10 Reasons Woodstock is the Midwestern Stars Hollow

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life arrived on Netflix Streaming last week and people are losing their minds over it. I have been purposely avoiding ANY mention of it on social media because it’s been a while since I saw the show so I’m busy re-watching the first seven seasons before I move on […]

Chicago Area Christmas Tree Farms – 2016

Last year we had a real Christmas tree for the first time. I was not excited about the idea; John convinced me to try it and I’m a convert! I loved it. It was so much better than an artificial tree. This year I’m really looking forward to the whole experience – choosing our own […]

I’m writing a book

I’ve been meaning to write this post for months, but I’ve been anxious about actually putting this out there for the world to see. It’s still seems like it’s not real, but it is so I’m excited to announce it. I know I haven’t been around much lately, here on the blog or on social […]

Boo! at the Zoo with Ferrara Candy Company

I hope everyone had an amazing Halloween because I know we did! This weekend we went to Brookfield Zoo for Boo! at the Zoo as guests of the Ferrara Candy Company. Captain America, the Crypt Keeper, and A.J. from Blaze and the Monster Machines arrived ready for action: They didn’t seem to mind starting out […]

Streamin’ and Screamin’

It’s Halloween Eve which means parents everywhere are putting finishing touches on costumes or maybe even trying to throw them together from scratch. It’s seems like the odds are about 50/50 that my kids are willing to wear the costume they begged for for weeks; often they change their mind at the last minute and […]

Indoor Trick-or-Treating 2016

FINALLY! The forecast for Halloween looks great. Is it just me or does it seem like it rains every Halloween?? The nice weather is great, but it’s nice to have indoor options too in case it’s too cool or too dark, or your kid’s costume just doesn’t work as well outdoors. Here are places you […]

Netflix + Disney

I must confess – I’m not a Disney fanatic. I’m familiar with the classic Disney stories like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Snow White, but princess and princes just aren’t my thing. I’ve never been a big Mickey fan either. However, I have been pretty excited about some of the more recent movies, especially the […]

Attention Gilmore Girls Fans: Luke’s Diner is Coming (with Free Coffee!)

Big news for fans of the Gilmore Girls! If you love the Gilmore Girls you’re probably counting down the days until the arrival of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Netflix on November 25. It’s an exciting that it’s coming, but it seems SO far off. Luckily, Netflix is celebrating the 16th anniversary […]

Free Chicago Museum Days – Fall 2016

  Summer is sliding away and it’ll be fall (officially) very soon. Spend your fall exploring Chicago attractions for free! Most free days only apply to Illinois residents with valid identification and only apply to general admission, not special exhibits or events. Adler Planetarium – September 12-16, October 10, November 11, December 3-9. Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool– […]

Chicago Area Apple Orchard Guide 2016

Apple pie, apple cider, applesauce, apple tart, apple cinnamon oatmeal… there are so many things you can do with apples and it’s time to stock up. It’s apple-picking time! Spend the day in the beautiful changing weather and enjoy some apples fresh from the tree. Some orchards charge and admission fee, while others only charge […]

Come Together with the Beat Bugs on Netflix

August is always a rough time for my family. School starts in mid-August so in early August we rush to make the most of the last free days of summer and then the kids start school and our schedule changes radically. It’s a big adjustment for all of us, and we all have new activities […]

Learning from Netflix

We’ve been Netflix subscribers for a long time, and I mean a LONG time; for years we got our Netflix fix from DVDs mailed in those red envelopes. We’ve been subscribers for so long because Netflix has never failed to entertain us. It continues to entertain us (now that “us” is me, John, and three […]

Illinois Bucket List

Illinois Bucket List Illinois is more than just Chicago and the Bears. Though we love them both, it’s nice to branch out and visit the rest of our great state sometimes. Join us on our adventure as we work our way through this Illinois Bucket List. Typical Spots I wouldn’t usually include the typical spots […]

Fourth of July Parades & Fireworks – 2016

The Fourth of July is a celebration of independence and freedom, but also of family and summer. Plan to attend some of these parades and fireworks shows to make your Fourth truly explosive! Before attending, PLEASE check the link. Some events may be cancelled or postponed depending on the weather, and even though I do […]

iFly Giveaway and Father’s Day Special

John and Cooper visited iFly in Rosemont last night for a pre-Father’s Day outing. Cooper has flown once before, but it was John’s first time. The iFly experience starts with a short training session where you learn how to enter and exit the tunnel, and what different hand signals mean. Next, iFly crews gets you […]

