Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Craft-a-Palooza 2013

It came.
It saw.
It more than conquered.

On Saturday, I hosted the 2nd Annual Craft Night.
And it was awesome.
I mean, planning and preparing and having tons of cancellations was SUPER STRESSFUL
(more on that laterrrrr)
but the party was FANTASTIC!

In a nutshell, I pick four to five crafts from pinterest and I buy all the supplies and all the girls participating split the costs with me and we all bring super yummy goodies and how the pin crafts don't turn out to be pintrocities.

This year we attempted to do the Sharpie mugs again (last years), tassel garlands, felt Christmas trees and Pledge glitter ornaments.
The ornaments were INSANELY easy and such a hit and the girls got really creative with their mugs. Only two girls finished all the crafts, but that wasn't the point.
The point was to have an amazing time, to get into the holiday spirit and enjoy bonding time together

I also bought $1 frames from Dollar Tree and spray painted them and put in this printable that I made for the girls as a gift for coming. I kind of love it and I hope the girls love it too!
To Download 4x6 Printable or Full Sized Printable, click HERE
Between last year and this year, I'm working all the kinks out and I'm already excited for next year's party.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Pictures 2013

A few weeks ago, the King and I had our friend, Diane, meet us at the Grand Floridian Resort at Walk Disney World to take pictures for our Christmas cards.

The resort is a replica of a Victorian seaside resort and is home to Disney's wedding pavilion and the perfect place to take pictures with Cinderella's castle. Once again, this year I took more than two seconds to prep my hair and do my makeup. I woke the King up more the 10 minutes before we needed to leave the house so he could primp himself and look "Sooooooo Goood!

We get to the resort, and just like last year's Christmas card pictures, it was raining. Pooooooo.
So that means my hair frizzed and the King and I laughed it off and just made do.
Thank goodness Diane is a miracle worker and managed to capture quite a few pictures of us that more than half way decent.
After pictures we wondered around the resort, debated whether or not we should go into Magic Kingdom or just go home and be lazy.
Neither won out, and we ended up being surprisingly productive and did some Christmas shopping... in November... before Thanksgiving (I know, I know... the horror).

We just got back from Alabama for Thanksgiving, and even though I had my nice camera there, I didn't crack it out once. I took a few photos with my iPhone, but I made it a point to not have it out constantly, so I'll post about the trip, but I'm not promising tons of photos or even good ones at that.

Anyhoooooooo hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are getting into the Holiday spirit!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New York, New York

It's been a month, but I still can't stop thinking about my trip to NYC.
It was amazing and beautiful.
Despite some minor bumps (like getting on the wrong subway by myself), some of the most incredible things happened that made the trip magical.

The one thing that made the trip for me were the people I met.

First, I met Juan Antonio from the Bronx.
I went to the Manhattan temple and while there, Juan came right up to me, introduced himself and asked me about myself. There was just something so amazingly sweet about him and he just exuded happiness. It was truly infectious. He helped me realize that despite the craziness surrounding the city (and life) there is happiness and a simplicity that we can have, if we want it.

Then, I met Anne (or lovingly referred to as "Apple Annie").
Us girls went to the Shake Shack for dinner and while we hovered for a table, Anne beat us. Instead of using the entire booth for herself, she invited us to join her so we didn't have to wait forever. While eating with her, we all shared stuff about ourselves and she told us all about her life in the city. Apple Annie was SPECTACULAR. There are times in your life when you feel a connection to someone and I felt it for her. Luckily we exchanged phone numbers and are now pen pals.

I also got to meet/spend time with my cousin-in-law (the King's cousin) Jenn, my brother-in-law Jake and his girlfriend (who I have a massive girl crush on) Hannah. Even though I had never met Jenn before, she made me feel right at home and it was like we've known each other for years. She helped prove to me that I have married into an incredibly loving family and I am so fortunate. Jake and Hannah were my protectors and guides to Brooklyn. They made sure I didn't get too lost and more importantly, that I didn't die. Also, they fed me some fantastic food. If anything, Jenn, Hannah and Jake made me miss them and want to be around them more.

