Summer BBQ Essentials

Now that #MDW has come and gone (the struggle is real this week), summer is officially here! It's time to bust out the grill, round up good friends and pop the bubbly! Whether I'm hosting a BBQ or invited to one, there's nothing I love more than deciding what to bring. Seriously. Typically, I bring a classic (like that plain white tee, you can never go wrong) and something FUN! 

This weekend I knew exactly what I was bringing to the table (pun intended): my Kale Caesar Salad. It's super easy to make and a crowd favorite (even among my non kale lovers)! Check out the recipe below.

Kale Caesar Salad

1 bunch of Kale
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 can (15 oz.) of Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo Beans)
1 1/2 tsp EVOO (aka Olive Oil)
Salt 'n Pepper
Homemade Caesar dressing or Bolthouse Farms makes THIS  yummy one! 

Click HERE for the full recipe! It's a great weeknight go-to and perfect for any BBQ!

My something new came in the form of these pretty and delicious Bellini Popsicles! I made a BB&B run last week, because that $5 OFF coupon was just burning a hole in my pocket, and picked up these gems. It's been a hot minute since I made popsicles, so I was a little nervous they would break apart once I went to pull them out. But the silicone material makes it easy to just peel away and enjoy a yummy pop!

I had already done a little preliminary foot work and I knew I wanted a fruit pop of some kind (peaches are so heavenly this time of year, especially in Georgia) & champs. Peaches & champs aka a Bellini. I'm in the midst of party planning for an event later next month, so this is what I like to call "investigative research!" See the juicy recipe below!

Bellini Popsicles

2 (Georgia) Peaches
1 bottle of Sparkling Peach Lemonade water (versus Peach nectar or puree)
1 bottle of Champ (I went with this Sparking Pinot Grigio by Barefoot Bubbly, but for round deux tried Cupcakes's Prosecco).

Simply peel the two peaches and place in a dish.
Pour the bottle of Sparking Peach Lemonade in with the peaches and stir.
Pour the mixer into the molds.
Place in the freezer for 8+ hours (overnight).
Once ready to serve, place the popsicle in a glass & pour the champagne of your choosing over the pop.
Sit back, relax & enjoy!

Follow @kalemekelly on Instagram and show us what recipes you are making from the blog! Use the hashtag #kalemekelly! We want to see what you are making in your kitchen!



A Girl Walks Into A Bar(re)

I'm a week into my journey to getting #SVELTE and I can see and feel a  real difference! If you're looking for a studio that provides a wide-range of classes (Signature Barre, Barre Bootcamp, Svelte Yoga & Svelte Pilates), upbeat music and helpful instructors, Svelte is worth a look! As I mentioned in my 'Barre and the Brunch' post last week, grab a girlfriend (or two) and use the promo code 'kalemekelly' for a FREE class #yourewelcome

My fellow blogger & friend, Erica Key of Eating with Erica, and the one and only getting our Svelte on!

I am loving their Signature Barre class! But have recently upped my game and tried the Barre Bootcamp this past Friday. I'm by no means a morning person, but I will admit it's nice to have your workout done before you start your day!

Up with the sun for an early morning Barre Bootcamp class!

This morning I hit up their Yoga class and really enjoyed it! I normally get my #namaste on at Atlantic Station for their Wellness Wednesdays (going on now through the end of September), but figured my body could use some extra R&R on this beautiful #MDW. The instructor was super helpful (especially with me) when it came to tweaking our form.

Looking for a workout buddy? Or just want to get your fitness on with me? Let me know! #kalemekelly #kellygetsSVELTE #barrebun

Have a wonderful #MDW weekend!



Sticks & Stones

We've all heard that classic quote, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Wrong. Words not only hurt, but tend to linger long after they are said. Your mind replays them incessantly in your head, until you have essentially brainwashed yourself into believing them. That is what my mind has done over and over for the past 20 plus years.

When I was about 7 or 8, I began my "awkward" phase. I was taller (than most everyone in my classes), had braces (way before anyone else) and was bigger (had extra weight) than your average child my age. To give you more perspective on me, my parents are gorgeous human beings. My Dad is a real man, who stands at 6'3" and played ball growing up. My Mom is a beautiful, blond native Texan. I am the oldest of three to my younger brother and sister. My brother played baseball his entire life, and after graduation became and model/actor. My sister is a fun, loving free spirit who has such a huge heart. To sum up my family, they are beautiful, talented and loving all in their unique ways.

