Maine, NaBloPoMo, Uncategorized, Vacation

The Best Things to Do In Maine

One of the things COVID robbed me of this year was my annual trip to Maine. Whether it was a weekend away with Mr. KK, a beach house for me, Little Mister and Mr. KK, or our big family vacation in either Wells, Kennebunkport or York Beach, we always found ourselves up north along the Maine coast. And boy, did I miss going to my Happy Place this year.

So, in honor of the vacation that didn’t happen, I compiled my favorite things to do and places to visit in Maine.

Best Things to Do in the Southern Coast of Maine

Go to the Beach

Every beach in Maine is gorgeous. The sand is soft and the water is cool, with just the right amount of waves. We particularly love the beaches in South Portland and Cape Elizabeth, where we’ve spent most of our time.

Eat Lobstah

The best lobster roll in Maine from Bite Into Maine food truck in Cape Elizabeth.

There is no shortage of lobster in Maine. Whether you want fresh steamed lobster, a famous lobster roll, or want to experience life on a working lobster boat, Maine has it all. We love the Lucky Catch Cruises lobster tours, and even Little Mister loved heading out to sea and helping pull up the lobster traps and holding a starfish right in his hand. Lobster is priced right all along the coast, and you can buy lobsters right from the fishermen and some will even steam it for you. My favorite way to enjoy lobster is in a lobster roll, and the best lobster roll in Maine is by far from the Bite Into Maine food truck that parks at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. It is filled with fresh lobster meat (big chunks, not shredded pieces), just enough mayo on a toasted bun. Perfection!

Have Dinner and Walk the Rocks at The Lobster Shack at Two Lights

Mr. KK and Little Mister exploring the rocks one summer.

This institution definitely fills up with tourists during the summer, but the view and atmosphere can’t be beat. The Lobster Shack at Two Lights is an outdoor, BYOB restaurant set on gorgeous rocks over the Atlantic Ocean. Is it the best seafood in Maine? Nope. But when you pair the view with your own cooler of beverages and some fried scallops and shrimp does it feel like quintessential Maine? You betcha.

Eat Like a Local

I mentioned in my post about pimento cheese that Scratch Baking in South Portland makes the best. I literally lived on this and some of Maine’s best beer for a week straight. And it was awesome. A must-try when you’re in the area. And the baked goods are pretty amazing too.

Explore a Lighthouse…or Five

Portland Headlight in Cape Elizabeth.

There is no shortage of lighthouses in Maine. Visiting one is just something you do when you’re there. My favorite way to view them is by relaxing on a boat ride while a native Main-ah shares the history of the light house, the coast and sea.

See a Sunset

The fishing huts at Willard Beach in South Portland.

Whether you’re on a beach, at a restaurant or on a boat, you will see some of the best sunsets on the Maine Coast. Golds, pinks and yellows paint the sky. And if you’re an early riser, the sunrises aren’t so bad either.

Get Your Craft Beer On

On one of our trips to Portland with the Little Mister, we thought we’d hit a brewery one afternoon. After a morning at the beach our Little Mister was exhausted, and he fell asleep on the short 10 minute drive from our beach house to the brewery! And since you NEVER wake a sleeping child, Mr. KK and I backed our car up against the patio and took turns going in to have a beer. One person would drink their beer right at the patio where the car was parked, while the other person stood next the car chatting with them while they drank. And then we would switch. Ah, parenthood!

The number of breweries in Portland alone is astounding. You can brew hop all day and still not hit all of them. We’re bit IPA fans (the hoppier and hazier the better!), and some of our favorites are Bissell Brothers and Goodfire Brewing. Bring a cooler so you can bring some home.

Rent a House and Relax

Our most relaxing vacations have been on the coast of Maine. There’s just something in the air, the laid back attitude of the locals and the amazing cuisine. Falling asleep to the sound of the ocean, and having a little chill in the air at night after a warm summer day. I really missed being at a beach house this year with our family, cooking up dinners, mixing up cocktails and playing games. Fingers crossed we make it next year.

There is truly something magical about Maine. I can’t wait to go back and do some of my favorite things.

