Emily's Book Club

Baby Broadway

So, I’ve always loved The Sound of Music, by Rogers & Hammerstein. I have all sisters, so we grew up singing and dancing to the classic musical tunes of Julie Andrews.

Well, one fine day, I was perusing the shelves of Barnes & Noble and stumbled upon these little babies and just HAD to add them to Emily’s Christmas Wishlist.

do-re-mi

See Inside & Shop Here!

favorite-things

See Inside & Shop Here!

Fast forward to post Christmas where Emily received both of these musical delights from grandparents, yay! Making her momma’s heart happy once again, little miss is completely head over heels for these books! Like, she wakes up from nap saying “Doe-Doe!” (For Do-Re-Mi). We only read these like 18 times a day. And now we are on to Sound of Music dance parties during the evenings in the living room! You know my husband is just thrilled…

Thanks again for checking out Emily’s Book Club! Where sweet, dreamy books are truly a few of our favorite things! 😉

Xoxo,

Krystle

 

Emily's Book Club · Family · Lifestyle

A Few Favorite {Non-Christmasy} Winter Books for Toddlers

As I always state, the girls in this house LOVE books. “Bookies” as miss Emily calls them. Christmas books are so much wonderful, whimsical fun! But once Christmas is over, and the Christmas books are packed away, you don’t want there to be a lull of the wanderlust of seasonal reading and discovering! Hopefully you got your little love some books for Christmas 😉 but if not, go get these if you haven’t already! There are so many lovely little wintery books out there, but all of these are ones that I’ve found to be suitable for my only point of reference, my 18 month old daughter 🙂

That’s Not My Snowman

That's Not My Snowman

We love Usborne Books and through every season we always have to have a “That’s Not My…” touchy feely book. This one stayed out after the Christmas books were packed away with hopes of being able to build an actual snowman here in the south before winter is over. Here is to wishful thinking!

No Two Alike

NoTwoAlike

This is such a cute little book with two little birdie friends who are “just alike.” Actually, they are “almost…almost…but not quite.” Little Em loves this book and when she wants to read it she calls it “Al-mo” {Almost}. We love little creatures in the woods and even more-so with the backdrop of blanket white snow and dreamy snowflakes. This one is a daily reader for us!

The Mitten

TheMitten

So this book was given as a baby gift and had stayed in the closet for a while because I thought it was a little busy for Emily’s age this time last year, and well as you may know, I like seasons. So we hadn’t gotten it out anytime since then. Well low and behold, it is now Emily’s most requested book of the winter season. “Mitt! Mitt!” she calls it, except for sometimes when she calls it BaBa. LOL! If you’ve read the book, you know that BaBa is the sweet grandma who knits her grandson the special white mittens. Another fun adventure of wintery forest animals, with a tad of baby appropriate suspension. 😉 We will definitely be adding more Jan Brett books to our collection!

 Winter

Winter

And who doesn’t love a book without words? haha, Ok so that may sound strange to some of you 🙂 But I LOVE IT! I know some of my other Montessori mommas out there love it too! The freedom to make up your own story with your little one, or just use it as a sweet little learning book to identify new things. Yes, it does have one corner picture with a Christmas tree in it, but it is still a predominantly “winter” book, more than it is about Christmas. Gerda Muller has one of these books for every season. Yay! 🙂

Biscuit’s Snowy Day

BiscuitsSnowyDay

We LOVE “Bih-cut” at our house! We are a family of 6. 3 humans and 3 dogs. So anything with puppy dogs that look anything like our golden retriever, great Pyrenees, or husky mix, are an easy winner. 🙂 We are growing quite the collection of Biscuit books around here, so naturally, we have Biscuit’s Snowy Day. A sweet little adventure with Biscuit, his little girl, and their adorable friends.

The World is a Wonderland Collection

TheWorldisaWonderland

When I became a mommy and went exploring for sweet, dreamy, treasures of books for my baby girl, Nancy Tillman was the first author I fell completely in love with! Her book, My Love Will Find You, is still our most read year round book. My heart gets even more ooey-gooey over the moments where my favorite choice books, are also Emily’s favorites too in her little mind. Doesn’t that make you just stop and thank Jesus for blessing you with a little person that carries a little piece of you inside of them? {sweet sigh} Anyway! I came across this collection of Nancy Tillman MINI books that have somewhat of a wintery theme. I love them of course. But, oh my word, Emily REALLY loves them! Her favorite hobby is holding any little thing that can fit in her precious hand. These books qualify! Therefore, she always has one in tote around the house.

No need to venture out in the cold unless you just have to have these today! All of these books can be ordered from my links to Amazon, or Usborne Books.

Happy snuggle time with your sweet ones! Have other favorite wintery books for toddlers? Leave us a message! I would love to add some more to our “to-read” list!

Xoxo,

Krystle

 

Faith · Family · Lifestyle · Me & My Little Life

Sweet Songs for My Sweet One

I love to have Pandora playing my favorite Christian mood music during our morning quite play time. I feel something in me come alive when good, sweet music is filling the rooms of my home. It seems to bring a peace and an extra invitation from my heart & home to Jesus saying “Please come in, you are SO very welcome here in these moments, and always.” 

My favorite stations on days when my soul is quiet and in need of rest, sweetness and grace are from the voices of Bethany Dillon, JJ Heller, Audrey Assad, Ellie Holcomb, Allie Rogers, & Jillian Edwards with a little bit of Kari Jobe & Nichole Nordeman.

This song piece from Bethany Dillon has marked the last 18 months of having my sweet girl. I feel my insides tighten saying “hold on to this moment, let this be your heart song for this season.”

This will forever be my song to Emily. Take a listen and be blessed.  I hope you sing this over you’re sweet one in some of your quiet moments.

Disclaimer: There may be tears.

