Day Date in Atlanta!

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Going out on dates seems really hard to squeeze in these days. Between Stevie’s travel schedule for work, my teaching evening DoTERRA classes, and juggling soccer for Everett, it feels like we just run out of evenings every single week. But I know that date nights are so vitally important, and when we go too long without dates, we both feel it. Like every marriage, we are doing our best to balance pouring our energy into parenthood AND our marriage and implement date nights more often than once every 3 months (seriously.)

Right before we went out of town last week, we had a super fun day date in Atlanta! Because daytime dates means that we will actually stay awake to enjoy our time together (hashtag we tired yall.) I usually never take along the big camera to photograph our every move on date night (because that’s kinda lame) BUT, we did take a lot of pics on this particular day because we were doing some of our favorite Atlanta-ish things and I want to share more about our fine city here on the blog. I usually heap praises on other cities when we travel, but I haven’t dedicated a whole lot of energy towards sharing about Atlanta and I want to do a better job of that! So here are a few things we did and ate in Atlanta the other day ;)

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We started off with a home run meal at Barcelona in Inman Park. It was restaurant week, so we took advantage of the chef’s tasting menu which allowed us to try a million amazing tapas for a great price. My favorites were the burrata, hanger steak and the spiced empanadas. And what are tapas without sangria? Do yourself a favor and order the rose sangria.

We made our way toward Ponce City Market on the Beltline via some Bird and Lime scooters, which are SO fun and really must be tried! I rode these around in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago with friends and knew that I had to find them in Atlanta. They practically litter the Beltline so we scooted until we got to Piedmont Park and then headed back toward Ponce City Market. But Stevie’s battery power died during that jaunt so we hopped on one together and that was kind of like a crazy trust experiment because I basically hung on to him for dear life (!)

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After we dropped our scooters off, Stevie found an outdoor piano and did some jamming out for strangers walking by, and since he really worked up an appetite he just had to stop at Lucky Lotus for an acai bowl. He scarfed it and I had a long hard think about getting some gelato, but refrained because those tapas had really put me over the top. We browsed around did a little shopping, and dreamed at all the beautiful Citizens Supply goods (like kilim rugs and leather wallets and fiddle leaf figs and adorable clogs) and then decided it was high time to try out the new brewery.

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I saw new, but it’s only new to us. New Realm is right on the Beltline and has a gigantic outdoor seating area, and the food is truly good. Not like, for brewery food, but like for a great meal out! And I’m a big fan of wine flights and beer samplers because I like to try a little of everything, and they had a great beer flight. My favorites were “Hazy Like a Fox” and “Citrus Pucker”.

We watched the sun go down over the Beltline and honestly, it was a strange experience because we hadn’t been on such a long date in a reeeeeally long time. We talked a lot! Day dates are a thing that need to keep being a thing in my book because it was theeeee best day with my sweetheart of 12 years.

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Perhaps everyone feels a significant shift with the seasons, but Fall always feels like the biggest shift for me every single year. I don’t know why, but lately I am feeling older. Not in a bad way, but in a way where I can tell that my mind and my heart are growing and changing and I just feel like more and more of a woman lately. Having the uninterrupted time (meaning, without children around!) with Stevie to really talk about things, our feelings and our life, is such an incredible thing and it shouldn’t be an anomaly. Day time Atlanta dates really need to be more of a thing!

Tell me, what are some of your favorite date spots and date ideas? Have you tried daytime dating? xx

Like Mother, Like Daughter.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


Last year for Mother's Day, my mom treated me to a sunless tanning experience - a bronzing session at RAW Bronzing Studio. I had never had a spray tan before and I remember thinking this was a funny new activity for us to do as mother/daughter. Afterwards we went to lunch and she was doing her mom thing, asking me lots of questions about my life, and then she leaned over and looked me seriously in the eye. I wasn't sure what she was about to say, but I prepared myself to enter into a deep conversation about whatever it was she was about to propose. I caught a twinkle in her eye as she said to me, "Don't you love it? Your tan?" I breathed a sigh of relief - my mother! She's a hard one to peg, with all her simultaneous humor and depth. And I had to admit, I did love it. The bronze tone of the tan looked so natural and pretty, but my favorite part was that I had no tan lines. No tan lines, you guys! #dreamtan

My mom is the reason why I've started paying extra special attention to taking care of my skin. Over the past few years, she has had some basal cell carcinoma spots removed, so it's made me super aware of how seriously important it is to take care of my own skin. She's always saying that it was because she wasn't taking care of her skin when she was younger, so I want to heed her advice and take better care of the skin I have!

