The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Folks!! This is my 100th entry. My 100th crazy story. The 100th time that you have logged on to read about me and Kev.

That is insane. And a huge chunk of your life that you can not get back. For that I am sorry.

But I am also SO thrilled that I have kept up with this blog ( with a few minor hiccups), that I have enjoyed doing it as much as I have, and that you are such loyal readers. I love having my life documented somewhere other than the Gaston County Courthouse. I love sharing my family with you. I love turtlenecks and scarves.

But that is a story for another time.

Because this post is all about celebrating. Celebrating my 100th post. Celebrating Halloween. Celebrating our 3rd anniversary of owning our home.

Three years ago, today, we bought our dream home and have been working on it ever since.

Kev was at the house getting all of the locks changed... when trick -or- treaters started to arrive. We had never had trick -or-treaters. So, you can imagine how excited we (I) were. Kev had to run to the gas station at the end of the street to buy some candy.

Ever since then... I have really looked forward to Halloween. We usually have an "anniversary/Halloween" party for the two of us... and then start giving out candy. This year will be a little different though.... because I'm going to be in The Magic Kingdom for Halloween.
( and yes, there will be tons of pictures and stories coming soon)

Without me around to host the festivities... I imagine Kev will spend the evening in the pitch black dark watching scary movies and eating ten gallons of left overs and Halloween treats by himself.

Don't feel sorry for him, though... because that is a "dream come true" evening for him.

Peace, quiet, bad movies, and food.

So.... Happy Anniversary House!! We love you!

And Happy Halloween to Everyone!!

In honor of Halloween... I am going to share with you some of the "treats" that I have made this past week....

Pumpkin Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies....

I got the recipe from "Mommy's Kitchen" (on right hand side of blog). She was creating new ways to use pumpkin and came up with this cookie recipe. I actually had some left over pumpkin that I needed to use. So, it worked out perfectly. These cookies are sooo moist (sorry Carrie), flavorful and delicious. I added in some walnuts for fun. And because I love nuts in just about every thing.

Then I made this pumpkin cream cheese roll....

This pumpkin roll was truly the high light of my week. It required technique and patience. Both of which I have NONE WHATSOEVER. I seriously had to take deep breaths and hold my tongue just right to roll up this cake. But it worked - mostly- and was one of the best pumpkin desserts I have ever made. Think Starbucks pumpkin muffins and add a little more delight. SCRUMPTIOUS!
My only regret was that I meant to add nuts ( surprise!) to the cream cheese mixture and forgot because I was so focused on the rolling of the cake. I got this recipe from Two Peas in a Pod (right hand side of blog). She says you can make several of these in advance and freeze them. Then you will always have a "treat" for any one who stops by. Except for no one ever stops by my house. Except for bounty hunters, hobos, and ghosts.
And they all hate the taste of pumpkin.
Then I decided to make something cute for the kids (Kev).
It started with Red Velvet cake mix.... which I have never made before. I absolutely LOVE the color of the cake mix and had to take of picture of it.

And then turns in to this.....

What a cutie pie pumpkin cake-on-a-stick thingie. I love this little guy. I got this idea and recipe from Bakerella (you know the drill... right hand side of blog) and Pioneer Woman. Bakerella seriously comes up with the cutest treats I have ever seen!! And then Pioneer Woman made them "spooky cute".
It is basically a red velvet cake mixed with cream cheese frosting... then rolled in to balls and dipped in melted chocolate. And then you put it on a stick. Because every thing is ALWAYS better if eaten off of a stick!
But then I ran out of orange chocolate to finish the pumpkins. So, I had to make some......

GHOSTS!! This particular one has a hole in it's head and it's brains are starting to ooze out. How spooky!
I had more fun making these than a squirrel in a nut pit. I'm taking them to Disney World to give the kids for Halloween.
My kids.... (niece and nephews). Not random kids. Because that would be weird. And probably against the law.
I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween!!!
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tom Sawyer and The Karate Kid

"Being a home owner requires a LOT of work" said Kev as he poked me with a stick to get me up and off of the couch.

