i peaked in the year 2000

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The 2000s were a glorious time, y'all. We had Britney Spears' pleather pants and Pepsi commercials, Justin Timberlake's frosted ramen head, synchronized dance moves, body jewels and inordinate amounts of glitter and butterfly hair clips.

There was also the spawn of the devil, Furbies, those little robot dogs that broke within a month, (RIP dog-I-probably-named-Lance-Bass) power beads that would apparently bring you strength and/or romance, inflatable furniture, Gigapets and AIM profiles decked out in hot pink ImPaCt FoNt. (Shout out to my BFFEAEAE and NOT my crush, bcuz he sux.)

To celebrate this little wave of millennium nostalgia, I present you with a really attractive collection of me at roughly 10 years old aka Y2Kaley, if you will. Gummy Bear body spray by Juice Bar and pants that zip into capris that zip into shorts not included.

This is technically late 90's but I'm including it anyway because LOOK AT THAT CHILI BOWL HAIRCUT. It looks like I cut it myself with a jackhammer. The same jackhammer I used on my teeth, apparently. I'm also rocking what appears to be a nice watermelon-inspired dress with some sort of...cape? Did...did this dress come with a cape collar? Was I a springtime superhero? If so, my superpower must have been blinding beauty because I mean, obviously. Anyways, the star of this photo, besides the Grand Canyon-sized gap in my mouth, is the vast collection of Mary-Kate and Ashley videos I've very casually positioned myself with. I mean, come on, y'all know you remember To Grandmother's House We Go, the one where they had a sleepover and put egg foo yung on their pizza and all the really puzzling capers they solved by singing and dancing as the infamous Trenchcoat Twins. Side note: I had an imaginary twin sister named Mary at one point that may have been inspired by all of this. Side side note: I also had a lot of friends.

THEM SHOES THOUGH. Here I am, thoroughly inspired by the Spice Girls on my lower half and a tropical waterfall on my top half. To class things up, I tucked my shirt into my skort because that's naturally what one does when wearing a skort, I guess. Also, I'm wearing scrunchie socks AND a scrunchie in my hair so bonus points to me for being sOooO new millennium, baybay.

Okay, if this isn't the embodiment of my childhood, I don't know what is. Here I am before the Britney Spears concert, looking so much like her, it's unreal. Not only am I rocking the questionable 10 year-old version of the catholic schoolgirl outfit, but I'm also wearing a CLUELESS VOICE- CHANGING HEADSET PHONE. This was not just a prop to look like a microphone, guys. I routinely used this to prank call people by myself. Also, those shoes weren't part of the costume, I actually wore those. Good looking out, mom.

I have to take a deep breath and clear my mind before I can fully comprehend the amount of millennial going on in this photo. For starters, there's the Brit calendar in the back. Do I sense a theme here? Also, glitter lava lamp and regular type lava lamp for the win. I also spy with my little rose-tinted aviator wearing eyes, a tye dye lamp with matching bedding and a fully functioning CD player plus boom box. And wait. Holy Nick Carter, is that a see-through neon green desk lamp mysteriously on the floor?! And Beanie Babies on the shelves?! And an incredibly awkward pose I must have thought I'd seen boy bands do on the cover of J-14? AND THE PORTABLE KIDS KEYBOARD THAT I WROTE SONGS LIKE "MUSIC MANIA" COMPLETE WITH MULTIPLE DANCE BREAKS ON?!?! I have to take a break and re-apply my Dr.Pepper Lipsmackers to recover from all this nostalgia, y'all.

Oh, man. Here's me and Renee before the Aaron Carter concert in the 5th grade. Please take special notice of the super futuristic sunglasses, crimped hair before mermaids were cool, Limited Too sparkle pants and matching shirt that went a little too heavy on the sequins and geometric designs. Also, I am wearing a Squeeze Breeze around my neck. I repeat, I AM WEARING A FREAKING SQUEEZE BREEZE AS A NECKLACE. I mean, when you're that hot, you gotta keep cool somehow, amirite?! Fun fact: my poster originally said "I HEART AARON" but I added on "...'s music" to the end so my dad wouldn't get mad and Renee totally judged me for it. Yeah, the girl with the pigtails and metallic shirt tied around her waist thought that it would be okay to pass judgement.

