Foodie Pen Pal- August

What’s better than bloggers, food and packages?

Nothing really!

So when I heard about a little something called Foodie Pen Pals, I jumped all over that sucker like students on Skittles. (Yes, apparently Skittles are back “in”. Who knew?) #lifeofateacher

Each month about a thousand bloggers particpate in this awesome activity sending “care” packages to someone they’re paired up with. There are even a few non-bloggers who have joined in the fun and use other methods of social media to share their thoughts on the trade each month. These “care” packages are typically in the form of goodies- like FOODIE GOODIES. Yum. The best part? You’re paired with someone different than the person that’s sending to YOU, so basically you get to meet 2 new bloggers each time you participate- the person you send to, and the person sending to you! This month I was sending to Connecticut and receiving from Georgia!

I was SO excited to receive my package from Elizabeth, at Mom’s Messy Desk.

She lives in Georgia, and although she’s my Southern neighbor to the North (if that makes sense ;)), Georgia still has SO much to offer in the way of foods, produce and culture. Yes, culture! When I travel to the Peach State, it really is a different world than this fast paced tropical city I live in. One of my favorite Georgia destinations is a little town called Blairsville. It’s about an hour northeast of Atlanta and we found it completely on a whim one winter when my mom got the itch to take a camping trip. We literally pulled up a map of Georgia, found some mountains and picked a city. Who knew it would become a place where we have vacationed in each year, and a destination that holds so many dear memories of my mother.

When I saw the box sitting on my porch, I almost tripped over the stairs from my excitement.

I was going to wait for Mr. KKM to get home so we could open it up together, but impatience won. Whoops.

I think I forgot to mention to the Mr. that it was addressed to the Garcia’s, not the Fields’. #unmarriedcoupleproblems

Check out all those goodies! Elizabeth hit the nail on the head. Those of you who know me know how much I LOVE tea. She also included some southern favorites like cheese straws and fried green tomato batter mix! My favorite part (aside from the tea) was the baggie of homemade cheese crackers. Holy yum. SO glad she included the recipe! Let’s not forget her favorite Luna bar flavor and MY favorite Kashi treat- malted milk bars. How did she know? Since Mr. KKM doesn’t like tomatoes, I ended up using the batter for onion rings and when he asked for seconds, I knew it was a hit!

Homemade crackers get Steph’s seal of approval!

Now, what could be more fun that receiving a package? Yup. GIVING a package! I had an absolute BALL choosing local items to ship waaaaaaaaay north to CT to my Foodie Pen Pal Chelsea. Check out her recap at her blog Yasha’s Crazy Life!

I cannot WAIT for my inbox to pop up with the September #foodiepenpal assignments. Where will I be shipping next? Stay tuned… ๐Ÿ˜‰ And thank you to Elizabeth for my fabulous care package!

Steph ๐Ÿ™‚

PS- Would you like to participate? It’s too late for September, but if you’d like to sign up for October, check out the information here at the Lindsay’s blogย  The Lean Green Bean


Modefit week 7: The week the #RNC crashed the party

It’s SOOOOO easy to skip a workout when nobody’s watching.

I’ve had my share of cutting miles, taking short cuts, and using weights a wee bit lighter than I know I’m capable of lifting when I know “big brother” isn’t around.

Hey, what can I say. Working out alone is NOT easy for some people. I like to think I’m pretty intrinsically motivated, but there are times when the lazy gene takes over and tells me to take the easy way out.

I live in Tampa. AKA Republican headquarters. That’s right. The #RNC is in town this week and because Chris, my trainer works out of a gym in downtown, he canceled sessions for this week. And rightfully so. Enduring checkpoints, dodging traffic and looking out for snipers would have been a workout on it’s own! He did give us the option to head out to Lakeland (about 30-40 minutes east of Tampa) to workout as his other location, but we opted to stay at home and go the solo route.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Working out with a trainer is a completely different experience than working out on your own (for me anyways). Hey; you might be a gym rockstar, able to lift, jump, push and burp with the same amount of force and effort that you would exert if someone was forcing guiding you. Not me.

