This Meditation Checklist Will Help Any Beginner Become Successful In Practicing Mindfulness

In 2018, I made a commitment to learning how to meditate effectively due to high stress levels from working a job that brought me much misery and grief. I wanted to find a release, an escape, something that allow me to relax and be at ease. When I started my journey into meditation, I had no direction and no clue about how to meditate, how to determine it to be effective, and what it all meant. I’d just heard it as “a way to practice mindfulness” and I’d given myself a thought that it sounded like an option to explore to relieve stress. Two years later, I am a firm believer in the practice and I meditate every week.

My journey has allowed me to become fond of breath work and having a “guide” to helping me achieve inner peace has made things 100% easier. I’ve shared and documented my process on social media often and since then I’ve gotten lots of questions from others about how should they begin meditation. Honestly, there are a lot of people interested in meditation but feel that they’re not sure that they are doing it right or have absolutely no clue what they’re doing period.

You are NOT alone! You are NOT the master!
Yet.

I, too, can relate to the feeling of being really excited to do or learn something new and not knowing where to start or where to begin. It can lead to an overwhelming feeling and sometimes the passion or desire to complete the action has left the building. This is why I created a Mindful Meditation Checklist to help beginners feel comfortable with learning this new skill. The checklist has the basic tools that you will need to successfully complete one meditation session and will need to be repeated frequently to see results. This checklist is able to hold you accountable when you’re wondering if meditation and mindfulness is effective for you, like it is for me.

Click here to download your free checklist today to begin your first meditation session!

3 Tools I Use For Goal Setting and Planning

It’s been super important for me to get organized with my ideas and goals because disorganization in my world led to distraction and losing focus on completing goals. It’s not enough for me to just come up with an idea, nor should it be enough for you! Leaving a thought as just a thought isn’t ideal because it’s not specific. I can’t decide that I’m going to act on the idea without enough supporting action. What am I doing? I only had the one idea that I’m now excited about, and I know I want it to become a reality. My impulsive thinking can sometimes lead to a load of inconsistency in executing these ideas. It’s great to have ambition, but it’s also necessary to adapt to the element of planning and organization. I am sharing three tools I use to assist me in setting clear and concise goals through planning.  


The Idea Has To Come From Somewhere

Journaling is the #1 source of where my ideas and goals begin. Through self-reflection prompts, I construct a list of 3-5 personal and professional goals I want to accomplish for the week. I also set monthly goals and daily affirmations using a gratitude journal. I find appreciation and gratitude to be instrumental in planning and setting realistic, attainable goals. The Daily Expression Gratitude Journal that I use comes with a “Gratitude Garden” that contain mindful questions and notebook pages for me to jot down my emotions and thoughts. I created it as a way to live with gratitude and appreciation. It’s available online for purchase and on sale for $7 here.

An Executive Planner To Be Productive

Having a planner as a tool is necessary because this is where I can sort out those 3-5 goals and figure out how I will meet them by listing small tasks that I can complete. Sunday- Saturday, I fill my planner with productive activities related to my weekly or monthly goals. Let’s use an Instagram Reel for an example. The objective will be to create an Instagram Reel for the week. I pick a day during the week that I can research reels to trigger inspiration, days that I can prepare for creation, and then the day that I want to post it. Making a reel does NOT just happen in five minutes! I realize that there may be intricate actions that I will need to take before it can happen. I may need to learn audio (lyrics/ dialogue), rehearse dance moves, and sort out a look. Some of the questions I ask myself:

Where will I film this reel? What should I wear? What is the tone? 

I have to maximize my time much better through a planner. The mom life is sporadic and chaotic. I have homeschool that I also do Mon- Fri with Landon. It’s easy to feel spread thin and busy. Honey, that’s the quickest way to burnout! Using a planner is beneficial to productivity. I’m able to juggle all of my many hats (human, wife, mom, teacher, writer, etc.) and not feel like I’ve completely exhausted all my time. It all gets done through time blocking, sticky notes, affirmation stickers, and lots of colors.

TIP: Use markers and colorful pens to list your tasks in your planner.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Google Calendar Holds Me Accountable

The last tool allows me to schedule my tasks into a digital calendar, get reminders and alerts when it is time to execute them. Once I learned from other digital content creators about all of the magic that Google Calendar has, I started using it for purposes other than birthdays. I use Google Calendar to help me figure out what time I have available to get things done. I use the hours 6 am-8 pm as my productivity hours. I wake up at 6 am every day, and my days end around 8 pm. I am also able to color code my tasks and events with this tool. I can set my events to repeat, which makes it easier to maintain consistency. 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Was this helpful for you? How do you set goals and execute them? What tools do you use to help you execute your goals? How do you hold yourself accountable? Comment your thoughts on this topic below.

Baking Holiday Gingerbread Brownies

Merry Christmas!

I hope that this holiday season has brought peace and joy to you and your family. I know that the season has not been ideal for my family and I, but we have managed to create new traditions this year, with a little help from Walmart and their Gingerbread Brownie Kit. I have never made gingerbread houses or men before. The most holiday baking that my family would do before Christmas would be making sugar cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve.

