A Not-So-Basic Bikini

Hey Cats!

Happy Wednesday! I’m getting a bit of a late start again this week…but this time I really have no excuse. But! At the end of this week (so Friday) I have a HUGE announcement that I cannot wait to share! Eeeeee!! But I’m determined to keep it in until then. So let’s jump right in!

I’m sure some of you may be tired of hearing about my trip to Miami, but honestly, I don’t care because it was fabulous. However, one thing that was not so fabulous was trying to cram all of my clothes into a carry-on. I am a severe over-packer, so even though we were there for just two days, I had trouble deciding what I needed and what I could live without. I mean, I’ve got to have options! One solution to this dilemma? A bikini that you can change every day!

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This BeachGal bikini comes with different attachments you can add to shake up your look! Pictured above is the bikini by itself with no attachments, which is a fun, classic look. This is perfect for day one on the beach!

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For Day 2, add a fun ruffle to both the top and the bottom- or just one! The attachments snap on quite easily, but hold well enough so you don’t lose a ruffle on the beach- no one wants that.

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Looking for a little more bling? This sequin trim is perfect for laying by the pool! Keep in mind that each trim option comes with pieces for both the top and bottom of the bikini. There are also many other colors- black, coral, leopard, and hot pink. I went with Aqua since it matched my floppy hat!

I received this product courtesy of BeachGal Swim in exchange for a review, so I’m going to give my honest opinion. This bikini is very well-made, definitely better quality than the Target swimsuits I own! However, if I were to try it on in the store, I don’t think I would have taken it home with me. The bottoms fit well and have a lot of coverage, but the top did not cover everything the way I would prefer. I’m pretty modest when it comes to swimsuits, and the cut of the top didn’t exactly match my taste. But other than that, I think this is a great concept in swimwear, and is a great option for those of us with Severe Over-Packing Syndrome!

How do you save room in your suitcase? Let me know!

That’s all for meow!

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Mi-i-iami! Vacation Recap

Hey Cats!

Did you miss me last week? While I had an awesome time on my trip, I definitely missed blogging a bit! It’s good to be back in the swing of things! Hopefully this week will be less crazy than last week! I was on vacation Sunday-Wednesday, went to work on Thursday, where I was surprised with cookies to celebrate my one year anniversary with the company, then left early due to severe weather (more flooding in The Woodlands) and left early again on Friday due to continued flooding. I’m honestly just looking forward to a nice, normal week! And for El Nino to calm himself, because Houston is tired of all these floods. I digress.

Y’all. Miami was THE. BEST. I’ve never taken a full-fledged girl’s trip before (most likely because I’ve never been gainfully employed and if I would have asked my parents to send me to the beach with my friends they would have said, LOL, no). But it was seriously so fun. If you’ve never taken a trip with your closest friends, you need to do it. Even if you’re like, 80. The laughs, the memories, and the sass are unforgettable. Also, it was fabulous to not do work for like three whole days.

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First things first, our condo was incredible. We stayed at Marenas Resort in Sunny Isles, and had a view of both the ocean and the city, which was great. Our room had a kitchen, living room, and awesome balcony that we took way too many photos on. Also, the pool was great, and each day we had our own little chairs on the beach! I got plenty of use out of my monogrammed floppy hat and breezy cover-up!

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Since we were only there for three days, we had lots of adventure to pack in! We drove around in our sassy little rent car that we named Sasha, to the Everglades for an airboat tour (complete with holding a baby alligator, OMG), and to the Port of Miami for jet ski tours! We only got lost once, which is kind of a huge accomplishment considering the road system in Florida is incredibly confusing.

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We had “Fancy Dinner Night”, which ended with no one loving their expensive food and McFlurry’s on the way home. But we looked real cute! As you can tell, we had a blast the entire time. No one got tired of each other (that I know of) and we even watched the premier of The Bachelorette on Monday night, complete with pizza and brackets- we’ve decided to be hardcore fans this season. It was like living with your best friends but no one has responsibilities and you can just have fun all the time. I want that to happen every day.

