Thursday, December 31, 2015

TINSELBOX REVIEW & COUPON CODE

Where was Tinselbox this time last year when I needed it? I threw an extremely last minute New Year's Eve to kick off 2015 and was frantically scrolling through Pinterest running back and forth to the Dollar Tree trying to figure out how to make the party look epic. With Tinselbox I could have been properly enjoying the College Football Playoffs while the decorations came to me.

Tinselbox is a holiday subscription box that delivers holiday decor and activities straight to your front porch. This box was created by two moms who love the holidays and understand the chaos of putting together fun and cute, yet affordable, ideas for every occasion. 


What the box included:
  • Wish Papers - Write 10 wishes on each paper and set them a flame so they come true in 2016.
  • Confetti Popper - This reloadable popper was handmade for Tinselbox and is so cute!
  • Fringe Horns - Made by StephShivesStudio on Etsy, these noisemakers remind me of childhood.
  • Candy Fortunes - Too cute to eat, but filled with predictions for your new year. These uniquely decorated fortune cookies are made by FortunatelyYours on Etsy.
  • Tissue Hats - These gold paper crowns are a fun decoration to add to your countdown.
  • Star Sparkler - This sparkler would be great to light moments before midnight, but would also make a beautiful cake topper.
Also included in the box was information about how other countries celebrate the New Year. It was fun to read about traditions internationally and how they differ from the United States. This box is worth $29.80.

Tinselbox offers two options when it comes to subscribing-- the Box of Spontaneous Joy is $19.99 (box seen above) and the Box of Cheerful Curations includes twice the amount of fun for $39.99. Tinselbox charges an extra $7 for international shipping.

Be sure to enter the code: Tinselbox5 for $5 off your first box purchase.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 FAVES

At the end of each month I share my favorite things from that month. Now that the year has come to an end, it is time for me to share with you my ultimate favorites of all of my favorites...if that makes sense? Here's what I loved the most in 2015:

Favorite Scent: Bath & Body Works Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin 

Favorite Song: Downtown by Macklemore feat. Ryan Lewis


Favorite Clothing Item: Victoria's Secret Yoga Leggings...originally $64.99 purchased for $18.99 in January...and I still wear them at least weekly. (I say at least because if I admitted how many times per week I wore them you'd be disgusted and stop reading.)

Favorite Beauty Product: Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation, Sephora, $28.00

Favorite Food: Chocolate Shakeology

Favorite Drink: Go Girl Peach Tea

Favorite Event: TCU vs Baylor game football game Thanksgiving weekend. Yup, my crazy family sat through the freezing cold, pouring rain, and double overtime to witness a VICTORY!

Favorite Book: The Sweet Life by Dulce Candy Ruiz

Favorite YouTube channel: Mel Trippy-- Mel & Phil are positive, inspirational, and make me feel like I'm a part of their daily life. Go check them out & join our #PTUCrew!


Favorite Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11, My life verse, declaring that Christ has my life planned out already. It gives me a constant reminder to just enjoy the journey in the moment, and not stress about what happened in the past and what is to come in the future.

What did you love in 2015?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

NEW YEARS EVE HACKS


With New Year's Eve just days away, many are making plans for a fun night. Last year I threw an epic party, this year I am hoping for a more mellow night of board games and cheese fries. Whatever the night is bringing you, here are some hacks to make it go more smoothly--
  • If you're hosting a party:
    • Line your trash can with 3-4 bags to make clean up easy.
    • Use leftover wrapping paper for decorations. (Paper chain garland, anyone?)
    • Use mini bottles as place settings.
    • Have a "Resolutions" board for people to write their New Year's resolutions.
    • Have extra pillows and blankets on hand for anyone who drinks too much and is unable to head home.
  • If you're going out:
    • Get there early. Places fill up quickly. If they fill up, utilize the Nearby Friends function on Facebook to see what bars are still allowing entrance.
    • Eat a big dinner. If you're going out to the bars, it's likely that you will be drinking. Prevent being the joke of 2016 by making sure you aren't a slob kabob on New Year's Eve.
    • Take an Uber home! While the prices ARE more expensive on NYE, you are saving your life, the lives of others, a DUI, and many other potential life altering dramas.
Regardless of what your New Year's Eve plans are, be sure to be safe and have fun!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

CHRISTMAS MAKEUP LOOK

No matter how hard I try, I will never be a beauty guru. Even when I try various makeup looks, they all end up looking the exact same. However, I still love watching other beauty gurus on YouTube. One of my favorites is Nicole Guerriero. She is based in Tampa, FL and her top videos include "Kylie Jenner Inspired Makeup" "How To Contour & Highlight" and "How To Go From Brown to Rihanna Red Without Bleaching." Below is her most recent video, a "Festive Christmas Glam" look. 

Be sure to check out her YouTube channel. Hope you enjoy! 


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

FIGHT THE FUNK

Last week for a couple days I was feeling pretty down. For no particular reason, I could barely get through the day without naps and tears. The beauty of it? I got through it. Here are some tips for when you're feeling blue.

1.) Pray. The snake knows your weaknesses. Pray them out of your heart. 
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” Psalms 34:17

2.) Get some sunshine. Vitamin D can do wonders for your soul. Go for a 30 minute walk in the sun. Sit out back with a glass of lemonade in a rocking chair with a book or your Bible. Let your skin absorb the sunshines.