It is not that I was trying to be lazy (wink wink) it is just that I had hurt my back pretty bad the day before I went on vacation. If you are Facebook friend of mine... then you already know how I did it. And it is a little embarrassing.

For the rest of you... I would love to say that I hurt my back fighting pirates, or bungee jumping, or working in the fields. But due to fear of getting struck down by lightning.... I will be honest and let you know that I hurt my back trying on denim leggings.

I have dreamed of denim leggings since middle school. And by dream... I mean that I had a picture torn out of a magazine with a model wearing the leggings looking super cool. I would stare at it all the time and dream of the day that I had enough allowance to buy a pair.

Unfortunately, by the time I had saved up enough money.... it was the 90's. And denim leggings had been banned in South Carolina. And by Kev.

My dream was crushed.

Until now... when LOFT and the world (?) decided that they were the coolest thing since shoulder pads and acid washed ripped up jeans. And they really are. But they require an amazing amount of work to put them on. Especially when you are rushed and sweaty.

Muscles were pulled. And screams were had by all who saw me in them.

And then I may or may not have discovered that I had a kidney infection.

My story of the leggings sounds way cooler, though.

So, it is the start of my vacation. My back is killing me. My chore list is A. MILE. LONG and then a couple more inches. And I only have days to get every thing done. BECAUSE I AM GOING TO DISNEY FOR HALLOWEEN.

So, after poking me with the stick (which is now a fire torch) a couple more times. I decided to get up and get to work on my list.

Which involved painting the pool house.....

Yes, it was already white. And yes, the above picture is the finished product. But it just needed some "freshening up" with some paint that would protect it from the weather.
I put the radio (jam box) outside and turned up Steve FM. For those of you who don't know... Steve FM is a 70's, 80's, and 90's station. Emphasis on the 80's. And is music to my ears. Literally.
I just LOVE 80's music. As in LOVE it more than cheese, cowboy boots, and denim. But the problem is this.... I have this strange habit of wanting to kick my leg up in the air and play air guitar every single time that I hear Guns N Roses, Bon Jovi, and POISON. I know every word to every song. I can even play drum beats.
So imagine the major dilemma that I was in. I'm on a HUGE ladder, on unstable ground, with a paint can in one hand, paint brush in the other..... with a hurt back.
And "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" comes on the radio.
I put "danger" in the word "obnoxious behavior".
On a side note.... Denim leggings also make me kick my leg up in the air and play air guitar. Maybe that is how I hurt my kidneys/back.??
Anyway, let's just say that painting the pool house was a difficult process.
Until Kev joined me.
He makes me keep my dancing and singing in control and ensures I focus on the task at hand.
Which gets me to the point of the title of this post.
I pretended I was Tom Sawyer ( along with Huckleberry Finn... one of my FAVORITE childhood books) painting the white fence. And Kev pretended he was the Karate Kid ( one of our favorite movies) under Mr. Myogi's direction.
He behaved like this....
Which is not proper ladder etiquette. At least according to Mr. Myogi. And dancing on a ladder at his age!!?? Unforgivable.
But so much fun!
Look how high we (Kev) had to get....
I consider myself pretty laddertastic. Which means I have scaled very high ladders and done some pretty ridiculous things at work with no problem. However, there is something about unstable ground, a huge tree that could possibly impale you, and the fact that there may or may not have been a snake on the ground ( Kev says it was a garden hose) under the ladder.... that made me get the shakes. I painted as high as I could get and then Kev finished the rest.

This next picture is to show you how GINORMOUS our peach tree has gotten. It went from being a small tree on the side of the house to spreading all across the back and then some....

