The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Can I Get That Fried With A Side Of Grits?

New York City continued.....

I was starving. I had barely eaten all day anticipating the delicious meal that I was going to have that evening. And I was not disappointed.

My group headed out in the city in search of the perfect steak. We found what we were looking for in a quaint upscale restaurant a couple of streets over.

And yes, I just used the word quaint.

I had a filet that was cooked inside a puff pastry (yum) with steamed spinach and potatoes. And no, I did not have cheesecake for dessert, or ice cream, or even gum. I was stuffed. Like majorly full. And all I could think of doing was sponge bathing in a sink and going to bed.

Sponge bathing is much easier than taking an actual shower. An actual shower is too much work. Especially after a long day and when it is late at night. To be honest, I would ban showers if I could. They are a major time waster.

But enough about that.

I went to bed. Didn't sleep a wink. Then got up at 6am to start my day.

This is what I wore.....

And yes. I looked exactly like the girl in the picture. If she had a middle aged face. And TONS of jewelry on. Oh... and maybe if her height and size was a little different. Regardless, I want you to think of this outfit when I mention walking around the city for blocks and blocks, riding the subway, and mingling with my superiors for 14 hours straight.

And don't forget the shoes.....

Let's just say that being hot was an under statement. I may have been appropriately dressed but my pores were miserable. The outfit had to be sanitized - twice - when I returned home. Not to mention that by the time we reached the "penthouse" for the cocktail party.... I felt like I had been wearing a winter coat while sitting in a sauna on the back of an elephant. My make up was completely melted off. My hair slicked to my head. And my feet felt like huge hams. Because they were so swollen.

Being stylish and professional in The City is hard work. And apparently more than I can handle.

The penthouse was beautiful.......

With amazing views all the way around.....

The party was catered. And very "Sex in the City" ish. But this was where it really hit me that I wasn't in the South anymore. A dinner party in SC would consist of chicken wings, cheese dips, ranch dressing, cream cheese, butter, and fried everything. And enough baked goods to fill a bathtub. A bathtub that seats six.

Not that you would ever need a tub like that. Because it is a little weird.

We were served (on silver platters) steamed asparagus, grilled mahi mahi, goat cheese and figs, and prime rib bites.

It was elegant, entertaining, and a fabulous adventure. And it was a new experience for me to leave a party without feeling stuffed. In fact, I felt light and airy and disgustingly sweaty. So sweaty that the cab driver forced me to double his tip, the doorman made me ride on the service elevator so to not disturb the other guests, and my bed folded up in dismay refusing to let me get in.
I had to sleep in the tub. Which was probably for the best.
And got up again at 6am to start another day. Of high heels, constricting belts, vests, and necklaces that would put Mr. T to shame.
I was polite and professional and represented SC to the best of my ability..... which means I mostly kept my mouth shut.
Until I got to the airport.
I was looking forward to a nice relaxing flight home. Flights that I could sleep on. Soak my feet. And un do my jeans.
Then I was told that my flight from DC to Columbia was delayed. But only by 30 minutes. No big deal. Until that 30 minutes turned in to 3 hours. 3 hours that I was sitting in the floor ( so many flights had been cancelled/delayed - it was packed) eating a cheese quesadilla and grumbling in to my cell phone.
And yes, I still had on my heels, constrictive clothing, and was carrying TWO extremely heavy bags. I tried to get US Air to get me on another flight... and they were going to charge me $50.00. Even though the other flight had an empty seat and would have gotten me out of there sooner. However, three hours later, they offered me $300 and a free fight to anywhere if I would give up my seat because my flight was overbooked.... by one seat.
Me think US Air is not so smart.
And I know what you are thinking.... I should have taken the deal. But all I wanted to do was get home. I couldn't fathom being stuck at that airport for any longer. I was at my wits end.
So, I mooned the people at the counter and boarded the plane.
If it makes any difference... I did it in a professional and stylish way.
The End. (no pun intended)

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Spider, The Big Apple, and a Blister

New York City.

