• Spreading the Bloggie Love

    I Know Neen. Do You Know Neen?

    Once in a blue moon I lure you here only to send you to read my writing elsewhere. This is one of those occasions. My friend and 2016 LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER CHICAGO alumna Nina Vallone asked me if I wanted to participate in the second annual 30-day Gratitude Series on her blog You Know Neen and of course I said, “Heck yeah! Thanks for asking!” Then I proceeded to get busy with life and Jim’s accident and I totally missed her deadline by a mile but I apologized and asked her if I could write something anyway, and if she couldn’t use it I’d just post it here. She…

  • Friends,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Spreading the Bloggie Love

    That’s What Friends Are For

    I guest-posted for my buddy Momo last night, on account of her entire neighborhood (city? I don’t know. Huge area) being out of power for the weekend with NO ELECTRICITY IN SIGHT for another week. Seriously. The post is pretty funny if I do say so myself. Figures I’d be “on fire” on someone else’s blog. I work really well under pressure. If you don’t already read Momo’s blog, WHY??? I mean, check it out here.

  • Random Thoughts,  Spreading the Bloggie Love

    Hot Off The Presses

    In an embarrassment of riches, I am the featured mom on two other sites today. (Well, technically one of them went up yesterday but I’m still within the 24-hour window.) I’m featured as a “Real Chicago Mom” on Family Travel with Colleen Kelly. Colleen has a travel show by the same name that is debuting locally on Chicago WTTW, Channel 11 this weekend. It airs: Friday, May 4 at 8:30pm Saturday, May 5 at 11:00am Sunday, May 6 at 5:30pm Her first episode is all about Chicago (yay!), and of course she’s hitting some other great destinations in Season 1. Follow Colleen on Twitter @familytravelck and on Facebook by clicking…

  • Fun in Chicago,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Reflections on Parenting

    How Does Your Family Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

    Today I thought I’d show you the first part of a video series I’m involved with (along with several of my beautiful Chicago blogger friends!), produced by MJ Tam for the Chicagonista Live show. The series is called “Our Voices” (#OurVoices). I love many things about this particular video, but my favorite is the Barbara Walters/Oprah-style lighting that worked miracles I’ve never seen before. I’m working on a way to have that light follow me around everywhere. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • Amazing People,  Reflections on Parenting

    The Balance of Parenting

    I think it’s important to have hobbies and interests that aren’t directly related to my children. I have always believed that if I focused 100% of myself on raising my kids, I would be gasping for air when they eventually went out on their own. Me, rolling myself up in the fetal position in a corner of my house when J, the younger of my two sons, waves goodbye really isn’t an attractive mental image, and so although I am a very active parent, I maintain activities that don’t rely on my kids being around. I feel like it makes me a better parent, that I have more to offer.…

  • Working On My Fitness

    Time For Fitness

    I get this a lot: “OMG Melisa! You’re so busy, and yet you still exercise! How do you find time??” Answer? I don’t find time. I MAKE time for fitness. You can too, if you really think about it. If it’s something you truly want to do, you’ll do it. Oprah does it, and she’s a pretty busy lady. (Just sayin’.) If you’re the type of person who gets up early for work or kids, and then you’re goinggoinggoing all day long until dinner time, when you have to feed your family and then help kids with homework or clean house or have a social life, you could get up…

  • Chicken in the Car,  Fun in Chicago,  Skydeck Chicago

    Chicagonista Live At 103!

    Yesterday I spent some time with the girls of Chicagonista Live (minus Nancy Loo, who had to anchor the noon news, and plus Barbara Rozgonyi!), because they broadcasted from Skydeck Chicago and had asked me to be a guest on the show, to promote my book. I had a great time with MJ, Beth, Duong, and Barbara, and being able to stand on the sidelines and watch their production up close and personal was pretty cool, too. Randy Stancik, the General Manager of Skydeck Chicago, was a guest too. If you’d like to watch the recording, click here! After the show, we wanted to get some pictures on The Ledge,…

  • Chicken in the Car,  Fun in Chicago,  Spreading the Bloggie Love

    Chicago In A Day? There’s A Post For That.

    People constantly ask me for recommendations for Chicago activities. I’m full of ideas, of course, having written a book about it, but let’s say that you are getting around to buying my book (you are, right?) and just need a couple of quick suggestions for a fun day trip in the city. I can help you there. In fact, I wrote a post about it, but it’s not here. It’s here (click that cute button!): So please go give me some love over there, would you? And speaking of Chicago (and really, when do I NOT?), my next post will be a recap of the breakfast D and I enjoyed…

  • Uncategorized

    What Comfort Zone?

    Even outside of this blog, I am a writer. You know that. I have a specialty, though. Did you know that? I write non-fiction. I believe I am good at it. I can write the heck out of an informational magazine article or a business letter*. Even the book I wrote, though it reads a little like fiction, is a true story. The idea of writing works of fiction terrifies me. That’s why I said, “Sure!” when Tara asked me, a few months ago, to be one of the contributors to a tag-team blog on which we collectively write a novelette. (Uh yeah, that’s fiction.) Actually, I said, “Sure!” because…

  • Something That Could Change Your Life

    Happiness in the ‘Hood!

    Pssst…hey, you! Yes, YOU. What are you doing today, say, around 1:00 p.m. Eastern/12:00 p.m. Central? Just eating lunch? Great. Want some company? I’m thrilled to be co-hosting a live Talk over at The Motherhood about happiness and what leads to it. My co-hosts are seven other bloggers along with special guest Gretchen Rubin, author of the best-selling book The Happiness Project! It’s sure to be a great time full of fabulous conversation; I hope you’ll join me! (By the way, it’s a text-based chat only, so you can read along and jump into the conversation as much or as little as you want to!) To participate fully, go to…