31 May 2011

KtMac Confessions: I Scream for Ice Cream

If you know me at all, you will know this: soft serve ice cream is my favorite treat. Especially with sprinkles on top. 

You can bribe me with the mere mention of ice cream. A fact Joe regularly and shamelessly abuses. 

I'll never turn down a cone, even if I can't feel my toes and am wearing thirteen layers in December in Albania. 

And I practically need one or two or twenty when braving the heat and humidity of Tokyo in early August. 

And fortunately for me (and unfortunately for my waistline), there's a Dairy Queen two blocks from our cozy little love nest. We have a killer coupon book the DQ sent us in the mail and a gift card from Mama Mac, so we often find ourselves wandering down the street to get our ice cream cones - twist dipped in sprinkles for me, vanilla dipped in chocolate for Joe - and a stroll through the park. Because everyone knows, if you eat ice cream while walking, the calories don't count. 

30 May 2011

Dear Joe,

Remember the night this picture was taken in Shkoder?
Remember when I sent you this little picture love note?

It's as true now as it was then. 
Every kiss. 
Every time. 

I'll be home and kissing you again soon, 
Your KtMac

28 May 2011

On Why You Should Not Leave Yourself Logged In to Your Blog when on Vacation: A Photo Essay by KTMac's Boyfriend Joe

Readers of KT's blog know that she's avid photography fan and a pretty skilled photographer herself. Pictures of me, our friends and our gorgeous city are speckled all over the site. In fact, if you're a reader, you've probably found a few of yourself up here. She also makes a pretty good subject herself: she's beautiful, funny, sassy and has that winning smile she thinks gets her out of anything.

So you would think that these things combined would mean Katie should have no problem finding herself on either side of the camera lens but, as her long suffering boyfriend knows, this is surprising not the case. While she's happy to snap away, her response to MY attempts at photography is a little underwhelming... 

Seeing a pattern here? Me too. You wouldn't think a budding photographer like my love would want to stifle the creativity of others but I think it's pretty clear only one person was meant to hold the camera in our relationship. Maybe one day she'll see that I just want to share her pretty self with the world but until then...

27 May 2011

Summer in the City by the Lake

Joe and I have some goals for Our First Real Chicago Summer:

Taken off Fullerton Beach. 

- Chicago Blues Festival - 10-12 June - Grant Park
- Chicago Summer Fest - 25-26 June - Lincoln Park
- Chicago Pride - 24-25 June - Boystown
- Taste of Chicago - 24 June - 3 July - Grant Park
- Taste of Lincoln Ave - 30-31 July - Lincoln Park
- Market Days - 13-14 August - Boystown
- Jazz Festival - 24-25 September - Hyde Park 

- Adler Planetarium
- Field Museum
- Museum of Science and Industry
- Brookfield Zoo

On the Lake:
- Bike length of path along Lake Shore Drive
- Wander Navy Pier/Ride Ferris Wheel
- Picnics
- Fly kites
- Chicago Air and Water Show
- Alfresco dining

Chicago locals, any other items that we should add to our list?

26 May 2011

Interview with a Real Life Glam Star

Y'all have heard me talk about Mb on this blog a time or two before. She's my real life glamorous rock star living  in Washington, D.C. and blogging about her adventures at The life of Mb. We've been fro-yo, globe-trotting buddies since our nights in grad school together.

This is one of my absolute fave pictures of us together. 

Mb and her loverface just got back from exploring the romantic island of Ireland and has plenty of stories to share. If you aren't already reading her blog, get over there and check it out now! 

Shortly before Mb left on her vacation, we were emailing back and forth and did a little impromptu interview of each other....read on for random questions and Mb's awesome answers:

1) What's the one thing you're never without? Almost anyone could answer this question for me: my camera. To be completely correct, I always have my point-and-shoot (Canon Elph) with me. It fits in my wallet (which is a vintage cigarette holder) so there’s no excuse not to have it. Normally I be carrying Simon, my fancy cam, with me. But if I ever can’t, I always ALWAYS have the elph for back up.