The last person was Lindsay, with an "A".
Laurel and I were headed home to the airport and decided to take the subway system.
With the hurricane Sandy damage, a lot of the trains have been rerouted and Laurel and I were confused about one of the stops because we misread a sign. Then we saw Lindsay with her suitcase, so we just decided to follow her. But I had to still double check that we were headed in the right direction, so I decided to do the unthinkable and just ask Lindsay if she was headed to JFK. She was and the rest of the hour and a half ride to the airport was filled with us getting to know her, her love for her sisters and he future with her boyfriend she was going to visit.

I may never see Juan, Anne and Lindsay again, but they really did change my life. They helped me renew my hope in complete strangers and that people really are good. That New York is really not as scary as people make it out to be. People are helpful, not murders and even though the city never sleeps, it is beautiful in the morning and the night even without beautiful sleep.
 Until next time New York.

-Love, Kaylee

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Plague, Witches and New York!

I survived!
The plague hit my house last week and boy, was it a doozy.
It started out like a normal little cold, but when Nyquil and sleep weren't doing anything to help me get rid of it, I knew this was a whole different beast.
Lets just say, one whole week, days of fever, tons of hot baths and meds have kicked that puppy in the butt. The cough is still lingering, but boy, do I feel so much better.
I really hope I didn't pass it along to anyone and I am so blessed to have a boss that lets me work from home so that I could recover and still work.
Like I said, I survived, and just in time.
Saturday was Brittany's annual Witches Night Out party and I would NOT miss it for the world.
I have this saying (since I worked as a witch at Filch's in Hogwart's dungeon):
"Once a witch, always a witch."
So, I donned my witch hat and got a little more dressed up and hit the town with my fellow witches.
Brittany always decorates her home so perfectly and has the best games.
We paid homage to Halloween movies by skillfully acting them out in less than a minute, put our boogie shoes on and did the "broom dance", and even brewed up a potion or two with our spell skills.
I cannot wait until next year and had an absolute blast with all my witchy ladies.
Anyhoo, I'm leaving for New York City tomorrow night and
Seriously, my day has gone by so incredibly slow and I just want to be on that plane already.
Tomorrow I'll share my list of things I want to do while I'm there.
Only one more sleep and I'll be in the Big Apple.
Whoop Whoop!!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Great Friends

Last night was the start of my book club with some of my girlfriends.
I was worried because I didn't think people would show up.
Those who showed up made it worth it all.
I'm so grateful for such sweet friends in my life.
Like Mary, who came, even though she had a party to attend after.
And Jess, who had to wake up at 4 am the next day for clinicals... and she lives 30 minutes away.
And Magen, who had just worked a full eight hours with me.
I really am one blessed lady.
And we sure like to party.
Even if Mary can't keep her eyes open.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


With it being October...
Have I told you that lately? That's it's October? And my favorite month? I have? Oh, my b.
... I thought it would be a good time to talk about some fears that have been on my mind lately.

When I was young, I was super active. I loved running outside and playing.
In elementary schoo, middle school, high school and even some of college, I played soccer religiously and was always involved in some kind of sport. I didn't mind running around and I sure didn't care what I ate.
Adult life happened.
Now I work an 8 hour job, where I sit in front of the computer daily.
And, and you might be surprised, but it is exhausting.
So when I get home, the last thing I want to do is work out.
And I still have my "healthy" eating habit (and by healthy I mean "I can eat a lot").
Basically, I've gained weight. Not a ton. And most people probably wouldn't really notice.
But I do. And I really want to lose it. Mostly, I want a healthier lifestyle.
The problem: I'm lazy.
I'm fearful that I won't overcome my laziness and actually get my butt up and back in shape.

I have the most incredible husband. Really, I do.
The King really does treat me like his queen.
If I need ANYTHING, he will find a way to provide it.
If I want ANYTHING, he will do his best to get it for me.
I have this horrible habit of letting him serve me hand and foot.
The problem is that I used to be this really independent person and I rely too much upon my husband.
I'm talking about things like, "Hey AMOOOOOOORRRR, will you please get me a glass of water?" while he is painting a room across the house and I'm sitting on the kitchen floor. 
Like I said. I rely too much on him.
I need to spoil him more. I need to not be so selfish and I need to get him the glass of water instead.
And just treat him right.
I'm fearful he will realize how selfish I am and have to try a little harder to love me.

