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On Wednesdays We Wear

On Wednesdays We Wear


Is there anything better than brunch and catching up with your girlfriends? The correct answer is no. I could have spend hours catching up with my friends and discussing all the incredible things going on in each others life. The older we get, the harder it is to find the time to see each other. It's not that we are any less important to each other, we just all have jobs, husbands, boyfriends, kids etc that can take up our day to day life.
Cropped Sweater - Denim - Booties (chanel- can't buy online) - Cami

We decided getting together for Galentine's day was the perfect reason to stuff our faces with mimosas, eggs benedict and gossip. I used this occasion to wear this pink cropped cardigan. It is one of the items from my Valentine's Day inspiration post (here)




The cardigan is pretty different than what I typically go for. I don't wear a ton of bright colors but I couldn't resist this barbie pink. The bright candy color looks so good on most skin tones. The boxy, cropped style is a silhouette I thought I couldn't wear. Now that I've tried it, I wish I hadn't been avoiding it. Like anything, figuring out what to style it with is key. Keeping the bottom half slim fitting and high waisted, evened out my silhouette!

This cardigan also strikes the balance of casual and dressy. With jeans and booties I was ready for brunch or dinner with the girls. Without the undershirt, the vneck has a flirty neckline perfect for a date night or night out. Dark denim or leather pants and pointy toe pumps would complete the look.



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Kara Krittenbrink
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Why I had to Develop a Bedtime routine

Why I had to Develop a Bedtime routine


Sleep. We all need it and know its important for both our mental and physical health  While you sleep, your body is physically repairing itself. So much of our health is tied to our sleep, it is seen as important as the food you eat and exercise. Your stress level, hormones, immune system and so many other things are linked to sleep. I am by no means a health professional but I've learned, by my own experiences, how sleep can affect me.


But as I've learned, Just because you understand the importance of it doesn't mean you get enough. I am not a good sleeper. I wish I was one of those people that fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow but that rarely happens. I'm also typically a really light sleeper so I wake up a few times a night. Those facts, paired with the fact that I'm a night owl means many nights it's 1 a.m. and I find myself binge watching Grey's Anatomy because I can't sleep.

Sleep and anxiety are a vicious circle. Having enough sleep can help you battle anxiety but when your anxiety level is up, your sleep is affected. As someone that has struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember, I know firsthand how it can affect everything in your life, including sleep. I am constantly working on keeping my anxiety in check. I've several strategies for that, but that's another post.

Over the last year, I've really tried to find what works for me. My goals were: 1) fall asleep faster 2) stay asleep thru the night. While I'm still a long ways from having a perfect blissful night of sleep. I have learned a lot. I thought I would share my tips and tricks!

Create a Sleep Atmosphere - What is your ideal sleeping situation? Think about the light, sounds and temperature of your room. Dark airy room or do you need a little light and want wit warmer? Next think specifically about your bed. Does it feel comfortable, do you have the right pillows, comforter etc. It may cost a little to get the right items but the return on investment is well worth it. Soft silky sheets and a heavy but not hot comforter are ideal for me.

Have a Routine - A consistent routine will train your brain to know it's time for bed. Your body and mind will start to relax and get ready for rest. Ideally part of this routine would be going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. This will help with your circadian rhythm. I don't consistently go to bed at the same time but I do have a routine I go thru every time I go to bed (see below).

Try some Calming products - There is a whole plethora of products that claim to help you sleep. While I'm skeptical of most of them, there are a few things that seem to be proven to help. Melatonin is a natural supplement that can be taken to aid sleep. I've used it a few times, including on long haul flights. Not getting enough of the mineral magnesium from your diet can cause poor or troubled sleep. I've used this supplement to help with stress and sleep for a few years and have just started using the gummies as well. I am not a doctor, so please make sure you talk to a doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.

Supplements aren't the only thing that can have a calming affect. Drinking tea or another warm liquid can help you wind down. Just the ritual of making and sipping tea relaxes me. I'm also starting to learn about essential oils and how they help promote sleep. Lavender is a great one to start with. You can use a diffuser, spray or even a lotion to get the benefits. On of my best friends bought me this Lavender Aromatherapy lotion and I've been using on my hands each night before bed.

