Chicagoland’s ‘All Seasons Orchard’ (& the tastiest apples ever)

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You can keep your pumpkin spice lattes; the real autumn draw in the Midwest is a superb orchard. And guess what? After years of [diligently] trying them all out, and [selflessly] downing cider and donuts, we have a new fave. All Seasons Orchard… …in Woodstock, IL, is worth its weight in Honeycrisp apples. (Which, by the way, are enjoying their peak season rightthisverysecond.) One of the largest orchards in northern Illinois, they have over 15,000 apple and pear trees, an {Read More}

Grace. (A.k.a. We’ll see!)

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Things I will give myself grace about today: (a work in progress) -My kids are mostly clean, extremely well-fed, and unquestionably loved. The rest of the kid stuff I angst about in the middle of the night can hold off for a bit. (At least until tonight.) -When your body hurts, you should rest. Today, I should rest. (And if that requires yet more screen time for Jasper, well then, gracegracegracegracegrace.) -The brain is part of the body. When it’s {Read More}

Fall’s roundup of must-haves & a giveaway!

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It’s Fall! Time for photogenic foliage, gourd-flavored beverages, and my new favorite things in the whole of the world! (Make sure to scroll all the way down for the giveaway!) Although I’m compensated, all thoughts, opinions, and divinely happy households are entirely my own. Here Eating local, eating healthy, eating tasty…it can be the trifecta of tricky, amiright? Well, on a quest to make it a little easier is Chicago-based food company Here, who makes veggie and bean dips worth their {Read More}

Autumn angst.

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When I was in my mid-twenties, my primary sources of income were nannying and teaching theatre to very little kids. They were great jobs; I got to be in a city I loved, surrounded by kids I loved, helping smallish people to grow into kind, artistic people (whom I still love). There was no better time of year to do all this than in the Fall, when everything suddenly seemed excitingly cozy. There was something so nesty about September and {Read More}

Kindergarten & the Beatles & crying in public

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I cried at Target the other day. It’s neither the first time I’ve cried in public nor even at a Target, but the surprising nature of the cry was enough to snap me out of it pretty quickly and have it turn into an embarrassing choke/gasp kind of thing. So, Susannah- Suzy/Zuzu/whatever the heck she goes by at any given moment- my second born ride-along, the one who can keep a good pun going for as long as the situation {Read More}

Losing your mind/gaining a kitten

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…And then there are times you go slightly off the deep end, amiright? And sometimes it looks like this: You alert your husband to the fact that a neighbor is FreeBoxing (yes, a verb) an Ikea couch on Facebook and he agrees that, yes, it sure is a largish loveseat- and, oh, what, I should go get it? (Yes.) So part of the day is reserved for hefting furniture and rearranging living quarters (two of his all-time least favorite things {Read More}

“Because I said so.” (And so did the #StreamTeam.)

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Disclosure: As a member of Netflix’s Stream Team, I get to watch a ridiculously wonderful amount of programming and call it RESEARCH. (Oh, and share it with you.) Although I’m compensated, all thoughts, opinions, and last words are entirely my own. *** This may come as no humongous surprise, but I enjoy arguing. Oh, not when someone’s being aggressive in traffic or if I think someone’s, like, thinking mean thoughts about me— I’m way too non-confrontational for those sort of {Read More}

Time travel and being present

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The other day, I took the kids to our neighborhood park. They were so full of energy and I was…so not. While they played I perched on the low perimeter wall and played eyeball Double Dutch as the three of them ran from slide to tire swing to climbing structure. But then I saw a mother who was so into what her baby was doing, seeing, feeling, and experiencing at that very moment in that very playground and, instead of {Read More}