Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday




Memorial Day weekend and it has yet to feel like summer is right around the corner. That may have something to do will the demoralizing cold and wet April, but you know how it goes: April Showers bring May Flowers. But just so you're aware, May Flowers don't bring pilgrims. Mayflowers do, and that happened in November. So explain that to me, fool. 


Nonsensical rhymes aside, I'm really excited for the upcoming summer. E will be coming to Chicago for my birthday weekend (Treat Yo' Self 2013) and in July it'll be off to Missouri for my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary. And, of course, there's always Chicago in the summer to look forward to. I swear that seeing this city in the summer almost makes the winters worth it...almost.





Hope you're having a great Sunday!


-K.K.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memorial Weekend


Dressing on a theme? You know I can't resist it. Someone re-pinned my Memorial Weekend outfit post from last year and it reminded me of my neglected blog and subsequent neglected Polyvore. Seeing as my brain decided to be awake at 5:30am this morning (what the heck brain?) I thought I'd put my time to good use and paint my nails while creating a set. Could I have maybe cleaned my room, done laundry, or taken out the trash? Sure. But I'm thinking silver glitter nail polish is going to do more for my morale this weekend than a clean apartment. AmIright?



As per usual I create three dream-scenarios and one outfit that's probably closest to the truth. Seeing as I'll be building sets on Monday I think you can guess what I'll be wearing...


Have a great Memorial Weekend!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday


When I moved in to my studio apartment I had a couple conflicting feelings about it. The first was utter shock; I had just started a new job and my world had been turned upside down. The second was this giggly weird freedom that made me feel like a little girl playing house rather than an adult paying her own rent. It was confusing, and I find that it still is some nights when I come home to read blogs or watch a movie by myself in MY Chicago apartment.




After moving in I stocked my little half-a-fridge and bought an off-brand, sub-par jar of salsa. I tried opening it and the lid wouldn't budge. I dug my trusty jar opener out of a moving box but the lid stayed put. I ran it under hot water, submerged it in my sink upside down, tried hitting the edge of the lid against my half-a-stove and even went at it with a can opener. For the past seven months I would peer in to the fridge, see that jar of salsa taunting me and give it the old college try. It's become this running joke with Mom: should I lure a guy under false pretenses back to my apartment just so he can open the jar of salsa for me? Or maybe it's my King Arthur moment, he who opens the salsa get the...sword?




The silly thing is I will go to the grocery store and looking at the salsa aisle only strengthens my resolve to march  back to my apartment and open my own salsa. Recently the old fashioned way didn't work as per usual and I tried to get through the top with a wine corker almost cutting my fingers and breaking the corkscrew. "Am I really going to wait for someone to come along and open this damn jar of salsa?" I thought munching on unflavored taco chips.




This Cinco de Mayo I went grocery shopping with a firm purpose. I picked out my favorite jar (no off brands) plunked that baby in the cart and hoped for the best. Low and behold upon my triumphant return to the apartment the jar clicked open like a magical symphony of angels and was consumed with a considerable amount of swagger.


And that is the story that made me want to blog just a lil' bit.




I hope you're having a lovely Sunday!


-K.K.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Better Run


Running and I have a love hate relationship. Which is to say that I love what running does for me but I hate, hate, HATE lacing up and doing it. Of course it's not unusual to love the results of something you don't want to do...giving up junk food or sitting down to write for instance. Any time I plan a run I make an excuse: "what if I lifted instead? what if I walk around the grocery store for an hour, does that count?" I'm sure it all counts for something, but not what I'm trying to accomplish.




A few days before leaving for Atlanta I woke up promising myself that after breakfast and some indulgent Pinterest-ing I would hit the trails. But upon rolling out of bed my mental block had other plans.




A thought occurred to me as I was staring down at my old, ripped up Asics. One of my best pieces of advice that always works: get dressed, walk out your front door. If you still don't feel like working out after you've gone through all the effort to prepare, then don't. I reasoned that even if I got out my front door and just took a walk down to Lake Shore my legs would recognize the familiar rhythm and know what to do. And they did.




