Oh Baby. Growing #3!

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Wearing:

Gal Meets Glam Makenna Floral Maxi, Target Torri Two Brand Leopard Sandals, Stella & Dot Shai Bracelet


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We are so excited to add another wonderful little person to our family!

This first trimester has been my most challenging, ever. I’m a few days shy of 14 weeks and really hoping and believing that I will start feeling better, like really soon! My days are still characterized by the nausea, the exhaustion and just the PREGNANCY BRAIN. It has all been so much worse this time… it’s really true when people tell you that every pregnancy is different. This one has been so challenging and it doesn’t compare to my other pregnancies, so I’ve almost had to forget my other experiences and not compare this one to those. Which has been hard! I can’t tell you how many times over the past few months I’ve said things like, “I should be able to do this!” Because in the past, I could.

I didn’t really mean to take a break from blogging and Instagram, but my energy levels absolutely tanked and it’s been really quiet around here - so that’s why! Just keeping myself and my boys going has been where ALL my energy has gone. Because Stevie is gone a lot during the weekdays for work, I’ve crashed on the weekends and tried to soak up all the sleep. Can you tell it’s been a really special time?!

How I found out //
I always seem to know before I actually know. I woke up one morning feeling so off, so exhausted and grossed out by brushing my own teeth (such a telltale sign.) I decided to take a test and there it was - pregnant! I took 3 more tests to confirm. I kept coming back to look at them throughout the day. I couldn’t believe it! And yet, I could. I was elated. I still am!

How I told Stevie //
He was out of town when I found out, so I waited an entire day and night to actually tell him. I wanted it to be in person, although it was the LONGEST 24 hours of keeping this secret with just myself. It was kind of fun though. I actually wrapped up the 4 tests I had taken and put them in an iPhone box (the phone company had recently sent me a new phone so it was just lying around.) When he came home, I pointed to the box on the counter and said, “It’s the weirdest thing - look at what the phone company sent me. ” He opened the box and just stared. Then he goes, “THE PHONE COMPANY SENT YOU THIS??!” I died laughing. He seriously didn’t get that those were my tests for like a full 60 seconds.

How I’ve been feeling //
Really, really bad. Haha. Trying not to sugar coat it but I’ve seriously never been this sick pregnant. My mornings are okay mostly but by the evening I feel like I’ve caught the flu. My days end in a dramatic crescendo of nausea, exhaustion, and staying huddled on the couch. Also, my digestion has been a problem this time around so THAT’S BEEN FUN. Really believing/hoping that the next few weeks mark a big change because I am so ready to feel that second trimester magic. But even though I’m feeling crummy, I feel weirdly grateful because I know it means that my body is doing what it’s supposed to.

Pregnancy Cravings? //
I have yet to find what I’m looking for, but for weeks I’ve been craving a fresh squeezed lemonade icee. I don’t know where to find such a thing so that craving has gone unmet. Other than that, I’ve just had aversions to most things and I feel like I’ve been eating super unhealthy just to avoid eating gross things like salad and vegetables and meat. Even typing those words out makes me nauseous. I ate 1 piece of broccoli on Easter Sunday and I was sick the rest of the day.

Finding out Gender? //
Oh we most certainly will. I’m very curious!

How the boys are responding //
So, so well! I’m not sure Daxton totally comprehends it, but Everett is over the moon with excitement about “our baby”. He has been setting aside toys in his bedroom for the baby, and he’s been touching my belly everyday and saying, “Mommy, your belly is getting a lot bigger!” He’s also very observant, and been telling me that there aren’t enough parents in our family for the number of kids we will have. He’s right!!!

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But truly, even in the midst of so many FEELINGS, I am so excited to hold another baby. We have wanted a bigger family and it took a little longer than I thought it would this time around, but I am so grateful to grow another life. I feel sensitive about sharing because I never want to hurt anyone who is going through their own journey of trying to get pregnant - it can be really emotional and seeing others’ birth announcements can be jarring. I really get that. If that is you please know that my prayers are with you and I hope that my sharing bits and pieces can be a place of hope and encouragement.

I appreciate everyone’s kind words and wishes on Instagram and Facebook - thank you for the love and support you’ve shown our family! xx

Sweet Potato topped with Pulled Pork & Slaw.

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Whole30 prevails! I’ve been doing my best to keep our meal plan on the Whole30/Paleo train, and it really helps to have some resources that shed light on how to cook this way. I will probably do a second post on that since I have a lot to share in the resources department, but this particular recipe is a mesh of one from Danielle Walker’s new book, Eat What You Love and one from the Whole30 Slowcooker book. This meal is SO GOOD and seriously, it is super easy to make if you don’t make all the ingredients from scratch (which I don’t!) AND you can make this in the slowcooker or Instant Pot, and I’ll include instructions for both!

