Kelly in the City

Written By Mitch Larkin

Review: The Solo Stove

The Solo Stove Review

Mitch here!

I grew up in an intensely boring part of the country, so bonfires were a big deal for us. But my city-slicker family doesn’t know the joy of sitting and collectively staring at burning wood for hours on end. That is until I bought this dope fire pit called the Solo Stove.

Who’s laughing now?!

Favorite Kids’ Remote Learning Apps

Favorite Kids Remote Learning Apps

Thank you for the adorable dress, Walker!

iPad Case (Newer model) / Kitchen Stools

Mr. Mitch here!

As a former public school teacher, I’d like to welcome the rest of you Newfound Remote Learning Homeschoolers to the September Scaries Club. For a solid decade, I went into full-on panic mode every late summer, and somehow I’m back in that place again. 😬

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Chef Mitch here!

A couple of years ago, shortly after making these pretzels, Kelly and I caught the stomach flu from extended family. (Every Larkin was down for the count. It was rough.) And since pretzels had been the last thing we’d eaten before that whole debacle, we swore them off. Forever!

But it’s been a few years and I think we’ve (finally) recovered emotionally. And this whole end of the world thing has motivated me to dust off the old pretzel recipe, fall off the wagon and untie my self-imposed pretzel knots… because with this recipe, the pretzels come as easy as the clichés. Today, I intend to prove that pretzels are not a “mall-only food,” and if you have the gumption, you’ll be over-indulging yourself and your family in no time.

Men’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Guide by Mitch

Mitch here!

As a resident Blogger Husband, I’m here to report back from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale that the shoe, pant, coat and sweater deals are straight-up plentiful this year.

Even better (😉): I’ve combed the sale so your guy doesn’t have to. He probably wouldn’t anyway, and he’d just continue wearing the same clothes. (Much like I would were it not for this blog.) He’s lucky that he has you…and me, for that matter.

Btw: Kelly and I are giving away $500 to shop the sale, and entering is ridiculously quick and easy. Do it here!


How to Set up A Home Movie Theater

Full basement playroom tour here.

Mitch here!

I’ve been training my whole life for this post. TVs and projectors and gadgets are my passion, and while I lack the time to actually use them much these days, I somehow found the time to create a solid home theater. Funny how that works.

Either way, today’s post is How to Set Up a Home Movie Theater, and I’m really excited about it!

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Mitch’s Samsung Frame TV Review

Samsung Frame TV (65″)

Mitch here!

TV, or not TV, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler for the house to suffer a giant black rectangle on thy wall or for thine TV-watching fortunes to die—to bingewatch no more.

That is to say that the Great TV Debate continues. In our house, the traditional battle lines were drawn: I wanted a TV so large that it’d need to be airlifted into the living room with a helicopter. Kelly, of course, voted no TV at all and wanted some painting of (now dead) people from the 1800s or something. So we compromised and bought a Samsung Frame TV which claims to “TV when it’s on and art when it’s off.” (Cute.) But does it really work like that? How good does it actually look? Will you trick people into thinking it’s art? Will your wife be happy? Is it worth the price?

Answers to those questions and more below.

2020 Virtual Ducky Derby

Mitch here!

The Special Olympics is my favorite charity, and, due to the pandemic, they need our help now more than ever. And due to the pandemic, most important fundraising event, the Ducky Derby, has gone virtual. What is the Ducky Derby, you might ask? I guess you better read more to find out.

Our New Playroom Furniture


Mitch here!

We love living in an old house; its charm really makes it feel like home. It’s also very unique! It sits on a shorter-than-average Chicago lot, which is why it was built “up” rather than “back.” The untraditional floor plan was actually one of the leading reasons we loved the house so much; it’s great for our family because we both run small businesses from home and need that separation of work and living spaces. That said, the configuration does present a few tricky design challenges–namely finding furniture that works!

The Clothes Make the Man

Shirt / Shorts

Mitch here!

