Four years ago, I wrote this post
(decide to stick with the same title cause I really liked it the first time around) about my first BlogHer Conference
experience in Chicago.
Once again, the city is about to be invaded by the internet-loving, swag-seeking, Pinterest Pros otherwise known as mommy bloggers.
I've been thinking about how my blogging is different now from what I was doing four years ago when the last BlogHer conference was in Chicago. Four years ago, I mostly wrote a personal blog about my family and I had just started Wee Windy City
. For me (and I know many others in similar situations), blogging now is really less about the actual blog and more about the social media platforms used to amplify posts and generate page views and interaction -- and then the other opportunities that those interactions lead to. Similarly, the BlogHer Conference is really less about the actual conference and more about all of the surrounding stuff that goes with it...
I hate to talk back-to-school already, but the truth is that most moms I know start their back-to-school prep work in early August. You really have to (or good luck finding school shoes for your kids the last week in August).
Part of my back-to-school prep includes stocking up on school lunch supplies, everything from new lunch boxes (boy do those things get funky) to stockpiling lots of single-serving snacks to throw into said new lunch bags on busy school mornings.
I start out the year with lots of energy when it comes to packing creative lunches -- but I quickly lose steam. I know that I am not alone here. Parents suffer from widespread “lunchbox preparation fatigue” and their kids complain of being bored by the lack of variety in their lunches. Nobody is happy. Wah Wah.
To tackle the challenges and complaints of adults and children, the four leading natural and organic companies teamed up to create “Rock the Lunch Box”
, a free resource that delivers ideas, tips and coupons for natural and organic products just in time for back to school. The website includes:
- 52 lunch ideas for what to pack-- from gluten-free to nut-free and vegetarian choices
- Informative, short video clips by parents that explain how to keep menus creative, packing time short, and involve kids and more
- Ideas for staying connected to children during the day via notes and lunchbox messages
- Tips for a healthy lunch when dealing with a picky eater or allergies
Parents can browse lunch recipe ideas and even save a couple of bucks by using coupons from brands like Annie's, Honest Tea, Organic Valley and Stonyfield...
I love Chicago Parent Magazine. I’ve been working with them for about five years now and I truly value what they do to be a resource for all Chicago parents. The folks at Chicago Parent are looking to expand their blogging network. They are looking for bloggers to contribute original content to the Chicago Parent website... Read more »
Last weekend, I was fortunate to be part of a Bump Club and Beyond
panel of "city moms" talking to a packed room of new parents and their little ones at Bubbles Academy.
I was in good company, joining Samantha Lande from Eater Chicago
and Kelly Aiglon from Red Tricycle Chicago.
We talked about everything from family-friendly restaurants to best free story times and museums for the two and under set.
I spoke a little bit about finding activities that meet two important mama criteria. First, I love a free, quality activity when I can find it (if you read Wee Windy City, you already know this about me). In addition, I also love an outing where both mommy and
the kids get something out of it. With those two things in mind, I recommended the following urban activities and destinations.
The Culture Club:
Take advantage of the local cultural institutions. Yes, you can do this -- even with your baby. One of the reasons that I wanted to raise my kids in the city was proximity to the many cultural opportunities and experiences. Sometimes I get lazy and I have to remind myself to walk the walk and not just talk the talk...
Chicago is a beautiful, world-class city. However, like all big cities, it faces serious social issues that impact us all (you obviously know this). We all worry about violence, poverty, drugs, homelessness and other challenges. I wanted to talk to real Chicago kids to hear what they think about those challenges so I reached out... Read more »
These are my gorgeous children. Can't really believe that I played a part in making these lovely little creatures. But well...... I did.
Last month, we had a photo shoot with Melissa Salvatore of A Little Photo Studio
. The experience was a pleasure from start to finish. This woman knows what she is doing. My kids had the time of their lives. My four year-old Colin even went ahead and decided to kiss Melissa's assistant (a hysterical moment I will never forget). Hard to know what to say when you four year-old plants one on a total stranger. But the session was a total love fest and I can understand why it seemed like the thing to do...
Fireworks. Corn on the cob. Parades. Sweet, sticky popsicles. Does it get any better than the Fourth of July? This holiday is all about family fun, no matter how you and your little revelers decide to celebrate. The Chicago area is full of good family-friendly options for parades, firework displays, and more. I’ve even included... Read more »