The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Year's Resolution # 231 and #307

Yes. I really do have that many resolutions.

I am nearing the end of my 30's and I need to make this year count. I want my 30's to be known for more than that I love to put cheese on everything. And my severe procrastination when it comes to shaving.

Now. If I could just finalize my resolution list. I seem to add something to it every day. In a notebook with perforated pages. Just in case I need to tear a page out. Or two.

And pretend they never existed.

And speaking of notebooks. And lists. I'm a total fanatic about them. As we speak, I have three notebooks in my purse (large tote bag). One for my weekly meal plans/grocery lists. One for my resolutions. And one for party planning.

The parties that I plan are mostly for just me and Kev. In case you were wondering. I've got four planned just for February.

We are some celebrating fools.

And then there is the day planner notebook. With a calendar for each month and a place where I can write DAILY to-do lists. It thrills me to no end to be able to mark something off of a list.

Don't even get me started on if we are going on a trip. That involves getting ANOTHER notebook just for the trip. What to pack. Where to eat. Activities.

Maybe "not wasting so much paper on lists" should be on my list.

And just so you know..... this list writing issue that I have.... it started in my youth. Every Sunday.... between morning and evening church service.... I used to lay on my bed and listen to Kasey Kasem's Top 40 RADIO show and write down ALL 40 songs in order. In a notebook. And then compare the rankings to the previous week's list.

I was probably also wearing my head gear. And drooling out of the sides of my mouth just because I couldn't handle that much metal at one time.

Wow. What a loser!

I'm so glad that I have moved on from such bizarre and embarrassing behavior. ;)

Anyhoo.... Back to the point of this post....

Resolution #231. Find and CONSISTENTLY use a anti-wrinkle/skin firming/ moisturizing lotion.

Because there is no time better than your late 30's to begin a reversal process on the insane amounts of damage you have done to your face. Including but not limited to the Crisco oil that I used for "sunscreen" in the 80's. I mean... let's be honest here. It is pretty much a waste of time to put special serums on my skin. Especially when the tube of lotion takes one look at the task at hand and goes on strike. But lucky for me... Resolution #5 is to be less cynical and more positive. So, I forge ahead in to the unknown world of skin repair and enhancements.

I have collected a pretty good amount of lotion samples over the years.....

And stored them away. Maybe I was waiting for a special day?? Who knows. But I have dusted them off and organized them. And have started the process of trying different lotions each day to see what works. Except for the fact that most of the samples are one time use. And the packages say that you must use consistently for weeks to see a difference. Oh... and also the fact that I have had these samples for YEARS which means they probably don't even work anymore.

But at least I am TRYING to take care of my skin. That is definitely a step in the right direction.

Resolution #307. Wear Sunglasses EVERY day.

I NEVER wear sunglasses. EVER. And if you have ever seen me in a pair - then it is usually because I was going on a vacation and felt I needed to buy them because it was on my LIST. And then I would pretty much break or lose them within the first day.

Like last March when I crushed a pair between my thighs while riding Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom. That pair only lasted for 3 hours. Who knew my thighs were so strong?? They also made the top fly off of my popcorn bucket. On the same ride. Which resulted in popcorn flying all over the seat.

Needless to say.. the ride attendant was not very happy with me. Or my thighs of steel.

Regardless. Once again I had wasted money on sunglasses. And I swore to never buy them again. Except for the fact that they are an important part of protecting your eye sight. And not just for fashion as some (me) may assume.

I mean... Kev has worn a pair EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.OF.HIS.LIFE. He can't function without them. Some times..... he even wears them to breakfast because our kitchen is so bright in the morning.

"Bright light" "Bright light"... (name that movie!)

So, I broke down and bought ANOTHER pair. For medical reasons and preservation of my eyes. And I gave myself a lecture about how "I better take care of this pair. I better not lose them or break them or I would be grounded". And then I forgot all about them and left them in a bag in my closet.

Until yesterday.......

(Can I look any angrier?? I think this pic is hilarious because I was so focused on taking a picture of myself that apparently I could NOT smile at the same time) ( And let's not even begin talking about how badly I need my roots done and how extremely flat my hair was) ( I'm serious... do NOT talk about it. Or I will come after you with that angry face and give you a piece of my mind!)

So, basically, I have started two of my resolutions. But unfortunately, cannot cross them off the list until I prove consistency. And with my A.D.D. - that means one week.

And now I need to add to my list..... stop having A.D.D.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Quest For A Flat Belly

Dear Pioneer Woman,

You are one of my best friends. However, I unfortunately have to inform you that we need to take a break. For the sake of my belly. And my jiggly bottom. I will still treasure your cookbook and will continue to make your incredibly delicious dishes. On occasion. And for special events.


