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


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


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!



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


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


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!




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 :).


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 🙂


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.


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!







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.




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 Krispy Treats



Rice Krispy Ornaments



Rice Krispy Wreath



Rice Krispy Treat Gingerbread Men



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




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!