Monday, October 5, 2015

Are You Living a Life You Love?

Are You Living a Life You Love? 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's that time of year again! Time for your flu shot! #NoTimeForFlu #spon

Disclosure: Special thanks to CVS Minute Clinic for Sponsoring this Post

It's that time of year again! Time for your flu shot!


Who has the time or the energy to deal with the flu?

Just do it!

The Flu Shot is a Must-Do for our family. We get our flu shots every year, and luckily, we have never been hit with the flu in our family. Thanks to our nearby CVS Minute Clinic, we can pop in for the flu mist. It's affordable and convenient, leaving no excuse to not be vaccinated against the flu. Frankly, I don't understand folks that refuse this vaccination, and usually I suggest they read up on the history of pandemic flu

Friday, September 25, 2015

Book Review: TRIM HEALTHY MAMA PLAN by Pearl Barrett & Serene Allison The Easy-Does-It Approach to Vibrant Health & a Slim Waistline

Disclosure: I was provided a review copy of this book. All opinions are as always my own.

I'm officially *over* dieting. The thought of counting calories would throw me in a tailspin. I know that being healthy and fad diets don't go hand in hand. At this point in the game, I know I have to fill my body with healthy foods and exercise if I want to be able to stay fit and active.

Family Festival and Year-Round Fun at the Art Institute of Chicago

This post originally appeared at, where I am a contributing writer. 

A visit to the Art Institute is a must-do for families visiting Chicago. This world-class museum will knock your socks off with its enormous collection of art - more than 260,000 pieces! This upcoming weekend, the Art Institute will host it's annual Family Festival, a full day of fun, artful activities for families. Here are 10 tips to make the most of your visit to the Art Institute of Chicago. 

This year's Family Festival takes place on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Ryan Education Center. The theme this year is Making Place. Families will be invited to create art inspired by the exhibition Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye, learn about the beauty of community with performance group In the Spirit, and discover how architects use materials to bring their creative dreams to life in Materials Inside and Out. Take a peek at the day's schedule here. The Family Festival is free with museum admission.

Admission for kids under age 14 is always free! If you plan on visiting the museum more than once this year, membership is a good option. Enjoy perks such as free admission, exclusive invites, and behind-the-scenes access. If you reside out-of-state, you'll receive an additional 10% off.

Sign up for the family programs e-newsletter at You'll be among the first to learn about upcoming exhibits and programs for families.

The Lions Trail Family Tour is a wonderful audio guide geared towards families with kids ages 5-10. It offers a great overview of the museums collections, with 32 stops along the way, and takes about an hour depending on your pace. Purchase your Lions Trail Family Tour for $7 at the audio guide counter in the Michigan Avenue or Modern Wing lobbies.

The Elizabeth Morse Touch Gallery gives visually impaired kids and adults the chance to discover art through touch: four specially treated sculptures from different time periods encourage everyone to explore the form, scale and texture through touch.

Dollhouse lovers with adore the Thorne Miniature Rooms, 68 mini-model rooms that highlight interiors from the 13th century through the 1930s. These Lilliputian interiors were the inspiration behind the fantastic children's book "The Sixty Eight Rooms" by Marianne Malone- check it out from your local library before your visit to see them in person!

Fans of knights in shining armor will appreciate the Arms and Armor: Highlights of the Permanent Collection exhibit, which features full suits of armor, cannons and even a knight on horseback. Before you go, the names and functions of the basic pieces of a suit of armor on this interactive website.

For family-friendly dining, you can't beat the museum's Terzo Piano, located in the new Modern Wing. The focus in this award-winning restaurant is on local, organic, and sustainable foods in Italian-inspired dishes. If the weather is nice enough, ask to be seated on the patio, where you'll be treated to an amazing city view.

Shop the in-museum gift shops for thoughtful, art-inspired souvenirs. The unique toys and books for children make for fun and educational holiday gifts.

Before or after your visit to the Art Institute, consolidate learning via the fun online stories and games at Curious Corner.

Photos: Adam Alexander; Arms and Armor courtesy of The Art Institute

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Review: Michael Symon's 5 in 5 for Every Season by Michael Symon

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book, but as always, all opinions are my own. 