My parents. I mean...c'mon! 
The family celebrating my parent's 30th Anniversary (August 2014)! 
When I was going through my "awkward" phase, my brother was just starting his "career" in baseball. I can vividly remember kids calling me all kinds of names, "fat," "ugly," "gross," and the list goes on. I even had people (grown and my age) ask me if I was pregnant. Can you imagine what that's like as a 10-year-old to be asked? It's awkward, confusing and embarrassing. I remember many nights over the course of a decade crying myself to sleep. I would ask God, "why did you make me ugly?" Why does no one like me?" "Why is everyone pretty but me?" These words that people said either to my face or behind my back felt like a bad dream that I couldn't wake up from. I felt like the ugly step-sister in my family. My brother was this all-star athlete and my sister was this creative, free spirit.

Blair and I doing what we do best...goofing off! And yes, that's a puka shell necklace.
That's me on the left. 
Fast forward to high school, where I never had a boyfriend, wasn't one of the "cool" kids, didn't go to my Junior prom and had to ask my date to Senior prom. I was so ready for college. A fresh start, new state, and a new me!

During my Sophomore year at Auburn, I remember returning to school after Christmas break and setting a goal for myself, "I will workout three times a week." Simple. Something in me had changed. I knew that no longer wanted to be the "fat" girl. I was tired of feeling like people were judging me before they even got to know me. I was tired of feeling like I wasn't good enough. I was tired of feeling unworthy. So, I started working out three days a week. The exercising was a good outlet for me. It was a time in my day that I could listen to the music from my iPod, not the voices in my head. After my Sophomore semester, I transferred back home and finished up my undergrad degree at Kennesaw State University.

It sounds funny to say, but working out led me to believe that anything was possible. I began interning in Atlanta at several local/national television affiliates. My self-confidence was at an all time high! Upon graduation, I received a job opportunity I had only dreamed of...working at the MLB (Major League Baseball) Network. Living in the Big Apple, I began to cook for myself. It finally started to click that you are what you eat. Yes, it is great to workout, but that food should be used as fuel! And that's where the combo of fitness and food blossomed!

For me, it's all about a lifestyle (as I've mentioned several times before on my blog). In the words of another Kelly, Kelly Osbourne, she said in an interview, “I’ll always be a FFP (Former Fat Person).” She continues describing her daily struggle with self-image. “When you see yourself in a certain way, that never changes. People who are larger, and then lose weight, will always look in the mirror and see themselves as the fat girl no matter what happens.” This is EXACTLY how I feel. Now versus the cruel words like "fat," "ugly," or "gross," I hear "skinny," "beautiful," and "gorgeous." But like the other Kelly (Osbourne) said, you will always see yourself as the former girl.

Today people are shocked when they find out how big I used to be (175 pounds and a size 14). They say things like, "I bet you've always been skinny." "I bet it's easy for you to stay that size." "You can eat whatever you want." And to them I explain that I have not always been this way; it took years of balancing working out with eating right. And with that mentality, anyone can eat whatever they want, but that's not healthy and your body needs balance.

Thanks to my trainer, Kendall, and eating healthy majority of the time...I've never felt better!
I was extremely hesitant to write this post, because this subject matter is so hard for me to talk about with anyone (especially so many people who I don't know personally). But after recently having brunch with a friend, she suggested that I tell my story. I began this blog to help introduce people to new recipes, restaurants, places, and tips/tricks for working out. I want to help you realize that I'm just like you. I struggle with my weight, self-image, self-confidence and self-worth on the reg. What has changed you may ask? I know that I am worthy. Those words that people used to say to me when I was younger have made me into the woman I am today. Strong and beautiful!

I hope you too can one day believe the same: that you are strong and beautiful. And no matter where you are in your journey, know that you are enough!



Barre and the Brunch

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I spent the weekend celebrating the 1st Birthday of my friend Allison Cawley's adorable blog, Peachfully Chic! Be sure to stay tuned for highlights from the party. On Sunday, I started my journey in getting #SVELTE and capped the night off at a tasting for a new pizza spot, Pizza Crosta (it's uh-mazing and they have gluten free options)!

