28 April 2011

More Pottery Pieces

I picked up a few more pottery pieces this week. Still have a couple waiting to be fired.




And now, we have a full set of 4 blue coffee mugs so Joe can be happy. 

27 April 2011

How We Watch Movies in this House

Joe came flying into the living room last night and pulled out his laptop so I could see this link. He was righteously indigent. "See?! See?! That's you!" And even though it's not intentional, it definitely is true.


25 April 2011

Scenes from Easter

The Easter bunny brought us candy and kites for flying on the beach.

My lemonade layer cake had a frosting meltdown.

Train ride to the suburbs.




He's so handsome.







21 April 2011

So Impressed

I'm amused by how today's earlier conversation ties in so nicely with the post I was planning on writing for today. 

I have to brag on Joe for a minute. 

Last night, the mailman delivered a very tangible component of a project he's been working on for the last nine months. And rightfully so, Joe was beyond excited when the doorbell rang. 


Joe's been working on developing an interactive database that will monitor the numerous aspects and details associated with running a nonprofit for a very worthy organization called the South Shore Drill Team. Joe has volunteered his various IT skills to the organization for years and they have wisely put his skills to use since he's been home from the Peace Corps. 

The tablet (the first of several) will give staff members the ability to update crucial database information in real time, while out in the field at various shows, performances, and fundraising events. It is going to revolutionize the workflow and data sharing within the organization and greatly improve their ability to solicit funds from donors. 

It is a major project and a tremendous undertaking and is just a few months away from total completion. I am thrilled to pieces for Joe and so incredibly proud of all the hard work he has put into this project during his free time during this last year. 

And of course, getting to play Angry Birds while Joe has the tablet at home for set-up hasn't been too bad either. 

Come On Over to the Dork Side

Just finished this conversation with Joe who just got home from his classes. 

Joe: How's work going?

KtMac: Okay. A little frustrating. I'm working on coding and for some reason the changes aren't saving, so R is looking into it. 

Joe: You're so cute with your coding. 

KtMac: My geek conversion is complete now, isn't it?

Joe: Come on over to the dork side. We have sexy nerds. 

20 April 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Under its Roof

18 April 2011

Garumph

It is April 18th. 

And this is what I woke up to:



Yes, that's right. Snow. On April 18th. Graumph, indeed. 

15 April 2011

End of the Week Randoms

Today, I'm currently obsessing over:

- The smell of the yummy Peach Bellini candle burning on my office windowsill. Smells like the summer that is not yet outside my window. 


- The ant invasion taking over our kitchen. Even all the ant traps we've laid down don't seem to be helping. Those resilient little suckers are getting bug bombed tonight. 

- This sweet little necklace. I think it'd be perfect with a "J" and a "K" and hanging around my neck. 


- Plotting picture-taking adventures. I am absolutely obsessed with my camera. And with trying to find the next set of lens I want to buy. 

- Baking a lemonade layer cake. But that's only going to happen once those damn ants are gone. In the meantime, I keep reading and re-reading the recipe and drooling. I'm going to be so sad if it's not as sweet and tart as I'm imagining. Lemon desserts are my favorite - far more so than chocolate. 

14 April 2011

American Pickers and a Hot Date Night

The TV show American Pickers is responsible for the hot date night Joe and I had Saturday night. 

Yep, that's right. 

You read that right. American Pickers is responsible for our hot date night. 

Last month, I was planning on taking Joe out for his birthday. However, he requested a quiet evening at home, and I did my best to deliver. But I told him I'd be taking him out for dinner, drinks, and dancing at a later date. 

Saturday night was that later date. 

We had dinner at a phenomenal Indian restaurant called Hema's Kitchen. Fabulous food, reasonable prices, and attentive service. And for non-Chicago folks, it has the added bonus of being a BYOB restaurant. 

After dinner, since we still had some time to kill and because we both were too full to sit, we took a long walk and enjoyed the nicer weather Chicago is reluctantly granting us these days. And then we warmed up with some Irish coffee at Aquatine.

The highlight of the night though, was that I surprised Joe with tickets to a local cabaret. A very funny, very entertaining, and definitely raunchy cabaret. 

By now, I'm sure y'all are still trying to figure out what American Pickers has to do with our date night. 

