31 March 2011

My New Loves

I have some new loves in my life.

Don't worry. Joe and Andy are still near the top. Who is number one on my list, I'll never tell...

But peeps, meet Riley...the Rebel.

Lucky Joe - he gets to come home to this pretty mess every day. (And this was after I showered and dressed....)

Riley and I are slowly getting acquainted and falling in love more every day. It's a slow process - Chicago March weather has not been cooperative in letting me outside without gloves longer than 30 seconds. But soon, Riley, soon. 

And Riley's partner in crime is Henry, the Hobo.

Henry was my little splurge because I knew I'd be far more likely to carry and use Riley if he was protected in a bag that didn't scream "I'm a tourist! Mug me!" while wandering the Loop this summer. So far, Henry and I have had an instantaneous love affair. He's padded and cushioned, but not overly so. He lets me change him between a shoulder bag and a cross-body bag, and he's big enough for all my baggage. 

And then that shot led to me taking a picture of my new-ish wallet. Which was acquired during my last visit to DC on a shopping trip to Lou Lous, where Mb, Tiger, and I tormented Joe by making him ooh and ahh over all the pretties.

So, this little long-winded post serves as notice to you peeps. Expect lots and lots of Chicago pictures this summer.

30 March 2011

Missing: Harry the Moustache

Found: Posted on the tree outside our front door....

Wednesday Wisdom: Find Beauty

29 March 2011

Right Now

This is the hope of spring showing up in my office. 

And for some reason, those tantalizing rays of sunshine and glimpse of blue sky have me SO hopeful, even if it's still bitterly cold for the end of March. 

25 March 2011

Colorblind Love

I was waiting for Joe outside the locker room at the gym the other night. I couldn't wait to get home to shower, but I was amusing myself flipping through a magazine when I hear:

"Hmm. Grey sweatpants. Purple jacket. Green headband. And I still want you."


"Oh God help me, I still do."

It was one of those silly little conversations that shows both how comfortable we are with each other but also how crazy we are about each other too. And I love it. And him too. 

24 March 2011

The Counter

I had a doctor's appointment this afternoon. We'll talk about that another time. 

Joe came with me, and because I was "such a good girl at the doctors," we decided to indulge Joe's craving for a cheeseburger on the way home. And we decided to try out a new-to-us burger joint called The Counter

Long story short, get yourself to the Counter. 

It's a burger joint. The menu is simple, burgers, salads, and side items. But the best part is, you can customize your own burger. 

Joe got a bacon cheeseburger with goat cheese, bbq sauce, and mixed greens on a multigrain roll. I also ordered a bacon cheeseburger, but with Gruyère cheese, garlic alioli, and pickles on a pretzel roll. We also split an order of the Fifty-Fifty, which was half french fries and half sweet potato fries. Mmmm. 

It all was phenomenal. We really enjoyed our meals. And I've no doubt that when we plan on impressing a guest with a good burger, we'll be back again.  

22 March 2011

KtMac Confessions: A Little Play Never Hurt Anyone

For some reason today, I was energetic to the point of frenzy.

I was wide awake at 5 am. No real reason. 

I finally gave up on sleep at 6 am and started work early. 

Which meant I finished work super early today. And Joe is home, sleeping in late and lounging on the couch and otherwise enjoying his spring break. 

So I proposed a little play date. 

We headed up to Rogers' Park to see the $5 matinée of The Adjustment Bureau. If you haven't seen it yet, go see it soon. It's almost as mind-blowingly good as Inception. And then as a follow-up to the sloth and gluttony of a mid-afternoon, mid-week, movie theater popcorn binge, we spent some time at the gym. 

Amazing just how little time it takes for me to remember how good I feel after a good workout. I still can't believe I keep fighting the fact that I like working out. And that some days, I *need* the workouts. 

But our little impromptu date was exactly what the doctor ordered on this dreary Tuesday in March.  

And now, 11 pm, and I'm still awake. Time to crawl into bed and read for a bit. 

