MEAN GREEN SMOOTHIE TIME

Hi friends!!

I don’t know about you guys, but as far as those New Years’ Resolutions go…it’s not even been a month and sometimes I’m ready to just order a pizza…feel me? But I know it’s important to stick with your goals, and my goal was to try to eat cleaner this year. So I’m doing my best, getting creative with recipes at home to both save money eating out, and to save my body from all kinds of junk that restaurant food has (even though is always tastes amazing) in it. 

I started making these green smoothies for breakfast every single morning in the first week of the New Year, and I feel amazing.  I’m not drinking coffee anymore because I want to stay away from caffeine, so I was searching for a new, healthier way to be energized in the morning when I wake up.  It feels great to know I’m at least starting off the day with fruits and vegetables in case I accidentally run to Taco Bell for a crunch wrap supreme or order a pizza at night…oops. At least the morning had good intentions. :)

I’ve been learning a lot over the past couple weeks about food and the various different nutrients that the right foods have and it’s made me want to put those things in my body everyday.  Did you know that kiwis give you as much as energy as a cup of black coffee in the morning?  And they had more potassium than a banana? Kiwis are like a magical fruit!  Did you know that spinach and kale both has protein? I mean, it’s a LEAF.  Did you know that coconut milk is dairy free, soy free, AND tastes better than regular milk in a smoothie?  Well, these are all things that I’m learning too.  We’re 27 days into 2016 and I’ve probably consumed 24 or so, of these green smoothies and let’s just say…I feel like a million bucks. I wanted to share the simple, easy recipe with you so you guys can know exactly what I’m talking about here. 

 

Here’s the ingredients:

2 cups baby spinach leaves

1 cup kale

5-6 fresh blackberries (or you can use strawberries)

1 kiwi

1/2 squeezed lemon

1 tiny slice of ginger root (This stuff is STRONG, lemme tell ya!)

1 tablespoon of nonfat Greek plain yogurt (I use Chobani)

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

6oz sweetened coconut milk 

 

Instructions:

Here's a quick little time-lapse video for you visual learners... :)

Blend ingredients together and enjoy!!

I want to point out a few things about this smoothie that make it particularly good for you.  For starters, a lot of people have a few misconceptions about smoothies in general.  If you’re drinking smoothies that are primarily fruit based, that’s okay, but keep in mind that fruit is chock full of sugar, and that even though it’s ‘natural’ sugar, your body still processes it like sugar, and too much can keep you from leaning down.  This recipe has 2 fruits, the blackberries and the kiwi.  Berry fruits are the lowest fruits in sugar.  Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc are your best bet to try and keep the sugar content low in your smoothies.  This smoothie also contains no dairy, apart from the Greek yogurt used to add some protein.  However, cultured dairy is a super food, so keeping your diet high in cultured dairy, is a GOOD thing!  Cultured dairy is a probiotic, which means that it aids in digestion and stomach function.  It helps keep a healthy colon.  Overall, this smoothie is low in sugar and HIGH in nutrients!  It’s super easy to make and I hope you enjoy it as much as Caleb and I do!!

Xoxo,

Kelsey

Posted on January 27, 2016 .

It's Already 2016?!

Hiiiiiiiii Everybody!!

 

I’m literally sitting here wondering how the HECK we’re already in 2016!  Like, where did the last month go?  Anyways, I hope that each and every one of you had the most memory-filled holiday season to date, complete with friends and family, good food and lots of laughter.  I also hope you’ve had a great jumpstart to this new year of 2016 so far.  We’re only a couple weeks in, and let me tell ya, I’m excited for what’s in store.  Here’s to reaching more of our dreams and goals this year!!