Chicago Area U-Pick Strawberry Farms 2016

June = juicy strawberries! We’re getting plenty of sunshine and rain lately and that helps grow some delicious strawberries. Spend a day in the sun and let that strawberry juice run right down your chin, but be sure to pick plenty for baking and freezing. Don’t forget your sunscreen and cash (many farms only accept […]

There’s an episode for that on Netflix Streaming

Sometimes being a parent can feel like being a broken record. I feel like I say the same things over and over again, but the kids rarely (if ever!) listen. I’m sure this happens to a lot of parents, but without meaning to I often find myself lecturing my kids. I talk and I watch […]

Chicago City Guide sponsored by Chicco + Giveaway

Warm weather has arrived! We adventure year-round, but spring and summer are my  favorite because there are so many gorgeous outdoor things to do in Chicago. In fact, thanks to Chicco, I’m sharing some of the best places to visit with your family. Chicco is now offering a brand new travel system called the Viaro which […]

Gurnee Mills Gift Card Giveaway

The end is near! The end of school, that is. My kids are already out and I know lots of other school districts are too, or will be soon. I love having my kids home and enjoying summer activities with them, but summer vacation also means it’s a little harder to get some time without […]

Free Summer Reading Programs 2016

Just because school will be out for the summer doesn’t mean reading should stop. Reluctant or voracious, or somewhere in between, your child will love receiving rewards and treats offered by these local and national reading programs. Sign your child up early and READ! Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Triathalon Opening Ceremonies at Barnes & […]

Netflix Streaming Settles the Sibling Showdown

This April a lot of people were celebrating Sibling Day by posting selfies or old photos with siblings on social media sites. We didn’t really celebrate sibling day, but our whole month of April involved a lot of sibling time and appreciating siblings. We had a bit of a family emergency and spent about two […]

Free Chicago Museum Days – Spring 2016

Spring has arrived! (Someone please tell Mother Nature.) Spring is about rebirth and renewal, so what better time to renew your love for Chicago and all the amazing things it has to offer? Visit an old favorite museum, or check out someplace brand new, and do it for less by visiting on a free day. […]

KEEN Introduces Kids’ Encanto Collection

I have a bit of a shoe problem. I shoes so I buy them more than I should and I’ve amassed quite the collection. A few years ago my friend posted a photo on Facebook of her new shoes – KEEN Harvest MJ Woven Rice Bag – and I fell in love with them. I’m […]

New LEGO Shows Added to Netflix Streaming

As always, a new month means new additions to the Netflix Streaming library and March brought two LEGO shows – LEGO Friends: The Power of Friendship and LEGO Bionicle: The Journey to One. LEGO Friends: The Power of Friendship LEGO Bionicle: The Journey to One As part of the Netflix #StreamTeam, we got to celebrate […]

Corner Bakery Cafe – Review and Giveaway

Recently the boys and I had a busy day with a lot of time spent in the car. We were all getting a little hungry (okay, maybe even hangry), but I wanted something healthier and tastier than drive-thru fare, so we popped into the Corner Bakery in Oak Lawn. Corner Bakery has a huge selection of […]

UNICEF Tap Project for World Water Day

World Water Day is Tuesday, March 22, 2016, and I have some really important information to share, and a great way you can help children get the clean water they need. Over 1,000 children under the age of 5 die each day due to a shortage of clean water.  UNICEF’s Tap Project offers a simple […]

Chopped Junior Casting Talented Kid Chefs

Exciting news! Chopped Junior is looking for talented young chefs. Food Network’s Chopped is one of our favorite shows to watch as a family. In fact, we even set up our own Chopped challenge. We haven’t seen Chopped Junior yet, but I know we’ll love it. I can’t wait to check it out. Do you […]

Museum Day Live (free museum tickets!)

In honor of the Smithsonian Museum, which offers free admission daily, participating museums around the country will be offering free tickets on Saturday, March 12, 2016. Register online for two free tickets. Participating Chicago area museums: Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago Glessner House Museum in Chicago SciTech Hands-On […]

Chicago Area Easter Egg Hunts 2016

Spring! Easter! They’re nearly here. Whether the Chicago weather gets the message or not, head outside (or inside, or into the pool, in some cases) to search for some Easter eggs.  These are just some of the hunts in Chicago and the suburbs. Have a favorite one that’s not listed? Let me know and I’ll add […]

Netflix Streaming the Sicks Days Away

The past month has been pretty brutal in terms of illness in our family. We had a grand total of four colds (Cooper dodged that bullet) and six diagnoses of strep throat (I had it twice!). Ouch. Needless to say, we didn’t do a lot of adventuring, or working, or – well, anything. I’m not […]

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