3.) Take your vitamins. Vitamin B12, Fish Oil, St. John’s Wort, and Zinc are all known cures for anxiety and depression. Pick some up at your local drugstore and be sure to take them daily. 

4.) Journal. When you write out how you feel, it can help you make sense of it all. Sometimes getting out your emotions and thoughts makes you feel better. 

5.) Set three goals. If you want to just lay in bed, make yourself take care of three things that day.Those three accomplishments can help motivate you to keep going in your day. Think about long term goals as well. If you want a new career, don’t spend the day sleeping. Spend the day applying to jobs.  

6.) Workout. A little cardio or lifting weights can give you adrenaline and endorphins to lift your mood, as well as helping to create a happier, healthier you.

7.) Do something for ten seconds. Force yourself to smile for ten seconds. Jump up and down for ten seconds. That burst of energy can really help.

8.) Just relax. If none of these things help, just accept the funk. Allow yourself an off day. Cuddle up with a good book or a movie and start fresh tomorrow.

Monday, December 21, 2015

HAPPY PAPER CARDS [REVIEW]

Snail mail is a lost art. My eyes light up when I receive something in the mail (that doesn't say I owe someone money.) I love sending far away friends birthday cards, Christmas cards, and occasionally hand written letters. That's why Happy Paper by Linda is the PERFECT kind of subscription service for people like me.

Happy Paper offers 3 various monthly subscriptions:
  1. The Buddy ($16/month): a 3 month subscription delivered monthly, 4 cards per month, with 2 customized card requests per month.
  2. Ms. Thoughtful ($16/every other month): This subscription ships bimonthly for a whole year. It includes 4 cards per month, with 3 customized card requests per month.
  3. Social Butterfly ($16/month): a monthly subscription for the year, 4 cards per month, with 3 customized card requests per month, and 6 extra VIP cards sent throughout the year.
Happy Paper by Linda also offers the option of sending a subscription as a gift. The sender pays the one time fee of $48 and the receiver gets the same benefits of "The Buddy" box. Linda also offers The Happy Store with already made card packs for various events such as birthdays, weddings, babies, and more!


I love these cards sent to me from Happy Paper by Linda! Linda really took the time to get to know my likes and needs to customize cards to best suit me. My favorite is the "Live, Laugh, Love, & Football" card! 

For those interested in ordering from Happy Paper by Linda, visit her website Happy Paper Cards.
Be sure to also connect with her on Social Media, via Instagram, FaceBook, and Twitter.



Sunday, December 20, 2015

DON'T FORGET TO BE A FAN [OUTSIDE THE HUDDLE]

My family has been cheering for TCU football since much longer than coaching has been a part of my life. Eventually I was more worried about if the coaches were making the right call and how the game would affect my life win or lose than I was about just having fun watching a sport I love. Over Thanksgiving weekend, (with Cal Poly's season wrapped up) my family hopped on a plane and headed east for TCU vs. Baylor.

Last year's showdown was awfully close and cost TCU the chance at a National Championship. This year they needed payback. And they got it. After a 45 minute rain delay, a wind chill of 23 degrees, soaked through clothes, and double overtime, the Horned Frogs won the game and we stormed the field. It was EPIC.

This experience reminded me what football is all about-- family and fun times. Don't forget to just be a fan. Even when winning or losing determines the next season of your life, just enjoy the ride for what it is...a game.

Friday, December 18, 2015

CHRISTMAS OUTFIT IDEAS

The holidays are fully upon us and this coming week will be full of Christmas parties and events. Here are four different outfit ideas for various Christmas events.





What are you wearing this holiday season?



Thursday, December 17, 2015

LOVED AND BLESSED REVIEW

Loved and Blessed is a Christian subscription box service with a goal to help women share their testimony. For only $10/month, each box includes a mini poster, reminder sticker, scripture card, and small gift. 



This month's box was themed around the idea that we are God's masterpiece. It included:
  • a mini poster
  • reminder sticker
  • scripture card
  • colored pencils
  • coloring page in a frame that says "We are God's masterpiece."
I enjoy receiving the Loved and Blessed Box because it provides me with encouraging reminders to remain strong in my faith. It is different than any other box I have received. It is full of meaning, heart, and joy. Place your order quickly to receive your own box of encouragement next month!



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

GIVEAWAY WINNER!

Congratulations to Octavia Fuller, winner of the Healthiest Sleep Solutions giveaway! I have sent you an email, please respond within 24 hours to claim your prize! :)

Healthiest is a new company that delivers natural remedies right to your doorstep. They are on a mission to provide everyone with natural products for every ailment. Developed by a panel of health practitioners, their remedies are doctor approved and scientifically supported.

For those interested in ordering products from Healthiest, be sure to use code HealthiestKate30 at checkout to get 30% off an order of $25 or more.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

STRAWBERRY SHAKEOLOGY CUPCAKES

Today is National Cupcake Day! While I absolutely love cupcakes, I know that they are not a healthy option especially on a random Tuesday morning. However, that does not mean that we can not enjoy delicious cupcakes in a healthier manner!


Strawberry Shakeology Cupcakes

Ingredients:
  • 5 scoops Vanilla Shakeology
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup pureed strawberries
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 c coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp coconut butter (for frosting)
How to:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use coconut oil to grease muffin tins.
  3. Mix strawberries, coconut milk, coconut oil, and eggs.
  4. Add in protein powder and baking powder.
  5. Spread batter evenly amongst muffin tins.
  6. Bake 7-10 minutes.
  7. (while muffins are baking) Microwave coconut butter for 10 seconds. 
  8. Blend until creamy.
  9. Place in fridge until frosting stiffens.
  10. (when muffins are cooled) Spread on top of muffins.
Enjoy these delicious, slightly guilt-free, cupcakes!


