Kelly in the City

Written By Mitch Larkin

The Best Affordable Amazon Halloween Decorations

The Best Affordable Amazon Halloween Decorations

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Mitch here!

This might be the single-most blogger-like thing I’ve ever done. (Keep in mind that I’m a dude.) I used Pottery Barn, West Elm and Crate and Barrel—some of Kelly’s favorite brands for holidays—as inspiration to find inexpensive decor on Amazon. Turns out that you don’t have to drop and arm/leg (or wait the long shipping times) to have your home looking cute for Halloween. Unless you’re Frankenstein. Because he drops arms and legs all the time.

Dad Joke. Ba-boom.

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Mitch, Please: 10 Things, 10/1

Tuckernuck Kenzo Dress | Mitch, Please: 10 Things 10/1

Kelly’s Tuckernuck Dress (Comes in lots of colors/patterns. She’s wearing the black.) / C.Wonder Bag / Black Pumps (Newer version)

New wheels! Just kidding. It’s our rental car.

Mitch here!

Not to brag, but I’m sitting here writing this post with the Pacific Ocean spread out before me. Just thought I’d mention that. Here are a few—I don’t know; maybe 10—things that come to mind this week:

San Diego Trip Agenda

San Diego Trip Agenda

Photo by our friend and bride-to-be, Gabby Emig. Congrats, Gabby and Brian! We love you!

Mitch here!

Would you look at us?! We planned a weeklong, no-kids, extended family trip to San Diego for a friend’s wedding, and I couldn’t be more excited. So today I’m using this post as an excuse to jot down all the stuff I want to do in Southern California while we’re here. If you have any recommendations or if you see anything totally off in this guide, please let me know!

Mitch, Please: 10 Things, 9/9

Above Normal Eggs farm | Mitch Please: 10 Things 9/9

Mitch here!

This is a picture I took at Above Normal Eggs while I was literally farming. Well, I was standing there while my dad was farming.

Full disclosure: I wasn’t doing anything helpful and spent most of my time taking pictures of the sunset and getting in the way. But I was on a farm and that counts for something!

Here are 10 other things that come to mind this week:

Fresh From the Field: Sweet Corn with Mitch

Farm-Fresh Sweet Corn Recipe

Mitch here!

It’s still corn season in Illinois. And I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t every season corn season in Illinois? Okay, yes. There’s a kernel of truth to your question, but gather in a row and lend me an ear because shucks, I’m about to cob together a corny blog post that will simply a-maize.

10 Things with Mitch, 9/2

Cows near Lake Bloomington | 10 Things with Mitch 9/2

Awesome cows near Lake Bloomington, IL where my parents live. Excited to get back there this weekend for Labor Day! ^

Mitch here!

Three “10 Things” posts in a week?! We’re clearly trying to catch up over here. You can pretty much bet that the Larkin Household is on fire when you see more than one in a week. ;)

Shoutout to Lindsey A. for the “Mitch’s Musings” column name suggestion. That’s the top contender right now! Though I did just come up with “Ain’t that a Mitch: 10 Things.” Thoughts?

Grilled Clams in Garlic Butter Sauce

Grilled Clams in Garlic Butter Sauce

Chef Mitch here!

You can grill pretty much anything if you try hard enough. And while much of what comes off my grill isn’t exactly blog-worthy—please note that the above photo was the best I got from my solo photoshoot 🙃—today I want to share my favorite new grilling recipe: grilled clams in garlic butter sauce. It’s so easy and really impresses the wife.

10 Things with Mitch, 8/3

Vineyard Vines Dress and Hat | 10 Things with Mitch 8/3

Vineyard Vines Dress and Hat / Sandals / Pocket Tee / Newer Shorts

OC throwback because I’m missing the Shore!

Mitch here!