I took the almost six month hiatus from blogging.
It was really scary at first and then I completely forgot about it.
Then, one day, I felt like I had something to write about again.
I bucked up, put my big girl panties on, and started blogging again.
THEN, I started to peruse the blogopshere again.
None of my former bloggy friends were there, or they had left me far in the dust.
I almost don't recognize that world I used to love SO MUCH.
I didn't even really know where to start to find those genuine blogs that I would love to read.
I don't even know how to forge the relationships anymore.
It has all changed too much.
I'm fearful that I might re-not find my passion in blogging.

Book Club:
A lot of my friends kept saying that they wanted to be in a book club and meet new people.
So, I started a book club for them to meet new people.
They all keep bailing.
And it makes me really sad, because I never bail on their stuff.
I'm fearful that this new book club that I'm not really doing for myself, but for my friends, will end up being like the Blogger Book Club that I was co-host of.... something that ended up dying because no one ever really joined.

Traveling in NYC:
I'm also super terrified of traveling from JFK to Manhattan via train at 11 pm at night when we fly in.
But what the hey... I get to go in the first place, so that's good enough for me!

I have SO MUCH to be grateful for, but sometimes, you can't appreciate them until you voice your fears, even if it is just so you can hear them out loud. Even if it is to try to face them and change them.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October Surprises Are Underway

One of my all time favorite traditions for October are the October Surprises.
My lifelong bestie, Laurel, and her mom were so obsessed with October and Halloween that it kind of rubbed off on me. Well, Laurel's mom, "Mama Marzek", would give out "October Surprises." They were just little things like candy, or a lip gloss or Halloween dinky item. They were awesome.

I've been in the habit of giving out October surprises and it's one of my favorite things to do.
Well, yesterday Laurel surprised me with tickets to the pre-screening of "About Time."
The movie was phenomenal.

It was created by the makers of "Love Actually" and had a stellar cast.
It's about a guy who comes from a long line of family time travelers and his life, love and consequences from his gift. Rachel McAdams is in it, and I was a little worried because she already stared in a movie eerily similar to this one. But it blew all time traveling romance movies out of the water. I highly recommend it when it comes out in November.

Also, on a whim, Laurel and I decided to fly to New York to visit our friend, Esther.
We leave in like two weeks.
It was super last minute, but I am SO FREAKING excited.
It's only the second day of October, and the surprises are already underway.
I got a box of RedVines from my co-worker, Magen, and I brought her delicious cupcakes from Sweet! by Good Golly Miss Holly (they are super delicious too).

I cannot wait to see what the rest of October has in store.
I TOLD you it was magical.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's October

It's scary how long it's been since I've blogged.
Like really scary.
So scary, that I'm actually nervous as I type this.
So scary, that I'm not sure what to really type about.
But what's not scary is that it's finally October.
It's no secret that October is my favorite month.
There is MAGIC surrounding this month.
There is PEACE as the weather changes.
There is HOPE in the world and the year.
There is LOVE for your fellow man and the little things in life.
There is CLARITY in what you want and need.

October is special. 
It rejuvenates me.
It inspires me.
It makes me remember who I am.
What I love.
And where I want to be.

Here is to October. Welcome long lost friend!
It's so good to have you back.
I cannot wait to see what you have in store for this girl who loves you oh so much.

Monday, September 30, 2013

General Conference Knowledge Value Project

As a youth, I mostly slept through General Conference. My family would gather around the satellite television, bring our big comforters, lay around in our PJs and BOOM! pass the heck out in the middle of the profound words from the prophet.

I don't want that for the young women I'm over at church. So I thought it would be fun to give them a workbook to help keep them awake and focused on the messages being delivered.
*are you wondering what General Conference is??? Click here to find out*

I found several ideas online and the best one (or the one I liked best) was from SugarDoodle, but it wasn't updated for October Conference. So I copied it (well, recreated it and tweaked it a bit) and have it here for you and your young women to use this conference.

I plan on updating it regularly so different young women can use it each conference.
Please excuse any misspellings and typos. I did it late at night.

It was a fun project for me to work on and I am really excited to use it as a way to stay awake this conference. Don't get me wrong, I really do love the messages and the spirit that can be felt. As a leader, I get to complete the Personal Progress program again with my Young Women and for my Good Works Value Experience, I'm counting this. 

