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October Menu

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Photo by Ceyhun Özden on Pexels.com

WEEK 1

Monday: One Pan Meal – Baked Chicken and Potatoes

One Pan Meal of Baked Chicken Drumsticks and Potatoes is all made on one sheet pan with carrots, which makes dinner prep a breeze. Chicken drumsticks are baked with garlic, paprika and olive oil. Comforting ‘Meat & Potatoes’ dinner that takes only 10 minutes of prep, and is all done in one baking dish? Win-win

https://letthebakingbegin.com/one-pan-meal-baked-chicken-potatoes/

Tuesday:  Tex-Mex Sausage and Rice Skillet

20 MINUTE TexMex Sausage and Rice Skillet is quick, delicious and bursting with flavor from the most amazing Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Jalapeno Sauce for a hearty, comforting one pot meal the whole family will love!

http://carlsbadcravings.com/tex-mex-sausage-and-rice-skillet-recipe/

Wednesday: Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil

Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/capellini-with-tomatoes-and-basil-recipe-1949902?ic1=obinsite

Thursday: Garlic-Mustard Grilled Beef Skewers

Garlic-Mustard Grilled Beef Skewers

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/garlic-mustard-grilled-beef-skewers-recipe-2103460

Friday:  PIZZA NIGHT – Order take out!

Saturday: Green Well Salad

https://thebalancedlifeonline.com/bread-wine-part-2/

Sunday: Crockpot Italian Sausage Soup

This Crockpot Italian sausage soup recipe is hearty, filling, and full of flavor. A wonderful and easy set it and forget it soup recipe.

https://www.saltandlavender.com/crockpot-italian-sausage-soup/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes

WEEK 2

Monday: Asian Chicken Skewers for Kids

Asian Chicken Skewers

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/asian-chicken-skewers-recipe-2126107

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g1903/slow-cooker-recipes/?slide=8

Wednesday: Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Favorite Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe

https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/chicken-enchilada-casserole-recipe/

Thursday: Entree Kitchen Make Ahead Meal

https://www.entreekitchen.com

Friday: PIZZA Take OUT!!

Saturday: Juicy Pan-Seared Porks with Citrus Dressing

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https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pan-seared-pork-chops-with-citrus-dressing

Sunday: Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce Pappardelle Pasta

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-bolognese-sauce-pappardelle-pasta

WEEK 3

Monday: Fish Skewers with Basil Chimichurri

Fish Skewers with Basil Chimichurri

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/fish-skewers-with-basil-chimichurri-recipe-1921826

Tuesday: Chicken Taco Pasta

http://bevcooks.com/2012/06/chicken-taco-pasta/

Wednesday: Entree Kitchen Make Ahead Meal

Thursday: Roasted Salmon with Green Herbs

Roasted Salmon with Green Herbs

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-salmon-with-green-herbs-recipe-1925053

Friday: Take OUT!!! Don’t cook!!

Saturday: Roasted Turkey, Apple, Cheddar Sandwich (Panera CopyCat)

Copycat Panera Roasted Turkey, Apple, and Cheddar Sandwich: Slices of roasted turkey, sweet apples, and sharp cheddar cheese are piled high on homemade cranberry walnut bread with a tangy honey mustard.

https://amindfullmom.com/copycat-panera-roasted-turkey-apple-and-cheddar-sandwich/

Sunday: Slow Cooker Potato Soup

Slow Cooker Potato Soup -- so delicious, and made extra-easy in the crock pot! | gimmesomeoven.com

https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/slow-cooker-potato-soup-recipe/

WEEK 4

Monday: Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken

Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken – Super easy, elegant roasted chicken with fresh lemons, oranges and herbs! | thecomfortofcooking.com

http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/2013/04/herb-and-citrus-oven-roasted-chicken.html

Tuesday: Chicken and Black Bean Chimichangas

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-black-bean-chimichangas

Wednesday: Entree Kitchen Make Ahead Meal

Thursday: Slow Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Stroganoff

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https://therecipecritic.com/slow-cooker-chicken-mushroom-stroganoff/

Friday: Take OUT!!!