The weirdo that is obsessed with you and you have no idea who I am.

That is the letter that I sent P.W. this morning. In my mind. It just has to be this way for now. Folks, my situation is serious. I have 8 BOXES of butter in my fridge. That is 32 STICKS. Just waiting to jump in a P.W. recipe to make my belly happy with delight.

My belly. It is out of control. It is rude to my jeans. And makes me have to wear spanx. It does not deserve happiness right now.

At least...that is what I thought. Until I was privileged enough to eat a delicious, out of this world, meal at Kev's parent's house.

That is when I was introduced to this book....

Now before you laugh. And point at me. And squirt me with a bottle of water (like Kev does to get me off of the furniture until I've had a bath).... let me just explain about this book. I am NOT a fan of hard to follow fad diets. I LOVE food. And I LOVE tasty, scrumptious food. This book isn't so much a "diet" but a cookbook. Yes, it encourages smaller proportions and much healthier eating. BUT it has "out of this world" meals. And combinations of flavors that will blow your mind. In the past two weeks, we have tried more new flavors and foods than we have our whole lives.
Let me give you some examples....
Southwestern Steak Salad:
Perfectly cooked Beef Tenderloin Steaks. On a bed of mixed greens, corn, tomatoes, and JICAMA. ( the J is supposed to be pronounced as a H .... but I refuse to do that) Ever heard of Jicama? I had. But only on Top Chef. And I had no idea what it was. It is a radish like vegetable - but without the bite. Completely delightful and fun to eat mixed in with the greens. And for the salad dressing.... it was made with avocados, greek yogurt, cumin, and lime juice.
It made me want to slap my granny out of pure excitement.
( NOTE: Slapping is how we show our affections out here in the country)
And then there is this: Mexican Stuffed Peppers!

I am making this tonight. It is a vegetarian dish. So, it is suitable for the majority of my meat hating family.
How about....... Korean Beef in Lettuce Leaves.....

Similar to PF Changs lettuce wraps. These are made with organic orange marmalade and hoisin sauce. Two things that this hill billy has never had. However, I have a feeling that I could be making a living off of canning ( or is it jarring?) orange marmalade. It sounds like something Laura Ingalls would do.
Oh... let me tell you about this delicious treat...... Caribbean Jerk Chicken with avocado mango salsa.....

I have never had a mango. I have NEVER thought about eating mangos, avocados, and onions all together. I have NEVER been happier in my life for trying this. OUT OF THIS WORLD. And Kev is still talking about it and we had it a week ago.
And for those of you wondering..... Kev is truly the best taste tester in the world. He loves to try new things. He is very honest and helpful in deciding if the meal is a keeper. He is always sooo appreciative and complimentary during every meal.
It warms my heart. And fuels my love for cooking. And makes me want to buy him a pony because he is so good to me.
But then I remember that he is not fond of pets in his own house/yard. Especially ones that poop, shed, and chew up things.
So, I just make him another great meal instead.
Like this one.....
Pork and Pineapple Tacos. Perfect for the LOST season premiere on February 2nd. ( Yes, we eat themed food to go along with our favorite shows)
And this delicious looking soup..... Beef Tenderloin and Onion.

This would be perfect for Valentine's Day with some fresh home made Artisan Bread... ( If Lisa can ever teach me to make it....)
Needless to say.... this "diet" has rocked our world. It has been so much fun planning meals. Cooking meals. Eating meals. And I haven't used a drop of butter, sour cream, heavy cream, or cream cheese in weeks.
My jeans thank this book. From the bottom of their hearts.
Oh... and as far as eating out goes. This diet is based on healthy fats. Like avocados, nuts, olive oil, olives, feta cheese.... lots of greek foods. So, it makes it pretty easy to enjoy food outside of the home.
Like when I went to this DELIGHTFUL sandwich place.....
And got one of the best sandwiches that I have EVER eaten. Tomato and avocado on wheat bread. INCREDIBLE!
And for those of you who don't like avocados. YOU ARE WEIRD! It is one of our favorite foods. I could seriously eat it every day. And thankfully this cookbook just about requires it. Avocados were one of the foods that Kev refused to eat when we first met. After I kicked him in the shins a couple of times... and held his nose so he would have to open his mouth... and may or may not have shoved an entire spoonful down his throat.... he has LOVED it just as much as me. And is so grateful of my forceful ways.

If you love to cook. And are looking for ways to eat healthier.... this book is your ticket.

