no alcohol challenge

3 tips to try + enjoy while traveling sober! (Sober in Vegas contributor!)

Today’s blog post comes courtesy of Sober in Vegas!

Today’s blog post comes courtesy of Sober in Vegas!

If you are like me, I start thinking about the weekend on Thursday!

One of my favorite things to do is to plan a road trip over the weekend - to explore our beautiful state and surrounding areas.

And when I first stopped drinking, I thought I would probably never go to a place like Las Vegas again for a special trip.

Image courtesy of Sober in Vegas

Image courtesy of Sober in Vegas

I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't gamble. What would I possibly do in Sin City if I didn't enjoy any of those things?

Then I discovered Sober in Vegas on Instagram. Through blog posts and images, she shares the unlimited possibilities of exploring Las Vegas and the great state of Nevada as a complete and total teetotaler.

From outdoor adventures to magic shows and art exhibits to nature trails, there truly is something for everyone. And I'm so grateful to Kim at Sober in Vegas for sharing that part of her community.

Today, she shares some tips on how to enjoy your travels, road trips and more while pursuing a sober lifestyle.

Sober in Vegas.png

All responses below provided by Kim at Sober in Vegas. THANK YOU, KIM for your expert advice!

TIP 1: PLAN AHEAD. In a place like Las Vegas where alcohol is everywhere, even the strong can feel weak. By knowing ahead of time where you're going to dine or explore (and what alcohol-free options they have) you've preemptively cut out so much anxiety and temptation.

Also don't be afraid to call a restaurant ahead of time and ask what their alcohol-free options are--especially the higher end places. Vegas is a town dedicated to customer satisfaction and often times they are eager to accommodate.

TIP 2: BE AN EARLY BIRD. My tip for you if you're staying on The Strip is to go to bed early and get up early. Late nights in casinos can be rough, and if you have any social anxiety, it can be hard.

"Early in the mornings the casinos tend to be much less populated, and if you're walking outdoors on The Strip it's even more sparsely populated," says Kim. "Seven in the morning is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors on The Strip hangover free!"

TIP 3: CREATE A COMFORTABLE ENVIRONMENT. Don't forget to pack items outside of normal clothes/toiletries to ensure comfort while traveling. Some tips Kim recommends are: Earplugs and an eye mask (for better sleep), headphones (to enjoy podcasts or audiobooks!), essential oils (to relax or create a spa-like environment), snacks and extra towels or a favorite blanket.

Stay tuned for more insight from Sober in Vegas. Tomorrow, Kim addresses how to explore your own home town sober AND the best parts she's experienced about living a sober lifestyle. xoxo Kim

Image courtesy of Sober in Vegas

Image courtesy of Sober in Vegas

  1. WANT MORE RESOURCES?

  1. Read Kim's blog post that provides more tips for traveling sober!

  2. Follow Sober in Vegas on Instagram

  3. Say your Daily Mantra "I choose adventure. I choose sobriety." whenever you have a chance.

  4. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 11 of Sober October.

  5. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.


Sober October: Day 10 (...are you a fan of tough love?)

Day 1 (16).jpg

I hate being the bad guy.

My husband tends to be the one who is more strict with the children. I tend to let more slide.

At the PR agency I co-own with my business partner, we always joke that I'm "good cop" and she's "bad cop."

I sometimes have a hard time being super harsh. I don't like it and I can see so many sides to a story.

But when it comes to getting what you want, it won't serve any of us to do anything half way. Especially when it comes to being sober and breaking a habit like accepting alcohol at every turn, for any occasion.

I know I've learned a lot from my slip ups. I learn each time I don't want to drink again - and then I find better ways to cope with a certain emotion.

But there comes a time when you've got to own the decisions you make.

RACHEL HOLLIS QUOTE.jpg

Do you want to try life without alcohol? Or do you want to keep repeating the cycle and stay where you are?

It's not going to be easy to pass on the champagne at brunch, the beer at the birthday celebration or the wine while you're making dinner. But it will be worth it.

You'll learn things about yourself. You'll find new ways to cope with emotions and stressors. You'll do something that you'll be proud of. Stop making excuses and you'll ultimately feel better if you just stick with it.

Why not give it a try? Why not step outside your comfort zone and fight through the tough spots?

Don't give up on yourself. Don't break your promise to yourself. Don't quit when it's hard.

DECIDE YOU CAN. AND BELIEVE YOU CAN.

xoxo Kim

  1. FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 10

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I make choices that get me closer to my goal." whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 10.

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.


From frazzled to freedom - How I got to 100 days sober

Kim-55.jpg

When I first set out to complete 100 days without alcohol, I imagined this day full of balloons and confetti.

Celebrating my success with lots of hoopla.

Espousing all my newfound wisdom sitting on top of a mountain.

