10 Ways I Prep My Skin for a Spring Glow.

This is post is sponsored by RAW Bronzing Studio. All opinions are my own.

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'Tis the season of events aplenty! Kicking it off with Easter this weekend, the rest of Spring is packed full of weddings, graduations, reunions and, of course, Spring Break! And with these fun soirees comes the need for bathing suits and shorts, dresses and heels! And probably showing more skin than you did in the dead of winter, when you were still convincing yourself that Ugg boots are sort of cute because they are the warmest shoes ever made by man. (Just to be clear, I wear Ugg boots, but I know they aren't really cool anymore.)

I love a good, golden tan as much as the next girl, but as I've gotten older and I've learned that the damage from the sun's powerful UV rays aren't to be ignored or taken lightly. In my family we have particularly sensitive skin, so I try my best to protect it and prepare for this season of warmth and sun exposure. I was thrilled when I learned about RAW Bronzing Studio, a local-to-me organic spray tan that is actually formulated with ingredients that are nourishing for the skin (INGREDIENT LIST HERE). Today I'm partnering with RAW to bring you these 10 tips for how I'm prepping my skin for a healthy glow this spring.

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Sun Care

I don't play chicken with the sun anymore. When I'm heading to the beach or pool, I always carry:

1. Sun glasses - Since my kids tend to find mine and play with them, I usually opt for inexpensive ones. But I love these Quays featured above!

2. A hat - Full coverage is best for me, so I often look a little silly with an enormous hat on the beach, but my family has gotten used to it ;)

3. Lots of natural sunscreen - The sunscreen I really liked last year is Goddess Garden SPF 30 for everyday. This summer I'm looking forward to trying out Coola and Bare Republic, two brands I've read a lot of amazing reviews about.

4. A higher-neckline bathing suit - My chest has broken out in the past few years when it gets too much sun exposure, so I'm always on the hunt for a higher bathing suit neckline (not always the easiest to find!) or a really good cover up.

5. A spray tan - Like I mentioned before, the best way to get a good, even glow without the harsh UV ray damage is by getting a spray tan! This way, when I am at the beach, I don't have to worry about tan lines or taking the time to lay out. The RAW bronze allows me to have a healthy glow without "trying" which helps me to be more present with my family and, you know, build sand castles!

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Skin Care

Taking care of my skin continues to become more important to me with each year. I'm dealing with cellulite, stretch marks, wrinkles and sun spots - things I didn't have to worry about 10 years ago! I want to take better care of my skin so that I don't have drastic issues to address 10 years from now. To me, this means practicing some daily good habits, including:

6. Taking collagen - This is a new practice for me, but I am loving adding this collagen to my smoothies and shakes. It supports healthy skin, nails, hair and joints.

7. Exfoliating - Sloughing off the dead skin is a key part of taking care of the gentle skin underneath. I like using this one for my face and I've heard this one is amazing for body! Also featured in the photo below ;)

8. Moisturizing - Nourishing the new growth beneath the surface is probably one of the most important things I can do for my skin. I am currently using and loving this face oil, this body oil and this body butter. And this is my little secret weapon for spot treating areas that need extra attention, like scars or wrinkles.

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Personal Care

9. Drinking lots of water - Sometimes this is really hard to remember to do, but I find that having a fun water bottle like this one helps!

10. Taking my multivitamin - Again, hard to remember to do everyday, but I feel so much better when I'm consistently taking this vitamin pack, which delivers power-packed nutrients to my entire body.

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I hope these tips help you as we head into bathing suit and event season! I am such an advocate for self-care. While I certainly don't have a ton of time to put into endless beauty treatments, I think creating some practices that make you feel put-together and pretty are so important for feeling confident.

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 a crazy good deal and for those of you local to me, I hope you are able to take advantage of it! I recommend adding the "Prep" to your package, because it neutralizes the pH of your skin so that the formula will work better (sometimes the soaps and deodorants we use can throw off the balance in our skin). You can choose between the Original Bronze or the Rapid Bronze - original slowly develops over 8-10 hours, while Rapid develops between 2-4 hours and you can shower between the 3-4 hours mark. FYI Rapid is an awesome option when an unexpected event comes up and you need to look put together fast!

I'm running a giveaway for a few amazing goodies over on my Instagram today - make sure you stop by and take a moment to enter!

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P.S. - Wearing: jumpsuit (from last year, similar here), these flatforms, this necklace, these earrings and this lipstick.

Easter Dress Roundup!

It's been a while since I did a style round up, and I had so much fun putting this one together! Easter is such an amazing holiday, and I admit I still get giddy about Easter dresses like a 5-year-old girl. I blame my mother - she let us wear the frilliest dresses to church for Easter when I was growing up and all that twirling can really go to a girl's head.

Also, I included a few rompers and pant suits because gosh, there are so many good ones these days. If I had a million dollars I would love to wear the Mara Hoffman romper this year, but I will actually probably just wear a dress in my closet. I have so many that have gone unworn for a while (omg my postpartum body is so crazy - what size even am I??) Also, if Kate Middleton can re-wear her dresses, then I think it's mighty princess-y to wear one of my old frocks. Plus, that leaves room in the budget for SHOES.

