12.31.2015

Auld Lang Syne, Welcome 2016!

As I'm writing this post, it's the last and final day of 2015 and all I can seem to think about is… where does the time go?! Am I right? This year seemed to fly by even quicker than the last.

To end this year and ring in the new one, I wanted to do a post reflecting on 2015 and looking ahead to our new year of 2016! This post will look back at some of the highlights of 2015, what I've learned from this year, what I hope to accomplish in the new year and what's to come for this blog! It's going to be a fun one! And to make this post even more enjoyable, I've included some goofy photos from this year's outfit photo sessions. Enjoy :)




When the wind is your worst enemy!

Best of 2015

This year has brought so many wonderful moments, lots of new friendships and countless new memories. Here's a look back at some of the highlights:

  • I made so many wonderful new friends. From blogging, to new friendships at work and meeting new Tennesseans in DC, I've formed some great new relationships. Even more so, I've strengthened some old friendships and new ones have grown even closer. 
  • I went to my first blogging conference in Charleston
  • I celebrated one year as a blogger (let's be honest, I never thought it'd grow to be what it is today!)
  • Hosted my first fashion related event; a fashion show at Bloomingdale's!
  • Married off two of my closest friends, Ashton and Ryan!
  • My Tennessee Vols finally had a great football season and are heading to a pretty big bowl game!
  • Spent Christmas in Walt Disney World.
  • Moved into a brand new apartment and living on my own for the first time, ever!


When you let your friends take outfit photos for you, yet they make fun of every pose you do. You can't help but laugh at their comments, ha!

Favorite Blog Posts from 2015

It has been another BIG year for Primp & Proper!! I mean, 162 blog posts, WOW! If you read them all, a huge THANK YOU to you (looking at you mom)! If you missed some or joined the party recently, here's a look back at some of my favorite posts from this year:



Wait, I need to take a sip. Taking outfit photos is hard work y'all!

What I've Learned from 2015

This year has brought its amazing moments, many new memories, a few hardships, as well as lots of new beginnings and friendships! Let me be honest… the past few weeks I've been counting down the days till 2016. Eager for a fresh start and a new year. I've been pretty excited for 2015 to be left in the past. This year has definitely been the hardest for me. Why you may ask? Probably because this is the first year that I've really felt the waves and punches of being an adult.

For 25 years I sort of breezed through life, enjoying it's moments and never really had to deal with things like death in the family, a broken heart, needing to save money and create a budget, or more health issues than normal. It was a true "wake me up" year. And while I faced many firsts, I realize that it's just part of life. Yes I may think this year was hard, but the truth is… life is hard. And it's only going to get harder. So while I at first didn't understand why all these things were happening back, to back, to back. I know that these things will make me stronger in the New Year.



Not sure what I'm looking at on the ground... 

What I Hope to Accomplish in 2016

I honestly can't wait for the new year! There are so many exciting things coming up. From a trip to New York City in February, to decorating my new apartment, and celebrating the weddings of a few great friends, I'm already eager to get this year started.

This section of the post is typically where I'd list all my new year resolutions. But let's be honest. Does anyone really accomplish those? I can't even tell you what mine were from last year. So instead of making a list of twenty unrealistic goals, I instead want to set three:
  1. Learn to live in the moment more. Stop always looking ahead and enjoy the present. 
  2. Strengthen my friendships and my relationship with those around me. That includes my relationship with Christ. If anyone has good Church recommendations in the DC area, please let me know!
  3. Leave the past… in the past. I've done it, learned from it, and moving on from it all!
I think these three things are definitely accomplishable. These aren't finite things like "get in shape" or "make more money." While we all hope to attain those things, these three items are actually doable. And I plan to make sure I stick to them.




Oh look, food!!

What's Ahead for Primp & Proper

There are SO many exciting things ahead for my blog! Starting with a little site refresh. While I love the current site, I've decided that I want my little space on the web to have a more professional feel. That means taking a step toward a crisper, cleaner layout. Easier to read, quicker to find past posts, and larger font. If y'all have any suggestions or anything in particular you want to see, design wise, please comment below! I'd love to hear your ideas!!