The truth is, I don’t like to make a big fuss and draw attention to myself. The 100 Days of Sober Instagram page is so radically different than anything I’ve ever done because it does not mesh with my “I want to hide and be behind the scenes personality” - but I keep receiving notes that what I’m sharing is helpful. And that is why I continue to share bits and pieces of my journey.

And I’ve got to be honest. That feedback sets me on fire and ignites a flame inside of me. I love it. I received a note from a woman who said she stopped drinking because she saw herself in my posts - and that is such a humbling thing to receive.

Instead of celebrating, I’m reflecting. Reflecting on:

  • 100 days of saying no to wine to squash (insert emotion here)

  • 100 days of saying yes to exploring other ways to deal with (insert emotion, stress, celebration here)

  • 100 days of saying yes to feeling all my emotions

  • 100 days of saying yes to better sleep

  • 100 days of saying no to overthinking or allowing someone else’s thoughts of me dictate what I choose to share

  • 100 days of saying no to things that don’t serve me well

While I’m happy to be sitting here at 100 days, I can’t help but to think of the woman who is hungover in her kitchen right now, washing down Aleve with coffee.

If she’s anything like I was, she’s snapping at her kids and apologizing to her husband for the fight they had last night, while throwing away a bottle of Chardonnay from the fridge that surprisingly only has a spit of wine still in it.

“I didn’t mean to drink that much,” she thinks. “Today I will not drink at all,” she falsely promises herself until the stress gets to be too much and she decides to pour ‘just a smidge’ to take the edge off, only to repeat the whole damn cycle again.

I wrote a post at the 30-day mark - and everything in here still rings true. The books, the courses, the importance of accountability, the lies I told myself. Please read that to see some resources that I have found immensely helpful.

Here at 100 days, I have a little more insight to share that I promised at Day 30. This actually comes from recent conversations with people asking for advice.

  • One day at a time - I admit. I am as basic as they come. I’m a cliche. I like Pumpkin Spice Lattes and say shit like “one day at a time” - but I’ll tell you why this works for me. Just try saying “no” when it gets hard. Just for one day. And your brain will remember and say “oh I was able to do this yesterday” and try it again. It may take a few times to stick - but when have you ever been able to master something after just one try? Give yourself a break and keep at it. One day your brain will say “no more tomorrows” - try it today.

  • Change the way you look at alcohol - Did you ever have a friend, coworker or mentor that you thought was just so beautiful in every way? They could do no wrong. But then you learned a really awful story about them - about the way they treated people, or cheated loved ones or anything else truly awful? And then how did you look at them? Was it the same? You probably could never view them as the beauty they once were in your eyes. And that’s what I’m asking you to do with alcohol.

  • Decide you can - Just freaking believe in yourself and decide you can. No one can do this for you. No inspirational quote, meme or someone else’s success story is going to make you do something you don’t believe you can do in the first place. Decide you can. And then take little steps towards that goal. Don’t worry if you mess it up. Just start over. Believe in yourself. No one else will do this work for you.

    I’ve started to view alcohol as a toxin. A carcinogen that is linked to a number of cancers. And a brain altering poison that makes me dizzy and fuzzy. It helps me to look at it that way instead. And if you are reading this looking for ideas, it may help you, too.

gratitude is my only attitude.jpg

I’m sitting here in my kitchen writing this to you today. It’s calm and peaceful. I’m grateful and hopeful that perhaps someone else will be inspired. And I’m praying for all you strong souls out there who are disappointed in themselves again this morning - and perhaps feel they haven’t got it quite figured out. Guess what? Neither do I! Just still taking it day by day. xoxo Kim

P.S. Life is still not 100% perfect. It never will be. During this post, the dog has thrown up and escaped out the backyard. At least I’m not running after him down the streets hungover right? :)

Sobering Statistics - Day 8 of Sober October

Day 1 (15).jpg

I usually like to keep things light and positive.

But the truth is, it's important to start seeing alcohol for what it is. It's a known carcinogen that can cause death, destruction, depression and dismay. Viewing alcohol this way - in a new perspective - is especially helpful for me when I start to romanticize bringing alcohol back into my life...

Oh, wouldn't a delightful gin and tonic be so refreshing on this crazy hot day?

Hmm, no, not really. Because it will make me want three more. I will be tired and cranky that I can't take a nap...because kids, y'all. I will most likely eat half of the pizza we ordered for the kids and then I will sleep like shit and wake up feeling like a swamp monster.

<Put that in a commercial and see how well a light beer sells!>

O.K. So let's talk sobering statistics. I know I've shared the following before - but in case you missed it or glossed over it, I'm sharing again. It's a quote from Jillian Michaels in her book, Making the Cut.

