The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

39 And Feeling Fine

I can't believe that I am saying this... but turning 39 was pretty spectacular!  In fact, it was just the kick in the pants that I needed to get my head back on straight.

The past couple of months have been filled with "what ifs" and "should-a, could-a, would-as" and every thing else that comes with reaching mid-life. 

It has been kind of like trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up.

And then wishing that I didn't have to.

But after my day of reflection - I am now ready to face my forties head on!  And am really looking forward to what the future has in store for me!

( It also helped that I received some VERY inspirational and encouraging messages yesterday!! I'm so thankful for my family and friends!!)

And now.... how I spent my birthday...

I woke up to a phone full of birthday messages.... One of them being from my Mom at 4:45am - the exact time I was born!

Keeping with the "week of special birthday meals", I chose pancakes as my birthday breakfast.

Kodiak Cakes to be exact!

Whole wheat, healthy, delicious, and easy peasy to make.  The perfect way to start my day!

I put a little bit of pure maple syrup and peanut butter on them.... to ensure that I was properly fueled for my yoga class... and also because they taste amazing that way!
My hair was especially excited for the day......
It took no less than 77 bobby pins to hold it all down.

Sometimes I wish I had the energy of my hair.  But then I would probably have to be put on medication for Kev to be able to sit in the same room with me.

With an ice chest full of ice ( thanks Kev!), a change of clothes, and my yoga mat... I headed down town to my first ever Hot Yoga class.

Yoga Masala.

You all know that I love yoga.... but taking it "hot" is something that Gold's doesn't offer.  Which is why I jumped at the chance to purchase a groupon for five classes.... and then decided that I would take the first one on my birthday.

It was pretty much AWESOMESAUCE!

I didn't get any more pictures than that.  I didn't want to look like any more of a weirdo than I already did.  ( remember my hair!)

It just so happened to be a small class - which was good for me because the instructor was able to give me a lot of one on one attention... and even did some of the poses right next to my mat! 

It was VERY challenging - but completely fantastic at the same time.  I sweated so much that it felt like 39 years worth of toxins were leaving my  body. 

And my knee feels a thousand times better!

My only regret was that I didn't bring any extra water or nourishment to eat/drink once the class was complete!  An extra bottle of water and a banana would have done the trick.... because I was seriously famished and weak by the time I got to Starbucks!

Speaking of Starbucks... Bethany sent me a gift card for my birthday! 

I had already planned to treat myself to a big giant coffee after class... so, the gift card was an extra special surprise!  I got an iced coffee and a bottled water and then went to Panera.

At Panera, I got a free muffin for my birthday!  I chose carrot and walnut.  (Delish!) And I also got a sandwich to eat on the way to Greenville.

The muffin was so good that I almost ate the entire thing before I remembered to take a picture.

Last year, I started a tradition of me actually taking the day off of work for my birthday - and then driving to Greenville to shop for food at my favorite grocery stores.

It sounds lame.  But shopping for food in cool stores is my second favorite past time. 

(Obviously, my first favorite is eating.)

And now you know why Kev put an ice chest in the car for me....

Let's just say that things got a little out of hand this year. 

But I have about three months worth of goodies to get us through our long, hard winter.

Except for at this point, I'm wondering if we are going to even have a winter.  ( Hi 80 degrees!  I'm sick of you... don't you have some where else you need to be? )

So, between an awesome workout and grocery shopping and talking to family and friends on the phone... my day was pretty fantastic! 

And that was just the first half...

Up Next... Birthday meal # eleventy thousand and one...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Fiesta

We decided to go a little crazy this year in celebration.

Or as crazy as two people can get that are pretty low key when it comes to their birthdays.

I came up with the (brilliant) idea that we could each have an ENTIRE week of celebratory meals.

Seeing as our birthdays are exactly one week apart - that means two weeks straight of awesome food.

And of course two weeks of food required some coordination due to the fact that we love most of the same things.

Thank goodness we are easy going.

And I have a good menu planner.

My first choice was Mexican food.  Cheese enchiladas and rice and beans to be exact.

