Browsed by
Author: Kim

Our trip to the Bahamas….mon!

Our trip to the Bahamas….mon!

We just got back from a huge family vacation and couldn’t wait to share our pics! It was seriously an amazing week. To kick everything off my cousin got married! Then we took a trip to the Bahamas on a Carnival Cruise Ship, what more could you ask for!? We had to go about this the most affordable way as possible because we were lucky enough that we just went on another cruise in June so two in one year can be a little $$$$ (first world problems). My brother stayed with us in our room so that made it a little more affordable also! I was worried what having five people in one room would be like but it really wasn’t that bad at all. I would definitely do it again! We had a king sized bed that Brad, Jake and I slept in (not a big deal since he crashes with us at home anyway), then a bunk bed above us is where Owen slept (and where Jake would jump off of in WWE fashion and say “top rope!”), and then another fold down bed on the other wall for my brother Brendan. I mean of course we didn’t have a ton of extra room, but typically we don’t spend much time in there anyway. Our first day was the wedding, it was beautiful! In previous cruises I have seen a random bride or groom walking around on departure day and I’ve always been curious about the wedding logistics of it. It was great and if I had a do-over I probably would’ve went with a destination wedding. We were all able to get on board earlier than normal boarding time too which was nice, then we went straight to the Lido deck to have some lunch before the ceremony.

15415922_676602058318_558424252_n
15502775_676602093248_791795873_o15419492_676602088258_46108017_o

 

The boys loved being on the ship and looking down to watch them loading the cargo on board and dancing around listening to the island music. The perfect way to kick off our vacation!

 

 

After we finished up with the wedding and reception we went to our muster drill (the only annoying part about a cruise lol) and then changed and went to dinner. We chose the early dinner since we had kids with us and so we could make it to the show right after. I truly think early dining is the way to go. I didn’t know 6pm was considered an early dinner lol! The dining room was the only part I was nervous about with having kids with us, but honestly they were awesome. The staff was so great with the boys, if they noticed they were getting irritable they would talk and ask them questions. Each night they immediately brought their juices over as soon as they sat down. My favorite part was dressing them up for dinner each night. Seriously these boys need a modeling contract. They’re naturals!

 

15417958_676601963508_1777965510_o

15397835_676601644148_130036876_o

15388580_676601649138_891153758_o

 

And I’m sorry for the quality of this next picture because it is a picture of a picture but I can’t not share it…

15515971_676601639158_1735243394_o

Our next day was a sea day, we spent it mostly outside. The boys loved the little kiddie pool (it looked to be an old hot tub that they just didn’t turn the heaters on or something). Since both were just a tad too short to ride the water slide we spent all of our pool time here at the kiddie pool. My boys must take after me because I’m perfectly content to sit in the sun with a fruity beverage.

Our first port was Nassau, Bahamas. I love this place! They really don’t get much credit. I’ve heard a lot of people say they just stay on board in Nassau and don’t really enjoy it but every time we’ve been here we have had a blast. There is a nice beach, Junkanoo Beach, just a short walking distance away. If you love to snorkel or want to try it out, this is a great spot for it! There are a TON of fish by the pier.

15398869_676601878678_1094988032_o 15491946_676601863708_631731632_o15515818_676601858718_989143180_o

Since we have kids with us this time we took a cab ride to and from to cut down on any whining that could potentially start. Who whines in the Bahamas!? Kids. They don’t give a F#*! where they are. This place is so special to me. We came here first just my husband and I, then the following summer we came here with my brother and brother in law, and then we came the summer after that with a group of friends (Rebecca was of course there too!), and now we were here with my family and my kids. Each time was great and I haven’t had a complaint yet. We did have a little accident this time where my son lost his flip flop on the beach. Possibly blew away? Luckily there are a ton of shops and I was able to get him a replacement pair to finish off the remainder of our vacation with. After about four hours of playing on the beach the kids started to get tired so we decided to call it a day. We boarded and went immediately to the Lido deck for some lunch. At this point naps were needed for ALL OF US! Everyone gives me shit for napping on vacation, but IDGAF thats what vacation is for! 

