September 30, 2013

Why I Blog

Fact: Blogging is a lot of work, and sometimes I have to remind myself why I keep doing it. 

I think that it's important for everyone to stop and assess WHY they do the things they do - specifically the things that take up a significant amount of their time each day, so here it is ... Why I Blog: 

♡ To have a creative outlet 
♡ To document my growth and change 
♡ To learn more about cooking and photography 
♡ To inspire others 
♡ To have a place to think
♡ To share my favorite things 
♡ To be vulnerable 
♡ To challenge my creative abilities 
♡ To strengthen my voice and sense of self 
♡ To document moments and memories
♡ To practice authenticity
♡ To develop friendships with people all over the world 
♡ To share what's on my heart 
♡ To document my messy, beautiful life 

Some days I can write long heartfelt posts in under an hour, other days I can't even force myself to write a sentence. I go through periods where I really love this whole blogging thing, and other times where I say "To hell with all of this!," and think about signing off from the blogosphere for good... but every time that I receive an email from someone who asks me for advice or someone tells me that something that I wrote here helped them through a rough day ... it reminds me that I'm supposed to be doing this. I'm supposed to be writing, I'm supposed to be blogging, and I'm supposed to be sharing what's on my heart.


This blog is my diary, my recipe book, my photo album and my travel journal. It's a collection of the places I've been, the moments I've lived through, and the things that make me, me. I sincerely hope that you enjoy my Travel Babbles as much as I do ... and that you'll stop to say "hi" at some point if you haven't done so already.

Why do you blog?
Why do you read blogs?

If this post inspires you to write your own "Why" post, please leave your link in the comments,
I'd love to read it!

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September 28, 2013

October


I'm just popping in today to let you know that I updated all of my sponsor/advertising options!

Please note that all ads will now run month to month, so if you don't sign up for October 1st, you will have to wait until November 1st :)

Click here for more info, and feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions!

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September 27, 2013

Words For The Weekend // You Will Never Be Completely At Home Again

This is my last weekend at home and I have such conflicting emotions about our move next week. 

Four, five, six years ago, sure, I was always filled with excitement to pack up my things, leave this small town, and jet off to a new place to explore. Now, embarking on "our" seventh hockey season ... this moving thing seems to just tug harder and harder on my heartstrings. 

I know that I'll love Denver - it's probably the most exciting city thus far that we get the privilege to live in, I've heard nothing but wonderful things about the hockey organization, and I can't wait to actually meet some of my blogger friends (Sami, Hannah, LaurenJanna, Kristina and Mal) in real life - but I just wish that this all didn't have to come with the cost of moving away from my family, friends, and memories to be made with them here in Massachusetts.

source
This weekend will be spent soaking up each second with my loved ones - I hope that you take some time to unplug from the interwebs and do the same.

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September 25, 2013

Breaking Blogging Rules & My Favorite Motor Boating SOB

Somewhere within the first paragraph of Blogging 101, it clearly states that your blog should have a specific niche. There are food bloggers, mommy bloggers, DIY bloggers, fashion bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, travel bloggers, hell, there are even bloggers who blog about blogging.

I tried to label myself as a "hockey wife blogger" for a bit, but that got old (and barf worthy) really fast. I also tried to label myself as a "life and style blogger," until I realized that I'm the last person who should talk about fashion because I spend most of my days in yoga pants and tank tops.

If you don't have a blog then you might not understand what I'm about to say ... but there is a lot of competition in this blogging world to have high readership numbers, or to write the most commented on post of the week, or to be the next big thing.

It's really exhausting sometimes trying to keep up with it all. 


And once I stopped trying to conform to a specific niche, and I stopped caring so much about my numbers, and I stopped trying to xerox what a more popular blogger than myself was doing, my readership started to grow. And I found my voice. And I became more comfortable and confident with my content here. 

