Tuesday, July 22, 2014

rules for outlet shopping

Mini was in need of some new kicks (can't these kids stop growing so fast?) and since I'm super adament about not paying full-price for any kids clothes it was a good time to venture out to the Chicago Premium Outlet in Aurora!  Now going to the outlets can be amazing because of all the gear you can collect at a fraction of what you would normally pay at the mall, but it is easy to go a little overboard.  So I've put together a few trusty rules that will help you stay on track when outlet shopping.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

teaching my son about friendship

As we approach Liam's 2nd birthday, I'm starting to realize that this is right around the age where first friendships form.  Whether it be through daycare, playgroups, parents' friends - this is the age where the idea of playing with others begins to develop into something more meaningful.  As I watch Liam grow these special relationships, I find myself collecting all the tidbits of advice that I want to share with him and can only hope he takes all of it to heart as he gets older.

Some serious snacking going on w/ @heather_clare & @emshimmy77! Love these kids! #100happydays #defininghappy #day47 #boyswillbeboys #buds #pulaskipool

Saturday, June 28, 2014

embracing change

Lately there has been one re-occuring topic that has come up in many of my conversations and that is...change.  Change in careers, change in relationships, change in lifestyles, and as  difficult as it is, sometimes change is the key to a happy life.  

image via

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

mom crush ~ kelley smith

Name: Kelley Smith


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Stats: Married to husband Aaron, mother to Reese and Tatum, and full-time employee at marketing agency VSA Partners as a Director of Client Engagement.

Why she's crush worthy:  First and foremost anyone who works in marketing, especially on the agency side, knows that it is an extremely demanding job and it is nowhere close to a traditional 9 to 5 gig.  (Do those actually exist anymore?)  On top of that add being a mom/wife and well that pretty much eats up every hour of your day, but Kelley doesn't stop there.  She's an athlete who did (does) triathlons, active mentor at local non-profit organization Horizons For Youth and she's actively on the up in up checking out the local dining hot spots.  Oh and did I mention that she shares the same views as I do on city living?

Meet Kelley Smith and hear her views on...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

throwback thought ~ 10 songs that make you sing out loud

The best feeling is when you're driving alone in your car listening to the radio and a song from your past comes on unexpectedly.  A rush of nostalgic emotion bursts, you turn up the volume to full blast, roll your windows down (if weather cooperates) and sing along lyric for lyric at the top of your lungs.  Hearing those types of songs on the radio are rare occasions, but when it happens - it's the most liberating feeling and you can't help but embrace the moment.  Here is a list of 10 songs that regardless of what you're doing or where you are, you can't help but sing out loud.

Friday, May 9, 2014

spicy thai peanut chicken

I suck at cooking chicken.  If I bake it - I always end up over cooking it, if I pan fry it - I always end up butchering every piece to make sure it's cooked all the way through, if I grill it...ok let's be honest I don't grill, but you get the picture.  Cooking chicken confidently is tough.  However, thanks to my trusty crock pot, my chicken dishes end up the right temperature and texture.  This spicy thai peanut chicken recipe is inspired by a Swimming Rama dish served at one of my all time favorite thai restaurants located in Seattle called Jai Thai.  With a little bit of this, a little bit of that and a whole lot of peanut butter this dish quickly became one of my family's all time favorite dishes.

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Monday, May 5, 2014

peek

I stumbled upon this fantastic kid store called Peek last Fall when I was in Scottsdale for a business trip and instantly fell in love with everything in the store.  Their style was on point with how I dress Liam and I loved that everything looked like adult clothes...just in mini sizes.  I snagged this cute tie dye hooded tee for Liam and it was my favorite shirt for him to wear, until he outgrew it.  Since I was already in love with the store, I was so excited to learn that there was one opening up in the city and even better, some of my gal pals were hosting the opening event.

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Friday, May 2, 2014

crack pie

Over Easter while many people were planning meals around ham or roasted lamb...I was planning mine around dessert.  I stumbled upon a recipe for the famous Momofoku Milk Bar's Birthday Cake and the baking bug hit me.  While I would have LOVED to make this, the frosting calls for cream cheese and the Mr. will have nothing to do with it.  So, I went with the next best option...Crack Pie!

image via Let Me Eat Cake

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

10 movies that will make you fall in love with chicago

Ah sweet home Chicago!  Although I'm not a native Chicago resident, I call this home and still get those warm fuzzies every time I get a great view of the skyline.  I always try to explain how amazing this city is to friends who have never been, but it's hard to put the entire experience into words.  So instead, I leave it to the movies.  Ironically, a handful of my all time favorite movies are set in this city and I guarantee that watching one (or all) will make you want to plan a trip to this great city stat!