Kids will be kids, Little Mister, NaBloPoMo, Uncategorized

Overheard in the KK Household: 2020 Version

As a five year old, our child was rather entertaining. Add 2 dogs, a pandemic and general stir craziness, and who knows what’s going to come out of everyone’s mouths.

If someone were a fly on the wall in our house, boy would he get an earful! At any given time, you would hear any of the following:

Little Mister: “Wow, Dad! You were able to pick up Mom without hurting your back!” After Mr. KK hugged me, then squeezed and lifted me off the ground. Thanks, kid.

“No, we don’t kiss with our teeth.” Me, to Bruno, after he lick-bit my nose.

“Wait, is that poop? It looks like poop. Why is there poop? Can you pick it up and smell it?” Me, to Mr. KK, after seeing something brown and suspicious on the floor.

“I’m not very happy with you right now.” Little Mister, to me, about 25 times a day.

“Do you smell that? Was that you?” Me, to any one of the humans or dogs living in my house.

“Ugh, another hug? All you want is hugs.” Little Mister, eye rolling until it hurts, to both of us, constantly.

“Wow, Mom, this is a really good dinner.” Little Mister to me, complimenting my exquisite grilled cheese cooking skills. (Something I do “right”!)

Me: “The rules of the game say that the youngest player goes first, and then next youngest to oldest.” Little Mister: “So it’s me, then Mommy, then Daddy.” Incorrect, but God love ya and I’ll milk it as long as I can.

And bonus point if you’re playing at home for every time you hear an “UGH!” and “Moooooom!” and “That’s not fair!”

clothing, NaBloPoMo, shopping, Target, Uncategorized, wfh, work

Your Guide to Your WFH Wardrobe

Let’s be real, the minute we all started working from home, our wardrobe went downhill. If you had previously worked from home pre-pandemic like I did, you likely had already developed comfortable work from home attire. However, it’s possible even your casual WFH clothing started to deteriorate, along with your sanity.

There are 3 stages to the WFH Wardrobe:

Newly Working From Home. At this stage, you are putting in some effort! Possibly jeans or casual dress, a nicer top with statement jewelry for the ladies or a button down for the men. Daily shower. Perfume or cologne.

Working from Home, 3 Months In. You are up and dressed today! Still casual, but leggings have replaced the jeans (buttons? on your waist? this isn’t a prom, people!) Gone are the jewelry and cute/button down tops, replaced with t-shirts and athleisure (I love that this is a term!). Hair is in a ponytail and you likely showered within the last 36 hours.

Working from Home, 6 Months In. Do I have any video meetings today? No? Feejays and a fleece it is! Or possibly your workout gear from the morning, sweat included. Bonus points if you change out of both your pajama tops AND bottoms.

If nothing else, you likely saved some money on your spring/summer/fall wardrobes this year. I know that when I changed over my closet to my summer clothes 80% of them went unworn. Oh, well, there’s always 2022.

If you’re like me, you needed to buy a few key pieces – not because you needed them, but because having new clothes for a new season just makes you feel good. And who couldn’t use a little more “feel good” this year?

I’m very public about my love affair with Target. And this year, when it came to my casual WFH wardrobe, Target didn’t disappoint. With every retailer shifting their summer and fall lines to have more “cozy chic” options (let’s face it, no one is putting on a rayon dress or stilettos right now), Target was on point with their wardrobe staples.

7 Items You Need to Buy From Target Right Now

I love every one of these items and could not recommend them more. I also think I have a slight addiction to camouflage.
(NOTE: camouflage items should NOT be worn together. Ever.)

Universal Thread Camo Sweatshirt.

This camo sweatshirt can be dressed up or down! (Hahahaha, who am I kidding? Who is dressing up a sweatshirt right now?) This literally goes with anything. Your jeans and Uggs need this sweatshirt.

Universal Thread Camo Joggers

Hey, what do you know, more camo! These joggers are perfect for those days that you don’t have any clean leggings, and you’re feeling like you’re better than pajama bottoms.

Universal Thread Flannel Button Down

When you need a break from camo, this flannel shirt is perfect. I love it with leggings and tall boots. Warning: you might feel you need to hit up a brewery for some outside drinking when you wear this, so plan for a day of no meetings!

