{Video} Hurray for Lingerie: Interview with Bluestockings Boutique

Hurray for Lingerie interview with Bluestockings BoutiqueHurray! Today’s Hurray For Lingerie episode on Hurray Kimmay TV is soooo awesome. Have you ever felt like your lingerie options were limited, or didn’t match your personal tastes, or offer you something that felt really YOU? Then you’re going to want to hear from Jeanna Kadlec, the founder of Bluestockings Boutique.Blustockings Boutique interview on Hurray Kimmay @hurraykimmay

The name has an academic history, as Jeanna explains: “Bluestockings were a group of badass literary ladies in 18th century London who hosted big get togethers where the leading intellectuals of the day, men and women, would come and talk. The name (of course) gradually turned into an insult for a forward-thinking woman who didn’t know her place”. With that in mind, Jeanna set out on a quest to provide “underthings for everyone”. And while her mission is tightly aligned with the LGBTQ community, she’s not leaving anyone out. And, in her mind, Bluestockings is just the start. Hurray for Lingerie interview with Bluestockings Boutique

I’ve had a truly wonderful time getting to know Jeanna and her mission, and getting to gab with her about lingerie, human rights, self love and expression and more – it really makes me say “hurray!”. She shares my understanding of the importance of investing in good undergarments, and how what you wear underneath it all can affect your inside and outside, too. Hurray for Lingerie interviews Jeanna Kedlac of Bluestockings BoutiqueAs a fitter for more than 10 years in NYC, I’ve helped many LBGTQ customers. And while navigating the situation and other customer’s views has not always been easy, I’m glad to say that my city is far more safer for anyone who wants to find comfort and confidence in their undergarments than other places in the country or the world. That’s not true for everyone, however. Jeanna, who herself is a lesbian and is based in Boston, and her boutique are making a clear statement. She is saying: Bluestockings is a safe place for anyone to experiment, shop, and learn about lingerie. That REALLY makes me say HURRAY. Underneath it all. . . via @hurraykimmay

Watch the video, listen in on our conversation, and join us in the comments below or on Twitter: @bluestockingsbo and @hurraykimmay using hashtag #hurrayforlingerie.

And if you want to get involved and donate, you have a few days left to help Bluestockings Boutique reach their goal on Tilt. PS: Read this wonderful interview with yours truly over on the Bluestockings Boutique blog.

xoxo Kimmay blog signature

Hurray for Lingerie Review: Kellie K Strapless Bra

Hurray for Lingerie Kellie K Strapless Bra Review by KimmayIt’s time for another Hurray for Lingerie review post! Hurray!

I’ve been looking forward to this one. In my years as a bra fitter, my friends and clients constantly complain that shopping for a strapless bra is the most difficult bra task. I know. I hear you. With the bevy of bras out there, it can be overwhelming. My biggest advice for finding the best strapless bra: find the size and style that fits your unique shape the best. Whether you do this on your own or with the help of a bra fitter like me, fit is SUPER important to getting to a place of saying Hurray.

After fit, comes science. That’s right. Kellie K Apparel has created a brand new, very scientific solution for those slipping and sliding strapless bras. Fueled by his wife’s strapless bra complaint, Dr. Anthony Roy used a revolutionary material called GeckTeck™ on the inside of a strapless bra. The material is meant to adhere to the skin, like a gecko, without the slipping or sticking.

GeckTeck™ is a biocompatible, silicone-based material that achieves superior frictional adhesion using the same physical properties geckos use to cling to almost any surface. The material is designed so that it makes intimate contact with even the most sensitive skin without irritation. Such close contact creates an intermolecular attraction known as Van Der Waals forces that, on a micro level, keeps the lining close to the skin while still being comfortable to wear. (www.kelliekapparel.com)

There’s a lot of science behind this material that is completely over my head. So here. Watch this video:

Still confused? Ok, me too. So instead of trying to figure out the science behind it, Kellie K. tapped me to try out their strapless bra and write a review. Here it goes!

Fit

As mentioned above, I always feel that the fit of a bra is the most important element in saying Hurray for Lingerie. In fact, even when I worked with luxe brands like La Perla or Aubade, the style was always secondary to fit. I usually wear a 32D or 30DD in a bra without padding. The Kellie K bras are available in sizes 32C-DD, 34B-DD and 36C-D and they have a handy fitting support page on their website. I went with the 32D.

Kellie K Bra fitting

Wearing this bra in a 32D on the tightest hook, it was still a bit loose for optimal security. I measure 29″ around my underbust so I’m on the smaller side of the 32 band using the guide above. Should Kellie K make a 30 band in the future, I’d go with that. If you’re in between band sizes, go for the smaller size. The band is firm with moderate stretch and is moderately wide – great for a good strapless fit – but without the snug band it couldn’t hug my rib cage quite as it should.

The underwire is surprisingly flexible and firm at the same time. A flexible or softer underwire is a great feature for a woman with less “cushion” around her rib cage (like moi) and totally under-marketed on the Kellie K website (in my opinion). I was actually tempted to cut this bra open and explore it for myself. But I resisted.Kellie K Strapless bra review Hurray for Lingerie Hurray Kimmay

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 5.39.43 PMThe cups themselves are on the shallow side. They are not full coverage. For someone with breasts that are very full on the top, this may feel different and possibly less secure than other styles. I noticed that the bras on the models seemed very shallow and I’m curious how they feel wearing them. I’m also very curious to see if Kellie K will eventually expand their styles and offer a bra with more coverage or a deeper cup or taller underwire. As a less than full busted woman myself, the fit of the cup was OK. The shape it gave me was rather flattering and surprisingly buxom without any padding or push-up inside the cup. Vavoom!