 

So, I love the holiday season just as much as the next girl, but can I be honest here?  The holidays are absolutely EXHAUSTING.  I’m not sure about you guys, but the holidays for us usually involve a ton of traveling, which means packing and unpacking, and trying to fit everything and everyone in.  And even though this holiday season was one I’ll cherish and remember forever, I must admit…I feel a bit like I’ve been run over by a train post holiday festivities.  Anyone else starting the new year off already worn out?? I may be alone in this, but I gotta be real, I’m already feeling the need for a vacation! :)

 

I’ll try to recap my time over the holidays briefly and catch you up with how it all went down…

Caleb and I actually flew to Chicago this year to spend Christmas with my family and it was absolutely wonderful and full of amazing moments, but it also came with a pinch of chaos and stress as well.  Growing up in the church (some of you may know) means giant productions for holidays like Christmas. In the days leading up to Christmas, we spent a lot time getting ready for the Christmas Eve service at my family’s church.  So for those that don’t know, my dad is the Worship and Arts director at his church south of Chicago and they do an amazing service the week of Christmas Eve. They put on a production every year complete with their own rendition of Transiberian Orchestra Christmas tunes, a “stomp-style” garbage can beat performance led by my brothers, a video montage of their church members giving back to their community by buying people’s groceries and handing them money, and on top of it all, Caleb and I even got to be a part this year and we sang “Oh Holy Night” together.  It was a really special service and we were blessed to get to be a small part of what’s going on there…

Needless to say, it was an incredible experience overall, but it came with a few hiccups…such is life, right? Most of you wouldn’t know this, but my dad has a kind of life threatening asthma that he’s dealt with his entire life, and when it’s not under control, it can get pretty scary.  Well with the stress of the holiday season, combined with a nasty chest cold and his asthma, my dad landed himself a spot in a hospital bed in the early hours of Christmas morning.  We woke up that morning around 8:30 and my parents were already gone to the hospital because my dad was having a pretty severe asthma attack.  It all turned out to be okay though and they made it home before noon.  We were still able to be together, have my mom’s “famous Christmas Eve brunch” and exchange gifts.  There were many tears, laughs and memories made this Christmas, and I’m mostly just thankful that everyone could be together that day.

 My fam from top to bottom, left to right:  My brother Tyler, my Grandma Sue, my brother Elliot, my brother Chad, my Grandpa George, my daddy Gregg, myself, my hubby Caleb, and my mama Tammy.

My fam from top to bottom, left to right:

My brother Tyler, my Grandma Sue, my brother Elliot, my brother Chad, my Grandpa George, my daddy Gregg, myself, my hubby Caleb, and my mama Tammy.

Anyways, after a family filled amazing time at home, we flew back to Nashville and a couple days later…I was turning 26…how am I twenty-freaking-six already?! So, most of my life growing up, my friends were out of town around the time of my birthday because it’s 4 days after Christmas, and 2 days before New Years.  So my parents would always get super creative when celebrating my birthday and they always made me feel special, but it was difficult to throw a real party when everyone was out of town. Anyways, THIS year, my friends and my hubby had some surprises up their sleeves…

 

I was told by Caleb that the two of us were going to spend the day together, going out for lunch, doing some shopping, and I wanted to take Romo girl to the dog park for a bit too.  So we did those things, and Caleb told me that evening, that he had made reservations for a special dinner with Chad and Fallon (some of our best friends) but he refused to tell me where we were going.  We were supposed to be picking up Chad and Fallon at 8 and then heading to the restaurant together. So around 8…we get to the Grahams’ house and Fallon texts that she was running late and asked me to just come inside for a minute.  I get to the door, open it and nearly passed out of fright when a giant group of people screamed “SURPRISE!”  My friends from North Carolina drove down to throw me the biggest black light birthday bash of the century.  I was wisked away upstairs to Fallon’s room where she painted neon paint designs on my face, and even had a outfit picked out for me to wear.  Almost all of my favorite people got to be in the same room for my birthday and we had SO much fun dancing to my favorite 90’s music, having my very own comedy roast by two of my close guy friends, and cutting a specialized, monogrammed birthday cake.  There was even a splatter paint backdrop for photo ops and lemme tell you, we took full advantage…

 The two masterminds behind the surprise...Miss Autumn and Miss Fallon

The two masterminds behind the surprise...Miss Autumn and Miss Fallon

 Fallon, the hostest with the mostest, and her house-turned-blacklight-party deckout...

Fallon, the hostest with the mostest, and her house-turned-blacklight-party deckout...

