January 31, 2013

Fash Forward

I'm so excited to be working with Fash Forward Boutique this month. Launched this past November,  Fash Forward offers trendy and contemporary styles at an affordable price. Boutique owner, Smita, makes it her goal to give each customer a boutique style shopping experience right from the comfort of their own home.

Kym: What inspired you to open Fash Forward Boutique?

SmitaI worked in the business side of a well known retailer for many years, and I've always been the "go-to" within my group of friends for fashion and style advice. One day I decided to couple my knowledge about fashion with my background in business, and Fash Forward Boutique was born.

Kym: Who is your typical customer?

Smita: Our typical customer is the fashion forward girl on a budget. She loves the newest trends but doesn't want to break the bank for them.

KymWhat is your most popular piece?

Smita: Our chevron dresses and shirts are very popular. Also, our royal highness dress is a best seller!


KymWhat sets your boutique apart from others?

SmitaThe customer service and personalized touch. I am a one woman show. I am the buyer, the website designer, the customer service representative, and the shipper. I do it all. I want every customer to have a personalized experience with us. You don't have to wait 24 hours before you get a response about sizing - I am available at all times of the day to help my customers with whatever they need. Additionally, Fash Forward doesn't carry endless pages of inventory - instead, you will find a thoughtful assortment of carefully hand selected items on our website.

Kym: Do you have any style predictions for Spring/Summer 2013?

SmitaThe color emerald is going to be everywhere. Emerald is my favorite color, so I'm excited it was recently named the color of the year! Also, exotic prints, stripes, cut out accents and leather are not going anywhere this coming Spring and Summer. 


Kym: If you could only give one bit of style advice, what would it be?

Smita: You don't always have to follow the trends. Wear what compliments your personal style and what makes you feel comfortable.


Kym: What's next on the horizon for Fash Forward?

Smita: We are still establishing an online presence, and really working on our social media. Keep an eye out for our Spring lookbook which will hit our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages by the end of February!




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January 30, 2013

Ich Spreche Kein Deutsch.

I have yet to experience a stronger feeling of embarrassment than being in a country 
where the only dialog that I can bring to a native conversation is 
"Ich spreche kein Deutsch" ... (I can't speak Deutsch.)

Sure, I understand certain words and phrases,
but they don't get me very far, 
and I'm basically on a "need-to-know" basis with the German language.
Two nights ago Brutus and I were outside 
when an older gentleman approached us with a huge smile on his face. 
He bent down to treat Brutus to a head and back scratch.
Brutus loved him. 

Bru doesn't have a tail, so when he gets excited his whole bum wags back and forth.
 If you can imagine in your mind his hammy butt wagging side to side,
it's the funniest thing ever. 


The only word that I could understand while this man was showing Brutus a super dose of affection was "gross!"
("Gross" in Deutsch = "Large" in English.

I shook my head and smiled ... and together, the man and I were both laughing over how "gross" Brutus is. 

"Ja! Sehr Gross!" (Yes, very big!) I finally brought myself to reply, 
knowing damn well that my lack of a German dialect 
coupled with my shotty attempt at a sentence would be a dead giveaway that I'm a foreigner.

The man stood up and asked me a question - 
(the only reason I knew this is because I could hear the inquisitive tone in his voice), 
but of course, I had no idea what he was asking.

I smiled and embarrassingly explained, "Ich spreche kein Deutsch." 

I immediately felt uncomfortable and stupid. 

"Ach so!," said the man through a smile. 
("Ach so" sort of means "Ahhh, I understand" in English.

Then, the man surprised me -
he offered me his hand for a handshake, complimented by a hearty "Hallo!", 
before squatting down again to love on my chubby pup to tell him how gross he is, 
among other German sweet nothings. 

The man finally gave Brutty one last gentle pat on the head, 
waved and departed with a friendly "Tschuss!" 

"Ciao!" I replied ... feeling like I had just exchanged the most genuine conversation with someone since I've been in Germany.

It's amazing how much you can communicate with someone 
just by exchanging a friendly "hello". 