Not to mention the palm tree that the previous owners planted right beside the peach tree... has grown to gigantic proportions. It is our tallest palm tree (to the right of the peach tree). I think these two trees have officially become lovers.
Ok... so, pool house looks great. One chore complete.
But I still had more to paint.
The hallway was my next project. It was originally painted a very light khaki color by our "contractor". And I say that in quotes because he was really more of a "jerk". Anyhoo, I could not decide on a color for the hall. And it was just easier to accept what was painted and move on. The problem is that we are more of a "darker" color family. Meaning that we prefer dark colors and not that I am bragging that we are super tanned.
(Because we are not. In fact, we are white as marshmellows these days. And unfortunately, my body has officially taken on the shape of a marshmellow.)
And then I came across a beautiful shade of gray. It was a gray that I used to paint the inside of my store. I just knew it would work for the hall.
The end result... it looks a little different in my house. It seems to be more of a blue shade than the gray that it looks in the store. But it turned out pretty good and I definitely like having the darker color instead of the khaki. The khaki just didn't match the rest of the colors in the house.
My next project is to get some great family photos framed in white and put them in the hall.

In case you were wondering.... my back feels SO much better. But now EVERY. SINGLE. MUSCLE. in my body aches over all of the work.
My body is ridiculous.
My next post will be my 100th!!! How crazy is that!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kooking With Kim - Vacation Special

Ok. So you all know how much I love to cook. I mean I. LOVE. TO. COOK. exclamation point.

And being on vacation gives me the opportunity to cook a LOT more than usual. So much so that my dishwasher has run daily - some times twice in a day. Every utensil has been used. Every appliance turned on. Every cabinet and drawer has been opened and shut.

And the kitchen is down right sick of me at this point. In fact the kitchen is looking so forward to me going out of town and giving it a break that it even packed my bags for me.

Or maybe it was Kev who packed my bags. He could probably use a break too.

Regardless, I am still cooking as we speak. To ensure that Kev is fed properly while I am gone. The idea of him eating mixed nuts and frozen pizza makes me cranky.

And no one likes me when I'm cranky. Even if I am dressed as Minnie Mouse with fake eyelashes.

Anyway, I figured I would re-cap some of the winning dishes for you. In case you wanted some ideas.....

It all started with a rose. A rose that Kev picked for me out of our rose garden/peculiar circle of bushes that happened to produce ONE rose in October.

It gave me the idea to have a tea party. Because we all know that Kev's idea of a fun Saturday afternoon is to have a dainty lunch with me.

He is such a good sport/husband/tea party buddy that a girl could ever ask for. Not to mention that the food turned out to be delish and has been requested for future meals.

The menu:

Pink Lemonade

Chicken salad stuffed croissants ( containing pecans, grapes, cranberries, and green onion)

Cheeseball ( chipped beef, green onion, cream cheese, pecans )

Veggies and crackers

Simple but refreshing and yummy...

Another great meal was Roasted Red Pepper Shrimp with Roasted Red Pepper Biscuits.

Um.... DIVINE! I got the biscuit recipe from Smoky Mountain Cafe ( a blog that I follow located on the right hand side). So easy to make but packed with flavor and goodness. The shrimp recipe was made with a cream cheese sauce. With red peppers, fresh parm, and garlic.
Kev promised me a pony for this delight.....

And then there have been several things that the pictures did not turn out for.... so you are just going to have to trust me.
Like the "Marlboro Man Sandwich" - cubed steak with mushrooms and onions in a meaty gravy on hoagie rolls. ( Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman)
And the Tex Mex Breakfast Burritos - Hot sausage, Sante Fe Hashbrowns, eggs, and Mont Jack in a flour tortilla. ( Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman)
Oh... and then there is the cheese ball. The one I made on Saturday that Kev is still eating on. Because I made it the size of my head. For the TWO of us.
And that brings me to my other issue. Fridge space. Because every single one of these meals has resulted in TONS of left overs. Not to mention all of the treats I have made.... that I will put on another post.
When I learn portion control.... in cooking and in eating. You will be the first to know. But until that time... I sure am having a great time in my kitchen. And ultimately, that is what Kev designed it for.
To baby sit me and my food addictions.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From Cuba To Washington D.C.

Meet the ex-Cubans.....

