dorito dust

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Okay, first things first, I have been so absent from this blog the past couple of weeks and I really, really hate that. I've been working overtime at the paper, juggling social activities with the family, my step-daughter had her junior prom last weekend (!!!) and we're in the middle of a backyard renovation that I, admittedly, haven't been super helpful with but it's still happening.

That being said, I found the time to post this so, whew, sigh of *slightly stressed* relief.

Anyways, guys, I have to admit something. As the title of this post implies...

My hands were covered in Dorito dust last night. 

I guess you could say I was caught orange-handed.

Anyone that knows me has probably noticed how obnoxiously consistent I've tried to be with my health grind since the beginning of the year. Like so many others, I made a promise to myself to improve my eating habits, find time to hit the gym and finally get my act together as part of my New Years resolution. Miraculously, I've actually stuck to it! At the risk of sounding like your stereotypical gym-douche, *cringe* I've lost 12 pounds since making the commitment, which equates to a total loss of 20 pounds since I hit my heaviest weight in late 2015. I've been able to stay at this consistent weight ever since I reached it and I'm honestly pretty dang proud. For the first time. Like, ever.

Ok, hold the eye rolls. I've said it before and I'll say it again--no, my number on the scale has never been high. However, I have never, in my life, been "fit." Lanky? Yes. In shape? No. In high school, while some people had major self-esteem issues because of the weight they were putting on, I had a major lack of self-confidence because of the weight I wasn't. I still long to have curves just as much as I did back then. Let's be real here, I think any teenage girl would rather look like a woman over a 10-year-old boy, but hey, genes are genes and you get dealt what you're dealt. FYI, I look about 16 now, so things are looking up! ;)

Never forget that what looks right for one person, doesn't necessarily work for the other. My "normal weight" on some would look downright sickly. As in, wheel-her-to-the-ER-and-force-feed-her-a-cheeseburger-while-you-do-it sick. On that same note, what looks healthy, attractive and normal on most would likely be considered "overweight" on someone as short and lanky as me. And I promise you, this isn't me trying to brag because chances are, I'd love to trade places with you. And when I sit on my husband's lap and my non-existent booty causes pained discomfort because of the sheer lack of cushion, I'm sure he would readily agree with me. 😉

Alright, so back to last night. I had mentally patted myself on the back just that afternoon. For breakfast, I had my usual multi-grain bars. For lunch? A strawberry-walnut salad. I actually went out to eat, at a sports bar, and GOT. A. SALAD. The fact that I can consciously turn down fried pickles, onion rings and a frosty mug of beer is still a big deal to me. Mind you, I did still drink but I chose a 100 calorie skinny margarita instead, so golf claps for me!

After spending the afternoon with my parents, I drove straight to my nephews' little league game. There, I ate a basket of chili cheese nachos. Alright, that's cool, I thought to myself. I did really good today and, well, with the exception of all those chicken wings and french fries that one night last week...and the McDonald's burger that same day... I've done really, really good on this "get healthy" thing as a whole. I'm allowed to do this. Right?

So, next comes dinner. I got home late from the game, ran to Walmart to pick up some necessities and immediately started folding laundry and cleaning up the house when I walked through the door. By the time I was done, it was 11 PM and I. Was. Exhausted. Not wanting to take the time to prepare anything to eat, I told myself I would just lay down and munch on some of my healthy snacks until I felt full.

Apparently, what my brain meant by that was Doritos and candy bars.

Y'all know that feeling you get when you realize what you're doing is definitely not what you're supposed to be doing but you really don't care because it just feels so right and/or delicious? neither...

No, seriously, as soon as I finished off the bag, instant guilt set in. I even woke up this morning feeling like everything I've been working so hard for was a total waste of time. I disappointed myself, (mind you, I had those other big cheat meals recently, too) and felt like I was totally losing my grasp on the dedication and commitment I've been priding myself on. Here I've been, helping to motivate others to improve their health, and I go home and eat a Snickers?  I could feel myself taking those steps backward and I know how it usually goes for me-- as soon as I start to give up, I throw my hands up and let it happen. I mean, I've had a pretty inconsistent few weeks, might as well just stop trying and indulge myself, right?

Not this time.

