Halloween happiness with Pearachuting pumpkins


Disclosure: I’m a Pearachute ambassador (and stoked to be one). As such, I occasionally regale you with tales of kid-activity awesomeness, and the opportunity to get in on said kid-activity awesomeness. Although I’m compensated, all thoughts, opinions, and insanely sugared children are entirely my own. *** Halloween is looming large, and if your little monsters are acting like, well, little monsters, have I got the energy (and sugar) burning activities for you! Everyone and their princess-glittered little sister knows that {Read More}

No mystery as to the appeal of Lifeline’s ‘Miss Holmes’


If recent cinematic and staged endeavors are any indication, our world has gone Sherlock crazy, and with two good reasons: One, our collective psyche craves the closure and satisfaction of something- anything- being solved and finished (especially in the latter half of 2016). And two, Sherlock lore is compelling and cool as heck. Whichever your driving reasons, Lifeline Theatre’s Miss Holmes will more than satisfy both of those criteria. Their new production crackles with brilliant one-liners and intriguing characters, and {Read More}

10 reasons you need to see ‘Hamilton’ in Chicago

Hamilton Chicago

Unless you’ve been living under a very large, very heavy rock, you’re aware of the award-winning juggernaut that is Hamilton: An American Musical. No? Okay, here’s the quickie wiki: Hamilton was based on the extraordinarily detailed biography by Ron Chernow, turned into a mammoth hip hop- well, “musical” doesn’t seem big enough, powerful enough, but we’ll go with that for now- musical by lyricist, composer, writer, performer, and all-around personal Jesus to many, Lin-Manuel Miranda. The tale of the “young, {Read More}

Jasper’s big (tiny) Halloween #StreamTeam reveal


Disclosure: As part of Netflix’s superbly fun #StreamTeam, I get to extol the virtues of the latest and greatest in streaming content. Although I’m compensated for my work, all thoughts, opinions, and downright edible children are entirely my own. *** Halloween is hard. Not the overstimulation, the constant blocking of gory zombie displays, or even the crazy amounts of candy consumption (that part is embarrassingly easy)… No, what’s hard is the dressing-up and going-out and keeping-on of a costume for a {Read More}

Social media detox, or Why I’m a rotten mother.


“Mom, stop ignoring me!” This from Suzy, almost to the point of tears. But the real guilt-zinger? Not only did I have zero idea of what she had been saying, I had had zero idea that she was even STANDING there. Yes. I was on my phone. And yes, I was confirming an activity- for her. At first I was, anyhow. Then I was scrolling through the Facebook feed of someone I didn’t actually like all that much, and hadn’t {Read More}

Goodman’s “Wonderful Town;” Chicago’s nicest place to visit.


Here’s the thing about Leonard Bernstein shows; they’re larger than life, classically “Broadway” and, if painted with a broad brushstroke, can feel more than a little dated. That is, unless they’re staged by the Goodman, and infused with such nuance that even the tiniest set piece feels like the wink of an inside joke. Wonderful Town is unlike anything else you’ll see all year. What started in the 1930s as a series of short stories by author Ruth McKenney, chronicling {Read More}

Kid Picks: Products my offspring are bonkers for right now.


Disclosure: I get stuff for free. A lot. I don’t always write about everything because- contrary to popular belief- I cannot be bought for a tube of toothpaste or ill-fitting pair of pants. That said, when I LOVE something, you hear about it. So even though I’ve been compensated, all thoughts, opinions, and happy, happy kids are entirely my own. ***** When I’m offered cool new things for my family to try out, it’s usually a toss-up as to which kid {Read More}

Birthday love and love on birthdays.


I love birthdays. I LOVE birthdays. I love the celebratory nature of them, the special eventitude, the cake. (I love the birthday cake. Even over-sugared grocery store frosting birthday cake is the stuff I love.) I love ushering in a new year, taking a moment to say “This is who I am now, and this acknowledgement needs to be acknowledged by folks outside the general vicinity of my bathroom mirror.” And oof- lemme tell you, I love my children’s birthdays. {Read More}