If you're a working parent, you know how tough it can be to plan and shop for meals. Sometimes it seems easiest to throw in the towel and head to your nearest takeaway joint. Here's a solution for anyone who wants to get dinner - a simple, healthful, home-cooked dinner - on the table in a flash.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

American Girl Place Chicago Hotel Packages for Girls and their Dolls

This post originally appeared at, where I am a contributing writer. 

Planning a long fall weekend or holiday visit to American Girl Place® Chicago? With American Girl's latest doll, Maryellen Larkin, having just arrived in Chicago straight from the 1950s, girls are flocking to the store already. American Girl Place Chicago is giving girls the chance to explore the fabulous '50's via free Maryellen-inspired events geared for girls ages 8 and up that include a free craft, a retro photo experience, and free gift. 

Consider making a weekend of a visit to American Girl Place Chicago by spending the night at a Magnificent Mile area hotel that offers special, sweet amenities for girls and dolls. Several Chicago hotels roll out the red carpet for families visiting Chicago with a trip American Girl Chicago in mind, offering special rates and creative promotions for an all-around weekend of fun.

Four Seasons Hotel Chicago (120 E. Delaware Place)

The luxurious Four Seasons Hotel, located just steps from the the American Girl Store on the Magnificent Mile, offers loads of perks for visiting kids. Be sure to let the reservations team know that you'll be traveling with an American Girl Doll: they'll have a special doll-sized bed waiting for her on arrival. At bedtime, you'll all be treated to milk and cookies; expect a surprise visit from the Ice Cream Man, too, who will make you the sundae of your dreams. The onsite Kids Clubroom, filled with toys and games for all ages, and the 50-foot indoor pool - it was the location of Macaulay Culkin's splash in "Home Alone 2"! - make this hotel a Chicago family favorite.

The Talbott Hotel (20 E. Delaware Place)

The Talbott Hotel goes over the top to ensure that girls and their dolls experience a weekend to remember with their personalized American Girl Place packages. There are three packages to choose from: all of them include a personalized welcome letter, a keepsake American Girl fold-out doll bed, milk and two Sprinkles cupcakes at turndown, a $15 breakfast credit per person at the Little Market Brasserie (for a maximum of two people), and one entry into the American Girl quarterly drawing for a doll. The American Girl Place Imagine Package also includes personalized Talbott Hotel stationery, a personalized guest room keycard, six personalized photo postcards by the fireplace and a personalized room service menu, while the American Girl Place Dream Package also includes a personalized pink twin sized blanket, a breakfast in bed upgrade for two people, and a guaranteed late check-out of 3 p.m. so you can squeeze in another day of shopping before you leave town.

Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago (401 N. Wabash Ave.)

Spend a weekend in style at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, where the American Girl Place Package includes a personalized check-in and a personal shopper at American Girl Place. The hotel will provide Cadillac house car service to the American Girl store and you can count on being pampered with special touches throughout your stay: suite guests will also recieve breakfast for two at Sixteen, pajamas and a travel set for Grace. All dolls will receive a tiny bed of their very own and turndown service with a special treat. Set beside the Chicago River, this high-rise luxury hotel also boasts a deluxe indoor pool, a seasonal outdoor terrace and a 23,000-sq-ft spa.

The Drake Hotel (140 E. Walton Place)

The historic Drake Hotel has the perfect package for families looking to celebrate their American Girl with a weekend of shopping and fun. Upon arrival, you'll receive a personalized welcome letter and a voucher for a Shirley Temple or Pink Lemonade in the hotel's stunning Palm Court. Your deluxe room will include a milk and cookies turndown and your American Girl doll will have a iittle bed of her very own. In the morning, enjoy complimentary breakfast at Drake Bros. then take a moment to access the hotel's library of American Girl books.

You can find a full schedule of events at American Girl Place Chicago at

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Review: RAW Probiotics™ Kids #spon

Disclosure: I received a sample of this product for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

School is in full swing, and inevitably, our kids (and teachers!) are exposed to bugs, bugs, bugs. Nothing is worse than catching a fall cold just as the school year begins. It's time to up your defenses, make sure you're eating a healthy diet and getting a healthy night's sleep. Here's a product that can help support immune health: