2018 in Review.

Our Fam2.jpg

Happy New Year, friends!!

It fills me with a mix of unbelievable gratitude and relief, thinking back on 2018. So many wonderful things happened this year, but it wasn’t without its heartache. I am personally excited to move ahead into 2019, armed with the lessons I collected over the past year. I am dreaming a lot right now and brainstorming to freshen up this space (blog, instagram) and breathe some new life and creativity into it! Thank you for being here and being a loyal visitor and friend to this site!

As for 2018, here are the posts you all enjoyed the most!

Beauty Sleep Oils1.jpg

that non-toxic life

Apple Crisp2.jpg

recipes

CT1.jpg

family life

Day Date.jpg

style, etc.

Boston Public Garden1.jpg

travel

home life


I have loved all the content I was able to create this year and I just want to say thank you, from the very bottom of my heart, for being here and making this site worth your time! Thank you for visiting this space and making it such a joy to create fun posts here! I am so grateful for the opportunity this blog grants me to share with you, and I want you to know that you matter to me. This might not be the biggest blog in the world, but I am so smitten with it and I am so happy to have a little corner of the internet that is mine to dream big with! Here’s to even BIGGER dreams for 2019!

xx Kristen

The Apple Crisp (that is both breakfast and dessert!)

Apple Crisp7.jpg

Merry Christmas Eve! If you’re like me, you are anticipating lots of people in your home over the next few days. And if you’re like me, you want to have easy, no-fuss snack/meal/dessert options on hand so that everyone gets fed and feels loved and happy.

Enter the apple crisp, the single most versatile weapon in my recipe arsenal. YES I WENT THERE.

This recipe can basically be whatever you want to call it or frame it as. It’s breakfast! It’s dessert! It’s healthy! You can add milk to it, or yogurt (or nothing!) and it’s a yummy warm breakfast. You can add some ice cream to it and suddenly it’s a wickedly good dessert. It’s anything you want it to be! And I love how clean the ingredients are, so you are truly working with a healthy, warm, nourishing dish that is such a universal crowd-pleaser. Make it. I know you will love it.

Apple Crisp1.jpg
Apple Crisp4.jpg
Apple Crisp5.jpg
Apple Crisp6.jpg
Apple Crisp8.jpg

Ingredients:
- 4 cups diced apples
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup nuts, chopped (I like to do a mix of walnuts and pecans)
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together the oats, nuts, almond meal, syrup and salt.
3. Pour the apples into an 8x8 glass pyrex dish, then layer the toppings over it.
4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is brown and a bit crispy.

Apple Crisp9.jpg
Apple Crisp11.jpg

I typically double or triple this recipe when I have people over, and if I don’t, I still make a lot and freeze half of it. It’s one of the best things to eat first thing on a cold morning! Please let me know if you make it and enjoy it! I love sharing recipes with you that are staples in our household.


I hope the next few days are full of so much love and delight and laughter as you celebrate with your favorite people. Merry Christmas Eve to you all!

Apple Crisp3.jpg

My Favorite Winter Lipsticks.

Lip6.jpg

I tend to wear more lipstick in the fall and winter months - I don’t know why?! My summer skin just wants to be bare while my winter skin craves more pigment. My mom has always been a lipstick lover - I recall so vividly that she always gravitated toward brick red/burgundy shades, and I always feel a sense of nostalgia for her when I put on a similar color. Isn’t that funny?

As many of you know, I have spent a lot of time over the years researching green beauty brands and here are a few that I LOVE along with different shades that work best.

My favorite “neutral” winter lipstick is Axiology organic lipstick in “Devotion” - it’s a peachy-copper shade with the slightest hint of shimmer, and I just love how it feels really neutral but still really put together. This looks really good if you want to wear a smokier eye and just need something simple for your lips.


Lip4.jpg

My favorite pop-of-color winter lipstick is Axiology organic lip crayon in “Enduring”. It’s a berry/brick matte formula and I just love this color - it makes me feel like my best self even if I’m not wearing any other makeup.

I didn’t mean for my two favorites to both be Axiology, I just have really been gravitating towards these shades because I feel like they just work for me with my skin tone. I also LOVE that this brand is completely non-toxic, cruelty-free, and comes in super flattering shades for every skin tone. I super geek out on the packaging, too (it’s SO PRETTY), which makes it all the more fun and special. Girl stuff.

My runner-up choices are the Ilia Multistick in “A Fine Romance” (a cranberry pink/red shade that doubles as a cheek stain!), Honeybee Gardens in “Desire” (a subtle red, if there ever was such a thing!), and RMS Lip2Cheek stain in “Illusive” (I love using this on my cheeks, too!)