What are you wearing this Easter?! I'd love to hear what colors and styles you're gravitating toward this season! xx

Soccer Mom with a Sweet Tooth.

This post is sponsored by Taste Nirvana and all opinions are my own.


Is it so bad that on this particular day, I raced my son and didn't let him win?

He's wasn't thrilled about it either. I think he expects adults to let him win at things like racing, but I don't want to coddle him in that way because you guys, he's actually really fast. And I want him to learn how to be a good loser because I know he will win at things in life, too. And it's all about handling victories and losses with equal grace, right?

Or maybe I just get crazy satisfaction out of beating a 3-year old at a sprinting competition. The world will never know...!


In all seriousness, I really do my best to keep my kids in the healthy eating zone, and as their appetites grow, I'm continuously searching for ideas and ways to nourish them without throwing processed snacks and sugary drinks their way. I've been an avid coconut water drinker for years now, but my kids have never quite gravitated toward the taste. In the past I've hidden that herbal taste in smoothies, especially for Everett, because I want him to experience all the incredible benefits of coconut water, like the mega-hydration, electrolytes and potassium.

Little Tip - As someone who has dealt with dehydration migraines in the past, I've learned that coconut water is my go-to drink if I'm planning to be in the sun or exercising intensely. My favorite beach trip beverage is coconut water on ice with a whole sliced, squeezed lemon. Yummmm.

Since giving Taste Nirvana a try, I am thrilled and so pleased that my kids will actually drink this, too! Taste Nirvana is unique because it is actually made in Thailand from the Nom Ham coconuts (which literally translates to "fragrant water coconuts"), which produces a much sweeter water without the use of added sugars. Which makes my sweet tooth a happy tooth. These coconuts are harvested at their peak, when the water and meat composition are perfectly balanced, and then bottled within hours on the same day of harvest. The pure, flowery-honey taste is so different from conventional coconut waters, and I appreciate how sweet and fresh it is without tasting overly earthy.


Our family  has been drinking Taste Nirvana lately on and off the soccer field, because it's so great to consume when you need to boost your electrolytes, potassium and hydration, making it the perfect sports drink (straight from the earth!) I will be keeping these in my soccer bag all season long so that my son can boost his energy and quench his thirst without compromising nutrients or taste. I'm used to regular coconut water (because I like to add lemon to it!), but Taste Nirvana has some pretty rad additions to their water - you can drink it with aloe, with coconut meat and even with passionfruit seeds! It's making me feel real exotic... and also like I'm maybe missing out on a much-needed trip to Thailand :)


We do a lot of "cheers!" with our drinks, and sweet Daxton is beginning to catch on to our little practice... he basically wants to do whatever he sees his big brother doing! I have a feeling soccer is just around the corner for him. Along with some sprinting sessions with mama. Not gonna lie, I'm thinking this kid will be able to beat me soon.


I'd love to hear from you about how you and your your family stay hydrated during the warmer seasons of the year, especially with exercise, sports and so much time in the sun! Stay tuned for more about this coconut water find - I'm excited to share more about the ways our family is weaving this beverage into our everyday life! And if you're interested in snagging some for yourself, you can shop Taste Nirvana here. Happy hydrating, friends! xx


Planting geraniums.

We scouted them out a month ago. When Daddy was out of town for days and days and I was about to lose my mind a little bit. I loaded up my little men in the car, along with our giant stroller that could double as a minivan on three wheels, and we went to the happiest place I could think of - Pike's Nursery. Everett is truly my son when it comes to plants and greenery and florals and whatnot. He and I are usually the only people at Pike's under the age of 60 but we lovvvve it. (Daxton has not quite caught on to the family adoration for this place, that child better learrrrrrn). We do this frequently, we walk all the aisles and sniff only the beautiful things and discuss landscape color schemes and Everett puts his hands in all the water fountains and I have to keep him from knocking over the $800 stone statues of frogs and it just makes me feel so close to him because it's like, he gets me.

Like, yesterday, he looked at me and said, "Mom, I love those hydrangeas you picked out." What a freaking blessing this blessed little angel from Heaven is. Also, he says hydrangeas like, "high-dangerous" which I love so much so I don't think I will ever correct him.

Anyway, the purpose of our little field trip last month was to scout out the wonders of my favorite deer resistant, all-summer-long-blooming flower - geraniums. We decided that we liked all the colors instead of just picking one type and that we would come back after the 15th of April, when the chance of frost in our area was finally minimal.

We had a good bit of landscaping done this past month - some diseased trees needed to be removed from our property so we decided to get them taken down and add some new flowers, shrubs and trees to freshen the place up. What a difference it has made! With the newborn situation (AKA the not sleeping situation), we opted to have someone help us out with all the work this time around, which I thought would be hard since I love doing all the planting myself but - who am I kidding - it was extremely wonderful to have someone else do it. But me and Everett decided we wanted to plant the geraniums ourselves, because it's kind of become our thing, so we did our thing. Everett used his new gardening gear, courtesy of the Easter Bunny.