Finally, here I am, roughly 12 years old, hanging out in beautiful star-filled California and making the conscious decision to wear shirt-jeans. Because why would I wear high-waisted jeans when I could WEAR A SHIRT THAT GAVE THE ILLUSION OF HIGH-WAISTED JEANS?! I'm practically the David Blaine of denim. It's like I actually wanted the very trendy people of Hollywood to see me walking down Sunset Blvd. and ask themselves "Is that girl wearing jeans? No, she's wearing shirt-jeans!" Also, this was literally made of silk and I think those are Chinese symbols in the middle. They probably stood for peace, tranquility and fashion.

Anyways, consider this my away message, guys! Until then, turn on TRL and take it easy on the body glitter.

XoXoXo, <3~~HoLLiSterHaWti28

the kathryn effect

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  Is it not the weirdest thing in the world when a certain smell jogs a thousand and one memories? It happened to me just earlier today. I was walking through a parking lot on our little town square when the strong scent of a familiar perfume washed over me with the weight of a breaking wave. I had to catch my breath, it was so unexpected. It was like I went back in time for a fraction of a second and my grandma Kathryn was right by my side again.

  In actuality, it's been over 10 years since I've heard that contagious laugh, been flashed that beautiful smile or was enveloped in one of her sweet hugs, that trademark perfume, Pheronome, leaving its mark on everything she owned. My mom's mom was the quintessential Southern woman, y'all. A kind, compassionate, Jesus lovin', iced tea chuggin' lady with sass to spare. I know it sounds cliche but Miss Kathryn Louise wasn't just my grandmother, she was my rock. Sometimes, I still don't know how I stay anchored without her.

   I'm an incredibly lucky girl in the fact that every single one of my grandparents were and are shining examples of the kind of person I wish to be. My grandpa Johnson was strong, protective and loved nothing more than a good practical joke and rough-housing with his grandkids. My grandma Betty Grace was sweet, quiet and gentle with a heart made of absolute gold. My mother's dad, my Granddaddy, Murray, was intelligent, honest, soft-spoken and kind. The sweetest bonus in my life, my dad's step-mom, grandma Floy, continues to be a beacon of compassion, warmth and love. Because my grandpa Johnson and grandma Floy lived in Omaha, Nebraska and Granny B.G. was in California, I often get a little heartsick at the amount of memories I missed out on living so far away in Texas. Those cherished times when they made the trip here or we trekked out to see them, however, are forever ingrained in my heart.

 If your grandparents are still living, soak that in. Ask them their story. Get to know who they were before they became parents, much less grandparents. Bust out the old family photo albums and reminisce with them. My last memory of my Grandmama was the night before she passed. She was so weak and sick with the cancer attacking her body. It was so sudden. She had been diagnosed just a couple weeks before and planned to start chemotherapy the day she left us. A few days prior, her and I sat at her storied kitchen table, the table where we once shared so many meals and countless family game nights. As I helped her spread peanut butter onto Saltine crackers, a go-to snack, and at this point, one of the only things she could keep down, I was hit with the realization that these precious little moments wouldn't last forever.

  Later that afternoon, she settled into her recliner and turned the TV on to one of her beloved soap operas. I sat nearby in the next room, curled up in a chair and flipping through some old scrapbooks. I could feel her eyes watching me and when I looked up, she seemed so wistful, like she longed for time she knew she didn't have. That night, as my mother and I tucked her fragile body into bed, she gently wrapped her arms around my neck and whispered "I love you, baby." As we walked out of the front door and into the dark night, I stole one final glance behind me. She looked so small in that big ol' bed. I blew her a kiss and off we went. I had no idea it would be the last time I'd ever see her.

 That memory is still so vibrant in my mind, I can literally see the shadow the light from the TV cast onto the shape of her in that bed. I long to have her back on this earth with me. When I got married, almost exactly one year ago, I wanted nothing more than to have 4 of those chairs filled by my beloved grandparents, Kathryn, Murray, Richard and Betty. Instead, we set up a little table with a candle and flowers beside a framed photo of each of them and a sign that read "This candle burns in loving memory of those forever in our hearts."

That they are.

 My soul was made complete by my 5 grandparents. There is so much to be learned from those who have lived a long, full life. Experiences, regrets, whatever the memory, it can be used as fuel for your fire. Ask those questions while you have the chance. They were born and raised in a much different time and place than we were, an era I often wish I could have experienced myself. Put down your iPhone, unplug the laptop and try a different kind of connection--one with your parents, your grandparents, your great-aunt, your father's cousin, whomever. You never know when their voice will be silent and you have to rely on your own memories of them to get you through.

