The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Red Hot

The best way to describe my face after a session of spin class in an UNairconditioned room.  ( It was broken last week, too!)

And a better title than what I have been coming up with lately.  Did I really start my last post off with "Chips + Cookbooks + Fitness"? 


And, most importantly, it was the star of our dinner tonight.

In Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta.

I got this recipe off of Pinterest and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was one of Jessica's from How Sweet It Is.  She is one of my favorite food bloggers and her recipes never disappoint!

This meal was easy to throw together and will be easy to pack for lunches for the next couple of days.

Or weeks.  It  made an entire 13 x 9. 

I ended up buying two rotisserie chicken breasts ( our Fresh Market sells rotisserie pieces instead of the whole chicken) to keep it simple.  And left out the Gorgonzola cheese ( not sure if Kev would like it).  I also tripled the amount of buffalo sauce because I'm a jerk and I love to see Kev's head sweat when he eats my meals.

A big salad with Ranch dressing would be the perfect match to a plate of this chicken extravaganza.

(Of course, we believe that Ranch dressing is the perfect match to just about anything.)

Along with a handkerchief or three to wipe the sweat off your brow.

Tomorrow is my last day at boot camp.  It has been a very hard but fun month.  Now it is time for a new adventure with another Groupon.

I've also been challenged to complete 500 ab exercises every day - indefinitely.


I could only get to 300 today before I threw the towel in.  It looks like I'm going to have to split the 500 between morning and night.

Or lock myself in the attic and hope no one notices.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chips + Cookbooks + Fitness

It is no secret that we are lovers of Mexican food. 

So much so that we would both declare it our favorite cuisine.

( At least until our dinner last night - which will have to be a story for another time)

The problem with Mexican cuisine, though, is that it is not all that healthy.  It requires a little more creativity to make it tasty and fulfilling when you are determined to NOT add cheese.  Especially when my all time favorite Mexican meal is cheese enchiladas.  And Kev considers queso his best friend.

But then I came across this Black Bean Salad on Pinterest.  And the rest is history.
Because Kev declared this meal his new favorite Mexican meal of all time!

( We seem to throw around the word "favorite"  a lot in our household!)

My original plan was to put the "salad" on some organic corn tortillas that we love from Fresh Market.  They were going to be like mini pizzas without the cheese.  But unfortunately, Fresh Market was sold out!  So, I went with the next best thing.....

Impressive ingredient list + light, crunchy, salty flavor = perfection! 

And was the perfect accompaniment to restaurant style salsa.

Kev went all out with the chips - scooping up a little of this.. a little of that... It was like he was having his own fiesta at his corner of the table.

I turned my meal in to a big salad.... with extra avocado and some random left over broccoli.... and poured the salsa over the top like a salad dressing.

I also crumbled the chips in to the salad for some extra salt and crunch. 

And then ate eleven thousand more chips dipped in salsa.

It was so addicting!

Speaking of addicting... I've been carrying around these cookbooks for the last week - making meal plans for the rest of my life.........
 My Mom gave me the Food & Wine book for Valentine's Day.  The recipes inside are incredible and unbelievable!  Just the picture on the front makes me want to eat this book for breakfast.

I gave Kev the Guy Fieri book for Christmas because we are both fans of his cooking show.  It is really more of a grilling cookbook - which is why we haven't used it yet - but that will all change this weekend!
 And then there is cookbook #2 from the beloved Pioneer Woman.  Her first cookbook has been used more than any other cookbook in my kitchen.  Every single thing has tasted amazing and I go back to it week after week after week.  I know her second one will be no different because I am only half way through reading it and already have a bazillion post-its marking recipes I want to make.

And then there is addiction #3.  Fitness Groupons.  Today's is unlimited pole dancing classes. 


Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I was begging for it on Monday  night.

And wishing that "boot camp" had never been invented.

My trainer, Kelly, is hard core.   She pushes us to our limits and motivates us while keeping it interesting and fun.

Maybe "fun" is not the right word.  But I sure do feel amazing when I am finished. :)

She had us perform "mercies" on Monday night.  Twice.  And told me that it was the only time that she has ever seen me complain. Even though it was just a sigh and a roll of my eyes, it was still a complaint because mercies are no joke.

Weights held high above my head.  Alternating lunges.  Kneeling and standing.  It was ridiculous.

I'm going to miss going to her boot camps once my Groupon is up. 

Speaking of motivating.... I channeled my admiration for Kev's work ethic to get some chores done around the house today.

I pretty much only do chores when:

A.  We have company coming to visit.


B.  When Kev is watching.

So, seeing as how family is coming in to town for Easter... I figured I would go ahead and get some things taken care of. 

