A NEW PLANET HAS ARRIVED!

I enjoy entering new stages and seasons with Landon. You just never know what you’re going to get with the imaginative minds that kids have. One thing that I can say about myself as a parent is that I always encourage Landon to pursue whatever it is that he wants to do. I encourage him to find his passion and practice it. He will always have lots of interests.

I’ve seen basketball, chef, superhero, and construction aspirations. So I make sure that I invest heavily in his passions because I want him to know that he can do ANYTHING. I just advise him to remember mama’s two rules:

  • Pursue the passion
  • Practice will make perfect

What I love even more is how he listens, takes direction well, and gets it done. 5 YEARS OLD! He’s shown that he is committed to doing what he wants to do. 

…and so….
A NEW PLANET HAS ARRIVED! 🌎 Welcome to Landon’s Planet. He has asked for his own YouTube channel for a few months now. I hear him in the living room or in his room rehearsing his videos on a daily basis. It’s insane! I would say that I don’t know where he gets it from, but I’d be lying. He watches me record videos and make vlogs all of the time. I have never pushed the idea of being a “kidfluencer” on him. This is all what he has asked and says he’s been inspired to do. I’m proud to announce his channel launches today, with a debut video premiering this afternoon (11/24/2020) at 2pm CST. You can watch his debut video below and you can click the video to subscribe to his channel.


Will you be watching more of Landon’s Planet? What videos do you want to see from Landon?

I’m Just Here For All The Boos!

Halloween 2020 was super fun and creative. We decided against trick or treating this year (just like many others), but we still got Landon’s costume for him to wear around the house. I didn’t feel comfortable attending harvest parties, festivals, or haunted houses because we are still practicing social distancing guidelines and rules. COVID is ruining things as we once knew it to be, but I could tell that Landon enjoyed cosplay and trick-or-treating Quarantine Style.

Continue reading “I’m Just Here For All The Boos!”

Who Else Wants a Free 7- Day Gratitude Journal Workbook?

What do you have to be thankful for right now?

When was the last time that you felt appreciated? Did you make someone else feel the same?

How often do you reflect on festive moments in your life? 

I asked those questions to myself this week and was able to realize what aspects I wanted change to achieve a higher level of happiness. How did I figure that out in three questions? I made a list of goals and tasks by keeping a gratitude journal. I created The Gratitude Journal to encourage myself to appreciate and value the things and people that fulfill me vs. being fixated on what’s not fulfilling or of value to my purpose in life. 

Three of my personal wellness goals for the year are to explore how to change my mindset, practice mindfulness, and to practice letting go of negative thinking. I started my groundwork in January when I wrote an article for Blk Girl Culture, breaking down the benefits of keeping a Gratitude Journal and some key reasons why people begin journaling:

Continue reading “Who Else Wants a Free 7- Day Gratitude Journal Workbook?”

No Stress Just Self- Care Everyday

Whenever I neglect to practice personal care, it has an effect on my anxiety and general mood. We all know that stress is not the easiest to manage and can often be easier said than done. How many of us have started one thing that we’ve gotten motivated to do for ourselves, but have not stayed committed to the journey? Felt defeated. Discouraged. How often is your mood affected by your health? It’s time to change your self-care habits! You can manage stress, you can become stress-free. I’ve found that with regular practice with these six self-care activities has helped to improve how often I tend to personal care, how much I enjoy practicing self-care during each of these acts, and keeps me motivated to do meet my goals.

It’s almost like I’ve discovered a hidden message all within my mind, body, and soul, and I’m finally finding the courage to crack the codes. Yes, I’ve mentioned before that I am a full-time working wife and mother of one. Of course my life is hectic! Most often, there’s too much on my plate (even though I’m passionate about EVERY thing on my plate). What am I doing? I’m sitting at a table trying to finish all of my food, but truth is, I’ve been overwhelmed and full a long time ago. Whenever I get like this (and I’m sure I’m not the only person that does this), I have to remember to get up and go relax. To lower my risks of burn out, anxiety, and depression, I try to engage in things that I enjoy to rekindle the balance in my life.

Continue reading “No Stress Just Self- Care Everyday”

Why I Started Blogging (And maybe You Should Too)

Blogging is something that I have always expressed my passion and excitement for (See: Introducing Life + Style With Kris). After successfully starting a college blog in 2008, I never discovered love as deep as the one I have for writing (for a career choice). So why did I stop? What made me start back ten years later?

