A Perfect Summer Dress, Giveaway, and Happy Birthday Steph!

{Miss Direction dress c/o Kiki La'Rue, shoes F21 (last year), belt Express, watch Michael Kors, bracelets F21}

Good morning and happy Monday to you!

How does an awesome giveaway this morning sound?
Good, right?!
That's what I'm thinkin'!

For a couple weeks I had been eyeing certain dresses from the shop Kiki La'Rue, and then my day was made when the super sweet Becka offered to send me an item to review. Kiki La' Rue has so many trendy dresses, tops, and accesories that you can beautify your closet with and all of the prices are extremely reasonable. 
A win-win in my book!

I'm loving so many things from this shop.
After narrowing it down, I decided to go with the Miss Direction dress because of the bold, bright colors and chevron pattern. I'm so glad I did! This dress is extremely versatile and so comfortable...not to mention, it has pockets. So fun!  

You can dress it up with a wide belt and heels like I did for a night out,
 or it can be casual cute with a pair of flats.

Here's the fun part.

Kiki La'Rue is offering one of you a $50 shop credit!
All you have to do is enter this giveaway
..and pray hard that you win ;)

*The Miss Direction dress I'm wearing has recently been marked down
so if you win you can own and rock this dress around town, too! :)

Here are the rules:

-Follower of Keep Calm and Carry On via GFC
-"Like" Kiki La' Rue on Facebook and Create an Account on their website
(just click the top where it says "create an account" and enter your info!)

Extra fabulous ways to win:
-"Like" Keep Calm and Carry On on Facebook (+1)
-Follow @katiewkrysh on Twitter (+1)
-Tweet//Blog about this giveaway! (+1)

That's it!
Super easy to enter.

Winner will be announced on Friday.

*Do you see some things you like and want to shop right now?
 Kiki La' Rue is offering FREE SHIPPING to all KC&CO readers this week.
Enter "keepcalm" at checkout!

Lastly, today is an extremely special day!

It's my best friend Stephanie's day of birth.

Meeting Steph via blog world and going on vacation with her and her hubby was one of the best things I have ever done. I just love her to pieces and don't know what I would do without her. She is one of the sweetest, most gorgeous gals (inside and out) that I know, so please do me a favor and hop on over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday. Now! ;)

I'm going to squeeze you sillaay in 23 days, Steph!
Me, Ray J, and Rocky love you so much
 and hope you have an AMAZING birthday<3

How was everyone's weekend?!
I'll be back tomorrow with an update and a delicious recipe!
By the way...we had our first cookout with friends last night. It was lovely.
Plus it's supposed to be in the 80's all week which means me? = happy camper.



Anthro Finds {Meet Lia and Get Shop Credit!}

In the midst of all our house projects, I'm also trying to redecorate one of our guest bedrooms. My love affair with Anthropologie is no secret, but unfortunately I have to control myself when shopping there because it could cause some serious damage. And then I'd be cut off from shopping-and I can't have that. Am I the only one that has a hard time shopping online there or in store without wanting one of everything?

Anywho, we have the awesome "LOVE" DIY Wood Artwork that we made a while back (click here to see that project) that is hanging over the bed, so I decided to go the rustic route with the other decorations.

Lately, I've been ooohing and aaahing over any and all rustic looking rooms.
I decided to buy these two beauties from Anthro...

Tree "K" Monogram

Repurposed wood frame

I'm also planning on hanging the burlap first dance picture frame
that I did for Billy for Easter in this room to go with them.

...and if someone wants to buy me this beautiful wood dresser
I wouldn't hate it.


What do you think about what I chose to spurce up the room?
I just wanted to add some subtle touches to add to the "love" wood artwork.

Do you love rustic rooms/decorations like I do?
or do you kinda hate it? (that is ok, too ;))

Any other recommendations for me?!
I'm all ears!

Moving on to the REAL point of today's post--
my awesome friend Lia (who is also from TX!) is here.
I've gotten to know Lia the past couple months and she is so sweet.
Lia is a pretty big deal here in the blog world...
So if you don't know her yet, this is your chance!

Lia has the cutest Etsy shop and is offering readers
a shop credit. We all love that, right? Right.

...time to meet Lia :)
make sure to go say Hello, friends!
You will LOVE her blog.