However….. I did have someone to push through the home version of our Modelfit routine….

Yay Mr. KKM!

So, on Tuesday, for 45 minutes, we pushed, pulled, squatted, skipped, kicked, lunged, reached, deadbugged, stretched and ran through as many of the exercises we could remember.

It’s not a 65lb weight, but it’s all we had!

After the indoor workouts we hit the park behind the house for more. Have I mentioned how much I love having a park in the backyard?

In the end, we were a hot, sweaty, muddy mess! (the fields were a little damp, to say the least!). So CAN you get a good workout at home? Yes! Yes! Do I prefer working out with my trainer at a gym? YES YES YES!

Are you self-motivated or do you need that extra push? Do you prefer working out alone or with a group?


Sunday Six- 6 things that made my week super

Ok, so obviously I forgot to post a Friday Five, so here’s the next best thing… a Sunday Six! (School has started back up, by the way, so the word “forget” might make an appearance quite often on the blog….).

1. Modelfit week 7 and losing 2lbs! I’m down 19lbs now, and cannot WAIT to lose that last pound to round it off into a nice even 20! Mr. KKM is still going strong as well, kicking ass with the program (and totally showing me up on the dreaded bar).

2. Recieving (and sending) my very first #Foodiepenpal care package! Can’t wait to post all about it! Want to particpate next month? Check out all the information at the Lean Green Bean’s blog!

3. Meeting my new little darlings and not having to call them darlings in aย facetious way, as they really have been great so far!

Of course, although I love my new babies, I love the idea of enjoying a HURRICANE DAY TOMORROW! Woooo!

4. Run for the Fallen 5k race. Amazing cause (no one has a bib number- instead you’re running for a fallen Florida soldier), but an awfully disorganized race. I don’t think they expected 2,500+ people to register for this, as last year they had around 800 participants! Ah, well, lessons learned for next year I’m sure.

5. My adorable pottery creation. Have you been to You Do the Dishes? It’s a must if you’ve got a creative itch. Here’s a little something I made for my cereal lovin’ baby.

I only came to pick up my piece, but I was SO tempted to stay and paint (while sipping on a hot chai!)

6. Judygrams are up and running! Hope all of you participate int his Pay It Forward style activity that benefits cancer patients around the Tampa Bay Area.


Little Blog on the Prairie

I adore Mr.KKM, but sometimes when he thinks about me, he pictures Little House on the Prairie.

You see, we have lots in common, we’re super compatible, have passion, chemistry and common goals. But… he likes to think of me as “wholesome”. Now, I know some of you are reading this and rolling your eyes as you already know, very well, that I cuss, drink, and do other “not so wholesome” activities, but all of that is negated by the fact that I love farmer’s markets, paint your own pottery studios, tea rooms, blueberry pickin’ and other activities and establishments that have been deemed “wholesome, good ol’ fashioned fun” by my loving boyfriend. Now, don’t get me wrong, he would never lead me away from these activities, and encourages me (mostly because there’s good stuff in it for him, like blueberry pies!) to go out and DO these activities. He’s even partaken in some of these wholesome activities with me on occasion. That doesn’t, however, stop him from giving me a cute little grin and making his Little House on the Prairie references as I walk out the door. Brat. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today was one of those good ol’ fashioned, boot stompin’, bonnet wearing kind of packed full of wholesome days. The Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers group ventured east to Plant City to visit Xiomara at Parkesdale Farmer’s Market! I’ve been going to Parkesdale FOREVER, and love going there for fresh produce- especially in the fall when pumpkins are a’plenty and in the spring when strawberry shortcakes line people up around the building. I was so excited to learn that one of our TBLB lady’s was part of the family that owned this awesome market! She graciously offered to host our August meetup and I couldn’t wait to get out there and fill my shopping bags with all that wholesome freshness. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Xiomara was SUCH a fabulous hostess providing our hot, parched mouths with the #2 best drinkable dessert (according to Food Network)- their signature strawberry milkshakes.

Yes, yes, I’m a nail biter. Don’t hate.

