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.



Suburban Kids in the City


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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!


Favorite Family Recipes


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.


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.


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!


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 🙂



Favorite IG Photos

Instagram is one of our favorite places to share about life in the Chicago suburbs!







Tiny to Tween

There are some days you just need to pause and figure out what lies ahead.
But the more you wait and contemplate the more life passes you by.
And before you know it your Thomas the Train loving,
sippy cup drinking little man goes from
Batman underwear to boxers.
Instead of letting him take the time to look at nothing you are
worried about him seeing everything.
Then you think back to this day in the street and
realize time really does fly by.
They go from tiny to tween in a blink of an eye.


A Good Read

IMG_3965Books we love.

Be the captain of your ship. Sounds ridiculous, but it seriously can be done.  This books tells you how to do it. Simple, easy read!

This book saved me when my kids were little.  Seriously, saved me.  A must for every new mom.  Super easy to read and quick references for a sleep deprived mom.
Bringing the basics back to raising boys. Get them outside, let them romp and play!
They know what they are doing over there. Fun read and you learn about how different our cultures are.
Nothing more needs to be said.  You just gotta babyproof everything.

This is a must read for new moms.  It worked for my kids.  Never hurts to try new things.

Do your kids have allergies and asthma?  Check out this book on the possible link between what we eat and how it relates to the allergy epidemic.

Just eat real food.  This book was a life changer for this MOS.  I didn’t want to buy “unknown” food.  I like knowing where my food comes from.  A great book if you are looking for a life change.
  1. a bad-tempered or surly person.
    A man called Ove. Not the man next door, or is he? He’s a curmudgeon with the heart of a loyal dog. You can’t help but love him and his cranky ways. I think we all have a bit of Ove in each of us (maybe I have more in me than I care to admit). Genuine emotions throughout the whole book. Sometimes you have to resort to the fact that your life is not your own. What you think should happen isn’t always in your control. A charming book that takes you into the life of a man who finds love, selflessness, and a family.
We are all amazing moms. We can pretty much do
anything but we can’t teach them
EVERYTHING there is to know.
So when questions arise like
how to make a trip wire or
how to decipher morse code.
Grab this gem of a book.
Even my husband learned a thing…or twelve!

Summer Camps 2018

Glen Ellyn and Surrounding Areas

photo courtesy of Glen Ellyn Park District  https://gepark.org/recreation/camps/

Bricks 4 Kidz   https://www.bricks4kidz.com/illinois-elmhurst-lombard/camp-schedules/

Cantigny PGA Camp  http://pgajuniorgolfcamps.com/camp-locations/cantigny-golf-club-wheaton-illinois/

Cosley Zoo  https://cosleyzoo.org/programs/summer-camps/

CYT formally Spotlight Theater  http://www.cytchicago.org/summercamp

Glen Ellyn Park District  https://gepark.org/recreation/camps/

Kids Science Labs  https://kidssciencelabs.com/camp-overview

Forest Preserve  http://www.dupageforest.org/things-to-do/camp-for-kids-teens

Marcel’s Cooking Camps  https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/MarcelsCalendar_June2018.pdf

Morton Arboretum Science Camp  http://www.mortonarb.org/news/registration-now-open-2018-summer-science-camp-morton-arboretum

Out on a Whim Clay Camp  http://www.outonawhim.info/index.php

Pump It Up Camp  https://www.pumpitupparty.com/lisle-il/other-ways-to-play/special-events/

Rising Stars Summer Show Choir Camp   https://www.risingstarscamps.com

School of Rock Glen Ellyn Music Camp https://glenellyn-sor.pike13.com/categories/14091

St. Francis High School Summer Camps for kids 1st-12th grades https://sfhs.8to18.com

Stacey De & Company   https://mailchi.mp/ceb552cb0502/the-wait-is-over-stacey-de-announces-summer-productions-disneys-peter-pan-jr-ages-6-12-and-curtains-the-musical-comedy-whodunit-ages-13-18

Village Links Junior Lessons   http://villagelinksgolf.com/course/practice-lessons/junior-lessons/

Wheaton Park District   https://wheatonparkdistrict.com/programs/camps/

Know of a great summer camp not listed! Please send us an email at glenellynmoms@gmail.com


What’s for Dinner!

When menu planning stick to the same theme for each night of the week.

Monday: Chicken

Tuesday: Mexican

Wednesday: Pasta or Salmon

Thursday: Pork or Beef

Friday: Takeout

Saturday: Soup or Salad

Sunday: Crockpot or One Pot

*Most weeks we eat leftovers the following night but it is so helpful to have the ingredients and recipes on hand!

Menu 6

MONDAY:   Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken


TUESDAY:    Mini Taco Stuffed Peppers


WEDNESDAY:   Salmon with Dill Sauce and Roasted Baby Potatoes


THURSDAY:    Pork Loin with Cherry Vinaigrette


FRIDAY:   Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad


One Pot Pasta


Menu 5

Monday:   Chicken in a Hurry


Tuesday:    Creamy Mexican Corn Chowder


Wednesday:    Pepperoni Pasta Salad


Thursday:   Roasted Herbed Beef Tips


Friday:    Not cooking tonight!