It is my all time favorite Mexican meal ( and is the BEST when eaten at La Paz in Nashville!)

I decided to make it as authentic as possible.  And used this recipe as a guide.

The corn tortillas after being dipped in oil and enchilada sauce...
I filled each one with cheddar, colby, monterey jack and onions....

And then added an enormous and necessary amount of cheese and onions on top.

(They were perhaps a little too cheesy... if that is even possible.  But I will definitely cut back if I make them again)

I made my own refried beans from pinto beans and the rice was from a mix I got at The Fresh Market.

And no fiesta is complete without Guacamole <== one of my all time favorite foods!

The whole meal was pretty amazing and definitely what I had in mind for my first (of many) birthday feasts.... even if I did go a little crazy on the portion size!  Oops!

Poor Kevin looked as if he was on a episode of Man vs. Food and was barely surviving a food challenge.

Who knew that there was such a thing as the "cheese sweats".

As for my workouts this week... my arms are still recuperating from my ridiculously insane arm workout on Sunday (thanks Kev!) - which means I have been sticking to spin class and body attack. 
But tomorrow morning... I've got BIG plans!  Big plans to take my first ever HOT YOGA class.  I have been dying to try it for forever.  ( thank goodness for groupons!)  And I know that it is going to hurt so good.

And now I'm off to paint my toe nails... I want to look my best for my yoga mat. 

And because I'm hoping pretty toes will draw attention away from any uncoordination.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Arms Of Steel

The crazy weekend after Thanksgiving is over.

The weekend that I refer to as "The Christmas Kickoff".

Fun Fact:  I have worked the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving every year since I was SIXTEEN!  Even when I worked for the bank, I still had a part time job in retail. 

I do NOT know what I would do with myself if I didn't have to work. 

It is just part of celebrating the holidays for me. 

This year will be a little different, though.  Being on the other side of town and outside of the mall will bring less traffic, less hectic-ness, and less exhaustion at the end of the day.

Which means more time for working out.  Especially since I am planning to run a 10K in February.  I MUST get my self in top running shape.

Enter my (on again - off again) personal trainer...

Kev refused to be photographed and jumped out of sight.... we had been working in the yard and he wasn't dressed appropriately for a fitness expert.  :)

If you look closely, though, you can see his hands waving behind my shoulders.

Kev is very very knowledgeable about everything fitness... but due to our busy schedules, we don't have a lot of time to workout together.  Which is why I mainly go to the gym.

I'm trying to schedule him in at least one day per week though.  For as long as he can handle it.

Training me is no easy task, my friends.  No easy task at all.

But I have determination.  And I always try my very best.

And Kev knows how to push me to my limits.

We focused on arms, back, and shoulders.
And it didn't stop there.

Because Kev gave me my birthday gift a little early...

My own personal boxing set up!!  So, I can recreate my boxing workouts from the gym.

He has been hiding it in the garage for a week. 

And I didn't even spoil the surprise! 

I.AM.THRILLED!!  Especially since my boxing lessons are over.  Now I don't have to wait for another Groupon.  I can just train at home.
We have a little bit of rearranging to do.  But ultimately it is PERFECT!

My arms are officially jelly.

Not too bad of a way to start my birthday week!  I'm looking forward to a week full of fun, food, and fitness. 

I am going to do every thing I can this year to give my thirties an amazing send off!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


My favorite holiday.
Mainly because it is completely encompassed with food.

Recipe researching.  Menu planning.  Cooking.  Baking.  And Eating.

Working full time for Thanksgiving could possibly be the perfect job.

But besides the food, there is also the thankfulness.  A time to REALLY think about all you have to be thankful for. 

Even if you should be doing it every day of the year.

And let me just tell you that my heart was SO full all day!  Between babies and weddings and new relationships and health - it  has been a year of blessings.

And for that we are all so grateful!


Our Thanksgiving is very routine. 

And is usually a jam-packed day.

I always start out the day watching the parade.  This is usually my time to be frantically cooking my side dishes and trying to get every thing organized for the day.  This year, however, I was very planned out and only had ONE dish to make... of which I had already prepped all the ingredients.