21 March 2011

The Courage to Speak Your Convictions

I may not always agree with someone's opinion, but when they have the courage to honestly speak their convictions, I always respect that opinion. I'm guilty, I admit it, of sometimes saying what I think others want to hear in socially awkward situations. And I'm guilty, I admit it, of not always knowing deep within myself exactly what my convictions are. So many of my absolutes have changed over the years, as I learn and am exposed to the larger world. And I'm struggling right now, asking myself some hard truths and making sure that I know exactly where I stand, and more importantly, why. 

So when I came across this post this morning, I haven't been able to stop thinking about how much I respect these celebrities for the courage to publicly (far more publicly than you and I probably ever will have the chance to experience) say and stand by their convictions. One thing I've realized, no matter where I or anyone stands in regards to religion and God and morality, you have to respect those who are certain of their convictions and are willing to express those views, even if they are unpopular or controversial. And if celebrities can do it in front of crowds of thousands and the never-ending press, I can certainly do it amongst my friends and loved ones. 

So, what do you believe so strongly that you have the courage to admit it publicly?

16 March 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Guys, Take Note...

15 March 2011

KtMac Confessions: I Still Hate Marches

Year after year, it's always the same.....I hate the month of March. And this year is no exception.

10 March 2011

The Best Kind of Surprise

Grandma hasn't been doing too well this week. 

She's been off her game mentally and really struggling. Which made today's planned surprise all the sweeter. 

Last week, Mom and Dad asked me if I'd be able to come home and spend the weekend with Grandma while they took a weekend road trip to Minnesota to see my bros play lax and visit the Mall of America. I quickly agreed, on the condition I be the one to tell Grandma. 

We decided that since she doesn't have any sense of days and time anymore that I would wait until today to tell her, so she only has to wait until tomorrow to see me. And I've been eagerly counting the days until I could tell her. 

Mom dropped off breakfast at Grandma's this morning and told her as she was leaving, "Oh, you have a surprise coming. Get excited."

And Grandma did get excited. Mom says she got very excited. 

Then I called her, as I always do on Thursday mornings. We chatted for a bit and then I said, "So Mom told me you have a surprise coming. Have you figured it out yet?"


"Well, are you doing anything this weekend?"

"No, not that I know of. Why? Am I coming to see you?"

"How about I come see you instead? Is that a good surprise?"

And Grandma got so excited and so happy, it brought tears to my eyes. 

So this weekend, while my parents are sitting out on the frozen tundra of lax fields of Minnesota watching my bros play and while Joe sits in our little Chicago love nest studying for next week's finals, I'll be in the Mitten, getting lots of girl time in with my favorite Grandma. 

= Us

Yesterday was lover boy's birthday. Unfortunately, because he's on the quarter system at school, he had to spend his day in classes, working on papers, and prepping for finals next week. 

But I did my best to inject a little sweet and a little love into an otherwise low-key birthday. Joe had a special little breakfast treat to start the day off right. His brother bought over the makings for a fabulous home-cooked dinner for the two of us. We baked a cake and covered it in candles. We went out and ordered a bottle of champagne to celebrate with a little classy style. 

And part of Joe's gifts was this sweet, perfect little print:

Happy birthday love!

09 March 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Simple Things with an Awesome Impact

08 March 2011

KtMac Confessions: Paczki

This partly-Polish girl has never had a Paczki.

Mostly because I dreaded the crazy lines that grew around any place that sold paczkis in my Polish-enclave hometown Detroit. 

But now that I'm living in an even larger Polish enclave, I figured today was the day. So we headed down the street to our favorite little bakery and ordered 2. I got an apricot, and Joe got a custard paczki. 


"An Old Polish Woman"

Disclaimer: We are ridiculous and mean no harm. 

Joe and I were in the bathroom last night, getting ready for bed. 

KtMac: "Is that a hair growing out of your lip?"

Joe: "Yeah. I don't know what the hell it's doing."

KtMac: "Are you sure you don't have some old Polish woman in you somewhere?" (Poking fun of my Polish ancestors' gift to me of a unibrow that requires daily tweezer time.)

Joe: "I may have hair on my lip, but I'm not the old Polish woman in the bathroom." (Referencing a smellier trait my ancestors bestowed upon me.)