These lip colors make really sweet gifts for friends and family (I am gifting several of these this Christmas), but you also want to make sure you pick up 1 (or 2) for yourself!

P.S. - Great green beauty gifts for under $30 from one of my favorite non-toxic beauty retailers!
P.P.S - My Green Beauty cheat sheet if you’re interested in learning more about beauty brands I love and use!

Holiday Wassail (with essential oils!)

Wassail3.jpg

It’s Thanksgiving week! Yes!!! I am fist pumping while I write this. I truly believe that Thanksgiving and Christmas are holidays that go hand-in-hand. Once we begin the celebrations for Thanksgiving, I can’t stop that cozy magical feeling through New Years. It’s just all such a wonderful time of year, really focusing on gratitude and the amazing miracles that we all have living amongst us. It’s just the best time of year! Minus the insane volume of deal emails.

I lucked out because a few weeks ago Stevie’s side of the family got together and I got to try out a few of my holiday recipes on them. Not only was it fun to feed everyone, but you know how family is, right? They keep it REAL. I got such great feedback on this recipe (and others to come!), and was able to tweak these to make them even better. I am so excited to share these recipes with you, and I hope that you and your family are able to gather around your table this year and enjoy the wonder and simplicity of a holiday feast together.

I wanted to make wassail because, seriously, ever since I watched Little Women when I was a little girl, I wanted to know what it tasted like! I researched so many recipes and found out that it’s basically glorified apple cider, which I can definitely get myself onboard with. And I added in the essential oils because it’s such a great way to get some of the incredible healthy benefits (and flavor!) from these oils. So without further adieu, let’s your Wassail, my lady ;)

Wassail4.jpg

Ingredients:
- 4 cups apple cider
- 2 cups pineapple juice
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1 drop DoTERRA Cinnamon essential oil
- 1 drop DoTERRA Ginger essential oil
- 1 drop DoTERRA Clove essential oil
- 1 drop DoTERRA Frankincense essential oil

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker and heat on low for 4 hours.

I love this recipe so much because I am totally an apple cider girl. This is super easy to throw together, will make your house smell like the absolute North Pole, and it tastes incredible! The essential oils add so much flavor and depth and, let’s be honest, when you throw them in a slow cooker is basically like diffusing them so the house smells SO GOOD. If you don’t have these oils you could dust in some of the spices instead. And after pouring into your own mug, you can add an adult beverage to increase the merriment. My suggestion - bourbon or whiskey. You will be very thankful and merry indeed.

Wassail1.jpg
Wassail6.jpg
Wassail5.jpg
Wassail2.jpg

What are your plans for Thanksgiving this week?! Do you already have your menu planned or are you a bit more spontaneous? If you make this recipe please report back here and let me know your thoughts!

Building My Fall Capsule Wardrobe (& the Pieces I've Worn for 3 Months!)

Red joggers.jpg

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

I’ve toyed around with the idea of a capsule wardrobe for quite some time. Though I was intrigued by the streamlined approach to getting dressed and minimizing clutter, I was mostly stressed and overwhelmed at the thought of being pigeon-holed into wearing only a few pieces for months at a time. But from what I kept reading from others, it’s supposed to do quite the opposite! Capsule wardrobes are “supposed” to free you up and allow you to enjoy the versatility of mixing a range of pieces together to create easy outfits and eliminate the stress of getting dressed. It’s supposed to save you money and time. It’s supposed to help you become more disciplined with spending. So they say.

Step 1: Assess Your Closet.

I decided to give it a try and put together a capsule for this fall! I’ve actually been observing this for the past few seasons - the range of clothes I wear, how often I wear certain pieces, and what I tend to gravitate toward. Taking stock of what I tend to reach for over and over again really helped me hone in on what kind of capsule I was looking to create - something really casual and comfortable, without consisting of a ton of sweatpants. I don’t need dressy corporate clothing since I’m not working a 9-5, but I do need pieces that feet nice enough to wear to a meeting or a class to meet with people, while still being comfortable enough to hang with my kids! Also, it’s really important to think in terms of weather - my Georgia fall is much different than my friends’ in Alaska!

Step 2: Toss & Shop (sparingly).

Believe it or not, I actually purchased very little for this fall capsule. In late August I went through my closet and pulled out my gold standards - the cardigans I wear over and over again, the jeans that fit me best, the types of tops that I reach for over and over again. And then I observed the gaps in my wardrobe and filled in the blanks here and there. Very carefully.