Aside from the design of my blog, there will be lots of new content coming your way in the new year. I've got a lot of fun things in the works! Especially throughout the month of January. 

I'm heading to New York City in February for New York Fashion Week. This is my first time in NYC during fashion week and I'm so thankful that I get to be apart of the madness. I'm traveling up with a few best friends and can't wait to share more details as we get closer. This means lots of posts in preparation and taking y'all along for the ride. So stay tuned!

I'll also be sharing some moving related posts over the next few weeks. Featuring photos of my new place, inspiration photos for my apartment decor, as well as moving tips. For someone who has moved six times in the past eight years, I've acquired lots of knowledge in this department. 

Thank You

Finally, I just have to take a second to THANK all of you. For coming to this little space on the web. Whether today is your first visit or 100th, I can't thank you enough for following along on my blogging journey. I've said it many times, I never thought my blog would grow from 10 readers to several thousand. I mean, wow y'all!! I'm truly blown away by the support, comments, emails and social media love!! So from the bottom of my heart, thank you! And hope you all have a blessed and Happy New Year! Cheers to 2016 my friends!

12.30.2015

Disney Christmas Vacation, Part 2

Happy hump day y'all!! I'm in the heart of moving apartments today, but I wanted to take the time to share the second part of my Disney Christmas Vacation! I hope y'all enjoyed Part I yesterday!



Thursday, December 24 - Christmas Eve

After a busy first two days, we decided to slow things down a bit and venture to Animal Kingdom.




This is another park that you can do in about half a day if needed. **PRO Tip: Animal Kingdom is the first park to close, so if you're going to do two parks in one day, I recommend starting early in the morning at Animal Kingdom. 

My favorite part of Animal Kingdom is the Safari Ride. You would never know you're in central Florida. Once you board the truck, you're instantly transported to an African environment.



In this 25 minute tour, you get to see so many different kinds of animals. Everything from elephants, giraffes, gorillas, ostriches, to alligators and flamingos! No two safari rides are the same, so my family and I like to do the ride several times while we're at Disney.

One of the coolest things we saw were the giant gorillas and their babies! They came so close to us and were extremely active for the time of day we were there. I got so many pictures and the babies were absolutely adorable!



One of the best roller coasters can be found at Animal Kingdom as well! Mt. Everest is one of the longest and more fun coasters at Disney! It goes backwards, and has a huge drop towards the end. **PRO Tip: The single riders line is by far the shortest wait. We literally rode the ride three times in a row, just by choosing this line!

After a few hours at the park, we headed back to the resort to change for our Christmas Eve dinner. My mom got us reservations at Artist Pointe; one of the nicest restaurants on Disney property and can be found at the Wilderness Lodge.

Prior to dinner, we took the boat from Magic Kingdom to Disney's Grand Floridian resort.



By far the nicest and most fancy resort on Disney property. They had a giant Christmas tree in their lobby, plus a life-size gingerbread house! You could buy the actual gingerbread shingles off the house! They were incredibly delicious!

Once dinner was over, we rode the boat back to Magic Kingdom and took the bus back to our resort. We had some family time back in our room and rested up for an eventful Christmas Day!

Friday, December 25 - Christmas Day

Christmas morning we woke up and watched the Disney parade on TV, while at Disney! Kind of funny. We saw a similar version of the parade just a few days prior at Magic Kingdom! How great is this shot of Santa?!



My family and I decided to keep one tradition, by filling stockings with a few goodies. Our room had the perfect place to hang them for the week. I ended up getting my mom the Kendra Scott necklace she had been wanting and my dad a brand new Steelers sweater vest he asked for. It was the least I could do for my parents planning such a wonderful Christmas Vacation!

After opening our stockings, we got ready and headed to Hollywood Studios for the day. This is my favorite park of the four. It has the most rides, the coolest shows, and has the best nighttime water show!



We spent the entire Christmas Day at Hollywood Studios. Just riding rides and ending the day watching the Fantasmic water show. This nighttime show shoots hundreds of gallons of water in the air and projects a show, right onto the water! There are floats and the night ends with a huge boat, carrying all the major Disney characters! I definitely recommend getting a fast pass for this show!