TheBestSong (1)

Food · Health · Lifestyle · Plexus

Why You Need to DETOX to start 2018 {and all my favorite ways to do so!}

“Detoxification is about resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out. By removing and eliminating toxins, then feeding your body with healthy nutrients, detoxifying can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health through a range of methods” –Deboarhann Smith, Gaiam.com

For most of my 28 year old life, the idea and need to physically detox was foreign to me. I just always tried and tried to simply be healthy and exercise. But truly taking care of our bodies require a little more than that, because of all the toxins we take in every day from the air we breathe, water we drink, food we eat. Not to mention the household and personal care products we use, plus the big one that really gets to most of us…stress. Toxins are practically unavoidable. yikes!

Well once I got a little more with the on-trend health, not many days have gone by at my home without someone hearing the word detox. My meat, potato chips, and Coke loving husband even uses it jokingly in his favorite “Krystle” voice to get a rise out of me. It works. He makes me smile.

So if you’re new to the idea like I was, no worries! We’re going to see why detoxing might be the best way to get your 2018 off to a healthy start!

Why Detox?

In my easy words, detoxing basically pulls all the toxins, all the junk, from our bodies, and gets them out! Gone. Bye! Clearing up our insides to really absorb all the good nutrients it needs, as well as producing all the natural “feel good” feelings that we want.

In more detailed words, here is an article that explains it well. 🙂

You might be like me and are saying “Well, I exercise and have a healthy diet. I don’t really think I need to cleanse…”

Check out this checklist. If you have some or many of these symptoms, keep reading!

  • Fatigue that you can’t seem to shake
  • Skin problems
  • Digestive issues
  • Bloating
  • Menstrual issues
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Trouble focusing
  • Allergies and sinus issues
  • That white stuff on your tongue! (yes that’s a sign you need to detox!)

So I nearly had almost all of these, and once I saw a list similar to this, I got on board with detoxing real quick. Now here I am with some of my favorite detox regimens!

My Favorite Ways to Detox

Hot Detox Bath!

5-10 Drops of lavender essential oil + 2 cups of epson salt. Soak for 20 minutes then be sure to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate with nice cool water! Sip, “aahhhh.”

hot bath

Green Detox Juice (or smoothies)!

I got a juicer for Christmas and am loving making my own Green Detox Juice! Here are a few of my favorite recipes that I like to use. Or you can spend $5-$6 per bottle from your local health food store. That kinda makes me cringe, so, as I stated above, got me a juicer! My favorite one from the store or Starbucks, if you’re in a hurry, is the Evolution Sweet Greens. Same idea goes for smoothies. I did the whole green smoothie thing a few years ago and just loved my results for weight loss, skin, and natural energy. But I personally do better with juice :).

Detox-green-juice

Plexus BioCleanse!

So in the recent months I have started Plexus and Wow! The Plexus BioCleanse was a game changer for me and helped me to almost immediately begin to feel the difference in my body! I use it along with the ProBio5 and the Plexus “pink drink” Slim, for best results. But I would even use the cleanse by itself if I had to choose! Let me tell you though, cleansing is not always fun, especially when you are truly cleansing from the inside out. You may not feel so great the first few days, but guess what!? That means it’s actually working! Click here to go to view more at my Plexus site 🙂

BioCleanse

Professional Massage!

I love these. I always have. I always will. I want one right now. Our bodies do detox naturally, but with a steady build up of toxins, a good massage will stimulate your body to get going again and naturally flush out those toxins. That’s why they always tell you to drink lots of water after a massage.

massage

There are tons more ways to really get your body off to a good detoxed start this year! But like I said, these are just my favorites 🙂 Some other basic body cleansing life habits include…

  • Drinking lots of water and ditching the sugary drinks!
  • Eating healthy, clean, non processed, organic foods
  • Exercising!
  • Detoxing skin regimines
  • Using non-toxic household cleaning items
  • Eliminating stress from your life

In my opinion, detoxing is the BEST way to jump start your year if you have any health goals you are trying to achieve. Think of it like this. You wouldn’t spend time deep cleaning your kitchen, (like really scrubbing it good) then leave your whole kitchen trash can full of stinky ol’ food. No. It would never really be clean if you didn’t take the trash out 🙂

Treat your BODY even better than you would treat your kitchen. You are way more important! For more inspiration on that topic, (aka: loving yourself) join my Facebook Group The Love Yourself Challenge for more encouraging posts and a community of awesome women!

Happy 2018! I will be detoxing for most of this month and I would love for you to join me!!!

P.S. If you’re serious about really getting your health right, email me at thepinkpeonylifestyleblog@gmail.com, or message me on Facebook and let’s get a good plan going for you!

Xoxo,

Krystle

 

 

 

 

Family · Lifestyle · Me & My Little Life

Christmas Photos 2017

When we make our trips out to South Carolina, we try to squeeze in some family photos with my sister-in-law, Allison, who is an amazing photographer! We are very blessed to have a handful of photoshoot collections from our years and different milestones together. Here is yet another treasure of memories from our Christmas 2017 Photoshoot.

View More: http://allisonelizabethphoto.pass.us/horneffer-family-fall-2017

View More: http://allisonelizabethphoto.pass.us/horneffer-family-fall-2017View More: http://allisonelizabethphoto.pass.us/horneffer-family-fall-2017horneffer-family-fall-2017-0044.jpgView More: http://allisonelizabethphoto.pass.us/horneffer-family-fall-2017View More: http://allisonelizabethphoto.pass.us/horneffer-family-fall-2017View More: http://allisonelizabethphoto.pass.us/horneffer-family-fall-2017View More: http://allisonelizabethphoto.pass.us/horneffer-family-fall-2017View More: http://allisonelizabethphoto.pass.us/horneffer-family-fall-2017View More: http://allisonelizabethphoto.pass.us/horneffer-family-fall-2017

View More: http://allisonelizabethphoto.pass.us/horneffer-family-fall-2017

View More: http://allisonelizabethphoto.pass.us/horneffer-family-fall-2017View More: http://allisonelizabethphoto.pass.us/horneffer-family-fall-2017View More: http://allisonelizabethphoto.pass.us/horneffer-family-fall-2017

From our family to yours,

Merry Christmas!