Screen Shot 2018-10-07 at 3.26.33 PM.png

  1. Alcohol not only promotes fat storage and inhibits muscle growth - but it has been linked to cancer, y'all. Cancer.

  2. According to Cancer.gov"there is a strong scientific consensus that alcohol drinking can cause several types of cancer. In its Report on Carcinogens, the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen.

  3. Drinking too much can harm your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths each year in the United States from 2006 - 2010. It can shorten your life or reduce the quality of life you lead.

  4. Alcohol is considered the #1 date rape drug, per the National Institute of Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse. Conservative estimates of sexual assault prevalence suggest that 25% of American women have experienced sexual assault, including rape. Approximately half of those cases involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim or both.

Personally, I've made 1,001 awful decisions when I have had too much to drink:

  • Decisions that put myself and others in harm's way.

  • Decisions that I would never had made sober.

  • Decisions that left me apologizing years afterwards to people for something I did or said.

  • Decisions that left me physically ill and full of anxiety and depression.

  • Decisions that ruined friendships or other relationships.

  • Decisions I probably would have been fired for.

The truth is alcohol promises everything, while taking away your inhibitions, self-respect and decision-making abilities. It takes everything that is valuable to you but offers less than little when it comes to leading a joy-filled and intentional life. I think a glass of wine every now and then is perfectly fine - but let's be honest, I'm not part of that minority that can simply have a glass of wine and leave it. So why even bother?

Let’s keep going and figure out new ways to enjoy life, socialize, unwind, celebrate, relax and mourn. xoxo Kim

FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 8

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I am healthy and strong. I take care of my body so it can take care of me." whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 8.

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

  4. Did you see this article that features my Sober Journey and 100 Days of Sober in the Greenville News?


100 Days of Sober featured in The Greenville News

Screen Shot 2018-10-06 at 5.15.15 PM.png

As someone who has been in the PR profession my entire life, it truly is weird to be on the other side of a story. But I want to thank Lillia at the The Greenville News for writing an article that highlights the rise in restaurant trends geared towards non-alcoholic beverages and lifestyle trends that focus on balance - as well as my semi-private (now public haha!) 100 Days of Sober Challenge where I've taken a step back from alcohol in my life.

(For anyone who knows me, I've had a longstanding love affair with wine that has recently ended!)

This will be the only time I'm ever uttered in any article in the same mention as Husk Restaurant, so I'm just gonna roll with it! If you read the article, let me know what you think. xo Kim

Day 5 - Progress Over Perfection

Day 5.jpg

I received the following note about "slip ups" and wanted to address in today's Sober October email to you!

How do you feel about relapses? I am doing Sober October but I had a slip and drank yesterday. I still plan on doing the rest of the month sober but I wanted to know your thoughts.

Day 5 quote.jpg

I think, when it comes to alcohol, we should all give ourselves a little grace. We are practicing a new habit, which doesn't happen overnight! It takes a while to rewire a brain that is used to drinking alcohol at every event, every occasion.

That's not to say that we shouldn't commit wholeheartedly - but it took me SEVERAL, dozens even, attempts to get to a place where it's easy for me to say "no" to alcohol.

For me, I had to work through a lot of situations - birthday parties, special events, boring Thursday nights, tough days - and everything in between. So when I reached for wine during one (or all) of the above, I learned something about why I was drinking in the first place.

So, if you're truly trying to achieve a sober lifestyle, definitely commit to not drinking - but don't give up if you have a slip up.

Mistakes happen. You're human. And it's a process.

"In truth, our lives benefit from deep, lasting growth when we make changes slowly." - Jim Daly

Keep going. Don't look back and make small steps towards achieving your goal. If you truly want it, you will find a way and the power to turn down alcohol, otherwise, you'll always find an excuse!

Wishing you all a happy Friday and a fun, fantastic (alcohol free) weekend! xoxo Kim

  1. FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 5

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I am making progress" whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 5

  3. Send any questions you may have to me atkim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

  4. Read this article that features my Sober Journey and 100 Days of Sober in the Greenville News!

How to survive the weekend (and enjoy it!) alcohol free - Sober October Day 4

Day 4.jpg

Happy Thursday

Here is a question from a Sober October Challenge participant:

"I'm good until Friday/weekend. Then I'll talk myself into having a glass, which leads to most of the bottle. :( Question - Surviving the weekend booze free?"

I had so much fun putting this together! And the content below is jam packed with good information, including four keys to enjoying a weekend sober, fall-inspired soft cocktail recipes by the fabulous Karolina Rzadkowolska, who manages Euphoricaf.com AND 15 amazing tips on how to rock a party sober, which is also provided by Karolina. Check out all the good stuff below!

I believe there are a few factors that go into play when it comes to surviving the weekend and staying alcohol free. 