I went there. Last week.

And I'm finally ready to tell you about it.

It all started with my dreadful drive to the airport. On Monday, August 17th. Dreadful because of my dislike for traveling by plane, skin chips, sweat, and delays. Actually, sweat can be good if you are working out, hanging out in a sauna, or trying to gross out the person sitting next to you so they will move away and leave you in peace. But in airports.... not so much.

So, not only was I dreading the usual issues... but I added two more. I was taking everything with me on the plane. Which meant a large tote bag ( called: my purse) and a duffle bag. AND I WAS WEARING HEELS. ( that is actually three things.... but I gave up caring about math the minute I realized my Dad was a math whiz and I could call him any time that I needed to) ( And that realization came the minute I popped out of the womb ) ( I hate the word womb. I hate the saying "popped out of ". They are both gross and unnecessary... but so is this blog)

I was wearing heels because according to the behavioral rules I was to follow... heels were required in order to be allowed to enter New York City. They supposedly also make me look taller? thinner? and have better posture?

All the things that I try so hard NOT to be/have during my every day existence.

It is an art form to look how I look.... and I work hard at it.

Anyway, I arrive. I park. I walk in the airport. I get my ticket. I'm told that the flight is on time. I walk to the security check.

WAIT! The flight is on time!!?? This has never happened to me. I was prepared to entertain myself with juggling balls and rope. And I didn't have to. I got to get right on the plane.

So much for practicing my Girl Scout knot tying abilities.

When I am happy... I am less likely to notice dirt, close quarters, and sweat. I was given a seat by myself (the flight attendant MUST read this blog) and a diet coke. And I almost wept out of happiness. I say "almost" because if I really had it would have been super embarrassing to my company and my trendy attire and my neighborhood.

Broads in my neighborhood don't cry unless they are kicked by the goat they are milking. We are tough chicks out here.

I was so happy that I didn't even mind the tiny spider that lowered itself down from my hair-do the second we were actually lifting off the ground.

I'm not sure if the spider was already on the plane or if it had been living in my hair. But I shook it's hand, named it "chuck" and swatted it out of my face. With a loving hand, of course.

My layover was in Washington D.C. And as much as I don't care for politicians, debates, war, broken promises and being lied to... it is truly a beautiful city to fly in to. I could see just about every monument/building that is important or at least ones that I've been told are important. Some are important for scandalous reasons it seems... but still important.

Apparently I love the word "important".

Have I mentioned that my sister, Holly, and brother - in - law, Kris, will be moving there in October? Well, they will. And I WILL be visiting. And will NOT be getting my belly button pierced this time. Because honestly, I don't know where my belly button is right now.

Anyhoo... the airport was great. The people were friendly. And my flight was once again ON TIME!!!

And the best part is that I was on a regular sized plane. And there were only 15 of us. ON A REGULAR SIZED 300 PERSON PLANE. Because that is how they do it in D.C. They have a "shuttle" to and from New York every hour and a half. And they don't care how many people are on it. Because they are cool. And awesome. And love making my travels enjoyable.

And they actually had that on a sign inside the plane. It said " We are determined to make Kim Snyder's travel enjoyable"

So, I had a row to myself. I was able to do high kicks, lunges, marching, and the hokey pokey. I was able to stretch my legs out, conduct puppet shows, cartwheels, and take off all my clothes. You know... just to air them out and keep them from getting wrinkled.

It was blissful. And naked.

And then I arrived at the airport. Still in heels with two bags in tow. And was greeted by my own personal driver who was holding a sign that said "SNYDER". Which just happens to be my last name. In case you didn't know.

I giggled with delight when he put me in a town car and started driving me in to town. It sure beats being put in the back of a pick up truck because Kev thinks I'm too dirty to ride inside. Or being forced to "hang on tight" to the ladder that was so strangely placed on the back of my parent's van. The van that was complete with suede curtains, carpet, and a fold out couch.