Gluten-Free Pizza with Lamb, Ham, Pineapple, Mozzarella & Spicy Tomato Sauce + Nut & Berries Salad

But today's post is all about the barre, yes barre, not the b-a-r. That comes after! So, #SundayFunday started off with my second ever Signature Barre class at Svelte. Elizabeth, the owner of Svelte, was our instructor for the class Sunday morning. No pressure, right?! Wrong. The class starts once you walk into the studio. You grab a set of one or two pound weights, a ball and a mat (eventually). The resistance band is already at your "station." Once you find your place at the barre (a lot easier than finding a spot at Ivy), the class begins with a brief warm-up. Once you are warm (trust me it doesn't take long), you get right to work toning each muscle group. From arms to legs to abs, Svelte's Signature Barre class, you hit it all! The class is 60 minutes, but with Elizabeth's encouraging words and Rihanna's killer new song in the background you will be on your way in no time!

Love starting the day off with a workout and good friends! 
There are a few tips I would suggest if you've never been to Svelte or are new to barre:

  • Socks - Be sure to purchase a pair of Svelte's super cute socks ($8/pair), or grab a pair from your local sporting goods store. They are essential for the moves you will do in the classes. And if you're anything like me aka clumsy, you will need that added grip barre socks provide!
  • Patience - You think a split comes to you naturally? These things take time. So, do the best you can and remember that practice makes perfect!
  • Workout buddy - Whether it's gathering a group of girlfriends and making a #SundayFunday out of it, or enlisting in your supportive BF, an accountability partner makes the workout more bearable! 
After starting the day with a solid workout, my girlfriends and I decided to continue the fun at Bantam + Biddy for brunch! They have a new location at Lenox Mall (right beside True Food Kitchen). Nothing I love more than bacon, eggs and mimosas! Perfect Sunday, IMO. 

I am excited to take you all on my Svelte journey this month. I've already signed up for Svelte Yoga and Barre Bootcamp, so be sure to check them out ASAP! 

If you're in the Atlanta-area, I would LOVE for you to join me for a class, it's on me! Just select your class and use the promo code 'kalemekelly.' It'll be fun, I promise. And if it's not fun, it'll be worth it. 

PS - I love any excuse to buy a new outfit, so if you're in need of the deets on my barre ensemble look no further! Shop my barre look HERE --> Top // Leggings // Socks (Sold exclusively at Svelte's studios).



Guest Blogger - Kristy Robinson, Yogi

We all have different reasons why we come to the mat; to help with stress, to get healthier, to find inner peace, to develop more flexibility. I too, had my reason: Bulimia. Two-years ago I was a sports reporter covering the Pittsburgh Pirates. I covered spring training, home games, some road games and even the minor leagues. From the outside I looked like I had it all -- the cool job, a huge social media following, I was breaking stories left and right -- but inside I was in so much pain. My outer happiness was only a cover up. I thought that if I had "it all" that I would finally be happy. Little did I know that happiness can never be found in the things outside of you, it has to come within.

In the Winter of 2012 I was let go from my job. Naturally I was devastated because I did enjoy covering baseball, I grew up playing the game, and I worked my butt off to get to the position I was in, but unfortunately I was doing it all for the wrong reasons; fame, money, happiness, "success." When I reflect back, losing my job was in fact the best thing that could have happened to me. It forced me to spend a year freelancing (which I actually slowly lost interest in) as I dug deep into who I was and why I was unhappy.

When I first started practicing yoga several years ago, I could only hold Warrior 2 pose for a few seconds. My body was so tired from all the abuse I put it through; over-exercising, binging, purging, starving myself to attain the unattainable idea of perfection. The first year I practiced a beginners power flow DVD as well as restorative yoga and meditation. I started to feel a powerful, constant drawing to the mat. Once you begin to connect body-breath-mind, something starts to happen. I began to feel a sense of clearer self-awareness, a sense of being more fully alive, I felt better, more conscious, more clearer. As human beings we yearn for a happy, wakeful, meaningful life and it became a powerful motivation to continue to practice.

I felt inspired and needed a change of scenery so I packed my bags, let go of any fears I had, and mustered up the courage to journey down from Pittsburgh, PA., to St Petersburg, FL., with no real plan other than the calling in my heart. I started over in a city where I knew one just one soul, and took a risk that I needed to find peace and my Dharma, the reason each of us exist.

Over the past two-years I stepped away from what others may view as "success" to embark on a different journey. You see, society dictates who we need to be and the type of lifestyle we need to live in order to become "successful", therefore many of us are pushing ourselves to the extremes to achieve this goal. While having dreams and a vision for your life is extremely important, so too, are the intentions behind them when. We can quickly lose sight of the truly important things in life and experiences along the way if that intention becomes malicious or blurry. Individually we all need to figure out what success means to ourself -- without outside influences, without EGO --and we must learn that success is not the key to happiness, rather happiness is the key to success. I now believe that if you truly love what you are doing, then you are successful.