I gave myself a pat on the back.  It was nice to be able to enjoy the morning.

I even fit in an upper body and CORE workout.  ( I've gotta get my core strong so I can run again!)

Our first Thanksgiving was with Kev's family at lunch time and was held at the home of his cousin's family..
Josh, Krystal, and Jayden.

I took a broccoli gratin.  A recipe from Williams-Sonoma.
The gruyere cheese really makes the dish.  It was definitely a hit but I DEFINITELY made way too much - so, it got to go to the next meal as well.
Kev's family has a very laid back Thanksgiving.  Football is on the t.v.  And every one just sits wherever they feel like sitting...on the couch, at the table, on the floor... you can even stand at the counter and eat straight from the dish if that suits your fancy.

Believe me.  I've thought about doing that a time or two.

My goal this year was to not over do it with the food.  I have a tendency on days of celebration to completely overeat and then feel miserable the rest of the day.  I decided early on to try any new dishes/desserts and eat the other items in moderation.

The first meal was a success.  The food was great.  My belly wasn't stuffed.  And it was so nice being able to relax and enjoy the family without having to rush off to the next event.
We even had some time for football....

In Thanksgivings past, we have had our second meal right after our first one and then we have headed out to the movies.

That meant it was a day of clock watching and crazy driving and tummy troubles.  And some of my family members even had a THIRD Thanksgiving to get to.  Holidays can become crazy when you have a large family and/or every one lives in the same city.

But this year, things worked out so much better.  My Mom was able to move her meal to the late afternoon and the movie was seen in between.

Except for the movie times didn't work out too well with our plans... but I will take an unrushed holiday any day over a movie.

My parent's Thanksgiving was at 5pm. 
It has always been very formal.  China.  Place cards.  The best of the best.

I love it that way. 

Even though washing all of that china is the pits...

At least for the person that ends up doing it.

My parent's house was decorated to the nines!  Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations.  And the house smelled like a Fall flavored bake shop.

I took Pioneer Woman's macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes, the broccoli gratin from Williams-Sonoma, a basic green bean casserole, and a sugar free pumpkin dessert...

To make the pie sugar free... just sub sugar free pudding, cool whip, and skip the caramel.

It is delicious!  Trust me!

I finally realized why I don't ever get many pictures at my parent's house.  It is because my Mom always takes tons of pictures so I usually put my camera away.

Then I only end up with pictures like this...
Random "I'm making a crazy face so take my picture".

Or snapping a picture right when my Mom bowed her head to pray.
Clearly, I need to work on my timing.

Abigail's first Thanksgiving...
And last but not least... my plate...

The food was incredible!  As always!

Before we eat, we go around the table and say what we are thankful for.  It is usually a mixture of very emotional comments and silly comments because we have to have some balance for those of us that tend to cry. 

Like I said... it has been such a blessed year!  And there is an unbelievable amount to be thankful for!

And I am not taking a single bit of it for granted!

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Eve

Food is in the oven, Top Chef is on, and tradition is being followed...

Because the kids are over!

Except for they are not "kids" anymore.  They are almost 16 and 18.  And I cannot believe that actually agreed to follow my directions for that picture!

I guess the "cool Aunt" still has some special power over the teenagers.

Go figure.

They have been staying with us on Thanksgiving Eve for as long as I can remember. 

It all started when Kev's cousins started having kids and we felt compelled to not show up to holidays empty handed.

Enter my niece and nephew.  Our perfect companions.  We got attention for them.  They got attention because they were cute. 

And all was right with the world.

In fact, they pretty much became part of the family.  And are now specially requested every year.

They always come out on Wednesday night.  They play video games, watch movies, and every once in a while ( not much at all) check in on me in the kitchen to see if they can help.

I tried my best to teach Ashlynn some cooking skills one year.  But after watching ( in horror) as she placed a TEASPOON on the counter and then preceded to try and POUR flour in to it... I decided she was best suited for entertainment.

So, while they were watching movies at an unspeakable volume... I was doing my favorite thing..


My favorite cookbook of all time:

 Perfect for a couple of Thanksgiving side dishes.