( Ewww. That vans sounds super creepy when actually described out loud. Or in print. Depending on whether you are reading this quietly to yourself or out loud in to a microphone.)

And then we were there. At my hotel. Which was in the middle of Times Square. And I felt like a movie star. With a smashed dead spider on my shoulder.

I was on the thirtieth floor. Unfortunately my parents were NOT there this time to greet me. Because they were researching gorillas in the Congo or riding in a hot air balloon over Paris, or climbing Mt. Fuji or whatever adventure they were involved in at the time.

But here was my view......
If you look really closely you can see the tiny yellow cabs driving by. And possibly the Naked Cowboy. Who just happens to be an icon. An elusive one that I cannot ever seem to meet. I LOVE cowboys. I LOVE naked cowboys that sing in Times Square. I HATE male strippers. They make me gag. To the max. So, please don't confuse my love for a naked singer with a stripper. IT. IS. NOT. THE. SAME.

I threw my bags down and headed out in to the streets. This was my only chance to enjoy the city on my own before the meetings started. And Kev - the most amazing husband ever - had given me an envelope of cash to "have a good time with" while in New York. He is incredibly thoughtful. And sweet. And his sparkly eyes remind me of juicy grapes. And I'm so thankful to have him. And his envelope of money.

So, I hit the streets to shop.

This was right outside of my hotel....

They have made some of the Times Square streets more people friendly. You could just sit there and people watch for hours and hours.

But I didn't have time for that. I had money to spend and about two hours to do it in. So, off I went....

I find it hilarious that I still have trouble with the differences between Hwy 378 and Hwy 1 but you give me five minutes in The City.... And I totally know where I am, where I am going, and how to get back. I'm made for this place. Except for the extreme heat. I am not made for that. You think that it is incredibly hot and muggy in SC... but there is absolutely NO breeze in NYC. NO BREEZE. And fashion dictates that your clothing be layered. You can imagine how extremely sweaty I was at this point. Not to mention that I am still wearing heels. And lipstick. For goodness sake.

But I marched on. The LOFT was the first place I came to. I just took pictures though... and didn't go in. I knew we would be spending a lot of time there over the next couple of days. And I also did not want them to see my pit stains. Or mascara running down my face.

After a couple of hours of walking around, shopping, and experiencing the city... I headed back to the hotel to meet up with every one else for dinner.

I would have given anything for a spray of Febreze at this point. And was very thankful that I was not in a "How fresh and clean do you smell?" contest. Believe me when I say that I have competed in one before. And I would NOT have won.

Actually, I didn't win when I competed. But that is a story for another time.

I made it back to the cool refreshing air conditioning. And then began to sort through my loot aka incredible jewelry that I had just purchased. That is when I realized that I had acquired a souvenir for FREE. Actually a couple of them.


I felt the strange need to take a pic of one of them to prove to you I was not exaggerating or telling stories.... as I usually tend to do. And please disregard the fact that my toes resemble sausages. Wrinkled, pudgy, sausages. I am part German.... you know.

I still have the scars on my feet from my experience of walking around in heels. But it was worth it.

Up Next.... Day Two. Where are the chicken wings and french fries?

An Apology

Ok. So, I go to New York. Promise a detailed story. And then don't deliver. Let's just say that I have been very preoccupied.

And by preoccupied...... I mean ridiculously busy, scatterbrained, and stressed. All because of work.

I also have so much to tell besides my trip to New York. Such as "my favorites", a graduation, birthdays, and a story about a group of pirates that I happen to be related to.

Luckily, I met an old friend of mine last night. His name was sleep. Sleep and I got along just fine and hope to hang out together more regularly.

Because of my new friend sleep, some cubes of cheese, and a cherry limeade.... I should be back on track by tomorrow with tales of my adventures.