A New Day Turtleneck Pullover Sweater

A girl can never have too many ponchos, that’s what I always say. Surprisingly, I didn’t have a black one (though I have about 3 cream colored ones), so this black turtleneck poncho was perfect. It goes with jeans, leggings and everything in between.

Mad Love Kasandra Slip on Sneakers

Bring on the camo footwear! These little slip on sneakers go with anything (except more camo). But, if you’re like me and your entire wardrobe is black and gray, you’re golden!

A New Day Open Front Cardigan

As much as I detest the phrase coatigan, that’s essential what this little number is. This cardigan is part coat, part cardigan and 100% cozy. It’s the perfect thing to throw on when it’s chilly out and you’re too cheap it’s too early to turn on the heat. If you live in a city and you have to run to corner bodegas or down to get your mail, this is what you would wear.

Universal Thread High Rise Skinny Cropped Jeans

(Please – for all that is holy – pretend this model isn’t wearing these shoes with these pants.) Back to camo! I used to think I hated high wasted jeans and couldn’t wear skinny jeans. Well, these high rise jeans proved me wrong. They are SO comfy and stretchy and fit perfectly. And, these jeans are suitable for those WFH days when you’re feeling a little too fancy for yoga pants.

Each one of these items is in rotation in my WFH wardrobe. Paired with my other wardrobe staples: dark denim, black leggings, high top sneakers, tall boots and gray long sleeved tops, I can mix and match until my heart’s content. Plus, I can be incognito on my video calls wearing my camo!

Bruno, dogs, NaBloPoMo, Pandemic, Rocco, Uncategorized

Getting a Dog During the Pandemic

“We never leave the house!” we said.

“We’ll have so much time to train him!” we thought.

“The new dog will keep Rocco company!” we hoped.


Meet: Bruno.

Gate Houdini. Toy stealer. Chewer of everything.

We are a rescue family. Rocco was rescued last March at 4 months old, and we wanted to do the same for our second dog. Bruno was rescued in July at just 9 weeks old! They said he was a “doxie mix”, and he was available with his litter mates: two sisters, one who was black and brown like he was (but smaller) and one who was completely tan. That, in itself, was a little suspicious. When we arrived at the shelter he was alone, his sisters had already been adopted earlier in the day. He was sleeping peacefully outside, his little round, pink belly rising and falling with each breath. I picked him up and inhaled his puppy smell. Is there anything better than new puppy smell? Probably second only to new baby smell.

We left with “Dallas” as he was named, and the entire ride home, as he slept in my arms, I whispered into his soft, floppy ear: “You are Bruno. Bruno. Bruno.”

Bruno was a surprise for our Little Mister who had NO IDEA we were bringing home a dog. You know who else was surprised? Rocco.

It’s amazing how quickly you forget what house training a puppy is like, even if you just did a year earlier. And, we were right in assuming it would be easier since we were home all the time. But still, house training is exhausting! But my Type A personality ensured we only had a handful of accidents in the house as I watched Bruno like a hawk. The minute he looked suspicious, he went outside!

And, Bruno won himself some bonus points for sleeping through the night in his crate from night one with no crying. He will fit right in here with that kind of behavior.

Rocco and Bruno are still trying to figure out their place with each other. When we first brought Bruno home, he and Rocco (who is full grown) were almost the same size, Bruno being 8 pounds to Rocco’s 10. But any size advantage Rocco had quickly diminished when Bruno started gaining a pound a week. He quickly was taller (and stronger) than Rocco, though he was still a clumsy puppy so Rocco was able to push him around. They spent quite a bit of time wrestling (and still do!), though their interactions have grown louder. And Bruno has become bolder. And Rocco spends a lot of time hiding under chairs.

Rocco – who at the tender age of 2 – is like a grumpy old man. He’s possessive of Little Mister, and getting attention. And most of the time he just wants to be left alone. Bruno – who can’t take a hint – constantly wants to play so he bites at Rocco’s rear end and tail, nudges him off a bed, steals any toy he’s playing with. Basically, he’s an annoying little bratty brother.