Like her Macaroni and Cheese...
 Or more like tons of cheese plus a couple of noodles.

I made Pioneer Woman's famous potatoes yesterday.  They can be made up to two days ahead and then baked 30 minutes before serving. 

I'm doing my best this year to keep it simple.  To not be rushed.  To savor every last minute of my favorite holiday.

So far.  So good.

I also made a sugar free turtle pumpkin pie.
I made it last year and it is so yummy and not at all heavy like most desserts.

And most importantly... EASY.

I will post the recipe tomorrow. 

Along with a new recipe that I will be making in the morning.

And now I am off to enjoy my family....

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


That color basically sums up every thing I've eaten today.

And it wasn't intentional.  Even though matching my food sounds like something that I would do.

Before I get to the food, though, I've got another story to tell.  A story about an assessment that I had this morning.

A health and fitness assessment.

It was just as fun as it sounds.

But very informative and DEFINITELY worth the time.

It started with a questionnaire. 

What type of fitness do I do?  ( anything I can get my hands on... love to try new things!)

Where do I experience pain? ( MY KNEE!)

And on a scale of 1-10, how would I rank my fitness level.

I very proudly gave myself a 7 - and hoped she wouldn't prove me wrong. 

When she pulled out her equipment, I had a horrific flashback to elementary school when my muffin top was pinched and measured my a skin fold caliper ( otherwise known as the FAT pincher) and then reported VERY LOUDLY to the person documenting how out of shape I was.

Luckily, she didn't have one of those.... the fat pincher or a person documenting.

But she had me go through enough tests to make me questions my abilities.

And then calmly told me what I was hoping I wouldn't hear.

I'm still pretty out of shape, folks.  And I still have quite a bit of work to do.

The summary:

1.  My core is a sloppy mess ( my words - not hers).  She had me lay flat on my stomach and asked me to go in to a full push up from the ground.  I pretty much sagged in the middle like an old mattress.  And when she showed me what I looked like - I laughed out loud!  I looked like a human taco shell!  Good times.

2.  My posture is horrific.  Which is evidenced by this photo:

 And something that is definitely not news to me.... or anyone that knows me.

3.  My hamstrings are super stiff which prevent me from going deep in to squats and lunges.

4.  I.AM.NOT.FLEXIBLE.   ( Again, no surprise to me!)

I scored a 12 out of 21.  A TWELVE!

She said that I was doing too much high intensity working out ( ie; lifting heavy weights, spin, running, boxing) and not enough yoga, stretching, and core workouts.  My knee pain after running is due to my posture, my weak core, and my unflexible hamstrings.

And apparently my right leg is a little bowed. ( I knew I was meant to be a cowgirl and live in the wild west.)

She was so kind and patient and helpful.

And didn't even get annoyed when I repeatedly had trouble following directions. 

( I am a visual learner.  Telling me something to do without showing me is worthless)

Then she preceded to stretch me out for an entire hour.  It hurt SO good.

All of that for a person ( me!) that had a HUGE glob of peanut butter in the corner of her mouth the whole time. 

I discovered it once I got back in my car.  I'm just keeping it real here.  And representing for the other disheveled people in the world.

And then I went to spin class. 

Because I just love it so much!

Back to my food...

Breakfast consisted of runny eggs.

Lunch had carrots as part of it.

And for dinner I roasted this butternut squash...
 I sliced.  And scooped out seeds. Lightly drizzed some olive oil on top.  And roasted on 425 for 40 minutes.

I believe this squash is my new favorite thing to eat.
 I put it on top of a big salad.  Along with some sweet potato salad....

Made like potato salad but with curry and dried cranberries and pecans and green onions.

You can find the recipe here.  Made by The Homesick Texan.

We are not normally curry fans.... but it really made this dish.  Loved the flavors!!

And mixed with spinach, tomatoes, (more) carrots, and squash... it was the perfect dinner.

Kev ate his potato salad with a Boca burger piled high with veggies.

We are doing every thing we can to get in some healthy food before the (two) ultimate feast(s) this Thursday.

I know our mouths will be happy on Thursday... but I can't speak for our bodies.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The After Party

As I mentioned in my previous post about THE WEDDING... family was one of my favorite things.

