Ireland, we were both crossing our fingers that our suitcases were going to make it back in one piece. I was really proud of us for packing so lightly, and managing to squeeze 2 weeks worth of clothing into carry on suitcases (and a backpack). We had some hard side bags we had bought a small department store's going out of business sale - and they worked great for a short while! They were both severely cracked by the time our trip was nearing the end. I decided it was time to invest in something actually nice for future trips. (Although, we don't have anything on the calendar so that's kind of a bummer haha.) 

I was pretty confident I wanted an Away bag. They are just so pretty! But the price was a turn off for sure. And, I also read that they are incredibly heavy. Blake found a similar brand called Monos - and we were thrilled their bags were on sale during all the cyber week sales. We chose matching Carry Ons in Olive Green. 

You should have heard all the Oohing and Aahing I did as I opened up the package! These bags are a great size, and the quality is awesome. Plus, you get a few extras like a dust bag, laundry bag, shoe bags, luggage tag, and even a tiny magic eraser to keep it clean. I really like that the zipper locks and that there is a cool compressing strap/pad thing to help you fit all your stuff. Now, I just need some travel plans!!

Here's my referral link for $20 off!


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Monos Carry On First Impressions

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

I've been documenting our annual cruises here on the blog since 2015! We love to go as a family, especially because everyone can do their own thing but we are still together. Because of the pandemic, we haven't been on a cruise in a couple of years - so getting back to it felt extra special! Plus, besides my core family we had a few family friends join which made it so fun! 

This cruise took us to the Cayman Islands and then to Cozumel. In Cayman we did a snorkel tour with a stop at Stingray City. (This was the tour we booked. Don't forget to activate Rakuten for cash back!) It was a BLAST and I could just look at that turquoise water every day, all day. In Cozumel we went to our favorite spot - Paradise Beach! I've documented our many, many stops at Paradise Beach. It's an all-inclusive beach club that is an easy taxi ride from the Cruise port. Our in our case, a hummer limo. 😂 Totally didn't expect that when they pulled up, but gosh what a fun ride! 

What I Wore:

I did a little outfit try on before we left so that I didn't over pack. I'm super proud to say that all of my dinner outfits were thrifted! With the exception of the lavender paisley dress that is. That's a J Crew dress I got on clearance a few months ago for $13!


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Snapshots From Our Cozumel Cruise | Carnival Paradise

Friday, December 2, 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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