A few weeks ago, I watched the first season of American Pickers on Netflix. I need background noise while I work and when I tire of music, I watch TV shows that don't have a complicated plot line. That way I can look up from my work from time to time and still easily figure out what's going on. American Pickers fit the bill perfectly.

Curious about the people on the show, one afternoon I wiki'd Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and Danielle Colby-Cushman. And that is when I learned that Danielle, who grew up in a household of Jehovah's Witnesses, is also a burlesque dancer. 

Later that night, Joe and I were talking on the couch and I wondered out loud, "what is the difference between burlesque dancing and stripping?"

Truthfully, neither one of us really knew. 

Curious, I started poking around online and learned more about burlesque, which had me curious enough to try to find a show in Chicago. I found one, really close by, and for a cheap price. I figured if it sucked, we could leave without feeling like we wasted money. 

So I bought tickets and simply told Joe we were seeing a show

He loved it. I loved it. It was the perfect date night. 

If you're ever looking for something different to do in Chicago, check out Vaudzilla's offerings

And that my friends, is how a TV show inspired a hot date night out. 

12 April 2011

KtMac Confessions: Life is Good

Life is good. 

No, really. 

It is awfully sweet and delicious these days. 

Yes, there's some bitter still tucked away in there. Like my heart aching for my Grandma's mental decline. 

But even within the bitter, there's still some sweet - like knowing how very little it takes to truly put a big smile on Grandma's face. 


And truth be told, life's little bitters make the sweets even sweeter. 

And life is sweet. 

Very sweet. 

I am madly in love with this handsome man, who does his very best to make me fall even more in love with him every day. 


I am well-loved. By so many. 

I live in a cozy little apartment, in a lovely little neighborhood, in the world's greatest city. 


I have a secure, interesting, and challenging job that lets me (more or less) set my own hours while working from home. 

I am well educated and financially secure with bright future prospects. 

I have a healthy body that I am becoming more and more in tune with every single day. 

I am interested in a wide variety of things and rarely am ever genuinely bored. 

And summer in the city by the lake is on its way. 


The future is golden. 

And that makes life so very sweet. 

11 April 2011

What I Love About Sundays

One well-loved bear got some emergency surgery yesterday.....

But he looks all the more endearing now. 

It was also the first real warm day in Chicago, so I dug out my new sandals, and Joe and I went to the park.

While Joe did some homework and puppy watching, I played with Riley.








Conclusion? Lazy Sunday afternoons in the park are awesome. And I really need a zoom lens for all the landscape shots I want to take. 

07 April 2011

No, I Will NOT Be Getting Cats

When I went home last weekend, both my brothers made a few smart ass comments to me, without even knowing the other one had said anything.

DMac told me I was becoming an old lady. 

PMac asked me if I was going to become a crazy cat lady. 

*Siiiigggghhh*

Why?

Because I found the perfect little offline hobby for myself. 

You see, I spend hours in front of the computer every day for work. So when I'm done, I barely want to look at the computer again. But watching tv just doesn't cut it, and winter just doesn't want to go away. So when I heard about Tako Fibers' crewel kits, I just had to try it out. 


Emily designed these little kits herself. From the design, to the stitches, to the colors, and even the step-by-step stitch instructions.


The kit includes everything you need to make your own crewelwork for display. There's step by step instructions, yarn, a hoop, and even a needle.


The kit arrived in the mail within days of my order, and within a week, I finished it. I probably would've finished it faster, but I was only working on it in the evenings while watching tv or in the long car rides to/from my bros' lax game.


The finished masterpiece is waiting to find the perfect little frame at the White Elephant shop and then she'll be adding some much needed color to our walls. 


I definitely recommend any of the Tako Fiber kits to anyone looking for a fun, easy, but pretty craft. I've already bought one kit as a gift for a crafty friend. Hopefully she enjoys her little surprise as much as I did! And for the record, I was not perked or comped in any way to mention Tako Fibers or its sweet kits. I just told y'all about it because I enjoyed it so much and wanted to pass on the love. 

And even though I picked up a few more embroidery kits at my local crafts store (mostly because my sweet Grandma asked me to make her one too), my brothers can rest assured.  I am not becoming a crazy cat lady, and I most definitely am not old. 