Xoxo, Krystle

 

Faith · Lifestyle

Journey to Joy: Finding Joy Through Insecurities

Journey to Joy_ Part 2

So my first Journey to Joy Blog post a while back was a little lengthy, but worth the read for any of you ladies who need a boost of encouragement and feel that you’ve kinda been in a funk. That was me. That girl, randomly on given days or weeks, and can still be me at times. Let’s face it, we’re women. Our lives are constantly moving and changing. Our emotions, thoughts, and circumstances can sometimes have a hard time staying wrapped up in a nice pretty bow, and that’s ok. We know we’ll catch our footing and get it together eventually.

But what about the times when our lives feel like more than just a temporary funk? Those low moods and emotions linger in our hearts, becoming all too comfortable. They’ve worn out their welcome, but it takes too much effort to get them to leave. Before you know it, they’ve moved in and are a part of your everyday coming and going.

Maybe your job makes you completely miserable, but there’s no way to keep your family finances in tact for even a month if you quit. Or on that same note, you feel stuck where you’re at, but you feel that your heart is longing for something else to allow you to flourish in your giftedness. I’m sure most of you can relate with having an emotional heartache of some form. You’re either aching from loss of a loved one, dealing with deep pain caused by a relationship, or hurting with empathy for someone else who is suffering. Through all these times and trials we have prayed. Because that’s what we’re supposed to do. That is a key principle of our beliefs as Christians. We pray. And we hope for what is not seen. And we have faith that God will be faithful. And we believe. But if I asked for a show of hands of all the Jesus loving, God-fearing, faithful worshippers, who ever felt like their prayers– their deep, heartfelt, passionate, glorifying prayers– had fallen on deaf ears, we’d most likely be at least a little surprised as we look around and think “I wonder what she’s raising her hand for…”.

Seemingly oversimplified, I’m willing to bet that if you think of your struggles, they can fit into one or more of these categories. Insecurity. Weariness. Sorrow. They often times morph into the next one the longer they spend feeding off of our lack of actively fighting against them.

At the risk of sounding oversimplified a second time, here is our hope of being able to live through these sometimes overwhelming life circumstances. It’s Jesus.

Christmas is my absolute, 100% favorite time of year. I love everything about it. I love the festivities, the lights, decorations, the Christmas cookies, the excitement on every child’s face. I love time with family and friends, eating huge delicious meals in celebration of the season. I love Church programs, and theater productions of Annie, the Nutcracker, and Miracle on 34th Street. Speaking of…I loooooove Christmas movies! Christmas romance novels, Christmas music, Christmas shopping, Christmas presents. I love drinking eggnog, and hot chocolate, and buying the giant bins of popcorn with golden retrievers on them. I love Christmas parties, Christmas lights that you can drive through in the park, and all of the charities that are doing good. It’s a time when I feel more bonded to my family. I feel that the days are a little easier because there is some kind of magic in the air.

And every year, it never fails. With a mix of all of these wonderful things, the Lord grabs my heart, and gives me a glimpse of the true Joy that has, and always will come from Him. Every year around this time, though it is happy, and busy, for me it is also a time where I naturally slow down, and spend some extra time with my Savior. The one who this whole season was originally about. The one who is the source of all joy.  

Because part of all the hype about Christmas is that we know, come December 31st, it officially ends. If we know something is only temporary, we indulge as much as we can. But just as overindulging on those Christmas sugar cookies will give us a sugar high, then a tummy ache, if our Joy of Christmas is in vain, come January, those cold days leave our hearts insecure, weary, and sometimes filled with sorrow that we were able to temporarily mask with the holiday busyness.

Once the season is over, here comes our moody little frienemies, out of the woodworks. Today, we’ll take a closer look at insecurity.

About 6 years ago I read a book by Beth Moore, called So Long Insecurity and it left me stunned, changed, and encouraged. It permanently altered my perspective of myself and understanding of others. It gave me that “ah-ha moment” as Oprah would say. That was the season that I realized that SO much of my ebbing and flowing feelings and emotions were because of insecurity from a drastically unaware inward focus on myself.

“As long as we live, our self-absorption and our insecurity will walk together, holding hands and swinging them back and forth like two little girls on their way to a pretend playground they can never find. Human nature dictates that most often we will be as insecure as we are self-absorbed. The best possible way to keep from getting sucked into the superficial narcissistic mentality that money, possessions, and sensuality can satisfy and secure us is to deliberately give ourselves to something much greater…[Christ] showed us that giving, rather than getting, is the means to receiving…to find yourself, your true self, you must lose yourself in something larger.”

-Beth Moore, So Long Insecurity

This is one of those books that I think EVERY woman should read, and as I’m typing this, I’m thinking I will start reading it again this week! We all have insecurities, they look different in every person. But the questions we should ask ourselves are these—Are your insecurities keeping you from your true purpose? God’s pure and perfect will for your life? Do you act out in ways that you look back and think, “What am I, a teenage girl?” Are you kept silent and stuck by fear, by insecurity? I was. And I still am sometimes. But I’m choosing every day to choose joy, to trust Jesus with my mess, to allow my life to revolve less around selfishness and more about giving my full self to glorifying the Lord.

