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.
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 🙂
When menu planning stick to the same theme for each night of the week.
Wednesday: Pasta or Salmon
Thursday: Pork or Beef
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!
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
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
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)
Saturday: Chipotle Pumpkin Soup with Barley (more time consuming but DELICIOUS!)
Sunday: Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp
Monday: Parmesan Chicken with Caesar Roasted Romaine
Tuesday: Beef Taco Salad Pizza
Wednesday: Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad
Thursday: Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak
Saturday: Corn and Cheese Chowder
Sunday: Slow Cooker Honey Pork Roast
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
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
Books we love.
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.
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.
Glen Ellyn and Surrounding Areas
photo courtesy of Glen Ellyn Park District https://gepark.org/recreation/camps/
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
spend the day shopping. My kids loved the amazing (not so little) Horizon Books.
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!
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).
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.
The The New Philharmonic Orchestra was amazing!
Walk down the streets of Glen Ellyn and you will find a shop that is more than the beautifully handmade bags and clutches that are displayed.
A shop that is giving back in more ways than one.
Re:new is more than a business. It is a way of life for refugee women in Glen Ellyn.
Women from different backgrounds. Women who have struggled in ways we can’t even image. Women who are determined to make the best of what they have been given.
When you walk into Re:new it becomes clear that you are stepping into a shop that is filled with hope, inspiration, joy, and most of all faith.
Since their founding in 2009, Re:new has served over 120 refugee women from all over the world.
These are strong women. Like minded women. Women who are blessing our Glen Ellyn community.
They create beautifully crafted products from these fabric filled baskets
that line the walls.
Each product is made onsite in the Studio by these remarkable women.
Re:new accepts donations and has partnered with local retailers to accept fabric remnants.
One thing is clear when walking through this space organization is key and there is no lack of creativity.
Plaids, stripes, and florals become the back drop to this unique shop.
And with help from volunteers Re:new can focus on what they do best.
Creating a space for refugee women to thrive.
And when they do. The results are amazing!
Re:new believes all people are made in the image of God and are therefore valuable and worthy of the highest honor and respect.
They believe in the value of coming alongside those in our community who are in need, regardless of religion, race, or nationality.
They believe that the act of creating things of value is a powerful exercise in restoring hope to broken lives.
They believe that loving and serving one another transforms lives.
They believe that we are stronger when we are joined together in our common humanity.
It has been an honor to partner with Re:new and learn about their exciting campaign with
100 Extraordinary Women.
to learn more!