Kelly is asleep on the couch, sick as a dog with a sinus infection, which means it’s time for another “Verbal Vomit with Mitch” post, “Stream-of-Consciousness Edition”

How We Bike with Kids in the City

How we Bike with Kids in the City

Similar Bike (Also check out Retrospec!) / Thule Yepp Maxi Child Bike Seat (Highest rated of the year! We have this one for Emma, who’s almost five years old.) / Lucy’s Helmet / Kelly’s Helmet (I have this one as well.) / Vineyard Vines Dress / Washable Sneakers / Lucy’s Lemon Dress (Similar) and Gold Sandals / Kelly’s Sunglasses

Mitch here!

I have big big news. I found the solution to our never-ending kid drop-off/pickup commute routine drudgery. I’m talking about our new biking habit, which I’m loving every minute of.

We bought bike seats for the girls—the UrRider Child Bike Seat for Emma and the Thule Yepp Maxi Child Bike Seat for Lucy—and it’s honestly the best thing we’ve purchased in a long time. We have no more frustrating getting-the-girls-in-the-car sagas. No more stroller-boredom breakdowns either. There are no more stressful daycare-parking-lot hustles, and no more sucking Cheerios out of car seats with dust busters.

Sailing Lake Michigan in Chicago

Sailing Lake Michigan in Chicago

Floral Maxi Dress / Sunglasses / Girls’ Dresses / Girls’ SandalsMitch’s Shorts / Mitch’s Sandals / Mitch’s Chambray Shirt (Similar) / Mitch’s Sunglasses

Mitch here!

I like to think of myself as a guy who enjoys sailing. I have a Nantucket sweatshirt. I wear boat shoes often. I love the color navy. But up until recently, I’d never actually been sailing. 😜

Teaching Math at Home

Teaching Math at Home

Emma’s Room Details / Rainbow Dress

Mr. Mitch here!

Math is important. If you look around, it’s clear that those who have a fundamental mathematical understanding typically have a leg up on those who don’t. I’d be hard-pressed to name a life path that doesn’t require some math in some capacity! So a goal of mine is to work with my daughters on math every day.

I was a math teacher for 10 years, and I’ve seen first-hand the type of stress that math can cause kids and adults alike. “Math anxiety” is a real problem. I actually experienced it myself growing up! A lot of people believe that math skills are a genetic gift, passed down from generation to generation and bestowed upon only the lucky few. Being “not good at math” is used as an excuse to throw up one’s hands, plug one’s ears, and run away in terror. The truth is that understanding math, just like any other skill, is achievable for nearly anyone willing to put in the effort. It just takes some work!

Wisconsin Dells Trip

Wisconsin Dells Trip

Watermelon Dresses / Sandals / Liberty of London Dresses / Lucy’s Bathing Suit / Emma’s Bathing Suit / Girls’ Clips

Mitch here!

There are three kinds of Summer People in Chicago: City People, Michigan People and Wisconsin People. And after our recent trip to the Wisconsin Dells, I’m thinking it’s time to declare myself a Wisconsin Person!

Mitch’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Guide for Men

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Guide for Men

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Mitch here!

It’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale sale season, and today I’m sharing my favorites… because men’s is a category often forgotten. ;)

Buy this Super-Fast iPhone Charger Today

Buy this Super-Fast iPhone Charger Today

Old iPhone Charger on Left / New, Super-Fast Charger on the Right

Mitch here! 

Quick post today to share the single-greatest piece of technology I’ve purchased in the last year: a Fast iPhone Charger. It’s between $16 and $19 depending on the day, and it can charge a dead iPhone to half battery in just 30 minutes. Incredible!

Mitch’s Amazon Buys

Mitchs Amazon Buys

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Mitch here!

Looking back through our recent Amazon purchases is a strange window into the soul. It’s like a journal that shares the true story of our lives without the lies and exaggerations I usually tell myself. We buy some truly bizarre stuff on Amazon, and I’d like to share that with you today.

(Though I refuse to look back at my 2020 purchase history. Amazon and I went to some strange and dark places during the pandemic.)