September 29, 2012

October!

What are you most excited for this October?
Is it the chunky sweaters, boots, apple cider, pumpkin patches and football games?
 
I'm looking forward to lighting my Fall scented candles, exploring Orlando,
decorating our new home, hockey games, baking healthy holiday treats,
aaand, to hopefully have you here to be a part of it all!

Travel Babbles currently reaches over 3,200+ social media followers through
E-mail, Google Friend Connect, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
As of September 29th, 2012. 

Why should you advertise here?
Placing your ad on my sidebar gives your blog or shop the same exposure that my blog receives each day, and your ad will be featured here for an entire month! In addition, I'm very excited to create personal relationships with my sponsors and to promote each one as much as I promote myself through social media outreach and individual blog posts.

Why else? Because this meathead says so ;)

Purchasing Ad Space at Travel Babbles is as easy as 1, 2, 3

1.) Complete your purchase below through Passionfruit Ads
2.)  Upload your Ad image
3.) Link where you'd like your Ad to go

Once approved, your Ad will be live for 30 days.


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September 28, 2012

Gluten Free Pupkin Cookies

Our vet in Germany suggested that Brutus has a gluten intolerance, so in an attempt to keep his rash outbreaks under control we feed him gluten free food and treats.

Gluten Free Pupkin Cookies
adapted from recipes found in the Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook

INGREDIENTS
3 cups gluten free brown rice flower
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup water

DIRECTIONS
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.) Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly
3.) Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface
4.) Use a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter (or a knife) to cut pumpkin shapes
5.) Place on an ungreased cookie sheet
6.) Bake for 20-25 minutes
7.) Transfer and let cool on a cooling rack
8.) Store cookies in an airtight container in the fridge
DID YOU KNOW?
Pumpkin can help alleviate both constipation and diarrhea in dogs? Weird, right?
Pumpkin is full of healthy fats and antioxidants which promote shiny fur.
Pumpkin is high in beta carotene which helps with a dogs night vision.
Pumpkin is proven to reduce infection when a dog is suffering from a wound.
Experts believe that pumpkin can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in dogs.
Facts found HERE and HERE
AND THE VERDICT IS:

Have a great weekend!!
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September 26, 2012

Tuesday Night

So my Tuesday night looked a little like this:
 
  And a lot like this: 
 
 TV Lineup:
5:00-8:00: Friday Night Lights
8:00-9:00: The Voice
9:00-9:30: Go On
9:30-10:00: The New Normal
 
 
If you ever listen to one bit of advice that I provide here on 'le blog,
it is to follow THIS recipe and do not ... I repeat NOT ... alter it one bit!
I have made this sweet and sour chicken three times.
The first time I followed the directions, the second time I tried to get fancy,
and last night I went right back to the original directions.
It is amazeballs. I promise. Try it. Tonight. 
You won't be disappointed.
 
 
Are you scratching your head wondering why the heck I am watching 
Friday Night Lights?
Yes, I know it debuted 5 years ago.
Don't judge.
We prefer watching one epi after another after another instead of waiting week to week.
So, we're currently obsessed with Friday Night Lights.
We just started Season 2 and I never want it to end!
 
What are you loving on TV right now?

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September 25, 2012

When Is The Last Time You Did Something For The First Time?

You may be familiar with that little 'ole theme park that Orlando is know for, but I've made a bucket list of things to do besides visit Disney...because, well, let's face it, how could I pass up these fun opportunities that are right outside my door?:

Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Garden - Over 400 animals housed in a lush, tropical botanical garden.
Showcase of Citrus - Pick your own Florida oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and tangerines.
Ripley's Believe It Or Not Odditorium - Sixteen galleries of hundreds of outrageous and interactive exhibits.
Enzian - A single-screen cinema that plays mostly independent and foreign films with unique seating and gourmet dining options.
CityArts Factory - A vivid collection of different types of art from Orlando artists.
La Nouba - Cirque De Soleil circus themed show featuring acrobats, gymnasts and other performers
Lakeridge Winery - Complimentary vineyard tour and wine tasting? Sold.
Gatorland - A 110 acre theme park and wildlife preserve that features thousands of gators and crocks.
Leu Gardens - A 50 acre botanical oasis.
Pirate's Dinner Adventure - A Pirate Dinner Show set aboard an 18th century Spanish galleon in a 300,000 gallon indoor lagoon.