  1. Preparation

  2. Visualization

  3. Distraction

  4. Motivation

Be Prepared - As you know, alcohol is EVERYWHERE - from the tailgate to the birthday party and from the dinner date to the backyard BBQ. And not only is alcohol everywhere, but it's pretty much expected that you should drink to enjoy any event tied to the weekend. It's just engrained in our society. That's why, it's important to be prepared. You'll need to prepare not only what you will plan to drink but also what you will plan to say and do so you don't get caught off guard.

  • Practice ordering a few drinks ahead of time. For example, "I'll have a soda water, please!" If they don't have that, then plan to order a lemonade or ask for an iced tea. If you're hosting or heading to a party, perhaps bring ingredients for a fun soft cocktail! (Click hereto see three fall-inspired versions by Karolina Rzadkowolska!)

  • You'll also need to be prepared to respond to any questions you'll receive from friends or family who are used to see you drinking. Have a few responses on hand, such as:

  1. No thanks, I'm not drinking tonight! I'm taking a break from alcohol.

  2. No, not for me tonight. Alcohol has been messing up my sleep lately and giving me anxiety so I'm not drinking right now.

  3. No thanks. I'm doing a Sober October challenge and am feeling really great removing the alcohol from my life!

  4. I'm doing a lifestyle challenge and am avoiding alcohol right now. Maybe next time.

EDITOR'S NOTE: One of my biggest hangups with socializing during the first few weeks of sobriety was actually telling people. And honestly, so many people responded with grace and support (and oftentimes verbally expressing their desire to cut back).

Visualize Success - I'm a huge fan of visualization. The first time I saw someone do this was Lindsay Vonn at the top of a ski run. (I was watching her on TV - when I reread this it seemed as if I was on the mountain top with her so I’ve edited to avoid any confusion. haha!)

She literally closed her eyes and visualized the entire course beforehand. It's something athletes do to imagine success over and over again. And it has personally worked for me in my personal life.

  • Before attending an event or starting the weekend from the comforts of home, set aside time each morning to fully visualize enjoying it without alcohol.

  • Get really specific! Imagine where you are, who you're with and create a picture where you see yourself laughing, having the time of your life and easily saying "no thanks!" to a glass of champagne handed to you - or confidently ordering a soda water at the bar.

  • Believe you can, decide you can and visualize your success.

cinnamonapple.jpg

Image courtesy of Karolina Rzadkowolska

Create a Distraction - Sober October isn't a time to feel like you're missing out. It's an opportunity to choose something different for your life. Experience a new normal. Have different conversations. Get outside of your comfort zone. You could certainly do the same thing this weekend and just remove the alcohol. But how about trying something new?

  • Schedule a hike or a fitness class that you've wanted to try.

  • Find a new coffee drink or dinner recipe that is a little complicated and test it out.

  • Make some of the new alcohol-free cocktails provided by Karolina Rzadkowolska.

  • Visualize success (see above!) and relish in the energy and freedom you now have just by the power of your own choices.

Figure Out What Motivates You - Are you someone who loves a gold star? Are you motivated by the carrot or the stick? Figure out what really, really helps you achieve goals and apply it to this. 

For example, if you were to take the money that you would have spent on drinks and use it to buy something special Monday morning, would that keep you motivated? Or would you love to share with your husband on Sunday night that you achieved your goal of not drinking? What about committing to donate $500 to a charity if you slip up? Would that prevent you from drinking? Think back to the last time you crushed a goal and work through why exactly you stuck with it - and then use it to your advantage when heading into the weekend.

  1. FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 4

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I find joy in the journey" whenever you have a chance.

  2. Download these fall-inspired soft cocktail recipes and tips on How to Rock a Party Sober by Karolina Rzadkowolska

  3. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 4 - and that you kept the promise you made to yourself.

  4. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

Day 3 Sober October - You promised!

Mantra Day 3 Sober October

I recently read the Best Selling book, Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. It is so inspirational and has encouraged me to DREAM BIG and stop listening to the lies my mind tells me.

She made a point that we would never break the promises we make to others as often as we do to ourselves. If we did, we may not have many patient friends surrounding us anymore! Here is a quote from the book:

"If you constantly make and break promises to yourself, you're not making promises at all....How many times have you given up before you've even started? How many times have you made real progress, only to face a setback and then give up completely? How many times have your family or friends or coworkers watched you quit? How many times have your children watched you give up on yourself over and over?" - Rachel Hollis, Girl Wash Your Face

Please do your self a favor this Sober October and DO NOT quit this journey.

  • Let's keep going.

  • Don't give up and break this promise to yourself.

  • You are here for a reason.

  • You signed up for a reason.

  • When it gets hard, when life gets stressful and sad and gloomy - which it very may over the next 31 days - DO NOT QUIT.

I want to celebrate with everyone at the end of the challenge. Let's find out how strong we really are. How prepared we are to ace daily hiccups and frustrations - and even the good stuff.

We don't need to celebrate, mourn, rewind or decompress with alcohol. I'm going to keep my promise to myself today on Day 3. How about you?

