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Halloween Paw Fest Fundraiser at Doghouse Drinkery and Dog Park

Sell some art AND play with furry friends? Count me in! Doghouse Drinkery & Dog Park in Round Rock hosted a cute little popup during their Halloween Paw Fest Fundraiser, which included a dog costume contest and donation drive for Williamson County Animal Shelter. It was a small event, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. For me, my goal for the first year of this venture was to get as much experience with vendor shows as possible. If the cost to participate is low (or sometimes free), I encourage you to go for it! You will learn more each time you vend, and you will discover new and better ways to set up your booth. Plus, the more you set up and break down, the faster you will be at it. – Which can be beneficial for events that have a very specific window for setup and breakdown times. Don’t be afraid to sign up for even the small, lesser known events; you never know what kind of turnout there will be or what connections you will make.

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Frontier Days 2019

Just three months into this venture of mine, I boldly signed up for my first ever vendor event! The July 4th Frontier Days Celebration is a signature event in Round Rock, attracting thousands of visitors each year. The Parks & Recreation Department does an amazing job of offering an opportunity for artists and makers of all kinds to participate in this event. The celebration itself includes, but is not limited to, carnival rides, pig races, live music, and of course fireworks! As a spectator, we have enjoyed this event for a few years with our young daughter; it is well organized and full of activities to last all day. From a vendor standpoint, this was an excellent “first run” for me to engage with the community and get a feel for what to expect from these types of events. I definitely recommend participating in this event and I look forward to signing up again this year!

Tips & Tricks from my first rodeo

  1. Bring extra everything. Not of your work, although backups are always good to have… But possibly more importantly – extra tape, zip ties, paper, extension cords, picture hangers, and business cards.
  2. Be prepared for wind! Thankfully my husband is like my own personal MacGyver and knew to be prepared for anything. He brought the hot glue gun, three kinds of tape, string, a hammer and nails, and enough zip ties to last a lifetime (or at least 8 vendor shows). We ended up securing every canvas to the grid panels to prevent damage from the wind. And yes, we DID end up needing the hot glue gun, too. ?
  3.  Less can definitely be more. While your first show can be exciting, and you may want the world to know all that you have to offer, it’s not a bad idea to scale back. Don’t put all of your product out at once; give them something new to look at when they take your business card and visit your website or social media pages. Also, when browsing through a space at an event like this, people don’t want to be overwhelmed. It’s hard to focus on and become interested in something when you feel over stimulated and are given too many options.
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How often do you take time to think about, or try to improve your overall well-being? Perhaps not enough. Perhaps you don’t even realize you’re working against yourself!

Authors Tom Rath and Jim Harter wrote that there are five broad categories that are essential to most people when it comes to the fabric of their well-being.

*Career Well-being
*Social Well-being
*Financial Well-being
*Physical Well-being
*Community Well-being

I’d like to take a minute to share some tips for how to boost wellbeing in these five areas.

Let’s face it, many people don’t have the luxury of leaving a job they hate when they feel burnt out or whatever it may be… But the impact your career has on your well-being is a big one. If you are unable to do something that you enjoy and be happy about your career, you can still try to improve your career well-being. – Every day, utilize your strengths and build on them, and try to spend more social time and engage in conversation with the people and teams you enjoy the most.

Studies show that increased social time each day (on average, 6 hours) leads to less stress. So, to become less stressed and improve your social well-being, aim to get in as many of those 6 hours as you can. HA! Six hours sounds like a lifetime to all of us busy people out there, right? But don’t worry! This “social time” can be considered not just spending time with family or friends, but enjoying the company of colleagues at work and engaging in brief conversations that may not pertain to work, e-mailing/texting/chatting with friends, and of course, your standard social outings.  Even if you get in 30 minutes each day, you could feel better!

