August 31, 2013

I Live For Little Moments Like That

A little moment from this week that I want to remember forever.
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xo,
Kym

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August 30, 2013

August 27, 2013

5 x 5 = 25 Small Ways To Change Your Life

Lately I've felt all over the place ... not physically, because physically I've been strapped to my computer for 12-15 hours per day, but mentally between the "pings" and "bings" and email notifications and phone calls ... my mind sort of races all day, everyday.

I haven't been focusing on the important things in my life, and I realized that I had to make a change.

So I forced myself to disconnect from the internet and my computer this past weekend and reconnect with myself. I thought about the things that are most important to me, and what I could do to turn my focus onto them.

My list was comprised of:

1. My marriage
2. My family/friends
3. Myself
4. My job
5. My blog

I know it probably looks silly to have my job and my blog listed in the top five things that are most important to me, especially since my major problem here is being stuck on the computer all day ... but right now in this present moment my job and this blog help to pay our bills. I listed them because I realized that I have to start becoming more productive and focused with my computer time, and not wander off and get sucked into Facebook or Twitter or BuzzFeed for copious amounts of time throughout the day. 

I needed an action plan. 

So I took my list and turned it into this:

1. My marriage
a.)
b.)
c.)
d.)
e.)
2. My family/friends
a.)
b.)
c.)
d.)
e.)
3. Myself
a.)
b.)
c.)
d.)
e.)
4. My job
a.)
b.)
c.)
d.)
e.)
5. My blog
a.)
b.)
c.)
d.)
e.)

All of those a's-e's were slowly comprised of small things that I can do each day or throughout the week to tune my focus into the things that will ultimately lead to my happiness, success, and strength in relationships.

Because my family and friends read this blog, I want to keep these things private for now ... this is a personal project that I'm sharing with the world after all ... duh ... but I wanted to share it just in case someone else out there is feeling as frazzled as me lately and needed to develop a sense of direction.

For now, this little project is saved in the "Notes" section of my iPhone, and I'm utilizing the Balanced App for daily and weekly check-ins to make sure I'm "staying balanced" and on-track.


What are the top five things that make you happy?
How do you remember to stay focused on the important things?

xo,
Kym

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August 26, 2013

Banishing (b)acne with Clearasil’s NEW! Daily Clear Refreshing Superfruit Cleanser

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Clearasil, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #SuperFruits  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.”


When I was a freshman in high school I went to the beach with my best friend, her older sister (my pseudo-older sister), and “our” older sister’s boyfriend. The boyfriend just loooooved to pick on us two younger girls. He was a jerk, but he was one of those cunning jerks who could always make everyone laugh while still being rude.

We’d always go back and forth with him though – I mean, that’s what annoying little sisters do, right?

I can’t exactly recall what we were arguing about with him while laying out on our beach towels, but I can vividly see the words coming out of his mouth, and I can still hear him all of a sudden start making fun of the pimples that I had on my back and chest.

Picture it: A gangly fourteen year old girl, in a teeny bikini, being made fun of by one of the hottest senior boys in her high school (Ugh, even typing that now makes me cringe ... but I’m happy to report that he’s completely bald now. Take that, ya jerk.)

Anyways, I.WAS.MORTIFIED.  Completely mortified.

I came home from that beach trip and immediately begged my mom to bring me to WalMart so that I could buy some of those old school (alright, alright, circa year 2000) Clearasil Action Pads so that I could burn those pimples to death.


I never “struggled” with all-over facial acne, but I did and I continue to battle with pretty painful cystic acne every now and then on my face, neck and back. Yuck. They come and go – I think it’s hormone related – but when I have them they are large, painful, and bright red.

To this day I’m still not always 100% confident wearing a bathing suit top, tank top or strapless dress because I get anxiety that my back has cystic (b)acne spots that I can’t see, or that one will pop up throughout the day.

It’s tough being comfortable in your own skin when your own skin has giant red bumps on it, ya know what I mean?


I was able to get my painful bumps under control for a bit while we were living in Germany with a simple wash of baking soda and water, however I’m a firm believer that my skin becomes accustomed and immune to whatever I’m putting on it. For this reason, I like to change whatever product I’m using every four months or so ... so when I was asked to test out Clearasil’s NEW! Daily Clear Refreshing Superfruit Cleanser, of course I jumped at the opportunity.

You guys, this stuff is a $4 magical elixir.