Like mopping my floors.

Which ended up being a bad idea since I had this salad on the menu for tonight....

Pioneer Woman's Asian Noodle Salad.
With so many vegetables to chop, it was inevitable that the floor would end up a mess.

And it definitely did.

It was totally worth it, though, because the salad was INCREDIBLE!!  I was a little worried that it would taste too "salad like" for Kev's taste... based on the fact that the veggies are not cooked and the salad is cold.

But I was wrong.  Oh my gosh, we loved it!  The dressing is to die for!

And maybe next time I will add in a little shredded chicken for Kev.

I substituted the linguine noodles for buckwheat soba noodles.  Because soba noodles are delicious in everything.  ( And healthy!)

My only caution to you if you chose to make it is that it makes a TON!  And it says it is for six servings....

You can't tell by the picture but that is my biggest bowl that I sometimes use for a punch bowl.  It is huge!

Good thing I love it so much - I will be eating it all week.  With pleasure. 

No need to beg for mercy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Weekend O' Green

Holla for Spring!!

Even though the weather over the past two weeks has been incredible, I'm just so happy that today makes it official!

There is no turning back now.

I complained made the comment to Kev on Sunday that it was SO muggy to which he replied, "At least it is not cold".

His statement required me to put myself in check and lock up "Complainy Complainerson" for life.  After a little bit of a struggle, I am ready to face the heat of Spring and Summer with a huge smile on my face!

One thing that I am most looking forward to is GRILLING and all of the fresh summer foods that will be on the menu.  If it weren't for my obsessive meal planning we would have started our outdoor celebration last weekend - but it looks like April 1st will be our grilling kick off.

I just hope that I don't get fooled.

Speaking of last weekend....

It involved St. Patrick's Day.  Wearing green was about the only thing that we did to participate.  I gave up trying to find Irish foods that Kev would like and decided to go with a neighboring country's specialty - Fish and Chips.

We both absolutely love fish and chips - but eat it as more of a treat and not on a regular basis.   In fact, the last time that we had it was when we were at Universal Studios and ate at The Three Broomsticks. 

That was last October!

I just happened to be perusing Bonefish Grill's menu and discovered that it is one of their specialties.  We have only ever gotten the Bang Bang Shrimp and I really had no idea what else they served. 

An awesome gift card + Bonefish's location ( in between the gym and my place of work) = the perfect meal.

I just didn't know how perfect until I tried a bite!
 It was the best fish and chips we have ever had!!  The tarter sauce was out of this world!  I could have eaten a bowl of it all by myself. 

Except for the fact that I only ordered Kev this meal.  Thankfully he shared a couple of bites.

For dessert, I got him a piece of lemon pound cake.  I was kind of thinking about a "pot of gold" = golden pound cake.  Get it?

 As for my meal... it consisted of GREEN.  In the form of brussel sprouts...
 With a side of a fried egg sandwich.

It was pretty delicious despite what you may think.

The rest of the weekend was spent at work.  I had to work my "real" job both days and then we both worked in the yard.

Spring also means WEEDS!
 And cutting grass.  And picking up the dreaded pine cones.
I know it is hard to tell in the picture, but there were THOUSANDS of pine cones.  THOUSANDS!  I have never wanted the pine trees removed from my yard more than I did on Sunday.

I tried to make it a game.  I tried to make it a workout.  But ultimately my realization of HOW MUCH Kev does EVERY week to keep our home in working order made me just buck up and get the job done.

He is amazing!

And I did get a good workout because of it because I'm crazy sore right now.

We ended our weekend with the season finale of The Walking Dead.  Quite possibly one of my favorite shows of all time.

A very dramatic statement - even for me - but it is true.

I don't know what it is - because you would think that the horrible nightmares and sleepless nights that it causes would have changed my mind. 

I just can't get enough.

Unfortunately, I will have to be patient because the next season doesn't start until October!

If any one had ever told me that a zombie apocalypse would be added to my list of obsessions, I would have probably punched them in the face. 

Or at least pinched them.

Anyway, it was a fun and very productive weekend and just the first of MANY that we will be spending OUTDOORS!!

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Making It Easy

My appetite has been off lately.

As in I haven't had one.

I've still been eating good amounts of food - but more for fuel than fun.  And it has basically been the exact same thing every single day.  I have felt like a picky child - except I've replaced chicken fingers and mac and cheese with eggs and avocado and peanut butter. 

Anyway, I'm not sure if it is because the cleanse got rid of all of my cravings OR the fact that I haven't been able to get warm.

But then today happened.  And the weather was summer-ish.  And I had baby back ribs on the menu.  And my appetite returned!!