Click on the image above (or right here) to go to the link for the full download.
*It will say that no image is available. Just click download*
There is a higher quality and a lower quality. Both are fine for printing, but some printing services won't take the higher quality ones and the lower quality's pictures look a little off. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
kaylee{dot}gwyn {at} gmail {dot} com

Happy Conference Watching!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"The Wilderness Must Be Explored! Caw Caw ROAR!!!"

The King and I are Disney Annual Pass Holders... Have I told you that?
We have been for about 6 months now.
That means we only have 6 months left to accomplish our one goal for Disney:
Do. Every.Thing. EVERYTHING!

You see, Animal Kingdom is kind of a tough one because, one, its not EPCOT (my favorite... hands down) and two, because its so freaking hot.
The King loves him some animals though and we decided to devote the entire day yesterday to checking those animals out.

My lifelong friend, Laurel, decided to tag along (she works for Disney, so she's like my permanent Disney buddy). Laurel and I are... how would you say this???.... special. That's it, special. So when we saw the "Wilderness Explorer Troop Tent" and that there were real life Wilderness Explorers there giving out merit badge books, we said, "yes, please sir... sign us up!"

After enthusiastically learning the Wilderness Explorer's chant (the blog post title, but with hand wing motions and claws) we were presented with our own Wilderness Explorers badge books. The King rolled his eyes, did the call along with us, and then realized that he did marry "That Girl" and would be going around doing activities meant only for 3-10 year olds all day.

We did learn a lot of important things though, including:
+ Tarantulas shed their ENTIRE exoskeleton (including their lungs and eyes).
+ Cheetahs are the only cats whose claws cannot retract.
+ How to greet and say good bye to someone in Thai.
+ The Country of South Africa has three major capitals and they are all there for different purposes.
+ The brontosaurus never actually existed, but was two separate dinosaurs put together!!! (This is just like the whole, "Pluto isn't a planet" thing alllllll over again.)

Honestly, I've never had so much fun at a Disney park and never spent ALL DAY at Animal Kingdom.

You bet this Wilderness Explorer will forever explore the wilderness.

Here are a bunch of pictures I took around the park.
It was seriously the best day. I hope everyone else had a fun, restful and memorable weekend.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Our Home: Downtown Abbey

It's been a little over a week in our new home and slowly, but surely, we are making it our own.
I cannot describe to you how surreal it was sitting down at a table and signing all of those documents.
That is truly one of life's weird moments that help you realize.... Yes, I am an Adult.
I mean, the King and I have both been living our adult lives for a while. We've been providing for ourselves and making our own decisions. But now, we have an added commitment binding us together. One that makes us more responsible and accountable.

But.... it's all ours.

That's the best part.

This. Is. Our. House. HOME.

I can't wait to share with everyone the progress we will make on it.

Last weekend we started with the first bit of painting. Next stop: washer and dryer.
After that... who knows.

Welcome to our new downtown house: Downtown Abbey.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Freebie: Bloom Where You Are Planted

Here is my first freebie for you!

Let me know what you think.
I'll be making it into an iPhone background as well.

Click here to download blue and pink.
Click here to download pink and teal.
Click here to download blue and yellow.

Friday, July 12, 2013


As the King and I move into this next stage of our life (home-ownership) I cannot help but think of how much my life is about to change. 

You see, the King has been an adult a lot long than I have (at least 6 years longer), but I’m kind of freaked out by becoming a real life, mortgage having, home repair making adult. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy, blessed, excited to be able to purchase a home with my husband, but I feel like one stage of my life is coming to a close. And quickly.

My teeny tiny little cottage was my first home. The first place I lived in by myself. The first place I provided for myself. The first place my husband and I lived together. It’s the smallest castle in the world, but it was mine.
The neighborhood was, at least to me, magical. The tree lined streets were perfect for the not so frequent walks I took. The train went past my house at all hours (literally RIGHT NEXT TO MY HOUSE) was exciting. The library directly across the street was a safe haven. And the parks (all three within a two second walk of my house) were the best place to relax. Oh, and let’s not forget Jeremiah’s that was two blocks away (BEST Italian ice… ever… hands down).

These next two weeks (actually, less than two weeks) are going to be hectic and fast paced and fun as we transition into being homeowners, but I want to try and slow down and appreciate what I’ve had for almost the last three years. I want to really say goodbye to MY area of town. 
With that said, I’ll try to post about my little area of Central Florida before we move.
Join me on my own sort of “good-bye” to Ventris Avenue.


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