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Ingredients:
Slaw:
- 1 bag coleslaw or broccoli slaw
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 cup Mayonnaise (I use this Primal Kitchen version because it is Whole30-Approved)
- 3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. celery seeds
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- diced green onion

Pork:
- 1 (4-lb.) boneless pork roast, shoulder or Boston butt
- 2 cups Chicken stock
- 2 cups BBQ Sauce (I love this Noble Made version)
- 3/4 cup hot sauce (I love this Noble Made version)
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. paprika
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. dry mustard

Other:
- sweet potatoes (1/2 per person)
- diced cilantro
- sliced avocado

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Method:

1. First, cook the sweet potatoes! Pre-heat the oven at 400 degrees and cook the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet for 1 hour. Then set them aside to cool a bit.

2. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prep the pulled pork. First, trim the fat off the meat. Cut the pork into 4-6 chunks and place in a a bowl. Add the paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, dry mustard and 2 tablespoons salt and toss to coat the meat well.

3. Pour the bone broth into the Instant Pot (here is the version I have and LOVE) and add the pork. Pour bbq sauce, hot sauce and apple cider vinegar over the meat. Secure the lid until it locks, select “pressure cook” and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes.

1. While the sweet potatoes and pork are cooking, prep the slaw! Chop the red onion thinly and toss in a bowl with the slaw. In another small bowl, combine the mayo, mustard, vinegar and lemon juice. Pour “sauce” over the slaw and toss until mixed well. Add celery seeds and toss a bit more. Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the meal.

5. When the Instant Pot pressure cook is finished, quick release the pressure. Open the lid and remove the pork to shred the meat. Season with a bit of salt and pepper before serving.

6. To serve, layer 1/2 a sweet potato with pulled pork, coleslaw, sliced avocado, diced green onion and diced cilantro. Bon Appetit!

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A few notes:
- To make this in a slow cooker, increase the bone broth to 2.5 cups. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low, then finish the dish as directed.

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This is a great meal to serve a crowd. I recently served this when we had family in town and everyone was shocked at how healthy it was AND how good it tasted! It’s not often that you really strike the balance between those two worlds, health and happy flavors! This is SUCH a great recipe and I hope you love it!

40 Hours in Nashville.

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Girls weekend in Nashville! My friend Savannah and I trekked up to the center of the Bible belt to celebrate my friend Holly’s birthday, and I have to tell you - I was seriously looking forward to this weekend. Something about planning ahead and being able to look forward to a super fun girls-only trip, well, I don’t know about you but that always seems to motivate me. Need to clean the house? Just think about Nashville. Need to finish mailing a zillion DoTERRA packages? Think about Nashville! My kids are going nuts, there’s no food in the house, dinner has to be cooked by someone, I need to wake up early to exercise… think of Nashville! Having this trip on the horizon really kept me motivated, and it lived up to all the expectations!

I haven’t ever really “done” Nashville, even though its not all that far from Atlanta. We went to a wedding there a few years ago, and it was a total blast, but we were in and out of that city within like 24 hours because Everett was a baby and all that good stuff. So this time around Holly took us around to all her favorite spots, and even though it was a fast trip, we managed to do SO much (its amazing how much you can do when you only have to feed yourself and tie your own shoes).

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This little spot called Cafe Roze was kind of like, the most perfect little cafe in all the land. I mean, when you have a choice between a rose cardamom latte, an orange blossom latte, and a black sesame latte, how do you actually choose?!

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Cured is a nail salon that does a lot of extra special glittery, foiled, holographic & iridescent wonders to fingers and goodness gracious, I am still going gaga over my nails. We all went with the foiled technique and it was a GOOD CHOICE.

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I have this thing for floors. Said every basic girl, basically ever.

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Frothy Monkey, Frothy Monkey! Because one hot beverage per day just really isn’t enough. Although I really need someone to teach me how to man up and enjoy a matcha. I just can’t, you guys.

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Also, we did a crazy good dinner at Milk & Honey and I am still dreaming of that porky fried rice. Also, the burrata and fig on sourdough toast situation was exactly what the doctor ordered. Still kind of dreaming on that one, too.