 

When we continue to live in our insecurities, they are the gateway to our deeper emotional struggles. Insecurity keeps you from living in the glory that God has meant for your life, the strengths and gifts he’s given you, like a present to be opened, used, and shown off, for his glory.

But the enemy loves for us to prime our hearts in insecurity. The perfect setting for him to come in and paint his lies on the walls of our souls. If we belong to Jesus, the devil cannot have our lives, but he sure can sneak in and occupy our attention to keep it on ourselves and off of Jesus.

In this day and age of credit cards, social media, and humble brags, it’s just the truth that we all have insecurities about something. We all have doubts about fully being who God really intended us to be. We want to walk in the freedom and glory that he has intended for us, but just can’t quite seem to slow down, to make time, or to clear a space in our messy, complicated lives to fully see his heart in our every day. Like anything that we’ve made a fixture in our life, there is not a quick fix to insecurity. But there is a quick start guide!

Stop comparing yourself and declutter your life mentally and emotionally. Detach from things or people that are simply making you feel less than, and are stealing you away from the Lord instead of bringing you closer. Maybe it’s a commitment you made to make someone happy, Maybe it’s Instagram, maybe a friend, or even a romantic relationship! Remember that you actually do have a choice of many things that occupy your life. You can’t choose your circumstances, but take a moment to think about the daily things you CAN choose to prioritize.

You also have full control of what you see on your social media feeds. “Feed” yourself with positivity and encouragement.

For me, my biggest comparison issue, was comparing myself to the version of myself that I knew I could be, but wasn’t. Does that make sense? Not living up to your own expectations of yourself. Give those to the Lord to guide you, to get you there, or to actually show you his better version that he has for you.

John 14:27—Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  

 

Actually spend time in God’s Word and live by HIS words instead of self generated, filtered, and coveted words of praise by others.

Romans 10:17—…Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 
Hebrews 4:12—For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 

 

Get serious about prayer! Like any human relationship, even if someone knows how you feel about something, you cannot build a closer relationship with them unless you actually TALK to them. The best friendships and healthiest relationships are built by deep intimate, safe, and loving conversations. If you have never really had a deep relationship with Jesus, just start talking to him. He wants your heart, your affection, your deepest hurts. He wants to show you love, grace, hope…joy.

2 Chronicles 7:14—Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
Ephesians 1:18—I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people 

 

I can’t help but compare our lives to the original Christmas Bible story. There was no room for him in the inn. Our Savior. Our King. No one made him a priority guest. No one really stopped their lives to observe the miracle. Yet he was born. Yet he saved the world. Yet he STILL is saving souls, not just for eternity, but for us to live fully and abundantly here in this life.

Please join me in your own life, to take the time this Christmas season to really stop, and make room for Jesus. Give him your insecurities, your heartache, you dreams. Place your hope in him and realize the true Joy that comes from the grace and love we receive from him. True joy from Jesus doesn’t fade when the twinkling lights come down at the end of December (Or mid-January for some of us). It doesn’t disappear when you are done striving for that New Year’s resolution.

Whether you are a devout Christian walking through the different seasons of faith, or you aren’t a Christian at all, this is the perfect time to make room for Him in your life and start your journey to a joy you have never known before.

Merry Christmas!

Be blessed, live loved.

Xoxo,

Krystle

 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave comments here or on Facebook to connect and encourage one another.

 

Family · Food · Lifestyle

Rice Krispie Christmas Treats

I have always loved Rice Krispie treats! They are such a simple form of perfect deliciousness! They are also a great way to mold and create a cute creative treat for kiddos! If you can mold it, you can make it with Rice Krispies! Here are some of my favorite ideas that I’ve seen!

Christmas-Tree-Rice-Krispie-Treats

Christmas Tree Krispy Treats

 

Rice-Krispies-Treats-ornaments

Rice Krispy Ornaments

 

rice-krispie-wreath-christmas-dessert-idea

Rice Krispy Wreath

 

Chocolate-Rice-Krispie-Gingerbread-Men-5ee

Rice Krispy Treat Gingerbread Men

 

easychristmastrees

Easy Christmas Trees

 

Emily's Book Club · Family · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Favorite Usborne Christmas Books! (for 12-24 months)

I love books! And I have been blessed to have a little girl who is already showing a love of books, creativity, music, and beautiful things. But we especially love our reading time. Twice a day in fact! My little Emily is about to be 18 months old, and I thought it would be fun to create a running list of her favorite books! Like a baby book club you could say 😉 Since I am also a consultant with Usborne Books & More, I’m going to start off with some of her favorite books that we have from Usborme! 🙂 I’ve included links for you to click and shop on my Usborne page, and also some helpful videos from other Usborne ladies 🙂

 

That’s Not My Reindeer

Not My Reindeer

Click Here to peek inside!

Shop this book and more!

That’s Not My Snowman

not my snowman

Click Here to peek inside!

Shop this book and more!

These are just 2 books from Usborne’s “That’s Not My…” series. This series has over 50 TITLES! We have quite a few more of these on Miss Emily’s shelf, but these are 2 of our favorite Chirstmas-y ones! I’ll feature some more of our favorites another time, but if you just can’t wait, click here to shop the full series!

The Nativity Touchy Feely

The Nativity

This Nativity Touchy Feely book has the cutest little pictures with vibrant colors and engaging touchy feely items on every page for your little one to discover. They are incorporated enough to keep my little 18 month old engaged for the full (baby version) of the story of Jesus! And that makes my heart happy 🙂

Click Here to peek inside!

Shop this book and more! 

Nativity Flap Book

The Nativity Flap Book

Another Nativity book that my little Emily loves! It’s fun seeing her recognize the story and familiar characters, but with a different look than the touchy feely version, and a different way to interact using the fun little flaps! She loves finding Baby Jesus behind the hay!

Click here to peek inside

Shop this book and more!