Function 

I noticed that the bra does not have any straps. I know, I know. You’re saying “Duh. It’s a strapless bra.” But most strapless bras these days have the option of wearing the straps as a halter, criss cross, or even adding other straps. I suppose in this case, Kellie K is making a grand statement: no need for those straps. Ever.

The GeckTeck™ itself is very cool! I spent a lot of time touching, pressing and petting the material on the inside. It’s almost as addicting as silly putty! In their video, Kellie K shows the GeckTeck™ material adhering to a forearm and resisting gravity. I had visions of the material using all those fancy scientific terms in the above video to miraculously suction to my body and stay put. I was VERY excited to give it a go.Kellie K GeckTeck review on Hurray for Lingerie

The Kellie K bra aims to stay in place without a super tight band: “No more overly tight bands cutting into your back, ribs and under bust just to keep your strapless bra in place.” However, without that snug fit, the GeckTeck™ couldn’t really adhere to my skin, so I feel some of the benefit may have been lost. I do feel that with proper fit – not choking you, digging in, or cutting off your circulation, but a firm and secure fitting band – the GeckTeck™ can offer an extra layer of security.

The GeckTeck™ is very soft, not overly sticky, and did not irritate my skin (and this is coming from someone with super sensitive skin). With three pieces on each side of the band and one on the center gore, I imagine there are enough in place to do the job if the band is snug. I wonder what it would feel or fit like if the whole band was covered in GeckTeck™.  I also wonder (and this is the Shark Tank viewer in me) what it would be like if Kellie K collaborated with current bra manufacturers to include GeckTeck™ in their strapless bras. Curious.

Style

The Kellie K bra is currently available in Black and Beige. I was sent the black bra for trial. At first glance the bra is pretty basic, as a good foundational garment should be, but after closer inspection I realized it has a few extras going on. First, the seam going across the apex of the bust is made from the soft material covering the contoured foam cup. Ideally, I like my strapless bras to be completely seamless, but even with the seam, this bra was very wearable under most clothing!

The style has a bit of retro flair to it (something I like very much if you can’t tell!). Love. I expected the seam to produce a more retro shape. By that, I mean a more pointed breast shape, a style popular in the 50′s and 60′s. However, because of the contoured molding underneath, the shape was rounder – a more popular look with the majority of American bra wearers today. GeckTeck™ aside, the bra materials are not overly sophisticated, but it’s clear that some thought to style went in to the planning and design of this bra.hurray for lingerie Kellie K review

The ultra contrasting hot pink GeckTeck™ on the inside of the bra may throw some wearers for a loop, but I find it’s smart marketing. Why not highlight the thing that makes your bra unique? Bonus: back band material is pretty hefty so the pink does not show through.

Value

I haven’t a clue how much the GeckTeck™ technology runs nowadays. Or ever. But it’s a pretty neat addition to a bra for the price of $75. (Bonus: Hurray Kimmay readers get 10% off with code KIMMAY through the month of December 2014).

Combine the GeckTeck™ with a good fit and you’ve got a winner. I would not rely on the GeckTeck™ alone to do the job of supporting your bust. Make sure you use the (pretty accurate!) size chart or meet with a bra fitter like myself to get the right size for you. Trust me: $75 is a worthwhile investment when a strapless bra fits well and feels great. A well fitting bra will help you stand tall, lead with your heart, and say HURRAY.

Have you tried the Kellie K strapless bra? Though it wasn’t the perfect fit for me, I’d love to hear how it works for you! Use the code above and give it a go. The wonderful team at Kellie K truly believe in what they do, and are sincere in their requests for feedback to improve upon their product and expand their offerings. And with a 30-day money back guarantee, there isn’t much to lose. Hurray for lingerie!

Connect with Kellie K on Twitter and Facebook. And tweet at me and let me know what makes you say hurray!

xoxo Kimmay blog signature

 

Stocking Stuffers for your Inside, Outside & Underneath it All

hurray kimmay stocking stuffersHurray for the holidays! Christmas is a very big, crazy and celebratory time for the Caldwells. My husband’s family is big, and we trek to Ohio for days packed with holiday goodness. This is the first year that I haven’t gotten an early start on my Christmas shopping. I blame it on, you know, running a business ;) hehe Usually by mid October I’ve got a pretty great head start on my shopping list, but this year I’m just getting started and it’s almost Thanksgiving. Oh, the humanity!

If you’re like me this year, and you’re looking for a little guidance, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite stocking stuffers for your inside, outside and underneath. Truthfully, some of these gorgeous goodies make great gifts – stocking or no. And you can always add them to your own list, or even purchase a few and treat yourself.

Which is your favorite? Leave a comment below or on my Facebook page, or send me a tweet. I love to hear what makes you say Hurray!

INSIDE

At Hurray Kimmay, my goal is to help you say hurray on the inside, outside and underneath. And it all starts on the inside. This includes things like your soul, your heart, and your mind, as well as your nutrition and your inner health – all things that make a solid foundation for a happy and hurray-filled life. These Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virture are on my very own list this Christmas. I have had the pleasure of picking a card every month in a Wild Woman Circle led by a dear friend, and now I’m finishing up my training to become a Wild Woman Project leader myself! {Stay tuned for my first circle, coming up in 2015} Filled with beautiful illustrations, “you’ll learn who the different cross-cultural goddesses are and how they can help you. Each card gives you a specific message about how you can improve your life, health, relationships, finances, career, and spiritual path.” No matter how “seriously” you take these, they are truly a fun way to get a little guidance each month, or even every day!