For twenty minutes and I zipped up and down the sidewalk along with honking rush traffic and a homeless man that called me "pretty lady". Aw shucks! Of course he followed it up by asking if I was alone, to which I unapologetically about-faced and sprinted back to my apartment. Sweaty, panting, blissfully satisfied  Now that it's starting to warm up around these parts picking up running might not be such a bad idea.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday


This trip to Atlanta was everything I needed...

















...and nothing I didn't.


E and I kicked around the city drinking frozen Jack and Cokes and enjoying the general splendor of the weather and Final Four fans all flooding the city at once. We ran the Color Run, went to a Braves game, completed a scavenger hunt through a cemetery (despite my total lack of word search skills), saw some impressive aquatics at the Georgia Aquarium, ate a lot of ice cream and played Settlers of Catan. It's okay to admit that you're jealous because I continue to be bummed that I can't go back and do it all over again this weekend.


Until my next adventure I suppose.




Have a great Sunday everyone!


-K.K.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

On My Mind



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Packing my little carry on and taking the orange line to the airport straight after work. This trip has been in the making since last January when Miss E moved and I could not be more excited about running the Color Run, eating ice cream, and kicking around the city with my friends. Arrivederci Chicago and here I come Atlanta!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

En Route



One of my guilty pleasures now that I live in the city is taking my car for a drive on the weekend. I'll take the long way to run errands past the lake, near downtown, looking out at the giant Ferris Wheel on Navy Pier. I never thought I would miss driving, but I was spoiled with great road trips as a kid so maybe that has something to do with it. Reading books and magazines aloud, playing eye spy, putting on the Chicago Bulls mix tape and jamming along (don't even pretend you didn't root for the dream team).


Road Trip Summer 2013





Strangely enough, the very start of Route 66 is right outside my window at work, and
having been bitten by the travel bug quite some time ago sometimes I want to hit the open road Thelma and Louise style...except for all the murder...but Brad Pitt can totally come.


Headed anywhere fun this summer? Can I come too?


Monday, April 1, 2013

Sort-Of Spring




On mornings when I have the day off and where there's no particular agenda except some minor errands to be run, and spring is peaking ever so slightly through the 38 degree weather, I like to think of my old job at the zoo. I sold tickets, and normally around this time we processed a lot of field trips and early morning arrivals, most notably on "Senior Tuesdays" where bus loads of the senior-ist of citizens would show up and enjoy the peace and quiet of a mostly uncrowded zoo.




One morning a gentleman showed up bright eyed and bushy tailed and parked himself at my window before I even had a chance to settle in and count my change. Usually it's distracting when someone wants to talk to you prior to opening because your brain hasn't had time to prepare the "customer service" attitude and you feel that they should know that in advance. Terrible, but you know what I mean. In any case he was funny, charming, at not at all senior-like. We joked around a bit and I asked him what he was doing at the zoo so early. "It doesn't look like it, but I'm already retired. And some mornings, as a retired person, you just have to wander around and hope that someone gives you coffee." I laughed; what a fantastic aspiration. Low and behold two hours after opening he wandered out, coffee cup in hand, and made his way back to the parking lot.





My point being, that on a sort of spring day like this, I just want to pull on my jeans, wander the neighborhood, and hope that someone can give me coffee somewhere along the way. 


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Out Like a Lion


via Design Love Fest


via Brooklyn Blonde


via Hello Fashion


via This Time Tomorrow


via See Jane.


First day of spring and Chicago celebrated by letting the temperature drop 10 degrees from yesterday. Did I mention the wind chill? Way to be Chi, way to be.


As I was walking home after work, a girl bemoaning the weather to her dog expressed my thoughts: "I don't care what it's like tomorrow. I've got tights, I've got a jacket, I'm wearing that new spring dress!" Woman after my own heart. Loving her new spring clothes and telling her dog all about it. So I decided to throw caution to the wind and dig my white jeans out of under bed storage today. Seems like the perfect mix of practical/warm and fresh/spring.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday


The Anatomy of a Chicago St. Paddy's Day Hangover:


A coffee run is the obvious first step and you feel like you're making the right choice by getting it iced despite the frigid temperatures. At least the ice cubes are hydrating. A line of college basketball players waiting for steak and cheese bagels makes you wonder if you'll catch the El on time, which you do. You start to wonder if people have noticed your green jeans that were so obviously for last night's festivities, but then realize that Sunday is actual St. Patrick's Day. Score.