I'm pretty wretchedly terrible at washing my face at night (I know, it's so immature not to do this but I'm just always so tired), but I am trying to be more aware of how much sun exposure I am getting throughout the day. Especially as the weather is heating up and I'm outside more and more with my kiddos. I'm used to enjoyably baking in the sun, because I have olive skin and I don't burn as easily as some. However, that's almost all the more dangerous - I don't always feel the damage happening! But I'm getting better about being aware and taking preventative measures. I shared here about how I have been prepping my skin for the spring/summer season and I've been pretty consistent about that protocol.

My mom and I were at the beach together last weekend, and we had both gotten a bronze at RAW two days prior. I was like, DUH - mother daughter beach photos for the win! Thanks to my sister Rachel, who snapped these for us. I wanted to share with you all how real the sunless tan looks - my mom and I have very different skin tones and it still looks so natural on both of us! She has a lot of pink undertones in her skin while I favor my Dad's side more, with all those good yellow undertones. Note the sarcasm. Yellow = sallow.


Now I'm not going to go mega-cheesy here, but I do want to say that I am immensely grateful that my mom is here with me, continuing to share her life's experiences. I don't take it for granted, because my mom lost her own mother at 19, and wasn't able to ask her questions and have the kind of relationship that I'm able to have. I am still learning so much from my mom - from skincare to how to navigate friendships and motherhood and taking care of my body and mind and heart - she is a wealth of wisdom and I am so thankful that she is here with me. Leaning in. Asking me hard questions and helping me answer them in my own way. With Mothers' Day approaching, I just wanted to share this little tribute to my mom. She's amazing. And she's funny. Never underestimate a woman with a good sense of humor.

All that to say - take care of your skin, you guys! Because my mom says so.


Discount & Giveaway!

RAW Bronzing Studio is located throughout the metro Atlanta, Georgia area, and the studio local to me (location here) is generously offering my readers 25% off the price of a full-body bronzing service at the RAW South location with the code OYKRISTEN. This is an awesome deal for those of you local to me, and with all this warm weather approaching I hope you are able to take advantage of it!

Over on Instagram, I am giving away an awesome gift package to one lucky local, including 4 full-service bronzing sessions ($162 value!) - make sure to check it out, enter and tag your local friends! xx

P.S. - I'm wearing an old Victoria's Secret suit (remember their bathing suit line? RIP, similar here), these high waisted shorts and this leather wrap bracelet. The bandana is my sister's a my mom's outfit details are lost on me - although if you were really curious I could probably figure them out for you ;)

Butterflies, Birds & Biking at Callaway Gardens!


Funny story. The last time we were at Callaway Gardens, I had to keep pulling my bike over on the side of the paths because I was so nauseous. Yep - super PREGNANT. And that night I went home to take a test because whoa, the biking was so rough. And jostle-y. So this season, when we decided to bike around the gardens, it was really lovely to be able to enjoy the ride with a baby on the outside of my body ;)

Callaway Gardens is especially known for it's spectacular variety and display of azaleas in the springtime. Stevie grew up going there on Spring Break with his parents and siblings, so he always has incredibly rich memories when we visit. You know how you just want all the good things that you had as a child, for your own kids? I really see that side of him come out when we visit Callaway. And of course, the gardens are different these days, the restaurants are different, but he gets this warm sparkle in his eye when he sees the boys running around at Callaway, and it really is the sweetest thing.

This time around we went to the BIRD SHOW! The Birds of Prey show is so rad - the owls flock out of their cages and they fly around and eat snacks in the air and it's pretty much the best. Any fellow bird lovers out there? Let me just be clear - I love birds in the wild. Birds for house pets are a no no. But owls  - yes! It was bomb. And if you haven't visited the Butterfly Center you really should. Haha this post is so not sponsored but I can see why it might seem to be. We are just a Callaway family! If you're interested in biking, birds and butterflies (and obviously - the flowers!) it's a gorgeous time of year to visit! xx

Recapping the City of Refuge Hygiene Kit Drive!

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Hi Friends! I hope you are having the HAPPIEST day!