Chrissy from http://chrissyscreativecreations.wordpress.com/

She also gifted us with THE most scrumptious strawberry preserves I’ve ever tasted. Good lawdy, this stuff is going on some toast at some point this week!

We took a tour of the market and learned some behind the scenes secrets of the ins and outs of the business. My favorite was when we learned the meaning behind this sign:

The only sticky fingers around these parts are from the shortcakes!

The other highlight of the trip was getting to meet some new bloggers that I’ve been following like Nanci and reconnecting with other blogging pals I’ve befriended this summer.

I left Parkesdale spending a whopping $21 and look at all that I scored!

Can you believe I got ALLLLL that for $21 dollars? Don’t believe me?

Told ya!

If you haven’t visited Parkesdale, they’re located off I-4, exit 17 (the same exit as Dinosaur world). Follow the signs leading to the market and get ready to get your shop on! Thanks again Xi! We had a great time!


PS- I was wrong. My boyfriend manfriend the man I’m in a committed, loving relationship with has told a hilarious joke that everyone but me thinks is just hilariously hilarious. There was a papa camel with two humps, a mama camel with one hump and they had a baby with no humps. Guess what they named him…… Humphrey. What do you think?


Modefit Week 6

Guess who joined me this week for my workout….

Yup! Mr. KKM is on board and ready to go! He won’t be sitting back giving me back rubs, starting up the jacuzzi or provide me with sighs of pity. We’re in it together and we’ll be wincing, whining and complaining in unison. It’s going to be fun, no doubt!

For his first run through, he did pretty well (nothing’s hotter than a dreamy guy doing a pushup, right?) ๐Ÿ˜‰ He squatted, pulled, pushed, stretched and lunged right along with me and had the sore muscles for days after to prove it.

I’m planning on doing my measurements this week, but I did weigh in on Friday and I’m down another 2 pounds! I’m almost to -20 lbs lost since I started in early July and hoping to hit that mark this week. Wish me luck!

Oh, and I added a Team Judy page to the blog! Making Strides (Jogging for Judy) 5k race is literally right around the corner. I’ve got LOTS to do including team member recruitment, shirt orders and a few other details. Check out the page and email me if you’d like to join, donate or place a shirt/tank order! It’s going to be an amazing time! You’ll also find a link to the Miles For Moffitt facebook page where there’s a video put together by Moffitt all about Team Judy! I was SO honored when I saw this! I know Team Judy will be doing so much more good in the future. My mom would be proud.

Do you work out with your significant other? Pros? Cons?

Talk soon,
Steph ๐Ÿ™‚


Chevy Go For The Gold Challenge

Sunday was awesome. I had been waiting for this event for a while now, ever since Caroline posted the information on Facebook. I jumped on the opportunity because it really sounded like something that could be a blast!

There were 4 teams and our team was made out of some of my pals and members of the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers group. Caroline, Genna, Jennifer, Kat and I made up team #TBLB. These ladies are pretty awesome, making this little adventure so much fun. Aside from the details above, we didn’t have a clue what to expect. We did, however, decide to do a sort of “uniform? for our little bloggers team and ended up wearing these, an awesome find by Caroline. Socks rule.

We ended up hitting 3 different locations, each with their own Olympic sport-centered challenge. The best part? We got a sweet ride to take us from place to place (which included a 30 minute drive to Pinellas!)

Oh yes, that’s a Cadillac Escalade. Fully loaded. Ready for the bloggers!

When we got to the starting location, Cinco Soccer, we took some pics, got acquainted, then hit the field for a match up against the other teams that were participating in the challenge as well.

From left to right: Kat, Caroline, Genna, Me & Jenn!

I had never, ever played soccer before, and pretty much just tried to keep the ball moving. It was hard, hot and fun! I have a new appreciation for the game, that’s for sure. ๐Ÿ˜‰ After came lunch sponsored by Fitlife foods. I had the performance chicken wrap with orange wedges that helped to cool me down. Seriously, we were melting out there! Oh, and can’t thank them enough for the ice cold water bottles!