Saturday, December 26 - Last Full day

Our last day at Disney we had nothing planned. We originally were going to go to Universal Studios and Harry Potter World, but we were just too tired to wake up early to take full advantage of a day at these parks. So we slept in before deciding what to do.

My mom had the idea of seeing how much it'd cost to add an additional day at the Disney theme parks. Thinking it'd cost quite a bit to do this, my mom still headed to the concierge to inquire. She was greeted by a man, who unbeknownst to her, was one of the resort managers. She asked about adding an additional day, and he said, "let me make some magic happen for you! Wait right here." About five minutes later, the man came back out with FREE passes to all the parks for our last day + three fast passes to use on any rides we wanted!! How is that for some magic?! We couldn't believe it!!

Disney really aims to please and this truly made our trip that much better! We first headed back to Animal Kingdom, then hopped over to Magic Kingdom for dinner at Be Our Guest. This restaurant is Beauty and the Beast themed, with characters visiting throughout your meal. Our host was The Beast, and he greeted you several times while you ate.



If you're visiting Disney in the near future, make reservations for Be Our Guest now! This dinner fills up months in advance and my brother actually was able to find a cancellation for us on the Disney app. So we thankfully got in last minute.

The meal was the best we had all week. The french onion soup is incredible as an appetizer, and my meal of shrimp, lobster and scallops was the best I had had in years! My dad loved his pork chop and my mother's pork roast was to die for. And honestly the food isn't that expensive when you think about the fact you're at Disney. It was worth every penny! Plus, you get your picture made with The Beast at the end of your meal!

We ended the night back at Hollywood Studios for a few more rides and to checkout the Osbourne City Lights Display once again!



Y'all, this is the largest light display I've ever seen! Sadly this is the last year for the display, but it was an incredible sight to see. Lights everywhere you looked, and themed music that coordinated with the flashing lights. We stood there for nearly 30 minutes both nights, just watching the show!

Sunday, December 27 - Back to DC

Ahh, the end of my vacation. I was exhausted at this point and had averaged about 15,000 steps a day! You definitely don't need to watch what you eat throughout the week, because you're most certainly walking it off!

Sadly all good things must come to an end, so I packed up and headed back to the airport to fly back to DC.

It was a truly magical week in Disney and I loved spending it with my family! If you're thinking of visiting Disney soon, have any questions about my trip or for your own upcoming trip, feel free to email me! Happy to answer any questions or provide any tips!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with loved ones as well. I know it's a little late, but Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my family to yours!! Xo




kristyn
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12.29.2015

Disney Christmas Vacation, Part I

Alright folks, here it is… Part I of my Disney Christmas Vacation recap!



For Christmas this year, my family decided to forgo presents under the tree and instead take a trip to one of our favorite vacation spots.

Some of y'all may wonder why two twenty year-olds would want to go to Disney World with their parents for vacation. Most people consider Disney to be for children. But, that's so not the case! My family is all about having something to do when we're on a trip. Relaxation isn't really in our vocabulary. So growing up, we went to Disney quite a bit. Disney offers something for anyone and everyone, at all ages! Trust me when I say, it doesn't matter what age you are. You'll be able to find something you'll enjoy!

I'm breaking my recaps down by days and in two parts. There's just too much to share in one post! I'll go ahead and apologize for the lengthy posts, but I promise they're worth the read! For those of you planning to visit Disney in the near future, I've added some tips throughout the posts. They'll be italicized in red!




Tuesday, December 22nd 

Last Tuesday I flew down to Orlando and met my family at our home-away-from-home for the week. We've stayed at several of the resorts, but Port Orleans has always been our favorite. There's actually two Port Orleans resorts on the same property. One is called French Quarter, and has a more Mardi Gras themed decor. The other is called Riverside, and where we stayed this trip. Riverside has a more antebellum, Southern theme. Think white columns, lots of foliage and wood accents. It felt like we were on a Southern plantation!

We decided to spend our first day at Epcot.



Unless you're going to eat or drink your way around the world, you can do Epcot in about half a day. There are a few rides at this park, but most of the entertainment comes from walking around the various countries that are featured throughout the park. My favorite was walking through Germany. My mother's side of the family is German, so I felt right at home with my giant Mickey shaped pretzel and German beer!





