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.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH YOUR EXTRA HOUR?

Daylight Savings Time usually means an extra hour of sleep. However, utilize your "extra" hour for something powerful. Set goals for the upcoming week, month, and rest of the year. Throughout the week I am going to be talking about attacking goals this month. Prepare yourself by getting a head start today.

HAVE A BLESSED WEEK. <3