  1. FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 3

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I keep the promises I make to myself" whenever you have a chance

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 3 - and that you kept the promise you made to yourself

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.
    Much love and success for Day 3! xoxo Kim

Sober October Day 2 - Meditation

Day 2.jpg

Welcome to Day 2 of Sober October!

Whether you are a seasoned veteran at this practice or new to it, I'd love to explore the benefits of meditation today. I have personally seen how it has changed my emotional and physical states through my own sober journey - and am thrilled that there are so many studies and research to back up the good-for-you feelings that so many have discovered on their own.

Healthline article cited that a recent science-based study showed that meditation could even help with addictions:

"Meditation develops mental discipline and willpower and can help you avoid triggers for unwanted impulses. This can help you recover from addiction, lose weight and redirect other unwanted habits."

The same article reported the following 12 benefits of meditation:

Benefits of Meditating.jpg

MY OWN JOURNEY

My personality tends to thrive on stress and having a lot to do. And I used to find it more than difficult to even attempt to calm down my mind. Even taking a yoga class was a stretch for me because I thought I wasn't moving enough, doing enough, exerting enough energy!

Meditating has helped my sober journey simply because I'm more mindful of the reasons behind my decisions and motivations to do things. I'm no longer on auto pilot and therefore no longer relying on old habits to get me through. I have the luxury of taking a step back to make a decision and evaluate whether or not it's a good one for the goals I've set for myself.

Rachel Hollis quote.jpg

RESOURCES
Looking for a meditation that is right for you? You may want to try:

  • Gabrielle Bernstein - This is such a timely note because today she announced she is celebrating 13 years of sobriety!! You can visit her post here to see her must-have tools in her sober toolbox. Many of her mediation albums are available on Amazon Music - and a few are free with an Amazon Prime Membership. My favorite Album is 2010 Gabrielle Bernstein Meditations and the Vision Track (number 8) is SURE to get you pumped for the day!

  • Headspace App Headspace has a plethora of options to explore for everyone from the novice to the seasoned pro! I've used the running meditation, the morning meditation and have also completed a series of basic programs for the beginner.

  • Calm - Calm is also a great resource. I've used the meditations and mindfulness practices there to help get to sleep and end the day on a relaxing note.

FREE GIFT FOR YOU!

  • Morning Handover Meditation (from Meditations for Alcoholics). Grace at Meditations for Alcoholics provided their popular "Morning Handover" that includes reflections on Steps 1 through 3 and also the third step prayer. PLEASE NOTE: Don't worry if you do not identify as an alcoholic or do not practice the 12 steps in Alcoholics Anonymous! It can still be beneficial for you if you give it a try! Also, the recording appears as if it's 17 minutes long, but it really only is a 10-minute meditation. Decide you can make the time for a meditation practice and go for it!

  • Here is a note from Grace at Mediations for Alcoholics who graciously shared this meditation. Here she shares her story on why she created a series of meditations specifically for people with an alcohol addiction.

WOW! I hope this fills up your sober toolbox full of good things to explore.

  1. FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 2

  2. Download your FREE MEDITATION here or find another meditation guide to incorporate into your daily practice

  3. Say your Daily Mantra "I live in the present" whenever you have a chance

  4. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 2 (or post a favorite meditation practice you've found helpful!)

  5. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

Much love and success for Day 2! xoxo Kim

Day 0: Sober October Challenge!

Tomorrow marks a new month, a brand new day and Day 1 of our Sober October Challenge!

If you are interested in changing your perspective on alcohol - or just want a fun challenge during one of the best months (in my humble opinion!) of the year, then be sure to sign up for the Sober October Challenge.

I’ll be joining you on this 31-day alcohol free journey. Hope to see you there! Kim

Day 86 and milestone moment!

These past 86 days have given me so many experiences to reflect on. I’m really proud of changing habits and not falling back into things “just because it’s what I’ve always done.”

Mom Brain

I shared this funny photo on Instagram but also with a note that I am celebrating Day 86 of the 100 Days of Sober Challenge!

I’ve been attending a conference for the past two days. I was so nervous to check into the hotel! Hotels are usually where I love to order room service and wine and enjoy the quiet away from family.

But not this time. I ordered room service and opted for soda water. I’ve woken up early both days (which is typical because I usually can’t sleep in a hotel room) and have had a productive couple of days.

There are definitely some work trips I can remember being pretty hungover - going to trade shows or events and just not giving it my all.

This conference is a motivational/goal setting intensive workshop and I am super thankful to be clearheaded and sober during it all.

Just a reminder that you CAN CHANGE. Decide to CHANGE. Whatever is on your heart, you’ve got this.

Fall Sale - 25% off TeaMi purchases through September 30!

IMG_8741.JPG

Use code KIMB25 to receive 25% off your TeaMi purchase through September 30.