Monday, December 14, 2015

WINTER PROOF YOUR SKIN

As the weather gets cooler and windy (except this week in LA it's been 80!) my skin starts to get the wrath of it. My lips are chapped, my skin is dry, and I am over it! Here are some tips for winter proofing your skin:

1.) Exfoliate it 2-3 times per week. This removes dead skin and keeps it healthy and glowing. It can help all skin problems such as blemishes, clogged pores, and hyperpigmentation. My favorite exfoliator is Clinique Exfoliating Scrub.

2.) Exfoliate your lips too! The lips are always forgotten when it comes to exfoliating. I am the queen of chapped lips and will admit I am not the best about including them in the pampering process. I live and breathe Carmex in the winter, and have been like this my whole life. A great lip scrub is Mint Julips lip scrub from LUSH.

3.) Find the right hydrating mask. There is a common misconception that when your skin is chapped and scaly it is dry, when in actuality it is often just dehydrated. Dry skin means your skin is lacking oil. Dehydrated skin means it is lacking water. The bet hydration mask on the market is Glam Glow Thirsty Mud.

4.) That being said, drink water! It flushes out toxins, hydrates the body and skin, and allows nutrients and glow to surround your skin.

5.) Turn down the temperature. Hot showers and bath can suck the life out of your skin. While it sounds great to take a hot shower after coming in from the snow, it can do years of damage to your skin. Turn down the temperature and keep the moisture locked in to your skin.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

CHRISSY TEIGEN LOOK FOR LESS

Chrissy Teigen is always stunning, but her latest accessory is her pregnancy glow. Teigen is proof that pregnancy can be comfortable and cute without being all yoga pants and Nikes. Try this Chrissy Teigen inspired look for less this holiday season, whether you are dressing a baby bump or not.



Total: $118.88

Friday, December 11, 2015

SWEET LIFE BOOK REVIEW

I have watched Dulce Candy Ruiz on YouTube on and off for the past six years. During this time I could always tell that Dulce was different, but could never put my finger on what set her apart from all the other vloggers filling up my subscription box. For this very reason, when Dulce released her first book in August, I could not wait to get my hands on it.

The Sweet Life: Find Passion, Embrace Fear, and Create Success On Your Own Terms provides readers with the right kind of personal development. While sharing her own personal stories of her road to success, Dulce also encourages readers about how to build their own brand and confidence. It is an inspiring read to anyone who is trying to grow and develop into their own skin.

Dulce's brave stories of immigrating to America from Mexico with her family as a child and being deployed to Iraq provide proof that her life is not the sunshine and rainbows it appears in the 7 minutes she is on your laptop screen swiping lipstick and applying mascara. It makes her real, raw, and relatable, even for those who have not had the same experiences.

I recommend this book to anyone looking for an extra push of encouragement to go after their dreams. Dulce helps you set goals, learn balance, and gives hope of a better tomorrow. This is an easy, but fulfilling, read.

For more on Dulce Candy Ruiz, check out her YouTube channel, DulceCandy87.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

DIPLOMA WITH DIGNITY [FROM THE ARCHIVES]

I can not believe next week it will be two years since I graduated college. Life has changed a whole lot since then and I am extremely proud of not just my degree, but the person I am becoming. This is one of my favorite posts from December 2014. While it does reflect on everything being a year ago, much of it is still very true.
_________________________________________________________________________________

I can't believe it's been a year since I graduated college. This time last year I was on a plane, headed to Texas to watch my brother graduate, then a quick return flight back to LA to finish my finals, say goodbye to my best friends, and move out of the dorms.

I used to always roll my eyes at adults who would comment on how quickly life flies by. But I am finally one of those adults. To those of you entering your last semester of college--cherish it for all it's worth. I would give nearly anything for just one more night in Trinity Hall-- dancing to 2Chainz, helping each other get ready for a night out, and laughing until my belly ached. Rarely again will you be with all your best friends in one place. Rarely again will you lack serious responsibility with bills to pay and work to do. Make every moment count.

The past year has been nothing I had imagined. When I graduated college last December, I expected everything to magically fall into place. I thought I would have such a simple time transitioning from living with my best friends in the dorms to living with my mom and dad in my childhood bedroom. News flash, in case you're just tuning in and have missed out on one wild ride, I DIDN'T.

The past year has been quite the trial for me, but I'm proud to say that I made it. I anxiously attacked the change from living with my best friends to only occasionally texting. I, after many failed attempts, found a stable, enjoyable, and sustainable job. I have moved out of my parents house, out of my hometown, and figured out life in a brand new city.

It feels like just yesterday I was walking out of ED 502 with the extremely awkward, yet rewardingly challenging, Dr. Scheu, calling my dad up in joyful tears to tell him I was done. I had taken my last final. Three and a half years of hard work and resisting frequent urges to give, but I had done it. The proudest accomplishment I have to date. My education is something no one can ever take from me.

That being said, time sure flies by. It wasn't just yesterday. It was actually 356 days ago, not that I'm counting. I am no where near where I expected to be at this moment, but I am okay with that. I have enjoyed (most) of the journey and have fully accepted that God's plans are far greater than my own.