For inner nutritional health, my new favorite Shaklee product is the Vitalized Immunity tablets. Each yummy tablet contains a proprietary blend of 19 vitamins, minerals, and herbs as well as the same amount of Vitamin C as 16 oranges. Hurray for health, indeed! And unlike other immunity tabs like it, this one is all natural and sweetened naturally by monk fruit. Slip this in someone’s stocking and help them stay healthy and vibrant this holiday! {Have questions? Want to schedule a complimentary 30 min health consultation? Email me!}

OUTSIDE

Also on my list this Christmas: makeup! Now that I’m attending and even speaking at networking events, hosting Hurray Kimmay TV and working with clients in person, I’m going through my makeup faster than when I was simply working at home all day. Last year my sister gave me an assortment of EOS lip balm – those spherical looking chapsticks you see everywhere – and I love them! Not only are they cute and ultra moisturizing, they’re also “95% organic, 100% natural, and paraben and petrolatum free”.

I also love wearing bright pink blush. It’s cheery, youthful and fresh. This Sephora blush in the Rose Pop color is just the ticket. I’ve never tried this Tory Burch lipstick but the color name, “Saucy”, and the gorgeous luxe, orange tube are calling my name.

UNDERNEATH

It’s no secret that I LOVE Hanky Panky low rise thongs, and so do my friends and family. I started giving these comfortable and stylish thongs to my sister and sister in law and now they’re obsessed. Then I branched out and gave them to my mother in law, my step mom in law… the list keeps getting longer. I found this Hurray Kimmay appropriate color combo here, but they’re everywhere. In fact, they have a whole holiday themed selection to choose from!

At my recent Say Hurray event, the gracious Cremé Bralée lingerie brand donated cute clear heart shaped bra strap converters for the goodie bags. These little plastic converters are the easiest way to transform a basic bra into a racerback bra, simply by lengthening your straps and bringing them together in the middle with this handy clip. Great for traveling if you don’t want to bring a specific bra just for one holiday outfit. You can find a similar style in three handy colors here.

OK so really, Which is your favorite? What do you like to give or get in your stocking? Leave a comment below or on my Facebook page, or send me a tweet. I love to hear what makes you say Hurray!

Hurray for the holidays!

xoxo Kimmay blog signature

Say Hurray Event Recap

Saying hurray 10.26 October 26th, 2014 is a day that will live in my heart and my mind for a very long time. The first ever Say Hurray workshop was a huge success. That doesn’t mean it didn’t have its ups and downs and learning points, but wow. I simply can not express here in words how magical this day was. Bringing together the 15 women in that NYC room, listening to the teachers share their wisdom, sharing our experiences, moving, sweating, growing, celebrating, creating . . . it was everything I hoped it would be and more.

Here’s what we did …

say hurray event 1

We started on the inside. After guests arrived, we got to know each other on a dream level. Teacher (and broadway actress) Gabrielle Ruiz led us through a short meditation to help us truly arrive in the space. Then she spoke about the importance of vision boarding, and the group didn’t hesitate one bit to climb onto the floor, go through magazines, and create a vision board dedicated to their goals and dreams for the rest of 2014. After a powerful round of sharing, Gabi and I discussed the importance nutrition and keeping our bodies healthy with our partner company. Then we dined on fresh, nutritious food provided by The Lingerie Journal and Shaklee 180 smoothies. Yum! The continuous meeting, greeting and sharing filled my heart with joy! say hurray event 2

After we fueled our bodies, I tried my best to cram loads of Braducational lesson material into a short time frame. After working in the lingerie and bra fitting business for 10 years, I sometimes forget the shock and awe women experience when learning the very basics of how their bra should fit, what a bra size really means, and how important it is to wear the right bra. I was so honored to share my knowledge and extremely flattered by the loads of questions and genuine interest in what I had to share. After we put some bras through the “dead test”, I shared my reasons for the importance of properly fitting bras, and paying attention to what’s underneath. A true shout of joy for Hurray for Lingerie.

say hurray event 5After a quick video viewing << MUST WATCH >> fellow teacher, Kelly Wadler, bared her soul and guided the Say Hurray crew through a body love lesson where we “popped” a few of our old, unhealthy, unhelpful thoughts about our bodies. Truly inspiring.

say hurray event 4Then we enjoyed a heartfelt affirmation activity {that will stay between my Say Hurray dears and I} and jumped into a body shape and style lesson with Mona Sharaf, part of the outside portion of the day. I truly feel that a true appreciation of our beauty starts on the inside (with our souls, our heart and our nutrition) which leads underneath (to our undergarments, confidence, and body love) and finally shines through to the outside (our hair, makeup, style and home).
say hurray event 3
We pulled it all together by working on our outside physique, supporting a healthy underneath body, and inspiring our inside hearts with a soulful fitness class, called Shrink Session, with teacher Hayley Marshall. It was the perfect heart pounding, sweat inducing, positive thinking way to end our sessions. Oh, that and raffles, champagne, and gluten-free/dairy-free chocolate chip cookies. HURRAY!