And most importantly, I became authentic. Which led to me weeding through and finding other authentic bloggers who break the blogging rules and publish whatever the hell they feel like publishing each day. I quickly found that these bloggers are the ones who motivate me daily to keep this place fresh and fun, and they inspire me much more than any self-dubbed "inspiration blogger" or "popular blogger" ever could.

So the moral of today's story is this: Stop trying to conform to whatever you think a blogger "should" be doing. Blogging isn't a new "thing," someone already published a post today that you planned on publishing tomorrow (that bastard!), and the probability of you becoming popular in an already overly crowded niche is slim to none. So write for you!

Doctor Seuss didn't tell us this when we were five years old for nothing: Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind. 

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

And now, I'm going to introduce you to one of my favorite motor boating sonofabitch bloggers I was referring to up above, Sarah. We did a little Q&A so that you can learn more about her ... and you'll probably learn a little more about me, too. Enjoy. xo

Kym:: Texas Roadhouse

Sarah:: Pizza Hut
Kym:: Ummm...I can put both of my legs behind my head? Is that considered talent? Can I use that at Miss America?

Sarah:: I can do a baby cry. Not just scream "whaaa" but you would think there was a newborn in my vocal cords. 
Kym:: Mmmmm....well let's put it this way, Fox is my second favorite F word. Don't judge me, that four letter word gets a lot of slack, but I think it's very versatile.

Sarah:: Wigwam. No matter how bad of a day you're having, the second the word wigwam slides off your lips you will be instantly happier. Don't believe me, give it a go.....
Kym:: The only "celebrity" I've ever met in real life was Jason Earles from Hannah Montana back in 2008. He's was like 5 feet tall and 30 years old playing a 15 year old boy at the time, which I still think is pretty flipping creepy!

Sarah:: I've met Chipper Jones, I was 8. I saw Peyton Manning at a bar once but chickened out on saying hi. I went on John Legend's tour bus in hopes that he was there, but it turned out to just be his crew doing drugs. We left. 
Kym:: A princess. But in all seriousness, I look forward to one day owning my own dance and barre studio.

Sarah:: Olympic Badminton Player. But in all seriousness, Olympic Badminton Player. //For the record, I'm aware the picture below is table tennis. I don't have one of me playing badminton (yet)//
Kym:: I would love to live in Key West or Tahiti, but I'll probably end up living by a small stream in Massachusetts.

Sarah:: I think I'm where I want to be. About a year ago I started applying for jobs in all the major cities I love (Dallas, Chi-town, NYC) and scored a position in Dallas. Now here I am rootin for all the teams I love, what could be better?
Kym:: If I had a million bucks I would pay off our car and all of our debt, I'd buy a house, and I would probably go a little crazy on frivolous things like a new wardrobe and shoes. I'd also donate a chunk to the Bulldog Club of America Rescue Network, treat my family, and then soon thereafter, I'd be stuck eating macaroni and cheese and hot dogs for the rest of my life because I'm terrible at managing money.

Sarah:: Well, now that Kym had to play the donation card.... I'm obligated to say that I would donate some to Susan G. Komen foundation. I'd like to say I'd save it, but knowing me, I'd have a new car, a new house and a crap ton of stuff from Forever 21.
Kym:: I wake up between 7-7:30am, make myself a coffee and check my email and social media accounts. I work from home as a personal assistant, and around 8am I start doing my part to make my client's worlds go round. Between 11 and 12 I do "blog stuff" then return to assisting my peeps from 12-2. My eyes are usually burning by this time so I take a break from the computer, eat lunch, run errands, remember that I have a dog, doink around, and return to work from 4-6. Around 6 I take another break, eat dinner, and keep myself busy doing pointless things. I try to mix in a run and some barre or yoga, and then return to the computer to do more "blog stuff" and work for another two hours. Wash, dry, repeat. To make a long story short, I basically sit on my butt for most of the day!