Get Rid of Distractions - Think of everything that keeps you from sleeping and find a way to get rid of it. My trouble is turning my mind off. To combat that as soon as I think of something I need to do or remember or work on, I immediately write it down! I will either write it on a sticky or even email myself if its a list! This helps me

Only Use Your Bed for Sleep - This is a really hard one for me because I love to relax and watch TV in bed! I've read a lot that keeping your bed only for sleep is really important. That way your body knows its time for bed every time you lay in it. I have


Taking all the tips and tricks I've learned and shared, I've created a routine that works for me. It is by no means for everyone, but it seems to work for me and has helped my quality of sleep.

My Routine
  1. Quick room pickup. 
  2. My nighttime skincare routine. (see here)
  3. Make some tea
  4. Relax in bed
  5. Read for 5 mins
  6. Use Lavender lotion on hands.
  7. Set TV timer 
  8. Sleep!
Do you have any tips or ideas for getting better sleep?



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Kara Krittenbrink
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Pink and Red

Pink and Red


1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 

Love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is around the corner! Whether you have a significant other or not, I love to use it as an excuse to wear some of my favorite colors. 

This weekend I am having brunch with some of my girlfriends for an early Galentine's celebration. I want a new outfit to wear and have been debating between this cropped sweater and bralette or this sweater dress! These earrings are so fun and make any outfit festive. I've also been wanting to invest in a cherry red bag and I can't stop thinking about this one!

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day?
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Kara Krittenbrink
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Monthly Book Round Up Vol 1.

Monthly Book Round Up Vol 1.



I have set a goal to spend more of my time reading. I want to use it as a time to shut off my phone and unwind. For me the thing about reading is the more I do it, the more I want to do it. I have a running list of books I want to read and they cover so many genres. It may seem as a cheat but I'm also listening to books on audible and counting it towards my goal for the year. I love listening to books while in the car, cooking or doing things around my house.

Since I hope to be reading more this year, I also plan on sharing what I'm reading more often. As always, this round up hits several different genres. I typically love switching thru genres and once I've read a little fiction, I crave some history or a biography.


The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile - For anyone getting starting studying the Enneagram, this is the best introductory book. I will be doing a whole post on the enneagram soon, so if you have no idea what I'm talking about, no worries. This book gives a great introduction to the enneagram as a whole and then each number gets its own chapter. At the end of the chapter are some questions for you to reflect on. I loved not only understanding my number but learning about the other numbers. I have several friends and family members who know their numbers and I've found I'm using strategies I learned in the book to communicate and relate to them better.



Becoming Michelle Obama by Michele Obama - READ THIS BOOK! I should stop my review right there because it's all you need to know. I haven't loved a book this much in awhile. Michelle writes in a way that is both relatable and aspirational. Understanding some of her inner conflict at becoming a public figure really gave me more of an understanding of her life as first lady. For me, the best part was when she talked about her struggle on whether to quit her job as an attorney and start a new career. It is inspiring for someone that is seen as being very successful, also had struggles along her path. 




The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory - It's your favorite romantic comedy movie in book form. I loved the main character and her inner monologue thru the book. Jasmine Guillory writes really strong female protagonists that are complicated and messy but someone you still pull for. This book follows the Wedding Date (reviewed here) but isn't necessarily a sequel because it doesn't have the same characters. It may be a bit predictable but that didn't make it any less of a page turner. 



Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O'Reilly - There is no way I could have a reading list without a little history. I've ready many books about WWII and the holocaust but nothing about the Japanese front of the war. This book explains the United State's strategy for that side of the conflict and what led up to the U.S's decision to drop the atomic bombs. For anyone interested in this part of history, this is interesting and factual at the same time. I have always been a person that believes you must learn about our past to understand the future and this book gave me a great understanding of the war. 



Turtles all the Way Down by John Green - A coming of age novel by an author I love. Turtles really gets you in the head of the teenage protagonist. She is trying to solve the mystery of a missing a billionaire and does so by befriending the billionaire's son. It's interesting and the characters are complex, which just adds to the intrigue of what happened. I wouldn't call this a mystery novel but it does keep you guessing throughout. 