For those of you getting ready to visit Disney, or planning to go in the near future, my one tip is to make reservations at a restaurant before your trip. The same goes for any of the parks! Most places throughout the Disney theme parks only take reservations, no walk-ups. Thankfully my mom made reservations at Nine Dragons in China at Epcot. Honestly, don't waste your money at this place. The food was extremely expensive and no better than your average Chinese delivery at home. The service was very slow… took almost three hours for four of us to eat. Our favorite place to eat is the hibachi restaurant in Japan. They cook right in front of you, and definitely better quality food!

After eating a late lunch, we headed over to the America area and got in line for the Candlelight Processional.



Every holiday season, choirs from all across the country join the Disney Symphony, and a celebrity, to sing Christmas carols and tell the story of Jesus' birth. It was absolutely incredible. If you're ever going to be at Disney during the holidays, I highly recommend doing this!! **PRO Tip: If you get a reservation at one of the Epcot restaurants, free Fast Pass tickets come with your meal. This particular show fills up fast, so most people waiting in stand by have to stand at the back of the amphitheater or may have to purchase a ticket for $20.**

We finished the evening by riding a few more rides and then headed back to the hotel. It was a long day and I had been up since 4:00 a.m. for my flight! So sleep was definitely in order.


Wednesday, December 23rd 

The next day we chose to head to Magic Kingdom! **PRO Tip: If you're going to be in Disney during the holidays, avoid Magic Kingdom on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. These are the most crowded days of the year for this park!




I would allow a full day for Magic Kingdom. Between waiting in line for the rides, waiting to get your picture with the characters, to attending all the shows, parades and firework presentation later in the night, you'll need an entire day to do it all.

We found that most of the characters are at Magic Kingdom, and spread throughout the park. We got lucky and saw Snow White right when we walked in.



Most of the character lines took about 30-40 minutes to get through. Mickey took about an hour. But you can't go to Disney and not get your picture made with Mickey!



If you're going to visit Disney during the holidays, you must bring your patience and plan ahead. The crowds are the largest this time of year. Like I said before, my family has been to Disney many times. We've never seen it this crowded. Most of the day was spent fighting the mob of people and waiting in lines. As beautiful as Disney is during the holidays, I'd avoid this time of year if you have small children.

The only thing that helps cut down on your wait time is Fast Pass. Disney has updated their entire system and you now receive a Magic Band to wear while you're on Disney property. It looks similar to a fit-bit, but doesn't track your steps. Instead, your credit card is linked to it and so are your fast passes. That way you can literally tap your band at checkout to pay for food and souvenirs, and tap your band to enter the fast pass lines.

Fast pass is a designated window of time that you can sign up for particular rides and shows. Fast pass allows you to skip the wait lines and head straight to the ride. So for one ride that may have a 120 minute wait for stand by guests, the fast pass cuts your wait down to about 15-20 minutes (if that). It really is a great system, and you're allowed to schedule three at a time per day! **PRO Tip: don't waste your fast passes on shows. Use them for rides. Most shows offer plenty of seat space for stand by! Also, once you use all three fast passes in the day, you can head to a kiosk and add another fast pass to your band. This is when I'd recommend using a fast pass for late night shows.




We rode quite a few rides on Wednesday, including my favorite, Space Mountain. We met a few more characters, ate dinner, and then stayed late for the light parade and fireworks show. This visit was even more exciting because Cinderella's Castle was decorated in thousands of lights that changed colors throughout the night. **PRO Tip: Try to find a spot along main street that offers a view of the castle and a view of the street for the light parade. The fireworks, castle holiday show and parade are back-to-back, so you can literally stay in the same place the entire time!




Magic Kingdom is the most popular park of all four, so make sure you come with extra patience and time. Especially during the holidays!

Tomorrow I'll be recapping Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and my final day at Disney! I'll be sharing photos from the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios theme parks as well. Stop back by the blog in the morning!!

12.28.2015

Back to Reality + Sale Alerts

Back to reality…




It seems like Christmas vacation was over just as quick as it began! This was the first Christmas I spent away from Knoxville and in an untraditional way. While I enjoy the traditions of the holidays, it was nice to escape reality this year and just enjoy a fun vacation with my parents and brother. This year has been insanely busy, so a few days of fun in the sun was exactly what I needed.