Continue reading “Why I Started Blogging (And maybe You Should Too)”

The Complete Guide To My Skincare Routine

I get compliments and questions on what I do to maintain clear skin all of the time. I’m usually a modest person, attributing it to drinking more water and staying indoors, but I must be honest. I do have a skincare routine. Every 3-4 weeks, I follow a simple three-step process, and I will sometimes add more products based on acne breakouts or hyperpigmentation. The steps that I am going to share with you are instrumental in cleansing, correcting, and moisturizing your skin. They are easy to follow, should also be easy to stick with, and are results-driven, no matter what your skin type may be!

There are products for all skin types, so before you begin taking notes of the products that I use, please remember that my skin type is considered to be normal. The products that I use are universal and can be absorbed into most skincare routines. I encourage you to look at all products that are going to address your concerns and will be something that you can use regularly. Disclaimer: Heads up! My posts contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission, which helps to keep the lights on. Thanks!

Start With The Cleanse

I always begin washing my face with a cleanser. I know that if I want to see results, the first step is to start at the beginning; with a fresh face. I use CeraVe’s Hydrating Facial Cleanser to hydrate and clean my face. The hyaluronic acid in CeraVe’s facial cleanser is essential for helping to retain my skin’s natural moisture. I feel like my skin is hydrated all day long whenever I use this.

To remove any last traces of dirt build-up, I then use Obagi’s Nu-Derm Toner. I use this to continue prepping my skin for treatment and to restore my natural pH. Most toners can feel drying, but I love that Nu-Derm has done the complete opposite for me.

Addressing the Problem

In this step, I begin to correct my concerns by using a treatment mask. I use two different masks, typically a hydrating or vitamin C mask. For my current routine, I use Murad’s Hydrating Gel Mask. I apply to face, neck, and decollete and rinse off after 5 mins. I love the scent and it has cucumber, chamomile, and sunflower oil to lock in moisture for maximum hydration. 

Normally, I move on to eye repair cream, but I added a step to help with scarring from a blemish. I experienced a break out a few weeks ago that left a dark spot. I have been using Lumixyl Brightening Cream to help to lighten, and then Murad’s Renewing Eye Cream for dark circles. Another plus is that it’s firming and tightening. Can we say YES to a youthful glow? 

Retain the Moisture and Use SPF

After cleaning and treating my skin, the only thing left to do is retain my moisture. I’ve been using CeraVe’s Moisturizing Cream, but I recommend using a moisturizer that has SPF. Estheticians and dermatologists would also encourage this! I love CeraVe and Murad’s products, so I would recommend:

  1. CeraVe’s AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion w/ SPF 30
  2. CeraVe’s Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion w/ SPF 30

My only reason for not using them was because I was out. Get you some protection against the sun! Lastly, I put on Murad’s Soothing Lip Care (a balm) to restore hydration in my lips. 

If you would like to see these steps in action, you should watch my skincare video below. I like to listen to music while I do things because well who doesn’t? The Brandy vs Monica playlist made this demonstrative video so fun to make and share. Let me know what steps make up your skincare routine while you’re here. I’m a product junkie so if you have things you’d like to recommend, leave them in the comments below! Also, follow me on Instagram and YouTube to see more Skincare Routine videos. 

The Gratitude Journal Set Giveaway

Life + Style With Kris is celebrating 1,000 views! Thank you so much for the support that so many of you have shown to my Lifestyle blog. This moment is an incredible feat, and I am grateful to have a loyal support group to keep me inspired to create in new ways. When I started my blog in December 2019, I had a plan to inspire others to self-care and discover new lifestyle choices to maintain happiness. I am looking to bringing even more content ideas. Let’s keep planting seeds and growing together!

One of the highlights of my journey has also been working with other blogs to share my ideas. In January, I wrote a guest post for BlkGirlCulture.com titled, How Keeping a Gratitude Journal Can Change Your Life, and several of you agreed that keeping a gratitude journal does improve positive thinking as a form of self-care. I keep a gratitude journal to reflect on what makes me happy and what I’m grateful for, as distractions can come in copious numbers. Now, I’ve created an authentic gratitude journal for others to acknowledge gratefulness, appreciation, and even our not so great days. The Gratitude Journal consists of 80 lined- white notebook paper, an inspirational quote, and “Gratitude Garden” for you to plant seeds for reflection and reproduction gratefulness.