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Kara Krittenbrink
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The Hills are Alive... in Salzburg

The Hills are Alive... in Salzburg




I made a plan to have this post out last Fall, right after my trip, but things got in the way and I'm now just finishing it. We started this trip in Paris (see here) and our next stop  was Salzburg, Austria. This city was a big bucket list item for me! Beyond the gorgeous views, Salzburg was the setting for the Sound of Music. 





Eat 

Some of our best meals on our 10 day trip were in Salzburg. One of the things you have to have is Apple Strudel. Sweets are my favorite and the strudel didn't disappoint.



Gasthaus Zwettlers - While in Austria you have to visit a traditional Austrian Pub. We found this restaurant on a couple lists and it was also recommended to us by a local. It has all of the charm of a pub house and the weiner schnitzel was excellent. It goes great with a half pint of the local beer.   





Triangel – Modern Austrian cuisine at its best. This place has a mixture of the traditional Austrian foods mixed in with local modern favorites. If you don't have a reservation, have a drink up at the bar while you wait. I recommend the dumplings or one of the fish dishes.


Pizza and Vino - This is my kind of place! It is some of the best pasta I've ever have. They have a different menu each night of 3 pasta dishes, one appetizer and 2 desserts.  There aren't any menus, but trust me, everything is amazing. 


See

Sound of Music Tour – It may sound a little cheesy, and sometimes it was, but the tour was so fun! There are several types of tours in Salzburg. Some are small groups, some on bikes and other on buses. We picked this one because of a recommendation and it didn’t 
disappoint. You stop at several places that are used in the filming of the movie and while on the bus you get some interesting facts and even some Salzburg history. I liked that we learned more than just about the movie.

Some of the stops are: Leopoldskron Castle (see more info in the stay section below), Hellbrun Castle, Nonberg Abbey, Wedding Church, and some amazing views of Salzburg![



  





Augustiner Brau - Being the largest Beer Garden in Salzburg, this is a must see! Grab a beer and take a look around, this place is huge! There are plenty of rooms to hang out in or if its a nice day, go outside. If you are hungry there are lots of food stalls with sweet and savory items. Give yourself plenty of time to hang out and enjoy the atmosphere.

Paragliding- Now I know this isn’t for the faint of heart, but it was one of the top experiences of my life! On our tour the day before, we saw several paragliders among our mountain views. To get up the mountain you take a bus and then at the top you meet your paraglider guide. After being put in the harness and a quick lesson you are attached to your guide and away you go. We paid to have pics and videos done while we were flying and it’s the best money I spent! Depending on the wins your ride can be anywhere between 20 and 45 minutes. We’ve been told that the Spring and early Summer are the best times to do it!





Wander the city - Walking thru the old town is a step back in time. The city is so charming and easily walkable. Get lost and wander the streets to see the different streets, fountains and so much more.  Salzburg was the home to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart so you can visit his home as well. 



Shopping – Walk thru the city center and you can do anything from high end shopping to trinkets. No matter what time of year you go, there are a few Christmas shops that have beautiful ornaments too.

Stay

Hotel Schloss Leopoldskon – I can’t recommend this hotel enough and we wish we could have stayed longer. The Hotel is a actually a former palace and home. The backyard of it and lake is the backyard of the Von Trapp home in the movie. On the sound of Music Tour you go by the hotel and see it from across the lake but you can only be on the grounds if you are a guest so it is pretty special to see in person. Breakfast is provided each day and its in one of the great ballrooms in the home. If it’s a nice day I recommend eating on the balcony, because the view can’t be beat! Staying here truly made our trip to Austria and I don't think I could stay anywhere else in Salzburg. 



One of my favorite moments in Salzburg was the free morning we had at the hotel. After breakfast we walked around the grounds and then I spent some time reading by the lake. The hotel is so helpful and their service is great. I like how small it feels and you truly feel like you are at an amazing home. It is a bit outside the city center but it’s not more than a 10 minute taxi ride to anywhere you want to go. They also have bikes you can use! I wish we could have ridden around the lake but it was raining the morning we planned to do that.


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Kara Krittenbrink
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