This past year I have learned more about myself than I ever did in 21 years prior. I learned that I am a fighter. I am a strong, hard-working, faithful servant to Christ and I will not give up on him, for he has not given up on me.

The past year since I graduated has been a trial, but I have been given second chances and am on the right path to becoming the woman I was created to be. Although it has been a difficult year, it has been rewarding. Not only do I have a diploma, but I have dignity.

"Only God can turn a MESS into a MESSage, a TEST into a TESTimony, a TRIal into a TRIumph, a VICtim into a VICTory. GOD IS SO GOOD!"

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

HEALTHIEST REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

This time of year, many people are getting worn down by colds and the flu. As they shell out many dollars on over the counter medications, they fail to realize the power in holistic health and natural remedies. Natural remedies are safe, lead to fewer side effects, and have been proven to work for hundreds of years.

Healthiest is a new company that delivers natural remedies right to your doorstep. They are on a mission to provide everyone with natural products for every ailment. Developed by a panel of health practitioners, their remedies are doctor approved and scientifically supported.


I sampled the Immunity Solution Box that helps build a defense against illness and strengthen the immune system. It included: Flying Bird Botanical Cold Comfort Tea (so delicious and soothing!), Wedderspoon Raw Manuka Honey Blend (great to add to the tea and prevent against bacteria!), Metagenics Andrographis Plus (reduces cold and flu symptoms) , Dr. Bronner's Lavender Organic Hand Sanitizer (kills germs and smells oh so yummy) , and Host Defense - My Community Extract (helps maintain a balanced immune system). 

Healthiest also offers boxes for Women's Health (PMS), Medicine Cabinet Essentials, and Healthiest Sleep Solutions.

Healthiest has graciously offered to hook one of you up with one of their Healthiest Sleep Solutions Boxes, which includes calming tea, natural sleep aides, soothing oils, a sleep mask, and more. The giveaway is now open and will end on December 15th at 3pm PST.



How to enter:

Comment below with your email address.
For extra entry, follow me on IG @catedimmitt and Healthiest on IG @healthie.st

For those interested in ordering products from Healthiest, be sure to use code HealthiestKate30 at checkout to get 30% off an order of $25 or more.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

TIME TRAVELER'S DAY

Today is National Time Traveler Day...yup, it's a thing. These national holidays just get weirder and weirder. Which raises the question...if you could go back in time, would you? I wouldn't. I have lived things once, I have already been there, done that, and I would not change anything. Every fun moment in my life, I would not want to relive because something may go different and I do not want to taint the memory. Every awful moment I have may not have led me to where I am today if I changed the way it played out, and I love my life right now, so I don't want to do that either. I used to always want to look forward in life and see what is to come, but now I don't even want to do that. I just want to live my life and enjoy every single moment in the moment. Living in the past causes depression and living in the future causes anxiety. I am living in the present full of peace...even if it's National Time Traveler Day.

Monday, December 7, 2015

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

If you're like me you're the worst gift giver EVER. I never know what to give anyone in my life. Here are some great gifts for the people closest to you...I consulted mine.

Perfect gifts for Mom:
Home decor (I love BurlapBellaSigns), Hunter Boots, Starbucks, and jewelry (Try The Olive Tree Designs)

Perfect gifts for Dad:
golf clubs, new shoes, Apple Watch, and cooking subscription boxes (Check out Raw Spice Bar)

For your honey:
golf shirts, xBox one, gShock watch, and new workout shoes

For your best friend:
a statement tee (The Home T is perfect for your out of state friends), makeup, infinity scarves (my favorite right now is from Borelli Design), and a headband (Try Mint and Arrows)

What are you getting your loved ones this season?

Sunday, December 6, 2015

CHRISTMAS PRINTABLES

Last month I shared beautiful, fun, Thanksgiving printables for place settings from Food Packaging Labels. This month they have outdone themselves with some fun Christmas labels to share with my readers. They can be used as gift tags, place cards, food labels, and so much more!


To download these Christmas labels, and many other printables, visit Food Packaging Labels.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

TIPS FOR FAMILY PHOTOS

This time of year many families are gathered together and decide to take family portraits. We had even planned on getting them done over Thanksgiving weekend, but our session was rained out. Here are some tips for your family as you are preparing to take pictures for Christmas cards, or just for yourself:

1.) Wear coordinating colors, but don't look too matchy matchy. Use an accent color with accessories such as scarves, headbands, boots, etc.

2.) Be well fed. Being hungry can lead to hangry...especially for kiddos. Taking pictures with the whole family can be hectic, so be sure to have a full stomach to eliminate a potential problem.

3.) Go with the flow. Photographers know what they're doing...even newer ones. Let them pose you and be willing to try out things that they suggest. If you have an idea going into the photos, communicate that before hand.

4.) Shoot outdoors. The lighting looks better and the setting is more fun. Shooting in a studio limits the options for posing and types of photos.

5.) Have fun! Most importantly, enjoy the moments. Make it a memory that when you look at these photos later in life, you enjoy the memories connected to it more than the actual photo.

For those in Southern California in need of a great photographer, I suggest Emma Hopp Photography. I have used her for a couple occasions and am impressed by her photography skills, work ethic, and energy.

Friday, December 4, 2015

NATIONAL COOKIE DAY

Today's blog post is one from the archive (originally posted 9.20.14) in honor of National Cookie Day.