I am giving away a FREE Gratitude Journal Set to one lucky person! The set consists of (1) Gratitude Journal + (1) Life + Style Pen w/ Stylus. The Gratitude Journal Set is also available for purchase! Click here to purchase the journal or pen individually or as a set. Thank you for your purchase and support!

Giveaway Rules (Giveaway ends Friday, August 21st):

8 Beginner Yoga Poses to Ease Anxiety and Depression

If you have been following me on social media, then you know that I have been practicing yoga. My practice method is 2-3 times a week, and sometimes I’ll post the transitions I’m practicing on IGTv (Check my Instagram for “Self-Care Sundays”). I’ve been enjoying getting to learn more about how it can help improve my physical and mental health. Regular discipline and practice have increased my ability to find inner peace and salvation. Oh, and did I mention that I’m not an expert at this? Although I am not as trained as some, I’ve still gained a bit of knowledge about the art of yoga. We all don’t have to be Yogis!

Being at home for five/six months has taken a lot of adjustment for all of us, and it steadily affects my mind and body. Yoga has allowed me to escape to find release. I’ve learned eight poses or transitions that have helped me to relieve tension, stress, and anxiety. These eight yoga poses are great for beginners like me and are steps in the direction towards allowing yoga to heal your body.

Pro Tip: Remember to breathe and follow the breath consistently when entering and holding a pose. It is key to deepening your stretch or finding where you need the most release.

Upward Salute (30 secs- 1 min)
This pose is a considerable starter or ending to your yoga practice. I’m amazed at how standing firm can begin to change my overall mood and energy. To enter this pose, stand tall and straight with your legs and feet close together. Send your arms out to the side, palms facing up. Slowly lift or raise the arms upward above the head where the palms will meet. Whenever I’m in this pose, I will feel a stretch throughout the spine and shoulders.

Bound Angle Pose (1- 5 mins)
My hips give me numerous fits when it comes to tension and tightness. The Bound Angle Pose is a go-to for me when it comes to opening up the hips, along with it being one of the painless poses to transition through. While remembering to follow the breath, sit with your legs out in front of you. Bend the knees and bring the heels inwards to meet each other.
Pro Tip: To deepen the stretch, lift from the pelvis to bring the spine to the heels of your feet.

Seated Forward Bend (30 secs- 1 min)
Next time you’re sitting and watching Netflix or your favorite movie, try out the Seated Forward Bend. You can use this to help calm the mind for a bit and take a load off! This pose can help soothe headaches and reduce fatigue while stretching out the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings. Just extend your legs forward and inhale to send the arms to grab the feet, holding the pose for 30 secs to a min.

Bridge Pose (30 secs- 1 min)
I love this pose for the broad array of benefits from it. Bridge pose can be whatever you need it to be. Allow your body to heal and find relief anywhere from the neck, lower back, legs, and see how to restore and rejuvenate your body within this transition. While laying flat, adjust to bend and keep your knees and feet parallel on the floor. While pressing into the floor, use the arms and feet to lift the tailbone upwards, towards the sky.

Extended Puppy Pose (30 secs- 1 min)
A great beginner pose that can help prepare you for follow up transitions, such as Downward Facing Dog. Allow Extended Puppy Pose to help lengthen your spine and stretch out both the spine and shoulders. During your breath cycles, attempt to deepen the stretch by taking full inhales through the nose and letting go by exhaling through the mouth. Simply come to all fours and extend the tailbone back to meet the thighs, then lift the tailbone upwards to the sky. Extend the arms as far as you can forward, attempting to keep the elbows in line with the forearms and gently release the forehead to the floor.

Camel Pose (5- 10 Breath Cycles)
Ustrasana Sanskrit or Camel is one of the more intricate poses that I’ve chosen for the list, but you’ll be happy to know that when you’ve completed this transition, you’ll be in a better mood and on your way to healing. To start, kneel on the floor or mat, keeping the legs and feet a hip’s distance apart. While pressing into the feet, lift through the pelvic to send the hips and tailbone forward. When you’re ready, send the arms back to meet the feet to grab and hold for a few deep breath cycles.

Big Toe Pose (1 min)
If you are a runner or someone who suffers from tight hamstrings, you should find this transition beneficial like I seem to have done. It is easy to get into, and it certainly is brilliant for lengthening and strengthening your hamstrings. It’s one of my favorites! Stand upright and keep the feet a couple of inches apart. Then, keep the legs straight, and bend forward through the hip flexors to meet the feet. Send the arms down to have the fingers grab the feet or “big toes” and hold the pose. Inhale deeply to lift the torso back up, and if you’d like, repeat this one a few times.