Hi ya'll! I'm Lia Joy and I blog over at life is aMAYESing!
I'm so happy to be here at Keep Calm & Carry On!
Katie's blog is one of my absolute favorites!!

I'm a Texas girl, through and through. I am equal parts country girl and city girl.
My husband and I call Fort Worth, Texas home, but we are both very much at home on our family's ranch.
{we even got engaged on the ranch}
I have a journalism degree from Texas A&M University and I am the Communications Director for a non-profit organization. I absolutely love my job!

Over in my neck of the woods, you'll find me blogging about everything from life with my wonderful husband to my passions for fashion, cooking, crafting and hunting {I told you I was part country girl!}...

My husband of almost two years, Corby, is a CPA here in Fort Worth.
And, ya'll, I am sooo glad that tax season is OVER!

Here's some random facts about yours truly...
*I am a former ballerina
*I am addicted to reality TV
*I love to shop
*I am a lover of iced coffee
*My dream is to own a bakery with my mom one day
*I'm obsessed with Aggie football
*I consider sarcasm a way of life

Remember how I said that every once in a while, you'll find me blogging about crafting??
I have an Etsy shop {Joyful and Chic} that I put my heart and soul into.

And just for all you Keep Calm & Carry On readers, I'm offering a
15% off discount on all purchases!

Just enter the following code at checkout...

Sooo... Come over sometime and say hi!
I love "meeting" new bloggers!

blog | twitter | facebook

I adore those signs Lia.
Go on over and meet this gorgeous gal!

PS-Is it friday yet?



Boating Season! {What I Bring + a Winner}

Happy Wednesday, loves!

Summer is right around the corner {this month has seriously flown by..} and I got to thinking about my favorite summer traditions or things that we like to do.
In exactly one month, it will be my BIRTHDAY. Turning the big 2-7.
{if you need my address for gifts...let me know ;)}
So, it's only fitting to talk about something that we will be doing
 over my birthday weekend and is just overall one of my favorite things to do in the summer!

That girl with her hand up, but head cut off?
That'd be me.


My husband and his family LOVE to go boating. His grandparents have the cutest cottage on Catawba Island (right by Put in Bay - about 2 1/2 hours from us) with a boat and Billy's parents just bought a boat last year {pictured above}, so I feel really lucky that we can typically go whenever we want! Our friends also have a cottage right down the street from Billy's grandparents so it's great that we can go and hang out with them too. Billy is obsessed with boats. He would probably live on one if he could {might look a leetttle odd in our suburb}. Therefore, there will be many weekends spent at the cottage this upcoming year and I couldn't be more excited...

I mean... who doesn't like boating, fishing (yes, I fish believe it or not and I love it!), jetskiing, boozing in the sun, cooking out, listening to country music, cornhole, camping out with family + friends?

I know I do.

When all my blogger loves come in town for my birthday,
our plan is to take them to the cottage that weekend so they can experience it, too.
Glamping, anyone? (RHOC reference) 

I have a few things I NEED to have with me {and I'm not talking about a Corona Light even though that is on the list} in order to have a successful boating trip.

1. A cute coverup
 (you know, for when you've overdosed on sun exposure)
2. My favorite Ray Bans
3. A KILLER playlist full of boating songs
Think: Beer In Mexico
4. Comfortable but stylish sandals 

It doesn't take much in the summer to have fun.
As long as the sun is shining and I've got my loves around me,
I'm good to go. 

heck, I don't even do my hair most of the time...
as you can see from these pictures.

So, what are your favorite summer activites?
Share with me!

*Finally, the WINNER of my Shabby Apple giveaway is....
Haley W. at I Can Only Imagine

I Can Only Imagine...

Congratulations, girl!
We will be in touch.



No Bake Energy Bites

These little balls are one of those things that once you make them, you can't believe you went so long before without them.
That good.

If you have ten minutes, then you can throw these together and you're set for the week with a healthy breakfast option, a refueling option after a workout, or an afternoon snack. Simply perfect if you ask me!

Make these now and become obsessed with them like I am. :)
Did I mention they taste like cookies somewhat?

No Bake Energy Bites:
adapted from Gimme Some Oven

-1 cup old fashioned oats (dry)
-3/4 to 1 cup toasted coconut flakes
-1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-1/2 cup ground flaxseed
-1/3 cup honey
-1 tsp vanilla

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like (mine being around 1".)
Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Makes about 20-25 balls.