Do I love that we have gates up all over the house to contain him until we can trust him? No.

Does leaving a room or going outside cause more drama than we’d like? Yep.

Do we need to each “take a dog” at certain times to keep peace in our house? Oh yeah.

When someone comes in the house does mayhem ensue? For sure.

Is Bruno wiggling his way into our hearts? Absolutely.

When you talk to Bruno, he looks right into your eyes and tilts his head, as if he’s trying to understand what you’re saying to him. Our old dog Vito used to do that, too. Vito was part human, I think.

Bruno is working on learning his commands and how to be a good doggie and a respectful member of our family. He’s scared of strangers and gets nervous in new situations. “You have to socialize him!” the vet said. Well, Dr., I haven’t socialized myself in the last 8 months, let along a dog!

But we’re working on it! Today was a test run at doggie daycare for Bruno. And we didn’t get a call to pick him up 20 minutes after we dropped him off, so to me, that’s a success. Plus, the only other dog there was about 5 pounds and Bruno still behaved himself. Extra treats for him tonight for not eating another dog today!

It’s been 4 months and we sort of hoped that Rocco and Bruno would be besties by now. Spoiler alert: that is not the case. They currently tolerate each other. (Correction: Rocco tolerates Bruno and Bruno annoys Rocco.)

Hopefully things calm down in the KK household soon. And Bruno doesn’t take down our Christmas tree (which is grounds for dismissal, btw).

He’s not a snuggler, or a kisser. But he does like to hog the couch. He’s a little kooky and quirky. But he’s all ours.

You can follow Rocco and Bruno’s shenanigans on Instagram!

NaBloPoMo, politics, Uncategorized

The Election that Made History

I am the least political person on the planet. I don’t talk about politics, I don’t post about politics and I don’t read about politics. However, even a politics-phobe like me could not escape this year’s election.

I was proud to hear more Americans voted in this election than any other. If there was ever an election that needed all the votes possible, it was this one.

Last week, I was explaining to the Little Mister why he didn’t have school on Tuesday.

“It’s election day,” I told him. “A day that America votes on who will be the next President.”

“What’s a President?”

“The President is the person who is in charge of our country. The man who is currently the President is competing against another man who wants the job.” I explained.

“Why does that other man want the Leader’s job?” he asked.

“The new man wants to be in charge so he can make changes and make our country better.”

“Why do you want him to win?”

“Well,” I explained, “The man who is currently the President isn’t nice person.”

“Is he rude?” Little Mister asked.

“Yes. He also makes fun of people and calls them names.”

“Well that’s not very nice,” Little Mister said matter-of-factly.

“No, it isn’t. The new guy who wants to win is much nicer.”

“I want the nice guy to win,” Little Mister told me.

“Me too,” I agreed.

Leave it to a 6 year old to put things in perspective.

Now that we have the results of the election after a nail-biting 4 days after the votes were in, it’s amazing the change I’m seeing in the world. First, on the day they announced the who the President would be, the weather was gorgeous in New England (hello, 75 degrees in November!). Second, the tone and mood of my social feeds went from one of anxiety, anger and maliciousness, to one of hope, happiness and inspiration. Gone were the rants and name calling. Instead, my feed was filled with photos of sunsets and smiles, celebrations and champagne.

And third, something finally shut up the current President.

And, it turns out, the nice guy did win. And with him comes a female Vice President. Will they solve all the problems of the world? Probably not. Will they make mistakes? You betcha. But will they be strong leaders who fight the good fight and protect our country? I really think so.

Here’s to change for the good.

Entertaining, Pandemic, Uncategorized

Entertaining: 2020 style

I LOVE to entertain. When we bought our house and gutted renovated it, we opened up all the walls to create one big kitchen/dining/living room area that was conducive to gatherings.

During “normal” times, when Mr. KK and I were preparing to entertain, it could be an all day affair getting ready. From planning to shopping, by the time our event rolled around, we were exhausted! But, oh! How times have changed.