 

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This was a great trip, for many reasons! It was a great way to celebrate one year of post-grad life, an awesome time with my friends, and a wonderful way to relax!  My friends and I realized that before we went on this trip, we’d never even spent the night at each other’s houses. By the end, we had seen it all: a 3 am wakeup call for a 5 am flight, a full day with only 2 hours of sleep, devouring a whole bag of peanut butter M&Ms in one day, forgotten clothing, and hangry attitudes whilst running through the Atlanta airport trying to catch our flight back to Houston. It’s safe to say that this trip was a bonding experience- but an unforgettable one at that!

I know reading about the beach isn’t the same as going- but I had to share! Stay tuned, as next week I will be sharing my Girl’s Trip Must-Haves, now that I’m a seasoned vacation professional.

That’s all for meow!

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Packing List: Beach Trip

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Hey Cats!

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend! I went to the pool twice, slept in, got sub-par pedicures with my besties, and  bought the cutest flamingo tee, so I would say it was a success. But today it’s back to work!

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In a few weeks, I’m headed to Florida on vacation with two of my friends, and I’m beside myself with excitement! This is my first big trip with just my friends, so it should be tons of fun! Not to mention I love the beach. I’ve had months to procure the perfect pieces to stuff into my suitcase, and I’ve honestly probably spent way too much money. But whatever. Here’s what will be in my bag:

SWIM:

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I tried so hard to find a new swimsuit for this trip, but I couldn’t find anything I liked. But I have plenty of suits from past summers that I still love, so it’s okay! I’m bringing my monogrammed bandeau from Marley Lilly paired with coral bottoms, which is probably my favorite swimsuit ever. I’m also bringing a one piece, since one pieces are in right now. I’ve had this one since high school so obviously it’s no longer available, but I’m loving this palm print, this simple blue, and this bright Mara Hoffman suit! My third suit is from Old Navy and also is no longer available, but this one is really similar!

BEACH ACCESSORIES

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I bought this monogrammed floppy hat for two reasons: my Kentucky Derby-themed Junior League party this week and the beach. They have so many fun colors, but I chose blue because it matches my Lilly dress I’m wearing to the event (insert hair flip emoji). It also matches my cover-up! I’m loving the simple white with blue stitching! I bought it at Forever 21, but unfortunately can’t find it online (I did see one in the store this weekend!), but I’m loving this similar option, this similar color scheme, or this colorful caftan!

CASUAL OUTFITS

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We’re planning on going to do lots of fun things like snorkeling and riding jet skis, so honestly I will probably be wearing Norts and a tee for those activities. But I will need a few cute outfits, of course! I’m bringing my new flamingo tee paired with my favorite boyfriend shorts, which will be perfect for exploring! I’m also bringing my leopard shorts and black tank, which will be great for a casual dinner. Of course, I can’t forget this integral part of my romper collection. It’s Lilly for Target (from the kid’s section), but I love this Lilly Pulitzer option, this solid blue, and this cute print!

GOING OUT ATTIRE

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I don’t anticipate going out too much, except for fancy dinner one night. But we’re still three weeks out and I cannot decide for the life of me what outfit to bring! It’s a stressor for me right now. I’m loving this striped romper (similar options here, here, and here) and nude heel combo, but I’m also loving the below options!

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I bought this black romper a few months back and I’m in love! I think it’s definitely going to be a staple this summer. There’s also my bird dress that I’m obsessed with and am always looking for excuses to wear. P.S., if birds aren’t your thing but you still want to wear something out of the box, try this dress! It’s on my “to buy” list for sure.

So that’s it! Those are the only pieces I’m taking to the beach. And if you believe that, you obviously don’t know me. What are your beach essentials? Let me know!

That’s all for meow!

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Living the Beach Life-Vacation 2013!

Hey Cats!

As I mentioned, my family and I went to South Padre this week! It was so great to have a little break from work, and to just spend time with my family. I LOVE the beach, and it’s been two years since I’ve been, so I was thrilled to be back! The first day we went to the beach in the morning, and then went back to our condo to get ready for dinner, which was super fun, but we got a little too much sun! Also, one of my best friends from school (and one of my roommates for next year!) lives in the area, so she came to visit me! It was so much fun to get to see her and catch up with her, and it made me ready to be back at school living with her and our other bestie!

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The next day, we did a little sightseeing!

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My sister and I at the top of the lighthouse!