I’m finding new ways to spread Christmas cheer by choosing to start new family traditions. When I saw these holiday baking projects on Pinterest, I became excited to introduce the idea of choosing one to bake with my family. I also asked a few of my followers on social media for their votes on each project and the brownies WON! I picked up our easy-to-use brownie kit from Wal-Mart and brought it home to bring lots of warmth, love, and laughter to our home.

My son Landon and I enjoyed baking these brownies together. I must admit that I was a little nervous about how “into this” he was going to be. Being a boy mom you never know what you will get when it comes to the things that boys like and dislike to do. I recorded a video of us baking our wonderful gingerbread brownies and you can watch it below. The Gingerbread Brownie Kit from Wal-Mart can be purchased in-store or online and includes a gingerbread cookie cutter, icing, and sprinkles.

Thank you for joining us in creating our first mother and son holiday tradition. We are wishing you a jolly Christmas and a prosperous New Year! Be sure to keep following us for more content in 2021!

What holiday traditions did you create this year? What traditions did you manage to keep or modify? How will you be keeping your season bright? Let us know in the comments below.

HOW TO MAKE CRAFT TURKEYS

Happy Thanksgiving!

Everyone is looking for safe ways to spend quality time with love ones during this holiday season. One way that I found a way to bond with my son, Landon, was to make craft turkeys! Who remembers making little projects like this when you were younger? This was simple to do and fun to make.

What you will need:

  1. Brown Cardstock
  2. Construction Paper
  3. Scissors
  4. Glue
  5. Sticky Tape
  6. Stapler/Staples
  7. Popsicle Sticks
  8. Pencil
  9. Googly Eyes

Instructions

Using a pencil, outline your hand on a piece of construction paper. Cut the outline of your hand with scissors. Save yourself some time by cutting multiple sheets of construction paper at once. I used six different pieces of construction paper for the feathers of my turkey.

After you’ve cut all of your feather hands, you will want to spread them out in a fan-like shape. Fold back the bottom pieces of the hands and staple them together. Next, cut two circles (one small, one large) out of the brown cardstock that you will need. These circles will represent the body of your turkey. Glue them in the middle of your stapled feather hands.

Reuse a piece of the construction paper to cut the two strips that you’ll need to make the turkey’s legs. Once you have your strips, fold them back and forth (accordian style). You’ll also want to reuse other pieces to cut out a beak, feet, and snood. Then, glue the pieces to the body, and glue the eyes as the final feature to your turkey.

Use some sticky tape to hold your popsicle stick to the turkey.


Making these paper turkeys brought back wonderful memories for me, growing up as child. I was happy to know that Landon enjoys simple crafts like these. How did we do? Let me know if you decide to make your own turkey project! Tag me in your holiday craft posts as well.

Answered: Your Burning Questions About My Favorite Things

I admit it. I forget that you all don’t know every little thing about me. I’m as open as I can be, but sometimes I like to keep a little bit of mystery. Now I’m answering your questions about things that you want to know more about, like my favorite things. 

People always seem to make a list of the things that they despise or dislike more than they seem to talk about the things that make them happy! We spend so much time focused on the things that we wish to change; without reflecting on what we love the most. The things that we love the most are what keeps us inspired and should help us to see that the things we dislike are minimal compared to the things that bring us joy. In no particular order, I created a list of my best-loved things.

Continue reading “Answered: Your Burning Questions About My Favorite Things”

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.

Continue reading “The Complete Guide To My Skincare Routine”

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.

Continue reading “8 Beginner Yoga Poses to Ease Anxiety and Depression”

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.

Home Skincare Obsessions You’ll Want: Veet 3- In- 1 Wax Strips

My followers on Instagram agreed that I should try body waxing and recommended that I try Veet’s 3-in-1 Wax Strips or Sensitive Precision Beauty Styler (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 wanted 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. 

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!

Scroll on to read more about Veet’s 3-in- 1 Wax Strips & the Waxing Body Kit

Veet has made waxing super fun, quick, and easy with their latest body waxing strips. I was able to wax under 25 mins & now I love body waxing at home!

Veet 3-in-1 waxing strips effectively removes hair close to the root in just a few minutes! The formula with cold wax strips quickly removes 95% of your hair at the first application while leaving your skin moisturized. It is best suited for sensitive skin as it is enriched with Shea Butter and Acai Berries fragrance that help nourish your skin and leaves behind salon-like glowing smooth skin with results lasting up to 28 days for a refreshing experience. The pre-cut body hair removal strips are for ready-to-apply action in seconds and perfect finish wipes will help clean up any remaining wax residue.

I purchased my wax kit from Amazon. 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 Veet 3-in- 1 Wax Strips 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, 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 3-in-1 Waxing Kit contents below.

The use of the 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.

How-to use Veet’s 3-in-1 Body Waxing Kit

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.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Very easy! I was so pleased and happy with the end result. 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.