06 April 2011

Cozy

Another one of those work-at-home perks is that on dreary days, I can light a yummy candle and enjoy the cozy light and the "reminds me of summer" smell. 


I really am one lucky girl. 

Wednesday Wisdom: The Future

05 April 2011

Let's Hear It for the Boy

Let's be honestly mushy for a moment. 

Not a day goes by now where I don't take a minute to be amazed that I not only love and am loved by this amazing man, but I also find myself amazed that every single day, I find myself falling even more in love with him.

Then I smile and shake my head in disbelief. How is it that I've gotten so lucky?

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

He is my biggest champion. Always encouraging and supporting me, even with the most ridiculous, hare-brained schemes. 

He always keeps a dollar or two in a specially reserved pocket to hand out as needed to those not as lucky. 

He keeps me company in the gym and encourages the late night runs to the Dairy Queen. 

He works hard on his schoolwork, even though he's brilliant and doesn't need to work quite that hard to get such great grades. 

He's incredibly socially conscious. He gives and gives of himself to make this world a slightly better place. 

He laughs at the silliest things until I'm not sure if I'm laughing with him or at the sound of his laughter. 

He carefully considers every decision beforehand. But he has no problem taking some awfully big gambles and being confident that he'll win in the end. 

He's made it clear, time and time again, he'll always be there for me. 

He buys me flowers, much more often than I share. 

He dreams big, works hard, and somehow has made those dreams he's chased come true every single time. 

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

It's hardly a comprehensive list. In fact, it barely scratches the surface. But suffice it to say, I really, really am one lucky girl. 

America's High Five

I spent the weekend in Michigan. 

It was Mama Mac's birthday and her wish was to have some girl time. 

Before the shopping and the gossip could start, we had to brave the cold and drizzly rain to watch my bros kick ass in their lacrosse game. I must've brought PMac some luck - he's a defensive middie (I think) and because their team is so good, there's little need for defense on the field - but PMac not only got quite a bit of playing time in, he also scored his first goal of the season!

DMac (number 15) and PMac (number 7) celebrating.

Since I know nothing about lacrosse other than my bros' team is currently number one in the nation's division two programs, I won't bore y'all with some of the 397 pictures I took during their game. And no, that is not an exaggeration. 

I spent time with my bros. It was a long drive to/from the game, and I got some one-on-one time to shoot the breeze and dispense some sisterly advice. 

Mama Mac and I shopped. I may have a few new pretties in my closet. 

I  helped my Dad replace my Grandma's kitchen light and I listened to my Grandma laugh while watching tv in between her afternoon naps. 

There may have been ice cream birthday cake. Which, if we're honest here, is the only kind of cake acceptable for birthdays. 


And there may have been 769973 pictures taken in hopes of one good picture of three generations. 


But best of all, there was love, and laughter, and smiles, and birthday wishes. Exactly what a birthday weekend in America's High Five should contain. 

01 April 2011

Throwing Pottery

I only briefly mentioned it once. Mostly because I'd planned on doing a real post about it and got distracted by life along the way. 

This winter, I took a two month pottery class. It was a beginner class at a studio in my neighborhood. Classmates came from all over the city to learn the art of throwing pottery. 

The class fee included eight weeks of once-a-week three hour classes, unlimited time in the studio during open studio Saturday hours, and all materials. The instructor was incredibly patient and had a knack for teaching beginners. 

It wasn't easy - there's a lot of muscle involved - and it's definitely messy. But oh so much fun. I struggled at first, so I spent countless hours in the studio on Saturdays, trying, messing up, and trying again. 

And now, the first few pieces I made have come home. I'm still waiting on some others to be fired, but I'll share those too once they make their way home. 

3 coffee mugs, a little red bowl, and a much-prettier-in-person-purple planter.

All glazed and fully fired pieces are dishwasher safe, refrigerator safe, and microwavable. So awesome to make pretty things that are also practical!

I made the coffee mugs blue for Joe. He wanted "real" coffee mugs.  

Because for some reason, he just hasn't been thrilled with drinking out of our snowman mugs....

Spring plans and a desire to spend my warmer weather evenings outside have meant I didn't sign up for a second session, but Chicago peeps, I wholly recommend checking out the classes at Park West Ceramics. It's a great class, you learn a lot, and at the end of the session, you should come home with about a dozen pieces all your own.