Just a quick note to anyone who is interested in trying TeamMi blends! I am so bummed that I drove to a conference this week and forgot my Energy tea blend.

I also am excited that - when I get home from the conference this week - I should have the Chai Tea and Relax blends I ordered to try.

Last week I shared that I love trying new tea blends during this sober challenge. It’s nice to explore different non-alcoholic beverages and the TeaMi Energy blend has been awesome so far. I get a nice clean energy feeling from it - much different than when I’m sipping on coffee with whole milk all day.

There are a variety of blends to try - and, from now through September 30, you can receive 25% off your purchase of $34 or more by using the code KIMB25.

I do receive a small commission and will donate 100% of the commissions to Women For Sobriety each month.

Hope you all have a great week! xx Kim

Receive instant access to the Happy Hour Survival Guide!

One of the most popular questions I receive is about attending events!

For example, one individual asked, “I want to try the Whole 30 diet for my upcoming wedding, but know wine will be my downfall. How can I still socialize without wine at parties while I’m on the diet?”

My readers have a variety of reasons for perhaps wanting to avoid alcohol for a while. If you’re interested in an alcohol-free challenge - but want to know how to navigate social settings, sign up to receive INSTANT ACCESS to this Happy Hour Survival Guide that shares tips to stay alcohol free during Beer Thirty, Wine O’Clock or an upcoming family vacation!

The Drinking Cycle + free sign up for Sober October Challenge

Looking forward to taking a break from alcohol - and getting out of the rut of a drinking cycle? Join our free Sober October challenge, which begins October 1!

Looking to breaking this drinking cycle?! Sign up for the free  Sober October Challenge  with 100 Days of Sober!

Looking to breaking this drinking cycle?! Sign up for the free Sober October Challenge with 100 Days of Sober!

For years, I was caught up in the following cycle: 

  • I would drink wine nearly every night as a “treat” for making it through the day

  • Slowly, over time, my drinking would increase

  • I would start feeling like crap and be tired of feeling tired

  • I’d stop drinking for a few days and feel better and then repeat the cycle.

  • Someone recently asked me if it was OK to take a few days off and then have a beer.

    For me, I keep on realizing more and greater benefits the longer I go without alcohol. The cycle above was leaving me in a constant state of anxiety and disappointment.

    Holly from Hip Sobriety asks the question “Is alcohol getting in the way of your dreams in this one life you have been given?”

    For me, it was. I have more energy, more enthusiasm and feel like my daily wine consumption was preventing me from doing what I wanted. And that is to feel good in my skin.

    Does this cycle look familiar to you? I have been working to create daily content for a FREE Sober October Challenge. I’d love to have you join me if you’re looking to enjoy an alcohol-free October.

“Is alcohol getting in the way of your dreams in this one life you have been given?”
— Holly, Hip Sobriety

An All Natural Energy Tea Blend That works!

Teami image

Want to know the secret to having more energy? I’ve got it. This tea blend gives you an energy boost without the afternoon crash! Plus I’m sharing a 15% discount code for your purchase if you want to try it out.

During this sober journey, I've replaced trying new wines or cocktails with healthier non-alcoholic beverages, such as the all-natural tea blends at Teami Blends. For the last week I've been sipping on Teami Energy, which features Ginseng, Lemongrass, Peppermint Leaves and Gogi Berries. It's easy to make, gives me energy and tastes like a nice green tea - and I love the loose tea leaves and Gogi Berries floating!

teami energy tea blend

If you're like me and looking to try new options to replace diet soda and coffee throughout the day, Teami offers so many tea blends to check out. You can use KIMB15 at checkout to receive a 15% discount on your entire purchase at teamiblends.com 

Use KIMB15 at checkout to receive a 15% discount on your entire purchase at teamiblends.com 

September 11 Anniversary - I love New York City

IMG_8105.JPG

I love New York City. It’s a magical place that I’ve been fortunate enough to visit several times throughout my life.

When I had just graduated high school, a friend and I drove to NYC because we had received David Letterman tickets in the mail (old school!). I lived in Maryland at the time and I cannot believe I was so brave and brazen to drive into the city on my own with a friend. Vince Vaughn, Elle McPherson and Jewel were the celebrities on the show during the taping.

My father grew up in New Jersey his whole life and lived just outside NYC. He tells stories of being a teenager and going to the big city as a young child before going into the ARMY.

On my husband’s birthday several years ago (which is September 11), we traveled to NYC becaus he had never been.

I can remember going there as a child with my family from New Jersey and seeing all the brightly colored yellow cabs and feeling so excited to be in such a vibrant area.