I've filled a mason jar with all of the activities, and each time TJ has a day off I look forward to pulling from the jar and having a surprise activity to go and enjoy together that day.





I believe that it's so important in any relationship to constantly experience new things. I'm really looking forward to falling even more in love with my hubby while creating new memories by experiencing these fun activities....and maybe I'll even fall in love with Florida, too ;)

When is the last time you did something for the first time?
and
When is the last time you explored your own "back yard"?


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September 24, 2012

Living The (hockey) Life ... Walking On Thin Ice

I made a promise to myself to be open and honest here, but I still feel like I'm walking on thin ice when publishing how I feel about anything that is remotely related to hockey. What if someone from the front office, or a fan, or the coach finds my blog and reads that I've had a difficult time adjusting here?

There, I said it. I've had a difficult time adjusting here.

We feel incredibly lucky that hockey has taken us to Orlando this year. This is an awesome opportunity for TJ...And dare I say it?...I'm very excited for this hockey season.

But honestly, this constantly moving thing is getting old.

One would think that it gets easier year after year, and sure, I've become a pro at packing our lives into the back of a 5x8 UHAUL, or into two suitcases to fly to Europe...but truthfully, it never gets easier to say goodbye to loved ones or to go through the wave of emotions that come with each move. 

Experience doesn't prepare you for it.

I think that many people have this idea in their head that since we're living in Orlando that we're on a permanent vacation, that our apartment is located in the Magic Kingdom, that Minnie Mouse is my new BFF, and that sunshine equals happiness.

But it's simply not like that...and Dear Blog, since you really must know, my heart has been aching since we turned left out my parent's driveway. The sunshine and Cinderella's Castle is lovely, but they don't make up for the Thanksgiving and Christmas that I will miss once again in Massachusetts, or the fact that I have never watched my little brother play winter basketball, or the good times and memories that I am missing out on creating with my family and friends back home.

Reality Check:
. via .

As I was having a silent pity party this past weekend I received a text message from a great friend and fellow hockey wife from a prior team that TJ played on. She was just checking in, just wanted to know how I was settling in. She gets "it", she understands the things that I don't have to say, and the feelings that I am experiencing because she's been there, too. After a bit of back and forth, she left me with the best advice that I have received in a long time:

"Enjoy every moment -- hockey doesn't last forever so enjoy your newlywed season!"

Girlfriend, You humbled me. Thank You.

It was easy for me to stay inside and mope around, put off unpacking, sit with my computer on my lap, and get sucked into the toxicity of social media and the internet for the past week.

Why?

Because happiness takes work.

Every single day, happiness takes work.

Happiness may not be sunshine, but it is certainly a choice.

When you wake up in the morning you can either choose to be happy or you can choose to be sad...mad...bitter...angry...pick your poison...because that's what a negative mindset is - poison. It affects much more than your mood - if affects your words, how you treat people, and the attitude and feelings of those around you.

So, I woke up this morning and I chose to be happy.

It's as simple...and as complicated...and as freeing as that.

Do you believe that happiness is a choice? 
and
What is the best advice that you've received lately?
Leave your answer in a comment below :)
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September 20, 2012

20 Things That I Believe...

I believe that it's okay to eat chocolate brownies for breakfast.
I believe that sometimes all you really need to feel better is a big, fat cry.
I believe that if you don't control your attitude then your attitude will control you.
I believe that it's a woman's right to choose.
I believe that people treat you the way that you allow them to treat you.
I believe that cold pizza is the best pizza.
I believe that what goes around comes around; what goes up must come down.
I believe that the most important person you can ever believe in is yourself.
I believe that the best way to reconnect is to disconnect.
I believe that certain people are put into your life to hurt you and make you stronger.
I believe that a person should be able to marry whoever they want.
I believe that Chinese food is better the next day.
I believe that it's perfectly okay to go out in public in sweatpants.
I believe that people can change.
I believe that you should own your feelings and your words.
I believe that a smile, no matter how painful to form, is your best accessory.
I believe that the grass is greener where you water it.
I believe that it's healthy to have regrets.
I believe that your week can start on any day.
I believe that life is simple but we make it complicated.
 
What do you believe in?

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September 19, 2012

September 18, 2012

Heyyyyoooo I'm Alive.

Well, we made it to Orlando!

I needed a couple of days to adjust. Sometimes it's really nice to back away from the computer and social media to recharge your batteries, isn't it? 