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My delicious crab legs I ate for lunch one day! I love crab, and I only get it at the beach, because it’s fresh. However, kitchen shears were a little awkward and messy!

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I’m not really one for souvenir t-shirts anymore, so I got this headband instead. I love these fat, cloth headbands, especially when I’m at school and don’t feel like fixing my hair!

It was a great trip, and I’m glad I got to spend time with my family!

Where is your favorite spot to go on vacation?

That’s all for Meow!

Beach Essentials

Hey Cats!

My family and I are at the beach this week! I love the beach, so it’s great to be in the sun and have a small break from work! Today was our first full day, and it was absolutely perfect. I personally am not one to lay out on the beach all day- I like to play in the water and catch waves with my dad and sister! I always like to wear a hat at the beach, partly because it protects me from the sun, but mostly because it just makes me feel fabulous. I tried to find a floppy straw hat (Unfortunately I dropped mine in the ocean the last time we were at the beach and it’s ruined.), but it was impossible! I reluctantly settled for a fedora, which I kind of can’t believe since I have loathed them forever- but now, I love it! it’s not as big as a floppy hat, so I don’t have to worry about it getting in my way as much! While at Target purchasing the fedora, I came across the perfect beach nail polish, and it was on sale! This is Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in Man-go Team! My sister and I are both using it this week! And you know about my oversized round sunglasses that I got instead of the $290 Prada frames I loved. (I have news about this-coming soon!) All three of these items are essentials for my trip to the beach!

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Everything pictured is from Target (of course).

Are you going on vacation this summer? Where are you going and what can you not live without while you’re there?

That’s all for Meow!

Kristen Takes New York- Part 2

Hey Cats!

So, I know that I said I was going to write the next part of my NYC story like, a week ago, but I was busy with things like math classes (merr merrrr), crafts, family reunions, obsessively cleaning my room (it’s become a new thing for me), sleeping, and other things. Also, I just didn’t really feel like it, or once I thought about it, it was too late & I was ready to go to sleep. And this is the third day I’ve been working on writing all this down. It seems my writing kicks don’t last long enough to get everything out at once. Nevertheless, here it is. This part will be mostly about the mission part of the trip, which was the best part, and the real reason for the trip.

Day 1:
After we landed in Jersey, we rode for like, almost four hours to our destination, Crossroads Church in Farmingdale. It was actually a fun ride, we went through Brooklyn, past Coney Island, and probably some other cool things I don’t really remember. Also, I got my first glimpse of the city, and from that moment on I was absolutely IN LOVE. Even from far away, I could tell it was so exciting and wonderful, but I’ll expand on that when we talk about the city :). Once we reached the church, we went to our rooms, children’s Sunday school classrooms with cots. It was really nice not to have to sleep on the floor, and they even had our beds made when we got there! Which brings me to the people at Crossroads. They were WONDERFUL. They were so accomodating and we got very close to each other. Their love for Jesus was very apparent in everything they did, many of them had moved all the way from Texas to Long Island to be a part of what God is doing in Long Island. It was awesome to see such obedience to the Lord, and I pray that I will be able to be so trusting and obedient to whatever God is calling me to do. After we got settled, we ate dinner, and then I’m pretty sure I went to sleep soon after that, because my exhaustion was immense.