 

Our next port day we went to heaven. Literally heaven on earth. It is carnival’s private island called Half Moon Cay. My husband and I have been here before as well, but this time was even better because we had our family and kids with us. Hands down, this was my favorite day. Probably ever lol.

Since we had a big group with us my parents rented a Villa for us all for the day. It was AHHHMAZING. If you ever go here, get the cabana or villa, you definitely won’t regret it. Two stories of beach luxury. Hot tub, private bathroom, padded lounge chairs, snorkel gear, beach floats, towels, fruit tray, veggie tray, chips and guacamole and salsa, sodas….anything you could need to get you through the day. A little secret about the cabana’s and villa’s is that carnival lists the price as “per person” when it actually isn’t. It’s that one set price for the whole day. With the cabana it is up to 4 and up to 8 with the villa. In reality you could definitely do more than 4 or 8 but I guess that would be breaking the rules…

 

My favorite part was when my brother and I rented a kayak for the hour and went out sightseeing on our own. This island is so beautiful.

 

DCIM100GOPRO

 

The next day was our last sea day, we basically spent it the same way as our other sea day. Mostly at the kiddie pool. We did opt to go to the Dr Seuss character brunch which was $5 per person. It was great and totally worth it. The food is done up so cute, Dr Seuss style, and they have some characters come out and dance around and take pics with the kids.

15491552_676601763908_1557782693_o 15409854_676601758918_454020558_o 15491491_676601689058_1553173126_o

15419298_676601694048_104932462_o15503017_676601768898_383456716_o 15516000_676601753928_1471012112_o

15492001_676601669098_24127435_o15491918_676601674088_1290290483_o15409598_676601778878_1122656614_o 15409636_676601664108_812712765_o

Overall this trip was amazing and I can’t believe I was nervous to cruise with two kids. They had so much fun and they only went to the kids club once for about an hour or so. And that was because there was an event they wanted to go to. I never once heard them say they were bored. My kids can be difficult to please so I thought for sure I would’ve heard some whining or complaining. My oldest is a gamer and begs me to “get the car with the wifi” and he didn’t even complain about not having wifi! It was amazing. And my youngest was just happy to get ice cream whenever he wanted…

15417784_676601853728_334219726_o 15417777_676601983468_1849699590_o 15409508_676602018398_1544023595_o

15502884_676601848738_552216263_o 15515702_676601968498_1669666293_o 15515944_676601973488_785319956_o

Some other pics from our vacation…

15417798_676601958518_1900735193_o

Owen loved the towel animals each night. Of course we had to hurry and scoop it up before Jake destroyed them. We learned that on night 1.

15417955_676601898638_626842207_o

Usually I don’t buy pictures on our cruises because they can add up quickly, but I loved this one that the photographer snapped of us in the ocean at Half Moon Cay. <3

15397705_676601654128_411411643_o

I’m so proud of this one! I won this coveted plastic ship on a stick trophy at Friends Trivia. I got every question right, including the bonus points. This trophy is a long time coming because I was literally robbed of winning Friends Trivia on our last cruise. And I’m not being dramatic either lol. Another story for another blog…

 

 

an open letter to “that perfect mom”

an open letter to “that perfect mom”

Dear perfect stay-at-home-mom,

I see you everywhere. You are in the grocery store buying organic fruits and veggies to make your own baby food. You are putting together themed meals for your toddlers (who honestly can give two shits by the way). Your house is immaculate and perfectly decorated for each and every season (see Rebecca’s post on her love/hate for holiday decorating here). You show up to every school event and meeting with gluten free snacks that you “just whipped up”. You carry a 2” planner around to jot down every little thing about Sarah’s life. You are always in workout gear fresh from your morning exercise (probably drinking some nasty ass green protein shake) and are so proud to discuss your clean eating regime and which exercise will knock off the last bit of baby weight. And if you’re not in workout gear, you’re wearing monogrammed shit or you’re clad from head to toe in Lularoe, and probably have your daughter in a matching outfit that’s equally stylish. We all know someone like this, I like to call them “The Pinterest Moms”.