Our Pre-Pandemic Entertaining Checklist looked like this:

• Clean house top to bottom
• Plan out a food menu (usually a theme)
• Plan out drink menu (possibly with a specialty drink)
• Prepare food all day
• Set table, clean glassware
• Light candles around the house
• Create music playlist
• Get dolled up
• Send the dog (and sometimes child!) out for the night
• Run around like a madwoman the entire event

Once lockdown was instituted, we had to get creative in order to see our family, socially distanced and outside. The first 45 days of the pandemic the only way we say our parents was on video chat. But when the weather started getting warmer, we created a safe “party” environment outside.

First, chairs were moved to be a respectable distance apart.

Second, everyone brought their own drinks and snacks.

Third, do you best to resist hugs from the Little Mister.

Based on the above, our Pandemic Entertaining Checklist looked like this:

• Blow off patio
• Pull up takeout menus on our phones

I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed get togethers more than I have this year! No stress, no running around, no prep.

I could get used to this!

Happy Friday!


2020: You STINK.

Well, we made it.

This was the one year that my fingers itched to write a blog post outside of the month of November. But I held fast to tradition – and waited – so here you have it: 30 posts in 30 days.

This sh*tshow known as 2020 has taken its toll on everyone. As I share our ‘pandemic life’ and what the last 8 months have been like, please know that I am very thankful that our lives have more or less stayed pretty close to “normal”. I know others have not been as lucky, as the economy took a nose dive and essential workers had no choice but to leave the house every day, possibly risking their lives (and their family’s lives). I share my stories (and complaining!) with the understanding that we have been very fortunate. But come on, you can’t make this sh*t up!

Let’s kick of the month like we always do with a recap of the year thus far:

January. Did January even happen? If I could go back and talk to January KK, I likely would say something like this: “I know it’s cold, girlfriend, but get your ass out and DO something. GO somewhere. Take your time walking the aisles at Target. Remember how good you felt the day after your hair appointment. Savor that restaurant meal. Find extra time to be alone…TRUST ME.”

February. In what can only be described as pure luck, Mr. KK and I flew down to Charleston for a long weekend getaway with friends. It was a last-minute trip with expiring air miles, but so, so much fun. Great food, great drinks and great weather. And THANK GOD we went. (I seem to remember purchasing anit-bacterial wipes in the airport to wipe down the seats and tray tables on the plane because maybe I had heard inklings about something going on in China?)

Oh, Charleston, had we only known you’d be our only trip this year.

March. The beginning of the madness. We started the month with our Little Mister having his first stomach bug. (Want to know an easy way to clean vomit out of every crevasse in your backseat of your car, carseat and floor mats? Yeah, me too.) The end of the second week was the beginning of the end (as we knew it).

Suddenly we found ourselves all home, all day. I have always worked from home, but now Mr. KK was a remote worker, so we set up a make shift desk for him in the kitchen. While the Little Mister’s daycare didn’t close, we chose to not send him. We quarantined away from our parents (and in doing so, our babysitters!). Those first weeks were filled with uncertainty: How long will this last? Will our family get sick? Is 2pm too early to start drinking?

I had always said that March was the longest month, but 2020 gave new meaning to that phrase.

April. If March was the longest month, April felt like an eternity. We were deep in isolation, not leaving the house for anything. The weather was getting better, but it still wasn’t warm enough to really spend time outside. I hadn’t gone to the grocery store since mid March (a favorite activity of mine), and was relying on grocery delivery services. There was a paper towel and toilet paper shortage. It was hard to find the usual items we liked from the stores. Grocery store shelves were bare. It felt like Armageddon. I celebrated my birthday in quarantine, on a family video call, with a cake delivered to our garage by my mother-in-law.

Do birthdays count during a pandemic? Or will I come out of this the same age as when I went in?

May. I had to cancel our trip to Mexico at an adults only resort, celebrating our 15 year anniversary. I mean, COME ON, 2020. (But we did get all of our money back, thankfully.)