If you're struggling to stay on the path of your own fitness journey, remind yourself that a few minor setbacks ain't crap in the long-run. Don't let it get the best of you like it almost did me. In fact, I'd even say go for it. Have those cheat days. It's okay. Don't deny yourself those pleasures in life. Just don't let it become habit. Don't lose sight of your end game. Don't rob yourself of your health.

What it boils down to is this-- I'll always have a sweet tooth, I'll forever love anything fried and oh sweet jeebus, carbs are bae. I'll allow myself those beautiful, sinful, occasional cheat meals but I won't let it define me. I won't be deterred. I refuse to let my setbacks become my new normal. When you commit yourself to your health, it's truly a lifestyle change. Blah, blah, blah, I know, but it's not gonna come for free.  I'd rather re-dedicate myself, recognize I've gotten off track and dig a little deeper for that motivation than lose it altogether.

At the end of the day, I am still proud. 

This isn't easy. Honestly, it really sucks sometimes. I smell melted cheese and pepperoni and the thought of the stationary bike becomes laughable. Is it really that important to feel good in that new bikini by summer? Can't I just go one more year without caring? What's it gonna hurt? I'll just try again next year. I mean, I've been doing that for the past decade, right?

That's a hard, solid NO.

This is my year and my time. Cue the "Rocky" theme song. I may not own much, but my body? That's all mine. Every inch of it. Even the ones I wish weren't there.

So bring on the temptation. It'll be hard. I'll give in on occasion. I'll even do it with a smile on my face because in the end, I know I'm still in control.  I may crave ice cream but I crave good health even more.

Now, if you need me, I'll be shamelessly stalking Instagram fitness models in the meantime.

kiss and makeup {with your self-esteem}

Thursday, April 13, 2017

So you know that thing that girls do when they post a picture of themselves and they like everything about it except maybe that one tiny little hair that's out of place or the way their arm looks from that particular angle so they add a passive-aggressive caption along with the photo that says "ugh, excuse my gross face" or "please don't pay attention to how fat I look"? (Wooo, that was a mouth full!)

I've been there. Many times. I'd be willing to bet that at some point, we all have. In fact, I think my entire high school experience was one giant "PLEASE DON'T ZOOM IN ON MY MYSPACE PIC, MY PORES ARE HUGE!"

Ladies, I'ma be blunt. You need to stop. I need to stop. We all need to stop. That vision you have in your head of what defines beauty is society's ideal, not yours. We've been trained, brainwashed and conditioned to adhere to a certain look; whether it's the way you style your hair or the thickness of your brows, we buy into these standards until we've all lost all originality, all sense of reality and above all else, our individuality. Don't make excuses for being you.

Now please don't get me wrong; I love a cute dress and a pedicure as much as the next girl. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking pride in your appearance, (in fact, I encourage it) carrying yourself with confidence and rockin' that new pair of jeans. I've always been into fashion {while ballin' on a budget, mind you} and I'll forever love me a good pair of shoes.

But in all honesty, lawwwd help me if I don't really, really love my worn-out yoga pants, baggy t-shirt and a messy, frizz-inclined bun on the top of my head, too. 


Since I started wearing makeup around the age of 14, the mere thought of being photographed without it is enough to send me into a tailspin. In fact, I genuinely have a reputation with friends and family as being the fastest Facebook un-tagger there is. Taking pictures with me can be an ordeal; I promise you, I'll likely find something I hate about the way I look, whether it's the shininess of my forehead, the size of my two front teeth or the way my shirt clings a little too tight to the pooch of my belly. It. Is. Exhausting. Why do I continuously do this to myself? Why am I so preoccupied with ensuring a flattering angle on my latest Instagram post when there's so many more important things going on in my life and the world at large?

Wanna know something even harder for me to admit? Even when just lounging around the house by myself, I occasionally catch a glimpse of myself makeup-free and will put on a touch of foundation or a swipe of mascara just to keep myself from cringing. The amount of unhealthy in that sentence is astounding.

People see me every day in person. They know what I look like. They know what I don't. Why am I so quick to try and change that perception on social media?

Comparing yourself to others is a dangerous thing. You can't change your height, you can't choose the skin you're in. Sure, you can lose weight. Do it. You can cut your hair. That's great! Go for it! But you can never become someone else. I have spent so many hours of my life looking at girls with better skin, bigger boobs and brighter eyes, wondering how they could have possibly been born so graceful, so beautiful, and with all the knowledge and skill in the world to do their hair and makeup so perfectly when I legit struggle with getting my eyeliner on even remotely straight.

