The Perfect Balance of Raw & Refined

Husbands and dads are seriously so hard to shop for. Or maybe, it’s just my husband and my dad. Seriously though, I never know what to get them when it comes time to find a gift. When I was little, I was all about the DIY gifting….I mean, I think my dad might still have the makeshift glitter golfball “snow-globe” I made him when I was nine. (You saved that….right pops?) Anyway, as I’ve gotten older and my DIY projects have taken a backseat, it’s been a fun challenge to look for gifts that are both functional and unique while not being too trendy or techy.

When JORD offered to send me over one of their men’s watches to review, I jumped at the opportunity. My dad had just mentioned his watch was about to bite the dust and being that my husband just isn’t much of a watch guy, I figured it would make the perfect belated birthday/early Father’s Day present for my dad. And, my dad was a builder for 25+ years, so I knew the rugged yet refined look of the watch would appeal to him.

I admit, I was pretty darn skeptical when I first heard of a watch made out of wood. I mean, furniture and houses are made out of wood, but a watch? After carefully reviewing the different options, we settled on the Dover in Olive & Acacia, a beautiful blend of light and dark wood with stunning details on the watch face. A quick wrist measurement and pops’ wood watch was on its way to North Dakota.

After only a few days, I picked up the watch at the post office and was just absolutely floored by the craftsmanship of this watch….maybe I could just size the band down and my dear-old-dad would forget that I was ever supposed to send it to him?? Nah. I’ll just add it to my Christmas list for next year….

Before we wrapped things up and shipped this beauty off to southern California, my husband and I headed out to show this sweet, little watch around North Dakota and though he probably wouldn’t admit it, the stunning mix of raw material and refined style almost turned my husband into a watch guy. As for pops, he’s lovin’ it and probably already has a watch tan from his new favorite accessory.

Want to win $100 to spend on your very own JORD watch?!

Head over to https://www.woodwatches.com/g/lillycristy for a chance to win! And, as an added bonus everyone who enters gets $25 off their purchase. Say what!? Contest closes on April 23 at 11:59pm so hop to it!

Thank you JORD for sponsoring this post. I received free product in exchange for writing a review on my blog. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Dressed and Ready with PinkBlush + a Giveaway!

Growing up with two brothers, I hated wearing dresses. All I wanted to do was climb trees, build forts and dig to China. But my sweet mama wouldn’t have any of it. As much as I fought to be a tomboy, she had a rule that I wore a dress to school at least two times a week. I dreaded those days.

Fast forward a couple decades and my closet is busting at the seams with dresses, bows and lace and I absolutely love embracing a more feminine style. Sure, I love a good flannel and leggings, but dresses? Now those are my jam.

But with my attempts to pursue a more minimalistic wardrobe it can sometimes be a difficult task to find a dress that I truly love and can wear all year round. So when I came across this adorable boho inspired tunic at PinkBlush I was thrilled to have a piece to add to my closet that I felt covered all seasons. I wore it with a cozy shawl, over-the-knee boots and tights for a wintertime look, but I could easily pair it with sandals, wedges or even Converse for a sweet, summery look. A few of my other favorites at PinkBlush were this maroon sequin dress (all the heart eyes), this mauve wrap dress (my husbands favorite!) and this maroon off-the-shoulder dress (love this trend.)

I love the color combination (the maroon details were perfect) and how well it paired with so many different sweaters and jackets already in my closet. The neckline was something that I wouldn’t normally pick out, but I ended up loving it and it really gave a little extra something to the dress. Loose, flowy dresses are my favorite so it came as no surprise to me when I found out that PinkBlush offers an amazing section of beautiful maternity dresses. (No mom, I’m not pregnant.) BUT I will say that part of me loves that their dresses are so versatile that they can be worn throughout the many seasons of life. It’s good to know that this cute dress won’t be left in the dust someday when we do decide to start having kids.

*Giveaway closed* Want to win $50 to spend at PinkBlush on yourself?! Share your go-to outfit below in the comments and be entered to win a little shopping spree! Giveaway runs until Tuesday, 12/20. Winner will be announced and contacted on Wednesday 12/21. Good luck! 

Thank you PinkBlush for sponsoring this post. I received free product in exchange for writing a review on my blog. All opinions expressed are my own. 

 

All photos via Bri Lee

Harvest Apple Cider Mules

Usually I’m all wrapped up in pumpkin this time of year — but as we head into November, I think I out-pumpkined myself so I decided to switch it up. Now, I’m all wrapped up in anything and everything apple. Between my new Maple Apple Bourbon candle, my overflowing apple basket and this yummy drink, I think it’s safe to say I’ve got a little crush on anything and everything apple. Don’t worry, I’m not abandoning my pumpkin obsession completely….we’re just taking a break.

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There’s just something so crisp and sweet about apples in the fall. Between apple picking and apple pie, apples just evoke that cozy fall feeling that so many of us love. And while I didn’t make it out to an apple orchard this fall, I’m crossing my fingers that my five pound box of apples from Costco will carry me through this next season of apple pies, apple muffins and my new favorite….apples mules.