KtMac: "Babuska! Pirogi! Paczki!" in a terrible old lady accent as I stab Joe with the toothpaste tube.  (Because I don't remember the Polish curse words I grew up hearing.)

End scene. 

07 March 2011

More DIY

Remember when I made this for my necklaces?

Well, Joe has a couple of really cool old Communist-era badges he picked up while he was in Armenia a few years ago that were just sitting on the bookshelf. The fact that they were just laying there on the shelf has been bugging me since we moved in. Six months now, and I felt bad that the best we could do was prop them up against the books.

So I started thinking and wishing back to the days when I used to use a corkboard to display all my little treasures. But since I'm all about using what I have first these days before buying something new, I came up with this:

I took the glass out of another picture frame we had lying around, covered the cardboard backing with some more of the black velvet scraps, and voila! And now his cool CCCP badges are better displayed. There's a third one that needs to be reattached to the ribbon and then it'll be displayed too. The Obama badge is from when he was running for US Senate. Joe proudly wore that pin the day he met Obama once he became a Senator. (Maybe I'll convince Joe to let me share that picture with y'all one day). The I Am Loved pin is my sole contribution to the board.

And bonus points to anyone who can tell me again which Star Trek ship the little figurine is. It's Joe's good luck charm, and my girlfriend status negates my being able to ask him for a third time which one it is.

06 March 2011

A Houseful of Flowers

When I was growing up, I always dreamed of having a cozy little house with fresh flowers everywhere. Always. 

Last Saturday, Joe's parents treated me to these, "just because." More than a week later, they're still going strong.

Then Tuesday, I was surprised by these, sent by a sweet friend who knew I was stressing: 

Then again on Friday, I was surprised by these from my parents as a little dose of cheer and "get well" since I've been a little under the weather.

And now, our cozy little apartment is covered in flowers and sunshine and proof that even silly little girl dreams can come true.

04 March 2011

On My Bucket List

Joe and I went out Wednesday night to celebrate one of his classmates' birthday and to spend an evening laughing and talking over some phenomenal Indian food.

The food was amazing. The stories were silly. The laughter was almost non-stop. And the birthday boy just looked so happy to be spending the evening amidst great company. 

And at the end of the night, after the cake was devoured (and smeared in the birthday boy's hair, per an Indian custom) and gifts were unwrapped, we began looking for the check so we could all contribute and pay for the birthday boy's dinner. 

That is when I learned yet another Indian custom. In America, when you go out for your birthday, your friends treat you to dinner. In India, the birthday boy treats his friends. 

And that just blew me away.

How amazing is that? To spend an evening full of laughter and stories and great food and silliness with people who genuinely want to be there. To share and celebrate you and your birthday. And then to surprise them all with treating them to dinner. 

And just like that, I turned to Joe and said, "One day, I want to do that too. Have an amazing meal with amazing friends and just because we all want to be there together, surprise them and buy dinner for the entire table." Because I've bought dinner here there for a friend or two, but never for an entire table of a dozen friends. Joe looked at me, smiled and said, "Well, then we will do it one day."

02 March 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: In and Out, Repeat

Today's wisdom comes from a sweet friend who, upon hearing the stressful day I had scheduled yesterday, sent me some flowers mid-afternoon yesterday to put a smile on my face. 

And on the note card, he wrote, "...stop and smell the roses. Breathe in, breathe out, repeat....and keep being badass!"

I'm a lucky girl indeed, to have such great friends.
Thank you. 

01 March 2011

Creative Compliments: The Tuesday Special

Last night I was running late to my pottery class and the only real dinner option in the house was steak.  Since that was too time-consuming, Joe told me to grab something on my way to class. I opted to try a regional burrito chain mostly because it was just down the block from my pottery studio. 

I walked in, debated menu options against my hunger and my time, and decided to order two tacos.  

The cashier looked at me as I ordered and then pointed to a sign saying tacos are 99 cents each on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

And even though it was just a Monday night, he said, "I give you Tuesday special. Just for you. Only you. No one else. Because you are so beautiful."