Needless to say, it was absolutely one of the most memorable birthdays I’ve ever had!  What a HUGE surprise by such special friends in my life.  I felt so loved and valued that night and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still having dreams about it… :)

 

Fast forward now to New Years…and all of a sudden it’s somehow 2016.  It’s a brand new year with a brand new start, and I think we all have good intentions to set new goals for ourselves for 2016.  Maybe you’re trying to graduate from high school or college this year, or maybe you’re goal is to start a new job in a field you’re passionate about.  Maybe it’s a physical goal…you want to log more hours in the gym, or eat healthier, or maybe it’s to save more money this year.  Whatever it is, we all have different goals and things we want to do better or differently this year.  I think it’s super important to set specific goals in each category of your life.  Dave Ramsey, “America’s trusted voice on money” has a plan for setting goals for yourself that my husband and I have implemented for this year.

 

Set for yourself:

  1. Spiritual goals
  2. Intellectual goals
  3. Physical goals
  4. Career goals
  5. Financial goals
  6. Social goals
  7. Family goals

 

It’s important when you're creating these goals for yourself, that you consider a couple things.  These goals need to be measurable and they also need to have a timeline, otherwise you’ll never get around to reaching them.  The other thing that will help you reach your goals is to write them all down.  I took about 10 minutes at the beginning of the year to write down my specific goals for this year.  If you’re like me, setting goals can be intimidating for fear of failure or not meeting them.  Let’s not think that way, and just do the best we can.  How ‘bout we kick 2016’s butt this year, and become the best we can be…we’re all in this together.  

 

What are some of your 2016 dreams and goals??

 

All my love this year,

Kelsey

Posted on January 15, 2016 .

Just 'Fur' Fun, A DIY Project

Hi beauties!

I hope you're all getting in the Christmas spirit, because I'm tellin' you...I am SO READY.  It's gotten to be pretty cold here in Nashville, and being a Northern girl, the cold just puts me in the Christmas spirit. Now if we could just get it to SNOW here...

Anyways, while Caleb and I were in Missouri celebrating Thanksgiving with his family...the boys watched football and the girls crafted our lives away.  Caleb's mom Darla is extremely creative and she's always saying, "Honey don't buy that, we can MAKE that!"...so she, myself and my sister-in-law Charis, set out to make our own fur scarves.  I've been seeing them everywhere online, especially Pinterest and honestly, I haven't seen many places that actually sell them.  So with Darla's crafty expertise, and Charis and I's help, we kinda nailed these, and I'm pretty sure you'll be as obsessed as we are!  Charis and I modeled two of our finished products and two of the different fur patterns.  Also, she's a good sport because I made her stand out in the rain for this shot :)

 My sister is stunning.

My sister is stunning.

I also made Caleb drive to one of my favorite neighborhoods here in Nashville and shoot a couple of myself in the other scarf design...

And the best part is, it cost under $10 to make, and I'm going to teach you how.  These make incredible Christmas gifts for friends or family, and this year I'm really into handmade gifts so....here goes nothin!

 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1/2 yard of fur fabric - 60" wide
  • scissors
  • measuring tape
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • straight pins

 

 

 

Here's how:

Step 1 - Measure out the length you desire for your scarf, bearing in mind it must be able to pull over your head.  Our measured 36 1/2" long.  Cut the fabric to desired length.

Step 2 - Fold inside out, length-wise and pin the edges together.  Next, sew the edges together.  Important:  Begin sewing 4" from the top of the fabric and leave 4" at the bottom as well. 

Step 3 - Now that the edges are sewn together, turn the scarf right side out once again.  

Step 4 - Now, the tricky part. Match up the ends of the scarf, and carefully sew them together on the inside part of the fabric, leaving a small opening to be able to turn the scarf right side out.

Step 5 - Turn the part that you just sewed right side out.  Now you have only a small opening left that isn't stitched together.  Using a need and thread, turn the open ends in about an inch, and hand stitch the opening shut.

And that's literally it!! You're done! And you have yourself a beautiful fur scarf that people will be swooning over!  Again, these make fantastic Christmas presents AND you get to brag that you made it yourself!  Happy sewing and happy gifting!  And don't forget to let me know if you try this out!  