During the past two months, I have been on the look out for easy recipes.  Especially ones that would make plenty for Kev to have leftovers. 

And due to the fact that I have either been working late or going to the gym in the evening - crock pot recipes have been my favorites.

This recipe met all of my requirements..... with an added bonus of making my house smell incredible.

Wearing shorts and flip flops ( yay!), I decided to try just one little bite.  And I fell in love!
 I served it with roasted red potatoes and corn that I cooked in a grill pan on the stove.

The above plate was Kev's... and the plate below was mine...

I made sure to get my greens in with spinach and romaine.  :)

Other "Kev approved" meals have been:

Southwestern Sloppy Joes - the Mamwich king was officially smitten.

Naan  - this bread has become our new favorite for wraps and pizzas.  I get it in the deli area at Publix.


This was probably one of the easiest meals ever.  You basically just layer the frozen raviolis with sauce and shredded cheese.  ( I was going to add in ground beef - but Kev requested it be meatless)

You could even add veggies such as spinach and zucchini... It is pretty basic so it can be changed up easily.

I chose a spicy marinara sauce to give it a little kick.

Popped it in the oven...

And voila.... dinner was served.

Kev loved it even though it took him about five meals to finish it.  It is incredibly hard for me to just cook for one person - especially when I still don't have the hang of just cooking for two.
Apparently, it takes me a long time to learn certain things.  Like portion control.

And how to stop hoarding new cookbooks.

I've got four shiny new books in front of me just begging to be read. 

New books + great weather + my returning appetite = the best way to kick off Spring!

And thank goodness it is finally here!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


At least one group of them is sore every day.

I blame it on Groupon, Living Social, and my goal to try as many new workouts as I can this year.

I almost wish it wasn't so easy to purchase a fitness package on my phone - but then again if it took any more than a couple of seconds... I wouldn't be in the state I am today.

Which is sore.

The past two weeks have been filled with boot camp, TRX suspension, pilates, spin, and weight lifting.

Yesterday, I purchased a Crosfit package and some more yoga classes.

Having so many options definitely keeps the whole exercising process fun - even though I am such a creature of habit.  Some times it is just good (and challenging) to change things up a bit.

In other news, I feel like I have become incredibly boring lately.  Work + working out + work + agonizing over the amount of pine cones that keep appearing in my yard ( one of my most hated chores).  There just hasn't really been that much to blog about. 

But between the fact that The Pioneer Woman's NEW cookbook is scheduled to arrive tomorrow and the weather is FINALLY gorgeous and I am slowly (but surely) coming out of my "wintertime woe is me" attitude..... things will be back on track real soon!

Ya hear!

Stay tuned for some Kev approved recipes... including the baby back ribs that have been cooking in the crock pot all day.  They smell incredible!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One Year!

I cannot believe it has already been ONE whole year since this sweet little girl was born!

We actually celebrated Abigail's birthday a week ahead of time so her cousin, Caroline, could attend.

The party was held at our usual place... "the party shed of Chapin".  I don't know how our big family ever managed before.  There is plenty of room, plenty of space for the kids to play, and all the tools and hunting equipment you could ever want/need. 

Not to mention a newly constructed bathroom and mini kitchen for all of your celebratory needs. 

Shannon went with a butterfly theme as that is what Abby's nursery is decorated in.

My Mom made the cupcakes - and I think this turned out SO cute!
Shannon and Randy had regular cookout food + I made a pasta salad with butterfly shaped noodles ( from World Market) and an appetizer of spinach dip with butterfly shaped crackers ( Pepperidge Farm).

She also served the cupcakes, pink M & Ms, butterfly marshmallows and chocolates, and white chocolate covered pretzel sticks.
Abigail had a wonderful time!
The Karate Kid even made an appearance...

As did Sweet Caroline...
Caroline meeting Aunt Laurie + John for the first time...

She wasn't too happy with me for a minute... I think she prefers my curly frizzball hair over straight.

This was her response to Kev when he told her that she was going to end up with hair like mine...
Abby with her loving parents..

Kev's parents gave her the CUTEST dress with sparkly black shoes!  Precious!
Opening gifts...
Time for the (cup)cake...
Blowing out her candle...( with help from Daddy)

And the messiness begins...

We had such a fun time and Shannon did an AMAZING job of making Abby's party so fun and special!!

Happy First Birthday, Abigail Marie!  We love you SO much!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Boot Camp

Grocery shopping with noodle legs is NOT fun.

And that is exactly what I had to do this morning after I attended a boot camp class.

