Win 4 tickets to the House Theatre’s (ballet-free!) ‘Nutcracker’


If The Nutcracker makes you think of slippered children and the type of dances that Sugarplum Fairies like best, then the House Theatre of Chicago’s take on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s tale is the refreshing palate cleanser your holiday season may just require. Created by Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich, Kevin O’Donnell and Tommy Rapley, and directed by Chris Mathews, this production has garnered quite a devoted following over the past 8 years. First off, there’s no ballet. Zero Tchaikovsky. And, while there’s definitely {Read More}

Signing off, sending love, sharing ideas


Oh, loves, it has been a YEAR. Since I’m in a share-y kinda mood, here’s this great piece I read the other day. You know how (many, many, many) of you feel like this was an utterly write-off-able year? Here’s the awesome thing: It actually was moderately/pretty close to wonderfully wonderful. Want to keep it that way for 2017 and check off some last-minute gifts at the very same time? Donate here: To help the people of Syria, the Red {Read More}

5 of my favorite holiday gifts & a giveaway!


Disclosure: Sometimes I get things for free! Sometimes I just love to promote people and things and require no more compensation than a hearty (virtual) handshake. Neither scenario impacts my words in the slightest, as all thoughts, opinions, and gingerbread feelings are entirely my own. *** One of my favorite parts of blogging is- and has always been- sharing my favorite companies and products with people whom I’m 99% certain would be hanging out with me and buying the same {Read More}

5 seemingly unrelated December thoughts


The world is way too big right now and the month of December is entirely too short. Life is absolutely careening, my immune system issues are in yuck-ish stasis, and I find myself less and less equipped at dealing with the shebang. So this week- ha ha- I haven’t! Please enjoy my 5 random December thoughts- this week (so far): 5) You know how people are always talking about finding joy, holding joy, and other verb-y ways of keeping joy in {Read More}

Back in the (germy) saddle!

butterfly coat

Happy 2016, friends! (…almost a full month in.)  Not to lean too heavily on a Sherlock cliffhanger ending or anything, but- MISS ME?  Thus far, I’ve spent the entirety of 2016 thinking up content schedules and bloggy redesign (and have yet to make any hard n’ fast decisions, ha HA)! Here’s what I do know, however; I’m going back to posting the blahbedity blah stuff (what we in the business call my free-associating, through line-free, loosely held grasp on the {Read More}

See you in shiny, sparkly 2016!

Schoeny family 2015

Oh, friends. It’s been a year. A loud year, a quietly sad year, a tense/angry/anxious year, and a year full of such profoundly beautiful moments that they took my breath away in gratitude. Back in the day (like, as recently as 2014), my biggest New Year’s resolution was to drink more water. Because, like, I had everything else completely figured out. Hahahahahaha, 2014-and-earlier-Keely. You optimistic, dehydrated fool. This year, I’m wishing for the ability to set boundaries when I need them, {Read More}

Chicago holiday events and an app-happy giveaway!


Happy third Wednesday in my borderline linear holiday event and giveaway series! Settle in, folks; there’s a lot of stuff you need to know about this week. (Disclaimer: Some of these products and events are given to me for review purposes, but most are things I just really, really like talking about.) Tallyho! Places to go: It’s no secret that the Morton Arboretum is one of the coolest places, ever. Ready to wow your kids (or, you know, your legitimately {Read More}

On the second day of holiday events & giveaways…


Welcome to the Four Non-Linear Days of Fun Events and Giveaways and Yes, Even Some Alcohol Too, Day Two! No, I still haven’t chosen a better name. So, a Chicagoland Santa visit is in the works, friends? You can’t put too much thought into this. If it’s not the right Santa- a really good Santa- your child will most likely be traumatized forever. (Don’t confuse that with your child crying in the photo. Because that most likely will happen anyhow. {Read More}