2) Best date you've ever had? I go on clam-dates with my friends all the time. And every weekend, when we have brunch, we’re declaring that particular brunch to be the BEST date ever. But I assume you mean girl-boy dates. So I have to think……Shoe and I actually go on dates all the time. When we first started dating, many moons ago, we’d make it a point to go dancing on Thursday nights. I still remember one Thursday when I wore a red dress. I thought I looked so damn fiiiiine. We went out dancing and had a freakin’ ball, but we needed to leave at a respectable hour to be up for work the next morning. As we left the bar, we stepped out into a down-pour. It was basically monsooning outside, and my once-fabulous dress was now soaked, clingy, and completely unattractive. But Shoe, ever the Romeo, took the opportunity to continue our dance party in the rain, and we walked home, stealing kisses like new luvas do. Le sigh. It wasn’t a flashy or glamorous night-out but it was a date I’ll never forget.

3) Everyone has a silly talent, like blowing giant bubbles or locking their toes behind their head. What's a silly talent you wish you had? Hmmmm, well, this isn’t silly but I wish I could sing or play an instrument. So if I ever ended up homeless, then I could at least make money on the streets doing something legit. My dream would be to run off to New Orleans and play the trombone for a street band. Holy goodness, listen to me having hobo-dreams. Anyway, if I could have a silly talent, I’d want it to land me in the Guinness book. Something like, burping Shakespeare sonnets or juggling 12 hamsters while roller skating…blindfolded. Something cool, you know, that I could totally monopolize.

4) Mani-pedi, massage, or a giant bottle of wine? All of the above! Please!! Like, RIGHT NOW :-) But if I could only pick one- the mani-pedi. It’s such a simple thing, but it instantly puts a smile on my face to sneak a peek at my fingers while typing or seeing that flash of color when I slip my shoes off at the end of the day. Feeling pretty/groomed always boost my energy level and confidence.

5) One historical event you'd like to have witnessed in person? Ooooh, I like this one. And I’m sure I’ll change my answer half a dozen times before I submit my final answer, Regis. I think there are so many things I would have loved to seen firsthand.but I’m gonna say it’s a strong tie between birth of Jesus and the dinosaur extinction. Two totally unrelated (or maybe not?) historical events, but I’m starved for more knowledge on either topic.
And that, my friends, is just a little glimpse into the awesome, rock star mind of the lovely Mb!

25 May 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: A Beautiful Ride

24 May 2011

KtMac Confessions: I Want a Life that Sizzles and Pops

This quote sums up so perfectly what I want from my life...

Me on the Lincoln Park Zoo Carousel.

I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines, and sing out loud in the car with the windows open, and wear pink shoes, and stay up all night laughing, and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets, and throw parties, and eat ripe tomatoes, and read books so good they make me jump up and down.” -Shauna Niequist

23 May 2011

Dear Smarty Pants,

I know you were busy studying hard this weekend, trying to finish up the last assignments before the quarter ends and get a jump on all the studying coming up for finals, but I hope, even without me there, you took a little time for yourself this weekend. 

I hope you treated yourself to a fountain drink from 7-11 and some studying in the park. 

I hope you took a break from all that MBA curriculum and got your spy on by watching James Bond movies and episodes of Archer on Netflix. 

But mostly I hope you enjoyed being tickle-free for just a few days, because I'll be home soon and making up for lost time. 

Kisses and tickles, 
Your KtMac

19 May 2011

KtMac Reviews: Lonesome Dove

Author: Larry McMurty

The Good: A well-written novel by a talented author, Lonesome Dove has you rooting for its uniquely Western characters from the beginning. It takes you along a cattle drive, and for this girl, was another look at the Wild West besides reading the Little House on the Prairie series or playing Oregon Trail

The Bad: My complaints with this book were two: too many characters die (which is probably historically accurate, but still...) and there are times where the story drags on as much as actually riding on a cattle drive.

The Verdict: Joe is still reading this novel based on my recommendations, but the two of us absolutely recommend picking up this novel.

18 May 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Unknown

17 May 2011

KtMac Confession: Edinburgh

Y'all ready for a doozy of a confession?

While you're reading this, I'm out and about exploring none other than the lovely city of Edinburgh, Scotland!!!

Am I not one very lucky girl? I know I am. I really am. 

While poor Joe stayed behind in Chicago to finish classes and finals before summer vacation, I jetted off to see a very sweet friend, Amie, who is wrapping up her Masters studies at the University of Edinburgh. This trip has been long dreamed about and has been very carefully schemed and will be full of some amazing adventures. 

I'll do my best to keep you posted on my adventures as I bum around this magical country, but have no fear, there's plenty planned to keep you entertained while I'm gone so you don't miss me too much!