So, to the three people who read this blog..... thanks for not egging my house

Coming soon..... New York City!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mama, What's For Dinner?


I pre-planned this story to post during my trip to New York just to tide you over. Until I can get home and begin to re-live my traveling drama for you. Minute by minute.

Just call it an early Christmas gift. Because I'm thoughtful like that.

And as far as the title goes.... it really doesn't make any sense. Because #1 I'm not a "mama". And I do not require Kev to call me "mama". Because that would be really weird. And gross.
#2 I'm basically writing this post about what interesting things I made for dinner this past week and that is the first title that popped in to my head. So, I typed it in and then became too exhausted to try and change it.

You are just going to have to deal with it.

And as far as me writing ANOTHER post about food.... it is one of my hobbies. My obsessions. My reason to live.

It is also my middle name.

At least that is what it says on this home made birth certificate that I just crafted out of glitter and crayons.

My point is that I will probably be posting about the food we eat every week. It is me paying my debt to society. And hopefully giving you some yummy dinner ideas.

So.... long story short....

Our highlights of the week were....

Cherry Limeade. Yes, I got the recipe from Sonic. And yes, I just had my very first cherry limeade EVER. I ordered it in attempts to be accepted in the "cool kids" group. And lucky for me... I was delighted. And determined to learn how to make it so I could have one whenever I wanted. It is super easy and worth the trouble it took me to find cherry syrup.

Salsa. Home made salsa. Just like the kind they serve in Mexican restaurants. Or Chilis. I got the recipe off of You literally just dump a whole bunch of yummy ingredients in to a food processor and pulse away. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture because it was eaten so fast. But trust me... it was soooo delicious. I will only eat salsa this way from now on. So, keep that in mind if you are inviting me over.

And last but not least ( it was a busy week folks... not a lot of time for cooking), I made pulled BBQ chicken. In the crockpot. It was literally the easiest thing I have ever made.....

And home made french fries. Or "home fries" as I like to say. Because I'm hip and desperate for attention.

I unintentionally made enough to last Kev until my return. And maybe a couple of days after. But I do that with most meals that I cook. So, it was no surprise.

And now I have a quick story to tell you about Froggles. But please do NOT think that I am associating him with food. Because I think that Froglegs are the grossest thing.

Unless they are smothered in cheese.

Regardless, Kev discovered his home. He lives in a deep hole behind this white post. He gets in and out of the hole by climbing the brick wall. Spiderman like. And it is pretty darn cool and mesmerizes us for hours. Every day.
He is the best pet we have ever had.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Country Bumpkin's Traveling Woes...

Ok. Here is the sitch. I wasn't planning on posting until I returned from my trip. My trip to New York City. (I'm leaving first thing tomorrow morning. In case you were wondering.)
But due to Kev's diligence and focus on getting me packed and prepped..... I'm done and ready to go. Mostly.

You see, this was a tough trip to get ready for. And I blame it all on my parents......

Because this is how they were dressed when my boss met them for dinner last week. And it is not like we were eating at Bojangles. We were at a "high society" place that I won't mention due to the embarrassment of the city I live in.

However, "high society" in the town that I live in is a hot dog vending machine at the local Quik Mart. It is the latest invention to reach our parts... and requires lip gloss and heels be put on before pushing the button that decides what flavor of hot dog you want to eat that day.

Even for guys. It is just that fancy.

So, my boss was extremely concerned over my ability to "wash the bumpkin" out of me and act professional enough to mingle with the "top fashion authorities" in The City.

This resulted in a 1 1/2 hour conference call ( they asked other people to get on so it wouldn't look like they were singling me out) that covered all the do's and don'ts of eating, speaking, dressing, and walking during my stay.

Then I was asked to write the following statements 100 times each...

1. I will keep my mustache trimmed.
2. I will not fart in public.
3. I will only eat chicken wings behind closed doors with a paper bag over my head.
4. I will claim that I have laryngitis if asked a question.
5. I will shower daily.