Goodies for the Say Hurray guests from Creme BraleeElila bust cream for Say Hurray guests

To learn more about the Say Hurray event, go here. I’m using the feedback from this soulful group to concoct the next event. Although, nothing is the same as your first time, right? This special group will forever hold a special place in my heart, but with their inspiring wisdom, things will get even better for another Say Hurray to come ;)  And I couldn’t have done it without the support of my friends and close colleagues, including the wonderful guest teachers. For more on the teachers, visit the Say Hurray Guest Teacher page.

xoxo Kimmay blog signature

Oh and PS: BIG THANK YOU to our sponsors for donating raffle items & goodie bag stuff, and sponsoring food. Truly thankful:

LingerieJournalLogo_BlueBackground CBL Logo elila logo

PPS: Photos in this post were provided by LV Photo & Design, Gabrielle Ruiz, Chloe Sabin and yours truly.

Hurray for Lingerie Review: Créme Bralée Olivia

Hurray for Lingerie review Creme Bralee OliviaGuess what. My big event, Say Hurray is almost here! It’s THIS Sunday, Oct. 26th and I’m sooo thrilled. Prepping for my first big live event has been a lot of work. Because of that, and some new client work (hurray!) I’ve been neglecting my blog lately. Boo! Hiss! So it’s with great pleasure and pride that my first post back after awhile is a Hurray for Lingerie review of a Créme Bralée bra!

When I was working with Linda’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and La Perla, I hadn’t worked with the Créme Bralée brand. In fact, I was just recently introduced by the model, Asia Monét, at the Curve Lingerie Expo this past August. Asia had shared a photo of her wearing a gorgeous Créme Bralée set and I just had to try it out for myself. Here’s Asia looking fabulous in the Olivia BraAsia Monet in the Creme Bralee Olivia bra review by Hurray for Lingerie

Gorgeous, right?! Créme Bralée is best known for catering to a full bust. As a 32D, I’m not exactly a full bust. (I have Braducational lessons geared completely around what a “D cup” even looks like, and enlightening those who think a D cup means Dolly Parton. It does not. I assure you.) I also often wear a 30DD in some brands that run looser in the band in order to get a snug fit and adequate support.

This Olivia bra was provided for my honest review by the wonderful Créme Bralée team. I really love working with and communicating with the ladies in their office! Because they do not offer a 30 band, I started with the 32D. And though I wear a size 4, the underwear starts at a size 6. Here’s how it went!

Creme Bralee Olivia bra review by Kimmay Caldwell of Hurray Kimmay and Hurray for Lingerie

Fit

Bra: I was pleasantly surprised by the snug band. Many 32 bands are either too stretchy or too darn loose to fit me, but this 32 was snug, firm and right-on when I placed it on the loosest hook to start. The cup, however, was very full on top, which does not match my bust shape. I hasten to call it a “big” fit, and would rather describe it as “full on top”. This is an unclear distinction, I admit, but one that as a fitter I use often when comparing the intricate differences between bra cups. Either way, I simply did not have the right shape to fully fill out this cup. Because of that, the underwire had no resistance, or nothing pushing it out and away so it was digging into me. I’d consider this underwire to be a very firm, sturdy underwire compared to other brands. For someone with a very full bust and a larger band size, that’s a huge plus. For someone with a smaller band (and potentially less body fat – trust me, this really is a factor for many women) and a smaller bust, the underwire may be too firm.

Size Range: 32-40 C-G, 42-46 C-DD

Underwear: I’ll say it right now – I LOVE THESE UNDERWEAR. The rise is not too low, the the details are amazing (see Style) and the material is great. However, the size 6 was just too big and baggy for me. On someone with fuller hips and a bigger bum, these would be dynamite! Oh please, oh please, oh please, Créme Bralée, consider making these in a smaller size!

Size range: 6-14

Function

Bra: One very unique feature of the Olivia bra is the use of suspender clips to attach the strap to the bra cup. There’s a risk here that some shoppers may mistake this for a nursing bra, and the potential plus that it could actually function as a nursing bra (minus the sling to keep the strap from flying backward once it’s unclipped). However, I’m reminded of a few online clients (yes, more than one) who specifically requested a bra that allowed them to unhook the strap, pull down the cup, and give a little sneaky peeky to their honey. Different than a traditional peek-a-boo bra in which the nipple area of the bra is slit or completely removed, these customers wanted something that could still support a full bust, function as a regular bra, and provide coverage when it wasn’t being used for its more seductive purpose. Boy, do I wish I had the Olivia bra to offer them then.

In addition, this bra functions really well with a sturdy band, two rows of hooks, great adjustable (and not too stretchy) straps and a firm underwire. The embroidery detail may be too bumpy for some snug outfits, but it’s by no means unwearable under most clothing. The neutral colored lining is a wonderful option for those who want the sheer factor of the black mesh without actually giving anything away. . . until they unclip the strap ;)

Underwear: I’ve already bragged about the cut of this bottom, but the removable garter straps are an even bigger bonus. Wear them with the straps and add in thigh high stockings, or wear them without and go bare legged. The higher waist may be too high for low cut bottoms, but the coverage is great for dresses, skirts and higher cut pants. FYI there’s a cotton crotch gusset.

Creme Bralee Olivia underwear review by Kimmay Caldwell Hurray Kimmay Hurray for Lingerie

Style

Bra: I truly feel that black lingerie never goes out of style. Check out my recent article on Lingerie Briefs about why I Say Hurray for Black Lingerie (including both practical and seductive reasons). Adding a black embroidered bra like this to your wardrobe is a no brainer. I really love the classic floral and leaf embroidery, gold hardware and ribbon detail on the center gore, and neutral lining for a very contrasting look. Personally, while I like the idea of the suspender clips on the bra strap, I’m not in love with the aesthetic. And the fuller coverage cup (admittedly, mostly because it doesn’t fit my bust shape) is a bit more mature than my taste. Despite that, I think this bra is pretty timeless and is a great option for women of many ages and tastes.