I’ve used medicated face wash before and it smells … well, medicated. This cleanser is gentle and contains actual raspberry and cranberry extracts, which gives it a delicious scent of raspberries and cranberries, not chemicals. Most importantly – IT WORKS! I’ve been using the cleanser twice a day for the past seven days, and my face and back are bump free. It has 1% salicylic acid, which is a major component of the magical elixir, and the raspberries and cranberries are chuck full of powerful antioxidants.


Clearasil’s NEW! Daily Clear Refreshing Superfruit Cleanser lathers great in the shower so it's super easy to put it on a loofah and wash my back. Not once has this cleanser left my skin feeling tight ... on the contrary, it leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean, my pores feel open, and leaving my shower now feels like I'm leaving the spa.


Clearasil’s NEW! Daily Clear Refreshing Superfruit Cleanser is available at your local WalMart for around $4.97, and if you print this coupon, you can save a dollar.

Have you struggled with acne? 
What's your magical blemish banishing elixir?
Will you be giving Clearasil's Superfruit line a try?
xo,
Kym
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August 22, 2013

All Groan Up // Six Things I Wish I Knew Seven Years Ago

Dear 20 year old Kym,

The only thing people will remember about you is how you made them feel.
And the same goes for what you will remember about them. We are emotional beings. Be nice, you little wench.

You should be a better sister. 
You spent years tracking the grades of the high school cheerleaders that you coached. You devoted yourself to developing their characters, involving them in the community, and teaching them valuable lessons about how to carry themselves, believe in themselves, and grow into confident young women. You forgot that your sisters needed the same from you. This will haunt you for the rest of your life.

You will speak your history. 
Remember that.

Take more pictures.
Years from now, the pictures are going to be faded and you're not even going to notice the giant pimple on your chin. So take more pictures and collect memories, not things.

Be open minded about your future.
You know nothing except dance. The studio is your second home and you end up graduating from college with your dance degree. But guess what? You also end up doing nothing with that degree. Allow yourself to explore other passions, like writing or fitness or managing people's shit (read: being the personal assistant to big wigs and helping to make their worlds go round. You, yes, you.) The faster you understand that it's perfectly okay to end up where you never planned on going, the faster you will come to terms with who you truly are and where you were always meant to be.

Everything happens for a reason.
Really, it does. Don't be afraid to speak up when you're being put down. Don't take people's shit. Don't take life too seriously. Don't set unrealistic goals or timelines for yourself. Breath. Relax. Learn to let go. Every day possesses a lesson to be learned, and tomorrow is a brand new day, if you allow it to be.

What would you tell your 20 year old self?
Tell me in a comment below, 
(or join in on the conversations on Facebook and Instagram!)

xo, 
27 year old Kym
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August 16, 2013

I Seriously Can't Believe That No One Has Told Me To Shut Up Yet.

You guys. Travel Babbles turned 3 on Monday.

And I seriously can't believe that no one has told me to shut up yet.

I mean, a little travel here, a lot of babbles there ... and after 10 moves, 19(or so) public meltdowns, and 376 blog posts, I honestly would have thought that someone would have told me to shut the hell up already.

So apparently this means that y'all want me to keep going, which also means that today seems like a wonderful day to reflect on and review my favorite posts from the last 3 years:


Also, because apparently us blogger folks are supposed to host giveaways on our blogiversary Blog's Birthday (by the way, can I quickly profess how much that term "blogiversary" irks me? Let's all agree to disagree that it's a Blog's Birthday, okay?) and because I want to thank everyone who stops by here regularly (or irregularly - beggars can't be choosers, you know) to read what I have to say, leave sweet comments, and connect with me ... up for grabs for one special lucky lady are a few of my favorite things:

(to answer your question - YES, I really cropped my head onto Oprah's body)
Gold and turquoise stone necklace c/o Made By Courtney
My favorite Goody Ouchless hair ties
Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner
Sinful Colors polish in Tempest
Tree Hut Certified Organic Shea Butter
St. Ives Blemish Control Green Tea Scrub
August issue of SELF magazine
Chevron notebook
Vitality Lip Flush Butter Gloss in Ruby Slippers, Naturally Pretty and I Believe c/o IT Cosmetics
1oz bottle of Versace Bright Crystal
Sutter Home Moscato


ALSO - because I'm feeling extra Oprah-ish, all ad spots are 30% off until Sunday at midnight. 
Use code BlogBirthday when checking out through Passionfruit!

xo,
Kym

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August 15, 2013

Thursday Things // Organization, DIYs, and Getting My Shit Together

This time of the year, my mind always wanders and starts to think about what I'm going to do while on our 2,000 mile drive to Denver, how I'm going to decorate our new apartment with the best Pinterest-approved DIY projects, how I'm going to be more organized this year, how I'm going to actually follow a cleaning schedule and meal plan, how I will have no excuse to skip the gym because I'll have a free one available to me in our apartment complex, how I'm going to create and stick to a budget this year, etc., etc., etc. 