Extended Triangle Pose (30 secs- 1 min)
The Extended Triangle Pose is one of the supreme standing poses in yoga and is beneficial to increase strength and stability. Similar to the benefits of the Big Toe Pose, I find that this transition helps with tight hamstrings and shoulders. To enter the pose, stand upright (hip-width apart). Turn the left leg and foot inward and the right leg and foot outward. Next, extend arms out sideways and then shift or lift from the hips to send right arm down to meet the left foot. The left arm should be extended upward to the sky. Repeat the steps for the opposite side.

I hope that the transitions I’ve shared with you today will help you to calm the mind, increase flexibility, let go, and increase your happiness and healing. I know that they’ve certainly been a blessing to me. If you’re new to this, I would recommend investing in a yoga mat. You don’t have to necessarily have one, as you can use towels and rugs if you wish, but the yoga mat is honestly easier on the body. I got mine from Marshall’s, but here are a few that I’ve found on Amazon. Please share in the comment section any other transitions and poses that you may know of that are beneficial to easing anxiety and depression!

DisclaimerHeads up! My posts contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission, which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

Retrospec Yoga Mat

Gaiam Yoga Mat

BalanceFrom Yoga Mat

Our Trip To Gulf Shores, Alabama

Summer 2020 has been nothing like I envisioned it to be. An eventful, sunny season is ultimately my favorite time of year and honestly all that I’d hope it to be. Due to the ongoing and everlasting pandemic, COVID-19 has gotten in the way of many things. I miss vacations! I miss itineraries and sizable events/ activities. Will traveling ever go back to being what we knew it to be? I just want it to be over!

I am optimistic that we will be able to take trips like we used to, but in the meantime, I’d like to be creative and find a way to just… get away. If not only but for a short and sweet moment, wouldn’t that be nice? July is a significant month for me and represents a time of love, joy, and happiness. For starters, it is the birth month for myself (July 10th) & a host of other family and friends! CANCERS UNITE!

It’s also the month that my husband and I wed. July 2020 will always be significant, marking five years of marriage! Could you imagine being equally excited to celebrate an occasion such as this but weary about how to even approach the planning for it? To be truthful, we’d almost given up on planning anything. What was there to do? What was SAFE to do?

There may not be much to do, but there was one thing that we knew to do: we had to get away. Our research on VRBO led us to condo rentals that wouldn’t be too far from home in Gulf Shores, Alabama. We have vacationed there a couple of times before and have always managed to have a great time. We hadn’t heard in any surge of COVID-19 cases there, and the rental properties seemed to have accommodations, rules, and guidelines due to the current pandemic that we could comply with. I started to become intrigued by the possibilities of being able to escape my bedroom, office, and living room spaces.

DisclaimerHeads up! My posts contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission, which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

Young’s Suncoast Condo Rentals
We found a beautiful one-bedroom condo within minutes from the Gulf Shores beach. Young’s Suncoast has several properties within the area (Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan). The One Club condo property offered us many amenities, a few that we could take advantage of such as a restaurant and bar that delivered, 24/7 Fitness Center, and private cabanas. Check out pictures from the Young’s Suncoast website for pictures of vacation rental properties. I decided to decorate our condo on arrival day with themed balloon colors and anniversary keepsakes. Everything turned out flawlessly and set the tone for a weekend full of love, happiness, and relaxation.

White, Gold, Teal Balloons
Gold Backdrop
Feathers

Beach Bums & Sandcastles
Public beaches are open if you’re in or near Alabama! It’s dead in the middle of Summer and thanks to COVID, my family and I haven’t had any family fun at the beach. We were able to find a spot on the beach, at a safe distance from everyone else, and hang out for the day. It was nice to watch the waves (which were high that day) and lay out in the sun. I walked the shore for a bit before building sandcastles with my husband and son.

Eat and Merry
Normally when I travel, I like to dine-in at restaurants that I’ve never experienced. I truly miss life pre-COVID. We worked around restaurant closures and limited menus the best that we could and honestly owe Door Dash a huge thank you! If you don’t have this food delivery service it is worth the app to download on your smartphone. Another Broken Egg is one of my favorite brunch restaurants and every time I visit Gulf Shores, it is a must-have. Usually, I’d recommend restaurants like GT’s On The Bay or Barefoot Island Grill. If you don’t have to venture out, let the food come to you. Here’s some Door Dash promo codes for July. Hurry, they’ll be expiring soon.