perfect mom
I wish I could have even a speck of my life together. But I don’t. I work part time evening hours in the busy emergency room that usually keeps me up late to wind down from after a shift. I am in nursing school which drains the life out of me with every class and study session I make it through. On top of those, I have two boys that have two different schedules of their own between First Grade and Preschool. A co-op preschool that requires a parent to volunteer in the classroom twice a month. And lest I forgot my husband who likes to have a hot meal when he gets home from his 12 hour long day (with a hectic commute from DC).

perfect mom
I want you to know that I do not hate moms like you. It’s not your fault you are perfect at everything you do…it’s just that I’m so IMPERFECT that I end up measuring myself against you! We are both just trying to do the best we can for our family, but why do I suck at it lately? You get picked for every field trip at school (and why not when all of the kids, moms and teachers love you!) while I am stuck missing out because I have to go take a test and can’t miss class. I don’t understand how you moms do this! How do you keep it all in check? And how do you make it look so effortless!? Are you a robot? When do you sleep? When do you Netflix? When do you have adult time with your friends? Maybe you don’t.

perfect mom

I’m concerned you are eventually going to run out of batteries. I was sitting at an important meeting at somebody’s school (can’t remember which child it was for…maybe I showed up to the wrong school lol) and I realized that it’s okay to not have it all together all the time. It’s okay to grab store bought snacks instead of having to make homemade cookies. It’s okay for my toddler to watch a few back to back cartoons so that I can squeeze in studying. It’s okay that there is a mess in the background of a perfectly timed picture. Because one day, when the chaos dies down, I’m going to look back at that picture and realize that while I didn’t have the house perfectly in order, or even a little bit in order…I was present in that moment and enjoying that little tiny window of time I had with my boy. That is what matters. Not the pile of shoes in the background by the front door.

 

I have to remind myself of this in the future when I feel myself turning into the green envious monster-mom. It’s okay that I don’t have it together right now. In reality you are probably feeling the same way about another mom, and might be trying to “keep up with (the Kardashians? Errr, I mean…) the Jones’” too. You don’t have to. We are all in this parenting thing together and it isn’t a competition. I feel very relieved realizing this now lol. It’s okay to not have it all together all of the time. Solidarity sister!

 

-Kim

clean that filthy grout!

clean that filthy grout!

When you have two kids, a dog, and a husband who acts like he still lives in a frat house (at least he’s cute)…your house get filthy. And your floors are the worst part. It always cracks me up (hah see what I did there?), and when I say ‘cracks me up’ I mean sob uncontrollably, when I look back at old pics from before we had kids…and even some when Owen was still a baby. The house was so clean! There wasn’t any clutter, everything was in it’s place. And then I realized it was because I actually had free time lol, I mean I literally cleaned a few times a week. Why the hell did I do that!? Life is too short to clean that often. And besides…I’m not cleaning until my kids move away to college. 

cleaningmeme

 

 Anyway….we had LVT flooring installed a few years back. If you don’t know what LVT is…I think it stands for  Luxury Vinyl Tile. It looks identical to ceramic tile, but it isn’t cold like ceramic and you won’t break a plate if it drops. Perfect for me because I drop shit alllll the time (plates, glasses, iphones, my pants, plans, babies…jk)!! The downside to any type of tile flooring is the grout. Eventually, it’s just going to get gross. We did get tinted grout, best decision I ever made. 

tilepost5

 

As you can tell, the grout is filthy. And I’m posting it for everyone to see. Typically I just wipe the floor on my hands and knees with hot water (like a little old cleaning lady) and either Mr Clean or the lemon scented Lysol, sometimes bleach water. It wasn’t doing the trick though with the grout. It still looked like the bottom of a Survivor contestants foot.  So I scoured my cabinets for some cleaners and scoured Pinterest and found an awesome Pinterest win! Toilet Bowl cleaner with bleach!! Why didn’t I think of this!? I buy this exact cleaner to clean my toilet anyway. Seemed like it was worth a shot. 