Sip carefully on the iced coffee and wait to get home to devour the muffin in your purse that you're saving for when the time is right and your exact specifications have been met. The neighbors pomeranians silently but happily greet you at the front gate  furthering your longing for a dog but your pounding head confirms that it's a responsibility you can't handle. Grateful that the other neighbors are making something with rosemary in it today as opposed to curry as you lug your sad cramped up legs up three flights.


A twenty minute boiling hot shower/teeth brushing combination makes you feel at least half way human but now you can't bring yourself to get out of the shower. The comfiest of sweats are carefully chosen. One minute of getting situated on the couch with Chicago Fire playing on your laptop and a bite of the patiently awaited muffin confirms that you're not going anywhere. A quick facebook scan and a text from a friend confirms that people do still go out drinking on actual St. Patrick's Day but obviously not like Chicagoans do on Saturdays.



Friday, March 15, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Eve


St. Patrick's Day Outfit Ideas II


Since I made a set for St. Patrick's Day outfits last year, I figured I had to go for it again. This year I'm dreaming of pastels and light spring clothes that I haven't had the opportunity to wear since Chicago is pretty darn insistent about staying winter until the exact right moment.


If it gives you any indication of the weather situation here in the Midwest, I went to tag this post with my usual "Chicago Season" and there is no Chicago Spring tag. Depressingly, I think that pretty much sums it up.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Break-Fast


JUST in case you weren't aware just about every day in the United States has a food holiday. For example, March 6th is National Frozen Food Day as well as National White Chocolate Cheesecake day...I'll leave it up to you which you'd prefer to celebrate.


Allegedly Monday was National Breakfast Day according to a normally reliable source. Further investigation shows it was actually National Poundcake Day, but that is neither here nor there. What it did inspire me to do is get creative with my breakfast food (for dinner) for a solid week...




Monday was (frozen) waffles with blueberries, although this recipe for blueberry syrup would have been a nice addition. Tuesday was a "hangover melt" courtesy of Glamour, recipe here. Tonight was crispy roasted potatoes. Original recipe calls for a regular potato with parmesan and seasoning salt, but I made a sweet potato with cinnamon and a little bit of brown sugar. Either way it would be delicious, recipe here.


Tomorrow I'm thinking Chai Spice or Scotcharoo Oatmeal, although I can't ignore the fact that March 7th is National Cereal Day...but let's be honest I would celebrate that morning, noon, for 365 if I could.


What's your favorite breakfast treat? (Waffle Day is March 26th, mark it on your calendars! Ridiculous list of food holidays here)


Monday, March 4, 2013

Travel: Atlanta


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With the Atlanta trip less than a month away, E asked me what I wanted to do while I was there other than the Color Run and promptly stuffing our faces afterwards. I've never been outside the Atlanta airport so this may take some research, but here's what I have so far...


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Stone Mountain Park seems like a relaxing place for a hike with my niece Kira. E's reaction: The KKK started there! Thank you scenic Georgia.


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Historic Oakland Cemetary Tours...this may seem like a strange one, but E and I have been kicking around historic cemeteries since our high school days...take that how you will, we just find them fascinating.


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I ask for recommendations at work when tourists from Atlanta roll through, and almost all of them say the Georgia Aquarium...or the World of Coca-cola tour? Since my love of sea creatures far outweighs my feelings towards sugary beverages (unless the Jack Daniels factory is magically attached) then I think I'll be spending a day at the Aquarium. 


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Either that or E's membership to the Zoo Atlanta since ohmygawd a baby orangutan was just born! My heart beat still!


I've heard good things about the Atlanta History Center and and I could get free tickets to the High Museum of Art and E suggested going to the Cubs/Braves game too! Of course I don't want to spend my whole vacation doing touristy things so I should probably narrow it down. Hopefully further foursquare investigation will lead me to some good bars and hangouts.