Sarah:: I wake up at 5am and go to the gym.  I wake up at 6:30 and fidget on my phone for longer than I care to admit then realize if I don't get up I'm going to have to send that awkward, "I got stuck in traffic" message to my boss. I work from 8am-5pm at a place called Tohatsu. It is a Japanese outboard motor company (like on boats) and I find myself with very little patience trying to communicate with the guys in Japan many times throughout the day. I love my job though, especially when I get to travel to beautiful locations a few times a year! After work I go workout again. I come home and work on my second job for my old company back in Tennessee and do blog stuff before passing out to do it all over again! 
Kym:: Being completely frivolous ... my iPhone, my computer and Netflix.

Sarah:: iPhone, computer, everything in this post
Kym:: I am most grateful for my family. We move around quite a bit and I've lost contact with a lot of friends in the process. It's true what they (who the hell are THEY, anyways?) say ... family will always be there!

Sarah:: Family! I totally include my two pups General and Venus as family members. Like Kym said, friends come and go, family will always be there! 





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September 23, 2013

If You Own A Pet, You Need To Read This.

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

In his four short years of life, Brutus has packed up his bed, bowls and treats, and moved somewhere between fifteen and twenty times. I've lost count actually, but we're adding one more "home" to the list when we move to Denver next week.


I've never been too worried about Brutus venturing off (I mean let's get real, Chunks McGee isn't getting anywhere fast) ... but if I had to be honest, I've always been a worry wart that someone would steal him. 

When we first moved to Germany back in 2010, we had to have an international microchip inserted in Brutus. I felt comfortable with the just the chip for the past couple of years ... but the reality of the microchip is that all it really is is an identification number. The chip only proves to be useful should Brutus ever wander off straight into the arms of a kind person who would take him to a place that has the capability to scan his chip and find our contact information in their database.

So what happens if he wandered off into the wrong hands? Or what if someone saw his cute face and broke in and stole him while I was out running errands or something? I know that sounds silly, but I "like" a few English Bulldog networks on Facebook and I've seen a good handful of post about lost and/or stolen Bullies who have been taken right out of their yards and homes!

With Brutus being such a lover that he is, I know for a fact that he'd go home with anyone. Talk about frightening. And I'm not saying that I feel uncomfortable with our move to Denver ... but if he were to ever get lost or stolen there, I wouldn't even know where to begin searching for him in the city!

So when I was asked if I'd like to test out the Tagg Pet Tracker, of course I said Y-E-S!


And you guys, this thing is seriously awesome. I honestly, truly believe that it's a responsible investment in the safety of your four legged family member.

Unlike a microchip, the Tagg Pet Tracker tracks your pet 24/7 via GPS. You begin using it by creating an account online and setting a home base or "Tagg Zone". Once your zone is set, if your pet wanders outside of that bubble, you receive an email and a push notification on your phone.


In addition to tracking your pet's location, you can also enable tracking of his or her daily activities. This is a really awesome feature - it tracks every movement, walk, run or snooze, and gives you a detailed peek into your pet's overall fitness level. As you can see below, our lazy Bulldog rested for 51% of the day.


The tracker is so lightweight and easily attaches to your pet's existing collar or harness, and the tracker has been designed to be worn at all times - even while swimming!


Just for fun, we decided to "steal' Brutus over the weekend. The Tagg Pet Tracker has a "trip mode" that you can put the tracker in, but we decided to just put Brutus in the car and drive to the park without letting the system know that we were taking him out of his zone.

As soon as we left our bubble I was waiting for an instant update ... and it didn't come. As we drove another mile, it still didn't come. Another mile ... it still didn't come. But just as I started to stress and we were nearing mile three, I received an email and push notification that Brutus had left his safe zone. 

I think it took a hot minute for the system to realize that Brutus was gone because 1.) The Tagg goes into "sleep mode" when it's near it's base to save battery life, and 2.) We were driving 25-30 MPH. It really only took about four or five minutes for the system to wake up, realize he was gone, and notify me.