They used to live at Gtmo. Pronounced Git-Mo. Like "git her done". Or something else like that. I personally do not like to tell people that she lived at Gtmo. Because I think that word should be used only by military folk. Us civilians should say .... Cuba. Or Koo-ba. If you are well educated in the Spanish language.

I speak French.

Regardless, they are FINALLY moving back to The States. And this time they are NOT separated by an ocean full of sharks. They are stationed in Washington D.C. and will be living in Maryland.

And I am thrilled. I have not visited D.C. since the "belly button piercing of '98 debacle". But I will just summarize that incident with three words....

It wasn't pretty.

So, what's a girl to do when she is moving from a remote area to a city/district/political place where she may or may not be having tea with the President and making snow angels on the front lawn of the White House.

Get a hair cut....

And let me just tell you that this picture does NO justice to hew new hairstyle. NONE WHATSOEVER. But it is all that I have until she sends me new pics.

*Scroll back up to the top to look at her previous picture. Notice the long hair.*

She had over 10 inches cut off - which she generously donated to Locks of Love.

And came out of the salon a new woman. Add a couple of new outfits and some tight fitting jeans.... (from LOFT of course)... and you have a beautiful, confident, sexy, intelligent woman ready to knock the socks off of any politician.

A politician's socks come off pretty easily though..... (from what I hear)... but you get my point.


We celebrated her new look and her new home and her new job.... with a dinner. At my house.

Now I couldn't just make any old thing. This was special. Plus Holly is a vegetarian. So my usual "visiting guest meal" of beanie weenies was out.

I researched for days.

And came up with the conclusion that whatever I made had to involve FRESH parmesan cheese.

This was a splurge for me. A step up in my cooking ingredients. Up until now I had always used Kraft shredded parm... and knew no difference.

But let me just tell you, my friends, that fresh grated parm is a pleasure, is a delight, is a "worth every penny" addition to any meal. Not to mention the bicep I enlarged while shredding the stuff.

The people of my town nominated me the "queen of cheese" at the fair this year. For bringing such a delicacy to Gaston. This nomination is not to be confused with the same one from last year..... just because I must have cheese with every meal.

And so I baked Lemon Garlic Parmesan Noodles. From the Pioneer Woman. Of course.

It was light, refreshing, delicious. And tasted like sunshine. I made some lemon shrimp to go along with the left overs. A great combination.

We also had a tomato/squash bake. Hot spinach/artichoke dip. And parmesan bread.

For dessert I made.... Pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting. Also from P.W.

It was a wonderful evening. And we enjoyed her company.

And then we bid her farewell to Maryland.

Best of luck Holly and Kris on your new adventure!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pictures From The Past


Some of my greatest treasures.

They capture so many incredible events, experiences, and expressions.

They make me laugh. They make me cry. They are there to remind me of times I have forgotten.

I can sit for hours and hours and look at photographs. My favorites are ones that I have no memory of. Such as me as a baby. Or ones that I am not even a part of. Like my parents growing up.

What was going on that day? What were they thinking? If they could go back and change one thing - would they?

And then a couple of weeks ago, I received an amazing gift. From my Uncle Bud. An email full of wonderful photos. Of my sweet Grandparents. My Great Grandparents. My Great Uncle. My Aunts and Uncle growing up.

Ones that I have never seen. Ones that were found when my Grandfather's house was cleaned out.

Photographs that fill my heart with more emotions that I can list.

My Grandparents on their wedding day.....

Ross and Shirley Tillman.

Serving in the Air force...

Looking like movie stars....

My Grandparents filled my life with so much happiness. They always made me feel special. They welcomed Kev with open arms.
They were such incredible people.
I truly cherish every single moment I had with them. And just wish that I had the opportunity to have more.

We love and miss you Nana and Gran!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Baby Shower

Sept 27, 2009.

This was my very first official baby shower. And the first party thrown in my home that was not family related.

I'm moving up in the world.

And due to my obsession of making small bites of food, having themes, and planning parties.... I have to say that I have found something that I truly enjoy.