....and the best part?
You can substitute the chocolate chips for dried fruits or nuts. You can also use nut butter in place of the peanut butter. So many fun, easy options!

We've been snacking on these in our house ever since I made them late last week and they're almost gone. Crowd pleaser right here I'm tellin ya.
It's your turn now...get to making these and let me know how much you love them your thoughts after!

I also have a new favorite snack that you need to know about.
Have you heard of Popcorn Indiana? They created the first popcorn chip, called Chip ins, and I'm 100% smitten. They are all natural, whole grain, ZERO trans fat, and Gluten Free. Along with having no artificial flavors or preservatives. Chip ins are hot air popped which means they aren't baked or fried. They have approx. 130 calories per 18 popcorn chips. Have I sold you yet?!

They come in 4 different flavors: white cheddar, buffalo wing, sea salt, and jalapeno ranch. The flavor that first got me hooked was the sea salt and it was pretty evident because I ate the entire bag in one sitting. 

Now that I've made you starving this morning...
hop on over to your local store and pick up a bag of these.
{you can find Chip ins at: Costco, Whole Foods, Walmart, or Walgreen retailers} 


Weekend in Photos

The weekend is over?
I think I may be in denial...
OK, I know I'm in denial.

This weekend went by wayyy too fast. We spent a lot of time around the house doing various projects (but the to-do list is getting smaller!) and talking to nice workers at Home Depot for over an hour, but Saturday afternoon we celebrated my stepbrother's 5 kids' birthdays. If you are new around here, my stepbrother has quintuplets (five!) that are now 12 years old, and they also have another baby girl named Lindsey. For their birthday party, they had a bus come that is filled with video games. The kids loved it. They also have a zipline in their backyard so everyone was taking turns on it..pretty cool, huh?

Since I'm tired beyond belief...here's my weekend via pics.

Me and my niece Mara

Lindsey..how precious is she?

new blog print that I'm kind crazy about. :)

Let's talk briefly about my super amazing hubs.
This weekend he finished refurbishing our kitchen table
 to exactly what I wanted!
The top of it is the same color as our wood floors
 and the base is an off white color.
I'm so proud of him..he did such a good job.
I will do a whole blog post on this soon once we get chairs,
so if you have a table that needs a makeover-stay tuned!
(the before pic was after he sanded it down-it didn't look that bad before!)

In exactly ONE month we will be picking up
Steph and BBFT/tubby from the Columbus airport!!!!
{and shortly after that Erica & Jess will be joining us for what I'm sure is going to be an unforgettable weekend :)}

EXCITED is an understatement, people.

How did you spend your weekend?!

*Don't forget today is the last day to enter my Shabby Apple
$50 gift card giveaway! Winner will be announced tomorrow.



Lately {2 Smoothie Recipes, PhotoDump, Sports}

..and a special thank you.

Happy Friday, friendalings!

I feel like I have a lot to cover today. I haven't been sharing much about what's been going on in el life-o lately so I wanted to do a little update of sorts, and also share some great healthy smoothie/juice recipes I've been making.

First things first...
-I have to say thank you to my loving husband for working on our house every night for the past two weeks. I made a huge to-do list with projects and he's been working hard to get them done for me. I've been helping too on what I can, but he's been conquering most of them. So far, we have completely re-done one of our guest bedrooms, have an almost done refurnished kitchen table, and are in the process of 50 other small things.
Thank you babe for being such a good sport!

-Sports are starting back up for us. Yes, us. Billy just started softball and I love watching the man play. He is so athletic and let's be honest..that is a turn on. Also, I'm getting BACK into soccer (remember my knee injury?) My knee has made improvements and I've waited 6 months, so I hope my knee is ready to get back into it. Honestly, I've missed it so much and really pray my knee holds up. Therefore, I've decided that I'm not running the half marathon this May. I would rather be 110% ready for this soccer season and do what I love, than run it and risk screwing it up before I start playing. I'm sad about it, but I had to make a choice. Soccer (playing the sport I love) > running half marathon (to me).

{you lookin' at the butt? ...I am.}

-Other than house projects and sports, not much else is new. I've switched to working out in the mornings so I have more time at night to get things done and as hard as it is to get out of bed so early - it's worth it. Spinning makes me extremely happy.