Second Third Fourth Fifth Sixth Seventh times a charm. Let's go.

Thank you, BuzzFeed.

I love this idea. I'll be placing my order with Printstagram soon! 

I've seen these mirrors at WalMart and Target for under $10. What a cheap, easy way to open up a room!

I'm envisioning different colored stickies on this wall calendar for blog posts, work, etc.

Because neon makes me want to work out more. Sort of. (This tank is only $24!)

This weekly cleaning schedule is the perfect fix for my OCD.

Something like this printed and framed, accompanied with a dry erase marker would be perfect in my kitchen.

I love this DIY vacation savings jar idea.

I signed up for You Need A Budget last night. Their method teaches you to #1. Stop living paycheck to paycheck, #2. Give every dollar a job, #3. Save for a rainy day, #4. Roll with the punches. They also offer free, online budgeting classes led by professionals, which I think is really neat. I plan on writing a review in a couple of months, but for now read this one for more info.

Does mid-August make you want to get your shit together, too?
Do you have any organization or budgeting tips/tricks?
A new DIY project?

Please share in a comment below!

xo,
Kym

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

Today I'd like you to meet Samantha from It's All In The Details.


Samantha holds a very special place in my heart, because she's my official Blog Bestie. Sorry friends, she's all mine. 

She loves to bake, hates to cook, loves sweet white wine and hates red. She loves unhealthy food and hates working out, loves puppies and doesn't enjoy cats. I mean, that's me, in a nutshell, only it's Samantha. And never call her Sam (unless it's in your own head, which I do all the time) because she has a complex about it (love ya girlfriend).


As her blog name indicates, Samantha loves details, which is perfect because this hot tamale just got ENGAGED and she's currently planning a wedding! I'm still waiting for my official blog bridesmaid invitation, and I will be sure to keep you all informed when it arrives in my GMail inbox. But in the meantime, while we wait, please go visit SAMantha at:

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August 13, 2013

Weighing In // So This Is (1)27.5

When I met TJ back in 2007 I weighed 108 pounds. 

I know this because I weighed myself incessantly and I had been living with an eating disorder for about ten years prior to meeting him. I knew that my measurements were (what I considered) a perfect 34-24-34, and that my body fat was at 11%.

I never considered it or even refer to it now as a time where I was "struggling with an eating disorder" because I wasn't struggling ... it was kind of just a part of my life that meshed in with teaching dance classes 35 hours per week, coaching high school cheerleading 15 hours per week, practicing and dancing for a pro football team 15 hours per week ... and it was sort of just a part of who I was.

Somehow, after I "retired" from dancing and cheerleading, and I became more comfortable in my own skin (alright, let's get real - I learned to love wine and brownies without feeling guilty), the weight slowly crept on. I joke now that I met TJ and "he" made me gain 20 pounds - but it's okay, and I can laugh about it. Because I did gain twenty pounds, and I'm okay with it.

Because I'm healthy now, and I'm proud of my body. Sort of.

When we were in Mexico a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't help but look at the other girls bodies as they walked by the pool, and compare my body to theirs. My eyes kept scanning the skinny legs, toned arms, tight tushies and perfect abs. 

"Are my legs as nice as hers?" "Does my stomach look like that?" "Damn it, I need to start working more on my arms."

I made a comment to TJ about how great one of the girls bodies was and he replied, "Kym, she's like 17 years old." As I peeled my eyes away from her thigh gap and looked at her face, I saw that he was right. She was probably about 17 - which made me probably about 10 years older than her. Probably.

What the hell? When did that happen?

And that's when I realized, So This Is 27.5 ... and I shouldn't ever compare my body to or aspire to want to look like a 17 year old (or my 17 year old self) ever again.

So as I re-scanned the pools and really looked at the dozens of women who were my age and older who surrounded me, I saw both "fat" women and "skinny" women. And I realized that "fat" and "skinny" are both subjective.

And I saw that not one of women at the resort was wearing a one piece. Every single woman was embracing her body, rocking a bikini, and having a good time, regardless of her extra wiggle or jiggle.

And then I realized that while I was wasting time wishing for another girls buns, thighs and abs, another girl could have been looking at me wishing for mine. And then I realized that we all need to cut it freaking out and be happy with what we have, because the number on the scale or the measuring tape does not even give a sliver of an indication about the type of women that we are.