Last summer, I purchased a groupon for one month of boot camp/personal training sessions.  The expiration date was so far away - so I figured that I would save it for when I needed some extra motivation in my fitness routine.

Well, not only has the time flown by ( it expires in April) BUT I am in desperate need of some focus.  Today seemed like the perfect day to start.

We started out with Pilates and ended with a boot camp session.

Unfortunately for me, there was a lot of core work ( weak core = I hate exercising it!).

Fortunately for me, there was a lot of core work.  Which is just what I need whether I like it or not!


I'm so used to being in the back of the class or in a darkly lit room so I can roll my eyes or make mad faces if I don't like what I'm doing.   But being face to face with the trainer prevented that and required me to man up and deal with it.

Which is exactly why my muscles have the shakes now.

I wonder if it is enough to get me out of pine cone pick up tomorrow?

Probably not.

In other news, I realized that I never recapped my cleanse.

For someone that is completely obsessed with lists + highlighters + planners + organization charts, you would think that I would do a better job of keeping it together.  But these last few months have got me so discombobulated that some days I don't know which end is up.

I totally blame it on the weather. 

And the fact that my body has stopped being able to internally heat itself.

Regardless, I completed it on February 15th.  And honestly have mixed feelings about it

I never really got the burst of energy that I was looking for and had gotten the first time around.  In fact, I stayed so tired over my lack of caffeine that I am back to drinking it on a regular basis.  I was hoping to not be so dependant on it - and even though I am not drinking as much as I was - I still drink it quite a bit.

I guess I should be happy if that is the only negative.

Other than that, my appetite and cravings have totally changed.  I went from craving every thing I could think of... mainly pizza and beer and steak and chicken and cheese and bread... to not even caring about eating them again. 

Since I have finished, I have only eaten meat twice.  Once as raw tuna in sushi ( loved!) and once as chicken in jambalaya.  It was fine but I realized that I didn't miss it and didn't need it.  In fact, it made my tummy a little upset - but that could also be due to all of the jalapenos and cheesy cornbread that I ate along with it.  :) 

Alcohol - don't miss it.  Don't need it.

Cheese - I could take it or leave it as well.  I LOVED the pizzas that Kev grilled for us last Saturday - and ate plenty of the veggie ones.  But the next day, I went back to eating my normal ( kind of boring) healthy food and didn't have a craving for any more of it.

Who am I?

I'm not saying that I won't eat meat or cheese or sweets... but it is just not something that I day dream about.  It also helped that I was eating pretty healthy before I started the cleanse - so, I didn't have a lot of work to do in that department.

Kev forced me asked me to take a picture of the following meal just to show how weird my eating habits have become....

Steamed okra + two runny eggs.  ( Eaten on our random Statue of Liberty plate)

That was my dinner, folks.

And I loved every second of it.

Final Thoughts:  I LOVE cleansing.  I've done it multiple times and I feel like it is a good way for me to "refresh" myself and get my year started on the right path.  I usually do it right after the holidays -which is when I am feeling my unhealthiest.  I'm not sure why I struggled with my energy this time around - but maybe I am just not as hyper of as person as I used to be or would like to think I am and my low energy levels were normal.  ??

As for Kev, he has still been eating just like he always has- most things in moderation.  In fact, I've made him some pretty awesome ( in his words) recipes lately.  I plan to do a post with a couple of those - because they are easy to make and good meals for busy families.

Speaking of meals... It's time to start dinner.  If I can get off of the couch.

Hope you are all having a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Sweetest Visitor

One of the highlights of my life....

Getting to snuggle with my absolutely precious niece, Caroline!

Laura and Caroline came in to town last weekend for a visit and we had the pleasure of having them over for dinner on Saturday night.

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was to introduce Caroline to Kev and to show her around our home.  Especially since I had told her all about it ( in great detail - what else do you talk to a baby about?) when I went to visit her in Syracuse.

I am hoping that as she grows up she will look forward to coming to our house for a visit.... just like her Daddy used to do.  ( at least I think he did!- we can be quite crazy!  )

She can even sleep in the same bunk beds that he grew up in.  But only on the bottom, of course, until she is 18.  Top bunks can be dangerous for kids! 

This sweet girl brought so much joy and laughter and happiness in to our home!  I just loved every single second of it!

As for Kev.... she officially stole a piece of his heart.  In fact, we think that this is the first baby that he has held since 1963.  Or since our niece, Ashlynn, was born - and she is 16! 

Caroline just loved him! 

We served our signature meal - grilled pizzas....  along with crazy bread and snickerdoodle cupcakes per Laura's request.  

It was so awesome getting to catch up with Laura and spend time with Caroline.  SO AWESOME!

And I'm already counting the days until their return.