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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 🙂

 

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Favorite IG Photos

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

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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

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

TUESDAY:    Mini Taco Stuffed Peppers

http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/2015/07/mini-taco-stuffed-peppers.html

WEDNESDAY:   Salmon with Dill Sauce and Roasted Baby Potatoes

https://www.jocooks.com/recipes/salmon-with-dill-sauce-and-roasted-baby-potatoes-sheet-pan-dinner/

THURSDAY:    Pork Loin with Cherry Vinaigrette

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pork-loin-with-cherry-vinaigrette

FRIDAY:   Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad

https://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/apple-cranberry-walnut-salad

One Pot Pasta

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/one-pot-pasta

Menu 5

Monday:   Chicken in a Hurry

https://www.jocooks.com/recipes/chicken-in-a-hurry/

Tuesday:    Creamy Mexican Corn Chowder

https://www.cookingclassy.com/creamy-mexican-corn-chowder/ 

Wednesday:    Pepperoni Pasta Salad

http://www.mostlyhomemademom.com/2016/06/pepperoni-pizza-pasta-salad.html?m=1

Thursday:   Roasted Herbed Beef Tips

http://www.lordbyronskitchen.com/roasted-herbed-beef-tips/

Friday:    Not cooking tonight!

Saturday:   Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad

https://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/autumn-crunch-pasta-salad/

Sunday:   Slow Cooker Jamaican Jerk Chicken

https://fitslowcookerqueen.com/slow-cooker-jamaican-jerk-chicken/

Menu 4

Monday:    Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken

http://www.cookinglight.com/recipes/spinach-feta-stuffed-chicken-breasts

Tuesday:    Skinny Beef Enchiladas

https://life-in-the-lofthouse.com/skinny-beef-enchiladas/

Wednesday:    Lemon and Dill Chicken Pasta

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/lemon-and-dill-chicken-pasta

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

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/homemade-shake-bake-pork-chops-mustard-sauce

Friday:   Takeout

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

http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2012/08/chipotle-pumpkin-soup-with-barley-and-chicken/

Sunday:    Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp

http://damndelicious.net/2017/03/08/sheet-pan-garlic-butter-shrimp/

Menu 3

Monday:    Parmesan Chicken with Caesar Roasted Romaine

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/parmesan-chicken-caesar-roasted-romaine

Tuesday:    Beef Taco Salad Pizza

http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a53971/beef-taco-salad-pizza-recipe/

Wednesday:   Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad

https://natashaskitchen.com/2017/05/22/creamy-avocado-pasta-salad/

Thursday:   Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/balsamic-marinated-flank-steak

Friday:   Takeout! 

Saturday:   Corn and Cheese Chowder

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/corn-cheese-chowder/

Sunday:    Slow Cooker Honey Pork Roast

http://tiphero.com/slow-cooker-honey-pork-roast/

Menu 2

Monday:    Oven BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/222932/oven-bbq-chicken-drumsticks/

Tuesday:   Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers

https://www.cookingclassy.com/chicken-fajita-stuffed-peppers/

Wednesday:    Panko Crusted Salmon 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/panko-crusted-salmon-recipe-2107225?pn=6

Thursday:   Pork “Saltimbocca” with potatoes

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pork-saltimbocca-with-roasted-onions-and-potatoes

Friday:   You choose!

Saturday:   Chili Tortellini

http://picky-palate.com/2013/04/10/chili-tortellini/#_a5y_p=1024310

Sunday:   One Pot Teriyaki Chicken

http://carlsbadcravings.com/one-pot-teriyaki-chicken-and-pineapple-rice/#

Menu 1

Monday:    Sheet Pan Honey Balsamic Chicken

https://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/sheet-pan-honey-balsamic-chicken-brussels-sprouts/

Tuesday:    Layered Mexican Chicken

https://www.weightwatchers.com/ca/en/recipe/layered-mexican-chicken-2/5626063162ef001434bd7502

Wednesday:    One Pot Wonder Tomato Basil

http://www.apronstringsblog.com/one-pot-wonder-tomato-basil-pasta-recipe/

Thursday:    Roasted Pork Chops and Peaches

https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/roasted-pork-chops-peaches

Friday:   You decide!

Saturday:   Cobb Salad with French Bread

https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/recipe-cobb-salad-with-blue-cheese-dressing/

Sunday:   Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup 

http://littlespicejar.com/creamy-chicken-wild-rice-soup-slow-cooker/

 

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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.
cur·mudg·eon
noun
  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!
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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

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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
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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!!
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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 🙂
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Day of Rest

You hear it all the time. Sunday is a day of rest. We should intentionally put our work aside and remind ourselves that this day was made for us to take a much needed break from the chaotic lives we lead. But as moms how do we do that? We still have laundry, meals to cook, battles to break up, spills to clean. It is frustrating to put it aside because all you see is the piling up of more work. In my mind it feels like procrastination not relaxation. Why put off tomorrow what you can do today. Well, what I am realizing is the more I let my anxious-clean-up-the-mess personality step aside the more I find myself enjoying this day of rest. I don’t think we will ever find a perfect balance but if you can clear your mind and schedule to be present with the ones you love who can argue with that!
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This Home.

In this house we are real.  We make mistakes and messes. We say I’m sorry. We give second chances. We give hugs. We are patient. We Love.
You see these words posted all over Pinterest, on wooden signs, free printables, they are everywhere.  It’s a bit cliche but each word represents what I want our house to be.  That’s what we are all about.  Always trying to keep it real. The only words missing are calm and storm.  Which is why I took this photo. Only a few short minutes later when my boys walked through the door did it all change. Mistakes, messes, backpacks, legos, empty glasses, crumbs, papers, pen marks, and slime took over.
Yes, in this house we are real and we love everything about it especially the very brief moments of calm before the storm.
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Re:new is more than just a cute shop!

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! 

Hours: 

MONDAY – FRIDAY, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

SATURDAY, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

CLOSED SUNDAY

PHONE: 630.547.2176

Store + Studio Location:

 

483 N. MAIN STREET

GLEN ELLYN, IL 60137