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.

How To Create a Beautiful Image Backdrop on a Budget

Do you love to take quality picture and video content? Have you ever found yourself trying to take the perfect photograph for your Instagram feed, but your background looks a mess? Maybe you’re a blogger/ vlogger trying to record a video but your shower curtain is photo bombing you because that’s the only space where you can create. You could be trying to take the cutest photo of your kid for a special occasion without wanting to pay a photographer for services. Photography services can be expensive!

Having backdrops can really enhance your photo and video aesthetic value to your digital content. That’s why professionals like photographers and videographers rely on them so heavily! You, too, can have your very own backdrop sis! What’s even better is that you can make a backdrop yourself, saving money on future professional photography services forever. Woohoo!

While social distancing I have been creating lots of content but I’ve been lacking in being able to have a “universal” go-to place for where I create my pictures and videos. In the midst of conveying my thoughts, sharing my experiences and opinions, I realize that it’s certain things I don’t want shown in my content (I love y’all but you don’t need to be seeing my shower curtain). So, I hopped on Pinterest to search ideas for photo/video backdrops and backgrounds. I soon learned the basic essentials to making a flower wall backdrop! This was a great idea, as people use flower walls for backdrops for weddings and baby showers. Pinterest makes every thing seem so easy!

Here’s a list of all the materials that I used to create my Sunflower backdrop wall. The grid panel frames I got from Amazon. All flowers were ordered from eFavor Mart.

Note: LIFE + STYLE with Kris receives commission for using Amazon products for the projects that I share in posts.  Although I receive a commission for using and linking their products, they are extremely good for my projects. All opinions and suggestions are unbiased.

10-Pack Grid Plant Wall Frames ($25.99)

Hot Glue Gun + Glue Sticks ($8.99)

Thumb Tacks ($5.99)

The steps that I took to building my Sunflower wall actually were as simplistic as Pinterest made it seem to be. There really aren’t many steps involved in building a backdrop BUT it is time consuming. I decided to share the parts involved in making my wall that I crafted over a week’s time span (six days to be exact). I could have completed this in less than six days and you may be able to finish in a shorter timeframe; I wasn’t in a rush to complete it. I wanted it to turn out beautiful and honestly, I had so much fun making it!

Build Your Panel Frames

I used the beautiful chocolate carnation flowers as what I call my “base” color. The panel size dimensions are 19 x 14in. and require a lot of artificial flowers. There are over 100 pegs to fill! To fill them, simply attach the stem of your artificial flower to the peg on each panel frame. I used nine panel frames for my backdrop. I originally wanted a combination of different carnations (chocolate and cream) but made a choice to forego. Buying flowers in bulk can be expensive!

TIP: Think about what color(s) you will use in great detail. The more color you want, the more money you will spend.

Gluing Paper Flowers

If you choose the perfect flower, you may not want to add additional details. I added white paper roses to the center of my carnations for a 3D look. Using a hot glue gun, I glued the roses to every other carnation for each panel frame.

TIP: If you are fine with the flower you’ve already used, then you can easily move on to attaching your panel frames to your wall.

Place Frames on the Wall

Designate your space/area where you will build your frames. I used a wall in our home office because that’s where I go to create most of my digital content. I used thumb tacks to pine each panel closely together evenly.

TIP: Building a full wall is great for full body images. If you are going to use your backdrop for mainly selfies/headshots, you should use less (roughly six) panels.

Continue Adding Embellishments: Peony Flowers

The last task for me to execute is adding the peony flowers. They arrive flat after ordering, so I had to fluff out 12 paper peony flowers before attaching them to the frames. Each peony has a clear string hook that makes for easy attachment. I love that they also came with peel-off adhesives! I should have ordered more of these (probably will go back and buy more).