Bless my heart! I am being asked for more than I can give. I decided I would only be able to focus on one of the statements. And the statement that I chose will be a secret between me and the person sitting next to me.

Whoever that is. ( Sorry in advance!)

So, since I struggle with rules and direction.... packing and prepping for this trip has been excruciating. But thanks to my friends - Melissa, Lauren, and Bridget - and my wonderful husband - my carry-on bag is PERFECTLY packed with no item missed. My "trendy" outfits are planned down to the last detail. I'm waxed, and coiffed, and pedicured, and squeaky clean.

And now it is up to me to "wow", and "impress", and walk with great posture in 4 inch heels, tight fitting jeans, and more jewelry than Mr. T.... while smiling, not letting my hair frizz, and not falling.
And it is up to me to eat with the right fork, keep the food out of my massive two front teeth, burp in to my purse so that no one can hear, and wear maxi pads under my arms to prevent pit stains.
And I should probably keep the fact that I live in South Carolina a secret. I wouldn't want to draw any negative attention to this state. Or maybe I should say "any MORE negative attention".

At this point, I will be happy if my underwear stays put.

And I will be sure to let you know if it doesn't.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fretting and Rain

These are the two things that happened today... in no particular order. The rain was a good thing. I would even go as far to say that it was a great thing.

#1 Because our poor little plants are parched. They need a break from the extra hot sun. And they have been so miserable lately that they threaten to dig themselves up and jump in the pool.

That would make our yard look ridiculous. And I won't stand for neighborhood embarrassment.

#2 The pool. Because the pool calls to me on super hot sunny days. And begs me to jump in and float around in it.

That pretty much means that I get nothing done. Except for rest, relaxation and a tan.

Which are necessary... but take up too much time.

As far as the fretting goes.... let's just say that I have a LOT going on right now. A LOT. But don't worry because you will definitely be hearing all about it. In about a week. Because that is when I will be returning from New York.

New York City... that is.

I'm going on a business trip. That I'm sure will involve many many airport shenanigans, crazy experiences, and hopefully pictures. Unless I am all alone and then I won't feel comfortable taking them.

Believe me. I have and will have a lot to tell you. And just to tide you over I will share some memorable events that have happened recently. In picture form. You will have to keep checking back for the stories...

This is the only way I can think to keep your attention during my hiatus.....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Recipes From P.W.

P.W. aka Pioneer Woman. The woman that I stalk daily. For her amazing photography, recipes, humor, and stories. I just love her. And I know what you are thinking.....

"If you love her so much... then why don't you marry her?"

I tried. I had everything all worked out. I would go to Oklahoma. Marry her. And Kev would be our horticulturist. Which means he would take care of all our plants.

And we would be so happy.

Except for that she threatened to file a restraining order against me. And told me to please stay away.

And so I have to admire her from afar.

And cook her recipes daily.

Here is what I have made so far this week.......

The Best Lasagna Ever.

The secret ingredient is hot breakfast sausage. Hot... as in SPICY. Which is my middle name. Spicy. Not hot. Am I confusing you? Because I am confusing myself.
The only thing that I would do differently is add another layer of noodles. Just because I have an issue with large amounts of meat...... translation.... I get the meat sweats something awful. And I hate getting "the sweats" after I have already taken a shower for the day. It ruins my good mood. And gives me that "not so fresh" feeling.
Next up is....
Let me give you some background on meatballs. My family does not eat them. And by "family" I mean me and Kev. Kev has always had a hatred towards meatballs due to their size vs. his small facial features. And he may or may not have gotten in to an altercation with some meatballs when he was a kid. On a school bus.
Due to this horrific memory... I have never made them. Until now. And. I. Love. These. Meatballs. More. Than. Febreze.
Which is a very serious statement for me.
They almost taste like Paula Deen's BBQ meatloaf. But in smaller bites. I served them on top of creamy mashed potatoes. Which are regular russet potatoes cooked and mashed with half and half, butter, and cream cheese.
Yes, cream cheese. It made them so creamy and fluffy that it reminded me of the time that I bit in to a cloud. When I was hang gliding off the coast of Mexico.
I love to hang glide, eat clouds, and make meatballs. And take pictures of frogs.
But that is a story for another time.
Last but not least...

