• Family Fun,  Fun in Chicago

    #MemorialDaySuperSale at Gurnee Mills: Don’t Miss It!

    Jim and I moved back to the Chicagoland area from Norfolk, Virginia in the summer of 1991, just a couple of months before an amazing new mall opened for business. Gurnee Mills was its name, and we were so excited about it. The two shopping centers closest to our house were sorely lacking in many areas and the possibilities this new thing had in store were thrilling to think about. Our home in Kenosha, Wisconsin was only about twenty minutes away from Gurnee so we made frequent visits to the mall. When D was a toddler, we went to Gurnee Mills on Halloween for trick-or-treating. There were always things going…

  • Family Fun,  Too Funny To Ignore

    In April, #StreamTeam Says Helloooo Kimmy! (And Helloooo Nurse!)

    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! Our family members run together for the most part when it comes to television and movies. Sure, there are slight differences here and there, but we are mostly on the same page when it comes to viewing preferences. That’s why I was trying to get D, our 23-year-old, to watch “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”. I knew he would like it. He wasn’t living here…

  • Family Fun,  Favorite Things,  Food,  Fun in Chicago,  Travels

    Like Food, Drinks, Fun, and Shopping? Go To Rosemont!

    If you know me at all, you know that I don’t hesitate when offered a chance to travel somewhere and spend a night in a hotel room, even if it’s close to my house. That’s why, when the Village of Rosemont in conjunction with the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel, recently invited me to do just that, I responded within seconds of reading the email. Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary accommodations, food, and drink during our overnighter. I’m sharing my own experience here, and all opinions and photos are mine. Rosemont, which is only 2.5 square miles in size, is located about twenty-five minutes away from my house (and thirty…

  • 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…

  • Family Fun,  Food,  Jew Stuff

    It’s Like Groundhog Day, But On Christmas.

    Same thing, different year! The Wells family will continue our Christmas tradition of going to see a movie and dinner prepared by Jim. (We’re having Green Curry Chicken, which is Thai and not Chinese, but still Asian. Close enough.) Our movie? The new “Star Wars” flick. FINALLY. Thank YOU, internet, for not posting any spoilers. This has to be a new record because I totally expected to know what I was getting into more than a week ago. I can’t wait to see this movie, spoiler-free! Besides that? Well, you know: Merry Christmas to all of you who are celebrating!

  • Family Fun,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Jim Has Mad Skillz,  Too Funny To Ignore

    City Girl Farming

    Way back in the day, before I was spending a good chunk of my waking hours online (blogging and such) I spent a good chunk of my time playing games like “Sim City” and “Roller Coaster Tycoon”. Looking back, I can’t believe I played as much as I did, but I suppose in a few years I’ll be in disbelief about all the time I spend on the internet, too. Eventually blogging and other social media pursuits took over and I stopped playing computer games. Over the years I have received countless invitations from friends to play every game under the sun, like “Words With Friends”, “Candy Crush”, and lots…

  • Family Fun,  My Sister Has Mad Skillz

    Happy To Help.

    On Sunday I received an unusual answer from my mom when I asked her if she needed me to do anything before heading down to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving. Naturally, “Happy to help” is an understatement. She had already talked to my sister about it, who was completely on board (of course) with the plan. I’m pretty sure she’s been researching specialty drinks to prepare for this very important task. When we arrived today it was only a matter of minutes before we opened up that cabinet to see what we were up against. I spotted a bottle of Green Label Jack Daniels in the back and immediately called…

  • Family Fun,  Reflections on Parenting

    The Plan

    Being an empty nester is weird. Full disclosure: while our 23-year-old is currently living with us while he works and saves up some money for his next move, I still consider us empty nesters. Maybe THAT’S weird. Anyway, being an empty nester is weird. It’s weird because once the kids grow up and move out, it’s awesome because you’re thrilled that they are starting a new chapter in their lives and you can start a new chapter in your life, but it’s also sad because they are starting a new chapter in their lives that doesn’t include you on a constant basis, and you’re starting a new chapter in your…

  • Family Fun,  Reflections on Parenting

    To Infinity and Beyond

    I cannot think of a movie franchise that has meant more to our family over the years than Disney’s “Toy Story”. The adventures of Andy’s toys (Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and friends) were on repeat in our VCR (and later, DVD player) for years and years. In fact, here’s something that might make you feel old like I do: on this day twenty years ago, the first “Toy Story” installment, starring Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, premiered in Hollywood at the El Capitan Theatre, with nationwide release three days later. When I learned that, I had another bittersweet moment of “Wow, time really does fly, doesn’t it?” When the movie premiered,…

  • Confessions,  Family Fun

    Netflix #StreamTeam Does Halloween!

    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! Halloween is finally here, after what seems like months of build-up. I personally love checking out my Facebook news feed to see what all the little kids are wearing these days, for class parties and trick-or-treating. Although I’m well known for my failure to decorate my house for the holidays, Halloween was always a fun time around here with D and J. They…