 

Slide and See Christmas

slide and see Christmas

This book is a fun festive one that is more about the pictures and surprises from the “slide and see” tabs on each page. This book has hardly any words, but the pictures are so cute and fun. Since it’s not so much a story book, we like to use this book as another fun resource to identify new Christmas-y things together like ice skating, reindeer, and a gingerbread house!

Peek inside this book!

Shop this book and more!

Pop-Up Christmas

pop up christmas

Love, love, love this adorable book! The pop ups are beautiful and elaborate! They are also sturdy, but to keep your book in good condition, it’s best for toddlers that are a little more removed from the “ripping and tearing” phase.

Peek inside this book!

Shop this book and more!

 

Usborne Books & More has some really, REALLY cute books for your younger and older kids! Some of my favorites for my niece and nephews (and any other kid that loves Christmas) are the Christmas activity books! They are fun for keeping busy while traveling, (and waiting to open presents at grandma’s) or some down time over the school holiday break. I’ve included a video, in the link below, that some other lovely Usborne lady has made. Check out the video, but come back here to shop 😉

Usborne Christmas Books for ALL Ages!

See something you like? HURRY and grab it by shopping from my link. Many of the Christmas Books are almost out of stock! By clicking any of these “Shop this book” links, it directly takes you to my website where you can place your order 🙂

Shop Usborne Christmas books and ALL of our other collections for year round! Our books make the best Christmas gifts & stocking stuffers!

Join the movement. Balance your child’s Christmas by giving them…

“Something they want

Something they need

Something to wear

SOMETHING TO READ!”

wantneedwearread

 

Just in case you’re interested…

I know there are so many more moms out there like me that have visions of walls and bookshelves full of dreamy books for their child’s home library. That’s the main reason I joined Usborne! Free books, discounted books, and a little money on the side!

If you’re interested in earning free and half priced books, You can always host an ONLINE book party, or even jump right in and become a consultant like me for even more rewards! Send me an email anytime at usbornebookskrystle@gmail.com

Those who book an online party before the end of January will have the opportunity to earn DOUBLE the hostess awards! That’s a good deal, y’all! Can’t wait to hear from you and share even more amazing books with you and your friends!

merrychristmasfromusborne

Family · Food · Lifestyle

Christmas Treats with Kids!

I have been having a ball on Pinterest, finding so many FUN Christmas treat recipes and cute crafts to do with kids! From now until Christmas, I am going to be posting some of my favorite ideas to make your Christmas season even more magical for you and your sweet ones!

Starting now, kids are bubbling with a little extra energy & excitement as the Christmas season is upon us! Why not kick off your holiday baking traditions with fun little reindeer treats! We always made a variation of these little guys growing up. Any variation of these are usually real easy to make with barely any baking skills required!

easyreindeerbetterhomes

Traditional Reindeer Cookies

These are my personal favorite, just because these are the ones I grew up making with my mom and sisters 🙂

reindeer cookies

Easy Red Nosed Reindeer Cookies

Rudolph-Reindeer-Cookies

Rudolph and Friends Reindeer Cookies

reindeer treats

Simple Rustic Reindeer Treats

 

These cute creatures are also great ideas for class Christmas parties, sleep overs, church festivities, cute extras for all of you Elf on the Shelf mommas out there, or my personal favorite…just simple bonding time with your littles!

Follow us on Pinterest, or check back later this week to see our next batch of my favorite Christmas treats to make with your kids!

Merry Christmas!

 

Uncategorized

Sweater Weather!

Sweater Weather—It’s more than just a Bath & Body Works Scent! It’s the explosion of Fall Fashion on Pinterest and moody coffee shop posts on Instagram, that make you want to fall in love with someone and curl up with a book and maybe a maltipoo. It’s time for pumpkin spice everything, and meal planning for Thanksgiving! It’s time to be cozy chic for the next few months and I couldn’t be more excited! 🙂

If you’re anything like me, you love Pinterest and the dreamy inspiration for almost any category. But today I am zoning in on all of my favorite sweaters that you have seen across your Pinterest boards and Facebook ads! Because…sweater weather! I haven’t stocked up on my 2017 sweaters yet because, well, I live in Oklahoma and it was 81 degrees 3 days ago and 41 degrees today so…now I’m ready! And freezing.

I went through and found some of my favorite affordable sweaters and have put them all together, here, with links to where to buy from! No more endless hunting and online browsing. 🙂

Let me say it again…I have not bought any of these (yet!), but love the style and will probably be stocking up soon!

I have put them into a few fun categories too! Enjoy! and share 🙂

Cozy Comfy Chic

 

Click here to shop this cozy chic look!

 

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Uncategorized

Off I go with Usborne Books & More!

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So last night I signed up to be a consultant with Usborne Books & More! Yay!

Let me go ahead and say that when I decided to leave my teacher life behind to stay home with my sweetness, I promised that I would not, would not, would NOT do any sort of direct sales, pyramid scheme, business. That being said, I must have something on my back that tells people to ask me to join their sales teams! (I will just assume people think I’m nice and friendly, which I would agree ;))I have been asked to join in with so many other work from home gals that I would love to work with! They are all sweet, beautiful, funny, intelligent, and are seriously making a living! I’m impressed. But I just wasn’t personally interested in selling makeup, clothes, nutritional products, etc. I’m kinda one of those people on Facebook that just scrolls… You know what I mean? So the fact of going from a scroller to someone using Facebook as a way to reel people in to buy my products, just seemed too uncomfortable for me. The more I read about Usborne, I realized their are multiple ways to make sales other than just trying to overload everyone’s Facebook feed.

