Motivation Monday: Finding Sunshine in the Rain

Hello, again, Monday. It’s been raining for two days here in NYC. It’s a soft, gentle, misty rain. The kind that lingers in the air and causes my hair to grow to about four times its size. You know.

But in the clouds and the rain, we can find some sunshine! Rain can bring growth or rebirth. It can wash away grime and dirt. It can cleanse. It can bring love! No joke. One of my favorite memories with my husband was when we were first dating and got caught in a giant downpour with no umbrella. We raced through the rain with each other, high on the possibility of love, and warm with the thought of spending time together. It was magical. In fact, our first dance at our wedding was “Because of Rain” by Ella Fitzgerald, a truly dreamy song with such special lyrics:

Screen Shot 2013-05-20 at 9.41.31 AM

Enough of my gushy talk ::blushing::Here’s your does of Motivation Monday (because this rainy week, you’ll need it!). Enjoy!

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain via Hurray KimmayLife isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain ::source::

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain via Hurray KimmayListen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain ::source::

Lovers in the rain via Hurray KimmayLovers in the Rain ::source::

Wherever you go, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine via Hurray Kimmay

Wherever you go, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine ::source::

She wanted the rainbow so she put up with the rain - via Hurray Kimmay

She wanted a rainbow so she put up with the rain ::source::You are my sunshine on a rainy day via Hurray KimmayYou are my sunshine on a rainy day ::source::

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet. via hurray Kimmay

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet. ::source::

Don't let the sunshine spoil your rain - via Hurray Kimmay

Don’t let the sunshine spoil your rain ::source::

During rainy days or hard times, what do you do to see the sunny side of things?

xoxo Kimmay


Pets Deserve Sleeping Instagram Photos, Too

I’m at that age where most of my friends from high school are having babies. My Facebook and Instagram feed are overflowing with birth announcements, pregnancy photos… and sleeping babies. So many sleeping babies. At first I was annoyed: “Why would I want to see multiple photos of your infant sleeping?!”. But then, I realized that it’s only natural…. and I’m already doing it.

Babies sleep a lot (when they’re not crying or eating). Those quiet moments are parents’ time to fawn over baby without interruption. And making a baby is a big deal. And parents love their new babies – partly because of hormones, partly because making a baby is a big deal. Maybe part of me is just jealous. I want a baby… someday. I have babies on the brain, I’m admitting it. But I do not actually want a baby right now. One day. So what do I do? I take photos of my sleeping cat. That’s right. I’m unabashedly a doting pet parent. Bella is my baby. Ask anyone that knows me well (or at all) and they know I’m in love with my cat, and I love being her mommy. In fact, though I don’t have my own child yet, I politely (read: forced) my husband to treat me to something nice for Mother’s Day this year. (We actually went to a new place in Astoria that is really, freaking good.) 

NYC Animal Rescue

Go ahead and judge me, but being a pet parent is a big deal too. Maybe not we-made-you-carried-you-and-birthed-you big, but still important. There are a lot of abused and misused animals out there. And pets deserve doting parents, too. So I’m happy to provide Bella with lots of love, attention, and cuddling. Not to mention food, health care and a warm home. Having a pet is more than just practice for having a baby… it is having a baby. A four legged baby. Even more important: Bella makes me so happy. Cuddling with Bella, getting kitten kisses, and even playing with a freaking piece of ribbon… it’s a unique form of therapy. It’s awesome. 

I adopted Bella from her former owner on Craigslist, and the past 9 years have been a great learning experience filled with wonderful memories – with more to come! There are a lot of pets out there that need your love, and would love for you to take photos of them sleeping. I swear it. In fact, check out this crop of adoptable dogs from Reefuge Animal Rescue. (PS: It’s run by a good friend and co-worker who puts her heart and soul into her work!).

I look forward to making my own baby one day. I can’t imagine the intense level of love that I will feel, because I am already so filled with love for this little fur ball cat. Without further adieu, here are a few Instagram photos of Bella sleeping. Isn’t she adorable? 