June. I lost my grandmother early in the month. She was 99, and had lived alone until February of this year, when she moved into a nursing home. Her health started to decline and she slept a lot. Some days she’d have moments when she would wake up feisty as ever, and others she was talking to people in her room who had been dead for decades. When the pandemic hit in March, visitors were no longer allowed to see her. Thankfully my aunt – my grandmother’s daughter – worked at the facility so she was able to visit with her and give us reports. On days when my grandmother was lucid, did she wonder where we were? And why we stopped visiting her? It was heartbreaking to think about, and deep down I knew that I would never see her alive again. Then, in June, she passed away. While her health had been failing, she did have to go on oxygen. And her posthumous COVID test was positive.

Me and Gram.

July. Oh, July was fun. I got Lyme from a tick bite. I couldn’t go in the sun for weeks with the antibiotics I was taking. So on top of not being able to go anywhere or do anything because of the pandemic, I couldn’t even do the only thing we were able to do in isolation: be outside at our parents’ pools.

In better news, we added to our family! When things are crazy, why not get a pandemic puppy! Meet Bruno! He is slowly finding his place in our family, and Rocco is (even more slowly) starting to accept that he’s not going anywhere. Our “doxie mix” puppy is 24 pounds at 6 months! He’s like a small horse.

August. Happy 15th Anniversary to Mr. KK! We didn’t get to go to Mexico, but we did get to enjoy lobster rolls outside in the rain (even if we were wearing masks and I was nervous the whole time). Also? We cancelled our big family vacation to Maine with our parents. Hey, that just means more time at home! Awesome.

Yay! Lobsters rolls in the rain! I feel just like we’re on a secluded beach in Mexico!

September. Oh hooray, school. Let’s add some more difficult decisions into this year. In school. Remote. Hybrid. I was exhausted from the school year before it even started. What a way to start kindergarten. This was supposed to be a year of making friends, learning to share, and getting your feet wet with what this whole school thing was about. We chose to do remote learning with our Little Mister, because we had the ability to do so. We set up a little classroom at his grandmother’s house and we alternate sitting with him each day. Having this remote learning opportunity has taught me two things: 1. I could never, ever be a teacher. Ever. 2. It is amazing to witness your child learning. Not just having them come home and tell you what they did (though getting that info is like pulling teeth), but instead, watching their faces as the teacher is talking and actually seeing it “click”. Pretty amazing.

Our Kindergarten “classroom”. I think Grandma is enjoying reliving her “teacher” years!

October. When this pandemic started, I didn’t think Little Mister would be celebrating his birthday in isolation. But here we were in October, trying to make the most of it! No kids, no blowing out candles, no bounce house. But we made it as fun as possible with a jungle theme and animal masks. These kids are troopers.

November. I’m not quite sure what the rest of the year holds, especially as COVID cases continue to rise. One thing I can promise for November is 30 days of posts!

I have been extra vigilant throughout this entire year, so much so that Mr. KK thinks I’m a little crazy. But, every choice was made for a reason. Remote school so Little Mister can spend time with his grandparents (and have someone watch him after school so Mom and Dad could get some work done). The hope of celebrating Thanksgiving together (admittedly, it’s going to be a little too cold to force the family to each turkey on the patio…)

This year forced us to spend a LOT of quality family time together. We spent time with Little Mister (and each other) that we would normally not have gotten. We appreciated the simplicity of weekends where we had nothing to do, weren’t rushing around or on a timetable. We picked one thing to do each day and enjoy, instead of cramming 5 things in and not having as much fun as we thought we would.

I will say, the hardest part of the pandemic was not explaining to Little Mister what was going on and why we needed to stay home, but instead, was trying to get our elder generation to STAY HOME.

We are all looking forward to when this “yucky virus” (as Little Mister calls it) goes away. But until then, we’ll enjoy the family time and appreciating the little things that might normally go unnoticed.


The best Thanksgiving stuffing ever.

The night before Thanksgiving used to mean heading out to the local bar, catching up with old high school friends you haven’t seen in years, swapping stories and trying to outdo one another.

Um, no thank you.

Now the night before Thanksgivings look like this: drinking at home while cooking and preparing for the big meal the next day.

The day usually starts with a very long list and a trip to the grocery store (the order of the items mimicking the layout of the aisles). Then after a short day at work, the cooking and preparation begins!