My family is spread out all over the place so it is always so nice to get a chance to catch up.

And laugh your brains out. 

Especially when this guy is around...

My Dad.  That mischievous look is a permanent part of his face.

He was born that way.

After the wedding, we had the pleasure of hanging out at the beach house for the evening.

Getting caught up on loved ones, enjoying the absolute preciousness of sweet Lillian, and hearing tales and techniques of the wedding decor.

And eating MORE cake!
Holy pineapple upside down cake!  It blew my socks off!! 

I stole this picture off of Angela's blog to show you the beauty of this delight before it was ravaged.  By the time I got my hands on it, it was in leftover form.  But still just as amazing!

And yes, that means that I ate FOUR different kinds of cake in one day.

Let's just say that my insides hated me for about a week. 

But it was totally worth it.

At some point during the evening... my Dad ended up like this...

When you have been around him long enough... you just get used to it.

I totally meant to take tons of picture this evening.....  but between eating cake and well, eating more cake... I didn't really get any. 

I hate it when I do that.

The other highlights of the weekend included staying at my Aunt Laurie's house ( so full of memories!! ) and our epic road trip.

My road trip companions consisted of Bethany and Teddy - going and coming  back.

Our trip up was very late and pretty uneventful except for lots of talking ( between Bethany and me) and a scavenger hunt for food around 10pm.

Side note:  Why is it SO hard to find a place quick place that has healthy, vegetarian food that also has something for Teddy to eat??  Subway would have been perfect - but it was closed.  We drove all over and finally came across a Chick-fil-a.  It worked out ok - but I think all Bethany ate was a piece of lettuce.  Did I mention that Bethany is not only vegetarian... but also picky?

We are a trio of food issues.

Anyhoo, our trip coming home was where it was at.  I don't know if it was out of deliriousness, or sugar highs from all the cake, or we just decided to reveal our true craziness... but I'm telling you that I haven't laughed that hard in .... forever.

There was a point that I was laughing so hard that I could barely park at the rest stop... let alone walk in to the bathroom.  I was trying SO hard to keep my laughter in that my face was contorted to the point that I probably looked like I had rabies. 

And as soon as I got in to the stall... I just let it all out. 

My LAUGH that is!

Unfortunately, there is no point in telling you what was so funny... because it was a million different things.... and things that no one would think was funny but us. 

But things that still make me laugh to this day. 

Oh.  And we also played Outburst Jr.

Because being successful at winning a game labeled "Jr." makes us feel better about ourselves.

The weekend was over way too fast.  Our road trip was over way too fast.

But one thing that I know for sure is that I know who I'm taking on my next road trip.  And I'm going to make it a trip that is longer than three hours.

And also, that my new cake love is pineapple in upside down form.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Wedding

Ok.  I've got a lot to say.  And I've got more pictures than I have ever posted in one sitting before.  But that is because this wedding was awesome.  And beautiful.  And incredibly fun.

I have been trying to figure out how to best tell this story... because the love and detail that went in to this day truly blew my mind and I wanted to do it justice. 

So, I decided to list ( because you know how much I love them) out the things that I loved about it and let my cousin Angela give you all of the behind the scenes, before and afters, and break down of the event.

You can read about the wedding here, here, here, and here.

There is SO much talent and creativity in that family!  It blows my mind!!

And now for all of the things that I LOVED about it (drum roll, please...)


It is amazing to me how an already gorgeous beach house can be completely transformed in to such a beautiful wedding venue.  I felt like I was walking in to a fairy tale... and not the underneath of the house where there are usually cars parked. 

The breeze off of the ocean kept all of the white shears blowing just enough to make it magical.

And the colors.... Perfect for a wedding by the sea.

This was the wedding program...

And this was the back of it!!  A word search!! So clever and cute.  The programs came with a tiny white pencil inside to give the guests something to do while they were waiting.

There were hand painted ( by Carrie!) things all around the house to give it that extra character.