“The clothes make the man.” “Dress for the job you want.” “What you wear is how you present yourself to the world.” 

I start each day with careful consideration of my appearance, and at least a thousand times, I’ve decided on this exact outfit. This luxurious shirt-and-shorts combo got me through junior high school, high school, college, my 20s, and now my 30s. This is not an outfit of the day, it’s an outfit of the life.

Mitch’s Father’s Day Gift Guide

Fathers Day Gift Guide

One / Two / Three / Four / Five / Six / Seven / Eight / Nine / Ten / Eleven / Twelve / Thirteen / Fourteen / Fifteen / Sixteen / Seventeen / Eighteen / Nineteen / Twenty / Twenty-One / Twenty-Two / Twenty-Three / Twenty-Four / Twenty-Five / Twenty-Six / Twenty-Seven / Twenty-Eight / Twenty-Nine / Thirty / Thirty-One / Thirty-Two / Thirty-Three / Thirty-Four / Thirty-Five / Thirty-Six

Mitch here!

Father’s Day 2020 is on Sunday, and due to the pandemic, it’s bound to be the worst Father’s Day of all time. ♥️ But I’ve devised a handy gift guide to make your dad’s day suck a little less, and if you act now, everything will ship in time! Let’s do it.

Growing Impatiens

Garden Planters (XL size here) / Faux Topiaries / Stoop Planters / Wreath (Love the tulip version!) / Newer Large Lanterns / Newer Small Lanterns

Mitch here!

I spent the last hour trying to figure out a pun on the words “impatient” and “impatiens” for the title of this blog post, and I’ve officially given up. If you have one, leave it in the comments… because I’m spent!

Back Up Your Computer. Seriously.

Desk / Rug / Gray Malin Print (Thank you SO much to Gray Malin for this!) / Brooke & Lou Lemon Wallpaper / Chair (Older chair from IG here.) / iMac / Lamp / Calendar (Clearly brand new. 😂 Also love this one.) / Day Designer Planner / Coasters / Striped Curtains / Sconce / Yeti Mug / Tote

Mitch here!

Computers break. They get spilled on, fall off desks, and get karate-chopped by toddlers. Sometimes they even get stolen. Or lost. (🤯, but yes. They get left behind in/on trains, planes and automobiles.) And, one day, your precious computer–with all those important pictures and files and work and stuff–will go, too. It’ll get so incomprehensibly broken that you won’t even know what to do with yourself.

But if you have just five minutes and six bucks, we can backup your data right now and save you the heartache. I mean, why not?





Maximizing Productivity in a Home Workspace, by Mitch

Maximizing Productivity in a Home Workspace

Printer’s Desk / Rug / Broy Hill Lamp (found at HomeGoods) / Vintage Artwork found at estate sale / Vintage Chair / Creepy HomeGoods Whale / Paint color: “In the Navy” (Color #50BB 10/147) by Glidden

Mitch here!

I’m one of those people who worked from home before it was required. So I thought it’d be useful to share a few tips on how to create a productive home workspace.

Note: You don’t need a dedicated room to do this!

Gifts for One-Year-Olds

One / Two / Three / Four / Five / Six / Seven / Eight / Nine / Ten / Eleven / Twelve / Thirteen / Fourteen / Fifteen / Sixteen / Seventeen / Eighteen / Nineteen / Twenty / Twenty-One / Twenty-Two / Twenty-Three / Twenty-Four / Twenty-Five / Twenty-Six / Twenty-Seven

Mitch here!

I spend all day with a one-year-old and yet I was clueless as to what to get her for her birthday this year. Luckily, my wife and our extended families love this stuff and they spent weeks chatting about toys. (Yes, it was a great distraction, but again, they normally really enjoy toy shopping. Am I the only one who doesn’t get joy from children’s toys?! Kelly, for example, would 100-percent opt to visit a toy store above all other stores. I’m sorry, but what? 🤯)