Each September 11, I try to remember exactly what I felt in 2001. I don’t want to ever forget how scared I was. Confused I was. I had just graduated college and was working at my first “real job” and, as the events unfolded, ended up huddling around an old T.V. set (one that was plugged into the wall and sitting atop a T.V. stand! old school!) with my colleagues wondering how someone could do something that caused so much devastation, tears, harm, hurt and anger.

For the next few days, there were no planes in the sky. T.V. and radio programming completely pulled shows, songs, commercials off the airwaves. People wondered when it would be appropriate to laugh or celebrate again. It was so weird to see a plane in the sky several days afterwards. Everything had changed.

I was consumed with learning everything I could about the people who lost their lives. Back then, the internet was obviously around, but it wasn’t a full treasure trove of access like it is now. I would spend hours looking at sites dedicated to the stories of the people who lost their lives. I would close my eyes in the shower and see the faces of the terrorists who created a national tragedy.

Each year, still today, on the eve of September 11, I think of all those people who woke up the next day not knowing it would be their last. I know people every day wake up not knowing it’s their last - but for those who died on September 11, who faced unfathomable terror, it’s just something I can’t comprehend - even to this day.

This sobriety journey has taught me that alcohol is only good for one thing: wasting time. It’s taken 70+ days to get here - I will be honest that, even up until this week, I was dying for a glass of wine, just waiting for the 100 days to be over with.

But today, I don’t really want to invite that back into my life. I don’t want to drink too much and waste a day of recovering, of hiding from my children so I can take a nap or of brushing them off because I’d rather have a glass of wine and watch T.V. I don’t want to waste another minute connecting with friends and family under the false social lubricant of alcohol. Or worse, waste time connecting with someone I love and not remembering it the next day.

I don’t want to take for granted something that many people don’t have the luxury of doing - living my life to the fullest.

When I think of drinking wine now, it makes me physically ill. I don’t know if it’s because of all the studies I’ve read about the fact that wine is a carcinogen and truly a poison, the accounts I’ve followed where alcohol has taken everything from someone, the messaging I see from brands that hold alcohol up as a magical elixir that promises everything but leaves you with nothing.

I just feel differently today - more than I ever have - about alcohol. And I want to share that if you are fed up with feeling like crap. If your anxiety is through the roof, if your kids are driving you crazy, if you just want to spend time with a friend or family member and really connect with them in a way that will be life changing, then alcohol is not for you.

I truly believe this. I don’t know if it’s the emotions of the day. Or if I’m far enough into the journey to really see this shitty story we’ve been served as a false veil being lifted from my eyes, but, as a woman, as a human, as a mother, as a friend, I honestly can share that I’m turning my back on alcohol. It’s put me in situations I regret, made me say and do things I would never do sober and it’s time to let it go.

Let’s all go out and live our lives with our true potential shining through. xoxo Kim

A gratitude journal to take anywhere

Listing out all the things I’m grateful for can be a great way to keep things in perspective.

Listing out all the things I’m grateful for can be a great way to keep things in perspective.

I’ve read the benefits of maintaining a gratitude journal - and writing down what you are grateful for each day. Marie Forleo even says, “the dividends are in the detail,” - and that, the more specific you are in describing why you are grateful for things, actually takes the benefits and practice deeper.

I’m on the computer all day for work - writing, posting, sharing captions, etc. - so the last thing I want to do when I unplug is log on to write out a list of things I’m thankful for. And I’ve tried big, bound journals, but they are heavy (in my already weight-bearing bag) and then the pages and corners get scuffed up because I’m reaching into my bag every second of the day because. Mom Life.

Space for gratitude, acts of kindness and daily reflection are all packaged in this pocket-sized journal from Pockitudes. I love how easy it is to carry around as a reminder to be grateful, kind and present in the moment. I think they would be a great idea for teacher’s gifts and stocking stuffers for the holiday season and more!

Thank you to the team at Pockitudes for being gracious enough to send me their pocket-sized gratitude journal to test out AND give away to one lucky winner. Designed to record daily reflections, acts of kindness, and items you are grateful for on the go, it also includes 10 go-to tips for a happier you! The giveaway is now closed but you can follow them on Instagram for daily inspiration.

Brought this little journal out with the boys while we were spending a lazy Sunday together.

Brought this little journal out with the boys while we were spending a lazy Sunday together.

My son loves to write in this little gratitude journal - and I'm thankful for the opportunity to talk with him about acts of kindness and being thankful.

My son loves to write in this little gratitude journal - and I'm thankful for the opportunity to talk with him about acts of kindness and being thankful.

Gratitude is my only attitude today
— Gabrielle Bernstein, Miracles May Occur

My beauty struggle that's a side effect of anxiety

What does anxiety look like to you?
  • A frenetic person running around with their head cut off?
  • Someone who can't get out of bed or hold down a job?
  • Or is it someone who is so overwhelmed with internal conflict that they never realize their full potential in a career or pursuit?