I encourage you to try it out with a stranger this week.
*************
BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM
Hi, I'm Kristen and I blog at From Kristen With Love. I am a full time teacher, part time blogger, runner, craft junkie, stationary hoarder, caffeine fiend, & Martha Stewart wannabe. I am engaged to a wonderful man, Chris, & together we have two dogs (one's name is Brutus- shout out to Kym, whom you know also has a Brutus!) I just started teaching Kindergarten after graduating college in December of this past year. 

Although I blog about a modge podge of crafts, recipes, & typical Martha Stewart wannabe things, my blog has recently been taken over by all things "wedding" as I just got engaged. I recently featured bridal party packets that I put together for my wedding party (which were a huge hit!), how I faked calligraphy for our Save the Dates, and a sneak peek of our engagement photoshoot

I'd love for you stop by my blog From Kristen With Love & say hello! :) I love meeting fellow bloggers!
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January 22, 2013

Because Once You Are Real You Can’t Be Ugly, Except To People Who Don’t Understand.

Defining Moments.

We all experience them, right?

Something happens - maybe it's something big, maybe it's something small,
but it's a game changer that changes how you view the world, 
and oftentimes how you view yourself.

With each move that I've made over the past five hockey seasons, I've found myself facing personal challenges - challenges to learn a new language, a new culture, a new city, a new highway, a new way of making a temporary house a home, a new dynamic to how TJ and I will function based on his schedule, a new way to keep communication lines open with family and friends back home, and a new way to figure out just who I am and how I fit into our new location in the world.

Each of those little struggles are my greatest Defining Moments.
Over and over again, each time we move...I'm redefined.

I'm forced to improvise, I'm forced to adapt, I'm forced to be independent, I'm forced to be dependent, I'm forced to be resourceful, I'm forced to expect the unexpected, I'm forced to feel humility, and I'm forced to grow.

In getting lost in new cities, I find my real self.

*************

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

‘Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or who have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints, and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

‘I suppose you are Real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. 

But the Skin Horse only smiled. “The Boy’s Uncle made me Real,” he said. 
 “That was a great many years ago; but

The Rabbit sighed. He thought it would be a long time before this magic called Real happened to him. He longed to become Real, to know what it felt like; and yet the idea of growing shabby and losing his eyes and whiskers was rather sad. He wished that he could become it without these uncomfortable things happening to him. 

- Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit




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January 21, 2013

I Have The Schnitzel Flu.

It's true - Dr. TJ Fox diagnosed me.

I was really looking forward to getting out of the apartment over the weekend to explore Duisburg, but 25F degree weather coupled with a case of the sicks left me sitting on the couch wrapped up in a blanket burrito all weekend.

Sidenote: When you're sick with the swine flu/cold/plague, do not...I repeat, do NOT pin baby related things to your "Baby Fever" Pinterest board, for you will wake up to two Facebook messages and one Twitter DM questioning if there is a bun in your oven.

No, people. I am not pregnant...I just can't get enough of tiny foxy baby things.

Moving on.... 

When I wasn't wasting away on Pinterest this weekend, I did a little research about Duisburg and the things that await me once both myself and the weather start to look up: 


 




And that my friends, is the type of blog post that you will get when I feel like crap, 
so I'd like to leave you in the trusty hands of Kim and Janna for something of substance. xo



Hi! I'm Kim, 
and the designer at K.O. Jewelry

When I'm not designing jewelry or blogging, I'm a wedding planner in Northwest Arkansas. I'm going to school at the University of Arkansas, and my husband, Leo, works for a craft beer distribution company! I can talk all day about music, movies, books, and food, so come hang out with me! My typical day is spent doing chores around the house, catching up on my blog and social media, working on new jewelry designs, planning a wedding or two, catching up on my girly shows that my husband refuses to watch with me, and hopefully cooking dinner. The last one doesn't always happen, but Leo's pretty forgiving!




K.O. Jewelry started in the fall of 2011 and has rapidly evolved since then. I started out with two different necklace designs and have had the time of my life coming up with new ideas! In addition to the jewelry in my Etsy shop, I've also made custom bridesmaid gifts and new mother gifts. I recently started shipping internationally, so I can't wait to see where this journey takes me!

