• Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Food,  Friends

    Candy Girl

    Over the weekend while at a candy store I came across some Spree candy in a bulk container and paused for a moment. I hadn’t enjoyed Sprees in years, as in “I can’t REMEMBER the last time I enjoyed Sprees but I think it may have been the early eighties”. Honestly, I couldn’t even remember what they tasted like other than my childhood. After standing there for a moment staring at the colorful disks, I reached for the scoop to put some in one of those “fill-your-own” buckets. When I was six or seven, I attended the birthday party of my cousin, who’s just a year older. My aunt came…

  • Childhood Memories,  Family Fun,  Favorite Things

    The Netflix #StreamTeam: Taking It Back. Way Back.

    I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam and will be happily sharing monthly tips and stories about how my family uses Netflix on a regular basis. (Okay, that’s an understatement. I should say CONSTANTLY. We use Netflix CONSTANTLY.) This post is sponsored by Netflix, of course! One of my favorite things about Netflix is the ability to go back and rewatch television shows from when I was much younger. Or just a little younger. (or to watch television shows that I missed the first time around, frankly.) I’ve written about this before: some of my best TV memories are right THERE waiting for me, and I can access any…

  • Childhood Memories

    A Streaming Wish List

    Today has been an Adam Sandler kind of a day. We watched “Don’t Mess With the Zohan” (a family fave) and then “Grown Ups”. I decided to search for MTV’s “Remote Control” so we could show D how Adam Sandler got started, and I was thrilled to find full episodes on YouTube. The one we watched didn’t have Adam Sandler in it (of course not because MY LUCK), but it DID have the original commercials that aired in 1989 so we got a good laugh about that. It got me thinking about three shows from back in the day that I would love to see on Netflix or Hulu at…

  • Bean,  Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Friends,  Music,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz

    What Happens In High School…

    I attended high school in Knoxville, Tennessee so when we come here to visit our parents (both sets still live here), I always try to make time to get together with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Kate. We went to high school together and were extremely close in our junior and senior years. While we lost touch for nearly eight years after graduation, I sent a letter to her parents’ address when I was pregnant with J and we reconnected. I love our relationship; it’s really stood the test of time. In addition to our high school adventures, she flew to Chicago to be the decoy surprise when…

  • Childhood Memories,  Food,  I'm Apparently Old.,  I've Got Mad Skillz

    Jell-O Times Two.

    Until the last six months or so since my mom started trying to minimize, we have always known that if we’re looking for something from our growing-up years, she’s likely got it. It’s for that reason that when we come for a visit, we usually find long-forgotten things either by accident or, if mom finds something she wants us to take home, left on the dresser of the room in which we sleep. I was tickled on this visit to find a short stack of old report cards, a program from an elementary school play, and a collaborative recipe book made by my kindergarten class on that dresser. The recipe…

  • Childhood Memories,  Roxie

    It Was Because of Snoopy.

    Tonight, Jim and I were lucky enough to catch the annual network broadcast of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” in its entirety. (Often we tune in near the end or miss it altogether because we had no idea it’d be on.) The Peanuts cartoons–the ORIGINALS, mind you, not the newer, inferior television specials–have always been among our favorites because they remind us of our childhood. I’m sure we’re not alone in that sentiment. Snoopy was always my favorite character. He was smart, sneaky, and even though his actions made it seem otherwise, he really cared about others deep down at his core. It was because of Snoopy that I always wanted…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?

    Fun Facts About Me

    Today’s post was inspired by my friend Leigh Ann, who did a “Fun Facts About Me” post on her own blog a couple of days ago. (Thanks, Leigh Ann!) Before LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER CHICAGO, the last time I had any substantial stage time was in elementary school. I was in a couple of productions; my favorite was when I played Earth. Even when I was a kid, I could never do a proper, straight-legged cartwheel. This has always bugged me. When I was a teenager I had three main career aspirations: journalist, travel agent, and housewife/mom. I later earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. The movies I have…

  • Childhood Memories,  Food,  How To

    Easy Dinner Idea: Petros! (You’re Welcome.)

    When I was a teenager, I lived in Knoxville, Tennessee for a few years. The reason we moved there was so my dad could manage a Holiday Inn just up the hill (literally) from the University of Tennessee campus and a nice walk from the 1982 World’s Fair site. This was the same hotel where my sister and I were friendly enough with the guy who came in weekly to collect the quarters from the video games in the arcade that he would set up the machines with hours worth of free play for us. We got season’s passes to the World’s Fair that summer and often rode in to…

  • Blessings,  Childhood Memories

    On Birthdays.

    Here’s the thing. I’m just not sure how many posts I can write about my birthday. One more for now, I guess. I’ve had many memorable birthdays, including my 30th, which was when Jim, my sister, and Kate pulled off the unthinkable and gave me a surprise party in my own house. There was the one when I was four and my mom served pigs in blankets, and one of my friends threw up all over the table. Every year I think of her and while I can’t even remember her name, I wonder what happened to her. I fully realize that’s weird. There were the ones when I was…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Pretty Pictures

    Buildings Don’t Move.

    Pictures of Chicago buildings. I’ve got ’em. Every single time I go downtown for something—an event, a meet-up, business, a simple errand, whatever—I take photos. Sometimes I bring my camera but usually I’m snapping with my phone. I love the architecture. I love the building materials. I love the juxtaposition of certain buildings against others. I love the bright blue sky against the neutral stone and brick. I love when I can get seasonal pictures. I love when I can get the sun hitting the buildings in a certain way. I love it all. I have my favorite subjects, including (but not limited to) Marina City, the Wrigley Building, and…