I love staying home with my daughter! I feel so blessed and so fulfilled spending my days playing with her and teaching her new little things. I do not want to go back to teaching any time soon, but I do miss sharing the love of reading, imagining, and discovering with other kids and even their parents! I keep up with a lot of my past students and have even became great friends with many of my past classroom parents. I feel like Usborne is a great way for me to stay connected to and continue partnering with parents who want their children to flourish, by building lifelong readers and learners!

But there is one thing that really lead me to make the decision to sign up with Usborne, and it was an in-house motivation. For the past few months, one of mine and Emily’s favorite outings has been going to Barnes and Noble. We live kind of out in the country, so at least once every week and a half or so, we would make the 20 minute drive across town to explore the dreamy children’s section of B&N and just get lost in all the books. It makes my heart swell in the best way when I see Emily’s little face light up as she’s surrounded by colorful books and stories and pictures. So, I had this bright idea to make this part of our routine where we would buy a new book at least twice a month to continue adding a variety of books to Emily’s library. Well, like all great plans, that didn’t always work out. We would enjoy our time, but often go home empty handed without a new engaging book. I found there were two reasons that happened.

1.) I would have a certain style of book in mind, and just couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. I had high standards and was really trying to find books with engaging, beautiful pictures and solid educational content (even for toddlers). Or I’d be looking for a sweet story line with dreamy pictures and characters.  Many came close, but I would still put them on the shelf saying to my self “nah…” or “I’ll think about it…”

2.) Most of the time that decision to decline, or just ‘think about’ a book that I was on the fence about was because of the price. Now, I’m not a cheap person, but I definitely am always looking for quality products at a discount. Unfortunately, most of the books I wanted to buy were never on sale. Again, a book doesn’t have to be on sale for me to buy it, but if it was only about 80% of what I was looking for, plus full price, I had to make the choice to leave it there. I have learned the hard way that if you don’t TOTALLY love something, don’t buy it.

So there I was, hanging my head because my sweet little darling wasn’t getting her shelf filled with wonderful, magical books, to assist her learning. I decided to search. I searched and searched to find the exact niche’ that I was looking for and finally I found it!

Usborne Books and More!

I went back and forth about signing up to be a consultant. Because if anything, I’d always get a discount on these amazing books that I wanted to buy anyway. Then wait, if I actually worked at it, I would get FREE books aaaand make some extra money on the side, which is never a bad thing. 24 hours into it and I’ve already got my launch party date set up and have recruited one other person on my team! I’m ready to hit the ground running on my first working adventure in my stay at home life!

Xoxo,

Krystle

P.S. If you’re interested in joining me, hosting an online book party, or just wanting to hear more information, send me an email at usbornebookskrystle@gmail.com!!! There are some AWESOME deals you can get as a hostess, and it doesn’t matter where you live!

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Faith

Journey to Joy One Piece SwimsuitsJourney to Joy

Part 1: One Piece Swimsuits & An Extra Cup of Coffee

The other morning during Emily’s nap time, I waisted an hour and a half, an HOUR AND A HALF, browsing and clicking through one piece swimsuits worn by women who don’t necessarily “need” to wear one piece swimsuits. Surely you know what I mean. (We are going on a beach vacation in October and thought I’d see what I was workin’ with by trying on my bikinis from pre-pregnancy summers past. It was a tragedy to say the least.)

I came to as the sweet little whimper I’m accustomed to hearing was faintly palpitating through the baby monitor.  Instant feelings of heaviness and finality washed over me as I emptied my online carts, closed all browsers, and flipped my laptop closed with slight aggression. With a deep sigh and a couple of heavy blinks, I regrouped and vulnerably let the heaviness marinate. The doubts and disappointments of having to buy a collection of one piece swimsuits because, even after 14 moths of birthing a baby, I’m still not, and fear that I never will be in shape enough to wear a bikini confidently again.  I got up and made my way across the room, only to catch my reflection in the mirror. I paused and examined myself long enough to confirm the negativity that was already pouring into my heart and mind.  “Pasty, splotchy skin, brassy, tangled, split end hair that is long overdo for some t.l.c.”—A pretty fall far from where I used to be.

Wow! What a pity party I was throwing.

I could have chose that moment at 10 a.m. to literally let my day and self image be ruined. I could have continued to allow Satan the freedom of wrecking me emotionally.

But I REFUSED! And you need to refuse, too!

Jesus tells us that “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.” John 10:10

Did you see how he used the word only? Like literally, those are the sole purposes of Satan. Everything that he does is centered around stealing, killing, and destroying. The first priority of the enemy’s plan of our downfall is to steal. And trust me, he will find something to get his sticky little fingers on. For me it ALWAYS, always, always starts with my emotions. Within those emotions, the first thing that is snatched by the hands of the thief is my joy.

Joy- a feeling of great pleasure or happiness.

I am a sensitive, emotional, deep feeling, deep thinking person. If I am stuck in a funk, it is usually because I have allowed my thoughts and emotions agree with the lies of Satan. For the longest time I would just allow myself to feel the sad, empty, hopelessness that was being fueled to my emotions. But with continuous pursuit of wisdom and truth, I realized yet another time, that I am in control of my mind, my emotions. I am not ruled by the swayings of Satan. My heart is filled with the love, faith, and joy that comes from Jesus. With that truth declared over me and you, we have power to resist the whispers of his lies.

Even on days of doubt. Even on the days where we actually, honestly, do agree with the negativity. We have to make the conscious decision to choose joy in those moments. We have to choose to stop the slippery slope of negative self talk and surrender our thoughts and emotions to the Lord. He will fill our hearts and minds with hope, encouragement, a renewed spirit, a renewed mindset, and anything else that your specific heart is longing for. He can provide it…in infinite amounts.

Colossians 3 really speaks to this truth.

Colossians 3:1-2 Since you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.