                        


 In 2013 I'm looking forward to successfully finishing my first planned wedding, selling jewelry at a local craft show, hopefully partnering up with a local boutique, meeting more clients, and (fingers crossed!) starting the house-hunting process! Here's to hoping this year is a blast.

BLOG // SHOP // TWITTER

*************

Hi, I'm Janna!

I am 27, but most think I am nineteen, I swore I would never move out of Florida, and now I am following my soldier where ever the Army takes us. I enjoy sappy movies, good books, exploring Colorado while we are here, and simply living life to the fullest. Oh, and budgeting, I am addicted to that too. Gotta pay for all the adventures somehow!


I blog over at Perception Is Everything, where you will find my happy place. I blog about our life and subsequently our life in the military, which has brought us to gorgeous Colorado. You will find a little bit of everything in my neck of the woods, so you never know what I'm going to get into next.

In 2013 I'm looking forward to getting to spend time with my handsome husband, since I was separated from him for nine months last year. I'd love for you to stop by and follow along on our journey!

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January 16, 2013

Clever As A Fox

via OliveandBirch
One of the most difficult pieces to write for this blog was my About Page.

"My name is Kym, I'm a constant work in progress, and so is this space. I am not a professional writer, I occasionally make grammatical errors, I blog how I speak, and therefore I usually write in run-on sentences. I'm obsessed with organization, I'm sassy, I love documenting my life through photographs, and I definitely have a champagne taste on a boxed wine budget.

It goes on HERE.

I'm a fur mama...I'm a newlywed...I'm a big sister.

I like to eat...I like to sleep...I like to paint.

But, like I mentioned in yesterday post ... I find myself to be a simple kind of gal.

I've tried to pick out a handful of things that make me different, 
like the quote above suggest ... and I'm coming up short.

I mean, I've gotta be more than a wine loving, husband loving, dog loving, 
brownie loving blogger ... correct?

Or, is that who I am? 

I'm pretty much okay with being that simple,
even if it doesn't really make me all that different.

So, I'm curious....
Do you know what makes YOU different?

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January 15, 2013

Because Today, We Are Happy.

It's safe to say that some of my most popular blog posts are the ones in which 
I am a raging bitch, or I'm having another quarter life crisis - usually about hockey.

Examples:
Life Lately, According To My Third Glass Of Wine
Living The (hockey) Life .. Walking On Thin Ice
Mrs. Bitchy McBitch
It's A Hockey Player Eat Hockey Player Hockey World
Confession: I Google My Fiance
When Is It Going To Be Our Fucking Turn?
Retiring From Hockey
I Am Not The Same Person Having Seen The Moon Shine On The Other Side Of The World

It's been really wonderful over the past two and a half years to receive emails from follow hockey wives and girlfriends, most of whom I have never even met before, who thank me for putting their thoughts into words, and for being their friend who "gets it", when their friends back home simply can't understand the life that we live. 

Some of my favorite emails have come from hockey fans who have thanked me for giving them an insiders peek of what our "hockey life" is like - one person told me that I have given a real face and a real family and real feelings to a game and it's transactions. Those words are humbling. 

Humbling, because I'm just a simple girl who doesn't know all that much about hockey, and because TJ is just a minor pro player. We aren't really all that special. But our story that I share here has connected us with some really amazing people.

And I love writing posts like the ones that I mentioned above.

They are freeing.

But to be truthful, those posts were fucking exhausting. 

It's scary to put your thoughts and emotions onto a chopping block like that.

Something that makes me almost sad about what my blog has become is that I know what keeps people coming back for more...I know that I have to share or say a little bit too much to cause conversation. 

Because really, there is no point in me keeping this space active if people aren't interested in reading what I have to say...but are people only interested in our story when we're in an unhappy situation? 

Sometimes, it feels like it.

But I hope that my feelings are wrong.

Because Today, We Are Happy.
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January 14, 2013

Business In The Front, Party In The Back.

Greetings from Deutschland!