And don't worry.... I will keep you updated on our quest.

Our quest to be "Fit in our skin for 2010".

( I seriously just made that up)

(But it sounds cool.... so, I will stick with it)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pigs Flew and The Devil Put On A Winter Coat

That is seriously what happened on this particular day in January. The day that we actually went on a date.

In public.

I cannot even begin to tell you how long it has been since we've gone out. Specifically since Kev has gone out - because some times I am lucky enough to get invited by family and friends to tag a long to a dinner and/or a movie.

But that is only if I'm really lucky.

So, thank you James Cameron for finally making a movie that Kev had to see in the theater. Even Kev cannot resist 3-d glasses and extreme special effects.

And this movie BLEW. MY. MIND!

Now let me just explain that we are a little nerdy ie; Lord of the Rings... but putting that aside this movie took me away to an incredible place. A place where I soon forgot the millions of people that were sitting around me. A place where I could enjoy sitting up straight, wearing non elastic pants, without a blanket. A place that made my already spastic emotions come out all over the place.

( I apologize for that last sentence. It was not as gross as it sounds)

This movie took me to my happy place.

The effects. The story. The 3-d that made us feel like we were a part of it.

I literally cried or had tears in my eyes for the entire movie.

The same way I felt when I saw Lord of the Rings for the first time. And second. And third.

It is just our kind of thing.

And we even got to keep our 3-D glasses.

You know... just in case we ever get a 3-D tv. Or for skit night. Except for I cannot figure out how to do a 3-D skit without just throwing objects in Kev's face.

Anyway, I'm not going to tell you to rush out and see it. I'm not going to tell you that you will love it just as much as me. Because you really have to be in to the whole sci-fi/fantasy world/special effects genre of movies to be mesmerized by it.

I realize that I'm not like most girls. I hate to shower. I'm happiest in ball caps, jeans, and t-shirts. I have a mustache. And... I love a wide array of movies.. (it just so happens that most of them tend to be labeled "boy" movies.)

That being said... it should come as no surprise that Avatar has secured a place on my "Kim's favorite movies of all time" shelf. (yes, I really have a shelf called that) along with A Little Princess, Finding Neverland, and Wolverine - ( hugh jackman's greatest movie -yum)

Avatar = Awesomeness!

However, on a side note. I must confess to you that I learned some new things about myself during this movie going experience. Things that I am NOT proud of.

Things that prove that when you have been married for a long time - you start to become each other.

For example - I used to go to the movies all the time. A crowd never bothered me. Noise never bothered me. And I was just fine and dandy throughout the whole movie.

But on this trip...... we went to the matinee. And it didn't even matter. Because it was PACKED. But we got there early.... so, we were able to get decent seats at the end of a row with plenty of space around us. Until the previews started. And then every one and their brother started coming in sitting all around us. I started to get claustrophobic. Plus the fact that it is not nice to be late to a movie. It just interrupts the show.

But then... the man and daughter behind us were talking loudly. VERY LOUDLY. So, the Dad could explain every thing that was happening to the daughter.

And then... the people in front and next to us were eating popcorn in to a microphone. Or at least that is what it sounded like.

My hands started to sweat. And my heart started to beat faster. And I started wishing we had waited to watch this on tv at home.

But then the movie started.... and about 15 minutes in to it.... I was hooked. And never heard another sound or thought another bad thought until the movie was over.

And then there were the crowds and the long lines to the bathroom. And the fact that I had been bawling and every one in the theater was looking at me funny because I had just come out of Avatar and therefore must be a weirdo for having red puffy eyes.

So, Kev just grabbed my hand and we ran to the car for safety.

And then discussed the movie on the entire ride home.

I have officially become Kev. We have issues. But that is ok.

And now ... just because this post isn't long enough.... I wanted to comment on the ridiculously cold weather we have been having lately. I mean.... I used to LOVE the winter. Just LOVE it. It meant big sweaters, boots, scarves, coats... etc. But then I got in to clothing retail... and I can pretty much wear that stuff any time that I want to. Because I work in air conditioning. And I can keep my air on 68 year round. So, the coldness isn't fun anymore. I don't like scraping my windshield.... or getting gas... or even walking outside.

Not to mention.. that the cold weather makes it miserable to clean the pool....

I would know. Because I have to watch Kev do it. While I sit inside.. all bundled up... and take pics without him knowing.

It is a hard job to document our crazy lives.

I am already longing for the Spring... then Summer. So I can watch Kev clean the pool in his swimsuit.

While I eat bon-bons. And pick my toes.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

15 Years!

15 years of looking at this photograph and wondering what in the world.......

I mean FOR. THE. LOVE.... what in the WORLD were we thinking? Did we think our wedding was a Whitesnake convention? Or a birthday party for Bret Michaels?

I don't even have the time to tell you all the things disturbing about this picture.....

But I will give you a few tidbits...

1. Eyebrows? Were they drawn on with the thickest brown Sharpie known to man?

2. Bizarrely layered lace dress. With huge gold buttons. From Sears. I look like Aunt Thelma on Easter Sunday. In 1950.

3. THE HAIR!!! The salon at Belk at Dutch Square Mall created this. I do NOT recommend them. Ever. What is it doing? Are there creatures living inside? Did they realize that years later a friend of David's would ask this question.... " Why is there a big wreath behind your sister's head?" Which solidified the term "Kim's wreath hair" forever in our family.

4. And then there is Kev's hair. You have no idea what you are missing out on by looking at him from the front. Because there is a waterfall of hair the size of Niagara Falls going down his back. And it was golden and shiny and and hypnotizing. Like a super hero. With magical hair.


At least we were madly in love. And truth be told... a normal wedding wouldn't have been our style. This picture defines the quirkiness, humor, and happiness that is our lives. The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev. I wouldn't have it any other way.

But I still need to address this picture. Just because it is necessary.

1. Crushed velvet? Yes, please! My favorite fabric (apparently) of all time. And it was important to have different colors of crushed velvet dresses. To represent the vast amount of inventory that was in stores at the mall. Kev's sister, Jenn, (not pictured) even wore a crushed velvet dress that was multi colored. No one could top it. And it may or may not have caused a 1980's hair pulling scuffle. Even though this wedding took place in 1995!!

2. Bethany, why do you have a lace table cloth tied around your neck?

3. And WOW!! My parents look so young!! We all look so young! Kev is the only one who hasn't aged a bit since this picture. He is a vampire, you know.

15 years!! Of pure happiness! I CANNOT believe how fast the time has flown. I met Kev in 1991! We have been together for 18 years!

( And WOW... there are a lot of exclamation points in that sentence!!!!)

Any one else would have been scared senseless to see me walking down the aisle towards them. Let's face it folks... I scream every time I see my wedding picture. But not Kev. He is one of the good guys. I got lucky.

So, our anniversary started off with a visit from my Mom. I was lucky enough to get the day off. And she dropped by to bring me breakfast and our anniversary gift. We ate breakfast sandwiches and acted dainty and ladylike while sitting in the Sunroom.

(One of my 2010 resolutions is to act more dainty and ladylike.)

(It takes a lot of hard work and focus)

She told me to wait until Kev got home to open our gift....

And you are probably assuming that I created a huge fancy meal... because that is what I like to do when we are celebrating.

But not for our anniversary. Our anniversary is for tradition.

Even if the tradition changes 10 years in to your marriage.

You see... we got engaged at The Olive Garden. At the time, it was the fanciest eatin' place this side of the Mississippi. And we had gone to dinner as a splurge. A splurge at The Olive Garden. That is almost too exciting for me to take.

And then Kev acted like he had found a diamond ring in the men's bathroom. And showed it to me.

And then said "Well, do you want to marry me or not?"

So, I stood there in disbelief. In the lobby of The Olive Garden. Wondering if he was proposing to me with a ring that he found on the floor of the bathroom??? Or if it was a joke?? Or if I wanted to get their "fried" sampler appetizer platter to go. So, I could have a midnight snack.

And I don't know about you. But I ALWAYS imagined myself bawling my eyes out when I got proposed to. ALWAYS. I would even tear up just thinking about it. But when the day finally came... I was just too blown away to think straight. And too happy to cry. ( And I may have had a little bit of reflux from the marinara sauce) But from the moment that I said "Yes!"... I have been on cloud nine. And I refuse to ever step off of it.

I mean... really. Kev is the best thing that has ever happened to me. And I love him more than words can say.


And wow! That was a really long story just to tell you about where our take-out meal came from. The point that I was trying to make was that for 10 years.... we got take out from Olive Garden to celebrate our anniversary.

And then on our 10 year anniversary. Kev surprised me with an upgrade to my wedding ring. And a fancier ring means a fancier place to get take out. So, we switched to BoneFish Grill.

Maybe we will renew our vows there.

My parents had also given us a gift card to Bonefish. I went and picked up our favorite meal.... Two orders of Bang Bang Shrimp. Two loaves of bread. And a piece of key lime pie to share.

Then I made some Jasmine rice at home to go along with the meal. Yum!!

And then we opened our gift.....

My Mom put a picture of our front door in the frame. Until we can get a better one taken. I plan to get more of a wider shot of the house with me and Kev sitting on the front steps.

Maybe in matching outfits.

Just don't tell Kev. Or he will run errands that day.

The first 15 years have been incredible! And I cannot wait for the next 15!

Our adventures together are always excellent....

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Day!! Happy 2010!

I have finally caught up enough on my posts from December that I can start telling you all about 2010. FINALLY!

How can I ever start living in the moment.... when I'm always living in the past. Sounds like I should add that to my resolution list.

It will have to go on page 21. That is the only page that still has a little room on it for resolutions.

I know some of you are probably not fans of resolutions. Because why do you need a New Year to start off doing things right. Doing things good for yourself. Living the best life you can.

I'm here to tell you that when it comes to resolutions.... It is just the way that I roll.

I LOVE New Years. I love the chance to start over. When you have the whole year in front of you to do with whatever you would like.

And then a couple of weeks in to January... I forget that I ever felt that way. I use my resolution notebook as a place to write grocery lists. A place to doodle. A place to sign my married name - over and over and over - just like I did before I was married. Because I still think it is cool. A place to draw stick figures of my family saying funny things and exaggerating their features.

And then I get back in to the rut called LIFE. And I eat two pounds of cheese. Use my treadmill as a coat closet. Never learn to use my sewing machine. And don't shower on my days off.


Except for the small fact that I am still writing my resolutions. And it is January 15th. ( And yes I pre-dated this post to look like I posted it on New Year's Day - I'm scandalous that way)

Seriously, though. I've got BIG plans for this year! Big, HUGE, plans. And I am not referring to the size my bum is going to grow. Because it would be impossible for it to get any bigger at this point.

But before I start to tell you my resolutions... and plans. I still have a little catching up to do....

And it all starts with NEW YEAR'S DAY.

Kev and I started a tradition of a Mexican Fiesta on New Year's Day. Last year. 2009. It hasn't being going on very long - but it is our tradition. And that is that.

And here are the reasons:

1. At this point in the holidays... every one (me and Kev) are so tired of casseroles. And heavy holiday food. However, I do want to point out that we are NOT tired of cheese. It is impossible to be tired of cheese. And it makes a little (HUGE) appearance in the Mexican meal.

2. I live in Gaston. The BEST place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Or any Friday.. for that matter. It is a non stop fireworks, pinata, and margarita extravaganza out here. And it is important to me to fit in.

3. When you love cheese... the best meal you can prepare is Mexican food. Because ultimately regardless of what you order at a Mexican restaurant... it all comes out looking the same. A pile of food smothered in cheese.

4. Every one needs a little fiber in their diet.

We invited the fam for lunch. The kids... Mike, Ash, Austin, and Mason... were already at our house. Elijah was able to score some tickets to the bowl game in Alabama and was out of town. Mom, Dad, and Bethany were at Disney. The military folks were in their current stations. So, our visitors for our Fiesta consisted of Shannon and Randy and Kristen and JC.

(And once again, I have NO pictures!! I don't know how I will ever prove to Kev how fabulous a fancy camera would be... if I cannot seem to document the important times of our lives.)

But our meal consisted of.... cheese enchiladas, chalupas, home made refried beans, mexican rice, guacamole, home made salsa, and nachos. And I grated 48 ounces of cheese for this meal. 48 OUNCES. That is a lot of pounds and tupperware containers. It was ridiculous!

I also... to carry on tradition... made a black eyed pea dip. It is important to eat these peas on New Year's Day for good luck. I made the Paula Deen... Southern caviar dip. But put a habanero pepper in it. By accident? And it made it a little too hot for our guests.

That just means more good luck for me. I suppose.

I skipped the dessert because...

1. Shannon and Randy and kids had another meal to go to that evening.

2. I knew every one would be too full to eat it.

3. My track record with making cakes has pretty much sucked lately. And I wanted to start the New Year right.

4. I ran out of time.

Our dinner was short and sweet. It was a pretty busy day for every one. Except for me. Because I was actually FINALLY getting some time off of work. Which meant lots of relaxing and sleep.

But before I wrap up this post.... I wanted to share a really cool gift that we received this Christmas.....

They are tv trays! And Kev's mother Mary MADE them for us! I think they are too cool and perfect for us and our "eating while watching tv" habits. Plus they go great in our Gamecock room.... even if some days I'm embarrassed that we have one. ie; BOWL GAME.

But remember.... 2010 is a NEW year. For exciting NEW things. And hopefully better football playing.

And now I've just got to figure out what to do with all of the cheese I still have......