I recently graduated from my Yoga Teacher Training with bigger plans in mind. I believe everything happens for a reason. Had I not struggled with an Eating Disorder for so long, I would never be able to make the impact on others in the way that I can now. I am currently teaching yoga to Athletes and the youth/teens, at Studios in the St Petersburg area, and have my eye on starting a non-profit that can bring free yoga programs into schools with the emphasis on self-love and body image.

I hope that my story has inspired you enough to give it a try. I hear the excuse so often that someone is "not flexible enough" to do yoga. That's like saying that you're not dirty enough to take a shower. Yoga meets you where you are. You don't have to already know how to touch your toes -- that's why you go to yoga, to open and stretch your mind and body so that you can. Here are a few ways to get started:

  • Find a yoga studio - I put this first because having a teacher to help you is important. Home practice is great, don't get me wrong, but there is no one there to give you hands on adjustments or correct what you may be doing incorrect. They will be able to give you advice and modifications (if needed for your practice) or what poses are great for an injury you may have. Lululemon has a great app called 'the OM finder.' It picks up your location and the closest studios to where you are.

  • Home Practice - Like I mentioned above, home practice can be great; when you're traveling, or wanting to work on a specific pose or flow you created. It's great on days you sleep in (hey! It happens!) and can't make it to class or don't have the money to purchase classes at a studio. Yogaglo.com is a great site with so many great videos to choose from. Youtube has a pretty awesome selection of free videos to try. Kino McGregor and Kathyrn Budig are favorites of mine!

Even just getting in a quick 15 minute daily practice will make an impact on your health and well-being.

Here a few beginner poses to try for yourself:

Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
  • Benefits: Strengthens and stretches the legs and shoulders, calms the nervous system, eliminates stiffness and back pain, boots circulation. 

Begin on all fours with your knees hip-width apart and your hands shoulder-width apart.
Stack your hips over your knees and your shoulders over your wrists.
Curl your toes under, lift your hips, and straighten your legs.
Push into your palms to draw more energy into your lower body to help elevate your pelvis.
Press firmly down with all 10 fingers.
Keep your arms straight and rotate your outer upper arms inward to broaden your upper back.
Draw the front of your rib cage in and press your legs back.
Extend your heels away from your toes and pull them back toward the floor.

Pigeon Pose (Kapatasana)
  • Benefits: Opens the hip joints, provides a powerful opening for the glutes and piriformis muscle, massages the digestive and reproductive organs.

Begin in downward facing dog.
Step your right leg forward and slide your foot toward your left, working to get your shin parallel to the front of the mat.
Keep your back leg straight as you lower your pelvis to the floor.
Roll the outside of your leg down by pushing into the outside edge of your foot. Even out your hips.
Keep your front foot flexed.
Option to fold forward, resting your head on a block, your hands or the floor.
Repeat on the opposite side. 

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasna)
  • Benefits: Strengthens the back, bottom, and hamstring, helps alleviate stress, calms the brain, improves digestion, stretches the chest, neck, spine and hips.

Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
Lift your hips off the floor and interlace your fingers beneath your lower back.
Rock your shoulders under your chest and press into your feet to lift your hops up toward the height of your knees.
Keep a slight lift in your chin and allow your bottom to be soft.
Your knees should stay in line with your hips as you rotate your inner upper thighs downward to broaden your lower back.

XOXO, Kristy


The Mane Event

Last Thursday night, I had the amazing opportunity to attend a lovely event at the Georgia Aquarium for No Kid Hungry. The event, Taste of the Nation, raises money each year through both a LIVE and silent auction.

This year their goal was $800,000, and while the total fell a bit short, any amount will greatly benefits these kids in need! According to No Kid Hungry's website, "1 in 5 kids in America doesn't get the food they need every day. This takes a terrible toll on their health and development, and threatens their futures in profound ways. It also drags down our nation's economy by perpetuating the cycle of poverty." With such a staggering statistic, it's no wonder why so many people attend this event year after year.

