31 August 2011

Simply September: No Shopping!

Yes, yes, you read that right. One of the ways for me to simplify my life is to stop (clothes) shopping for the 31 days of September. A shopping ban allows me to reassess my finances, reassess my belongings, and hopefully reduce some of the clutter in our tiny little place. I have a habit of checking out online sales, but this month, I won't be looking at all. 

That said, there are three, and only three, possible exceptions to the no shopping ban:
1: Grandma's birthday present
2: If new (much needed) boots are found
3: If a bridesmaid dress for a spring wedding I'm in is chosen during the wedding dress shopping spree later this month. 

That's it. Anyone game to join me?

Wednesday Wisdom: Love Yourself More


28 August 2011

Magical Little Moments

After the last few weeks of go-go-go and a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, this weekend was spent with lots of cuddles and sweet little moments. Moments I wouldn't trade in for anything. There's something magic about those moments. They last forever and never long enough. They make your heart feel full to bursting and yet make you realize just how much more room there is in your heart for love - of another, of the world, of the sheer pleasure of being alive, right now, right here, right in this moment. I love those moments. 

And as you start this week off, I hope you find some time to enjoy the magic in the little moments  too. 

27 August 2011

Absent without Leaf

I surprised Joe with a tiny little potted plant last night. He'd mentioned wanting one for the office and I found a great deal at Home Depot, and thus couldn't resist. 

This morning, Joe tells me, "I've named my plant."

KtMac: "Oh, okay..."
Joe: "Mr. Leafinpot."
       "He was Commander Leafinpot, but he got court-martialed recently."
KtMac: ......
Joe: "For being absent without leaf."

25 August 2011

Wall Art

Remember how Joe and I enjoyed a little sunset sailing last month?

Well, this picture was immensely popular and often received compliments.

And Joe and I both loved it. So, to keep the memories of a magical night alive and to enjoy the beautiful Chicago sunset year-round, I took advantage of a Groupon deal that the lovely Mb sent my way. It was $40 for a $126 16x20 canvas print from CanvasOnDemand. A phenomenal deal by itself, really.

But two days after I placed my order, I received an email from the folks at CanvasOnDemand, which said:

"Hi Katie,

Regarding your recent order, the image that you submitted does not fit the exact proportions for the size of the canvas you have chosen. In order to assure a good fit, we are going to make your canvas a custom size of 16x24 instead of 16x20. We will do this at no additional charge to you. Our goal is for you to be completely satisfied with the finished product, so we just wanted to keep you informed of this modification. We will get started immediately. We will do a great job for you!"

Pretty awesome, right? Well, the finished product speaks volumes.  Oh, right, a picture is worth 1,000 words.

Already livening up our cozy little office. I'm in love. And no, I wasn't paid or perked in any way to review CanvasOnDemand - I just really liked the final product and the company's willingness to go the extra step (for free!) to ensure a quality finished product. I predict a few Christmas gifts will be coming from their shop!

24 August 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Who Makes You Happy

23 August 2011

KtMac Confessions: Simply September

Ahh, Sweet September. Even thought it's been a few years since September meant back to school for me, it still holds the hope and promise of new beginnings. Clean slates. New clothes. Fresh mornings and crisp nights. A chance to reinvent myself (even if I always, very quickly, re-established myself as the class bookworm).

Fall has always felt more like the beginning of a new year to me. Much more so than New Years Eve ever has. And so, it's usually the time of year where I deep clean and clear our the clutter, and reassess myself and my goals, and really try to become a better KtMac. 

I don't bother with resolutions, but rather, aspirations and intentions. And I really celebrate and savor the simple pleasures of life during the fall - cozy knits, sweet smells, crunchy leaves, delicious produce, extra sweet cuddles. 

But, before I can enjoy my favorite season, there's a few things I'll feel better for having accomplished. So, September, Simply September, will be dedicated to simplifying my life and living simply. I'm inviting y'all to join me in Simply September. Stay tuned for more details!

19 August 2011

Shorty, For Realz

Sigh. Could I be any more of a shorty? In all seriousness, I'm 5'6. So it's just that my bros are freakishly tall. But I'm happy because I'm spending the weekend in the Mitten, getting big bear hugs from my bros, and making Grandma smile, and hanging out with my folks. I'll miss Joe, but it's going to be a great weekend! TGIF!!

17 August 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Love Hard

16 August 2011

KtMac Confessions: Simple Pleasures

Oh life. You really like to toss in heavy doses of that bitter in bittersweet that makes life so extraordinary at times, don't you?

And I love having the bitter all wrapped up in the sweet. I know it makes the sweet even sweeter, but dude, I could use a little less bitter these days. 

So in the meantime, I'm focusing on the simple pleasures. And relishing how they're all the sweeter when I don't let the bitter overwhelm. 