Saturday: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peach BBQ Sauce

http://www.destinationdelish.com/grilled-pork-tenderloin-with-peach-bbq-sauce/

Sunday: One-Pot Baked Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe 

one pot baked pasta with sausage and broccoli rabe

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/one-pot-baked-pasta-with-sausage-and-broccoli-rabe

This post is sponsored by Entree Kitchen:

https://www.entreekitchen.com

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Sunshine Dance!

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Sunshine Dance in Glen Ellyn, is a dynamic and energetic dance company that offers a wide range of classes for kids of all ages. They value fun and all share the joyous “Sunshine” spirit, but also make the commitment to dance in order to gain quality techniques to be competitive. Jared Titus is the proud Owner and Director of Sunshine Dance.  Jared is also Owner and Artistic Director of Bright Lights Theatre, a local children’s theatre company in Glen Ellyn.  Jared and his dedicated staff are all about inspiring creativity, joy, and passion for their students. Glen Ellyn Moms Village was excited to learn more about this award winning dance company!

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  • What inspired the change in ownership for Sunshine Dance?

I have been a part of Sunshine Dance’s journey for the past few years, but I am so excited to be able to put my personal stamp on it now that I am the owner. I have big dreams for Sunshine Dance and can’t wait to share them with the fabulous Glen Ellyn community.

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  • How do you find staff to bring into your organization that truly care about Sunshine Dance the way you do?

I am so blessed to have an INCREDIBLE staff that share my same ideals for the quality and type of dance education I want to offer. They all care about the students so much and put their heart and soul into each and every class they teach.

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  • Why should Glen Ellyn Moms send their kids to Sunshine Dance?

I truly believe that we have the best education and quality to offer the Glen Ellyn community and surrounding areas. Our instructors are so passionate about not only teaching dance but instilling confidence, discipline, passion, and providing an outlet for students of all ages to express themselves and their creativity!

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  • Tell us more about the classes you offer!

We offer classes for ages 2 – 19 in many different styles of dance including: Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical, Musical Theatre, Conditioning, and Turns and Leaps. We offer Pre-Core and Core classes (open to any students wanting to participate in dance) for our beginning through intermediate dancers, Level classes (by audition only) for our more advanced dancers, and the Sunshine Dance Company (by audition only) for those students wanting a professional quality intensive training program.

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  • What is the most rewarding thing about being a new business owner:

The most rewarding thing about being a teacher/business owner is seeing the difference dance can make in a child’s life. I see students who come in at the beginning of the year very shy and throughout their experience in class gain confidence and an ability to express their emotions more freely. We get so many parents that tell us what a difference they see in their student’s ability to speak in front of their peers and overall confidence they exude in a public setting after participating in dance.  Dance and theatre changed my life as a young boy and I am so grateful that I get to share my love of the arts with students every day and see first hand the difference it makes in their lives.

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Sunshine dance is located in the heart of downtown at 515 Crescent Blvd in Glen Ellyn.
To find out more about Sunshine Dance please visit their website:

Call  (630) 790-1880 or Email: sunshine.dance.info@gmail.com

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HOT MESS!

Laurie Palau of Simply B Organized will be in the Chicagoland area to help get our HOT MESS organized.  Between book signings, shopping AND presenting her Clutter Clinic you will have plenty of chances to meet Laurie.

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 SEPTEMBER 12th 7:00-9:00 pm : Clutter Clinic and Book Signing Lake Ellyn Boathouse in Glen Ellyn!  Register here!

SEPTEMBER 13th : Shopping with Laurie at The Container Store in Oakbrook (stay tuned for times)

SEPTEMBER 13th 6:30 pm:  Book Signing at Prairie Path Books in Wheaton

For more information please email: glenellynmoms@gmail.com

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Clean What?

brown wooden floor

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My favorite quote: cleaning the house while children are around is like shoveling during a snowstorm! SO true! Really how important is having a clean house? And how much time are you going to waste thinking you can keep up?

I used to think I could do it all.  I even put together a cleaning schedule. Tuesday was bathroom day, Wednesday was mopping floors day. BUT, Tuesday quickly turned into clean up after my sick son and Wednesday got spent cleaning chocolate milk that spilled into every crevice of my car.  Let’s be realistic having a clean house just isn’t in the cards when you have young kids.

