Melanie Jeanne

Kylee of KyleeBroughton.com

It’s that time of month again! It’s my favorite time of month actually. I get to engage with incredible women to tell their story and share their passion with all of you. I love this process so much because if there is one thing I have learned in my 37 years, it’s that women often feel alone and lonely and as if they are traveling a journey that no one else has experienced. I have also learned that with a little vulnerability and honesty, we as women learn, we are not alone. In fact we are never alone. Every scary, sad, grief stricken lonely feeling we have and may hide, or every wonderfully blissful success, experience and joy we have; it is somehow and someway shared amongst many other women. We may travel our journeys in different ways physically and emotionally, but we are never alone.

Today’s feature is near and dear to my heart for many reasons and all of them have to do with my feeling of never being alone in this journey because of my beautiful soul of a friend Kylee. It’s near and dear to my heart for a few very specific reasons: 1) Kylee is who I want to be when I grow up. Ok, really a combination of her, Helen Mirren and Blake Lively, but if I even get 1/10 of her awesomeness in this life, I’ll be satisfied. 2) SHE is the reason I blog. A bajillion years ago (ok, maybe 12) we met as work acquaintances and a friendship blossomed over cancer, babies, weddings, work and blogging. Years later and that acquaintanceship has bloomed into one of my dearest and truest friendships. 3) She is the most incredible friend. She has taught me over the course of all of these years how to show up, how to hold space and how to own my authentic self and share that person with the world.

Everyone needs a Kylee and I am so grateful she is letting me share the person I love with you.

Ok. Ok. Enough about all the reasons why I love Kylee, time for you to meet her and hear about her journey, her blog and read for yourself why she is the epitome of a Woman of Influence.

Introducing Kylee of KyleeBroughton.

Let’s start with who you are as a person because behind every beautiful brand is a real life actual person! Who are you Kylee? 

Years before my husband and I got married, we were idyllically sitting at a park in Ohio talking about what we wanted to do with our lives. (This is when we had time to have conversations without children interrupting.) I didn’t feel a calling to be a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher or a nurse. I remember saying, “I… I just want to have good relationships. Like GOOD ones.”

Today, that’s still my passion. I want to have solid relationships. I want people to know they matter. I believe the glue that connects all of us are words. Words have such power to build, to connect our shared experiences and to ultimately help us remember that we’re not alone – that we matter.

Hence, my passion – writing.

Please introduce KyleeBroughton.

KyleeBroughton.com, is the newly updated version of Two Pretzels, the blog I started back in 2006. The space has evolved over the years. It’s a daily site where I write about all things life-related: marriage, parenting, shopping & products, books, recipes grief and more.

It’s light. Sometimes it’s not. But it’s real. And when you’re finished reading, maybe you’ll smile. OR laugh. Or think, “Totally. I get that.”

You are wonder woman! How do you balance being a wife, mama, marketer in Cabo (for real I’d be at the beach all the time), a blogger, consultant and so much more?

Ha! Don’t be fooled by what you see on my social media feeds. I think balance is actually pretty elusive. Instead, I try to just stay consistent and I forgive myself when I have off days.  I do have my daily rituals that fuel me and keep me going – getting up early, journaling, prayer, a cup of tea –  and I give myself quite a bit of grace.

Tell us a bit about each of those passions and any others:

My great passion is writing and reading and supporting others. I believe in the power of the written word (are you noticing a theme?). Writing down our truths can free us. Sharing our writing can help others relate and feel more connected and less alone. My goal is to write from my heart… all the time. We write and we heal. We write and we grow.

My passions really lie in living my best life and growing and learning all.of.the.time.

On a personal note, are you an early bird gets the worm or night owl?

Monday through Friday I’m an early bird, on the weekends, I want nothing more than to cuddle up to the husband with a glass of wine and watch a great movie. And I always sleep in on Saturday.

Coffee, tea or what’s your favorite bevvy?

Hot green tea. Everyday. I’m kind of boring. Right now I’m in love with Jasmine Green tea.

What does your morning routine look like? How do you start your day in a manner that allows you to accomplish everything you do? How do you create positivity in your morning routine?

Mornings start around 5 or 6 a.m. and they include a workout, getting the girls (9 and 7) off to school. So yes, our mornings include looking for lost headbands, arguing about eggs or pancakes and getting lunches packed (with Christmas music playing). After the girls are gone, and the house is quiet, I have my morning quiet time in my favorite chair, journal in hand — before I head into the office. Every day I try to write a list of 10 specific things I’m grateful for. (I can’t just write, “I’m thankful for my girls.” Instead, I make myself dig and really name the grateful thing: “I’m thankful that Lila hugged Vivi yesterday when she thought no one was watching.”) I recently increased my gratitude list from 3 to 10 because it keeps me searching for positive, thankful moments all day long. And coming at the day from that perspective is a nice change.

