Mitch, you have to be kidding me with the above photo. 😆
Are nachos an appetizer, a snack or an entree? The answer, of course, is yes. And I know what you’re thinking: Mitch, nachos are cheese and chips. It’s just two things; it’s not even a recipe. To which I say, lay off me! I’m a nacho expert and this recipe makes the best nachos I’ve ever had.
My in-laws are here today which is SO nice. It’s been a long time since we hung out with anyone, and I apologize in advance to John and Lisa because we’re undoubtedly talking their ears off. 😜 With any hope, we’re also going to be masking/lacing up and heading over to my friend Bradley’s community because they have an outdoor SKATING RINK. Yesterday, the weather was ridiculously cold in Chicago… so fingers crossed that the rink is up and running!
Despite my best efforts, the only real pandemic habit that I’ve stuck with is buying tons of junk on Amazon. So today, as a part of this totally irregular and completely erratic blog series, I present to you the 20 best things I’ve bought on Amazon recently. Enjoy!
Use code “KELLYINTHECITY10” to take $10 off your Always Pan order!
GUYS! A while ago, the company Our Place sent us its Always Pan, and I was pretty excited. So many friends have raved about it this past year, and with so much stay-at-home time, I’ve been doing everything I can to pare down our belongings and simplify. The Always Pan, our friends boasted, is the do-everything pan; the only pan you’ll reach for in your day-to-day life. Minimal cleanup, clean lines, and functionality like whoa. I have to admit that I was kind of sold before the thing even arrived.
We’ve had two snow days in a row here in Chicago, and it’s been just what we needed to lift our spirits! ❄️ We spent Saturday morning trying to build a snowman at the park—we failed 😜 but still had a ton of fun—and then Mitch somehow scored an individual igloo/greenhouse structure at Willow Room. We were all ecstatic! (And a bit disheveled, haha!)
I just want to say thank you to everyone who reached out about how important it is to buy a pre-lit artificial Christmas tree. It really didn’t occur to me that it could make that much of a difference, but apparently it DOES, haha. Thank you! And while I’m a little sad about going faux indoors, I feel like we’ve been making real progress every year with simplifying and thus enjoying the holidays more… and this decision will certainly help.
(Note: We still plan on supporting tree farmers and local stands. I think we’ll simply get a real tree for the outside of the house. We had a faux one outside this year, so I suppose that we’re just switching things around!)
Blast! (I love that word. I say this a lot, but I’ve always felt like a British girl trapped in an American’s body. I JUST WANT TO BE BRITISH. 😂)
I’ve been keeping up with making Spotify playlists, but the holidays did me in… and I totally forgot to publish them in November and December. Oh well; picking up where we left off. Here’s the one I made in November!
If you’re new to this series—here are my playlists for June, July, August and September—I highlight a few songs from each playlist and explain why I love them or what meaning they hold for me. :)
I’m really trying to make things feel special and happy and exciting for the girls now that Christmas is over and there’s so much uncertainty. (I don’t think Emma truly understands what’s going on in our country right now, but I do think she can sense that we’re sad.)
I’ve honestly been pretty worried about Emma; Lucy’s spent nearly half her life in quarantine and she’s happy as a clam just playing and being with us. But Emma sees so few people—I honestly can’t remember the last time she saw a friend outside of FaceTime—and Christmas was getting her through. We recently made the tough decision to not send her back to school with the (very small) first wave of students out of respect for the teachers, who aren’t comfortable returning. And while she’s still smiling and laughing, I do think that it was hard for her. I know it was for us! Valentine’s Day, though, is something to look forward to. Mini celebrations are everything this year. :)
Okay, sorry. I just re-read that and I’m sounding like a real downer, haha. ♥️ YAY FOR VALENTINE’S DAY! ♥️ (But seriously. 😆)
Here’s what usually goes live on Friday, which is why the post is called “Recent Finds, 1/8.”
Hope you guys are having a good weekend and taking care of yourselves. If you have a moment, please read this piece by Clint Smith, who’s a spectacular writer, and one that I’ve respected for a while now. ♥️
Aaaaand now back to watching “My Little Pony.” I know you’re jealous.
It took me a while to find an awesome face mask that I swear by. I tried a LOT! But nearly a year later, I have a favorite: Little Flower Fabric, which you can find on Etsy. This goes without saying, but wearing a mask is of the utmost importance, especially now… and finding one that works for you is ridiculously important, too.
I stumbled upon these a few months ago while looking for better options, and they’re so good. I really can’t recommend them more!
In light of yesterday’s horrific and heartbreaking events, I wanted to reserve today’s blog post to introduce something actionable. ♥️
My Block My Hood My City (M3) is an amazing Chicago-based nonprofit organization that provides people with opportunities to step outside their comfort zones and “explore new communities, cultures and cuisines in an effort to gain a greater understanding of the world.” It offers mentoring for underprivileged youth; youth-senior wellness calls for those isolated by the pandemic; and aid for senior citizens in need of things like hand sanitizer, food and toiletries. You might remember me talking about M3 over the holidays, too, as they worked to decorate 12 miles and over 500 homes along the historic Martin Luther King Jr. Drive this year! Pretty incredible!
The My Block My Hood My City website is fantastic, and I really urge you to explore it! These days, especially during COVID, searching for ways to take action can be overwhelming. But M3 makes it very easy. Here are a few ways that you can do something right now—even if you don’t live in Chicago!
January, February and March are my walking months in Chicago, even when there isn’t a global pandemic going on. They always seem to clear my mind and help me put things into perspective. These days, I head out in the morning with Lucy before her nap, while Emma’s in her remote learning class and Mitch is working. It’s pretty cold, so the noise of the city is softer… and that allows for some good thinking and chats with Lucy. (She’s not talking yet, but she does make sounds of approval, which is nice. She agrees with nearly everything I say! I’ve always loved that kid. 😂) I’ll admit that it takes quite a bit of work to get out the door—so much gear!–but it’s worth it.
I grabbed my camera yesterday on the way out, and it made the walk even more enjoyable! As I’ve mentioned, the weather is pretty gloomy in Chicago right now; so much of the snow has turned a lovely shade of brown, and the majority of the Christmas decor has either come down or is looking mighty tired. But my camera has always helps me find the beauty in less-than-perfect settings and chapters, and I so enjoyed combing through the photos last night. :)