 

tilepost

 

I took it a few squares at a time and just used the spout to fill the grout lines.  Since we have tinted grout, I didn’t know if it would be possible to lightened it even more than the original tint, which I didn’t want to happen. I let it sit for a few minutes and then took an old handled scrub brush and scrubbed the grout lines up a bit. 

tilepost3

 

Then I just took a wet mop to get up all of the cleanser. This was the annoying part because you have to do it a few times since it is pretty concentrated. Well worth it though! 

tilepost2

 

LOOK HOW AMAZING! Literally looks brand new! You can really see the difference in this pic. And voila!!!

tiles

 

Kims Spaghetti Casserole

Kims Spaghetti Casserole

This recipe has been in my life since I was a teenager. A close friend of our family gifted it to me at my bridal shower and it’s been a staple in my repertoire ever since.  

It’s easy and is such a crowd pleaser! It isn’t vegan friendly but you could probably adjust the ingredients to suit your needs. Not only is this recipe amazing the first night…it’s even better as leftovers after the flavors get to know each other 😉

 

Baked Spaghetti Casserole      

 

  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1 package (16 oz) spaghetti
  • 1 jar meatless spaghetti sauce    (I use Traditional Prego)
  • 1 jar alfredo (I use 4-cheese alfredo)
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 5 tblsp butter, melted
  • 2 cups (16 oz) small curd cottage cheese
  • 4 cups (16 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

 

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce and seasoned salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, parmesan cheese and butter. Drain spaghetti, add to egg mixture and toss to coat.

Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a greased 13X9 inch baking dish.

s1

Top with half of the cottage cheese, meat sauce, alfredo and mozzarella cheese.

s3

Repeat layers.

s5

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

 

makes 8-10 servings.

Beginners Running

Beginners Running

I’m a self proclaimed “foodie”. Not the boojee kind of foodie though. I just like to eat…tacos, pizza, cheeseburgers, meatballs, spaghetti casserole (recipe coming soon!)…my all-time favorite is chips and dip recipes. The problem with my foodie trait is that most of the time I don’t burn enough of the calories to keep the muffin top down. That’s where I decided that I need to at least begin exercising. Then I can make the adjustments to my diet as I go. Since cardio is necessary to burn the fat…I thought running might be a good place to start. Couldn’t hurt right? I’ve heard so many people rave about the Couch to 5K program, and since my skin is practically fused to the couch it seemed like we would be a perfect fit!

c25k

So I downloaded the free app in the Apple app store and hopped on the treadmill. I’m assuming this is where “real runners” will want to click the X in the corner of the page…bear with me. There are supposedly two types of runners: treadmill and nature. I still haven’t decided where I fit yet. (Probably nowhere since the couch is my fortress lol). I think my first mistake was starting with a treadmill. I jumped on and clicked start on the app, it’s amazing because it literally takes you through step by step. When to run, when to walk. Even when to cool down. It is perfect for people like me who know they need to do something but aren’t quite sure what to do.

 

I made it through the first 2 days and then started having terrible knee pain in both knees. (see, I knew I wasn’t cut out for exercise) Just my luck. I finally found an exercise I actually liked doing and had to stop. The pain was unbearable. Sleeping was uncomfortable, every time I moved during the night I felt it. Walking down steps was worse, and looked ridiculous! I took to Google and found that it was most likely “runner’s knee”, a common problem with runners and that it could be caused by how I was running. It took weeks to go away, and you shouldn’t run while it’s healing either!

running meme

I asked around about what I could do to correct the problem and found that we have a local running store that will put you on a treadmill and watch how you are running! Then they are able to determine if there is anything you can do to fix it. Apparently my Nike running shoes didn’t offer enough support for my feet. So just because they say “running shoes” doesn’t necessarily mean they are good enough running shoes for your particular foot. So I highly suggest going to a local running shop and getting help with this purchase. It’ll save you money and potential injuries in the long run (hah, see what I did there?). At the shop they were able to help me find the right support for my foot and I ended up selecting these Saucony shoes. I wasn’t concerned with looks since these are strictly my running shoes, but they still had a pop of brightness to them so I was satisfied.

running

Now that I have my new running shoes, I’m going to attempt running outside. You know, in nature, not in the air conditioned gym. I’m still a beginner, I haven’t gotten to the point where I can run a solid 5k, but I’m a work in progress. The point is, I started.