Have you ever been to Atlanta? What can I absolutely not miss?


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday


In case you're wondering, I "lovingly ripped off" this little survey from Delightfully Tacky. It seemed like the perfect re-kick-start to my blogging adventures. I thought I would take a break for a couple of weeks and see if I was any better for it...but alas I am not. My creative outlets are few and far between, and eliminating the blog only added stress as opposed to decreasing it. I will try and remember this next time I decide to go blogger AWOL.




Reading...
Stuck on the last two chapters of Dresden File's Summer Knight. Once I'm finished I can't decide if I want to continue with the the series or take a little break with Diane Keaton's Then Again.


Watching...
Catching up on my Hulu queue. New Girl, Chicago Fire, Parks and Recreation, and I still have the last episode of 30 Rock there too. I can't bring myself to watch it! Need a new series to though...


Wishing...
I could get the remainder of my apartment put together. I moved in November and things are still in plastic boxes and art is still sitting on the floor. I need a plan of attack to organize and decorate this place on a limited budget. I would love it to feel more like my home than just a place to crash every night. I know these things take time, but I feel like I'm stalling by not doing the basic projects I've already set up for myself. Hopefully once those things are done I'll have a sense of direction in what I want to do next.


Proud of..
I started working out in my apartment four weeks ago and I'm still at it! I have yet to go outside for a run, but I can already feel a difference in my energy level just by doing plyometrics. I like the Bikini Body Workout from Self and the Get In Shape for Summer workout from Refinery29. I have also taken a greater interest in nutrition and cooking for myself, which isn't to say that I'm not having cereal for dinner every now and then, but I'm getting better!


Excited about...
Mama Morgan decided to come to Chicago for a few days at the end of March! Also the Atlanta trip and Color Run is fast approaching.


Impatiently awaiting...
Spring's arrival and the opportunity to wear all my sundresses and shorts again. I realize that I should be looking for on sale boots and winter coats, but I can't help but browse sandals, skirts, and swimwear for the upcoming Atlanta trip. As lovely as Chicago is in the winter, it's even better in the summer.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The V


The way I originally imagined this post was to give you a round up of all the cute things I saw about Valentine's Day, which is tomorrow people. Instead, I found these things...


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Grumpy Cat Doesn't Like Valentine's


The best way to say I Love You is with bacon


Chicago Reader's Romance is for Suckers, great short stories


Looking forward to the next holiday




And finally, "Joe" and his pal Murray on Sesame Street. Joe is sporting a tee with the heart on it, so I'm sure this counts. Eat it up ladies and gentlemen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mardi Gras












Wishing I had found a way to Mardi Gras this year. Spending some time with my family, reliving my "glorious" 21st birthday down in the Quarter. As it stands I'll be sporting my yellow, purple and green, and possibly making red beans and rice or oven baked beignets. Not the same I realize but you've got to make do sometimes. Of course if anyone wanted to find a place to grab a hurricane, I'd be down for that too!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Febbers


Another V-day themed outfit? Don't mind if I do...
V-Day Outfit 2



Since I'm so fond of coming up with the names for these things, I call this one "I still have to work that day but maybe I can cut out early and meet you guys at a dive bar where we do $3 Hooker shots and complain about how we are too fancily dressed for this place." 


On another note, looking back at my other V-Day outfit I don't know why I have a penchant for the edgy this holiday. I'm not normally not the type, but Bruce Willis is really getting to me. Also I hope everyone assumes that I'm wearing tights and a big fluffy North Face coat. I don't want to advocate freezing your bum off for the sake of Valentine's Day. Believe me, I saw enough bare legs on New Years to warrant a PSA in the greater Chicago area. Ladies: you do not want inner thigh frost bite. Unattractive.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday Fever


I had to leave work early today. I'll spare you graphic details but there is nothing more delightful then the height of your illness taking place in a bathroom where there are children present:


"Mom, is she sick?"


"Yes Sweetheart."


"Should we help her?"


"No honey, just leave her alone."