  I continually ask myself, "By doing this, would my grandma brag on me to her friends at church? Would my granddaddy approve of the words I'm about to speak?" Even years after their deaths, they continue to ground me. I can only hope that I continue to make them proud.

 Love one another, never take anything for granted and be kind, y'all. It's what your grandmother would want you to do. :)

fitness (whole slice of pizza in my mouth)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Let me be reeeeal honest right now. I’m one of the most gym-challenged people out there. I pretty much have sticks for arms so there goes any powerlifting on the horizon and my favorite form of cardio is walking through the Dollar Spot at Target 23 times in a row. I never really played any sports growing up and I admit that it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for me to hit up fast food spots 3 times a day. My average meal plan in high school consisted of an occasional quick run through McDonald’s for an iced mocha (extra whip) and a McMuffin meal in the AM, a full order of Pizza Hut breadsticks and a huge slice or two of pepperoni for lunch and two Cheesy Gordita Crunches and a large order of nachos ala Taco Bell for dinner. Aaand probably a Dr. Pepper or two at each meal. Not to mention the chips, candy bar and additional soda from the vending machines for a midday snack.

This kind of eating was pretty consistent for me as a kid. My sweet mom would try to cook for me but guess who wouldn’t DREAM of eating grilled chicken or, Lord help us, vegetables that weren’t drenched in Big Mac sauce? This girl. I lived off of French fries and inordinate amounts of sugar for years and at the time, I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, I don’t gain any weight, this is great, I can just eat like this forever, now can I supersize that?!”

Fast forward 10 years later uh, that thought process didn’t hold up. Hello, slower metabolism! I’ve always had a slight build–in fact, I was so boney, I was constantly teased about having an eating disorder. {that’s another blog post for another time.} This led me to falsely believe genetics would be on my side forever. Can you guess what started changing right after high school? 🙄

This year, I’ve finally committed to making a change and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Y'all, this is so far beyond just changing the way you look. I admit that’s part of it–dreams of working a bikini with rock hard abs on a beach with my husband tend to dance through my head from time to time. But for me, it’s more about the way I FEEL. Over the past 3 months, I’ve become way more energetic, light on my feet, improved my skin and overall “glow”, and, lets face it, I’m less moody! Endorphins are a beautiful thing.

Since hitting my heaviest weight just over a year ago, I’m officially down almost 20 pounds. It may not sound like a lot but man, I sure feel it! No more sluggishness, no more feeling…well, for lack of a better word, gross. I think there’s a lot to be said for that. When you feel good, you look good. The self-esteem boost and sense of empowerment is real.

That’s not to say any of this has been easy. There are days the thought of the elliptical makes my head spin. I’m often tired, sore, not in the right mindset or just plain over it. Let’s be real, a bucket of fried chicken will always sound better than a salad. Occasionally, I literally have to force myself off the couch, suck down a few cups of coffee and remind myself that I’m worth it. There’s really nothing more important than your health, y'all. {But seriously, aIl you have to do is look at a few pictures of peak Britney Spears’ bod and that’s the little extra push you need.}

My whole point in all this is that I sincerely hope I can help inspire others to make the changes they need, no matter how small, to improving their overall health and well-being. Please ladies, do NOT be intimidated by change. Don’t feel embarrassed to be seen at the gym. You’re supposed to sweat. You’re supposed to look like a hot mess. You only have ONE body. Take care of it. It’s the only place you have to live. Seriously. Let that sink in. This is your HEALTH. Your LIFE. It’s not just about the size of your jeans. This isn’t about what other people think of you. This isn’t about fitting into a new dress or looking like that photoshopped actress on the cover of Cosmo. This is literally about your quality of life. For some, this could be a matter of life or death. You won’t ever be as young again as you are today. Why are we so quick to stop caring about ourselves? The body you’re in right now is the only vessel you have.

You CAN do this. You CAN change. You ARE worth it. Confidence and well-being are so, so important. Again, your health is so, so important! Take a look at yourself. Right now. Run to a mirror and look. If you can say you are 100 % happy with where you’re at, I applaud and admire you. If you don’t feel like you are the best version of yourself, become it. Start the process. At the risk of sounding way too harsh, only you are responsible for you. If you’re miserable, you can’t blame anyone but yourself. Get moving. No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everybody on the couch. And no matter how many times you said you were going to stop eating junk food and ended up at Burger King the next day…so what? It’s never too late to start now. You can’t get the butt you want by sitting on it. ;) Exercise that will-power. Prove to yourself that you can. Heck, if you don’t feel like you can, prove yourself wrong!