Underwear: Sheer mesh back. LOVE. Higher (almost retro) waist and fuller coverage. LOVE. Embroidery detail. LOVE. Adorable front cut-out, gold hardware, and strap that almost looks like a belt. LOVE. Contrast of neutral lining under the black embroidery. LOVE. Removable garter straps. LOVE. Did I mention that I love the Olivia bottom?

Value

Bra: At only $41.50 retail, this bra is a steal. The solid construction and sturdy elastic are completely worth the price. This bra is made in China of mostly polyester, nylon and spandex. Where it lacks in sophisticated materials, it makes up in solid construction and timeless style.

Underwear: At only $27.50 (or $28 for some sizes) retail, I think we all know I’m going to say that this lovable pair of undies it well worth it. LOVE.

So that’s it! In conclusion, I say Hurray for the Créme Bralée Olivia bra and panty set. And while it may not fit me personally, I absolutely encourage those of you with a fuller figure to give it a go.

Have you tried Créme Bralée lingerie? What do you think of the Olivia set? What’s your favorite brand for a fuller bust? Tweet at me @hurraykimmy or leave a comment below!

xoxo Kimmay blog signature

{Video} Love Yourself, Love Your Business Interview with Genavieve Shingle

Damsel in Defense

Have you ever started off on one path, only to realize later that you’re calling is for something completely different? Sure happened to me. I started in musical theater, wound my way through the boob world, and now started my own media company. What a journey!

Another entrepreneur who got her start in musical theatre, I’m proud to introduce you to Genavieve Shingle (who recently became Genavieve Shingle Jaffe – Hurray and congrats on her recent wedding!) Gena is a lawyer for entrepreneurs. Wait, what? That’s right. After following her intuition and meeting the love of her life, Gena found a new profession and purpose.

Now, Gena is everywhere. She’s been featured in the NY Times, Cosmopolitan magazine, Entrepreneuer.com and has her own law expert columns in The Huffington Post and Daily Worth. WOW. Plus, she’s one of the sweetest, smartest (and shortest) NYC gals I’ve ever met. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Gena in her Upper East Side apartment (with her new puppy and wife keeping quiet in a nearby room and her cat, Gray, snoozing nearby) to discuss staying grounded, role models (get ready to cry), and her top 3 tips for protecting your business for entrepreneurs. She truly believes it when she says Love Yourself, Love Your Business. Watch it below (and keep scrolling for a special offer!)

Damsel in Defense

BONUS TIME: Interested in protecting your business and investing in yourself? I am 100% glad that I signed up to take Genavieve’s Damsel in Defense Course. She has already helped me protect my business and given me that sense of security I was craving. Starting a business was one thing, but getting on solid legal ground was quite another. Now? I’m feeling so loved and protected.

Update: Gena now offers Damsel in Defense™ and Damsel in Defense Lite

UPDATE: The Say Hurray ticket offer is expired :) See photos from the event here. OK OK OK it all sounds amazing, right? Trust me, her course and the community is so worth it. In fact, I met one of my new favorite people in Gena’s Facebook group and that very person is going to be a guest teacher at the first Say Hurray event. HURRAY! I wholeheartedly believe in Gena’s program and am now a proud affiliate. To celebrate, I’m offering anyone who signs up for Damsel in Defense through my link a complimentary ticket to Say Hurray in NYC on October 26th. Don’t live in NYC, you can gift your ticket to a friend and make her day. Hurray!

Say Hurray inviteMake sure you use the links above to sign up for Gena’s course, and email me once you do.

 xoxo Kimmay blog signature

Healthy (And Tasty) Bean Salad Recipe

Healthy Tasty Bean Salad Hurray KimmayLooking for an easy, nutritious, recipe to make in a snap? You’re in luck!

I made this tasty side dish for a choir bbq this past Sunday (nerd alert!) and had so many compliments and even a request for the recipe on Instagram that I decided to post it here. It’s SO easy, and it’s easy to make your very own. Bonus: Gluten-Free and Vegan. HURRAY!

Hurray Kimmay’s Bean Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Garbanzo Beans
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • 1 Can Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 Can Southwest Style Corn
  • 2 Limes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Red Onion
  • Two Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup chopped Cilantro
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 Tsp Chili Powder
  • A dash of Onion Powder and Paprika (optional)

Ok, let’s make this thing:

  1.  Open, drain and rinse each can of beans and add the contents to a large serving bowl. 
  2. Open and add the can of Southwest Corn. If you can’t find the Southwest kind (it already has a little lime juice, beans and some red peppers included) just use a can of corn and add in a little extra lime later. No worries, lovely.
  3. Chop up the tomatoes, onion and cilantro into small pieces and add into the bowl.
  4. Before cutting the limes, roll them around on a hard surface so they get good and juicy inside. Then, cut in half and squeeze the juice directly into the bowl. Next, turn each half inside out and use the blunt end of a knife or (my style) your fingernail to squeeze the extra juice and pulp out of each section in the lime. Get it all in there, girl.
  5. Mince or press the two cloves of garlic and add ‘em in.
  6. Sprinkle the bowl with a good amount of salt and pepper. Use your judgement here.
  7. Lastly, add in about 1 Tsp of Cumin and 1/4 Tsp of chili powder. Mix it up in the bowl and taste your concoction to make an informed decision on adding more spice or not. It’s totally up to you and your taste buds.
  8. Optional: I added a dash of Paprika and Onion Powder just for kicks and giggles. Did it make a difference? No clue. But it ended up tasting delicious. So. There’s that.  
  9. Eat. HURRAY!