I am not winning at life right now. I am not super mom or super wife or super friend or super rested, but I am winning in love, my friends. These little boys fill me with so much joy and I am the luckiest to call them my own. My little Everett has been so good the past few months. adjusting beautifully to having a new baby bro around. He is definitely aware of the attention being shifted from him to Daxton, so Stevie and I are doing our best to be intentional with both of them with our energy and time. It's so good for his heart and mine, finding these little pockets of time where we can do "our things" together and keep our laughter and love at the center of everything.

Things have changed. It's a brand new season. Which calls for new flowers pots. I fear its just a matter of time before I start collecting lawn gnomes, friends.

Show Some Shoulder.

I've never really shared why I think clothing matters.

Clothes aren't vain or shallow or silly. Clothes are powerful. They speak, breathe and feel. They encourage and inspire, they challenge and surprise. One of my favorite quotes about fashion, hilariously enough, is from Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl (judge me all you want, that show was my guilty pleasure), "Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It's movement, design and architecture all in one."

Since becoming a mama, I've actually gravitated more towards fashion and developing my own sense of style. By default, when you become a mom, you enter into a season of endless sweatpants and topknots and tennis shoes that accompany the naptimes, sleepless nights and hectic newborn routine.

There is nothing wrong with this "momiform", this is normal. But I have learned through my own experience that if you aren't careful, the sweatpants will eat you.

Okay, they won't eat you. But they will eat up something inside of you, very slowly over time, this tiny little bit of self-worth that says, "I am worth the effort of 5 minutes of hair and makeup. I am worth wearing a cute shirt and necklace instead of the same nursing tank 4 days in a row. I am worth a new pair of shoes every now and then."

The level of sacrifice that mothers faithfully give everyday to their families absolutely astounds me. Women are amazing. My mom - she's absolutely amazing. She never made me feel like I was an inconvenience. And yet, she did a great job of taking good care of herself. She exercised. She ate healthy. She and my dad worked extremely hard to send me and my sisters to every cheerleading camp and chorus trip and a yearly summer beach vacation. And my mom was always, always stylish.

She showed me that she was important, that her self-worth wasn't a selfish endeavor, and that enjoying beauty wasn't frivolous. My mom's style is ecstatically bold and bright, stocked with armfuls of silver bangles and botanical scarves and strappy sandals. She has shown me that fashion, cultivating one's own style - this is an art to be enjoyed. A lifetime journey of tweaking, growing, changing and discovering one's own style. Allowing yourself to grow. Allowing your body to change shape. Allowing yourself to feel beauty, inside and out.

Clothing matters because it is an intimate insight into who you are.

And also, clothes are like, really really fun.

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I am currently getting re-acquainted with my body. My fleshier postpartum size can be frustrating, but it is also an invitation into a greater depth of self-love. Instead of disliking what I see in the mirror, instead of clinging onto the past with a fear grip, I am invited to see what will be compatible for me in this fresh season. I don't want the body of 18-year-old me (okay, I admit that might be nice here and there), but honestly - knowing what my body is capable of now is incredible! It's endured childbirth and overcome surgery and it is continuing to nourish and sustain a human. I don't know what could possibly be more miraculous and sexy and sensational - it's powerful. And sometimes when I feel powerless, clothes help to remind me. Remind me to give myself grace and celebrate.

I am absolutely loving the cold-shoulder and off-the-shoulder trend this season. I think it is one of the most flattering ways to highlight beautiful parts of every woman's figure - the shoulders, decolletage and neck. These are elegant lines on virtually every woman, and if you're feeling a little bit uncomfortable in your skin these days - this trend is for you. And for me. I am hoping that the off-shoulder look sticks around for a bit because I adore how flattering it is. Banana Republic sent me this butterfly-esque top and this lasercut dress, both sporting the off-shoulder detail, and I am loving how I feel in these clothes. With Easter just around the corner, a few other Banana Republic spring pieces that I am loving are this tropical top, this chambray dress, and this scallop top - their entire spring line is giving me goosebumps lately. I love all the super feminine details.

And now I have to ask - what does clothing mean to you? Do you find your style evolving in different stages of life? And also - have you found the perfect Easter dress yet?!

Outfit Details:
Look 1: Banana Republic Structured Off-Shoulder Top c/o, Free People Rolled Crop Skinny Jean, Anthropologie Sparkle Slides (similar here and here), Stella & Dot Covet Initial Necklace

Look 2: Banana Republic Lasercut Crepe Cold-Shoulder Dress c/o, Franco Sarto Wedges (similar here and here), Gap Round Frame Sunglasses, Stella & Dot Freya Fringe Necklace, Stella & Dot Ansley Cuff

Many thanks to Banana Republic for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are my own.