Top 10 reasons to visit the zoo this winter

Top 10 reasons to visit the zoo this winter
I hate zoos. You can read about it here. So, why the top 10 list? My four year old and I are studying Arctic and Antarctic animals. Where else can you go to see polar bears and penguins in the same place? So, even though I've been underwhelmed by my last few trips, we gave Brookfield Zoo another try. Here are the top 10 reasons to visit the zoo this winter: ...

All I want for Christmas...is less

All I want for Christmas...is less. And I took four hours and one trip to Goodwill to make that happen. One of my goals for 2016 is to "lesson plan" more for the kids; to use toys more intentionally. It's hard to do this when you don't know what you have or where you have it. So, I purged. I had to be faced with our own ridiculousness, so I brought all the toys into one room. Check out our family's ridiculousness in the gallery below...

I thought Star Wars was stupid until I became a mom

I thought Star Wars was stupid until I became a mom
It's pretty well documented that I hate science. This includes science fiction and Star Wars. It just all seems too fake to me. Who are ALL these stupid characters? Why the stupid names? Why all the stupid species? (I didn't even know what a wookie was, but I was sure that I didn't like the obnoxious sounding furry character.) Then, my cabaret group, The Chicago Red Line, decided to perform a Star Wars spoof for our fall show. Can you guess my reaction? This show is going to be... S-T-U-P-I-D...
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Why running the Chicago Marathon means so much to me

Why running the Chicago Marathon means so much to me
A year ago, when I told my parents that I wanted to run the 2015 Chicago Marathon, this was their reaction: "Oh no! That's way too hard on the body! What about your back? What if you get hurt?" I herniated a disk...in 1998. "I'm not stupid. If I get injured, I won't do it. I like to have a one year post-baby goal. Since the baby is due in October, I think that the marathon would be a good one." My second son was born on October 18, 2014, via C-section. It was somewhat traumatic, as my body failed to progress in labor, so a vaginal birth was not possible. By the time that we decided to do the C-section, it was clear that we had cut it close: the baby spent two days in the NICU. All was fine, but I really felt as if my body failed me...

THE complete guide to must have fall basics for mom

Chase kids in your leggings and then top your basics with a military jacket and scarf to stay stylish and warm. My military jacket is my most used fall clothing item. It looks good over everything!
Nikki Miner Makeup is back with her Fall Fashion Formula and must have basics for the stay at home mom. Can you believe that this lady had a baby less than eight months ago?! Thank you to Nikki and to my readers who requested a fall fashion guide.  I’m so excited to be back and talking about fall fashion! Out of all of the seasons, I LOVE fall clothes the most! The layers, colors, and general cozy vibe are what get me excited for cool weather clothes. Getting dressed for fall weather is so easy, too! It comes down to a very simple equation. Follow it and you will create a great outfit every time!  FALL FASHION FORMULA: BASICS + COMPLETER PIECE + ACCESSORIES/SHOES = GREAT FALL OUTFIT...

Why you should talk to your 4-year-old about Patrick Kane

Why you should talk to your 4-year-old about Patrick Kane
(This post is in response to the allegations that Patrick Kane raped a woman.) We sat at the breakfast table on Sunday, and I said to my husband, "I"m going to talk to our son about Patrick Kane." He said, "Okay," looking visibly confused and also wondering how the hell I was going to explain accused rape to a 4 year old. "So, buddy, something kind of bad and sad happened with Patrick Kane. There's a girl that says he was trying to kiss her and she didn't want to be kissed, but that he forced her to kiss him." "Why did he want to kiss her?" Fair question. "She was probably really pretty," I offered. Four year old considers this. "Why didn't she want to kiss him?" "Well, because sometimes, you know how we ask you to hug someone and you don't want to? It's kind of like that. You have to hug family, like Grandma and Grandpa, but it's your choice to hug, high five or fist bump other friends. This girl didn't want to kiss him and he kept forcing her to. It's not okay to force someone else's body to do something that they don't want to do." "Yeah, I didn't feel like hugging friends at brunch at Chicago." "I know, buddy, and that's okay. Even when Daddy is doing the tickling game, sometimes you don't like what he's doing, and you tell him to stop. If someone is doing something to your body that doesn't feel good, or makes you feel funny, then you should definitely tell them to stop." "Why was she pretty?" Ah, yes. Back to non-relevant questions. That's fine. We got through the main point: why you should talk to your 4-year-old about Patrick Kane....
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6 reasons to visit the nature center and NOT the zoo

6 reasons to visit the nature center and NOT the zoo
It's official. I hate the zoo. I'm basing my dislike for zoos on the Milwaukee Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, and Lincoln Park Zoo. Of all of these, Lincoln Park was the best, because you could easily escape leave and go do something else nearby. Nature and/or wildlife centers, on the other hand, I've grown to love. Here are 6 reasons to visit the nature center and NOT the zoo:...

DIY "American Ninja Warrior" obstacle course

DIY American Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course
This DIY "American Ninja Warrior" course cost me NOTHING, and applies to ages 3-33. We created in for Father's Day, and we're bringing it back (with improvements!) for my son's fourth birthday party. You'll notice that few obstacles mirror those on the show. I worked with what I found in the garage, and with what was suggested (for little kids) on Pinterest. Having a swing set helps, but only two of eight obstacles utilized the swing set. Click on the gallery below to view the 8 "American Ninja Warrior" obstacles in action...

What do I DO with these kids all summer?! Here's your answer.

What do I DO with these kids all summer?! Here's your answer.
What do I DO with these kids all summer?! Here's your answer: Plan, plan, plan.  Here are six ways to keep you and yours from going crazy:...
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I ate salad every day for a month, and here's what I realized

I ate salad every day for a month, and here's what I realized
A month ago, my doctor told me that I was obese. While I mostly scoffed at his words, I did take some action. Salad. For lunch. EVERY DAY. Here are 5 things that I realized after eating salad for a month:...