Once we wrapped up lunch, we jumped in the Caddy and hit the road to destination #2. We were totally Big Pimpin’ through the streets of Tampa Bay in this sweet ride. My favorite? The cooling cup holders! Oh, and let’s not forget all the room in the way, way back row. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After lots of Cadillac shenanigans, including wayyy too much social networking (just search #ChevyGoForTheGold hash tag on twitter and get ready to do some eye rolling! Hey, they were giving extra points for it! We had to push it!) we got to location #2 which turned out to be a beach bar equipped with volleyball sand courts for us to get our volley on.

I hadn’t played volleyball probably since 10th grade, which was 5 years ago, so let’s just say I have a few finger bruises to show for my lack of skill. We totally didn’t get creamed though. 21-17! Woot!

We hopped back in the ride, and made our way back across the bridge (tweeting and facebooking all the way) until we arrived at our 3rd location, Stars Gymnastics! I had NO idea what kind of shenanigans we would get into, and I hoped it wouldn’t turn into having trade the caddy for an ambulance.

Once they busted out the ribbons, we knew it was on: floor routines!

We rocked it. Gold medal performance, fo sho.

Our last destination was back at Cinco, where we had to give up our sweet wheels. ๐Ÿ™ So sad to see it go! Maybe I can convince the man to buy me one for Christmas? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Awards were given out for MVPs of the day (go Caroline for getting the social media MVP prize!).

Oh, and guess which team won 2nd place? Yup. We did. We rule. (well, so does the other team that got 2nd, but hooray for ties!).

I had a BLAST at this event, and can’t wait to do more! Go Chevy! Go Fitlife foods! Go team Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers! Wanna see more? Like GM in the Southeast on Facebook for pics and videos of all of our adventures! Hot damn, I hope they made my bootie look good!



Friday 5- Five things that made my week fabulous

1. Finding these double sided shower curtain hooks. Really? Really? Where the heck have you been all my life?! Nothing is more frustrating that hanging up new a curtain/liner and trying not to crash face first into the tub.

Business in the back, party in the front! $6.99 at Target.

Oh and buh bye 1940’s shower head!

2. Adopting our new little catty Junior Mint. He’s finally out of hiding and sniffing George!

3. Getting myself in gear for back to school. I’m the science department head for my school and have lots of great ideas on how make science the best that it can be at my school! Excited!

4. This picture and how I totally DID look like this at Modelfit week 5, when Chris made me do these plank things and my ass was sticking up in the air like so:


5. KitchenKM was nominated for the Beautiful Blogger award! Thank you Nanci!

Here are the rules:
Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and post it in your post.
Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
Tell all of us seven things about yourself.
Nominate seven other bloggers and comment on their page to let them know.

Here are seven things about myself:

1. I’m deathly afraid of deep water and chewed bubble gum. Keep me on the shore and don’t twirl your gum around me! Ick!
2. I stuck a bunch of pennies up my nose when I was 8, just to see what it would look like in the mirror. Most of them got stuck, and I got punished.
3. I’m was and am a big fan of Color Me Badd. “Tick tock, you don’t stop! Tick tock, you don’t stop! oooooOOOOOooooo!”
4. I panicked when I broke the lock of my parent’s RV on one of our (Mr. KKM and I) first few dates. Don’t ask why we were in there.
5. I hate cats. Until I fell in love with little Georgie Porgie.
6. One time I was at a party and had to “go to the bathroom”. There was no TP and nobody heard my yells. That family had one less washcloth in their stash.
7. I can eat fresh cherries until I’m ill and my fingernails are stained purple.

And now, here are my seven nominees:

Krissy and the city

Gluten free with Lauren Marie

Delicious Fitness

Marry Me Tampa Bay

Words to Run By

The Wannabe Athlete


What’s made you have an *oh so awesome*week this week?


A hateful post

I’m watching an episode of Paula Dean right now, and she’s makingย  an orzo salad.

In the beginning, it looked pretty darn yummy. Lots of veggies, Asian seasonings, slivered almonds, chicken breast. Something I could definitely get on board with. Until she added the water chestnuts.