These harvest apple cider mules just make me want to, pull on my biggest sweater and softest leggings, light a fire, curl up in my coziest blanket and sip until my belly is warm and my heart content. Cheers to the holiday season being officially underway my friends!

Apple Cider Mules

Yields: 2

4 oz. Apple Vodka

4 oz. Ginger Beer

4 oz. Apple Cider

Cinnamon sticks

Apple Slices

A squeeze of lemon

Stir, stip & enjoy!

Lil

5 Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Money

A few months ago, my husband and I went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and boy did I learn a thing or twenty. You see, I always thought of myself as a “saver” but that was pretty quickly denounced only a few weeks into the class (ok, ok by a few weeks…I mean the first class.)

“I knew how to manage my money and make a budget before, but if I’m being super honest, I wasn’t ever very good at sticking to that budget.”

As newlyweds trying to pay off debt while paying for grad school and dreaming of someday owning a home and a decent car, my husband and I have had to really dig deep into this whole money management thing. At times it’s made us (me) crazy, but it’s been the biggest blessing in our marriage. I’ve gone from barely treading water with student loan debt, credit card debt, car payments, wedding expenses, travel expenses and on and on, to now feeling empowered and in control of our money. Although our road to financial freedom may be long, windy and a bit bumpy at times, we look forward to the day when debt is no longer a word in our vocabulary.

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So, here’s what I’ve learned so far from the man himself, Dave Ramsey.

  1. You can’t afford that. No but seriously, you can’t. Yeah, so all those little things us 20-somethings think we’ve just gotta have?? (New car, new clothes, new, new, new…) I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford them anymore.
  2. There is no such thing as “good debt.” Money owed is money owed. Whether it’s for a home, a car, a college education or whatever it may be, owing money to anyone makes you a slave to the lender.
  3. Budgeting is king. Ever get to the end of the month and wonder what happened to all of your money? Yeah me too. Budgeting helps us tell our money what to do and where to go so it doesn’t dissappear.
  4. It’s Gods money first. Even though my husband and I are trying to diligently chip away at our debt, we want to always have hearts that are giving cheerfully; to the church, to those in need or in any circumstance where we have the opportunity and heart desire to be generous.
  5. Live like no one else now, so that you can live like no one else later. People will laugh, they will mock, they won’t understand what you’re doing or why you’re doing it, but this commitment to live sacrificially, pay off debt, save, invest and give sets us up for the life that we desire down the road.

So there you have it folks. The short and sweet version of money, budgets and all that adult stuff. Want to learn more about Financial Peace University? I’d love to chat with you about our experience so far! It’s been life changing. Press on friends!Lil

Making My Social [Media] Life Easier with CoSchedule

I started a new job about a month ago…hence me being completely MIA from this blog. Y’all probably thought I overdosed on pumpkin chocolate chip cookies after that last post, didn’t you? Almost, but not quite.

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Trying to manage 12+ social media accounts for my new job, stay awake during my side job, figure out this whole marriage thing and somehow still manage my own social media accounts has been straight up exhausting at times. A total joy, but it’s lot guys. So one of the first things I did when all of this fell onto my plate at once was sign up for CoSchedule. I’ve had an on and off relationship with CoSchedule for the past two years and finally have accepted that I really just can’t live without it.

So here I am, a month into this new hectic life and I’m convinced that CoSchedule really is the best. It keeps me organized and  on task at my day job while helping my personal social media remain consistent and cohesive, despite the busyness of every day. And as much as I’d love to be at home blogging up a storm 24/7, the reality is that I have two other jobs so that’s just not a possibility. But with CoSchedule, I can make my content work for me while I’m working my 9-5. No more excuses for not staying on top of my social media and blogging.

So what the heck is CoSchedule?! Pull up a chair….you don’t want to miss this.

You could call it the best thing since sliced bread, but that might be a little too cliche. Instead, we’ll call it your digital secretary, your all-in-one calendar, or really — your new best friend. CoSchedule allows you to see your entire month at a glance; including what you’ve already shared and what’s coming down the pipeline. For me, this is a game changer. It allows me to see where there are gaps in my social calendar and fill them in accordingly.

Another favorite feature in CoSchedule is the ability to drag and drop. Whether it’s moving social posts around, grabbing blog posts from my drafts folder or moving meetings, to-do’s or events; this has to be one of the coolest parts of CoSchedule. Usually I’m a paper planner kind of gal, but CoSchedule has completely changed that when it comes to how I plan and promote my content. It’s clean, simple and at times, even fun to have the chance to see everything in one place.

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As my blog continues to grow, I can’t wait to see how I’ll have the chance to utilize some of the other key features now available in CoSchedule. I have a feeling workflow management and other integrations will definitely come in handy!

So overall impression of CoSchedule? It’s a game changer people. Without it, my blog would be long dead and gone. But because CoSchedule makes it all so simple and user friendly, I’m able to stay organized, seamlessly plan and promote my content and do it all while I work way too many hours every day. So without further ado, meet your new best friend; CoSchedule.

Photos by Bri Lee

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