Kelly in the City

Written By Mitch Larkin

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?

Let’s.

Just.

Do.

It.

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? 🤯)

How to Make Beer Cheese

Mitch here!

This global health catastrophe really takes the fun out of binge-eating junk food, which is tough because binge-eating junk food is my favorite thing. But today I’m bringing you Kelly’s best family recipe–Beer Cheese–and if those two words don’t do it for you, then I don’t know what will.

Cute Outdoor Accessories

It nearly killed me, but this past week I knocked out a lot of time-consuming projects that I owed… and a weight has been lifted. Acclimating to two-hour workdays has definitely been overwhelming at times, and I’m often discouraged when I see friends picking up these awesome hobbies and doing fantastic activities with their kids while maintaining homes and/or juggling work. HOW DO PEOPLE DO IT? We’ve been quarantining for a long time at this point, and I’m still working on projects that should have been completed in early March. It’s almost May. 😂

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Outdoor Space Plans

I’m freaking out over here.

I’m going to be working with Pottery Barn to make over our outdoor space! Working with PB has always been one of my biggest blogging goals, and I can’t tell you how excited I am. (Or how nervous I am. Pottery Barn, I WON’T LET YOU DOWN. 😂)

This won’t really be coming to fruition for a few weeks, but it’s a dream… and I’m so, so grateful for the opportunity. And, of course, I plan on sharing the process! (A fun little distraction, perhaps?)

Why to Consider Refinancing Your Home

Old Pottery Barn Faux Marble Table (Similar here, here and here) / Serena & Lily Bistro Chairs (On sale with code “ATHOME”) / Old Boy Hill Whale (Similar here) / Emma’s Ralph Lauren Dress / Lucy’s Nordstrom Dress

Mitch here!

As the economy continues to suffer from the pandemic, so many Americans are in difficult financial situations. So I thought I’d take today to talk a little bit about refinancing your home, as it could shave quite a bit off from your mortgage payment. (Very helpful right now!)

There’s no catch. It’s free money!

Quarantine Bread-Baking

Mitch here!

Apparently I’m not the only one stress-baking these days. Article in a nutshell: Flour and yeast are very much in demand right now, but there’s no shortage. Baking is therapeutic, and can be an extremely helpful way to manage anxiety. It’s also an activity that brings families together.

Anyway, this past week, I spent quite a bit of time baking away my feelings. And hey! It improved my outlook. Because I’m really into gadgets, I bought a bread machine. (Love it.) But keep in mind that you certainly don’t need a bread machine to bake bread! (Though if pressing buttons brings you joy, I highly recommend.)

COVID-19: Supply Prep

Mitch here!

Now more than ever, it’s important to practice social distancing and self quarantine if possible so that we prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the elderly, those who have preexisting conditions and/or compromised immune systems, and the medical professionals who are on the frontlines. Let’s work together so that our healthcare system doesn’t collapse.

Anyway, it goes without saying that in no way am I trying to incite panic with this post or encourage hoarding if your community’s stores are visibly struggling to keep shelves stocked. Use your best judgment and consult your conscience before acting, and remember that there is plenty of food in the country, and we’re not running out anytime soon. (Education re: the United States’ food supply chain = less panic + less hoarding!) But it’s important to realize the value of putting thought into what to buy before heading out to buy supplies. Because the fewer the trips to the store, the better.

I’m no authority on the subject, but I researched and prepared for roughly a month before self-quarantining last week–and since I’ve been getting a lot of questions from friends and family, I’m going to share my process today.

Men’s Preppy Capsule Wardrobe

Mitch here!

A capsule wardrobe is built of staple pieces that can be rearranged and reutilized to form dozens of different outfit combinations. And this one is geared toward the preppy and classic. It was designed for year-round wear, though it does includes a few specialized pieces for each season. Whether you’re building a wardrobe from scratch or refreshing your look, here are the fundamental basics necessary for the modern guy!

Personalized Children’s Books that Write Themselves

Mitch here!

We take story time seriously in this house. No matter how manic or reckless the schedule, Kelly and I wrestle each girl down for a snuggle and a few stories at the end of each day. Story time is special for us. It’s time away from everything else; a time when we can enjoy a few moments together. It’s unlike any other part of our day.

March is the Worst

Mitch here!

It’s March in Chicago, and if you know what that means, please clue me in. I’m drawing a blank. At its best, March is “blah” and at its worst, well, March is usually the worst. There’s a reason March’s only cultural tradition involves getting drunk in the morning. ☘️ Simply put, March should bite the big one. It sticks out there like the calendar’s stubbed toe with all its wasted potential and underperformance. If I was March’s father, I’d send him (her?) to boarding school. So today,. I’m writing a sternly worded blog post to put March on notice. Screw you, March!