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!

 

Flirty & Feminine

 

 

For more of our favorites, follow us on Pinterest! New items added daily!

 

Uncategorized

Off I go with Usborne Books & More!

nosuchthingastoomanybooks

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!

stackofbooks

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.

pbfallFALL-HOUSE-TOUR-FOYER-new-table-stonegableblog.com_

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

Lifestyle · Uncategorized

My Top 10 “Must Have” Beauty Products That You DON’T Have To Splurge For!

So here’s the deal…I love specialty beauty stores and products from the salon as much as any girl can. But let’s face it– bottles, jars, and tubes full of beauty promises can be ex-pen-sive! So whether you’re a college girl, or a young mom like me, or just any girl trying to make your dollars stretch, these are 10 affordable beauty products that I love!

10. Sally Hansen Gel Nail Polish

When it comes to nail polish, I’m like a kid in a candy shop, and initially, the colors and the pretty new style bottles are what drew me away from the obligable OPI, and the trendy Essie, to the throw back girl- Sally Hansen! The factor of a gel-like nail polish without the UV light, without making a trip to the salon, without spending more than $8, and much longer wear than any other nail polishes I’ve ever used, has made this my go-to, at-home nail polish! And I LOVE the colors! Just use your favorite colors with the Sally Hansen Gel Top Coat and you have an affordable alternative to the nail salon. You’re Welcome!

sallyhansen

9. L’OREAL Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

Disclaimer: my faaaavorite cream/serum/foundation/color corrector for my face is the Bare Minerals illuminating serum. But that’s one of my splurge items and does not apply for this list. Therefore, my next best choice that can be found at your local store is the L’oreal BB cream. I feel that L’oreal is usually one of my favorite inexpensive brands, and that was even before Blake Lively was their spokeswoman 🙌🏻.  Now it’s a shoe-in, because I will buy anything that Blake Lively tells me. An-y-thing! Anyway, I love how this L’oreal BB Cream magically transforms to match your skin tone for a beautiful light coverage! It has a sheer finish and really does do the 4 things it promises- primes, perfects, hydrates, corrects. It really is like magic, so I guess they were on target when naming this product.

Price Range: $7.96-$10.99

loreal bb cream

8. Batiste Dry Shampoo

Ok…so for me, dry shampoo is a must have! It made the list, because as a mom to a toddler, a runner, and a girl with combination hair, (oily roots, dry ends) I have to confess that for the LONGEST time I have used the ever faithful (and ever available) baby powder! Now let me just say that I have predominantly blonde hair, so this has worked pretty well for me. I also couldn’t quite find a low expense dry shampoo that I really liked, and whom could compete with the reigning baby powder. Then I stumbled upon the amazing scent of the Batiste (Bright & Lively Floral) Dry Shampoo! I tried it out and now it’s mine! It’s affordable, it works, and it smells good! Triple whammy! (Though, I will still use baby powder if its the closest thing) It ranges in sizes from travel to a jumbo size. I bought the jumbo size.

Price Range: $7.99-$13.99

Batiste-Floral-120G

 

7. Jumbo Lip Balm Crayons

There are so, and I mean SO many lip products out there today that it can be overwhelming. But for an easy every day look, I love these jumbo lip balm crayons. Most beauty brands have these, so if you want a different brand, they’re not too hard to find. Just by looking in my makeup bag, or shuffling through abandoned purses, I’ve noticed the affordable ones that I gravitate to are Covergirl and Revlon (Price Range:$6-$9). They must have the prettiest colors that catch my eye in the Target aisle. I love these chubby little gals because they give you a smooth, pigmented color, while also nourishing your lips! For me, they seem to even make my lips appear fuller, and when is that ever a bad thing? Helpful Tip: Apply after kissing baby 😉

jumboglossbalm

 

6. Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play

There are some things in life that just go together. Peanut butter & jelly, cookies & milk, Texas & big hair. As you’ll probably hear from me too many times, I am a forever Texas girl. Though I currently reside in Oklahoma, and previously in South Carolina (where hair is also a big deal), I was born, raised, and resided the majority of my life in Texas, where the backcombs are something serious! Back in my ‘serious’ hair days, Big Sexy Hair was my favorite discovery. Now we are in a long term relationship and I can’t break up with it. (10+ years!) It has great hold & flexibility, a little mist goes a long ways, and you can get it from $8-$14. Enough said.