As much as you plan, prepare, and keep things punctual the day never goes as planned. Floors stay dirty, high chairs stay sticky, cars stay trashed. You have to move heaven and earth to find time to deep clean.  And when you do…you discover that your loving husband reheated spaghetti in the microwave for 4 minutes uncovered.  Guess who gets to clean that up?! So this week treat yourself to a guilt free dirty house and if the budget allows for God sakes higher a cleaning service.

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Believe in Yourself

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Parenting is no small task. There are many times when the days seems insurmountable. Like it might be better to just fall down and let the kids run all over you. Trust me there are many times I’ve let that happen. But I take small steps and try to remember that no matter how big the challenge I want to show my boys that having faith and believing in yourself will always lead them to grandeur things in life.

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KIDS BOOK NOOK: Ambrose Deception

IMG_E2395.JPGNAME OF THE BOOK: The Ambrose Deception by Emily Ecton

AGE RANGE: 8-14

THIS BOOK WAS ABOUT: Three very different kids that have to compete against each other and solve various clues that take them all over they city of Chicago. The prize is a $10,000 scholarship or so they think. Melissa, Wilf, and Brondi, are not who you would expect to be competing in this contest. At first they work separately but soon realize that things might not be as they seem and they start to uncover a mystery.

I LOVED: How the book had so many twists and turns. Everything would be going good but then there would be a giant twist that changed everything. I also loved how the clues brought you to different places in Chicago.

READING THIS BOOK MADE ME WONDER: What if I competed in a scholarship contest like this!?!  Who would I choose to help me solve the clues?

OVERALL THIS BOOK WAS: This book was fantastic and perfect for middle school kids.

I GIVE THIS BOOK: 4 stars

This book report was written by a very sweet eleven year old  boy 🙂

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August Menu

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

WEEK 1:

Monday: Greek Yogurt Pesto Chicken Pasta

Creamy pesto chicken pasta made with healthy Greek yogurt, vegetables, and cooked chicken | littlebroken.com @littlebroken

http://www.littlebroken.com/2015/03/03/greek-yogurt-pesto-chicken-pasta/

Tuesday: WOW! Enchilada Casserole

W.O.W. Enchilada Casserole

https://www.traderjoes.com/recipes/dinner/wow-enchilada-casserole

Wednesday: One Sheet Pan Salmon with Fresh Green Beans & Cherry Tomatoes

One sheet herb crusted salmon recipe by @waitingonmartha

http://waitingonmartha.com/one-sheet-pan-salmon-fresh-green-beans-heirloom-cherry-tomatoes/

Thursday: Grilled California Steak Salad

California Steak Salad

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/california-steak-salad

Friday: Entree Kitchen Meal Delicious Dinners in a Dash

https://www.entreekitchen.com

NEW — Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Wraps
w/ Candied Bacon Delight Cookies
Freshly baked diced chicken paired with a delicate dressing, cranberries and lightly roasted pecans. Maple it a wrap with the included flour wraps or use it atop your favorite salad greens at home.  Calories: 369
6-Serving:  $39.19 | 3-Serving: $24.49
A la Carte Entrees: 6-Serving: $30.99 | 3-Serving: $16.29

Saturday: Roast Chicken Cobb Salad

Image result for roast chicken cobb salad barefoot contessa

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roast-chicken-cobb-salad-5171768

Sunday: Crockpot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Slaw

Crock Pot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Slaw. Doesn't this just scream "summer" to you? | hostthetoast.com

http://hostthetoast.com/crock-pot-hawaiian-bbq-chicken-tacos-with-pineapple-slaw/

WEEK 2:

Monday: Greek Chicken Kebabs

http://voilawithemily.com/2010/05/17/greek-chicken-kebabs/

Tuesday: Baked Spicy Chicken Tacos

This Baked Chicken Tacos Recipe is PERFECT for a quick weeknight dinner! OVEN BAKED chicken tacos have lots of flavor and none of the stress. This Easy Chicken Tacos Recipe is the most popular recipe on The Cookie Rookie and has been pinned over 2 million times. Have you tried it?