Brutty and I left Massachusetts on Wednesday at 4:15pm (eastern time). We flew first into Frankfurt, then changed planes for a quick flight into Dusseldorf, where we landed around 7:50am (which was really 1:50am according to my watch).

I didn't sleep a wink on our flight, so it took a little bit of adjusting, due to the time change...
nothing that a few bottles of German wine couldn't help pull me through, though!


We haven't done too much exploring of our new city yet, but I do have a few photos from the windows in the front and back of our apartment to show you what my first peek of Duisburg looks like.

Business In The Front:

Party In The Back:

Mmmhm. We live across the highway from the Red Light District. You should probably be very jealous that I get to see those neon boobies every night from our living room window.

You want to know who means *blogging* business? Check out the four pretty ladies below:

NORA


Nora blogs over at Two Is Better Than One. She started blogging soon after she married her husband Sean to share all of the ups, downs, in-betweens, challenges and experiences that come with marriage. One thing that I love about Nora's blog is that she's constantly participating in link-ups so that we can learn more about her...like what she's Currently Up To, Facts, or Miscellany Mondays. One major thing that Nora is looking forward to in 2013 is growing her blog...so head on over and check out Two Is Better Than One to show her a little love!

MISTY

Misty blogs over at Handbags & Handguns. She's a southern girl who writes about her life as a firefighters wife and mother to two, along with her love of celebrities, entertainment, pretty clothes, and good grammar. (Whoops, how did you like that run on sentence, Misty?) One reason why you're going to love Misty's blog is because she's an open book - she shares the things that she believes in, the aftermath of childbirth (hello, I'm gonna pee my pants, what?), and snippety, straight up tips to become a successful blogger. Go check out the good thing that Misty has going on over at Handbangs & Handguns - I promise you won't be disappointed!

NATALIE

Natalie blogs over at At Home With The Hinkleys. She lives in Houston with her husband and has a love for cooking, television, music and politics. Her blog focuses on her life's (funny) talking points....like that one time she got a love letter from prison, or when her car became victim to her apartment's parking garage security bar....or when she shared a cautionary tale about her husbands shenanigans - aka, things that we can all laugh along with and relate to! Natalie will be celebrating her one year wedding anniversary in a few weeks...so head on over to At Home With The Hinkleys to follow along on their journey!

SAMANTHA

Samantha blogs over at It's All In The Details. She just started blogging about two months ago, but her blog is quickly growing...(pssst, she's one of my favorites!) As her blog title suggests, she writes about the little details that make her life story complete. A good starting point for Samantha's blog is her very first post, or this "about me" post, both of which give you little snippets about all of the things that make Samantha, Samantha! In the coming year, she is looking forward to growing her blog and to hopefully get engaged...so you should go stop by It's All In The Details to follow along and see what 2013 has in store for her!




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January 9, 2013

Every Song Tells A Story. What's Your Song?

"Home" by Phillip Phillips is my song.
The song has shared in my tears, 
my frustrations,
my excitement,
and my happiness 
over the course of the past three months.
It's felt like the song has eerily come on the car radio or Pandora at just the right time, 
exactly when I needed a little bit of comfort or reassurance about the unknown.

Hold on, to me as we go 
As we roll down this unfamiliar road 
And although this wave is stringing us along 
Just know you're not alone 
Cause I'm going to make this place your home 

Settle down, it'll all be clear 
Don't pay no mind to the demons 
They fill you with fear 
The trouble it might drag you down 
If you get lost, you can always be found 

Just know you're not alone 
Cause I'm going to make this place your home 

Settle down, it'll all be clear 
Don't pay no mind to the demons 
They fill you with fear 
The trouble it might drag you down 
If you get lost, you can always be found 

Just know you're not alone 
Cause I'm going to make this place your home

Every song tells a story. What's "Your Song"?

(PS - Brutus and I are off to Germany today! 
Boston --> Frankfurt // Frankfurt --> Dusseldorf // Dusseldorf --> Duisburg
Auf Wiedersehen USA!)