Merry Christmas season everybody!

Xx,

Kelsey

Posted on December 5, 2015 and filed under Fashion.

10 Best Cyber Monday {Fashion} Deals!

Hi everybody!!

I hope you each had an amazing Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends!  I had a great time spending Thanksgiving with my husband and his family this year...it was chock full of food, crafts, Farkle (a ridiculous dice game) and football. This is the first year in probably the last 4 or 5 that I actually didn't go brave the mall on Black Friday...BUT.  The best part is that I can pretty much get the same (maybe even better) deals on Cyber Monday and shop from my couch with hot tea in hand.  And, that might be...MIGHT, be better than going out in the middle of the night on Thanksgiving night...although it'll never beat the experience of getting plowed over by other human beings that all want the same pair of slippers from Macy's at 3am. 

Anyways, I've done a bit of research on some of my favorite Cyber Monday fashion finds that I think you ladies will want to know about!!

1.  Free People is having a giant Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale with deals up to 50% off their "most loved styles"! It includes dresses, shoes, tops and sweaters that I'm swooning over!

2. Lizard Thicket's Cyber Monday sales will begin Sunday night at 6:00pm.  The first 100 people in line at any location will score a LT Swag Bag, full of surprise gifts and coupons to shop with!  Select gift bags will include Yeti Ramblers, and gift cards valuing $25, $50, and $100!! 

3.  TopShop is one of my favorite places to shop when I visit other cities that have one (we don't here in Nashville!).  Their Black Friday sale is 5 DAYS long and you will get up to 50% off selected styles.  There's tons to choose from and it's always free shipping and free returns.  Amazing deal!!

4.  ALDO is one of my most visited shoe stores...it's usually pretty affordable anyways, but WAIT until you hear about their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales! They are having a HUGE sale that includes 50% of ALL original styles, and there's over 1,000 to choose from!! If you're a boot lover like me and can never have enough pairs, then hustle to ALDO to pick up a pair at 50% off!

5.  Target is having a storewide sale on Cyber Monday that includes 15% off of everything...there are certain restrictions, so make sure the read the fine print, but 15% off the majority of the store is a pretty amazing deal!  You can find almost everything you could need or want at Target!

6.  Forever 21 is one of my absolute favorite stores and I'm not even ashamed to admit that.  They always have SO much stuff, sometimes an overwhelming amount of stuff, but the prices...you just absolutely can't beat.  I can't walk into Forever 21 and come out empty handed.  This Cyber Monday, all outwear and sweaters will be 50% off PLUS free shipping on any orders over $30.  Go get em!!

7.  LuLu's ...so, I've never actually ordered anything from this site myself, BUT I've shopped on their website and gotten inspiration on so many cute outfits.  This might be one of the best Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals I've seen yet.  Lulu's is extending up to 90% OFF...yes, I typed that right, up to 90 PERCENT off site-wide through Monday!! Shop away, my little shopaholics.

8.  Nordstrom is having quite the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale...they're offering an ADDITIONAL 25% off selected sale items...so you're basically getting these items on clearance!! Their online store is chock full of deals you won't want to miss!  Great for Christmas gifts for the family too!

9.  H&M has to be one of my favorite places on earth.  They ALWAYS have amazing deals, whether it's a holiday or not.  Their deals right now though, are absolutely ridiculous! They have select items that start at $4.99 and the best part, you can get ALL the deals from your house, and you don't even have to pay shipping on orders over $50...just use the code 3247.

10.  American Apparel is having a huge Cyber Monday party! They're offering 35% off of EVERYTHING!! Amazingggggg.

So for those of you that didn't get out into the craziness and chaos of Black Friday, don't worry!! There are endless Cyber Monday deals to check out for all the best fashion steals!  Again, these are just a few of MY favorites, and some of my most frequented stores both in person and online. I hope this helps take some of the pressure of Christmas shopping off too! Happy shopping!!

Xx,

Kelsey


Posted on November 29, 2015 and filed under Fashion.