Pumpkin Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Pinterest freak that I am has hundreds of delicious recipes waiting to be used. Spending time with a cute little five year old last weekend had been inspired to bake some cookies with her. I hopped on my board and found that perfect Cate flavored cookies! Pumpkin Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups packed light-brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

How To:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger for 30 seconds.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until creamy.
Blend in egg, then blend in vanilla extract and pumpkin puree.
With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Mix in chocolate chips.

Scoop dough out 2 Tbsp at a time onto parchment paper lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart. 
Bake in preheated oven 12 - 14 minutes. 

ENJOY!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

FLU SHOT...SHOULD YOU GET IT?

Every year there seems to be a debate about the flu shot. Is it worth it? Does it actually make you sick? Can employers require you to get it? I am here to show you both sides and then spew my own opinion.

The pros: If you get the flu shot, it can help prevent you from getting the flu. It is often free (or very cheap) through employers, health insurance, and/or health clinics. The flu vaccine is now available in nasal spray form, for those afraid of needles. (I threw a fit getting shots until my early teens. My mom can tell you of the time in 6th grade when I screamed at my doctor at the sight of the needle.)

The cons: There is no guarantee that the flu shot works. For example, last year's strain of the flu was not protected by the shot. It takes up to 2 weeks to kick in, so if a flu virus is brewing in your body already you're out of luck. The vaccination is cultivated inside of chicken eggs and is therefore extremely dangerous to those with an egg allergy. However, many people are unaware of this. The flu shot has a small amount of mercury in it to preserve the vaccination, which can lead to brain and nerve disorders. Lastly, the side effects of the flu vaccine sound an awful lot like the flu...soreness, swelling, low grade fever, and achy muscles....

Comparing the pros and cons of the flu shot, I think I will take my chances and pass. I have never gotten the shot and have only gotten the flu a couple times in my life.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST

Now that December is here I can listen to all the Christmas music I want judgment free! Here is my current Christmas music playlist:

  • Sing Mary Sing by Jennifer Knapp
  • That's Christmas To Me by Pentatonix
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas by Frank Sinatra
  • White Christmas by Bing Crosby 
  • Jingle Bell Rock from Glee
  • I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas by Gayla Peevey
  • O Holy Night by Mariah Carey
  • All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth from Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • Do You Hear What I Hear by Carrie Underwood
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Sam Smith
  • The Christmas Shoes by Newsong
  • Grown Up Christmas List by Amy Grant
What's on your Christmas playlist?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

PRESENCE > PRESENTS

Somehow it is already December 1st. While many are busy putting up Christmas lights, shopping for the perfect gift, and thinking about their New Year's resolutions, the true purpose of this time of year is lost. Instead of focusing on things, focus on people. Remember the reason of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Be present instead of worrying about presents.


Monday, November 30, 2015

Holy moly. It's November  December. I'm so shocked that I am a month off. Can you believe tomorrow is the final month of the year? I have to say that 2015 has been the best year of my life. Each new day has brought me hope and promises of grace and beauty from above.

Here are my favorite things this month...it's only a matter of time before I am writing my favorites for the year.

Beauty product... Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream


Song....Hello by Adele



Food....meatloaf



Event....TCU v Baylor football game. Nothing says EPIC quite like sitting in the pouring rain, freezing cold, seeing your team beat their rivals in double overtime, then storming the field.

YouTube.... What's Up Woods, a new channel from Carlie (Butler) & Jackson Wood





Book.....The Sweet Life by Dulce Candy Ruiz (review to come in December!)

TV show....Dancing With the Stars finale....how stinking cute is Bindi? I hear she is in works to have her own reality show, and my DVR is SO ready.

What were your favorite things this month?


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

SIBLING STYLE

Guest blogger, Elizabeth Harper, fashion writer at Mary Jane Fashion

For anyone who has a sibling, you most probably had to confront that hideous moment where your parents dressed you in identical outfits. I know for one that my family photo album is wrought with sartorial failures, with my sister and I gawping at the camera in complementary ensembles of bright pinks, purples and yellows. My parents insisted we looked cute but history evidently proves otherwise. Luckily, we have developed our own senses of style to correspond with our individual tastes, which have, interestingly, diverged in different and interesting directions. We’re not exact opposites, but we have very much developed our own unique aesthetics to reflect our personalities and likes, which often can see us swapping style tips and pointers. Like my sister and I, there are numerous famous faces and their equally famous siblings who exhibit fabulous, differing tastes that we have come to celebrate and enjoy. Here are three of my favorite sibling pairings who offer sartorial inspiration in their unique and individual ways.



The Knowles sisters
BeyoncĂ© Knowles is one of the world’s most famous women, with an amazing vocal ability and legions of fans around the world. She is known for her power-style, which features a combination of heavy embellishing, bright hues, outfits that flatter her curves and are polished to perfection. Incorporating pencil skirts, blazers and knits into her casual wear, at night she turns to ensembles that help her to stand out, such as leotards, big flowing dresses and popping colors. Solange on the other hand looks to ensembles that nod to more retro-inspired styles, the seventies in particular. Letting her hair fall into a natural voluminous afro, she is the image of diva style, embracing her natural hair and beauty, wearing them with confidence and oodles of cool. Like her sister, she looks to popping colors in her ensembles, but is slightly more adventurous by looking to graphic and floral prints to light up her ensemble. 