Oh good lawdy water chestnuts. Disgusting!

As much as I preach about my distaste for picky eaters (yet I’m in love with one!), there are some foods on my own personal picky list that turn my stomach. I, for the most part, will try almost anything before declaring official hatred, with the exception of things like insects, or the like. I’m sure little critters have their place in the culinary world, but I won’t be chomping down on chocolate covered grasshoppers anytime soon. All buggin’ aside, here’s my current foodie “hate” list, in no particular order:

10. Water Chestnuts. Yup, the above mentioned corm, or plant stem, is not for me. Although the flavor is pretty mild, I cannot get passed the texture. Please don’t ruin spinach dips with these waxy little plastic tasting discs. Thanks.

9. Corned beef hash. The closest thing to human dog food in my book.

8. Canned soup. I’m not a big fan of soups in general, but canned soups make me want to hurl. Sorry Campbells!

7. Whole milk. Skim, all the way. Maybe 1%, but any more than that is pushing it!

6. Head cheese. I have literally been in line at the Publix deli with some sick bastard ordering this horrible concoction ahead of me and I made the person waiting on me use a different machine for my meat as to not taint it with the nastiness that is head cheese.

5. Cottage cheese. I’ll use it in recipes, but will never voluntarily sit down and eat a bowl of this lumpy white “stuff”. Even with fruit or some other topping. Ick!

4. Pearl onions. Especially jarred. I love onions, but the eyeball-y texture of these little spheres of doom just put me over the edge.

3. Organ meats. My grandparents would speak of the Great Depression and how organ meats (think liver and brain!) would be staples in their households. No, no, no!

2. Star anise. This Cuban cure for stomachaches would give me stomachaches. To this day the smell can cause dangerous levels of Stephnausea (yes, that’s a real word).

1. Brussel sprouts. I attended a private, very strict school for the first three years of my education. One day for lunch brussel sprouts were served. I took one bite of these nasty little smelly green brain shaped balls and spit it out with disgust. I missed recess that day because lunch rules said all children had to clean their plates. Screw that. And don’t tell me how delish they are roasted. Thanks, but no thanks!

So spill it. What’s on your foodie hate list?


Sulphur Springs Pool

I know I know. Just wait a sec. I know any Tampa natives reading this post are all cringing in unison. Give me a chance to explain.

When I moved to Seminole Heights last winter, I really didn’t have swimming on the brain. But as summer approached, the though of driving to my usual pool in SOG (South of Gandy), Bobby Hicks, just seemed daunting. Especially if I wanted to swim regularly. Another pool that I had frequented was Brandon Aquatics off 60. Another long trek just a for an hour or so worth of time. As the summer progressed on I decided that I would start exploring some of the pools locally, and see what the new neighborhood had to offer.

As I began to research I found that most of Tampa’s public city pools are in, well, undesirable areas (meaning low income, high crime, and even poverty stricken in some cases), deterring most people from even attempting to leave their cars parked in the lot, much less swim. With blinders on, and an open mind, Mr. KKM and I decided to start our own little adventure checking out some of these pools to see if we could find somewhat of a hidden nearby gem.

We started with the closest of them, Sulphur Springs. At less than a 5 minute drive from the house, this pool would be the perfect place for me to get some laps in more frequently, without having to grumpily drive much too far than I typically feel like driving. The pool is located right off Nebraska, a little south of Bird Street. There’s a big, tall abandoned building off the Bird Street exit that you can see from I-275. The pool is right next to that building, adjacent to the Hillsborough River.

Source, Foursquare- they do have lane dividers, just not pictured in this particular photograph.

At one point, right at the river’s edge, there was an actual spring called Sulphur Springs that was attached to the river and would act as a natural pool. I remember my grandparents telling stories about taking the kids to the spring back in the early days of Tampa and how beautiful it was. You’re still able to see the spring area, and although it’s been closed for many years now (due to high fecal content), you can appreciate the old beauty it still retains. The entire area is picturesque with marble gazebos, winding paths and picnic tables sprinkled in the park attached to the public pool.