They are so scrumptious and yummy. And perfect. And they make me feel warm and cozy and happy inside.
The secret ingredient is cake flour. Which I have never purchased before. It did almost taste like each pancake was a little sweet cake. A little sweet cake begging for syrup.
And yes. I did take the time to stack the pancakes in to a tower for the picture. Because I'm creative like that. And trying to impress you with my photography skills. Even if every single picture I take is blurry.
Well, that about sums up my cooking adventures for this week. If you are interested in checking out these recipes.... please visit The Pioneer Woman site. Found on the right hand side of my blog.
You will not be disappointed.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Some Random Restaurant Reviews


Are you starting to think that is all I ever talk about?

Because it is. When Kev says "I love you". I say "Let's eat". When a client says "Can you get me another size?". I say "I love food and I'm going to go eat some". When a feral cat "meows" at me. I respond by saying " You would probably taste good on a skewer with some rice".


Please don't notify the authorities or have me committed just yet.... I'm wrapped up in this season of Design Star and want to see who wins.

Not to mention that I have some new recipes to try.

So, anyway.... I thought I would review some restaurants that I have gotten "to go" from recently. And I can only review the "to go" aspect because my sloppy eating manners require eating in privacy.

With a bib on.

First up is the......Red Bowl Asian Bistro.

It is located at the Sandhills Village. And- most recently- on my list of favorite places to eat.

About a month ago, I told you about P.F. Changs and how much we loved this place... yadda... yadda.. blah... but we didn't have one locally.... blah blah ... food always luke warm once I got home. Well, the problem has been solved.... because the Red Bowl Asian Bistro has taken over the top spot for Asian food in my mind. And my belly.

I love the word "belly".

Shrimp fried rice, sweet and sour chicken, eggrolls........ bigger portions. Half the price. And DEEE-LISH-USSSSSSS!

I mean folks.... the shrimp was so big that it poured me a glass of tea and opened my fortune cookie for me. Which by the way... told me that I would receive many riches. So, I ordered some furniture from Pottery Barn which should arrive next week.

Hopefully, the riches will too.

I am demanding that if you are in the Sandhills area.... you MUST go here for lunch. Or dinner. Or for that time between lunch and dinner when you are so hungry.

Melissa.... That goes for YOU too!

Next up is..... The Carolina Cafe.

Why am I just finding out about this delightful place?? Oh... maybe because I don't get out much, am afraid of college students, and definitely do not go down town unless I'm in the mood to get stuck in traffic and confused about one-way streets.

The only thing that I have had from this place is the most delectable garden vegetable cream cheese that has ever touched my lips. On a multigrain bagel. This treat was brought to me by Emily who proceeded to tell me the menu by memory and twist my arm backwards until I promised to drive down town and eat there.

So, I did the next best thing.... I went on line and looked it up. It is almost the same thing as actually being there in person. And wouldn't you know that this place just jumped a couple of notches on my "favorites" list because they post their recipes!!

They post different ones each week. I'm patiently waiting for their chicken salad one... I hear it is a winner.

But back to the garden vegetable cream cheese......

This was my attempt to recreate the delight for Kev. And let's just say that he was thrilled and almost brought to tears over the deliciousness of this cheese.

Or maybe he had an eyelash in his eye. I never know with him.

Let me explain the situation and picture:

First of all... Kev and cream cheese are not friendly with each other. They called each other names on the playground for years. So, me blindfolding him and cramming the cream cheese in his mouth was the only way I could get him to taste it.