Here’s the real fun one. Financial well-being. Wouldn’t we all just LOVE to improve our financial well-being? Easier said than done, right? Well, the best tip I can give for this one is to invest in experiences! Spend more time, less money – on doing things with those you love. Or, spend money on something that means a lot to you – whether a gift for a friend, to a cause you believe in, or just treating your kiddos to an ice cream cone “just because” – rather than spending that money on material possessions. I promise, it works!  (although I’m definitely still a work in progress myself here)

Exercise and sleep! When it comes to physical well-being, it’s just about that simple. Get in at least 20 active minutes a day and try to instill routines that will allow you to be well-rested. Don’t worry, again, I know this is easier said than done.  But being mindful of it and *trying* as often as possible totally counts! Even if your 20 minutes consists of chasing toddlers around the house and walking out to check the mail. ?

When we do things for others, we are able to better see how we can make a difference, which boosts our confidence in our ability to create change. – To improve your community well-being, spend time discussing your passions and interests with others in an effort to get connected to groups and causes. Also, seek out opportunities within your community where you can contribute based on your personal mission.
So, there you have it! What are some ways you feel you can improve your overall well-being?

A few of my personal favorites are simply taking time for myself when necessary – to care for my health mentally and physically through personal development, exercise, and on most days, decent nutrition!  Connecting with my friends, even if through brief text conversations, definitely helps me out, too! 

Would love to hear some of your ideas in the comments!

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Chicken Veggie…?

You ever find yourself with a fridge full of veggies about to go bad? Yeah, me too. Don’t worry, though. We can take care of that with this one thrown-together meal…

Not sure what I would call it – Chicken Veggie Casserole? Umm Chicken Veggie Medley? How about Chicken Veggie Scrumptiousness? I like that. Let’s go with that.

Chicken Veggie Scrumptiousness

(Please note that I ALWAYS overcook – This will provide lunches for the hubs and I throughout the week, usually. Therefore, keep in mind to scale back the amounts of some of these, as my amounts are based on more than just one meal)

(Suggested) Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 5 medium size red potatoes, cubed – You can use sweet potatoes, too!  
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced 
  • 1 red (or whatever color you choose) bell pepper, sliced 
  • 1 pound bag of carrots (I ALWAYS do extra carrots – LOVE them), sliced 
  • 1 yellow (or green zucchini) squash, sliced 
  • 1/2 a bunch of asparagus, sliced (I cut mine twice – 3 pieces)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • thyme, rosemary, basil, pepper 
  • 1/2 to 1 cup organic, low sodium chicken broth
  • olive or coconut oil 


  • Preheat Oven to 425.
  • Keep carrots and potatoes separate from other veggies. Take all other veggies and garlic and toss in about 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil. Also toss carrots, potatoes, and chicken in oil, separately.
  • Pour chicken broth into casserole/Pyrex dish, and dump the chicken, potatoes, and carrots in. Sprinkle seasonings to your taste.
  • Bake this for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven, toss, and add remaining veggies (this separation allows the carrots and potatoes to cook fully but not to overcook your softer veggies). Season again if desired.
  • Place back in oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes (may take longer depending on size of your veggies and your desired veggie texture).

Feel free to share one of your favorite “thrown together” meals

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Avocado Egg Baskets

Not gonna lie…. You can take your guacamole and …. Please eat it away from me.

I’m not a fan of avocado. No matter what way you slice it, smash it, spread it – I just can’t get on that train. Please, for the love of all that is yummy, leave me at the station.

But, my husband, like many of you, probably… LOVES it! So, I thought I would share this  easy peasy hubby-hit with you…

Baked Avocado Egg Baskets

  • slice avocado and scoop out about a tablespoon of inside
  • lightly sprinkle with sea salt
  • crack egg into avocado 
  • sprinkle with pepper and Cilantro
  • drizzle with lime juice if desired
  • bake at preheated 400° for about 20 minutes
  • top with sliced grape tomatoes and chives

Avocado benefits: 

  • lowers cholesterol
  • chocked full of heart-healthy fatty acids
  • loaded with potassium and fiber 
  • boosts eye health 
  • eases arthritis symptoms 
  • so much more!

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Cast Iron Ribeye

My taste buds are in Heaven!

This quick and easy oven-to-stovetop garlic butter steak was AHHHH MAZING!

Paired it with skillet roasted red potatoes and oven roasted asparagus!