While I would love to wow your eyeballs with photos of my sweet interior design skills, I still have boxes and suitcases strewn across the floor...the same floor that we're sleeping on.

To those of you who think this life is glamorous, think again. Hopefully our furniture is delivered by the end of the week. Until then, I'll leave you with this:

 Living the (hockey) Life...


Oh, and this, my favorite new website:

Don't ask how I found it.

And if you happen to read a submission on there in the future about an anonymous, particularly annoying hockey playing husband, it wasn't me.

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September 15, 2012

Because The Most Exciting Part Of This Drive Has Been Watching Brutus Pee.

Have you ever driven down 95 South?
 
Well, if you haven't, let me just tell you that the drive is baaaa-rutal at providing photo opps. Seriously, the most exciting part of our trip thus far has been our stop at South Of The Border.
 
We're currently staying overnight in Savannah, GA and we should be in Orlando around 1PM tomorrow (Sunday).
 
 
I'm still waiting for my first real palm tree sighting, because I've decided that any of the other ones that we've seen since we crossed into Georgia are strategically placed fakes.

Brutus feels shafted by the fakes as well.
As soon as I see what I classify as "real", you better believe that I'll be posting that palm on Instagram and Twitter within 30 seconds, so you should probably follow me there as well if you're interested in catching the second most exciting moment of this trip to our new home ;)

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September 12, 2012

I Interrupt My Regularly Scheduled Blog Post

to remind you to stay spicy.


I have these girls on repeat today until I'm finished packing. Don't hate.

PS - Is 2PM too early to start on a bottle of wine?

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September 11, 2012

Welcome To One Of My Favorite Places On Earth

This space that I have created on the internet is very special to me. 
No matter where I have been in this big old crazy world, for the past two years,
this blog has been my home.

If you're a new reader here then you don't know any different...
but when I started this blog I started with intention and I started as a space called
Travel Babbles.

It was my space and it was unique.  
It was where I anchored my roots, and it was where I met one of my best friends. 

For various reasons, at one point I felt the need to switch directions and "re-brand" to xo, Kym....and even though xo, Kym has my name in it, it was never really "me". 

Somehow, I lost my voice and purpose in keeping a blog.

This switch back to Travel Babbles feels right. 
It's a crystal clear reflection of who I was, who I am, and who I aspire to be. 
Since making this decision, my creativity has been flowing. 

Travel Babbles has me excited to write again. 

I'm eager to go back to what my original intention was when I started this blog...which was to share the beautiful life that I live...and trust me, I do find beauty in the ugly.

This blog has often been filled with half truths of my real life. I've kept a filter on...mainly because people who come here know who I am, and they know who TJ is.

I don't hide my identity here, and sometimes that makes me feel vulnerable...it's like I have to go out of my way to hide certain parts of who I am or what I'm experiencing, out of fear for how the people who know us in "real life" will respond.

As hard enough as it is trying to grow up and figure out who you are, 
when you make the decision to open up your life to the world by keeping a blog, 
it can make it much more difficult. 

I'm constantly changing, constantly evolving. Some of my views today are different from the views I had a year ago...a month ago...yesterday...but here they are, in black and white, for the world to see...forever.

It can be both weird and inspiring to look back at old posts that I have written. 

Sometimes they make me cringe.

It's kind of like when you look at an old photo of yourself from high school and you think, "Why am I wearing that? And what was I thinking with that haircut?!"

Some old posts have been deleted from my new space. I have decided to delete them because I don't need them here anymore. 

It's a blessing to be able to think back to such times in my life and realize how much I've changed...how far I have moved on from being that person who couldn't move forward until I "wrote it out".

Those changes are the very things that make me a better person...wife...sister...daughter...and friend.

A couple of the posts that I have deleted from here actually received the most feedback and comments than any other post that I have written.

Why? 

I like to think it's because they were real life.

Real life is relatable...and real life isn't always pretty. In fact, real life has been really, really ugly to me lately...but if I can formulate my feelings and frustrations into something that makes a connection with someone who lives halfway across the world...then this blog is serving its purpose.

While I hope that my blog also serves as a source of inspiration for many, I also want it to be true reflection of who I am.

I love where I am right now...and maybe I won't next week...

but from now on I'm living and writing in the moment, 

and I hope that you'll continue on this journey with me.
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September 4, 2012

#truth

. source .

"You can't pull all of the weeds in the garden, but you can plant flowers." - Rick Hanson
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