Table 1280 served small plates of rabbit! 
With the purchase of a ticket, you were wined and dined all night! And boy, did I mentally and physically prepare for this event. Over 50 restaurants from all over the metro-Atlanta area were in attendance, including: Umi, Buckhead Diner, Canoe, The Luminary, Table 1280, Shake Shack, and several more. It was such a wonderful night, and look forward to attending next year!

As with any big event, I always have to make sure I'm dressed for the occasion. So, I enlisted in the help of Rent the Runway and GlowDry! I had never rented a dress from RTR, but was beyond impressed with their service and quality of the dress. If you've never rented from them before, you will receive $25 OFF your first order for $75+. And if you're like me, hitting that minimum is easy to do (dress, clutch, earrings & the list goes on)! Being that the event was on Thursday, I made sure that I had it delivered on Tuesday. RTR suggests having the dress a day before you need it. You also get two sizes of the dress, which is so comforting. I know I experience #TallGirlProblems all the time, so the fact I was able to order two sizes (both long and for no additional charge) gave me the reassurance I needed to use them for this event! With the dress on order, it was time to book my hair and make-up appointment.

My gorgeous roommate & I both in BCBGMaxazaria! Shop my dress here --> DRESS / CLUTCH 
The beautiful founder of GlowDry, Paige Perkins, was kind enough to take care of me for The Taste of the Nation event. Her team did a PHENOMENAL job (yes, all caps is necessary). I highly recommend them for any event you have coming up. Whether it's a job interview, Girl's Night, Date Night, or big event, GlowDry is the way to go! I'm already planning my next "event," so that I can go see them!

What girl doesn't love a little champ & Cosmo?!
Obsessed with this look! Penelope Cruz was my inspo for the make-up & channeled my inner Blake Lively for my updo.

Wish I could relive that night all over, but I guess I'll just have to get another event on the calendar soon! That goes for you, too! 



It's a Lifestlye

...is my response to everyone who wants to know what I eat, how much I work out, how much cardio vs. strength training I do, and the list goes on! I don't believe in dieting...I love queso WAY too much. I believe in living a balanced lifestyle and doing things that I want to do, not things I HAVE to do. Because at the end of the day if you enjoy spin class, you're more likely to go!

My trainer, Kendall, is amazing! She is great about mixing the workouts up, whether it's a new circuit, leg day or my "favorite" arm day, I'm never bored! For me it's important to not get bored with my workouts, or else I dread going if I know what to expect. If you're looking to get #bikiniready or just to improve what you're already working with, Kendall is the girl for the job. On top of training me, she's joined an awesome company, Bode Sculpt. Bode Sculpt is a unique program designed just for women that want a lean, toned body fast through proper nutrition and exercise! Be sure to follow her right now on her Insta...I'll wait. OK, back to Bode Sculpt. It's not like other "diets," which is way I am obsessed with it! The food is stuff you probably already buy and the recipes are easy (and delicious). Win-win in my book!

After talking with my girl, we wanted to let you all in on the secret, too! Whether you're a 20-something always on the go, working mom, or looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle, this plan is one size fits all!

Kendall's Tip & Tricks for The Working Girl:

  • Create music playlists of songs to work out to 
  • Set alarms for eating- every 3 hours! 
  • Always carry snacks with you- such as almonds, healthy protein bars, fruit.
  • Set your workout clothes out the night before (*BONUS* The cuter your workout clothes, the more motivated you are to workout! Nike, Lululemon & Victoria Secret all have awesome options!)
  • AVOID alcohol (if at all possible)!

When it comes to the food portion of the plan aka my favorite part, these are a couple of my favorite options for breakfast and a mid-morning/afternoon snack!

Greek yogurt with Nuts N’ Honey 
• One of my favorites! Love Fage 0% Plain Greek Yogurt topped with Organic Raw Cashews + Agave. 

*BONUS* Buy the individual size and keep some at the office!

Chocolate Banana Smoothie
• 1 cup light chocolate milk (chocolate almond milk/rice milk)
• 1 tsp. all natural nut butter
• 1 banana
• ½ - 1 cup ice

7-Minute Abs: Also, included in the program as an added bonus is the 7-Minute Ab Series. Short and sweet! Just 7 minutes of your day. You'll be sore, but with #bikniseason right around the corner, you'll thank me later!

To buy Bode Sculpt, click HERE. Like I said, it's super easy & is the perfect fit for any lifestyle!

As always, follow kalemekelly on Instagram and show me what recipes you are making from the blog! Use the hashtag #kalemekelly. I want to see what you're loving!


Kelly & Kendall