One of the dishes I make ahead of time is my Sausage, Apple and Cornbread Stuffing. You can prepare the entire dish ahead of time and then just bake it on Thanksgiving day (once the bird comes out of the oven and frees up some prime real estate).

I made this recipe up, but I make it every year because it’s a delicious hit! Sorry vegetarians, it’s made with sausage. Though I imagine it could be made without.

Sausage, Apple and Cornbread Stuffing

IMG_7834 copy


1 cornbread cut into cubes (I use the Jiffy packed cornbread and combine 2 packages and make 1 Johnny cake; 3/4 of the cake goes into the stuffing, the other 1/4 goes into my mouth)

1 lb sweet sausage (casings removed)

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 granny smith apple, chopped (skin on)

IMG_7831 copy

2 Tablespoons thyme, chopped

Chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare cornbread according to directions on package; bake both packages as one Johnnycake. Let cool. Cut into small squares.

Cook sausage in a dutch oven in a little olive oil over medium heat until browned and crumbly (I use a potato masher to break up sausage when cooking it).

Remove browned sausage into a bowl. Add onion, carrot and celery to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until vegetables begin to soften. Add the chopped apple. Stir until apple starts to soften. Add thyme and cook 1-2 more minutes. Add a splash of chicken stock to deglaze the dutch oven. Add the cornbread cubes and remove from heat. Stir in cornbread pieces. It will break apart, but that’s ok. Once combined – don’t over mix!– empty pan into a greased casserole dish. Add a splash of chicken stock to moisten.

Bake stuffing at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes uncovered, or until the top is nicely browned.


Happy Thanksgiving!


Everything hurts and I’m dying.

I’m an early riser. As I open my eyes each morning and let them adjust to the darkness in the room, I squeeze my muscles and twist and turn every so slightly to take inventory, and to get an idea of where the pain is going to be when try to make myself vertical.

Waking up hurts.

There was a time in my life, when I could literally hop out of bed and start my day.

Now, I need time to “prepare” to get out of bed: I need to have a plan of attack. Roll to the side, dangle legs push yourself up on your elbow. Or, Sit up first in bed, test out your back, then swing your legs to the side and stand. Neither option is pretty, and not without grunts and groans.

But perhaps the best part of getting out of bed each morning, is that when I finally do achieve a vertical position, I’m half crouched over because I can’t yet stand up straight.

Getting old sucks.

I have always had issues with my lower back. And about twice a year it really acts up, and is so painful, I’ve often told Mr. KK to take me in the back yard and to just shoot me. This past April, my back pain came back after a 9 month hiatus, and was out for revenge.

The pain came quickly, on the week leading up to my birthday (fitting), and ended up preventing me from traveling for work. I have done a fair amount of work travel in my life, and I have NEVER cancelled a trip. But this time, I literally could not stand up, sit down, lie down or walk without excruciating pain. My days consisted of a continuous musical chairs of positions, each one last about 15 minutes until I couldn’t bear it any longer. Someone had to be with me at home to help me perform everyday tasks. Someone had to help with the Little Mister and walk the dog.

Long story short, after a chiropractor (which made it hurt more), muscle relaxers (which did nothing) and Oxycodone (which just made me loopy but didn’t ease the pain), I went to an Orthopedic walk in and was prescribed a steroid. And these magic pills changed my life. Not only did they ease the pain in my back, but all of my other aches and pains (remember my frozen shoulder?) miraculously went away. (For a short time, any way.)

It wasn’t until my back pain had eased that the appointment I had made with the orthopedic surgeon weeks early had arrived (God forbid you’re able to see a doctor when you actually have the pain, instead of describing what the pain was like 15 days earlier).

They took an x-ray of my lower back. And I was diagnosed with Old Age.

(The actual diagnosis was degenerative arthritis in my spine, but tomato tomahto.)

I was told to stretch every day, keep active and work out, and to try and avoid sitting for long periods of time without getting up (ie: working).

Every now and then I feel a twinge of my back pain coming back, but it’s never gotten to the point it was near my birthday. I’ve been working out regularly doing kickboxing, barre and pilates. So now when I wake up and I hurt, I have to categorize the pain as being either “old age aches and pains” and “workout muscle pain”.

The joys of getting older!