I guarantee you, they're thinking the exact same thing.

You are you, are you, are you. There is a reason for that. You can be nobody else. Why would you want to be? The Lord above gave you this life for a reason. Find your purpose and be proud. And for goodness sake, stop calling yourself ugly, gross or unworthy--on Twitter or in private. You are what you believe you are. By speaking of yourself negatively, you portray someone who is unconfident, vulnerable and insecure. This will become how other people see you as well. You know how you are what you eat? You're also what you think.

Let's be honest. I'll always be a firm believer that makeup is pretty awesome. But man, I really need to start accepting myself without all that. I'm still me underneath. I have a good heart, an incredible family and I'm in a really good place in my life. I am surrounded by so much love. Is it really the end of the world if someone sees me without concealer on my face? Or if my hair looks like I just took my finger to an electrical outlet?

Remember: you are beautifully and wonderfully made. On purpose. Your natural self is authentic, original and pure. There was not a single mistake made on you, gorgeous girl. There's nothing wrong with getting dolled up. Just don't lose your sense of worth with each swipe of your makeup wipe.

Consider this my public promise to live life and start loving myself. My true self. After all, my bathroom mirror doesn't come with a Snapchat filter.


step mom monday {vol 1}

Monday, April 10, 2017

Happy Monday, y'all! The past couple weeks have been an absolute whirlwind at Casa de Kaley and Co. I've been battling some sinus issues straight from Hades the past 2 weeks which has totally thrown off my blogging/gym/life in general game. Because of this, I admittedly haven't been keeping up with ACWK nearly as much as I have it in my heart to.

Last week though, inspiration hit me and it hit me hard, guys. I found myself joining a massive amount of blogger groups on Facebook, I've been listening to grow-your-blog podcasts AND I even launched brand new Instagram and Pinterest accounts, @acupwithkaley! Please bear with me, ladies. I know it's been a slow-as-molasses process but I'm totally committing myself to building up this little community and {fingers crossed} spreading a lil' love and happiness with a side of strong coffee along the way. :)

One of the things I've recently learned, and can't wait to apply, is choosing one day a week to blog about a certain topic. Sooo, without further ado...

 Introducing: Step Mom Monday! 

There are so many amazing mom-blogs out there and I've been so inspired by each and every one I've read; however, I've noticed a definite lack in the market for blogs geared specifically towards those of us who haven't been blessed with our own kids but still get the privilege of being a momma. I've been a legal, legit step-mom for just over a year now but have spent the last 4 and a half years of my life falling deeper and deeper in love with my two beautiful bonuses, Faith and Ethan.

{Not only did I recently gain two step-children, I gained two TEENAGE step-children! Faith just turned 17 last week and E is 14. Wuuuut?}

For any other bonus moms out there, you know good and well how freakin' mind-blowing it is to go from being kidless to having your heart completely fulfilled by human beings you didn't even know existed not long before. These two have brought me so much joy and I've been introduced to this deeply maternal side of me that I had never gotten the chance to explore before.

   My question for you is this:

When do you know you're ready for your own littles? How do you make that leap from not just step-mom, but "full-time, full-blown" momma of more?

That's not to say I don't consider myself a full-time parental figure already. I do. Just because the kids don't live with us full-time by no means translates to feeling like a partial mom. I love those kids like they were my own, [although I certainly don't try to take anyone's place] and I've recently found myself faced with issues that never even crossed my little mind before--for example, Faith got her driver's license last week. That's right, MY STEP-DAUGHTER CAN DRIVE.  I definitely never expected to be a 27-year-old worried sick over teen auto accident statistics but hey, here I am!

My husband and I know we eventually want kids together and let's face it, the closer I get to 30, the more I start to feel like I'm finally ready. Besides that, within my close group of girlfriends, 3 of us have little ones ages 2 and under and my best friend is expecting her first in August. But how does a parent balance and evenly divide their time and affection between existing kiddos and a new baby on the block? How do I, as a step-mother, make sure to demonstrate the fact that even if I may have a child of my own, F & E are no less my kids-by-heart than they were before? This goes for all mommas, not just ones by marriage. How have YOU helped a sibling scenario thrive without allowing your child(ren) to feel overlooked or replaced?

Sound off in the comments below +  be sure to help a girl out and share, share, share!