16 May 2011

Working Hard with the Bunnies

Some days, working from home isn't all it is made out to be. It can be frustrating not having anyone to talk to, but other days, I get to work alongside the cutest little bunny family and then life is good. Life is very good. 

This is Commander Bun-Bun. He started hanging out with me during the work day last fall. 

This winter apparently, CDR Bun-Bun got married to Mrs. Bun-Bun. 

And then they had little Baby Bun-Bun! Awwww....

All pictures taken sitting at my desk in our office. There are a few definite perks to the whole "work from home in a garden apartment" thing.

13 May 2011

What's Cookin' Good Lookin'?

I definitely need to run to the drugstore for some anti-frizz pomade and relearn how to style the new 'do, but it's sassy and short and I love it!

Things that Have Put a Smile on My Face This Week

- The dorkfest Joe and I had after buying two impulse purchases at the White Elephant shop. What did we buy that we were so excited about? An unopened, still-in-the-wrapping game of Trivial Pursuit for $6 and the entire box set of Space: Above and Beyond for $15. Awesome sauce.

- Sassy new hairdos.

- Long, lazy naps.

- While working out at the gym, I was at a machine overlooking the atrium, giving me a pretty good view of the ping-pong table. A young guy was playing by himself, trying to practice his serves, and getting frustrated with chasing the ball all over. The janitor, a middle-aged, Grandpa-looking man, walked over, took a five minute break and played with him.

- Hot date night lined up for Saturday night.

- Planned lunch date with an old friend.

- Encouraging, hopeful news about future plans and daydreams and schemes we've pondered on for so long.

- Feeling confident. In the future, in the now, in so many ways.

11 May 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Side-Step the Dangers

10 May 2011


Whenever I think of our trip up the stunningly beautiful Dalmatian Coast, this is the image that springs to mind. Softly pink, hazy, lovely, surreal.

Randomly stumbling across this picture has stirred up my wanderlust all over again. 

09 May 2011

More Lazy Sundays in Oz Park

08 May 2011

So Excited!!

Bear with a proud sister for a moment here....

DMac (15) and PMac (7)

While I won't be able to join them as they play in the national championships next week in Denver, I certainly will be watching with crossed fingers and toes and humming the GVSU Fight Song under my breath.

We want a Grand Valley Victory!
As the Lakers we have pride.
Our teams will lead us on.
Blue and white, we're at your side.

We want a Grand Valley Victory!
As our foes will quickly see.
Raise your voices and cheer
For a vic-to-ry!
Fight! Fight! Fight!

03 May 2011

Pet Peeves and Other Thoughts Swirling Around in My Head

- Stand by your word. Your word is the one thing no one and nothing can take from you. If you say you're going to do something, do it. If you say you're going to do something, and you don't do it, I have every right to feel like I cannot rely on you.

- The happiest people are the ones with the best attitude, about everything. If you can find the sunny side in even the worst situation, you're going to be alright.

- Even if you wholeheartedly disagree with my opinion, it does not give you the right to belittle me or my opinion. Especially if I have enough respect for you and your opinion to ask you to explain why you feel differently in hopes of learning more - about the topic, about you, about my own opinions. Such blatant disrespect stings all the more when we all know I have the education, training, and real-world experience to make an educated opinion on that particular topic.

- Eleanor Roosevelt was absolutely correct when she said something like "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent," but somedays, it's an awful hard struggle.

- I really do try my best to remember we are all human and that at one point in our lives, we were just babies in our mother's arms, especially when I'm struggling with not judging someone for living their life differently than I do. Because the truth of the matter is, as long as you are happy and are not causing harm to others, it's none of my concern how you live your life.

- It really is the simplest joys that warm your heart the most. For me, the list includes: an ice cream cone with sprinkles, bringing a smile to my Grandma's face, extra early morning snuggles, pulling on that favorite shirt, looking at freshly polished fingernails, brotherly bear hugs, laughter, and the joy of fresh flowers.

- Empathy, dignity, and respect make the world go around.  But being a soft-hearted badass really helps too.

- Be on time. I get it if occasionally you're late, but if you're consistently late, you're rude, selfish and immature. The consistent lateness is because you think you're more important than anyone else, and in my opinion, is a character flaw.

- Planning adventures with someone who likes random adventures as much as I do makes the thrill of anticipating those adventures all the more delicious.

02 May 2011

Scenes from our Little Home