Because toned arms do not equal a kind heart.
Flat abs do not make you a good person.
And a firm ass does not make you a good friend.

There is always going to be another woman with a smaller body, nicer hair, a better paying job, a more fashionable wardrobe, a more caring husband ... okay, let me give it to you straight - there is always going to be another woman with more or better than what you have. AlwaysSo the only woman that you should strive to be better than is yourself. Be the best that you can be ... for your boyfriend or your husband, your children, your family, your friends, and most importantly - for yourself.

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

I came in from a run a few days ago and my dad turned to me and said, "I don't get you girls - you're working out to make your butt smaller, and your sister is working out to make her butt bigger - can't you girls just be happy with what you have?"

Boom, daddyo.


And that's all she wrote.
xo,
Kym

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August 12, 2013

I Am Who I Am.

I am weird because ...
I read magazines and newspapers from back to front.
I prefer to eat everything out of a bowl.
I hate wearing socks.
I must smell food before I eat it.
I shave my arms.
I love the smell of gasoline.
I shake my foot when I am stressed.
I freak out if I have to stand in water where I can't see my feet.
I talk for Brutus in a British accent.
I can't sleep with a sheet on top of me.


I am a bad friend because ...
I would rather stay in than go out.
I never check my voicemail.
I would rather text than talk.
I don't believe in second chances.
I have skipped out on every reunion.
I can't guarantee that I'll always physically be "there".


I am a good friend because ...
I can guarantee that I will emotionally be "there".
I always thank my friends for listening to me vent.
I always tell my friends when they have food in their teeth.
I am fiercely loyal.
I love buying thoughtful gifts or cards.
I truly want to see my friends succeed in life.
I give my truthful, honest opinion when asked for advice.


I am sad because ...
I silently struggle every single day with "What If's", anxiety, and feeling like I don't have my shit together.
I feel like days are going by too fast for me to keep up.
I feel like I should be doing more with my life.
I don't know when the right time is to try for another baby.


I am happy because ...
I have finally found a work from home job that I actually enjoy.
I was able to spend so much time with my family this summer.
I actually feel like blogging again.
I am finally learning to slow down and focus on myself. Yoga, fresh nails, warm tea. The little things are important.


I am excited for ...
Our move to Denver.
Fall fashion, Fall beer, and Fall decorations.
The hockey season to start. (Did I really say that?)
Beginning a new chapter in life.
When I compare last year to this year, I'm excited to see where this next year takes me...



What about you? 
Why are you weird, a bad friend, a good friend?
Why are you sad? Happy? And what are you excited about right now?
(this post was inspired by Little Miss Momma)

xo,
Kym

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August 5, 2013

That One Time I Went To Mexico And Took 9,000 Pictures Of Water And Only Two Of Myself

So I'm back from Mexico and this trip was even better than our honeymoon. The resort that we stayed at last year was adults only and super fancy. It was lovely, don't get me wrong ... but it was one of those places where you're afraid to touch anything because you might break something and then end up on the show Locked Up Abroad, or you will owe $27,963 plus your first born child in restitution. You know what I mean?

The resort that we stayed at this year allowed children, had fun drinking games, karaoke and other entertainment by the pool, dance and yoga classes, was built around an amazing coral reef and lagoon which housed thousands of beautiful tropical fish (which were 100x more colorful and plentiful than the fish that we payed $150 to swim with last year in Cancun!). The food and drinks were fantastic, the spa was much needed and incredibly luxurious, and I'm already hoping to take a trip next year with a group of friends - want to join? It can be the ultimate blogger's meetup ;)






















I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation! Have you ever felt that way? After being so relaxed for five days straight, and then coming home to enjoy a lazy weekend, I am whipped!! I can't believe it's August - I feel like I said the same thing in July and June - oh wait, because I did.

Summer 2013, you need to slow down, please.

xo,

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

Today I'd like you to meet Melissa from Jelly Design Studio
Having been launched in March of 2012, Jelly Design Studio has been years in the making. As a blogger, Melissa found herself countless nights coding and designing her very own blog design. As a final result she realized her true passion. 

Melissa codes both Wordpress and Blogger designs, and she offers super affordable ($30!) pre-made Blogger templates that you must check out if your blog is in need of a facelift. Take a look at my three favorite designs:



As if coding wasn’t enough, Melissa is also the editor of Blush and Jelly, a well-rounded blog about fashion, food, and inspirations. There she is able to show her readers her personal side as it relates around her always-busy life style. Blush and Jelly is one of my favorite blogs and you should definitely add it your daily read list, too! ---> Blush and Jelly.

You can also find Melissa on:

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