Notes:

  • I used organic and Non-GMO when I could – that’s always a good idea.
  • The Southwest corn was from Green Giant. FYI.
  • I like to refrigerate the salad and let the juices soak in, like a good marinade, before serving.
  • Lots of healthy benefits to this salad, so this is ideal for someone watching their weight, on a journey to better health, or those of us maintaining good nutrition.
  • At the party, instead of putting my pulled pork on a (dairy-licious) bread bun, I followed a friend’s lead and mixed it in with the bean salad. Amazing. Seriously.
  • Have fun mixing and making your own version of this salad. You can swap out different beans (some like to add in cooked green beans) or onions (choose white or Spanish for a sweeter taste) or even add in things like cucumbers or peppers for a cool or spicy kick. It’s really up to you!
  • This also serves well as a chip dip. Why not?
  • This recipe serves quite a few people. For a smaller crowd, cut everything in half.
  • Sorry there isn’t a photo of the final product. I wasn’t planning on sharing this with anyone other than the choir kids – So I’d love to see your photos! Share them on the HK Facebook page!

Let me know how you tweak this recipe and how you decide to serve it! Leave a comment below, on the HK Facebook page, or in a Tweet!

xoxo Kimmay via hurray Kimmay

Why I Don’t Own a Scale

Happy Labor Day, lovelies!

Why I Don't Own a Scale Hurray Kimmay ::This Scale by Emily McDowell::

I was recently chit chatting with a friend and client about her goals for getting healthy. She and I had very similar stories. We were pretty conscious about what we ate, and weren’t looking to “lose weight” but rather to get healthy, lose the bloating, and up our energy. Then, I saw a Facebook post from a colleague about losing x amount of lbs and how she had a goal to lose x amount more. While I know weight loss goals are good, and quantifying them with numbers is a great choice for some, that’s never worked for me. One big reason is because I’ve never really had to lose much weight. Blah blah blah I know that sounds like a lucky problem to have… but it’s actually caused a lot of quandries in my life. Bare with me.

Growing up, I was pretty tall. I hit 5’7″ early on, and most of my friends topped out at 5’5″, with the majority rising up to the 5’3″ or less line. We were all in shape, active and vibrant. But compared to my petite friends, I felt big. In fact, I felt fat. Every time we’d discuss weight – which came up shockingly often for girls in their teens – my numbers were always higher. It never occured to me that I had a terrible body image problem. I was confident, smart, well liked, and loved eating. But whether or not I had an OK relationship with friends and food, I did not have a good one with my body. I kept trying to control it, to suppress it, to keep it little … to make it match my friend’s bodies. So I kept an eye on the scale. I tried desperately to get down to the low numbers that my friends were discussing.

Hurray Kimmay why I don't own a scale

What I wasn’t paying attention to was my actual health. So while I tried to match someone else’s number, I was forgetting that I was taller, probably had more muscle, and had a very different shape than my friends. I was also pouring low fat, low caloric foods into my body, assuming that was good, and forgetting to fuel a growing 17 year old, active, athletic, changing body. It wasn’t good, folks. At my thinnest, I was about 115 lbs, sick all the time, stressed, and feeling pretty low. Now, I’m proud to say that I flutter between 20 and 25 lbs heavier and 12 years older … and I’m so much happier with my body. It’s because I am finally listening to my body and giving it the nourishment, fuel, exercise and rest that it so deeply craves.

All of the images above and below are untouched and unedited. And while the photos below were taken by a professional and I’m wearing makeup, I provided my own glow. Thank you very much.

Why I don't pay attention to numbers Hurray Kimmay

When my doctor recently told me I’d lost weight, I didn’t know. I’ve never bought or owned a scale. Partly because it just takes up too much room in a cramped NYC apartment (there’s seriously zero floor space in my bathroom) but mostly because I’ve stopped paying attention to numbers. I’ve learned that I will always be taller, weigh more, and have a larger pants size than many women. And that’s ok. Because I finally feel great, have more energy, and look damn good in my clothes. The numbers matter less than how I feel. No bathroom scale for me.

And this goes for other numbers, too. Our clothing size, our waist measurements, our age, and even our bra size.

I’ve been a bra fitter for over 10 years and learned long ago that a number and a letter have no power over your self worth. Being a DD does not mean you’re a bimbo. Wearing a G cup doesn’t mean you’re a freak. Fitting into an A cup doesn’t mean you’re inadequate. And whether you wear a 30 band or a 54 band, you’re still a precious human being who matters and should be adored.

In fact, becoming a bra fitter at age 19 was what kick started this whole thing. As a musical theatre student, I was surrounded by thin bodies and the pressure to look a certain way if I wanted to “make it”. But in my very first week of seeing naked women in the NYC bra fitting room, my ideal of the female body changed. I realized that even the women who I thought were pretty, in shape, and thin had something negative to say about themselves. I saw what age does to the body. I discovered the way pregnancy changes the female form. I learned how cancer affects women’s breasts. It was … eye opening. And I realized what a waste of time it was to constantly belittle my body. I realized how important it is to protect it, nourish it, and be thankful for the wonderful gift we were given.