One L ride and a trudge through the slush later I was curled up in bed eating saltine crackers and watching the "wintery mix" come down. That's snow mixed with freezing rain if you're unfamiliar with Chicago's positive phrases that all boil down to meaning "shitty weather." I'm starting to get itchy for spring and Valentine's Day hasn't even happened yet. I'm really counting heart shaped dark chocolate and photo evidence of warmer climates to pull me through the rest of this winter...


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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

18 Days


When E signed me up for the Color Run I thought it would be easy training. I would locate one of my Pinterest plans and get to work in a month... problem being most plans start 10 weeks out and I currently have 8. Oops. Of course I can't be caught dead running outdoors, because if I were running outdoors right now I might actually BE dead. Many Chicagoans (and possibly even me this time last year) would disagree, but in my defense I was in better shape a year ago today. I had come from of a job where I walked 10+ miles a day and I jumped in to running like it was no big thing. Now the only practice I get is when I need to catch a train or run back to the time clock when my break is over...could we count that as a speed drill?


So in lieu of trail running for the time being I joined the community center gym by my apartment and the blue hairs and I have been rocking it out on the ellipticals...honestly they are so friendly. "Are you new here? Welcome!" I re-stocked the cabinets with a slew of new and healthier groceries courtesy of Muffin-Topless. I also Pinterest picked a few strength training routines to build some lean muscle in the mean time. I tried my first routine last night: Refinery 29's Beach Body workout and I am sore as all get out today. It feels fantastic.




If you recall last winter when I did try winter running I promptly gave up when I became too stressed and overwhelmed. This is probably the worst reason to quit working out seeing as it helps manage that stress, but my unemployment logic wasn't all that solid. But this time I come armed with knowledge: it takes 18 days to create a habit. If I give it my all for 18 days I will come to prioritize what my body needs to be happy which is healthy food and a nice work out. Three days in and feeling fine!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Feb-brew-ary


Happy February everyone! Aren't we collectively glad that January finally bit the dust? Me too. 


Now there's nothing I love more than dressing for a theme, and Valentine's Day kind of shakes up the winter routine of black slacks and pull over sweaters which is always a plus. If you'll recall last year I made an outfit for staying in, but to kick off February I thought I would plan a "going out" outfit.


V-Day Outfit 1


I call this one the "I'm probably going to see the new Die Hard movie and then have cocktails with friends." And by cocktails with friends I mean I'm going to sneak PBR in to the theatre in that adorable clutch purse. The Valentine's Day of dreams, no?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Writers Write.


There seem to be two basic theories when it comes to writing and they are as follows:


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One: if you're not feeling particularly inspired or creative, then don't write. It's better than producing utter crap. Lord help you if people actually read it and think you are a terrible writer.


Two: even if you're not feeling particularly inspired or creative, even if it's raining outside and your favorite pen is out of ink, even if you have a toe cramp or you'd rather be doing something more intriguing like cataloguing your extensive stamp collection, write. For God's sake write. Free flow even if you feel like holding a pen is painful and sentences are coming together slowly and dreadfully four words at a time. Just keep going. You may read it later and think: "Wow, this is some hot garbage." Or you just may surprise yourself.


In the absence of consistent blog posts my rainbow colored composition notebook has gone with me everywhere. While some days on the train I would rather listen to music and fall asleep leaning on the person next to me, I write anyway. On my break when I would rather skip down to Corner Bakery and buy a monster cookie, I'll write instead. Slowly but surely, I think I'm having a break through. Words, ideas, plots, characters, they're all starting to form on the pages like some congealed primordial brain goop. It isn't pretty but it's mine, and it's coming together.


The best advice I can give you on my own theories of writing is that Writers Write. Regardless of how messy or nonsensical. If you want to be a perfectionist, become an editor.


Writers Write. Period.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Paris in the Rain









// 1 / 2 / 3 & 4 //


I have always loved the rain. Waking up to it hitting the roof, sloshing around in my red rain boots, and sharing some really great smooches as it comes pouring from the sky. Honestly nothing beats a kiss in the rain, just ask Gene Kelly. But sometimes I wish that my red boots, rainbow colored umbrella and soaking wet embraces could be in Paris for the day...