The Delevingnes
Poppy and Cara Delvingne are poles apart when it comes to fashion. Poppy is very traditionally beautiful with her symmetrical face and her polished sense of style. She can often be seen in luxury bohemian styles, playing with long lengths, voluminous textures and relaxed waistlines. A case in point was the stunning Emilio Pucci floral wedding dress she wore in Marrakech. With long sleeves, a lace up V-neck, a wide floor-sweeping skirt and her hair flowing down in relaxed waves, her style is effortlessly refined but laidback. Cara is similarly laidback, but looks to much grungier options to achieve her signature look. A propagator of the sports-luxe trend (a trend which emerged heavily influenced by her style), Cara can often be seen in a pair of skinny leg trousers, fashion sneakers, hoodies and beanie hats (shop similar styles at Mary Jane Fashion). For more polished looks, she opts for androgynous styles like sleek suits. Glamorous and grungy, Cara’s look has spawned a thousand copies thanks to her regular Instagram updates.



The Maras

Kata Mara and Rooney Mara are both successful actresses in their own rights, carving their own unique, interesting careers that defy comparison. Their sartorial offerings tell a similar story: Kate, star of House of Cards, The Martian and The Fantastic Four, is the epitome of prim and pretty, looking to high necks and short hemlines to create her look. This winning formula helps her to successfully play with adventurous colors and prints: by keeping her forms and silhouettes similar, she can branch out with her ensembles’ content in a variety of different ways. Rooney, on the other hand, is very much all about statement style, looking to edgy high-fashion ensembles to create drama and impact on the red carpet. Famously, she opts for striking, contrast color palates, for example monochrome or navy and white, which are complemented by unpredictable and adventurous silhouettes. Coupled with her iridescent skin, her sleek hair and her penetrating gaze, Rooney is a sartorial star to be reckoned with. 

About the guest blogger: Elizabeth Harper is a writer, critic, and current fashion editor at Mary Jane Fashion, a UK-based fashion wholesaler providing wholesale clothing and celebrity-inspired fashion, available to buy in bulk at low prices.

For more from Harper, check her out on Twitter & Instagram @E_S_Harper
For more on Mary Jane Fashion, find them on Twitter @maryjfashion and Instagram @maryjanefashionwholesale

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

5 TIPS FOR BLACK FRIDAY

Black Friday has a reputation of being purely chaotic. Last year was the first year I have ever tackled it and ironically, there were ZERO crowds. I did not wait for parking for hours, I did not even wait in line when buying at the stores. That being said, I did not think there were any overly satisfying deals. I think it is a great day if you are making a big purchase or buying electronics, but for cosmetics, clothing, and smaller items, Black Friday makes no big difference.

If you are going to trek out shopping this weekend, here are a few tips:

  1. Have a plan. Know what you are shopping for so that you do not overspend on unnecessary items or spend more time than needed at the mall.
  2. Compare prices ahead of time. Many websites, such as Price Grabber and Shop Advisor, will tell you which store will have the best price for what you are looking for. This will cut out any pain of purchasing immediately at Nordstrom's, then finding the jeans $20 cheaper at Macy's.
  3. Get a good night's rest. When you are sleep deprived you are likely to overeat and overspend. Being sure you got 6-8 hours of sleep (the tryptophan in the turkey should help!) could prevent you from binge eating Wetzel's Pretzels at the food court and buying the same sweater in eight different colors.
  4. Read the fine print. A lot of stores will mark up the "original" price, to make the discount look greater than it really is. Be sure you know that you are really getting a discount before you purchase.
  5. Do not limit yourself to Black Friday. Many stores seem to be doing "Black November" and bargains are already out. Cyber Monday is another great way to get fabulous deals without even having to leave your bed.
Are you Black Friday shopping this year? What are your tips for surviving the crazy people?

Monday, November 23, 2015

THANKSGIVING MOOD BOARD

Thanksgiving is just days away.
This mood board is getting me ready to put on my stretchy pants and eat all of the turkey and gluten-free stuffing I can find.
What's on your Thanksgiving mood board?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

FALL DRINK RECIPE

Tis the season to be jolly...after a few cocktails. Here are three fun, fall flavored drinks to enjoy this November.

Caramel Apple Sangria (my kinda party!)

  • Ingredients
    • 1 bottle of white wine
    • 1 cup caramel flavored vodka
    • 6 cups apple cider
    • 2 medium apples, cored and chopped
  • How To
    • Stir wine, vodka, and cider together in a pitcher.
    • Add chopped apples to pitcher.
    • Serve over ice.

Apple Ginger Smash

  • Ingredients
    • 4 ounces vodka
    • 2 ounces ginger liquor
    • 1 cup apple cider
    • 2 ounces simple syrup
    • fresh ginger
  • How To
    • Add ingredients into shaker. Shake.
    • Pour over ice.

Cranberry Margarita:

  • Ingredients
    • 1 1/2 cup cranberry juice
    • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
    • 3/4 cup tequila
    • 1/2 cup Triple Sec
    • ice 
  • How To
    • Stir, blend, enjoy.

Monday, November 16, 2015

GLUTEN FREE COOKIE CARAMEL PIE

This month is Gluten Free Diet Awareness Month. Ironically, this month I also had several severe allergic reactions which I have narrowed down to being gluten related. Last week I tested out a recipe, substituting gluten free products and peanut butter chips instead of chocolate, and it was one of the best desserts I have ever made, if not THE best.