Bella Cat Sleeping on Instagram - Hurray KimmayBella Cat sleeping on Hurray KimmayI don't have a sleeping newborn to take photos of, so I take photos of my sleeping Bella cat - Hurray KimmayI don't have a sleeping newborn to take photos of, so I take photos of my sleeping Bella cat - Hurray KimmayThere's nothing wrong with taking photos of your cat snoozing, right? -Hurray KimmaySleepy Bella cat on Hurray KimmayPets need doting parents too - Hurray KimmayDogs and cats need doting parents who take instagram photos of them sleeping, too. -Hurray KimmayAre you a proud pet parent? Tell me! Do you want to become a pet parent? Tell me! 

xoxo Kimmay


Motivation Monday: Savor the Moment

Hello, Monday. Here you are again. Let’s do this.

I had a great weekend. And I’m not going to let Monday ruin that momentum. Among other really awesome things, I went to a Wild Women’s Circle. As weird as it sounds, it’s a really great way to connect with other women, share your thoughts in a judgement free zone, and invite in positivity and self discovery. At least for me.

This month, we discussed “savoring the moment”. It really resonated with me! I am such a go, go, go woman. I forget to stop and savor the moment. And, I forget how to find love in difficult moments. One of the exercises asked me to envision a time when I felt love, and explore how that memory feels now. Then, remembering how I felt in that moment, I was asked to explore how I can try to reach that feeling within a mundane moment like sending an email, riding the subway, or eating breakfast. And then, explore how I can find that love in a difficult moment, like during an argument or after a disappointment. Something to think about. Being happy takes intention. So make a point to be happy and enjoy the moment!

Here’s your does of Motivation Monday!

Live life in the first row - via Hurray Kimmay blogLive life in the front row ::source::

Stop and smell the roses - via Hurray KimmayStop and smell the roses ::source::

Choose to see the good stuff - via Hurray KimmayChoose to see the good stuff ::source::

Enjoy life now via Hurray Kimmay Enjoy life now ::source::

Enjoy every moment via Hurray KimmayEnjoy every moment ::source::

And lastly, the lyrics to “The 59th Street Bridge song (Feelin’ Groovy)” by Simon and Garfunkel. I grew up listening to this oldie and always thought it was fun. But I had no idea that it was not called “Feelin’ Groovy” until right now. I live just over the 59th street Bridge in Queens and take this bridge all the time. How cool is that? It’s meant to be a song for me!

Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.

Ba da, Ba da, Ba da, Ba da…Feelin’ Groovy.

Hello lamp-post,
What cha knowin’?
I’ve come to watch your flowers growin’.
Ain’t cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in’ doo-doo,
Feelin’ groovy.

I’ve got no deeds to do,
No promises to keep.
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you,
All is groovy.

Obviously life is not always groovy. Life can be tough. But enjoying the moment, and not looking ahead, thinking back, or worrying about things that are not currently around you … that’s real joy. It takes practice, and I intend to practice this week and make it an on-going habit. I choose to savor the moment!

How do you savor the moment? What’s your secret for finding joy in the moment? Need help – let me know!

xoxo Kimmay

Last Minute DIY Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is tomorrow. WHAT?! If you forgot to get mom a great gift, don’t panic. With a little creativity and some help from Hurray Kimmay, you can give mom something thoughtful and possibly win “best child award”. But I’m not making any promises. You DID wait until the last minute.

So if you’re not five and macaroni art no longer cuts it, what can you do? You can still make something for mom – but let’s keep the macaroni for a nice pasta salad, shall we? Ready for some ideas? Here we go!

First up, printable Mother’s Day signs from Etsy store EZ Party Kits. Only $6 each, you can print them on nice paper, pop it in a fancy (or not so fancy) frame, and write a sweet note to go with it. For some, you can even choose the color you want! A hangable love note will remind mom each day how much you care about her.

Last minute DIY Mother's Day Gifts on Hurray KimmayYou are Awesome Mom printable Last minute DIY Mother's Day Gifts on Hurray KimmayMum I love You So Much printable Last minute DIY Mother's Day Gifts on Hurray Kimmay“Mom, nothing’s better than spending time with you” printable (this one is my favorite!)