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January 7, 2013

Things That Make Me Smile


An amazing caramel macchiato.
Thinking of a great idea for a blog post.
Sparkling Moscato.
Waking up to find Brutus as my "little spoon".
When I'm baking bread and the dough actually rises.
Sunday Morning pancakes.
Receiving a card in the mail.
Fresh, clean sheets.
Waking up in the middle of the night to find that I still have 5 hours of sleep left.
Incorporating Mean Girls and Napoleon Dynamite quotes into my everyday conversation.
Yummy sharp cheese.
When my favorite song comes on the radio.
Someecards.
Green lights the entire way home.
Finding a forgotten $20 tucked away in a pocket.

It is said that in life, the little things are actually the big things.
What are the "Little Things" that make you smile?



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January 4, 2013

I Forgot To Tell You What I Got For Christmas!!

I GOT FAT.

This basically sums up the past month of my life:

I told my mom last week "There is something about being in this house that makes me want to eat and eat, and never stop eating, I'm like a bottomless pit!"

She said it's because I'm "comfy" here.

Well, I can tell you what else feels comfy - my new jelly belly! 

While I agree with The Boo,
I don't feel pretty. 

I feel sluggish, jiggly, and I've been having brutal headaches for the past couple of days.

Luckily one of my favorite health bloggers Lauryn just wrote about a cleanse that she's starting next week, and I'm excited to jump on board, too. 

Lauryn outlines all of the cleanse information HERE, and I'm looking forward to starting tomorrow. My body is in dire need of a fresh start and a purge of the sugary/crap toxins that I've been feeding it lately. Hopefully I'll drop a little bit of the puffy water weight that I've been carrying around too, before I finally get to see the husband on THURSDAY - woohoo! 

Yes, I'm this excited:

I just got my flight information today - I leave Boston on Wednesday at 4pm and get into Germany on Thursday at 7:50am (German time). That's going to be one hell of a time change adjustment, but my tentative plan is that after 3 days of detoxing I'll be drifting off to sleep soon after the plane hits the clouds (after I've treated myself to a couple of glasses of free wine, of course.) 

Happy Friday, Friends!



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January 3, 2013

20 Things You Should Know About Me

As a reader of my blog, you are a big part of my life. I vent to you, I include you in our celebrations, I spill my secrets to you and I give you advice. You're basically my best friends, whether you like it or not, and if we're going to be best friends, then I need to fill you in about some of the (sometimes weird) things that make me, me:



1. If we don't have guests over, I pee with the door open.
2. I freakishly love popping pimples.
3. I read magazines from back to front.
4. I'm usually dressed in yoga pants - it's like I'm working out all day, right?
5. I only wash my hair twice a week.
6. I've self diagnosed myself with ADHD - I have the attention span of a walnut.
7. My favorite 'meal' is lettuce and blue cheese chunks slathered in Franks Red Hot.
8. I have the best conversations with myself while I'm driving.
9. I'm a junkologist - I get tingly while digging through thrift stores and yard sales.
10. My closet is color coordinated.
11. If I eat ice cream at night I have nightmares.
12. I never match my socks before I put them on.
13. My "pet name" for TJ is Charlie.
14. I Google the end of movies while I am watching them.
15. I drink the juice out of the pickle jar.
16. I'm a freebird on my blog and Twitter, but my Facebook is under lock and key.
17. I can put both of my ankles behind my head, a'la human pretzel.
18. My eyes are blue, green and orange.
19. Gel toothpaste makes me gag. I can only use paste.
20. I sleep sideways if I'm in bed by myself.

So, my dear bloggy friends, what do I need to know about you?
Leave a comment or link up a blog post below:
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January 2, 2013

Happy Birthday New Me

. 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5
My "New Year" always starts on my birthday. 
I think I started this practice a few years back when my resolution was to eat healthier,
which I failed at immediately on January 1st because I was hungover and needed a greasy burger.
So, January 2nd it is.
New year, New age, New me.
The start of a new calendar year always holds such promise, doesn't it?
I've found myself reflecting on where I was a year ago to where I am today,
and it's exciting to think about the possibilities that await me in the coming year.
Are you looking forward to anything special in 2013?
A wedding, a baby, graduation? Tell me! xo




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