Ingredients:

  • 1 bag caramel chips
  • 1 bag peanut butter chips
  • 2 tubes gluten free cookie dough
  • vanilla bean ice cream (optional)
How to: 
  1. Microwave caramel chips for 45 seconds.
  2. Press 1 tube of cookie dough evenly into bottom of pie tin.
  3. Pour melted caramel on cookie dough.
  4. Sprinkle peanut butter chips on top of caramel.
  5. Top with another layer of cookie dough.
  6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. 
  7. Top with ice cream.
  8. Eat whole pan because it's just that good.
Enjoy! And a thank you to my sweet friend Kelley for sharing this original recipe with me!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIDGE

Today is National Clean Out Your Fridge Day. Believe it or not, this actually is a national "holiday." Be sure to celebrate today by throwing out the three week old Chinese food leftovers and finding that frozen salmon you forgot you bought four months ago at Trader Joe's. Here are 5 great hacks for keeping the fridge nice and organized.


  1. Cover the shelves with cling wrap. That way when something spills, you won't have to scrub the fridge...just replace the cling wrap.
  2. Don't put dairy in the door! So many people keep their milk in the door of the fridge, but this is the part of the fridge where temperature fluctuates the most, so dairy spoils more quickly than at another location in the fridge.
  3. Label a basket in the fridge "Eat Me First!" and keep all items that are losing their shelf life quickly in it so that food does not go to waste.
  4. Store raw meat and seafood in the bottom shelf or drawer to prevent them from leaking down onto other foods.
  5. Only use clear containers, that way you are always able to see what you have as far as leftovers, fruit and veggies, etc.
How do you keep your fridge organized?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

PRAY FOR PARIS

I had originally planned on posting about my opinion on the Starbucks red controversy today. However, it simply seems irrelevant at this point in the state of our world.

Yesterday, a massacre occurred in Paris. Over 120 lives were taken and the count is still growing. In times like these life is put into perspective. Innocent people went into a concert hall and yesterday and unfortunately never came out. They never got a final chance to tell their loved ones how important they were, they never got a chance to fulfill all their dreams, and they never got a chance to say goodbye. And while I can not wrap my head around how people could be so sick to want to murder others, I can wrap my head around the fact that life is short.

As cliche as it sounds, live every moment as if it is your last. Do not let anything go unsaid. Be true to yourself, because at the end of the day, it's your life. And most importantly, please pray for Paris.


Friday, November 13, 2015

OUTSIDE THE HUDDLE: HOW I SURVIVED FOOTBALL SEASON (ALMOST) TEAR FREE

This football season has been the easiest on me, which is surprising considering it's the season we have been the farthest away from each other. However, this year I did not revolve my life around football like I have the past few seasons. Instead, I revolved my life around myself and penciled football in on Saturdays. This year I learned the key to getting through football season is by treating it like any other season of life. Don't get me wrong, I love dressing in team colors, running errands for my coach, and tailgating with fans. While I love going to the games and cheering for my coach and his players, I no longer allow myself on the roller coaster emotional. I occupy my days with a job I love, family, friends (some of whom are wives of coaches on our team) and hobbies, such as hiking, blogging, and binge watching The OC. I have accepted the fact that our fate is completely unknown, but have grown closer to the Lord in having faith that he has our fate completely laid out. They key to football season is to sit back, enjoy the ride, and remember that this is your significant other's passion, and to also tap in to your own.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

THANKSGIVING LABELS

This time of year is hectic for everyone. One way to cut time when setting the table for Thanksgiving is to use these labels from Food Packaging Labels. They make for great place settings.


This company creates custom and stock food packaging labels for reasonable pricing. Their website is also full of free printables, including these Thanksgiving labels above, weekly meal planners, lunchbox stickers, and more.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

VETERAN'S DAY

Today we salute those who have served our nation. Thank you to those who have put their lives on the line for the rest of us. I admire your bravery, hard work, and honor. Today I encourage you to sit down with a veteran, thank them, and get to know them and their story more. God bless.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

ROUND UP CUTE JOURNALS

As a writer, I have a love for journals. It just comes with the territory. I have a drawer full of journals, all with different intentions, and I feel like I have spent a majority of my life that way. I have a goal journal, a dream journal, a 5 year journal, a prayer journal, a to do list journal, a blog journal, and more. And with the new year approaching I look forward to diving in to a whole new set of journals. (Target, I'm coming for you!) Here is a collection of cute journals I have stumbled upon recently. 



What kind of journals do you have?

Friday, November 6, 2015

NATIONAL NACHO DAY

Today is a holiday I can get behind...National Nacho Day. While nachos are flipping delicious, they can also be high calorie, high fat, and high sodium. Here is a nacho recipe that is 21 Day Fix approved, running at only 258 calories per serving.


Ingredients (per serving): 
  • 1 corn tortilla
  • 1/2 medium lime
  • dash chili powder
  • 1/4 c pinto beans, cooked
  • 1 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1/4 c diced onion
  • 1/4 medium green bell pepper
  • 1/4 jalapeno
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 tbsp greek yogurt
  • sprig of cilantro
  • sea salt
How to: 
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut corn tortilla into wedges. Brush both sides of "chip" with olive oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake chips 10-15 minutes, or until crisp.
  4. Squeeze lime over chips. Dash with chili powder and sea salt to taste.
  5. Layer with beans and cheese.
  6. Bake 3-4 minutes.
  7. Top with tomato, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, avocado, cilantro, and greek yogurt.