Be nice to yourself and why I don't own a scale - via Hurray Kimmay ::Source::

I understand the goal of losing weight or dropping inches. For many women and men in America losing weight is an important step to getting healthy. But here’s a “hurray” for the rest of us, who have less weight to lose and need to focus on getting healthy, happy, and saying hurray!

I’m still on the journey. I won’t lie. I got a jolt of “hurray” when my Doctor told me I’d lost weight. But when I think of the girl I was 12 years ago, and who I am today – I’ve come a long way. Now I appreciate the weight loss as a side effect to living a healthy life, not as the main goal. It’s my vision and mission to help other women along this same journey. I hope that this post inspired you to look less at the numbers and more on the quality of your health. Because without your health and happiness, what do you have?

Have you ever felt the same way? What’s your experience with health and numbers been? Share in the comments, send me a tweet, or share on the Hurray Kimmay Facebook page.

Want to join me? Email me at kimmay(at)hurraykimmay(dot)com. I’m here to help you say hurray on the inside, outside and underneath it all! From nutrition to bra fitting, style and and your soul – let’s talk.

xoxo Kimmay via hurray Kimmay

Smoothie Operator: Healthy Smoothie Recipes

Hurray for HealthHurray for smoothies! No. Really. I loooove them. In fact, I have a smoothie almost every single morning. They’ve become my go-to for a nutritious, delicious start to my day – or sometimes even a quick, balanced lunch or dinner on-the-go.

As part of my Hurray for Health campaign, and because I know it’s so important to start with feeling great on the inside, I’ve put together a few of my favorite smoothie recipes, and a few tricks and tips.

————–The Basics—————————

My favorite smoothie mix is Shaklee 180. Of course, you can substitute your own mix, but I love Shaklee because their products are always safe, always green, and always work. That’s why I chose them as my Hurray for Health partner. I started using the smoothie mixes about a year ago, and I’ve had them almost everyday since. They are made with all natural ingredients, no artificial flavors, sweeteners, GMOs or additives, are lactose free (hurray!), have a great balance of protein (24 grams!), carbs and fat, and contain leucine to help maintain my figure. Another reason I love Shaklee 180 smoothies is because they taste great on their own. You don’t NEED to add in other stuff to cover up the taste or add in nutrition. They’re already awesome. All you need is…

  • 1 packet or 2 scoops of Shaklee 180 Mix
  • About 1 cup of milk. I opt for Unsweetened Vanilla Almond or Coconut milk (or a mix) which is easier on the digestive tract, very healthy, and down right tasty.

Mix it up using a blender, food processor, or a blender ball container. You’re good to go!

If you DO want to add in a few things (I mean, I have a shake for breakfast EVERY day, so I like to mix it up a bit) here’s what you’ll need…

  • 1 packet or 2 scoops of Shaklee 180 Mix
  • About 1 cup of milk. I opt for Unsweetened Vanilla Almond or Coconut milk (or a mix) which is easier on the digestive tract, very healthy, and down right tasty. If you’re adding in more items, you may need to adjust the amount of milk.
  • Frozen or fresh fruit
  • Ripe fresh or frozen bananas*
  • 2 or more ice cubes
  • Optional add-ins for taste and extra health benefits: Kale, Spinach, Chia Seeds, Cinnamon, Oats, etc.

*TIP: Bananas are VERY sugary so they add a lot of sweetness to the smoothie and to your diet, so don’t go overboard. The riper, the sweeter. They also give the smoothie a thick consistency, and if frozen, give it a creamy, milkshake consistency. If freezing, peel first (I made this mistake the first time. Duh!) and chop or tear apart into 3-4 pieces each so they are easier to blend. When using frozen bananas, you may need even more milk.

Mix it up using a blender or food processor.**

Healthy, nutritious smoothie recipes from Hurray Kimmay

**TIPS: While a $20 blender will do the trick, you may want to invest in a good quality blender if you plan on blending every day (like me!). I own a Cuisinart blender/food processor combo with a glass pitcher that has been awesome. It is about 1/3 or 1/4 the price of the expensive Ninja or Vitamix models, but also more powerful and reliable than a drug store model.

When using ice or frozen foods, always pulse the ice crush button several times to get started, then start on low and slowly increase the speed. If the blender keeps whirring and nothing is churning, add a little bit more liquid and try again.

I love using a straw in a tall mug with my shakes and I always take my Vitalizer and other Shaklee supplements along with it! It’s the perfect morning combo!My favorite way to say Hurray in the morning! Shaklee Smoothie recipe from Hurray Kimmay

—————Specialty Recipes—————

The below recipes are a few of my favorite ways to mix it up! Remember, you can mix and match the mixes, milks, fruits and add-ins as you see fit. Tell me what you decided to try, and what you changed at Kimmay@hurraykimmay.com or send me a tweet @hurraykimmay! I’d love to hear. And I’m always here to help if you have questions or want to set up a call to learn more :D

Peaches and Cream smoothie recipe from Hurray KimmayPeaches & Cream

Shaklee 180 Vanilla Mix

½ or 1 full banana

¾ cup frozen peaches

½ tsp cinnamon

2-3 ice cubes

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond or Coconut Milk

Optional: ¼ cup oats, 1 tsp Chia Seeds

Healthy Blueberry Muffin meal smoothie from Hurray KimmayBlueberry Muffin

Shaklee 180 Café Latte Mix

½ or 1 full banana

½ cup of frozen blueberries

½ tsp of cinnamon

2-3 ice cubes

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond or Coconut Milk

Optional: ¼ cup oats, 1 tsp Chia Seeds

Tropical Paradise smoothie from Hurray KimmayTropical Paradise:

Shaklee 180 Vanilla Mix

A combination of frozen mango, fresh/canned pineapple, and frozen peaches to add up to about 1 – 1 ½ cup of fruit

2-3 ice cubes

Unsweetened vanilla or regular coconut milk

¼ – 1 cup of Kale or Spinach (optional)

Strawberry Fields Smoothie via Hurray KimmayStrawberry Fields:

Shaklee 180 Chocolate Mix

½ Banana

½ cup frozen Strawberries (or berry mix)

¼ -1 cup cup of Kale or Spinach

1 tsp of Chia Seeds

2-3 ice cubes

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Hurray! Are you ready to feel and look your best from the inside out? Try a smoothie, talk to me about Shaklee (shoot me an email at kimmay (at) hurraykimmay (dot) com, and say Hurray for Your Health!

xoxo Kimmay via hurray Kimmay

Review: Easy Canvas Prints (And Our Anniversary!)

Easy Canvas Prints Review Header hurray kimmayThis August 5th marked a wonderful milestone: my second wedding anniversary! HURRAY! To celebrate, we went to one of our favorite restaurants in Queens (and where we hosted our rehearsal lunch, instead of dinner), The Astor Room, and dined outside to the hum of 1940′s tunes.

Because Mr. Hurray and I are both in between jobs and not exactly raking in the big bucks while we decide what our next moves will be, we didn’t exchange gifts this year. So I was so thrilled that Easy Canvas Prints emailed me with a complimentary 8×10 offer to review their online print product. Right away, even though this was months before we’d be in our current financial situation, I knew I wanted to order a print from our wedding day. Our wedding photographer, Mallory Berry of MGB Photo, took such gorgeous shots from our special day . . . and we still have yet to order any prints. D’oh! So now that there was no excuse, I chose my most favorite photo for an 8×10, of my honey and I dancing in front of the Bronx Zoo Center right before our ceremony. It was like he and I were the only two in the entire zoo. It was a magical moment. And now I have a beautiful canvas print of it in our home.

Canvas review 3 Hurray KimmayThe process of ordering was really simple. The website even gives you an idea of how the size of the print will compare to a 7 foot sofal. I thought that was pretty handy.Easy Canvas Review on Hurray Kimmay

Because I was using a very large file of super high quality, I wasn’t concerned about the pixelation at all. But if you are using smaller photos, the website automatically lets you know how the printing quality will look for the size print you’re ordering. Bonus: You can actually import photos from Facebook or Instagram! Hurray! (Instagram addict here. Follow me!)Easy Canvas Review on Hurray KimmayNext, you have some handy options to choose from. The complimentary option for display is a wall hanging canvas, but for less than $10 more you can have a sleek back added so you can display the canvas on a desk or shelf. Because my photo was large enough, I chose to have the sides wrapped in with the remainder of my image. Easy Canvas Review on Hurray KimmayAnd finally, options to use a black and white or sepia filter and to add retouching. Fancy! Easy Canvas Review on Hurray KimmayFrom the emails I’ve received since my order, and from the instant promo when I finalized my order, it looks like Easy Canvas Prints has a lot of great promotional offers. So if budget is a concern for you, take a look online or sign up for their emails :)  Easy Canvas Review on Hurray Kimmay

So the ordering process was super easy! The shipping process was a bit harder for me. Any time something is shipped via FedEx or UPS, I have to put a note on my apartment building door and have the driver call me. Shipping via USPS is waaaay easier. Oh, the hardship of living in a building with no buzzer and no doorman. C’est la vie. It was strange, however, that there was no packing slip or information inside the package with the canvas print. I’d say that Easy Canvas Prints may be trying to save our environment by using less paper, but the giant box that was used to ship a small 8×10 order says otherwise. It did arrive safe and sound, however.

I took a few photos of the canvas print in three locations: in a window, on the back of the couch (above) and hung up on the wall. The window option allows light to shine through the back, which actually looks kind of cool, but may not be a great option for all prints. The couch and wall option are probably better, and the built in wall hanging teeth are a great plus – no need to add anything yourself. The canvas itself is pretty lightweight so there’s no need to worry about it falling.

Easy Canvas Review on Hurray KimmayEasy Canvas Review on Hurray Kimmay

Even without a frame, I think it looks great on the wall! Aren’t we just the cutest, dancing in the zoo?

My only less-than-hurray review of the actual product is the back. While I’m sure the easy “cut here and staple there” instructions make it easy for the staff, it’s a little tacky looking. I know, I know, I know – no one will even see this. But if I were giving this as a gift, someone would. In the grand scheme of things, this is no big deal, but it was worth noting.

I presented this print to my honey a few days after our anniversary (partly my fault because I ordered it too late, partly the whole UPS shipping issue noted above) and he thought it was darling AND loved the light coming through the back when it was placed in the window. Hurray!

There are a LOT of photo and canvas printing places on the web these day because canvas prints are a great way to add a little personalized charm to your home decor. They make great gifts for parents, friends, bridesmaids, grandparents, and your special honey. If you need a site that’s easy and user friendly, with just enough size and style options (and not too many to confuse you) then Easy Canvas Prints is a great site for you!

Pssst! Want more from our wedding? Here’s my post from our first wedding anniversary, including MGB Photo’s stop-motion movie of our day!

xoxo Kimmay via hurray Kimmay