Now this is where the Pet Tracker get really cool - I was able to zoom right in on Brutus on the iPhone app, and actually see him via GPS walking through the park. So unlike the microchip, the Tagg Pet Tracker gives you the capability to locate your runaway or stolen pet RIGHT NOW - and you can even get directions from your location to your pet's location so that you can go and rescue him.


I'm seriously so impressed with this incredible system ... and because I know that you will be too, I'm happy to share the following promo code with you: If you use the code TAGG10, you will save 10% off of the Tagg Pet Tracker (which is normally $99 with 3 months of free service.)

If you have any questions about this system, feel free to leave them in a comment below and I'll be happy to answer them for you!

Are you as obsessed with your pet as I am with Brutus?
What do you think about the Tagg Pet Tracker?

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September 19, 2013

Thursday Things

We're officially leaving for Denver on October 3rd. Eeek. I've already been Googling Top Fall Festivals and 50 Free Fall Activities. I love this season, there's so much to do in Denver now through Christmas, and I can't wait to explore our new home :)

I'm not sure who conducted this study, but I have to agree.

Awesome DIY - turn an old coffee table into an ottoman.


I spent the day with my Grandmother yesterday and we stopped at Panera for lunch. I had the most delicious Autumn Squash Soup. Panera's website says that the soup is a blend of squash and pumpkin, simmered in vegetable broth with honey, apple juice, cinnamon and a hint of curry, finished with sweet cream and topped with roasted and salted pumpkin seeds. I am on a mission to recreate this recipe at home. I definitely tasted the pumpkin and cinnamon, and all of the flavors blended together but each had their own distinct taste in the soup. Does that even make sense? I'm not going to pretend to be a food blogger lol ... but I will definitely be attempting to make this soup at home and hopefully I can perfect the recipe and share it soon.

Do you have a favorite Fall recipe to share?
What's your favorite Fall activity?

xo,
Kym

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September 16, 2013

My Weekend // The Big E


Obviously, the only picture that I took of TJ and myself was taken on my cell phone.

For the first time in five years, we were actually home in Massachusetts and able to attend The Big E. To say that I was excited is an understatement.

There's no better way to celebrate the sights, sounds, and tastes of Fall in New England than at The Big E. 

From local beer, to Maine Baked Potatoes, Massachusetts Lobster Rolls, New Hampshire Maple Candy, Vermont Cheddar Cheese, corn dogs, cotton candy, caramel apples, sausage grinders, fried dough, fried pickles, fried Snickers, chocolate covered bacon, sugared doughnuts ... there's something for everyone, and trust me, the tummy ache that you have the next day is absolutely worth it.

There are also multiple concerts (we saw DJ Pauly D and guess what? I was (fist)PUMPED!), an incredible array of crafts and local goodies, livestock barns, tractor pulls (yes, I'm into that), the Clydesdale's horses, and more.

The Big E is a loud, tacky, silly, and smelly tradition - it's good old fashioned fun that I'm so happy I was home to celebrate with TJ and our friends.

Have you ever been to The Big E? 
Do you get as excited as I do about the local fair?

xo,
Kym

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September 13, 2013

Words For The Weekend // Be Kind

Writing a public blog is a funny thing.

I told TJ the other day that sometimes I feel like I live a double life.
 
While many people have told me that they appreciate how honest I am here ... from talking about how shitty the hockey life can sometimes be, to being so open about our miscarriage, to sharing different pieces from my heavy heart ... there are many other things that I wish I could write about, but I just can't.

Because, I guess, maybe, those pieces are too broken, and shattered, and scattered to piece together and write about.

So with that being said ... I guess what I wanted to share today is this:


Be kind. Because everyone you meet is fighting a battle that you know nothing about.

xo,
Kym

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September 12, 2013

Thursday Things

I'm swooning over this unique piece of art! How cool would it be to have a sound wave of your husband/wife/children/etc saying "I love you"?

Did you know that Panera Bread has a hidden menu? Mind = BLOWN!

I absolutely adore this DIY wooden pallet sign.



xo,
Kym

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