Before summer comes, I always try and add more juices/smoothies into my diet. I use my Mom's juicer (from like 1990 but still works like new and I love that it was hers) and I love making different combo's with it.
(If you are looking for a juicer: I recommend the brand Breville.)

Here are 2 different drinks that will jump start your day (and diet!):

This juice is all fruits. Feel free to add some spinach in the mix.
Ingredients: 2 apples, 2 oranges, 1 kiwi, a handful of strawberries.
Outcome? DELISH.

Next up...

Berry Spinach Smoothie:

-3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
-1 scoop chocolate or vanilla protein powder (I use chocolate b/c well I love chocolate)
-1 cup frozen berries (I do strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
-Handful of fresh pineapple
-Handful of spinach

Add a little water for blending purposes. Blend all together!
I promise you you can't taste the spinach in this.

...and lastly-Friday photo dump.
taken via Instagram (@whalenkat)

1. My favorite summertime appetizer: tomato, basil, mozzarella tossed with EVOO, salt, pepper (and add some balsamic!)
2. Text conversations in the middle of the night with Stephy.
3. Rocky looking like a STUD.
4. New coach sandals!

5. OOTN: Girls night to Wine Bistro
6. I found these gold metallic boat shoes last year at Forever21 for $13! Love 'em. 

*If you do any online shopping this weekend-remember to shop through E bates to earn cash back. I just used it the other day and earned $5.00 back :)
Sign up: HERE

**Still time to enter my Shabby Apple $50.00 gift card GIVEAWAY!

Enjoy your weekend.



In The Spotlight: Blazers & Sami Girl

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If I were to pick one thing I always gravitate to buying when I'm out shopping - it would definitely be a good blazer. Whether they are loose, fitted, solid or striped I'm in love with how effortless they look and how many different styles you can create with them. They are usually my go-to piece when I'm not feeling anything else in my closet simply because you can pair them with so many things.

I've created quite the collection of striped blazers (coral and white, black and white, cream and navy..) over the years and I have to literally say outloud to myself "your wallet is closed", via Confessions of A Shopaholic, when I see others I like. With that being said, I do believe blazers are classic and you can never have enough. ;) I've recently become smitten with bright colored blazers and the hot pink one I found a few months ago has quickly become a favorite of mine.

What is your favorite color for a blazer right now?
Do you love blazers as much as I do?

Just like blazers, this girl I'm about to introduce you to is a favorite of mine.
Her name is Sami and she's got killer style, a killer blog,
anddd she's BFF with Gavin Degraw.
Her precious puppy Lily would definitely be Rocky's girlfriend if they met. For sure.
Sami just wrote a hilarious post "Things Girls Love That Guys Hate"
and it's so great.
You definitely need to get to know her.

Take it away, miss Sami!

Hello fellow Keep Calm & Carry On lovers!
Isn't Katie the sweetest?
If we are being honest here,
I should tell you that reading Katie's blog was one of the reasons I decided to jump into it myself!
Which I did, in December of this past year.
Yes, I've only been blogging for 4 months and I'm still learning everyday..
but I absolutely love it!

Before I get carried away I should probably introduce myself..
Hi, I'm Sami and I blog over @ Sami's Shenanigans!

I was born and raised in Colorado and currently live in Denver,

but I've also spend some time in Oklahoma and Texas.
These places will always hold a special place in my heart!

My blog is a little bit of everything because I write about all of the things I love in my crazy life.
From cooking and fashion, to music and Pinterest, I just about cover it all.
You'll hear me talk about Gavin DeGraw, my favorite TV shows, and my love for Instagram.

Gavin and I are kind of BFF's..nbd.

I will also post wayyy to many pictures of my sweet Chihuahua/Min Pin mix, Lily!

Is she not the sweetest little girl you've ever seen?
I saved her from a not so happy childhood, which you can read about here.

I love sharing my crazy stories and I my hope is that others will enjoy reading them.
Come on over and see for yourself, I would LOVE to have you!

Have a fabulous day :)


Don't you love her already?
Lily is SO precious & you are so kind for saving her.
I love stories like that.
Now, get going and go to Sami's blog and say hello!

Email me for more info.

**I'm giving away a $50.00 gift card to Shabby Apple

PS-If your name is Caroline and you sent me {the sweetest} comment the other day, please leave me a comment with your email address so I can respond! Thanx!