What do you eat for breakfast to get your day going?

I don’t eat breakfast! (I know, I know…)  I’ve been intermittent fasting for a while and my first meal is after noon. Always veggies, always a protein, always fruit and my two chocolate viactiv vitamins. It’s amazing how much I look forward to those little nuggets.

What are your greatest indulgences?

Time alone.
Great bags.
The lake in Michigan.
Toasted GF english muffins SMOTHERED in butter, cream cheese AND jam.

How do you balance your love for food and your gluten intolerance? I could never give up bread…

Sadly, giving up gluten is not a matter of choice, it’s necessary. If I eat gluten I’m covered in itchy-rashes and feel awful. There are some awesome healthful alternatives that work for me, though. Udi’s brand oatmeal raisin (and chocolate chip) cookies are the best cookies I’ve ever had in my life… And as far as bread goes, there are some awesome GF options. But, after a while, you just kind of lose the taste…

Do you have one personal piece of advice you would share with other women so that they can join your wonder woman status?

Small changes add up.

The small decisions we make throughout the day to help someone, to change our mindset, to keep us eating well, to keep us living well… they add up.

Cut yourself a break, life is a journey.

Grace, grace and even more grace – for yourself, and for others, too.

AND, it’s ok to say no. The sooner you embrace the power of no, the more free you’ll feel.

Right now, I’m really working on staying *present*. Oy, phones…

Let’s talk about KyleeBroughton, you’ve been blogging for over 10 years and have consistently had the blog of my dreams, but what are your dream as it pertains to the blog and your future? The blog’s purpose? Your book?  

Aw, thank you! I write the words that I want my daughters to read. I would love for the words to resonate with them, with others and would love if my audience would continue to grow. I hope that people read and feel compelled to share. I feel like the readers of my blog are really my people. I share everything with them: marriage nonsense, parenting chaos, what it’s been like to lose my Mom, products I love, you name it. I hope our community grows.

And when the time is right, I can’t wait to unveil my future book to them.

What does the transition from a blog to a website mean to you?

I feel like I just started high school. Like, I graduated from junior high, but now I’m a freshman, just trying to find my way and get the combination right on my locker. Moving from a blog to a website means I can just share that much more. I’m excited about stretching my wings and trying some new things. Growth is good, right?

You are an inspiration when it comes to showing up. How? How do you hold space for so many people? For your friends and family and still take care of yourself?

Are you an Enneagram follower? I’m a Helper. This is who I am. This is what I do. I receive joy and fulfillment from being there for people. I’m energized by being counted on.

I do feel overwhelmed at times, though — so when I start to feel the heaviness, I back off. My best friend tells me that I’m good at self-care and I accept that compliment with open arms. I exercise. I journal. And I cry. And I talk to my husband. And I get massages. 🙂

Being a helper and a caretaker means that in my bones I believe that people matter and we are supposed to show up all the time for them; not just when it’s convenient.

You and your family are expats, let’s discuss this further. How is living in a foreign country? Raising kids? When do you plan on moving back to the states?   

Well, we moved to Mexico nearly 13 years ago and I’ve lived more adult-years in Mexico than I did in the United States.  Being a “guest” in someone else’s country has been eye-opening and a gift. My love, passion and advocacy for the incredible country of Mexico and for the community where I live is searingly heartfelt. The relationships I’ve made, the experience we’ve had… I’m beyond thankful.

As far as raising children in a foreign country goes, it’s been… different, and there have been so many differences from my upbringing in Northwest Ohio, but I’m thankful for all of it. We have two bilingual children who I hope will grow up with a global perspective and filled with empathy and mutual respect for all people, all skin types, all languages and all socioeconomic backgrounds. We’ll see. We do the best we can with what we have, right?

When will we move back to the States?  

Right now we don’t have any plans to move back to the U.S. permanently. I’m sure when/if we make that decision it’ll be similar to the manner in which we decided to move here: we’ll consider it quietly, make the decision, and then go. Until then, there are no current plans to leave the Baja. Estamos contentas.

What would you say to other dreamers? To other women longing to have it all? To other women longing to chase their dreams and meet their goals?

You matter.
No more putting everyone else first and you last.

Let something go, and add you in.
Find the time to do the thing that sets your soul on fire and don’t you dare feel one iota of guilt about it.
The world needs more strong women.
You’ve got this.

And now you know why I love her so… Kylee has a way with words. A way that sits so well with ones soul. If you’re a women, a mama, a wife, someone who has experienced grief, someone who loves fashion or the Oscars, you need to add Kylee to your follow list!

Kylee can be found at kyleebroughton.com, on Instagram at twoPretzels and on Facebook at TwoPretzels. Want Kylee’s words in your inbox (I mean duh)? Go HERE & enjoy! 

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