• Amazing People,  Best Thing Ever,  Childhood Memories,  Music

    The Concert of My Lifetime: Billy Joel at Wrigley Field

    When I was a kid in the seventies, we had a pretty nice-sized vinyl collection thanks to a friend of my dad’s who owned a record store and shared lots of the albums that he no longer needed. The square covers always had a 1/2-inch notch cut out of the top and a sticker that said “For Promotional Use Only: Not for Resale”. These days I’d have to sit and think about which albums were in our collection in order to talk about them except for two standouts, “The Jacksons” and this one, Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”: When I was six and seven, that album cover both intrigued and terrified…

  • 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…

  • Fun in Chicago

    #BlogHerFood15: I Can’t Wait!

    I have been CRAZED this week. Last week too. The week before as well. Wait…maybe I’m always crazed? Okay…I am, but the crazy factor goes up and down. Recently it’s been off the charts because not only have I been working behind the scenes with my fellow national teammates to get ready to launch the 2016 season of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER (41 cities in the U.S. AND CANADA!), but I’ve been working like crazy behind the scenes of the BlogHer Food conference, which happens to be in Chicago this weekend. The Events and Social Teams work so very hard on every BlogHer event, and while the intensity increases as…

  • Family Fun,  Favorite Things,  Fun in Chicago

    Blue Man Group Questions and Answers? Got ‘Em!

    Remember how, the last time I saw Blue Man Group Chicago (just a month ago!), I said that I won’t ever get sick of the show? TRUTH. In fact, I just went back last week. I KNOW!! Crazy, right? I was invited to come and see the show and stick around afterwards for a Q&A session with a band member and a Blue Man, and why the heck would I ever pass THAT up? Answer: I would not. Sidenote: Jim wondered how a Blue Man was going to answer questions, since Blue Men don’t talk. Huh. He’s always thinking. Disclosure: we received complimentary tickets to the show as a part…

  • Fun in Chicago,  Jim Has Mad Skillz,  Music

    Pretty Happy About The Blues

    If you’ve read this blog for any length of time at all, you already know that I’m pretty crazy about my husband. We’ve been married for nearly 28 years (back then it was legal for four-year-olds to marry, ba dum bum!) and we’re still making people sick with our hand-holding and happy togetherness. I often wonder how I got so lucky, but then I correct myself and think about how luck probably had just a little bit to do with it. Good relationships are hard work, and we really do work on our marriage a lot. Whenever I butt in on a conversation about marriages or relationships in person or…

  • Family Fun,  Favorite Things,  Fun in Chicago

    Blue Man Group Chicago: Now With Even MORE Awesome!

    I’ve written about Blue Man Group Chicago a few times since I started this blog in 2007. That’s partly because it’s one of the local activities that has consistently remained in our family’s top five (or so) for the last I-don’t-know-how-many years. It’s partly because it’s just a freaking good show and I want everyone to know about it. Jim (who is seriously a BMG FANATIC) and I have seen it so many times we’ve lost count. We LOVE taking visitors to see Blue Man Group. In fact, when Jim and I were recently trying to figure out how he and his boss would entertain their co-workers who were visiting…

  • Fun in Chicago

    Note To Self:

    Next year, remember to ask someone to remind me that I will likely need a sleep aid on the night in between LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER CHICAGO audition days. It’s what happens when we listen–oh, so willingly!–to these from-hilarious-to-heartbreaking stories of motherhood for hours at a time. At night, the stories start to ooze out. They stick with us for so many different reasons. When we’re in the beginning of the process of having to choose which ones are right for the show this year, there is excitement about finding our newest LTYM Chicago family members combined with sadness in thinking about the many who will have to be let…

  • Reflections on Parenting,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Rosecrance’s “In My Shoes” Exhibit: Go See It!

    Last week I told you about how I’ve been doing some sponsored work for Rosecrance, one of the country’s leading teen substance abuse treatment centers, to help get some tough teen conversations started. I participated in a Twitter chat and then was all set to visit the traveling art exhibit called “In My Shoes”, currently on display at Hinsdale’s Robert Crown Center. Today, I’m reporting back!

  • My Kids Have Mad Skillz,  Proud Moments,  Reflections on Parenting,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Preventing Substance Abuse Requires More Than One Conversation.

    Even though we have never experienced communication issues, some of the most difficult-to-begin conversations with our boys were the ones about substance abuse. As parents, the idea of our kids—actually our whole family—dealing with substance abuse was always one of our biggest fears as they got older and became more independent. The fact is, drug abuse–prescriptions and illegal substances–is rampant no matter where you are. Here in Naperville specifically, there’s a huge, scary heroin problem in addition to the “usual” stuff. Recently I was asked by the folks at Rosecrance, one of the country‚Äôs leading teen substance abuse treatment centers, to do some sponsored work in helping them spread the…

  • Best Thing Ever,  Favorite Things,  Friends,  Fun in Chicago,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Music,  Pretty Pictures

    Pitbull In Pictures

    On Wednesday I had the extreme pleasure of, along with my friend Samantha, being an audience member at the taping of the season premiere episode of Steve Harvey’s daytime talk show. Steve is great and all (and in fact I found lots of his small talk between takes to be very inspiring), but the “extreme pleasure” part can be credited to the presence of his guest, Pitbull. Pitbull is currently one of my very favorite entertainers. His music makes me very, very happy. His music also makes me dance, even if I’m sitting down. Sofa dancing? Totally. Car dancing? Yes, please. When I’m standing up? Look out. For real. You…