Did y'all have a wonderful Christmas? I hope Santa brought everything you asked for and more!

I'll be recapping my Disney vacation with y'all tomorrow and Wednesday. There are just too many photos, stories and Disney tips & tricks to share in just one post! I'll be rounding out the week on the blog with a look back at 2015 + looking ahead to the new year. Oh, and as promised, those blog blooper photos are coming your way Friday!!

To keep things light and easy for today (hey, I'm still in vacation mode y'all), I've rounded up a few post Christmas sales below. Make sure you take advantage of the biggest one of them all, the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale! Save up to 50% on some of your favorite name brands!! I'm sharing a few of my favorite sale items below. Just scroll through and click on the images of your favorites to shop:




Other great sales:

Ann Taylor Semi-Annual Sale (Up to 70% off all sale styles)
BaubleBar Post Christmas Clean-Up (save up to 65%)
Express End-of-Season Sale (Up to 60% off)
J.Crew (extra 40% off all winter sale styles)
Kate Spade NY (25% off all sale items with code THRILL)
LOFT (50% off everything with code HOLIDAY50)
Madewell (Extra 30% off sale styles)


kristyn
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12.22.2015

Instagram Lately

THREE more sleeps till Christmas!!

Currently I'm jet setting to sunny Orlando, Florida! This morning I was in thirty degree temps, and I'll be spending the remainder of my Tuesday in 80 degree weather. Isn't that crazy? Packing for five days in summer like weather, during the beginning of winter, is next to near impossible. Still, I think I managed to scrounge up a few things for the week.

I'll just go ahead and apologize for the outrageous amount of Instagrams coming your way over the next few days. Be sure to follow along on all my adventures through Disney, Christmas festivities, Universal Studios and HARRY POTTER WORLD!!! Jealous yet? Ha, just kidding. But seriously, make sure you're following along, here.

Speaking of Instagram, it has been awhile since I've done an Instagram roundup. So today, I'm featuring some of my most recent Instagrams + outfit details for those of you who may have missed these posts:




Monthly Birchbox Subscription

Some of my favorite Birchbox products:






A peek from Union Station!



The gorgeous tree at Bethesda Row!



A sneak peek of my new apartment!! How HUGE and amazing is this kitchen?! I can't wait to bake up a storm in here. More photos + moving related posts, coming soon!



Some of the amazing friends that I've made this year!! So blessed
to have these ladies in my life!!

Alicia // Lauren // Me // Laura // Jenn
Caroline // Cathy // Katie // Monica

As a heads up, the blog posts may be a little sparse over the next week or so. After a crazy fall, few weeks of being sick and down for the count, I plan to take full advantage of my vacation!! With that said, there won't be any lack of social media posts. I can tell you that! Follow my handles below! Oh, and there's lots of fun content coming at you post Christmas, through the beginning of the new year! So stay tuned!! Xo

kristyn
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12.18.2015

Friday Link Love, Vol. 15



Happy Friday everyone!! Only SEVEN more sleeps till Christmas!! Can you believe that?! That means only a few more days left to shop and ship. Make sure you checkout my friend Katie's shipping deadline graphic I featured earlier this month. Finish strong y'all (meaning, don't let your Mother's present arrive two days after Christmas)!!

This week has put me behind with my own shopping and wrapping. I had every intention of getting things done the beginning of this week (hence why there was no post Monday/Tuesday). But the ole immune system decided otherwise. A terrible cold this time of year is just mean. I hate not being able to enjoy the holidays fully. But not to fret. I'm hoping to feel better by tomorrow, and if so, I'll be taking full advantage of my last weekend in DC before flying to Orlando. Going to brunch with friends, hit up the Zoo Lights display at the National Zoo, and see as many Christmas trees in DC as I possibly can. Stay tuned for some fun Instagrams this weekend!!

But before we all head off to our Christmas plans, let's discuss some link love shall we?!