 

I would love tips for beginners so feel free to leave them in comments below!

$400 on Meat

$400 on Meat

 

 

…so there we were, young and poor. Fresh into our marriage, ya know when you still fix yourself up a little bit before they get home (change out of pajama pants and into sweat pants)?

That fresh. We were about to take a road trip to visit family for the holidays. I was just finishing up last minute house cleaning, because if there’s anything I can’t stand it’s coming home to a dirty house, and there was a knock at the door.

Let me just pause right here and tell you that I HATE door sales(wo)men. And that is due to the fact that I.FALL.FOR.ANYTHING. I do. I can’t help but be suckered into a good sales pitch, I like to think I’m just very trusting to what people tell me. This is why I can’t bring myself to turn on QVS and HSN, buy all the things!! Scrub Daddy Sponge? Have one! And don’t get me started on the fitness equipment! (as a matter of fact… I DO have 5 minutes a day to get rock hard chiseled abs! Ordered!) So anyway…

I opened the door…and there he was. A MEAT SALESMEN! I felt a little bad for him, because he left the van running so he was probably turned down a lot. That’s when he asked if he could come in for a minute to do his demonstration (OMG!!!!….my own personal demonstration!?! Or was this about to be the last demonstration I would ever see…) Before I could decline the invitation of death, I heard myself, “sure! Come on in!”. (doh.) That’s when he opened THREE CASES of meat on my living room floor.

I could hardly contain myself. Steaks…Chicken..Salmon a plenty…(you want thing-a-ma-bobs? He’s got twenty.) He gave a very convincing argument about how if I were to purchase these meat packs in the grocery store I would be spending 4 times the amount that I would be if I just bought these cases of meat today. And why would he lie about that!? I mean who lies about meat. Not Shady McShady with the meat truck. No sir. So I asked him what the cost would be (to get him out of my house before I ended up in the back of his meat truck)..errr I mean so I could get back to cleaning. That’s when he proceeded to continue his very convincing argument on meat truck meat vs store bought meat, and very quickly slid in the $400 price tag (Brad would kill me.) “what. HOW MUCH?”. “”$400 ma’am..But you see…you get 3 cases of meat. And If you buy today, I will throw in two vacuum sealed racks of ribs.” It was at the exact moment that he said ribs that my eyes glazed over and I was sold. Brad can’t be mad at me after this…three cases of meat PLUS RIBS.

It’s practically un-American to be mad about free ribs. I wrote the check and got him out of my house. But then the door closed and I turned around to look at my meat filled living room. Where was I going to store all of this meat….and how was I going to tell Brad that I just spent $400 (that we legitimately didn’t have) on MEAT?!

I quickly worked up all the excitement I could so I could attempt to get him on board and then I gave him a call. I explained the whole deal and mid sales pitch he interjects “how much?” (-__-) “Well it was actually a steal because, like I said, we got THREE WHOLE CASES OF MEAT!! Plus ri-” “yeah yeah I know about the ribs…how much” “Well I wrote him a check for $400.” And then through gritted teeth he said, “get the check back NOW.” ::click:: (hmm…phone must have cut out.)

IMG_7535

Now that we are 8 years into our marriage I can say that was the first and only time he has ever hung up on me. I immediately grabbed meat truck man’s business card (since when do shady meat truck drivers get business cards?), luckily he was super cool about it and brought my check back and rolled out with his cases of meat like it was the walk of shame (Whew that was a close one.) I can only assume that meat buyers’ remorse happens a lot in his field of work.

 

Leave a comment below if you have any stories about Door to Door salesmen!

 

 

Affiliate Disclosure: We are grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases we will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links enables us to keep this website up and running. Thank you! 🙂
Kim’s Chicken and Shrimp Fried Rice

Kim’s Chicken and Shrimp Fried Rice

 

I seriously make this at least once a week in our house. We love it. Of course it isn’t the same as the yummy Japanese Hibachi restaurants…but nothing ever is. And the best part….it is insanely easy to make and pretty inexpensive!! All of the sauces can be bought in a traditional grocery store, I got them all in the international section at Food Lion. I’m sorry I don’t really have measurements, I just dump shit in and go with it…which is honestly how the best meals are made anyway.