Next up: food! So maybe you can still use macaroni – just not for art. Make mom something tasty! My favorite: Chocolate Vegan cupcakes. I made these yummy vegan cupcakes for Easter and took them on a train trip north of NYC for a family gathering. My family loved them! They are sweet, but not sugar overkill. And, because the base of the frosting is avocado, they’re a healthier version of their more popular buttery cousins. I used this recipe from Love & Lemons and added a tasty topping of cinnamon sugar and fresh blueberries or a strawberry. I packed them up in a floral tupperware tub from the dollar store and left the tupperware as an extra gift to my cousin. You can do the same! Want extra bonus points? Ask mom to bake them with you and actually spend some quality time together, asking mom to pass down her infinite wisdom. Add in a heartfelt card and mom will melt. Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes on Hurray Kimmay (Photo by Kim Caldwell) Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes on Hurray Kimmay (Photo by Kim Caldwell) Know a mom who needs a break? Offer her a DIY Spa Day! Whip up this homemade scrub, from Martha Stewart, and wrap it up with pretty ribbon and a thoughtful card. You can even add in candle or loofa. Maybe this won’t apply to your mom, but it could apply to another wonderful mom in your life: offer to babysit the kids. That’s right. Take her kiddos out to a movie or the park while mom gets to stay home and relax. Time alone in the home to pamper herself is priceless – especially to a mom with young kids with lots of energy going through the “Mommy look what I can do” phase. Mommy just wants to take a bath in peace, thank you.Last minute Mother's Day gift idea: DIY Scrub on Hurray Kimmay And finally: make a donation on Mom’s behalf. There are thousands and thousands of wonderful charities and good causes out there. Remind mom that she raised you right, and make a donation on her behalf to an organization that she believes in – or introduce her to one that you know she’ll feel proud to be a part of. Make or buy a card and print out some information on the organization so she knows just how much good your donation will do. Even if you can only give a few bucks, that’s a few bucks toward something good. Or hey, ask mom to volunteer with you and get in some more quality mom time! Pick any organization that means something to you two, or here are a few great causes that mom may love: The Wildlife Conservation Society does so much work to help conserve and educate. They are linked to the NYC zoos, including the Bronx Zoo where I got married. More than just a zoo, they work worldwide to help save the lives of animals and their habitats.

We need food to live. It’s that simple. And there are a lot of hungry New Yorkers. City Harvest rescues unused food from restaurants and stores and distributes it to the hungry in NYC. Every dollar helps rescue four pounds of food for someone in need!Donate on Mom's behalf (and other last minute Mother's Day gifts)

One of my favorite organizations, donate on mom’s behalf to the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women. This organization helps fund research programs for women’s cancers. I’ve walked in the NYC walk two years in a row. I recently wrote about my walk on May 4th, 2013 and shared some touching photos. You can still donate to this year’s fundraiser until June 14th and help me reach my donation goal!

What are you giving your mom for Mother’s Day?

xoxo Kimmay

Motivation Monday: May 6, 2013 EIF Revlon Run/Walk

Hurray! It’s Monday! I’ve had a very “human” week this week.

My husband went to a funeral for a co-worker on Tuesday, and it sparked a lot of discussion in our home about our mortality. Then, I saw a very beautiful show called Mayday Mayday at St. Ann’s Warehouse. In short, this one man play explores a man’s fall and temporary paralysis. The event comes during an exciting holiday, while his girlfriend is five months pregnant with their first child. His witty and artistic portrayal of the fear and anxiety he experiences during the paralysis was so real, that both my friend and I started having panic attacks (for realz!). And his joy and gratefulness for every single person involved in the long timeline of his rehabilitation and eventual recovery was so overwhelming that I suddenly felt thankful -and lucky- for the ability to walk, and feel, and hug. Perhaps the most amazing aspect of this play: it’s a true story! This actually happened to the actor and writer, Tristan Sturrock, and was directed by his wife (the pregnant girlfriend in the story)! So moving. So amazing.Mayday Mayday at St. Ann's Warehouse

And finally, a high school classmate passed away very suddenly this past week. She was funny, sweet, and really caring. Her brother passed away when we were in high school in a motorcycle accident, and I remember thinking: “No family should should have to go through that”. And now I think, “No family should have to go through this again.” These parents have buried two of their children in their teens and 20’s. And as sad as this event was, it actually made me so thankful for my life. I now feel so focused on telling the people I love, that I love them. So intent on spreading joy – and motivation!