And have decided to throw more showers in my future. Which is different from taking a shower... because we all know that I find that to be a waste of my time.

This shower was in honor of Sara. One of my co-workers. And friends. She is having her second child in November - and her first girl. Isabelle Riley.

Also pictured is the famous Amy Jackson - from The Jackson Sisters. She was my co-host and worked so hard to help me put all this together. She is a pro at entertaining. (Not to mention that she has the most amazing serving plate that has been added to my Christmas wish list. It is the one in the pictures with the chicken salad sandwiches on it.... the one with the interchangeable ribbon. Beautiful!)

So, what started as a small, simple shower with co-workers ... turned in to an over abundance of food, gifts, family, friends, and love.

The spread......
Chicken salad sandwiches, tomato basil sandwiches, lemon squares, donut holes, cheese straws, spinach dip, veggies, fruit, cream cheese roll ups, strawberry shortcake punch, and pink lemonade.

The gifts...

The attendees...

Isabelle is scheduled to be born on November 20th.
Thanks to every one who made this night so special for Sara and her family!
And for those of you wondering.... Kev did make a special -but very quick- appearance to say "hello". He wore ear plugs to ensure that he did not hear anything about pregnancy, labor, birth, or post delivery recovery.
And then he ran off in to the woods to live with the squirrels.
The End.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Falling Head Over Heels

Before Fall is over... I figured I had to get on the "pumpkin" and show you my decor. Get it? I used the word "pumpkin" in place of "ball"... just to be cute.

I think it worked.

You see... for the past two years the extent of my decorating for Fall has been to put out a couple of candles and carve two pumpkins for the front porch. On Halloween.

It was an easy fix for our trick-or-treaters. And then we were able to decorate for Christmas. And by "we"... I mean "just me". Because in order to decorate for Christmas - the first weekend of November - I would have to come up with a terrible prank to get Kev out of the house.

"It is NOT normal to decorate for Christmas this early"
"Can we please just enjoy Thanksgiving?"
"Christmas trees give me night terrors"
"I want to become Jewish"

These are just a few of the statements Kev would yell from the attic he was locked in... or from the large hole that he had fallen in that had been accidentally covered with pine straw.... or from the trunk of my car.

I'm not proud of those situations. But a girl has to do what a girl has to do. To get her decorations up a month early.

So, this year I decided to focus more on some Fall decor - that would last us until Thanksgiving. And THEN we can decorate for Christmas.

Meeting your husband half way.... It is the right thing to do.

But I could NOT have the proper Fall display unless I had a hay bale.

I discovered this delightful NECESSARY decoration as I was driving to work. Everyone who is ANY ONE has a hay bale in their yard. Which means that for my 40 minute drive... I saw two. But that was enough to make me want one. And I just knew that I wouldn't be happy until a beautiful block of hay sat on my porch.

And wouldn't you know... that my incredible... extremely attentive... amazing listener of a husband... surprised me with one. And made me promise to stop talking about it so much... well, really to stop talking so much in general... but he threw in the whole "yelling out the word hay bale in your sleep is a little over the top and unnecessary".

And I had never been happier! At least for that particular day. So, after lots of hugs and thank-yous and screaming. I rushed out to complete the Fall look.

And this is what I came up with.....

I still have plenty of room to add more things each year... but this was a good start.

Some of my pumpkins are girls... as noted by their Halloween plaid bows....

And since I was in the decorating spirit... I took it inside a little.

I have never in my life seen Kev so thrilled to have his home decorated for Halloween/Thanksgiving.
It completes him. And makes him want to sip hot spiced tea in dainty tea cups while we sit around and gossip. Or at least that is what I have planned for him this weekend. And I'm sure he will enjoy it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Red Hat Society Welcomes A New Lady

Attention Folks.... This is a present day post. Even though this birthday celebration was a month late.

Make sense?

Good... because I just lost a couple of brain cells just thinking about it. Oh... and I was also sniffing glue. Which may or may not have had any affects.

Mary... is my Mother In Law. (Which just to makes things super clear means that she is Kev's Mother.)