A couple of earthly things that I have been setting my mind to:

  • Low self esteem from comparison. Even if the comparison is to myself.
  • Fear of failure of being able to accomplish what I think will make me feel accomplished (keeping my house clean an organized, being a great wife, making the extra time to exercise more)

Paul, the author of the book of Colossians, instructs us to “put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature.” Get rid of those thoughts, those self imposed expectations, because essentially we are making those things an idol in our hearts. You’re thinking, “ok, woah! Let’s not go that far,” but yes! That is truly what we are doing when, for example we spend an unnecessary hour and a half looking at swimsuits, while actually, doing more self loathing than shopping. We are making our insecurities an idol in our hearts, and we are called to SO much more than that!

Paul gives us a list of things of our earthly nature that we need to really evaluate and get rid of! (You can’t move forward if you still have a pile of deep rooted sin) Then Colossians 3 takes a beautiful refreshing turn at verse 12.

Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity.

The way this is written, it’s directing us on how to act in relation with others. But I simply can’t keep from reading this and applying it within myself! Yes, let’s possess these characteristics and have them overflow out of us toward other. But let’s apply these inwardly first and just see what comes alive in our hearts. What if I had a little more compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience toward myself? What if you did? I wish I could be sitting face to face, having an actual conversation with you to ask if anyone else needs to forgive yourself? Anyone have grievances against yourself? Anyone else sighing in relief that we have the freedom in Christ to not only ask Jesus for forgiveness and new life, but to also have the power to forgive ourselves of our personal frustrations, our failures, our missed opportunities, our mistakes? ME! Right here! Hand raised.

Continuing to apply this passage to ourselves for this particular discussion, verse 14 really just gets me doing a little shoulder and head bobbing dance to the tune of Justin Bieber. “Baby you should go and love yourself…bahdabumbum bahdabum bahdabumbum bahdabum…”

Colossians 3:15-17 gives us that last bit of complete encouragement. The icing on the cake. The hands raised moment. The final burst of joy that makes me want to do cartwheels out the front door.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

YES! Let’s clear out all the junk in our hearts and minds, and really allow the peace of Christ to rule completely within us. Spend time in true prayer and in the word and let it cover every part of our being.

“And be thankful”— This time of year, it’s on the forefront of our minds with cutesie signs saying “thankful, grateful, blessed.” But let’s really live that! Instead of me being in a mental tizzy over these dadgum one piece swimsuits, I could easily make a whole entire list of things I’m thankful for that are completely relevant to this same specific event.

I am thankful to be able to shop for one-piece swimsuits because…

  • We are blessed enough to take an all inclusive vacation to one of our favorite, beautiful, happy places! In October! (That actually is enough right there!)
  •  I will feel comfortable and not self conscious over my body and will have more freedom to eat extra breakfast burritos and churros.
  •  Even in my fittest days I was always a little self conscious in a bikini anyway. This just allows me to actually relax and enjoy myself instead of thinking of my appearance the whole time.
  •  As I look in the mirror through a different mental lens, my body really doesn’t look near as bad as I made it out to be. I am thankful for the more recent weight loss I’ve had naturally due to eliminating some stress from my life.
  • I have the most precious baby girl in the world who is the greatest joy I have experienced on earth! I would forever take that along with a life of one-pieces over my previous vain ideals expectations.

Ok, I could seriously go on all day, but I’ll stop there because you get the picture. There is always something we can be thankful for within our circumstances.

I love seeing the word “richly” in this verse, because I am a dessert junky. I like to think of a tres leches cake, and how it is just completely saturated with that liquid gold of sweetened condensed milk (which growing up I only knew it as Eagle Brand Milk…another East Texas story for another time). It is richly saturated with it’s goodness. I want my heart to be that richly consumed with the word of Christ. Can I get an amen?

 

Lastly, the declaration we are sent off with is to do everything “in word or deed” in the name of Jesus! So for me, these areas that might continue to be a stumbling block for me, I’m just going to be saying “Ok Lord, I will not allow this negative self image, words of doubt, or fears of failure to rule over me. I want your peace to consume my heart. I want everything I do to be a reflection of you and your love and grace in my life. I’m giving these things over to you. Give me the wisdom, the resolute, the motivation, and the grace to make changes in the areas of my life that will allow me to be confident and joyful within myself and to ultimately glorify you!”

So back to my scene of aggressively closed laptop and baby waking up—I could have allowed all that hopelessness over something SO unimportant to truly consume me that entire day, and even trickle into other days. I could have done that. In the past I would have done that. I would have even carried out my insecurities in further unhealthy ways and justify them as healthy, or “what I need to do.” But the Lord is continuing to work on me and change me. That morning I took an extra moment to call out to Jesus, to dwell richly in his words of truth, grace, and love. I chose joy in that moment. 

I then decided to get an extra cup of coffee just for a little boost…and that definitely sealed the deal 😉

Jesus & Coffee—the cure for the common funk.

Be blessed, live loved, choose joy.

Xoxo,

Krystle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall · Home Decor

When You Want Everything FALL…Like Right Now!

So, it has been a rainy, and uncharacteristically cool(er) mid-August, the past few days here in good ol’ Oklahoma. I am also feeling a simmering amount of extra joy as I am doing light housekeeping instead of running around like a (sad) mad woman trying to get my classroom, papers, meetings, and phone calls to parents in order, while, oh yeah, still taking care of my household.

Sidebar:

(Confessions of a former teacher/teacher’s kid, where LITERALLY my whole life has operated on school schedule: (1.) This is the first time in my whole entire life that I am not gearing up for back to school. (2.) I LOVE FALL–but am usually trying to squeeze out every ounce of summer. (3.) I loved being a teacher, but from the very beginning of my career I always felt overwhelmed, yet at the same time underwhelmed in the sense of life purpose. A.K.A. I felt gifted in working with and loving on kids, but was not 100% convinced that teaching was my major overall calling in life.)