Source, www.atticpostcards.com

Before paying our $4 entry fee, I asked if I could go take a look around. The lifeguards were quick to agree and showed me the pool deck area, lap lanes and other amenities that the Sulphur Springs pool has to offer. I was very impressed with the cleanliness! The pool was sparkling, the deck was immaculate, and the pool came equipped with slides, sprinkle areas, and even a large concrete umbrella in the middle of the wading area for some shade. I scurried back to the truck to grab Brian and within minutes we had signed our paperwork (liability, etc.), and were slapping on sunscreen ready to get our swim on.

Source, grandmasunday.blogspot.com

Although the pool is very nice, there are only 5 lanes, which were all taken when we initially jumped in. After 10 minutes or so, one opened up, so we swam under the ropes and shared. The lane goes from 4ft at one end to 7ft at the other, and they’re 25yds in distance. That’s fine by me because although I’ve swum in the 50yd lanes before, it’s quite tiring for this newbie. I forgot to bring my kickboard, but the pool offers some to borrow, and my Aquagear Speedo swim goggles were just as awesome in the chlorine as they were in the salt! Love those things! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The overall pool environment was quiet, even when the kiddie areas opened up at 1. From 10:30-1:00 only the lap areas are open, so anyone can enjoy a nice quiet workout without worrying about any distractions.

Will I be back? You betcha. I purchased my pass ($15!) and will be swimming much more now that I have a pool so close by. I made sure to talk to the lifeguards on duty, and a few of the moms that were there as their kids took swim lessons to make myself known as a potential regular. No matter whatย  kind neighborhood you’re in, if you’re friendly and get to know people, you’ll fit in just fine.

I swam under 1000 yards today, mostly because I was getting tired out (my muscles are still achy from that damn death sentence medicine ball workout the other day), and I really wanted to sit under that umbrella a bit. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I still haveย  week off next week so I’ll be headed back, no doubt.

What’s your favorite pool in the Tampa Bay area? Any other locations I should try out?


I hate medicine balls, I mean Modelfit week 4

Whatever rat bastard decided to create a super heavy, dead-weight type of “ball” with the sick and twisted mind to make it look like a basketball should be hit in the face with his own creation. I say his because no woman would invent such a torture device.

Ok, I’m done. But all kidding aside, tonight’s workout was a killer. And from what I understand, it’s going to keep getting harder and more challenging as we get stronger and more capable. Dammit.

Although during today’s workout, and about an hour after I got home, I totally wanted to puke. I guess that’s the sign of a good, hard beating workout.


Ah, what a lovely bib of sweat. Towel anyone?


Here’s where I wanted to vomit. For real.

Next week I’ll do my measurements again, but I am noticing some changes in how my clothes are fitting, which prompted me to purge my closet and drawers of ANYTHING that was a size bigger than what I’m currently wearing now. I also saw a dip in the weight! My week 3 weigh in was 291. This week? 287. That’s -15lbs lost! It’s motivating to see changes, and keeps me going, no doubt.

My eating has been pretty good, trying out new recipes, products and such. I’m LOVING coconut oil and coconut flour! Such a great change from olive oil. I like the flavor it gives to most foods, especially when used with seafood or baked goods.

I’m really happy with the overall program and the goals I’ve been meeting. I’m definitely feeling like it’s doable, fits into my lifestyle and is worth it. I mean 15lbs in 4 weeks? That’s definitely progress worth smiling about. With that said, if you’re interested in getting involved with the program, either directly with Chris, the trainer, or at home, start here at the Modelfit website! Once you get here, do something looking around, then head over to the Forum. Go ahead and make an account (it’s free), and start exploring the forum. You’ll find others sharing tips, questions, recipes and more. It’s a great place to start networking with like-minded individuals and see what the Modelfit is all about!

I’m giving away some samples of Drink Chia! and Virgin Coconut oil over at the forum, so if you’d like to win some awesome new products to try in your kitchen, check out Modelfit now, join and get started!

Talk soon,
Steph ๐Ÿ™‚