https://www.thecookierookie.com/baked-spicy-chicken-tacos/

WEDNESDAY: 5 Ingredient Baked Rotini

Creamy, Cheesy Italian Pasta Bake in blue casserole dish on wooden table next to tossed salad

https://amindfullmom.com/5-ingredient-baked-rotini/

THURSDAY: Home Style Pork Chops with Pan Sauce

Home Style Pork Chops with Pan Sauce

https://www.traderjoes.com/recipes/dinner/home-style-pork-chops-with-pan-sauce

FRIDAY: Entree Kitchen Grab n Go Meal: Pork Lo Mein

Thinly-sliced pork tenderloin, carrot shreds, green onions and ginger are combined with our Asian BBQ sauce and served over your choice of brown or white rice.

https://www.entreekitchen.com

SATURDAY: Heavenly Hummus Wrap

Hummus Wrap

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/heavenly-hummus-wrap/

SUNDAY: Slow Cooker Coconut Lime Chicken

Slow Cooker Coconut Lime Chicken

https://slowcookergourmet.net/slow-cooker-coconut-lime-chicken/

WEEK 3

MONDAY:  Grilled Hawaiian Chicken and Pineapple

Hawaiian Chicken and Pineapple - Sweet and tangy chicken breasts grilled to absolute perfection with caramelized brown sugar pineapple. Just 10 min prep!

https://damndelicious.net/2015/08/06/hawaiian-chicken-and-pineapple/

TUESDAY: Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup...so much flavor you'll be craving for more! Deliciousness!

https://olgascooking.com/tortilla-soup/

WEDNESDAY: Pasta and Avocado Caesar Salad

You have to try this Pasta Avocado Caesar Salad. Easy and family friendly weeknight meal! | natashaskitchen.com

https://natashaskitchen.com/pasta-and-avocado-caesar-salad-recipe/

THURSDAY: Pan Seared Pork Chops with Citrus Dressing

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https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pan-seared-pork-chops-with-citrus-dressing

FRIDAY: Entree Kitchen Grab n Go Meal Shrimp & Tortellini in Brown Butter Dijon Sauce

Tender shrimp, al dente three-cheese tortellini and peas are tossed with a Brown Butter-Dijon sauce and topped with shredded Parmesan for a quick and flavorful meal that won’t heat up your kitchen.

https://www.entreekitchen.com

SATURDAY: Grilled Pizza with Steak Pear Arugula

Pizza Recipes: Grilled Pizza With Steak, Pear, and Arugula

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-pizza-with-steak-pear-arugula

SUNDAY: Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce Pappardelle Pasta

Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce over Pappardelle Pasta

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-bolognese-sauce-pappardelle-pasta

WEEK 4

MONDAY: Chipotle Orange Chicken Legs

Chipotle-Orange Chicken Legs

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chipotle-orange-chicken-legs

TUESDAY: Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Fajita Salad

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Fajita Salad with a dressing that doubles as a marinade! A genius way of keeping ALL of the incredible flavours in this salad! | cafedelites.com

https://cafedelites.com/grilled-chilli-lime-chicken-fajita-salad/

WEDNESDAY: Creamy Smoked Salmon Linguine with Capers

Creamy Smoked Salmon Linguine & Capers

https://www.traderjoes.com/recipes/dinner/creamy-smoked-salmon-linguine-capers

THURSDAY: Spicy Grilled Pork Tenderloins with Blackberry Sauce

Spicy Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Blackberry Sauce

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/spicy-grilled-pork-tenderloin-with-blackberry-sauce

FRIDAY: Entree Kitchen Grab n Go Meal Italian Flatbread Pizza

This “Taste of Italy” flatbread is drizzled with olive oil and topped with tomatoes, Pecorino Romano and Italian cheeses, perfect for cooking on the grill too!

entreekitchen.com

SATURDAY: Copy Cat Portillos Chopped Salad

Portillo's Chopped Salad in a rectangular serving dish

http://www.gonnawantseconds.com/2015/07/portillos-chopped-salad/

SUNDAY: Speedy Scallopini

Speedy Scallopini

https://www.parents.com/recipe/speedy-scallopini/

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KIDS BOOK NOOK: Framed

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NAME OF THE BOOK: Framed by James Ponti

AGE RANGE: 8-12 years

THE BOOK WAS ABOUT:  Framed is about a twelve year old boy named Florian Bates who ends up helping the FBI solve an art theft. He uses a technique called TOAST, which stands for the Theory of All Small Things. This helps him solve mysteries and when he teaches his friend Maragret how to use it they discover that Art, crime and thieves are all intertwined.