  • season steaks (we chose a well marbled ribeye) with sea salt and cracked pepper
  • bake for 35 minutes at 250° F
  • transfer to cast-iron skillet, preheated with 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • add 2 Tbsp butter, a few sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary, 3-4 garlic cloves
  • cook to desired doneness, turning and basting as you go

Don’t get me wrong, I love just having my hubby toss some steaks and veggies on the grill, but sometimes you gotta work with what you got. I think this was an excellent substitute, and husband-approved!

Who else loves cooking with cast iron?

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I Feel Better When I’m Dancing

I’ve played the “woe is me” and “the world is against me” game for far too long. 

The thing is – EVERYONE goes through storms in their lives. Some may be deemed “worse” than others’, but every storm is valid. Every obstacle and struggle that every person faces is worthy of being recognized, and not discredited just because someone else has thunder, rain AND lightning while you just have some thunder. 
You’re allowed to feel defeated. You are allowed to be stressed over your situation. You are allowed to be angry and overwhelmed. 

But can I make a suggestion? Don’t let that storm get the best of you. You may FEEL defeated, but don’t let it DEFEAT you. While the storm will most certainly pass, don’t just sit in a puddle of negativity while it does. Learn from it. Celebrate that there are lessons that can come from whatever life throws at you. Hell, celebrate the fact that you are even here another day to be able to DANCE in the rain. 

I, for one, have experienced quite the shift in my relationships and daily life just from practicing the art of not drowning in my anger, frustration, and disappointment when life’s storms are beating down on me. I’ve learned to ride it out, soak up every drop, and ask myself either what I can do to prevent that same situation in the future, or if it’s out of my control, what can I learn from it? 

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Embrace the Chaos (saying yes to the mess)

I’m always learning lessons in motherhood that apply in many of life’s other situations as well.

I remember a little over 2 years ago, my then only 3-year-old was preparing for her first ever ballet class. In typical Kristy fashion, I was anxious and freaking out that everything wasn’t going to be perfect, and that we would be late.

“Lily’s not eating! She needs to eat first! I suck at doing hair – she’s not cooperating. I’m not good at anything! Her tights are too small; we’ll have to stop for new ones!” The list goes on and on…

I needed a freaking chill pill like no other. Mommy was stressed and freaking out, and before you knew it, Lily was crying and saying she didn’t want to go. Way to go, mom. Ruin everything.

Needless to say, we had finally rushed out the door and got there with 7 minutes to spare. The moment I saw my daughter’s sweet face light up and watched her twirling away, everything was, in fact, perfect. I could slap myself for getting so frustrated. SO WHAT if we had been a few minutes late? SO WHAT if her hair wasn’t immaculately done up in a fancy bun?  SO WHAT if Lily didn’t eat first? I survive just fine if I skip breakfast. None of that mattered in the end. All that mattered was that we went; we showed up, and Lily had a blast. Not to mention did GREAT!

I was less than proud of myself but have been working on giving myself grace. Thank you, Lily, for then and now, consistently reminding me that sometimes I need to embrace the chaos. Because the end result is worth the chaos, but not worth the stress. Maybe next time I’ll just accept the mess that sometimes comes along with running a household and doing all the things! For we know that out of the mess, comes the masterpiece. And I cannot think of a better word to describe my sweet, happy, dancing daughter. A masterpiece.

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Set the Tone

Who else has trouble setting a positive tone for their day first thing in the morning?

I know I used to! Although it certainly may help if you’re waking up to head in (or stay in!) to a job you love, it never hurts to toss in some extras to get your mood right from the start!

Check out my top 4 tips on setting a positive tone for the day:

1) Don’t scroll social media pages before you start your day. Far too high a chance for negativity and distractions to creep their way in.

2) Say three positive affirmations upon waking each morning.

3) I try to be in my car and on the road early enough to catch the “Tell Me Something Good” segment on one of my favorite radio stations. – Positive and uplifting stories to get the good vibes flowing!

4) Jam out to at least two of my favorite, upbeat songs before I go in to work. Sometimes this means I sit in my car in the parking lot until the song is over. Yes, others may look at me like I’m crazy… But I’m on a mission to set the tone for my day!

I’d love to hear some of your favorite “get started right” tips for your morning! Drop a comment below to share!