bigsexyhair

5. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

When this mascara came out, I instantly fell in love with it! Then I told every female about it, then bought one as a stocking stuffer for every female in my family! I wowed my mother with an eye to eye comparison during a car ride to the lake that I basically turned into my personal, front seat infomercial for this mascara. I love bold, beautiful lashes with volume AND length. This baby does the trick! Plus the bottle is very appealing to me and my obsession with pale pink. $7

lash sensational

4. Neutrogena Skin Clearing Mineral Powder

This powder cracks me up because it still has a “NEW” sticker on it. Which I’m pretty sure I’ve been using it since some time in college, and that would have been more than 5 but less than 10 years ago. I keep waiting to see when they’ll remove that sticker. I’ll probably document it. Anyway, I became committed to this powder because of the “skin clearing” benefits. I’ve always had combination skin (just like my hair) and would always have an oily, shiny forehead in the days before handheld photo editing.  It had to stop. This product not only prevented my shiny forehead in photos, but it really gave me a matte finish, and would speed up the clearing process of my face whenever I did have a breakout. I don’t have many breakouts now, but at the same time, I’ve been using this product for so long, I might just give it credit for keeping my skin decently clear. 🙂

Price Range: $9.99-$12.99

neutragena skin clearing powder

3. Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Deep Wrinkle Serum

I’ve been using anti-aging products since I was a teenager. Because I always had the theory that if I used them now, before I got “old” then I wouldn’t have a meltdown moment when did get old. But one day, along the way I started to notice that I still was developing crow’s feet anyway. I knew they would come, it was just a matter of time. So I found this sweet little serum and I loved it. Now listen! I don’t know much about the REAL expensive anti-aging serums or creams, (I’ll save that for my 40’s) but I have tried most of the Wal-Mart & Target options, and I keep finding my way back to this one. Neutrogena is another brand that I really do love because it has proven, over the years, and the course of trying out many, many products, to be tried and true. This wrinkle serum has a gel like feel, and has a faint vanilla/oat scent. It might sting a tiny tiny bit, but that tells me it’s working? I’ll say yes. I do know, that even if my fine lines and wrinkles are still minimum, I can definitely tell the difference the next morning after using this product. Now my husband uses it too…but don’t tell anyone 😉

Price Range: $15.00-$21.99

neutrogenaagelessintensives

2. St. Ives Face Scrub

Ok, into the top 2! And this one really is a MUST-HAVE for me. I said earlier that I would give the skin clearing powder the credit for my skin being predominantly clear most of the time. I changed my mind. Well, not really changed my mind, but am giving it less credit, because this item deserves the MAJOR credit! With its 100% natural ingredients (yes, puh-lease!) it is just literally the best at exfoliating and refining your face– leaving it pure, soft, and glowing! I have used every single variation of this scrub and they are all perfect for whatever your facial need. I love it so much that sometimes I even will just rub it all over my body…TMI? Sorry. And listen to this…this face scrub is LESS than $4. Yes! I may or may not have bought it by the armfuls in the past. Just sayin’

stives

1. It’s a 10 Leave in Conditioner

Dun-Dun-Duuuun! My #1 beauty product that I also cannot live without is It’s a 10 Leave In Conditioner! Ok, ok, so maybe I stretched a little, and this product can get a little pricey. BUT you need to at least buy the travel size for $9-$12. Another item that I claim “A little goes a long way!” And by the time you finish this little bottle, you will want to splurge for the bigger size. Me and my hair can testify!

Once upon a time I worked at a Christian summer camp where I was outside AAALLLLLL day, in the sun, in the lake, in the pool, and showering in outdoor showers…yes, it’s true. (If you know me, you know this was a real call from the Lord to drink water from spigots and shower outdoors.) Nonetheless, my hair was suffering from it. Big time!  I have always been a “hair-girl” and this realization was severely bothering me. The next time I had a day off, I went straight to a salon to beg for help. Here she comes, presenting me with this glorious bottle that does TEN things to help your hair! I had never used or even heard of leave in conditioner before (this was 2008), but I was desperate and gave it a try. A true O-M-G moment as my hair transformed to the most beautiful state it had ever been in! Now nearly 10 years later, I am still using this product religiously. If I have gotten complements on anything about my appearance, it is at least 7 times out of 10 about my hair. And for that, I really DO give the majority credit to this product for rescuing my, colored, hot tooled, teased, and sprayed strands since 2008! You da real MVP!

itsa10 frontitsa10back

Xoxo,

Krystle