I'm here to share that I have had major anxiety my whole life but you may never know just by looking at me on paper.

  • I've owned a successful PR firm for nearly 10 years.
  • I've run two marathons and several half marathons.
  • I have been married for 11 years, have two healthy children and a 401K.

I definitely think I turned to wine to quell my anxiety - before big events, social activities or during stressful times where I felt overwhelmed.

As much as I leaned on alcohol to soothe my anxiety, I've learned that it has gotten almost better (nearly diminished!) since I started my 100 Days of Sober journey.

But here is one side that is so embarrassing! It's the way my anxiety has manifested physically over the years.

I twirl my hair. I've done it so much that I have a callous on my pointer finger on my left hand. I've twirled so much, a section of my hair has gotten shorter and shorter and, ultimately, has left a temporary bald spot on my left temple. At times it grows back, but then I end up twirling it off again!

I know it appears that I am flippant about things if I'm sitting there talking to someone and catch myself twirling my hair.

And, even though I have a really nice and understanding hair stylist, but it's still embarrassing when I go in to get my hair cut and colored. Good times!

I'm sharing this because I'm committing to fixing this. I'm actively trying to replace this instinctual habit with another physical habit - like tapping my fingers or another activity to keep my hands busy.

I also am going to journal and meditate more because I think that will help release any lingering effects of anxiety I still have. Being mindful is the best medicine to approach a lot of challenges.

Has anyone else experienced this? How does your anxiety manifest and what are you doing to control it? Let me know if you have any tips! Kim

Alternative t-shirt ideas for Rose All Day

An alternative to wine memes
An alternative to wine memes

There are a lot of conversations happening around the marketing of alcohol to women. I know that before I started evaluating my relationship with alcohol, I bought into the messaging that I deserved wine for making it through the day.

Alternative to wine memes
Alternative to wine memes

Being a parent, whether a single mom, working mom, stay-at-home mom, empty nester mom, mom of twins, mom of girls, mom of boys - YOU NAME IT! - we are all in the same boat. Many of the same load bearing challenges present themselves to parents across the nation.

We are navigating each day with the HUGE responsibility of raising children with the intent that they will be kind, responsible, healthy and content members of this human race. To make minute-by-minute decisions on everything from nutritional choices to behavioral concerns and sleep routines to screen time and healthy habits to everything in between, it is an intense journey we are on as parents. It can also be fun, sweet, sentimental, rewarding and full of fabulous memories that can be filed away to revisit during the not so sweet moments.

Yes, it's stressful. Yes it can feel like we are in a vortex, void of any identity, trying to make it through the day without losing too much enthusiasm, positivity or sleep. Funny enough, that's all the reason why abstaining from alcohol can help. Instead, we are bombarded by messages telling us that wine, mojitos, beer and the rest of it are our friends as stressed out mammas.

I co-own a PR firm and, before we purposefully downsized - read "conscious uncoupling" for small biz owners! - we had a rule in the office. If you came to one of us with a problem or concern (about a client, project or anything else), then we would be happy to address it, but you were also expected to have a suggestion on how we could fix said issue.

I've seen a lot of blog posts, Instagram posts and conversations confronting brands and individuals about their attitudes towards alcohol. I think this is interesting and I do enjoy seeing a rising tide of changing perspectives that question how these messages are received. BUT I would like to contribute to the conversation by providing a few alternative messages.

What do you think? Which ones do you like? Is it possible to highlight treats and rewards to women without the mention of wine? I wonder how well that would be received. Also, what suggestions do you have for a favorite alcohol-free self care tee? xoxo Kim

All is fine with pizza and a phone line
All is fine with pizza and a phone line

Oh Bother! High Expectations for Winnie The Pooh

IMG_7538 🍿 E X P E C T A T I O N S 🍿

image1.jpeg

Last night we went to see the Christopher Robin movie. It’s blazing hot here and we were all looking forward to eating popcorn and snuggling together.

The boys brought their Pooh’s that they’ve had since birth. That they sleep with every night.

I snapped a few pictures to document this precious moment AND the guacamole hit the fan before the previews even stopped (WHY are there 30 minutes of commercials and previews for a kids movie? I don’t even have the patience or attention span for that!).

The kids got all wound up and started throwing their Pooh’s everywhere. Over the aisles and through Hundred Acre Wood.

They weren’t using their “inside voices” and when I tried to tell them to be quiet in a low whisper; they screamed “I can’t hear you!”  We left after we got shushed by a few folks.  🤣

Cheese and rice. That experience did not meet up to my expectations AT ALL. I pictured a Norman Rockwell painting and we got a comedy of errors instead.

Just a nice reminder that things won’t always go the way you planned. And you don’t need alcohol to cope with minor disappointments in life. In my own experience, it just makes things worse. Have a terrific Tuesday!

Christopher Robin, we will catch you on a DVD coming soon!