I don’t work out because I hate my body. I work out because I love it. I love me. I love my life. I’m no beast in the gym. I’m uncoordinated, I have shockingly weak legs and I’m slower than molasses on the treadmill. But I’m trying. I’m changing. I’m improving. I’m exceeding my goals. I’m feeling better about myself each day. And I am so, so happy.

Like I said before, chase that happiness, girl. You deserve it. You are so much stronger than you realize. You have self-control. Use it. Defy peoples opinions of you. Defy the opinion you have of yourself. Push harder than you did yesterday if you want a different tomorrow. When you feel like quitting, remember why you started in the first place. Repeat it to yourself until it’s drilled into your brain. Tape a picture of that bikini to the mirror if you need to. Good health is the most obvious sign of your self-respect, self-love and self-worth. If you don’t show it to yourself, how can you expect others to show it to you? Love yourself. Respect the body that has been given to you because this is the ONLY life you have. Today is another chance to get it right.

Kick that booty into gear, sister.

chasin' dreams

It’s not always easy to take a leap of faith when you can’t quite see where you’ll land. For me, I know I’m usually a creature of habit. I get up around the same time every morning, let the dog out, turn off the porch lights, fix my breakfast, let Dixie back inside to eat and make the bed. Riveting stuff. For the longest time, there was no variation to this ritual. Then…life happened.

Y’all, I am so BEYOND happy to announce {or repeat, for those of you who haven’t seen me freaking out all over social media already} that your girl here has a brand new career and a brand new outlook on life. :) Last month, I accepted a position as a staff reporter for our local newspaper. If there’s a job out there that’s more tailor-made for me, I certainly haven’t found it and truth be told, I don’t want to.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of a being a writer and reporter. When I was about 8 or so, I “published” my own little paper called the Kaley Khronicles…shout out to my parents for being the only people that read it. Also, I only made one copy of each paper so there’s that, too.
 **My groundbreaking articles included the classic “Dad loses his sock” and the very hard-hitting “Mom went to work today.”**

After high school, I briefly attended college for a few semesters and majored in journalism with an emphasis in broadcasting. As time went by, I came to the realization that maybe, just maybe, school isn’t for everyone and maybe, just maybe, I was one of those people. I left college and took a lot of time to travel, work, and quite simply, grow. A few years later, I got married, moved to a small town and have been happily wifing it up ever since.

Sometimes though, an opportunity presents itself that you simply never saw coming. I happened to see a friend had re-posted an ad on Facebook for the job opening at the paper and immediately, I was reworking my resume and printing off examples of my work. Although to some, it’s just a small-town paper, to me, it’s a reminder that passion is important. As cliche as it sounds, work isn’t really work when you love what you do. Taking chances, as scary and imposing as they may seem, can pay off tenfold. You never know unless you try. Truly. If you had told 18 year-old me that I’d be writing for a living one day, I wouldn’t have believed you. I foolishly convinced myself that because I never finished my degree, my dream job was unattainable. Now, I start off each morning with two cups of coffee and a smile on my face.

If things aren’t going the way you’d planned, if you wake up with a sense of dread washing over you and a heaviness on your shoulders, remind yourself–you are the master of your fate, girl. Work hard. Bust yo butt. Cling to positivity and never, ever settle for less than what you’re worth. Because trust me; you’re worth so much more than you know.

And if you ever find yourself in a position where you can chase that little bit of happiness, chase it. Feed your soul. Take the freakin’ chance. Yes, you don’t know what’s on the other end of that hurdle. Jump anyway. Even if this specific opportunity doesn’t work out, it may bring you to the one that does. Experiences count. You live them, you learn from them and then you grow with them. If you don’t take that shot, you may end up with a few missed chances and a lifetime of regret. Remember, not everyone’s dreams look the same. What works for Suzie won’t always work for Bobby. Do YOU. You are your own person and you have your own aspirations. Shake off whatever is holding you back. Silence the negativity. If you pray, pray hard. If you don’t, remind yourself that your destiny is still yours. Only you can make it happen.

I’m a firm believer that personal happiness is important. It won’t always last. Bad days are inevitable. I just know I’d rather have my bad days while in a good place in my life than experience those same highs while remaining stagnate.