We Are Family
I envisioned a tropical vacation trip out of the country (it would’ve been my first time) for my fifth wedding anniversary. I’d previous thoughts about taking a cruise or a trip to the Bahamas. However, circumstances allowed us to create memories in other ways. Fun Fact: My husband and I didn’t get to have a real honeymoon after our wedding. The trip to Gulf Shores allowed my family and me to find innovative ways to bond. Usually, vacations are filled with activities, events, and itineraries. Quality time indoors while you’re away from home is typically minimal but, it deepened our communication with each other. For example, we played Zingo (a fun sight word game for toddlers) for a family fun night. Landon enjoyed identifying words on his (and everyone else’s) boards and getting a taste of winning at games.

What Summer travel plans did you have to change due to COVID-19? Will you still be taking any trips with the Summer almost coming to an end? Have you taken any trips yet this Summer? Leave a comment below.

Everything You Need To Know About Veet’s 3-in-1 Wax Strips

Disclaimer: Heads up! My posts contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission, which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

On Instagram last week, I talked in my stories about wanting to try body waxing at home. I am still uncomfortable and apprehensive about going out. COVID-19 is like that guest that can’t seem to take a hint when they are on the verge of overstaying their welcome. Even though Mississippi (which is the state that I live in) has deemed it “safe” for residents to get back to some sort of normalcy, I will still be hosting Self Spa Nights at my home until further notice. I mean, I waxed my eyebrows in March, gave me and my husband pedicures in April, what’s a little body waxing? It should make for a fun activity!

My followers on Instagram agreed that I should try body waxing and recommended that I try Veet’s 3-in-1 Legs & Body Wax Strip Kit or Sensitive Precision Beauty Styler (which is an electric trimmer for facial hair). I decided to conduct a poll because I didn’t know which one I wanted to try out first. Both products seemed like a great fit for what I was trying to accomplish. The people voted and decided that the 3-in-1 Wax Kit was what they were so eager for me to try. A lot of you had positive feedback about what you liked about it and what it was able to do for you. “I can wax pretty much everything with this!”, “This stuff works!”, and “It smells so good. It does such a great job removing hair.” was all that I needed to hear. 

I purchased my wax kit from Amazon since I don’t plan on going inside stores to shop. You can easily get yours from Wal-Mart or Target while you’re out, but if you’re like me and shop online for the convenience, I got you. Grab yours here: https://amzn.to/3dIHMO5 

One kit includes:

  1. 40 count wax strips
  2. 4 Perfect Finish Wipes

I did not realize that I ordered a two-pack until it arrived at the house, so I have (80) wax strips total. I knew that since it’s been six weeks since the last shave that I needed to make sure I had enough. FYI: one box is enough. Take a look at the box contents below.

The use of these gel wax strips was simple and easy. I decided to wax my underarms and legs and you can watch as I review my experience in the video below. There are just four easy steps. Gently peel the double-sided wax strips apart using the grip tabs. Next, apply the strip to the skin, grip tab side facing downwards. Rub several times in the hair growth direction your hair grows.

Pro Tip: Always pull back the strip against the direction of hair growth, keeping the strip close to the skin as you pull. 

Hold your skin tightly stretched, grasp the tab, and pull the strip back on itself as quickly as you can! The faster you pull, the more hair you remove! After waxing, clean away any wax left on your skin with the Perfect Finish Wipe.

Very easy! I was so pleased and happy with the end result. My underarms and legs felt upon completion. I did have to clean up mid waxing because I waxed the same area more than once. It became TOO much gel TOO fast. LOL! The instructions for use do recommend to wax in a consistent pattern to make sure you don’t miss hairs. However, DO NOT wax over the same area more than once. My leg hairs did not show well in pics or on film due to lack of hair. Veet has made waxing at home super fun, quick, and easy. I was able to wax in under 25 mins! That was super convenient for me because my Landon (my son) was ready for me to spend some time with him. Saturdays at my home have been deemed “Party Saturdays” by him and I wasn’t following the rules. 

Let me know your experience with using Veet’s 3-in-1 Wax Strip Kit in the comments below. If you are looking to do more self-care things like this when you’re at home, give this a try. I have decided that I just might not ever return to a spa for waxing services ever again! Oh and if you’re not already, make sure you’re following me on Instagram and YouTube so that you can catch my posts and videos.