The very next day, was the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women. It’s an annual fundraising event for women’s cancer research. Last year, I did the walk with a group of my co-workers and their family members. But this year, we just could not get our act together, and the only two people that signed up for the walk were my friend and I. I had also really delayed on earning donations. (There’s still time if you want to donate!) So after experiencing all of these humanity-reminding events, I decided to get my butt in gear, not worry that it’s only two of us walking, raise some donations, participate in the walk, and support a great cause. So I dragged my butt up very early last Saturday and made it to the walk. My friend, Britney, actually had far less sleep than me, and had to work that afternoon after our 5K walk from Times Square to the middle of Central Park. Yikes! So, if Britney could do it, I could do it. And I’m so glad that we did! Here are some of the photos from this beautiful event:

Photos of the 2013 EIF Revlon Run/Walk by Kimmay:Start of the EIF Revlon Run/Walk. Photo by Kim Caldwell. Continue reading

Motivation Monday: Meet Melinda, the Happiest Mommy on the Block 4.29.13

You know how there are those people that just radiate positivity? I know I do.

Meet Melinda on Hurray Kimmay

And for today’s Monday Motivation, I’m introducing you to one of them. I met Melinda Usandivaras when I took her Zumba class. A friend had told me that not only did she give you a fun and intense workout, she also concluded class with the most wonderful cool down. It includes a combination of a little meditation, an inspiring quote or thought, and a lot of peace. It was clear that Melinda had more to offer than cha-cha’s and killer abs.

Shaklee180 Shakes

The more I got (and get) to know Melinda, the more I see her positivity and trust her choices. She is a certified health coach and all around healthy lifestyle guru. She is the reason I got into Shaklee and started the Lean&Healthy kit. It’s amazing! I love it so much, and I’m happy to say that Melinda is offering $50 off the kit today through Thursday May 2nd! That’s a special extension just for Hurray Kimmay readers… you lucky ducks.

Vitalizer  Shaklee

The kit includes yummy shake meals for each day (not weird or filled with chemicals, actually taste great, and helping me lose fat), natural vitamins that work (for realz), 13 min work outs, an app, healthy recipes, nutritional guides, AND you get Melinda’s health coaching, plus she will guide you through an amazing cleanse or mini cleanse if you want (I did it! It changed my life!). As a pretty frugal person who wants to get healthy and happy, I’d say that’s a no brainer. Interested? Email Melinda: Melindaunsandi [at] gmail [dot] com so she can get you the $50 off and get you on your way to healthy and happy.
Whether or not you want to get healthy, I’m sure you want to get happy. And Melinda shares her best tips for it here:

  • Kimmay: You seem like a very positive person. What’s your secret? 
Melinda: It has always been fascinating to me how a person determined to be grumpy will always see the darkness in the day. Likewise, joy – not just happiness, but cheerful hope that comes from the soul – begets joy from the very same day. I have found that when I can make someone else’s day better, we both win and that is one of the gifts of life. It starts with me. I choose to see the light.

Motivation Monday: Earth Day 2013

Happy Earth Day from Hurray Kimmay!

Happy Earth Day! I’ve always had conservation tendencies. Even from a young age. I was taught to turn off the water faucet while I brushed my teeth, to reduce/reuse/recycle, I steer clear of buying bottled water, etc etc. But there is more that I can do. And a lot more that we should all do. Many of us may be used to having enough – and more – but our World is feeling pretty depleted. Think of it as a worn out Mom, who just keeps saying yes yes yes to its greedy kids, until one day she freaks out, has a nervous break down, and finally admits that there is no more money left and she has no energy left. We’re getting there, folks. So let’s help mom out! Because as we know, if Momma ain’t happy, no one’s happy. Keep reading for your Monday’s dose of motivation. Hurray Earth Day! Continue reading