When it comes down to it, you just gotta close your eyes, take a deep breath, and get on your path. The only thing that’s left to do is run.

treat yo man (with respect)

*This one’s for the ladies but it can easily be flipped for the opposite gender. Just don’t start a bathroom debate.

So call me crazy, but I think supporting and appreciating your husband is kinda cool. Way too often, I see women complaining about their husband’s long hours, chastising them for their failures, putting unreasonable demands on them like white on rice. Now first, let me put this out there– I’m the wife of a salesman. He works for a Chevrolet dealership. His hours are endless, his days are stressful, he has sales goals to meet and a sea of people to talk to. I am SO guilty of getting upset when he comes through the door at 9 PM, wishing we had time for some Netflix and couch cuddlin’ but instead eating a late dinner and going straight to bed. There are days he stays hours after closing, only to have the deal fall through at the last minute. Do I really need to complain about how tired I am? Or how we missed the chance to sit down and watch a movie together? Or hit him with one of my good ol’ fired up rants the second he walks in the door? (Or maybe like, ever?)

My husband is, hands down, the hardest working, most multi-talented guy I know. He works his job, cooks INCREDIBLY good, gourmet restaurant-worthy meals, single-handedly completes renovations on the house, makes sure his kids are where they’re supposed to be with everything they need, and keeps our lights on, our water running and a roof over our heads. He does this BY. HIM. SELF. I may contribute a little every week from my job, but this man is the main provider. I mean, I’m in awe of the dude. I may keep the kitchen counters clean but he’s the one that built ‘em.

It’s so easy to sometimes overlook the sacrifices your spouse is making and instead focus your energy on the why nots and coulda-beens. Without the hours my husband spends on his feet all day, we wouldn’t have food on our table. Without the insane amount of time and labor he’s put into the house, we wouldn’t have the counter-tops, back splash, flooring, Chip-and-Joanna- approved-wood-accent-wall, none of it. I mean, he remodeled an entire bathroom by himself in addition to juggling all that and then some. The most I knew how to do was slap some paint on the walls and call it a day.

Always keep in mind that if you have a good, solid man in your life, he will provide in any way he can, not just financially. He will go above and beyond to meet the needs of your family. He will put time and effort into making sure your life together runs as smoothly as possible. This isn’t to say that you as a woman can’t do that, too. DANG RIGHT YA CAN! Until we decided to pack up and move to our small town, I had a good career, money in my pocket, the whole shebang. When we embarked on our new journey, I happily became a stay-at-home-wife for almost a year. I saw just how much heart and soul Taylor puts into everything he does and for that, I will forever be indebted.

Knowing he enjoys making a good life for his wife and children is a quality I truly respect and admire. I’m all about an independent woman (and highly recommend making sure a girl can stand on her own two feet, come what may) but there’s something innately comforting about a true man’s man that revels in his role as a provider. It hasn’t always been easy for us. Sometimes, it still isn’t. The pressure is high and his shoulders are heavy. He carries that load on his own. But I promise to always uplift him, tell him how appreciated he is and lend a hand wherever possible. Don’t worry, I swear I’ll get that whole cooking thing down soon. I’ll continue to bite my tongue on those late nights. I’ll keep making sure the floors are swept and the toilets are clean. (No, seriously, I will. I’m one of those super neurotic Monica Gellers that actually enjoys cleaning and organizing. :/ ) I’ll continue to use my husband as my personal motivation to work as hard in my day-to-day life as he does. And I will try to harness every negative emotion, every ounce of stress, every “I-wish-we-could” and turn it into a “because of him, we can.”

Girls, you deserve to be loved. You deserve to have your needs met. You deserve the help. You deserve the hand. You deserve a good man. And he deserves a good woman. Keep it positive, show him he’s loved, take time to truly see and appreciate everything he does for you and your family. Be his shoulder to cry on, his ear to talk to, his best friend and his built-in support system. It goes both ways. And don’t forget to hold on for dear life, because you found yourself a good one.

Now, go sing “I don't want no scrubs” at the top of your lungs and appreciate that he ain’t always talkin’ ‘bout what he wants and just sits on his broke a**.


*Originally posted September 8th, 2016.