She turned 60 on September 11, 2009. And retired at the end of September. Which officially makes her one of the happiest ladies around.

And that is why we waited to celebrate her milestone birthday. So, she would be extra happy and relaxed. And thrilled to be retired.

It ensures that we can get her to do whatever we want.

And so we did.

We had been planning the surprise for months. Her gifts revolved around a cute poem used in the Red Hat Society. A group of ladies that embrace their age, their eccentricities, and their obsession of wearing purple and red.

She waited patiently outside while we planned our routine.

And then we took turns presenting her with our gifts that represented different lines of the poem.

It was fabulous. And fun. And fantastic.
Not to mention that Kev and I experienced a new delight..... jalapeno cheese hotdogs.
It is like they were created just for us.
Happy 60th Birthday Mary!! And CONGRATS on your retirement!
We LOVE you!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Meet The Martins

September 9th, 2009.

A precious, beautiful baby boy was born to a family with the last name of Martin.

Nathan Elisha-Duke Martin.

But before I tell you about him.... I must tell you about his family and how they came to be.

And why on Earth they have chosen to be related to us. Or have been forced. It is a gray area.

You see... a million miles away from here. In a couple countries over. There is a little place that I like to visit called Tennessee. Ok- so maybe it is not that far away and maybe it is not a "couple countries over". But it is far. And when you have a husband whose idea of traveling is to go to work and back. It makes Tennessee seem even farther.

Tennessee is hands down my favorite state. It is so beautiful. Refreshing. Great shopping. Amazing restaurants. And the home of country music. Not to mention that my famous cowboy boots came from there. And I helped Amy Grant shop for her little girl in the Hello Kitty store I worked in. (20 years ago - yikes!)

Yes, I lived there for a short time. But it was long enough to make me fall in love with it. I've decided that when I win the lottery, I'm going to buy a vacation home there. To live in permanently. Because if you win the lottery ... you pretty much get to be on vacation forever.

And I will wear cowboy boots every day.

But enough about me.....

I have an aunt and uncle who live there. Aunt Sandi and Uncle Bud. They have lived there for as long as I can remember.

Which is not much. But thanks to all of the descriptions and dates that I put on the back of pictures over the years.... I have a pretty good idea of what went on in my past. And they have lived there a very long time.

I used to spend weeks at a time with them during the summers when I was growing up... and have been able to visit occasionally as an adult. Or large child. Another gray area.

They have two sons.... Scott and Ross.

Kev hit it off with these two guys the minute he met them. They act like old friends, brothers, and ice skating partners.

In fact, I think I may have seen Kev and Scott exchange a "Best Friends Forever" anklet once. And then pinky swear to remain friends until the end of days.

Except for the small problem that Scott does not like to travel either. So, the plan of them ever meeting again is slim.

Which means never.

The great news is that Scott has a growing family.... and that is really what I'm here to tell you about today.

You see... he met this beautiful lady... Brandy....

And she gave birth to these precious blonde headed children..... Jackson and Elizabeth.

And then we heard the news that they were expecting baby #3. In September.
And it happened..... on September 9th. Sweet Nathan was born in to this family. And I truly wish that I could post an absolutely precious picture of him on this site... because let me tell you that he is such a beautiful baby boy. But unfortunately, his online pictures are copyrighted. Which means that I could get in big trouble for posting them..... probably the same kind of trouble that I'm going to be in when Angela finds out that I stole these pictures off of her blog.
It happened accidentally. Kind of. Plus the fact that I have not seen them all year... and have no pictures for myself.
Hint Hint.... Martins!! I need family pics!
But the bottom line here is that I was lucky enough to have TWO new babies born in to my family in the same month. Just a week apart. And I am so thankful. And couldn't be happier for my cousins!!
Congratulations to the Martin family!
And just because I am already in theft trouble.... I just couldn't end this post with out posting one more absolutely adorable picture of Miss Elizabeth...

Hope to see you soon!! And meet your new addition!
We LOVE you!