But not this year! I am loving my new life as a stay-at-home-mom, wife, and homemaker.

So today on this drizzly, below average temperature, mid-August day, while running normal errands with my girl, I saw it! Sitting so wonderfully in the Starbucks pastry case. I’ve seen it before, hundreds of times. But today I saw it and it spoke to me, and I answered.

“I’ll also have a piece of the pumpkin loaf.” 🙂

And that was it! In one decadent bite I was now officially in FULL FALL mode. Our errands resumed with an added stop to Hobby Lobby to peruse the aisles that I had been previously avoiding while still in summer mode. (I’m still turning my head when I pass the Christmas aisles. I just can’t with those yet.) When I got home and put little lovey down for a nap, ignored my planned household chores, and plopped on the couch with my laptop, ready to dig into the best of everything in Fall on the great wide world of Pinterest.

Where to start? Food-Home-Food-Home-Food-Home….

Home is where I landed.

So, I’m very much into transitioning my home throughout the year by the seasons.  If you’re anything like me, you’re ready for fall, like now! But it is still uhm…August. So here are a few tricks I’ve used to make it easy, affordable, and gradual–Atleast until mid-September when everyone else has jumped on the ‘Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice’ hay ride.

1. Throw Pillows & Blankets

Keep some good neutral throw pillows for year round, then bring in those more seasonal ones. I have a good bit of white and flax color pillows that I keep out, then just a couple with some deep yellows, and oranges in the pattern that I bring out for fall. I like to have variety by having a mix of patterns, solids, and textures. Same thought with the blankets. If you love cozying up with blankets like I do, keep neutral colors year round, then maybe have one toasty fall color with a good texture to toss across a sitting chair or decoratively into a basket.

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2. Candles

Candle holders are a popular decor item these days, and also one of the easiest, inexpensive items to change seasonally. Not the candle holder, but the candle! When you are buying candle holders, choose a neutral color that goes with your style. Then as the seasons change, choose pillar candles in colors that will go with the rest of your seasonal decor. Easy peasy! I think this year I am especially loving the oranges & golds.

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3.  Stems

As we’ve all seen in our favorite HGTV show (eh-huhm, Fixer Upper. amiright?), beautifully styled rooms all have some foliage added to them. Now, I haven’t quite yet mastered keeping house plants alive, but that’s why there are some awesome, seasonally appropriate, faux stems available. For people like me :). The important thing is to keep your stems true to the season. I’m guilty of having spring blossoms out with my fall decor and I have now learned. So, don’t do that. Do some browsing first to really decide what your true style is,  and make sure your stems are ones that would actually be growing in the fall. The stores usually have helpful labels too 😉

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Bonus Idea: Printables

There are so many cute printables online that you can click, order, download, and print! Add them to a frame (that you most likely already have), stick them on an entry table or mantle, and wah-la! You now have a cute, personal touch of fall for about $5.

These are all little things you can do in a day by just grabbing some goodies from your favorite stores. If you are on a budget, you can do ALL of these beautifully and keep it between $50-$100! As fall approaches more, decide if there’s something else that you’re really wanting to add, maybe next month, and here is a grand idea—save your money for it! I’ve learned I’d rather have one or 2 items that I REALLY like, instead of a bunch of knick-knack things that I just kinda wanted.

Have fun making your homes beautiful!

Xoxo,

Krystle

 

Me & My Little Life · Uncategorized

About Me & My Little Life

Hey Y’all, I’m Krystle 🙂

I am a 28 year old, Jesus loving, wife & mommy to a handsome hubby and a precious little 13 month old baby girl. Like many of you, I am simply enjoying the journey of figuring out the right balance to creating the most joy filled version of my world that is possible!

I have always been a dreamer. I’ve always had a huge imagination with big ideas, big hopes, with an equal amount of fear, and a heaping spoonful of being a little scatterbrained. I can be silly, sweet, sincere, & serious all in the same conversation. I could be called an introverted-extrovert. I don’t know if that’s even a thing, but I know that I identify with it! I have a huge heart which makes me a lover of many things! –I love people and their stories! I love coffee, girl time, dogs, reading books, anything floral, the beauty and temperatures of fall, watching morning television, cooking, running, traveling, and perusing Pinterest for pretty things (yes, that’s a hobby)! I love going to the beach, or sipping sweet iced tea, poolside. I’m a Starbucks, Target, Hobby Lobby and boutique kind of girl. I was born and raised in Texas, and went to Texas A&M in College Station, where a part of my heart will remain forever and ever, Amen! I am a Texas girl, through-and through, but I also fell in LOVE with the deep, deep south while living in South Carolina! I am a foodie who loves organic, gluten free, vegetarian, while also being a life long lover of good ol’ southern cooking, & specifically, anything that has ever came from my Nanny Georgia’s kitchen. I love shopping– clothes shopping, online shopping, local shopping, grocery shopping, boutique shopping (did I mention shopping?) I’ve always had a love for fashion, interior decorating, food & cooking, and most of all, enjoying time with my family and closest friends!

I have spent a good part of my life in a church or ministry setting and have always felt a calling to minister to the lives of young girls, teenage girls, and now, young adult women! For the last 5 years that “ministry” has predominantly poured out through my role as an elementary teacher, loving on those little angels with crooked halos. Since the school year has been out, I have been able to make the change from teacher to full time mommy, wife, & homemaker! I couldn’t be more excited for this new journey with the freedom to explore more of life, my dreams, & the opportunity to just slow down and love my family more deeply, & to love others more intentionally!

I’m so excited for you to join in with my journey! My hope is that by visiting this blog, you will find a refreshed love of life, hope, and inspiration, with a little bit of laughter, too. 😉

xoxo, Krystle