Day 2:
Our first full day in Long Island was Sunday, and also Mother’s Day. We woke up pretty early to help get ready for church. Part of our group went to another church in Long Island, and I’m honestly not too sure what they did there. But I stayed with three other girls, and we worked in the nursery. I worked with my friend Morgan in the baby classroom, and it was so fun! We only had three kids, but they were adorable. One little boy was dressed better than some college boys I’ve seen, and he was absolutely precious. We attempted to make Mother’s Day crafts with them, but they weren’t very interested, so we kind of gave up on that, and played instead. After the church service, we had lunch and then headed to the beach! We didn’t know we were going to get to do that, so it was a wonderful surprise! I can’t remember what the beach was called, but it was absolutely gorgeous. The sand was super white, and the water was much cleaner than it is in the Gulf of Mexico! As pretty as it was, the water was FREEZING. Apparently, the middle of May isn’t considered summer on the East Coast like it is here in Texas. But it also wasn’t deathly hot sitting out on the sand either, so you could say it was perfect. I will definitely be going back! Anyways, after we took an obnoxious amount of sorority pictures, we took a stroll along the beach. It was great, until we ran into the nude beach and had to turn around. No, I’m not kidding. It was absolutely disgusting, and frankly, I don’t want to talk about it. We hung out for a while, just sprawled out on towels, talking and watching the New Yorkers. It was a great afternoon. After we were sufficiently sandy, we piled back into our van and made our way back into town. However, on our way back, we stopped by a property the church was considering buying. It was an old church that was bigger than the one they are currently in, and a house for the pastor and his family to live in. The pastor told us that they would really like to get the property, because it was in a great location, and they would be able to expand. We all prayed over the property, that God would provide it if it was His Will, which was an awesome experience. Later that week, we found out that they were able to purchase the building. It was so incredible to see God working to expand Crossroads in such a huge way in the small time that we were there. I’m not really sure when the church will move into the facility, but I know they are so excited about the things God will do in the new location, and I am too! After that, we went to the two-story Wal-Mart that was in a mall, because people forgot things, me being one of those people. Naturally. Most of the girls were amazed that it was two-story, I was baffled that it was connected to a mall. I guess you can get your clothes & groceries at the same time…Efficient. After that, we went back to the church, stuffed bags to pass out, and soon went to sleep.

Day 3:
This was our first “working day” on the trip. Half of us woke up super early to go pass out bags at the train station. I don’t really know what time it was, but the sun was up, which isn’t saying much, because the sun is like, blazing by 5 a.m. there, and it threw me for a HUGE loop. Anyways, the bags had a granola bar, a bottle of water, a couple of pieces of candy, and a flyer about a baseball camp the church puts on every year. The baseball camp is what Crossroads uses to reach the Farmingdale community. The pastor explained that through the camp, they are able to build relationships with people in the community and bring the Gospel to them. He told us that the “need” in New York is not physical, but spiritual. Most people have everything they need and more, but are desperately in need of love, and that is the mission of Crossroads, to spread the news about the love of God. On the other side of the flyer was information about Faith & Family Night with the New York Mets. The pastor told us that for the first time ever, the Mets have decided to have a Faith and Family night, a baseball game with a Mercy Me concert afterwards, and they asked Crossroads to partner with them. He explained that while these are common in the South, they are extremely rare in New York, so it was a big deal that the church was able to be apart of it. So, back to passing out the bags. It was very intimidating at first, to be honest. The pastor just let us out of the van and we were left to pass out all the bags, alone in a strange place at 6 a.m. We went up to the platform, and started asking people if they “would like a snack to take to work today”. A lot of people said no, and a few asked us how much it cost. I was afraid that people would be rude, since that’s supposedly the norm in NY, but I learned that if you are nice and friendly to them, they will be nice back. It only took us about fifteen minutes to pass out the bags, so we were back to the church by 6:30 or so, and I crawled back into my cot & slept for another hour. After my nap, we had breakfast & then set out to pass out baseball camp flyers in the neighborhoods around Crossroads. We were split into groups of 4, given a map, a general area to stay in, and stacks of flyers, and then let loose in Farmingdale. It was SO MUCH FUN. We just walked around and stuck the flyers in people’s doorknobs for like, four hours. I got to be really good friends with the girls in my group, just by walking around and talking. After lunch, we got a little tired, and sat down on the sidewalk, which apparently isn’t normal, because we got some strange looks. That night, a few of us went to help a lady who goes to Crossroads. She hurt her back and couldn’t clean her house, so we made beds, did the dishes, vaccuumed, and cleaned up the kitchen. When we got back, we all watched the premiere of The Bachelorette (the beginning of my obsession…if she doesn’t pick Sean, I WILL. #bye). And it was a wonderful evening. We then went to sleep, for the next day was…….our trip TO THE CITY!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to tell you allllllllll about it!
(But not now, I’m tired, and I have to get up at 7:30 to go learn about logarithms and calculating interest and who knows what else.) These two days really showed me that God can use things like baseball and snack bags for His Kingdom & to draw people to Him. God is doing absolutely amazing and HUGE things in New York, and I am so blessed to have been able to be involved in His work.

Little Lambs on the beach!

Next time I’ll talk about my adventures in the city and how I’m absolutely OBSESSED. Until next time!