I LOVED: I loved the fact that Florian is an FBI Special Asset and can solve mysteries with a theory, TOAST.  I now use this in my real life.

READING THIS BOOK MADE ME WONDER:  Has the FBI ever used a kid to solve a case? Has there ever been a kid who has helped with an art theft? Can I use the theory of TOAST?

OVERALL THIS BOOK WAS:  One of my favorite books.

I GIVE THIS BOOK:  4 1/2 Stars!

 

All books have been purchased or are Advanced Readers Copies from The Bookstore of Glen Ellyn. Jack, a 12 year old Glen Ellyn resident reviews books for the Glen Ellyn Living Magazine.

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BrickWorld Chicago 2018

If your kids have a love for LEGOS then make sure to watch for the date announcement for BRICKWORLD Chicago 2019!

Here are some highlights from this year.IMG_5106IMG_5115IMG_5118IMG_5123IMG_5127IMG_5129IMG_5131IMG_5137IMG_5141IMG_5146IMG_5105

Also check out Snapology to learn more about their fun programs.

 

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Suburban Kids in the City

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A trip into the city was just what we needed to kick start the beginning of lazy days and care free summer schedules.  I sometimes forget just how easy it is to hop on the train and spend a few hours exploring the parks and taking advantage of the great people watching. Our plan was simple and the main goal was to walk Madison street all the way to Millennium Park.

Like any well planned trip we had to make multiple pit stops before the real fun could be found. 3 blocks into our arrival someone was hungry = a stop at Pret A Manger. Someone had sore feet = a stop at CVS for Advil. Someone was cold = stopping at 4, yes 4, different stores until we could find sweatpants that fit.

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My kids love the sights and sounds of the city.  We always play happy tourist and take pictures and capture the moments of the day.

The Lyric Opera House has always been a favorite.  It amazes me that it was built just 22 months after it was planned! Start to finish! And I love that every seat has been refurbished to its original 1929 elegance.

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Everyone was excited to head (no pun intended) to Crown Fountain and see the faces. I did a little research and found out there are over 1,000 Chicagoans whose faces appear on the video towers. The School of Art Institute Chicago put out a call and asked for people to come have their pictures taken.  And Voila! They have become the most famous faces of Millennium Park.

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The next stop was The Bean!  This is a family favorite and never gets old. We love watching everyone there WATCH themselves.  You can’t help but love a 110 ton kidney bean structure that gets polished several times a day. It’s a Chicago must see.

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Beyond the Bean was the real destination! Maggie Daley Park was top on our list that day.

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It’s the creme de la creme of playgrounds! Plus the views are spectacular.  Here is a link to FAQs http://maggiedaleypark.com/about/faqs/ IMG_4616IMG_4668IMG_4667

After all the fun was had the kids were starving and we had a train to catch.  Dinner at Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta on Madison street was the perfect stop.

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It was a great day and the kids loved living it up in the city for a few hours! So, the next time your kids say they’re bored pack up some snacks, Advil and sweatpants and hop on the train!

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Favorite Family Recipes

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Peonies 101

Who doesn’t love this time of year when the peonies are in full bloom, the temperatures climb and summer is peaking around the corner.  Peonies are a staple for backyard gardeners but from what I’ve learned they’re not so easy to get started.  Here are a few tips to help get these colorful blooms in your garden. IMG_4434

Peonies are hearty plants that do great in our Chicago climate but they do take patience and a little practice.  First, find a full sun area and make sure to plant at the right time, which is fall! They can establish their roots and benefit from being in the ground during the long winter.  Plant no more than 2 inches below the soil. If planted to deep they will not bloom, I’m speaking from experience. OOPS!  Once planted make sure to mulch the area and water thoroughly.

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Space is critical and planting a few feet apart will greatly benefit them. They need room to grow and planting to closely will lead to fungal diseases and limp stems.

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Be patient!  It can take two years before they start blooming.  They require a little more work up front but once in bloom they thrive.   Every house we have lived has had well established peonies that come back year after year.  These pictures are proof of how magical they are but the key is getting them started!

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This fall I will be planting peonies and using this neighbors house as an inspiration. These beauties (not mine) are a Glen Ellyn favorite! Perfectly planted, grown with patience and showing us that peonies are possible! Good luck 🙂