Loved the feet washing station...Especially with the bride and groom rubber ducks!
Angela took their engagement photos and they turned out beautiful!  They really captured the love that Carrie and Lorenzo have for each other.  They were set up all around the house and were so much fun to walk around and look at.
C + L in shells!


My Mom and Aunt Ernestine! 

Ernestine and my Uncle David live in Texas.  We hardly ever get to see them.  It was SUCH a treat to have them there.

My family... ( the ones that could make it).  My Mom loves this picture of us. 

And all I've got to say about it is:  "Can my posture get any worse?"  or "Kim, do you have any idea what stand up straight means?".  Goodness gracious... I look like I should be ringing a church bell.

Ok.  You know that the food is ALWAYS my favorite.  You know I LOVE to eat it.  But I also like to look at it.  In a beautiful setting. 

The drinks were lemonade, tea, water, and a SPECIAL signature drink ( that was blue!) that was so yummy!!
The appetizers... different cheeses, a dill dip ( YUM!) fruit, veggies, and chocolate!

And then the hibachi!  Oh my goodness.  LOVED THIS!  I had already filled up on the appetizers and signature drink when this part was served but I made room.  It was skewers of chicken, steak, shrimp, and grilled veggies.  All served with a delicious vegetable fried rice. 

And I didn't even get pictures of the appetizers that were being served on trays by the caterers...

There was bacon wrapped shrimp!  And a meatball wrapped in a noodle!!! <---- SO CLEVER!!

All I can say about the food is WOW!  WOW!  and WOW! 

It was Kev's food paradise.. and he wasn't even able to attend. 

I made sure to call him though and tell them that there was so much meat and it was all on sticks.. and then I listened to him cry for 15 minutes as I told him how delicious it all was.


So, this was totally new to me.  And I was mesmerized by it!! This artist was hired to come out and paint Carrie and Lorenzo in their wedding setting.

She started on the beach with just the background and a sketch of the awesome couple.

Once the ceremony was over and we were walking back up to the house... She had completed the painting of the couple....

Then she continued to paint them and add details throughout the reception ( she brought the canvas up to the house and painted out by the pool)

After Carrie and Lorenzo left for their honeymoon... this is what was presented....
Complete with the bible verse of their choice!

I couldn't get over this.  And I think I called every one in the beach house phone book to tell them about it. 

Awesome idea!


Steel drums.  Very tropical.  I completely forgot I was still in South Carolina.


My Aunt Laurie ( Mother of the Bride) and her boyfriend John <---- LOVE THEM!
Of course... the BRIDE AND GROOM!!!!! ( Have I told you how GORGEOUS and GLOWING Carrie looked??  Because she did!!  WOW!)

This was my first time meeting Lorenzo.. and he was everything that I imagined he would be!  So full of life, and kind, and thoughtful, and just the perfect match for my sweet cousin!  I couldn't be happier for them.  And it was truly an honor to be able to watch them get married!!  My heart was SO full that day!!

And I love this picture of my Uncle David and Aunt Ernestine....
I was trying to zoom in on the bride and groom... but ended up capturing this moment of love between the two of them... watching their niece get married.

They have been married a million years... so, seeing them still so in love is beautiful!!

And now.. presenting Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzo Wilson!!
Their first dance was around the pool... ( so worried that someone was going to end up in it - haha).

And the happy family looking on ....

Beautiful, beautiful cake!!  Again.. no detail was left undone!! I took this picture right after the top tier was removed... but was still able to capture it's awesomeness!

And it wasn't just your regular ol' wedding cake, either... It was carrot cake, red velvet, and chocolate!!!

What the heck!!  It was my dream cake... multiple flavors to choose from.  Except for I chose ALL THREE!!

Sending them on their way to their tropical cruise... and the next step in their lives!!

I don't even feel like I did this wedding justice... as it was just so breathtaking and perfect!! 

I'm SO happy for them!! And wish them ALL THE BEST in their marriage!!

And now I am just patiently waiting for the Little Women ( my Aunt Laurie and Cousins Angela and Carrie) to start their own party business.... With the three of them behind the scenes, the sky is the limit on what they could do!

Congrats Carrie and Lorenzo!! I LOVED spending this special day with you!!