Thursday, November 5, 2015

REBELS AGENDA

As part of YESvember, we are focusing on chasing goals. A great way to keep your goals organized and your daily life organized, is by using a planner from Rebel's Agenda. This paper planner is designed for entrepreneurs and professionals.

The Executive Rebel helps you with strategic planning, organizing, and getting it done. It allows you to identify big goals, plan projects and meetings. It has monthly and weekly planners with presentation guides.

The Entrepreneur Rebel also helps with strategic planning, organizing, and getting things done. The layouts include project planners, monthly financials, monthly and weekly planners, documenting new ideas, and to do lists.




Rebel's Agenda helps keep me goal oriented when planning my week. It takes the bigger picture and breaks it down into smaller goals and steps. I highly recommend it, not just for professionals, but for students as well. It allows me to organize all aspects of my life in one place- including my job, my blog, my fitness coaching, and my personal life. 


To get 15% off visit Rebel's Agenda and use the code: KBWCREBEL

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

FAVORITES KIDS' BOOKS

As a former library assistant, nanny, and now as an educator, I love books. Ever since I knew how to read I have had a passion for getting lost in another world. Not only do I enjoy reading, but I love to write.

Reading helps improve focus and concentration, improves imagination, develops verbal abilities, reduces stress, and improves memory.



Here are 10 of my favorite children's books that I have enjoyed, kids I have nannied enjoyed, and I hope eventually my own children will enjoy:

  1. I'd Choose You by John Trent
  2. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
  3. If You Give A Moose A Muffin by Laura Numeroff
  4. Falling Up by Shel Silverstein
  5. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
  6. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  7. Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann
  8. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  9. I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
  10. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
What were your favorite books as a child?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

NATIONAL SANDWICH DAY

Today is National Sandwich Day. While you could celebrate with a trip to Subway, Jimmy John's, or my personal favorite, Jersey Mike's, why don't you explore something new? Here are 5 funky grilled cheese sandwiches to test out today. As for me...I'll be diving head first into a tuna melt.

1.) Bacon Pretzel Grilled Cheese

  • Ingredients:
    • frozen pretzel, thawed and sliced
    • 3 slices of bacon, cooked
    • 1 slice of Havarti cheese
    • a little butter
  • How to:
    • Place bacon on bottom half of grilled cheese.
    • Top with cheese and pretzel top.
    • Melt butter in nonstick skillet and warm sandwich until cheese is melted.

2.) Loaded Nacho Grilled Cheese

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 slices French bread
    • 1 tbsp sour cream
    • 2 tbsp salsa
    • Mexican shredded cheese
    • 3 tbsp cooked ground beef
    • taco seasoning
    • diced avocado
    • black beans
    • 2 slices chopped jalapeno pepper
    • 1 scrambled egg
    • a little butter
  • How to:
    • Put sour cream on one slice of bread and salsa on the other slice.
    • Layer cheese, ground beef, seasoning, avocado, beans, jalapeno, and eggs.
    • Top with another layer of cheese and another slice of bread.
    • Heat butter in a nonstick skillet and warm sandwich until browned.

3.) Dulce de Leche and Mascarpone Grilled Cheese

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 ounce mascarpone cheese
    • 1 tbsp dulce de leche
    • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
    • a little butter
    • 2 slices cinnamon raisin bread
  • How to:
    • In a bowl, combine mascarpone, dulce de leche, and vanilla extract.
    • Butter one side of each slice of bread.
    • Spread mixture on non-buttered side of each slice of bread.
    • Put together, butter sides out, and warm on nonstick skillet for 1-2 minutes.

4.) Fried Chicken and Waffle Grilled Cheese

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 waffles
    • 2 slices of cheddar cheese
    • 1 piece of fried chicken, thinly cut up
    • a little butter
  • How to:
    • Add a slice of cheese to each waffle.
    • Arrange chicken on one side of sandwich.
    • Put together and heat butter on nonstick skillet. Warm until cheese melts.

5.) Cream Cheese and Nutella Grilled Cheese

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 slices of Italian bread
    • 1 ounce cream cheese
    • 1 tablespoon Nutella
    • melted chocolate
    • fresh berries
  • How to:
    • Heat oven to 450 degrees.
    • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    • Lay bread, separately, on baking sheet and toast until brown (2-3 minutes.)
    • Spread softened cream cheese on one slice of bread.
    • Spread Nutella on other slice of bread.
    • Put sandwich together and broil in oven for 1-2 minutes.
    • Drizzle with melted chocolate and top with berries.
What is your favorite sandwich?

Monday, November 2, 2015

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

Happy November my sweet friends!
This month I am channeling an attitude of gratitude.
I am thankful for the simple things in life and I am simply thankful for life.

Last Friday night I was feeling down and out. For no particular reason, a storm of sadness encompassed me. Maybe it was the weather change or having spent the week with a gnarly allergic reaction. Maybe it was missing my college friends, my boyfriend, or just a random case of the blues. Regardless of what brought it on, I knew I had to "fight the funk." 

I immediately started listing out things I was grateful for in this life. Some of the things were simple...my family, my friends, my home. Some of the things were random...good dental insurance, not being a burn victim, and the ability to write. After about ten minutes of listing what I appreciate, I forgot what I was even feeling low for.

This month, be grateful. Not just because it's Thanksgiving, but because we are lucky enough to have life. May God bless you and your loved ones throughout the rest of 2015 and beyond.

XO.