Second of all..... I realize that the cream cheese does not look nearly as fun to eat on a piece of regular old bread. But I was making cucumber sandwiches. Because I am the proud owner of 15 pounds of cucumber right now and it was the right thing to do.

Third of all..... please don't be jealous of my "high society" dinnerware. Just because we are friends... and only because we are friends... I will share with you the store where I got this gorgeous piece of china.

Wal-mart. $3.99 for 250 plates. A deal that would drive my neighbors to tears.

Please give these places a try. And if you don't like them... then that is your fault. And I don't want to hear about it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Dining Room Dilemma

Once upon a time. When I started this blog. I promised to share renovating tips. Helpful hints. And a list a mile long of things NOT to do.

You know... in case you were interested in purchasing a house from the 1970's that may or may not have been involved in questionable activities. Activities where disco balls, glitter, shag carpet and a bowl of keys were in attendance.

So, I'm sure you were hoping that I would forget this promise and spare you the gory details. And believe me... they were gory. But this renovation was a major event in my life. Blood, sweat and tears. Literally. And telling you stories about my life... no matter how intense... is my job. The reason for this blog.

That being said..... this post is more about decorating than it is renovating. So, really I just wasted a bunch of your time rambling on and on about nonsense.

Decorating is a passion of mine. When I was little... I mean young... because I was never little.... I wanted to be an interior designer. I have always LOVED looking at homes and decor. I LOVE watching tv shows about it. I LOVE daydreaming and planning about what I want to do.

However, these days the only things that I can seem decorate is Christmas trees ( we now have 6), cupcakes, and my neck with necklaces and scarves. You see... I have an issue with decorating. I get overwhelmed. I over think everything. I have trouble making decisions. And then there is the whole MONEY part. Why is everything so darn expensive? Take, for instance, Pottery Barn. That is my dream place to shop. I could seriously decorate my entire house with the delights from their catalog.

But then I would be living on the streets. Because that is where Kev would banish me to. Because is it really necessary to pay $98 for a wooden candle holder when I could go to Target and spend $30? $30 for a candle holder? That even sounds ridiculous. And this is why my house is NOT decorated.

I want a deal. I want it to look nice- but I also want to be able to say what a bargain I got and how I creatively fixed it up. It is more rewarding. And better for my marriage. And WOW, I sure know how to drag out a story about a dining room dilemma.


So, here is my favorite room in the house......

It is our "Wilderness Lodge" room. It is the reason I HAD to have this house. It is like walking in to a big hug and a bowl of banana pudding. Huh? Anyway, I have an obsession with Lodges and the wilderness and Yellowstone National Park. This room was/is SO easy to decorate. But that is the problem... because I am constantly drawn to moose/pine cone/bear/lantern decor. (I seriously would buy a lantern EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. if I could) I have had to put myself on Lodge decor restriction by notifying all of the places that I shop about my addiction. They threaten to arrest me if I put even just one piece in my cart.

And then I put just one piece in my cart for the heck of it. Just to test them.

Kev is tired of bailing me out of jail.

So, in order to prove that I can focus on other rooms.... AND to behave more like a grown up and get the rest of my house "put together".... I have given myself the challenge to get the other rooms finished. As much as I can without buying major pieces of furniture.


Here is my dilemma......

This is a picture of the living room/dining room combo when we first bought the house....

( I hope you enjoy tiny pictures - because that is all my mad computer skillz could do for some reason). The room was all blue (obviously) and had a divider in the middle.

We tore down the divider, put in wood floors, and painted the walls a dark chocolate brown.....

Picture of the foyer/entry way. (This is the first room that you walk in to when you enter the house)....