I first met my now husband, Taylor, in late 2012. Before we began dating, I knew he had two kids from a previous marriage and he was like any other proud dad, regaling me with stories of soon-to-be 10 year-old Ethan and 12 year-old Faith. I’ll be honest; I had never dated a guy with kids before, much less ones that were on the “older” end of the spectrum. Before I met them, I remember thinking to myself “Okay. I know I’m good with little ones but how am I going to connect with adolescents? What will we talk about? Will they like me? Will they try to?” I spent days worrying about making a good impression and crossing my fingers that they weren’t going to hate my guts because let’s be honest, they didn’t know me from the man in the moon and they had every right to be weary!

Y’all, I swear I’m not being biased when I say that these are two of the sweetest, most polite, bright and endearing young people I could have ever hoped to have in my life. Upon meeting them, I instantly felt all of my worries melt away. Over the 4 years that have followed, I’ve been blessed with a strong bond with each of them and can truly say that some of the best moments of my life have been watching them grow into the resilient, intelligent and kind-hearted 16 and 13 year-olds they are today.

Being a step-parent doesn’t mean you’re a replacement. I can only imagine the conflict a birth mother or father must feel when their former partner enters into a new relationship and a family dynamic begins to form. I’m one of the lucky ones. I truly respect the kids’ mom (and her husband) and we’ve never had any moment where we spoke with any negativity towards one another. But as a step-parent, you have to accept this truth– you can love them, you can guide them, and you can always try your best to uplift them but you can never try to “win” them. You are a wonderful bonus to their lives; assuming that both parents are involved, you aren’t the one making all of the decisions, doling out punishments and picking out their clothes. That’s a tricky situation. You can have your heart absolutely filled to the brim for your step-kids, and rightfully so, but you have to know your role and embrace it. Be a supporter, a mentor, an ear that listens and a heart that loves. But remember–it is not your job to be their parent. It is not your job to be their disciplinarian. It is not your job to dictate.

Step-parenthood can be incredibly overwhelming, trying to navigate where you fit in and where the boundaries lie. You have to find a way to create a healthy, positive environment in which they thrive without infringing on the rights and beliefs of their mother or father. You may desire a close bond right away and feel like you’re doing something wrong if that doesn’t immediately happen but keep in mind– relationships need time to grow and this is no different. Never forget the importance of communicating with your spouse when it comes to their children. Opinions are fine and dandy but it’s not up to you to enforce all the rules.

When you invest yourself so completely in a child, you may find it difficult to not steer that ship. But I know in my case, these kids have a great father, a loving mother  and two step-parents that would move mountains for them. We’ve become like 4 points of a square with the children in the middle. Respecting each other’s positions in that square is essential and when you find a way to make it work, it’s rewarding beyond belief.

If you’re a step-parent, I respect, admire and applaud you. It isn’t an easy path to journey down and I commend anyone who steps up to the plate and opens their heart to another’s child. I came into Faith and Ethan’s lives at a delicate time– I didn’t witness any first steps or the first day of school, I missed getting to chase them around the playground, (heck, I jumped right into the pre-teen/teenage stage!) and I’ve never experienced the incredibly beautiful, irreplaceable bond of childbirth. But I have gotten to know two amazing souls, been lucky enough to watch them grow, and will continue to love, support and encourage them until the end of my days. Being a step-mom is the title I’m most proud to wear and the two of them have already taught me so much about myself. This may be a crash-course in parenting of sorts (one that, thankfully, helps to prepare me for my own journey into motherhood one day) but it’s a ride I consider myself lucky to be on.

Here’s to the many years worth of memories, laughs, tears, and fears to come. Kids, I’m so happy to have you in my life and I will never stop being a momma-in-love.

hello again, world

**I orginally hosted this blog through Tumblr but since switching to Blogger, I'm re-posting all of my old posts first. Carry on.**

Originally posted September 7th, 2016.

The name of this blog is A Cup With Kaley: Coffee and Conversation. Some of my favorite things in life include a warm drink, a good book and a true heart-to-heart. By starting this blog, I hope to create a little piece of home for anyone looking for something to talk about, a slice of encouragement, or total overkill when it comes to pictures of pumpkins/fall leaves/and rustic settings because let’s face it, I’m as basic as they come.

Throughout this journey, I’ll also be ATTEMPTING TO COOK FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER (and blogging every burnt piece of chicken and failed recipe in the process. I’m sure my husband is thrilled), exploring my passion for photography and sharing my random musings of balancing a brand new marriage, step-mommahood and  attempts at homemaking in a way that is hopefully fun, relate-able and maybe even a little uplifting.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @ kaleybranch or e-mail me at with any ideas, questions, or stories of your own.
Here we goooo!