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I got a little carried away in Lemon Laine, which is this wondrous natural beauty and wellness shop where we all got to geek out. You all know how much I love me some green beauty products! Lemon Laine had an ample smattering of skincare products specifically, and I was able to sample so many clean products that I’ve only ever seen online. It was really fun to try out so many things while we were in-store! I purchased a few fun things to try out so I will report back with thoughts! The green beauty trials live on!

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Then we got gussied up and went out to celebrate the woman of the hour. There was dynamite food (I forget the restaurant!), a really fun crew and mayyyyybe even some dancing. I basically didn’t sleep but it was worth every moment of exhaustion for all the laughter!

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I’m so grateful for these friendships in my life. I just have to say, becoming a mom can be really all-consuming, and I honestly have felt like in the years since becoming a mother that my focus hasn’t really been on my friendships. I’ve been figuring out family, figuring out who I am all over again, and figuring out how to run a business while staying home with my kids. I have relationally really leaned into my family over the past several years and I am so grateful that I have had my sisters and parents who’ve been so supportive.

But there is truly nothing like having girlfriends! At the beginning of 2018 I made a promise to myself to take more intentional time for my friendships, and you guys, it’s been like the best 2 months ever! I have had so many lovely coffee dates and connect times with some beautiful women who inspire and uplift me, and I am so grateful! This trip was one of those experiences that left me feeling so full of love and admiration for life!

I just want you to know, if you’re in a season where you feel like your current situation is all-consuming and you can’t possibly add anything else to your list - I get it. I really really do! Be good to yourself and don’t stress about it. My biggest piece of advice would be, when you feel a little space in your mind open up (because I truly feel like you need space in your mind, not your calendar!) - carve out the tiniest bit of time to lean into 1 friendship at time and see how you do. There is truly nothing like the “iron sharpens iron” that comes from friendships with people who love you, know you and want the best for you.

Like me and Nashville. We just met but we’re already besties and I think it’s already time that I make a second voyage ;)

P.S. - I made a little Nashville travel diary over on my IGTV if you want to see more video clips of these spots! xx

Getting Busy with Essential Oils.

This is a mature blog post so if you are young go ahead and skip over this one - I am not responsible for apologizing to your parents. And if you’re my parents, mayyyyybe don’t read this either.

This is a mature blog post so if you are young go ahead and skip over this one - I am not responsible for apologizing to your parents. And if you’re my parents, mayyyyybe don’t read this either.

There’s no need to be shy about it. It’s Valentines Day tomorrow and I feel like I would be doing a disservice by NOT sharing a few playful DIYs with you. You have an arsenal of essential oils at your fingertips, so why not incorporate them in a new way? Ain’t nothing wrong with it, people! Let’s put these plant powers to work for us!

For those of you who don’t know, EOs have been used throughout history to support libido, balance hormones and increase passion and desire. These oils can help create ambiance, relieve stress and promote whole-body relaxation (yes please, YES.) I have been on a journey over the past several years, getting educated on the maaany ways to incorporate essential oils in different parts of my life. From mom brain to allergies, boosting the immune system to alleviating stress, I have found so much solace in these precious oils. So naturally, using them to create an atmosphere of intimacy was kind of inevitable. And no one over here is mad about it soooo. Let’s talk about how you can do that, too, shall we?

Actually let’s not talk (because one of us is blushing here and I actually don’t think it’s me), let’s just get down to business (that’s what she said! I know I know - I’m awful.) Here are some DIYs for helping you create an aphrodisiac atmosphere of love, acceptance and passion. Just consider this the crunchy granola version of “that” scene from Friends (“7, 7… 7!” anyone??) ;)

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“Get Busy” Bedroom Mist:
Combine the following essential oils in a 2-ounce glass spray bottle:

- 15 drops Sandalwood
- 15 drops Bergamot
- 7 drops Ginger
- 7 drops Lime
- 5 drops Ylang Ylang
- 3 drops Frankincense

Fill up the rest of the bottle with distilled water. Add dried florals if you’re feeling like it. Shake bottle and spray throughout bedroom and onto sheets to freshen aroma. This smells SO good and sets the tone for a romantic environment.

*Shop these oils here, glass bottles here


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“Baby, Lemme Light Your Fire” Massage Blend:
Combine the following essential oils in 1/4 cup fractionated coconut oil or unscented lotion and massage onto skin:

- 1 drop Rose
- 1 drop Jasmine
- 1 drop Neroli
- 3 drops Sandalwood
- 2 drops Ylang Ylang

*Shop these oils here
**My fave Fractionated Coconut Oil and Unscented Lotion here.

Note 1: Fractionated Coconut Oil is simply coconut oil that stays in liquid form and doesn’t have that coconut-y scent. It’s a great carrier oil to use with essential oils to dilute them for sensitive skin, but you can also use sweet almond oil or even olive oil.