We have had two dining room tables in there for a while now. They are "hand-me-downs", don't match... but are definitely usable. Apparently, one of them is usable for dominoes... because as you can see... it has been moved in to the "entertainment room". Regardless.. .Kev and I have been discussing our "plans" for this room - decor and furniture wise. And are thinking of making it one large dining room instead of a living/dining split. That way we could seat our entire family at once and use if for parties. You know... because we have SO many.
I would like to do one ROUND table that seats 8 (up on the platform) and one RECTANGLE table that seats 10 in the sunken area. Or I could do two ROUND tables. ( And yes, I felt the need to YELL the shapes at you just in case you didn't know how serious my plans are). I know that a lot of you are excellent with decorating and I would really appreciate your thoughts on the matter.
Keep in mind that we have other "living areas"... so, we would not be losing any "living" space by making this room all for dining.
I thank you in advance for your assistance in this "life changing matter". I could use another reason to sleep at night.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Kev's Favorite Things

Let's face it folks. Even though Kev loves a lot of the same things that I do... he definitely has his own favorites. In fact, I think he would be thrilled if he never saw another can of Febreze again. Even if it was a limited edition scent.

So, to give him a turn to share and to give you an idea of the kind of things he loves to receive as gifts.... I have devoted this edition of "favorite things" to him.

Because I'm generous and like to share.

Every once in a while.

First up on the list is....


Please notice that it is not regular, or spicy, or whatever other random flavors they have out there. But CHEESY. In honor of his jokes and my favorite food.

He keeps it in his work bag, on his lawn mower, in the hidden console in the couch, under the church pew, inside his pillow case, and in a locket around my neck. You never know when he is going to have a snack attack. An attack that involves him doing the hand jive until he is fed.

And as much as I love the hand jive - it is hard to explain to onlookers in public. Therefore I've decided that it is better to be safe than sorry.


When I am home alone... I sit and stare at the wall. In complete quiet. Not because I have been grounded. Or have a headache. Or love the way my walls look.

But because I have absolutely NO idea how to work the insane amount of electronic equipment that seems to take over every room.

If you think that I am exaggerating then you are ridiculous.

Because this is what I have to navigate to turn on anything.....

This is just for one tv in one room. Would you like for your seat to vibrate? For a robot to bring you a drink? For a leprechaun to sing you a lullaby? To watch tv?

You have any of those capabilities with the remotes pictured above. But I couldn't give you a clue as to how to make any of your wishes come true. Because I literally sit in my chair and push random buttons until something happens. Good or bad. Because at least I've made something happen. Right?

How about going to another room? Would it be easier there?

Um. Absolutely NOT. There are even more remotes in this room. Once when Kev had gone to sleep.... Dave, Bethany, and I were looking through his desk in search of something that I'm sure was going to get us in to trouble. And we discovered a large drawer at the bottom that was literally filled to the top with old remotes. Like 25 of them. And we named this drawer the "remote control graveyard" and we had it added to a world map and ensured it was spoken of in History class.

Because it was like finding the eighth wonder of the world.

Of nonsense.


He has been a fan of horror movies since the day he was born. In fact, rumor has it that he was delivered wearing a hockey mask. And his first toy was a machete.

I'm just stating the facts here, folks. I tell it like it is.

So, you can imagine his delight when this movie was placed in to his hands.....
It is not just any Friday the 13th. IT IS IN 3-D! And you better believe that there will be some kind of themed party surrounding the viewing of this masterpiece.

I'll probably have to work that night.

And now... just to reinforce how much of a horror movie fanatic he is.....

Yep, those are ALL horror movies. And he purposely waits until it gets dark to watch them. And then reenacts everything that he just watched for me when I get home. To make extra sure that I never sleep again. In case Freddy Krueger is coming to get me.

He's just doing his job. As a concerned husband.

And that is why I NEVER go to camp with a group of promiscuous teens, shower with the curtain closed, sleep in the dark when I'm alone, open strange puzzle boxes, get in to a bed without looking underneath it first, get in a car without checking in the back seat, or buy creepy looking evil boy dolls.

He has taught me a lot.

He is cool like that.

And now you know a little more of Kev's story.