Saturday:   Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad


Sunday:   Slow Cooker Jamaican Jerk Chicken


Menu 4

Monday:    Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken


Tuesday:    Skinny Beef Enchiladas


Wednesday:    Lemon and Dill Chicken Pasta


Thursday:    Homeade Shake & Bake Pork Chops (mustard sauce optional)


Friday:   Takeout

Saturday:    Chipotle Pumpkin Soup with Barley (more time consuming but DELICIOUS!)


Sunday:    Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp


Menu 3

Monday:    Parmesan Chicken with Caesar Roasted Romaine


Tuesday:    Beef Taco Salad Pizza


Wednesday:   Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad


Thursday:   Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak


Friday:   Takeout! 

Saturday:   Corn and Cheese Chowder


Sunday:    Slow Cooker Honey Pork Roast


Menu 2

Monday:    Oven BBQ Chicken Drumsticks


Tuesday:   Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers


Wednesday:    Panko Crusted Salmon 


Thursday:   Pork “Saltimbocca” with potatoes


Friday:   You choose!

Saturday:   Chili Tortellini


Sunday:   One Pot Teriyaki Chicken


Menu 1

Monday:    Sheet Pan Honey Balsamic Chicken


Tuesday:    Layered Mexican Chicken


Wednesday:    One Pot Wonder Tomato Basil


Thursday:    Roasted Pork Chops and Peaches


Friday:   You decide!

Saturday:   Cobb Salad with French Bread


Sunday:   Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup 




Getaway to Traverse City

Picture this. Sandy beaches, crystal clear water, kids running up and down the sand dunes. Swimming, hiking, great restaurants, plenty of shopping, and at the end of the day you’re relaxing by the lake sipping a cocktail. Sounds like the perfect destination for a family getaway. We thought so!

The car was packed and we were ready to trek up to Traverse City. The drive was about 5 1/2 hours from Glen Ellyn but well worth it.  I suggest visiting during the week because the weekends tend to harbor more tourists.
We stayed at the Bayshore Resort. It was a bit of a walk to get to the heart of downtown. The hotel was a little dated but VERY clean and the staff was incredibly friendly. Just a typical up north hotel, nothing fancy, but right on the water with their own swimming beach.  If you go early June the kids will welcome the heated pool. When booking your reservation make sure to get a bayside room so you can take in the lake view.

The downtown is full of boutiques, antiques, and art galleries.  You will definitely want to

spend the day shopping. My kids loved the amazing (not so little) Horizon Books.

If you have an train enthusiast in the house you will want to stop by Trains and Things Hobby. Of course every great town has a quaint little toy store and the one is Traverse City is called Toy Harbor.

And the food!  There are so many great places to eat.  We didn’t get a chance to enjoy all of the top notch restaurants with the kids in tow. Instead we ate fabulous pizza at Paesano’s and had great burgers at Bubba’s. Our favorite was the local, all natural, organic ice cream at Milk and Honey.

We will for sure go back and do a culinary tasting tour 🙂  As far as getting around there is plenty of public parking. You are better off finding a lot and parking rather than driving around hoping to score a meter.

As much as we loved spending time downtown our highlight was driving to Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. AMAZING!!  On the way up we ate at Horizons and Sunsets in Empire. It’s like eating at a hole in the wall gas station (minus the gas) but the Mahi Mahi Tacos were the best, plus our family loves a good dive restaurant.

Our first adventure was the Dune Climb. Lucky for us the weather was perfect. When planning your getaway take that into account because the sand can be hot on little feet!

We hiked the trails and walked the beach. We lingered by the water and soaked up the views.

Next on the list was Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. The overlook to Lake Michigan is spectacular.  I thought to myself are we still in Michigan?  The water was so blue and crystal clear. It looked like the Caribbean (I started pining for a pina colada).

There is so much to see and do!! Our trip was short and we wished we had a couple more days to visit the light houses and do a bit more exploring. We will for sure go back because it really is a place for all ages and a great family destination.To find out more about Traverse City please check out https://www.traversecity.com

4th of July in a Small Town

It was a star-spangled celebration in Glen Ellyn. This is one of the many reasons we love our charming village. Red, white, and blue covering the town in true American style.

A village favorite is the Glen Ellyn Parade!
A full photo album can be found on the Glen Ellyn Moms Village Facebook page
Everyone was out in the early hours claiming their spots to ensure a perfect view!

The The New Philharmonic Orchestra was amazing!

Everyone patiently waited for the fireworks to start!!


Thanks Glen Ellyn for making it so easy to create lifelong family memories!!

Doing it All

As moms we struggle with overcommitting ourselves.  We don’t want to miss out or disappoint people. As much as we try to keep life balanced we worry what others will think about the decision we made.
It’s enough to drive us crazy.
We don’t want to let others down. We try to do it all but the demands can be endless. We look at other moms and wonder how they can do it all.
But what is all?
Does doing it all mean doing it half-assed?
Does doing it all mean you’re not fully there for your family?
Does doing it all mean you are spread so thin you’re tired and worn out?
Usually YES! It means all of these things. The worst of it – your patience level is most likely depleted. We don’t want to live like that!
Sometimes we need to re-evaluate. Give ourselves a little room to breath.  A little space to recharge and ask ourselves is this right for me?
As you go through your week think about all the things you are asked to do.
Write it down, make a list AND be sure to say NO to a few of those things.
Because your NO could lead to an even bigger YES and open a door you have not yet gone through.
*photo taken while recharging at Jacuzzi Family Vineyard in Sonoma 🙂