Shop With Me
  • A pineapple shaped tumbler??!! This is too good to pass up (so is the price)! If only this could come in time for my trip to Florida next week!
  • Last chance for FREE shipping at J.Crew today + 40% off select winter sale styles + 30% off everything else. Use code GIFTNOW at checkout.
  • New Years Eve is only a few weeks away!! Don't forget to rent a dress for your celebrations!
  • Ann Taylor is offering 50% off pretty much everything!! Only 3 days left to get items before Christmas. Use code MERRY50 at checkout. 
  • Add a little sparkle to your nighttime wardrobe. This plaid sleep shirt from J.Crew is super comfortable!
  • 40% off everything at LOFT
  • I've tried many foundations, but recently found this one at the Birchbox store in Georgetown. It is a miracle worker. My friend Laura and I felt like celebs walking around town. 
  • In the St. Nick of time! Get 40% off your purchase at Banana Republic (some exclusions apply). 

Links I'm Loving
  • The Fuller House sneak peek is FINALLY here!! Plus find out when all 13 episodes will be released. 
  • Sorry Mariah... you're no longer on top! See which holiday tune beat out 'All I Want for Christmas.'
  • A new dating app where you can swipe through men you've encountered. See a cute guy at a local bar? Too scared to make the first move. Swipe till you find him on Happn. 
  • Last minute party prep tips for hosting this holiday season!
  • Be curious. Be brave. And don't get bangs. The motivational speech from Reese Witherspoon for all young women. A must read!
  • Seeing Will Ferrell run around the streets of New York in a onesie, screaming Christmas facts and questions at people for $1 is HILARIOUS!! Laughing so hard!

In Case You Missed It

Coming up next week on the blog: Next week will be a light week, because well... it's CHRISTMAS!!! I'll be sharing a little more about my trip to Disney, what I'm looking forward to most about being in Orlando and what I'll be packing. There may be a few surprise posts too. We'll see how this weekend goes.

But once Christmas is over, we'll be diving full force into the end-of-year discussions, I'll be sharing a blog photoshoot blooper post (don't want to miss this!), and looking ahead to the new year! Oh, and I'm MOVING!! Only four floors down in my apartment building. But still, moving the week after Christmas. So stay tuned for LOTS of moving, packing, and apartment decor inspo posts. Coming soon, can't wait!!

Have a great weekend loves! And safe travels for those of you already heading off for Christmas break!

kristyn
Keep up with Kristyn on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Bloglovin'!

12.17.2015

Holiday Happenings: Christmas Morning

Christmas morning… one of my favorite moments and so many memories from this one day a year. Everything from jumping on top of my parents, waking them up at the crack of dawn to rush downstairs, to tearing open the presents and spending hours playing with my new toys. But it's the people I spend this time with that really makes Christmas morning so special!













Monogramed Necklace // Naughty or Nice Mug (Homegoods)

This year my family decided to do something a little out of the norm and nontraditional. Next Tuesday I'll be heading down to sunny Florida with the fam, to enjoy five days at the happiest place on earth… Disney World! It has been on my bucket list for years to spend Christmas in Orlando. Everything from the Christmas parades to seeing the gorgeous decor… I cannot wait!! I'm excited for my first nontraditional Christmas!! Yes, I'll miss the time spent at home, opening presents from under the tree and making a huge homemade breakfast with my mom. But as I get older, it's the new memories and traditions that I'm going to treasure most.

Although some traditions are changing, others certainly are not! One that will remain the same, is Christmas jammies. I love wearing something festive for the occasion. I'll be honest… my actual Christmas morning look isn't this bright, cheerful or put together (imagine, sans makeup, ha!). But I did pick up some fun Gingerbread Men leggings and the most comfortable oversized sweatshirt from Forever 21 to wear. Y'all, I've already been living in these leggings. They're so warm and comfy. Not sure how this will work in the 85 degree weather in Florida, but I'll make do!

I'm back today with my Holiday Happenings friends to share our own Christmas morning looks and traditions. Be sure to checkout Julie's, Emily's and Laura's "outfits of the morning" on their blogs!




And if you missed our past two Holiday Happenings posts, check our our outfits for Christmas Gift Exchanges or Holiday Parties.

Photos by Nicole



kristyn
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