Sweets like:

 French manicures in fun summer colors like orange and silver, topped off with braclets that make me happy. (Top is my latest LouLou's purchase. Bottom is Joe's Christmas present to me last year.)

Finally getting that genuine smile on camera. After 697956576 outtakes and plenty of KtMac admonitions. 

 Or getting just one picture where the flash doesn't leave me looking like a drunken fool.  (Or for that matter, the fabulousness that is alfresco dining in evenings.)

Or the perfect sweetness of a date that didn't start out as planned, but ended just the way I like it: with lots of cuddles and kisses curled up with the one I love.

15 August 2011

It's a Crazy Ride

It's been a chaotic, rollercoaster ride of a week. I didn't mean to step away from the blog, but life happened instead. 

I spent a little time here, with my favorite Mb. I flew to the District for some work time, some girl time, and a lot of laughter. There was time spent in Colonial Williamsburg too with my favorite Tiger. And mostly, time spent in the disaster that passes for DC-area traffic. 

But stories were told, gossip caught up on, jokes shared, and lots of laughter all around. And I came home to sweet Chicago, and my Joe with a breath of fresh air that only getting out of the city provides. And tonight, I look forward to some sweet kisses and bike rides and a date with Joe. 

08 August 2011

Awesome Artwork

Remember how at the beginning of the summer, I went on a little trip to Scotland? And on that trip, I may have had a few beautiful photographs? Well, it quickly became clear that some of those photographs needed to find a place on our walls, so after we chose our first print, I ordered a 30x40 print from PrintYourCanvas. Within two weeks, we had a massive roll of bubble wrap in the office and this lovely print adding some much needed color to our bedroom walls. 

It's going to be so lovely waking up to this scene during Chicago's infamous winters.

05 August 2011

Happy Friday, Happy Penguin

03 August 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Let's Just Be Fabulously

02 August 2011

KtMac Confessions: Gilmore Girls

I found the entire first season of Gilmore Girls on DVD at the local White Elephant shop over the weekend for $5. I resisted the urge to squeal and ignored Joe's eye roll and treated myself to the set. 

I've never seen the complete series. Maybe someday I will. But just the same, this show holds a little sweet spot in my heart. 

The show came out while I was in high school, and for some reason, despite the eight year age difference between us, my brother Pat and I used to curl up on the couch every week and watch it. He'd probably kill me if he knew I was revealing that so publicly, but on the other hand, sweetheart he is, he'd probably smile at the memory. It was "our" time and "our" show. And without fail, if there was a new episode on, we were on the couch together. 

I tried to keep up with the show when I went away to college, but it felt weird somehow to watch without Pat. So I don't know if I'll ever watch the complete series, but I'll always smile anytime I think of the show. 

01 August 2011

Lazy, Hazy Summer Days

It's the height of summer now. 

It's been hot and humid and generally miserable in Chicago the last few weeks with little relief in sight. 

And our little apartment only has a window a/c in the bedroom. It really cools the bedroom off nicely, but never cools any other part of the apartment, so I've been adopting various beat the heat methods. 

No lights until necessary, blinds stay closed all the time, ceiling fans and other fans run almost constantly, minimal clothing, lots of cool drinks and fresh fruit, countless slurpee and ice cream cone runs, lazy afternoons on the beach, or somewhere with air conditioning, movies in the theaters, etc. etc. 

But my brain is fried. I move slowly these days. And make long lists of to-do or should-do and ignore them all in favor of watching countless mind-numbing tv shows on the floor in the dark in front of the fan in tank tops and underwear. 

And when I do actually venture out, it usually leads to embarrassing moments, like the one that just happened ten minutes ago. 

I ran some errands this morning, choosing to rearrange my work schedule so I wasn't out in the heat of the late afternoon trying to run the errands. And when I got home, I clearly, desperately, was in need of another shower, but there was work to do, so I pulled off the sticky bra and clammy shorts and made do with the tank top and underwear (thank goodness for closed blinds!) and then made myself lunch with lots of leeks. 

So just as I was putting away the lunch mess, looking a hot mess, smelling bad, with bad breath is exactly when the cute new neighbor rang our buzzer looking for his own. Not at all an awkward introduction. 

And if being dressed weirdly, smelling bad, with bad breath wasn't horrifying enough, I'm also currently sporting an eye patch in a desperate attempt to heal a contacts-induced scratch. 

Aaargh. Welcome to the neighborhood matey!
(Lucky Joe .... he gets to come home to this hot mess.)

Oh summer. Lazy, hazy days indeed. My brain really is fried. 

(No worries, I've now showered, brushed my teeth, and gotten fully dressed again....too late to avoid embarrassment.,)