Note 2: When making essential oil DIYs, it’s important to always use glass or stainless steel containers. The essential oils will cause anything plastic to break down and leach.


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“Crash Into You” Diffuser Blend:
Combine the following oils in an ultrasonic diffuser and diffuse in the bedroom:

- 2 Siberian Fir
- 2 Patchouli
- 2 Sandalwood
- 2 Clary Sage
- 2 Wild Orange

”You’re My Fantasy” Diffuser Blend:
Combine the following oils in an ultrasonic diffuser and diffuse in the bedroom:

- 2 drops Ylang Ylang
- 2 drops Sandalwood
- 2 drops Tangerine

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Bonus Tips:

  • For fresh breath, apply 1-2 drops of Peppermint essential oil on the tongue before your inevitable makeout sesh. Fresh breath goes a long way, people!

  • For a personal fragrance for her, I highly recommend DoTERRA’s Whisper blend - it’s full of incredibly romantic essential oils and creates a unique aroma on each person because of the way it interacts with your personal body chemistry. The scent ranges from sweet & spicy to powdery & sexy.

  • Dry Brush using 1 drop Black Pepper + 1 drop Grapefruit before taking a shower or bath. Brush the skin lightly in the direction of your heart - this will cleanse the lymphatic system and stimulate blood flow.

  • Add 1-2 drops of 1 of these oils to a romantic bath (do this while the water is running in the stream coming from the faucet to ensure even dilution): Frankincense, Rose, Sandalwood or Ylang Ylang

  • Other oils blends that do the right job accompanying sexy time: Motivate, Clary Calm and Passion. Apply to pulse points and if you’re feeling like a QUEEN, to the inner thighs.

  • Apply Ylang Ylang to your belly about 10 minutes before business time.

  • For “His & Hers” (libido-boosting) rollerball blends, check out my friend Savannah’s post here.

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Okay now you have a head full of ideas. Let me know if you have any questions! The most important part of this is for you to be completely comfortable and have fun trying something a little new! Wishing you a memorable Valentines Day, friends!

Want to chat with me about how to get these oils in your life for 25% off? Girl, send a message at oykristen@gmail.com and we can get you set UP.


P.S. - Coming from a Christian background, the topic of intimacy isn’t often addressed in an effort to promote purity. However, I believe sex is a gift from God, and we Christians shouldn’t be on the boring side of the narrative - we should really enjoy it and be the ones having euphoric, ah-mazing sex. So this post is my way of talking about it in a way that I hope is received as tasteful and helpful! xx

Healthy Cobb Salad.

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For those of you looking for a cleaner version of your good ol’ fashioned Cobb Salad, I’m here for you! Since January 1 I’ve been eating mostly Whole30 during the week and letting myself take a break from all the cooking and prep on the weekends (hello Friday night glass of vino) Needless to say I’ve been exploring different lunch options that are delicious and easy to make, and even though I’ve been at odds with salad for the past years of my life, I came up with this Healthy Cobb Salad recipe because I needed a salad that tasted a little bit more indulgent - and this does! The things that make this not-Whole30 are the dressing and the use of maple syrup in the bacon prep. But seriously, those two things make this taste so good! And it’s still using really clean ingredients so I feel verrrrry wonderful about it. Enjoy friends!

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Ingredients:
- handful of spinach
- 4-5 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 avocado, sliced lengthwise
- 2 hard boiled eggs, quartered (my favorite is Neli’s 7 minute method for hard boiled eggs)
- Honey maple turkey bacon (see mini prep steps for this below)
- Cucumber (I forgot to add it for these photos but it would have added a nice crunch)
- Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing
- a bit of pepper

for the turkey bacon:
1. I simply mix up 2 tbsp. yellow mustard and 2 tbsp. maple syrup.
2. Lay 8-10 strips of turkey bacon on a baking sheet (with aluminum foil covering the sheet).
3. “Paint” the strips of bacon with the honey-maple mixture.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, and flip the strips of bacon.
5. Repeat on the other side, painting the bacon with the honey-maple mixture.
6. Cook for another 6-8 minutes (this varies oven-to-oven - you should be able to tell when the bacon is “done”).
7. I use a few strips of the bacon for this salad (chopped into 1/2 inch pieces) and store the rest in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
*This is the only way I will eat turkey bacon now because it is magnificent.

Salad Method:
1. Very simple. Combine everything and drizzle with dressing!


I hope you love and enjoy this one! Bon Appetit!