I want to share a few photos and say a big THANK YOU to all of you who were a part of The City of Refuge drive we did at the end of 2017. I know it's taken me a while to share about this, but I actually kept receiving items for the kits through January, so the final set was finally delivered this week. Hooray! This drive was really close to my heart, and I am so excited that you guys were so connected to this initiative as well. I am honestly STILL overwhelmed by how many of you gave, especially in the midst of the busiest and most expensive time of the year - you guys are rock stars!!


Behind the "Why":
I originally read about The City of Refuge drive in my church bulletin back in late November. My church, Bethel Atlanta, was collecting items to be compiled into hygiene kits for mothers who were coming out of crisis situations - either abuse or sex trafficking.

I knew immediately that I wanted to get involved and leverage my online friends (YOU!!!) because I've seen how powerful and wonderful and kind-hearted everyone is in this community is. My first thought was to collect enough items to fulfill 20 kits, but I immediately felt God nudging me out of that "comfort zone" and pushing me to to do something that felt impossible. Something that required faith, and not just my own ability. So I said, alright, let's try for 25!

The "What":
Each kit needed to contain the following: 2 in 1 shampoo + conditioner, deodorant, lotion, lip balm, tampons + pads, toothpaste and a toothbrush. I created a Target registry for these items because I wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to give. Based on my estimations, each kit cost just under $25, so I knew going in that I was going to have to cover some portion of the $625 investment if I couldn't get enough items donated. Hence the leap of faith.

The Execution!
I shared about the initiative here on the blog and also on my Instagram, and I was so thrilled at how excited you all were to get involved and make a difference! After several weeks of many Target deliveries, I was flabbergasted to receive enough items to compile 35 kits - 10 more than my original goal! Seriously, you guys are heroes. I wish I could send you all DoTerra oils aplenty (aka some of my favorite things) as a thank you!!

My sis-in-law Lauren was kind enough to help me deliver the kits on Dec. 20 to The City of Refuge. Lauren, thank you for taking the trek with me! While we were unloading the boxes, I couldn't help but be completely amazed (and distracted!) by the incredible scale of the operation itself. City of Refuge is HUGE, and not only provides a roof for immediate needs to be met through safe housing and meals, but it also provides ongoing education and avenues for self-sufficiency. You can read more about everything City of Refuge does here.

A Story.
The night before I delivered all the kits, I was checking out at Target at around 9pm. The cashier started asking me questions about the items I was purchasing (it was multiples of more deodorant and toothpaste), and I shared with her about the drive and the mission of City of Refuge. She welled up with tears and asked me for the name and number of the shelter. Then she went on to share with me that her daughter had been caught up in sex trafficking and she has only recently gotten back in touch with her - and that her daughter is only 15 years old. She wept as she told me that her daughter was caught up in a really rough crowd, but she hoped that City of Refuge could provide her with the kind of resources that could help turn her life around. I was stunned. For as much as I hear about the ongoing efforts in Atlanta to address this issue of human trafficking, I just never had a touch point with someone who had been affected by it or who had a family member entangled in it. Her mama heart was broken for her little girl and I stood there in line with her, weeping for her daughter's safety. She held my hands at the end of our check out time and she looked me in the eyes and said, "God is good. I know he is good. What you people are doing is good."

The look in her eyes is burned into my memory.

I want to tell you, friends, what you did in assisting with these kits isn't some far-off distant charity work. It impacts the lives of daughters, mothers, sisters and all of their friends and families. It impacts people around you, even if you don't have an immediate touch point. Just know that what you are doing is so, so SO good, and I am proud to have partnered with you in this incredible endeavor. It was my first drive of this kind, but it certainly won't be the last!

Thank you all so much for your support, encouragement and gifts! Your investment, no matter how big or small, made an enormous impact! All my love to you, friends! xx



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We had legitimate snow last week here in Georgia. It even stayed on the ground for days! Of course, school was cancelled the entire week and things got a little cabin fever-esque over here, but the snow sure was fun. Everett and I made a hideous snow man that just melted two days ago. He was more like a snow lump. And we made snow angels! And then we had a legit snowball fight and I felt like I was living a scene from a New England novel, but nay - we're in Georgia ya'll! It was so fun. It was so cold. I think it hovered around 20-25 degrees on the day this day that the snow fell, so we played very quickly and then got inside to sit by the fireplace. Whole30 didn't allow me a mug of hot chocolate, but that's what I dreamed I was having while I really sipped on flavorless tea ;)

I hope you are having a happy Tuesday, friends! xx