I also took this opportunity to toss or donate clothes I hadn’t worn in a year. I’ve learned that the more I throw things away in my home (old toys, old clothes, you name it), the easier it gets to continue tossing things. We don’t need all this stuff! Items that are nice enough for a second life get donated to our local Better Way Ministry or sold on my Instagram Shop.

Step 3: Make Up Your Own Rules.

There are a lot of schools of thought when it comes to a capsule - it took me some time to grasp how this would work for me. For example, some people find 25 pieces they wear constantly, while some people work with nearly 60 pieces. Some people include workout clothes and dressy clothes in the mix - and some don’t. Some include shoes and accessories, some don’t count those items as part of the capsule. When I finally realized it was totally up to me, I started to relax a little bit. I make the rules! I will say that this blog post, Elsie’s capsule, Anna’s capsule, Savannah’s capsule helped tremendously, and I’ve also heard really amazing things about this book and the Cladwell app.

I personally decided not to include shoes, work out clothes or dressy clothes in my capsule. I wear workout clothes multiple times a week for when I exercise, but I try not to wear my gym clothes all day because I don’t feel my absolute best in them when I wear them all day every day. And my normal routine doesn’t really include dresses or skirts because, let’s keep things real, I’m a boy mama.

Step 4: Execute the Capsule!

The Georgia fall weather usually includes a lot of lingering humidity and days that are rife with heat. So this capsule could almost be labeled “pre-fall” because its truly a transition out of the southern summer and into slightly more manageable temperatures. But for now, here goes! My fall capsule wardrobe! These are the pieces I’ve worn over and over for the past several months!

Capsule Look1.jpg
Capsule Look3.jpg

Bottoms:
1. Madewell high-waisted skinny jeans
2. Nordstrom black skinny jeans (I ended up replacing with these Madewell jeans)
3. TJ Maxx jogger pants
4. Spanx faux leather leggings


Pom4.jpg
Pom2.jpg

Tops:
1. Fabr’ik v-neck tee in black
2. Fabr’ik v-neck tee in nude
3. Free People embroidered long sleeve
4. Fabr’ik v-neck tee in raspberry
5. RAW moon phases tank
6. LOFT chambray off-the-shoulder top
7. Banana Republic flannel long-sleeve (old, similar here)
8. Madewell v-neck tee in green spruce
9. Madewell ruffle shoulder tee in black/white stripe
10 Madewell flannel button-up
11. LOFT blue shell top
12. Magickal Babe Brigade t-shirt
13. LOFT casual long sleeve
14. Anthropologie buttondown


Maroon2.jpg

Sweater/Cardigan/Layer:
1. ASOS maxi sweater cardigan (old, similar here)
2. Fabr’ik chambray long-sleeve
3. Pom oversized sweater
4. Leather Jacket (old, similar here)
5. Old Navy jean jacket (similar here)
6. LOFT black/white kimono
7. TJ Maxx pink velvet kimono


Pink Velvet2.jpg

Note: I didn’t include accessories in my capsule, but I have definitely gravitated towards a small collection of shoes, bralettes and neck scarves this season. I will share about these in a separate post because I think they have been the part of my fall capsule that made getting dressed fun!


Leather5.jpg

Takeaways:

  1. I loved making up the rules for this capsule! Once I finally felt free enough to make changes - even in the midst of the 3 months - I felt so much freer and more empowered. I liked being able to swap a pair of jeans for a better pair of jeans, and not feeling like I was “breaking” the rules because I make my own rules here.

    2. The next time I do this, I want to add a few dresses and skirts. I didn’t feel like I was “missing” them during these past 3 months (gosh I need more reasons to get spruced up), but I would like to add them in because I like feminine pieces!

    3. I think there is only a need for 2 capsule wardrobes per year. I think there is a fall capsule and a spring capsule, and the changes for winter and summer are a bit more gradual and subtle. So as I think ahead for winter, I will probably keep the base of this capsule almost the same and just add in some more layers, sweaters and maybe a dress or two.

    4. I will continue keeping workout clothes and super dressy clothes (for a fancier occasion) separate. And I give myself permission to get something new if its for a specific reason! But for the most part, the purpose of having a capsule is to reduce unnecessary shopping and I definitely feel like that has been my experience.

I really enjoyed this experiment and I think I will get better and better at honing in on pieces that really work for my life and my style. What do you think? Could you ever do a capsule wardrobe? I would love to hear your thoughts!