First…marinate your chicken breast in teriyaki sauce for a few hours (or even the night before), I use this kind..

FullSizeRender-4

 

Meanwhile, pour your frozen shrimp into a bowl with cool water. I buy a bag of already cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp from the freezer section at Food Lion. I can usually catch a big bag of it on sale for $8.99. A big bag usually equals 2-3 batches too! Once the shrimp is thawed out I drain the water out and pull the tails off and put it back in the same bowl and pour some teriyaki sauce on top to marinate for a little bit.

FullSizeRender-10

Next…make the white rice. I just dump a bunch on the pot and pour water in and I use the old “fingertip measuring” (that sounds dirty). You could also use a rice cooker, but I don’t have one so whatever.

how-to-microwave-rice-recipe-4
Just the tip!

Back to the meat…in the winter I just cook it in the house on a grill pan, any other time I take it outside to the grill in order to cut down on the smell in my tiny house. Once it’s cooked, just cut it into a bunch of bite size pieces like this:

FullSizeRender-11

 

Now that most of the ingredients are prepped we can start frying…  Pour some vegetable oil in a pan and start cooking some cut up onions. Add some frozen peas and carrots (it’s up to you how much of these things you like in your fried rice…I love cooked onions so I use a whole onion in mine).  Once they’re mostly cooked I slide them to the side of the pan and add the scrambled eggs (2).

FullSizeRender-13

Next add the already cooked rice (here I used 2 cups of dry rice which equals about 4 cups of cooked rice) and a big ole hunk of butter (I use unsalted since its healthy lol)

FullSizeRender-1

Next I add a little bit of Sesame Seed Oil to add some more flavor…go light on this oil because it is very potent and too much of it is a bad idea. You can always add more later on if it isn’t enough for you.

FullSizeRender-8

Once the butter is mostly melted I add some shakes of this lite Soy sauce… (again there is no rhyme or reason in making this)

IMG_5073

 

 

Next I dump in the cut up cooked chicken and the cooked shrimp that has been marinating…I also add in some of the teriyaki sauce that I marinated them in…

FullSizeRender-9

Cover and let it cook for a few minutes so the shrimp heats up. And VOILA!!! Yumsies. Also I highly recommend adding some Yum Yum sauce once you put it in your bowl…

FullSizeRender-6

Bon Appetit!!

FullSizeRender-7

 

Affiliate Disclosure: We are grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases we will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links enables us to keep this website up and running. Thank you! 🙂
A Little Bit About Kim

A Little Bit About Kim

 

My name is Kim, I’m married to my wonderful husband Brad. He is an avid gamer and IT technician. So we have all the electronics covered. We have two little boys who couldn’t be more opposite!

My oldest, Owen, is 6 but acts as if he is 26. He is the intellectual type, and has the vocabulary to back it up. My youngest, Jake, is 3 and is basically The Hulk. He is extremely active and will find anything to climb. And if he can’t climb it (or break it)…he’ll eat it.

Mom and Owen
Owen and I on a walk

 

I work part-time at a hospital and I’m also studying to be a Nurse. My life can be very busy. Especially when I am mid-Netflix binge. I can’t even remember what it’s like to have a hobby because let’s face it, work, school, husband, kids and a house suck up all of my time. The little bit of time I do have is spent catching up on my array of shows and anything pop culture related (yes the Kardashians and just about all of the Real Housewives franchises are my guilty pleasure).

Jake and Mom
Jake and I being silly

I thought blogging would be a good outlet for me to share my love of decorating, cooking, Pinterest projects (and fails), tv/movie reviews, and most important…mom-ing. But this is REAL life mom-ing. Not the sugar-coated puppies and rainbows life. That’s not how I do it. I’ve caught vomit in my hands y’all!! Gotta save that rug. I’ll toss in some of our ridiculous and hilarious stories as well. And occasionally there will be colorful language, because you have to get it out somewhere and yelling obscenities at your kids is frowned upon…or so I hear.

 

Affiliate Disclosure: We are grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases we will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links enables us to keep this website up and running. Thank you! :)